Tuesday, April 26, 2011

BBQ Chicken Chop Salad

I love me a good salad full of yummy ingredients! This one is exactly that. Mindy found it here quite a while ago and posted it on her own blog. Since then we've all fallen in love with it, and what better time to toss up a delicious salad than Springtime!!

What you'll need:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup barbecue sauce

*Marinate chicken in barbecue sauce, then grill or bake or at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (marinating is preferred, but not necessary). Chop into bite size pieces and set aside.

1/2 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
1/2 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 jicama, peeled and diced (Optional--we leave this out!)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can black beens, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed
1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated

*You can combine chicken and salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss. Serve with Ranch Dressing, additional BBQ sauce and tortilla chips. You can also individually make each plate, like we prefer.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Don't you just love when a recipe has 'easy' in the title?! Me too! After some serious hounding from this Howe sissie, I am FINALLY getting this recipe posted. And you are just gonna love it!

Image found here

When I first found this recipe I tried it and loved it, but then I went ahead and made adjustments so that it was more to my fam's liking. And by fam I mean my Mr. He is, after all, my biggest foodie and if he says it's not great then I don't make it again. So I am giving it to you how I make it now. Got it? Good.

Here's what you need:

4 T. margarine
4 T. flour
2 c. milk
2 c. chicken broth
2 1/2 c. cooked chicken, cubed
(Just a note here: I am seriously lazy some days and I just want to get dinner in the oven! If this is the case, then I grab a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and chop it up. I really do love the flavor they have and it makes me happy when I get to take a shortcut!)
12 oz. frozen peas
1 1/2 c. carrots, diced
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced.
3 stalks celery, diced (totally optional if you're a celery hater!)
salt and pepper to taste
1 can refrigerator biscuits (I use the Grand's flaky ones)

Heat your oven to the directions on the biscuit package. Chop potatoes, celery, and carrots and put them in a saucepan. Cover with water and boil until they are almost tender. In the meantime make a roux. What's a roux?! Ok hang on. So you melt the marg and then whisk in the flour. It should come together in a ball. Cook for just a few seconds to get rid of the flour taste. Slowly whisk in the milk and broth and just keep in stirring until it starts to get thick. Congrats! You just made a roux! You should be so proud right now. So when it's getting thick and your veggies are about done, drain the veggies and add them to the sauce along with the chicken, peas, and some salt & pepper. Bring it to a good boil then pour it into a covered casserole dish or pan and put it in the oven. After a few minutes (10-15ish) it should start to bubble all over the surface. (It needs to be this way to keep the biscuits from being soggy.) Once it's doing this, pull it out and place the biscuits all over the surface. Be quick! Re-cover and continue baking according to the biscuit package directions. When it's done the biscuits should be golden brown. Just scoop it up and serve. Oh my goodness it's so good! Try it tonight and let me know what you think.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Creamy Chicken Fajitas

Did you think that we forgot about you? Well...we didn't! Sometimes having 4 administrators and 1 blog makes things a little crazy. One thinks the other is posting, that one thinks the other wanted to post, that one...well, you get the idea. Anyway, to make up for it, here is a quick, easy, and yum-my dinner for tonight!

Image from Kraft

Have you heard about Kraft's new Philadelphia Cream Cheese Cooking Creme? I do the Kraft First Taste surveys, and they sent me a coupon for the cooking creme, so of course I went and bought it that day! This recipe comes from Kraft's website; all of the cooking creme recipes are super easy, which we are obviously all for! This one proves to be no different. Talk about a fiesta in your mouth!

What you'll need:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 onion, sliced
1 green or red bell peppers, sliced
1 10 oz. tub Philadelphia Cooking Creme-Sante Fe
Sour Cream

Cut chicken into chunks and cook in butter or olive oil in a pan (or cook on low all day in the crock-pot and shred). When chicken is cooked, add peppers and onion and saute until soft. Next, add cooking creme, and stir until melted and heated through.
Serve in tortillas with cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato, and sour cream.

It just doesn't get any easier, folks!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cadbury Mini-Egg Chocolate Cookies

(I even borrowed their picture from here)

So, I totally got this idea from Mindy's cute blogging friend on this blog, and she got it from this blog, and now I'm giving it to you. Hey, we're all in this together. :) Seriously. Who could resist these delectable little morsels?


1/2 C. shortening

1/2 C. butter

1 C. brown sugar

1 C. white sugar

2 Eggs

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 1/2 C. flour

6Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 10 oz bag Cadbury Mini-Eggs

(or white chocolate or peanut butter chips)

Preheat oven to 350. Chop up the Cadbury Eggs. I just put them in a ziploc bag and bang on them with a rolling pin until they're sufficiently crumbled.

Cream together the butter, shorening, brown sugar and white sugar. Add in eggs one at at a time and the vanilla.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Add flour mixture to the butter mixture to combine and then mix in the candies.

Drop onto a cookie sheet and cook for about 8-10 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Red Potato Soup

We have another Potato Soup recipe for you! This one just as good, but different from the last. It was found here, so I give the credit to them! Both Howe sisters that have made and tried this have loved it! We hope you will too!

