Monday, January 31, 2011

Creamy Chicken and Veggie Pasta

I'll admit it, I love pasta in any type of cream sauce. But realistically cream sauces are no ones friend. Let's face it...cream based sauces are not the best for anyone's waist line. The good things about this recipe is, all one needs to do is make a few adjusts. By doing this you save on calories and fat, and you can still have that same great taste.

Dinner does not have to be flavorless or take a long time to put together. This recipe is that it's so easy and perfect after a long day at work. Because it's a lighter version and can be made in about 30 minutes, it's become one of my go to weeknight dinner recipes. I hope you all enjoy this as much as my family and I have.

Happy cooking!

Recipe source yours truly


1 (16 ounce) box dried whole wheat penne pasta
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 pounds chicken breast, sliced
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 teaspoons of crushed red pepper garlic sauce
1 jar artichoke hearts
1 medium red onion chopped
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup fat free half and half
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 and 1/2 cup chopped broccoli
2 Tablespoons cornstarch (to make a slurry)


Cook the pasta according to package directions and set aside.

Season the chicken with the salt, pepper and red pepper garlic sauce set aside.

Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet and add sliced red pepper, and onions and cook until veggies are soft and then add garlic.

Add chicken and cook until it starts to brown about 5 minutes.

Once chicken is cooked add in the artichoke hearts, and stir in the chicken broth. Bring to a simmer.

Once it has come to a steady boil, stir in half and half, and add in the Parmesan cheese, and broccoli.

Add corn scratch slurry, and mix in with chicken, veggie, and pasta, allow for it to thicken.

Stir in the cooked pasta. Serve immediately.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mango Habanero and Fresno Sauce

My husband is a long time fan of wings and spicy dipping sauce. About three years ago my husband was introduced to BWW ( On that day he fell in love with their Mango habanero wings. The good news is you can buy bottled sauces in house, the bad news is since we've moved, BWW is way out of the way for us. So no more wings for the hubby.

The other day Mangos were on sale so I decided I would pick up a couple. When I got home all I could think about was the fact that I bought mangos and they weren't in season (what the hell was I thinking) this means they are going to be tasteless.

At this point I had to come up with some type of recipe so I didn't waste them. I had wings defrosting and it came to me...why not make a mango sauce for the next time I baked wings...and thus Mango Habanero Fresno pepper sauce was created.

I do caution you all, it's really spicy, but so yummy. Great for people who like spice, and definitely NOT a recipe for toddlers. Sorry Jonathan looks like you're going to have to wait a few more years before you are able to have this. =)

Recipe inspired by BWW


1 tablespoon canola oil
1 small Spanish onion, cut into chunks
2 whole cloves of garlic
2 ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 habanero, chopped
1 Fresno pepper
1 cup white wine vinegar
a splash of water (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons of honey (to mask the acid of the vinegar)


Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat.

Add onions, garlic, mangoes, habanero, fresno pepper, and vinegar and cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.

Place the mixture in a blender add honey and water, then blend until smooth.

If the mixture is too thick, add a few tablespoons of warm water or vinegar.

Season with salt.

Yield: 4 servings

Basic Buttermilk Biscuits

Sunday breakfast is very important in our home. It has become a tradition that we all get up and have a nice big breakfast before we start the day. During the week we are always rushing to get out the door and it's nice to be able to sit down on the weekends and just enjoy the company of your family.

Life is so precious that I think that at times we take it for granted and just say...well we could do this another day, or we can start a new tradition next year. Before we know it, years have passed and our toddlers have grown up and have things that they would rather be doing and they wouldn't appreciate quality time with the family as much.

Due to this, we love and look forward to our Sunday breakfasts. Each week I make something a little different. Last week we had overnight french toast, always a family favorite, but this week I wanted something different. And seeing that my two year old wanted eggs and sausage, I thought I could also make some small biscuits to use up the leftover buttermilk I had.

Breakfast was so good! I know for a fact that Jonathan liked them, he was able to put 3 small ones away with his eggs. =) So long story short this recipe is surely a keeper and I intend adding it to my breakfast rotation. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I have.

Happy Baking!

Recipe Source Guy Fieri


1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold, plus 1 tablespoon
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for work surface
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt, divided
1 cup buttermilk


Cut 1/2 cup of the butter into 1/2-inch pieces and refrigerate.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the cake flour, 3/4 cup of the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt.

Add the butter and pulse to combine, until small crumbles are present.

Add the buttermilk and pulse until a dough ball forms, about 5 to 6 times.

Dust a dry work surface with flour and have the remaining 1 cup ready for kneading.

Turn the dough out onto the floured work surface. With floured hands, gently press the dough out into an 11 by 8-inch rectangle, about 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick, dust lightly with flour and gently fold it over in thirds, like a letter.

Roll or press out to a 6 by 6-inch rectangle again about 2 inches thick.

Cut the dough into 9 squares (2 by 2 inches each) with a pizza cutter.

Transfer the biscuits to a lined baking sheet about 1/2-inch apart.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let them rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Melt the remaining tablespoon butter and brush tops with melted butter, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt.

Place baking sheet in the middle of the oven and immediately turn oven down to 450 degrees F.

Bake for 12 to 16 minutes until they are golden brown.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

What can I say about banana bread besides it's a great way of getting your kids to eat their fruits. Another great thing about making banana bread is you are able to use up your over ripe bananas and not waste food. Let's face it, no one wants to eat the brown banana, we all want the nicely ripe yellow one, that doesn't look like it's been to battle.

