Tag Archives: heavy cream

Chicken Pasta with a Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Sauce


I pulled out one of my old Cookbooks and turned to one of my favorites. It is a easy and tasty recipe.

**Update: I was posting this to main dishes under recipes and I already posted this recipe. I even checked the list. Oh well, it may be a little different and it shows you I really like it!

7This is a great cookbook. It has a lot of delicious recipes in it. My favorite cookbooks tend to be from Junior Leagues. They seem to have a variety of recipes. Here is my slightly altered version.

Chicken Past with a Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Sauce

  • 2 tsp. Extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 – 6 shallots, minced
  • 1 1/2 – 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast or tenders, cooked and julienned **
  • 8 oz jar Sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained***
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 16 oz. penne pasta
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
  • 3 – 4 Tablespoons julienned fresh basil ( I have used dried when fresh is not available)
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper

Get the penne started in boiling salted water. Cook until it is al dente. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet at medium heat. Add shallots and saute for around 2 minutes or until soft. Add the cooked chicken and sun-dried tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in Cream. Start with 1 cup and add more if needed. I used approximately a heavy 1 1/4 cups. Add Salt, red pepper flakes and pinch of pepper. Cook an additional 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. If my pasta is not done at this point, turn down the heat;  put a lid on the skillet that is slightly vented to keep warm. Toss pasta with butter You could skip this if you are watching your figure 😉 Then toss in pasta, Parmesan cheese and basil. Serve immediately top each plate of pasta with Parmesan, if desired. This will serve 6 -8.

**I sprinkle the chicken with an Italian seasoning blend, Tuscan Sunset from Penzey Spices.  You could use any Italian seasoning blend. Then put it in a covered glass casserole and microwave until done.

***I LOVE LOVE Sun- dried tomatoes. They are packed with flavor. I usually use the ones that are not packed in oil, but I really think using the oil packed in this recipe is the best. I used the ones that are packed in oil, julienned and with Italian Seasonings.

Look at the pile of yummy goodness!

Look at the pile of yummy goodness!

Saute the shallots in olive oil.

Saute the shallots in olive oil. Saute until soft.

Add chicken and sun-dried tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes.

Add chicken and sun-dried tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes.

Add cream; cook additional 2 minutes.

Add cream, salt and peppers; cook additional 2 minutes. Toss pasta with butter; then with sauce, Parmesan cheese and basil.

Chicken Pasta with Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Sauce

Chicken Pasta with Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Sauce

I served this with Roasted Broccoli. You can click to view the recipe. Grace is my broccoli eater and I think she could eat the whole bowl 😉

Sundried tomato pasta and broc

I am trying a few new snack recipes tomorrow for Bunco. I will post them if they are keepers 😉

Have a great weekend!

~Relish Food & Life!


Truffle Brie Mac n Cheese


I went to Sam’s the other day and saw this Brie, I had to buy it!


I have become addicted to Truffles. For those who do not know what truffles are,  truffle are rare, edible mushroom that is considered a delicacy in many parts of the world. Truffles are among the most expensive of the world’s natural foods and the most valuable of the fungus family. You can find truffle oil and truffle salt in stores. I have never actually seen a whole truffle, just the oil and salt. A little goes a long way so be careful when adding it to a dish.
Uses for Truffle oil or salt:

  • eggs
  • popcorn
  • mashed potatoes
  • deviled eggs
  • truffle salt on French fries ♥
  • pasta
  • google it..ideas are endless
Ugly little things, but so tasty!

Ugly little things, but so tasty!

I started searching for a good recipe to use this Brie in. I found one from The Fifth Time blog,Truffle Brie Mac n Cheese. Seriously, how can this be anything but delicious?

Check out The Fifth Time blog by clicking above. There are some awesome recipes on it…I have a few picked out to try out soon. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

Truffle Brie Mac n Cheese

For the breadcrumbs:

  • 1/2 loaf ciabatta bread (or any bread you have on hand) I used 3 ciabatta rolls that I purchased at Sams
  • 2 4 teaspoons garlic, minced garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 3 tablespoons olive oil
Notes: I had the rolls and wanted to use those up. 3 made a lot of bread crumbs, so I increased the butter, olive oil and hey who doesn’t like a bit more garlic.

