Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Loaded Potato and Buffalo Chicken Casserole



I've been talking a lot about Pinterest lately. I'm becoming more and more obsessed with that site. I'm also obsessed with Buffalo Chicken. So when I came across this recipe there was no question about me making this. It was absolutely fantastic!

Loaded Potato and Buffalo Chicken Casserole
Adapted From Cook Lisa Cook

Ingredients
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
8-10 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cube( I used Yukon Gold)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp paprika
2 Tbsp garlic powder
6 Tbsp hot sauce ( I used Franks buffalo sauce)
Topping:
2 cups Shredded Cheddar & Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup crumbled bacon
1 cup diced green onion

Preheat oven to 500F. In a large bowl mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, & hot sauce. Add the cubed potatoes and stir to coat. Carefully scoop the potatoes into a cooking spray coated baking dish, leaving behind as much of the olive oil/hot sauce mix as possible. Bake the potatoes for 45-50 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until cooked through and crispy & browned on the outside.
While the potatoes are cooking, add the cubed chicken to the bowl with the leftover olive oil/hot sauce mix and stir to coat. Once the potatoes are fully cooked, remove from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 400F. Top the cooked potatoes with the raw marinated chicken. In a bowl mix together the cheese, bacon & green onion and top the raw chicken with the cheese mix.

Return the casserole to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the topping is bubbly delicious. Serve with extra hot sauce and/or ranch dressing.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken




This couldn't have been an easier dinner to make. I've never cooked with chicken thighs before since I'm not a huge fan of dark meat but I really wanted to stick to the original recipe. (Normally I would sub chicken breasts for thighs) I'm so glad I did. It tasted just like the sesame chicken you would get at a Chinese restaurant. Yummy!


Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken
Source-Table for Two

Ingredients
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, about 5
Salt and pepper
1 cup of honey
1/2 cup of low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
Cornstarch
Sesame seeds

Place the chicken thighs in the crockpot insert and sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides.
In a medium sized bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, ketchup, oil, garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine well. Pour over the chicken in the crockpot.
Cook on low for 3-4 hours or high for 1 1/2-2 1/2 hours.
When done, remove chicken from crock pot and cut into chunks. Prior to putting the chicken back in the crockpot, combine some cornstarch in water and whisk it into the crockpot to thicken up the sauce a bit. Put the chicken back in and stir around to recoat the chicken in the sauce.
Serve hot over a bed of white rice (optional) and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Breakfast Flatbread Sandwiches



This morning I decided to ditch my usual cereal with fruit and make breakfast sandwiches with some extra garlic flatbread (nann) that I needed to use up. I used my panini press to cook mine but cooking them in a skillet would work well too!

Breakfast Flatbread Sandwiches

2 pieces flatbread
2 eggs cooked to your liking
2 slices of cheese (I used Gouda)
4 slices crispy cooked bacon

Brush both sides of flatbread with extra virgin olive oil. Lay cooked eggs (we made ours over medium) onto one piece of flatbread, add bacon and top with cheese. Top with second slice of flatbread and cook in skillet over medium heat 3-4 minutes per side or until cheese is melted and bread is crispy. Cut in triangles. Enjoy!

NOTE: If using Panini press cook for 4 minutes on high heat.

Breakfast Flatbread Sandwiches



This morning I decided to ditch my usual cereal with fruit and make breakfast sandwiches with some extra garlic flatbread (nann) that I needed to use up. I used my panini press to cook mine but cooking them in a skillet would work well too!

Breakfast Flatbread Sandwiches

2 pieces flatbread
2 eggs cooked to your liking
2 slices of cheese (I used Gouda)
4 slices crispy cooked bacon

Brush both sides of flatbread with extra virgin olive oil. Lay cooked eggs (we made ours over medium) onto one piece of flatbread, add bacon and top with cheese. Top with second slice of flatbread and cook in skillet over medium heat 3-4 minutes per side or until cheese is melted and bread is crispy. Cut in triangles. Enjoy!

