Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Well, another casserole for the cold weather season, and is this one ever good! I used to make Chicken Cordon Bleu at a restaurant I cooked at, and this casserole version is just the hot diggety bomb! I did not change a thing in this recipe, which came from Six Sisters’ Stuff. It is perfect as is. And I will be making this many more times over the years.

So, let’s get cooking!

You’ll need to cook some chicken for this, and it called for breasts, but I didn’t have any at the time. I did, however, have 3 or 4 chicken leg quarters, so I used those instead. Use whichever you’d like. Cut the chicken into smallish pieces.

Cube the ham you’re using. I usually buy one of those 5 lb turkey hams at the store and have some of it sliced and use some for a recipe. It’s less expensive than buying sliced ham at the deli.

Make the box of stuffing mix according to the directions and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cream of chicken soup and the Dijon mustard.

Mix in the ham, chicken, and broccoli.

Spread in a greased 9 X 13” baking dish. Lay out the slices of Swiss cheese, cutting the 7th piece into strips to fill in the spaces.

Put the stuffing on top of all and spread out evenly to cover the top.

Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes, making sure the broccoli is just tender. Serve and enjoy! ~TMMF

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

1 box chicken stuffing mix
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 Tbl Dijon mustard
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 c fresh broccoli florets
   (or 1 lb frozen)
2 c (chopped) ham
6-7 slices Swiss cheese

Monday, October 27, 2014

Peanut Butter Cake & Frosting

Mmmmm, Peanut Butter Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting! What could be better than that, along with a glass of cold milk? This is the recipe my mother made for our family when I was growing up, and I went on to make it for my own family. I love peanut butter; I consider it to be one of my four food groups, so yeah, I love this cake! And it is so easy peasy lemon squeezy, you got this covered.

I’m going to list several steps here because there are people who have never made a cake before who may have stumbled upon my tiny little blog and it would be helpful for them to at least see what each step should look like so they know they’re on the right track. That’s one of the reasons why I include so many photos with the recipes; as many years as I’ve cooked and baked, at restaurants, nursing homes, and in my own home, I’ve had new recipes I try out that give only a photo of the finished dish, and sometimes I don’t know if I’m doing a step correctly and feel like I’m just aiming blindfolded and hoping I hit it right. That’s partly why I started TMMF.

So, let’s get cooking!

First you’ll need to mix the dry ingredients together; the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix those together in a bowl and set aside.

In a larger mixing bowl, use a mixer to beat the butter and sugar together.

Add the eggs, vanilla, and peanut butter. You can see that I’m a little heavy handed when it comes to the peanut butter in this recipe. ;)

Beat together with the mixer until well blended.

Add the dry ingredients, along with the milk, and beat to mix well, about a minute.

Pour into a greased 9 X 13” baking dish. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes. You’ll know for sure if it’s done by sticking a knife or toothpick in the middle, and if it comes out clean, it’s done.

While the cake is baking, you can make the frosting so it’s ready when the cake is baked and cooled off enough to frost. But you may want to hide it if you have young children like mine, or you may not have as much when it’s time to do the frosting. ;)

So, into the mixing bowl go the butter, vanilla, and peanut butter. I like to use natural peanut butter for everything just because I like it, but it’s not required for this. The only recipe I can think of that I believe requires natural peanut butter is the Reese’s Balls I posted here on TMMF.

Beat until well blended with the mixer. My mixer has faithfully served me, but alas--he lost a beater some time back. I named him Peg Leg Pete and we limp along with him doing the best he can with his lone beater.

Add the confectioner’s sugar, and the milk one teaspoon at a time, mixing until it’s the right consistency to be spread. I added 3 tsp. right off and then went from there, adding more as needed.

Finishing the frosting is where Peg Leg Pete gave up the ghost. I had to amputate and mix the frosting by hand the last minute or two. Viewing for Peg Leg Pete will be this Tuesday from 7-9. The funeral will be Wednesday at 10, with the eulogy given by Bobby the Blender, with whom Peg Leg Pete often hung out. Burial will be at 11 in the green trash can with the broken handle. ;)

Put the frosting on the completely cooled cake and spread evenly. I like to use a utensil called an icing spatula to spread the frosting, as it’s wider and longer than a butter knife.

Voilà! Or Viola, as people sometimes get mixed up and say. ;) It always makes me giggle. ;)

Serve it up with some cold milk and watch the smiles. Enjoy! ~TMMF

Peanut Butter Cake                              Peanut Butter Frosting

1/3 c butter                                           ½ c peanut butter
1 ½ c sugar                                          ¼ c butter                          
1/3 c peanut butter                                1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs                                                  3 c 10X sugar
1 tsp vanilla                                          3-5 tsp milk
2 ¼ c flour
1 Tbl baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 c milk

Friday, October 24, 2014

Sloppy Joe Casserole

This recipe is one I found online at Being a lover of Sloppy Joes, and casseroles, I just knew I had to check it out and see what it was all about. One look at what was in it, and how easy it looked, and I knew I’d be making this. And the kids loved it; gobbled it right down!

