Chicken Divan

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Another week has begun, and I’ve got a great casserole for you! This is chicken divan. It is probably my brother’s favorite meal. He came to visit a while ago and I made this for him, since I knew that he liked so well. He ate almost the entire pan. The only part he didn’t eat was what I ate. It was unreal. Granted he runs and cycles all day long, so he can afford to eat like that sometimes, but I was just blown away. So needless to say this is a very good meal.

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To make chicken divan, start by cutting some broccoli, and steaming it just until tender, you don’t want to get it too soft, as it will continue to cook once it’s in the casserole. Steaming for 3-5 minutes will be good, depending on how big you cut your broccoli. Then shred some cooked chicken and dice some ham and put in the bottom of baking pan. Add your broccoli on top of the chicken and ham.

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In a small bowl mix together a can of cream of chicken soup, some mayonnaise and some pepper and a pinch or oregano. If you want to make the meal a little healthier, you can substitute the mayonnaise for some plain yogurt. That’s what I did this time, and I couldn’t tell the difference. It was very tasty! Once the soup mixture is combined pour over the chicken and broccoli, so its resting on top. If you want to stir it all together you can, but I always just keep it on top. Then sprinkle with some cheddar cheese, and with some crushed Ritz (or other buttery) crackers. They don’t have to be fine crumbs, just break them up like you are putting them in soup. Drizzle a tablespoon of melted on top of the crackers, and then bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Enjoy!!

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Chicken Divan

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 1 cup Ham, diced
  • 2 cups fresh Broccoli, chopped
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise, or Plain Yogurt
  • Dash of Oregano
  • Pepper
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 1 sleeve Ritz Crackers, crushed
  • 1 tbsp. Butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Steam the chopped broccoli for 3-5 minutes, just until tender. In a 9×13 baking pan, put in the shredded chicken and diced ham. Top with the steamed broccoli. In a mixing bowl, combine the soup, mayonnaise (or yogurt), and oregano and pepper. Pour that over the chicken, ham, and broccoli, and spread it so it covers the entire pan. Sprinkle casserole with shredded cheddar cheese, and then with the crackers. Drizzle the melted butter over top. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and the casserole is bubbly. Enjoy!!

 

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Mexican Chicken Chili

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Apparently winter decided to finally come to Ohio. It is bitter cold here. I woke up and it was -4 degrees, and that doesn’t even include the wind chill. Needless to say I hope this doesn’t stick around. I am ready for summer! Last night I decided to make Mexican chicken chili since it was so cold. It just seemed like the perfect thing to warm us up. And it worked!

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Chili is such a great dish. It can be so versatile and can be turned into a healthy soup without losing great flavor. Plus it can be made ahead of time for busy days. This is a pretty easy recipe to make as well, and could be done in a crock pot.

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To start the chili, dice some onion, red bell pepper, and garlic. In a large pot over medium heat, saute the onion and pepper in a little olive oil until starting to brown and tender, then add the garlic and cook for another minute or two. Then you simply just add the remaining ingredients to the pot, stir to combine everything, and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, until all the flavors have combined, or you’re just too impatient to wait anymore, like I was. Once the chili is done, serve with some fresh cilantro, cheese, or sour cream on top. Enjoy!

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Mexican Chicken Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 16-oz can black beans
  • 1 16-oz can kidney beans
  • 1 16-oz can tomato sauce
  • 10 oz package frozen corn kernels
  • 1 28-oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 can diced green chilies
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked, shredded
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

In a medium pan over medium heat, saute onion and bell pepper in some olive oil until starting to brown and tender, add in garlic and cook for another minute. Add in remaining ingredients, except for cilantro. Stir to combine. Bring chili to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Serve with chopped cilantro on top.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Hello everyone! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and is stuffed with turkey and mashed potatoes and cranberries and pumpkin pie! This was the first year I spent Thanksgiving in Cincinnati with my husband’s family. It was a really great day, and it also happened to be my husband’s birthday. We started off the day by running in the Thanksgiving Day 10k race. A great way to burn calories before eating a huge meal, and it benefited some great charities. Then we went home, rested and got ready for dinner at his Aunt and Uncle’s house. We had a great meal there, and enjoyed everyone’s company.

