Wednesday, October 10, 2012

New Recipe Night: Basil Chicken Thai Pasta

Think The Cheesecake Factory's Chicken Thai Pasta....yum, right? One of my favorite items on their gigantic menu. I never imagined that I would unknowingly recreate it (well, kinda) at home in my own kitchen!!! This is a much less spicy version (next time I will do something to change that) and oh so rich. The recipe called for Thai noodles but I switched it up to mimic TCF's recipe and used linguine instead. Easy, easy recipe...don't be intimidated by the name! By the way, you can find the Progresso Recipe Starters right next to the Progresso soup. 


*1/2 package linguine
*1 can Progresso Recipe Starters creamy parmesan-basil cooking sauce
*1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
*1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
*1 Tbsp soy sauce
*1 package uncooked chicken breast pieces for stir fry
*2 Tbsp chopped roasted peanuts
*Cilantro (optional for garnish)


1) Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain noodles; rinse with cold water. Set aside.

2) Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat cooking sauce, peanut butter, lime juice and soy sauce with whisk until smooth; set aside.

3) Spray 10-inch skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook and stir 4 to 5 minutes or until no longer pink in center. Add sauce mixture; heat to boiling, stirring frequently. Stir in noodles until thoroughly mixed. Sprinkle with peanuts and cilantro. Serve immediately.

Hubby approved! Baby approved!! Leftover city!!! The meal that keeps on giving! Lots of exclamation points!!!! Next time, there will be spice! Oh yeah, one more thing.....ENJOY!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sweet Your Heart Out: Sour Cream Apple Pie

I'm writing this post from the comfort of my favorite spot on the couch with the smell of apple pie wafting through the house. Ah, relaxation. Since beginning my journey in the kitchen last year I've been blindsided by a few recipes. This just happens to be one of them. It caught me off guard and left me wondering why I'd never heard of it before. While at a patient's home on a chilly day last week I was offered a small slice of a pie that her caregiver had whipped up earlier that day. But I quickly (and politely) declined after hearing the term "sour cream"....yuck. Not a fan. Never have been and probably never will be. I stood my ground during two more pie offerings until she finally made me take a bite of it. Um, hello flavor. Nice to see you (or taste you, I should say). Sour cream + apples = genius. Yum. Yum. Yum. If you haven't tried this combo you must give it a shot.....and if you have already tried it then hopefully this is a more simple version for you to whip up. Twenty minute prep time! Oh and FYI, I left the peel on the apples....I'm not sure patient made me promise to do I did. 


*1 cup sour cream
*1 egg
*3/4 cup sugar
*2 Tbsp flour
*1/4 tsp salt
*2 1/2 cups diced apples
*1 unbaked 9 inch pie crust

Crumb topping:
*1/2 cup brown sugar
*1/4 cup butter
*1/3 cup flour
*1 tsp cinnamon


1) Beat sour cream and egg together. Add flour, sugar, salt and vanilla. Mix until smooth.

2) Stir in apples (I left them unpeeled for fear that my patient would come hunt me down if I peeled them)

3) Pour mixture into pie crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

4) Mix the crumb topping ingredients until crumbly.

5) Remove pie from oven and spread topping over pie. Continue baking for 20 more minutes.

I can't give an accurate description of the taste of this pie although I wish I could. Is it tacky to cut out a slice before I drop it off at the church?? Ha! The pie will find a home at the church tomorrow for the spaghetti dinner fundraiser tomorrow night. I'll try to arrive early and snag a slice of it. Oh yeah, one more thing.....ENJOY!!!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

New Recipe Night: Turkey and Bean Chili

Where have you been all my life turkey chili??? I remember tasting turkey chili as a child but had yet to try it since then. After dishing this out to my family last night I feel as though we've been missing out big time! Out with the beef and in with the lean turkey from now on. This chili made quite the impression. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did......


  • *1 cup chopped red onion
  • *1/3 cup chopped seeded poblano pepper (about 1)
  • *1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
  • *1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
  • *1 tablespoon chili powder
  • *2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • *2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • *1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • *1/4 teaspoon salt
  • *1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • *1 (19-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • *1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • *1 (14-ounce) can chicken broth
  • *1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • *lime wedges (optional)


1) Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add first 4 ingredients; cook for 6 minutes or until turkey is done, stirring frequently to crumble. 

2) Stir in chili powder and next 8 ingredients (through broth); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.

3) Stir in cilantro. Serve with lime wedges and top with shredded cheese if desired.

I was thrilled to have leftovers to store in the fridge after dinner last night. It's very good for dipping with tiny tortilla bowl chips. I do believe next time I'll add more spice to it. This was super quick...took me about ten minutes to brown the turkey, cut up the pepper and onions and add the rest of the ingredients. Ten minutes? Can't beat that! Oh yeah, one more thing....ENJOY!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sweet Your Heart Out: Easy Cobbler

Ok Pink Dishers, I'm back in the kitchen again after a short hiatus. Something happened last caught up to me. And it slapped me in the face and said "why the heck did you decide to start that blog again???" I didn't have an answer for life last week. But this week I say to life... "because I love it."

