Chicken Ragu Pasta with Mushrooms and Bacon

Chicken ragu paparadelle pasta with bacon and mushrooms | jessicagavin.com #italianrecipe

I’m savoring every warm and hearty last bite of comfort food that I can, why you ask? Because I’m not quite ready to trade in my cozy winter soups, stews and pastas recipes. I also know it’s still chilly in other parts of the world outside sunny California where I live, so this ones for you guys!

I usually look forward to the weekends because it gives me a chance to take my time in the kitchen, but not so much nowadays as I get quite distracted with James beggining to crawl and chasing after him, haha. If you’re like me, you really don’t have a lot of time to watch your pot simmer all day. This calls for a rapid recipe for chicken ragu pasta with mushrooms and bacon. My mouth is watering just thinking about the delicious taste. Now grab your biggest pot and let’s get going!… 

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Hearty Chicken Ale Stew with Vegetables

Hearty Chicken Ale Stew with Vegetables | jessicagavin.com

Brrrr, oh it’s definitely time to make some stew to take the chill out of your bones! I may be experiencing “Cali winter”, aka I still occasionally wear shorts and flip flops on the weekend, but I still crave warm winter foods. To get started we are going to need some chicken (check!), vegetables (double check!), and some beer (check! Wait, whut?!?!).

Oh yes, some BEER. If you haven’t tried adding a little bit of bubbly fermented goodness to your soups and stews yet, then you have been missing out. Not to fret, I have a hot and delicious, bowl scraping, ask for seconds recipe for a hearty chicken ale soup with vegetables coming your way! Don’t worry, you don’t have to be born before 1993 to enjoy this savory dish (gosh I feel old!)…. 

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Wholesome White Bean and Chicken Chili

white bean and chicken chili recipe | jessicagavin.com

It’s football season everyone! I’m actually not that big of a fan, as in no specific team loyalties except the Niners and Raiders are near my hometown, ALAMEDA, whut!, whut! Gosh, do you remember when Joe Montana said he was “Going to Disneyland” after the 49ers won the Superbowl? Geez, a man of my heart.

I may not be a die hard pig skin fanatic (unless you mean the crispy stuff on the outside of a slow roasted porchetta), but I sure do LOVE some Sunday night football food! I definitely don’t mind stirring up a big pot of chili or noshing on fresh chips, salsa and guacamole while the hubs and babes enjoy the game on the lazy boy chair. And guess what, I’m making some soul soothing white bean and chicken chili soup for this Sundays match up, it’s got all the right heat to get you fired up for the game, who’s with me?… 

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Delicious Chicken Parmesan Recipe

Delicious Chicken Parmesan Recipe | jessicagavin.com

Nothing says I love you like a piping hot plate of pasta and layering on a crispy breaded chicken is the icing on the cake! My husband grew up eating homemade Italian food that his mom and grandma would prepare. The sauces were always made from scratch (lucky guy!) and the food carefully made with love. Jason’s mom Joan and grandma Rose are amazing cooks! Over the years they have taught me how to make meatballs, fresh rolled pasta, and chicken spadini to make sure Jason always gets to indulge in his favorite foods.

I never try to compete with mama, but I like to make some of Jason’s favorite comfort foods to remind him of home. Nothing puts a smile on my husbands face than a crunchy tender piece of Chicken Parmesan, topped with fresh tomato sauce and gooey melted cheese. Oh yes, I get major points when I make this which I redeem for trips to get  ice cream cones!… 

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Chicken Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Chicken butternut squash soup recipe | jessicagavin.com

I’m really bumming out… Today is my official first day back at work from maternity leave, I sure hope I can make it at work without crying, yikes! It’s been the most amazing and challenging 4 months since the arrival of baby James. I can’t believe how much he has grown and taking on his own jubilant personality! It’s been a blessing that I’ve been able to indulge in each tender moment. I’ve learned how to navigate through epic diaper blow outs in public, the ninja creep out of the nursery after putting him to sleep, getting my zombie wake up calls during those late night feedings, and I’m a whiz at cooking and eating with one hand, haha.

Spending each day with my adorable buddy has given me the chance to see him grow into a strong and healthy boy, hear his first full bellied blissful laugh, knowing that he recognizes us, and that we can make each other smile. My favorite times are our mornings when Jason brings our little early bird into our room and we get some family cuddle time before we start the day. It’s so cute how he likes to watch The Chew and Ellen, by the way I need to start recording my favorite day time TV shows!

