Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sausage and Creamy Garlic Shells with Spinach

The Menu:
Sausage and Creamy Garlic Shells with Spinach

The Original Recipe:
I got the idea for this dish through Pinterest. They had Creamy Garlic Shells, but I wanted a One Pot stove top supper... This was DELICIOUS!! Something to make again, for sure!! The picture, for this one, says it all! Comfort food!

Sausage and Creamy Garlic Shells with Spinach

1 Hillshire Farms beef Sausage, cut into bite size pieces
1 small onion, chopped
2 cup spinach leaves, washed and roughly chopped
8oz mini shells pasta
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons flour
3/4 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup milk
salt & pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2-1 teaspoon garlic powder depending on taste (not garlic salt)
 ( Additional Red Pepper Flakes for serving if desired)

Directions: 
Cook pasta in a pot of salted, boiling water until al dente. Drain then set aside. Let pot cool off the heat for several minutes.

Sautee onion and sausage; set aside.

Return pot to stove over medium heat then melt butter in olive oil. Add garlic then saute until golden brown, about 30 seconds, being very careful not to burn. Sprinkle in flour then whisk and cook for 1 minute. Slowly pour in chicken broth and milk while whisking until mixture is smooth. Season with salt & pepper then switch to a wooden spoon and stir constantly until mixture is thick and bubbly, about 4-5 minutes.

Take pot off the heat then stir in parmesan cheese, garlic powder,  until smooth then add cooked pasta, sausage mix and spinach and stir to combine. Cover and cook on very low until spinach wilts. Stir and taste then adjust salt & pepper if necessary. Serve with Red Pepper Flakes for an additional Kick if desired.

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

The Menu:
Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

 
 
The Original Recipe:
I found this on Pinterest. It says recipe from RecipeGirl. I remember that I was concerned when I flipped them because the cinnamon would ooze out the sides and stay on the skillet. I had to wipe the skillet in-between each batch. It's ok. I think that's how it works. I also remember these being delicious, but I haven't made them since this day. They were messy to make, haha. It was to early in the morning to clean that much afterwards. I am lazy...
 
Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
 
Cinnamon Filling
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup plus 2 tbls packed light brown sugar
1/2 tbls cinnamon
 
Cream Cheese Glaze
1/2 stick butter
2 oz. cream cheese (room temp)
3/4 c. powder sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
 
Pancakes
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 large egg (lightly beaten)
1 tbls. canola oil
 
 
Prepare the cinnamon filling: In a medium bowl, stir together the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Scoop the filling into a quart-sized heavy zip baggie and set it aside (see *Tips below).
 
Prepare the glaze: In a small pan, heat the butter over low heat until melted. Turn off the heat and whisk in the cream cheese until it is almost smooth. Sift the powdered sugar into the pan, stir and add in vanilla extract. Set the pan aside while you make the pancakes.

Prepare the pancake batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk in the milk, egg and oil, just until the batter is moistened (a few small lumps are fine).

Cook the pancakes: Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-heat and spray with nonstick spray. Use an ice cream scoop (or 1/3 cup measuring cup) to add the batter to the pan. Use the bottom of the scoop or cup to spread the batter into a circle (about 4-inches in diameter). Reduce the heat to medium low. Snip the corner of your baggie of cinnamon filling and squeeze the filling into the open corner. When your pancake begins to form bubbles, add the filling. Starting at the center of the pancake, squeeze the filling on top of the pancake batter in a swirl (just as you see in a regular cinnamon roll). Cook the pancake 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bubbles begin popping on top of the pancake and it's golden brown on the bottom. Slide a thin, wide metal spatula underneath the pancake and gently but quickly flip it over. Cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until the other side is golden as well. When you flip the pancake onto a plate, you will see that the cinnamon filling has created a crater-swirl of cinnamon. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, and repeat with the remaining pancake batter and cinnamon filling. Re-warm the glaze briefly, if needed. Serve pancakes topped with a drizzle of glaze.

