Thursday, October 29, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

I haven't made these in a long time, and did last week and they were really yummy. Perhaps this is too basic to put on here, but I've included my sauce recipe so I'm counting it as good.


-2-3 Chicken Breasts Cooked and shredded (Baked, boiled, microwaved, grilled, doesn't really matter)
-Flour Tortillas (I like the mini ones, but it doesn't matter)
-8oz Cheddar or Mexican Blend Cheese (you can use less, but I like them super Cheesy
Enchilada Sauce: (you could just buy it but that isn't fun!)
-3 Tbs Vegetable Oil1 Tbs Flour
-1/4 Chili Powder
-32oz Chicken Stock (Or water and 2 Chicken Bullion Cubes smashed up)
-1 tsp Oregano
-1 tsp Cumin
-1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350. In a sauce pan, heat oil over medium heat. Stir in flour until blended (30 seconds or so). Add Chili powder and stir for about a minute. Now add all other ingredients and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes until smooth.

Place chicken in a mixing bowl and add 1/2 the sauce and about 1/2 cup of cheese. Mix until chicken is covered thoroughly. Now it's time to fill your enchiladas, and there is some flexibility here. Put a large tablespoon in a small tortilla, so 2 large tablespoons if you are using regular size tortillas. This is not an exact science, so use your judgement. Spread the chicken out in a line, then roll the enchilada. Do not fold the corners in. Repeat until all the chicken is used. Place enchiladas in a 9x13 pan and cover with the rest of the sauce. Now place as much cheese as you like over the top, I generally use the rest of the bag!!! Now bake for 20-30 minutes until sauce is bubbly.

Be creative with this one. I add peppers or olives sometimes, but the sky is the limit. I find it is best served with sour cream and lettuce. This is also a great recipe to double and serve to a large group. It's different, but easy and can be made ahead of time. Oh, and it's another dinner for under $10!!!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Creamy Italian Chicken with Rice

3-4 chicken breasts, cooked & cut into cubes
8 oz package cream cheese (I use fat free)
2 cans cream of chicken soup (I use the low sodium, 97% fat free Campbells)
2 envelopes dry Italian season mix (next to the dry ranch mixes in the store)
milk or water to desired thickness

Combine all ingredients in a large pan on stove until cream cheese melts & mixture is warmed through. We eat this over rice but you could probably use noodles if you prefer.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Super Fast & Yummy Chicken Salad

We had this for our wedding and is one of our family favorites!

6oz. boneless/skinless chicken breasts (approx. 2-3 breasts) boiled and diced
20 small red seedless grapes (halved)
1 small red delicious apple (diced)
1/2 C. diced celery
1/4 C. diced green onion
1Tbsp +1tsp mayonnaise
1tsp lemon juice
1 dash white vinegar
1 dash salt & pepper

Toss all ingredients together & serve chilled

* Delicious served with croissants; Bisquick biscuits work well in a pinch too (as pictured)

**To save time I usually chop all ingredients while the chicken is boiling, and it usually works out perfectly time-wise. I then rinse the chicken under cold water, dice it, toss ingredients together and place bowl in freezer to chill while I finish baking the biscuits!

-Makes approx. 4 adult servings and takes about 20min to make.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Stuffed Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Chicken with Roasted Potatoes


4 chicken breasts
2 T basil pesto sauce
1/2 cup sun dried tomatos
2 teeth fresh garlic
1 T extra virgin olive oil
3/4 package cream cheese

6 red potatoes
1 T fresh dill
2 T green onion (4-5 stalks)
1 tsp salt
black pepper
1-2 tsp seasoned salt
1-2 tsp garlic powder
3 T olive oil


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Roasted Potatoes:
Dice red potatoes into small one inch cubes. Chop dill and green onion into small pieces. Mix potatoes, dill, green onion, olive oil, salt, pepper, seasoned salt and garlic powder in large bowl to coat evenly.

Spread potatoes out on a large baking sheet. I generally cover the pan with aluminum foil for easy clean up. Place potatoes in oven for 45 minutes. Check potatos once halfway through baking to turn for even roasting. They should be golden brown and crispy on the outside and soft and delicious on the inside when done.

