Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gruyere Chicken en Croute

Sounds fancy huh? Yeah...well it was time consuming too. And after those pesky Cinnamon Rolls :::looks down::: this probably wasn't the best dinner to tackle. But I did it. I conquered. And it was goooood. This was a Pampered Chef recipe, so it was fun to get to use lots of my fun tools!


1 package (6 ounces) fresh baby spinach leaves
1 medium onion
1 teaspoon butter
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, pressed or chopped
1 jar (12 ounces) roasted red peppers, drained
and patted dry (I just used about 3 decent sized pieces)
1½ cups (6 ounces) grated Gruyère cheese,
divided (yeah...I'm pretty sure I used a significant amount more, but I love cheese)
2½ cups diced roasted chicken (Just needed one massive Sam's Club breast)
24 sheets (9 x 14 inches)thawed, frozen phyllo dough
Nonstick cooking spray

Dijon Cream Sauce (optional)
1 Tbsp butter
1 garlic clove pressed or chopped
1 Tbsp whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp Cayenne pepper
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard


1) Preheat oven to 400ºF. Chop spinach , Cut onion lengthwise into quarters without cutting through root end. Slice onion, should make small diced pieces. Melt butter on med-high heat. Add onion, salt, black pepper, and garlic pressed or chopped. Cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until onion is tender. Add spinach and cook 2-3 minutes or
until wilted. Drain spinach mixture using a small colander; squeeze dry using paper
towels and set aside.
2) Dice roasted peppers. Coarsely grate 1 cup of the cheese.. Combine roasted peppers, cheese and chicken in Mixing Bowl; stir together and set aside.
3) Unfold one sheet of phyllo onto a large cutting board. Lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray. Finely grate about 1 tablespoon of the remaining cheese over phyllo. Repeat two more times to create a stack of three sheets phyllo, ending with cheese. Place 1 tablespoon of the spinach mixture onto phyllo 2 inches from short end. Place ½ cup chicken mixture over spinach. Fold sides of phyllo in toward center; gently roll up. Place onto baking pan or stone, seam side down. Repeat with remaining phyllo, spinach mixture and chicken mixture for a total of eight bundles.
4) Spray outside of each bundle with nonstickcooking spray. Finely grate remaining
cheese over each bundle. Bake 20-22 minutesor until golden brown. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Cut bundles in half diagonally.

Serve with Dijon Cream if desired.

Yield: 8 servings

Dijon Sauce instructions:
In a 4qt. casserole melt butter and garlic over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt, and cayenne pepper; stir until smooth. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly till the mixture has a nutty aroma (do not let mixture brown). Add milk all at once and stir with a whisk until mixture comes to a boil and is slightly thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in Dijon Mustard. Serve immediately.

Ok, so I didn't let the phyllo dough thaw all the way, and some of it broke. So I ended up only making 6 rolls, which is fine, because that still gives us leftovers for lunch tomorrow :)

PW's Sinful Cinnamon Rolls

WARNING: These rolls are bad for you. They are not healthy. I really mean this. If you are on a diet, trying to live a healthy lifestyle, or just cutting back on sweets, please stop. Go no further. If not...come join me in enjoying one of the most delicious sweets known to mankind.

Ok, I'm being lazy. I'm not typing this out, because PW has gone to the effort of putting it in a handy dandy PDF file. Nice huh? Just click here.

The only things I noticed were there was way too much butter. I'd say you only need to spread 1 cup over each rolled out section...not 1.5-2. And then you need to do sort of a roll/flip, because a lot of the mixture will squeeze out if you just roll it. Although, I'm pretty sure you could just ball these suckers up and bake them and they'd still be delicious.

We've already dug into one pan, but the rest are all made up and in the freezer ready to give away for special holiday treats!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

You Should Make This....

Creamy Chicken Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes

Ok, so I've had this recipe for I don't know how long. And now I'm kicking myself for not making it sooner. I think this is going to give Taco Bake a run for it's money. It's delicious, not horrible for you and it's EASY! I got this recipe all the way from Chicago- well at least my sister that lives in Chicago. I have no clue where she got it. Don't scold me. Go buy the ingredients immediately.

