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Archive for the ‘Quick and Easy’ Category

Hash Brown Casserole PlatedOur weather has been incredibly and ridiculously cold the past week or so (although it seems like months!).

The bone-chilling temperatures just make me crave comfort-type food. Something warm and filling.

The other day, in a panic to come up with something edible for dinner before Captain Cavedweller arrived home, tired and hungry, I whipped up a hash brown casserole. Super easy, it proved to be quite tasty.

Simple ingredients

Simple ingredients

Start by giving your baking dish a good coating of non-stick spray.

Start by giving your baking dish a good coating of non-stick spray.

Melt the butter and crush, crumble or pulverize the crackers into the bowl.

Melt the butter and crush, crumble or pulverize the crackers into the bowl.

Stir together until cracker crumbs are well coated.

Stir together until cracker crumbs (in my case, chunks… did I mention I was in a hurry?) are well coated.

Mix together the rest of the ingredients.

Mix together the rest of the ingredients.

Then scoop into your baking pan. If you love cheese, go ahead and sprinkle some on top.

Then scoop into your baking pan. If you love cheese, go ahead and sprinkle some on top.

Finish it off with your cracker crumbs and bake in a 350 oven for an hour.

Finish it off with your cracker crumbs and bake in a 350 oven for an hour.

When it's done, you'll have a crispy ,crunchy golden cracker crust on top of a gooey layer of cheese.

When it’s done, you’ll have a crispy ,crunchy golden cracker crust on top of a gooey layer of cheese.

Hash Brown Casserole

2 lbs frozen shredded hash browns

1 can of cream of mushroom soup

1 cup of sour cream

2 cups shredded cheddar (or colby-jack cheese) grated

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. all-purpose seasoning (like Mrs. Dash)

1 tsp. parsley

1 sleeve of Saltine crackers, crushed

1/2 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°F and spray an 11 x 14 baking dish with cooking spray.

Melt butter then crumbled crackers into it, stirring until well coated. Set aside.

Mix the remaining  ingredients together, place in prepared pan, and top with 1/2 cup additional cheese, if desired. Top with the cracker crumbs and bake for an hour.

Remove and indulge in the deliciousness!

She Who Should Not Make This Again, but It Was So Yummy

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Happy Labor Day Weekend everyone!

To me, this weekend is the last big hurrah before everyone’s schedules settle back into a routine and fall is upon us.

I don’t know about you, but summer flew by at warp speed and I’m not quite ready for it to end. Although I love the fall season, I’d like to put off its arrival for just a while longer.

Here are a few of my favorite summer salad and dessert recipes, to help prolong the fun!

caprese platedTomato Caprese Salad

 

potato salad finishedChunky Potato Salad

butterfly fruit salad finishedButterfly Fruit Salad

watermelon-saladWatermelon and Feta Salad

 

raspberry pie platedRaspberry Cream Pies

 

orange pie finishedOrange Dream Pie

crisp-in-panRaspberry Crisp

blackberry bar finishedButtery Blackberry Bars

banana ice cream bowl 1Banana Ice Cream

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Happy Labor Day Weekend everyone!

To me, this weekend is the last big hurrah before everyone’s schedules settle back into a routine and fall is upon us.

I don’t know about you, but summer flew by at warp speed and I’m not quite ready for it to end. Although I love the fall season, I’d like to put off its arrival for just a while longer.

Here are a few of my favorite summer salad and dessert recipes, to help prolong the fun!

caprese platedTomato Caprese Salad

 

potato salad finishedChunky Potato Salad

butterfly fruit salad finishedButterfly Fruit Salad

watermelon-saladWatermelon and Feta Salad

 

raspberry pie platedRaspberry Cream Pies

 

orange pie finishedOrange Dream Pie

crisp-in-panRaspberry Crisp

blackberry bar finishedButtery Blackberry Bars

banana ice cream bowl 1Banana Ice Cream

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Chicken Tortelinni  plated

Knowing CC would be home and ready to eat soon, I started scrounging through the fridge last night and came up with some ingredients to throw together.  This fast, easy, yummy dinner comes together in about thirty minutes (if you hustle, which I did because a hungry man kept looming around the kitchen, wanting fed!).

At first, CC turned up his nose at it, but after one bite, he quickly ate what was on his plate and went back for seconds. I think that meant he liked it.

Ingredients

Ingredients

 

Cook tortellini according to package directions. While it's cooking, cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.

Cook tortellini according to package directions. While it’s cooking, cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.

Melt butter and then stir in Panko crumbs. You can also add seasoning if you like and a sprinkle of salt.

