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Main Dishes

Basil Chicken Over Pasta



This recipe comes from my recipe binder, which means I'm not really sure where it originally came from.  It is a very simple and delicious dish.  It's also great with Italian sausage instead of chicken.

Basil Chicken Over Pasta


2 tsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped (1/2 tsp jarred)
2 C. chicken, cooked and chopped
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 finely diced onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 3 tbs. dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/3-1/2 box spaghetti
Parmesan cheese

Boil pasta and drain.  Sautee onion in hot oil until tender but not brown (1-2 min).  Stir in tomatoes, chicken, basil and salt.  Reduce heat to medium, cover skillet and simmer 5 minutes.  Add pasta to skillet and stir to combine.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.


Chicken Tacos

This is not the first recipe I have tried for chicken, made in the slow cooker for tacos.  The first recipe I tried I was not overly impressed with.  This one however, exceeded my expectations.  It was incredibly moist and so very flavorful.  I will definitely be making this again and again.


Shredded Chicken for Tacos
Source:  Cooking Classy
Ingredients:
2.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast halves
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup Zesty Italian Salad dressing
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, optional (adjust according to desired heat preference or omit)


Directions:
Place chicken breast halves in the slow cooker.  In a mixing bowl whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour mixture over chicken in slow cooker, cover slow cooker with lid. Cook chicken on low heat 6 - 8 hours. Shred chicken (it's so tender I usually just shred it in the slow cooker without even removing it), then cook shredded chicken in broth in slow cooker an additional 30 minutes on low. Drain broth from chicken. Serve warm in tacos, burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, taquitos etc

Southwest Chicken Chili



This was a very easy and very tasty chili.  It makes quite a bit so if you don't have a lot of people to feed you could halve the recipe or freeze some of it.  It tastes great reheated!  I made a few changes to the recipe, which I noted in parenthesis.  Enjoy!

Southwest Chicken Chili
Source: In Katrina's Kitchen


Ingredients:
·        1 medium onion, chopped
·        2 Tablespoons olive oil
·        3 Tablespoons taco seasoning (1 envelope)
·        1 envelope Hidden Valley Ranch dry mix
·        2 Cups water (I used chicken broth)
·        2 cans pinto beans, drained (I used one can of pinto and one can of black beans)
·        2 cans diced tomatoes
·        1 can chilies
·        2 Cups cubed or shredded chicken, cooked
·        Cilantro (to taste)

Directions:
1.   Sauté onions in olive oil in the bottom of a large pot until tender.
2.   Add remaining ingredients and heat through. Simmer for at least 30 minutes.


Loaded Baked Potato Soup


I have been wanting to try making potato soup for a long time. I found and pinned this recipe a while back from Mommy's Kitchen. This was a great recipe! We had it with homemade bread and it was perfect winter comfort food!

This recipe probably makes enough for 4-6 servings. My hubby and I were the only ones who ate it and we had a lot left over so next time I will probably halve the recipe.

This is a pretty easy recipe but I made it even easier by using a couple of my favorite supermarket shortcuts.

I used these Steam n' Mash potatoes, which are basically peeled and cubed frozen potatoes that you just pop in the microwave. I love them. I also used pre-cooked bacon. These were both huge time savers!




Loaded Baked Potato Soup
via Mommy's Kitchen

4 - baking potatoes - I used Steam n' Mash instead
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup all purpose flour
4 - cups milk
2 - cups chicken broth
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
12 - slices bacon, cooked & crumbled - I used Oscar Meyer Fully Cooked Bacon
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 - cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 - 8oz container sour cream

Bake potatoes in the oven or microwave. Scoop out the inside of the potato and set aside. Cook bacon in the oven while the potatoes bake at 350 degrees until crispy. Crumble and set aside. Melt butter in a large pot over medium low heat. Stir in flour to make a roux. Cook about one minute stirring constantly.

Gradually pour in the chicken broth and milk while stirring. Turn the heat to medium and cook the soup until it starts to thicken.

Add the potatoes, salt, pepper, bacon and cheese. Stir well and continue to heat for about 15 minutes allowing the flavors to blend. Mix in sour cream until well blended. Serve immediately. Garnish with green onions, additional bacon and shredded cheese.


Sesame Chicken


I found this recipe on Cully's Kitchen and decided to give it a try.  I am so glad I did because it was really good.  It tasted like it came from a Chinese restaurant, but better because I knew exactly what was in it!  I loved it and will definitely be making this again.

I did make a few minor changes to this which I have noted below in the recipe.  I don't love the taste of ginger so I only put in half what the recipe called for and I think next time I will leave it out completely.  I also think next time I will use low sodium soy sauce to cut down on some of the saltiness.  Other than that this is a great recipe and definitely worth making!

