October 20, 2014

Cheesy Loaded Baked Potato and Leek Soup

Cheesy Loaded Baked Potato and Leek Soup

It's fall y'all!! And as it has been raining and chilly around here for the last week or so, it's the perfect time for soup!  Oh, who am I kidding; I always think it's the perfect time for soup.  It drives Dustin crazy because he doesn't really like soup and I want it all the time.

Cheesy Loaded Baked Potato Soup

So to make it up to him, I try to make really hearty, delicious soups that will fill him up.  Cheesy Loaded Baked Potato and Leek Soup fit the bill;  the potatoes and leeks fill up the silky, creamy, cheesy soup base.  Then you top it all off with more bacon, more cheese, and whatever else fits your fancy.   

Cheesy Loaded Baked Potato and Leek Soup

The soup base (liquid? soupy parts? I don't know..) is made with chicken broth, and then cream cheese and monterey jack cheese are added and melted into it.  The result is a super creamy, silky soup that is full of delicious cheesy flavor.  It's not like eating a giant bowl of cheese--not that I would have a problem with that.  It's more like the most delicious bowl of creamy potato soup you've ever had!

Cheesy Loaded Baked Potato and Leek Soup

I make a really a soup with a similar cheesy base, and this soup came to me as we were driving to our hotel on our last night in California.  Maybe I was subconsciously dreading the cold and rainy we were coming home to?  This soup came together wonderfully, and I can't wait to make it again.  Thank you, long California drives, for coming up with this delicious soup!

Cheesy Loaded Baked Potato Soup with Bacon and Chives

Cheesy Loaded Baked Potato and Leek Soup
author: Abby at Happy Food Happy Home
makes 4 generous servings (easily doubled)

1 piece of bacon
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups diced leeks (1 medium leek)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
4 cups diced waxy potatoes (I used Yukon golds)
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese (don't use pre-shredded!)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 block cream cheese (1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

Crumbled Crispy Bacon
Sour Cream

  1. Cut your bacon into strips.  Add bacon to a cold dutch oven or soup pot.  Heat over medium heat until the bacon is crispy. 
  2. Remove the bacon from the pot leaving the bacon grease behind.  Set bacon pieces aside for topping later.  
  3. Slice leek in half length wise, then cut into thin strips. Place is colander and rinse the leeks thoroughly with cool water.  
  4. Add butter and leeks to the pot.  Stir everything together and cook until leeks have softened, about 5 minutes. 
  5. Add black pepper and cayenne to leeks and stir. Toast for about 30 seconds. 
  6. Add potatoes and chicken broth.  The chicken broth should cover the potatoes--if not add water to cover.
  7. Place lid on pot and bring soup to a boil. Allow soup to boil for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through.  
  8. Lower heat to a simmer. 
  9. Cut the cream cheese into small cubes and add to the soup.  Stir occasionally and allow to melt. 
  10. Shred the monterey jack cheese and toss with the cornstarch.  
  11. Once the cream cheese has melted, add the monterey jack in two batches to the soup.  Stir thoroughly between each addition. 
  12. When the cheeses have melted and combined into the soup, add the parsley and stir to combine. 
  13. Remove the soup from the heat and serve.
  14. Top with bacon, chives, sour cream, and anything else you normally put on top of baked potatoes!
Notes:  This soup is easily doubled to make more servings!
To Make Vegetarian:  Replace the piece of bacon and butter in Step 1-4 with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. 
Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.  
Do not top with bacon :)

Cheesy Loaded Baked Potato and Leek Soup has definitely earned its spot on my soup list.  And Dustin really liked it too!  This would be a perfect soup to invite people over on a chilly evening and share; add some board games, and you've created my perfect evening.  

What's your favorite soup to make when it gets cold?  Chili is on the menu for this weekend!

July 23, 2014

How to Grill Corn on the Cob

How to Grill Corn

I'll admit the first time I grilled corn on the cob I was nervous.  Would it turn out?  Burn?  Taste really awful?  I was amazingly surprised when it came off the grill perfectly cooked, sweet and juicy.  Who knew it could be so easy to cook corn on the cob?  And doing it without steaming up your kitchen makes grilling it even better.

Grilled Corn Recipe

There's not really a trick to this method of grilling corn on the cob.  No soaking, no shucking and wrapping in tin foil, no voodoo magic.  Just three simple steps, and you're good to go.

