Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta

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This may seem like a pretty hearty meal for the end of April.  But as I said in one of my last posts, it’s been fall/winter here still (with the exception of last weekend).  So when you see something coming from the kitchen that would normally be made in fall or winter, well we’re still sort of stuck in that season here in MN!!

When I find new things to make and it looks good, I am willing to give it a try.  Within my picky people pallet eaters here in the house!  This didn’t have anything that was green or orange or too spicy, so it was a go.  But I do love hearing the question:  “Is this something new you’re trying here?  And what’s the back up plan if it doesn’t turn out?”  Which really means, what if I don’t like it!!!

Well I don’t usually have a back up plan.  Not that I haven’t messed up a meal or two, but I just don’t usually have a back up plan.  And this was a meal the picky people eaters happened to like.

I loved the way the chicken turned out with the panko crust.  One of my favorite ways to bread chicken!!!  I get nervous frying chicken in a pan because I always feel like I’m going to under cook it, but it turned out great!!!   This was easy to make and had tons of great flavor!!!

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Two Girls Cooking – Patricia 😉

Source

Chef in Training

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Patricia
Ingredients
  • 10-12 oz. penne or ziti pasta
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 (8 oz) block cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder more or less to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt more or less to taste
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese separated
  • 2 chicken breasts cooked and cut into strips
  • 3/4 cup bacon cooked and chopped
  • 3/4 cup diced ham
  • bread crumbs
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to its package’s directions. Drain. I always add a little olive oil after I drain it and stir in around so the pasta noodles don’t stick together or the pot.
  2. Heat cream cheese on stove over medium low heat until melted. Stir in heavy cream. Stir until completely combined. Add onion powder and garlic salt until it tastes how you would like it to. Stir 1 cup of cheese until smooth consistency.
  3. In a 9×13, layer noodles, chicken, bacon and ham. Pour sauce over top. Sprinkle top with 1/2 cup cheese and bread crumbs.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes or until heated through.

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Chinese Chicken Salad

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I work from home!   I am very grateful that I get to work from home.  One reason is that I get to make my lunch fresh each day!   It also means that I tend to eat the same things over and over.  I love salads.  And I usually will have a lettuce salad about 4 times per week.  And it gets really old.  I’ve tried making my own dressing to just so that I’m using something on a more healthy side, but still.  It gets to be boring.

I’m a follower of the Chef in Training on Facebook, so when I saw her post, I thought, huh, I have to try this.  I know my family may not eat it, but I will.  And I can have this instead of salad every day this week!  Well a regular salad.

In a large bowl add the  sunflower seeds, coleslaw, chopped green onions and chicken.

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Break apart Ramon packets until they are crushed into small pieces. Reserve beef packets for sauce. Add Top Ramon pieces to salad and mix together well.

This next part required me to get out the blender!!!

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In blender, combine almond oil, sugar, vinegar and beef packets. Blend until evenly mixed.

The original recipe calls for Peanut Oil.  I shop at Target Super Store and they don’t always carry things that I need.  They had the peanut oil but in a huge gallon jug that I didn’t need.  I looked through the different types of oils and came across the Almond Oil.  It says it gives a sweet flavor for salad dressings so that’s what I went with.  Great flavor.  I have a new favorite lunch (besides Zantigo!!).

 

Chinese Chicken Salad
Recipe Type: Salad
Cuisine: Chinese
Author: Patricia
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 (16 oz) bag coleslaw mix
  • 2 packages Beef Top Ramon dry, save the packets
  • 1 bunch green onions chopped
  • 2 cups cooked and diced/shredded chicken
  • SAUCE . .
  • 1 cup almond oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 2 packets beef seasoning from Top Ramon packages listed above
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, add sunflower seeds, coleslaw, chopped green onions and chicken.
  2. Break apart Ramon packets with until they are crushed into small pieces. Reserve beef packets for sauce. Add Top Ramon pieces to salad and toss to evenly distribute.
  3. In blender, add almond oil, sugar, vinegar and beef packets. Blend until evenly mixed.

