Posts filed under ‘cheese’

Savory Rugelach x 2

I bet you have a deja vu feeling right?

You’re thinking you’ve seen rugelach on my blog before.

Do not adjust your screen.

Your eyes do not deceive you.

I made rugelach with my baking group, Tuesdays with Dorie, just a few days ago. Unfortunately I wasn’t impressed with my rugelach. I got major filling leakage and scrubbing burned preserves off my silicone mat killed my blissful baking mood. So I crossed rugelach off my baking to-do list and starting thinking about other ways to use my leftover 4oz of cream cheese. I probably wouldn’t have made rugelach again if I hadn’t read fellow TWDer, Holly of Phe/MOM/enon‘s blog about wanting to try some savory rugelach ideas. After I read cheese, barbecue chicken and bacon, I knew I’d dust off my disgruntled rugelach ‘tude and give it another try!

Isn’t everything better with cheese?

(Recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan & Phe/MOM/enon | photos from me!)


For rugelach dough
4 oz cold cream cheese, cut into 4 pieces
1 stick (8 tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

For chicken pesto filling
1/4 cup pesto
1/4-1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded chicken (I used pre-cook chicken strips, chopped)
1/4 cup tomatoes, chopped
sesame seeds
olive oil

For bbq chicken & bacon filling
1/2 cup shredded chicken (I used pre-cook chicken strips, chopped)
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/4-1/2 cup mozzarella
3-4 strips of bacon*
sesame seeds
olive oil

* I cooked my bacon in the oven on a cooling rack over a foil lined baking sheet for easy cleanup. 400F for about 20-25 minutes. Let cool and then chopped up. (I like mine crispy so I baked for 25 minutes.)


To make dough—
Let the cream cheese and butter rest on the counter for 10 minutes — you want them to be slightly softened but still cool.

Put the flour and salt in a food processor, scatter over the chunks of cream cheese and butter and pulse the machine 6 to 10 times. Then process, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, just until the dough forms large curds — don’t work it so long that it forms a ball on the blade.

Turn the dough out, gather it into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each half into a rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day. (Wrapped airtight, the dough can be frozen for up to 2 months.)

[NOTES: I let mine chill overnight.]

To make pesto chicken rugelach—
Pull one packet of dough from the refrigerator. If it is too firm to roll easily, either leave it on the counter for about 10 minutes or give it a few bashes with your rolling pin.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle. (Mine was about 11inchx6inch.) Brush a thin layer of pesto over the dough. Mix the leftover pesto sauce with the chicken. Scatter mozzarella cheese, chicken and tomatoes evenly over the surface of the dough leaving a border. Starting from the edge closer to you, roll the dough into a burrito and tuck the ends inside.

[NOTES: I rolled my dough between 2 pieces of wax paper lightly sprinkled with flour. You could also use parchment paper. I think it makes it easier!]

Refrigerate for about 1 hour before baking.

To make barbecue chicken rugelach—
Pull the 2nd packet of dough from the refrigerator. If it is too firm to roll easily, either leave it on the counter for about 10 minutes or give it a few bashes with your rolling pin.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle. (Mine was about 11inchx6inch.) Brush a thin layer of barbecue sauce over the dough. Mix the leftover barbecue sauce with the chicken. Scatter mozzarella cheese, chicken and bacon evenly over the surface of the dough leaving a border. Starting from the edge closer to you, roll the dough into a burrito and tuck the ends inside.

Refrigerate for about 1 hour before baking.

To bake—
Preheat oven to 350F.

Brush some olive oil over the surface of each log. Cut log into 1″ slices. Sprinkle each slice with sesame seeds. Bake for about 35-45 minutes or until golden brown.


Husband rating: N/A

Wifey rating: B+/A-
The actual flavors were awesome but the structure wasn’t so purdy. I think its still probably my fault b/c I tend to overfill and after I cut the slices they kinda collapsed in the baking process. I already adjusted my ingredient amounts above by 1/2 and maybe I’ll have to try again with less filling. I am still not in love with the rugelach recipe but I think I liked the savory more than the sweet.

