Chicken and Mozzarella Puff Pastry Cups

Leftover chicken? Busy week night? Weekend brunch? These versatile chicken and mozzarella puff pastry cups are the 'go to' for any occasion.  They can be served right out of the oven - gooey and hot -or at room temperature as part of a brunch buffet.  And they reheat beautifully in the oven for a few minutes.  This makes it a great do-ahead dish, too.  How do you make these magical little cups?  Here's the play-by-play....and it couldn't be easier. Game Plan Start with a few good ... Continue Reading

Balsamic Rosemary Chicken Skewers and Cipollini Onions

Balsamic Rosemary Chicken Skewers and Cipollini Onions....is there anything better than that?  Balsamic acts as a tenderizer so you get this really tender, flavorful chicken that turns a nice golden brown color on the grill or in the skillet.  My kids actually LOVE this recipe for chicken.  I added the Cipollini onions because they are small and could be easily skewered to make a really cute presentation of chicken and onions.  Same with the lemon slices.  Your guests can remove the lemon ... Continue Reading

Cheesy Chicken and Pasta Bake

Most people I know are busy.  Like really busy.  Baseball season for the kiddos is in full swing which means practice several evenings a week, or there's swim team, or dance, or music lessons, or karate... or all of the above!  And that doesn't include the PTA meetings or work functions or.......whew.  So a lot of nights we all have to choose between eating out or not eating.  And eating out is fine but it can add up and often times is not as healthy.  But what do you do when you don't ... Continue Reading

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken with Creamy Leeks

It might not quite be corned beef and hash but this prosciutto wrapped chicken with creamy leeks topped with fresh green chives could be a new alternative for St. Patty's Day...or any weeknight for that matter.  Just what that sneaky leprechaun ordered!  Things are changing and it's fun to start new traditions along with the tried and true...like green beer. The crispy, salty prosciutto gives the chicken a nice texture and flavor but my favorite part is the creamy leeks because that's ... Continue Reading

Sweet and Spicy Chicken

Nothing could be easier than this three ingredient sweet and spicy chicken.  It's honey, Sriracha, and oranges.  I like to use clementines this time of year (in the Mandarin family) but really you can use any kind you can find. The great thing about this recipe is you can feed a crowd or cut it up and put it on skewers as a fancy appetizer.  Either way it's a winner.  The key is to marinade for at least a couple of hours but that's the hardest part about it.  Other than that it's a cinch ... Continue Reading

Back To School Party

Why not kick off the school season the way we do the summer with a back to school party to get the kids excited?  It doesn't have to be big.  Just your kids and one or two friends that maybe they haven't seen over the summer or a new friend who may be in your class next year!  The more important thing is to involve your kids and make it fun and easy by serving a few kid-friendly favorites and letting them help.  I grabbed a roll of white wrapping paper and let them make the sign, which ... Continue Reading

Mac-N-Cheese Bites

These mini bites of mac-n-cheese are hit in our house.  Whether it's a snack before soccer practice or served as part of my Back To School Party menu cooking mac-n-cheese in mini-muffin tins seems to bring new excitement to a classic.  It's the creamy, cheesy flavors you and your kids crave but with a little crunch from the breadcrumbs and parmesan. My recipe for these little gems starts with a traditional homemade mac-n-cheese.  I freshly grate medium cheddar and white cheddar, but use ... Continue Reading

Kid friendly BBQ Chicken

This kid friendly BBQ chicken is not just for kids but for anyone who loves BBQ sauce but hates spice.  If I try to sneak in even a little bit of spice into my BBQ sauce my kids will call me out on it right away. Guaranteed.  I've tried. So this time I decided to make my own BBQ sauce that has the sweetness and tanginess that makes BBQ so delicious, and the chicken so tender, but eliminate any hint of a kick.  Yep. No chili peppers.  Typically I love to add chipotle peppers in adobo sauce ... Continue Reading

Sausage and White Bean Cassoulet with Kale Walnut Pesto

There is really nothing like a slow cooked meat, veggie and bean dish that uses lots of wine and herbs.  I mean the flavors just have hours and hours to meld together and get to know each other - like old friends.  And somehow those wonderful combinations seep their way into the beans and create this rich stock that is so much better than just chicken stock alone. I used a round clay earthenware kind of pot for this dish, and covered it with foil for part of the cooking time and then left it ... Continue Reading

Manchego Stuffed Chicken wrapped in Prosciutto with Shallot-Lemon Pan Sauce and fried Sage

Manchego cheese is one of my favorite cheeses in the world and it pairs beautifully with all the flavors in this dish. It's a Spanish cheese made from sheep's milk and has a mild but distinctive nutty flavor to it.  The trick to this recipe is to get just enough cheese into the 'pocket' that you are creating in the chicken breast so that you get a little bit with every bite, but not so much that it falls out while cooking the chicken.  That's where the prosciutto comes in handy.  One it adds ... Continue Reading