Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken & asparagus

There really isn't much of a recipe to post for this one other than some basic prep before grilling. We made this to go along with Baked Lemon Pasta and they were great together. I think grilling & roasting are going to be the only way I can get my husband to eat enough vegetables. You gotta do, what you gotta do. Get out to that grill and cook up a healthy, yummy dinner.

Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken

1/4 Cup olive oil
1/4 Cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp Lemon Pepper seasoning
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts

Combine first three ingredients in a Ziploc bag and shake to mix.
Add the chicken breasts & marinate for at least 1 hour.
Grill chicken until done.

Grilled Asparagus

In a separate Ziploc bag, combine the same ingredients as above, but toss fresh asparagus in the marinade and let sit for 15 minutes before grilling.

Pioneer Woman’s Baked Lemon Pasta

I adore Ree of I also happen to love anything of hers that I’ve made. This lemon pasta was no exception. Now, Cancy thinks all meals need to be served with meat so I made lemon pepper pasta. I would have been perfectly content with just the pasta. I hope you try this. While you’re at it, you should check out the rest of Ree’s site. :)

Pioneer Woman’s Baked Lemon Pasta

1 pound thin spaghetti

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

Juice of 1 lemon

Zest of 1 lemon

2 cups sour cream

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste if desired

Plenty of grated Parmesan cheese

Flat leaf parsley, chopped

Extra lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook spaghetti until al dente.

In a skillet, melt butter with olive oil over LOW HEAT. When butter is melted, add minced garlic.
Squeeze lemon juice into the pan. Turn off heat.

Add sour cream and stir mixture together. Add lemon zest and salt. Taste, then add more salt if necessary.

Pour mixture over drained spaghetti and stir together, then pour spaghetti into an oven safe dish.

Bake, covered, for 15 minutes. Then remove foil and bake for an additional 7 to 10 minutes. (Don’t bake too long or the pasta will dry out.)

When you remove it from the oven, squeeze a little more lemon juice over the top.
Top generously with Parmesan cheese, then chopped parsley.
Give it a final squeeze of lemon juice at the end.

Gorgonzola Filled Meatballs with Bay & Onion Creamy Tomato Gravy

We have tons of ground beef on hand so I am always looking for new ways to use it. This is yet another Rachael Ray recipe that came out a winner. We both really liked this. My recipe shown below is using smaller amounts than Rachael’s original. I cut most everything in 1/2 since it was just the 2 of us and we were stuffed.
I served this with mashed potatoes & roasted green beans. Easy & delicious weeknight dinner.

Gorgonzola Filled Meatballs with Bay & Onion Creamy Tomato Gravy

1 pound ground beef
Salt and pepper
1 clove garlic, grated or minced
1 large egg
1 handful grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1 handful plain breadcrumbs
1 1/2 tablespoons sage leaves, sliced or finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese
1 tablespoon butter
1 fresh bay leaves
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 can crushed tomatoes (15 ounces)
1/2 cup cream

Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.

Place the meat in a mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add in the garlic, egg and egg yolk, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, breadcrumbs and sage. Mix together with the meat and roll into eight large balls and arrange in a baking dish. Coat the balls with 2 tablespoons EVOO. Using the end of a wooden spoon, make an indentation half way into each ball and fill each cavity with some Gorgonzola cheese. Bake until golden and cooked through, 15-20 minutes.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon EVOO and butter in a saucepot over medium heat. Add the bay leaves and onions and season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken stock and tomatoes and heat through, stir in the cream, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer to thicken slightly, 8-10 minutes.

Ladle the sauce into shallow bowls and top with big stuffed meatballs and Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Spinach alongside, if desired.

Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe

I love, love, love broccoli cheese soup. We’ve had a chilly week so this was a perfect fit. I had to add a bit more 1/2 & 1/2 and chicken stock but other than that, I stayed true to the original recipe. This was delicious, creamy, & warm. Great for a chilly, rainy night.

Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe

1 tablespoon melted butter

1/2 medium chopped onion

1/4 cup melted butter

1/4 cup flour

2 cups Fat Free 1/2 & 1/2 (I changed this to 3 Cups)

2 cups chicken stock (I changed this to 3 Cups)

1/2 lb fresh broccoli

1 cup carrot, julienned

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese

salt and pepper

Sauté onion in butter. Set aside.

Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and add the half & half.

Add the chicken stock. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat 20-25 minutes.

Add salt and pepper. Using an immersion blender if you have one, now is a good time to puree some of the soup. I made sure to leave some of the broccoli pieces whole.

