“How quick come the reasons for approving what we like!” ~ Jane Austen

Some days I just need to make something quick for dinner.

I don’t mean a frozen pizza but something I actually make.

Something I can feel good about, knowing, I cooked dinner for my family.

But dang it,  sometimes I don’t feel like spending 30-45 minutes in the kitchen making dinner.

As you can tell, I’m not feeling very domestic today. I want/need to feed my family, I want/need to eat and I don’t want/need to get  take out.

The following recipe is a perfect fix for that dilemma.

Make a quick sauce. Boil noodles. Done.

20 minutes top.

I’ll even one up it and throw frozen garlic bread in the oven.

You know, I could try and be hip and say this is a “Meatless Monday” meal.

Even though it is just Sunday……but I’m just not that hip. 🙂

Oh well, it was very tasty, the hubs is happy and I can get back to working on my needlepoint.

Nice lazy day.

Pasta with Tuscan Cream Sauce

(adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe)

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed or the kind in a jar
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened and cut into 8 pieces
  • 8-ounce jar sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste, if needed

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes.

Add basil, then cream cheese. Whisk constantly for 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy

Stir in sun-dried tomatoes.

Gradually add the milk, ¼ cup at a time. Each time, whisking until completely blended in sauce.

Once all milk is incorporated, stir in cheese, pepper and salt.

Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring until the cheese is melted (5-10 minutes).

Serve over warm, cooked bow-tie pasta.

Garnish with Parmesan cheese and chopped tomatoes.

**This would be great with a grilled chicken breast**

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-abp

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“Cooking is like love, it should be entered with abandon or not at all.” ~ Julia Child

This is definitely not a recipe that I could be enjoying due to my healthy eating diet I’m on at the moment but if I could eat something that was not so great for me – this would be it!

It’s my most favorite party dip!

I have probably been making this for 15+ years.

It’s one of the very first things that I ever mastered. One reason I remember that is because my Mammaw – the cook of all cooks – loved it! I remember taking this the first time I ever contributed to a family Holiday gathering. She asked for it again the next year.

That made an impression on me.

Gosh, I miss her.

She would totally be surprised to know how much I love to cook now.

So – if you need a great appetizer to take to the Super Bowl later this month – here you go!

Kickin’ Baked Artichoke Dip

2 (21 oz.) jars marinated artichoke hearts
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies, drained
2 tsp. chopped jalapeno (or, to taste)
3 green onions, chopped
3/4 c. mayonnaise
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 c. grated Monterey Jack cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Drain artichokes and roughly chop, combine with remaining ingredients.
Place in small baking dish and cook for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly around the edges and slightly browned.
Serve with Triscuit Thin Crisps (my fav) or your favorite crunchy cracker.

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-abp

“What Romantic terminology called genius or talent or inspiration is nothing other than finding the right road empirically, following one’s nose, taking shortcuts.” ~ Italo Calvino

I love Chicken Piccata!

It is a very light meal that has a punch of big flavor. It’s not a hard meal to make but it’s not the quickest to throw together either. So when I was on my usual daily quest for new time saving recipes I came across this recipe – Chicken Piccata Skillet Pasta and I thought – how can that be bad?!? It combines one of my favorite meals with pasta and in one pan!

You should know I must be taking this “my life is about to really change” to heart because I used to would have never considered using pre-cooked chicken but I did this time and let me tell you – I will do it again!

Chicken Piccata Skillet Pasta

(adapted from Plain Chicken)

  • 12 oz cooked, chopped chicken ( I used the pre-cooked bags of Tyson grilled chicken you find in the refrigerated section)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp dried minced onion
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 8 oz pasta
  • 3-4 Tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

In 12-inch skillet, combine chicken, pasta, onion, garlic, heavy cream, lemon juice, chicken broth and pasta. Bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat.

Simmer for 15-18 minutes, until pasta is tender. Stir in capers and parmesan cheese. Cook over low heat about 5 minutes.

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So, so easy but oh so good!

-abp