Goat Cheese & Sun-dried Tomato Pasta

My husband and I have made the decision to start eating more meatless meals. 
We are not cutting meat completely out, just back. Way back.

That being said, I have to tell you, we have not missed it. Not even a little bit. 

I think it has a lot to do with meals like this Goat Cheese & Sun-dried Tomato Pasta. 
We just add a salad with lots of fresh vegetables in it along side a bowl of sliced cucumbers 
marinated in a little dressed up vinegar, and we are good to go.

The entire meal takes just minutes to throw together and let me tell you, it was so good.
Not too heavy and perfectly creamy from the delicious goat cheese (no cream needed). The Parmesan added a little punch of saltiness and the hit from the sun-dried tomatoes...oh my goodness. Everything came together perfectly. Lets not forget the fresh basil. I mean...fresh basil, right?

I would venture to say, if a person wasn't partial to goat cheese, cream cheese would work in a pinch.

Fast and easy to prepare, a few simple ingredients, and huge flavor.

It was a hit.

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Goat Cheese & Sun-dried Tomato Pasta

8 oz spaghetti, reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid
2 tbsp of oil from the sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt & Pepper
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes with herb, rough chop
4 oz of goat cheese
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil

Cook spaghetti in salted water according to package instructions. Save 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain spaghetti.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, red pepper flakes, a pinch of salt and pepper and saute until the onion softens. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more. Stir in tomatoes and 1/2 cup of the reserved water. Stir in crumbled goat cheese and the 1/4 cup Parmesan. Stir until melted. Add spaghetti stirring to combine and add more water if needed/desired. I ended up adding apprx. 3/4 cup of the water. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with more grated Parmesan and basil, if desired.



This is one of my most favorite things in the world.

It takes just minutes to throw together and I can't get enough of it. Especially when I 
have fresh basil I can walk outside and cut.

Roast up a little garlic in olive oil, throw it in a bowl with sliced tomatoes, 
balsamic vinegar, basil and a little salt and pepper. Done!

(Can a person eat too many tomatoes? Asking for a friend.)

Play around with it. If you like lots of basil...add it. Don't like a lot of balsamic...start with a teaspoon or two and add more if needed. What ever works for you.

Aside from a spoon right out of the bowl, I like to eat it on a tasty slice of toasted bread.

Doesn't get much easier than that.

Linked with Weekend Potluck.


1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pint red grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
7 whole basil leaves (chiffonade)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a small pan or skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until golden brown, stirring often. Pour oil and garlic into a bowl and let cool a couple of minutes. Add remaining ingredients and stir to mix. Taste for seasoning.  You can use it right away but I like to let it sit out for 30-40 minutes or store in the fridge until ready to use. I would bring it back close to room temperature before eating.

Toast up your favorite bread, load it with your tomatoes and serve.


Slow Cooker Beer Braised Baja Chicken Tacos

Looks like just a simple chicken taco, right?

It's not. Far from it. 
You won't believe the flavor of this somewhat plain looking plate of food.

This taco is crazy good. 

The chicken is slow cooked in beer with garlic, red onion, chipotle peppers, a touch of honey with some wonderful spices. It turns out with  huge flavor all on its own. 

But then comes the Baja sauce.

OH MY GOSH. This sauce...I actually stood at the counter with a spoon, dipping it in the sauce and eating it with a little left over cabbage. This was after supper. I'll be making it a lot. It would be good on so many things. Fish, burgers, taco salad, etc.

You could dress this up with some crumbled mexican cheese, jalapenos, whatever you like. I kept it really simple with a little shredded cabbage, squeeze of fresh lime and a touch of avocado. And lots of sauce. Definitely lots of sauce!

Linked with Weekend Potluck.

Slow Cooker Beer Braised Baja Chicken Tacos

Two large chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
1 red onion
2 chipotle peppers in Adobo, chopped
1 1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 12oz bottle of Corona

Baja Sauce

1 jalapeno, rough chop (seeded for less heat if desired)
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley (may use all cilantro if desired)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tsp honey
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Place chopped onion into slow cooker. Add chicken breasts on top. Whisk together remaining ingredients except beer and pour over chicken. Add the beer to the cooker, cover, and cook on low apprx. 4 hours or until chicken is tender with a temp. of 165 degrees F. Remove chicken from cooker and shred with two forks. Add back into cooking liquid. Serve with tongs or slotted spoon to let excess moisture run off.

To make the Baja sauce: Add jalapeno, garlic, cilantro and parsley to the bowl of a food processor and pulse to make a rough chop. Scrape down sides and add remaining ingredients. Process to combine. Taste for seasoning adding more salt and pepper if desired. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Note: For the chipotle peppers...I process up a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and store it covered in my fridge. It lasts months and comes in very handy.

Slightly adapted from No Spoon Necessary.