Sesame Chicken
Source: Cully's Kitchen

Ingredients:

Sauce:

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup chicken broth
1-2 tablespoon sesame oil (to personal taste)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 dash red chili pepper flakes (I omitted this)
2 teaspoons cornstarch (or more is you want a thicker sauce) (I used 2 tsp and thought it was perfect)

Chicken:

4 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon sherry wine (I omitted this because I didn't have any)
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder (optional) (I omitted this)
2 drops sesame oil
cornstarch, to coat chicken
Vegetable oil or Peanut oil (for frying)
Sesame Seed (to garnish)
Sliced Green Onion (to garnish)
prepared Rice, to serve.

Directions

Combine chicken ingredients except cornstarch and let marinate for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.

Remove chicken from marinade and toss in cornstarch then cook chicken in hot oil on the stove or deep fryer until cooked through.  Keep warm in pan while making the sauce.

Combine all sauce ingredients EXCEPT cornstarch in a sauce pan and bring to a boil over med. heat.
Mix cornstarch with a little water (about 1/4 cup) in a cup until dissolved- then slowly add to the sauce mixture on the stove and heat until thickened to the consistency of gravy.

Add the sauce to the chicken. Heat thoroughly.  Serve over hot rice.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions.

 

 

Classic Macaroni and Cheese


I have many hobbies. I love to cook. I love to knit. I love to crochet. I love to read. And I believe I am pretty good at all of those things.

At this point in my life, photography is not a hobby of mine. Which explains why the pictures on this blog are not the greatest. I'm not a food stylist, nor do I try or aspire to be. And to be honest, when dinner is ready and my family is hungry I'm lucky to be able to get any pictures of the food at all!

I read a LOT of food blogs and admire the beautiful photos but in reality that is not my forte. And I need to be ok with that.

My goal with this blog is to share recipes that I like with my friends and family (and anyone else who chooses to read).

This blog also sort of serves as my own personal cookbook. I frequently go to it and cook straight from it. I love to try new recipes and this blog helps me to keep track of all my favorites.

Ok, rant over. On to recipe.

I love homemade mac and cheese. I think my current favorite is Pioneer Woman's,
which I thought I had posted here but I guess not.

Her mac and cheese (like many others) gets baked in the oven. And while super delicious indeed, I was looking for something different. Something a little quicker and maybe a little saucier since baked mac and cheese can get a little dried out.

I found this recipe online and it's definitely a keeper. Since it's made on the stove top, it's really fast and easy and it comes out with a nice cheesy sauce.

This recipe makes a lot. Probably about 8 servings if you are using this as a side dish. Maybe less for a main dish. I made it as a side dish and next time I think I will halve the recipe.

Classic Macaroni and Cheese
via Sing For Your Supper

1 pound elbow macaroni pasta
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
salt and pepper
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk (feel free to use reduced fat milk)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
8 ounces Velveeta cheese, cubed

Boil the pasta until al dente then drain and set aside.

While pasta is boiling, make the sauce. Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Stir in the flour, ground mustard, salt and pepper and whisk for 1 minute. Slowly pour in the milk and whisk constantly until it thickens. Add the cheeses and stir until melted.

Pour the sauce over the macaroni and stir to coat. Serve immediately.

 

Sausage with Peppers and Potatoes


This recipe was a hit!  It was quick and easy to make and it tasted delicious!  You can vary the seasonings to suit your taste but I have listed the ones I used.  Also, I didn't measure them I just sprinkled it on.  I served it with homemade bread and butter.

Sausage with Peppers and Potatoes

1 lb. Italian Sausage - I used mild but you can also use hot
4 red potatoes, cubed
1 red or yellow pepper
1 small onion
2 tbs. olive oil
Kosher salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder, rosemary

Slice the pepper and onion and put on a rimmed baking sheet with the potatoes.  Drizzle the olive oil over all the vegetables and sprinkle with seasonings.  Cut the sausage into bite size pieces and scatter on top of the vegetables.  Roast at 450F for about 20-30 minutes until potatoes are tender and sausage is cooked through.

 

 

Cool Veggie Pizza

This is a very easy and delicious appetizer.  You can vary the veggies to your liking. 

Cool Veggie Pizza

2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury Place 'n Bake refrigerated crescent rounds or Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations refrigerated seamless dough sheet
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup small fresh broccoli florets
1/3 cup quartered cucumber slices
1 red pepper, seeded, chopped
1/4 cup sliced carrot

1 small can sliced black olives

Heat oven to 375°F. 2 If using crescent rolls: Unroll both cans of dough; separate dough into 4 long rectangles. In ungreased 15x10x1-inch pan, place dough; press in bottom and up sides to form crust. If using dough sheets: Unroll both cans of dough. In ungreased 15x10x1-inch pan, place dough; press in bottom and up sides to form crust.  

