Creamy Chicken Primavera

Sooo good and Sooo easy! It's not a recipe so much as a meal idea.

Ingredients:
- 1 t. olive oil
- 2 medium red, yellow or green bell peppers, coarsely chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 c. frozen peas, thawed
- 1 jar (1 lb.) Ragu Cheesy Light Parmesan Alfredo Sauce
- ground black pepper to taste
- cooked noodles (I used Gluten-Free penne, they suggest linguine)

Directions:
- While noodles boil, saute peppers and onion in oil, stirring occasionally 10 minutes or until golden.
- Stir in chicken and peas, continue stirring 5 minutes.
- Stir in cheese sauce and simmer 10 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. - Serve over pasta!

Caroline's Chickpea Curry

Caroline made this dish during our girls' weekend on the Oregon coast. She found it on allrecipes.com and I LOVED it!

Ingredients:
4 medium potatoes, cubed
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
1/2 cup cream or milk
1 (12 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Directions:
- Place potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat; simmer until the potatoes are tender. Drain, and set aside.
- Warm oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic, and cook until the onions are soft and translucent. Stir in curry powder, garam masala, ginger, cumin, and salt. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes, stirring. Pour in soup, cream, and chickpeas. Stir in potatoes. Simmer 5 minutes.
- Serve over rice.

Strawberry Whipped Sensation

I saw this recipe in my Summer issue of Kraft Food and Family (which you can order free online!) and thought it looked delicious! Mike agreed when he saw it so we gave it a try for his birthday. It was a lot easier to make than I had anticipated and was pretty good! I think I may try using softened icecream instead of the sweetened condensed milk next time just to mix it up and see if I like that better.

Ingredients:
- 4 c. fresh strawberries, divided
- 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
- 1/4 c. lemon juice
- 1 tub (8 oz) Cool Whip, thawed and divided
- 8 Oreo cookies
- 1 T. butter, melted
**After making this a few times I use 12 cookies and 1 1/2 T. butter for crust!**

Directions:
1. Shape foil onto outside of 8x4 loaf pan. Line inside of pan with shaped foil, with ends extending over sides of pan.
2. Mash 2 c. strawberries in large bowl. Stir in condensed milk and juice.
3. Stir 2 c. whipped topping into strawberry mixture. Pour into prepared pan.
4. Finely chop cookies. Combine cookies and butter. Spoon over whipped topping mixture in pan.
5. Cover cookie mixture with ends of foil and gently press cookie mixture into whipped topping mixture. Freeze 6 hours or until firm.
6. Invert dessert onto serving plate when ready to serve; remove pan and foil. Spread remaining whipped topping onto top and sides.
7. Slice remaining 2 c. strawberries; arrange on dessert. Store leftovers in freezer.

I made 2 of them and we let Ella decorate the extra one. It was SO cute! She made the little circle of strawberries around the outside all by herself :-)!

Chicken Divan Casserole

I like this one because although it has two of my favorite things, chicken and broccoli, it doesn't have cheese so it is a nice change from my typical chicken and broccoli dishes. It has a more sophisticated taste, but Ella and Addie still approve :-).

Ingredients:
- 1 c. uncooked rice (I use 1 1/2 and adjust water accordingly)
- 1 c. coarsely shredded carrots
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I use 2)
- 2 T. butter or margarine
- 3 T. all-purpose flour (or cornstarch)
- 1/4 t. salt
- black pepper
- 1 c. chicken broth
- 1/2 c. milk or half and half (I used 2% milk)
- 1/4 c. dry white wine
- 1/3 c. plus 2 T. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 lb. fresh/frozen broccoli florets (I used a 10 oz. bag)

Directions:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 3 qt. baking dish.
- Prepare rice according to package directions. Stir in carrots. Spread mixture into prepared dish.
- Spray large skillet with cooking spray; heat over med-high heat. Brown chicken breasts 2 min. each side. Arrange over rice.
- To prepare sauce, melt butter in med saucepan over med heat. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper to taste; cook and stir 1 min. Gradually whisk in broth and milk; cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 2 min. Stir in wine. Remove from heat; stir in 1/3 c. cheese.
- Arrange broccoli around chicken; pour sauce over top. Sprinkle remaining 2 T. cheese over chicken.
- Cover with foil; bake 30 min. Remove foil; bake 10-15 min. or until chicken is cooked through.

