Easy Side Dishes Easy Parmesan Orzo from It's a Keeper

Easy Parmesan Orzo

A while back, Christina at This Woman Cooks, posted this recipe on my weekly linky party. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to try it! It looked so cheesy and good. Plus, she said it was super easy.

I don’t know about you, but I’m always on the lookout for new side dishes that I can add to my weeknight dinner arsenal. I mean, c’mon, we love brown rice as much as the next guy, but one can only eat so much before it gets bor-ring! Needless to say, this recipe caught my attention so I thought I would test it out for all of my faithful readers!

Go a head. Hit the “print this” button below. You’ll definitely want to keep a copy of this recipe handy. It’s THAT good!

Easy Cheesy Orzo It's a Keeper

Easy Cheesy Orzo

One of my favorite go-to side dish recipes is this Parmesan Orzo.  I love it because it’s super simple to make and it tastes so good.   The last time I made this recipe, I had some left over Velveeta cheese in the fridge.  I swapped out the Parmesan for the Velveeta.

The result?  A creamy, cheesy, deeeelicious side dish!  The fam was crazy about it.  It reminded them of my homemade mac and cheese.

I think this would be perfect pair with my meatloaf or Crispy Oven Fried Chicken!

What’s your favorite go-to side dish?

 

Creamy Chicken Tortellini Bake 2 It's a Keeper

Chicken and Broccoli Tortellini Casserole

Baby it’s cold outside!  This week it hasn’t gotten over 7 degrees here.  And, when you factor in the wind chill factor it’s bone chilling cold!   It’s the kind of weather that makes you want to snuggle in and not leave your warm house.  It also makes me crave comfort food.  I found this recipe for Chicken and Broccoli Tortellini Casserole in a magazine.  It looked so good and sounded even better.  And, since we’re on a broccoli kick this week, I thought it would be perfect for a frigid day.

American Pierogies It's a Keeper

American Pierogies

This recipe is pure, unadulterated comfort food!  I’m going to warn you right now…there is absolutely NOTHING healthy about this recipe.  While it may not be very nutritious, it is one of those recipes that just makes you feel cozy.  It’s warm and comforting and oh so good!

And, it reminds of my childhood!  My mom used to make this recipe for us when we were kids.  If I remember correctly (it’s been a while now!), my mother made this for one of my first sleep-over parties.  We must have been pretty hungry girls because we polished off an entire pan of the stuff and asked her to make more!  It is THAT good! 

Pasta Cordon Bleu It's a Keeper

Pasta Cordon Bleu

Pasta Cordon Bleu It's a Keeper

I hope everyone had a happy Easter!  One of the things I love about holidays is leftovers!  I have my favorite go-to recipes that are great for leftovers, but I’m always on the look out for new things to try.  I found this recipe for Pasta Cordon Bleu on Pinterest and thought it would be a good way to use up leftover Easter ham.  It seemed to be a fun take on Chicken Cordon Bleu only in a casserole! 

Ina Garten's Spicy Turkey Meatballs

Spicy Turkey Meatballs

OK folks, I know I’ve been a way for quite some time.   Over the last few months, we had a lot going on in the H. household!  We *FINALLY* moved into our new home (with my awesome new kitchen)!  I’ll be sure to post some new photos — as soon as I finish unpacking all of the boxes!  Between the packing, moving and the holidays it’s been a zoo around here.  For the past 2 months or so we’ve been eating out almost every night.  And, not only is that expensive, but it gets old…really quick!  I missed my stove.  I would actually lay in bed at night thinking about all of the dishes I wanted to cook when my kitchen was ready.

One thing I noticed as I unpacked my pantry items was that I had waaaay too much pasta!  So, that meant spaghetti and meatballs!  And, I knew right where to look to find a new recipe to try….Ina Garten’s (the Barefoot Contessa) newest cookbook, How Easy is That?  I had that amazing opportunity to meet Ina in person at a book signing (you can read about it here)!  I absolutely adore her!  What I wouldn’t give to watch a living taping of her show!  This recipe is the first recipe I’m testing from her newest book!

