Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Delight

I made this dessert last weekend and it was a big hit!  If you love things that are chocolaty, and creamy and delicious you should give this a try!  The recipe says to refrigerate it for 8 hours or overnight.  I didn't have the patience for that so mine only refrigerated for about four hours before I dug into it and it was pretty darn good.  I noticed the next day though that the cookie on the bottom was quite a bit softer.  So if you like a softer cookie you may want to refrigerate it over night.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Delight
via Dainty Chef via Taste of Home

What you'll need:
1 tube (16-1/2 ounces) refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 carton (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
3 cups cold milk
1 package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate pudding mix
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
Chopped nuts and chocolate curls, optional
What you'll do:
Let cookie dough stand at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to soften. Press into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 14-16 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Fold in 1-3/4 cups whipped topping. Spread over crust. In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes; let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Spread over cream cheese layer. Top with remaining whipped topping. Sprinkle with nuts and chocolate curls if desired.
Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight until firm

Monday, August 29, 2011

Easy Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti

I made this for dinner last night and we loved it!  If you love things that are creamy and cheesy (and who doesn't?) then this recipe is for you!

The recipe calls for four ounces of Velveeta but says you can use more.  I'm a little ashamed to admit it, but I think I used about 8 oz. of cheese and it was a bit much.  Next time I make this I think I'll try being less of a glutton and just use 4 oz.  It was so delicious.  I was sad there wasn't any leftover.

Chicken Spaghetti

2 c. cooked and shredded chicken
3 c. cooked spaghetti
4 oz. Velveeta {or more}, melted
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can green chilies {or a can of tomatoes with green chilies}
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Mix altogether and pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle the top with some shredded cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 min. or until bubbly.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Graham Cracker S'mores Candy

These are so good!  I found the recipe for them here.  They have all the flavor of s'mores with a little something extra.  They are also really simple and easy to make.  Their only downfall is that they are pretty messy.  And addicting!  But it's worth it!

S'mores Cracker Candy

12 sheets of graham crackers
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 cups mini marshmallows
4 Hershey bars, broken into pieces
1 cup milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 15x10x1-inch jelly roll pan with aluminum foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang over the ends, and spray foil with cooking spray. Line graham crackers up on the foil so that the sides are touching.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and mixture comes just to a boil (about 4-6 minutes). Remove from heat and pour evenly over crackers. Bake 5 to 6 minutes, or until bubbly.

Remove pan from oven and immediately sprinkle mini marshmallows, chocolate bar pieces, and chocolate chips over the crackers. 

Return pan to oven for another 2-3 minutes, or until marshmallows begin to soften and puff up. 

Cool completely. Lift from pan using foil edges; cut into bars and enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bubble Up Enchiladas

This is another recipe I got from Plain Chicken.  I really love her recipes.  This one made me so happy for so many reasons.  It was so simple to throw together which I love for a quick, weeknight dinner.  With this recipe you basically throw everything in a pan, then transfer to a baking dish and bake it.  I used 93/7 ground beef so I didn't even need to drain it!  I love that!  The smell as this was baking was seriously heavenly and when I opened the oven to take it out I was speechless. 

I think next time I might add beans and corn to this but it is pretty delicious as is!

Bubble Up Enchiladas

1 lb lean ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
8 oz tomato sauce
10 oz can enchilada sauce
1 can refrigerated biscuits (I used Mini Grands)
2 cups Mexican Cheese blend

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown lean ground beef in a large skillet and drain off fat. Add the taco seasoning, enchilada sauce, tomato sauce and 1 cup of cheese. Stir to combine.

Cut the refrigerated biscuits into fourths and stir them in the meat mixture.

Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray and add the meat/biscuit mixture. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chicken and Dressing Casserole

Here is a recipe I tried last week.  It was another good one, for sure!  I served it with sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce.  It was like Thanksgiving in August!  And the best part is that the leftovers were really good too!

I cooked the chicken over the weekend which made putting it together during the week quicker.

