Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Scampi

 A wonderful , easy pasta dish that tastes so much like one of Olive Garden’s long-time dishes…

Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Scampi

This dish has been one of my favorites to make for a long time…in fact I’ve been making it since I first got to go to Olive Garden a loooong time ago.  I loved it so much that I had to learn how to make it.  This was back when I was first learning to cook and I don’t think Google was even around.  I did find some recipes online for a shrimp scampi and I tweaked that one to create this one.  As I’ve learned to cook, I’ve changed the way I make it, and now I bring you my favorite version of it.

The chicken is simply thin-cut chicken breasts cut into thirds.  They are dunked in a little seasoned flour and pan-fried for a few minutes.  I had to fight off the husband and kids to keep them from eating all the chicken before I could finish the whole meal!

The pasta is creamy and filled with so much flavor from the garlic and peppers.  Your house will smell so good!

Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Scampi
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
Ingredients
  • 6 THIN cut chicken breasts
  • 1 cup flour
  • Seasoned salt or creole seasoning or salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 green, 1 yellow, 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan
  • 12 oz. angel hair
Instructions
  1. Boil pasta until al dente.
  2. Cut chicken breasts into thirds (like tenders).
  3. Season chicken.
  4. Place flour in a shallow dish and season with 1 tsp seasoned salt.
  5. Dredge chicken in flour.
  6. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in large skillet. (I use a cast iron).
  7. Place chicken in skillet and cook over medium high heat for 4 minutes. Flip and cook for 3-4 more minutes. Remove to a plate.
  8. Add 1 tbsp oil to skillet.
  9. Add peppers and onions. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes.
  10. Add garlic and saute for a few more minutes.
  11. Add cream, milk, and parmesan. Bring to a simmer.
  12. Add chicken and let simmer for 5 minutes. (Do not overcook or veggies will lose their bite).
  13. Mix in pasta tossing to coat well. Taste to season.
  14. Add chicken and serve.

Other recipes you may like:

Shrimp Scampi
Shrimp Scampi

Baked Spaghetti

Baked Spaghetti

Baked Ziti
IMG_5616a

Mock Filet Mignon

Family-friendly and budget-friendly mock filet mignons are easy yet fancy and won’t break the bank…
Mock Filet Mignon - Family-friendly and budget-friendly mock filet mignons are easy yet fancy and won't break the bank...
We love a good steak night at the house, but we cannot have it all the time because my husband and I both tend to want the expensive cuts of meat.  Lucky for me, most of the time he treats us to those or we might go out to eat to get one.  However sometimes, we don’t want to spend a fortune so we opt for meals like this Mock Filet Mignon.  My mom told me they used to have these all the time, and I can see why.  They are really such a great and easy supper!

They came out so moist and so flavorful.  We served them with some smothered green beans and bacon and mashed potatoes.  It was wonderful!  You will love them!

Mock Filet Mignon
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. ground beef (Pick one with 20% fat or more)
  • 8 to 10 slices center cut bacon
  • 1½ teaspoons of creole seasoning or seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning
Instructions
  1. Season ground beef and mix by hand.
  2. Form 4 to 5 patties being sure to make a depression in the center. (This keeps them from shrinking too much).
  3. Wrap edges of each patty with 2 slices of bacon (one on each side). Secure with toothpicks.
  4. Grill over medium high heat . You want to sear in juices so that is why you want the heat high. Depending on the fat in the bacon, you may need to lower the heat a little. The fattier the bacon, the more it will drip down causing it to flame up more. ( a little of that is okay- you just don't want to burn them).
  5. Grill for 7 minutes on first side and flip and grill for another 5 to 7 minutes.

I’m linking up with:
Weekend Retreat

Shrimp and Bacon Quesadillas

 Easy to make quesadillas filled with grilled shrimp, bacon, green onions, and pepperjack cheese.

Shrimp and Bacon Quesadillas | Diary of a Recipe CollectorIn case you haven’t noticed yet, I could eat shrimp at pretty much every meal.  I love it just about any way it can be prepared.  During the summer, I love to grill shrimp for  this recipe or this one.  It won’t be long until I start putting it in pastas like this one and this one.   And in Louisiana, we love our rice.  So I’ll be making this one soon for my husband.  Oh and I can’t wait to indulge in this one too!  See…I told ya!  I LOVE me some shrimp!  My husband and I often like to repeat the part in the movie Forest Gump where Bubba names all the ways to prepare it!

