Saturday, August 18, 2012

Pinterest recipes - some good, some bad...

Today has been one of those wonderful, rainy, thunder-storm days that you just never get enough of... expecially in the summer, in Texas.  A cool front - imagine that! - is making its way south, and I for one am very glad for it.  I hate the heat.

So I've made a few recipes from Pinterest.  Some came out really good, others - not so much.  There was a lemon cookie making the rounds some weeks ago, and it came out nothing like the picture.  Epic fail.  I mean it tasted ok, but... it just wasn't right.

Then I tried the chicken/ziti/spinach bake recipe.  Made a few changes, and it turned out YUMMY.  The original recipe is here - and it's a good recipe, I'm sure, but I've detailed my changes below.  I cooked the whole meal on the stovetop, as I didn't want to heat up the kitchen.

This recipe is a keeper.

Wish I took pictures during the creation of the dish, but you'll have to settle for the final product.

The original recipe calls for olive oil and diced onions, baked - I used regular vegetable oil, and cooked the onions until translucent on the stove.  Instead of describing edits, I'll just list the recipe below  While it may look like a lot of ingredients, it really isn't, you probably have most of them on hand.

Ziti Chicken Spinach Stuff (yeah, real creative.)
...and I actually used penne rigatoni, not ziti.  You could use shells, rotini, any cute shape, I suppose.

This makes 2 generous servings, 4 if you have small kids.

Ziti/rigatoni/whatever pasta shape you prefer
Cooked shredded chicken - I used about 2 cups, maybe more
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 T oil
1 package cream cheese
Italian herbs (dried are fine)
2 t. chopped fresh garlic, or 1 t. garlic powder
A splash of wine
Spinach - either a package of frozen whole leaf thawed, or about 7 oz of fresh
Small can of diced tomatoes, or about 1 cup fresh diced tomatoes
Salt and cracked pepper to taste
Mozzarella cheese, shredded

Mix the cream cheese with the herbs and garlic.  Use however much or little you like, I used about 2 T of an Italian mix, and about 2 T of wine.  Mix it up really well, so the flavors can intermingle.

Cook pasta according to package.  I used about half of a box.  And I didn't cook it until it was mushy, I left some texture to it, because it would get further cooking down the line.

Saute a cup of chopped sweet onions in 1 T of oil.  While the onions are cooking, thoroughly rinse and take the stems off the fresh spinach, or squeeze as much water as possible out of the frozen.

Drain cooked pasta.  Put it in a larger pot with all the other stuff, and stir.  Over medium heat, let everything get nice and hot, and if using fresh spinach, let it wilt a little bit. 

Plate it up, and sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. 

And there you go!  Easy, tasty, and nutritious.

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