What's Cookin'?

Those who know me well know about my passion for cooking, for good food and wine! I've been on a kick lately to try new recipes. My friend Jenny Lemons who does not cook challenged me to duplicate her husbands favorite dish which is the Chicken Scallopini from Macaroni Grill. Well I dug a little on the internet and found the exact recipe! It's no wonder it's delicious, it has FOUR STICKS OF BUTTER in the sauce! Last night I made the recipe pretty close to how it was supposed to be made. I left out one stick of butter and added more lemon juice, some lemon zest and of course some more wine! I think next time I make it I will cut the butter down to two sticks. Seriously, I'm all for cooking with butter but a whole pound??

Here is the recipe. Let me know if you try it or if you have any questions!

Chicken Scallopini

Lemon Butter Sauce
4 ounces lemon juice
2 ounces white wine
4 ounces heavy cream
1 lb butter (4 sticks)

Chicken and Pasta
6-8 chicken breasts (3-ounces each, pounded thin for even cooking)
EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), for sauteing chicken
butter, for sauteing chicken
2 3/4 cups flour, seasoned with salt and pepper, for dredging
6 ounces pancetta, cooked
12 ounces mushrooms, sliced
12 ounces artichoke hearts, sliced (I buy the frozen ones in the box)
1 tablespoon capers
1 lb cappellini pasta(angel hair), cooked
chopped Italian (flat leaf) parsley, for garnish
To make the sauce:.
Heat the lemon juice and white wine in a saucepan over medium heat.
Bring to a boil and reduce by one-third.
Add cream and simmer until mixture thickens (3 to 4 minutes).
Slowly add butter until completely incorporated.
Season with salt and pepper.
Remove from heat and keep warm.
To make chicken and pasta:.
Cook pasta and drain.
Heat a small amount of oil and two tablespoons butter in a large skillet.
Dredge chicken in flour and saute in pan, turning once, until brown and cooked through.
Remove chicken from pan.
Add remaining ingredients to pan.
Heat until mushrooms soften and are cooked. Add chicken back to pan.
To serve:.
Place cooked pasta on each plate.
Add half of butter sauce to chicken mixture and toss.
Taste and adjust. Add more sauce if needed.
Place chicken mixture over pasta.
Add a little more sauce to each.
Garnish with parsley.

A couple of weeks ago, I was watching Rachel Ray (love her! love that she can laugh at herself!) and she made a dish for people who LOVE spinach and artichoke dip. She made Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese. I made it the other night and it was delish!

Here is the recipe:


1 pound regular or whole wheat penne (I used farfalle, the little bowties)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups milk
A few grates fresh nutmeg (I didn't have fresh so I used the jarred stuff)
1 box frozen chopped spinach (10 ounces), defrosted and wrung dry in a kitchen towel
1 box frozen chopped artichokes (10-ounces), defrosted and wrung dry in a kitchen towel
Ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups shredded Italian Fontina cheese, plus additional for sprinkling on top
1 1/4 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus additional for sprinkling on top


Pre-heat oven to 350ºF.

Place a large pot of water over high heat to cook the pasta. When the water is boiling, salt it well and drop the pasta in. Cook to al dente according to package directions. Drain the pasta and reserve.

While the pasta is cooking, place a medium pot over medium-low heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons, and the butter. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook the veggies until very soft, about 10 minutes.

Turn the heat up to medium-high and sprinkle the flour into the pan. Cook for about 1 minute then whisk the wine into the pan, cooking for another minute to burn off the alcohol. Whisk the milk into the pan and bring up to a bubble. Add the nutmeg, veggies, some salt and pepper to the sauce, and simmer until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Add the cheeses to the sauce and stir until melted.

Toss the prepared sauce with the cooked pasta and transfer to a casserole dish. Sprinkle some more Fontina and Parmigiano over the top and bake until the cheese has melted and the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Now I did not have any Fontina cheese and didn't feel like running to the store for one ingredient so I substitued mozzarella cheese. I'm sure this dish would be delish with any good cheese!

This could be served as a main dish. You could even add some diced or shredded chicken. I served it as a side dish along with some grilled steaks. Okay, I also have to share my very favorite steak marinade with you. It's so good. It even makes an inexpensive cut of steak taste great!

