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Chicken Salad Sandwich

8 Sep

 

Alright, I’m going to apologize upfront. I hate non-reciepes. You know them – those recipes that say ‘to taste’ and don’t give you any real measurements. And here I am, posting a non-recipe. Sigh. I’m sorry. But it’s so good, you will forgive me!

I love, love this sandwich filling because it goes with every kind of bread you can throw at it. You can also mix different combinations of ingredients together (depending on what my pantry feels like offering) and it turns out fabulous every time. I originally stuck with the strict mix of chicken, diced grapes, chopped celery, and almonds. And then came that fateful day…no grapes. My favorite part, MIA. But I had everything else ready! There was no backing out. So, I scoured my shelves and decided that craisins would make an ok substitute. It turned out to be my husband’s favorite. Another time, no celery. I didn’t want to miss out on their crunch…enter chopped apples. I’ve actually had a lot of fun trying out new ways to prepare it. And I never measure. Gasp. I really just said that. But I just don’t – use mayo to taste, depending on how creamy you want it. Garlic salt to taste. Choose your bread base…to taste. My favorite is naan. Hubby likes pretzel rolls. Croissants are fabulous. Regular, run-of-the-mill grocery store sliced bread works too! This chicken salad makes everything taste like you stepped into a cute cafe for lunch. My only word of advice – no Miracle Whip. I’m not a hater – I like both Mayo and Miracle Whip – but in this mix, stick with honest-to-goodness mayo or it tastes weird.

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Ingredients:

2 breasts of chicken, cooked and diced

1/4 – 1/3 cup mayonnaise (to taste)

garlic salt

Optional additions: apples, grapes, sliced strawberries, craisins, slivered almonds, cashews, celery

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Honey Mustard Irish Chicken

25 Jul

We celebrated Pioneer Day today. It started out a little rocky – our AC went out yesterday. Not very convenient timing, considering we are in the hottest months of summer, and I’m not one who emulates the long-suffering of those celebrated Pioneers…when I’m hot, I’m cranky. So, instead of waiting, we called the 24 hour guys and paid a little extra for the inconvenience. Huzzah.

We closed the doors on our house as the repaired AC worked over time to cool things off, and set up some lawn chairs to enjoy the fireworks being set off in our neighborhood. The night cooled off nicely, and my irritation of the day began to fade. And then, I heard my little five year old. “Oh…aren’t they beautiful?” I almost cried…isn’t that silly? But it wasn’t, “Wow, cool.” or “Awesome!” That specific word, “beautiful,” just got to me. I had been missing most of the beauty in my day because I was so focused on being grumpy. And then, to push my blubbering over the edge, my three year old looked into the sky and sighed. “Mom! A star. I love this night.” Big, colorful explosions or a small, single star – kids find beauty. This is why God makes us parents – so we don’t forget to look around every now and again, regardless if we’re hot. 🙂

Because I have AC again, I can actually use my stove without worrying about creating a heat wave. I love when you can make dinner in a single pan! That is beautiful to me.

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Ingredients
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon coarse-ground mustard
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 lb chicken breasts
1 pound (about 8) small red potatoes, quartered
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1 onion, cut into 1-inch wedges
Combine honey, mustard, salt and pepper in small bowl; set aside. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook for about 4 minutes on each side until the chicken is lightly browned. Transfer chicken to a plate. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in the same skillet. Add vegetables; cook, stirring occasionally for 6 to 8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Place chicken breasts on top of the vegetables. Pour the honey mixture over the chicken and vegetables. Cover; reduce heat to low and cook, stirring the vegetables once, for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and chicken is thoroughly cooked.

