Thursday, January 31, 2008

Chicken Mug Pies

Oh my goodness! This dish was heavenly! Another one of Rachael Ray's dishes to add to the favs. This is especially great on a cold winter night. I forgot to chop up onions, but just added onion & garlic powder towards the end and it was so flavorful. Enjoy!

1 tube jumbo bake-off butter biscuits
Sweet paprika, for sprinkling
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast pieces, diced
3 tablespoons butter
2 ribs celery and greens from the heart, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup shredded potatoes, ready to cook hash browns
1 pint half-and-half or cream
1 quart chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg, a healthy grating
1 cup frozen green peas

Preheat oven according to package directions and arrange biscuits on cookie sheet. In a medium pot over medium to medium high heat, cook chicken in butter 2 minutes then add veggies and season with salt and pepper and poultry seasoning. Cook 5 minutes more, add flour cook another minute. Add potatoes, then whisk in half-and-half or cream and chicken stock. Add nutmeg. Bring soup to a boil by raising heat, then turn heat back to simmer and cook soup another 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings. Add peas. Stir in to warm them through a minute.

Serve mugs of soup with biscuits on top to cap the mug: chicken mug pies!

Orzo Stuffed Peppers

I had to tweak this recipe a bit but it was still great and super easy!!
1 (28-ounce) can Italian tomatoes
2 zucchini, grated
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
6 sweet bell peppers (red or yellow)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Pour the tomatoes into a large bowl and break apart using a pair of kitchen shears or your finger tips. Add the zucchini, mint, cheese, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
Meanwhile, bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the orzo and cook for 4 minutes. The orzo should be only partially cooked. Use a fine mesh sieve to transfer the orzo to the large bowl with the other vegetables. Stir the orzo into the vegetable mix to combine. Transfer the warm chicken broth to a 3-quart baking dish.
Slice the tops off the peppers and remove all ribs and seeds. Cut a very thin slice from the base to help the peppers stand up.

Place the peppers in the baking dish with the warm chicken broth. Spoon the orzo mixture into the peppers. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle the top of each pepper with cheese and continue baking until the cheese is golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, carefully transfer the orzo stuffed pepper to a serving plate.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Dinner at my Grandmothers :)


Chicken Mug Pies


Mexican Chicken Soup

Bean & Cheese Tostadas

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Baked Potato Soup

I have been craving Baked Potato Soup. When I was browsing foodie sites the other day I came across this post and this one and was inspired. I knew I was taking a chance in making soup cause "The Man" doesn't care too much for soup. I went ahead and made it though, thinking that he'd like it since it had potatoes in it. Well, he ate it, but he wasn't too impressed. I, on the other hand, thought it was delicious and plan to make it again soon for my family. Enjoy!
Baked Potato Soup
4 medium baked potatoes
1 pkg. bacon
1 c celery, chopped
1/2 c. green onions, thinly sliced
1 can 14 oz. chicken broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 c. sour cream
1 c. milk
2 c. broccoli florets
2 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
Remove skins from cooled baked potatoes and coarsely mash them. Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon to paper towel to drain; crumble and set aside. Discard all but 1/2 tsp drippings in pan. In a dutch oven add celery, garlic, green onions and broccoli. Saute for approx 5 minutes. Pour in chicken broth, milk, mashed potatoes, salt, pepper, and bacon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 mins. Stir in sour cream. Ladle into bowls and serve with cheese and green onions.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

I may not stick to the plan this week. It looks like I'll be heading back to Dallas sometime this week until we move to Washington. This will be my last week in England. I'm actually kind of sad about it. It's funny cause I wanted to be home so bad the entire time I was here. Now that I know I'm leaving, I don't want to! lol
(I'll be making this with chicken breast)
Steak with Salad

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

A day late.... We had a blast in Paris even though we were freezing our behinds off. Look how beautiful The Eiffel Tower is at night. The city is so beautiful! I'd love to go back if we can ever afford it again. lol

So here is our meal plan for this week. It's simple since we'll be so busy. Gotta pack and get ready to head back to the States! :)

Chicken with garlic sauce
Mixed veggies

Taco night

Peanut Chicken Stir Fry

Mini Cheesy Meatloaves

Leftovers (date night)

Hamburgers with chips (fries)

Sunday roast

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Pasta with Spinach, Bacon and Mushrooms

My friend Misslionheart posted this recipe and it looked so yummy. Although a little heavy we both enjoyed this meal. I only had to make a few adjustments for "his Highness".

