Easy Chicken Chili

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Don’t faint ~ it’s actually a NEW post!!!! I needed a long break from thinking about food ~ as much as I love to cook, I do need a break from even thinking about it once in awhile.

Quite a bit has happened since I’ve been gone from the blog. The most important being my daughter got engaged and Mr. Meat Eater was out of work and is now back at work. The wedding date is June 9, 2012, and we are very excited and I’m sure you will get sick of me talking about it in the months to come. As for Mr. Meat Eater ~ he can never fully retire or we will kill each other.

I loved this recipe ~ it’s a bit spicy but not bad and you can always make it spicier if you prefer by adding hot sauce before eating.  It’s easy to make but it needs to simmer on the stove for about an hour so keep that in mind.

Easy Chicken Chili

2 poblano chili peppers, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsps olive oil
2 (14.5 oz) cans zesty chili style dice tomatoes (I used Del Monte)
3 cups chopped cooked chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken)
1 (16 oz) can navy beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (12 oz) can beer or 1 1/2 cups chicken broth (I used beer)
1 envelope white chicken chili seasoning (I used McCormick brand)

Put the olive oil in a Dutch oven and heat. Saute the first 4 ingredients over medium-high heat for 8 minutes or so or until tender.

Add the diced tomatoes and the next 5 ingredients and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for 1 hour.

Serve with desired toppings.

Makes 4-6 servings

Happy Cooking!

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Brown Rice Casserole

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A fabulous recipe I found on Allrecipes!  I served it with salsa chicken (recipe will be coming) so I left out the chicken the recipe calls for but I did put in the leftover salsa chicken and reheated the next day and it was great.  I imagine the casserole with the chicken added would be a great one-dish meal.

Brown Rice Casserole

1/3 cup brown rice
1 cup water, chicken broth, vegetable broth
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup diced onion
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
2 cooked boneless chicken breasts, chopped, (optional)
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and cayenne pepper to taste
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilie peppers, drained ~ use fire roasted if you can find them
1/3 cup shredded carrots
2 cups shredded taco or Mexican cheese

Cook rice using the water or broth according to package directions.

Preheat oven to 350º and grease a casserole dish.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and saute onion until tender and translucent. Mix in the zucchini, chicken (if using), and mushrooms. Season with the cumin, salt and cayenne. Saute until chicken in heated through and zucchini is browned.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the cooked rice, mixture in skillet, beans, chilis, carrots, and 1/2 of the cheese. Transfer to casserole dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover, and continue baking for 10 more minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly around the edges.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Tortellini with Pesto Dip

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This is a super easy easy appetizer and the dip is spot on with the tortellini.  I am addicted to this stuff!  It’s perfect for a party or even as a side dish on your table.  I found the recipe in a Taste of Home cookbook submitted by Cheryl Lame.

I cut regular wooden skewers in half instead of buying some just for this and it worked out well.

Tortellini with Pesto Dip

4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tbsps olive oil, divided
1 pkg (10 ozs) refrigerated spinach tortellini
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup prepared pesto
1/8 tsp pepper
1 pint grape tomatoes

On a double thickness of aluminum foil, place the garlic cloves and drizzle with 1 tbsps olive oil. Wrap the foil around and roast in the oven at 425º for 20-25 minutes or until tender. Cool for 15 minutes.

While garlic is cooking, cook tortellini according to the package, drain, rise in cold water. Toss with remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the mayo, Parmesan, milk, pesto and pepper. Squeeze the garlic into this mixture and stir until combined.

Thread tortellini and tomatoes onto skewers and serve with pesto dip.

I made all of this ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

Makes about 2 dozen skewers and 1 1/2 cups dip.

Happy Cooking!

Savory Cheese Ball

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I like having a few recipes that I can turn to for parties that everyone loves and are easy to make.  This one fits the bill.  It’s equally perfect for a party, sports event or just to have in the fridge to snitch a bit from.

I make this the day before servings to let the flavors really meld together.

