Cheesy Chicken and Corn Casserole

I found this recipe on Three on Food and thought it looked like something we would all like. I reduced the butter by A LOT and thought it was really good. Mike especially loved it...even with all the corn :-)!

Ingredients:
1 Box Yellow Rice (I used a 10oz. bag)
1 Stick Margarine (I used 2 T., 1 in rice and 1 for chicken)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 Can Cream Of Chicken Soup (I used 98% FF)
1-2 Cups shredded, cooked chicken (I used 1 breast because I'm getting low on my canned chicken)
1 can Whole Kernel Corn, drained
1 1/2 Cups Cheddar Cheese

Directions:
Cook rice according to package directions.
Fry your chicken in some butter and set aside (I seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic salt).
Saute your onion in the same skillet as the chicken bits.
Add rice and all other ingredients, except for 1/2 C of cheese, into a bowl and stir until well combined.
Spoon into casserole dish and top with remaining cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 min, or until bubbly.

Chicken Curry in a Hurry (Freezer Meal)

This was DELICIOUS!!! Definitely my favorite of our freezer meals so far (and it isn't designed as a freezer meal, so just make it the same night you are going to eat it if desired). I don't think I toasted my coconut quite long enough, as I've never done it before, but it still tasted great! I would definitely make this again on my own! Thanks Cathy!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 T veg oil
1 med onion, diced
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp curry powder
1 (12-14 oz can) coconut milk
1 c canned diced tomatoes (I always just use a whole can)
2 T Tomato paste (I often skip this if I don't have any)
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes (or you can use a can of chicken)
3 packed cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
1 or 2 cans garbanzo beans
1/2 c. toasted coconut

Directions:
-Heat oil over med heat. Add onion and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook until soft, about 7 min. Add curry and stir one more minute
-Stir in cocnut milk, tomatoes and paste and cook another 5 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly.
-Add chicken and cook 5-6 minutes until meat is cooked (sometimes I cook the meat beforehand- that's okay too). Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add salt to taste. Serve with rice.

To toast coconut, place on a cookie sheet in 300 oven and watch closely. Cook until golden, just a few minutes. This adds so much flavor to the dish and is my favorite part. Serve curry over rice- we love basmati!

Layered Chicken and Black Bean Enchilada Casserole

This recipe comes from The Sisters' Cafe and I LOVED it. It was warm and gooey and delicious :-)! We served it with some Mexican Rice and called it a night. I loved that I didn't have to chop anything since I used the canned chicken...it was SUPER easy!

Ingredients:
2 cups diced chicken breast meat (I used one can chicken)
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander (I didn't have but put a shake of chili powder and garlic salt in)
2 Tb chopped fresh cilantro
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (4.5 oz) can diced green chili peppers, drained
1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce – MILD
8 (6 inch) corn tortillas
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 (8 oz) container low fat sour cream (I used FF)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375°. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and spray with vegetable cooking spray. Sauté chicken with cumin and coriander until chicken is cooked through. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in the cilantro, black beans, and green chili peppers.
Spread half of the enchilada sauce over the bottom of an 11x7 inch baking dish. Place 4 tortillas over the sauce, overlapping if necessary. Spoon half of the chicken mixture over the tortillas, and sprinkle with half of the cheese and half of the sour cream.
Spoon the remaining enchilada sauce over the cheese, and make another layer of tortillas. Layer the remaining chicken mixture over the tortillas.
Cover dish with a lid or aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven.
Remove the cover, and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and dot with sour cream. Continue cooking, uncovered, for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese melts.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Sesame Tilapia

This is one of our dinners from my freezer meal group and we really liked it. I had heard not so great reviews from a couple people so I was scared to try it, but Mike and I both loved it. I just made some Herb and Butter rice to go with it and we would definitely make it again on our own. (photo via All Recipes)

INGREDIENTS:
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
6 (4 ounce) fillets tilapia fillets

DIRECTIONS:
Stir the orange juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, garlic, and ginger in a 9x13 inch baking dish until combined. Add the tilapia fillets, turning once to evenly coat. Cover the dish with plastic wrap, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes.
Preheat an oven to 425 degrees.
Remove the plastic wrap, and bake in the preheated oven until the fish flakes easily with a fork, 9 to 11 minutes.

