This week I had the opportunity to host a party for our homeschool group’s Mom’s Night Out event, sponsored by Ragu as part of my Mom’s The Word on Dinner relationship with them. It was a blessing to be able to put together a really fun evening out for the half-dozen moms who made it to our Mom’s Night Out dinner.
The Menu I made:
- No-Fry Chicken Parmesan (recipe below)
- Vegetarian Pizza Cupcakes (recipe below)
- Mixed Green Salad
- Garlic Bread Knots
- Iced Tea
- Chocolate Eclairs
- Cold Coffee Punch w/Ice Cream (linked to recipe on Home-Ec101 – Thanks Heather!)
Some of the items I got pre-made (the chocolate eclairs and the iced-tea powder mix for example) but the main courses I made from scratch and the coffee punch I made as well (linked above in the menu list). Because my kitchen is too small for a large party, and most of the homeschoolers meet in Durant, the next big town down the highway, I cooked everything at the church kitchen in Durant and then we had our meal at one of the homeschool mom’s house.
No-Fry Chicken Parmesan Recipe for Healthy Alternatives
This is a healthier alternative to the traditionally fried Chicken Parmesan dishes. It turned out really amazing.
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (I made 12 chicken tender strips)
- 1 egg, beaten (I used 2)
- 3/4 plain dry bread crumbs
- 1 jar (1 lb 8 oz) Ragu Old World Style Pasta Sauce (I used the Garden Combination because that’s my favorite)
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (We won’t discuss how much cheese I actually used)
- 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
Angela’s Note: To save time I chose to use seasoned bread crumbs already instead of plain bread crumbs and adding my own seasoning. This is a very versitile recipe that I think I can switch up depending on what I’ve got on hand.
1. Preheat oven to 400. Combine bread crumbs, seasoning and garlic powder in a shallow dish. Dip chicken in egg, then crumb mixture until well-coated.
2. Place chicken in 13×9 baking dish. Bake 20 minutes.
3. Pour pasta sauce over chicken and top with cheese. Bake an additional 10 minutes until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
This recipe took less than 20 minutes to prepare and only 30 minutes to cook – brilliant! See details on the Ragu Facebook Page, on the Recipes tab.
Vegetarian Pizza Cupcakes for Flexible Seasonal Vegetable Dishes
- 1 Pack (12 oz) refrigerated biscuits (10 biscuits)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 and 1/2 Cups Mixed veggies, diced. (We used zuchinni and red bell peppers)
- 1 and 1/2 Cups Ragu Old World Style or Ragu Organic Pasta Sauce
- 1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella cheese (about 2 oz)
1. Preheat oven to 375. Unroll biscuits and press each into a 3-inch round ball. Press each biscuit in bottom and up the sides of each cup in a 12-cup muffin pan; keep chilled until ready to fill.
2. Heat olive oil on medium heat in skillet and cook vegetables, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in sauce and bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes or until slightly reduced.
3. Spoon vegetable and sauce mixture into muffin cups. Bake 15 minutes. Sprinkle tops with cheese and bake another 5 minutes until cheese is melty. Stand 5 minutes and then serve.
See details about this recipe on Ragu.com
I hope you enjoy these two recipes! I think the Vegetable Pizza Muffins will be hugely flexible for me and my family. If I have ground venison on hand, it would be easy to add meat to the sauce/veggie mixture and make a full entree out of these. The vegetable choices are easy to swap out according to whatever you have on hand from your farmer’s market or garden: eggplant, peppers, squash, etc.
My Mom’s Night Out guests all got a gift basket to take home (the smaller ones pictured here) and one mom won the larger doorprize gift basket. Since you guys weren’t able to attend, I want to invite you to enter for a prize of your own!
$150 GiftCard Giveaway!
1. Leave a comment telling us your grocery-store survival tips and tricks. (Your comments may be quoted in a future post.)
2. Leave a comment telling us your favorite way to use pasta sauce besides the traditional spaghetti dish. (Again, may be quoted in future blog post.)
3. Tweet about the giveaway (sample tweet) “Have a Mom’s Night Out of your own with @UntrainedHW & @RaguSauce $150 Giftcard Giveaway http://bit.ly/MNORagu” (Leave a comment with the status message – one per day)
5. Subscribe to Untrained Housewife’s newsletters. (Leave a comment)
This sweepstakes is for US citizens, 18 and over only. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Ends November 7, 2011 at 11:59pm CST.