Southern Chicken Pasta

Do you ever start making dinner and then come to realize that you are missing most of the ingredients in your recipe? Well that is exactly what I did for my Southern Chicken Pasta only to find out that this dish is fabulous! I have been making all types of pasta dishes with boneless skinless chicken breasts and this one was voted 5 stars out of 5 by my family! It has a great Southern Flavor with the caramelized onions and green beans and tomatoes, it’s like having a Southern Fried Chicken supper without the “Fried” part.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound broken up Lasagne Noodles
  • 4 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • I Red Onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cups Dry White Wine
  • 3/4 cups Low-sodium Broth, More If Needed
  • 1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces (steamed)
  • 1 small can chopped tomatoes (drained)
  • 2 ounces Parmesan Cheese, grated

Method

Cook pasta according to package directions in lightly salted water. Drain and set aside.
Cut chicken breasts into chunks and sprinkle on salt and pepper.
Heat butter and olive oil over high heat in a large skillet. Add chicken chunks in a single layer and do not stir for a minute or two in order to allow the chicken to brown on the first side. Turn the chicken and brown on the other side. Cook until done, then remove chicken from the skillet.
Turn heat to medium. Add onion and let cook until golden brown. After about 1 minute, pour in wine and broth, stirring to deglaze the pan. Allow the liquid to bubble up, then continue cooking until it’s reduced by at least half (most of the surface of the liquid should be bubbling at this point.)
Turn off the heat. Add green beans, tomatoes, chicken, and cooked pasta to the skillet. Toss to combine. Add plenty of Parmesan Cheese and toss to combine.
Serve with extra Parmesan Cheese.
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Best Chocolate Sheet Cake

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0UNWq1L_-E4/UFqF9Xk7iaI/AAAAAAAAGPE/Ul0k3yt_29Y/s1600/IMG_7876.JPGIt’s Judy’s Surprise Birthday and I have been wanting to make this incredible cake ever since I saw it on The Pioneer Woman Cook’s Blog. She says it’s The Best Sheet Cake Ever, and I trust her. Everything that I have made from her blog has been delicious and my kids have asked me to make it all the time! Well she was right! Friends were going back for second and third pieces! I wanted to make a delicious cake for Judy and her friends, since I didn’t know how many people were going to be there to surprise the HECK out of her, I thought that a sheet cake would be perfect! I read every single one of the comments on TPWC Blog, which is saying a lot ( she usually gets around 800 comments or MORE per post) and so many people commented that this cake was really difficult to mess up. I thought of this the whole time that I was talking to my best friend while trying to make the cake and frosting. Do you ever do that? Leave out an ingredient while you are having a serious conversation on the phone? I have, sugar , while making pies, not good at all!I didn’t leave out any ingredients for this cake, but my mind was really concentrating on two things at one time. I recommend this if you are feeling lazy and need to be challenged! Talking and Baking!
This sheet cake is wonderful warm after just being freshly frosted or perfect the day after for breakfast, or as a late snack, or before lunch, or after a hike! My kids are asking me to make another sheet cake since this one was whisked away for the party, okay kids, for your birthday! Make sure to decorate the cake if you like, I am in no way a skilled baker-ess, I drew out JUDY and a Heart, but it was still hard to tell what that exactly was…
As we were all hiding waiting for Judy and Tom to come back from their date night, Judy’s Mother called Judy from the back room asking her if she could show her something on the computer, the lights were off, we were quiet as mice, we all jumped out and yelled SURPRISE!! Thank goodness, Judy is young and has a very strong heart, I would have collapsed, don’t yell at me and come jumping out at me from a dark room, years will come off my life! You are an amazing sport Young Judy!!
Judy still trying to recover, you did a great job Tom keeping it a secret!

Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE:
2 cups Flour
2 cups Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa Powder2 sticks Butter
1 cup Boiling Water
1/2 cup Buttermilk
2 whole Beaten Eggs
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Vanilla

FOR FROSTING:
1/2 cup Finely Chopped Pecans
1-3/4 stick Butter
4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
6 Tablespoons Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 pound (minus 1/2 Cup) Powdered Sugar

Preparation Instructions

Note: I use an 18×13 sheet cake pan.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.
In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together.
Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.
In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes.
While cake is baking, make the icing. Chop pecans finely. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat. Add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir together. Add the pecans, stir together, and pour over warm cake. Enjoy! Take this sheet cake to your next party, you will make lots of friends! Nettie This post has been linked up to these fabulous blogs!

