Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu and a Revolutionary Idea which will CHANGE your life

*Photo and recipe from

I love bread, and I love bowls, but put the two together and I am usually disappointed. I feel like I eat my soup and then just have a big soggy disgusting waste of a mess at the end . And I don't know why this trick never occurred to me before (because I use the trick with other things), but toasting the suckers turned them from a disgusting mess to a toasty delicious, amaaaaazing thing. So the next time you are making bread bowls for soup, or for anything, might I suggest toasting them for 5 minutes in a 400 dg oven, you'll be so happy.

And you will also be happy if you do something similar to your taco shells. Blaine taught me that a long time ago, an untoasted taco shell is like eating a flat corn flavored rock, but a toasted crispy taco shell...nothing better! Just don't let them we often do. They reek to high heaven if they burn. Just sit there and watch them toast in the oven for like 45 seconds.

Moving on....these were divine! I loved them! Not much more to say than that!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Bread Bowls

Printable Version with Picture
Printable Version

*Note: if you don’t have apple juice on hand, you can omit the apple juice and increase the chicken broth to 1 3/4 cups.

*Serves 4-6

For the Chicken and Sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cubed (about 2-3 chicken breasts)
1/2 cup minced yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, finely minced (I got a garlic press for Christmas!!! !!!!!)
2 tablespoons flour
½ cup apple juice(we only had cider...but pretty much the same thing, right?)
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used half and half)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2-3 cups broccoli florets
Salt and cayenne pepper to taste (I used chili powder)

To Assemble:
4-6 medium round regular or sourdough bread bowls
8-10 thin slices smoked ham
1 cup grated Swiss cheese (I didn't have that much, but oh how I wish I did!)
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly coat the foil with cooking spray.

Place the broccoli florets in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a tight fitting microwave-safe lid. Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes until tender but still bright green. Remove the plastic wrap and set aside.

In a 10- or 12-inch skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chicken and saute until the chicken begins to brown but isn’t cooked all the way through, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the onions and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened (when chicken is still slightly pink), about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the chicken/onion mixture and stir to incorporate. Cook, stirring, constantly for one minute.

Gradually add the chicken broth and apple juice, stirring constantly to avoid any clumps from forming. Stir in the cream, Parmesan cheese, mustard and thyme. Simmer for about 5-6 minutes, until the mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in the broccoli; season with salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

Hollow out the inside of the bread bowls by cutting off the tops and tearing out the insides. I like to leave about a 1/4-inch edge along all sides of the bread bowl. Compress the remaining bread together to firm up the sides and make room for the filling. Place the bread bowls on the prepared baking sheet and toast them for about 5 minutes in the preheated oven.

Remove the toasted loaves from the oven and arrange the ham slices in the bottom of each loaf. Using a slotted spoon, divide chicken mixture evenly between loaves, reserving about 1-2 cups sauce in the pan for serving. Top the chicken mixture in each loaf with shredded Swiss and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Bake the bread bowls until the cheese melts, about 10-15 minutes. Serve each bread bowl with reserved cream sauce.

Hot Artichoke Dip

No those are not my purple fingernails : ) A big thanks to Connie427 at for the picture .... it's not even a picture of the same recipe, but close enough to give you the idea. I really need to bust out the camera some more.

This recipe has been in the Bassett family for longer than I have, Blaine's mom serves it at parties and it's always a hit. I made a feeble attempt to have a party yesterday (thank you four friends who came!), and this was the first and only dish to disappear.

Hot Artichoke Dip

1 6oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (or a big ol' handful of artichoke hearts from the big ol 24 oz jar you got at Costco....!)
1/2 C Parmesan Cheese
1/2 C Sour Cream
1/2 C Mayo
1 T diced pimentos (by the olives usually in an itttttty bitty jar)

Combine, heat covered 30-60 minutes in crockpot or low oven till hot. Serve with tortilla chips or crusty bread

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

take 2 lbs of chicken ( i usually do 2 large chicken breasts, or 3 small breasts)

Cut chicken into bite size pieces, dip in beaten egg and then coat in cornstarch on all sides. Fry in small amount of oil until brown, Sprinkle garlic salt on both sides while cooking.


3/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup wine vinegar ( i do half white wine and half red wine, i also found out substituting it with other types of vinegar is really gross so make sure it is wine vinegar)
3 Tbs Ketchup
1 Tbs Soy Sauce
1 tsp accent
1/2 tsp salt

Stir all ingredients for sauce together and heat in a saucepan. Put chicken in a 9x13 pan. Pour sauce over the top coating chicken. Bake for 50 min, stirring chicken halfway through.
Serve with White rice.

Pasta in tomato cream sauce

8 oz penne pasta
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatos with garlic and onion
1/2 cup fresh basil
3/4 cup half and half
1/3 cup fresh parmesan cheese

Cook pasta and keep warm.
Cook tomatoes over medium-high heat until thickened, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat, add basil and cream. Heat through. DO NOT BOIL. Toss with pasta and cheese. Serve immediately.

Another EASY dinner. Could add spinach or mushrooms or whatever.

Fusili with spinach and asiago cheese

This dinner was super tasty and came together in less than 20 minutes. I served it with some grilled chicken breast, but you don't really need the meat.

1 lb fusili pasta (looks just like rotini)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
9 oz fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 cup grated asiago cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (fresh is best)
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper

Cook pasta until tender. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.
Warm olive oil over med-high heat. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add spinach and cook till it wilts. Add pasta and toss. Add cheeses, salt, pepper, and pasta cooking liquid and stir to combine. (I would actually hold off adding the cheese until you've added the water because it kind of melted together. But it was still really good.)