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Step one--get ride of any shucks or silks that might catch on fire.  Step two--place the corn on a medium hot grill.  Step three--turn three times every five minutes.  Then shuck the corn, the silks come off really easily, and coat in butter.  Yum yum yummy!

How to Grill Corn on the Cob

How to Grill Corn on the Cob

Supplies Needed:

Corn on the cob (shucks on)

  1. Heat grill to medium heat (about 350 degrees). 
  2. Trim the corn shucks  and silks.  I trim off anything that might catch on fire.
  3. Place the corn on the grill.  Turn the corn a third of the way after 5 minutes.  After 5 more minutes rotate the corn again.  Cook for 5 minutes for a total of 15 minutes.
  4. Wait for about 5 minutes; the corn will be hot.  Then shuck the corn.  The silks will come right off the corn (yay!) 
  5. Coat in butter, Mexican Corn toppings, or anything else you want.

Grill Corn

I've started grilling an extra ear of corn or two to cut off the cob and have in summer salads.  Grilling the corn really makes it easy to have perfectly cooked corn.  And it makes it easy for me to eat way to much corn--which was one of my summer goals.

How do you like to cook corn?  Have you ever tried grilling corn on the cob?

July 21, 2014

Grilled Mexican Flank Steak Tacos with Grilled Corn

Grilled Flank Steak Tacos with Grilled Corn

I love tacos.  And now that grilling season is in full swing I couldn't resist making steak tacos with everything on the grill.  Grilled flank steak, grilled corn, tortillas heated on the grill.  It's the perfect dinner to make when you just don't want to turn on the stove or the oven.

Mexican Marinated Grilled Flank Steak

The flank steak is soaked in a chili powder, lime, and spice infused marinade that sinks through the steak making it flavorful, delicious, and tender.  All of the spices--cumin, oregano, paprika, cinnamon--are the perfect seasoning for flavorful tacos.  I think the next time I make ground beef tacos I'm going to use the same spice mixture!

Grilled Flank Steak Tacos with Grilled Corn

Summer vegetables are making me so happy right now.  I'm not sure if I could possibly eat more corn--is every day too often?  I love grilling corn because it's super fast, and I can normally just throw it on as I grill whatever else I'm grilling.  It's also really nice because I don't shuck it before hand;  after it's cooked I peel it all off, shucks, silk, and all.  I'm going to do a post just about grilling corn--check for it later this week.

Grilled Flank Steak Tacos

Grilled Mexican flank steak, grilled corn, pico de gallo, creama, and shredded cheese--everything combined together makes these tacos the perfect bite of summer.  Fresh veggies, grilled steak, and tortillas warmed on the grill.  Summer food just might be the best food.

Grilled Flank Steak Tacos with chili powder, cumin, paprika, and cinnamon

Grilled Mexican Flank Steak Tacos with Grilled Corn
author:  Happy Food Happy Home
serves 4 (can be adjusted to serve as necessary)

2 pound flank steak
¼ cup olive oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon paprika
3 dashes cinnamon
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 clove garlic, grated
½ teaspoon lime zest (about ½ a lime)
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4-6 corn tortillas
pico de gallo
sour cream or Mexican Creama
shredded cheese or cojito
cilantro for topping
  1. Whisk together the marinade ingredients in a glass measuring cup.
  2. In a large Ziploc bag combine the flank steak and the marinade.  Securely close the bag and use your hands to rub the steak in the marinade. 
  3. Place the sealed bag in the fridge for 8-24 hours.  Rotate and rub the bag every few hours (whenever you think about it).
  4. Heat grill to medium high heat. 
  5. Trim off any dangling shucks and silks from the corn, but keep most of the shucks on.  Place on the grill and cook for 15 minutes.  Rotate the corn every 5 minutes.  Remove from grill and let cool before shucking.
  6. Using tongs remove the steak from the ziplock bag.  Place on the grill and cook for approximately 7 minutes per side--until a thermometer reads 130-135 (for medium rare). 
  7. Remove steak from grill and let rest for 10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. 
  8. Turn grill off and throw tortillas onto the grill.  Allow to warm on the grill--flipping over after about 1 minute. Remove when warm.
  9. Shuck the corn and use a sharp knife to slice the kernels from the cob. 
  10. Slice the flank steak in thin slices making sure to go against the grain of the meat--your slices should be short meat fibers through the slices, not long meat fibers with the slices. 
  11. Gather together the tortillas, steak, corn, pico de gallo, cheese, sour cream, and cilantro.  Assemble the tacos with whatever makes you happy.  

