Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cheese Nip Chicken

This is the easiest and yummiest recipe!

4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1-2 cups crushed cheese nips (or cheez its)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup butter
Coat chicken with sour cream. Cover in crushed crackers. Melt butter and place in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Place coated chicken on top and place in 350 oven for 40-45 minutes. When chicken is tender and juices run clear it is finished.
I used white cheddar cheez its and it tasted awesome. You could use goldfish crackers or sour cream and onion potatoe chips...the possibilities are endless. The sour cream keeps the chicken moist and the flavor wasn't too powerful or anything. I didn't use a whole cup of sour cream but you may if you make more than 4 chicken breasts. I didn't measure my crackers but just added more once I ran out.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Banana Bread

I had three black banans lying around and I figured it would be better to make bread than to throw them away. So, I looked through my million church cookbooks and finally settled on this recipe. This was the only one that I found that did not call for buttermilk or nuts. I know the nuts are optional and I know you can make buttermilk with vinegar but I don't have any vinegar on hand right now. I digress. This was a quick and easy recipe and Naomi had a great time helping me. It turned out really yummy and Naomi and I enjoyed a nice warm piece of banana bread right before her nap!

1 1/2 sticks of butter
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
4 ripe bananas
1 T. lemon juice
2 c flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon (I added more and still can't really taste it)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Mix all ingredients in large bowl. Spray pan with Pam and pour batter in. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Now, this guy assumes that you know something about baking and I do so I was okay. The top got a little dark but it doesn't taste burnt. I actually prefer the edges a little crispy so this was perfect for me! Enjoy!

Recipe taken from St. Mark Lutheran Church (Omaha, NE) 50th Anniversary Cookbook.
Recipe by Steve Barry.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

We had some friends over last weekend and I decided to try this recipe for Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes. I didn't have any buttermilk but read online how to make my own (add one tablespoon of white vinegar to one cup of milk and let it sit for 10 minutes before using), thanks Erin for the tip! They were obviously a little more involved than the "just add water" pancakes but they were delicious!Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes
makes loads of pancakes, enough for four people
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
heaping 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
healthy pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup golden raisins
oil or cooking spray (for cooking)
Step 1: In a large bowl beat eggs. Add buttermilk, butter , maple syrup and vanilla and mix well. Add flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Mix well until mostly smooth. Fold in raisins and let batter set for a few minutes.Step 2: Heat griddle or pan over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of oil to the pan or spray with cooking spray. You can test to see if the pan is hot enough by adding a few drops of water, when the drops start to dance its hot enough. Step 3: Pour 2 Tablespoons of batter onto the griddle. Cook on the first side until bubbles that form start to pop. You can also gently lift up the pancake to make sure the bottom is not overcooking, if it is the pan may be too hot and you will need to adjust the heat. Flip the pancake over with a spatula and cook until golden brown. Repeat until all the batter is gone. Let cooked pancakes rest on a heat proof plate in a 200 degree F oven until ready to serve

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Fiesta Chicken

I just kinda through this together the other night and Jon loved it!!

Fiesta Chicken
Boneless, skinless, Chicken breasts
Corn (I used canned corn and drained the juices out)
Rotel (don't drain)
Fiesta Blend Shredded Cheese
Tortilla Chips (crushed)
Fiesta Seasoning of any kind (taco, fajita)

1. Season chicken and grill until fully cooked. (I used my good ole' Foreman grill)
2. Put chicken in a baking dish.
3. Cover chicken with Rotel (I used hot) and corn.
4. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. (the chicken is already cooked so we're just heating the rotel and corn to blend together). Cover the top with cheese and tortilla bits; bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Some quick and easy apps!

At book club this past week I made some super simple appetizers to share with everyone!

Muenster Cheese Slice
Raspberry Jalapeno Jam (homemade)

Cheddar Cheese Slice
Sour Cream

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Broccoli Cheese Soup

I came up with this recipe by combining a few and adding some extra stuff to make it more filling!