Stuffed Chicken Parmesan

This is the best thing I've ever made. Ever.
And it was pretty easy, looked beautiful when it was done like in the picture. You'll love it.

Prep Time 30 MinutesCook Time 30 MinutesDifficulty EasyServings System US MetricUpdate

Ingredients•6 pieces Small, Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

•8 ounces, weight Chive And Onion Cream Cheese - Softened

•10 ounces, weight Package Frozen, Chopped Spinach: Thawed And Drained

•½ teaspoons Garlic Salt

•1-½ cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, Divided

•6 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese, Divided

•1 whole Egg

•¾ cups Italian-Seasoned Bread/Cracker Crumbs

•1 jar Favorite Pasta Sauce (about 2 Cups)

Preparation Instructions

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2) Place chicken breast between two sheets of cling wrap. Pound chicken evenly all over until about 1/4 inch thick.
3) Mix cream cheese, spinach, garlic salt,1 cup mozzarella and 3 Tablespoons of Parmesan until well blended; spread onto chicken breasts. Starting at one short end of each breast, roll up chicken tightly. Secure with wooden toothpicks, if desired. Set aside.
4) Beat egg in a shallow dish. Mix remaining Parmesan and bread crumbs in a separate shallow dish. Dip chicken bundles in egg, then roll in crumb mixture. Place, seam-sides down, in 13×9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
5) Bake 30-35 minutes. Remove and discard toothpicks, if using. Serve topped with pasta sauce and remaining mozzarella.

Putting the chicken between the Saran wrap before pounding it is the best idea ever. No mess! Also, if you don't have a meat tenderizer, you can use the heavy part of an ice cream scoop.
I didn't have breadcrumbs, so I just mixed up some old crackers my kids didn't like in the food processor and they worked great.

Oreo Truffles

Yesterday at about 2PM Blaine informed me that he was in charge of taking dessert to a church meeting for about 40 people. Extra awesome was the fact that I had been at the store the day before and bought ingredients for delicious Andes Mint Cookies to take to a dinner party I was going to, but I didn't have enough to make the cookies for that many people. Compound this with the fact that we don't shop on Sundays. Luckily the day before I had also picked up a package or oreos to try a new dessert, oreo truffles. So we decided to make those for the church function since they seemed quick and easy. And they were quick and easy, and though I wasn't at the meeting, Blaine says they were very well received! I tried some when he got home and yep, they were delicious! This would be something that it would be easy to keep the ingredients on hand for, in case your husband springs a fun surprise on you like mine did on me yesterday : )

recipe from:

1 pkg. Oreos
8 oz. cream cheese
melting chocolates (or chocolate chips)
  1. Crush the Oreos pretty fine and save 1/3 or so out of the bowl.
  2. Soften the cream cheese and mix the two together until they form an ugly dough.
  3. Roll them into balls and put them in the fridge for 30 minutes or so.
  4. Melt a bag of melting chocolates (or chocolate chips, but I find the melting chips so much easier to use and you can do pretty colors!) - I used almond bark
  5. Roll the balls in the choc. and top with a few of the leftover Oreo crumbs and then put them in the *fridge until ready to serve.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Grilled Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa, Nuts and Raisins (if you want)

*Photo and Recipe from

It's 12:20AM and apparently I will be blogging in bold because despite the fact that I disabled the bold feature, it is still being bold and I have not the patience nor the brain capacity right now to fix it : )

But---- this was really easy and really delicious! You'll love it, and it marks my second recipe that I know to use quinoa for, and everybody raves about the first one, pretty much can't go wrong with the quinoa : ) Or shrimp for that matter.


Quinoa with Garlic, Nuts, & Raisins

adapted from Food Network Magazine Apr 2010 (Ellie Krieger)

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
1/4 cup nuts (pinenuts or chopped walnuts/pecans recommended)
2 T preferred cooking oil (grapeseed or coconut)
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/3 cup fresh parsley or cilantro
1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1 T fresh lemon juice
pinch of salt and pepper (to taste)

Place the quinoa in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until toasted, about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth (or water) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast the nuts in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add the oil and garlic to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer the garlic to the plate, reserving the oil.

Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Add the pine nuts, garlic, reserved oil, parsley, raisins and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and toss.

Serves 3-4.

Grilled Garlic Shrimp
from Perrys' Plate

1 lb large, uncooked shrimp, shelled and deveined
4 T butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch Kosher salt
metal or wooden skewers

Combine melted butter and garlic in a small bowl. Let it sit while you prepare the shrimp.

Preheat BBQ grill or stove-top grill pan to medium-high heat.

Rinse shrimp, pat dry, and place on skewers, piercing each shrimp in two places to keep them from moving around too much. Sprinkle shrimp with a pinch or so of salt, then brush the garlic-butter on one side. Place skewers on the grill, butter-side-down. Brush the other sides with remaining garlic-butter. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the shrimp are mostly pink. Flip and cook another 2-3 minutes until fully cooked and pink. Don't overcook them or they'll turn rubbery

* I just sauteed my shrimp in a pan with butter and garlic, and I omitted the raisins because ewwww! Bleck, craisins maybe would be good- but this was plenty good without adding toddler fodder into the mix. And I used olive oil. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Spinach Artichoke Dip

• 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach - thawed, drained and squeezed dry
• 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 7x11 inch baking dish.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth. Mix in the artichoke hearts, spinach and Parmesan cheese. Season with garlic and lemon juice. Spread evenly into the prepared baking dish.
3. Bake covered for 20 minutes. Remove the cover, and let the dish bake uncovered for 5 more minutes, or until the surface is lightly browned.

I served this with tortilla chips.