Thursday, July 29, 2010

Macaroni Grill Chicken Cannelloni

I actually ate this at Macaroni Grill a few weeks ago and I am telling you, this copy cat recipe is so close it is amazing!  You have got to try this.  Allyson doesn't like Alfredo sauce, but she loved this!  I served it with Olive Garden's Bruschetta al Pomodoro (recipe below).

Cannelloni Filling
8 ounces chicken breast (about 2), cooked thoroughly
1 ounce fresh spinach, chopped
1 ounce sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
16 ounces ricotta cheese
3 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon table-ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
12 lasagna pasta sheets, approximate size of 5 x 6 inches

Cannelloni Sauce
16 ounces Asiago cream sauce, or your favorite Alfredo sauce
16 ounces Macaroni Grill tomato sauce, or your favorite tomato-based pasta sauce
3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated

Once the chicken breast has been cooked thoroughly, allow it to cool to an internal temperature of 45 degrees F.

Dice the cooled chicken breast into 1/2-inch pieces and place into a large mixing bowl. Add spinach, tomatoes, ricotta, mozzarella, pepper and salt, and mix thoroughly.

Arrange precooked pasta sheets on a cutting board and place two or three rounded tablespoons of filling mixture down the center of each pasta sheet and carefully roll pasta around filling in a cigar fashion. Place the rolled cannelloni, side by side, into an ovenproof shallow baking dish. Place Asiago sauce (or Alfredo sauce) and tomato sauce in bowl and mix until well incorporated. Pour sauce over cannelloni covering completely. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over top of sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 20 minutes.

Remove foil and continue to bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until an internal temperature of 165 degrees F is reached. Remove from oven and serve family style or on individual plates garnished with fresh diced tomatoes, and basil or Italian parsley.

Serves 6.

Olive Garden's Bruschetta al Pomodoro

I really liked this, although I would have cut the fresh basil back a bit.  I am just not used to that fresh taste.  The kids weren't as excited about this, but they still liked it enough to eat it.

Here is the recipe (straight from the Olive Garden website)

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serving Size: 8

2 lbs Roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 garlic cloves, cut in half
Black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
20 medium fresh basil leaves, chopped
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
16 slices crusty Italian bread
Extra virgin olive oil (to drizzle)

COMBINE diced tomatoes and chopped garlic in a mixing bowl. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Add half of chopped basil and 4 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.

DRIZZLE both sides of bread slices with extra virgin olive oil. Grill bread lightly on both sides.

RUB grilled bread with cut half of garlic clove to infuse with flavor. Top each slice with tomato mixture.

GARNISH with remaining chopped basil and serve immediately.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fruity Rice Crispy Treats

YUMMO!  Enough said!

3 T butter or margarine
1 pkg regular marshmallows
6 cups rice crispies

In large saucepan melt butter over low heat.  Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.  Remove from heat.

Add rice crispies and stir until well coated.

Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13x9 pan coated with cooking spray.  Cool. 

Italian Chicken and Pasta

This is a great fall-back recipe when you are in a hurry or just don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  My kids love this recipe and never complain when we have it.  I used rotisserie chicken, but you can just boil chicken and shred it if you want.

1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
2 pkg pasta, cooked (I have used all kinds of pasta)
Italian dressing

Cook pasta, according to directions.  Add chicken and Italian dressing and toss.  Serve with bread, if you want. 

It is as easy as that. . .Enjoy!

Grandma's Chicken Curry

This is a recipe that my kids beg grandma for.  They absolutely love it!

Cooked, diced chicken
1 batch cooked brown rice, (white will work if you don't)
2 stalks diced celery
1 small diced onion
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can cream of mushroom
1 can cream of celery soup
Saltine crackers or potato chips, crumbled

Cook the chicken until no longer pink inside.  Dice up chicken and set aside.  Saute celery and onion in three tablespoons butter.  When vegetables are tender add curry powder, garlic, cream of mushroom and cream of celery soup. Stir and heat. Add chicken and rice and stir. Put in casserole dish and top with cracker crumbs dotted with butter, or crushed potato chips. Bake on 350 degrees until bubbly or crackers are slightly browned.  If the chicken and or rice are cooked with salt don't add salt to casserole. The cream soups also have plenty of salt.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Chili Relleno Casserole

A recipe I found at Pantry Friendly Cooking.  You should really check out this website.  There is a book for sale on her webite for a Mexican Cookbook.  I cannot wait until mine comes.  Her recipes look so good!  And her recipe for Chili Relleno Casserole did not dissapoint!  I fixed spanish rice from scratch to go with it (not a recipe from this website), but it was not very good.

