Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chicken Pillows

Keeping it short and sweet today.
These fancy-shmancy looking little numbers are as easy as they are scrumptious.  The filling is so adaptable, my mind has been racing since I originally made them of all the wonderful tweaking I could do!

Chicken Pillows
Recipe Source:  Another spectacular one from Holly at Life as a Lofthouse
  • 2 cups Chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 4 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 TBSP Butter, softened
  • 1/2 TBSP dried Chives
  • 1/2 TBSP dried, minced Onion
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1- (8 oz) can Pillsbury Crescent Roll dough
  • 1/4 cup Butter, melted
  • 1 cup Italian Breadcrumbs
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken soup
  • 1 packet Chicken Gravy mix
  • 3/4 cup Water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
Mix together the softened cream cheese and 1 tablespoon butter. Add in chicken, chives, onion and season with salt and pepper.
Unroll your crescent dough and press together two triangles to create one rectangle. Make sure you press together the perforations well so your filling wont ooze out. You should have 4 rectangles total.
Spoon about 3 tablespoons of chicken mixture into the center of rectangle. Fold each corner over the center of filling. Press together to cover filling entirely. Shape into a ball. Repeat with all rectangles. Once all pillows are formed, dip each into the melted butter, and then coat in breadcrumbs. Shake off excess. Place each coated chicken pillow onto the greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
While chicken pillows are baking, make the chicken gravy. In a small saucepan, mix together the cream of chicken soup, gravy packet and water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and let simmer and thicken until ready to use.
Pour gravy over each chicken pillow, serve, and ENJOY!

This recipe has been linked up at:
Eat at Home
This Chick Cooks
Tidy Mom
Simply Sweet Home

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cube Steak Casserole

As we are preparing for our first hurricane experience which may or may not effect us, I have been drawn to comfy, homey dishes.  The kind of dish that is like a big-ol-hug from your Grandma.You know, staring down an angry category 4 hurricane, pushing it out to sea with your mid powers can sure take it out of you. 
This dish was a perfect choice, but careful, this is one FUGLY dish. 
Fugly, but YUM-I-LICIOUS!
This is one of those dishes that I wished for a scratch and sniff feature for my blog.
The highly affordable cube steak cooks until fork tender with creamy, beefy, mushroom-y rice on top.
The only change I will make next time is to cut the cube steaks into smaller steaks.  I had some gargantuan pieces that I ended up having to split because they were just too big, so I think cutting them into palm sized steaks will help with serving.

Cube Steak Casserole
Recipe Adapted From:  The Serendipity Bistro
  • 4-6 Cube Steaks
  • 1 packet dry Onion Soup mix
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1 1/2 cans water (soup can, obviously)
  • 1 (4 ounce) can mushrooms, drained and chopped small
  • 1 cup Minute rice (brown or white)
  • flour seasoned to taste.  I used salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Dredge cube steaks in seasoned flour. Brown cube steaks on both sides in a skillet of hot oil. Transfer cube steaks to a 9x13 baking dish. Mix Cream of Mushroom Soup, Onion Soup, Mushrooms, and water together. Pour over cube steaks. Sprinkle rice over all (aiming most to be in the liquid portion). Cover with foil & bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Recipe linked up at:
Tidy Mom
Simply Sweet Home
This Chick Cooks

Monday, August 22, 2011

Menu Plan 8/22/11-8/28/11

Trying a few new recipes this week and some tried and true favorites.  What are you having this week?