November 7, 2008 at 12:15 pm 18 comments

Cheesy Casserioli

Wow! My pots and pans have been lonely… I feel like I haven’t cooked in ages! Between our vacation, BIL’s wedding and random everyday life, we’ve been eating take out for the last few weeks. It was definitely time to get back in the kitchen!

T made up the name for this made-up-on-the-fly recipe. Casserole+ravioli = casserioli. Get it? Get it? HAHA! I love made up words!

(Recipe adapted from AmbersKitchen | photos from me!)


2 lbs pre-packaged 4-cheese ravioli, cooked and drained
2 cups frozen broccoli florets, defrosted
1-1/2 cups pre-cooked chicken strips, diced
alfredo sauce (recipe after cut)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup mozzarella cheese, divided
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp butter

[NOTES: You could substitute scratch alfredo with 1 jar of pre-made too.]


Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.

Coat the bottom of a 9×13 glass baking dish with a thin layer of alfredo sauce. In a medium bowl, mix the ravioli, broccoli, chicken, garlic, alfredo sauce, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese until combined. (Be careful not to mix too hard that you tear the ravioli.)

Place mixture into baking dish and top with 1/2 cup mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

Cut the butter into small pieces and scatter on top of the cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is hot and bubbly. Set to broil for additional 5 minutes if you want it more toasty!


Husband rating: A+
He’s a cheese man so this was a cheese-gasm for his tongue. I lost count after his 3rd plate. Also he’s a scratch alfredo sauce convert. Its better than jar. Trust me.

Wifey rating: A+
ditto hubs.


July 10, 2008 at 7:56 pm 19 comments

Happy Blogiversary+Spinach=2for!


My fellow ATCer and bloggy friend, Rachel @ Coconut&Lime, is celebrating her 4 year blogiversary with a giveway and roundup. To “enter” the giveaway all you have to do is recreate one of her original dishes (there are SO many to choose from) or you can create your own original dish using coconut and lime. How fun is that!

Originally I was going for the sweet re-create route but after finding out that this week’s Vindicate the Vegetable cohost, Jen @ Beantown Baker had chosen Popeye’s favorite food, Spinach, a light bulb clicked in my head (Hopefully in the on and not off position)

Whats better than a 1-for? 2-FOR!

Whats better than a fruit roll up? SPINACH ROLL UP!

Spinach Lasagna Roll ups

Click image to enlarge
(Recipe from Coconut&Lime | photos from me!)


For sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small carrot, minced (I omitted)
1 medium onion, diced
28 oz canned whole tomatoes, hand crushed (I used canned crushed tomatoes)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine (I substituted chicken broth)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced

For filling
2 eggs
1 shallot, minced
1/2 lb ricotta cheese
1/2 chopped spinach (Guessing its suppose to be 1/2 lb? I used 6oz bag)
2/3 cup mozzarella, cubed
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, grated

1 lb lasagna noodle cooked until almost al dente and then cooled
2/3 cup Parmesan, grated


Preheat oven to 350F.

To make the sauce—
In a large saucepan, saute onion, garlic and carrot in olive oil until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add wine and cook until reduced. Add tomatoes, basil and sugar plus salt and pepper to taste and cook 1/2 hour, stirring occasionally.

To make the filling—
In a large bowl, combine ricotta, spinach, eggs, shallot, nutmeg, mozzarella and salt and pepper to taste, thoroughly.

To assemble—
Ladle 3/4 cup of sauce along the bottom of pan.

[NOTES: I used a 9×13 pyrex dish. Recipe made about 15 rolls for me but I had alot of lasagna noodles left over. I could have made 1/2 lb noodles instead. Maybe I filled it to much?]

Lay out lasagna noodles on a towel, blotting to dry. Spread noodles with 2 tablespoons filling end to end. Roll up. Place in pan on sauce with the open ends to the side. Repeat until no noodles remain or the pan has one complete layer with little gaping. Ladle remaining sauce over the top, sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake covered in foil for 20 minutes, then remove cover and bake an additional 10-15 or until steamy hot and bubbly.