Bake 13 to 17 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

In small bowl, mix cream cheese, sour cream, dill and garlic powder until smooth. Spread over crust. Top with vegetables. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours before serving.  Cut into 8 rows by 4 rows.

 

 

Garlic Chicken Stir-Fry


This recipe comes from Good Bite Weeknight Meals Delicious Made Easy.  It is a cookbook put together by various food bloggers. 

It was a really quick dinner to throw together and you can vary it by using different vegetables.  You could also make it even quicker by using chicken tenderloins.

Garlic Chicken Stir-Fry
By Lori Lange (recipegirl.com)

1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tbs. low sodium soy sauce
1 tbs cornstarch
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 tbs canola oil, divided
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-in. pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup snow peas
1/4 cup unsalted cashews (I omitted these)
1/4 cup sliced scallions
Hot cooked rice

Place the chicken broth, soy sauce, cornstarch and ginger in a small bowl and stir until combined.  Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken and garlic and stir-fry until the chicken turns white, about 3 minutes.  Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the bell pepper, snow peas, cashews and scallions and stir fry for 1 minute.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the chicken-broth mixture, and bring to a boil, stirring.  Boil until the mixture thickens, about 1 minute.  Serve immediately with the hot cooked rice.

 

 

Chili Mac Casserole

I threw together this casserole the other night for dinner.  It was quick, it was easy, it uses only a few simple ingredients and it was quite tasty!  I had the leftovers the next day for lunch and was very happy with how well it reheats. 

This recipe is made simple (great weeknight dinner) by using these two convenience items:


This
and
This

Chili Mac Casserole

1 box Hamburger Helper Chili Macaroni
1 box Jiffy Cornbread mix (plus ingredients to make)
1 lb. ground beef
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (optional)
1 cup canned or frozen corn (optional)

Prepare chili macaroni adding beans and corn at the end.  Prepare cornbread mix as directed on package.  Pour chili macaroni into an 8 x 8 inch baking dish.  Top with cheese then cornbread batter.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until cornbread is fully baked.

 

 

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.

 

 

Fiesta Chicken Casserole


Today's recipe is another winner from Plain Chicken.

It is a great weeknight meal as it was quick and easy to put together and very tasty.  I used my favorite canned chicken from Costco which made this simple dish even easier!  You could also use rotisserie chicken.

This also makes great leftovers for lunch the next day!

Fiesta Chicken Casserole
via plain chicken

3 cup cooked chopped chicken
1 cup instant rice (uncooked)
1 can cream of chicken soup (I used 98% fat free)
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes and chiles, undrained
1 Tbsp Southwestern or Taco seasoning
2 Tbsp milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips or Doritos (I used Doritos)

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine chicken, rice, soup, Rotel, seasoning, milk and 1 1/2 cups of cheese.  Pour into a lightly greased 9x9 pan.  Cover and bake for 30 minutes.  Top casserole with crushed chips and remaining cheese, bake uncovered for 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted.

 

 

Western-Style Quiche

 Over the weekend I went to Costco.  I was there for way too long and I spent way too much money.  And I bought lots of things I really didn't need.  Sound familiar?

One of the unnecessary items I left the store with was the Big Book Of Home Cooking by Gooseberry Patch.   Another cookbook I most certainly do not need.  But this one looked like it had quite a few good recipes in it.  After reading through the entire book I found a lot of recipes I want to try and put some of them on my menu plan for the week.

Tonight for dinner I made the Western-Style Quiche.  I rarely make things like this for breakfast, but I love making breakfast for dinner.

This recipe was so delicious!  I also loved it because it was fast and easy and it is so versatile.  I followed the recipe, but you could easily change it to suit your tastes.  I think it would be great with ham or bacon instead of the sausage and you could definitely use any veggies you want.  I served it with hash browns.

One other thing I want to mention about this recipe is that it says to cook it for 30 minutes.  I cooked mine for about 20 and it was perfect.  But since all ovens are different just stick a knife in the middle after about 20 minutes and if it comes out clean it's done!

Western-Style Quiche
via Gooseberry Patch

12-oz. tube refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
8-oz pkg. ground pork sausage
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
6 eggs, beaten
2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Arrange biscuits in an ungreased 13" x 9" baking pan; set aside.  Brown sausage with green pepper and onion in a skillet; drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl.  Stir in eggs, cheese, salt and pepper; mix well.  Pour over biscuits; bake at 350 for 30 minutes (I baked it for 20).

Serves 8

 

 

Sunday Roast Chicken


Roast chicken is such a comforting meal to me.  I just loooove the potatoes and carrots that cook with the chicken.  