Green Curry Chicken

I found this recipe on The Sisters' Cafe and have been so excited to try it. It was just what I needed tonight. I LOVED it! It is on the sweet side but can easily be spiced up a little with some extra curry and some red pepper.

Ingredients:
1-1.5 pounds chicken breasts
crushed garlic
olive oil
4 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped on a diagonal
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cans coconut milk
1 Tb green curry paste
3 Tb sugar
cornstarch
fresh cilantro, chopped
lime wedges

Directions:
Cut up chicken and fry in garlic and olive oil. Set aside. Stir fry carrots, celery and onion in garlic and olive oil - about 5 minutes or until onions are mostly cooked. (Don't over cook - you want the carrots slightly crispy) Mix together with chicken in a big pot and pour the coconut milk over. Stir in the green curry paste and sugar. When it comes to a boil thicken with a little cornstarch. If you want more sauce, add some chicken broth to the consistency you desire...do not add too much broth or it will dilute the coconut flavor too much. Serve over rice and top with fresh chopped cilantro and lime wedges.

Preston's Baby Shower Menu

There was a lot of good food to eat at the shower last night (not to mention an AMAZING cake from Cakes By Melissa)! Thank you to everyone who helped out by bringing something to share! Here are the recipes I have been able to collect...

Artichoke Dip
Sweet Bacon Wrapped Lit'l Smokies
Tomatillo Salsa
Grandma's Punch
Chicken Spinach Bow-Tie Salad

Chicken Spinach Bow Tie Pasta Salad


Mckell made this AMAZING salad for Preston's shower...and even gave me the leftovers :-)! She and her mom made it up and here is what you throw in it...

Ingredients:
- baby spinach
- grilled chicken
- bow tie pasta
- pesto
- feta cheese
- toffee glazed almond accents
- diced tomatoes
- make the dressing by mixing equal parts Italian dressing and Caesar dressing

Grandma's Punch

This punch is really pretty (and delicious) but I failed to take a picture of it...sorry!

Ingredients:
Mix together...
46 oz. pineapple juice
6 oz frozen lime juice
12 oz frozen lemonade
12 oz frozen orange juice
1 qt. ginger ale
1 qt. club soda
16 oz frozen strawberries
Sliced lemons
Sugar to taste (optional); We used maybe 1/2 cup last night

Melissa's Tomatillo Salsa

Melissa (of Melissa's Bargain Blog) brought this yummy salsa to the shower! Luckily she had posted the recipe on her own blog. Unfortunately this picture is also cropped out of a big one, but you get the idea.

Ingredients:
*Herdez Green Sauce (They sell this at Walmart here. If they don't have this brand in your area, you can probably substitute another green sauce....look for something with tomatillos and serrano peppers)
*1 or 2 avocadoes (peeled and pitted)
*1 bunch cilantro, washed very well
*8 oz sour cream
*1/3 white onion
*garlic powder and salt to taste

For spicier version: add one serrano pepper
For a more liquidy version: add another jar Herdez Green Sauce
For a creamier sauce: 16 oz sour cream

Directions:
I dump everything in the blender and mix well. I also add a dash of lime. It is SO good!

Sweet Bacon Wrapped Lit'l Smokies

lit'l smokies
(Hooray for a new picture...I just made these myself)
Amy brought these tasty little guys to my baby shower. They are ALWAYS a crowd pleaser and they are SOOO easy to make!

Ingredients:
-Lit'l Smokies
-bacon
-brown sugar

Directions:
-Wrap 1/3 piece bacon around each lit'l smokie, using a toothpick to hold in place.
-Sprinkle with brown sugar (Amy said she uses 3/4 lb) and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Cheesy Lentils and Rice

This recipe comes from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook. I am always amazed at how far lentils go...seriously, the 1 dried cup in this recipe made TONS. Unfortunately, I am experiencing some food aversions again during the last month of pregnancy and this just didn't do it for me. Mike said it was good though and actually ate some (and he isn't into these meatless dishes), but I have TONS left...let me know if you want any!