Savory Cheese Ball

1 (8 ounce) tub onion and chive soft cream cheese, softened
1 (8 ounce) pkg cream cheese
I cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 fresh chives, snipped
1 package dry ranch salad dressing mix
Pecans, chopped or whole

Combine the cream cheeses, cheddar cheese, chives and salad dressing mix in a bowl mixing well.

Shape into a bowl and roll into pecans.

Serve with crackers.

Makes 10-12 (or more) servings

Happy Cooking!

Not Your Mother’s Green Bean Casserole

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Or, rather, MOSTLY not your mother’s green bean casserole.  Paula Deen has taken one of our Thanksgiving must-haves and really turned it into a scrumptious casserole.  Even Mr. Meat Eater took seconds (that’s what I should have had a picture of).  I could have just eaten it and nothing else it was that good.

It’s very easy to make although a bit more time-consuming than the old Campbell’s Soup version.  It’s really delicious so give it a try!

Paula Deen’s Green Bean Casserole

1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup diced onions
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cups sliced fresh green beans
3 cups chicken broth
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 (2.8 oz) can French-fried onion rings
pinch of salt, black pepper, and garlic powder
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350º.

Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan. Boil the green beans in the broth for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter and saute the onions and mushrooms.

Drain the green beans and add to the mushroom and onions mixture. Add the mushroom soup, onion rings, and seasonings to this mixture as well. Stir until well combined and pour into a greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish.

Bake for 20 minutes, then top the casserole with the Cheddar and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until the casserole is hot and cheese is melted.

Makes 6 servings.

Happy Cooking!

More Potatoes ~ Cheesy Au Gratin Potato Casserole

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I have a serious addiction to potatoes.  I love them in any form and we have potatoes fairly often.  DH is not a fan but humors me.  I found this recipe on allrecipes and changed it around a bit to suit me and it’s delish!

This recipe is pretty easy even though you will have to make a cheese sauce.  Just take your time and it will work.  I especially love that it makes a small casserole so if you are a small family, it will work perfectly.

Cheesy Au Gratin Potato Casserole

4 russet potatoes, sliced into very thin slices
1 onion, sliced into thin rings
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsps butter
3 tbsps flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk (I used 2%)
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400º and grease a 1 quart casserole dish. I used a 9×9 glass dish.

Layer half the potato slices in the bottom of the dish, top with all the onion slices, top onions with the rest of the potatoes and season with salt and pepper if desired.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Mix in flour and salt and whisk continuously for 1 minute. Stir in milk and continue whisking until the mixture thickens. Stir in the cheese ALL AT ONCE and stir until the cheese melts, about 60 seconds or so. Pour sauce over the potatoes. Cover dish with aluminum foil.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Deely’s Seafood Salad and New Directions

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Well, it looks like meal planning is the most asked for feature so that’s the direction I will take.  I am working on some meal planning tips, how I meal plan, etc., so look for those in the near future.  I will try to incorporate some of the other things asked for as well.

I also thought that I would start posting about making everyday foods like bagels, tortillas, pitas, and my success or failure at it. I am also trying to go more towards fresh foods but there are some things that I’ll never stop using so I am going to try to find healthier alternatives.  I hope you all will stick with me!

Any other ideas, please shoot them my way!

We had a BBQ for DH’s co-workers and some family friends a couple of weekends ago and one of the salads I made was this very delicious seafood salad.    Deely from Food.com (formerly Recipezaar) suggested it to me and it was a HUGE hit at the BBQ.  I took her advice and used fresh shrimp and crab and I would suggest that you do the same.  It’s a very easy salad to make and I know that I’ll be making it over and over.

Deely’s Shrimp and Crab Pasta Salad

Deely’s Shrimp and Crab Pasta Salad

2 (6 ounce) cans shrimp (drained) or 1 cup fresh shrimp, chopped (I used medium size)
1 (6 ounce) cans crab (drained) or 1 cup fresh crab, picked through
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 (8 ounce) cans sliced water chestnuts (drained)
3 cups pasta shells uncooked (cooked)
1/2 cup onions chopped
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
salt and pepper

Mix seafood and lemon juice and then combine all ingredients.

Refrigerate over night.

Makes 8-10 servings.

Happy Cooking!