Friday, August 31, 2012

Chili's Copycat Cajun Chicken Pasta

Doesn't it look delicious?

I love the pairing of chicken and pasta for the economic
 value of a delicious meal.  Make this restaurant quality meal
 at home for a fraction of what you would spend for your
 family meal at Chili's.  

Add a salad and some good bread for the perfect meal!


    • 2 chicken breasts, boneless skinless 
    • 4 teaspoons cajun seasoning 
    • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine 
    • 3 cups heavy cream 
    • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning 
    • 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 
    • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 
    • 8 ounces penne pasta, cooked and drained 
    • 2 roma tomatoes, diced 
    • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, fresh shredded, to taste 


Slightly moisten chicken with water. 

In a large resealable plastic bag, shake chicken and cajun seasoning until chicken is thoroughly coated. 

In large skillet, saute chicken in 2 tablespoons butter, over medium heat, turning whenever necessary. 

When chicken is about half-way done, grab a second skillet and combine heavy cream, 2 tablespoons butter, and remainder of seasonings over medium heat, stirring occasionally. 

When cream mixture begins to bubble, add the pasta and turn off heat. Stir well. 

When chicken is cooked through, place on cutting board and slice into strips. 

Spoon pasta and sauce onto large serving plates (2) and top with chicken, diced tomatoes, and Parmesan.

Photo Source
Recipe Source

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Lemon Ricotta Crepes

This recipe will be a totally new experience for me . . .
I've never made crepes before!

The Captain and I are thrilled that our lemon and
lime trees are vigorously producing fruit!  I'm
especially excited about a new citrus tree putting
out fruit . . . the seeds came from some
delicious little lemons from a friend's yard.

You guessed it . . . I'm on the lookout for recipes
using lemons and limes!!


  • 1 1/2  cups  whole milk
  • large eggs
  • 1  cup  all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 3  tablespoons  unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the skillet
  • 1/4  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  finely grated lemon zest plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice, plus 1 thinly sliced lemon
  • 1/2  cup  plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1  cup  ricotta
  • 1  tablespoon  honey, plus more for serving


  1. In a blender, blend the milk, eggs, flour, butter, salt, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar until very foamy, about 1 minute. Transfer to the refrigerator and let rest, at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, boil 1/2 cup of water and the remaining ½ cup of sugar, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon slices and simmer until tender and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes; let cool.
  3. Wipe a medium nonstick skillet with butter and heat over medium heat. Add ¼ cup of the crepe batter and swirl the skillet so the batter completely covers the bottom of the pan. Cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Gently loosen the edge of the crepe with a spatula and, using your fingers, flip the crepe. Continue to cook until cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate. (Don’t be disappointed if the first crepe does not come out well; the batter makes enough for 13.) Repeat with the remaining batter.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest, ricotta, and honey. Dividing evenly, spread the ricotta mixture on the crepes (about 1 tablespoon each) and roll up. Serve topped with the lemon slices and drizzled with additional honey.
Source:  Real Simple
By Charlyne Mattox , April, 2012

Photo Credit: José Picayo

Friday, August 24, 2012

Nikki's Homemade Refried Beans

This recipe originated from Nikki's mom!  

We love refried beans and this recipe seems
 very easy to make . . . love crock pot cooking!

**These proportions are assuming you have a large crock pot- 5 qt**
Put about 2 inches (about 3 cups) of dry pinto beans into crock-pot.   (Wash and rinse beans first)
Fill crock-pot nearly to the top with water

5 chicken bouillon cubes
1 Tbsp. garlic salt
1/2 medium sweet onion (Don’t chop up onion, just put half of onion on beans)

Cook on high until beans are soft.  (stir occasionally during cooking process.  You may have to add more water as beans absorb water.)

Strain beans or pour off juice, saving the juice in a separate bowl.

Add  1/2 cup of butter and a small amount of juice that beans cooked in.

Use a hand blender to mash beans.

Add juice and blend to obtain desired consistency.  You want to leave beans a little runny as they will set up quite fast.

Check out Nikki's blog, Chef In Training for more awesome recipes!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

36 One Pot Meal Recipes

The following listing of one pot meal recipes comes from Mr. Food's website.  I'm including them on the blog so I don't lose track of them . . . so many great recipes!

