Cheesy Chicken Pasta

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How many of you have been to the $5 dollar dinners website?  I follow them on Facebook and saw that they were going to be doing 20 meals for $150.  As soon as it posted I had to see what I could make for at least for this week!  I typically don’t shop at once for that many meals but if you do then you’re in luck.  You need to head on over and get those meals!!  This is one of them that I found for this week.

I plan my meals not only on a budget but also on what my schedule for the week will be.  Since I didn’t have anything going on this day, I knew I’d have time to spend on making something new.  I had most of the ingredients on hand so if I had to guess on the cost, I’d say that this was pretty close to the $5.  I had the spices, sour cream, butter, and cheese in my kitchen.  Some little mouths aren’t a fan of tuna in the house so I substituted chicken instead.  I got the rotisserie chicken instead of the can chicken and I just cut it up.

IMG_7973As you can see, little Miss Khali isn’t very interested in eating her dinner.  Her little mind is preoccupied!!!

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Mr. Caleb appears to be more interested in getting his loose tooth out than eating his dinner!!!!

IMG_7972First of all, excuse my after dinner mess!  But here’s Miss Brooklyn going up for seconds!  So she liked it.  And she’s the picky eater of the bunch!!!!

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Super easy to make.  Super easy on your wallet.  Super tasty too!

I’ve looked over the other 19 recipes from the $5 dinner website but I haven’t put them down for any days this week.

Taco Tuesday for us here and then on Wednesday hopping to make the Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes.  You can’t go wrong with breakfast for dinner.

In fact, the other girl came over with Sam last night to have dinner with us.  We had some breakfast quesadillas.  Unfortunately neither of us took any pictures of what we made.  Jodi made a nummy dessert with some crescent rolls, brown sugar, and some cinnamon chocolate chips!  Not that often that we get to cooking together any more so I’m sorry we didn’t take the time to show you our fun.  Trust me, we ate really well yesterday!

I hope you have a great week.

Cheesy Chicken Pasta
Author: Patricia
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. spaghetti noodles or other pasta
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 4 Tbsp flour (I used whole wheat)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 2 containers of Oscar Meyer chicken
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • about 1 lb. frozen Green Beans or corn
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Chives
Instructions
  1. Boil the pasta noodles as directed. Drain well and return to saucepan.
  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Whisk in the milk and whisk vigorously until flour “melts” into the milk. Whisk in the chicken broth. Bring to bubbling and then stir in the sour cream and cheese. Cook over medium-low heat until sauce bubbles and begins to thicken. Stir in the chicken, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add the sauce to the cooked noodles and toss well.
  4. Prepare frozen corn or green beans.
  5. Serve Cheesy Chicken Noodles with vegetable.
  6. I topped ours with some chives and some shredded Parmesan cheese.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Source

$5 Dollar Dinners

Stuffed Shells

Stuffed Shells

I am pretty sure that I had posted these Stuffed Shells before but I can’t find them in our Archives.  So here they come again.

These are so simple to make and a quick go to meal for any day of the week.  I’ve given this recipe (and I’m sure there are many similar ones out there) to many people.  What made me think of this is a friend from work needed a dinner to provide for a family from church.  This is one that I’ve used for the same occasion.

Ingredients:

1lb ground turkey or ground beef if you prefer

1 jar spaghetti sauce

1 clove fresh garlic

8oz cream cheese (I used onion and chives this time to add more flavor)

20-25 jumbo pasta shells

parsley (optional)

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Here’s what you do:

1.  Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.  Once boiling, add shells and cook until al dente’. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water.

2.  Brown ground meat in a pan until cooked through.  Add the cream cheese and mix together.  Once combined add the garlic and 1/4 of the spaghetti sauce and turn off heat.

3.  In a 9×13 baking dish, spray with cooking spray.  Add a spoonful of the meat mixture to each jumbo shell and place in dish.  (I usually make more shells than needed because some tend to tear).  I fit 5 shells in each row.

Stuffing the shells

4.  Pour enough spaghetti sauce over each row and top with the mozzarella cheese.   Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Eat and enjoy with garlic cheese bread and a salad!

Garlic Cheese Bread

Have a great rest of the week.

See the smiles this brings to one of the kids!!

Brooklyn

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking Blog

Scallops w/Buttercream Avocado Sauce

I got my new Canon Rebel T2i Friday.  I read over (barely skimmed) the directions and just started to take pictures.  Why?  I had so much going on this weekend I barely found time to eat until today!!

Last week we got the Avocados from SoCalAvodados!  Thanks again!

I checked my bag today to see if any of them were ripe and two of them were!!!  I had taken scallops out for dinner so I came up with this sauce to go with it.  I searched online and got some main ingredients and then just added as I went along!

 

This was simple to make and had great flavor to the scallops.

For the scallops:

Heat a skillet on med-high heat with 1tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil and 1 tbsp butter (I use unsalted organic butter).  I patted them dry with a napkin and rolled them in some Italian flavored bread crumbs.  Pan fried each side for 3-4 minutes.  I squeezed fresh lemon juice over the scallops, removed from heat and covered for 5 minutes to soak the juice.

