Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Chicken Penne with Lemon Cream Sauce

Chicken Penne w/ Lemon Cream Sauce
submitted by Brooke B. Iverson
1 lb penne pasta
5 Tbls EVOO
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into small cubes
1 tsp basil
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp Oregano
Pinch of ground pepper, plus 1/4 tsp
Pinch of large ground salt
1 cup chicken broth (I use reduced sodium)
2 cups heavy cream
Zest of 1 lemon
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Juice of 2 lemons (I actually use 3 lemons b/c I LOVE the lemon flavor, but that is too much for most people)
Sprinkling of chopped fresh parsley

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook your pasta until tender but still firm. Drain.

While pasta is cooking, heat the EVOO in a large skillet over medium-high. Season your cubed chicken with the basil, Italian seasoning and oregano, as well as a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the chicken in the oil until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken and set aside, then drain any left over oil from the pan (do not clean out the pan, you want any little leftover bits). Add the chicken broth to the pan and cook over medium-high heat, scraping the brown bits off the bottom. Add the cream, lemon zest, and cayenne. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the pasta, chicken, pinch of salt and pepper, fresh lemon juice and the parsley. Stir to combine and coat pasta and chicken with the sauce and serve.

This meal is super fast to make so it is perfect for a busy week night, and it stores and reheats well. It is also mega easy, anybody can make it. Plus, of course, it is very yummy! Like I said, I like mucho lemon flavor so I use extra lemon juice and even extra lemon zest - it is a nice surprise when somebody bites into the dish and gets that fresh lemon kick. For some people, however, that is too much so if you are not a lemon-lover like I am, just stick with the above amounts, or even less lemon juice. Another tip for lemon-lovers, when you season the chicken sprinkle some lemon juice directly on that as well and let sit for about 20 minutes in the herbs and lemon juice. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Coconut Pecan Bars

I know that we have already put the recipe for these bars on our blog, but I had to post another picture just to show scrumptious they are!! They are so ooey gooey delicious and even if you don't like pecans or coconut - you will still love these bars! These are the hit of every party and I can't make them enough!!For recipe - see Jamie's previous posting. Be sure to refrigerate these and just before serving bring to room temperature. You will want these to set so best if made ahead of time.

Berry Spinach Salad

Jamie brought this delicious salad to a BBQ last with and loved it so much that I've made it twice this week for other BBQ's we've been to. The sweetness of the strawberries and candied walnuts and the sharpness of the feta cheese give this salad the most delicious flavor. And the best part is how fast and easy this is to make - thanks for the idea Jamie!
Berry Spinach Salad
Jamie Rice Recipe

1 bag spinach leaves
feta cheese
candied walnuts (chopped)
*To candy walnuts - equal part walnuts and sugar stirring constantly until sugar caramelizes and coats walnuts. Sugar will burn very fast so stir constantly and do not leave unattended.

Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas with Black Bean & Corn Salsa

Here is another chicken enchilada recipe that I think you might all enjoy and I promise these are not the only thing I make for dinner. I usually have the ingredients on hand so this become my go-to meal whenever I am in a hurry. The black bean salsa is so fresh and flavorful and is a perfect BBQ side dish. Enjoy!
Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas:
submitted by: Liz Harrison
2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts (cooked and shredded)
1 pkg. cream cheese (I use the 1/3 less fat)
1 jar salsa
1 can mild green enchilada sauce
monterey or colby jack cheese
cilantro & lime for garnishing
*Once your chicken is cooked and shredded, add the room temp. cream cheese and salsa to a large bowl and mix together. Assemble as usual - tortilla, chicken mixture, cheese, and roll up. Once all enchiladas are made, pour the green enchilada sauce over top and finish with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for 30 minutes. (The honey lime cream enchilada sauce would be yummy on these as well.)
*These are very kid friendly, so if you want to spice it up a bit add a little chili powder and cumin to chicken.
Black Bean and Corn Salsa:
Adapted from: Ivory Favorites
1 15oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
8 oz. frozen corn
1/2 - 1 cup chopped ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 T. chopped green onions
2 T. chopped red onions
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 T. oil
1 tsp. ground cumin
salt and pepper
avocado (to your liking)
Combine ingredients in a large bowl and allow to chill at least 2 hrs. or overnight. Just before serving add in avocado and a little extra lime juice. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Asparagus with citrus dressing

1 bunch of asparagus (ends trimmed)
cherry or grape tomatoes (I'm not a huge tomato fan so I don't add too many. You can add as many as you would like)
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon orange juice
1 Tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 bunch of watercress (remove stems)

Toss asparagus and tomatoes with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes or until asparagus is tender and tomatoes are slightly crinkled. Mix lemon juice, orange juice, honey, mustard, and a pinch of salt in a bowl and divide the dressing in half. Coat the watercress with half of the dressing and spread out on a plate. Add the asparagus and tomatoes on top of the watercress and then drizzle the rest of the dressing on top of the vegetables.