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Chicken-Dressing Bake

20 May

My three-year-old just had a massive potty accident in bed. We’re talking torrential. And I’m pretty sure it’s mostly my fault. After putting her to bed approximately forty-seven times, I got a little frustrated and in so many words gave her the idea that ‘You better not get out of bed again, or else!’ Well, ‘or else’ back fired. We had another little talk explaining that having to go potty is always an ok reason to get out of bed. And if you have to go potty as bad as she apparently did, I highly suggest running out of bed! Ah, the joys of parenting. At least it is laundry day. I didn’t even blink at having to wash another load. 🙂

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Ingredients:

10 boneless chicken breasts

10 slices of swiss cheese

1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken

10 oz milk

1 pkg Stove Top stuffing mix

1/2 cup butter, melted

Place chicken breasts in a buttered 9×13 baking dish. Place a slice of cheese on top of each breast. Spread the following over chicken pieces: Mixture of 1 can of cream of chicken soup mixed with 1 soup can filled with milk. For stuffing mix: Mix the vegetable seasoning packet with dried bread crumbs (do not add any water or butter). Sprinkle the dry bread crumbs on top of the chicken pieces. Drizzle 1/2 cup melted butter over everything. Bake at 350^F for 1 hour and 15 minutes, uncovered.

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Skillet Dinner

1 Apr

Watching the movie ‘Frozen’ the other day, I paused it on the part where Rapunzel and Eugene make a little guest appearance at the coronation. My kids were so excited! We had to rewind that 2 second clip at least ten times. 🙂 And then they remembered how much they liked the movie ‘Tangled’ and wanted to watch it too! “Frying pans…who knew?”

I’m going to add skillets to the wonderfully versatile world of frying pans. This dinner was so easy and really good! It’s a down-home kind of comfort meal that everyone in my family enjoyed.

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Ingredients:

1/2 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled

4 Tbsp butter

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

2 cups cooked shredded chicken

4 cups cooked rice

1 cup additional shredded cheddar cheese

Cook bacon, drain and set aside. Reserve 2 Tbsp bacon drippings.

Place butter into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in flour, salt, and pepper until smooth and bubbly. Slowly whisk in chicken broth and mix until thickened. Reduce heat to low and stir in 1 1/2 cups of cheese. Reduce heat to a simmer, and set aside.

 

Place reserved 2 Tbsp bacon drippings back into a cast iron skillet. Stir in cooked rice, coating well. Add chicken and cheese sauce, mixing to combine. Top with 1 cup cheese, then top with crumbled bacon. Place under oven’s broiler for 3-5 minutes until cheese is melted.photo 3

Chicken Enchiladas with White Sauce

11 Mar

I was ridiculously productive today. I cleaned the kitchen, tidied the family room, managed to keep my room and the girls’ room clean, washed 6 loads of laundry, folded and put away four of those loads (this is a huge feat for me…usually they sit all week and haunt me), I vacuumed and did the dishes…the one thing I forgot to do was get dressed.

I love enchiladas, but I have never been a super huge fan of the recipes that call for cream of chicken soup. They are all right, but they don’t taste very authentic. I finally found a winner! Sigh of relief. 🙂

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Ingredients:

10 soft taco shells or tortillas
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 oz) can diced green chillies or enchilada sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 pan. Mix chicken and 1 cup cheese. Roll up in tortillas and place in pan. In a sauce pan, melt butter, stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add broth and whisk until smooth. Heat over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Stir in sour cream and chilies. Do not bring to boil, you don’t want curdled sour cream. Pour over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese. Bake 22 min and then under high broil for 3 min to brown the cheese.

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Creamy Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

4 Mar

This morning, I was was pretty darn sure that my daughter had appendicitis. Google has made me an excellent judge of medical conditions. Her symptoms matched everything – pain in the abdomen in a specific local – typically starting at the belly-button, decreased appetite, fever, increased pain when walking. Appendicitis! Turns out…she has strep. Yes, of course. Strep…which involves the throat…not the abdomen. I still have no idea how this happened. The one thing that made me feel like a not-quite-so-crazy-mommy was that the doctor did test her for appendicitis. Everything pointed to that!!! Everything, except the fact that she could jump. That was the deal breaker. The funny thing is that he checked her throat and said it was a little red then asked her if it hurt. “No.” No? How does your belly button hurt but not your throat when you have strep? I am at a loss. But a grateful loss. I’d much rather go pick up an antibiotic at the local pharmacy than run my seven year old down to the hospital for surgery. The only downside of the situation is that I have to come to terms with the fact that I do not have a future diagnosing ailments with my degree from Google and WebMD.

