Sunday, April 25, 2010

Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage

My friend Nicole started a cooking blog, Ingredients for a Wonderful Life, at the beginning of this year and she has already posted a lot of dishes that I want to try! One of these is a recipe for baked pasta (of course) that caught my eye because it used precooked chicken sausge (although you can use regular) and had a creamy tomato sauce that didn't look too heavy.

This meal was delicious! You feel a little bit healthy with the spinach and although there is a 1/2 cup of cream it makes a light sauce that doesn't overwhelm you. And of course there is a lot of gooey cheese. Make a whole batch and freeze half for later if you aren't making this for a crowd!

I didn't change anything from the original, so I will link you to the recipe on Nicole's blog below. She originally found it on My Kitchen Cafe.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Roast Chicken Thighs

Warning: This recipe will probably get your oven dirty and possibly set your smoke alarm off. At least that's what happened to me! There was a lot of excess oil from the marinade that I left on the chicken once I transferred it to the roasting pan. I thought it would add flavor and perhaps make a nice pan sauce but it caused a lot of splatter in the oven and poured smoke out of the oven when I opened the door! So I would suggest you shake off as much marinade as you can before cooking these babies.

Oil, oil everywhere! I should have taken a picture of my oven!
Otherwise, it was delicious! Nice, crispy skin that adds a lot of flavor to the meat even if you discard it. And the lemon, oil, honey, and mustard all combine nicely. So much so that I suggested using our leftovers to make some quesadillas later in the week and Chuck was appalled that I would do that! He said the chicken was too good to waste on something like a quesadilla where the flavor would really be masked.

I found this in a magazine but there was really no recipe so I will link you to the magazine's web page. Additionally, the recipe did not state the temperature at which to roast these so I took a stab at 425 degrees and it worked out well. I also halved the recipe but wrote the original for you below. Enjoy!

Roast Chicken Thighs
from Everyday Food, March 2010 edition
Makes 8 servings

8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1/2 cup olive oil
juice of one lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
1-2 tablespoons honey

Toss the chicken thighs with olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour and up to one day. (I like to put everything into a Ziploc bag for easy clean-up.)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Oil a roasting pan big enough to give each piece of chicken it's own space. Transfer the chicken thighs to the roasting pan, skin side down, shaking off excess marinade. Roast 20-25 minutes; flip and roast another 10 minutes.

Stir together mustard, honey, and salt and pepper to taste. Remove chicken from oven and turn oven to broil. Brush the mustard mixture onto each thigh and return to broiler for 4-5 minutes. Watch for burning and serve immediately.

Just ignore the gourmet stuffing served alongside ;)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Crockpot Orange Chicken

Another slow cooker meal! This may be the last for awhile since warm weather has arrived and I associate slow cookers with warm, comforting winter meals. Although maybe not if I find something I absolutely have to make!
As I was making this in my 4-quart slow cooker, I was thinking, "There is not nearly enough food in here, it is going to burn". And sure enough, the chicken got a little bit tough, so much so that Chuck asked "What kind of meat is this?" To properly cook food in a slow cooker, it should be one-half to two-thirds full or else the food will dry out and burn. So if you are going to make this I would suggest doubling or even tripling this recipe for a 4-quart slow cooker and the meat should turn out just right. I liked the flavor of this but if you don't like a strong orange taste, just decrease the amount of orange juice concentrate.

As you can see, I served this over brown rice and mixed it with some steamed broccoli. I didn't change anything from where I found this on Sweet Tea in Texas so here is the link:

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mexican Slow Cooked Pork Carnitas

The flavor of slow-cooked, shredded pork is so delicious, and I love using it in Mexican-style dishes. This recipe looked very simple to prepare for the slow cooker, so when I saw it on C + C Marriage Factory I saved it right away!

I didn't really make any changes to this recipe - except that I didn't feel like buying Adobo so I looked at the ingredients in the store and found it is just a mixture of garlic powder, tumeric, and salt and pepper. So I just used a combination of those while rubbing it into the pork.
You can use the shredded pork for any number of dishes: I used it in tortillas; when you click on the link below for the recipe you can see the Christina served it over rice.

I served this with a side of Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Salad. And someone else wanted to say hi :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Chicken Sausage, Pepper and Onion Pasta Fake-Bake

Hmm, pasta again, you say? Well, for pasta lovers like myself and Chuck, this is another easy, possible to make ahead dinner that tastes great and makes a lot of leftovers. As you will see when you look at the recipe, this has been designed to only seem like it has been baked in the oven. However, if you are making some of this to freeze, you can bake it no problem in the oven at 350 degrees to heat it. Also, if you can't find chicken sausage, regular sausage will work fine, you just need to cook it first.

I found this on my friend's blog, A Taste of Home Cooking, and she originally got it from Rachael Ray. Neither of us changed anything from the original so I will link you to it below!