Monday, June 24, 2013

Crockpot Italian Chicken and Potatoes

Someone recently mentioned on FB how much they loved chicken and potatoes in the crockpot. Of course, we asked, "With what?" She said she just used olive oil and dry Italian dressing mix...

Um, that easy?

Well, today I thought I had jury duty.  I DID have jury duty. But the trial was canceled.  I had already planned this meal with the idea that my husband could just add it all to the crockpot and turn it on around noon.  As it turned out, I was the one who did it since I was home after all.

It took me all of about five minutes to throw this together and turn that crockpot on.

And I even made my own Italian dressing.

And it was good.

Simple but good.

We will be eating this often, I think, throughout the school year when I can come home from lunch and get it started then come home later to dinner cooked. Woohoo!

I am sure you could use just a bottle of Italian dressing but I made mine homemade; it takes very little time and is VERY good.  Plus then I control what goes in it.  Oh, when I made it, I doubled the dressing ingredients because I was afraid it would be too dry.  Next time I will stick with one was more than enough.  So this is the recipe using ONE bottle worth...

Chicken breasts (skinless, boneless...I just put frozen ones in the crockpot)
Small red potatoes, washed and quartered (I can't tell you how many, I just did it until the crockpot was fairly full)
Italian dressing (Mix together 4 oz. olive oil, 1 1/2 oz vinegar, freshly ground black peppercorns, 1/8 tsp basil, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp dry mustard, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp garlic salt)

Place chicken breasts and potatoes in the crockpot.  Pour the dressing mix over the top.  Cook on low for 6+ hours.

Enjoy. :)


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Texas Roadhouse Rolls

The other night I was in the mood to try a new roll recipe to go with some pork chops and potatoes.  I perused my Pinterest "Rolling in Dough" files and found this one. I thought, "Why not?

Ironically I started making a lot of our breads and rolls for our food sensitive child, and it turns out he isn't a big bread kid.  But Hubby says he is appreciative anyway.

And appreciate these?  He sure did.

He doesn't always comment on my bread products (he is hit and miss with breads whereas I could eat bread all day if it didn't increase my hip size :) but this one he made a point to tell me he liked. A lot.  In fact, we indulged...we each had a whole one then went back for another one (which we ended up sharing).  I have since had them warmed up and love them just as much as the first day I had them.  I prefer mine with a little bit of butter; Hubby says that isn't even necessary.

It is a yeast bread so it does take a little planning and time.

But they are so worth it!

Note:  Like the author of the blog I found this recipe on (link above), I also cut the recipe in made plenty.

2 tsp active dry yeast (I used instant)

1/4 cup warm water

1 cup milk, scalded then cooled (I learned to scald milk means to bring it right to a boil on the stove in a pan then pull it off just as it starts to bubble...stir constantly)

1 1/2 Tbsp melted butter (slightly cooled)

1/4 cup sugar

3-4 cups flour (I used 3 plus a little more until it wasn't too sticky)

1 egg

1/2 tsp salt

Dissolve the yeast in the water with 1/2 tsp sugar.  It should start to bubble.

Add the milk, remaining sugar, and flour to make a "batter" (like a pancake batter).  Stir thoroughly.

Add the melted butter, eggs, and salt.

Stir well (or use a mixer...I did this by hand).

Continue to add flour to make a soft dough.

Knead for several minutes to form a ball.

You can put the "ball of dough" in a well-greased bowl but I honestly just use one bowl. I have never had problems with it sticking in the bowl.

Cover and let rise until doubled.  I usually give it about an hour.

Punch it down.

Place the dough on a floured surface.

Roll out into the shape of a rectangle (about 1/2 inch thick).  Then fold the rectangle in half so it is now about an inch thick.  I used my rolling pin to lightly roll it so the seams came together.

Cut the dough into desired shapes.

I followed the advice of the blog author and used a dough cutter to just cut mine into 12 rectangles.

Place the rolls (slightly spaced apart) on a greased baking sheet (I used parchment paper).  Cover and let rise until double in size (30 minutes to an hour).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake for 16-17 minutes until golden brown.

Brush immediately with melted butter and enjoy.

I WILL be making this again...

Happy cooking!


Monday, June 17, 2013

No Yeast Cinnamon Rolls

I so wish I was a good food photographer.

Maybe it is because I need a new camera.

Or maybe it is because we are always in a hurry to eat.

Or MAYBE it is because I am just not good about taking food pictures.

Do you think they have classes for that?