Return to heat and add cheese. Stir in nutmeg.

Crab Curry

We went out for Indian food a couple of weeks ago and we remembered how much we liked all of the flavors in Indian cuisine. I came home from work last week to a strong curry smell when I walked in the front door. There was my husband, at the stove using what seemed like every dish in the house and all of the burners on the stove. He decided to try a Crab Curry dish. I’ve got to say, it was delicious. Now this recipe doesn’t have the most common of ingredients so make sure you shop before you start this. Cancy went to 3 different stores that day to get everything. Sweet husband...

Crab Curry

1 cup water
6 big size crabs (Cancy used 1 pound of crab legs instead of whole crab)
8 red chillies whole
1 tbsp tamarind pulp
1/2 coconut scraped
1 tsp Garam masala powder
8 cloves garlic
1 tbsp oil
1 big size onion sliced
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin seeds

Boil the crabs and clean them, only the body and claws are used (the crab claws can be lightly cracked and the body cut into half, to facilitate eating).

Grind the scraped coconut with red chillies, cumin seeds, turmeric powder and garlic to a fine paste.

Heat up oil on medium heat up and stir fry cut onion. Stir-fry for one minute. Mix in ground spices and stir-fry for a minute. Mix in tamarind pulp, salt to taste and crabs.

Simmer (boil slowly at low temperature) on low heat, covered for 15 minutes. Mix in little more water if necessary and stir fry till done.

Serve hot over Basmati Rice.

CrockPot Orange Chicken

I love using my crockpot on the weekends. When I saw this recipe from Stephanie pop in my Google reader, I knew I had to make it. I love orange chicken when getting take-out but you know it’s fried & heavily sauced (aka not that great for you). I felt like I was cheating using this recipe because it tasted so good and I knew it was made actually pretty healthy.

The only thing I changed from Stephanie’s original is that when we were ready to eat, I steamed some fresh broccoli and tossed it into the sauce right before serving. We’ll definitely be having this again.

CrockPot Orange Chicken

1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken, cut in 2-inch chunks
1/2 cup flour
olive oil, for browning the chicken
1 tablespoon kosher salt
6 ounces (1/2 can) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed (I'd opt for little-to-no pulp. The pulp can taste a bit bitter when cooked)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons ketchup

Use a 4 quart slow cooker for best results. Dredge the chicken pieces with the flour, and shake off the excess. Go ahead and throw away any remaining flour, we won't need it. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on the stove and brown the chicken on all sides. There is no need to fully cook it, just sear it enough for the flour to stick and get a nice coating.

Plop the chicken pieces into your slow cooker. In a small mixing bowl, combine the orange juice concentrate, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt, and ketchup. Taste. If you'd like the chicken to be a bit sweeter, add a touch more sugar. Pour sauce mixture evenly over the chicken, and toss gingerly to coat.

Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for 3 to 4. Serve over white or brown rice.

Creamed Chicken with Gnocchi Dumplings

I found this recipe in the November ’09 issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray. The sauce turned out just a little thick but for the most part this was a easy & tasty weeknight meal. I think next time we try this I’ll probably make it into a thick soup by just adding just a bit more 1/2 & 1/2, chicken broth, some baby carrots, & frozen peas.

Creamed Chicken with Gnocchi Dumplings

One 1-pound package of potato gnocchi

4 tablespoons butter

1 onion, finely chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into thin strips

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup half-and-half ( I used fat free 1/2 & 1/2)

1 cup chicken broth

2 scallions, chopped

Cook the gnocchi according to package directions; drain.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

In a small saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook until toasted, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the half-and-half and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until thickened. Whisk into the chicken mixture, then stir in the gnocchi. Bring to a simmer, then season with salt and pepper and top with the scallions.

Drunken Charro Beans

Last weekend, we went to a friends house for a day of BBQ & Football. I needed something manly & easy that would feed a group of hungry guys. This was a hit. Most men seem to love anything cooked with beer so this was an easy winner.

You can definitely adjust the seasonings to your taste and maybe you have another favorite beer. Most anything should work. Enjoy!!

Drunken Charro Beans

1 32oz pkg of dried pinto beans
1 lg onion, chopped
3 jalapenos, seeded & diced
1 Can of Rotel (you can use whatever level, but we used the Hot)
1lb pkg of bacon
2 C chicken stock
1 Tbsp each...garlic salt, jalapeno salt, pepper
2 bottles of Corona

Rinse the dried beans in a colander. Drain and then place beans in the bottom of the crockpot. Layer Rotel, onion, jalapeno, and bacon over top.

