Thursday, February 28, 2013

Chicken Skillet Casserole

Cookbook Recipe #38

I had a hard time this week trying to pick out a cookbook recipe. Nothing was really jumping out at me. I saw this recipe in my Mexican Cooking cookbook and thought it sounded easy. It doesn't really strike me as Mexican food, but whatever, I figured I would try it. The original recipe called to use taco seasoning for the spices but I was using chili ready tomatoes that already had seasoning. Then I added garlic powder, cumin and chili powder. Phil really liked this dish, but I would say it is one of my least favorite that I have made so far. It is definitely a good quick recipe though. I made it in under 15 minutes which is always nice to have one of those up your sleeve when you are in a hurry.

Chicken Skillet Casserole 
Adapted from Mexican Cooking Cookbook

1 cup frozen broccoli
1 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup frozen peppers
1 14oz can chili ready diced tomatoes
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

 In a large skillet add all ingredients except cheese.

Bring to a boil over medium high heat.

Cover and cook for 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Top with cheese. Cover and cook again for 2 minutes.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Asian Chicken Wonton Tacos

 I saw a recipe for BBQ Chicken Wonton Tacos from Alaska From Scratch Blog. I really liked the idea and wanted to replicate them, but with my own twist. I really liked the Oriental Slaw I made a while back and have wanted to try making Moo Shu Chicken, so I thought I would marry the two. I have been all over rotisserie chicken lately. I get one, shred it up and put it in bags in the freezer for when I need shredded chicken. I pulled some out of the freezer for this recipe which made putting this together a breeze. I would definitly suggest it. For some reason in my brain I thought these tacos seemed like they were going to be bigger. They were mini tacos I will just say. Maybe eggroll wrappers would work better to get a bigger taco. They were really good though. Something fun and different which I always like.

Asian Chicken Wonton Tacos
Adapted from, and Alaska From Scratch

2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1/2 cup plum sauce
Wonton Wrapppers

1 Cup olive oil
1/2 Cup sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
2 Packages seasoning from ramen noodles
1 Pound coleslaw mix
2 Packages Oriental ramen noodles

Prepare dressing at least and hour before you want to serve.

Mix ramen noodles and coleslaw mix into dressing.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Using a baking dish, drape wonton wrappers over sides of dish diagonally. Bake for 4-5 minutes.

While wontons are baking, in a skillet over medium heat, add chicken and plum sauce. Heat for 2-3 minutes.

Assemble tacos and enjoy!

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad

I have the worst time with lunches on the weekends. During the week at work I usually have leftovers or order out. So I am always trying to figure out something other than soup or mac and cheese.  I have recently decided that I like chicken salad. But not of the regular variety. I am not a big fan of mayonnaise  I used to not be able to get near it or I would gag. I worked in a grocery store through college and broke a couple containers when they were in the glass jars. The smell would make me nauseated. But I have since gotten over that. I am able to put it in dips and lightly on a sandwich, but definitely not as a main sauce yet. So I use Greek yogurt instead. Which is kind of a win win, because we are trying to eat better when we can and Greek yogurt is better for you. I think this is my new go to lunch when I am home.

Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad

2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1 (5oz) container plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup chopped celery, leaves included
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Mix all ingredients into a bowl thoroughly.

Serve on bread.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Granola Yogurt Parfait

Cookbook Recipe #37

Phil and I both like to have a little dessert once and awhile after dinner. We try to keep dessert as healthy as possible so we do not have to feel bad about having it. We will get frozen yogurt once in awhile, the Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches, smoothies and parfaits. I know a lot of people have parfaits for breakfast but we like it as a dessert as well. I think they are such a refreshing dessert. I feel like you do not feel gross after eating it because it seems light. I saw this recipe when looking though my cookbooks the other day and thought it would be a good one to post for my cookbook recipe of the week.  I added some honey to the granola which was good but it made clusters really quick and was hard to spread out.  It was good though, just kind of a pain. Parfaits photograph really well too. Although I need to figure out a better way to take pictures where the items are on levels in my kitchen. I do not have much of a blank slate wall space where the lighting is good. So you always tend to see my crazy full pantry or my washing machine. Oh well......They still look nice even with the pantry in the background.