Broccoli Cheese Soup
1 c. water
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 pkg. ( 10 oz.) frozen chopped broccoli
1 med. carrot, grated
1 tbsp. minced onion
2 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour
3 1/2 c. milk
2 garlic cloves minced
1 lb. Velveeta cheese
1 ½ c. cooked wild rice
1 c. cooked chicken
Pepper to taste
Few dashes of Garlic Tabasco sauce

Heat water and bouillon cube to boiling. Add broccoli and carrot; cook 10 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat, do not drain. In separate saucepan, melt butter and then slowly stir in flour. Gradually add milk. Cook until thickened. Stir in cheese, garlic, and pepper. Add broccoli and carrot mixture. Add rice and chicken. Heat and serve.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ginger Pea Soup (Indian)

When we were in San Diego, Matt and I went out to our favorite Indian restaurant in San Diego--Bombay in the Hillcrest area. We shared a soup called Ginger Mutter (Pea) Soup. The description on their menu reads:
Creamy pea soup spiced with fresh ginger, roasted cumin and garlic, topped with fresh cilantro.

This soup was SO good that I decided to try to figure out how to make it myself. I combined a few different recipes, the description above, and my own taste and below is what I came up with today. I think it tastes very similar, but we'll see what Matt thinks when he comes home for dinner!

Ginger Mutter (Pea) Soup
3 ½ cups chicken broth or water
2 medium potatoes
2 ½-3 cups frozen peas
½ onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 t. ginger (or to taste)
1 t. cumin
½ t. black pepper
1 t. garam masala
1 t. salt
1 c. plain yogurt
Cilantro (to taste)

Boil all ingredients except for yogurt until vegetables are tender (12-14 minutes). Let partly cool. Blend in parts, adding yogurt and cilantro. Garnish with additional cilantro on top.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cheeseburger Chowder

Cheeseburger Chowder
1/2 lb. ground beef
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
1 3/4 cup milk
1 cup frozen shredded hash brown potatoes1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Coarsely crushed corn ships, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, and chopped green onions(optional)


In a large saucepan, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the soup, milk, potatoes, chilies, taco seasoning, onion and chili powder until blended.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minuted or until heated through. Garnish with corn chips, cheese and green onions if desired.

*I also garnished with pickles.
*This was enough for Jon and I, I would double the recipe if you're making it for more than two people.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Banana Bread

This recipe is from the Cooking Light cookbook my mom gave me for Christmas. I substituted Splenda for half the sugar and it turned out great. I also added in some dried cranberries and chopped pecans. Xavier wouldn't stop eating it!

Classic Banana Bread
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.

3. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Spoon batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Yield: 1 loaf

Sunday, February 1, 2009


We went to the Super Bowl party for our young adults group at church and they were having a chili cookoff. I brought my taco soup for a little variety--I figured it had ground beef, beans, and tomatoes and was close enough to chili.

Anyway, I didn't even realize that the chili was a cookoff, but my taco soup ended up winning the most votes!

Here's the link to that recipe:

This time, I only used 1 lb. of meat, used fire roasted diced tomatoes instead of stewed tomatoes, and actually used 3 cans of Rotel instead of one. This made it a little spicier than usual. I also added a can of corn and some fresh cilantro.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Baked Spaghetti

Baked Spaghetti
This is a very simple dinner to make. The ingredients are basic and feel free to add anything you would like to it. Peppers would be good!

1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. spaghetti noodles
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 ball fresh mozzarella OR 1 8 oz bag shredded mozzarella
1 can biscuits
Parmesan cheese

1. Brown ground beef.
2. Cook noodles.
3. Combine beef, noodles, and spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top (if fresh mozzarella put in piles on top of noodle mixture).
4. Put uncooked biscuits over the top of noodle mixture.
5. Bake as according to biscuit instructions on label.
6. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese to serve.

Before baking

Right out of the oven!

On the plate

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Crock Pot Chicken Chili

Another one from Kraft Foods website (I'm almost at the end of my two week plan for cooking now...) I added a little water, used chicken breast instead of thigh, and used 2% cheese.

Crock Pot Chicken Chili
1 can (15 oz.) dark red kidney beans, drained, rinsed
1 can (15 oz.) light red kidney beans, drained, rinsed
1-1/2 cups Salsa
1 can (16 oz.) no-salt-added tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup KRAFT Mexican Style Finely Shredded Four Cheese

COMBINE beans, salsa, tomato sauce and chili powder in slow cooker. Top with chicken, onions and corn. (Do not stir.) Cover with lid.

COOK on LOW 6 to 8 hours (or on HIGH 4 to 5 hours).

STIR just before serving. Serve topped with cheese.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Chicken Lo Mein

This is another one from Kraft Foods. It is called Chicken Lo Mein, but to us, it had kind of a Thai taste to it with the peanut butter and cilantro. We used whole wheat noodles and a light version of the same dressing. We also added some chili garlic sauce to the top to add a little kick. Very easy and good!

