Chicken and Broccoli Spaghetti

Chicken and Broccoli Spaghetti

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Herb was never one of those kids that you had to force to eat his broccoli. For some wonderful reason, he actually really likes vegetables, especially BROCCOLI, which seems to be the nemesis of many children. So it was no surprise to me when he wanted to fix us this recipe, which is full of healthy broccoli! (Sister Spice would NOT eat this!)

I like broccoli too, though probably not as much as Herb. I find that Parmesan cheese goes very well with broccoli, and I can eat just straight up steamed broccoli with a bit of Parmesan sprinkled on top! With this recipe, you can garnish your garlic-y chicken and broccoli with as much Parmesan as your heart desires. For me, that was quite a bit!

This recipe is sort of similar to Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo, though without the sauce, which makes it a lot healthier.

Chicken and Broccoli Spaghetti

 

Chicken and Broccoli Spaghetti

Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com

Recipe Ingredients

  • 13-oz package spaghetti pasta
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bags of steamable broccoli florets
  • 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice and lime juice
  • Parmesan cheese

Recipe Directions

Fix pasta per package directions. Steam broccoli bags in the microwave for half of the time stated on the bag.

In a large pan, add olive oil and cubed chicken.  Cook on medium heat until cooked through. Remove from pan.

In the same pan, combine the broth, basil, salt, pepper, garlic, and broccoli and heat to a boil.  Turn the heat down to low, cover and cook for 3 minutes or until broccoli is tender.  Add cooked pasta, lemon, and lime juice, and chicken.  Toss together and serve with Parmesan cheese.

We give this recipe 4 out of 5 herbs!  Easy and delicious!

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Chicken and Broccoli Spaghetti
Recipe Type: Main Dish, Date Night
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Herb
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 13-oz package spaghetti
  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bags of steamable broccoli florets
  • 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice and lime juice
  • Several tablespoons Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta per package directions.
  2. Steam broccoli in microwave for half of the time stated on the bag.
  3. In a large pan, add olive oil and cubed chicken. Cook over medium heat until brown.
  4. Combine the broth, basil, salt, pepper, garlic, and broccoli in a skillet and heat to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 3 minutes or until broccoli is tender.
  5. Add pasta, lemon, and lime juice, and chicken.
  6. Toss together and serve with Parmesan cheese.

 

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

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Recently, I was having company over and knew I needed to have a dessert ready to serve.  However, I’ve been trying to eat gluten-free for a few weeks now, and I hadn’t yet discovered any good looking gluten-free desserts.  Then I stumbled across Martha Stewart’s recipe for this flourless chocolate cake, and it made me (and my guests) wonder why anyone would ever make regular cake again!

Recipe Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 granulated sugar
  • confectioner’s sugar for dusting
  • sweetened whipped cream, for serving

Recipe Directions

Pre-heat oven to 275 with rack set in the center.  Butter a 9-inch springform pan, then set aside.  Place butter and chocolate in a large microwaveable bowl and heat in 30-second increments, stopping to stir each time.  When it is melted, whisk in egg yolks and blend well.  In a large bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add granulated sugar, and continue beating until glossy stiff peaks form. Whisk 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture; then gently fold in remaining egg whites.  Pour batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and is set in the center, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack; remove sides of pan. Serve at room temperature, dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

When you first remove the cake, it may look like this:

Flourless Chocolate Cake Flourless Chocolate Cake

And that’s perfectly ok.  Add your confectioner’s sugar…

Flourless Chocolate Cake

And you have a beautiful, deliciously moist creation!  Seriously, this was way better than regular cake.  It was still moist and fudgey a week later!  This cake earns an easy 5/5 herbs.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake
Author: Sister Spice
Ingredients
  • *6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • *8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • *6 large eggs, separated
  • *1/2 granulated sugar
  • *confectioner’s sugar for dusting
  • *sweetened whipped cream, for serving
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 275 with rack set in the center. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, then set aside.
  2. Place butter and chocolate in a large microwaveable bowl and heat in 30-second increments, stopping to stir each time. When it is melted, whisk in egg yolks and blend well.
  3. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add granulated sugar, and continue beating until glossy stiff peaks form.
  4. Whisk 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture; then gently fold in remaining egg whites. Pour batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
  5. Bake until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and is set in the center, 45 to 50 minutes.
  6. Cool completely on a wire rack; remove sides of pan. Serve at room temperature, dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

 

End of Summer: Saturday Edition

Mister and Sister Spice

Well, it’s official: the sun has set on the summer for Mister Spice and me.  We just completed the first full week of school, and to say that we’re exhausted is an understatement.

