Garlic Chicken & Spinach Pasta

The recipe that I found was for Rosemary and Chicken but I’m not a huge fan of that particular herb so I traded places with tons of fresh minced garlic instead!  Who doesn’t love the taste and smell of garlic?!!  I do.  Plus it’s good for you at the same time.  I try to add garlic to all of our home cooked meals.

As I’ve said many times, we have been super busy the month of September with sports and things so finding quick and easy meals is the top priority for me.  This was all of the above.  I didn’t think it would have as much flavor as it did.  But I added at least 6-7 cloves of garlic to this!!

Here’s what you need

1 box (16 oz) cavatappi pasta

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 sprigs fresh rosemary

2 to 3 cups chopped cooked chicken

3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves

6-7 fresh cloves of garlic minced

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

  • 1 Cook and drain pasta as directed on package.
  • 2 Meanwhile, in large skillet or Dutch oven, heat oil and garlic over low heat at least 15 minutes. Add chicken to skillet; cook over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes until warm.
  • 3 Add cooked pasta and spinach; toss. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until spinach begins to wilt. Season with salt and pepper.

Power packed flavor with this pasta bowl.  I have been adding spinach to a few of our meals and haven’t gotten a complaint yet!!  Yay for the healthy green stuff!

Look no further for this simple dish.

Have a great week!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Source:

Betty Crocker

BBQ Crescent Roll-Ups

 Do you ever have those days where you’re gotten up before the sun comes up (on a weekend???), been to a football game and had soccer practice by 1pm and still have kids that  are glued to your side?  What can we do Nana?  Well, we went for a walk.  That’s what we did.  It’s an 80 degree day here in MN and that won’t last much longer.

Caleb asked to where his roller blades (what was I thinking when I agreed??) and Brooklyn wanted to walk Coco.  Off we go.  We’ve got Radio Disney blaring from my iPhone and the wind blowing in our face keeping us cool.  What more could we want?

Well, let me tell you.  Not even 3 blocks from home Caleb started complaining that his back hurt.  He wanted to stop.  No.  We had more than a mile and a half to go on our walk.  I kid you not, that boy started telling me every dang two feet how bad his back hurt.  All I could say was: “Sorry bud, keep going!”  At the mile marker he was crying because now his feet hurt and he needed to sit.  “Sorry bud, keep going.”  After the next block the boy began to cry harder (this is why I take my walks during my work day…alone…so I can dislike them in peace – and I certainly don’t mean to sound rude about my grand babies – but they worked me today).  Finally I stopped and had him take off his blades and walk the rest of the way home in his socks.

By this time I’ve got one mad at me walking really far in front of me, and the other one crying because his feet and back hurt (which is why he hasn’t gotten to wear these things on a walk before)!

Anyways.  So we’re home.  I’m hot, the house is hotter.  I turn on the air and think what am I going to make for these kids?   I think….think….Oh, I remember seeing these BBQ Crescent Roll-Ups on Pillsbury site.  I just so happen to have a package of the Lloyd’s BBQ Beef in the fridge.  I turned on the oven, got my crescent rolls out and started putting these together.

Brooklyn came in the kitchen to ask for help.  Normally I welcome the kids in the kitchen.  But remember?  I’m hot and now crabby from the walk that was supposed to be enjoyable.  She looks at what I’m making and said:  “What is that?   Ick, that looks gross!”  As to which I thought, shux, you’ll be eating this for dinner!

So… I used:

2 packages of crescent rolls (I used fat free)

1 container of Lloyds BBQ shredded beef

shredded cheddar cheese – some got mozzarella cheese

Olive Oil cooking spray

1.  Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a baking sheet (I lined mine with aluminum foil) with Olive Oil Cooking spray.

2.  Unroll the crescent rolls and place a spoonful of the meat on the long edge of the roll and sprinkle with the cheese.