Here’s something useful I got from the internet: Talk about fancy lasagna! This was really tasty and very simple to put together…and it has sun-dried tomatoes!!! Anything with sun-dried tomatoes is a winner in my book. Except maybe sun-dried tomato ice cream (you laugh, but I bet someone out there has tried to pull that off). Although I really like it a lot, it was a little heavy on the cream cheese for me. Next time, I think I’ll try it with my Lower-Fat Alfredo sauce and see which one I like better.

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Ingredients:

2 cups shredded cooked chicken breasts
1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
1 pkg. (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese with a TOUCH OF PHILADELPHIA, divided
1/2 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh basil, chopped, divided
12 lasagna noodles, cooked

Directions:

HEAT oven to 350°F.
COMBINE chicken, artichokes, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan and tomatoes. Beat cream cheese, milk and garlic powder with mixer until well blended; stir in 2 Tbsp. basil. Mix half with the chicken mixture.
SPREAD half the remaining cream cheese mixture onto bottom of 13×9-inch baking dish; cover with 3 noodles and 1/3 of the chicken mixture. Repeat layers of noodles and chicken mixture twice. Top with remaining noodles, cream cheese mixture and mozzarella; cover.
BAKE 25 min. or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining basil. Let stand 5 min. before cutting to serve.

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Crockpot Spaghetti and Chicken

8 Feb

The Olympics have started! I get seriously sucked into the Olympic Games. I used to only care about the figure skating (still my favorite part…not gonna lie). The rest was uber boring to my teeny-bopper mind – but something clicked awhile back. It was probably 2002 – when the Olympics actually came to my backyard. I gained a greater appreciation for all the sports and now I really love watching every second I can. This also means that I’m watching the Olympics when I should be cooking dinner. Enter Crockpot. Sponsored by the mom’s who don’t feel like doing more than dumping dinner in a pot and letting it magically cook itself.

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Ingredients

3 lb. chicken pieces

1 (2/3 oz.) pkg. Italian salad dressing mix

4 tbsp. melted butter

1 small onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 (10 1/2 oz.) can cream of chicken soup

8 oz. cream cheese

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 lb. of spaghetti

Place chicken pieces in crock pot and sprinkle Italian seasoning over chicken. Sprinkle with 2 tbsp. melted butter. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a saucepan and sauté onion and garlic. Add Cream of Chicken Soup, cream cheese, and chicken broth. Stir until smooth. Add this mixture to crockpot and cook on low for an additional hour. Prepare spaghetti according to package directions.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

25 Nov

My parents and my husband’s parents both live nearby; this means two Thanksgiving dinners. No complaining here! We had our first one last night, and I ate myself sick. So many good things to eat, not enough room for it all! But I did my best to fill every crevice of my stomach…over-flowing, I’m sure, into other organs as well. All in the name of good food.

This chicken wasn’t on the menu for our Thanksgiving feast, but it might make it next year! Who knew ridiculously tender chicken only required 4 ingredients?

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Ingredients

1/2 cups mayonnaise

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

4 chicken breast

4 tsp seasoned bread crumbs

Directions

Preheat oven 425^ F. Place mayo and cheese in a small bowl and mix. Lay chicken breasts in baking dish and spread mayo mixture evenly atop each. Evenly sprinkle bread crumbs atop each. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked thoroughly and juices run clear.