NOTE: If using Panini press cook for 4 minutes on high heat.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Linguine Bolognese



I've never made a Bolognese sauce before simply because I thought it was just Italian for "meat sauce" and I've made plenty of those in my day. It's a good thing I'm not Italian because I now know it is much more than just a basic meat sauce! :)  I found a bunch of different Bolognese recipes, but the one I liked the most was featured in Oprah's magazine as one of the top 10 recipes from the last 10 years.. It's a slow simmering sauce (4-5 hours) but it was so well worth the wait!

Linguine Bolognese

1 medium onion
1 large or 2 small carrots
2 to 3 stalks celery
1 ounce pancetta , very finely chopped
1 pound ground beef (not lean)
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Pinch allspice
1 cup whole milk
1 cup dry white wine
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with their juice
1 pound pasta , such as rigatoni
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Finely chop onion, carrot, and celery. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over low heat, cook pancetta until all fat is rendered and pancetta is just beginning to brown. Add chopped vegetables, raise heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent and soft.
Add ground beef, breaking it up with a spoon, 1/4 teaspoon (to start) salt, plus pepper and allspice. Cook until meat is brown. Add milk. When it begins to simmer, reduce heat to low and cook at a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally until milk has mostly boiled away, about 30 minutes. Add white wine and cook as with milk, until it has mostly boiled away. Add tomatoes and juice; bring to a simmer. Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and allow sauce to cook very gently at barest simmer, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Season to taste with remaining salt.

Just before sauce is done, bring a pot of water to boil, salt it generously, and boil pasta according to package directions. Drain, mix with a third of sauce, then serve with remaining sauce on top with lots of grated Parmigiano cheese.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Grilled Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas




My love for all things Bufflo Chicken is no surprise to most. I've made my share of Buffalo Chicken recipes but I've never made Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas before. Not sure what rock I've been living under but I should have made these years ago. I've been missing out! They were fantastic!

Grilled Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas

1 pound chicken tenders
1 cup Frank’s buffalo wing sauce, divided
2 cups shredded cheese of your choice (I used provolone)
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
2 large tortillas
1/3 Cup Blue Cheese Dressing or Ranch (For Dipping)

Pierce the chicken tenders all over with a fork. Toss them with 1/2 cup Frank’s buffalo sauce, cover and marinate in fridge for at least an hour.
Preheat grill over medium high. Arrange the tenders on the grates and grill until nicely charred and cooked through, about 10 minutes total.
Remove from grill, cover and let rest 5 minutes.
Roughly slice the chicken and toss with the remaining Buffalo sauce. Layer some cheese along half of your tortilla, followed by half the chicken, and more cheese. Place back on the grill and using a heavy object (like a cast iron) flatten the quesadilla. Flip and continue to cook until the cheese melts,you get good grill marks and everything is heated through. Remove from grill and slice. Enjoy!

Grilled Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas




My love for all things Bufflo Chicken is no surprise to most. I've made my share of Buffalo Chicken recipes but I've never made Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas before. Not sure what rock I've been living under but I should have made these years ago. I've been missing out! They were fantastic!

Grilled Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas

1 pound chicken tenders
1 cup Frank’s buffalo wing sauce, divided
2 cups shredded cheese of your choice (I used provolone)
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
2 large tortillas
1/3 Cup Blue Cheese Dressing or Ranch (For Dipping)

Pierce the chicken tenders all over with a fork. Toss them with 1/2 cup Frank’s buffalo sauce, cover and marinate in fridge for at least an hour.
Preheat grill over medium high. Arrange the tenders on the grates and grill until nicely charred and cooked through, about 10 minutes total.
Remove from grill, cover and let rest 5 minutes.
Roughly slice the chicken and toss with the remaining Buffalo sauce. Layer some cheese along half of your tortilla, followed by half the chicken, and more cheese. Place back on the grill and using a heavy object (like a cast iron) flatten the quesadilla. Flip and continue to cook until the cheese melts,you get good grill marks and everything is heated through. Remove from grill and slice. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pizza Biscuit Bake


