Saturday, May 21, 2011

Fettuccine Alfredo

Once again dinner had fallen on me. Not literally. That would have been rather messy. Rather, the responsibility to make dinner had fallen on me. And so I began looking up quick recipes. I had not planned for the crock pot, and I knew I'd have about half an hour that evening, so I began looking around for recipes.
I pulled up my amazingly-cool-new-app on my phone. It's the app put out by my favorite recipe website, They call it the Dinner Spinner. You pick a meal (dessert, breakfast, main course, side dish, etc...) pick an ingredient (poultry, beef, cheese, pasta, veggies, etc...) and pick a prep time (Less than half an hour, 40 minutes of more, Slow cooker, etc...) and then hit the ok button, and it pulls up all the meals in those categories. It's awesome. :D

Well, we had chicken, and I had 30 minutes, and it was a main course, so I selected those options. Fettucini Alfredo was the one thing that popped up that contained (almost) all ingredients I knew we had on hand. We only needed the cream cheese, so I called ahead and had my brother run to the store and pick it up, since I knew I wouldn't have time to go shopping before I had to make the meal.

8 oz Dry Pasta
1 (8 oz) package Cream Cheese
3/4 C. Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 C. Butter or Margarine
1/2 C. Milk
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Dried Basil
1 Pinch Ground Nutmeg

Anyway. So I got home and began the meal prep. First, I put a pot of water on the stove to boil, then I took the thawed chicken and began cutting it up.

Then I melted a bit of butter in a pan and began grilling the chicken.

Meanwhile, I was melting the butter in a sauce panon the back of the stove. Notice I had three burners running, and all were requiring my attention, since the water had boiled and I had added the noodles. So I was stirring the noodles so they wouldn't stick, flipping the chicken so it wouldn't burn, and stirring the butter so it wouldn't scorch.
Then I added the cream cheese, parmesan cheese, milk, and spices to the melted butter. I wanted to make a bit more than the recipe said, but only had the one package of cream cheese, so I added a bit of sour cream in as well, just to mix things up. It turned out pretty well.

I stirred the whole mixture around on low heat until the cream cheese was melted and mixed in smoothly.

Then I added it to the cooked pasta. I must confess that, even though the recipe called for fettucini pasta (and it is Fettucini Alfredo, after all) I used Rotini pasta, instead. :P

Then I took the cooked chicken, and chopped it into bite-size chunks.

I mixed it into the pasta and served it up!

It was very rich, and very creamy, and very full of calories, but it was also very tasty. :D

Monday, May 9, 2011

Slow Cooker Pork Chops

I bought some pork on sale awhile ago, and decided to use it for dinner a few nights ago. My mom had just had hand surgery, so she wasn't in much of a position to do much cooking, and it fell upon me. With this in mind, I pulled out my trusty crockpot and got cooking.

2 Tbsp. Shortening
4 Pork Chops
1 Egg, Beaten
1/2 C. Flour
1 Large Onion, Sliced
2 Cans Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 Cups Milk

Many pork chop recipes call for you to brown the pork before putting it in the crockpot, and this recipe was no exception. I began by melting the shortening in a skillet over medium heat.

Next, I whisked the egg up in a small bowl, and measured the flour into another small bowl.

I defrosted the pork chops and, dipping them first in the egg, then in the flour, laid them in the skillet to cook.

While they sizzled away merrily, I sliced up the onion.

I didn't end up using quite the whole onion. Maybe about half of it. I'll save the rest for later and maybe make some onion rings out of them or something.
Once the pork chops were done on one side, and flipped, and done on the other side, I took them out of the pan.

Then I greased the crock pot, laid the pork chops in the bottom, and covered them with the onions.

Then, I mixed up up the other ingredients: the milk and the soup.

I poured the mixture on top of the onions, and set it on low to cook for a few hours.

After about 8 hours of simmering (recipe calls for 8-10) I made some rice and turned the crock pot onto low. The sauce was sizzling. :D

I dished out some of the pork, and then spooned the sauce over some rice.

Yum yum yum yum yum! Delicioso!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sour Cream Noodle Bake

I saw this recipe posted on FB a few weeks ago from a friend of mine, and it looked really good and relatively easy, so I decided to make it.

1 1/4 Pound Ground Beef
1 Can (15 oz) Tomato Sauce
1/2 tsp. Salt
Dash Pepper
8 oz Egg Noodles
1/2 C. Sour Cream
1 1/4 C. Small Curd Cottage Cheese
1/2 C. Chopped Green Onion
1 C. Grated Cheddar Cheese

I started by putting a pot of water on to boil. While I waited for that to boil, I browned the beef. I used 2 pounds instead of the called for 1 1/4 pound, since I was making a bit more for our big family.

