Creamy Basil Chicken w/ Mushrooms over Farfalle

This one was of those “what can I use up out of my fridge” meals gone right. Super fast and easy. Farfalle is the formal name for bowtie pasta so don’t get thrown off. You can make this!! Using rotisserie chicken is a real time saver but you could do whole chicken breasts if you wanted.

Here is everything you need, minus garlic. I just love how it looks all together on the butcher block 🙂

Start with 2 Tbs of butter and 1 Tbs olive oil in a pan. Getting heating up. Start a big pot of water to boil and cook your pasta until just under al dente while you are making the sauce.

Once it is hot drop in a couple of thinly sliced shallots and a couple also thinly sliced garlic cloves. Stir those around and cook until they soften, about 3 mins.

Next drop in 5 or 6 mushrooms, thinly sliced. Stir around until they soak up the liquid in the pan and start to brown, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour in a cup of white wine. Work a wooden spoon around the pan to stir up any bits of flavor on the bottom of the pan.

Add in a couple Tbs of fresh chopped basil.

Next comes the heavy cream, about 2 cups.

Turn the heat down to a simmer and let it cook down for about 15 minutes.

After it has reduced, add in 1/4 – 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese. Stir to combine. Taste to check seasonings. Adjust as needed.

Drop in 2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken. These chickens are a great time saver! Not to mention they have great flavor! Stir to combine and add in pasta that is just under al dente. You always want to finish cooking your pasta in the sauce you are going to serve it with. Let the flavors soak in 🙂

Scoop up a bunch of this into a bowl and sprinkle with some of the remaining fresh basil. Settle in for some comfort food therapy!

Creamy Basil Chicken w/ Mushrooms over Farfalle
2 Tbs butter
1 Tbs olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4-6 mini portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup white wine
3 Tbs fresh chopped basil, divided
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 – 1/2 cup grated parmesan
2 cups chopped chicken from a rotisserie chicken or grilled chicken
Salt and pepper

Heat butter and oil in a large saute pan over med-high heat. Start boiling water for pasta, cook until just under al dente as you make sauce. Saute shallots and garlic until tender. Add in mushrooms, season with salt and pepper then saute until liquid is absorbed and mushrooms brown, 4 mins. Add white wine, 2 Tbs basil, and cream. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes as sauce thickens. Add in parmesan and taste sauce to check for seasonings. Add in chicken and pasta. Finish cooking pasta in sauce. Serve with remaining basil sprinkled on top. Enjoy!

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Roasted Sausage & Acorn Squash

This is a new favorite of mine. I love the combination of flavors and textures. It looks so pretty on the pan when it is done. One of my favorite magazines, Everyday Food, did a 3 part segment on One Pan dinners. They are all super simple and everything gets cooked on the same baking sheet. Super slick. I will be posting all 3 recipes. I have tagged them One Pan Meal so you can search them that way once I get them all posted. You are going to love how easy this is!

Start with an acorn squash. Depending on how much you and your family love squash or if you are the only one going to be eating it. Choose the appropriate size for your crew. Cut it in half. Turn your oven on to 475.

Scoop out all the seeds and stringy pulp.

Place the squash cut side down on your cutting board. Turn it so the ridges of the squash go horizontal. Slice about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.

See how they make pretty little scalloped pieces 🙂

Now grab some fresh sausage. My husband picked this up at an Italian grocery store nearby and it is delicious… You will want about 1 1/2 lbs of sausage. If it is in one piece like this you will want to cut it into more manageable serving sizes.

Now grab a beautiful red onion. Every time I peel a red onion I am so amazed by how pretty they are. Yep, I love food that much.

Cut the onion into wedges. Hold the top of the onion with one hand and make slices into it at an angle all the way around.

Toss the onion and squash onto a large baking sheet.

Drizzle with 2 Tbs olive oil.

Toss to coat with oil then spread everything out so it’s in a single layer.

Season generously with salt and pepper. Yep, I love pepper.

Add the sausages and roll them around once to season them and get a little oil on them.

Roast in oven about 15-18 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Remove from oven and turn broiler on.

Sprinkle veggies with 1/2 cup Asiago cheese and 1 Tbs chopped fresh sage or a little dried if thats all you have.

Pop the pan under the broiler and grab a handful of dried cranberries. Give them a quick chop.

After about 3 minutes under the broiler everything will brown up and the cheese will get crispy… oh crispy cheese. Yes, I love crispy cheese.

Sprinkle cranberries over the pan and sit back and admire your one pan wonder. How easy was that?!?! Now plate it up and enjoy!!

Roasted Sausage & Acorn Squash
1 acorn squash
1 red onion
1 1/2 lbs fresh sausage (spicy or sweet)
handful dried cranberries
1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese
1 Tbs chopped fresh sage

Heat oven to 475. Slice squash and cut onion into 1/4 inch wedges. Toss with 2 Tbs olive oil on large baking sheet. Season with salt & pepper. Add sausage. Turn sausage once to season. Roast in oven 15-18 mins until veggies are tender. Remove pan from oven and turn on broiler. Sprinkle Asiago over veggies and sage over everything. Return to oven and broil for about 3 minutes or until cheese gets browned and crispy. Remove from oven and sprinkle cranberries on top. Serve!

