Tag Archives: All-in-One

One-Pan Broccoli-Bacon Mac ‘n’ Cheese—kind of

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This week is Thanksgiving Break in our district and I am enjoying the unstructured schedule!  With the extra time I have been trying some new recipes.  The one I’m sharing with you today is not technically new to my family as I’ve made it once before.  But I want to share it as for one it has pumpkin in it so it fits the Thanksgiving theme.  However, one would never know it has pumpkin unless you were helping in the kitchen.  This mac ‘n’ cheese is light on the cheese…just about a cup of cheese to go with 10 ounces of cooked elbow macaroni.  The look of cheese comes from the pumpkin.

My family really does like this dish but my handsome fella tells me to not remind him that there is hardly any cheese!

This is a good supper for after the big Thanksgiving meal day as it is easy to prepare and relatively healthy.  (I got the recipe from the September 2015 Cooking Light Magazine)

One-Pan Broccoli-Bacon Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat add

  • 2 center-cut bacon slices, chopped

Cook until bacon is crisp, stirring occasionally.  Remove bacon from the pan but leave the bacon drippings.

Add to the drippings in the pan and saute for 30 seconds

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

Add to the pan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally:

  • 1 can of pure pumpkin
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of milk (we use 1%)

Now add

  • 10 ounces of uncooked large elbow macaroni

Cover the pan and reduce heat.  Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in:

  • 3 cups of chopped broccoli florets (I buy a bag of broccoli in the produce department to make it faster!)

Cover and cook 3 minutes or until pasta is done and sauce is thickened.

Stir in:

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 ounces of cheese (about a cup)

Sprinkle on top:

  • bacon
  • remaining cheese (about 1/4 cup)

Cover and let stand 1 minute.

 

The recipe said that it only costs about $8.15 for six servings.  I make my own chicken broth so it probably costs a bit less for us!  Totally worth it as it is healthy and economical.

OH, but don’t tell your family it is pumpkin until AFTER they have eaten it all up 🙂

Enjoy!

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One-skillet dinner!!! Spanish Chicken and Rice

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Recently I made this dish and my handsome fella declared that it was “the best chicken dish” he has had in a while!  So naturally I knew I needed to share it on this blog.  I found this recipe in the USA Weekend from May 13-15, 2001.  It is from ThreeManyCooks by Pam Anderson.  I of course love that it only messes up on dish and by the time the dinner is finished on the stove, I have cleaned up the kitchen.

I found the recipe when we lived in Pennsylvania and finding chorizo was a tough task….living in Texas now I have my pick of chorizo at ANY store I walk into.  I purchased chorizo that had no casing, so rather than cut it into slices, I just crumbled it into the dish and cooked it well.  I liked this better.

Spanish Chicken & Rice

Combine together:

  • 1 T of olive oil
  • 1 tsp each of paprika, garlic powder and dried oregano
  • sprinkling of salt and pepper

Toss into the rub mixture

  • 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Heat a large, deep skilled over medium-high heat.

Add to the skillet the chicken and saute, turning once until it is well browned, about 6 minutes.

Remove the chicken and set aside.

Add to the skillet and cook until browned (about 3 minutes or so)

  • 1 T of olive oil
  • 1/2 pound of crumbled chorizo

Add to the browned chorizo and cook until tender (about 4 minutes)

  • 1 medium onion, cut into a medium dice
  • 1/2 red bell pepper cut into a medium dice

Stir in:

  • 1 1/2 cups of rice (I used Uncle Ben’s long grain rice)
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric

Stir everything to coat the rice and turmeric with oil

Add to the pan:

  • 2 1/2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 can of petite-diced tomatoes
  • The browned chicken

Bring everything to a simmer over medium-high heat.

Reduce heat to low, cover adn cook until liquid has absorbed and rice is tender (about 20-25 minutes)

Stir in:

  • 3/4 cup frozen peas

Cover, turn off heat and wait a few minutes before serving.

This picture has nothing to do with Spanish Chicken and Rice! But if you want to pin the recipe…you need an image 🙂

Summer Suppers! New Recipe 1…

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Summer is here and I am ready!  As a family of educators we endure the crazy schedule during school year knowing that summer is coming.  It is amazing how much one can accomplish when there are no papers to grade, concerts to plan/conduct, and of course all the parenting things that go along with having kids in school too!  I already have one of my summer projects done with all this “extra” time I have now…cleaning and reorganizing the pantry!

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I am happy to be enjoying preparing family dinner again now that I have more time.  I love sitting around the table with my family (it is one of the reasons I have this blog!) but honestly as the school year progressed, I dreaded making dinner.  I was becoming the queen of “throw down dinners”.  You know, the ones you buy in the freezer section and throw into a skillet and about 10 minutes later, dinner is served!  We actually enjoyed many of these dinners. The prep and clean-up were easy enough to where I didn’t have to spend an hour or more in the kitchen after teaching all day.

