Sunday, October 4, 2015

Grilled Chicken with Spaghetti Pasta and Arugula

Need a quick 20 minute late summer meal?

Sometimes I just want to minimize my dinner preparations and cook an easy pasta dish.  We went to the farmer's market today and picked up a couple of fresh ingredients such as fresh tomatoes, arugula, and some lemons in anticipation of this meal.

Quick and simple.  That's the plan today.

The bright flavors of these ingredients make this pasta a light late summer meal.  Now you may be saying that it's already fall...well that may be all around the country except is sooo not true for Southern California.  Still singing the hot summer nights here. So this meal is just perfect.

The chicken in this dish is grilled, which you can grill indoor or out.  It provides great flavor to the dish and cooks up quickly when using thin breasts or chicken tenders.

If you want to get a great dinner on the table in 20 minutes this is you dish!  I promise you will love it and so will the family.


Grilled Chicken with Spaghetti Pasta and Arugula

Serves 4

12 oz spaghetti
6 oz arugula
1 lb chicken breasts, thin sliced, cut into strips
3 T olive oil
3 T unsalted butter
1 T garlic, minced
1 c fresh tomatoes, diced
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 c lemon juice
1/4 c Parmesan, grated

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Brush grate with oil.  Salt and pepper chicken to taste.  Grill chicken covered 4 minutes per side.  Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.  

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions (about 8-9 minutes). Place arugula in the bottom of a colander, and drain pasta over the arugula. Transfer to a large bowl.

Heat oil and butter in a saucepan over low heat until butter melts.  Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, zest and lemon juice.  Pour over the pasta and toss to coat.  Stir in cheese.  Plate and top each serving with grilled chicken.  

adapted from Cuisine Tonight Fresh & Fabulous Spring 2014 Magazine

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Kabobs

There is just something about eating food that's on a stick. I'm not quite sure what it is, but it's just fun!  Any food on a stick.  It could be a popsicle, roasted marshmallows,'s just really cool.

Today we are making kabobs.  They originated in the Middle East and are so popular all over now that you see them popping in many different cuisines.  We both love kabobs and find that they are quick and easy to assemble and to cook.  They are something that you can grill on a charcoal or gas grill and are usually made with beef, pork, chicken, lamb, and mixed with vegetables....or not!

I usually pick a theme for dinner and all the dishes are surrounding that theme. Today we are dreaming of Jamaica. I love, love, love jerk chicken and decided to make Jamaican Jerk Chicken Kabobs.  The perfect dish for grilling!

This is really simple to make.  You just take your chicken, some veggies, and some Jamaican Jerk seasoning and assemble your kabobs.  Serve it with some Coconut Rice and you are all set for night in Jamaica!  I happened to have a friend that just got married in Jamaica and she brought me some authentic Jamaican Jerk Seasoning, which I used but you can use any brand you like from the store. Mine was super hot (habaneros...) but I've found that there are many out there that are not quite that hot so everyone is happy.

So what's your favorite item on a stick?

Today ours is kabobs...but tomorrow who know?


Jamaican Jerk Chicken Kabobs

serves 4

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 red onion, cut into chunks
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
1 summer squash, cut in half and into chunks
1 zucchini, cut in half and into chunks
Jamaican Jerk seasoning blend
skewers (wooden or metal)

Heat your grill (charcoal or gas) to medium high heat.

Cut your boneless skinless chicken into 2 inch chunks.  Sprinkle with jerk seasoning on all sides.  To assemble your skewers:  thread skewers with a pieces of onion, bell pepper, chicken, squash, and zucchini alternating.  I start out with 1 or 2 vegetables and then add chicken and alternate with more vegetables, ending with a vegetable.  About 4 pieces of chicken per skewer. 2-3 skewers per person.

Cook over medium high heat until chicken is thoroughly cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. Rotate the skewers several times to cook all sides.  Serve with rice.

Friday, September 25, 2015

S'Mores Brownies

It's September already...almost over in fact.

Where does the time fly?

I was thinking over the weekend that we didn't get to go camping this summer like we wanted to. One thing or another kept coming up and before you know's September...already.

I grew up camping...or more like RVing...but I have such great memories of those times with my parents.  So many stories and adventures I could tell you.  But there's nothing like roasting marshmallows around the campfire.  I just LOVE marshmallows.  So naturally S'mores are high up on my list. I mean hello? chocolate, marshmallows, and sweet graham crackers...who doesn't love that ooey gooey deliciousness!

Well since we didn't go camping I'm going to bring the camping food to me.  In the form of a S'mores Brownie that is!

Today's recipe is simple.  Now you can get all fancy and make homemade brownie if you see fit, but a good boxed mix will do you in a pinch for this one.  I like my brownies thick so I always use and 8x8 inch pan to bake them in, so that's what I used today.

How is this S'mores you ask?  Well the bottom is graham crackers, with the brownie mixed poured on top and baked. (Yea, baked onto the graham cracker, wow!) Then you load on the marshmallows as a topping and broil it to get that roasted toasty top! OH YEA...they are GOOD!

Easy to make, and the kids will love them.  They'll keep for a while.  We actually snacked on them most of the week. So I brought my camping food to the house.  I'm so glad I did!   But be made need to control yourself from compulsively shoving them in your mouth.

Oh, and enjoy!

S'Mores Brownies

makes  9 squares

5-6 graham cracker squares, divided
1 box of your favorite Brownie Mix (or homemade mix)
(eggs, oil etc...ingredients listed on box to make brownies)
1 1/4 cups of miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 8x8 inch baking pan with aluminum foil that extends up over two sides.  Coat with non-stick cooking spray. Place 7 or so graham crackers in the pan.  Breaking squares to cover completely.  

Mix the ingredients for the boxed brownie mix in a large bowl. Pour batter over the graham crackers in the pan.  Bake according to box directions for an 8x8 inch pan or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out pretty clean.  You don't want to over bake.

Turn  your oven on broil.

Sprinkle the marshmallow over the top.  Broil until puffy and golden brown.  About 1 min.  Cool and remove from the pan by lifting the end of the foil from the pan before cutting.


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