Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Creamy Italian Chicken

This is a very delicious recipe that I came across while looking for easy crockpot meals.  I’m all about the easy, but only if it tastes good of course!   This is a very flavorful dish that can be served over rice, noodles or served by mashed potatoes. When I’m looking for a fancier meal I serve it with mashed potatoes and use the sauce as gravy.  But it really is great over rice/noodles.


Creamy Italian Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
1/2 cup water
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) cream of chicken soup
1 can (4 oz.) mushroom stems and pieces, drained (optional)

Place chicken in crockpot. Combine salad dressing mix and water; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on LOW for 3 hours (I flipped them halfway, but the recipe doesn't tell you to do that). In a bowl whisk together soup and cream cheese until blended.  Make sure cream cheese is softened first, or else there will be lumps. Stir in mushrooms. Pour mixture over chicken and cook for 1 to 3 hours longer or until chicken juices run clear. Serve over rice or noodles.

--I have used mushrooms and not other times.  Depends on the mood I’m in and who I’m serving.  It really is just as good without the mushrooms.
--I usually use two really small envelops of italian salad dressing because all I can find is really small ones.  So either one normal size  packet (about 1.2 oz.) or two small ones .
--If you want you can shred the meat or cut into bite size pieces to serve over rice or noodles.  This is also a great way to stretch your meat!


Monday, January 17, 2011

Stuffed French Toast

I was watching the news a couple years back and they had a cooking segment where they made stuffed french toast.  Stuffed french toast is one of my husbands favorite breakfasts and it sure sounded yummy so I gave it a try.  Boy it was good.  SO good. Over the past couple years I’ve made it a few times and have learned a few trick to making good stuffed french toast.  I made it this morning and I think it was the best we’ve had yet!  Rich, yes.  Sweet, yes.  Delicious, yes!


Stuffed French Toast

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
8 oz. cool whip
cinnamon swirl bread or cinnamon raisin bread
5 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat together softened cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth.  Fold in cool whip until well combined and smooth.  Place in fridge for about 20 minutes or until well chilled.

Mix eggs, milk, and vanilla in a shallow dish.

Heat skillet over medium high heat (I usually heat it over pretty high heat).  On one slice of bread scoop a heaping spoonful of cream cheese mixture.  Press another piece of bread to make a sandwich and push around the edges to seal.

Dip sandwich in egg mixture letting both sides get saturated.  Place in hot, greased pan.  After a few minutes flip to allow other side to brown for a couple minutes.

Serve with syrup on top.  So good!

--This recipe makes a lot of filling.  Probably enough to serve about 8 people.  I always halve it for our family.  Though leftovers would make a delicious fruit dip.
--I never measure the ingredients for the egg mixture so I did my best to come up with measurements.
--Chilling the cream cheese mixture allows for it to be cold and more set up.  If you don’t do this step the stuffing will melt as you try to cook the french toast and the pieces will try to slide apart and cheese will ooze out.
--Make sure your pan is hot before adding the french toast.  If it’s not hot, the inside will get runny before the outside cooks all the way.
--I was thinking that strawberries would be delicious with this!  We had it with bacon this morning that that was pretty wonderful. 


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Black-Bottom Peanut Butter Mousse Pie

Jennie and I have both made this pie on more than one occasions.  It is smooth, rich, and delicious.  If you like peanut butter and chocolate you will love this pie!


Black-Bottom Peanut Butter Mousse Pie

9 whole graham crackers, crumbled to coarse crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup plus 1 3/4 cups whipping cream, divided
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup peanut butter chips
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Spray 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish with nonstick spray. Blend graham crackers, melted butter, and 2 tablespoons sugar in processor until moist clumps form (or beat graham crackers in a ziplock with rolling pin and then combine with butter and sugar). Press crumb mixture over bottom and up sides of prepared pie dish. Bake crust until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine chocolate chips, 2/3 cup cream, corn syrup, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium heat until chocolate softens, about 3 minutes. Whisk until melted and smooth. Spread chocolate mixture over bottom of crust. Freeze 10 minutes.

Microwave peanut butter chips and 3/4 cup cream in large microwave-safe bowl on medium heat at 15-second intervals just until chips soften, stirring often. Whisk in peanut butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cool to barely lukewarm. Beat remaining 1 cup cream and 2 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl until very thick but not yet holding peaks; fold into peanut butter mixture in 3 additions. Spoon mousse over chocolate layer.

Chill at least 3 hour and up to 1 day.

--In case you were wondering, it is important to add the peanut butter mixture in 3 additions.  I forgot to do it that way one time I made it and added it all at once.  It had lumps and was denser than usual.
--If you’re in a hurry you can probably get away with chilling it for just one hour.  The original recipe says an hour is sufficient, but Jennie and I let ours set for longer than that.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Egg Sausage Casserole

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Years!  I think we’re ready to get back into the groove with posting recipes.  I wanted to start with a recipe for the egg casserole that our family had for breakfast every Christmas growing up (well they still have it every year).  It is so delicious and you throw it together the night before so Christmas morning you can just pop it in the oven and enjoy the festivities.  I made it for the first time this year and it was surprisingly easy and tasted SO good.  It smells delicious as it cooks as well.


