Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

The last macaroni and cheese of the season… Because it really is much more of a hearty wintertime dish, even though it is oh-so good. It follows pretty much this recipe here, adapted from Gourmet Magazine. Here’s the way I make it…

  • 1-lb Maple Bacon
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 3 Tbsp Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2-3/4 cups Milk
  • 3/4 cups Half and Half (because that is what is in the house)
  • 4 cups Shredded and/or Cubed Cheeses (I use a variety of cheese, also depending on what is in the house. This batch had: Smoked Cheddar, White Cheddar & Monterey Jack.)
  • 2 tsp Mustard
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1-lb Whole Wheat Pasta (this batch was elbows and they worked very well.)

1. Boil water for pasta. Cook as directed, drain and set aside.
2. Rough cut bacon and cook. Drain and set aside.
3. Melt butter in a large pot over medium low heat. Whisk in flour and red pepper flakes. Cook, while whisking, for 3 minutes to make a roux. Continue to whisk and add milk in a slow stream. Bring the sauce to a boil and continue to whisk constantly. Simmer, whisking occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stir in 1/2 and 1/2, cheeses, mustard and salt. Remove from heat. Stir in cooked bacon.
4. Add cooked pasta to cheese sauce. Pour mixture into a lightly-oiled baking dish. Cook, covered, for 20 minutes in a 400-degree oven. Uncover, and cook for approximately 10 more minutes, until bubbly and golden. Enjoy! It’s really really good…


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First, the asparagus: I rolled the stalks in olive oil, sprinkled them lightly with a dried basil & garlic blend, and finished with a dash of sea salt. Cooked at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes. This batch even got crispy on the tips… I liked that crunch.

I had forgotten how simple and tasty this variation on chicken piccata is. I love the lemony flavor in it, and cooking everything in butter just tastes yummier, too! Even better when mushrooms are involved (which they usually are)…

  • 1-1/2 lbs. Chicken Breasts, skinless, boneless, pounded flat
  • 3 Lemons
  • Garlic, minced
  • Dried Thyme
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup Flour
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 12-16 oz. Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup + dash of White Wine

1.  Marinade the chicken overnight with the juice of 2 lemons, minced garlic, dried thyme, and a dash of white wine.

2.  Put the flour on a plate and dredge the chicken breasts.  In a skillet with 1/2 of the butter, brown the chicken on both sides over medium heat, about 5 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove chicken and set aside.

3.  Add remaining butter to skillet.  Cook mushrooms and garlic until tender.  Return chicken to pan.  Add wine and juice of remaining lemon.  Simmer for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally as sauce thickens slightly.  Serve over rice.

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I had a recipe from years ago, when I first started gathering recipes, for a Scrambled Pasta dish.  Oddly, I had never tried it… Odd, because I love pasta, and I do rather enjoy eggs (though I do tend to eat them off and on, in phases).  Anyway, I’ve recently been enjoying eggs in various ways, so I decided it was time to try this dish.

I looked at my old recipe, and also took a gander at some other ones on the web.  I came up with a very basic way to try adding eggs to pasta.  The meal did feel like comfort food and it was fairly good.  I think it would be even better by adding some fresh herbs or some fresh veggies in the summertime.  I did add asparagus on the side to this dish… We’ve finally got some fresh asparagus here, and honestly, I think I was more focused on enjoying that!  🙂  But all in all, a scrambled pasta is an interesting way to make a quick pasta meal… It’s filling, somewhat light and overall pretty darn tasty. I’d also say it would make a yummy base with some fresh herbs and/or veggies, too.

  • 12-oz. Whole Wheat Rotini Pasta – I cooked the whole box and then set a bit of the cooked pasta aside.
  • Olive Oil
  • Minced Garlic
  • 4 Eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded (plus extra for topping, if desired)

Cook pasta according to directions; drain and set aside. As pasta is finishing cooking, saute minced garlic in olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Beat together the 4 eggs in a small bowl, and then stir in the shredded parmesan cheese. Add cooked pasta to garlic and warm through. Pour egg mixture over pasta and stir. While stirring (and also scraping the eggs from the bottom of the pan), cook until the eggs are set, about 4-5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

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Basically, this meal was a quicker version of the recipe found here. I rather quickly cooked up (over medium-high heat) the garlic, mushrooms, baby spinach, red pepper flakes, cumin and salt. I drained the excess liquid and then added about a 1/4-1/2 cup of salsa (after draining that, too). Next, I added about 3 Tbsp. of cream cheese and removed the pan from the heat. I stirred in the cream cheese with the still-warm filling and then let it cool for a couple of minutes. Next, I put the filling in a tortilla, sprinkled some cheese on top and wrapped it up. (A bit more shredded cheese on top of those, too.)

Since our broiler tends to pretty faithfully ignite food items in less than one minute (yes, literally!), I opted for a 350 degree oven for 8 minutes or so to melt the cheese on top. Tasty, quick, a bit cheesy (so be it), with leftovers for lunches tomorrow. Works for us!

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I took this recipe for Inside-Out Lasagna from my Eating Well magazine… it’s like a deconstructed lasagna of sorts. I added mozzarella cheese to the mix, and, well, I mixed it all up. I also used a full box of whole-wheat pasta and more mushrooms. The picture at the bottom shows the recipe version of this dish, before I added the extra cheese and mixed mine together.

