So my whole family (other than Tina) is in Mexico. Tina and I were feeling a little left out so I invited her over for dinner. I looked to see what might sound good in my pantry or refrigerator and I had just bought some pesto from Fresh and Easy so I thought I would make her a chicken pesto pasta dish. (side note: I got this pesto for 2 bucks and change...and it wasn't even expired...how great is that!). I looked around on the blogs and found a few I liked but I doctored this one up to my liking...so I think I can offically say this is my first recipe that I "created". Of course I used store bought pesto...I haven't ventured out and made homemade pesto yet....but I will...someday. Also, I realized a little later that I hadn't planned for dessert so I checked the ole trusty pantry again. I found a box of brownies. Let me tell you, there are few things in this life that are just beyond Divine...and a box of brownies is one them. I hate homemade from scratch brownies. I think they're gross...they are thick and dense and you can never get the chocolate right. And for less than 2 bucks and 28-30 minutes later, you are devouring yummy gooey brownies. Well I wanted to try something different and on the side of the box was this recipe for Peanut Butter Brownies...I think they called them Ball Park Brownies or something...eewwww, sounds like a hot dog. I thought I would try it out. YUMMY! This was definitely semi-homemade cooking at its finest. They were delish and remember, only serve brownies with real vanilla bean ice cream. Oh, and before I forget, I also decided to make these little parmesan crisps that I had saw on another blog, as well. They were so easy and sooooo yummy! You gotta make 'em...you'll be hooked. So here's my dinner tonight...Chicken Penne with Cream Pesto Sauce, Ceasar Salad with Parmesan Crisps, Naan Bread (love this stuff) and Peanut Butter Brownies with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream...bon appetite!
Chicken Penne Pesto
Homemade Pesto or Store Bought
Half pint of heavy cream
1 cup peas (I use frozen)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup sun dried tomatoes
2 large grilled chicken breast sliced
1 lb penne pasta
Boil pasta according to directions on package
Grill your chicken (we love to marinade our chicken in either Newman's Own or Bernsteins Italian dressing with the juice of one lemon...it's the best marinade ever), when chicken is done, thinly slice and set aside.
In large skillet on medium heat simmer pesto and heavy cream for 5 minutes
Add peas, mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes. Let simmer for about 15 minutes until peas and mushrooms are cooked thru. Add chicken and mix around until well coated.
Serve the pesto mixture of the penne pasta.
Spray cookie sheet with oil. Make little grated parmesan piles all over cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Youl could eat these things like chips...they are so good. Excuse the rust marks on my cookie sheet, I need to get to IKEA and get me some more...they have the absolute best cookie sheets.
Naan Bread(Very addicting...get em at Trader Joe's...frozen or fresh)
Peanut Butter Brownies
1 package of Brownies...any kind will do...I really like Betty Crocker but Duncan Hines was on sale
1/2 cup oil (I use canola)
Mix the brownie mix together...set aside
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup butter (it called for margarine..but I'm not a fan)
1/3 cup sugar
2 T flour
Beat together peanut butter and butter. Add sugar and flour, mix well. Add eggs, mix well.
Grease a 13x9 pan. Pour half the brownie mix into the pan, then spread the peanut butter mixture over the top. This was kinda hard and mine sorta got swirled in.
Then add the remaining brownie mixture. Cook in a 350 deg preheated oven for 30 minutes.
Even Scott and Luke enjoyed the meal!