Roasted Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Alfredo

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Sunday nights almost always mean I’m in the mood to cook a homemade meal. But after working all morning and taking a long walk at the park with my family this afternoon it also means I usually want to make something fast yet tasty. This is one of my go-to dishes that doesn’t require a lot of ingredients that we don’t normally already have. Add a side salad or veggie and you have a tasty dish without the hassle of being homemade. Also as a side note, the goat cheese flavor isn’t over powering and is good for even your pickiest eater.
Ingredients:
  • 1 jar roasted red bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fat free half & half
  • 4 oz. garlic & herb goat cheese
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 lb. linguine, cooked to al dente
  • salt & pepper, to taste
Directions:
  • Begin boiling water and cook linguine about 10 minutes.
  • In the mean time, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil 7 minutes or until tender.
  • Pour in half & half, goat cheese, salt & pepper. Stir to melt goat cheese into sauce and keep warm over low heat.
  • Chop bell peppers into large pieces and place into sauce along with parmesan cheese. Stir to melt cheese and remove from heat.
  • Pour sauce into food processor and puree, or use an immersion blender. Place back into hot pan and toss with cooked pasta.
  • Top with more parmesan cheese, and parsley, if desired and serve immediately.
Yield: 3 large servings

Creamy Tomato Soup

I’ve been waiting for months (ok maybe weeks or days) for Tom + Chee (the new grilled cheese and tomato soup restaurant) to open up near my office. A friend and I attempted to go there again today and it was still not even close to being open. Since it’s rainy and cold outside I finally decided its time I went ahead and made some myself. This is my favorite recipe for some thick and creamy tomato soup (best served with a hot grilled cheese)! Enjoy!

Creamy Tomato Soup

1 T reserved oil from sun-dried tomatoes, or olive oil
1 C chopped onion
¾ C shredded carrot
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbs dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2/3 C sliced sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14oz) can chicken broth
3 oz reduced fat cream cheese
optional: 1/2 tsp red pepper flakesOptional: Parmesan cheese and fresh basil for garnish
1. Place oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion,  carrot, and garlic, and cook for 3-4 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring often.

2. Add sun-dried tomatoes, canned tomatoes, chicken broth, sugar, salt, pepper, oregano and basil. (If you’re adding red pepper flakes, add them now)

3. Bring soup to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer.  Cover pan and simmer for 30  minutes.
4. Remove from heat. Place soup in a blender (do this in 2 batches if necessary). Add cream cheese. Remove center piece of blender lid to allow steam to escape, but place a paper towel over opening in blender lid to avoid spills. Process for a few minutes until smooth.  You could also add cream cheese directly to the pot and use an immersion blender to combine.

5. Add additional salt and pepper to taste and then divide soup among bowls.  Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan cheese and a fresh basil leaf if desired.

*Recipe by Our Best Bites
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Cauliflower Soup

It’s been raining all week and so its about time for some warm comfort food in the form of a good soup. Here’s a recipe that even the pickiest eater can’t complain about.. Cauliflower soup by the Pioneer Woman. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

1 stick Butter, Divided
1⁄2 whole Onion, Finely Diced
1 whole Carrot Finely Diced
1 stalk Celery, Finely Diced
1 whole (to 2 Whole) Cauliflower Heads (roughly Chopped) 2 Tablespoons Fresh Or Dried Parsley, Chopped
2 quarts Low-sodium Chicken Broth Or Stock
6 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
2 cups Whole Milk
1 cup Half-and-half
2 teaspoons To 4 Teaspoons Salt, To Taste
1 cup (heaping) Sour Cream, Room Temperature

Preparation

In a large soup pot melt 4 tablespoons butter. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes, or until it starts to turn brown.

Add the carrots and celery and cook an additional couple of minutes. Add cauliflower and parsley and stir to combine.

Cover and cook over very low heat for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, pour in chicken stock or broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer.

In a medium saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Mix the flour with the milk and whisk to combine. Add flour-milk mixture slowly to the butter, whisking constantly.

Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup half-and-half. Add mixture to the simmering soup. Allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Check seasoning and add more salt or pepper if necessary.

Just before serving, place the sour cream in a serving bowl or soup tureen. Add two to three ladles of hot soup into the tureen and stir to combine with the sour cream. Pour in remaining soup and stir.

Serve immediately.

IMG_1205FullSizeRenderOriginal post available here.

Cheesy Chicken Rolls

One of our favorite go-to meals thanks to our neighbor, Jenny, who brought this to us after our little man was born. I’m returning the favor and making it for another friend with a new baby this weekend.

4 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
2 – 8 oz. cans crescent rolls
2 – 10 3/4 oz. cans cream of chicken soup
2 1/2 cups shredded Colby-Jack cheese
1 1/4 cups milk

In a saucepan on low heat, combine soup, 1 cup of cheese, and milk and stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Pour half* sauce into a 9×13″ pan prepared with nonstick spray.

Open cans of rolls and separate. Set aside 1/4 cup of cheese for topping. Combine chicken and cheese in a bowl. Place about 2 T of the chicken/cheese mixture on wide end of each dough triangle, pulling side points of triangle over filling. Roll up each crescent roll and set in pan with sauce. Top with remaining sauce. 

Bake at 375* uncovered for 30 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and then heat to melt additional 3 minutes.

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Creamy Chicken Taquitos

image2-1 image3-1 image4We were blessed by so many amazing friends and so many amazing meals after our little man was born. You never know how hard it is to feed yourselves until you have a newborn in your home. This was one of our favorite meals brought by my friend Jenn. We still repeat this recipe on a regular basis and stick them in the freezer – perfect for when we need a quick dinner. Add rice and beans and if you have dinner in a matter of minutes! Perfection!

Ingredients
6 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup green salsa
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic, or garlic powder
3 Tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 Tablespoon sliced green onions
2 C shredded cooked chicken (I usually use a rotisserie chicken)
2 C grated pepperjack or plain jack cheese
small flour tortillas
cooking spray or olive oil

Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it’s soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and granulated garlic. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.   You can prepare up to this step ahead of time. Just keep the mixture in the fridge.

Place 2-3 T of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1 inch from the edges.  Roll up tortillas and place seam down on a baking sheet, not touching one another.  Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.

Freezer Instructions: Prepare the taquitos through rolling them out and placing them on the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze until solid, then transfer to a large freezer bag. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 425 and place the taquitos on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

Yields about 12, when using 6″ tortillas, depending on how full you make them.

Original recipe by Our Best Bites and available here.

Sicilian Meatloaf

The word “meathloaf” has always scared me until I tried this one! Forget everything you’ve ever heard, thought or tasted and give this recipe a try. Straight from the kitchen of a true Italian this will change everything you’ve ever thought about meatloaf. So yummy! (Btw for two 2 of us I usually half this recipe)

2 beaten eggs
1/2 cup tomato sauce or juice- ketchup is fine too
3/4 cup bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons snipped parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt & pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 pounds ground beef
4 to 6 ounces sliced ham- I use black forest
6 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese

In a bowl combine the eggs & sauce.  Stir in the bread crumbs, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper, and garlic.  Add ground beef; mix well.  On foil or waxed paper pat meat to a 10×8 inch rectangle.  Arrange ham slices atop meat, leaving a small margin around edges.

Tear up cheese and place over ham.  Starting from short end, carefully roll up meat, using foil or paper to lift; seal edges and ends.  Place roll, seam side down, in 13x9x2 inch baking pan.

Bake at 350 till done, about 1 1/4 hours. Center of roll will be pink because of ham.  When making this for other people (like after having a baby, etc) I usually warn them about the pink center.. Makes 8 servings.