Sorry for all the sappy puppy dog lovey mommy stuff, it’s mostly for James to know someday if he ever reads this, just how much he is loved and that he has made me a better person.

Now that it’s back to reality! That means back to work and being more efficient with my time at home. What I needed was some quick, easy and hearty meals that I could prepare as soon as I walked through the door so we could maximize our time with the little guy. A big pot of chicken butternut squash soup is one of the answers., Who doesn’t love a steamy wholesome bowl of chicken soup?… 

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Herb Brined Butterflied Roasted Chicken

Herb Brined Butterflied Roasted Chicken recipe | jessicagavin.com

Are you having a more intimate holiday this year, maybe a romantic dinner for two? Sometimes roasting a whole 12 pound turkey seems a little intimidating or excessive (unless you like lots of leftovers, which is not a bad thing). How about a super flavorful crispy roasted chicken in under an hour? The answer is a delicious and juicy herb brined butterflied roasted chicken!

Nothing is better than filing your home with smells of a fragrant roasted chicken on a cool evening. I especially like cooking the bird on a hearty bed of root vegetables, like for my lemon and herb roasted chicken recipe, it’s a full meal all in one! But I wanted to try a few new techniques to make an even more flavorful and tender bird. As the holidays are approaching I feel like this year’s culinary buzz words for cooking your poultry is “dry brine” and “spatchcock” aka butterflied, hehe, I know. Both of these preparation and cooking techniques are designed to save you time and effort, while adding flavor and even cooking. Yes!… 

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Chicken Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce

serving dish of chicken pumpkin enchiladas | jessicagavin.com #mexicanrecipes #food

Oh man… I am so excited to share this recipe with you, it’s my new fall favorite and guaranteed to score you some high fives from the fam bam!  I’ve added pumpkin purée to as many sweet recipes that you could imagine, but this was my first time with a savory dish. To my surprise, these chicken enchiladas with pumpkin sauce are my best pumpkin inspired dish so far! I seriously couldn’t wait to devour these amazing mini burritos the next day, and I wasn’t in the mood for sharing!

Enchiladas have been one of my go to meals to make for a crowd while on a budget. This worked especially well during those penny pinching college days. I used to just grab a whole roasted chicken, canned red enchilada sauce, flour tortillas and Mexican blend cheese and called it good. I’d call my hungry study buddy’s over for a mini feast and we were fueled up for the long cram sessions ahead. Enchiladas are so simple and filling, but I really wanted to make the enchilada sauce from scratch. Instead of the traditional red or green chili sauce, even though it may sound strange, I thought a pumpkin sauce may be a nice way to switch up. Oh yes, it was divine and I’ll tell you why…… 

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Broccoli Slaw and Kale Salad with Chicken

delicious broccoli slaw and kale salad with chicken | jessicagavin.com

Did I ever tell you that during my pregnancy I craved kale salads? Yup! It was probably one of the healthier foods for my taste buds, compared to all of the sweets that I typically want. As I was roaming the aisles of my local Trader Joes grocery store, I came across a single serving broccoli slaw and kale salad with chicken and thought it would be the perfect lunch for the next day.  I enjoyed the taste and texture of this salad so much, that I created my own recipe! This also saves your wallet, since buying these individual portions could break the bank over time…. 

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Super Tasty Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken

delicious tequila chicken marinade | jessicagavin.com

Very interesting things can happen when you’ve been drinking… some you remember, some you don’t. Well this drunk chicken infused in a margarita inspired marinade sure had a good time! Summer is officially less than a week away (woohoo!) and these hot summer nights I’d rather not be cooking in my sweltering kitchen! My husband certainly appreciates a yummy meal, but there are times I feel like I just did a steamy session of Bikram yoga after cooking for an hour (so not attractive). Since moving into our new house, this is the first time we had the chance to use our “gently used” Weber barbecue left behind by the previous owners. To commemorate the occasion, I decided to make a grilled tequila lime chicken with a refreshing mango salsa…. 

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Chicken Marsala with Mushrooms

chicken marsala with mushrooms recipe | jessicagavin.com

You can find chicken Marsala with mushrooms on most Italian restaurant menus and for good reason, it’s simple to make and delicious. I typically order handmade ravioli when I’m having Italian food, however I recently wanted to try something new. I was pleasantly surprised to see how quick and easy it is to make this timeless chicken Marsala dish. Not to mention, the sweet and savory Marsala mushroom sauce is simply addicting!… 

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