Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Easy chicken and noodles

Who doesn't love chicken & noodles... creamy, dreamy, warm & comforting.  It is so delicious.  I crave this dish often and since it is so incredibly easy I enjoy it a lot.  My family loves it & basically anyone that tries it agrees. 

I make this in the crockpot.  As a working girl, the crockpot comes in handy.

I like flavorful things, and use multiple layers to make this even better.  Don't worry cause it's all easy stuff.  This working girl is tired after working all day, so I try to have shortcuts and bump up the flavor to get the best of both worlds easy style.

To make it quick and the dish less greasy, I either use boneless skinless chicken tenderloins or breasts, and have also used boneless skinless chicken thighs and all work equally good.

** NOTE ...I use lots of seasonings, poultry seasoning, parsley flakes, garlic & onion powder, seasoned salt & pepper, celery seed or flakes, and at the end a couple tablespoonful's of chicken base/bouillon, or sometimes I even used the packet of chicken gravy mix ( I use just a tablespoonful and save the rest of the package in a Ziploc baggie  (that is a good trick to bump the flavor of things, beef, turkey or chicken gravy mix).  It is good in stews, soups anything..

However you make this, make it soon and enjoy....

Easy chicken and noodles

1 lb of boneless & skinless chicken (tenderloins, breasts, or thighs)
1/2 onion chopped
1 1/2 boxes of chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1/2 package of frozen mixed vegetables
1 package of frozen Reams noodles
1-2 Tablespoonful's of chicken base/bouillon/gravy mix **see note above
seasonings of your choice ( I use  poultry seasoning, parsley flakes, garlic & onion powder, seasoned salt & pepper, celery seed or celery flakes)

In crockpot add stock and whisk in the chicken broth, cream of chicken and celery soup, and mixed vegetables.  Add seasonings (**except chicken base/bouillon/gravy mix), mixing well, add chicken and stir coating chicken.  Cook on low 4-5 hours or high about 3 hours until chicken is cooked thru and tender.  Shred chicken into soup mixture when done.  Add frozen noodles stirring well.  Cook on low for around 20-30 minutes stirring often.  Add chicken base/bouillon/gravy in the last 5-10 minutes of cooking stirring well to dissolve.  Check for doneness and stir gently.  If you like this mixture thick you can leave as is, sometimes I add a little more chicken stock to thin it out.  Serve and enjoy.  This keeps well in the fridge for a couple days, and heats up well.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Homemade mac & cheese

I learned this recipe from my mom..  It is so good.. and gets rave reviews every time I make it.  Whenever I take it somewhere the dish comes home empty.  Always so good.

 I added a little extra seasonings as always, and I use whatever cheese I have. Usually a mixture of Colby jack, cheddar, & parmesan, but I usually clean out the cheese drawer and put bits of this and that in there. 

I also undercook the pasta by one minute less than the directions call for.  I always salt the water too.  Gives the pasta more flavor.

Like always use what you have and what you like.  Muenster, mozzarella, swiss all good too.  For the milk, I always start with 2 cans of evaporated milk & take the gallon and pour it just till it almost reaches the top of the macaroni.  I add the cans of milk and all of the cheese & eggs and mix it up well, then add the milk.  I noticed the cheese doesn't all float to the top when I do it that way.  You can add cubed ham, or cooked bacon to this as well if you want to add additional flavor.  Anyway you make it, make this today.. and enjoy

Box of elbow macaroni, cooked about 1 minute under done, following package directions
3 packages (8oz) shredded cheese ( I use a mixture of Colby jack & cheddar and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese2 cans evaporated milk
4 eggs beaten
Butter (to put little pats on the top)
*seasonings of your choice (I use seasoned salt & pepper, garlic & onion powder)

Grease a large baking dish.  Cook the macaroni and drain.  In the baking dish place macaroni adding the evaporated milk.  Stir well.  Sprinkle the seasonings in, add eggs and cheese mix well.  Slowly pour the milk in, till its barely to the top of the macaroni. :Top with the pats of butter. Bake at 375 for about and hour and a half or until golden bubbly (we like the top of ours crispy and the center set) and the center of the casserole is set and bubbly. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

My moms sausage biscuits and gravy

My mom taught me how to make this recipe... and it is so good... Thanks mom :)

The best ever.  I as usual put a little of my own spin on it.  I add a little onion & garlic powder, and a little seasoned salt & pepper.  Just for a little extra flavor.

I only use Bob Evans sausage in the white package as well.  I have tried so many other brands and nothing compares. 

I also add 3-4 cups of milk, and no I don't measure it, I usually add about 2 inches above the sausage layer in the pan.

Another very important step is to cook that raw flour taste as well, I cook the flour into the biscuits and gravy, till it starts turning a little browned.

 Super important and makes the end result yummy.  I use canned jumbo style biscuits, but homemade works, or drop type biscuits work too.

Make this for your family soon.. and as always Enjoy...

