Chicken and Broccoli Shells

Chicken and Broccoli Shells | marissabaker.wordpress.comThis recipe is one of the answers to the question, “What do you do with broccoli heads the size of bowling balls?” Seriously, that’s how big these things are. I’ve never seen broccoli grow this large. We weren’t able to use it all before they started to bloom, but the plants we cut are already producing side-shoot broccoli heads. If you’ve grown broccoli, you know the second heads are significantly smaller than the first ones. For these plants, that means they are size of broccoli you see in the grocery store.

Chicken and Broccoli Shells

2 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut in 1″ cubes

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 1⁄2 cups chopped broccoli, fresh or frozen

2 cups chicken broth

1 can (10.5 ounces) cream of chicken soup

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups small shell pasta, uncooked

1 cup (4 ounces) cheddar cheese, shredded

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink. Add broccoli, broth, soup, pepper, garlic and pasta. Bring to a boil.

Chicken and Broccoli Shells | marissabaker.wordpress.com

Reduce heat to lowest setting, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until pasta is tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Check near the end of cooking and add a small amount of water, if needed. Stir in cheese during last two minutes of cooking.

Chicken and Broccoli Shells | marissabaker.wordpress.com

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.

Thai-Peanut Chicken

Thai-Peanut Chicken receipe by marissabaker.wordpress.comThis recipe starts out just like the Mushroom-Herb chicken I posted last week, but the end result is very different. We all loved the flavor. I thought it might be similar to my other rice noodle dish, but this one is stronger and more tangy. The final sauce looks so reddish it appears tomato based, and the carrots almost seem to disappear.

Thai-Peanut Chicken

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Thai-Peanut Chicken receipe by marissabaker.wordpress.com

4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon olive oil

Place each chicken breast in a zip-lock back or between two sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap. Pound to 1/3-inch thickness. Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and pepper. Thai-Peanut Chicken receipe by marissabaker.wordpress.comHeat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan and cook 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until browned with no pink in the center.

Thai-Peanut Chicken receipe by marissabaker.wordpress.com2 Tablespoons sesame oil

3 green onions

1 large carrot

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 Tablespoons rice vinegar

2 Tablespoons rice wineThai-Peanut Chicken receipe by marissabaker.wordpress.com

1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

While chicken cooks, thinly green onions and shred carrot. Remove chicken from pan and add sesame oil. Add carrots, green onions, garlic, and ginger to the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Simmer for2 minute and then return chicken to the pan.

Serve immediately, over Asian rice noodles.

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Thai-Peanut Chicken receipe by marissabaker.wordpress.com

 

 

Mushroom-Herb Chicken

Mushroom-Herb Chicken receipe marissabaker.wordpress.comThis is the first of two recipes I make that begins with lightly seasoned chicken breasts and a cast-iron skillet. Here’s a link to the original recipe: Mushroom-Herb Chicken at myrecipes.com. I’ll post the other one, a Thai-inspired recipe, next week. For now, though, enjoy what might very well be the first thing I’ve posted here that goes well with potatoes.

Mushroom-Herb Chicken

print this recipeMushroom-Herb Chicken receipe marissabaker.wordpress.com

4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon olive oil

Place each chicken breast in a zip-lock back or between two sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap. Pound to 1/3-inch thickness. Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and pepper.

Mushroom-Herb Chicken receipe marissabaker.wordpress.comHeat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan and cook 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until browned with no pink in the center.

Mushroom-Herb Chicken receipe marissabaker.wordpress.com1 (8-ounce) package mushrooms

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/3 cup rice wine or dry sherry

1 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves

3 green onions

While chicken cooks, thinly slice mushrooms and green onions. Remove chicken from pan and add more oil. Add mushrooms to pan and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Add sherry and marjoram, then return chicken to pan. Cover and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and chicken is done.

Serve immediately, over herbed mashed potatoes

Mushroom-Herb Chicken receipe marissabaker.wordpress.comMushroom-Herb Chicken receipe marissabaker.wordpress.com

Tuna and Pasta Cheddar Melt

Tuna and Pasta Cheddar Melt recipe. marissabaker.wordpress.comI think I found the original for this recipe on a site for Campbell’s soup, but I changed its ingredients to add carrots and use this cream soup substitute from Center Cut Cook instead of canned soup. Haven’t tried the soup yet in any of my other recipes that call for cream of chicken, but I plan to. The texture is perfect, though the color and taste is a bit different.

Tuna and Pasta Cheddar Melt

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2 1/2 cups chicken broth

3 cups uncooked rotini pasta

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

Tuna and Pasta Cheddar Melt recipe. marissabaker.wordpress.com1/2 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup milk

2, 5-ounce cans of tuna

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)

2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs

2 teaspoons butter, melted

Heat the broth and water in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat to a boil. Stir in the pasta. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the pasta is tender, stirring often. Do not drain.

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Tuna and Pasta Cheddar Melt recipe. marissabaker.wordpress.com
cream of soup substitute

Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly stir in 1/2 cup chicken broth, then 1/2 cup milk. Whisk until it begins to thicken. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Tuna and Pasta Cheddar Melt recipe. marissabaker.wordpress.com

Stir the thickened soup, 1 cup milk and tuna into the skillet with the pasta. Stir in 1/2 cup of cheese, then sprinkle the rest over the top. Stir the bread crumbs and butter in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the tuna mixture and cook until the mixture is hot and bubbling.

Tuna and Pasta Cheddar Melt recipe. marissabaker.wordpress.com

Super Easy Crepes

I woke up this morning with the intention of writing freelance articles, cleaning the closet, and working on a paper quilling wedding present – with no time for a blog post. But when I opened a Mother’s Day Tracfone flyer that came in the mail yesterday, I was greeted by a recipe for “Yummy Crepes.” I wasn’t sure how good a recipe that came from Tracfone could be, but they looked so good that I tried it and it tasted so good I have to share it.

The crepes only took about 20 minutes from start to finish. We filled them with strawberry and raspberry jam and sprinkled them with powdered sugar. I think they would taste really good with fresh fruit, but we didn’t have any.

Yummy Crepes

super easy yummy crepes tracfone ready to flip
Ready to flip

1 cup all-purpose flour (I replaced ¼ cup of this with white whole wheat flour)

2 eggs

½ cup milk

½ cup water

¼ teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons melted butter

Whisk together flour and eggs. Gradually add in milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter then beat until smooth.

Crepe filled with raspberry jam
Crepe filled with raspberry jam

Heat a lightly oiled frying pan or griddle over medium high heat. Use approximately ¼ cup for each crape and pour on griddle (this made 9 crepes for me).

Cook crepe until the bottom is light brown. Turn and cook the other side.

Roll up or fold the crepe with fresh fruit, drizzle on some chocolate, or sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve hot.