Thursday, October 31, 2013

Stovetop White Cheddar Macaroni And Cheese


My family loves this side dish!  The homemade cheese sauce is insanely good and we also love it on broccoli or cauliflower!  

Ingredients:
3 cups macaroni noodles, measured dry
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 cup fresh cut chives
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups whole milk (divided)
8 oz block of white cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:
Boil macaroni noodles until al dente, drain and set aside.  In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat and add the chives.  Saute for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the flour.  Mix well until there are no lumps.  Add 1/2 cup of milk, whisking constantly until smooth.  Then add the rest of the milk.  Add the chili powder, salt, pepper and dijon mustard.  Stir constantly for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the shredded white cheddar.  Fold the cooked macaroni noodles into the sauce.  Serve and enjoy!








Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Heath Bar Blondies


These are out of this world delicious!!!! You can easily double the recipe in a 13x9 pan.  Just extend the cooking time by 5 minutes or so.  Just be warned: THEY. ARE. ADDICTIVE.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cups dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup Heath Bar milk chocolate toffee bits (found in the baking aisle)

Melt the butter in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat; add both sugars and whisk constantly until combined and sugar is melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
Next, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla extract until combined. Slowly drizzle in the butter and sugar while whisking constantly. Then add the flour and whisk until just incorporated.  Do not over mix.  Lastly, fold in the Heath bar bits.  Pour mixture in a Pam sprayed 8x8 pyrex dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Allow to cool completely before slicing.  

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Baked Chicken Dijon


Good Morning!  Today I am sharing one of our favorite chicken recipes.  It puts those shake and bake kits to shame and it is made we all real food ingredients I usually have on hand.  I am by no means an ingredients snob, but in this recipe, the fresh breadcrumbs and fresh garlic really make a difference, so save it for a day that you can use both.  Also, I don't add any salt to this recipe because the salt from the dijon mustard and parmesan cheese is plenty for us.  We served this with some Southern Style Green Beans and Super Stuffed Twice Baked Potatoes.  I hope you give this one a try!  

Baked Chicken Dijon
Ingredients
4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, pounded to 1/2'' thick
1/2 cup Butter
3 to 5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 1/4 cup Fresh Breadcrumbs
1 1/4 cup grated parmesan Cheese
Directions
Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Add minced garlic and stir constantly for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and add Dijon mustard.  Allow mixture to cool.   Mix Parmesan Cheese and Bread Crumbs together.  Pound Chicken Breast to 1/2'' thick.  Dip Chicken Breast in butter mixture then in breading mixture.  Use your hands to really pack the crumbs to coat the chicken well.  Place the chicken in Pam sprayed 13x9 casserole pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until done.  I like to carefully turn the breast over halfway through to get it to brown evenly on both sides. Enjoy!




Check out these 20+ family favorite chicken recipes here!


Try it with these delicious sides!

Southern Style Peas with Bacon 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Slow Cooker Beef and Shallot Stroganoff


     I am a huge fan of using the crock pot but I am super picky about what foods I like cooked in it.  I only make 90% of crock pot recipes one time.  One reason is because MOST food that tastes good in the crock pot STILL tastes better cooked another way, and at this time in my life I am blessed to be a stay at home mom so I don't really NEED to rely on the crock pot as much as I did as a working mom.  But even us stay at home moms have busy evenings with doctor appointments, homework, games, and practice, where I do find myself using the my slow cooker a few times a month.  This is one of our favorite crock pot recipes.  It is a little hands on at first, and then it only has a cook time for 4-6 hours, so I save this for a day when I have some free time around noon to prep it and then it is ready to eat by dinner time.  This recipe has the standard Campbell's cream soups, but the red wine and shallots really kick it up a notch.  I hope y'all enjoy this recipe on a busy day!

