Saturday, November 15, 2008

Artichoke Chicken

My husband rated this a 9 out of 10, which is very rare. It tastes great, but is a bit sweet and rich, so pair it with some cooked veggies, rice, or pasta.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and Pepper
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 box frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and halved (I used canned artichokes and drained and quartered them)
1 c. dry white wine
1/4 c. honey
2 T. white wine vinegar
2 T. butter
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley

Dust seasoned chicken breasts with flour. Saute in oil in a large nonstick skillet over med. high heat until brown, about 3 min. per side.

Add artichokes and saute 2 min, or until edges are lightly golden. Whisk wine, honey, and vinegar together, then pour over chicken. Simmer 3 min. to reduce slightly.

Finish with butter, then stir in parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Noodles

Talk about a great way to sneak in veggies! This is a dish that's super kid-friendly and makes for a great comfort food!

2 c. sliced carrots
1 1/2 c. chopped onions
1 c. sliced celery
2 T. snipped fresh parsley (I use 2 t. dried)
1 bay leaf
2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken tenders, cut into 1/2 in. pieces
2 10 3/4 oz. cans reduced fat and reduced sodium cream of chicken soup
1/2 c. water
1 t. dried thyme, crushed
1/2 t. black pepper
10 oz. wide noodles
1 c. frozen peas
Salt and pepper

1. In a 3 1/2 to 4 qt. slow cooker place carrots, onions, celery, parsley, and bay leaf. Place chicken on top of vegetables. In a bowl stir together soup, water, thyme, and pepper. Pour over chicken and vegetables.

2. Cover and cook on low setting for 8-9 hours or high for 4- 4 1/2 hours. Discard bay leaf.

3. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to pkg. directions; drain. Stir peas and noodles into mixture in cooker. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Crockpot Oregano Chicken

This recipe makes some delicious chicken with a Greek flair. I don't usually eat the vegetables because they're very salty, but they add great flavor to the chicken!

4 med. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 T. cooking oil
1 med. fennel bulb, cut into 1/2 in. pieces
1 med. onion, cut into wedges
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. water
2 T. balsamic vinegar (I use regular, the recipe calls for white)
2 t. instant chicken bouillon granules
1 T. snipped fresh oregano or 1 t. dried oregano, crushed
1/4 t. crushed red pepper

1. In a large skillet brown chicken breasts in hot oil. Drain off fat. In a 3 1/2 to 4 qt. slow cooker combine fennel, onion, and garlic. Add the chicken breasts. In a bowl stir together the water, balsamic vinegar, bouillon granules, dried oregano (if using) and red pepper. Pour over all.

2. Cover; cook on low-heat for 5-6 hours or on high heat for 2 1/2 to 3 hrs. If using, stir in the 1 T. fresh oregano.

Mexican Chicken Chowder

This is a delicious soup that I dump in to the crockpot in the morning, let it cook all day, and serve it with a salad or sandwich for supper. It's also hearty enough that sometimes we eat it on its own! Cooking it in the crockpot all day leaves the chicken so tender and the jalapeno cheese adds just a little bit of a kick to it.

1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 in. pieces
1 11-oz. can whole kernel corn with sweet peppers, drained
1 10 3/4 oz. can cream of potato soup
1 4 oz. can diced green chile peppers
2 T. snipped fresh cilantro
1 1/4 oz. envelope taco seasoning mix (I use Taco Bell brand)
3 c. chicken broth
1 8 oz. carton dairy sour cream
1/2 of an 8 oz. pkg. Velveeta with jalapeno peppers, cubed

1. In a 3 1/2-4 qt. slow cooker combine chicken, corn, soup, undrained chile peppers, cilantro, and taco seasoning mix. Stir in chicken broth. Cover; cook on low heat setting for 4-6 hrs. or high heat for 2-3 hrs.

2. Stir about 1 c. of the hot soup into the sour cream. Stir sour cream mixture and cheese into the mixture in cooker; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Stir with whisk until combined.

