Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Chicken Stuffed Shells

In trying to find healthy recipes for my dinner menu I found this recipe on someone's blog. I want to apologize right now as I do not remember who I took this recipe from, so if it is yours please let me know so I can update and give you credit. This was a super easy recipe to make and fairly quick as well. I did not season the chicken very much which is a change to make for the future as it was a bit bland but still very good. This one is being added to the book of recipes to keep for sure. Thank you whoever I borrowed it from.

Chicken Stuffed Shells
Source Unknown
6 Servings (2 shells/serving)


12 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
2 teaspoons oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
8 ounces diced, cooked chicken
1 (15 ounce) container fat free ricotta cheese
1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 (28 ounce) can low fat marinara sauce


-Heat oven to 400 degrees.
-Spray large baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
-Cook pasta shells according to directions and drain.
-Cook chicken as desired.
-Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
-Combine chicken and garlic, cook for 3-5 minutes.
-Remove from heat and stir in ricotta, breadcrumbs, parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
-Spread 1/2 cup sauce in the bottom of the baking dish.
-Fill cooked shells with chicken mixture and place filled sides up in baking dish.
-Pour remaining sauce over shells.
-Bake covered with foil for 15-20 minutes, remove foil and continue baking until filling is lightly browned.


Calories 289.1
Total Fat 6 g
Cholesterol 34.1 mg
Sodium 927.7 mg
Potassium 6.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 39.7 g
Fiber 1 g
Protein 20.8 g

Romano's Macaroni Grill Bread CopyKat

Romano's Macaroni Grill is one of my favorite restaurants to go to in the Twin Cities Area. I love the environment and of course who does not love the bread. I don't have the best of pictures as this is not the best looking loaf I have made but oh it tastes so stinkin' good. I modify the recipe a little bit. The change is that I make the dough in my bread maker on the dough setting. From there I take it out and let it rise for a couple hours then bake as the recipe indicates. Best eaten warm with olive oil and fresh ground pepper.Romano's Macaroni Grill Focaccia

2 tsp dry active yeast
2 C Warm water (110-115)
4 1/2 C unbleached flour (I used bread flour)
1/4 C Vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1 Tbsp Sugar
3/4 Tsp Sea salt (I used regular salt)
1 Tbsp Dried Rosemary
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
Extra Virgin Olive Oil as needed
Kosher salt as needed
Dried rosemary as needed

In a small mixing bowl dissolve the yeast in a 1/4 c of the warm water, set aside.
In a mixing bowl combine flour and oil. Mix at low speed. In another bowl add sugar to the remaining 1 3/4 c warm water and dissolve (it will not dissolve completely). Add sugar water slowly to flour mixture. Slowly add yeast water and combine.
Add sea salt, dried rosemary and balsamic vinegar to flour mixture and contine mixing dough until it becomes smooth and does not stick to the bowl approximately 10 minutes. Add more flour as needed to prevent stickiness.
Remove the dough from the mixer and place on a floured work surface. Cover with plastic wrap and allow dough to rest for 20 minutes. With floured hands, shape dough into a ball, place on a greased cookie sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours before using.
Remove from the refrigerator and flatten dough with your fingers to about 1 inch thickness, spreading dough across the cookie sheet. Bake at 350 until lightly golden about 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Brush loaf with EVOO sprinkle with kosher salt and dried rosemary. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until dark golden in color.

