Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fast, easy, different Penne dish *Ziti*

Baked Penne

  • 1 pound penne noodles (4 cups dry)
  • 1 jar Alfredo sauce, 26 ounce size
  • 1 jar marinara sauce, 26 ounce size
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook and drain pasta. Mix the two sauces together in a large mixing bowl. Add mozzarella cheese and combine. Add drained pasta. Pour into a 9x13 casserole dish and bake about 25-30 minutes until hot and bubbly. Sprinkle parmesan on top and bake another five minutes. Enjoy!

This was so fast and even for me, a non-pasta fanatic, great-tasting! Just the right amount of sauciness to noodle ratio. And all the kids loved it. It makes a ton, a full 9x13 pan, but ours was mostly gone the first night.

Choco-coconut cookies

Chocolate Coconut Cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chunks
  • 1 3/4 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 3/4 shopped walnuts (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Put butter and sugars in the bowl of a electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  2. Mix in eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla.
  3. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and slat into a bowl.
  4. Mix into butter mixture on low speed until well combined. Stir in chocolate, coconut, and walnuts.
  5. Scoop batter and drop onto baking sheets lined with parchment (or sprayed with cooking spray), spacing 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly, and bake until set about 10 minutes.
These are a nice change. Kind of like no-bake cookies with the cocoa and coconut, only you bake these babies.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Fun crock pot recipe

Chicken and Potatoes a la Crock Pot

  • 1 1/2 pound red potatoes, chunked
  • 8 ounces Neufchatel cheese
  • 1 can (10 3/4 oz size) cream of whatever soup (I used chicken)
  • 1 envelope Ranch-style dressing mix
  • 12 ounces chicken breast without skin -- cut into strips

  1. Place potatoes in slow cooker.
  2. Beat together the cream cheese, soup and salad dressing mix. Stir in chicken strips and spread over potatoes (or just stir all together).
  3. Cover and cook on Low 8 hours, or until potatoes are tender. Stir once after 5-6 hours. Stir before serving.

This was a good recipe! I loved being able to use my crock pot for potatoes. You'll need to watch the time on the potatoes because mine was about 4 hours, and I used about 4 chunked potatoes, and one chicken breast. I didn't have ranch seasoning, I just poured some prepared ranch in there, which was good too, though it might have not had as much of a ranch flavor that way. We enjoyed this meal! Kid-friendly.

Such a great dinner, I promise!

Chicken and Broccoli Braid
(adapted from pampered chef)

  • 2 (8oz) packages refrigerated crescent rolls (I used pizza dough instead, I dont really like the flavor of crescent rolls from the store)
  • 2 c. coarsely chopped cooked chicken (I used rotisserie; canned chicken could work well too)
  • 1 1/2 c. coarsely chopped broccoli (I steamed it lightly first)
  • 1/2 C diced red bell pepper (I skipped because I had none, but used some sun-dried tomatoes and caramelized onions I had)
  • 1/3 C mayonnaise
  • 1-2 c. cheddar cheese
  • 2 tsp dried dill weed
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed (I skipped)
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten

1. Preheat oven to 375. In a bowl, combine chicken, broccoli, cheese, bell pepper, mayonnaise, dill, salt and garlic. Mix well.
2. Roll out rolls or dough into the size of your cookie sheet, then lay it in the greased cookie sheet.
3. Place filling along the center of the dough, lengthwise. Cut slits into the dough along the sides about 2 inches, braiding over top. Look at mine- it's not that pretty but it did the job.
4. Brush with egg white. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

We loved this. Like I mention, try the pizza dough if you aren't a fan of crescent rolls. The flavor of this meal is great, and it's got a good serving of veggies in there, too! This meal doesn't take that long if you have prepared chicken ready as well as dough. It is very flexible, too...add mushrooms, different cheeses and veggies- whatever suits you.