Monday, April 16, 2018

Penne With Chicken, Spinach, and Tomatoes With Balsamic Vinaigrette

This yummy recipe is from an older issue of Southern Living magazine. This was quick and tasty! Even Mr. U loved this!!

Penne With Chicken, Spinach, and Tomatoes With Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 (14.5-ounce) box BARILLA PLUS Penne
1 pound skinned and boned chicken breasts, diced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 1/2 cups (3 ounces) firmly packed fresh spinach, chopped
2 1/2 cups seeded and chopped fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper

1. Sauté chicken in 1 tablespoon hot olive oil in a medium skillet 5 to 6 minutes or until done.
2. Whisk together vinegar and mustard in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in 6 tablespoons olive oil until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Spread pasta in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Let cool 10 minutes.
4. Toss together pasta, chicken, vinegar mixture, spinach, and remaining 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, or, if desired, cover and chill 1 hour before serving.

Makes 6 servings

Southern Living Cooking School, AUGUST 2008

Monday, April 09, 2018

Strawberry Shortcake...

HOOORAY!!!! Strawberry season is here!!! And it's time to share a wonderful Strawberry Shortcake recipe that I recently made.

I'm sure lots of y'all follow Rhoda at Southern Hospitality.  She's gorgeous. She can make a home BEAUTIFUL.  She's just seems like such a sweetheart!!!  I love her blog but I LOVE her instagram!!  She shares of lots instastories and my favorites BY FAR are when she shares her weekly meals with her adorable parents.  Her dad seems like such gentleman. And her mom!! Oh the food that she puts on the table each week!!!

This recipe comes from Rhoda's mother!!!  She found it in Parade magazine from April 19, 2009.  Y'all, it is GOOD!!  The PERFECT cake for Strawberry Shortcake- tastes like a simple pound cake!!!!  The link is for the original recipe, but I listed below the way I made it.

Simple Loaf Cake

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup flavorless oil (I used light olive oil)

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, sour cream, vanilla, and oil.  Gently measure out on top of that the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Whisk together until it is smooth.  Pour into a prepared loaf pan (8x4x2). Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50-55 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then turn out on cooling rack to cool.

Once you're ready to serve....

Strawberry Shortcake

Prepared Loaf Cake (see above)
3 pints strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup sugar
Cool Whip, Redi Whip, or homemade sweetened whipped cream

In a small bowl, place strawberries and toss with sugar.  Let sit for an hour in the fridge.  

When ready to serve, slice the cake, top with strawberries, and a dollop of your choice of whipped cream.  So SO good!!

Monday, April 02, 2018

How to Use Leftover Ham...

This time of year, Easter time, lots of grocery stores have had hams on sale and lots of people enjoy ham on their Easter table.  That's wonderful and all, but any one else have the issue of always having leftover ham?  You can only eat so many ham sandwiches before tiring of it- am I right?  You can go to the search bar here on my blog and search "ham" and find lots of recipes I've shared here using ham, but this one... this one is MY FAVE!!!!  

The recipe is super simple and one you've had a million times, just with ham added. Macaroni and Cheese with chopped up pieces of ham.  SO SO good!!  I remember my mom doing that a few times for us growing up and I LOVED IT (thanks, Mom!!!!).  This is how Mr. U and the girls now prefer their mac and cheese- with ham.  

So here's how I make ours. Oh, and the sauce is based on another recipe I shared before using cauliflower.  This recipe would SOOOOO work with cauliflower, too!!!!

Mac and Cheese with Ham

-1 pound of pasta (choose the shape of pasta your family loves)
-1 1/2 cups milk
-4 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces
-3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
-1/2 teaspoon black pepper
-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
-4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (I use extra sharp cheddar, white cheddar, Monterrey Jack, and Parmesan)
-Leftover ham, chopped into bite size pieces

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain. Set aside.  While pasta is cooking, add milk to a large pot (I used my 6 qt stock pot) and heat just until it starts bubbling around the edge of the pan.  Then add the cream cheese and whisk until it is all melted and dissolved.  Then whisk in the dijon mustard, pepper, and garlic.  Then add in the cheese and slowly stir until it is all melted and combined.  Finally add the cooked pasta and chopped ham to the pot and mix it all together.  Pour into a prepared 9x13 and bake at 375 degrees 20 minutes.  

Monday, March 19, 2018

Oatmeal Snack Cake...

I am sadly aware that there are many people in this world that do not love (or even like!!!) oatmeal.  I can't understand why.  I mean there's oatmeal cookies, granola, baked oatmeal, chocolattes, strawberry oatmeal bars, oatmeal pancakes, many different flavored oatmeals and MORE!!!!  (and I just SADLY discovered I NEED TO GET SOME OF THESE RECIPES ON MY BLOG!!!!!).  Oats, in all different forms, are DELICIOUS to me!!!!

So, when I discovered I could use leftover oatmeal in a cake, I WAS EXCITED!!!!!! Have y'all ever made a potful of old fashioned oats for breakfast only to realize you made too much?  Well, I found a use for them in case you have ever done that.  Allow me to introduce Oatmeal Snack Cake!!!!!

It's moist because I use oil, but mostly because of the cooked oatmeal in it.  Slightly sweet, easy to mix together, and really, really good with a cup of coffee morning, noon, night, late at night... you get the picture.

So grab your ingredients and get baking!!

Oatmeal Snack Cake

  • ½ cup oil 
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups cooked, plain oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla and oatmeal. (Oatmeal can be kind of lumpy mixing it together, but keep at it!!  It all comes together.) Then gently stir in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and mix well.  Pour into greased and floured 9 x 13 cake pan and bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.  

Good luck keeping this around long.  This is DELICIOUS and disappears quickly!!!

Happy cooking!!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Crock Pot Provincial Chicken...

Hey y'all!!!  Today I'm sharing one of my family's all time favorite recipes.  My husband LOVES all the flavors and I LOOOOVE that it is made in the crock pot.  

I'll be honest, I shared this recipe eons ago in the very beginning stages of my blog (yea, I've been having fun here in this space for a looooong while).  The recipe is so yummy and we're STILL enjoying it, so I figured it was worth sharing all over again!!! Plus, the Lord has given us our two sweet girls since I first shared the recipe and both of them love this, too!!  WIN WIN!!!!

Just a tiny few tweaks have happened since then, but it's basically the same- delicious! 

Happy eating!!!  

Crock Pot Provincial Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 medium zucchini, diced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 10¾-ounce can cream of chicken soup
2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
8 oz shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
Cooked pasta

Combine all ingredients except the cheese and sour cream in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove the chicken, cut into bite-size pieces and return to the slow cooker. Stir in the cheese and sour cream and cook 15 minutes more. Spoon over the pasta before serving.  Oh, and Mr. U ALWAYS pours more balsamic vinegar over his before he eats.  He says he loves all the extra flavor. :)

Makes 6 serving.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Effortless Apple Dip...

This apple dip is tasty!!  Every single time I take it somewhere, it is always ALWAYS completely gone by the time I've headed home.  I've taken this to Bible studies, playgroups, homeschool group, made this for friends coming over, even made this for picky children who would NOT touch apples.  (And at a Valentine's Day party this was DEVOURED while the chocolate goodies just sat there!!) The recipe is always requested and people are surprised by how truly effortless it is!!!

Apple Dip

8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all the ingredients together and serve with apple slices.  That's it!!!

My 7 year old, Caroline, mixed together for this blog post.  

And the same 7 year old insisted on taste testing it "just in case it's bad or something". Hmmmm... I wonder where she learned that trick?  :)


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