1 lb. or 2 cups shredded chicken (I used canned chicken)
1 large onion
1 lb. cheddar cheese (chopped into cubes) divided
3 small cans green chiles
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup flour
pinch of salt and pepper

Cook onion until it is tender.  Mix onion with chicken.  Place chiles, chicken, and cheese in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.  Reserve some of cheese to spread on top.  Mix together eggs, milk, flour, and seasonings and pour over the top of the chicken mixture.  Top with the extra cheese.  Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees.  Until the egg mixture is set.  Serves 8-10

Annie's Guacamole

I have to start off by saying that I have NEVER, EVER liked guacamole or anything else with avacados.  Vince is constantly trying to get me to like guacamole, but to no avail.  Then, a few months ago when Annie, Eugene and their family came, Annie fixed her guacamole.  I tried it and admitted that it wasn't too bad, but I only took a few bites on chips.  Well, when we were back in Alabama she made it again, and you know what?  I couldn't stop eating it.  I could not believe it.  It is so good.  So, tonight, since I was making mexican for dinner, I decided to make it again and I loved it just as much, if not more, tonight!  I thought I would share the love.

1 clove garlic
1 slice onion
1 jalapeno
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 avacados
1 sm. tomato, chopped
A little less than 1/4 cup mayo
Salt to taste

Chop the garlic, onion, and jalapeno in a food processor (or chop finely by hand).  Smash up the avacados in a small bowl with a fork and add the garlic mixture.  Add the mayo, lemon juice and mix well.  Add in the chopped tomato and salt to taste.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Olive Garden Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

I found this is a recipe at  So good! The kids even loved it. And it tasted VERY close to the real deal. I served it with baguettes and salad with Olive Garden dressing (I have to admit I have made this dressing too, but it takes a ton of time.  I now just buy it from Olive Garden.  Price is worth it).  Here is the recipe...

1 cup chicken breasts, cooked and diced (I used a rotisserie chicken).
4 T. butter
4 T. flour
1 quart half and half
1-14 oz can chicken broth
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup carrots, finely shredded
1 cup onion, finely diced
1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. parsley
1 lb gnocchi (you can buy this in the pasta section)

I started out by chopping the onion up in my food processor.  Then I dumped into a bowl and pressed the garlic through my garlic press and adding it to the onion.  I then cut the carrot and celery into big chunks and then chopped it in the food processor.  I then dumped it into another small bowl.  After that I chopped the rotisserie chicken in the food processor.  Last, I chopped the spinach. 

Saute the onion and garlic in the butter, when the onion becomes translucent, add the flour and make a roux.  Let the butter and flour mixture cook for about a minute before adding the half and half and stir until clumps are gone.
After adding the half and half, start the gnocchi, cooking according to the package directions.

Into the roux add in the carrots, celery, and chicken.  Once the mixture become thick add the chicken broth and olive oil.  Once the mixture thickens again, add the cooked gnocchi, spinach, and seasonings

I hope you will try this recipe.  This is my favorite soup to get when we go to the Olive garden, and now I don't have to wait for date night to have some.  This is by far the easiest from-scratch soup (or scratch soup as Gabe calls it) I have EVER made.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Beef Stir-fry with Fried Rice


I fixed a new recipe again tonight and it was voted on by the fam as a 4.75 out of 5.  the stir-fry recipe is one I made up years ago and can be used with pork or chicken just as easily.  Here are the recipes.

Beef Stir-fry

2 T. Olive Oil
Beef tenderloin cut up into small pieces
1 red bell pepper diced
1 green bell pepper diced
1 sweet onion diced
6 medium carrots diced
1/2 cup Kikoman's stir-fry sauce
2 T. Soy sauce

Stir together the stir-fry sauce and soy sauce.  In a wok or skillet, add 1 T. olive oil and then add the beef.  Stir-fry the beef and thentransfer to a bowl.  Add the remaining 1 T. olive oil and half the vegetables and stir-fry and then add them to the beef.  Stir-fry the remaining half and then add all back in. Stir in the sauce mixture and continue stirring until the vegetables are as tender as you like (we like ours a little crunchy).  Can be served with plain rice or the fried rice below.

Fried Rice

1 cup chopped meat (if desired)
2 T olive oil
3 cups cooked, cold Rice (white, brown, or instant)
3 green onions, sliced
2 tsp. soy sauce
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup frozen peas and carrots, cooked
1 packet Sun Bird Fried Rice Seasoning Mix (found in the isle that has the oriental foods)

In a large skillet or wok, heat oil.  Stir-fry the rice and green onions.  Add seasoning packet and soy sauce and stir-fry 1 minute.  Push rice to side and add the eggs.  Scramble the eggs and then stir the rice into the eggs.  Add the peas and carrots and meat, if desired.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, I know we sure did.