Tuesday, July 31, 2012

{healthy} baked rigatoni

cooking lights baked rigatoni
305 cals per serving and ridiculously tasty? don't mind if I do.

4 cups tomato sauce {I just used a large jar of whatever I had in the pantry}
1 lb ground round
4 cups cooked rigatoni {2-1/2 cups uncooked}
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
Cooking spray
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

**or you can be like me and use half rigatoni/half penne because that's how I roll

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Cook beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned; stir to crumble. Drain well. Combine beef, rigatoni, Tomato Sauce, and 1 cup mozzarella in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with 1/2 cup mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated

the cast of characters

and some ground beef because for some reason he didn't make it in the first picture.

looking a wee bit tastier here.

{adorable sous chef optional}

cooking makes me want to dance too.

oh yes, the best part of this dish is the fact that you just toss it all together, top it with cheese and bake it.

***note for the semi-vegetarians like myself this is easily adapted by NOT mixing the beef in with the other ingreds and instead layering it and only putting the ground beef on half the dish as I did here.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ranch Chicken Cups

Ranch Chicken Cups

1 pkg wonton wrappers
3-4 chicken breasts, boiled and shredded (or to make it simple use precooked fajita chicken)
2 packages shredded taco cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
1 (16 fl oz) bottle Ranch Dressing
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
4 slices cooked and crumbled bacon
green onion to taste, chopped

Preheat oven to 425F.

1. Line cupcake pan with wonton wrappers. Bake 3-4 minutes until edges are brown. Continue with all wrappers until they are complete. Arrange baked shells on cookie sheets.
2.In a large bowl, mix shredded chicken and entire bottle of ranch dressing. Add 1 tsp chili powder (can add more depending on your taste), garlic powder and bacon. Fill shells with chicken mixture and top with cheese and green onions.
3.Bake until cheese is melted, about 3-4 minutes.

You could also put buffalo chicken in the wontons....
switch it up a bit...
1 package of cream cheese
1 can of chicken (drained)
 1/2 c  hot sauce
Or make your own mixture...
These little cups are so versatile

Thursday, July 26, 2012

PW's Chicken Spaghetti

So last night I went through the Pioneer Woman's cookbook and made another tasty dish.  This time we had Chicken Spaghetti.  I would highly recommend that if you haven't tried this you run right out to the store, buy the ingredients, and indulge yourself!

Start with chicken.  She says a whole fryer chicken, I just use Chicken breasts cut up into bite sized pieces.

Drop them into some EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil for those of you who don't know who Rachael Ray is) and cook your chicken.

Season it up with some S&P (Salt and pepper)

Then start your water to boiling.  Once it is at a boil, put some salt in (only time to salt your pasta) and then throw your spaghetti in to cook.  Cook al dente (or just shy of being done b/c it'll cook in the oven as well).

She didn't say to saute up your pepper/onions but I thought it might take some of the crunchy bite away and make them oh so flavorful.

Then put your pasta, your Cream of Mushroom Soup and your cheese in a bowl.

To that add the peppers, onions and pimento.

Then add your seasonings

Finally add the chicken

And go to town mixing.  (see I own things other than green and yellow, my spatula is orange ;) haha)

Then plop it into a dish, top with the remaining cheese and bake it.

I'm getting closer to making it through her book but still have quite a ways to go. Happy Thursday and seriously, this is delish! Peace, Love and Good Food!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Easy No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

I made this for Father's Day last month, and they were a BIG hit. I believe that my Daddy told me that I was in charge of bringing these to every family gathering from there on out. Fine by me, because these were delicious and super simple to make! Plus, licking this batter...well, let's just say it was the best batter I've ever licked in my life! Check it out!

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Picture & Recipe credits go here

- 1 cup butter melted
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (use the boxed kind, or grind them in a food processor. Tiny granules.)
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar (aka powdered sugar)
- 1 cup + 4 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips

- In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, confectioners’ sugar, and 1 cup peanut butter until well blended.
- Press evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan. (I did mine in a 9X9 square pan because I wanted them thicker)
- In the microwave, melt the chocolate chips with the peanut butter, stirring every 30 seconds until melted until smooth.
- Spread over the peanut butter layer. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

roasted eggplant with herbs

I found this recipe for roasted eggplant with herbs via a cooking light email
it sounded tasty {and vegetarian!} so I thought I'd give it a go

4 small eggplants (about 13 ounces)
2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

1. Preheat oven to 450°.
2. Cut each eggplant into 1/4-inch slices, cutting to, but not through, stem end. Fan eggplants, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush 1 1/2 tablespoons oil evenly over eggplant slices. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes; remove from oven. Press eggplants gently to fan slices. Brush eggplants with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil; sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until flesh is tender and edges are browned and slightly crisp.
3. Drizzle remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil evenly over eggplants; sprinkle with herbs.
and now for a photo montage....



olive oiled up
first round of baking
and my finished product
*** I would like to note that I adapted the herbs to use what I had on hand which included basil, rosemary and a mediterranean mix

{and for the record... the way theirs looked}

It was pretty darn tasty! both my chicklets loved it- the flavor and texture were spot on. 
I did make the comment that next time I would take off the peel and puree it into a dip of some sort.
overall I give it a solid thumbs up!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Dip/Wraps

Buffalo Chicken Dip or Wrap

1pk of cream cheese
1    12.5 oz can of drained chicken
1/2 pk of dry ranch dressing/dip mix
1/3 cup Louisiana Hot Sauce

I actually tripled the recipe and used 2 packages of the dressing mix this time and it was great also.

