Spinach and Artichoke Dip

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My mom requested that I make some sort of dip for her birthday cookout, perhaps spinach and artichoke dip. I’ve never made any before, so I thought this would be a good time to give it a shot. I wanted something fairly quick and simple, because I wouldn’t have a whole lot of time to make it. After reviewing and searching for several recipes, I finally found one that had a lot of great reviews and seemed simple enough.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Recipe from Stephanie S. at Allrecipes.com

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Recipe Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a casserole dish (7×11 works best). Cook your frozen spinach by adding it to a microwaveable bowl with 2 tablespoons of water, covering with plastic wrap, and microwaving for about 6 minutes, stopping and stirring about halfway through.

While spinach is microwaving, mince your 3 cloves of garlic and chop your artichoke hearts.

Mix the softened cream cheese with the mayonnaise until it’s smooth.

Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Pour into casserole dish.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Then uncover and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes. Serve with pita chips or tortilla chips!

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Overall, we give this recipe 5 out of 5 herbs! Everyone in my family loved it and said it was probably the best spinach and artichoke dip they’ve ever had. It was difficult for Herb and I to quit eating the dip to try the other delicious food that was at the cookout!

Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Author: Mrs. Herb
Ingredients
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a casserole dish (7×11 works best).
  2. Cook your frozen spinach per package directions.
  3. Mince the 3 cloves of garlic and chop the artichoke hearts.
  4. Mix the softened cream cheese with the mayonnaise until it’s smooth, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  5. Pour into casserole dish, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Then uncover and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes

 

Cinnamon Apple Cake

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I was craving dessert the other night but had no idea what to make. I didn’t want to make a trip to the grocery store, so we were limited to what we had on hand, which did NOT include chocolate (unfortunately!) Herb and I each grabbed a couple of cookbooks and started flipping pages.

We narrowed our choices down to a few recipes when I happened to look in the fridge and notice we had 5 apples! This is normally not an issue -we keep apples at the house for snacks. The problem was that I didn’t know how long the apples had been there, and I was worried we wouldn’t be able to eat them all before they went bad.

SOLUTION: Apple Cake!!!

There were a couple of great apple cake recipes in my church cookbook, and I chose the one that sounded the best for what we had on hand. I altered a couple of things and did not use nuts as it called for, simply because we didn’t have any. I think pecans would have been great in the cake, but it still turned out phenomenal without them.

Cinnamon Apple Cake 

Adapted from my church cookbook recipe for Harvest Apple Cake

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 2 – 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 apples (we used Braeburn apples)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional – could use walnuts, pecans, etc)

For Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Recipe Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray your 9×9 square baking pan with cooking spray. Peel, core, and finely chop 2-3 apples (enough for 2 cups).

In a large mixing bowl, mix together first 10 ingredients listed (everything but the apples, nuts, and glaze mixture). Beat ingredients for 3 minutes at medium speed.

Add chopped apples and nuts.

Pour in baking pan and bake for 45-55 minutes.

While cake is baking, make glaze by whisking together powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. After cake is done, let it cool for 15 minutes. Lightly poke cake with a fork about 12 times all over the cake to make small holes. Pour glaze over cake and let cool.

YUM!

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We give this recipe 4.5 out of 5 herbs. It was SO good! Herb and I took it over to my parents while it was still warm and shared a slice with them. They loved it! My dad did mention that he thought it’d be even better if there were some nuts in it! Overall, it was delicious and moist, and I would make it again in a heartbeat!

 

Cinnamon Apple Cake
Author: Mrs. Herb
Ingredients
  • 2 – 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 apples (we used Braeburn apples)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional – could use walnuts, pecans, etc)
  • For Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray your 9×9 square baking pan with cooking spray. Peel, core, and finely chop 2-3 apples (enough for 2 cups).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together first 10 ingredients listed (everything but the apples, nuts, and glaze mixture). Beat ingredients for 3 minutes at medium speed.
  3. Add chopped apples and nuts.
  4. Pour in baking pan and bake for 45-55 minutes.
  5. While cake is baking, make glaze by whisking together powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon.
  6. After cake is done, let it cool for 15 minutes. Lightly poke cake with a fork about 12 times all over the cake to make small holes. Pour glaze over cake and let cool.

