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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

White Chicken Lasagna

Let me preface this post by saying YOU ARE INSANE IF YOU DON'T TRY THIS RECIPE!!!

And I mean that in the nicest way possible ;-)

I love lasagna. Heck, I love all types of Italian food and any and all noodles. So I was thrilled when I came across this gem of a recipe. I tweaked a few different White Chicken Lasagna recipes to create my own; as most home cooks probably do anyways, right?

I'm tellin ya this was one of the best meals I have ever had in my entire 30 years of life on this earth.

Try it. You'll be smiling for several days afterwards.

BEST.EVER.

White Chicken Lasagna

3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup of onion minced
3 tbsp butter
4 chicken breasts, cooked & cut into small pieces/cubed
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1- 8oz. package cream cheese, cubed
2 cups sour cream
1 lb. lasagna noodles, COOKED AND RINSED IN COLD WATER (I used whole wheat)
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried parsley

In a large sauce pan, over medium heat, brown onions & garlic in butter. Add cream cheese, cream soup, sour cream. Stir until cream cheese is melted. Add chicken. Add oregano, basil, and parsley. Mix together and heat through.

Spray bottom of 9X13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Layer noodles, white sauce with chicken, then cheese. Repeat steps to create 3 layers, ending with mozzarella cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until top layer of cheese is browned.

P.S. Sorry there's so much "red" in my picture. I have a terrible camera. Trust me. It's AWESOME.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Buckeye Bars

In my family, growing up, Buckeyes have always played a significant role in our Christmas traditions. This year, I came across a recipe by Kraft for Buckeye bars. Not really having the time to roll buckeye balls and deal with a ton of ingredients, I decided to give this recipe a shot.

SO easy. The whole thing took less than 15 minutes to put together and it's chillin in the fridge even as I type this.

Gracing our dessert plates this Christmas day will be these fabulous Buckeye Bars! WOOHOO!

Buckeye Bars

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
22 Nilla Wafers, crushed
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 of 8-oz. tub Cool Whip Whipped Topping (Do not thaw.)
3 squares Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate

Line 8
-inch square pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides. Beat butter and peanut butter with mixer until blended. Mix in wafer crumbs. Gradually add sugar, mixing well after each addition. Press onto bottom of pan.

Microwave Cool Whip and chocolate in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min.; stir. Microwave 15 to 30 sec. or until chocolate is melted; stir until blended. Spread over peanut butter layer

Refrigerate 2 hours. Use foil handles to lift dessert from pan before cutting to serve.

** Photo courtesy of kraftfoods.com

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

I wanted to try my hand at breading something. Honestly, I don't have much experience with doing it, so I tried to find the easiest recipe I could get my hands on to try.

I came across this Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe from www.cooks.com

It was super easy to make, not nearly as messy as I thought it was going to be, and it was SUPER tasty.

We're definitely making this again.

I have to confess, though. I don't own a meat pounder. So I improvised on flattening the chicken breasts. My husband informed me that Alton Brown once showed a "quick tip" for pounding meat on his show. I decided to give it a try tonight. I placed the thawed chicken breasts in individual sandwich bags. I placed the bags in between 2 cookie sheets and pounded away at it with my huge "Fundamentals of Nursing" textbook. YEP! That book is huge and I've found a second purpose for it outside of cramming my head full of knowledge! :)

The chicken breasts came out very flat and easy to roll. Try it! I'm sure you can find a thick textbook of your own to use.

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast
4 slices Swiss or Provolone cheese
4 thin sliced smoked ham
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg; beaten
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
4 tablespoons butter


Pound chicken breast to 1/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle each piece on both sides with salt and pepper. Place 1 cheese slice and 1 ham slice on each breast. Roll up each breast using toothpicks to secure if necessary. Dredge each in flour, shake off excess, then in egg and finally in bread crumbs. Place seam side down in baking dish that has been sprayed with Pam. Place 1 tablespoon butter on each piece of chicken.Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes until juices run clear.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Goulash

Comfort food at its very best.

Good old fashioned GOULASH!

It's December now...time to warm up!

American Goulash

2 lbs lean ground beef
1 medium onion
1 medium green pepper
1 32-oz can tomato juice
2 cups rotini noodles (this makes it a bit more "hearty")
1 16-oz can diced tomatoes
grated parmesan cheese

Brown ground beef until done.

Cup up green pepper, onion and mix in with beef.

Pour in tomato juice, diced tomatoes, and rotini.

Simmer/Cook on low to medium heat for 45 minutes or until noodles are tender.

Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and serve.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Spam Hot dish

Ok...first off, let me just say that I know Spam isn't necessarily everyone's "cup of tea." But here in Minnesota, where it originated, I know plenty of Spam lovers. And as they say..."Don't knock it till you've tried it."

I was a wee bit skeptical at first of this dish, as I felt the ingredients together were a bit strange, but surprisingly, it was REALLY GOOD. It's a very very creamy casserole/hot dish and we will definitely have it again. And it's incredibly cheap to prepare as well.

So Spam lovers...here ya go!

Spam Hot Dish

1 12 oz. can of Spam luncheon meat, cut into small cubes
2 cups of shredded cheese (we used cheddar)
3/4 cup of bread crumbs
1 10 3/4 oz. can of condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 cup of half and half
3 eggs, well beaten
1 small onion, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well. Pour mixture into a 2-quart baking dish. Bake for 1 hour. Serves 4 to 6.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Leftovers

It's the Saturday after the big "feast" and you're probably wondering what in the world do I do with all this leftover food?

Why not make an entirely different meal out of it all?

If you're looking for some easy ways to "eat it all up," check out a couple of my posts from our last holiday season! Enjoy!

Stuffing Frittata

Turkey Tetrazzini

Friday, November 27, 2009

Spuds, Ham & Eggs Hotdish

My good friend, Alison, is coming over for brunch tomorrow...this is on the menu! :)

Spuds, Ham & Eggs Hotdish

1 2-pound bag frozen hash brown potatoes, not thawed
2 cups diced cooked ham
2 cups shredded swiss cheese
1 1/2 tbsp. butter
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch strips
1 8 oz. package fresh mushrooms, sliced
6 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup small curd cottage cheese
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Layer half the potatoes into a 13x9x2 inch greased glass baking dish. Top with ham and cheese.

In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter. Add pepper and mushrooms; stir and cok 5 minutes or until tender. Spoon over ham, cheese layer; top with remaining potatoes.

In a bowl, combine eggs, milk, cottage cheese, and black pepper. Beat until well blended. Pour mixture over all.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until ligh brown and center is set.

Serves 8.

Monday, November 23, 2009

2010

2010 will bring undoubtedly bring new recipes, but I'm also starting a new "feature" on the blog. Each month we'll showcase a "guest chef" here on Cooking With Court. Just some fellow foodies in my life who will be sharing some of their favorite recipes. We can all gleam fabulous recipes from each other, and some of them even have their own blogs that need to be shared.

So keep checking back...I've already got several chefs lined up and ready to go for ya'll!

Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ultimate Crispy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

My latest issue of Kraft Food & Family showed up the other day, and I was thrilled to see several new recipes I'm looking forward to trying out.

Tonight, the hubs and I were looking for something quick to eat as we were both starving after a long day at work...usher in Kraft's Ultimate Crispy Grilled Cheese Sandwich and a bowl of tomato soup and our tummies were HAPPY!

It's a nice "twist" on the typical grilled cheese sandwich we all know and love. And if you're looking for another great "twist" to add...check out my previous blog on grilled cheese sandwiches here.

Ultimate Crispy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

8 slices of your choice of bread (we did wheat)
8 slices of your choice in cheese (we did provolone & american)
8 tsp soft margarine
4 tsp of grated parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees

Fill bread slices with cheese singles to make 4 sandwiches

Spread the outside of sandwiches with margarine, place on baking sheet.

Bake sandwiches for 8 minutes. Then sprinkle with half the parmesan cheese. Flip sandwiches; sprinkle with remaining parmesan. Bake 6 to 9 minutes longer or until golden brown.

Serve with your favorite soup of choice!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lemonade Muffins

My sister actually sent me this recipe. It's originally from this blog. I'm a sucker for a good muffin, so I was really intrigued by these. An easy alternative to the typical lemon poppyseed muffin.

Try it. You'll like it.


Lemonade Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour

1/4 cup sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 beaten egg

1 (6 ounce) can frozen lemonade, thawed

1/4 cup milk

1/3 cup cooking oil

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. In another bowl, mix only 1/2 cup lemonade, egg, milk, and oil. Add to dry mix, stirring until just moistened. Gently stir in nuts.

Spoon into prepared pans and bake and bake at 375° F. for 15-20 minutes or tests clean.

While hot, brush with remaining lemonade and sprinkle with white sugar.

YIELD: 8-9 Large Muffins


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cabbage & Meatball Soup

I frequent an online forum where I stumbled across a really great cooking blog. Elizabeth is from the Minneapolis area like myself, and has some really great recipes. You should really check her out! I was immediately drawn to her Cabbage & Meatball soup as 1) it sounded delicious and 2) it was a recipe from her Grandmother that she grew up on. Knowing how close I was to my Grandma and how everyday I strive to be even 1/10 the home cook she was, I thought it was great to share such a personal memory.

