• Red Chile Sauce Chicken Enchiladas

    These enchiladas are so yummy and definitely restaurant quality.  Definitely craveable.  I like my enchiladas heavily sauced so the only change to the original recipe is to double the sauce.  Recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.


    • 2 medium onion, chopped fine
    • 2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine (optional-I didn’t use)
    • 2 tsp. canola oil
    • 6 medium cloves garlic, minced
    • 4 TBSP. chili powder
    • 4 tsp. ground cumin
    • 6 tsp. sugar
    • 4 (8-oz) cans tomato sauce
    • 2 c. water
    • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 large chicken breasts)
    • 1 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
    • 1 c. shredded Monterey jack cheese
    • 1/2 c. minced fresh cilantro
    • 12 (6-inch) soft corn or flour tortillas (fajita-size for flour tortillas)
    • cooking spray
    • salt and ground black pepper


    1. In a large saucepan, combine the onion, jalapeno, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oil. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, less than 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a simmer.
    2. Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 12-20 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the chicken breasts you are using. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside to cool. Continue to simmer the sauce over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
    3. Strain the sauce through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing the onion mixture to extract as much liquid as possible. Season sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the leftover onion mixture from the strainer to a large bowl and set aside.
    4. Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add to the onion mixture in the large bowl. Also stir in 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese and the cilantro. Toss to combine.
    5. Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with plastic wrap; Microwave on high until warm and pliable, 40-60 seconds. Spread the tortillas on a clean work surface, and spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each. Tightly roll each tortilla and lay seam-side down in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish.
    6. Heat oven to 400 F. Pour 1/2 of the enchilada sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas. Top with the remaining cheese. Cover dish with foil and bake 20 minutes, or until heated through.
    7. Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes, until cheese browns. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.
    8. Serve with remaining enchilada sauce, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, additional cilantro, if desired.

    Rec Chile Sauce Chicken Enchiladas:



  • Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken

    Baked sweet and sour chicken is so delicious.  It’s definitely restaurant quality, company quality deliciousness.  Everyone loved this dinner, and we’ll definitely make this again.  This recipe comes from Life as a Lofthouse.


    The chicken coating:

    •  3-4 boneless chicken breasts
    • salt + pepper
    • 1 c. cornstarch
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 1/4 c. canola oil

    The sweet and sour sauce:

    • 3/4 c. sugar or Splenda
    • 1/4 c. ketchup
    • 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
    • 1 TBSP soy sauce
    • 1 tsp. garlic salt
    • 14 oz. pineapple chunks


    1. Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees.
    2. Rinse your chicken breasts in water and then cut into cubes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    3. Dip chicken into the cornstarch to coat then dip into the eggs.
    4. Heat your 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet and cook your chicken until browned but not cooked through.
    5. Place the chicken in a 9×13 greased baking dish.
    6. Mix all of your sweet and sour sauce ingredients in a bowl with a whisk and then pour evenly over the chicken.
    7. Bake for one hour and during the baking process you will need to turn the chicken every 15 minutes.
    8. Serves 4

    Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken:



  • 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.


    • 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


    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:


  • Lemon Garlic Chicken and Roasted Potatoes

    This recipe is so delicious, and is very kiddo approved!!  When I made this I made baked everything in one dish.  Next time I’ll put the chicken and potatoes in separate dishes (because there was too much in the baking dish).

    Lemon Garlic Roasted Potatoes Ingredients:

    • 1/4 c. olive oil
    • 3 TBSP garlic, minced
    • 1/3 c. white wine
    • 1 TBSP grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
    • 2 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 lbs small potatoes, quartered
    Lemon Garlic Roasted Potatoes Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 400*.
    2. Combine olive oil through salt and pepper in a 9 x 13 baking dish (3.5 quart).
    3. Boil the potatoes until just tender and add to mixing dish, toss to coat (shorter baking time) OR add raw potatoes and toss to coat (longer baking time).
    4. Bake uncovered for shorter baking time: 20 minutes OR longer baking time: 45 minutes.
    Lemon Garlic Chicken Ingredients:
    • 1/4 c. olive oil
    • 3 TBSP garlic, minced
    • 1/3 c. white wine
    • 1 TBSP grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
    • 2 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 4-6 boneless chicken breasts
    Lemon Garlic Chicken Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 400*.
    2. Combine olive oil through salt and pepper in a 9 x 13 baking dish (3.5 quart).
    3. Add chicken and toss to coat.
    4. Bake uncovered until done 20-40 minutes, depending on thickness of chicken.