For the cheese/ pasta:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 ounces Marscapone cheese (or cream cheese) (I used Marscapone)
  • 1 pound grated Sharp Cheddar ( I used extra sharp)
  • 1 pound grated Monterrey Jack
  • 4 ounces Black Truffle Brie or 4 ounces plain Brie + 3 T truffle oil
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni

For the breadcrumbs: Cube your bread into medium size squares and put it in the food processor for a couple of pulses. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tbsp oil in large skillet overt medium heat. Add garlic and saute for about 1 minute. Add bread crumbs to skillet a stir until crumbs are slightly toasted – about 5 minuets. Set aside. ***I added my whole garlic to the bread in the food processor, then added the bread/garlic to the pan of olive oil and butter.

For the cheese & pasta: Cook the pasta 2 minutes less than the al dente package directions. Make sure to salt your water. Drain and set aside.

In a large saucepan heat butter and olive oil until melted over medium high heat. Next, whisk your flour into the butter and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Slowly add cream and milk whisking in between to make sure there are no lumps. Bring mixture to a simmer and whisk until desired thickness (close to pancake batter). Remove from heat. Add grated cheese & marscapone and mix until melted. Season with salt & pepper. If using truffle oil – add this to the cheese mixture.

Stir in drained, cooked pasta to the cheese mixture. Transfer to a baking dish and top with sliced brie cheese & then sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Truffle Brie Mac n Cheese

Truffle Brie Mac n Cheese

Yep, I am having a big scoop of that for lunch, after I run 3 miles 😉

Relish Food & Life!

Chicken with 40 (43) Cloves of Garlic + Parmesan Mashed Potatoes = Delish.


I have been eying this recipe for a long long time. It was in the a Sunday paper magazine (I thought that was a sign;) and I have an abundance of garlic, so I decided it was time. I go through a process when I choose a new recipe. I google it and check out at least 3 sites that have that recipe or close to it. I read the reviews and then I decide how I want to make it. If it has bad reviews, well then I do not make it.

I had this dish when I visited my brother in San Francisco at The Stinking Rose. It was delish. I have their cookbook, so I checked out their recipe in the book and online. Food Network also had a recipe. I went with Ina’s recipe on Food Network.

Chicken with 43 Cloves of Garlic

  • 3 whole heads garlic, about 40 cloves (43 cloves)
  • 2 (3 1/2-pound) chickens, cut into eighths (6 lbs chicken pieces)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Cognac (Brandy), divided use
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves ( I may have used a tiny bit more)
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (1/2 cup) heavy cream
  • (1 cup Chicken Broth)

Separate the cloves of garlic and drop them into a pot of boiling water for 60 seconds. Drain the garlic and peel. Set aside. ( I did not do this. I just whacked with the flat side of a knife and peeled them)

Dry the chicken with paper towels. Season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the butter and oil in a large pot or Dutch oven  over medium-high heat. In batches, saute the chicken in the fat, skin side down first, until nicely browned, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Turn with tongs or a spatula; you don’t want to pierce the skin with a fork. If the fat is burning, turn the heat down to medium. When a batch is done, transfer it to a plate and continue to saute all the chicken in batches. Remove the last chicken to the plate and add all of the garlic to the pot. Lower the heat and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, turning often, until evenly browned. Add 2 tablespoons of the Cognac and the wine, return to a boil, and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pot with the juices and sprinkle with the thyme leaves. Cover and simmer over the lowest heat for about 30 minutes, until all the chicken is done.

Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the sauce and the flour and then whisk it back into the sauce in the pot. Raise the heat, add the remaining tablespoon of Cognac and the cream, and boil for 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste; it should be very flavorful because chicken tends to be bland. Pour the sauce and the garlic over the chicken and serve hot.

Melt butter and oil in a skillet or dutch oven. Salt and Pepper the chicken on both sides. Make to really salt and pepper them! I bought 6 lbs of chicken pieces...the ones we like.

Put skin sound down; brown. Then flip over browning that side. Put in a bowl and do the next batch.

This is 43 cloves of Garlic. That is what I had peeled, so that is what I used. Grace came home from school and said what in the heck are you making? It burns my eyes. She loved the end results. Isn't this a great bowl? I made it in a pottery class and my niece Kelly glazed it.

Remove the chicken; add the garlic. Brown.

After browned, add the Brandy. I let it it sizzle for a minute.

