Tag Archives: cook

Tasty Tuesday – Chicken Broccoli Foil Packets

We’ve had a bit of a change in my house and I’ve been making dinner at midnight or so most nights.  I can’t really spend hours cooking, well actually I guess I could, but I don’t really want to at that time of night, so I’ve been hunting for hearty, quick and easy to prepare meals.  I found a recipe for a Chicken & Broccoli Foil Packet Meal that I loved so much I had to pin it to Pinterest.

This recipe reminded me of a fantastic recipe that my grandmother “created” called Chicken Thing.  It is not the same as Chicken Thing, but it does have the same homey meal feeling that I remember from my childhood.  The foils packets are also much easier to prepare, which is a big plus at 11:30pm.  I gathered all of the ingredients: 1 package Chicken Flavor Stuffing mix, 1 1/4 cup of water, 24 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts, 4 cups of broccoli, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 4 slices cooked bacon, and 4 tablespoons of Ranch Dressing (I accidentally left this out).

Chicken Broccoli Foil Packets Ingredients

First I cut the foil to size and sprayed each piece with cooking spray.

Prep the Foil

Then I mixed the stuffing and water together.  Once it was combined well, I scooped some stuffing onto each piece of foil.

combine stuffing mix and water start building your food pyramid with stuffing

Next I trimmed the chicken and laid half a boneless skinless breast on each pile of stuffing.

Layer 2 Chicken Breast

After the chicken I added some broccoli.  The original recipe gave actual amounts to use.  I didn’t pay any attention to the measurements.  I went by sight and what my family will eat.

layer 3 broccoli

Then 1 crumbled strip of bacon gets added to each packet along with some shredded cheddar cheese.

Layer 4 Cheese  Layer 5 Crumbled Bacon

This is where I was supposed to add the ranch dressing and forgot all about it.  I blame the omission on the time of day I was making the meal.  Once the stuff was all stacked, I closed the packets (leaving enough room for air to circulate inside each one).  I placed the sealed packets on a jelly roll pan and stuck them in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees.

Foil Packets Ready to Bake

They were ridiculously good, and I will totally be making these again, and I may even have to break out the Chicken Thing recipe and give it a whirl.

Chicken & Broccoli Foil Packets

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Tasty Tuesday – Panko Crusted Ricotta Stuffed Chicken

Wow, I sure do eat an incredible amount of chicken.  I don’t (actually can’t) eat beef these days, pork is all good (but tends to require extensive care to insure it isn’t dry), and I like seafood (but not everyone in my house is a fan).  Which leaves me with chicken as my go to option…  That being said, I really do enjoy it; however, I’m always on the look out for different was to mix things up a bit.  I love Pinterest for just this reason!  I found this interesting recipe for Panko Crusted Ricotta Stuffed Chicken Breasts while I was searching for something more diverse thank another sauce or marinade for chicken breast.

Tomatoes are a definite no go in our house, so I had to revise the recipe slightly, but it wasn’t a very big change, more of a simple omission.  I got everything I needed together: 1 cup of low fat ricotta cheese (I used regular), a handful of chopped baby spinach, 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, 2 chicken breasts, Italian seasoned panko crumbs, 2 tsp olive oil.

Stuffed Chicken Ingredients

Once I had everything together, I preheated the oven to 400 degrees and got my heavy oven safe skillet out.  Then it was time to put together the stuffing.  I combined the ricotta, spinach, Parmesan cheese, basil, garlic, salt and pepper in a glass bowl and set it aside.

ricotta chopped spinach grated cheese fresh basilminced garlic salt pepper Spinach & Ricotta Stuffing

When that was all set, I moved on to prepping the chicken.  I rinsed each piece, trimmed it and then butterflied the breasts.  That means I cut a slice through the middle of each one longways without going all the way through.  It makes a pocket of sorts, which I then filled with the stuffing.

Butterflied Chicken Boobs Stuffed Chicken Breast

Next it was time to apply the crust.  I filled a bowl with the panko crumbs and rolled each stuffed breast to cover all of the chicken.

Panko Crusting

Once they were coated nicely, I brought the chicken over to the stove and heated the olive oil in the skillet I took out earlier.  When the olive oil was warm, I placed the chicken in the pan and let it cook for 3 minutes or so.  Then I turned it over and put the entire skillet in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

heat the olive oilSear the 1st side turn them over and bake

I loved this recipe, and will definitely be making it again!  Who wants to join me for dinner?

