Incredibly blog-worthy!!!

It has been a couple weeks since I have posted any new recipes. With the little man getting bigger and becoming so active, I spend a lot of my time entertaining and keeping up with him. That’s definitely a job all of it’s own!!

However, yesterday I finally had the chance and TIME to cook something new. Inspiration for this meal I have to give to my mother-in-law and her donation of a large green cabbage. I love cabbage in all it’s forms, but I do not recall I time that I have ever cooked it myself. So in my typical fashion, I took to Pinterest for some recipe idea. I even asked some coworkers if they had any suggestions.

Next, I needed to come up with something to accompany it. I had plenty of boneless, skinless chicken breast in the freezer thanks to a great sale a couple weeks ago at my local grocery store. So, as usual, without knowing how I was going to prepare it, I sat some out to thaw. Then, again took to Pinterest.

Below are two of the MOST DELICIOUS recipes I have ever made. So delicious, I got myself seconds….which is SO rare!!!

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Cheesy Baked Chicken

Chicken:
3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2-3 cups multi-grain Club crackers, finely crushed in food processor
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 cup low fat milk
3 cup shredded cheese (I used a 4-cheese Mexican blend)
1 tsp dried parsley

Sauce:
1 10 ounce can cream of chicken soup, fat free
2 tbsp fat free sour cream
2 tbsp butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Pour the milk, cheese and cracker crumbs into 3 separate small dishes. Toss the salt and pepper into the cracker crumbs and stir the mixture until combined.

Cut each chicken breast into 3 equal pieces.

Coat each piece of chicken in the milk. Then press into the shredded cheese. Lastly, coat in cracker crumbs. (Note: You are likely to lose a bit of cheese while coating in the cracker crumbs. Don’t worry! It will still turn out cheesy and delicious!)

Place chicken pieces in single layer in prepared glass baking dish. Sprinkle with parsley. Cover with foil.

Bake covered at 375 for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes until golden brown.

While chicken bakes, in a small sauce pan combine cream of chicken, sour cream, and butter. Stir with a whisk and heat until well combined. (Be careful: It will come to a boil quickly!)

Top chicken with sauce.

**Recipe credit: Jamie Cooks It Up

Cabbage Custard Casserole

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter
1 green cabbage (about 2 -/2 pounds), cored and thinly sliced
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups of low fat milk
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup multi-grain Club crackers finely crushed
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Directions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Melt 1/2 cup butter in large pot. Add cabbage and onion; cook over medium heat until softened, about 20 minutes.

Stir in milk; bring to boiling. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Let cool slightly.

Gently stir in eggs. Add 1/2 cup crushed crackers, salt and pepper.

Pour into prepared casserole dish. Dust top evenly with remaining crushed crackers.

Bake in 375 degrees oven for 30 minutes or until heated through and top is golden brown.

**Recipe credit: Recipe.com

As I mentioned above, these are two of the most delicious recipes I have ever made. Both my husband and my son loved them as well. My son repeatedly asked for more “doodles” ( his word for noodle, which is what he though the cabbage was)!!!

ENJOY!! 🙂

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Not exactly cooking, but…..

….so simple and delicious!

I have been pretty lazy lately about going to the grocery store. For some reason, I have lacked the motivation. Which is unusual because typically I love going grocery shopping!! So, needless to say, I am down to bare bones with what to cook.

Again, I laid out some chicken breast to thaw with barely a clue of what I was going to make. When I came home from work I scoured my pantry, fridge, and freezer to see what I could come up. I found some steam-ready green beans and a jar of Alfredo sauce, and this is what I created!

Weeknight Chicken Alfredo

Ingredients:

2 cups short cut whole grain pasta, uncooked (like penne or rotini)
1 jar light Alfredo sauce
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 pkg frozen steam-ready green beans
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in sauté pan. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook 7-8 minutes until cooked through. Halfway through, add minced garlic.

Cook green beans according package directions. Add to sauté pan. Stir to combine. Pour half of the Alfredo sauce into sauce pan. Stir.

Drain pasta and add to chicken and green beans. Add remaining sauce. Stir to combine. Salt and pepper to taste.

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ENJOY!! 🙂

Obsessed With Buffalo!

This is definitely not the first time that I have posted a recipe that used buffalo sauce. I just can’t seem to get enough of it!!

This recipe is very similar to the way in which I prepared the Buffalo Burgers in a previous post. One major change…..I used boneless, skinless chicken breast instead of turkey burgers.

