Monday, October 23, 2017

Another Great Chicken Dish

 This is SO GOOD!!! I kept trying to make it, but the weekend got a little busy.  What am I saying?  The entire week was CRAZY!  This was easy enough to make on a work night.  Plus, I love that there's enough left over for lunch.  You actually have enough of the stuffing to use in 4 chicken breasts.  I just used the leftover stuffing to pour over the top.

Spinach Stuffed Chicken

2 tsp olive oil
2 cups spinach
1 pkg. sliced mushrooms
½ cup Ricotta Cheese
3 chicken breasts
3 string cheeses
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a pan over medium heat, add the oil and cook the spinach and mushrooms in it for 3 to 5 minutes, until the spinach is wilted.  Stir in the ricotta and cook for another minute. Remove from heat.  Cut slits into the chicken breasts, about 1/3 inches apart and 3/4 of the way through the chicken. Try not to cut all the way through the chicken.  Stuff all of the spinach and ricotta mixture into the slits.  Pour remaining spinach mixture on top of the chicken.  Slice the string cheese into strips and lay on top of the chicken.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake in
the oven for 25 minutes.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

This Goes Well With Ravioli

This recipe is easy!  It would make a great appetizer, but it also goes really well with the butternut ravioli recipe I just posted.

Ricotta Bruschetta

1 loaf of French bread or a baguette, sliced
1/4 cup olive oil 
1 cup of onion-garlic Ragu spaghetti sauce
1 cup of ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper 

Cut the bread into 1/2" thick slices.  Brush each side with olive oil and place on a baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes, turn over, and bake for 5 more minutes.  In a microwaveable bowl, combine sauce, cheese, salt, and pepper.  Mix well.  Cover and place in a microwave for 1 minute.  Stir and heat for 30 second increments until hot.  Top each bread slice with the mixture and serve.

A New Twist for Ravioli

If you have been following me for any length of time, you'll know that 98% of my recipes are quick and easy.  This one falls into the other 2%.  The only reason I made this recipe is because this is Labor Day weekend so I have more time for this kind of recipe.  It's also the first time I have gone to the grocery store in about 2 weeks and I was able to pick up all the ingredients! It's not a difficult recipe, but it is a little time consuming. I bought a 25 oz. bag of ravioli and used half of it because I couldn't find a small bag.  I hope you enjoy it!

Butternut-Squash Ravioli

2 shallots, finely chopped
1 Tb. minced garlic
1/2 lb. ground beef or mild sausage
3 cups chicken broth
1 small bag of frozen ravioli (cheese or meat) 
1 butternut squash (pre-cook)
2 Tb. butter
3 cups of fresh spinach
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese 

Before you begin this recipe, you'll need to bake a butternut squash in the oven scrape the squash out of the skin.  Combine shallots, garlic, and meat in a large pot.  Brown completely.  Remove from pot and place in a mini food processor.  Chop until well blended and fine.  Pour in chicken broth in the pot and bring to a boil.  Add in ravioli and cook for 6-7 minutes.  Add in butternut squash and cook for 6-7 more minutes until liquid is absorbed.  Reduce heat to a simmer and add in meat mixture, butter, and spinach.  Let cook for another 5 minutes.  Stir in cheese and serve.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Best Meal of the Week

It's about to start again, but this time 1,100 kids will be involved.  Last week I returned to work to prepare for a new school year.  Tomorrow I return and so do the kids.  I have made out my menu for the week and tonight we are having a meal that takes more time to prepare because the rest of the week will be easy meals.  Yes, it will be the best meal of the week.  Tonight we are having oven fried pork chops, real mashed potatoes, and green beans.  Kroger has their pork loins on sale so I had them cut one into thick chops.  Here's a tip!  If you buy them already cut and packaged, they run about $3.99 or more a pound.  When you find pork loins on sale, they don't charge you to cut them up into chops and, in this case, they were $1.77 a pound.  Good deal!

Oven Fried Pork Chops

Boneless pork chops 
Flour (I used Gluten Free)
1 egg 
salt and pepper, to taste

Mix the egg and milk together until well blended.  Mix flour salt and pepper together in a plastic bag.  Dip the pork chops in the egg mixture, then roll it in the flour.  Do this again, but after you flour it this time, dip it in the egg mixture again.  Place the chops on a pan and cook at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.  Turn them over and cook for another 15 minutes.  They will come out crispy brown!  Don't you wish you had been here for dinner?

