Italian Chicken Marinade

Italian Chicken Marinade | marissabaker.wordpress.comI ran out of the Italian dressing that I use as a marinade, so I decided to try making my own. I’d been thinking about it since reading the ingredients label on the dressing, which I think had more corn syrup in it than vinegar. Bleh.

I’ve tried this recipe out on chicken twice so far — once smothering the marinated pieces in tomato sauce and cheese and once baked on it’s own to accompany a potato side dish. It tasted good both ways. Let me know what you think if you try it in another dish or on a salad!

Italian Chicken Marinade

Italian Chicken Marinade | marissabaker.wordpress.com
spice mix

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon parsley

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon lemon juice

3 Tablespoons olive oil

3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

Italian Chicken Marinade | marissabaker.wordpress.com
whisk, whisk, whisk!

Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk in lemon juice, olive oil, and vinegar. Pour over chicken and marinade for at least 20 minutes.

Italian Chicken Marinade | marissabaker.wordpress.com
makes plenty of marinade for 10 to 15 chicken tenders.

Creamy Pesto Chicken

Creamy Pesto Chicken | marissabaker.wordpress.com

I made pesto a little while ago to go with some bread. Now we’re out of bread and I’m left with almost a full batch of pesto. Whatever should I do with it all? Here’s one answer (also yet another way to use the monster heads of broccoli out in the garden).

I’m sure it would taste even better with fresh pesto but, alas, I didn’t get my herb garden planted and I have no basil. Instead, I used a recipe I pulled off the Internet some years ago for dried basil pesto. It’s not as good, but it works in a pinch. If you haven’t any other pesto you like to use, scroll down to the end for that recipe.

Creamy Pesto Chicken

Creamy Pesto Chicken | marissabaker.wordpress.com1 pound chicken breast, thinly sliced

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 to 3 cups rotini or bow-tie pasta

2 cups broccoli florets

1 can cream of chicken soup or substitute

1/3 cup pesto

1/2 cup milk

Cook pasta with broccoli until al dente according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in skillet. Cook chicken until no pink remains.

Creamy Pesto Chicken | marissabaker.wordpress.com

Add cream of chicken soup, pesto, and milk to the skillet with the chicken. Bring to a boil and cook on low for 5 minutes. Add cooked pasta and heat through before serving.

Creamy Pesto Chicken | marissabaker.wordpress.com

Dried Basil Pesto

Homemade pesto from dried basil | marissabaker.wordpress.com
up close with the pesto

1/2 cup dried basil

1/4 cup walnuts

3 cloves garlic

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1/2 – 3/4 cups olive oil

Pulse first four ingredients in food processor until walnuts are chopped. Add olive oil and run blender for about 30 seconds. Chill until ready to use.

Crock-Pot Italian Roast

Crock-Pot Italian Roast recipe, marissabaker.wordpress.com

When we started raising our own beef, I decided it was time to experiment. So one time when I was putting a roast into the crock pot, I just started dumping spices in, added some of that red wine vinegar that was left over from a salad dressing, and thickened it to make a gravy. This is the result. My brother, who can single-handedly eat 1/3 to 1/2 of the roast by himself, tells me this is one of his favorite meals.

Crock-Pot Italian Roast

Crock-Pot Italian Roast recipe, marissabaker.wordpress.com
I love my purple crock pot. It’s so pretty

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1/2 cup tapioca or corn starch

2 cups water

2 cups beef broth

3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

3 cloves fresh garlic, minced

3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

1, 3-pound roast of beef, unthawed

4-5 potatoes, cut

4-6 carrots, cut

Crock-Pot Italian Roast recipe, marissabaker.wordpress.com
I add as many vegetables as the crock-pot will hold

In crock-pot, whisk the tapioca starch with about ½ cup of the water. Add the remaining water, broth, and seasonings. Whisk until thoroughly combined.

Place roast in the crock-pot. Cut enough potatoes and carrots to fill most of the remaining space in the crock-pot. Turn the crock pot on to cook at low or high heat (see below). Stir at least once in the first hour, to prevent starch from sticking to the bottom of the crock pot as it thickens.

Cooking times will vary between crock pots. As a general guide, cook on low heat for 6 to 7 hours, or until the meat is cooked through and falls apart. If speed is important, cook on high heat for about 4 hours. In this case, the roast will be less tender.

Easy Alfredo Sauce

Easy Alfredo Sauce recipe marissabaker.wordpress.comI was shocked to discover I hadn’t blogged this recipe yet. It’s my mother’s favorite pasta, and it’s a deceptively simple recipe. I’ve been making it for company for several years, and it always gets good reviews. I like to serve it with salad and bread, or with green beans (which my Dad covers in Alfredo sauce). Having made it so many times, I can offer a few suggestions to make timing everything easier. Start water for the pasta boiling right before you start melting butter for the sauce. The chicken should be cooking by the time you are adding cream cheese to the sauce, then everything should be done about the same time.

Easy Alfredo Sauce

Easy Alfredo Sauce recipe marissabaker.wordpress.com
all the ingredients

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1/2 cup butter

1 (8-oz) package cream cheese

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 cups milk

3/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Easy Alfredo Sauce recipe marissabaker.wordpress.com
whisk the butter and cream cheese until smooth

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1-½ teaspoons parsley

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic powder then cream cheese, stirring with a wire whisk until smooth.

Easy Alfredo Sauce recipe marissabaker.wordpress.com
everything cooking

Add milk, a little at a time, whisking to smooth out lumps. Stir in Parmesan cheese and spices. Stir frequently until sauce reaches desired consistency.

Serve with spaghetti, penne, linguine, or fettuccine.

Chicken Alfredo

For chicken Alfredo, chop 2 chicken breasts into cubes. Cook chicken in olive oil, garlic powder, and black pepper until done. Add to sauce right before serving.

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Almond Butterball Cookies

Almond Butterball Cookies recipe marissabaker.wordpress.comAfter skipping yesterday, my goal of blogging everyday about something that happened during the Feast is falling by the wayside. Luckily, I had this recipe as a backup for today’s cooking post.

These cookies are easy to make and come together pretty quickly. They also take less time to bake than other cookies, since you can put them close together and fit more on a cookie sheet. The original recipe was for Italian Butterball cookies that I tracked down for an Italian potluck at church, but I’ve changed it quite a bit and have since lost the original link.

The only time I’ve ever had a problem with them turning out well was when I accidentally used baking soda instead of baking powder (in case you were wondering, it results in cookies that taste like vomit — don’t try it).  Otherwise, it’s a great recipe.

Almond Butterball Cookies

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Almond Butterball Cookies recipe marissabaker.wordpress.com1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 pinch salt

1/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds

confectioners sugar

Beat together the butter and 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract.

Almond Butterball Cookies recipe marissabaker.wordpress.comStir together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and mix into the butter mixture until just incorporated. Add almonds and stir.

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and arrange on greased baking sheet spaced about 2 inches apart.

Bake at 350°F until firm, about 8-10 minutes. Cool on the sheet for 5-10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

Roll the cooled cookies in confectioners sugar to coat.

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