Tag Archives: Pasta

Simple Sesame Noodles

The hubs and I are just about to celebrate four months of wedded bliss.  What has changed in the past few months since beginning our married life?  Not too much, actually.  My last name…and the fact that we’ve started budgeting.  We have entered into marriage with an attempt to curtail our spending a bit (or at least track what we are spending money on) and I have become the budget queen.  I love my Excel budget spreadsheet!

I am currently reading Financial Peace Revisited by Dave Ramsey.  Several of my friends have taken the Dave Ramsey course and I like a lot of his methods.  I would say we are somewhat following his teaching on budgeting.  It’s definitely a process but a great exercise for the hubs and I to go through together.

So, here we are at the end of the month, and we have spent all of our “food” category moolah.  Last night, I was starving and in a somewhat cranky mood that only food could make better.  I could have gone to the grocery store or we could have gone out to dinner, but that kind of would have defeated the purpose of the budget…so I tried to get creative with what we had on hand.

Enter the Pioneer Woman.  I had bookmarked her recipe for Simple Sesame Noodles and last night, as my stomach was growling, and I was trying to talk myself out of spending $5 on a foot long sub from Subway, I remembered the post.

And sure enough, I had everything I needed at home!  This meal was quick and easy, plus made plenty of leftovers for lunch today.  You could easily add a protein or some veggies to the meal, but I went just for the noodles this time around.  And, I recommend adding a tablespoon of peanut butter for even more deliciousness.

Simple Sesame Noodles

  • 12 ounces, fluid thin noodles, cooked and drained
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons pure sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot chili oil
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 4 whole green onions, sliced thin

Whisk all ingredients (except noodles and green onions) together in a bowl. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.  Pour sauce over warm noodles and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with green onions and serve.

Source: The Pioneer Woman

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Posted by on February 28, 2013 in Main Dish


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Chicken with a Sun-dried Tomato Cream Sauce

I think it’s safe to say we’ve been in a food rut recently. We’re eating more and more of our staples—tacos, grilled cheese and tomato soup, breakfast for dinner, and Illegal Pete’s—you get the idea.  Creativity in the kitchen is definitely lacking.  The past few weeks, I’ve been forcing myself to cook something new a couple nights a week.  It’s been nice trying out new recipes again, and so far, there haven’t been any major mishaps in the kitchen.

I’m a big pasta fan.  Tim, not so much, but he can handle a pasta dish every once and a while. I came across a recipe on Pinterest (my new guilty pleasure…) for Chicken with a Sun-dried Tomato Cream Sauce.

Now, I know the picture does not do this dish justice.  In fact, it’s kind of blah looking (that’s an official cooking and photography term, I promise).  I could have taken more time to stage the photograph, maybe add a few extra sun-dried tomatoes on top.  But, this smelled so good, I couldn’t wait any longer to take a bite. One bite turned into two, and so on and so forth.  Enjoy!

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth, divided
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato slivers in oil
  • 1 tablespoon of oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, flattened into an even thickness

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute.

Gradually stir in 1/2 cup chicken broth, whisking well to avoid clumps. Add cream, tomatoes, thyme, salt, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute. Pour into small bowl and set aside. Wipe skillet clean.

Place sun-dried tomato oil in the skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Sauté chicken in oil until browned and cooked through, approximately 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

Add remaining 1/4 cup chicken broth to skillet and bring to a boil. Scrape any brown pieces up with a wooden spoon. Mix in reserved sauce, add chicken and remove from heat once mixture is sufficiently warmed.

Source: Fort Mill SC Living

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Posted by on October 18, 2012 in Main Dish


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Chicken Marsala

When I was in high school and throughout college, I worked as a waitress.  I loved waiting tables – the interaction with the customers, learning about the food and wines, but I’m not going to lie, my favorite part was 50% off meals when I was working.

My waitressing career started at an Italian restaurant in a suburb of Houston and it was at that restaurant where I discovered my love for chicken marsala.  After my shifts, I was always starving and I would usually have someone in the kitchen make me chicken marsala for dinner.  It’s definitely now one of my “comfort foods.”  I love the sweetness of the Marsala wine and enjoyed the addition of the mustard and Mascarpone cheese to the sauce in this recipe.

