Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Cheddar Broccoli Ham and Rice Skillet

Gotta love it when the name of the dish is basically everything that goes in it, huh?  I found the recipe here.

I toasted my 1c. of rice in oil (I used calrose rice), and then added chicken stock.  The recipe called for 2 1/4 cups but I actually needed more than that.  I added more as I went, tasting my rice to see how it was cooking.  I wish I had added my broccoli sooner, as the stems were still a bit firm.

I didn't actually take it off the heat at this point.  I just turned it down low as I added the ham (I suppose if I'd actually warmed it up first it wouldn't have been a big deal, but I preferred to just let it heat up naturally), butter and cheese.  Actually, instead of butter and garlic powder, I had some leftover garlic butter spread that I just used instead.  I added a little bit of milk, but not much.  I also found it didn't need any salt, as there was already enough in the chicken stock, cheese and ham.

Anyway, it ended up actually being a hit even with my kids.  Even Owen couldn't get enough.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Bacon Cheeseburger Stuffed Shells

So, I put stuffed shells on my menu this week.  And I also put lasagna on it.  I guess I was craving Italian when I made the menu (broccoli alfredo was on there too). Today while looking over the menu when deciding on what to have for dinner, I realized that lasagna and stuffed shells were basically the same thing.  In interest of variety, I went looking for something different to stuff into my shells, and found this recipe

The directions have you cook the bacon first and then add all the rest of the filling ingredients to it, but even though I cooked my bacon fairly crispy, the liquids from everything else made it soggy and chewy.  So next time I think I'll reserve it and sprinkle my crispy bacon bits on top at the very end, the last few minutes of cooking.

I also used real sharp cheddar cheese, rather than the gross american cheese product single squares, and used a recipe for cheese sauce from my Betty Crocker cookbook (included after the directions)

About 17-20 cooked shells
1 lb of ground meat
10 slices of chopped bacon
5 slices of American cheese
3/4 cup of chopped onion
1 10 oz can of drained diced tomatoes
1/4 cup of ketchup
1 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp pepper
Preheat oven to 350. In a skillet  add chopped bacon. Cook on medium heat about halfway through. Drain the excess grease & add the onion & cook until bacon is crispy. Drain grease again. Add ground beef & spices. Brown the meat until fully cooked & drain.
Turn heat down & add the diced tomatoes  & ketchup. Stir well & add cheese to the top. Once melted stir until the cheese is evenly distributed.
Stuff shells with meat mixture and place into a baking dish. Spoon the cheese sauce (see below) over the shells. Cover & bake for about 10-15 minutes.

Cheese sauce:
2 tbsp butter 
2 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1 cup milk ((I used coconut milk so that it wouldn't bother Allison))
1/2 c shredded cheddar ((I used sharp and just dumped some in))

Melt butter in saucepan over low heat.  Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and ground mustard.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly.  Remove from heat.

Gradually stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.  Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in cheese until melted.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


It's hard with young children to find a meal that everyone readily eats.  And since my kids all like sausage and rice, I decided to try to make Jambalaya.  Not authentic, obviously, since I don't like shrimp, but I found a recipe that used chicken instead.

Actually, this is the 3rd recipe I've tried, and this one seems to have hit the sweet spot.  Everyone eats most of it, and nobody gets angry when I put it on their plate.

The recipe called for cooked chicken.  I just cut up raw chicken and sautéed it, and followed the recipe from there. (except I left out the celery and parsley.  Celery because I didn't have any, and parley because I didn't have fresh parsley and I didn't feel like reaching up into the back of my cabinet where my dried stuff got shoved)

  • 1 lb. cooked chicken
  • 1 lb. smoked sausage
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 12 oz. seasoning mix (onion, bell pepper, celery)
  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • ½ to 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3.5 cups water
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ bunch parsley
  • to taste salt and pepper
  1. Slice the sausage and cook in a large pot over medium heat until thoroughly cooked (about 5 minutes). Don’t worry if the drippings begin to stick and coat the bottom of the pan, it will be deglazed later. Remove the cooked meat (leaving the fat/drippings in the pan) and set it aside for later.
  1. Add the chopped onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic to the pot with the meat drippings and cook until soft (about 3-5 minutes). The moisture from the vegetables should loosen anything stuck to the bottom of the pan from the meat (all of that flavorful good stuff).
  1. Once the vegetables have softened, add the dry rice, cayenne pepper and tomato paste. Stir it all together and cook for approximately 1 minute more. This will allow the tomato paste to caramelize and the rice to toast just slightly.
  1. Add 3.5 cups of water, diced tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, fresh cracked pepper (about 20 cranks) and salt (about ½ tsp). Stir it together, then add the meat back into the pot. Bring it up to a simmer, add a lid and reduce the heat to low. Allow the pot to simmer on low until all of the moisture has been absorbed by the rice (about 30 minutes). Stir in the chopped parsley and serve.

I served it with green beans and garlic bread

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Mexican Chicken Casserole

I got the recipe from here.  I cooked the chicken in the crock pot with the chicken stock, diced peppers, onion and garlic.  Then I diced it up and put it in a large skillet with some of the chicken stock, and stuff from the crock pot, adding in the milk (I used coconut milk from a can instead of evaporated milk), cream cheese, grated cheese and enchilada sauce.  The assembly in the casserole dish was the same (I used blue corn tortilla chips).

I served it with tortilla chips and coucous (I thought I had a mexican rice side pack, but apparently didn't).

Friday, July 19, 2013

Pico de Gallo

I got some tomatoes and jalapenos out of my garden today, so I decided to make some pico!  I used this recipe as a rough guide, since I'd never actually made it on my own before (my mother and I used to make it all the time as I was growing up).

So yummy!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Crock pot chicken parmesan

This meal was kind of inspired by this recipe.  I'm exhausted from days of getting my house ready to sell, though, so it's super simplified.

I put some frozen chicken breasts in my crock pot and then dumped a jar of Classico Tomato & Basil sauce over it, and just let it go on low for several hours. (um...6?)

When we were ready to eat, I pulled the breasts out, and put them on a platter.  I sprinkled them with thyme, oregano and basil, drizzled some sauce from the crock pot, and then topped them all with liberal amounts of Parmesan cheese.

I served with cooked spaghetti pasta (with more sauce from the crock pot in a 2c glass liquid measuring cup to pour over if desired), green beans and biscuits.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Hawaiian Haystacks

The chicken part is actually kind of similar to beef stroganoff, sort of.  I kind of made up the recipe after making stroganoff anyway.

I cut up chicken and sautéed it with garlic (3 or 4 cloves) and onion.  After it's all cooked I add maybe 2 cups of chicken broth with 3 tbsp of flour mixed in, and basil and thyme and savory, I think.  I just threw some herbs that smelled good in.

Then it's served over rice and topped with pineapple and whatever else you have on hand that sounds good.  For us it was cheese, cucumber, green pepper, olives, green onion, and chow mein noodles.  No tomatoes or I would have had those too.