Spinach and Bacon Chicken

You guys. You guys.

Go make this now.

No. I’ll wait. Seriously.

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30 Minute Mandarin Chicken


Man, I’ve been really getting a kick out of these chicken dishes I’ve been making lately. This one comes from one of my recipe groups on Yahoo. It’s uber tasty. To be honest, I could eat this without the rice. Just throw more vegetables in it and I’d be good to go.

I promise I’ll get back in the habit of taking pictures of the process..
Eventually!

30-Minute Countdown Mandarin Chicken
1 can Campbell’s condensed chicken broth; (10 1/2 oz) divided
2 TBSP cornstarch
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 TBSP soy sauce
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 can sliced water chestnuts; (8 oz) drained
1 pound skinless; boneless chicken
breasts, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 small green or sweet red pepper; cut into strips diced.
1 can mandarin orange segments; (11 oz) drained – I used 2 cans. I like me some mandarins. I ate half a can while I waited! I’m so bad.
hot cooked rice

1. In cup, stir together 1/4 cup of the broth and the cornstarch until well blended; set aside.
2. In 10-inch skillet over medium heat, combine remaining broth, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, ginger and water chestnuts. Heat to boiling.
3. Add chicken to skillet. Reduce heat to low. Simmer 10 minutes. Add green pepper; cook 3 minutes more or until chicken is tender and juices run clear.
4. Stir in cornstarch mixture. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly. Gently stir in oranges. Serve over rice.

Makes 4 cups or 4 servings.

Source: Campbell’s 75th Anniversary Cookbook Cooking in Minutes
Copyright 1991 Campbell Soup Company
ISBN 1-56173-268-0

Taco Pasta Salad

I’ve been in a mood for salad recently. It’s probably because of the season! Thunderstorms and salads equal summer in my mind.

So I made Taco Pasta Salad for dinner one night.

Here’s whatcha need:

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Cut out of the picture: Taco seasoning.

* 1 lb ground beef (mine’s probably more than a pound, but eh.)
* Salt and Pepper to taste
* 1 pkg taco seasoning
* Lettuce
* Cheese
* 2 cups uncooked spiral pasta
* 1/2 cup EACH chopped onion and bell pepper
* 1/2 cup Catalina salad dressing
* Taco shells or tortilla chips

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Place ground beef in a skillet. Add salt and pepper. Brown thoroughly. While you’re waiting, boil a pot of salted water. Add shells, cook till done.

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Drain beef, return to skillet. Add taco seasoning, onion and bell pepper. (DO NOT ADD WATER!) Mix thoroughly. You should have something that looks like this:

Strain the spiral noodles, add to a good-sized bowl with the hamburger mixture.
STIR STIR STIR

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Add lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, more of the onions and bell pepper – anything you’d put on a taco.

But first, curse a blue streak because your taco shells look like this:

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THEN you fill them!


Sort-Of Salsa Chicken

My go-to recipe website is turning into http://www.allrecipes.com – most everything I’ve made on this blog starts out at AR. But that’s OK! Really.

So I knew this morning that I’d have to come up with dinner tonight. Our cupboard is getting mighty slim since it’s so close to the end of the month. One of these days I’m actually going to go with a menu instead of a meat buying frenzy. 😀

Anyway, I came across the Salsa Chicken Recipe at AR. I had a bit of cheese left over, and a ton of spices, and salsa. Wooo!

Sort - Of Salsa Chicken
Minus chicken and the salsa. Oops.

Ingredients:

1. 4-6 Chicken Breasts
2. Spices: (to taste)

  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Weber Canadian Chicken rub

3. Your favorite salsa
4. Your favorite cheese
5. Cooking spray

Preheat your oven to 375°F.

Lightly spray a shallow baking dish with cooking spray and throw the chicken breasts in there. Spray cooking spray on the breasts as well, then sprinkle the spices on the chicken to your taste – if you like it spicy, make it spicy! Do this with the unseasoned side as well.

Sort - Of Salsa Chicken
Mmm. Yummy already.
Sort - Of Salsa Chicken
And then spoon your salsa on top of your uncooked chicken.

