November 14, 2015

Chili

This recipe has a lot of ingredients, but don't let that scare you away from making it. It goes together really quickly and is easy to do.  You will love how hearty this recipe is, and how it will warm your tummy any day of the year!

2 lb. hamburger
1/2 lb. sausage
1 large onion chopped
3 cans of chili beans
1 (6 oz) can of tomato paste
3 stalks of celery chopped
1 green pepper chopped
1 red pepper chopped
1 Tbsp. bacon bits
4 beef boullion cubes
1/2 cup beef broth
1.4 cup chili powder
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp oregano
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp basil

Fry up your hamburger and sausage together. Toss in the onions and continue until the meat is cooked. Drain any grease off your meat, then add all the other ingredients and let it simmer for several hours or in the crock pot. 
If you are in a hurry, it is fine to serve it when it is warmed. 

I don't remember where I originally found this recipe, but I make this with a couple of revisions. I left them all in the recipe in case you wanted to do it the way it came.  I don't put in 2 lbs of hamburger. That seems like a lot to me.  I use 1 lb. I am also not a fan of celery really, so I usually don't add celery either. And the green and red pepper depends on if I have both of those colors on hand. Otherwise I will use what I have, which is what I am sure everyone does.

This is a super delicious chili recipe that you will love!!

Taco Salad

Our favorite go-to meal is tacos. We have tacos a lot, and this kind of breaks up the same-mess a little bit and is still tacos, but in a salad form.  My mother-in-law is also  known for her "traveling taco salad". Every family get together or picnic, she would often times bring her taco salad.

This can be just a salad on a plate, or piled inside of an edible Mexican tortilla bowl. This is really a meal that you can make a variety of ways, with a variety of toppings. Come up with the best combination for your family! 

Ingredients:

Head of lettuce-chopped or torn into pieces
2 tomatoes- chopped
Taco meat - prepare as if for tacos with the taco seasoning
shredded cheese
sliced black olives
canned beans (drained) -black, kidney, pinto, or chili
green onions
Frito or tortilla chips
Ranch dressing

Assemble the everything in the salad or separate and let each person create their own favorite taco salad.  Top with Frito chips and Ranch dressing.

You can also serve this piled inside of an edible Mexican bowl and leave out the chips.

Enjoy this super easy and satisfying meal!

Fajitas

We have a small love affair going with the fajita!! ( Pronounced... FA-HEE-TA) It is a super short prep, and is OH! so good!! My new son-in-law is a particular fan of these and the first time he had them he told me I need to go into the restaurant business.  Flattery will get you everywhere!! 

image source

You can make fajitas with beef strips or chicken. I almost always make mine with chicken. It's easier, but both are extremely tasty.

Ingredients:


Chicken breasts, thawed, and cut into long-ish strips. 
  • Details are needed for my newly married daughters who have a lot of questions! :) 
  • You want to thaw the chicken first because otherwise when you are sautéing them (frying) a lot of extra liquid will be in your pan that you don't want. If you do have a lot of liquid, just pour it down the sink drain and add a tablespoon or so of more oil. *You want to be frying your chicken strips not boiling them in liquid.
  • Cut the strips the length of the chicken breast, then cut the strips in half
Onions (I use yellow or white, but the purple would be ok too) cut in julienne stips (long and thin)
Peppers cut in julienne strips (long and thin)
Fajita seasoning packet
Sour cream (optional)
Flour tortillas ( warmed before serving)


Instructions:

Being with sautéing your chicken strips in about 2 Tablespoons of oil in a skillet.  Saute them until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and is beginning to get a little crispy on the outside-about 5 minutes.

Add the onions and peppers and sauté them as well.  Now you don't want the peppers and onions to become soggy or completely limp in their texture. You want them to be "crisp-tender". This will be about 5 minutes as well.

Add the fajita seasoning packet with the water it calls for, and heat for 1 minute. 
any brand  will work


You are DONE!!  And you have made a mouth watering meal for your family!!

I am sure there are more complicated ways of making this with your own seasoning and such.  This works though and is oh so good!!

Spoon your fajita mixture into the center of a flour tortilla with sour cream. Serve up and enjoy!!




October 04, 2015

Home-Made Pizza



This is definitely one of family memory favorite meals! When our kids were grade school age, this was a much looked forward to meal that usually came every Friday night.  It inherited the nick-name Friday Night Pizza by our kids, and the neighborhood kids. Many of our children's friends wanted to eat at our house on Friday Nights so they could have our home-made pizza. 

