Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Easy Peazy Chicken Tetrazinni

1 lb cooked angel hair pasta (or spaghetti or linguini)
5 chicken breasts (cooked and cubed)
1 medium bell pepper (chopped)
I cup chopped celery
1 Tablespoon garlic 
3 10.75 oz cans creamy soup (I used two cream of mushroom and one cream of celery)
1 cup water
1/4 cup butter
2 cubes of chicken boullion
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or sharp cheddar is good too!)

Boil chicken breasts and set aside to cool.  In a separate pan boil the pasta until done.  Cube the chicken and set it aside.  Drain and rinse the pasta and put in a large mixing bowl.  In a sauce pan, mix the water and chicken bouillon until bouillon melts then add soup and mix well.  In another pan melt the butter and saute the celery and bell pepper until just tender and add to soup mixture (including pan drippings).  Mix soup, veggies, chicken and pasta together and pour into a baking pan (spray it with Pam or some other non-stick spray).  Top with cheese and bake for at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Serve with garlic bread and a salad. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Cafe Rio - Chicken Breast Salad

image from www.caferio.com
I love salad. I'd eat it every single day if it wouldn't result in protest from the family.  Today, I had the grilled chicken salad from Cafe Rio

One word:  Delicious!

It comes in a big flour tortilla "bowl" and has black beans or pinto beans, (I hold the rice), shredded grilled chicken, pico de gallo, guacamole, cilantro, lettuce, tortilla strips and cotija cheese, with creamy tomatillo dressing (or you can choose cilantro lime vinaigrette). 

The sensation of flavor in my mouth is nothing short of symphonic.  My only complaint is that the ingredients are layered, meaning the beans are on the bottom, then the chicken, then pico, then huge leafs of lettuce and then a sprinkle of cheese and tortilla chips.  The guacamole is dropped in two balls on either side. 

I always run out of lettuce before I get to the bottom, which does NOT stop me from eating the whole thing it's just that halfway through it becomes (lettuce)less salad and more of a glob of beans, pico, chicken and dressing. 

Overall, I don't care because it's delicious.

The above product was purchased by me for my personal use.  I am not being monetarily paid for this review.  I will give my honest opinion and thoughts regarding said product.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Blackened Oven Chicken


1 tablespoon Paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (if you don’t want really spicy chicken, cut this to 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon onion (or garlic) powder

8 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

This recipe will yield enough seasoning to coat 8 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts. 

Photo from Google Images
Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside (you can also make this seasoning and put it in an old spice jar).

Wash and pat dry your chicken, lightly spray each side with cooking/baking spray (like Pam), coat in the seasoning (I sprinkled it on with a spoon then patted it in with my fingers covering all parts of the meat)

Heat a cast iron frying pan for about 5 minutes.  Place the chicken in the hot pan and cook it for 1 minute on each side.  Then place it in a baking pan (lightly sprayed also with cooking/baking spray)

Bake in oven on 400 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken breast.  Chicken is done with cut in center and juices run clear and meat is no longer pink. 

Serve with practically anything.  We like it with garlic potatoes and a green salad.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Cheesy Chicken Asparagus Rolls

Photo from Google Images

½ cup mayonnaise
4 Tablespoons Dijon mustard (or spice it up a bit and use horseradish mustard)
16-30 asparagus spears, trimmed
5 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
5 slices provolone cheese
1 cup bread crumbs
Salt and Pepper to taste

(feel free to get liberal and try other seasonings - either in the sauce or in the breadcrumbs – you know what your family likes.  I seasoned my breadcrumbs with oregano, garlic powder, basil, a hint of cayenne pepper and celery salt)

Mix the mayo, mustard, salt and pepper in a dish and set aside.  Preheat your oven to 475 degrees.

Cook the asparagus (wash and rinse it first) on a paper plate or paper towel in the microwave for 1 to 3 minutes (depending on the microwave) until bright green and just tender.  Set it aside. 

Take the chicken breast and pat it dry.  Then beat the hell out of it with a mallet or a good rolling pin, until its flat, about ¼ inch thick.  Then you add a slice of provolone cheese and three or four or six asparagus (depending on how many you want, how big they are, etc.), and roll up the chicken nicely and place in a baking pan seam down (spray the pan with cooking spray first).  When you’ve rolled all of your chicken and cheese and asparagus and placed it seam down in the pan, spread on the mayo/mustard mix evenly with a pastry brush or a plastic spatula coating all of the exposed chicken.  Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and press the crumbs in to make a coating of sorts.  Bake at 425 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes, depending on the thickness of your chicken.  Chicken is done with the juices run clear and the breadcrumbs are browned.

The original recipe also called for 1 lemon zested and juiced to be added to the mayo/mustard sauce but we found that to be a very intense flavor that we weren’t really fans of once I made the chicken without the lemon the next time I made it.

Feel free to experiment and make this recipe better for your family.  My kids are picky.  They’re teenagers now, I’m lucky to find something they’ll eat more than once that isn’t made of Doritos or cookie dough.  

All in all, we like these chicken wraps and I’m making them next time with broccoli to see how that turns out.  I served them with buttered spaghetti the first time and smashed red potatoes (I used crushed red peppers and Parmesan cheese instead of rosemary) the second time.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Calling All Opinions

I'm considering making a page on the blog for reviews and converting this site over there.

What are the pros/cons of such a move, in your opinion?

Ready? Set? Go|!

Whose Lucky? I am!

Having a musician in the house can be a blessing and a curse.  The noise level can become unnerving, but holiday gift giving is a piece of cake!  Then there are the special gifts one receives from the musician, such as songs written or performed just for you, and music compilations that are one of a kind.  As a parent, I believe the fact that my daughter is a musician is just another thing that makes me one of the luckiest parents alive.

Monday, July 21, 2014

It is a serious issue, these dangling cords

I’m going to tell you a little secret:  I’m a closet OCD. Not officially diagnosed, and I’m not in need of therapy just yet, but I have my moments. Like when I have to separate my Skittles into color groups before I can eat them (this does NOT apply, however, to M&Ms).  And like how I count stairs as I walk them and bathroom tiles while I’m doin’ my bizness; and how the cords behind my computer drive me batty and will completely derail my train of thought if I spy them with my little eye (same as the cords behind my TV/DVD/VCR, etc).  However I have found that heat shrink wrap works wonders for my cord situation, and it is not sticky and gross like electrical tape or nearly as tacky as using those little wire tie things.  So, if you’re borderline OCD like me, or if you just have a peeve about those danged cords, do yourself a favor and buyheatshrink plastic tubing.  Don’t thank me.  I live to serve.