Hash Brown Casserole


Ingredients:
- 6 eggs, well beaten
- 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk (I used FF)
- 1 t. salt
- 1/2 t. pepper
- 1 package (30 oz) frozen shredded hash browns
- 2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 med. onion, chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 c. diced ham (I used lunch meat)

Directions:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x13in baking dish.
- Combine eggs, evaporated milk, salt and pepper in large bowl. Add potatoes, cheese onion, bell pepper and ham, if desired; mix well. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.
- Bake for 60-65 minutes or until set.

Chicken and Bean Tostadas

These are quick and easy but still tasty...and a nice variation from our typical taco meal. I simmered some of my trusty Costco canned chicken with diced onion and salsa. You can top them as you please, but we used refried beans, chicken, lettuce, cheese, guacamole and cilantro. Ella really like them and thought they were lots of fun to eat :-). They would be really good with the canned beef instead of chicken too!

Mom's Peach Cobbler

My mom made this for our Father's Day dessert and posted it on her Pineapple Hill blog. I don't make a lot of desserts so I'm passing on this delicious one of hers! She even took pictures of her preparation! Go Mom :-)!

(recipe and top picture from Southern Living...Note:We doubled the recipe here and put it in a 9X13" pan.)

Ingredients:
2 (16-ounce) packages frozen peaches, thawed and drained
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided
5 white bread slices
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 large egg

Preparation:
Stir together peaches and 2 tablespoons flour. Place in a lightly greased 8-inch-square baking dish.
Trim crusts from bread slices; cut each slice into 5 strips. Arrange bread strips over fruit mixture.
Stir together remaining 2 tablespoons flour, sugar, and next 2 ingredients; drizzle over bread strips.
Bake at 350° for 35 to 45 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
Serve warm with vanilla icecream.

Scalloped Potatoes 'n' Ham

I love potatoes, and creamy dishes, and cheese so this was right up my alley. I thought it was delicious and Ella ate it up too. It is definitely a meal in itself with all the ham!

Ingredients:
3/4 c. powdered nondairy creamer**
1 3/4 c. water
3 T. butter
3 T. flour (or cornstarch)
2 T. dried minced onion
1 t. salt
3/4 t. paprika
6 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 c. diced cooked ham (I used lunch meat)
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese (I probably used more than this...I made sure the whole thing was generously covered)

Directions:
- In a small bowl, combine creamer and water until smooth. In a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in the flour, onion, salt and paprika until smooth; gradually add creamer mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.
- In a greased shallow 2 1/2 qt. baking dish, combine the potatoes and ham. Pour sauce over the top.
- Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Uncover; bake 40-50 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with cheese; bake for 5-10 minutes or until edges are bubbly and cheese is melted.

**I was having a hard time finding the "powdered nondairy creamer" and finally asked our little chef at HEB (a grocery store here). He was sooo nice! He left his little cooking station and walked me over to the coffee creamers (which I had not even thought of). We found one HUGE thing of "nondairy" creamer so he compared the ingredients in that and the regular coffee creamer and said they both contained a milk ingredient so they should work the same. I got the smallest generic coffee creamer (only $1 vs. $6 for that huge one) and it turned out great. Thanks little chef man :-)!**

Anniversary Chicken

I think I actually got this recipe from one of those recipe email chain letters :-). We hadn't made it in awhile and since I was making bacon for my recipe last night I decided we were due for this again. I really like the blend of flavors, and although it isn't the healthiest meal, it tastes good :-)!

