Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Creamy Chicken & Broccoli with Spatzle

I was looking for something yummy to do with chicken & to try and get more vegetables into my kiddos... they have been extremely picky lately..sigh.. so I came up with this chicken dish... It fit the bill and they all ate it with NO complaints :)  which is rare... My family loves broccoli... but you can use cauliflower or  the mixed bags of fresh broccoli, cauliflower & carrots...use what you like... I also used chicken tenders but use whatever boneless chicken your family likes... I also used white wine but you can substitute chicken stock as well. I served this over Spatzle which is German noodles cooked, or you can use any kind of wide pasta noodles, or rice or potatoes whatever you like...... Enjoy

Creamy Chicken & Broccoli w/Spatzle

1 package Chicken Tenders
1 small bunch of Broccoli, washed and cut into small florets
1 T. olive oil
1 can Cream of Broccoli Soup
1/2 soup can chicken stock
1/3 cup white wine
2 T water

seasonings of your choice ( I used garlic & onion powder, parsley flakes, Garlic no salt seasoning, Mrs. Dash & a pinch of salt & pepper)

Cooked Spatzle (or pasta of your choice, drained and mixed with a pat of butter)

In large skillet with lid, place olive oil and heat over medium high heat.  Combine seasonings and sprinkle over chicken.  Place in skillet.  Let cook for 2-3 minutes, turn over and add broccoli.  In large measuring cup (I used for easy pouring, but you can use a bowl) place soup, wine, chicken stock,water & seasonings whisk together until combined.  Pour over chicken & broccoli and using spoon stir coating all ingredients.  Place lid on pan and let mixture come to a boil, turning down heat to medium when boiling and cook for around 10-12 minutes or until broccoli is done and chicken is no longer pink stirring often.   Serve over drained spatzle.  Enjoy

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Spaghetti Salad

I love Spaghetti Salad....with all the pasta, and what I call goodies in it... tons of veggies, I put mini turkey pepperoni, and freshly grated parmesan cheese.... goodness in a bowl.. but whenever I make it people seem in awe of this...they think it is so complicated when it really couldn't be easier... put it all in a big bowl mix, chill and serve it... you can put whatever veggies you like. To save time you can go to the produce section or your favorite salad bar where all the chopping is done for you ,or chop the veggies yourself. Another couple of secrets...for the dressing, I use sugar, olive oil, & rice wine vinegar (or use lemon anything to brighten up that flavor) and you MUST use McCormick Salad Supreme (1/2 bottle) sprinkled in with the dressing ingredients... that is what gives it that yummy flavor...also the parmesan cheese is optional..but it gives the salad better flavor...Enjoy

Spaghetti salad

1 lb spaghetti, cooked according to package directions and drained)
1 cup cherry/grape tomatoes cut in half
1 small bunch, green onions thinly sliced
1 can sliced black olives,drained
1 green & orange pepper, washed, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup mini Turkey pepperoni (or can use regular mini pepperoni)
4 radishes, washed and small chopped
1/2 cup shredded parmesan

1 bottle Kraft Italian dressing
1/2 bottle McCormick Salad supreme (in the spice section of your supermarket)
1 T sugar
1T. olive oil
1 T. Rice Wine Vinegar (or red wine etc. use what you have)
Combine all ingredients, whisking well.

 In large bowl place all ingredients (EXCEPT parmesan cheese).  Pour dressing mixture over all.  With tongs mix ingredients well.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Cover bowl and chill in fridge to let flavors combine.  Before serving toss ingredients well, sprinkling a little more cheese over the top.  Enjoy

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Crispy Smashed Potatoes

I made these for the first time ever this week for my anniversary dinner... Can I say these are the best tasting and yummiest potatoes ever !!!!  I got this basic recipe from a friend of the family Debbie who is by far the best cook I know... She is the bomb :) Love ya Deb.... she does her's a little different from what I am sharing, I had to put my own spin on it.. (like usual)  my husband had seconds... (think they were a hit:)  I used baby Yukon gold potatoes, but can use small red skinned, or fingerling potatoes... Use what you have... Also use what seasonings you like...Since these were small I served 2 per portion.... Enjoy

Crispy Smashed Potatoes

Baby Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed under running water ( I used about 12 potatoes)
Water for boiling the potatoes
1/3 cup melted butter
*seasonings of your choice ( I sprinkled each potato with garlic & onion powder, kosher salt & cracked pepper)