Chicken Piccata

This dish looks very elegant, but it's not that hard and tastes delicious! This is the only reason I keep capers in my fridge :-)

4 chicken cutlets, pounded flat

Saute in:
2 T. vegetable oil

Deglaze with:
1/4 c. dry white wine
1 t. garlic, minced

1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. capers, drained
Sauteed cutlets

Finish with:
2 T. unsalted butter
Fresh lemon slices

Garnish with:
Chopped parsley

Season cutlets with salt and pepper then coat with flour. Add vegetable oil to a nonstick pan and heat over med. high heat.

Saute cutlets 2-3 minutes on one side. Flip the cutlets over and saute the other side 1-2 min. with the pan covered. Transfer cutlets to a warm plate; pour off fat from the pan.

Deglaze pan with wine and add minced garlic. Cook until garlic is slightly brown and liquid is nearly gone, about 2 min.

Add broth, lemon juice and capers. Return cutlets to pan and cook on each side 1 minute. Transfer cutlets to a warm plate.

Finish with butter and lemon slices. Once butter melts, pour sauce over cutlets.

Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve.

This recipe comes from Cuisine At Home magazine.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

"Two Die For" Pecan Pies!

This makes two of the BEST PECAN PIES EVER!!!!

1 box light brown sugar
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 stick butter, melted
2 Tbl. spoons light corn syrup
2 Tbl. spoons water
2 cups whole pecans
2 frozen pie shells (reg. not deep dish)

mix first six ingredients, pour into shells, bake at 325 for 40 min. or till centers are set.

This is an easy recipe that makes an excellent pie!

top with fresh whipped cream. oh so good!

Chicken and Cornbread Stuffing Casserole

If you're looking for ways to use up leftover turkey, try using it in place of the chicken. This is super simple to assemble and is a great way to sneak in veggies!

1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 c. milk
1 pkg frozen mixed vegetables, thawed and drained
1 med. onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. ground sage or poultry seasoning
2 cooked chicken breasts
1 1/2 c. corn bread stuffing mix
1/8 tsp. pepper
Paprika (optional)

1. Heat oven to 400. Spray 3-qt. casserole with cooking spray

2. Heat soup and milk to boiling in 3-qt. saucepan over high heat, stirring frequently. Stir in mixed vegetables, onion, and sage. Heat to boiling, stirring frequently; remove from heat.

3. Stir in chicken and stuffing mix. Spoon into casserole. Sprinkle with pepper and paprika. Bake uncovered about 15 minutes or until hot in center.

Crock Pot Mac N' Cheese

This is yummy for both adults and kids. It's so delicious-- but definitely not the healthiest thing on the menu :-)

8 oz. macaroni, slightly undercooked and drained
2 cups shredded cheddar
1 can evaporated milk
1 stick margarine or butter, melted
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp salt and pepper

Combine all the ingredients and top with an extra cup of cheddar cheese. Do not stir. Cook on low for 3 hours.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Orange-Chicken Rice Bowl

This was so good, and super easy to make. I didn't think it had enough orange or sesame flavor, so next time I'll add some orange zest and more of the dressing (or just sesame oil). My husband and kids really liked it -- no leftovers!

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips/chunks
1/4 cup KRAFT Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing
1/4 cup orange juice
3 cups frozen stir-fry vegetables
3 cups hot cooked long-grain rice
1/4 cup chopped peanuts (optional)

HEAT large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add oil (I used peanut, you can use canola or vegetable) and chicken; stir-fry 5-7 min or until cooked through.

STIR in dressing and juice. Bring to boil. Add vegetables; cook 5-7 min or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

SERVE over rice. Sprinkle with nuts, if desired.

Recipe taken from

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sloppy Joes

I've never been a fan of sloppy joes, but these are really yummy and they couldn't be easier! I use extra mustard because I like it a little more tangy.