Slow Cooker Beef & Shallot Stroganoff
Ingredients
1 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp butter
2 lbs Top Sirloin, trimmed of gristle and sliced against the grain
2 shallots, diced
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 cup sour cream
1 lb egg noodles, cooked al dente
parsley 
Directions
In a large skillet, brown the sliced top sirloin in oil and butter, over medium high heat for 2 minutes.  Add the shallot to the pan and saute for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the red wine to the skillet to deglaze the pan.  Pour the sirloin/shallot/red wine mixture into a crock pot sprayed with cooking spray.  Add the cream of celery, cream of mushroom, salt and pepper.  Stir, cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.  Before eating, prepare egg noodles al dente.  Stir sour cream and cooked noodles to the crock pot. Taste and adjust seasonings. Top with parsley if desired.  Serve.  


Check out my top 20 favorite slow cooker recipes here!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Leftover Chili Cornbread Bake


There is nothing I love more than finding a new way to use up leftovers that my family won't feel like they are eating leftovers.  I call these 'leftover makeovers'.  This chili cornbread bake is a FABULOUS way to use the last 2 or 3 cups of leftover chili.   

Ingredients
2 or 3 cups of leftover chili (We LOVE this three meat chili recipe)
1 box jiffy corn muffin mix
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 small can chopped green chilies, drained
sharp chedder cheese
toppings of your choice: such as sour cream, salsa, jalapenos
Pour Chili into the bottom of a 9x9 casserole dish

In a separate bowl, mix Jiffy corn muffin mix, milk, egg and green chilies and spread on top of the leftover chili.

 Bake on 400 degrees for 20 minutes. 
Top with a blanket of cheddar cheese ;-)

Bake for 5 more minutes.  Wait 10 minutes for it to cool, then slice and enjoy!
We like to top ours with salsa, sour cream and jalapenos!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Easy Homemade Brownies!



These homemade brownies are SO easy and yummy!  I almost always have these ingredients on hand and can easily make a whole batch for under a dollar.  

Ingredients
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 9x9 inch baking pan with Pam.  In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, sugar and vanilla.  Beat in eggs.  Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.  Gradually stir into the oil/sugar mixture until well blended.  Spread the batter evenly into the Pam sprayed pan.  Bake for 20 - 25 minutes.  Let cool then cut into squares.  Enjoy!


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Three Meat Chili


OH MY GOODNESS I had forgotten how good this chili is!  I ain't gonna lie it has a mile long list of ingredients and it took me at least an hour to prep and then simmers away all day, but it was worth every second.  It makes a huge pot, but Uncle Bee has big plans to take leftovers in his thermos for lunch and some chili cheese hot dogs and taco soup this weekend with the leftovers.  It also freezes incredibly well.  

THREE MEAT CHILI
Ingredients
1 lb bacon cooked and crumbled
2 lbs ground beef
1 lb mild Italian sausage, crumbled with casings removed
1 (15 oz) can chili beans in mild sauce
1 (15 oz) can chili beans in spicy sauce
2 (15 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes with juice
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, finely diced
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
2 Anaheim chili peppers, finely chopped with seeds removed
3 cups beef broth
1/2 cup beer
1/4 cup chili powder
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1 TBSP minced garlic (yeah I double this, ha)
1 TBSP dried oregano 
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp white sugar
Directions
In a large stock pot or dutch oven, cooked chopped bacon until crispy.  Remove bacon with slotted spoon to drain on paper towels then drain off the grease.  Brown the ground beef and crumbled Italian sausage, drain off excess grease.  Add in the chili beans, diced tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, onion, celery, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, chili peppers, bacon bits, beef broth, beer and all the seasonings.  Stir to blend then let simmer on low, covered all day, stirring occasionally.  Before serving, test the seasonings and adjust the salt, pepper and chili powder as desired.  Even better the next day!

My sweet friend, Nicole, that blogs over at Pic-Nic adapted this recipe for her slow cooker! Head over there for her slow cooker method!  Yummy!  



For more delicious football food and party appetizers, check out Tailgate Touchdown!








Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Caramelized Onion and Cream Cheese Chicken Enchilidas


We are on day 3 of 'grill once, eat 3 times.'  We got a huge pack of chicken breast on sale for 1.79/lb so I have had fun coming up with ways to use it up in completely different meals.  These enchiladas were a cinch to throw together, using leftover grilled chicken and especially since I caramelized the onions while I was cleaning up the kitchen from lunch.  We have been making a version of this recipe for years. I found the recipe from one of our favorite recipe sites, KevinandAmanda.com and have since altered it slightly for our family's preferences.   I hope y'all love them as much as we do!

