Chicken and Broccoli Stuffed Shells with Alfredo Sauce

chicken and broccoli stuffed shells with alfredo sauce done

Sometimes limitations bring forth the best creations.

Recently, on a message board someone wanted to make stuffed shells.  She wanted to use chicken, no red sauce, no spinach and no ricotta.  She did have a jar of alfredo sauce.  I don’t know what the woman ended up making, but this is what I suggested.  It sounded so good, I decided to try it myself.

Chicken, broccoli and mozzarella cheese fill the shells which are covered with alfredo sauce and baked.  Bonus -the recipe makes enough to put some in the freezer.

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Garden Rotini with Grilled Zucchini and Chicken

garden rotini with grilled zucchini and chicken done

Oh, my merciful heavens!  This was so very delicious.

Inspired by the grilled zucchini and a container of gorgonzola cheese, I quickly pulled this together for dinner one night.  Five of us were home to eat and we all loved it.  My oldest daughter worked late and came in after we had gone to bed.  She scrounged in the fridge and found the leftovers.  She said she ate some cold before she realized it was meant to be served hot, but it tasted good both ways.

I also used homemade seasoned salt in this dish.  If you haven’t made any of it yet, please take a couple minutes to stir a batch together.  Your taste buds will thank you.

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Pesto Tomato Pizza

pesto tomato pizza done

There may not be anything original about this, but it’s one of my favorite summer suppers.  And it only takes minutes to put together.  My kids aren’t big fans of tomatoes, so for them I make a cheese pizza or use cooked sausage that I’ve frozen.  Either way, everybody is happy and dinner is fast.

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Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce with Two Cheeses

One of my favorite kind of recipes to create is pasta dishes.  Coincidentally, I also love to eat pasta.  This sauce has both Parmesan and Provolone cheeses along with fire roasted tomatoes.  Ever since I tried fire roasted tomatoes a few months ago, they’ve been a staple in my pantry.  They pack a bit more flavor than plain diced tomatoes.

The sauce may sound like it’s hard to make, but it comes together in about 15 minutes.  Here’s what you’ll need: [Read more…]

Homemade Pesto Sauce without a Food Processor

pesto sauce ingr

I had a hankering for pesto the other day.  I don’t have a food processor and my attempt years ago to use a blender for pesto was a failure.  But I figured that pesto was being made before electricity and modern gadgets, so it must be possible.  Earlier in the summer I had searched online and found someone who had made pesto using a mezzaluna, a half-moon shaped knife. 

So, armed with a sharp knife (no mezzaluna in my kitchen) and a few handfuls of fresh basil leaves from the garden, I proceeded to make this wonderful concoction known as pesto.  You probably noticed that there are a few ingredients missing from that picture.  I did use garlic, but it didn’t find it’s way into the photo.  Unfortunately, I had no pine nuts or walnuts, and since it was 4:30 in the afternoon when I decided to start this experiment, I wasn’t going to run out to the store to buy any.  What I found out is pine nuts are not essential – good, probably better with than without, but not essential.

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Baked Spaghetti

Baked Spaghetti

We had friends over a few weeks ago.  It was very spontaneous and we went back and forth trying to decide whose house we would get together at.  Turns out both my friend and I were thinking of making a spaghetti dish, because that’s what we had ingredients for.  I’ll have to eat her version sometime.  Here’s my Baked Spaghetti recipe (actually a recipe my mom has made for years).

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Sausage and Mozzarella Calzones with Homemade Pizza Crust


Oh, yeah.  These were good.  Meaty, cheesy and full of flavor.  I made them last week during the challenge to eat from the pantry and freezer.  I guess you could say they were inspired by ingredients I had on hand and a desire to eat calzones.

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Olive Oil with Garlic and Italian Seasonings for Bread Dipping

I like to go to restaurants that serve warm bread and olive oil for dipping.  It’s easy to do the same thing at home to dress up dinner or tide everyone over until it’s ready.

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Red Sauce DiPaola


If you’ve read this blog very much at all, you know I love pasta.  Pasta meals tend to come together quickly, making them perfect for hungry families and this one is no exception.  This recipe was shared by DiPaola Momma on her blog, Chicken Nuggets of Wisdom.  (Don’t you just love the title of her blog?)  I altered it a tiny bit, but didn’t mess with the secret ingredient.

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Grandma’s Spaghetti Sauce in the Crockpot

When I was little, my favorite meal was my Grandma’s spaghetti and meatballs. This is her recipe, but I can never make it taste just like hers. I think she had a special spoon she stirred it with. Cooking the sauce on the stove and simmering it for hours makes it taste better than cooking it in the crockpot, but I didn’t have hours the other day. It was still yummy in the crockpot. It only took a few minutes to put the sauce together and turn the pot on high. I had already made the meatballs, so they just had to be added to the pot to heat with the sauce.

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