Panko Crusted Ricotta & Spinach Stuffed Chicken

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Tasty Tuesday – Pork and Sauerkraut

I was introduced to a new dish this past New Year’s Day, and I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to try and recreate it for Gwen.  It is a traditional New Year’s meal here in Akron – you know the whole cows stand still, chickens scratch backwards and pigs push forward thing.  I found a close approximation on Pinterest, and with a few minor changes I recreated the meal I so enjoyed this winter, Pork and Sauerkraut.

It’s a fairly simple meal to prepare.  The trick is that it needs to cook low and slow, which is why the recipe say to cook the meal in a slow cooker.  I gathered the ingredients the recipe called for: 1-2 pounds of boneless country style pork ribs, 2 pounds of undrained sauerkraut, and 1/4 cup of water.  I adjusted the recipe slightly by adding the secret ingredient that the person who made it for me boasted about, a 1/4 cup of brown sugar, and an onion for bit of balance against the sweet of the brown sugar.

Pork and Sauerkraut Ingredients

I followed the recipe’s directions and first layered in the pork ribs.  Then I added the onion and covered everything with the sauerkraut.

Boneless Country Style Pork Ribs  Add an Onion   Cover Everything with Kraut

Next I added the brown sugar and the water.

Add the Secret Ingredient   Now a little Extra Liquid

When everything was in the crock pot, I turned the heat to low and let it cook away for 8-10 hours.  I have to tell you that the house smell amazing when I got home from work!

Traditional Pork and Sauerkraut

I served it in a shallow bowl with a nice hunk of crusty bread to sop up the tangy juices.  Are there any traditional holiday meals that you serve at other times of the year?

 

 

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Tasty Tuesday – Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad

I’m not usually a fan of mayonnaisey salads, I’m more of a leafy green kind of girl, but this one struck a chord with me when I saw it on Pinterest.  I am a big fan of anything Chicken Bacon Ranch, so this salad was a clear must try recipe for me!

The original blog post that the recipe came from can also be found on WordPress!  I started following her blog as a result of this recipe.  I can’t wait to see what else she offers.

I was very excited to try this out, so I was very lucky to have all of the ingredients on hand!   It called for: 3 cups chicken, cooked and chopped, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (I didn’t like the way these looked, so I left them out), 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/8 teaspoon ground mustard, 1/8 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/4 cup finely diced red onion (I don’t like raw onion, so I left these out), 6-8 slices cooked and chopped bacon, shredded cheddar cheese for garnish.

chicken bacon ranch salad ingredients

Before I could assemble the salad, I had to cook the raw ingredients.  I cooked the bacon and chicken in a small skillet on the stove top.

cooking the bacon   cooking the chicken

When the chicken and bacon were cooked, I moved on to mixing the dressing for the salad.  I combined the mayonnaise, sour cream, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.  I mixed everything until it had a nice creamy consistency.

mayonnaise  sour cream

onion powder  garlic powder  salt  ground black pepper dried mustard   lemon juice

Once the dressing was mixed, I added the cooked chicken and bacon.  Then I stirred everything together so that it was well coated.

add the chicken  then add the bacon and mix

When everything was mixed together, it was time to make a sandwich.  I cut a hoagie roll, scooped on some of the salad, and garnished it with shredded cheddar cheese.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad Sandwich

This is a definite repeat!  I think I’ll make a batch of it the next time we have a chance to take the dogs to the park for a picnic/play-date.

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Tasty Tuesday – Crock Pot Chicken Philly Sandwiches

I’m so excited about this week’s recipe!  I love Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches, but beef does not love me.  So, I was really happy when I found a recipe on Pinterest for a chicken version of these delicious sandwiches.  What made it even better was that it’s a crock pot recipe!  Great for a night when I have to work late and still need to have dinner for everyone when I get home.

This particular recipe is designed to be a healthy option (the original author gives it Weight Watcher points), but I didn’t use the reduced fat ingredients.  I went with the regular options.  I gathered the chicken breasts, green peppers, sweet onion, steak seasoning (I used homemade Outback style seasoning), butter, provolone cheese, and hoagie rolls.

crock pot chicken philly ingredients

First I put 2 tablespoons of butter in the bottom of the crock pot.  Then I cut up the onions and put them into the slow cooker.  Next came the sliced bell peppers.

butter as the base  slice the onion  put the onions on the butter  slice the peppers  add the peppers to the crock pot

Once the veggies were in the crock pot, I moved on to preparing the chicken.  I sliced it and put the chicken into a Ziploc baggie with some of the steak seasoning.  Then I squished it around to coat the chicken with the seasoning.  When it was all covered well, I added it to the peppers and onions.

clean and slice chicken   add seasoning to chicken   smush chicken to coat with seasoning   put everything in crock pot

Then I set it on low for 4-6 hours and went to work.  When I got home, I cut the rolls, added the cooked chicken and veggies, then put some sliced cheese on top of each sandwich.  Once I had the hoagies set, I put them into the oven at 350 degrees for 4 minutes to melt the cheese and crisp the bread.

cooked chicken philly cheese covered chicken philly sandwich

The sandwiches were really yummy!  I can’t wait to try these again.