Anyway, yesterday I wanted to make a special breakfast since it was Father's Day and all.

I had seen this recipe on Pinterest and thought it was just what I was looking for.

I love yeast and use it often.

But it requires patience. And time.  And frankly I am not all about getting up early in the morning just to make breakfast.

So when I saw "no yeast", I knew that was more my speed for morning time...

It took me just a few minutes to assemble them then about 15 minutes to bake.

I followed the recipe fairly closely. I never have buttermilk on hand so I use the Saco powdered buttermilk instead.  It does cut down on calories but gives that buttermilk taste.  Next time I would also cut the icing down a makes a lot.

Otherwise, I stuck to the recipe.

By the way, delicious.  I really didn't find them much different than yeast rolls. Just much quicker to make!

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter, melted

2 1/2 cups flour (all purpose), more for dusting
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk (I use the Saco powder which is 4 TBSP powder, 1 cup can also add lemon juice or vinegar to milk to make a "quick buttermilk")
5 Tbsp butter, melted (4 for the dough, 1 for brushing on top before baking)

3 oz cream cheese softened
4 Tbsp buttermilk
1 cup powdered sugar (I did add a little more to thicken my icing up)

Preheat the oven to 450.

Mix all of the filling ingredients in a bowl with a fork until well blended.  Set aside.

In a larger bowl, mix the dough dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt).  In another bowl (or measuring cup), mix together the buttermilk and butter.  Pour the buttermilk mixture into the middle of the dry ingredients.  Stir together but do no overmix.  Knead to form a ball.  Then divide the ball in two.

Take one half of the dough and place on a floured surface.  Roll out (I just kind of pushed it down into a rectangle then used a mini rolling pin to flatten it).  It should be just a little bigger than a piece of paper.

Sprinkle half of the filling mixture over the dough, leaving about a half inch border.

Starting at the short end, roll it up into a log (so it will be a long log :).

Trim the ends.  Cut the "log" in half.  Then cut those halves in half.  Then cut THOSE halves in half so you have 8 "rolls".

Place in a greased baking dish (I used a 9 x 13).

Repeat with the other half of the dough/filling.

Brush the rolls with melted butter.

(I ended up combining a couple of smaller rolls into one so I ended up with 15 rolls.)

Bake for about 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown.

Meanwhile,  mash together the cream cheese and the powdered sugar for the icing.  Add the buttermilk a Tbsp at a time until creamy.  That is where I made a mistake. I just dumped all of it in there and it was WAY too runny. So I had to add more powdered sugar to thicken it.  I did have way too much though.  Next time I will cut back a little on the ingredients and add the buttermilk correctly. :)

Once the rolls are out of the oven, spread the icing over them.

Then, enjoy!


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Burrito Casserole

I almost didn't put a picture on because this sure does not do the dish justice.

I will direct you to the original recipe which has a MUCH nicer picture...just click here.

I saw this on Pinterest one day and thought, "We might have to try this..."

It is similar to another recipe I have made but I like trying new things.

SO glad I did.


I wanted to eat the whole thing myself.

At least until I calculated calories.

One serving (more or less) was plenty for my waistline.

Even though my taste buds asked me to go back for more.

What doesn't help at all is that I served it with chips (and for me, guacamole).

Major calories.

But, oh, so good.

By the way, hubby used chips to scoop up the casserole...he really liked the added crunch.

1 lb ground beef or turkey (except in our case, we use 1.5 lbs since that is how our meat comes)

1/2 onion, diced

1 package taco seasoning (I actually make my own...will try to post that soon)

6 flour tortillas, torn into pieces

1 can refried beans

2-3 cups sharp cheddar cheese (I used Colby Jack; I think Mexican cheese would be good too)

4 ounces sour cream (I confess, I used 6-8 ounces)

1 can cream of mushroom soup

Preheat the oven to 350.

Brown the ground beef with the onion in a skillet over medium/medium high heat.

Drain (if needed).

Add the refried beans and the taco seasoning and continue to heat over low/medium heat.

Meanwhile, mix the sour cream and the cream of mushroom soup together in a separate bowl.

Layer in a large casserole dish:
half of the sour cream/soup mixture
half of the torn tortillas
the meat/beans mixture
half of the shredded cheese

Then repeat.

Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes.

Like I said, it was good stuff.

We WILL be having this again.

(I had just enough for one bowl of leftovers which are now gone because I ate them up)

Happy cooking!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Amish Chicken

I can't honestly tell you what makes this chicken dish Amish. Or if it is in fact a real Amish dish.

