Cheesy Chicken and Bacon

This is the second time that I’ve made this for the family and it’s still a hit.  The first time I made it, the pictures didn’t look good because it was dark out and my external flash had broken the night before so the pictures looked gross.  Completely unappealing!  This time around, there was a little bit of daylight left and I actually plated it.  Not that the composition is world class but it worked for me at the time.  It’s hard to get nicely composed shots when your family is waiting for you to sit so we can bless the food and eat.

Now this recipe is a lot for our family of three but we had plenty left over for dinner two nights later and lunch the next day.  Adjust according to your family’s size.

Here’s a tip:  If your have someone in your life that loves bacon, please hide it.  As I was checking on my chicken, I noticed Suga Booga in the living room chewing something while playing with her Legos.  Of course I feared that she was eating plastic so I asked her what she had in her mouth and she said “bacon” with a grin.  I asked her where she got it from (thinking she’d stashed her leftover slices from breakfast) and she said, “Off the counter” then started eating another piece she had stolen!  I didn’t even notice that she’d come in under the guise of getting a cup of water and helped herself to two slices of bacon that I had on the cutting board, waiting to be diced!  I promptly diced it and about 5 minutes later she came in and asked where her bacon had gone.  She has gone from being the “Baconator” to the “Bacon Burglar”.

Ingredients:

8 chicken tenders

8 slices of bacon (we eat turkey bacon)

1/4 medium white onion (diced finely)

1 and 1/2 cup of your favorite pasta (this time Suga Booga chose veggie Penne, last time we used Farfalle)

1 package shredded cheddar cheese

2 cans cream of chicken soup (low sodium)

salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

olive oil (enough to saute, not fry, your chicken)

Preheat your oven to 375, start your water to boil your pasta, and oil/spray a casserole dish.

Then you’ll want to clean and dice your chicken into chunks then season with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Go easy on the salt!  The bacon and cheese will be plenty for the dish overall but you need a little salt  on the chicken so that it doesn’t taste weird.  By this time, your water should be boiling and add your pasta if it is.  If not…wait.  ;).  Once your pasta is in the boiling water, set your timer according to the package for al dente then go ahead and saute your chicken in your pan with the olive oil over medium heat–we want this to cook slowly and not dry out because you’ll be putting it in the oven later.  Once your chicken is in, go ahead and start your bacon.  You’ll want to make sure it’s fully cooked but not too crunchy.

While that’s all going, go ahead and open your two cans of soup and dump them in a mixing bowl with about 1/2 the package of shredded cheese and your onion then set aside.

When your bacon is done, drain on paper towels then dice and add it to the bowl of soup and cheese.  Your pasta should be ready to be drained and added to your bowl of soup, cheese, and bacon.  Make sure you drained nearly all of the water off before dumping it in.

Now once your chicken is done, dump it in the bowl with everything else then stir your ingredients until everything is creamy, cheesy, and you want to eat a spoonful of it just to make sure that it’s good.  Pour is into your oiled casserole dish then cover it with cheese and put the lid on the casserole or simply cover with foil.  You want the cheese on top melted but not crispy, unless that’s your thing.

Bake for 20 minutes or until it starts to bubble.  You want everything hot, melty, cheesy, bacony, and delicious.  Can you tell I like this dish?

I didn’t do this but if you have the time, go ahead and add toasted bread crumbs on top after everything is done or even crispy bacon–just to give your dish a little crunch.  That Guy and Suga Booga had toasted strips of whole wheat bread to go with theirs.

cheesy chicken and bacon

Fettuccine Alfredo With Sun-Dried Tomatoes

This week has been a busy week for us!  I’m still playing catch up with school and housework while prepping for an upcoming and much needed getaway!  Last night I made chipotle turkey burgers with white American cheese and turkey bacon on toasted onion rolls.  I used frozen turkey patties that I seasoned with chipotle powder then toasted the buns on the same griddle that I used to cook the turkey bacon.  Quick, easy, and delicious!  I didn’t take pictures as it was a late night coming home (Suga Booga needed new clothes and shoes for the second time this summer!) and it was nearly 8pm when I sat down to eat.  😦

Tonight was supposed to be a late night because I need an oil change but I went there and they were booked!  I had planned this meal because I knew we would be in late but since we’re here early and I don’t have any meat thawed or a contingency plan, I’m dressing it up!  Publix had sun-dried tomatoes on a buy one, get one sale a couple of months ago and mine have been staring at me in my pantry, reminding me that I hadn’t done anything with them.  A nice slice of garlic bread would be a nice addition to this dish for a crunch.  You could even cut the ends of your loaf of bread into sticks and toast them with a little garlic powder.

