Cheesy Chicken Pasta

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How many of you have been to the $5 dollar dinners website?  I follow them on Facebook and saw that they were going to be doing 20 meals for $150.  As soon as it posted I had to see what I could make for at least for this week!  I typically don’t shop at once for that many meals but if you do then you’re in luck.  You need to head on over and get those meals!!  This is one of them that I found for this week.

I plan my meals not only on a budget but also on what my schedule for the week will be.  Since I didn’t have anything going on this day, I knew I’d have time to spend on making something new.  I had most of the ingredients on hand so if I had to guess on the cost, I’d say that this was pretty close to the $5.  I had the spices, sour cream, butter, and cheese in my kitchen.  Some little mouths aren’t a fan of tuna in the house so I substituted chicken instead.  I got the rotisserie chicken instead of the can chicken and I just cut it up.

IMG_7973As you can see, little Miss Khali isn’t very interested in eating her dinner.  Her little mind is preoccupied!!!

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Mr. Caleb appears to be more interested in getting his loose tooth out than eating his dinner!!!!

IMG_7972First of all, excuse my after dinner mess!  But here’s Miss Brooklyn going up for seconds!  So she liked it.  And she’s the picky eater of the bunch!!!!

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Super easy to make.  Super easy on your wallet.  Super tasty too!

I’ve looked over the other 19 recipes from the $5 dinner website but I haven’t put them down for any days this week.

Taco Tuesday for us here and then on Wednesday hopping to make the Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes.  You can’t go wrong with breakfast for dinner.

In fact, the other girl came over with Sam last night to have dinner with us.  We had some breakfast quesadillas.  Unfortunately neither of us took any pictures of what we made.  Jodi made a nummy dessert with some crescent rolls, brown sugar, and some cinnamon chocolate chips!  Not that often that we get to cooking together any more so I’m sorry we didn’t take the time to show you our fun.  Trust me, we ate really well yesterday!

I hope you have a great week.

Cheesy Chicken Pasta
Author: Patricia
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. spaghetti noodles or other pasta
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 4 Tbsp flour (I used whole wheat)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 2 containers of Oscar Meyer chicken
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • about 1 lb. frozen Green Beans or corn
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Chives
Instructions
  1. Boil the pasta noodles as directed. Drain well and return to saucepan.
  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Whisk in the milk and whisk vigorously until flour “melts” into the milk. Whisk in the chicken broth. Bring to bubbling and then stir in the sour cream and cheese. Cook over medium-low heat until sauce bubbles and begins to thicken. Stir in the chicken, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add the sauce to the cooked noodles and toss well.
  4. Prepare frozen corn or green beans.
  5. Serve Cheesy Chicken Noodles with vegetable.
  6. I topped ours with some chives and some shredded Parmesan cheese.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Source

$5 Dollar Dinners

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Banana Bread

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I found this recipe for banana bread on Facebook.

I loved that it used honey in place of sugar and apple sauce in place of oil.  It also used the whole wheat flour that I’ve been trying to use for baking instead of the regular flour.  This is the first time I’ve had banana bread made with wheat flour and I’ll say that it’s very good.

If you’re a banana bread fan and want to try to make it a different way, give this a try!

I was on my lunch break today when I was making this and my mom had never heard of making bread with apple sauce or honey.  I’ll have to call her tomorrow and let her know she should make this!!  Eat it fresh out of the oven and it’s really good.  I didn’t have any butter on it either!!  Trying to eat good can be hard sometimes but you don’t have to sacrifice either.  (even though I didn’t go to Zantigo this Sunday after church!!)

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Just having the kids walk in the door and ask what smelled so good was worth it today!!  Puts a nice smile on your face.

Enjoy!!

Banana Bread
Recipe Type: Banana Bread
Author: Patricia
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 mashed overripe bananas
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together applesauce and honey. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  2. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

I set my timer for 60 minutes and I could smell it in my office before it went off…It took a little less than the time stated.  So make sure you set your timer if you’re away from the kitchen!!

Enjoy!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Source

Facebook – Mary Stone (someone posted it on their page and I shared)

Baked Pepperoni Pizza Egg Rolls

IMG_7370Ok so last week I had posted that I was trying to eat less processed foods.  In my defense I did make these a bit ago!  AND I will say again, all in moderation.  I strongly believe that if you limit yourself completely, you’re only setting yourself up for failure.  I believe this to be in all things with life.

