Monday, April 19, 2010

Chicken Pasta Bake

I found this recipe here. But I altered it to our liking- changes are in parenthesis. Our whole family chowed down. It's like a chicken version of Company Casserole. Yum.

  • 8 oz. penne pasta
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (used leftover shredding chicken)
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning (didn't add because I used tomato, basil and garlic spaghetti sauce and italian style tomatoes)
  • 1 28 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 3 oz. package cream cheese
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach, washed and patted dry with a paper towel (no spinach on hand, didn't add this)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (husband hates Parmesan, so didn't add this)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick spray.

  2. Cook pasta according to package directions for "al dente." Drain. Pour into prepared baking dish.

  3. Heat oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium-high heat. While oil is heating, cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. (used leftover shredded chicken)

  4. Brown chicken in oil. Add Italian seasoning, half of the spaghetti sauce and the drained tomatoes. Let simmer 2-3 minutes.

  5. Cut cream cheese into small chunks. Add to chicken and tomato sauce mixture. Simmer until cream cheese is melted.

  6. Stir in spinach. Cook another minute, until spinach wilts slightly. (skipped this step)

  7. Pour chicken mixture over pasta. Top with one cup of the shredded mozzarella. Top with the remaining spaghetti sauce, remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

  8. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes, or until bubbly.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Originally found here. The best chocolate chip cookies EVER. I always get compliments when I make these. Always.

1 cup butter (softened)
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbls. vanilla
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
3 cups flour
1 package Ghirarrdeli Milk Chocolate Chips
1/2 bag Ghirarrdeli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Then add dry ingredients. Mix in chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 11 minutes. Cookies might not look done but take them out anyways. Let them sit on pan for a few minutes before placing on cooling rack.


Chicken Enchiladas

The enchiladas that I grew up on. That my family LOVES. That Julia has requested 3 years in a row for her birthday dinner. I think my mom got this recipe from my Aunt Cindy originally.

3 chicken breast, cooked, shredded
¾ c. sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 c. milk
¾ c. salsa
12 corn tortillas
2 c. shredded cheese

Mix soup, milk & salsa. Heat in microwave on medium heat, 3 minutes. Add sour cream, heat 1 minute. Heat tortillas by wrapping 4 at a time in wet paper towel and heating in microwave for 1 ½ mins. Take 1 tortilla & place in greased 9x13 pan. Put 1 ½ Tbsp. chicken, 1 ½ Tbsp. cheese, 2 Tbsp. soup mix in the middle and roll up placing edge on bottom of pan. Reserve about 1 c. soup mix and 1 c. cheese to cover entire casserole. Bake at 350F for 30-40 mins or until bubbly (may be covered for more moist enchiladas).


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Taco Bake

I found this recipe in the amazing {ward} cookbook I bought from Heidi a couple of years ago.
Another SUPER easy meal but my family loved it. Again, picture next time.

Brown 3/4 - 1 lbs. ground beef with onions, salt and pepper.
Once browned, add 1 can tomato soup
1.5 cups salsa (or more to taste)
1 cup shredded jack cheese ***I used mild cheddar instead (what I had on hand)
1/2 c. milk
8 corn tortillas (cut into 1 inch squares).

***After mixing it all together, I let it come to a boil and then simmer for about 5 mins so that the tortillas would soften. I have another recipe similar to this and that's what it calls for. It wasn't in this recipe but that's what I did.****

Mix well, pour into casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until cheese is bubbly on top. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, tomatoes, lettuce and tortilla chips.


Quick and Easy Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

I happened to have green chile sauce on hand and just googled "chicken enchiladas with green sauce." I found this recipe here. My notes are next to the recipe. This was super duper easy and a crowd pleaser. It tasted more authentic then my other chicken enchilada recipe (though we all love that one too- one can never have too many variations of enchiladas, right?).
Picture next time, promise.


  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • garlic salt to taste
  • 18 (6 inch) corn tortillas, torn in half
  • 1 (28 ounce) can green chile enchilada sauce
  • 1 (16 ounce) package shredded Monterey Jack cheese ** I used medium cheddar cheese***
  • 1 (8 ounce) container reduced fat sour cream*** I used the real deal, not reduced fat***


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
  2. Season chicken with garlic salt. Arrange in the prepared baking dish. Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until no longer pink and juices run clear. Cool, shred, and set aside.
  3. With metal tongs, char each tortilla half over the open flame of a gas stove burner for about 1 minute, until lightly puffed. ***I'd never done this before but it was easy and fun....totally added an authenic-ness to the meal****
  4. Pour about 1/2 inch enchilada sauce in the bottom of a medium baking dish, and arrange 6 tortillas in a single layer. Top with 1/2 the chicken, 1/3 cheese, 1/2 the sour cream, and 1/3 of the remaining enchilada sauce. Repeat. Coat remaining tortillas thoroughly with remaining enchilada sauce, and arrange on top of the layers. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, and top with any remaining enchilada sauce
  5. Cover, and bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool slightly before serving.