Caramelized Onion & Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas (Adapted Recipe Source)
Ingredients
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 TBSP butter
1 tsp sugar
2 cloves garlic, chopped (fresh is SO much better in this recipe)
2 cups chicken, cooked and diced or shredded
8 oz block cream cheese, softened
10 oz can rotel or Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies, drained (mild or originial)
(8) 8 inch tortillas
8 oz block of monterey jack cheese, shredded
2 cups heavy cream
Cilantro for garnish
Directions
In a medium saute pan, add the butter,  sliced onion, and sugar.  Saute over medium/low heat for 20 minutes stirring often until light brown in color.  After the onions are light brown, add the chopped garlic to the onions and continue stirring the mixture for 2 minutes, to keep the garlic from burning.  Add the cooked chicken, rotel, and cream cheese to the pan with the onions.  Continue cooking over medium low heat, stirring constantly until combined.  
Divide the filling into 8 portions and wrap inside the tortillas.  Put the tortillas side by side in a pam sprayed 13x9 pan.  It will be a tight fit.  Sprinkle the top with the shredded Monterey Jack Cheese and pour the cream over the top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  You can broil the top for a minute or 2 at the end, but watch closely! #TrustMe   Let the enchiladas rest for 5 minutes before serving.  Top with cilantro and enjoy!  YUMMMMMMM!!!!!!





Tuesday, October 22, 2013

'Brown Sugar Bacon & Chicken' Grilled Cheese Panini



Anytime we grill chicken we always make extra for the next night.  These 'Brown Sugar Bacon & Chicken' Grilled Cheese Paninis are one of our absolute favorite ways to use up leftover grilled chicken.  They are a bit time consuming for a sandwich but oh my goodness are they worth it.  The brown sugar bacon is what MAKES this sandwich.  Enjoy!!!


Brown Sugar Bacon:
Ingredients
10 slices regular bacon (not thick cut)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp chili powder
Directions:
Combine brown sugar and chili powder in a bowl and set aside
Place aluminum foil on a cookie sheet and spray with Pam

 Line the bacon up, spread an even distance apart

 Using the back of a spoon, rub an even amount of the brown sugar/chili mixture over the bacon.  Place bacon in a cold oven, then turn the temperature to 400 degrees and bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven 

 Using a fork, carefully flip bacon on its other side

Cook for 7-10 more minutes, depending on how thick your bacon is, I keep checking mine every minute after the 5 minute mark.  Remove from oven and drain grease on a paper towel.  That makes this low fat.  Just Kidding.

Now we are ready to make our Brown Sugar Bacon & Grilled Chicken Paninis!!!!!

Brown Sugar Bacon & Chicken Grilled Cheese Paninis

Ingredients:
Sliced Sourdough Bread
Ranch Dressing
Sharp Cheddar Cheese Sliced
Leftover Grilled Chicken
Brown Sugar Bacon (recipe above)
Swiss Cheese Slices
Honey Mustard
Slather one side of Sourdough bread with ranch dressing

Top with Cheddar Cheese (The Glue)

Next the chicken

Then the brown sugar bacon

Next comes the Swiss cheese slices (The other glue)


Lastly spread some honey mustard on the other slice of sourdough bread

Put the lid on it



And Grill!  I use my indoor grill for these.  You can use a George Foreman or any other type of panini press or even a large pan with a heavy plate on top.  

