LEMON RICOTTA PARMESAN PASTA WITH GRILLED CHICKEN AND SPINACH
Doesn’t this sound amazing??? I love ricotta on anything!
1 lb grilled chicken breasts, sliced into strips
1 lb dry linguine, fettucine or spaghetti
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup reserved pasta water
6 oz fresh baby spinach, steamed just until beginning to wilt
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan, plus more for serving
Cook pasta in salted water according to directions listed on package, reserve 1 cup pasta water before draining pasta.
Drain water (reserve 1 cup) and return pasta to pot. Set pot over medium-low heat and add olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, ricotta, 1/2 cup hot reserved pasta water and parmesan and toss to evenly coat. Add in more pasta water as desired to thin and season with salt and pepper to taste, cook and toss, about 2 minutes, until ricotta is heated through. Toss in spinach and grilled chicken. Serve warm topped with more parmesan if desired.
Hello to my wunderful readers. Sorry that it’s been so long since I’ve lasted posted anything. Going back to school, on top of working two jobs, has proven to be a little more challenging and time consuming than I had anticipated. I go through these thoughts wundering why I am even bothering with any of this at my age. Then I think, “why not?” The only thing I can gain from this is good. It’s never a bad thing to go back to school and of course it takes a lot of time and work but all good things do, right? I just wanted to check in and let you know that I think I have finally got a hold on things and should be able to post on a regular basis, once again. Thanks for reading. Have an amazing weekend! I will be taking a mid-term, (everyone pray for me, LOL).
ITALIAN CHICKEN CASSEROLE
• 1 lb cooked and cubed chicken breasts (or use a rotisserie)
• 1 box (16oz) linguine noodles
• 2 Tbsp olive oil
• 4 cloves garlic, pressed
• 1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
• 2 Tbsp cornstarch
• 1 cup chicken broth
• 2 cup heavy cream
• 1 cup milk
• 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
• 1/2 tsp black pepper
• 5oz pkg fresh spinach
• 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
• 2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1. Cook linguine according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and tomatoes. Cook for about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with cornstarch, mix thoroughly.
3. Add chicken broth, heavy cream and milk, whisking quickly. Add salt and pepper. Heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add spinach and parmesan cheese. Remove from heat. Pour sauce over cooked noodles. Add cooked chicken and pour into a large casserole dish (13×9 size). Top with mozzarella cheese. You can bake immediately, or cover with foil and place in refrigerator until dinner.
4. If baking immediately, bake covered with foil for 350 degree for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 5 minutes until cheese is browned.
5. If baking after the dish has been refrigerated, bake covered with foil in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes. ENJOY!
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 tablespoon chopped shallots
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chili pepper (your choice of pepper – mild or hot, or leave the chili pepper out entirely if you prefer)
• 3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
• 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken cut into bite sized pieces (mix white and dark meat)
• 4 tablespoons Vietnamese Caramel
• ¼ cup chicken stock
• 2 tablespoons fish sauce
• Corn starch as needed
• ½ cup scallions, cut on the bias into one inch strips (3 or 4 scallions, top and bottom)
• Steamed white rice, to serve with the chicken
1. Begin by preparing (chopping, measuring, etc.) all of the ingredients for this dish (per the ingredients list in this recipe) before you start to cook.
2. Prepare your rice so that it is cooked and ready when this dish is ready. It takes about 30 minutes to cook the chicken so plan your rice cooking time accordingly.
3. In a wok or similar shaped fry pan, heat to high and add oil, swirling it around to coat sides.
4. Add shallot, garlic, optional chili pepper and ginger and stir fry for one minute. Add chicken and toss to coat. Reduce heat slightly and cook for five minutes tossing and stirring occasionally to season the chicken.
5. Stir in caramel sauce, chicken stock, and fish sauce. Reduce to a simmer and let chicken cook in this liquid for approximately 20-30 minutes until the sauce thickens and clings to the chicken. If after 30 minutes the sauce is not thick enough, mix a small amount of corn starch and water together and drizzle a small amount at a time into the hot liquid and stir as you go. Once it reaches the desired consistency, remove from the heat and stir in scallions.
6. Serve over plenty of steamed white rice.
CHICKEN PENNE SALAD WITH CREAMY PARMESAN DRESSING
- Place penne in a medium sauce pan. Cover noodles with water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork-tender. Drain and set aside.
- Season chicken on both sides with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Cook in an oiled pan or skillet over medium heat 4-5 minutes on each side until cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board and chop into 1 inch pieces.
- In a large bowl toss together penne, chicken, spinach, red peppers, sundried tomatoes, and cheese.
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth. Pour dressing over salad ingredients, toss to combine, and serve.
• 2 – 2½ lbs flat iron steak
• 1 oz pkg onion soup mix
• ¼ c water
• 10¾ oz can of cream of mushroom soup
Serve over rice or mashed potatoes. Yummy!
1. Cut steak into serving size pieces and place in slow cooker
2. Add soup mix, water and soup to slow cooker
3. Mix well
4. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
SPICY BEEF & PEPPER STIR-FRY
1. 1 lb strip steak trimmed and cut in bite size pieces.
