Easy Breezy Beautiful Boston Cream Pie

Yum!! (Courtesy of Jello Recipes)

1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1 cup cold milk
1-1/2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
1 round yellow cake layer (8 or 9 inch) prepared as directed.
1 square BAKER'S Unsweetened Chocolate
1 Tbsp. butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. cold milk

BEAT pudding mix and 1 cup milk with whisk 2 min. Stir in COOL WHIP. Let stand 5 min. Meanwhile, cut cake horizontally into 2 layers with serrated knife.
STACK cake layers on serving plate, spreading pudding mixture between layers.
MICROWAVE chocolate and butter on HIGH 1 min.; stir until chocolate is melted. Add sugar and 2 Tbsp. milk; mix well. Spread over cake. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Mediterranean Chicken Packets

I'm making this for dinner tonight =) Its from Martha Stewart Everyday Food. Fantastic Recipe Magazine!!!

Ingredients (Serves 4.)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
4 artichoke hearts (from a 14-ounce can), quartered
12 Kalamata olives, halved and pitted
4 teaspoons capers
1/2 cup crumbled feta (2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place four 12-inch squares of parchment paper or heavy-duty foil on a work surface. Place a chicken breast on one half of each square, leaving a 2-inch border; season with salt and pepper.
Dividing evenly, top chicken with tomatoes, artichokes, olives, capers, and feta. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and oil. Fold parchment over ingredients, and crimp edges to seal.
Place packets on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until chicken is opaque throughout, 20 to 22 minutes.

Easy Crockpot Chicken

Super Easy and just an all around "comfort food" type meal.

4 Chicken Breasts
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Can Chicken Gumbo Soup

Mix the soups and pour over chicken in crockpot. Cook for 3 hours on high or 5-6 hours on low.

... I told you it was easy =)

Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread

2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/3 cup oil
1/4 cup milk in large bowl until well blended

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks
2 tsp. CALUMET Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Stir just until moistened. Grease 5x9 loaf pan; fill with batter.

BAKE at 300 degrees for 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature. Cut into 18 slices to serve.

Beef Stroganoff

30 Minutes or less, perfect.

1 lb. beef sirloin steak, cut into strips
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
1 Tbsp. oil
1 can (8 oz.) mushroom pieces and stems, undrained
2 beef bouillon cubes
4 cups (8 oz.) medium egg noodles, uncooked
1 container (8 oz.) Sour Cream

BROWN steak with onion in hot oil in large skillet.
STIR in 1-1/2 cups water, mushrooms and liquid, the bouillon cubes and noodles. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover. Simmer 10 to 12 min. or until noodles are tender.
STIR in sour cream; cook an additional 2 min., stirring occasionally.

Low Sodium, Low Fat Chicken

Low Fat. Low Sodium. Just the way I like it!

Heat about 2 tbls Olive oil in a frying pan. Place 2 chicken breasts in the pan about one minute each side. Sprinkle with your favorite Mrs. Dash seasonings (I used original blend) and cook another 2 minutes each side. Continue to cook covered as much as possible (of course flip the chicken over every now and again) Low Sodium and Seriously good. Who knew???

Creamy Risotto

I made this tonight too and loved it! I left out the prosciutto since I had it with the chicken so I can't attest for that being wonderful but the risotto on its own was fantastic! Giada from Food Network, by the way... love her! (although my own adaptations are changed in the recipe)

4 thin slices prosciutto
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
12 asparagus spears, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 shallot, finely chopped
3/4 cup white rice
3/4 cup sparkling white grape juice with a splash of cranberry juice (substituted for champagne)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Place the slices of prosciutto on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake until the prosciutto slices are almost completely crisp, about 6 to 8 minutes. The slices will crisp up even more as they cool. Reserve for garnish.
In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Blanch the asparagus in the chicken stock for 2 minutes. Remove the asparagus with a slotted spoon. Set the asparagus aside and keep the chicken stock at a low simmer.
In another medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the shallot and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the Arborio rice and stir to coat in the butter. Continue toasting the rice, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes more. Add the Champagne and simmer until the liquid has almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes total. Remove from the heat. Gently stir in the asparagus, remaining butter, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Spoon the risotto into serving dishes and garnish by breaking the crisp prosciutto into smaller pieces over the top of the risotto. Serve immediately.