[NOTES: I also added some mozzarella cheese on top of the sauce with the parm cheese for some extra cheesy-ness!]

I served with homemade italian herb bread. YUM!


Husband rating: A+
He was totally in love with this recipe. He ate 4 rolls and tried to eat 5 but unfortunately had stomach size limitations. Guess size does matter? HAHA.

Wifey rating: A/A-
I really liked this recipe. I bet it would be fantastic with the red wine, but I didn’t have any so I subbed with some chicken broth. Next time I’ll try it with the wine. Also I am realizing more and more that I do not like nutmeg in savory dishes. I think since the nutmeg was kinda overpowering for me I couldn’t enjoy the dish as much as I wanted to. I think next time I’ll reduce it or leave it out. Its just my personal preference though.

May 30, 2008 at 9:18 am 21 comments

Cashew Chicken

I bought this cookbook in a moment of weakness during a recent trip to Costco. I was easily mesmerized by all the pretty pictures. I am definitely a visual cook. I need pictures. Its too bad that my pictures rarely look like the cookbook that I am mimicking though. LOL

So far I really like this cookbook and have marked many recipes with various multicolored post-its. I have a feeling I’ll be using this cookbook for the next few weeks so stay tuned…

(Recipe from MS Great Food Fast page 40 | photos from me!)


1-1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut in 1″ cubes
1 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil (I used EVOO)
6 garlic cloves, minced
8 scallions, white and green parts separated, each cut in 1″ pieces
2 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp hoisin sauce
3/4 cup (4 oz) raw cashews, toasted*

white rice (optional) (I used brown rice)


In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with the cornstarch until the chicken is coated; season with salt and pepper.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Cook 1/2 the chicken, tossing often, until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to plate.

Add the remaining oil and chicken to the skillet along with the garlic and the white parts of the scallions. Cook, tossing often, until the chicken is browned, about 3 minutes. Return the first batch of chicken to the pan. Add the vinegar; cook until evaporated about 30 seconds.

Add the hoisin sauce and 1/4 cup water; cook, tossing, until the chicken is cooked through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Stir in the scallion greens and cashews. serve immediately over white rice, if desired.

* Toasting cashews: Spread cashews on a baking sheet and toast in a 350F oven until golden and fragrant, about 10 minutes.


Husband rating: A
He liked it but its not really the same flavors as the cashew chicken at his favorite Thai place.

Wifey rating: A
ditto hubs. But I still I really like the combination of chicken and cashews.

April 22, 2008 at 11:39 pm 5 comments

Four Cheese Baked Penne

Even though I love to bake I do like the inaccuracy of cooking b/c you don’t have to be that precise with the ingredients to create a tasty dish. I think its quite obvious that there is alot of red in my recipe write up this time. I made a few changes but I admit that many of them are my inability to read a recipe correctly too. Ooops. LOL.

I do not like cooked carrots (only raw carrots please…). I think its a texture thing for me so I left those out. I am also not a huge fan of nutmeg in non-desserts so I reduced the amount on that one too. Oh… and I was so sure that I had penne in my pantry but I guess I missed it during my last grocery excursion so I had to substitute with farfalle. No biggie. Pasta is pasta is pasta right?

Click image to enlarge
(Recipe from Coconut&Lime | photos from me!)


12 oz short tubular pasta like penne or ziti (I used 8oz farfalle)

For the sauce–
3/4 lb ground beef (I used 1 lb)
32 oz can tomatoes in puree, chopped*
1 onion, chopped (I used 1/2 of a large onion)
1 carrot, chopped (I omitted)
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon oregano
pepper and salt to taste

* Rachel’s tip: I just stick a long knife into the center of the tomato can and slice towards the can to cut the tomatoes into manageable chunks. Much less messy than using a cutting board.