Ingredients:
- 1 c. uncooked brown rice
- 2 T. butter or margarine, divided
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 c. dried lentils
- 1 c. chopped onion
- 1 c. chopped green pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained (I used fire roasted)
- 1 t. paprika
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/2 t. pepper
- 1/4 to 1/2 t. ground red pepper
- 1 1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions:
- Cook rice according to package directions, adding 1 T. butter and 1/2 salt. Set aside.
- Cook lentils according to package directions; drain and set aside.
- Melt remaining 1 T butter in a large skillet over med heat; add onion, green pepper, and garlic, and cook until tender, stirring often.
- Stir in lentils, tomatoes, and next 4 ingredients; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 min, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in brown rice. Sprinkle with cheese.
- Cover and let stand 5 min before serving.

Berry Fruity Smoothie


Ever since my mom described a smoothie my sister Hope had a birthday party a few weeks ago I've been wanting one! With strawberries on sale at Walmart for $0.99 (for the third week in a row!) I've been buying them like crazy and finally got some ice cream and orange juice too so I could try and make my own. The girls and I have thoroughly enjoyed our cool, fruity afternoon drink snack :-)!

Ingredients:
-1/2 c. orange juice
-1/2 c. ice
-1 c. vanilla ice cream (I bought fat free, sugar free)
-fruits of choice
(we've been using a handful of blueberries, 5 strawberries and 1 banana)
-optional sweeteners of sugar or honey (at the party they used honey, but I've just been skipping it, and think the fruit sweetens it up enough)

Directions:
-Throw in blender and blend!

Pork and Beans Stuffed Peppers

Here's a great way to mix up your ham leftovers from Easter. We don't have any since we dined on Mike's Fried Chicken for Easter dinner (I love it and I didn't have to cook it, so when he suggested it I was all for it!) so I just used ham lunch meat tonight, but thought it had a great flavor! (and I don't know where this recipe is from...I ripped it from a magazine, but there isn't any info about which one on the page)

Ingredients:

-4 bell peppers, tops sliced off and reserved, ribs and seeds discarded (the magazine showed yellow ones, which looked pretty with the red tomatoes, but red ones were on sale so that's what I used)
-3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
-salt and pepper
-1/4 lb. Canadian bacon or ham, chopped
-3 cloves garlic, chopped
-1 t. dried oregano
-1 15 oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (I used great northern)
-2 tomatoes, chopped
-4 oz. mozzarella cheese, cute into cubes, about 1 c.
-1/2 c. breadcrumbs (I used crushed Ritz crackers because I had some leftover)

Directions:
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub the peppers with 2 T. olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Stand in baking dish, cover with the tops and roast for 30 minutes.
-Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat 1/2 T. olive oil over medium heat. Add the bacon/ham and cook until browned; transfer to medium bowl. In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1/2 T. olive oil. Cook the garlic and oregano until fragrant, about 2 minutes; stir into the bacon along with the beans, tomatoes, mozzarella and breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper.
-Fill the peppers with the bean mixture; return to the oven (no tops) and heat through, about 15 minutes. Set the tops in place.

Egg Gravy (aka: Eggs a la Goldenrod)

This is Mike's specialty and the perfect breakfast for Easter morning when you have all those hard-boiled eggs you need to use up :-)! Mike and I took a cooking class for couples together before we graduated. It was once a week and each couple made a different recipe from whichever section we were on and then we all shared with each other and ate at the end of class...it was GREAT! One week we were surprised when one of the couples made his egg gravy almost exactly...it just had a much fancier name :-)! I eat mine on a plain ricecake so I took a picture of Ella's plate with the traditional torn up toast.

Ingredients:
- 1/2 c. flour
- 3 c. milk
- 1 T. butter
- 4 eggs, hard boiled and chopped (could add more if desired)
- salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 t. each to start)
- toast, torn into pieces
- paprika

Directions:
- Mix together flour, milk and butter in saucepan over medium heat. Stir continuously until it thickens.
- Add chopped eggs, salt and pepper. Stir until heated through.
- Spoon over bread pieces and sprinkle with paprika

Chicken Lime Tacos

I saw this recipe on the blog Favorite Family Recipes. They were easy and a great new taco flavor. Ella loved them so much she ate two whole tacos! I also think it would be good to marinade the chicken in the sauce and then grill it before cutting up and putting in the tacos.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs. chicken, cubed
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
juice of 1 lime
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
4-5 green onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp fresh cilantro (or to taste)
tortillas and toppings

Directions:
Sauté chicken in a medium skillet in a little oil for a few minutes until chicken becomes white all around.
Combine vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt, pepper, green onion, garlic and cilantro and add to chicken. (I mixed these together before starting chicken so it could mix together more)
Simmer for an extra 10-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
Add chicken to tortillas and top with lettuce, tomato, cheese, avocado, cilantro, salsa, etc.

