Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Buffalo Chicken Soup

I made Buffalo Wing Soup last week.

P ate it too though he did say it looked gross. Which yes, I will admit it did a little bit, but the taste was great! (I'm not sure if it was the buffalo sauce or not, but it did separate a little bit while cooking... there was a layer on top but when stirred together it was fine. You can see it a little bit in the left of the picture)

We used Franks Red Hot Buffalo Sauce. I may try another kind next time. The onions and the celery were not overpowering and I used my Pampered Chef Chopper to make them super small. The literally melted into the soup. No crunch and they were virtually undetectable other than the green of the celery. I also doubled the chicken broth and used 1% milk. It did not curdle. Oh and I used Garlic and Onion Powder since I didn't have salt. I added a little bit of cheddar cheese to the top before serving and it was YUM!This was a good soup. Find the recipe here


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Roasted Red Potatoes

This was the perfect side dish to the Crockpot Roast Chicken last night! I improvised with what I had and it turned out great. I'm sure there are lots of versions floating around there but this is what I came up with.


5-6 larger Red Potatoes (or the smaller ones too, I made enough for 2 plus leftovers)
1.5 T Minced Garlic or 2-3 cloves of garlic
2 T Rosemary
Kosher Salt
Ground Pepper
2 T Olive Oil


I washed off the potatoes and cut into 6ths and 8ths because they were so big. If you have smaller ones quarter or halves are fine. I tossed them in a bowl with the oil and seasonings and mixed them all together to coat everything evenly. Lay them out on a baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 450*-500* depending on your oven, flipping at least once. I actually cooked ours for 20 min at 450*, flipped, and then another 10 minutes at 500*. They were crispy and golden on the outside and perfectly cooked on the inside. Plus, the house smelled excellent while they were roasting away!


Crockpot Roast Chicken

So I'm sure everyone knows that Crockpot cooking is simple, delicious, easy, and pretty darn near impossible to screw up. This recipe proves all 4 to be true.

1 Whole Chicken (my 6lb chicken fit well into the 6qt. crockpot)
Herbs/Seasoning to taste (I used Rosemary)
1 Onion

So the carrots didn't really add anything for this but I had in mind that we would be eating them so they can be (and will be for us) excluded in the future.

I skinned the chicken after reading Stephanie's post about globs of chicken fat simmering all day. UGH I think I just dry heaved thinking about it. Anyways, I got as much of the fat/skin as I could and just today relized that using my Chicken Shears would have made things much easier than my chefs knife. I'll know for next time.

I bought a Tyson chicken that luckily didn't have the neck and giblets waiting for me inside. If yours does, remove that stuff and try not to gag. I cut the onion in pieces and stuffed about 1/3 of it into the cavity after sprinkling with salt and pepper. Season the rest of the chicken with the salt, pepper, and herbs as desired. I tossed the remaining onion and the carrot slices in the crockpot and placed the chicken on top. No liquid necessary. This made plenty on it's own. I cooked it on low for about 9 hours and then switched to warm until dinner. (Cook 8-10 hours on low or 6-8 on high depending on the size of your bird)

This was a fantastic and tasty chicken that stayed unbelievably moist, plus it just fell away from the bones it was so tender. I was pleasantly surprised since I had removed the skin and it wasn't greasy like it usually is. I will continue to use this recipe as a base for lots of other things.
Now, what to do with the leftovers?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Menu Planning Monday

Well, I missed last week so I guess this isn't a habit yet, but I remembered today! The menu is still in process though.

Monday: Crockpot Roast Chicken (if a success will post recipe!)
Red Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic
Tuesday- Pork Chops
Thursday- Taco Thursday!
Friday-Pot Roast? Something Halloween-y?

I'll also be making Stephanie's Chicken Broth on Tuesday with the leftover chicken stuff!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Crockpot- Beef Tips and Noodles

Now that I've got my new 4qt crockpot (on clearance at Target thankyouverymuch!) I am wanting to use it every day! I made this recipe once before but misplaced it. I couldn't find it this morning so I improvised.