For the cheese mixture–
15 ounce ricotta cheese (I used fat free ricotta)
5 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed (I used 10 oz box)
1 egg
4 oz grated Parmesan cheese (It was about 1-1/2 cups for me)
4 oz asiago cheese, grated (I used a 5oz block)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (I used 1/4 tsp)

mozzarella cheese, finely shredded


Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. Cook pasta until almost al dente. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients of the cheese mixture. Set aside.

Heat oil in large saucepan. Add onion, garlic and carrot, red pepper flakes and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. And the ground beef and sauté until almost cooked through. Drain off any rendered fat if needed. Mix in tomato paste, tomato chunks in puree and oregano. Simmer until mixture thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, covered, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spread a small amount of tomato sauce over bottom of the dish. Top with some pasta. Dot with cheese mixture. (I also sprinkled a layer of mozzarella cheese too instead of just on top.) Repeat layers. Cover with foil and bake until heated through, about 35-40 minutes. Remove the foil and cook about 2-3 minutes to brown the cheese on top. Allow to sit a few minutes before serving.


Husband rating: A
He liked it but wants me to make it with penne next time since he prefers that pasta instead of farfalle.

Wifey rating: A
I really liked the combination of all 4 cheeses but I think maybe next time I’ll try some ground italian sausage instead of beef.

Other rating: A-/B+
My little brother liked the cheese and pasta combo but he said it was too much onion. Dang! everyone’s a critic! haha

March 26, 2008 at 6:52 pm 9 comments

French Bread Crumble Penne w/ Pancetta & Spinach

I usually do my review at the end of the recipe but I have to you that this was so FREAKING yummy. Try it! You won’t be disappointed. Dare I say its even better than the current jknottie foodie favorite, Alfredo Bake? Oh I dare… Original recipe from fellow TWDer, Erin, but I made a couple changes most noticeably I added some mozzarella cheese b/c more cheese is never bad… am I right? ;)

(Recipe from Dinner&Dessert | photos from me!)


8 ounces French bread (I used 1 loaf)
Cooking spray
3/4 cup (3 ounces) chopped pancetta (I used bacon instead)
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3-3/4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk, divided (I used fat free milk)
1/4 cup half-and-half
6 cups chopped fresh spinach
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
8 cups hot cooked penne (about 1 pound uncooked tube-shaped pasta)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 4 cups; set aside.

Heat a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray. Add pancetta, onion, and garlic’ sauté 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Place flour in a small bowl; gradually add 3/4 cup milk, stirring until smooth. Add flour mixture, remaining 3 cups milk, and half-and-half to pan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Add spinach; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese, salt, and pepper, stirring until cheese melts.

Place pasta in a large bowl. Add sauce mixture to pasta; toss well. Combine breadcrumbs and butter; toss well. Spoon 1/2 pasta mixture into a 13×9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Add 1/2 bread crumbs and mozzarella. Add remaining pasta mixture and remaining bread crumbs for second layer. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese to finish.

Bake for 6-8 minutes or until crumbs are lightly browned.


Husband rating: A+
He really liked it but wants more bacon (protein) next time but he had 3 helpings so it couldn’t have been too bad right? haha

Wifey rating: A++
Obviously you already know what I think. SO.FREAKING.GOOD.

March 19, 2008 at 4:55 pm 10 comments

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

(Sorry for the crappy picture. Not sure what was up with my camera!)
(Recipe from Melissa’s Magic | photos from me!)

Makes about 35 meatballs


1 lb hamburger
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
2 tsp parsley (I used dried parsley)
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
1 tsp salt
mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes


Mix milk with bread crumbs set aside to soak up milk.

Add hamburger, egg, parsley, parmesan, salt. Mix all together until well blended. Scoop 2 tsp of meat mixture into your hand, add a cube of cheese in the middle, roll a ball around cheese cube.

Bake on cookie sheet at 350F for 25-30 min.


Husband rating: A
He’s not a big meatball fan but he did like this recipe.

Wifey rating: A-
This was good but if I make this again I might try RR’s recipe since this was an adaption.

