November 03, 2009

Family Dinner Swap

Let's swap recipes! I need some serious help getting creative in the kitchen. I even checked out a pile of cookbooks recently and hardly looked through them - it's hard to know if they will turn out good, or if my family will eat it! That's why I love this community - you all are willing to share what you know :)

I've mentioned Alfredo here a few times - it's a family favorite. One recipe that I know everyone will eat, and usually can stretch for two dinners! If not dinner, I at least have good lunch for a few days :) It's a little involved, and dirties at least 3 pans - but worth it!

Alfredo with Broccoli & Chicken

2-3 broccoli crowns, just the florets
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
2 Cups milk
1/2 Cup parmesan cheese - I use the best quality possible, it makes a difference.
1/3 Cup ricotta cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 lb of pasta - fetticcine is traditional, I like to use mini-penne so I don't have to cut it on the kids' plates.
2-3 chicken breasts, cut into bite size chunks

To make the most of my time I have worked out my little system --

First - wash and cut the broccoli and get it steaming over medium heat.

Second - get water boiling for pasta (most pasta takes twice as long to cook here at altitude)

Third - cook the chicken in olive oil - be sure to season well - salt & pepper/garlic, or whatever you like.

Fourth - once the chicken is cooked through I transfer it to a large casserole dish with a lid and put it in the oven on warm. As other bits finish I add it to the dish! That way it doesn't have to finish at the same time - that stresses me out.

Fifth - Start the sauce! Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, and cook it for a quick minute while stirring. Gradually add milk, whisking to blend. Cook for about 15 minutes or until it starts to thicken - you need to stir/whisk constantly. Next stir in your cheeses, salt and pepper, and cook until the cheeses melt. Taste, and remember it's going over pasta, I usually add a touch more salt.

Usually while the sauce is cooking the broccoli and pasta finish, and I have added them to the dish in the oven. When the sauce has finished I pour it over the top and stir to combine! I love this dinner with a salad, but love that I already have veggies in the mix for my kiddos.

I don't have a picture of it - but it's good! Trust me :) I typically use 2% milk, because that's what we buy, but it could be made less fat with skim milk and ricotta - if you like. That and switching the pasta to whole wheat would be healthier - I haven't been able to get my family to switch.

I hope you try it and enjoy it! Let me know what you think. I made a pdf too - click here to print out my Alfredo recipe.

Now I'm curious to see what you have to inspire me in the kitchen! Add your link to your favorite family dinner recipe and enjoy checking out everyone's favorites too!
Family Dinner Swap Participants
1. Rene'
2. Lois
3. Erin @ Why Not Sew
4. Candied Fabrics
5. Jeanne
6. 2hippos
7. Iowa Expat (lasagna!)
8. ktquilts
9. Audrie (Blue Is Bleu)
10. beth
11. The Calico Cat with a delish chicken recipe
12. Andy (Creamy Rosemary Penne w/ Chicken)
13. Emily
14. Valerie (Stir-fry)
15. Sue
16. Sarah (Come and See the Seitz)
18. Kathy at Cottage Garden Quilts
19. Kandra
20. Erin at Farm and Wuzzies (Buttermilk Chicken)
21. staci (dump chicken)
22. Jenn- Simple Things (pizza!)
23. Mary - Quilting in the Sunshine State
24. Shona B
25. Carin
26. Lara @ Sew Many Stitches Later
27. Nikki :)
28. Dena (grilled lemon chicken & chocolate cake)
29. Natalia- Taco Soup
30. Mam
31. Sandy at Moonlight Serenade
32. Holly
33. Serena-Cabbage Carrot Soup
34. kristina-parmesan orzo

Powered by... Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.

Thanks for sharing everyone! I'll let you know what I'm making for dinner later :)
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Jamie said...

Hi, Amy! Here are a few yummy recipes that I've got access to right now. My kids actually ask me to make the corn chowder!


Spanish Rice

2 cups long-grain rice
½ cup onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 can chicken broth
2 cups water
2 tablespoons tomato bouillon (or 2 blocks Knorr tomato bouillon)
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon (or 1 block Knorr chicken bouillon)
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
5 roma tomatoes, chopped

If using blocks of bouillon, soften in warm chicken broth and break/smash up with a fork before using.

