Chicken Tamale Casserole

Chicken Tamale Casserole

This has become a new family favorite! It’s so yummy and easy. I haven’t tried to make it ahead of time and freeze or reheat so I don’t know how that would work, but leftovers have been good straight from the microwave.

Chicken Tamale Casserole:
1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
2 eggs
1 cup shredded cheese (taco mix is best)
1/2 cup milk
1 can cream style corn
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 can enchilada sauce, red
3 cups shredded chicken
2 cups shredded cheese (taco mix)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a mixing bowl mix Jiffy mix, eggs, milk, cream corn, shredded cheese, chili powder and cumin. Pour into a prepared 9×13 baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and poke about 12 slots with a butter knife. Pour entire can of enchilada sauce all over, spread shredded chicken across entire dish, then sprinkle remaining cheese across the top. You don’t have to use 2 cups of cheese here, it’s up to you. I don’t know why you wouldn’t use 2 cups, but hey some people are weird : )
Place it back into the oven, and bake for another 20 minutes.
Serve.
Eat.
Get seconds.
Eat.
LOVE.

Then you may want to take a lap. This is a far cry from my “healthy” meal stance. This is a Friday night, cheat meal type dish.
Enjoy.

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Oven Fajitas

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My plan for tonight was to make chicken fajitas.  I had all of the ingredients, and had peppers that needed to be used so it was a no brainer for me.  However, standing over a skillet waiting for chicken to cook and the peppers to get to just the right tenderness is just something that I didn’t have time for today.  With one kid, it was doable, with two it’s just not even an option. 

On my way home from work I thought about a way to make them “fajita-y” without standing over the stove.  I figured the oven would do the same thing just without needing the attention so I gave it a shot and let me tell you it did not disappoint!

Oven Fajitas:  Time: 40 minutes cooking time

  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • ½ Tbsp paprika
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp. oil (olive, vegetable, canola, coconut)
  • Peppers
  • Chicken

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix spices into small bowl and set aside.  Slice chicken into thing strips.  Slice peppers into thin strips.  Throw chicken and peppers into 9×13 baking dish.  Drizzle oil over the ingredients and then sprinkle spice mixture.  Toss to coat everything as evenly as possible.

Bake for 20 minutes, stir, bake for another 30 minutes. 

I served these on small whole wheat tortillas with my homemade salsa and drizzled some homemade store bought white cheese dip. 

My hunny loved them, after his second plate he said that we should have used larger tortillas.  I’ll take that as a compliment.

This dinner was the perfect choice tonight because it allowed me to do a load of clothes, clean up baby puke, make my bed, pick up the living room, pick out the boys clothes for tomorrow, make hubby’s lunch for tomorrow, put the tiny one to bed, all while dinner was cooking itself.  We sat, we ate, we cleaned, now we go to bed : )

 

 

 

Italian Chicken with potatoes and green beans

One pot meal.

That’s really enough said right?  This dish was super yummy, easy, and it’s all in one pot which makes anything great.

This took seconds to just toss in, and go.

Loved it.

Ingredients:

Chicken breasts

1 packet of zesty italian seasoning

1 can (large, or 2 small) green beans

red potatoes, however many you like quartered

1 stick of butter, melted

In your baking dish place chicken in the middle, lengthwise.  On one side add quartered potatoes, add green beans to the other side.  Pour melted butter, sprinkle seasoning over entire dish.

Cover with foil.

Bake in a preheated 350 oven for about 60 minutes.  This time really depends on how large your chicken breasts are, and how large you cut your potatoes.

Enjoy!Blogging 001

Chicken Alfredo Pizza

We love pizza around here.  I have convinced my husband to try other things on pizza other that just his regulars.  Luckily, he will eat pretty much anything that I put in front of him.

I got him to try, and fall in love with, my BBQ Chicken & Black Bean pizza, and ask for it on several occasions.  Very, very proud of that!

Enter the chicken alfredo pizza!  This was good.  It was really good.  Next time I will be making two because one fed us fine, but we were both sad that there were no leftovers.

