Shrimp and Chicken Pasta

Home alone. Well, kinda. Does having 4 dogs with you really count as “alone?” Is it kinda like “you’re not drinking alone if your <dog>/<cat> is with you?” Either way, after surviving on Cheerios for the last 3 days {no exaggeration, I eat like a toddler 95% of the time}, it was time for a “big kid meal.”

Ingredients:

1-2 lb shrimp (my bag was a 40-50 count)

Chicken (breasts, legs, what ever. I had some left over legs I chopped up and threw in)

Garlic clove

Butter

Olive oil

Pasta (penne is perfect!)

6 cups water

Tomato sauce (I used a pint mason jar of our homemade stuff)

1/2 cup red wine (optional but oh so yummy)

Salt/Pepper

Basil

Onion

Parmesan Cheese

Oh the best part, all done in ONE pan!!! BOOM!

*THAW AND PEAL YOUR SHRIMP BEFORE YOU START IF NEEDED! DONT FORGET TO DEVEIN! Prep what ever chicken you are using as well!*

  1. In your pan, melt butter with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. While they are heating chop cup your garlic and onion.
  2. Once your butter has melted, on medium/high heat, add in your garlic and onion to sauté. While they are going, cut up your chicken, get your ingredients in order.
  3. Add in your shrimp and chicken to the butter goodness in the pan. Sear for 2-3 minutes.

13672090_10209826670848571_74546087_n4. Add in your tomato sauce, water, pasta, red wine, and sauce seasonings

13652707_10209826670768569_1814399578_n5. Cook at a low boil until the pasta is cooked through.

6. Serve nice and hot with parmesan on top!

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Total prep (including shrimp for me) 30 min. Clean up- 5 minutes, we have a great non-stick pan.

 

1 Dish Chicken and Veggies

Tonight my family is all over the place. My brother came home from work, turned around, and left for job number 2. My parents came home, loaded 2 of the four dogs into the car for a quick trip to the vet for a manicure. I was left home. As my mom ran out the door, she said “Why don’t you throw some hot dogs on the grill?” Now I like hot dogs as much as the next person. There was a solid 2 years of my small life where I ate nothing but hot dogs and chicken nuggets (my mother still talks about it). But having just had kielbasa the night before, I wasn’t feelin it. So, what could I make relatively quickly that would be done by the time my parents got home and wouldn’t make a giant mess? 1 dish chicken and veggies.

What you’ll need:

2 cups chicken stock or water with 2 bullion cubes

Salt

Pepper

Onion (we had yellow so that’s what I used)

Chicken Breasts

Potatoes

Green Beans (we have fresh, frozen ones from our garden)

Carrots

Thyme

Parsley

  1. Thaw your chicken breast. We buy chicken in bulk, and my mom usually cuts thick breasts in half so they’re not as thick and cook a bit quicker.
  2. Dirty peel and cut your potatoes and carrots. If you can’t stand the skins, feel free to peel them completely. If you are worried about them cooking all of the way in the oven (like me) you can pre-boil them for a bit to kick start the cooking process.
  3. Cut a slice of onion about 1/2 inch thick. Simply cut into quarters so you have pretty decent sized pieces.
  4. Prepare your chicken broth and preheat your oven to 400 degrees. The chicken broth helps cook the potatoes, carrots, and green beans while also keeping the chicken nice and juicy!
  5. Lightly grease the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish. dump in your veggies and mix a bit. Lay your chicken breast on top. Pour your chicken broth over it all, it won’t cover all of the veggies but it will come about 1/2 up.
  6. Sprinkle salt, pepper and a bit of thyme and parsley.

13177273_10209214354421043_6736157662262300396_n.jpg7. Cover with foil and put into your oven. Cook until chicken and veggies are cooked through.

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If you’re feeling adventurous, you could remove the chicken and veggies to a platter and make a thicker sauce with the juices and chicken broth by adding cornstarch. I did not do that this evening.