 

Zookeeper Bistro

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Restaurant Review of Zookeeper Bistro in Cashiers, North Carolina

On our recent family trip to Highlands, North Carolina, we stopped in a little town called Cashiers along the way. It was a small town but very quaint and friendly. After browsing in an antique store and a farmer’s market, we decided to have a late lunch at the Zookeeper Bistro.

The restaurant was small and charming, with custom artwork displayed on the walls. The lunch menu was mainly different soups, salads, and sandwiches.

Herb got the Roasted Turkey Panini, which had apples and cranberry mayonnaise on it. He described it as delicious, and after tasting it, I agreed. The french fries were excellent as well! Everyone in my family thought so.

Mom and Nana both got the soup of the day, which was chicken vegetable noodle soup. Nana got salad with hers, and Mom got half of a turkey and cheddar club sandwich with hers. Mom and Nana both really liked the soup, and Mom said her sandwich was very good with fresh, soft bread and piled high with turkey. The only complaint was from Nana, who said her salad wasn’t very good. She described it as “musty”. I tasted it and I have to agree that the salad seemed a bit stale.

Dad and I ordered the Highlands Panini, which was corned beef, Swiss cheese, cole slaw, and Thousand Island dressing on wheat (I chose wheat instead of the standard Rye bread). It was pretty good!

Overall, we would recommend the Zookeeper Bistro if you’re ever in Cashiers, North Carolina. The atmosphere was pleasant and the food was pretty good! They had a good looking breakfast menu as well! As we were leaving, I noticed their sanitation rating. Who knew that you could even get over 100?!

 

Roasted Chicken with Balsamic Bell Peppers

Pinit

Most of the time, I do the cooking while Herb assists me and takes gorgeous pictures. However, he does occasionally take it upon himself to pick out a recipe and make it himself! He told me a few days ago that he wanted to fix dinner for us, and that I could help if I wanted to, or just kick back and relax.

I thought this would be a good opportunity to switch roles and allow me to play photographer for a little bit! Herb still ended up taking a few pictures – can’t resist, poor guy! We had a lot of fun with the role reversal (though I still prefer taking the head chef position!)

Roasted Chicken with Balsamic Bell Peppers

Adapted from Ivy Manning in Cooking Light Magazine

Recipe Ingredients

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken breast tenders
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 cups thinly sliced red and yellow bell peppers
  • 1-2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

 

Recipe Directions

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Chop your bell peppers into strips.

Trim your chicken breast tenders. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. In a bowl, mix together 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, garlic powder, and oregano.

Brush chicken lightly with olive oil (1-2 teaspoons), then sprinkle the spices on the chicken on both sides.

Add 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil to the skillet and cook chicken about 2-3 minutes on each side until well browned. Spray a casserole dish with olive oil, place browned chicken in the dish, and bake for 10 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

While your chicken is baking, heat another tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat and saute bell pepper strips and rosemary for about 5 minutes.

Then add chicken broth and stir, cooking for about 5 minutes. Add vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Serve bell pepper mixture over chicken.

Pinit

 

Overall, we give this dish 4.5 out of 5 herbs! I was very impressed by Mr. Herb’s handiwork. The flavor of the bell peppers and sauce was wonderful, just the right mixture of sweet and savory with the herbs in this recipe. Mmm!

 

Roasted Chicken with Balsamic Bell Peppers
Author: Mrs. Herb
Ingredients
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken breast tenders
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 cups thinly sliced red and yellow bell peppers
  • 1-2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Chop the bell peppers into strips.
  2. Trim the chicken breast tenders. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. In a bowl, mix together 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, garlic powder, and oregano.
  4. Brush chicken lightly with olive oil (1-2 teaspoons), then sprinkle the spices on the chicken on both sides.
  5. Add 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil to the skillet and cook chicken about 2-3 minutes on each side until well browned.
  6. Spray a casserole dish with olive oil, place browned chicken in the dish, and bake for 10 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
  7. While the chicken is baking, heat another tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat and saute bell pepper strips and rosemary for about 5 minutes.
  8. Then add chicken broth and stir, cooking for about 5 minutes.
  9. Add vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  10. Serve bell pepper mixture over chicken.

