Thursday, September 27, 2012

Cajun Chicken Pasta

From: A pregnant women with a craving is not to be contended with and I don't like taking no for an answer, particularly with regards to my stomach.  So when I called and they'd closed 10 wee minutes before, I decided I was GOING to have cajun chicken pasta, if I had to cook it myself.  So I searched for an imitation recipe and found this one. It was even better than the Chili's version!


For the chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
4 tsp. cajun seasoning

For the sauce:
4 tbsp. butter or margarine
3 cups heavy cream
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning (or you can substitute a Tbsp of lemon or lime juice)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp of Parmesan cheese

8 oz. cooked penne pasta (drained)

For the toppings:
2 roma tomatoes, diced
fresh shredded parmesan, to taste

How to:  

Just click here for's version of how to do it.  I did it almost the same, except that I added 3 Tbsp of Parmesan cheese to the sauce before adding the pasta.  I also substituted lime juice for the lemon pepper.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Italian Pasta Salad

From: I love a traditional Italian pasta salad, and this is my favorite combination of ingredients.


spiral pasta, cooked
beef salami
tomato (roma or cherry tomatoes)
artichoke hearts
sliced or chopped black olives
cubed cheddar and/or mozzarella cheese
Italian dressing
salt and pepper to taste
peanuts (optional)

How to:  

Combine ingredients, mix well, and chill in the refrigerator before serving.

Red Orange Salad

From: One evening we were having friends over, and we were missing a key ingredient for a salad we wanted to make, so my husband improvised and threw this one together, inspired by his favorite Italian cook, Lydia. It was so good that it wasn't until I was scraping the last bit out of the bowl and scarfing it down, that it occurred to me to take a picture and post it here.


romaine lettuce
red oranges, diced
craisins (dried cranberries)
blue cheese
red onion
french fried onions
rasberry vinaigrette salad dressing

How to:  

Toss the dry ingredients together and top with the dressing to your liking.

Spoonfuls of Dessert

From: When MckMama posted this, I knew I had to try it!! Her version has much more exotic (and healthy) ingredients than mine.  You can see it here. The great thing about this dessert is how simple it is and how much you can change it, depending on what's in your cupboard. Yummmm!!!


chocolate chips
olive oil
peanut butter, refrigerated
sliced almonds
craisins (dried cranberries)
shredded coconut
plastic spoons

How to:  

Spoon out some peanut butter with the plastic spoon.  Then press craisins, peanuts, and sliced almonds (or whatever you desire) into the peanut butter.  Make several of these and set aside.  But hurry!  The peanut butter melts and gets soft on a hot day.

Put the chocolate chips and a tablespoon of oil into a bowl.  Microwave for 20 seconds and then stir.  Repeat half a dozen times until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.

Dip the spoons with peanut butter on them into the chocolate so it's completely covered.  Sprinkle with shredded coconut (or whatever you desire).  Place on wax paper or aluminum foil and put it in the freezer for about an hour until it becomes completely hard.  Enjoy!

Side notes: The more oil you add, the thinner the chocolate will be, which is helpful in coating without destroying the spooned creation.  You can experiment with how much oil to add.

Quinoa Soup

From: My friend Tiff shared this recipe with me and it was a big hit!!  It's also phenomenally healthy, which makes it even better!


4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup quinoa
1-2 cups frozen corn kernels (to your liking)
1/3 cup chunky salsa, to taste
1 ripe but firm hass avocado, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

How To: 

You know it's good when the picture of the recipe looks like that!  Ha!

Side notes:  You can also get the seasoned packet of quinoa (found with the rice packets in the grocery store) and replace 2 cups of broth and salt with only 2 cups of water.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Colorful Sweet & Salty Chicken

From: One evening, we had planned to make shishkabobs, and realized we didn't have any propane for the grill, so we improvised and came up with this!  It was GREAT and my 3 year old was just as excited about it as we were!


1 lb boneless skinless chicken, cut into half inch cubes
15 oz pineapple chunks
1 red pepper diced into 1 inch squares
1/2 red onion diced into 1 inch squares
1 Tbsp oil
1/4 tsp salt
dash pepper
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion flakes
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp butter

How to:  

Add oil to a wok or skillet, and dust the chicken with salt, oil, basil, oregano, cumin, garlic powder, onion flakes, pepper. Add 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce.  When the chicken is cooked through and golden brown, remove from skillet.

Add to the same skillet the red pepper and red onion.  Dust with salt, and add 1 Tbsp butter, and 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce.  Cover so liquid releases the brown chicken residue from the bottom of the skillet.  Allow the liquid to bubble up and simmer until the vegetables are soft.  Add pineapple chunks to the skillet and continue simmering for another minute.

Combine with chicken and serve on its own or over rice.