It’s always tough to get back into working 15 and 16 hour days, but we’re grateful to have jobs that allow us to take a break from the craziness every now and then.  And even though I hate to see summer dwindle, I also love fall.  For those of you who have never seen North East Tennessee in the fall, you’re missing out!  Anyway, here’s to a wonderful school year!

Gluten-Free Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Flourless Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

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I could lie to you and pretend that I selflessly chose to make a gluten-free cookie recipe for my relatives who cannot eat gluten for one reason or another. But instead, I will tell you the truth! 😉

I actually chose to make these cookies for our family cookout because Herb and I just wanted some peanut butter cookies! Honestly, it didn’t even hit me that they were gluten-free while I was making them. The recipe was for ‘flourless’ peanut butter cookies, and I just thought they sounded extremely delicious. So it was a happy surprise when I realized that it was perfect for my gluten-free relatives!

If you make this recipe, you are totally not missing out on anything because they are flourless. They are seriously some good peanut butter cookies!

Gluten Free Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Gluten-Free Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Recipe from Allrecipes.com

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 2 cups peanut butter (we used crunchy, but creamy would work too!)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Recipe Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets. Mix together peanut butter and sugar until smooth, then beat in eggs. Stir in the baking soda, salt, and vanilla.

Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place them on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Using the back of a fork, make a criss-cross pattern on the top by lightly pressing into each ball of dough. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cookies sit on baking sheet for several minutes after removing them from the oven, then cool them completely on a wire rack.

Gluten Free Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

 

Gluten Free Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

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We give this recipe 4.5/5 herbs!

Gluten-Free Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
Author: Mrs. Herb
Ingredients
  • 2 cups peanut butter (we used crunchy, but creamy would work too!)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets.
  2. Mix together peanut butter and sugar until smooth, then beat in eggs.
  3. Stir in the baking soda, salt, and vanilla.
  4. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place them on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
  5. Using the back of a fork, make a criss-cross pattern on the top by lightly pressing into each ball of dough.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cookies sit on baking sheet for several minutes after removing them from the oven, then cool them completely on a wire rack.

 

20 Questions with Taylor Ellingson from Greens and Chocolate!

Taylor Ellingson

Hey!  It’s time yet again for another 20 Questions post, this time from the lovely Taylor Ellingson over at Greens and Chocolate.  This is one beautiful blog, from the layout to the photos Taylor takes!  Her recipes are healthy but tasty and, well, I’ll let her tell you a little more about herself:

-Tell us about your blog and why it’s great

My blog, greens and chocolate, is all about balancing out the healthy (that’s the ‘greens’) and the not-so-healthy (the ‘chocolate’).  It really encompasses my outlook on a healthy lifestyle.  I love eating healthy, but I also love my dessert and I truly believe in a balanced diet there is room for dessert.

-What is your favorite food/recipe? Least favorite?

Such a hard question!  I’d say my favorite foods are chocolate, kale, and bananas.  Oh and squash!  I love all types of squash.  Least favorite: Any recipe with condensed soup in it…bleh.

-What is the first recipe you learned how to fix?

I remember cooking a Bruschetta Stuffing Chicken recipe with my college roommate that we found on the back of a box of stuffing.  Yeah it wasn’t very good.

-Who taught you how to cook?

While I watched my mom and dad cook growing up, I’d say I’m mostly self-taught.  I didn’t really have a big interest in cooking or baking until college, and that’s when I started experimenting in the kitchen.

-What food/recipe still seems daunting to you?

 Macarons!  I can’t imagine myself being able to make them.

-What is your spouse’s/family’s favorite meal that you cook?

 Ribs and macaroni and cheese.  Happens about twice a year.

