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Chicken and Rice Casserole

December 24, 2009 Leave a comment


Recipe & picture courtesy of Food Network – Paula Deen

Prep 10 min
Cook 30 min
Total: 40 min
Serves 6

  • 2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 cups diced, cooked chicken
  • 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans green beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
  • 1 (4-ounce) jar pimentos
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 (6-ounce) box long-grain wild rice, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar
  • Pinch salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat butter or oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients to bowl and mix together until thoroughly combined.
  4. Pour into a greased 3-quart casserole dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.

Notes & Comments: One of the biggest changes I would make for next time is to season the chicken when you cook it. I chopped up three chicken breasts and just cooked them in EVOO. Next time I will add some spice to the EVOO while they’re cooking – the chicken was sort of bland.  It was good though – we served it to guests and the two kids (4 & 2) both ate it. I will make this again with a few tweaks to the recipe. It was good!

Winter White Burger

December 18, 2009 Leave a comment


Recipe & picture courtesy of Rachael Ray

4 Servings
Prep 20 min
Cook 25 min

  • 2 pounds ground turkey breast
  • 4 scallions, white parts only, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 ripe bartlett pear, cut lengthwise into 8 slices
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 4 tablespoons hot pepper jelly or jalapeño jelly
  • 4 extra-large English muffins, split and toasted
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the turkey, scallions, mustard, lemon peel and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Shape into four 3/4-inch-thick patties.
  2. In a small nonstick skillet, add the pear slices, wine, lemon juice and enough water to just cover the pear. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the pear is softened, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pear slices to a plate.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, over medium heat. Add the turkey patties and cook, turning once, for 12 minutes. Top with the cheese and pear slices, tent the pan with foil and cook until the cheese is melted, 2 minutes.
  4. Spread 1 tablespoon hot pepper jelly on each English muffin bottom; top with a patty and an English muffin top.

Notes & Comments: This was very quick to make – I got home late and wanted to throw something together quickly.  It was a very easy recipe to follow as well.  I did add some breadcrumbs to the turkey mixture because our ground turkey was very soft when mixing everything together – the breadcrumbs allow the meat to stick to itself when cooking and not fall apart when you turn them.  Just be careful to not add too much or you’ll dry the burger out.  You’ll also want to watch how much lemon zest you add to the mixture as well – I added the zest of one large lemon and BIL commented that it was a little too lemony for his taste.  Jason & I liked it as is though.  I did not use hot pepper jelly or jalapeno jelly because I didn’t know where to find it, I didn’t know if we would like it and I didn’t know when I would use it again so I didn’t see the point in buying it.  It tasted great without it though!

Skillet Pork and Peppers

October 21, 2009 Leave a comment

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Recipe & picture courtesy of Food Network Magazine

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time : 22 min
Total Time: 42 min
Serves 4

  • 1 large pork tenderloin (about 11/2 pounds), trimmed
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, thickly sliced
  • 2 red and/or yellow bell peppers, sliced into wide strips
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 16 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup sliced pickled pepperoncini, plus 2 teaspoons liquid from the jar
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat the broiler. Slice the pork on an angle into 1-inch-thick pieces; season with salt. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat; add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onion and bell peppers; season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until the vegetables are crisp-tender and slightly browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet. Add the pork and sear over high heat until browned, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the pork to the plate with the onion and peppers.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic, sage and tomato paste to the skillet. Cook, stirring, until the tomato paste turns brick-red, about 1 minute. Add the pepperoncini slices and their liquid, then pour in the wine and bring to a boil. Add the broth and return to a simmer. Arrange the pork in a single layer in the skillet; add the onion and peppers and sprinkle with cheese. Transfer to the oven and broil until the pork is cooked through, 4 to 7 minutes.

Notes & Comments: I used dried sage and skipped the wine because I didn’t have any and this still turned out amazing.  I’m always a little nervous when cooking pork because it’s so easy to overcook it and make it tough and chewy.  But I loved the idea of searing it on each side and then throwing it in the oven to broil the rest of the way.  It was very tender and I was pleased with it.  Jason said it would be great next time served on a bed of rice as well.

