Thursday, July 28, 2011

Excuse the Dust

I'm remodeling my blog :)

In the mean time, let me tell you about my new obsession: Freezer Cooking. With the school year fast approaching, I want to be able to have quick, easy meals on hand. That's part of the reason why I started using my crockpot so much.

Then I found OAMM (or Once a Month Mom for those of you who haven't seen it yet). She posts menu plans every month. You spend one day cooking/preparing the meals and you end up with breakfasts, lunches, and dinners to last you almost a whole month. You package them all up, stick them in the freezer, and then all you have to do after a long day at work is stick it in the oven. This sounds like absolute HEAVEN to me!

My first Big Cooking Day is August 14th. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pinterest Recipe Review: Garlic Parmesan Chicken and Noodles


I LOVE Pinterest, especially for finding yummy new recipes! Seriously, if you haven't checked it out yet, request an invite for Pinterest soon.

This was one of the first recipes I found while browsing pins on other people's boards. I made a few changes (as I almost always do). This recipe said it served 4. I beg to differ. As my picture will show, this could easily feed 6.

What's Needed:
6 oz. extra-wide egg noodles
1 2- to 2-1/4-lb. purchased roasted chicken (I used chicken tenders that I had pre-cooked with a little bit of garlic and basil.)
1 cup frozen peas
1.5 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cups 2% milk
1/4 C. Plain Bread crumbs
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Snipped fresh thyme (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 450. Bring 6 cups of salted water to boiling; add noodles. Cook 10 minutes or until tender; drain.

2. Remove chicken from bones. Shred chicken.

3. In saucepan, combine chicken, peas, garlic, and milk. Heat through. Cover and keep warm.

4.In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, 1/4 of the Parmesan, and butter.

5. Stir noodles and remaining Parmesan into hot chicken mixture. Heat and stir until bubbly.

6. Put in a 9x13 casserole dish (or divide into 4 small casserole dishes). Top each with the bread crumb mixture. Bake 5 minutes or until top begins to brown.

PointsPlus: 11
Husband's Grade: A

Inspired by: Better Homes and Gardens Recipe, as pinned on Pinterest

Friday, July 15, 2011

Spanish-Style Garlic Shrimp and Rice

This was very good--considering I didn't have the white wine to add to the sauce. I added extra lemon juice instead. It turned out very nice, but would have been better with the wine.

What's Needed:
Coarse salt
1 pound small shrimp, deveined and peeled, tails removed (I used pre-cooked frozen shrimp. All I had to do was defrost and remove the tails).
2 tsp. lemon zest plus the juice of 1/4 lemon
1/4 C. extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 C. Dry white wine
1 T. parsley
1 small white onion, chopped
1.5 C. white rice
2 C. chicken stock
(Optional: 1/2 C. jumbo green Spanish olives, coarsely chopped)

1. Place a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add 2 T. of olive oil and the onions. Cook for 2 minutes.

2. Add the rice and lightly toast, 2 minutes.

3. Add the chicken stock and cover the rice with a lid to bring the stock to a boil. When it boils, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 17 minutes, or until tender.

4. Heat a large nonstick skiller over medium heat. Season shrim with lemon zest, lemon, and salt.

5. Add Olive oil to the hot pan and add the shrimp. Cook for a minute, then add tomatoes and parsley. Cook for another minute until shrim are firm and pink.

6. Add the white wine. Stir in the olives (if using) and remove from heat.

Serve shrimp over rice.

PointsPlus: 8 (1/4 of the shrimp and vegetables, and 1/2 C. of rice)
Husband's Grade: A

Inspired by: Rachel Ray 365: No Repeats

Two Meals in One: Kickin' Chicken Chili and Kickin' Chicken Taco Salad


I love when you can use the leftovers from one meal to make something different. This recipe does exactly that!

Note: The base recipe makes enough for 4 servings, plus reserves

Base Recipe: Kickin' Chicken Chili
What's Needed:
2 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1 T. olive oil
1 16-oz. package frozen sweet pepper and onion (or substitute 2 C. each chopped sweet pepper and onion)
1 16-oz. jar of salsa--your preference (For extra spicey, try green salsa)
1 15-oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes with onion and garlic, undrained
Optional: Sour cream, shredded cheese

1. In a large bowl, combine chicken, cumin, and salt. Toss gently to coat.

2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken, half at a time, in hot oil until light brown. Drain off fat.

3. Combine chicken, frozen vegetables, salsa, drained beans, and tomato in crockpot.

4. Cover and cook on LOW for 4-5 hours or on HIGH for 2-2.5 hours. Reserve 3 C. of chili. Place the reserves in an airtight container and store in the fridge.

5. Serve the remaining chili, topped with sour cream and cheese. Serve with cornbread.

PointsPlus: 7 (for 1/4 of the recipe, minus the 3 C. reserved)
Husband's Grade: A

Left-Overs Recipe: Kickin' Chicken Taco Salad
What's Needed:
Reserved Kickin' Chicken Chili
6 C. torn romaine lettuce
1 C. grape or cherry tomoatoes, halved
1/2 C. choppped red onion
1.5 C. Tortilla strips (Southwest flavor or Lightly Salted)

Optional: 1/2 C. Sour Cream; 1/4 C. chopped cilantro or parsley

1. Heat reserved chili until hot, stirring occasionally.

2. In a large bowl, combine lettuce, tomatoes, and red onion.

3. Add heated chili; toss to combine.

4. Divide lettuce mixture among large salad bowls. Sprinkle with tortilla strips.

PointsPlus: 7 (for 1/4 of the recipe)
Husband's Grade: A

Inspired by: The Ultimate Slow Cooker Book