Faith, Food, Uncategorized

Sheet Pan Italian Chicken

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It’s easier to find some chicken at the stores right now than toilet paper. Though I hope you have plenty of both. I also hope and pray that you and your family are healthy and well. These are uncertain times, but God is bigger than coronavirus. He will get us through this. 

And yes, people are going a wee bit crazy. Panic buying. We’ve all seen the empty toilet paper shelves, among other essentials. Let’s all take a collective deep breath together. That’s better. We are going to make it, by the grace of God. Yes, it’s tough right now with so many unknowns, but God knows. We can trust God completely. So, keep your head up, your hope fixed on Jesus, and know this will end. 

You may be cooking more than usual lately, and I want to help you out. This super simple chicken dinner is fantastic. Veggies and meat are cooked together in one pan. Easy and nutritious.  Your kids will love it. Your spouse will love it. Your family will praise you for making such yummy food. 

If you’ve already got some chicken in the freezer then all you will need is some fresh green beans and Roma tomatoes. Or, you can swap out the vegetables for ones you’ve got on hand. I’ve been able to get fresh produce at my local grocery store, and I hope you can as well. The fresh veggies make this dish so appetizing. 

Get your kids involved by having them trim the ends of the green beans, or help measure the ingredients for the marinade. My youngest son, who’s fourteen, usually cuts the green beans for me. Add a salad, some potatoes, or rice, and your meal is complete. Have fun with this one.

Happy Eating!

 

The Lord is my light and my salvation—

    whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life—

    of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 27:1

 

 

Sheet Pan Italian Chicken

4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

6 Roma tomatoes

1 lb. fresh green beans

 

Marinade

1 cup olive oil

⅓ cup balsamic vinegar

6 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. Basil

1 tsp. salt   

½ tsp. black pepper

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425° and spray a large sheet pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl whisk together the ingredients for the marinade. Set aside.
  3. Trim the ends off the green beans and slice the tomatoes lengthwise into 4 to 6 pieces each. Place the vegetables in a large freezer bag.
  4. Place the chicken in a large freezer bag. Pour half the marinade over the chicken. Seal the bag and move the chicken around to give it an even coat. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or up to 8 hours. 
  5. Pour the remaining marinade over the vegetables and let that sit on the counter. (Place the vegetables in the refrigerator if you plan to cook several hours later).
  6. Set your chicken on the counter for about 20 minutes before you put it in the oven.
  7. Place chicken on the sheet pan first, then fit the veggies around the chicken. Throw out the excess marinade. Sprinkle salt and pepper on everything before it goes in the oven. 
  8. Bake for 35 minutes.

 

Notes

  • Use cherry tomatoes instead of Romas.
  • Experiment with different vegetables.
  • Add fresh parsley when it comes out of the oven.

 

 

Get this delicous recipe and all of my recipes at Mustard Seed Sentinel. Go to the “More” tab and scroll down to “Meghan’s Corner”.

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/post/meghan-s-corner-sheet-pan-italian-chicken

Faith, Food, Uncategorized

One Pot Lasagna

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My mom made the best lasagna. As kids, we would request her famous lasagna for our birthday dinners. I attempted my mom’s lasagna once, when I was first married. She stayed on the phone, and talked me through each step. It turned out delicious. I made a second attempt on my own, and it wasn’t so great. I didn’t make it again.

Several years ago I came across one pot lasagna. It has everything I love. It’s Italian, simple, and my family will actually eat it. I cautiously gave it a try, and was surprised by the results. The lasagna turned out well. How could something so simple be so delicious? I didn’t stand at the stove cooking sauce for hours. There is no boiling of lasagna noodles, and then laying them out separately, before you even begin assembling your lasagna. Did I actually make a scrumptious, savory, edible lasagna? Yes! I did. And you can too. 

Just like the title says, it really only uses one pot. Honestly, this recipe holds up against traditional lasagna quite well. It may even be better. I can’t believe I just said that. I’ve had lasagna where the sauce cooked for twenty four hours, and it was very good. One pot lasagna is just as good, in my opinion, and way easier to make. 

Give your family a hearty satisfying meal with this fantastic lasagna.

 

Happy Eating!

 

Now these three remain:

faith, hope, and love.