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Cornmeal Crusted Tilapia

We used to eat a lot of store bought fish sticks around here but have decided when they are this easy to make with fresh ingredients we will pass on the processed kind! These are gluten free and depending on what spread you use they can be dairy free too. You can do whole filets or cut into nuggets / sticks for bite size fun!

Grab a shallow baking dish and pour in about 1 1/2 cups plain corn meal. Season generously with salt and pepper.

If using frozen filets thaw them in cold water in the fridge. Then place them on a paper towel lined baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Here is where you need to decide if you are going to leave them whole or cut.

Using an offset spatula spread a coating of plain greek yogurt or mayo onto the fish. It doesn’t have to be perfect… as you can see here 🙂

Using tongs to pinch the corner of each piece and pick it up transfer them coated side down into the cornmeal.

While the first side is down in the cornmeal spread the coating on the topside of the fish. The pressure from you spreading the top coating on will help pat the coating onto the bottom side of the fish. Its a win win.

At this time start about 1 Tbs olive oil in a pan over med to med-high heat. While this is heating up you will flip the pieces over so the top side is coated as well. I tried to use my tongs to pinch the very corner of the fish pieces so as not to smudge the coating. You may have to wipe the tips of your tongs several times throughout this whole process!

Once the oil is hot place the first batch of fish into the pan. Don’t try to move it around after you place it in the pan. Let it sear. After a few minutes check a corner with a spatula. If there is a nice brown color flip the piece. Remember fish will have various thicknesses so some pieces will take longer than others.

Pan fry the second side until browned and then transfer to a paper towel lined plate.

Pan frying has a learning curve so don’t worry if they don’t start out perfect. Here was my first batch. Wipe pan out with a paper towel and add another Tbs of oil. Repeat the same steps with the second batch.

This coating is great tasting and light. It doesn’t have the heaviness of a flour coating and it has great crunch. Serve with tarter sauce, cocktail sauce, ketchup… whatever you like!!

Cornmeal Crusted Tilapia
Tilapia-4 filets (or fish of your choice)
1 1/2 cup plain cornmeal
1 cup plain greek yogurt or mayo
Salt & Pepper
Olive oil for pan

Place cornmeal in shallow baking dish, season with salt & pepper. Place thawed fish filets on a paper towel lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Using an offset spatula spread yogurt/mayo on the fish to coat. Place coating side down in cornmeal. Spread top side with coating and flip. Heat 1 Tbs oil (per batch) in pan over medium to med high heat. Once oil is hot place 1 batch (2 filets worth) of fish in pan. Do not move in pan until seared (3-4 minutes). When lightly browned flip and pan fry other side. Once fish is done transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain excess oil. Wipe out pan with paper towel. Add another Tbs oil. Repeat with second batch. Serve hot!

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Mexican Black Bean Lasagna

I love Mexican food. Really not a big surprise to most people I know. I also love quick dishes and meatless dishes that are hearty enough to satisfy meat eaters. This lasagna is tasty just as I made it here or could be used as a base for your own culinary creation. Here we go!

Heat oven to 450. Chop up 1 onion, 2 jalapeno (seed to remove some heat), 1 bell pepper (any color), and 2 garlic cloves.

Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onion and saute about 5 mins.

While that is cooking grab an 8 x 8 baking pan and pour in 1/4 enchilada sauce. Tilt the pan to spread it around.

Start your first layer of lasagna with a large tortilla or tear a couple smaller tortillas in half and fit them into your dish. I had both on hand as you will see 🙂 Next comes a little more enchilada sauce.

Once your onions start to soften drop in the jalapenos, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook until all are tender.

While that is working away chop up 1/2 cup fresh cilantro… or in my case parsley 🙂 You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit! I wasn’t going to pass on this recipe just because I was out of fresh cilantro!! Slice your limes so they are ready to juice.

Add 1 can of drained and rinsed black beans into the hot pan…

along with a cup of “thawed” frozen corn. My was not quite thawed 😉

Also add in 2 tsp chili powder. Less if you aren’t so big on heat, more if you really love heat! Stir this all around and cook for another couple of minutes.

Next toss in your cilantro or anything green and leafy you have around…

Squeeze in 2 Tbs fresh lime juice, about 1 lime. Stir this around to combine.

Spoon a 1/3 of the bean / veggie mixture on top of the tortillas.

Sprinkle with about 1/2 cup of shredded Muenster cheese or if all you can find are slices it will look more like this 🙂

Top that with another layer of tortillas… obviously a very precise process.

Pour on another scoop of enchilada sauce, about 1/4 cup.

Repeat another 1/3 of the bean / veggie mix, 1/2 cup cheese.

and another layer of tortillas…

another scoop of sauce…

the final 1/3 of bean / veggie mix…

and the last of the cheese. Pop this into your oven for about 15 minutes or until the top starts to brown and bubble.

Kinda like this… let this stand for about 5 minutes so everything can pull together.