Ingredients:
- 4 chicken breasts (I just use 2 and cut them in big strips)
- 1/3 c. teriyaki sauce
- 1/3 c. ranch dressing
- 2/3 c. cheddar cheese
- 2 chopped green onions
- 4-5 strips bacon, cooked and chopped up
- 1 c. chopped fresh mushrooms, sauteed

Directions:
- In a large skillet cook chicken 4-5 minutes each side, unil light brown. Put in a greased 9x13 baking dish (I use 8x8).
- Combine teriyaki sauce and ranch dressing and pour evenly over chicken breasts.
- Top with bacon, mushrooms, green onions and cheese.
- Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
I like it served over brown rice.

Grilled Corn and Roasted Red Pepper Soup

I found myself at the library last week with both my girls being entertained by our favorite librarian, Miss Venitha. After standing there for a moment not quite knowing what to do with myself, I wondered over to the cookbook shelf and found, Kitchen Coach: Weekend Cooking. I flipped through and there were no pictures (which is a cookbook requirement for me) but the name of this soup caught my eye. Then I read the author's description that "This is hands-down my very favorite soup." I was sold! The preparation takes awhile but it is delicious! It is like a richer, fancier version of potato soup with a burst of flavor from the red peppers - I'm definitely a fan!
(Oh, the recipe said it made 10 large servings, so I halved everything (except potatoes because I LOVE them). I'm posting the original (big) recipe from the book so plan accordingly)

Ingredients:
- 6 ears corn, husked, rinsed well to remove the silk, brushed with olive oil
- 6 c. chicken broth
- 8 bacon slices, diced
- 2 T. butter more or less (I didn't use any)
- 2 c. finely shopped white onions
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/4 c. flour (or cornstarch)
- 3 c. peeled, diced russet potatoes
- 1/2 c. jarred roasted red bell peppers, chopped (at Walmart these were in the salad dressing aisle and were pretty cheap)
- 2 c. whole milk (I used whole since we buy it for Addie, but I think it would be fine with reduced fat milk)
- 1 t. lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 T. chopped fresh chives

Directions:
1. Preheat grill...clean and season grill.
2. Place the prepared ears of corn on grill. Grill until the corn is lightly browned, turning frequently. Remove corn from grill and cool. Once cooled, carefully cut kernels off the cob.
(I just browned my corn on a flat frying pan over the stove and broiled it in the oven a little)
3. Place the broth in a 3-quart saucepan. Add the cobs and heat over medium heat. Simmer the cobs in broth to infuse corn flavor (that is my favorite line from any recipe ever!), about 15 minutes. Discard cobs and reserve the stock.
4. Fry the bacon in a heavy stockpot over medium-low heat until just crisp, about 4-6 minutes. Remove the bacon and drain. Add enough butter to the rendered bacon fat to equal about 3 T. (I used no butter and actually removed some of my bacon grease - you only need so much!). Add the onions, season with salt, and cook, stirring from time to time, until pale golden in color, about 12 minutes.
5. Sprinkle with the flour and cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes.
6. Add the infused broth (:-)) to the stockpot, whisking continuously to incorporate. Increase the heat to medium-high, stir in the potatoes, and simmer about 10 minutes, covered, until tender.
7. Stir in the corn, roasted red pepper, and milk. Simmer until slightly thickened, for 10-12 minutes.
8. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Serve very hot, garnished with bacon and chives.

Mexican Casserole

This is a recipe I found in my Taste of Home magazine. It is definitely my favorite so far of this type of dish - very flavorful!

Ingredients:
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 envelope taco seasoning
- 3/4 c. water
- 1 can (16 oz) refried beans (I like Rosarita FF)
- 1/2 c. salsa
- 6 flour tortillas (or 9 corn)
- 2 c. frozen corn, thawed
- 2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
- optional toppings: shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sliced olives, sour cream

Directions:
- In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in taco seasoning and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a microwave-safe bowl, combine the beans and salsa. Cover and microwave for 1-2 minutes or until spreadable.
- Place three tortillas in a greased round (or square in my case) 2 1/2 quart baking dish. Layer with half of beef, bean mixture, corn and cheese; repeat layers.
- Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 5 minutes. Serve with toppings desired.

