Tag Archives: oven

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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Sunday Sweets – Valentine’s Day Blondies

I’m not a huge chocolate fan, but I really love the consistency and gooey texture of brownies.  Gwen, on the other hand, hasn’t met anything chocolate she doesn’t like.  That makes find a dessert we agree on rather difficult.  So in honor of Valentine’s Day, I went looking for that elusive dessert that would satisfy both of us.  I thought I found it in the form of a Brown Sugar Blondie.

The first thing I did was gather all of my ingredients: 1 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/8 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/3 cup butter, 1 cup packed brown sugar, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, and 1 1/3 cups of M&M’s.  (The only one I actually had to buy was the holiday themed M&M’s.)

Blondie Ingredients

First, I mixed all the dry ingredients (except the M&M’s) together and set them aside.

flour  baking soda  baking powder  Salt

Then I melted the butter and added it to the brown sugar in a larger bowl and mixed it well.

melted butter & brown sugar  mix well

Then it was time to add the rest of the wet ingredients… (Sounds an awful lot like making cookies, doesn’t it?)

add egg  and vanilla

Then you mix in the dry ingredients a little at a time.

add the flour mixture a bit at a time

Then put away the mixer and fold in the M&M’s…

add the M&M's

Then spread it into a 9×9 baking pan, sprinkle some extra M&M’s on top before you put it in the oven and bake it at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

don't be afraid to use your fingers

It was really yummy, but it would’ve been better as cookies…  Nothing like a brownie.

Valentine's Day Blondies

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Tasty Tuesday – Creamy Mustard Chicken

This week we are continuing on our kitchen adventures and exploring new ingredients.  I wanted to try something different for dinner, and not resort to some variation of an old standby (pasta, pork chops, pot roast, chicken cutlets – all the things we grew up eating).  So, this week when I went looking for a recipe to try on Pinterest, I made sure that there were at least 3 ingredients included that I didn’t already have in my kitchen.  I found this recipe:

Looks yummy, right?  I thought so, and it called for tarragon (one of the few spices I didn’t already own), coconut oil and coconut milk.  That meant it was the perfect meal for the mood I was in…

First, I gathered all my ingredients (this even included a trip to the grocery store): 2lb chicken thighs, 1 can thick coconut milk, 3 tbsp. Dijon mustard, 1 large apple thinly sliced, 1 large sweet onion, 1 tbsp. dried tarragon, 2 tbsp. coconut oil, salt & pepper.

some of the ingredients

Then we made the marinade for the chicken: in a large bowl we combined the coconut milk, tarragon and mustard to make a creamy paste.  Then added salt and pepper to taste.

Use mustard to taste

Once it was combined, we added the chicken and mixed until it was all coated.  Then stuck the whole bowl in the fridge for a few hours to marinate before cooking.

before chicken  after chicken

When we made it to about an hour before dinner, it was time for the next step.  This is where we got to play!  First I got to experiment with coconut oil (it’s similar to lard and has to be melted, but much healthier for you!).  Then we got to use our mandolin!  I love this thing!  It makes extremely thin, even slices!  We used it on both the apple and the onion, then put them in the baking dish and added the melted coconut oil.

mandolin slicing  add coconut oil

Next we put the marinated chicken on top and stuck the covered dish in the oven at 350 degrees to bake for about 45 minutes.

oven ready

It smelled amazing when it came out, but the sauce had thinned out and was really runny when we served it.

table ready

I liked the apples and onions best, mostly because I’m not a huge fan of chicken thighs.  If we make this one again, I’ll have to mix it up and use thighs and breasts.  Also, it probably would’ve been better served over rice, instead of with a baked potato.

What’s the strangest ingredient you’ve ever used in your kitchen?

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Sunday Sweets – Peanut Butter Cup Crescent Rolls

We’ve been on a bit of a peanut butter kick in my house, and have been trying out some interesting recipes and snacks that have peanut butter as an ingredient.  It’s amazing the shear number of foods that have peanut butter in them.  I feel sorry for anyone with a peanut allergy.  Ahh, but I digress…  This week we wanted something quick and yummy for a brunch type meal, and I stumbled across a recipe for Peanut Butter Cup Crescent rolls on Pinterest.  They reminded me of the Chocolate “Croissants” I made around Christmas time, so I figured I’d give them a try…

The recipe was very straightforward.  I gathered my ingredients: Pillsbury Crescent rolls, peanut butter and mini chocolate chips (they melt better than the regular sized ones).

peanut butter cup crescent ingredients

Then I popped the tube of crescents and laid them out on a jelly roll pan.  Once I had the individual rolls set up, I added a glob (real technical and specific measurement, huh?) of peanut butter to each one.

adding peanut butter

Then comes the chocolate chips…

sprinkle on the mini chips

Then you roll up the crescents.  I’m so OCD I hate it when they don;t come out just right.  Don’t stress about that, just make sure that the sides are sealed, so nothing leaks out…  Don’t want to lose any of the yummy goodness, right?

oven ready

Then they go right into a 350 degree oven for 14 minutes.  They smell amazing as they are baking!  Just make sure that you are ready to serve them almost as soon as they come out.  They are definitely at hot from the oven kind of treat!

Peanut Butter Cup Crescents

Another quick and easy yummy semi-homemade sweet treat!  Any suggestions on what other fillings we can try?