So I bring you another shrimp recipe that is so very simple!  It’s perfect for a weeknight or to enjoy while sitting on the back porch on the weekend with a margarita if you’d like!

Shrimp and Bacon Quesadillas
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
Ingredients
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 lb. shrimp (75 count)
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • ½ lb. pepperjack cheese, shredded
  • ½ lb. colby jack cheese, shredded
  • 4 soft taco size tortillas
  • sour cream and guacamole (optional)
Instructions
  1. Prepare bacon in oven: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place bacon on parchment-lined baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes or until crispy. Remove and let cool before chopping.
  2. Season shrimp with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan.
  4. Add shrimp to pan and saute for 3 -5 minutes.
  5. Assemble: On one half of tortilla, place shrimp, cheese, bacon, and green onions. Fold over other side of tortilla.
  6. Spread outside with a little butter and place in pan over medium heat to grill tortilla until golden brown.
  7. Cut into wedges and serve with sour cream and guacamole, if desired.

Other shrimp recipes:

Grilled Shrimp and Corn Quesadillas
Grilled Shrimp and Corn QuesadillasHibachi Shrimp
Hibachi Shrimp

Cajun Boiled Shrimp Stuffed Potatoes
Cajun Boiled Shrimp Stuffed Potato

Linking up with:
Weekend Retreat
Best of the Weekend

Quick & Easy Back to School Breakfast Ideas

Are you ready?  It’s time for school!  My kiddos start this week!  That means I need to get back in the swing of things and stock up on breakfast and lunch foods.  If you are in need of these as well, I’ve got an awesome round up for you!  I’m sharing it over at Raising Reagan today.  I’d love for you guys to go check it out!!

Back to School Breakfasts for Raising Reagan

Cinnamon Pecan Icebox Cookies {Leftovers Club}

Attention all cookie lovers!  Boy have I found an amazing cookie for you!  And as an added bonus, they are so easy to have ready in the fridge waiting to be baked up when the craving hits!
Cinnamon Pecan Ice Box Cookies
I’m so excited for this post!  Not only do I have this FABULOUS cookie to share with you, but it is also my first month to do a recipe swap with the Leftovers Club!  This is so much fun!  A group of bloggers pair up each month and send some of our baked goodies to another member of the group.  In return, they send us some of their baked goodies and we share all the creations with you!  As soon as I heard about this group, I knew it sounded so much fun.

Leftover Club Logo

This month I was paired up with Shaina from Take a Bite out of Boca.  She sent me some WONDERFUL little treats last week and she’s sharing them today too!  It was so exciting to get them in the mail.  My parents were over at my house and were  just about to back out of the driveway when I decided to check the mail.  I pulled out this little box of goodies straight from Florida.  We all sampled them right there in the driveway.

Isn’t that cool?  How many times have you wanted to reach into your computer screen and give some of the treats you see online a try?  I know I do all the time!

So these little Cinnamon Pecan Icebox Cookies headed Shaina’s way on Monday.  They are so yummy!  My husband, who is not the biggest fan of cookies or a lot of desserts for that matter, can just about eat a dozen of them.  I’m telling y’all…these little suckers are addicting!

They are so easy to make ahead and have a roll in the freezer waiting to slice up and bake.  They are definitely something I’ll be making over and over for lunchboxes and after school snacks too.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Cinnamon Pecan Icebox Cookies {Leftovers Club}
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2¼ cups flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • Sugar Coating:
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat butter until creamy.
  2. Add sugar and beat until well mixed.
  3. Add egg and vanilla and beat well.
  4. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture.
  6. Add pecans and beat on low speed just until mixed.
  7. Scoop out dough onto plastic wrap and wrap up while shaping it into a ball. Chill for an hour.
  8. Take out dough and split in half. Place each half onto a sheet of waxed paper. Shape the dough into a 6 inch log using the wax paper to help you roll it up and smooth it out. Once you have it shaped, roll the log with the wax paper and twist the edges to seal it. Place in the freezer to firm up for a few hours to overnight. (If you plan on storing it for longer, wrap each wax paper log in plastic wrap and then in foil to store).
  9. Remove from freezer once firm and let it sit out for about 5 minutes to make it easier to slice.
  10. Roll in sugar coating mixture in a shallow dish pressing the cinnamon/sugar onto outside of log.
  11. Slice ¼ inch thick and bake on ungreased baking sheet at 350 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Notes
*Makes 2 dozen
*Baking for 14 minutes makes a slightly crispier cookie- I usually do one batch at 12 minutes and one at 14 because we like them both ways.
*Adapted from Southern Living Incredible Cookies