For the avocado sauce:

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 ripe avocado, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 finely chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • zest of half lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

I mixed this in a food processor until it was combined together.  I spread across the place, added the scallops and enjoyed!

This was a super easy recipe that could be used with any fish.  I plan on using it with my salmon for lunch tomorrow!

Happy Sunday.  Enjoy your week.

Patricia Two Girls Cooking

Salmon w/Lemon Parsley sauce

This was my lunch yesterday!  I have the pleasure of working from home.  There was a point where it was so much easier for me to get in my car and go out for lunch every day.  Not only does that become expensive, but it became unhealthy as well.

I’ve talked a lot about doing my best to eat healthy; watching my fat and sugar intake.  Because I have a family that has a picky pallet, I struggle at times with new foods to try.  I also have a hard time trying to come up with things to eat for lunch that are good for me too.  I co-worker of mine had mentioned  one day that she was making herself some salmon for lunch.  Since I can’t have make this for everyone at dinner time, I decided to give this a try for lunch.

I haven’t had salmon in a very long time.  I knew that I needed something to pour over it (just in case I wasn’t pleased with the taste!).  I did a search online and found this butter parsley sauce.  Yes, I know.  Butter is not the best for us to have.  (All things in moderation right!!!)

This was quick and easy and the flavor was amazing.  I bought a pack of Market Pantry (from Target) Wild-Caught Alaskan Keta Salmon (all natural).  I think the entire bag was under $10 for 6  individual wrapped bags.

I pulled out a frying pan, filled it with some extra virgin olive oil and turned the heat on medium-high.  I let the pan get hot and put the salmon in skin side down.

While that was cooking I put together the butter sauce (which I’m actually thinking could be used with extra virgin olive oil as well next time).

Here’s what you need for the sauce:

1/2 c. butter

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, mashed (I used 3 garlic cloves)

1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley (I had dried parsley on hand)

Melt the butter in a small saucepan and stir in the lemon juice, garlic and parsley. Blend well and stir over low heat for several minutes. Serve with the baked salmon.

Makes about 1/2 cup.

Because of the butter in this sauce, I didn’t use the entire amount.  But the garlic and lemon together was amazing.  This was so good.  I will definitely be eating this again for lunch.  (Now if I could get the family to eat this as well).  No more salads every day for lunch for me!

Have a great rest of the week.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

BBQ Chicken Fingers

Thanksgiving is over and I have no left overs to make turkey this or turkey that.  Which, I guess is ok.  I didn’t have to cook or clean up yesterday.  I enjoyed a good meal cooked by my uncle and his wife, saw family I haven’t seen in years and didn’t have to clean up a thing.  (I suppose I should have offered, and maybe I did, but it was nice not to have to fuss and get things done).

So today I had chicken in the freezer.  The last meat until grocery shopping.  I planned on making chicken fingers as I normally do.  Coat it with panko bread crumbs and cook them in the oven.  Craig was possibly supposed to bowl in Bayport.  When we go there, we usually eat their BBQ chicken fingers.  Not that I’m comparing their food to what I just made, because you can’t.  But it did give me the idea of making them this way instead of the “normal” way.    The chicken was nice and tender. I used two kinds of Famous Dave’s Sweet and Zesty and then for my hot taste buds, I used Devils Spit!

Here’s what you need:

4 chicken breasts, cut into strips (I had lemon pepper flavored)

whole wheat flour

Egg substitute (Egg Beaters)

All Season Salt

Garlic Salt

Nutmeg

Smart Balance Omega oil

Here’s what you need to do:

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Put the flour (mixed with all of the seasonings) on a plate and the egg substitute in a bowl.  Put each piece of chicken in the flour, in the egg, then back into the flour mixture again.

Heat frying pan with the oil just enough to cover half of the chicken pieces.  Place chicken in the oil and cook on each side until browned.  After the chicken is browned, remove from pan and set aside on a plate.  Pour the BBQ sauce in a bowl and coat each piece and place on a cookie sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

I served this along with some Jiffy corn bread muffins!

Not quite so quick, but sure is easy and and tastes even better.  A great after the holiday dinner to try for sure.

Have a great rest of the weekend…

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

 

Deep Dish Pizza

Deep Dish Pizza

First off I need to say congratulations to my other part of Two Girls Cooking – Jodi.  She gave birth to her first baby boy yesterday at 10:01pm.  His name is Sammie Taylor.  And from what I’ve seen of his picture, he’s a pretty cute little guy.  Congratulations to you and Scottie.  Be blessed with your new bundle of joy!

Now onto pizza.  I will say there are few things that I really enjoy eating quite often.  One is Zantigo and the other is this home made pizza that Jodi gave to me a while back.  Then came that time where I was told I needed to cut this sort of food out of my diet.  That was a hard one to take because this pizza is so good.