2. 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
3. 1/2 cup water
4. 2 tablespoons mirin
5. 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
6. 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
7. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
8. 3 teaspoons cornstarch
9. 1 large red pepper cut in at least 1/2 inch strips
10. 1 large green pepper cut in at least 1/2 inch strips
11. 1 large onion diced
12. 1 broccoli crown separated into large bite size pieces
13. 3 garlic cloves finely minced
14. canola oil
15. sesame oil
16. 3-4 teaspoons sriracha
1. Combine soy sauce, water, mirin, Worcestershire sauce, ginger, garlic powder and cornstarch in a medium ceramic bowl. Mix with whisk. Add the beef strips and allow marinading for 60 minutes.
2. Heat wok with one tablespoon canola oil and one tablespoon sesame oil until smoking. Your wok should be very hot. Swirl to coat the wok. Stir the beef in the marinade to get the cornstarch mixed again. Remove the beef from the marinade and carefully add to the wok. Do NOT discard the marinade. Cook for about 5-6 minutes stirring halfway through. Remove cover and keep warm.
3. Add another tablespoon of sesame oil. Add the broccoli and cook for about 1-2 minutes stirring once. Add the peppers and onions and cook for 3-4 minutes stirring once or twice. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove all veggies from wok and keep warm.
4. Stir the marinade to mix the cornstarch again. Add to the wok and bring to a boil. Stir often. Boil for 1-2 minutes until thickened. Add the cooked beef and vegetables back to the wok. Add 3-4 teaspoons of sriracha to taste. Stir and heat for 1-2 minutes and serve.
The decision to return to school is never easy, especially if you’ve been out of the classroom for a while. The word “college” was never brought up in my household, while I was growing up. The only thing that I thought was that you were supposed to get a job when you graduated from high school, which is exactly what I did. The same went for my then boyfriend, now husband. We found ourselves working 2 and 3 jobs just to support ourselves. It was never easy and there wasn’t any time to go back to school and get a degree. I worked many different jobs since I graduated in 1988; anywhere from being a waitress to inspecting 18 wheel chemical trucks. As many of you know, I am a full-time nanny for 2 different families and as much as I enjoy my job, it’s not something I wish to continue to do. I spend so much time taking care of other people’s families that I lose out on taking care of my own. And, at any time, the family can decide that they don’t need me and you have to move on to the next family. This is such a difficult process, especially if you get attached to the children. What makes it so bad is that I have been doing this difficult process for the last 10 years and I feel like I want to do something else with my life. I went back to school, all online, at the University of Phoenix in 2102. I received my Associate’s in Business in 2014. All I obtained was a piece of paper. I honestly thought with all of my previous work experience and that expensive piece of paper, I was going to get that great job. It never happened, so I continued to nanny. A few weeks ago, I started to see all of these jobs regarding Medical Billing and Coding. There are an abundance of these job; not only in actual workplaces, but at home and you can even start you own business. That did it for me. I started school at Devry, two weeks ago. I have no idea as to where this is going to take me but why not try. If any of my Wunderful readers has any information, I would love and appreciate hearing from you.
PAN FRIED ITALIAN CHICKEN THIGHS
1 tablespoon coconut oil or light flavored olive oil
4 chicken thighs, depending on size (4 large pieces fill my skillet)
freshly ground black pepper
granulated garlic or garlic powder
herbs de provence
Pour the oil into a large skillet. Generously sprinkle the skin side of the chicken thighs with spices and then place them in the hot skillet, skin side down. Sprinkle the other side of the thighs and then, without moving them, cook uncovered* for about 20-25 minutes. Let them cook until the fat has rendered and the skin is deep golden brown and crisp; this could take as long as 30 minutes.
If the skin is sticking to the pan, it likely isn’t finished on that side. Reduce the heat as needed if the skin starts to burn before it is evenly golden brown. Turn the thighs over and continue to cook for about 20 more minutes. When the meat closest to the bone is cooked through, the chicken is done.
• 2 cups miniature penne pasta
• 2 cans (5 ounces each) Albacore White Tuna
• 2 cups milk
• 1 cup water
• 4 tablespoons butter
• 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
• 1/2 teaspoon paprika, optional
• 2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar/monterey jack
• 1/2 cup peas
• Fresh cracked salt and pepper
• 1/4-1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, optional
• Fresh parsley, optional
1. In a large nonstick skillet: pour in 2 cups of the uncooked pasta; 2 cans of drained, rinsed, and dried tuna; 2 cups milk, the water, the butter, and dry mustard. Add in the paprika as well if desired.
2. Bring to a boil over high heat, stir, and then place on the lid. Reduce the heat to low or medium low.
3. Allow to simmer until the pasta is completely cooked through and the liquid evaporated (about 10-15 minutes depending on your stovetop heat).
4. During the cooking time, stir the ingredients occasionally to keep the pasta from sticking to the bottom.
5. Once the liquid is absorbed, stir in the shredded cheese and the fresh peas.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste as well as hot sauce if desired.
7. For a pretty garnish add fresh chopped parsley if desired.