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Want to try some other treats:

Lemon Blossoms
Lemon Blossoms

Harvest Cookies
IMG_3958

Maple Pecan Cookies
IMG_3893a

And don’t forget about the awesome Back to School giveaway!!!

back to school giveaway 2014 square

I’m linking up with:
Weekend Retreat
Show Stopper Saturday
Best of the Weekend
Saturday Night Fever

Patty Melts

 Delicious patty melts sitting on a garlic Texas toast soaked in gravy and topped with melted cheese.

Patty Melts - fixed up with smothered onions, gravy, and cheese all on Texas toastSo let’s talk about 2 year olds for a second…2 year olds that are the 3rd child and have a new little baby in their house…2 year olds that all of the sudden do not want to potty anymore and who love to tell you “No!”

Yea, that’s what’s happening in our house right now.  The baby is 3 weeks and suddenly we have some issues.  I was waiting on this to happen; however, I did think at first, we might just not have a problem because she was doing so well acting like nothing new was going on around here.  But here we are now…having issues.

I just keep telling myself this stage will pass, and she will finally finish potty training successfully.

She will FINISH potty training one of these days.

She WILL FINISH potty training one of these days.

SHE WILL FINISH POTTY TRAINING ONE OF THESE DAYS.

Just some positive thoughts…

And for some other positive thoughts, I share with you these Patty Melts.

They are delicious.  Grab a fork and a knife and get ready to dig in to the melty cheese, delicious hamburger patty all atop a gravy-soaked garlic toast.  These are just so good!

Patty Melts
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1½ lb. ground beef
  • Salt and pepper or seasoned salt or creole seasoning
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ½ tsp beef bouillon granules
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • ½ cup pepperjack cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup colby jack cheese, shredded
  • 4 garlic toasts, frozen
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Season meat with salt and pepper or seasoned salt.
  3. Shape into 4 oval patties and make a depression in the center.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  5. Cook patties for 5 minutes and flip.
  6. Top with sliced onions and season with salt and pepper. Cover.
  7. Cook for another 7 to 10 minutes.
  8. Remove patties and cook onions another 5 minutes.
  9. In a cup mix beef bouillon granules with the warm water and let set a few minutes.
  10. Add 1 tbsp flour to the onion mixture and stir for about a minute.
  11. Add beef broth mixture and stir.
  12. Reduce heat to medium low and let sauce thicken. Once thickened, add patties back and let set for about 5 minutes over low heat.
  13. Toast garlic bread in oven for about 4-5 minutes.
  14. Remove toasts from oven and preheat broiler.
  15. Top each with onion gravy mixture, patty, more onion gravy, and shredded cheeses.
  16. Place under broiler for 1-2 minutes or until cheese melts.
  17. Let cool slightly and serve.

Other delicious ground beef recipes:

Bobby’s Bolo Burgers
Bobby's Bolo Burgers

Not Your Average Noodle Casserole
Not Your Average Noodle Casserole

I’m linking up with:
Time to Sparkle
Totally Talented Tuesdays
Weekend Retreat
Show Stopper Saturday
Best of the Weekend
Saturday Night Fever

Strawberry Lemon Dump Cake

A dump cake is one of the easiest desserts to make with very few ingredients to always have on hand.  This strawberry and lemon version does not disappoint!

Strawberry Lemon Dump Cake
A dump cake was one of the first desserts I made when I first got married.  My mom had given me a box filled with recipe cards, and Apple Dump Cake was probably one of my favorite things in there.  It is my husband’s favorite and I make it for his birthday every year.

The name “Dump Cake” pretty much explains how easy this dessert really is.  You literally dump all the ingredients in the pan and bake it.  It really doesn’t get much easier than that!  I serve the apple version with vanilla ice cream, but for this one I went with homemade whipped cream…yummo!