I made roast chicken for the first time in quite a while yesterday and the reaction I got from my kids was pretty comical.  Apparently they aren't used to seeing a whole raw chicken.  Peanut was totally grossed out and my little muffin kept calling it a pig!  They both declared that they would not eat it.  I told them they would eat it and they would love it.  They both ate it and they both loved it!  

My secret to amazing roast chicken is fresh rosemary.  I love the flavor of rosemary so I use a lot.  You can adjust it to suit your taste and you can also use dried if you don't have fresh.

Roast Chicken

1 4-5 lb chicken
1/2 lemon
1/2 yellow onion
8 cloves garlic, smashed
6-8 small red potatoes, cut into smallish pieces
1 bag baby carrots
3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 tbs. butter, melted
salt and pepper

Clean chicken and place in a roasting pan.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Put the lemon half, half the onion, garlic and one sprig of rosemary inside the chicken cavity.  Add the carrots and potatoes to the pan around the chicken.  Brush the chicken with melted butter.  Pour any extra butter on the potatoes and carrots.  Chop up the rest of the rosemary and sprinkle over the chicken and vegetables.  Pour about 1/4 cup water into the pan and bake uncovered at 350 for about 2 hours or until chicken is done. 

 

 

Homemade Marinara Sauce

I have been trying to make the perfect homemade spaghetti sauce for so long with no luck.  I never seemed to be able to get the right balance of spices and it seemed to always come out tasting too tomato-y or metallic.  Blech. 
Then I found this recipe on Kaitlin in the Kitchen and it changed my life!  I made this for dinner last Sunday and we all loved it so much!  Peanut even said I should put it in jars and sell it!  It was really so good and so easy!  
I pretty much followed the recipe exactly except that I ended up adding about a tsp of extra sugar at the end.  I strongly advise you not to leave the sugar out.  It does not make the sauce overly sweet but it is necessary for balancing the acid in the tomatoes.  
This sauce was so good I honestly don't see myself ever using jarred sauce again! 

Homemade Marinara Sauce
Ingredients:
1 28 oz. Can Crushed Tomatoes
1 Cup Diced Onions
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 Teaspoon Granulated Sugar
5 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
Directions:
In a pan, add 3 tablespoons of your olive oil and turn on medium high heat. Once oil is hot, add your onions and saute them for about 5-7 minutes or until they start to turn slightly translucent, then add your garlic and saute for another 3 minutes or so, making sure not to burn the garlic. Pour in your crushed tomatoes and mix with the onions and garlic. Add all of your seasonings including salt & pepper, the remaining olive oil, and the Parmesan cheese. Check for seasonings and add more depending on your taste. Lower heat to medium, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes, or even longer at a slightly lower temperature.

 

Crock Pot Beef Stew

I have been such a bad blogger lately :(.  Blogging has been on my to-do list, but school and all the extra meetings we have this year has left me exhausted and severely time challenged.  Sadly, I've hardly even had time to cook lately! 

The good news is that the weather in AZ has finally gotten a little cooler.  Last week we had temperatures below 100 and lows in the high 60s and 70s!  Fall is my favorite time of year.  I love when the weather starts to cool down and I love all the holidays.

Once the weather starts to change I always start to crave all those yummy Fall-ish comfort foods (and all things made with pumpkin).  Beef stew is definitely a fall favorite!  My mom used to make a really yummy beef stew.  In fact, it was always the meal I requested for my birthday dinner.

This recipe is a little different from my mom's because it is made in the crock pot which is so nice because you just throw it all in there and leave it!  I like to keep this recipe simple with potatoes and carrots and some onion for flavor, but you could easily customize your stew with your favorite veggies.  I serve it with egg noodles and some nice, crusty bread.  It makes a ton so I usually put the leftovers in the freezer and save for another meal.  I hope you will give this delicious and hearty fall meal a try! 

Crock Pot Beef Stew

1 1/2 - 2 lbs. beef stew meat
1 pkg. baby carrots
8-10 small-medium size potatoes, cut into chunks
1 onion, quartered
3 pkgs. brown gravy mix
1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix
3 cups water

Put meat, potatoes, carrots, onion and potatoes in crockpot.  Sprinkle gravy mixes and Ranch mix over top.  Pour water over all.  Cover and cook on low 8-9 hours.  Serve over egg noodles.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken

By now you have probably figured out that I cook chicken a lot.  And I do.  Well, I try to cook at least one chicken dish a week. 
 Chicken is just so easy and so versatile!  I love that you can make it so many ways.    Plus, it's pretty inexpensive.
 
I usually buy the big bags of frozen, boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  I love these because they allow me to pretty much always have chicken on hand but since it's frozen I don't have to worry about it going bad if my week gets crazy and I don't get it cooked as I had planned.  (Yes, this happens.  A lot.)