Then, I added the tomato sauce. Again, I upped the amount a bit. I used a 15 oz can and a 10 oz can. I threw in the pepper and salt and mixed it together.

While that simmered, I cooked the egg noodles. I cooked the whole 12 oz bag that I had, to go with the other inflated ingredients.

Once those were cooked, I mixed together the cream cheese, cottage cheese, and onion, again upping the ingredients by about half. I also neglected to notice the kind of cottage cheese I had bought. I had gotten large curd instead of small curd, but it made little difference. :P I threw in another dash of pepper, too.

Then, I mixed the noodles in. The noodles alone were very good. :D

Then, setting that aside, I shredded the cheese, a step of which I did not take a picture.
Then I began to layer it. Some versions of this recipe call for you to mix all the ingredients together, casserole style, but I liked the layer idea better. I spread about half the noodles into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Even if you're making the original portioned recipe, I'd recommend using this size pan, since the food I made nearly overflowed. :P
Pour and spread half of the meat mixture on top, and then sprinkle with half the cheese. When in doubt, always use more cheese than less.
Then, repeat. The other half of the noodles, the other half of the meat, and topping it all off with the other half of the cheese, making sure it's liberally covered.

Once that's done, bake it for 25 minutes, or until the cheese is all melty and bubbly and yummy looking.

Serve it up, lasagna style!
I thought it was delicious. One of my brothers did not approve of it, so I'll probably not make it very often, but the rest of my family loved it. :)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Creamy Shredded Crockpot Chicken

This recipe has no official name, so I made one up.

It all started when my dad brought home a couple coupons for a new product. Phillidelphia, that company that makes cream cheese, had just come out with a new thing called "cooking cream". It's basically like an extra creamy cream cheese stuff that is flavored. It sounded delicious, and I decided to try something with it. It was basically like cream cheese, so I figured I'd find a recipe that called for such and then substitute the new cooking cream. We carefully clipped the coupons and headed to the store to pick up the ingredients. There were several flavors, and I chose the Italian Cheese and Herb flavor and, once purchased, we headed back home. It was once home we realized we'd completely forgotten to even use the coupons that prompted our purchase in the first place. *blonde*

Here's the recipe I used:
6 Skinless Boneless Chicken Breast Halves
1 (8 ounce) bottle Italian-style Salad Dressing
1 (10.75 oz) Can Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Cup Chicken Broth
1 (8 oz) Package Cream Cheese
1/2 tsp. Dried Basil
1/2 tsp. Dried Thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste

I started with the chicken. I greased the bottom of the crock pot and put them in. i didn't make six, just five, cause I figured it would make the sauce creamier, and because it saves on chicken. ^_^

Next, I poured the dressing on top. We didn't have a lot of it, and not nearly as much as the recipe called for, but it worked. I put it in the crockpot and started it cooking on low. Then, before leaving for work, I made the chicken broth using bouillon, and added the other ingredients. I didn't use quite all of the cream cheese stuff, since it's a 10 ounce container, and the recipe only called for 8 ounces. I stuck the rest back in the fridge for a later time. (Although I don't think I ever used it... hmm... it's probably still in the back of the fridge somewhere. :P)

Once those were all mixed, I stuck them in the fridge to be added later, and went off to work. 
Thankfully, I have family members at home, so I asked my mother to please add the cream mixture at about 4:30. Also, she shredded the chicken up for me when she added the cream sauce. It was pretty easy, since the chicken had been cooking all day and was extremely tender.

Once the cream mixture had been added, the crockpot was left to simmer another hour on low. Meanwhile, I got home and made some rice. When the rice was done, I spooned some of the shredded chicken over it. 

I really liked it. I think it probably would have been just as good if made with regular cream cheese, but I liked the extra flavor the special stuff added. Definitely something I'd make again.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Chicken and Bacon

Ok, now is the moment you've all been waiting for!
Well, maybe not, but I know I have. I am going to share the recipe of my very most favorite meal EVAR!!!
Anyway, yeah, this is my favorite meal. It's the meal that I always have on my birthday, and my sister happens to love it, as well, so when her birthday rolled around, she requested it. I was very happy. :D

1 jar Dried Beef (sometimes called Chipped Beef)
6 large Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 lb. Bacon, uncooked.
1 pint Sour Cream
1 can Cr. of Mushroom Soup

You start with a greased, 9x13 pan. Rip the dried beef up into small-ish chunks and cover the bottom of the pan.