As for changes, I didn’t have the frozen corn they listed, so I used a can of corn; I doubled the garlic, nixed the salt and mustard, switched out the penne pasta for radiatore (but use penne if you want; I just wanted something more interesting), and added in some Worcestershire sauce. And guess what else? You got it: I added zucchini to amp up the nutrition! I wanted more veggies and the zucchini seemed like it would go well with this recipe. It did. ;)

So, let’s get cooking!

Set a large pot of water to boil, and when ready, cook the pasta. When done, drain and set aside. You can also do this step a day ahead or earlier in the day, which I often do. I just throw it in a gallon bag and then into the fridge it goes, awaiting its fate.

Dice the onion, pepper, and zucchini. Peel and mince the garlic.

In a skillet, brown the hamburg or ground turkey with the diced onion and pepper and the minced garlic. I used the ground turkey and it was great in this.

While that’s browning, shred the Colby-jack cheese. I didn’t have any on hand, so I used cheddar, which I *always* have on hand. Just pretend this looks like Colby-jack to you. If you squint a bunch and sort of tilt your head a little, it kind of does. Especially if you tilt your head, like all the way away from the picture.

Add the zucchini and sauté about 3 minutes, stirring several times.

Add the corn, diced tomatoes, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper, mixing well. Let simmer until heated through, about 10 minutes.

Spread into a 10 X 15” baking dish. That’s the really big one; the humongo one; the big beluga of baking dishes.

Mix in some of the cheese and then sprinkle some on top if you’d like. Or not. I like, so I did. ;)

Throw it into an oven pre-heated to 350° and bake for about 25 minutes. Enjoy! ~TMMF

Sloppy Joe Casserole
         (feeds 8-10)
1 lb penne pasta
1 lb hamburg or ground turkey
1 green bell pepper
1 Vidalia onion
1/2 a zucchini
2 cloves garlic
1 can corn
1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 c ketchup
1 Tbl brown sugar
1 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 c Colby-Jack cheese

*Note: Okay, decision time. The original recipe calls for a pound of pasta, plus all the veggies. And then they say to put it in a 9 X 13” baking dish. Um, there is no way on God‘s green earth that this can fit in that size baking dish. This isn’t un-doable because I added the zucchini; the original recipe called for 2 c of frozen corn and I replaced it with a can of corn and a red pepper along with a green and I only used the green, so my zucchini didn’t make too much difference. If you want to try it anyway, go ahead. It’s your oven; I won’t have to clean up the mess. ;) But I’d suggest either using about 12 oz of pasta and the 9 X 13, or the whole pound of pasta and the 10 X 15.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mexican Dorito Casserole

This recipe is one I found online, at Jam Hands. It sounded so good, but I have to tell you a story about why when I saw just the name, I was at first hesitant to even look at it, much less try making it.

Years and years ago, when Megan (who has Down syndrome) and Caitlin were young teens, I saw a recipe for Beef Taco Skillet. I thought, Oooooo! I love Mexican food! So of course I had to try it. I made the recipe exactly as it was supposed to be, and we sat down to supper that night in anticipation of a new culinary delight.

Everyone took a bite and started chewing, and no one said a word, but I was thinking, Omgoodness, this is disgusting! It looked so good; how can it be so gross?? Everyone’s faces were blank for a few seconds, and Megan deadpanned, “Tastes like bird bommit.”

All of us just about choked as we busted up laughing. We *all* thought it was awful, and no one ate more than that first bite. I threw it all away and got us something else to eat.

Since that night, when someone asks what I’m making for supper, I sometimes say I’m making Bird Bommit, and everyone starts laughing. ;)

Anyhoo, I gave it a whirl, despite my hesitation, and it was fantastic, I wished I had made a double batch for leftovers the next day. The only ingredient I changed was the cream of chicken soup; I switched that out for cream of celery. And it called for two layers, using half the mixture for each, and I simply used it all for one layer.

So, let’s get cooking!

In a skillet with a little oil, sauté the chicken breast.

While that’s cooking, use the grater and shred the cheddar cheese. I like to use extra sharp for that great tang!

Using two forks, shred the chicken when it’s done.

In a medium bowl, mix together the can of soup, milk, sour cream, Ro-tel tomatoes (I used the hot ones! Ay Caramba!!), cheddar cheese, and taco seasoning.

Stir in the shredded chicken.

Crush the Doritos in the bag (open it first, hahaha!). I used what was handy on the table, which happened to be a jar of peanut butter. Hey, it worked. ;)

Now assemble. Layer half the Doritos in the bottom of a greased 9 X 13” baking dish. Pour the mixture over and spread evenly. Top with the rest of the Doritos.

Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Enjoy! ~TMMF

Mexican Dorito Casserole

2 chicken breasts
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 can cream of celery soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes
1/2 packet taco seasoning (or more- to taste)
1 bag of regular nacho cheese Doritos

Monday, October 13, 2014

Stuffed Pepper Soup

Oh my goodness, this soup is to-die-for! It’s also incredibly easy and quick, and I know you’ll love it. I first found it on The Country Cook, and the only change I made was to add some diced carrots to it. You know I’m always adding veggies when I can, and the carrots played very well in this recipe. My kids LOVED this soup and asked for it the next day for lunch because they knew we had some left over.

This recipe would also be very easy to do in a crock pot if you have a busy day coming up. I usually buy hamburg or ground turkey in large amounts and then brown it, portion into meal sized portions, and freeze, so when I need browned meat in a recipe, all I have to do is defrost and throw it in. So toss that in with the veggies and other ingredients, set to low, and 6 hours later you’ll be ready to serve.

So, let’s get cooking!

First dice the green bell pepper, Vidalia onion, and carrots. Peel and mince the garlic, or use a garlic press like I do when it’s time to add it. You can see I did the pepper in larger chunks.

In a large sauce pan, brown the hamburg or ground turkey (I used the ground turkey in mine) with the onion, pepper, carrots, and garlic.

Drain fat if necessary. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato soup, and beef broth. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the cooked rice, sugar, and black pepper, then simmer (covered) another 15 minutes.

This is a great way to use rice left over from another meal. Or the rice you get when you order Chinese take-out. But why would you be ordering Chinese when you should be making the recipes for Chinese food that I’ve posted for you here? ;)

Serve with shredded cheese. I used extra sharp cheddar and it was heavenly. Enjoy! ~TMMF

Stuffed Pepper Soup

1 lb hamburg or ground turkey
1 Vidalia onion
1 lg green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic
2 carrots
1 29 oz can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato soup
14 oz beef broth
2 c cooked rice
1 Tbl sugar
3/3 tsp black pepper
shredded cheese to top with

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Chicken Spinach Lasagna

I created this recipe after having it roll around in my head for a little while. It has some of my favorite flavors all in one dish: spinach, mushroom, cheese, and of course, pasta. Even my somewhat fussy boys ate this, though they claim to hate spinach. This is a nice dish to make for company, but it’s also nice to make it for the regular old family too. ;)

So, let’s get cooking!

Start a huge pot of water to boiling. Cook the lasagna noodles about 12 minutes, until tender. Cool with cold water. Don't let them sit and dry out like this; they tend to get stuck all curled up. But what would I know about that? ;)

Sauté the chicken breast in the oil until cooked and tender. Shred with two forks when cool.

Finely dice the onion; peel and mince the garlic. Sauté onion and minced garlic in same pan as the chicken until tender.

Cover and cook the thawed spinach in a bowl in microwave for about 3 minutes.

Mix the ricotta, eggs, and parmesan cheese with a whisk. Add spinach, sautéed onion and garlic, and 1 c of the mozzarella cheese. Throw in some black pepper while you’re at it. Mix together well.

In a small bowl, mix the cream of mushroom soup with the milk. Spread half of this on the bottom of a 9X13“ baking dish. Lay 3 ½ noodles the long way in the pan. Now spread half of the ricotta mixture on top.

Distribute half the shredded chicken evenly on top. Make another layer with noodles, ricotta mixture, and the chicken. End with noodles, the other half of the soup/milk, and sprinkle on the rest of the mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes. Enjoy! ~TMMF

Chicken Spinach Lasagna

11 lasagna noodles
2 chicken breasts
1 Tbl oil
1 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
½ small onion
1 lg clove garlic
2 c ricotta cheese
2 eggs
¼ c parmesan cheese
2 ¾ c shredded mozzarella
1 can cream of mushroom soup
½ c milk

Monday, October 6, 2014

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

This recipe is one of  many versions I’ve seen online, and I just went with one of them, although I did add a few things to suit my tastes. It’s hard for me to not add vegetables, because besides the fact that they add such vibrant flavor to dishes, they also boost the  nutrition. So this is my take on Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings, which is more like chicken stew with dumplings, and it was fantastic!

So, let’s get cooking!

Dice the onion and celery. Peel and mince the garlic. Peel and slice the carrots. Slice and dice the chicken breasts.

Place the veggies and chicken in the crock pot. Add the can of cream of chicken soup, and the can of cream of celery soup, plus the black pepper and the dried thyme. Mix all together thoroughly.

Cook in the crock pot on low for 5-6 hours.

For the dumplings, you’ll need about 20 minutes at the end. In a medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients, then cut in the shortening with a pastry knife, a fork, or two knives. Add the milk and stir with a wooden spoon just until moistened.

Carefully place large spoonfuls on top of the stew. You don’t want them to plop in and sink. Gently place them on top. Cover and let cook for about 20 minutes. I turned my crock pot up to high for this last step.

Serve up a hearty portion with a fluffy dumpling. Enjoy! ~TMMF

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

2 huge chicken breasts
1 med. onion
2 big stalks celery
5 big carrots
1 clove garlic
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 tsp black pepper
¾ tsp thyme

The Dumplings

1 ½ c flour
¾ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbl shortening
¾ c milk