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

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Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 bottle buffalo wing sauce (I again used Ken’s)
1/4 cup margarine or butter
Cooking spray

Directions:

Line a baking sheet with foil. Lightly spray with cooking spray.

Combine flour, cayenne pepper, and salt in a shallow bowl or plate.

Coat each of the chicken breasts in the flour mixture. Place on prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small saucepan, combine buffalo sauce and butter. Heat and stir until butter is melted.

In a shallow bowl, pour just enough sauce to coat each of the chicken breasts. Return to prepared baking sheet. Reserve remaining wing sauce.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees.

Transfer chicken to 8×8 prepared baking dish. Top with reserved wing sauce. Cover with foil. Return to oven for 30 minutes, allowing time for the chicken to absorb the wing sauce.

I then thinly sliced some celery and used a store bough ranch dressing to complete the sandwiches.

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WAIT!!!! There’s more!

Along with the buffalo chicken sandwiches, I made some french (baked) fries. When I bought my potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner, my store had them B1G1. I though t this was a good way to use up some of those potatoes.

French (Baked) Fries

Ingredients:

5-6 medium sized red potatoes
Olive oil, enough to coat potatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.

Cut potatoes into French fry shape. Place on prepared baking sheet. Coat fries with enough olive oil to cover all potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to your liking.

Spread potatoes in single layer on baking sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, or until fries are cooked through.

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This meal was a hit with my family, and I hope it will be in your’s too!

ENJOY!! 🙂

How many ways……

….can you make a chicken breast?!?!

We eat A LOT of chicken in our house. Mostly because it is quick and easy, but it is also healthy….depending on how you prepare it. BUT…..chicken breast can get really old, really fast!!!

In typical fashion, I laid out some chicken breast to thaw, while I was at work, without a clue on what I was going to do with it. So, I took to Pinterest without any success. I then moved on to another favorite recipe site, All Recipes, and I simply entered the search terms “chicken breast.” I came across this recipe within minutes. It looked delicious and easy. I was sold!!!

Although, I made some changes from the original recipe.

Chicken with Onion Gravy

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Ingredients:

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
6 tbsp butter
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cup chicken broth/stock
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp chile powder

Directions:

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in sauté pan over medium heat.

Meanwhile, cut each chicken breast in half to make 8 pieces. Salt and pepper each side.

Place 4 pieces of chicken in heated pan at a time. Cook each side about 5 minutes, or until no longer pink inside. Transfer to a plate, cover with foil to keep warm.

Add the other tbsp of olive oil to pan, and heat. Cook remaining pieces of chicken. Transfer to plate.

Melt butter in same sauté pan. Add flour, and whisk to combine. Cook 2 minutes.

Stir in chicken broth, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan; cook and stir until gravy begins to simmer and thicken, 1 to 2 minutes.

Stir in onions and chile powder (I also added additional black pepper).

Return chicken breasts to the skillet and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.

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As seen in the picture above, I portioned 2 pieces of chicken per person. My chicken breasts were on the smaller side. If they are larger, 1 piece may be enough. I also served it with steamed broccoli, topped simple with salt and pepper.

**A few changes I might make next time….

First, I would probably slice the onion rather than chop it. Secondly, I would try adding either lemon zest or lemon juice to the gravy.

Have fun making this recipe to suit your family!

ENJOY!! 🙂

Lemon Broccoli Chicken

Typical of me, before I left for work this morning, I laid some chicken breasts out to thaw while I was at work without a clue of what I was going to do them. So, I took to one of my favorite simple recipe site, Kraft, to find something that my family would enjoy. I also needed it to be quick, easy, and required few ingredients. I made a few changes from the original recipe to suit my family. For example, I substituted whole grain pasta for rice.

Lemon Broccoli Chicken Pasta

Ingredients:

2 cups whole grain pasta, uncooked (I used Penne)
2 cups chicken stock
1tbsp oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
1tub (10 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Original Cooking Creme
16 oz frozen broccoli florets, thawed
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a medium sauce pan, combine 4 cups water and 2 cups chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, likely about 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken, garlic and pepper. Cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until chicken is done, stirring frequently.

Add cooking creme and broccoli. Cook and stir 2 min.

Once pasta is cooked, add to chicken mixture. Stir to combine. Add lemon zest and stir.

**Recipe Inspiration: Kraft Recipes

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This was a quick and easy recipe! Perfect for a weeknight dinner!

