1
Baked Kale Meatballs and Is it Spring? Are you sure?
2
Pasta al Gratin Macaroni and Cheese
3
Chicken and Cherry Tomato Toss Stir-Fry
4
Leftover Spaghetti Casserole
5
Chinese Takeout General Tso’s Chicken
6
Crispy Baked Ranch Chicken
7
Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Potato Stew
8
Hot and Sour Udon Noodle Soup
9
Chinese Takeout Chop Suey
10
Fresh Veggies Pasta Dish
11
Pepper Jack Jalapeno Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese
12
One Juicy Turkey for Thanksgiving
13
Easy, Budget Friendly Basil Pesto Pasta
14
Chicken and Broccoli In White Sauce
15
Not My Mom’s Meatloaf
16
Easy Leftover Turkey Dinner Ideas
17
Mini Biscuit Pizzas
18
Fresh Mexican Corn Salad
19
Autumn Spiced Whole Roasted Chicken
20
Easy Cheesy Lasagna Skillet

Baked Kale Meatballs and Is it Spring? Are you sure?

It’s Spring, right?  Are you sure?  I mean snow and sleet storms happen when it was just 75 degrees a few days ago, right?  Wait.  What is going on?

Spring was here.  The sunshine was blasting.  I had my sunglasses on and short sleeves.  I was planning picnics in the park.  I was ready to get the tomatoes outside.  I was excited for walks for ice cream.  I took my mittens out of my bookbag.  Winter coat? No way, that was packed away.

Then Tuesday night came.  We were on our way home from the last regular season home Brooklyn Nets game (note: The Knicks killed us, but who cares, we’re going to the playoffs unlike you Knicks) when suddenly it just started sleeting and snowing.  We’re talking sleet that comes down and cuts you in the face.  We’re talking a storm where you get home and you have to throw your clothes right in the washer because you’re soaked.  We’re talking weather where there’s no way of not looking like a wet dog (note: I do not look cute like a dog does.  I look like a monster).  This all happened…. in Mid April!

So immediately worries set in for the garden.  Broccoli, Cauliflower, Bok Choy, Lettuce, Peas, Carrots, Radishes, Kale, Onions and more were already planted.   We were historically set to not go below freezing again and we were definitely set for not having snow again until Winter.  Then Mother Nature had to go out and have a bad day…

There’s not  much you can do to protect a garden in mid storm.  Yes, you can brave the sleet while getting soaked to throw on some fabric to protect them from the freezing temperatures (which is what we did), but there comes a time where you just have to hope the plants are going to be ok and just leave them be.    The wait is the worst feeling.    During the next morning we ventured to the roof to find our peas in snow, with more fabric being pressed into the plants due to snow weight on top.  

garden

garden

The kale didn’t look good.  The lettuce didn’t look great.  The sugar snap peas looked frozen.  The onions were knocked over.. but it was too early to tell as they still needed some afternoon sun to bounce back.
Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014

Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014_2

One thing was certain though, the kale had to be picked. If you guys remember, this kale was planted last Summer (!) and it somehow survived Winter (!) so in terms of how long it’s been planted, it was a real true survivor.  I was a bit bummed that this freak storm was the one to finally destroy it, but time was not on it’s side. Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014_1

Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014_4

So with my winter coat on with a somber heart (I’m so dramatic, I know) I picked all 6 kale plants.  These kale plants really grew fantastically and even though they were destroyed by the weather, it was close to time to pick them anyways as they were starting to flower.   I got pounds of kale off these plants and my entire bottom shelf of the refrigerator is now full of kale. 
Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014_3

But first I had to take a dramatic photo of me with my baby kale and title it “Kale Mother” to post on Instagram.  I love my friend Avery’s comment: PAMALEESI: MOTHER OF KALES
“Kale Mother”, the story of a mother losing her kale plants in a freak sleet snow storm during Spring of 2014 when it was 70 degrees a few days ago.  #kale #rip #mother #artphotography #art #documentary #gardenchat #bluehair #manicpanic  #rooftop #NYC #Br

 

How did the other plants do after they thawed out? We think everything is ok.  A few leaves got burned by the frost, but the lettuce bounced back beautifully and the peas are still standing tall (alongside the onions).    Let’s take a collective sigh of relief as it could have been a real disaster with months of seedling planning ruined.   I guess we had a little luck saved! 

So now with a ton of kale.. what are we going to do?  I wanted to make something right away so I could use up a few full cups of kale, as I get a little stressed with too much kale!  We love our kale turkey meatballs, especially on a hoagie,  so I decided to make a double batch and put a spin on this recipe with mixing the meats.  This was the perfect solution because I got 1 dinner that night out of it, and 2-3 extra dinners to freeze.  Lately we’ve been craving meatballs with pasta but we’re too lazy to make them when hunger hits, so now they’re all ready to be eaten (after being defrosted!)

So let’s make some meatballs! First the kale was picked.  But first I had to weigh in. This year I’m going to keep track of how much we grow to see.  I’ve been telling myself to do this every year but this year I’m going to do it! (I hope..)
Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014_6

 In my other meatballs recipe I usually pan fry them but I didn’t feel like babysitting them so I decided to bake them instead.   I loaded 2 cookie sheets full of meatballs!
Baked Kale Meatballs

These meatballs turned out beautifully! They were crisp on the outside, moist in the inside and full of flavor.    These might be some of the best meatballs I ever made so I was happy to see them made alongside our garden kale.  Having a bit of homegrown in every meal always makes it better, right?    Also these are going to make your home smell great.  When someone walked in our front door about 2 hours after baking they said “It smells so good in here!”.  It totally did.

Baked Kale Meatballs _1

Baked Kale Meatballs _2

Baked Kale Meatballs _4

Baked Kale Meatballs _3

 To freeze them, I separate them into meals and put in a freezer bag.  When it’s time to enjoy them, I’ll let them sit out for a bit to defrost, then warm them up to eat, or throw in a pot to cook alongside the pasta sauce.