Brown Sugar Bacon:
Ingredients
10 slices regular bacon (not thick cut)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp chili powder
Directions:
Combine brown sugar and chili powder in a bowl and set aside.  Place aluminum foil on a cookie sheet and spray with Pam.  Line the bacon up, spread an even distance apart.  Using the back of a spoon, rub an even amount of the brown sugar/chili mixture over the bacon.  Place bacon in a cold oven, then turn the temperature to 400 degrees and bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Using a fork, carefully flip bacon on its other side.  Cook for 7-10 more minutes, depending on how thick your bacon is, I keep checking mine every minute after the 5 minute mark.  Remove from oven and drain grease on a paper towel.  That makes this low fat.  Just Kidding. ;-)

Brown Sugar Bacon & Chicken Grilled Cheese Paninis
Ingredients:
Sliced Sourdough Bread
Ranch Dressing
Sharp Cheddar Cheese Sliced
Leftover Grilled Chicken
Brown Sugar Bacon (recipe above)
Swiss Cheese Slices
Honey Mustard
Directions
Slather one side of Sourdough bread with ranch dressing.  Top the ranch with Cheddar Cheese (The Glue), then the chicken, and brown sugar bacon.  Next comes the Swiss cheese slices (The other glue).  Lastly, spread some honey mustard on the other slice of sourdough bread.  Put the lid on it, and Grill!  I use my indoor grill for these.  You can use a George Foreman or any other type of panini press or even a large pan with a heavy plate on top.




Monday, October 21, 2013

Grilled Chicken Penne Alfredo


Alfredo Sauce was something that took me quite a few tries to get right.  It is something I would order any time I saw it on the menu at a restaurant, but it is one of the few things I didn't prefer 'homemade'.  That is until I found Emeril Lagasse's alfredo sauce recipe which used a shallot instead of garlic.  I had never had a shallot before and around here, garlic is one of our favorite ingredients.... If a recipe calls for 1 clove of garlic, I automatically multiply that by 3.  My breath smells amazing.  But, low and behold, the alfredo sauce made with shallots was the best alfredo sauce I'd ever had, and now I don't order it from restaurants any more because this fabulous recipe has RUINED any other alfredo sauce for me.  ha.  We love to have this for at home date nights.  When the stars are aligned and I have fed the kids an early dinner of PB&Js or pizza rolls (Ya'll know you do it sometimes too)

Grilled Chicken Penne Alfredo
Ingredients
marinated and grilled chicken breast (we love this marinade)
16 oz penne pasta, cooked al dente
6 TBSP unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated parmesan, (the kind in the green can, seriously)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
parsley for garnish
Directions
Cook the penne in a pot of boiling, salted water until al dente.  Drain in a colander but reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water.  While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat.  Add shallots and saute until tender.  Add heavy cream and bring to a boil.  Cook, stirring often, until sauce has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and add the parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and the reserved cooking liquid, stir.  Add in the pasta and stir.  Plate the pasta with the sliced chicken breast on top.  Garnish with parsley! ENJOY!


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Stuffed Bell Peppers


This is one of our very favorite make ahead meals!  You can prep it in the morning or even a day or 2 before and just pop it in the oven 40 minutes before dinner time!  It also happens to be just about the tastiest things I have ever put in my mouth!!!!   The secret ingredient is Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning.  I am not affiliated with them in any way, or being compensated to say this: it is my absolute FAVORITE seasoning in the world!!!  (Lawry's is a close 2nd)  This recipe is not spicy at all, but feel free to add some extra creole seasoning if you like it spicy :-)

4 Bell Peppers 
1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, finely diced
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp Tony Chachere's creole seasoning 
1 egg
1/3 cup quick cooking oats
1 TBSP worcestershire
15 oz can tomato sauce (divided)
shredded cheese of your choice (we like a combo of Sharp Cheddar and Mozzarella)

Slice bell peppers in half from stem to end and put in a large pot of boiling, salted water for 5 minutes.  Drain.  In a skillet, brown the hamburger with the onion, drain.  In a large bowl, add in the meat and onion mixture, minced garlic, salt, black pepper, creole seasoning, oats, worcestershire.  Mix half the tomato sauce with the egg to temper it.  Then add the egg and tomato sauce mixture to the meat mixture.  Mix thoroughly.  Lay the bell pepper halves side by side in a casserole dish.  Spoon the meat mixture inside.  Top with the remaining tomato sauce and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Top with cheese and bake for 5 minutes more.  










Saturday, October 19, 2013

{3 Ingredient} Queso Blanco


 I wish the weather would stay like this all year.  I don't want it to get any colder though lol. What a wonderful fall FOOTBALL Saturday!  We had one of our favorite game day snacks today.  You just can't beat a 3 ingredient appetizer made in the microwave that the whole family can enjoy!   We like it as much as any we have had at a Mexican restaurant.  The heat level is adjustable according to your preferences.  I hope ya'll love it as much as we do!