While browsing Pinterest (again) I found a 4 ingredient pizza bake recipe that I knew I had to try. So while grocery shopping I pick up a box of Bisquick and the other 3 ingredients (pizza sauce, cheese, and pepperoni) I get home and am ready to make it and realize that it calls for buttermilk Bisquick complete. I obviously don't use Bisquick very often since I had no idea that there were more than one kind. I guess that's what I get for skimming through the recipe and not reading it thoroughly. (I have the tendency to do that sometimes!) Luckily I found another Pizza recipe that calls for original Bisquick and it's just as easy to assemble. This recipe will be a keeper. It was fantastic!

Pizza Biscuit Bake
Source-Betty Crocker

3 1/3 cups Original Bisquick mix
1 cup milk
2 cups pizza sauce
1 package (8 oz) sliced pepperoni
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 oz)
                                    
Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix and milk until soft dough forms. Drop half of dough by spoonfuls evenly over bottom of baking dish (dough will not completely cover bottom of dish). Drizzle 1 cup pizza sauce over dough. Scatter half of the pepperoni over sauce. Top with 1 cup of the cheese. Repeat layers with remaining dough, pizza sauce, pepperoni and cheese.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Dijon Chicken Club Sandwiches



I am becoming more and more addicted to Pinterest every day. I've been finding great recipe ideas and tonight's dinner was one of them. The original recipe calls for the sandwich to be cooked in a skillet but I decided to use my panini press and I used Cibatta bread instead of wheat and it turned out great! However you choose to make this sandwich I am sure you won't be disappointed! It was delicious!

Dijon Chicken Club Sandwiches
Adapted from Homemade by Holman

4 slices whole wheat bread ( I used Cibatta)
2 slices smoked mozzarella cheese
4 slices bacon
2 pieces of Dijon chicken (Recipe below)
2 tsp Dijon mustard

Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy. Drain on a paper towel. Remove bacon grease and wipe out pan with a paper towel, return pan to stove and reduce heat to medium. Thinly slice chicken breasts against the grain. Lightly butter one side of bread slices, spread mustard on non-buttered side of one piece of bread. Add one slice of cheese, 2 slices of bacon, cut in half, and half the chicken to each. Top with remaining slice of bread and place buttered side down in the skillet. Cook 3-4 minutes until golden brown and flip. Cook about another 3 minutes until cheese is melted and sandwich is golden brown.
Note: If using a panini press cook sandwich for about 3 minutes total.

For the Chicken

Dijon Chicken Marinade
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 T honey
1T lemon juice
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Combine mustard, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Add spices and stir. Prepare chicken breasts and place in a large plastic storage bag. Pour marinade over the chicken, close bag and shake bag gently and squeeze to evenly coat chicken. Refrigerate one hour.

Preheat grill, oil lightly and add chicken over medium heat. Cook 5-6 minutes and turn (if chicken sticks, give it another minute or so), cook about 5 minutes more until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil for about 10 minutes to allow juices to redistribute.

Dijon Chicken Club Sandwiches



I am becoming more and more addicted to Pinterest every day. I've been finding great recipe ideas and tonight's dinner was one of them. The original recipe calls for the sandwich to be cooked in a skillet but I decided to use my panini press and I used Cibatta bread instead of wheat and it turned out great! However you choose to make this sandwich I am sure you won't be disappointed! It was delicious!

Dijon Chicken Club Sandwiches
Adapted from Homemade by Holman

4 slices whole wheat bread ( I used Cibatta)
2 slices smoked mozzarella cheese
4 slices bacon
2 pieces of Dijon chicken (Recipe below)
2 tsp Dijon mustard

Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy. Drain on a paper towel. Remove bacon grease and wipe out pan with a paper towel, return pan to stove and reduce heat to medium. Thinly slice chicken breasts against the grain. Lightly butter one side of bread slices, spread mustard on non-buttered side of one piece of bread. Add one slice of cheese, 2 slices of bacon, cut in half, and half the chicken to each. Top with remaining slice of bread and place buttered side down in the skillet. Cook 3-4 minutes until golden brown and flip. Cook about another 3 minutes until cheese is melted and sandwich is golden brown.
Note: If using a panini press cook sandwich for about 3 minutes total.

