Friday, March 27, 2015

Chicken, Bacon & Provolone Alfredo Pasta Bake

        Pull out your stretchy pants for this one y'all!  Yum!  My hubby loves provolone cheese, bacon and pasta so I decided to combine all of these things into one decadent pasta bake.  It turned out so amazingly delicious, and I am not even normally a fan of store bought alfredo sauce.  You could totally sub homemade alfredo sauce if you wanted to, but the storebought tasted de-lish with all the other ingredients.  I will use my homemade aIfredo sauce next time because I think it would knock it out of the PARK!  I  used leftover grilled chicken but you could use store-bought grilled or even rotisserie if you wanted to!  We paired this rich entree with Parmesan Garlic Roasted Broccoli!  

Chicken, Bacon & Provolone Alfredo Pasta Bake (adapted recipe source)
12 oz bacon, cooked and crumbled, divided
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, chopped
8 oz bow tie pasta noodles (or whatever kind you want)
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
2 (15 oz) jars alfredo sauce
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
sliced provolone
Chop bacon into small pieces and cook in a skillet.  Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels.  Reserve 2 Tbsp of the bacon grease in skillet to cook veggies in.  Cook mushrooms and onions for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, boil noodles until al dente.  When their are 3 minutes left for the noodles, add the frozen peas to the pasta water.  Drain noodles and peas.  In a large bowl combine: mushroom/onion mixture, pasta and peas, chicken, alfredo sauce, half the bacon, and parmesan cheese.  Pour pasta mixture into a greased 13x9 pan.  Top with the rest of the bacon and the provolone cheese slices.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.  Serve with something green ;-)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Apricot Chicken

My sister was telling me about this chicken she made a few weeks ago and how delicious it was, so I decided to give it a try myself.  It was just as delicious as she said it was.  It only has 4 ingredients also!  This is going in our regular rotation.  Make sure you serve it with some rice or mashed potatoes to soak up all that delicious sauce!  

Apricot Chicken (adapted recipe source)
4 chicken leg quarters
1 cup Catelina salad dressing
1 cup apricot preserves
1 package lipton onion soup mix
Place chicken in a 13x9 baking dish.  Combine dressing, preserves and onion soup mix.  Pour over chicken and bake uncovered for 60-70 minutes or until done.  Baste every 20 minutes or so during cooking.  Carefully remove chicken to a plate and cover to keep warm.  Pour pan juices into a glass and allow to cool and the fat to separate. Skim off the fat and serve chicken with remaining sauce over rice or mashed potatoes.  

Monday, March 16, 2015

Grandma Mayes' Mac & Cheese

Grandma Mayes' Mac & Cheese | Aunt Bee's Recipes

        I had wanted to start this blog for 5 years before I finally bit the bullet and did it.  Ever since I learned to cook, I have enjoyed cooking for people. I don't think I necessarily was born with a gift for knowing how to cook, but I was definitely blessed with the gift of service.  Step inside my home for 5 minutes and I will have your feet propped up and a glass of iced tea or hot coffee and a snack in your hand, asking you about your day and for you to stay for dinner.  I like to think I learned this from my grandmother.  I have memories of her being the same way.  She was a lot better housekeeper than I am, but that is a topic for another day.  :-)
        I was so honored when a reader friend, Mrs. Helen Salter, shared her Grandma Mayes' Mac & Cheese recipe with me.  You see, family recipes (like my Granny's Southern Style Green Beans, my Mom's Chili Con Queso & Chicken Tortilla Soup, and my Mother in Law's Dressing Patties and Ground Beef & Vegetable Soup), are the most special to me.  So when one of y'all take the time to type out a recipe that means so much to you, and share it with my family,  I really am honored.  If that recipe happens to be a big ol' bowl of cheesy carb-y goodness, even better :-)
        So I knew this recipe was special from the get go.  I also could tell by the short ingredients list that it was easy.  Maybe the easiest mac and cheese, I have ever made that didn't come from a box.  While I knew the recipe would be delicious, what I was not prepared for, was it being the best mac and cheese my family has EVER had, and probably the only mac and cheese I will ever make again.  With only 4 ingredients, (and no flour), this mac and cheese is almost custard-like, with unbelievable flavor.   I am so honored that Mrs. Helen Salter chose to share her Grandma Mayes' Mac & Cheese with my family and yours.  I can't wait for you to give it a try!  

Grandma Mayes' Mac & Cheese
2 packages Deli Deluxe Sharp Cheddar Slices (no substitutions)
1 cup dried macaroni noodles
1 cup whole milk
3 eggs
Butter a 2 quart casserole dish.  Save out 3 slices of cheese and set aside.  Chop the rest and place in bottom of casserole dish.  Boil noodles al dente.  Drain and stir hot noodles in with cheese.  Whisk together eggs and milk.  Pour over noodles and cheese.  Place the reserved cheese slices on top of the casserole.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Keep an eye on the top of the casserole, and if the cheese starts getting brown before your casserole is done, lightly place a piece of foil on top to keep it from burning.  After 45 minutes, test with a knife to check for doneness, let it cook a few minutes longer if needed.  Enjoy! 

