Monday, January 25, 2016

Chicken Noodle Casserole:

My mom and grandma used to make this casserole all the time when I was little, and it was always one of my favorite dishes! 
I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we do!

2 large chicken breasts, cooked and cut into small cubes
1 & 1/2 batches homemade cream of chicken soup (click here)
1 can evaporated milk
1 (15 oz.) Jar Cheez Wiz cheese sauce
1 (12 oz.) package spiral pasta
1 & 1/2 cups peas
Crushed cornflakes

Cook noodles according to package directions; rinse and drain. 
Mix together the chicken cubes, pasta and peas in a large bowl; set aside. 
In a saucepan, whisk together evaporated milk, cheese sauce and soup over medium heat until everything is well combined. 
Pour over pasta mixture and stir until evenly coated. Pour into a greased casserole dish. 
Sprinkle generously with cornflakes crumbs (covering the whole top of the casserole). 
Bake at 375 degrees for 30 - 40 minutes, or until the center is hot and the pasta is tender. Serve!

-The amount of cornflake crumbs depends on the size of your casserole dish. The bigger the dish, the more crumbs you will need!!
-You can easily make this ahead of time and refrigerate. You will just need to allow extra baking time, since it will be very cold.

Monday, January 18, 2016

{Smothered Chicken}

And yet another Pioneer Woman recipe!!!!
She just makes good food, what can I say!

My family loves the Cracker Barrel restaurant, and several years ago, they used to serve a dish called Smothered Chicken. It was fabulous, and we all loved it. Unfortunately, for some reason they stopped serving it. So as I was diligently reading through my newest cookbook, I came across this recipe. 
Ree Drummond called it Ranch-Style Chicken. 
I tweaked the recipe a little to what I had, and my family's tastes, but it's pretty much exactly like what Cracker Barrel used to serve!
My family loved it, and it was really easy to make!
I hope you try it!!

9 chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts (please see note!)
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 & 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 - 1 teaspoon chili powder, depending on your taste
9 large slices, thick-cut bacon
2+ cups shredded cheddar cheese

Place chicken in a zip-lock bag. 
In a small bowl, whisk together honey, mustard, lemon juice, paprika, 
salt and chili powder until smooth.
Pour over chicken and seal bag, removing as much air as possible. 
Gently toss bag back and forth to coat all the chicken.
Refrigerate for 2-4 hours.

Line a baking sheet with foil, and coat lightly with cooking spray. Place the bacon slices on the pan, and broil (at least 6 inches away from the element) for 5-7 minutes. Flip the bacon slices, and broil 5-7 minutes longer, or until chewy; set aside on paper towels until ready to use. Discard the bacon grease, but keep the foil on the pan.
Meanwhile, grill chicken on medium-high heat 3-4 minutes on each side, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees; set aside.

To assemble, place the chicken on the foil-lined baking sheet. Take a piece of bacon, and cut or tear in half, and lay both pieces on top of the chicken. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake at 450 degrees for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

-You want 9 "pieces" of chicken. If the chicken breasts are very thick, you will need to cut them in half, length-wise (before you marinade them)...this will make 2 pieces of chicken. So the number of chicken breasts, will depend on how thick they are, and therefore how many "pieces" you will get. I hope that makes sense!
-You can use more or less chili powder, depending on how spicy you like things. My family is not into that, so I just used 1/4 teaspoon. 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Pioneer Woman's Perfect Potatoes Au Gratin

Be prepared for Pioneer Woman Recipe Overload!!!
Thanks to the worlds greatest boyfriend ever (sorry, he's already taken), 
I have not one, not even two, but FOUR of the Pioneer Woman's cookbooks!!
The BIG ones! 
I have always loved her, and I didn't even know she had that many books out!!

So of course I have read them all...cover to cover...and will be dissecting as many as I can, 
to make them gluten-free!

Enter, Perfect Potatoes Au Gratin!! Only a few minor adjustments and it.was.amazing! 
My whole family loved them, and I will absolutely be making them again!
They were super easy to throw together, and would seriously go with anything!
I hope you try them out!

7-8 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 & 1/2 - 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Chopped green onions or dried chives for garnish, optional

Butter a 9x13-inch baking dish; set aside.
In a medium bowl, gently whisk together milks, cornstarch, garlic, salt and pepper until smooth.
Place potatoes in prepared dish and pour milk mixture over the top.
Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake 25 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender when poked with a fork, and they aren't swimming in liquid (there probably will still be some liquid, but the potatoes should not be floating at this point!). 
Sprinkle with cheese and bake an additional 5-10 minutes, or until melted and bubbly!
Sprinkle with green onions or chives, if desired, and serve!!!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Chicken Spaghetti:

My boyfriend has given me some of the best cookbooks over the past few months!
This recipe comes from one of them, and it is awesome!
It did take a little while to put together, but it's not hard at all,
and you get two dinners out of your effort!!
The flavor is really good...if you are more of a "spicy" food loving type of person, you may want to add some chopped up jalapeno peppers, or amp up the cayenne pepper a few notches!
Otherwise, it's a perfect comfort food dish! Cheesy and Creamy!!
I hope you give it a try!

6-8 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 pound spaghetti, broken into 2 inch pieces
1 (4 oz.) jar diced pimientos drained
1 small onion, finely diced
1/4 cup green bell pepper, finely diced
2 batches cream of mushroom soup mix (click here)
2 & 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a large skillet, cook the chicken until no longer pink in the center; set aside.
Cook spaghetti according to package instructions to al dente; drain and place in a large bowl.
Add the chicken, pimientos, finely diced vegetables, and 2 cups of cheese to the pasta; use two forks to combine.

Stir together the cream of mushroom soup, chicken broth, season salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Add to the pasta mixture and stir until well combined.
Pour into 2, greased baking dishes.

To Freeze:
-place a piece of wax paper on top the casserole, pressing down to actually touch the pasta mixture.
Cover the dish with a lid or foil. Freeze for later use!
Thaw completely and move on to the baking step!

To Bake:
-Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese (honestly, I used more like 1 cup of cheese per pan at this point!).
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until hot through and bubbly.