Holiday Cookie Spread

Here are a couple pics just for fun. This was the cookie spread I brought to the In-Laws for Christmas dinner. The platter I painted at a place called Pick-N-Paint Ceramics in Anoka, MN. It was one of my creations at "Diva Night" in October. A couple of friends and I like to frequent a diva night every couple of months to get our pottery fix.
The tray included: Sugar cookies, Chai Shortbread, Rum (Drambuie) Balls, Oreo Truffles, Baileys (Vanilla Royalle) Truffles, Gingerbread with Buttercream frosting

Gingerbread Swirls

I needed an easy holiday cookie that was sure to impress for my work team holiday potluck. I found this recipe for gingerbread swirl cookies on MyRecipes.com and it looked like something fun to try. I am a bit of a rookie when it comes to swirls so they were not the most super attractive, but they tasted yummy none the less.
Gingerbread pinwheels


For gingerbread dough:
3/4 cup (3/8 lb.) butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup light or dark molasses
2 large egg yolks
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

For plain dough:
1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt


1. To make gingerbread dough: In a bowl, with an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter, brown sugar, and molasses until smooth. Beat in egg yolks until well blended, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. In another bowl, mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low speed, beat flour mixture into butter mixture until well blended. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and flatten slightly; chill until firm but pliable, about 1 hour (or freeze for 30 minutes).

To make plain dough: In a bowl, with an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and granulated sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla until well blended, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low speed, beat flour mixture into butter mixture until well blended. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and flatten slightly; chill as directed above.

2. Unwrap dough. With a lightly floured rolling pin, on a lightly floured sheet of waxed paper, roll out gingerbread dough into a 12- by 15-inch rectangle. Slide dough, on waxed paper, onto a 12- by 15-inch baking sheet. Repeat to roll out plain dough; chill both rectangles until firm to the touch but still pliable, about 10 minutes.

3. Carefully invert the gingerbread dough over the plain dough, lining up edges as evenly as possible. Remove waxed paper from top of gingerbread dough. With a sharp knife, cut rectangle in half lengthwise to make two 6- by 15-inch rectangles. Transfer one of the rectangles to another sheet of waxed paper.

4. Starting at long edge of one rectangle, lift waxed paper to roll doughs into a tight, even cylinder (if dough cracks instead of rolling easily, let stand about 10 minutes to soften slightly). Repeat to roll other rectangle. Wrap rolls in plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

5. Unwrap rolls and slice crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Lay cookies flat, 1 inch apart, on buttered or cooking parchment-lined 12- by 15-inch baking sheets.

6. Bake cookies in a 325° oven until edges just begin to brown, 15 to 20 minutes; if baking more than one pan at a time, switch pan positions halfway through baking. With a wide spatula, transfer pinwheels to racks to cool completely.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per cookie.

Makes about 50 cookies

CALORIES 145(44% from fat); FAT 7.1g (sat 4.3g); PROTEIN 1.7g; CHOLESTEROL 31mg; SODIUM 120mg; FIBER 0.4g; CARBOHYDRATE 19g

Sunset, NOVEMBER 2003


Ah, chewy caramels, who doesn't love them. It took me a little bit to find a recipe that did not call for sweetened condensed milk, as my husband is lactose intolerant and had some funny idea that if I didn't make caramels with heavy whipping cream that his tummy wouldn't like them. I found a recipe on Allrecipes.com that worked out pretty well. The only thing I will do differently next time is make sure to really grease up the wax paper. I failed to do this well enough and had wax paper caramels. Still good, but a little waxy :)

2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups corn syrup
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Butter a 9x13 inch dish.
2. In a heavy saucepan **make sure to use a really big one, I had to change pans half way through**, combine sugar, corn syrup, 1 cup cream and butter. Bring to a boil, stirring often, then stir in remaining 1 cup cream. Heat, without stirring, to 242 degrees F ***I brought the temp to 250 based on some other commments on the recipe*** (116 degrees C), or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms a firm but pliable ball. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, and pour into prepared dish. Refrigerate.
3. When cool, return candies to room temperature then cut into 1 inch squares and wrap in waxed paper.

It has been a long time

Okay...so round one of food blogging maybe wasn't the best. I am going to update what I have pictures for and hope my life slows down now that the holidays are over so I have time to keep this thing updated. This is my almost done with the first month of the year resolution :)

Here are several updates, from cookies to dinners...enjoy!