Thursday, October 25, 2012

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

Happy Crock-tober! My meal for our October theme was found on Pinterest. I must have really thought it looked good, because I pinned it three separate times. The best part about it is the chicken goes in frozen, so you don't even have to remember to thaw first.

I served over rice.

2 chicken breasts, still frozen
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can corn kernels, do not drain
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix
1 T cumin
1 t chili powder
1 t onion powder
1 8-oz pkg. cream cheese

Put the chicken in the crock pot.
Top with the tomatoes, corn,
the drained and rinsed beans,
ranch dressing, cumin, onion and chili powders,
stir to combine then top with the cream cheese.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours, stirring one or twice
to blend in the cheese. (I didn't do this, and it was fine)
Shred the chicken into large pieces

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Baked Potato Soup - Slow Cooker Style by The Big Cheese

Happy Crock-tober!

I turned to one "go to" food blogs to see what she had to offer for a classic crock pot recipe. The Cheese household enjoyed this pot of creamy deliciousness this weekend. Bless you, crock pots.

p.s. I feel like I've posted something like this before...oh wait, I have!

"Go To" food blog:

Slow Cooker Baked Potato Soup Ingredients:

5 pounds russet potatoes, washed but NOT peeled. Diced into 1/2 inch(ish) cubes
1 medium/large yellow onion, diced
10 cloves of garlic, minced (if you use jarred, it's a 5 teaspoon equivalent)
64 ounces (8 cups) chicken stock or broth
16 oz cream cheese, softened (I use low fat)
1 tablespoon seasoned salt (I use Aunt Cora's Soulful Seasoning)
optional garnishes: crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, green onions

Slow Cooker Baked Potato Soup Directions:

Add potatoes, onion, garlic, seasoning, and chicken stock to slow cooker.
Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 10 hours.
Add the softened cream cheese and puree soup with an immersion blender until the cheese is incorporated and about half the soup is blended. (Alternately you could remove half the soup and the cream cheese to an upright blender, then re-incorporate).
Stir well, top with your choice of garnishes & enjoy!

Yields about 10-12 servings.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Slow-Cooker Jambalaya

Happy Crock-tober!!

For this month's slower cooker theme, I did Slow Cooker Jambalaya. I was really pleased with how easy it was to put together. (I cheat and buy pre-chopped onions.) Also, the recipe I'm posting serves 8 people. I just halved it for Divas so it should (hopefully) serve "4."

Hope you enjoy!

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 pound (turkey) smoked sausage, cut into 2-inch slices
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes with juice
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon Cajun or Creole spice mix
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound extralarge shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 3/4 cups long-grain rice
Parsley, optional


Combine chicken, sausage, onion, green pepper, celery, tomatoes, garlic, chicken broth, spice mix, thyme and oregano in a large (5-quart) slow cooker. Cook on low for 5 hours.

Add shrimp and rice; raise heat to high and cook for 30 minutes more. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Meatloaf Braciole

This is my favorite meatloaf recipe ever, and so far it's won over some non-meatloaf people! It's based on a Rachel Ray recipe (I made a few of my own modifications) and the "braciole" part just means it's rolled up. I would recommend not just using ground beef, because then it basically tastes like a fancy hamburger. I try to use at least two different types of ground meat.

1 1/2 pounds ground beef, pork and/or veal mixture
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 egg
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 small white onion, grated
3 tablespoons grated cheese, Parmigiano or Romano
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 cup baby spinach
6 slices prosciutto di Parma (the thinner sliced, the better)
6 slices deli sliced provolone
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Mix meat and next 7 ingredients (thru parsley) as if you were making meatloaf. Flatten meat out on a waxed paper lined cookie sheet into a thin layer: 1/2-inch thick, 12 inches long by 6 to 8 inches wide. Cover meat with spinach, prosciutto and cheese then roll the meat, using the waxed paper to help roll up into a large log, working across the 6 to 8-inch side, resulting in a 12-inch long log. Drizzle the log with extra-virgin olive oil to coat lightly.

Roast meatroll 20 minutes. Cut into 1-inch slices, 3 pieces per portion, and serve. Make pasta while meat is in the oven.

*Another note, I had to roast mine longer than 20 minutes. Just make sure the internal temperature reaches 160 before eating. (I like to cook mine until about 155 and then let is rest a bit before slicing.)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Cabernet Onions

I couldn't pass up a music theme without doing a Cheeseburger in Paradise. The great thing about burgers is you can get creative! For DTD this month I have prepared a "fancy" burger topped with a thick slice of white american cheese, cabernet onions, and dijon mustard. It is served on a whole wheat bun.