Melt butter and then stir in Panko crumbs. You can also add seasoning if you like and a sprinkle of salt. Set aside.

 

When tortellini is cooked, drain. Since I'm lazy, I mixed everything in the saucepan so I had one less bowl to wash.

When tortellini is cooked, drain. Since I’m lazy, I mixed everything in the saucepan so I had one less bowl to wash. Add your chicken and give it a good stir.

Then add the rest of the ingredients.

Then add the rest of the ingredients.

 

Blend thoroughly.

Stir thoroughly.

 

Spoon into a greased casserole dish, then top with  sprinkling of cheese.

Spoon into a greased casserole dish, then top with sprinkling of cheese.

 

Top with Panko crumbs.

Top with Panko crumbs.

Bake for about twenty minutes, until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted.

Bake for about twenty minutes, until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted, then serve immediately. (Hungry men don’t like to wait while you do silly things like take photos!)

 

Cheesy Chicken Tortellini

1 package of cheese-filled tortellini

2 cups cooked chicken

1 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese (divided)

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1 1/2 cups Alfredo sauce

1 1/2 cups Panko crumbs

2 tbsp. butter

Seasoning

Salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Cook tortellini according to package directions. While it’s cooking, cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Melt butter and stir in Panko crumbs. You can also add some seasoning to the crumbs, if you wish.

Drain tortellini. Add chicken to the saucepan and stir then add 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, the Parmesan cheese, Alfredo Sauce and any seasonings along with a sprinkle of salt. Stir well then spoon into casserole pan. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese then Panko crumbs. Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes, until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted.

If you want to get fancy, you can add a sprinkle of fresh or fried parsley on top.

She Who Will Be Making This Again

 

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my-salad

The temps at our house this week have been over the 100 degree mark.

In light of that misery, nothing sounds good to eat except salads and ice cream. (Talk about  balanced diet!).

Here’s one of our favorite salad recipes. It just takes a few minutes to grill the meat so you aren’t left outside melting into a puddle for long.

Flank Steak – can get tough if you don’t cook it quickly.

Ingredients

Season the meat.

Grill over indirect heat.

It takes about two minutes for each side to be done.

Captain Cavedweller’s version of the salad removes any attempt at healthy eating. It isn’t for the faint of heart.

Flank Steak Salad

1-2 flank steaks per person

lettuce (whatever kind you like best is fine – yes I was lazy and used bagged lettuce)

tomatoes (sliced)

cucumber (sliced)

sliced black olives (again, lazy and used pre-sliced)

shredded colby-jack cheese (pre-shredded – lazy and yes, there is a trend developing here)

salt

pepper

Mrs. Dash (or whatever meat seasoning you like)

Flank steaks are thin cuts of meat that cook really fast. Season them with salt, pepper and whatever seasoning you like best. Get creative – CC usually does which is why I ask for half-seasoning on my meat!

Grill the flank steak for just a few minutes. CC put these on a hot grill with indirect heat. It took just shy of two minutes per side for them to be done to perfection.

Once the meat is done, let it rest a few minutes before slicing. I made long, thin strips of meat and CC whacked his into bite-sized submission.

Layer lettuce, tomato slices, olives and cucumbers in a dish or bowl. If you want the cucumbers to look fancy, peel and then run a fork’s tines down the outside of it all around. It creates a nice pattern when they are sliced.

Place the meat on top and then finish with a sprinkle of cheese. I added Feta cheese crumbles to my salad and it was tasty. CC added croutons, sunflower seeds and almost everything except the kitchen sink to his salad. My point would be, add whatever tastes good to you.

Stay Cool!

She Who Loves A Good Salad for Dinner

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chicken one dish plated

If you ever have those days when you just want to throw everything in one pan and end up with a delicious, filling meal, this is a good recipe to go to!

Ingredients

Ingredients

 

If you don't have left-over rice (and white or brown would work fine) go ahead and get your wild rice cooking, following the package directions. Mine said to cook for 45 minutes.

If you don’t have left-over rice (and white or brown would work fine) go ahead and get your wild rice cooking, following the package directions. Mine said to cook for 45 minutes.

While the rice is doing its thing, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, trimming off any fat.

While the rice is doing its thing, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, trimming off any fat.

 

Add a little oil to the bottom of a large skillet and let it heat, then add chicken.

Add a little oil to the bottom of a large skillet and let it heat, then add chicken.

 

Cook chicken until the outside is no longer pink. Add in chicken broth and let simmer on medium heat  for about twelve minutes.

Cook chicken until the outside is no longer pink. Add in chicken broth. Cover and let simmer on medium heat for about twelve minutes.

