Barbecue Chicken Calzones

I got a great new cookbook this Christmas that I’ve been drooling over.  You can find the cookbook HERE if you want to drool too:).  Some of the recipes in the cookbook are also on their website.  This particular recipe is HERE.  I tried this out a few nights ago and it was a HUGE hit even with my kids, which is always a great surprise.  I’ve made a few alterations to the recipe but click on their website to get the original.  Thanks Six Sister’s!

6 slices bacon
olive oil
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
3 cups shredded, cooked chicken
3/4 (plus) cup Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce
2 Tbsp. broccoli florets
1 can refrigerated biscuits
1 cup + shredded mozzarella cheese
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook bacon on an aluminum lined baking sheet for about 25 minutes or until somewhat crisp.  Than heat oven to 400 degrees.  Remove bacon from pan, blot with paper towels and cut into pieces.  Put onions and shredded chicken in a pan with a small amount of olive oil.  Saute over medium heat for a minute.  Stir in 3/4 cup barbecue sauce and add in the bacon and broccoli.  Remove from heat.
Flatten out biscuit dough on a greased cookie sheet.  Spread a dab of barbecue sauce on each biscuit.  Divide the chicken mixture between the biscuits, spreading on only half of each biscuit and keeping 1/2 inch away from the edge.  Sprinkle cheese over each biscuit.  Fold biscuits in half and press the edges together with a fork to seal. Sprinkle a little more cheese on top.  Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown.

Chicken-Thyme Pasta Salad

I can’t remember where I got this recipe from originally, so unfortunately I’m not sure who to give credit.  This is a very yummy Italian Pasta that has a nice flavor and nice crunch.  I’ve found that it always tastes best on the second day, so if you’re making it for company make it ahead of time and let it sit fully assembled over night.

Chicken-Thyme Pasta Salad

3 Cups uncooked pasta (My favorite is Penne)

4 cups cubed cooked chicken

3-4 cups red grapes, cut in half (I like a lot of grapes)

2 medium stalks celery, sliced

1/3 cup chopped onion or about 1/4 cup onion flakes

3 Tbsp. olive or vegetable oil

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh or 2 tsp. dried thyme leaves, crumbled

1 1/4 cup mayonnaise or ranch

1 Tbsp. milk

1 Tbsp. honey

1 Tbsp. coarse-ground mustard

1 tsp. salt

2 cups chopped walnuts, toasted or plain (I’ve also used pecans)

Cook and drain the pasta as directed on the package.  Rinse with cold water; drain.  In big bowl, mix pasta, chicken, grapes, celery, and onion.  In smaller bowl mix oil and 1 Tbsp. (or tsp.) of the thyme.  Pour oil mixture over chicken mixture; toss to coat.  In small bowl, mix mayo, milk, honey, mustard, salt and remaining thyme.  Cover chicken mixture and mayo mixture separately and refrigerate at least 4 hours but no longer than 24 hours.  At least 2 hours before serving combine chicken and mayo mixture.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Just before serving, stir in the walnuts.

 

 

Turkey Meatballs with White Sauce

We don’t have spaghetti and meatballs very often, but we should have it more.   It’s easy and I usually have all of the ingredients I need, so it is pretty convenient when I don’t have a plan.  I am really in love with ground Turkey meat and I prefer to cook with it rather than beef when I can.  These meatballs ended up being SO delicious that EVERYONE wanted more, even my little baby.  My boys both had two, and were okay with leftovers the next day.  If you prefer a more traditional meatball try out THIS and if you just really love the turkey/ranch combination, then you’ll love THESE too.

Turkey Meatballs

1 lb. ground Turkey

2 oz. ranch dressing mix

1/4 cup (apx) Italian style bread crumbs

2 eggs

water as needed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine all of the ingredients (except water) with your hands.  Squish it really well until the meat is really moldable.  If it’s too dry add a little water, but not too much.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through.

White Sauce

(disclaimer:  this is not an award winning recipe for white sauce, but it’s quick and a great basic recipe to have around.)

2Tbsp. butter

1 Tbsp. oil

3 Tbsp. flour

3 cups milk

4-5 garlic cloves minced

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Put the butter, oil, and flour in a saucepan and stir constantly on Medium heat for 15-20 seconds.  Add the milk, garlic, Italian seasoning, and parmesan cheese and stir until the the sauce reaches the right consistency.  ( In the picture above I ran out of parmesan cheese and so I used cheddar.  Cheddar is not as good!  So, the color might be slightly different when you make it:)

Chicken and Thyme Pasta

Sorry I’m getting this post out so late tonight.  It’s been a crazy week, and I’m flying solo, which means everything is running a little slow.  On the upside, I got to make one of my favorite pasta dishes that I rarely ever make because Brett is not a fan of pasta.  It has a nice strong Italian flavor and it goes great with THIS. I’ll post a picture as soon as I can.

