Happy Halloween!!! This is the first Halloween that NJ has celebrated in two years. Two years ago we had a freak snow storm that prevented trick-or-treating and killed the power in many areas, and last year we had Hurricane Sandy which destroyed NJ and left my house without power for 11 days. Needless to say kids all around NJ are thrilled. This will be Landon's first year trick-or-treating and I'm so excited to take him to a few neighbors' houses. But while I'm out with my favorite boy, you can read through the yumminess that was October in our house.
Chicken parm pasta has quickly become a staple in our house. Every time I make it I am so excited for dinner. It's so easy since I always use frozen chicken tenders and jarred sauce. It's my classic "I don't want to cook but should" dinner. Landon loves it too, so naturally it's made somewhat often.
This past month I revived an old classic- parmesean orzo. I haven't made this in so long and I used to make it almost monthly. I was stuck on a side dish for a chicken recipe I was making when this popped in my head and I knew I needed it. I didn't have the garlic chicken broth and it just wasn't the same. It was good, but I swear this recipe is best with the garlic and herb chicken broth!
Another side dish I remade was creamy noodles. This is one of my favorites because it's full of flavor and comfort with the creamy sauce, however it's really not fattening and is relatively healthy considering it's such a rich and delicious side dish. I served it with grilled ham steaks and it was perfect.
To prove we eat something other than pasta now and then I also made John's absolute favorite- chicken and mushroom pot pie. This time I didn't use mushrooms because I was out of them and it was still delicious. Landon refused to try it which stinks since he loved it so much last time, but John and I were happy to eat the leftovers for him.
After making the pot pie, John's favorite meal of all time, I decided to make a lasagna since that's my favorite. I went with crockpot spinach lasagna for the ease of having it ready when I got home from work with Landon so he can eat quickly. The little bug was a fan, although not as much as the first time when he ate HALF A LASAGNA in one night.
After we went apple picking earlier this month I made a batch of my crockpot applesauce. I used whatever random apples I had and it was delicious. I think the key to this recipe is using a variety of apples, not just the same kind for the whole recipe. It provides a depth of flavor and a contrast that can't be achieved with only one type of apple. We all loved it, especially Landon!
For an easy dinner I made baked vodkafredo using Trader Joe's vodka sauce and a jar of alfredo sauce I had. I decided to use tortellini this time and only used parmesan cheese instead of mozzarella and it was DELICIOUS. Way better than the original.
Crockpot rustic chicken is something I make somewhat frequently in the fall and winter. I know there's nothing overtly wintery about this recipe but for me it's a very comforting meal and something I tend to crave once it's colder out. Landon enjoyed the chicken but of course snubbed all the veggies. What can you do...
Another chicken dish that Landon loved was island chicken. This was probably his favorite meal this month. He eats at 4:30 and John and I don't eat until 7:30 when John gets home from work so typically Landon eats our leftovers from the previous night. I used chicken tenders instead of breasts and there was only one tender left and Landon kept going "More ch-i-ten! More ch-i-ten!" and wasn't thrilled there wasn't more. This will definitely be made again for the little man.
One night recently I made a very simple meat/veggie type dinner and knew John would want a carb, so I made a quick batch of Italian crescents. I had one and John managed to eat the remaining 7. Needless to say these are always a hit in this house.
Confession: I make pierogies a lot. Like, a lot. It's a joke with my sister because every time she calls and asks what I'm cooking it's pierogies. If you read my blog it's clear I cook other foods, but for some reason I can't resist pierogies. I usually toast them up in a pan with butter and top them with parmesan cheese and serve with a salad. However every now and then I just need this bacon pierogie bake. It's amazing every time I make it. YUM.
Last but not least, I made chicken cacciatore when I found myself with a surplus of bell peppers. I made a ton of it this time so we both had it for dinner and lunch the following day and there was still enough left that Landon had it for a couple meals. It's a family favorite!
So in summary, in October John and I ate a TON of pasta. Yup... sounds about right...