Saturday, April 23, 2011

Edible Bird Nest

I saw this idea in the magazine "Taste of Home" and thought it would be fun for our Easter dinner.  It is made of pretzels, melted white chocolate chips and a peep.  It is supposed to have some jelly beans as eggs, but I forgot to buy them.  They were very easy to make, and I think they will taste really good -  I love chocolate dipped pretzels! 

Our nest with no eggs!

This was my VERY creative husband's idea for the eggs in my picture.  Please disregard the word "Aleve" that somehow got onto our bird eggs!  ( I promise they won't be on there for our dinner tomorrow - although it could help with that sugar headache!)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Rustic Balsamic Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes and Asparagus

My daughter told me about this recipe that she saw on a local TV station where she lives.  It is probably the FASTEST meal I have ever made!  You can make the entire thing in less than 15 minutes!  It is very healthy and has great flavor (if you like balsamic vinegar - which I definitely DO!) .  Thanks for the great recipe Jen!

This is a rustic Italian dish that is great and SO easy!

Simply put the chicken, tomatoes and asparagus on a cookie sheet.

 Pour the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and basil over the other ingredients.

 This is what it looks like after just 7-8 minutes under the broiler.

Pour all the ingredients over pasta, add the cheese and enjoy!

Rustic Balsamic Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes and Asparagus

Adapted from a recipe by Laura Wolford

1 lb. penne pasta

4 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces

1 carton of grape tomatoes

½ c olive oil

½ c balsamic vinegar

about 12 fresh basil leaves chopped or dried basil

10 spears of thin asparagus cut into 1” pieces

1 tsp minced garlic

4 oz grated Parmesan cheese

1. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile toss chicken pieces, tomatoes, asparagus, oil, vinegar, garlic and basil on a cookie sheet that has a 1” lip.

3. Broil for 7-10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. (I wasn’t sure it would cook that quickly, but it does!) Pour the entire mixture over pasta. Use a rubber scraper to get every bit of the yummy seasoning from the baking sheet. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Quick and Easy Manicotti

This was my daughter Jenny's favorite dinner growing up, and she would request it every birthday.  It is also one of my favorites.  It is SO simple, that I was a little embarrassed about putting it on my food blog, but I decided that there might be busy mothers out there who want a quick and very easy idea for a  dinner.

A nice change from spagetti!
Cut 14 pieces of mozzarella cheese about 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide and the length of the manicotti noodles.
 Rinse the cooked manicotti noodles in cold water, and put a piece of cheese in each one.
I cook mine in a square microwave-safe casserole dish, but you could also do it in the oven if you wanted.

Quick and Easy Manicotti
from my mom

1 box of manicotti noodles (14 in a box)
1/2 lb of ground beef
about 1 lb of mozzarella cheese (good quality like Cache Valley)
1 bottle of spaghetti sauce (I like Prego)

Bring about 2 quarts of salted water to a boil in a 3 quart saucepan.  Add the manicotti noodles and stir gently to make sure they don't stick to together.  Cook for 7-8 minutes until tender.  Remove from heat and put cold water into the pan until cool enough to handle.  Drain water off. 

In a frying pan, brown the ground beef, seasoning it with salt and pepper.  Add the bottle of spaghetti sauce and simmer for about 5 minutes. 

Cut the mozzarella into 14 sticks about 1/4-1/2 " wide and around the length of the manicotti noodles.  (this is all extremely variable - just cut the cheese you have into 14 sticks)

Assemble the manicotti by spreading enough of the sauce to cover the bottom of the microwave-safe pan.  Put a piece of the cheese into each manicotti noodle and laying them side by side on top of the sauce.  Finish by pouring the rest of the meat sauce over the noodles.  Cover and microwave for about 10 minutes at 50% power, or until the cheese is melted. 
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