Once your salsa is on the chicken, cover the dish and place in your preheated oven for 35-55 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken. Mine was still half frozen when I put it in the oven, so it took the entire 55 minutes. Before the five minutes was up, I sprinkled on what cheese I had.

And ya’ll, it got bubbly.
It got gooey.
It got freakin’ delicious.
Just look!

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And then you get to serve it up to verrrry happy family members.
And yourself, of course.

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Baked and Broiled Chicken with Watermelon Glaze

You guys! You guys! Guess what! I have a camera! Better yet, I’ve got a recipe for ya’ll. I recently got my Better Homes and Gardens Recipe with Grilled Chicken with Watermelon Glaze on the cover, and promptly decided I needed to try it. But instead of grilling it (it was raining) I baked and broiled it.

Now, before I show you these pictures, I gotta admit I’m not 100% familiar with this camera. I’m still learning it’s little idiosyncrasies, so you may notice how … off the colors may look at times. But I think it’s still yummy inducing.

I’m going to post the original recipe, and put my changes in italic blue.

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Watermelon Glaze, recipe below
  • 1 whole chicken or 3-1/2 lbs. meaty chicken pieces
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • Snipped fresh herbs (optional)

Directions

1. Prepare Watermelon Glaze: Cut half of a small watermelon from the rind in chunks (about 4 cups of fruit). Cut remaining half of watermelon into wedges for serving; refrigerate until ready to serve. Place in a food mill or juicer and collect the juice. Or place watermelon chunks in blender. Cover; blend until nearly smooth. Pour mixture into a fine mesh sieve over a bowl; discard solid bits. I didn’t do this part, because I blended it really well. Oops. Reserve 1 cup of the juice and drink or freeze the rest. I wish I had freezed the rest!
In small saucepan melt 1, 12-oz. jar apple jelly over low heat, stirring often so it doesn’t burn. Stir in 1 cup watermelon juice, the juice and zest of one small lime. Forgot to buy lime, so I used bottled lemon juice instead. Add 2 tsp. red chile flakes, 1 tsp. jalapeño hot sauce, and a pinch of salt. Mix and taste. Adjust seasoning as desired; remove from heat. We didn’t have any red chile flakes, so I left that out and used a couple of dashes of hot sauce instead. Next time I would definitely throw in the flakes.
Use warm, or let cool and transfer to a clean jar. Glaze will keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

2. Remove chicken from packaging and pat dry with paper towels. To butterfly, using poultry or kitchen shears cut along each side of backbone to remove it (see “butterflying chicken,” below). Turn chicken breast-side up. Open the two sides of the chicken as if you were opening a book, and lay it flat. Break breastbone by firmly applying pressure and pressing down. Tuck wing tips under upper wings. I used skinless boneless chicken breasts. I would definitely use the whole bird next time.

3. Prepare grill for indirect grilling (see below). Brush chicken with olive oil. Season chicken on both sides with salt and black pepper. Place skin-side down, on center of grill over indirect medium heat. I noticed the chicken was still frozen, so I followed the directions but added some Canadian chicken seasoning before throwing it into the oven. I let the chicken bake in the oven at 400 for maybe 30 minutes. Once it was more or less thawed and nearly done, I threw it on the broiler pan and let it broil as I glazed the chicken as recommended.

4. Grill 25 minutes. Turn chicken over. Brush a little of the remaining 2/3 cup glaze on skin. Grill 25 to 30 minutes more, or until juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh registers 180 degrees F, brushing with glaze 2 more times.

5. Remove chicken from grill; brush with the reserved 1/3 cup glaze and let rest 10 minutes. Cut chicken into pieces. Serve with fresh watermelon wedges and sprinkle with herbs. Makes 6 servings.

Butterflying Chicken:Butterflying makes it easy to cook a whole chicken on the grill. Kitchen or poultry shears are the best tool for the job. Make a cut about 1-1/2 inches apart on both sides of the backbone, cutting all the way down, and remove backbone.