2 lbs. Beef Tips
1 can Healthy Request Cream of Mushroom
1 can Golden Mushroom
1/2 can Beef Broth mixed with 1/2 packet of Lipton Onion Soup Mix (or 1 can French Onion Soup)

Mix soups together in crockpot, add beef tips, stir a bit to coat the meat. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, high for 4-6 depending on your crockpot.

Serve over wide egg noodles. You could probably add them uncooked to the crock about 30 minutes before serving or cook on the stovetop (thats what I do).


Menu Pan Monday... on Tuesday

So in an effort to keep myself organized and update on more than a monthly basis, I have decided to start participating in Menu Plan Monday hosted by Laura.

P and I tend to eat the same things in rotation but we are trying to find new and fun recipes that are both super easy and super tasty! We plan for the week but leave weekends open. I usually end up scribbling it down on a notebook before heading to the grocery store on Sundays. Now I will be able to refer to Panini Monday instead!

Wednesday- Crockpot Barbeque Chicken
Thursday- Taco Thursday!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Crockpot- Cream Cheese Chicken

Okay so first of all this woman is amazing! She made a resolution to use her crockpot every day in 2008. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY! and she has done it successfully for 262 days so far. Now I always used to tease my mom about using her crockpot and how it was a cop-out for cooking a real dinner. (Sorry Mom!) But honestly, it's amazing- and so easy! (though I would never admit that out loud) Anyways, I have only used mine a couple of times but every time we have a delicious meal that seems like I spent all day cooking. Well, after finding Stephanie's amazing website I figure I should pull the crock down from the cupboard and give it a proper place on the counter for the season.

Our inaugural meal was the Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken last week. Now I shant remind you of the pickiness of tastes and textures in our household so I had to be sneaky. He was told I used "Campbells Cream Soup" and "Italian Seasoning" along with some other good stuff, it was actually Cream of Mushroom and Italian Dressing Mix hehehe. And I used frozen chicken tenderloins, throw them in and forget about them! We served it over egg noodles that we cooked on the stove. Easy peasy!

We both ate it, it was a bit too garlicky for us (I used 2 pretty big cloves) but the chicken just fell apart with a wooden spoon! It was so creamy and wonderful that we will be having it again in the future. Probably omiting the garlic since the Italian Dressing has a bunch in it already :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Panini- Italian

Okay so if one thing is consisent in our house, it's that on (most) Monday's we have Panini's. Thus the name, Panini Monday! When we first got married we wanted to settle into some routines that would hopefully make our lives easier and more enjoyable. Plus, I wanted to play Suzie Homemaker and make all sorts of delicious meals for my husband and I to enjoy. Well- not so much. In fact, there was more days of trying to decide what to have for dinner that by the time it was all said and done it was neither easy nor delicious. One week we tried panini's (thanks to the WONDERFUL bonus gift that we got with our stylish calphalon one cookware) and we were hooked. This is the first recipe we made and it has stuck. It is our go-to meal on Monday's and couldn't be easier. It's hard to screw up a sandwich, I haven't met one I didn't like!

It's all about the bread! (We favor Italian)

Then we fill it:

Provolone Cheese
Hard Salami
Sliced Pepperoni (Hormel Sandwich is our fav)
Hot Capiocola

(I add italian dressing and Pepperoncini's to mine)

Brush the bread with a bit of olive oil

Place on the pan (I preheat my panini pan on medium while I am assembling the sandwichs)

Press with the weight (or use a pan with a canned good on top)

Flip after 4-5 minutes when the bread gets browned and crispy.

Cook another 4-5 minutes on the other side

Cut in half (on an angle if you'd like) and Enjoy!

Be careful they're hot!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Chicken Enchiladas

So given that I live with one of the pickiest eaters I've ever met in my life over the age of 3, I have to omit and adjust lots of recipes in order to accomodate. (It keeps me creative) One of my coveted wedding presents was the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, Bridal edition. (with high hopes that I would be the next Julia Child) It has some of my favorite recipes from growing up and I'm trying to incorporate them into our lives as well, of course without burning down the house and ending up with takeout. We had this for dinner on Monday and it still needs to be tweaked but I got an "it's good" from P so I would assume I'm on the right track. Plus he ate it for lunch yesterday so that's even better that he choked it down a second time involuntarily!