The dish had a familiar taste to it, similar to lasagna… I think the ricotta cheese added the most for that effect. The diced tomatoes made it lighter than the traditional tomato sauce, and we enjoyed this as a weeknight meal. This dish had all my required elements for such weeknight meals: it is basically quick to prepare; it is healthyish and good-for-you; it provides leftovers; and it is simply quite tasty. I don’t know that I’d go so far as to call it lasagna-like, but I’ll definitely be adding it to my menus on a regular basis.

  • One package (13.25-oz.) Whole Wheat Rotini Pasta
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion, chopped
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 16-oz. Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 14-oz. Can Diced Tomatoes
  • One bag (8-oz.) Baby Spinach
  • 1/2 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 3/4 cup Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

1.  Bring large pot of water to boil.  Add pasta and cook accordingly.  Drain and transfer to large bowl.

2.  As pasta cooks, heat oil in saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add onion and garlic.  Cook, while stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until it begins to soften.  Add mushrooms and salt.  Cook, while stirring, for 5-6 minutes or until mushrooms begin to release their liquid.

3.  Add diced tomatoes, spinach and crushed red pepper flakes.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes.

4.  Toss sauce with pasta and serve with 3 Tbsp. dollops of ricotta cheese on top (bottom pic).  This is where I added some shredded mozzarella and mixed everything together (top pic).  Yum!

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This is Mr. Food Groove’s chili recipe and it is very darn good! He mentioned making it for this past weekend, and I couldn’t get the thought of it out of my head until we had some cooking. After a morning trip to the grocery store yesterday, we very much enjoyed this chili last night. It’s a warm and hearty meal, particularly delicious on those cold and snowy days. We do indulge a bit with it sometimes by adding bacon. Surprisingly, to me, the bacon adds a nice smoky flavor, along with the chipotle peppers and adobo sauce.

  • 1-lb Maple Bacon – Actually, for me, I’ll bet using maple bacon adds just the right amount of sweetness to an otherwise semi-heat-filled dish.
  • Medium-sized Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1-lb Ground Turkey
  • Garlic, minced – Garlic is always good
  • Small can of Diced Green Chilies
  • 2-3 Chipotle Peppers, chopped with 2-1/2 spoonfuls of Adobo Sauce – This is where the heat comes in, and as I’m not a big heat fan, this can be increased as desired.
  • Few shakes of Ground Cumin
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 3 cans of Bush’s Chili Beans
  • 2 cans of Diced Tomatoes
  • White Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • Sour Cream
  • Brown Rice, optional

1.  Rough chop the bacon and cook through.  Set aside on paper towels.  Remove and discard most of bacon grease.  If making rice, prepare as directed while cooking chili.

2.  In bacon pan, add chopped onions and cook on medium-high heat for 5 minutes.  Add ground turkey, garlic, green chilies, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, cumin, salt, and pepper.  Cook through until turkey is browned.

3.  Pour turkey mixture into a large chili (soup) pot.  Add the bacon.  Add beans and diced tomatoes.  Warm through and let simmer for 15 minutes or more.

Serve over brown rice, if desired.  Top with shredded white cheddar and a dollop of sour cream.  A warm and hearty dish indeed!  We especially enjoy making some scrambled eggs and adding the leftover chili for another night’s dinner too…

Here’s my original chili post from a few months ago… although not a lot of postings ago. Slight variations, some rice, and still delicious.

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I found this scrumptious recipe when going through an old blog – I hadn’t made it since March of 2007! I remember it being very delicious at the time, and it was very delicious this time around too… I can’t imagine how I could have missed this so far in my repertoire. Silly, silly me…

I got this idea from a dish that my mom would get from a local Italian place around the holidays. They made a tasty chicken piccata and a mean eggplant parm, too. Everything (well, the chicken and the eggplant) was very lightly breaded, which I liked.

Even though I haven’t yet tried this recipe with breading yet, as I wanted to recreate my recipe from 2+ years ago first, I’ll definitely be trying some breading with this too… The flour coating did add some crisp to the chicken here, but I’m looking forward to trying a bit more of it.  🙂  And it’s just such a yummy dish… nice and lemony and garlicky, with a flavorful mushroom sauce on top.  Mmmm…  Big yum.

  • Chicken Breasts, skinless, boneless, pounded flat (1-1/2 lbs. or so)
  • 4 Lemons
  • Fresh Garlic, minced
  • Herbs, for seasoning (as preferred)
  • Salt
  • 1/4+ cup Flour
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 12-16 oz. Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup White Wine
  • Rice (or pasta)

1.  Marinade chicken beforehand.  I used the juice of 2 lemons, minced garlic, dried thyme and salt.  Let sit in fridge for 1+ hours.

2.  If serving over rice or pasta, begin to prep at this point.  I used a creamy rice mix.

3.  Put flour on a plate and dredge the chicken breasts.  In skillet with 1/2 of butter, brown chicken on both sides over medium heat (about 5 minutes or until both sides are golden brown).  Remove from skillet and keep warm.  (This is where I will try breading the chicken with breadcrumbs  next time.)

4.  Add remaining butter to skillet.  Cook mushrooms and garlic til tender.  Return chicken to pan.  Add wine and juice of remaining 2 lemons.  Simmer for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally til sauce thickens slightly.  Serve over rice or pasta.

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