Granola Yogurt Parfait
Adapted from Young and Hungry by Dave Lieberman

2 tablespoons honey

Mix honey into granola.

Layer berries, granola and yogurt of your choice in a dish.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Chicken Tamale Bake

I saw this recipe and knew it would be something Phil would like. I was right! It tastes very much like a tamale, just in a casserole form. The cornbread gets to the consistency of the tamale when baked with all the ingredients on top of it. I changed up the original recipe that I got from Let's Dish Recipes Blog, by adding black beans. I feel like any type of Mexican food I make anymore I add black beans to anymore. I absolutely love them. If you are in the mood for a stick to your ribs casserole this is a good one to make.

Chicken Tamale Bake
Adapted from Let's Dish Recipes

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded  Monterrey jack cheese
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 14oz can creamed corn
1 8oz box corn muffin mix
1 can chopped green chiles
1 10oz can red enchilada sauce
1 cup canned black beans
2 cups cooked chicken

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spray and 9 x 13 inch baking dish with non stick cooking spray.

Combine cheeses in a bowl.

In a large bowl mix 1/4 cup of combined cheeses, creamed corn milk, corn bread mix, egg, red pepper and cumin.  Pour into prepared baking pan.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until just set.

Top with enchilada sauce. Top with shredded chicken, black beans, green chiles and cheese.

Bake an additional 15 minutes.

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Beef Wellington

Happy Valentines Day! So many holidays this week, I like that, excuses to make fun stuff. I got this recipe for beef wellington from the Taste of Home. As I have said before, my mother-in-law and I go to the Taste of Home Cooking Show every year, and this is one of the recipes they made a couple of years ago. Beef wellington always seemed like such a challenging dish to make, but at the cooking show they made it seem super easy. And there is no scary pate on it either. The filet came out a little more done that I would have liked, but it was still really tender so the flavor was still great. Next time I will cook it a little less and use a thermometer to check the temperature partway through. I have always had a hard time cooking steak. I think medium is tough to get. I either go way under or over. But combined with the puff pastry and mushroom is hard not to be good. It was a great Valentine's dinner.

Beef Wellington
Adapted from the Taste of Home

2 beef tenderloin steaks
4 tablespoons of butter, divided
1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
8 oz sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons flour
1 10oz can beef consomme
3 tablespoons port wine

In a medium skillet brown steaks in 2 tablespoons of butter for 2 minutes per side.

On a lightly floured surface roll puff pastry into a 14 x 9 inch rectangle. Cut into two 7 inch squares.

Place steak in center of each square. Brush edges of pastry with water. Bring all corners together in the middle of each steak and pinch shut.

Place in a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Brush puff pastry with egg.

Bake for 25 minutes or until desired doneness.

Meanwhile, in the same skillet, saute the mushrooms in remaining 2 tablespoons of butter for 5 minutes.

Combine flour and beef consomme in a small bowl until smooth. Stir into mushroom mixture. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in wine and cook another 2 minutes. Pour mushroom gravy over steak.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mardi Gras Gumbo

Happy belated Fat Tuesday! In honor of Mardi Gras I decided to make some gumbo. Last year I made gumbo from scratch and it took over two hours. I didn't feel like waiting until 9 o'clock to eat dinner tonight so I took a short cut. At a grocery chain around here called Meijer they had a roux starter in a jar. The roux is the part that takes the longest to develop the flavors when making gumbo. The starter I do not believe has the depth of flavor that making it from scratch does, but it works when you do not want to spend all day making it. It is a little strange because the roux in a jar is like a thick mud and hard to get out. But it will dissolve into the liquid so do not worry.