I have TWO dough versions for this recipe that I will share with you. The first one is the one I have used for years and years and is delicious. The second one is the one I use now which is actually the dough for cinnamon rolls. We now use this second recipe for ALL and ANY dough recipes now as it is soooooo good!! 

Dough Recipe #1: (faster version)

2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp. yeast
3 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp. salt (or less)
4 cups flour

Mix dough together and let rise (if you have the time, I have done it many times without the rising step.  See how fast it can be!)

Add sauce...I usually use a jar or can of spaghetti sauce.
Add pizza toppings
Bake at 400 for 12-18 minutes


This dough recipe makes about 2-3 pizza pans. Depending on size and thickness of crust you want.

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Dough #2: (slower and worth it)

This recipe is for a bread machine, but I have made it in a mixer, and it was fine. It is just more perfect in a bread machine.

1/4 cup water at room temp.
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 small box of instant vanilla pudding
1 cup warm milk
1 egg room temp.
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
4 cups flour
1 pkg. (or 1 Tbsp) yeast

Add the ingredients in the order listed in the bread machine.  Select dough cycle. Push Start.

This makes 2 pizza pans.

Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes

June 05, 2015

Cheesy Chicken

You will have your friends asking you for the recipe and your family wanting you to make this again and again.  Serve this with rice.

4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cups grated cheese
1 tsp. salt
1 stick butter
1 1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  In a shallow dish place flour.  In 9 x 13 casserole dish, place margarine and melt it in the oven.  Dip chicken in flour, then place in the melted butter already inside the casserole dish. Bake uncovered at 424 degrees for 30 minutes.  Turn chicken, bake for 15 minutes more.

 In a bowl, mix together evaporated milk, cheese, soup, salt.  Pour over chicken.
Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes until the chicken is done. 

Chicken and Rice

This is another recipe from my early marriage days.  It is simple, easy, and a family favorite. Young children also like this because it doesn't have a lot of flavors they are not used to.  You need to give yourself about 3 hours of baking time, but it is so worth it!

1 1/2 cups of uncooked long-grain rice
1 1/2 cups water
3 cans cream of chicken soup
4-6 chicken breasts

Add rice to your 9 x 13 casserole dish. Then add water and the 3 cans of cream of chicken soup. Mix well so you don't have any soup lumps and the rice is distributed throughout the dish.  Push raw chicken breasts into the rice, water, and soup mixture.  Cover with tinfoil and bake for 350 degrees for 2 1/2 -3 hours.

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

This was one of the first recipes I collected when I was first married and I have been using it ever since.  I love the flavor combination of broccoli, chicken, and stuffing.  This is a great one when you have left over chicken from a previous meal, or turkey from Thanksgiving.  So good!!

4 cups cooked chicken, cubed
1 pkg. frozen broccoli
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 box stuffing, made according to the directions
Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  There are two ways to mix this together according to your own preferences. 1) You can mix it all together and bake or 2) You can mix it all together except the stuffing and top the casserole with a layer of stuffing.  Both turn out great.

Bake this for 30 minutes.  Yum-Yum!

Chicken Cordon Bleu

My husband and fell in love over Chicken Cordon Bleu. True story. As Freshman in  college in our  cafeteria, every Sunday they would serve Chicken Cordon Bleu, and it was always our favorite meal together.  Twenty-five years later, this meal brings back fond memories for us. I usually make this for my husband on Father's Day.

8 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
8 slices of ham
1/2 lb. Swiss cheese
Salt and Pepper

1/2 cup margarine melted
1 box Corn Flakes, crushed

Sauce:
1 can cream of chicken soup
8  oz. sour cream ( can substitute with 1/2 c. milk)
1 tsp. lemon juice (opt.)


Pound chicken breasts until they are flat. This step is important and your longest step in the preparation. Use a meat tenderizer tool or anything that is good for pounding your chicken. Place it in the sink on a small cutting board, or put it inside a gallon zip-lock bag to pound it.

Once the chicken breasts are flat, place ham on each breast, and one finger size of Swiss cheese.  Roll up each breast and seal the ends with toothpicks.  Roll melted margarine and crushed Corn Flakes.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes.

Pour sauce over the top of finished chicken cordon bleu.  Enjoy!!

Creamy Baked Chicken Breasts

I got this recipe from my sister-in-law Deborah fifteen years ago, and it has become a standard at our table for its heavenly taste and simplicity in preparing it.  I added the cooked rice to the bottom of the casserole dish just to give it more depth, and we love the addition. I usually will make this when I have some left over cooked rice from a previous meal.  It can be made without that step though.

