Sunday, April 22, 2012

Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad

Need a great pasta salad to take to a party??  This is the one!  I absolutely love it.  My mom got the recipe from her cousin a few years ago (Thanks Jill!) and when I needed a good pasta salad to take to a shower, she told me I couldn't go wrong with it.  She was right.  I absolutely loved it and I am not normally a pepper lover.

First off, as I think I say in every post, I got another rotisserie chicken from Costco.  For $5 I was able to use 1/2 the chicken for this recipe and the other 1/2 for dinner for my kids that night.  I pulled it off the bone while it was warm and stuck it in the fridge to cool before I cut it into chunks.  The salad I was making wasn't the main course, so I didn't add as much chicken as I think I would have if it was the main course.

Make your pasta and cook according to the directions on the package.  While it's cooking, start chopping your green onions and peppers.  I used orange, yellow, red, and green and just didn't do the whole pepper on each.  Use whatever you'd like though.  I also tore up some of the larger spinach leaves just because I am not a big fan of eating a salad with large leaves.  (I'm the girl at Cafe Rio that orders her salad with shredded lettuce....sooo much better in my opinion.)

I wanted to have the salad ready to go, but I didn't want it soggy.  So I combined all the salad ingredients in a large bowl except for the spinach.  That way, I could add the dressing to the pasta and other ingredients and let them sit in the refrigerator for a few hours before the party (marinating the flavors) and it wouldn't make the spinach soggy.  When I got to the party, since the dressing was already on, I just had to throw in my spinach and mix.  It made it much easier to transport too!

As for the dressing, the recipe my mom was given was not quite enough dressing for the salad....I felt.  I adapted it to make more dressing.  If you feel it's too much though, don't put it all on.  I just threw all the ingredients in my 4 cup glass measuring cup, whisked together, and it was ready to go.  Again, I mixed it with all but the spinach and let it sit in my refrigerator for a few hours.  Not necessary, but if you want your pasta cold, I would recommend this step.  I think it marinated the chicken more too which made it extra yummy.

I'm thinking of even adding some mandarin oranges next time.  Not sure what that will do to the flavor and I don't necessarily think that it needs them, I just always like a little sweet in my salad.  I'll let you know if I do and what I thought.

Enjoy and Happy Cooking!!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Comfort Food: Easy Chicken Pot Pie

My sister got this yummy dish taken to her a few months ago when she had a baby and we have made it a few times since.  For me, it is one of the ultimate comfort foods.  It also reminds me of when my boys were about 1.  This was the only way I could get them to eat their vegetables.  I know it wasn't the healthiest way, but it made me feel good that in one entree they were getting bread, protein, and veggies...coupled with some gravy.  I now love that I can make it myself and it's EASY. 

Start by pre-heating your oven to 425 degrees.

I like to do things the easiest way possible, so rather than dicing up my own veggies, I buy me one of those frozen peas and carrots bags at the store (the far right bag in the picture).  I have the crinkle carrot bag in there too because I happened to be making my father a pie as well and he despises peas so that bag was for him.  If you want to dice up your own, do 1 c. peas and 1 1/2 c. cooked carrots (throw those in the pot with the potatoes to cook). 

You also need about 2 potatoes.  I would say 3 small potatoes, 2 medium, or 1.5 large.  The first time we made this, the recipe called for 3 potatoes and it was WAY too many potatoes.  But hey, if you're a fan, go for it. 

Wash and peel the potatoes and chop.  Cook in boiling water until soft and then drain.
In a large pan melt your butter over low heat.  Add in 6 T. flour, 3/4 tsp. salt and an 1/8 tsp. of pepper and stir over low heat until mixture is smooth and bubbly.

Remove from heat and add in your 1/2 cup of milk and 2 cups of chicken broth.  You're then going to put them back on the heat and bring to a boil while stirring.  To speed up this process, I pour my milk and broth in a glass measuring but and stick it in the microwave for about a minute.  Really speeds things up and it will come to a boil much faster.

Boil for one minute.

Add in your cooked chicken.  Also, again I like to do things easy and I'm a little obsessed with those rotisserie chickens (especially Costco's) so I just shred the chicken right from there. If you don't do that, you will need to cook your chicken and shred it. 

And your peas, carrots, and potatoes.

Pour the mixture in your pan. 

Spread your crescent dough over the top.  Now, they have this new kind that is called "Seamless dough sheet."  I thought that was pretty cool, but it's definitely not necessary.  The seams don't affect the taste in anyway, the seamless just makes it look prettier.  Hello though...if you're making comfort food, who cares what it looks like...right?!?
Last thing is to pop it in the oven at 425 degrees for about 15-25 minutes until your crust is golden brown.

Here's your printable recipe:

Hope you like this one! Happy Cooking!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

New Fabric!!

Just got my new fabric in the mail and I can't wait to have it laminated and make some new recipe books out of it!!  Yay!!

Also, here is my newest recipe card design:

The matching category cards
 And I love it paired with this book.....

Friday, April 6, 2012

Empty Tomb Rolls - Perfect for Easter!

Picture from

These are my favorite rolls to make for Easter.  I have been making them the last two years and it's amazing what kids pick up.  I just use a pkg. of Rhodes rolls and a bag of large marshmallows and you have an amazing tasting roll.....along with a fabulous teaching opportunity!!  The marshmallow melts inside the rolls, creating yumminess, and even more importantly....creating an empty hole which you can parallel with the Christ's empty tomb.  And, they are easy!!!

I got this off of the Rhodes Dough Website.  Here is the link:

Prep Time: 10 min (not including thaw time)
Bake Time: 15 min


12 Rhodes Texas™ Rolls, thawed but still cold
12 jumbo marshmallows
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon


In a small bowl combine cinnamon and sugar. Roll out each roll into a 5 inch circle. Dip a marshmallow in butter and then in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place one marshmallow in the center of each 5 inch circle. Fold each side of the circle over the marshmallow, and pinch together to close. Place on a sprayed baking sheet, with the seam facing down. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap, and allow to double in size. Remove wrap and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

As a side note, I actually like the cinnamon sugar mixture on top as well.  I mean, hey, why not add more butter and more cinnamon on sugar? They almost taste like a scone.  mmmm....awesome.


*For those of you who are interested in the symbolism of Resurrection Rolls* Marshmallow - the body of Jesus Melted Butter - the oils for embalming Cinnamon/Sugar mixture - spices used to anoint the body Roll- the wrapping of Jesus' body Oven - the tomb Cavity in roll - the empty tomb after Jesus has risen