Tag Archives: spaghetti

Drunken Shrimp with Spaghetti and Peppers

18 Jun
Drunken Shrimp with Spaghetti and Peppers

Drunken Shrimp with Spaghetti and Peppers

When I saw this recipe come up in my reader board last week, I knew this was exactly what I would be making for dinner. Thank you so much Marisa for the inspiration and a new favorite shrimp and pasta dish!

We’ve been on a huge shrimp kick lately in this house, largely because we’ve scored some great deals on shrimp lately and also because the teenage daughter does not like shrimp and has been nearly non-existent for dinners at home as of late. That’s bonus for hubs and I because that means shrimp for dinner!

We already had most everything on hand already so all I had to do was buy a yellow pepper to pretty it up and a fifth of brandy. Don’t skip the wine and brandy if you can tolerate alcohol, as both add such a unique flavor to the dish! Otherwise you can sub a little chicken broth and maybe a splash of vinegar for some zing.

This will be a meal I plan on making often, and once you try it I think you’d agree! This serves two, so double or triple if feeding more.

Drunken Shrimp with Spaghetti and Peppers
Adapted from Spaghettoni with Shrimp & Peppers by Marisa’s Italian Kitchen

1/2 pound raw shrimp
Large squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Ground pepper and Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/8 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1/2 cup sliced red pepper
1/2 cup yellow or orange pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
A couple fresh basil leaves, chopped
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Additional ground pepper and Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste
1/4 cup white wine
1/8 cup brandy
1 tablespoon butter
4 ounces dried spaghetti
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Chopped parsley, for serving



Season the shrimp with lemon juice and ground pepper and Mrs. Dash, or salt, to taste. Quickly sauté in a large skillet with the half tablespoon of butter until just pink. The shrimp will cook a little more later. Remove from pan and set aside

Set a pot of water for the spaghetti to boil on the stove. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in the same large skillet and cook the red onion and peppers for about 5 minutes.

Medley of Peppers and Onions

Medley of Peppers and Onions

Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, basil, red pepper flakes and additional seasonings, to taste. Cook for several more minutes, then add in the white wine, brandy and the butter. Stir to combine, then let simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the reserved shrimp in the last few minutes of simmering time.

Shrimp and Pepper Sauce Ready for Pasta

Shrimp and Pepper Sauce Ready for Pasta

Your pasta water should be boiling while you let the sauce simmer, so add the pasta and cook according to package directions. When done, drain, and divide the pasta into bowls or on plates. Pour the shrimp sauce over the pasta and serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Serve with a side salad.  (I totally spaced on adding the Parmesan before shooting the photos, but I did grate some over it!)

Drunken Shrimp with Spaghetti and Peppers2

Drunken Shrimp with Spaghetti and Peppers2

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!


One-Pot Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two

21 May
Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two

Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two

Recently my meals have taken on a “keep-it-simple” theme, which includes finding and making new meals that only use one pot, pan, or skillet. One day I was surfing Pinterest, pondering what to make with some fresh spring asparagus I had bought and came across this delightful food blog that offered just the ticket for a quick and easy meal. I scaled it down for two people as my daughter wasn’t eating at home that night, and also added some Neufchâtel cream cheese to double the creaminess. The meal offered everything it claimed, including only one pot to clean after. And the bonus? It only took a half hour to make! Two thumbs up all the way around!

One-Pot Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two
Adapted from The Nourished Peach, original recipe here

8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
Ground black pepper and Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons butter
4 to 6 ounces asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 cups homemade or low sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup milk, any kind
6 to 8 ounces spaghetti noodles
1/8 cup fresh lemon juice (1 small lemon or 1/2 large)
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan chees
2 ounces Neufchâtel cheese or regular cream cheese
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Season the chicken on both sides with ground black pepper and Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste. Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan over medium heat.

Browning the Chicken

Browning the Chicken

Add the chicken and cook for about 7 minutes on one side, then turn chicken over and cook for another 7 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle. Remove chicken to a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes or so.

Browning the Asparagus

Browning the Asparagus

Meanwhile add the asparagus to the pot and cook for several minutes, stirring to evenly cook it. In the last minute or so, add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Deglaze the pot with a couple teaspoons of the chicken broth and scrape up the yummy browned bits from the chicken.