I just know that it has been a hot recipe on Pinterest.  It looked good and easy, and I decided to give it a try.

And the verdict was...

it is a keeper.

It really took all of 5 minutes to put it together. It does take an hour and a half to bake but I don't have to be IN the kitchen for more than 5 of those minutes.

And for that, I give it five stars...

4-6 chicken breasts or pieces cleaned (I used 6 boneless/skinless breasts)

1 cup flour

2 tsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2 tsp paprika (due to our food issues here, I left that out and just added a little white pepper instead)

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream (I actually only used 1 cup in a slight effort to be healthier :)

1 1/2 cups water (I increased it to 2 to make up for the less whipping time I won't do that. I had way too much sauce/liquid)

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix together the flour, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and paprika in a ziplock bag or a bowl.  Coat chicken in it.  (I find it easier to put it all in a ziplock and shake away :)

Place in a large baking dish.

Combine the whipping cream with the water and pour over the chicken.

Bake for an hour and a half.

I will say that after an hour mine was getting a little brown in parts so I just covered it with foil for the remaining cooking time.

We ate ours over bowtie pasta (YUM).  We also had carrots/Ranch and the butter dip biscuits I mentioned yesterday.

Worth every bite.  And calorie. :)


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Butter Dip Biscuits

Okay, I am obviously not a food photographer.

Especially when I have a hungry mass at the table waiting for their dinner.

Then I just grab my phone and click.

Thus the blurriness.

And I really am capable of writing about more than just bread.

But this was good.

I want to remember it.

Plus my nephew said I MUST share this recipe with my mom so she can make it sometime. :)

The ultimate compliment.

Last night I made Amish Chicken (recipe coming soon). I didn't have a lot of time to get some bread together.

So I hit Pinterest.

And I found this recipe.


And NO rising time.  In fact, no yeast.


So I threw them together.

And hoped for the best.

And that is what I got.


Yum. Yum.

I will say that I had a piece warmed up today and I just have to say it again.


1 stick unsalted butter (I have to admit...I only used half a stick. I just could NOT bring myself to use a whole stick, especially since the chicken dish had a cup of heavy whipping cream in it...)

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I did stick with all purpose; I usually do for the first recipe. I would like to try half all purpose, half white whole wheat some time)

4 tsp granulated sugar

4 tsp baking powder

2 tsp Kosher salt (I am guessing you could use regular salt but I highly recommend Kosher for this)

1 3/4 cup buttermilk (I use the Saco powder and add water to equal this amount)

Preheat oven to 450.  Unless your chicken is baking at 350.  Then you compromise with 400.  :)

Place butter in an 8 x 8 square baking dish OR a cast iron skillet.  I went with the skillet. Stick in the oven as it preheats which will melt the butter.  Or you can do it in the microwave. I just like doing it in the skillet so I don't waste any...

Meanwhile, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and buttermilk.

Use a sharp knife to cut your pieces before baking. (No big deal if you don't...I didn't the next time and they were fine and cut easily)

Bake for 20-25 minutes.


I didn't even add any butter last night after they cooked. I did add a little today...yum!  I think these would be really good with breakfast too (like with jam or jelly).

A very basic bread but with this crusty outside, soft inside, and a bit of sweetness...



Sunday, June 2, 2013

Garlic Toast

I have been looking for a good garlic toast/bread recipe. I have tried a few but none have quite worked for me.  I used to buy a certain frozen brand but with my food sensitive kiddo, I can't do that anymore.  Thus my quest...

Anyway, last week I was really craving some so I tried yet another recipe.

And this one worked for me...

What I really like about this recipe (though I haven't done it yet) is that I can make it ahead of time and freeze the pieces then pull them out to toast when ready.

That is a goal of mine this summer.

Anywho, here is the recipe.  It calls for French bread. I used a frozen homemade version I had. (I only used half which made plenty!)

Ingredients (for a whole loaf...I halved the whole recipe):
French bread, cut into 1 inch slices

1/2 cup softened butter

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used finely shredded)

1 tsp dried parsley

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Mix butter, cheese, parsley, and garlic powder.

Arrange bread slices on a large cookie sheet.

Spread butter mixture over each slice.

If you want to freeze it, now is the time to stick that cookie sheet in the freezer for about an hour to let the bread freeze. Then throw them in a freezer bag and pull out as needed.

When ready to cook (from frozen or just made), preheat oven to 425.

Bake/toast for 5-7 minutes.