Chicken Alfredo Sandwich

Never heard of such a thing? Me either, but boy was this one a winner! You can tell I live in a house full of boys when a sandwich gets 5 stars! Not that everybody doesn’t like a good sandwich :) But being a girl my idea of comfort food is something more like the Sweet Chicken Rio we had the other day, whereas the boys’ idea of comfort food was most definitely this sandwich.

Chicken Alfredo Sandwich

The original recipe called for homemade dough. I’m not that kind of girl, to be honest. So instead I bought some dough. It was a pain in the rear to say the least, but I feel confident that if I were to try again with another type or brand it would be more user-friendly. Teh good news is that even though I fought with the dough I bought, it still came out pretty near perfect and I had nothing to really complain about. I’ll include the dough recipe at the end of this post for those who are that kind of cook/baker :)


3 cooked chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces

1 jar Newman’s Own Alfredo sauce

2 cups shredded Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese


1 egg white whisked until frothy

1 tsp. each of garlic powder, oregano & basil, pinched and mixed together

* * * * *

1. Cut dough into 6 equal parts and let rest for 5 minutes (if made from scratch) on a sprayed cookie sheet.

2. Spread each piece of dough into a rectangle.

3. Spoon 1/4 cup Alfredo sauce onto each piece of dough, leaving about 1 inch around the edges uncovered.

4. Layer some chicken and about 1/3 cheese over the sauce.

5. Roll the dough up and over the filling. Press the edges under and place seam side down on baking sheet. Be sure there is no sauce peeking out anywhere.

6. Whisk the egg until frothy and brush it over the top of the dough.

7. Pinch and sprinkle the herbs on top.

8. Cook at 400* for 10 mins.

9. Turn the oven down to 350* and cook for 5 minutes more.

10. Let the loaves sit for about 5 mins, then serve.

I served this with some green beans and a lovely garlic herb risotto that I added the remaining alfredo sauce to, just to tie the meal together.


1 T. shortening

2 T. sugar

1 T. salt

1 cup hot boiling water

1 cup cold water

1/3 cup lukewarm water

1 T. yeast

4-5 cups flour

* * * * *

1. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water.

2. In a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl) mash the sugar, salt and shortening together with a fork. Make sure it is well incorporated.

3. Pour the (very) hot water over the shortening mixture. Then pour the cold water over it. Finally, add the lukewarm water with the yeast in.

4. Add the flour 1 cup at a time, while mixing. You will know you have enough flour when the dough scrapes the sides of the bowl clean. Make sure you have enough flour – don’t let the dough be too sticky.

5. Once you have enough flour, let it mix for about 8 minutes. The dough should have a nice elasticity to it.

*This recipe came from Jamie Cooks It Up! Click on her button on the right side of my blogroll to see all her amazing recipes.

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Tuscan Herb Salmon

We love salmon and try to eat it at least once a week. Being on the coast we get lots of fresh fish, but salmon is hard to come by (doesn’t seem fair since it’s my favorite). It really makes me wish I still lived in Seattle :) Since it’s not easy to find – at least not fresh – I buy it from Sams Club. We get about 3 meals out of a package of indiviually wrapped portions for a decent price, and it is the best quality salmon I’ve found anywhere.

I came across this recipe for Tuscan Herb Salt at the Circle B Kitchen blog and I knew I had to try it. Lately I’ve been experimenting with recipes found on other foodie blogs because my food mags have stalled – but we have not been disappointed! There is so much great food out there and my boys are having a great time trying out new meals and rating them (keeper or not?).

Tuscan Herb Salt

4 to 5 garlic cloves, peeled

Between 1/3 and 1/2 cup kosher salt

About 2 cups loosely-packed, pungent fresh herbs such as sage, rosemary, thyme

Cut each garlic clove lengthwise through the center and remove sprout (if any) in the center and discard.

Mound the salt and garlic on a cutting board. Use a chef’s knife to mince the garlic, blending it with the salt as you work.

Place herbs in a mound and coarsely chop them. Add the herbs to the garlic salt and chop them together to texture of coarse sand.

You can use this immediately or spread the salt on a baking sheet, or in wide flat bowls, and leave near an open window for a couple of days to dry. Store in clean, dry jars, or for gifts, pack into cello bags and tie with a ribbon (love that idea!).

*Instead of hand-chopping you can use a food processor. Cut each garlic as directed above to remove the sprout.