Grilled Flank Steak Tacos with Grilled Corn

I love tacos--especially ones filled with summer flavors. The grilled corn and flank steak really make these tacos.  What are your favorite summer flavors?  Grilling anything amazing lately?

July 14, 2014

Spring Berry Brownie Sundaes

Spring Berry Brownie Sundae

Summer camp has been kicking my butt.  We're three weeks in, and I still feel like I'm running everywhere in order to make sure everyone is having a great time.  Luckily that's mostly what I have to worry about-- everyone having fun.  Not a bad job to have.

Spring Berry Brownie Sundae

When I get home in the afternoon I'm normally hungry and tired.  So I love having an afternoon snack.  It's a bit of an indulgence in the middle of my day--a little treat between lunch and dinner.  Most days I convince myself that some fruit or cheese would be a good snack.  But some days I just need somethings chocolate.

Spring Berry Brownie Sundae with Strawberries, Blueberries, and Raspberries

I love brownies, especially ones with a crispy top and a gooey middle.  They're just the perfect little chocolaty bite that I crave.  These brownies are delicious, and I dare I say easy.  Chocolate, a touch of espresso powder, and vanilla make a rich complex brownie that doesn't seem too far away from a traditional brownie.  Brownies don't really need to be messed with, do they?

Brownie Sundae with Spring Berry Syrup

And to make everything even more indulgent and delicious (who can so no to that?)  I topped the brownies with ice cream and my Spring Berry Syrup.  It's like the ultimate brownie sundae served in a jar! It's cute--dare I say twee--and the spring berry brownie sundae is the perfect ending to a hot day at camp.

Spring Berry Brownie Sundaes
author: Happy Food Happy Home
makes 8-10 brownie sundaes

3 ounces  70 percent dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 stick unsalted butter
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon espresso powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt (or ¼ teaspoon table salt)
2/3 cup all purpose flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter an 8x8 baking pan.
  3. Set a large glass mixing bowl over a pot of boiling water. 
  4. Add the chocolate and the butter to the bowl and stir until almost melted.
  5. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir until the mixture is smooth.
  6. Whisk in the sugar.
  7. Whisk in the eggs one at a time.
  8. Whisk in the vanilla and the espresso powder. 
  9. Add the flour and salt and stir until just combined.
  10. Pour the brownies into the prepared pan.
  11. Bake the brownies for 25-35 minutes until the top is crisp, the edges are set, and the middle is slightly gooey. 
  12. Allow brownies to cool for about 5 minutes before cutting and assembling the sundaes.

To Assemble Sundaes:
Vanilla Ice Cream
Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries for topping
  1. I cut the brownies into about 1 inch squares to fit in the pint size mason jar. 
  2. Start with 1 layer of brownies, then top with a spoonful of syrup.
  3. Add more brownies, ice cream, and a big spoon of spring berry syrup on top. 
  4. Top with berries if desired.
  5. Devour promptly. 
Notes:  Brownies adapted from Smitten Kitchen

The End of the Spring Berry Brownie Sundae!

I love these spring berry brownie sundaes.  I might have eaten them for about a week in a row.  They would also be perfect for a cookout--everyone can make their own!  Do you have a favorite afternoon snack?  Is it practical or more indulgent?

June 3, 2014

Chili and Lime Beer Can Chicken

Chili and Lime Beer Can Chicken

I love cooking whole chickens.  They're flavorful, juicy, and normally we have leftovers to use it other things.  I love cooking a whole chicken on the grill.  It's like the roast chicken for the summer!  No hot oven, no hot house, and the clean-up is quick and easy.

Chili and Lime Beer Can Chicken Recipe

Putting a beer can in the chicken was a little silly the first time; but then I tasted it.  The beer provides a subtle flavor to the chicken, as well as keeping the chicken super moist and juicy.

Chili and Lime Beer Can Chicken with Roasted Potatoes

I veered a little away from my normal beer can chicken recipe to make this one with chili powder and lime.  The chicken itself isn't spicy, but the skin is spicy and smokey and limey and delicious!  The rub and the beer permeate the chicken and make a delicious savory flavorful chicken.

Chili and Lime Beer Can Chicken with Crispy Potatoes

And by grilling the chicken inside a pan you can cook the potatoes right underneath the chicken.  Cooking the potatoes in the chicken drippings creates a golden crispy mouthwatering crust on the potatoes.  Dustin and I both eat them out of the pan before we even get to the table.