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Peanut Butter Cookies

Somehow I imagined that my daughter and I would be baking peanut butter cookies for her Girl Scout Troop Meeting, but the days get away from us and I ended up baking them, which really is such a therapy for me. I really love to bake, I feel like all is well with my world. Plus, I know that when we are having snow blizzards in a couple months, we will be having lots of mother/daughter bake -a – thon’s going on!

Peanut Butter cookies are one of my favorite cookies. One reason is that they are very easy to make, the other reason is that I always have all of the ingredients on hand. My family loves PB & J  and PB & Fluff sandwiches. Have you ever seen an exploded PB & Fluff sandwich? Don’t leave it in your locker all day! I have used Natural peanut butter to make these wonderful cookies. Peanut butter cookies are instantly recognized for their crisscross pattern . I used crunchy peanut butter for these cookies, but you can use smooth peanut butter if that is what you prefer. P.S. In case you were wondering, the Girl Scouts loved them! 
Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour

Directions:

1.Mix butter and sugars together using a hand mixer or Kitchen Aid. Add in all remaining ingredients and mix until combined.
2.Roll the dough into small 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheet. Squish to about 1/4 inch thick using a fork, making a crisscross pattern.
3.Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Let cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, transfer to a cooling rack. Makes 3 dozen cookies.
Inspired from The Joy Of Cooking Cookbook. This post has been linked up to these fabulous blogs:

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Israeli Salad

One of my first jobs was working in an Israeli Restaurant in the Valley. I learned a lot that summer. Not only did I waitress, but I cooked and learned how to prepare so many amazing Israeli dishes. This was a Mom and Pop restaurant and Mom and Pop didn’t speak very much English. So we did a lot of communicating through our love of food. One of my favorite dishes that I ate every day was Israeli Salad. It is such an easy delicious addition to any meal. All you need are tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, preferably red, lemon juice, Olive Oil and I added grilled corn for fun. I am so lucky to have so many nice friends who are growing abundant amounts of veggies in their garden, I am able to make my favorite Israeli Salad.
 
Dice Cucumbers
Dice Tomatoes
Dice onions
 
Squeeze the juice from 1/2 lemon

Israeli Salad

Ingredients

  • 6 cucumbers, diced
  • 4 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • Grilled Corn on the Cob (corn cut off cob)
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Toss the cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and corn together in a bowl. Drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice over the salad and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to serve.I have linked up with these fabulous recipes!
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Very Berry Nut Crumble

Very Berry Nut Crumble
Summer is here and I have loads of berries!! What to make? What to make?? A berry crumble!! I couldn’t decide what to call this Crumble. So many gorgeous berries and toppings!( Strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, coconut, almond, pecan Crumble) PHEW!!! What a mouthful, so I came up with Very Berry Nut Crumble, much better, but so many goodies are included in this gorgeous PIE, or as we say CRUMBLE!!
Stir together flour, sugar, oats, and salt.
Grind up pecans.
Add cold butter slices to dry mixture and cut up with two knives.
Cut, cut, cut, I sound like a movie director!!
Keep cutting up until butter is in small pieces.
Add ground up nuts.
Ground up nuts give the Crumble a beautiful flavor.
Add Coconut.
Add Roasted Almond Slivers. Mix topping thoroughly.
Cover fruit with topping and bake! Make sure to place dish on a baking sheet, this will bubble and may spill over!
Very Berry Nut Crumble goes FAST in our home, I wish I had made two!!
Now if you don’t have Pecans, you can substitute Walnuts or Macadamias, or whatever is your favorite!
Perfect for a Pie Party or just for dessert! Can’t wait until the next Pie Party!
Really delicious! The berries and nuts work so well together with the creaminess of butter.
Shoot!! I have to be quick to take a picture, those kids could smell this Crumble down the street!! Darn It!! Enjoy!! Nettie
Ingredients
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 pint strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup blueberries ( fresh or frozen)
1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup blackberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup ground pecans
1/2 cup Coconut
1/2 cup Slivered Almonds
NOTE: Berries really cook down, so don’t be afraid to pile the berries in!