You could easily make this in a crock pot, or use additional vegetables like asparagus. If you were to do this in a crock pot, I would add an extra cup of broth/water just to be on the safe side, especially if you plan on leaving it unattended.

Cinnabon Rolls

I have an inherited disease. It’s a love of Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls. Once upon a time, before Google and Pinterest were things, before restaurants released “secret recipes,” and my mother was a stay at home mom, she made many batches in an attempt to replicate the Cinnabon Roll. They used to be much more popular than they are today. It is once in a blue moon to come across a store/stand. I am lucky enough to have a mall that has a Cinnabon kiosk. *Yes, be jealous.* Thankfully we are beyond the Pintrest-less years, and most recipes can be found online. Even though I’d just had Cinnabon Center of the Rolls on Wednesday, I needed some more. So I made them. Prepare yourself for butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, and frosting, to take over your weekend breakfast.

Depending on how tall you cut your rolls, this batch makes 8-12 cinnamon rolls. I suggest cutting them at least 2 inches though.

Ingredients:

Dough
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm milk
½ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup softened butter (not melted)
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
4 cups all purpose flour
Filling
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
2-3 tablespoons cinnamon
⅓ cup softened butter
Frosting
2 cups powdered sugar
Half the juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
Milk until desired consistency
  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a stand mixer with a sprinkle of sugar. Let sit a minute or two.
  2. Add sugar, eggs, and half of the flour flour to the bowl of a mixer and mix well using the dough attachment.
  3. Cut and add in the soft butter along with the rest of the flour. Continue to knead until well combined.
  4. Place dough into an oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size. 12736031_10208509233113451_1755304200_n.jpg
  5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. My dough patch was HUGE!
  6. To make filling, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.12736046_10208509232873445_184962519_n.jpg
  7. Spread the filling butter on the surface of the dough. I literally squished it in my hands to soften and spread it. Dump and spread the mixture evenly over the surface of the dough. 12746440_10208510359821618_423696633_n.jpg 12769407_10208510359661614_741690829_n.jpg
  8. Working carefully, from the long edge, roll the dough down to the bottom edge. Cut I used a cerated knife. 12736431_10208510227058299_249941488_n.jpg
  9. Place the cut rolls in a lightly greased pan. Cover them with a . Let them rise again for another 30 minutes until they double in size. 12736337_10208510226618288_1088431460_n.jpg
  10. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  11. Bake for about 20 minutes or until light golden brown. I baked mine for 18 and they were perfect!  12767385_10208510226298280_1408391615_n.jpg
  12. While the rolls are baking make the icing by mixing all ingredients and whisk until combined. Using a whisk attachment on your stand mixer would add additional fluff if you like that sort of thing.
  13. When the rolls are done, spread generously with icing.12721777_10208510225178252_1344450237_n.jpg

EAT WARM! If you can’t eat them right out of the oven, warming them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds is PERFECT! Drink with a nice hot cup of coffee or tall glass of milk!

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Homemade French Onion Soup

It’s cold out-EW! Dad doesn’t feel well- double ew. I am home on break and in between jobs right now- YAY! This combination means killer dinners. I was going to make French Onion soup last night but decided on the Tortellini instead. When my dad found out that French onion had been an option, he was quite upset, hence making it tonight. It also happens to be one of my favorites! Between last nights dinner and tonights, we are going to have a killer left over night tomorrow night!

Ingredients:

1 pack beef stew meat/cubes- I know, FOS doesn’t usually have meat in it, well, mine does.

2-3 onions, we used yell

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tablespoon gravy master

5 beef bullion cubes or 6 cups of beef stock

6 cups of water *if using beef stock you will not need the water!*

Shredded or sliced mozzarella cheese

1. Cut stew meat into smaller bite sized pieces- halves or quarters. In a pan on medium heat, brown the cubes.

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2. While the cubes are browning, slice up your onion! We used 2 1/2. You can choose how you’d like to cut them. We quartered them and sliced them length wise so we had onion strips about an inch to 2 inches long.