{3 Ingredient} Queso Blanco
Ingredients
16 OZ white American cheese 
1 Cup whole milk
2 TBSP jalapeño juice (hot or mild, whichever you like)
Directions
Chop white American cheese into chunks.  Combine, cheese, milk and jalapeño juice in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 1 minute.  Stir.  Continue microwaving in 30 second increments and stirring until cheese dip is smooth.  Serve with tortilla chips for dipping.  ENJOY!!!!


For more delicious football food and party appetizers, check out Tailgate Touchdown!


Check out some of our favorite Mexican Recipes!

Caramelized Onion & Cream Cheese Enchiladas
Taco Bell Enchiritos Copycat
Tex-Mex Cowboy Casserole
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Chili con Queso

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cheese Lover's {Ultimate} Chicken Noodle Casserole



This is one of our favorite ways to use up leftover chicken!  This recipe makes a ton so it is a good one to use to 'make one and freeze one' for a busy night!  It makes 1 13x9 or 2 8x8 casserole dishes.  This is not a 'from scratch' recipe, but it is SO delicious!  We served it with Southern Style Green Beans.  Next time you make some chicken, make a little extra for this recipe for a busy night!  

(If you are looking a from scratch recipe, I have a couple of those too!  From Scratch White Cheddar Chicken Broccoli & Rice Bake & From Scratch Chicken Noodle Casserole)

Cheese Lover's {Ultimate} Chicken Noodle Casserole
Ingredients
3 cups leftover chicken 
2 TBSP butter
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced very small
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 tsp garlic salt
12 oz velveeta, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (10.75 oz) cream of mushroom soup
1 (10.75 oz) cream of celery soup
12 oz egg noodles (cooked 1 minute less than al dente)
Sharp Cheddar Cheese  and Mozzarella Cheese for the top (Or whatever kind of cheese you like!)
Directions
In a large skillet or dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat and add onion and bell pepper.  Cook for 5 minutes or until tender.  Add chicken, chicken broth, garlic salt, velveeta cheese, tomato sauce, cream of celery and mushroom soups, stirring until cheese is melted.  Prepare noodles, by boiling them for 1 minute less than the lowest time on the package.  They will continue cooking in the oven.  Combine the noodles with the sauce and taste to check the seasonings.  Pour mixture into a pam sprayed 13x9 or 2 8x8s, if you are dividing it.  Top the casserole you are baking now with a blanket of shredded cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.  Enjoy!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Crockpot Chili Cheese Dogs




This recipe is so simple that I am almost ashamed to share it, especially so soon after starting this blog.  But I thought about how much this 'recipe' has helped us during a hectic day with our busy family, and hopefully some of you guys can tuck this away in your back pockets for a day when you find yourself in a bind, needing to be 3 places at once and you forgot to thaw the chicken (or is this just my life?) haha.  I don't know what type of magic the crock pot does to a hot dog weiner but the only thing I can compare it to is one of those hot dogs you get at the fair or a concert.  Where the weiners get really plump and juicy with a really crispy skin.  This is the ONLY way we make hot dogs now.  

1 pack of your favorite weiners (We like the Ball Park Bun Length)
a crock pot

.
Toss the Weiners in the bottom of your crock pot.  Do NOT add water!  I do spray my crock pot with pam first because it makes the cleanup so much easier.  Spread them around where as much of each of them is touching the crock pot as possible.  Cover and set on low for 3 - 4 hours.  


The Above photo was after cooking for about 3 hours in my crockpot.  I take them out and put them on a paper towel to drain a little of the moisture off.  (I CANT STAND SOGGY BREAD)  Then we top them with whatever we like.  We usually have a can of our favorite chili and a can of nacho cheese sauce around for just this purpose.  But we also sometimes just top with ketchup, mustard and onion.  The point is, HOWEVER you usually top your hotdog, try cooking them this way first.  Please let me know what you think and if you have any questions!