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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Creamy Fiesta Salsa Chicken

Source- My Happy Meals

This recipe sounded so easy to make.  You let the chicken cook in a slow cooker, add the other ingredients towards the end and serve!  It was so easy that I put the chicken on, and H did the rest, since I was gone to class.

I followed Molly's advice about making Spanish rice to serve the chicken over.  Was a great idea.  Leftovers did not last long with this recipe!

  • 3-4 chicken breasts (frozen is fine) (used just over a pound of tenderloins)
  • 1 jar salsa
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 8oz block cream cheese
  • 1 16oz can or bag of corn
  • Put chicken in bottom of slow cooker.  
  • Cover with salsa. 
  • Cook all day on low.
  • 45 minutes before serving add in the black beans (drained and rinsed), corn and cream cheese.
  • Heat through, and serve.  (I mixed quite a bit to make sure the cream cheese melted and was mixed throughout)
Next Time-  Nothing needs to be changed with this recipe.  I used Medium salsa, and it gave a nice little kick.  Super easy to make and tastes great!

Meatloaf, Round 2

Source- The Pioneer Woman Cooks

The last time I made meatloaf it was at the request of my H.  This time I decided to make it based on the picture that Pioneer Woman posted.  It looked really good, and the recipe sounded good too.  

  • Meatloaf:
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • 6 slices White Bread
  • 2 pounds Ground Beef (used half/half beef and turkey)
  • 1 cup (heaping) Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • ¼ teaspoons Seasoned Salt
  • ¾ teaspoons Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • ⅓ cups Minced Flat-leaf Parsley
  • 4 whole Eggs Beaten
  • 10 slices Thin/regular Bacon
  • Sauce:
  • 1-½ cup Ketchup
  • ⅓ cups Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
  • Tabasco To Taste
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Pour milk over the bread slices. Allow it to soak in for several minutes.
  • Place the ground beef, milk-soaked bread, Parmesan, seasoned salt, salt, black pepper, and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Pour in beaten eggs.
  • With clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined. 
  • Form the mixture into a loaf shape on a broiler pan, which will allow the fat to drain. (Line the bottom of the pan with foil to avoid a big mess!)
  • Lay bacon slices over the top, tucking them underneath the meatloaf.
  • Make the sauce: add ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and hot sauce in a mixing bowl. Stir together. Pour 1/3 of the mixture over the top of the bacon. Spread with a spoon.
  • Bake for 45 minutes, then pour another 1/3 of the sauce over the top. Bake for another 15 minutes. Slice and serve with remaining sauce.
Next Time- This recipe was super moist, which I'm sure had to do with the bread/milk mixture.  I would have really preferred for the bacon to get a bit crispy.  The kind I bought was pretty fatty, so cutting the slices of meatloaf wasn't that easy.  It still tasted great, and H really liked it.   Oh, and totally follow her directions about using a broiler pan and lining it with foil.  Clean up was a breeze!

Creamy Taco Mac

Source- Lauren's Kitchen

 This recipe looked so awesome in my Google Reader and it certainly didn't disappoint.  It comes together really easy and the leftovers are outstanding!  I highly recommend this recipe!

  • 1.25 lbs ground turkey  (used ground beef)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 8 oz dry pasta + 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • 1 16oz jar of salsa
  • 4 Tbsp mild taco seasoning  (1 packet is the equivalent)
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese, plus more for garnish
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
  • Cook pasta per directions. 
  • Reserve one cup of pasta water.
  • Over medium heat, brown ground turkey until no longer pink. 
  • Add onion and cook 5 minutes. 
  • Add taco seasoning and salsa. 
  • Allow to simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. 
  • Add cooked pasta, reserved water, cream cheese, sour cream, and shredded cheese. 
  • Give it a good stir until cheeses are melty and incorporated. 
  • Simmer over low heat for 2-3 minutes. 
  • Season with salt & pepper, as desired. 
  • Top off with cheddar cheese for extra cheesy goodness.

Next Time- This recipe is outstanding.  I'd like to try and make it with the ground turkey next time.  

Where has the time gone?

I had grand ambitions to talk about life, but time has just gotten away from me.  Let me share what's been going on.

I'm the proud Mommy of a 4 month old!!  Baby Rebel is doing more and more.  He still hasn't mastered rolling.  He hates being on his tummy, but doesn't get mad enough to roll onto his back.  He holds  his head up like a champ, and loves to stand up.  He loves sucking and chewing on his first fingers, sometimes his thumb or middle finger.  So far he isn't teething.  His little giggle is the sweetest sound, and he is so freaking ticklish!  I didn't realize how well he knew me until I visited my family last week.  If someone else was holding him and he heard my voice he would immediately look around to find me.  Anytime he saw me his little face would light up with a smile.  Totally melted my heart.

His 4 month check-up will be Monday.  So he'll be getting some shots.  He handled them like a pro at 2 months, so I'm hoping for a repeat performance.  He gets another u/s done on his liver on Thursday and then we see his specialist right after.  Hopefully she has good news, and he can go off his beta blocker.  We've already weaned him off the steroids and Zantac.

On the personal front, I've started school.  This time last year I was accepted into the Pharmacy Technician Program at a local community college.  I also found out I was pregnant with Baby Rebel and my due date was the same week the class ended and I would be studying for and taking the certification exam.  Since I had no idea how my pregnancy would progress or if I would have the baby early (which I did) I opted to postpone the class till after the baby was born.  Fast forward to this year and I've gotten everything all sorted out and I started this past Tuesday.  Class is only 2 nights a week for a total of 4 hours, so very manageable with H's schedule.  We haven't actually gotten the syllabus or had our professors start teaching anything because of tests we are required to take.  Hopefully next week that will start.  I'm eager to get some schooling and experience that can land me a decent job! 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Pasta

Source- Stephanie Cooks

Sometimes I don't have a story for why I pick a recipe.  This looked good months ago when it came up in my Google Reader.  I just browsed through my saved recipes when making my weekly menu, and this recipe looked good.

The one change I made was to cook everything in one pot.  I hate dirtying dishes, so I'd rather take a bit longer to cook everything and only dirty one dish.  I cooked the pasta and broccoli first.  Then the chicken, and then continued the dish as the directions specified.  Note- I changed the directions to reflect how I cooked.

  • 8 ounces pasta (used rigatoni)
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 1lb chicken, cubed
  • 1 cup mushrooms, diced  (used 7oz can)
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1 1/3 cup 1% milk 
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 tbsp. light cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  • Add broccoli to the pasta during the last couple of minutes of cooking.  Drain.
  • Add oil to skillet. 
  • Cook chicken until no longer pink and slightly browned. 
  • Remove from pan.
  • Add the onions and mushrooms to same pan. Stir occasionally. Cook until soft.
  • Add the garlic, stir well, cook for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the flour, stirring it into the veggies. 
  • Pour in the milk and whisk continually until well combined.
  • Cook until it thickens, about 10 minutes. Once it thickens add the salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Lower the heat, stir in the cream cheese. Continue stirring until well combined.
  • Add the parmesan cheese, stirring until combined.
  • Add the red pepper flakes, chicken, pasta, and broccoli to the skillet. 
  • Allow to heat over low heat until all ingredients are hot.
Next Time- This recipe had great flavor.  Nothing needs to be changed.