ENJOY!! 🙂

Thai Takeout…..at home!!!

My husband and I love Thai food, but it can often be a bit pricey to get takeout and it is not usually very healthy. However, this should not stop us for enjoying Thai food at home!

I had a bunch of basil left over from a previous recipe (Greek Stuffed Pork Chops) that’s wanted to use before it went bad. So, as usual, I took to Pinterest to find something that looked good, was easy to make, and relatively healthy.

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Spicy Thai Chicken

Ingredients:

2 tsp canola oil
2 shallots, minced
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp Splenda blend sugar
1 tsp sriracha sauce (depending how spicy you like it)
1 tsp water
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/3 cup basil leaves, chopped

DIRECTIONS:
Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.

Add shallots to the pan. Cook for 30 seconds.

Add the chicken to the pan. Cook for 7-8 minutes, or until cooked through. Stir often.

Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce, sriracha, water, and cornstarch. Add the mixture to the chicken, and cook for 1 minute. Stir to coat chicken. Mixture will thicken.

Remove from heat then add the fresh basil. Serve immediately.

**Recipe credit: For The Love of Cooking

This was a delicious dish! I served it along with brown rice (for my husband) and whole wheat thin spaghetti (for me) as well as steamed broccoli. Because I am not a rice lover, I think next time I make this I will double or triple the quantity of all the ingredients that go into making the sauce. This way it would better coat and incorporate the whole wheat pasta.

ENJOY!! 🙂

A day late….

……it was well worth the wait!!!

The recipe below was supposed to be yesterday’s dinner, but I just ran out of steam! After going to a “moms’ night out” Thursday, dinner with friends Friday, tailgate and football game Saturday, and the aquarium yesterday, I was tapped out. But today, I was determined to get back to cooking!

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Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless
1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
6 tablespoons egg whites or egg beaters, divided
5 oz frozen spinach, squeezed dry of any liquid
15 oz part skim ricotta cheese, divided
10 oz reduced fat shredded mozzarella, divided
olive oil non-stick spray
1 jar pasta sauce (about 16 oz)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly spray a glass baking dish with cooking spray.

Cut pocket in thick side of each chicken, being careful not to cut through the other side (like in the cordon-bleu chicken recipe).

In a bowl, combine breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup grated cheese (for coating).

In another bowl, 1/4 cup egg beaters or egg whites (for coating).

In a third bowl, combine spinach, 1/4 cup mozzarella, 2 tbsp egg substitute, and 1/2 cup ricotta cheese.

Divide cheese and spinach mixture evenly among the chicken breasts, and fill pockets. Seal chicken breasts with a toothpick. Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Coat each chicken with egg, and then breadcrumb mixture. Repeat with remaining 3 pieces of chicken. Place in greased baking dish. Spray top of chicken lightly with cooking spray.

Bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine pasta sauce and remaining ricotta cheese. Heat through.

Remove chicken from the oven, top with sauce and desired mozzarella cheese. Bake an additional 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Let rest about 5 minutes before serving.

**Recipe adapted from: Skinny Taste

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I served this along with steamed broccoli, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste.

ENJOY!! 🙂

If only……..

……there were more than 24 hours in a day!!!!

I apologize for not getting this up yesterday. After working almost 2 weeks without a day off, last night after we ate dinner, I finally reached the end of my rope!! I was absolutely EXHAUSTED!! So, I went to bed at 6:30PM 🙂

Anyway, back to food! Yesterday day before leaving for work (which I was late for….LOL) I put a few things in the crockpot to cook while I was working.

Slow Cooker Ranch Chicken

Ingredients:
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into large pieces
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into large pieces
2 cans fat-free cream of chicken soup
1 package dry Ranch dressing mix
1 cup 1% milk
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Spray your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and put potatoes on the bottom. Salt and pepper potatoes.

Place the chicken breasts on top of the potatoes. Salt and pepper chicken.

Mix together the condensed soups, Ranch dressing mix and milk. Pour on top of the chicken and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours.

**Recipe developed from: Six Sisters

For some reason, that was not good enough. Then, of course I couldn’t just leave it, so I went a few steps further!

About 45 minutes before I was ready to serve, I removed the chicken to a plate. Using a slotted spoon, I put all the potatoes into a bowl. And returned the chicken back to the slow cooker to keep it warm.

Meanwhile, I added a 1/4 cup fat free sour cream and dried parsley, to taste, to the bowl of potatoes. Blended until smooth.

