One Skillet Creamy Tuscan Chicken

One Skillet Creamy Tuscan Chicken

Are you looking for something delicious for dinner? Something easy to make and good enough to serve company? Then this One Skillet Creamy Tuscan Chicken is just the thing!

This dish is not only delicious it’s pretty too! The spinach and sun dried tomatoes give this dish a festive look. I serve it with steamed long grain rice or pasta. Oh, and by the way it’s keto friendly, just serve it with zucchini spaghetti!

But the best part about this Creamy Tuscan Chicken is that it’s so easy to make. You really just need one skillet. I use a pretty skillet that can double as the serving dish so clean up’s a breeze!

Here’s the recipe!

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One Skillet Creamy Tuscan Chicken
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One Skillet Creamy Tuscan Chicken
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Instructions
  1. Generously sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt and pepper
  2. Heat olive oil in large skillet, add butter to melt
  3. Add onions and sauté until they turn translucent
  4. Add garlic and sauté about one minute, don’t allow garlic to turn brown
  5. Add chicken pieces and cook until done, about 3-4 minutes per side
  6. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside
  7. Add mushrooms to skillet and sauté until they turn soft
  8. Add chicken broth and Italian seasoning
  9. Bring to a boil
  10. Stir in Half and Half and lower heat
  11. Simmer about 10 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened
  12. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted
  13. Stir in sun dried tomatoes and grated cheese, sauce should be slightly thickened
  14. Place chicken back into skillet and heat over low heat until chicken is hot
  15. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve.
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Basic Marinara Sauce Recipe

Basic Marinara Sauce Recipe

Are you a fan of hearty Italian cooking? Do you love pizza and pasta? Well we’re big fans of Italian cuisine and pizza and pasta are our favorites, specially those with marinara sauce!

Sure we have our favorite Italian restaurants both here and abroad. But nothing beats home cooking! And a bowl of spaghetti is comfort food at its best.

Pastas and pizza have 2 basic ingredients; dough in the form of noodles or crust, and sauce. So making it at home should be easy, specially since you can buy pasta, crust, and sauces dried, frozen, or bottled from any grocery store. But why settle for boxed sauces (or pasta or crust) when making it from scratch is so simple?

Ok maybe making pizza dough is a bit time consuming and so is making pasta, but the sauces, well that’s pretty easy! (If you want to make homemade pasta check out my review of the Philips Pasta Machine). Marinara

One of the easiest and most versatile sauces is Marinara Sauce. You can use it for pasta, think spaghetti marinara; pizza, think Margherita; sandwiches, think meatball subs; and as a dip, think fried mozzarella sticks!

So today I’ll share my Basic Marinara Sauce Recipe. Believe me it’s super easy!
I use canned Fire Roasted diced tomatoes to give it that homemade taste. Sugar cuts the acidity of all those diced tomatoes so don’t leave it out even if you think it’s weird. And lastly I add some spice with crushed red peppers, yes, the the stuff you sprinkle on your pizza; you can add the tablespoon or more if you like spicy or omit it if you don’t.

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Basic Marinara Sauce Recipe
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Basic Marinara Sauce Recipe
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Purée diced tomatoes in a blender, you will have to purée in 2 batches
  2. Heat olive oil in large pot
  3. Sautée garlic for about a minute, do not allow them to brown or even burn as it will make sauce bitter
  4. Add Italian seasoning and crushed pepper, mix well
  5. Add puréed tomatoes
  6. Stir in salt, sugar, and bay leaf
  7. Let boil then turn down heat to low
  8. Simmer sauce for about an hour
  9. Serve over pasta or use in pizza and sandwiches, or as a dip
  10. You can brown ground meat then add marinara sauce to make a meat sauce
  11. You can also use it in your favorite pasta dish like Chicken or Eggplant Parmesan and spread it on your lasagnas!
  12. Store in mason jars or sealed plastic containers in the refrigerator for about a week. Or store in freezer safe containers in your freezer for about 3 months.
  13. Whatever you use this Marinara Sauce for, enjoy!
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Homemade Doggie Biscuits

Homemade Doggie Biscuits

Doggie biscuitsWe’re all very busy working on our gift lists just like Santa’s little elves.  In all the hustle and bustle of the season we sometimes forget to give our furry little friends a little something.

