Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cheesy Chicken and Rotel Spaghetti

A few years back a co-worker, and friend, introduced me to an absolutely addicting and easy to make appetizer/snack.  In fact, it's so simple that it only requires two ingredients: half a brick of Velveeta cheese and one can of Rotel.  Melt the two together ingredients together in the microwave, for 5 minutes, stirring halfway through, and you have the BEST chip dip ever!'s beyond addicting.

This weekend however, I decided to take the dip to a whole new level and incorporate it into a meal.  Looking back now, it was probably a mistake on my part, only because it turned out fantastic and is just as addicting as the dip itself.  I easily see this meal becoming a regular addition to our dinner menu.

Cheesy Chicken and Rotel Spaghetti

1 1/2 lb. chicken breasts, cubed
1 can (10 ¾ oz.) cream of chicken soup
1 can (10 oz) Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies (I use HOT)
1 garlic clove, minced and ¼ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. onion powder
16 oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 package spaghetti noodles
Cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook spaghetti according to package directions, drain and set aside.

Spray a 9x13” baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large skillet, set over medium-high heat, add the cubed chicken pieces, garlic, and onion powder.  Cook until the chicken is no longer pink.  Reduce the heat to low and add in the soup, cheese, and Rotel.  Continuously stir around until the cheese has completely melted and all the ingredients are well combined. 

Once the chicken and cheese sauce is ready, pour it over the spaghetti noodles and toss together.  Transfer the prepared spaghetti to the 9x13” baking dish and top with some cheddar cheese, if desired. 

Bake for about 30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.
Source: Adapted from Plain Chicken 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Slow Cooker Lemonade Chicken

I know it's almost fall and I'll have some wonderful fall recipes to post soon.  However, it seems that I've gone MIA for the past few months and am now a little behind!  I've just been so busy lately that everything seems to be continuing to pile up, making it very difficult to get ahead.

Therefore, I have an old recipe for you today!

I've always been a huge fan of lemonade, especially in the summertime, but when I chose to cut back on my sugar intake a few years ago, it was one of the things I decided to give up. However, just because I decided not to drink lemonade by the glass anymore, it in no way means I can't use it when I'm cooking.

So here's a delicious dinner for you to try!

Slow Cooker Lemonade Chicken

4 chicken breasts
1 (6 oz.) container frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
5 Tbsp. light brown sugar
¼ cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
2 Tbsp. cornstartch
2 Tbsp. cold water
Brown rice (optional)

For the veggie portion:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 ½ cup broccoli florets
1/3 cup carrots, chopped
½ cup snap peas
1 green pepper, cut into chunk size pieces
½ a white onion, cut into chunk size pieces

For the Chicken:
Evenly coat the inside of a crock pot with nonstick cooking spray.  Next, place the 4 chicken breasts on the bottom of the pot.  In a medium bowl, combine the lemonade concentrate, light brown sugar, ketchup, and vinegar.  Whisk together until well combined.  Pour the lemonade mixture over the chicken.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.  Remove the chicken from the crock pot and place on a flat work surface.  Using two forks, shred the chicken into pieces and place in a bowl.  Cover with foil to keep warm.

In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and cold water.  Pour the remainder of the lemonade sauce from the crock pot into a skillet.  Simmer the sauce over a medium heat making sure to pour in the cornstarch mixture and then stir around until it’s completely combined.  Let the sauce continue to cook, over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the sauce becomes thick or reaches your desired consistency.  Once ready, pour the sauce over the chicken and toss to evenly coat the chicken.

For the Veggies:

Place the olive oil in a medium to large skillet, over a medium heat, and allow the skillet to warm up for about a minute.  Now, add in all the vegetables and sauté until done.  This may take a few minutes, depending on how crunchy or soft you like your vegetables.

To assemble:
Scoop some brown rice onto a clean plate, top the rice with some veggies, and then place on top of that a spoonful of chicken.  Garnish with sesame seeds and enjoy!

Slightly adapted from Six Sisters' Stuff

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I'm a little embarrassed by the fact that I haven't posted this recipe before now; mostly because I made these cookies way back in July.  Personally, I'm not a big fan of oatmeal raisin cookies, and never have been.  I love oatmeal cookies, but don't really care for raisins.  So, I guess the question becomes "why make them then?".  Well, I really wanted to bake the builder of our new home a special treat.  He knew that I loved to bake (which is why I opted for many kitchen upgrades) and I wanted it to be a way of saying thank you for doing such an amazing job!  Oatmeal raisin cookies are his favorite, so that's what I decided to make!

Due to my dislike of raisins though, I unfortunately didn't have an oatmeal raisin cookie recipe.  Therefore, I had to search around online and hope for the best.  After visiting a lot of different food blogs, and other food sites, I ended up finding this recipe.  It's not exactly like the original, because I ended up tweaking it a little by adding a few ingredients of my own, that I thought would add more flavor!  Here's the final recipe I decided on and will definitely be using again.  I was told that the cookies were not only delicious, but very soft and chewy.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. salt
1 ½ cups old fashioned oats
¾ cup raisins
½ cup chopped walnuts, or pecans (optional, but delicious)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat, or a piece of parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, set on a medium to high speed, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla extract until smooth.  In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Pour the flour mixture into the butter mixture and beat on a low speed until just combined.  (Make sure you scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.)  Using a wooden spoon, stir in the oats, raisins, and walnuts/pecans (which are optional).

Using plastic wrap, cover the bowl that contains the cookie dough and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or longer.  This will allow time for the dough to sit and firm up a bit, which will make it easier to scoop.

Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet(s) about 1-2 inches apart.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, making sure to remove the cookies when the sides start turning a light brown, and the top looks slightly undercooked.  Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.  When 5 minutes is up, remove the cookies from the baking sheet and place on the wire rack to cool completely.

Source: Adapted from Smitten Kitchen