Avocado Pesto: A Chicklets in the Kitchen Post

Avocado Pesto

I was scrolling through the channels the other day and landed on Food Network’s Trisha Yearwood’s show, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen. She had a vegetarian guest on and they were making Avocado Pesto Toast (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/trisha-yearwood/avocado-pesto-toast). I didn’t copy the recipe down and I didn’t go back to look it up when I made this for dinner but my recipe and hers is pretty close.  Next time I’ll remember the lemon. That would be even better.

Why avocado pesto? Some people, my daughter included, find a full basil pesto too much. Basil is a powerful flavor and it can be overwhelming. Cutting down on the basil with avocado (or Swiss Chard, Spinach, Arugula, Asparagus, or some other green) is a really good alternative. The avocado lends the sauce a smooth, rich mouth feel and is good for you too!

The best thing is that this is a no cook sauce and serves 2 – 4.

the ingredients

Hardware

Blender

Serving Bowl

Pot for Spaghetti

 

Ingredients

2 oz package of pine nuts

1 package fresh basil (about 1/2 cup) stems removed

1 cup shredded parmesan

1 4oz package avocado (guacamole that is just avocado) (or 1 whole fresh avocado)

1 Tblsp minced garlic

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Lemon juice (2 Tblsp Optional)

In a large pot, cook 12oz spaghetti according to package directions.

It’s All in the Blender

While the water comes to a boil and you cook the spaghetti, add the pine nuts, cheese, garlic, basil and guacamole to the blender.

Add the oil and pulse to puree.

Blend until smooth drizzling in the olive oil. Add the lemon juice if you so desire. If it’s too thick, add up to 1/2 cup of water. Adding more oil can make the pesto too greasy and the avocado is already pretty fat.

It’s smooth and creamy!

(Note: I probably should have spun the dry pine nuts a few times to break them up first, then added the basil, then the rest but, it all worked out in the end.)

Time to Mix it Up!

Drain the cooked pasta, put in serving bowl, add the pesto and toss to coat.

Enjoy.

My hubby loved the meal. He didn’t find the basil overpowering and the avocado gave the meal a nice rich feel.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite pesto supper? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

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Chicken Cordon Bleu: Chicklets in the Kitchen

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Finished Cordon Bleu

Once in awhile, I like to get fancy and in February, I did just that. I happened to have ham and swiss cheese on hand and boneless chicken breast in the freezer so I decided to make chicken cordon bleu.

The first time I ever had this dish was when my husband and I were stationed in West Germany in the late 70’s. We went to a local Gast Haus (pub) in the small town where we lived and I spotted it on the menu. I’d heard of it in movies and books. Here was my chance to try it. It arrived on a plate by itself and covered the entire plate. Crispy and golden brown on the outside, the inside was a delight of tender white chicken wrapped around a ham and cheese center that just oozed out onto the plate when I cut into it.

I’m still trying to perfect my dish but here’s the recipe.

Hardware

3 pie plates for the egg, flour, and bread crumb

Large frying pan

Cookie sheet lined with wax paper

Cookie sheet lined with foil and cooling racks

Long sharp knife

Cutting board

Wooden toothpicks

Wax Paper

Mallet or rolling pin to pound out the chicken breast

 

Ingredients

1 chicken breast per person, I used three as I was expecting a guest

Salt and pepper to taste

1 Cup flour (I used gluten free flour) seasoned with salt, pepper and herbs. I used dried thyme.

1 Cup bread Crumbs (I used gluten free crumbs I made myself)

2 eggs slightly whisked

2 slices ham per chicken breast

2 slices Swiss Cheese per chicken Breast

Vegetable Oil for frying

Heat oven to 350 degrees F

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Boneless Whole Chicken Breast

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Butterfly the Chicken

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Butterflied

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Pound Thin

 

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All Butterflied

Butterfly each chicken breast lengthwise. Place between sheets of wax paper and pound uniformly thin. Place on the cookie sheet, lined with wax paper to hold until all breasts are prepared.