My mom's Sausage biscuits and gravy

1 lb roll of Bob Evans sausage in the white package
2/3 cup all purpose flour
3-4 cups milk
cooked biscuits split with butter added
seasonings of your choice ( I use garlic & onion powder, seasoned salt and pepper)

Brown sausage in a large pan, breaking into very small pieces with the back of a spoon.  Cook until browned and no longer pink.  Sprinkle flour and seasonings over the sausage stirring the meat will to get the flour and seasonings coating the meat.  Cook stirring constantly for around 3-4 minutes or until the raw flour mixture is out.  Add the milk and continue to cook stirring often until the mixture is thick and bubbling.  Serve over buttered biscuits.  Enjoy

Stuffed pepper soup

I love this stuffed pepper soup... with all it's different flavors, textures and tastes it is a true winner. 

 I use ground turkey with mine, but ground beef,  pork, sausage or chicken will work just as easily.  

 I used only green peppers but any color peppers will work out just fine too.  You can make this more soupier and add more beef broth, or mote tomato sauce.  It's up to you.  I also cook the rice separate and put the rice in the bowl and ladle the soup on top of it.  You can mix it together but I think the rice gets a tad mushy. I served mine with cornbread on the side.  

However you make it , make it today.  Enjoy

Stuffed Pepper Soup
1 lb. ground turkey (or beef)
1 large green pepper, small diced
1 onion, small diced
1 16 oz can of tomato sauce
1 can tomato soup
1 box of beef broth
1 T. sugar
Cooked rice
seasonings of your choice.. I used seasoned salt, pepper, parsley flakes, celery seed, pinch of paprika, thyme and garlic and onion powder. 

Brown the meat, green pepper, onion together until the meat is no longer pink, and the vegetables are soft.  Add remaining ingredients (except the rice) and bring to a boil, turning down the heat simmering for 10-15 minutes.  Serve a big scoop of rice in a bowl, ladle the soup mixture over the top.  Serve with cornbread.  Enjoy

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Sloppy joe bake

Who doesn't love sloppy joes... with all their yummy, drippy sauce.  I make them with ground beef, ground turkey and chicken.. all different ways... We love them. So why not make sloppy joe's with a cornbread crust even more yummy. 

You can make them with any kind of ground meat, pork, beef, chicken or turkey.  It all works.  Even half beef & sausage is delicious.

You can leave out the onion & green pepper if you don't like it, or add extra or different color peppers.  I topped ours with shredded cheese, totally optional.   As always however you make it , do it soon.. Enjoy

Sloppy joe bake

1 lb ground beef (or turkey etc)
1 small onion chopped
1 small green pepper chopped
1 can tomato soup
1 small can tomato sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 T vinegar (I used balsamic(
1 T mustard
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
splash of Worchester sauce
2 boxes of jiffy corn bread mix (batter prepared as directed on box)
shredded cheese of your choice (I used cheddar & parmesan)

**seasonings of your choice, I used garlic & onion powder, paprika, chili powder, thyme, cumin, seasoned salt & pepper.

Cook meat, peppers and onion (add seasonings too) until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are soft (if you have alot of grease drain it out.  Add tomato soup & sauce, ketchup, vinegar, mustard , water & brown sugar and bring to a rapid boil on stove top.  While the meat mixture is boiling I mix the corn bread batter according to the box directions.

 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a oven safe sprayed dish, add the boiling meat mixture spreading into an even layer.  Carefully pour the cornbread batter over the top of the meat mixture spreading as evenly as possible.  Bake for around 30 minutes (insert a toothpick into the top) and as long as it comes out clean it's done, remove from oven. Cut into squares, and flip upside down (with the cornbread on the bottom) and spoon any remaining sloppy joe mixture over the top.  Sprinkle with cheese and serve.  Enjoy

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Joelle's beans

My husband loves baked beans, and so do I.  We like our beans hearty and with a little meat added in. 
You can add a little sausage to the ground beef it adds lots of flavor and makes the beans even more delicious.  I use the easy way and used already cooked bacon pieces (like the ones you put in salad), sometimes I add 2 packages (MAKE SURE YOU REMOVE & DISGARD THE LITTLE PACKET THAT REMOVES THE MOISTURE IN THE BACON PIECES IT IS TOXIC). 
I have cut up and cooked bacon too but it is much easier to use the already cooked stuff.

And the beans are your preference too.  Just make sure you drain and rinse them (NOT the bake beans tho, you want that liquid).

I was trying to come up with a name for these beans, my husband says your known for your beans, why don't you call them Joelle's beans... (I knew I keep him around for a reason wink.. just kidding love ya honey ;)

Make these today.. they are so good and come together super easy.   Enjoy

Joelle's beans

2 large cans baked beans
1 can each, pinto, kidney beans, black beans, northern beans & garbanzo beans(drain beans well in colander)
1 lb ground beef, cooked & drained
1 package bacon pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup green pepper finely minced
1/3 cup molasses
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup ketchup
1 T Worchester sauce
1 T mustard
seasonings of your choice (** I used a pinch of red pepper flakes, cinnamon,cumin, paprika, salt & pepper, garlic & onion powder.

