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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Chunky Turkey, Potatoes, and Veggies in White Wine Sauce


  • 1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, cut into bite sized cubes
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 rotisserie chicken shredded
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 12 cremini mushrooms, sliced in half if large (left whole is small)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leave, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 -1 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups white wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • crusty bread


1. Add sweet potatoespotatoes to a saucepan; cover with water; add in some salt and bring to a simmer.

2. Cook for 12 minutes or until fork tender; drain potatoes in a colander, then return the potatoes to the pan and let them dry out on the stovetop.

3. While potatoes are cooking, preheat a large skillet with high sides or a soup pot over med-high heat with about 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 T of butter

4. Add in onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms, thyme, garlic and poultry seasoning. Cook the vegetables, stirring often for 5-6 minutes

5. Add in the tomato paste; season with salt and pepper and cook for one minute more until you can smell the tomato paste

6. Sprinkle the vegetables with flour and continue to cook for 1 minute.

7. Whisk in the wine and simmer 2 minutes.

8. Add in the chicken stock; continue to simmer 4-5 minutes, or until thickened.

9. Add the cooked sweet potatoes and the shredded chicken; continue to cook 2-3 minutes or until the chicken is warmedthrough.

10. Add in the parsley; taste for seasoning and adjust.

14. Serve with crusty bread.

Adapted From: 365 No Repeats - Rachael Ray

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Charred Tomato Soup With Stromboli


  • 6 ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 small red onion, cut into chunks
  • 2 tbs EVOO
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tube refrigerated pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 1 package sliced proscuitto di parma
  • 4 slices provolone cheese
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 quart chicken stock or broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream or half and half
  • 20 fresh basil leaves, shredded or torn


Preheat the broiler to high.

Arrange the plum tomato halves skin side down, with the onions on a rimmed cookie sheet. Drizzle EVOO on the vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Broil for about 4 minutes, flip and continue to broil for 3 minutes, or until the tomatoes and onions are slightly charred. Lower the oven setting to 400 degrees.

Stretch out the dough, gently spreading its rectangle shape. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces: working across the dough cut it in half and cut each half in half again. Cover each piece of dough with 2 tbs of pesto, then prosciutto and 1 slice of provolone. Roll each piece on an angle from corner to corner, making a long roll that is thicker in the middle and thinner on each end. Brush the rolls with EVOO, then sprinkle the dried italian seasoning on top. Place in the oven, and bake until evenly golden, 12 to 14 minutes.

Place the tomatoes and onions in a blender or food processor, and puree until somewhat smooth.

Preheat a soup pot over medium high heat, add the 2 tbs of EVOO, add the garlic and the remaining 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes. Saute the garlic for a minute, then add the pureed veggies and the chicken stock. When the soup comes to a bubble, add the cream, then season with salt and pepper. Simmer the soup for 8 to 10 minutes.

When ready to serve, turn off the soup and stir in the basil. Adjust the salt and pepper. Serve the soup alongside the pesto and stromboli, dipping them into the soup as you eat them.

Makes 4 servings.

Adapted from: 365 No Repeats - Rachael Ray

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Salted Caramel Fudge Drops

  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/3 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 package (17-1/2 ounces) sugar cookie mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 48 caramel-filled chocolate candies (Recommended - Dove dark chocolate caramel filled)
  • Coarsely ground sea salt


Melt unsweetened chocolate and butter in a microwave; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. In a large bowl, beat the cookie mix, egg, milk, vanilla and chocolate mixture. *Note: My batter at this point was pretty thin, I had to add in an extra 1/2 cup flour to thicken it up to the right cookie consistency* Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until edges are set. Press a candy into the center of each cookie. Let stand for 2 minutes. Sprinkle with salt. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: 4 dozen. To Make Ahead: Cookies can be stored for 1 week in an airtight container at room temperature.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Smothered Burritos with Mexican Couscous

Smothered Burritos 


  • 1 can (10 ounces) green enchilada sauce
  • 3/4 cup salsa verde
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 4 flour tortillas (10 inches), warmed
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese


Combine enchilada sauce and salsa verde in a small bowl. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in 1/2 cup sauce mixture.

Spoon 2/3 cup beef mixture off center on each tortilla; sprinkle each with 3 tablespoons cheese. Fold sides and ends over filling and roll up.

Transfer to a greased 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish. Pour remaining sauce mixture over burritos; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Yield: 4 servings.


Mexican Couscous Recipe


  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup uncooked couscous
  • 3/4 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and cubed


Bring salsa and water to a boil in a small saucepan; stir in couscous. Cover and remove from the heat. Let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork; stir in beans. Top servings with avocado. Yield: 4 servings.