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Black Forest Ham and Swiss Cheese

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Line Half the breast with the Ham

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Top with the Swiss Cheese

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Secure all edges with toothpicks

Line one-half of each breast with the ham slices and cheese. Do your best to avoid the ham and cheese hanging outside of the breast. Fold over and secure edges with the toothpicks.

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Preheat Frying Pan

Add oil to the frying pan and heat to medium.

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1st egg wash

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Coat with flour

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2nd egg wash

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Coat with Crumbs

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Brown the bundles

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Holding until ready to fry

Dip the filled chicken bundles in the egg, the flour to coat, then the egg, then the crumbs. Put the breaded chicken in the frying pan. Brown on both sides and move to the foil lined cookie sheet and place on the wire racks.

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Brown on Both Sides

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Ready for the Oven

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Baking

Bake for 30 minutes to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes. Serve. I had grilled asparagus and mashed potatoes as my sides.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Have you ever had chicken cordon bleu? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Chicken Noodle Cassarole: Chicklets in the Kitchen

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Chicken Noodle Casserole

Leftovers. I know. It’s Christmas Day. You’re going to have left-over turkey, or beef, or even pork. Or later in the year, you’ll have left-over chicken, but not enough for everyone. What to do? Chop it up and mix it into a casserole. That way one chicken leg and thigh quarter will feed four instead of just one or two!

Mid-December I roasted four leg and thigh quarters because I was expecting company. They had to cancel at the last minute, so that meant I had leftover chicken. Not a problem. Hubby polished off some in his salad the next day. Then he asked if I’d make chicken noodle casserole. I was good with that.

So, here’s how you do it.

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Ingredients for Chicken Noodle Casserole

Hardware

2 quart sauce pan

2 quart casserole dish, lightly coated bottom and sides with olive oil

Silicone spatula

Food Ingredients

2 Cups of left-over chicken

1/2 pound of pasta (I use gluten free)

2 Cans of Progresso Gluten Free Cream of Mushroom Soup

1/2 – 1 cup chopped Celery

1/2 cup chopped onion

Tablespoon dried sage

1/2 tsp dried garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

Fresh ground pepper

Optional: Instead of the canned soup, use 4 cups of white sauce, seasoned to taste.

 

Directions

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Pasta in Boiling Water

Bring water in the saucepan to a boil. Add the pasta. Cook only half-way, about 7 minutes (for my pasta), then drain and rinse.

Set oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Saute Onions, Celery, herbs and salt and pepper

After you drain the pasta, in the same saucepan melt 2 T of butter and sauté the onion and celery until they begin to soften. Add the salt, pepper, and herbs. Add the canned soup (or the white sauce).

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Corn starch Slurry

Note: I only had one can of the soup so I used a cup of milk (lactose free for the hubby) and a couple of tablespoons of corn starch to make a slurry. I added that to the onion/celery mix first and let it begin to thicken, then added the soup. Add the chicken.

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Slurry and Soup into the Onions and Celery

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Chicken Added to the Mix

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Pasta in the Dish

Put the pasta in the oiled casserole dish. Pour the saucepan mix over it and mix well. Add more milk or water if you think you need more sauce.

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Pour Chicken Mix over the Pasta

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Mix Pasta and Chicken Sauce

Put into the heated oven for half an hour. Remove the lid and cook another 15 minutes to get those lovely brown crunchy bits on top. Remove from oven and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Please tell us about your garden or favorite casserole recipe in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Thrillers, Mysteries and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

BBQ Ribs and Twice Baked Potatoes

BBQ Ribs and Twice Baked Potatoes

BBQ Ribs and Twice Baked Potatoes

I live in Arizona so it’s grilling time just about all of the time. But even for the coldest places, you can grill well into the fall. I thought ribs and potatoes would be nice. Even better, the potatoes can be done on the grill, too! I went one better and used the last of my peaches to make the BBQ Sauce. Yummy.

So, here’s how you do it.