White Chocolate Cherry Chunkies

October 18, 2009 Leave a comment

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Recipe & picture courtesy of Food Network Magazine

Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time: 15 min
Total Time: 40 min
Makes 4 dozen

  • 1 stick salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup candied cherries
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chunks or chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 375. Grease 1 or more cookie sheets.
  2. Using a mixer, cream the butter and both sugars in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until just combined. Set aside.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Add the milk to the butter mixture and then the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. (The batter should be stiff.)
  4. Combine the nuts, cherries and white chocolate in another bowl. Add the mixture to the batter, stirring until just blended. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake 13 to 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Notes & Comments: I couldn’t find candied cherries so instead of attempting to make my own I just used plain dried cherries.  I have read that another option is to dry out maraschino cherries overnight and use those.  Another idea would to be use the juice from the maraschino cherries in the batter for more of a cherry flavor.  I used the recommended amount of butter but read in other reviews people used 1 1/2 sticks to 2 and they enjoyed the richness of the cookie – I will try that out next time.  I was worried because the batter seemed a little sticky when I was putting it on the cookie sheet but they tasted wonderful and I had nothing but great reviews on these!

Croque Monsieur Mac and Cheese

October 18, 2009 Leave a comment

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Recipe & picture courtesy of Food Network Magazine

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 35 min
Total Time: 55 min

Yield: 4 servings

  • 1/2 pound ziti
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups coarsely grated gruyere cheese (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 slices white sandwich bread, roughly diced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced deli-boiled ham
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ziti and cook until al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl; toss with 1/4 cup milk.
  2. Meanwhile, combine both cheeses in a bowl. Beat 1/4 cup milk and the eggs in another bowl; fold in the bread and add half of the cheese.
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over high heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring, until just brown, 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour, cayenne, nutmeg and 1 teaspoon Kosher salt; cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Slowly add 3/4 cup water and the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk; bring to a boil, stirring until thickened. Remove from the heat and whisk to cool slightly. Whisk in the remaining cheese, then add the pasta and toss.
  4. Butter a shallow casserole dish. Add half of the pasta, top with some of the ham and cover with the remaining pasta. Top with the remaining ham, then cover with the bread mixture. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Let rest a few minutes before serving.

Notes & Comments: This came out wonderful, it takes a little juggling in the kitchen to have everything going at the same time and coming together at the correct time but it tasted wonderful.  I added crushed cornflakes on top of the casserole just before putting it into the oven to create a crispy topping.

Layered Fiesta Casserole

September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

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Recipe & picture courtesy of Kraft Foods

Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 50 min
Makes: 6 servings

  • 1 lb. extra-lean ground beef
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 jar (16 oz.) TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Thick ‘N Chunky Salsa
  • 1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen corn, thawed
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 inch)
  • 1-1/2 cups KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, divided
  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Brown meat with peppers in large skillet; drain. Return to skillet. Stir in salsa, tomatoes and corn.
  3. Spread 1 cup meat mixture onto bottom of 13×9-inch baking dish; top with 6 tortillas, overlapping as necessary. Cover with layers of half each of the remaining meat mixture and cheese; top with remaining tortillas and meat mixture. Cover with foil.
  4. Bake 25 to 30 min. or until heated through. Top with remaining cheese; let stand 5 min. or until melted.

Notes & Comments: This is a great one dish meal, I chopped up half of an onion and added it to the mix as well.  I also used canned corn instead of frozen corn because I dislike frozen corn.  It’s great as leftovers too!

Ravioli and Zucchini Lasagna

September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

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Recipe & picture courtesy of Good Housekeeping

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Total Time: 40 min
Serves 6

  • 2 medium zucchini (about 1 lb total), cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • 1 package (26 oz) frozen large cheese ravioli
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 8 oz lean ground beef (90% fat free)
  • 1 jar (26 oz) tomato-basil sauce
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheet with paper towels. Grease 1 quart ceramic baking dish.
  2. Heat large covered saucepot of water to boiling over high heat. Add zucchini and cook 5 minutes. With tongs or slotted spoon, remove zucchini to prepared cookie sheet to drain. Return water to boiling. Add ravioli and cook until ravioli rise to the top.
  3. Meanwhile, in 3 qt saucepan, heat 2 tsp oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook 8-10 minutes or until tender and lightly browned; transfer to small bowl. In same saucepan, in remaining 1 tsp oil, cook beef over medium high heat 3-4 minutes or until browned, breaking up beef with side of spoon. Stir in tomato sauce and onion; heat to boiling.
  4. Drain ravioli; return to saucepot. Add meat sauce to ravioli in saucepot and stir until combined.
  5. In prepared baking dish, arrange half of zucchini; top with half of ravioli, then half of mozzarella and half of Parmesan. Repeat layering all ingredients. Bake 20 minutes or until hot in the center and golden and bubbly on top.

Notes & Comments: I added cooked ground turkey (or beef/chicken) to the sauce mixture to add more flavor to this.  It’s a very simple meal to make and I love that instead of lasagna noodles you use zucchini.  This dish has a great flavor and is a huge hit with everyone when I make it.