Showing posts with label quick dinner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label quick dinner. Show all posts

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Lazy Noodles #Recipe @PegCochran

This recipe comes from the blog The Woks of Life.  I've made a few changes that are very minor.  When I make this again, I think I will reduce the amount of noodles so the quantity of noodles and meat is more balanced.  But that's your call.  I think I would also double the quantity of sauce because we're a saucy bunch here!  The original amounts are listed below.

The full name is 15 minute Lazy Noodles.  This was very tasty but I have to confess to being a disorganized cook because it took me longer than fifteen minutes to make but it was still a quick dinner!


12 ounces wheat noodles (can use spaghetti)
1 to 2 tsps oil
1 lb. ground beef (or your choice of ground turkey or chicken)
1 onion sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic sliced (I used minced)
2 large handfuls of baby spinach
salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon sriracha or to taste

Cook noodles according to directions.

Add tablespoon or two of oil to wok or skillet and heat.  Add ground meat and cook until almost crispy.

Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is soft.

Stir in spinach and cook until wilted.

Combine soy sauce, sesame oil, honey and sriracha to a large bowl and mix.  Add noodles and ground meat and mix well.

Out Now!

Coming July 4! Pre-order Now!


The county fair is the highlight of the year for the small town of Lovett, Michigan—especially for food-and-lifestyle blogger Shelby McDonald, who writes as the Farmer’s Daughter. She’s submitting jams and jellies she’s created from the produce she grows at Love Blossom Farm in hopes of harvesting a blue ribbon.

But the townspeople get more than just the excitement of hayrides, tractor pulls, and cotton candy when Shelby’s neighbor and volunteer fireman, Jake Taylor, extricates the body of Zeke Barnstable instead of a dummy during a demonstration of the Jaws of Life. The fact that Jake and Zeke were known to be at odds plants suspicion in the minds of the police. As evidence against Jake grows, Shelby knows she has to plow through the clues to weed out the true killer and save her friend.

Follow me on Facebook to learn about upcoming giveaways! 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Chili chicken: our 'save the day' recipe #recipe @AbbottMysteries

By Victoria Abbott aka Mary Jane and Victoria Maffini

This is a comfort recipe in our family and it’s one that we always have in the freezer for unexpected arrivals (no names mentioned).  Just thaw slightly and bake. It's also great and easy, when you have chicken thighs on hand. You can whip it up fresh and cook it in less than an hour.  If you need to deliver a meal to help someone out, this one travels well and is always appreciated. Everyone loves it and we get requests from grandchildren too!
Not only that, but it’s cheap and cheerful.  It’s good all year round but is especially nice on a cold and rainy night.  Trust us, we have lots of those.
We don’t even remember where we got the recipe. That is lost in the mists of time. At one point it was scrawled on a file card in a little beige plastic recipe box,  but we’ve made so many changes, we might not recognize it if we do ever find that card!

1 pound chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
1 cup Heinz chili sauce (plain or with peppers)
¼ cup cider vinegar or lemon
¼ cup brown sugar (you could use Splenda brown)
¼ cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (you can use dried mustard – two tsps)

Preheat oven to 350.

Place  chicken in a shallow baking dish.

Mix all other ingredients and pour over chicken.

Bake for about 50 minutes, until sauce is bubbly and chicken is cooked through.

We all love this with orzo and a green vegetable and salad.  We've served it here with quinoa salad.

We hope you enjoy this! Why not drop in and let us know what your favorite go-to or emergency recipe is. 

Stay sane in the kitchen, friends!

Victoria Abbott is the mysterious collaboration between the artist and photographer Victoria Maffini and her mother, the mystery writer, Mary Jane Maffini.  Strangely enough, their four book collector mysteries, The Christie Curse, The Sayers Swindle, The Wolfe Widow and The Marsh Madness
all contain lots of food.

We're really excited about the forthcoming fifth installment The Hammett Hex in October 2016. 


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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Lucille Mazzarella, the character in my Lucille Series (Unholy Matrimony—just released—and Confession Is Murder) is a big believer in home cooked meals.  As Lucille would say, “I ain’t feeding my Frankie or my Bernadette no meals that come out of a cardboard box.”  Every Sunday Lucille cooks dinner for the whole family—husband Frankie, daughter Bernadette, her sister Angela and her husband, her best friend Flo (who is in charge of bringing the cannolis for dessert), Father Brennan from St. Rocco’s and Cousin Louis and Cousin Millie who are Frankie’s father’s cousins once removed.

But even Lucille sometimes doesn’t feel like running to the A&P to get groceries after a busy day of tracking down a murderer.  That’s when she assesses the contents of her pantry and figures out how to make something with what she has on hand.

This dish came about much like that.  I didn’t want to leave our warm, cozy home to brave the (interminable) cold and snow to buy something for dinner.  I rummaged around and found some boneless chicken thighs and a box of thin spaghetti.  I always have cans of diced tomatoes on hand, some wine or vermouth and onions. 