Chicken Lo Mein
1/2 lb. spaghetti, uncooked
1/4 cup KRAFT Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen bell pepper and onion strips, thawed, drained
1/2 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp. peanut butter
1/4 cup lite soy sauce
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp. chopped peanuts

COOK spaghetti in large saucepan as directed on package.

MEANWHILE, heat dressing in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken and garlic; stir-fry 3 min. or until chicken is no longer pink. Add peppers, onions, broth and peanut butter; stir-fry an additional 3 to 4 min. or until chicken is cooked through.

DRAIN spaghetti; return to pan. Add chicken mixture and soy sauce; mix well. Spoon onto serving platter; sprinkle with cilantro and peanuts.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Crock-pot chili

This is a super easy and yummy version of Chili. We always add shredded cheese and sour cream to our chili, not so healthy but oh so yummy! I think we're going to make it again on Super Bowl Sunday! Come on over!!!

1 lb. Extra lean ground beef
1 cup Chopped onion
3 (14.5 oz) cans Diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14.5 oz) can Tomato sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can Great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5 oz) can Red kidney bean, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5 oz) can Corn, drained
2 tbsp. Chili powder
1 tbsp. Cumin
1 cup Salsa

Brown ground beef and onion in a skillet until cooked through, drain and pour into a crockpot. Dump rest of ingredients in crockpot, stir. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta

Greg made the dinner I had planned for tonight (I had a terrible headache) and he said this was pretty easy to make but a little time consuming with having to cook everything seperate and then all together as well. We really enjoyed this though. This is a GREAT alternative to hamburger helper.

8 ounces Uncooked tube or spiral pasta
1 lb Ground beef
6 Strips bacon, diced
1 can Condensed tomato soup, undiluted
1 cup Cheddar cheese
Cook pasta according to directions on packages. Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain and set aside. In the same skillet, cook bacon until crisp; remove with slotted spoon to paper towels. Discard drippings. Drain pasta; add to skillet. Add soup, beef and bacon, stir and heat through. Sprinkle with cheese; cover and cook until the cheese is melted. Serve with BBQ sauce and mustard if desired.
Sandy's Notes: I add 1/2 can water along with the tomato soup, makes it more moist. Definitely serve with BBQ sauce and yellow mustard. It's a strange but delicious taste sensation!
Please excuse the coloring of the photo, I had to use my flash.

Chicken Noodle Soup in the crockpot

We were sick at our house yesterday (and Matt still today), so I made some chicken noodle soup in the crockpot. I cooked this on high so it would not take so long!

Chicken Noodle Soup
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds chicken pieces
4 cups water
4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste, depending on saltiness of broth
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 leek or small onion chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram or basil
1 bay leaf
6 ounces noodles

Place all ingredients except noodles in the Crock Pot. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. Remove chicken and bay leaf from pot; take meat from bones, dice, and return to broth, and add the noodles. Cook another hour or until noodles are done (about 1/2 hour on high). Or, cook the noodles separately and add them just before serving.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Oven Fried Chicken

This recipe came from Ellie Krieger's page on the Food Network website. I made these with all chicken thighs instead of breasts because I got it for a dollar a pound! Hard to beat that. I used Wheat thins for the crackers and a mixture of cereals instead of corn flakes--just based on what I had in my cabinet already. Matt really liked this chicken--especially with some extra red pepper to simulate his favorite Popeye's :)

To go with the chicken, I sliced sweet potatoes into wedges and added a little sliced red onion, olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasted them at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Very yummy!

Oven Fried Chicken
1/2 sleeve (about 20) whole-grain salted crackers, pulsed in a food processor until fine (about 1/2 cup)
2 1/2 cups corn cereal flakes, pulsed in a food processor to fine crumbs (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 egg whites
1 cup lowfat, plain yogurt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
Olive oil cooking spray
4 medium sized skinless chicken breasts and 4 skinless chicken thighs, rinsed and patted dry (about 3 1/2 pounds chicken)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with olive oil.

Combine the crackers and corn cereal crumbs, sesame seeds, cayenne, and garlic powder in a shallow bowl. Reserve.

In a large bowl, combine egg whites, yogurt, Dijon mustard, and salt. Add the chicken pieces and coat thoroughly with the yogurt mixture.

One at a time, dip the chicken pieces in the cracker mixture, packing crumbs onto chicken. Arrange the chicken on a baking sheet and spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a knife.