Here is the recipe for the cabernet onions...

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 cups sliced onions (about 2)
3/4 cup Cabernet Sauvignon or other dry red wine

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy medium skillet over medium- high heat. Add onions, sprinkle with salt, and sauté until tender and golden brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and continue to sauté until very tender and well browned, about 15 minutes longer. Add wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead. Cool, cover, and chill.


How do you come up with a recipe inspired by music? One of my favorite bands is Red Hot Chili Peppers. So - why not use chili peppers in a recipe?!?!? Here's what The Big Cheese is brining to you this month.


7 ounces of spaghetti
2 large or 3 small garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons of chili pepper flakes
1/4 to 1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper


The measurements in this recipe can be shifted depending on your taste preferences.

Cook spaghetti according to the directions on the package, until it is al dente.

Strain spaghetti and place in a large serving dish.

Add minced garlic, chili pepper flakes, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and mix together well.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

*I am also going to serve this with chicken, cooked on the stove in olive oil - with a dash of Salt 'n Peppa

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Beer-Braised Sausage and Red Peppers (from Dessert Diva)

My contribution this month is a delicious Beer-Braised Sausage and Red Peppers that I have slightly adapted from my favorite food blogger, Annie's Eats. We have had this no less than 3 times in the past month...that's how much we love it!  I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!

2 tbsp. olive oil
2 lb. cooked kielbasa sausages, sliced
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 large red bell peppers, sliced
2 tbsp. flour
1 bottle of beer
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
3 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped

In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the sausages and cook, stirring often, until browned, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. Add the onion and bell pepper to the pot, reduce the heat to medium and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, until golden, about 1-2 minutes.

Whisk in the beer until smooth and bubbly. Add the chicken broth and thyme, whisking to blend. Bring to a simmer. Return the sausages to the pot. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until flavors are blended, about 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Serves 4-6

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Yats Chili Cheese Etouffee

For this month's copy cat meal I made Yats Chili Cheese Etouffee, which I love to eat and say :) I am including the recipe below. The next time I make it, I will change a few things: I think i will saute the chopped veggies in a different pan and then add them to the roux, or maybe just cook it longer? They didn't soften up how I wanted. Also, I didn't put any onions in, to appease Mr. Gourmet Diva. :-) I thought it was pretty tasty and hope others do to!

1 stick butter
½ c. flour
1 c. chopped green onions
1 c. diced celery
1 c. diced bell peppers
1 c. diced onions
2 t. minced garlic
1 c. Rotel Original diced tomatoes
½ t. dried thyme
1 T. tomato paste
1 t. dried basil
¼ t. black pepper
¼ t. white pepper
¼ t. cayenne pepper
3 c. chicken stock
3 c. shredded aged cheddar
8 oz. half and half or heavy cream
1 t. chili powder
pinch ground coriander
pinch ground cumin
pinch ground cloves
dash Leas and Perrins Worcestershire sauce
Dash Tabasco sauce
1 lb cooked crawfish, shrimp and/or chicken
Cooked white rice

Make a roux by heating the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat then blending in the flour, sonsistently stirring and scraping the bottom of the skillet. Cook until the roux is golden color

Add the green onions, celery, bell peppers, onions, garlic and tomatoes and cook until the onions have browned

Add the thyme, tomato paste, basil and peppers (black, white, and cayenne)

Add the stock, bring to a boil and simmer until the mixture becomes thick

Add the cheese, half and half, chili powder, coriander, cumin, cloves, Lea and Perrins and Tabasco and stir until the cheese and half and half are blended in well

Gently stir in the crawfish, shrimp and/or chicken and serve with white rice. Garnish with chopped green onions and drizzle with some dry sherry.

Serves 6-8

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

PF Chang's Mongolian Beef

PF Chang's takes me straight back to my early 20's. It was always a popular place for girl's nights and first dates. Besides the lettuce wraps, I almost always ordered the Mongolian Beef. It's great served over rice or rice noodles!