In large pan place potatoes, and completely cover with water.  Boil until fork inserted in potatoes comes out easily and potatoes are completely cooked.  Drain.
Preheat oven to 375.
In baking sheet (with a edge on it) place a sheet of foil.  Spray with nonstick spray.  Place potatoes on foil.  With the bottom of a pan (I just used the one that I cooked the potatoes in be careful cause it may be still hot) smash potatoes into a flattened even layer, continuing until all the potatoes are done.  Drizzle the potatoes with the melted butter and top with seasonings.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are crispy and golden brown.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Creamy chicken rice

This is a super easy side dish which takes about 10 minutes to make... with everybody nowadays pressed for time who doesn't like that....  this dish is super versatile as well. You can add cooked chicken & whatever cooked veggies leftover from last nights dinner and add to the mix and make it a super quick main dish.... I have added cooked chicken & broccoli, also mixed veggies to this, and it is wonderful as well.. add whatever you have (mushrooms are another good example).  I have also substituted cream of broccoli soup and also cream of mushroom soup instead of the cream of chicken and it turned out fabulous as well :)  I serve this with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top but it is optional.. Enjoy

Creamy Chicken Rice

1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1/2 soup can EACH milk & chicken broth
2 T. butter (divided)
2 T white wine
1 3/4 cans of Instant rice
Parmesan cheese,grated for topping (optional)

seasonings of your choice (I used garlic & onion powder, Mrs. Dash, pinch of salt & pepper, dried parsley flakes & McCormick Original chicken seasoning)

In large skillet with a tight fitting lid, over medium high heat add chicken soup, milk, broth, wine, 1T. of butter and seasonings.  Whisk until smooth and combined.  Bring to boil , & stir in rice mixing well.  Turn off heat and cover pan with lid.  Let set for 5 minutes, stir rice well add additional 1 T. butter stirring to coat rice.  Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.  Enjoy

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Baked Pasta with Bechemel Tomato sauce

This is soooooo yummy... I was looking for not the "classic" Superbowl fare... not that wings, and nachos are bad by any means...but I wanted ooey gooey...something... warm comforting and awesome :)   this is just that.... so darn good I couldn't wait for it to get done baking.... heaven :)
The spices in here are optional but make it taste so good...and the combination of bechemel sauce & pasta sauce...can you say delicious..... It is layered kinda like lasagna only 2 layers of pasta....you don't want to make this too saucy or it won't set up...you can use any shape of cut pasta that you like (Penne, Rigatoni, elbow macaroni...use what you have)... enjoy & Happy Superbowl Sunday

Baked Pasta with Bechemel Tomato sauce

1 lb. package of pasta cooked and drained

Pasta sauce:
1/2 lb. ground beef
Veggies of your choice (I used 1/2 green pepper, stalk of celery, 1/4 cup baby carrots & 1/2 onion diced fine)
2-3 T red wine
1 clove of garlic minced
2 T brown sugar
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
1 small can tomato paste
1/4 cup beef stock
seasonings of your choice (I used salt & pepper, garlic & onion powder, red pepper flakes & Italian seasoning)
1 T olive oil

In large skillet add olive oil, and add veggies season with salt & pepper.   Cook 2-3 minutes on medium high until starting to get softened.  Add meat and garlic, breaking meat up with spoon.  Continue stirring occasionally until meat is done and veggies are softened.  Deglaze the pan with wine and beef stock.  Cover pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until veggies are tender.  Add pasta sauce, tomato paste, brown sugar and seasonings stirring well.  Bring to a rapid bowl and turn heat down to medium and reduce the sauce for around 5 minutes stirring often.  Keep warm.

Bechemel sauce

1/2 stick butter
2 T flour
1/4 cup beef stock
1 cup milk
seasonings of your choice (seasoned salt, garlic & onion powder & pepper)

Melt butter in saucepan, whisk in flour cooking for 2-3 minutes.  Add beef stock, milk & seasonings whisking to incorporate liquids.  Continue stirring often until boiling and thickened.

Cheesy layer
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1 egg
seasonings of your choice ( I added dried parsley, pepper, & garlic & onion powder)

Combine all ingredients mixing well.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In 13x9 dish, sprayed with cooking spray spoon in a slight layer of pasta sauce, drizzle with 1/3 of the bechemel sauce.  Add 1/2 the cooked pasta.  Then spoon small spoonfuls of the cheese mixture spreading evenly over pasta.  Drizzle with pasta sauce then 1/3 of the bechemel sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Add remaining pasta spreading out to an even layer, spoon pasta sauce lightly over top, drizzle with remaining bechemel sauce then top with cheese.  Cover with foil (I place mine on a foil lined sheet pan in case there are any boil overs in the oven) and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for 15-25 more minutes until bubbly and cheese is browned. Remove from oven. Enjoy