Quick-fix cheeseburger meatloaf

This is another recipe from Meals Matter. I've got my meals planned out for two weeks and they all come from that website. I've made this meatloaf before and I think it's our favorite. It's yummy and SUPER easy to make. It takes about 5 minutes to throw together and then just let it bake and enjoy the aroma of great food!

1 lb. Lean ground beef (I use 2lbs)
10 PREMIUM Saltine Crackers, crushed (about 1/2 cup) (I use 20 crackers)
2 tbsp. GREY POUPON Dijon Mustard (I use 4 tbsp)
1/4 cup Ketchup
3/4 cup KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese

PREHEAT oven to 375°F. Mix meat, cracker crumbs and mustard until well blended.
PAT meat mixture into 8-inch loaf pan. Bake 40 min. or until cooked through (160°F).
SPREAD meat loaf with ketchup; sprinkle with cheese. Bake 5 min. or until cheese is melted.

The first time I made this the meatloaf was very small, so I added more meat, crackers and mustard the next time and it was a better portion for us with leftovers for lunch! We like leftovers of this meatloaf!

En-CHILI-ada Soup

This Sunday I came up with En-CHILI-ada Soup. I was looking through my cabinets and this is what came out of it!

En-CHILI-ada Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1 19 oz can enchilada sauce
1 12 oz jar salsa (or rotel)
1 14.5 oz can ranch style beans
1 cup jalapenos
5 dashes hot sauce (to taste)
1/2 tablespoon taco seasoning
1/2 tablespoon fajita seasoning2 cups shredded Monterrey jack cheese

1. Brown ground beef and drain.
2. In a large pot combine ground beef, enchilada sauce, salsa, beans, jalapenos, taco and fajita seasonings, and hot sauce. Bring to a soft boil and let sit (lid on) for 30 minutes. Add cheese and stir well; let sit for another 20 minutes.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pasta with Creamy Chicken and Broccoli

I made this for dinner tonight and I always know if the recipe is a winner if Greg tells me that I can make it again...and he did with this one. I think the key is the cream cheese! I think I'll add garlic next time when I'm cooking the chicken!

12 oz. SAN GIORGIO Spaghetti, uncooked
4 cups Fresh or frozen broccoli florets
1 tablespoon Butter
3/4 lb. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1/3 cup Chopped onion
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 cup Water
1 pkg. (3 oz.) cream cheese, cubed and softened
3/4 cup Grated Parmesan cheese

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Start to Finish: 20 minutes
1.Cook pasta according to package directions, adding broccoli to pasta cooking water during last 2 minutes; drain. Meanwhile, in large skillet over medium heat, melt butter; add chicken and onion.
2. Cook 4 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.
3. In medium bowl, whisk together soup, milk, water and cream cheese until smooth; add to chicken mixture. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low.
4. Simmer until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Remove from heat; stir in Parmesan cheese.
5. Toss hot pasta and broccoli with sauce.
Makes 9 servings (1 cup each). Recipe from Meals Matter

Southern Corn Muffins

I made Jamie's taco soup (see below a few posts) tonight and made this variation on corn muffins to go with it. (Recipe from Kraft Foods website again)

Southern Corn Muffins
1 egg
1/4 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup Salsa
1 pkg. (8-1/2 oz.) corn muffin mix
1 can (7 oz.) corn, drained
1/2 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup sliced green onions

PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Beat egg, milk and salsa in medium bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Add remaining ingredients; stir just until moistened.
SPOON evenly into six paper-lined or greased medium muffin cups.
BAKE 20 min. or until golden brown. Remove muffins from pan to wire rack. Cool slightly.


We also made pralines which are delicious and took a while to get fully right!

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup half & half
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup pecans

Bring brown sugar, sugar, and half & half to a soft boil. When temperature reaches 250 degrees turn heat off. Add remaining ingredients and then pour immediately onto wax paper. Let cool before eating.


A Muffaletta is a New Orleans tradition that Jon really enjoys to eat! I went over to one of my high school volleyball players house and learned how to make them!