Rosemary Lemon Chicken with Prosciutto

MmmMmmm... just made this tonight, it's from the food network and it is seriously good!!
Extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
Leaves from 2 small sprigs fresh rosemary
1 whole chicken, quartered (about 3 pounds) ** I use chicken breast **
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 lemon, juiced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Put a cast iron or other ovenproof skillet large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer, or a small roasting pan, over medium heat and get it good and hot. Drizzle the pan with a 3-count of oil. Add the prosciutto and rosemary and cook, stirring, until the prosciutto is crisp and lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Push to 1 side of the pan. Season the chicken on both sides with a generous amount of salt and pepper and add it to the pan, skin side down, in a single layer. Cook for about 5 minutes until the skin begins to set and crisp. Turn and cook 3 more minutes. Turn the chicken again, stick the pan in the oven and roast until the chicken is tender and cooked through, about 30 more minutes. ******** see below
Take the pan out of the oven. Remove the chicken and prosciutto from of the pan and arrange on a platter with rosemary and prosciutto sprinkled on top, keep warm while you prepare the pan sauce. Pour out all but about 1 tablespoon of the rendered chicken fat and return the pan to the stovetop. Stir in the stock and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, scraping up the flavors stuck to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, until reduced to a syrup, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the pan sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.
***** Since I didn't use a whole chicken I cooked covered just like you would cook chicken breast normally and it turned out perfect =)

A few snack and side ideas

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

All you need is Asparagus and Prosciutto! Just wrap one peace around each asparagus spear. Steam or boil the asparagus as normal and then chill before wrapping the prosciutto around. You can hold it in place with a toothpick or lay it down

Apples and Feta

One of my favorite snacks when I come home from a long day is just apples with feta. Sometimes, I even just put it all in a bowl and eat it with a fork. The feta takes the sour edge off the apples leaving still just enough flavor that its still a refreshing snack or side -- and good for you too!

Frozen Blueberries and Milk

I love pouring a little bit of milk over frozen blueberries. Just enough that they're coated and the milk will freeze in the bowl with the blueberries. Great for breakfast even!


You can cook it in your rice cooker if you buy it in bulk or you can buy the quick and easy kind I like. Buy plain couscous and just add some mint leaves torn up along with some peas and maybe a dash of some of your favorite seasonings. The mint gives it just the right amount of flavor!

Rosemary-Garlic Potatoes

1 tbls olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1/4 tsp dried
1 1/2 pounds red new potatoes scrubbed and thinly sliced or chopped
salt and pepper

Combine oil, garlic, and rosemary in a 2 quart microwave and oven-safe baking dish with a lid. Cover and microwave on high until garlic is fragrant (1 minute) Stir in potatoes. Roast in the oven on 400 for about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add rosemary sprigs for garnish

Serves 4

Olive Tapenade

First discovered by myself, my sister, and my mother at the Spaghetti Factory. Love at first bite.

20 pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp rinsed, drained, and chopped capers
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
Fresh cracked black pepper (to taste)
**Serve with water crackers or unsalted saltines to spread on.

Combine everything in a food processor (I use my magic bullet!) Put it in a bowl and chill until ready to serve. Will keep for up to 2 weeks refrigerated.


I don't think something like pesto even needs an introduction... other than to say that this one is nut free =)

3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves stemmed
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/3 cup olive oil (extra virgin please!!)
1 tsp salt, more to taste
1 grated zest of lemon
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp freshly ground (or not whatev) black pepper
(You can add pine nuts or pumpkin seeds if you want)

Turn on a food processor and add the garlic first until finely chopped (5 secs). Add the basil, process 5 secs. Add cheese, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, and pepper. Process until sauce is green. Taste the pesto and adjust anything you desire. Serve on crackers, toast, or your favorite pasta This pesto will keep for 3 days in an airtight container.


