Thursday, January 14, 2010

Chicken Parmesan Done Your Way!

Sometimes I feel like I run out of ideas of what to do with my boneless chicken breasts. Being pregnant has made me a bit lazy in the kitchen these days too because it takes a lot of energy out of you and sometimes the smells get to me! I decided to make a mean meal of chicken parmesan on pasta my style one night for my hubby and I. I think marinating chicken is the key to all juicy and flavorful chicken so that's what I did first. I used a garlic herb bottled marinade after the chicken was thawed out. Then when I was ready to go I used Crusted Ranch Shake N' Bake (or you can use any other kind) and threw them in the oven at 375 degrees for about 30-35 mins (depending how thick your breasts are). Now the key to chicken parm is to pull out the chicken from the oven about 5 mins before it's done to add  a spoonful of sauce (you can use spaghetti or alfredo sauce) then some grated cheese (use whatever cheese you have) to the top and return it back to the oven to melt. Meanwhile, while the chicken has been cooking, you can make your pasta. Again, whatever you have for pasta works. I used spaghetti noodles and spaghetti sauce with some extra seasonings (chili powder, oregano) and grated parmesan cheese. But when it's all said and done, it will look like a meal straight from an expensive restaurant! Pair it up with a cesaer salad and some garlic bread and enjoy!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Penne Pasta Bake

Our church volunteers a couple times a month at Outflow which is a non-profit organization to feed the hungry, poor, and even homeless in uptown Saint John (NB). They have a store front location which is open  Mon-Thurs. from 7pm-9pm where people can come in sit down and get a hot meal, have great conversation with each other or some of the volunteers, play games, and enjoy some coffee and tea. Last time we were there it was just before Christmas and they did baked ham, beans, scalloped potatoes and I made decorated cupcakes for dessert! We usually feed around 40 people. Instead of coming up with the usual bland meal they receive during the day at the soup kitchens, our team has decided to make great meals for the crowd. This week they voted in lasagna with ceasar salad, garlic bread, and we always bring some healthy snacks like fruit. So I offered to make a lasagna... except for when I looked in my cupboard today I only had a few lasagna noodles left... oops! But not to worry I found some other pastas too and decided to make a Penne Pasta Bake which is similar to a lasagna without the cottage cheese. So first I looked for a pasta bake which I looked for on KraftCanada and found an easy one. All I really needed to know was what temp. to cook it at and for how long. I did some improvising so I don't have an exact recipe for you to copy down but it is not hard and I will have the link to the one I found online if you're the type of person who needs exact everything.

So I cooked my lean ground beef up in a pot (drained the fat) and added the pasta sauce and some cut up mushrooms and let that simmer. Then in another pot I prepared the penne pasta and used a whole box and drained it, rinsed it, and put the pasta in a glass 9"x13" baking dish sprayed with cooking oil. Added to that is the pasta sauce and mixed it all up with some grated parmesan cheese. Then on the top I added some grated cheese. If you like your pasta sauce a little spicey I added a dash of some dried red peppers.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 20 mins. No picture for this recipe as I was in a bit of a hurry to get it done and get the tin foil on it since it was getting picked up and needed to stay hot. I'm sure it'll be a hit!

Visit this link to follow the recipe:

Friday, January 1, 2010

Monte Cristo Sandwiches - Canadian Living

A few weeks back my mother in law made these amazing Monte Cristo sandwiches and I decided to find a similar recipe to the one she used. They were fried in french toast batter with ham and cheese inside and a hint of mustard in the batter. They were so good and something I need to try out today! You can certainly tweak this recipe to your desire... use turkey instead of ham or use any other kind of cheese. I'm looking forward to biting into one of these later. Enjoy!

Super Supper Monte Cristo Sandwiches - Recipes - Food - Canadian Living

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