My hubs and I made this soup on a Sunday afternoon as we settled in to watch some football. It's a perfect fall/winter recipe and it was FAB. Very easy to make as well! Try it. You'll like it. And be sure to check out Elizabeth's other recipes here!

Cabbage & Meatball Soup

1 TBSP butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1-2 carrots, sliced
1 medium head cabbage (somewhere between 1/2 & 1 lb), sliced
salt & pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
2 cups beef broth
1/2 lb (more if you like) ground beef
2 tsp parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg
1/4-1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in a large stockpot. Add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic and cook about 5 minutes, or until the onions begin to soften. Season with salt & pepper. While the veggies are cooking, chop up the cabbage.

Add cabbage and stir. Let the cabbage cook for about 3 minutes. Add broth & water. Put a lid on the pot and let simmer.

While the pot is simmering, mix together the ground beef, salt & pepper, garlic, parsley, egg, bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese. Form into small balls (about 1" - 1 1/2") and add to the pot. Keep the cover on and let cook for about 10-15 minutes. If the pot comes to a heavy boil, turn down the heat. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Jeanne's Chicken-Mac

This is my very first "MN Hotdish" out of my new cookbook that arrived on my doorstep 2 days ago!

This one in particular caught my eye for 1 main reason...it's mac & cheese. Mac & cheese is theme on this blog, or has been in the past, so I'm always looking for new ways to "jazz up" the good old comfort food main-stay.

This new recipe definitely didn't disappoint. In fact, you'd only be letting yourself down if you don't try it!

Check it out now...

Jeanne's Chicken-Mac

1-7 oz. package of elbow macaroni, UNCOOKED
2 cups of cubed cooked chicken
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1-2 oz. jar of diced pimentos, or 2 tbsp chopped roasted sweet red bell pepper
3 tbsp of minced onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of black pepper
1/2 tsp curry powder
1-10 3/4 oz. can of condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 cup of whole milk (I used half and half)
1-4 oz. can mushroom pieces and stems, undrained

Preheat oven to 350.

Place all ingredients into a 2-quart glass baking dish; mix. Cover and bake about 1 hour or until macaroni test done. Serves 4.

Yep. You really don't cook the macaroni first. I'm serious! Enjoy!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pasta e fagioli

I got this recipe from my friend, Ashley, as she tried it a couple weeks ago and loved it. Knowing that I'm just a wee bit obsessed with cooking and trying out new recipes, she sent it to me and I immediately added it to the weekly menu. The soup is kind of a "rip off" of the soup at Olive Garden. I know Olive Garden has more vegetables in theirs, but trust me, this is just as good. And not to mention, ridiculously cheap to make. You can make a huge stock pot of this stuff for the price you'd pay for a bowl of it there.

Check it out! So good on a chilly fall day! Thanks Ashley!

Pasta e fagioli

1/2 cup of chopped onion
1/2 pound mild Italian sausage
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 15 0z can of dark red kidney beans
1 15oz can of great northern beans
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
60 oz of chicken broth
3 tablespoons fresh parsley
3 teaspoons of dried basil
1/2 lb elbow macaroni or similar pasta
shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:

In a large saucepan, combine Italian sausage with chopped onion and minced garlic. Cook until the sausage is almost entirely cooked through and the onion has softened.

Drain and rinse both the kidney beans and the great northern beans. Add to the meat. Leave the tomatoes undrained and add all contents to the meat. Also add chicken broth, parsley, and basil.

Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove cover; increase to heat to high. Heat to boiling. Add the macaroni; reduce heat to medium. Cook 10 to 15 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.

Sprinkle with cheese and serve. Makes about six servings

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Slow-Cooker Lasagna

A couple weeks ago, my best friend came over for a nice dinner with me and the hubs. I wanted to make something nice, but didn't really want a whole lotta fuss as I'd had a ridiculously busy week ahead of me as well.

Luckily I'd just received my latest Kraft Food & Family magazine and there were a bazillion yummy dishes in there just ready to be made.

I came across their Slow-Cooker Lasagna recipe and knew we had to try it. We love lasagna around here, but I never want to really take the time to make one. This recipe was made for people like me. Put it together, put it in the crock pot and walk away!

And it was DE-LISH.

Check it out.

Slow-Cooker Lasagna

1 lb. ground beef
1 jar (26 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 cup water
1 container (15 oz.) Ricotta Cheese
1 pkg. (7 oz.) 2% Milk Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
1 egg
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
6 lasagna noodles, uncooked

Brown meat in large skillet; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and water.

