Friday, October 30, 2009

Chicken Spaghetti

This recipe is courtesy of the Pioneer woman (see link to her page on the left). I omitted the green pepper, onion, and pimentos (John & aren't fans), but others may enjoy them. Anyways, it turned out pretty good:


· 2 cups cooked chicken

· 2 cans cream of mushroom soup

· 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

· ¼ cup finely diced green pepper

· ½ cup finely diced onion

· 1 4oz jar diced pimentos, drained

· 2 cups chicken broth

· spaghetti

· 2 additional cups chicken broth

· 1 tsp Lawry’s seasoned salt

· 1/8 to ¼ tsp Cayenne pepper

· salt & pepper to taste

· 1 additional cup shredded cheddar cheese


1. Preheat oven to 350o

2. Break spaghetti up into two inch pieces (ends up being around 3 cups dried)

3. Cook spaghetti in 2 cups chicken broth till al dente

4. Once spaghetti is cooked and drained, mix it with all other ingredients (except additional 1 cup cheddar)

5. Place in casserole pan and top with remaining cheddar

6. Cover and

i. Freeze up to six months

ii. Refrigerate up to 2 days

iii. Bake immediately -->

7. Bake at 350o for 45 minutes till bubbly

Macaroni Cheese Pie

I got this recipe from John's mom, Patti, who got it from her mom (his grandma June). John had mentioned several times how good it was, so I thought I'd ask Patti for it. She confirmed it was indeed a family favorite, and passed along the recipe. I made it the other night--both John and I liked it. I shared some of the left overs with Katharine, who also really liked it.

Macaroni Cheese Pie


· 1 cup Macaroni

· ½ tsp salt

· 1 tbsp butter, melted

· 1 egg, beaten

· 1 tsp salt

· 1 tsp dry mustard

· 2 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese

· 1 cup velveeta, cubed

· 1 cup milk

· Ritz crackers, crushed


1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.

2. Cook Macaroni in 2 cups boiling water and 1/2 teaspoon salt

3. Placed cooked macaroni in casserole dish.

4. Melt butter

5. Beat egg

6. Stir in melted butter, beaten egg, 1 teaspoon salt, mustard, cheddar cheese & velveeta.

7. Pour 1 cup milk over macaroni mixture and stir.

8. Top with crushed ritz crackers and dabs of butter.

9. Cook 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Easy Barbeque Chicken

One of the ladies I grew up knowing through Church (Mrs. Deborah Brown) sent me a recipe for a super easy dinner to make! And not only was it easy, but it was very tasty!:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (however many you need)
  • Barbeque sauce (we used Kraft Spicy Honey, and it was yummy...but you can use whichever you want)
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Line baking dish with foil, and put chicken in dish.
  3. Pour BBQ sauce over to cover, and bake app. one hour, or until chicken is done.
  4. Eat chicken, toss the foil, and enjoy!
Potatoes may be baked in the same oven, but will need to be put in 30 minutes before the chicken. We baked some potatoes with it, and it made for a delicious meal!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Turkey Meatballs

Yep, turkey meatballs! I know people are often hesitant about substituting turkey for beef, but these are pretty good! Even John gave them an 8/10 (and he likes his beef!) AND, they are less calories! So, here is the recipe:


  • 1.75 lbs of ground skinless turkey breast
  • 1/2 cup Italian-seasoned dried breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 eggs whites
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil, spray with cooking spray.
  3. In a bowl, combine all ingredients.
  4. Shape and roll the mixture into balls (this makes approximately 20 meatballs)
  5. Place on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until fully cooked through. Transfer the meatballs to a plate.
  6. Serve with pasta, or on a sandwich, or however you please!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Enchiladas & Queso

Tonight I made some Beef Enchiladas; I got the recipe off of Sargento's website (you can find it here), but I'm sure you find similar recipes all over the internet. Here it is:



  1. Cook meat with onion and garlic in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until no longer pink, about 5 minutes; drain. Stir in 1/2 cup enchilada sauce; simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  2. Spoon 1/2 cup enchilada sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Stir 1 cup cheese and 1/4 cup cilantro into meat mixture. Spoon about 1/3 cup mixture down center of each tortilla. Roll up; place seam-sides down in dish. Spoon remaining enchilada sauce over tortillas, spreading to cover. Cover dish with foil.
  3. Bake in a preheated 375°F oven 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through. Uncover; top with remaining cheese. Continue baking 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with remaining 1/4 cup cilantro.

I also found a recipe for queso on Sargento's site, and served it with the enchiladas. The original recipe can be found here, HOWEVER, I think that the original recipe doesn't call for enough cheese (it says 1/2 cup, but I've found the mixture is way too liquidy when you add 1/2 cup, so I add 1 cup) below is my modified version:



  1. Heat heavy cream in saucepan on high. Add spices and season with salt, if desired. Add cheese and stir until melted. Remove from heat and serve warm.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lasagna!...With Chicken??

