Friday, May 27, 2011

Hash Brown Casserole

This recipe came from my friend Janet Smelser.  She would make it for the BCM (Baptist Campus Ministry) luncheons every now and then.  Honestly, it's the best hash brown casserole I've ever had.  It's not hard to make but it is a bit pricey...but it makes A TON.

1 32 oz. package frozen hash browns (the square kind), thawed
1 can cream of chicken soup 
1 small jar cheese whiz 
½ cup chopped onion 
1 teaspoon each salt and pepper 
½ cup margarine, melted 
1 cup sour cream   

Combine ingredients (I usually stir everything except the potatoes together, then add the potatoes and stir to combine).  Pour into greased 9x13 pan.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.   

2 cups corn flakes 
¼ cup margarine, melted   

Combine and sprinkle on top of hash brown casserole.  Bake another 10-15 minutes.    

Serves 8-10  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dear Readers,

Thank you for taking time to read my blog!  I have been much encouraged by your comments.  I love getting feedback so keep it coming.  I have changed the look of my blog in hopes to make it easier for everyone to print the recipes.  If you have any problems printing, etc., let me know.

Thank you so much for your support.  And if you have any recipes you'd like me to post, feel free to share them with me!

Tammy <><

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Orange Cream Salad

This is my own creation so you can blame if you don't like it. :-D  You can use sugar-free jello and light cream cheese and sour cream to lighten this salad.  It could definitely be a dessert too!  It's easy, refreshing, and won't heat up your kitchen.

1 ½ cups boiling water 
large orange jello 
1 cup cold water 
11 oz. mandarin oranges, drained   

Mix boiling water and jello until well dissolved.  Add cold water.  Stir in oranges and pour into 11x7 pan.  Refrigerate until firm.   

Topping: 8 oz. cream cheese, softened 
1 cup sour cream 
½ cup sugar 
2 teaspoons vanilla   

Mix everything together.  Spread on top of jello.   

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Easy Chinese

This is a loose description of how I do Chinese…it’s kinda different every time and I hardly ever measure anything.  But I know some people need an actual recipe.  So, here it is!  The basic gist of the recipe came from a Kraft Food & Family magazine from a couple of years ago.  I’d post that exact recipe except it’s evolved so much since that first time I tried it that what I do now isn’t that recipe anymore!  The Italian dressing is kind of the key ingredient because it adds some really good flavor without having to guess what to put in it. 

1 pound raw chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces 
2 tablespoons Italian dressing (you may need to add some more dressing or use some additional oil if things get too dry) 
garlic (in whatever form you like, I typically give a couple shakes of powder) 
2 cups (more or less) veggies (broccoli, corn, green beans, English peas, cauliflower, onions, peppers, etc.)  (I usually use frozen or fresh, not canned)
¼ cup water 
2-4 tablespoons soy sauce (to taste…I like a strong soy sauce flavor so I use 3 or 4) 
2 tablespoons honey (you can use corn syrup in a pinch) 
½ teaspoon ginger 
2 tablespoons cornstarch     

Place the dressing in a non-stick skillet and heat on medium.  Add chicken and sauté  until done.  Add garlic and veggies and keep stirring often until veggies are tender-crisp (covering the skillet helps get the veggies done a bit quicker).  Add more dressing or oil as needed.    

Mix together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.  Pour over chicken/veggie mixture and stir until thick.  You may need to add a bit more liquid (choose water or soy sauce, based on taste).    

Serve over noodles or rice (we prefer brown).   

If you use low-fat or fat-free Italian, add some oil to the pan (olive or canola is what I use).    

You can use leftover cooked chicken.  Sauté the veggies, then add the chicken or cook them all together.   

For something different, use pork or beef.  Leftover cooked pork chops work great!   
Low-sodium soy sauce can be used.   

For a mixture of colored peppers and onions, buy the frozen bag (I think it says stir-fry or something on the bag).  Bird’s Eye makes a great one and when on sale, it's very cost-effective.  They cook quickly because the freezing process softens them.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Oven Fried Chicken Strips

I was lazy when I came up with this recipe, I admit it!  Austin likes fried chicken strips but I honestly didn’t want to stand over the stove to fry them.  So I decided to bake them.  We like Italian bread crumbs on pork chops so I thought I’d try it with chicken. 

 These are yummy but I have to admit they’re not crunchy on the outside.  We didn’t mind it (honestly, the girls ate them better than when they do have a crunchy coating).  It’s just a different taste than just plain ole flour or bread crumbs.

