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Entries in Pesto (3)


Slow cooker pesto ranch chicken

Why oh why have I not been posting recipes, you ask? Because I have been busy redesigning this website and trying to make it friendlier and prettier. And then I have been scrambling to fix mistakes because every redesign comes with inevitable accidents. Like absent-mindedly changing the url of every single post so that nobody can access a single recipe for three hours. We're all good now. I hope you like the changes!

I have seen variations of this recipe floating around for a while now and I've been excited to try it. I was not disappointed. Any time a slow cooker is involved, you know the recipe will be easy. In addition to that, this chicken was packed with flavor and also super tender. It's a keeper!


Throw a few boneless chicken breasts into your slow cooker. Pour pesto over the top and spread it over the chicken.

Sprinkle Ranch dressing mix over the top of that.

Add some chicken broth.

And that is the extent of your cooking efforts for the day. Unless you want a salad and rice, but you can do that while your slow cooker is working hard.

Spoon the juices over the chicken before serving!

Slow Cooker Pesto Ranch Chicken

It doesn't get much easier (and tastier) than this, people.

Serves: 6

Total time: 5-6 hrs

Slow Cooker Pesto Ranch Chicken


  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, fat trimmed
  • 7-oz. jar pesto
  • 1-oz. package dry Ranch dressing mix
  • 16 oz. chicken broth
  1. Place chicken breasts in a slow cooker. Top with an even layer of pesto followed by the ranch dressing mix. Pour the chicken broth over top.
  2. Cook on Low setting for 5 to 6 hours, or until chicken is fully cooked and tender. Serve with rice or noodles. Spoon the juices from the slow cooker over top before serving.




Baked brie with artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and pesto

Today was a "toughie," as my Elijah would say. We brought our oldest son to the hospital for what we thought was a routine surgery to peek on his left ear tube that didn't appear to be doing its job. We left the hospital with some unexpected news and with a much bigger surgery on our calendar. I am still in the stages of processing everything, but I feel like things will be ok. We have been through so much with our oldest boy. This is just another hurdle that we will all leap over together!

This past Saturday, before any of this went down, my boys and I spent the night at our dear friends' house. Before we made pizzas with the kids, I quickly prepared this delish little appetizer and the four of us adults consumed it, well, um, very quickly. Dee. Lish.


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. 

In a medium bowl, combine:

1/2 cup canned artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1/2 cup julienne-cut sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

1/4 cup pesto

Mix well and set aside.

Defrost 1 puff pastry sheet according to the package directions and roll it out onto the prepared baking sheet.

Place an 8-oz. wheel of Brie cheese (rind intact) onto the center of the pastry sheet.

Top the Brie wheel with the artichoke-tomato-pesto mixture.

Fold the pastry sheet up over the top of the cheese and toppings and pinch at the seams.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Serve with crackers, chips, veggies or just a spoon.

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

Baked Brie with Artichokes, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pesto

This gooey appetizer never lasts long when I bring it to a gathering.

Serves: 8

Total time: 40 min

Baked Brie with Artichokes, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pesto


  • 1 puff pastry sheet, defrosted
  • 8-oz. wheel of Brie cheese, rind intact
  • 1/2 cup canned artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 cup julienne-cut sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Roll out the pastry sheet onto prepared baking sheet. Place wheel of Brie in center of pastry.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and pesto. Mix well. Spoon over top of the brie cheese. Fold the pastry dough up over the top of the cheese and toppings and pinch at the seams.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Serve with crackers, chips or veggies.




Grilled gruyere and zucchini sandwiches with smoky pesto

This is Week #38 of my 2011 cooking challenge! Click here to view all recipes from this challenge. All recipes created for this challenge come from the Food and Wine Annual Cookbook 2010: An Entire Year of Recipes.

It is a small miracle that I got these sandwiches made. And a big miracle that I got them photographed. I was simultaneously watching my little Sammy, who I sometimes refer to as My Little Tornado. I'll give you a snippet of how things went: put zucchini slices on grill, chase Sam down driveway, flip zucchini, blow up beach ball for Sam, put English muffins on grill, make sure Sam isn't eating rocks again, and so on. After finishing, and after wondering how in the world I managed to pull that off, I chased My Little Tornado around with sandwich in hand. I was glad it was a portable meal because once I bit into it, I did not want to set it down.

In a food processor, combine:

1 cup packed basil leaves

1 large garlic clove, coarsely chopped

1/2 teaspoon hot smoked paprika

Process until finely chopped. With the machine on, gradually pour in 3 tablespoons of olive oil until blended. Season the pesto with salt.

Light a grill. 

Cut a zucchini lengthwise into 4 slices. Brush the zucchini slices with olive oil and season with salt. Grill over high heat until nicely charred and just tender, about 2 minutes per side. Cut each zucchini slice in half crosswise.

Grill four English muffins, cut side down, over low heat until just soft, about 30 seconds. Turn and grill until the muffins start to brown, about 1 minute. Spread the cut sides of the muffins with the pesto.

Layer on top of the four English muffin bottoms:

1 slice of Gruyere cheese

2 zucchini pieces

1 more slice of Gruyere cheese

English muffin top

Brush the tops and bottoms with olive oil and grill over low heat, turning, until they are crisp on the outside and the cheese is melted, about 4 minutes total. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve!

Click here for a printable recipe!