2 cups uncooked pasta (penne)
4 boneless chicken breasts (I just used 2 of my massive ones from Sam's)
1 can of chicken broth
1 package of cream cheese (I used low-fat)
1 package frozen spinach (thawed and drained)
1 tsp garlic, chopped (i just minced 3 cloves)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
15 cherry tomatoes, halved (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese (I bought a block on grated it over the top- fresh)

Ok, so you have your ingredients now? K, good. Now do this:

Cook pasta and drain. Cube chicken breast (1" cubes), heat half the chicken broth in a large skillet and add chicken. Cook until no longer pink (5-7 minutes). Add cream cheese, spinach, remaining chicken broth, garlic, salt and pepper. Heat for 3-5 minutes until cheese melts. Add tomatoes. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes until tomatoes are soft. Toss with pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese. EAT!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pumpkin Pie

I asked my mother-in-law for a good pumpkin pie recipe. She said, I always just use the Libby pie recipe. I thought it was boring, but hey- they are the experts right? So while I've tried other recipes, I always go back to this one. It has the perfect pumpkin flavor. So this fall season...Libby it was.


* 1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
* 3/4 cup white sugar
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
* 2 eggs
* 1 (15 ounce) can LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
* 1 (12 fluid ounce) can NESTLE® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk

* add to recipe box Add to Recipe Box
My folders:
* add to shopping list Add to Shopping List
* add a personal note Add a Personal Note


1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. Combine sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs lightly in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell.
3. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 F.; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. (Do not freeze as this will cause the crust to separate from the filling.)

The Perfect Side Salad

Well, you can hardly call this a recipe, but I had this salad a few years ago at a bridal shower. All the ingredients have very strong flavors, but they compliment each other perfectly! It never fails to satisfy...Lindsay- I know it's veggies, but the blue cheese totally negates any healthiness. Maybe you could give it a go :)

Hearts of Romaine
Green Pepper
Blue Cheese Crumbles
Dried Cranberries
Crumbled Walnuts
Raspberry Vinaigrette

Ok...that's all I'm telling you. Really...I don't know what else to tell you. It's a salad. Just put it together :) Doesn't the picture look good? Mmmmm.

Lindsay's Taco Stuffed Shells

I stole this right off Lindsay's Blog. They looked to be right up our alley and they were! I cut this recipe in half and we barely had enough for the two of us. Next time I would definitely make the whole batch...but then again we like leftovers.


* 1 lb. ground beef (we used ground turkey)
* 1 package taco seasoning
* 4 oz. cream cheese (we used non-fat)
* 12 jumbo pasta shells (we used 16)
* 1 cup salsa (we used a little more)
* 1 cup taco sauce
* 1 cup cheddar cheese
* 1 cup monterey jack cheese
(we used 2 cups Sargento mexican blend)
* 1 1/2 cups crushed tortilla chips (we omitted)
* 3 green onions (chopped)
* Sour cream


1. In a frying pan cook ground beef; add taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions.
2. Add cream cheese, cover and simmer until cheese is melted. Blend well. Set aside and cool completely.
3. While ground beef is cooking, cook the pasta shells according to directions; drain. Set shells out individually on cutting board/baking sheet so that they don't stick together.
4. Pour salsa on bottom of 9x13 baking dish.
5. Stuff each shell with the meat mixture. Place shells in 9x13 pan open side up. Cover shells with taco sauce.
6. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
7. After 30 minutes, add shredded cheese and bake for 10-15 more minutes.
8. Add any condiments you'd like (onions, black olives, etc.) Serve with sour cream and/or more salsa. Enjoy!

Puppy Chow

No, I'm not making my dog homemade food...just yet. But I AM making delicious treats for my friends. I also made this for the Halloween party (hangs head in shame again for being so late). I got this recipe from


9 cup Chex
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Put cereal in large bowl. Melt chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Pour over Chex cereal, put into a large plastic bag with powdered sugar and shake well to coat.

Spread mixture evenly on wax paper and allow to cool.

I swear I'm not behind.....

Ok, so now I realize my blog is totally outing me. Yes, I'm way behind on updating, but these turned out so cute, that I'd rather admit to my lateness than not show you at all! I got the idea from Semi-Homemade with Sandra on the Food Network. There aren't too many instructions, but here goes:

Jack-O-Lantern Strawberries

White Melting Chocolate
Orange Food Coloring (or obviously red and yellow)
Black gel icing (the kind in the small tube)
Fresh Strawberries

Clean and dry the strawberries. Melt the chocolate and add food coloring until you get a satisfactory orange. Dip each strawberry and lay on wax paper to cool. Once they dry, draw jack-o-lantern faces with the black gel icing. Put them in the fridge for about an hour and the black icing will harden up pretty well.

I served these at our Halloween party and everyone loved them. I'll definitely do them again, and I'll probably do some Christmas related ones as well!
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