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

Mushroom and Mozzarella Meatballs and Spaghetti

I have posted some meatball recipes before but as I was contemplating fixing today’s dinner I realized: why not put them in the crock pot with the sauce to heat everything together?  It was a brilliant idea if I do say so myself.  It’s always so messy heating spaghetti sauce as it can splatter about if you heat too high and a longer heat time allows the sauce to infuse with the meatballs to perfection!

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I added my sauce and cooked meatballs to my slow cooker and heated on high for about 1 1/2 hours.  It was most likely ready sooner but I wasn’t.  Here’s my meatball recipe for today:

  • 3 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1/2 cup diced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup diced bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 black pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in large bowl.  Form into meatballs; I made large meatballs today and go about 10 from the mixture.  Bake at 375 degrees until cooked through; about 30 minutes for large size.

Add to sauce and heat as desired; serve with cooked pasta.

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Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Roasted Garlic

I realized I hadn’t posted my roasted garlic technique yet and it is one of my favorite things.  It is so delicious and versatile.  You can add it to any dish you’d use plain garlic in and it’s even great smeared on toasted baguette.

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  • a whole head of garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Trim about 1/4 inch off of the top of the garlic.  Place on foil square and drizzle olive oil over the top.  Sprinkle with salt and wrap foil around garlic head.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.  Allow to cool enough to handle before using.  Squeeze near bottom of head to remove cloves from skins.

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Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Dipping Oil with toasted garlic, rosemary and balsamic vinegar

I’ve always enjoyed dipping oils in restaurants but had never tried my own version.  This was very good; I gently toasted the garlic to bring out a more flavor and used some fresh rosemary too. We had this with a crusty baguette and some fresh steamed broccoli.  I actually dipped some of the broccoli in too and it was oh so delicious!

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  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbs rice vinegar

Heat small skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and 1 Tbs olive oil.  Cook until garlic is very lightly toasted; add rosemary, remove from heat, then stir in remaining oil and the rest of the ingredients.  Serve with bread for dipping.

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Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Spaghetti Squash with lemon and goat cheese

I had half of a spaghetti squash that needed used so I decided to pair it with some goat cheese.  I really liked this combination.  I wish I could have gotten a better photograph but something about the shade of the squash seems to distort he color and I didn’t really have the time to find some better lights today.  Anyway, here is the recipe for today.

  • 1 1/2 cups spaghetti squash
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • juice of half a lemon
  • a bit of soft goat cheese

In skillet melt butter; add squash, garlic, salt, pepper, and cayenne.  Cook for about 4 minutes or until heated through.  Squeeze lemon juice on top and stir.  Serve with a little goat cheese stirred in just before serving.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Garlic Butter Dipping Sauce

Ok, just a very simple post tonight.  After a long day of work I’d planned to fix some fish and rice with veggies for dinner but when I got home I asked “can’t we just order pizza!” I don’t do this often; in fact we rarely eat out at all. I had Charles make us some dipping sauce for the bread sticks because the sauce is always lousy no matter who brings your pizza.  If nothing else they are made out of unpronounceable ingredients so here was our tasty take on a garlic butter dipping sauce; with real butter.

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic ~ very finely minced

Zest the garlic or finely mince or chop.

Combine all ingredients and melt together. Microwave for 30 seconds or melt on stove top.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Tangy Italian Pasta Salad ~ with Artichokes and Goat Cheese

Just a quick and easy pasta salad today.  I decided to go with an artichoke and goat cheese combination.  I think the tomato and basil complimented the salad very nicely.

Tangy Italian Pasta Salad ~ with Artichokes and Goat Cheese

  • 1 cup uncooked pasta
  • 1/2 cup quartered artichokes
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup diced tomato
  • 1 tsp fresh garlic ~ minced
  • 3 o.z. goat cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain, rinse, and set aside to chill.  Combine drained and cooled pasta with remaining ingredients.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Peas and Mushrooms

I was trying to decide what veggie to fix for dinner tonight and I remembered a Portobello mushroom I had picked up a couple of days ago.  I asked Charles how peas and mushrooms sounded and he went into story mode.  Telling me tales of his grandma fixing peas and mushrooms for special dinners.  Sometimes it was pearl onions instead of mushrooms, but the mushrooms were always his favorite.  She usually used canned mushrooms as far as he could recall; canned mushrooms will work perfectly too just omit the first step of cooking the mushrooms and add everything at the same time.

Peas and Mushrooms

  • 1 cup diced mushrooms
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 12 o.z. frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup water

Melt butter in skillet and add mushrooms; season with salt and pepper.

Cook for about 5 minutes or until desired tenderness. Add peas, garlic, and water.  Cover and simmer for 5 – 7 minutes.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Angel Hair Pasta with Broccoli and Parmesan

We tried for a lighter lunch today.  Usually my pasta dishes are very heavy so I thought I would try to lighten it up a bit.  I really did enjoy this.  Full of flavor and totally delicious.

Angel Hair Pasta with Broccoli and Parmesan

  • 8 o.z. uncooked angel hair pasta
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Bring large pot of water to boil.  Add a bit of salt and angel hair pasta.  Cook for 2 minutes; keep boiling and add broccoli and cook for about 3 minutes more.  Pasta should be cooked to desired doneness and broccoli should be just tender.  Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water and drain pasta and brocoli.  Set aside.  Melt butter in skillet.  Over medium heat add garlic, thyme, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper.  Cook for about 3 minutes allowing garlic flavors to release but not toast.  Add reserved pasta water and toss with pasta and broccoli.  Stir in 1/2 of the parmesan and garnish with the rest just before serving.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Salsa Verde

Charles came across a fantastic salsa verde recipe and we had to give it a try; of course we had to add our own twists.  I loved this.  Very spicy but our jalapeno were quite spicy so that will vary depending on the heat of the peppers.  I really enjoy tomatillos ~ I don’t have them often enough; it’s sort of a citrus and tomato combination.  Five minutes was just enough time to cook them without losing any of the goodness; we didn’t know if they should be cored or anything but we simply cooked them whole and pureed them for the recipe and it was perfect.

Salsa Verde

  • 5 tomatillo
  • 4 cloves garlic ~ peeled
  • 1 medium onion ~ peeled and quartered
  • 2 jalapeno ~ stems removed
  • water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbs cilantro
  • salt and pepper

Peel tomatillos and wash.  In large saucepan combine tomatillo, garlic, onion, jalapeno; cover with water.  Cook 5 minutes.  Remove vegetables to blender and add 1 cup of cooking liquid.  Add sugar, cilantro, salt and pepper ~ puree for a few seconds to combine.  Chill until ready to serve.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly