Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan has always been my favorite go to at an Italian restaurant. I’ve always wanted to make it on my own but it’s one of those recipes that has always intimidated me. Recently I found this recipe of Martha Stewart’s online and decided to try it on my own with a little twist. I couldn’t believe how easy it was and how amazing it turned out!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • Pinch of Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 28-ounce can of Tomatoes, lightly pulse in a blender or food processor
  • 2 teaspoons of Salt
  • 1 teaspoon of Garlic Salt
  • 3 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (split down the middle) or chicken tenderloins
  • 1/2 cup of plain Breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 pounds of fresh Mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter

Directions:

Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, the garlic, the crushed red pepper flakes and stir for about 30 seconds.

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Add the tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.

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Lay the chicken breasts or tenderloins (I used tenderloins) on parchment paper or plastic wrap and season with some black pepper and a little garlic salt.
In a large prep pan, combine the breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Spread out to cover the whole bottom of the pan.

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Lay down as many chicken breasts or tenderloins as you can that will fit evenly. Make sure you season each side of the chicken and turn over completely coating both sides.

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Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle 2 tablespoons of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil and butter to coat the skillet.
Add some of the chicken and cook until golden.

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Remove and repeat process for the remaining chicken, adding a little oil and butter to the skillet as needed.
While the chicken is cooling, preheat your oven to 400°F and spoon some of your tomato sauce into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Layer the pieces of chicken and top with your sliced Mozzarella. Spoon over 1 1/4 cups of the tomato sauce and then sprinkle on the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.

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Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Let cool for about 15 minutes before serving.

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I also boiled spaghetti pasta to serve on the side with the remainder of my tomato sauce. So easy and delicious!

From my kitchen to yours,

-R. Vargas

Homemade Pesto

If you’re anything like me, you love Pesto but have always been afraid to make it on your own.
I used store bought for years and finally caved and bought a basil plant a few weeks ago in an attempt to keep it growing and finally make Pesto from scratch.

It is incredibly easy and cheaper than store bought and you can even substitute the pine nuts for chopped walnuts since pine nuts aren’t very easy to find.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of fresh basil leaves (No stems)
  • 2 tablespoons of pine nuts or chopped walnuts
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

Combine basil leaves, pine nuts or walnuts, garlic, olive oil, and parmesan cheese in a food processor or food chopper.

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Once everything is blended and combined, add salt & pepper to your liking.

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Store in jars and seal tight and keep in the fridge if you are storing for later or use as sauce for pastas, flatbreads, pizza, or toss in pasta!

With love,

-R. Vargas

Slow Cooker Pork Sirloin

Hi everyone!

On today’s blog, I am sharing the easiest pork sirloin recipe with you that’s simple, tasty and budget friendly.
I typically cook at home to save from eating out so much but there are times when I am buying ingredients for a new recipe and it can be costly. This recipe won’t break the bank and you more than likely will already have the ingredients at home.

Ingredients:

  • Pork Sirloin (Mine weighed 1.44 lbs)
  • Lemon Pepper Seasoning
  • Garlic Salt Seasoning
  • Fajita Seasoning
  • 7 oz. can of canned Jalapeños (Green Pickled Sliced Jalapeño Peppers)
  • 1 small onion

Directions:

Place your pork on a cutting board.

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Make slits in your pork sirloin but make sure not to cut all the way through and then flip over and make slits again but in the opposite direction.

Next you will sprinkle your Lemon Pepper Seasoning, Garlic Salt, and Fajita Seasoning  all over the pork. Make sure you rub and massage seasonings into the slits.

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Once you have finished, slice your onion and place the slices into the slits.

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Place your pork sirloin into your slow cooker and open your can of Jalapeños and pour the juice all over the pork and into the slow cooker. If you’re thinking this will leave your pork very spicy, you are wrong. This adds to the flavor and will help the pork become very juicy. If you are still uneasy about the Jalapeño juice, add 1/4 cup of water or less to help dilute. I also add a few Jalapeños from the can and place them in between the slits as well.

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Cover and place on High for 4 to 6 hours or Low for 7 to 8 hours.
Pull apart with fork and let it absorb all the juice and serve however you would like.
You can add BBQ and make pulled pork sandwiches or add into a baked potato, make tacos or quesadillas, or serve just as it is with a few sides.

With love,

– R. Vargas

Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Chicken

A few days ago I decided to experiment with this Pinterest recipe that I had been eyeing for quite some time.
I took the recipe from Cafe Delites Blog and tweaked it.
Overall it was quick and simple and a total winner!

Ingredients:

  • Four chicken breast
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons of Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup of Spinach & Artichoke dip
  • Olive oil
  • Toothpicks (Optional)

Directions:

Drizzle some olive oil in a skillet and let it heat up on a low fire while you cut slits in your chicken breast creating a pocket. (Do not cut all the way through.)
Season with salt & pepper and Italian seasoning.

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Fill in the pockets with 1 – 2 tablespoons of spinach & artichoke dip and smooth evenly throughout the slit. Seal and secure with a few toothpicks.

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Place chicken breast in the skillet and brown on both sides.

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Once the chicken is fully cooked on both sides, remove them from the skillet and let cool.
Be sure to remove the toothpicks before serving!img_1806

Quick, simple, and delicious!

Xoxo,

– R. Vargas

 

 

Jalapeño Poppers 

Hi everyone!

On today’s blog, I’m going to share how to make Jalapeño Poppers.
I thought it was one of those recipes everyone knew how to make or even heard of but apparently it’s not as widespread as I thought.

This is such an easy recipe ever and if you’re ever invited to a cook out, gathering, potluck, etc. and you’re low on funds or time, this is the best appetizer to take.

Ingredients:

  • Jalapeños (As many as you desire)
  • Cream cheese
  • Bacon

Directions:

  1. Wash your jalapeños and slice them in half. (The more seeds you leave in, the more heat the jalapeños will have.)
  2. Spoon cream cheese evenly into the jalapeño halves.
  3. Cut bacon strips in half and wrap around jalapeños. (I secure the bacon strips with toothpicks.)
  4. Place on the grill for a few minutes, or place on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven on 375°F for 25 minutes.

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Once done, remember to remove the toothpicks!
Xoxo,

– R. Vargas

 

Oreo White Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s a rainy Sunday here in North Texas and it’s perfect weather for staying in and baking.

One of my favorite bloggers Rhanda from Georgia Wife Life  shared a recipe on her blog the other day that I was really wanting to try so this is my post sharing her recipe but you should head on over to her blog for more yummy recipes!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of butter (1 1/2 stick of butter)
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 1 cup of White Chocolate Chips
  • 10 Oreo Cookies, crushed (I used Double Stuffed Oreo’s)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Place Parchment paper on cookie trays and set aside.

Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. (Flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.)

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In a separate mixing bowl beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar together until fluffy.

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Beat in eggs and vanilla.

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Slowly beat in dry ingredients until all combined.

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Add Oreo’s and White Chocolate Chips until combined.

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I used my cookie scooper to place dough onto my cookie trays but you can roll yours into balls if you do not have a cookie scooper. Remember to give the cookies enough space to bake evenly.

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Bake for 10-12 minutes or until you see a nice brown color. Make sure you check the bottom of the cookies!
Afterwards, place the cookies on a cooling rack for a few minutes and enjoy!

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Thanks again to Rhanda for sharing this recipe!

Xoxo,

-R. Vargas

Italian Pepperoni-Vegetable Quiche

When I originally started prepping this quiche, I was going off of a Pillsbury recipe but then started improvising after the first two steps.

Even though this was my first attempt at a quiche, I was very proud and it’s a great breakfast/brunch meal you can eat off of for a few days as long as you keep it refrigerated.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on the box
  • 1/4th cup of mushrooms
  • 1/4th cup of asparagus
  • 1/2 cup of chopped seeded tomato
  • 1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup of sliced turkey pepperoni
  • 5 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of Italian Seasoning
  • a pinch of salt & pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

You can change the vegetables to your liking.*

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Place pie crust in ungreased 9-inch pie plate as directed on the box for One-Crust Filled Pie.

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Chop your vegetables and turkey pepperoni.

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Sprinkle 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese in crust. Top with tomato and turkey pepperoni. Spoon mushrooms and asparagus over turkey pepperoni and drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables.

Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.

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In a small bowl, beat eggs, milk and Italian Seasoning.

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Pour egg mixture over cheese.

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Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and knife inserted near center comes out clean.

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Cool 5 minutes before serving and enjoy!

Xoxo,

– Rocio A. Vargas