 

Cyprus Restaurant

Pinit

Our family recently took a weekend trip to Highlands, North Carolina. Highlands is a very cute and small mountain town. The downtown area is only about two blocks, but is filled with great one-of-a-kind shops and stores. There aren’t really any chain hotels, restaurants, or stores in the area, which we very much appreciated.

Even though the town is small, there is a good variety of restaurants available. We had a hard time deciding where to go! Herb and I split off from the family for the evening to have a date night of our own. We decided on Cyprus, an upscale, modern farm-to-table restaurant specializing in international cuisine. We were not disappointed!

As soon as you walk in the door, there is a display of the freshly picked vegetables that will be used in the evening’s dishes, as well as the fresh fish-of-the-day on ice.

Before we were seated, the hostess explained what the meat and produce were, where they were from, and how they would be incorporated into the daily specials. We really liked the atmosphere of the restaurant, modern, upscale, and ethnic.

Our waitress explained the menu to us. There was a set “House Menu” with several options for appetizers and main dishes, but there was also a list of the daily specials, which incorporated whatever seafood, meat, and produce were fresh from the market that day. They brought out some fresh bread and olive oil with spices with our drinks.

The dishes offered were themed from a variety of countries, from Europe to Africa to South America. Herb and I split an Italian-themed appetizer that the waitress recommended as one of her favorites, the Parmegiano Reggiano Eggplant with a peppered gorgonzola cheese reduction and roasted tomato sauce. It was mouth-watering! The eggplant was crisp and the sauces were full of flavor with a slight spicy kick to them.

For my main course, I ordered a Brazilian dish, Moqueca de Salvador, which was a coconut stew with mussels, shrimp, lobster, red grouper, and jasmine rice. The stew was served in some kind of square leaf on a plate. It was full of flavor and the seafood was fresh and cooked perfectly.

Herb ordered the surf and turf special of the day, which was seared sea scallops (bigger than golf balls!) and braised lamb shoulder with onion, tomato, carrots, fire-roasted tomatillo salad, and smoked chile potato chips.

The best thing about mine and Herb’s relationship is that we’re food sharers. Whenever we go to a restaurant and order, I know that I get to share some of his dish, and he gets to try some of mine! Anyway, his meal was also great. Those scallops were the best I’ve ever had! Herb said the lamb was melt-in-your-mouth and the saltiness of the chips worked well with the scallops and greens. Check out the picture below: that thing at the bottom is a huge scallop! Delicious!

After cleaning our plates, we were pretty full. I didn’t think we’d get dessert, but the waitress brought out the dessert menu, and Cyprus offered “small desserts”, just a few bites of deliciousness, so we ordered a Chinese Five Spice Apple Crisp with ice cream and a Cinnamon and Cayenne Dark Chocolate Ganache Cake. Wow! They were small – just enough to top off an amazing meal. The chocolate was my favorite. It was rich, but not overpowering, and the cinnamon and cayenne added just enough hint of spice to make it a little different. The apple crisp was great as well, more flavor than a standard restaurant dish. We could definitely tell that the ice cream was homemade as well.

Pinit

Overall, Cyprus was an absolutely excellent dining experience. We definitely recommend stopping by if you’re looking for something fresh, unique, and delicious!

Mark’s Rise-and-Shine Sourdough French Toast

Pinit

One of my favorite things in the world is breakfast, especially when my dad makes his signature french toast!

What makes his french toast recipe so amazing is the bread. Every year around Thanksgiving and Christmas, my amazing Aunt Amy makes dozens and dozens of loaves of mouth-watering sourdough bread. We eat some of it immediately for the holidays, but we also freeze several loaves to use throughout the year. The bread is great by itself, with butter and jam, or to make a sandwich with. But our family’s favorite thing to make with it is french toast!

Since you probably don’t have an amazing Aunt Amy like I do, then your only hope of having amazing french toast is to find some delicious sourdough at your local baker or grocery. It helps to make it when the bread is a couple of days old – it holds together better this way.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 loaf sourdough bread
  • 8 eggs, scrambled
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • 3-4 Tablespoons butter
  • Real maple syrup

Recipe Directions:

Slice your loaf of sourdough into about 3/4 inch thick slices (10-12 slices for a loaf). In a large, shallow dish (we use a 9×13 casserole dish), pour the scrambled eggs, vanilla, milk, and cinnamon and mix together. We really like cinnamon, so we probably used at least 2 teaspoons.