Chicken Cigars

The kind of cigars even I can enjoy!!
This is a Rachael Ray recipe from her 30 minute meals book. It has a few things I happen to love: chicken, basil, and most of all..... PHYLLO dough =) =)

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion
4 garlic cloves
1 1/2 - 2 lbs ground (or shredded) chicken breast
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes chopped
1 cup, about 20 leaves, fresh basil chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tbls fennel seeds
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and Black pepper to taste
8 sheets phyllo dough
1 stick butter, melted
2 hearts of romaine lettuce, chopped
juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 425.
Heat a medium skillet with 2 tbls olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic, cook until soft (onions should be see throughish; 6-7 minutes). Let the mixture cool in a medium mixing bowl. Add the chicken, tomatoes, basil, oregano, fennel, pepper flakes, cheese, salt and pepper and combine. Brush a sheet of Phyllo with some of the melted butter. Top with a second sheet of Phyllo and brush again. Form 1/4 of the chicken mixture into a 1 inch thick log as long as the phyllo sheet and roll. Cut the roll into 3 "cigars" and brush with a dab more butter. Repeat to make a total of 12 cigars (serves 2-3 total). Bake for 16-18 minutes, until golden brown.

Toss the lettuce with the lemon juice and remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Breakfast Crepes

These are an elegant twist on a regular breakfast. They're so easy and SO yummy =) Great for a breakfast in bed surprise or just for everyday fun! Enjoy =)

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted

**These are great with any kind of berry or just with syrup and powdered sugar. And whipped cream is great =)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the eggs. Gradually add in the milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Serve hot.

Corn and Black Bean Salsa

Guilt Free Salsa from my mom - DELICIOUS and addictive =)

2 16-oz. cans black beans
1 16 oz. can of corn
5 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 medium avocado, chopped (I usually put either one large one or two small ones because I love them!)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime
Hint of Lime Tortilla Chips

Drain the black beans and corn. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for the lime and chips. Toss to mix well.
Before serving, squeeze the juice from one lime over the top
Serve with lime chips

Italian Cheese and Crackers

Guests coming soon? This is fast, addicting, and guaranteed to impress!

Water crackers (my favorite), wheat thins, or thin crisp triscuits
Ricotta cheese
Pesto (premaid in the refrigerated section)
Kalamata olives (Seedless cut in half)

Lay out the crackers on a serving tray, as many as you are going to need. Place a spoonful of ricotta cheese on each one and spread to cover the cracker. Put a "dollop" of pesto next, smaller than how much ricotta you put on. Place one Kalamata olive on each cracker and top with one or two capers.

These look awesome and taste SO good. I prefer water crackers because they add texture but not an overpowering wheaty flavor. But whatever you like will work!

Capers and Artichoke Pasta

This is one of my favorite recipes. Fast, Easy, and healthy too!


1 jar artichoke hearts
1 can olives sliced or whole (black or kalamata, your choice)
1 roma tomato diced
2-3 tsp capers (I add more, but then again I LOVE capers)
1 garlic clove diced or 1/2 tsp from a jar
1 small-med zucchini diced
2 chicken breasts cooked and cubed (if desired)
2 spins around the pot of Olive Oil
Parmesan Cheese if you want
Your choice of noodles!

Cook pasta as directed. Drain water and add all the ingredients listed above. Stir while on heat and let everything heat through. Serve! Yes, it really is that simple. And it really is THAT good.

Parmesan Chicken

This is another Kraft foods recipe.


1/2 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 env. GOOD SEASONS Italian Dressing Mix
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (2 lb.)

HEAT oven to 400°F.
MIX cheese, dressing mix and garlic powder. ( I don't always use all the seasons packet. Its pretty strong)
MOISTEN chicken with water; coat with cheese mixture. Place in shallow baking dish.
BAKE 20 to 25 min. or until chicken is done (165°F).

