Saturday, December 10, 2016

Chicken, potatoes, and spinach in Parmesan garlic cream sauce

One of our families very favorite dinners! Slightly modified from

Crisp-tender chicken baked to absolute perfection with potatoes and spinach. A complete meal in one!


  • 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or breasts
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons Chef Shamy Garlic butter from Costco or regular butter if you don't have.
  • 3 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 16 ounces baby Dutch potatoes, halved*
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves


  • 1/4 cup chef Shamy garlic butter or salted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (only 1 if using chef Shamy butter)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth, or more, as needed
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 cup half and half*
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Juice of half of a lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9×13 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. Season chicken with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, skin-side down, and sear both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side; set aside.
  4. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in the skillet. Stir in spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to wilt, about 2 minutes; set aside.
  5. To make the garlic parmesan cream sauce, melt butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
  6. Gradually whisk in chicken broth, thyme and basil. Cook, whisking constantly, until incorporated, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in half and half and Parmesan until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. If the mixture is too thick, add more milk as needed; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Squeeze lemon juice over and whisk in until smooth.
  7. Place chicken in a single layer into the prepared baking dish. Top with potatoes, spinach and cream sauce.
  8. Place into oven and roast until completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 25-30 minutes.
  9. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Thanksgiving recipes

Turkey with Herbes de Provence and Citrus
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

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1 (14 to 15-pound) turkey, neck and giblets reserved
1 orange, cut into wedges
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 onion, cut into wedges
6 fresh rosemary sprigs
6 fresh sage sprigs
6 fresh oregano sprigs
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons herbes de Provence
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
6 cups canned low-salt chicken broth (approximate amount)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
To make the turkey: Position the rack in the lowest third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.

Rinse the turkey and pat it dry with paper towels. Place the turkey on a rack set inside a large roasting pan. Place the orange and lemon wedges, onion, and 2 sprigs of each fresh herb in the main turkey cavity. Tie the legs together to hold the shape of the turkey. Stir 2 tablespoons of butter, the herbes de Provence, oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of each the salt and pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat just until the butter melts. Rub the butter mixture all over the turkey and between the turkey breast meat and skin. Place the turkey neck and giblets in roasting pan. (Recipe can be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before roasting.)

Cover the turkey breast with foil. Roast for 20 minutes. Pour 3 cups of broth into the pan and stir to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining sprigs of fresh herbs to the pan. Roast the turkey for 40 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Remove the foil from the turkey; pour 1 more cup of broth into the pan. Continue roasting the turkey until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F to 175 degrees F or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer, basting occasionally with pan juices, about 1 hour and 30 minutes longer. Transfer the turkey to a platter and tent with foil. Let stand 30 minutes while preparing the gravy.

To make the gravy: Strain the turkey pan juices from the roasting pan through a sieve and into a 4-cup glass measuring cup; discard the solids. Spoon off the fat from atop the pan juices. Add enough chicken broth, about 1 to 2 cups, to the pan juices to measure 4 cups total. Melt the remaining butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the broth. Simmer until the gravy thickens slightly, whisking often, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the turkey with the gravy.

Ciabatta Stuffing with Chestnuts and Pancetta
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

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6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
8 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 (7.4-ounce) jars roasted peeled whole chestnuts, coarsely broken
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 pound day-old ciabatta bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter a 15 by 10 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and saute until crisp and golden, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a large bowl. Melt the remaining butter in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, rosemary, and garlic. Saute until the onions are very tender, about 12 minutes. Gently stir in the chestnuts and parsley. Transfer the onion mixture to the large bowl with the pancetta. Add the bread and Parmesan and toss to coat. Add enough broth to the stuffing mixture to moisten. Season the stuffing, to taste, with salt and pepper. Mix in the eggs.

Transfer the stuffing to the prepared dish. Cover with buttered foil, buttered side down, and bake until the stuffing is heated through, about 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the top is crisp and golden, about 15 minutes longer.