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
vegetable oil, for frying (about 1 cup)
1 lb flank steak
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 large green onions, sliced on the diagonal into one-inch lengths

1. Make the sauce by heating 2 tsp of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over med/low heat.
2. Don't get the oil too hot.
3. Add ginger and garlic to the pan and quickly add the soy sauce and water before the garlic scorches.
4. Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, then raise the heat to about medium and boil the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
5. Remove it from the heat.
6. Slice the flank steak against the grain into 1/4" thick bite-size slices (Tilt the blade of your knife at about a forty five degree angle to the top of the steak so that you get wider cuts).
7. Dip the steak pieces into the cornstarch to apply a very thin dusting to both sides of each piece of beef.
8. Let the beef sit for about 10 minutes so that the cornstarch sticks.
9. As the beef sits, heat up one cup of oil in a wok (you may also use a skillet for this step as long as the beef will be mostly covered with oil).
10. Heat the oil over medium heat until it's nice and hot, but not smoking.
11. Add the beef to the oil and sauté for just two minutes, or until the beef just begins to darken on the edges.
12. You don't need a thorough cooking here since the beef is going to go back on the heat later.
13. Stir the meat around a little so that it cooks evenly.
14. After a couple minutes, use a large slotted spoon to take the meat out and onto paper towels, then pour the oil out of the wok or skillet.
15. Put the pan back over the heat, dump the meat back into it and simmer for one minute.
16. Add the sauce, cook for one minute while stirring, then add all the green onions.
17. Cook for one more minute, then remove the beef and onions with tongs or a slotted spoon to a serving plate.
18. Leave the excess sauce behind in the pan.

Rotini with Sausage and Asparagus (By The Big Cheese)

Oh Olive I love thee! There's not a ton of my favorite ingredient (cheese!), but this still rocks my world. Enjoy!

1/2 lb Italian sausage, sweet or hot, casing removed

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 lb asparagus, fresh

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 lb rotini pasta, cooked according to package directions

2 Tbsp butter

Parmesan cheese, grated

Salt and pepper to taste

HEAT oil in non-stick sauté pan. Add sausage. While sausage is cooking, break up with spoon. When sausage is completely cooked, drain fat.

CUT bottom 2” off asparagus stems (the inedible part), then cut remaining stem into 1” pieces. Boil asparagus until tender in a separate pan. Drain and allow to cool. Remove tips from asparagus and set tips aside.

COMBINE asparagus and heavy cream. Simmer 10-12 minutes over medium heat.
ADD hot, drained pasta to asparagus cream sauce. Add parmesan and butter. Add cooked sausage and sauté until simmering. Salt and pepper to taste.

TRANSFER to large platter. Garnish with asparagus tips and serve.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Panera Mac 'n Cheese (from Dessert Diva)

Greetings, Diva fans! I've been on a bit of a bloggy break for quite some time, but I'm back and ready to give you an awesome recipe! Our theme for this month is "Restaurant Copycats." I went back and forth several times on which recipe to go with, but ultimately, I chose a recipe from one of my favorite food bloggers and one of the very few chain restaurants we frequent in my family. Panera's Mac 'n Cheese is delish! Hope you give this recipe a try and love it!

Here's the link to the recipe over at Annie's Eats!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What do you call this The Big Cheese

I don't know what to call this recipe. However, I just love making this dish. Mr. Cheese likes the fresh veggies, Baby Cheese likes to chew on the fresh veggies and I, well, like the sauce!

What you'll need:
Zucchini, sliced (however much you want!)
Squash, sliced (however much you want!)
Onion, diced (however much you want!)
Marinara sauce (1/2 jar)
Alfredo sauce (1/2 jar)

Boil a pot of water and cook pasta until tender.

Saute the veggies together for a few minutes, until they are soft. Mix in the two sauces. Add some spices if you dare!

Mix together and love your life!!!! So simple, and so yummy!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Freezer Fajitas

I love easy recipes like this that I can make in bulk and keep in the freezer for a quick but delicious dinner. Stock up on beef when it's on sale!

1 lb sirloin or top round steak
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 red bell pepper cored and sliced
1 green bell pepper cored and sliced
1 white onion, sliced
6 fajita sized flour tortillas

1. Place steak in a large freezer bag.
2. Combine lime juice, vinegar, oil, oregano, and garlic in the bag with the meat.
3. Place the sliced peppers and onion in a separate bag.
4. Place tortillas in another bag.
5. Put all three bags in another gallon sized bag, label, and freeze!

1. Heat grill to medium high or a grill pan until hot but not smoking.
2. Remove meat from marinade and discard the marinade.
3. Grill the steak until desired doneness, remove to a cutting board and let
rest for 5 minutes. Cut into strips.
4. Saute the veggies in a pan with a little oil until tender.
5. Heat the tortillas.
6. Serve with desired toppings...we like salsa, cheese, sour cream, and guacamole.