Strawberry Lemon Dump Cake
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cans strawberry pie filling
  • 1 box lemon cake mix
  • 2 sticks butter, cut up into cubes
  • 8 oz heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pour both cans of pie filling into the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan.
  3. Sprinkle dry cake mix over the top of the pie filling spreading evenly to cover.
  4. Distribute butter cubes all over the top of cake mix.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the top is golden brown.
  6. For whipped cream, using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat whipping cream with powdered sugar until it thickens to the texture of whipped cream.
  7. Spoon cake into bowls and serve with a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy!
Notes
Apple version-Use 2 cans of Apple Pie filling, yellow cake mix, and add chopped pecans to the top before baking.

Check out these other desserts:

Lemon Blossoms
Lemon Blossoms

Mini Cherry Cheesecake Trifles
Mini Cherry Cheesecake Trifles

Linking up with:
Weekend Retreat
Show Stopper Saturday
Time to Sparkle
Totally Talented Tuesdays

White Chocolate Cereal Snack Bars

A cereal bar filled with cinnamon, pecans, almonds, granola clusters, and Protein Cheerios all dunked in white chocolate…  and a giveaway for Back to School!!
White Chocolate Cereal Bars -filled with cinnamon, pecans, almonds, granola clusters, and Protein Cheerios all dunked in white chocolate-Diary of a Recipe Collector

Well it’s almost time for school where we live.  It is only 2 1/2 weeks away.  It seems like it comes earlier and earlier.  I’ve always loved the beginning of school.  In fact, it is probably one of the things I miss most about teaching.  I loved getting my classroom fresh and ready for a new crop of kids.  It always made me a little nervous and excited.

Today we decided to tackle getting school supplies, shoes, and finished up buying uniforms.  It was a pretty productive day!  All that’s left is stocking up on school snacks and lunch stuff in a few weeks.

As far as snacks go, I’ve got one great one for you right here.  Have you tried the new Protein Cheerios?  They are delicious, and I immediately knew I wanted to make cereal bars with them.  And then I thought, “Why not dip them in some white chocolate?”  And that was a good decision!

My husband, who is not a huge fan of sweets, kept going back and getting him one of these little treats.  They are quite addicting!  Hope you give them a try and be sure to see the awesome Back to School giveaway below!!

5.0 from 1 reviews
White Chocolate Cereal Snack Bars
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp butter or margarine
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
  • 6 cups Protein Cheerios (Cinnamon Almond)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat.
  2. Stir in marshmallows until melted.
  3. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
  4. Add cereal and stir until cereal is completely coated.
  5. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with vegetable oil spray.
  6. Press cereal mixture firmly into pan. It helps to spray hands with cooking spray.
  7. Allow to cool completely (about 1-2 hours).
  8. Cut into 16 bars. I used a pizza cutter.
  9. Pour white chocolate chips into a shallow bowl and melt in microwave stirring ever 30 seconds until melted.
  10. Dip the bottom of each cereal bar in chocolate. Place on waxed paper to set up and let chocolate harden completely for about an hour.

Getting ready for back to school can be so EXPENSIVE!  I’ve already spent a fortune on school supplies, uniforms, and school shoes.  And then when school starts, I’ll have to pay class fees and countless other things.   So I teamed up with some other bloggers to help giveaway $400 cash to one of our lucky readers!  Who couldn’t use that??

back to school giveaway 2014 (1)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sponsored by:

The Weary ChefJoyful Healthy EatsLemon Tree Dwelling
Five Heart HomeCooking on the Front BurnerDiary of a Recipe Collector
Clarks CondensedLife Made SweeterLemons for Lulu
Little Miss CelebrationFood Faith FitnessHouse of Yumm
Melanie MakesKrafted KochThe Bitter Side of Sweet
Julie’s Eats & TreatsVegan in the FreezerChelsea’s Messy Apron
Kleinworth & Co.Flavor the MomentsSpoonful of Flavor
The Midnight BakerFrugal Foodie MamaMom’s Test Kitchen
Eazy Peazy MealzHot Eats and Cool ReadsCall Me PMc
My Gluten-free KitchenA Little ClaireificationYesterfood
Belle of the KitchenPetite Allergy TreatsThe Grant Life
Yummy Healthy EasyBeyond FrostingWishes and Dishes
I Dig PinterestLove Bakes Good Cakes
Life, Love and SugarDelightful E Made

I’m linking up with:
Time to Sparkle
Mandy’s Recipe Box
Wake up Wednesdays
Weekend Retreat
Show Stopper Saturday

Cajun Boiled Shrimp Stuffed Potatoes

A comforting quick and easy supper for year-around.  Super stuffed potatoes filled with cajun boiled shrimp and all the fixings!