2 pounds chicken strips
½ cup flour 
1 - 1 ½ cups Italian bread crumbs 
¼ - ½  teaspoon garlic salt (or a few sprinkles garlic powder) 
few sprinkles black pepper 
1 egg 
3 tablespoons milk 
4-6 tablespoons margarine or butter   

Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Place the flour in a shallow bowl or large baggie.  Mix the bread crumbs, garlic salt, and pepper in another shallow bowl or large baggie.  Beat together the egg and milk in another shallow bowl.   Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour, shake off excess.  Dip in the egg and milk mixture and then dredge in the bread crumbs mixture.  Place on the prepared baking pan.  Dot with butter (about ½ tablespoon each piece).  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until chicken is done (my pieces were huge so if you have smaller strips, then 30 minutes would probably be enough).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ranch Potatoes

I think this recipe came from my Aunt Frances but we’ve had it so long the method and amounts might be different from her original recipe.   I’ve also used Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning instead of the ranch and it’s yummy too!  Lawry’s works well too.  

6-8 medium potatoes, peeled (if desired) and cubed or sliced 
1 package dry ranch dressing 
2-3 tablespoons oil (I use olive or canola) 
1-2 cups shredded cheese (we use cheddar or colby), optional   

Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Place potatoes in pan and sprinkle the ranch over them.  Drizzle the oil over the potatoes.  Bake at 350 for about an hour (I usually stir the potatoes 2 or 3 times during baking—I cube them so they’re easy to stir, sliced would probably be harder to stir).  You can cover the potatoes with foil if you want them soft but if you like them a bit crunchy and brown, don’t cover (I don’t cover).  

During the last 10 minutes of baking (after the potatoes are done), sprinkle the cheese on top and bake until cheese is melted and bubbly.   

You can use butter instead of oil or even some chicken broth, which makes them very low fat (1/4 –  1/2 cup chicken broth).   

You do not have to use the cheese.    

You can add some chopped or sliced onions (1/2 to a whole onion) if you desire.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Grape Salad

I got this recipe from a Baptist Campus Ministry luncheon when I worked at UWA.  I'm sorry to say I don't remember the lady's name or even what church she went to.  I do, however, remember how yummy this salad tasted!  It's a holiday favorite around here and sometimes we have it "just because."  It makes a ton so feel free to make a much smaller quantity (I usually do 1 pound grapes and use one-third or one-fourth of the amounts of everything else).  

3-5 pounds seedless grapes (you can get the same color or mix), washed and dried
8 oz. cream cheese, softened 
8 oz. sour cream 
¼ cup packed brown sugar 
½ cup white sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
¾ cups toasted chopped pecans   

Mix the cream cheese and sour cream together.  Add the sugars and vanilla and mix well.  Stir in grapes and ½ cup pecans.  Pour into serving bowl and sprinkle with the rest of the pecans.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mexi-Corn and Rice Casserole

In taking inventory of what I've posted so far, I discovered that I didn't really have any side dishes posted.  So here's my token side dish recipe! LOL  I don't remember where I got this recipe but it's pretty common around here.  I'm not crazy about yellow rice on its own but I enjoy this recipe.  It's a great pot-luck dish!

1 small yellow rice, prepared (Mahatma makes a good one)
1 can mexi-calli corn
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup shredded cheese.

Mix the rice, corn, and soup together. Bake in a greased casserole dish uncovered for 30 minutes at 350. Sprinkle cheese on top and put back in oven for 5 minutes or until melted.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Chicken Verde Enchiladas

This was one of those things I tried on a whim and we liked it.  I was even brave enough to take them to a friend and she approved!  That's when I know a recipe is worthy of sharing.  :-D  

And for those of you who don't know, "verde" means "green" in yes, the sauce is GREEN!  It's made with green chiles and OH SO YUMMY!  Makes me remember my days in California, where it was a normal occurrence for us to have salsa verde.

2 large chicken breasts cooked and cut up or pulled apart 
¾ cup sour cream 
1 can cream of chicken soup 
1 small can chopped green chiles (mild)   

Stir together.    

8-10 flour tortillas 
1 can Old El Paso Verde enchilada sauce (not sure the exact name of it—but it’s definitely got “verde” in the name), mild 
1 to 1 ½ cup shredded cheese (cheddar or Monterey Jack)   

Fill and roll the enchiladas with the chicken mixture.  Pour just enough sauce in a greased 9x13 pan to thinly coat the bottom.  Place enchiladas in pan.  Pour sauce over them and sprinkle cheese on top.  Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes until hot and bubbly.   

We prefer the flour tortillas but you can use corn if you want (I think you have to fry them for a short time in oil so they don't get too soggy).  Flour are just simpler and we really like them better (and hey, less fat than frying corn tortillas!).  We also like them on the crunchy side so if you like them softer, bake for 20 minutes.  I usually do 30.