Sunday, February 20, 2011

Another giveaway!

Fabulous Family Reviews is having a giveaway for a Smart Bottoms diaper!

Go check them out and enter!

They're also giving away a Jumbie! A really cute idea for a kids' stuffed animal, go read about them and enter here!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Giveaway at Arizona Mama blog!

Hey everyone, I just wanted to post really quick about a giveaway going on at Arizona Mama's blog! Go check it out and enter to win a Bamboo Utensil Set from Green Ostrich!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Chicken Mac n Cheese

My husband made a request for mac and cheese this morning so I wanted to do something a little out of the ordinary. After much searching and debating, I googled "chicken mac and cheese" and this was one of the top results. It sounded good so I decided to stick with this recipe. I already had some fontina cheese on hand so I knew I would be using that as well as the Gruyere.

You'll have to bear with me because I was in sort of a hurry and remembered half way through cooking that I wanted to document my progress. This may be choppy because I'm still figuring out how to do this whole thing.

Here are the ingredients I used:
1 pound skinless, boneless, chicken breast cut into cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
17 ounces dried Maccheroni al torchio pasta (HUGE mistake to use this much pasta)
2 shallots, chopped (1/4 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup half and half
2 cups milk
6 ounces of fontina, shredded
8 ounces Gruyere, shredded
7 brussel sprout heads
1 cup bread crumbs
3/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons butter, melted

I started by chopping the necessary ingredients (onions, garlic and brussel sprouts). Now I know you might be thinking I'm crazy for using brussel sprouts but I had some on hand that needed to be used and I wanted to add som
e kind of veggie to this dish so it wasn't all just cream, pasta and cheese. I did chop them up pretty finely so there weren't huge chunks. My husband didn't even notice that there were brussel sprouts in there until I told him...then a few minutes later he made a face and said "I got one" :P I know that it's psychological more than anything so if you can refrain from telling people that they're in their food, then I HIGHLY doubt they will even notice...tell them you put leeks in it :P hahaha

I then cooked the chicken and seasoned it with a pinch of paprika and chili powder; probably about 1/2 tablespoon each of cumin and ground coriander seeds; and a dash of salt.

I put the chicken aside in a bowl and sauteed the shallots and garlic in that same pan with butter. I added the flour and tomato paste. Then the half and half and milk. After sim
mering that mixture for about 20 minutes, I turned off the heat and added the cheeses.

Next I put together the topping by melting 3 T of butter and adding 1 cup of breadcrumbs and 3/4 cup of parmesan cheese, stirring to combine. I found that the 2 cups called for in the original recipe would have been way too much.

Ok, I can't figure this thing out and I'm tired so one last picture. I didn't get a picture of what it looked like coming out of the oven, but this is right before I put it in the pan...
After baking, it turned out more than extremely dry...I should have used half as much pasta. I don't know what I was thinking, but you cook and learn right?

The flavors were great...although replacing half the Gruyere cheese with fontina wouldn't be a bad idea.

Well, that's probably it for a couple of weeks...I have a crazy work schedule next week so I won't be cooking any dinners. Until then, I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and remember why we celebrate the birth of Christ this time of's not just a time to give and receive presents. We were all giving a present beyond measure the day that God gave His only Son to come and live among a world of sin yet remain spotless.

What a precious gift. I am eternally grateful.

Just starting...

I'm just starting this blog thing. Ever since I saw the movie Julie and Julia I have wanted to start a blog about cooking. I've seen a lot of sites that do this sort of thing and they've actually been a huge help when I'm looking for recipes. Perhaps my site will help someone down the road when they are looking for ideas or improvements on their recipes. I'm no master cook, but I do enjoy learning how to use different ingredients and making new dishes. I was really into risotto for a while, but I've gotten off that kick for now...perhaps I'll write about it sometime down the line. As for dinner tonight, I will be making Mac and cheese...a spin on the traditional. I'll take some pictures and post my recipe and thoughts later tonight or tomorrow. Thanks for tuning in!

Ciao :)