Oven Roasted Turkey Breast

** I found this recipe at Betty Crocker of all places and let me say it is Ahhhmazing!!! It is so easy to follow and understand which in my case, this was my very first turkey breast I had made all on my own. Normally for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and every other holiday we go with ham, maybe not now. I will say that my grocery store had turkey breasts on sale for .99/lb so I went with a 7 pound turkey breast and while the recipe does call for a smaller one, I had no issues with the bigger turkey breast at all. My turkey breast had a gravy packet included, so I went with that instead of their gravy instructions.**

Ingredients:

1 bone-in whole turkey breast (4.5 to 5 pounds), thawed if frozen.

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

1/4 cup dry white wine or apple juice

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon paprika

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2  Tablespoons cold water

 

Directions:

Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Place turkey, skin side up, on rack in large shallow roasting pan. Insert ovenproof meat thermometer so tip is in the thickest part of the breast and does not touch bone. Roast uncovered for 1 hour.

Mix butter, wine (or apple juice), thyme, salt, paprika, and garlic. Brush turkey with half of the butter mixture. Roast for 30 minutes; brush with remaining butter mixture. Roast about 1 hour longer or until thermometer reads 165 F.

Remove turkey from oven and let stand for 15 minutes for easier carving.

Meanwhile, pour pan drippings into measuring cup; skim fat from drippings. Add enough water to drippings to measure 2 cups. Heat drippings to boiling in 1-quart sauce pan. Mix cornstarch and 2 Tablespoons of cold water; stir into drippings. Boil and stir 1 minute. Serve with turkey.

Cooks Notes: First of all, making sure the turkey is thawed is an important step do not skip it! Secondly, owning an ovenproof meat thermometer is also very handy as my turkey did not have to cook the whole last hour after basting. I set my thermometer to go off at 165 degrees and it did, you also need to think about carry over cooking, it will still cook for a few minutes after taking the turkey out of the oven, my internal temperature got all the way up to 173 degrees. I used the apple juice and it was so good!! Also I made the butter mixture while the turkey was roasting for the first hour and it turned into a paste because the butter had re-hardened some. It was actually a good thing because it made brushing it on easier for me to judge half. As I said the turkey came with a gravy packet and I used that, but my turkey did not have 1/4 cup drippings, so I used chicken broth. It still came out amazing!! 

3- Ingredient Orange Chicken Sauce

** I made this Sunday night and I LOVED it!! I love Chinese food as a whole and when we have little money for take out or even just don’t feel like going anywhere, this recipe is perfect!! My 2 year old LOVED this, so it is great for kids as well! Give this a try I promise you will not be disappointed!**

Ingredients:

For the Sauce:

1 cup of BBQ sauce (use your favorite kind, I used Sweet Baby Ray’s)

1 cup sweet orange marmalade (use your favorite kind, I just grabbed the store brand)

2 TBS soy sauce

Crispy Chicken:

3-4 chicken breasts, cut into cubes

1 cup of flour or cornstarch

2 eggs

oil ( I used vegetable oil)

Directions:

In a sauce pan, add the BBQ sauce, marmalade, and soy sauce. Turn the heat on low and let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring a few times.

Meanwhile, cut your chicken into cubes. In one bowl beat the 2 eggs, while in the other bowl mix the dry ingredients.

Dip pieces of chicken in the egg and then cover in the flour or cornstarch. Set on a clean plate.

Add a thin layer of oil to a frying pan and turn your stove on medium high heat. Once the oil sizzles, add the chicken to the pan in a single layer. Let it cook for 3-5 minutes per side until it is brown and cooked through.

Set the cooked pieces on a plate covered in paper towels, to let it drain.

Once all the chicken is cooked, add it to the sauce and toss.

Serve over white rice or what ever you want.

 

**COOK’S NOTES: I did not change too much of this recipe. However, I did stop coating the chicken because it was really taking a while, I did use 4 breasts and I had enough for 2 adults and 1 kid for dinner and enough left over for all of us to have it for lunch the next day. You do not have to bread the chicken if you do not want to, it is still good. **

Parmesan Pork Chops

*** I tend to bread my pork chops because I find that they will dry out in the oven. This breading is rather light so you are not adding a lot of calories. We like it a lot and will use it for other things like chicken. This is a simple yet easy recipe and you can change out the spices for ones that you like***

Ingredients:

4 boneless pork chops

1 TBS olive oil

1 cup Parmesan cheese

1 cup seasoned bread crumbs

1 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. garlic powder

Directions:

on a plate combine the last 4 ingredients

Rub the pork chops with olive oil then coat each one in the cheese mixture. Press the mixture over the pork chops to make sure they are covered well.

Line a pan with foil and spray with cooking spray

Place the chops on the pan and bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.

 

Cook’s Notes: I did not have boneless chops. When I went shopping they were more expensive than the bone in chops. So I used them. It came out perfectly fine with the bone in chops. You may have to cook them slightly longer if you are using the bone in chops like I did.

Home Made Tomato Soup

**** My friend Daniel Mancini posted this totally amazing tomato soup recipe on QVC and you can find the original recipe here. He is also the man behind the company Mama Mancinis and you can find them on FB  and their website. I made this last night and I have to say that  honestly that was the best tomato soup ever! Now, it will not exactly taste like what you are used to with the canned stuff, but it is so much better for you and so healthy! ****

Ingredients:

1 28 oz can of whole Italian plum tomatoes

4 TBS unsalted butter

4 cups of chicken stock

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. fresh black pepper

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup minced onion

2 minced garlic cloves

1/4 tsp. dry oregano

1/4 tsp. dry thyme

1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

Directions:

in a 4 quart sauce pan or soup pot on a medium heat, add the butter, onion, garlic, salt, pepper and sauté on low heat for 10 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent.

Add the tomatoes and all the juice, oregano, thyme, and put on medium heat.

Bring this to a boil, cover and lower the heat to a simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the stock, bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to come to room temperature

Once it is at room temperature, add the soup to a blender and puree it.

Put the soup back into the pot and bring to a boil, turn off the heat and stir in the heavy cream and parsley.

Serve.

 

Cook’s notes: I did not use the onion as I am allergic but I did add a tablespoon of onion powder into the soup. I also did not use the parsley because mainly, I did not have any on hand. I did add another splash of cream as well. I made grilled cheese sandwiches on Italian bread to complete the meal and it was so good! My 2 year old loves the soup and you do have enough to take it to work the next day for lunch!

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

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.