Stuffed Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Chicken:

Mince sun-dried tomatos and garlic into very small pieces. In a medium size bowl mix cream cheese and pesto sauce. I just buy pesto sauce at Fry's/Kroger since it ends up being cheaper to do that than to buy all the ingredients to make my own. But if you have a good recipe or lots of basil growing in your back yard garden, feel free to make yours! Add tomatoes and garlic and mix until even. It is easiest just to throw all the ingredients in a food processor and mix it up that way.

Then, take each chicken breast and create a "pocket" in each by slicing down one side through the center of the breast longwise. Stuff the cream mixture into the pocket, about 1-2 T per breast. Don't make them too full or all the cheese will spill out when you cook them.

Place the stuffed chicken breasts onto a hot pan w/ some oil, salt and pepper and sear both sides of the chicken.

Cook the chicken about 2 minutes on each side and then transfer to a baking dish. Place the chicken in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes at 375 degrees until the chicken is fully cooked.

One note: The potatoes need to cook at least 25 minutes at 450 degrees, but then when you add the chicken into the oven, you can turn it down to 375 degrees and the potatoes can finish cooking at the lower temperature and will still be crispy and delicious when done.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Conference Casserole

We have made this a new tradition, we make this yummy egg and bacon  breakfast casserole for our church's General Conference weekend ( We just started this but know it will stick because, mmm is it yummy! Thanks Angie for giving this to me!

Preheat oven to 350* and used for a 9x13 pan/casserole dish

1 baguette loaf (about 12oz.) broken in pieces
9 eggs (or egg beaters)
2 lbs. bacon or sausage (cooked)
3 C 1% milk
3 C shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 tsp. dry mustard

Grease bottom of pan or dish. Place broken bread pieces in the bottom of pan or dish. Sprinkle cooked bacon/sausage pieces over the bread. Sprinkle cheese on next. Mix the eggs, milk and dry mustard together and pour all over top of casserole. Bake at 350* for 50-55 minutes and serve!

*Make the casserole ahead of time and allow to sit over night in refrigerator ( I didn't do this, I didn't have time, but it still tasted great!)

White Chicken Chili

I cannot take credit for this recipe, my friend Jenn gave it to me, but we LOVE it!! Very easy and if you like cheese then this is your thing!
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1 pkg boneless/skinless chicken brest
  • 1 chopped med onion or onion flakes
  • 3-4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 cans chopped green chilis
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 3 reg. cans Lucks Great Northern Beans (we have used other brands but find this one is the best for taste and consistency)
  • 2 chicken boullion cubes
  • 8 oz. of Monterray Jack Cheese (or more depending on what you like)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Boil chicken then shred or cube. Add everything together either on stove or crockpot let cook til hot or for a while to let flavors soak through. Serve and Enjoy!

Apple Brown Betty aka Apple Crisp

Since the weather has gotten TONS cooler, or cold in my book, we have already started making the nice, warm, unfortunately fattening but mmm-mmm-mmm delicious wintery foods. One of them being this, what we call Apple Brown Betty! We love this and have it a couple times during the cold season. It so quick and sooo easy to make! Enjoy!

Preheat oven to 375*
  • 4 C peeled/sliced apples (any cooking apple, we like Gala)
  • 1 C bisquick
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2-3 tbsp of sugar
Mix all ingredients, minus apples and reg. sugar, until a crumbly mixture. (I have had it turn out crumbly and then more spread like, they both work) Place peeled/sliced apples in bottom of cooking dish and sprinke them with the sugar. ( I use an 8x8 or 9x9) Place mixture on top and bake for about 30 minutes or until apples are done. Enjoy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Chicken Parmesean

-2 Chicken Breasts, Sliced in half (you know, the way that makes 4 really thin chicken breasts)
-2 Cups of Bread Crumbs (I used Panko, but whatever you have is great)
-1 Cup Veggie Oil (ish)

-1/2 Box of Rotini Pasta
-1 Jar Spaghetti Sauce
-8oz of Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. Boil Noodle to a to a nice yummy softness, whatever you prefer (I like al dente), strain, and set aside. (While the noodles are cooking I do the chicken)

In large frying pan, heat oil to medium heat. Dredge Chicken in the bread crumbs until completely covered ( I used my hands to press as much on as possible to make it extra crispy). Place chicken in oil and cook 3-5 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove chicken from oil and place on a paper towel to drain off extra oil.

