Monday, January 28, 2013

Chicken & Tortilla Casserole

This dish will always have a fond place in my heart. It hails from my humble beginnings in the kitchen. And is still to this day, one of the recipes my family requests the most. 
I went ahead and added the ampersand (&) to the title.
You see, we have just always called it Chicken Tortilla Casserole.
No distinction.
No proper punctuation.
Just a big 'ole run-on title.
I mean, who am I trying to impress?
My family would eat it even if I called it "Glop", right?
But as I started to write this post, I thought, will this confuse anyone? Surely you all will know that there aren't tortillas that are actually made from chicken, right?
But just in case...the "AND" sign it is!
Chicken AND Tortilla Casserole.
I feel so foofy and snobby...

As simple as this dish is, it REALLY is to die for! A wonderful, creamy, cheesy, chickeny, dish of goodness. Comfort food at it's best!

I like to make mine by simmering a whole chicken in my stock pot for about an hour; that way I get all the tender meat along with the broth. (You'll need both for this dish.)
But if you're in a pinch, or just want to cut a few corners, a rotisserie chicken and a can of chicken broth will do the trick.

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bacon & Cheddar Pasta Salad

This has always been one of my favorite pasta salads. 
I think mostly because of the dressing; it's the perfect blend of creamy and tangy.

 The peas and cherry tomatoes are the perfect side notes to it. But if peas aren't your thing, a cup full of broccoli florets is an excellent substitute.

The diced cheddar and crumbled bacon really send it over the top!

All by it's self, it makes a really nice lunch. And it's the perfect side dish to just about any barbecue.
We had it for dinner yesterday with some chicken off the grill. Pure perfection!

 To freshen it up after it's been in your fridge a day or two, simply and a splash of milk, along with a splash of vinegar. (Just a small splash of each) Give it a toss, and you're all set! Fresh pasta salad!
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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Churro Puffs

Welcome to my new favorite thing!
These little lovelies have all the yummy goodness of a churro, but without the fuss. 
 Ooh..are they good! Like crazy good!

My daughter walked in just as I was dusting them with the cinnamon sugar mix; she quickly popped one in her mouth, looked at me, and said, "Okay, these...THESE...are deadly!" (Trust me, that's a compliment!)

These were SO easy to make! Even a non-baker (like me), can have them whipped up in no time. Light, airy, with the perfect touch of sweetness. I have found a new "go to" treat for my family. 
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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Baked Ziti

I always think of baked ziti as a deconstructed lasagna; all the same ingredients, with a little less fuss.

It's a classic dish that has been around forever. And we all have our own way of making it. 

I think the one thing that makes mine a wee bit different...and absolutely to die for, is my cheese mixture. Yes, I go with your standard ricotta/parm/egg mix. But, I take mine a step further, and add a splash of sour cream to it. I know, I know, this is NOT a traditional ingredient. But I promise you, it makes all the difference in the world!

When you combine my over the top, rich and creamy, cheese sauce, and my super bomb-diggity meat sauce, you not only get a family favorite, you get a personal favorite. I could eat this 8 days a week! Enjoy!

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Red Pepper Rice

This is one of the easiest side dishes ever! I make it a few times a month. And I'm actually feeling bad that I haven't shared it until now. 

It's one of those dishes that I always have the ingredients for. And can easily throw together when I am at a loss for a side dish. Goes great with beef, poultry, or fish. 

I like to start off low on the heat index by adding just 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. And then build up the intensity as it steams towards the end. If you know right off the bat that you want some bite, just toss 1 and a 1/2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes in at the beginning. 

To add some brightness and another dimension of flavor, try garnishing it with some freshly chopped parsley or cilantro. Just chop the herb. Stir it into your fluffed rice. And you're good to go!
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Monday, January 7, 2013

Cowboy Spaghetti

Pasta with a western kick! This dish is pure fun!

It's also super simple to prepare! And with most of us getting back into our busy routines this week, I thought it would be nice to share a dish that's not only delicious, but that you can have on your table in less than 30 minutes. How nice is that? Enjoy!

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Lite & Healthy 2013

January is here, and I know many of you are looking for healthier options in the kitchen. And even though my blog is rather small, and still in it's beginner stage, I was able to come up with a pretty good list of healthy dishes. 
Listen, it can't always be about bacon, noodles, and cheese. (Gahhh, I cringed a little as I wrote that last line.) I am a lover of all things covered in bacon and cheese...And steak, and butter, and pasta, and cream sauces, and lasagna, and wine, and fat.

 Fat...Fat...Fat! Fat makes the world go 'round!  Ahhhh!....

Okay...Whew...get a hold of yourself, Leslie! 

Where were we? Oh...yes, here is an awesome collection of lite and healthy dishes.

P.S. They are "knock your socks off" delicious, too! Enjoy!

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