This recipe, hands down, has become my daughter’s favorite to eat and to cook. We discovered it when we had to go out of town and she was left with friends for the weekend. That was last weekend and she has had it twice since. Originally posted on About.com, here is the recipe – what I like is you can be creative with it…add peas (her favorite), carrots, broccoli or asparagus. We also topped with mozzarella/provolone cheese and decrease the amount of milk – ½ cup made it too soupy for us. Enjoy!
Chicken Alfredo Casserole
By Linda Larsen
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: Serves 4-6
- 1 (16-ounce) package rigatoni pasta
- 3 cups cooked diced chicken breast
- 1 (16-ounce) jar Alfredo sauce
- 1 (10-ounce) container refrigerated Alfredo sauce
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta 2 minutes less than cooking time on package (the pasta will finish cooking in the casserole).
Meanwhile, in large saucepan, combine both containers of Alfredo sauce with the milk; heat until mixture begins to bubble. When pasta is almost cooked, add to sauce along with chicken and half of the Parmesan cheese.
Spray a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Pour food into the dish and top with remaining Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover casserole and bake for 15-20 minutes longer or until casserole is bubbly and cheese melts and begins to brown.
You can vary this dish in many ways: add 1 cup sliced frozen carrots, thawed, 2 cups frozen baby peas, thawed, 1 (10-ounce) package frozen asparagus, thawed, 2 cups frozen green beans, thawed. Top the casserole with 1/3 cup bread crumbs mixed with 3 tablespoons melted butter; add that after the casserole is uncovered.
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This summer I grew one – yes one – cucumber plant. The first picking I hauled in 30 cukes off of it. It was not a Kirby or pickling cuke plant, but a salad cuke that produces very few seeds in the cucumber and a nice thin outer skin. I’m kicking myself that I didn’t keep the plastic thingy that came with it saying exactly what type of plant it was. I’m thinking it was somehow related to the English cucumber family. They all average around 12 inches and are somewhat slender. Knowing that I had to do something with them quick, I poked around on the internet and found this wonderful refrigerator pickle recipe from Cooking Light. They turned out absolutely tasty and get better and the days go on. I followed the recipe verbatim except I doubled the brine because it didn’t produce enough liquid to cover the cucumbers. I also added sliced red bell pepper – because I really like them pickled, too and made it taste like my Mom’s bread and butter recipe. It is a really easy recipe – I did three batches in one evening. After three days of them sit in the fridge, I transferred to pint jars. Enjoy!
- 6 cups thinly sliced pickling cucumbers (about 2 pounds)
- 2 cups thinly sliced onion
- 2 cups thinly sliced red, yellow or orange sweet bell pepper*
Brine* (doubled from original recipe)
- 3 cups white vinegar
- 1 ½ cup sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Place 3 cups cucumber in a medium glass bowl; top with 1 cup onion and 1 cup of bell pepper. Repeat procedure with the remaining 3 cups cucumber and remaining 1 cup onion and 1 cup of bell pepper.
Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients in a small saucepan; stir well. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute. Pour over cucumber mixture; let cool. Cover and chill at least 4 days. At this point, you can keep in the bowl you have them in or transfer to pint jars.
Note: Pickles may be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Kathleen Kanen, Cooking Light
It’s not quite a jambalaya nor is it red beans ‘n rice. But it has a little of both in it – whatever ya want to call it, it came out tasty and was a fast skillet meal to make on a busy week night. What inspired me to make this was Johnsonville’s new Cajun Style Chicken Sausage. It’s fully cooked, has 50% less fat than regular sausage, a little heat and nice spice. It’s very tasty and I’m planning to try their other varieties. I’ve never been disappointed with Johnsonville’s products. Here’s what I threw in the pan to make this “fried-rice”-type dish – Enjoy!
Cajun Fried Rice
2 cups cooked rice (I used minute rice)
2 links of Johnsonville Cajun-Style Chicken Sausage, diced
½ large onion diced
½ sweet red bell pepper diced
1 clove of garlic minced
1 can red kidney beans, drained (I used Bush’s low-sodium)
1 tsp. Cajun season (more if you like)
Couple shakes of your favorite hot sauce (more if you like)
Salt & pepper to taste
1-2 tbsps. Olive oil
Heat oil in a sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add the diced sausage and brown. Then add the diced onion and sauté until translucent and starting to caramelize. Next, toss in the bell pepper and garlic, sauté for a few minutes and then add the kidney beans. Continue to cook and stir until the beans heat thru. Stir in the Cajun seasoning, the hot sauce and salt & pepper. Mix in the cooked rice. Heat thoroughly and serve…dat be it!
