This n' That Chicken Penne

I think for as long as I have been cooking I have been grabbing this n' that from the fridge or pantry at the last minute to add a burst of flavor. This recipe started with, "I have chicken and pasta" and ended with "HOLY CRAP THIS IS GOOD!! Brian hurry up and get home so I can eat this."

Garlic Chicken Penne

*2 chicken breast
*1 can of chicken broth (+1 can water)
*diced roasted red bell peppers
*lemon pepper
*red pepper flakes (optional - I like the kick)
*Penne pasta
*garlic swirls cream cheese (secret ingredient)
*sauteed mushrooms (I used baby bella but your choice)

1. Cook chicken, cut into 1" cubes & set aside.
2. Sautee garlic over low heat then add in other spices.
3. Turn heat to medium high, add chicken broth and noodles.
4. Add chicken back in and simmer until noodles are cooked to your liking.
5. Sautee mushrooms in separate pan. If you are adding the mushrooms to the entire dish (I left them separate due to picky persons in my household) then add the red peppers to the same pan. Sautee with a little butter/oil (I do both so the butter doesn't burn or oil smoke).
6. Add in cream cheese just before serving stirring to melt. Turn heat down to a simmer.

This was a simple pasta recipe that I decided I wanted a little extra flavor and creamyness to last minute. You could easily add other veggies to it to add crunch, texture and flavor.



Chicken OMG Pot Pie

There always seems to be that perfect day in Autumn where it requires you to make a pot pie and today was that day. I started off with a vague idea of veggies and cream of something soup but when I got to the store I said, "screw cream of something, I'm gonna put good things in there." Here's what resulted.

Chicken Pot Pie

*3 carrots chopped
*1 small head of broccoli cut small
*1 peeled and diced potato
*1/4 c-ish each corn and peas
*2 small diced chicken breast (1/2" cubes)
*Biscuits (your choice, I used jumbo flaky)
*1-2 cups milk
*cream cheese (1/2 block cubed)
*graded Gruyere
*love (secret ingredient)

1. Saute garlic in butter/oil over medium heat, add carrots and broccoli.
2. Stir in peas, corn, rosemary, salt, pepper and italian seasoning.
3. Add 1 tbl flour into veggies and stir to coat. Once the flour is absorbed add 1 c milk and bring to boil.
4. Add in cream cheese and stir to melt. Turn heat down to a simmer. If mixture is too thick add water as it will thicken when you put it in the oven.
5. Add diced chicken breast and potatoes into simmering mixture. Cook until chicken is cooked through.
6. Add Gruyere and transfer to baking dish, place biscuits on top and put into a 300-350 deg oven.

Bake until the biscuits are browned and the sauce is bubbly. I put a cookie sheet under the baking dish in case of overflow, and its easier to get it out of the oven.

Scoop and enjoy!


Summer in a pan

Summer always brings lots of fresh veggies and grilled yummies to mind. I usually buy a bunch of whatever is on sale for veggies, wash, cut and put in containers in the fridge. I had a BBQ birthday party that left me with an excess of bell peppers (red, orange and yellow), zucchini, yellow squash as well as some left over grilled chicken. My pantry is always stocked with a variety of pastas and canned tomatoes. I prefer fresh but a can of something can make dinner quick and easy.

Summer Pasta

*handful each of peppers, zucchini/squash
*1 can stewed tomatoes
*2 servings dry pasta
*1 grilled chicken breast

1. Heat olive oil in pan and add veggies. Add seasoning of choice (I used garlic salt, italian seasoning and lemon pepper) and saute for 1-2 minutes.
2. Add the can of stewed tomatoes plus one - two cans of water and simmer.
3. Once it comes to a boil add the pasta and cool until pasta is tender.
4. Dice chicken breast and toss into pasta. Cook until chicken is warm.
- If you do not have left over chicken you can put uncooked chicken breasts in when you add the tomatoes and simmer them in the sauce, flip over once then add the pasta. You may need more water or tomato sauce for this.



Caramel Banana French Toast

I finally made it to the store yesterday and got some organic bananas amongst other things. They sat quietly taunting me this morning. The idea started as banana pancakes but why go simple when you can go yummy. That and I always need to find some way to coax the boyfriend out of bed. Why to his heart is definitely his tummy.

French Toast

*Bread of your choice
*1/4 cup milk
*1 teaspoon vanilla
*2 eggs
-this is enough mix to make 4 pieces of FT

1. scramble all together and dip the bread.

