Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Zucchini Hamburger Casserole

Zucchini Hamburger Casserole
From: Pilsbury.com

1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon uncooked medium-grain white rice
1 cup water
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can (19 oz) Progresso Vegetable Classics tomato basil soup
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 13x9 inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. In 10-inch skillet, cook beef and onion over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place rice and water in baking dish; stir to mix. Layer cooked beef, zucchini and diced tomatoes over rice. Pour soup over top. Cut 16x20 inch sheet of foil; spray with cooking spray. Cover dish with foil, sprayed side down.

Bake 40 minutes. Uncover dish; sprinkle cheese over top. Bake uncovered for 10-15 minutes longer or until edges are bubbly and cheese is lightly browned. (We like our cheese really brown as you can tell in the picture)

In higher altitudes - add 5 minutes to the cooking time before adding the cheese.

* I changed the recipe to use the diced tomatoes instead of chopping a large fresh tomato. If you'd rather do that - drop the extra tablespoon of the rice out of the recipe. I added that because of the additional juice from the canned tomatoes.
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Friday, September 16, 2011

Chicken Pesto Pasta Bake

Chicken Pesto Pasta Bake
Inspired by: Taste of Home
Yield: 1 casserole for dinner and 1 for the freezer!

1 (16 oz) package of penne pasta
6 cups cooked chicken, cubed
4 cups shredded Italian cheese blend
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes - *I used diced Fire Roasted tomatoes instead
1 jar (15 oz) Classico Alfredo sauce
1 jar (8 oz) Classico Pesto sauce
1 1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil

Bake your chicken in the oven - I season mine and bake it on 400-425 for about 20 minutes. Cool and then cube it. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine: chicken, cheese, spinach, tomatoes, alfredo sauce, milk, and pesto. Drain the pasta and add to the chicken mixture; toss to coat.

Transfer to two greased 9x13 inch baking dishes. In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle over the casseroles.

Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months. Cover and bake the remaining casserole at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until bubbly.

To reheat the frozen casserole; thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking cover and bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until bubbly.
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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Slow Cooker Italian Mushroom Chicken

Slow Cooker Italian Mushroom Chicken
Inspired by: Cleverly Inspired's Angel Chicken

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/2 pounds)
1 8-oz. pkg. fresh button mushrooms, sliced
1 8-oz. pkg. fresh baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup butter
1 0.7-oz. pkg. Italian dry salad dressing mix
1 10-3/4-oz. can condensed golden mushroom soup (I used regular cream of mushroom)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 of an 8-oz. tub cream cheese spread with chives and onion (I used Roasted Garlic Cooking Creme)
1/2 package of egg noodles, cooked

* I added some minced onion because I didn't have the chive and onion cream cheese

Layer your crock pot with the mushrooms on the bottom, lay the chicken on top of the mushrooms, and I sprinkled my minced onion on top of the chicken. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter - once melted add in the Italian dressing mix, mushroom soup, wine, and cream cheese. Pour the combined sauce over the chicken, and cook on low setting for 6-8 hours. 

Before serving, I shredded the chicken and put it back in the sauce. I boiled my noodles, and once they were ready - I mixed them into the crock pot and let it sit in the sauce for about 20 minutes or so to soak up some of the sauce and flavor. I did this because the sauce is rather thin, and I thought this would be a good way to not waste it - if it soaked up in to the pasta.
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Courtesy of: Niki via Food.com

Yield: 30-32 regular sized muffins

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 (16 oz) can pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil (yes, that is correct)
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

* I added a dash of pumpkin pie spice
** If I wasn't serving these to the babies - I might have added some pecans or walnuts

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. In a second large mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla, and oil together until smooth. Continue beating, adding little bits of the flour mixture in at a time until all combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin tins about 3/4 full. I used a 1/4 or 1/3 cup measuring cup to fill mine to make sure they were all equal in size. Bake at 400 degrees for 16-20 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean.

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