March 17, 2008 at 6:45 pm Leave a comment

Honey and Lime Enchiladas

T’s best friend comes over at least once a month for dinner. He’s a typical single guy that lives on fast food so I always like to make him a home cooked meal when he comes to visit. I know his favorite food is Mexican and since I LURVE enchiladas I was gonna make my tried and true favorite enchilada recipe for us. When I first saw this recipe on My Kitchen Cafe, I admit I wasn’t sure about the honey, but after reading Melanie’s rave review I knew I had to try this one instead!

(Recipe from The Sisters’ Cafe | photos from me!)


6 tablespoons honey
5 tablespoons lime juice (1 large lime)
1 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pound chicken, cooked and shredded (I used pre-cooked chicken strips)
8-10 flour tortillas
1 pound monterey jack cheese, shredded
16 ounces green enchilada sauce (I used red enchilada sauce)
1 cup heavy cream


Mix the first four ingredients and toss with shredded chicken. Let it marinate for at least 1/2 hour.

Pour about 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan. Fill flour tortillas with chicken and shredded cheese, saving about 1 cup of cheese to sprinkle on top of enchiladas. Mix the remaining enchilada sauce with the cream and leftover marinade. Pour sauce on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until brown and crispy on top.


Click image to enlarge

Husband rating: A+
He said it was the best enchilada recipe I’ve made so far.

Wifey rating: A+
omg. the honey, lime, chili powder combo is so freaking amazing! Definitely will make again!

Other rating: A+
T’s best friend raved the whole time.

March 16, 2008 at 7:44 pm 11 comments

Mozza Garlic Bread

Tonight we just had leftover pasta for dinner but I was craving bread so I made up my own little cheesy carb-oholic side dish too. Mmmmm…. cheesy bread. (Say it like Homer Simpson)

(Recipe and photos from me!)


1 loaf french bread, sliced
6 tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp herb de provence
1/4 tsp garlic powder
mozzarella cheese, to taste


Preheat oven 400 F.

Combine butter, herb de provence and garlic in a bowl. Cut french bread into slices. Spread butter mixture evenly over each slice. Sprinkle with desired amt of mozzarella cheese.

Bake about 10-15 minutes.


Husband rating: A+
Let’s just say he had more than 1 slice. haha.

Wifey rating: A+
Its so bad for you but… oh so good!

March 14, 2008 at 6:17 pm 2 comments

Garlic Cheddar Chicken

I have been horrible with making menus this last month. I am just flying by the seat of my pants come dinner time these days. Usually I just make a favorite go-to repeater recipe out of whatever I have in the frig+pantry OR I get inspired by a blog in my GR on that particular day. Today it was a combination of both when I saw this chicken recipe in my friend, Alanna‘s, blog.

Chicken and cheesy goodness… How could that be bad? :)

Click image to enlarge
(Recipe from ArtistsintheKitchen | photos from me!)

Makes 2 servings
Calories/sering = ~541 (
WW pts/serving = ~13

* Calories/WW pts are for the original recipe. Any changes or substitutions may increase or decrease numbers.


2 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese (I used cheddar and monterey jack blend)
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon dried parsley
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 chicken breasts, boneless skinless – pounded thin (I forgot but it baked up fine)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat, and cook the garlic until tender about 5 minutes. In a shallow bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, Cheddar cheese, and spices (if you used them).

Dip each chicken breast in the garlic butter to coat, then press into the bread crumb mixture. Arrange the coated chicken breasts in a 9×13 baking dish. Drizzle with any remaining butter and top with any remaining bread crumb mixture.

Bake 30 minutes in preheated oven or until chicken is no longer pink and juice run clear.

I served with baked potato and sauteed asparagus.


Husband rating: A+
He raved the whole time and was sad that I had only made 2 chicken breasts so there were no 2nds! haha

Wifey rating: A+
Chicken and cheesy goodness. I’ll definitely make it again!