Then, take the chicken breast and wrap the bacon around them. I like to use 2 slices of bacon per piece of chicken, but this might change, depending on the size of the chicken pieces, and how many slices of bacon you have in the pound. Basically, you want to use the whole pound of bacon, and you want to put as many pieces of chicken in the pan as you can. That's about 6 large pieces of chicken, but maybe up to 8 smaller pieces.

Next, mix the sour cream together with the cream of mushroom soup.

Scoop it out, and spread it evenly over and around the chicken.

Then you cook it. It has to cook slowly; 3 hours at 275˚. The kitchen smells wonderful while it's cooking. :D

Oh wow, the picture is making me hungry. :P
Make some rice, and spoon the sauce over the chicken and the rice.

My mouth is watering. ^_^

Friday, April 8, 2011

French Dip Sandwiches

I was scrounging around the other day, trying to come up with something to make for dinner. I had been thinking hamburgers, but we were all out of ground beef. We did, however, have a medium size piece of beef. It was thin cut, and said "perfect for pan frying!" on the package, so I figured it had to be good for something. I looked up recipes for beef, and came across a recipe for French Dip Sandwiches.
Now, I love French Dip Sandwiches, so I got all excited and clicked on a few of the recipes. That's when I began to get rather disappointed. Every single recipe called for slow-cooking. Usually, I love slow-cooker recipes, but when I wanted to make a meal *now*, those recipes were no good.
I puzzled for a while, and looked around to see if I could find a recipe that didn't call for 3-4 hours. Nothin' doin'. Also, several of the recipes called for Beef Consumme. Something I didn't have, and could not make.
I considered making something else, but the idea of French Dip Sandwiches was firmly rooted in my mind, and I wasn't going to be swayed easily. Finally, I decided to just improvise, and see what happened.
My grandmother used to tell her kids that they were having "an experiment!" for supper. I like that idea. :D

I started by thawing the beef. Then, I sliced it into thin slices.

Once it was all cut up, I lay them in a frying pan and cooked them.

When they were all cooked, I chopped them up into even tinier pieces.

Then, I put them in a pot with some beef broth (2 cups of beef broth, made from bouillon) and a can of condensed French Onion Soup.

I put it on the stove, on low, to simmer.

While that simmered, I decided to fry up some extra onions with butter. This had the double effect of adding delicious flavor to my meal, and a delicious smell to the kitchen/house.

Once the onions were done, and added, I let it sit and simmer a while longer. Maybe 20 minutes or so. I could probably have been served right away, but I needed to wait until certain people were home from work, for dinner. It certainly didn't hurt it, and probably helped enhance the flavor. :)
Once I was ready to serve it, I toasted some hoagie rolls, and put a slice of mozzorella cheese on it. Any mild cheese would work, but this is what I had handy, so it served. Then, I piled on the beef, and put a small bowl of the broth, or au jus sauce, on the side.

It was oh, so good. :D

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Red Potato Salad

The other day, the duty of making dinner fell upon me. I decided to make use of the red potatoes I bought the other day, and turn them into potato salad. I looked up a recipe, and found this promising looking one.

3 lbs. Unpeeled Red Potatoes
4 Hardboiled Eggs
1 1/2 C. Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. Milk
2 Tbsp. Distilled White Vinegar
1/2 C. Sliced Green Onions
1/ tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1 C. Sliced Celery

I didn't quite have 3 lbs of potatoes... in fact, I had only 5 small potatoes. I guesstimated that it was about half of what I needed, so I cut the rest of the ingredients in half, accordingly.

I started by cutting up the potatoes, and then boiling them.

Then, I hardboiled the eggs (perfectly, again. I think I'm on a roll!) and chopped them up.
While the eggs were boiling, I mixed together the mayo, vinegar, and salt. I completely forgot about the milk, even though it was sitting right in front of me on the counter, and I forwent the pepper, since I don't care for it's taste. I also sprinkled in some minced onion and garlic powder, for added flavor.

After mixing the potatoes into that, I chopped up the celery and green onion. I discovered later I had put in too much green onion. I got a little carried away. Next time I'll do better. :D

Once I'd added the greens, and the eggs, I covered it and put it in the fridge to chill. A couple hours later, I served it with dinner. :D

It was very good, except for, as I mentioned before, a bit too much green onion, and perhaps a bit too much garlic. Overall, definitely something I'd make again. :D