*Original recipe found here: http://www.keyingredient.com/recipes/60027340/parmesan-crusted-chicken-hellmanns-mayo-recipe/

Pad Thai

14 Nov

My kids like to bring their entire room with them when we go places. Stuffed animals, blankets, toys, pillows…you name it, it should be with us…always. And they are all about carrying it themselves for about the first 2 minutes. And then its, “Mom, it’s getting too heavy. Can you carry this…and this…and this.” Never mind the fact that I am holding a baby, a diaper bag, a bink in my teeth, a blanket, a sippy cup – you get the idea. I try to discourage the entourage, but sometimes I cave when the tantrum is just not worth it. We went to the fabric store yesterday and my two year old fell asleep in the car. It’s hard to wake up from a 5 minutes nap sometimes, I get that. So, blankie was allowed to accompany us inside to help. Unfortunately, as soon as the world started looking a little brighter, so did everything else in the store, and poor blankie got left behind. I didn’t realize that we didn’t have it until, of course, we had already gotten home. Sigh. Reload everyone up and trek back to the store. Luckily, someone had found it and brought it to the front register (a blankie a few years back was not so lucky and has never been seen or heard from again). Today, we went to the library. Same two year old: “Mom! I want to hold my movie!” I was laden with the same baggage as I listed before, and then add in seven or eight books precariously balanced in my free hand – I didn’t mind at all having someone offer to help for a change. I should have been a little wiser considering our escapade from the day before. We got home, got everyone out and…I had a two year old with two fists full of acorns, but no movie. Gah! Back to the library we went, to search for the movie that had been left on the lawn to make room for the acorn collection (which they actually tried to eat, but declared to be ‘disgusting!’) Again, someone had found our abandoned treasure and had returned it to the library for us. Too bad for two year old, I did not check it out again. Maybe she’ll learn a lesson…maybe.

This recipe is actually a Chinese Pasta Salad – I liked it better warm and with a little more veggies, which turned it into Pad Thai instead of pasta. Works for me. Top with some crispy noodles (or improvise with some tortillas strips like me when you don’t have crispy noodles 😉 – still tasty!), and enjoy!

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Ingredients:

1/4 cup sesame seeds
4 (3 oz.) packages Ramen noodles, any flavor
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 tsp. sesame oil
3 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 cups diced, cooked chicken breast
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
choice of mixed vegetables, cooked

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add sesame seeds and cook, stirring frequently until lightly toasted. Remove from heat and set aside. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; add pasta (break each brick into at least 4 pieces so the noodles aren’t too long) and cook 3-4 minutes or until slightly tender but not soft – do not use seasoning packs. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

Combine vegetable oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, sesame seeds, ginger and pepper. Mix well. Pour sauce over pasta and toss to coat evenly. Gently mix in chicken, cilantro, and mixed vegetables.

Wontons

12 Nov

Sometimes when I look up recipes, I find typos. Gasp! It is true…even though I read and re-read every post I do, I occasionally miss things. Have I mentioned that I have four kids? And I’m pretty sure that I’m living proof that you lose brain cells with every child born. But they are just cute enough that I’m pretty sure it’s worth no longer being able to carry on intelligent conversation, let alone manage a blog with no typos. The funny thing is that you’d think that I’d fix them when I see them. It’s my blog. I can do that. But…wait for it…I forget where they are. I remember that there was a typo somewhere, but I have no idea where. In between, “Mom, I need more juice,” cleaning up said juice when it spills, keeping the dog from eating the food from the table, tripping over toys, giving tastes on spoons, trying to remember which spoons were used for tastes and which ones were used for stirring, stealing tastes myself…I can’t even remember what it was I was making when I saw the mistake. I’m lucky to remember my name most days. So, if you see one do share. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll manage to get it fixed. 🙂

This recipe is a no-brainer. Phew.

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Ingredients:

1 lb chicken or pork, cubed

1 1/2 cups soy sauce

2/3 cup brown sugar

won ton wrappers

Cube chicken and place in sauce pan. Add soy sauce and brown sugar and cook until meat is cooked through and sauce is thickened (can adjust soy sauce and brown sugar to taste). Lay out won ton wrappers. Place 2-3 pieces of chicken in each wrapper making sure not to fill too full or wrapper will tear. Wet sides with water and fold into a triangle. Bring bottom 2 corners up to meet top corner. Fry in hot oil until light brown and crispy; flip and cook other side. Serve with Sweet and Sour Sauce and rice.

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