Tonight I made “Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta” and it earned four smiley faces!  It will definitely make it into our “school-schedule” friendly recipes too as it was quick and easy to put together.  I plan to have my girls make it with me the next time so they can learn to make dinner during the school year. It would be easy to double if you need more than 4 servings.  Here is how I made the recipe for my family:

Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta

Bring a large pot of water to boil and add:

  • 2 cups of penne pasta

Cook until tender and then drain the pasta.  While the pasta is cooking:

  • dice 1 small onion
  • mince 2 cloves of garlic

In a large skillet heat

  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil

Add to the heated oil the diced onion and minced garlic and cook over medium-low heat until softened and transparent.

Add to the skillet and stir to combine:

  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ground pepper, to taste

Now add to the skillet and stir to combine:

  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup of water

Turn the heat down to low and add:

  • 2 Tablespoons of cream cheese

Blend the cream cheese into the sauce and then add

  • 1/4 to 1/2  cup of grated Parmesan

Stir until the Parmesan is melted.  Then add

  •  4-5 ounces of fresh spinach

Stir the spinach gently into the sauce until it has wilted.

Add the pasta and stir until it is well coated in the sauce.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

I served it with a fruit salad and we all loved it.

It took me about 30 minutes to make the dish and was easy to clean up after dinner.

I’m looking forward to many relaxing and enjoyable dinners this summer!

Cheeseburger Soup

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January is National Soup Month and man has it been cold enough for soup this year or what?!?!

Baby it's cold outside!

Baby it’s cold outside!

Even the south has had to pull out their sweaters and heavy coats this year.  I love soups and could have a different one almost everyday of the week.  My family, on the other hand, prefers to limit the soup meals to about one…maybe two a week.

Last night we tried this one.  It was a cold, rainy Friday night and perfect for it.  Now this isn’t a “fix it and forget it” recipe but it does pull together quickly.  I had dinner done within an hour of starting it. A friend posted the link the recipe on facebook: http://therecipecritic.com/2012/12/cheeseburger-soup/  I’ve tried some other cheesburger soup recipes, but this one wins the taste race.

So enjoy this comfort food soup that my eleven year old said was like “dinner in a cup”

Cheeseburger Soup

Brown in a soup pot (5 quart dutch oven or chili pot)

  • 1 pound of ground beef

Drain the beef and set aside

In the same pot, add and then saute until tender: (you could chop up all of this the night before and have it waiting in the refrigerator for you when ready to make dinner after work which would speed the preparation)

  • 1 T butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

Add to the pot and bring to a boil:

  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups peeled and diced potatoes (dice them nice and small)

Once the soup is boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

In a small skillet melt

  • 3 T of butter

Add to the melted butter and cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until it starts to get bubbly:

  • 1/4 cup flour

Add the flour mixture to the soup and bring to a boil.

Cook and stir for 2 minutes and then reduce heat to low.

Stir into the soup:

  • 2 cups (16 oz) of Velveeta, cubed…you can use 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese too
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Cook and stir until cheese melts.

Remove from heat and blend in:

  • 1/4 cup of sour cream

Enjoy!

I enjoy my burgers with Worcestershire sauce on them, so I put a few dashes of Lea & Perrins in my soup and mixed it around.  I thought it was great.  Emily wondered about putting ketchup in it, but no one tried it.

Looking for some other soup recipes I’ve tried?  Click here

A Great and Easy combination: Inside-Out Stuffed Peppers and Garlic Parmesan Pull Apart Bread

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A few months ago, at the Moms4Moms group I attend at Faith Community Church one of the specials was on kids helping in the kitchen.  A recipe on the handout was Inside-Out Stuffed Peppers, it is a great one to have in your menu plan and my girls have each helped make it.  I’ve even taken the recipe on the road and shared it with my Mom and one of my Aunts and Uncles when I was in Texas recently–they loved it too.  The only catch to the recipe is that it takes an hour in the oven.  So you have to plan a little in advance.

Then a friend posted a recipe for what looked like a delicious, easy bread from The Virtuous Wife on his facebook page and I thought….hmmm….that might be good with the Inside-Out Stuffed Peppers.

So this weekend, I tried them together and Y-U-M.  I served some fruit and it was an easy meal that pleased everyone at the table.

Inside-Out Stuffed Peppers

In a skillet brown and then drain:

  • 1 lb ground beef

Add to the browned and drained ground beef:

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 can chopped stewed tomatoes (or diced if that is all you have…but stewed is a better flavor.  I chop them right in the can using kitchen shears.)
  • 1 large green pepper chopped
  • 1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice (I prefer Uncle Ben’s)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Transfer to a greased 2 quart casserole dish

Cover and bake at 350° for 1 hour or until the rice is tender

Uncover and sprinkle with

  • 1 c shredded cheddar cheese (or whatever kind of cheese you have on hand…mozzarella would be good, Italian blend or even colby-jack)

Return to the oven until cheese melts.