Chili and Lime Beer Can Chicken on the Grill

Chili and Lime Beer Can Chicken
author:  Happy Food Happy Home
adapted from the Deen Brothers
serves 4

½ cup mayonnaise
1 lime, zested (about 2 teaspoons)
juice of 1 lime
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 4-5 pound whole chicken
1 12 ounce can of beer

Chili Roasted Potatoes
3-4 large potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper

1 medium disposable roasting pan
  1. Combine the mayonnaise, lime zest, lime juice, and spices in a large mixing bowl to form a paste.
  2. Rinse your chicken, check for any pin feathers, and pat dry.
  3. Place the chicken in the  mixing bowl with the mayonnaise paste and gently smother the chicken in the mixture.  Make sure to get inside the chicken as well.
  4. Dice the potatoes into medium cubes.  Toss the potatoes with the olive oil, ½ teaspoon chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Heat your grill to medium high heat--about 375 degrees. 
  6. Open your can of beer and drink a few sips (or pour it out) to keep the beer from overflowing.
  7. Carefully insert the can into the bottom of the chicken, keeping the beer and the chicken upright.  
  8. Place the disposable pan on the grill.  Stand the chicken in the roasting pan.
  9. Place the potatoes around the chicken in the roasting pan. 
  10. Close the grill and cook the chicken for 35-45 minutes.  Stir the potatoes once or twice.  Test for done-ness with a digital thermometer--the thigh meat should be at least 180 degrees.
  11. Carefully remove the chicken from the grill.  The beer and the can are very hot.  Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes.  
  12. Gently remove the beer can from the bottom of the chicken.  Carve and serve!
Chili and Lime Beer Can Chicken

The chili and lime beer can chicken is a really great recipe to make for your family.  You could also roast two at one time, and it would be perfect for a smaller cookout!

Have you ever made a beer can chicken?  What is your favorite way to cook chicken on the grill?

May 29, 2014

Spring Berry Syrup

Spring Berry Syrup

I swear for the last month every time I have gone to the grocery store I have bought a package of berries.  Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.  I have celebrated spring by eating my weight in berries.

Spring Berry Syrup made with Strawberries, Raspberries, and Blueberries

Because of the plethora of berries in my fridge and a desire for waffles on Monday morning I had to make a delicious spring berry syrup.  I used strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries in my syrup, but you can totally change up the berries based on what you have and what you want your syrup to taste like.

Berry Syrup with Vanilla Ice Cream

The berry syrup is infinitely changeable too!  More berries, different berries, throw in some lime zest--whatever you want.  You can also cook down the syrup to reach a more jam-like consistency, which is what I  did with about half of my syrup. I have awesome plans for the jam--mixed into yogurt for breakfast, on top of more waffles, and of course ICE CREAM!

Spring Berry Jam made with Strawberries, Blueberries, and Raspberries

Vanilla ice cream topped with spring berry syrup is about the best thing I've eaten lately; when I've taken a break from shoving handfuls of berries in my mouth.  The spring berry flavors pop and tang when mixed with the creamy vanilla ice cream.

Spring Berry Syrup

Spring Berry Syrup
author: Happy Food Happy Home
yields about 2 cups of berry syrup
4 cups mixed berries (2 cups strawberries, 1 cup blueberries, 1 cup raspberries)
¼-½ cup sugar
¼ cup water
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice (from half a lemon)
  1. Stem the strawberries, and chop the strawberries down to roughly the size of the raspberries.
  2. Combine the strawberry pieces, raspberries, blueberries, ¼ cup sugar, water, and lemon juice in a medium sized saucepan.
  3. Cover the saucepan and heat over medium high heat until the water has started to boil.
  4. Remove lid and allow the syrup to simmer for 25-35 minutes.  The berries will burst, the mixture will get liquidy, and then start to cook down.  
  5. Taste your sauce.  If it is a little tart add extra sugar to taste.  Stir the extra sugar into the syrup and allow to dissolve. 
  6. If your syrup is too thick add some extra water, and if it is too thin allow to simmer until it is the consistency you are looking for. 
I can't stop thinking of other uses for the spring berry syrup: I want to use it as the base for Italian Sodas, I have a delicious brownie sundae in the works, and straight off a spoon mixed in with more ice cream. 

Spring Berry Syrup Over Ice Cream

Have you been buying berries buy the cart-ful?  What is your favorite way to use berries?