Place slices of sourdough into the egg mixture and let it sit for about 1 minute to soak in the egg mixture. Then flip the bread over and let it soak for another minute.

Heat a large skillet or griddle over low-medium heat. Melt 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of butter and swirl it around, covering the bottom of the skillet. Add sourdough slices, 3-4 pieces at a time (whatever you can fit). Cook for about 5-7 minutes on each side until both sides are golden brown.

Serve with maple syrup and bacon or sausage. Also, a hot cup of coffee makes a nice addition!

Pinit

We give this recipe 5 out of 5 herbs! That’s right, my dad’s french toast recipe is top notch. Absolutely one of my favorite meals in the world! Thanks Aunt Amy for the amazing sourdough bread!

Mark’s Rise-and-Shine Sourdough French Toast
Author: Mrs. Herb
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf sourdough bread
  • 8 eggs, scrambled
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • 3-4 Tablespoons butter
  • Butter and maple syrup to top it
Instructions
  1. Slice your loaf of sourdough into about 3/4 inch thick slices (10-12 slices for a loaf).
  2. In a large, shallow dish (we use a 9×13 casserole dish), pour the scrambled eggs, vanilla, milk, and cinnamon and mix together.
  3. Place slices of sourdough into the egg mixture and let it sit for about 1 minute to soak in the egg mixture. Then flip the bread over and let it soak for another minute.
  4. Heat a large skillet or griddle over low-medium heat. Melt 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of butter and swirl it around, covering the bottom of the skillet. Add soaked sourdough slices, 3-4 pieces at a time (whatever you can fit).
  5. Cook for about 5-7 minutes on each side until both sides are golden brown.
  6. Serve with butter and maple syrup

 

Harvest Table Restaurant

Pinit

Restaurant Review of the Harvest Table Restaurant

Tucked away in the tiny town of Meadowview, Virginia is a wonderful farm-to-table restaurant that is appropriately named the Harvest Table Restaurant. Everything served at the restaurant is fresh, delicious, and truly local, from the vegetables and meats to the wine and beer. Even the seafood is regionally harvested from the Virginia and Carolina shores.

This past summer, Herb and I actually went on a tour of Steven Hopp’s (the owner’s) farm, which is one of the main suppliers to the restaurant. We will have to do a post on our farm tour in the future! As a quick note of interest, Steven Hopp is the husband of the well-known author Barbara Kingsolver!

The restaurant is fairly small, seating only about 50 people, which is perfect for the atmosphere. From almost any seat in the restaurant you can see partially into the kitchen and catch the eye of the friendly executive chef, Philip Newton, overseeing the kitchen and creating delicious dishes.

Warm rolls are served with delicious honey butter upon arrival. The menu changes often as the chef caters to whatever is seasonal and fresh from the farms. There are always fresh salads and an artisan pizza of the day available. One time my veggie pizza came with squash on it! Definitely unique and very tasty. Other main dishes include everything from meats and seafood to pasta dishes.  There are always several great desserts to choose from as well.

Herb and I have eaten at the Harvest Table several times, and we have never been disappointed. The staff are always friendly and knowledgeable, the atmosphere is inviting, and the food is simply amazing.

On our most recent visit, Herb brought his camera along to capture some of the deliciousness.

As an appetizer, we ordered the warm oven-roasted goat cheese dip served with focaccia toast, which is a favorite of ours.

For our entree, we split the  chicken carbonara, which is grilled chicken strips with penne pasta in a rich cream sauce with crispy bacon. Oh. My.

Pinit

If you are looking for something flavorful and fresh, we definitely recommend a stop at the Harvest Table Restaurant in Meadowview, Virginia. It’s located just off Interstate 81, only a short drive from Emory and Henry College.