Pasta and Cooking Liquids

Pasta and Cooking Liquids ~ I broke the spaghetti in half to fit the pot

Add the thyme, additional ground black pepper, chicken broth, milk, and pasta to the pot. Turn the heat up to medium high and bring up to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat down to medium and gently boil, stirring often with a fork to keep the noodles from sticking to each other.

Boiling the Pasta

Boiling the Pasta

Simmer for 8 to 15 minutes (we live at high altitude so pasta takes longer) until pasta is cooked to your liking.

Adding the Chicken

Adding the Chicken

Meanwhile slice the chicken into strips then cut into bite-sized pieces. When pasta is done, add the lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, Neufchâtel or cream cheese, and chicken. Stir to completely combine then top with a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Serve in bowls along with a side salad. So delicious!

Note: This recipe can easily be double or tripled, use size of pot accordingly.

Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two

One-Pot Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Lipstick on a Pig Texas Chicken Spaghetti

9 Jan
Lipstick on a Pig Texas Chicken Spaghetti

Lipstick on a Pig Texas Chicken Spaghetti

Some dishes are just not photogenic. I made this dish last week and the family just gobbled it up and it got raves all the way around. So when I went to take a final “plating shot” I scattered some cilantro over the top of it and thought, “you know, this is just like putting lipstick on a pig.” HA! But mind you, this slow cooker dish is just the ticket for a bowl full of creamy, cheesy, chicken-noodley goodness. You will be licking that bowl clean! (And even better, this recipe is completely versatile!)

WARNING: Unpleasant food photos ahead. Really, there is nothing very appetizing to look at while making this dish. But the taste…! And yes, I am making fun of my photography, because sometimes it just works out that way. 😉

Lipstick on a Pig Texas Chicken Spaghetti

1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast (mine was 12 ounces, and frozen!)
Salt or Mrs. Dash and ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup diced tomatoes (canned or otherwise, with liquid)
1 roasted Hatch chile, peeled, seeded, and diced (or sub with 2 tablespoons of canned diced green chiles)
2 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock (or sub low-sodium store-bought broth)
4 ounces spaghetti noodles, uncooked
2 ounces cream cheese
1 1/2 cups grated cheese, any kind (I used half Gruyere and half sharp cheddar)
1 teaspoon New Mexico chile powder (or regular)
1 teaspoon lime juice
Cilantro, for garnish (the lipstick on the pig!)

Season the chicken breast with salt or Mrs. Dash and pepper, to taste, then add to the crockpot. I actually added mine in frozen, no need to defrost — really!

Peeled and Seeded Roasted Hatch Chile Pepper

Peeled and Seeded Roasted Hatch Chile Pepper ~ Hmmm, how exciting.

Chop up the onion and peel and dice that roasted pepper. Wait, you don’t have a roasted Hatch chile pepper sitting around? Canned is fine.

Veggies and Chicken

Veggies and Chicken ~ Can’t see the raw chicken? You don’t want to. Trust me.

Toss in the onions, tomatoes, chiles and chicken stock/broth. (And I used turkey stock, see how I am?) Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.

Remove chicken breast and cover with foil until cool enough to handle. Shred the chicken with a fork and add back to the crockpot.

Shredding the Chicken

Shredding the Chicken ~ Hey, let’s take a really close up shot of the shredded chicken so you can even see the tomato bits stuck to it!

Grate your cheeses. No, don’t grate the cream cheese.

Grated Cheeses

Grated Cheeses ~ Finally, something tolerable to view. But it’s just cheese.

Break the uncooked noodles in half and add to the pot along with with the cheeses, chile powder and lime juice.

Adding the Dried Spaghetti

Adding the Dried Spaghetti ~ Really Kathryn? That’s just ick.

Stir around as best you can, then cover and cook for another half hour to an hour until the noodles are done. Give it one final stir to incorporate well, then serve in bowls garnished with lipstick, um, cilantro. 😀

Texas Chicken Spaghetti

Texas Chicken Spaghetti ~ Because putting a really old crockpot in the background with half-spent cilantro makes it look better, right?

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!


Well “Owl” Be! (plus Chicken Parmesan)

15 Jun

I do apologize to you for those following me looking for a new recipe, but we’ve been gone camping for four days on our RV property on a river by the coast of Oregon. But I am excited to share some photos of my husband installing a Barn Owl box he custom-built for me!