Baked Kale Meatballs

COLOURBOX1047713

Baked Kale Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 4 cups uncooked chopped fresh kale
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 pinches each of dried rosemary parsley and oregano
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 eggs

Instructions

  1. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan over medium high heat. Add kale and spices. Cook until your kale is wilted.
  2. Put kale mixture and garlic into a food processor and chop it up. Add your turkey and egg and pulse until it's combined. Depending on food processor size you might have to do 2 batches.
  3. Form this mixture into 1-2 inch balls.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Line 2 cookie sheets with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray.
  6. Put meatballs on foil and cook 35-40 minutes or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees.
  7. Enjoy right away, or freeze for later.

Recipe Notes

Makes 30 meatballs.

Have a great weekend everyone!
How’s the weather where you are?  Is it finally Spring?

Pasta al Gratin Macaroni and Cheese

“Hey quick, come over and check out this béchamel sauce” I yelled to Matthew.
“What?” he responded.
“Get over here, you have to check out this sauce.  It’s so beautiful!” I demanded.  Nicely.
Begrudgingly he arrived at the stove.  “What?”
“What? Did you just what this sauce? Look at it!”.  
“What?”
Am I married to a man who can’t see and appreciate the beauty of this white sauce?  “What?  What again?  Look at it! Look at how beautifully the milk has cooked making it oh so creamy.”
He nods.
“Get out of here.  Right now! No sauce for you!”

Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin_6

Sometimes other people just can’t see the beauty in things, but what are you going to do?

I am obsessed with the béchamel sauce that holds together this macaroni and cheese dish.  You’d think by looking at it the dish is full of cheese, but there is only 1/4 cup of cheese in this dish!    The sauce is made slowly cooking the milk until it turns creamy, patience is key here.  The sauce is velvety and oh so rich making it hold together your elbow noodles perfectly.  

This recipe comes from one of my new favorite cookbooks “Italian Kitchen” by Anna Del Conte, published by Sterling.  Not only are the recipes in it amazing (because honestly, they are) but it’s one of the prettiest cookbooks I’ve ever owned in my life.  First of all, the book comes with no dust jacket which I love.  I always take off my dust jackets anyways hoping for a pretty cover inside, but this one is just straight up off the shelf beautiful.  Also the outside of the book cover is printed on a canvas that has the appearance of being worn, like you’ve been enjoying this cookbook with love for years.    I’ve had this cookbook lying around the house recently and whenever anyone sees it they always comment on how great it looks.  

Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin_2

And then as soon as you open up the book you’ll be stunned by great the first opening spread is.  Whoever designed this cookbook needs a award, or maybe some dishes left at their doorstep.  Because I’m crazy I googled this and the design is by Anna crone and the Photography is by Jason Lowe.  I usually don’t list info like this here but it’s really one good looking book.
Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin_3

When you get to the Table of Contents you’ll see a short list of categories.   I love that there’s only a few and the book focuses on what it’s intent is, Italian Cooking.  
Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin_4

The pasta section is the key to my heart is full of so many recipes I’ve already made or am planning to  Again, don’t you love the rustic design?
Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin_5

For you guys though, I really wanted to share the Pasta al Gratin Macaroni and Cheese recipe.  As many of you know I’m a big time mac and cheese lover but this one here is not your average recipe, it’s so rich and deep with flavor making it a real star in serving.   I love what the author of the book, Anna Del Conte, said about this recipe when she was discussing her favorite pasta dish with her husband.  After asking her what her favorite was she said “Pasta al gratin”.  “Oh really?” he said, and thought “What about that discerning palate she’s so proud of?”  But he was thinking of the macaroni and cheese of his school days, and I was thinking of the velvety, cheesey delight of Pasta al Gratin.  She goes on to say:  Although it (this dish) is made with a sauce with a French name, the dish is Italian.  it is made in many regions, with certain variations.  In the north, for instance, Parmesan is used, sometimes mixed with Emmental or fontina, while in Naples, a buffalo mozzarella is cut up and pushed here and there among the penne (or elbows).  

Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin

And without further taunting you with pictures, I open up the cookbook and share you with this delicious Pasta al Gratin Macaroni and Cheese recipe.Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin_8

Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin_9

Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin_7

 

Pasta al Gratin Macaroni and Cheese

Servings 3
Author Anna Del Conte

Ingredients

  • 2 oz fontina grated
  • 2 oz Parmesan grated
  • 12 oz penne or macaroni elbows
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • grated nutmeg

Instructions

  1. To make the bechamel sauce, heat the milk until hot but not boiling. Remove from the heat.
  2. Melt the butter, remove the saucepan from the heat, and stir in the flour. Put the pan back on the heat and cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat an add the milk gradually. Return the pan to the heat and cook until the sauce comes to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and a generous amount of nutmeg. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. To finish the sauce, leave cooking on low for 10-15 minutes, only stirring occasionally. This long, slow cooking makes it a rich sauce you would not be able to achieve if you cooked for a shorter time.
  5. Add the cheeses to the sauce.
  6. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente, as instructed on box. Drain.
  7. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Coat a shallow baking dish with a little of the sauce. Dress the pasta with about 2/3 of the bechamel and transfer to the prepared dish. Spread the rest of the sauce all over the top. Bake for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend while cooking a little.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Italian Kitchen

Chicken and Cherry Tomato Toss Stir-Fry

 10 minute Chicken and Cherry Tomato Stir-Fry recipe.  Serve hot over rice, couscous or noodles.

This chicken and cherry tomato toss is a gardeners dream serving up a fresh and delicious stir-fry dish!  When tomato season hits I like to be prepared for recipes because once one it starts…. then it will start to rain tomatoes!    
 10 minute Chicken and Cherry Tomato Stir-Fry recipe. Serve hot over rice, couscous or noodles.