Chicken Marsala

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, scallopini pieces (thin sliced)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup dry Marsala wine
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
12 ounces dried fettuccine

Cook pasta by bringing a large pot of water to a boil.  Add fettuccine, cooking until al dente, about 8 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  Drain and set aside.

While pasta is cooking, season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat olive oil in large skillet over high heat.  Add chicken, cooking until just brown, about 3 minutes per side.  Transfer chicken to a plate.

Melt butter in the same skillet that chicken cooked in over medium-high heat.  Add onion and sauté for about 2 minutes, until the onion is tender.

Add the mushrooms and garlic to the skillet.  Sauté for about 10-14 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender.  Add wine and reduce by half – about 4 minutes.

Stir in the mustard and mascarpone and return the chicken to the pan.  Simmer over medium-low heat until the chicken is cooked through.  The sauce should thicken slightly.

Serve chicken mixture over the fettuccine and top with chopped parsley

Source: Elizabeth’s Edible Experience, originally from Giada De Laurentiis

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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Main Dish


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Spinach and Feta Pasta

Forgive my blogging absence.  Tim and I are in the middle of settling into our new place.  Currently, there are boxes everywhere.  Cooking is about the furthest thing from my mind, mainly because I can hardly walk into the kitchen there is so much stuff.  The majority of our recent meals have all come packaged in a to-go box.  Hopefully we’ll be back in a cooking routine very soon.  I am certainly excited to break in the new kitchen!

This weekend, we were lucky enough to spend a few days in Estes Park with my parents.  We did a lot of eating out (hello Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ), but I did manage to cook one meal for everyone in between games of Yahtzee and Cranium, watching the Final Four, and going on elk hunts – just to find them, not to actually hunt them.

This dish is incredibly easy to put together and quite delicious.   We served the pasta with garlic bread and salad.  There may have been ice cream Snickers bars for dessert, but what happens in Estes Park stays in Estes Park, right?

8 ounces penne pasta
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
3 cups fresh spinach
1/2 of a yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon heavy cream
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste

In a pot of boiling water, cook pasta according to package instructions.  Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add onions, garlic, and mushrooms.  Cook until tender.  Add spinach (just throw it on there), and cook until wilted.  In a mixing bowl, pour tomatoes and whisk in heavy cream.  Add tomato mixture to skillet and heat through.  Add drained pasta and crumbled feta.  Salt and pepper to taste.

(Note, I added cream because I like a tomato cream sauce.  Feel free to leave out the cream, for a healthier version.)

Slightly adapted from Our Best Bites

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Posted by on April 6, 2011 in Main Dish


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Spinach Manicotti with a Creamy Tomato Sauce

After making the huge pot of marinara sauce, I felt inspired to make Spinach Manicotti with a Creamy Tomato Sauce for dinner.  It’s slightly more time consuming than most of our weeknight meals, but it is so good.  Martha, as in Martha Stewart, claims that this is a no-fuss meal perfect for a weeknight dinner.  Clearly Martha is either 1) much faster at stuffing manicotti shells than me, or 2) has more time on her hands to prepare a weeknight dinner.   Regardless, the finished product is worth it, but I wouldn’t call it fuss-free.

A photo of spinach manicotti.

Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 manicotti shells
1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 package (10 ounces) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup mushrooms, chopped into small pieces, sautéed
2 cups marinara sauce
Pinch of dried oregano
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cook pasta according to package instructions.  Drain, rinse with cold water, and place on a greased baking sheet in a single layer.  Combine ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of Parmesan, lemon zest, spinach, and mushrooms in a medium sized bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Mix well to combine.

Place cheese mixture in large ziplock bag.  Twist and squeeze bag so filling is in one corner.  Using scissors, cut a small opening in the corner of the bag.  Stuff filling in manicotti shells and place in an 8-inch square glass baking dish.

In a medium bowl, whisk together marinara sauce, oregano, and heavy cream.  Pour over manicotti and top with remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese has browned and sauce is bubbling in center of dish.  Let dish stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve with salad and French bread.

Slightly adapted from Martha Stewart



Posted by on March 18, 2011 in Main Dish


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