Tag Archives: pasta dishes

Guest blogger: Becki D!

I suck.
There, I said it. I’ve been a horrendous blogger. No real reason other than being exhausted and kind of burned out on the computer as a whole. No lie. Where I once used to come home from work and spend the night religiously on the computer blogging, reading other’s blogs, I now avoid the computer entirely.
It’s crazy. I know.

But I promise I’m going to try harder.
Because in all honesty, I’ve missed you guys.

And even though I’m blogging right now, this is still a tad bit of a lie. Because Becki D. from becki bakes is taking over after this point to guest blog for me.

So thanks guys. Thanks for sticking with me and my sheer laziness. And now, I’m turning the mic over to Becki and her insanely delicious Chicken Alfredo and Dip’Um Recipe.


Elastic Waistband Club: Man-Pleasin’ Meal

Let’s be real – this meal is definitely woman-pleasin’, but it makes me feel better if I can blame the consumption of this creamy, buttery, carb-loaded goodness on the Hubs. 


Dave’s absolute favorite home-cooked meal: Chicken Alfredo and Dip’Um (Lauren’s name for spicy oil and vinegar bread dip).

Chicken Alfredo with Artichoke Hearts
-1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
-1 box mini bowtie pasta (or pasta of your choice)
-1 can artichoke hearts, drained (optional, but they are totally awesome)
-1 stick butter
-1 cup heavy cream
-1 1/2 cups fresh grated parmesan cheese
-3 tbsp olive oil
-2 cloves garlic, minced

-Pour olive oil and minced garlic in large saucepan over medium heat. Saute diced chicken until thoroughly cooked.
-Bring saucepan of water to boil while cooking chicken.
-Add artichoke hearts and butter, continue stirring until it is completely melted.
-Add pasta to your boiling water and cook as directed on package
-Add cream and parmesan to chicken, stirring until everything is completely incorporated and sauce has slightly thickened.
-Drain pasta and pour into large serving bowl, pour chicken mixture over top and mix thoroughly.

-1 cup extra virgin olive oil
-2/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1 1/2 tbsp dried basil
-1 tbsp dried oregano
-1 tsp dried thyme
-1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
-1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Can be made up to 1 day in advance – the further ahead you make it, the better the ingredients meld. Though we often make it right before dinner, and it’s good that way too!

Serve with warm, crusty Italian bread.
becki d

Thanks so much to Becki D. for sharing this butter filled pasta goodness!


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Lazy recipe

I don’t know about you, but I’m always wishing for more hours in the day.  You get up, go to work, spend far too much time on a commute, get home, attempt to unwind, walk the dogs, cook dinner, goof around on the computer, go to bed.

Either I’ve got too much on my plate or I’m completely inept at time management. So most nights all I want to do is snap my fingers and have dinner magically appear on the table.  Unfortunately, I’ve yet to conjure up that fairy.  So I make my fallback dish.


In some form or another, we eat a lot of pasta in my house. It’s cheap. It’s easy. And it’s incredibly hard to screw up.

This may also be the reason why I gain weight.  Ah, at least I’m happy.

So for this one, you need 5 ingredients:
farfalle (bow tie) pasta
olive oil
sundried tomatoes
(salt and pepper)

heat oil over medium heat.
dice chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook in oil until browned.
meanwhile, boil pasta until al dente. drain.
once chicken is cooked through, add pasta, sundried tomatoes, and pesto.
toss together to coat well.

Optional extras:
crushed red pepper
minced garlic


And now you can go have that glass of wine you want while you unwind instead of wasting anymore time slaving over a hot stove.


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C&O Trattoria, Venice

I give up. I’ve been fighting the back to reality, reality since Sunday night. As Ali from three baking sheets to the wind put it, “keep the daydreamy vacation bubble floating”…and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

Because, to quote Ben Stiller, reality bites.

So I’m going with it…I’m reliving my mini-vacation through this here blog…photos, foods, and all.

Our second to last night out West we went to C&O Trattoria over in Venice. It’s just one of those places that makes you happy to be there. The atmosphere, the food, the environment make the restaurant what it is.
Well, that and the garlic knots.
The plate, after plate, after plate…of garlic knots. No, seriously. It’s like they keep an endless supply of “butter balls” in the kitchen. It’s just not right.

And the rigatoni al forno, which I attempted to recreate tonight (attempted being the operative word)…

And the sausage penne in cream sauce…

Can I just stay in this vacation bubble forever?
My creation

It’s much prettier here.
Promise I’ll write and tell you all about it.


