Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Chicken Enchilada Pizza

This dish was my invention to simply indulge my daughters whimsical request. I asked her if she wanted pizza or tacos for dinner and she said chicken. I said I can make chicken tacos. She requested chicken taco pizza. So this is my response.

I made a quick 5 minute pizza crust. You could always use store bought or your own recipe. Then I spread some refried beans on the crust.

I cooked my chicken in the oven for five hours at 275°. Before they went into the oven I filled the baking dish they were in with chicken broth. Then I sprinkled the chicken liberally with taco seasoning.

For the sauce, I mixed a can of Cheddar cheese sauce, a can of enchilada sauce and five tablespoons of sour cream. Spread the sauce as evenly as possible before sprinkling your shredded chicken on. I also diced up some onions to throw on there. Then I topped it with taco blend cheese.

Bake your pizza at 400° for twenty five minutes. Feel free to top with anything you'd top enchiladas with. Tomatoes, lettuce, black olives, whatever you like. Another great meal from my kitchen to your table!

Easiest Casadillas Ever

This is a great snack that can be easily turned into a meal with the right fixings. This is also an incredibly simple dish to make. Mix three large cans of chicken breast with a quarter cup of salsa, three tablespoons of taco seasoning, and one and a half cups of shredded cheddar cheese. Mix it all together. Scoop a generous portion of your chicken mixture onto a flour tortilla. These freeze very well, all you have to do is lay a piece of wax paper between each casadilla. Just heat them up in the oven, they'll crisp up nicely, then top them with any condiments you choose. Another great freezer meal from my kitchen to your table!

Mini Pizza Bagels

By far the favorite of the frreezer dishes in my household, pizza bagels are super easy to make, all you need is a bag of mini bagels, a jar of pizza sauce, some mozzarella cheese and some pepperoni. This dish is the easiest I'm going to give you. But I'm here to inform you how well these freeze. I made dozens of these and froze them so my husband has a snack whenever he likes. Much much much cheaper to make your own than buy the store bought. And so much better tasting! Enjoy the delicious snack and the knowledge your family is eating a healthier homemade version of a beloved snack. From my kitchen to your table!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Freezer Cooking

I'm going to try my hand at something I have never done before, and I'm really looking forward to it! This Saturday my friend and I are going to bust our butts all day to prepare at least twenty meals each! Our combined efforts will create some fantastic freezer foods! What are freezer foods? To A busy mom (me!) and a super busy college student (her!) its a dream come true! You prepare all sorts of dishes, let them cool, package them up nicely and freeze them for another day. In fact, the dishes we plan to make are all precooked, do they can go straight from the freezer to the oven or microwave! Here's a list of what we will be making!

Beef Meatballs
Chicken Casadillas
Taco Beef
Shredded Chicken
Pizza Bagels
Pizza Biscuits
Ground Beef Starter
Whole Seasoned Chicken Breasts

For the next few days I will be posting different pictures and explanations of how they went from my fridge to freezer. Happy Cooking!

Butterless Scalloped Potatoes

Tomorrow is pay day, so that means grocery day! Yay! But that also means we are low on food today. But as the thrifty cook knows there is ALWAYS something to make, as long as you're willing to be creative. Today I decided to make scalloped potatoes before I realized I was out of butter. But don't you fret! My creative brain realized that the butter was only the fat that bound my thickener. So why not use a different fat? Oils wouldn't work in this particular dish, but guess what works beautifullly as a fat? Well, fat. Or to be more precise, pig fat, in the form of Bacon grease. I actually save my Bacon grease but you can always make some fresh by frying up some Bacon, you could even add the Bacon to this dish!

In a saucepan add three tablespoons and turn it onto medium heat. Add three tablespoons of all purpose flour to the grease and mix thoroughly. Let this cook for 60 seconds before adding one and a half cups of milk. Bring this mixture to boil, stirring occasionally. Once you have reached boiling, turn your heat to low and add one cup of shredded cheese. I used Colby Jack but you can use whatever you like, as long as its a good melting cheese.

Now that your sauce is complete you should slice up your taters. I use whatever I have on hand. Today I used good ol fashioned white potatoes. My potatoes were cut by hand, but I aimed for about an eighth of an inch thick. You could always use an electric slicer or a mandolin but its not necessary. I had about two and a half cups of sliced potatoes when I was done.