May 27, 2014

Burrata and Pesto BLT

Burrata Cheese and Pesto BLT

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend!  Thanks to everyone who has served our country--you are truly heroes.  We spent our weekend cleaning (not fun), and boating (very fun).  Though we had to come home to let Boomer outside, I always love a day spent on the lake.

Building a Burrata Cheese BLT

I got to water ski for the first time this year, and I only fell once.  It's always an accomplishment for me.  Mom got a stand-up paddle board, and it was so fun to learn how to do it.  I was terrified I was going to fall off, but it was actually pretty easy to get the hang of.  And now I want a paddle board of my own!

Burrata Cheese BLT Sandwich

Most of our weekend meals centered around the grill, but I was craving a BLT for lunch.  I had bacon and tomatoes, but no lettuce.  I thought I was out of luck until I started digging around in the fridge.  Out came pesto and some burrata, and my Burrata and Pesto BLT (with no L) was born.

Cutting the Burrata Cheese

Burrata is a delicious form of mozzarella cheese with an outer layer of mozzarella and the middle filled with cream and mozzarella pieces.  It's creamy, cheesy, and really delicious.  If you can find it I totally recommend using it, but if you can't you can substitute fresh mozzarella.

Delicious Stacked Burrata BLT

The burrata and pesto BLT is a delicious combination of salty bacon, juicy tomatoes, and creamy cheese.  The pesto ties the flavors together, and I can't get enough of the basil flavor with the tomatoes and burrata.  I used the last of the bacon making this sandwich, or I probably would have made another one today!

Burrata and Pesto BLT
author: Happy Food Happy Home
serves 4

8 pieces sourdough bread
4 tablespoons basil pesto
16 pieces of bacon
4 small balls of burrata
8 tomato slices
salt and pepper to taste
fresh basil leaves for garnish
  1. Toast your sourdough bread.
  2. Spread 4 of the slices with 1 tablespoon of pesto each. 
  3. Top each of the pesto covered bread with 4 pieces of bacon, 2 tomato slices, and 1 ball of burrata.  Slice the ball of burrata in half over the top of the sandwich.
  4. If desired sprinkle the top of your sandwich fillings with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the second slice of bread to each of the sandwiches.  Garnish top of sandwich with a basil leaf. 
Cut Burrata Cheese on a BLT

What did you make over Memorial Day weekend?  Did you find any delicious new sandwich combinations?

May 22, 2014

Barbecue Bacon Burgers with Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Barbecue Bacon Burger with Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Hamburgers are one of my favorite foods.  I have no idea why, but I find myself craving a burger probably once a week.  So gosh was I nervous to cook a hamburger at home.  I was worried about the burgers not living up to expectations, as well as just completely failing at cooking them.  Luckily the first few rounds have turned out pretty well, and I'm hoping to continue making burgers all summer!

Barbecue Bacon Burger

Playing with flavor combinations is one of my favorite parts of cooking at home.  Being able to put a little of this and a little of that, and making food to completely satisfy everything we want is my idea of perfect.  I wanted to make a grilled pineapple salsa; a little sweet, a little spicy, slightly warm, and a little smokey.   Grilling the pineapple brings out the sweetness and chars the edges just a little--adding a super awesome layer of flavor to the pineapple.  The onions, cilantro, and jalapeno round out the grilled pineapple to make a delicious salsa.

Barbecue Bacon Burger with Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Adding barbecue sauce, cheese, and bacon to the burger just throws it over the top.  The burger is salty, cheesy, sweet, savory and spicy.  It is literally everything I want in a burger, shoved between two buns, and then devoured for dinner.  Try these barbecue bacon burgers topped with grilled pineapple salsa for dinner soon!  The pineapple salsa will be a great addition to a Memorial Day barbecue; put it on burgers, hot dogs, or eat it with chips!

