La Mia Famiglia

La Mia Famiglia

Just a tad about me

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God's child. Nick's wife. Roman, Dallon & Rocco's mommy. These are the things I would never change.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Creamy Lemon-Pesto Chicken & 'Fettuccine'

Pampered Chef's Creamy Lemon-Pesto Chicken & Linguine from the Deep Covered Baker cookbook.


1 lemon

2 tbsp (30 mL) butter, melted

2 tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour

1 cup (250 mL) 2% milk

1 garlic clove, pressed

1/2 cup (125 mL) prepared basil pesto

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 oz/125 g each)

1 tbsp (15 mL) Citrus & Basil Rub

12 oz (350 g) uncooked linguini pasta

2 plum tomatoes

1/4 cup (50 mL) thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

Directions:1.Zest lemon using Microplane® Zester to measure 2 tsp (10 mL). Combine butter and flour in Classic Batter Bowl; whisk until smooth. Add lemon zest, milk and garlic pressed with Garlic Press to butter mixture; whisk well. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 3-4 minutes or until thickened, stirring every 60 seconds. Add pesto; mix well.2.Season chicken with rub. Place chicken in Deep Covered Baker, overlapping as necessary. Pour sauce over chicken. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 12-15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) in thickest part of chicken and centers are no longer pink. Carefully remove baker from microwave using Oven Mitts. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes.3.Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Set pasta aside and keep warm. Seed and dice tomatoes. Serve chicken and sauce over pasta; garnish with tomatoes and basil.Yield: 6 servings

Nutrients per serving: U.S. Nutrients per serving: Calories 480, Total Fat 15 g, Saturated Fat 5 g, Cholesterol 75 mg, Carbohydrate 50 g, Protein 34 g, Sodium 500 mg, Fiber 3 g

U.S. Diabetic exchanges per serving: 3 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 low-fat meat, 1 fat (3 carb)

Cook's Tips: If desired, store-bought lemon-pepper seasoning can be substituted for the Citrus & Basil Rub.

Rice or other types of pasta such as spaghetti can be substituted for the linguine, if desired.

My variations: I used 1% milk, jarred garlic, chicken tenderloins, lemon pepper seasoning, vine tomatoes, left off the dry basil (still pictured, just decided not to use since I didn't have fresh) & I used garden style fettuccine.

I knew this evening was going to be hectic so I needed a dinner that I could prepare ahead of time.  Rocco had his first soccer game at 5:30 (The Eyeballs vs. The Little Giants), Roman's football practice at 6:00 & Dallon's soccer practice at 6:30, Nick coaches both soccer teams & we get home just after 4:00 from work.  So at lunch I prepared the chicken all except for cooking it, then stored it in the fridge.  I also prepared the pasta & Mom made a salad.  That way all I had to do was cook the chicken & heat the pasta.  Perfect!  And it all actually worked out as planned.

 Mix the melted butter & flour.  I LOVE my batter bowls from Pampered Chef!  Question:  Am I the only one who keeps their flour in the freezer?  I know I heard to do that somewhere years ago & have done it ever since.  Keeps it fresh!  First I put it in a Ziploc bag, then the freezer.
 I don't have the PC Micro planer but I do have this cute little zester!

 4 minutes, stirring every 60 seconds
 In the meantime I prepared the chicken with the lemon pepper.
 Heated & thickened pesto mixture

 Cooking the pasta

 Since I pre-made the pasta I added just enough EVOO to keep it from sticking while it waited the 4 hours on the stove for dinner.  Worked perfectly!

Now, I'm home from work & it's time to cook this chicken!
 This was a quick & easy meal that everybody liked. 
 Thumbs up!  Roman & Rocco couldn't be pictured because they were using their bad manners by coming to the table with no shirts on.  Mom wasn't feeling well & skipped dinner.
This was a really good meal but it tasted very similar to another dish I make, Tuscan Chicken Simmer.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

BBQ Bacon Stuffed Meat Loaf

BBQ BACON-STUFFED MEATLOAF from the Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker cookbook
8 ounces fresh mushrooms
1 tbsp vegetable oil
6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled, divided
3 slices white sandwich bread
1/2 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp smokey bbq rub, divided
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 tsp or each salt and coarsely ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds 85% lean ground beef
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup ketchup

Thinly slice mushrooms. Heat oil in 12 in. skillet over medium high heat 1-3 minutes or until simmering. Add mushrooms; cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until mushrooms begin to brown. Remove skillet from heat. Set aside 1 tbsp of the crumble bacon. Add remaining bacon to mushrooms and mix well.

Meanwhile, cut bread into cubes. In stainless 6 qt mixing bowl, combine bread, milk, onion, parsley, egg yolk, 2 tbsp of the rub, pressed garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well. Add beef to bread mixture; mix. place two thirds of meet mixture in deep covered baker form into an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 loaf. Gently press down the center of the loaf to create a well. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the cheese in the well. Top with bacon mixture and an additional 1/2 cup of the cheese. Place remaining meat mixture over filling press to seal.

Microwave, covered, on high 14-17 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 in the center. Carefully remove baker from microwave, using oven mitts. Meanwhile, combine ketchup and remaining rub; stir. Brush Ketchup mixture over meatloaf. Microwave, covered, on high 3-5 minutes or until internal temperature is 160 in the center. Sprinkle remaining cheese and reserved bacon over top of meatloaf; let stand, covered, 10 minutes before slicing.

My variations:  We use 1% milk, instead of fresh garlic I keep a jar of it in the fridge, I buy 90/10 beef, unfortunately I don't have the BBQ rub so I used BBQ sauce & it worked fine.  Maybe should have decreased the milk from 1/2c to 1/4c since I was using a wet sauce.

Note: Buy large quantities of beef (10lbs) for a cost savings & so that you always have it on hand.  Freeze flattened in freezer bags because it takes up less room in the freezer & thaws very quickly.

  To save time I cooked six pieces of bacon in the microwave. 
 Don't wash your mushrooms, they are like sponges.  Instead, wipe them off with a paper towel.



 Nick crumbled the bacon & shredded the cheese.
 I don't YET have the stainless steel bowls from PC.

 I absolutely love these grinders!  They are perfect for these recipes that call for you to change the setting to coarse.  And to make it even sweeter, Publix often sells them BOGOF & has coupons!

 These ingredients are waiting for the end.

 Mom is making Nick & Dallon salads because they don't like fried okra, which is what she brought for her & I to have as our side.  Thank you Larry & Cecelia Welch for the fresh home grown okra!  (Roman's already gone to the Hilliard - Fernandina game with a friend & Rocco is sick on the couch.)

 After putting the final toppings on it sits covered for 10 minutes & you get this:

 Sides: (yes we like raisins on our salads)
 Fried okra Mom made:
 My plate before I poured a little blue cheese for okra dipping:
Nick always looks so happy.  But he did love the meatloaf!  We all did!  Dallon has a love for good BBQ sauce so I knew he'd like it.
This is another one we'll do again.

If you have any questions about Pampered Chef please let me know.