Friday, March 31

Chicken Pot Pie Crescent Braid

Seamless crescent roll dough
1 cup cooked chicken
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
1/2 cup cream of chicken soup
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1 tsp garlic finely chopped
½ cup onion

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the frozen veggies, cheddar cheese, and chicken. In a separate bowl mix together the cream cheese and the condensed soup. Add it to the chicken-veggie mixture.
Spread the crescent roll dough out on a silicon mat or parchment paper and place that on a baking pan. Leaving three inches in the middle, make cuts down the side of the dough an inch apart on both sides.
Spread the chicken-veggie-soup mixture down the middle of the dough. Take a strip of dough from one side and fold it over the middle mixture. Then take a strip from the other side and fold it over the middle. Continue down the dough, alternating sides until it is completely folded over.
Pinch the ends of the dough to keep the filling inside while it bakes.
Bake for 18 to 25 minutes so that the top is nice and golden brown.

Let stand about 10 minutes before cutting in to it.

Tuesday, March 28

One Pot Beef Stroganoff

1 tablespoon olive oil
½ medium onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
1 pound lean ground beef
2 teaspoons minced garlic (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
1-15 oz can beef broth
1-10 oz. can Cream of Mushroom Soup  
1 cup milk
½ pound (about 2-2/12 cups) small, dry pasta
½ cup sour cream, room temperature
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a 4-5 quart pot or 12" skillet. Add onions and cook for 3-4 minutes, until they just start to become translucent.
Crumble ground beef into the pan and cook until no long pink; about 5-6 minutes. Soak up most of the grease from the pan with paper towels. Season meat with a little salt and pepper.
To the pot or skillet add beef broth, cream of mushroom soup + one can of nonfat milk, garlic and pasta. Stir to combine and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
Sauce will be thin, but will thicken as it sits. To speed up the thickening, increase heat to medium-low and bring to a low boil for a few minutes, stirring often, until sauce is thickened to your liking. Stir in sour cream, chopped parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Divide into bowls and serve immediately.

Saturday, March 25

Moo Goo Gai Pan


1 tbsp peanut or canola oil
½ pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into thin bite size piece
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1½ cup mushrooms chopped
1½ cup snow peas
½ cup canned bamboo shoots
¼ cup canned water chestnuts
1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water
ground pepper
For the Marinade: 
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp cornstarch
For the sauce:
½ cup chicken stock
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil

Put all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl, add chicken, mix well and let sit for 10 minutes.
In a pan over medium high heat, add peanut oil and chicken and cook for 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Transfer chicken on a plate and set aside.
In the same pan, add garlic, mushrooms and snow peas and cook on medium high heat for 5 minutes.
Add bamboo shoots, chestnuts and chicken and cook for 2 minutes.
Add ingredients for the sauce and stir. Add cornstarch and water mix and stir until sauce thickens.

Turn the heat off, season with pepper and serve immediately.

Wednesday, March 22

Blueberry Muffins

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups blueberries (if frozen, thaw and drain)

With a mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time.
Mix well after each. Separately, sift dry ingredients together or mix well with a fork. Add dry ingredients to creamed butter mixture, alternating with milk and vanilla. (If blueberries were frozen, thaw and drain, then sprinkle with an extra tablespoon or two of flour to absorb the blueberry juice.)
Fold in the berries very gently. Grease muffin pan well and carefully grease the top of the muffin pan also If you would like you can use liners
Fill muffin cups ¾ the way full. (A cookie scoop works nicely)

Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or 'til golden brown. Cool in pan for 20 minutes.

Sunday, March 19

Peanut Butter Oreo Cream Pie


25 Oreos
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup creamy peanut butter
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
One 8-ounce package whipped topping, such as Cool Whip, thawed

For the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Crush the cookies until they're fine crumbs. Pour the melted butter over the top and stir with a fork to combine. Press into a pie pan and bake until set, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. 
For the filling: Beat the peanut butter with the cream cheese until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add in the thawed whipped topping and beat until smooth, scraping the sides as needed. 

Pour the filling into the crust, evening out the top with a knife or spatula. Chill for at least an hour before serving.

Saturday, March 18

Café Rio Pork

2 pounds Pork Roast
1/2 cup Zesty Italian Dressing
1/2 Tbs Lime Vinaigrette
1/2 Tablespoon minced Garlic
1 ( 1 oz ) packet Ranch Dressing Mix (mixed with 1/2 cup of water)
1/2 Tablespoon Chili Powder
1/2 Tablespoon ground Cumin 

Place all ingredients in a crock pot. Cover with lid. Cook on High 3 hours OR on Low for 5 hours. Shred pork with fork serve with rice and beans over a salad or in a fresh tortilla.

Note: This is Pork in the Café Rio Chicken sauce due to family members not caring for sweet pork.

Thursday, March 16

One Pot Cheesy Chicken Alfredo


3 chicken breasts, cut into pieces
4-6 Mushrooms sliced to desired thickness
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups small pasta, uncooked
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Add oil to large skillet pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until chicken starts to lightly brown. Add in garlic and sauté for another minute.
Pour in chicken broth, cream, pasta and basil and mix to combine. Bring to a boil, then cover pan and reduce to a summer. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until pasta is fully cooked.

Remove from heat and add parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. Stir until cheese is melted and fully mixed in, then serve.

Tuesday, March 14

Sausage Gravy with Biscuits

¼ C. Onion
1 pound breakfast pork sausage
4 Tbs. butter
4-5 Tbs. flour
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 salt to taste
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
Preheat a large skillet to medium-high. Add the onion (and a tiny drop of oil) and sauté them for about a minute. Add the pork sausage and break up with a wooden spoon, browning all over for about 8 minutes.

While the sausage is browning, melt the butter in a medium sauce pan on low to medium heat. Once melted gradually add the flour whisking out clumps. Whisk until it becomes a nice paste the color or browned butter. Add the cream and milk gradually to ensure no lumps, cayenne, salt and the tsp of pepper. Constantly whisk until desired thickness.

Pour the sausage into the cream sauce, if your heart desires go ahead and add the full pound.

Sunday, April 17

Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 & ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup milk (whole or buttermilk is preferred)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 & ½ cups chocolate chips
1.   Preheat oven to 425°F and grease muffin tray with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips. Set aside.
3.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla. Slowly add to the dry ingredients. I whipped mine to get rid of any flour clumps until combined.

4.  Divide the batter into the 12 muffin cups (or 6 if doing large muffins) and bake at 425°F for 5 minutes, then turn the oven heat down to 375°F and bake for another 13-15 minutes. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes and enjoy warm.

Saturday, March 14

Tuna Casserole

1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup milk
1 cup peas (frozen of canned)
2 cans of tuna drained
2 cups your choice of cooked pasta
1 cup shredded cheese
If you desire add:
Chili powder
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper

Heat oven to 400 (if you plan on baking it, it can also just be heated in the microwave if you’re in a hurry)
Stir soup, milk, peas, tuna, and cooked pasta in a bowl until combined and then place in pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and hot. Sprinkle cheese over top and bake for 5 more minutes.

I chose not to bake mine so instead I stirred it all and together and heated a portion in the microwave and put the rest in the fridge for later. You can leave the pasta undercooked if planning on baking. I also just mixed my cheese directly with the rest of the ingredients.