Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Spaghetti with Chicken and Zucchini

The night I made this dish was one of those nights where I didn't feel like making or eating what was on our planned menu. I was inspired yet again by the fresh zucchini I was given by my mother in law. This dish was simple to put together, tasted fresh and was excellent as lunch left overs the next day.

Spaghetti with Chicken and Zucchini
By Nat

1 small zucchini, julienne or cut into ribbons
5 cups of homemade (or your faveorite red pasta sauce)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper
crushed red pepper flakes to taste

8 oz angel hair pasta cooked al dente

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta according to instructions.
While pasta is cooking, in a large saute pan, heat pan on medium-high flame, add oil when pan is hot. Add garlic and and saute about 1 minute. Add chicken and cook until chicken is cooked through. Add zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Cook about 2 minutes, add tomato sauce, crushed red pepper flakes and fresh parsley and adjust salt and pepper. Stir for another minute. Remove from flame.

Serve sauce mixture over the pasta and drizzle with a little olive oil.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Pork Chops with Creamy Scalloped Potatoes

A girl I work with recently gave me a new cook book. THANKS TABITHA! It is entitled Family Comfort Favorites by Kim Warren. There are lots of yummy looking recipes inside that I am anxious to try. This Pork Chops with Creamy Scalloped Potatoes diah is the first dish I tried and I loved it. My whole family loved it. It was the perfect sunday meal.

4 to 6 thick cut bone-in pork loin chops (see note below)
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper
4 50 6 large Yukon or Russet potatoes cut into 1/4" slices
1 can of cream of mushroom soup (I used chicken-we don't like mushrooms)
1 cup of sour cream
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley

1. Generously season both sides of the pork chops with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Then grill, broil or pan fry until nicely browned on both sides and set aside to rest.

2. In a small mixing bowl combine cream of mushroom soup, sour cream and parsley.

3. Spray slow cooker with cooking spray and place a layer of potatoes on the bottom. Season potatoes with salt and pepper, then carefully cover with 1/4 of the soup mixture.

4. Repeat layering the potatoes, salt and pepper and soup mixture twice more so that you have 3 layers of potatoes. Place browned pork chops on top of the potatoes and cover with the remaining soup mixture and any juices from the resting pork chops.

5. Cover slow cooker/crock pot and cook on low for 7 hours or high for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

***I used some lean boneless pork chops. Whilst they were fall apart delicious I think that this dish would be best if thick cut bone-in pork loin chops were used. Next time I plan to use thick cut bone-in pork loin chops.***

Saturday, September 26, 2009


A couple of months ago my in-laws took the family on a summer staycation. On the Friday they went to Raging Waters and then on Saturday we went to the Tree House Museum and IFLY in Ogden and then we had dinner together at Iggys. It was a fun day. I'll post pictures of the Tree House museum in another post as there are too many to post all at once.

The Tree House Museum in Ogden is in the same complex as a place called IFLY Utah. IFLY Utah is an indoor skydiving center. A good friend and old boss of mine works there as a flight instructor and I had always wanted to check it out. After we got done at the museum we headed over to IFLY to see if my pal Dusty was working. He was and though we hadn't planned on it a few of us ended up giving it a go. Dusty hooked us up with a sweet deal including a video of the whole thing and we all had a blast to say the least. Thanks Dusty and don't panic Mum- It was nothing like the real thing! No paralysis this time around.

The pictures aren't the greatest but you can get the general idea.

All suited up and ready to go...eeekkk!

Liz and I doing our goofy excited faces just before heading into the tunnel.

Brad went first and was a total natural- We were all impressed. The proper skydiving technique is actually allot harder than it looks.

Nat in the tunnel

Liz's Turn

Liz mid flip

Uncle Blake

Uncle Brian

Healthy Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

I am SO behind on my blogging. Too much working, not enough hours in the day blah blah blah. Lets get to it.

This is another recipe from Gina's Weight Watches recipes. This was awesome and oh so easy to make. We all loved this and it was the perfect Sunday meal. Put it on to cook in the morning, let it cook all day, get home from church and dinner is served.

Healthy Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 8 servings • Size: 9.85 oz • Prep Time: 5 minutes • Points: 4.25 ww points

24 oz (1 1/2) lbs chicken breast
14.4 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
15 oz can black beans
8 oz frozen corn
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
14.4 oz can fat free chicken broth
3 scallions, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)

salt to taste
Combine chicken broth, beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt in the crock pot. Season chicken breast with salt and lay on top. Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Adjust salt and seasoning. Serve over rice (extra pts).

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Family Pics 2009

I was a little disappointed with these. Is it just me or are family pictures stressful? Sadly Gabe did not want to play ball and smile pretty for a family shot and so we struggled to get one good one of the three of us. I'm hoping the photographer can do a head swap or two. It was horribly glary that day, humid and Gabe hadn't had a good nap. Need I say more? Better luck next year I suppose. Nevertheless, for my family and friends over in the Southern Hemisphere who don't get to see us much...enjoy!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cake

I had seen this recipe a while back and just hadn't had the chance to make it yet. I finally got around to making it when I took dinner to my friend Erin after she had her latest Bambino- A cute little boy named Cohen.

This cake was delicious and moist and I'm glad I took some of it to my friend. This is one I could have eaten all by myself.

Chocolate Chip Cake
From A. Marilyn and Monique G.
Taken from My Kitchen Cafe

Cake Batter:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups sour cream
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Middle & Top:
cinnamon sugar (I keep my cinnamon and sugar in a glass shaker so I didn't measure exactly how much I used - a guesstimate would be 2 tablespoons for each layer)
1 bag chocolate chips, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 if using a glass pan). Grease a 9 X 13 pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl combine all of the cake batter ingredients. Mix for 1 minute at low speed; mix 3 minutes at medium speed. Pour 1/2 of batter into greased pan. Generously sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over batter making sure to get the corners and then sprinkle with 1/2 bag of chocolate chips. Pour remaining cake batter on top and spread across bottom layer. Repeat with cinnamon and sugar and chocolate chips. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with only a few crumbs (don't overbake or cake will be dry!).

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage

This was so delicious. My husband is NOT a fan of sausage but even he loved this. The sausages I used, I found at Sams Club and they were sundried tomato and cheese I believe. The delicious flavors of the sausage just added to this yummy dinner. I've been craving it ever since. I think I'll have to make it again this weekend.

Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage
My Kitchen Cafe
Adapted from Martha Stewart Everyday Food


Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes with juice, lightly crushed with hands (or crushed tomatoes)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pound rigatoni
10 ounces baby spinach (I double the amount of spinach - fresh or frozen)
12 ounces smoked chicken (or turkey) sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
6 ounces fontina (or mozzarella) cheese, 4 ounces cut into 1/2-inch cubes and 2 ounces coarsely grated
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic. Cook for another minute.

Stir in tomatoes and oregano; cook until tomatoes are falling apart, 10 to 15 minutes. Add cream; cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook pasta in the boiling water until al dente, according to package instructions. Add spinach, and cook just until wilted. Drain, and return contents to pot.

Add tomato sauce, sausage, and cubed fontina to pot; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Divide evenly between two shallow 1 1/2-quart baking dishes. Top with grated fontina and Parmesan. Bake until browned and edges are crisp, 20 to 30 minutes.