Prep: 30 minutes Bake: 40 minutes

(My ommissions are highlighted in Red)
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup chopped
2 tablespoons
butter or margarine
1 4-ounce can diced green chile
peppers, drained
1 3-ounce package
cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon
1/4 teaspoon ground
2 cups chopped cooked chicken (or turkey)

12 7-inch flour
tortillas or 6-inch corn tortillas
(I use 6, 8-inch flour tortillas)
1 10.75-ounce can reduced-fat condensed
cream of chicken (or cream of mushroom soup)
1 8-ounce carton light dairy
sour cream
1 cup milk
3/4 cup shredded
Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese (3 ounces)
2 tablespoons slivered almonds


1. In a medium skillet cook the 1/4 cup almonds and the onion in hot butter over medium heat until onion is tender and nuts are lightly toasted. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the canned green chile peppers; reserve remaining peppers for sauce.

2. In a medium bowl
stir together cream cheese, the 1 tablespoon milk, and the cumin; add nut mixture and chicken. Stir until combined. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture onto each tortilla near an edge; roll up. Place filled tortillas, seam side down, in a greased 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Set aside.

3. For
sauce, in a medium bowl combine the reserved chile peppers, the soup, sour cream, and the 1 cup milk. Pour evenly over the tortillas in the baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven about 35 minutes or until heated through. Remove foil. Sprinkle enchiladas with cheese and the 2 tablespoons almonds. Return to oven; bake about 5 minutes more or until cheese melts. Makes 6 servings- supposedly.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pasta Salad

So of course there are 16 million and 1 ways to make this and of course everyone thinks that theirs is the best so naturally- since I'm the one doing the posting- here is the best pasta salad recipe ever. I mean seriously- who is going to argue with chunks of pepperoni and cheese?!?!

1 box of Tri Color Rotini (you can use plain but then you wouldn't be any fun)
1 stick of pepperoni
- cut to chunks. (slices work but aren't as good IMO)
1 block of mild cheddar cheese
- cut to chunks. I want to TASTE the cheese!
1 bottle of Italian Dressing (I use the light stuff- honest I do!)
If you are feeling healthy you can add some diced tomato (Fresh Please, NO Seeds!)

Cook pasta according to directions
Strain and splash some cold water on them to cool them off,
Add the goods and mix it up
Put spoonful after spoonful on your plate and leave little to no room for anything else.

Enjoy! (with or without fork, spoon, stick, or spork)

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

1 can of corn (drained)
1 can of black beans (drained)
1/4 cup mayonaise (I use Light)
juice from 1 lime
1 tomatoes
1 small red onion or half of a medium (chopped)

Combine mayonaise and lime juice in bowl
Add the rest of the ingredients
Mix together


Buffalo Chicken Dip

As requested by Britt, who had her first taste this weekend and has been craving it ever since!

2 big cans of cooked chicken, drained
-shred it with a fork first to make it easier to mix

2 packs of cream cheese
-I prefer Philadelphia Light- warmed a bit in the microwave to make it easier to mix

Your favorite buffalo sauce (I use BW3’s Medium)
-Use as much or as little as you like!

Handful or so of shredded cheddar cheese

Few Shakes of onion powder to taste

Few Shakes of garlic powder to taste

-Option-, can add diced jalepeno's and/or chipotle's for an extra bite of hot!

Mix it all together, heat, stir, serve with chips or soft tortilla shells or eat it straight from the bowl!


(This makes a big bowl size but adjust accordingly for however much you need- usually about 1 pack of cream cheese to 1 can of chicken, but you can adjust if you want it more chicken-y or creamy)


Okay so I'm definitely not a Martha Stewart, or a Julia Child, or even a Rachel Ray. But I try.

This will be an effort to document my successful recipes (however few and far between) to remind myself that I can cook- sometimes- and not end up with yucky mush, or a blown-up kitchen. But you better believe there will still be a giant mess either way!

This is to everyone who has ever tried to make a delectible smore brownie dessert and ended with an oven full of flames (Trust, I've never yelled FIRE! louder, or seen my husband move faster in all my life!) and an inedible dissapointment.

Welcome to Panini Monday!