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.

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