Summer Love,
Saucy Diva

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Honey Sesame "DUMP" Chicken

I found this recipe online and saw a few key ingredients that, for me, scream summer lovin'! Beer, honey and chicken...yes please!

What you'll need:
1/2 cup Beer 3 Tablespoons Sesame Seeds
3 Tablespoons Honey
2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
2 Cloves Garlic -- crushed
1 1/2 Pounds Chicken Pieces

For immediate cooking: Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Place all ingredients into a large baking dish, turn chicken to coat. Bake until chicken juices run clear (45-60 minutes for chicken pieces, or 20-30 minutes for chicken breasts). For freezing: Place all ingredients into a 1 Gallon freezer bag. Lay flat in freezer.

To thaw and cook: Take the bag out of the freezer the night before, make sure the baggie is completely closed. Place the Bag on a shelf furthest from the freezer (It works best if the bag is laying flat, although this may not be the best option with a side-by-side fridge/freezer). Preheat the oven to 350 F. Empty the contents of the bag into a large baking dish and bake until the juices run clear (45-60 minutes for chicken pieces, or 20-30 minutes for chicken breasts).

I may even try to grill this one...Enjoy!

Peppered Shrimp Alfredo

This may not seem like a "Summer Lovin" dish  to some, but I love seafood pasta dishes in the summer. I especially love them when paired with a nice cool glass of white wine. But, since I am now carrying the next baby diva (coming to a kitchen near you this December) I will have to make due with no wine pairings this summer.  Luckily, this dish is great on it's own!

Peppered Shrimp Alfredo

12 ounces penne pasta

1/4 cup butter2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, diced2 cloves garlic, minced1 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 pound portobello mushrooms, diced

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 (15 ounce) jar Alfredo sauce

1/2 cup grated Romano cheese

1/2 cup cream

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup chopped parsley


1.Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

2.Meanwhile, melt butter together with the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion, and cook until softened and translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic, red pepper, and mushroom; cook over medium-high heat until soft, about 2 minutes more.

3.Stir in the shrimp, and cook until firm and pink, then pour in Alfredo sauce, Romano cheese, and cream; bring to a simmer stirring constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste. Stir drained pasta into the sauce, and serve sprinkled with chopped parsley.

(I originally found this recipe on All Recipes...if you haven't checked out this site, you should!)

We're back!!

It's finally summer break, which means the divas have time to blog again!  Our next monthly meeting is  Monday so stay tuned for July's theme, "Summer Lovin" for some great summer-themed recipes.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The divas have been waiting for today. Today, we once again get to meet Pioneer Woman.

It is not a small task for teachers/administrators to take a personal day the week before spring break, but luckily 4 out of 6 of us have prevailed. Cheesy Diva and Pasta Diva, you will be missed….you have fun at those parent/teacher conferences! (sorry!)
The rest of us will be arriving at our local supermarket early in attempts to adequately prepare for Ree’s book signing. A few of us had the opportunity to meet her at an Ohio book signing last year and we are now officially stalkers. We love all things Pioneer Woman and are so excited for her new book (and to see her again).

Last year we told her about our blog and wrote down the website on a scrap piece of paper. We are once again going to try and pass her our Diva Info, but perhaps in a nicer format. Ree, if you are reading this it means you have come to check us out….THANK YOU! Please leave us a comment so we can officially check this off our bucket lists!
In honor of her new book, we are declaring our April Diva theme as “The best of Pioneer Woman”. Check us out next month to see what recipes we picked.

Check us out tomorrow to see details from our Diva Day Out with (hopefully) some pictures of the Divas and Pioneer Woman! (Or…maybe give us a few days, when we have a day out we go big and are also going to the midnight premiere of the hunger games, so we may be a bit too tired to blog tomorrow).

(Peeta’s a baker, so it’s food related!)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cheesy Meatloaf (by the Big Cheese!)

I used to HATE when Mom would make meatloaf. Now, I really appreciate the flavors coming together and the stick to your ribs feeling you get after eating the hunk of meat. So, for March 2012 Diva, I was given "something you bake". I couldn't resist the yummy cheesy meatloaf. Num Num Num!!!!!

1/2 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
handful of flat-leaf parsley (chopped)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound ground beef chuck
8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar
1/4 cup ketchup

What you do:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet or the bottom half of a broiler pan with foil.

Combine all ingredients, minus the ketchup (this is the fun part!) together and mix with a fork or your hands until evenly blended, but don't over mix.