 

Herb’s Bruschetta

Pinit

One Saturday recently I took my Nana to the local farmer’s market to get some fresh veggies. Tomatoes were in abundance, so I purchased a few, not entirely sure what I would use them for. Then the idea of a simple bruschetta recipe came to me – putting the tomatoes with some of our fresh garden basil and cheese on toast! Sounds like a great lunch to me!

I called Herb and asked if he would make us a fresh loaf of bread in our bread machine. As a side note, bread machines seem to be rarely used by the general population, but we LOVE ours and use it often. It’s very easy to use – you add 6 ingredients (flour, salt, sugar, yeast, water, olive oil) to the bread machine, hit a button, and in an hour you have delicious, fresh bread! No preservatives like what you buy in the store, and much cheaper too!

Anyway, Herb made a loaf of bread, and we fixed some simple bruschetta when I got home with the fresh tomatoes.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh basil
  • Bread
  • Cheese (we used mozzarella and feta)

Recipe Directions

Slice your tomatoes and chop your fresh basil. We used two baseball-sized tomatoes and about 1/4 cup chopped basil. We kept our tomatoes as slices, but you could dice them as an alternative.

Slice your bread into small pieces. We probably used about 1/4 to 1/3 of a loaf. We cut our bread about the size of a credit card and 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.

Pour some olive oil into a bowl. We used about 2 tablespoons. Brush the top of the bread with the olive oil. Add tomato slices. Sprinkle with basil and shredded cheese.

Broil on high until cheese is melted and bread starts to crisp, about 5-7 minutes.

Pinit

We give this recipe 5 out of 5 herbs! It’s really the freshness of all the ingredients that make this dish perfect. Our bread was fresh, the tomatoes were perfect and juicy, and the basil had just been hand-picked from our garden. Yum!

 

Herb’s Bruschetta
Author: Mrs. Herb
Ingredients
  • Tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh basil
  • Bread
  • Cheese (we used mozzarella and feta)
Instructions
  1. Slice (or dice) your tomatoes and chop your fresh basil.
  2. Slice your bread into small pieces.
  3. Pour some olive oil into a bowl. Brush the bread with the olive oil.
  4. Add tomato slices. Sprinkle with basil and shredded cheese.
  5. Broil on high until cheese is melted and bread starts to crisp, about 5-7 minutes.

 

Pasta with Chicken and Sun-dried Tomatoes I

Pinit

Here’s the deal: Herb loves sun-dried tomatoes almost as much as he loves peanut butter. That’s really saying something! So we keep sun-dried tomatoes in our house at all times. We eat them on salads, in pasta dishes, and he’ll even eat them plain straight out of the bag!

Anytime I see a recipe that contains these tiny red gems, I want to try it because the recipe automatically has a 99% chance of being a hit with Herb.

One of the first meals Herb and I made together when we started dating was a sun-dried tomato and basil pasta. To this day, it is one of our favorite recipes. This recipe doesn’t originally call for spinach, but sometimes I’ll add a cup or so of chopped fresh spinach into the pasta.

Somehow the other day we ended up with 2 big bags of spinach in the fridge that needed to be eaten before we had to throw it out. I immediately thought of our standby recipe, but this amount of spinach beckoned for a new recipe where it could be better utilized. Then we thought it would be a good idea to do a recipe comparative on pasta recipes that contained chicken and sun-dried tomatoes!

Enter recipe I:

Pasta with Chicken and Sun-dried Tomatoes.

This recipe is adapted from La Gazzetta Italiana.

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 6-8 boneless chicken breast tenders (or 2 chicken breasts)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup  sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup shredded Italian blend of cheese
  • 13 oz package of noodles – we used thin spaghetti

Recipe Directions

Put a pot of water on high heat to boil for your pasta. Trim your chicken breasts and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Lightly salt the chicken. Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and chicken to the pan and cook the chicken for about 4-5 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, chop your garlic, basil, and parsley, and cut your sun-dried tomatoes into small pieces. I personally buy the sun-dried tomatoes that are julienne style, then I prefer to cut them a little smaller.

It’s also probably time to add your pasta with a dash of salt to your boiling water. Once your chicken has cooked for 4-5 minutes, add chopped garlic to the pan and cook with the chicken for another minute.  Then stir the spinach into the pan.

After stirring the spinach in for one minute, add the sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and Parmesan.