Rib Sauce Ingredients

8 small peaches, pitted

1/2 cup catsup

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1 New Mexico Chili, roasted, seeded, and chopped fine

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp dried minced garlic

1 T dried oregano

1 T Worchester sauce

Halved peaches, New Mexico Chili and Ribs

Halved peaches, New Mexico Chili and Ribs

I pitted and halved the peaches and roasted them on both sides on the grill. I roasted the chili as well. When they were well charred, I put them in a bowl and covered them with plastic wrap to let them steam. Turn the grill to low.

BBQ Sauce Ingredients

BBQ Sauce Ingredients

I put the remaining sauce ingredients in a saucepan and on low, began to heat it through.

Rib Ingredients

1 rack of ribs

Salt, pepper to taste

Olive oil

Coat the ribs with the oil, then salt and pepper.

Ribs

Ribs

Place the ribs on the grill, rack side down, and turn the temperature down to about 300 degrees. Cook, low and slow for about 4 hours.

While the ribs are cooking, finish the sauce.

Steaming the peaches and the pepper

Steaming the peaches and the pepper

Take the pepper out of the plastic wrapped bowl and with your fingers, remove most of the charred skin. It’s fine to leave a little on there. Cut the pepper lengthwise and deseed. Chop finely and drop into the saucepan.

Pureeing peaches

Pureeing peaches

Drop the grilled peaches into the bowl of your food processor or blender. Blend until the peaches are liquid.

BBQ Sauce Ingredients

BBQ Sauce Ingredients

Pour into the saucepan. Stir it all together and cook until the onions are cooked through and the sauce is thick and hearty. Take off heat and hold until the ribs are done. Then spread the sauce over the meat side of the ribs. Let cook at least 5 minutes.

Twice Baked Potatoes Ingredients

Three russet baking potatoes

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup chopped chives

1/2 cup shredded cheese, extra for topping the potatoes

Salt and pepper

Baking Potatoes

Baking Potatoes

Using one potato per person, scrub them clean, rub with oil and pierce with a fork. Bake on the grill or in the oven until completely done, 45 min – 1 hour. Take out of the oven. Let cool until you can handle them and cut them in half lengthwise.

Scoop out the potato, leaving a narrow shell of potato. In a bowl, mix the potato, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, salt and pepper and chives until creamy.

Filled potato shells

Filled potato shells

Scoop the mixture back into the shells. Bake for 20 minutes until hot and cheese has melted.

Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Please tell us about your garden or favorite potato or rib recipe in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Thrillers, Mysteries and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Chicklets in the Kitchen Post: Swiss Chard and Basil Pesto

Swiss Chard, Basil, Pesto

Swiss Chard and Basil Pesto

Last month I talked about all of the fantastic fresh vegetables you can get at the Farmer’s Market. That’s still the case in July but also in July your home gardens should be producing like crazy. That’s when you want some recipes to use all of that wonderful fresh, organic bounty.

Pesto is just such a recipe. Traditional pesto calls for all basil as the green along with pine nuts, olive oil and parmesan cheese. I have found, however, that all that basil can be a little overpowering. So, the best way to tone it down is to mix it with another green. You can use spinach, arugula, beet greens, anything you have on hand. The best thing about a pesto spaghetti dinner is that it’s nearly no cook. The pesto is a raw sauce, just add hot pasta and you have a lovely meal.

In this case I had an abundance of parsley and just enough basil and chives in my garden, all I had to do was buy some Swiss Chard at the Farmer’s Market to make a delicious meal. I know, I did a Swiss Chard recipe last month. But it’s so good and if you have it growing in your garden, you want to use it, right? So, here’s how you do it.

Pasta, Primavera, Ingredients

Pasta Primavera Ingredients

Ingredients

1/2 pound of Swiss Chard, chopped, leaves and stems

1 small bunch basil,

1 handful chives

1 Cup parsley, picked from stem

1 4oz pkg pine nuts (or walnuts if you prefer)

Salt, Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes to taste

1 1/2 lb Gluten Free Pasta

1/2 Cup olive oil

Heat the water for the pasta while you’re chopping the vegetables.