3 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup chopped green olives stuffed with pimientos
1 cup pitted and chopped “black-ripe” olives or Calamatas
1/2 cup roasted sweet red peppers, chopped
1 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/3 pound salami
1/2 pound provolone cheese
1/2 pound mild cheese
1/3 pound mortadella
1/3 pound prosciutto

Cook’s note: The roasted red peppers are Italian-style, available at many Italian delis.
Also, you can buy already made olive salad.
Take one loaf fresh Italian bread (one big round for a traditional Muffaletta or individual sub loaves will do fine for smaller sandwiches). Cut the loaf ( or loaves) in half, and scoop out a little of the inside to make some room. Make the olive salad by combining the olives and roasted perrer, garlic and vinegar. Drizzle some of the olive oil and juice from the olive salad on each side of the open loaf — use plenty. On the bottom, place some salami, olive salad, provolone, mild cheese, and mortadella. Top with the other half loaf. Slice into wedges (or eat the individual loaves). Serve cold or if you like it warm, wrap in foil and put in 350 oven until cheese melts.

Fiesta Chicken Dinner

I made this last night but used ground turkey instead. It tasted pretty good. I didn't have the green onions or sour cream but it was still good.

1 lb. Lean ground chicken
1 tbsp. Oil
1 pkg (14 oz.) Macaroni & Cheese Dinner
2-1/2 cups Hot water
1 jar (16 oz.) Salsa
1 tsp. Ground cumin
1 can (19 oz.) drained and rinsed beans (black or pinto)
2 Chopped green onions
1/2 cup Sour Cream

1.Cook chicken in oil in large non-stick skillet 5-7 minutes or until cooked through. Add pasta (reserving cheese pouch), water, salsa, and cumin to skillet; bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat; cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir beans and cheese pouch into skillet; heat thouroughly. Top with green onions. Serve with sour cream on the side, if desired.

Edited: I re-heated the leftovers for lunch but put them in a tortilla with shredded cheese and sour cream...yummy!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Creamy Chicken, Vegetables, and Noodles

I found this recipe on the Kraft Foods website. It's like a mac and cheese with vegetables added. I used whole wheat egg noodles and added a little ground red pepper to give it a little more kick. I think I used more milk than it said and maybe a little more cheese too. This was a nice quick recipe.

Creamy Chicken, Vegetables, and Noodles
4 cups egg noodles, uncooked
1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup KRAFT Light Zesty Italian Dressing
3-1/2 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 large red pepper, cut into strips
1 yellow squash, sliced
6 oz. VELVEETA 2% Milk Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 Tbsp. fat-free milk

COOK pasta as directed on package.
MEANWHILE, cook chicken in dressing in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat 5 to 7 min. or until chicken is done, stirring occasionally. Stir in vegetables; cover. Simmer on medium heat 5 min. or until vegetables are crisp-tender.
MICROWAVE VELVEETA and milk in small microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 to 3 min. or until VELVEETA is melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after 1-1/2 min. Add to chicken mixture; mix lightly. Serve over pasta.

Spicy Mulligatawny Soup

This is from my new Cooking Light cookbook that I got for Christmas. (Thanks, Mom!) After living in India and tasting several versions of mulligatawny, I don't know how authentic this is, but it was really yummy. Matt requested that I make it again already this week.

This was pretty spicy, but I also used hot mango chutney. I also substituted cilantro for the parsley to make it more authentic.

Spicy Mulligatawny Soup
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup chopped peeled Gala or Braeburn apple
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup mango chutney
1/4 cup tomato paste
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken, and sauté 3 minutes. Remove from pan; set aside.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in pan. Add apple and next 4 ingredients (apple through bell pepper); sauté 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the flour and next 4 ingredients (flour through salt); cook 1 minute. Stir in broth, chutney, and tomato paste; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; simmer 8 minutes. Return chicken to pan; cook 2 minutes or until mixture is thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Billy's Favorite French Toast

My amazing husband made breakfast this morning and it was delicious! A little twist on classic french toast.

6 lg eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 T sugar
1 t cinnamon
1 T pancake syrup
1 t vanilla
1/2 stick butter
6 slices of bread

Whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, and cinnamon. Add syrup and vanilla and mix well. Heat pan or griddle; melt 1/2 of the butter in the pan (save 1/2 for when you turn the toast over). Soak each slice of bread in egg mixture before placing on hot buttered griddle. Cook until center is firm. Serve with warm syrup.

Yummy! And Greg was able to make more than 6 slices of bread!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Spinach-Stuffed Chicken

I got this recipe from Meals Matter and we love it. Naomi eats it too (she'll eat just about anything though). It's a little labor intensive but I usually try and do some of it earlier in the morning (like flatten the chicken) so there's not as much to do later. I didn't have any fresh garlic so I used garlic powder instead, and I didn't use the mushrooms either. I didn't have any bread crumbs either so I used stove top stuffing...I think it's better than plain bread crumbs anyway. I guess it's nice to be able to take a recipe and do whatever you want with it and it still tastes good! Enjoy!

