Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Alfredo Bake

I had a totally miserable day at work and with no husband at home to comfort me, I turned to my jknotties! And they totally came through with a fabulous recipe that was recently discovered on Amber's Delectable Delights. I knew it would be something my husband wouldn't like so it was the perfect night. And while at the grocery store to pick up the necessary ingredients I added Smirnoff to the cart and had a very relaxing evening! So, thank you Amber and my fabulous jknotties!

8 oz pasta, cooked and drained
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup mushrooms
1.5 cups chicken, cooked and shredded or diced
1 jar Alfredo sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat the bottom of the two small or one medium baking dish with a thin layer of Alfredo sauce.
In a medium bowl, mix the pasta, broccoli, mushrooms, chicken, garlic and Alfredo sauce until combined. Place mixture into baking dish and top with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cut the butter into small pieces and scatter on top of the cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is hot and bubbly.

Recipe from Amber's Delectable Delights
Photo from my kitchen

Wife Rating: A+, This was amazing!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Our First Christmas in NYC!!

I know this isn't food related but I really wanted to share my Christmas excitement with all of you. It is our first Christmas as a married couple in our first apartment in New York City! See why I'm so excited?!!

This is a picture of our first snow fall down here. I am pleased to report that is didn't come until December 2nd! Back home it snowed the first week of November, yuck! Our snow was gone by the next morning, just the way I like it, pretty but short lived so as not to cause too many problems! :)

We had friends of ours from Syracuse come down to visit NYC this past weekend. They were going to see the Nutcracker at night so we joined them for some shopping during the day. Let me tell you the tourists that come to NYC at Christmas time...I have just never seen anything like it! But we had a fabulous time, seeing all the decorations and the tree at Rockefeller Center. We took a self portrait in front of the BIG red ornaments across from Radio City music hall.

This is picture of our first Christmas tree ! Isn't it beautiful?!

I couldn't help myself. I found the cutest first Christmas ornament at Hallmark and just had to add it to our collection! :)

For more pictures of our ornaments and Christmas decorations, visit my facebook!

Stovetop Chicken and Rice Casserole

I know it isn't the most attractive looking meal but it really is fabulous. It is a recipe we have created together with leftovers. It is a great way to use up leftover chicken or rice or even vegetables and it is so easy! I've written the recipe as if you are making it fresh so just adjust where needed if using leftovers.

2 chicken breasts, cubed
4 cups cooked rice
1/3 cup white wine
1 can cream of chicken or mushroom soup
black pepper
garlic salt
poultry seasoning
all-purpose chicken seasoning
see notes for variations

Brown chicken in a large pan. Add in cooked rice and "fry" together. Season with black pepper, garlic salt, poultry seasoning and chicken seasoning. Add in wine, letting it cook off. Add soup and heat through. *Add in variations if desired and heat through. Serve warm.

*Notes: At this point we add in whatever we feel like. Tonight is was shredded cheese and mushrooms. You could also use a variety of vegetables.
The chicken seasoning is a blend we bought at the farmers market. If you don't have one that you use, let me know and I can tell you what is on ours.

Husband and Wife Rating: A+

Recipe and Photo from our kitchen! :)

Potato Soup

What a better way to enjoy a cold, winter evening than with your husband, a movie and a bowl of comforting potato soup! It was perfect except for the fact that we ate too much of it so we both felt logy later on in the evening. It was just so good!


2 cups potatoes, chopped
2 cups water
3 tablespoons butter
small onion, chopped (we didn't have one!)
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup ham, cooked and chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese

Cook potatoes in a large soup pot with water until fork tender. Drain potatoes, reserving 1 cup of the water.
While potatoes drain, melt butter in the bottom of the pot and saute onions, whisking in flour to make a roux.
Return potatoes and reserved water to the pot. Add milk, sugar and ham. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer and thicken for about 30-40 minutes.
Add cheese and let it melt through.
Serve with crusty bread.