This chicken recipe is really tasty and another one that my whole family loves!  Dipping the chicken in the olive oil/garlic mixture really gives it a lot more flavor than just dipping it in egg.  It's super easy and fast to make too.  I serve it with either rice, potatoes or noodles and some sort of vegetable. 

  Please excuse my lack of photos in this post.  I haven't made this recently enough to have pics, but wanted to share it with you!
Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken
via allrecipes
2 tbs. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup dry bread crumbs
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. black pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.  

In a bowl, blend the olive oil and garlic.  In a separate bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, basil, and pepper.  Dip each chicken breast in the oil mixture, then in the bread crumb mixture.  Arrange the coated chicken breasts in the prepared baking dish and top with any remaining crumb mixture.

Bake 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

 

 

Homemade Italian Meatballs





I commonly buy frozen, precooked meatballs, but every once in a while I like to go all out and make some good ol' Italian Meatballs from scratch.  My hubby loves meatballs and while he'll eat the frozen ones, he gets really excited when homemade ones make an appearance!


Just like with so many other things, there are probably 100 (or more) different ways to make meatballs.  This is MY favorite recipe.  

The Stars of the Show: ground beef, Italian sausage (I use mild), eggs, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, minced onions, parsley, basil, garlic, salt and pepper.

Mix up the meatball mixture and scoop onto a baking pan.  I like to use my broiler pan for this because the grease drips down to the bottom of the pan (which I line with foil).  See this post for my thoughts on meat cooking in its own grease :-).  I use my large cookie scoop to scoop my meatballs so they are all the same size.  All the same size means they not only look great, but they all cook at the same rate.

Once I scoop them all onto the pan I use my hands to roll them into nice round balls.

Throw them into the oven and bake!  

Now you have some options here.  If I am going to be using these meatballs right away I only bake them for about 15 minutes and then finish cooking them in the sauce.  If I'm going to freeze them for later I cook them for about 25 minutes (or until they are cooked all the way through).

This recipe makes a lot of meatballs which makes for a great freezer meal later on!  I just take half the meatballs (fully cooked) and put them in a ziplock bag.  Label and toss into the freezer.  When you are ready to use them just thaw them in the fridge or you can even cook them frozen in a crockpot with your favorite pasta sauce.

Homemade Italian Meatballs
Source: My recipe

½ cup breadcrumbs
3 eggs
½ cup Parmesan cheese
3-4 garlic cloves
1 ½ tsp. basil
1 ½ tsp. parsley
3 tbs dried minced onion
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. Italian sausage

In a large bowl, mix together the first nine ingredients until well combined.  Add the ground beef and sausage and mix gently just until everything is well mixed.  

Scoop meatballs onto a baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.


 

 

Sweet and Sour Meatballs


I remember as a kid, sweet and sour meatballs being one of my favorite dinners!  My mom made them with grape jelly and bbq sauce.  There are so many different ways to make them, but this is my favorite!

The Stars of the Show:




A bottle of chili sauce and a can of jellied cranberry sauce.



And a package of frozen meatballs.  

Of course you can make your own meatballs, but for this recipe I take the help from the store and buy them pre-made.  

Note: you do not want to use Italian meatballs for this.  While they are delicious, they have seasonings in them that will not go well with the sweet and sour sauce.  I use either Swedish or Homestyle meatballs.


You can serve these meatballs as appetizers or a meal with rice, noodles or mashed potatoes.


Sweet and Sour Meatballs

1 jar chili sauce
1 can jellied cranberry sauce
1 pkg. frozen meatballs (Swedish or Homestyle)

Mix the chili sauce and cranberry sauce to combine.  Put meatballs in a crockpot.  Pour the sauce over the meatballs and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Note:  You do not need to thaw the meatballs before adding them to the crock pot.

Printable Recipe

 

 

 

Ultimate Chicken Fingers





Today's recipe comes from another one of my most favorite summer finds,  Plain Chicken.  

I have to admit that when I decided to try this recipe I really didn't have high hopes.  I have tried quite a few similar recipes and haven't been too impressed.

However, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised!  This recipe is fantastic!!!  It was very easy, uses simple ingredients and has SO much flavor!  You must make them! 



The Stars of the Show:  Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips (you can also buy chicken tenders which will save you from having to cut them into strips, or you can cut the chicken into nuggets.  Whatever floats your boat), Bisquick, parmesan cheese, an egg, garlic salt, pepper and paprika.



 Combine the Bisquick, parmesan, garlic salt and paprika on a plate or other vessel of your choice.


 Sprinkle the chicken with some garlic salt and pepper.





Next you will dip your chicken strips into the egg (which you beat), and dredge it in the Bisquick mixture.  Then you park the strips onto a foil lined baking sheet that you have sprayed with cooking spray.   