That's right, chicken Lasagna! I found this recipe on another recipe blog (Sunday Baker--I have listed the link to her website under links, on the left). It is more of a chicken/pasta casserole than it is an Italian dish, but boy is it delicious! But before I give you the recipe, I have to tell you a funny story about my experience making this:
Not surprisingly, making this involves some layering (of lasagna noodles, chicken, cheese, and a "goopy" mixture of cream soups, sour cream, and ricotta cheese), followed by topping the whole dish with cheese. Well, I made my layers, topped the dish with cheese...and then realized I had completely forgotten the chicken! A bit hard to have chicken lasagna without the chicken, isn't it? Well, I wasn't about to toss the dish, so I basically had to
(1) remove the layer of cheese on top--however, it had settled into the goopy mixture, so I had to remove them together, meaning the cheese got mixed in.
(2)Remove two of the layers of noodles--however, the noodles were of course covered with cheese and the goopy mixture, so they made my hands messy.
(3) Add the chicken to the remaining "first" layer, then top with some of the messy noodles, then add chicken again, then top with the last bit of noodles
(4) At this point I was left with the goopy mixture with all the cheese that was supposed to be on top (i.e., separate from the mixture) mixed I put it on top, and then added more cheese so I could have the cheese crust

It still turned out fine, but I was a bit annoyed with myself (and amused, too) for having done that. Oh well. Guess this proves my hair color is natural. ;-) ANYWAYS, for the recipe: the original recipe is here... and below is my *slightly* modified version (i.e.: she uses a whole chicken, whereas I use frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts (which I of course cook first))

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cooked and chopped up/shredded
12 lasagna noodles
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. ricotta cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 -3 c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 c. shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
2 t. minced garlic
fresh cilantro


  1. Boil the noodles according to package instructions; make sure to add 2 T. oil to the pan to prevent noodles from sticking together. Rinse in cold water and set aside.
  2. Mix the cream soups, sour cream, ricotta, garlic, and cilantro together until well combined.
  3. Spread a little sauce baking pan before adding layers
  4. Layer the ingredients:
  • Layer 1: 4 lasagna noodles, followed by a layer of the sauce, followed by the chicken and 1/3 of the cheddar cheese
  • Layer 2: 4 lasagna noodles, followed by a layer of the sauce, followed by the chicken and 1/3 of the cheddar cheese.
  • Layer 3: 4 lasagna noodles, followed by a layer of the sauce
5. Top the 3rd layer with the remaining cheddar cheese and the Parmesan cheese.
6. Bake in a 350 oven for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted. Do not overbake it or the
noodles will be rubbery and dry

Friday, October 9, 2009

Viva Italia! (this one is long)

Background--History of Fettuccine Alfredo & My love of it

So, a few days ago, a friend's (Drew Hardwick) mom (Judy Hardwick), upon seeing my facebook status mentioning this blog, commented that I should check out the "Pioneer Woman"s website because she had really good recipes. So I did (it is listed under the links on this page), and saw several recipes that I wanted to try...including Fettuccine Alfredo! As far as food goes, it is one of my favorite dishes ever...if I go to an Italian restaurant, there is a pretty good chance I will be getting it. I've even tried it in Italy, when my family went...and of course it was delish! However, whenever I make it at home, it normally consists of store bought alfredo sauce and the cheapest pasta noodles I can find. Which believe me, is good, but nothing compared to what I had in Italy or restaurant's like Provinos here in Auburn. So, moving along, I've been wanting to make my own for a while...and make it as authentic as possible. I've heard that the original Alfredo did NOT involve cream, just butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano (what we Americans call Parmesan) cheese! However, I believe European butter is a little bit different than ours, and so we have to use cream. So anyways, this recipe does call for cream, but I think it is about as authentic as we can make here in America.

Note on Ingredients
Now, a little word on ingredients: since I decided I wanted an "authentic" version, I did have to pay more than I would normally. I actually bought Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese imported from Italy (instead of Kraft Parmesan cheese, which while great on spaghetti, just isn't what I wanted for this dish)--but it cost $11! I also bought some more authentic Italian noodles, Dell'Alpe is the brand name. In addition, I bought some nutmeg...and let me tell you, it is a little pricey ($4). Another thing that raised the price was a container of dipping spices I bought (I decided to serve the bread with Olive oil, and wanted some spices to mix in it)--it is "Delallo Dipping Spices," and it is divided into 4 different sections, each containing a different blend: (1) Garlic & Tomato, (2)Sundried Tomato & Basil, (3) Rosemary & Garlic, and (4) Roasted Garlic & Cheese. It too was around $10, but we eat bread a lot, so I figure it'll last us awhile and be put to use.
Main point: Authenticity is pricey, but as long as you don't make this too much (which you shouldn't do anyways b/c of the fat content), it might be worth it to you.

