Thursday, February 28, 2008

Suzanne's Tin Foil Dinners

These are so good! When I get stuck in a dinner rut - I make these. It's different and everyone loves them. They take a bit to prepare - about 20-30 minutes, depending on how many you're making and how fast you chop!

This is for 1, so multiply for as many as you would like!

1 chicken breast, cubed
1 small potato, cubed
Baby carrots, cut in 1/2 or 1/3 (depending on the thickness)
Onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. Butter
Seasoning Salt

Place chicken, potatoes, and carrots side by side on foil. Add some onion and butter. Sprinkle with seasoning salt, salt and pepper.
Fold over foil and crimp edges to make a packet. Wrap packet again in a 2nd sheet of foil.
Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, turn over packets, bake another 25 minutes.
Or put them on the grill over medium high heat for about 11 minutes on each side.
Open one and make sure the potatoes and carrots are cooked and tender - Enjoy!!

Baked 4 Cheese Pasta

I made this for dinner tonite and it was a hit! We ate almost the entire pan. I served it with pork chops and it was delicious. It could also be served by itself as a main dish or add chicken to it. Any package of preshredded Italian cheese blend that has 3-7 different cheeses can be used here.

4 slices bacon, chopped fine
1 small onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 lb. penne or ziti (about 4 cups)
1/2 c. grated Parmesan Cheese
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup shredded Italian 4 cheese blend

Have oven rack in upper-middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Cook bacon, onion, and garlic in a large nonstick over medium-high heat until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add broth, cream, pasta and 1/2 tsp. salt, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, until pasta is tender about 15 minutes.
*when there was about 3 minutes to go, I ran out of liquid and the pasta wasn't done. I added about 1/2 cup more of a combo of broth and cream.

Remove from heat, stir in Parmesan and peas and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to 2 qt. casserole dish and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and spotty brown, about 5 minutes. Serve.

Friday, February 15, 2008

White Pizza

This is so delicious! You have to try white pizza at least once to see if you like it! This makes 2 pizzas.

15 oz ricotta cheese (you won't use all of it)
3 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt - to taste
Fresh basil (more than 1 small container, or 1 large)
Roma tomatoes, sliced very thin (optional)
Mozzarella cheese (I like it in the ball that you slice)
Scoop out about 2/3 of the ricotta into a small bowl. Add garlic, kosher salt and mix thoroughly. You can add more garlic if you like. 3 cloves is a mild garlic taste.

Spread onto pizza crusts. Add fresh basil leaves.

Add tomatoes - sliced VERY thin. Otherwise they make the pizza soggy. Traditionally white pizza doesn't have any tomatoes, but we love them on it!

Slice the mozzarella into 1/4" slices. Lay on pizza.

Bake according to crust directions! Let me know what you think!

Pizza Dough

Here's the dough that I make - mainly because it's really simple, quick and easy. It had a pretty good texture as well. I use "perforated pizza pans". I just picked them up at Walmart in a 2 pack, a large and a medium. This recipe works great for exactly those sizes.

1 pkg. active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp.)
1 c. warm water (90 - 100 degrees)
1 c. ice-cold water
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
5 1/4 to 5 1/2 c. Bread flour

In a small bowl, stir yeast into warm water, Let stand until the yeast is dissolved and starts to bubble, about 5 minutes. In kitchenaid bowl, mix cold water and sugar until dissolved; stir in oil. Put dough hook on kitchenaid and add flour, mix until it is just getting started to combine and add yeast mixture. Beat with the dough on low speed until dough is smooth and sticky, 14-16 minutes. (Don't let the dough climb up into the motor drive.) Add a couple of tablespoons of flour until dough is no longer sticky.
Place in a greased bowl and let rise for about an hour.
When it is ready, divide the dough in half. If you are making a large and a medium pizza, don't forget to divide it UNEQUALLY.
Make it into a ball and pinch it to seal. Roll out the dough evenly to keep a circular shape. When it is to desired size, place on pizza pan. Brush the entire top side of the crust with olive oil. I like to let my crust rise a little after that (while I'm prepping my toppings).
Top as desired. We love the "White Pizza" toppings.
Bake on the bottom rack of a 500 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Monday, February 11, 2008


I'm telling you - it's SO YUMMY!

3-5 avocados (I do 5!)
Pico de Gallo
Kosher Salt
1/2 lime

Peel, seed, and mash. I like to mash them with the bottom of a cup of glass. Add 1-2 heaping scoops of Pico de Gallo - until it is nice and chunky. Sprinkle with salt and add the juice of the 1/2 a lime.


Pico de Gallo

This is so good that I made it twice in 3 days! I made it for a "Girls Night Out" get together and left some at home for my husband. We both loved it and I ended up making another batch for to go with Sunday dinner! You HAVE to make the guacamole with it - it's heaven on earth!

5 plum roma tomatoes (firm, not soft)
1 small or 1/2 large onion (I like yellow)
3 jalapeno peppers
1/2 lime
1 bunch of cilantro
kosher salt

I didn't have Roma tomatoes when I made it - but I did use some "on the vine" yummy tomatoes I had - they were bigger than Romas. This is a recipe you kind of have to play with.

Small dice the tomatoes and onion. Mix together. Dice the jalapenos very small - if you want a little more heat, leave in the seeds. I like to leave in the seeds of 1, and not the other 2. Add to tomato/onion mixture.

Rough chop the cilantro - don't worry too much about the long stems, but try to avoid adding so much of it. I just take the bunch and start chopping from the top and stop when I get to too many stems. Add to Pico mixture.

Squeeze juice of 1/2 a lime. Sprinkle with salt. I like to use a chip to see how my seasoning is, because then you don't oversalt it.