**Serve with noodles of choice and spaghetti sauce

Dutch Babies

This recipe is from my sweet Grandma =) SO easy and such a yummy breakfast!

Preheat oven to 425, Melt 1 cube of butter in a 9x13 pan while the oven is preheating (just cut it into 4 or 5 chunks and stick it in there while it preheats. )

Other Ingredients:

6 eggs
1 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
Optional: sprnkle Nutmeg, pour a tsp of Vanilla, or a bit of Cinnamon
**I put vanilla and cinnamon in usually

Mix everything together, pour over butter do not mix in!

Make sure you leave room in the oven for the dutch baby to rise, sometimes they get pretty high!

Cook for 20 - 25 minutes

Cheesy Bread Bowl Dip

I have more requests for this recipe than anything else I make, and people are always surprised what is in it and how easy it is... And of course I got it from my mom!

8 oz. Cream Cheese or Neufchatel cheese
1/4 cup green onions
16 oz. Sour Cream
1 bottle Dried Beef chopped (in the canned meats aisle)
1 french bread loaf cut into cubes
1 round bread loaf (boule, or 4 small bread bowls if you can't find the large ones works too)

Preheat oven to 200-350 degrees depending how much time you have. Combine all ingredients and mix until well blended. Cut out the top of the bread bowl(s) and remove the inside bread but SAVE it. Fill the bread bowl with the mixture and replace the top so it stays enclosed. Wrap in foil and place in the oven for the time and temperature specified below:
If you have 2 hours or more: 200 degrees works great
If you have less than that crank the temperature up between 200 and 350 degrees to heat it through faster.
Serve with Bread for dipping. I promise, they'll keep coming back for more. You can make this dip and freeze it for future parties!

Chicken Pockets (or roll ups, or diapers, or whatever you call them)

This is an old favorite. My mom made it growing up and I love it!

3 cups chicken cooked and cubed
1 8 oz. Cream cheese
¼ cup green onion, chopped (or celery for the texture)
1 can cream of chicken soup (for gravy)
¾ cup milk (for gravy)
2 packages pop up crescent rolls
Bread crumbs

Mix chicken, cream cheese, and onion. Unroll crescent rolls. Place about 1 heaping tablespoon of chicken mixture onto each crescent roll. Wrap roll around mixture so that it is sealed inside. Roll in bread crumbs. Place in freezer bag. When thawed, bake on cookie sheet at 375 for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. Combine milk and soup to make gravy, heat well. Serve with gravy, and rice.


Yep, I got it from my mama! This recipe is great because its inspiration for so much more! You can stuff these suckers with whatever you would like!

3 cups sausage, breakfast or Italian, cooked and crumbled
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 can sliced olives
1 8 oz cream cheese
¼ c. green onion
1 loaf frozen dough, or pizza dough

Combine first 5 ingredients. Divide doup in half. Roll out doughs to form long rectangles (like for cinnamon rolls). Lay filling down the middle. Seal all edges. Lay seam down on cookie sheet. Pre-freeze before putting them in the bags so they don’t stick together.
Thaw on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes. Can be served hot or cold.

Another option: fill with pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, or whatever pizza toppings you like, and serve with marinara dipping sauce.

Chicken Enchilada Suiza

I got this one from my mama =)

2 cans cream of chicken soup
16 oz. Sour cream
Mix and set aside
3-4 cups chicken breast, cooked and cubed ( 1 breast =about a cup)
2, 4 oz. Cans sliced olives
1 4 oz. Can green chilis, chopped and drained
1 cup onion chopped
1 Tbls. Chili powder
½ tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Garlic powder
8 Tortillas
1 ½ -2 cups cheddar cheese grated

Mix ¾ cup sour cream/soup mixture together with chicken, olives, chilis, onion, chili powder, salt, garlic powder, and ½ cup cheese. Divide evenly onto 8 tortillas. Roll and place in gallon Ziploc freezer bag. Cover with remaining sour cream/soup sauce. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Freeze. To thaw, spray 9x13 pan with Pam or the like, and cut frozen bag open. Let enchiladas thaw in pan, in the fridge. Bake at 400 for 15-25 minutes. Serve with salsa.

