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Jul 26, 2013

Quote Friday

Even in the eye of the storm,
God has put a rainbow in the clouds.

Jul 24, 2013

Cheesy Baked Artichoke Dip

Cheesy Baked Artichoke Dip


1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (packed) grated parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch of salt
2 14-ounce can artichoke hearts packed in water, well drained, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 cup italian cheese blend
French-bread baguette slices, toasted

Whisk 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, pepper, onion salt, and garlic powder in medium bowl to blend. 
Stir in chopped artichoke hearts. Transfer mixture to 3-cup ramekin.I didn't have a ramekin, so i just used a bowl that is oven safe.

Sprinkle dip with remaining 2 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese italian cheese and paprika.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake dip until heated through, about 25 minutes (about 35 minutes if chilled).

Preheat broiler. Broil until cheese melts, about 2-3 minutes. 

Serve warm with toasted baguette slices.

Recipe Source:

Jul 22, 2013

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

I whipped these up for lunch one afternoon,
p.s. they are fantastic with this salsa and some chips!
They packed quite the punch of flavor and they are definitely part of the new rotation of recipes!

Here is what you will need to make them yourself!
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup green salsa
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice (juice from half a lime)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp sliced green onions
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup shredded Mexican flavored cheese
small flour or corn tortillas
kosher salt
cooking spray

Preheat your oven to 425˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, salsa, lime juice, ground cumin, chili powder, onion powder and garlic. Once combined, stir in the cilantro and green onions. Add the chicken and cheese; mix thoroughly.

(If you decided to prep this in advance, refrigerate the mixture at this point until ready to continue.)
Working with a few tortillas at a time, heat them in the microwave between two paper towels until they are soft enough to roll (about 20 – 30 seconds).
Spoon 2-3 Tablespoons of the chicken mixture onto the lower third of a tortilla. Roll the tortilla as tightly as you can.
Place the rolled tortilla seam side down on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas until the mixture is gone.

Make sure the taquitos are not touching each other.
Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with kosher salt.Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until crisp and golden.
Serve with salsa, sour cream or guacamole.

Recipe Source:

Jul 20, 2013

Creamy Butter Chicken

Creamy Butter Chicken

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and it looked interesting to try.
I went to my local supermarket looking for one of the main ingredients, curry leaves, but couldn't find any.
So instead I ordered some fresh curry leaves from India. It took a little while to get them in stock and then I received them in the mail wrapped in newspaper.
The good news is that the very next week I was shopping at Meijer and next to the fresh herbs I saw this package sitting there.

and they were only $1.75
a fraction of the price I paid to get them shipped from India!
So now you know that you can get them pretty much locally and can try this great butter herb dish!
The coating on the chicken is fantastic, it is a blend of regular flour and corn flour. The curry gives a great scent and unique taste to the whole dish too!

To make this you will need:

boneless chicken breasts
One handful of curry leaves
1 tbsp butter

1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup corn flour or tapioca flour
2 eggs, beaten

400ml (13 oz.) Evaporated milk
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt


1. Combine plain flour & corn flour in a bowl. 

2. Beat up eggs in a separate bowl. Add a pinch of salt.

3. Dry chicken with towel.

4. Heat up oil in a deep oil. Coat chicken with eggs, then flour.

5. Deep fry in low fire until golden brown. Set aside & let cool.

6. Heat up butter in a non-stick pan, add curry leaves. Saute till fragrant.

7. Add in evaporated milk, simmer in low until milk is thickened.

8. Add in sugar and salt.
9. Cut chicken into slices. Pour milk onto chicken.

10. Serve hot.

Jul 19, 2013

Herb Crusted Chicken in a Basil Cream Sauce

Herb Crusted Chicken in a basil cream sauce

This recipe turned out to be a home run!
The breaded chicken along with the basil sauce is the perfect blend.
Pair this with a side salad and dinner is served!

To make this you will need:

2 Chicken Breasts, pounded thin
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup Garlic & Herb
 Bread Crumbs
2 teaspoon’s perfect pinch garlic/bell pepper blend
1 teaspoon freeze dried chives
3 Tablespoons butter
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup Chicken Broth
1/4 can of Italian diced tomatoes,
 drained and finely chopped
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese blend
2 Tablespoons freeze dried (or fresh) basil
dash of fresh ground black pepper

Place bread crumbs, Roasted Garlic and Bell Pepper Seasoning and freeze dried chives in a shallow bowl; mix thoroughly.