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together 1/2 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, oats, and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until coarse crumbs form. Add pecans, coconut and almond slivers to oat topping.
  2. In a shallow 2-quart baking dish or 9 inch Pie Plate, toss berries with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon flour; sprinkle with oat topping. Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until topping is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes before serving. This post has been linked up to these fabulous BLOGS!

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Best Chocolate Chip Cookie

My gal pal and one of my favorite foodie’s and Chef, Frankie Poe Harvey from The Elegant Gourmet, has asked me to be featured on her incredible blog. I am thrilled and honored that she has asked little ol’ me. Not only is Frankie a talented and incredible Chef and TV celebrity, but she has a huge heart. When I was suffering from terrible migraines, Frankie would send me sweet supportive notes and then she sent me an incredible care package with grits, I was so touched by my dear friend, nothing says, ” I hope you feel better” better than food. I have been blogging for a little over 11 months. I really can’t believe that a year has flown by. I have been cooking and baking since I could reach the kitchen counter, maybe earlier helping my Mom, Grandma’s and Great Grandma’s in the kitchen. My family is from the south and food and cooking is a really big deal. We would talk about what we were going to make and everyone would have a say in the matter and what would go with each dish and who was coming for dinner. It was like that every day. Everyone had their specialty. I had my vegetarian phase and everyone went along with it as I created dishes and used all of my family members as guinea pigs, some delicious, some tasted like wood chips, but no one ever complained, every one was so supportive of every one’s creations. I was so inspired one day when I read a fellow blogger describing her pain because of a tragic event that had occurred in her life, her husband had a heart attack at a very young age. I was heart broken reading her post. I cried and cried. She described how her husband just loved Peanut Butter Pie. Suddenly, hundreds of fellow bloggers started sending photos and notes of their rendition of Peanut Butter Pies for Mikey with a sweet note and story. I get chocked up even now thinking about it. I wanted to be a part of this amazing group of food bloggers. I was welcomed with love and support unlike anything I had ever seen before. I was overwhelmed. I was blogging about something that I absolutely love and I was supported by thousands. I never would have met Frankie Poe Harvey had it not been for my food blog. I love simple and delicious home made food with no fuss. I really have a difficult time saying no to sweets and potatoes, I really may have to go to Potatoes Anonymous. My game day staple would be anything chicken or pasta. Nothing says love like a gorgeous bowl of pasta or pie or chocolate chip cookies. I do have one kitchen quirk, my kitchen must be clean before I can bake or cook. I just can’t concentrate in a messy kitchen. I love growing Basil, Oregano, Tarragon and Mint and Tomatoes. I can not grow a sunflower to save my life, I grow hundreds of flowers in my garden, but this one stumps me, WHY?? I can’t live without my Kitchen Aid, I am in love with it, Especially when Baking!! Yes, I have used my Kitchen Aid for one of my favorite recipes: The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie.This really is the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie. It is so important to use very good quality chocolate chips. I have been making chocolate chip cookies for over 40 years, now I understand why kids are so crazy about cookie dough ice cream, one taste of this cookie dough and I could hear angels singing. Taking a bite into a warm chocolate chip cookie is the ultimate dessert for me, warm chocolate chips, vanilla, pecans and brown sugar perfection! I made a double batch to bring to Cape Cod for eight delightful Girl Scouts, let me tell you, these cookies were a smashing hit!!
In a large mixing bowl, cream sugars and butter.
Keep mixing on medium speed until creamy.
Add your best Vanilla, I love Penzey’s Spices Pure Vanilla Extract Double- Strength.
Add 2 large eggs to creamed sugars and butter.
Beat at low speed until eggs are incorporated.
This looks perfect.
Cookie dough looks firm but creamy.
In a separate bowl,sift flour with baking soda and salt, gradually blend dry mixture into creamed mixture.
Best cookie dough, what a dream!
So happy that I have made 4 dozen, these babies go quick when there are ten kids!!
Add a good quality chocolate such as Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips!
Gently mix in chocolate chips.
 
