Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Amazing Chicken Rollups

12 oz - cooked and shredded chicken
1 cup - shredded colby jack cheese
1/4 cup - chopped bell peppers
1 cup - corn
2 green onions chopped
1/3 cup - salsa
1 cup - sour cream
1 tablespoon - cumin
1 salt and pepper to taste
4 clove - minced garlic
1/3 cup - vegetable oil

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Mix everything together except 2 of the cloves of garlic and the oil.
  3. Put the oil and remaining cloves in a pan and heat over medium heat. After heating, remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. Roll chicken mixture in tortillas and place in a 9x13 pan. Brush with the garlic oil and bake until brown.
Notes: I had a hard time getting a good photo, but these were tasty. Obviously I topped mine with salsa, but the source also recommends a dipping sauce. I feel like we've had similar things in the past.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Southwestern Egg Rolls

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Olive oil
4 teaspoons taco seasoning, divided
1 cup corn
1/2 cup black beans (from the can, drained and rinsed)
1/2 to 1 can chopped green chiles
2 Tablespoons red pepper chopped
8 oz Monterey Jack cheese
Wonton wrappers (the larger size)
Peanut or vegetable oil

  1. Fill a large pot with about 3 inches of oil. Heat it to about 375 (the oil will drop to 350 once you put the wontons in).
  2. Season chicken with 2 teaspoons of taco seasoning.
  3. Heat olive oil and a skillet and add the chicken. Cook until no longer pink. Remove and set aside to cool.
  4. In the same skillet that you cooked the chicken in, add the corn, black beans and chiles.
  5. Season with 2 teaspoons of taco seasoning. Cook on medium low for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  6. Finely chop the cooled chicken. Stir the chicken into the cooled vegetable mixture. Add the cheese and mix everything together.
  7. Take 1 wonton wrapper and place it in front of you so it looks like a diamond. Dip your finger in water and run it around the edges of the wrapper. Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of mixture in the middle of the wonton. Take the bottom tip and fold it over the mixture and tuck it around the mixture. Fold both side in so it resembles an envelope. Then roll flap around and seal with more water. Store seam side down until ready to fry.
  8. Carefully drop 3 or 4 wontons at a time into hot oil seam side down. Fry for about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.
Notes: Makes about 14. I really enjoyed these. Southwestern flavors are among my favorite. I will certainly be requesting them again. There a couple of dipping sauce recipes at the source link.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Avgolemono (Greek Style Chicken Soup)

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup carrot, shredded
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 cups water
2 cans (14 oz. each) fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
8 egg yolks
2 cups cooked white rice
2 cups cooked chicken breast meat, diced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Lemon slices, for garnish

  1. In large stock pot, heat oil, and saute onion, celery, and carrot, for 2 minutes on medium-high until translucent. Add water, chicken broth, lemon juice, lemon zest, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Beat egg yolks until light in color. Gradually add a ladle or two of hot soup to egg yolks to temper. Add egg-soup mixture back in the soup pot slowly, stirring constantly. Add rice and chicken, and heat for additional 5 minutes (ensuring chicken has reached a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees F). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Serve in bowls with lemon slices as garnish. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Notes: Serves 8. I thought this was quite tasty.

Source: Kroger coupon book that we got in the mail last week.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Baked Cavatelli

7 oz dried cavatelli or wagon wheel macaroni (about 2 1/3 cups)
12 oz uncooked Italian sausage links, sliced 1/2 inch thick, or lean ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 26-oz jar pasta sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 oz)
1/4 tsp black pepper

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; set aside.
  2. In a large skillet cook the sausage, onion, and garlic until sausage is brown; remove from skillet. Drain.
  3. In a large bowl stir together pasta sauce, 3/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese, and the pepper. Add the cooked pasta and the sausage mixture. Stir gently to combine. Spoon the mixture into a 2-quart casserole.
  4. Bake, uncovered, in a 375 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until nearly heated through. Uncover; sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese. Bake about 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted.
Notes: We couldn't find cavatelli at our grocery store. We used home-made pasta sauce and a combination of ground beef and ground sausage that we needed to use up. This was still really good. It seems that you could have a lot of variety with this recipe by trying different kinds of pasta sauce.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens 12th Edition Cook Book

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Farmer's Casserole

Nonstick cooking spray
3 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers or shredded cheddar cheese (3 oz)
1 cup diced cooked ham or Canadian-style bacon
1/4 cup sliced green onions (2)
4 beaten eggs
1 1/2 cups milk or one 12-oz can evaporated milk
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

