Internet Find, Italian, Main Dish, Pasta

Chicken Scampi

I know its sort of a joke now, but growing up I loved Olive Garden.  It was one of the few sit-down restaurants my family to that wasn’t Mexican food.  The other day when trying to come up with something for Sunday dinner, Kyle and I thought about scampi and I looked through a few online to find the one I think would be closest to Olive Garden.  We found a winner!


3 tbs butter
2 tbs minced onions (dried or fresh)
1 heaping tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbs dried parsley
1 cup heavy cream

1 16 oz box angel hair pasta
9-12 chicken tenderloins
salt and pepper
1 cup flour
4 tbs olive oil
2 red bell peppers
1-2 red onions


  1. To prepare your chicken tenders, sprinkle with salt and pepper and dip in flour. Fry in a skillet over medium heat with a couple tablespoons of olive oil 3-5 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked all the way through. Set aside.
  2. In a medium sized sauce pan add butter, minced onion, minced garlic and saute over medium heat for a 1-2 minutes. Don’t let the garlic burn! Add in chicken broth, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and the dried parsley. Simmer for 15 minutes on med-low heat.
  3. After 15 minutes is up add heavy whipping cream and simmer on low, without boiling for 10 minutes.
  4. In a separate pot, boil the angel hair pasta according to the directions on the box.
  5. Take your onions and bell peppers and cut in julienne strips, making sure to remove all seeds and the white membrane on the inside. In the same skillet that the chicken was cooked in, add another tablespoon or so of olive oil and saute the onions and bell peppers. I cook on high for 3-5 minutes until they get soft and caramelized.
  6. Take the creamy garlic sauce and add half of it to the pasta. Stir to incorporate sauce. Add all the onions and bell peppers and mix into the pasta. Dish up pasta, adding the chicken on top. Drizzle more sauce over pasta and chicken. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Thanks to this blog for the recipe!


Moroccan Chicken

This recipe, ohhh this recipe.  When I think of “family recipes” this is in the top three.  The recipe came into our family when my sister Betsy, a dietician, brought it home from her student internship running a restaurant on campus.  It’s a wonderful burst of flavors and it became a family favorite almost immediately.

I doubt anyone else in my family remembers this, but somewhere along the line I told someone I didn’t like Moroccan Chicken (probably because I wanted chicken nuggets or something), so for a while I kept up the image.  I would complain when my mom would make it for dinner, and reluctantly eat it.  This was all RIDICULOUS because it is DELICIOUS.  (I also pulled the same stunt with Cafe Rio for a while, hilarious).

I love this chicken served with white rice or couscous (definitely spelled that wrong the first time).


6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2-3 garlic cloves
12 Tbsp plain yogurt
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2/3 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp salt
1 3/8 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil


  1.  Combine crushed garlic, yogurt, lemon juice, all spices, and olive oil.
  2. Cut chicken into chicken tender size portions and position on cookie sheet.  Cover chicken thickly with mixture.
  3. Marinate chicken in refrigerator for 90 mins to 2 hours
  4. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.


Main Dish, Uncategorized

Pizza Dough

My brother Mike married the most wonderful woman Anna.  He’s not the most outspoken member of our family (there is a lot to compete with, remember there are eight kids), so I feel like once they married I really started to get to know him better.  He has a lot of hobbies, and food (preparing and eating) is definitely on the list.  They host dinner often at their home in Salt Lake City.  Pizza night is one they make often, with all the best toppings (fresh mozzarella…can you ever go wrong with that?).  I asked Anna for her dough recipe and she made me a quick copy.


1 package instant yeast
1 cup hot water
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar or honey
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for kneading and rolling


Combine yeast with the water, salt, and sugar or honey.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes while the water activates the yeast.  Stir in the olive oil and flour, using a wooden spoon to incorporate.  When the dough is no longer sticky, place on a cutting board, cover with more flour, and knead for 5 minutes.  Return to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise at room temperature for at least 90 minutes.

You can keep the dough refrigerated (covered) for up to 2 days.  Makes two thin crusts (10″ to 12″ in diameter).

To cook:  preheat the oven to 500.  Place a pizza stone in the oven if you have one.  If you don’t have one, get one ;).  Crust is done when crust is golden and cheese is fully melted.