3. Roll the crescent roll up and spray each one with the spray.

4.  Cooking in the oven until each roll is light brown.

You’ll never guess what Brooklyn said after eating this!!  “Wow, this is pretty good!”  Yep, the kids know how to push the buttons!

Quick, easy, not bad at all.  Now it’s 7pm and I’ve told the kids to go outside and play.  The house is quiet.  For at least the next 15 minutes.

(Do you remember being a kid – for those of you that grew up in the 70s and 80s – playing outside all day until dinner?  No cell phones, no way for mom to text you to find out where you were.  You just went out and played.  Because there wasn’t 500 channels on tv – nor did we have flat screen tvs to watch in different rooms throughout the house in case someone was using the other one –  or 5 different types of video games.  Memories are what those days are!!!)

Have a great week.  Even though today has been a button pushing day for Nana, never go a day without cherishing those that you love.  Time goes by way too fast.  Gone are the 70s.  We’re in 2012 where iPhones and Macbooks rule the world (yep, I had to go there)!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 🙂

Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

Breakfast for dinner in our house guarantees a clean plate!  Figuring my meal plan for last week this one just came in to mind and could not pass on it.  As I said, I was trying to cut my food budget by following my friend, Heidi’s meals for that week.  She had french toast for breakfast one day.  That made me think of stuffing it with strawberries!  And here we are!!
This would be good with any type of fruit added or just plain cream cheese mixed with your favorite jam.
What you need:
  • 1 loaf French Bread
  • 3 Tablespoons Any Flavor Fruit Spread (You Can Also Use Jelly, Jam, Or Fresh Fruit)
  • ½ packages Cream Cheese (4 Oz), At Room Temperature (I used strawberry cream cheese)
  • 2 whole Eggs (I used just egg yolks due to a little one in the house)
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon (I used more!!!)
  • ½ cups Skim Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter

Heat skillet or electric griddle to 325 to 350 degrees.

Cut french bread into 2-3 inch wide slices. Then, with a paring knife, go back and cut halfway into each slice, in the center, creating a ‘pocket’ that your fruit mixture can be stuffed into.

In a bowl, place the room temperature cream cheese and three tablespoons of fruit spread of your choice. Combine well.

In a separate bowl, break 2 eggs; add cinnamon and milk and combine well.

Now, take fruit mixture and stuff into the ‘pockets’ of your french bread slices. Place on a baking sheet.

When done stuffing each piece of bread, completely coat each piece in egg mixture. Make sure all sides are covered. Do all pieces before starting to fry.

Put 2 tbsp (you can use less!) of butter into a hot skillet and melt completely. Add all of the bread to the skillet and cook roughly about 3-6 minutes on each side, until it reaches a nice golden brown. You want to make sure the cream cheese mixture heats through.

When done cooking, serve immediately with butter or powder sugar.

Craig asked if we used syrup on our french toast!!!  With the powder sugar on top, it wasn’t needed.  Though I think he would have rather had syrup on his.  This was really good.  The look on the kids’ eyes when I put this on the table was awesome!!

Always make time to have breakfast for dinner!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Source:

Tasty Kitchen

Getting Ready for School

So we are all getting the kids ready for back to school (if they have’t already gone back).  Who’s excited for that??  Hands up, mine is, mine is raised really, really high.

I love school.  My kids here, not so much.  I love that the kids have structure, a solid routine for their day.  They may want to hang out with friends and ignore the school work, but I know they need the structure just as much as I do.  As we all do as parents/grandparents/guardians/Aunts/Uncles..anyone caring for any kid in a school.  Not trying to leave anyone out.

Along with the new school year comes of course the fun shopping sprees we all get to pay for.  And if you’re lucky as I am, you have more than one child to buy all the fun stuff for!  Double the pleasure, double the cost.

Here’s Brooklyn and me:

We got to go shopping for some new clothes for her.  I love shopping for her.  She loves to wear the cutesy frilly skirts, the pretty shirts:

I love this shirt.  We went shopping at Khol’s and found this cute little top.  I really wanted them to have one in my size.  But no such luck.

