Monday, August 31, 2009

Italian Mac and Cheese

I know I wrote the recipe below in my menu plan, but I made a few changes as I cooked it. Also, I was going to make my cookies instead, and I just didnt get around to it! 

This feeds about 4, so if you have more people or want more servings, you may need to double this recipe! This fed me and my kiddos only. (no leftovers!)

1 ½ cups uncooked elbow macaroni

6 TBL butter; divided

3 TBL flour

1 ½ cups milk

1 cup (4 ounces) chedder cheese

(2 ounces) velvetta cheese

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

3 TBL dry Italian bread crumbs

Cook macaroni according to box. Drain, and place in a greased baking dish (1-2 quart); and set aside. In a saucepan, melt 4TBL of butter over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes; then reduce heat. Stir in cheeses, salt and pepper until cheese is melted. Pour over macaroni; mix well. Melt remaining butter (2 TBL); add bread crumbs. 

These are the bread crumbs that I use. Let me give you a confession. I've cooked a few recipes that have called for bread crumbs, and I had no idea there was actually something I could buy like this! Think about it; if nobody ever told me, how was I supposed to know?! I crumbled up sandwich bread, and always got frustrating that the dinner was really weird. Go ahead and laugh. But as a new cook, how was I supposed to know people?! Now I know, and I"m excited! HA

Sprinkle over casserole. Add a few more dashes of the dry bread crumbs, out of the box. Bake, uncovered, at 375 for 30 minutes. 

YUM! My kids LOVED this recipe

This post is linked to Tempt my tummy Tuesday, and Tasty Tuesday.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Menu Plan Monday-question about garlic!

Monday-  Bacon wrapped teriyaki skewers (we love this!)
Tuesday- Chicken Cannelloni 
Wednesday-20 Clove garlic Chicken (I've never used whole garlic cloves before. Is the whole garlic 4 cloves?!I have no idea how to do it!)
Thursday- Kid's night- If you can find it; eat it!
Friday- Homemade Mac and Cheese
Desserts- RootBeer Cookies, with a light and fluffy rootbeer icing

Chicken cannelloni

1 pkg cannilonni/or manicotti

16 oz ricotta cheese

1 large egg

1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed

1/2 clove garlic, - minced

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 lb cooked chicken breast, finely chop

1 cup fontona cheese

1 jar (16 oz)  mararina sauce


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Boil manicotta noodles in a large sauce pan, until fully cooked. In a large bowl, Combine ricotta, egg, Parmesan, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Whisk together well. Fold in chicken and 1/2 cup of Fontina cheese. Set filling aside.

Grease a 9x13 baking pan with olive oil. Spread 1/2 cup of Marinara across the bottom of the pan. Fill pasta with mixture. Top rolls with sauce, covering each completely. Sprinkle the other 1/2 cup of Fontina over the cannelloni.

Bake for 30 minutes until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

 20 Clove garlic chicken

3-4 pounds chicken (breasts)

1 large onion diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon pepper

20-40 garlic cloves, peeled, but intact

Using a slow cooker, place onion slices on the bottom. In a large mixing bowl, toss chicken with olive oil, salt, paprika, pepper, and all of the garlic cloves. Pour into slow cooker, on top of the onion. (Do not add water.)

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-6. 

Macaroni and Cheese

1 ½ cups uncooked elbow macaroni

5 TBL butter

3 TBL flour

1 ½ cups milk

1 cup (4 ounces) chedder cheese

(2 ounces) velvetta cheese

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

2 TBL dry bread crumbs

Cook macaroni according to box. Drain, and place in a greased baking dish (1-1/2 quart); set aside. In a saucepan, melt 4 TBL of butter over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes; reduce heat. Stir in cheeses, salt and pepper until cheese is melted. Pour over macaroni; mix well. Melt remaining butter; add bread crumbs. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake, uncovered, at 375 for 30 minutes. 

As always, this post is linked to Orgjunkie

Chicken velveeta spaghetti

Boneless chicken breasts (4)

Salt and pepper

1 stick butter

½ onion


1 can cream of chicken soup

1/2 can rotel

1 can chicken broth

1 lb. velveeta


Boil chicken in water with salt, pepper (save water). Cook spaghett in the left over water plus a can of chicken broth (don’t drain). Saute butter with the onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Add to the chicken. Drain the spaghetti and add velveeta, soups, salt and pepper. Add the chicken mixture.

Spray pam on casserole pan.  Cook covered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bacon wrapped chicken, stuffed with spinach and ricotta

Bacon wrapped chicken, stuffed with spinach and ricotta (recipe originally from allrecipes)


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 (10 ounce) bag washed fresh spinach

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1/2 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

8 slices thick sliced bacon

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil a 9x13 inch baking dish.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook and stir until it begins to brown. Quickly stir in spinach, and continue cooking until the spinach has wilted. Put into a bowl and set aside.

Slice through the chicken breast horizontally to within 1/2 inch of one long edge, then open the meat like a book. Place each opened chicken breast in between two pieces of plastic wrap, and pound with a meat mallet to a thickness of 1/4 inch.