Cajun Boiled Shrimp Stuffed Potato-Super stuffed potatoes filled with cajun boiled shrimp and all the fixings!

Well my week has started out a little rough as far as this blog is concerned.  Monday afternoon my website went down, and it turns out it was hacked!  Why!  Why do those mean Internet  people do that?   I immediately got on the phone to get it fixed, and after 24 hours I was back up and running.  My biggest fear was that I was going to lose all my work from the last 18 months.  Luckily, it was fixed with no other issues.

Meanwhile I was enjoying spending time with our newest addition.  He is just so sweet!  He really is the best baby!  Even with all the noise from the other three kids, he still gets in his sleep and usually wakes up once at night.  All the kids have been so great with him too!

So onto these Cajun Shrimp Stuffed Potatoes…one of our favorite suppers!!  These really are quick and easy.  I say this even though I bake the potatoes for a little over an hour.  The oven really does all the work there.  You can even microwave your potatoes, but we prefer it baked in the oven.

I’m excited to share some of my cultural foods with you.  I believe Cajun food is one of the best cuisines ever.  I guess I’m a little biased since I was born and raised in Southwest Louisiana.  But really…there is so much flavor in this wonderful cuisine!

This recipe calls for crab and shrimp boil.  There are different kinds, but we prefer Zatarains, which to my happy surprise, you can find it on Amazon if your grocery store doesn’t carry it!!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Cajun Boiled Shrimp Stuffed Potatoes
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
Ingredients
  • 4 large baking potatoes
  • 1½ tbsp vegetable oil
  • kosher salt
  • 6 cups water
  • 1½ tsp dry concentrated crab and shrimp boil*
  • 1 tbsp liquid concentrated crab and shrimp boil*
  • 2 lbs. 150-250 count shrimp
  • sour cream
  • butter
  • green onions, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  3. Wash potatoes and pat dry. Prick with a fork several times.
  4. Rub potatoes with vegetable oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and place on foil-lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  6. Shortly before potatoes are done, add 6 cups of water to a saucepan. Add both dry and liquid crab and shrimp boil.
  7. Bring to a boil.
  8. Add shrimp and bring back to a boil for 1 minute.
  9. Strain shrimp in colander.
  10. For each potato, slice open and squeeze into a circle shape. Place in a bowl.
  11. Add 1 -2 tbsp butter, mix well.
  12. Add 1-2 tbsp sour cream, mix well.
  13. Add shredded cheese, shrimp, green onions, salt, & pepper.
Notes
*We used Zatarains brand.
**Butter and sour cream amounts are your personal preference.

Other shrimp recipes:

Bacon Jalapeno Lime Shrimp
lBacon Jalapeno Lime Shrimp

Shrimp Scampi
Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp Casserole
Shrimp Casserole

Hibachi Shrimp
Hibachi Shrimp

I ‘m linking up with:
Best of the Weekend
Weekend Retreat
Saturday Night Fever
Time to Sparkle
Mandy’s Recipe Box
Wake up Wednesdays
Show Stopper Saturday

Summer Sauteed Corn and Onions

 This side dish just speaks summer!  It’s made from fresh corn on the cob and has just the right amount of sweetness!

Summer Sauteed Corn and Onions Today I bring you a yummy and simple side dish!  I had trouble not eating it all out of the skillet!  It takes hardly any time at all to prepare it, and I kind of need simple dishes lately with the new baby.  He’s doing great!  He is just so sweet!  He wakes up only once at night to eat.  I know…I’m really lucky!!

I love buying fresh corn.  Here’s a super simple trick to use when you cut it:

IMG_7380Cut it on a dish towel and then transfer it from the towel to your pot.  Just shake off the towel in your sink when your done.

Summer Sauteed Corn and Onions
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 ears of fresh corn
  • 1 onion
  • Kosher salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Remove the corn kernels from the cobs.
  2. Thinly slice onion.
  3. Saute the onion in the olive oil for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the corn and season with salt and pepper. I used a ¼ tsp pepper and a heavy pinch of kosher salt.
  5. Let this cook another 3 to 5 minutes and remove from heat and enjoy!

Check out these other great corn dishes:

BBQ Frito Corn on the Cob

Chili Cheese Frito Corn Salad
Chili Cheese Frito Corn Salad

Southwest Wraps
Southwest Wraps

Corn Dip
Corn Dip -Diary of a Recipe Collector

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