• Broccoli Salad

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    The kiddos and I really enjoyed this broccoli salad.  Steve not so much, but he doesn’t like these kinds of salads in general.  It’s kind of like cole slaw but with broccoli instead of cabbage.  The dressing and craisins bring a nice sweet contrast to the bacon and broccoli.  The flavors just work.  This is a great one for picnics and potlucks too.

    Ingredients:

    • 8 c. fresh raw broccoli florets
    • 1/2 c. red onion, finely diced
    • 1/2 c. cooked crumbled turkey bacon
    • 1 c. craisins

    Dressing:

    • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
    • 1 1/2 c. light mayonnaise
    • 2 TBSP white vinegar

    Directions:

    1. In a large bowl combine broccoli through craisins.
    2. In a small bowl mix sugar, mayo and vinegar until smooth.
    3. Add dressing to the bowl and toss to coat and chill.

    Broccoli Salad:
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  • Beer Mac-n-Cheese and Beer Bread

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    If you like homemade mac-n-cheese you’ll definitely enjoy this version made with beer and bacon.  It’s so creamy and so flavorful.  If you don’t like bacon, leave it out, but bacon is a favorite in our house.  It was kid approved by the man-cheese eating kiddo (the non mac-n-cheese eating kiddo wasn’t home for dinner).  I added chipotle Tabasco to mine and that put it over the top for me!

    Beer bread: we’ve been making it for quite some time.  It is beyond good and beyond delicious and beyond easy!  We usually make a loaf, but this time we opted to make biscuits.  We’ll stick with the loaf from here on out because the biscuits didn’t have the same moist tenderness that the loaf has.

    Beer Mac-n-Cheese recipe from A Spicy Perspective.

    Beer Bread recipe from Food Network.

    Beer Mac-n-Cheese

    Ingredients:

    • 1 lb. elbow pasta
    • 12 oz. Shiner Bock (or favorite beer)
    • 8 oz. cream cheese (I used cream cheese with Greek yogurt)
    • 1 lb. cheddar cheese (not preshredded)
    • 1 c. crumbled bacon

    Beer Mac-n-Cheese directions:

    1. Place a large pot water on the stove to boil. Once boiling, add generous amounts of salt and add pasta; cook pasta al dente. Drain and set aside.
    2. Meanwhile, pour a bottle of beer in a skillet. (Choose a light crisp beer that you like to drink.) Turn the heat on high, and add the cream cheese in medium sized chunks. As the beer starts to simmer, break the cream cheese into pieces with a whisk and whisk into the beer.  Add the shredded cheese and whisk until completely smooth.
    3. Once the pasta is cooked and drained, pour it into the cheese sauce. Reduce the heat to low, then stir and cook another 3 minutes to thicken. Salt and pepper to taste.
    4. To serve, scoop the beer mac and cheese into bowls and sprinkle with crumbled bacon.

    Beer Mac-n-Cheese:
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    Beer Bread

    Ingredients:

    • 3 c. self rising flour
    • 1/2 c. sugar
    • 12 oz. bottle of Shiner Bock beer (or favorite beer)
    • 3 TBSP melted butter

    Beer Bread Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 375*F.
    2. Butter a loaf pan and set aside.
    3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and beer and mix well. The mixture should be sticky. Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 55 minutes. At the last 3 minutes of baking, remove from oven, brush the top of the loaf with butter and return to oven.

    Beer Bread:
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  • Quick Chicken Cacciatore

    I really love chicken cacciatore, but it takes too long to make.  I found a recipe that reminded me of chicken cacciatore, and it took a fraction of the time to cook.  Everyone devoured their dinners.  Win, win!

    Note: the original recipe (and as pictured) called for celery, but I’ll omit the celery next time.  Add mushrooms if you’d like.

    Adapted from “Chicken Creole” from The Southern Lady Cooks.