When tomato insanity hits we often have days where we are picking 10 pounds of tomatoes.  I make plenty of sauces to last us through winter, but I love to enjoy our cherry tomatoes super fresh for dinner!  This Chicken and Cherry Tomato Toss Stir-Fry is totally going to be a Summer time favorite!
 10 minute Chicken and Cherry Tomato Stir-Fry recipe. Serve hot over rice, couscous or noodles.

The combination of chicken stock, soy sauce and ginger root gives this a great “Asian” tasting meal.  I can totally see this being a Chinese dish served over rice.  In my case I served it over thick lo mein noodles which was a perfect compliment to the chicken and tomatoes.    After dinner I was declaring this delicious so next time you set your eyes on some cherry tomatoes, grab them and make this Stir-Fry!  

 10 minute Chicken and Cherry Tomato Stir-Fry recipe. Serve hot over rice, couscous or noodles.

 10 minute Chicken and Cherry Tomato Stir-Fry recipe. Serve hot over rice, couscous or noodles.

 10 minute Chicken and Cherry Tomato Stir-Fry recipe. Serve hot over rice, couscous or noodles.

 10 minute Chicken and Cherry Tomato Stir-Fry recipe. Serve hot over rice, couscous or noodles.

 

Chicken and Cherry Tomato Toss Stir-Fry

Author Courtesy of 300 Best Stir-Fry by Nancie McDermott © 2014 www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp coarsely chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger root
  • 12 oz skinless boneless chicken breasts cut into 11⁄2-inch
  • 1 ⁄3 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 3 ⁄4 cup halved cherry tomatoes

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine chicken stock, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, if using, sugar and salt and stir well. Set aside.
  2. In a wok or a large deep skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger and toss well, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add chicken and spread into a single layer. Cook, undisturbed, until edges turn white, about 1 minute. Toss well. Cook, tossing occasionally, until no longer pink, about 1 minute more.
  4. Add chicken stock mixture, pouring in around sides of pan. Cook, tossing occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and coated in a thin, smooth sauce, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  5. Reserve a generous pinch of green onions for garnish, and add remaining green onions and cherry tomatoes to pan. Cook, tossing once, for 1 minute more.
  6. Transfer to a serving plate. Sprinkle reserved green onions over chicken. Serve hot or warm over rice, couscous or noodles.

Recipe Notes

Serves: 4

 10 minute Chicken and Cherry Tomato Stir-Fry recipe. Serve hot over rice, couscous or noodles.

Leftover Spaghetti Casserole

LEFTOVER spaghetti casserole recipe!  Don’t panic, I got a easy casserole recipe for you that’s delicious!  You’re going to love this cheesy spaghetti casserole!

Do you like leftovers?  I am pretty picky about them.

Last week I made my favorite Crockpot Tacos and we had them 4 days in a row, and every single night I looked forward to them.  That’s one leftover I love!  Then there are those leftovers where you just don’t  know what to do with.  Usually I can talk Matthew into eating them for lunch, but sometimes there’s even still a few meals left over (I tend to cook for a army).  

Leftover-Spaghetti-Casserole_4

Leftover Spaghetti

When I make spaghetti, there’s usually always leftover noodles.    I’d rather not have spaghetti two nights in a row, so I wanted to find something a little more exciting to do with the leftover spaghetti so I came up with this casserole.

How good was it?  Matthew asked if we could have it again, which made me feel pretty happy in having a meal requested from leftovers!

Leftover Spaghetti Casserole_1

So next time you have leftover spaghetti, don’t you dare toss it.. make this Leftover Spaghetti Casserole!

Leftover Spaghetti Casserole

Do you eat leftovers?  Are there any leftovers you won’t eat?  Do you also cook for a army? 

Leftover Spaghetti Casserole_3

Looking for more delicious dinner recipes? Try my Stuffed pepper casserole

Leftover Spaghetti Casserole

LEFTOVER spaghetti casserole recipe!  Don't panic, I got a easy casserole recipe for you that's delicious!  You're going to love this cheesy spaghetti casserole!

Course Main Course
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces leftover spaghetti noodles
  • 1 cup leftover pasta sauce
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • optional: 1/2 cup shredded leftover chicken

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix leftover spaghetti noodles and pasta sauce with egg, Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese and shredded chicken (optional).
  3. Place spaghetti mixture into baking dish and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
  4. Spread mozzarella cheese and mushrooms on top and bake for a additional 10 minutes until cheese is melted.

Chinese Takeout General Tso’s Chicken

I’m back with another Chinese Takeout recipe!  If you haven’t noticed I have a crush on Chinese takeout, but not so much on the ingredients that sometimes can be added in the restaurant kitchen.

Some past recipes I’ve made that are Chinese inspired:

Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli
Egg Drop Soup with Sugar Snap Peas and Greens
Chinese Vegetable Noodle Soup
Chicken and Broccoli In White Sauce
Homemade Chinese Pork Wonton Soup
Chinese Takeout Chop Suey
Hot and Sour Udon Noodle Soup

I love it!
I also love the comments that the Chicken and Broccoli recipe gets.  Nothing makes me happier seeing a new comment that someone made it for dinner and loved it.  It makes my Chinese Takeout loving heart so happy!  

So after I completed the Chicken and Broccoli recipe I had one more on my “Must Master” list.  That was General Tso’s Chicken.  How do they make it so good? How does the sauce stay on so well? How do you keep the chicken crispy with the sauce?  How do you get a hint of spice?  I must have tried to make this dish a million times (ok not that much, but you get the idea) and every time it just didn’t turn out right.  Then finally I got it!  It was a beautiful moment. I cheered, I cried, I ate it, I made it again and ate more.  I love this General Tso’s Chicken!  Finally… you can have the takeout version at home! No wok required! 