    Lemon Garlic Chicken and Roasted Potatoes:


  • Thai Chicken Salad


    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.


    • 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


    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:


  • Pasta Arabiata with Sausage


    This sauce recipe is awesome!  It tastes like something you would get in a restaurant.  The original recipe calls for cooking the sauce for 4 minutes, but I like the flavors when the sauce is simmered for a longer period of time…it’s richer and bolder.  But if time is short, you can certainly cook the sauce for a short time and it still will be delicious.

    I added zucchini to the sauce and it was delicious.  It was a great way to get more veggies, and it gave the sauce great body and flavor.
    The other thing I like about this recipe is how the cook the sausage.  It’s broiled, which is brilliant, because it’s a very low fat no fuss way to prepare sausage.

    Adapted from a recipe in the April 2010 issue of Cooking Light.

    • 1 package of sweet Italian turkey sausage links
    • 1 box of spaghetti
    • 2 small to medium size zucchini
    • 2 28 oz. cans of whole tomatoes, undrained
    • 4 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
    • 10 garlic cloves, pressed through a garlic press or minced
    • 2 tsp. sugar
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 c. torn fresh basil
    • Parmesan or Pecorino Romano Cheese


    1. Place zucchini in a food processor; process until roughly chopped.  Add tomatoes to the zucchini and process until almost smooth.
    2. Heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add crushed red pepper and pressed garlic; saute for 1 minute.  Stir in zucchini and tomato mixture, sugar, and salt; cook 4 minutes.  If you can cook the sauce longer you won’t regret it.  It gets thick and rich…I let mine simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
    3. Meanwhile preheat broiler.  Arrange sausage on a baking sheet.  Spray with cooking spray.  Broil sausage for 5 minutes on each side or until done.  Remove and slice in 1/4 inch thick slices.
    4. Cook pasta according to directions.
    5. Place pasta in a large bowl; toss with sauce and sausage; add basil and peccorino.

    Pasta Arabiata with Sausage:

  • Crock Pot Turkey Chili


    This chili is so delicious.  It can be made completely on the stove or once assembled it can be simmered away in the crock pot.  I used my crock pot, and this chili is awesome.  It is thick and hearty and delicious.  I used ground turkey, but you could certainly use ground chicken or beef.


    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 TBSP   vegetable oil
    • 4  garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1  lb.  ground turkey
    • 2  TBSP chili powder (I used 1 TBSP chili powder and 1 TBSP ancho chili powder
    • 2  tsp. ground cumin
    • 3  TBSP  tomato paste
    • 5-6 dark chocolate Hershey kisses
    • 3  (14-oz.) cans of chili ready tomatoes diced tomatoes (2 cans fire roasted tomatoes and 1 can of Mexican stewed tomatoes)
    • 1  (16-oz.) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1/2 c. water
    • Top with shredded cheese


    1. Sauté chopped onion in hot oil in a large Dutch oven or skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender; add garlic, and sauté 1 minute.
    2. Add turkey, chili powder and cumin, cooking for 8 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink.  Then add the tomato paste, and cook 2 minutes. Add chocolate, tomatoes, beans and water, stir to combine.
    3. Stove top recipe: Bring mixture to a boil and cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Top with shredded cheese.
    4. Crock pot recipe: add everything to your crock pot.  Cook on high for 2 hours (more time won’t hurt it) or on low for 4 hours (more time won’t hurt it). Top with shredded cheese.

    Crock Pot Turkey Chili:


  • Fried Rice


    Here’s a great recipe for leftover chicken or turkey or use a rotisserie chicken. The leftovers are great too!

    The recipe is adapted from the November 2009 issue of Southern Living.


