Tag Archives: food

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!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Skillet Bake (10)

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)


Brown Sugar + Dijon Roasted Drumsticks


Honestly these are the most majestic chicken drummers I’ve ever made! It was just a pinch of this, handful of that, oh crap that’s awful… Let me add some of this ordeal… Then out comes this sex on a stick!
I am constantly on the hunt for new and savory recipes for chicken and it gets harder and harder to sift thru all the recipes out there! I want something that is going to be ooey, something that will be gooey, something that will incorporate all of my favorite herbs, something that will incorporate loads of garlic, yet something that is so savory that it is sure to knock my socks off!
Well, knock my socks it did! Not only did it knock my socks off, it had me begging for more! It was the perfect balance of sweet, savory, zesty, and had the most subtle hint of fresh thyme and rosemary! In other words…. my statement still stands… Sex on a stick…



8-10 Chicken Drumsticks

1/2 Cup Butter

1/2 Cup Dijon Mustard

1 Tbsp Chopped Thyme

1 Tbsp Chopped Rosemary

4-5 Garlic Cloves; minced

2 Tbsp Brown Sugar

1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

Salt + Pepper


Preheat your oven to 425F then prep your thyme and rosemary by removing the stems.


Then mince the herbs nice and finely.


Smash and mince your garlic.


And would you look at that…. [magic]


Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat.


Add garlic and herbs then allow to simmer until fragrant (2-3 minutes) then remove from heat.


Whisk in brown sugar and Dijon mustard…


Then whisk in Worcestershire sauce and we are ready to get to business!


Reserve 3 Tbsp of the butter mixture for later…


Then pour the remaining butter over your drumsticks.


Get your hands dirty and give then a good rub down…


Arrange on a cooling rack over a baking sheet so that the heat is allowed to pass under the little drumsticks while in the oven. Trust me when I say this is the key to amazing roasted chicken pieces!


Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper then bake in the oven for 40 minutes.


Using a pastry or BBQ brush (like my seasoned and rusty veteran of a brush) give them a good slather of your reserved butter mixture. Don’t be afraid to really glop it on there, it adds character (maybe).


Return your little drummers to the oven for another 5-10 minutes or until nice and golden in color and the internal temp reaches 185F. Do not stop before!


Arrange your drumsticks on a platter and scatter with leftover thyme or rosemary sprigs for a nice touch. We do what we want, even if its just you and your dog it adds to the experience!


Serve along with rice, green beans, roasted or mashed potatoes, etc… whatever your little heart desires! Oooo I’ll bet that caramelized carrots would go perfect with these little majestical beings!


Thanks for checking back and I hope you all enjoy!


PS embrace your inner fat kid in moderation… CIAO!


Homemade Potato + Cheese Pierogies


This is something that needed to happen. You know when you have a strong need for down home comfort food… I’m talking the kind that is hearty and greasy, but yet you don’t feel too much remorse for over indulging in the devil that is the overabundance of butter? Yea, me either…. I always feel guilty but pffffft… Paula Dean is my spirit animal so there is that!

Anyways, this is a little ditty that was pretty freaking majestic, but I am going to put this out there… it was quick and easy prep, maybe 20 minutes tops for the filling and about 5 for the dough… but when it comes down to folding your pierogies, you can’t rush perfection… there will be back aches, lots of those… there will be flour, everywhere… there will be tears, because it never ends… But alas! Just as the sun always sets, you will eventually use up all of your dough! Just keep that in mind as your going along and show that blasted dough who is boss!!!! Oh, and most importantly, there will be lots of calories, because obviously the devil always has his price! Consider yourself pre-warned!

With all of that in mind, and you still don’t mind pinching pierogies for about an hour then please proceed! I promise it will be worth all the work and you will have so many you can freeze to your hearts content! YAY FOR LEFTOVERS! (I got about 6 dozen pierogies myself)


Filling Ingredients

2 Lbs Potatoes; peeled and cubed

2 Onions; minced

1 Lb Farmers Cheese; crumbled

2 Tbsp Butter

Salt + Pepper


Dough Ingredients

7 Cups Flour

2 1/2 Cups Warm Water

1 Stick Butter (8 Tbsp)


To prep your filling, peel and cube your potatoes.


Look at them little majestic gems!


Transfer your little majestic gems (your potatoes) into a large pot and fill the pot with water so that it covers the potatoes by about an inch and a half. Bring the potatoes to a boil over high heat and allow to cook until fork tender.


While you wait for your potatoes to cook, dice up the onions really good and set aside.


Once your potatoes are good and done, drain the pot of water and return them to the burner. I know this sounds really really weird but you need to “dry” them over medium-low heat. Just basically cover the pot and shake the little gems around a bit for a few minutes. This will remove some of the excess water so they aren’t too wet… dont question, just do!


Next mash the potatoes well with a potato masher then transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.


Using the same pot as the potatoes, melt the butter over medium heat.


Add your onions and saute until nice and caramelized (about 5-7 minutes).


Add onions to the potatoes in the mixing bowl and combine well.


Look at it go!


And finally combine the farmers cheese to the potato filling and season with salt and pepper to taste!


Now to work on the dough, bring your butter to room temperature if it is not already. You can do this in the microwave if need be, but be careful that you do not melt it!


Add the butter to the bowl of flour and really mix it in using your fingers to fully integrate it! You dont want lumps of butter just hanging around in your dough so be sure that it really is all combined. I know its tedious but its worth it. By the time you are done, your flour will have formed more bead like texture than dust.


Next pour the warm water into the bowl of flour and start kneading! If you find you need more water, add it a tbsp at a time! You will know that it is done when it is not sticking to your hand so much and when you form the dough into a ball it will lightly spring back when you press your finger on it.


