Chicken Poblano Lasagna….

Oozy goozy cheesy noodles. Yum. I love this dish. It is one of my favorites for sure. It’s loaded with cheese and a rich cream sauce. Oh my. Be warned, after you eat this you will turn into a blob on the sofa. It’s so filling, but so delicious. Sounds good right? Oh yes.

If you don’t want to bother with roasting your chile peppers and peeling them, you can just buy them whole in a can. I’ve done that and it’s still delicious. I used Poblano chiles. They are large dark green  peppers. You never know if you’re going to get a spicy one or not. Some have no heat at all….just good flavor. But sometimes……yeehaw….nice and spicy. So if you are not into heat at all, go with the whole green chiles in a can.

There are no real exact measurements here. Just depends on how much stuff you want. Know what I mean? But I will try to give you an idea of how much stuff you need.


Chicken Poblano  Lasagna
serves 5-6

approx. 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
approx. 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced (optional)
1 box of lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
1/2 cup butter
1/2 flour
4 cups milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 – 4 poblano or whole green chiles, split open and cut into large pieces

Saute the onions, garlic and jalapeno until the onions are soft. Set aside.
In  a sauce pan, at medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and mix into a paste (roux). Slowly add the milk, whisking until smooth and creamy. If it looks too thick, add a bit more milk so that you have a nice smooth sauce. Just taste to make sure you don’t have a flour taste. Keep warm while you assemble your lasagna.

Butter or spray the bottom of a deep baking dish. I use 13x 9.
Start the layering process:
sauce
noodles
chicken
onion mixture
cheese
Chiles
sauce…..repeat until pan is filled. Try to end with sauce.
Save some of the cheese to put on top the last 5 minutes of baking.

Bake at 350 for approx. 45 minutes or until bubbly. Add some more cheese and allow to melt.

If you have some sauce left, heat it up and spoon over each serving.

 

Cracked Brown Sugar Cookies……….

I have a new favorite cookie…….at least for now. 🙂 I came across this cookie some time ago. I don’t know what took me so long to make it, but am I ever glad I did. The recipe comes from Foodiechicksrule.com.

You know what a cookie monster I am. Well,  this is the best cookie that I have had in a very long time. These are the most buttery, sweet little gems. They are both crispy and chewy. Seriously. I could go on and on about how much I love these little babies. I love a good sugar cookie. I have a favorite recipe that I use when I am in the mood for a no fuss, simple sugar cookie. But these are made with brown sugar……..dark brown sugar. I am in love.

You must make these cookies. I promise you, you will make them again and again. It’s amazing how much the butter flavor comes through.

Please, please make these. Today. Now. If you’re at work, tell the boss that you must go home and bake cookies.You will be so happy!

Oh, I should let you know….these cookies are not only addicting, but they are very sweet. They are rolled in sugar too, which makes them even more sweet. After I made  the first batch, I didn’t roll them in sugar. They don’t need it. However, rolling the dough balls in sugar is what helps give it that super crackly surface.

Ok, that’s all. Go bake now.

Cracked Brown Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup DARK brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cream of tartar

sugar for rolling (optional)

Heat oven to 350.
Beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugars and beat for 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Gradually add to the creamed mixture but don’t overmix. Roll the dough into little balls (1 inch). Roll them in sugar and place on an ungreased, unlined baking sheet. CHILL for about 10 minutes.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. You may not notice the crackles at first, but as they sit and cool, the crackly surface will appear.

They are just as good day 2 or 3, as they are on day 1.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

 

Quick Pasta Carbonara…..

What is it about pasta that is just so comforting? I love it! There is a family favorite that I used to make all the time….carbonara. It’s the ultimate comfort food. But wow is it ever heavy and rich. My version is loaded with sausage, bacon, cream, butter, cheese. You know…..all the good stuff. Ha! Well, I don’t make that one much these days. But maybe I should and share it with ya’ll  sometime soon.

Recently, I saw a super quick simple version of carbonara on a cooking show. I was skeptical but I tried it and was surprised at how good it was. It was too easy and quick to be that good!  There is no cream in it….no liquid at all, but you would swear there is! It’s very creamy, but it’s from the eggs and cheese.

If you want a quick, filling comfort dish, well then here ya go! Here is my version.

I am not at all happy with my photo quality lately. I am in need of a better camera. Bear with me!


Quick Pasta Carbonara

approx. 3 cups hot cooked  spaghetti
Bacon, diced (as much as you like)
2 eggs
1/4 cup parmesan or romano cheese (grated fine)
1 Tblsp butter
crushed red pepper, optional
In a large skillet, cook the bacon. While the bacon is cooking, in a small bowl, whisk the eggs really well. Mix in the grated cheese. Set aside.
Once the bacon is cooked, leave a couple of tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pan. Add the hot, drained pasta to the pan. Add the butter and give it all a toss to coat the pasta with all that yummy goodness.