For the Chicken

Dijon Chicken Marinade
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 T honey
1T lemon juice
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Combine mustard, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Add spices and stir. Prepare chicken breasts and place in a large plastic storage bag. Pour marinade over the chicken, close bag and shake bag gently and squeeze to evenly coat chicken. Refrigerate one hour.

Preheat grill, oil lightly and add chicken over medium heat. Cook 5-6 minutes and turn (if chicken sticks, give it another minute or so), cook about 5 minutes more until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil for about 10 minutes to allow juices to redistribute.

Very Vanilla Fruit Salad





I'm always in search of unique twists on classic sides and I had originally planned on bringing this fruit salad to a family party that we went to yesterday but I was hesitant about bringing a new recipe that I hadn't even tried before. What I decided to do was make two batches of fruit salad so that I could test out the recipe today. I made it for breakfast this morning for myself and my little guy and we both loved it! The vanilla/ sugar combo worked well with the fruit and while it added some extra sweetness to the fruit, it wasn't too sweet. Now I know I can bring it to my next picnic or party!

Very Vanilla Fruit Salad
Adapted from McCormick

2 cups strawberries, halved
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries
1 cup peaches, sliced
1 cup fresh or canned pineapple chunks
1 cup cantaloupe chunks
1 cup grapes
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract


Mix fruit, confectioners' sugar and vanilla in large bowl. Cover. Refrigerate 1 hour or until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Very Vanilla Fruit Salad





I'm always in search of unique twists on classic sides and I had originally planned on bringing this fruit salad to a family party that we went to yesterday but I was hesitant about bringing a new recipe that I hadn't even tried before. What I decided to do was make two batches of fruit salad so that I could test out the recipe today. I made it for breakfast this morning for myself and my little guy and we both loved it! The vanilla/ sugar combo worked well with the fruit and while it added some extra sweetness to the fruit, it wasn't too sweet. Now I know I can bring it to my next picnic or party!

Very Vanilla Fruit Salad
Adapted from McCormick

2 cups strawberries, halved
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries
1 cup peaches, sliced
1 cup fresh or canned pineapple chunks
1 cup cantaloupe chunks
1 cup grapes
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract


Mix fruit, confectioners' sugar and vanilla in large bowl. Cover. Refrigerate 1 hour or until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fresh Citrus Salsa


I made this fruity salsa as a topping to my citrus pulled pork nachos. It is also goes great on tacos or as nice change from ordinary chips and salsa. It was a hit!

Fresh Citrus Salsa
1 cup Mandarin oranges, chopped
Juice of 1 Lime
1 vine ripened tomato, diced
1 teaspoon seeded and minced serrano chile
1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
Pinch of Kosher salt

Gently toss the oranges, tomato, chile pepper, lime juice, vinegar, oil, and salt in a large bowl until combined. Refrigerate before serving if desired. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Citrus Pulled Pork Nachos



I originally came across this recipe about a year or two ago. The Neely's from the Food Network have a citrus pork taco recipe that sounded really good but since we just had tacos I decided to make nachos and cook the pork in the crock pot instead of the oven. The nachos turned out great and I topped them with my fresh citrus salsa. They were amazing!

