Monday, January 23, 2012

Watergate Salad

I really like this fruity Jell-o salad. It makes a nice side dish for a pot luck or even a dessert. Why is it called "Watergate Salad?" If you're curious, here's a link. I always use sugar-free pudding and lite or fat-free Cool Whip to save a few carbs and calories and you can't even tell the difference...

1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1 (3.4 oz.) pkg. Pistachio flavor instant pudding mix (I use sugar-free)
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1-1/2 cups thawed Cool Whip whipped topping (I use Lite)

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl until well-blended. Gently fold in Cool Whip. Transfer to a serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until ready to serve. Garnish with additional Cool Whip and pecans, if desired.  Makes 8 half cup servings. Easy to double!

Tangy Barbecue Chicken in a Slow Cooker

These days, it seems like we have so many nights that dinner is almost an afterthought. Between my kids' sports and extracurricular activities, I am sometimes wiped out by dinner time, so I've been using my Crock Pot a lot lately. It's so nice to walk into my home and smell a delicious dinner that's all ready for me! This was an "I have chicken and no idea what to do with it" attempt and I love how it turned out!  I just jotted down the ingredients as I threw them in the Crock Pot and it's one we'll eat again and again. I served it with quinoa, but it would also be great with mashed potatoes or rice. 

1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2-3 lbs. raw, boneless chicken breasts or tenders (I threw in frozen chicken without thawing first)
1 Tbs. lemon juice
2/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbs. chili powder
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cold water

Line slow cooker with a Reynold's Slow Cooker liner first for easy clean up. Mix onion and garlic together in the bottom of slow cooker. Top with chicken. Combine remaining ingredients, except cornstarch and cold water, in small bowl and pour over chicken. Cook on LOW for 5-6 hours. Remove chicken from crockpot. Mix cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Pour into crock pot and stir. Cook on high about 15 minutes until thick. Serve sauce over chicken. Serve with quinoa, mashed potatoes or rice. Serves 5-7, depending on how many chicken breasts you use.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chicken Corn Chowder with Sweet Potatoes

Maybe you can tell it's a favorite because we have so many Corn Chowder recipes here, but this one from The Sisters Cafe is a surprise because it has sweet potatoes and is thickened with corn muffin mix. The result is slightly sweet and definitely different!

3 cups 2% milk
1 (8.5 oz) box Jiffy corn muffin mix
2 Tbs. butter
1 onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 quarts (8 cups) chicken broth
2 raw chicken breasts, cut into 1/2" cubes
2 large sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
3 cups frozen corn (not thawed)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (or 2 Tbs. dried parsley)
salt and pepper, to taste

Mix milk and muffin mix in bowl until well combined. Meanwhile, heat butter in large pot over medium heat until foaming. Add onion and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth, chicken (raw) and sweet potatoes. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is cooked and sweet potatoes are just tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in milk and muffin mixture and simmer until soup thickens (can take up to 10 minutes although mine thickens immediately). Add cheese and corn and cook until cheese begins to melt, about 2 minutes. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper. Serves about 12.

Honey Wheat Pizza Crust

My kids love homemade pizza, so I was thrilled to find this recipe for Honey Wheat Pizza Crust on Pinterest. It was simple top make, the dough was easy to work with and the touch of honey makes it delicious! Recipe from Jamie Cooks It Up!

Prep: 5 minutes + 2 hours to rise
Yield: 2 twelve-inch crusts

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups warm water
2 cups wheat flour
2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon honey
  1. Pour the yeast over the top of the warm water, but don't stir.
  2. Pour the wheat and white flours and salt into a stand mixer. Add the oil and honey and mix until combined.
  3. Add the yeast and water mixture until well incorporated. No need to mix for a long time. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise for 2 hours. If not using immediately, you can put it in the fridge and let it rise later.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  5. Divide the dough in half. Pour some olive oil onto a pizza stone or baking sheet and set the dough on top. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, then stretch or roll the dough out to the edges of the pan.
  6. Cover with sauce and pizza toppings. (I used Canadian Bacon, pineapple, mozzarella cheese and Italian seasoning.) 
  7. Bake at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the underside of the crust is golden brown.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Chicken Enchilada Pasta

My husband took two bites of this before he exclaiming "wait is this Mexican pasta?...sweet!!!" I knew he would like this seeing as it's a combination of two of his favorite things, mexican and pasta.  What surprised me was how much my two year old liked it. She had three bowls of it (child-size of course) I have a feeling we will be eating this one a lot in our house from now on.  

2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies 
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
2 (10 oz) cans green enchilada sauce
2/3 c. red enchilada sauce 
2 cups shredded Colby & Monterey Jack cheese 
1 c. sour cream (light is fine) 
1 pkg. penne pasta (I use whole wheat) 

topping options:
green onions
sour cream

1. Cook chicken, shred and set aside. Cook pasta til al dente according to package directions. 

2. In deep skillet heat olive oil and cook onion for about 3-5 minutes. Add peppers and garlic and cook for another 3-5 minutes or until veggies are tender. 

3. Add cooked chicken, green chiles, cumin, chili powder, salt, & enchilada sauces.  Let sauce simmer for about 8-10 minutes.

4. Add cheese and stir until the cheese is melted and heated through.  Now toss in the sour cream, but whatever you do, DO NOT bring to a boil!  Cook on low heat or the sour cream will curdle.Stir until sour cream is well mixed and heated through.

5. Drain pasta & return to pot.  Pour sauce over pasta and mix well.  Serve as is (how my hubbie likes it) or garnish with avocado, tomato, green onion, and a dollop of sour cream.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Crock Pot Chicken Caesar Sandwiches

These are a fun change from your typical chicken salad sandwiches. They would be great to serve at a shower or brunch. I like to make them on the weekend then eat leftovers for lunches throughout the week 

recipe from the Girl Who Ate Everything 

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (I use tenders or breasts) 
1/2 to 1 cup of your favorite Caesar dressing 
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley (if you don't have fresh use around 2 teaspoons of dried parsley)
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce

slider buns, hamburger buns or croissants 

1. Place chicken in a 3-4 quart slow cooker with 1-2 cups of water, cover and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours.

2. Remove chicken from cooker using a slotted spoon and drain the water from the slow cooker. Shred Chicken 

*TIP: the best way to get perfectly shredded chicken is to throw it in your stand mixer and use the paddle attachment to shred. Saves so much time! 

3. Place chicken back in the cooker and pour dressing, Parmesan cheese, parsley, and pepper over the top. Stir until mixed evenly. Cover and cook on high heat for 30 minutes or until mixture is hot. 

4. Spoon 1/4 cup mixture onto each slider bun if you are making sliders or more for regular sized buns. Top with extra shredded Parmesan cheese and lettuce to serve.

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