Chicken Broccoli Supreme

YUM! That's about all I can say to sum this up. It's sooo good. Not a low fat option by any means, but who would expect something with the word supreme in the title to be healthy, right? I know it's not the prettiest looking dish ever, but it's definitely something we'll be eating again. And, like most good things these days, I found it here via
What you need:
1 Lb fresh broccoli, broken in pieces and steamed for 2 minutes (I think next time I'll cook mine a little more)
3 cups cooked chicken breast, broken into small pieces
3 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided
2 tubes Ritz crackers (put in a zip-lock bag and crush, but not too much)
1 stick melted butter
1 TBS poppy seeds
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup cornstarch, dissolved in 1/2 cup COLD water
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups of the cheddar cheese (listed above)

What you do:

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the melted butter, cornstarch/water mixture, chicken broth, seasonings, and milk. Stir well, and continue stirring until sauce has thickened. Meanwhile, in greased 9x13 in. pan, layer the broccoli and chicken then set aside. 
Turn heat down to low, and add 1- 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese to the sauce. Stir until melted. Pour over the chicken and broccoli. Top with 1- 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese.
Melt the butter, and add the poppy seeds, and stir well. Add cracker crumbs to the melted butter. Sprinkle crumbs over the top of the grated cheese.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until hot & bubbly.

Skillet Calzone

This is a super yummy, super easy recipe that I found in a Betty Crocker cook book. I've tweaked it a little bit, but this is pretty much what the original recipe says.

What you need:
8 slices french bread
cooking spray (or veg. oil)
2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb ground beef.
1 small green pepper
1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can diced tomatoes (would be yummy with Italian style)
Your favorite spaghetti sauce
Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese to top with

What you do:
1. Set oven to broil. Place bread slices on ungreased cookie sheet. Spray bread with cooking spray (or brush with oil). Toast in broiler until golden brown. Turn the slices of bread over on the pan and spray (or brush with oil). Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top and toast again until just starting to brown.
2. Meanwhile, in 10 inch skillet, cook beef, bell pepper, and garlic over medium-high heat 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown; drain. Stir in tomatoes and sauce. Cook 1-2 minutes until hot.
3. Top the bread slices with beef mixture; sprinkle with cheeses. Toast in the broiler just long enough to melt the cheese.

Creamy Tomato Pasta

I saw this one on pinterest and knew I had to give it a try. It was so yummy! It was just as good as something you'd pay good money for in a restaurant, but I made it myself and it was easy peasy! I made a few changes for mine (mostly because I didn't have some ingredients, so I had to make do with what I had), and I'm going to be rebellious and just put what I did in this recipe. If you want to see what the original recipe said feel free to click on the link above (theirs has half and half in place of some of the milk I used, so it's probably richer and fattier and therefore yummier, just so you know)
What you need for the tomato sauce:
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 small onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
olive oil
What you need for the alfredo sauce:
1 TBS butter
2 tsps flour
1 cup milk
2 garlic cloves, peeled and slightly crushed
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 1/2-2 cups short cut pasta (bowtie, macaroni, shells, whatever)

What you do:
1. Start a large pot of water boiling for your pasta. Add the pasta to the water as soon as it comes to a boil and cook according to the package directions. Meanwhile:
2. Put your onion, garlic, and olive oil (for your tomato sauce) into a sauce pan and let sweat for 5 minutes or until soft. (This means you are cooking them on a low-med heat setting until they are soft, but not letting them brown.)
3. Add the tomatoes to the onion and garlic. (I blended mine in a little food processor first so they were a little chunky, but not really. You can do this or not, whatever you prefer. You could also use a blender for this job) Let cook for around 15 minutes.
4.While the pasta and tomato sauce are cooking, make the alfredo sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth and cook about 2 minutes, until brown.
5. Whisk in the milk and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Continue whisking; bring to a simmer and cook about 2 intues until thickened. Fish out the garlic with a slotted spoon and discard.
6. Whisk in the parm. The sauce will be very thick, so you can add 1/3 cup or so of the pasta water to the sauce to thin it. Remove from heat.
7. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. Mix the basil into the tomato sauce and add that to the pasta. Mix well and enjoy!

