Why this blog??

Why this blog?? I often find myself stressing over what to make for my family for dinner. We live a busy life and some meals need time to prep, cook and let's not forget shopping for everything you need. I love cookbooks and websites, but there are so many recipe's at times it is overwhelming. The recipe's I will be posting are things I actually made. I will tell you if they are easy or more time consuming. I will also tell you if they are good. Most of these are recipe's I have made for years and continue to make because they are easy or quick and my family loves them and i know yours will too! I will also try to at least once in a whlie try a new recipe I've found on line or in a book and honestly rate it. I always encourage others to send me their favorite recipe's as well! I am a mom... not a chef. But I am a mom who enjoys cooking for her family and making a somewhat healthy meal (some days more healthy than others:) ) In each recipe I will share how I recommend serving it, any substitutions I can think of that are also good, or ways to prepare ahead of time to make the cooking part seem quicker! I am not a photographer, as you can see... most of these pictures are taken from my phone camera, so may not be the best! I love to hear from others who have made these recipes and what they have done to change the recipe... please post comments! Thank you! To "like" me on facebook, go to this link... It's What's Cookin

Monday, August 22, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich or Wrap

Sometimes on nights where I know our family is busy and there isn't much time to do cooking, I will pick up a Rotisserie Chicken from the store and make it with easy sides. We never eat the whole chicken so I always love finding recipes on what to do with the leftovers. A lot of times I use it in casseroles or put on top of salads. My friend gave me this idea, so I tried it yesterday and liked it! 

I love Buffalo chicken wraps/sandwiches when I go to a sports bar. The chicken is usually breaded and deep fried and not all that healthy. Here is a tad healthier way to make it. You can always use low fat (or fat free) Ranch and Cheese as well as whole wheat bread or tortillas.

*Shred any left over chicken and warm it in a bowl.
*Franks Wing Sauce or Hot sauce (I like to use a little of both) (about 2 T for 1 C chicken)
*Ranch dressing (About 2 T for 1 cup chicken)
*Seasonings (Nature Seasonings or salt and pepper)
*1 Slice cheese (for sandwich) or 1/4 cup shredded cheese (for a wrap)
*2 pieces of bread or a tortilla
*Any toppings- lettuce, tomato, chopped celery

Here i lightly buttered my toast and put cheese slice on one side. I cooked on a skillet on medium heat. I waited till cheese started to melt. 
As I was toasting the bread and cheese, I warmed up my chicken and mixed it with the Buffalo sauce and Ranch. Then spooned it on top of the other slice of bread. 
Once cheese was melted and bread was toasted, I removed from heat. Topped mine with lettuce. 

Easy and enjoyable! (Another alternative would be to mix the chicken with BBQ sauce and make a quick, easy BBQ chicken sandwich or wrap.)

Thanks Hyun for the great idea:)

Melting cheese and toasting bread on the skillet

Mix the Buffalo Sauce and Ranch dressing with the shredded left over chicken

Add your chicken mixture

I like mine with lettuce. I think cut up celery mixed into the chicken mixture would be really good too!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bruschetta Pasta

I went over to my friend Lindsay's house for dinner and she made this meal. I thought it was a great summer pasta. It's lighter than traditional pasta and it's great to use up those tomatoes and basil that are growing in your garden!! Here is the recipe along with changes she made to it...

* 1/4 C EVOO
* 1 pt grape tomatoes, crushed  (She diced 3 roma tomatoes)
* 3 sprigs basil, torn
* 2 cloves garlic, smashed
* 1 tsp salt
* 1 lb campanella pasta (She used fettuchini. I think it would also be good with Orecchiette or Farfalle Pasta) (I think I will use a little less pasta or a little more of the veggies when making this next)
* 3 C baby arugula, roughly chopped (She put in fresh spinach instead)
* 1 C fresh peas (Or frozen)

1) In large pasta serving bowl, place olive oil, tomatoes, basil, garlic and salt.
2) Boil pasta, adding the peas in the last minute of cooking.
3) Drain pasta and peas and add them to pasta serving bowl.
4) Toss pasta and add the arugula (or spinach).

She also added shredded rotisserie chicken to this. I think it would be good with or without it. Serve with fresh grated parmesan cheese!! Thanks Lindsay for a simple, delicious recipe!