Gluten Free, Pasta

Gluten Free Pasta

Drop the pasta in the boiling water and follow the package directions for al dente pasta. NOTE: I used this Hodge’s pasta because I really wanted an angel hair type pasta. I was disappointed to see that once I started mixing it into the pesto, the strands broke down into 1/2 – 1/4 inch bits. Not spaghetti at all. It tasted fine, just wasn’t spaghetti. Use your favorite pasta.

Bring a small skillet to medium high heat.

Toasting, Pine Nuts

Toasting Pine Nuts

Drop in the pine nuts to toast. DO NOT walk away. As soon as you can smell the nuts, it’s too late. Watch that pan, toss around to brown evenly. As soon as they brown, take them off the heat to cool.

Swiss Chard, Chopped

Swiss Chard, Chopped

Trim the stem ends of the Swiss Chard and chop. Strip the basil from the stems, same with the parsley. Have the chives on hand, ready to go into the food processor.

Grated, Parmesan, Cheese, Connie Cockrell

Grated Parmesan Cheese by Connie Cockrell

Using a grating blade in your food processor, grate the parmesan cheese. I just grated a whole brick of it. You won’t need all of it but it’ll be ready for your next pasta meal.

Pine Nuts, Food Processor, Connie Cockrell

Pine Nuts in Food Processor by Connie Cockrell

In the food processor, change out the grating blade for the regular blade. Add the pine nuts and whirl until nearly pasty.

Process, Swiss Chard, Connie Cockrell

Process Swiss Chard by Connie Cockrell

Add the Swiss Chard a batch at a time. Process until reduced then add more.

Add, Basil, Chives, Connie Cockrell

Add Basil and Chives by Connie Cockrell

Add the parsley and process.

Scrape down, bowl, food processor, Connie Cockrell

Scrape down the bowl of the food processor by Connie Cockrell

Scrape down the sides a little to get the nuts to mix with the greens.

Add the basil and chives. Whirl some more, drizzling in 1/2 of the olive oil to loosen the sauce.

Add, Parmesan Cheese, Red Pepper Flakes, Connie Cockrell

Add Parmesan Cheese and Red Pepper Flakes by Connie Cockrell

Add the cheese and the red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Process again adding more olive oil to loosen.

Finished Swiss Chard and Basil Pesto

Finished Swiss Chard and Basil Pesto

Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and do a quick rinse. In a large bowl, drop the pesto onto the spaghetti and toss. Add some of the pasta water, it just helps loosen the sauce. Stir to combine. Top with more basil and some grated Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Please tell us about your Farmer’s Market or favorite pasta recipe in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Thrillers, Mysteries and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at http://www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Swiss Chard and Basil Pesto

Swiss Chard, Basil, Pesto

Swiss Chard and Basil Pesto

Last month I talked about all of the fantastic fresh vegetables you can get at the Farmer’s Market. That’s still the case in July but also in July your home gardens should be producing like crazy. That’s when you want some recipes to use all of that wonderful fresh, organic bounty.

Pesto is just such a recipe. Traditional pesto calls for all basil as the green along with pine nuts, olive oil and parmesan cheese. I have found, however, that all that basil can be a little overpowering. So, the best way to tone it down is to mix it with another green. You can use spinach, arugula, beet greens, anything you have on hand. The best thing about a pesto spaghetti dinner is that it’s nearly no cook. The pesto is a raw sauce, just add hot pasta and you have a lovely meal.

In this case I had an abundance of parsley and just enough basil and chives in my garden, all I had to do was buy some Swiss Chard at the Farmer’s Market to make a delicious meal. I know, I did a Swiss Chard recipe last month. But it’s so good and if you have it growing in your garden, you want to use it, right? So, here’s how you do it.

