Recipe: Vodka Penne with a Cream Sauce

So, I apologize  for how long it has been since I’ve posted a recipe.  I’ve been going through quite a lot of life recently – I went to Chicago for a wedding, worked every weekend, and have gone through a period of small change culminating in starting a new job.  Needless to say, I thank every single one of my fantastic contributors who have been keeping Dinners With Dan up and running!

Over the last few weeks, I’ve also run into a slight problem – I’ll make something, but completely fail to write down what I did or take pictures!  My close friend Meg had a barbecue at her place a couple weeks ago and I brought some chicken I marinated overnight.  I never wrote down what I did, as I honestly just looked around my kitchen and pulled a marinade together (I’m pretty sure it was a combination of soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar, oregano, and Italian seasonings, but I honestly don’t remember), but after it was on the grill, that chicken just turned out magnificently.  I also still have pictures and need to post the recipe I promised everyone (a strawberry-stuffed French Toast) – and I meant to do that during the “International Week,” and I just never got the chance.  I plan on doing a breakfast-themed Dinners With Dan post soon instead.

However, for my first recipe back from my hiatus, a short while ago, two of my friends, Alix and Lauren, came over for dinner.  I didn’t know what I was going to make until I got to Trader Joe’s.  And even then, as Lauren can attest, I picked up quite a few things before setting them down again and going for something completely different.

I decided to make a Vodka Penne with a Cream Sauce.  I looked up a few recipes and then promptly ignored almost all of their advice and just went for it.  I don’t have any pictures of the final result because I wasn’t thinking about it (I just wanted to eat!), so you’re just going to have to take my word that this was absolutely fantastic =).  Enjoy!

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Recipe: Mushroom and Parmesan Chicken

Mushroom and Parmesan Chicken

The initial recipe I made and shared for Dinners With Dan was a chicken dish close to my heart as it was the first recipe I made when I had a kitchen of my own, and it was a recipe I got from my late Aunt.  The recipe was also a nice, easy, and simple dish which was perfect to start with on this blog.  Tonight I’m going to expand on the foundation I laid in that recipe by adding an additional step to the process, and hopefully take you to the next level of baking chicken with my Mushroom and Parmesan Chicken.

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Recipe: Garlic & Tomato Spaghetti

Garlic Tomato Spaghetti

When I got off work today, I felt like coming home and having something fairly light and fresh.  I had a craving for tomatoes, but I didn’t know quite what I wanted to make.  I started looking around to see what I had available.  Garlic? Ok, that’s always a good start.  Pasta? Now we’re getting somewhere…  An idea hit me and after a quick run to the store, I came back and made a Garlic & Tomato Spaghetti.

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Recipe: Aunt Jo’s Cheesy Italian Chicken

A few months ago, when I began seriously considering starting Dinners with Dan, I talked with many friends and asked what kind of content they would most want to see in a food blog.  I’ve already begun to incorporate many of these suggestions, and I will continue to integrate more as time goes on, but the most common response I received was quite simple: Easy, quick, and delicious meals that anyone can make regardless of culinary skill.

So, with that in mind, I thought I would start Dinners with Dan with the very first dish I made from a recipe when I moved into an apartment with a kitchen for the first time.  I got this recipe from my late Aunt and it quickly became a go-to.  There is nothing fancy about this, and there are many many ways you can make this recipe more decadent (and I’ve noted just a couple things I’ve done in the past below), but for tonight, for my first time sharing with you, I made it just like I did when I first made it over 6 years ago.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

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