Chicken Marsala Pasta Recipe

When I first began on Pinterest, I spent what felt like 16 hours a day pinning recipes. At that time I truly did not know how to cook, and I was certain that Pinterest was going to change all of that. Thankfully it did, and I have had huge successes like my Cowboy Casserole (that has also been repinned over ten thousand times) and my Simple Chicken Pot Pie which continues to be a family favorite. This week though I wanted to stretch my culinary skills and try something a little more complex. I looked back over my pins from the early days and found one for a Chicken Marsala Pasta… except that the link was incorrect. :( So I did a little more research, got the “jist” of the recipe, and headed off to the kitchen with the goal to to concoct a masterpiece… which is exactly what I did.

chicken marsala pasta 3

Chicken Marsala Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 can sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups marsala cooking wine
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 box penne pasta

Begin by cooking penne pasta according to package directions. Set aside when finished. In a large skillet, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat to medium heat. Cook chicken completely until lightly browned on all sides. Move chicken to a plate and set aside. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to skillet and add diced onion, mushrooms, and minced garlic. Cook until onion is translucent and soft – about 5-7 minutes – stirring often to prevent sticking. Place chicken back in to skillet. Add in marsala, chicken broth, and whipping cream and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium and let simmer until sauce begins to thicken. Add in cooked pasta and stir gently. Let mixture continue to simmer about five minutes – stirring often. Finish by stirring in parmesan cheese and removing from heat. Let sit five minutes before serving. Voila!

chicken marsala pasta

Baby Shower Ideas: Milano Cookie Babies

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Remember a few weeks ago when I hosted the #PampersFirsts Baby Shower with some of my close girlfriends and their little bundles? We had an absolute blast and it was by far one of the most fun parties I have ever thrown. I went completely overboard on the food and decorations – but hey, it’s what you when its your besties having babies!

baby shower

The biggest hit of the day – both in cuteness and in taste – were the Milano Cookie Babies. They were super simple to make and were absolutely delicious. All you need is four ingredients and a little bit of time to make a cute and memorable snack! In fact – these were gone so quickly I did not get any great pictures – so please forgive that!

milano cookie babies

Milano Cookie Babies

Ingredients:

  • Carton of Milano Cookies – either size works great! I used the minis.
  • White candy melts
  • Food coloring
  • Chocolate decorators icing

Start by melting your white candy melts in a large bowl. You want it to be deep enough that you can dip your cookies in to make the “diapers.” Gently dip each cookie about 1/3 in to the white candy melts and place on a foil or wax paper lined cookie sheet to let cool completely.

milano cookie babies for baby shower

While they are cooling, add a few drops of food coloring to the white candy melts to make the “hats” of your choice. Since we had both boy and girl babies at this party (well… one little girl who arrived 48 hours later) I mixed up a bowl of pink and blue. When the cookies have cooled completely, gently dip the other end of the cookies in to the colored candy melts and place back on the cookie sheet to cool.

cookies

When candy melt has completely cooled, pipe on two little dots for eyes using the chocolate icing and voila!

milano cookie babies baby shower food

Whole30 Ranch Dressing Recipe: Total Game Changer

When I completed my first whole30 I was ecstatic – for two reasons. One, I had amazing results and felt better than I could ever remember feeling before. And two, I was going to get to reintroduce some of my favorites that I had missed so much! One of those items was ranch dressing. Now, being from the South, ranch dressing is a staple – and we put it on everything. Salads, vegetables, grilled chicken – you name it – you can put ranch on it. However, I did not want to go back to my old ways of eating since I felt so good, so I set off to find the perfect whole30 compliant ranch dressing.

whole30 ranch dressing

This ranch dressing turned out so amazing that even my girls prefer it over normal dairy ranch. It has not only become a staple here at my house, but my Dad and a handful of whole30 friends have requested I make them jars of it! I am now midway through a whole45 and going strong still in part due to loving all of the whole30 recipes and never feeling hungry. As long as I have fresh veggies and this ranch – I am good to go.

So without further ado, here is my favorite ranch dressing recipe ever.