(Image found here)

2 Tbs. butter
1 medium onion (finely chopped)
3 garlic clove buds (minced)
4 C. red potatoes (diced)
2 tsp. salt
3 C. chicken broth
2 C. milk
4 oz. cream cheese (softened)

grated cheese
green onions (chopped)
bacon (cooked and crumbled)

**In a large pot, saute the butter and onion until tender. Add garlic, salt and red potatoes. Continue to cook about 10 minutes.
**Add chicken broth and 1 1/2 c. of milk. Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes.
**While potatoes are cooking, put the remaining 1/2 c. milk and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Blend with mixer until smooth. Then add the to the soup.
**Once the potatoes are tender, smash a few of them with a potato masher to help thicken the soup.
**Serve with cheese, onion, and bacon.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Big French Toast

Growing up, we always had big french toast when we were camping, and for some reason it never occurred to me, before today, that I could make it at home as well! I am on Spring Break, so that means sleeping in and actually having time in the mornings for yummy breakfasts. This has always been one of my very favorite breakfasts, and it is the perfect solution for the leftover, dry french bread I usually have laying around after making this or this. My husband, the poor soul, had never had this breakfast until today, and he was a fan! He said, "It almost tastes like a scone!" Which is equal to "This is amazing and wonderful and I hope you make it every day because it is the best thing EVER and you are an amazing wife and cook and I love you."
Or something like that...
I will warn you...if you are looking for a healthy breakfast choice, this is not it. But I figure if I have wheat toast and peanut butter for breakfast 5 days a week, a little big french toast every now and then won't kill me.
Alright, enough of the intro. On to the recipe!
image from here
What you'll need:
french bread
oil--the amount depends on your pan (more on that in the instructions)
1 1/3 C flour
1 C milk--more as needed to thin it
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, and whisk together. My batter was pretty thick, so I added milk until it was about the consistency of pancake batter. Meanwhile, heat oil in a frying pan (I tried to do it on a griddle and the oil just ran out of the drain. Duh. Not my brightest moment). You'll want about 1/4 inch of oil in the bottom of your pan. Cut french bread into 1 inch slices, coat completely in batter, and fry in oil until golden brown on both sides. FYI-I made 5 slices of this, and I had oodles of batter left over. I will probably half it next time I make it.
Top with butter, syrup, powdered sugar, fruit, or a combination of a few! Mmm. I think we might have this again tomorrow!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Almond-Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

This cake is so yummy that you would never know it comes mostly out of a box. However, because it does, it is super easy and will be in the oven before you know it. My favorite thing is that it tastes and smells like a muffin; therefore, you have permission to eat it for breakfast. Or any time of the day you feel like it for that matter. After you try it, let us know what you think.
image found here

1 Yellow Cake Mix

1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) instant vanilla pudding

2 T. Poppy seeds

1 C. Water

1/2 C. Oil

4 eggs

1 t. almond extract

*Preheat oven 350 degrees

*Stir cake mix, pudding, and poppy seeds together.

*Add water, oil, eggs, and extract.

*Put in bundt pan (I sprayed some pam first)

*Cook for 50 minutes or until toothpick is clean

*Let cool for 10 minutes in pan before removing

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Layered Taco Dip

Here's another one of those recipes that has several different versions. This is a combination of my mom's and my cousin' Jenn's. I think it's simply scrumptious!

You will need:
8 oz. cream cheese
16 oz. sour cream
1 can refried beans
1 pkg. Taco Seasoning
Tomatoes (diced)
Olives (sliced)
Cheese (grated)
Avocados (diced)
Any other veggies you might like!
Tortilla chips

*In a large bowl combine cream cheese, sour cream, and taco seasoning. Mix well with hand mixer. In the bottom of a 9x13 pan (or a nice big plate) spread the can of refried beans. Then cover the beans with the cream cheese/sour cream mixture. I like to layer the cheese on the bottom and then put the vegetables on top, you can do it anyway you want! This dip is always a hit! Get some tortilla chips and dig in! YUMMY!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Meal Tip Monday--Buying Ahead

We've found that buying meat ahead of when you'll need it proves to make for quick and easy meal preparation. We like to buy a large bag of frozen chicken or a 6+lb package of ground beef at Costco to do this. Or, even better, watch for sales on these meats (and others you cook with often), and buy a box of 10 or 20 lbs. It takes some time trimming (if it's chicken), but once it's done, it's done! Simply portion your meat into freezer-safe Ziploc bags (I like to do 1 lb. of beef or 2 chicken breasts per Ziploc), stick them in your freezer, and you're ready to cook your next meal! Then, when you're preparing a meal, you can easily pull out the bag and use it the way you need to. This comes in very hand when preparing a crock-pot dish. It saves so much time!

Right now, most grocery stores (Macey's, Smith's/Kroger, Fresh Market, etc.) are having case lot sales. I know that at Macey's right now, you can get a 40 lb. box of boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.49/lb. That is a great price!

So, make your meal prep easier, and buy ahead!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Quick Beef and Noodles

In case you didn't know, the oldest Howe sister(that's me) lives on a cattle ranch and therefore has a plethora of beef in her freezer! You can only imagine the various ways I have found to use all that beef and am always looking for new ideas. This is a quick and easy recipe I recently found. It is really good and my kids devour it! It's also nice since I usually have all these ingredients in the house!

(Picture found here.)


2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 12-oz. package egg noodles
1 c. sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can corn, drained
1 c. cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray

Cook noodles according to package directions. In the meantime, brown ground beef and onion until meat is no longer pink. Drain if necessary. Stir in cooked noodles, sour cream, soups, corn, and cheese. Pour into prepared baking pan. Bake 25 minutes or until bubbly. I added a little more cheese to the top the last 5 minutes, but that's just because I have a house full of people whose theory on life is "You can never have enough cheese!"