Archive for December, 2016

Garlic Cheese Chicken Bake


  • 12 oz. bowtie pasta
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large chicken breast cubed about 1”
  • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 ½ cup shredded Italian 5 cheese blend (divided)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 oz. jar sun dried tomatoes in olive oil (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil from sun dried tomatoes
  • ¼ cup Panko bread crumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and return to pot, set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tbsp of the olive oil from the sun dried tomatoes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant (about 1 minute), add chicken, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Season with salt sauté until chicken is fully cooked.  Transfer cooked chicken to bowl. (Keep juices in skillet.)
  3. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to skillet to let melt, then add flour and whisk until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add coconut milk and chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Stir in cream cheese and 1 cup cheese blend continue to whisk until creamy. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add chicken and sun dried tomatoes into cooked penne and toss until combined, then add creamed cheese mixture and toss again. (Add more milk if mixture is too thick.)
  5. Spread mixture into 9 x 13 glass baking pan and smooth out evenly.  Sprinkle with panko bread crumbs, remaining parsley and with remaining 1/4 cup Italian cheese mixture and bake 8 minutes. Broil 2 to 3 more minutes until top is golden brown.  Let rest for a few minutes then serve.


Makes 8 (or more) servings

Chicken Noodle Soup (Mom calls it Jewish Penicillin)

My wife and I were feeling a bit under the weather today in December with colds, so I decided to make a big pot of fresh chicken soup.


8 cups canned/boxed chicken broth

5 cups water

1 whole chicken (about 3 lbs) quartered

1 medium chopped sweet onion (Vidalia or Peru)

1 cup shoestring carrots

½ yellow, red or orange bell pepper finely cubed           

2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter

1 cup cubed mushrooms

8 ounces dried no-yolk egg noodles

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper


Combine chicken broth, water and chicken in large pressure cooker. Bring to 10 lbs pressure and cook for 15 minutes.  Use rapid method to reduce pressure and open pressure cooker.  Using tongs, transfer chicken to large bowl to cool, and allow broth to cool slightly.  Discard skin and bones from chicken. Cut chicken meat into bite-size pieces and reserve. Strain broth through fine mesh strainer to remove bits of chicken and return to pressure cooker. 

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, bell pepper, ½ of the onions and sauté until onions are clear, about 5 minutes.  Add to broth.  Then add  balance of onion, carrots and celery.   Bring pressure cooker back to 10 lbs pressure and cook for 2 minutes.  Rapid release pressure and stir in parsley, salt, pepper, cayenne and reserved chicken.  Let sit at least 30 minutes for flavors to infuse.


About 20 minutes before serving, add noodles and simmer until noodles are tender, about 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

Butternut Squash Lasagna

For the topping:
1/2 cup cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp olive oil

For the lasagna
2 tablespoons olive oil
Approx 2 1/2 pound butternut squash (peeled, seeded, and cubed to 1″)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup water
3 Danish butter cookies
1/8 tsp almond flavoring
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
3 1/2 cups 2% milk
1 cup fresh basil pesto (or store-bought prepared)
1/2 cup fine grated Pecorino Romano cheese
pinch nutmeg
1 package of 16 lasagna noodles
1 1/2 cup shredded low fat mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded low fat Parmesan cheese

1. Boil lasagna noodles in salted water.  Don’t overcook, leave noodles al’ dente so they are slightly firm.  Rinse with cool water, and set aside

2. In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs,  1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and olive oil and set aside.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the squash and toss to coat. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt. Pour the water into the skillet, then cover and simmer over medium heat until the squash is tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly, then transfer the squash to a food processor. Add the cookies and almond flavoring and blend until smooth.
4. Melt the butter in a heavy 2 qt saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Whisk in 1/2 cup of the milk until smooth. Continue whisking briskly as you pour in the remaining milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, continuing to whisk for about 5 minutes. Whisk in the pesto, Pecorino Romano cheese and the nutmeg. Season with 1/4 tsp salt.
5. Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Lightly butter a 13 x 9 x 2 inch glass baking dish. Spread 3/4 cup of the sauce over the prepared baking dish. Place 4 overlapping   lasagna noodles on the sauce. Spread one third of the squash puree over the lasagna noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Drizzle 1/2 cup of sauce over the noodles. Repeat layering with Mozzarella cheese three more times, finishing with a layer of noodles and sauce. Top the lasagna with the remaining Mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture.
6. Tightly cover the baking dish with *aluminum foil and bake the lasagna for 25 minutes. Uncover the lasagna and continue baking uncovered until the sauce bubbles and the top is golden brown. (about 25 additional minutes.   Let stand at least 15 minutes before serving.

*If you don’t have foil that is wide enough to cover the dish fully and tightly, take two pieces and fold together a 1/2″ seam in the middle to make a wide foil cover.  It is VERY important to have the dish tightly covered for the first 25 minutes of baking.

Austrian Butternut Squash Soup


1 Large Butternut Squash

1 Small Onion Chopped

2 Tbs Olive Oil

2 Cups Chicken Broth

1  Tbsp Caraway Seeds

12 oz Coconut Milk

Salt & Pepper to Taste


  1. Peel squash, remove seeds and place halves in roasting dish and bake for 30 minutes at 450 degrees. (be careful no to burn)  Remove from oven, cool and chop into 1 inch cubes.
  2. Put the olive oil in a large pot and add onions and sauté till clear, being careful not to brown.
  3. Add the cubed squash and 2 cups of chicken broth to the pot and bring to boil
  4. Reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes
  5. Add caraway seeds, salt and pepper and coconut milk
  6. Blend until smooth with an immersion blender

Heat to serving temperature