 I used the recipe that is on the back of the jar with a few deletions and additions. I use a Holy Duo and not the Holy Trinity of pepper, celery, onion....I take out the onion of course. This recipe makes a ton, as it calls for 3 quarts of water. I used one quart of chicken stock for a little more flavor, and the rest water. I also served the gumbo with a sweet potato because that is what some of our family friends that were from Louisiana served when they made us gumbo growing up.

Mardi Gras Gumbo
Adapted from Bootsies Cajun and Creole Roux

2 chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces
2 links andouille sausage, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 pound shrimp, peeled, and deveined
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 jar Bootsies Cajun and Creole Roux
2 ribs celery, diced
1 green pepper diced
1 tablespoon garlic
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
Cajun seasoning, to taste
4 cups chicken broth
8 cups water

Bring water and chicken broth to a boil in a large dutch oven.

In a skillet heat olive oil over medium heat and saute pepper, celery and garlic. Add roux and dissolve.

Once liquid is boiling add roux mixture. Add remaining ingredients besides shrimp and simmer for 1 hour.

The last 3 minutes add shrimp.

Serve over rice and with a sweet potato.

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Chinese New Year

Cookbook Recipe #36

Happy New Year! Today is the Chinese New Year. It is the year of the snake. People born in the year of the snake are said to be determined, sophisticated and calm. For the Chinese New Year I made a couple of dishes: Chicken Fried Quinoa and Pot Sticker Dumplings. The pot sticker dumplings recipe is from the Quick and Easy Chinese Cookbook. I got this cookbook for our wedding from one of our friends. I absolutely love Chinese food and have a few Chinese cookbooks but always get a little intimidated when it comes to cooking the food. I have made dumplings before so I thought this would be a good recipe to make. They came out really good and tasted very similar to dumplings at a Chinese restaurant. They were also very easy to make, just like in the title of the cookbook. That does not happen very often. Mostly when it comes to putting things together. It always says on the box: "easy to install" "easy assembly" YEA RIGHT! This was one of the rare occasions that it actually was easy to make.

I also make Chicken Fried Quinoa. Quinoa is such a big thing right now. I have seen many recipes on fellow bloggers websites in the last year. Switching out rice for quinoa. I found this recipe from Never Trust a Skinny Cook's blog. It came out really good. I added a few things to it. Any fried rice dish I have had always has eggs, so I added that to the recipe as well as some sesame oil, as I love the nuttiness of it. Next time I make this dish I will probably saute the chicken in some sort of sauce as the chicken was a little bland. But all in all it was a good substitute for a healthier fried rice.

Pot Sticker Dumplings
Adapted from Quick and Easy Chinese

1 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup chopped cabbage
36 wonton wrappers
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Saute chopped cabbage in a skillet over medium heat for a few minutes.

Then add all ingredients besides oil, chicken broth and wonton wrappers in a large bowl and mix well.

Fill a small bowl with water and set aside.

Scoop about 1 teaspoon filling onto the middle of a wonton wrapper. Dip your fingers in water and moisten the edges of the wrapper. Fold wonton in half and pinch top edges together to make a tight seal. Try to squeeze out any air bubbles that may form. Continue until all wontons are done.

In a large skillet heat up olive oil over medium heat. Place dumplings in skillet. Press down so that they are sitting upright. (cook in batches if necessary). Cook for 2-3 minutes until bottoms have a nice browning on them. Then add the chicken broth to the skillet and cover. Steam for 8 minutes.

Remove lid and cook another 2 minutes.

Mix soy sauce and sesame oil to make the sauce.

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Chicken Fried Quinoa
Adapted from Never Trust a Skinny Cook

2-3 chicken breasts, cooked
Assorted frozen vegetables ( I used peas, carrots, sugar snap peas)
1 can mushrooms, drained
1 1/2 cups rinsed quinoa
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 eggs

Bring chicken broth, sesame oil and soy sauce to a boil.

Add quinoa and reduce heat. Simmer, covered for 10-15 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed.

