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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chicken Pesto Toasties

I totally got in to this.  Making my own pesto.  Roasting my own chicken.  Heck, I almost made my own bread! Growing up I made several loaves of bread every Saturday morning.  It was one of my household chores.  Feeding a crew of 8, the bread never lasted very long.  There is little that compares to freshly baked bread, pulled from the oven, sliced thick and slathered in butter - accompanied by a cup of tea.  I'm drifting away a little here in my memories, so lets come back ...


Mix the following in a food processor or
Magic Bullet:

2 cups fresh basil leaves, pack 'em in                                                                 
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/3 cup pine nuts, or walnuts - minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper to taste

This will yield 1 cup
Adjust the above to your liking in any way you like.  It's your pesto!


In a bowl, add 4 chicken breasts - cooked and shredded, or chopped.
Add 1/2 cup pesto
Add 4 Tbsp. light mayo or salad dressing
pepper to taste

Spread Italian bread with butter and cook both sides, in a frying pan, until golden.
Top with chicken mixture, spinach leaves, and sliced Roma tomatoes.





Wine Paring:

American Chardonnay                                                        
Pinot Grigio
Sauvignon Blanc



Sunday, January 15, 2012

Biscuit Lasagna

This is the most - requested meal from my adult children, and it was when they were younger.  I like it better than traditional lasagna, I think because of the cheese - stuffed biscuits.  I'm sure you can add whatever you like to the stuffing - it would be great with mushrooms, spinach, even peppers!  Some people have trouble breaking away from tradition - step out once, and you may never go back.  Sometimes, the grass really is greener.                            


lb ground beef
28oz  tomato pasta sauce
tsp. garlic powder
tsp. Italian seasoning
tsp. pepper
can (12 oz) Pillsbury Homestyle Buttermilk Biscuits
cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 oz)
cup cottage cheese
Tbsp. parsley flakes
tsp. dried minced onion
tsp. dried basil leaves
Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese


Heat oven to 400°F.  In skillet, cook ground beef until thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in pasta sauce, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and pepper. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 minutes.
Separate dough into 10 biscuits. Press or roll each into 4-inch round. In small bowl, mix mozzarella cheese, cottage cheese, parsley flakes, onion and basil until blended. Place about 2 tablespoons cheese mixture on each biscuit round. Fold dough in half over filling; press edges with fork to seal.
Into ungreased 13x9-inch glass baking dish, pour hot beef mixture. Arrange filled biscuits on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until biscuits are golden brownI double the cheese mixture - we like our biscuits more stuffed!
To reduce calories, I use reduced-fat cheeses.  Can also use chicken in place of beef, or no meat at all for vegetarian.
Wine Pairings:
                                                                                  Chianti (Sangiovese (Gabbiano)Cabernet Sauvignon (Clayhouse)