3. After the cubes have browned, add the onions, stir and put a lid on them. You want the onions to sweat, soften and mix in with the cubes. This took about 10-15 minutes.

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4. Once the onions and cubes are done, put them in the crock pot. Add 3 cups of water or stock, depending on which you are using. Put the pan back on the stove and turn the heat up to high.

5. Add the remaining 3 cups of liquid to the pan, using a spoon, make sure there’s no good stuff stuck to the bottom. Add in the Worcestershire sauce, gravy master, and if you are using water, the bullion cubes. Bring to a boil and stir until the bullion cubes are pretty much dissolved.

6. Pour the yummy mixture into the crock pot with the onions, beef, and other liquids. Set on low and let simmer for the day.

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As with most of my crock pot recipes, this can be “sped up” by just doing this all in a big pot on the stove. This could technically all be done in the crock pot as well by just throwing everything in and turning it on high, but I feel like the flavors would not be as developed. It would be great to throw in the night before to have for lunch the following day as well!IMG_4718

If you’re like us and don’t have the cute little crocks, have mozzarella cheese shredded/sliced to put on top of the soup with a good, hearty crust of bread. Best if served nice and HOT. Nothing beats that stringy mozzarella with that bread dipped in the beefy, onion broth!

Creamy Crock Pot Tortellini Soup

One of the joys of being in a relationship is collecting and learning recipes. This happens to be one of my new favorites! Filling, easy, warm, and perfect for a cold winters day, this crock pot soup takes about 5 minutes to throw together. Seriously. There’s almost no prep time.

Ingredients:

1lb bag tortellini- cheese or meat

1 8oz pack of cream cheese

16 oz can/jar of tomato sauce

1 lb ground beef

1-2 garlic cloves

1/2 onion

Basil

1. Dump in the tortellini, tomato sauce, and thawed ground beef into the crock pot. Make sure the ground beef is broken up.

2. Add in the cream cheese and split it up a bit so that it is not in one giant block.

3. Mince/chop garlic and onion and add to the pot.

4. Add in a few fresh basil leaves or about a table spoon of dried

5. Set on high and stir occasionally for at least 3 hours. The tortellini should be soft, any meat should be cooked through, the cream cheese should be melted and incorporated.

This whole process could be sped up by doing it in a pot on the stove if needed, or put in a crock pot on low for the day. Serve with a good hearty bread and eat up! Possible additions or substitutions include: diced tomatoes, chicken or a ground meat like turkey or venison, meat tortellini, or meatballs.

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Simple Garlic Parm Potatoes

Potatoes are one of the most versatile foods out there. Seriously. Think about it. Oh, and they’re just generally awesome. I make these more tame potatoes to go with my Mmm Mmm Meatloaf, since the meatloaf already has loads of flavor. They’re quick, easy and sure to please.

Ingredients:

6-8 red potatoes really as many as you need

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup chopped onion

Parmesan Cheese

Salt

Pepper

Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 350

1. Dirty peel and rinse potatoes

2. Chop potatoes into cubes, put in a pot of COLD water and begin to bring them up to a boil

3. Rough chop about 1/4 of an onion, you should get about 1/2 of a cup

4. Mince 2 cloves of garlic

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5. Add the garlic and onion to the pot

6. Boil the potatoes until you can cut them with the spoon and strain.

7. Drizzle olive oil into a baking dish and dump in potatoes

8. Crack fresh black pepper and salt on top. Grate or sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top-as much as you’d like. Give it a little drizzle of olive oil on top.

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9. Put dish in the oven uncovered. The potatoes should be pretty well cooked through, so putting them in the oven just finishes that process, melts the cheese and helps the flavors meld. I left mine in for about 20 minutes. 🙂

Serve nice and hot! Sour cream on the side is an option…but then it’s always an option in my life! 🙂

2 Ingredient 5 Minute Fudge

One day I will read a book again and post another book review…I’m still working on that since finishing the semester. So for now, it is recipes and planner things. This happens to fall under the latter of the two.