When you are finished, you can let it rest on a clean surface dusted with a generous heaping of flour so that it doesn’t stick!


Also when not working with your dough, cover it with a clean towel so that it does not dry out and become unmanageable! Aliens….


Remember when I said there will be flour everywhere? Brace yourself, it is happening!!! Its like polish napalm in the kitchen, there is no ridding yourself of it for days!


When your ready for shenanigans, roll out small portions of dough over a floured surface and start going to down with a biscuit cutter (or circular cookie cutter).


They say that when you are cutting your dough you should stack them with parchment paper separating each layer of dough… honestly I used all of my parchment paper a while ago and never thought to get another roll so you can do this the suggested way or live life on the edge like i did. I fared just fine but totally your call… Either way, dont forget to cover them with a towel so they dont dry out!!!!


Next, use a tablespoon to divide your filling among your dough and start pinching by folding them in half then pinching the edges together. If you have a hard time getting them to stick, just lightly wet your finger tip and run it along them inside edges where you want them to stick then try it again. I HAVE FAITH IN YOU!


I can not stress this enough, as you fill your pierogies, line them up like little soldiers on a floured surface AND COVER WITH A CLEAN TOWEL!


Now to cook your pierogies, fill a pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Drop your pierogies in batches (careful not to crowd) and give them a stir immediately (so they do not stick to the bottom).


Once the pierogies are floating (about 6-8 minutes) remove them with a slotted spoon and let them rest of a well buttered baking sheet otherwise they will stick!


Awww look at them little champs! You can either eat them this way or you can go the extra greasy mile with me. By extra mile, I mean most unhealthy and gluttonous way possible! (Did I mention Paula Dean is my spirit animal?)


Melt 3 Tbsp of butter in a skillet and saute the pierogies over medium heat for 2-3 minutes on each side.


Yes sir, I like this way….. totally worth every calorie if you ask me!


To serve, arrange pierogies on a platter and top with more caramelized onions, chopped parsley, and a spoonful of sour cream if that’s your thing!


I know that its not the healthiest dinner, but it sure is the most nostalgic and yummy way to end the crazy work week and truly embrace the cooler weather that November brings.




Enjoy and feel free to drop a line with your favorite filling so that I might experiment and see how they go!

The Copper Stallion


If you ever find yourself in the Sturbridge Massachusetts area I strongly encourage you to check out this little diamond in the rough… The Copper Stallion.

::Cue Applause::

This little joint is truly the essence of what British Pubs are like. I thought that my experience as a whole was truly something else. The whole staff was very friendly and accommodating, and the owner even stopped by our table to tell us a bit about their Perfect Cheese Board (pictured above) complete with three imported cheeses, fig spread, seasonal fruit, stone ground crackers, and homemade crostinis!

Its the little details like that that inspire people to come back time and time again, and lord knows I definitely will be. 

I learned about this hot little number from my sister Amy, who really has a knack for the little hole in the walls restaurants, pubs, breweries, etc. Well you get the point. I think after this adventure, I will have to listen to her more often. 🙂


For starters, we ordered their toasted bruschetta and it was pretty darn tasty. It was a pretty basic bruschetta made with chopped tomatoes, balsamic, basil, olive oil, and parmesan cheese, but the kicker was the grilled baguette slices.


Next up to bat was the Coppers Stallions Penobscot Skins. Really they were potato skins loaded with crumbled bacon and cheese with a side of sour cream. Not going to lie, i liked it. You can get them just about anywhere but these little gems were super crunchy on the out side and nice and tender on the inside. My inner Paula Dean was reveling in the greasy goodness of this dish.


And lastly, for dinner I ordered the Queen Cut English Prime Rib Dinner. It was one of the best that I had ever had! This hot little number was served with Yorkshir Pudding, Au Jus, Creamy Mashed Potatoes, and Brusselsprouts. My sister Amy always raved over their prime rib and now I full grasp the severity of the situation. Not only was it very good, but you could taste the fresh thyme in the meat that they used for the rub! It wasn’t at all over powering like some places do, which will take the attention away from the main attraction (the meat). But this place really knew what to do in order to perfectly compliment the meat without stealing the show!

With all that being said, I feel a return visit deep in my bones… its happening!

And I hope that you all get the chance to experience the Copper Stallion in the very near future!

Beef Stroganoff


I don’t think this needs any words… but I am going to put it out there anyways. Beef Stroganoff is the mac-daddy of all winter comfort foods. BOOM. That is all the introduction it needs.



1.5 Lbs Stew Beef

Egg Noodles

1 Cup Sliced Baby Bella Mushrooms

1 Medium Onion; sliced

1- 10.5 Oz Can Beef Broth

1- 10.5 Oz. Can Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 Cup Sour Cream

2 Tbsp. Butter

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Flour; plus 1 Tsp. for sauteing

House Seasoning (Recipe in archives)


Season beef lightly with the House Seasoning (which can be found in my archives). Then coat each piece in flour.



Set up a nice little work area for yourself so that you have everything you need in arms reach.



Pour oil in a large sauce pan over medium high heat.


Add butter and allow it to melt.


Add beef and brown on all sides quickly!



Transfer beef to a plate and cover with foil.


Add mushrooms and onions to the same pan and saute in the oils left behind from the beef.


Cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent and tender like below!



Stir in 1 teaspoon flour.


Then add the beef along with any juices from the plate.



Add beef broth.


Cream of mushroom soup.


And stir well!


Cover and continue to cook on low for 30 minutes.


Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil with a bit of olive oil.


Add egg noodles and cook according to directions.


While noodles are cooking, remove the Stroganoff from heat and stir in the sour cream.




Drain noodles.


Then you are ready to indulge!


To serve, pile noodles in the center of your plate then ladle the Stroganoff on top!

Bon Appetit!