Sunday, February 9, 2014

Cheesy Chicken Pot Pasta

Since the husband isn't a huge fan of pasta, I try not to cook dishes with pasta too often, but when I do, I try to make sure that it is something wonderful!  This dish definitely falls under the wonderful category.

This recipe was originally called "One Pot Creamy Chicken and Noodles". That is a nice name and all, but after I prepared this dish, I decided that it tasted exactly like a cheesy chicken pot pie made with pasta noodles instead of the pie crust.  So since I altered the original recipe, I took it upon myself to also alter the name.  Therefore, I will now call it "Cheesy Chicken Pot Pasta".  This recipe will easily feed a family of four with a major possibility of leftovers.


2 TBSP olive oil
2 C total of chopped onions, celery and carrots (I used a half of a large onion, three celery stalks and two handfuls of baby carrots
1 TBSP garlic, minced
salt & pepper
3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cubed
2.5 C milk, divided
2 TBSP cornstarch
1.5 TBSP butter
3 heaping TBSP chicken bouillon granules, divided
1/2 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
2 C water
1 TBSP dried parsley
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 lb. dried linguini, broken in half
1.5C cheddar cheese, shredded and divided


In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium/high heat.  Add the onion, celery, carrots and garlic.  sauté in the olive oil just until the vegetables start to become tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the cubed chicken to the pot and season with salt and pepper.  sauté the chicken with the vegetables until it is no longer pink (there is not a need to cook it through as it will finish cooking as it simmers in the sauce).  As you sauté the chicken with the vegetables you'll need to prepare the cream sauce in a small sauce pan by whisking 1 cup of the milk with the cornstarch.  Place the sauce pan over medium/high heat and add the 1.5 TBSP of butter, 1 heaping tsp. of chicken bouillon granules, 1/2 tsp. of salt along with a dash of pepper.  Whisk together and continue to whisk until the mixture has thickened.  Remove from heat and add it into the large pot as soon as the chicken cubes are no longer pink.  Also mix in the remaining 1.5 C of milk, 2C of water, the remaining 2 heaping tsp. of chicken bouillon granules, the dried parsley, dried thyme, garlic powder, and dried linguini.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to low.  Allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes until the pasta is tender.  Stir every five minutes or so to prevent the noodles from sticking to one another.  Once the pasta if finished, removed the pot from the heat and stir in 1 C of shredded cheddar cheese.  Top with the remaining .5 C and allow to sit and rest for five minutes or so until the cheese becomes melted and the sauce has thickened.  ENJOY!

Adapted from's recipe for "creamy chicken and noodles"

Monday, February 3, 2014


Hi friends! It has been a few weeks, (or rather several!).  I wanted to pop in to share a recipe with you that I made yesterday for the super bowl.  This recipe was adapted from a recipe featured in People magazine way back in 2011.  The article states that the recipe took home a blue ribbon at the NYC Wine & Food Festival that year.  One bite and you'll understand why.  Carson (now 2 1/2) was a big fan of these and ate several, Dominic (9) was not at all interested.  So are they kid friendly? Let your kids decide.  :)


1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 medium onion, minced
4 oz. raw bacon, diced
1 lb. ground beef
3oz. cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 C bread crumbs (mine were Italian seasoned)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. salt


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Spray the bottom of a 8X8 glass baking dish with cooking spray.  Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and bacon and sauté until golden.  Transfer the onions and bacon to a small plate lined with a paper towel.  Allow to cool.  Then in a large bowl, combine the bacon, onions and the rest of the ingredients and mix well until thoroughly combined.  Roll the mixture into 25 meatballs.  Be sure to pack the meat firmly. Place them into the prepared 8X8 (five rows of five fit really well) and roast until cooked through, about 18 minutes.  Allow the meatballs to cool for five minutes before transferring to a serving dish.  Place one toothpick into each meatball and serve.  ENJOY!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Southwestern Stuffed Bell Peppers

I made this recipe for "Southwestern Stuffed Bell Peppers" for the first time a little over a year ago.  (I also took this lovely picture way back when as well.  Talk about procrastination!)  It wasn't until a friend just asked me for the recipe that I decided that I should go ahead and add it to my online recipe box.  You know, since I did just type the whole thing out and all.  :)  I plan to make these for dinner really soon, they are really really yummy and the husband enjoyed them a lot. 