I used some non stick cooking spray before I made my first layer of potatoes. I had four layers, and spread my sauce between each layer, and of course, on top of the final layer.

I went into my cupboard and realized sadly I was out of bread crumbs. Of course you don't have to have a crunchy topping, but I like to. So I crushed up Cheerios with salt pepper and garlic. Sprinkle them right on top. Bake in the oven for about an hour at 300°. And there you have it! A great side dish from my kitchen to your table!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Meatloaf Layer Bake

I really couldn't think of a better name for this concoction my husband came up with. He isn't a fan of Shepard's Pie ( he's a strange man) so when he groaned about it when I said that's what was for dinner, I challenged him to come up with a better idea that involved the same ingredients. So he came up with this, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out. You start off with one pound of ground chuck. Mix in an egg, your seasonings of choice, a cup of rolled oats, a quarter cup of minced onion and half a cup of shredded cheese. I added some feta cheese but that's optional. Place this meat mixture in the bottom of your glass baking dish. I used a small Pyrex dish, but you could always use a loaf pan.

mashed four potatoes with some butter and milk, and a sprinkling of salt, pepper and garlic. The next step was the easiest. My mother in law made freezer corn and gave us some. I thawed it out and opened the container. Bam. Corn. :)
I baked the meat loaf for about twenty minutes before taking it out of the oven to spread the mashed potatoes on top of it. On top of the mashed potatoes I spread the corn. On top of the corn I sprinkled some shredded Cheddar cheese.

Bake this dish for another 25 minutes at 350°. Don't forget to let it settle for 15 minutes so any juices can be re absorbed into the meatloaf and mashed potatoes.

erve with a nice biscuit or roll. There you have it! A fun twist on meatloaf, that's easy and fun to make. From my kitchen to your table!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Sausage Gravy and Biscuits

My family loves sausage gravy and biscuits more than most breakfast foods but we eat it for dinner instead of for breakfast. Its a simple meal to make, especially if you use premade biscuits like I do.

To make the gravy you have to start by frying a pound of pork sausage. I use regular old fashioned breakfast sausage. Brown and crumble thoroughly.

Separate the sausage from the grease but don't discard the grease. Leave the grease in the pan and add flour until you get a nice golden colored paste. This is your roux.

Add milk to your Roux and whisk until you have the thickness you want. Don't be afraid to add more milk as needed. Add your cooked sausage and stir in a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes.

Serve your delicious gravy over biscuits. I buy frozen southern style biscuits, but you could always use your own recipe or any other premade biscuits. And there you have it! Another great meal from my kitchen to your table!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Easy Cheesy Enchiladas

Tonight I made a tasty simple dinner my whole family loves! Enchiladas are so easy, this is a great opportunity to get the whole family involved in the process. My daughter sprinkled cheese and my husband browned the ground chuck.

I make my own creamy enchilada sauce out of a quarter cup of taco sauce, two cups of sour cream, a cup of chicken broth and 8oz of cheddar cheese and a tablespoon of taco seasoning.

This dish is not only easy to make, it has some very basic ingredients. Flour tortillas, ground chuck, cheese, taco seasoning, enchilada sauce, refried beans and assorted toppings are all you need.

My husband browned the ground chuck a little before adding the taco seasoning. He continued to brown and seperate the meat until it was cooked thoroughly.

To the meat I added a can of refried beans. I only used one pound of ground chuck, but I  suggest one can of refried beans per pound of meat, so if you brown two pounds of meat, add two cans of refried beans. Remember, the ground chuck can be replaced with any ground meat. Turkey, chicken, pork, venison, whatever you have on hand. Then add an entire 8oz bag of shredded cheese! I did say easy CHEESY enchiladas!

Take each tortilla and spread a liberal amount of the meat mixture to the center of the tortilla. I used a regular 8" tortilla so my final roll was cut in half. If you buy small tortillas that step wont be necessary. After your meat mixture is on the tortilla, roll the tortilla around the meat mixture until you have a nice thick roll.

Place your well formed rolls into a glass baking dish. Pour your enchilada sauce overtop your enchiladas. Add a generous sprinkling of cheese on top of the sauce and bake for 20 minutes at 350°

Once your enchiladas are baked all you have to do is top them with your favorite veggies and condiments. We top ours with lettuce, onions, black olives, sour cream and more cheese!

So there you have it! An easy and satisfying meal the whole family can help make and enjoy! From my kitchen to your table!