Grandma's Meatloaf

My grandma made this for dinner for us all on Sunday after Conference was over and although I wasn't super excited about meatloaf going into dinner, it was actually delicious! She said it was either her mom or her grandma's recipe too, so I figured I better document this family recipe! It sounds easy enough...

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
3/4 c. oatmeal
1/4 c. chopped onion
1 1/2 t. garlic salt
pepper
1 egg, beaten
3/4 c. milk
Sauce:
1/2 c. ketchup
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. yellow mustard
sliced bacon, optional

Directions:
Mix and squish together all ingredients and form into your loaf pan.
Mix all the sauce ingredients, except bacon, and pour on top of loaf. She likes to make extra sauce (1 1/2 to 2 times the recipe).
Place sliced of uncooked bacon over the very top (this was a great addition in my opinion!).
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
We had some extra barbecue sauce on the table for ours and it was served with mashed potatoes, green salad and sourdough bread.

Corn & Sweet Potato Chowder

I saw this soup on Jamie's Cookbook and thought I'd give it a try. I knew I would be the only one eating it so I just left the chicken out and thought it was great meatless!

Ingredients:
1 chicken breast, boiled and shredded (optional)
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 cup frozen corn, not thawed
1 1/2 cups milk (I used 1%)
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
1 quart chicken broth
1/2 cup yellow corn muffin mix
1 tbsp butter
1/2 onion, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
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 30 seconds.
Add broth, chicken and sweet potatoes. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until sweet potatoes are just tender, about 8 minutes.
Stir in milk and muffin mixture and simmer until soup thickens, about 10 minutes.
Add cheese and corn and cook until cheese begins to melt, about 2 minutes.
Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper.
Serve with french bread.

Seven Flavor Hamburger (Freezer Meal)

This is another meal from my freezer swap and Mike really, really liked it! I thought the flavor was great, I'm just not as big of a meat person. It is nice that it is versatile and can be served in more than one way!

Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
6 hamburger buns, split (or noodles or rice)

Prep:
Cook ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat until no longer pink. Stir frequently, and break into pieces. Drain off grease.
Add onion, celery, and green pepper to the skillet, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in ketchup, vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato sauce. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes. To freeze, store meat mixture in gallon size freezer bag, removing all air.

Serve:
Heat meat mixture and serve over hamburger buns or noodles. (We ate ours over rice)

Poppy Seed Chicken (Freezer Meal)


This is another freezer meal recipe from 30 Day Gourmet. We were rushing to eat before heading out for Ella's kindergarten orientation so I didn't get a good picture of it, but I thought it was really good! This is what I made for the freezer swap we are having today. This has been my 3rd group and will be my last for awhile, but I'm really excited about having a little stash built up for after I have the baby in 6 weeks! I made some white rice and put this on top, but you could also cook up some extra egg noodles...it definitely could use the extra though and it makes the meal go further (we only ate about 1/2 of it).

(1 recipe=8 servings, in my opinion)
Ingredients:
- 5 oz. wide egg noodles
- 2 cans cream of chicken soup (21 oz)
- 1 1/2 c. chicken broth
- 16 oz. fat free sour cream
- 4 c. chicken cooked and cut into small pieces (I used 1 can chicken for each recipe, which is about 2 c.)
- 1/2 stick margarine, melted
- 1 1/2 c. Ritz crackers, crushed
- 2 T. poppy seeds

Assembly Directions:
-Cook noodles slightly less than package directions.
-Mix soup with broth, sour cream and chicken.
-Drain noodles and add to soup mixture.
-Combine crackers, poppy seeds and melted butter in a separate bowl.

Freezing and Cooking Directions:
-Label 2 bags for each person, one for chicken mixture and a small one for cracker topping.
-To serve: Thaw chicken mixture. Spread in 9x13 pan and stir (mixture will separate in freezing). Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Stir, add topping and bake 15 more minutes or until bubbly.