Browsing Tag


Tip & Tricks

Try This :: Six Cheese Manicotti

Remember the manicotti trays that I used to store my pigments in the new storage cart? Here’s what I did with the actual pasta!


1 (8 ounce) package manicotti pasta
1 tub (16 ounces) ricotta cheese (Sargento)
1 bag (6 ounces) shredded mozzarella & parmesan cheese (Target’s Market Pantry)
1 bag (6 ounces) shredded Italian Six Cheese Blend (Target’s Market Pantry)
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 cup Italian Seasoning
Pinch of Garlic Powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups spaghetti sauce


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente, drain.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, about 4 ounces six cheese blend, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, sour cream, seasonings, and salt and pepper to taste; mix well.
In a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, spray dish with non-stick cooking spray and cover bottom of dish with a thin film of spaghetti sauce.
Fill each manicotti with cheese mixture and place in dish; cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of sauce.
Bake in preheated oven uncovered for 40 minutes.

A quick tip on filling the manicotti, fill a ziplock back with the filling, cut a small hole in one corner and pipe in the mixture. If it gets stuck, fill one end and fill the rest on the other end.

With Garlic & Herb Chicken Breasts and French Cut Green Beans, it was a hit!


Try This: 6 Can Tortilla Soup

I am a sucker for chicken tortilla soup and with the winter cold here, I am all about simple soups that I can make to keep me warm. This is one that even my picky Mini Me loves.

Super simple, and muy yummy!!

However, I have to make it my own and so my version is more like 5 cans and a pack of my fave boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I like dark meat.

  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 1 (10 ounce) can chunk chicken (a package of chicken thighs)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (10 ounce) can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, drained
  • Cumin
  • Chili Powder

1. Season your chicken thighs (I prefer good ol’ Tony Chachere) and bake until fully cooked on 350 F. (or skip to step 2)

2. Open the cans of corn, chicken broth, black beans, and diced tomatoes with green chilies (and can of chicken).

3. Pour everything into a large saucepan or stock pot. Season to taste with cumin and chili powder.

4. Simmer over medium heat until it’s heated through. Usually about 20-30 minutes.

I top mine with shredded cheese, tortilla chips and sour cream.



Yum: Say My Name Smothered Chicken

I love anything with gravy, I usually do smothered pork chops but I had a taste for some good smothered chicken. So I found this great recipe on from Patti LaBelle, which I knew could only be great coming from Patti Patti! It came out yummmmmy! See my notes for a more novice chef approach.

One 3 1/2-pound chicken, rinsed and cut into 8 pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 medium celery ribs, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups chicken broth

Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place the flour in a large bowl. Roll the chicken in the flour to coat, shaking off excess flour. Transfer 3 tablespoons of the flour to a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning halfway during cooking, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the oil from the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the reserved flour and stir well. Gradually stir in the broth and bring to a simmer.

Return the chicken to the skillet. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and shows no sign of pink when pierced at the bone, about 35 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a deep platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Bring the sauce to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring often, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season the gravy with salt and pepper and pour over the chicken. Serve hot.

Melody’s Note: I don’t cut and clean chicken… I just used packaged drumsticks and thighs. As for the onion, celery and garlic I use my PictSweet seasoning instead, it’s quick, less messy and is probably less costly than fresh. If you use onions just for cooking like me, then this is a great buy.