In the bowl of the processor, combine the garlica nd 2 T. of salt. Pulse until the garlic is chopped meduim-coarse. Add the herbs and continue pulsing until the mixture is the texture of very coarse sand. Transfer to a sheet pan and toss with the remaining salt.

Oven-Roasted Salmon with Tuscan Herb Salt

1 pound center-cut salmon filet, with skin on

1 or 2 T. EVOO or oil spray

Tuscan Herb Salt

Tuscan Herb Sauce for serving (recipe to follow)

Preheat oven to 250*

*Make Herb Sauce

Cut salmon into four uniform portions. Pat dry with paper towel. Sprinkle the tops of the fish with some of the herb salt. Heat 1 T. oil in heavy ovenproof skillet over high heat; skillet should be large enough to hold salmon without crowding. Add salmon skin side up, and sear quickly about 2 minutes, until it can be lifted easily with a spatula without sticking. Turnm and sear about 2 minutes skin side down.. Thickest part should still be raw in center.

Brush top of salmon with remaining olive oil and place in oven about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve with Tuscan Herb Sauce.


1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup greek yogurt

1 T. olive oil

1 T. Tuscan Herb Salt

Combine all ingredients. *Let the sauce come to room temperature before serving.

As usual there were a few things I had to do differently. First of all I don’t have easy access to fresh herbs here on the island in winter, so I used dried. Also, I have a ovenproof skillet but hubby won’t let me cook fish in it (I really need a second one just for fish!) so what I normally do in this situation is cook the fish in a regular skillet and transfer it to an oven-safe baking dish.

Please be sure to link to the Circle B Kitchen and see all the great recipes she’s got – you won’t be sorry!

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Wild Rice & Corn Muffins

I love a good corn muffin. It’s the perfect accompaniment to any good soup (as well as other things) and I’ve made different corn muffins just to see what we liked and what we didn’t. My newest experiment was adding wild rice to the muffin mix.

Wild Rice & Corn Muffins 

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup EVOO (or canola oil)

1 egg

1 cup all-purpose flour (I use an unbleached/whole wheat mix)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup whole-grain yellow cornmeal

2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

3/4 cup cooked wild rice

1/4 cup frozen (or fresh) corn

1 tsp. dried parsley

1. Heat oven to 400*. Spray (12 muffin) muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper baking cups.

2. Mix milk, oil, and egg in large bowl.

3. Stir in flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder and salt all at once just until flour is moistened.

4. Fold in rice, corn, and parsley. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.

5. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from pan.

 Serve warm with Chicken Spaetzle Soup and Enjoy!

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Chicken Spaetzle Soup

Everyone knows what Chicken Noodle Soup is; a wonderful, comforting creation that NO ONE doesn’t like. But how about a slight twist? I like soups with pasta. There is just something about it that makes it teeth-sinking wonderful. Spaetzle is a great alternative to noodles because it’s got a thickness and a texture unlike any regular pasta. Be sure to serve Corn & Wild Rice Muffins with this soup. They go great together!

Chicken Spaetzle Soup

1 to 2 Tbsp. EVOO

1 large onion, finely chopped (1 cup)

1 medium carrot, finely chopped (1/2 cup)

1 medium stalk of celery, finely chopped (1/2 cup)

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I use 1/2 & 1/2 mix with whole wheat)

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh or 2 tsp. dried thyme leaves

1/4 tsp. pepper

2 cups diced cooked chicken (or turkey)

6 cups chicken broth (two 32 oz cartons)

1 bag (12 oz) frozen spaetzle (or cook 1 box dried according to package directions)

Chopped parsley, if desired

1. In 4-qt saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook onion, garlic, carrot, and celery until tender crisp, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

2. Gradually stir in flour, thyme and pepper; cook and stir about 1 minutes. Stir in chicken and broth; heat to boiling.

3. Stir in frozen spaetzle. (*If cooking dried separately do not add yet) Cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally until spaetzle are tender. Sprinkle with parsley and enjoy.

*When adding a pasta, or pasta-like ingredient- to a soup, I recommend adding it separately into each bowl right before serving. When storing leftovers, keep the pasta/spaetzle separate so that it doesn’t absorb all the broth, making the soup mushy. When prepared and stored this way, leftover will be as good as when it was made fresh!