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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pork Chops in a Honey Mustard Sauce with Butternut Squash Bake

Pork Chops in a Honey-Mustard Sauce Recipe


  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 boneless pork loin chops (6 ounces each)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons honeyDijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream


Combine 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, salt and pepper; sprinkle over pork chops. In a large skillet, brown pork chops in oil. Remove and keep warm.

Remove skillet from heat and add wine, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by half. Reduce heat to medium. Whisk in the broth, mustard, and remaining garlic powder; cook and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in cream; cook and stir for 4-6 minutes or until thickened.

Return pork chops and juices to the skillet. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes or until a thermometer reads 145°. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Yield: 4 servings.

Addapted From:

 Butternut Squash Bake


  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup crushed crackers (about 8 crackers) - I used whole wheat Ritz
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 400.  Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seed.  Place the squash on a baking sheet cut side up and roast for 45-60 minutes.  Time will depend on how large your squash is.  It's done when it is very tender.  Let it cool a bit and scoop out all of the squash and placde into a bowl with the mayonnaise, onion, egg, salt and pepper.

Transfer to a greased 1-qt. baking dish. Combine the cracker crumbs, cheese and butter; sprinkle over top. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30-40 minutes or until heated through and top is golden brown. Yield: 6 servings.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Black Bean and Pumpkin Turkey Chili

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet yellow pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Combine all ingredients into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours. Stir every hour or two and mush things around and break up the meat. If you prefer a chunkier chili, sautee the turkey and, onions and peppers up before you put it in the slow cooker, then cook on low 4-5 hours. Yield: 10 servings (2-1/2 quarts).

Adapted from:

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Layered Potato Beef Casserole

  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 cups leftover beef stew
  • 4 medium Yukon potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup crushed butter-flavored crackers (about 8 crackers)
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan. Stir in the flour, rosemary, pepper and salt until blended; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in cheese until melted.

Spoon 2 cups stew into a greased 2-1/2 qt. baking dish. Layer with half of the potatoes and sauce mixture. Layer with remaining stew, potatoes and sauce.

Cover and bake at 400° for 45-50 minutes or until potatoes are tender. In a microwave, melt the remaining butter. Stir in the crackers, parsley and garlic powder. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake, uncovered, 5-10 minutes longer or until bubbly and topping is golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Yield: 6 servings.

Adapted from:

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Chilly Night Beef Stew


  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1 medium onions, halved and sliced
  • 4 celery ribs, sliced
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) beef broth
  • 2 cans (11-1/2 ounces each) V8 juice
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup cold water


Combine the flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large resealable plastic bag. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat.

Brown beef in oil in batches in a large skillet. Transfer meat and drippings to a 6-qt slow cooker. Add the potatoes, carrots, onion and celery. Combine the broth, juice, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, thyme, basil, paprika and remaining salt and pepper; pour over top.

Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into stew. Cover and cook 30 minutes longer or until thickened. Discard bay leaves. Yield: 10 servings.

Inspired from:
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Week 3–Menu Plan Monday

Here is what’s for dinner this week!

Monday – Chilly Night Beef Stew – My husband’s new favorite stew recipe! Fair warning that this makes  TON of stew.  I pared down a few of the ingredients and still had enough for dinner on Monday, leftovers for Tuesday’s diner, plus lunch for a few days.
Tuesday – Layered Potato Beef Casserole – made with leftovers from Monday.  A bit too many potatoes or my liking, but good enough to eat.
Wednesday – Black Bean and Pumpkin Turkey Chili – My 2 year old had 3 bowls!
Thursday – Pork Chops in a Honey Mustard Sauce with Butternut Squash Bake – The only way I want to eat butternut squash!
Friday – Smothered Burritos with Mexican Couscous

Bonus recipe – Salted Caramel Fudge Drops – Warning – these are amazing, you’ll want to eat all of them and they are definitely NOT healthy in any way shape or form!

Officially, this is what we had for dinner last week. When I cook I tend to use recipes more as a suggestion than the law. My goal here is to pass on to you how I actually made dinner by swapping out ingredients I don’t care for or to use up something else I already had on hand. Most recipes should have a link to the original or at least the name of the cookbook that they came from if you’d like to look at where my inspiration came from.

Don’t forget to stop in every day for the recipe, or better yet – add me to your RSS feed so dinner just pops right into your in box!

At the end of the week you can find direct links to each recipe in the "Weekly Meal Plan" tab up top.

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Meatballs with Gnocchi in a Tomato Gravy

*** Family favorite!***

This recipe quickly became a family favorite recipe.  FYI - it is FABULOUS used leftover on a panini!  We tend to turn many of our leftovers either into paninis or flatbread pizzas.  I want to eat this saunce plus meaetballs every day - I kid you not. I really wish I had snapped a photo of this dinner, so good!


