Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Beer Chicken Fajitas, pt. 2

So...we're finally trying the Beer Chicken Fajitas that Kim and Josh have been raving about and I now understand what all the commotion was about! I threw everything together and had all the ingredients in the crockpot by 10am. It's been simmering and smelling so delicious, I decided to see if the chicken had cooked clear through yet--it has, so I tasted and! Seriously, I can't wait to put it on a warm tortilla with some cheese and sour cream (yeah, that's why I can't loose wait!). And as if there needs to be anything else said here, I'm totally loving that besides some corn and rice for sides, I don't have to cook anything else tonight! Love it. Anyway, just wanted to strongly endorse that recipe...try it! :)

Taco Lasagna

When our friends were visiting last weekend, Kim and I ran to the store to pick up a couple things. While we were going down the isle we saw a boxed dinner by Old El Paso that actually looked tasty. It was called Mexican Lasagna or something like that. Anyway, it got me thinking and here is the result. This is still a work in progress, so I'm open to suggestions and I'll probably tweak it a bit the next time I make it.

Taco Lasagna

8-10 corn tortillas (they're smaller than the burrito tortillas)
1 1/2 lbs. of ground beef
1 lg. jar of Enchillada Sauce (your favorite Mexican sauce/taco sauce/salsa?)
2 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese
1 jar of diced tomatoes (w/ or w/o green chiles)

1. Brown the beef
2. Add the enchillada sauce and tomatoes, and let it simmer for 10 minutes or so
3. Spray an 8x8 pan, then line the bottom with a layer of tortillas. (I tore mine in half so that they would fit better)
4. Pour a layer of the meat mixture over top
5. Sprinkle cheese over the meat mixture
6. Repeat tortillas, meat, cheese 2 more times
7. Cover and bake for 30 minutes
8. Uncover, bake 10 more minutes
9. Serve with sour cream

We liked it...hope you do, too! :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I'm feeling very here's a list of the meals I'm hoping to make this week:

Beer Chicken Fajitas
Taco Lasanga
Chicken and Dumplings
French Bread Pizza
Chili and corn bread
Raspberry Balsamic Chicken

by the way, Kroger is having a big sale on chicken breasts--$1.77/lb. so stock your freezer now! :)

Beer Chicken Fajitas

I've been told that I really need to try these, so I think we're going to have them this week! :)

Beer Chicken Fajitas

1 onion
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
3-4 boneless chicken breasts (approx. 1 per person)
2 bags of fajita seasoning
½ bottle of beer

1. Slice up 1 onion, 1 red pepper, 1 green pepper, and 1 boneless/skinless chicken breast per person and put in a crock pot

2. toss with 2 bags fajita seasoning, and pour in half a bottle of beer

(I'm not sure what difference it makes if you use different beers--I've tried a few different ones and it hasn't seemed to matter)
3. Simmer on low for 6-8 hours
4. Serve with tortillas and your favorite toppings. :-)

From Kim Brown

Friday, January 23, 2009

Easy Crockpot Rigatoni

So, I just discovered a new food blog that looks like it's a good one. Annie's Eats linked to Christy's Kitchen Creations, which is where I found this:


28-oz. jar spaghetti sauce
12-oz. rigatoni, cooked
1-1 1/2 lbs. ground beef, browned
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 lb. pepperoni slices

1. In a 4-quart slow cooker, layer half of each ingredient in order listed. Repeat.
2. Cover. Cook on Low 4-5 hours.

She has a picture, to see it. We'll definitely be trying this one soon, as we're fans of all things Italian! :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings

Since our friends are coming this weekend, I probably won't take the time to post again tomorrow, so I thought I'd go ahead and post this one, too. It's another from my friend, Tina! Enjoy! :)

Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

Chicken and Broth:

3 quarts water* see note at end before you start
½ of a chicken, cut up (with bones, skin, etc. still on) * see note at end
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 small onion sliced into big pieces
2 stalks celery
1 clove garlic peeled and quartered
1 bay leaf
4-6 whole parsley leaves (I never have these so I just sprinkle some parsley in there)
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper (if you don't have coarse pepper, USE LESS, I learned this the hard way)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice


2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk (I seem to remember this was too much milk, so you might want to add a little at a time until you get a “rollable” dough, it's been a while since I've made this!)

1. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Add the chicken, 1 teaspoon of salt, onion, garlic, celery, bay leaf and parsley to the pot. Reduce the heat to simmer, cook the chicken, uncovered, for 2 hours. The liquid should reduce some.
2. Remove chicken from pot and set it aside. Strain the stock to remove all the vegetables and floating stuff. You only want the chicken, so toss everything else out.
3. Pour 1 ½ quarts (6 cups) of the stock into the pot (keep the leftover stock, if any, for another recipe, you can save it for next time! It's freezable). Add coarsely ground pepper, the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt, and the lemon juice, then reheat the stock over medium heat while preparing dumplings.
4. For dumplings, combine the flour, baking powder, 1 ¼ tsp salt, and milk in medium bowl. Stir well until smooth, then let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes. Roll the dough onto floured surface to about ½ inch thickness.
5. Cut the dough into ½ inch squares and drop each square into the simmer stock. Use ALL of the dough, it seems like a lot but they cook down. The dumplings will first swell and then slowly partially dissolve to thicken the stock into gravy. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until thick. STIR OFTEN.
6. While the stock is thickening, tear all the meat from the bones and remove the skin. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and drop them into the pot. Continue to simmer the chicken and dumplings for a few minutes, but don't stir too vigorously or the chicken will shred and fall apart (not a big deal if it does though in my opinion).
7. When the gravy has reached the desired consistency, ladle portions onto plates and serve hot.

A few notes from trial and error:

*I always start with more water (maybe 4 quarts) and a WHOLE chicken, and then you have enough chicken and stock to make this twice. I always freeze all but the 6 or 7 cups of stock and ½ the chicken for next time. It's up to you though.

Also, the dumplings are a funny step, you'll be sure something's wrong when they all blow up in the pot, but they really do cook down, just keep stirring gently. They are so YUMMY!

Easy Stromboli

My good friend, Tina, mentioned this to me the other day and I quickly asked her to send me the recipe. I can't wait to try it. Actually, I'm trying it tomorrow when our friends the Brown's come to visit--we'll let you know how it turns out!! :)

Easy Stromboli


1 recipe for white bread dough for breadmaker (if you don't have one of these, I can send you mine, just let me know)
2 eggs, separated
2 Tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon pepper
4-oz package pepperoni
8-oz package shredded mozzarella (or more, if you like lots of cheese)
1 Tablespoon grated parmesan (not important if you don't have it)

1. Roll out bread dough into a 12x15 rectangle; set aside. (I used a Pampered Chef baking stone for cooking this, it works well if you have one. If not, a cookie sheet will be fine, I'm sure)
2. Combine egg yolks, oil, oregano, parsley, garlic powder and pepper together; spread over dough. (I use a brush to spread this and it works really well.)
3. Arrange pepperoni first in a single layer over the whole thing, and then put mozzarella cheese on top. This order is important. If you do the cheese and then the pepperoni, it doesn't stay together right.
Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over mozzarella.
4. Roll up long ways, and SEAL SEAM THOROUGHLY. place seam side down on a baking sheet or stone.
5. Brush w/ egg whites (not all the egg whites, it's way too much)
6. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes until big and golden brown all over. Sometimes I have to put foil over mine for the last few minutes b/c it's getting too brown, but you need to make sure you bake it long enough.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Recipes are coming!!