Homemade Mac & cheese it's a keeper

My Favorite Mac & Cheese

There is nothing more perfect (in my 5 year old’s opinion) than macaroni and cheese.  He would eat it with everything meal — including breakfast if I let him!  It goes with everything — chicken, beef, fish, pancakes (he actually tried to convince me of that once!).

While my son loves mac and cheese from a box, he loves my homemade version even more.  Making homemade mac & cheese is not as daunting of a task as you might think.  It’s really quite simple.   And, this recipe tastes sooo much better than the stuff from a box.  Trust me on this.  Years ago I found a recipe in the Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook that seemed to work perfectly for me.  I’ve since adapted the recipe a bit to suit our tastes, and now it’s just right!

Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper-Garlic Sauce

Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper-Garlic Sauce

Raise your hand if you LOVE garlic! Me! Me! Me! That must be what initially drew me to this recipe. Just look at the first ingredient….20 cloves of garlic. It’s a good thing my husband and son really love garlic too, considering how much we go through in this house. I love garlic in any way, shape or form. I’m curious though…I’ve never had black garlic. I’m wondering what it’s like, but the grocery stores in my area don’t carry it. Have any of you tried black garlic?

Wegman's Grilled Orzo Salad

Grilled Orzo Salad

A few years ago I went to a cooking class at my local Wegman’s supermarket.  It was a great class on grilling.  I learned a log of great tips and techniques.  One of the recipes they made that night was a Grilled Orzo Salad.  I must have liked the recipe, because I found it buried deep in my recipe stash. 

Risotto with Sausage and peppers

Creamy Risotto with Sausage & Peppers

The other day, I had some Italian sausage and leftover bell peppers in my fridge that I wanted to use up.  I knew I didn’t want pasta, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted.  Then, as I was standing in front of my pantry closet and staring blankly into it, it hit me.  Risotto!

Yes, risotto with sausage and peppers is what I was craving.  There’s just something about the creamy, rich, delicious-ness of risotto paired with zesty sausage and crisp, sweet peppers.  Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is. 

It's a Keeper Top 10 of 2010

The Best of 2010

As we get ready to close out 2010, I thought it would only be appropriate to recap the top 10 recipes on It’s a Keeper.  Below, I’ve listed the 10 recipe posts with the most views in 2010.  These are the recipes you guys liked the best! 

Chicken Cannelloni with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

So the weather’s getting cooler here in northeastern Pennsylvania and that means it’s time for things like football, the cider mill and warm comforting casseroles!  I sifted through “the pile” and came up with a couple of contenders for dinner tonight — Chicken Cobbler Casserole and Chicken Cannelloni with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.

I decided to go with the cannelloni tonight, but, rest assured, the Chicken Cobbler will be tried and tested by my fearless taste-testers very soon!

Chicken Cacciatore

My son loves Chicken Catch-en-torry!  And, I love to make it.  This is one of those recipes that tastes like it simmered all day, when in reality, it’s done in about 3o minutes!

I love the sweetness of the tomatoes and the tenderness of the chicken.  And, you definitely need some good garlic bread to sop up the extra sauce!

This is one of my family’s favorite dinners!  I hope that it becomes one of your family’s favorites too!

Chicken Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese

I’m always on the lookout for dishes that I can pre-make for my work lunches.  So when this recipe popped up in my inbox I thought I would give it a try. 

Penne Gorgonzola with Chicken

Photo by my husband!

After a stressful day at work, the mere thought of having to cook dinner is exhausting.  It’s nights like these that I like to have a few simple dinner ideas up my sleeve.  You know…the ones that you can usually pull together from basic ingredients in your pantry and the ones that don’t make a kitchen full of dirty dishes.