I Didn’t Burn It #2: Orecchiette with Turkey Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

I often have a love-hate relationship with my Giada De Laurentiis Everyday Italian cookbook. Some of the recipes are very straight forward and simple like this one and some have a laundry list of ingredients that include pricey fresh herbs. I of course substitute with my trusty dry ingredients but, Giada, not all of us live in California where the weather is constantly warm for growing fresh ingredients. Not all of us have perfect hair and make up and low-cut shirts when we are posing for a photo while bending over a boiling, steaming pot of pasta. 

That being said, the Orecchiette with Turkey Sausage and Broccoli Rabe recipe has a simple ingredient list and it only takes about 30 minutes. Perfect for a week night meal and there are plenty of leftovers.

Mandarin Chicken Salad

 

Most colleges have a cafe that also doubles as a study place and a hang out. A meeting place, if you will. At my college it was called the In Between. Although it was mere feet away from the actual cafeteria, the food was significantly better. One of my favorite things to order was the Mandarin Chicken Salad. I had a craving for it today, and since I had book club tonight and needed something fast, it was the perfect storm. This really was a cinch to make. I had some leftover balsamic marinated chicken from the night before, which I just cut into slices. You should probably use Asian-style noodles for this, but I just boiled some spaghetti noodles and rinsed them in cold water. Then I tossed the noodles, lettuce, chicken, mandarin oranges, and dressing. I used my Trader Joe’s Gyoza dipping sauce for dressing, and I have to say I came pretty close to replicating the original. It made me slightly nostalgic for the days of getting a Mandarin Chicken Salad in a plastic take out box because I didn’t have time to go to the cafeteria the night before a big test or paper was due. Not that nostalgic. Just slightly.

Hawaiian Crock Pot Chicken

As far as New Year’s resolutions are concerned it’s the second week of 2012 and I have stuck to making one new recipe a week. Two recipes! Impressive right? This week I wanted to test drive the new crock pot, a Christmas gift from Mom and Dad. Thanks again guys! I decided to make this Hawaiian Crock Pot Chicken recipe I saw on pinterest. The blog post has since been taken down, but there are only three ingredients: 1 bottle of Archer’s Farm Hawaiian Style BBQ sauce from Target, 4-6 chicken breasts and 1 can of diced pineapple. Put the chicken in the crock pot, top with the pineapples and then the barbecue sauce and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours. According to the original blog post you can put the chicken in frozen. I partially defrosted mine but next time I think I will put it in completely frozen because from the time I leave for work to the time I get back, it  has been more than 8 hours. I could not find the Archer’s Farm barbecue sauce at my Target so I substituted it with another brand. I would like to try that some time. The chicken comes out juicy and tangy and I love the sweet pineapples as a compliment.