Friday, July 29, 2016

Happy Lasagna Day: Spinach Alfredo Lasagna

Spinach Alfredo Lasagna

HAPPY NATIONAL LASAGNA DAY EVERYONE.  I am sharing today one of my favorite Lasagna recipes to make.   I was delighted when I found this recipe for Spinach Alfredo Lasagna that was cooked in a slow cooker. In reading over the ingredients, the recipe sounded wonderful.  A hearty meat sauce, three different types of cheese, Alfredo sauce, spinach and pasta - all delicious.  This recipe was easy to prepare.  Everything is layered in your slow cooker.  You use no-cook lasagna noodles and your favorite jar of spaghetti sauce and Alfredo sauce.  What could be simpler.  Cook on low 4-5 hours and dinner is ready.  What a delicious dinner it is.  The family really enjoyed this dish.  The taste was delicious and everyone went back for seconds.  This is my new go to lasagna recipe.

Spinach Alfredo Lasagna
From Taste Of Home Simple and Delicious

Special Equipment:  Slow cooker


1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jar (24 oz) spaghetti sauce
1 carton (15 oz) ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 package (8 oz) no-cook lasagna noodles
8 cups (32 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 jar (15 oz) Alfredo sauce


1. In a large skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until beef in no longer pink, breaking up beef into crumbles; drain.  Stir in spaghetti sauce.
2. In a small bowl, mix ricotta and Parmesan cheese, parsley and pepper.  Spread 1 cup meat mixture into an ungreased 5-or-6-quart slow cooker.  Arrange four noodles on top, breaking to fit; layer with half of the ricotta mixture, 2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1 cup meat mixture.
Cheese Mixture
Layer of Meat Sauce
Cheese Mixture
Mozzarella Cheese
Meat Sauce
3. Top with four noodles, spinach, Alfredo sauce and 2 cups mozzarella cheese.  Continue layering with four noodles, remaining ricotta mixture, 2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1 cup meat mixture.  Add any remaining noodles; top with remaining meat mixture and mozzarella cheese.
Alfredo Sauce
4. Cook covered, on low 4-5 hours or until noodles are tender.

Makes 8 servings

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Grilled Parsley Lime Chicken

This is one of my favorite grilled chicken recipes.  I found this recipe on Simply Recipes website.  Instead of using cilantro, I used parsley.  I did not have any cilantro in the fridge and I did not feel like going to the store.  Besides, parsley is a cousin to cilantro.

I flattened my chicken breasts - I find they grill much better that way and placed them in a lime marinade.  The marinade consisted of lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, parsley, and spices.  I let them marinate in the fridge for about 7 hours.

When I was ready to grill the breasts, I removed them from the fridge and preheated the grill.  Before placing the chicken on the grill I rubbed some olive oil on them.   I placed the chicken breasts on the hot grill and grilled them on each side for a few minutes.  Be sure the breasts are cooked through before serving.

The chicken was delicious. It had a nice lime zing to it - not too overpowering just right.  The family really liked this recipe.  Will be making this recipe again, I am sure.

Grilled Parsley Lime Chicken
From Simply Recipes Adapted Very Slightly From My Southwest Kitchen

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
Grated lime zest from 2 limes
Juice of 2 limes
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Olive oil

1. Flatten the chicken breasts with a mallet (I used the flat side) between two pieces of plastic wrap.  Be sure the breasts are an even thickness.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the 2 tablespoons olive oil, lime zest, lime juice, parsley, sugar, salt, and black pepper.
3. Place the chicken breasts in the bowl, flipping to be sure both sides are coated with the marinade.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.   Place in the fridge for 4 or more hours.

4. Remove the chicken breasts from the fridge. Preheat the grill on medium high heat.
5. Remove the breast from the  marinade and pat dry with paper towels.  Brush some olive oil on both sides of the breasts.
6.  Place the breasts on the hot grill and cook for a few minutes before turning over.   Cook a few minutes more on the other side.   Be sure the chicken is cooked through before serving.

Serves 4

Friday, July 22, 2016

Chicken Chile Verde

Chile Verde is on of my favorite stews to prepare.  I use either chicken or pork depending on what I have on hand.  I love the flavor of the sauce the meat and potatoes are cooked in.  It isn't too hot but very flavorful with  just a touch of tang.

You can make this stew ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge.  The flavor just gets better with age.  When you are ready to serve it, just heat it up.  This is what I do when I make this sauce for a family get together or for Christmas Eve dinner.

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as my family and I do.

