gnocchi with parmesan and peas, salad
Szechaun pork, rice
white chicken enchiladas, black beans
braised short ribs and cheddar polenta
chicken Picasso
pizza at a birthday party
bacon, poblano and corn pasta,

Friday, April 24, 2015

Cajun Chicken, Peppers and Penne

Cajun Chicken, Peppers and Penne
I know I always will have a winner in my house with some sort of spin on alfredo, aka Daddy Pasta (named after C!) I use Tony Chacheres seasoning, but next time, I am going to try it with Old Bay, more Maryland style.  This meal comes together incredibly quickly, which is great for us on a night after ballet or art class or whatever.  It took some convincing to ensure both C and Miss F that the red bits were indeed bell pepper chunks, not tomatoes.  I would have loved the addition of tomatoes, but I know it wouldn't go over so well with them.  I did go ahead and plant a container tomato plant out on our porch, if it produces any crop, they will be mine and mine alone.  How do they not love tomatoes?!?!?
Cajun Chicken, Peppers and Penne

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
½ onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
¼ cup white wine
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup half and half
¼ cup grated Parmesan
1 pound cooked penne pasta

Dredge the chicken in one teaspoon of the Cajun seasoning. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over high heat. Sauté the chicken until brown, transfer to a plate. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sauté the onion and bell pepper for 3 minutes; add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds more. Add the tomato paste and remaining Cajun seasoning. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Whisk together the cornstarch, broth and half & half. Add the half and half mixture; bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer for a couple of minutes to thicken the sauce. When the cream sauce is to desired consistency, stir in Parmesan, chicken and pasta. Serve.
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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

M&M Blondies

M&M Blondies
I made these to take to an impromptu wine night at a friend's house. I was all ready to go and the skies opened up. Literally. My phone was weather alarming like mad and I wasn't ready to make a 25 mile drive in buckets of rain. So I stayed home. And ate three blondies instead of having any wine. They are so good. And I really wish I would have been able to take them all away, that way, C and I wouldn't have devoured them in just a few days. Next time I am going to try them with Reeses Pieces. Thanks to Inside Bru Crew Life for the great recipe, she also was the source of a another favorite, Reeses Cheesecake Brownie Bars
M&M Blondies

½ cup butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups flour
1 ½ cups M&M candies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the butter and brown sugar, until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Sift in the salt, baking powder and flour, stir until just combined. Stir in 1 cup on the M&Ms. Spread the batter into a greased 9x13 baking dish. Top with the remaining ½ cup of M&Ms. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, cool completely and cut into squares.
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Monday, April 20, 2015

Garlic, Herb, and Cheese Bread Rolls

Garlic, Herb, and Cheese Bread Rolls
I love any sort of yeast roll. I went to Ranch 99 the other day to get beef tenderloin for a dinner I was hosting for my uncle in from Maryland, they had a ton of fresh herbs for super low prices. Miss F helped me make the dough before school, she loved helping prep the herbs, especially plucking the thyme leaves off their stem.  These rolls are amazing, especially the sprinkle of parmesan on the top.  Miss F was so proud of herself, she kept insisting she made the whole dinner.  She was a great help though, she has great enthusiasm for cooking.  Thanks to Handle the Heat for the recipe.
Garlic, Herb, and Cheese Bread Rolls

¼ cup lukewarm water
1 cup warm milk (100 – 110°F)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 whole eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
2 ¼ teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast
4 ½ cups (20 ounces) bread flour
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Stir together the water, milk, 1 tablespoon of the oil, eggs, sugar, salt, garlic powder, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir in 2 cups of the flour, until it forms a rough, shaggy dough. Using the dough hook on medium-low speed, knead until the dough comes together, adding the remaining flour as it kneads. Turn the speed to medium-high and knead for 5 minutes more. Form the dough into a ball, cover the bowl lightly with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

Grease a 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Divide the dough into 15 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place in the prepared pan. Brush with the remaining oil and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Let the rolls rise for 30 minutes in a warm place.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the rolls for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.
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