Barn Owl Box at the Base of the Slanted Tree of Its New Home

Barn Owl Box at the Base of the Slanted Tree of Its New Home

Barn owls are a natural way to rid your property of unwanted moles and mice, and other rodents. Since we only camp down there part-time, we would always come back to mounds of mole hills that are hard to mow over, and wires chewed through on our fridge or freezer. Frustrating!

Paul Screwing in the 2x4 to Hold the Owl Box

Paul Screwing in the 2×4 to Hold the Owl Box

We are hoping to attract a barn owl family this year to help rid us naturally of these pests without chemicals or other drastic means.

Owl Box is Halfway Up There!

Owl Box is Halfway Up There!

The last time we were there in the fall, we saw a barn owl fly by at eye level past our dock in the river two days in a row before we left! The box has been positioned (almost) at the spot we want, and has great visibility to the nest hole from the river.

Barn Owl Box Almost There!

Barn Owl Box Almost There!

He didn’t get it permanently installed yet, but it is hanging securely for now from two ropes.

Barn Owl Box Almost in It's Final Spot

Barn Owl Box Almost in It’s Final Spot ~ Soon!

But being a foodie blog, I thought I would also share a a couple of photos of one of our dinners while camping. I made Chicken Parmesan over Linguini.

Frying the Chicken

Frying the Chicken

I don’t have a recipe for the fried version (we don’t have a regular oven in the RV, only a combined micro/convection oven and I have no clue how to run it in convection mode), HOWEVER here is a link to my baked version over spaghetti: Baked Chicken Parmesan. Thanks for reading!

Fired Chicken Parmesan over Linguini. Doncha just love my Melamine Dinnerware?

Fried Chicken Parmesan over Linguini. Don’tcha just love my Melamine Camping Dinnerware? It is from my Mom, almost 40 years old!

Crispy Baked Chicken Parmesan

24 Apr
Crispy Baked Chicken Parmesan

Crispy Baked Chicken Parmesan

This was a quick and easy meal I threw together last week that my family inhaled. I was going to do the traditional method by frying the chicken in oil, but at the last minute decided to healthy it up a bit and bake it. I can tell you we did not miss the extra oil, and they came out so crispy and very tender! I was excited at first to have some leftovers to take to work the next day, but then my dear daughter decided she wanted a second helping and the entire meal was finished off. Next time I will double the batch. This recipe feeds three if you have a really hungry person in the household, or four if not. I thought a quarter pound of chicken on top of a mound of spaghetti with a meat sauce would be plenty for each person, but apparently not.  :/

My basil plants are but wee seedlings at the moment, and I totally spaced that I had some dried sweet basil in the spice cabinet when I took the photos. By the time I remembered that fact, the dinner was pretty much a done deal. I did remember it for my leftover portion, as shown later down below in my lunch container all ready for work, but my lunch went by the wayside, alas. But I’m happy my daughter is healthy and active and growing and I can provide enough nourishment!

Baked Chicken Ready to Flip

Baked Chicken Ready to Flip

Crispy Baked Chicken Parmesan (or Parmigiana if you want to sound Italian)

1 pound chicken breast meat
1 egg
Splash of milk
1/2 cup crushed cornflakes
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Ground black pepper, to taste
Mrs. Dash Table Blend, or salt, to taste
About a 3/4-inch round of dried spaghetti
3 or 4 cups of prepared spaghetti sauce, any kind, heated
Shredded Mozzarella cheese (I used low-fat variety)
Fresh or dried basil, for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, get your water on to boil in a pot for the spaghetti, and heat up your spaghetti sauce, either stovetop or microwave.  I only had rather large bone-in chicken breasts, so deboned one and got two filets plus the chicken tenderloin out of it. If you have small chicken breasts, just pound them with a mallet until about 1/4-inch thin. If large, then butterfly in half, and pound a little, if needed. The tenderloin did not need it, of course.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg and a splash of milk. On a plate, mix the crushed cornflakes, Panko bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, and seasonings. Dip the chicken in the egg wash, then dredge it on both sides through the cornflake/breadcrumb mixture. Place on a baking pan lined with crumpled aluminum foil sprayed with oil. If you have a baking rack, that would work too, but I don’t. Spray the top of the chicken with oil.

