Monday, November 30, 2009

Creamy Pesto Ravioli with Chicken, and Chicken Salad

We got home from a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday! Jeffrey and I had to eat two Thanksgiving meals, one with his parents for lunch and dinner with my mom. We were stuffed!

Lunch at the Keith's!
Dinner at my mom's (fun recipes from our dinner to come!)

We didn't have any food left at our house after we got back so I had to go to the store today and restock. I love semi-homemade meals. I made one of my favorites tonight, Creamy Pesto Ravioli with Chicken. I also made a side of Asparugus. See my quick and easy asparugus below in the Orange Shrimp article.

Creamy Pesto Ravioli with Rotisserie Chicken
Rotisserie Chicken
Buitoni Wild Mushroom Agnolotti
Buitoni Pesto
Half and half
1 Tb butter
Parmeganio Reggiano

Rotisserie Chicken is so awesome. It tastes great and can be used for many different meals. Mostly it is so easy to use in a pinch. Tonight I used the chicken for our dinner and then used the leftovers to make chicken salad. I started by pulling the meat off of the chicken. As I took the meat off the chicken I seperated it into small pieces. Put the chicken in a bowl and set aside.

You can purchase any fresh ravioli flavor you like, but I love the Buitoni Wild Mushroom Agnolotti. I also use the Buitoni Pesto. These can be found in the regridgerator section. Boil water, put in the fresh ravioli and cook for about 3 minutes. Drain pasta and set aside.

Pesto Cream Sauce
Melt 1 Tb of butter in a small sauce pan. Add 1 tsp of garlic and cook until slightly brown. Turn heat down to low. Add 1/2 of the container of the Buitoni Pesto and stir until it is melted. Add 1/3 cup of half and half and stir until mixed. Turn heat off and stir in 1 Tb of Parmesan Cheese. I use the good stuff: Parmegiano Reggiano!

Mix the Ravioli into the sauce. Serve on a plate and top with chicken. I put it in a bowl and it was hard to eat, use a plate and it will be easier.

Chicken Salad

Use the left over Rotisserie chicken, about 2 cups.
3/4 cups of chopped celery
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 toasted pecans
3/4 cup of mayo
3 Tb of Honey
salt and pepper

Chopped up your chicken. I was lazy and used my kitchen shears. Chop up celery, toast pecans.

Then mix the first four ingredients in one bowl. Mix the mayo, honey and a dash of salt and pepper in another bowl. Stir the mayo mixture into the chicken and whola, tasty chicken salad!

I make this chicken salad every other week to have on hand for Jeffrey and I to eat for lunch. We love eating it in a wrap! Yesterday I made it and added 1/4 cup of crushed pinapple (drained of juice). It gave the salad a little punch!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Haircuts, Christmas Tree and Orange Shrimp

Today was a very successful day. I started off with laundry so I will be ready to pack for our trip home! I was in major need of a haircut and remembered this really cute hair salon by Jeffrey's old place called The Hive. When I called, they worked me in for today, so I was able to get prettied up before our party Friday. He cut it shorter than I have had it in a while, but I am always up for change. I think it looks hip! Jeffrey got his hair cut also and he looks very handsome!

I had planned on putting up my Christmas Tree today, but with everything else I had going on, I had to get dinner ready first. I found this recipe on the Pioneer Woman blog my mom found. I love shrimp recipes because shrimp cooks so quickly and you can keep frozen shrimp in the freezer and have it ready when you need it. The rest of these ingredients are also staples in our kitchen.

Spicy Orange Shrimp
Frozen unpeeled Shrimp (I usually buy the 21-25 per pound bag of shrimp, but last time I bought the 15-18 pound bag and they are enormous, but great!)
3/4 cup Orange Juice
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 Garlic Cloves minced (It is always better to use fresh garlic cloves, but who wants to have smelly fingers, so I use pre-minced garlic in the jar and add a little extra to make up for flavor)
3 Tb Butter
Bow Tie Pasta (Optional) This dish can be eaten alone, but my husband always likes a starch with his meals so I mix it into the shrimp dish. You can serve with rice if you like.

-Boil water and cook pasta
-Mix Juice, Old Bay, Cayenne Pepper, and garlic in a bowl

-Melt 2 Tb of butter in frying pan
-Add Shrimp to melted butter and cook for 2 minutes on each side
-Remove Shrimp from pan and set aside

-Let pan sit on heat until it starts to smoke
-Add orange juice mixture to pan
-Stir mixture and add remaining 1 Tb of butter

-Cook for about a minute until slightly thickened
-Add shrimp back to pan and stir around then take off of heat

-Drain pasta and add to the pan with the shrimp, mix

We are leaving for Odessa on Wednesday so I was trying to clean out our refrigerator before we leave. We had 6 asparagus left so I made them for the vegetable part of our meal.

