Thursday, January 22, 2009

Chicken and Ham Lasagna

Delish! One of my favorites. It's a Southern Living recipe, so you know it's good!

Chicken and Ham Lasagna

2 chicken breasts
2 cups chopped, cooked ham
1 Tbsp butter
8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
3 cups milk
1 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
1/2 cup whipping cream
3/4 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
9 lasagna noodles, uncooked
chopped parsley and paprika for garnish

Cook chicken until tender and cut into bite-sized pieces. Combine with ham in large bowl and set aside.

Cook noodles according to package directions. Melt 1 Tbsp butter in large skillet. Add mushrooms and cook until tender. Add to meat mixture. 

Melt 1/3 cup butter in skillet; add flour and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in milk. Cook 3 minutes or until bubbly, stirring constantly. Add cheese, whipping cream and seasonings. Stir until thickened. Add to chicken mixture.

In 2 quart baking dish, layer 1/4 meat mixture, 3 lasagna noodles, 1/4 meat mixture, 3 noodles, 1/4 meat mixture, 3 noodles, and end with remaining meat mixture. Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving. 

Garnish with paprika and parsley if desired.

*I like Barilla lasagna noodles.
*Serve with salad, bread, and zucchini!

Menu Plan 1.23.09

Here's my menu plan for the next two weeks.

6. Roast chicken
7. Homemade pizza
9. Beef Stir-fry
13. Spaghetti with Meatballs

I actually have 15 meals. That's because on I sometimes need an extra meal option on weekends. Just realized I didn't include sides...usually it's a veggie/salad/bread.

Red and Black Bean Bake

From Everyday Food magazine.

2 Tbsp oil
2 bunches green onions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tube polenta, patted dry
1 cup (packed) cilantro
1/2 tsp Tabasco
1 1/2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese (or Monterey Jack)
salsa (optional)

Preheat oven to 400. 

In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat and add the white part of green onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, 2-3 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes (with juice) and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, slightly mashing the beans with back of spoon. Reduce to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, brush 2 deep dish pie plates with 1/2 tsp oil. Slice polenta crosswise into 16 rounds. Place 8 in each pie plate.

Remove bean mixture from heat. Stir in green part of the onions, cilantro and Tabasco. Season with salt and pepper. 

Spoon on top of polenta. Cover with shredded cheese and bake 15-20 minutes at 400. Let stand a few minutes before serving. If desired, garnish with more cilantro and serve with salsa.

Pesto Chicken and Pasta

From Southern Living 1989 Annual Recipes.

Pesto Chicken and Pasta

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
14.5 oz can tomato wedges, drained
1 cup chicken broth
1 Tbsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp pesto, divided (buy it in a jar)
8 oz fettuccine
Fresh basil (optional)

Cook fettuccine according to package directions. 

Cut chicken into 1 inch pieces and brown in olive oil in skillet. Remove from pan. Saute mushrooms for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and heat through. Combine chicken broth and cornstarch; stir until smooth. Add to pan with tomatoes and mushrooms and stir until thickened. Add chicken and 1 Tbsp pesto sauce, stirring well. 

Serve chicken and sauce over fettuccine tossed with remaining pesto. Garnish with basil.

*Haven't made this in FOREVER.
*The recipe directions are for microwave, but I re-wrote them for the stove top (I hope).
*I think I need to use more pasta than 8 oz

*Just realized I have another recipe for Pesto Chicken and Pasta...this one from Supper Solutions.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Jenn's Corn Salsa

One word: YUMM-O! This recipe is from my sweet friend, Jenn. Check out her recipe blog too.

Jenn's Corn Salsa

1 can corn; warmed in microwave
10 grape tomatoes; cut in half
1 avocado; chopped
2 green onions, sliced finely
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tbsp. cilantro; chopped finely
1/2 tsp. salt
1 clove garlic; chopped finely

Put first four ingredients in a bowl - set aside. Mix together next four ingredients, pour over the vegetables. Let sit in the refrigerator 30 minutes for the flavors to mix together. Serve with tortilla chips.