But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13

 

One Pot Lasagna

 

1 to 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

½ medium yellow onion, chopped

1 lb. ground beef

1 lb. mild Italian sausage

8 Oven Ready lasagna noodles (broken into pieces)

1 (28oz.) can crushed tomatoes

1 (8oz.) can tomato sauce

3 to 5 cloves of crushed garlic

½ cup water

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

½ tsp. sugar

1 tsp. basil

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 (7.5oz.) ricotta cheese

6 oz. shredded Mozzarella

 

  1. In a large skillet (at least 12”), saute onions over medium-high heat in olive oil until translucent.
  2. Add in ground beef and Italian sausage. Once the meat is cooked, drain off fat.
  3. While the meat is cooking, add the crushed tomatoes in a large bowl with the tomato sauce and the ½ cup water. Season the tomato mixture with sugar, basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper.
  4. Add lasagna noodles that have been broken into large pieces on top of the drained meat mixture. Do not stir. Just make an even layer of the noodles.
  5. Pour sauce mixture over the broken up noodles. Do not stir. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  6. After 10 minutes, remove the lid and gently stir. Separate any noodles that are stuck together.
  7. Replace the lid, and simmer an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. After the second 10 minutes. Turn off heat, remove the lid, stir well and separate any stuck noodles.
  9. Put spoonfuls of ricotta cheese evenly over the top. Cover and let it sit, off heat, for 5 minutes.
  10. Sprinkle mozzarella on top and place under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes until cheese is melted and browned.

 

Notes

* You can use plain ricotta cheese or you can add herbs for more flavor.

* Make sure to use a large oven safe pan.

* To save time, mix up your tomato sauce before you begin cooking.

* Adjust the spices to your taste.

* Break the dry lasagna noodles into approximately 2 inch sized pieces. 

 

 

Check out my monthly column at Mustard Seed Sentinel. You can get this recipe and more. Go to the “More” tab and scroll down to Meghan’s Corner.

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/post/meghan-s-corner-one-pot-lasagna

Faith, Family, Food, Uncategorized

Homemade Pop Tarts

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Pop tarts are not something I normally purchase. My husband has a sweet tooth, and usually buys pop tarts for camping or road trips. The boys love them too. I’ve never been a big fan. They are a bit dry and bland to me. So, I stay away from them. But not anymore.

These tempting homemade pop tarts will make you want to bake. The light, buttery, flaky crust melts in your mouth. These are nothing like the store bought ones. If you are already a pop tart fan, these will put a smile on your face. The memories will come flooding back of those childhood days.

You can customize the tarts with any filling you like. I made strawberry and grape at the request of my family. Brown sugar cinnamon is a very popular flavor. Chocolate, hazelnut spread, or just about any fruit filling would be delicious. Make your own filling or use store bought jams and spreads. Experiment with different flavors.

Get the kids involved in this one. Have each child customize their own pop tarts with their choice of fillings. Also, let them color the frosting and add sprinkles. Kids love to personalize what they cook, and it’s a great way to get them in the kitchen. Cooking is creative. Let those kids create. And yes, they will make a mess. It’s O.K. Baking and cooking should be positive experiences. 

If there are no kids in your life, be a kid yourself. Have fun with this one. Don’t forget to share these sweet pastries with someone else. A friend, neighbor, co-worker, cousin, store clerk, or anyone would enjoy a homemade pop tart. Spread the love. 

All my bakers out there, you’ll have fun with these pop tarts. All my non-bakers, don’t be intimidated. You can do this. They aren’t difficult, just a little bit time consuming. You can use your own pie crust recipe. You can use the one I’m giving you. Or, just buy pie crust dough from the grocery store. 

Give these heavenly pop tarts a try. You won’t regret it. 

Happy Eating!

 

Taste and see that the Lord is good;

blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Psalm 34:8

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Homemade Pop Tarts 

 

Ingredients

Pastry Crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted cold butter, cut into cubes

1 egg

2 tablespoons milk

 

Egg Wash:

1 egg

1 tablespoon milk

 

Icing:

1 cup powdered sugar

½  teaspoon vanilla

2 to 3 tablespoons milk

 

Filling:

Fruit jam

 

Make the pastry.

Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. (You can also use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.) Add the cubed butter to the flour mixture. Use a fork or pastry blender to combine the butter and flour together until it’s a coarse crumb (pea-size). In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and milk together until combined. Add the egg/milk mixture to the dough. Mix everything together with a fork until combined. It will be sticky and crumbly. Knead lightly on a floured surface until the dough is smooth, not sticky.

 

Divide the dough in half.

Take one half of the dough and roll it out on a floured surface. Roll the dough into a 12 ½ inch by 9 ½ inch rectangle. Using a ruler, measure a 12 by 9 inch rectangle and cut. Then measure 9 squares, each one measuring 3 inch by 4 inch, and cut those. Transfer each square with a spatula onto a parchment lined baking sheet. 

 

Make the egg wash.

Whisk together egg and milk for the egg wash. Brush egg mixture on each pastry square.