    • 2 TBSP vegetable oil, divided
    • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 1/2 c. diced onion
    • 1/2 c. diced red bell pepper
    • 1 c. cooked chicken, cut up
    • 1 1/2 c. frozen mixed vegetables, partially cooked
    • 3 c. cooked rice
    • 1/4 c. soy sauce
    • 1 tsp. Asian chili-garlic sauce


    1. Heat 1 TBSP oil in large skillet over medium high heat; add eggs, and gently stir 1 minute or until softly scrambled.  Remove eggs from skillet and chop.
    2. Heat remaining 2 TBSP oil in skillet; add onion and bell pepper, and stir-fry 3 minutes.  Add cooked chicken and mixed vegetables; stir fry 2 minutes.  Add rice, soy sauce, and chili-garlic sauce; stir fry 5 minutes or until throughly heated.  Stir in eggs.

    Fried Rice:


  • Tamales


    We love tamales, and this recipe is by far my most favorite.  I love them more than any tamales I’ve had at any restaurant (except for maybe Berry Hill Bar and Grill).

    This recipe is adapted from the Helena Tamales recipe in the April 2005 issue of Southern Living.


    • 1 package of dried corn husks
    • 2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
    • jar of your favorite salsa
    • 2/3  c.  vegetable shortening
    • 1 1/2  c.  yellow cornmeal
    • 1  c.  warm chicken broth
    • 2  tsp.  salt
    • 1  tsp.  paprika


    1. Soak corn husks in hot water to cover 1 hour or until softened. Drain husks, and pat dry.
    2. Chicken Filling: Heat a skillet over medium high heat.  Add shredded chicken and enough of your favorite salsa to coat the chicken.  Mixture should not be too wet.
    3. Cornmeal Dough: Beat shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.  Stir together cornmeal and warm chicken broth in a medium bowl until well blended. Gradually add cornmeal mixture to shortening, beating at medium speed just until blended after each addition. Add salt and paprika, beating just until blended. Cover dough with plastic wrap, and set aside until ready to use.
    4. Assembling Tamales: Spread 2 TBSP Cornmeal Dough into a 3- x 5-inch rectangle on one side of 1 husk, leaving a 2-inch border at bottom narrow edge and a 1/2-inch border at one long side.  Spoon 2 heaping TBSP Chicken Filling down center of cornmeal dough rectangle, creating a 1-inch-wide strip. Roll husk up, starting at the long side with 1/2-inch border, enclosing meat filling with the first turn. Fold bottom end with 2-inch border over. Repeat procedure using remaining Cornmeal Dough and Chicken Filling.
    5. Line the bottom of your steamer with corn husks.  Add tamales to steamer.  We stack the tamales up to 4 high.  Steam over high heat for 1 hours.
    6. Top with your favorite salsa or with Chili Gravy or Tomatillo-Serrano Salsa.


  • Easy Chicken and Dumplings


    This is a tasty, hearty, and super easy version of the slow cooked classic: chicken and dumplings.  Be sure to use low sodium broth, and if you don’t I would suggest using half broth half water, otherwise it will be too salty (trust me–there is plenty of salt in the rotisserie chicken, cream of chicken soup, and dumplings).

    This dish makes for a great weeknight meal, as it only took about 30 minutes to prepare, and that’s from start to finish!

    Recipe is adapted from the January 2010 issue of Southern Living.


    • 4 c. LOW SODIUM chicken broth
    • 3 c. shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken)
    • 1 10.75 oz. can reduced fat cream of chicken soup
    • 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
    • 1 10.2 oz. can refrigerated jumbo buttermilk biscuits
    • 1 c. carrots, diced
    • 1 c. celery, diced
    • pepper, to taste


    1. Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.  Increase heat to medium-high and return to a low boil.
    2. Place biscuits on a lightly floured surface. Roll or pat each biscuit to 1/8 inch thickness; cut into 1/2 inch wide strips.
    3. Drop strips, 1 at a time, into boiling broth mixture.  Add carrots and celery. Cover and reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent dumplings from sticking.
    4. Season with pepper.

    Easy Chicken and Dumplings: