Bytes to Bites

Garlic Parmesan Orzo
September 12, 2016, 3:25 am
Filed under: Dinner, Pasta, Side Dishes


I love orzo and am always looking for new recipes. This one isn’t the favorite of the three or so I have on my blog now, but it’s pretty good and adds some variety into the orzo recipe mix.


1 cup uncooked orzo

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2 cups spinach, finely chopped

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 tbspn milk

salt and pepper to taste.


1. Cook orzo, following the directions on the package.

2. In a large pan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add garlic, cooking for 4 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat and add the chopped spinach and cook for a minute, allowing to wilt.

3. Next add the orzo, milk, parmesan, salt and pepper. I choose to add the parmesan last to allow it to melt into the other, already mixed ingredients.


I rated it a 2 only because of my comments up front. Remember, this blog is recipes I want to keep. So, I 2 is pretty good. It was a bit bland compared to the other recipes I have, but really easy to make and next time I’d probably try adding mushrooms or veggies to the mix.

Our Home Rating? 2/5 bites



Chicken Meatballs
September 12, 2016, 3:17 am
Filed under: Dinner, Weekday Meals


My husband found this recipe online and boy, were they good! Recipe includes his modifications, but the original is linked at the bottom.


1 lb ground chicken

1 egg

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 cup breadcrumbs (we used panko)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsps fresh oregano (or the equivalent dried)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp paprika

2 tbspn olive oil


1. Place ground chicken, egg, parmesan cheese, garlic, oregano, paprika and salt in a medium bowl. Knead mixture together with hand till evenly combined. Roll in breadcrumbs (panko)

2. Form mixture into 1-inch balls.

3. In large non-stick skillet, warm olive oil over high heat.

4. Place meatballs in pan, up to 8 at a time, and cook until all sides are browned, approximately 3 minutes for each meatball. Remove with slotted spoon.



Our Home Rating? 4/5 bites


Chicken Gnocchi Soup (Olive Garden Style)
September 10, 2016, 3:18 am
Filed under: Dinner, Soups


My best friend introduced me to Olive Garden’s Chicken Gnocchi soup. Yum! One weekend, I had a bit of a craving so decided to find a good recipe. First attempt and it worked out pretty well! Caution, calories ahead.


4 tbspns butter

1tbspn extra virgin olive oil

1 cup finely diced onion

1/2 cup finely diced celery

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 litre half-and-half

2 (14-ounce) cans chicken broth (use 1 can for a thicker soup)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp dried parsley

1 cup finely shredded carrots

1 cup coarsely chopped fresh spinach leaves

1 cup diced cooked chicken (you can use a rotisserie chicken)

1 (16-ounce) package ready-to-use gnocchi


1. Melt the butter into the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until the onion becomes translucent.

2. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in the half-and-half. Simmer until thickened.

3. Whisk in the chicken broth. Simmer until thickened again.

4. Stir in salt, thyme, parsley, carrots, spinach, chicken and gnocchi. Simmer until the soup is heated through. Before serving, season with additional salt, if necessary.


The gnocchi I bought said “ready in 2 minutes”. I wasn’t sure it was right, but it turned out fine. The recipe also has optional nutmeg (1/2 tsp), but my husband vetoed that idea and we didn’t use it.

Our Home Rating? 4/5 bites