 

Once rice is cooked, drain then add to chicken.

Once rice is cooked, drain then add to chicken.

 

Add broccoli and let it simmer until your preferred doneness (about five minutes is how we like it).

Add broccoli and let it simmer until your preferred doneness (about five minutes is how we like it).

 

Stir in the can of cream of mushroom soup. Turn off heat, cover and let soup blend in for just a minute or two.

Stir in the can of cream of mushroom soup. Turn off heat, cover and let soup blend in for just a minute or two.

Serve - and you can top it with a little shredded cheese, if you like

Serve – and you can top it with a little shredded cheese, if you like.

 

Chicken – Wild Rice – Broccoli One-Dish Meal

1 1/2 pounds chicken pieces (boneless and skinless)

2 cups cooked rice

2 cups broccoli

1 can chicken broth

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup shredded cheese (optional)

If you don’t have leftover rice, cook it according to package directions. While it is cooking, cut chicken into bite-sized pieces, trimming off any fat.

Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until it is no longer pink. Pour in 1 cup of chicken broth, cover and let simmer for about 12 minutes.

By now, your rice should be done. Drain and add to the chicken, along with the broccoli. Mix with the chicken, cover and let simmer about five minutes.

Turn off heat then spoon in cream of mushroom soup, blending well. Cover and let sit just a minute to make sure soup is heated throughout then serve. We like to sprinkle a little cheese (cheddar or colby-jack) on top of ours.

The best part about this is that clean-up is a snap.

Serves 6-8 (depending how starving they are!)

She Who Needs to Make this Again

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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creamy chicken rice soup in bowl

A few weeks ago, I had company coming for dinner and since it was a week night, I knew I wouldn’t have a lot of time to put together something fantastic when I got home from work.

Dragging my slow cooker out of the cupboard and rinsing off the cobwebs, I decided a nice, hearty soup would do nicely. At the time, the temperatures were ridiculous frigid, so the idea of a steaming bowl of creamy deliciousness sounded really yummy.

This soup is so good,  comes together quickly, and can be left simmering in your slow cooker all day, ready to razzle-dazzle your guests (or family) when you get home from work.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Cut boneless, skinless chicken breast into bite-sized pieces.

Cut boneless, skinless chicken breast into bite-sized pieces.

Chop celery and carrots into about 1/4 inch thick pieces.

Chop celery and carrots into about 1/4 inch thick pieces.

Place chicken in the slow cooker and season.

Place chicken in the slow cooker and season.

Add carrots and celery.

Add carrots and celery.

Add rice and frozen veggies.

Add rice and frozen veggies.

Pour in broth, cover and set to cook for eight hours. (If you'll be home sooner, set it for six, later, set it for 10 on low).

Pour in broth, cover and set to cook for eight hours. (If you’ll be home sooner, set it for six, later, set it for 10 on low).

About 10 minutes before you are ready to serve, pour in a cup of heavy cream, and stir to blend it into the soup.

About 10 minutes before you are ready to serve, pour in a cup of heavy cream, and stir to blend it into the soup.

By this time, your mouth should be watering and you can't hardly wait to scoop up a bowl and devour.

By this time, your mouth should be watering and you can’t hardly wait to scoop up a bowl and devour.

To serve, add a little parsley garnish, a sprinkling of grated cheese or some toasted bread crumbs.

To serve, add a little parsley garnish, a sprinkling of grated cheese or some toasted bread crumbs.

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

1 1/2 pounds of skinless, boneless chicken breast

1 32-oz box of chicken stock

1/2 cup celery

1/2 cup carrots

1 16-oz. bag of frozen mixed vegetables

1 16-oz. bag of wild rice blend

salt

seasoning

1 cup heavy cream

Spray the inside of your slow cooker with a non-stick cooking spray. I used a 5.5 quart Crock Pot, so if yours is smaller, just reduce the amount on the ingredients accordingly.

Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt and seasoning (I used about 1 tsp. salt and 1 tbsp. seasoning).

Chop celery and carrots into pieces about 1/4 inch thick. Add to chicken. Add frozen veggies and the rice. (I used a blend of long grain brown, sweet brown, black and wild rice).

Pour the chicken stock in, cover and set your Crock Pot to cook on low for eight hours. (Mine ended up cooking 10 by the time I got home, which was just a tad longer than it should have gone).

About 10 minutes before you are ready to serve, add 1 cup of heavy cream to the soup and stir thoroughly to mix.

Serve with a garnish of parsley, shredded cheese, or toasted bread crumbs.

Perfect for a cold wintery day!

She Who Needs to Make This Again

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