Monday, April 4, 2011

Week 8 – For a short month, February has lasted forever!

I finally made it to Week 8! I am promising my bloggy friends and myself that I am going to better at keeping up with the blog posts during this next leg of the challenge.

Week 8 was packed with great recipes so I don't want to breeze through it without giving it the proper Pomp and Circumstance. I will try to make my descriptions short but meaningful. I am sure I can do that since I am quickly becoming a blogging genius! Am I right!?! (please note the heavy sarcasm)

So here's the line up...
Hawaiian Chicken and Mashed Potatoes
Easy White Pizza
Cranberry Pork Roast
Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells
Cheddar Chicken

You are on the edge of your seat right now... aren't you?

Monday - Zach Hill's Hawaiian Chicken and Mashed potatoes
Our friend Zach was very bold and sent me this recipe claiming that it was so good I might feel the urge to dance in a grass skirt. He was right, this meal is delicious. I don't have a grass skirt, but if i did I would definitely wear it for a chance to eat this again! I asked him for a picture of him boogieing down in his hula attire for my blog. Zach, I am still waiting...

Hawaiian Chicken
6 chicken breasts
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup BBQ sauce (a sweet sauce)
1 can crushed or diced pineapple
1/2 lb swiss cheese slices

Spray a baking sheet and line with tinfoil. Puncture both sides of chicken with fork to allow juice to soak in. In a bowl, brown sugar, BBQ sauce, and pineapple. Pour over chicken breast and bake for about 45 minutes at 450º. Once cooked, cover with cheese slices to melt. The sauce in the pan is awesome over mashed potatoes too!

Tuesday – Easy White Pizza
Tuesday night Steve had a work dinner so I wanted to cook something quick that I knew the kids would enjoy. I found a recipe on for an Easy White Pizza. This is Claire Robinson's recipe. I love her show 5 Ingredient Fix. By definition everything is easy because you only use 5 ingredients! She is also a native Memphian which I find interesting. So I chose this white pizza. It was pretty good, but I should have spread the ricotta cheese out a little more rather than just dolluping it out like the recipe suggests. Also i cooked it too long so it was a little brown. Not worthy of a picture. Still, it was pizza and pizza is always yummy!

Easy White Pizza
  • Garlic-flavored olive oil
  • 1 (1-pound) ball frozen pizza dough, thawed and at room temperature (I cheated and used Pillsbury pizza crust)
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves, plus more for garnish
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Adjust the oven rack to the lower third of the oven.

Brush the pizza pan with oil. On a work surface, using your hands, press the pizza dough into a large flat disk and transfer it to the greased pan. Using your fingers, press the dough out until it has stretched to the perimeter of the pan. Create a dough "lip" around the outer edges of the pan. Brush the entire surface of the dough lightly with garlic oil and pierce the bottom of the crust all over with a fork, to prevent bubbling.

Evenly spread the mozzarella over the crust. Using 2 spoons,dollop teaspoon-sized mounds of ricotta evenly over the mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and evenly sprinkle the chopped oregano over the top.

Bake in the lower third of the oven until the crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly and browning on top, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on the pan for 10 minutes before garnishing with additional oreganoand slicing into 8 pieces.

Wednesday – Cheryl's Cranberry Pork Roast
I love it when friends send me recipes for me to try especially when they are delicious! This Cranberry Pork Roast recipe was courtesy of my college friend Cheryl. Cheryl lives in Ohio with her husband and 3 kids. She is one of those super fun moms that always up for playing outside with her kids. I want to be Cheryl when I grow up. She likes to plan ahead and have dinner cooking during nap time so that she can spend the afternoon hanging with her sweet family. Who can blame her? Her kids are adorable and hilarious! Never a dull moment in their house!

Cheryl's Cranberry Pork Roast
Place pork roast in crock pot/slow cooker
Cover a pork roast in dijon mustard
sprinkle a pack of dry onion soup on it
Pour in a can of WHOLE BERRY cranberry sauce
Cook on low.
Serve over white rice.

Thursday – Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells
Another masterpiece from Real Simple! Not much else to say about this one. Delish! Delish! Delish! I enjoyed this one so much that I have 2 pictures. The prep for this was so easy and fun! Filling the pasta shells was really therapeutic for me. I love meticulous tasks. Is that weird?

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells
20 jumbo pasta shells (about half a 12oz box)
1 24oz jar marinara sauce
2 15oz containers of ricotta
2 cups baby spinach, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2oz)
kosher salt and black pepper
1 cup grated mozzarella (4oz)
green salad (optional)

Set an oven rack to the highest position and heat oven to 400º. Cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain and run under cold water until cool.

Spread the marinara sauce in the bottom of a large broilerproof baking dish

In a bowl, combine the ricotta, spinach, Parmesan, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Spoon the mixture into the shells and place them on top of the sauce. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and bake until the shells are heated through, 10 - 12 minutes.

Increase heat to broil. Broil the shells until the cheese begins to brown, 2 - 5 min. Serve with the salad if desired.

Here is another look at the deliciousness...

TGI Friday – Cheddar Chicken
I should work for Real Simple because I am their biggest fan and best advertisement. Here is another gem from my favorite magazine. I had made this one before and it was as good this time as the first time I made it. The whole family loves it!

Cheddar Chicken
16 buttery ritz crackers, crushed
6 oz sharp cheddar, grated
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
kosher salt and black pepper
4 (6oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
Wild Rice pilaf and steamed green beans

Heat overn to 350º. In a bowl, combine the crackers, cheese, garlic, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper.

Dip the chicken in the butter, then in the cracker mixture, pressing gently to help it adhere, and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Sprinkle any remaining cracker mixture on the chicken and drizzle with any remaining butter. Bake until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, 25 to 30 min. Serve with the pilaf and green beans, if using.

Well that is it!! Whew... glad to be done with that. Tonight I start back with the cooking! Looking forward to it! I will let you know how it goes!!
Until then, bloggy friends!


  1. You just made me so hungry. Will you make those stuffed shells for me next time I come visit?? I think I would like to swim in that casserole dish.

    Your Bloggy Friend

  2. Oh my, these sound amazing! I will be using MANY of these recipes ASAP. Thanks, AM for sharing!