Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

This was in the Taste of Home magazine a few months ago.  If you like buffalo/blue cheese combo, this is such a good dish!  This kids picked at it, but I was expecting that one.  Here is the original recipe. 

I originally prepped and assembled this on a Saturday, thinking to just heat it up after church on a Sunday.  But then we had to change plans, so I ended up putting it in the freezer for almost a month, and it did thaw and heat up well.

Photo from Taste of Home

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground chicken
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) buffalo wing sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • 1 carton (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
  • 1-3/4 cups (7 ounces) crumbled blue cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup minced Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded white cheddar cheese


  • In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add the chicken, onion, celery and carrot; cook and stir until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes longer. Stir in the tomatoes, wing sauce, water, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions; drain. (I just use the "no-cook" noodles)
  • In a small bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, 3/4 cup blue cheese, parsley and egg.
  • Spread 1-1/2 cups sauce into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Layer with three noodles, 1-1/2 cups sauce, 2/3 cup ricotta mixture, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 2/3 cup cheddar cheese and 1/3 cup blue cheese. Repeat layers twice.
  • Bake, covered, at 350° for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake 20-25 minutes longer or until bubbly and cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Lasagna Soup

Photo from Elly Says Opa
This was super good.  I made it on a Saturday (except for the noodles) and then warmed it up after church when we had some friends over.  We really enjoyed it a lot, and the leftovers were even better the next few days.  The recipe was from a blog called Elly Says Opa.  (I read about it from another blog, but can't remember which.)

2 tsp. olive oil
1.5 lbs. Italian sausage, casings removed (I used turkey sausage, a combo of mild & hot)
2 medium onions, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 (28 oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 qt. chicken broth
2 cups beef broth

8 oz. dry mafalda, fusili, gemelli or other curly pasta

1/3 cup finely chopped basil

8 oz. ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add sausage, crumbling as you stir, and brown (about 3-5 minutes). Add onions and cook until softened. Stir in garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and tomato paste. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until fragrant and the tomato paste starts to turn a little brown.

Add the diced tomatoes, bay leaves, chicken broth and beef broth; stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. (Alternatively, you can reduce the amount of broth by a little, and cook the noodles separately, adding them to individual bowls before serving.) Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil.

While the pasta is cooking, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, and pepper in a medium bowl.

To serve, place a large dollop of the cheese mixture in each soup bowl, and ladle the hot soup over the cheese mixture.

Eggplant Dip

I've been really bad about posting recipes recently, even though I've been trying a lot of new recipes.  I actually remembered to take a picture of this one, but it looked like greyish goop, so I'll spare you.  It was super yummy, though!  The kids all even enjoyed it.

3 medium eggplants
2 Tbl, plus 1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups feta cheese
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
S&P to taste

Preheat oven to 400.  Brush eggplants with olive oil and pierce them with a fork.  Roast in the oven until the skins are brown and the eggplants are soft, about 30 minutes.   Cool slightly, peel, and cut into chunks.

Place eggplants, garlic, feta, walnuts and olive oil into the food processor.  Process until only a few chunks are left.  Season with S&P.

Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Muffins

This recipe is from the blog The Frugal Girl, which I love, love love.  It may be my favorite blog from someone I don't personally know.  I was reading a blog entry she wrote about how she needed to use up an extra sweet potato, and I thought "Hey, I do, too!"  They taste very similar to pumpkin bread.  I made half with chocolate chips and half without.  The chocolate batch disappeared first, but all the kids liked the regular batch, as well.

Photo from The Frugal Girl

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
16 oz. mashed sweet potato (without butter, salt, or milk)
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 package chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin, milk, and oil until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk dry ingredients together. Add dry ingredients to liquid ingredients, and stir just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake 16-20 minutes at 350 degrees.  Makes 36.

(I actually made these into two loafs, baked at 350 until they looked done.  :)

Chicken, asparagus, goat cheese pasta

This recipe originated from a blog called Smitten Kitchen.  I found it with a google search for asparagus and goat cheese.  The only thing I changed from the original recipe was to toss in some rotisserie chicken shreds.

Photo from Smitten Kitchen

1 pound spiral-shaped pasta
1 pound slender asparagus spears, trimmed, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lemon (1 Tbl grated peel plus all the juice)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
1 5- to 5 1/2-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese (Costco always has this at a great price)

Cook your pasta in a large pot of well-salted water until it is almost tender, or about three minutes shy of what the package suggests. Add asparagus and cook until firm-tender, another two to three minutes. Drain both pasta and asparagus together, reserving one cup of pasta water.

Meanwhile, combine olive oil, lemon peel, tarragon and cheese in a large bowl, breaking up the goat cheese as you put it in. Add hot pasta and asparagus to bowl, along with a couple slashes of the pasta water. Toss until smoothly combined, adding more pasta water if needed.

Stir in shredded chicken.

 Season generously with salt and pepper, and lemon juice.

Sweet and Tangy Lemon Chicken

3 to 4 pounds chicken parts (I used frozen legs and a few breast halves)
1 (6-ounce) box Lemon Jello powder
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon prepared Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon dried minced onion flakes (or one tiny onion, finely diced)


Use a 4 to 6 quart slow cooker. My chicken was frozen solid, too. If you have thawed chicken, shave about 90 minutes off of the cooking time.
Place the chicken into your slow cooker. In a small mixing bowl, combine the jello powder, melted butter, dijon mustard, and onion flakes. Stir together to make a paste. This isn't liquidy at all--- it's sort of a combo between paste and playdough. Smear this onto your chicken the best you can.
Cover, and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. I cooked our chicken on low for exactly 7 hours, then kept it on the warm setting for another 2 hours.

I thought this one was very tasty.  The kids weren't totally in love though.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Slow Cooker Ham & Cheese Hashbrown bake

2lbs shredded frozen hash browns
1 stick melted butter
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 c. chopped onion (I cooked it first in some butter so it was soft)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
2 cups fully cooked diced ham ( I just used deli meat and sliced it up)
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Spray crock pot with non-stick cooking spray. Mix everything together in a large bowl, transfer it to your crock pot. This makes a lot so plan to use about a 6qt size slow cooker or so. Place on med/low heat for 8hrs or high for 4hrs. You could also bake it in your oven for one hour at 375 degrees. We had this for dinner but it could also be served for breakfast!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Creamy Slow Cooker Beef & Noodles

--2 lbs stew meat

--2 T butter
--1 T worcestershire sauce

--1 T black pepper

--2 T dried minced onion

--1/4 cup beef broth

--1/2 t kosher salt

--1 t herbs de provence

--1/4 cup milk

--1/2 block of cream cheese
Mix together all ingredients except cream cheese and milk in your slow cooker.  Cook on low for a long time, at least 8 hours.  This makes the beef very tender.  Before serving, stir in cream cheese until incorprated.  Serve over noodles.

Salmon / Fish Recipes

Last week we had steelhead trout for dinner.  I decided to try my two favorite salmon recipes, and they turned out great. 

Recipe #1:  A thin layer of mayonaise, then sprinkle garlic powder and dill on top. Tastes a lot like ranch.

Recipe #2: This one is more like a glaze.  Pour on a thin layer of honey, then sprinkle brown sugar on top.

Bake in the oven at 350 for about half an hour.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Easy Cinnamon Bread

1/3 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup white sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
In large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and 1 cup sugar. Add egg, milk, and oil to flour mixture. Pour half of the batter into your pan.  Then sprinkle a generous layer of white sugar and cinnamon.  Top with the other half of the batter.  Bake for 45+ minutes or until done.