So enjoy the good things.   And enjoy good food, even if it means that you stray from what you shouldn’t eat for a day!

Besides that, these are too good to pass up.  The kids loved helping make these.  And they loved eating them just as much!!!

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Just a few things were needed for these awesome appetizers.

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Just take an egg roll wrapper and put some pepperoni in the middle, place your cheese stick in the middle and roll this like you would a burrito!!!

Place some parchment paper on a baking sheet and get them ready for the oven!!

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How good do they look!!!!!  And you don’t fry them either.  They go right in the oven.  So this isn’t quite so bad right!!

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Ah-mazing!!!  Must try.  If you’re looking for a fun thing to have for Super Bowl Sunday, this would be a great idea.  Or if you’re looking for something to do on Super Bowl Sunday and aren’t watching the game (kidding – kidding), then you can try these!!  If you have kids, this is a great way to get them involved with helping out.  They love to help and see the final product just as much, if not more than we do!!!

Baked Pepperoni Pizza Egg Roles
Recipe Type: Pizza Roll Ups
Author: Patricia
Ingredients
  • low fat mozzarella string cheeses, cut in half, width-wise
  • slices of sandwich pepperoni
  • pizza sauce
  • Egg roll wrappers
  • Cooking Spray
  • Additional pizza sauce for dipping
  • You can make as many as you need for your family/friends. That’s why I didn’t put a quantity next to each item.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Place a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray.
  3. Next lay an egg roll wrapper down to where it is in a diamond shape and lightly brush both sides with water. These are often a bit dry so if you do not moisten it, they will crack when you try to roll them.
  4. Lay down 3 slices of pepperoni not quite in the middle of the wrapper but rather in the lower third of the wrapper.
  5. Next top with a slice of cheese.
  6. Begin rolling by taking the bottom and ‘tucking’ under the mixture.
  7. Bring in the sides and then continue rolling. I tend to take a dab more water to ‘seal’ the edges when I get to the end.
  8. Set aside and repeat for the remaining wrappers.
  9. Lightly spray the entire egg roll with cooking spray and set on the cooling rack.
  10. Bake for 6 minutes (or until the top is lightly golden brown), flip, spray again and bake for another 5-8 minutes until golden brown and crispy. The trick is to get them crispy right before the cheese starts to melt out.
  11. Transfer to a plate and serve with warmed pizza sauce.

Enjoy your week!!!!!  Remember to always have fun when you’re in the kitchen.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Source

The Kitchen Whisperer

Slow Cooker Refried Beans

IMG_7887Raise your hand if you’re a refried bean lover!!  Mine is raised, see it, see it???

I just blogged about the whole wheat taco shells that I made from 100 Days of Real Food.  I got this recipe from the same site.   When I saw how easy it was to make these beans, I was at the store that day and made these the following day.

Super easy.  Who would have known!  Well not me.  I made a huge batch the second time around and I have a bag in the freezer.  I eat this for lunch and with my tacos!!

You simply pour the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix every so often… Mash after about 8 hours and here you have the best refried beans without the additives that you get for a can.

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I’ll admit the first time I made these, I was a bit impatient.  I wanted them done so I could eat them for dinner that night.  I drained them a bit too early and some of the beans weren’t as tender as they should have been. SO, I did wait this week the 8 hours and they turned out great.

I highly, highly recommend making these if you are a bean lover.  Great source of fiber, easy to make, and you know what you’re eating.

Slow Cooker Refried Beans
Recipe Type: Refried Beans
Author: Patricia
Ingredients
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
  • ½ fresh jalapeno or other hot pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • One big pinch of cumin
  • 6 cups water
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 8 hours or overnight while you are sleeping.
  3. Remove the bigger onion chunks and drain the excess liquid. If desired, save the excess liquid to add back to the final product to get the optimal consistency (i.e. not too dry).
  4. Mash remaining beans with a potato masher and voila! You have homemade refried beans.

Give them a try and see how you like it.  I love cooking and I love making my own food.  It’s scary to see some of the things that we are using these days.  And don’t get me wrong, I do still use some things that aren’t made from scratch, but I’m very cautiously reading the labels.  If it’s too much for me to understand, I put it back!!!!