 

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Tasty Tuesday – Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza

Last week I made a batch of pizza dough, because I was craving a taste of New York food.  Which lead me to search Pinterest to find alternative types of pizza.  I found a few options, the most appealing one was for Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza.

Given my food preferences, I was really looking forward to trying out this recipe.  The only thing that gave me pause was the use of jarred Alfredo sauce, but I moved beyond that quickly.  I gathered the necessary ingredients:  pizza dough, chicken breast, chopped broccoli, a jar of Alfredo sauce and mozzarella cheese.

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza Ingredients

Once I had everything together, I cooked the chicken.  I cut it up and grilled it in a pan with a bit of olive oil and minced garlic.  While I was doing that, I defrosted the frozen broccoli in the microwave.

Cooking the Chicken

When all of the components were ready, I stretched the pizza dough out on a jelly roll pan.  Then started layering on the ingredients.  First came the Alfredo sauce (which I spread out evenly across the entire pizza), then I added the broccoli, then the chicken, and finally the mozzarella cheese.

streched dough  Add the Alfredo Sauce  Cover all of the dough  Next Broccoli  Then the Chicken  Top it with the Cheese

It took the oven ready pizza and baked it at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  The recipe suggest baking for 15-20 minutes, but, as Ive learned, my oven is a bit wonky, so I adjusted the cooking time.

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza

It was every bit as good as I had hoped, but it still wasn’t New York pizza.  I guess I’m just going to have to go visit soon…

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Tasty Tuesday – Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Anything but Grits

Gwen is out of town, and I finally get to make something especially for me!  SHRIMP!  I love them, but Gwen won’t even touch them and that makes getting to enjoy them a rarity.  I decided to take advantage of Gwen’s absences and make some, but I wanted to step outside of my regular repertoire a bit.  With that idea in mind, I went trolling through the boards at Pinterest and found a recipe for Lemon Garlic Shrimp and a Grit-like substance.

How is a standard dish a step away from the norm, you may ask…  I hate grits.  The texture is just not my cup of tea, so the idea of finding a recipe that willingly substitutes them and still lets me enjoy the lemony garlic flavor of the shrimp was quite a find.

To get the great flavor I wanted out of the shrimp, I needed to marinate them.  The recipe called for a 1-4 hour soak, but I left them in overnight.  I gathered the needed ingredients and got to work peeling the little buggers.

Shrimp Marinade Ingredients  Peel and Devein Shrimp

I placed the peeled and de-veined in a glass bowl with a cover.  I added the 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the equivalent of 2 cloves of garlic minced, the zest of a lemon and 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano to the bowl with the shrimp.  I covered the bowl and shook it to mix and coat everything.  You can use a ziploc bag instead of a bowl.

Olive Oil  Dried Oregano  Minced Garlic  Lemon Zest  Ready to Cook

Now that the shrimp was well flavored, it was time to cook.  The recipe gives directions on making mashed cauliflower, but I decided to use mashed potatoes instead (they are easier to make and super yummy).  After my potatoes were ready to go, I set about cooking the shrimp.  I gathered my ingredients:  2 strips of bacon, 6 cloves of minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of butter, 1/2 cup of white wine, 1/2 sweet onion thinly sliced, 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, a pinch of dried oregano, the juice of my previously zested lemon, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

Shrimp Sauce Ingredients

Now that I had everything together, I cooked the bacon and set it aside.  Then I added the butter to the rendered bacon grease and melted it over medium high heat.  Next, I added the sliced onion and cooked them until they were soft.

cook the bacon  melt the butter  cook the onions

Next in the process of building the sauce comes the spices.  I added the minced garlic, crushed red pepper, and dried oregano.

crushed red pepper  a pinch of oregano  minced garlic

After the spices sauteed for a minute or two, I added the white wine and let it reduce by about half.

reduce the white wine

Next I added the shrimp and stirred them frequently to turn the shrimp.  Be careful not to let them over cook, they turn rubbery.  As the shrimp are almost finished cooking, juice in the lemon.

add the lemon juice

I took the bacon that I had rendered earlier, and chopped it up.  Then it was time to eat!

Shrimp and Not Grits

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