Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Chicken Milanese with a Lemon Butter Sauce

Every now and then I stumble across a recipe that needs to be made immediately. I don't wait a week, a month, and sometimes not even a day. This recipe was an example of one of the times when I saw a recipe and made it within 48 hours. My sister was over for dinner that night and all of us loved it. I was a huge fan of the sauce and was sopping it up with my potatoes and green beans. This dinner was so easy to make but the flavor was perfection!

Source: Slightly adapted from So Tasty, So Yummy

3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
1 shallot, minced
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup sherry wine
½ cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
¼ cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1 pound chicken breasts
Vegetable oil, for frying

1- In a small sauce pan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. 
2- Add the cream, wine and broth; bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. 
3- Stir in the lemon juice; salt and pepper to taste.
4- In a shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs, panko, Parmesan and thyme. In another shallow bowl, whisk the egg and water. 
5- Dredge each chicken piece in the egg, then bread crumb mixture. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Heat ¼" oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
6- Fry the chicken breasts cooked through, about 3 minutes a side. Serve topped with the lemon butter sauce.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Baked Fettucini Alfredo

I don't know if it's pregnancy brain, mommy brain, tired teacher brain, or a combo of the three, but I thought I shared this recipe with you already. I was going through my archives looking for it and didn't see it and almost fell off my chair. Because this, this recipe right here, is heavenly. Just look at that picture- the creamy sauce clinging to the delicately thick pasta. Ummmm... heaven. I don't know how I forgot it but here goes. I love that this cooks in the oven so I don't need to boil pasta in one pot, make sauce in another, etc. The lazy side of me was excited, as was the foodie side that enjoys a delicious home cooked meal. The process is easy but not quick- you are up and down stirring, but the oven does the work.  John and I loved it, Landon wouldn't try it (which is his usual response to pasta), and I call it a success.

Source: Slightly adapted from The Way to His Heart


1 lb dry fettuccine, snapped in half
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
Zest from 1 lemon
Juice from 1 lemon
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups half and half
2 cups grated pecorino romano, plus an additional 1/3 cup, seperated
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tbsp dried parsley

1- Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
2- Combine the pasta and then next 6 ingredients up to salt in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Cover with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover dish and stir the pasta with a fork, cover and bake for another 20 minutes.
3- While the pasta is cooking, in a small bowl stir together the 1/3 cup cheese, bread crumbs, and parsley. Set aside.
4- Stir in the half and half, 2 cups cheese, and pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
5- Remove the foil, stir the casserole and sprinkle the cheese mixture you made for the topping over the top of the casserole. Bake, uncovered for 10 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies

I make no secret about the fact that nothing, and I repeat, nothing, compares to my love for my cake batter cookies. Since discovering them 3+ years ago they are pretty much the only cookies I make. However a few weeks ago, mid-snow storm, a craving for cookies hit and I just needed them. I remembered this recipe from Cassie's blog and decided to try them.

Well, delicious. Of course. As everything from Cassie's blog goes, I loved them. Will they replace my cake batter ones? No, but they are a good alternative. They are so soft and vanilla-y. Yum! I was out of chips (eeeek!) so I chopped up some chocolate to make the mix needed for these and the bigger chunks were kind of nice in here. I'd definitely make these again!

Source: Cassie Craves

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3.4 oz. package vanilla instant pudding mix
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat and set aside.

2. Using a mixer, beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add in pudding mix, eggs, and vanilla extract. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

3. Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until slight golden and set. Remove cookies from oven and let cool on baking sheet for two minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Chicken Alfredo French Bread Pizzas

Growing up we had two kitchens in my house- one upstairs and one downstairs. From a very early age I took eating very seriously and had certain foods I just did not want to share. When one of those came into the house I would hide it in the downstairs freezer with hopes that nobody would notice. Stouffer's used to make these 4 cheese white french bread pizzas that I LOVED (and religiously hid downstairs). I tried looking for them recently and couldn't find them anywhere. I decided to make my own and, well, like anything, homemade trumps. These pizzas were totally delicious. John and I were huge fans. The creamy sauce went so well with the tomato and basil. The crisp bread was perfect. I love pizza in all forms but french bread will always be tops for me!