Ingredients, Swiss Chard, Basil, Pesto, Connie Cockrell

Ingredients for Swiss Chard, Basil Pesto by Connie Cockrell

Ingredients

1/2 pound of Swiss Chard, chopped, leaves and stems

1 small bunch basil,

1 handful chives

1 Cup parsley, picked from stem

1 4oz pkg pine nuts (or walnuts if you prefer)

Salt, Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes to taste

1 1/2 lb Gluten Free Pasta

1/2 Cup olive oil

 

Heat the water for the pasta while you’re chopping the vegetables.

Gluten Free, Pasta

Gluten Free Pasta

Drop the pasta in the boiling water and follow the package directions for al dente pasta. NOTE: I used this Hodgson Mill’s pasta because I really wanted an angel hair type pasta. I was disappointed to see that once I started mixing it into the pesto, the strands broke down into 1/2 – 1/4 inch bits. Not spaghetti at all. It tasted fine, just wasn’t spaghetti. Use your favorite pasta.

Bring a small skillet to medium high heat.

Toasting, Pine Nuts

Toasting Pine Nuts

Drop in the pine nuts to toast. DO NOT walk away. As soon as you can smell the nuts, it’s too late. Watch that pan, toss around to brown evenly. As soon as they brown, take them off the heat to cool.

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard, Chopped

Swiss Chard, Chopped

Trim the stem ends of the Swiss Chard and chop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basil, Connie Cockrell

Basil by Connie Cockrell

Strip the basil from the stems, same with the parsley. Have the chives on hand, ready to go into the food processor.

Grated, Parmesan, Cheese, Connie Cockrell

Grated Parmesan Cheese by Connie Cockrell

Using a grating blade in your food processor, grate the Parmesan cheese. I just grated a whole brick of it. You won’t need all of it but it’ll be ready for your next pasta meal. Empty the cheese into a bowl. No need to clean out the food processor.

Pine Nuts, Food Processor, Connie Cockrell

Pine Nuts in Food Processor by Connie Cockrell

In the food processor, change out the grating blade for the regular blade. Add the pine nuts and whirl until nearly pasty.

Process, Swiss Chard, Connie Cockrell

Process Swiss Chard by Connie Cockrell

Add the Swiss Chard a batch at a time. Process until reduced then add more.

Parsley, Connie Cockrell

Parsley by Connie Cockrell

Add the parsley and process.

Scrape down, bowl, food processor, Connie Cockrell

Scrape down the bowl of the food processor by Connie Cockrell

Scrape down the sides a little to get the nuts to mix with the greens.

Add, Basil, Chives, Connie Cockrell

Add Basil and Chives by Connie Cockrell

Add the basil and chives. Whirl some more, drizzling in 1/2 of the olive oil to loosen the sauce.

Add, Parmesan Cheese, Red Pepper Flakes, Connie Cockrell

Add Parmesan Cheese and Red Pepper Flakes by Connie Cockrell

Add the cheese and the red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Process again adding more olive oil to loosen.

Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and do a quick rinse. In a large bowl, drop the pesto onto the spaghetti and toss. Add some of the pasta water, it just helps loosen the sauce. Stir to combine. Top with more basil and some grated Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Please tell us about your Farmer’s Market or favorite pasta recipe in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Thrillers, Mysteries and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

 

Chicklets in the Kitchen: Pasta Primavera

Pasta, Primavera, Ingredients

Pasta Primavera Ingredients

It’s summer and the Farmer’s Market is overflowing with fresh, beautiful vegetables. We’re fortunate enough in our area that we have local dairies as well, both fresh cow’s milk butter and cheeses and goat’s milk cheeses and delicacies. If you haven’t been to your Farmer’s Market yet this year, you’re missing out. Last Saturday I scored marvelous young Swiss Chard, just picked cherry tomatoes, and fresh goat cheese. I had a plan when I went, you see, to pick up just those luscious things for Saturday night dinner, Pasta Primavera.

Pasta Primavera is great for whatever vegetables you happen to pick up at the market or what’s growing in your garden. You can substitute whatever you have for what I used. Feel free to mix and match.