2 cups  of cooked rice
Chicken breasts (enough to cover your casserole dish)
4-6 Cheese slices
1-2 cans cream of chicken soup with 1/2 can regular milk
1 box stuffing (unprepared)
1/2 cup butter, melted

Add rice to the bottom of your 9 X 13 casserole dish.  Place chicken breasts over the rice.  Add the cheese slices to the top of each chicken breast. This doesn't have to be exact because the cheese will melt and spread.  Stir soup and milk together and cover the chicken.  Toss the melted butter with the unprepared boxed stuffing mixture.  Spread the stuffing and butter mixture over all and bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly done. 

I will usually add tin-foil for the first 30 minutes of baking, then take it off for the remaining time. This helps it stay moist, and helps brown the stuffing, without over browning it. This is something you can tweak according to your own preferences. 


Chicken Enchiladas

This recipe is dedicated to my two college daughters who call me weekly for this recipe. 
 Happy cooking!
 
Amber, Aubrey, and son-in-law Kyle



2 cups of cooked chicken, shredded or cubed
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1  4 oz. can diced green chiles
1/2 tsp. garlic powder (optional)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Tortillas (flour or corn)

I love it when a recipe has the word *optional* next to their ingredients. It makes me laugh because if you think about it, IT'S ALL OPTIONAL!  We all change recipes according to our own taste buds. The optionals are the accessory items to the recipe that maybe wasn't in the original, and has been added, or toppings, etc.  according to what  you like.



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray or grease a 9 x 13 glass casserole dish.

Combine the  green onions, garlic powder, green chiles, cream of chicken soup and sour cream. Mix well. Reserve 3/4 of this sauce and set aside. The remaining 1/4 of the sauce, add the chicken and 1/2 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese. Stir together.

Fill each  tortilla with the chicken mixture and roll up. Place seam side down in the prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl combine the reserved 3/4 of the sauce with the milk. Spoon this mixture over the rolled tortillas and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly. 

Sometimes I top it with green onions as well.

* if you use corn tortillas, you will get a more authentic Mexican taste. To use corn tortillas, they have to be fried before you use them, or they will rip and tear.  Heat up oil in a  shallow skillet until it is hot and popping.  Don't burn yourself!  Immerse each tortilla very quickly on each side until the tortillas start to bubble a little, flip it over and cook the other side. Stack them up on a plate with paper towels to soak up the grease. (You want the corn tortillas to be really soft, not crispy. )This process takes longer, but has a great flavor.  Then add the chicken mixture and roll up.


I usually serve Chicken Enchiladas with my delicious restaurant flavor Spanish Rice and a green salad.

Chicken Crescent Rolls

This is one of the most requested recipes from my children and our family and friends.  I have made this recipe for Sunday dinners, dinner dates for Prom with a bunch of teenagers, and just a weekday yummy meal. Everyone loves them and can't get enough. I would suggest making more than you think you should. The left-overs taste great too!

3 oz. cream cheese
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cubed
1 Tbsp. green onions, chopped
1 Tbsp. milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

1  8 oz. can crescent rolls
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 can (using the can of soup) regular milk

In a bowl combine the cream cheese, chicken, salt, pepper, milk, onion.  Open the crescent roll can and separate rolls into triangles following the dotted lines in the dough.  Using a small cookie dough scoop or a tablespoon, put a scoop into the fat end of the triangle.  Roll up from the fat end to skinny end.  Seal up the open edges and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 until toasty golden brown-about 20 minutes. Make a sauce with the cream of chicken soup and the milk.

Serve rolls with the sauce drizzled over the top.

Yummmmm!

Cheesy Italian Chicken

              (credit to this recipe goes to Suzie Roberts from her book Busy Moms on the Go. It is the best recipe book!)        

WARNING. Every-thing -is- about- to -change. If you have never tried this recipe, it will now replace your favorite go-to family meal. Your entire family will love this including you because it is so easy to put together with great results!

Story.  Our youngest daughter who is 9 loves this so much it can't cook fast enough for her.  I have had problems with her messing with the crock-pot knob wanting it to cook faster, and instead she turns it down, and dinner time is delayed. 

*This is a great freezer meal!  Put ALL the ingredients in a gallon zip-lock bag, label it, and freeze it until you need to use it. Then just add the freezer meal to your crock-pot and you have your perfect meal!!  It doesn't get any easier than that!


Cheesy Italian Chicken
 
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
2 cups  cheese (any orange cheese works)
4-6 chicken breasts (frozen is fine)
 
 
Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high 4-5.  Cooking time really depends on the thickness of your chicken breasts. If you use chicken tenders, it will cook the fastest.  This should be melt in your mouth, fall apart tender when it is done. It is worth waiting for.
 
Serve this over rice.