Grilled Pineapple Salsa on a Burger

Barbecue Bacon Burgers with Grilled Pineapple Salsa
author: Happy Food Happy Home
serves 4

4 burger patties (beef, turkey, veggie, it's up to you!)
seasoned salt
salt and pepper
1/2 cup barbecue sauce

4 slices monterey jack cheese
4-8 slices bacon

1/2 a pineapple (you'll need 1 cup cubed pineapple pieces)
1/2 cup onion, diced
3-4 tablespoons jalapeno (more or less to taste)
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat your grill to high heat.  Slice half of the pineapple into large slices.  Grill over medium heat for 3-5 minutes per side until grill marks are made and edges of the pineapple are slightly charred. Remove from grill and let cool. 
  2. Dice onion and jalapeno.  
  3. Cut the charred pineapple into bite size cubes.
  4. Stir together the pineapple, onions, jalapeno, and cilantro.  Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  5. Season burger patties with seasoned salt, pepper, and kosher salt.
  6. Grill burgers over medium heat until cooked through.  Brush barbecue sauce on burgers.
  7. Turn off grill and add cheese to patties.  Let sit in the closed grill until the cheese has melted.
  8. Place the burgers on buns and top with bacon and pineapple salsa.  Slam the top on the bun and eat that burger!
  • Notes:  You can use any burger patty you'd like. 
  • Feel free to add or subtract any topping you see fit.  No bacon, more cheese, etc. 

The pineapple salsa on top of the barbecue burger provides a sweet and spicy contrast to the salty savory burger.  I also can't wait to try the salsa on top of chicken, and in fish tacos!  I have food ideas pouring out of my head right now, and I am definitely not complaining!

Barbecue Bacon Burger with Pineapple Salsa

What is your favorite thing to grill?  Are you ready to throw some fruit on your burger, or does it make you a little nervous? Let me know!

May 20, 2014

Lemon and Basil Grilled Chicken and Lemon Cream Pasta

Lemon and Basil Grilled Chicken

The end of the school year is coming!  Though we are wrapping everything up at school, the kids are just as crazy as normal, if not more so.  We have a field trip tomorrow, Memorial Day weekend, and then Water Day on the last day of school.  And as everything happens they get more and more excited about what's coming.

Lemon Cream Pasta

Their excitement is contagious, but I am pooped at the end of the day.  Thus easy and simple dinners are my favorite dinners to make right now.  I'm loving our grill because clean up is easy and cooking is fast!

Lemon Cream Pasta-the perfect spring side

And marinating is the best thing ever.  You throw lemon and oil and herbs in a bag the night before and the flavors sink into the meat--chicken in this case.  The marinating does all the work for you, and you're rewarded with flavorful and delicious lemon and basil grilled chicken.

Juicy Lemon and Basil Grilled Chicken

The lemon cream pasta is one of my favorite side dishes.  It's simple, easy and full of lemon flavors.  With the tang of parmesan cheese, delicious lemon juice, and topped with fresh herbs the lemon cream pasta is perfect as a side dish for grilled chicken, or anything really.

Easy Lemon Cream Pasta with Basil Garnish

Lemon and Basil Marinated Chicken
author: Happy Food Happy Home
makes 4 chicken breasts

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 large lemons or 2 small)
lemon zest from 1/2 a lemon (about 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
a pinch of salt
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
fresh basil for garnish

  1. Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, zest, basil, black pepper, and salt in a glass measuring cup.  
  2. Place the chicken and the marinade in a large zip-top bag.  Massage everything around to fully coat the chicken in the marinade.
  3. Place in the refrigerator and marinate overnight or for at least 2 hours.  The longer you marinate the yummier it will be.
  4. Heat your grill to medium heat.  Grill the chicken until it is cooked through.
  5. Remove from the grill and garnish with fresh basil leaves. 
Note- No grill?  Just cook the chicken over medium heat in a cast iron skillet or bake at 350 degrees until cooked through.  

Lemon Cream Pasta
author: Happy Food Happy Home
serves 4

1/2 a pound dry pasta
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
black pepper to taste
fresh herbs for garnish
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Heat cream in a medium nonstick saucepan over medium low heat until warm but not boiling.
  3. Add the grated parmesan work in two batches.  Whisk together until the cheese dissolves.  
  4. Whisk in the pepper and lemon juice.  
  5. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of pasta water.
  6. Add the pasta to the sauce.  Stir to combine.  If the sauce is runny cook down for about 2 minutes until it sticks to the pasta.  If it is too thick add reserved pasta water to thin.  
  7. At this point you can either mix the herbs into the pasta and sauce, or use them as garnish on top. 
Notes-I used about 3 tablespoons of fresh basil in our pasta.  It was really good!

Easy Lemon and Basil Marinated Grilled Chicken

The lemon and basil grilled chicken and the lemon cream pasta are a delicious spring dinner.  And they're easy to throw together and fast to cook.  Because the marinade does all the work the grilled chicken comes out juicy and full of lemon flavors.  Make this dinner to enjoy the nice spring weather we are having!
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