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Apple Butterscotch Cake

This was such a yummy and simple dessert to throw together. I am a big apple fan. The only one here who hasn’t gotten on board the apple train is Number Two, but I think it’s just a matter of time :) There are so many things you can do with apples and it’s a much healthier way to eat a dessert (well, that’s what I tell myself anyway!)  I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

Apple Butterscotch Cake

1 cup chopped pecans

2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 cup melted butter

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour (I use 1/2 unbleached and 1/2 whole wheat)

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

3 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced (about 1 1/2 lbs.)

1. Preheat oven to 350*

2. Stir together brown sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla.

3. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to brown sugar mixture and stir until blended.

4. Mix in apples and pecans. Pour batter into greased and floured 9×13 pan; spread in an even layer.

5. Bake 35-45 mins. or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely (1 hour) then cut into squares.

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Beef and Cheese Foldovers

This was an easy, hearty meal that felt a bit like deep-dish pizza with a cheeseburger taste. I served it with salad and my boys ate several slices each, so it was a good thing I doubled the recipe :) *This would also be an excellent way to use up leftover meat and/or veggies. I could really see this being a very versatile dish with many different options. It is also a very cost-effective meal. Always a winner in my book.

I found this recipe in the Fall 2010 issue of Kraft Food & Family magazine. I love this food mag. It comes out on a quarterly basis and the price reflects it, which is a very good deal for the number of meals and dessert ideas I can find in there. These past two years I’ve even been able to send a subscription to a friend at no extra cost, a perk of membership, and she loves it. If you have not looked into this little food magazine, I recommend it. I do have a disclaimer, however, that I tweak many of the recipes to make them a bit healthier.

Beef & Cheese Foldovers

What You Need:

1 lb. ground beef (I used ground turkey)

1 onion, chopped

1 cup frozen corn

1/4 cup ketchup

2 T. A1 Steak Sauce

1/2 cup hot water

2 cups all-purpose baking mix (I used Bisquick)

1 cup Mexican style shredded cheese

HEAT oven to 375*F.

BROWN meat with onions in large skillet; drain. Stir in corn, ketchup and steak sauce; set aside.

ADD water to baking mix; stir until mixture forms dough. SHape into ball. Place on lightly floured surface; knead 5 times or until smooth and no longer sticky. Roll into 12-inch circle; transfer to baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.

SPOON meat mixture onto center of dough; spread to within 2 inches of edge. Fold edge of dough over meat, leaving center uncovered.

BAKE 20 mins. Tip filling with cheese; bake 5 mins. or until melted.

PREP 20 mins. TOTAL 45 mins. MAKES 6 servings



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Do you know what you’re eating?

I just threw money into the garbage. For real.

*Do not read this if you are not willing to make some drastic changes in your eating habits.

If at the end of these articles you are content to continue eating the way you do, that’s entirely up to you. But I have to say, this was an awakening for me.

First let me go back a bit…..

About 8 years ago we really did clean up our pantry. I bought only all organic foods, cut out lots of dairy and only bought small amounts of organic white cheddar for the occasional meal or treat. Sour cream and the like were cut out entirely. We stopped purchasing and eating white sugar, white rice, white pasta, white anything. I would still use regular flour (albeit unbleached) in small amounts mixed with whole wheat flour. Snacks such as gummy bears were all natural or organic, as well as crackers and anything else that my then 3 and 7 year olds enjoyed. We stopped eating all pork, shellfish, nitrates, MSG’s, pre-packaged meals and food of any type. We were healthy, and my hubby and I collectively lost 100 pounds in a matter of months.

Since then I’ve gotten very slack. Truth is, I couldn’t afford organic everything, but over time I realized not everything had to be organic. At some point you realize that’s as much of a gimmick as anything else. But I do still stick with many of the things I started with, like organic milk. I won’t EVER go back to regular. (I have slid majorly on the cheese and dairy.) I still do not buy or eat white anything – all our rice is brown or wild, our pasta is whole wheat or veggie based, and our sugar continues to be brown natural or organic.

Several months ago I was standing in line at the grocery store, waiting to pay for my items. As usual I had 2 or 3 half-gallon cartons of organic milk. The lady in front of me, who should have been bagging her groceries instead of eyeballing mine, said, “You know, you don’t have to buy organic anymore. My friend is a nurse and she said that regular milk doesn’t have all those hormones injected into them anymore.”