In you baking pan (I use corning ware, but an 8 x 8 would work great too) cover the bottom with a small layer of spaghetti sauce. Add in noodles. Cover noodles with 1/2 of the remaining sauce and a bunch of cheese. Next place the 4 pieces of chicken and cover them with the remaining sauce and cheese (i don't use all 8 oz most of the time). Cover with foil or lid and place in the oven for 40 minutes. For the last 10 minutes remove the cover so the cheese gets nice and brown.

Now it's ready to serve and enjoy. This meal is awesome because it seems fancy but costs less than $10 to make for 4 adults!!!

NOTE: My mom thinks that making the chicken is not worth the effort, so she suggests substituting frozen chicken tenders for the home fried chicken. Same meal, much less work.

Stuffed Zucchini

This IS PAULA DEAN'S recipe. Just too yummy not to put up!
5 large yellow squash, halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 cup chicken flavored stuffing mix
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Brush cut side of squash with olive oil; sprinkle with salt, and pepper. Place squash, cut side down, on a lined baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, or until tender. Scoop out pulp, keeping shells intact; reserve pulp. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F.
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook 5 minutes or until transparent. To the skillet, add stuffing mix, spinach, sour cream, Cheddar and squash pulp. Mix together and add salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for 3 minutes. Spoon mixture evenly into squash shells. Place on baking sheet, and bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until heated through.
This is a great alternative to starchy potatoes with steak, but is still super yummy and filling. The only thing I would add is this makes A TON!!!! of stuff. I reccomend cutting the recipie in half. The whole dinner pictured above cost less than $20 for 4 people (steaks included!!! Hooray for sales!). Enjoy!

Chicken Pot Pie


2 Chicken Breasts - Baked and shredded
2 Medium Potatoes Diced (red pictured)
1 Cup Diced Carrots
1 Medium Onion
1 1/2 Cups Broccoli - Cut small - Can be substituted for Peas but I don't like them.
2 Cans Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Black Pepper

2 Cups Flour
3 TBSP Crisco
1Tsp Salt
1/3 Cup Ice Water
*Pre-made works just fine, I just like it homemade!


Preheat oven to 350 Degrees.

Boil Potatoes and Carrots for 10 minutes to help soften. While they are boiling you will make the pie crust.
Pie Crust: Cut Crisco into flour and salt with a fork until well blended. Add water and mix only until it is holding together. The less you work with the dough the flakier it will be. Spread a bunch of flour out on the counter and roll out the first 1/2 of your pie dough. Place dough in the pie dish. roll out second half of dough and set aside.

Filling: Strain carrots and Potatoes. They should be softer, but not mushy. Mix all ingredients for the filling together in a bowl. I always start with 1 1/2 cans of cream of chickens soup and then add the rest if needed. It should fully cover all of the veggies and chicken. Place filling in the pie pan over your bottom crust. It will be VERY FULL. You will need to use a spoon or spatula to smash it down. Then place top layer of crust on. I always cut the dough 1 inch from the edge of the pie pan then fold the extra back to make the crust extra thick. you can use a fork to seal the crust or the thumb technique. See picture. Take a fork and poke some holes in the top of your pie to allow the steam out. I also spread just a little butter on the top to make it golden brown.

Bake for 40-55 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly. Allow the pie to rest for 5 minutes before serving!

So I made this when we were first married and it is now one of Nate's favorite's. It is also great because you can make it with pantry items when you don't want to go the store. Nate can practically eat the whole thing by himself. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Polish Feast - Kielbasi and Pierogies

As some of you might know, my mom is 100% Polish and this is a staple dinner in our house and now one for Andrew and I. Its easy to make and is pretty inexpensive.

1 Package of Hillshire Farms (or off brand, it doesn't matter) Polish or Smoked Kielbasi - there are lower fat and sodium versions out there too! It is normally in the section of the grocery store where you find the hot dogs and sausage.

-Simply remove the Kielbasi from the package and place into a deep skillet and cover about 1/2 way with water, simmer on low heat until it is warmed through. I like to turn it over every few minutes so both sides get good and warmed.
- Once cooked cut into serving sized pieces (I like to dip in ketchup, you could also garnish with sauerkraut but I don't really like that stuff)

You can get these in a box at the grocery store in the freezer section - the name brand is Mrs. T's and if any of you shop at Aldi they have Pierogies too! If you cannot find these, then I am sorry that I stink at could always serve the Kielbasi with fried potatoes or hash browns, I do that every now and again.