Slow Cooker Citrus Pulled Pork Nachos
Adapted From Down Home with the Neely's

1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 pork loin (about 2 pounds)
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth or stock
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp honey
1 orange, halved and juiced
1 lime, halved and juiced
salt & pepper, to taste

For the Nachos
1/2 Bag Tortilla chips of your choice
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese ( I used queso fresco)
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 cup Citrus Salsa
Additional toppings of your choice

Spray bottom of your slow cooker with non stick cooking spray. Add pork. Combine the spices, tomato paste, honey, stock, and juices and pour over pork. Add onion and garlic. Cook pork on low 6-8 hours. Remove pork from slow cooker and shred. Lay tortilla chips onto baking sheet. Add pork and top with cheese. Broil on low for 4-5 minutes or until cheese is starting to brown. Top with sour cream and salsa along with an additional toppings of your choice.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Baked Four Cheese Penne Pasta



I haven't made a baked pasta dish in a while and this sounded like a great one to try. The recipe did call for sun dried tomatoes and I was actually a little hesitant to use them since they aren't one of my all time favorites but I'm glad I did. Even my little toddler loved it. This sure isn't a figure friendly dish but, WOW was it good! Rich, Creamy, Cheesy Pasta. What's not to love?!

Baked Four Cheese Penne Pasta
Source-Yummily.Com

3 tablespoons butter, plus additional 1/2 tbsp for baking dish
1 pound penne rigate
1/4 cup flour
6 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sliced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
2 cups shredded Italian 4 cheese blend
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Kosher salt and Black Pepper (to taste)

Preheat oven to 400. Butter a 13x9 baking dish. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 3 minutes short of al dente; drain pasta and set aside. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and garlic; cook, whisking, 1 minute. While whisking constantly, gradually add milk; bring to a simmer. Add tomatoes; cook 1 minute. Remove pot from heat and gradually stir in the shredded cheese blend and 1/2 cup Parmesan. Add pasta to the cheese mixture. Stir and transfer to a buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese on top of pasta.

Bake, uncovered, until top is golden and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Jalapeno White Cheddar, Bacon, and Tomato Grilled Cheese




Grilled Cheese is one of my favorite comfort foods. It's funny because growing up I wanted NOTHING to do with it. It wasn't until my late teens that I discovered how fantastic grilled cheese really is when I had a delicious and ooey gooey three cheese grilled cheese when out to eat with friends. I really was missing out all those years! I was so excited to find a Jalapeno White  Cheddar Cheese while grocery shopping. The spiciness of the cheese paired well with the saltiness of the bacon and tangy tomato. It was pure heaven!

Jalapeno White Cheddar, Bacon, and Tomato Grilled Cheese

4 Slices of good bakery bread (I used a hearty Italian loaf)
4 Slices Cheese of your choice
4 Slices of crisp cooked bacon
2 Tablespoons Butter
4 Slices Tomato

Heat skillet pan on medium-high heat. Meanwhile spread butter on each piece of bread. To assemble  add two slices of cheese, tomato, and bacon to each sandwich. Cook about 3-4 minutes per side or until bread is nicely toasted and cheese is melted. Makes 2 sandwiches. Enjoy!

Jalapeno White Cheddar, Bacon, and Tomato Grilled Cheese




Grilled Cheese is one of my favorite comfort foods. It's funny because growing up I wanted NOTHING to do with it. It wasn't until my late teens that I discovered how fantastic grilled cheese really is when I had a delicious and ooey gooey three cheese grilled cheese when out to eat with friends. I really was missing out all those years! I was so excited to find a Jalapeno White  Cheddar Cheese while grocery shopping. The spiciness of the cheese paired well with the saltiness of the bacon and tangy tomato. It was pure heaven!

Jalapeno White Cheddar, Bacon, and Tomato Grilled Cheese

4 Slices of good bakery bread (I used a hearty Italian loaf)
4 Slices Cheese of your choice
4 Slices of crisp cooked bacon
2 Tablespoons Butter
4 Slices Tomato

Heat skillet pan on medium-high heat. Meanwhile spread butter on each piece of bread. To assemble  add two slices of cheese, tomato, and bacon to each sandwich. Cook about 3-4 minutes per side or until bread is nicely toasted and cheese is melted. Makes 2 sandwiches. Enjoy!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Crock Pot Chicken Ranch Tacos






I'm starting the week in slow cooker mode. I love using mine when it's hot outside and it seems like there is never a lack of recipes. This is one of my favorites. The chicken stock keeps the chicken nice and juicy and the mixture is also great in quesadillas and burritos. Delicious!

