July 22, 2014

Ranch Chicken and Bacon Casserole

I like this recipe because it's quick and simple to throw together.  It's an easy dish to double or even triple for a get together.  Add a green salad, some crusty rolls and you've got the perfect meal to take to someone in need.


2 c. chicken, cooked and chopped
1/2 c. bacon, cooked, crumbled
(you can use bacon bits)
1 c. cheddar cheese
1 (1 oz.) packet dry ranch dressing mix
1 (10.75 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
1 c. milk
3/4 c. uncooked long grain rice (not instant rice)
1/2 c. French's Dried Onion Rings
I hate it when I forget to put 1 ingredient in a photo!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Lightly coat a 9x9 baking dish with non-stick spray.  In a large bowl combine the chicken, bacon, cheddar cheese, ranch dressing mix, soup, milk and rice.  Stir well to incorporate.  Spread into the prepared baking dish.  Cover with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes, stirring midway through the cooking time. 
After stirring, sprinkle the dried onion rings over the top, re-cover and continue baking until edges are hot and bubbly. Serves 4-6. 

Adapted Recipe Source: PlainChicken.com  via Pinterest

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May 21, 2014

Churro Cheesecake Bites

This is an awesome recipe!  I found it on Pinterest, and it's from JoyfulMommasKitchen.com.  I love it!  Simple and quick to make, I recently took it to a bridal shower and it was a huge hit!
It's not your typical dense cheesecake bar, it's absolutely perfect for warm summer days and it tastes like a churro (maybe even better because of the cream cheesy yummy

2 (8 ct.) tubes refrigerated crescent roll dough
2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 c. sugar, divided
2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease a 9x13 baking dish (I use butter) or lightly coat with non-stick spray. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 c. sugar and the cinnamon.  In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy.  Add the egg, remain 1/2 c. sugar and vanilla.  Beat until smooth and completely incorporated.  Sprinkle 1/2 of the prepared cinnamon sugar mix in the bottom of the baking dish.  Open 1 can of crescent dough and lay flat on a lightly floured surface.   No need to roll out, just lightly press out with your fingers to make the dough about the size of the 9x13 dish.  Pinch the seams together until it is a solid rectangle. Lay the dough on top of the cinnamon sugar.  Pour the cream cheese mix over the crescent dough and spread evenly.  Open the 2nd can of crescent dough, again pressing out a little pinching the seams to seal.  Lay over the top of the cream cheese batter.  Sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar mix over the top.  Bake for 30-35 min. until the edges are golden brown.  Cool completely before cutting.  I think these are better when they have been chilled for a few hours before serving and my husband thinks they are best the next day!

recipe source:  JoyfulMommasKitchen

May 18, 2014

Brittany's Sesame Noodle Salad

This may seriously be THE BEST salad I have ever had.  My awesome neighbor Brittany brought me some one day, and I almost fell off my chair, it was so good.  She is very nice and shared the recipe with me, and then she gave me permission to post it on the blog.  I love you Brittany!
You cook your pasta.
You make your dressing in a jar.
You stir everything together, chill for a few hours and then serve it up!  
Brittany says this salad is even better the next day, but I may never know...it's just too good (it IS even better the next day but I rarely have any left).
Add fresh baby spinach when making the salad.  It's even more divine, if that's possible!

1/4 c. sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/3 c. soy sauce
1/3 c. rice vinegar
1 tsp. sesame oil
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. ginger, fresh minced or ground
1/4 tsp. black pepper

In a large jar with a tight fitting lid, combine all of the ingredients.  Seal the jar and shake well until everything is incorporated.  Chill until ready to mix with the salad ingredients.

1 (16 oz.) pkg. rotini pasta
3 c. chicken, cooked and cubed
1/3 c. chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 c. chopped green onion

Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente (I like to leave my pasta just slightly less than al dente so that when the salad is ready to serve the noodles are still firm).  Rinse pasta under cold water until cooled.  Drain well.  In a large mixing bowl place the cooked pasta, chicken, cilantro and green onion (add spinach, if using).  Shake the dressing again until well mixed, pour over the pasta and stir very well.  Chill 4-5 hours before serving.

Note:  there will be quite a bit of dressing in the bottom of the bowl, just stir the salad every hour or so during the chilling time and the dressing will be absorbed in.

This is an updated re-post from Feb. 2013.
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April 21, 2014

Cheesy Cauliflower Soup Recipe from Colleen

I am not a cauliflower fan.  In fact it is one of the very few foods I pass up (believe me, I don't pass much on food, in fact at the moment I can think of only 4 veggies I don't like;  beets, eggplant, chick peas and cauliflower).
So, I was more than skeptical when my cute friend Colleen told me about this recipe.  We were at lunch with another fun friend and neighbor (Brittany) and we had a conversation about the surprising deliciousness of cauliflower soup.  I was skeptical. Very skeptical.
Well Colleen promised to give us the recipe and Brittany promised to  make it and send some to me.
And....I WAS STUNNED BY THIS SOUP!  It is rich and creamy and cheesy and without an overpowering cauliflower taste.  Excellent soup!
It's quick to make, and I must tell you that my husband, who does love cauliflower, is so in love with it and says it's his favorite soup ever  (and he is a die hard fan of clam chowder, so this is really saying something!
I've made the soup twice.  After making the recipe the first time I learned to dice up the onion and celery instead of chopping it, and to mash up the cauliflower before adding the sauce-lol.
Give this soup a try-you may die of happiness!


1 c. diced onion
1 c. diced celery
1 small head of cauliflower, cleaned and cut into florets
3/4 c. butter
3/4 c. flour
2 c. milk
2 c. half and half
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
more shredded cheese for topping if desired

In a large stock pot place the diced onion, celery and cauliflower.  Add enough water to cover the veggies.  On medium high heat bring the water to a boil, cover and cook until veggies are tender (this took about 10-12 min for me (I live in a high altitude city).  Drain most of the water, and mash up the cauliflower (I use a potato masher).

While the vegetables are cooking, in a large sauce pan melt the butter, add the flour and whisk until smooth.  Add the 1/2 & 1/2, milk, and the salt and pepper  Cook on medium high heat until it becomes thickened (this took 15 minutes for me) add the cheese and stir until melted and completely incorporated.  Pour over the cooked vegetables, stir and heat until desired temp (I didn't have to heat it after I had it mixed together-it was perfect).

Now just serve it up!  I did sprinkle a little more shredded cheese on each bowl of soup, I love cheesy goodness!