We have had not much of a Spring here in MN.  This past weekend it got into the 70s and we got to use our grill!!!!!  It’s supposed to drop back into winter again but I’m holding firm on the no socks with shoes from here on out!!!

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Two Girls Cooking – Patricia 😉

Source

Chef in Training

Creamy Corn Casserole

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We love this side dish. I made it for Easter this year. And that’s where you get the eggs and the basket in the pix. BUT, I’ve made this twice this week so far!! If you use fat free sour cream, you feel a little less guilty! In my thinking, if you find something a a guilty pleasure, then it sure could be this!!!

Creamy Corn Casserole
Recipe Type: Side Dish
Author: Two Girls Cooking
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 1 hour 5 mins
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 (8.5 ounce) package dry corn bread mix
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (14.75 ounce) can creamed corn
  • 1 cup sour cream
Instructions
  1. Directions
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and lightly grease a 9×9 inch baking dish.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine butter, eggs, corn bread mix, whole and creamed corn and sour cream. Spoon mixture into prepared dish.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden brown.

 

Better late than never!!!

Two Girls Cooking – Patricia

Cooking Demo w/Nancy Silverton and Giveaway!

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On April 2nd, Jodi and I went to the Macy’s Cooking Demonstration with Chef Nancy Silverton.  We got there a bit early because we got the opportunity to interview the Chef before watching her cook for us!  I had my notes all prepared that I wanted to ask her.  I wasn’t sure how much time we had so I just came up with a few.

Let me start there.

We were led back to a room where Chef Nancy was sitting by a table filled with fruits, breads, wine glasses.  She was sitting in a chair and welcomed us as soon as we walked in.  She is a very friendly person and I know I felt comfortable right away (though I was nervous).

Two Girls Cooking:  You started working in a dorm kitchen when you were 18 years old.  Did you expect at that time that you would be a well known chef and cookbook author?

Chef Nancy: NO!! I started working in the kitchen because the guy there was pretty cute!  Then I had this is what I want to do epiphany!!

Two Girls Cooking: Raising kids can be challenging, owning a restaurant can be as well.  How do you manage to balance it all?

Chef Nancy:  You make it work.  You have responsibilities and you know what you need to do.  Back then I had to travel a lot.  They didn’t have technology as they did now.  It made things more difficult.  Being away was hard at times.

Two Girls Cooking:  Who inspired you and why?

Chef Nancy:  Wolf Gang Puck and Alice Waters.  Alice Waters for sure.  She inspired me because of the food she cooked – she was a farmers market enthusiastic.   She was the true pioneer cooker.

Two Girls Cooking:  What is your favorite recipe that you’ve created?

Chef Nancy:  All of my bread recipes.  Breads for La Brea Bakery.  That was my teaching path.

Two Girls Cooking:  What is your advice to women in the food industry?

Chef Nancy:  Take your job seriously and do the best that you can.  You have to do it because you have passion for it.  Do it for the right reasons.

We had some small talk discussions during each question.  It was very interesting to hear how she made her way from the 18 year old dorm kitchen worker to a renowned Chef and Pizzeria owner, and not just one!

After the interview Chef Nancy signed a copy of her latest cook book “The Mozza Cookbook“.  That was a very nice surprise.  Jodi and I thought that we were going to have to pay for the book and then wait in line to have it signed!  It felt very personal (at least for me it did!!).  She took time to meet with a few chosen bloggers and then signed her book for us.  That is something Jodi and I will remember.

We gave our gratitude to Nancy and were led back to the Home Department in Macy’s.  We got signed in, were given our badges and found reserved seats right in the front row!!  We put our jackets down to save our seats and we wandered around looking for something to buy so that we could get another cookbook so that we could share with our readers a signed copy.  We’ll get to that in a bit!