1/2 box of penne pasta
6 slices bacon or turkey bacon
2 T garlic butter, divided
1/2 yellow onion diced (I omitted this and used onion powder)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pkg button mushrooms, sliced
garlic salt to taste
1 bag of baby spinach
1 T flour
1 c half and half (*Sub double cream)
*1 c chicken broth
1/2 c fresh grated parmesan cheese

Cook penne pasta and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a big skillet, cook the bacon. (If you’re using real bacon, you’ll need to drain most of the extra grease off.)
Set the cooked bacon aside on a plate and crumble once cool.
In the leftover fat and 1 T of the garlic butter, sauté the garlic and onion over medium-low until very well browned, 20-30 mins (Since I didnt add onions I only cooked the garlic in the butter for about 5 minutes)Add mushrooms, season with garlic salt, (onion powder) and cook until reduced, 10 or so minutes. Add the spinach and cook over medium for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Mix together the pasta, bacon and the sautéed vegetables in a large serving bowl.
In the still hot pan, melt the remaining T of garlic butter. Add flour and make a paste.
Add a couple of ounces of half and half, chicken broth and stir well until no lumps remain.
Slowly add the rest of the half and half, stirring constantly.
Once smooth, boil 30 to 60 seconds until just slightly thickened, still stirring constantly.
Add the parmesan to the sauce and stir just until melted.
Pour sauce over pasta, bacon and veggie combo, and mix well.
Serve with additional parmesan cheese if desired.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Lemon Chicken

Ok, it's the the prettiest looking dish ever, but it sure was good! I tweaked the recipe a little. I actually left the red peppers and onions in, big pieces of course. (I think Hubby even accidentally ate a few onions! OOPS!) lol This dish was super easy to make - and quick. It took me about 20 minutes. I didn't serve anything on the side since the recipe made so much. Enjoy!

Cooking spray (*Sub about 2 tablespoons olive oil)
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1/4 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 cups instant rice (*Sub- 2 pkgs Uncle Ben's long grain 2 minute rice)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
2 tablespoons grated Romano cheese (*Sub parmesano)
*I added about 3 cloves of crushed garlic when I sauted the chicken

Heat a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add chicken, chopped onion, and red bell pepper; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in rice, lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, black pepper, and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in artichokes, and cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with cheese.

4 servings (serving size: 2 cups)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 324(8% from fat); FAT 2.8g (sat 1g,mono 0.7g,poly 0.5g); PROTEIN 35g; CHOLESTEROL 69mg; CALCIUM 120mg; SODIUM 773mg; FIBER 8.3g; IRON 3.1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 40.7g

Monday, January 7, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Happy Monday! I'm only posting the menu until Friday. We are going to Paris this weekend for a short trip. :) Now that we are leaving in April, we have to squeeze all of the trips we wanted to take in before we go back. For more more recipe ideas please visit our host, Laura, at

Broiled snapper w/ ginger lime butter
Basmati Rice
Steamed Broccoli

Pork medallions w/apricot-orange sauce
Sauted green beans

Parmesan Chops
roasted potatoes

Sunday, January 6, 2008

My First Tag

My lovely friend at A Place for Everything has tagged me for this meme.

OCTOBER:Loves to chat. Loves those who loves them. Loves to take things at the center. Inner and physical beauty. Lies but doesn’t pretend. Gets angry often. Treats friends importantly. Always making friends. Easily hurt but recovers easily. Daydreamer. Opinionated. Does not care of what others think. Emotional. Decisive. Strong clairvoyance. Loves to travel, the arts and literature. Touchy and easily jealous. Concerned. Loves outdoors. Just and fair. Spendthrift. Easily influenced. Easily loses confidence. Loves children.

1. Mention the person who tagged you and create a link back to them.
2. Copy-paste the traits for all the twelve months (see below).
3. Pick your month of birth (see below).
4. Highlight the traits that apply to you.
5. Tag 12 people and let them know by visiting their blogs and leaving a comment for them.
6. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve done it!

