13 December 2011

Penne with Chicken & Asparagus

Courtesy of Teri Masello

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 bunch asparagus (about 1 1/4 lb), cut diagonally in 2-in. pieces
12 oz fully cooked chicken cut into bite size chucnks
3/4 tsp salt
1 lb whole grain penne pasta
1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup shredded carrots
1 can (141/2 oz) diced tomatoes (Drain juice into small bowl and add 1tsp cornstarch to thicken)
1 tbsp Mrs. Dash original seasoning
3/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

    1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil.

    2. Meanwhile heat 2 Tbsp oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus, chicken and 1/4 tsp salt. Cook, stirring often, 5 to 6 minutes until asparagus are crisp-tender. Remove to a plate.

    3. Stir pasta into boiling water; cook as package directs, stirring in peas for last 4 minutes of cooking time.

    4. Meanwhile add remaining 1 Tbsp oil, the onion and carrots to skillet. Sauté over medium heat 3 minutes or until onion softens. Add tomatoes & juice mixture, seasoning blend and remaining 1/2 tsp salt. Add 1/2 cup cooking water from pasta pot to skillet. Cover and simmer 8 minutes.

    5. Drain pasta. Add asparagus mixture and half-and-half to skillet. Simmer 2 minutes or until hot. Return pasta to pot. Add sauce and cheese; toss to mix.

Grilled Salmon

Courtesy of Travis Ransom

Summer time is upon us and for those who love grilling and seafood, I have the perfect recipe in mind for you.

Salmon Fillets
Dill Weed
Aluminum Foil

1. Cut out a piece of aluminum foil big enough to wrap the salmon fillets inside, place the fillets into the aluminum foil.

2. Dice up the onions to a desired length and place them around the fillets sort of like a wall.

3. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper, and a pinch of dill weed.

4. Next squeeze some lemon juice ontop before wrapping the tinfoil around them.

5. Put on top of the grill for about 15 minutes or until the center becomes a light pink color and the salmon should flake when you put a fork into it.

6. Enjoy

Spicy Salsa Mac & Beef

Courtesy of Danielle Hoffman-Puleo


1lb ground beef
1 can CONDENSED beef broth
1 1/3 cups water
2 cups uncooked medium shell or elbow macaroni
1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup
1 1/4 cup salsa (doesn't matter if it's mild,medium or hot)

1) Brown beef over medium high heat. Drain.

2) Add broth and water. Heat to boil. Stir in macaroni. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 10 minutes or until macaroni is done.

3) Stir in soup and salsa and heat through.

Sundried Tomato Chicken

Courtesy of Faith Utter

I love this recipe and it is super easy to make up in a pinch! A total favorite in my house!

  • Chicken ( You can either have it whole or sliced..really does matter, however it works for your family)
  • Sundried Tomato Dressing
  • Feta Cheese
  • One tomato diced

This pretty much explains it's self. Let the chicken marinade in the dressing for as long as you'd like. I've done it where I just coat it and put it in the oven 5 minutes later, still tastes great.

Cook the chicken until it is done, top with feta and tomato. (Feta and tomato are supposed to be cold)

This is served with brown rice and a veggie.

*Note* You can even BBQ the chicken with this dressing it is wonderful! A great summer-time meal!

My Mom's Pot Roast

Courtesy of Catherine Wiltsey (my Mom!)

You'll need what ever type of roast you usually use for a pot roast. My Mom always used a rump roast, but I'm finding that when it's going into a crock pot that the type of meat doesn't matter as much.

For the first part I do actually use my cast iron pot and a little bit of olive oil to sear all the sides of the roast. My Mom just left her pot roast to cook in the cast iron pot. I've just transferred everything to the crock pot.

Spray the inside of your crock pot with non-stick spray and put the roast in with the fat side up.


3 to 4 heaping teaspoons of beef bullion
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tbsp parsley
6 peppercorns
3 bay leaves

Pour all these ingredients over the top of the pot roast. You don't really need to do this, but that's the way I've always done it.

With most of the dry ingredients on top of the roast pour 1/3 cup of white vinegar over the top. The pour 3 to 4 cups of water over the top of that. There will probably still be a tiny bit of spices or bullion on the roast but that's okay.

Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. When it's done, remove from crock pot and let it sit while you do the gravy.

Use a slotted spoon (small holes) to strain out the peppercorns and bay leaves and transfer about 3 cups of stock to a medium sized pot. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring it to a boil. Take about 3 to 4 heaping teaspoons (actual spoons not measuring spoons) of corn starch and mix with about 1 1/2 cups of water. It should kinda look like skim milk.

Once the stock has boiled pour in 1/2 of the cornstarch/water mix. Don't stir right away ... let the stock start to boil again. Use a whisk to stir the gravy and you should start to see it thicken up.

We like our gravy very thick so I add the rest of the cornstarch/water mix and stir using the whisk again.

Slice your pot roast and you're done.

Grilled Mango Cilantro Lime Chicken

Courtesy of Teri Masello

Ok this is a recipe I came up with myself and LOVE! I try not to use any salt but this recipe definitely needs a bit to bring out the flavors even more. You will want to make this a few hours before you are ready.


8 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 1/4 cups olive oil
2 cups fresh cilantro
1 1/2 cups fresh Mango
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp fresh garlic
3 limes
1 tbsp lime zest

First clean the chicken and remove all the excess fat. Poke some holes into the top with a fork. Put in large baking dish.

In a small bowl add olive oil, salt and garlic. Finely chop cilantro (leaves only) and add in. Peel and cut Mango and puree the "Meat" of the fruit, add into the oil mixture. Cut the limes in half and squeeze the juice out into the oil mixture and add in zest. Pour mixture over chicken and cover with plastic wrap. Marinate in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Cook over medium high heat on the grill until juices run clear.

Cupcake Quiches

Courtesy of Melissa Dodge


8 oz breakfast sausage, no casing and crumbled into small pieces
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup shredded cheese of your choice
about 1 tsp pepper
5 eggs
3 egg whites
1 cup milk (1% works best)
a drizzle of olive oil

preheat oven to 325

grease/spray your nonstick muffin tin

get your large pan nice and hot over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook til golden brown. Move sausage to a bowl to cool. Add the oil to the pan then add mushrooms, stirring often til they golden up a bit. Throw the mushrooms in with the sausage and let cool. Stir in the cheese and pepper with the sausage.

Whisk up the eggs, egg whites, and milk in a mid-sized bowl. Divide the egg mixture among the muffin cups

Sprinkle heaping tablespoon of sausage mixture into each cup.

Bake til tops golden (25 minutes).

I let em cool a bit, then flip em out onto a rack to cool quicker.

Oh, and you can use foil muffin cup liners if you don't have a non-stick muffin pan.

Artichoke Pasta Sauce

This is my own varient where I use the slow cooker. It's SO tasty and easy and goes amazing with any kind of pasta.


3 14oz cans diced tomatoes (with or without basil, oregano, and garlic)
2 14oz cans artichoke hearts drained and quartered
4-6 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 cup whipping cream
Italian seasonings (basil, oregano, parsley ect) and salt and pepper to taste
a drizzle of olive oil

Add oil and garlic to the slow cooker (on high) and stir until heated. Add two cans of tomatoes (drained), the remaining can (undrained), the artichoke hearts, and the seasonings/ s+p.

Cover and cook on low (6-8 hrs) or high (3-4 hrs).

Stir in whipping cream and let heat through.

While it's heating, cook pasta, then dish up. It goes really well with a little parm on top! :)

Jello "Cheesecake" Pie

Courtesy of Melissa Dodge

I have several "odd" recipes in my head that I've lost the cards for ages ago.

This is one of my favorite desserts that I tweaked to make it simpler and tastier. I've always used Cherry flavored jello/filling... but you could easily change it around.


2 graham cracker pie crusts
2 c boiling water
2 boxes Jello (Fruit flavor to match the Pie Filling)
1 can pie filling
20 oz can crushed pineapple (with juices)
8 oz cream cheese
1 c sour cream
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Mix water, jello, pie filling, and pineapple together. Pour into pie crusts and let set a bit. Whip the cream cheese, adding in sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. Spoon and spread on pies.

Let set overnight (or 4-6 hrs) and voila!

There's usually enough left over filling to need a container and too little to make an extra pie.