Archive for May, 2011

May 28th, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

We are definitely at that time when school and extra curricular activities are winding down and summer is beginning.  This seems to be a super busy time of year for most families.  I have 3 young children at home and so there is always something going on at our house.  It is nice to have recipes that are quick and easy to make for my family.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

oil for browning chicken
2 chicken breasts, diced into 1 inch pieces
family size cream of chicken soup
8 oz. sour cream
1 cup water
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup monterey jack cheese, grated
8 oz. package of deli ham, diced
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. white pepper (optional)


Heat oil in large skillet over med-high heat.  Brown chicken in skillet until no longer pink in the middle.

Meanwhile in a 9×13 mix the cream of chicken soup, sour cream, water, salt and peppers together. (Love using my baking dish as a mixing bowl as well-less dishes!)  Once mixed throughly add your cheeses and stir in.

Stir in the cooked chicken and diced ham.

Cover with aluminum foil.  Place in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes or until bubbly.  Serve immediately over rice.

 Tips: You can really use any cheese in this recipe.  Just use 3 cups of whatever you like or have on hand in your fridge that day.  Also if you do not stock white pepper in your pantry you can double the black pepper.

Posted under Chicken | 2 Comments
May 21st, 2011

Bruschetta with Fresh Tomato and Basil

Fresh Tomatoes and Basil – Tastes like Summer!

So here it is the 21st of May and I just picked little Roma Tomatoes from my back yard!  I had to do something fun with them.  Last week I was talking with my mom who lives in Washington and she said she was just getting ready to put some tomatoes out.   When I told her my tomatoes were just ready to pick she was so envious!  I also have some fresh basil out there- so bruschetta it is!

Spring comes early in Texas . . . sometimes it doesn’t really last that long – we just skip to summer it seems; but this year we’ve had some beautiful spring weather and my little tomato plant has done well.  Good thing, because pretty soon it will be hot enough to fry those tomatoes out there!

And just so you don’t get any imaginations about me being a gardener – I’m really not.  I don’t have much space; our pool that takes up most the backyard, but I have my little corner with a few little pots and some good stuff to keep things fresh:  Tomatoes, Peppers, Basil, Rosemary, and Parsley.

So – when your tomatoes and basil come on – here’s what to do:

Bruschetta with Fresh Tomato and Basil


5 or 6 ripe Roma tomatoes, chopped small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
fresh ground salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 french bread baguette
1/4 cup olive oil


Chop the tomatoes and mix with the minced garlic, balsamic vinegar,  olive oil, and basil leaves.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Let that marinate about 30 minutes.

While the tomatoes marinate, slice your bread on a diagonal into 1/2 inch slices.  Brush each side with a little olive.  Take a clove of garlic, peel it, and slice it open.  Then rub each side of the bread with it to add a little of that good flavor!   Place the bread on a baking sheet and put it under the broiler until its nice and brown.  Flip the bread over and toast the other side.

At this point you can place the tomatoes on a platter with the bread and cheese to let people serve themselves; or you can top each slice of bread with a spoonful of tomatoes and then the cheese.  Fresh and Delicious!


May 13th, 2011

Chocolate Chip Pie



 As if you need an excuse to bake cookie dough in a pie!  Did you know that May 15 is National Chocolate Chip Day?  {Me either}  What a perfect excuse to bake this Nestle Toll House Classic. . . Toll House Cookies in a Pie – Brilliant!

First a little background for your Chocolate Chip Day Celebration:  The story goes that back in 1930, Ruth Wakefield (owner of the Toll House Inn, Whitman, Massachusetts), was making chocolate cookies and ran out of regular baker’s chocolate; as a substitute she added broken pieces of Nestle semi-sweet chocolate thinking that they would melt and mix into the batter. . . The rest is history!  Instead of blending in, they simply softened into wonderful, creamy bits of chocolate bliss loved by us all.  It is said that Wakefield sold the recipe to Nestle for a lifetime supply of chocolate chips.  You can check Wikipedia for more info – the stories all differ a little, but the important point is that Chocolate Chips are here for us to love!

