Cajun Chicken Pasta

** I got this recipe here. I have made this once and as always I will put all my changes in the Cook’s Notes at the bottom of this recipe. This is really good and you can add more Cajun seasonings to fit your taste **

Ingredients:

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces

16 ounces of bow tie pasta

3 tsp. Cajun seasoning

1/4 cup flour

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 small yellow onion or white, diced

1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped

1 cup whole milk, heavy cream, or half and half

4 TBS butter

3 cloves garlic (optional)

Directions:

Prepare pasta according to directions

Cut uncooked chicken into bite sized pieces. Sprinkle one teaspoon Cajun seasoning over chicken, add salt and pepper.

Spray a large pan or skillet with non stick spray and cook chicken, stirring constantly for 8-10 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

In the same pan, melt butter, add peppers, onions, and garlic to melted butter and cook for two minutes.

Add flour to pan and stir until flour and vegetables clump together

Slowly add milk to pan stirring until sauce until smooth and creamy.

Stir in 2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning until well combined. Mix in pasta and chicken until coated and the chicken is warmed through.

Garnish with scallions and Parmesan cheese if desired

 

Cook’s Notes: First of all I did not use any onion or peppers. I am allergic to onions and do not like the peppers. For the chopped tomatoes I used a can of diced tomatoes to make my life easier. I did have trouble with the proportions for the sauce. I used the same amount of butter and flour but I ended up using 2 cups of heavy cream and at least one cup of whole milk, bringing the total to 3 cups of liquid and not the 1 cup stated in the recipe. I came out good anyway and the sauce was thick. I also misread the recipe on the first read through, I thought it said 3 TABLESPOONS of Cajun seasoning not 3 TEASPOONS. I thought that seemed a bit much and read through it again before adding anything, so be careful when reading recipes and if something seems like too much or too little you might be looking at it wrong or there might be a mistake in the recipe. In the end, I did not add the tomatoes, mainly because the recipe does not state when to add them.. So I left them out. I would assume that you add them with the onions, peppers, and garlic

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Chicken Parmesan Casserole

** I got this recipe here and it is amazing! If you love chicken Parmesan, you will LOVE this recipe! I was not sure about some of the ingredients because, it seemed strange to me, but it totally works! I made this last night and my family gobbled it up! Almost none left! **

Ingredients:

1 (28 ounce) jar of marinara sauce

3 cups cooked chicken, cubed

2 1/2 cups garlic croutons, semi crushed

1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup fresh basil, finely chopped

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes or to taste

kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with non stick spray.

Evenly spread out garlic croutons in the baking dish, then cover with cubed chicken.

Season chicken with garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and sprinkle chopped basil over the top

Place baking dish in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving

Cook’s Notes: I did not use the 1/3 cup fresh basil, instead I used 1 1/2 tsp. dried basil and that was enough. I also did not have cooked chicken on hand, so I cubed up some chicken breasts and cooked them before making this casserole. I just threw them in my cast iron pan and cooked the chicken in melted butter really quick. You can also use any kind of left over chicken you have on hand which would make this dish even quicker! I mixed all the seasonings together and sprinkled on the chicken at once and that was really good, so you are not getting a mouth full of salt or basil, it was all mixed.

Pizza Pasta Bake

** I made this Tuesday for the first time. I can not remember where I got this recipe, but it is really good and very kid friendly! You can also customize this as you want or need, this recipe is that versatile! As usual, I will tell you what changes I made in the Cook’s Notes at the bottom of this recipe.**

Ingredients:

12 ounces of uncooked medium pasta ( I used penne)

1 medium onion, diced

1/2 pound of Italian sausage (mild or hot) removed from casings if using links

1/2 pound lean ground beef

3 cloves garlic

1/2 red pepper, diced

1/2 green pepper, diced

1 can ( I used the normal sized, I think it was 10.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drained

2 tsp. oregano

4 cups pasta sauce

3 cups mozzarella cheese

28 slices of pepperoni ( I used Hormel, the already packaged you can find near the pizza sauce usually)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cook pasta according to package directions, making sure it is el dente, rinse under cold water and drain well.

Brown onion, garlic, sausage, and beef in a large pan over medium heat. Drain any fat. Add in red and green peppers cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Add oregano, drained tomatoes, and pasta sauce, stirring together until well mixed.

Place the cooked pasta into a 9×13 pan. Pour the meat mixture over pasta and top with cheese and pepperoni slices.