Bananas in caramel sauce

*1/4 cup butter
*1/2 cup superfine sugar
*1/2 cup heavy cream (I used whole milk)
*2 bananas, sliced

1. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.
2. Stir in sugar and cook, stir constantly, until sugar is melted and light brown.
3. Slowly stir in the cream (it will get you). Boil 1 minute and reduce to low.
4. Place the bananas in pan and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve hot.

Note: The banana's degrade very fast in the hot caramel sauce, if you want them firm only cook for 1 minute and if you want a banana-y sauce let it cook longer. It does however break down the caramel and make the sauce a little grainy.

- I put the toast and caramel sauce in layers, so there was no need to syrup.



Grecian Tacos

Also known as Chicken Gyros (yee-roh). My boyfriend has taken to insisting they are called Grecian tacos so we will call them that for now. I switch up the ingredients per my mood. I tried the chicken marinated in balsamic this round which was good but too sweet for the recipe, so I left it out here and am giving you my usual method of madness.

Grecian Tacos

Mediterranean flat bread
spices (salt, pepper, italian seasoning, garlic)

tzatziki (yogurt sauce)
*1 cloves garlic finely chopped
*half seeded english cucumber grated
*1/2 tablespoon dill (fresh or dry)
*1/2 tablespoon mint
*healthy pinch of salt
*juice of 1 large/2 small lemon(s)
*1 cup yogurt (I use Mediterranean- it's THICK)
- mix all and set aside. I let it set over night so the garlic mellows.

chicken marinade
*juice of 1-2 lemons
*1 tablespoon italian seasoning
*1-3 cloves of garlic fine chopped
*pepper to taste
*dill (optional)
*drizzle with oil
- I put three small chicken breasts in a bowl with a lid, all the ingredients and shook the crud out of it then let it nap it off over night in the fridge.

1. Cook the chicken, cool and slice.
2. Chop tomatoes (and second half of seeded cucumber optionally)
3. I like to slightly grill the flat bread.
4. I put the tzatziki on one side with lettuce and tomatoes then chicken on the other so that it will fold nicely.
5. stick in face



Chicken Taco

Everyone always asks me to share my recipes but I have none to write down. So pardon me as I stumble through trying to document my yummy impromptu meals.

Quick meal for when you have no clue what to make.

Chicken Tacos

*3-5 cloves of garlic minced/chopped/smashed (however you do it)
*3 chicken breasts
*1 can of tomatoes
*cumin (as much as you like)
*pinch of salt
*few shakes of your fave hot sauce

1. Sautee garlic in oil on lower heat so not to burn, until it starts to soften.
2. Raise the heat to medium/med-high and add the tomatoes and spices.
3. Put chicken breast on top of the simmering tomatoes and cover with lid.
4. Cook through. You can wiggle the chicken into the tomatoes and add a half to full can/cup of water.
5. Let it simmer for 20 min or until chicken is cooked through.

Once the chicken is cooked through you can shred it with the back of a fork or wooden spoon in the pan or pull it out onto a plate. If you prefer a dryer chicken pull it out to shred it and add as much of the tomato sauce back into it as you like.

You can put this in a tortilla shell with some sweet peppers, cheese, lettuce and sour cream and its yummy... and very messy if you leave it in the pan.

You can also put it on a salad. I added some grilled corn I cut off the cob and made it into a salad with a dash of uncle dan's southern dressing. Super yum!


banana bread

I originally pirated this from All Recipes but I modified it a bit.

Banana Bread

* 1 cup butter
* 2 cups white sugar
* 6 very ripe bananas, mashed
* 3 eggs
* 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 tablespoon allspice


1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray 2 loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray. (I did some muffins and the rest in a flat cake pan)
2. Cream the butter and sugar until light. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
3. Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and allspice. Add in the butter mixture.
4. Thoroughly mash the dead bananas. Stir bananas into the batter then stir in the walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
5. Bake at 350 for 45 min to 1 hour (until a toothpick comes out clean). It can take up to 65 to 70 minutes to cook.

NOTE: The muffins I made were extra yummy. I had some whipped cream cheese that I put globs of in the middle. Put a little batter in the bottom of the muffin tin, a half tablespoon of cream cheese then fill the tin the rest of the way. I love my silicon pan. Just press on the outside and the muffins popped out. SOOOO GOOD!!! I can hardly wait for more bananas to deadify.