The only thing I think I'd do differently next time is to add another box of stuffing to the top.  I looove Stove Top and it seemed to shrink up and disappear a little bit. 

Chicken and Dressing Casserole
Via Eat at Home

3 cups of cooked chicken, approximately
1 box of cornbread stuffing mix
1 can chicken broth
3 Tbs. butter
1 1/3 cups milk
1 can cream of chicken soup

Put the chicken in the bottom of a baking dish (13×9 or nearly that size). In a large bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Add the chicken broth and stir in the stuffing mix. Set aside while you mix the milk and cream soup together in a separate bowl. Pour the milk/soup mixture over the chicken. Top with the stuffing mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to one hour.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan ~ Week of Aug. 22, 2011

This will be week three of school.  The last couple weeks have not been easy.  Extremely large class sizes and major increases in expectations seems to mean endless work.  All I have to say is two weeks is too early to be burned out!  I am hoping for things settling soon and for calmer days ahead.

Here is what we're having for dinner this week.

Sunday - Bacon Ranch Slow Cooker Chicken
Monday - Meatloaf, roasted potatoes, green beans
Tuesday - Creamy Lemon Pesto Linguini
Wednesday - Bubble Up Enchiladas
Thursday - Parmesan Fettuccini (didn't end up making it last week)
Friday- Take out
Saturday - Take out

Have a good week everyone!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bacon Ranch Slow Cooker Chicken

We had this for dinner tonight and it was a big success!  I always know when a recipe is a success if the hubs and my little Muffin like it because they are such picky eaters! 

As with most crock pot meals, it was really quick to throw together.  My favorite thing about this meal is that if you use one of those wonderful crock pot liners, clean up is minimal! 

I had frozen bscb so I cooked it on low for about six hours instead of on high for 3.5.  I also used precooked bacon and just broke it up into pieces before adding it to the crock pot.  Cause I'm lazy like that.  Finally, I used reduced fat sour cream instead of fat free and I used pene pasta instead of rigatoni. 

Bacon Ranch Slowcooker Chicken
Via Kelly's Healthified Kitchen

4 Servings

2 butterball turkey bacon strips, cooked and shredded
1 tsp minced garlic
1 package ranch dressing mix
1 10.75 oz can condensed cream of chicken soup (98% fat free)
1 cup fat-free sour cream
16 oz. chicken breasts
8 oz. pasta (I used rigatoni)

Combine the first five ingredients. Place chicken in slowcooker and pour sauce over the top. Cook on high for 3.5 hours. Serve over hot noodles.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole With Ham

I made this last week and we all really liked it!  It is definitely an easy meal for a busy week because it is so quick to throw together!  I served it with Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and green beans.

Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole With Ham
Via Mommy's Kitchen

1 - (26 oz) bag frozen, shredded hash brown potatoes
1 - 8 oz container sour cream
1 - 10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup
1/2 - cup butter, melted
onion, chopped fine (about 1/2 a small onion) I omitted this
1 - 16 oz package cubed ham
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (or a bit more if you like)

Stir all the ingredients together. Place into a lightly greased casserole dish (9 x 13 in). This is optional but you can add a bit more cheese on top if you like (I did).  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min - 1 hour. Let cool a bit and serve.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Meal Plan Monday ~ Week of August 15, 2011

Hello everyone!  Well I just finished my first week of school and boy, was it exhausting!  32 first graders are a lot of work!  This week will be just as hectic and busy, I'm sure!

Here is what we're having for dinner this week.

Sunday- Chicken and Dressing Casserole, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce
Monday- Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole with Ham, green beans, crescent rolls
Tuesday- Parmesan Fettuccine, broccoli, garlic bread
Wednesday- Ultimate Chicken Fingers, macaroni and cheese, corn
Thursday- We'll be at a school function so we'll probably just pick something up

Have a great week!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pollo Loco Mexican Chicken and Rice

This is another recipe I found on Plain Chicken.  She's got some really great recipes and I love trying them because I've liked them all!  I made this last week and completely forgot to take pictures as I was making it.  First week back at school.  Go figure. 

My thoughts on this recipe is that it was great!  I really loved the rice.  It was perfect Spanish rice and I will definitely be keeping this recipe!

The one change I made was that I did not use the Mexican Queso.  I just melted some cheddar/monterey jack on top instead. 

Pollo Loco Mexican Chicken and Rice

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 bottle Lawry's Baja Chipotle marinade

3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup uncooked long grain rice (not instant)
1 Tbsp dried minced onion flakes
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp Pampered Chef Southwestern Seasoning or Taco Seasoning
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup tomato sauce

1 container Mexican Queso (I used Gordos Cheese Dip)
chopped tomato

Pour Baja Chipotle Marinade over chicken and let marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or overnight. When ready, grill chicken until done (165 degrees).

While the chicken is grilling prepare the rice.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add rice. Cook, stirring constantly, until puffed and golden. While rice is cooking, sprinkle with salt and Southwestern or Taco Seasoning.

Stir in onion flakes, tomato sauce and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Heat cheese dip according to package directions set aside.

To assemble the Pollo Loco - place 1/4 of the rice on a plate, top with grilled chicken. Pour 2-3 Tbsp cheese dip over chicken and rice and top with chopped tomatoes.
Printable Recipe

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Easy S'mores Bars

I have a little bit of a s'mores obsession so when I saw this recipe from Real Mom Kitchen I knew I had to make them STAT!!  Like literally, go to the store the same day to get the ingredients to make them, stat! 
And they did not disappoint!  Wow.  All I can say  These babies have got me speechless!  They are truly magical.  And amazing and wonderful!!

The Stars of the Show:
Sugar cookie mix, graham cracker crumbs, marshmallows, chocolate chips and butter.
Now don't be a hater and please don't leave me comments about calorie counts.  I am fully aware that this is not a healthy, low calorie recipe! 

BUT...these bars are really rich.  A little goes a loooong way and you can easily get 24 (or more) servings out of this recipe if you cut them into small squares.

First you need to line your baking pan with foil.  Have you guys seen this trick where you mold your foil to the outside of the pan first?
 Then flip it over and it fits perfectly inside!  I used Reynold's Non-Stick foil but regular foil would be fine too.

Mix up the graham cracker crumbs and the cookie mix.  Melt the butter and add it to the cookie/graham cracker mixture.  Stir to form a dough.

Press the dough into the pan and bake.

Once the cookie base is done baking, take it out and immediately pour chocolate chips on top.

Let the chocolate chips sit for a few minutes and then begin to spread them across the top.  Even though they don't look melted they are!

Sprinkle the marshmallows on top then pop under the broiler until the marshmallows are puffed and golden.

You will definitely want to babysit these because they brown FAST!

Enjoy a little piece of heaven on Earth!

Easy S'mores Bars

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix 
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup butter, melted
3 cups milk chocolate chips (18 oz)
4 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

Heat oven to 375°F and line a 13×9 inch pan with foil.

In large bowl, stir the cookie mix and graham cracker crumbs  together. Then stir in melted butter until soft dough forms.  Press the dough evenly into your foil lined 13×9 inch pan.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until set, I made sure it passed the toothpick test. Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over crust. Let stand for a few minutes until chocolate begins to melt. Spread the melted chocolate evenly over crust.

Sprinkle marshmallows over melted chocolate. Broil on the center rack of your oven until marshmallows are puffed and toasted to a golden brown. Watch closely because the marshmallows will brown quickly, it can take less than a minute.   Cool a minimum of 10 minutes. Carefully remove from the pan using the foil.  Cut into bars using a knife sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.   They are best served warm but are still excellent at room temp. Store any remaining bars tightly covered.  Makes 12-16 bars.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Meal Plan Monday ~ Week of August 8

As expected, life is pretty crazy right now, and as expected, I definitely have not been posting at the rate I was before!  Such is life being a busy working woman again!

Here is my meal plan for the week.  Meals in red means a soon to be posted recipe!