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

Again, Alicia gave me this recipe. I make it a lot, its fast and easy and out of this world good.

4 chicken breasts
8 oz sour cream
1/3 C margarine or butter
1 can cream of chicken or mushroom

1 roll crushed Ritz crackers
¼ C margarine or butter, melted
1 Tbsp poppy seeds

DIRECTIONS:Preheat oven to 350°F. Boil chicken in water with a bouillon cube. Salt and pepper chicken and shred it once cooked and put in an 8x8 casserole dish. Mix soup, sour cream, and margarine and pour over the chicken. Mix the topping ingredients together and pour them over the chicken mixture. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. Serve over rice.

Can be frozen without topping

Lauren's Make Ahead Brownie Delight

Alicia gave me this recipe and it is SO good. Its fantastic because you make it ahead and so its just ready when you want it!

Prep Time: 20 minutes (Ready in 4 hours)

Brownie Base:
1 (1 lbs, 3.5 oz) package Pillsbury Rich & Moist Fudge Brownie Mix
½ C oil
¼ C water
2 eggs
¾ C large chocolate chips or chunks
2 C whipping cream
4 oz cream cheese, softened
¼ C powdered sugar
½ C white vanilla chips, melted Sauce1
(10-oz) package frozen raspberries in syrup, thawed
3 T sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1 C fresh raspberries

Heat oven to 350 F. Grease bottom and sides of 9-inch spring form pan. In large bowl, combine brownie mix, oil, water and eggs; beat 50 strokes with spoon. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread batter in greased pan.Bake at 350 F for 45 to 50 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool 1 hour or until completely cooled.

In large bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. In large bowl, combine cream cheese and powdered sugar; beat until smooth. Stir in melted vanilla chips. Fold in 1/3 of whipped cream. Reserve 1 cup mixture for piped edge; spread remaining mixture over brownie. Using decorating bag fitted with star tip (1/4 to 3/8-inch opening), pipe decorative border around edge of brownie, making sure border doesn’t touch side of pan. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Meanwhile, in food processor bowl with metal blade or blender container, process raspberries with syrup until smooth. Strain to remove seeds. In small saucepan, combine 3 T sugar and cornstarch; stir in raspberry puree. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens. Cool to room temperature.

About 1 hour before serving, arrange fresh raspberries over filling. Refrigerate until serving time. With sharp knife, loosen dessert from sides of pan; remove sides of pan. Cut into wedges. Serve with raspberry sauce. Store in refrigerator. 16 servings High Altitude (above 3500 feet):Add 1/3 cup flour to dry brownie mix. Bake as directed above.To prevent scorching, melt vanilla chips carefully over LOW heat. For best results, follow package directions. Adding ¼ tsp vegetable oil to the chips before melting may improve the melted mixture.

For the creamiest, smoothest filling, the cream cheese mixture and the melted chips should be the same temperature when you combine them.
Make-Ahead Tip: This dessert can be made several weeks ahead. Prepare the brownie base and filling as directed in the recipe. Top the brownie with filling as directed in the recipe and store it tightly covered, in the freezer.

Easy, Romantic, Filet Mignon

I made this for Valentine's day last year. It was FABULOUS. It's from allrecipes submitted by a 14 year old boy. If he can do it, you can do it.

2 (8 ounce) beef tenderloin steaks, cut 1 inch thick (about 1 pound total)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons minced shallot
2 slices bacon

Place oven rack in it's highest position. Set oven to Broil.
Rub steaks all over with olive oil. Sprinkle with onion powder, then with salt and pepper. Wrap one slice of bacon around each steak, and secure with a toothpick.
Place steaks onto a broiler pan, and broil for 5 to 7 minutes. Turn the steaks over, and sprinkle the tops with shallots. Broil for an additional 5 to 7 minutes, or until the steaks are cooked to your liking.