Chicken and Thyme Pasta

3 cups uncooked pasta (Penne is the best)

4 cups cubed cooked chicken

3-4 cups red grapes, halved

2 medium stalks celery, sliced

1/4 cup onion flakes

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh or 2 tsp. dried thyme leaves, crumbled

1 1/4 cups mayonnaise or ranch

1 Tbsp. milk

1 Tbsp. honey

1 Tbsp. coarse-ground mustard

1 tsp. salt

1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted or plain

Cook and drain pasta.  Rinse with cold water; drain.  In a big bowl, mix pasta, chicken, grapes, celery, and onion.  In smaller bowl, mix oil and 1 Tbsp (or 1 tsp.) of the thyme.  Pour oil mixture over chicken mixture; toss to coat.  In small bowl, mix mayonnaise, milk, honey, mustard, salt and remaining thyme.  Cover chicken mixture and mayo mixture separately and refrigerate at least four hours or up to overnight.  Shortly before serving, combine the two mixtures and add walnuts.

Meatballs for Beginners

I think meatballs are one of those things that you just kind of whip up without thought.  It’s one of those things that you just throw in whatever you have.  I remember the first time I attempted meatballs and I turned to a cookbook, called my mom, and I didn’t know what I was doing.  The only thing I remembered about making meatballs with my mom when I was young was squishing the meat in between my fingers before forming it into balls.  I liked the texture:)

If you haven’t made meatballs before, just know that the ingredients are VERY flexible.  I didn’t measure when I made these, so they’re estimates, but pretty close.   This is a base recipe for some meatballs that turned out delicious, but feel free to substitute my ingredients for something else to get a different flavor.

Sweet Meatballs

1 lb. ground beef

1 egg

1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

2 Tbsp. dried onion flakes

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put everything in a bowl and mix it together.  The best way to mix it is to squish it combined with your hands.  Form into balls and  place on greased cookie sheet.  Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through.  Serve over spaghetti and red sauce.  I used THIS pizza sauce and it was sweet and yummy.

Pizza!

I’ve had a good share of Pizza’s in my day. . . granted, the majority have been $5 pizza’s, Pizza Hut, or Dominos variety.  The grease on it always grosses me out.  The sauce on it always grosses me out. . . I usually squeeze and wipe any sauce that I can off of it.  Yet, I still love pizza – strange.  Well, I also enjoy making pizza, which I must say is in a whole different league of goodness than any of the noted varieties. My sister, Michelle (who I get a lot of my great recipes from) gave me these recipes and my life has changed forever. . . or at least my expectations of pizza.  The sauce is especially exquisite, as stated in the title:).  I will never use store bought sauce again!  The picture below is just of the dough and sauce. . . with some added spinach just because I put spinach in-and-on pretty much everything last week. So, my suggestion is to make the sauce on a rainy day or when kids are asleep at night and store it in freezer safe containers until you’re ready to use them.  They freeze GREAT and it just gives the flavors more time to get to know each other:) This summer I tripled the batch and put them in freezer jam containers.  If you try this just don’t mistake them with strawberry jam; not a good combination). Here you go, and happy cooking!IMG_5718

Exquisite Pizza Sauce (makes 3 regular size pizzas)

    2 (6 oz) can Tomato Paste
    12  fl. Oz. Warm Water
    6 Tbs. Grated Parmesan Cheese
    2 tsp. Minced Garlic (I used 4 cloves-pressed)
    4 Tbs. Honey
    1 ½  tsp. Onion Powder
    ½ tsp. Dried Oregano
    ½ tsp. Dried Basil
    ½ tsp. Ground Black Pepper
    ¼ tsp. Cayenne Pepper
    ¼ tsp. Dried Red Pepper Flakes
    Salt to Taste

Boil for approximately 5 mintues.  You don’t want all the liquid to boil out, but you want it to not be so runny, and then cool for at least 30 minutes before serving so it can marinate.  Can freeze.

Perfect Pizza Dough

Use Kneading Arm for KitchenAid
In KitchenAid dissolve the following:
     2 1/4 cup HOT water
     1 1/2 tsp. sugar
     1 Tbsp. salt

Slowly add and continuously mix:
     3 cups Flour
     1 Tbsp. yeast

Continue mixing and add:
     2 1/2-3 cups flour
     1-2 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning

Mix on high and add flour if needed.  Kneed dough for 3-5 minutes.  Dough should eventually pull apart from edges and bottom of bowl.  Remove dough from Kitchen Aid and place in large sprayed bowl- cover with light towel.  Place in warm location and let rise for 1 hour.

Roll out desired amount of dough.  It can make one really thick crust pizza or 2 large regular crust pizza’s.

Bake at 450 degrees for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with sauce, seasonings, cheeses, meats, veggies, etc. What ever you want:)  Bake an additional 10-15 minutes and your pizza has reached perfection.

Chicken Alfredo

This has been a great go-to recipe for dinner, when I can’t think of what else to make; it’s easy, I usually have all the ingredients on hand, and its delicious! Happy Cooking!
IMG_5900

Chicken Alfredo

2 cups milk
16 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
apx. 1/2-1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
fresh parsley

Pull out your saucepan and heat milk, add rest of ingredients (minus parsley) and warm thoroughly. Don’t let sauce come to a full boil.  Once the cream cheese is no longer lumpy turn the heat down and sprinkle in parsley.  Serve over pasta and chicken. (Grill the chicken with Italian Seasoning sprinkled on top.  It’s amazing!)