Summer Veggies

1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 Tablespoon oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
1/2 cup white cooking wine
1 pound green beans (ends trimmed)
1 medium summer squash (you can use zucchini if you would like)
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in skillet and add onion and oregano and cook until soft and starting to brown (about 2 minutes). Add wine and bring to a boil. Add green beans, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Add summer squash and tomatoes and continue to cook until vegetables are tender (about 8-10 minutes more). Season with salt and pepper. It is also really good topped off with shredded parmesan cheese.

Monday, June 8, 2009


I love a good panini and would much prefer making my own, so that I can add any type of fresh ingredient I want. I just bought a new a panini press and thought I'd try it out last night - these turned out so yummy!! Usually the best kind of bread to use is an artisan type bread with a hard crust and soft chewy inside. I like either ciabatta rolls or rosemary and olive oil loaf from Costco. And of course fresh mozzarella is always the best. Be sure to brush top and bottom of bread with olive oil before pressing. Brush inside of roll with pesto sauce and fill with whatever fresh ingredients you want. Heat in a panini press or a George Foreman grill would even work to, until sandwich is golden brown flat and cheese has melted. Enjoy!
submitted by Liz Harrison
Ciabatta Roll
Pesto Sauce
Chicken or Portabella Mushroom
Bell Peppers
Sun-dried tomatoes
Fresh Mozzarella

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sweetened Condensed Angel Food Cake

I am typically not a strawberry shortcake lover, but this is one version that I cannot resist. Loaded with strawberries, homemade angel food cake, and sweetened condensed milk, what is not to love. Perfect for summer BBQ's.
Sweetened Condensed Angel Food Cake:
submitted by Liz Harrison
Angel Food Cake:
2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cup cake flour(not self-rising)
1 1/2 cup egg whites (10-12 eggs)
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla
*Combine 1/2 cup sugar with flour and sift - set aside. In mixer beat egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar on high until medium firm peaks form. On medium speed, add the remaining 1 1/2 c. sugar and vanilla and continue to wisk until batter becomes thick and shiny. Slowly fold the flour mixture over the batter until well incorporated. (fold only about 1/4 c. flour at a time) Pour into a greased and floured angel food cake pan or bundt pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
Sweetened Condensed Filling:
1 can sweetened condensed milk(can use low fat)
1 container cool whip(medium size and can use low fat)
strawberries (as many as you like - sliced) I LOAD mine.
*Once angel food cake has cooled and placed onto your serving dish, combine the above ingredients and pour some of the mixture into the middle of the cake - this will make frosting the top of your cake easier so there is not a hole in the middle of the cake. You should have quite a bit of cream sauce left to spoon over each individual slice when serving. Using another (medium size) container of cool whip, frost the entire cake and top with sliced strawberries.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Homemade Pizza

We love to have pizza night at our house because everyone can decide exactly what kind they want to make. Our two favorites are always cheese and chicken pesto. We like to use fresh mozzarella (Costco is cheapest) and of course lots of Parmesan! You can either buy a store bought marinara sauce & pesto sauce or make your own. There really is no recipe to making pizza other than add whatever you think would be yummy. The chicken pesto shown has pesto, chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, and bell peppers. Enjoy!
submitted by Liz Harrison
Pizza Crust:
1 T. instant yeast
1 T. sugar
1 Cup warm water
Dissolve these together and add the following,
1 tsp. salt
2 T. oil
3 Cups flour(may need to add more)
*Mix and knead ingredients together in a large bowl, cover, and let rise. Once doubled in size, dough is ready to be made into pizzas. We like thin crust so roll out a small amount of dough onto a pizza stone that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. Brush olive oil onto the top of dough and bake at 450 degrees for just a few minutes - golden brown. Take out of oven and make your pizza as normal - sauce, cheese, toppings, Parmesan. Bake another few minutes until cheese is completely melted.
Pizza Sauce:
Garlic & Olive Oil (saute together)
1 can crushed tomatoes
2 - 3 T Tomato Paste
Pinch of Sugar
Salt & Pepper
(I don't have specific measurements for this recipe because I just eyeball everything until I get the texture and taste that I like so this is ALL approximate.)

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

These are such a nice change from your typical "cream of" enchilada recipe and I promise you won't be disappointed! I have made these dozens of times for different groups of people and have yet to find someone who doesn't love them. Enjoy!