I got three new recipes that sound delicious! They'll be coming soon. For now, I really need to be getting things done around here...but just to get your mouth watering, I'll list them for you:

Chicken and Dumplings
Ranch Style Chicken (actually, I'll just link this one to it's site, that's easier--click and see for yourself)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Monday: Quiche and scones (sounds very formal, but really it was last minute and super informal)
Tuesday: Sweet n' Sour Pork
Wednesday: Pizza
Thursday: leftovers
Friday: Baked Ziti
Saturday: Enchilladas
Sunday: more leftovers (we have been wasting leftovers, so in an attempt to be less wasteful, we're having an extra leftover night!)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Four Cheese Chicken Fettucine

I can't actually remember where I found this one, just that it's really tasty!

Four-Cheese Chicken Fettuccine
TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 30 min.

8 ounces uncooked fettuccine
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed
1 jar (4-1/2 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
2-1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 to 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cook fettuccine according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, in a large kettle, combine the soup, cream cheese, mushrooms, cream, butter and garlic powder. Stir in cheeses; cook and stir until melted.
3. Add chicken; heat through.
4. Drain fettuccine; add to the sauce.
5. Transfer to a shallow greased 2-1/2-qt. baking dish. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over chicken mixture.
6. Cover and bake at 350° for 25 minutes.
7. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until golden brown.

Yield: 6-8 servings.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Melt in Your Mouth Scones!

My friend from college, Kim M., mentioned this delicious recipe on Facebook the other day, so I asked her to share it with me. She did and wow! These are so scrumptious! (that's kind of a fun word, isn't it?) The recipes makes 16 (or 12 large scones, if you make them at 11pm and are hurrying) and I took about half to share with my friend, so it was perfect. However, if I were just making them for my family, I might split the recipe in half. Maybe I'll give you both:


4 cups plus one tbsp all purpose flour
2tbsp sugar, plus more for sprinkling
2 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
3/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced (this is 3 sticks or 1 1/2 cups)
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cold heavy cream
3/4 cup small-diced dried strawberries (or other dried fruit...I used cherries)*
1 egg beaten with 2 tbsp water or milk, for egg wash

1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. In a LARGE bowl, combine 4 cups of flour, 2 tbsp sugar, baking powder, and salt.
3. Blend in the cold butter using a pastry blender until butter is in pea-sized pieces (do not overblend butter!).
4. Combine eggs and cream and quickly add them to the flour/butter mixture. Combine until just blended.
5. Toss fruit with 1 tbsp flour, add to the dough, and mix quickly.
6. The dough may be a bit sticky.Dump dough out onto well-floured surface and be sure it is well combined. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4 inches thick.
7. Cut into squares with a 4-inch plain or fluted cutter, and then cut them in half diagonally to make triangles. (I rolled the dough into a circle and cut it like a pizza to make the triangle-ish shapes).
8. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 20-25 minutes, until outsides are golden brown.

Makes 16 scones

My friend, Tina, is going to try chocolate chips instead of fruit--I think they'll be just as delicous. Seriously, you need to try these--YUMMMMMM!

Recipe halved:
2 cups plus one tbsp all purpose flour
1tbsp sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/8 pound cold unsalted butter, diced (3/4 cup, or 1 1/2 sticks)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup cold heavy cream
3/8 cup small-diced dried strawberries (or other dried fruit...I used cherries)
1 egg beaten with 2 tbsp water or milk, for egg wash

follow same directions above

Monday, January 12, 2009


Just curious...what do you (and your children, if you have them) eat for lunch? I get bored with lunch, but definitely don't want to have to work much at this meal, since I'd prefer to put my time and energy into dinner and baked goods. What do you do for lunch?

Fiesta Chicken Pasta

This yummy recipe was given to me by Laura Sharbaugh. Thanks, Laura!

Fiesta Chicken Pasta


2 cups rotini pasta
1 T oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts - cut into bite sized pieces
2 cups chopped red peppers (about 2 medium peppers)
1/4 cup Zesty Italian Dressing
1 T chili powder
1/2 cup Salsa
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1/2 cup Shredded Cheese

1. Cook pasta as directed on package.

2. Heat oil in large skillet, add chicken and cook.

3. Add peppers, dressing, and chili powder and cook about 3 more minutes, stirring frequently. 4. Remove from heat and stir in salsa and sour cream.