My new favorite way to make burgers is in slider form. Out of all the things I can cook, I can’t grill a decent full size hamburger. I’m paranoid about them not being fully cooked and getting e coli. One thing I learned when I worked in the food industry is unless you ground your own beef; don’t even chance eating a medium/rare burger. Not worth it. On a more up-beat note – sliders are delish and very quick to make. And I’m all about instant satisfaction – especially when I’m hungry.
1 – 1 ½ lbs 80-20 ground beef
2-3 tablespoons of Worchester sauce
1 tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. garlic salt (I like Lowry’s California Garlic Salt)
Hawaiian Bread dinner rolls
Topping of your choice i.e. chopped tomato, shredded lettuce, finely sliced sweet onion, sliced mini dills, etc.
Mix ground beef with Worchester sauce, onion powder and garlic salt. Form into patties that are thin and bigger than the Hawaiian rolls (80-20 beef will shrink). I used one of those cheap plastic patty forms and made the patty just shy (1/2”) from the edge.
Heat grill on high. Place patties on grill to sear first side and turn heat down to medium. Cook 2-3 minutes, flip and cook another 2-3 minutes until juices run clear. Top with cheese of your liking to melt.
Serve with rolls and toppings. Enjoy!
In a previous post of mine (http://brownbits.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/baby-gotz-back-baby-back-ribs-that-is/) I gave the recipe of a rub I use on my ribs. Since then, I have gotten hooked on a rub seasoning by a local BBQ joint here in MN (that is now a nationwide chain) called Famous Dave’s. I use this seasoning along with brown sugar and garlic powder. Rub on ribs, cover in foil and let them sit over night. I then proceed with my original way of slow cooking them, then tossing on the grill right before dinner with some BBQ sauce as described in my original post. Hope you can find this product in your local grocery store – it’s a goodin! If not, you can order online on this site along with other products they carry -http://www.famousbbq.com/index.html. Enjoy!
Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo and I was very excited that we had nice weather and no snow like we did on Uno de Mayo…ugh. Need I say we’ve had a very crappy spring here in Minnesota. I pulled the ol grill out and fired up some chicken fajitas. My new purchase of a grilling basket came in very handy cooking this fast and easy meal.
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts thinly sliced
1 packet of Goya Sazon seasoning
Juice from 1 lime or 2 tbsp. bottled lime juice
1 tbsp. jarred crushed garlic or 2 cloves finely minced
1 tbsp. Canola oil
Salt & pepper
Sliced bell peppers and onions
Mix all marinade ingredients in a ziploc bag, add chicken and marinate 30 min to a couple of hours.
Over high heat on grill, place grill basket, spray with cooking spray and add onions/peppers. Grill until they start to get color. Remove. Add chicken and grill until cooked thru, re-add onion and peppers. Cook for a minute or two. Removed and serve w/ tortillas, sour cream, fresh cilantro, cheese, guacamole, salsa and any other accoutrements you like. Enjoy!
I wanted to make chicken enchiladas for dinner last night. I looked at the nutritional info on a can of enchilada sauce. High in sodium. I’m getting old…I need to watch my sodium intake. I made my own. It was quick and easy and oh so tasty. I’m also trying to eat better and used these low-carb tortillas. They are really soft-no need to dip in the sauce or oil. My entire meal took me about 1 hour beginning to end and let me tell ya…we ate well, with leftovers to beat! Enjoy!
1/8 cup canola oil
1 large shallot finely diced
1/8 cup chili powder
2 tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. jarred minced garlic or 1 large garlic clove minced w/ a little salt to create paste
2 tbsp. tomato paste (used from tube-keep in my fridge at all time – really handy)
15 oz. can organic tomato sauce
¾ can of water
Heat oil in sauce pan on medium heat. Add shallots and cook until they start turning opaque. Add spices, garlic and tomato paste cook for about 1 minute stirring constantly. Mixture will become a paste. Whisk in tomato sauce and water. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
Chicken Enchiladas (Makes 6)
2-3 cups of shredded cooked chicken
Shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
In a casserole dish, spread some enchilada sauce on bottom. Mix some of the enchilada sauce in w/ the cheese and chicken to coat. Lay tortilla on flat surface, add ½ cup of chicken mixture to middle and roll up burrito style. Lay seam side down in casserole dish. Repeat, then cover w/ sauce and more shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes until cheese starts to brown.
I served with a brown rice/black bean side and a cilantro, jalapeño pepper coleslaw. Yum!