Goat Cheese and Asparagus Carbonara with Chicken

Have I told you how much I love food blogs? because I think I would be lost without them.

It’s true. Don’t ge tme wrong. A good cookbook goes a long way but there’s a never-ending supply of new, deliciousness with food blogs.

Enter goat cheese and asparagus carbonara with chicken.

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This meal was delicious. I think both Little Miss and Little Man had 2 helpings.

So creamy, so yummy and super easy. It does dirty a bunch of dishes but it is totally worth it. I promise.

Goat Cheese and Asparagus Carbonara with Chicken

-Slightly adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (fresh)
  • 1 lb asparagus
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 8 oz linguine
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan
  • ~2.5 oz goat cheese, crumbled

Instructions

*Preheat oven to 425.

1. Cut chicken breasts in half and pound to the same thickness. Season with salt and pepper on both sides.

2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Make sure it gets nice and hot. Add chicken and sear for 2-3 minutes per side. Remove and set on a plate.

3. Turn heat down to medium and add chicken broth and lemon juice. Add chicken back to the pan, cover, turn heat to low and simmer until chicken is done (about 10 minutes).

4. While chicken is cooking put asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 10-15 minutes (depending on the size of your asparagus and how cooked you want them). Once done baking, cut stalks in half or in thirds.

5. While asparagus is baking cook pasta. (see note).

6. Heat 1 tsp olive oil over high heat and cook bacon until almost nice and crispy.

7. Drain off all but 1 Tbsp of the oil, add in black pepper and finish cooking bacon. Once completely crispy, drain on paper towels.

8. Grab 1 cup of pasta water and set aside. Drain pasta.

9. To a large bowl (big enough for entire recipe) add eggs, and Parmesan. Then add cooled bacon and goat cheese. Mix well.

10. Add a splash of hot pasta water to the bowl (to temper the eggs. You don’t want scrambled eggs). Then add pasta and stir to create a creamy sauce.

11. Add in asparagus and toss to coat. Add more water if the sauce is too thick.

Serve immediately.

*Note* You want to try to time the pasta just right so it’s done cooking when the bacon is done cooking. That way, it’s still nice and hot when you pour it into the bowl which helps melt the goat cheese.

Cuban Pork

It’s St. Patrick’s Day! And I’m bringing you a recipe for Cuban pork. That’s acceptable right?!

The point is..this pork is SO good that I had to share it on St. Patrick’s day instead of an Irish recipe. It really truly is that good. The best part about this pork is that it makes a ton and…AND…you can make leftover Cuban sandwiches with it! If you didn’t know, I’m a tad obsessed with Cuban sandwiches but they are harder to make than most sandwiches because you have to have the pork and the ham and the cheese, etc and so forth. So I made this pork just so I could make Cuban sandwiches and I don’t know if the pork with rice and beans dinner was better or the Cuban sandwiches.

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The point to my rambling is that you should make this pork. And while it is a crockpot recipe it does take 2 days. And yes. It’s 100% worth it.

Cuban Pork-

From Foodie with a Family

Ingredients for step 1

1 bone-in pork shoulder –see note 1

½ cup frozen 100% orange juice concentrate

1/3 cup lime juice-I used fresh but you can used bottled

1 Tablespoon olive oil

8 whole peeled cloves of fresh garlic

1Tablespoon cumin

1 Tablespoon dry oregano

1 Tablespoon pepper

2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 stems (no leaves) fresh cilantro

Ingredients for step 2

Slow cooked pork-chilled

Cooking juices from the pork

2 Tablespoons lime juice

2 Tablespoons white wine or cider vinegar

1 teaspoon minced garlic

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon dried mustard powder

Instructions for step 1

Drizzle slow cooker with olive oil. Take pork, fat side down, in the bowl then flip over. Throw in garlic cloves, and sprinkle the pork with the spices. Use a spoon and dollop the frozen orange juice concentrate over the top of the pork. Pour in the lime juice around the edges and throw in the cilantro stems. Cook on high for 1 hour then switch to low and cook for 12 hours or until the meat falls apart* see note 2* Once the meat falls apart, throw the entire thing in the fridge (I just threw the slow cooker insert in the fridge and it worked great.

Instructions for step 2

Using a spoon, remove the congealed fat from around the pork and discard it. Transfer pork to a cutting board to shred.