March 9, 2008 at 6:32 pm 6 comments

Happy Birthday Pizza

Today is my Dear Husband’s 29th birthday and instead of going out to dinner, he requested to eat in. He specifically asked for Cream Cheese Chicken. What!!? Who are you? and what have you done to my husband? Usually its Chicken Parmesan that he requests for any given occasion so after I got over the initial shock, I got to thinking that I wanted to try something kinda fun with his request.

Me and T both LOVE pizza. Anything tastes good topped on a pizza crust pilled high with mozzarella cheese. Am I right? (Well… I have to say that I am not a fan of pineapple on pizza though.) Since I still had the other 1/2 of the homemade dough that I made the other night, I decided to make a new pizza creation – Cream Cheese Chicken and Asparagus Pizza. Now I know what you are thinking (Nikki)… That sounds disgusting. But au contraire. It was scrumdiddlyumptious!

(Recipe and photos from me!)


3 chicken breasts, cut into strips or chunks
1 can chicken broth, separated
4-8 cloves garlic, to taste
red pepper flakes, to taste
4 oz cream cheese
1-1/2 tbsp flour
2 tsp white wine
10-12 asparagus stalks, chopped into 1″ pieces
pre-made pizza dough
1/2-1 cup mozzarella cheese, to taste


Put chicken in large pan with a little bit of olive oil. Add red pepper flakes and garlic. After 1-2 min, add 3/4 can chicken broth and white wine.

Bring to a boil then simmer 20-25 min until chicken is cooked. Remove chicken and place in a covered dish; cover with foil to keep warm.

Mix flour with remaining broth and add to pan; mix. Add cream cheese, mix until thick and bubbly. Add asparagus and stir for about 4-5 minutes or heated through. Return chicken to pan; toss to coat chicken and asparagus with sauce.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Spoon 1/3 cream cheese sauce onto pizza dough and top with all the chicken and asparagus. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Bake pizza in preheated oven, until the cheese and crust are golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

Served with a salad and Baskin Robbins ice cream birthday cake. :)


Husband rating: A+
He loved it! Let’s just say there were no leftovers…

Wifey rating: A/A+
I am quite proud of myself. Another yummy pizza creation. Definitely will make again!

February 28, 2008 at 7:32 pm 13 comments

Oven “Fried” Parm Chicken Fingers

(Recipe from | photos from me!)


For chicken–
1 clove crushed garlic
1/4 lb butter, melted
1 cup dried bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 chicken breasts, thawed and cut into strips

For honey mustard sauce–
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup water, divided
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup prepared mustard


To make chicken–
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a shallow glass dish or bowl, combine the crushed garlic with the melted butter or margarine. In another small bowl mix together the bread crumbs, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Dip chicken strips into garlic butter, then into crumb mixture to coat.

Place coated chicken pieces into a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Drizzle with remaining garlic butter and bake uncovered in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.

To make sauce–
Dissolve cornstarch in 1 tablespoon water in a saucepan over low heat. Add honey, mustard and remaining water; bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Serve with chicken for dipping.


Husband rating: A+
I think his exact words were “is there anymore?” hehe

Wifey rating: A+
Very yummy esp with the honey mustard dipping sauce!

February 25, 2008 at 7:57 pm 2 comments

Bleu Cheese Beef Tenderloin

T’s CW always raves about her butcher so a couple days ago she gave T a good size beef tenderloin to try and tonight I decided it would be a good friday date night-in dinner. I always get nervous with big pieces of meat (NB, don’t even go there… you dirty girl!) b/c I never know when its done. But ever since getting my trusty little meat thermometer I have (hopefully) overcome my fear.

(Recipe from | photos from me!


1 (3 pound) whole beef tenderloin
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup red wine
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2/3 cup sour cream
1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce


Place beef in a shallow dish. Combine teriyaki sauce, red wine and garlic; pour over beef. Allow beef to marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

Place tenderloin on broiler pan, and cook in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), and cook for 30 to 40 more minutes, or to desired doneness. Allow to set for 10 minutes before slicing.

In a saucepan over low heat, combine blue cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream and Worcestershire sauce. Stir until smooth; serve over sliced tenderloin.

I served with baked potato and sauteed asparagus.