Monday - Cube Steak Casserole, Corn

Tuesday - Upside-Down Pizza Supreme, Salad

Wednesday - Chicken Pillows, Peas, Rolls

Thursday - Bowtie Lasagna, Caesar Salad, Homemade Breadsticks

Friday - Oven Roasted Salmon, Rice Pilaf, Cucumber Dill Relish, Garlic Almond Green Beans

Saturday- Easy Peasy Chicken Legs, Macaroni and Cheese, Ranch Wedge Salad

Sunday - Garlic Chicken with Pasta and Veggies

Goodies to make this week:
Baked Oatmeal
Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sticky Bun Granola

Friday, August 19, 2011

Strawberry Chocolate Nachos

Today is the last day of school before the kiddos track out for 3 weeks.  This last 6 weeks has flown by!  Seems like yesterday I was making my sparkly-eyed girls this scrumptious treat for their first day after-school snack.  I first saw this idea on Our Best Bites and fell in love.  What  better way to talk about your first day of school than over a plate of this deliciousness?!  Yes, this IS as good as it sounds and looks, plus it is super simple to put together.  Who was a ROCKSTAR, bestest-Mama-ever that day...this gal right here!

Strawberry Chocolate Nachos
Recipe Source:  Our Best Bites

Proportions are up to you, make to taste!
  • Baked Cinnamon Chips*** (see super simple recipe below)
  • Diced strawberries tossed with granulated sugar and left to sit for 10 minutes.
  • Melted Chocolate Chips (your choice of flavor).  Simply place desired amount of chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and cook in 30 second interavals, stirring in between until melted.
  • Whipped Cream.  I used the aerosol can stuff, but you can use fresh made or Cool Whip
Place Cinnamon Chips on a platter and top with diced strawberries.  Drizzle with melted chocolate (which I did by placing in a small sandwich baggie, snipping the corner) and top with whipped cream.

***For the Cinnamon Chips***
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt 4 TBSP butter and mix in 1 tsp vanilla.  Simply spread melted butter/vanilla mixture on top of some flour tortillas and sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top.  We liked it when we went a tad heavier on the cinnamon sugar than the ones we gave a light dusting.
Using a pizza cutter, cut tortillas into 8 wedges.  Place them (not touching each other) on an ungreased baking sheet (cinnamon sugar side up) and bake for  10-12 minutes.  Keep an eye on them so they don't burn!  Remove from baking sheet and put on a cooling rack.  Repeat with remaining tortillas.
These are AWESOME just eaten as a snack as well.

This recipe has been linked up at:
Simply Sweet Home
This Chick Cooks
Eat at Home

Monday, August 15, 2011

Eton Mess, aka our new favorite dessert

I have made this dish at least 10 times since Brandi, aka The Country Cook, first posted about it.  That is 10 times BEFORE I got a picture of it because the thought of not digging in immediately was ludicrious.  This simple dish is simply amazing.  Who doesn't love strawberries and cream?  Now add in the sweet delicate crunch of meringues, and you have a spectacular experience. 
I have tweaked some of the measurements based on personal prefernces, but it is more or less the same.
I hope you try it and love it as much as we have!

Eton Mess
Recipe adapted from:  The Country Cook

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 TBSP powdered sugar (more or less to taste)
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries
  • 2 TBSP granulated white sugar (more or less to taste)

  • 7-8 Meringue Cookies.  I use the Vanilla Meringues from Trader Joes, but use what you like or make your own, see recipe below.

Wash and slice strawberries placing them in a bowl.  Remove about 1/3 of them and process in food procesor or blender to make a chunky puree.  Add puree and sugar to sliced strawberries. 
Meanwhile, in a cold bowl using cold beaters, beat whipping cream until soft peaks start to form.  Add vanilla and desired amount of powdered sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.  Don't go too long though, or you will get butter ;)
Gently, but throughly, fold the strawberry mixutre into the whipped cream.  Break up meringue cookies into smaller bite-sized chunks and carefully fold in as well.  Serve immediately. 