Pour the juices into a mesh strainer that is over a saucepan. Remove and throw away any solids. Add the lime juice, vinegar, garlic, red pepper flakes, and dried mustard to the cooking juices, whisk together, and bring to a boil. Boil about 15-29 minutes.

Shred the meat. It should fall right apart. Throw it in a 9×13 baking dish and pour the juices over the meat. Toss together and throw in a preheated 350 oven and cook for about 25 minutes until heated through.

Note1– I used about a 4 lb pork and didn’t change any of the recipe which calls for about an 8 lb which would never in a million years fit in my crock pot.

Note 2-The recipe calls for a 8-10 lb pork shoulder. Since mine was smaller, it only took about 8-9 hours total to cook. Just keep an eye on it and when it falls apart, it’s done.

I served this with black beans and garlic-lime rice. NOM NOM NOM! And then two days later I made cuban sandwiches with the leftovers. Recipe to come later.

 

From Here on Out

We’re busy guys. BUSY. This move is coming up super quick. Just this week we had our walk through with the property manager and officially listed our house for rent. We have our first showing today which is crazy and then I realized that we have two, TWO weekends left before we drive back home.

So from here on out, always assume that we’re busy. I’m busy, the kids are busy, and the husband, he’s busy too. It still all feels very surreal that we’re moving. That we’re actually moving back to the state we love so much. So here it is…I plan on writing but it may not be as much as it was. I’ll be around here and there but my focus is getting this house ready and helping my kids transition to moving somewhere new. For Little Miss this will be easy, for Little Man a little harder and Baby Chaos, well he’s used to this house so it might be a tad bit harder on him. We’ll see how it goes.

But don’t worry friends! I have a little something for you before my posts may or may not become spotty. A recipe of sorts. You know, one of those recipes that you’re like…really…is it really that good. But I can tell you my friends that it is.

You know the boxed stuff called Hamburger helper. My husband used to love the stuff. When I first moved to NC and didn’t really know much about cooking I would make the stuff. Mostly because it was quick and easy. I worked nights, hubs worked days so I would whip it up before work at the restaurant. I never understood my husband’s love for it. After I learned how to cook, we sort of forgot about the stuff, because really..yuck..and then one day a few months ago, out of the blue my husband asked me to grab a box or two.

I grabbed one because there was no way I’d be making it more than that. Once was quite enough. Except it wasn’t because everyone, minus me, loved it. I was determined to figure out a homemade way to make it. A good, yummy, healthier than the box stuff, alternative and guys, thanks to Iowa Girl Eats, I did. It’s good, healthier than the box, and quick. Mr. Chaos and Little Miss are very happy when I announce I’m making homemade hamburger helper for dinner and Little Man eats it up as does Baby Chaos now that he can eat it. When I have no idea what to make or I don’t feel like cooking at all, I make this. It’s that easy. It’s that yummy.

Homemade Hamburger Helper: Recipe from Iowa Girl Eats

ngredients:
1lb lean ground beef (I used 96/4)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup hot water
2 cups skim milk- I use 2% because that’s what I always have at the house
1-1/2 cups elbow macaroni (or other small pasta)- I use penne every time.
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Directions:

 

  1. Brown ground beef in a large skillet or pot. Drain and return to pan.
  2. Add in cornstarch, seasonings, hot water, skim milk and pasta. Stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, place a lid on top, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until pasta is al dente, stirring a couple of times- I typically cook for about 12 minutes due to penne being a little bigger than the elbow pasta.
  3. Turn off the heat and stir in cheddar cheese until melted. Let stand for 5 minutes, or until sauce is thickened.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Springtime Lasagna Just For You

I’m not going to lie when I say that when I surf the web, it’s usually looking at delicious food on some amazing foodie blogs. One of my favs is How Sweet it is. A lot of her recipes are not your “normal” recipe and I love that. She has definitely inspired me to step out of my comfort zone and try new foods, which I love to do but my husband, not so much. Oh he says that he’ll eat anything I cook but when he asked what was for dinner the other day and I came back with, Springtime veggie skillet lasagna, he was skeptical. I could hear it in his voice while on the phone. I’m pretty sure when he repeated the name, he was looking right at his work buddy like, “Um..seriously….that’s whats for dinner.”

But guys….this lasagna…so so good. So so so so so good. Little Miss ate two helpings. I barely had leftovers for Mr. Chaos’s lunch the next day and I really wish he would have hated it so I could have eaten said leftovers but um…he didn’t hate it. Not even a little bit. This is one that will definitely be made again, although probably with some chicken thrown in because my husband doesn’t do many non meat dinners. Me on the other hand, bring on the veggies!

Not my photo...photo courtesy of www.howsweeteats.com

Not my photo…photo courtesy of www.howsweeteats.com

So yummy guys. And perfect for warmer weather! PERFECT!

Springtime Veggie Skillet Lasagna from: How Sweet It is

Ingredients

6-8 Lasagna noodles-I used around 9 and I probably would’ve cut it back down to 7 or so
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 sweet onion, diced
12 ounces cremini mushrooms
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 ounces fresh spinach
1 bunch of asparagus spears (12-15), ends removed and cut into thirds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg-I didn’t add nutmeg because my husband hates it and the recipe was still absolutely delicious
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 cups lowfat milk-I only had 2%
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1/2 cup ricotta-Substituted cottage cheese because again, Mr. Chaos doesn’t like ricotta. *gasp* I know…he says he’s not a picky eater but c’mon Mr. Chaos! Ricotta cheese…ugh!
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, freshly grated-Yes, use fresh..not the bar stuff…the fresh stuff

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare water for pasta and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add pasta and cooking according to directions, shaving a few minutes off the time.

Heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Add in onions and mushrooms, tossing to coat, then cover and cook for 10 minutes until softened. Add in garlic and spinach, stirring well and cook until the spinach wilts and cooks down. Add in asparagus, tossing well. Season with salt and pepper- At this point I removed the skillet from the heat while I made the sauce. Don’t worry about the asparagus..it cooks up nicely in the oven.

Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add butter. Once sizzling, whisk in flour to create a roux and cook until golden brown and nutty, about 1-2 minutes. Add in milk and whisk continuously until the mixture is thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in parmesan cheese. Season with a pinch of nutmeg, salt and pepper. Once the cheese is melted and the sauce is slightly thickened, pour over the vegetables in the skillet and turn off the heat. Add in the cooked lasagna noodles and gently toss to distribute. Cover with scoops of ricotta and the grated cheese.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly. Remove and serve with extra parmesan!

Go forth and make this on a beautiful sunny day and make sure you serve with some warm crusty bread because lasagna without bread….unheard of my friends…unheard of!

Mediterranean Chicken

So this is how it went down. I was at the store and I saw the new Rachel Ray magazine and it drew me in. So I picked it up and flipped it open while I waited to check out and saw a handful of recipes I would actually make. So I bought it.

And I made this

photo courtesy of Rachel Ray Magazine

photo courtesy of Rachel Ray Magazine

And y’all it was good. REALLY good. And you know Rachel Ray….30 minutes or less. Mine took a tad longer because I hate…HATE…pounding chicken breasts thin but it still only took about 35 minutes total time. Mr. Chaos put it best when he said it tastes exactly like a stromboli without the carb overload. And of course, mine didn’t look as pretty because I definitely did not cut it up. Just served the rolled up chicken breast with some sauce on the side and some roasted asparagus…YUM!

Mediterranean Chicken: Rachel Ray

Ingredients :

  • 1/3 pound provolone, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/3 pound salami, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 small red chile pepper, such as fresno, finely chopped-I couldn’t find this anywhere so I picked up some roasted red peppers and they were delicious!
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, butterflied (slit horizontally, then opened like a book)-I just took the chicken breast, cut it in half horizontally and then pounded to a uniform thickness. The thicken the chicken breast, the harder it is to roll and longer to cook
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 14 ounce can  crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • A few basil leaves, torn-I didn’t have fresh basil so I just used dried…about a tablespoon or so. I also added some oregano to the sauce…again about a tablespoon
  • Crusty bread, for mopping-a MUST
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees . Combine the cheese, salami, onion, parsley, garlic and chile. Pound the chicken slightly and lightly season with salt and pepper. Arrange the cheese-salami mixture over half of each chicken breast. Fold the other half over or roll them up, like I did and secure with toothpicks ( I didn’t have toothpicks so I just seared them seam side down first so it would stay closed on it’s own.)
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet or dish and place in the oven. Cook 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness. Let rest briefly, then slice crosswise.
  3. Meanwhile, pour the wine into the skillet to deglaze the pan. Stir in the tomatoes and chicken stock and add dried herbs (if using fresh basil, don’t add until the end).  Cover the skillet and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Top the chicken with the sauce and basil; serve with the crusty bread for mopping.

Enjoy!