Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake

Here's a recipe that showed up in my Facebook feed that looked and proved to be quite delicious! The original post for this spicy pasta dish can be found here on Inside Bru Crew Life. I love fixing Buffalo Chicken Dip and just knew this would be as equally good. Any pasta dish is a rare dish around our house since we have moderated our carb intake. However, sometimes you just have to go there and enjoy a forbidden treat. 

I saw it one day; one of the girls I worked with fixed it that night, and told me it was divine. Needless to say, it was on our menu that weekend.I can't wait to prepare it again! I did not change the recipe at all and it was quite amazing as is.

8 ounces penne pasta (Cook, drain and set to the side)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup ranch dressing
1/3 cup Franks Buffalo wing sauce
2 cups chicken
1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
green onions, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a small casserole dish with spray.

Stew and cut up chicken in bite-sized chunks.
Cook pasta per box directions. Drain and set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together the cream cheese, ranch, and hot wing sauce.
Blend in the chicken, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, and pasta.
Spoon into the prepared dish.
Sprinkle the remaining cheeses on top.
While the delicious yumminess is baking, chop up some green onions.
Bake until it's bubbly and the cheese is melted (around 25 minutes in my oven).
You can decorate with additional ranch dressing and green onions before serving.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Cheesy Garlic Bread

Last month I ended a wonderful eight months working with our local public library. I enjoyed working with a super group of ladies who made it a goal to expand minds and offer daily learning opportunities to all who entered the doors.

Before I left, the ladies staged a delicious going away lunch. I will try to share a few of the recipes along the way. This is the first one that needs to filed under "KEEPER!" Between changing phones and computers in addition to a job, I can't find half of my files. And you know how you THINK you've backed everything up? Well, I've had to hook up my old trusty computer with fingers crossed that I'd find what I needed.

Every time we would have a meal to celebrate a birthday or other special occasion, Kayla would bring this hot loaf of deliciousness loaded with mozzarella and garlic. I would just about hurt myself eating it. She said she just used Valerie Bertinelli's recipe and tweaked it slightly. Kayla said her secret is using a GOOD round loaf of bread. They were kind enough to invite me to Mrs. Cindy's birthday celebration lunch last month and I got to enjoy this cheesy goodness again. Thank you Ladies!

1 round loaf "good" bread 
Real mozzarella
Shredded cheese (to sprinkle on top)
1-1/2 sticks softened butter
3/4 tsp. salt
Fresh parsley
2 heaping tsp. minced garlic

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt butter and saute garlic. Stir in salt and parsley. Set to the side.
  3. Carefully score bread in both directions without cutting through. Pull the sections apart and stuff slices of mozzarella cheese in all the cracks.
  4. Spoon the butter mixture into the cracks and save a little to go over the top.
  5. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake for approximately 25 minutes.
  6. Remove the foil from the top. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and let it bake until the cheese is melted.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Buttermilk "Oven Fried" Chicken aka Cornflake Crust Baked Chicken

I was looking over a recipe book Carolyn brought in when we were preparing for the Library's Taste and Tell II program when I ran across this recipe from The Skinnytaste Cookbook. One of the titles caught my eye and I immediately thought about my Grandmother Gaudette.

Growing up in Connecticut, I remember a trip to the lake where my Great-Uncle Arthur and Great-Aunt Betty had a cabin. Me, my siblings and all my Holmes cousins always had a lot of fun playing together. This is where I first learned about an "outhouse." Who knew such a thing existed?

Grandma Gaudette would have a cooler full of her cornflake crust chicken legs packed. There was nothing better than sitting on a sandy beach, outside, eating cold chicken legs and whatever sides. As an adult, I can't imagine eating food anywhere near sand. Yeeesh!

When I inherited her recipe file after she left this world for her heavenly home; I was hoping I 'd find her recipe. I was sadly disappointed as it wasn't in there. Since then, I've repeated this story countless times so you can imagine how happy I was to find this recipe. I tweaked the spices to reflect what I had in my pantry and it was quite tasty. I didn't remove the skin as the original recipe recommended, so I'll leave that up to you. I did fix a double recipe but I have this broke down for a "normal" serving.


  • 8 chicken legs
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp smoky paprika
  • ½ tsp poultry seasoning
  • ½ tsp garlic salt with parsley
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • cooking spray

  • The recipe called for the chicken to soak in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours or overnight. I had around 2 hours. Rinse and season the chicken with the salt, paprika, poultry seasoning, garlic powder, and black pepper. Pour the buttermilk and lemon juice over the chicken and coat well. I stirred this concoction several times.


    • ⅔ cup panko bread crumbs
    • ½ cup crushed cornflake crumbs
    • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1½ teaspoons sea salt
    • 1½ teaspoons smoky paprika
    • ½ teaspoon onion powder
    • ½ teaspoon garlic salt with parsley

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet, mix coating ingredients
    Prepare a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and a rack sprayed with cooking oil.
    Time to get rolling!
    Roll chicken legs until they are nicely coated.
    Place on rack and lightly spray with cooking spray.
    Cook for 40-45 minutes. My oven is a little slow, so I went with 45 minutes.
    170 degrees. Whoops! 40 minutes minutes would have probably been fine. However, that extra 5 degrees didn't hurt them one bit. The crust was crunchy and the meat was moist and tender.
    We enjoyed this plate of chicken with Grandma's Cucumbers, mashed potatoes and corn.