Damp hands with water and pat the meatloaf mixture into a loaf shape on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, the brush ketchup over the top of the meatloaf. Continue cooking for another 15 minutes. Let meatloaf rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Serve with mashed potatoes, green beans and a fresh dinner roll. Yummy in my tummy!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pintrest Inspired Pizza Casserole (by: The Big Cheese!)

Oh Pintrest, how I love you! You give me such grand ideas and allow me to waste a large amount of time. However, this recipe did not waste my time...not one bit!

This is so good, I made my family not one...but TWO batches to freeze. YummmmmmmO

Originally 'pinned' here:

It looks scary with so many steps, but please do not be afraid. I cannot tell a lie when I say "It is A-MA-ZING".

1 bag of Egg Noodles
1 extra large can of Ragu sauce {or any tamato sauce you prefer}
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese {or more depending on how much you ♥ cheese!}
1 1/2 lbs hamburger meat
1 package pepperonis

First: Preheat to 350 degrees
Second: Brown the meat, & drain. Boil noodles and drain
Next: Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Second layer is half of the noodles
3} half of the meat
4} half of the sauce
5} rest of the noodles
6} half the cheese
7} rest of the meat
8} rest of the sauce
9} rest of the cheese
10} pepperonis {I only used half the package. saved the rest for next time}

Now cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes

After 30 minutes, remove the foil & bake for another 15 minutes


Once it's done baking, take it out & let it sit for 10 or 15 minutes. {This is to cool it off AND to let everything settle together. If you don't let it sit, it will just fall apart on your fork!}

Shredded Mexican Chicken (from Dessert Diva)

My contribution to this month's Supper Club was Shredded Mexican Chicken. This is a fabulous, versatile recipe that can be used to make tacos, enchiladas, tortilla soup and more! It is definitely a go-to recipe for me now.

1 jar salsa (whatever kind you prefer)
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
1 brick cream cheese
4-6 chicken breasts (really just depends on how much chicken you want)
Enchilada sauce
Mexican cheese

In a slow cooker, add the salsa, taco seasoning mix and cream cheese. Place the chicken on top. Cook on low for 10 hours. A half hour before it is done, use two forks to shred the chicken breasts. Stir and let cook for 30 more minutes.

At this point, you can serve as tacos or add to another dish. For enchiladas, fill tortillas with chicken mixture, roll and place in a baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over tortillas and top with Mexican cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until tortillas are warm and cheese is melted.

Leftover chicken freezes easily for use in other dishes. Enjoy!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Blue Cheese and Pear Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Our Dinner assignment this month was to get fancy! I found this recipe for blue cheese and pear stuffed pork tenderloin on my favorite meal planning website, Relish!

As complicated as it sounds, it was actually very easy to prepare and did not require a lot of ingredients.


2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 shallots , thinly sliced
1 Anjou pear , chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons parsley
1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

[1] Heat half of the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; cook 6 minutes. Add pear, wine, and thyme; cook 2 minutes. Cool. Stir in nuts, cheese, crumbs, and parsley.

[2] Slice pork lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side. Open halves. Place pork between sheets of plastic wrap; pound to 1/4 inch. Top pork with pears; leave 1/2-inch border. Roll, starting with long side; secure pork with picks. Sprinkle with salt.

[3] Heat remaining oil in a large ovenproof pan over medium-high heat. Add pork; sauté 5 minutes, browning all sides. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until cooked but still slightly pink in the center. Remove pork from pan, and let stand 5 minutes, slice and serve.

Oh you fancy, huh?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pasta Milano by The Big Cheese

This recipe was inspired by Macaroni Grill and found online. One word: yum!

What you'll need:
3 slices bacon, diced
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
4 cloves roasted garlic, mashed
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 cup white mushrooms, sliced
1 cup chicken broth, divided
1 cup heavy cream (or half & half for a lower fat version)
salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces dry farfalle (bowtie) pasta
water for boiling pasta
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

In a large skillet over high heat, brown the diced bacon. Season the cut up chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the skillet and saute until lightly browned. Once the chicken is cooked, add the sliced mushrooms and saute until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add the roasted garlic, sundried tomatoes and chicken broth to the hot skillet. Allow it come to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are tender. Add the cream and bring to a boil; stirring.Take off heat and add the bacon, chicken and mushroom to the sauce and set aside.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add dry pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain, transfer to a bowl.

Pour the chicken and sauce over the hot pasta and toss. Place in a baking dish and top with shredded Parmesan cheese and bake in preheated oven for 5-7 minutes until cheese melts.