The Menu

  • Fettuccine Alfredo
  • French Bread with Olive Oil/Spice Blend dipping sauce (I used a mix of the Rosemary & Garlic and the Roasted Garlic & Cheese)
  • Lettuce Wedge
The Recipes

Fettuccine Alfredo

The original recipe can be found here, and below is my slightly modified version (added garlic & nutmeg):


1 pound fettuccine
1 stick butter
1-2 cloves minced garlic*
1 - 1.25 cups heavy cream
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
dash of salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
ground nutmeg, to taste

*you can find already minced garlic at the store (if you don't want to peel, crush, and mince the garlic yourself)--I would use a tsp or 2 of it

  1. Grate 2 cups of Parmesan
  2. Bring pot of water to boil, then add pasta (and cook as long as necessary)
  3. While pasta is cooking, put skillet on stove, and set on low to medium-low heat
  4. Melt 1 stick of butter in skillet
  5. Add garlic
  6. Pour in equal amount of cream (around 1 cup or 1 and 1/4 cups should do it)
  7. Whisk butter, garlic, cream together gently; add dash of salt, pepper, and a little nutmeg; let mixture continue to warm
  8. Sprinkle half of the Parmesan into a large serving bowl
  9. Once butter/cream mixture has had a chance to get nice and warm, pour it over the cheese. Now, DO NOT STIR, just let the cheese and the sauce "get acquainted"
  10. Just before draining pasta, stick in a metal measuring cup and retrieve some of the water (in case the end product is a bit gloopy, you can throw the water in to thin things out. I did not have this problem, personally)
  11. Drain pasta, and immediately pour it into the bowl w/the other ingredients
  12. Toss mixture gently to combine, then add most of the remaining cheese into the pasta (I saved some to sprinkle on top of my serving)
  13. If pasta is too thick/"gloopy," put in the aforementioned pasta water as needed

Lettuce Wedge

So, this salad is not at all Italian, but I've liked lettuce wedges at restaurants, so I made two (one for both of us). It's super easy:

  • 1 head iceburg lettuce
  • blue cheese or ranch dressing
  • blue cheese crumbles
  • bacon pieces (you can buy pre-cut, pre-cooked bacon bits/pieces at the store)
  1. Cut lettuce into wedges (however many and whatever size you need)
  2. Pour dressing on top
  3. Top with blue cheese crumbles and bacon
The Verdict
Wonderful!! I was very pleased with how this turned out! The only problem I had was that I slightly undercooked my pasta, but overall it turned out very well! John gave it an 8/10 (with 10 being the best meal he'd ever eaten); he noted that at restaurants, the cream is really the main thing he notices about the sauce, but that in this homemade version the cheese flavor really came through. I would agree--and I'm so glad I splurged and got the $11 cheese! I wouldn't want to do it regularly, but I really think it improved the taste of the dish. My homemade version reminded me more of what I had in Italy than what I get at the restaurants, which is what I was going for. So, basically what I am saying is that this was delicious and I would highly recommend it! Don't think I'll make it again for awhile b/c of the price and the calories, but I think I'll be making it from time to time.
The lettuce wedge was good too. And the store bought bread. The dipping spices made for a yummy olive oil dip, too.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Chocolate Peanutbutter Trifle

I found this recipe on the Betty Crocker website. It turned out all right; both John and I liked it. It wasn't quite as good as I had thought it might be, but I'd still give it a 6 or a 7 out of ten. I did substitute a few ingredients (reeses instead of chocolate covered peanuts, a chocolate-peanutbutter brownie mix instead of chocolate-PB cookies) because of personal preference and not being able to find the cookie mix the original recipe described. So anyways, above is the link to the original recipe, and below is my slightly modified version:

  • 1 package brownie mix (whichever flavor you like)
  • vegetable oil (however much brownie mix requires
  • eggs (however much brownie mix requires)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanutbutter
  • 1.5 cups heavy whipping cream
  • mini reeses, chopped/crumbled

1. Make brownies as directed on box (using oil, water, and egg(s)). Bake & cool as directed. Cut them up
2. Melt butter & sugar in saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, till mixture is smooth. Stir in peanut butter till well blended. Refrigerate 30 mins.
3. Beat whipping cream in chilled bowl w/electric mixer on high speed, till soft. Fold into peanut butter mixture.
4. Place half of brownie pieces of bottom of trifle bowl. Spoon half of peanut butter mixture over brownies. Top with remaining brownies & peanut butter mixture. Cover & refrigerate at least 2 hours, but no longer than 12 hours. Sprinkle with reeses.