Whole30 Ranch Dressing

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup whole30 mayo
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

In a nice large measuring cup pour 1 cup of coconut milk. Then spoon in whole30 mayo until liquid level reaches two cups. Add in spices and whisk well. Cover and let chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Enjoy! *Tip: experiment with coconut milks – some have a stronger coconut flavor than others. The milder the coconut flavor, the tastier your ranch will be!

whole30 ranch dressing recipe

25 St Patrick’s Day Meals and Sides

Next week is St Patrick’s Day and the girls have asked for a “traditional” St Patrick’s Day meal. I am not even sure what that means, but I am going to give it my best shot. I guess this is what I get for coloring everything in the house green the last few days. But I began looking and actually some of these sound absolutely delicious… however it is a really good thing I am not starting Whole30 again until April. If you are looking to cook up some traditional Irish Faire for the holiday, here is a great list of 25 Irish Themed Meals and Sides to get you started!

St Patrick’s Day Meals

St. Paddy's Meals 2 Text

1. Breakfast Salad
2. Corned Beef and Cabbage Bites
3. Reuben Sliders
4. Guinness Stew
5. Irish Brown Bread Breakfast of Kings
6. Irish Colcannon Mac and Cheese
7. Irish Stew
8. Fisherman’s Pie
9. Colcannon Skillet Pizza
10. Irish Pork and Fruit Curry
11. Guinness Braised Brats and Broccoli Baked Potato
12. Green Beer Bread
13. Colcannon Irish Potatoes
14. Irish Seafood Chowder
15. Guinness Braised Lamb Shanks
16. Irish Breakfast Skillet Potato Nachos
17. Lamb Shepherd’s Pie & Parmesan Ricotta Potatoes
18. Reuben Bread
19. Guinness Corned Beef Sliders with Irish Cheese
20. Dublin Coddle
21. Irish Corn Bread
22. Irish Bangers and Mash
23. Irish Potato Cakes with Bacon and a Leek Cream Sauce
24. Luck of the Irish Skewers
25. Irish Corned Beef, Potato and Cabbage Pie

St Patrick’s Day: Simple Shamrock Cupcakes

This weekend Midge wasn’t feeling her best, so we chose to stay in and doing some baking. Even though I do not do much eating of the sweets since my whole30, I do still love baking and decorating cakes, cookies, cakepops, and of course cupcakes. Since we made our St Patrick’s Day Deviled Eggs I was in a “green” kind of mood, so we decided to make some shamrock cupcakes. I used my favorite Duncan Hines Blue Velvet cake mix and icing, and in no time we were devouring these little cuties.

shamrock cupcakes

St Patrick’s Day Shamrock Cupcakes

Items needed:

  • Duncan Hines Blue Velvet Cake Mix
  • White icing
  • Food Coloring – all colors
  • Cupcake liners
  • Muffin tin
  • glass marbles
  • Candy “eyes”

Mix up the Duncan Hines Blue Velvet cake mix according to the instructions on the box. Add in yellow food coloring until batter is green. Place cupcake liners in to muffin tin, and then place three marbles in each one – between the tin and the paper. Be sure to get these as even as possible – you want your “leaves” to be all the same size.

(forgive my old muffin tin - it was my late grandmother's and I can't stand to part with it)

(forgive my old muffin tin – it was my late grandmother’s and I can’t stand to part with it)

Put cake batter in to a gallon ziplock bag and snip the corner off to make it easy to guide the batter into the three sections of the cupcake liner. You only want to fill them about half full. The batter will rise some and you do not want it to come too far up over the liner as that will distort the shape. If it does though, you can easily trim it – it will never be seen once you add the icing 😉

Again, please ignore the tin. She and I cooked about a million muffins in this tin when she was alive.

Again, please ignore the tin. She and I cooked about a million muffins in this tin when she was alive.

Bake until completely cooked through – and let cool completely before removing from tin. The little marbles will be very very hot – just let them cool down with the cupcakes. It is important that the cupcakes are completely cooled before going on, or the cake will come off in the icing.

easy shamrock cupcakes

Mix green food coloring in to your white icing until it is the desired green. Put in to ziplock bag or piping bag and pipe on to cupcake in a circular motion. Add candy eyes to one “leaf.” Add a few drops of red and blue food coloring to your green icing to make a charcoal like color and pipe on a quick smile. Voila!

st patricks day cupcake