Thursday, July 30, 2009

Skillet Chicken with Broccoli, Pasta, and Parmesan Cheese

I found this recipe on My Kitchen Cafe. I love her recipes and this one didn't disappoint. My two year old especially loved it!

Skillet Chicken with Broccoli, Pasta, and Parmesan Cheese

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch squares
Table salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
12 ounces ziti (penne makes a great substitution - I've used both with great results)
4 1/4 cups water
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4-5 cups broccoli florets (depending on how much broccoli you want)
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed and chopped coarse
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (asiago was the cheese in the original recipe and can be interchanged, but I always have parmesan on hand so I used that)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook for 1 minute without stirring. Stir the chicken and continue to cook until most, but not all, of the pink color has disappeared and the chicken is lightly browned around the edges, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a clean bowl and set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the skillet. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened, 2 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the pasta, 3 cups of the water, and the broth. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the liquid is very thick and syrupy and almost completely absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, and the remaining 1 1/4 cups water. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the broccoli turns bright green and is almost tender, 2-3 minutes.

Uncover and return the heat to medium-high. Stir in the cream, parmesan, and reserved chicken with any accumulated juices and continue to simmer, uncovered, until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is cooked and heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, passing more grated parmesan at the table, if desired

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lemon Jello Salad

This is my favorite Jello it's almost like a desert. I make it all the time

2 pkgs lemon jello
4 c water
1 can crushed pineapple
3 c bananas sliced
miniature marshmallows

1 cup pineapple juice
1 egg
1/2 c sugar
2 TBS. flour
1/2 pint whipped cream

Prepare jello according to pkgs. Drain the pineapple and save the juice. Add pineapple and sliced bananas. Spread layer of marshmallows on top. Put in fridge until fully set.
Make topping by mixing flour and sugar in pan and then add egg and pineapple juice. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thickened. Let cool completely. Whip the cream until set and then add to the topping mixture. Stir in carefully. Then put on top of jello and serve.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Chocolate Angel Food Cake

I was looking for a yummy dessert that wasn't too high in calorie. I had never made an angel food cake before, but was curious to try. I found this recipe on that was easy and also included chocolate!!! Find it here. It was yummy and easy- with the classic spongy angel food cake texture and it is only 180 calories and 0 grams fat per serving. We topped it with fresh strawberries and cream....soooo good- it was gone before I thought to take a picture with toppings, but you get the idea. I didn't have a bundt pan, but I improvised by using a springform pan with a metal funnel in the middle. Not quite as pretty, but it worked!
  • 2 cups egg whites (will vary based on size of eggs, but it was 15 eggs for me!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, mix confectioners' sugar, cake flour, and cocoa. Sift together 2 times, and set aside.
  3. In a clean large bowl, whip egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar with an electric mixer on high speed until very stiff. Fold in white sugar 2 tablespoons at a time while continuing to mix. Fold in flour mixture, a little at a time, until fully incorporated. Stir in vanilla. Pour into a 10 inch tube pan.
  4. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for approximately 1 hour, or until cake springs back when touched.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Garlic Toasted Open Faced Lasagna Ciabattas

I got this recipe off of the Picky Palate It's a really easy and great recipe! It has all the taste of lasagna but on crusty bread!! Enjoy! The second time I made this, I added fresh spinach leaves in between the ricotta cheese mixture and sauce!

Garlic Toasted Open Faced Lasagna Ciabattas
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lb ground Italian Sausage
1 26 oz jar of your favorite pasta sauce
8 leaves fresh basil, chopped (taste great if you have them, but not necessary..I used a teaspoon of dried)

15 oz container ricotta cheese
½ Cup grated parmesan cheese
1 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon Italian Seasoning

8 garlic roasted ciabatta rolls (I just used a loaf of ciabatta bread)
1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese

Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place oil into a medium dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Cook sausage until browned, about 5-7 minutes; reserve ¼ Cup of sausage for ricotta. Reduce heat to low and stir in pasta sauce and basil leaves. Simmer for 15 minutes.
2. Place reserved ¼ Cup sausage, ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, salt, pepper and Italian Seasoning into a medium bowl. Stir to combine.

3. Split each ciabatta roll and place cut side up onto a large baking sheet. Spread ricotta mixture over each roll, about ¼ Cup (*you probably won't use all of ricotta.). Top with a couple spoonfuls of pasta sauce, and fresh mozzarella cheese.

4. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted and hot. Remove, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies... best recipe so far

I've been on a quest to find a really good chocolate chip cookie recipe. This is the winner so far. I found it here.

2¼ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
¾ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
1 (3.4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Set oven to 350 degrees F. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt, set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 12-14 minutes. Edges should be golden brown.

**Notes from Jeanine: One thing I've learned about cookies... you really need to cream the butter and sugar together for a while to make a good cookie. Also, with these cookies I baked them for about 10 minutes rather than 12.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Banana Brownies

Looking for another way to use up those brown bananas? Try these banana brownies... they were pretty good. I found the recipe here.

3/4 c. butter, softened
2/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
chocolate chips

Mix everything together. Pour into a 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Chocolate Mint Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches...need I say more?

I found these special treats on the all you magazine website. They look delicious. There are recipes for three different flavors, Snickerdoodle-Caramel Sandwiches with Banana Ice Cream, Chocolate-Mint Chip, and Oatmeal-Rum Raisin. For me...I am all about chocolate and mint chip!!! Enjoy! I have a feeling I will be making these quite often this summer!

Chocolate-Mint Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup chocolate chips
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 pint mint chocolate chip ice cream

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

2. Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler set over simmering water, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Combine chocolate mixture, brown sugar, egg and vanilla in a large bowl and beat until mixture is well combined. Gradually stir flour mixture into chocolate mixture. Add chips.

3. Roll dough into 16 1 1/2-inch balls, then roll each in sugar. Transfer dough balls to baking sheets, and bake until cookies are puffed and lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack and let cool. Repeat with remaining dough.

4. Arrange 12 cookies bottom side up and top each with a small scoop of ice cream. Top with a second cookie, bottom side down, pressing together slightly. Wrap each in plastic and freeze until firm, about 1 hour.

Yield: 8 large sandwiches