Try these and let me know what you think!!!

Enjoy

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Source

100 Days of Real Food

Whole Wheat Tortilla Shells

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Every Tuesday at our house is Taco Tuesday.  No pun intended for Taco John’s!!!!

I’ve been really trying to cut out processed foods as much as I can.  Yes, I still make my weekly trip to Zantigo after church but that sure doesn’t count!!!  I may have to go there a bit less, but I can’t cut out everything.

On Facebook I found a site that is called “100 Days of Real Food”.  Which is where I happen to find this awesome recipe!  I’ve made the refried beans as well and they are so good.   You may not be a label reader but I have been.  And I’m not sure if it was this site that I read this or if I saw it elsewhere, but it said that if there are 5 ingredients that you cannot pronounce then you shouldn’t eat it!  I feel that way about food and products that I use on a daily basis now.

This recipe has only 4 ingredients in it.  AND I know how to pronounce them and I know what they are!

I was a bit concerned if the grandkids were going to like the texture and taste of the wheat but I gave it a try anyways.  Khali isn’t a fan of eating any shell that I give her on taco night.  She wants the cheese only.  Just give me the cheese and the black olives.  Caleb didn’t care for it but ate it anyways.  And Brooklyn ate it and liked it just like me!

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Here is my dog, Clyde.  He thinks that by some chance he’s going to be eating that dough.  He was sadly wrong.  Sorry buddy.

I don’t have a tortilla press but I sure wished I did.  I have made these twice now and I had a hard time getting them to form into a circle.  Last night, by the advise of my friend, Heidi, I place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper and used a pan to flatten them.  That gave them the shape, then I rolled just a bit to thin them out.

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After you get the dough formed into the log you want to cut them into 12 pieces.

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Flatten them out a bit and let them sit for about an hour.  I have to make sure that dog of mine is kept from anything sitting out.  He sees it, he’ll find a way to make it into his mouth.

I was really surprised at how good these were.  They had great flavor (I did add a bit of garlic salt to the dough the 2nd time I made this).    I love tacos.  And usually I have mine with hard shells but as I said I’m trying to do a little bit better with knowing what is in the food I’m putting in the family’s belly.  I made the taco seasoning as well.  But maybe I’ll give hard shells a try!!!!!

Whole Wheat Tortilla Shells
Recipe Type: Tacos
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Patricia
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups whole-wheat flour (I used King Arthur’s white whole-wheat flour)
  • ½ cup oil (I used avocado oil)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water (heat in the microwave for 1 min)
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer set with a dough hook, pour in the flour, oil and salt. Beat with the paddle until crumbly, about 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape the sides as needed. If your hand-held mixer comes with dough hooks those can be used as well.
  2. With the mixer running, gradually add the warm water and continue mixing until the dough is smooth, about 3 minutes.
  3. Take out the dough and divide it into 12 equal sized pieces. I do this by making the dough into a big log shape that is about 8 – 10 inches long. Then I cut it in the middle. Then I cut each of those pieces in the middle and so on until you have 12 pieces.
  4. Using the palms of your hand roll each piece into a round ball and flatten it out on a baking tray or board. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes or up to one hour.
  5. Heat a cast iron skillet, griddle or 12-inch skillet over med-high heat. The pan should be fairly hot before you begin cooking the tortillas.
  6. On a lightly floured board or counter top, use a rolling pin to turn each ball into a 8 to 10 inch flat circle (measure against your recipe if printed on a 8.5X11 sheet of paper). Be careful not to use more than a teaspoon or two of flour when rolling out each ball into a tortilla because too much excess flour will burn in the pan.
  7. Grease the pan with a touch of oil (or ghee) and then carefully transfer each tortilla, one at a time, to the pan and cook until puffy and slightly brown, about 30 to 45 seconds per side. Set aside on a plate to cool slightly. Eat within an hour, refrigerate or freeze.

Back to the shells at hand… These are pretty good and better for you.  I recommend you go to the site that I got this recipe and take a look around.  I’ve done the refried beans as well, as I’ve said.  Those are amazing with the tacos.

Enjoy!!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Source

100 Days of Real Food