Marcy Chicken

My best friend’s mother coined this term, as she got the recipe from her friend Marcy.  :)  It stuck, and it’s one of my husband’s favorite dishes.  (Note all the creamy ingredients.) Also, for a smaller meal, make the soup mixture, use half with 4 chicken breasts, and freeze the other half to use on 3 or 4 more at a later date.

Ingredients

  • 6-8 chicken breasts
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup dried onion*
  • 2 t Mrs. Dash*
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste*
  • Rice or baked potatoes

* you can add however much of these you want (or don’t add) and the recipe will still taste relatively the same, given that most of the flavor comes from the first four ingredients.  (He’ll never know the difference!) :)

Directions

  1. Mix everything together (minus chicken).
  2. Place chicken in 9×13, and spread over with soup mixture.
  3. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 1.5 hrs.  Take off the foil and bake an additional 20 to 30 mins.
  4. Serve over rice or potatoes (we have only tried the rice).
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Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

Taken from All Recipes.com, this recipe perfectly fit the bill for a community dinner on a chilly fall night. I made a few alterations based on reviewers’ advice (used less than 12oz beer and added chicken bouillon cubes to the mix). I might consider adding more beans next time as well.

**This recipe is dedicated to Mrs. Bethany Hansen, her crockpot, and her studious husband Andrew.**

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (16 ounce) can chili beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer
  • 2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
  • 1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning
  • 3 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  • crushed tortilla chips (optional)

Directions

  1. Place the onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, beer, and diced tomatoes in a slow cooker.
  2. Add taco seasoning, and stir to blend.
  3. Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients.
  4. Set slow cooker for low heat, cover, and cook for 5 hours.
  5. Remove chicken breasts from the soup, and allow to cool long enough to be handled.
  6. Stir the shredded chicken back into the soup, and continue cooking for 2 hours.
  7. Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips, if desired.

Plum Chicken

My friend Neil, an ah-mah-zing cook, made this recipe up. It’s one of those that he makes just a little differently every time, but I watched him make it and took careful notes, so this is how he made it that time.

This has been served at community dinner, but not by me, at least not that I can remember. Brook and Joie made it most recently.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 stick of butter (or if you’re feeling crazy, just use the whole stick)
  • 3 or 4 chicken breasts cut up into cubes
  • 1 small onion, cut up into maybe 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/4 cup (or so) balsalmic vinegar
  • 6 plums, quartered (or once, when we couldn’t find plums at the grocery, we tried pears, and that was yummy too; in fact, I think Brook might have preferred the pear chicken)
  • walnuts (optional)
  • hard cheese, shredded fine (optional)

Directions

  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet and add chicken, onion, and garlic. Sautee until the chicken is cooked through.
  2. Add the balsalmic (use enough to almost cover the chicken), and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer until the pungent vinegar smell is cooked off (this always takes longer than I think it’s going to), 15 to 20 minutes or so. The sauce will reduce quite a bit.
  4. Add the plums and continue cooking just until plums are heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Add walnuts and cheese, if desired.
  6. Serve with couscous or rice.

Hershey’s Best Brownies

I’ve been hanging on to an empty Hershey’s cocoa container for far longer than I care to admit simply because I didn’t want to lose this recipe. So long, plastic container. And thank you to the good folks at Hershey’s.

Ingredients

  • 1 C (2 sticks) butter or margarine
  • 2 C sugar
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 C flour
  • 3/4 C cocoa
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 C chopped nuts (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350. Grease 13×9 inch pan.
  2. Microwave butter in large bowl at high for 2 minutes or until melted. Stir in sugar and vanilla.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with spoon after each addition. Add flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; beat until well blended. Stir in nuts.
  4. Pour into pan.
  5. Bake brownies 30-35 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Bring on the butter, baby. In all fairness, this makes a large batch of cookies. I highly recommend using a salad bowl as your mixing bowl. Final note: this recipe comes from one of Jeremy’s former colleagues (thanks, Jeff).

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 C butter (no substitutes), softened
  • 2 C packed brown sugar
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 15oz can solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 4 C flour
  • 2 C quick-cooking oats
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 C semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl (again, large means LARGE), cream butter and sugars.
  3. Beat in pumpkin, egg, and vanilla.
  4. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Drop by tablespoons two inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  7. Bake for 9-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
  8. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Makes 10 dozen.

Chimis*

I originally got this recipe from a Weight Watchers cookbook (they called it “Skinny Chimichangas”), but I stopped looking up the recipe long ago — it’s one of those where measuring isn’t too important and experimentation often pays off. It’s been a staple in the household for a long time. These chimis are also the original source of the oft-mentioned “ground turkey betrayal” (according to Jason).

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef (or, and I cannot emphasize this enough, ground turkey works just as well)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped (I often forget about the onion)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 16-ounce can tomato sauce (more often, I skip the sauce and add a can or two of diced tomatoes, not drained)
  • 1 small can chopped mild green chiles (or, just get the can of tomatoes with chiles already in there)
  • 1 16-ounce can of white or black beans, drained (optional)
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • flour tortillas (8- or 10-inch)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray; set aside.
  2. Brown the hamburger (or turkey).
  3. Add the onion, garlic, chile powder, oregano, and cumin, and mix well.
  4. Add the tomato sauce (or canned tomatoes), chiles, and beans, and bring to a boil. Let simmer until the flavors blend (about 5 minutes).
  5. Warm the tortillas 2 or 3 at a time in the microwave (about 15-20 seconds).
  6. For each tortilla, add a bit of cheese (maybe 1 tablespoon?), then about 1/2 cup of the filling. Fold in the sides and then fold the top and bottom in to enclose the filling. Place seamside down on the baking sheet.
  7. Spray the tops of the chimis with nonstick spray (it makes ’em crispy); bake until golden, about 20 minutes.

* This recipe contains no butter.

Baked Asparagus

There really are no exact measurements with this recipe, I just kind of dump whatever — as long as it bakes long enough, you’re good to go!

Ingredients

  • Soy or Tamari sauce
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 bunch of asparagus

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400-425 degrees.
  2. Wash, dry, and break/cut off bottoms of asparagus.
  3. Spread asparagus out in thin jelly roll pan, pour over melted butter and soy/tamari sauce (as much as you’d like).
  4. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or when a nice, dark green.