Spicy Chicken Cheese Dip

This dish was made by Linda Clemens at our young marrieds SHARE Group (i.e., bible study) a few weeks ago. I thought it was pretty good, so I asked her for the ingredients...which I then googled (to find a recipe I could use). Based on what I found online, this is how to make it:

  • 2 cups cooked chicken
  • two 8-oz pkgs of cream cheese
  • 1 cup ranch
  • 4-6 oz. Texas Pete hot pepper sauce
  • 8 oz. Sargento Authentic Mexican Cheese (or whichever cheese you like)
  1. Cook Chicken and pull apart or cut into small bite size pieces.
  2. Mix Cream Cheese, Chicken, Ranch and Texas Pete.
  3. Pour mixture into an oven safe dish.
  4. Top off mixture with Shredded cheese.
  5. Place in an oven set at 350° for 30min.

Serve with Chips to dip in. Makes a great Quesadilla filling too.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Chicken in a Blanket

Okay, this is my last post for the night. This is a recipe I got because my mom made these for dinner one night...they are easy to make, and IMO, pretty yummy!:

  • 1 pkg frozen fried chicken fingers/tenders
  • 1 pkg Pillsbury refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 slices cooked and crumbled bacon

Mix the last four ingredients. Put 1.5 tbsp in each roll, and then put a chicken tender (still frozen) on top (you may have to use half of the tender to make it fit); then roll up. Cook for 20 minutes.

Broccoli Casserole

This Broccoli Casserole (courtesy of Paula Deen) goes great with the Hot Chicken Salad I mentioned in the previous post.:


  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups crushed crackers
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine broccoli, mayonnaise, cheese, soup and eggs. Mix well with a metal spoon. Place the mixture in the prepared baking dish. Top with the crushed crackers and pour the melted butter evenly over the crackers. Bake for 35 minutes or until set and browned.

Hot Chicken Salad

John's mom, Patti, made this for dinner one night this summer, and we both really liked it. It was in a Paula Deen cookbook, which I then found on the food network's Paula Deen section of their website. The potato chips on top make it especially yummy! Also, this goes great with Paula Deen's recipe for Broccoli Casserole, which I will post next.


  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast meat, cubed
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar
  • 2/3 cup crushed potato chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl combine the chicken, celery, almonds, salt, pepper, lemon juice, mayonnaise, and cheese. Place the mixture in the prepared baking dish. Spread the crushed potato chips on top. Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly.

Yummy Enchiladas

So as I sat here, trying to think of more ways to procrastinate, I remembered one of my favorite online recipes that I have made multiple times, and thought I'd share it! The URL for it is If you got to the website, it will let you enter how many servings you want to make, and adjust the amount of ingredients you need for that many portions!

Anyways, here is the recipe:


  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon margarine or butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers, drained
  • 8 (8 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cheese **

** regular cheddar cheese always works, but I personally love Sargento Artisan Blends' AUTHENTIC Mexican Cheese. They normally don't have this at Walmart, but places like Kroger or Publix tend to carry it. But, this cheese is just my personal can't really go wrong with cheese, so pick whatever you like!


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a small bowl mix the soup and sour cream; set aside.
  3. Melt margarine in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add onion and chili powder, and saute until tender. Stir in the chicken, chile peppers, and 2 tablespoons of the soup mixture. Cook and stir until heated through.
  4. Spread 1/2 cup of the soup mixture in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas, and place, seam-side-down, in the baking dish. Spoon remaining soup mixture on top, and sprinkle with cheese.
  5. Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until bubbly and lightly browned.

I always end up leaving out the onions b/c John & I aren't onion fans, but these always turn out delicious!

Butter Spread

Follows is the recipe for a butter spread (I forgot the link where I got this from, unfortunately):

  • 1/2 stick butter, SOFTENED
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
Mix together ingredients, and spread on bread before baking.

Poppy Seed Chicken...with a Twist!

So, for the first few years of undergrad, John and I would go to ACF's (Auburn Christian Fellowship) "free dinner" on Thursday nights. One of the dishes people (including us) liked most was their Poppy Seed Chicken...however, unlike normal Poppy Seed Chicken, this one had noodles. It was delicious, and for a few years I searched around for a recipe online that also included noodles. And, a few nights ago, I found one! So, I decided to make it tonight, and it turned out great! Both John & I liked it, and to me it tasted just like it had at ACF! So anyways, here is the recipe (it was taken from, but I modified it slightly):


  • 1 (12 oz) package egg noodles
  • 3-4 cups cooked chicken
  • 1 package of 8 ounce cream cheese
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1-2 packets Ritz crackers
  • 1/4 stick butter, melted

  1. Cook chicken, cut up. Cook noodles and drain.
  2. Mix other ingredients.
  3. Place noodles in greased casserole dish. Pour chicken mixture on top. Crush Ritz crackers that has been tossed with melted butter, and put on top. Bake at 350 for around 25-30 minutes.

I also served it with some french bread with a garlic spread that I had made myself, and which I will include in the next post.