Crock Pot Ranch Tacos

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 packet ranch seasoning( I used Hidden Valley)
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
4 oz Cream Cheese
1/4 Teaspoon Cumin
1 cup Chicken Stock
Flour Tortillas

Place chicken in bottom of crock pot. Add chicken stock and seasoning. Cover and cook on low 4-6 hours. Add cream cheese and cook an additonal 20 minutes. Shred chicken and put mixture into flour tortillas. Top with shredded lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and any additional toppings of your choice. Enjoy!


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Crock Pot French Dip Sandwiches




Today was a great day to use the crock pot since it is so warm outside and these french dip sandwiches couldn't have been easier to make. I added provolone to our sandwiches for a little something extra. They were delicious!


Crock Pot French Dip Sandwiches
Adapted from-Betty Crocker

3-lb beef roast (I used a sirloin tip but a chuck roast will work well too)
1 package (1 oz) onion recipe and dip soup mix (from 2-oz box)
1 can (10 1/2 oz) condensed beef broth
Sliced Provolone Cheese 
8 mini baguettes or sandwich buns
         
Spray 3- to 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place beef in cooker. In small bowl, mix dry soup mix and broth; pour over beef. Cover; cook on Low heat setting for 8 hours. Skim fat from liquid in cooker. Remove beef from cooker; place on cutting board. Cut beef across grain into thin slices or shred beef. To serve, cut each baguette in half horizontally. Fill baguettes with beef and add two slices of provolone; cut crosswise in half. Serve with broth for dipping. Beef mixture will hold on Low heat setting up to 2 hours; stir occasionally.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Magic Cookie Bars



Growing up Magic Cookie Bars were one of my favorite desserts. I remember my mom serving them as a dessert when she had dinner parties and they would even end up as part of the Christmas cookie collection. There is something about these bars that make them so addicting. This is actually my husbands favorite cookie bar. I also love how easy they are to make!

Magic Cookie Bars
Source-Eagle Brand

No-Stick Cooking Spray
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 cups (12 oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts
Heat oven to 350°F.
Coat 13 x 9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray. Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter in small bowl. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with chocolate chips, coconut and nuts. Press down firmly with fork.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Loosen from sides of pan while still warm; cool on wire rack. Cut into bars or diamonds.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Western Omelette Casserole




Every once in a while we like to have breakfast for dinner. It's usually waffles or pancakes and on occasion a skillet but I really don't make egg dishes all that often. I was browsing recipes on the food network and came across this breakfast casserole recipe. It looked pretty easy but I did tweak it a little. I used Rotel for a little spice and it was much easier than chopping my own peppers and tomatoes. It was delicious with just enough heat to give it a little umph!

Western Omelette Casserole
Adapted From Food Network Kitchens

3 tablespoons butter
1 small yellow onion, chopped
4 cups frozen shredded hash browns
2 Cups Diced Ham
1 can Rotel
1 1/2 Cups Milk
8 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 1/2 cups grated Cheddar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.Spray a deep 13 by 9-inch casserole dish with vegetable oil cooking spray. Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Add the onion and saute over medium-low heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the hash browns and break apart. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the milk, eggs, salt, and pepper, briskly to blend.

To assemble, spread the onions and hash browns evenly at the bottom of the greased dish. Add Rotel and then diced ham. Pour the milk and egg mixture over these layers. Lastly add the cheddar cheese. I reserved 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese to add to the casserole during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Bake the casserole, uncovered for 45 to 50 minutes, until puffed and golden brown.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bacon, Cheddar, Chicken, and Rice Bake





I have never been a fan of chicken casseroles because I hate the cream of soups that are usually in them. Cream of Chicken and Cream of Celery (to be specific) So on my google quest for a soup free casserole I came across this particular recipe. I had all the ingredients on hand and I decided to add bacon to mine for a little extra something. It was so good. A real comfort food meal. I can't wait to make this one again!