Jenn says: For a party double or triple this recipe because it always goes fast!

*I used frozen white corn. I like it better than canned.

Ranch Crackers

I made these for Bunco last night. Sooooooooo yummy! They're always a hit!

Ranch Crackers

3/4 cup oil
1 package Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing mix
1/2 tsp dill weed
1/4 tsp lemon pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
16 oz plain oyster crackers

Whisk together first five ingredients. Pour over crackers, stirring to coat. Place on baking sheet(s) and bake at 275 for 15-20 minutes

Cool and store in airtight container.

*I use olive oil. And I don't use as much as it calls for.

Easy Chicken Spaghetti

There are SO many variations of this recipe. I know because I've tried many of them over the years. This is the one that I rediscovered last year and it is the ONLY one that my children will eat. 

Easy Chicken Spaghetti

2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 small onion, diced (optional)
10 oz uncooked spaghetti (I like thin spaghetti)
1 can Rotel tomatoes 
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cheddar cheese soup
grated cheddar cheese

Cook spaghetti noodles according to package directions. In large bowl mix soups, onion, Rotel, cooked chicken, and spaghetti noodles. Mix well. Pour into 9x13 casserole dish. Top with grated cheese. Bake covered at 350 for 30 minutes or until heated through. 

I serve with salad/green beans/french bread.  

*I only use 1/2 a can of Rotel (mild) because my kids freak out about tomatoes. Freeze the rest of the can for next time. 
*I also skimp on the chicken sometimes. Casseroles are great for  stretching small quantities of meat.
*This isn't a healthy dish, but that's okay. It's comfort food.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rolo Pretzels

I'm not a big fan of chocolate, but these pretzels were a hit at Christmas. I just made a batch for Bunco tomorrow night.

Rolo Pretzels

mini pretzels
bag of Rolo candy
pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350. Unwrap Rolos. Bake pretzels for about 5 minutes. Pull out of the oven and place a Rolo atop each pretzel. (There were 56 Rolos in the bag I I baked 56 pretzels). Put pretzels/Rolos back in oven for a few minutes. Watch carefully. The chocolate should be soft, but not completely melted. Take out when soft and smash a pecan half into Rolo. Let cool and store in airtight container. 

Monday, January 12, 2009

Susan's Breakfast Casserole

I got this from my my friend's blog. It's tasty!!! My kids balk at so many of the things I make for dinner (they still have to eat it) but this casserole gets no complaints. Thanks, Susan.

Susan’s Breakfast Casserole

1 stick of butter
1 pkg. Simply Potatoes Shredded Hashed Browns
1 lb. breakfast sausage, cooked and crumbled
2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, mexican mix, pizza blend - your call)
8 eggs
1 c. milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Pour 1 stick of melted butter into a 9×13 pan and line the pan with the potatoes. Sprinkle the top of the potatoes with salt and pepper. Bake this layer for 20 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and lower heat to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle cooked sausage on top of potatoes, then top with cheese. Beat together eggs and milk (season with salt and pepper) and pour over top. Pop back in the oven for 30 minutes.

Remove, and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Menu Plan

I've decided to post my menu for every two weeks on here. This will probably be pretty boring for you, but it will help me realize what recipes I need to post on here, and will hopefully ensure that we eat different things instead of the same things over and over. are the meals I shopped for today:

1. Spaghetti Soup/salad/bread
2. Roast chicken/mashed potatoes/green beans
4. Pulled-pork sandwiches/baked beans/corn on cob
6. Tacos/refried beans
8. Fajitas/black beans
10. Potato soup/cornbread
12. Imperial chicken/salad/veggie
13. Homemade pizza--cheese, pepperoni, veggies
14. Chicken spaghetti/veggie or salad/bread
15. Leftovers

I don't designate a night to cook each meal. I keep this list on a magnetic pad on my fridge and I just choose every morning what we're having for dinner that night. If my day is busy, we'll do something easy like tacos. If I have an afternoon at home, I might choose to roast the chicken that day. On days I have Brownies, I choose a crock-pot meal. 