Do any of you remember Edwardo’s?  There used to be one in Bloomington and downtown Saint Paul.  Now the only place I’ve seen one is in Chicago.  Jodi and I actually traveled there just to eat this pizza.  Ok, that’s a little far fetched, but it was one of MY reasons for wanting to make the trip.  I even got on a plane for this!

Jodi found this recipe at Annies-Eats blog.  And when I looked up in my trusty low cholesterol cook book, I found a recipe that I could make the dough and still enjoy this pizza.  I know when I post a new recipe I always say that this is a must try.  But this one here, is truly a must try.  If love home made pizza, I promise this will not let you down.

I’ve included the link the Annie’s site if you want to make the original pizza dough.  Otherwise you can follow what I’ve made here and feel good about what you’re eating (not to say Annie’s is not good – it just doesn’t use the low fat, no fat ingredients that I need to follow).

So here’s what you need for the pizza crust:

Whole-Grain Pizza Crust

1 cup warm water

2 (1/4 ounce )  packages active dry yeast

1/2 cup skim milk

2 tbs honey

2 tbs olive oil (I used light olive oil)

1/2tsp salt

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup cornmeal

1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups bread flour

1.  In large bowl, combine water and yeast; let stand for 10 minutes until bubbly.  Add milk, honey, olive-oil, and salt and mix well.  Stir in whole wheat flour, cornmeal, and 1/2 cup bread flour; beat for 1 minute.

2.  Stir in enough bread flour to make a firm dough.  Turn onto floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.  Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top.  Cover and let rise for 1 hour.

3.  Turn dough onto floured work surface and let reset for 10 minutes.  Spray two 12″ round pizza pans with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle with cornmeal.  Divide doug in half and roll to 12″ circles; place on pizza pans; press to edges if necessary.  Let stand for 10 minutes.

4.  Preheat over to 400 degrees.  Bake crust for 10 minutes or until set.

Remove from oven, add toppings, return to oven and bake as the pizza recipe directs.

For the sauce:
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. grated onion
Pinch of dried oregano
¼ tsp. salt
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 (14.5 oz) can crushed tomatoes
Pinch of sugar
2 tbsp. fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1½ tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Ground black pepper

For assembling and topping:
2 tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. mozzarella, shredded (about 2 cups)
¼ oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (about 2 tbsp.)

While the dough is rising, prepare the sauce.  Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion, oregano, and salt.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the tomatoes and sugar and increase the heat to medium-high.  Bring the mixture to a simmer, then lower the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer until reduced to about 1¼ cups, about 25 minutes.  Off the heat, stir in the basil and oil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble, coat a 9-inch round cake pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Transfer the dough ball to a dry work surface and roll out into a 13-inch disk about ¼-inch thick.  Transfer the dough to the pan.  Lightly press the dough into the pan, working into the corners and 1 inch up the sides.  If the dough resists stretching, let rest 5 minutes before trying again.

Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the surface of the dough.  Spread the tomato sauce over the cheese and top with Parmesan.  Bake until the crust is golden brown, 20-30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

 

This was super good and it had low calories.

I used low fat cheese also so it took quite a bit of fat and calories out.

For the pizza crust:

Calories 213; Fat 3.17; Saturated Fat 0.46; Dietary Fiber 3.48; Sodium 104.52; Cholesterol 0.20

I used MyFitnessPal to calculate the sauce by scanning the tomato cans, the cheese.  This came out to be under 400 calories per piece.  Great.

Have an awesome weekend.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Edwardo's Pizza - Our Chicago Trip

Not much difference in the picture of Edwardo’s to this pizza!!

Quick Refrigerator Pickles

I love dill pickles, they’re perfect for when I crave just a little something salty and crunchy. I keep finding new recipes I swear I’m going to try, but there’s one recipe I keep coming back to. These are not the sweet variety I always thought of when I heard “refrigerator pickles”, I’m not a big fan of the sweet ones. These are very fresh and fairly mild tasting and have a crisp crunch. They are also the easiest to make; since they stay in the fridge they don’t need to process in boiling water. This recipe is great for small batches – which has been how I’ve done most of my canning so far. I tried my hand at growing my own pickling cucumbers and dill this year, and so every week or so I find myself with just enough to pick and make 3-4 quart jars. These can be eaten after just a few days, but have better flavor if you can wait a week or two (I’m not great at waiting!). They will keep in the fridge for about 2 months, and the flavor will continue to develop as they sit.

You’ll need:

1 gallon of pickling cucumbers (for 4 quarts)

1 cup white vinegar

8 cups water

1/4 cup pickling salt

For each quart jar:

1 dill head

1 clove garlic

1/2 tbsp mixed pickling spices

1/2 bay leaf

Combine the vinegar, water and pickling salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and set aside to cool.

Place the dill, garlic, pickling spices and bay leaves in each jar. Fill the jar with cucumbers, cut in halves or quarters if they are large.

When the vinegar solution has cooled, pour it over the cucumbers and refrigerate.

This is my go to recipe when I want to use up what came out of my garden, but don’t want to be canning all night. Now I have a whole shelf full in the fridge, looks like it’s time to share!

– Jodi