5. Add cooked pasta to the chicken mixture and sprinkle with cheese.

Yum! Yum!

Abbreviated Menu

This week, Pete is traveling to California, so we're going to go visit my friends and family in Ashland. Therefore, the meal plan is a bit skinny! :)
Monday: Sticky Chicken w/ rice, peas, and homemade rolls
Tuesday: Chicken Ring (Pete's favorite--send him off w/ happy thoughts of homecooked meals)
Wednesday: French toast and scrambled eggs--Jon's favorite
Thursday: Ashland
Friday: Ashland
Saturday: date night w/ a babysitter!!
Sunday: Baked Ziti w/ no fail french bread, corn, and salad

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breasts with Chile Cheese Sauce

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breasts with Chile Cheese Sauce

4 chicken breast, cut in half length-wise
8 slices of uncooked bacon
1 can of cheddar cheese soup
1/3 cup milk
dash of worchestershire sauce
dash of chipotle pepper or cayenne pepper (to your taste)

1. Preheat oven to 400
2. Line a rimmed baking pan with foil.
3. Wrap a slice of bacon around each piece of chicken and place on the baking sheet.
4. Bake about 20 minutes or until cooked through.
5. Remove chicken from the oven and preheat the broiler.
6. In a sauce pan, bring the soup, milk, pepper and worchestershire sauce to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off heat and cover to keep warm.
7. Broil the chicken 4 to 5 inches from the heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until the bacon is really sizzling.
8. Serve the chicken topped with the cheese sauce.

This recipe is from The Deen Bros. recipe book Y'ALL Come Eat!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Brown Sugar Raisin Bread

This recipe comes from the fabulous website, Annie's Eats. She makes it in her Kitchen Aid mixer. I wanted to make it in my bread machine, so I halved the recipe and made a few adaptations. It turned out really delicious. If you like raisin bread, you'll love this--it's moist and tasty! :)

Brown Sugar Raisin Bread
(Adapted from Annie’s Eats)
½ cup warm water
½ cup warm milk
1 ½ Tbs. butter, melted
½ egg beaten lightly*
1 ½ Tbs. sugar
3 cups of bread flour
½ Tbs. salt
½ Tbs. dry active yeast
¾ cup raisins

Filling:1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1. Put ingredients in the bread machine in the order listed above, except for the raisins and the filling. Start the bread dough cycle on your machine.
2. Follow your bread machine’s instructions for adding fruit/raisins. (mine is about 25 minutes into the cycle)
3. Preheat your oven to 350 F about 10 minutes before the dough cycle is complete.
4. Once the bread cycle is complete, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Roll or pat the dough into an 8x12 rectangle. Lightly sprinkle with the filling, leaving an inch border on all sides. Beginning at a narrow end, tightly roll up the rectangle into a compact log. Pinch the ends and the long seam to seal in the filling. Place the log of dough, seam side down, into a lightly greased 9x5 loaf pan.
5. Bake until the loaf is golden brown and pull away from the sides of the pan, 35-40 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.

The Menu

Monday: Chicken Bacon Wrap-Up with Chile Cheese Sauce (recipe to be posted tomorrow--it was yummy!)*
Tuesday: leftovers
Wednesday: Chicken Corn Soup
Thursday: Sweet n' Sour Pork
Friday: Spaghetti
Saturday: Out for Pizza (?--I think)
Sunday: undecided

** this has been on the menu for weeks and kept getting postponed, (like new recipes sometimes do) but I finally made it and it's a hit.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

3 mashed very ripe bananas
1/2 shortening or butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour- you can do 1 cup wheat flour & 1 cup white flour
1/2 cup chopped nuts(walnuts or pecans)*

1. Cream bananas, shortening/butter, brown sugar.
2. Add eggs vanilla salt & baking soda and mix
3. Mix in flour and nuts then pour into greased loaf pan.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 min then check every 5 min 'til done.
*nuts are optional

From Tina Gathany