We’ve been giving not only our family pets Christmas gifts for years, we give our pet lover friends gifts for their fur balls too.  I’m not sure who started this tradition and when we started, but I do know that we all love it!

I know sometimes things get too crazy and you think do I have to think of pet gits too?  Not to mention pet gifts at the pet stores can be ridiculously expensive,  sometimes hard to fit into a Christmas budget specially if you have lots of pet friends.  But you don’t have to break the bank on buying gifts for the furry critters or your friends that have some.

This year we’ll be giving out homemade doggie biscuits.  They are very easy and inexpensive to make and you can package them in any type of container you like.  We’re packing ours in pint size Mason jars, it’s sort of the double gift, the jar can be used throughout the year for more treats!

I baked these treats in about an hour using just a few ingredients, many of which I already had in my pantry.  I used rolled oats, ground flax seeds, and olive oil along with the other ingredients for a tasty and healthy treat.  Rolled oats are a good source of fiber and the flax seeds and olive oil are good for skin and coat.  My Siberian Husky, Cannoli, loves them.  She’s my taste tester!

Here’s my recipe!  It will make 24 bone shaped dog treats about 3″ long and 1/2″ thick

Ingredients:

2 cups flour – organic if you have it
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup  flax seed meal
1 small jar of chicken in chicken broth strained baby food
1 small jar of carrot strained baby food
3/4 + cup water
1/4 cup Olive oil

Directions:

1.  Mix all ingredients except water together in large bowl.

2.  Knead dough, adding water about 1/4 cup at a time until the dry ingredients are all mixed in and you can form a ball.

3.  Roll out dough to 1/2″ thickness.

4.  Cut desired shapes with cookie cutters or use a glass to make round shapes.

5.  Place biscuits on parchment paper covered baking sheet.

6.  Re-roll dough until you have cut it all into biscuits.

7.  Brush both sides of biscuits with olive oil.

8.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.  Turning biscuits halfway for even browning.

9.  Remove from oven and cool on racks.  Cool completely before placing in containers.

Store at room temperature in sealed containers.  It will keep for 2-3 weeks or place in freezer to store longer.

Doggie biscuits
Homemade Doggie Biscuits
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Easy dog biscuit recipe my pup loves them!
Servings Prep Time
24 Biscuits 15 Minutes
Cook Time
45 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 Biscuits 15 Minutes
Cook Time
45 Minutes
Doggie biscuits
Homemade Doggie Biscuits
Print Recipe
Easy dog biscuit recipe my pup loves them!
Servings Prep Time
24 Biscuits 15 Minutes
Cook Time
45 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 Biscuits 15 Minutes
Cook Time
45 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Biscuits
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients except water together in large bowl.
  2. Knead dough, adding water about 1/4 cup at a time until the dry ingredients are all mixed in and you can form a ball.
  3. Roll out dough to 1/2" thickness.
  4. Cut desired shapes with cookie cutters or use a glass to make round shapes.
  5. Place biscuits on parchment paper covered baking sheet.
  6. Re-roll dough until you have cut it all into biscuits.
  7. Brush both sides of biscuits with olive oil.
  8. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Turning biscuits halfway for even browning.
  9. Remove from oven and cool on racks. Cool completely before placing in containers.
  10. Store at room temperature in sealed containers. It will keep for 2-3 weeks or place in freezer to store longer.
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Mansaf – Middle Eastern Lamb Dish

Mansaf – Middle Eastern Lamb Dish

mensaf Mansaf, Fatiyeh, or Fatihah this traditional middle eastern lamb stew in yogurt sauce is a big part of Arabic cuisine.  It is a favorite dish for large gatherings including weddings and engagement parties.  In short it plays a large part in Middle Eastern hospitality.