Quick and Tasty Asparagus
Asparagus -These were too thick and didn't cook through well, therefore I do not recommend the thick asparagus.
Knorr Aromat All Purpose Seasoning (see I told you to buy it if you can find it, I use it often!)
Parmigiana Reggiano (the good stuff, I miss the pre-grated cheese from Central Market, here I can only find it in blocks so I have to grate it myself)
Olive Oil

-Put asparagus into a baking dish

-Drizzle Olive Oil on top of the asparagus
-Sprinkle Knorrs Aromat Seasoning on the Asparagus

-Grate the cheese on top of the asparagus

-Put under broiler for about 5 minutes or until cheese is golden

After dinner I worked on our Christmas Tree. I think it looks very pretty!! I am so excited to experience the Holidays as a married couple this year!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tacos...Nachos...Chapulas...You decide!

Sundays are awesome! I love going to church with my husband! Though I do miss church in Fort Worth with Kathy and Oscar, especially the music at Christ Chapel. Jeffrey's friend Benji and his wife invited us to go to a church called Calvary Chapel so we have been attending there the past few weeks and really like it. The music is isn't so good, but the preacher's message is great!
Sundays are for napping! So I needed to make a quick meal for Jeffrey and I after my lazy day. I call them tacos but they are actually more like nachos or depending on what you put on top they are chalupas. I love Mexican food and this is a quick and easy meal.

Tacos for 2
1/2 package of Ground Turkey Meat (I use ground turkey because it is less greasy)
Taco seasoning packet
Vegetable Oil
Corn Tortillas
Refried Beans (I use fat free)
Shredded Cheese (don't use 2% it doesn't melt well)

Sour Cream
Pickles (I know it sounds gross but there is a restaurant here that serves pickles on their tacos and it tastes great!)
Whatever else you want

-Cook the turkey meat in a frying pan

-When it is cooked sprinkle some taco seasoning on top, add about 2 Tbs of water and stir. Don't use the whole packet of seasoning, I use the same packet for about 4 meals. Leave meat on low heat until ready to use

-Preheat oven to 375
-Put enough oil in pan to be about 1/2 inch deep.
-Once oil is heated put the tortillas in the oil and fry until golden on each side.I make enough for 2 per person.

-Put fried tortillas between paper towels to drain the oil, salt both sides of the tortilla
-Use a spoon to spread the beans on the fried tortilla

-Sprinkle ground meat on top of the beans

-Sprinkle cheese on top of the meat. I like a lot, and Jeffrey likes a little.

-Put the chips on a baking pan and into the oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted
-Take out of oven and serve with toppings of your choice

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Vampires, Pesto Pasta and Grilled Chicken

Jeffrey and I went to see Twilight: New Moon this afternoon. Last week I reread the 2nd book to prepare for the movie. He was such a good husband to go with me! We went to the Los Feliz 3 Theater it is a few blocks from our house so we walked. The theater was really neat, the movie was a big disappointment though. It was extremely cheesy! It would have been so much better if the background music wouldn't have been so corny. Nevertheless I am sure I will see the other two movies, Jeffrey even said he would see them with I guess it wasn't as horrible as I thought. The books are just so much better!
Anyways, I was able to make us a quick dinner when we got home. I love pesto pasta! Jeffrey always wants a protein so I also made a quick grilled chicken breast for him.

Pesto Pasta
1 pound or a little less Pasta (Bow-Tie pasta is my favorite, I like how the middle is chewy)
Olive Oil 3 Tb
Balsamic Vinegar 1/4 cup
Pesto 1/4 cup (I buy the already made, but if you want to make your own, go for it!)
Small Mozzarella balls about 20
2 Tomatoes
salt and pepper
-Boil pasta until al Dente
-While pasta is boiling chop tomatoes into small pieces, drain extra juice
-Cut mozzarella balls in half
-Put tomatoes, mozzarella, and pesto into a mixing bowl
-drain pasta and pour into the mixing bowl
-Add the olive oil and balsamic into the bowl and mix well
-Salt and Pepper to taste

Grilled Chicken
1 Chicken breast or 3 Chicken tenders
Olive Oil
Italian Seasoning (I used Herbs de Providence)
Salt and Pepper
-Put olive oil on chicken
-Season Chicken with salt, pepper and seasonings

-Spray grill pan with Pam
-Cook Chicken on Grill pan for 5 minutes on each side, or until done.
-Serve Chicken on top of pasta.