Chinese-Takeout--General-Tso's-Chicken_4

Chinese Takeout  General Tso's Chicken

Chinese Takeout  General Tso's Chicken_3

Chinese Takeout  General Tso's Chicken_1

Chinese Takeout  General Tso's Chicken_2

Chinese Takeout General Tso's Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless chicken breast - cut up into bite size pieces.
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 6 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 8 tablespoons rice wine
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 9 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chopped red chilies
  • vegetable oil to fry

Instructions

  1. In a bowl mix 1/2 cup of cornstarch with eggs. Add chicken and mix to coat.
  2. In a small bowl mix 6 teaspoons cornstarch, rice wine, sugar and soy sauce.
  3. Heat 1-2 inches of vegetable oil in a large pan to medium heat (use a thermometer to get it to 350 degrees).
  4. Carefully add the chicken and fry just long enough until it's cooked.
  5. Remove the chicken carefully to paper towel to let sit and absorb grease.
  6. Leave two tablespoons of vegetable oil in pan, remove the rest.
  7. Add chopped red chilies to pan and fry until fragrant.
  8. Return the chicken to the pan and stir fry until crispy brown.
  9. Add sauce mixture and toss with chicken to coat and turn into a glaze (about 1 minute).
  10. Serve over rice with steamed broccoli.

Crispy Baked Ranch Chicken

CRISPY chicken made with RANCH dip and baked in the oven!  This easy Crispy Baked Ranch Chicken recipe only needs a few ingredients and makes a healthy dinner!  Serve with a salad or some fresh vegetables on the side!  I love making this recipe with chicken breasts and drumsticks so my entire family is happy!

This chicken is:

Baked – I always prefer this method!
Crispy – Thanks to some bread crumbs, it has a great crunch to it.
Moist – The meat is still juicy inside!
Flavorful – Thanks to marinating in Buffalo Ranch Dip this chicken is bursting in flavor boldness.

CRISPY chicken made with RANCH dip and baked in the oven!  This easy Crispy Baked Ranch Chicken recipe only needs a few ingredients and makes a healthy dinner!  Serve with a salad or some fresh vegetables on the side!  I love making this recipe with chicken breasts and drumsticks so my entire family is happy! 

And even better, I made this with assorted pieces, drumsticks and breasts, so everyone was happy at the dinner table. I’m a drumstick kinda girl, Matthew is a breast kinda boy (too easy, going to ignore) so when we both get our chicken of choice then it’s a happy night.
CRISPY chicken made with RANCH dip and baked in the oven!  This easy Crispy Baked Ranch Chicken recipe only needs a few ingredients and makes a healthy dinner!  Serve with a salad or some fresh vegetables on the side!  I love making this recipe with chicken breasts and drumsticks so my entire family is happy!

It’s such a simple meal to make, one that  I’ll definitely keep coming back to for dinner time.  I hope you enjoy!

Make sure to check out my dinner section for more dinner recipes!
 

Crispy Baked Buffalo Ranch Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Buffalo Ranch Dip
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts can also do 1 breast, 2 drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup dry Italian bread crumbs

Instructions

  1. Mix Buffalo Ranch Dip and brown sugar together in bowl. Add chicken and coat completely. Put chicken in refrigerator (covered) and let marinade for a few hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease baking sheet with vegetable oil.
  3. Dip chicken into bowl of Italian bread crumbs to coat. Press on chicken so bread crumbs stay attached.
  4. Arrange on baking sheet and cook 50-60 minutes or until the internal temperature of chicken is 165 degrees.
 CRISPY chicken made with RANCH dip and baked in the oven!  This easy Crispy Baked Ranch Chicken recipe only needs a few ingredients and makes a healthy dinner!  Serve with a salad or some fresh vegetables on the side!  I love making this recipe with chicken breasts and drumsticks so my entire family is happy!

Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Potato Stew

Just in time for St. Patrick’s day I bring you a delicious potato stew!
Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Potato Stew Finished 2

Even better? It’s a slow cooker recipe so relax for the day.
Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Potato Stew Finished 1

Even better better?  There’s peanut butter in it!
Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Potato Stew Ingredients 2

Head on over to Peanut Butter & Co to get my Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Potato Stew recipe!

Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Potato Stew Finished 4

Slow-Cooker-Peanut-Butter-Potato-Stew

Enjoy and have a great hearty dinner!

Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Potato Stew recipe can be found here.

Hot and Sour Udon Noodle Soup

Hot and Sour Udon Noodle Soup is a delicious Chinese soup ready in less than 15 minutes!

I made this soup a few nights ago and I loved every bit of it, especially how long it takes to make.  Want some delicious Chinese soup in less than 15 minutes? Done.  You just throw in your soft doughy udon noodles, your vegetables (want more vegetables? pile them in!), your broth and some seasoning and your soup is done.  
Hot and Sour Udon Noodle Soup is a delicious Chinese soup ready in less than 15 minutes!

 Can we also talk about how delicious udon noodles are? I found this pack of noodles in my local grocery and immediately knew they were destined to be in a soup.
Hot and Sour Udon Noodle Soup is a delicious Chinese soup ready in less than 15 minutes!

 

Hot and Sour Udon Noodle Soup is a delicious Chinese soup ready in less than 15 minutes!

Hot and Sour Udon Noodle Soup is a delicious Chinese soup ready in less than 15 minutes!

Hot and Sour Udon Noodle Soup is a delicious Chinese soup ready in less than 15 minutes!

 Enjoy this soup, let me know how you like it!

Hot and Sour Udon Noodle Soup

Servings 4
Author Courtesy 125 Best Vegan Recipes by Maxine Effenson Chuck and Beth Gurney © 2014 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 1 ⁄3 cups snow peas ends trimmed and cut (can also use frozen peas)
  • 1 can baby corn
  • 1 bunch chopped bok choy
  • 3 green onions white and green parts coarsely chopped
  • 1 ⁄4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 ⁄4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 1 ⁄2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 lb udon noodles

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, combine vegetable stock, snow peas, baby corn, bok choy, green onions, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and black pepper to taste. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  2. Add noodles. Increase heat to medium and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until noodles are tender.

Recipe Notes

For a more heartier soup you can add broccoli florets, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts or 1 inch cubes of tofu. Add this when you add the bok choy.

Adapted from 125 Best Vegan Recipes Cookbook

Hot and Sour Udon Noodle Soup is a delicious Chinese soup ready in less than 15 minutes!

Chinese Takeout Chop Suey

Do you love Chop Suey in the can? I’m totally guilty of loving it. I’m also totally guilty of eating that sauce by the spoonful. Goodness, it’s delicious.    

If you love it you can probably agree that it’s not the most healthy for you.  Low in calories, sure, but not exactly the best homemade ingredients that a dinner can offer you, so I set out to make a homemade version of La Choy’s Chop Suey.

Chinese-Takeout-Chop-Suey_1

 

Read More

Fresh Veggies Pasta Dish

This is one of those recipes that I cannot count the amount of times we have had it.  25? 50? 100? 200?  More?  

During the garden season it becomes a staple and we have it a few times a week.  It’s simple, it’s delicious, and you can totally customize depending on the vegetables you have on hand to use.  We usually always have it with carrots and sugar snap peas, but don’t be scared to experiment with your own loved veggies!   Maybe one week you have a bunch of kale left over and some radishes, throw it in!    This pasta dish is known as “Matthew’s Pasta Dish” in our house as he is always the chef of it.   Many times during the summer we make smaller bowls for lunch.  Sometimes we even have a bowl of it at night in bed.   It’s a win win situation all around.

Speaking of carrots,  many of you seemed pretty pumped for the upcoming garden season and are interested in starting your own garden.   If I could recommend a easy vegetable to start out with, it would definitely be carrots and radishes.  Carrots because they are pretty easy to grow, you just kind of plant them and they grow (ok maybe a bit more, but basically).  Radishes are great because the turn around is less than a month, and in gardening some quick satisfaction really makes you feel real good.

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Pepper Jack Jalapeno Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

Hello beautiful Macaroni and Cheese.
I love you.
Please be mine.
Would you like to dance?
Let’s be friends.

These are all ways I like to greet this macaroni and cheese.  Its real special.

Pepper Jack Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese recipe. Extra cheesy with a kick of spice!

This macaroni and cheese mixes a bunch of cut up cauliflower with pepper jack jalapeno cheese to add some spice.  Then it’s all melted over pasta shells.   Oh and there’s bread crumbs on top to add a bit of crunch.  

Do you love pepper jack jalapeno cheese as much as I do?  I love the kick of it.  When I saw it the grocery store I threw it in my buggy right away.  I knew I had to make something with it (besides eating it by the slice because I did alot of that too).  Next time you’re in the supermarket try to look for this! 
Pepper Jack Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese recipe. Extra cheesy with a kick of spice!

The cauliflower comes straight from the garden.  In the winter.  Seriously.  We still have vegetables growing under the green house.  It makes my gardening heart pretty happy to go up to the roof in my winter coat and cut off a cauliflower head (and then cover it in cheese).
Pepper Jack Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese recipe. Extra cheesy with a kick of spice!

Pepper Jack Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese recipe. Extra cheesy with a kick of spice!

Pepper Jack Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese recipe. Extra cheesy with a kick of spice!

Pepper Jack Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese recipe. Extra cheesy with a kick of spice!

 Next time your’e craving macaroni and cheese, give this a try!

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Pepper Jack Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese recipe. Extra cheesy with a kick of spice!

Pepper Jack Jalapeno Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 cups pasta shells
  • 3 cups cauliflower cut up into pieces
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 10 ounces pepper jack jalapeno cheese
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Boil water and cook pasta shells as instructed on box. When there are 3 minutes left, add your cauliflower to the boiling pot. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan melt your butter over medium heat. Slowly add flour, dry mustard and pepper until smooth.
  4. Add your milk and cheese slowly and keep stirring until it's smooth and melted. Take off burner.
  5. Add your macaroni and cauliflower to cheese mixture saucepan and stir until all shells are coated.
  6. Transfer your mixture to a baking dish and sprinkle bread crumbs on top.
  7. Cover and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.
  8. Enjoy!

One Juicy Turkey for Thanksgiving

Juicy turkey recipe for Thanksgiving!  Nothing fancy, just good old fashioned turkey recipe!

Juicy Turkey

You guys are just the best.  All your comments you left on Essy’s post are so beautiful and caring.  Reading through and seeing all the love, reliving stories of your own past losts and just being the sweetest really made me feel better.  I owe you all a donut.   When you’re in Brooklyn, you holla at me, we have a date.  Thanks again, it really means alot to our family. <3

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In the post I shared Essy’s favorite holiday because it meant her favorite food, Thanksgiving and turkey.   Give that girl a whiff of turkey and she was there.   From the time the turkey was taken out of the wrapper until it came out of the oven, Essy was pacing like a nervous lady.  She would be on the floor staring into the oven, on the kitchen island staring at the oven, on the table staring into the oven.   When we opened the oven to get the turkey in and out someone had to hold her because there was no stopping her.  She wanted that turkey.  The best way to honor Essy we decided was to have Thanksgiving Dinner in January.  Essy would want nothing more.

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Easy, Budget Friendly Basil Pesto Pasta

EASY, BUDGET FRIENDLY Basil Pesto Pasta recipe made with fresh basil and almonds! This easy, healthy homemade recipe makes delicious basil pesto that can be served over pasta, as appetizers or on a sandwich!  Pine nuts are expensive so this is a much more budget friendly pesto.  Recipe also includes a vegan alternative. 

I’m in love with this Basil Pesto. Big time.

BUDGET FRIENDLY Basil Pesto Pasta recipe made with fresh basil and almonds! This easy, healthy homemade recipe makes delicious basil pesto that can be served over pasta, as appetizers or on a sandwich! Pine nuts are expensive so this is a much more budget friendly pesto.

Growing up, pesto wasn’t big in our house. It’s one of those things that I honestly can’t even remember having until I was in my 20’s.   Then I started to make it and fell in love. Then when started to grow our own basil and could pick it and immediately make the freshest pesto possible, then I really fell in love with it.

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Chicken and Broccoli In White Sauce

Chicken and Broccoli In White Sauce is a savory Asian recipe that uses a creamy sauce. Your family will fall in love with it!

Do you love chicken and broccoli as much as I do?  Goodness, I just love it.  This is the chicken and broccoli recipe I love dearly and I have gotten such nice comments, emails and messages about it – I’m so glad you love it as much as I do!  

I was in Chinatown a few weeks ago where I was feeling hungry after acupuncture so I ran across the street to a shop called “Excellent Dumpling House”.    There I got some Chinese takeout goodies to go, along with a amazing pork dumpling.    While I was waiting for my order to be done so many people came in and ordered the Chicken and Broccoli in White Sauce.   My eyes rose every time someone ordered it,  I had never heard of this at a Chinese restaurant.  So I did what everyone else would do, I took out my phone and begun googling furiously.

In the next week, something was telling me to make this dish. I received not one, but two completely random comments and email asking me if I had a Chicken and Broccoli in White Sauce recipe.  Can you believe that?  First in line, then real life questions.    It’s like I was meant to make this.

This is a great dish that is creamy and full of yummy vegetables (hello broccoli, sugar snap peas and carrots).  It’s more rich than your usual Chicken and Broccoli due to the  sauce which is made with heavy cream and Parmesan cheese.

Next time you’re in the mood for Chicken and Broccoli, give this dish a shot, I hope you enjoy!

Chicken and Broccoli In White Sauce is a savory Asian recipe that uses a creamy sauce. Your family will fall in love with it!

Chicken and Broccoli In White Sauce is a savory Asian recipe that uses a creamy sauce. Your family will fall in love with it!

Chicken and Broccoli In White Sauce is a savory Asian recipe that uses a creamy sauce. Your family will fall in love with it!

Chicken and Broccoli In White Sauce is a savory Asian recipe that uses a creamy sauce. Your family will fall in love with it!

Make sure to check out my Chicken and Broccoli Chinese Food recipe too!

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Chicken and Broccoli In White Sauce is a savory Asian recipe that uses a creamy sauce. Your family will fall in love with it!

Chicken and Broccoli In White Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 pound cooked chicken breast - cut up into bite size pieces
  • 1 carrot - peeled and cut up into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas - cut into thirds
  • 1 head broccoli - cut up into florets
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup heavy creamy
  • 1 clove garlic - minced
  • 1 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. While oven is preheating melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add heavy cream and simmer for about 5 minutes
  3. Add mined garlic and Parmesan cheese to heavy cream mixture, stirring until combined and completely melted and creamy.
  4. In a baking dish, layer your chicken on the bottom. Then spread your vegetables on top.
  5. Pour your creamy Alfredo sauce on top to cover.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!

Not My Mom’s Meatloaf

Do you like the title?  I hope you do.    So many of my favorite meatloaf recipes are inspired by the cook’s mother or grandmother, but because this recipe is inspired by Amy’s mother’s meatloaf, and she’s not my mother, I decided to name it Not My Mom’s Meatloaf.   

I don’t think meatloaf gets the love it deserves but I’m here to change that.  I love meatloaf. It reminds me of my childhood, it reminds of plaid printed aprons, and mothers with perfect hair and televisions with antennas.  Doesn’t it have that vintage feel to it?  I like to think June Cleaver in the picture below is whisking eggs for meatloaf.  Also I’d like to think that one day I will look that fabulous in the kitchen.  Someone remind me to buy a strand of pearls.
June-Cleaver

Have you been to Disney World before? AKA, the greatest place on Earth (honestly, it’s amazing).  At Hollywood Studios they have a restaurant named 50’s Prime Time Cafe and it’s everything you hoped it would be like, from the tables to the waiters.   Everything on the menu is home cooking inspired from Dad’s Grilled Pork Chops to Aunt Liz’s Golden Fried Chicken to Grandma’s Chicken Pot Pie and of course Cousin Ann’s Traditional Meatloaf. I got the Meatloaf when I was there and it was served with green beans by our waiter Uncle Gary.  Throughout the dining experience he would introduce us to our cousins and just be that Uncle we all know.  When we left we we wrote him a love letter, he was so much fun. 
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Meatloaf is often made with ketchup but I love this recipe because it uses spaghetti sauce instead which personally I find more pleasing and tasty.  The spaghetti sauce acts like a gravy that you can lather your meatloaf in which I love, I definitely will put a few spoonfuls on.    Also, this meatloaf has mushrooms that are baked in it which will cause your entire dinner table to fight over who gets the mushrooms, so be sure to fight hard for them. 🙂  

Hope you enjoy this delicious dinner table favorite! 

 Not My Mom's Meatloaf_4

Not My Mom's Meatloaf

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Not My Mom's Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds ground turkey
  • 3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 2 cups pasta sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried mustard
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 8-10 whole fresh mushrooms

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix ground turkey, bread crumbs, egg, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce together completely. I use my hands for this to mix thoroughly.
  3. Form turkey mixture into a loaf and put in a loaf pan.
  4. Push mushrooms into the top of the meatloaf, pushing their stems into the loaf.
  5. Mix the rest of the pasta sauce, brown sugar, dried mustard and worcestershire sauce together in a bowl. Pour this sauce mixture over the mushrooms and meatloaf.
  6. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  7. Enjoy and be sure to slather in sauce!

Easy Leftover Turkey Dinner Ideas

I hope everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving had a great day full of plenty of stuffing and pies!  