1 lb. ground beef
1 can condensed chicken gumbo soup
2 T mustard
2 T ketchup
a few shakes of dehydrated onion chips

Brown beef in a skillet; drain. Stir in chicken gumbo soup (do NOT add water)
Add seasonings. Simmer on low for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve on buns or over mashed potatoes. Makes 6-8 burgers.

Mojo Turkey Tacos

This is a great recipe to use up leftover turkey. When it's not Thanksgiving, I just use ground turkey breast instead. We never have leftovers it's so good! The kids eat the ingredients separately rather than as a taco, but they still eat it up.

1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp orange juice
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp hot chili powder
1/8 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp sour cream
2 cups (about 12 oz) cooked, coarsely chopped turkey breast (or substitute 1 lb ground turkey breast)
8 (6-in) flour tortillas
1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup salsa
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup Mexican-blend cheese
1/2 cup diced avocado

1. Using a whisk, mix first 7 ingredients (through sour cream) in a small bowl. Toss with the cooked turkey. Set aside.

2. Heat the tortillas according to package directions.

3. Spoon 1/4 cup of turkey mixture onto each tortilla. Then top each tortilla with 2 tbsp black beans, 1 tbsp salsa, 2 tbsp lettuce, 1 tbsp cheese, and 1 tbsp avocado. (This is how the recipe was written. I just put some of everything onto a tortilla, just to my tasting!)

4. Fold the tortilla around taco mixture and serve.

Recipe was taken from Health magazine.

Chicken Ravioli Soup

This is so delicious and filling! One of the best things about it is that it's chunky -- Lauren doesn't eat soupy things too well, so I could just scoop out the chunks for her to eat. Both the kids loved it too! It made plenty for us to eat, and just about as much in leftovers. It was also really easy to make.

2 tbsp olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
2 (10.5 oz) cans chicken broth
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes with garlic and onion, undrained
2 small zucchini, diced
1 (25 oz) pkg frozen cheese ravioli
2 tsp dried parsley
grated parmesan cheese

In Dutch oven, saute chicken in hot oil until no longer pink on outside, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, and zucchini; cover and bring to a boil. Add frozen ravioli; simmer, uncovered, about 7 minutes or until ravioli reaches desired doneness. Stir in parsley.

To serve, ladle into soup bowls; sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Potato-Leek Soup

This is one of my favorite soups! It's from California Pizza Kitchen, but sadly they've taken it off their menu. :( At least I can still make it at home! It's easy to make a double batch and freeze some for later.

1/2 pound leeks (cleaned, trimmed and sliced 1/4-inch; white part only)*
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled, dried and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
3 cups water
2 tsp kosher salt
1 bay leaf
3/4 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 1/3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
2 tbsp chopped scallion greens (optional garnish)

1. Place half the leeks and all the potatoes, water, salt, herbs and spices in a 3-quart pot over medium heat. While the potatoes are cooking, cook the remaining leeks in olive oil in a separate pan over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add soy sauce to leeks after they begin to caramelize; they should not be crispy or black. Continue cooking, gently, until the leeks are a uniform caramel color.

2. Add the stock to the leek pan and carefully pour leeks and stock into the potato pot. Use a rubber spatula to recover all pan drippings and add them to the potatoes.

3. When the potatoes are soft and crumbly, remove the pot from the burner; remove and discard bay lead an d process the soup to a course puree. Return the soup to the pot, whisk in cream and half-and-half. Bring the soup to a gentle boil and remove from heat.

4. Soup may be served at once, garnished with chopped scallion greens or olives; or may be thoroughly chilled and served as vichyssoise.

*If you've never worked with leeks before here are a few tips. You don't get much white part on each leek. I think I usually use 2 leeks for the recipe. The easiest way to clean them is to slice them first, then put them in a bowl with some water. They grow in sand, so the sand will fall to the bottom. Scoop the leeks out before dumping the water.