Kelly’s Extra Cheesy-Cheesy Noodles

A French Onion Soup bowl filled to the brim with really cheesy mac 'n' cheese.When I left for work this morning, it was a rather nice start to the day: cool, yet a little sunny.  When I left this afternoon, it was snowing and blowing again. I generally like the snow, but it made me really crave comfort food. What says comfort food to me? Mac ‘n’ cheese!

I’m horrible when I make mine because I tend to overload it with cheese. It’s very filling (I’m lucky if I get through one serving), very fattening, but oh-so comforting. I’m going to share my recipe with you, but be sure to tailor this to your own tastes. Not everyone will like it so loaded down with so much cheese. And I recommend starting with a half portion if you’re going to stick to my recipe, then serve some veggies or a nice, refreshing salad with it — that is, unless you’re a huge cheese-lover like me! Continue reading

Pasta with a “quick” bolognese sauce & homemade garlic toast

A small bowl contains whole wheat spiral pasta with a homemade red meat sauce (bolognese), with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and sliced green onion. Two square pieces of garlic bread rest on the rectangular, white plate beneath this. A fork with a rainbow-coloured handle sits in front of this display on a blue table cloth.I needed a break from all the Alfredo sauce I’ve had of late, as well as all the chicken! So tonight, I whipped up an old standby and a new dish for me.

Old standby: Pasta with a “quick” bolognese sauce.

New item: Homemade garlic-onion toast.

The garlic-onion toast was more out of necessity than anything: I had a French loaf that was going to go moldy if I didn’t make use of it tonight. So I cut it in half, slapped half of it in the freezer, then slathered this one with the fixin’s and broiled it. Here’s what I did for both… Continue reading

Cajun Chicken Alfredo – Guy-Style

A plate full of Cajun chicken alfredo, garnished with chopped green onions.It’s no secret that I’m a Food Network junkie. One of the shows I enjoy watching is The Best Thing I Ever Ate and its counterpart, The Best Thing I Ever Made. Watching The Best Thing I Ever Made this weekend, I saw Guy Fieri show off his Cajun Chicken Alfredo dish. He said it got him through culinary school and was the first dish on his menu when he opened Johnny Garlic’s.

I’ve always shied away from Cajun or Creole dishes for fear that my palate would not be able to handle the spiciness of  it. But something he said caught my attention. He said that some people avoid Cajun/blackened dishes for fear of them being too spicy, but he said that blackened doesn’t necessarily mean spicy, but flavourful. He said you can control the heat with the proportions of cayenne and such.

The dish looked fantastic, sounded like it would be delicious, and the recipe was online, so I thought I’d try it, in my own way. I didn’t have heavy cream and such, but I had jars of Alfredo sauce (store-bought). I also don’t have a cast-iron skillet, but an indoor grill. So here’s what I did… Continue reading

Cheater Chicken Cacciatore

A plate displays "cheaters chicken cacciatore" and sauteed vegetablesWhat to do when you have leftover chicken, a bunch of veggies which need to be cooked up and a few jars of pasta sauce? Make cheater’s chicken cacciatore!

Traditionally, chicken cacciatore essentially means it’s some kind of ‘hunter-style’ dish. It involves a lot of herbs and spices, tomatoes, wine and such, and of course, chicken. Well, I just wanted to make something quick and easy. Originally, I had baked a bunch of chicken breasts in pasta sauce from jars in a glass lasagna pan (350F for 1 hour) the day before, so I had leftover sauce and chicken today, as well as pasta. To spruce up the leftovers today, here’s what I did: Continue reading

Using leftover marinaded & cooked chicken

A light green bowl filled with spiral pasta, chicken, sundried tomatoes and mushrooms, topped with chives.Hubby and I love pizza, but unfortunately get bored with order-in pies sometimes. So earlier this week, I had marinaded some chicken in extra virgin olive oil, thyme, pepper, garlic and orange juice, then cooked this up and used it as the main meat on individual pita pizzas. After making four of these little mini pies, I  still had a lot of extra chicken left over.

What on earth was I going to do with it?

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Tomato soup that doubles as sauce!

Tomato soup over egg noodles with a slice of brie cheese on top and some parsley, in a green earthenware bowl.Tonight, I had a hankering for tomato soup. Not that over-pureed gunk out of a can, but a nice, homemade soup with a bit of texture to it. Apologies to those who are fans of the stuff out of cans; I’m not a lover, I fear.

As soon as I got home, I started pulling ingredients out of cupboards and the fridge, seeing if I had all the ingredients.

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Pistachios — not just for snacks anymore?

Spaghetti with pistachio nuts, pesto, red peppers & fresh tomato.Tonight, I wanted something different. I wanted pasta, but not the usual ‘red or white’ sauce. In fact, I had Alfredo cheese tortellini on the weekend, so I really didn’t want more of the same. I recalled that I had some basil pesto in the cupboard and started rummaging around the kitchen. Stumbling across an unopened bag of pistachio nuts, I went into the living room to ponder the possibilities and have a little snack.

That’s when I got distracted by tv.  Before I knew it,  I had shelled the entire bag and only eaten a couple of the nuts. I could save most of them for snacks for the rest  of the week, but I really wanted to find something creative to do with them. I recalled that pesto sauce is made with oil,  herbs and chopped nuts  (usually pine nuts), so I decided I would use the jarred pesto, but I’d also chop up some of the pistachios and put  them  to good use! I also dredged up some onion, minced garlic, a red pepper, green onion that needed using up and a fresh tomato. I topped the whole thing  off with the green onion, chopped fresh tomato and a few French’s fried onions.