Add the egg/cheese mixture and quickly and vigorously mix it all together for 1 to 2 minutes. It should look nice and creamy. Sprinkle with black pepper or red pepper flakes. Serve immediately.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homemade Rice a Roni….

I really like those little boxes of Rice a Roni. Bad thing is, they’re loaded with salt. But they come in handy and make a great side dish. The combination of rice and noodles….Yum!

The other night, I was looking for a side dish for some beef that I cooked. I had some leftover rice and some leftover angel hair pasta. Hmmmm, I thought…….I will make my own rice-a roni!!! 

It was really good. Super simple too. It was pretty basic, but you could add whatever you want and make it your own!

Not much else to say about it, so let’s get to it….

Homemade Rice a Roni

angel hair pasta, cooked and cooled
leftover rice, chilled (don’t use just cooked hot rice. It will be mushy)
1 chicken, beef or vegetable bouillon cube ( 1 cube per 1 cup rice and 1 cup pasta)
black pepper
chopped chives or green onion
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup water

Melt 2 tblsp butter in a large non stick skillet. Add the water, garlic powder, bouillon cube and black pepper. Add the pasta and rice and gently stir it all together. Don’t over mix or you will have a glumpy mess. Once heated through, add the chives or green onion. Serve immediately.

 

Worlds Best Cookie?…….

So, have you all heard about this cookie that is supposed to be THE best cookie ever? I keep seeing it on the talk shows, the news, blogs……pretty much everywhere. It’s basically a shortbread cookie loaded with chopped chocolate, and sprinkled with sea salt. Sounds good right? I do love shortbread cookies. Super simple to make and it’s pretty much just flour, butter and sugar. No eggs! But to claim it as the Worlds best cookie???? Really? That’s quite a claim.

I’ve made so many kinds of shortbread. But of course I just had to see what all the hoopla was about. So what makes this so different from other shortbread recipes, is that the dough is shaped into a log, chilled for several hours, brushed with egg wash and rolled in a coarse sugar. I used turbinado sugar. I don’t care for a salty cookie, so I never use the suggested sea salt.

I’m not exactly great at waiting…so I did make a batch after chilling the dough for only 2 hours. Then I tried another batch 2 days later! 2 whole days!!!!!! That is pretty much a miracle for me!

So, worlds best cookie? Hmmmm. I mean, ok, it’s good. Darn good. But overall, I think it’s all a bunch of hoopla? It depends on what your preference is in a cookie. Ya know? Like what you may be in the mood for at a specific time. Here are my thoughts on this cookie….

Short chill time (2 hours) – Good flavor. Baked at the time recommended…..a softer shortbread than I like. Liked the crunch from the course sugar. My daughter liked them a lot. Like me, she loves shortbread. Two other tasters were not impressed. They both said “I can think of several other of your cookies that are way better”. I think I chose the wrong tasters though, since neither of them are big shortbread fans. But they do both love cookies, so……..

2 day chill time – Much, much better flavor. Seriously.  The butter really comes through. I baked a bit longer than the first batch and it gave me the crunch I like in a shortbread. But keep in mind, the brown sugar is what makes this a softer shortbread. True shortbread is made with white sugar only.

Ok, so after making the first batch with the impatient wait time of only 2 hours, I was like ok…good but I may not make again. But I am so glad I made the 2nd batch with the longer chillin time. The cookies are way better. Like, WAY.  I will make these again.

But, overall, I wouldn’t claim this to be the Worlds Best Cookie. But it certainly is good. I’d be curious to hear  what you think.

Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookie

1 cup plus 2 Tblsp. of  butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1/2  cup white granulated sugar
1/4  cup light brown sugar
2  1/4  cups all purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla
6 oz semi sweet chocolate, chopped (not

1 egg (for egg WASH, not to be included in your dough)
1/2 cup coarse sugar or turbinado sugar

In a mixing bowl, mix the butter and sugars and vanilla together until smooth and fluffy. Add the flour and mix briefly until just barely combined. Add chopped chocolate. Don’t mix it to death.

Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a log about 10″ long. Wrap each in plastic wrap and CHILL. (both YOU and the dough) 🙂 Please try to let the dough rest for at least 4 hours. But trust me, the longer chill the better.

When you are ready to bake, heat oven to 350. Whisk the egg in a little bowl. Brush it all over the logs. Roll the logs into the turbinado sugar . Cut into 1/2″ slices and place slices on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 15-18  minutes. I prefer 18 minutes. Allow to cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Move onto a baking rack.

These are not very good eaten warm out of the oven. Allow them to cool completely. Store in an air tight container.