Ingredients

1/2 pound of Swiss Chard, chopped

1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes, halved

4 – 5 Green Onions, chopped, green and white parts

1 Cup Frozen Peas (or fresh if you have them)

1/4 Cup Basil, chopped

1 Red Pepper, chopped

12 oz Goat Cheese (not feta, the soft stuff)

Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder and Cayenne Pepper or Red Pepper Flakes to taste

1 lb Gluten Free Pasta (I used spirals, but you can use whatever you have)

1 – 2 Cups Chicken Broth (to make the sauce. Use vegetable stock to keep the whole meal vegetarian)

2 -3 T olive oil

Cooking, Pasta

Cooking Pasta

Heat the water for the pasta while you’re chopping the vegetables.

Drop the pasta in the boiling water and follow the package directions for al dente pasta.

Large Skillet, Olive Oil

Large Skillet with Olive Oil

Bring a large skillet to medium high heat.

Saute, Swiss Chard, Red Pepper, Green Onion

Saute Swiss Chard, Red Pepper, Green Onion

Drop in the chopped red pepper, the green onions, and the Swiss Chard. Saute until soft.

Saute, Cherry Tomatoes, Basil

Saute Cherry Tomatoes and Basil

Drop in the cherry tomatoes and basil. Saute until the tomatoes begin to soften. Use the broth to loosen the mixture.

Goat Cheese

Add the Goat Cheese

Add the goat cheese and stir to combine. Notice that the cheese melts into the broth and the tomatoes make the sauce kind of pink.

Add Peas

Add Peas

Don’t forget the peas!

Stir, Combine, Ingredients

Stir to Combine all Ingredients

Drain the pasta and do a quick rinse. Drop the cooked pasta into the sauce. Don’t worry about extra water getting in there, it just helps loosen the sauce. Stir to combine. Top with more basil and some grated Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Please tell us about your Farmer’s Market or favorite pasta recipe in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Women’s Fiction and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Chicklets in the Kitchen Post: Grilling Chicken and Asparagus

Grilled Chicken and Asparagus by Connie Cockrell

Grilled Chicken and Asparagus by Connie Cockrell

For most of us Memorial Day weekend is the start of the summer season. Not so much in Texas, Oklahoma and the mid-west this year though. Anyway, summer means grilling. I grill a lot here in Arizona. Unless there’s snow on the ground and I can’t roll the BBQ out, I can grill. Summer grilling means making meals outside where I’m not heating up the house. I love that. Here is my go to grilled dinner, chicken thighs and asparagus. Add a potato or macaroni salad, made in the morning while it’s still cool, and you have a fast, easy, pan-free meal that’s practically hassle free.

The Chicken

Everyone in my family is a dark meat fan so chicken thighs or in this case leg and thigh quarters, are the way to go. We like to grill a lot of them so there is leftover chicken for sandwiches or just to eat cold when we’re having a snack attack. Perfect for those who are following the Paleo diet.

Chicken Quarters by Connie Cockrell

Chicken Quarters by Connie Cockrell

Chicken Prep

4 Quarters, thawed and brought to room temperature

Salt, Pepper, Dried Thyme, Dried Sage Mix by Connie Cockrell

Salt, Pepper, Dried Thyme, Dried Sage Mix by Connie Cockrell

Salt, Pepper, Dried Thyme, Dried Sage Mix by Connie Cockrell

Salt, Pepper, Dried Thyme, Dried Sage Mix by Connie Cockrell

Salt, pepper, dried thyme, dried sage mixture to sprinkle over the meat (I make a bunch and keep it in a recycled spice jar. 3T salt, 1T pepper, 1T dried thyme, 1T dried sage. You can adjust these amounts to suit your family’s tastes. And yes, that’s home grown thyme and sage.)

2 -3 T olive oil

Chicken oiled, sprinkled with herb mix and ready for the grill by Connie Cockrel

Chicken oiled, sprinkled with herb mix and ready for the grill by Connie Cockrell

Pat the quarters dry and rub with olive oil. Sprinkle both sides of the quarters with the salt/herb mixture.