Add the pasta to your pot now as your water should be boiling. Now pop the chicken in the oven, and bake for 10 minutes, then flip over, spray with more oil, then bake 10 minutes more. Remove and drain your pasta at some point in those 20 minutes when it’s done and mix it in with about three-quarters of the heated spaghetti sauce, and divide into bowls or on plates. Now carefully spread a large spoonful of the spaghetti sauce to each piece of chicken, then top with some shredded Mozzarella cheese, turn the oven to broil, and bake until the cheese is gooey and starting to bubble, just a few minutes.

Chicken Parmesan Leftovers - NOT

Chicken Parmesan Leftovers – NOT

I wanted to get some nice browned bubbly spots on the cheese, but the fam was starving and had to please. Place each chicken filet atop each mound of spaghetti (or cut pieces off if they are large) then garnish with fresh or dried basil. We ate this with a small green salad. We skipped doing the garlic bread thing with this, as there are enough carbs with everything else. Enjoy!

Grilled Lemony Chicken with Spinach and Pasta

11 Aug
Lemony Chicken with Spinach and Pasta

Grilled Lemony Chicken with Spinach and Pasta

My family RAVED over this dish. And they don’t “rave” very often about some of my experiments. They say “oh, that was good” but this time they were truly excited about the flavors and bright colors of this dish. It was another scorcher day when I made this, but I wanted something more substantial than a salad but also didn’t want hot potatoes or anything like that. I had just bought a bag of spinach the day before, and my husband had come home with several lemons that day. Both of them went faboulous with the chicken and pasta. I hope you think so too. Oh, and don’t be shy about adding the crushed red pepper flakes. I had seen several recipes that add crushed red pepper to spinach, and it added just the right amount of zestiness to balance out the lemon. Give it a try!

Lemon Chicken Marinade

1 pound boneless chicken breast
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Juice of one lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon Lemon Pepper Seasoning (I would have added more but that’s all I had left in the container)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
Black pepper to taste

Cut the chicken breast in half lengthwise, and pound to an even thickness with a mallet. Put the chicken in a quart Ziploc bag. Whisk the rest of the ingredients well and pour over the chicken. Marinate for at least an hour up to overnight.

Lemony Chicken with Spinach and Pasta

Lemon Marinated Chicken
Dried spaghetti noodles
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 9 oz. bag fresh spinach
Juice of another 1 lemon
2 tablespoons butter or substitute
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 small chopped tomato
More black pepper to taste
Shredded Parmesan

Lemon Spinach Tomato Sauce

Lemon Spinach Tomato Sauce

Preheat the grill to medium high heat. Meanwhile, start cooking the the pasta according to package directions. Now put the chicken on the grill then immediately heat a large skillet to medium heat and add the olive oil, garlic, spinach and lemon juice. Stir until the spinach starts to wilt, then add the rest of the ingredients except the Parmesan. Turn the heat to medium low, and now go back out and flip the chicken over (this should be at the five to seven minute mark). Grill for another five to seven minutes until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle. The pasta should be ready by now. Drain, then divide among plates. Top with a serving of the spinach tomato sauce. Cut the chicken into thin slices and place on top of the spinach. Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese. Dig in!

Diary of a Week of Camp Food

11 Jul
Shredded Spicy Chicken Tacos

Shredded Spicy Chicken Tacos

I mentioned in my last blog that camp food doesn’t always have to consist of hot dogs, burgers, and chili. In between all the work we did out there (and of course relaxing) I kept some scribbled notes of what we cooked and/or ate last week. Aside from the plank-grilled salmon, we really didn’t eat that gourmet but I tried to mix things up enough with what I brought so that we weren’t eating the same stuff every day. And it certainly helps that we have a stove and convection/microwave oven in the RV! I’m sure the menu would have been quite different if I just had to rely on our trusty charcoal grill. We typically only ate two full meals a day out there. I had plenty of snacks on hand to eat in between meals.