Add frozen veggies of your choice and mushrooms. Cook until veggies are cooked through, about 3-5 minutes.

Meanwhile, scramble eggs in a separate skillet. Break apart into small pieces.

Add chicken and eggs into quinoa.

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Green Beans Gremolata

As promised here is the green beans gremolata recipe that I made a few weeks ago with the chicken and mushrooms. This week I served the beans with Guy Fieri's Cajun Pork Loin. If you have not gotten any of Guy's pre-packaged meat at Target you should definitely do so. He has Carne Asada, Cajun Pork Loin, Tri Tip and a chicken for sure. Not sure what else he has but they are packed with a lot of flavor. Back to the beans. I really really like this dish. It has great presentation and a lot of flavor. It would be good for a fancy dinner as well just because it looks so nice on the plate. I love the flavor that the toasted pine nuts and lemon give this dish. This time around I did not have a lemon so I just used lemon juice, but I am putting the lemon zest in the recipe below.

Green Beans Gremolata
Adapted from Ina Garten

1 pound green beans, trimmed
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon dried parsley
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

Bring a pot of water to boil. Add beans and blanch for 4 minutes.

Drain beans in a colander and immediatley put in ice water to stop the cooking.

Meanwhile toss garlic, lemon zest, parsley, parmesan and pine nuts in a bowl and set aside.

When ready to serve heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Drain the beans and pat dry. Add beans to pan and season with salt and pepper. Saute for 4-5 minutes.

Off heat add parmesan mixture.

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Wings

Cookbook Recipe #35

There can't be a Super Bowl without chicken wings! I heard on the radio that over 1 billion chicken wings are eaten on Super Bowl Sunday so apparently I am not the only one that believes this. I have never made homemade buffalo wings before. Probably because I still get a little nervous when it comes to deep frying. I have done it once, I believe, since I started the blog. So yea, I am still a little nervous. I decided to use my Fry Daddy because it heats up the oil much faster than on the stove. Let me tell you, homemade buffalo wings are awesome! So much better then from the freezer aisle, which I suspected they would be. And not near as daunting as I thought. The sauce would just the right hotness for me as well. I am not a big fan of super spicy, where my mouth is so numb I don't even want to finish eating. I have been craving a good buffalo wing lately and this did the trick!

Buffalo Chicken Wings
From the Mealtime Express Cookbook 

24 chicken wings
4 cups vegetable oil for frying
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 cup Frank's Red Hot

Preheat vegetable oil to 375 degrees. 

Cut tips off wings and discard. Then cut into two parts at the joint to get a wing and a drum. 

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.

Cook wings in batches for 10 minutes eat. Stirring occasionally.

Remove wings from oil and allow to drain on paper towels. 

Meanwhile, melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in hot sauce and vinegar. 

Place wings on a plate and drizzle with sauce. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Slow Cooker Chicken and Bean Burritos

I really need to use my slow cooker more. I love being able to toss everything into the pot and let it go. It is hard to use during the week though because I start work pretty early. So I generally only use it on the weekends. Phil and I wanted to go see a movie today so this was perfect. I put this recipe together, we went to the movies and ran a couple errands, came back and dinner was ready.

I got a Campbell's Soup day by day recipe calendar this year and this was one of the recipes. I have never used Campbell's cheddar cheese soup for anything before. It was really good in this recipe. Using boneless skinless chicken thighs in the slow cooker is always a good idea too, because they do not dry out as fast as chicken breasts do. You could always spice this up too by adding in some green chilies. I will for sure be making this one again.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Bean Burritos
Adapted from Campbell's

1 can (10 3/4oz) Campbell's Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 can (14oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14oz) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
Whole Wheat Tortillas
Chopped Lettuce

Mix soup, garlic powder, chili powder and chicken in a slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.

Mash the black beans and pinto beans and stir into chicken mixture.

Spoon mixture down center of a tortilla.

Top with lettuce and salsa.

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