olive oil
1/2 lb ground turkey (you can probably use lean ground turkey as well)
1 C chopped onions
1 heaping TBSP of taco seasoning (I used the homemade version)
2 C of cooked rice (I used some Spanish rice I had leftover)
3-4 bell peppers, halved and seeds removed
1 can of black beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 C of frozen corn
1 (15 -16 ounce) jar of salsa (or homemade if you have it!)
shredded Cheddar Cheese
fresh cilantro
sour cream
sliced avocado
 Start the rice.
Pre heat your oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat the prepped peppers with the olive oil and roast them in a baking dish for 20-25 minutes.  Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool long enough so they can be handled.
Meanwhile, brown the ground turkey with the chopped onion and any seasonings of your choice. (I usually like to use a little salt, pepper, and garlic...fresh or powdered.) Drain any excess fat if necessary.
When the meat is finished, add in the taco seasoning.  Mix well to combine.  Next, add in the black beans, corn, rice and the salsa.  Mix well.
Now, spoon in the turkey mixture into each of the bell pepper halves.  Carefully place them back into the baking dish.  Cook the peppers for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the peppers are cooked thru.  Just before removing the dish, sprinkle the top of each pepper with some shredded cheddar cheese.  Place the dish back into the oven long enough for the cheese to melt. 
Remove from the oven and top with an additional desired toppings (ex. cilantro, sour cream, avocado...)
recipe adapted from:

Monday, September 16, 2013

Summer Vegetable Torta

(Isn't it pretty!?)

I loved, loved, LOVED this Summer Vegetable Torta. A LOT!  It turned out so pretty and so very tasty! It looked quite impressive in my opinion and it was super easy to toss together!  I ate it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack.  No, I'm not kidding.  I'm anxiously awaiting for a brunch or potluck that I can prepare this for.  I think it'll be a hit!


3 TBSP olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
8oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
3 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 red peppers, sliced into 1/4 inch strips
8oz. cream cheese, softened
6 large eggs
1/4 C heavy cream
2 garlic cloves, minced
3  TBSP fresh basil, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 C shredded cheddar cheese


Prepare a 9-inch spring form pan by spraying the bottom and sides with cooking spray.  Line the bottom with parchment paper, and spray with additional cooking spray. Then wrap the outside with aluminum foil.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, mushrooms, zucchini, and fresh peppers and saute until vegetables just start to become tender (10 minutes or so). 

Then, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Next beat in the eggs until combined.  Now beat in the cream. Stir in the garlic, basil, salt and pepper.

Now, using a slotted spoon, drain off liquid from the vegetables and add them to the egg mixture.  Add shredded cheddar cheese and stir with a rubber spatula to combine.

Spread mixture into the prepared pan and set the pan on a baking sheet.

Bake for 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 hours, until top is golden brown and the center is firm when shaken. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes in pan, then run a sharp knife around edges to loosen. Gently remove the pan sides. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold. ENJOY!

recipe adapted from:

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Broccoli & Beef


I can't take too too much credit for this one since I only altered a few things in this recipe.  Well, who knows, those little changes could have been what made this dish SO FREAKING FANTASTIC!!! So I guess I'll go ahead and toot my own horn for a sec.  "toot toot!"  Ok, done now. 

 I am a huge broccoli  & beef fan.  I've tried making it at home before, only to realize that the Chinese restaurants can make it much better.  The hubster requested broccoli & beef for dinner last night so I decided to go ahead and try out a new recipe that I had pinned a while back.  It turned out SO SO YUMMY!! I will definitely  be make this again and again.  It tasted just as good as a Chinese restaurant without all the MSG.


1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. sugar
1 TBSP cornstarch
1 TBSP low sodium soy sauce
1 TBSP water
2 TBSP toasted sesame oil
1.5lbs. flank steak, sliced thin
1/2 C low sodium soy sauce
2 TBSP brown sugar
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 TBSP flour
1 TBSP sherry
3 TBSP toasted sesame oil
2 heads of broccoli crowns


Preparing the beef:

Allow the beef to come to room temperature.  (Mine sat out for about an hour and a half)  Then, using a sharp knife, slice the beef into thin strips making sure to slice against the grain.  If the slices become too long, feel free to cut them in half or even in thirds. 