Nestle Toll House  Chocolate Chip Pie


1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup nuts (optional)
Vanilla Ice Cream (optional, but why would you want to skip it?)


Preheat oven to 325.  Beat eggs in a large mixer bowl on high speed until foamy.  Beat in flour, sugar, and brown sugar.  Beat in butter.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.  Spoon into pie shell.

Bake for 55-60 minutes (or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean).  Cool on wire rack. 

Yummy served warm with ice cream – but it is still delish when completely cool.

Note: Nestle recommends if using a frozen pie shell, to use the deep-dish style, thawed completely. Bake on baking sheet, increase baking time slightly.

Happy Chocolate Chip Day!

Posted under Chocolate, Pie | No Comments
May 6th, 2011

Mexican Rice with Cotija Cheese

For years I have searched for a delicious and easy mexican rice.  I tried every box at my grocery store; I tried every recipe I came across and nothing was really what I was looking for.  Either they were time consuming to make or the flavor wasn’t what I was looking for.  This one is quick and easy to make and tastes delicious.  The biggest difference between this recipe and all the others is the cotija cheese.  Of course this can be left out for whatever reason, but the cheese really does make all the difference .

Mexican Rice with Cotija Cheese


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 small onion, diced
1 teaspoon cumin
2 cups jasmine rice
2 tomato bouillon (2 tablespoons)
4 cups water
1/2 cup corn
3 ounces cotija cheese

Heat oil over med-high heat. Add garlic, onion and cumin and saute for 5 minutes.  Add rice and cook until rice turns transparent; stirring frequently.
Add water and bouillon to the pan.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and turn heat to low.  Simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
Fluff the rice with a fork and add the corn.  Crumble cheese and stir into the rice. Serve with your favorite mexican food like our honey lime enchiladas!
Notes: I have small children so I dice my onion very small; they don’t even know it is there.  But if you like to know there are onions in the rice dice them larger.  The tomato bouillon can be found in your grocery store’s mexican food aisle.  The cotija cheese is with your specialty cheeses rather than your deli cheese, but widely available.

Posted under Rice, Side Dishes | 2 Comments
May 5th, 2011

Honey Lime Enchiladas

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we thought we would post this recipe for what we consider the Best Enchiladas ever!  There are so many  types of enchiladas (which are all really good);  however, with all the different combinations of meat, sauces, and spices, we love this mild, creamy blend of chicken and cheese with a hint of lime and honey.  (Anything with real cream is good-right?)   If you love enchiladas, you’ll want to try this version.  If enchiladas aren’t your favorite, try these and you might just change your mind.

Honey Lime Enchiladas

Note:  Prepare the Chicken the day before you want to serve.

2-3 Large Chicken Breasts, cooked and shredded
6 Tablespoons Honey
5 Tablespoons Lime Juice (1-2 fresh limes)
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
1/2 Teaspoon minced Garlic
1 Pound Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
10-12 Flour Tortillas
1 (16 oz) Green Enchilada Sauce
1 C  Heavy Cream

Cook your chicken, shred and place in a gallon Ziploc Bag.  Mix together honey, lime juice, chili powder, and garlic.  Pour the mixture over the chicken and mix it around until the chicken is coated.  Refrigerate overnight.

Assemble Enchiladas:

Lightly coat a 13×9 dish with cooking spray.  Pour 1/2 Cup of the Green Enchilada Sauce over the bottom of a 13×9  pan.  Fill tortillas with a line of chicken down the middle, top with cheese, and fold sides in.  Place seam side down in the pan.  Mix the remaining Enchilada Sauce with 1 Cup Heavy Cream.  Pour over the top of enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese.  Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes……Yum!

We recommend serving alongside Mexican Rice with Cotija Cheese.   This might just turn out to be your family favorite!

Additional Note:  To avoid having to wait an entire day when you are really craving these yummy enchiladas,  cook up enough meat for several batches, add your marinade and freeze in ziplock bags.  That way when the craving strikes, you can have your enchiladas and eat them too!

all crafts Homemade Projects ~ Add Yours {10/18}

Posted under Chicken, Main Dish | 1 Comment


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Caramel Potatoes

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