Friday, December 12, 2014

Garlic Bread Christmas Tree Pull Apart

Anytime we have Italian food for dinner, Nate wants some sort of bread. I had some Rhode's rolls in the freezer so I used them to make this bread concoction last night.

16 Rhode's rolls
2-3 Tbsp. butter, melted
garlic bread seasoning

Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Spray with a little bit of non-stick spray. Lay out the rolls in a Christmas tree shape. One for the trunk, then a row of 5, then a row of 4, then a row of 3, then a row of 2, and then one for the top. Don't place the rolls right next to each other, leave a little room between to allow for rising. Cover with some saran wrap that you've sprayed with a little non-stick spray so it doesn't stick to the top of the rolls. Let rise for 3-4 hours. Once risen, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with garlic bread seasoning. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy warm!

Skillet Chicken Parmesan

Nate said he was in the mood for pasta last night which never happens! So we changed the menu plan to accommodate. I saw this idea over at Mel's Kitchen Cafe, my favorite recipe blog. I hardly changed her recipe at all. We really enjoyed dinner and definitely think this recipe is a keeper.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise to make 4 thinner chicken cutlets
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Hot spaghetti noodles for serving

In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, oregano, basil, sugar, salt, pepper and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
In a large 12-inch skillet, heat the canola oil over medium heat until rippling and hot. Thoroughly dry the chicken pieces and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Place the flour in a shallow dish and dredge the seasoned chicken pieces in the flour, coating both sides. Gently place 3-4 of the chicken pieces in the hot oil and cook for 3 minutes and then flip and cook 3 minutes longer until a nice golden crust has formed on the chicken (they’ll continue to cook in a later step). Remove the chicken to a plate and continue with the remaining pieces, removing them to the plate when they have been browned.
Wipe the skillet of excess oil and pour the sauce contents in the bowl into the skillet, taking care of splatters if the skillet is still piping hot. Turn the heat to medium and gently nestle the pieces of browned chicken into the sauce, making room for all six chicken breast cutlets. The chicken should be mostly covered with the sauce. Cover the skillet and simmer the sauce and chicken on medium or medium low for 15 minutes, checking every few minutes to make sure the chicken isn’t sticking to the bottom of the skillet. If so, turn the heat down a bit.
Uncover the skillet, sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the chicken and sauce. Cover and cook for five more minutes, or until cheese is nicely melted.
Serve over hot spaghetti noodles, if desired.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Rio Grande Quesadillas

We love Mexican food at our house. It makes an appearance at least weekly on our dinner table. Nate would have it multiple times a week if I let him! I have had this little recipe saved forever and we finally tried it last night. It's a cinch to make, and they are super yummy and filling. I saw the idea over at Taste and Tell. Enjoy!

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, seasoned with our favorite Mexican rub*, cooked and shredded
6 flour tortillas
1 (16 oz.) can refried beans
1 Tbsp. taco seasoning
green onions
shredded cheese
chopped cilantro, optional

In a medium sauce pot heat the refried beans over medium heat. Stir in 1 Tbsp. of taco seasoning. Once heated through, add the shredded chicken and cook until nice and hot. Spread the chicken/bean mixture over half of a tortilla, sprinkle cheese over the top, then top that with green onions and cilantro if you want. Fold the tortilla in half. Repeat with remaining tortillas. To cook, place a quesadilla in a skillet prepared with non-stick spray over medium heat. Cook until golden brown and then flip and repeat on the remaining side. Quesadilla is done when golden brown and the cheese is nice and gooey. Serve immediately with sour cream and salsa.

*Rub Recipe:
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Mix all of those really well. Store in an airtight container.

Breakfast Crunchwraps

This is a copy cat version of a dish Taco Bell makes. You layer a hashbrown patty, scrambled eggs, bacon, and some shredded cheese inside a flour tortilla. I'm not sure how close these are to the originals, but we really enjoyed them. This recipe makes 4.

4 large flour tortillas
6 eggs
8 small hashbrown patties
6 slices of bacon
shredded cheese, optional
salt and pepper

You want to cook all your ingredients. Scramble the eggs with some salt and pepper, cook and crumble the bacon, and cook the hashbrown patties until nice and crisp. Microwave the flour tortillas for 20 seconds or until nice and soft and pliable. Then in the middle of the tortilla, place the hashbrown patties right next to each other. If you have large hashbrown patties, you will only need one. then layer on some scrambled eggs, then bacon and some shredded cheese. Carefully fold the edges of the tortilla up and around the center so you have a little packet. In a skillet prepared with non-stick spray, over medium heat, place the crunchwrap seam side down and grill for a few minutes until golden brown and then flip and repeat on the other side. Serve hot with taco sauce, salsa, or ketchup, your choice!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Weekly Menu for Sunday, December 7 - Saturday, December 13

Nate and I had such a busy past few weeks. I still menu planned, but I mainly made family favorites, didn't try a lot of new recipes. Now we're back into a routine and dinners are happening more regularly. Here's what I've got cooking for the next week.

Sunday, December 7
Homemade Breakfast Crunchwraps with Orange Slices
This is going to be a copy cat version of a dish Taco Bell makes. I'm going to layer a hashbrown patty, scrambled eggs, bacon, and some shredded cheese inside a flour tortilla.

Monday, December 8
Rio Grande Quesadillas with Salad

Tuesday, December 9
Asiago Focaccia Turkey Sandwiches with Chips

Wednesday, December 10
Meatloaf and Salad

Thursday, December 11
Cornflake Crusted Baked Chicken with Yellow Rice and Green Beans

Friday, December 12
Spaghetti and Meatballs with Garlic Bread Christmas Tree Pull Apart (something I made up in my head that I'm looking forward to trying) and Salad

Saturday, December 13
Date Night!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Baked Fajita Sliders

I threw out my back last week and haven't been doing my cooking. My cute husband has stepped up and been cooking for us. Last night he made these fajita sliders from Picky Palate and we really enjoyed them. Definitely a keeper recipe.

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 packet of taco or fajita seasoning
1 onion, julienned
1 green or red pepper, julienned
small rolls
shredded cheese
salsa/taco sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray an 8x8 inch baking dish lightly with non stick cooking spray. Place ground beef and seasoning into a large mixing bowl, stirring to combine. Transfer beef to prepared baking dish and press down evenly into dish. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until baked through. Remove and drain grease if necessary. While burgers are baking, heat a little olive oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Add sliced onions and bell peppers, stirring until softened. Takes about 5-7 minutes, stirring often.
Split rolls and layer with a burger, onions and peppers, then shredded cheese, and salsa or taco sauce. Serve warm.