Chicken Chile Verde


3 pounds boneless boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 1/2- inch cubes
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil
1 large onion coarsely chopped
1 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and cut into quarters
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
3 cups (or more) chicken broth
1 1/2 cups packed fresh cilantro leaves - one large bunch
1 bunch of green onions, coarsely chopped (all of the white and 2 inches of the green)
3/4  cup diced roasted green chilies (be sure to peel and seed) if not using canned
2 1/2  teaspoons salt, divided
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
Flour tortillas

1. Brush the bottom of a  large skillet with olive oil and heat over medium heat.  Sprinkle the chicken cubes with salt and pepper.  Brown the chicken in batches.  Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.  Add more oil to the skillet if needed.
2. Place the onion in the skillet and saute until soft .
3. Add the  tomatillos and garlic to the skillet.  Sprinkle the cumin seeds over the mixture.  Cook until the tomatillos are tender and browned in spots stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat if tomatillos are browning too quickly.
4.  Remove the tomatillos from the heat.  Cool slightly.
5.  Puree the tomatillo mixture in a blender in batches adding chicken broth as needed.  Transfer puree tomatillo mixture to a Dutch Oven.
6. Puree the cilantro leaves, green onions, and green chili - again using chicken broth as needed.  Transfer puree mixture to the Dutch Oven with the tomatillos.
7. Add the remaining chicken broth, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt,  Mexican Oregano,  black pepper and chicken to the Dutch oven.  Stir until well combined.
8. Bring the mixture to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for  2 hours stirring occasionally.  Remove the lid of the Dutch Oven during the last hour for  a thicker sauce.
9. Add the potatoes to the Chili Verde.  Simmer covered until the potatoes are tender.
10. Taste and add remaining salt if needed.
11. Serve in bowls  accompanied with warm flour tortillas.

Serves 8

Note:  If your sauce gets too thick just add chicken broth.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Happy National Ice Cream Day: Cream Cheese Ice Cream


Celebrate with a nice scoop of your favorite ice cream - maybe even two or more scoops.

Today I am reposting a recipe for my favorite home made ice cream - Cream Cheese Ice Cream in celebration for National Ice Cream Day.

I found this delicious recipe in an issue of "Southern Living" magazine.  This ice cream had a rich velvety texture with a mild favor. Think frozen cheese cake.  The ice cream was delicious eaten by itself, but would be wonderful on a hot piece of apple pie or your favorite cobbler.  Try it topped with Roasted Blackberry Sauce.
The ice cream is is very easy to make.  Basically, you heat half-and-half, powdered sugar and eggs yolks in a saucepan.  Then you whisk in cream cheese and vanilla extract.  Chill and then freeze.  That's it!  You now have a nice refreshing and tasty summer treat.

Cream Cheese Ice Cream
From Southern Living Magazine

Special Equipment:  Ice Cream Maker

Cream Cheese Cubed

3 cups half-and-half
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 egg yolks
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cubed
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract


1. Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a large heavy saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly.  Remove from heat, and whisk in cream cheese and vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract, until cheese is melted.  Cool completely (about 1 hour), stirring occasionally.  Place plastic wrap directly on mixture (to prevent a film from forming), and chill 8 to 24 hours.
2. Pour  mixture into freezer container of a 1 1/2-quart electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. (Instructions and times may vary.)  Transfer ice cream to an airtight container.  Freeze 4 hours before serving.

Makes about 1 quart

Friday, July 15, 2016

Chimichurri Shrimp

The other night for dinner, I made a delicious shrimp dish marinated in a combination of cilantro, parley, oil, lime juice, and spices. This concoction is known as chimichurri.  A  very tasty savory sauce that also doubles as a marinade in this recipe.    I let the shrimp marinate for a few hours  in the sauce and then cooked them in a skillet until they were pink and golden.  I served some of the reserved marinate with the shrimp.

This was a delicious and simple dinner to make.  I served it with a green  salad, some rice, and veggies.  A winner with the family and on my to-make-again list.