Tips:

*Quick and easy tip: Use a boxed pancake mix as the base for this recipe.
*Tips for the cinnamon filling: Before swirling, open up the baggie again and give it a good stir to re-incorporate any butter that may have separated from the sugar. You want the mixture to thicken a bit- it's best when it's similar to the squeezing texture of a tube of toothpaste, which will happen if you leave it at room temperature for several minutes. Don't try to use the filling for the pancake swirl unless it has thickened as it will be too runny to make a solid swirl.
*Keep the heat low or your pancakes might cook up too quickly. Don't flip them until you see those bubbles starting to pop on top. Flip them with a wide spatula so you can grasp the whole thing without batter and filling dripping all over the place!
 
 
 


Cilantro Lime Dressing

The Menu:
Cilantro Lime Dressing

 
 
The Original Recipe:
 I was addicted to this for awhile. I couldn't stop eating it on EVERYTHING! Tacos, Burritos, Salads... You name it, I put it on there! Now that I am typing it out. I want it. I need it. I have to make it. Again.
 
Cilantro Lime Dressing
 
1 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
1/2 cup plain green yogurt ( you can use 1/2 avocado!)
2 tbls. fresh lime juice; more to taste
1-2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar (I used rice wine vinegar)
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tbls. honey
1 tsp. cumin (if desired. You can leave this out)
 
Combine all ingredients in food processor and process until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate in-between uses.
 


Ham, Corn and Orzo (One Pot!)

The Menu:
Ham, Corn and Orzo (One Pot!)
 
The Original Recipe:
 I know this doesn't look pretty, and I'm sorry. A one pot dish isn't all that great to look at! However, my kids devoured this in seconds! It was so tasty!!

Ham, Corn and Orzo (One Pot!)

1 package pre-diced ham (or leftover ham)
2 stalks Celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp. Sage
1/2 tsp. Rosemary
1 tbls. butter or oil
2 cups water
1 tbls. chicken bullion
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 block cream cheese
1 cup corn
1 cup Orzo

In large pot, sautee onion, celery and garlic (be sure not to burn garlic) until soft; add sage and rosemary and stir. Add ham and heat through. Add water and chicken bullion. Bring to light simmer and stir in orzo. Simmer slightly for 5-8 minutes, keeping an eye on it. The water will soak into the orzo making it nice and tender. Once orzo is cooked through, add in the cream of chicken soup, corn and cream cheese. Stir to combine. Cover and let heat through, on low, another 5 minutes. Serve.

Honey Garlic Chicken (Crockpot)

The Menu:
Honey Garlic Chicken (Crockpot)

The Original Recipe:
This was a Pinterest find. It came from Rachel's Next blog. I changed the recipe a bit. It's what I do. I wanted something to quickly throw in the crockpot. This turned out so delicious! I usually serve meals like this with Sugar Snap Peas.

Honey Garlic Chicken (Crockpot)

4-6 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup honey
1/4 tsp. ginger powder (or fresh grated if you have it!)
(I'm pretty sure I added some 5 spice powder. Just a small 1/4 tsp. You may omit. I just like to add things! )

Place chicken in the bottom of crockpot. Combine all other ingredients and pour over chicken. Cook on low 6 hours or until chicken is cooked through. It will be tender and shred nicely to serve over Rice.


Greek Chicken and Veggies (Crockpot)

The Menu:
Greek Chicken and Veggies (Crockpot)

The Original Recipe:
I have another recipe that I created to grill Greek Chicken and then to make Greek Lemon flavored Rice with Spinach (I will have to post it separate!).  I wanted a crockpot recipe for this particular day, and this is what I came up with. I started with frozen skinless chicken breast, and I forgot the extra water that it adds, so my picture looks more like soup because I added extra liquid, but it was DELICIOUS!!

Greek Chicken and Veggies in Crockpot

4 frozen boneless skinless chicken breast
3 potatoes, cubed
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup green beans
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup Lemon juice
1 tablespoon Oregano (I think I added a few shakes of Rosemary too)
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Place chicken in the bottom of crockpot. In small bowl, combine broth, juice, garlic and seasonings. Next in crockpot add potatoes, then carrots and finally green beans on top. You want to keep it in layers... Pour the juice all over the veggies and let it soak down in. Cover and cook on low 6 hours. Chicken will be juicy and fall apart tender and veggies will be delicious!! Serve with a slotted spoon or just drink the juice! It's delicious!