And this cute dress!!

Brooklyn is pretty tall for her age, so none of her jeans from last year fit her.  She needed a new closet full of clothes.  I wish I could say the same thing.  Well, I could, but I really don’t need it, I would just like to have it!!

Next up comes the school supplies.

Yes, that little pink box is full of all new supplies.  We can’t go into the new school year with pencils that have been used or crayons that have been broken.  So we keep a container here at home to use for after school homework or art projects that we come up with.  They do not go to waste.  New back pack as well.

This weekend we are supposed to go shopping for Caleb:

Caleb isn’t a fan of pictures like Brooklyn and Nana!  He’ll do it if I beg him to though!  But we will try to get his clothes and supplies done this week.   Caleb has to be with me when I shop.  He’s very picky about what he wears.  Thank goodness for hand me downs from my nephew.  He has all new pants that fit him that we’ve saved for a year!  Woo hoo!  Shirts, not so much.  And that is what he is picky about.  It has to be something he likes and/or picks out or it will sit in the closet with me trying to force him to wear.  Eventually I find it in the bottom of the closet hidden under a truck that he got for Christmas three years ago.  (We will be making a donation to some organization for kids that need clothes and toys coming soon).

Both Kids did get some new shoes though:

These shoes have been tucked away in our closet so that they can’t wear them to daycare. Trust me, they have tried.  But the deal was, we buy them at the time they found them, they are for school only.  So far they have been forgotten!!!!

Hopefully you’ll find great deals on clothes and supplies for your kids.  I tend to go to one store and get what I need and I’m satisfied with the cost for the supplies.  I haven’t figured out yet where to take this young boy for clothes.  After the first few weeks he’ll find a shirt that he loves and will try to wear it 3 times per week if not more anyways.

Here we all are being goofy:

I found last years school pictures.  I’m sure they will appreciate this when they see it!  Well Brooklyn will anyways.

Well the weather is starting to change here in MN (for now anyways) and stores are packed with all the school goodies.  I hope I have more luck with the kids this fall in school doing reading and school things.  I had a rough time getting them to read.  How sad is that??  Oh how I wish I could take time every day and just READ.  I would love to do that.  I did it when I was younger and now not much time is allowed for me to do so 😦

Have fun with your kids and enjoy the time that you have.   Before you know it you that time has passed and you see your children as adults with their kids!!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking (aka Nana)

Rolo Stuffed Choco Chunk Cookies

Last week Craig made home made chocolate chip cookies.  I begged him to let me have him be a guest blogger but he obviously said no since you didn’t get the chance to see his face or his awesome cookies.  I’d say he’ll laugh when he reads this……but the only way he’ll read it is if I actually show it to him.  Supportive, I know right!!

Anyhow, I like the $5 dinners blog and get their posts on Facebook.  I like to save money when grocery shopping.  And I love trying new recipes.  Since it takes me 2 hours to plan our weekly menu and what I want to bake each week, I headed on over to see what I could find.  I found the recipe for the stuffed cookies as well as some pork chops with peaches!  A post coming for that later this week.

On to the cookies.  So when shopping, I grabbed the bag of chocolate chips not looking at the bag.  Why?  Well because I had 2 kids trying to shove everything in the cart while I wasn’t looking, so I try not to turn my attention from them very often!!  I ended up grabbing a bag of the chocolate chunks instead of chips.  I’d say that it didn’t matter, because chocolate is chocolate.  But it did over power the Rolo a bit.  And being that the point of the cookie was for the Rolo, I have more dough in the fridge to try and make it work. Chocolate chip cookies are a favorite in our house so we’re good to go no matter what happens with these!!  Plus a friend wanted some for breakfast today, so more than half are already gone! Hope you liked Mary!!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (I used the big chocolate chunks)
  • Enough Rolos for each cookie, about 18

Directions

  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  • In a stand mixer or mixing bowl, beat together the butter/margarine and the 2 sugars. Add in the vanilla. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, until smooth. Scrape down the sides if necessary.
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed, until batter forms.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Flatten the Rolos, using a potato masher, or the bottom of a measuring cup.
  • Form the cookies by placing dough on top and on bottom of the flattened Rolos. Place on cookie sheet, or Silpat baking mat, and bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes, or until begin to golden.
  • Let cool slightly before serving. Makes 18-24, depending on how much dough you use for each cookie.