My mom makes awesome fudge. Melt in your mouth best stuff ever. But I was watching The Pioneer Woman on Food Network the other day and she made this two ingredient stuff. I don’t know how Ree Drummond came up with this recipe, and I don’t care. It is AWESOME! You can find the original recipe HERE.

Ingredients:

1 bag of chocolate chips- I used dark chocolate, the recipe says semi-sweet, I’m sure you could use peanut butter or combinations of them

1 14 oz can sweetened condense milk

Pre-line a container with foil, suran wrap or wax paper so that the fudge pops out once it has cooled. I would not use a dish any smaller than 9×9.

1. Set a pot on the stove with a metal bowl or use a double boiler and get it going

2. Dump in the bag of chips and can of sweetened condense milk- whisk or stir until all of the chips have melted and the chocolate and milk are combined

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3. Once the mixture is fully melted, mixed and smooth, dump the goodness into the lined dish.

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4. Pop in the fridge for at least 2 hours

5. Pull the lining with the fudge out of the dish and put on a cutting board. Cut the fudge using a serrated knife. You can replace the fudge back in the dish in the lining to reduce clean up.

Oh yeah. EAT IT! 🙂

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Possible additions- peanuts, walnuts, peppermints, orange zest, or anything else you like with chocolate!!!

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Muffins

I thoroughly enjoy cinnamon. I’ve been on a fall spice kick for quite some time now. Nothing beats cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves all mixed up into something. They are warm and spicey and homey and wonderful. This recipe doesn’t have all of those but it’s still pretty tastey! My house likes muffins. They are quick, easy and filling to eat and just as quick and easy to whip up. I was inspired to make these yummy guys for a quick gran and go breakfast!

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup milk

1/3 cup of brown sugar

Topping:

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.

1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, egg, vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, oil and milk all together in a bowl. I used a hand whisk to mix it all together until it was smooth.

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2. In a seprate bowl mix the 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. This will be sprinkled on top.

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2. Line muffin tray with liners. Use a 1/4 to fill each liner.

3. Sprinkle each muffin with the brown sugar/cinnamon

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4. Bake for 15 minutes or until a knife poked into the center comes out clean. I love how they puffed up!

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They are definitely best if eaten warm! Store in an air tight container (if they happen to last that long)!

Makes 1 dozen. This is a very easily double-able recipe and is highly suggested!

Pocket Chicken and Potatoes With Green Beans

When it is in the 90s the last thing you want to do is turn the oven on in the house. Even with the AC on full blast the oven is a bad idea. But the taste of the grill isn’t always wanted every day of the week. Here is my way around both problems.

Ingredients-

4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breast

Salt

Pepper

Olive Oil

Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Parsley

1/2 cup onion

2 garlic cloves

Butter

Pakricka

1. Thaw chicken breasts.

2. Pull out 2 large pieces of foil and make the shape of a plus sign. Spray with non-stick spray and drizzle some olive oil to keep the meat from sticking.

3. Finely chop your onion and garlic, kind of mix them up in the same bowl

4. Place about a quarter of the onion and garlic on the top piece of foil

5. Season each chicken breast on underside and place on top of onion and garlic.

6. Season the top side of the chicken and spread the rest of the onion and garlic on top.

7. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil and add small pads of butter on top of each breast.

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8. Wrap the chicken up nice and tight!

DO NOT POKE HOLES! The whole point of this is to partially steam the chicken. It stays nice and moist this way.

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9. Turn the grill on High and place the pockets on the grill. Our grill at that point cooks at about 400.

10. Cook for 10 minutes, go out and turn the pocket. Cook for another 10 minutes.

11. Turn the grill down to Medium for 15-20 minutes.

12. You can pull them out just to add a few grill marks or remove them from the pocket and place on a plate to serve.

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Serve with fresh veggies!

