Saturday, June 25, 2016

Sun-dried Tomato and Chicken Pasta

1 tbs olive oil
1 lb chicken tenders
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c scallions, chopped
1 c mixed mushrooms (shitake, portobello, oyster)
small head of broccoli, cut into small florets
1 c chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
3/4 c cream
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/3 c shredded parmesan cheese
1 c fresh basil, chopped
8 oz pasta, cooked and drained
salt and pepper to taste

Place the oil into a large skillet and heat. Add the chicken and sauté, browning on each side. Cook until just cooked-through.
Remove chicken from the pan, cut the tenders into small chunks and set aside for the moment.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta (whatever shape you choose), and cook to the directions on the package.
Place the garlic and scallions into the pan and sauté for a couple of minutes, until the garlic just begins in to brown. Add the mushrooms and broccoli, and cook until they both begin to soften. Add the cream, sun-dried tomatoes, and the pepper flakes.
Cook until the sauce begins to thicken just slightly. Add the chicken pack into the pan until it's heated through.
Add half the basil, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Once the cheese is just melted, serve the sun-dried tomato sauce mixture on top of freshly cooked and drained pasta. Enjoy!

We are all settled into our summer abode, and D took the week off to spend it with us as a true vacation. But, of course since we have a full working kitchen, we have been doing way more cooking that eating-out. For some reason this just happens in our household!

Tonight the kids requested that I make "the good kind of mac and cheese". Basically that means I make a fancy cheese sauce, beginning with a roux and ending with a healthy dose of fontina and very sharp cheddar cheese. It's quite delicious, but D and I had been discussing making a sun-dried tomato pasta for a few days now, so it seemed like a good excuse to go full-bore and do it all!

While the pasta was cooking, I literally threw together the kid's cheese sauce, and somewhere in the midst of that I made the sun-dried tomato mixture. This was fabulous. Full of complex flavors, with not a complex amount of actual cooking. The kids enjoyed the broccoli and J liked the chicken.

I served the pasta along side a gorgeous salad with lettuce, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, and cucumber all picked up from a local famers market and farm stand today. And, I made a homemade buttermilk ranch salad dressing to go on top. The salad just tasted like summer!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

"Nutella"

In the wake of my amazing cookie butter, I decided to go all out and make a homemade nutella as well! I mean, seriously, why not?

I stuck fairly close to Chocolate Covered Katie's nutella recipe, but actually cut down on the maple syrup a bit (taste as you go!), and added some almonds to the base for extra sweetness. I also skipped the extra tbs of sugar, and subbed the remaining 1/2 tsp of vanilla with vanilla powder. This was enjoyed with strawberries and bananas for dessert tonight. Yum!

Cookie Butter

1 1/2 c cashews, warmed in a 350F oven for a few minutes
1 tbs coconut oil
1/4 c maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp vanilla powder

Place the ingredients into a powerful blender, and blend until a butter is formed. It will take some time, and some scraping down of the sides, but it is SO worth it!

Enjoy this sweet, and amazingly tasting butter on warm toast, apple or banana slices, or straight off the spoon. "It really tastes like a cookie" could be heard in these parts tonight;)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

BBQ Chicken, Roasted Veggies, and Cauliflower Couscous

Cauliflower is all the rage these days. You've got cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower steaks, and now cauliflower rice and couscous.

I had searched a variety of blogs to identify the best possible method for making cauliflower couscous (or rice, it's the same thing here!), and I settled on the method described by the BBC food blog. Since the baked version scored highest for taste and texture, I went with that method.

This meal was super easy to make. I simply roasted the cauliflower, after adding some olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs de Provence. When the cauliflower was done (I couldn't stop nibbling!), I broiled the veggies and chicken chunks coated in BBQ sauce. We served the couscous topped with freshly chopped basil, rosemary, and scallion, and I drizzled mine with sriracha. Totally addictively delicious!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Flatbread with Marinara Dipping Sauce

 Tonight's dinner was simple, and simply delicious! I made a pizza blanca, which I also sprinkled with a small amount of grated parmesan cheese. This is somewhere between a pizza crust, focaccia, and a cracker, and it's all delicious! I served this flatbread along side a homemade marinara dipping sauce, and a gorgeous arugula and micro greens salad. This meal was a winner:)

Banana Almond Cluster Granola

Wet Ingredients
2 bananas
3 pre-soaked dates
2 tbs coconut oil
2 tbs milled flaxseed
1/4 c maple syrup
1/3 c peanuts
2 tbs agave syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla

Dry Ingredients
3 c rolled oats
1/2 c sliced almonds
3 tbs oat bran
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch of cloves

Preheat oven to 350F
Place the wet ingredients into a blender. Blend until a smooth paste. In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients. Fold the wet into the dry, and spread onto a baking sheet in a thin layer. Bake for about 20 mins or until just golden brown. Let the granola cool completely in the pan, and then break it up into large chunks. Store in an airtight container. Add cocoa nibs or chocolate chips as desired.


Everyone is well aware of this family's love of granola...especially granola with large chunks. This granola is fantastic! A tad bit sweet. Not too "bananay". And, a complete crowd pleaser. It's already packed up and ready for breakfast tomorrow.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Broccoli Slaw

I love broccoli salad. I mean, I really love it! I often refer to broccoli as "my kryptonite"! When I peruse the Whole Foods salad bar, I always take a healthy scoop of their broccoli salad, and when I saw a recipe for broccoli slaw on the Smitten Kitchen's website, I was psyched!

I bought the ingredients the other day, and I've been waiting for the right moment for this salad to appear. We're off to a baseball game, and I didn't want to worry about making a complicated dinner post game, so I just threw this salad together. I had a few forkfuls, and let's just say that I can't wait for dinner! Especially because I know that after sitting in the fridge for a few hours, the flavors will be even better!

Is it dinnertime yet?????