The cookies were huge!  I tried to make them a bit smaller but then I had a had time getting the smashed Rolo on top of the dough.  I ended up using a measuring cup to smash my Rolo.

*updated* I used the rest of the dough and put the Rolo on top.  Yep took away from the stuffed part but I wanted to taste that candy!!

Craig made some regular chocolate chunk cookies with the remainder of the dough.  I didn’t get a picture of him, but I did of the cookie.

Wondering how this would be with white chocolate chips too…hmmmm..onto other thoughts!!

Have a great week.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 🙂
Source:
Read more: http://www.5dollardinners.com/2011/03/rolo-stuffed-chocolate-chip-cookies.html#ixzz22Jz6CSTq

Blueberry-Banana Stacks

So today I was supposed to have a little guest blogger.  However, she decided it was best to go outside and play.  I found this snack that I wanted Brooklyn to try and make since there was no stove or hot things involved.  And I wanted her to type in how she made it while I took the pictures.  But again, play time was more important!  So Nana made them!!

Nothing too hard about making these at all.  They were pretty good if I do say so myself.  And the kids sure didn’t have a problem coming in and making the ones I made either!!

I used fat free cream cheese, the rice chips are full of fiber, the fruit…..A great snack for the kids (and the big kids as well.

Ingredients
  • mini chocolate, caramel, or berry-flavored popcorn cakes (use as many as you want)
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons strawberry-flavored cream cheese
  • banana slices
  • fresh blueberries
Make ItSpread cakes with cream cheese and top with banana slices. If desired, dollop with additional cream cheese and top with a blueberry. Serves 2.I made about 12 of the stacks so that there was enough to pass around for all of us.  They are all gone!!!!  I’m not sure if you can call these healthy or not but it’s better than snacking on candy!!Have a great weekend.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Source:

Parents.com

 

Grilled Mozza-Chicken Sandwiches

Chicken, chicken and more chicken.  Yep another way to have chicken in your house too.

Summer is here, it’s time to have some fun on the grill.  Plus, most things always taste better when grilled.  Right?  And I could eat corn on the cob with any meal during this time of the year.  I really could.  Chicken on the grill, if cooked just right, is so moist and has that great smokey flavor even without adding your favorite toppings to it.

But here I found another kid friendly recipe for us to try.

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)

1/2 cup sliced onions

1/2 cup green pepper strips

1 Tbsp. oil

1/3 cup KRAFT Original Barbecue Sauce

4 kaiser rolls, split

4 KRAFT Deli Fresh Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese Slices
Make it:

1. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Grill chicken 8 min. Meanwhile, cook and stir vegetables in hot oil in large skillet on medium heat 5 min. or until crisp-tender. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm.

2. Turn chicken; brush with barbecue sauce. Grill 7 to 9 min. or until chicken is done (165°F), turning and brushing occasionally with remaining sauce and adding rolls to grill the last few minutes to toast lightly.

3. Fill rolls with chicken, cheese and vegetables (if desired).  I left out the peppers and only put onions on my sammie.  I added some pickles too!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re like our family and you have kids in sports…you try to find a quick go to meal either before or after the game/practice.   We have something going on typically Monday-Thursday nights.  And some of those nights we aren’t home until almost 9pm.  Now the kids are out of school but we still have daycare.  So getting to bed at any time does not apply in our house!!!

This was easy to make, with great flavor.  Serve with your favorite toppings and of course some corn on the cob!

Happy Grilling

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Source

Big Fork Little Fork