I sprayed my foil and some of the chicken still stuck a little to the bottom.  Not sure why but I think next time I will either use non-stick foil or just ditch the foil altogether and cook them right on my non-stick cookie sheet.  

Cook the chicken at 450 for about 12-15 minutes.  They don't take long since they're small and if you over cook them you'll have a hard time swallowing them because they will be so dried out.


And here they are!  

Please excuse all the paper plates in this post.  I really hate to wash dishes if I don't have to.





  These chicken strips were a big hit with everyone in my family with the exception of course, of Muffin, the worlds pickiest eater!  He wouldn't even try them.
 
 

 This was Muffin's dinner.
He's so excited for his cheerios.  Can you tell?  



Ultimate Chicken Fingers
via Plain Chicken

3 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into strips (or chicken tenders)
2/3 cup Bisquick
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1 egg, slightly beaten
pepper
garlic salt
cooking spray

Heat oven to 450.  Line cookie sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray.  Combine Bisquick, cheese, garlic salt and paprika, set aside.  Season chicken strips with a little garlic salt and pepper.  Dip chicken stips into egg; then coat in Bisquick mixture.    Place on cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray.  Bake 12-14 minutes.

 
Lasagna Rolls


Lasagna is a pretty classic comfort dish that my family loves.  I don't make lasagna too often because it makes so much and we never eat all the leftovers.  These lasagna rolls are a perfect solution because you can make a much smaller amount and they taste just as great!


The Stars of the Show:  Lasagna noodles, an egg, basil, parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, a jar of pasta sauce, basil and salt (used only for salting the pasta water).   You could also add ground beef or sausage to these if you want.  Oh and for the record, I am totally anti- cottage cheese in lasagna.  I always use ricotta!


First, you need to cook your noodles and lay them out on a piece of waxed paper to cool.  You want to make sure you undercook them slightly because they will continue to cook in the sauce.


Mix up the egg, ricotta cheese, basil, parmesan cheese and a generous handful of mozzarella.  Pour some sauce into your baking pan to cover the bottom.



Once the noodles are cool enough to handle, evenly divide up the ricotta mixture and spread onto the noodles.  Spoon some of the sauce on top of the cheese, then roll them up and put them into a pan.  I used an 8 x 8 in. pan for 8 rolls. 


After all the rolls are in the pan, top with more mozzarella and put it into the oven to bake! 

Lasagna Rolls

8 lasagna noodles
1/2 pound lean ground beef or sausage (If desired)
1 egg
1 15 oz. container ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp.  dried basil
1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 jar pasta sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat a large pot of water to boiling over high heat.  When it reaches a boil, salt liberally and add the noodles.  Stir occasionally and cook to just al dente.  You want to leave them slightly undercooked since you'll be baking the pasta.  Drain noodles and set aside.

Meanwhile in a large skillet brown meat.  Drain and return to the pan.  Add pasta sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, lightly beat egg.  Add ricotta, Parmesan, basil and a handful of mozzarella and stir together.    Add enough sauce to lightly cover the bottom of the pan.  To assemble, on a cooled noodle, add a spoonful of ricotta mixture.  Top with a spoonful of meat sauce and roll up.  Place seam side down in pan.  Continue until you've used all the noodles.  Top each with a little more meat sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella.  Bake uncovered for approximately 30 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.


Meatloaf ~ Comfort Food at it's Best!


Meatloaf and mashed potatoes has got to be high on the lists of many when it comes to comfort foods.  

As a kid, I wasn't a huge fan of meatloaf and I think it was because I didn't love the way my mom made it.  I'm pretty sure she just formed the ground beef into a loaf and poured some ketchup or bbq sauce on it and threw it in the oven.  Blech!  (Good thing my mom doesn't read my blog)

I have experimented A LOT with meatloaf trying to come up with the perfect mix of ingredients to get the flavor and texture I like.  Much like my hamburgers, I want the meat in my meatloaf to taste good by itself.  The sauce on the meatloaf is equally important.  I like a sweet, ketchup-y based sauce not spaghetti sauce.

So....after many attempts, here is the recipe I use.  My family loves my meatloaf.  I like to serve it with mashed potatoes (of course) and a veggie.



 The Stars of the Show:  Ground beef (like burgers, I use 80/20 because you need some fat to keep it from drying out), ketchup, an egg, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, minced onions (you could also use fresh minced onions but my onion haters would spot those so I use dried) and milk (which somehow escaped the picture).