Saturday Dinner
Grilled Beer Brats topped with Ranch Style Beans, chopped onion, and cheese
Potato Chips

Plank-Grilled Salmon Plated

Plank-Grilled Salmon Plated

Sunday Brunch
Spring Eggs (scrambled eggs with diced green onion, dice Roma tomato, real bacon bits and cheese)
Toasted English Muffins

Sunday Dinner
Plank-Grilled Salmon
Rice Pilaf
Green Salad

Monday Lunch
Tuna Melts
Potato Chips

Monday Dinner
Leftover Grilled Tri-Tip from our Friday dinner before we left
Baked Red Potatoes
Corn on the Cob

Tuesday Lunch
Lunch Buffet at Chinook Winds Casino!

Tuesday Dinner
Spaghetti made with hot Italian sausage, mushrooms, onions, lots of seasonings
Garlic Bread
Green Salad

Wednesday  Brunch
Bowl of Cheerios
Hard Boiled Eggs

Our Trusty Charcoal Grill

Our Trusty Charcoal Grill

Wednesday Dinner
Grilled T-Bone Steak
Leftover Rice Pilaf
Corn on the Cob
Green Salad

Thursday Lunch
Leftover Spaghetti
Garlic Bread

Thursday Dinner
Shredded Spicy Chicken Tacos (Parboiled a chicken breast with a Serrano pepper, onion, garlic, lettuce and spices, then shredded and served on tortillas with tomato, lettuce, sweet onion, Southwest Corn Salsa, cheese, and sour cream

Friday Brunch
Can of Progresso Light Chicken Noodle Soup with the leftover spicy chicken and chicken broth added
Rice Cakes

Friday Dinner
1/4-lb. Grilled Burgers served on English Muffins
Potato Chips
Green Salad

Shredding the Chicken

Shredding the Chicken

And there you have it! We had an unmemorable lunch of boiled eggs, string cheese, and Goldfish crackers on the drive back because we didn’t feel like stopping on the drive home anywhere.  I had brought all the food in a cooler and a box, with the exception of the vegetables which we bought at a produce stand about an hour from camp.  The only time I had to drive to a grocery store was to get ice every few days for our beer/soda cooler since the RV fridge is too small to store many cans. And yes, most meals were eaten off paper plates. Hey, it’s camping!

You Call This a Spaghetti Squash?

23 Jan

Spaghetti Squash Meal

My husband clearly does not read any foodie blogs or cooking websites, as he came home with the most pitiful looking spaghetti squash the other day that I have ever seen. It was barely larger than a grapefruit, and was riddled with so many brown spots I was worried it had contracted some unnameable disease. The sneaky devil even left on a business trip today and left the poor vegetable with me to deal with.  I was ready to throw it in the trash when I googled Brown Spots Spaghetti Squash and read that brown spots could mean it has fungus, or the seeds have sprouted inside giving it a bitter taste. But then I clicked a few more links and found what I was looking for. A recipe website stated that brown spots were okay as long as the squash was hard and not mushy. Good enough for me. I quickly gave the squash the feel test, and was confident it passed. So I took my chances on it and threw it in the oven for an hour.

Small onion for size comparison.

I was quite pleased with the results.

It had no bitter taste and shredded perfectly into spaghetti strands (albeit small ones) for a quick supper. The last time I cooked one of these my daughter was too young to remember it, and she was fascinated by the transformation of this ugly vegetable into pasta! Well, she called it “weird” but I took that as fascination. And she did eat her bowl of it.

Cooking a spaghetti squash is easy. Many directions call for cutting them in half and scraping the seeds before cooking, but since the master carver was gone I didn’t want to impale myself trying to hack through the almost unimpenetrable hard skin. I did use a very sharp knife first though to stab at it all around to make sure I didn’t cause some kind of yellow explosion in the oven.  I then put it in a shallow casserole dish whole and baked it for an hour in a 350 degree oven. I let it cool enough to handle, then sliced through it quickly in half and removed the seeds with a large spoon. I then used a fork to “shred” the spaghetti noodles out of it.

It was served with some homemade spaghetti sauce we had in the freezer as a main dish, but you could also serve it with butter and pepper as a side dish.

I leave you tonight with two thoughts. If the spaghetti squash is covered with brown spots, best not take your chances and leave it for the next person to come along and pick it out for the unsuspecting cook at home. I have also come to the conclusion that I need to get some new festive, dinnerware, dontcha’ think???

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