In my experience folks in the Arab world are very hospitable and generous. Rolling out a huge tray of Mansaf is a sign of respect and welcome to anyone visiting an Arab home whether it be in Jordan, Dubai, Europe, or America.

But of course this traditional dish has several names depending on the country or even city one is in.  In most countries like Jordan and Lebanon it’s called Mansaf; it’s the same dish Palestinians from the West Bank call Fatiyeh or Fatihah and those who hail closer to the larger cities call Mensaf.  Whatever it’s called it’s basically the same dish with a few regional additions to the toppings.

So what is Mansaf?  It’s a dish typically made with Lamb that’s simmered in a yogurt sauce made from reconstituted “Chisitch/Kishk/Jameed” (fermented or dried sheeps’ milk yogurt.)  Then the meat and sauce are served on a bed of torn unleavened bread like Shrak or pita and rice.  The whole dish can be topped with fresh parsley and sprinkled with toasted pine nuts; or as I’ve been taught by some of my Palestinian husband’s friends a ring of fried onions and tomatoes.

Really the secret ingredient, or not so secret, is the Chisitch.  Okay it’s not the easiest thing to get your hands on.  I usually get the dried balls of Chisitch from my husband’s relatives who travel to and from the Middle East or my sister-in-law who actually makes it!  I’ve also been able to buy it from a market in Oman during one of my trips there.  But you might be able to find it at a middle eastern market where it’s usually called Kishk or Jameed.  It’s available in liquid or powder form.  Or you can believe it or not order it from Amazon by clicking this affiliate link!   

If all else fails and you simply can not get a hold of Chisitch/Kishk/Jameed then use Buttermilk!  Yes the carton you find in your grocer’s diary section.  Good old fashioned buttermilk, the stuff you can use to make Buttermilk pancakes and biscuits!

If you’re using balls of chisitch from where ever you must reconstitute it – meaning soak the balls in water overnight, then place all of it in your blender until it is liquified.  You might need to add water to the blender to get the liquid you need.

If you’re using powdered kishk or jameed then dissolve it in water.  Obviously the easiest one to use would be liquid jameed or buttermilk.

Whichever one you use the real secret is to keep the jameed or kishk liquid from curdling when you add it to your meat.  To do that you must temper it by slowly stirring the liquid into a little bit of lamb broth.  This brings the temperature of the jameed up to the temperature of the stewed meat.

To season this dish I use my Lebanese 7 Spices Mix Click here for that recipe!

So if you want to try this yummy dish at home scroll down for my recipe.  It’s pretty fussy, it takes me a whole afternoon too make it!  This recipe is for a fairly small tray, you can double or triple it if you need to make a large tray for more people.

By the way Mansaf or Fatihah is traditionally eaten with one’s fingers right off the serving tray.  The polite and proper way to eat this dish is to use your fingers to take bite-sized portions from the tray and pop it in your mouth.  You take portions only from the meat and rice that is directly in front of you; respect other diner’s tray space.  That’s how it’s traditionally eaten; at our house it’s served family style with a serving spoon used to spoon a portion on to each person’s plate and we uses forks and knives.

 