I made an SOS text to Jim (my friend and cooking buddy)…the store did not have Cognac! He confirmed that I needed to substitute with Brandy. I read the email quickly and thought he said to let it reduce a little. Well, he actually said add a little more and reduce since cognac is stronger. I reduced, but did not increase the amount.

Then add the wine.

Make sure to scrap the bottom and sides to loosen up that yummy stuff stuck to the pan.

Return the chicken to the pan with the juices left in the bowl or platter; top with Thyme' cover. Cook approximately 30 minutes until down at lowest heat.

I decided to add some Chicken broth. We LOVE gravy and I wanted to make sure we had enough! I simmered it for a few minutes.

Whisk together 1/2 cup of the sauce and flour.

Whisk flour mixture into the sauce. Then add the brandy and heavy cream. For some reason I thought it said 1/2 cup cream. It was 2 T. I had already poured out the 1/2 cup and since I added the chicken broth. I thought what the heck. It turned out yummy! Simmer until thickened.

Make sure to take the back of your tongs or a spoon and mash around the garlic. One suggested to take some of garlic and blend it smooth and add to the sauce. Using the tongs to mash it up was my solution to get more flavor in the sauce.

Salt and pepper the sauce again. Taste and repeat if needed.

The gravy was a tad bit thin, so either I did not simmer long enough or maybe I needed to use a little more sauce/flour mixture. I decided the gravy would taste great on mashed potatoes. I was not wrong! I decided to stick with Ina and make Ina’s Parmesan Potatoes.

Parmesan Smashed Potatoes

  • 3 pounds red potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus 2 teaspoons
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the potatoes and 1 tablespoon of salt in a 4-quart saucepan with cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer covered for 25 to 35 minutes, until the potatoes are completely tender. Drain

In a small saucepan, heat the half-and-half and butter. Transfer the potatoes to an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix them for a few seconds on low speed to break them up. Slowly add the hot cream and butter to the potatoes, mixing on the lowest speed (the last quarter of cream and butter should be folded in by hand). Fold in the sour cream, Parmesan, the remaining salt, and pepper; season, to taste, and serve immediately. If the potatoes are too thick, add more hot cream and butter.

Keep the smashed potatoes hot in a heat-proof bowl set over simmering water.

NOTE: I did this pretty much to the recipe, except I used a different type of potato.

I guessed on how many potatoes was 3 lbs. I did not leave them whole.

Cook potatoes in boiling salted water.

Mix the potatoes for a few seconds.

Add the melted butter and heated half and half. Then by hand add sour cream and Parmesan cheese.

Are you ready for the photos. I could not just pick one 😉

Chicken with 43 Cloves of Garlic + Parmesan Mashed Potatoes = DELISH.

Look at those chunks of garlic....yum. The garlic was not overpowering. Well, at least I did not think so.

~Relish Life & Food

Chicken with a Creamy Basil Parmesan Sauce


I have heard from several people that they loved the Parmesan Baked Potato Halves. I had them again last night at a friend’s house. Soo good. While I was on the site that I found that recipe, I decided to check out some of their other recipes. My search led me to this recipe,  Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce.

Make sure you read all the way through my postings. I usually put tips and what I would do next time through out and at the end.

Chicken with a Creamy Basil Parmesan Sauce

  • 1 cup milk
  •  Panko Italian bread crumbs
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts cut into halves (8 pieces) (see my note)
  • 1/4 cup margarine  2 T butter and 2 T olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 tsp dried basil  ( heavy tsp plus a pinch more)
  • 1/8 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 1 1/4  cup grated Parmesan cheese

Place milk and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Dip chicken in milk, then coat with crumbs. In a skillet over medium heat add butter and olive oil. When butter has melted add chicken in butter until browned on both sides and done. Remove chicken from skillet and put into a baking dish. Then pop it into a warm oven.

Add chicken broth to skillet and stir to loosen up browned bits from pan. Stir in cream, basil, and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer a few minutes so the sauce thickens a bit. Turn heat to low and whisk in Parmesan cheese. Heat until cheese has melted and thickened up a bit; stirring occasionally. Pour sauce over the chicken and serve.

NOTE: I purchased a package of 6 thin sliced boneless chicken breast. If you purchase regular chicken breast. You will want to pound them until flattened. That way it will cook evenly throughout.

Ingredient line up minus olive oil, chicken and Parmesan cheese.

Dip the chicken into the milk, then coat it with panko crumbs.

Melt butter and olive oil in skillet.

Add chicken.

