Thursday, June 6, 2013

Baked Lemon Pasta

I have been seeing lots of recipes for variations on lemon pasta.  Some have shrimp or chicken added, while others have spring veggies.  I thought I'd try out a basic version.  My kids love lemons and pasta so I thought that they'd enjoy this.  This was simple enough to put together.  The kids enjoyed it.  I'm not the biggest fan of citrus so this wasn't my favorite.  But I was happy that they enjoyed it! I think adding some grilled chicken would be a great addition.

Baked Lemon Pasta
recipe from The Pioneer Woman

1 pound Thin Spaghetti
4 Tablespoons Salted Butter
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 whole Lemon, Juiced And Zested
2 cups Sour Cream
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt, Or More To Taste
Plenty Of Grated Parmesan Cheese
Extra Lemon Juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook spaghetti according to package.

In a skillet, melt butter with olive oil over LOW HEAT. When butter is melted, add minced garlic. Squeeze lemon juice into the pan. Turn off heat.

Add sour cream and stir mixture together. Add lemon zest and salt to taste.  Pour mixture over drained spaghetti and stir together, then pour spaghetti into an oven safe dish.

Bake, covered, for 15 minutes. Then remove foil and bake for an additional 7 to 10 minutes. (Don’t bake too long or the pasta will dry out.)

When you remove it from the oven, squeeze a little more lemon juice over the top. Top generously with Parmesan cheese, then chopped parsley. Give it a final squeeze of lemon juice at the end.
  Family Rating: 1 thumb up.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Spinach Pesto and Sausage Strata

I enjoy pesto but don't make or eat it very often.  I saw this recipe called for jarred pesto and knew jarred would be much easier than making my own.  I wasn't sure if the kids had ever tried pesto before.  Let's just say that they're not fans of the stuff!  Please note, there's a "Mommy & Daddy Rating" below, rather than a "Family Rating!" This dish was tasty.  The pesto added a nice flavor with the sausage, bread, and cheeses.  However, this dish does have a decent amount of prep work involved AND 45 minutes of cooking.  Definitely not a quick and easy meal.  Plus, when I have to use the food processor, mixing bowls, and fry much as a fan I am of cooking, I'm not really a fan of doing dishes.  My husband will tell me to "leave the dishes, I'll do them when I get home."  But really, after working all day I'm NOT going to have him wash all of the dishes.  Plus, I'm a clean as you cook type of person.  So while this dish was cooking, the pots and pans got washed.  Needless to say, if you like pesto AND you have some time, definitely give this recipe a try. It was tasty!  I'm sure homemade peso would taste even better!  However, I do not recommend this meal if you are short on time!

Spinach Pesto and Sausage Strata
recipe adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray, April 2013

6 ounces fresh spinach (6 cups packed)
1/3cup jarred pesto
Salt and pepper
3 eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1/2cup grated parmesan
3/4cup sliced scallions
9 ounces italian sausage, casings removed
1 10 ounce loaf Italian bread, sliced 1/2-inch thick
2/3 cup ricotta
2 cups grated swiss cheese

1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees . In a food processor, puree 2 cups spinach with the pesto; season with salt and pepper.

2.In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, parmesan cheese, and scallions. Season with salt and pepper.

3.In a nonstick skillet, cook the sausage over medium-high heat, breaking it up, until cooked, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl. Reduce heat to medium and cook the remaining spinach until wilted, about 1 minute; chop.

4.Using half of the ingredients: Arrange bread in a 7-by-11-inch baking dish, spread on pesto, then ricotta; pour in egg mixture and top with spinach, sausage and swiss. Repeat. Let stand for 10 minutes, pressing to soak.

5.Bake the strata until puffed and browned, about 45 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Mommy & Daddy Rating: 1 1/2 thumbs up.

Monday, June 3, 2013

SRC Reveal: Root Beer Chicken with BBQ Sauce

It's reveal day for Group A of The Secret Recipe Club.  This month I was assigned the blog Everyday Mom.  Kim is an avid baker and has lots of tasty looking dessert recipes on her blog!  I ended up opting for a savory choice though.  With the weather turning warmer I thought that this Root Beer Chicken looked like a perfect weekend dinner.  This means that my husband, "The Weekend Chef" helped prepare and cook this.  We've cooked chicken like this before but used a beer can.  This is the "non-alcoholic" version! The chicken rub is tasty and it is cooked on the grill.  The sauce was different with an interesting flavor from the root beer, molasses, and orange and lemon juice.  We all enjoyed this dish.  The chicken turned out moist and my kids are big "sauce" lovers.  So they enjoyed this a lot.

Root Beer Chicken with BBQ Sauce

recipe from Everyday Mom

1 whole chicken
Chicken Seasoning (see below)
1 can root beer
1 cup ketchup
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup orange juice
3 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. molasses
½ tsp. ginger powder
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. onion powder

Prepare grill, for indirect cooking.

Wash and pat dry chicken. Generously sprinkle entire chicken with chicken seasoning. Pour out and reserve, 1 cup of root beer. Place chicken on top of open can, so chicken is standing upright. Place chicken on back half of grill, use the legs and can as a tripod to help the chicken stand. Close cover and let chicken cook for at least an hour or until thermometer, placed in thickest part, reads 160°-165°. Remove from heat, let chicken rest for 10 minutes, slice and serve.

While the chicken cooks, combine the 1 cup of root beer set aside and remaining ingredients in a small saucepan. Place over medium high heat, stirring continuously bring to a boil. Once mixture has reached a boil reduce temperature to medium low and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly then serve with roasted chicken.

Chicken Seasoning
(slightly adapted)

2 Tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Lemon Pepper (can use plain pepper and lemon zest)
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cayenne pepper

Place all ingredients in small bowl, stir until combined.

Family Rating: 1 thumb up.