Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New {Successful} Recipes

I've recently been trying to browse through Pinterest when I have a little spare time, searching for new recipes.  This week was definitely successful.  Even my pickiest eaters enjoyed these dishes. I try to use as many fresh organic ingredients as possible, so I generally try to plan my meals around what is on sale while sometimes splurging for our favorites, but I also resort to regular fruits and vegs on a weekly basis as well to help keep the budget intact.  So, here's what I've been able to come up with this week.

On Monday, we sort of had a continuation of Thanksgiving.  The drawback of not hosting Thanksgiving at your home is that there are no leftovers to enjoy afterwards, and we realized we had not quite reached that "I'm sick of dressing, sweet potatoes, etc." stage.  So on Monday, I decided to try a new dressing recipe that my father-in-law had mentioned to me.  It's the Luby's Cornbread Dressing, and although it is very similar to the dressing recipe my grandmother wrote out for me many years ago, it's ingredients varied slightly, and I thought it was worth a try.  And I was correct.  This was very good dressing, although next time I might leave out a bit of the cornbread as I like my dressing a little less "stiff."

Here's the recipe I found on Food.com.

Luby's Cornbread Dressing
4 cups cornbread, crumbled (made from your favorite recipe)
2 1/4 cups white bread, torn into 1 inch pieces (use day old or stale bread)
2 1/2 cups chicken broth (I think I used closer to 4 cups)
1 1/2 cups celery, minced
3/4 cup onion, finely minced
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons rubbed sage
3/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
3 extra large eggs



In large bowl, combine breads and broth; mix well and let stand for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly spray or grease a 2-quart casserole dish. Add celery, onion, butter, oil, sage, seasoned salt, and pepper to bread mixture. (I cooked the onion in the butter so it would not be crunchy in the dressing before adding it to the mixture - would have done the same with celery had I used it.)  Toss lightly to coat evenly. In small bowl, beat eggs until foamy. Fold into bread mixture. Transfer to prepared casserole dish. Bake 50 to 65 minutes or until top is golden brown.
Along with this, we had sweet potato casserole with which I used some of the brightest orange yams I have ever seen that I picked up at Ingles.  They were organic, on sale, and full of flavor.  We also had homemade mac & cheese, and organic green beans.  We ate like it was Thanksgiving all over again and enjoyed leftovers for lunch yesterday. 

I forgot to mention that for the dressing, I also added some chicken to the ingredients.  I had purchased a whole organic chicken (on sale!) and had cooked it in the crock pot earlier.  I used half for the dressing recipe and half for the recipe below.

This is a Pinterest pin that led me to "The Girl Who Ate Everything" blog where I discovered this wonderful recipe.  We were scraping the bottom of the bowl with this one last night.  Amelia ate three plates of it, and Madison and Cari liked it as well.  Madison even hid some away to take for her lunch today! (Brad liked it, but for some reason he has a strange opposition to anything with a white sauce, but we're working on that.)  I served it over bow tie pasta as shown in the picture, and that cute stuff sealed the deal.  Also added some buttered, toasted French bread, and this meal was complete.  Yeah, I got off easy in the cooking department yesterday.

Here is this ridiculously easy, tasty recipe:

Crockpot Italian Chicken
4 chicken breasts
1 packet dry Zesty Italian dressing (Regular is fine but I like zesty better. Sometimes I use a packet and a half.)
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1-2 cans cream of chicken soup (depending how cream cheesy you want it) (I used the Campbell's Healthy Request brand, and this worked great.)


Instructions:
Place the chicken in a crockpot and sprinkle Italian dressing over it. Combine cream cheese and cream of chicken soup in a small pot over low heat and pour over chicken. Cook on low in the crockpot for at least 4 hours. You can leave it in there all day.  Once chicken is done you can leave the chicken breasts whole, cube it, or even shred it. I always cut the breasts into tenderloin size strips.

Once you have cut up the chicken, throw it back in the crockpot and stir into the sauce. If you feel the sauce is too thick you can thin it to your preferred consistency with a little milk. Serve over pasta or rice.

I hope you will enjoy these recipes as well, and I'll be sharing some other great Pinterest finds soon!

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