Grandma Mayes' Mac & Cheese | Aunt Bee's Recipes

Friday, March 13, 2015

'Bubble Up' Chicken Fajita Casserole

Y'all already know my sister is an amazing photographer and cook.  So amazing, in fact, that one of HER recipes, is the all time most popular recipe on my blog!  Well, she may have come up with one even better than that! This 'Bubble Up' Chicken Fajita Casserole is a winner!   It uses leftover grilled chicken (one of my favorite short cut ingredients) and canned biscuits for an easy, quick, and delicious, family-friendly weeknight meal!   Can you tell I am a little bit excited?  Put this one on your menu for next week!  

'Bubble Up' Chicken Fajita Casserole
2 Tbsp oil (She used butter spray)
1 onion, diced
1 Poblano pepper, diced
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
12 oz grilled chicken, chopped
1 can mild rotel, drained
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided (She used reduced fat)
1 10.5 oz canned buttermilk biscuits
1 packet taco seasoning or fajita seasoning mix, divided
fresh cilantro and toppings of your choice
Cut Biscuits into quarters and lightly sprinkle with half of your taco seasoning packet, set aside.  Saute onion, peppers and mushrooms in oil until soft to your liking.  Add diced chicken, the other half of the taco seasoning and drained rotel.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often.  Add chicken mixture to a greased 9x13 pan and stir in biscuit pieces and 1/2 cup of the cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees.  Top with the rest of the cheese and broil 4 to 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. (Watch closely!)  Top with cilantro and serve with toppings of your choice!  

'Bubble Up' Chicken Fajita Casserole | Aunt Bee's Recipes

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Cherry-Pecan Chicken Salad

We were SO happy to usher in SPRING LIKE weather this weekend!  We had our very first picnic of the season.  This Cherry-Pecan Chicken Salad hit the spot!  It is addictive!  I love that it only has 5 ingredients and takes less than 5 minutes to throw together.   I made it the night before and just packed it up the next day with some hearty crackers and fruit and we had a wonderful AND EASY picnic at the park!  I LOVE using a rotisserie chicken for this recipe, because I love the flavor, convenience and really love a combination of dark meat and white meat in my chicken salad.  If you would prefer a more old fashioned, southern type chicken salad, check out my Southern Pecan Chicken Salad

Cherry-Pecan Chicken Salad
meat pulled from 1 rotisserie chicken, or 3 cups leftover chicken shredded
1 onion, finely diced
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped, dried cherries
1 cup mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste
Combine chicken, onion, pecans, cherries and mayonnaise.  Season with salt & pepper to taste. Refrigerate overnight.  Serve with hearty crackers or toasted bread.  

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Steamed Broccoli Parmesan Toss

     I love garlic bread with my whole heart, but we eat a good bit of pasta and sometimes it's better to skip the extra carbs and have something green as a side.  (who knew?)  This Steamed Broccoli Parmesan Toss is on our menu at least once a week.  Its ready in under 10 minutes and my kids (and the hubby) GOBBLE it up!  It IS more of a method than a recipe because I have never really measured anything while making it. 

Steamed Broccoli Parmesan Toss
2 to 3 heads broccoli, cut into florets
4 Tbsp melted butter (or more!)
Parmesan cheese 
garlic salt, to taste
Put florets into a steamer basket over a pot with a couple of inches of boiling water underneath and cover with a tight fitting lid.  Steam for 5 minutes or until broccoli reaches your desired doneness.  Toss with melted butter, and Parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle with garlic salt and serve immediately.  

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Smoked Sausage, Cabbage & Potato Soup

We are ICED IN!  No work or school today and no school tomorrow!  I was in the mood for soup with cabbage.  I found this recipe and made a few changes to fit our preferences.  It turned out so good.  It was a tad bit on the spicy side because we used 2 teaspoons of creole seasoning, but you could definitely use less to make it a little more family friendly. We served it with grilled cheese made with sharp cheddar cheese. :-)  

Smoked Sausage, Cabbage & Potato Soup
2 Tbsp oil
2 potatoes, diced
1 lb smoked sausage diced
1 onion diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
1 quart chicken broth
1 quart water
1 bay leaf
2 tsp Tony Chachere's creole seasoning (or less depending on your heat preferences)
salt and pepper to taste (We seasoned ours with a little bit of Lawry's seasoning salt... SO good)
Heat oil in large soup pot over medium high heat.  Add potatoes, sausage & onion.  Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.  Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes more.  Add cabbage, chicken broth, water, Tony Chachere's seasoning, & a bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium/low and partially cover. Cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste. I like to cover and let sit for 2 hours to let the flavors meld together.