Monday, October 05, 2009

Frosted Pumpkin Cookies

Fall brings out the baker in me. I love being inside baking something yummy when it's a tad cooler outside (since it doesn't get very cold here in So Cal). I found some canned pumpkin at the grocery store and knew I wanted to make something pumpkin-ish. I found this recipe here.

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
2 1/3 cups Gold Medal all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup pumpkin seeds or chopped pecans ***didn't add as many pecans, not big nut lovers in my home (though I LOVE them)
chopped pumpkin seeds ***I didn't add these***
Cinnamon Frosting
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3-4 tablespoons milk
Heat oven to 350F degrees.
Mix brown sugar, butter, and shortening in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and egg. Stir in flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in pumpkin seeds.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoons about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet; flatten slightly.
Bake 12-15 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched in the center. Remove from cookie sheet. Cool completely on wire rack. Frost cookies with Cinnamon Frosting. Sprinkle with additional chopped pumpkin seeds.
Cinnamon Frosting: Mix all ingredients until smooth and spreadable.

Yummy fall treat!!


Mixed Blessings

I saw this recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks and thought it'd make the perfect snack during conference. I was right. It was a huge hit!! And it made the house smell fabulous.

6 c. popped corn (this is one bag- learned that the hard way after I popped 3!!)
2 c. chow mein noodles
5 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 (6 oz) can honey roasted peanuts or almonds **I used almonds, I LOVE almonds***
1 c. Craisins

In a large pan (I used 9x13) combine popcorn and chow mein noodles. In a saucepan, melt butter and sugar. Stir in vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over popcorn and chow mein noodles and toss to coat. Bake at 250 for 1 hour, stirring every 20 mins. Stir in almonds and Craisins. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container. Makes about 10 cups.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Best Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

My Drew insisted that we get blueberries at the grocery store last week. But then, being the 3 yr old that he is, wanted nothing to do with them once we were home. What's a girl to do? I also had lemons that needed to be I found this recipe and went for it:
Found here.

2 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter or margarine
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk ****didn't have buttermilk- substituted it with this: 1 tbsp lemon juice + low-fat milk to make 1 cup & let stand for 10 minutes = 1 cup low fat buttermilk***
1 1/4 cups blueberries, tossed with
1 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
8-10 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon corn syrup
lemon zest (to garnish)
Heat oven to 350°F Butter a 12-cup bundt pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In another large bowl, beat butter (or margarine) until smooth. Add sugar and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla and beat until combined. Beat in flour in three additions, alternating with buttermilk. Beat for 2 minutes. Fold in blueberries. Spoon into prepared pan.
Bake at 350F for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a sharp knife around edges of the pan. Turn out and cool completely.
Glaze: in a small bowl, mix together confectioners' sugar, lemon juice and corn syrup until smooth. Drizzle over top of cake and let it roll down the sides.



Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Zucchini Cookies

Since I started dieting I haven't had too many treats. I went on the hunt yesterday to find good, healthy alternatives. In my search I found this recipe. The disclaimer is- nothing tastes better than my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe (and I don't even like chocolate). But this is definitely a good alternative. And the kids loved them!!!

Note- I didn't add the walnuts or raisins because I knew my kids wouldn't eat them. But I definitely will next time (for me ;). I think craisins would taste good here too.

106 calories per cookie

1 c butter, at room temp
1 1/2 c sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 c. grated zucchini
2 3/4 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 c walnuts, chopped
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 c raisins
1 c sweetened flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 350. In a large a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in zucchini. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add to zucchini mix. Stir in nuts, chocolate chips, raisins, and coconut. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto buttered cookie sheets. Bake until lightly browned, 15 to 20 mins. Transfer to a rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Spaghetti Pie Ole

I found this recipe here and tweaked it a bit. It was super good. Everyone in my family loved it!
With the cumin it has a bit of a spanish taste to it (hence the name Spanish Pie Ole).

7 ounces spaghetti, uncooked
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/3 cup Monterey Jack cheese, or cheddar, shredded ***I used cheddar***
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
10 ounces canned chopped tomatoes with chili, undrained **** instead of this I used spaghetti sauce*****
3/4 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain. Whisk together egg, half the salt, 1/4 tsp. garlic powder and 1/3 cup cheese. Add pasta and toss. Arrange in 9 inch pie dish, pressing to form shell. Heat large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add ground beef and brown 4-5 minutes, breaking up into 3/4 inch crumbles. Pour off drippings. Season with remaining salt and remaining garlic powder. Add cumin and stir in tomatoes (I used spaghetti sauce here). Bring to a boil and cook 3-5 minutes or until liquid is almost evaporated, stirring occasionally. Reserve 2 Tbs. beef mixture for garnish. Stir sour cream into remaining beef and spoon into pasta shell. Place remaining cheese in center, leaving 2 inch border around edge. Spoon reserved beef mixture onto center of cheese and bake 15 minutes or until heated through. YUM!!!


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