Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

Today's recipe includes Rotisserie chicken which can be substituted for baked chicken breast or thighs.  By the way Farfalla is another name for Bow Tie pasta.
Let us know how your dish turns out!
We'll be back next week with another wholesome recipe.

Happy cooking,
Chef Dianne
Meal Makers, Inc.

Creamy Chicken Broccoli Pasta
Yields: 4 servings


2 c. broccoli florets

1 12 oz. box Farfalle Pasta
1 bunch fresh basil
2 clove garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp. lemon zest
3 oz. Parmesan
6 oz. mascarpone or cream cheese
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1/3 cup chopped toasted pecans (optional)
Kosher salt
Freshly Ground Pepper

Cook the broccoli in boiling salted water until tender, 5 minutes; remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Add pasta to water and cook according to package directions; drain.

Freshly ground black pepperess basil, garlic, oil, lemon zest, red pepper, and Parmesan in a food processer until finely chopped. Add broccoli and pulse until coarsely chopped, 4 to 6 times. Season with salt and black pepper.

Stir broccoli pesto and mascarpone into pasta until well coated; fold in chicken.
Adapted from Country Living

How to Choose A Ripe Cantaloupe


Cantaloupe is one of the most popular melons in America.  While cantaloupe is deeply loved by so many, it's equally disappointing when you get a cantaloupe that either isn't ripe yet or has passed its prime. So to make sure you don't suffer from this disappointment, here are some tips for choosing the best cantaloupe.

* When picking out the perfect cantaloupe, you want to use your senses. Let's start with sight. Look at the color of your cantaloupe. You want one that has more yellow tones to it. Pay close attention to the colors between the webbed portion of the cantaloupe. If it's still green it's not ripe; it was picked too soon.

* Look for a mark on the side of the melon that is flat and is slightly different in color. This is the side which was on the ground and did not see sun.  
* Listen - Now you need to give the melon a little listen. Holding it in your hand, knock a few times on the side of the cantaloupe. If it's deep and thick, then you have a good dense and full cantaloupe. If it has a high-pitched sound, then it isn't ripe.

* Feel - You need to know how the cantaloupe feels in your hands too. You want it to be firm, but not too firm. Squeeze it gently on its ends. If there's some give to it, it's good. However, if it's mushy and wet then it's past its prime. If it's too hard with no give then it's not a ripe cantaloupe.

* Smell - This might be the most important of your senses when choosing the perfect cantaloupe. You want one that is very aromatic and sweet smelling. The sweeter, the better. If you don't smell any aroma, then the cantaloupe is not ripe. If it's an unpleasant odor, then it's no good. If you do nothing else but smell, then you should still be able to find the most flavorsome cantaloupe possible.

* Taste it! Of course this isn't something you can do in the grocery store or at the market, but clearly the best way to tell if a cantaloupe is at its freshest is by tasting it. Hopefully you have used your other senses in the ways described above so you don't get a mouthful of tasteless cantaloupe. That would be a big disappointment.

The thing when picking out the perfect cantaloupe is to remember the nursery rhyme Goldilocks and the Three Bears. You don't want it too firm or too soft. You don't want it too green or too yellow. You don't want it too strong smelling or not smelling enough. It needs to be just right. Then you will know that you have found the absolute perfect cantaloupe.

Also remember, once a cantaloupe is picked from the vine it will not get any riper than it is at that moment it was picked.  So don't buy a slightly unripe cantaloupe thinking that if you give it a few days it will get better.

photo credit: Cantaloupe melon cut in half via photopin (license)

Avocados are in Season and so is Spring

Spring has sprung, and if you are looking for some delicious recipes that will tantalize your taste buds, you have come to the right place. Let Meal Makers Inc. help you prepare a mouthwatering dish that will have your guests wondering who did the catering.

Chicken is an easy dish to prepare, and something that everyone in your family will love. This light and easy dish is easy to make and can be ready in minutes.

Stuffed Chicken and Avocado Pita Bread
Prep Time 45 Minutes
Serves 6


  • 4 Cooked boneless chicken breasts shredded
  • 1 Cup diced red onion
  • 5 Ripe mashed avocados
  • 1 Cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1 Tsp garlic salt
  • 1 Tsp sea Salt
  • 1 Tsp course ground pepper
  • 4 Whole pita bread with pockets
  • 1 Cup vegetable, olive or sunflower oil for frying

Add the first 8 ingredients together starting with the avocado. Be sure to mash your avo’s well with a potato masher. Heat the oil in a skillet to about 350 to 365°. Add the pita breads one at a time. Once hot, the pita bread will begin to puff up. Look for pita bread that isn't pre-sliced. Unfortunately, even if it isn't, you may find some holes or splits, if you do, take the back of a metal spatula, and hold it over the opening, as this helps the pita puff up. Continue to turn the pita until browned. Slice the pita in half and stuff the avocado and chicken mixture inside the pita. You may want to use a paper towel or oven mitt, as the pita bread will be quite hot.

We advice doubling or tripling the recipe as you are going to want to have some leftovers for lunch the next day.