  1. Coat a 2-quart square baking dish non-stick cooking spray. Arrange potatoes evenly in the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with cheese, ham, and green onions.
  2. In a bowl combine eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour egg mixture over potato mixture.
  3. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before servings.
Notes: Makes 6 servings. This is from several months ago and to be honest I'm not entirely sure if this is the right recipe for the photo. It looks like we used sausage instead of ham and didn't add any green onions.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens 12th Edition Cook Book 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Easy Crockpot Fajitas

3 Peppers (Green, Red & Yellow), sliced
1 Onion, sliced
Toppings - sour cream, cheese, guacamole, etc.

Chicken Fajitas
1 Package of Taco Seasoning
Flour or corn tortillas

Beef Fajitas
1 1/2 - 2 lbs thin sliced beef, cut in strips
1 packet fajita seasoning

  1. Slice peppers and onions then place them on the bottom of the crock pot
  2. Put chicken or beef on top of peppers and onions
  3. Sprinkle seasoning packet on the top.
  4. Cook on low for 6-8 hrs (or high for 3-4) for chicken. Add 1-2 hours for beef.
  5. For chicken: it may look burnt but it's just crispy. Shred chicken up and mix in the juice.
  6. Serve with tortillas and all the toppings - sour cream, guacamole, cheese, lettuce, etc.
Notes: One straight month of posts! I cheated a little and combined 2 recipes from the source into one for this post. We had the chicken variety with sliced rather than shredded chicken. Brittany made homemade tortillas! Very tasty. If you prefer crispy veggies then you should probably wait until the last little while to add them (there is a comment on the beef fajita page linked below that says the last 20 minutes - I'm not sure if that would be long enough).

Source: eat at home chicken / beef

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Take-Out Fake-Out Beef and Broccoli

1 lb. boneless, beef chuck roast, sliced into thin strips
1 cup beef consomme or beef broth
½ cup low sodium soy sauce
⅓ cup dark brown sugar
1 tbsp. sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. cornstarch
4 tbsp. sauce (from the crockpot after dish is cooked)
Frozen broccoli florets (as many as desired)
White rice, cooked

  1. In the crockpot, whisk together beef consomme, soy sauce, dark brown sugar, sesame oil, and garlic.
  2. Gently place your slices of beef in the liquid and toss to coat.
  3. Turn crockpot on low and cook for 4 to 6 hours.
  4. When done, in a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and cooking liquid to create a slurry, pour into crockpot, stir to mix well. 
  5. Toss in broccoli florets.
  6. Cook on low for an additional 30 minutes to thicken up the sauce.
  7. Serve hot over white rice.
Notes: I really enjoyed how this beef turned out. See the source for better photos.

Source: Table for Two

Monday, October 6, 2014

One Pot Cheesy Smoked Sausage & Pasta Skillet

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb Hillshire Farm Smoked Turkey Sausage, sliced
1 cup diced onion
1 Tbsp minced garlic (about two fresh cloves)
2 cups Chicken Broth
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup milk or heavy cream
8 oz dry pasta (any small pasta will do)
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
1 cup shredded Cheddar-Jack cheese
1/3 cup chopped scallions, for garnish

  1. Add olive oil to a 4-5 quart saute pan over medium high heat. Add onions and sausage and cook until lightly browned. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
  2. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, milk, pasta, and seasonings. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
  3. Turn off the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of cheese. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and cover for about five minutes to allow cheese to melt. Top with sliced scallions and serve.
  4. Makes about 4 servings.
Notes: Another tasty sausage recipe.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Southwestern-Style Chicken Burgers

1 slightly beaten egg
1/4 c. finely crushed nacho-flavored or plain tortilla chips
3 Tbsp. finely chopped green sweet pepper
3/4 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 lb. uncooked ground chicken (we used ground turkey)
2 oz. Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers, sliced
4 kaiser rolls or hamburger buns, split and toasted
1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled, and sliced
4 lettuce leaves
1/4 c. bottled salsa

  1. In a medium bowl combine egg, tortilla chips, sweet pepper, chili powder, salt, and black pepper. Add chicken; mix well. (Mixture will be wet.) Shape chicken mixture into four 3/4-inch-thick round patties.
  2. Place patties on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 4 inches from heat for 14 to 18 minutes or until no longer pink and an instant-read thermometer  registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit, turning once halfway through broiling time. Top burgers with cheese. Broil for 1 minutes more or until cheese melts.
  3. Serve burgers on toasted rolls; top with avocado, lettuce, and salsa.
Notes: These were really, really tasty! We used ground turkey, since that is what we were able to find at our local grocery store. I am sure these burgers would be really good with chicken, too. We had plain tortilla chips, but I am interested in trying this recipe again with nacho-flavored tortilla chips.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, 12th edition.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Rotini and Sweet Pepper Primavera

