Monday, April 29, 2013

Chicken with Sun Dried Tomato Basil Sauce

As you can probably tell, Kelly and I are a big fan of chicken recipes :-)  I found another recipe on the blog and really like the blend of flavors...if I was do change anything, I'd probably add a bit more spice.


6 boneless chicken tenderloins
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 shallot, diced
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 16 ounce package whole wheat spaghetti

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium high heat.  Add chicken and grind fresh pepper on each side.  Cook and cover until done, about 5 minutes each side.  Remove from heat and set aside, keeping warm.

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic, and shallots, cooking 1-2 minutes, just until soft.  Add sun dried tomatoes, store.  With whisk in hand, add flour and stir.  Slowly add chicken broth, whisking constantly.  Add half and half, still whisking.  Continue whisking for 3-4 minutes until sauce begins to thicken; it will continue to thicken when taken off heat.  Take off heat and let sit.  Cook spaghetti according to directions.

Add fresh basil to sun dried sauce and give a good stir.

Place spaghetti on plate, place chicken on top of noodles, and pour sauce over the top.  Enjoy!

Ingredients for tomatoe basil sauce
Cook chicken tenderloins

Saute onions, garlic and shallots

Adding sun dried tomatoes

Adding flour, chicken broth and half and half

Chicken and Tomato Sauce over whole wheat spaghetti

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fish Tacos

As my husband and I have travelled around, we've found several places that make excellent fish tacos.  I started reviewing lots of fish taco recipes and found that they wouldn't be that hard to make at home.  I like to try new variety and simplicity is also good.

For this particular recipe, I reviewed  4 recipes and picked and chose a few things from each recipe.  The recipe has 3 basic pieces - cole slaw salad, fresh salsa, and fish.

Cole Slaw Salad

4 cups cole slaw mix
1 teaspoon sea salt
Juice of one lime
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
2 green onions slices
2 tablespoons sugar

Mix all ingredients and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes so flavors blend

Fresh Salsa

3 roma tomatoes diced
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
1/4 red onion diced
1 teaspoon garlic diced
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes


3 filets of white fish - cod, tilapia, etc
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin

Thaw fish and then sprinkle with paprika, chili powder, and cumin.  Allow to sit for 10 - 30 minutes
Cook in fry pan 4-5 minutes until done.

Assemble tacos:

Place cole slaw mix, then salsa, the pieces of fish, you can also add avocado, cheese, and taco sauce or sweet and sour sauce for a sweeter taste.  Enjoy!
Diced Tomatoes for salsa

Cole Slaw mix all mixed together

Finished Salsa

Seasoned fish

Cooking up the fish

Fish Tacos...Yum!!!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

English Muffin Pizzas

Want a fast, easy dinner that everyone will love? Of course, who doesn't? These English muffin pizzas are seriously the easiest dinner ever and every single person can make their own so the whole family ends up happy. And it only takes 10 minutes to bake!

I have made a lot of homemade pizzas before and if you have time to make your own crust, good for you! But if you, like most of us are crunched for time, this is amazing! The English muffins stay relatively soft but get crisp on the outside and have great flavor.

I'm going to share the recipe for the pizzas that I made but the possibilities are endless with this one. You really can use any ingredients you and your family likes. If everyone wants to make their own and you want to keep the pizzas straight, use parchment paper to put under the pizzas and have each person write their name on the parchment paper. My mom and I did this for homemade pizzas at my sister-in-law's bridal shower and it worked wonderfully! Speaking of which, these would be an awesome idea for bridal showers, baby showers, and parties!

English Muffin Pizzas

Ingredients (the amount of ingredients varies by how many pizzas you are making and personal preference for how heavy the ingredients are piled on): 
  • English muffins (white or whole wheat - sliced in half)
  • Spaghetti sauce (I used Prego Chunky Garden: Tomato, Onion, and Garlic)
  • Italian seasoning
  • Canadian bacon (chopped)
  • Pineapple (chopped)
  • Green olives (chopped) 
  • Cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Chop any ingredients you need to chop.
  3. Place English muffin halves on a baking sheet.
  4. Use a spoon to place spaghetti/pizza sauce on muffins and spread it around.
  5. Sprinkle Italian seasoning on.
  6. Place the toppings on (Canadian bacon, pineapples, and green olives).
  7. Sprinkle cheese on the top. 
  8. Bake in oven for 10 minutes (or until cheese is melted and edges are crispy). 

Step #3: English Muffins
Step #4: Add sauce

Step #5: Add seasoning
Step #6: Add meat

Step #6: Add pineapple

Step #6: Add green olives

Step #7: Add cheese

All cooked and ready to enjoy -- only 10 minutes!!

The possibilities for toppings are endless! Here is a list to get inspired by: 
Sauces: pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, BBQ sauce, salsa, pesto
Seasonings: Italian, basil, parsley, garlic, oregano, rosemary
Meats: sausage, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, ground hamburger/turkey, shredded chicken, bacon, meatballs
Vegetables/Fruits: pineapple, green olives, black olives, green peppers, avocado, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, spinach, yellow peppers, apples
Cheeses: mozzarella, cheddar, colby jack, gouda, brie, monterrey jack, parmesan, ricotta

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas

I reviewed a lot of buffalo chicken enchiladas recipes and decided to mix them to come up with my own.  The recipe was easy to prepare and tasted delicious...even the eft overs were easy to warm up and tasted great.


3 chicken breast - cooked and shredded
1 28 ounce can of enchiladas sauce
1/4 -1/2  cup of Buffalo Sauce ( I used Frank's Red Hot) depends on spicing s's you desire
1 package of chicken taco seasoning
2 cups Mexican mix cheese, divided
10 tortillas
cilantro, blue cheese,  and green onions for garnish

I cooked the three chicken breasts in the crock pot with salt and pepper and a cup of liquid (chicken broth) for 6 hours.  This made them very easy to shred with two forks.

