Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle and Asparagus

I had a lonely chicken breast in the fridge just waiting to be used. I opted for a quick noodle and veggie dish for the two of us. It’s hard to not over cook and overeat so I’ve been trying to scale back some of my dishes.  This was just enough for dinner, although I could have and would have eaten more if it was there! The asparagus lost its color a bit with the way I cooked it, perhaps a quick blanch first would have helped but the flavor was great.

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  • 2 cups uncooked egg noodles
  • 1 large boneless chicken breast – diced or sliced
  • 1 Tbs olive oil – I used an olive oil with a hint of cumin but any flavor or plain will work great
  • salt, pepper and a bit of cayenne if desired
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 pound fresh asparagus
  • juice of half a lemon and some zest if desired

Cook noodles according to package directions.  In skillet heat oil, add chicken breast.  Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne and cook for 5 – 6 minutes until chicken is cooked through.  Add asparagus to skillet and cook a few minutes or until asparagus is tender.  Stir in garlic, lemon and egg noodles; heat and serve.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Simple Chili ~ a quick and easy recipe

Oh, it’s that time of year again.  Chili season is one of my favorites; don’t get me wrong I can eat chili anytime but when the temperatures dip into the 40’s at night and the mornings are cool it’s easy to want to make up a big batch of chili and have a bowl or two for lunch! I am sure I will post another recipe or two but today’s is just a super simple recipe that is quick to make and requires only a few ingredients. I like crushed tomatoes; they make a nice thick chili that ties together the flavors.

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion ~ diced
  • 2 – 3 jalapeno ~ sliced
  • 1 Tbs chili powder ~ use your favorite or make your own ~ click here for my recipe
  • 2 cans chili beans in sauce ~ hot or mild your preference
  • 1 large can crushed tomato
  • Cooked pasta if desired

Cook ground beef, onion, and jalapeno until no pink remains; drain if desired and add chili powder.  Stir in chili beans and crushed tomato and heat through.  Reduce heat and let simmer for 30 minutes or longer for best flavor. If using pasta it is best to serve on the side and add to bowls at serving time.  I never really used pasta in chili until I met my husband but that is his favorite way to have chili so I always try to remember to fix some kind of pasta whether it’s macaroni or spaghetti.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Simple Pasta with Goat Cheese and Tomato ~ great for using up leftovers

Just a really quick post today.  I try to always cook a bit of extra pasta so that I have an easy side dish I can throw together at a moments notice.  Even just buttered pasta tossed with fresh garlic or garlic powder and a sprinkle of salt and pepper is delicious. I however still have tomatoes in my garden and I try to keep goat cheese in my fridge so this combination just seemed natural.  Perhaps not my prettiest side dish, but oh so tasty ~ fresh basil would be amazing in this too.

Simple Pasta with Goat Cheese and Tomato

  • about 2 cups cooked pasta
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1/2 cup fresh tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 o.z. goat cheese

In skillet combine cooked and drained pasta, butter,tomatoes, salt, and garlic; heat through.  Stir in goat cheese just before serving.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Quick and Easy Shrimp with Spinach

I was fixing a quick shrimp dish for Charles’ lunch tomorrow and I thought some bacon and spinach would be great.  So I got to cooking; I needed some bacon fried for breakfast anyway so that would be easy and something different.  I get done, I eat my share of it, and I pack up the rest only to remember a few days ago I posted scallops with spinach and bacon …. so it really wasn’t so creative and exciting after all!  It’s been a long weekend so I am going with this for my post anyway.  It is a bit different from the scallops dish and who doesn’t enjoy another fast shrimp recipe.

Quick and Easy Shrimp with Spinach

  • 12 o.z. shrimp; peeled
  • 2 Tbs bacon grease or butter
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 – 4 o.z. spinach
  • crumbled bacon if desired

Heat bacon fat or butter in large skillet over medium heat.  Add shrimp and season with cayenne, garlic, salt and pepper.

Cook for about 2 minutes and flip shrimp over.

Cook 1 – 2 minutes longer; add spinach on top; cover and steam for about 2 minutes.  Toss together and sprinkle with crumbled bacon.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Butternut Squash ~ prep technique ~ easy to cut and peel

I decide there has to be an easier way to prep winter squash.  I mentioned in my spaghetti squash recipe that Charles had cooked it whole.  I got to thinking surely this concept would work to soften my butternut squash but without cooking the squash through.  I simply washed the squash and pierced with a sharp paring knife about 20 times all around (5 piercings up the length turning a quarter turn and repeating). I baked at 350 degrees for 30 minutes ~ I then removed from oven and allowed to rest for about 2 hours before I peeled and cut the squash.  I perhaps could have allowed less time to rest before peeling but I had errands to run so the 2 hours worked for me.

Cooking first made it cut like butter.  I was able to easily cut the squash into sections and peel in a snap.

The squash was still firm enough to use in any recipe; about the same texture as a raw potato.

I diced most of it and used about 1/2 for some butternut squash soup.  I haven’t made plans for the rest of it but I will definitely share the soup recipe in the next day or so!

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Delicious and Simple Mac and Cheese

I am pretty sure this is my mom’s recipe.  Well I know it came from her anyway. This is the easiest recipe.  Three ingredients is all it takes and yet you can do so much with it just by changing the cheese or pasta or adding more stuff!

Delicious and Simple Mac and Cheese

  • 1 cup uncooked macaroni
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 o.z. cheese

Cook the macaroni according to package directions; I always go with the 7 minute time ~ it may not be quite done but will finish cooking when baking.  Drain pasta ~ do not rinse; pour into buttered casserole. Add milk and 4 o.z. cheese; sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired and stir gently.  Top with remaining cheese and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Use your favorite cheese or experiment with new ones.  I always use my favorite extra sharp cheddar.  Today I used Gruyère too.  I’ve found using at least 2 kinds of cheese works best but if you only use one just make sure it’s the one you really like.  I really like the way this comes together it’s not a velvety creamy mac and cheese like you get with a sauce but it’s oh so delicious.  Enjoy ~ Kimberly