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Prosciutto Ravioli

These days, the food I’ve been making (for blogging purposes, of course) really has increased my need for elastic waistband pants. No, really.

So my grocery list today included things like plums, squash, water, strawberries, and Lean Cuisines.

I got home, drank a liter of water and felt better about things. Even took the dogs for a walk.

Then I decided to make dinner.
And what do I make?
Pasta. Carb filled pasta.

Will and power are two words NOT in my vocabulary.

It’s obvious that pasta is my kryptonite. If it’s the same for you, then I hope you’ll make this dish. Because even though I felt guilty about eating pasta….filled with prosciutto, spinach and ricotta…this dish was simple and delicious.

And just remember, the diet can always start tomorrow.

prosciutto ravioli

That’s what I keep telling myself.

Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurenttis – Prosciutto Ravioli.


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Chicken Florentine

Clearly I’m a healthy girl. I made yet another pasta dish for dinner the other night. And the best part is that this recipe didn’t even call for pasta, I just felt inclined to serve the dish that way.

See, that’s me…the poster child of good health. And a growing waistline.

(I’m thinking it’s time to actually start working out. That is, if I’m going to continue to eat creamy sauces, fried desserts, and pasta. Hmm, there’s a novel idea.)

So enough self-loathing for the moment. How about another recipe!

I found this recipe for Chicken Florentine over on allrecipes.com. If you haven’t checked it out, do.  It’s pretty user friendly. Or you can just keep coming here and I’ll do the legwork for you.

chicken florentine

Chicken Florentine (casserole)

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup butter (I used less just so I wouldn’t feel like a total pig)
3 teaspoons minced garlic (again, your call depending on your love/or hate of garlic)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup (low sodium)
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pkg frozen spinach, thawed
fresh mushrooms (your call here)
bacon bits (yes, I used pre-packaged bacon bits. don’t judge.)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place the chicken breast halves on a baking sheet; bake 20 to 30 minutes, until no longer pink and juices run clear. Remove from heat, and set aside. (Or…you could saute your chicken in some olive oil over medium heat until cooked through.)
Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F.
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
Stirring constantly, mix in the garlic, lemon juice, cream of mushroom soup, Italian seasonings, half-and-half, and parmesan.
Then spread the spinach over the bottom of a 9×9 inch baking dish. (Make sure you’ve squeezed out all the water beforehand.)
Add the mushrooms on top of the spinach.
Pour half the cheese mixture over the mushrooms.
Top with the chicken and then pour remaining sauce mixture on top.
Sprinkle with bacon bits and top it all off with mozzarella.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until the cheese is lightly browned.

And if you’re like me, you’ll want to serve it over a bed of pasta.


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{take you…} on a cruise

My parents just returned from what might be one of their best vacations ever. The ‘rents took a cruise around the Mediterranean and saw some insanely amazing destinations…
Rome (my personal favorite), Turkey, Athens, Cinque Terre…you name it, these kids experienced it.

But…because they were on a cruise, this particular vacation was all about the food.
The copious amounts of food.

The tarts, the danishes, the pasta, the omelets, the lamb, the tuna, the sorbets…
Food was king on this cruise. As I’m fairly certain it is on all cruises.

My creation

So knowing this, why have I never been on one?

Clearly, this would be my mecca, right?

{thanks to mom and dad for taking tons of pictures so that i could blog about it. you guys are the best!}


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Baked Chicken Parmesan

No story to go along with this one kids…
Just a good old fashioned recipe….that I stole borrowed from happylifehappywife.

To be fair though, her version is slightly healthier.  (Click on the link above for the original.)

Otherwise, stick with me and then we can all jump on treadmills when we’re done.

Baked Chicken Parmesan

You’ll need:
boneless chicken breasts
one egg slightly beaten (w/ a splash of milk)
italian bread crumbs
olive oil (to coat the pan)
mozarella, shredded or slices
grated parmesan

To make:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Season the chicken with a little salt and pepper. Dip the chicken in the egg wash then coat in the bread crumbs. You want these bad boys covered.
Meanwhile, coat the bottom of a baking dish with enough marinara to cover.  Then heat your saute pan with the olive oil.
Brown both sides of the chicken until golden brown.
Remove chicken to baking dish, top with more sauce.
Bake at 325 for 45 minutes.
Top with mozarella, then bake another 10 minutes or until the cheese is nice and melted.
Garnish with parmesan.
Serve over spaghetti.
…have a seat and enjoy.

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