Chicken Alfredo Pizza:

One (or 2) pizza dough, I made my own, but you could use frozen too

Shredded chicken, about 1 1/2 cups

1 cup or so of your favorite alfredo sauce (I used the jar Ragu, but you could make your own too.  But really this is supposed to be an easy meal and making your own would take a while)

about 1/2 -1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4-1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese (grated would be fine too)

1 tbs parsley (dry or fresh, I used dry)

Black Pepper

I tossed my chicken in a little bit of sauce in a small skillet just to heat it up a bit and get some flavor on it.

Prepare pizza dough.  Place on baking sheet or pizza stone. Bake if necessary.

Add sauce to dough. Sprinkle  cheeses around, add chicken, pepper, and parsley.

Bake @ 450 for about 11 -13 minutes, or until pizza dough is fully cooked and toppings are bubbly.

 

This pizza is pretty versatile too.  You could add baby or frozen spinach for some extra “green”.   Red onions, peppers, or jalapeno would be good too.

 

 

Menu Plan Monday

Unlike most families coming off of this holiday weekend we have zero leftovers.  We did some traveling for Thanksgiving so we were not fortunate enough to have leftovers to eat on for weeks.  So I had to come up with a few meals for this week, as much as I would have loved to continue relaxing like we have been over this long weekend.

Monday:  Balsamic Beef Roast, ( we had this tonight, and will not be sharing the recipe, it was nothing to write home about)

Tuesday:  Poppy seed sammies, with a little twist YUM!

Wednesday:  Ham and Bean soup (from the freezer)

Thursday:  Chili (from the freezer)

Friday:  Leftovers

Noticing a pattern of laziness this week?  It’s tough coming off of such a long break from reality and right back into the swing of things.

I will, however, get a lot of prep work and freezer cooking done this weekend because hubby has drill.  I like to use those weekends to get a lot done.

Over the coming months I will be doing A LOT of freezer cooking to prepare my little family for the changes to come in the next 9 months.  We found out this weekend that a surprise #2 will be making his or her arrival in late July 2013.

EEEeeeeek!!!

Side Dish Saturday: Thanksgiving Mashed Potatoes

I am calling these “Thanksgiving” potatoes because for some reason I only make them for the holidays.  They are easy enough to make any day, but only seem to make it onto the menu during the holidays.

 

Thanksgiving Mashed Potatoes:

5 lbs. potatoes,  Yukon gold are best, russets work also

1 block (8 oz) cream cheese (room temp)

1 1/2 sticks butter

1 tbs Lawry’s Seasoning

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 – 3/4 cups half & half, or whole milk.  (depending on desired creaminess)

Wash, peel, and chop potatoes.  Put into heavy bottom pot, fill with water and boil until tender, about 30 minutes.  Once potatoes are tender enough for a fork to slide into drain the cooked potatoes.  Place potatoes back into pot, over low heat.  Before adding anything into the potatoes, mash them over the heat. Doing this releases the steam, and will prevent your potatoes from becoming gummy.  Mash over the heat for about 5 minutes.

Add in butter, cream cheese, half and half, and seasonings.  Mash and mix.  Use extra half and half/ milk if you prefer them creamier.

These can be made in advance, then heated up the day of, or the way I prefer to do it is put mashed potatoes into a baking dish.  Place butter pats across the top of the potatoes, and then bake in the oven at 350 just to heat through.

 

Menu Plan Monday:

Yay for a short week!  I am really looking forward to Thanksgiving.  One, to see all of my family, two… for the leftovers.  It doesn’t really get better than Thanksgiving leftovers.  Agree?

Monday:  Chicken Alfredo Pizza & Cesar Salad

Tuesday:  Chicken Pot Pie

Wednesday:  Balsamic Beef Roast, with roasted veggies

Thursday:  Thanksgiving!!!

Friday:  Leftovers!!!

 

Avalanche Bars

This past weekend I got together with my bunko group and we had a Christmas themed Pinterest Party.  Fun?  Oh yes!  We made super cute crafts, and we all brough a dish of something that we found on Pinterest.  Super creative, super fun, and super delicious.