-Tell us about a kitchen disaster or recipe mishap

Just one?  Ha.  I remember when I was in high school and I was trying to make a boxed pasta salad.  I didn’t read the directions completely and didn’t drain the pasta from the pasta water.  It was, um, soupy.  There was also the time my springform pan wasn’t completely closed tight and I went to put the cheesecake in the oven and it ended up tipping onto my floor.  It was a mess.

-Who is your favorite celebrity chef?  

Jamie Oliver.  He cooks healthy food that tastes good and looks good doing it!

-Who is your favorite food blogger?

 Too many to choose from…I wouldn’t even know where to begin!

-What is your day job?

 I work full time as a physical therapist.

-If you could cook/bake all day instead of your day job, would you?  

I’ll be honest – YES!  I mean, I love my day job but who wouldn’t want to cook and bake all day?!

-What is your favorite restaurant?

Living in the Twin Cities there are SO many options for restaurants.  I’d say my favorites are Bar La Grassa and Blue Door Pub.

-If you were going to open up a restaurant or bakery, what kind of place would it be?  What would you call it?

 I’d open up a bakery but I have no idea what I would call it.  I can be so indecisive that I would take weeks to decide!!

-If you had your own cooking show, what would you call it?

 Never would happen.  I’m too camera shy and I hate seeing myself on video!

-What is your favorite part about food blogging?

Having fun in the kitchen!  It’s great having an extra motivation to experiment and try new things as well as sharing my successes with readers.

Least favorite?  

The pressure to keep up with food trends and create new and exciting recipes.  Some days I would just like to cook dinner and not worry about taking pictures.

-What is something (food or blog related) that you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t yet?

Eat my way through Italy.

-White chocolate, milk chocolate, or dark chocolate?

Dark chocolate.

-Comfort food of choice?

 Thanksgiving dinner.  All of it.

-Sweet or savory?

Sweet.

-What is your favorite herb?

Basil.

Thanks, Taylor!  I’m totally with you on the least favorite thing about blogging…sometimes I just want to cook the same old thing and eat it without taking pictures!

Anyway, hop on over to Greens and Chocolate!  You’ll be glad you did.

Summer Pasta with Zucchini and Squash

Summer Pasta with Zucchini and Squash
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It’s time for another Meatless Monday post! We shared this recipe before under Summer Pasta, but that was before our blog “went public”. Plus,  we recently did a reshoot of the pictures for the recipe and thought it deserved a fresh new post.

This is a light dish that’s great for a summer evening. Just slice up some zucchini and squash, brown them in some olive oil, and serve over some pasta. Quick and easy!

I really like the flavor of the basil and grated Parmesan cheese over the pasta and vegetables.

Hurry up and try this recipe, because summer is ending soon! In fact, today summer is officially over for my mom, sister, and brother-in-law, who all return to teach. It’s crazy that school goes back so early these days! Ah, well. Summer still officially has another 6 weeks or so. Enjoy it while you can!

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 Summer Pasta with Zucchini and Squash

Recipe from Andrea

Ingredients

  • 1 box thin spaghetti or linguine noodles
  • Squash and zucchini (2-4, depending on size)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Basil and Parmesan to taste

Directions

Cook your noodles according to the directions. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Slice your zucchini and squash. Add olive oil, garlic, squash and zucchini to the skillet. Lightly salt the vegetables.

Saute until tender, stirring often, for about 8 minutes, until squash and zucchini begin to brown lightly.

Spoon the vegetables over the cooked noodles and top with chopped fresh basil (or dried) and grated Parmesan to taste.

Summer Pasta

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We give this recipe 4/5 herbs! It’s light and fresh and perfect for a summer evening!

Summer Pasta with Zucchini and Squash
Author: Mrs. Herb
Ingredients
  • 1 box thin spaghetti or linguine noodles
  • Squash and zucchini (2-4, depending on size)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Basil and Parmesan to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook your noodles according to the directions.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Slice your zucchini and squash.
  4. Add olive oil, garlic, squash and zucchini to the skillet. Lightly salt the vegetables.
  5. Saute until tender, stirring often, for about 8 minutes, until squash and zucchini begin to brown lightly.
  6. Spoon the vegetables over the cooked noodles and top with chopped fresh basil (or dried) and grated Parmesan to taste.

 

 

Nana Herb turned 90! Saturday Edition

Nana Herb is 90 years old!