Then I put the mashed potatoes into a greased 8×8 glass baking dish, and dotted the top with a bit of margarine (about 1 tbsp total). Baked in a 350 degree preheated oven for about 20 minutes.

With about 10 minutes left to bake, I returned the chicken back to the plate to rest a bit before serving. I then poured the sauce into a sauce pan, brought it to a boil, then simmered about 5-10 minutes to thicken it a bit.

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From cooking low and slow all day, the chicken was so tender, and the potatoes were delicious after having absorbed all the flavors!

ENJOY!!! 🙂

Weekly Ingredient: Chicken Breast

Tonight’s recipe was influenced by the first weekly ingredient I chose: boneless, skinless chicken breast. It is so versatile, and you can pretty much flavor it with your favorite favors. I have marinaded, baked, grilled, and sautéed chicken breast many times, but it can easily get boring!

So, before I left for work this morning, I laid out 4 chicken breasts to defrost. Although, I still had no idea what I was going to do with them. I just knew I wanted to make something I had not previously made.

After some thought in between patients this morning, the idea of chicken cordon bleu popped into my head. I’m not really sure what made me think of it. In times past, I had always bought the pre-made, frozen version at the grocery store. For some reason, it just seemed like a lot of prep work went into making chicken cordon bleu, but in reality, no more prep time than needed for most other recipes. So, below is my version!

Stuffed Chicken Cordon Bleu

Ingredients:

4 large, thick boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 slices deli ham (I used Hillshire Farm brand, low sodium, thin slices)
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 oz Swiss cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 paprika
Cooking spray

Directions:

Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs, pepper, salt, and paprika. In another bowl, lightly beat egg. Set aside.

On the thick side of the chicken breast, with a knife, make a pocket (My pockets were about 2 inches long by 2 inches wide). Be sure not to cut all the way through the other side of the chicken. Continue with the other chicken breasts.

After all the pockets are made, begin to fill. First, I put in 2 pieces of ham and about 2 tablespoons of cheese. Using a toothpick, puncture the chicken to seal and keep the cheese and ham inside. Once sealed, coat stuffed chicken breast in egg, then bread crumb mixture. Place in greased baking dish. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.

Bake the chicken for 30-35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through completely, the cheese is bubbling and the bread crumbs are golden (Prior to baking, I also sprayed the tops of the chicken with cooking spray to help the bread crumbs brown, since I omitted the butter from the original recipe).

**Recipe inspiration: The Girl Who Ate Everything

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As in the original recipe I found, I made a Dijon-parmesan sauce to go on top.

Dijon-Parmesan Sauce

Ingredients: (NOTE: This made quite a bit of sauce. I think I could have probably halved the recipe and had enough for 4 people.)

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup 1% milk
1/4 cup chicken stock (possibly more if the sauce is too thick, I ended up using about 1/2 cup total)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions: When the chicken is almost done, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour, whisking constantly. Cook the flour/butter mixture for 1-2 minutes. Slowly pour in the milk while whisking quickly. Stir in the chicken stock and salt. Whisk mixture constantly over medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer and thicken, about 3-5 minutes.

Once the sauce has bubbled and thickened, remove from heat and stir in the mustard, Worcestershire sauce and Parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted. Keep the sauce warm until the chicken is finished baking. If your sauce is too thick, whisk in some more chicken stock. If it’s too thin, simmer longer.

Additionally, I made a zucchini and squash gratin. Both of the vegetables were on sale at my grocery store. I could not resist buying them at such a great price!

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Zucchini-Yellow Squash Gratin

Ingredients:

2 large zucchini, shredded in food processor
2 large yellow squash, shredded in food processor
1 cup shredded cheese (any combination you like, I used 1/2 cup Swiss cheese and 1/2 cup cheddar-jack cheese), plus extra to top
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place shredded zucchini and squash on a clean kitchen towel. Spread evenly over the towel, roll-up and wring the towel over the kitchen sink to extract as much liquid as possible from the zucchini.

In a small bowl, place the cheese, flour, salt, and pepper and toss to coat the cheese with the flour.

Add the dry zucchini to a large bowl, toss in cheese and flour mixture. Stir to combine.

Spread the mixture into greased 8×8-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle with additional cheese over the zucchini mixture

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Let rest five minutes and serve.

**Recipe credit: RV Goddess

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My family really liked these dishes, and I hope yours does too!

ENJOY!! 🙂