    Ingredients:

    • Olive oil
    • 4 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 green pepper, chopped
    • 2 zucchini, chopped
    • 6-8 mushroom, sliced (if desired)
    • 1 (14.5 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
    • 1 c. chicken broth
    • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
    • 1/4 tsp. pepper
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
    • 2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
    • Serve over egg noodles

    Directions:

    1. Heat olive oil and saute chicken pieces until no longer pink.  Remove and keep warm.
    2. In the same skillet, saute the onion, green pepper, and zucchini in the remaining oil until tender.  Stir in the tomatoes, broth, tomato paste and seasonings.
    3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes.  Return chicken to the pan; heat through.
    4. Serve over hot egg noodles.

    Quick Chicken Cacciatore:

     

     

  • Taco Chicken

    This taco filling is quite tasty and both kiddos really enjoyed it.

    Ingredients:

    • 4 chicken breasts
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1 pack taco seasoning
    • 1 (15 oz.) can cream of onion soup (cheddar cheese soup works really well too)
    • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 (16 oz.) jar of salsa

    Directions:

    1. Put chicken in Crockpot; then add the onion and sprinkle with taco seasoning.
    2. Add the soup; then the beans; then the salsa.
    3. Cook on HIGH for 4 hours.   Remove chicken from Crockpot and shred then return chicken to Crockpot.
    4. Serve with tortillas and cheese.

    Taco Chicken:

     

  • Fried Rice

    This fried rice is so good.  The original recipe is from Life as  a Lofthouse.  I added pineapple, because well, we love pineapple.

    Ingredients:

    •  3 TBSP sesame oil or olive oil
    • 1 1/2 c. frozen peas and carrots (thawed)
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 2 tsp. minced garlic
    • 6 oz. pineapple chunks
    • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
    • 3 c. cooked white rice (day old or leftover rice works best!)
    • 1/4 c. + 2TBSP soy sauce

    Directions:

    1. On medium high heat, heat the oil in a large skillet or wok.  Add the peas/carrots mix, onion and garlic. Then add the pineapple, and stir fry until tender. Lower the heat to medium low and push the mixture off to one side, then pour your eggs on the other side of skillet and stir fry until scrambled. Now add the rice and soy sauce and blend all together well. Stir fry until thoroughly heated.
    2. Serves 6

    Fried Rice:

     

     

  • Chicken and Biscuits Casserole

    This hearty and healthy dinner was enjoyed by everyone, and it’s easy to make which is always a plus.

    Adapted from Taste of Home Casseroles, 2011.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 tsp. oil
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1/4 c. flour
    • 1 tsp. dried basil
    • 1 tsp. dried thyme
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. pepper
    • 2 1/2 c. skim milk
    • 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 16oz. package frozen mixed vegetables
    • 2 c. cooked chicken, cubed (can use rotisserie chicken)
    • 2 TBSP Parmesan cheese

    Biscuit Ingredients:

    • 1 c. all purpose flour
    • 1 TBSP sugar
    • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1/3 c. skim milk
    • 3 TBSP oil
    • 1 TBSP fresh parsley, minced

    Directions:

    1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat; then add the onion and cook until tender.  Stir in the flour, basil, thyme, salt and pepper until blended.  Gradually stir in milk and Worcestershire sauce until smooth.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened; then add the vegetables, chicken, and cheese and reduce to low.
    2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine four through salt. In a small bowl combine milk, oil and parsley; then stir into dry ingredients until just combined.
    3. Transfer hot chicken mixture to a greased 2 1/2 quart baking dish.  Drop biscuit batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto chicken mixture.
    4. Bake uncovered at 375* for 30-40 minutes or until biscuits are lightly browned.

    Chicken and Biscuits Casserole:

     

  • Spinach Pie

    If you like spanikopita, you’ll love this spinach pie.  My Grandma Boden used to make a spinach pie (it didn’t have the cheeses in it), and I loved it, and I really love this one too.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 rolled 9 inch pie crust, room temperature
    • Olive oil
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 2 lbs. frozen spinach, defrosted
    • 4 eggs
    • 1/4 c. small curd cottage cheese
    • 6 oz. feta, crumbled
    • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
    • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. pepper

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350*.
    2. Spray pie plate with cooking spray and unroll pie crust and place in pie plate.
    3. Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat; add onions and cook until they turn translucent and begin to caramelize.
    4. Add the spinach, and cook for 5 minutes.  Drain spinach and onions well.
    5. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, and then add remaining ingredients and add the spinach and onions.
    6. Pour the mixture into the crust and bake for 90 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.