Brussell Sprouts
Rachel Hall

First I trimmed all the brussel sprouts and then laid them in a 9x13 pan and tossed them all with olive oil until they were completely coated and then with salt and peper.  After that I put about 1 1/2 Tbsps of chicken broth in the corner of the pan and then about 1 Tbsp seasoned rice wine vinager over the top.  Toss again.  Then lay 4-6 pieces of bacon over the top of the sprouts.  Place in a preheated oven at 425 degrees.  Roast for about 20 minutes or until the bacon is almost crisp.  Then take them out of the oven and remove the bacon.  Save it though!  Then in a cup or bowl add about 1/4 cup dijon mustard and honey.  Stir until smooth and pour over the sprouts.  This may be a little too much sauce so just pour it on until it looks like enough and then toss the sprouts until they are coated.  Lay the bacon back on top and return to the oven for about 10-15 more minutes or until the very outside skins are browned and crispy looking and they are fork tender.  Remove bacon and let cool.  After it is cooled crumble the bacon over the top of the brussel sprouts and toss and serve.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Carter's favorite Pork Enchiladas

Pork Enchiladas

Rachel Hall

Pork Roast

2-3 pound pork roast
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chili powder
2 Tbsp cumin
2 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp garlic salt
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup oil
1/4 chicken stock

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl then add the oil and chicken stock to create a paste.  Place Pork roast in crock pot and pour the paste over the roast.  There will be extra sauce in the bottom but use it all.  Cover and cook on high 4-5 hours or low 8-9 hours.  When the meat is ready, shred with two forks and coat all the meat with the leftover sauce in the crock pot. Set aside

Enchilada sauce

Sauté chopped bell peppers in some oil and season with salt and pepper until browned and wilted.  Set aside.  In that same pan add 1/2 chicken stock and half a bottle of green Herdez salsa verde.  Cook until it is heated through.  Then turn off the heat and stir in 1/4 cup cream, and 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt or sour cream.  Stir until smooth.  


In a 9X13 pan, spread 1/4 cup of the sauce on the bottom, then fill softened corn tortillas with the shredded pork and sprinkle some of the sautéed peppers on the top.  Roll and repeat to fill the whole pan.  Then pour the remaining sauce over all the enchiladas.  Top with grated Monterey Jack cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the cheese bubbles and browns.  Top with chopped cilantro and enjoy!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Homemade Shortcakes

2 cups white flour
4 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsps salt
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp salted butter
2 Tbsp shortening  (Gasp! Quel horreur!)
3/4 cups milk

Stir all the dry ingredients together.
Cut in butter and shortening with a whisk.
Mix in milk until combined.
Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet.
450 degrees for 15 minutes
Makes 6 large shortcakes

Veggie Linguine in a Light Parm Sauce

I just made this up. It's to die for.
2 tbsp butter
6 mushrooms chopped
10-12 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2-3/4 c frozen chopped spinach
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 c pine nuts
fresh chopped basil
A few artichoke hearts, chopped
1 scallion, whites only, chopped
White wine
1/2 lemon, juiced
3/4 c heavy cream
1 c grated parm
A box of wheat linguine

Boil linguine to AL dent
melt butter in deep frying pan
Add onions first, cook a minute or two, then add garlic and mushrooms, cook another minute, then add spinach, basil, tomatoes, pine nuts, artichokes lemon juice.
Salt and pepper.
When all that looks softened to your preference, add wine and lemon juice. When that has simmered a couple minutes, add heavy cream and simmer until it starts to thicken.
When sauce has thickened, toss in cooked pasta and parm with tongs and gently toss until the cheese starts to melt and incorporate with the sauce. Serve hot.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


This is a Marilynn style recipe, so excuse the lack of specifics. I'll go back and add details later when I have time.