Chimichurri Shrimp
From The Pioneer Woman Cooks A Year Of Holidays
1 large bunch cilantro, stems removed
1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, stems removed
3 garlic cloves
Juice of 3 limes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil
3 pounds raw jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails off
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Fill a blender or food processor with cilantro and parsley.
2. Add the garlic, lime juice, cumin, cayenne, and salt.
3. Place the lid on the blender, then remove the center piece.  With the blender on low, drizzle in the 1/2 cup olive oil.
4. Blend until the chimichurri is totally pureed and somewhat smooth.
5. Place the shrimp in a 2-quart baking dish and drizzle in half the chimichurri.  Pour the other half into a small dish, cover it with plastic wrap, and put it in the fridge for serving later.
6. Toss the shrimp in the sauce, then cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours.
7. When you are ready to make the shrimp, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Throw in the shrimp and cook them stirring them around for 3 to 4 minutes.  Cook until they are a nice pinky-gold.
8. Serve the shrimp with the remaining chimichurri sauce. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Cheese Enchiladas

Tonight for dinner, we had Cheese Enchiladas. A family favorite for years.  Enchiladas are a great dish to prepare.   They are easy to make,  quick ( 30 minutes), budget friendly, delicious and filling.   You can serve them with rice, beans, or a fried egg.  I usually garnish my enchiladas with sour cream, shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes.  As sides, I served Spanish Rice and beans.

Cheese Enchiladas
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
10 corn tortillas
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
1 (15-ounce) can enchilada sauce
Sour Cream, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet.  When  the oil is hot place a tortilla in the pan.  Cook for about 3 seconds and turn.  Cook for another 2-3 seconds.  Lift the tortillas with a spatula and place another tortilla underneath.  Cook the tortilla for 2-3 seconds.  Lift both tortillas with the spatula and add another tortilla underneath.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas.  Add more oil if necessary. 
2. When all the tortillas are cooked, place them on a plate lined with a paper towel.  
3. Spread a small layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking dish. Take a corn tortilla and cover about 2/3 of it with cheese.  Roll up the tortillas and place in the baking dish.  Repeat until all of the tortillas are rolled up.
4. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the enchiladas.
5. Cover the enchiladas with foil and bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted. 
6. Remove the enchiladas from the oven and garnish with sour cream, lettuce, and tomatoes.

Makes 5-10 servings


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Taste of Summer: Grilled Corn

Grilled corn is one of those recipes that makes summer.  Fresh corn roasted on the grill - nothing tastes better.  Grilling enhances the flavor and the aroma as it roasts is wonderful. Grilled corn is also an easy and inexpensive side to make.

I used to remove the silk from the corn and let it soak in water before grilling.  Not any more.  I just put the corn on the grill husks and all.  If I want some of the kernel charred , I pull out some of the outer husks.      I  blacken  the corn husks on all sides.  Once the corn is done,  I let the corn cool and serve with butter, salt and pepper.  A great summer food.

Grilled Corn
4 ears of corn in their husk
Butter, Salt, and Pepper

1. Preheat the grill on medium heat.  Place corn on the grill and rotate occasionally.
2. Grill corn until husks are blackened - about 25-30 minutes.  Let the corn cool for about 5 minutes.
3. Shuck the corn and serve with butter, salt, and pepper.

Make 4 servings

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Fourth of July: Dulce de Leche Brownies

Wow I don't remember the last time I ate a brownie sooo delicious.     It is hard to believe something that tastes so good is so simple to make.  Perfect for the upcoming holiday or just great anytime.  Instead of making the Dulce de Leche and the brownie mix from scratch, I did a very semi homemade brownie.

I started by buying my favorite brownie mix - Duncan Hines Double Decadent Brownie Mix and a can of Dulce de Leche.  That is it.  Two main ingredients for  a  slightly chewy delicious brownie with the goodness of Dulce de Leche.

I prepared the brownie mix using the instructions for cake like brownies.  I spread half the batter in an 8x8-inch baking dish that was lined with foil that was lightly sprayed.   Next, I dropped spoonfuls of the Dulce de Leche on top of the batter and made swirly design patterns in the brownies  using a knife.  I then spread the remaining brownie batter over the swirled batter.  I then repeated the process with the Dulce de leche.

I baked the brownies according to package directions and let them cool.

Of course the family had to sample the brownies and all agreed they were delicious.

Dulce de Leche Brownies


1 box of  Duncan Hines Double Decadent Brownie Mix or your favorite brownie mix
1 cup of Dulce de Leche
Ingredients on back of brownie box for cake like brownies


1. Line an 8x8-inch baking dish with foil.  Spray lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
2. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions following instructions for cake like brownies.
3. Spread half of the brownie batter in the prepared pan.
4. Drop by spoonfuls half of the Dulce de leche on top of the brownie batter.   Using a knife make swirly patterns through the Dulce de leche and brownie batter.
5. Spread the remaining batter over the top of the first layer.  Repeat with the remaining Dulce de Leche.
6.  Bake according to package directions.  Remove from oven and cool.  Cut into 16 squares.

Makes 16 brownies