Ok, let's talk cooking vessels for a moment.  Many people cook their meatloaf in a loaf pan for obvious reasons.  It gives you that loaf shape.  I never use a loaf pan for meatloaf because the thought of it sitting in all that grease does not make me happy.  Same reason I don't cook mine in any other shallow pan where the meat is sitting on the bottom.  Swimming in grease.  Yuck!  I have this really nifty "Meatloaf Pan".  Yep.  That's exactly what it's called.  I'm not usually a fan of kitchen equipment that only serves one purpose, but this one is worth it!  Plus, technically you could take the insert out and bake bread in the pan!  This loaf pan has an insert with holes so you place your meatloaf on the insert and all of the grease and fat drops to the bottom of the pan as it cooks leaving the meatloaf with a delicious, crusty exterior!  Genius!  Oh and the whole thing is non-stick too which means it's very easy to clean!  I know these aren't too difficult to find but if you don't have one and don't want to buy one, I would recommend using a broiler pan instead.  Same effect.  

 This is what you will need for the sauce: ketchup, brown sugar and cider vinegar.  YUM!  I could eat my way out of a bathtub full of this sauce.  That's how much I love it!


All you do is mix up your meatloaf ingredients, form it into a loaf and put it into the pan.  Then mix up your sauce and pour some over the top.  I always put some of the sauce aside before doing this so I can add more to mine when it's done.  Did I mention how yummy this sauce is?


And here it is! 

Meatloaf is a great make ahead meal also.  Sometimes I'll make my meatloaf (uncooked), wrap it up in plastic wrap, then mix up all the sauce ingredients and put that in a small ziplock baggie, then put the sauce and the meatloaf together in a gallon size ziplock and put it in the fridge.  Then when I get home from work all I have to do is put it into the pan.  It's so quick and easy!  You have to add about 15 minutes to the cooking time if you do this though since it's starting out so cold.

I hope you give this recipe a try and I hope your family loves it as much as mine does!

Meatloaf
1/2 Cup bread crumbs
2 tbs. ketchup
1 tbs. dried minced onion
1 egg
1 tbs. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 lb. ground beef

For the Sauce:

1/4 Cup ketchup
1/4 Cup brown sugar
2 tsp. cider vinegar

Mix together the first seven ingredients.  Add ground beef and mix to combine.  Form into a loaf and place in pan.  Mix sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and pour over the top of the meatloaf.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Shrimp Scampi

This post probably comes as a big surprise to anyone who knows me.

I have to say that I never cook fish.  I don't like shrimp or any other seafood.  But my hubby does so I decided to try to make Shrimp Scampi for him for Father's Day.  

I decided to use a recipe I found on Picky Palate which by the way, is one of my greatest blog finds of the summer!  I stumbled across it by mistake and then spent about three days looking at all her wonderful recipes.  

Then I discovered that she was a contestant in one of the Pillsbury Bake-Off competitions and quickly recognized her from watching it on Food Network!   

After I finished working my way through all the pages of Jenny's blog I sent her a message to tell her how much I loved her blog and recipes.   

I got a nice response back from her which I will probably never delete from my inbox.  I feel like I got an email from a celebrity!

So anyway I digress.  This was a great recipe!  It was really easy to make (especially for someone who has never cooked shrimp before) and the hubs loved it!  

Peanut and Muffin loved it too although Muffin only ate the pasta, wouldn't touch the shrimp.  What can I say, he takes after his Mama.  

I will definitely keep this recipe in my recipe binder and add it to our rotation! 


Simple Shrimp Scampi

5 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ Cup finely chopped white onion
4 cloves garlic
24 medium cooked shrimp, devained, cleaned, shell removed (fresh or frozen)
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ Cup chicken broth or white wine
2 pinches salt
¼ teaspoon fresh pepper
1 lb linguini fini dry pasta noodles
2 Tablespoons butter
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
¼ Cup fresh chives chopped (I left these out)

 Place butter and olive oil into a large 5 qt skillet or other large pot over medium heat. Once melted and hot sauté onion for 3-5 minutes until softened. Stir in garlic for 60 seconds then stir in shrimp. Season with salt and pepper and cook 4-6 minutes or until pink and firm and cooked through. Stir in lemon juice and chicken broth. Reduce heat to low and set aside.

 Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and stir into shrimp. Stir in 2 Tablespoons butter, parsley and chives. Serve and enjoy!

Note:  I did not add the last 2 tablespoons of butter at the end.  There seemed to be enough butter in the sauce as it was.  This was just my preference.  If at the end your pasta looks a little dry go ahead and add the extra butter!

All-American Hamburgers



Hamburgers are a meal my entire family will eat so I make them fairly often.  

Everyone knows that hamburgers really taste best when cooked on the grill.  I am not a huge fan of pan fried burgers because they always seems so tasteless.  

Unfortunately, I don't have a working grill (or the desire to stand over a hot grill in 110 degree heat) so I cook mine on my George Foreman Grill.   

This is similar to the one I have.  I love it because it's big and has removable plates for easy clean up!!  