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas:
submitted by Liz Harrison
1/3 cup honey

1/4 cup lime juice(freshly squeezed)

1 tsp. chili powder (can spice up more if you like)

1 tsp. cumin (can spice up more if you like)

garlic clove minced

1 14oz can green enchilada sauce

1/2 cup cream

2 chicken breasts(cooked and shredded)

cheese (I like monterey or colby jack)

cilantro - for looks and garnish

*Combine in a bowl honey, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, and garlic. Add the shredded chicken and marinate (the longer the better). Mix in another bowl the green enchilada sauce and cream - set aside. In a 9x13 dish add a little of the cream sauce to bottom of dish before assembling so the enchiladas won't stick to pan. Roll as normal - tortilla, chicken mixture, cheese. Once all enchiladas are rolled, pour the remaining honey lime sauce from the chicken mixture and add it to the cream/enchilada sauce and pour over the top of enchiladas. Sprinkle(load) the top with cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Coconut Pecan Bars

Recipe for Coconut Peacn Bars:
(From Jill Lewis)

1/2 lb. butter
2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn starch
1/4 tsp. salt
Work together until mixed well then put in greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake 15 minutes @ 350'.

4 eggs
2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 cups chopped pecans
1 Tb. flour
2 tsp. vanilla
1 pkg. coconut
Pour filling over baked crust and bake 15 minutes @350' and 5 minutes @ 350'.

1 cube softened butter
1 *oz. pkg. cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Frost bars after they are completely cool.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fresh Baked Bread

Recipe for Fresh Baked Bread:
Put 4 cups warm water in mixer
Add 2 cups ground wheat
Add 3/4 cup sugar
Add 2 1/2 Tbsp. yeast
Mix and let set until bubbles (2-3 min.)
Add 1 large Tbsp. salt
Mix for 2-3 more minutes
Add 2 or 3 more cups wheat flour
Add 3/4 cup oil - put 1 cup flour over oil
Add 4 Tbsp. of gluten (level) and beat 2-3 more minutes
Add more flour to make a stiff dough (pulls away from sides)
Put in a flowered cookie sheet and let it raise for 1 hour
After an hour, cut into 4 even pieces (loaves)
Shape loaves and put in bread pans and let raise 1 more hour
Heath oven to 350 - turn down to 340 and put loaves in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Recipe for Blueberry Coffee Cake:
Grease 9x13 pan
Start with 2 packages blueberry muffin mix
Rinse and drain blueberries and set aside
Prepare mixes according to box directions (but do NOT add blueberries)
Streusel: 1 stick butter (melted), 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup oatmeal, 2 Tbsp. flour, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (if it feels too wet, add another 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup oats.
Layer: 1/2 batter
1/2 blueberries
1/2 streusel
1/2 cup pecans
Repat 4 layers
Bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes

Lemon Salmon

Recipe for Lemon Salmon:
Wrap salmon in tinfoil with lemon slices, a couple tsp. of butter and blackened seasoning - I use the seasoning from Cabella's (on both sides of fish). Cook (on BBQ) and enjoy! Thanks to my neighbor Lisa for this recipe - it is one of our favorites!

Thai Chicken Pasta

Recipe for Thai Chicken Pasta:
1 c. oriental dressing
1 lb. chopped chicken (raw)
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
2 Tbsp. honey
1-4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
8 oz. thin spaghetti, cooked
3/4 cup shredded or julienne carrots
3/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Pour 1/3 cup of dressing over the chicken and marinate for at least an hour in refrigerator. Mix remaining 2/3 cup dressing, peanut butter, honey and red pepper; set aside. Cook chicken in a large skillet until cooked through. Mix chicken, spaghetti, carrots, onions and cilantro in large bowl. add peanut butter mixture and toss to coat. Serve warm and immediately.

Pretzel Peanut Bark

Recipe for Pretzel Peanut Bark:
(From Paula Deen)
18 (1-ounce) squares white chocolate
3 cups skinny pretzel sticks, broken into small pieces but not crushed, then measured
2 cups dry salted peanuts
Line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment or waxed paper.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water until smooth, or melt in the microwave in a 2 quart glass dish. Microwave on high (100 percent) for 1 minute, stir, and microwave on high for 1 minute more. If necessary, microwave on high for 10 seconds more, and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in the pretzel pieces and peanuts. Stir well with a flexible spatula. Spoon onto the prepared cookie sheet, spreading the mixture out so that ingredients are relatively evenly distributed. Allow for the chocolate to cool for several hours or refrigerate for about 45 minutes, until firm. Break the bark into irregular pieces, like peanut brittle. Store in cookie tins, or package in Chinese food take-out cartoons lined with waxed paper.