Friday, November 19, 2010

Chicken Nuggets

For my birthday, my husband gave me a subscription to Cook's Country.  I've received two copies so far, and while I've enjoyed flipping through them, haven't yet cooked anything from them.  Tonight, however, I made their recipe for chicken nuggets, and they came out GREAT.  They were crispy, not greasy, and very light.  I would have liked a little more flavor in them, so will amp up the spices next time.  Even better, they say that these are easily doubled and frozen; I froze our leftovers and we'll see how they come out!

Alas, we all know how many bloggers out there have gotten cease and desist letters from the ATK folks, and while no one is reading my blog, I'm not interested in any issues.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

On Cooking

We had a friend over for dinner tonight, and as I was making dinner, she asked, "Do you cook every night?"  I replied, "Yeah, actually, I do cook almost every night."  I turned to my husband and said, "Do you agree with that assessment?" and he said, "Yeah, you've been really good," and then scolded me that I keep MAKING pizza instead of getting it from a pizza store.

I'm really proud of this one, because there are lots of nights I would just rather go out.  But then I feel guilty about our wallets, our health, and what messages we're sending to those wide open little eyes and ears that share a table with us.

So, yay for me!

Waikiki Meatballs

Facebook is a wonderful thing.  Not only can a person connect with current friends, old friends, friends of friends, businesses, etc etc etc, but one can also get all kinds of tips and information there.  Such is the case with this recipe, which was raved about in a facebook status of a grammar school friend.  It's originally from allrecipes.

I made it tonight, when a friend came over for dinner, and it was a big hit with everyone, including the three year old.  I made a few modifications, but they were slight.  I used ground turkey instead of beef, and I used fresh ginger instead of dried.  I was glad for this because I was really able to taste the ginger, and it was a big part of how great these were.  I also omitted the green pepper.  I served over brown rice with a salad.

Delicious, delicious meal.


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 2/3 cup crushed saltine cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pineapple chunks - drained, with juice reserved
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper


  1. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, cracker crumbs, onion, egg, milk, ginger and salt. Shape mixture by rounded tablespoonfuls into meatballs.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place meatballs in skillet and cook until evenly brown, and meat is no longer pink. Drain excess fat.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, brown sugar, reserved pineapple juice, vinegar and soy sauce. Mix until smooth, then pour into the skillet with meatballs. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils, about 5 minutes. Stir in the green pepper and pineapple chunks. Heat through.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ooey Gooey Chicken Pasta

Looking for recipes to fill my menu for the week, I stopped by Lauren's blog and saw her post for this recipe.  Once I stopped looking at her adorable then toddler son gobbling it up, I decided to go for it this week. 

I wanted to make it on Tuesday night.  But I hadn't cooked the chicken in advance.  Wednesday, I had the chicken all cooked, but got home way too late for the cooking time to have dinner ready in time to get the boys to bed before any meltdowns.  So, it was finally ready tonight (which also gave me time last night to get the chicken shredded).  A comedy of errors of sorts.

This is really just a simplified baked ziti, with the addition of chicken and with no eggs.  It was really tasty, though, like Lauren, I didn't have enough sauce and so it was sort of on the dry side.  I also ended up with some crunchy pasta, and wonder if covering it with foil would have resolved that issue.

So, this is a great starting point recipe that allows you to just go wild and suit your own tastes.  Got Thanksgiving leftovers?  Turkey would probably work great here instead of chicken.  I had leftover mushrooms in the fridge, and considered adding them to this; would have been great! 

One change I'd make, though, is to saute the onions and garlic in some oil first to soften them up (or if I'd added those mushrooms or peppers or anything else a little on the hard side). 

The recipe originally comes from My Sweet Life.

Baked Chicken Pasta
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 large jar of spaghetti sauce
1 lb box of pasta
3/4 cup of ff ricotta cheese
1-2 cups of shredded cheese (I used mozzarella)

Bake chicken (covered) on 350 for one hour.  Let chicken cool and then pull apart with fingers. I usually cook the chicken the night before, shred it and throw in the fridge. Cook pasta as directed. In a sauce pan, add shredded chicken and spaghetti sauce (I put enough to cover the chicken plus some) and whatever spices you like (I used garlic, onion, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper). Simmer on low-med until warmed through. Drain and pour pasta into your baking dish. Add ricotta cheese and mix into hot noodles. Pour spaghetti sauce mixture over pasta and mix in. Top with shredded cheese. Bake on 350 for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rigatoni di Gregorio


Mmmm.  Cream.  Mmmm.  Butter.

The best things in life?  Make your butt bigger.  But, oh boy, are they goooood.  This dish from Annie's Eats is another home run, and no exception to the above.  In fact, as it came to the table, my husband remarked, "If this tastes half as good as it smells, this one's a keeper!"  And it was, he definitely wants this again, so I guess I'd better hit the gym.

I made a few modifications; I tried to make it a little healthier by using half and half instead of heavy cream.  I also had some cooked chicken breast around for another dinner, and used that instead of following Annie's directions.  Otherwise, I  believe I followed exactly.


Rigatoni di Gregorio
Yield: 3-4 servings

8 oz. rigatoni
2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ cup chopped yellow onion
4 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. dry white wine
¼ cup Marsala wine
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream (or half-and-half)
2 tsp. minced fresh basil
2 tsp. minced fresh parsley
1 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. butter
Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Once boiling, cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain well.  

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken breasts to the pan and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.  If necessary, turn down the heat to medium-low so the outside doesn't brown too quickly.  Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.  When cool enough to handle, cut into bite-size pieces.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan with the heat on medium-high.  Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes.  Add the mushrooms to the pan and continue to cook until most of the liquid has been released and the onions are softened, about 5 minutes more.  Mix in the garlic and sauté just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Remove the pan from the heat and add the wines, scraping with a spoon to deglaze the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Whisk in the chicken broth.  Return Bring to a simmer, lower the heat to medium and continue to simmer until the liquid is reduced by about half.  Stir in the cream and cook until heated through.  Add in the herbs, Parmesan and butter; mix until well blended and the butter is completely melted.

Add the cooked rigatoni to the pan and toss with the sauce.  Serve immediately with additional grated Parmesan as desired.

Printed from Annie’s Eats

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