Thursday, February 5, 2015

Chicken Linguine

I walked in the house at 5:30 p.m. and served this up at 6:00 p.m.!  That is the first qualifier for this dish!  The Hubs ate two bowls - that's the second qualifier and you can tweak the veggies to suit what your family likes - that's the home run qualifier!

I ordered this at a restaurant this week and it was DELISH!  One of my favorite things to do is to come home and "re-create" it my way!

You'll Need:

3-4 chicken tenders (fried or grilled)
1/2 box linguine or thin spaghetti noodles
1 1/2 - 2 cups Alfredo sauce (brand of your choosing)
1 package sugar snap peas (fresh or frozen)
1/2 red sweet pepper
1/2 green bell pepper
4 strips bacon (cooked and diced)
1/4 cup Italian cheese blend
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
3 pats butter

Start by cooking a microwave safe pot of water for 6 minutes, then add your pasta (I break my pasta in half so that it fits well and cooks quickly).  Microwave for 10 minutes, drain and set aside.

While your pasta is cooking, sauté the sugar snap peas and diced peppers in a skillet with 2 pats of real butter over medium heat.  You want your veggies tender but not mushy.  Be careful not to over cook them.

As your pasta boils and your veggies cook, slice your cooked chicken tenders into thin strips.  I had some left over fried chicken tenders and they did just great in this recipe.  Make life easy and pick up a snack pack at your favorite chicken drive thru or your local deli.  Fried is yummy, grilled is great too - totally your call.

I microwave my bacon (because I hate the mess of frying and this is faster).  Cook for 3 1/2 minutes then check for doneness.  Add an additional 30 seconds if needed to cook bacon completely.  Be sure to have paper towels under and over or this will make a mess in your microwave.  Let cool then chop the bacon.

Mix your drained pasta with the Alfredo sauce, one pat of butter and 1/4 cup of Italian cheese blend.

Mix the pasta with the sautéed veggies.  Add to your serving dish, top with chicken, bacon and sprinkle with a generous pinch of grated Parmesan cheese.  Voila'!  Dinner is served!

Pair this with garlic bread and the salad of your choice and you have made if from door to table in half an hour!  You can easily adjust the veggies to what your family likes.  Fresh sautéed green beans, broccoli or carrots are simple subs.  On a busy week day - this delivers a quick and delicious dinner!  I hope this works as well for your family as it did for me!

This serves dinner for two - just double for a full family serving.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Peaches and Cream French Toast Bake


I love spoiling the people I love and nothing says LOVE better than breakfast (excluding diamonds of course:)!  This is an easy dish with ingredients that you probably already have on hand.  It just takes a few minutes of effort to let those you love know how special they are to you...just get cookin'!  This is super easy with just a dash of different!
You'll Need:
loaf French bread, sliced about an inch thick
2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup sugar    
1 teaspoon vanilla extract    
cans sliced peaches packed in juice, drained well  
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
a pinch of nutmeg   
1/2 cup heavy cream
Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. (All great recipes start with butter!) Arrange bread in a tight, flat layer in dish.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs with milk, sugar and vanilla until blended; pour over bread. Arrange peaches on top and sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.

Remove baking dish from refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for half an hour. Preheat oven to 350°F.

Pour cream into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until reduced by half, (about 10 minutes). Drizzle over peaches - bread mix and bake, uncovered, until casserole is lightly browned on top around 45 to 50 minutes.

Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. 

Syrup is not required as this is already super sweet but who am I to tell you not to add your favorite syrup, powdered sugar or even whipped cream to add more decadence to this dish! Be just as sweet as you want to be!  Love begins one fork full at a time!  If you are serving breakfast for two, just cut this recipe in half, it bakes well in an 8x8 dish for a smaller serving.