Friday, June 28, 2013

Chicken Parmesan Pasta

By request of Facebook fans Danielle and Ava, here's a fast and easy chicken recipe for you on this lovely Friday.

It's a meal that  your whole family will enjoy and comes together in a pinch.  To make it even easier, I used popcorn chicken rather than slicing chicken tenders.  How's that for lazy?

Coming up next week: something for 4th of July!  Some other festive recipes from years past are already listed below, too.

One Year Ago: Chorizo and Sweet Potato Lettuce Wraps, Panera Mac and Cheese, Summer Corn Fettuccine, and Pulled Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches
Two Years Ago: Summer Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette and Herbed Potato Salad
Three Years Ago: Orange Berry Muffins and Firecracker Shrimp
Four Years Ago: Pasta Salad

Chicken Parmesan Pasta

Chicken Parmesan Pasta


  • 1/2 pound breaded popcorn chicken, heated 
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1/2 jar of your favorite sauce, or equivalent of homemade 
  • Italian seasoning to taste 
  • Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded 
  • 1/2 pound penne or other short pasta


  1. Cook pasta to al dente according to packaging directions and then set aside. 
  2. Meanwhile in a large covered skillet, heat oil. Add onion and season with salt and pepper and cook until the onion is translucent and tender. Add garlic; cook and stir 30 seconds, then stir in the spaghetti sauce. Add Italian seasoning and additional salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Combine pasta, chicken pieces, sauce, and stir until everything is evenly heated. Top with mozzarella cheese, cover, and let sit over a low flame until it melts. Serve hot. 
Source: Barely Adapted from Stephanie Cooks

Monday, June 17, 2013

SRC: Brownie Pudding

It's Secret Recipe Club time yet again and this month's assignment comes from Karen at Cinnamon Freud.

The recipe that I chose is a SERIOUS WINNER.  Not only is it really easy but it had my husband's entire family going back for seconds and wanting to lick their bowls and spoons clean.  Even I finally chose to play the "eating for two" card in order to help myself to a second serving of this decadent fudgey goodness.  It's like eating a rich molten liquid chocolate and mixed with ice cream.  Omigod!

I didn't have vanilla beans so I used more vanilla extract and took out some of the water from the recipe.  I also chose to use all regular cocoa powder instead of a mix of cocoa and dutch process cocoa as Karen suggests.  It's pretty amazing nonetheless and makes it such that any novice chef can tackle this recipe easily with items that are commonly stocked in the pantry.

This is one for the recipe box.  Thank you Karen so much for sharing!

One Year Ago: Oven Baked Sriracha Chicken and Brat Burgers with Drunken Onions
Two Years Ago: Banana and Sour Cream Pancakes
Four Years Ago: Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

Brownie Pudding

Brownie Pudding


  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.  Grease a 7"x12" baking pan or casserole dish.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together sugar and eggs for 5-10 minutes, until it is thick and light yellow.  It's long mix times like these that make me super grateful for my KitchenAid stand mixer!  Beat in the vanilla extract and water.  Then add the flour, salt, and cocoa powder and beat until just combined.  Finally, add the melted butter and beat once more until combined.
  3. Pour brownie mixture into prepared pan.  Place the brownie pan inside a 9"x13" pan.  Fill the larger pan halfway up with the hottest tap water.  
  4. Bake for 50-60 minutes being careful not to over bake.  The cake is done when a cake tester or toothpick comes out 3/4 of the way done when placed 2" from the border.  
  5. Let cool slightly for 3-5 minutes then serve immediately with ice cream.
Source: Modified from Cinnamon Freud as originally from Ina Garten

Secret Recipe Club

Monday, June 3, 2013

Mascarpone Pasta with Chicken, Bacon, and Kale

I apologize for being absent lately.  May/June is always a crazy time for me between our anniversary (our 5th was this year!), my birthday, and general Summer craziness.  Add to the mix the impending arrival of our Baby Boy this year and my blogging is unpredictable to say the least.

What makes things extra interesting is that I'm still participating in a CSA share so that means fresh veggies are waiting for me to whip them into something delicious each week.  Spring is greens time and it's always a surprise as to just what kind will come in our box week to week.

I had some leftover mascarpone cheese and so I tweaked a recipe that I found on All Recipes to include some of the gorgeous green kale that we received.  My husband isn't really a fun but when you add bacon, and chicken, and creamy cheesey pasta, he can't really complain.  Of course, if you don't have kale, you could always use spinach as in the original recipe.  This one reminded me somewhat of Macaroni Grill's Pasta Milano.

Two Years Ago: SweetFire Chicken (A Panda Express copycat and one of my husband's favorite) and Sweet Beginning's Summer Pasta Salad
Three Years Ago: Buckeyes
Four Years Ago: Quick and Easy Alfredo Sauce

Mascarpone Pasta with Chicken, Bacon, and Kale

Mascarpone Pasta with Chicken, Bacon, and Kale

  • 3 slices bacon 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1/2 cup minced onion 
  • 1-1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cubed 
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste 
  • 2 tablespoons drained and chopped sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil 
  • 1 tablespoon prepared pesto sauce 
  • 1/4 pound fresh kale (or you can also use spinach)
  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, or more to taste 
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced 
  • 1/4 cup milk 
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for topping if desired 
  • 8 ounces shaped pasta such as penne, rigatoni, or farfalle. 

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente.  Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Alternatively, follow the directions on the package for microwave cooking.  Drain the bacon on paper towels and crumble when cooled.
  3. In the same skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add crumbled bacon and onion and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and season with garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Cook and stir until chicken is no longer pink inside and lightly browned outside, about 10 minutes. Add sun-dried tomatoes and pesto; stir in kale and cook until wilted, stirring constantly. 
  4. In a saucepan over medium heat, mix together mascarpone cheese, 2 cloves of garlic, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and milk. Cook until smooth and bubbling, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes; stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese until cheese has melted, 2 to 3 more minutes. Pour sauce over chicken and bacon mixture. Season with additional salt and/or pepper if needed.
  5. Gently fold pasta into chicken mixture and transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.

Source: Slightly modified from All Recipes