Penne Arrabiata

My family is (was) in a pasta rut.
We enjoy pasta, but our dishes were the usual: spaghetti, lasagna or mac n cheese,
(Any of which was homemade or premade.)

I was determined to break out of that rut, so my hunt began.
My first source is always
That is where my hunt began and ended.
It did not take long at all to locate a recipe that was an instant HIT.

Penne Arrabiata_1459

  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 (12 ounce) package dried penne pasta  ** (I prefer the whole grain variety!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound thin chicken breast cutlets

Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, and saute for a few minutes. Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes, and sauté for another minute. Pour in the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, and add the basil. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add penne pasta, and cook for 8 minutes, or until tender. Drain.

In a small bowl, whisk eggs with a fork. Place bread crumbs in a separate bowl. Stir the garlic powder, salt and pepper into the bread crumbs. Dip chicken cutlets into the egg, then press into the bread crumbs until completely coated.

Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry chicken for about 5 minutes per side, or until the coating is a nice dark brown color.

Remove chicken, and cut into slices. Toss the chicken slices into the sauce, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in the cooked penne, simmer for a few more minutes to soak up the flavor, then serve.

(Original recipe is HERE)

Chocolate Chip, Almond, Toffee Cookies


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup toffee pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter and dark brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat for another minute. Add the vanilla, beat well.

Whisk dry ingredients together. In two or three additions, mix the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture.

Fold in the chocolate chips, toffee and almonds. Use a mini ice cream scoop or tablespoon to drop balls of the dough onto baking sheets. Gently flatten the tops of the dough.

Bake for about 8-10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet.

(Original recipe found HERE)

Caramel Popcorn

I am not a fan of chewy caramel popcorn, so this recipe is perfect for me.
It is sweet, buttery and crispy!!
Just the way I like it.

• 1 cup butter
• 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
• 1/2 cup corn syrup
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 5 quarts popped popcorn**
• 2-3 cups spanish peanuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (95 degrees C). Place popcorn in a large roaster.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. Pour over popcorn, stirring to coat.
Place the roaster in preheated oven and bake, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces.

** I like to pop this in the microwave. Place about 1/4 cup of unpopped popping corn in a brown paper bag. Fold down the top a few time and place in microwave. I use the "popcorn" setting. It takes about 3-4 batches for this recipe. (Be sure to filter out the unpopped kernels as you pour it into the roasting pan.)