I've gotten in the habit over the years of choosing the dinner menu while I'm getting breakfast ready. That way, I can set the meat down to thaw and do any prep I need to during the day.

Works for me!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Rosie's Shepherds Pie

My aunt made this for me while in St. Louis last month.  I'm normally not a big fan of shepherd's pie, but this was really good.  I made it for my family once I was home and they loved it.  We'll be making it again too!  Such comfort food.

Rosie's Shepherds Pie

2 lbs lean ground beef
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables, cooked
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1-2 cans cream of mushroom soup
mashed potatoes
1 can French's fried onions

Brown ground beef with celery and onion.  Drain any fat.  Add tomatoes (don't drain) and cooked veggies.  Stir in one can of soup.  Add another can if needed.  Pour into deep casserole dish, and top with mashed potatoes and French's onions.  Cover and bake at 350 until heated through.  A hot pan of cornbread goes great with this!

*I bought a bag of Ore-Ida Steam N Mash potatoes to put on top.  SOOOOO easy.  

Spaghetti Soup

Spaghetti soup is delicious!  I found the recipe on another blog and I'm so glad she shared it because it has become my new favorite.

Spaghetti Soup

1.5 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 c. each chopped onion, green pepper, carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 c. water
2 14 oz. cans petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1 jar spaghetti sauce 
1 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt or 1/4 tsp. coarse Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 oz. dried spaghetti, broken into 2-in. pieces
fresh basil (optional)

Cook ground beef and all veggies over medium-high heat til browned and vegetables are tender.

Add rest of ingredients and bring to boil. Then reduce heat to boil very gently, uncovered, about 12-15 minutes or til pasta is tender.

Serve with a salad and bread.

*I forgot to buy a green pepper last time I made this and John and I both noticed it.  I won't forget next time because it adds GREAT flavor.  I also bought a different kind of spaghetti sauce than normal and it wasn't as good.  I like the Ragu chunky garden adds more veggies and gives it a good flavor. 

My Nana's Cornbread

I've tried lots and lots of cornbread recipes and I always go back to this one from my Nana. There is nothing better than a pan of this with stew or soup or shepherd's pie.  It's also super easy to make!

Nana's Cornbread

1 cup white cornmeal (it really must be white and not yellow)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, worked in with a fork.

Bake at 450 degrees  for 25 minutes.'s what the recipe doesn't tell you. 
You have to start with a very hot skillet.  I have my Nana's old cast iron skillet and I leave it in the 450 degree oven for about 10 minutes prior to mixing up my batter. Pull skillet out after it's hot and add some oil to cover the bottom. I usually return it to the oven for a few minutes to let the oil get hot, but watch it carefully or the oil will start to smoke and burn. You don't want that to happen. Then, pull it back out and add the batter. It will make a nice, crispy crust! 

Beef Stew

Love this recipe for stew!!!  John clipped it out of his Western Horseman magazine and tacked it on the fridge about a month ago. I made it yesterday and it was delicious!

Beef Stew

2-3 lbs stew meat
28 oz can stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
4 carrots, sliced
2-3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 onion, chopped
3 1/2 Tbsp flour
12 oz jar brown gravy
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp rosemary
1 bay leaf
frozen peas (about 1/2 of 10 oz package)
frozen corn (about 1/2 of 10 oz package)
frozen green beans (10 oz package)
water or beef broth
salt and pepper to taste

Brown meat (sear) in pan.  Add all ingredients except gravy to Dutch oven or crockpot. Mix thoroughly.  Cover and cook on low heat for about 4 hours (6-8 in crockpot), stirring occasionally and adding water if necessary to desired consistency.  Remove bay leaf, add gravy and simmer for another hour.  Serve with hot cornbread.  Mmmmmmm...