6 cups Torn fresh spinach (5 oz)
1/2 cup Chopped onion
1/2 cup Chopped fresh mushrooms
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Olive oil or canola oil
1/2 teaspoon Dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
6 Boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup Dry bread crumbs
3 tablespoons Grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/4 cup Egg substitute
1 tablespoon Water
2 tablespoons Butter or stick margarine, melted

In a large nonstick skillet, cook spinach in 1/2 inch of water over medium heat just until wilted, about 2 minutes. Drain and set spinach aside. In the same skillet, saute the onion, mushrooms and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in the seasonings; add spinach and set aside.
Flatten chicken to 1/4 inch thickness. Spread spinach mixture down the center of each chicken breast. Fold one side over filling and roll up tightly; secure with a toothpick. In a shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and paprika. In another bowl, combine egg substitute and water. Dip each roll-up in egg mixture, then roll in crumb mixture. Place seam side down in a 13 x 9 x 2 baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Drizzle with butter. Bake, uncovered at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until juices run clear. Discard toothpicks.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Easy Taco Soup

This is the version of Taco Soup that is in our church's cookbook. It's super easy and yummy! I make this about three times a month and Naomi loves it too. In fact sometimes when she's playing pretend she makes taco soup for her babies!
1 lb ground beef
1 (15oz) can kidney beans
1 (15oz) can corn
2 (15oz) can ranch style beans
1 (15oz) can hominy
1 (15oz) can Rotel tomatoes
2 cup water
1/2 pkg. taco seasoning
1 env. Hidden valley ranch dressing

Brown ground beef and drain. Set aside for later use. Drain corn and hominy. In 5 quart pan combine all ingredients. Simmer soup mixture for approximately 1 hour. Add any of the following for garnish; avacado wedges, sour cream, grated cheese, tortilla chips. Add more taco seasoning if you desire a more spicy mixture. Makes 8 generous servings.
Lately, I've been using chicken stock instead of water and today I just used diced tomatoes instead of Rotel. It's pretty forgiving and you can add to it or take away from it and make it your own! Enjoy!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Black bean and corn quesadillas

I just made this up after watching Guy's Big bite the other day. I didn't have everything that he used but it still turned out yummy! Naomi loved the "quesadida" too!

I roasted some corn (I used frozen corn so basically I just warmed it up)
I also added some minced onions.
Add a can of drained and rinsed black beans and heat.
Put on corn tortillas.
Add shredded cheese.Put another tortilla on top.
Put in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Cut, serve and enjoy. I served this with sour cream but I bet it would be good with salsa also. You can add many other things to this dish as well. Guy had added roasted red peppers too but I didn't have any on hand.

Easy Appetizers

I had my first book club meeting last night and it was so much fun! Every first Thursday of the month a group of ladies meet at my house to discuss the book that we picked for the month. The requirements are to either bring an appetizer or bottle of wine to share with everyone! I made a couple appetizers just in case everyone only brought wine (which is fine by me too). I made queso and my cocktail franks which are two really easy and fast dishes to make.

1 box Velveeta
1 can Rotel (we use the hot version at our house)

Directions: In a double broiler melt Velveeta. Once Velveeta is mostly melted add Rotel. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.

Cocktail Franks:
1 package of cocktail franks
1 package bacon
brown sugar

Directions: Cut bacon strips into thirds. Wrap one third of bacon around each cocktail frank and place onto baking sheet (covered with wax paper). Sprinkle lots of brown sugar over bacon. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30-45 minutes or until bacon is fully cooked and crispy.

I forgot to take pictures last night (but I'll get some next time)!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Roast Beef with Cheddar and Blue Cheese Butter

My husband got a Grilled Cheese cookbook for Christmas and made us some right away. Can't wait to try more of these recipes in the future.

For the jam:
2 tablespoons of salted butter
1 medium onion (about 1/2 pound) thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar

2 ounces blue cheese
2 tablespoons salted butter
8 slices sourdough bread (1/4 inch thick)
1/4 pound cooked roast beef, thinly sliced
6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated

To make the jam: in a large nonstick skillet, melt the salted butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are lighly golden, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are a deep golden color, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the salt and brown sugar, and stir until the sugar has dissolved and the onions look glazed, about 1 minute. Remove the onions from the pan and let cool. (The jam can be prepared up to 6 hours in advance and kept covered at room temperature.)