In a separate bowl, mix ricotta, 1-1/2 cups mozzarella, 2 Tbsp. Parmesan, egg and parsley.

Spoon 1 cup meat sauce into slow cooker; top with layers of half each of the noodles, broken to fit; and cheese mixture. Cover with 2 cups meat sauce. Top with remaining noodles, broken to fit; cheese mixture and meat sauce. Cover with lid.

Cook on LOW 4 to 6 hours or until liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses; let stand, covered, 10 min. or until melted.

Photo courtesy of kraftfoods.com


Monday, September 28, 2009

WOOT!

I came across this hot dish recipe in a gift shop at a local orchard recently and I knew I HAD to have it. "Hot dish" as we call it here in Minnesota, is the rest of the country's version of casserole. It's the essence of comfort food.

I knew I could get it for way cheaper online, and lo and behold, I scored my own copy for only 75 cents + shipping on half.com.

So once it arrives, I'm diving right in. I hope to share some fabulous MN Hot dishes in the not-so-distant future with you all on here too!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sausage Jumble

My mom sent me this recipe a long time ago and we just got around to making it. Most of the ingredients were just regular "staples" I had in my kitchen already, so going out and buying a ton of ingredients didn't happen to make this one.

It was very good. I was a little concerned about the sausage as it seemed like kind of an odd pairing with the rest of the ingredients, but it turned out to be super yummy!!

A very "hearty" meal, especially for cooler days!

Sausage Jumble

1 lb. bulk pork sausage
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups fresh or frozen whole kernal corn, thawed
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup uncooked instant rice
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese

In a large skillet cook sausage and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink, drain. Add the corn, tomatoes, rice, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until rice is tender. Sprinkle with cheddar and mozzarella cheese. Cook uncovered 5 minutes longer or until cheese melts. Yields 4 - 6 servings.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Classic Chicken Cobb Salad

What we had for dinner tonight...my all-time favorite salad.

No real "measurements," but be sure to use plenty of the following ingredients!

Classic Chicken Cobb Salad

Start with...
baby spinach

Top with...
avocado slices
shredded colby cheese
hard-boiled egg slices
sliced black olives
tomat slices
blue cheese crumbles

add...
chicken breast strips
cooked bacon strips crumbled

drizzle with...
blue cheese dressing or other favorite dressing of your choice!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

BBQ Pasta Salad

AMAZING.

That's all I have to say.

Perfect salad to go along with your end-of-summer picnics and BBQs with friends. Try it.

BBQ Pasta Salad

16 oz. Rotini Twists
1 cup yellow onion diced
1 cup green pepper diced
1 cup red pepper diced
12 oz. BBQ Ham, Beef or Chicken diced
2 cups of cubed mozzarella cheese
2 1/2 cups Ranch Dressing
1/3 cup BBQ Sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste


Cook pasta according to package directions. When pasta reaches al dente, drain and rinse with cold water until cool to the touch. Drain well.

Return pasta to a large bowl and mix in the remaining ingredients and toss well. Chill until ready to serve.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Slow-Cooker Smoked Sausage Stoup

I had a bunch of different ingredients and things lying around my kitchen and I decided to throw them all together and see what happened.

This was the result.

The ultimate in comfort food. Perfect for a rainy day or a cold winter afternoon.

Slow-Cooker Smoked Sausage Stoup


1 large green pepper cut into chunks
1/2 large yellow onion cut into chunks
1 ring of smoked sausage cut into 1" pieces
1 cup of baby carrots cut into small chunks
1 cup of brown rice (not cooked)
2 cans of cream of celery soup (undiluted)
1/2 cup of half and half
1 tsp. of pepper

Put the green pepper, onion, carrot, and smoked sausage chunks into a large bowl. Add both cans of cream of celery soup, and half and half. Mix together. Add dried brown rice to mixture and stir. Then add pepper and stir again.

Allow to cook in crock pot on high for 3 hours or low for 5 hours or until veggies are tender and rice is plumped up.

4 servings

Sorry for the bad picture. Hard to get a good one!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Taco Hot Dish

From my Grandma...so you KNOW it's good.

Taco Hot Dish


1 lb. hamburger
1/4 green onions
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 package crescent rolls
16 0z. can of refried beans
1/2 cup of sliced black olives
2 cups of shredded mexican-style cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 egg

Brown hamburger with green onions and taco seasoning mix.

Lay crescent rolls in a 9 x 13 pan and press together.

Add refried beans to hamburger mixture and pour over crescent rolls.