I added chopped pecans, why? Because I love pecans in chocolate chip cookies!
This cookie dough would be perfect in ice cream too!!
Smile for the camera you hunk of burning love cookie dough, come to Mama!!
Drop by tablespoon on un-greased cookie sheet.
I didn’t photograph it here, but I used a Silpat, makes a light golden brown cookie, you won’t have to worry about burning edges.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 
4 dozen cookies

Ingredients
11 1/2 ounces Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cups unsifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)

Directions:

Heat oven to 375ºF.
Stir flour with baking soda and salt; set aside. In large mixing bowl, beat butter with sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until creamy and lightened in color. Add eggs and vanilla, one at a time. Mix on low speed until incorporated. Gradually blend dry mixture into creamed mixture. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoon onto un-greased cookie sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.
Note: The 11 1/2 ounces of Bittersweet Chocolate Chips can be substituted with any variety of chip flavor (i.e.- Milk Chocolate Chips, Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, etc.)  Nettie This post has been linked up to these Fabulous Blogs!

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English Muffin Bread

We love bread in our home, oh yes, we do! But do I bake bread???? Oh goodness no…too difficult, too time consuming….too…oh I don’t know….Scary!! Why is it so scary Nettie??? Because, what if I fail, what if it tastes like wood chips and is hard as a rock??? What if, what if….But then one day I was happily scrolling through Pinterest and there it was ….. a dreamy loaf of English Muffin Bread, “Fool Proof “, it said, “Easiest Recipe Ever”, it said, “5 Ingredients”!!! Oh yeah, sure, right, Fool Proof….this I’ve got to try, ONE GOOD THING by Jillee, I am trying it, I think I held my breath most of the way, it smelled amazing, it was only 5 ingredients that you can whip up in your Kitchen Aid, EASY EASY EASY!!! I did it!! This bread reminds me of the fabulous English Muffin Bread that we used to get at Cappy’s Bakery in Camden Maine, but they stopped making it and I was devastated!! But no longer, I can make this bread, anytime!! I am over my Bread Fear!! Thank you Jillee!! In Jillee’s recipe, she makes 4 Loaves of bread, I halved her recipe to make 2, but go ahead and double the recipe if you like!!
5 Easy Ingredients: Flour, Sugar, Salt, Rapid Rise Yeast and Water!
Place all ingredients in a Kitchen Aid and mix until just blended.
Just takes about a minute, don’t over beat.
Looks perfect, make sure to get every drop of this gorgeous dough!
Dough is super sticky!
Grease two Loaf Pans
I told you this was sticky and did I mean it!!
Divide dough into 2 Loaf Pans. Cover and place over your oven or a warm spot and let dough rise to the top, it doubles in size!
After an hour it has risen!! So excited, I really can’t tell you!!
Bread Dough is ready to go in the oven.
10 minutes before bread is done ( Golden Brown) Brush Melted Butter over the top.
Your Bread should look like this, Golden Brown.
I think I have more pictures of my very first bread baked from scratch than my kids…just kidding kids….. kidding kids…hahaha
Let bread cool completely before cutting, it was torturing my son to wait until the bread was completely cool, but believe me, it is worth the wait!!
If you can’t wait, just take a picture of your bread like I did!
Doesn’t it look gorgeous? I know, just keep waiting for it to cool, go get a fun magazine to take your mind off of the amazing aroma….
Cappy’s Bakery eat your heart out, not really, just be jealous, a little…
Recipe for English Muffin Bread

  • 2 3/4 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 packages RAPID RISE Yeast
  •   1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 5 1/2  cups All Purpose Flour
  1. Mix all ingredients in Kitchen Aid, then spoon into 2 well greased loaf pans. 
  2.  Cover with a towel, let rise in pans until dough reaches the top of the pans, and bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t get too brown. You are looking for golden brown. 
  3.  10 minutes before done, brush with melted butter. Makes 2 loaves. Bread will be moist at first. Allow to COOL COMPLETELY before cutting. Makes amazing terrific toast, I know, I ate a lot of toast with Stonewall Kitchen Mango Peach Jam! Happy Bread Baking!! Nettie This Post has been linked up to these FABULOUS Blogs!:

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