I definitely prefer the taste of grilled burgers and since I can't grill them I had to find a way to make them taste really good!  

  I wanted the meat to be really well seasoned.  This recipe makes the hamburgers taste so flavorful and yummy!  It is my favorite way to make hamburgers.



The Stars of the Show:  You will need ground beef, (I always use 80/20 for burgers because you need some fat to keep the burgers from being too dry), ketchup, garlic, minced onion (I use dried), cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce and sugar.



I like to mix all up of the ingredients in a bowl before I add the ground beef.  Once you add the ground beef, mix it gently just until it is all incorporated.  You don't want to over-mix because this will make your burgers tough.



Once the hamburger mixture is combined, I draw lines in the meat to divide it into four equal parts (thank you Rachel Ray for this tip).



Here are the patties ready to go on the G-Fo.  They usually only take about 10 minutes on high heat.




When they're done add the toppings of your choice and chow down!  

All-American Hamburgers

2 tbs. dried minced onion
2 tbs. ketchup
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. steak sauce
1/4 tsp. cider vinegar
1 lb. ground beef
4 hamburger buns
Optional toppings: cheese, bacon, lettuce leaves, tomato and onion slices.

In a large bowl combine the first seven ingredients.  Crumble beef over mixture and mix well.  Shape into four patties.  Grill burgers on indoor or outdoor grill for 7-10 minutes or broil 4 in. from heat for 5-7 minutes until juices run clear.  Top with cheese if desired and cook one minute longer or until cheese is melted.  Serve on buns with toppings of choice.

Margarita Chicken Pasta Salad



It's summer and it's hot!  I don't know about you, but where I live it's been well into the 100s for a couple months now.  This salad makes such a delicious "no-cook" dinner.  It is so flavorful and the best part is that it can be made ahead for those busy days when you know you will need a quick dinner!  I sometimes serve it with cheese quesadillas.  It would also make a great side dish for a picnic or a pot luck.

I've had this recipe for a long long time and have made it several times.  It comes from Pillsbury and I believe may have been a bake-off recipe.  I remember first making it pre-kids which would have put me back to about 2001.  So it is definitely tried and true!  I hope you will give it a try!

Margarita Chicken Pasta Salad
via Pillsbury

10 oz. (4 cups) uncooked rainbow rotini (spiral pasta)
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken strips for stir-frying
1 (1-oz.) pkg. Old El Paso® Taco Seasoning Mix
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 (11-oz.) can Green Giant® Mexicorn® Whole Kernel Corn, Red and Green Peppers, drained
1 can (15 oz) Progresso® black beans, drained, rinsed
Dressing
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
1/4 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons tequila, if desired (I usually omit this for the kids)
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 (4.5-oz.) can Old El Paso® Chopped Green Chiles
Cook pasta to desired doneness as directed on package. Drain; rinse with cold water to cool.  
Meanwhile, in resealable food storage plastic bag, combine chicken and taco seasoning mix; shake to coat. In large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat until hot. Add chicken; cook and stir 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown and no longer pink in center. Remove from heat.  
In blender container or food processor bowl with metal blade, combine all dressing ingredients. Blend 30 seconds or until well blended. 4 In large serving bowl, combine cooked rotini, corn, beans and dressing; toss to coat. Fold in cooked chicken. Serve warm or cold.


Parmesan Panko Crusted Chicken


The recipe for this yummy chicken came from Homemade by Holman but I made a couple changes to it.  The recipe calls for dipping the chicken in buttermilk before dredging it in the bread crumb mixture but since I didn't have any buttermilk I dipped it in a beaten egg.  The recipe also says to cook the chicken in a pan with olive oil.  I baked mine in the oven instead.  This chicken was super yummy but I think next time I will try the pan method.  I think the olive oil would have given it a lot of extra flavor.  I served this chicken with noodles and green beans.  Everyone loved it!


The Stars of the Show: You will need boneless, skinless chicken breasts, panko bread crumbs, an egg (or buttermilk), dried thyme, dried rosemary, garlic powder, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper (which I forgot to add before I took the pic).  Also, the original recipe calls for olive oil but I didn't end up using it.


Panko are Japanese bread crumbs.  If you have never tried them I strongly suggest you do!  They are just like regular bread crumbs but come out so much crunchier!  In my store you can find them right next to the regular bread crumbs.

You combine the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, thyme and rosemary.  Next you dip the chicken in buttermilk (or egg like I did) and dredge it in the breadcrumb mixture.

I like to use a pan like this which has a rack.  The rack keeps the chicken off the bottom of the pan so that the bottom gets nice and crispy like the top instead of it sitting in the juices and making it soggy.  Yuck!  I baked mine at 400 for about 20 minutes but like I said, the original recipe calls for cooking the chicken in a saute pan with olive oil.