Egg Sausage Casserole

1 dozen eggs
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups milk
1 pound link sausage
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 bottle (2 oz.) sliced mushrooms
8 slices texas toast bread (or enough to cover the bottom of dish)
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 small can diced green chiles
3 green onions chopped (with green part too)
1/4 cup milk

Brown sausage and cut into one-inch pieces.  Remove crust from bread.  Butter a 9x13 dish and line with bread.  Cover bread with cheese and sausage.
Beat eggs then stir in salt, pepper, mustard, milk, green onions, and chiles.  Pour over bread, cheese and sausage.  Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Dilute mushroom soup with 1/4 cup milk.  Add mushrooms and pour on top of casserole.  Bake, uncovered for 1 1/2 hours.

--I used precooked sausage to save time and it tasted delicious, but it would probably be cheaper to cook it yourself.
--I halved this recipe and did it in a 8x8 pan since there were only 3 of us eating it and it worked out great.
--My dad was always generous on the amount of cheese since we love cheese in our family.
--It doesn’t need very much salt if any since the cheese and sausage are salty…I just used a small dash (less than I would put for scrambled eggs).
--I recently made this for a shower and didn't have any cream of mushroom soup, so I used cream of chicken and it tasted the same.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Banana Cream Dessert

Banana cream pie is one of my favorite desserts.  This is SO easy, quick, and in my opinion, every bit as delicious as banana cream pie.   I have made this many times and have been very pleases with the results each time.

Sunday Desserts 003

Banana Cream Dessert
Adapted from

1 and 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/3 c. melted butter or margarine
3 T. sugar
1 c. powdered sugar
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
12 oz. Cool Whip
4 bananas
2 (3.4 oz.) boxes instant vanilla pudding
3 c. milk

Stir together crust ingredients and press into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Cook at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes (I usually do about 8). Cool.

Mix together in a bowl (using a mixer) powdered sugar, cream cheese, and 9 oz. of the cool whip. Spread over crust. Cover with sliced bananas.

Mix 2 boxes of pudding with milk for a couple minutes and spread over bananas.  Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow to set up.  Spread the rest of the cool whip on top before serving (this can also be done in advance).

-- I allow it to set up for at least an hour in the fridge, but the recipe didn’t say to do that.  I just like to make sure it’s set before serving.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Double Chocolate Dream Cookies

What's that you say?  Cookie week was last week?  Well, I just can't help but share this cookie recipe today.  It's been in my arsenal for several years now, and it's definitely a keeper.  It's nice and versatile, too.  We originally found the recipe on the back of the bag of Nestle Toll House chocolate chips years ago while we were in college.  What a wonderful find that was!

Double Chocolate Dream Cookies
adapted from Nestle Toll House
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa
2 1/4 cups flour
2 cups chocolate chips*
*see Notes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, cream together butter and both kinds of sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined.  Sprinkle salt and baking soda into the bowl and mix briefly to combine.  Add cocoa and mix well.  Add flour and mix.  Finally, stir in chocolate chips.

Drop by the teaspoonful onto an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 9-11 minutes or until just set.  Allow to set up on the baking sheet for at least two minutes before moving to a cooling rack.

--I make this recipe with many different types of chips.  I used white chocolate chips for the ones in the photo.  You can also use peanut butter chips or semisweet chocolate chips or milk chocolate chips or any combination, really.  My favorite is half white chocolate and half semisweet chocolate.
--I measure my cocoa as a heaping 1/2 cup.  I like my cookies nice and chocolatey, so I almost use 3/4 cup.
--Try not to overbake these cookies or they will be too crispy.  I wait until large cracks form on the tops of the cookies and they no longer have that wet doughy look.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chicken Enchilada Soup

This is another recipe that came from my sister's mission.  It is one of the easiest soups I’ve ever made and it’s delicious!  It makes a lot of soup so it’s good for a crowd.


Chicken Enchilada Soup
From Jamie Hansen

1 can (29.2 oz) enchilada sauce
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
2 cans chicken broth
2 uncooked chicken breasts

Spanish rice (Lipton works well but you can use another brand)
1 can black beans
2 cups corn (I just did one can of corn last time)

Put the first 4 ingredients in your crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours. Remove chicken, shred/cut and return to pot. Prepare spanish rice. Add beans, corn, and as much rice as you want.
Garnish with all kinds of yummy things like: tortilla chips, cheese, avocado, sour cream, olives, and green onions.

--I halved this recipe last night with great success.  It serves 4-5 people when halved (depending one how much each person eats).
--I usually add about 3/4 of the rice.
--This soup is absolutely delicious with avocado on top.  I didn’t get a picture after adding avocado, but it is a necessary addition when I make this soup. Trust me, it’s delicious!

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