Monday, October 27, 2008

{spinach pasta salad}

A good friend of mine gave this recipe to me a few years ago, we love to have it when we get together for lunch. Her mother actually created this recipe after eating a similar salad at a restaurant,and she got it right! It's full of so many yummy things, and they are all brought together beautifully.


8 oz. penne pasta (or bowties)
Feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 red pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
6-8 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 package baby spinach

1/4 c. olive oil
2 T. vinegar
salt and pepper

Place rinsed and drained spinach in a large bowl. Saute onion and red pepper in a skillet while pasta is cooking. Drain pasta well, then add both the pasta and vegetables to the spinach while they are still hot. Add bacon, feta cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes and toss well. Serve warm or cold.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

{baked chicken parmesan}

This is a very fast and easy take on this delicious dish.


2 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/4 c. Italian bread crumbs
1 jar Three Cheese Prego Sauce (or same amount homemade sauce)
Parmesan cheese, grated
Mozzarella cheese

Cut chicken into pieces and place in baking dish. Pour melted better over the chicken, and sprinkle the bread crumbs on top. Pour half of the jar of sauce over the crumbs, then add both cheese to your liking. Cover with the remaining sauce and sprinkle more cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour, then serve over spaghetti noodles.

{caramel popcorn}

I could eat gallons of this. Really, it's that good! Caramel popcorn is one of my favorite things ever, and I belong to the "chewy" group. It seems like people fall into one of two categories when it comes to caramel popcorn--crunchy and chewy. We have all kinds in our family, but this is an easy recipe to manipulate to your liking. I also like to add a handful of nuts--pecans and cashews are my favorites--to the popcorn right before I pour on the caramel, then I toss it all together. Yummy!


1 stick butter
1/2 c. Karo
1 c. brown sugar

Melt butter in a saucepan, then add Karo and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, and while stirring constantly, continue boiling until it reaches the soft-ball stage. Take off the heat and stir in vanilla and salt. Pour over popcorn and stir well. If you like it crunchy, continue boiling until the hard-ball stage.

{toasted cinnamon & sugar pumpkin seeds}

What a yummy fall treat this is! A few years ago we decided to try a sweet version of our favorite pumpkin seed recipe, and this is waht we came up with. They are sweet, crunchy, and delicious!


2 c. pumpkin seeds
2-3 T. butter, melted
cinnamon & sugar

Wash seeds well. Boil seeds in a small amount of water in a medium saucepan for 10 minutes. Spread out evenly on aluminum foil and dry well. Toss the dry seeds in the butter, then coat with cinnamon & sugar. Spread out on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 225 degrees for approximately 1-1.5 hours or until toasted brown.


2 c. pumpkin seeds
1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. butter, melted
1 1/4 tsp. seasoning salt (or table salt, if preferred)

Follow same directions as above.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

{cajun chicken pasta}

Okay, this is another seriously amazing recipe (click on "recipe")from my friend Melissa. I was introduced to this one last week as well, and I quickly requested it as my birthday meal on Sunday. It is definitely a new regular on our family menu, as well as a new favorite of mine. Enjoy!

{tortilla soup with cilantro}

One of my good friends shared this recipe with me last week, and we have already made it several times. It is wonderful! The soup is delicious all on it's own, but the cilantro and homemade tortilla strips make it one-of-a-kind. Since she already has it typed out on her blog, here's the link! (click on "link")