Note: The thing to remember is that potatoes don't have a lot of flavor on their own so be generous with the salt and pepper. We also used skim milk and it was nice and creamy without too much fat. We doubled the recipe so that we had leftovers for lunch this week.

Recipe from 101 Potato Recipes
Picture from my kitchen!

Husband and Wife Rating: A++

Fancy Fast Chicken

This is another recipe that has been passed around a group of friends and now I know is fabulous! Thanks Kat!

6 Boneless Chicken Breasts
6 sliced of swiss cheese (neither of us like swiss so I used provolone)
1/4 fresh mushrooms
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 white wine
2 cups herbed stuffing mix
1 stick of butter, melted

Pre-heat oven to 350. Place chicken in a lightly greased 9x13 baking dish. Top each piece of chicken with a slice of cheese. Arrange mushrooms over cheese. Mix soup and wine; pour over chicken. Sprinkle stuffing mix over the top and drizzle with butter. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes.

Note: since it was only the two of us I halved everything.
Recipe from Kat.
Picture by me

Husband Rating: A+, he loved it, his favorite part was the way the stuffing was crunchy

Wife Rating: A+, fabulous :)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Banana Muffins

I was in the mood for something different for breakfast this past weekend and I still had some bananas in the freezer so I decided to make banana muffins! I pulled out my brand new Betty Crocker cookbook that we received as a wedding present and put it to good use. It was bought for me to use, right, not sit on a shelf and look pretty!

1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup bananas, mashed (about 2 medium bananas)


Pre-heat oven to 400. Grease bottoms only of 12 medium muffins cups with shortening, spray with cooking spray or line with paper baking cups.

In large bowl, beat milk, oil, egg and bananas with fork or wire whisk until well mixed. Stir in flour, sugar, baking powder and salt all at once just until flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy). Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. If baked in greased pan, let stand for 5 minutes in pan, then remove from pan to wire rack; if baked in paper baking cups, immediately remove from pan to wire rack. Serve warm if desired.

Makes 12 muffins
Recipe from Betty Crocker Cookbook
Photo from my kitchen

Note: I added a few chocolate chips to half the muffins before putting them in the oven, just for something extra!

Husband Rating: A-, he said they were really good, but a little dense.

Wife Rating: A, I agree they were a little dense and my only thought was that the bananas were too cold because I had just taken them from the freezer. I only defrosted them in the microwave enough to peel them, maybe they should have been room temperature. They tasted great, warm with butter, yum!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Menu: December 9-15

Sunday: Fancy Fast Chicken with caesar salad
Monday: Meatloaf with snap peas and potatoes
Tuesday: cheesy chicken and rice
Wednesday: Potato Soup
Thursday: Chicken Stroganoff
Friday: ??
Saturday: ??

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Breakfast Pizza

So, our menu changed this week. We decided to have pizza last night instead of Thursday! I'm excited because it came out amazing! Jake was coming home late from somewhere so I wanted to have dinner all ready for him. Well, I hate rolling out dough. That is always his job. So, I rolled up my sleeves, threw some flour on the counter and armed with my rolling pin I began to tackle the dough. I was very proud of how it come out. (next time I'll tackle making my own dough!)

dough (store-bought or homemade)
7-8 eggs
bacon, cooked (about 7-8 pieces, crumbled)
mozzarella cheese, shredded

Beat eggs with milk and scramble them up in a pan, season as desired (we use black pepper and onion salt). Spread dough with a layer of butter. Layer on scrambled eggs. At this point, I like to season with oregano. Layer on crumbled up bacon. Sprinkle on the cheese. Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes.

Husband Rating: A+, "yummy!"
Wife Rating: A+, pizza is always a favorite and so is breakfast so I love the combination!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Menu: December 2-7

Sunday: tacos
Monday: turkey noodle soup
Tuesday: Parmesan crusted pork chops
Wednesday: leftovers
Thursday: homemade pizza
Friday: girls night out/husband has rehearsal