Put sliced black olives on top of meat mixture. Mix shredded cheese, sour cream and egg together. Pour on top of bean and hamburger mixture and bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.

Sprinkle with shredded lettuce, black olives, chopped tomatoes and green onions when taken from the oven.

Optional: Spoon meat mixture into bowls and let individuals put their own toppings on. I also topped with a mild salsa and a dollop of sour cream. Use whatever toppings you like. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Chicken Stuffing Casserole

On the menu tonight...

Mom sent me this new recipe a week or so ago. It was a huge hit for her, my dad, and sis. Obviously the hubs and I have to try it out now.

So simple. I had a lot of these ingredients already in the kitchen. Check it out!

Chicken Stuffing Casserole

1 Stove Top Chicken
1 cup hot water
1 1/2 lbs. Boneless-Skinless Chicken cut in 1 " pieces ( I baked mine ahead and added to the casserole)
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
1/3 cup Sour Cream
1 Bag (16 oz.) Frozen Mixed Vegetables, thawed and drained

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of Stove Top evenly over bottom of 13 x 9 pan. Set aside. Add hot water to remaining Stove Top. Stir and set aside.

Place chicken over dry stuffing.

Mix soup, sour cream and mixed vegetables and spoon over chicken. Top with prepared stuffing. Bake 30 minutes or until cooked.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Breakfast lovers...

If breakfast is your favorite meal of the day or you're looking for some fabulous breakfast dishes, check out my friend, Scot's blog.

He's currently serving up these fabulous dishes at the Pomegranate Inn of Portland, Maine. So if you're ever in the area, stop in, say hello, and enjoy a fab breakfast!

Much love, my friend. Much love.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Lifetime's Cook Yourself Thin

No recipe to share today, I apologize (I'm working on some new ones for the next couple of weeks, though), but I had to share this new show on Lifetime called "Cook Yourself Thin." I LOVE it. It's all about taking your regular favorite dishes and using alternatives to cut the calorie count and fat content in the foods we so often crave. I've been astounded by how much they can literally cut out in almost all the meals shared, without sacrificing the taste.

If you haven't checked it out yet, do yourself a favor and catch an episode or two. Perhaps you'll be just as hooked as I am! I have a whole list of recipes I'm going to try after seeing them on episodes.

Monday, May 25, 2009

BBQ Cheddar Chicken Roll Ups

I got this recipe out of the latest Kraft Food & Family magazine. If you follow my blog, you know that I definitely live for my next edition of this mag to arrive in our mailbox. I especially love the summer editions as they tend to have a lot of great grilling ideas and fruity desserts.

This particular wrap struck me as something I'd like to try. Mainly because I seem to have this slight obsession with BBQ sauce at the moment, and we had all the ingredients in our kitchen already in order to make it! An obvious choice, huh? We made it for a light supper on a Friday night after work and we both really enjoyed it.

If you haven't checked out Kraft's Food & Family site, you're missing out!

BBQ Cheddar Chicken Roll Ups

1 each large green and red pepper, cut into strips (4 cups)
1 large onion, thinly sliced (1 cup)
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1/3 cup barbecue Sauce
4 whole wheat tortillas (10 inch), warmed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cook and stir vegetables in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat 3 min. Add chicken; cook and stir 3 to 4 min. or until no longer pink. Stir in barbecue sauce; cook on medium heat 3 min. or until chicken is done, stirring occasionally.

Spoon chicken mixture down centers of tortillas; top with cheese. Roll up. Cut diagonally in half to serve.

Garlic Chicken with Spinach Pesto and Whole Wheat Penne Rigate

OK...this is my attempt at making a slightly "fancier" dish for me and the hubs to enjoy. Very very easy, a tad bit healthier due to the EVOO, whole wheat pasta, and spinach. I took several different spinach pesto recipes I'd found (after being inspired by Rachel Ray), and created my own. It was my first attempt at pesto and I think I succeeded! Or at least my man seems to think so! Very good dinner tonight. Very good.

Garlic Chicken with Spinach Pesto and Whole Wheat Penne Rigate

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 box of whole wheat penne rigate (or your noodle of choice!)
1/2 cup of pine nuts
4 cloves of garlic (divided)
1 pkg (9 oz) fresh spinach
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese (divided)
3/4 c. extra virgin olive oil (divided)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. oregano

Combine pine nuts & 2 cloves of garlic in food processor and process until chopped. Add spinach, 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup of oil, salt and spices. Process until well-blended.

Cook penne rigate according to directions on stovetop. Drain.

