Thursday, September 24, 2015

Bowtie Chicken and Asparagus Alfredo

Creamy Bowtie Pasta with Asparagus

 I made this tonight and here I am posting it, so it's THAT good! I actually made this without chicken and I didn't miss a thing. The bacon provided enough meat for me! Also, I subbed the asparagus for broccoli since I like it better and it's less expensive:). My kids love this too. Eloise went back for thirds!

Bowtie Chicken and Asparagus Alfredo
from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

  • 3 cups cooked and cubed chicken (optional)
  • 1-2 pounds asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces (I subbed broccoli)
  • 1 pound bowtie (farfalle) pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (see note above)
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • Zest from lemon (about a teaspoon)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 6-8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the noodles according to package directions. When there is two minutes left on the cooking time, add the asparagus to the pot and cook for the remaining time. Drain the pasta and asparagus and rinse quickly with cool water (to stop the asparagus from cooking more).
  2. For the sauce, while the noodles/asparagus cook, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the garlic, cooking for 20 seconds or so, stirring constantly. Stir in the flour and cook for about a minute, stirring, until the mixture is toasty and sizzling. Gradually add the milk and chicken broth about 1/2 cup at a time, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Bring the mixture to a low simmer and cook until slightly thickened, 3-4 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until the cheese has melted. Add additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
  3. Place the pasta, chicken and asparagus in a large bowl or serving dish and pour the sauce over the top. Toss lightly to combine. Sprinkle on the bacon and additional Parmesan cheese (if using). Serve immediately.


Saturday, September 5, 2015

Fresh Peach Pie

My neighbor made this for us when I had the baby and Mom, Dad, and Julie were in town. She brought us dinner that night too and it was so filling that we didn't have enough room for this pie until later that night. I was nursing Caroline at like 10:30pm that night and Mom came in my room and said, "you have got to come try this pie. It's the best pie I've ever eaten." I was soooo tired and just wanted to hit the sack, but I'm so glad that I went and tried it. I could hear the "mmmm's" coming from the kitchen as soon as I walked out of my room. It was so funny. Everyone was dying over this pie. And, it WAS seriously the best pie I've ever eaten. So, get out there and make it before peach season ends!

Fresh Peach Pie
from Kathi Kimble

For crust:
Crush 7 graham crackers in a bag, not in blender (this is key for bigger pieces of graham cracker).
Add 3T. Powdered sugar, then put in pie pan and stir in 6T. melted butter.  Form a crust.

For filling:
Slice and peel about 5 peaches into crust.
Mix 1/4 C lemon juice with 1 can sweetened condensed milk and pour over peaches.
Cover with Extra Creamy Cool Whip (I would prefer fresh whipping cream).
Can be served immediately or refrigerate.

Caramel Brownies

My neighbor made these brownies for us when we moved in and Christian said they were the best brownies he'd ever had. So, naturally, I requested the recipe. I made them for a baby blessing last week and they were the first thing gone. They are so scrumptious.

Caramel Brownies
from Kathi Kimble

Melt together in microwave:
14 oz. caramels (2 Cups)
1/2 C. evaporated milk

1 German Chocolate cake mix
3/4 C. butter
1/2 C. evap. milk
3/4 C chopped pecans - optional (of course I left these out:))

-Spread HALF of cake mixture in 9x13 greased pan.  Bake at 350 for 5 minutes.

-Remove from oven and sprinkle 6 oz. milk choc. chips over top evenly.

-Pour caramel mixture over.

-Drop the remaining cake mix in clumps on top and mix lightly with caramel.

-Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Refrigerate. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

One-Pan Farro with Tomatoes

one-pan farro with tomatoes 
 Pic courtesy Smitten Kitchen

Someone in my ward made me this when I had Caroline and I was blown away by its yumminess. It was my first experience with farro and I'm now a huge fan. It is so simple and so flavorful. I made it again last week and it was just as delicious as I remembered! Oh, and I tripled it for our family.

 One-Pan Farro with Tomatoes
from Smitten Kitchen 

Serves: 4 as a side, 2 as a hearty main
2 cups water
1 cup semi-pearled (pre-cooked) farro (I used Trader Joes 10 minute farro)
1/2 large onion (I usually use a white one, for mildness)
2 cloves garlic
9 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt
Up to 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Few basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons
Grated parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)
Place water and farro in a medium saucepan to presoak (I find just 5 to 10 minutes sufficient) while you prepare the other ingredients. Adding each ingredient to the pot as you finish preparing it, cut onion in half again, and very thinly slice it into quarter-moons. Thinly slice garlic cloves as well. Halve or quarter tomatoes. Add salt, pepper flakes (to taste) and 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan, and set a timer for 30 minutes. Bring uncovered pan (no lid necessary) up to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally. When the timer rings, the farro should be perfectly cooked (tender but with a meaty chew), seasoned and the cooking water should be almost completely absorbed. If needed, though I’ve never found it necessary, cook it for 5 additional minutes, until farro is more tender.
Transfer to a wide serving bowl. If there’s enough leftover cooking liquid to be bothersome, simply use a slotted spoon to leave the amount you wish to behind. Drizzle farro lightly with additional olive oil (I left this part out), scatter with basil and parmesan. Eat immediately. Repeat tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Vegetable and Chickpea Curry

I'm looking for new vegetarian recipes, and this one is a great find, especially because it can be thrown in the crockpot!

