Sunday, November 6, 2011

Menu Sunday

Two pasta dishes this week.... And two dishes with bacon.  Oh yeah.  Thank you, Quesita.

Spinach Artichoke Pasta with Grilled Chicken
adapted from Heat Oven to 350
Spin-Art Pasta w/ Chicken
If you like Spinach Artichoke Dip, this is about your rock your face off.  Just warning you. 

- 13oz. box of shell pasta {I used whole wheat}
- 2 chicken breasts, grilled and chopped
- 1 T. butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced 
- 1 8oz. package of cream cheese {don't be a wuss with the nonfat junk}
- 1/2 c. milk
- 1/2 c. reduced fat sour cream {you're allowed to be a wuss here}
- 1 T. lemon juice 
- 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
- 1 tsp. {or more} red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 14oz. can of artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed and chopped
- 1 10oz. package of frozen spinach, dethawed and squeezed of excess water
- 1.5 c. shredded mozzarella 
- 1 c. shredded Parmesan 
- 1 c. bread crumbs 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Cook pasta according to package directions, minus 2-3 minutes.  Drain, rinse and set aside. 

In a large pot, heat butter over Medium-High.  Saute garlic until fragrant.  Add cream cheese and stir until partially melted.  Add milk and whisk until cream cheese is completely melted.  Whisk in sour cream and lemon juice.  Add pepper, flakes, and salt.  Remove from heat and whisk in 1 c. of mozzarella and 1/2 c. of Parmesan.  Add artichokes, spinach, chicken, and pasta.  Stir to coat pasta.  

Pour mixture into a greased 9x13'' casserole dish {or two 8x8s}.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bread crumbs.  Cook for 20 minutes, then pop under the broiler for 2 minutes to brown.

Steak Diane with Roasted Brussels & Rice Pilaf
steak courtesy of Cooking Light
This was E's "Guessed the Baby's Sex Correctly" meal.  As you can see, we enjoyed it so much, crappy phone photography slipped our minds!  My favorite brussels sprouts recipe below...

- brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved, with outside leaves removed {I just buy the little mesh bag of fresh brussels at WF... I would guess those are about 3 cups worth}
- 2 strips of bacon, chopped
- 1 T. butter
- 1 T. EVOO
- 1/2 c. dry white wine
- 1/2 c. chicken stock. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cook bacon until crispy.  Remove pieces with a slotted spoon.  Melt butter and EVOO.  Add brussels and saute for 5 minutes.  Stir in white wine, chicken broth, and bacon pieces.  Allow to simmer for 5 minutes before popping in the oven to roast for 15 minutes.

Smoky Pumpkin Soup
courtesy of The GranJan
Smoky Pumpkin Soup
This is mi madre's pumpkin soup recipe.  And it's delicious.  Except when Kate gets Pregnancy Brain {a term I severely oppose, btw} and forgets half the pumpkin and the roasted pumpkin seed topping.  There were tears.  Ugly tears.  

- 6 slices of bacon, chopped
- 4 T. butter
- 6 c. roasted & pureed / canned pumpkin
- 6 c. beef stock
- 1/2 c. Marsala wine or sherry 
- 1 t. thyme 
- salt and ground pepper to taste
- toasted pumpkin seeds to garnish 

In a stock pot, cook bacon pieces crispy and remove with a slotted spoon.  Add butter and melt. Add pumpkin, sauteing and stirring continuously for 15 minutes.  Whisk in beef stock and simmer for 30 minutes. Add Marsala {or sherry}, thyme, salt, and pepper.  Add bacon and simmer for another 10 minutes.  Serve topped with toasted pumpkin seeds.  

Pesto Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage, Green Beans & Cherry Tomatoes
adapted from Real Simple
Love this dish... It is the perfect meld of flavors and textures. And yeah, it's "out of season," but, meh, I live in Texas.   Read my adaptations here


  1. Obvs this wasn't on your weekly menu but I'm making that white chili casserole this week. Thank you forever for introducing me to that! :)

  2. These all sound amazing, I don't know what to try first!

  3. I love roasted brussel sprouts. These look amazing.

  4. Yum, these all look amazing. I think that Spinach and Artichoke pasta is definitely going on my menu this week!

  5. Yum! I LOVE Spinach Artichoke Dip so incorporating it into a pasta and therefore something that can be served as dinner is amazing! Not to say that I wouldn't just eat the dip for dinner :)


happy little comments!