Husband rating: A/A+
He really loved everything – beef, baked potato and asparagus. He thought the bleu cheese sauce was good but only on the side and not alot.

Wifey rating: A
I really liked the sauce! You could probably even use it as a dipping sauce for chips or veggies if you wanted. I liked the beef tenderloin but its not my favorite protein.

February 22, 2008 at 7:00 pm 10 comments

Homemade Pizza Dough+Sauce

To get you in the mood for the food: SpongeBob Squarepants Pizza Song

I’ve been terrible with planning a menu these last few weeks so tonight (again) I was at a loss for what to make for dinner, but thanks to my GR and trusty gold stars, I had saved fellow foodie friend, Michelle‘s, homemade pizza recipe.

Me and my hubs LOVE pizza. Done deal.

I usually make my own pizza dough via my bread machine but I decided it was high time I did it by hand. I am an intermediate level foodie right? Aside from homemade spaghetti sauce I think homemade pizza dough is the next step to sharpening my foodie skills… Isn’t that right Master Chef Nikki? ;)

(Recipe from Sugar&Spice | photos from me!)


For pizza dough
2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1-1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F / 45 degrees C)
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3-1/3 cups all-purpose flour

For pizza sauce
15 oz tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar

** The pizza dough and sauce recipe yields enough for two large pizzas.


To make pizza dough–
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and brown sugar in the water, and let sit 10 minutes.

Stir the salt and oil into the yeast solution. Mix in 2-1/2 cups of the flour.

Turn dough out onto a clean, well floured surface, and knead in more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Place the dough into a well oiled bowl, and cover with a cloth. Let the dough rise until doubled in size; approximately 1 hour.

Punch down the dough and form a tight ball. Allow the dough to relax a little before rolling out.

(It looks more like an amoeba but we’ll just call it “rustic”! LOL)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. If you are baking the dough on a pizza stone, you may place your toppings on the dough, and bake immediately. If you are baking your pizza in a pan, lightly oil the pan, and let the dough rise 15-20 minutes before topping and baking it.

Bake pizza in preheated oven, until the cheese and crust are golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

To make pizza sauce–
Combine all ingredients and mix well.

Add whatever toppings that your pizza lover heart’s desire. I decided to make T’s favorite pizza combo: chicken and potato. Sounds weird but don’t knock til you try it!


Husband rating: A+++
He loves pizza night esp the chicken and potato. Needless to say he devoured it!  There were no leftovers. haha

Wifey rating: A+
Dough was crispy and so good! I took Michelle’s suggestion and cut the recipe in 1/2 for 1 pizza but next time I think I will use the whole recipe b/c I prefer a thicker crust pizza.

February 21, 2008 at 7:45 pm 9 comments

Chicken & Mushroom in Creamy Cheese Herb Sauce

My hubs isn’t as big of a shrimp fan as me so I decided to make this dish again but substitute the shrimp with chicken to appease his suggestion. The things we do for the people we love… HRRRUUUMPH!

(Recipe from | photos from me!)

Makes 4 servings


1 (8 ounce) package linguini pasta (I used thin spaghetti)
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup butter
2 cloves garlic, minced (I used 3 cloves)
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
2/3 cup boiling water
2 boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and sliced in strips


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add linguini, and cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; cook and stir until tender. Transfer to a plate. (I covered the bowl with foil to keep the mushrooms warm)

In the same pan, melt 1/2 cup butter with the minced garlic. Stir in the cream cheese, breaking it up with a spoon as it melts. Stir in the parsley and basil. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Mix in boiling water until sauce is smooth. Stir in cooked shrimp and mushrooms, and heat through. Toss linguini with shrimp sauce, and serve. (I garnished with chopped parsley)


Husband rating: A+
He liked it with the chicken much better. Glad he’s happy again! haha.

Wifey rating: A-
I prefer the shrimp. nft.

Other rating: A+
T’s good friend came over for dinner and always appreciates a home cooked meal. He raved the whole time.

January 27, 2008 at 7:43 pm 2 comments

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