With my work schedule and having a little one my dish needed to be something that I could make ahead.  I found these bars, on Pinterest of course, and thought immediately they looks easy and quick, and THAT they were!

Avalanche Bars:

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz bag of White Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 cups Rice Krispies
  • 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

In a microwave safe bowl melt your white chocolate chips in the microwave, in 30 second increments, until smooth and creamy.  Add the peanut butter to the bowl and stir until completely combined, then add Rice Krispies.

Mix until even.  Let this mixture cool for about 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes to help the heat escape.

Add the marshmallows and chocolate chips, and mix in.  Pour mixture into greased 9X9 pan, pressing gently to even the top.  Do not press down too much, or it will become too hard.

Once the bars are cooled, cut and serve.  I will suggest to cut them into small pieces.  They are very rich, and a piece the size of a typical rice krispie treat will probably be too much.  If there is such thing of too much chocolate….. and marshmallows…….

Chocolatey marshmallowy goodness anyone?

Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches

I am a morning person.  I wake up easily, and hit the ground running.  I get everyone ready and out the door in the morning without any complaints for the most part.  However,  I do not have time to make a fresh hot breakfast for us all every single morning.  That is where these freezer breakfasts come in.  My husband Loves the breakfast burritos so I wanted to think of something else that would satisfy his “hot breakfast tooth” and save me time as well.  Enter, the freezer egg MCmuffins.  Just like McDonald’s without the trip or the price.

Freezer Egg McMuffins

English Muffins

Butter (optional)

Eggs

Choice of cheese

Choice of Deli meat

Salt & Pepper

I used my Pampered Chef Brownie pan to bake the eggs.  Heated to about 400, and I did a TINY spritz of cooking spray just to ensure that my eggs would slip out.

I did half regular for the Egg Mcmuffins, and half scrambled so I could chop them up and bakes breakfast burritos too.

I toasted off my english muffins, with a tiny spritz of butter cooking spray or your could lightly spread butter onto your split muffins, toast in the heated oven for about 3-5 minutes, this is not to fully toast just to crisp up the bread to prevent sogginess.

Once eggs are baked through, I put one on each of my muffins, covered with the slice of cheese, and deli meat.  Then put the top of the muffin on and gently pressed down.

I put them back into the oven just to melt the cheese and make them stick together.

Baked Eggs

I let the assembled sandwiches cool completely then wrapped them each tightly in foil.  They were gone in two days, and that makes me a happy momma!

Pecan Crusted Tilapia

We love fish around here, but get tired of the same thing over and over.  With the holidays coming up I happen to have pecans lying around the kitchen.  Pecans aren’t something I would normally keep on hand, but have always wanted to try pecan crusted anything really!

I figured Monday was a better night than ever to try it out, and boy was it a HIT!

Getting right down to it.

Pecan Crusted Tilapia:

Ingredients:

4 Tilapia filets

3-4 tbs crushed pecans

1/2 breadcrumbs

3 tbs flour

1/2-1 tsp garlic powder

1/2-1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp black powder

1/2 tsp salt

5 splashes of hot sauce

1 cup buttermilk/ milk

Set up three different “stations”.  In one shallow dish mix buttermilk/ milk with hot sauce.  In another shallow dish mix breadcrumbs, pecans, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, and salt.  In the last dish add your flour.

I used a cast iron skillet, but you can use whatever you would like.  Put a tablespoon or  of oil.  I used canola for the high smoke point.  Heat the oil to medium heat.

I always pat my thawed fish filets with a paper towel, to prevent the “gooping”.  Dredge filet through the flour, then the milk mixture, then the pecan mixture.

Shallow fry the filets for about 3 minutes for the first side, the first side will only take 1 minute or so to finish cooking.

*Tips*

Pat dry fish filets.

I used a food processor to mix my pecans, breadcrumbs, and spices just to be sure the pecans are finely crushed.

I did not have buttermilk so I used whole milk.  Worked fine.

These could also be baked, on a wire rack over a baking sheet, to crisp both sides of fish.

These were good.  Great.  Period.

Hope you enjoy.

 

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