Ingredients: 

1 jar Alfredo Sauce

1 package Sun-dried tomatoes (I found mine in the produce department)

1/2 package Fettuccine  pasta

Milk (I used about a 1/2 cup)

Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

Cook your pasta your pasta according to the instructions for “very firm” tenderness then transfer to a skillet and add both the tomatoes and Alfredo sauce with the milk then simmer until your pasta is at your family’s desired tenderness.  Once my pasta was al dente, I added a handful of Parmesan cheese for added creaminess and taste.

Alfredo has a tendency to thicken when you add your pasta which is the reason for the milk.  If your family likes a thicker pasta dishes, omit the milk but we prefer creamy and cheesy.

sundried tomato alfredo

Creamy Spinach Farfalle Bake

Need a somewhat sorta kinda a lil’ bit sneaky meal to feed the kiddos who don’t want to eat their veggies?  Here’s a somewhat sorta kinda a lil’ bit sneaky recipe for you!  This calls for any veggie pasta you have on hand or can find.  We used Barilla and no I’m not being paid to use it or review it.  (Making sure this bloggity blog stays legal, ya’mean?)

Please hide the box if your kids can read.  Luckily Suga Booga can’t read words unless it’s her name, Disney, or Mickey.  When she saw the pasta, she gave me a crazy look and asked what happened to it.  I told her that it’s special pasta for good little girls who like cake.  She bought it and I made an peanut butter cake with chocolate icing because she fully expected cake after she finished her meal.  What am I going to do when she’s no longer this naive?  Am I the only parent out there that wishes there was some special drink to give our kids to make them stay young forever?  To keep her this small and this cute and forever have that little baby voice that just makes her so much more adorbs?  No? Forget I mentioned it.  Anyway, here’s what you will need:

2 cups of Veggie pasta of your choice (the one we used is carrot & squash)

2 cups of Tomato/Pasta sauce (seems like a lot but trust me, okay?)

1 cup of Ricotta cheese

1 cup of Mozzarella cheese

Spinach (this is where your personal preference comes in)

Olive Oil

Italian Seasoning

Parmesan Cheese

Boil your pasta according to the instructions on the package.  Once your water reaches a boil, add a bit of olive oil to a saute pan (or regular pan) but not too much.  We are sauteing this spinach, not frying it.  Saute the spinach until it is just starting to get that deep green color then remove from the heat.  We don’t want to lose the nutrients in the spinach by cooking it too long.

While you spinach is cooling and the pasta is cooking, start to layer your ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Ricotta, mozzarella, Italian seasoning, and olive oil.  Once your pasta is al dente, drain and add to the bowl before topping it off with your sauce followed by your spinach.  Mix together in the bowl then pour into an oiled baking dish then top with more mozzarella and  Parmesan cheese, cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes until your dish is bubbling.

Enjoy!

Spinach and Farfalle

Chicken Taco Bowls with Warm Corn Salsa

This dinner started as a creamy chicken taco casserole but ended up as the title above states.  The reason why is because I forgot to pick up cream cheese when I went to the grocery store on my lunch break and it was raining when I got home so…I had on flats which do not mix well here in Florida.  You would think that I would have learned my lesson by now but nope.  I love flats and I’m not afraid to admit it!  I’m rambling…here’s the recipe!

