Friday, January 22, 2016

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta and Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe - for Watching the Patriots!!

 Hey, peeps!  I'm out of commission for a couple of weeks.  Developed a real fast-moving case of cellulitis last night and have been grounded until further notice by my doc.  The doc and PA at the ER laughed when they saw I had outlined the compromised area and date/time stamped it.  (Not my first time in this rodeo - cellulitis is an on-going issue when you have lymphedema.  Yeah - it's kind of weird when your own extremities are trying to do you in!!!)  So here I sit, unable to do anything but web surf, read and work on an afghan, as my leg is propped up and the antibiotics and pain meds do their things.  Oh, well.  Tomorrow IS another day!!!

I love Buffalo Chicken!  (I HATE wings, but I love the chicken!!)  I've been bringing 'Buffalo Chicken Dip' to parties for years - my most requested recipe ever.  So this is one I HAVE to try out. And I'm thinking, that during this cold weather we're having, that this might be JUST the thing to help me warm up!  I'll let you know how it goes...

Crock-Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta Recipe

3 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces (can also use chicken tenderloins)
10.5 ounces canned cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup Buffalo wing sauce BBQ sauce can be used too
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup ranch salad dressing
1 cup mozzarella cheese

16 ounces penne pasta cooked


Line a 6 quart slow cooker with a Crock-Pot Liner or spray it with non-stick cooking spray 

In a small bowl mix together the cream of chicken soup and buffalo wing sauce.

Place bite sized chicken in the slow cooker and pour sauce over the chicken, tossing to coat the chicken in the sauce.

Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours, stirring once in the middle of the cooking time if you can.

When the chicken is done cooking, cook the penne pasta according to the instructions on package.

Add the ranch dressing, sour cream and mozzarella cheese into the chicken and stir well.

Once pasta is done, drain and add to the crock and mix well and it's ready to be served. Enjoy!

Oh - and here's the recipe for the Dip: PERFECT FOR WATCHING FOOTBALL!!!!
2 cups finely shredded chicken (buy a rotisserie chicken or a bag of Perdue oven-roasted)
4 c shredded cheddar
1 bottle bleu-cheese dressing (or ranch , but bleu cheese is BETTER!)
1/2 - 1 bottle Franks' Hot Wing Sauce (depending on how much of a wuss you are...)
2 blocks (8oz each) cream cheese

Dump it all in the slow cooker on HI.  After an hour, give it all a stir.  Stir it again after another hour.  Give it another hour and stir.  Turn the heat to LOW.  Serve with Dorito chips or celery sticks or crackers.  

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff and the Faster On-the-Stove version, too

On a day when I don't feel like cooking, this one comes together quickly.  Apparently, this dish was a favorite of Russian expats, exiled in China after the revolution.  There is a lovely movie "The White Countess", starring gorgeous Ralph Fiennes and Natasha Redgrave (as well as her Aunt Lynne and mother, Vanessa) that really made me understand the situation the Russian nobility found themselves in after the fall of Czar.  Good film - watch it if you get the chance.

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

2 beef top round steaks (about 3/4 inch thick and 1-1/2 pounds each)
1/2 c flour
1-1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground mustard
1/8 t pepper
1  onion, sliced and separated into rings
1 can (8 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1 can (10-1/2 ounces) condensed beef broth, undiluted
1-1/2 cups (12 ounces) sour cream
Hot cooked noodles


Cut round steaks into 3x1/2-in. strips. 

In a shallow bowl, mix flour, salt, mustard and pepper. 

Add beef in batches; toss to coat. 

In a 5-qt. slow cooker, layer onion, mushrooms and beef. Pour broth over top. 

Cook, covered, on low 5-7 hours or until meat is tender. 

Just before serving, stir in sour cream.

Stove Top Beef Stroganoff

1 1/2pounds beef sirloin steak, 1/2 inch thick
8ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced (2 1/2 cups)
2medium onions, thinly sliced
1garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4cup butter or margarine
1 1/2cups Progresso™ beef flavored broth 
1/2teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
1 1/2cups sour cream
3 cups hot cooked egg noodles

1 Cut beef across grain into about 1 1/2x1/2-inch strips. 

2 Cook mushrooms, onions and garlic in butter in a large skillet over medium heat,  until onions are tender; remove from skillet

3 Cook the beef in the same skillet until brown. Stir in 1 cup of the broth, the salt and Worcestershire sauce. Heat to boiling; reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes.

(cook your noodles!)

4 Stir remaining 1/2 cup broth into flour and stir that into the beef mixture. 

5. Add the onion mixture; heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Turn the heat down, and stir in the sour cream; heat until hot (do not boil). Serve over noodles.

And this week's recipe detective is AJAY-NY!

BONUS recipe!!! Chicken Scallopine with Lemon Sauce

This LOOKS complicated - it isn't.  Just pound chicken until thin, dredge in coating,  fry, make sauce in pan - eat.  A little rice pilaf and a veggie or a salad - wow!  Impress your guests!!

Chicken Scallopine with Lemon Sauce

About 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs
1 cup all-purpose flour, or more as needed
1 ½ cups fresh bread crumbs, or more as needed
3 eggs
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
3 tablespoons butter, plus more as needed
¼ cup dry white wine
½ cup chicken or vegetable stock
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
Lemon wedges for serving

Heat the oven to 200. 