In large dutch oven brown meat, garlic and onion cook breaking up until no longer pink (drain grease).  Add remaining ingredients mixing well.  Simmer until thickened.  Taste & add more brown sugar if needed.  Enjoy

Easy tomato pesto sauce

I love pasta... a little too much :)  and I love an easier pasta sauce with lots of flavor.

 We have all had no flavor sauce and it is a little boring.  Nobody needs boring old pasta sauce.  Jazz it up. I made homemade meatballs to go with it, but you can use any precooked meat (think meatballs, cooked chicken tenders, or cooked meat either ground beef, turkey or chicken will work out just fine.  This fed our family of 4, but could easily be doubled.  I used store bought pesto, but homemade would be even better. 

Whatever you use, make this today and enjoy.

Easy Tomato pesto sauce

1 can tomato sauce (8oz)
3 Tablespoons prepared pesto
2-3 Tablespoons of hot cooking pasta water
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic minced
1 T brown sugar
Cooked pasta of your choice
Cooked meat (**see above)
Freshly grated parmesan cheese

In a skillet add olive oil, add fresh garlic, cook until fragrant.  Add pesto and tomato sauce, hot water & brown sugar mixing well.  Add meat and stir until bubbly and hot.  If too thick add a little more hot cooking pasta water. 

Serve over cooked pasta and add freshly grated parmesan cheese.  Enjoy

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Strawberry Fruit Dip

I love fruit dip.. you know the fluffy stuff, that you dip fruit, cookies, graham crackers I could go on and on... heck I could even eat it with a spoon..

I got this recipe from Mary Ellen who owns a company that I did training with for my new job.  She said she makes this for her son, and he loves it.. I thought heck why not try it.  I tinkered with it a little (sorry Mary Ellen ;) but the result is so good... and so easy. I have made it using the yogurt and without the yogurt & it tastes the same... either way works... use what you have..

I served this with vanilla wafers, and vanilla waffle wafer cookies, but graham crackers, or lady fingers or cut up fruit will be delicious as well.

I want to try raspberries & raspberry jello next time, or thought mandarin oranges and orange jello, or just vanilla pudding, coconut, crushed pineapple and a splash of Malibu Rum for that tropical feel... The possibilities are endless.  Anyway you make it, make it soon.. and enjoy...

PS... Thanks Mary Ellen.. we love it

Strawberry fruit dip

1 small package instant vanilla pudding (I use sugar free)
1 small package strawberry jello (I use sugar free)
1 8oz container of yogurt ( I used greek vanilla)
1 cup milk
1 container cool whip, unthawed
1/2 container chopped strawberries
2-3 T sugar

In large bowl, whisk together the pudding mix and the milk until combined.  Whisk in the cool whip, yogurt  and the strawberry jello.  Mix together the strawberries and sugar until the strawberries are coated, and fold into the cool whip mixture.  Cover and let sit in the fridge a couple of hours. Serve with the cookies/cut up fruit.  Keep refrigerated.  Enjoy

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Chicken spinach tortellini soup

Sorry I have been missing in action and haven't blogged in a while.  Started a new job, which is always difficult.  Between that and us being sick on and off since the holiday season.. life has sure been crazy, but on a positive note lets talk this soup :)

I love soup!!! I could eat it everyday and not tire of it.  I also love getting extra veggies in whenever I can too.  This soup is so versatile, you could add frozen mixed veggies, extra spinach or whatever you like. I used frozen soup veggies, (mine were chopped red & green pepper, carrots and onion) and I added a little fresh chopped onion too.  I added fresh spinach ( I usually have that in the fridge to quick add to sandwiches, or to make a quick frittata or salad.  I get mine in the bagged lettuce section in the produce department.  Kale would make a good substitute as well.  I used boxed chicken stock, but homemade would be great too, you could also use vegetable stock .  As always use what you have and what you like. 

I used fresh tortellini that I got in the fresh section of the deli department near the fresh pastas.  I used a small package, but you could easily double this and use the family size package too.  I used chicken filled tortellini but any flavor would work, think cheese, or ricotta, mushroom etc.  I topped mine with a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesans cheese and cracked black pepper (also a drizzle of good olive oil would be really good)& I also served this with crusty bread and butter..  Whatever you use, make this soon and Enjoy.

Chicken spinach tortellini soup

1/2 lb raw chicken tenders
2 boxes chicken broth
1/2 cup frozen soup veggies
1 small package chicken filled tortellini
1/2 onion finely chopped
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
**Seasonings of your choice I used celery flakes, seasoned salt & pepper, parsley flakes.

For serving:
freshly grated parmesan
cracked black pepper
Crusty bread & butter

In large pot add broth, raw chicken, frozen soup veggies and seasonings, bring to boil and turn heat down and simmer until chicken is done and tender.  Remove chicken to a plate, and shred with 2 forks.  Turn heat up, add chicken, tortellini and spinach gently simmering (you don't want to simmer too rapidly because the tortellini will break apart), stir gently often not too hard , cause again the tortellini will break, but  simmer following tortellini package directions ( I under cooked mine about 1-2 minutes because upon standing they will continue to cook in the hot broth, and you don't want mushy tortellini.  Serve in big bowls with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, and cracked pepper.  Serve with crusty bread & butter.  Enjoy