In a small bowl, combine the enchilada sauce and buffalo sauce - add less if you don't care for spice, more if you do.

In a medium bowl, add shredded chicken, 1 cup of the enchilada sauce/buffalo mixture, 1 cup of cheese, and 1 package of chicken taco seasoning.  Mix well.

In a 9x13 baking dish, pour a cup of the enchilada and buffalo sauce mixture on the bottom and spread around.

In each tortilla, place 1/4 -1/2 cup of the chicken mixture and roll.  Place in baking dish seam side down.  Repeat until all 10 tortilla have been filled.

Pour the remaining enchilada/buffalo sauce mixture over the top of the prepared enchilada and then sprinkle with 1 cup of cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.

Garnish with cilantro, blue cheese, and green onions as desired.  Enjoy!
Putting chicken mixture in each tortilla before rolling up

All Enchiladas Made
Sprinkled with Sauce and Cheese
Finished dish after baking

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Roasted Ranch Red Pepper Crackers (aka Fire Crackers!)

I found this recipe about a year ago on a blog called Pearls, Handcuffs, and Happy Hour. I modified it slightly and they are absolutely delicious. They are spicy (due to the red pepper flakes) but you can adjust the spiciness to your desired level by altering how many red pepper flakes you add. It is very true that you can't eat just one!

Roasted Ranch Red Pepper Crackers (Fire Crackers)

  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 1 packet of dry ranch dressing mix
  • 2-3 tbsp of red pepper flakes
  • 1 box of whole wheat Saltine rounds (or 2-3 sleeves of regular whole wheat Saltine crackers)

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. 
  2. Add the crackers to a large ziploc bag. 
  3. In a big glass measuring cup, mix the olive oil, ranch dressing packet, and red pepper flakes together with a fork. 
  4. Pour the mixture into the ziploc bag over the crackers. 
  5. Zip the bag and shake the mixture around so that the crackers are evenly coated. 
  6. Spread the crackers out over a baking sheet. 
  7. Cook for 15-20 minutes. You may want to stir halfway through that time - it helps prevent the crackers from sticking to the bottom of the sheet. 
Step 5: Covering the crackers with the olive oil mixture.

Prior to cooking

After cooking. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Caprese-Style Baked Chicken

Baked chicken is one of my go to's fairly easy to make and tastes good too.  The trick is to mix up the flavors so it is fun to eat too.


4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic
2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried mint
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 fresh roma tomatoes - diced
1/4 cup fresh basil - chopped
3 boneless chicken breasts
4 oz fresh mozzarella
4 oz whole wheat thin spaghetti

Whisk together vinegar, garlic, mustard, mint, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper.  Gradually add olive oil and whisk constantly to throughly mix the dressing.

In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, basil, 2 oz of diced fresh mozzarella, and 4 tablespoons of the dressing.  Cover and put in the fridge.

Cut the chicken breasts in half and pound flat  - I use the bumpy side of the meat tenderizer so that when I pour the rest of the dressing on, it marinates fully.  Place flattened chicken breasts in a baking dish and pour the rest of the dressing over all the chicken.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes or more.

Heat oven to 350.  Take plastic wrap off chicken and bake chicken for 25 minutes.  After 20 minutes, place thinly sliced fresh mozzarella on top of each chicken piece and season with salt and pepper.

While the chicken is baking.  Prepare the whole wheat spaghetti according to package directions.  Toss the pasta with half the tomato mixture.  Serve the chicken with tomato mixture as well.

If you have leftovers, I recommend chopping up the chicken breast and putting all the 


Ingredients for Dressing

Whisking the dressing

Tomatoes, Basil and Dressing mixed together

Chicken Breasts flattened and ready for marinade

Marinade poured over the top

Adding Fresh Mozzarella for the last 5 minutes of baking

Added fresh mozzarella into the tomato salad

Finished chicken and pasta

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Cheesy Broccoli and Bacon Pasta Bake

Who doesn't love recipe with bacon? That's why when I found this on Dash I just had to try it. It was delicious!

Cheesy Broccoli and Bacon Pasta Bake

  • 1 box of whole wheat penne pasta
  • Salt
  • 3 slices of bacon
  • 1 small onion (chopped or minced)
  • 2 tbsp of minced parsley
  • 1 tbsp of flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of skim milk
  • 2 cups of broccoli  (2 big heads of fresh broccoli)
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

  1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
  2. Wash and chop broccoli (if fresh) and chop/mince the onion. 
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta once it's boiling and cook just shy of al dente (with the penne I used, this meant about 6-7 minutes). Once it is done cooking, drain and set aside. 
  4. While pasta is cooking, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy. Once bacon is done cooking, remove from skillet and set on paper plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess grease. Drain most of the bacon grease from the skillet. 
  5. Cook onions with parsley in the skillet until the onions are translucent. Stirring as needed. 
  6. After the onions are cooked, add flour and stir until the mixture is coated. Gradually add the milk and continue cooking for about 5 minutes, until the mixture thickens. 
  7. Add the broccoli to the skillet and cook approximately 3-5 minutes until softened. 
  8. Crumb the bacon into smaller pieces. 
  9. Add the cheese, cooked pasta, and bacon to the skillet. Combine until everything is evenly coated. 
  10. Pour mixture into a baking dish. Bake 10-15 minutes until mixture is bubbly. 
The skillet mixture prior to adding the pasta

Prior to being cooked

After being cooked
Ready to enjoy!