Place milk in a separate shallow bowl.

In a skillet, heat butter on medium heat. 
Meanwhile, pound chicken flat and thin for even cooking (if you haven't done so already).

Dip the chicken in the milk, then coat with crumb mixture.

Cook chicken in butter until browned and cooked through (about ten minutes). Remove and keep warm.

In the same skillet, add garlic and saute for approximately 1 minute.
Add chicken broth and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir occasionally to loosen browned parts from the pan.
Stir in cream and tomatoes; bring to a boil and stir for one minute.

Reduce heat to low; add Parmesan cheese, basil and a dash of pepper, stir sauce and cook until heated through and thickened. (about 5 minutes)

Serve by pouring the sauce over the chicken. For added flair, serve the chicken and sauce over cooked pasta.

Recipe Source:

Quote Friday

I trust that life is bigger than what I can see.
I trust that there is divine order beyond my control.
And I trust that no matter what happens, I will be alright.

Jul 17, 2013

Cheesecake Factory's Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta

Cheesecake Factory's Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta

I saw this recipe and I have to admit that I had never had this dish at the Cheesecake Factory. 
It looked to die for, so we made it one night for dinner and my world is forever changed.
Wowzers. Another hit recipe. This quickly turned into my new favorite recipe. I am seriously obsessed with it.
AND as a side note, I just went to Cheesecake Factory 2 weeks ago and ordered this dish....
and I wasn't a fan! It was way too spicy at the restaurant, but the way my dish came out...there was only a slight hint of heat.
Now that's NEVER happened! 

You will need:

2 chicken breasts
1 box penne pasta
1 lemon
2 tbs. honey
olive oil
2-4 Tbs from 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
yellow bell pepper
red bell pepper
4- 6 cloves fresh garlic
2 more Tbs honey
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup frozen peas
1 bunch fresh asparagus
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (for the asparagus)
Take your lemon and roll it with your hand against a hard surface in order to get the juices released.

Cut your lemon in half and squeeze the juice from both halves into your bowl.
Add 2 tbs. of honey, a pinch of salt and pepper.
Mix until well blended.  I like to use a whisk.

Next, cut your 2 chicken breasts into bite size pieces.
Place chicken into a ziplock bag and add the lemon and honey mixture.
 Set aside until we need it.
Now for the asparagus. break off the end pieces & cut them into small pieces.

Place cut asparagus into a bowl and add 1 tbs. of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and pepper, mix together
On a cooking sheet, spread the asparagus evenly.  Put this into your preheated oven.  While that's cooking let's get back to the chicken.

In a large frying pan heat 1 tbs of butter and 1 tbs of olive oil.  
Add the chicken along with the marinade to the hot pan.  Spread the chicken pieces out in the bottom of the pan to cook evenly.  If your stove was on high, you can turn it down to medium to cook chicken.  Do not turn the chicken until it has cooked well on first side because you want the honey to caramelize and turn golden brown (without burning though).

Now, lets check on our asparagus... but keep your eye on the chicken as well.
Check on the asparagus, turning it to roast it evenly on both sides.  You can taste one now if you like to see how done it is.   When it is done remove it. Set aside for later.

In another large pot, fill with water and add salt.  Bring to a good boil before adding your penne pasta.
Let's check on our chicken..
When the chicken is golden brown on both sides remove from the pan and place in a dish to set aside.  Make sure you get all the yummy juices, and don't wash your pan yet!!!
Chop your garlic.  I usually use 4-6 cloves.
With garlic, it always seems like more is always better.

Using the same pan you cooked the chicken in, heat 1 tbs. of butter and 1 tbs. of olive oil.
Scrape all of the golden chicken and honey juices from the bottom of the pan and mix thoroughly.
Then add your garlic.   Now that our water should be good and boiling add the penne to the pot
Now that the garlic is soft, add 1 tbs. of honey.  This step makes a difference; I have forgotten to add more honey at this part and tasted the difference.