JANUARY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Ambitious and serious. Loves to teach and be taught. Always looking at people’s flaws and weaknesses. Likes to criticize. Hardworking and productive. Smart, neat and organized. Sensitive and has deep thoughts. Knows how to make others happy. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Rather reserved. Highly attentive. Resistant to illnesses but prone to colds. Romantic but has difficulties expressing love. Loves children. Loyal. Has great social abilities yet easily jealous. Very stubborn and money cautious.
FEBRUARY: Abstract thoughts. Loves reality and abstract. Intelligent and clever. Changing personality. Attractive. Sexy. Temperamental. Quiet, shy and humble. Honest and loyal. Determined to reach goals. Loves freedom. Rebellious when restricted. Loves aggressiveness. Too sensitive and easily hurt. Gets angry really easily but does not show it. Dislikes unnecessary things. Loves making friends but rarely shows it. Daring and stubborn. Ambitious. Realizes dreams and hopes. Sharp. Loves entertainment and leisure. Romantic on the inside not outside. Superstitious and ludicrous. Spendthrift. Tries to learn to show emotions.
MARCH: Attractive personality. Sexy. Affectionate. Shy and reserved. Secretive. Naturally honest, generous and sympathetic. Loves peace and serenity. Sensitive to others. Loves to serve others. Easily angered. Trustworthy. Appreciative and returns kindness. Observant and assesses others. Revengeful. Loves to dream and fantasize. Loves traveling. Loves attention. Hasty decisions in choosing partners. Loves home decors. Musically talented. Loves special things. Moody.
APRIL: Active and dynamic. Decisive and hasty but tends to regret. Attractive and affectionate to oneself. Strong mentality. Loves attention. Diplomatic. Consoling, friendly and solves people’s problems. Brave and fearless. Adventurous. Loving and caring. Suave and generous. Emotional. Aggressive. Hasty. Good memory. Moving. Motivates oneself and others. Sickness usually of the head and chest. Sexy in a way that only their lover can see.
MAY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Strong-willed and highly motivated. Sharp thoughts. Easily angered. Attracts others and loves attention. Deep feelings. Beautiful physically and mentally. Firm Standpoint. Needs no motivation. Easily consoled. Systematic (left brain). Loves to dream. Strong clairvoyance. Understanding. Sickness usually in the ear and neck. Good imagination. Good physical. Weak breathing. Loves literature and the arts. Loves traveling. Dislike being at home. Restless. Not having many children. Hardworking. High spirited. Spendthrift.
JUNE: Thinks far with vision. Easily influenced by kindness. Polite and soft-spoken. Having ideas. Sensitive. Active mind. Hesitating, tends to delay. Choosy and always wants the best. Temperamental. Funny and humorous. Loves to joke. Good debating skills. Talkative. Daydreamer. Friendly. Knows how to make friends. Able to show character. Easily hurt. Prone to getting colds. Loves to dress up. Easily bored. Fussy. Seldom shows emotions. Takes time to recover when hurt. Brand conscious. Executive. Stubborn.
JULY: Fun to be with. Secretive. Difficult to fathom and to be understood. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Takes pride in oneself. Has reputation. Easily consoled. Honest. Concerned about people’s feelings. Tactful. Friendly. Approachable. Emotional temperamental and unpredictable. Moody and easily hurt. Witty and sparkly. Not revengeful. Forgiving but never forgets. Dislikes nonsensical and unnecessary things. Guides others physically and mentally. Sensitive and forms impressions carefully. Caring and loving. Treats others equally. Strong sense of sympathy. Wary and sharp. Judges people through observations. Hardworking. No difficulties in studying. Loves to be alone. Always broods about the past and the old friends. Likes to be quiet. Homely person. Waits for friends. Never looks for friends. Not aggressive unless provoked. Prone to having stomach and dieting problems. Loves to be loved. Easily hurt but takes long to recover.
AUGUST: Loves to joke. Attractive. Suave and caring. Brave and fearless. Firm and has leadership qualities. Knows how to console others. Too generous and egoistic. Takes high pride in oneself. Thirsty for praises. Extraordinary spirit. Easily angered. Angry when provoked. Easily jealous. Observant. Careful and cautious. Thinks quickly. Independent thoughts. Loves to lead and to be led. Loves to dream. Talented in the arts, music and defense. Sensitive but not petty. Poor resistance against illnesses. Learns to relax. Hasty and trusty. Romantic. Loving and caring. Loves to make friends.
SEPTEMBER: Suave and compromising. Careful, cautious and organized. Likes to point out people’s mistakes. Likes to criticize. Stubborn. Quiet but able to talk well. Calm and cool. Kind and sympathetic. Concerned and detailed. Loyal but not always honest. Does work well. Very confident. Sensitive. Good memory. Clever and knowledgeable. Loves to look for information. Must control oneself when criticizing. Able to motivate oneself. Understanding. Fun to be around. Secretive. Loves leisure and traveling. Hardly shows emotions. Tends to bottle up feelings. Very choosy, especially in relationships. Systematic.
OCTOBER:Loves to chat. Loves those who loves them. Loves to take things at the center. Inner and physical beauty. Lies but doesn’t pretend. Gets angry often. Treats friends importantly. Always making friends. Easily hurt but recovers easily. Daydreamer. Opinionated. Does not care of what others think. Emotional. Decisive. Strong clairvoyance. Loves to travel, the arts and literature. Touchy and easily jealous. Concerned. Loves outdoors. Just and fair. Spendthrift. Easily influenced. Easily loses confidence. Loves children.
NOVEMBER: Has a lot of ideas. Difficult to fathom. Thinks forward. Unique and brilliant. Extraordinary ideas. Sharp thinking. Fine and strong clairvoyance. Can become good doctors. Dynamic in personality. Secretive. Inquisitive. Knows how to dig secrets. Always thinking. Less talkative but amiable. Brave and generous. Patient. Stubborn and hard-hearted. If there is a will, there is a way. Determined. Never give up. Hardly becomes angry unless provoked. Loves to be alone. Thinks differently from others. Sharp-minded. Motivates oneself. Does not appreciate praises. High-spirited. Well-built and tough. Deep love and emotions. Romantic. Uncertain in relationships. Homely. Hardworking. High abilities. Trustworthy. Honest and keeps secrets. Not able to control emotions. Unpredictable.

DECEMBER: Loyal and generous. Sexy. Patriotic. Active in games and interactions. Impatient and hasty. Ambitious. Influential in organizations. Fun to be with. Loves to socialize. Loves praises. Loves attention. Loves to be loved. Honest and trustworthy. Not pretending. Short tempered. Changing personality. Not egotistic. Take high pride in oneself. Hates restrictions. Loves to joke. Good sense of humor. Logical.

I tag:
Mommy Chef
Dont Call Me Mummy
Sprinkles and Twinkles

Friday, January 4, 2008

Shrimp with Angel Hair

One of my creations (like hubs likes to call, experiments for the guinea). Anyway, this was easy and very tasteful. Hope you likey!

Angel hair pasta
1-2 bags of raw jumbo prawns
5 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil
red pepper flakes
salt & pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth

Cook pasta as directed (as if you didn't already know)
In large saucepan melt about 2 tablespoons of butter, add garlic and cook for around 2 minutes
Salt & Pepper the shrimp and add to the saucepan. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes. (I have this jar of pepper mixed with red pepper and its awesome!)
Cook the shrimp until they are all pink and remove from pan
In the same saucepan add 1/2 cup of wine, 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and another 2 tablespoons of butter, bring to a boil. Add the shrimp back to the pan and cook for an additional few minutes. Drain the pasta then add the shrimp with sauce. Sprinkle with parsley if you wish. Enjoy!

Friday's Feast

When was the last time you received a surprise in the mail, and what was it?
A sweet card from my best friend Rabia... just to tell me that she loves me :) awwww

If you could have a summer and/or winter home, where would you want it to be?
Well, when we went to Venice for our anniversary we fell in love. So I'd have to say there. (until we find another place we love)

Pick one: pineapple, orange, banana, apple, cherry.

Main Course
Describe the nicest piece of clothing that you own.
My wedding dress

If you could forget one whole day from your life, which day would you choose to wipe from your memory?
When I turned 16 my Mom wrote on the car windows to surprise me. I was so embarrassed that I tried wiping it off in front of her and didn't want to drive to school. I know I hurt her feelings. I wish I never would have done that.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Im Back!

Hi friends! Oh how I have missed cooking for these past couple of months. I went to Dallas in October "for a few weeks", but ended up staying until the 30th of December. Lots will be happening in 2008. Patrick and I will be moving to Washington State in April. So while we are in England we need to try to sell our house and have it all packed up and ready to go. Umm.... lol
Anyway, this is the first meal I made when I came back. It was oh so good. Baked salmon over a bed of orzo pasta with spinach, roasted potatoes and salad. I just drizzled some olive oil and rosemary over the salmon and baked it for about 20 minutes.
Orzo pasta with spinach:
1 pkg orzo pasta
1 box frozen spinach
2 garlic cloves
olive oil
Cook the pasta as directed on package. Saute spinach in olive oil, butter and add garlic cloves. Stir in orzo pasta. Add salt and a bit of lemon zest. Yummay!
Roasted potatoes:
Boil 3-4 potatoes for approx. 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut potatoes into big chunks and lay on roasting pan. In a saucepan heat 2 cloves garlic, some butter and olive oil until bubbly. Drizzle over potatoes and add herbs to your liking. Bake for approx 25 minutes.