At our house, we have a saying..."Don't yuk my yum!". We are trying to raise kids that aren't picky eaters by exposing them to many different kinds of food. It wasn't that long ago that one of my kids asked "Why can't you cook food like everyone else? Like tater tot hotdish?" The reason? It's not very healthy or creative and I think it's kind of gross. I don't cook like that. I like to use fresh, healthy ingredients to make great tasting good for you dishes. I've created this blog to share my favorite recipes with you.

Follow my kitchen adventures from using up vegetables from our weekly CSA box to baking and creative cooking.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

An easy weeknight dinner

Confession time.  I grow my own herbs.  In the prime of summer, I love sitting on my front porch with my basil, chives, cilantro, sage and rosemary plants and enjoying their wonderful aromas.  If Phil is sitting with me, I run my hands through the plants and quiz him to see if he can tell which herbs are which by their smell.  Now that it's fall, I have brought in the sage and rosemary to enjoy for a little while longer. Not only do we get two nice plants to make the living room look pretty, we also get delicious flavors for our meals.    I don't use them very often, but when I do, it's totally worth the effort of watering a plant twice a week.  Other herbs are waiting in the freezer to be used over the winter.  I made a ton a basil pesto for pizzas and pasta and have just plain frozen basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary and cilantro waiting to be thrown into a recipe as well. They don't look as pretty after they've been frozen, but they taste them same, which is way better than dried. 

Sage and Rosemary
 It's a proven fact that I love to cook.  I also love to eat really good food.  Sometimes, I either don't have the time to cook a big meal or I don't have the desire to spend  a lot of time in the kitchen.  Tuesday nights are like that at our house.  We've been at work and school for two days, our shorter nights of sleep are catching up with us and the to-do list is getting longer and longer.  For all of those reasons, tonight's supper revolved around a bag of frozen cheese ravioli and a big handful of fresh sage. This super easy recipe is one of my creations, so it bears my name :). 

Vicki's Cheese Ravioli with Sage
1-2 T. olive oil or butter (I use a combination)
4 garlic cloves, minced (I used the stuff out of the jar)
a big handful of sage leaves, washed and chopped
1/4 c. white wine or chicken broth (tonight I used chicken broth, but I prefer the wine version)
1 bag of frozen cheese ravioli or tortellini
1 pre-cooked chicken breast, shredded or cut in a tiny dice (we had roasted chicken for supper last night, so I just saved some.)
1/2 c. half and half
1/2 c. shredded parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Heat a nonstick skillet on medium heat to melt the butter or heat the oil.  When the oil is hot, add the garlic and the chopped sage.  Cook until garlic and sage begin to brown, but don't burn them.  It takes maybe three minutes.  Add frozen ravioli and wine or broth to the skillet and cover.  Stir occassionally, cooking for about 10 minutes, or until the ravioli is no longer frozen.  Add chicken and cook for a few more minutes.  Just before serving, pour in the half and half and cheese.  Keep stirring.  As the half and half and cheese heat, they will melt and combine into a creamy sauce.  Add salt and pepper if you like and serve. 

It's not the healthiest meal I cook and it's not going to win any awards, but we all like it and it's super easy to throw together if you have all the ingredients.  To make up for the lack of vegetables in the main dish, I served it with a big lettuce salad with lots of veggies mixed in.

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