Preparing the marinade:

In a large bowl, whisk together the first six ingredients. Then add the beef strips and thoroughly coat them in the marinade.  Cover the bowl in plastic wrap, set aside and allow to marinate for 30 minutes.  (Now would be a good time to get your rice started)

In the meantime:

Trim your broccoli and set aside.  In a small bowl whisk together the 1/2 C low sodium soy sauce, brown sugar, minced garlic, flour and sherry. Set aside until the meat is finished marinating.

When the meat is ready:

 Heat 2 TBSP of the sesame oil in a wok or  large sauté pan over high heat.  Next, add the broccoli and sauté in the oil for 4-5 minutes.  (I prefer my broccoli a little on the crunchy side, feel free to cook longer if you like it softer.)  Transfer the broccoli to a dish and set aside. 

Turn the heat down to medium-high and add the remaining 1 TBSP of sesame oil to the pan.  Add the meat to the pan and then pour in half of the soy sauce/brown sugar mixture on top.  Saute until the meat is no longer pink, this takes just a few minutes.  When the meat is finished, add the broccoli to the wok with the remainder of the soy sauce/brown sugar mixture.  Saute for another minute. 

Serve over steamed white rice. ENJOY!!

Recipe adapted from:

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Simple Marinara Sauce (a DG original)

I tend to do a lot of my grocery shopping on my lunch break these days, grabbing things that I'll need for the next day or two.  I often forget things I need due to the lack of a list and being in a rush.  Last week I ran to the grocery store on a lunch break to grab the things I would need for a ravioli bake, one of my quick go to weeknight dinners. I didn't realize until I got home to prepare dinner, that I had forgotten to grab a jar of pasta sauce!!!  At first I panicked since it was getting late and I didn't have a back up meal prepared.  As usual, I reverted to good ol' google! Of course I couldn't find a recipe to suit my needs that included ingredients that I already had on hand.  So I did what I usually do and pick what I like from several recipes to create my own version! Of course if your looking for a recipe for a marinara sauce to use up some of your garden fresh tomatoes, you can always check out my  original recipe for mushroom-garlic marinara sauce here,  but this here is what I ended up with that night and it turned out pretty well if I do say so myself! :)


2-3 TBSP olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 onion, minced
2 14.5 oz. cans of petite-cut tomatoes
1 6oz. can of tomato paste
1.5 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/3 C sherry


using a food processor, puree the garlic and petite-cut tomatoes.  (I only pureed one can because I like my sauce to be a little bit chunky and added the additional can in with the remaining ingredients.)  Set aside.  In a med sauce pan sauté the onion with the olive oil over medium high heat just until softened.  Add the remaining ingredients and simmer on low (stirring occasionally) for 30 min, covered.  To be used in your favorite pasta dish! ENJOY!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Brown Rice Pilaf

I am a bg fan of brown rice, the, not so much!  I am on a determined quest to find new ways to prepare brown rice for the whole family to enjoy.  This recipe was attempt #2 (with attempt #1 being the plain ol' boring, basic, brown rice).  Carson ignored the side all together.  Dominic bluntly stated "I HATE mushrooms!".  The hubby politely consumed the side and gave me an unenthusiastic "it was good." I on the other hand LOVED this dish!!!  I thought it went well with the salmon tacos I made that night.  I'll probably make this next when we have company over, or to bring along to someone's house.  I'd like to see how others like this side dish.  :)


2.5 TBSP olive oil
1/2 lb. Cremini mushrooms, sliced
6 green onions
salt & freshly ground black pepper
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 TBSP soy sauce
1 C long grain brown rice
1 C chicken stock
1 C water
1/2 lime


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium skillet heat 2 TBSP. of the olive oil over medium heat add the mushrooms and half of the green onions and season with salt and pepper.  Sautee for 8 minutes until the mushrooms have browned and softened.  Next add the garlic and the remaining .5 TBSP of olive oil.  Sautee for another 2 minutes then add the soy sauce, rice, chicken stock and water.  Season with a large pinch of salt and pepper.  Bring to a full boil.  Scrape the rice into a 8x8 glass baking dish.  Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes.  Remove the foil, fluff the pilaf with a fork, squeeze the lime over the pilaf and top with the remaining 3 green onions.  ENJOY!

recipe adapted from