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Tasty Tuesday – Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s Tasty Tuesday time again!  This week I made Chocolate Chip cookies for my work Christmas party.  I found a recipe on Pinterest, now mind you I usually just use the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag, but I was willing to try something different, so I went with it…

First I gathered all of my ingredients: 2 3/4 cups of flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt, 2 sticks room temperature unsalted butter, 1/2 white sugar, 1 1.4 cups packed brown sugar, 2 tsp. vanilla (I used homemade – I’ll have to write a post on making these…),  2 eggs, 1 egg yolk, 2 cups of chocolate chips.

chocolate chip cookie ingredients

The directions I found said to preheat the oven first, but that doesn’t make any sense, because you have to refrigerate the dough for at least 24 hours before baking the cookies.  So, first combine the “dry” ingredients in a bowl.  That means add the flour

add flour for cookies

salt, baking soda, and baking powder

add baking powder to cookies

in a bowl and set it aside.  Then in another bowl beat the butter and both types of sugar until it’s creamy.

photo 2

Then add the eggs (one at a time) and beat them into the butter & sugar mixture.

photo 4 (2)

Next add the vanilla to the egg, butter, sugar mixture.

photo 5 (2)

Once all of the “wet” ingredients are mixed together, you mix the “dry” ingredients in a bit at a time.

photo 2 (3)

When the flour bowl is all mixed in you can stir in the chocolate chips.  Don’t use the mixer to do this.  It works better if you stir by hand to add them in.

add the chips to the mix

Then cover the dough and stick it in the fridge for at least 24 hours, but not more than 72.

put the dough in the fridge

When you are ready to bake the cookies, take the dough out and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Then line a baking sheet with a silicon pad or parchment.  When the oven is hot and the dough is scoopable, make balls of dough (about 3 tbsp. of dough in each) and place them on the covered baking sheet.

photo 2 (4)

I got 4 rows of 3 cookies on my baking sheets.

photo 3 (4)

Then I put them in the oven for 12 minutes.  (The directions called for 12-14 minutes).  When the timer buzzed, I checked them and increased the time by another 2 minutes.

photo 5 (4)

I let them sit on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

cooling cookies

They were very yummy!  The best part, it made the plumbers that were here replacing my defunct water heat much happier.  A happy plumber is a better plumber, in my opinion and experience.  Have you ever butter anyone up with homemade goodies?

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Tasty Tuesday – Chocolate “Croissants”

It’s a milestone moment in our new house!  The kitchen ceiling is finished, the cabinets were cleaned (inside and out), and all of my kitchen stuff has been unpacked and stored appropriately (for now…).  WooHoo!!!  I have a functional kitchen!  And just in time for the first Tasty Tuesday of December, so because I am currently in the mood to celebrate (for multiple reasons, not just that I have a functioning kitchen and bathroom) I decided to select sweet treats for this month’s Tasty Tuesday recipes.

I wanted to make something fun this morning for breakfast to break in the new kitchen.  This was the first meal that we actually cooked in our new home, with a fully functioning kitchen.  We didn’t finish putting everything away until after 10pm last night.  It isn’t the most beautiful kitchen, but it’s loaded with all of my cool kitchen toys, so it works for me!  Oh, yeah, sorry the recipe…  I found a recipe for Chocolate “Croissants” on Pinterest.  It had 2 ingredients and was super simple, but ridiculously good!  So good, that these may replace cinnamon rolls as our family’s go to sweet treat for holiday breakfasts.

First I gathered my ingredients.  2 Hershey Bars and a tube of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls.

photo 1 (9)

Then I preheated the oven according to the directions on the crescent rolls.  For the pan I was using it called for a 375 degree oven temp.  Then while it was warming up, I opened up the dough, and unrolled it.

photo 3 (10)

Then I took 2 pieces (the small rectangles that are pre-cut on a Hershey Bar) of chocolate and rolled each individual crescent around the chocolate, making sure to close the sides to keep the chocolate from leaking out.

photo 1 (11)

Once I had finished all 8, I put the pan in the oven and cooked them for 12 minutes.

photo 2 (10)

When the time went off, I pulled them out and served them!

photo 4 (9)  photo 5 (9)

Can I just tell you how yummy these were!  I don’t really like chocolate very much, but these were just the right amount!  Make sure you eat them while they are warm!!!


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My Melting Rainbow

When I chose this week’s Pinterest project I thought it would be really simple, but boy was I wrong!  I found the directions for a melted crayon candle during the heat of the summer and had to modify the directions slightly to accommodate the change in the weather.

First I gathered together my supplies – a candle wick, an empty glass jar, and 5 inexpensive boxes of crayons.

photo 1

Then I sorted the crayons by color, and removed the wrappers from each crayon.  (This part was really annoying.  The wrappers kept sticking and were 2-3 layers thick.)

photo 2  photo 4

Once everything was finally unwrapped, I attached the candle wick to the bottom of the glass jar with a bit of glue.

photo 2 (6)    photo 3 (6)

When it had set for a few minutes I started layering in the crayons.  I went with the ROY G BIV order, so I had to put the purple pieces in first…

photo 4 (4)  photo 2 (5)  photo 4 (3)

Now this is where I changed the directions, because of the change in weather.  I put mine on a cookie sheet in my oven and set the heat to 200 degrees and the timer for 15 minutes.

photo 5 (2)

This is the result:

photo 3 (3)

Not perfect, but I might try again with different crayons, of alternate wax, and a different color scheme.


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