Pour 1/2 of the chicken stock in and then sprinkle your seasonings. Add 1 of the Coronas now. Turn crockpot on high heat for about 4 hours. No Peeking.

About 4 hours into it, stir everything together. Add the remaining chicken stock as well as the last bottle of Corona. Put the lid back on and leave on low for another 4-6 hours.

Easy Cheesy Chicken Divan

I saw this recipe pop up from Jenny’s blog. A girl after my own heart. Adding artichoke hearts to Chicken Divan. Genius!! :) I cut this down to use in an 8*8 pan so my recipe amounts are shown slightly different from Jenny’s. It turned out very tasty. I hope you’ll like it.

Easy Cheesy Chicken Divan

Cooking spray
2 cups broccoli, chopped into bite sized pieces
2 medium sized chicken breasts, cut into chunks and cooked.
1 cans cream of chicken soup (low fat, low sodium)
1 can artichoke hearts, quartered
1/2 cup light mayo
1/2 cup Panko (or bread crumbs)
1/2 C Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tsp I Can't Believe It's Not Butter (or any other light butter)

Cut the broccoli into bite size pieces and layer the bottom of a 8*8 casserole dish with it. Sprinkle a handful of parmesan over top. Top it with the artichokes and cooked chicken. Combine the soups and mayo in a bowl and spread it on top of the chicken and veggies. Pour the soup mixture onto the chicken and broccoli. Sprinkle remaining cheese on casserole. Melt the butter on the stove. When melted add the panko and saute one minute. Spoon on top of the casserole. Bake on 350 for 30 minutes or until the panko is nicely browned.

Mexican Sour Cream Rice

The nights have been getting chillier so I made this with rice, along with some chicken in the oven to warm us up a bit. This makes no less than a TON of rice. Be prepared for leftovers. This recipe comes originally from, but I found it in my Google Reader from Melissa.
I substituted the can of green chiles for a can of Rotel, drained & it turned out wonderfully! Enjoy!

Mexican Sour Cream Rice

1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
4 ounces cream cheese
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies (I used a can of Rotel, drained)
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided
1 (8.75 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
12.5 ounces chicken, cooked and shredded
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

In a large pot, bring the rice and chicken broth to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9X9 baking dish.

In the pot with the cooked rice, mix the sour cream, cream cheese, green chilies, 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, corn, and parsley . Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Transfer to the prepared dish, and top with remaining cheese.

Bake uncovered 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.

Oriental Beef and Noodles

Another Crock-pot Recipe. This one is incredibly easy to throw together & pretty tasty, although not the prettiest to photograph. We both liked this for an easy dinner that you don’t really have to pay attention to during the day.

We made just a few changes to Colleen’s recipe, and I think it gave it just a tad more flavor. Yum!

Oriental Beef and Noodles

1 (16 ounce) package frozen stir fry vegetables
2 - 2 1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1" cubes
1 (12 ounce) bottle stir-fry sauce, any flavor
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (we changed this to about a teaspoon for a little mote heat)
2 (3 ounce) packages ramen noodles, broken
1/4 cup green onions, chopped

Coat a 4 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place frozen vegetables in the bottom and top with stew meat. In a medium bowl, stir together stir-fry sauce, water, and red pepper. Pour over stew meat and vegetables in cooker.

Cover and cook on low for 9-10 hours or on high for 4 1/2-5 hours (I recommend low, it will help to break the meat down more).

At the end of cooking time, Stir noodles, Ramen spice packets, and green onions into meat mixture. Cover and let stand 10 minutes more. Stir before serving. This can be kept on warm for 1-2 hours.

Rustic Chicken

For Joelen’s October Tasty Tool event, she’s highlighting crockpots/slow cookers. I try to use my crockpot once or twice a month so I already have a few recipes in this blog with the Crockpot tag. However, for Joelen’s event I wanted to try something new.

I knew I wanted to make something with chicken and I wanted to use artichokes. I found this recipe on It takes all of 2 minutes to throw everything in the crockpot and then you just sit back and wait, enjoying the smell of a home cooked meal that you don’t have to work hard for. Enjoy!!

Rustic Chicken

1 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast tenders, or boneless chicken breasts cut in 1 inch strips

1 tablespoon real bacon bits (I omitted these)

1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

1 15 ounce can artichoke hearts, quartered

8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 packet dry chicken gravy mix

1/4 cup red wine

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
** I added about 6 large stuffed Green Olives as well.

Combine all ingredients in a crockpot; stir to combine. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours. Serve over pasta or rice.