Tag Archives: Black Pepper

Chicken Cordon Bleu Skillet Bake

Chicken Cordon Bleu Skillet Bake (11)

Please allow me to introduce you to Magic… Magic, this is the people of the United States, Australia, England, France, Brazil, Russia, Spain, Poland, the Ukraine, etc. Sorry for those followers I didn’t list but I really dont know your all of your names so hopefully this introduction will suffice! This is a honestly one of the quickest week night dinners I have made in quite some time, and I have all the faith in the world that if your a fan of Chicken Cordon Bleu, you will love this majestical little gent!

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I have to say that I think aside from dilly-dallying around my kitchen, sipping wine (surprisingly yes wine and not craft beer) it only took me about 35 minutes from skillet to plate! Who in their right mind do not like easy weeknight skillet bakes?! The devil, that’s who!

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1 Pkg Cooked Penne

2 Cups Cream

1 Cup Cream Cheese

2 Cups Swiss Cheese; shredded

2 Cups Chicken; cooked + chopped

1 Cup Ham Cold Cuts; Chopped

3/4 Cups Bacon Crumbles

1 Tsp Garlic Powder

1 Tsp Onion Powder

1/2 Tsp Black Pepper

1 Cup Pepperidge Farms Stuffing

4 Tbsp Salted Butter

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For this recipe as well as any other pasta dishes that include bacon, I use thick sliced bacon. I do this because I feel that it adds to the crispness and well as flavor.

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What we need to do is cook the bacon nice and crisp so that we can crumble and add it in due time to our skillet bake!

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I tend to cook my bacon using the water method but tomato-tomato, so feel free to cook your bacon however you want!

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Personally, I have never over cooked bacon this way and it is always perfectly crispy and beautifully crunchy so until she proves me wrong, I will continue with this controversial cooking method! Pfffft you know I like to live life on the edge every now and then!

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[Insert honey badger narrative voice here]

Would you look at that?!

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Cook your pasta as directed on the packages instructions for al dente, then add your cream and cream cheese in a large oven safe skillet over medium heat all the while whisking to fully incorporate. Once it is all happy and combined, reduce the heat to medium-low.

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Would you look at that! Also note that those are bubbles from whisking, NOT BOILING!

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Toss in your Garlic + Onion Powder as well as black pepper… (Okay, now those are bubbles from simmering)

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Once again, whisk well to combine!

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Toss in 1 1/2 cup of your Swiss Cheese (reserving 1/2 cup for the topping) and you guessed it…. whisk well to combine… See? This is so easy, a monkey could do it!

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Continue whisking until fully melted and at this point we want to reduce the heat to low.

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Toss in your chicken and ham…

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Stir well to fully combine all the magical goodness!

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Finally drain your pasta and add to your skillet!

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Toss well to fully combine and coat your pasta evenly, then remove from heat and set aside.

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In a small sauce pan, make Paula Dean proud and melt your butter.

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Add your Peppridge Farms Stuffing cubes and toss well to coat in the devils goodness AKA butter!

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Scatter the stuffing cubes about the skillet…

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Then sprinkle with remaining Swiss Cheese and your bacon crumbles!

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Bake at 350 F for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the cubes are slightly browned.

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[Insert honey badger voice once again]

Would you look at that! Just look at it!

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Plate and serve with fresh chopped parsley or scallions tossed about the plate!

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And most importantly, enjoy the fruits of your labor!

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After all, its been a long week and you work hard- so why not dabble a bit in the dark side?!

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Chicken Cordon Bleu Skillet Bake (15)


Simple Yet Amazing Alfredo Sauce



This Alfredo is so simple but still very impressive on the taste buds. Its almost sinful how it is so easily prepared and jarred! It is my pantry staple and I will never be found without a jar or two on hand in my pantry! If you and looking for a sauce that it sweet, cheesy, and savory… look no further because this little number rivals not only the Olive Garden but also Micheal’s Pasta In A Pan.



2 Cups Heavy Cream

3 Large Garlic Cloves; minced

3 Tbsp Butter

3 Tbsp Flour

1 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese

1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1/4 Tsp Black Pepper

1/4 Tsp Nutmeg


*This can also be made with whole milk, 1% milk, or skim. Possibilities are endless!

Melt butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat and add garlic.


Cook until fragrant about 2-3 minutes siring frequently as not to brown.


Whisk in flour…


Stir constantly for about 3 minutes to create a “roux” which will prevent the cream from curdling later on while cooking.


Would you look at that… Perfection….


Slowly whisk in the cream and stir constantly over medium heat for a few minutes.


Once it has thickened up a bit and is bubbling reduce heat to medium low.


Stir in the parmesan cheese a bit at a time to endure it melts evenly.


Then stir in the mozzarella as well.


Once the cheeses are all melted, stir in the pepper and nutmeg.


Remove from heat and toss with cooked pasta, or allow to cool and jar!



Homemade Taco Seasoning


As you all may or may not have noticed, I like to put together my own seasonings and rubs. I find that not only is it more thriftier, but it is also more convenient because you know how much you normally use within the time span of a month and make however much you need!

That being said, it came to my attention that I only have ONE crock pot/slow cooker meal on my whole blog so in a nutshell, I am slacking on my diversity once again and need to shake things up a bit! XD

I decided to make crock pot tacos and what goes hand in hand with tacos? You guessed it, TACO SEASONING!!!!! ::YAY:: I found this recipe from Rachel Cooks at http://www.rachelcooks.com/2013/03/25/homemade-taco-seasoning-large-batch/



1/2 Cup + 2 Tbsp Chili Powder

2 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder

2 1/2 Tsp Onion Powder

2 1/2 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes

2 1/2 Tsp Oregano

2 1/2 Tsp Paprika

1/4 Cup + 1 Tbso Cumin

1/4 Cup Kosher Salt

1/4 Cup Ground Black Pepper



Measure out all the seasonings then combine in a large bowl or measuring cup.


I used my trusty electric hand blender to pulse the ingredients together, further breaking the larger pepper flakes and oregano down a bit.



Transfer to an air tight container and store up to 6 months.




The author suggests that when using, add 2-3 Tbsp seasoning + 1/2 Cup water to ONE pound of cooked meat. Simmer over medium heat stirring frequently until very little liquid is left in the pan.




Best Crispy Fried Chicken Nuggets Ever


This is a recipe that I adapted from Ree Drummond’s Pioneer Woman.


I know I have said it before, but I will say it again… She is one of my idols… No judging.

Anyways, while browsing BigY’s meat section, I noticed something different amongst the chicken that I had never expected… Chicken breast nuggets…. What?

All those times I have purchased chicken breast or chicken tenders and cut them into bite sized pieces… sweet baby Jesus someone up stares was listening!!!!

Anyways I turned to Ree to put them into some good use because lets face it, I had to snatch a few packages to stock the freezer with… Its the little things in life my friends! Less time cutting chicken and more time working on my wine flow!



1.5 Lbs Chicken Breast Nuggets (breast or tenders cut into bite sized pieces)

2 Cups Flour

Light Cream

1/2 Tbsp Dried Oregano

1/2 Tbsp Onion Powder

1/2 Tbsp Paprika

1/2Tbsp Garlic Powder

1/2 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper

1/2 Tbsp Kosher Salt

1/2 Tbsp Ground Black Pepper

Canola Oil


Wash chicken pieces and pat dry then set aside in a medium sized bowl.


Pour yourself a nice and relaxing glass of wine and take a sip…. you deserve this!


Pour enough cream over the chicken to just cover the little nuggets, and let sit in the cream bath for about a half hour.


Awwww look at them little nuggets all happy and stuff!


Next add 2 cups of flour into a plate or bowl for breading the nuggets.


Add the oregano, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper.


Whisk well to blend all the seasoning and flour evenly.


Add about 1/3-1/2 cup of cream to the flour while stirring to form beads.


Will you look at that….


Yup… this is going to be epic…


Heat a large saute pan over medium heat with about 1/2″ of canola oil and roll up your sleeves to get a bit dirty.


Taking one nugget from its cream bath at a time and bread it well, meaning really press it good into the flour and make sure the beads of flour are adhering to the chicken.


And its camouflaged…. XD


Continue this process with each nugget and they should start to look like this….


Once all the chicken is breaded check on the oil…


Take a pinch of flour and drop it into the pan. If it sizzles then the oil is ready!


Without crowding the pan, gently place about 5 nuggets into the hot oil.


Cook about 5 minutes on each side or until golden and hard on the outside.


Be weary though, if they brown too fast from the oil being too hot  they will still be undercooked in the center… with that said, be sure to test the first on you think may be done and go from there!


Lay them out on a plate lined with paper towel and continue onto the next batch!


I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did and feel free to play around with different spices such as cumin, season salt, creole, etc!