14 ounces asparagus spears
8 ounces dried rotini or gemelli (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 large red or yellow sweet pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup halved baby pattypan squash or sliced yellow summer squash
1 10-ounce container refrigerated light Alfredo sauce (we used homemade Alfredo)
2 tablespoons snipped fresh tarragon or thyme
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Fresh tarragon (optional)

  1.  Snap off and discard woody bases from asparagus spears. Bias-slice asparagus into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, adding asparagus, sweet pepper, and squash to pasta the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain. Return pasta and vegetable mixture to hot saucepan.
  3. Meanwhile, for sauce, in a small saucepan combine Alfredo sauce, the 2 tablespoons tarragon, and red pepper. Cook and stir over medium heat about 5 minutes or until heated through. Pour sauce over pasta and vegetable mixture; stir gently to coat. If desired, garnish with fresh tarragon.
 Notes: Tasty and quick!

Source: Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, 12th edition.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Pumpkin Parmesan Empanadas

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
9 Tbsp well chilled shortening, in small chunks
2/3 to 1 cup milk
Vegetable oil

1 Tbsp shortening
1 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves or 1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
3/4 tsp salt
1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2/3 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Combine flour, sugar and salt in food processor. Add shortening. Cover and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pulse while adding milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, just until dough holds together when pressed into a ball. Shape into 3 round disks. Wrap in plastic. Chill 30 minutes or up to 2 days.

For filling: Heat shortening in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion. Cook 7 minutes or until tender. Stir in brown sugar, thyme and salt until evenly blended. Stir in pumpkin, ricotta cheese and Parmesan cheese.

Heat 1-inch deep vegetable oil to 350 degrees F in large skillet over medium heat. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each to a 6-inch circle on lightly floured surface. Brush edges with water. Spoon 1/4 cup pumpkin mixture onto each circle. Fold dough in half to cover filling. Press edges with fork to seal.

Cook empanadas in hot oil 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown, turning halfway through cooking time. Drain on paper towels. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Notes: Makes 12 empanadas. I love pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin bars, and pumpkin cookies, and I more or less lived on empanadas while I was a missionary in Paraguay, so when I saw this recipe I really wanted to try it. I was not disappointed - liked these a lot. Having said that, though, the crust was completely different than any I ever had in South America. It was flaky and more like a pie crust. Brittany said she will probably use this crust recipe the next time she makes Natchitoches Meat Pie.

Source: This recipe was attached to a large bottle of Crisco vegetable oil that we bought a while ago.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Cajun Pasta Supper

8 oz. Italian sausage, casings removed and crumbled
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 (14 1/2 oz) can stewed or diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (4.6 oz) package PASTA RONI Garlic and Olive Oil with Vermicelli
8 oz uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tsp Cajun or Creole seasoning*
* Substitute: 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp garlic salt, 1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves, and 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

  1. Cook and stir sausage and bell pepper in large skillet over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes or until sausage is browned. Drain fat. Remove from skillet; set aside.
  2. Add 1 1/2 cups water and tomatoes to same skillet; bring to a boil. Stir in pasta, Special Seasonings packet, shrimp and Cajun season; return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Gently boil uncovered 8 to 10 minutes or until pasta is tender and shrimp turn pink, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in sausage mixture; cook 1 to 2 minutes longer or until heated through.
Notes: Serves 4. Like Homestyle Southwest Skillet that I posted last month, this is Pasta Roni with add-ins. We don't really like shrimp so we had it with just sausage, but I still liked it.

Source: I cut this off the side of a Pasta Roni box several years ago when I was in college.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Malibu Chicken

4 chicken breasts
5 egg yolks
3 Tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
8 thinly sliced pieces of ham
4 slices of swiss cheese

Malibu Dipping Sauce
2 Tablespoons Grey Poupon mustard
3 Tablespoons mayo
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon honey


  1. Combine egg yolk and garlic and pour into plastic bag. Place chicken inside bag, seal shut making sure no extra air is inside, and make sure the chicken gets coated with egg yolk/garlic mixture. Place in fridge and marinate chicken for 4 hours.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix panko, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper and dump evenly in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
  3. Remove chicken from bag place chicken in baking dish. Coat the chicken with mixture and bake at 350 degrees F and depending on the size of your chicken breasts cook for 40 minutes to one hour or until chicken is cooked through. Monitor it starting at about 40 minutes. 
  4. Place one slice of ham and once slice of swiss cheese over the top of each piece of chicken and bake addition two minutes until cheese is melted.

Malibu Dipping Sauce
Combine Grey Poupon mustard, mayo, yellow mustard and honey in a small bowl. Stir to make sure all ingredients are evenly combined. Use to dip chicken in.

Notes: Tasty! Much better photos at the source.