Grill, Hot as it can Get by Connie Cockrell

Grill, Hot as it can Get by Connie Cockrell

Put skin side down on the grill. Make sure the grill is screaming hot when you put the chicken on.

Chicken on the Grill by Connie Cockrell

Chicken on the Grill by Connie Cockrell

Close the cover and turn down to medium low. Cook 20 minutes. Turn the chicken over and finish cooking, another 20 minutes or so, depending on your grill. I test for doneness with an instant read thermometer. I do NOT want to give my family rare chicken. That is not good eats. Cook longer if necessary.

The Asparagus

I love asparagus just about any way but grilled is my favorite. The flavor is still green and grassy but there’s also a nutty flavor from the grilling. Yummy.

Bunch Asparagus by Connie Cockrell

Bunch Asparagus by Connie Cockrell

Asparagus Prep
1 bunch fresh Asparagus

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil

1/2 fresh lemon

Wash and pat dry the asparagus. Snap the woody ends off.

Asparagus prepped with Oil, Salt and Pepper by Connie Cockrell

Asparagus prepped with Oil, Salt and Pepper by Connie Cockrell

Sprinkle the asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper, use your hands and mix the spears around until coated with the oil, salt and pepper.

Put on the grill with the chicken the last 15 minutes of the chicken’s cooking time. Cook 7 minutes, then with tongs, turn the spears over to cook on the other side. Cook another 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the asparagus. These are good even at room temp so if the chicken isn’t done, it’s not a problem.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Please tell us about your garden or favorite dessert recipe in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Women’s Fiction and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at http://www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Rainy Day Lasagna

February, Rain, Birdbath, Arizona, Connie Cockrell

Rain in the Birdbath by Connie Cockrell

We had a long stretch of cold, rainy days at the end of February and early March here in central Arizona. Very unusual weather for us but the rain was very welcome. What better for a cold rainy day than to substitute my usual spaghetti Saturday night supper with lasagna?

Mozzarella, Parmesan, Ricotta, Sauce, Parsley, GF Lasagna Noodles

Lasagna Misen Plas by Connie Cockrell

Notice the pan of sauce? You can make your own spaghetti sauce, see the September 2014 pasta sauce recipe on this blog at http://chickletsinthekitchen.com/category/pasta-sauce/ or you can cheat a little. This time I used 1/2 jar of left over marinara and 2 full jars of marinara and about a cup of leftover sauce from last week’s spaghetti night. I poured all of that over cut up, browned, hot Italian sausage and added 2 bay leaves, dried basil and oregano and fresh chopped parsley, onion and garlic powder, and cooked that until thick.

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit by Connie Cockrell

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit by Connie Cockrell

About an hour and a half before dinner time I began my assembly. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lasagna, Cheese, Connie Cockrell

Lasagna Cheese Mixture by Connie Cockrell

First, the cheese mixture.

Cheese Mixture

3/4 lb shredded mozzarella

8 oz ricotta

8 oz shredded parmesan cheese

1/2 c chopped parsley

Mix it all together in a medium mixing bowl

 

Ready to Assemble the lasagna by Connie Cockrell

Ready to Assemble the lasagna by Connie Cockrell

Then we’re ready to assemble the lasagna. Note here that I’m using gluten-free no-cook lasagna noodles. If you’re making a regular lasagna or using GF noodles that need to be cooked, only cook them for half the time given on the package. That way they’ll finish cooking in the lasagna while it bakes and make the lasagna less sloppy.

 

Sauce the pan by Connie Cockrell

Sauce the pan by Connie Cockrell

Notice I don’t spray the pan. I use a layer of sauce across the bottom of the 9X13 inch baking pan to prevent the noodles from sticking.

 

Gluten-Free, No-Cook Lasagna Noodles by Connie Cockrell

Gluten-Free, No-Cook Lasagna Noodles by Connie Cockrell

Then put in a layer of noodles. I’ll have to admit, using these no-cook noodles makes handling them much easier than half-cooked noodles.