We celebrated with a sea salt overnight brined turkey, stuffing, roasted carrots, creamy mashed potatoes, soft potato rolls and a oreo chocolate mousse pie (recipe coming soon!).     We had a nice dinner, lit a few candles, cats each had their own bowl and we got down to business.    Essy who has the best nose in the business, smelled the Butterball turkey as soon as it was unwrapped the night prior.  Essy would eat turkey every single day of her life if she could, it really is the greatest day for her.  She begins to pace the kitchen as soon as she gets the first whiff of the turkey (cooked or not), then she starts meowing (or howling in excitement), then she finally jumps up to our table and watches every single recipe step we do with her nose wiggling and tongue licking her lips.    Essy has been celebrating Thanksgiving since 1994 – she is the Turkey Queen.
Big Mom Is Ready To Rumble!

Because we will be having turkey in different forms for the next few days I wanted to share some of our favorite recipes to feature some yummy ways to use left-overs!  

Mexican Pumpkin Chili – a delicious chili with green chiles, salsa verde and corn.  Shred the turkey up, or throw in the food processor to make it ground turkey.
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Turkey and Gravy Sandwich – it doesn’t get easier than this, doesn’t it look super delicious? I love this open faced sandwich.
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Easy Turkey Tacos – throw in some  taco seasoning mix and you got a easy and delicious meal!
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Creamy Corn & Turkey Soup – creamy soup and corn? Sounds like heaven to me.
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White Bean and Turkey Chili – I love white beans so I’m all over this chili.  You could use canned beans, throw on a pot on the stove to make it super quick.
turkey-chili

Healthy Baked Penne with Turkey, Tomatoes and Basil – I love a baked pasta dish!
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Leftover Nachos – does this not look like the best meal right now?
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Breakfast Sandwich – why not have breakfast for dinner?
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Turkey Potpie – great for using leftover vegetables too.
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Apple, Turkey Grilled Cheese Sandwich – Instead of using deli turkey, use up shredded turkey.  If  you have no apple butter, just go with the apples.  My mouth is watering just thinking about this combination.
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Lemon Pesto Turkey Pasta Dish – I love a great smelling lemon pasta.
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If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to leave in the comments!  Have a great weekend everyone!

 Easy Leftover Turkey Dinner Ideas

Mini Biscuit Pizzas

Mini Pizza Biscuits recipe makes individual mini pizzas using biscuit dough in 15 minutes. This is a a easy weeknight meal to make for the family!  The pizzas also freeze well, perfect for school and daycare lunches!

How many times do we have pizza a month? Don’t ask.  We love pizza! Is it our favorite food? It’s hard to choose, it’s like telling me to pick a favorite cat (all of them!).  But pizza is definitely up there in the ranking!  Is pizza your favorite food?

Sometimes we’re craving pizza but don’t want to spend the money on takeout and we are running low on time to make homemade dough.  The problem is solved with these Mini Biscuit Pizzas!

Mini Pizza Biscuits recipe makes individual mini pizzas using Pillsbury biscuits in 15 minutes.

Biscuit Dough Pizza

Not only are these mini pizzas delicious, but they’re so easy to make because they’re made with biscuit dough. You can find this in your refrigerated part of your grocery section where the other refrigerated dough and rolls are located.

Mini Pizza Biscuits recipe makes individual mini pizzas using Pillsbury biscuits in 15 minutes.

You’ll want to add your favorite tomato sauce on top of each with a nice handful (ok maybe 2!) of mozzarella cheese.
Mini Pizza Biscuits recipe makes individual mini pizzas using Pillsbury biscuits in 15 minutes.

Now add your favorite toppings on the pizzas!   I usually dice up some green peppers and mushrooms for mine!  These Mini Pizzas are great because they take 12 minutes in the oven.   That means you can have yummy pizza to eat in about 15 minutes!   Isn’t this a great hectic weeknight recipe for the family?

Mini Pizza Biscuits recipe makes individual mini pizzas using Pillsbury biscuits in 15 minutes.

In the recipe I suggest pepperoni, green peppers and mushrooms but feel free to make these pizzas your own! Top them with whatever you like.  These pizzas are great to make with kids because they can customize their toppings how they’d like. 

Speaking of kids, they’re also great to send to school for lunches.  We often pack mini pizzas for my daughter to take to daycare.  You can make a bunch at once and freeze them too! 

Mini Pizza Biscuits recipe makes individual mini pizzas using Pillsbury biscuits in 15 minutes.

I hope you enjoy these Mini Pizza Biscuits!

Mini Pizza Biscuits recipe makes individual mini pizzas using Pillsbury biscuits in 15 minutes.

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Mini Pizza Biscuits recipe makes individual mini pizzas using biscuit dough in 15 minutes. This is a a easy weeknight meal to make for the family!  The pizzas also freeze well, perfect for school and daycare lunches!

 

 Looking for more pizza recipe? Try my Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole

Mini Biscuit Pizzas

Mini Pizza Biscuits recipe makes individual mini pizzas using biscuit dough in 15 minutes. This is a a easy weeknight meal to make for the family!  The pizzas also freeze well, perfect for school and daycare lunches!

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 mini pizzas

Ingredients

  • 16 oz can Pillsbury Grands refrigerated biscuits
  • 1 cup Pizza sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 24 pepperoni slices
  • 1/2 cup diced green peppers
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Press each biscuit down with your hand or rolling pin until it becomes around 5 inches round.
  3. Place biscuits down on greased cookie sheets.
  4. Top each biscuit with pizza sauce, cheese, pepperoni, peppers and mushrooms.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown.
  6. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Makes: 8 Mini Pizzas

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad is a easy and delicious recipe using fresh ingredients! This salad only takes 5 minutes to make and uses NO mayo!

Mexican Corn Salad

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad is a easy and delicious recipe using fresh ingredients! This salad only takes 5 minutes to make and uses NO mayo!

Growing corn in a box on a rooftop in New York City is pretty cool.  When we start to spot the ears of corn and I can start to shake the plants to help pollinate I get very excited.  As you probably can guess, I do a corn dance. It looks the same as my broccoli and pumpkin dance. I pretty much have the same garden dance move for all our plants, I put my hands out to my side and do a 60s Twist move.    One day I might post the dance on here but I’m not sure if you are ready for that yet.