Parmesan Tuscan Chicken

This Parmesan Tuscan Chicken is such a flavorful one pan dish. 

So easy and fast, yet tastes like a lot of time and effort went into it.

We kept it pretty low-carb by serving it with just some steamed broccoli, 
but would be awesome over some mashed potatoes, rice or noodles. could even serve it sandwich style on a toasted bun. 
Either way, just serve it.

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Parmesan Tuscan Chicken

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp olive oil
1 pat butter
1/2 onion, chopped
8 oz fresh mushrooms, chopped
3 large cloves garlic
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp fresh parsley

Heat large skillet over medium to medium high heat with olive oil and butter. Salt and pepper chicken breasts. Add to skillet and cook 4-6 minutes per side or until just cooked through. Remove from skillet, loosely cover with foil and set aside.

Add onion and mushrooms to same pan. Saute over medium heat apprx. 4 minutes or until onions are translucent and mushrooms have released their liquid.  Add garlic and Italian seasoning; continue to saute, stirring occasionally, 1-2 minutes.

Stir in flour and cook 1-2 minutes. Add wine, stirring to deglaze bottom of the pan. Stir in chicken stock, sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and parsley. Add back in chicken breasts, spooning sauce over the top. Cover and simmer on low, 3-4 minutes.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Love a good slow cooked roast and this one did not disappoint.

It was so moist and flavorful, with a hint of smokiness from the
chipotle puree and just a few drops of liquid smoke.

I like to use something a little acidic when I'm slow cooking roasts. I find that a little red wine vinegar mixed in with the broth makes a big difference in the flavor. 

In this case, I used juice from the pepperoncini peppers. I love the additional flavor profile it gives. You could also use pickled jalapeno juice for a spicier kick.

Sandwiches topped with coleslaw are one of my favorite ways to enjoy it.

I like a super easy slaw that's not overly creamy like the one I served with my Chile Verde Pulled Pork Tacos. You can check that out here. If you prefer a creamier slaw, I have a recipe 
for Creamy Jalapeno Coleslaw that would be awesome.

After the roast has cooked, I like to save some of the liquid and mix it into my 
favorite barbecue sauce. SO GOOD!

Linked with Weekend Potluck.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

2 1/2 - 3 1/2 lbs boneless pork loin roast, excess fat trimmed
1 onion cut into 8 chunks
1 tsp salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup beef broth
1/3 cup barbecue sauce
1 tsp *chipotle puree
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2-3 dashes liquid smoke (optional)
4-5 pepperoncinis
3 tbsp pepperoncini juice

In a small bowl, mix together salt, paprika, garlic powder and pepper. Cover both sides of pork with spice mixture.

Stir together broth, barbecue sauce, chipotle puree, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke and pepperoncini juice.

Add onions to slow cooker and place seasoned pork on top. Drop pepperoncinis along the sides. Pour broth mixture over roast. Cover and cook on low 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 hours.

Remove roast from cooker, saving peppers and onions if desired, and shred. Reserve the cooking liquid if desired. I like to use it to mix in with my favorite barbecue sauce to serve with the meat. Huge flavor.

*Note: As for the chipotle puree, I keep a covered glass dish in the fridge containing a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce that I puree up in my food processor. ALWAYS...I use it all the time and it last a really long time.

Cheesy Corn & Kale Grits

Even though I grew up in Wyoming, I was born in the south.
We moved north when I was about 4 and took our love of grits along with us.

I've been eating them all my life and will never quit. 
Only savory grits though. None of that "grits with sugar". That's just wrong.

Grits are really versatile too. 
They can become the main course just by adding some beef, chicken or sausage.
I've tasted several casseroles made with grits and enjoyed them all.

The first time I made this I served it up with some awesome Stovetop BBQ Ribs

I used fat free half & half which worked
 perfectly. This time I used 1/2 cup of heavy cream with 1/2 cup of water 
for the simple reason, I was out of half & half. Worked just as well, so I'm thinking just plain milk would be okay if that's what you had on hand.

Either way, the grits end up creamy and rich tasting. You can also 
substitute any flavor of cheese you choose. I think Havarti, Pepper Jack, Swiss, 
Cream Cheese or Goat Cheese would be excellent choices.

So easy and so delicious!

Linked with Weekend Potluck.

Cheesy Corn & Kale Grits

1 cup quick cooking grits
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup half & half, fat free will work
2-3 stalks of kale, core removed, chopped
4 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 ear of corn, kernels removed (may use 1/2 cup frozen or canned)
Salt and pepper
Green onions

Combine chicken broth and half & half in a medium size saucepan and bring to a boil. Whisk in grits to combine, making sure there are no clumps, then stir in kale. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5-7 minutes (or recommendations on grits package). Stir in cheese until melted; stir in corn and heat through. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if desired.

Garnish with chopped green onions.