Vegetable and Chickpea Curry


1 tablespoon olive oil 
1 1/2 cups chopped onion 
1 cup (1/4-inch-thick) slices carrot 
1 tablespoon curry powder 
1 teaspoon brown sugar 
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger 
garlic cloves, minced 
serrano chile, seeded and minced 
3 cups cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans) 
1 1/2 cups cubed peeled baking potato 
1 cup diced green bell pepper 
1 cup (1-inch) cut green beans 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper 
(14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained 
(14-ounce) can vegetable broth 
3 cups fresh baby spinach 
1 cup light coconut milk 
lemon wedges 

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and carrot; cover and cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add curry powder, sugar, ginger, garlic, and chile; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Place onion mixture in a 5-quart electric slow cooker. Stir in chickpeas and next 8 ingredients (through broth). Cover and cook on HIGH 6 hours or until vegetables are tender. Add spinach and coconut milk; stir until spinach wilts. Serve with lemon wedges.

Monday, March 9, 2015

BLT Pasta salad with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

courtesy of

I have been hooked on's site! She has GREAT recipes! Every twist on a swig cookie you could imagine and delicious main dishes, etc. I have never been disappointed in her stuff! I follow fer daughter (mintarrow) on instagram and found her mom (abountifulkitchen) through her! And for all you folks that miss Naturally Fresh ranch dressing...TRY THIS!!! Delicious!

1/2 lb bacon
1 large head Romaine lettuce, washed and dried (yield about 16 cups of loosely packed lettuce)
1 lb Grape tomatoes or Roma tomatoes
1-1 1/2 lb cheese-filled ravioli  (I used tortellini b/c its what I had on hand)
1-2  tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons dry Ranch dressing mix
( I also added about two chicken breasts, cooked and shredded)

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
adapted from The Huffington Post 

1/2 cup well shaken buttermilk
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons mayo
1 teaspoon chopped fresh: tarragon, dill, parsley, chives (all or a combo of these)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
two dashes Tabasco or other hot sauce
Coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Prepare dressing:
Place all of the dressing ingredients in a jar. Shake until blended well.
Refrigerate until ready to serve. If you have an immersion blender place all of the ingredients in a jar and pulse until the herbs are chopped fine.

Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp.  Remove bacon from pan and place on paper towels. Pat any remaining grease off of bacon. Place on a cutting board and chop. Set aside.Cook chicken and shred and set aside.
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Do not overcook. Rinse with cold water, drain. Toss the pasta with 1-2 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons prepared dry ranch dressing mix. Refrigerate until ready to use.  Let the pasta cool completely before adding to the salad, or the pasta will wilt the lettuce.
Cut the lettuce into bite size pieces.
Slice the grape tomatoes in half, or if using Roma tomatoes, cut into chunks.
Arrange the lettuce in a large bowl. Place the tomatoes over top of the lettuce and top with cooled pasta. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, toss the salad a bit,  sprinkle with bacon and drizzle with fresh ranch. Serve salad with additional dressing on the side.
Serves12 as a side dish

PF Chang's Copycat Monglian Beef

courtesy of

I found this recipe on pinterest and made it for Sunday dinner. It was AMAZING! Pinterest win for sure (and you never know how pinterest can go). It was easy and delicious. My hubby even took some to his friends at school and then they called for the recipe.

  • 2 lb flank steak
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
For sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 or 3 green onions chopped
  • I added cornstarch (about 2 T) to thicken the sauce...I was probably just not patient enough for it to reduce.

  1. Slice the steak into small thin pieces against the grain. In a large ziploc bag add the starch and add the beef to it. Close the ziploc bag and shake really well until each pieces is coated with cornstarch. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. In a small sauce pan add the oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic and water. Stir and cook over medium heat until sauce thickens. It took me about 20 minutes until the sauce thickened and reduced. Set aside. (Or if you are impatient like me, add cornstarch :) )
  3. In a non stick skillet heat the oil. When the oil is hot, add beef and cook until browned. I had to do in a 2 batches. Also if you need more oil after the batch feel free to add more. Remove beef from skillet to a bowl and empty the oil from the skillet. Return beef to skillet and pour sauce over the beef. Stir and cook for a couple more minutes.
  4. Serve over rice and garnish with green onions.