 

Continue cooking for another 3-5 minutes until chicken is done and mixture is hot. Drain the pasta and serve the chicken mixture over the pasta, topping with mozzarella and parsley.

Pinit

We give this dish 4 out of 5 herbs. It is fairly simple, full of flavor, and pretty healthy to boot!

Pasta with Chicken and Sun-dried Tomatoes I
Author: Mrs. Herb
Ingredients
  • 6-8 boneless chicken breast tenders (or 2 chicken breasts)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup shredded Italian blend of cheese
  • 13 oz package of noodles – we used thin spaghetti
Instructions
  1. Put a pot of water on high heat to boil for your pasta. Trim your chicken breasts and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Lightly salt the chicken.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and chicken to the pan and cook the chicken for about 4-5 minutes.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, chop your garlic, basil, and parsley, and cut your sun-dried tomatoes into small pieces. I personally buy the sun-dried tomatoes that are julienne style, then I prefer to cut them a little smaller.
  4. It’s also probably time to add your pasta with a dash of salt to your boiling water. Once your chicken has cooked for 4-5 minutes, add chopped garlic to the pan and cook with the chicken for another minute. Then stir the spinach into the pan.
  5. After stirring the spinach in for one minute, add the sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and Parmesan.
  6. Continue cooking for another 3-5 minutes until chicken is done and mixture is hot.
  7. Drain the pasta and serve the chicken mixture over the pasta, topping with mozzarella and parsley.

 

 

Dessert Fruit Pizza

Pinit

I first tasted fruit pizza at a friend’s birthday party when I was in 6th grade. I’ve been obsessed ever since. There’s just something about a cookie with cream cheese frosting and fruit that is so heavenly!

There are several ways of making fruit pizza in my family. My sister, who strangely does not like sugar cookies, prefers a fruit pizza recipe with a chocolate chip cookie dough crust. It’s delicious too! But I also like the original sugar cookie crust recipe. Then there’s the issue of crust thickness. Do you want your crust to be thin and crispy or thick and softer? I like fruit pizza just about any way! Today we made it with a bit thicker crust.

Another great thing about fruit pizza is that you could REALLY shortcut the recipe if you wanted. You could buy ready-made cookie dough (sugar or chocolate chip) and also just buy a tub of cheesecake flavored cream cheese to spread, eliminating most of the baking! But I like making it from scratch.

Also, you can cover fruit pizza with any fruit you like! We usually do an assortment of berries. Today, we have strawberries and blueberries.

Dessert Fruit Pizza

Recipe Ingredients:

For Sugar Cookie Crust*

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For cream cheese frosting

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping

  • Fruit of your choice – as much as you want. We used about 1 cup of blueberries and 1 cup of sliced strawberries.

*Note: For a shortcut, you could use a roll of refrigerated cookie dough!

Recipe Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a cookie sheet. In a mixing bowl, beat together butter, shortening, and sugar for about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.

Gradually beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture until well incorporated into a stiff dough.

Then press the dough down into the baking sheet, spreading it to the edges.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on how thin the crust is. Crust should be golden brown and crisp.

While crust is baking, beat together softened butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes until creamy. Then add the vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until smooth.

After sugar cookie crust is finished, let it cool for about 15-20 minutes before frosting with cream cheese icing and adding fruit.

Refrigerate until it’s ready to serve!

Pinit

We give this recipe 4.5 out of 5 stars. MMM-MMM we love fruit pizza!

 

Dessert Fruit Pizza
Author: Mrs. Herb
Ingredients
  • FOR CRUST
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • FOR FROSTING
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Fruit of your choice – as much as you want. We used about 1 cup of blueberries and 1 cup of sliced strawberries.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a cookie sheet.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat together butter, shortening, and sugar for about 2 minutes, then beat in eggs, one at a time.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Gradually beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture until well incorporated into a stiff dough, then press the dough down into the baking sheet, spreading it to the edges.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on how thin the crust is. Crust should be golden brown and crisp.
  6. While crust is baking, beat together softened butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes until creamy. Then add the vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
  7. After sugar cookie crust is finished, let it cool for about 15-20 minutes before frosting with cream cheese icing and adding fruit.

 

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