Cut in and dish up a big square for yourself. It is so tasty. This is a great meatless dinner option. You could sure add some ground beef or even some rotisserie chicken from those ready to go chickens at the store… I’m loving those things lately! You could switch up the cheeses, maybe some pepperjack… or cojita. Maybe add in some fresh sliced tomatoes… you can really build off this easy dish. If you do, let me know what you try!

Mexican Black Bean Lasagna
1 large onion, chopped
2 jalapenos (seeded for less heat)
2 garlic cloves
1 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
2 tsp chili powder (more or less to taste)
2 Tbs fresh lime juice
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 10 oz can red enchilada sauce
9 small corn tortillas
8 oz shredded cheese (Your choice)

Heat oven to 425. Heat 2 Tbs olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, cook 5 mins. Spread 1/4 enchilada sauce in bottom of 8×8 baking dish. Tear tortillas to form bottom layer. Add 1/4 sauce over tortillas. Into pan with onions add jalapenos, bell pepper, and garlic and cook until tender. Stir in beans, corn, and chili powder, cook for 2 minutes. Stir in cilantro and lime juice. Spoon 1/3 of bean mixture over tortillas. Top with 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat process with tortillas, then sauce, then bean mixture, then cheese 2 more times. Bake for about 15 minutes or until top is lightly browned and bubbly. Let stand for 5 minutes to pull together. Serve with sour cream / cilantro / lime wedges.

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Quick Pasta Lunch

This was my lunch today and it was soooo good and easy I just had to share…
Cook & drain noodles
Slice olives
Chiffinade spinach
Drizzle on olive oil
Salt & Pepper
A couple shakes of crushed red pepper flakes (this makes the dish, don’t leave them out!)

Lunch is served!

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Flourless Brownies

O-mazing… that’s what these are!! They will seriously disappear before your very eyes. Even if you are the only one in the room 🙂 Trust me… its weird 🙂 They are made with ingredients you mostly likely already have on hand so you really have no excuse. They are even gluten free… if that matters to you 🙂 Except maybe that you don’t want to turn your oven on in this heat wave. Hey, the batch is small enough to fit in your toaster oven. Besides… they are worth it!! Here we go…

Preheat your oven to 350 and grab an 8 x 8 pan. Butter it up.

Cut a sheet of parchment paper that covers the bottom and hangs off a bit on the sides.

Add a little more butter than lay a sheet down the opposite way so your entire pan is covered.

In a medium bowl drop in 1/3 cup cornstarch…

1/4 cup cocoa powder…

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon…

1/2 tsp salt

Whisk all this together and set aside.

In a large microwave save bowl drop in 12 oz chocolate chips. Semisweet are good but whatever you have will work. Also, 6 Tbs butter. Chocolate and butter… how can this go wrong??? Pop this in the microwave and cook on high for 30 second increments until they can be stirred smoothly. About 2 minutes.

In the meantime… if you like nuts… toast up some pecans, walnuts… whatever you like. About a cup. These can definitely be left out.

The consistency of the chocolate butter mix will be like thick mud… delicious thick mud that is 🙂

Pour in 3/4 cup sugar… this is getting better by the second!

and 1 tsp real vanilla. You know where I stand on this 🙂

Stir… now you will have slightly grainy thick mud. Boy does this smell amazing…

But are they really rich enough?? Not quite… add in 3 large eggs one at a time until completely combined.

Now pour in the cornstarch mix and give this a good stir for a couple of minutes.

Now you can add in your nuts if you choose to.

Pour this into your prepared pan, pop them in the oven and proceed to lick the spoon, spatula and bowl until you get every last morsel. That is part of the recipe so… guess you gotta do it!

Bake for about 35 minutes and give them a rotating turn about half way through. A toothpick in the middle will come out with a few crumbs on it. Pop the pan onto a cooling rack and do your best to let them cool. Then you can simply lift them out of the pan using the parchment paper and cut into squares.

Oh goodness… you could sit and stare at the beauty of these things or you can cover them in ice cream or pour a cup of coffee or hide in your bathroom so your kids can’t find you and just enjoy the double chocolate buttery rich goodness.

Flourless Brownies
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
12 oz chocolate chips
6 Tbs butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Butter 8×8 pan and line with parchment so that there is an overhang on the sides of the pan. In a medium bowl whisk cornstarch, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a large microwaveable bowl add butter and chocolate chips. Cook on high for 30 second increments stirring in between until smooth. About 2 minutes. Add sugar and vanilla to melted chocolate. Add eggs one at a time until completely mixed. Add in cornstarch mixture and stir for 2 minutes to combine. Add nuts. Pour into pan and bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out of center with moist crumbs. Cool entire pan on cooling rack. Lift brownies out by parchment paper and cut into squares.

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Giveaway Winner!!!

3 months later… Ha! Sorry!! So the luck winner is Miss Jen Lee!!! Yay!!!!! I hope she is very happy for the rest of her life with her forever sharp knife 🙂

I’ve had a blast the last couple of weeks helping my friend with her daughter’s wedding. More pics on that soon!! Now… to get this blog moving again!!

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