- The box will say to boil them, but really please don't do that because it tastes icky. Instead try this:

- Slice up about 1/4 to 1/2 of a white onion (all depends on the size) and cook in a few tablespoons of butter until soft.
- Add in the frozen pierogies and cook until slightly browned and de-thawed.
- Garnish with the onions, you can also serve these with sour cream or applesauce, but that is all a preference type of thing.

What to look for at the store - the Bremer Pierogies are from Aldi.

The meal cooked!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Upside Down Pizza

1 1/2 # ground beef
1 cup green peppers, chopped
big handful of pepperoni, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 envelope of spaghetti sauce mix
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. oil, I use Canola
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400. In a large skillet cook ground beef. I drain & rinse the meat. Add green pepper, pepperoni, (any of your other favorite pizza toppings), garlic, dry spaghetti sauce mix, and oregano to the meat. Stir in tomato sauce & a little bit of water to thin out the mixture to desired thickness. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover & simmer approx. 10 min. In a medium bowl beat milk, eggs & oil. Add flour & salt. Beat until well mixed. Transfer hot beef mixture into an ungreased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Pour egg mixture of the top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for 25-30 min or until puffed & golden.

My dough bubbles up with air but it still tastes yummy!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pot Stickers/Dumplings

These are extremely variable. I'll list what I use, but you can do pretty much whatever you want. Traditional pot stickers/dumplings are made with pork, but I don't like pork, so I use chicken or beef.

Ingredients (Beef Filling)

1 lb ground beef
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup shredded cabbage

(to taste)
fresh garlic/garlic powder
soy sauce (less is more)
Worcestershire sauce

Put all ingredients together in large frying pan and cook until hamburger is browned and all vegetables are tender. Drain grease as best you can.

Chicken Filling

1 lb ground chicken OR shredded cooked chicken breast (about 2 breasts)
1/3 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped baby spinach wilted over heat

(to taste)
poultry seasoning (parsley/sage/rosemary/thyme)
garlic/garlic powder
soy sauce

Cook chicken with whatever spices you prefer, then shred. If using ground chicken, cook. I usually don't cook the celery, but put it in with the chicken if you want to. Put aside. In same pan, wilt spinach over heat until you have a cup or so (it takes a lot). Mix celery and spinach in with chicken.

1/4 cup water chestnuts
1/4 cup chopped peanuts or cashews
whatever else you can think of
Or you can do a bunch of vegetables and no meat for a vegetarian option. I'd suggest cabbage for the main ingredient.

Shells or skins or whatever they're called
Buy 2 packages wonton skins from the grocery store.

If you feel like it, you can make them. It will most likely push you over the hour time limit, but here's the recipe. Warning: these are A LOT of work, but it's what's pictured, so I thought I should include it.

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
boiling water (a cup or so, you probably won't use all of it)

Mix salt and flour, make a well in the center and add the oil and 5 tablespoons boiling water. Mix with a wooden spoon until smooth. You may have to add more water. Be careful not to add too much. Knead until elastic, 3-5 minutes.
Pull off a bouncy-ball sized piece of dough and roll out on wax paper until as thin as you can get it. Should be about 5-6 inches in diameter and almost so thin it's almost transparent. Set aside (still on wax paper, or it'll be hard to pick up) and roll out the rest of the dough this way. You'll probably get between 12 and 20 circles of dough, depending on how big/thick they are.

Cooking Directions

Use a small table spoon (a real one, not the measuring spoon) to scoop filling onto shells. Brush water along half of the outside edge and fold dough over. Use fingers or a fork to crimp and seal open side (like a pie crust). Repeat until all dough is gone. There may be extra filling.
Cover the bottom of a large frying pan with oil and heat until a drop of water skitters off the surface. Put in as many dumplings as will fit. Fry for 2 minutes. VERY CAREFULLY add 1/2 cup water and cover IMMEDIATELY. Let steam for 7 minutes. Put on plate w/ paper towels to drain. Repeat until all pot stickers are cooked, or freeze the rest and cook them later.


Drop them in already boiling water until the dough is cooked and transparent, probably about 7-10 minutes. I can't remember for sure, I never make them that way.

Dipping Sauce

1/4 c soy sauce
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

(Sorry there's no picture. I ate it all. It looks like soy sauce.)

Beef Pot Stickers