Chicken with Mushroom and Baby Heirloom Tomato Gravy

Here it is, only a couple of days into cooler weather, and what am I doing? Reaching for the comfort food meals! This one has it all.  Chicken that is basically fried. The warm, comfort feelings mushrooms and oregano bring to the mix. next you’ve got heirloom tomatoes. well their teeny, tiny cousins, no bigger than a grape. All of this perched on top of a buttery mound of mashed potatoes. The only thing that would have made this better was if I would have had the time to make my buttery cornbread. As it stand, this meal isn’t really during the week cooking. Can’t say that I’m sorry, though.


4 bone and skin on chicken thighs
3 Tbs plus 2 tsp all purpose flour
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion (to save time, pick up a pre-chopped bag either in the produce or freezer section)
1 Tbs minced garlic (pre-minced in a jar isn’t as good as fresh, but does shave a few minutes off the time)
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 1/2 cup thinly sliced button mushrooms
1 tsp dried oregano
Kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup halved grape heirloom tomatoes (picked up these beauties at the farmers market!)


Add 3 tablespoons flour, salt, and pepper to a gallon zip-lock bag.  Add chicken thighs, one at a time. Close bag and shake to coat. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. To another burner, place a large nonstick pan and heat to medium low.  To cast iron, add olive oil. Once heated, cook chicken a total of 9 minutes, turning every 3 minutes.  Remove to nonstick pan and cover. Keep turning every 3-5 minutes while rest of meal comes together.

To cast iron skillet, add onion and garlic; sauté until onion is lightly browned.  Add mushrooms and oregano, sautéing until mushrooms release moisture and darken. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons flour, stirring constantly. add broth, bring to a boil.Reducing heat, simmer 1  minute. Remove mushroom mixture to serving platter. Top with chicken and tent loosely to keep warm. To nonstick pan, add heirloom tomatoes and sauté until softened. Gently spoon over chicken and serve with mashed potatoes.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Burgundy, white
Pinot Noir

Serves 4

Total time: 1 hour

 *Original Serves 4 Recipe

Tortellini with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

My kids love, love, love cheese ravioli.  Every time we go to Mary’s Pizza Shack that’s what they both order.  Well, Daniela being Daniela has to add, “No sauce.  And not a dot of cheese on top!”  At least my girl know what she likes!  This is like that, but so different.  It totally satisfies their craving for cheese rav, but gives the adults a better meal than feeling like they are eating just buttered pasta.  And I must be doing something right because D did not once say to me, “And NOT a dot of cheese!”  


1 lb sliced cremini mushrooms (if you are not buying the pre-sliced already, start now!)
1 Tbs olive oil
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 (15 oz) jar Alfredo sauce (such as Classico)
12 oz dried cheese tortellini (I used Barilla and loved it)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbs minced fresh basil


Cook tortellini according to package directions.

Add olive oil to large skillet heated to medium.  When heated, add mushrooms and cooked until reduced by about half.  When mushrooms reduced by half, add broth, Alfredo sauce, salt and pepper.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

Drain pasta.  If your pan is large enough, add the pasta in batches, stirring to combine between each batch.  If not, once drained, return pasta to pot and add sauce in batches, stirring to combine in between.

Serve with your favorite  veggie, maybe broccoli.  Don’t forget the garlic bread!

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

White Burgundy
White Bordeaux

Serves: 4
Total time: 40 minutes


Tortellini with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Tortellini with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

*Derived from America’s Test Kitchen – Slow Cooker Revolution

Sausage “Alfredo”

For some reason I’m drawn to the dishes that are a play or rip-off of other dishes.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe I feel like this play-on-another-dish is an underdog and I kind of feel like Robin Hood, giving that dish a chance.  Or I could feel a little like Peter Pan, with the dishes that never want to grow up and be the big, bold dish it could have been.  No, stay, play, have fun!  Or, maybe it’s just that these dishes are easier than the actual dish.  Ya, I have to go with that last one.  As much as I’d like to be Robin Hood or Peter Pan, I just don’t look good in tights.  


1 Pkg Hillshire Farm smoked sausage
12 oz cooked pasta, drained
2 cups heavy cream
1 Tbs Italian seasoning
1 Tsp garlic salt
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pt cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups frozen peas


Prepare pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.

While preparing pasta, cut sausage in ½” – 1″ thick slices.  Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium – high heat.  Sauté sausage for about 5 minutes, until crispy.  Drain any grease.  Add cream, Italian seasoning, and garlic salt.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.  Add tomatoes and peas. Simmer 4-5 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken.

Stir in Parmesan and add to pasta.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

White Burgundy

Serves 6 – 8

Total time: 30 minutes

Sausage "Alfredo"

Sausage “Alfredo”

*Derived from: Hillshire Farms

Broccoli and Cheese Penne

Along with the slow cooker, this time of year brings a distinct desire for all things . . . casserolish.  Anything baked in a big dish with cheese.  Making it oozy and gooey.  The house gets warm from the heat and the aroma makes everyone come running, mouth-watering, asking when dinner will be ready.  Fall is by far my favorite time of year.  We’ve been so exposed during the summer, to the sun, to the heat, to the chlorine from the pool.  With Fall, I welcome that chance to cover up a little.  Wear v-neck sweaters and boots.  The mornings are chilly, the evenings crisp, but the afternoons still shine brightly beckoning at lunch or the early evening to head outside and soak up the final rays.


1½ cups penne pasta (or use whatever tube pasta you have on hand)
1 lb broccoli, cut into florets (or by the fresh broccoli steam bags in the produce section, save yourself a step!)
3 eggs
1 cup cream
1/3 cup milk
1-2 cups grated cheddar cheese (depends on how cheesy you like it.  I used 2 cups)
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 425°.  With nonstick cooking spray, evenly spray the inside of a deep, 8-cup baking dish.

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Add broccoli to pasta water the last 5 minutes of cooking time; drain.  Rinse pasta and broccoli under cold water; drain, cool.

Combine pasta, broccoli, eggs, cream, milk, and cheddar in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper.  In small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, parmesan, and garlic.  Spoon broccoli mixture into prepared baking dish; sprinkle with breadcrumbs mixture.

Bake, uncovered, for about 40 minutes or until browned lightly and set.

Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Burgundy, White
Chardonnay, New World (fruity)
Chardonnay, Old World (buttery)

Serves 6 large portions

Prep time: 20 minutes; Cooking time: 40 minutes

photo (1)
*Derived from Food Republic

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