Mansaf
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Mansaf
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Place meat in large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil.
  2. While meat boils fat will come to the surface. Skim off fat and discard. Continue this process until fat stops forming on the surface.
  3. Strain meat and set aside while you thoroughly wash out the pot. Dry pot before proceeding.
  4. Heat 1 Tbs. Olive Oil in pot and add 1 portion of chopped onions. Cook onions until they start to soften.
  5. Add meat and Lebanese 7 Spices Mix and stir well. Cook until onions become translucent.
  6. Add beef broth to cover meat. Bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 2 hours.
  8. Meanwhile you can prepare other parts of the dish.
  9. Heat remaining Olive Oil in frying pan and add remaining chopped onions. Cook until onions start to soften.
  10. Add garlic to pan and cook about 1 minute stirring constantly.
  11. Add chopped tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are soft and juices start to come out. Salt & Pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
  12. Melt 2 Tbs. Butter in saute pan and toast pine nuts until they start to turn golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  13. About 30 minutes before stew is cooked prepare rice by first melting remaining butter in pot.
  14. Add Vermecelli and saute until pasta starts to turn golden brown.
  15. Add dry rice and saute another minute.
  16. Stir in about 4 cups of water to cover the rice. Cook covered over low heat for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked. Let rest at least 5 minutes to absorb any remaining water.
  17. Check you meat. It should be tender and falling off the bone.
  18. If meat is cooked turn down heat very low.
  19. Remove about 1 cup of broth from pot to temper your jameed or buttermilk.
  20. Slowly pour liquid jameed or buttermilk into that broth. Stirring only in one direction as you add the jameed. This is tempering the jameed. It is very important that you stir as you combine the liquids and stir only in one direction to keep the jameed from curdling.
  21. Once the jameed is tempered using the same procedure slowly add the tempered jameed into the pot of stew.
  22. Simmer on low heat for about 20 Minutes.
  23. Meanwhile prepare your serving tray. Break up the bread into pieces and place pieces on to the tray.
  24. Cover bread with rice.
  25. Place meat on the rice. Pour yogurt sauce (liquid you cooked meat in) over the meat and rice.
  26. Spoon tomato mixture around the meat.
  27. Sprinkle with pine nuts and serve.
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Chipotle Flavored Roasted Cashews

Chipotle Flavored Roasted Cashews

Roasted Cashews are one of my husband’s favorite snacks, specially when he’s on his “keto diet”.  Although cashews have some carbs they are also high in fat, so when consumed moderately they can be part of a keto diet as long as you count their carb content as part of your carb consumption for the day.

I’m not really an expert on all things keto so I’ll leave that up to you.  But I digress.  Recently I purchased a tub of roasted cashews from Costco, the brand we usually buy, and when my husband snacked on it he insisted that the cashews were not roasted nor were they salted.  I can’t imagine what happened but after tasting them myself I had to agree.  Perhaps this was part of a weird batch, who knows!  But I do know that unless I did something with them we’d end up tossing the container away and that’s a waste!  So I decided to roast and flavor them myself.  I can’t be that hard.  Anyway I tossed some in my cast iron skillet and sprinkled a bit of this and a bit of that over them and lo and behold they came out delicious!

Everyone in the family loved my latest creation, this one I’m calling Chipotle Flavored Roasted Cashews!  I’ve  had to make it several more times since then, it disappears that fast!  I’m also thinking of using different seasonings.  I’ll let you know how that goes!

But in the mean time here’s my recipe for Chipotle Flavored Roasted Cashews. A quick tip, when roasting cashews or any type of nut be sure you keep stirring the pan because they tend to burn quickly and you do not want burnt cashews!

Anyway make up a batch or two of these Chipotle Flavored Roasted Cashews and see how quickly they disappear!  You can serve them hot from the pan, that’s really delish!  Left overs can be stored in airtight containers in a cool dry place.  But I doubt you’ll be storing them for long.  Yes they’re that good!

By the way you can double or triple this recipe.  I just prefer to make it in small batches because we really love them warm and in Hawaii the humidity makes it hard to keep them crunchy.

 

Chipotle Flavored Roasted Cashews
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Servings
1 Cup
Servings
1 Cup
Chipotle Flavored Roasted Cashews
Print Recipe
Servings
1 Cup
Servings
1 Cup
Ingredients
Servings: Cup
Instructions
  1. Heat Olive Oil in shallow skillet
  2. Mix seasonings together in a small bowl
  3. Add cashews to the hot oil stirring continuously to avoid burning the nuts
  4. Sprinkle seasoning mix over cashews and stir to distribute evenly
  5. When cashews are slightly browned remove from heat and serve or let cool and store in airtight containers
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