Sunday, March 28, 2010

3 recipes

I've really been on a roll lately with new recipes. Today, I did three new recipes.

Snack Mix
I wanted a snack mix with all the things I like and nothing that I didn't. While at the store on our last shopping trip, I picked out a variety of goodies. Today, I mixed them together to make my own snack mix. I included equal parts of walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, chocolate covered peanuts (I'm not a fan of peanuts, but liked the idea of adding a little chocolate to the mix), and raisons.I put it in these smaller bags so I could stick them in my purse and take them with me where ever I wanted to go. It turned out to be perfectly what I wanted.

Chicken and Broccoli Penne Pasta
For dinner, I made this fabulous dish. I got the inspiration from my friend Elizabeth at Table4Five when she blogged out this recipe on Teri's Kitchen. I searched the net to find one that sounded good to me, and found this one. It was a little more complex than I expected, and a little more time consuming. But it turned out fantastic and I am proud of myself. My husband was as pleased as could be- thanks Elizabeth for the inspiration!
Here's the recipe, as it is posted:


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces penne rigate or similar pasta
  • 2 cups frozen broccoli florets
  • 2-3 cups skinned and boned cooked or roasted chicken, torn into large pieces
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Melt the butter in a saucepan; stir in the flour until well blended. Gradually stir in the milk and broth and cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until mixture is smooth and comes to a boil, about 8 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the mozzarella and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan; remove from heat.

Cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente or about 10 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook about 2 minutes more. Drain well and rinse with a little cold water to stop the cooking.

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Combine the pasta, broccoli, cheese sauce and chicken; spread in a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Drop pieces of blue cheese on top and tuck into the pasta with your fingers. Sprinkle the surface with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake until top is golden and mixture is bubbly, about 25 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving. Leftovers reheat well in the microwave.

Here are the adjustments I made to adapt it to my family:
We like broccoli, so I increased the amount of broccoli, using more like 3 cups.
We like more pasta/veggies to meat, so I used slightly less chicken (two small chicken breasts).
Neither of us like blue cheese, so I skipped it altogether.

My husband and I ate very well, and only ate about a third of what this made. There is enough left for he and I both to have a good lunch from it, and a dinner another night. So I would say this meal serves more like 6-8, instead of the 4 as stated in the recipe. Next time I make this meal, I will stop before baking, and use half of it for a freezer meal to make on another night. We both absolutely loved this meal, and it will become a frequent in our home.

French Bread
Since this meal would be perfect with some french bread, but I hadn't thought that far in advance at my last shopping trip, I improvised. I mixed two tablespoons of butter with garlic powder, spread over sliced bread, and topped with cheese. I wasn't sure what kind of cheese would be best, so I tried three kinds- mozzarella, parmesan, and cheddar. Toasted them in the oven on 350 until the cheese was melted and the edges of the bread were barely golden. The different cheeses didn't make much difference to me, although Selo said he prefered the cheddar of the rest. I thought the made up garlic butter was just right though.

So those are my successes for today. The whole day turned out to be an excellent day for food. I feel great that I have a fantastic new dinner recipe, and that I made a recipe that was slightly more complex than what I'm used to. I am enjoying all that I'm learning. I hope you enjoy these recipes as much we were did in my home!


The Gray Fam said...

MMM! That pasta looks to die for! Why do you post stuff like this? If it looks good, I make it and then I gain weight! haha... I am anxious to try the PB cookies... but update on us on how your feeling! Belly pics would be nice too ;)

*Marie* said...

It was that good, too! And you are going to love the PB cookies.

All the pregnancy updates and belly pics are posted in my pregnancy journal. I'll send you the link to it.