In a small bowl mash the butter and blue cheese together.

To assemble: Spread the blue cheese butter on one side of each slice of bread. Place 4 slices on your work surface, buttered side down. Distribute the roast beef evenly over the 4 slices, folowed by the cheddar cheese. Spoon on the jam, and top with the remaining 4 bread slices, buttered side up.

Make on the stove top or in a sandwich maker.



We had this for dinner tonight and Xavier liked it! I think this originally came from a combination of recipes in my mom's huge recipe box and I've tweaked it.

Vegetables (I use broccoli, red onion, zucchini, yellow squash, and red bell pepper)
Diced meat (ham or turkey)
4 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 c. Bisquick
salt, pepper, dash of ground mustard

Saute vegetables and drain if needed. Layer vegetables and meat in the bottom of glass pan (The one I use is a little smaller than 9x13).

Mix together the rest of the ingredients. Pour over the vegetables and meat in the pan. Top with shredded cheese (1-2 cups, depending on how you like it).

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

(As I typed this, I realize that this is not exactly specific...sorry. That's kind of the way I cook a lot of times!)

Reuben Dip

We love reubens at our house so this dip just sounds amazing!
This crockpot Reuben dip recipe has our favorite Reuben sandwich ingredients.

1 cup sauerkraut, drained
1 (8 oz.) cream cheese
1 (6 oz.) shredded Swiss cheese
6 ounces diced corned beef
2 tbsp. Thousand Island Dressing

Preparation:Drain and rinse sauerkraut, mix with cream cheese and Swiss cheese. Add diced corned beef and Thousand Island dressing. Cover and heat on low until cheeses are melted, stirring occasionally to blend all ingredients. Serve warm with crackers or cocktail rye bread.

Let me know what ya'll think!
Jamie M.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Taco Soup

I first had this soup in college when I went to my roommate's house for Christmas. Not quite as healthy, but really good! We made it with 2% Velveeta over Christmas and that worked just fine. I usually add extra Rotel tomatoes to make it spicier and a little less thick.

Taco Soup
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 large onion
1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, drained
1 can (14.5 oz) stewed tomatos
1 can (10 oz.) Rotel tomatos
1 lb. Velveeta, cubed
1 can (10 oz) chili without beans
Salt, pepper, garlic powder

Serve with Chili cheese flavor Fritos.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I just made this and another soup this weekend to stock up my refrigerator for lunches for the week. This recipe was in the USA Weekend magazine last year and it is really good and really healthy for you and really fast to make! I use Rotel tomotoes to replace some of the crushed ones so then I can leave out the cans of green chilies.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 medium-large onions, cut into medium dice
4 large garlic cloves, minced
4 tsps. chili powder
2 tsps. dried oregano
2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes (try fire-roasted)
1 quart chicken broth
1 16-ounce package frozen corn
2 4-ounce cans green chilies, chopped
2 15.5-ounce cans black beans
4 cups shredded, cooked chicken
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Tortilla chips, to serve

Heat oil in large soup kettle over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Add garlic cloves, chili powder and oregano; sauté 1 minute longer.

Add tomatoes, broth, corn, chilies, beans and chicken; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, to blend flavors, about 20 minutes.

Stir in cilantro; let stand a couple of minutes. (After cooling, the soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.) Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Chickpea Pasta with Almonds and Parmesan

I made this recipe tonight because I knew I had a can of chickpeas in my cabinet that I hadn't used. And then I was halfway done making it and I realized I had given them to a food drive. I'm glad we live next to the grocery store!

This is from Real Simple magazine and it was pretty decent. Matt ate a lot even though it didn't even have meat involved! It doesn't need 7 cups of broth (maybe 6?) and I used only 4 cups of broth and the rest water so it would be a little less salty. We made it with whole wheat pasta and added extra red pepper because we like it spicy. Xavier liked the chickpeas!

Chickpea Pasta with Almonds and Parmesan
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
7 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
1 pound angel hair pasta
1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup unsalted roasted almonds, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the broth, red pepper, and 3/4 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil.

Add the pasta and cook, stirring, until the broth is nearly absorbed and the pasta is al dente, about 6 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas and parsley.

Divide among individual bowls and top with the almonds and Parmesan.