Sunday, February 27, 2011

Chicken Divan

2 c chicken, cooked and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 c broccoli florets
3 cans cream of chicken soup
½ c mayonnaise
2 c cheddar cheese, shredded
1 sleeve saltine crackers, crushed
4 TBS butter, melted
Combine the chicken, broccoli, soup and mayonnaise in a 13×9 dish. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of mixture. Combine crushed crackers and melted butter. Spread on top of shredded cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 1 hour. Remove foil for last 15 minutes of baking. This recipe is so easy to double if you’re making it for a large group (or if you want leftovers!). I have also swapped the chicken for leftover Thanksgiving turkey in this dish and it is fantastic!

We used 3 chicken breasts cut up and the small bag of frozen broccoli cuts (cooked for 5 minutes).
This came from a friend while we were stationed in England.  It quickly became a favorite, and a great dish to take  when you have to deliver a meal.

Chicken Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese

¼ c uncooked orzo
3 c grilled chicken breast, chopped
1 ½ c arugula
1 c grape tomatoes, halved
½ c red bell pepper, chopped
¼ c red onion, chopped
2 TBS fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
2 TBS red wine vinegar
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 ½ oz goat cheese, crumbled
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well. Combine pasta, chicken and the next six ingredients in a large bowl. Toss well. Combine vinegar, oil, salt and black pepper in a small bowl, and combine with a whisk. Drizzle mixture over pasta. Toss well to coat. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve warm or cold. (I did end up substituting baby spinach for the arugula and I used fresh mozzarella in place of the goat cheese. However, I did keep the spinach out when I stored it. I didn’t want it to wilt. I will bring the spinach in a separate Ziploc bag and add it when I’m ready to eat it.)

Ok, so Walmart looked at us like we had grown 3 heads when we asked for arugula. We subbed Walmart's Herb Mix Salad Blend and Tomato Basil Feta Cheese (not real fond of goat cheese).  We did chiffon the salad blend to be more the "size" of the salad.  This was quick and easy to put together.  Will be great for lunches for several days.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Homemade Chicken, Ranch and Rice Soup

2 TBS olive oil
1 med onion, finely chopped
2 lg carrots, peeled and sliced
3 stalks of celery, chopped
3 TBS minced garlic
2 lg blsl chicken breasts
1 c dry rice, steamed….comes out to about 3 cups cooked
64 oz chicken broth
1 TBS dry Ranch Dressing seasoning
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
2 TBS Dijon Mustard
1 tsp hot sauce, like Tabasco

Heat oil into a large dutch oven over medium heat. When hot, saute onion, carrots and celery for 7-10 minutes or until softened slightly. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in chicken breast and rice then pour in chicken broth. Stir, then season with ranch seasoning, salt, pepper and add in Dijon and hot sauce. Reduce heat to low and simmer until serving. Taste and season accordingly. 8 servings

We doubled this recipe, but did not double the Dijon mustard (used 2 TBS). We didn't use the Tabasco either. In taste testing we couldn't decide what it needed, so we ended up adding a can of cream of chicken soup, and that gave it the consistency it needed.

Comforting Chicken Noodle Soup

6 c water
1 qt Chicken Broth
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
8 oz uncooked Extra Wide Noodles
2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
16 oz cubed cooked blsl chicken breast
1 c sour cream
fresh parsley (dried works in a pinch)
fresh ground black pepper

In large pot, bring water and stock to a boil. Add carrots and celery and cook about 10 minutes. Add noodles; cook, uncovered until tender, about 10 minutes. Do not drain. Add soup and chicken, heat through. Remove from heat, stir in sour cream. Sprinkle with parsley and pepper to taste. Servings: 15 one cup servings.
OH MY!!!  We used our seasoned chicken broth from our cooked chicken instead of the water and broth.  We missed the sour cream in the recipe when we shopped, but it is awesome without it!!  We had to sit down and sample this as the aroma was divine.  This is just like what Grandma would have made. 

Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 chicken breasts cut into chunks
2 TBS cilantro or (1 TBS dry)
2 TBS taco seasoning
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 sm can green chilies
1 can corn drained (or frozen)
1 c water
1 c sour cream

Combine everything into a saucepan except sour cream. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes or until chicken is done. Take 1 cup of liquid from saucepan and combine it with 1 cup of sour cream-mix and return to saucepan and heat through. Makes 5 cups.

We used cooked chicken and added a can of black beans.

Mostaccioli with Sausage

1 lb Italian sausage rope (we used polish sausage)
1 c water
1 green pepper, sliced (I used frozen veggie mix)
1 med onion, sliced (I used frozen veggie mix)
1 box mostaccioli noodles (we used penne)
2 cans spaghetti sauce
1 lb Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top

Boil pot of water for cooking the noodles. Brown sausage, peppers, and onion in a different large pot. Stir in sauce and water on top of mixture and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 min. Cook noodles al dente and drain. Spread 1/2 of meat sauce into 9x13 pan. Top with 1/2 of cooked noodles and cover with 1/2 of the cheeses. Repeat another layer of each. (Cover and label for freezer meals from here) OR bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Freezer Meal Cooking: Thaw in fridge completely. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes until hot and bubbly and cheese has melted on top.

Ok we made a few modification to this recipe.  We used a frozen mixed veggie mix (carrots, peas, corn, green beans) and used polish sausage instead of italian (plans for the leftover polish sausage).  This looked (and tasted very good and hearty), by adding the mixed veggies it becomes a dish meal.

We are still here!

No we haven't fallen off the face of the earth! Life has just gotten the best of us.

Since we have last posted Pam has moved .3 miles to me (such as in the same neighborhood - 8ish houses away, in the house across the street would have been better – but I’m happy she is so close!).

We both enjoyed having our college boys and their friends over the holidays We really need to cook now, because what they didn't eat, they took back to school!  (We love our boys!)

We have been collecting new recipes to try and since the Dallas area is expecting a sleet/snow storm tomorrow we decided to cook a couple of soups last night after work (yes we are crazy).  In about 2 hours last night we made 4 recipes!  That was chopping, cooking, soup break and clean up!

We “really” have cook in February, as “Mother Hubbard’s Freezer is bare”.

Stay warm!