2/27/13

French Chicken Broccoli Supreme

This casserole recipe is one that my daughter found on Pinterest, and she asked me to test it out when I was at her house recently. This made a great dinner for her family after a day at work and rounding up the children from their after-school activities of karate and tumbling. French Chicken Broccoli Supreme got a "thumbs up" from everyone.




French Chicken Broccoli Supreme

1 pound fresh broccoli florets, broken in pieces, steamed for 2 minutes
3 cups cooked, chopped chicken breasts (I used grilled)

Sauce
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup cornstarch, dissolved in 1/2 cup cold water
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups milk
3 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided

Topping
2 tubes Ritz crackers
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Layer the broccoli and chicken in the prepared dish; set aside.

For the sauce: In a saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, cornstarch dissolved in water, chicken broth, salt, pepper, and milk. Stir well, and continue stirring until sauce has thickened. Turn heat to low, and add 1 1/2 cups of the cheddar cheese, stirring until melted. Pour sauce over the layered chicken and broccoli. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese over the top of the sauce.

For the topping: Crush the Ritz crackers in a large zip top bag with a rolling pin; don't crush too small. Combine crushed crackers, melted butter, and poppy seeds; mix well. Sprinkle crumb mixture over top of the cheddar cheese. Bake uncovered in preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.




The base of this recipe is 3 cups of cooked chicken and 1 pound of steamed broccoli.



The next layer is a creamy cheese sauce.



Sprinkle a layer of cheddar cheese after the sauce, then finish with the Ritz cracker/poppy seed topping.



Bake for about 30 minutes.



This casserole reminds me of poppy seed chicken, only cheesier and with broccoli, and you can't beat that!

2/22/13

Mud Cookies or No-Bake Chocolate Cookies

Since I have been blogging on subjects beyond cooking and housekeeping over at The Family Dance, I have taken a few walks down memory lane to revisit my childhood days. In the post That's Just the Way I Like It, I recently recalled some stories I had heard of my mother's lack of cooking knowledge when she was a new bride. That got me to thinking of my own first experiences with cooking. Fortunately, my mother put me to work in the kitchen learning to cook when I was very young. Mud Cookies were probably the first cookies that I made when I was a little girl, and I remember making them pretty regularly. I decided to pull out that old recipe today and make up a retro batch of Mud Cookies. I felt like a kid again; my taste buds remembered everything.




Mud Cookies or Chocolate No-Bake Cookies

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup peanut butter (can use either smooth or crunchy)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups quick cooking oats

Line two large sheet pans with wax paper; set aside. In a heavy saucepan, melt butter. Add milk, sugar, and cocoa; stir until combined. Bring to a boil, then cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and immediately stir in peanut butter, vanilla extract, and oats. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto prepared pans. Allow cookies to cool before removing from pans.



These cookies are flavored with cocoa powder and peanut butter, and they even have oats thrown into the mix for some extra goodness.  



Drop the cookies by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper and allow to cool.



With all the nostalgia going on, I think Desert Rose would be the appropriate serving piece for these Mud Cookies.

2/20/13

Baked Rice Krispie Chicken

I have several good recipes that I fall back on for making baked chicken that has the look and taste of fried chicken. This recipe for Baked Rice Krispie Chicken is a new one that will be going into the keeper folder for great "faux fried" chicken recipes. This recipe is simple and quick to prepare with an easy clean up. Many thanks to my friend Tammy for sharing this recipe with me!




Baked Rice Krispie Chicken

Boneless, skinless chicken breast pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
Seasoned salt, to taste
Rice Krispie cereal (I used 1 cup for two breast portions)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a sheet pan by lining with parchment paper. Rinse and dry chicken pieces. Place olive oil in a shallow bowl. Dip each chicken piece in the olive oil, then sprinkle with seasoned salt. Roll the chicken in a shallow bowl of Rice Krispie cereal until well coated on both sides. Place chicken pieces on prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until chicken is done.



To make this recipe you will need chicken breast portions, olive oil, seasoned salt, and Rice Krispie cereal.


Dip the chicken pieces in olive oil, sprinkle with seasoned salt, then roll in cereal. 



Bake chicken for about 30 minutes.




This chicken is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. I love this Baked Rice Krispie Chicken, and I think this is a recipe that will suit just about everyone's taste.





I have received no compensation for writing this post.

2/14/13

Dipped Chocolate Chip Heart Cookies

While shopping, sometimes I buy ingredients before I know what I'm going to make with them. I saw some colorful limited edition Valentine chips at the grocery store, and I threw them in my shopping cart, not knowing what their purpose would be. They rested in my pantry alongside a bag of red candy melts until I finally got an inspiration to use them to bake some pretty cookies for my Valentine's Day sweeties. Regular chocolate chip cookie dough is too soft to be rolled and cut into shaped cookies, but this stiffer shortbread type dough can be rolled out. It makes a super delicious cookie, and the red candy melts upgraded them to a treat worthy to be given as a gift.









Print Recipe

Dipped Chocolate Chip Heart Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup Valentine chocolate chips
1 (14 ounce) bag red candy melts, melted (I used about 1/2 of the bag)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt until creamy. Beat in egg yolk and gradually add flour. Stir in chocolate chips. Divide the dough in half, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 1 hour. Roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured silicone mat with a piece of wax paper over the top (or can be rolled between two pieces of wax paper).  Cut into heart shapes with a 3-inch cutter. Bake on prepared pan for 9 - 10 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheet for a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. When cookies are COMPLETELY cooled dip edge in candy coating that has been melted according to package directions. Lay dipped cookies on parchment paper until candy coating has hardened.

Note: If a different size cookie cutter is used the baking time will need to be adjusted.

My cookies were 3-inch hearts, and the recipe made 21 of this size.




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2/11/13

A Daffodil Wreath

Because daffodils are among the first flowers to emerge every year - sometimes even rising through the snow to reveal their showy spring colors - I chose these bright flowers for a new door wreath. The days are still chilly, but we're seeing a lot more sunshine, so I'm hoping the groundhog made an accurate prediction this year for an early spring.




2/5/13

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

This slow-cooker soup recipe is one that my daughter Angela makes for her family. I'm visiting at her house this week, so she left the recipe for me to put together while she was at work. She's a much better planner than I am, so yesterday while she was grilling hamburgers, she also grilled enough chicken for this recipe and another one she has planned for this week. This recipe was adapted from Allrecipes.




2/3/13

Butter!

I have always been under the impression that making butter is a difficult process. I was so wrong. My grandson Charlie learned to make butter at school last week. He knew I would be visiting at his house this week, so he couldn't wait to show me how we could make our own butter too.