Sunday- Sweet and sour meatballs, mashed potatoes
Monday- Hot dogs, beans and corn
Tuesday- Pollo Loco Mexican Chicken and Rice
Wednesday- Garlic Roast Beef Sandwiches, chips
Thursday- Leftovers

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Crockpot Lemon Chicken

This is not the most photogenic food, but it definitely makes up for that in taste!!  I found the recipe here and was drawn to it not only because it looked so yummy but also because it looked so easy to make!  And it did not disappoint on either counts!  You only need a few simple ingredients and it literally takes less than five minutes to get it all in the crockpot!  LOVE THAT!! 

Sadly, I forgot the lemons for this so I substituted a little bit of vinegar.  The chicken was so delicious I can only imagine how great it would be with the lemon!

The Stars of the Show: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chicken broth, butter, Italian dressing seasoning, lemon (oops).

Put it all in the crockpot and do a happy dance about the fact that the main part of your dinner is DONE!!

Crockpot Lemon Chicken
via Plain Chicken

1 lb chicken breasts
1 packet Italian dressing mix
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup chicken stock
egg noodles or rice

Place chicken breasts, Italian dressing mix, butter, lemon juice & chicken broth in the crockpot.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours. When finished cooking, shred chicken with 2 forks. Serve chicken over egg noodles or rice and top with juices from crockpot.

Printable Recipe

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Garlic Pasta

Holy yumminess this pasta is good! 

This is one of those recipes that I sometimes forget about and then wonder why I don't make it more often because everyone loves it! 

I usually make this as is but it would also be delicious with grilled chicken. 

I looooove garlic and usually end up adding extra whenever a recipe calls for it.  This pasta is pretty garlicy, but you can easily adjust it by using less garlic to suit your tastes.  

The recipe calls for fresh basil, oregano and parsley.  I usually substitute dried basil and oregano because I always have it on hand and it still tastes great.  I would recommend using fresh parsley though.  Trust me, it makes a difference!

Serve it with a salad and some bread and you have a fast, fresh and delicious meal on the table in a short amount of time!

I'm telling you, you must make this pasta.  Soon!

Garlic Pasta

1 16 oz. penne pasta, dry
1 med. head garlic, peeled and chopped
½ cup olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped (I usually use dried)
1 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped( I use dried)
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. crushed red pepper (I usually omit this)
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.

In a skillet, saute garlic in oil on low heat, just hot enough to make the garlic sizzle; about 10 to 15 minutes. Season with basil, oregano, parsley, and crushed red pepper, and remove from heat.

In a large bowl, toss cooked pasta with garlic and herb mixture, and let sit for 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan, and serve.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Enchilada-Style Burritos

Well, I am officially, un-officially back at work.  What does that mean exactly?  Well,  our contract doesn't start until Wednesday but every summer the back to school bug bites me a little early.  I always feel the need to get in there and get some stuff done!  Plus, it's nice to have the time to get things ready without all the meetings that seem to interrupt our day in the first week back (before the kids start). 

I must admit that I'm almost embarrassed to post this because it's so simple!  It's really not even a recipe.  More of an idea.  But alas, when the back to work chaos is in full swing sometimes it's dinners like this that I rely on most!  This dish can be put together before the oven even has time to pre-heat!  You gotta love that!

I love enchiladas but they can be pretty time consuming.  I'm not sure where this originally came from, but I know I've been making these enchilada-style burritos for a long time. 

The Stars of the Show:

Frozen burritos (I like beef and bean but you can use any variety), enchilada sauce (red or green), and shredded cheese.

Pour some of the enchilada sauce to cover the bottom of the pan and add your burritos.  You can just put them in frozen or you can partially thaw them in the microwave.

Cover with cheese and bake.

Enchilada-Style Burritos

6 frozen burritos
1 can enchilada sauce
1 - 1 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese

Pour about half the sauce in the bottom of a baking dish.  Lay burritos in dish and cover with cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes (if frozen) or 20-25 minutes if partially thawed.  You can cover the pan with foil at the end to keep the cheese from getting too brown before burritos are heated through. 

Printable Recipe