(This is a recipe you could prep the night before or even earlier in the day and then pop into the oven when you get home.  It could take a bit longer to warm but not too much.)

 

Garlic Parmesan Pull Apart Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (but if you are cooking the Inside-Out Stuffed Peppers your oven is already at 350°!)

Place in a bundt pan:

  • 1/2 stick of butter

Put bundt pan in oven and let it melt.

While the butter melts, cut into quarters:

  • 1 can of refrigerated Grands biscuits (each biscuit will be cut into 4ths)

Toss the biscuit quarters in a bowl mixed with:

  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning

Once the butter is melted, add the biscuit mixture, sprinkling with any cheese and garlic that gets left behind in the bowl.

Bake at 350° for 20-22 minutes until golden brown.

Turn out on a dish (you may need to run a knife down the sides a bit) and enjoy!

It was light and fluffy and even warmed up well when we had leftovers.

Grilling Goodness: Chicken-and-Fruit Salad

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The absolute best thing about our house is the ability to have dinners on the deck on a gorgeous evening.  Tonight was one of those evenings.  The trees still aren’t green in our view but the evening was perfect nonetheless.  We fired up the grill too in order to make another new recipe from the “Southern Living Ultimate Quick and Easy Cookbook” that I checked out from our library (I’m going to have to purchase one of these as I’ve rechecked it now three times and I want to copy way too many of the recipes.)

The Back Deck

Not the best picture of our deck but this gives you a glimpse at why it is so wonderful. This was from the end of April last year. Our deck is up in the trees.

 

Chicken-and-Fruit Salad

Plan Ahead- Chicken and Pineapple need to marinade for 6-8 hours.

Place in a ziploc bag:

  • 4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I like to prick my chicken with a fork to help the marinade ooze into the chicken a bit more)
  • 3/4 cup of Lawry’s Santa Fe Chili Marinade with Lime and Garlic (the recipe calls for a lime and garlic marinade….this was the closest I could find!)

Seal the chicken in the ziploc bag and chill for 6 to 8 hours, turning occasionally.

Cut into fourths:

  • one cored fresh pineapple

Place the pineapple into a ziploc bag and pour 1/4 cup of the marinade over the pineapple. Seal and chill for 6 to 8 hours.

Ready to Grill:

Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.

Drain the pineapple.

Grill chicken 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until done.

Grill pineapple 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

Meanwhile:

Wash and prepare:

  • 1 head of romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups of strawberries, halved
  • 1 cup of raspberries

Once the grilled items are cooked as needed, cut chicken into strips and the pineapple into bite-sized pieces.

Arrange the lettuce, chicken, and fruit into bowls.

You could toss the fruit with some of the marinade before adding to to the salad or just let each person add extra marinade as desired.  We just added as desired as my girls don’t really care for dressing on their salad.

This was a great dinner and easy to prepare.  Everyone left the table happy….even the extra child that joined us for dinner!

Enchilada Casserole- Slow Cooker

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Here is another “near” magic pot recipe that we tried tonight.  It is a vegetarian dish that also earned 4 smiley faces from our family of four.  It is intended to be prepared in a smaller slow cooker ( 3 1/2 quart) but it worked fine in my big slow cooker.  If I have more than four mouths at my table it would be easy to double this one.  I made this exactly like the recipe out of the Southern Living Ultimate Quick and Easy Cookbook except that I used a 15 oz can of corn rather than an 11 oz can of mexi-corn.  I just hate to pay more for that!

Enchilada Casserole

Stir together in your slow cooker:

  • 2 Tablespoons chopped green chiles
  • 3/4 cup chunky salsa (I used Pace’s mild version)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can yellow corn
  • 1 10 oz can of enchilada sauce (I used Old El Paso’s Green Enchilada sauce)

Cover and cook on Low for 4 hours

Stir together in a bowl:

  • 1 Tablespoon green chiles
  • 1 package corn muffin mix (8.5 oz box version)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped roasted red bell peppers

Spoon the batter evenly over the bean mixture in the slow cooker (well, mine was more like glop it on top of the enchilada mix)

Cover and cook on Low for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until cornbread is done.

Sprinkle over the cornbread:

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or mexican blend as I did….hmmmm….maybe I didn’t follow the recipe exactly)

Cover and allow the cheese to melt

Serve with sour cream if desired.

Obviously the spicier your salsa the spicier the dish.  I was cooking for mild-mouths so we made it more tame.  I served it with Ranch Style Beans, a green salad and apple slices.

Enjoy!