Country Style Apple Tart

The other day I was craving apple pie, but didn't want to go to the hassle of making a pie. I started looking through my fridge/cupboards and realized that I had everything I needed to make a cheater version, so using what I had on hand and kinda following a recipe from my Betty Crocker cook book, this is what I came up with. It was super yummy!
What you need:
Pastry for a one crust pie (I had a box of puff pastry in my freezer from a recipe I made a few weeks ago, so I used this instead of making my own)
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 apples (Granny Smith, or some similar variety) thinly sliced (you could use a can of apple pie filling instead)
1 TBS butter or margarine
Granulated sugar, if desired (I used some cinnamon sugar that was left over from something I'd made the day before)

What you do:
Heat oven to 425. Make pastry and roll into a 13 inch circle (my pasty came in rectangles, so that's the shape I went with). Place on a large, ungreased cookie sheet. Cover with plastic wrap to keep pastry moist while making filling.
In large bowl mix brown sugar and flour and stir in the apples. Mound apple mixture on center of pastry to within 3 inches of edge (It will be a big mound, but the apples shrink down when they cook) Cut butter into small pieces and sprinkle over apples. Fold edges of pastry up over apples, making pleats so it lays flat on apples (it won't cover all the fruit, but that's okay. I had enough pasty in my freezer to do a loose lattice of pastry over the top of mine, but you don't have to do that part). Sprinkle pastry with sugar (as I said, I used cinnamon sugar)
Bake 30-35 minutes  or until crust is light golden brown (if you used cinnamon sugar on top it will be hard to tell when it's done. Poke the crust with your finger and see if it feels done). To prevent over-browning, you can cover the center of the pie with a square of tinfoil during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking time. Cool on the cookie sheet on a wire rack for 1 hour, or serve warm if desired.

We couldn't wait for it to cool. I think we lasted all of five minutes before we caved and dug into it. We put big scoops of vanilla ice cream on top and let it melt down into the filling, and it was awesome! I think next time I'll put some cinnamon and nutmeg in the filling, but it was still really good!

Vicki's Chicken and Grapes with Creamy Mustard Sauce and Couscous

Okay, so I know that name is a little long, but I didn't make it up. I got this recipe from a Rachel Ray 30 minutes meals cookbook (I think it's in the one I gave you Kate), and I finally got around to trying it. I'd never had couscous before, so it was fun to try something new. Just so you know, couscous is VERY easy to make, so don't let it scare you!
What you need:
3 TBS all-purpose flour
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 TBS butter
1.25-1.5 lbs chicken tenders (I only had chicken breasts, so I just sliced them into smaller pieces)
salt and pepper
1/3 c white wine (I substitute chicken broth whenever wine is called for)
1 c. half and half (I used evaporated milk)
1/4 c grainy stone ground mustard (I used regular Dijon)
1 c seedless red grapes, halved
2 c chicken broth
2 c couscous
drizzle of EVOO

What you do:
Put the 2 c. chicken broth in a pan with the drizzle of EVOO and bring to a boil while you do the following:
Place flour in a shallow bowl. Place lg. skillet over med-high heat; add 1 TBS EVOO and butter. Dredge chicken in flour; season with salt and pepper. Add chicken to skillet and cook until browned, 7-8 minutes. Add wine and deglaze (this means stir all the brown crispy bits up off the bottom of the pan) as wine comes to a bubble; cook liquid down 30 seconds to 1 min. Combine half and half and mustard and pour mixture over chicken.
Add grapes to the skillet with the chicken and mustard sauce, and shake to coat chicken and grapes in sauce. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 3-5 minutes more.
Add the couscous to the pan with the boiling chicken broth. Stir briefly and then remove from heat and cover with a lid. Let sit for 5 minutes. 
When the time is up on the couscous, fluff it with a fork before serving with plenty of the mustard sauce. YUM!