    Spinach Pie

     

     

  • 3 Bean and Corn Salad

    Aunt Nancy’s 3 Bean and Corn Salad is a Clark family staple.  It’s delicious and great for picnics, potlucks, summertime, and anytime!

    Ingredients:

    • 1/4 c. vegetable oil or olive oil
    • 2 T. white vinegar or rice wine vinegar
    • 1 T. soy sauce
    • 1/4 tsp.  pepper
    • 1/4 tsp. salt (I omit)
    • 1 can (19 oz.) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 can (16 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 package (9 oz.) frozen green beans, but, thawed, and drained
    • 1 1/2 c. frozen corn, thawed
    • 1/2 c. sliced green onions

    Directions:

    1. Mix/beat oil, vinegar, soy sauce, salt, and pepper with a fork until slightly thickened.
    2. Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat.
    3. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.  Toss before serving.  Serves 6.

    3 Bean and Corn Salad:

     

  • Herbed Pasta Salad

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    I love pasta salad, and I especially love pasta salad that has bold delicious flavors.  This pasta salad certainly has bold delicious flavors.

    I’m not sure why it’s a common sentiment that a little bit of dried herb goes a long way, but I think that’s the furthest from the truth.  I think if you use just a little bit of the dried herbs, your food won’t have much flavor, and we’re all about flavor!  Don’t be scared off by the amount of dried herbs…trust me, it’s delicious!

    A friend of mine made a similar pasta salad for an event we went to, and while she didn’t have a recipe, she told me what she put it, and this is my version.  This is a great one to bring for a potluck or picnic too.

    Ingredients:

    • 14.5 oz or 16 oz pasta of choice
    • 1/2 c. olive oil
    • 1/3 c. rice wine vinegar
    • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
    • 4 tsp. dried oregano
    • 2 tsp. garlic powder
    • 2 tsp. dried parsley
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • 4 oz. crumbled feta
    • 1 lb of grape tomatoes, halved.

    Directions:

    1. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat; then add salt and pasta, and cook until al dente; then drain.
    2. Meanwhile in a large bowl combine olive oil through feta and stir to combine.  Mix so that some of the feta actually breaks down in the dressing (emulsifes) and the dressing becomes a bit “creamy;” then add the tomatoes; then add the pasta.  Toss to combine and taste.  Correct seasoning to taste.

    Herbed Pasta Salad:

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  • Thai Chicken Salad

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    This salad is really tasty and so easy to make, especially if you use a rotisserie chicken.  It’s a perfect summer dish.  The original recipe called for warm dressing, but since I’m not a fan of wilted lettuce, I let the dressing cool after cooking before adding it to the salad.

    The dressing would also be really good over rice noodles too.
    Recipe adapted from the April 2011 issue of Cooking Light.

    Ingredients:

    • 6 c. mixed lettuce
    • 2 c. shredded boneless rotisserie chicken breast
    • 2. c. fresh bean sprouts
    • 1 c. shredded carrots
    • 2/3 c. light coconut milk
    • 1 TBSP brown sugar
    • 2 TBSP creamy peanut butter
    • 1 TBSP fresh lime juice
    • 2 TBSP soy sauce
    • 1/8 tsp. (or to taste) ground red pepper
    • 2 TBSP peanuts, coarsely chopped
    • Lime wedges

    Directions:

    1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a bowl.
    2. Combine coconut milk and next 5 ingredients (through red pepper) in a small saucepan; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, and let cool.
    3. Pour cooled coconut milk mixture over lettuce mixture.  Sprinkle with peanuts; serve with lime wedges.

    Thai Chicken Salad:

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