I calmly replied, “I’ll never stop buying organic milk.” But what I really wanted to say was, “You nosy little……”

I found her nosiness to be rude, not to mention incredibly mis-informed. I never heard of such a report, and if I had I certainly would not have believed it at face value. Just read these articles that are EVERYWHERE. I take it that woman has not been doing her homework. Yes, we all want to believe that the milk is safe from hormones, but it’s not. I want to believe that the government isn’t deciding which additives are safe to put in our food, but I know it’s just a pipe dream. Bottom line, the FDA allows for A LOT of horrible stuff to be put into our food. I just don’t trust them, so I’m not likely to trust the word of a nosy stranger.

Read this and then look around at the other articles. You will be going through your pantry, too.

The 15 Grossest Things You’re Eating

I definitely had back-slid! This was unacceptable.

Look at your salad dressings, coffee creamers, and canned icing. In the ingredients list, near the bottom, does it say Titanium Dioxide? Yeah, that’s added for the “whiteness” and it’s also used in paints and sunscreens. That can’t be good.

Do you use canned mushrooms? There are maggots in there. FDA allows for 19 in every can. They ALLOW it. I’ve heard of other products that allow for maggots, mites, and flies. My question is this: If they are counting how many get in there for the allowable amount, why can’t they just monitor to keep them out all together? Duh! If they can’t then maybe they really aren’t counting for 19 either??

How about those grain products such as bread and cereals? Look for the ingredient L-cysteine. It’s an “amino acid” (non-essential to boot) that comes from human hair (asian) and/or duck feathers. Really?? Who comes up with this stuff!?

Want to be confused even more? How about Castoreum. This stuff is used extensively in processed foods and drinks, typically as vanilla or raspberry flavoring. Guess what it is…..Beaver anal gland juice. And it doesn’t show up on the label. Instead it’s referred to as “natural flavorings.” Yeah, natural as in a woodland creature’s butt. Seriously, whoever milked a beaver butt and thought ‘hey, we can make a vanilla shake with this!’

Do you know what Round Up is? That stuff that you spray to kill EVERYTHING? Well, it’s in our food. A lot of it. Look at your labels. You’re in for a shock. It’s called Glyphosate.

Drink Mountain Dew? I call it Mountain Poo. Never liked it, never will, but hubby does. I’ll bet he’ll stop drinking it when he learns that there is flame-retardent chemicals in there. It’s also in Fanta, Sunkist, and Gatorade, among others. Look for BVO or brominated vegetable oil.

I also read an article not too long ago about wood pulp in foods, especially from fast food restaurants. Read here about powdered cellulose and which products contain it. There are hundreds of articles out there, so don’t take my word for it: Google it.

I can see now how much I have slacked. Used to be I would not buy much, if at all, that had a long list of unpronounceable ingredients, and I have since bought plenty. And I have to wonder if the employees of some of these companies eat their products. Doubtful.

Buying all natural and organic is not economical, but it is essential to your health. I challenge every reader out there who cares about these issues to go through your own pantry and fridge, throw out the items that contain toxic additives and commit to eating healthier. I believe that if we (collectively as a people) stopped buying these products eventually the companies will reconsider their guidelines. Maybe. Maybe not. Either way I will do right by me and my family.
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Sweet Chicken Rio & Rice

This was AMAZING! I mean it- I LOVE THIS DISH! and I’m pretty sure you will, too :) Both of these recipes can be found on Jamie Cooks It Up! You can link to her blog from the button on the right blogroll of this screen.

Since Jamie’s original recipe called for pork, I changed it slightly. Otherwise everything else was pretty much the same. Instead of using chicken breasts, however, I threw a small whole chicken into the Crockpot with about 3 1/2 cups water, and let it cook slowly over night. This yielded a ton of fall-0ff-the-bone meat and about 4 cups thick, luscious chicken stock.

After picking through the meat, which was plenty, I saved the bones, skin, and gunk to boil down for another stock. There really was enough meat for me to make another meal from had I been feeling particularly savvy. I was not. Instead I used all the meat in this recipe, which gave me a HUGE amount of sweet chicken rio. It would not go to waste I was to find out :)

I love Crock-potting whole chickens. It just makes life so easy :)

After the meat was cooked, picked through and shredded, I placed it back into the (clean) Crockpot and added the necessary ingredients. At this point it only had to crock for about 4 hours on low.

Here is the original recipe (remember you can use pork or even turkey if you want.


3 lb. chicken meat, cooked and shredded

1 (16 oz.) jar salsa (2 cups)

1 can green chilies

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 can black beans, undrained

1. Combine all ingredients into Crockpot and cook on low to medium heat for 4 – 5  hours.

2. Serve with warm corn tortillas, cheese, lettuce or cabbage, tomatoes, and any other condiment such as avocado, black olives, & taco sauce.