  • 1 lb ground sirloin
  • 2 handfuls of grated cheese, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano cheese, plus more for sprinkling
  • A handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, shredded or torn
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • A couple of handfuls of Italian-style bread crumbs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 small eggplant, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small zucchini chopped
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cups beef stock or broth
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 pound frozen gnocchi (potato dumplings)


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the gnocchi.

Preheat the oven to 425 for the meatballs

Mix the beef with the cheese, parsley, basil, garlic, egg, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of EVOO. Form into 1.5" balls and roast in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until brown.

Preheat a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the tablespoon of EVOO and the butter. When the butter melts, add in the eggplant and squash and sautee until soft. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute.

Whisk in the wine and stock and bring to a bubble. Add the tomato sauce. Return the sauce to a bubble and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook until sauce thickens to a gravy consistency.

Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water and salt the water to season it. Cook until the gnocchi are tender and floating, 5 to 6 minutes or according to the package directions. Drain well.

When meatballs are done, add them to the sauce. Serve the meatballs and sauce over the gnocchi with a bit of grated cheese on top.

Adapted from: Rachael Ray, 365 No Repeats

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Fall Minestrone Soup

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 of a container of sliced mushrooms
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped with greens
  • salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 stalks fresh rosemary
  • 1 small eggplant, peeled and sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 4 -5 cups chard leaves, trimmed of tough ends and veins and coarsely chopped
  • 1 (15 ounce) cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 (14 ounce) petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 quart chicken broth, plus more depending on how thick you like your soup
  • 1 cup ditalini - or any small pasta you have (we used a mix of small shells and bowties)
  • grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese


1. Heat a soup pot over med-high heat; add olive oil.

2. Add in the bacon; cook until crisp. Remove it from the pan to cool.

3. Add in the red pepper flakes, garlic, mushrooms, onions, carrots, and celery; cook 5-6 minutes, until mushrooms are lightly browned. Do not add seasonings yet - your mushrooms will get tough!

4. Season with salt and pepper; add in rosemary stems; add in eggplant, zucchini and chopped greens; stir them in to the pot until all the greens wilt down, 2-3 minutes.

5. Add in the beans, tomatoes, broths, and cheese rind; cover with lid and bring to a boil.

6. Uncover and add ditalini pasta; cook for 7-8 minutes at a rolling simmer, uncovered, until the pasta is al dente.

7. Remove pot from heat; remove the now bare rosemary stems; adjust salt/pepper to taste. Add the bacon back in.

8. Ladle soup into shallow bowls; top with grated cheese; serve with crusty bread.

Adapted from: Rachael Ray, 365 No Repeats

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Aussie Meat Pies


  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 and 1/3 pounds ground chuck
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon grill seasoning


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, or whatever your package of puff pastry calls for.

Lay out the sheet of puff pastry on a cutting board. Cut it into 6 roughly equal sized rectangles and arrange on a cookie sheet. Season the pastry pieces with a little salt and pepper, and bake according to package directions or until golden brown all over, about 12 minutes. Cool on a cookie rack for 5 minutes.

Warm up a deep-sided pan over medium-high heat. When it's hot, add the beef and break it up well as it browns. When the beef is no longer pink add the onion and saute over medium-high heat until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and let cook for a couple of minutes. In a small bowl, combine the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, and brown sugar, then whisk in the beef broth. Pour the broth mixture into the pan and stir to incorporate. Sprinkle the grill seasoning over the beef and turn down the heat to low. Let the contents of the pan simmer until thickened - a few minutes.  If you are like me and forget about it a bit and the sauce gets too thick, just add in some more broth to thin it up.

To serve, gently pull apart one of the puff pastry pieces in half, like a hamburger bun. Place the bottom piece of the pastry in a shallow bowl. Spoon over roughly 1/6th of the meat mixture and crown with the bronzed, puffy peaked top piece of the pastry. 

Adapted from: Rachael Ray, 365 No Repeats

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Steak and Asparagus Sandwich

Prep Time:
 12 min | Cook Time: 14 min | Makes: 4 servings | Difficulty:


  • 1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted, kept chilled ( 1 box comes with 2 sheets 9 1/2 by 9 1/2 inches)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds beef skirt or flank steak
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 springs rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch thin asparagus
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese (also good with blue cheese)
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Preheat a grill pan or outdoor grill on high. With a sharp knife, cut the thawed but chilled puff pastry sheet in to 4 squares and arrange on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.

While the oven preheats, chop the woody ends off of the asparagus. Cut asparagus into 1" pieces, place on a baking sheet and toss with 1-2 T olive oil, a bit of salt and pepper.