 

Last Friday, July 26th, Nana Herb turned 90 years old!!!

We celebrated with dinner and a delicious coconut cake. The following day, we drove over to The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina and had an amazing brunch (post soon by Sister Spice!) with our family.

Sister Spice, Nana Herb, and Mrs. Herb at The Grove Park Inn

 

It was a wonderful weekend, and Nana Herb had a great time. She’s still as cute and funny as ever. Sister Spice and I are very blessed to have grown up with such a loving, generous, Godly grandmother. We love you, Nana Herb!

Cheeburger Cheeburger

Cheeburger

Some of you may remember the well-beloved Belushi SNL skit in which he played a pretty crazy chef at Cheeburger Cheeburger, where they served “Pepsi! Pepsi! No Coke!”  It didn’t take long for that fictitious restaurant to become a real one on Sanibel Island, Florida.  While Sanibel boasts the original, the restaurant became a nation-wide chain.  Mister Spice and I have even been to the one in Bluffton, South Carolina, where we saw this sign:

The Sanibel restaurant used to be a little, tiny place that was constantly packed with people, so the owners decided it was time to move into something a little roomier about 10 years ago.  You’ve got to get there around 5:00 pm if you want to beat the dinner crowd.  My family and I often go at least twice and sometimes three times while on vacation for the BEST burgers and milkshakes you will ever have!  The whole place has a 50’s diner atmosphere.

Cheeburger

Cheeburger Cheeburger Cheeburger

This is the counter where you can get a milkshake or malt (pretty much any flavor you can think of) and it’s also where they will make their infamous Cherry Pepsis.

Cheeburger

At the entrance of the restaurant you will find the wall of fame, a place where pictures of any customer who finishes the famous “Pounder” are posted.

Cheeburger

Humphrey Bogart and Betty Boop greet you at the restrooms.

Cheeburger

These burgers are perfect.  First of all, you can get almost any size, from 1/4 of a pound to a pound.  They have just the right amount of char to them, but what is so impressive is the toppings selection.  You want peanut butter on your burger?  You can have it!  What about teriyaki sauce and pineapple?  Sure thing!  There are like thousands of combinations!

Cheeburger

Cheeburger

And the milkshakes…oh my gosh.  I mean, I’ve had some good milkshakes, but I honestly don’t think any of them compare to Cheeburger’s.  I prefer the Oreo milkshake, but this go-round I tried a chocolate peanut butter Reece’s Pieces shake.  Heavenly!

Cheeburger Cheeburger

Cheeburger

For our second visit, Mister Spice decided to go for the pounder, pictured below on the left.  You can see how much bigger it is than my 1/3 pound burger.

Cheeburger

That’s a big burger!

Cheeburger

Once he finished, the waiters rang a bell, announced to the restaurant that Chris from Tennessee had finished the pounder, and took his picture with this stuffed burger.

Cheeburger Cheeburger

We LOVE this place, but I think what makes it so special is that it is the ORIGINAL restaurant.  However, that should’ve stop you from checking one out if you get a chance.  Mister Spice even asked me one time to name my top 3 favorite restaurants EVER, and this one is in my top 3.  THAT’S how good it is!!  Forget 5/5 herbs…this is 10/5 herbs!

Oreo Delight

Oreo Delight Dessert Recipe

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If we haven’t told you already, the Herb family really likes Oreos. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Oreos are one my weaknesses. We cannot keep Oreos in our house, because I WILL EAT ALL OF THEM! Seriously!

Anyway, I do occasionally allow some Oreos in the house to make some yummy desserts for special occasions! Sister Spice shared with you what she made for my birthday – the delicious Chocolate Cream Oreo Delight. I also shared with you the wonderfully simple 2-ingredient Oreo bark that is just divine!

For Mother’s Day, our lovely mother requested Oreo Delight, a recipe that our family has used for years. Like many good recipes, it comes from an old church cookbook!

Oreo Delight Dessert Recipe

Oreo Delight

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 large package of Oreos
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3.5 cups of milk
  • 2 small boxes vanilla pudding
  • One 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
  • One 8-ounce container of Cool Whip

Recipe Directions

Crush all the Oreos, except for 6-8. Steal an Oreo for yourself (I know you can’t resist!) Melt the butter and mix together with the crushed Oreos. Spread and pat down to form the crust in the bottom of a 9×13 pan.