Country Chicken and Rice - It’s no wonder one-pot recipes are tops on so many of our lists when it comes to dinnertime solutions. We think the best part of this recipe is that the longer it cooks the better the flavors blend.
Cozy Beef Stew - This warm and cozy beef stew is the perfect one-pot meal to throw together and cook on the stovetop. The best part is it tastes even better the next day, so it fits as a make-ahead, too!
Easy Cook Pot Roast - Wait 'til your gang gets a whiff of this roast cooking in your slow cooker! This is one-step cooking at its finest, with the vegetables and gravy teaming perfectly with the eye of round roast and making any day a special day!
Chicken Cacciatore One Pot - Our Chicken Cacciatore One-Pot is chicken, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and spices galore, all in one pot. Do you love it?
Saucy White Chili - Get ready for an exciting new kind of chili! This chicken chili made with Great Northern beans, tomatoes and Tex-Mex flavorings gives chili a whole new meaning!
Complete Lamb Stew - Isn't it great? A whole meal cooked in one pot! I wonder if our ancestors knew how thankful we'd be to them for making our lives easier today.
Italian Seafood One Pot - Here's a super blend of Mediterranean seafood that our ancestors made in just one pot. We can do it the same way today, which still means lots of flavor and little cleanup!
French Country One Pot - Traditional recipes for dishes like our French Country One-Pot are easy but use lots of pots and pans. Well, from the ingredients here, you'll know you're in for a taste treat. And from the title, you'll know you're in for a cleanup treat, too!
Old World Goulash - This saucy one-pot meal earns points for long-cooked flavor without a lot of long prep. Old World Goulash is a hearty all-in-one dish that'll warm and satisfy your hungry gang.
One Pot Mac and Cheese - It's a lightning-quick stovetop version of mac and cheese, made with spaghetti. No spaghetti? Use ziti. No ziti? How about shells? We can change this recipe every time or keep it the same but one thing won't change: the great taste!
One Pot Couscous - This easy one-pot international favorite starts with bite-sized boneless leg of lamb chunks and pasta pearls known as couscous. It cooks up into a flavorful, change-of-pace Moroccan-style lamb stew your gang is sure to enjoy!
Easy Burgoo - This Cajun-style one-pot features both chicken and beef with gumbo-style vegetables in a meal your gang is sure to ask for again and again.
Best Broccoli Casserole - Best Broccoli Casserole is loaded with creamy vegetables and crunchy nuts. It's got the perfect casserole consistency - not too mushy, but still warm and comforting.
Slow Cooked Italian Pot Roast - If you don't have a slow cooker, we suggest that you go out and get one ASAP! This recipe alone, with its fork-tender beef smothered in a rich and zesty sauce, will make your purchase worthwhile.
Amish Ham and Cheese Casserole - Amish recipes are all the rage, probably because of their huge comfort-factor. Our easy version of this classic country Amish Ham and Cheese Casserole takes advantage of some market shortcuts. Same great taste, but a bit less work for us.
Far East Beef and Rice - Far East Beef and Rice is an east meets west one pot dish that's packed with flavor. Budget-friendly ground beef gets its lively taste from a variety of veggies and taste bud pleasing seasonings.
One Pot Primavera - Here's a one-pot twist on a light pasta dish brimming with fresh vegetables. Mix up our One-Pot Primavera and enjoy the fresh and easy goodness.
Beef with Barley - Our beef with barley recipe is a great make ahead meal that offers old-fashioned long cooking tasty comfort! Welcome your gang home to this hearty one pot, for a dinner that satisfies long after they're done eating it!
Tuscan One Pot - Chock-full of mood-boosting, healthy ingredients, this hearty, flavorful Tuscan One Pot Italian-style stew is sure to brighten dinnertime. Savor every last drop of this easy one pot with some crusty whole grain bread.
Simmerin' Beef One Pot - One pot simmering means the stove does all the work and you get all the credit. Who wouldn't like that?!
Sicilian One Pot - If you think one-dish meals tend to be dull and bland, you haven't tasted our Sicilian One Pot, made with sausage, chicken and lots of other goodies! Talk about zip!
Homemade Hash - Our Homemade Hash is the perfect easy corned beef hash recipe. Leftover potatoes and cooked corned beef stretches into a hearty new meal that satisfies everybody.
Cuban Shredded Beef - The classic Cuban ropa vieja (in Spanish) refers to this savory slow-cooked beef dish that's shredded, like its literal translation old clothes. We're betting these zesty flavors will make it a favorite on your table!
Southern Beef Stew - One-pot meals are great for chilly weather, so what could be better than the comforting taste of an old favorite made Southern-style with a surprise ingredient?coffee?!
One Pot Spaghetti and Sausage - One-Pot Spaghetti and Sausage makes dinner easy. Have this hearty Italian meal on the table in less than thirty minutes.
Rigatoni Bolognese - Your passport to Italy is no further than your own kitchen when you cook up this all-in-one-pot sensational Rigatoni Bolognese! No need to go over budget at a restaurant or travel halfway around the world to enjoy this easy Italian classic!
Savory Short Ribs - The long, slow cooking makes these beef short ribs as tender as can be, the perfect one-pot meal for a hungry gang. With hearty barley and healthy veggies, Savory Short Ribs is an all-in-one good choice!
Sausage and Bean One Pot - This hearty one-pot meal is part soup, part stew, and adds up to a comforting main-dish meal. You'll love Sausage and Bean One Pot for how easy it is to make, how good it tastes and how little there is to clean up!
Shrimp Boil - Throw your shrimp, sausage and veggies together in this quick and tasty one-pot recipe. The taste is so spicy and original that it's sure to please even non-seafood lovers!
Pleasin' Beefy Chicken Bake - What do we do when the gang can't agree on beef or chicken for dinner? We give 'em exactly what they want - an easy one-pot dish that'll please one and all!
Spicy Rigatoni - If you're looking for a hearty, flavor-packed meal in one pot, you've found it! With broccoli, beans, sausage and pasta, what more could you ask for than Spicy Rigatoni?
Simple Turkey Pot - Why wait for Thanksgiving to enjoy those comfort tastes we all love? Toss everything together in your slow cooker and you'll have a complete one-pot turkey dinner without any work.
Mardi Gras Jambalaya - Alright, pretend it's Mardi Gras. Throw all these ingredients in one pot and crank up your favorite New Orleans jazz. That's the way to turn regular-old dinner into a celebration!
Irish Beef Stew - All eyes will be smiling, Irish or not, when we serve up this hearty Irish Beef Stew inspired by the classic tastes of the Emerald Isle. This all-in-one-pan meal cooks up to be weeknight or company special.
Greek Island Frittata - Even though a frittata is a "loaded" omelet, it's still pretty easy to make. So if you like to keep things simple, and if you like dishes with a foreign flair, this one's for you!
Seafood One Pot - If you're a seafood lover, roll up your sleeves, grab a loaf of crusty bread and a big bowl and spoon, and you'll be "in business", as we always said.

Visit Our Etsy Shop