Stir the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic salt, and onion powder into the cooked spinach until blended. 

Evenly divide this mixture among the chicken breasts, then roll each into an oblong shape, like a burrito, tucking in the ends. (I had an extremely difficult time cutting the chicken and stuffing it! It was my first time, so it didnt turn out so great!)

 Season to taste with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Wrap each breast with 2 strips of bacon, and secure with toothpicks. Place into the prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven until the bacon is brown and crispy, and the chicken is no longer pink, 45 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven, and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before removing toothpicks and serving

This post is linked to Tasty Tuesday and Tempt my tummy Tuesday

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday (sick last week!)

So last week I didnt cook anything! Edwin and I both got really sick and were pukey. gross. It was a rough week.  Today, Monday, is the boys first day of school and my first day of work! Kade also found out last week that he made the football team. He's been on the waiting list (5th grade), and three kids quit, so he's on the team! Practice is every day monday -saturday for the first 3 weeks! seriously?! He's super excited and it will be fun to watch his games. 

 Our menu will just be a repeat of last week! Here's to hoping I actually cook it all!

Monday- Bacon wrapped chicken; stuffed with spinach and ricotta 
Tuesday- Lantham Stew
Wednesday- Chicken spaghetti
Thursday- Crockpot chicken tortilla soup
Friday- Kids night; If you can find it, eat it! 

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lemonade Meringue Pie

3 eggs, separated

1 package cook and serve vanilla pudding mix

1 ¼ cups milk

1 cup (8 oz) sour cream

1/3 cup lemonade concentrate

1 tsp. lemon juice

¼ tsp. cream of tartar

6 TLB sugar

1 pie crust (9 inches), baked (or pre baked kind)

Place egg whites in a mixing bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, and place the yolks in another larger mixing bowl. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan; combine pudding mix, milk, and sour cream until smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer.

Remove from the heat. Gradually whisk 1 cup hot filling into egg yolks; return all to pan. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Gently stir in lemonade concentrate; keep warm.

Add lemon juice and cream of tarter to the bowl of egg whites; beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar, 1 tbl at a time, on high until stiff glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved.

Pour wam filling into pie crust. Spread meringue over the filling, sealing edges to pastry. 

Bake 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown. Cool on wire rack for 1 hour. Refirgerate for 3 hours before serving. 

(oh; lick any remaining meringue!)

The final product; a light and fluffy pie!
This post has been linked to Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, and Tasty Tuesdays

Monday, August 17, 2009

Back to Menu Planning

Alas; the internet is connected, and our kitchen boxes are unpacked! Edwin went back to work today and the kids and I have, one more week til school starts! I've been so excited to get my kitchen together and use my new fridge! A stop at Sams to stock our new fridge, brought a smile to my face. Unfortunately it was delivered with a huge dent in the front!!! We're keeping and using it until another one can be delivered. I dont have time to write up recipes, but I'll post recipes throughout the week.

Monday- Chicken spaghetti
Tuesday- Bacon wrapped chicken, stuffed with spinach and ricotta
Wednesday- Lanthem stew
Friday- Grilled chicken, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes

Dessert- Lemonade Meringue Pie (recipe will be tomorrow)

This post is linked to Orgjunkie

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cooking from Houston

I promise I'm still here. Do I still have any readers?! Life has been busy and we've been moving around and trying to settle. We're still not settled completely, but it's a work in progress. We're back in Houston; for those of you that knew we've been trying to move. Edwin goes back to work on Monday, and the kids go back to school the follow Monday. Our uncertainties of moving to dallas or not, have at least been answered for the present moment. We're continuing life and trusting God for His perfect timing. It's not so easy to trust God when you're actually in some sort of predicament. 

I'm still cooking. Really. I've ruined myself by seeing Julie and Julia (or is it the other way around?!), and now I want to take a cooking course of some sort. One more thing to add to the table, right?! Ha. Maybe when life settles in Dallas one day... How great would that be?! Oh to think of the things I'd learn and gain confidence in! Instead of having meltdowns in my kitchen, breaking bowls when I drop them, burning and ruining dinner for a family of five, or creating something horrible; I can experiment and do all that in class and perfect it at home! Lovely. 

Because believe me; if you've seen the movie, I've had those moments of crying because of dinner. Frustrations to get it right and it's not. The stress, fear, and anxiety of a family to impress to only not be told thank you, or appreciated for cooking all the freakin time! Can I get an amen?! (my husband is sitting by me as I type this, and just gave me a little "amen" shout out).

My husband and I just purchased a FABULOUS new fridge today. Simply grand. At what point in our lives did we begin getting excited about stinkin appliances?! Well, I can't wait to grocery shop and fill it, and begin cooking again. I might have to take a picture of it and show you. It would make me happy my excitement with you! 

On another note, we had a fabulous two weeks in Dallas with my parents, and I'll blog and post pictures on my other blog; as soon as we're somewhat settled in our new place; and out of a hotel!

In the meantime; keep cooking and inspiring me as well as so many others!