Meringue Cookies
Recipe Source:  Joy of Baking (video tutorial also avaiable by clicking the link)
  • 3 large egg whites (3 ounces or 90 grams)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) superfine or caster sugar (if you don't have superfine sugar simply take granulated white sugar and process it for about 30-60 seconds in a food processor)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. You can form the cookies with a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) plain tip, or I often just use two spoons to make the cookies.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on low-medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat the whites until they hold soft peaks. Add the sugar, a little at a time, and continue to beat, on medium-high speed, until the meringue holds very stiff peaks. Beat in the vanilla extract.
Note: The meringue is done when it holds stiff peaks and when you rub a little between your thumb and index finger it does not feel gritty. If it feels gritty the sugar has not fully dissolved so keep beating until it feels smooth between your fingers.
Before placing the cookies on the cookie sheet, place a little of the meringue on the underside of each corner of the parchment paper. This will prevent the paper from sliding. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) tip. Pipe 2 1/2 inch (6 cm) rounds of meringue in rows on the prepared baking sheet. Alternatively, spoon mounds of meringue, using two spoons, onto the prepared sheets. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with a few shaved almonds, if desired.
Bake the meringues for approximately 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, rotating the baking sheet from front to back (about half way through) to ensure even baking. The meringues are done when they are pale in color and fairly crisp. (The meringues will release easily from the parchment paper.) Turn off the oven, open the door a crack, and leave the meringues in the oven to finish drying several hours or overnight. The meringues can be covered and stored at room temperature for several days.
Makes about 10 - 2 1/2 inch (6 cm) meringues

This recipe has been linked at:
This Chick Cooks
Simply Sweet Home
Tidy Mom
Country Cooks Across America

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

3 Envelope Crockpot Chicken

I took the kidlets to go see the Smufs this weekend, or as my 4-year old likes to call them, the Smurps.   It has inspired a song...

"La, la, la, la, la, la it's so Smurfing hot...
La, la, la, la, la, la how can you Smurf the whole day long?
Sooo, la, la, la, la, la, la Smurf this Smurfing song!"

Sorry, the heat has left me a wee-bit-cranky and drained my song-writing mojo.
Moving on...

I tend to pick my meals lately based on how little heat it will create in the house which is why we spend most of the summer eating salads, grilled foods, and Crockpot meals. The recipe I am sharing today creates a flavorful, juicy piece of chicken cooked in a fantastic gravy....and did I mention it is silly simple?! You can throw this bad-boy in the Crockpot, go to the pool for the afternoon, and come home to a house that smells slap-your-sunburn GOOD!

3 Envelope Chicken
Recipe Source: Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
  • 1 packet Ranch Salad Dressing mix
  • 1 packet Italian Salad Dressing mix
  • 1 packet chicken gravy mix
  • 1 cup of water
  • 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Place thawed chicken breasts in a cold Crockpot.
Combine the Ranch Dressing Mix, Italian Dressing Mix, and Chicken gravy mix with 1 cup of cold water. Stir to combine. Pour over chicken and cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-4 hours. Make sure and cook up some mashed 'taters, egg noodles, or rice to pour some of that fabulous sauce on!

This recipe was linked up at:
This Chick Cooks
Tidy Mom
Simply Sweet Home

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Copycat KFC Coleslaw

Remember the Root Beer BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders I shared with you last week?  Well, here is the slaw that I made to go with them.  Coleslaw and BBQ go together like Bert and Ernie...peanut butter and chocolate...Edward and Bella.....mac-n-cheese and fat-on-my-ass.  I like to put the slaw on top of the meat of the sandwich, it provides a wonderful acidity and crunch to counter balance the sweet, tender pork.
ANYWAY, this slaw is yum-i-licious.  It works wonderfully to make this the night before or even in the morning when you throw your meat in the Crockpot....you want to let all the flavors make friends in the fridge for as long as possible.

Copycat KFC Coleslaw
Recipe adapted from:  My Tasty Treasures

  • 1 bag packaged Coleslaw Mix
  • 2 TBSP finely minced onion
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 TBSP white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 TBSP lemon juice
Pour 1/2 of the bag of Coleslaw mix into a large bowl and stir in minced onions.  Chop remaining Coleslaw mix into fine pieces and add to the bowl.  I like the combo of larger pieces and the smaller pieces, but if you like, you can leave it all as is, or chop it all fine to make it more of the "KFC-ish" texture.
Combine remaining ingredients, mixing until smooth to make the dressing.
Pour over vegetable mixture and mix thoroughly.
Cover bowl and refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving.

This recipe has been linked at:
This Chick Cooks
Tidy Mom
Simply Sweet Home