Chicken Cordon Bleu

Last night was the second time I made this (surprisingly easy) recipe. When Ian saw me dishing it up for him, he said, “Oh! We’re having the really, really yummy meal again!” Simon’s reaction was similar, so, yeah, this is a keeper.

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 8 pieces deli-sliced ham
  • 8 slices swiss cheese (or about 1 cup shredded swiss cheese works too)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 baking pan
  2. Slice chicken breasts in half top-to-bottom, so you end up with thin — or flat, really–  pieces (and you can even pound these to make them flatter)
  3. Dip chicken into melted butter and then press into breadcrumbs (don’t flip the chicken over, just coat one side with breadcrumbs)
  4. Lay ham and cheese onto filleted chicken and roll up
  5. Place each roll in a 9×13 pan, using a toothpick to hold the rolls together
  6. Bake for 40-50 minutes

* We haven’t yet tried it with the sauce, but last night’s chicken was a wee bit dry and could have benefited from it I think.

Cheese sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon instant chicken bullion
  • 1/4 cup shredded swiss cheese (I typically use the rest of the sliced swiss, just tear it up.)
  • 2 tablespoon parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • dash of pepper

Melt butter on medium heat; stir in flour. Let mixture bubble for a minute. Add bullion and milk. Add remaining ingredients.

Greens and Roasted Vegetables Soup

I don’t know what to call this soup. Greens and Roasted Vegetables Soup sounds too healthful, and I’m afraid it might scare some away (although, to be fair, it is as healthful as it sounds). All I know is that it is super tasty and versatile and I’m kind of obsessed with it. This version is slightly adapted (and adaptable) from Against All Grain. The first time I made it, I didn’t have butternut squash, so I doubled the sweet potato. I’ve swapped out kale for spinach and turkey broth for chicken broth. Today I didn’t have chicken and discovered that it’s just as good without. Versatile.

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cubed
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups chicken (or turkey or vegetable) stock
  • 2-3 cups shredded chicken or 1 pound uncooked chicken breasts
  • ¾ teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups spinach
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Toss the vegetables in the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Meanwhile, bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a large stockpot. Add the chicken, herbs, and salt and pepper. Cover and cook while the vegetables are roasting, about 15 minutes. For raw chicken breasts, cook for about 45 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and tender enough to shred with a fork.
  4. Add half the vegetables to the soup, and place the other half in a blender. Make sure to put all of the onions quarters into the blender. Puree the vegetables with the 1 cup of water.
  5. Add the vegetable puree and spinach to the soup. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the spinach is wilted and the soup is hot. Adjust seasonings to your taste.

 

Suzy’s Mashed Red Potatoes

I whipped up Suzy’s Mashed Red Potatoes to accompany a spiral ham, whole green beans and cooked carrots for Christmas Day 2013. I used the recipe as a guideline, but I know I added more potatoes and garlic to this recipe. It’s easy to fiddle with and hard to forget. Yum.

  • 2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add potatoes, and cook until tender but still firm, about 10 minutes. Drain, and place in a large bowl.
  2. Combine potatoes with butter, milk, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Mash together until smooth and creamy.

Caramel Corn

I made this for our church Christmas party and it earned a few rave reviews. The recipe is altered slightly from this one over at allrecipes.com. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • cooking spray
  • two bags popped popcorn
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup butter OR margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Spray large shallow roasting pan with cooking spray. Add popcorn and place in preheated 250 degrees F oven while preparing caramel.
  2. Mix brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Boil 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat. Stir in baking soda and vanilla; mix well.
  4. Pour syrup over warm popcorn, stirring to coat evenly.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and spread on foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  6. Cool; break apart. Store in tightly covered container.

School Day Rice Pudding

I’ve been making this rice pudding as a break from oatmeal in the morning. It’s not as good as my dad’s recipe, but it’s quick and easy and it’s been a big hit with the kiddos.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup leftover rice
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (more or less to taste)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • dash or three of cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 8×8 baking dish (or a bread pan works too).
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine rice, milk, and sugar and heat until bubbly (you want to scald but not burn the milk).
  3.  Add egg and cook for a minute or so.
  4. Stir in vanilla and cinnamon.
  5. Pour into your prepared dish and bake for 20 minutes.

Quick Kale Sauté

I’m finally feeling functional after being quite sick the past few days, and I discovered a trick for feeding your family crazy healthy food: go to the store when you are feeling just enough better to be hungry. I stopped into Trader Joe’s this morning, and there was not enough green in the whole store for me. I could have gobbled down every last bite of produce in the place on the spot. I restrained myself from doing that, and came home and whipped myself up a heaping bowl of this delicious goodness. The inspiration is all from Joie, and this dish of green wonder can be modified a hundred ways, but this is how I made it today and it hit the spot. Also, it took less than 3 minutes, for real. (It would take more if you don’t buy prewashed kale.)

Ingredients:

  • Coconut oil (or other cooking oil) — a couple of teaspoons maybe, you know, a dollop
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced or minced, as you prefer
  • 1 handful of raisins
  • 2 big handfuls of kale (I bought the prewashed and cut kind at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 handful pecans (toasted would be lovely; I couldn’t be bothered)

Directions:

  1. Add the coconut oil and garlic to a skillet over medium heat.
  2. When the coconut oil is melted and before the garlic browns, add the raisins and kale. Cook until the kale is bright green and just starting to wilt.
  3. Add the pecans and toss everything around for 30 or 45 more seconds.

 

Meal Planning

We are going back to the basics this week, folks. Try not to fall asleep by the end. I kid. Sort of.

Sunday: Salmon

Monday: Life Group meal; I will be providing BBQ chicken

Tuesday: Tacos

Wednesday: Spaghetti and meat sauce

Thursday: Pork chops

Friday: Homemade pizza

Saturday: Breakfast for dinner (bacon and eggs)

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