I was super excited to make the potatoes! It finally gave me a chance to use the ones we dug out a few days ago!

Ingredients:

Potatoes

Olive Oil

Butter

Garlic

Rosemary

Onion

Parsely

1. If needed, cut potatoes. I used a lot of our smaller ones that only needed cut in half or not at all!

2. Lay out 2 piece of foil just like the chicken. Spray with non-stick spray

3. Add potatoes to the center

4. Drizzle with olive oil, seasonings and herbs

5. Top with a few pads of butter

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6. Wrap up nice and tight. DO NOT POKE HOLES!

Cook along side the chicken- see directions above and below

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7. Turn the grill on High and place the pockets on the grill. Our grill at that point cooks at about 400.

8. Cook for 10 minutes, go out and turn the chicken pocket, FLIP the potato pocket. Cook for another 10 minutes.

9. Turn the grill down to Medium for 15-20 minutes.

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And last, but not least, actually my favorite part- THE GREEN BEANS!

Tonight was our first night of having our green beans FRESH out of the garden! Absolutely, hands down, favorite and best thing about having the garden!!! Traipsing through the green bean forest is quite fun as well!

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Green Beans

Garlic Clove

1 Tablespoon Butter

Olive Oil

Minced Onion

1. Blanch/cook your green beans to desired level of crunch! We like ours a bit on the crispy side still!

2. While the beans are cooking, finely mince garlic and mince onion (or use the dried stuff)

3.. Drain water and put beans back into pot.

4. Add butter, a squirt of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon garlic, and 1/2 tablespoon of onion.

5. On medium-high heat melt the butter and keep everything moving as to not burn it.

6. Once the beans start to show signs of frying and the garlic and onion are thoroughly infused, remove from heat.

That is one yummy, fresh, flavorful summer dinner!

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Not Baked Zitti But Not Chicken Parm

I find that I come up with my best recipes when there is nothing in the house. Eric goes shopping about once a month, loads up like a crazy person and doesn’t have to see a grocery store for about 3 weeks. Which is awesome because we hate grocery shopping. It absolutely sucks when it’s the end of those 3 weeks and I am scraping food from the bottom of the barrel so to speak. The new running joke of course is that if worse comes to worse we can always eat the chickens. -_-

Ingredients:

3-5 boneless, skinless chicken breast

1/2 box elbow macaroni

2 jars of  homemade tomato sauce

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

1/2 grated Parmesan cheese

I finally finished my last two jars of sauce from last summer, JUST in time to prepare to make some more over the next few months.

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Usually when I am seasoning my sauce I throw in a crushed clove of garlic and about 2 tablespoons of minced onion. We were out of both so I used the good ole’ store bought dried stuff. I also threw in basil, oregano, and parsley, with the garlic powder and dried minced onion.

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Pre-heat the oven to 425

I keep the sauce on medium-low for about an hour. This helps thicken the homemade sauce and marries the yummy flavors in with the sauce.

I thawed and mostly cooked the chicken breast through before cutting it up into larger chunks with kitchen scissors.

I pre baked the elbow macaroni until they were aldente.

Put the chicken chunks, macaroni, and sauce in a large casserole dish. Cover with cheese and cook for 20-30 minutes. Everything is already cooked and hot. This is just to make sure the chicken is definitely cooked through and allows the sauce to cook into the noodles just a bit.  Of course the cheese needs time to get ooey and gooey.

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Not too bad for a “there’s literally nothing in the kitchen” dinner. Yes, this definitely makes a lot BUT it’s enough for Eric to take for lunch a few days and his roommate to stuff his face a few times as well. If the chicken is thawed, this takes 30 minutes of “hard-work” prep and another 30 letting the sauce simmer.  I asked Eric if this was worth making again even when we have food back in the kitchen and he gave me the thumbs up! 🙂 Obviously not baked ziti, or chicken parm but something almost akin to the two? Like a long lost distant cousin twice removed maybe?