Bacon, Cheddar, Chicken and Rice Bake
Adapted from All Recipes

4 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion , chopped (about 1 cup)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 ½ cups chicken stock
3 ½ cups milk
1 ½ cups uncooked long-grain rice
3 cups cooked chicken , cubed (I use Rotisserie)
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese , shredded
1/2 cup cooked crumbled bacon

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat and cook onions until translucent. Add garlic, seasoned salt, and pepper. Add flour and mix well. Cook until starting to color. Stir milk and stock into flour mixture.Turn heat to medium high and add one cup cheese and continue to whisk as mixture comes to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add rice and lower heat to medium low. Cook until the rice absorbs most of the liquid and is tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add chicken and bacon to the rice and sauce mixture. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13 inch casserole. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar on top of the casserole. Place in oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbling.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Easy Oven Fried Chicken




What I like most about this recipe is that I get to enjoy all the yummy goodness of traditional fried chicken without all the guilt. Sure, this isn't super healthy but at least it is better for you than the deep fried version. The crust was crispy and the chicken was really moist. It was fantastic!

Easy Oven Fried Chicken
Source-About.Com Southern Food
Ingredients
3 to 4 pounds chicken parts ( I used breasts, drumsticks, and thighs)
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 425°.
Wash chicken and pat dry with paper towels. In a pie pan, combine flour, paprika, salt and pepper. Coat chicken with the flour mixture.
Put butter in a shallow baking pan; place in oven to melt. When butter is melted, arrange chicken in the baking pan in a single layer, skin side down. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes; turn and bake 15 minutes longer, or until chicken is tender and juices run clear. Serves 4.

Easy Oven Fried Chicken




What I like most about this recipe is that I get to enjoy all the yummy goodness of traditional fried chicken without all the guilt. Sure, this isn't super healthy but at least it is better for you than the deep fried version. The crust was crispy and the chicken was really moist. It was fantastic!

Easy Oven Fried Chicken
Source-About.Com Southern Food
Ingredients
3 to 4 pounds chicken parts ( I used breasts, drumsticks, and thighs)
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 425°.
Wash chicken and pat dry with paper towels. In a pie pan, combine flour, paprika, salt and pepper. Coat chicken with the flour mixture.
Put butter in a shallow baking pan; place in oven to melt. When butter is melted, arrange chicken in the baking pan in a single layer, skin side down. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes; turn and bake 15 minutes longer, or until chicken is tender and juices run clear. Serves 4.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mexican Stuffed Shells


I've never made any type of stuffed shells before. They always seemed time consuming or difficult to make. Not sure why I thought that since these were as easy as can be to prepare and you can pretty much stuff the shells with whatever filling you'd like. I loved the Mexican variation and I wish I had decided to make these stuffed shells sooner. They were a huge hit!

Mexican Stuffed Shells
Slightly Adapted From The Girl Who Ate Everything

Ingredients
1 pound lean ground beef
4 ounces cream cheese
20 jumbo pasta shells
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 cup taco sauce
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup Monterrey jack cheese
Sour Cream and Green Onions (Optional)

Preheat oven to 350°.
In a pan brown the ground beef; add taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions. Add cream cheese, cover and simmer until cheese is melted. Stir together and mix well. Set aside and cool completely. While ground beef is cooking, cook the pasta shells according to package directions; drain. Set shells out individually on cutting board or baking sheet so that they don’t stick together.
Pour salsa on bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Stuff each shell with 1-2 tablespoons of the meat mixture. Place shells in 9×13 pan open side up. Evenly cover shells with taco sauce. Cover dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, add shredded cheese and bake for 10-15 more minutes with the foil removed. Top with green onions if desired. Serve with sour cream and/or more salsa.
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