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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chicken, Biscuits 'n' Gravy Casserole

This recipe is from 'Everyday with Rachel Ray' April-May 2006. I made a few adaptations though -- instead of using meat from a rotisserie chicken, I cubed and then cooked the meat of two very large boneless, skinless chicken breasts. And I made one substitution, I used carrots instead of celery and cooked them with the onions for a few minutes before adding in the mushrooms because of their crisper texture and longer cook time. Both Zach and I thought it turned out really well. It was great on a cold, late fall evening. I served it with roasted asparagus. It is listed as 4 servings, but if you are having a veggie or something else on the side, I'd say it stretches to 6 servings. Also, it was great because I could make it with things we already had in our cupboards, fridge and/or freezer. No grocery shopping necessary!

Chicken Biscuits 'n' Gravy Casserole

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes


2 large or 3 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
7 tablespoons butter
8 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 medium carrots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups baking mix, such as Bisquick
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • Preheat oven to 425. Grease a large casserole dish.
  • Cube the chicken into small chunks. Season with salt and pepper and brown in a large saucepan with olive oil. When cooked through, spread in the bottom of the casserole dish.
  • In same skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium high heat. Add the onions and carrots, cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook and stir for 4-5 minutes.
  • Lower the heat to medium, sprinkle the flour into the skillet and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Stir in the chicken broth, bring to a simmer and cook , stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1/3 cup of the milk and simmer for 1 minute more.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat, add the lemon juice, and season to taste. Pour the vegetables and gravy over the chicken in the baking dish.
  • Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter with the garlic.
  • Stir together the baking mix, the remaining 2/3 cup of milk and the cheese. Drop tablespoonfuls of the biscuit mixture on top of the casserole and brush with half of the garlic butter.
  • Bake until the biscuits are golden brown, about 25 minutes, brushing them once or twice with the remaining garlic butter.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pumpkin Cinnamon Spritz

I wanted to make some seasonal, fall-type cookies to bring to a meeting I had the next day.  I also wanted to use our new cookie press.  So, I opened the box, hoping it would have a pumpkin die and it did!  I found a recipe in the instruction/recipe booklet that came with the cookie press for Apple Butter Cinnamon Cookies.  I didn't have apple butter, but did have pumpkin butter, and since I was making them into the shape of pumpkins it seemed like a perfect substitution.  Next time though, I would not make it an even substitution.  The recipe calls for 1/2 cup apple butter and 1/2 cup butter.  If I were to do pumpkin butter again I'd do 1/4 cup pumpkin butter, 3/4 cup butter. 

Pumpkin Cinnamon Spritz
adapted from Wilton Cookie Master Plus Recipe Booklet

1/2 cup pumpkin butter
1/2 butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 cups flour


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Cream apple butter, butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Add egg yolk, vanilla, cinnamon and mix.
  • Add flour and mix just until blended.
  • Put dough into cookie press, using desired disk, press shapes onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Bake 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown.  Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet on colling rack.  Remove from cookie sheet and continue to cool on rack.
Makes 3-4 dozen cookies.  

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Roasted Vegetables & Pasta

My first recipe post -- woohoo!  I am very excited that it is one of my own concoctions I am posting to get started.  I create some pretty unique dishes, not all of them great, but most of them passing.  This was definitely one of my successes.  It was just supposed to be an easy, use up the veggies in the fridge and throw them in with some pasta night, but I found a gorgeous eggplant at the store and then worked this recipe out in my head on the way home.
Roasted Vegetables & Pasta

1 Eggplant
2 Peppers (I used green, but red, orange or yellow would be great as well)
1 medium Onion
3 tablespoons Olive Oil (plus some for brushing on veggies)
3-4 cloves Garlic
5 Plum Tomatoes
1/2 box Pasta (I used whole wheat Rotini, but any works just fine)
4-6 oz. cubed fresh mozzarella (smoked would be yummy too)
1-2 tablespoon(s) Fresh Basil 
Balsamic Vinegar


  • Preheat oven to 450.  Start water for pasta.
  • Slice eggplant in 1/4-1/2 inch rounds.  Cut peppers into quarters.  Slice onion into 1/4 inch rounds.  Spread vegetables out on baking sheets.  Brush with olive oil and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Flip over and repeat on other side.  
  • Roast about 10 minutes, turn vegetable over and roast 10 minutes on opposite sides.
  • When water comes to a boil, salt and add pasta.  
  • Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.  Add in 3-4 cloves of minced garlic.  Let saute.  
  • De-seed 5 plum tomatoes and cut into strips.  Add to olive oil and garlic.  Saute one minute, then turn off heat.  Add in chopped basil.  
  • When the vegetables are roasted, remove from oven, let cool 1-2 minutes and roughly chop into bite-size pieces.  
  • To a large bowl add oil/garlic/tomatoes and roasted vegetables.  Add in pasta after cooked and drained.  Add in mozzarella and toss all to combine.
  • Serve!

First post!

This is my first blog post - yay!  I am very excited to get this blog up and running after creating it a few months ago and then just thinking about it.  I mostly wanted to start this as a food blog.  We are constantly trying out new recipes and meals and wanted a place to record our trials -- both successful and not so much.  We are a newly married couple living in Upstate NY.  We're huge fans of the Food Network and specifically chose our honeymoon spot (Las Vegas) to have amazing, fancy restaurants to dine in.  When we were planning our wedding I was a frequent visitor (okay, addict!) of and now I love reading the 'What's Cooking?' board on to get new ideas and be inspired by other nesties.  We love attempting new recipes and improving on old ones.  This will be our virtual cookbook where we can pull together all our favorite dishes from all our favorite chefs.  We hope you enjoy!