Whipped Strawberry Sensation

With summer coming this is a must have! This picture and recipe is from Kraft Foods.

4 cups fresh strawberries, divided
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
8 OREO Cookies, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. butter, melted

LINE 9x5-inch loaf pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Mash 2 cups of the strawberries in large bowl. Add condensed milk, juice and 2 cups of the whipped topping; mix well. Pour into prepared pan.
MIX chopped cookies and butter. Spoon over whipped topping mixture. Cover with ends of foil and gently press cookie mixture into whipped topping mixture. Freeze 6 hours or until firm.
INVERT dessert onto serving plate when ready to serve; remove pan and foil. Spread remaining whipped topping onto top and sides of dessert. Slice remaining 2 cups strawberries; arrange over dessert. Store leftovers in freezer.

Fettucine Alfredo

So most of you probably don't want to know whats in your alfredo sauce.... but regardless its delicious!

1 pound fettuccini pasta
1 1/2 cups butter, divided
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into cubes
2 (16 ounce) containers whole milk ricotta cheese
1 pint heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add fettuccini and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute chicken until no longer pink and juices run clear.
In a large saucepan combine ricotta cheese, cream, salt, Parmesan cheese and remaining butter. Cook over medium heat until well combined, about 10 minutes. Stir in cooked fettuccini and chicken; cook until heated through.

Tomato, Basil, and Cheese Pasta

This is bar none my favorite thing to make and could possibly be my favorite thing to eat. The ingredients aren't ones I typically cook with and its easy (which we all like) and its so yummy. So all around, its a good one... This recipe came from Rachel Ray's TV show.

1 pound small shell pasta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan in a slow stream
3 large cloves garlic
1/2 small to medium yellow onion
1 (28-ounce) can crushed Italian tomatoes, any brand
1/2 cup, 10 to 12 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
Salt and pepper
7-8 oz store bought basil pesto sauce
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, a couple of handfuls
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt the water. Add small shell pasta and cook the pasta to al dente doneness which means that the pasta will still have a bite to it or be a little chewy. The pasta will soak up more juice and keep on cooking after we drain it, so we need it to be a little under cooked. The shells will probably cook about 9 or 10 minutes.
Meanwhile the pasta is cooking...preheat a deep, big skillet or a medium sauce pot over medium heat.Place garlic on the cutting board and place the flat of your knife on top of each clove. Carefully give the garlic a whack with the palm of your hand to separate the cloves from the skins. Throw out the skins and chop up the garlic. Remember to keep your fingers curled under and the edge of your sharp, chef's knife tilted slightly away from your body.Add extra-virgin olive oil to the pan by pouring a slow stream of it twice-around-the-pan. This will be about 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Do not let the oil pour out too fast. You are looking for a slow, steady stream. Add the garlic to the oil. To chop the onion, cut the ends off and cut the whole onion down the center. Wrap half and save it. Cut the other half into thin slices then twist the slices a quarter turn and chop them again. (You're just dicing them) Hold the tip of the knife on the cutting board and lift the back of the knife up and down over the onion to make the pieces really small. Add the chopped up onion to the garlic and oil. Cook, stirring a lot, 5 minutes until the onions are mushy and look cooked.Add the tomatoes to the onions and stir. When the tomatoes come to a bubble, reduce the heat under the sauce to low. Stir in basil pieces to wilt them. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, to your taste.
Preheat your broiler to high and place a rack in the center of the oven. Drain pasta shells. Add them to a casserole dish. Add pesto sauce, 1 cup of ricotta cheese and a handful of grated Parmigiano, too. Stir carefully and coat the hot pasta with the pesto and cheeses. Pour the hot tomato and basil sauce over the pasta, as much as you like. You can always serve a little extra at the table, to pass around. Shred up some mozzarella cheese with a grater and scatter it over the pasta. Add a final sprinkle of Parmigiano to the mozzarella as well. Place the casserole under the broiler in the middle of oven, 10 to 12 inches from the heat. Let the cheese melt and bubble on top, 3 to 5 minutes.
Total time to make: 35 minutes. Yield: 4-6 servings. (In my case, 4 since everyone ate so much :)
I served this just with a vinaigerette salad and garlic bread. It was delicious and everyone loved it.