Drizzle remaining 1/4 cup of EVOO into pan and heat up. Toss in remaining 2 cloves of garlic into oil. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to pan. Cook until heated through or juices run clear. Drain any excess liquid that may remain.

Toss noodles, and chicken together in a large bowl, adding the spinach pesto with it. Serve and top with shredded parmesan cheese!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Arkansas Chicken Casserole

I have no idea where I got this recipe from. I stumbled across a ton of recipes on my computer that I completely forgot about! So of course we had to start making some this week in order to share the good ones with you all.

This one my mom recently made as well and apparently it was a huge hit between her and dad! Dad went back for several helpings!

Super easy to make, very yummy. I concur.

Arkansas Chicken Casserole

ARKANSAS CHICKEN CASSEROLE

2 whole chicken breasts
1 stick of margarine
1 cup of chopped celery
1 cup of chopped onion
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can of sliced mushrooms
3 cups of cooked rice
8 oz. jar of processed cheese food
salt to taste

Cook chicken until tender. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Cook onion & celery in margarine
until tender. Add cheese. Stir until melted. Add mushrooms & chicken. Blend in soup. Add cooked
rice. Pour into large, greased casserole dish. Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Bacon Horseradish Dip

I have acquired quite the taste for horseradish lately and have been on the lookout for some good horseradish dip or dressing recipes. I compiled a bunch of them and made up my own dip based upon recipe ingredient suggestions.

I can officially tell you it's FABULOUS and would be the perfect addition to any sort of get together with friends paired along with some crackers of your choice. It would also be a wonderful choice of salad dressing should you choose to go that route.

It has just the slightest hint of a "bite" to it!

Enjoy!

Bacon Horseradish Dip

1/2 cup creamy horseradish sauce
1 cup of mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup real bacon bits/pieces
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp cajun seasoning
2 garlic cloves pressed

Mix all ingredients together. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before eating. Serve over lettuce as a salad dressing or with crackers as a dip.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Tim's Taco Soup

We have been making this soup for years after seeing it featured by one of our local news personalities, Tim M. Tim's Taco Soup is so easy to make and is honestly really good to have all year round. And sometimes I believe leftovers are even better...this might just be the case with this soup.

I hope you enjoy it just as much as we do!

Tim's Taco Soup

1 lb. ground chicken, turkey, or beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cups of water
(2) 16 oz. cans of stewed tomatoes (cut-up)
(1) 16 oz. cans of kidney beans
(2) 8 oz. cans of tomoto sauce
(1) envelope Taco seasoning mix

Optional:
Shredded cheddar cheese
corn chips
sour cream

In a large saucepan, cook meat and onion until meat is browned; drain.

Add water, un-drained tomatoes, un-drained kidney beans, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning mix.

Simmer, covered for 15 minutes-1 hour.

Optional: serve soup over corn chips, and top with cheese, and sour creap. Chopped avocado can be added.

Serves 8-12. Soup can be frozen.

Additonal spices can be added, season to taste.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Check out the feature!

A few weeks ago I was approached by Joyce, who is the author of "Oregon Mom's Empty Nest" as to whether or not I'd be interested in sharing one of my favorite recipes on her blog with her readers. Of course I jumped at the chance and my all-time favorite recipe...Smoked Sausage Jambalaya...was published this morning.

Thank you again, Joyce for asking me to contribute. I was happy to. And to all my readers, please take a gander over to Joyce's website and check out her journal, garden page, and all the fabulous recipes she also has to share!

WOOHOO!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

I made this one up as I went, so you can feel free to adjust the ingredients as you go to fit your tastes. It's very creamy, and really "hit the spot" for my sweet tooth today!

Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

4 sugar-free milk chocolate pudding cups
1 cup of creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup of sweetened condensed milk
8 0z. container of cool whip
1 oreo cookie pie crust

Mix first 4 ingredients together and pour into pie crust. Smooth out pie filling and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Buttermilk Mac & Cheese

Yet another easy one from my mom.

Homemade, so easy, whip it up, throw it together, bake it, and enjoy.

Buttermilk Mac & Cheese

6 Eggs
1 3/4 C (14 oz.) Shredded cheddar cheese
2 1/2 C Buttermilk
1/2 C Butter, melted
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Pkg. (7 oz.) Elbow Macaroni, cooked according to directions and drained

In a large bowl, beat eggs. Stir in the cheese, buttermilk, butter and salt. Add the macaroni and mix well. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 - 50 mins. or until thermometer reads 160 degrees. Yields 8 - 10 Servings.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mozzarella Meatloaf

Since it's no secret that I think THESE are the best burgers on the planet, I got the idea to try it as a little "twist" on a meatloaf.