Bake 35-40 minutes uncovered or until the cheese is melted and the pasta is heated through.

 

Cook’s Notes: I did not use the onion or peppers, mainly because I am allergic to the onion and do not like the peppers. I did not have any sausage on hand, so I used a full pound of ground beef. It was so good! My 2 year old loved it! He had 2 servings of it. I loved it because it was quick and easy. Perfect for a week night dinner. You could add any kind of pizza ingredient you like such as mushrooms as well, it is easily customizable.

Garlic Chicken

***I am not sure where I found this recipe, but because it only uses a small amount of brown sugar and you are making boneless, skinless breasts, it is quite the healthy dish. Pair it with a healthy side like steamed veggies or what ever you like. I actually made it with baked potatoes and it was so good!***

Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 TBS olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 TBS brown sugar

1/2 TBS soy sauce

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Cook garlic with the oil on medium heat until softened and fragrant (do not brown) Remove from heat and add in brown sugar, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes.

Put chicken breasts on a foil lined pan and top with the garlic brown sugar mixture.

Bake uncovered 18-22 minutes or until the juices run clear

 

**Cook’s Notes: My chicken breasts were huge so I sliced them horizontally to make 2 pieces and thinner, so they would cook in the allotted time. This was so yummy even my almost 2 year old loved it! I did cook the garlic and oil on a lower temperature because my stove runs hot and I was prepping everything else while the garlic cooked **

Paula Deen’s Goulash

***I am not sure where I found this recipe but I made it last night and it was good! I will admit that I usually have some issues with Paula’s recipes, either a measurement is not right or there is a direction left out, so I will tell you what I changed or did in the cook’s notes at the bottom of the recipe.***

Ingredients:

2 lbs lean ground beef

2 medium yellow onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic chopped

3 cups water

2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce

2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

3 bay leaves

3 TBS soy sauce

1 TBS Paula Deen’s House Seasoning

1 TBS salt

2 cups elbow macaroni. uncooked

Directions:

In large pot, cook ground beef over medium heat until browned, spoon off any extra grease.

Add onion and garlic, sauté until transparent.

Add 3 cups of water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, all seasonings, soy sauce, and bay leaves (if you choose to use them). Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Add macaroni and allow to simmer an additional 20 minutes or until tender. Remove bay leaves before serving.

 

***Cook’s Notes: First of all, I did not use the onion because I am allergic to it. Secondly, I did not use her house seasoning, that is way too salty for me, but I did add 3 large pinches of my own season salt instead. With all the liquid in the recipe, you will need to let it simmer until some of the liquid cooks out unless you like your goulash soupy. I did eat it like that last night and it was not bad, it was like a hamburger soup, but I left it on the heat, at medium low for about 10-15 minutes while we were eating and the liquid cooked out and it was more like goulash. There is not a step for this in the recipe that I have, so I changed it. I use the season salt recipe that you can find here. It is the best one I have found personally.**

Best Steak Marinade in Existence

***I got this recipe from All Recipes. I have made this one time and I have to admit I fell in love with it because so far it is the best marinade I have found. It is flavorful, so much that I did not even need to use A1 on my steak and for me that is amazing!***

Ingredients:

1/3 cup of soy sauce

1/2 cup of olive oil

1/3 cup fresh lemon ( approximately 1 whole lemon, depending on how much juice the lemon gives. I needed to use a little extra lemon juice from a bottle.)

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 TBS garlic powder

3 TBS dried basil

1 1/2 TBS dried parsley

1 tsp. ground white pepper

1/4 tsp. hot sauce (like Tabasco sauce, but use your favorite kind) (optional)

1 tsp. dried minced garlic (optional)

Directions:

Place the soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, basil, parsley, and pepper in a blender. Add hot sauce and minced garlic if using. Blend on high speed for 30 seconds until thoroughly mixed. Pour marinade over desired type of meat and cover. Refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Cook meat as desired.

 

***Cooks Notes: I did use the hot sauce, it gave it a wonderful flavor and at a 1/4 tsp, there was a mild kick, but not too bad. If you like you can always add more. I did not have any dried minced garlic so I used regular minced garlic and it was fine. I refrigerated my steaks for 24 hours and not the recommended 8 and it was fine. I think the longer in the marinade the better it is, but that is my opinion. When I make London Boils, I am going to try this marinade with them too. ***