Indirect Grilling:This method positions the fire to one side or both ends of grill. Food sits over the unlit part, and the grill is covered so the food cooks from all sides. This is best for thicker cuts that need longer cooking like roasts and ribs.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 539,
  • Total Fat (g) 27,
  • Saturated Fat (g) 8,
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g) 11,
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g) 6,
  • Cholesterol (mg) 135,
  • Sodium (mg) 313,
  • Carbohydrate (g) 39,
  • Total Sugar (g) 30,
  • Fiber (g) 1,
  • Protein (g) 35,
  • Vitamin C (DV%) 41,
  • Calcium (DV%) 4,
  • Iron (DV%) 13,
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Watermelon, my plate (see what I mean when it comes to the colors..? Or maybe it was the plethora of yellow that night. My daughter enjoys mac and cheese and corn.) .. and my daughter eating watermelon!

Crescent Beef Broccoli Bake

I’m a horrible food blogger, I realize this.
But ever since I’ve moved to Ohio, I’ve been able to experiment more, try new things.

This post would be much better had I fresh batteries in my camera.

Crescent Beef Broccoli Bake

1 large package frozen chopped broccoli
2 pounds ground beef or turkey
Chopped onion, 1 1/4 cups
1 8 ounce package cream cheese
large can cream of chicken soup
Mexican – style shredded cheese
(or Monterey Jack and Cheddar, if the blend is unavailable where you live.)
1 roll refrigerated crescent rolls
the recipe creations Crescent rolls would be excellent for this. Kroger didn’t have them, so I used regular extra buttery rolls. Yum.

Cook broccoli until done. Drain and place into casserole dish.

Brown ground beef and onions together until onions
are tender. Drain. Stir the cream cheese and soup into the meat
mixture until it is hot. Pour over the chopped broccoli.
Sprinkle cheese top of that. Unroll crescent rolls into 2 strips and lay over
top of cheese. Bake to the directions on the crescent roll can.

Recipe source: ALIA Cooking Corner yahoo group, submitted by Jackie Austin.
Received by me in the Holiday_Express yahoo group by Peg Starkoski, 8.8.09
Slightly modified from the original by Nancy G., 8.10.09

Easy Caramelized Onion Pork Chops

Alright, so it’s been a very long time since I’ve updated this thing – and to be honest, probably the only reason I’m updating now is that I’m living in Ohio now! Yay! I never had the urge in SC to update, but now.. I’m hoping that’s done.

So yes. Say hello to the first meal that was NOT made by my hubbykins since moving to Ohio almost two weeks ago: caramelized onion pork chops. Mmm. www.allrecipes.com came through yet again. Please pay no attention to the shoddy plating skills – I was just too hungry to freaking make it all prettified for you guys. And I apologize in advance for the lack of proper measuring – I guess I’m a hardcore Southern cook at heart. Not much gets measured if I’m throwing stuff in willy nilly. For serious. The husband took one look at my recipe (a pink post-it with the ingredient list scribbled on it) and just looked at me as if I grew another head. He *knows* now! XD

Easy Caramelized Onion Pork Chops
(adapted from allrecipes)

  • 4 pork loins
  • Lawry’s seasoning salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • package of pre-chopped onions (I eyeballed this. I’m pretty sure it was more than an onion, though)
  • tablespoon of minced garlic (husband keeps a big jar of this – he LOVES garlic, oh my gosh)
  • teaspoon of white sugar
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  1. Heat a skillet on top of your stove with enough of the olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan.
  2. Season the pork with the seasoning salt and the black pepper. I found the pork a trifle too salty, so please take some care when you’re seasoning your meat. It does not need to be orange, I promise! (But when I mentioned it to my husband and my mom, both said that it was REALLY good as is. Maybe I’m just really sensitive to salt.)
  3. Brown pork on both sides, then let rest on paper towels.
  4. Throw in a cup of water and the onions and garlic. Stir. Stir. Stir. Freak out cause you almost forgot the sugar. Add the sugar.
  5. Look good? Throw chops back in.
  6. Cook on low till the chops are done.

Simple! Tasty! When I made the dish I actually didn’t freak out about the sugar till after the chops were back in – I was CONVINCED that I was going to have sweet meat and I don’t really like sweet meat. But it’s delicious and tasty and easy peasy. I bet you could scale it for a bigger family really easy too!