Double the recipe and you've got yourself a fab meatloaf, which is even good for sandwiches!

Mozzarella Meatloaf

2 lbs. ground beef
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup of bbq sauce

Mix all ingredients together. Form into a loaf and bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes or until heated through.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Chicken Fajita Pizza

Ok...what's not to like in this one? I mean seriously.

Chicken Fajita Pizza

1/2 medium green bell pepper, sliced into 1/4 inch strips
1/2 medium red bell pepper, sliced into 1/4 inch strips
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. fajita seasoning mix
1 tbsp.water
1/2 cup thick and chunky medium salsa
1 cup chopped cooked chicken
1 12 inch prepackaged Boboli 100% whole wheat thin pizza crust
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded, reduced-fat Mexican style cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat and add peppers, onion, garlic, seasoning mix and water. Saute 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender crisp. Remove from heat; stir in salsa and chicken. Arrange vegetable/chicken mixture over crust. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 7-8 minutes or until pizza crust is crisp and cheese is melted. Makes 6 servings.



Saturday, March 21, 2009

Crockpot Smoked Sausage Casserole

My mom has made this for years and years and years. She usually doesn't do her's in the crockpot, but I thought I'd give it a try and see how it went. It's still as fabulous as I've always known it to be.

Crockpot Smoked Sausage Casserole

1 large baking potato
1 ring of smoked sausage
2 green peppers
1 large yellow onion
2 tbsp of olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Peel potato and cut up into large cubes. Cut smoked sausage into 1/2 inch pieces. Chop green peppers and onion into large chunks. Put all ingredients in the crock pot and drizzle 2 tbsp. of oil on top. Stir until mixed.

Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until veggies/potatoes are tender and cooked through. Salt & pepper to taste. Makes 4 servings.

You could also bake in a 9 x 13 pan for 45 minutes - an hour at 350.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sausage & Broccoli Bake

This is supposedly a casserole, but you could easily use this for breakfast as a sort of "egg bake."

Mom sent this to me recently and man, it's DELISH!

Sausage & Broccoli Bake

1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped broccoli
1 lb. bulk Italian Sausage
3 cups seasoned salad croutons
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4 eggs beaten
1 can cream of broccoli soup (undiluted)
1 1/3 cup milk
1 can (2.8 oz.) french fried onions

Cook broccoli according to pkg. directions, drain and set aside. In a lg. skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink, drain.

Combine the broccoli, sausage, croutons and cheese. Transfer to a greased 2 qt. baking dish. In a bowl combine the eggs, soup and milk and pour over sausage mixture. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Sprinkle with french fried onions. Bake for 3-5 minutes. Serves 6-8

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tuna Casserole

My mom's been sending me some of her best recipes as of late, and here's a new one...

She didn't do her's in a crockpot, but rather in a 9 x 13 baking dish until heated through. I believe I'm going to go the crockpot route and see how that works.

Tuna Casserole

2 (12 oz.) cans tuna, drained and flaked
3 cups diced celery
3 cups crushed potato chips, divided
6 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1 (10 1/2 oz.) can condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 (10 1/2 oz.) can condensed dream of celery soup, undiluted
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. dried tarragon leaves
1 tsp black pepper

Stir together all ingredients except 1/2 cup potato chips in slow cooker, mix well. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup potato chips on top. Cover and cook on low 5 to 8 hours. Makes 8 servings.

Recipe from 101 Easy Supper Ideas

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Creamy Chicken Casserole

This one is an old favorite in my family and I believe my mom got this recipe from a friend of her's from church a loooooong time ago. It makes a lot and the leftovers taste even better in my opinion!

I'm making this tomorrow and should have a picture up for you soon.

Creamy Chicken Casserole

1/2 c. wild rice
1/2 c. brown rice
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. flour
1 4oz. can of mushrooms
1 1/2 c. half and half
3 c. diced cooked chicken
1 1/4 c. chicken broth
2 tbsp. parsley
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. slivered almonds

Prepare and cook rice. Cook onion in butter until tender. Remove from heat and stir in flour. Drain mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Add enough chicken broth to liquid to measure 1 1/2 cups. Gradually stir into flour mixture. Add half and half, cook and stir until thick. Add rice, chicken, mushrooms and seasonings. Place in 2 qt. casserole dish and sprinkle with almonds.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Milkshakes

So my husband and I have been on a recent "milkshake kick," which is odd since it's the middle of winter here. But nevertheless, they are fun to make, and oh so delish to drink.

I prefer chocolate mint, whereas he's a berry guy and loves the strawberry shake.

I blame this new obsession partly on the fact that I recently inherited my Grandma's old blender.