Saturday, August 5, 2017

It's Been a Rough Week

 I had to return to week Monday.  Thank goodness I had leftovers in the refrigerator.  Thursday night I came home and was exhausted.  Hubby looked at me and said, "I don't think you need to cook dinner."  I was so tired, my entire body was hurting.  I went upstairs and soaked in the bath tub with Epsom salts and essential oils (Lavender, Bergamot, and Grapefruit).  I felt so much better afterwards.  Hubby even rubbed my feet with Deep Blue.  (I think I'll keep him.)  I came home Friday much better than I did Thursday.  I felt so much better, I actually cooked dinner!  I had some left over ham in the refrigerator and decided to use it to make soup.  It was really good.  I hope you like it as much as we did.  We had so much leftover, we'll be having it for dinner again Monday and I'll probably have it for lunch Tuesday.  :)

Ham and White Bean Soup

2 cups ham
1/4 cup butter
2 can White Northern beans 
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
32 oz chicken broth
4 stalks of celery
1/2 package match stick carrots
1 medium onion
Pepper to taste

Place the butter in a pot.  I chopped up the carrots, celery, onion in my mini food processor and then added it in the pot with the butter and sauteed until soft.  Add in the cream soups and beans.  Don't drain the beans.  Add in the chicken broth and stir until it's smooth and creamy.  I put the ham in the food processor too and chopped it up.  I had bought a small  ham and used the leftovers in the soup.  Sprinkle in pepper to taste.  Simmer on low for about 45 minutes.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Seafood Bisque

I usually have a story to go along with the recipes I post.  Not today.  I found a recipe online and changed it .  Why did I change it?  I went to the store and couldn't find all the ingredients or they were super expensive.  Who knew crab meat would be $27 a can!  So this soup has no crab meat.  I substituted scallops instead.  Then when I got home, I thought I had a couple of things and didn't so I substituted.  Bottom line is the soup tasted great!  I had 2 bowls!

Seafood Bisque 

3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup chopped green onion
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour or Gluten free flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 can diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup heavy whipping cream
8 -16 oz. frozen scallops (the small ones)
8 – 12 ounces small salad size frozen shrimp
2 tablespoons dry chicken bouillon

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat; add the chopped green onion. Sauté until tender.  Add in the flour until blended. Stir in the milk and continue cooking and stirring until thickened.  Add the pepper, tomatoes, and heavy cream.  Put the soup in a blender or food processor then return it to the saucepan.  Stir in the scallops and shrimp. Bring to a simmer and serve.

Some of you might like to add a spoonful of sour cream.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Grands Are Here!!!

This week is known as Grandma Camp!!!  The Grands, 2 boys and 1 girl, come to spend a week with me during the summer.  It gives Mom and Dad a chance to get away, relax, and clear their mind a bit.  So far, we have been swimming, baked banana bread muffins, had pizza and ice cream, water balloon fights (one of their favorite activities), and gone to visit family so they can see the kids.  Tomorrow we head to Athens to do a few fun things down there.  The oldest boy told me he wants to learn to sew, so we have a project in mind to introduce him to the art.  I always plan so many things to do and plan it out so we can get it all in before they have to head home, but it never fails that I can't seem to fit it all in!  (Getting 3 kids ready and in the car is a feat all in itself.)  I usually need two extra days!  I wish they didn't live so far away.  😕

As I mentioned, we made banana bread muffins.  I have been so busy I haven't had a chance to eat one, but the kids each ate 2 and so did the hubby.  We even took some to Great Grandma this afternoon!  The kids and hubby all gave their seal of approval.  I'll have a couple for breakfast in the morning.  I'm sure the kids will as well.  That will be an easy breakfast!  

So now I have to figure out a way to cram 4 days of activities into two!   This might be challenging!

Cream Cheese Banana Bread

·         3/4 cup butter, softened
·         1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
·         2 cups sugar
·         2 large eggs
·         3 cups all-purpose flour (I used Gluten Free flour)
·         1/2 teaspoon baking powder
·         1/2 teaspoon baking soda
·         1/2 teaspoon salt
·         1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)
·         1 cup chopped pecans, optional
·         1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         1 cup Chocolate chips, optional

Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time.  Combine flour baking powder, and baking soda.  Gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in bananas, pecans, chocolate chips, and vanilla. Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 8- x 4-inch loaf pans.  Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and sides pull away from pan.  You may need to shield the pans with aluminum foil last 15 minutes to prevent over browning.  Cool bread in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool 30 minutes before slicing.

Cream Cheese-Banana-Nut Muffins: To bake muffins, spoon batter evenly into 28 paper-lined muffin cups. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely. Makes 28 muffins.