And I love desserts. So that's what I'm starting with tonight. I needed easy. Well, let's be honest, I always need easy. But I needed super easy tonight. I love this recipe because it's versatile, easily memorizable (I think I just made up a new word there) and it's just downright scrumptious. Simply scrumptious. I don't think it gets any simpler than this one folks. Pick your favorite pie filling and have at it. The great part about this insanely quick dessert is that you should have all the ingredients in your pantry already!


*1 cup sugar
*1 cup flour
*1 tsp baking powder
*3/4 cup milk
*pinch salt
*1 large can pie filling (choose your favorite fruit)


1) Melt butter in bottom of 8x8 inch pan.

2) Mix sugar, flour, baking powder, milk and salt in medium-sized bowl and pour over melted butter.

3) Pour pie filling on top of mixture.

4) Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes.


The best things in life are the simple things. Uncomplicated. Five minutes of prep time. DELICIOUS!! What more could you ask for? Oh yeah, one more thing....ENJOY!!!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sweet Your Heart Out: Double Chocolate Caramel Fudge Brownies

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So here's the deal. I love brownies. Like, a lot. Hubby likes brownies too. No wait....he loves them. Obviously I've been more than partial to those chocolaty squares of goodness on The Pink Dish since it's inception. In fact, it's where my mind immediately wanders everytime I search for a new recipe. Hubby's request this week sounded something like this..."anything that isn't lime, lemon or pineapple." Yes sir. I knew I'd have some down time on Friday and I also knew that the weather was going to be cloudy and cool. A nice warm pan of brownies sounded delightful. I haven't done a lot of baking with caramel so I thought it was high time when I spotted this This Betty Crocker recipe. I think the picture does enough talking about how gooey-ooey these puppies are so I'll just jump right in with what you really need to know.....


package (14 oz) caramels, unwrapped
cup evaporated milk
cup butter
cups sugar
teaspoons vanilla
eggs, slightly beaten
*1 1/4
cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
cup unsweetened baking cocoa
teaspoon salt
package (11.5 or 12 oz) semisweet chocolate chunks (2 cups)
*1 1/2
cups chopped pecans
teaspoon oil


  • 1) Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9-inch pan. In small saucepan, cook caramels and milk over low heat until caramels are melted and smooth, stirring frequently.
Caramel balls instead of squares...aren't they cute!?

  • 2) In medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar, vanilla and eggs. Stir in flour, cocoa and salt until well blended. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the chocolate chunks and 1 cup of the pecans. Spoon and spread batter in pan.
  • 3) Gently and evenly drizzle caramel filling over batter to prevent large pockets of caramel and to prevent caramel from reaching bottom of bars. (Caramel can cover entire surface of batter.)
  • 4) Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until set.
  • 5) In small saucepan, melt remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chunks with oil over low heat, stirring until smooth. Drizzle over warm brownies. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup pecans; press in lightly. Cool 20 minutes. Refrigerate 1 hour 30 minutes or until chocolate is set. Cut into squares. If refrigerated longer, let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.
This is not your average brownie. Trust me. I'm pretty picky when it comes to brownies. A brownie connoisseur? Sure, I like the sound of that. They are tall and dense and moist (oh so moist) and sweet and rich (but not too rich) and gooey and ooey and just plain amazing. I've only eaten one so far. This is self-control in action right here folks. Hubby has strict rules to eat the entire pan while I'm gone this weekend. Needless to say, these will be my new go-to brownie.

Oh yeah, one more thing....ENJOY!!!

Wait, just one more it okay to eat brownies for breakfast???

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sweet Your Heart Out: Cinnamon Apple Cheesecake Bars

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If looking at the picture above doesn't make your mouth water then maybe taking a gander at the ingredient list below will inspire your taste buds. Speaking of the picture above, I had a blast photographing this dessert. I'm trying (I emphasize the word trying) to improve my photos. This is a work in progress obviously considering I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to using my camera. Point and click. Bare with me, will you my dear readers. ;) Thanks. So before I delve into my baking adventures I need to make a confession. Yes, yes, I'm still making confessions of goofing up even after all this practice I've been getting. Apparently it hasn't been enough because I'm still making the same ol' mistakes. But I guess that's when learning happens. Maybe someday the learning will actually sink in for me. Until then, I'll keep having confession moments to share. Today's confession is this: I forgot a crucial step in the crust baking process...I didn't bake it. Ha! I found myself stamping my feet in frustration when I realized that I'd poured the cheesecake layer on top of a crust that should've been baked in the oven first. Oops. Good news is that it didn't seem to mess things up too bad. The crust was a tad crumbly but the taste and aesthetics did all the talkin' so I was able to quickly forget about my blunder. Alas, I present to you, a lovely fall treat!!!!