Flip after brown on one side. Then cook until done.

Remove Chicken. Put in the oven to keep warm. Add chicken broth to the skillet. Simmer a few minutes.

Add, cream, basil and pepper. Simmer.

Add Parmesan cheese. Cook until cheese has melted and thickened a bit.

Chicken with Creamy Basil Parmesan Sauce

This made a lot of sauce. I should have served it on top of pasta.

Next time: 1. After I remove the chicken from the pan, I am going to add 1 maybe 2 cloves of minced garlic to the pan. Cook it for 1 minute. Then add the chicken stock. Why? Because I love garlic 🙂 It is not necessary, but I think it might be a tasty addition. 2. Serve it with pasta.

This was a quick and tasty dish, especially if you buy the chicken already cut thin.

~Relish Life & Food

Penne with Spicy Sun-Dried Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce


Wow, we have had some  gorgeous days here in the Midwest. It has been in the 60’s for the past 4 days.I have been taking advantage of the nice weather with taking a walk, grilling, washing my car and my favorite…putting my top down on my car 🙂  I am getting Spring Fever really bad!

I planned out some meals this morning and hit the grocery to stock up on the ingredients. Tonight I made a recipe that I had saved on my recipe box on Epicurious.com, Pasta with Spicy Sun-Dried -Tomato Cream Sauce. I changed it up a bit. My version is below.

Penne with Spicy Sun-Dried Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup julienne sun-dried tomatoes (not oil packed)
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 12 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 pound whole grain penne pasta – I thought I would make it a little healthy with the whole grain;)
  • 1 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; saute 1 minute. Add tomatoes and peppers; saute a few minutes. Add crushed red pepper and creams simmer over medium heat 2 minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup basil and 1 cup cheese; simmer 2 minute longer. Season with salt and pepper. You can keep this on low if your pasta is not done.
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Put pasta into a serving dish. Add sauce and toss around. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and basil.

Note: Kate and I decided that this would also be yummy with cooked chicken or shrimp added.

Ingredient Line up minus the half and half. I tend to make decisions to add or change things while cooking the recipe 😉

I got all the chopping done ahead of time and had Mark grate the cheese while I started cooking. The jar of peppers I had on hand were mixed red, yellow and orange.

Saute garlic, then add peppers and tomatoes. Saute a few minutes.

Stir in cream, red pepper and basil.

Add cheese.

Pour sauce over cooked noodles. Stir around.

Top with remaining cheese and basil.

Penne with Spicy Sun-Dried Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

The garlic, roasted peppers and sun-dried tomatoes are a great combination. Then a little heat from the crushed pepper flakes…soo good.

~Relish Food & Life

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup


Procrastinating again…not done with cleaning out my closet. I have been wanting to make this soup, so thought I would make it before I tackle the closet again.

I made quite a few changes to the original recipe. I know there a tons of people out there who love condensed tomato soup, but I am not a big fan , so that got nixed! I used chicken broth instead of vegetable broth. I used fresh onion and garlic instead of powder. If you click on Taste of Home below…you will see the changes.

                                                               Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup                                                                     Adapted from Taste of Home.

  • 1 package (9 oz) refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups 1 % milk**
  • 2 cups heavy cream**
  • 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup of Parmesan cheese plus extra when serving

Cook tortellini according to package directions.  Meanwhile, heat 1 T olive in a dutch oven. Add onions and saute until soft, add garlic and saute for another minute. Add crushed tomatoes, broth, milk, cream, parmesan cheese,  basil, salt and pepper. Heat through, stirring frequently. Carefully add drained tortellini. When serving add additional parmesan cheese.

** The original recipe called for 2 cups 2 % milk and 2 cups half and half. I had 1 % and heavy cream in the frig, so that is what I used. You certainly could do the 2 % and half and half and still get a yummy soup.

Ingredient Line up...minus onion.

Saute onion in olive oil.

Add garlic and saute (next time I might saute the sun-dried tomatoes with the garlic and onions)

Add tomatoes,


cream and milk,

sun-dried tomatoes,

salt, pepper, basil,

and cheese. Heat until soup is hot. Stirring frequently.

add cooked tortellini. Heat for a few more minutes.

When serving garnish with additional cheese on top.

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup....and yes that is what I ate for breakfast 😉

Back to the closet or until my mind wonders and think of something else I want to cook 😉

Thought for the day!

~Relish Food & Life!