Grandma’s Shepherds Pie

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There are many versions of Shepherds Pie and it’s such an easy dinner to make.  Tonight with the temperatures dropping and more snow coming down this was a perfect dinner!

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You can use any ingredients you have on hand.  It’s that easy.

You can see how I made our dinner tonight on my Facebook page here:  Grandma’s Shepherds Pie

Chicken Picatta

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This is another one of those easy impressive dishes done in less than 30 minutes.  It’s fool proof meaning you can change or add things and it always turns out great.

Capers are key in Picatta.  If you are not familiar with capers they are a pickled flower bud before it flowers.  It is then brined and stored.  They taste very close to a green olive but a bit saltier.  I LOVE them in this dish as they add just enough salty sourness to the buttery sauce.

Here are the super easy directions with pictures and the recipe will be at the end.

ingredients oil chicken

Assemble the ingredients.  Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the thin chicken breasts.

browning browned done

Brown them until cooked through. Remove and stack on top of each other and cover tightly with foil to keep them warm.

pasta

Cook the pasta according to the directions.  I like to use a thin pasta like Angel Hair but tonight I only had Fettucine noodles and they work just as well.

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The frying pan will look like this after you remove the chicken.  Pour in the chicken stock and scrape all those yummy bits from the pan as they help flavor your sauce.

butter butter bits

Add the butter and melt it into the sauce stirring.  Add the rest of the ingredients and capers.  Let simmer for about 3 minutes.

Drain pasta and serve a chicken breast on top with the sauce spooned over the pasta.

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Serve with some homemade cranberry sauce and a few steamed vegetables.

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Dinner is served!  There won’t be a scrap left on the plate!!

Here are the EASY directions:

5-6 thin boneless chicken breasts (or regular pounded thin)

Approx. 5 tablespoons garlic flavored olive oil (or regular)

4 Tablespoons butter

1 cup chicken broth

2-3 tablespoon lemon juice (one lemon juiced)

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

sprinkle salt/pepper

2 Tablespoons capers (more or less to your taste or add them separately on each dish)

1 box angel hair pasta (or any pasta of choice)

Heat oil in skillet

Place chicken in and cook through (about 4 minutes per side if thin)

Remove and cover with tin foil when done

Add broth to skillet and use spatula to scrap all the browned bits from skillet

Heat through and add butter stirring until melted

Add the remaining ingredients

Add capers and simmer about 3 minutes and add chicken broth and remaining ingredients.

Cook approximately 5 minutes while cooking angel hair pasta (you can add more broth if it cooks down too much)

Immediately serve pasta with chicken on top and spoonful of sauce from skillet

Season with salt/pepper (you can add parmesan cheese also)

Cheater?

Yes, I am a cheater sometimes.  But only when I have to be.

This is my “Cheaters Lasagna” for those nights you have hockey, basketball, shopping, barn chores, lunches to make for the next day..well you get the idea.  This is super easy, fast and yummy.

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You can see how I make our “Cheaters Lasagna” on my Facebook page here:  Cheaters Lasagna

Mangia!!!

Goulash

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Goulash is a meat sauce served on either rigatoni pasta or elbow pasta in our house.  Tonight I made beef goulash.  I will say…it hit the spot!!

Here is how I make our goulash.  (Recipe at bottom)

I use a pound of ground beef and a 16 oz box of pasta.  You can add as many onions and peppers as you like!!

Boil the ground beef in water until no longer pink

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Strain and add onion and peppers (these are our frozen peppers and onion from the garden)

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Cover with sauce to the thickness you want to serve over your pasta

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In the mean time boil your pasta

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Once pasta is cooked, scoop some of the meat sauce onto the pasta to mix it up

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Serve immediately so it’s nice and hot!!  A green salad goes well with this and some fresh homemade bread!

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Ingredients

1 lb ground beef

1 16 oz box pasta

1 jar spaghetti sauce (or your homemade sauce)

1 small onion

1 small any color pepper

2 garlic cloves minced

Boil the ground beef until no longer pink (ground venison, turkey, or pork work great in this also)

Strain and rinse the beef and return to pan

Add the onions, pepper and garlic to the pan with beef and brown the beef

Cover and spaghetti sauce and keep it warm

Prepare the cooked pasta

Scoop a big spoonful onto pasta and mix

Serve the pasta with extra meat sauce on top

 

Easy and delicious

 

Meatballs and Pasta

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Remember my post wayyyy back on August 10 (Sunday Food and Fun) where I made meatballs and froze them??  Well yesterday was a busy day and the perfect time to pull them out of the freezer, throw them in the crockpot and heat them with sauce for dinner.

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I freeze meatballs in batches of 15 so I always have a couple bags going in the freezer for busy nights and sometimes even for a quick meatball hoagie for lunch.

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I think of this dish as the ultimate comfort food and luckily there was enough left over for tonight’s dinner 🙂

My Meatball recipe: (there are pictures in the link above to the Sunday post)

1 lb ground beef, 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs, 1 Tablespoon minced garlic, 1 egg, 1/4 cup milk.  Combine all and roll into balls.  Brown in a frying pan and bake for about 25 minutes in the oven until cooked through.  Let cool and freeze until ready to use.

 

Crock pot Pork Tenderloin

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This is probably the tween girls favorite dinner.  She will eat pretty much a whole pork tenderloin herself.  Each time it’s a tad bit different as I never measure anything but the results are always melt in your mouth pork.

This morning I put in the crock pot approximately:

2 lbs pork tenderloin

1/4 cup orange juice

3 Tablespoons soy sauce

3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon rosemary chopped

2 chicken bouillon cubes

1 cup of water

Let it slow cook for 6 hours.  Remove the meat and pour the juice into a pot. 

In a small cup mix 1 heaping Tablespoon cornstarch into 5 Tablespoons water and stir

Bring the juice in the pot to a boil and slowly stir the cornstarch mixture in stirring the whole time.  This will thicken it and make a gravy

Cook your noodles

Make a vegetable (I made caramelized onions and zucchini) and we had our LAST container of homemade applesauce (gulp my son is in a panic!!  He lives on that)

Serve the pork atop the noodles and drizzle with gravy.  YUM!!  I do not have a scrap left over 🙂

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Homemade Chicken Salad

There are many ways to make chicken salad.  Tonight it was very humid and warm outside so I decided to use leftover chicken and make a plain chicken salad.  Picked a few of our homegrown Romaine lettuce leaves and some fresh rolls and dinner was done!!  I grow lettuce in planters all around the house.  Tonight I harvested some from the cute little deer planter by our side door.  Everyone does this don’t they???

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I used my small chopper to make a finer “less chunky” chicken salad. 

2 bone in chicken breasts, with the meat taken off and chopped

2 Tablespoons salad dressing/1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise

salt/pepper/garlic powder to taste

Optionals are unlimited for a fancier salad.  I have used raisins, craisins, walnuts, grapes, celery, onion, pecans, sunflower seeds etc.  You see you can add just about anything to this and it’s a fabulous lunch, dinner, snack, appetizer.

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Please send some positive thoughts, prayers, feelings, energy to one of our fellow bloggers, Of Kids and Cows, who is dealing with a very severe sickness with one of her children.  She can use all the strength of our blogging team to help her and her family as her daughter slowly recovers!!