Archive | September, 2011

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pull Apart Bread

22 Sep

This recipe came directly from plainchicken.com and boy, was it good! We had a football party (go SEC!) the other day and I made this bread. It was a huge hit! Everyone loved it and it couldn’t have been easier to make.

I will definitely be making this bread again for the Mississippi State University football game this weekend. Nothing is better than tailgating in the Junction. If you’ve never done it, you’ve definitely got something to add to your bucket list. Enjoy!

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pull Apart Bread

1 unsliced loaf of (round is preferable) sourdough bread
8-12 oz cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
3 oz bag real bacon bits
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tbsp Ranch dressing mix

Using a sharp bread knife cut the bread going both directions. Do not cut through the bottom crust. Place slices of cheese in between cuts. Sprinkle bacon bits on bread, making sure to get in between cuts. Mix together butter and Ranch dressing mix. Pour over bread. Wrap in foil the entire loaf in foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Unwrap. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Yum!

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Apple Pecan Chicken Salad

15 Sep

Holy yum! This salad tastes like fall. You could change up this salad a million different ways and it would still be delicious. Don’t have apples? Use pears. Don’t have pecans? Use walnuts.

This dinner salad was my favorite meal of the week. I love using Tyson Grilled and Ready chicken strips when I don’t feel like spending a ton of time in the kitchen and they worked out perfectly as the protein for this salad.

Apple Pecan Chicken Salad

Servings: 2
Time: 15 minutes
Level: Easy

1/3 c. pecans
2 c. spring mix lettuce
1/2 c. chicken, cooked and sliced or shredded
2 red delicious apples, chopped
red onion, sliced (optional)
1/4 c. mozzarella cheese

Dressing:
1/4 c. olive oil
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. spicy brown mustard
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Toast pecans in the oven until slightly browned. Be careful not to burn. Top lettuce with chicken, apples, onion, cheese, and toasted pecans. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard, and pepper. Pour over salad. Yum!

Easy Baked Potato Side Dish

12 Sep

Twice baked potatoes are a perfect side dish. This preparation is simple and quick and doesn’t create any extra dirty dishes!! They are so simple, yet so delicious. Try them tonight!

Easy Baked Potato Side Dish

Servings: 4
Time: 20 minutes
Level: Easy

2 baking potatoes
1 tbsp. butter
1/2 tbsp. favorite seasoning (I used Weber’s Kick’n Chicken seasoning)

Wash potatoes thoroughly. Poke holes in potatoes with a fork to allow steam to escape. Cook potatoes in the microwave for about 6 minutes. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Score potatoes, making a checkerboard pattern, but not cutting all the way through. Top with butter and sprinkle with seasoning. Broil in the oven or toaster oven (So your kitchen doesn’t get so hot!) on high for 15 minutes.

Yum!

Tips
-If you wanted, you could top the potatoes with additional toppings such as sour cream and cheese.

Black Bean Croquettes

11 Sep

Last night, I wanted to make black bean burgers but I couldn’t get my patties thick enough to stay together. I think next time, I’ll try adding brown rice as a binder. I bet that would help.

Since the burger idea wasn’t working out so well, I went in a slightly different direction and made croquettes. They turned out AMAZING! Even my carnivorous husband was impressed and couldn’t believe how filling they were.

The best part of this dish was that all of the ingredients used in the croquettes are ingredients that I always have in stock. I will definitely be making this recipe again when I’m low on groceries!

Black Bean Croquettes

Servings: 4 patties
Time: 30 minutes
Level: Easy

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. dried onion, or freshly diced onions
1/2 c. frozen corn, thawed
1/3 c. plain dry breadcrumbs (divided in half)
1/3 c. tomatoes, diced
1/2 tbsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 425°. Grease baking sheet. In a bowl, mash black beans, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and onions with a fork until no whole beans remain. Stir in corn and 1/2 of the breadcrumbs. Stir in tomatoes. In a small bowl, mix remaining breadcrumbs with olive oil.

Divide the bean mixture into 4 patties. Lightly press each patty into the breadcrumb mixture, turning to coat.

Place on baking sheet.

Bake the croquettes until heated throughout and the breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Yum!

Tips
– Serve with salsa and sour cream.
– Instead of fresh tomatoes, you can use a little rotel.
– Serve with brown rice and a side salad.

Chicken Spaghetti… with a Mexican Twist

4 Sep

We love chicken spaghetti. It reminds me of childhood and sorority house Monday night dinners. Yum! Normally, you make chicken spaghetti with one can of cream of chicken and one can of cream of mushroom. But, since I was out of cream of mushroom, I figured I’d take the recipe in a new direction and use a can of condensed nacho cheese soup. I never buy the stuff, honestly… but I was given a few cans by my wonderful Nana and was very glad I had them after tonight! By adding a few spices and changing up the soups, the traditional chicken spaghetti recipe was transformed into a completely different, yet equally delicious, casserole. Enjoy!

Mexican Chicken Spaghetti

Servings: 8-10
Time: 35 minutes
Level: Easy

2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I simply boil the chicken in water, a little salt, and black pepper until no longer pink)
1 box angel hair pasta, cooked and drained
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can condensed nacho cheese soup
1 can rotel, undrained
1 c. broth or water
1 c. cheese, shredded (pick your fav… it can be a Mexican variety or just plain cheddar)
1 tbsp. cumin
1/2 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together. Pour into a 9×13 baking dish. Bake, covered for 25 minutes. Remove cover and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Allow to cool and thicken for 10 minutes before serving. Yum!

Tips
– This dish is waaaay better the next day so leftovers are a must! It is also a great dish to make ahead of time.
– This dish freezes well.

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