Mix the softened cream cheese, pudding mix, and milk until smooth. Spread this mixture over the crust. Then spread the Cool Whip over the mixture.

Crush the remaining Oreos and sprinkle over the top. Refrigerate until ready to serve!

 

Oreo Delight Dessert Recipe

 

Oreo Delight Dessert Recipe

 

Oreo Delight Dessert Recipe

 

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We give this recipe 4.5/5 herbs!

Oreo Delight
Author: Mrs. Herb
Ingredients
  • 1 large package of Oreos
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3.5 cups of milk
  • 2 small boxes vanilla pudding
  • One 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
  • One 8-ounce container of Cool Whip
Instructions
  1. Crush all the Oreos, except for 6-8.
  2. Melt the butter and mix together with the crushed Oreos. Spread and pat down to form the crust in the bottom of a 9×13 pan.
  3. Mix the softened cream cheese, pudding mix, and milk until smooth. Spread this mixture over the crust.
  4. Spread the Cool Whip over the mixture.
  5. Crush the remaining Oreos and sprinkle over the top. Refrigerate until ready to serve

 

Flounder Piccata

Flounder Piccata

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When Mister Spice and I got back from vacation a few weeks ago, we still didn’t feel like we’d had enough fish and seafood.  So, I made the most wonderful Honey Lime Tilapia known to man…but we still wanted to experiment some more.

I am super picky when it comes to fish and prefer mild, white fish like this flounder.  This wasn’t as good as the tilapia, but it was an interesting dish to mix it up.  The recipe was taken and adapted from Skinnytaste, a wonderful blog to follow especially if you follow Weight Watchers.

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 4 flounder filets (17 oz total)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • olive oil spray (about 1 tbsp worth)
  • 1 tbsp light butter
  • juice of 1 lemon, lemon halves reserved
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup fat free chicken broth
  • sliced lemon, for serving
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, for serving

Recipe Directions:

Heat oven to 200 and season fish with salt and pepper.  In a shallow bowl, beat the egg whites; place breadcrumbs in another dish.  Dip fish in egg whites then in breadcrumbs.  Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Spray each fish fillet generously with olive oil spray on one side, then lay that side down in the pan.  Spray the other side with oil and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, until fish is opaque.  Set aside on a warm platter in the oven while you make the sauce.

Flounder Piccata

Over medium heat in the same pan, melt butter, add the lemon juice, wine, chicken broth and the reserved lemon halves, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Boil over high heat until the liquid is reduced to half, about 3 – 4 minutes. Discard the lemon halves and spoon sauce over the fish.  Garnish with lemon and parsley.

Flounder Piccata

Flounder Piccata

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Again, we didn’t enjoy this as much as the tilapia, but it was still tasty and different than anything we’d had in a restaurant.  You could serve it with pasta, potatoes, salad, roasted veggies…the possibilities are endless! We give this recipe 3/5 herbs.

Flounder Piccata
Author: Sister Spice
Ingredients
  • *4 flounder filets (17 oz total)
  • *freshly ground black pepper
  • *2 large egg whites
  • *2/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • *olive oil spray (about 1 tbsp worth)
  • *1 tbsp light butter
  • * juice of 1 lemon, lemon halves reserved
  • *1/4 cup dry white wine
  • *1/2 cup fat free chicken broth
  • *sliced lemon, for serving
  • * 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, for serving
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 200 and season fish with salt and pepper.
  2. Beat egg whites in a shallow dish; place breadcrumbs in another dish. Dip fish in egg whites then in breadcrumbs.
  3. Generously spray one side of each fillet with olive oil spray, then place it in a saute pan over medium-high heat (oil side down).
  4. Spray other side of fillet and cook for 4-5 minutes per side.
  5. Place cooked fish on a platter in the oven while you prepare the sauce.
  6. In the same pan over medium heat, melt butter; add lemon juice, wine, chicken broth, and reserved lemon halves; add salt and pepper and bring to a boil over high heat for about 4 minutes.
  7. Discard lemon halves and spoon sauce over fish.
  8. Garnish with lemon and parsley.

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