Ricky Martin's Beans

I decided to try and make one meatless meal a week and found this one on the website Meatless Monday. I thought, Ricky Martin's Beans, how can you go wrong?! :-) They actually were really good, similar to Mike's DR Beans.
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 can (15.5 ounces) small red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
6 cups hot, cooked white rice

Directions:
In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Stir in 3/4 cup water, tomato sauce, and oregano. Bring to a boil and stir in beans. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve beans over rice.

California Combo

This was always a family favorite when we were growing up! It is a tasty twist on your traditional lasagna dish. It is one of those recipes my mom told me over the phone a long time ago with no real measurements so I did my best tonight to keep track of how much of everything I was putting in. It is one of my all time favorites!

Ingredients:
- about 8 oz. noodles, cooked (I used my GlutenFree Penne)
- 1 lb. hamburger
- 1/2 c. onion, diced
- 1 c. sour cream (I use FF)
- 8 oz. cream cheese (I use reduced fat)
- 1 jar (1 lb. 10oz) spaghetti sauce
- 4 green onions, diced
- cheddar cheese to top dish

Directions:
- Cook beef and onion in sauce pan, drain. Stir jar of sauce into pan and heat through.
- Sautee green onions in a little butter.
- Cream together sour cream and cream cheese. Stir green onions into mixture.
- In lightly greased casserole dish layer noodles, cream cheese mixture and meat mixture. Repeat layers again and top with enough shredded cheese to cover top.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
I actually cooked 16 oz. noodles tonight but only used about half of them. I like to go heavy on the sauces, otherwise you may be able to do a 9x13 dish. I had enough for an 8x8 and then a little extra as shown. The cream cheese mixture is what makes this sooo good!

Easy Lettuce Wraps

These were super easy and definitely would work to satisfy a craving for lettuce wraps! They are not as flavorful as the P.F. Chang's wraps so add some soy sauce when you dish them up. I will definitely make them again! (Oh, and I found the recipe on Kill the Gluten)

Ingredients:
- 2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced (I just used 1)
- 1 T ginger root (I used 1/2 t. powdered ginger)
- 2 T oil (I used 1 T olive oil and then remembered I had sesame seed oil and did 1 T of that)
- 2 T rice vinegar
- 2 T teriyaki sauce
- 1 T honey
- 1-1/2 C shredded carrot
- 1/2 C green onion
- 1/3 C sliced almonds
- Lettuce Leaves

Directions:
- Mix all ingredients except chicken in a bowl until combined.
- Pour mixture into pan with cooked chicken and simmer for 8 minutes.
- Serve hot in prepared lettuce leaves.

Baked Cream Cheese Enchiladas

Aside from my mom's enchilada recipe, this is the next best recipe in my opinion. I found it on the foodnetwork.com when we first got married. I like that it provides a little twist on a traditional enchilada. It's delicious!

Ingredients:
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened (I use 1/3 fat kind and use a little extra)
- 1/4 c. sour cream (I use FF)
- 2 c. prepared salsa
- 2 c. grated cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese (I use 1 c. cheddar and 1 c. MJ w/peppers)
- 2 c. shredded cooked chicken (can use a can)
- 1 c. frozen corn kernels, thawed
- 1/2 t. cumin
- 1/4 t. dried oregano
- 1/4 t. cayenne (I use chili powder)
- salt and pepper
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 12-14 flour or corn tortillas, 6-8 inch

Directions:
- Preheat oven 325 degrees.
- In a medium bowl cream together cream cheese and sour cream. Stir in 1/2 c. salsa. Stir in 1 c. grated cheeses.
- In a second bowl toss together the chicken, corn, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper, and 1/2 scallions.
- Add the chicken mixture to the cheese mixture and stir to combine.
- In a baking dish spread 1/2 c. salsa over bottom. Place about 1/3 c. filling on a corn tortilla, roll up and put in dish seam side down. Repeat process for remaining tortillas.
- Pour remaining salsa over enchiladas, spreading to coat all of them. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. (Enchiladas may be prepared up to this point 12 hours in advance) - Transfer to preheated oven and bake 20-25 minutes until hot and bubbly. Sprinkle with the remaining scallions and serve warm.