Add a layer of Cheese Mixture by Connie Cockrell

Add a layer of Cheese Mixture by Connie Cockrell

Then add a layer of the cheese mixture. This layer doesn’t have to cover every square inch.

 

Next layer of sauce by Connie Cockrell

Next layer of sauce by Connie Cockrell

Add another layer of sauce, noodles, cheese mixture and keep doing that until you run out of ingredients or space in the pan.

 

Spray your foil by Connie Cockrell

Spray your foil by Connie Cockrell

Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with non-stick spray and cover the lasagna.

 

Covered Lasagna on Cookie Sheet Placed in Oven by Connie Cockrell

Covered Lasagna on Cookie Sheet Placed in Oven by Connie Cockrell

Put the pan on a cookie sheet to catch any boil overs. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour.

 

Uncover pan by Connie Cockrell

Uncover pan by Connie Cockrell

Uncover the pan and cook another 15 minutes.

 

Cook 15 more minutes by Connie Cockrell

Cook 15 more minutes by Connie Cockrell

Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes for the boiling to subside. Cut into squares to serve.

 

Finished Lasagna by Connie Cockrell

Finished Lasagna by Connie Cockrell

Feeds 4 with leftovers for later meals.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Please tell us about your garden or favorite lasagna recipe in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Women’s Fiction and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.wordpress.com.

Gluten Free Meatloaf

Gluten Free Meatloaf

I love meatloaf. It’s a perfect winter dinner. The oven heats up the house, the smell of baking meatloaf permeates the air, what could be better? I usually serve mine with mashed potatoes and green beans but we had green beans a couple of nights ago so I plated up broccoli instead. It’s all good.

I made my own tomato sauce for the top, used veggies I had on hand to put in the meatloaf, and used gluten free bread and cereal crumbs for the mix. You can make this a paleo meatloaf by using paleo bread or by leaving out the bread all together.

You can see from the pictures that I was thinking I’d make two of these meatloaves, one to eat and one to freeze but that didn’t happen. I decided to make a big loaf instead of two skinny ones. Definitely use a cookie sheet. The meatloaf can boil over and better to clean a cookie sheet than the oven. My only mistake? I forgot to take a picture of the meatloaf as it came out of the oven. Ack! I’ve got a lot to learn about food photography.

Tomato Sauce Topping

Ingredients, seasonings, frozen peach

Ingredients for tomato sauce meatloaf topping by Connie Cockrell

1 cup pureed tomato (You can use regular tomato sauce if you’re not trying to be gluten free)

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 cup finely chopped peach

Stir all together and let sit while you chop and assemble the meatloaf

 

Meatloaf

1 C chopped onion

1 sweet pepper, chopped

2 lbs ground turkey

1lb ground beef

1/2 – 1 cup bread crumbs

2 eggs

Salt and pepper to taste

ground meat, chopped onion and pepper, eggs, bread crumbs

Meatloaf Ingredients, ground meat, chopped onion and pepper, eggs, bread crumbs by Connie Cockrell

Heat oven to 350 degrees F

 

In a large bowl mix the meat, chopped vegetables, bread crumbs, eggs and a 1/4 cup of the tomato topping.

 

Mix it all together with your hands. Shape it to fit your baking dish. I used a bread pan, sprayed with olive oil. Put that in the bread pan and tuck the edges of the loaf down.

Mixing the meatloaf ingredients

Mixing Meatloaf by Connie Cockrell

Spread the tomato-peach sauce on the top.

Spreading the meatloaf topping

Spreading the meatloaf topping by Connie Cockrell

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes for the boiling to subside. Cut into slices.

Meatloaf ready to bake

Meatloaf ready to bake by Connie Cockrell

Feeds 4 with leftovers for meatloaf sandwiches.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Please tell us about your favorite winter meal in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Women’s Fiction and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.wordpress.com.