Source: Stephanie Cooks Original

1 loaf of french bread, cut in half lengthwise
Alfredo sauce (homemade or jarred)
1 cooked chicken breast, diced
1 large tomato, chopped
1 cup mozzarella cheese
5 basil leaves, torn or roughly chopped

1- Preheat the oven, preferably with a pizza stone, to 425.
2- Cover the bread with a layer of alfredo sauce. Top with diced tomatoes and chicken.
3- Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over top.
4- Bake on the pizza stone until the cheese is melted, about 10-12 minutes.
5- Remove and top with basil. Using a sharp knife cut the pizza into individual servings and serve hot.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Weeknight Tomato Balsamic Spaghetti

I've been going through spurts with my cooking lately. Some weeks I'm full of energy and whipping up meals, bothering to set up my lighting so I can take a decent picture, and enjoying myself in the kitchen. Other weeks I'm exhausted from being (almost) halfway through my pregnancy, parenting a 3 year old, and teaching 5th graders. Those weeks I rely on meals that "cook themselves" and this is one of them. As you can see I didn't even bother to set up my lighting- hence the picture being pretty meh... I literally held my bowl in one hand, snapped a picture with the other, then sat on the couch and ate this. So.. yeah. Some weeks are rough.

This pasta is so amazingly easy to make. The end result is very flavorful but the effort going in is minimal. John and I both loved this. I loved it so much I'm making it again this week. The week may not have even begun, but I can already tell it's going to be a barely-cooking week.

Source: Stephanie Cooks Original

1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 tsp olive oil
Garlic salt
3 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup light cream
1/2 pound spaghetti, cooked

1- Preheat the oven to 400.
2- In a small oven safe baking dish toss the tomatoes with the oil. Season with garlic salt and pepper.
3- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tomatoes start to burst apart.
4- Carefully mash the tomatoes, breaking them apart and releasing their juices. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir well. Transfer the mixture to skillet.
5- Over low heat combine the tomato mixture with the cream. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
6- Add the cooked spaghetti, stir well. Allow to cook over low heat 2 minutes until the sauce coats the pasta.
7- Top with dried parsley and parmesan, if desired.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup (Panera Copy-Cat recipe)

The past two winters were so snowy that I almost feel like this is the winter that didn't happen. We've had one major snow storm and that's about it where I live. I'm not really complaining about this, but I do enjoy a good snow day as much as the next guy! A couple weeks ago we had our one and only snow storm and I decided to make tomato soup and grilled cheese for lunch. Enter this soup.

This soup was delicious. It was creamy and rich (as it should be with the insane amount of cream in it) but it was also full of flavor. The recipe made a ton so I gave some to my neighbor, froze some, and we are some. I can't wait to defrost the other batch. This is my new staple recipe for tomato soup.

Source: Slightly adapted from  The Pinning Mama

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tbsp crushed garlic
1 14 oz can chicken broth {or 2 cups}
2 Tbsp sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
15-20 Basil leaves, chopped

1- Combine the tomatoes, broth, and garlic bring to a boil and let boil for 10 minutes.
2- Reduce the heat to low and stir in the sugar and butter and mix until they are dissolved, melted and well combined.
3- Very slowly pour in the heavy cream while simultaneously stirring until all the cream is combined and the soup is creamy. If you don't do it slowly it won't create the thick/creamy texture.
4- Stir in the basil. Let simmer on low for about 20 minutes.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Crunchy Honey BBQ Shrimp

I'm the first to admit that I'm not above shortcuts in the kitchen. I love to cook but I hate dirtying 5,000 dishes so I often use shortcuts that allow me to take the semi-homemade approach to cooking. To some that makes me a bad food blogger, but to this working mom it makes me a genius.

Landon is a huge fan of shrimp. He will eat them just about anyway he's presented with them, but he definitely loves them breaded. One day at Costco I bought a two pound box of Seapak frozen breaded shrimp and it has been residing in my freezer ever since. I've been desperate to clear out some stuff in my freezer so I decided to whip up a "glaze"of a sauce for the shrimp and all I can say is YUM. This was a total winner in our house! Considering I still have a ton of these shrimp in the freezer I am sure I'll be making them again. Soon.

Source: Stephanie Cooks Original

3/4-1 pound breaded shrimp (homemade or frozen- your choice)
4 tbsp honey
4 tbsp BBQ sauce
Sesame seeds
Dried parsley

1- Cook the shrimp until they are almost done. Remove them from the oven.
2- In a small bowl combine the honey and BBQ sauce.
3- Using a brush, brush the sauce onto the shrimp. Return to the oven for 2 minutes.
4- Remove from the oven again, flipping the shrimp and brushing the sauce on the other side. Return to the oven for 2 minutes.
5- Sprinkle with parsley and sesame seeds. Serve hot.