I've tried a few recipes for banana bread and this seems like the only one that cooks well without coming out dry. Something else that I liked about this recipe is that fact that it doesn't come out dense like other recipes that I've tried over the years. This bread actually comes out nice and fluffy which is always a plus in our house.

Another bonus, it's such a basic recipe and it's so very tasty. I recommend this recipe to anyone that wants something quick in the morning. This is one of those recipes that even kids love, Jonathan enjoys having this for breakfast along with his morning glass of milk. I hope you all enjoy this as much and my family has.

Happy baking!

Source: Inspired by Emeril


8 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon butter
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup sour cream
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly grease a 9 1/4 by 5 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan with 1 teaspoon of the butter.

Puree the bananas, sour cream, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon in a food processor.

Sift flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fixed with a whisk attachment.

Add the remaining butter and mix on medium-low speed until blended.

Add the banana mixture in 3 batches, scraping the sides of the bowl and mixing on medium speed between each addition.

Fold in the mini chocolate chips.

Pour into the loaf pan and bake until lightly browned and bread bounces back to the touch. This will take about and 1hour to an 1 and 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire rack to cool completely.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Spicy Garlic Sauce Shrimp

This is something that I make when I have company and around the holidays. Not because it's hard or takes a long time; but for the soul reason I would be the only one eating it, since my husband should avoid seafood because of his gout. I don't know about the rest of you, but I hate to make two different dinners just to accommodate one person, therefore I tend to opt for not making it all together unless I have someone else to share it with.

On New Year's Eve when I was planning my dinner, I wanted to see what I had on hand, and in the freezer, this is when I came across some shrimp. I was about to put it back in the freezer, but then I decided that since we were doing a bunch of apps this would be a good time to use it up. It something so simple that anyone could whip up in a moments notice. It could make for a wonderful main dish to go along with some rice, or could be eaten as an appetizer.

It wasn't until my husband said "have you blogged this recipe yet...because it's really, really good," that I ever thought about blogging about it. So this one is for you honey! Like always I hope you all enjoy and if you do try it, please come back and let me know how it came out.

Inspired by my need to spicy garlic shrimp LOL =)

Happy Cooking!


1 lb of Jumbo shrimp, (shelled and divined) 20-30 count is what I tend to use, but ended you using the smaller ones because that's all I had at home.
1/4 Cup of white wine (any kind you have at home)
3 Tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 Teaspoon for crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 Teaspoon of paprika
6 cloves of garlic minced
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons of butter to saute


Place shrimp into a large bowl, add white wine, olive oil, red pepper flakes, paprika, garlic, salt and pepper mix everything together and let sit for 30-60 mins.

After time has passed take large skillet melt butter.

Once butter has melted and is hot add shrimp along with marinade and sautee over high heat.

Stir and cook shrimp about 6-8 minutes depending on the size of shrimp.

English Muffin Bread

There is nothing I hate more that to have company (in this case my in-laws, who get up at 5am) wake up before me and then sit around waiting for us to wake up for breakfast. So every time they come and spend a weekend with us, I'm always looking for a recipe that I can make the day/night before so they could have something with their tea in the morning.

This Holiday season was no exception. With all the Holiday sweets, I wanted to make something different and so I made the most wonderful bread. It actually tastes just like an English muffin and and took no time or energy at all to make. This NO-KNEAD bread makes for terrific toast in the morning toast and buttered and you're ready for the morning! I hope you all enjoy it as much as we have.

Happy Baking!
Recipe source Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, Yields 2 loafs


6 Cups of flour
2 Packages of active dry yeast
1/4 Teaspoon of baking soda
2 Cups of milk
1/2 Cup of water
1 Teaspoon sugar
1 Teaspoon salt


Grease 2 bread loaf pans, and lightly sprinkle with cornmeal to coat sides and bottom.

Set a side for later.

In a large mixing bowl combine 3 cups of flour, yeast, and baking soda and set aside.

In medium sauce pan heat milk, water, sugar and salt until just warm (until it reaches 120 degrees)

Using a wooden spoon (or stand mixer) stir milk mixture into flour mixture.

Stir in the remaining 3 cups of flour as well.

Once well combined, divide dough in half.

Place dough into prepared pans, and sprinkle the top with more cornmeal.

Cover and let raise in a warm place until doubled in size (this will take about 30-45 mins)

Bake bread in 400 degree preheated oven for 25 minutes until golden brown.

Cool on wire racks.

Nutrition values: 90 cal, 1g fat, 91 mg of sodium, 18 g of carbs, 1 g of fiber, 3 g of protein

Saturday, January 1, 2011


For this year's New Year Eve we decided that we would just stay in, and have a bunch of appetizers for dinner. The reason for this is we are having company over the two days following, and I have two large meals planned.

My goal was to make a bunch of things that we could pick at all night and I wanted something that we could much on while I prepared everything else. So I ask you what is better than making homemade Salsa?....NOTHING this was so good, that I will never go make to buy salsa again.

Happy New Year everyone!

Inspired by Better Homes and Gardens

3 Tomatillos, husked. rinsed, and chopped
6 Firm tomatoes
1/4 Cup of finely chopped red onion
2 Habanero pepper finely chopped (leave seeds and inner pepper ribs for more heat)
Lime juice from half a lime
2 Tablespoons of fresh chopped Cilantro
Salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste
4 Cloves of garlic finely minced


In medium bowl stir together tomatillos, tomatoes, onions, peppers, lime juice, cilantro, salt, pepper, and garlic.

Once combined cover, for best results chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Salsa is best if consuming within 2 days.

Nutrition Facts serving size 2 tablespoons,
62 cal, 6g of fat, 132mg of sodium, 1g of carbs, 2 g of protein