**NOTE: If starting this recipe with raw meat do as follows: In the bottom of the Crockpot mix salsa, green chilies, brown sugar, and black beans. Add the chicken and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 7 hours. Take the meat out of the Crockpot and shred it up with a fork. Return the meat and cook 1 more hour.

I am a BIG lover of corn tortillas. Seriously, I think I can eat just about any meal in a corn tortilla. Something about them just makes me happy. I’m also a big fan of Mexican/TexMex, so this meal was right up my alley.

A perfect accompaniment to this was Jamie’s Cilantro Lime Rice. It was super yummy and yielded way more than her recipe said it would (I am sure this has more to do with me and the kind of rice I used than anything else. Short grain brown rice FYI.) But it gave me plenty of leftovers for another meal.

Cilantro Lime Rice

2 cups uncooked rice

1 tbsp. butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 chicken bullion cubes

1 tsp. lime zest

4 cups water

2 tbsp. lime juice

1 tbsp. sugar

3 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

1. In a large skillet combine rice, butter, garlic, lime zest, bullion, and water. Bring to a boil and stir well.

2. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

3. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar, and cilantro (I used dried and let it sit in the mixture for about 30 minutes). Pour over the top of hot, cooked rice, and stir to incorporate.

This rice was fantastic. The flavors are subtle yet they compliment the chicken dish so well. I was very glad I tried these recipes and they will definitely be repeated at some time. Enjoy!

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Saucy Joes & Homemade Mac ‘n Cheese

You’ve heard of Sloppy Joes, haven’t you? Well, this is the same thing only they’re SAUCY not sloppy ;)

I’ve made this twice now and it’s always a hit. An easy, filling, hearty supper without all the fuss. There are two recipes I go by, but today I will give you the one I followed when making this particular sandwich recently.

Saucy Joes

(Click title for easy print recipe) 

1 lb. extra-lean ground beef, turkey or chicken

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup spaghetti sauce

4 ciabatta rolls, split & toasted

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown meat with onion and garlic in nonstick skillet.

Add spaghetti sauce; cook 3 min. or until heated through.

Fill rolls with meat mixture and cheese.

It can’t get any easier than that!

*I’ve used hard rolls  both times I’ve made this simply because ciabatta rolls seem to be hard to come by around here. The hard rolls work just as well, though I do tend to hollow out some of the bread first. This takes away some of the extra (and very un-needed) bread while creating a cradle to hold the loose meat in place better. Win/Win.

So what to make as a side when serving up a hearty sandwich for dinner? Why, homemade Macaroni and Cheese, of course!  There are a lot of recipes out there but I just like to keep it simple.

For this particular dish I just used what I had on hand. It made plenty of mac ‘n cheese for my family of four, with leftovers.

1 cup whole wheat elbow pasta, cooked according to package directions

2 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp flour

2 tbsp. milk

1 cup shredded cheddar blend cheese

2 Laughing Cow light swiss wedges

Salt & Pepper

In saucepan combine butter and flour, whisking to make a roux. Whisk in milk. Add in cheeses slowly, stirring and melting. Add in salt and pepper to taste. Do not allow cheese mixture to scald.

Drain cooked pasta and fold in cheese sauce to combine.

Place in casserole dish (in this case a 1 to 1 1/2 qt. dish) and bake at 350* for 20 minutes or until heated through.

Serve immediately and enjoy your homemade mac ‘n cheese!

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Creamy Poached Egg Florentine Stack

This truly is a versatile breakfast, both quick and filling, yet elegant enough for guests. Perfect for a hearty breakfast or a Sunday brunch, I make this occasionally for myself, so you will see that it is just as easy to put one together as it is to make several.

This dish is a bit rich, hence why I don’t eat it often. It can also be served on top of an english muffin in place of the potato cake.

Three simple ingredients: very easy.

Toast your potato cake (or english muffin) and place on plate.

Poach your egg(s) and place on top of potato.

Heat up your Stouffer’s creamed spinach (do not substitute) and spoon desired amount over the eggs. 1 package of creamed spinach is good for 3 or 4 plates, depending on how much you like.

Salt & Pepper to taste.

My mom made this for me once when I was visiting and I’ve loved it ever since. Thanks, Mom ♥

* The remaining spinach will keep in the fridge for a few days in an airtight container.

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