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg


  1. Cut the butter into the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon until combined and crumbly.
  2. Press the mixture into the bottom of an 8x8 inch baking dish lined with foil.
  3. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until lightly golden brown, about 8-12 minutes, set aside and let cool.

  5. Beat the sugar into the cream cheese until smooth.
  6. Beat in the egg followed by the vanilla extract.
  7. Pour the mixture into the baking dish.
  9. Mix the apples, cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg.
  10. Sprinkle the apples on top of the cream cheese layer.
  11. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until cheesecake layer is set
  12. Prior to baking

Step 10. While your dessert is baking go check on baby girl in her crib/jail and see what is keeping her from taking a nap....

"Can't I be your taste-tester??"

The smell of cinnamon and nutmeg had infiltrated the house within minutes. Who needs Scentsy when you have these puppies baking in the oven?! I let the pan set for about an hour to cool before cutting into it. The very disappointing part about this recipe is that I had a mere thirty seconds to taste test it before shipping it off with a friend to take to the church for a fall fest dinner tonight. A very small amount of time to savor the flavor....not to mention that the piece I ate wouldn't have satisfied a mouse. But I can say that the one tiny bite packed a big punch. The apples were soft and cinnamony and melted in my mouth. Talk about a tease. Off went the pan of cheesecake bars to be eaten by the church folk. I'm thinking it's very necessary for me to re-attempt these bars (the correct way next time) so that the three of us can enjoy ALL of them! (Yes, very necessary). Add a caramel topping if you so desire. Oh yeah, one more thing....ENJOY!!!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

New Recipe Night: Beer Mac & Cheese

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Beer mac and cheese? Huh? I just didn't get it.

But now? I totally get it.

Let me preface this post by making it very clear that I detest beer. The smell. The taste. The mere thought of how gross it might be to burp after taking a few drinks. Yeah, gross...I know. But seriously. So you can see that this recipe was a stretch for me. This just proves how much in love I am with mac & cheese. can't taste the beer, of course, but getting past the thought of it being in the sauce took a moment to overcome. ;)

Just one smell of the sauce after pouring in the cup of beer....intoxicating. Who knew that beer and cheese made such a beautiful pair?! No beer-ish smell present. Just the lovely aroma of something that I knew would be delicious. Step aside wine and cheese....there's a new combo in town. But flavors and smells aside, who doesn't love a big hot bowl of mac & cheese?! So many variations of the baked variety and my goal is to try every single one of them! My eyes stumbled upon this recipe while working at a patient's house. She was kind enough to let me copy the recipe down from her cooking club magazine and I ran as fast as I could to the grocery store to pick up the goodies to make it.


*12 oz gemelli or fusilli (corkscrew pasta)
*4 Tbsp butter, divided
*3/4 cup finely chopped onion
*2 tsp minced garlic
*1 cup beer
*4 oz cream cheese
*1 1/3 cup milk
*12 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cup)
*3/4 tsp salt
*1 1/2 cups bread crumbs 
*3 Tbsp thinly sliced green onion


1) Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray. Cook pasta according to package directions.

2) Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbsp of the butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion 4 to 5 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook and stir 30 seconds or until fragrant.

3) Increase heat to medium-high. Add beer; bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute to reduce slightly. Whisk in cream cheese until melted. Whisk in milk, cheddar cheese and salt, whisking constantly until cheese melts. Simmer 3 to 4 minutes or until slightly thickened (sauce will still be quite thing), stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in pasta; spoon into baking dish. 

4) Melt remaining 2 Tbsp butter in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Stir in bread crumbs and green onions until coated; sprinkle over pasta.

5) Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until casserole is hot and bubbling and bread crumbs are browned and crisp. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. 

Oh it looked so heavenly as I pulled it out of the oven. And the smell....oh, the smell. I served the mac with some baked bbq chicken. Perfect combo! 

The chicken was super duper simple and one of my favorite quick things to pop in the oven when I haven't planned ahead (which is always). It's a sinch....chicken breasts soaked in sweet and spicy chipotle bbq sauce + a squeeze of honey + a couple dashes of garlic powder baked at 350 degrees for 30 minutes in my handy dandy pampered chef deep stoneware pan.

A couple things to note: I added an extra cup of cheese. Yes, a whole cup. No shame here. ;) I couldn't wait to dig in. But I let my tiny taste tester try the first bite. Her eyes did the talking. Wide-eyed and reaching for more. APPROVED! The bread crumbs and green onions made the meal for me. The more bread crumbs the merrier! You won't be disappointed with this dish. Hubby was just happy that he was able to be of assistance with this meal....he finished the second half of the beer sitting on the counter. ;)

Oh yeah, one more thing.....ENJOY!!!