Slice each chicken thigh open like a book and lay it flat between two sheets of plastic wrap. Using a meat pounder,  or the bottom of a heavy skillet  (I use a Corelle saucer!), pound each piece of chicken to 1/4-inch thickness. 

Put two large skillets over medium-high heat for a minute or 2. 

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and put the flour and bread crumbs on two plates. 

Beat the eggs in another shallow bowl. 

Add 1 tablespoon each oil and butter to each skillet and swirl it around. When it is hot — a pinch of flour will sizzle — (use one hand for this step to the other hand stays clean!) dredge a piece of the chicken in the flour, then dip it in the eggs and finally dredge it in the bread crumbs. 

Add the chicken piece to one of the pans, then repeat with another piece in the second pan. (You may be able to fit more than one in each pan at a time.)

Cook the chicken, rotating occasionally and regulating the heat if necessary so it sizzles constantly but doesn’t burn. When the pieces are brown, after about 2 minutes, turn them over.

Cook on the second side until the chicken is firm to the touch, 1 to 2 minutes. (Cut into one with a thin-bladed knife; the center should be white or slightly pink.) Transfer the chicken to a platter and put it in the oven. 

Wipe out the pan with a paper towel and repeat with the remaining chicken, adding more oil and butter to each skillet as necessary.

When all the chicken is cooked, turn off the heat under one of the skillets. Add a tablespoon or 2 more oil or butter to the other pan if it looks dry and sprinkle the fat with 2 teaspoons of the remaining flour. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes. 

Add the wine and stir and scrape the pan until the wine has reduced by about half, about 1 minute. 

Add the stock and lemon juice and cook, stirring, until the mixture is slightly thickened and a bit syrupy, another 3 to 4 minutes.

Add 1 tablespoon butter and swirl the pan around until it melts. Add any juices that have accumulated around the cooked chicken, along with the 1/4 cup parsley. Stir, taste and adjust the seasoning. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, garnish with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Cute Food

OK - I HAD to create this page.  I see posts now and then for food that is ADORABLE!!!!!!  (I must be seriously disturbed if I think food is "cute"!!!!)

Cute Food

cheese, eggs, radishes, peppercorns, green onions

I wonder if I could get Carlene to eat cauliflower or broccoli if I prepared it like this???

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Kid-Friendly Crockpot Turkey Chili

What to bring for dinner for those of us staying in the house on Volunteer Dinner Night????  Got it!!! Lots of vegetables in this old chili, which is pretty mild (not everyone likes the 'mouth on fire' routine.)   Serve the chili on top of the potatoes and let people dress it up any way they want!!  You can kick up the heat with the jalapenos and or the hot sauce!

Kid-Friendly Crockpot Turkey Chili

Russet potatoes - one per person

1 1/3 lbs lean ground turkey
1 teaspoon oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced fine
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
10 oz can Rotel Mild Tomatoes
8 oz small can plain tomato sauce
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 T cumin
1T chili powder
1 t paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


diced avocado or tub of guacamole
reduced fat sour cream
reduced fat shredded cheese
chopped green onion


Put all of chili ingredients in slow cooker and cook 4 hours on high

Manwhile, bake potatoes, wrapped in foil, until done

Serve potatoes, topped with chili and add other toppings, as desired

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Baked spaghetti

Lazy day special!!! Sort of like lasagna.  And sort of not.

Baked Spaghetti

1 package (16 ounces) spaghetti
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jar (24 ounces) meatless spaghetti sauce
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
5 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups (16 ounces) 4% cottage cheese
4 cups (16 ounces) part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese 

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. 

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. 

Stir in spaghetti sauce and seasoned salt; set aside. 

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, Parmesan cheese and butter. Drain spaghetti; add to egg mixture and toss to coat. 

Place half of the spaghetti mixture in a greased 3-qt. baking dish. 

Top with half of the cottage cheese, meat sauce and mozzarella cheese. 

Repeat layers. 

Cover and bake at 350° for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake 20-25 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

This week's recipe detectives were heather_mn and new poster Gimi!!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Lazy Day Stuffed Pepper Casserole

I love stuffed peppers.  But sometimes, the work of preparing them is just not in the cards.  Here's a fast way to get the taste:

Lazy Day Stuffed Pepper Casserole

1 T oil
2 c diced bell pepper - frozen is fine if you're really rushed for time
1 c diced onion
1/2 T minced garlic
1 lb ground beef (you can use turkey, but add a little beef bouillon /flavoring)
1.5 T Italian seasoning
1 t salt
1 13 oz can tomato sauce
3 c cooked rice
3/4 c mozzarella cheese, divided

Set your rice on to cook. (1 1/2 c rice, 3 1/2 c water, a knob of butter, salt)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large saute pan, add olive oil, diced pepper, diced onion and minced garlic over medium high heat and cook for about 5 minutes until the veggies just start to get soft, stirring often. 

Add in ground meat and cook until the meat is cooked through. Drain grease out of pan. 

Add in Italian seasoning, salt, tomato sauce, rice and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese stir together. 

Pour everything into a large baking dish and top with additional 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese. 

Cover with foil and bake in oven for about 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes or so until cheese turns golden.

A side salad, another veg, and some garlic bread round out the meal.

This week's recipe detective was CLOUD!!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Mac and Cheese - Mix it up chart!!

Well, THIS will keep me busy for at least 40 weeks!!!!!

Mac and Cheese - Ways to Kick It up Chart