First soften the cream cheese in a large bowl in the microwave. Next mix all the ingredients together.
How easy!

If you like things SUPER hot use1/2 cup hot sauce... if you like things kind of hot... use 1/4 hot sauce. My suggestion is to add some hot sauce, try it... and keep adding more until it has the correct hot factor for you.

We ate this dip on corn chips, we ate this dip on crackers....

The guys even ate this dip wrapped in leafs of romaine lettuce!

It was some GOOD stuff!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Crock-pot Cream Cheese Chicken

Hey guys, I'm Nicole and I blog at Life's a Beach.  I think I'd still consider myself as a newly wed even though I've been married almost 2 years.  At our house we love to cook and try new recipes.  So please stop by and check out our life!

So speaking of trying new recipes that I find, I was reading Life After the Aisle and Ashley had a recipe for Crock-pot Cream Cheese Chicken.  Her picture made it look to die for!  The recipe looked super simple.  I finally own a crock-pot, which I've never used.  Okay now was the time to try it, right?
2 c. Cream of "something" Soup
2 Boneless, Skinless, Chicken Breasts
2 T Italian Seasoning
1 T Sugar
1/4 t Black Pepper
1 t Salt
2 Cloves Minced Garlic (I used 5 lol)
1 block of Cream Cheese
Noodles or Rice
Put everything except for the cream cheese and noodles/rice into the crock-pot.  cook on low for 6 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through and begins to shred.  Shred the chicken with two forks and mix in block of cream cheese.  Turn it to high and cook for another 30 minutes, or until cream cheese is fully melted.

While the Cream Cheese is melting, boil noodles or rice.  Serve cream cheese chicken over rice/noodles.
So Monday night this is what my dinner looked like!  It was out of this world good!

Please stop by and say hi!! :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Chicken & Asparagus Penne

Hi guys! My name is Samantha, and I blog over at The Chronicles of We. I'm super excited to be a part of this blog, so that I can share with you some of my favorite recipes! The recipe that I'm bringing you today, is one that I made for my family just last week and a new favorite in my household. Plus, it's super easy! Check it out, cook it up, and enjoy.

Chicken & Asparagus Penne

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Photo & recipe credits go here

- 1 lb Asparagus- Steamed
- 12 oz Smart Taste Penne- Cooked
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 1 lb Chicken Breast- Cubed and Cooked
- 1/2 Cup Shredded Parmesan

- Add all ingredients into a 9 x13 pan and stir to combine.
- Top with Cheese and Broil for 5 minutes or until cheese is golden.

Nutrition Information:
Calories: 383 || Total Fat: 14.5g || Sat. Fat: 3.2g || Cholest.: 50mg || Sodium: 273mg || Carb.: 45.9g || Fiber: 8.2g || Sugars: 3g || Protein 25.4g

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

shrimp ceviche

hey y'all, I'm Stephanie from everyday stephanie
{why does that feel so redundant? ha!} 

when I married my husband he wasn't picky by any means but he didn't eat a lot of "weird food" 
I've turned him to the dark side mwhahaha and now one of his favorite dishes?
shrimp ceviche

I'm pretty sure he asks for it nearly weekly. it's one of my faves too so I'm more than happy to oblige.

1 pound raw shrimp {peeled and deveined}
two lemons**
two limes**
two oranges**
1 cup diced seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
2 serranos finely chopped {and seeded if you're a sissy ;)}
1 cup diced seeded tomato
1 avocado, chopped
1 tablespoon roughly chopped cilantro leaves, plus more leaves for garnish
2 tbls extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

** or any variation of this, I always just use whatever citrus I have on hand so sometimes it's 6 limes or 4 lemons and 2 limes. it's whatevs.

Combine water and 1/4 cup salt in a large saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Add shrimp and immediately turn off the heat. Let the shrimp sit until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and chop the shrimp into 1/2-inch pieces and place in a medium nonreactive bowl (do NOT use stainless steel or the like, something with the citrus is no bueno. I stick to melamine for this recipe). Add your citrus juice. Stir in cucumber, onion and chiles. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Stir tomato, avocado, chopped cilantro, oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt into the shrimp mixture. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with cilantro leaves, if desired.

yum and yum. for reals.
super easy, full of flavor and low in calories. win.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Summertime Lemonade

Need a great refreshing drink to beat the heat? 
How about some fruity lemonade?
You will LOVE this....
I promise!

Ingredients Needed:
2 Quarts Pink Lemonade 
1 Cup Watermelon Rum
1 Cup Malibu Rum
1 Cup Triple Sec
6-10 Fresh Strawberries

Mix the above ingredients together and chill!

Then Enjoy!