1 cucumber peeled and chopped
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 round of fresh mozzarell cheese, chopped into cubes
1 package fresh basil, chopped

Combine all that in a large bowl

Take a loaf of Italian artisan ciabatta bread and chop it into large cubes
Set your oven to low broil
Toss bread cubes lightly in EVOO and place on a cookie sheet
Toast them lightly in the oven. KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON THEM! You're NOT making croutons! They should be lightly toasted, not hard as rocks.

Make a vinaigrette out of red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, fresh garlic, s&p, EVOO, and dijon mustard.

Toss bread with salad mix and dressing, serve immediately.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Pregnancy Mac n Cheese

Non-pregnant people may also eat this mac n cheese. The title refers to the fact that I crave pasta like crazy when I'm pregnant and so have slowly perfected this recipe until, I must admit, it is the creamiest, cheesiest, most delectably perfect mac n cheese recipe around. I made it almost daily when I was pregnant with Ezra, this one has gotten me craving some different things, but I've still made it a few times. Here goes:

The sauce makes enough for about 8 oz of uncooked pasta of your choice. I usually use wheat penne, but shells or elbow macaroni are equally tasty.

Boil your pasta in salted water.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a sauce pan.
In a separate bowl combine 1/3 cup cream cheese, 1 cup of milk, 1 rounded tablespoon of flour, and 1 tsp of salt. Blend in a blender or with an immersible blender, until smooth.
Add this combination to the melted butter and simmer, until thickened.
When it has thickened well, remove it from heat, and whisk in a rounded cup of sharp cheddar cheese.
Whisk until just smooth and then cover and let it sit. It will thicken while it sits, about 1 minute.

Drain pasta and combine with sauce.

At this point you can choose to devour it, or if you want to be a traditionalist, you can throw it is a casserole dish, top with breadcrumbs, and bake at 375 until browned on top. You can serve it with additional shredded cheese for topping, if desired.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Garrett's berry lemon cream crepes

Creamy lemon berry Crepes

These are the crepes that Garrett always makes for me on my birthday and mothers day.  I thought we had added this recipe previously but apparently not, so here it is! This recipe comes from and is slightly adapted. It's a definite winner.  Garrett usually doubles it when he makes them.  
  • Prep
  • Cook
  • Ready In


  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped
  • 4 cups sliced strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries or berries of choice


  1. Place the eggs, milk, water, melted butter, flour, and salt in the pitcher of a blender; blend until smooth.
  2. Blend the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth. Gently fold in the whipped cream.
  3. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 2 tablespoons for each crepe. Tip and rotate pan to spread batter as thinly as possible. Flip over when the batter is set and the edges are beginning to brown. Cook until the other side begins to brown. Stack finished crepes on a plate, cover with a damp towel and set aside.
  4. To serve, fill each crepe with 1/4 cup sliced strawberries and 1/3 cup of the cream cheese filling, roll up and top with a small dollop of the cream cheese filling and more sliced strawberries.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Slow Cooker Coq Au Vin - French For Boozy Chicken Pot Roast

I made up this very easy, slow cooker version of a French classic dish tonight and it was a hit, so I thought I'd share it.

4 chicken breasts
4 potatoes quartered, or coarsely chopped
5 carrots, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup of peas
5-6 mushrooms, halved and rinsed
1 tbsp fresh minced garlic
1 1/2 cups red wine
1 tbsp herbes de Provence
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 packet of onion soup mix (or any substitute you snobs prefer, although Lipton's no longer contains MSG, just FYI)
1 cup half and half
3 tbsp flour

Throw the first ten ingredients into a crockpot, add some S&P, cook on low for 6-8 hours. When the carrots are soft, remove all of the chicken and vegetables and place on a platter. Begin to heat the half and half in a sauce pan on medium heat, take a half cup of the remaining fluid from the crockpot and whisk the flour in. Add that mixture and the remaining crockpot fluid to the half and half in the sauce pan. Simmer until thickened. Serve chicken and vegetables smothered in sauce.

Glory be!