Friday, November 19, 2010

Chicken and Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

Everyone is always looking for new things to do with chicken.  To me chicken is a blank canvas, it is so versatile and there are so many things that can be done with this type of meat.  If I'm ever in a cooking rut I know I can always pull out some chicken and come up with some dish that will be a crowd pleaser.  This meal was definitely a crowd pleaser; it combined a classic favorite, lasagna, but then changed up a little by adding chicken and spinach rather than the traditional beef and red sauce.

These roll-ups were so delicious and packed with so much flavor.  The creamy chicken filling with the sauce of cheesy goodness was absolute perfection!  Everything is packed in this one little roll; it's a great spin on a traditional dish and it's also a fun dish for kids to eat since it's all packaged in one lasagna noodle.  This is a great way to get kids to eat their veggies since they are combined with the cheese and chicken; this meal would satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.

Another bonus of this dish is that it could be made ahead of time and then add the sauce and bake when you're ready to serve.  I, like a lot of people, have a limited amount of time to get supper on the table in the evenings so I'm alway looking for great make ahead, fast or crockpot meals.  This one definitely fits the bill for a make ahead meal and if you use a rotisserie chicken it would also be a quick meal!  Whether you're looking for a meal that can be made in advance or one that would be perfect for Sunday lunch, this definitely won't let you down.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ribbon Pasta with Tomato, Dill and Ricotta

I am always looking for new meals that are quick and easy to cook during the week.  It's nice to be able to come home and do very little to prepare a meal and have the end result be something delicious.  When I saw this pasta in the October issue of "Everyday with Rachael Ray" I knew I had to try it; it looked great and very low fuss. 

This recipe hit the mark!  It was sooo good, very light but filling.  I loved the juicy sweetness from the tomatoes, the tartness of the dill and the ricotta topped everything off and mixed nicely with all the flavors.  This is a great meal for the weeknight; just serve with some nice, crusty bread and even a salad and you're all set.  This would also make a great side dish to accompany some type of chicken or pork, no matter what you serve this with you will not be disappointed.   

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Chocolate Pie with Fresh Whipped Cream

I have gotten a little behind in my blog updates from the summer; I just had so much going on that I didn't really get a chance to update some of the delicious things I made over the summer.  I'm finally getting to post some of these great recipes I made for some folks over the summer and I'm so excited!  It seems like summer is birthday season, I know quite a few people that have birthdays over the summer months and I have been fortunate enough for them to request desserts from me!

This particular person LOVES pies; I don't know if there's a pie that he hasn't met or tried but two of his favorites are chocolate and coconut. Can you guess what I made for him???  That's right, a chocolate pie with fresh whipped cream and a coconut meringue pie with mounds of meringue (because in his eyes there can never be too much meringue)!

I have never made a chocolate or coconut pie, and I wanted these to be perfect, so when I knew his birthday was approaching I knew exactly who to ask for recipes and tips on making these pies.  There are some awesome cooks at my parent's church, I always looked forward to the potlucks growing up because those people didn't joke around when it came to food and they still don't, if I happen to be visiting my parents on a weekend the church is having a potluck I get so excited!  There are two ladies that are infamous for their desserts; everyone always looks forward to gobbling up their goodies so they were my "go to" people when it came to making these pies.  Their pies are always incredible, and not only are they delicious they are picture perfect every time!  My dad called one of the ladies and asked if she would be so kind to share her recipe and some pointers with me and she was more than willing to do so, so after getting the information from her I knew I was armed with a "no fail" recipe and some tips and I was ready to bake.  Thanks Ms. Vicki, the pies were great!

Both the chocolate and coconut meringue (recipe to come) turned out incredible.  The filling was perfectly silky, my fork just glided through it and it was full of so much flavor.  Everyone raved and raved about them, but most importantly the birthday boy approved not only of the taste but even the way they looked!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Whole Wheat Pitas

I made these pitas to serve with these chicken gyros.  They were very good, and I was very pleased with the results, especially since this was my first time making pitas.  They had a little crispiness on the outside but the inside with soft and fluffy, a great combination but a little different from the traditional pita bread. 

Next time I make these, I will make them a little more thin to start out with since they do rise for a bit before they cook.  Other than them being a little too thick for my taste they were very delicious and had a great flavor, they also complimented the gyros very well.  Not only did we use these to make gyros, we also cut them into triangles and ate them with roated red pepper hummus.  Oh yes, that recipe will be coming very shortly.

All in all these were pretty easy to make.  Don't be intimidated by food from different ethnicities; be a little adventurous and branch out from time to time.  You'll never know if you can make your favorite dish at home if you don't try!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Potato Salad

Potato salad is one of my all time favorite side dishes.  I've had many different versions and I haven't had any that can top my MaMaw's, it was awesome!  While I LOVE my MaMaw's recipe and make it often, there is another potato salad that ranks very close to my MaMaw's and that is the potato salad from Whole Hog Cafe

Every time I go to Whole Hog I always get double potato salad for my sides; I love it...I honestly think I'm addicted!  It's a good addiction though; it's an addiction that has encouraged me to try to duplicate their recipe. I have to say that my interpretation came extremely close to the original, and I had multiple people confirm that it was pretty close.  Spencer and I had some people over to watch football and I made this as a side to go along with ribs and a few other things.  One of the girls that was there is a die hard fan of Whole Hog potato salad and she absolutely LOVED it!  It was a hit with everyone, and people couldn't wait to get the recipe!  I love this potato salad; it's not too much of any flavor and when all the ingredients are combined it's the absolute perfect flavor combinations.

I hope you enjoy this as much as my friends and I do!    
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