Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pasta with Chicken and Creamy Vegetable Sauce

I found this recipe on and have made it several times.  However, each time I made it I modified the ingredients.  I finally now have it the way I really like it.   Of course, you can use any vegetable you wish or even leave out the chicken.  This is a good dish to take to a pot-luck dinner.

12 oz bow-tie pasta, fettuccini or curly egg noodles
3 TBS butter
1 – 8 oz package sliced fresh mushrooms
10 oz bag of frozen broccoli florets, thawed
1/2 cup carrot circles (cut circles in 1/2 or 1/4 if too large)
1 1/2 pkgs cream cheese, softened (12 oz total)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp onion salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp parsley
1 1/4 cup milk
2 cups cooked cubed chicken

Cook noodles according to package - set aside.
Melt butter in large pot.
Add mushrooms and cook over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes
Add broccoli and cook for 2 minutes til tender.
Lightly cook the carrots in the microwave for a few minutes in a little butter and water.
Add cooked carrots to the pot.
Add cream cheese and spices.  Cook, stirring constantly until the cheese is melted.
Reduce heat.  Add milk and chicken.
Simmer, stirring for about 3 minutes until hot.  You may need to add a little more milk if it seems too thick.  Also, adjust seasonings if needed.
Drain pasta.
Toss pasta into the vegetable mixture.  Spoon into a casserole dish.

Serves 6


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Stuffed Shells Florentine

Since we are always tweaking recipes, this recipe is a combined effort of Eileen and Kimberly.  This is a great dish to make the night before or bake a pan and freeze one for later. 

1 pkg - 12 oz Jumbo Shells, cooked and drained (don't overcook)

Shell Filling:
2 beaten eggs
2 lbs ricotta cheese
1 TBS dry parsley
2 cups shredded Mozzarella
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp pepper
1 pkg - 10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed & squeezed dry

Meat Sauce:
1 lb ground chuck - cooked and drained
32 oz Spaghetti Sauce (24 oz jar and an 8 oz jar)

24 oz jar Spaghetti Sauce
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 cups shredded Mozzarella

Combine all the shell ingredients. Stuff the shells with the cheese/spinach filling. 
** (see tip below) 
Simmer the ground chuck and spaghetti sauce together for 15 minutes.
Pour 1/2 of the meat sauce into a 9 x 13 pan (or two 9x9 pans)
Add the stuffed shells in a single layer.  Pour the rest of the meat sauce on top of the shells.  Pour another 24 oz jar of sauce on top.  Top with Parmesan cheese and then the Mozzarella cheese.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.

**Tip:  Place the filling in a Ziploc bag, snip off the corner and squeeze the filling into the shells.  Also, it is easier to gently lay all the shells out in a single layer onto wax paper.  Fill the shells and place back onto the wax paper.  This makes it easier to make sure that each shell is filled evenly before placing them in the pan.

Spaghetti sauce used to come in 32 oz size jars....which is the reason for using a 24 oz AND an 8 oz jar in the meat sauce.

If the shells have been refrigerated overnight before baking, you may need to bake longer or finish them in the microwave to ensure that the dish is completely heated through in the middle.

Serves 8-10 (Makes 44 shells)

Eileen and Kimberly

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Aunt Lois' Peanut Butter Bars (no bake)

All of my aunts are wonderful cooks and bakers.  I remember Aunt Lois Johnson making these often.  They are like Buckeye candies in a bar form.  No wonder I love them so much!

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
12 oz bag of chocolate chips (or a 12 oz Hershey candy bar)
2 tsp peanut butter or shortening

In a saucepan, melt butter.  Stir in peanut butter. Mix well.  In a large mixing bowl combine the powdered sugar and graham crackers.  Add the melted butter/peanut butter mixture.  Mix well.

Press into a 9x13 pan. (I prefer to line my pan with parchment paper)

Place chocolate chips and shortening (or peanut butter) in a microwave safe bowl.  Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring until melted and smooth.  Pour chocolate over peanut butter mixture and spread evenly.

Place pan in fridge just until the chocolate is set and then cut into bars.  Can be stored in the fridge or at room temperature. 

Cut into small pieces as they are very rich.


Blueberry Muffins favorite Blueberry Muffin recipe.  These are so moist and delicious!  

2  cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup butter

Mix together the dry ingredients. Set aside.  Mix together the remaining wet ingredients, except the blueberries. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Stir just until the dry particles are moist.  The batter will be thick.  Fold in the blueberries.

Pour into well-greased muffin tins.  With a fork, mix together the topping ingredients until crumbly. Top each muffin with the crumble topping.  There is a lot of topping...just pile it on!

Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Makes 12 muffins