Here's the recipe:

Steak Marinade

1-2 lbs Steak
1/3 cup Spicy V8
1/3 cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Canola Oil
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
2 cloves of garlic
1 TBSP Chili powder
1/8 TBSP Cumin

Score steak in a criss-cross pattern. Marinate for 2-3 days. Barbeque.

Note: I also add 1/2 can of Coke & a shot of Tequila to my marinade if I have them on hand.

Today I am making french bread. Yes, I know I can go to the store and buy a loaf for 99 cents but you can't buy the way your house smells while it is baking! I am also making a brushetta topping for it but I have never written down how I make that so I'll have to pay attention to that today so I can share it with you.

Here's the french bread recipe:


1 TBSP Yeast
4 c Flour; sifted
1 TBSP Sugar
1 Egg White; Slightly Beaten
1 1/2 c Water; lukewarm
1 TBSP Water; (egg glaze)
2 tsp Salt

Dissolve the yeast in the water. Sift the dry ingredients, stir them into the yeast mixture, and work the dough with your hands until it will absorb no more flour. Knead the dough on a slightly floured board until it is no longer sticky. Place the dough in a buttered bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled. Then punch it down and turn it out onto a floured board. Divide into 2 parts. Shape each piece into a long, narrow loaf. Place the loaves on a greased cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal, cover, and let rise again (until doubled in size). Brush tops with egg-white glaze (1 egg white slightly beaten with 1 Tablespoon of water) and bake in a 400 degree over for 35 to 40 minutes. Make sure you put it on one of the lower shelves. Brush again with glaze about 5 minutes before loaves are done. Makes 2 small loaves or 1 large one.

Here are some tips:
I put a half inch of water in a pie plate in the bottom of the oven to get that crispy outside of the loaf. Also, I don't knead by hand. I throw the ingredients in my Kitchen Aid and knead with the dough hook.

I hope you enjoy these recipes!



jami {sgtStamper} said...

Oh my gosh...it would take me weeks to make something like this!!! Coke and tequila marinade though....I will have to try that one for sure. And I love bruschetta so I will be looking for that one!! This all sounds delicious. 4 sticks of butter....no wonder food always tastes better when you eat out! :)

Stac said...

Okay, you must stop this behavior now! You're making those of us that cook dinner only because we have to look REALLY bad. I take stock in Eggo waffles and know the pizza man personally --LOL. Luv ya Lori. ;o)

Anonymous said...

These look delicious!!! Yes I will forward them on to Jason :)

You're the BESTEST!!!!

Anonymous said...

Yikes! A pound of butter. Sounds delicious though - I'm all over that!! Thanks for all the yummy recipes!

Julie O. said...

Oh,how sweet of you to share some yummy recipes. I am soooo going to try that first one tomorrow night after getting the ingredients! I agree...cut down the butter. Just a tad! LOL!

Amy said...

YUMMY sounds good Thanks for the recipes!! And by the way your blog header is soooooooooooo cute!!! love it

Lori S. said...

Yum-a-rama! Ok I think you should do a side bar on your blog just for recipes...I am thinking about doing the same thing! I noticed Becky Higgins did sort of the same thing on her website! Might be kinda nice to be able to recipe share!! I do have a couple of goodies that are tried & true...including the 6 cheeses scalloped pots...with NO shortage of fat content...LOL! loves! xoxo

Anabelle said...

YUM!!! I can't wait to try these!!!

Michelle ~ ~ said...

girl, I am impressed and now exhausted after reading all those recipes!! that butter thingy could be derived from a 'southern' italiano ... what do you think. see ya soon. and BTW, I agree whole-heartedly with Stac ... stop such behavior it's making us look ugly!!!

Staci said...

Girl, i'm gaining weight just reading your post! I'm so excited about that macaroni grill recipe, though - I love that one! Of course, it has more then my usual 4 ingredients, lol ;-)

Audrey Pettit said...

wow, will you come to my house and cook for us? Your recipes sound fabulous! Too much work for me on some of them! Might try the marinade, as it sounds fabulous, but the others seem like work, girl! ;)

Jennifer said...

sounds yummy!!