I’m sure there’s a “real” recipe for this type of dish and it may even have a name, but in this case it was a matter of pulling things from the pantry and freezer and coming up with something for dinner!

I’ve done something similar with pork chops, and I imagine you could use chicken breasts, but I think the thighs have more flavor.  You can add mushrooms or not…depending on whether you have any!

 Chicken thighs—I think I had around five
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
Dash of wine (red or white—about ¼ cup or so)
Mushrooms if you have some on hand
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
Salt to taste

Heat oil and sauté onions and garlic until onions are soft.  Push onions and garlic to one side and brown chicken thighs on both sides—about 2 to 3 minutes per side.  Add mushrooms, if using, and saute briefly.  Add splash of wine to pan to deglaze, stirring to incorporate any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.  Add tomatoes and cover.  Simmer for about 30 minutes until chicken is done and flavor has developed.

Serve over spaghetti or pasta.

Use a splash of red wine or white.

Simmer ingredients until chicken is done and flavor has developed

A tasty dinner without a trip to the grocery store!

The hilarious Lucille Mazzarella is back and planning a wedding. But even the worst Bridezilla can’t create the wedding drama she’s about to face in this second book in the series. 

Desperate to see her pregnant daughter Bernadette married before the baby comes, Lucille is engrossed in all things wedding. Nothing will distract her from planning this Mazzarella main event. Nothing, that is, except for the murder of the mother of the groom. 

Just when things couldn’t possibly get any worse, Lucille is named as the prime suspect, and it’s a race against time as she and her best friend Flo struggle with shady financial dealings, a family that isn’t at all what it seems, a groom that might not be all man, and a little bundle of joy that might make an appearance before the mother can say I do. 

Available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble and Smashwords

Stop by my web site or catch up with me on Facebook @pegcochran

Sunday, September 19, 2010

PTA Driving You Crazy? Meet Laura Alden!

Welcome Laura Alden! Longtime Guppy and member of SinC, Laura's first book, MURDER AT THE PTA debuts October 5th! It's available for pre-order through bookstores and on-line sellers now.

My first reaction when Krista asked if I’d write a guest post for this blog was, “Sure, I’d be honored!” My subsequent thought was, “Ahk! I haven’t cooked in months. What on earth am I going to write about?”

With a full-time job, a book coming out in October, and another book due at the publisher’s on November 15th, the most cooking I’ve done since spring is choosing what toppings I want on the take-out pizza. (Usually mushrooms and onions, though I occasionally take a walk on the wild side and order mushrooms and olives.)

In the dim and distant past, my husband and I worked together in the kitchen for almost every meal. We’d both taste test, get in each other’s way, and generally have a good time. If I peer ahead into the not-so-distant future – say November 16th – I’m thinking this will happen again. Hooray!

But until then, most of our meals are being selected on two criteria: one, does the recipe require less than seven ingredients, and two, do we actually have those ingredients in the house?

Here’s one of our standard weeknight meals. Fast, easy, and, if you add a nice salad, fairly healthy.

Asiago Pasta

16 oz. angel hair pasta

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

Dash of salt

1-1/4 cup Asiago cheese, grated

In a large pot, start heating water. At this point we turn the oven to a very low temperature and start heating a big bowl into which the pasta will eventually be dumped. If we remember we’ll also heat individual pasta bowls.

Melt the butter either on the cook top or in your microwave. (If melting in the microwave, be careful!) Grate the cheese.

Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan and sauté the garlic until almost golden. This doesn’t take very long, so be careful. Warning: if you happen to turn away to do something else while cooking the garlic, say to let a cat in, and the garlic burns, toss it out and start over. Burned garlic will ruin dinner, but if you work it right the whole thing can be blamed on one of the cats.

Cook the pasta. Drain it and put it into the heated bowl. Add the butter and a dash of salt. Add the heated olive oil and garlic. Mix well, but gently. Serve individual portions, sprinkle with Asiago cheese, and put on the table straight away.

Note: when we cook this entire recipe for the two of us I end up with Asiago Pasta for lunch three days in a row. Bonus!


P.S. My debut mystery, Murder at the PTA, has a release date of October 5. After writing fairly seriously for 12 years, I’m a teensy bit excited about this. Here’s a short description:

As the owner of a children’s bookshop in the quaint town of Rynwood, Wisconsin, and a divorced mother of two, Beth Kennedy has a full plate. So when her best friend, Marina, asks her to become the secretary for Tarver Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Association, Beth can think of better ways to occupy what little free time she has. But after some arm twisting (Marina's favorite activity), Beth agrees to come on board.

The course of PTA meetings never did run smooth, but when Tarver’s unpopular principal turns up dead, Beth realizes that making bake-sales wheat free and funding class trips weren’t the only things on the agenda. Then the local gossip blog, WisconSINS, starts fanning the flames of speculation, and it seems like everyone’s a suspect - especially certain members of the PTA. Beth knows she must race to find a killer before he teaches another fatal lesson. All too quickly, she discovers that murder is anything but elementary.