Hopefully you have chopped your yellow and red bell peppers ahead like I have. Add red and then yellow to the pan. Saute for about a minute.
Add about 3/4 cup of frozen peas. Stir together and cook for about 2 more minutes.  Then add your cooked chicken that you set aside earlier.  Make sure you get all the yummy juices from the bowl!!!

Now for the can of chipotle peppers.  You're not going to actually use the pepper, just the sauce.   Now, this is where the "kick" comes from so according to your liking of spiciness modify accordingly.  If you add 3-4 tbs. it will be pretty spicy.  I suggest that you add 1-2 and then taste before you add more.
Add 2 cups of heavy whipping cream slowly mixing it well.
Sprinkle in 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese.
 Stir in and cook for about 5 minutes in order to let the sauce reduce and thicken.
Now would be a good time to taste.  
Let's check the penne to see if it's ready...

When the pasta is cooked to your liking drain, but do not rinse.  This allows the sauce to adhere more readily to the pasta.
Add penne to the pan and stir.
Add the previously roasted asparagus and stir.
If you haven't already chopped your cilantro it's ok, do it now

Sprinkle over the top and serve.  


Jul 16, 2013

Rustic Balsamic Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes and Asparagus

Rustic Balsamic Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes and Asparagus

This is the PERFECT summer recipe! 
You just toss together some chicken, tomatoes, and asparagus and throw it all under the broiler.
So simple, and the taste is phenomenal!

 To make this you will need:

 1 lb. penne pasta

4 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces

1 carton of grape tomatoes

½ c olive oil

½ c balsamic vinegar

about 12 fresh basil leaves chopped or dried basil

10 spears of thin asparagus cut into 1” pieces

1 tsp minced garlic 

4 oz grated Parmesan cheese


1. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile toss chicken pieces, tomatoes, asparagus, oil, vinegar, garlic and basil on a cookie sheet that has a 1” lip.

3. Broil for 7-10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. (I wasn’t sure it would cook that quickly, but it does!) Pour the entire mixture over pasta. Use a rubber scraper to get every bit of the yummy seasoning from the baking sheet. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.
It is THAT simple!

Recipe Source:

Jul 15, 2013

Peach Bundt Cake

I made this dessert for the 4th of July holiday and it did not disappoint!
I have really come to LOVE peach anything lately and this doesn't have a powerful peachy flavor. It is subtle and just the right amount of flavor!
I also had never made a bundt cake before, so if I can do can too!
I chose to add some vanilla ice cream and diced up strawberries and smashed raspberries, but you can add any fruit you like!

You will need:

If you use fresh peaches, just make sure they are peeled.
Frozen won't work because the water content is too high.

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 (16 oz.) can of sliced peaches, drained and roughly chopped
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup buttermilk or whole milk
nonstick vegetable oil spray

What to do:
Preheat oven to 350 F.

With a hand mixer on high speed or stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar for 5 minutes, until it is light and fluffy. It will look like whipped cream in texture and color. As you do that, scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure all butter is incorporated.

Add in the eggs one at a time while continuing to beat on high. Add the vanilla and beat mixture on high speed 4-5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, toss peaches with 1/4 cup of the flour, coating the fruit.
Add the peach/flour mixture to mixing bowl and beat on high until peaches are incorporated.

In a separate bowl, combine remaining 2 3/4 cups flour with salt and baking powder.
Turn hand mixer down to low speed. Add about half of the dry ingredients. Add buttermilk and continue to mix. Finish by adding the rest of the dry ingredients and incorporating it into the batter. 

Spray nonstick bundt pan with nonstick vegetable spray. Pour in the cake batter & bake 50-55 minutes. A toothpick inserted should come out dry. Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes. Flip onto plate to serve.

Slice it up and serve with ice cream and your favorite fruit.

Source: The Busy Mom's Cookbook by Antonia Lofaso

Jul 12, 2013

Quote Friday

In the face of apparent tragedy we must put our trust in God,
knowing that despite our limited view his purposes will not fail.
With all its troubles life offers us the tremendous privilege to grow in knowledge and wisdom, faith and works, preparing to return and share God's glory.
   -President Spencer W. Kimball

Jul 5, 2013

Quote Friday

You become what you believe- not what you wish or want,
 but what you truly believe.