Tacos:

Chicken breasts (I used cutlets)

Chicken Broth

Taco seasoning (I used my own mix)

Mexican style cheese

Tortilla shells

Ovenproof bowls

I started by cleaning then seasoning the chicken, making sure that it was thoroughly coated.  If the chicken had more time to marinate, I would have used a lot less than in the pictures.  I then poured the chicken broth over them, opting for that instead of water because I was afraid that the chicken would be tasteless, not having ample time to marinate.  Once they were covered and coming to a boil, I took the tortilla shells and made a taco shells then baked them in the oven for 10 minutes.

Salsa:

Canned corn

Diced stoplight peppers

Diced onions

Diced tomatoes (i used canned)

Cilantro

Olive oil

I started the salsa by sauteing the peppers and onions in the oil then put the corn on top, followed by the tomatoes and cilantro then added some of the broth from the chicken to make sure that the taste was cohesive throughout.  I then covered and let simmer over medium heat.

Assembly:

Once the chicken was done, I chopped it and layered it in the taco bowl followed by the warm salsa and cheese.

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Pan Seared Salmon

Last night’s dinner was pan seared, wild caught, sockeye salmon from Target’s frozen food section with our veggie packets.  I found those bad boys on clearance for $7!  I only bought two packages (they are three 5 oz fillets per package) because I didn’t want to waste the money if they weren’t that good but I will be returning for more of them and hopefully they have been marked down further.  Do you guys know how to check Target’s clearance tags for the length of time that they’ve been on clearance?  No?  That’ll have to be another post for another day because this one is about salmon.  😉

Ingredients:

salmon (of your choosing)

honey

ginger powder

garlic powder

After thawing the salmon, I washed them and let them air dry for a few minutes before I sprinkled them with garlic first, followed by the ginger, then drizzled the honey on top of that and used a basting brush to coat them.  While I was doing that, I let the olive oil get sizzling hot then put them in skin down before I put the veggie packets in the oven.  Here’s a tip:  Don’t cover your fish!!!  I know you’re going to want to cover it to keep the smell in because salmon has a strong, strong fishy scent but don’t.  You’ll ruin the crispy skin.  Instead, let the skin crisp up then turn down the heat.  I went from an 8 for a minute, all the way down to 2 and let the fish cook itself.  Once the salmon was cooked three-quarters of the way through, I flipped them so that the honey could caramelize for the remainder of the cooking time.

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Meatloaf Monday

Yesterday was Monday and it was a rainy, dreary afternoon and we needed comfort food!  The menu consisted of turkey meatloaf, Parmesan corn, and garlic whipped potatoes.  I used leftover stoplight peppers and onions from our haul for the week’s veggie packets.

Ingredients for Meatloaf:

1lb package of ground turkey (this is 93% lean)

1 egg

1 cup of breadcrumbs

pepper and onion mixture

ketchup

Ingredients for sides:

corn

potatoes

butter

salt

pepper

Parmesan cheese

garlic powder

Suga Booga and I mixed the meat, breadcrumbs, peppers, onions, and egg with olive oil, salt, and pepper then formed it in the casserole.  I washed and sprinkled salt, pepper, and Parmesan over the corn then wrapped the cobs in foil to bake in the oven with the meatloaf then chopped and boiled the potatoes until fork tender.  I always, always, always whip my potatoes with my KitchenAid mixer because it’s the absolute easiest way to get fluffy, whipped, wonderful clouds of garlicky, butter, salty wonderfulness that we (okay, at least me) always want.

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Grilled BBQ Chicken

As stated in the previous post, tonight’s dinner was BBQ chicken and veggie packets on the grill.  Thankfully the weather held up.  Suga Booga helped spear the chicken tenders on bamboo skewers while That Guy turned on the grill.

I seasoned the frozen chicken with:  Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper then drizzled with olive oil before I tossed them in a covered bowl and placed in the fridge overnight to thaw.  The veggie packets consisted of:  asparagus, white onion and zucchini with “stoplight” peppers and seasoned simply with salt, pepper, and olive oil, rolled in foil and grilled right along with the chicken.  About 5 minutes before the chicken was done, I spread Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce over all but two…Suga Booga needed a layer of ketchup before her BBQ sauce.

Dinner was a hit and That Guy doesn’t think the leftovers are going to make it for his lunch tomorrow.  🙂

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