 

Place filling on pastry.

Put about 1 tablespoon of filling on each pastry square. Leave about ½ an inch or slightly less on the edges. 

 

Roll out the other half of the dough.

Repeat the same process as with the first half. Roll out a rectangle that’s approximately 12 ½ inch by 9 ½ inch. With a ruler, measure a 12 inch by 9 inch rectangle and cut with a knife. Measure 9 squares that are 3 inch by 4 inch each, and cut those. Brush with egg wash and place on top of pastry squares that have filling on them. (The egg wash side faces the filling for both pieces of pastry.)

 

Seal the pop tarts.

Once the pop tarts are assembled, gently press the seams together. Making sure all sides are sealed. Poke the tops with a fork several times to vent. Take a fork and crimp all the edges.

 

Refrigerate the prepared pop tarts for 30 minutes, uncovered. 

 

Bake the pop tarts.

Bake in a  350° oven for 25 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

 

Make the icing. 

In a small bowl, whisk powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Drizzle a small amount (approximately 1 tablespoon) of icing on each pop tart. The icing will run over the sides. Let the icing set up on the pop tarts before moving them. Add sprinkles if you’d like, before the icing is set.

 

Notes

 

  • Make sure to use unsalted butter. If you use salted butter, do not add salt to the dough.
  • The dough will be crumbly after the egg/milk is added and mixed. Keep kneading the dough on a floured surface, and in a short time it will become smooth.
  • You can make this pastry dough ahead of time and refrigerate it for a day or two. Let it get to room temperature before rolling the dough.
  • Some of the filling will spill out during baking.
  • Using milk instead of water in the egg wash helps with browning.
  • Use any fillings you prefer. (cherry, apricot, blackberry, etc.)
  • Play around the consistency of the icing. If you want a thinner icing, like a glaze, use more milk and less powdered sugar.

 

 

Go to the link for my article on Mustard Seed Sentinel.

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/post/meghan-s-corner-homemade-pop-tarts

Faith, Food, Uncategorized

Olive Crostini

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This easy scrumptious recipe was given to me many years ago by a coworker. Her sister was a caterer and used this crostini often. I too have used it often over the years, but took a break from it until recently. It was fun to make it again. Olive Crostini has always been a big hit when I’ve made it for gatherings. Throw in a salad, and make a light meal out of it.

I have one funny story involving this appetizer. For quite a few years I hosted a Christmas party and olive crostini became a staple. My husband was mixing this olive spread using the blender. It gets pretty thick, so he stuck a large plastic spoon in the blender to unstick everything and accidentally hit one of the buttons. Well, a large chunk of the spoon was taken off by the blade from the blender. As he was fishing out plastic from the olive spread the doorbell rang. The show must go on, so the olive crostini went in the oven with God only knows how many bits of plastic. 

Now that I’ve confessed, you may never want to eat anything I share with you. Please forgive me. And also know, cooking mishaps are unavoidable. Whether we’ve eaten trace amounts of plastic, or burned food, or over salted, or used expired ingredients.  What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right? My conscience is clear. Confession really is good for the soul. 

On with the recipe. The flavor combos are delectable. I love the contrast of the slightly bitter green olives with the creamy jack cheese. You can easily make the spread several days before your event. It keeps in the fridge for at least a week or two. You can even freeze the olive spread, but you won’t have to because it will get eaten up.

 

Happy Eating!

 

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

John 6:35

 

Olive Crostini 

  • 6 oz. can black olives, drained
  • 6 oz. jar green olives with pimentos, drained 
  • 4 to 5 garlic cloves
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1½ cups Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 cup fresh parmesan cheese 
  • 1or 2 Baguettes 

 

  • In a food processor:
  • Add 6 oz. black olives and chop 
  • Add the garlic cloves and chop
  • Add olive oil and blend
  • Add 6 oz jar green olives and chop
  • Add butter and blend

 

  • In a mixing bowl:
  • Place the olive mixture from the food processor.
  • Stir in the jack and parmesan cheeses.

 

  • Thinly slice a baguette.
  • Spread about a tablespoon of the olive spread on each baguette slice.
  • Cook under the broiler for 2 to 4 minutes until lightly browned and bubbly.

     

  •  Notes 
  • This spread makes enough for at least 2 baguettes.
  • You can experiment with different olives.
  • Store leftover spread in the refrigerator.
  • You can use a blender if you don’t have a food processor, or just chop by hand.
  • The consistency you want is a coarse paste.

 

You can read my latest article here:

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/post/meghan-s-corner-olive-crostini

Check out https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/  for plenty of great content from book reviews to parenting advice, all from a Christian perspective.