Heal oil in large frying pan on medium heat. Brown rice, onion and garlic cloves until golden brown. Combine broth, water and bouillon in measuring cup. Stir into rice and mix in cilantro and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until liquid is absorbed, approximately 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Quick Corn Chowder

2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup chopped onion
¼ cup chopped celery (optional)
3-4 slices bacon, chopped
1 (4 oz.) can roasted diced green chilies, drained
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 cups 2% milk
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 teaspoon chopped fresh or ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 can cream-style corn

Melt butter in large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery and bacon; cook for 3-5 minutes until tender and bacon is cooked through. Stir in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Whisk or stir in milk and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer 10-15 minutes or until desired consistency. Enjoy!

Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce

1 onion, chopped
5-6 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground beef
1 pound Italian sausage
2 28-oz. cans crushed tomatoes
2 6-oz. cans tomato paste
¼ cup parsley, chopped (or 1 tablespoon dried)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano*
¼ teaspoon dried thyme*
2 bay leaves

*Italian Seasoning can be substituted for both of these.

In a frying pan, brown grown beef with onion and garlic until cooked through. Drain as necessary. Put all ingredients into a crock pot and cook on low all day, about 8 hours. Enjoy with your favorite style pasta.

Rene' said...


Thanks for the recipe. I added mine to my blog, linked to your blog, and added my post to your Mr. Linky. Good luck with acquiring some yummy recipes.

Jeanne said...

Sorry, but the first one under "Jeanne" (#6) shows quilts instead of recipes! I didn't change the link after the last exchange on this site.

Thimbleanna said...

This looks delicious Amy! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

beth said...

I added my link(s). you can, of course, delete the ones that don't work. :)
Looking forward to all the yummy food I'm going to make after being inspired HERE!

ktquilts said...

I guess that I am not very good at following directions!!LOL!! I got so excited to check out the other recipes, I forgot to leave my comment. But, you've already been by my little piece of the web!! Thanks!


SueWis said...

Well, this will certainly confuse people. Or maybe not.

On this post, I linked to my cooking blog and previously linked Sew & Tell Fridays to my sewing/quilting blog.

Lots of tried and true recipes on my cooking blog. Enjoy!

I'm looking forward to trying everyone's recipes. Great idea for a share!

Kandra said...

This is a great idea! I've added my post to Mr. Linky! :D

Staci K. said...

I added my post link. Can't wait to try some of these recipes!

amylouwhosews said...

I need to link up here! I have a skillet lasagne recipe that is delish!

jenn said...

This is such a great idea! I always need neew ideas for dinner! Thank you Amy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shona B said...

Thank you! My husband is gone next week and I'm sure I'll be casting about for something yummy and not too hard when single parenting a 2yo. I'll be sure to try it.

Nikki Schreiner said...

Yay, i can't wait to check out everyone's recipes. I was happy to read today that it' not too late to link, so thanks :)

Dena said...

Love all the great recipes. Hope you have a chance to try my grilled lemon chicken and chocolate cake recipes. They are a family favorite.

dillpickle said...

I never knew altitude affected cooking times! Must be what you get from living in a relatively flat country!

My daughter isn't old enough yet to be overly fussy - she shared our eggplant parmegiana last night. BUT, when I was a kid, one of my favourite dishes was 'Chinese Chicken Wings', and I still like it! I also liked olives when I was 2, so I might not be a useful source, but here's the recipe:

1kg chicken wings (I joint mine)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1/2 cup peanut oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp chinese five spice powder

Stir marinade ingredients together, add chicken pieces and marinate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Place chicken pieces in baking tray in a single layer, reserving marinade. Cook in a moderate (180C, ?F) oven for about an hour, basting with marinade a few times during cooking. Serve with rice & stir fry veges or bread and salad.

Mmmm. I might need to make these this week!

PheMom said...

Just found your blog and it is super fun! Glad to have found you!