Rio Verde Chicken Enchiladas

While these aren’t the easiest enchiladas in my book, they are so satisfying and fun to prepare for guests.  This is another recipe passed to me by Kyle’s sister Meghan from our trip to visit them in Indiana.  The key to taking these to the next level is to load up with goodies on top: pico, guac, sour cream, cheese, fresh tomatoes, fresh corn, it all works!


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, poached and shredded
1 cup chopped onions
3 T grated parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Vegetable oil for softening tortillas
12 (6 inch) corn tortillas-usually more
1 cup tomatillo (green) salsa
2 cups heavy cream or milk
4 eggs
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream
shredded lettuce
chopped tomatoes
chopped black olives


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine shredded chicken, onions, parmesan and jack cheeses. Set aside.
In a skillet, heat about ¼ inch of oil and dip each tortilla for 5 seconds per side. Drain on paper towels.  Place 3-4 Tablespoons of the chicken mixture in each tortilla and roll the tortillas up; place seam side down in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Repeat until all filling is used.  Blend the salsa, cream/milk, and eggs. Pour over the tortillas. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the enchiladas and bake for 30 minutes. Serve enchiladas topped with your favorite toppings.

Buttermilk Oatmeal Pancakes with Wicked Buttermilk Syrup

After Teddy (my second) was born we went on an epic road trip across the American Midwest – with a one-month old baby!  I guess we figured if we weren’t going to be sleeping anyway, might as well do it on the road.  We stopped in West Lafayette, Indiana at Kyle’s sister Meghan’s house.  Our boys quickly bonded over their mutual love of Lightning McQueen and Thomas the Train.  Adam and Meghan were excellent hosts and we gobbled up these pancakes before we drove up to Chicago for some serious fun (and food!).  I love a pancake with a little more substance, and these are perfect.  I like to think it makes up for the syrup I drizzle/drown my pancakes in.

A few notes from Megs: “I like to quadruple this and freeze the pancakes.  They freeze well.  We also add frozen blueberries.”


1 c rolled oats
1 c buttermilk
1 c whole wheat flour
2 T sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ c water
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 T maple syrup
2 T oil
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp corn syrup
2 tsp baking soda
1 -1/2 tsp vanilla


Pancakes:  Combine oats and buttermilk, let stand 15 mins. Add flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, and salt. Mix together the water, egg, maple syrup, and oil. Add to flour mixture. Stir until blended. Pour on hot griddle. (I use 1 1/3 c batter to pour on griddle).
Syrup:  In a large pot combine butter, sugar, buttermilk and corn syrup and bring to a boil.  Allow to boil for about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and add baking soda and allow it to bubble up.  Add the vanilla and stir.  Mixture will thicken as it cools.


Breakfast, Uncategorized

Fox & The Hound Quiche


This is a recipe my sister Abby found, and its been winning me points and brunches and baby showers for over 10 years now.  It’s a quick way to make quiche (no crust!), and it is super versatile since you can add pretty much anything to it.  My favorite combination is broccoli and ham or red pepper and sausage.  If you discover another good combo add it to the comments so others can enjoy!


4 eggs
2 cups milk
1 cup Bisquick baking mix
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 to 3/4 cup favorite meat (beef, hamburger, ham, sausage, pork)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Brown meat and onion until clear.  If using other vegetables steam or pre-cook them.  Blend remaining ingredients in mixing bowl.  Add in meat, onion, and mix-ins.  Place in a greased 9 inch deep pie pan or baking dish, glass is best.  Let stand 10 minutes and place in oven.  Bake at 325 for 40 to 50 minutes or until center sets.  Let stand for 5 minutes and serve!


Peanut Butter Bars


About every 6 months I get a craving for Peanut Butter Bars, and it has to be these ones.  I frantically text my sisters asking if anyone has the recipe handy.  Hopefully having it here will help me out. Everyone has a different preference for Peanut Butter Bars and I personally like them chunky and a little crumbly with a thick layer of Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate frosting on top.  Caution: do not make these if you don’t have a cold glass of milk (or gallon) to go with them!


3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup oatmeal

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2/3 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract


Bars: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls.  Add wet to dry and mix thoroughly.  Spread in a greased 9×13 baking pan.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Let cool.  Cover with frosting.

Frosting:  Melt butter.  Stir in cocoa.  Alternately add powdered sugar and milk beating to spreading consistency.  Add small amount additional milk if needed.  Stir in vanilla.

Note: Since our family is so large we would usually double the recipe and bake it on a large cookie sheet.  Consider doing that if you need to make a lot for a potluck!