Monday, March 30, 2009

Happy Birthday, Gracie!

Saturday was Gracie's birthday, it was also my Spring/Summer Tastefully Simple Open House. We had one of those weeks you hope never happen, so I was running around like crazy on Saturday. Gracie was very specific on her request for a cake and I was so rushed that it didn't turn out the way I had planned. It is never good to rush, especially when you are baking and decorating. I may make another one just to make up for the lack of creativity on this one. But, I did do exactly what she asked me to do: a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and green grass and of course her ponies that she cleaned so they could be used.

At the last minute some friends joined us at Grandma and Grandpa's house for supper and cake. To read about my week please visit here.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Chicken Lasagna

Ok, before I begin I need to apologize for being so late with this post. Too much has been going on for me to sit down and recall how I made this. Please forgive me. Also, I can never remember to take pictures, but I hope to do some baking today and I will try to remember to take pictures of that. I am also working on an instruction post to show you how I made the bugs on my first post for this blog.

Alright, I am ready to begin my recipe. I will keep it simple. Remember the last two times I have made this I was catering, so I didn't make my homemade alfredo sauce. I am going to share the recipe for this lasagna using store-bought alfredo, if you would like my recipe let me know and I will post it.

Chicken Lasagna

3 cups shredded chicken ( I usually just boil and shred one whole chicken)
1 10oz frozen box of chopped spinach, thawed and wrung out in a clean towl
10-12 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 of a purple onion, finely chopped
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
3-4 cups mozzerella cheese, shredded
1 jar of alfredo sauce, if you love garlic, the garlic alfredo is very good
6 lazagna noodles

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. In a large pot or skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion. Saute until onion is transparent, add spinach. Once spinach is heated through add chicken and alfredo sauce. Heat until warm.

Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Spread 1/3 of alfredo mixture on bottom of pan. Next layer 1 cup of cheese. Then layer 3 lasagna noodles. Follow with 1/3 alfredo mixture, then cheese, then 3 lasagna noodles. Finish with the final 1/3 of alfredo and top with cheese, you may add more cheese to this last layer if you choose. Cover with aluminum foil and place in oven for roughly one hour. You may take the aluminum off for the last 5-10 minutes to brown the top of the lasagna.

I hope you enjoy. As I have said, most of these recipes are mine and I rarely measure, unless I am baking. That is what I love about cooking, I can create something different all of the time. I also like to make this alfredo sauce and use bowtie pasta and toasted pine nuts! Yum!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My Catering Event

Last night, I catered the After 5 event held at Common Ground. This is the second time I have done this. I had a good time once again, thanks to good help and the added bonus of their request for the same thing I made the first time I catered for them. My chicken lasagna. Of all my recipes, this is the one that is requested the most. I can't even remember why I created it, but it has been a favorite for many years. It is full of all kinds of yumminess, but that is all I am going to say for now. I hope to post the recipe tomorrow.

I fed 51 people last night and the menu was:

lettuce salad with my version of Olive Garden's salad dressing
chicken lasagna
garlic bread
fresh strawberry cupcakes with cool whip/strawberries

There were more requests for the recipe and they asked me to include it in their cookbook. They are celebrating their 25th anniversary. I am so glad they asked me to do this, I always have so much fun!

Considering my personality, I always surprise myself by pulling off these events without stressing myself out and being behind schedule. Those of you that know me, know what I am talking about. But, I have been able to be ahead of schedule each time (3 total)!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Diamondback Chicken Pasta

Today's recipe came about because we don't ever get to go to restaurants any more. There was a wonderful Mexican place in the KC area that we frequented and I would often get their Rattlesnake Pasta. This is my take on it. I have to say this is the closest I have ever come to replicating a dish on taste alone. This also includes a Tastefully Simple Fall/Winter product, as well as something from the standard line.

I should also tell you that the first time I made this I did not have enough for everyone to have the thirds they were requesting so this is the recipe doubled. It probably would feed eight adults easily, but my hubby says it is even better the second day!

Diamondback Chicken Pasta

4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 to 2/3 tequila
1Tbsp lime juice
salt and pepper
olive oil
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 red onion
8 oz cream cheese
1 packet Viva Garlic! Alfredo Sauce Mix (Tastefully Simple)
1 pint heavy cream
1 stick of butter
approx. 1/2 c milk
1/3 c Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp Fiesta Party Mix (Tastefully Simple)
2 bags of bow tie pasta, cooked

Marinate the chicken breasts with the tequila,lime and season with salt and pepper. I always like to marinate in a ziploc. Marinate for at least 1/2 an hour.

Grill chicken breasts, 10-15 min each side. Slice peppers and onion in half, brush with olive oil, and place on grill. Grill 3-5 min each side.

In a saucepan, combine heavy cream, cream cheese and butter over medium low heat, stirring often. When cream cheese and butter are melted, add the Alfredo sauce mix, Fiesta Party Mix and Parmesan cheese. Continue to stir. Add milk to reach a good consistency. I don't like it too thick, but like for it to coat the noodles well.

Combine noodles and sauce. Slice grilled chicken breasts and thinly sliced peppers and onions. Add to noodles or place on top of each serving.

I am new to creating recipes, and honestly, I do a lot of the 'dump' method. So please let me know what I need to explain or correct. I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

I want to start my recipes with this very easy, very yummy sandwich. This particular recipe calls for something in the Tastefully Simple Fall/Winter line, which will be retiring this Sunday, March 8. The product is Italian Garlic Bread Seasoning. If you think this recipe sounds like a keeper to you, please contact your Tastefully Simple consultant before Sunday. If you don't have a consultant please visit my website at:

Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

1 Tbsp Italian Garlic Bread Seasoning
1 stick butter
loaf of sourdough bread, 2 slices per sandwich
deli ham slices, 2-3 slices per sandwich
provolone chees, 1 slice per sandwich
sliced tomato, 1-2 slices per sandwich
Dijon mustard.

Mix IGB Seasoning and butter together and let set for 20-30 min. Let griddle warm. If using an electric griddle, set at 325 degrees. Spread Dijon mustard on a slice of sourdough bread, layer ham, cheese and tomato on top. Cover with second slice of sourdough, butter the outer sides of sandwich with Italian Garlic butter. Place on hot griddle, cook for 2-3 minutes or golden brown and flip. Repeat for other sandwiches. Also, my husband likes to use pepper jack cheese instead of provolone. This makes 6-7 sandwiches.

Enjoy! I will soon include pictures, but I don't have any for these first few recipes.

Tomorrow . . . Diamondback Chicken Pasta