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad - it's a quick and delicious recipe using fresh ingredients!

Lately I’ve been craving vegetables for dinner. Lots and lots of vegetables and nothing else.  My other half loves meat for dinner (like these Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos) but I have been persuading him to try a happy veggie meal once a week, and I’m hoping we can get that up to 2 nights a week soon.    If I served this Mexican Corn Salad more than once a week I know I could because we love this dish.

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad - it's a quick and delicious recipe using fresh ingredients!

Mexican Salad Recipe

 It’s full of fresh corn kernels cut right off the cob, black beans, diced tomatoes, bell peppers and my favorite: hominy.  To spice it up we add in cumin, cilantro and lime juice.    Just thinking about this salad makes me want to cancel dinner plans for tonight and cut up some corn.

Speaking of corn, isn’t it just beautiful?

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad - it's a quick and delicious recipe using fresh ingredients!

Even the husks are pretty.

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad - it's a quick and delicious recipe using fresh ingredients!

And when the salad comes together you are going to be in love too.  The best thing about this salad is that it takes 5 minutes to make- amazing, right? The only thing that is cooked is the corn and that is only for 3 minutes.    

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad - it's a quick and delicious recipe using fresh ingredients!

 So if you’re craving a delicious dinner full of vegetables and you want it made within minutes, look no further.  Enjoy!

Want more garden fresh salad recipes? Check out my Kale Salad and Cantaloupe Salad.

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Fresh Mexican Corn Salad - it's a quick and delicious recipe using fresh ingredients!

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad is a easy and delicious recipe using fresh ingredients! This salad only takes 5 minutes to make and uses NO mayo!

Course Salad
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword corn salad, mexican corn salad, mexican salad
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 can black beans - rinsed and drained
  • 1 can hominy - rinsed and drained
  • 4 ears corn - kernels sliced from cob
  • 1 can Ro*Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies
  • 1 bell pepper - chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Place corn in large pot of boiling salted water and cook for 3 minutes.
  2. When corn is cool, cut kernels off cob.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Serve and enjoy.

Autumn Spiced Whole Roasted Chicken

Does it feel like Fall to you?  The weather is changing here to the point of my mittens have made a few appearances already.  The pavements are covered with leaves ranging in shades of yellows, oranges and reds.   The heat has been turned on and usually at least 2 cats can be found in front of the heater warming up their bellies.   The days feel shorter as it becomes dark out around 5PM.    At home I wear the fluffiest socks to stay warm with cement floors in our loft.  

Fall.

As Fall approaches into Winter our meals begin to change.  There’s more slow cooking, many more soups from creamy to vegetable and more weekend roasts and chickens.  Last weekend we were craving a chicken dinner to help us feel warmer and fill the house full of delicious cooking smells.

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If Autumn had a taste this would be it.    This is a dinner that screams out that the seasons are changing.

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The chicken is seasoned with rosemary, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and sugar.   Can you already smell Autumn?

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Inside it’s incredibly moist and juicy.  

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My favorite part of a chicken is always the drumstick.  I will fight for this piece, but usually that doesn’t happen as Matthew is more of a breast man (too easy – stop it).  Occasionally I do have to fight off Essy who tries to nibble but she ends up getting her own bowl full of shredded chicken.  All our cats look forward to chicken and turkey dinners, they smell it before it even goes into the oven. 

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If you’re looking for a comforting chicken dinner, look no further.  You will love this spiced and moist chicken.  Enjoy!

Autumn Spiced Whole Chicken

Ingredients

  • 6 pound chicken
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 onion - sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. In a bowl mix salt, rosemary, sugar, cloves, allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon. Rub the chicken all over on both sides with this mixture.
  3. Stuff the chicken with minced garlic and onion slices.
  4. Place chicken, breast side down on a pan.
  5. Put chicken in oven for 15 minutes.
  6. Reduce heat to 450 degrees and cook for 15 minutes.
  7. Reduce heat to 425 degrees and cook for 30 minutes.
  8. Make sure chicken has internal temperature of 180 degrees.
  9. Let cool for 15 minutes, serve.

Easy Cheesy Lasagna Skillet

Welcome to a new week, I hope you all had a lovely weekend.   

We have a new favorite dinner that we’ve been making almost bi-weekly now, it’s Easy Cheesy Lasagna Skillet.   Lasagna is hands down one of our favorite dinners, but sometimes you just don’t have the time to organize the layers and bake in the oven, this skillet is quick, cheesy and oh goodness is it delicious.    What makes this lasagna extra special?  Well besides the ricotta cheese which makes everything creamy, there’s Sweet Italian Sausage which I’m pretty  much in love with at the moment.  After I brown the sausage there’s a good 3 minute period where I just stand by the stove and eat it out of the pan.   

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Added into the lasagna is garden fresh spaghetti sauce, fresh basil, green peppers and some mushrooms.  In my opinion life is better when there is mushrooms and green peppers involved.  Lately, we’ve been putting them on our pizza too – what a great combo.  

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So next time you are craving lasagna but don’t want to wait or do the extra work, throw all these ingredients in a skillet and you’ll have the creamiest dinner in all the land!  This is definitely a keeper.  Bonus: Leftovers are delicious!

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Easy Cheesy Lasagna Skillet

Ingredients

  • 12 lasagna noodles - broken in half
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage - out of their casings
  • 24 oz jar of spaghetti sauce
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 8 oz cut up mushrooms
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • handful of fresh basil

Instructions

  1. Brown sausage in skillet.
  2. Break lasagna noodles in half and cook as directed. Drain.
  3. When noodles are cooked add them to the skillet of browned sausage. Add in spaghetti sauce, ricotta cheese, 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, mushrooms and diced green pepper.
  4. Cook until melted and well heated, about 10 minutes on medium heat. Stir so ricotta is distributed evenly.
  5. Put remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese on top, sprinkle fresh basil on top. Cover and cook until cheese is completely melted.
  6. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Servings: 4

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