Cook the asparagus along with the puff pastry according to package directions, or until golden brown all over, about 12 to 15 minutes.

While the puff pastry is cooking, season the skirt steak with extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Grill meat 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove meat and let it rest 5 minutes to allow juices to redistribute.

In a bowl, toss together the grilled chopped asparagus, and cheese. Season the mixture with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

Slice the rested steak thinly across the grain. Top each golden brown puff pastry square with some steak slices. Top the steak with the asparagus salad and serve.

Adapted from: 365 No Repeats - Rachael Ray

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pumpkin Polenta with Kielbasa and Black Beans

Makes: 4 servings
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), 1 turn of the pan
  • 1 Kielbasa sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 14 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 14 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup quick-cooking or instant polenta
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup shredded swiss cheese


Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the EVOO (1 turn of the pan) and the kielbasa. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, then add the onion and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add the black beans, chili powder, cumin, oregano and cinnamon and heat through, another 1 to 2 minutes.
In a large saucepan, bring the chicken stock and butter to a boil and stir in the pumpkin. Return to a boil, whisk in the polenta and stir until it masses together, 2 minutes. (Watch out for splatters.) Remove the polenta from the heat and add the thyme, salt, pepper and cheese. Adjust the seasonings. Pile the polenta on plates and top with the sausage and beans.
Adapted from: 365 No Repeats - Rachael Ray

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Mini Chicken Sausage Meatballs with Gnocchi and Tomato Sauuce

Prep Time: 15 min | Cook Time: 15 min | Makes: 4 servings, 27 (1-inch balls) | Difficulty: Easy


  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken (or turkey)
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon grill seasoning (recommended: Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick)
  • 1 teaspoon, 1/3 palm full, fennel seeds
  • 1/4 cup tender sun-dried tomatoes (available in pouches or tubs in produce section)
  • 1 cup, 20 leaves fresh basil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus some to drizzle
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, eyeball it in your palm
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • Pepper
  • 1 pound gnocchi, potato dumplings, from refrigerated or frozen foods section of market
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano, 1/2 cup – a couple of handfuls, plus some to pass at table


Bring a pot of water to a boil for gnocchi. Salt boiling water but wait a while to drop in gnocchi.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place chicken in a medium bowl with bread crumbs, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grill seasoning and fennel seeds. Pile sun-dried tomatoes on top of each other in small stacks then slice into thin strips. Coarsely chop the thin strips and add to bowl. Stack the basil leaves together then roll them up into a log. Shred the basil by thinly slicing the log. Add the half the basil to the bowl. Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the bowl. Mix chicken together, roll into mini balls, 1 1/2 inches across, and arrange on a nonstick cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 to12 minutes or until firm and lightly golden.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. To the hot skillet, add extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan then the garlic, onions and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook until tender, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and season sauce with salt and pepper.
Drop gnocchi in boiling water and cook 5 minutes or to package directions.
Stir basil into sauce to wilt it. Drain gnocchi and arrange on a platter. Remove balls from oven and add to gnocchi, equally distributing them. Sprinkle cheese over meatballs and hot dumplings then top with sauce by carefully ladling it all over and around the platter.
Adapted From:

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Week 2–Menu Plan Monday

Here is what’s for dinner this week!  Don’t forget to stop in every day for the recipe, or better yet – add me to your RSS feed so dinner just pops right into your in box!
At the end of the week you can find direct links to each recipe in the "Weekly Meal Plan" tab up top.
Monday – Mini Chicken Sausage Meatballs with Gnocchi and Tomato Sauce
Tuesday – Pumpkin Polenta with Kielbasa and Black Beans
Wednesday – Steak and Asparagus Sandwich
Thursday – Aussie Meat Pies, Made Quick
Friday – Fall Minestrone Soup
Saturday – Meatballs with Gnocchi in a Tomato Gravy
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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Chicken With Rice Pilaf Soup

Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 20 mins | Makes: 4

  • 1/2 cup white rice
  • 1/2 cup orzo
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leave, chopped
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 quart broth
  • 2 lbs chicken tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • hot sauce

Bring chicken broth and butter to a boil. Stir in rice and orzo. Cook for 15-18 minutes until done, set aside.

Preheat a large soup pot over medium-high heat with the EVOO. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, bay leaf, and thyme, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.

Add the stock, bring up to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the chicken and continue to cook for 10 minutes.

Add the parsley, dill, the lemon juice, and hot sauce to taste. Remove the bay leaf.

Divide the cooked rice among 4 serving bowls; ladle the soup over the rice, making sure to distribute the chicken and veggies evenly among the bowls.

Adapted from: 365 No Repeats – Rachael Ray
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