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Here’s a picture of Jodi and me standing by the cooking area where Chef Nancy will give her demonstration.

We had about 30 minutes to walk around until, finally the moment came that we had been waiting for!

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We started off with Nick’s Kumquat Acqua Fresca (this was really refreshing – it has basil leaves and cucumber slices in it!).

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Next was the Lemon Vinaigrette that went the Kale Salad.

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I don’t think that either Jodi and I were fans of anchovies, but I have to say that I really didn’t mind eating this salad knowing I’d be eating that.  The salad had great flavor!

Next we watched Sweet Gem Lettuce w/Bufala Mozzarella, Cucumber & Yogurt.

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The best way to incorporate the dressing is to use your hands.  We wanted to ask what Chef’s favorite kitchen utensils were but forgot!  We were glad that she told us during this demo.  Her first favorite kitchen item is the micro plane.  (I had to ask Jodi because I could not remember the name of this thing!!).  And the 2nd is her hands.  She said that is the best way to make sure that each piece of lettuce is getting coated with the dressing.  Using tongs won’t touch each piece!

This salad was SO good.

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Out of all the recipes that we got to watch and taste, this is one I will make.  I haven’t gotten through the cookbook yet to make something new, but this one I know will be good.  I’m not sure if I’ll find the Sweet Gem Lettuce, but it’s worth searching!  She did say if you couldn’t find the Sweet Gem you could substitute it with Romaine lettuce.  Not sure if it would be the same for me since I’ve tasted it!  Just watching her cut the lettuce was fascinating to me!!

And finally we watched her prepare our dessert.  Rosemary-Pine Nut Cookies.

I’m a huge, huge fan of Pine Nuts.  I love them in my pasta sauce.  I love them in salads.  But I have never even thought to put them in a cookie along with Rosemary. I’ve never thought to put any herb or that type of a nut in anything sweet!  Trying to be optimistic about this cookie I watched her make it.  Knowing in my head that it was going to be a nice surprise.

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So good.  I think I may try these as well.  I have to say I really didn’t think I’d like the Rosemary on there.  But it gave it a great flavor.  And who am I to doubt a chef?  A chef that has cookbooks and owns more than one restaurant!

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Here are some pictures of her cooking:

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After we got to taste this awesome food, we got in line to get our cookbook signed for our give away!!

I noticed that no one was asking if they could have their picture taken with her.  But those that know me know I’m not shy.  I wanted my picture taken with her and so I had to ask!!

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Those of my Stella & Dot followers will notice that I have the beautiful Gitane necklace paired with the Interlock Cross (yeah I had to go there…sorry)!

It was an honor to interview Chef Nancy, watch her prepare the food and the best was getting to eat what she made for us!  You can really tell that she does have great passion for food.  She truly enjoys what she does!  It shows with every move she makes in the kitchen and the care she puts into each recipe she makes.

Thank you to Macy’s for inviting us to this event.  This is one that we won’t soon forget!

Now..for the giveaway (I purchased a new Pizza Stone in the Home Department to get this cookbook to give away).  There are just a few fun things you have to do.

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1.  Like our Facebook page and come back and leave a comment that you did so:  www.facebook.com/CookingGirls2

2.  Like us both on Twitter:  www.twitter.com/godzgirl37 & http://www.twitter.com/jodi_lee (leave a comment that you’ve done so)

3.  Tell us what inspires you to cook.

4.  Like us both on Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/jodi_lee/ & http://pinterest.com/ppeterson43/.  Leave a comment that you’ve done so.

We will pick a winner on Friday, April 12th.  We will use random.org to select the winner.  We will announce it on our FB page and send you out an email.  If we do not hear within 24 hours we will select a new winner.

If you want any of the recipes in full detail, please contact us and let us know.

Thanks for taking the time to share the fun that we had that day!!

Two Girls Cooking – Jodi & Patricia 😉

Thanks to Everywhere Society and the Culinary Council