Chocolate Mint Milkshake

4 scoops of chocolate ice cream
1/4 cup of milk
1 drop of peppermint extract

blend. enjoy.



Strawberry Milkshake

4 scoops of vanilla ice cream
1/4 cup of milk
1 cup of frozen or fresh strawberries (whatever floats your boat)

blend. enjoy.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Gorgonzola-Filled Meatballs with Bay & Onion Creamy Tomato Gravy

I saw this recipe on Rachael Ray's 30-minute meals and I knew I HAD to try it. It's not every day that I watch the Food Network and come across a meal that I feel I actually have the time and the skills to make, so I always jump at the chance when I find one.

I love meat, I love cheese, and the tomato gravy is a fantastic compliment. Try it and be prepared to say "YUM!"

Gorgonzola Filled Meatballs with Bay & Onion Creamy Tomato Gravy

1 1/2 pounds ground veal (we substituted more ground beef instead, others have used pork)
1 pound ground beef
Salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
1 large egg, plus 1 egg yolk
2 handfuls grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 handfuls plain bread crumbs
3 tablespoons sliced or finely chopped sage leaves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces Gorgonzola
1 tablespoon butter
2 fresh bay leaves
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup chicken stock
1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place meat in a mixing bowl and season with salt, pepper, add in garlic, eggs, cheese, bread crumbs and sage. Mix meat, roll into 8 large balls and arrange in a baking dish. Coat balls with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Using the end of a wooden spoon, make an indentation half way into each ball and fill the cavity with some Gorgonzola. Bake until golden and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and butter in a sauce pot over medium heat, add bay and onions and season with salt and pepper. Add chicken stock and tomatoes and heat through, stir in cream, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer to thicken slightly 8 to 10 minutes.

Ladle sauce into shallow bowls and top with big stuffed meatballs.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Down Home Meatloaf

I got this recipe out of an old Taste of Home magazine. While I've made meatloaf for years, something wasn't turning out right as of late, so I thought I'd actually try a recipe for once! Some people may not be huge fans of meatloaf, but I can honestly tell you this one was OUTSTANDING. So much flavor, the bread crumbs really held everything together, and we were able to eat several meals of leftovers.

I'm tellin ya...give this one a try.

Down Home Meatloaf

2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup milk
2 cups soft bread crumbs
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup finely chopped green pepper
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground mustard
2 pounds ground beef
1/4 cup ketchup

In a bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Press into a greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Spread with ketchup; bake 15-20 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 160° and meat is no longer pink. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Meat loaf may be frozen for up to 3 months. Yield: 8 servings.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

stop by and tell me who you are!

I'm just AMAZED at all the hits I'm getting on this blog a day...I'm talking in the hundreds. And it's so weird how many of you are coming from all over the world. How are you finding my blog? Are you googling certain recipes?

Please leave me a comment, let me know how you got here and where you're from! I'd love to know!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Crock Pot Chicken & Dumplings

I had been looking for a relatively simple Chicken & Dumplings recipe for a while now and finally got this one from "jdseggar" off the nest.com's "What's Cooking" board.

So easy, you probably have more than half the ingredients already around your house, it's minimal "fuss" and man...it's fab!

We really enjoyed it.

Crock Pot Chicken & Dumplings

4 boneless skinless chicken pieces (breast or thigh), cut in small chunks
2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
1/4 cup carrot, finely diced
1/4 cup celery, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 cups water
2 (10 oz) packages refrigerated biscuits

Combine all ingredients, except biscuits, in crock pot.
Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. 30 minutes before serving, tear biscuit dough into 1-inch pieces. Add to crock pot; stirring gently. Cover and cook on HIGH for an additional 30 minutes or until biscuits are fluffed up and cooked through.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cheese Fondue

This is a very basic cheese fondue recipe that I got off Allrecipes.com.

My husband and I are relatively new at the whole "fondue thing" but thought we'd give cheese a shot as we did oil fondue for New Year's Eve earlier this month.

It was really very simple to make (probably done with it all in 15 minutes) and tasted great. We dipped veggies and french bread.

It's VERY basic, you could add different spices and things to make it your own. Some people on allrecipes.com suggested adding a bit of beer to give it some more kick. We didn't do this.

Basic Cheese Fondue

2 cups milk
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons ground dry mustard
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

In a medium saucepan over low heat, mix together milk, Worcestershire sauce, ground dry mustard, garlic and flour. Heat until almost boiling. Gradually stir in Cheddar cheese. Continue heating until all the cheese has melted. Keep the mixture warm and melted in a fondue dish.