Best Ever Chicken Cordon Bleu

**You will need one of these for each person you are serving. So for this you would be making only one chicken cordon bleu. (So if you are making 2 you need 2 chicken breasts, 2 slices of cheese, 1 piece of ham, etc...)
1 Chicken Breast
1 Slice of Swiss cheese
1/2 of a slice of black forest ham
4-5 sheets Phyllo dough- thawed (found in the frozen food aisle, usually by the frozen pie crusts, cool whip, etc.)

Preheat the oven to 375. On a cutting board, pound chicken until flattened and can easily be folded in half. You can butterfly cut the chicken instead but unless your chicken is pretty thick this method can be a little bit more tricky. (search for directions on how to butterfly cut chicken on google if you don't already know) Place one piece of ham on half of chicken (trim so that it fits inside and the chicken can be folded around it as needed). Place one slice of swiss cheese or more if desired on top of ham and fold chicken on top of it like a pocket. Unroll Phyllo dough until it is large enough to wrap around the chicken breast. You only need to use about 4-5 sheets of phyllo dough to wrap the chicken in. Cut the phyllo dough using a pizza cutter and peel the layers off. Place the chicken breast in the middle and wrap the sides around the bottom like you would a present. You can also fold the phyllo dough the same way you did the chicken and press the sides together for a nice look. Using a wet paper towel you can wet the dough and make it stick together. Bake in oven for 45 minutes. The phyllo dough will be golden brown and the chicken inside will be moist and done to perfection!

I like to serve it with a white chicken gravy but you definitely don't need to. Its good all on it's own!

Yummy Yummy Meatballs!

If you've never had homemade meatballs these are just the ones to start with (If I do say so myself). mmmmm....

1 lb ground beef
1/2-2/3 cup dry breadcrumbs (seasoned are fine too)
1/4 cup milk
1/4-3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 small onion, chopped (or about1/4 tsp or 1/2 tsp onion powder)
1 egg
**Spaghetti or noodles of choice
**Your choice of spaghetti sauce

Combine all ingredients and shape into 20-24 meatballs (1 to 1-1/2 inches each). Line a 9x13 pan with foil for easy clean-up. Bake at 425 for about 25 min or until light brown and cooked through; turn meatballs halfway through, if desired, to help maintain a round shape. Serve over spaghetti and sauce; I prefer just a traditional sauce since the meatballs have so much flavor but choose your favorite, and of course sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if you like!

**I have also added other spices, anything you want is fine... (thyme, oregano, basil, etc)
**These make great meatball sandwiches the next day, just add some mozzarella cheese and broil for a few minutes.

Chicken Stir-Fry

One of the easiest and fastest recipes ever. Originally from Kraft Foods, I've modified it a little to suit my taste.

8 oz. angel hair pasta (capellini), uncooked
2 cups small broccoli florets
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing (I use Kraft, its good :)
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. each: ground ginger, garlic powder
1/8 - 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/3 cup chopped Dry Roasted Peanuts

Cook pasta as directed on package, adding broccoli to the boiling water for the last 3 min. of the pasta cooking time.MEANWHILE, spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 6 to 8 min. or until cooked through, stirring occasionally. Stir in dressing, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and crushed red pepper; cook 1 min., stirring occasionally.DRAIN pasta mixture; place in large bowl. Add chicken mixture; mix lightly. Serve in bowls and sprinkle peanuts on top.

**suggested additions: water chestnuts, red peppers (don't use red pepper flakes if you use these), carrots sliced.

** Sometimes I just make rice instead of pasta and then add broccoli towards the end to the chicken and sauce. I still love it!
** If you don't have peanuts its still really good without them, they are just a nice touch!
** The crushed red pepper adds a lot of spice... so I don't always add it, but for those of you who love the burn... have at it!