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(Photo courtesy of Uncle Tim Rodenberg)

The day after we had a big birthday bash for Jason at our house, and he requested tacos and chocolate pie (recipe to come). I made beef and chicken tacos with a homemade seasoning, guacamole, and cilantro lime rice for dinner. I like to use homemade seasoning mix because the pre-made kind you buy in the store can be very high in sodium, and I think it tastes more fresh.

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For the seasoning, I mix together chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and a dash of salt. The recipe below, is good for one pound of beef or chicken. To make the taco meat, brown ground beef, or boil some chicken and shred it once completely cooked. In a skillet, combine meat and seasoning mix and about 3/4 cup of water over medium heat. Cook until the water has been absorbed. Enjoy with your favorite taco toppings!

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Homemade Taco Seasoning

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • Dash of salt

Directions:

Mix all spices together to combine. Stir into your taco meat, and enjoy!

Chicken Cacciatore

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We are having a small heat wave here in Cincinnati, but unfortunately it will be down into the 40’s by the end of week. I cleaned out my garden this weekend and it made me sad that the summer is completely over. But on the other hand, I am very excited for next year’s crop. I have to admit though, it was hard to buy a bell pepper at the store for my dinner I made last night. We had my in-laws over for dinner and I made one of my all time favorite meals, Chicken cacciatore. It’s full of flavor and tender pieces of chicken, and wonderful vegetables. Of course, this is Italian, so how can you go wrong? We followed this up with some chocolate chip biscuits, another favorite, making it such a good meal.

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To start the chicken cacciatore, trim and cut the chicken into large pieces, about the size of a deck of cards. Then dredge the chicken in flour. Add some oil to a large pan over medium heat. Place chicken in oil and cook on each side for about 5 minutes. Once the chicken is done, remove from pan, and add the peppers and onions and sauté until tender and the onions are translucent. Then add the garlic and the mushrooms, and sauté for a couple more minutes. Once the mushrooms are tender, add some red wine or the diced tomatoes and deglaze the pan. If you don’t like the taste of wine in your food, I suggest using the tomatoes to get all the good stuff off the bottom. I like to use the wine. Allow that to simmer for a few minutes then add the chicken back in along with the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cover pan. Cook for additional hour to allow all the flavors of the spices to mingle and the chicken to become very tender. About 10 minutes before serving. Cook some pasta according to the package directions. Serve the chicken cacciatore over pasta.

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Chicken Cacciatore

  • 2-3 lb. chicken breasts or thighs
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 medium green bell pepper
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (3 oz)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cans (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, if desired

To start, trim and cut the chicken into large pieces. Then dredge the chicken in flour. Add some oil to a large pan over medium heat. Place chicken in oil and cook on each side for about 5 minutes. Once the chicken is done, remove from pan, and add the peppers and onions and sauté until tender and the onions are translucent. Then add the garlic and the mushrooms, and sauté for a couple more minutes. Once the mushrooms are tender, add the red wine or the diced tomatoes and deglaze the pan.  Allow that to simmer for a few minutes then add the chicken back in along with the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cover pan. Cook for additional hour to allow all the flavors of the spices to mingle and the chicken to become very tender. About 10 minutes before serving. Cook some pasta according to the package directions. Serve the chicken cacciatore over pasta. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Chicken Parmesan

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Last night I made chicken Parmesan for dinner. And let me tell you, it was SO good! My husband had four pieces, and if that doesn’t tell you how good it was then I don’t know what will. I love it when he really enjoys my cooking. It’s one of the little pleasures in my life. After a long day at work, coming home and cooking for him really makes my day. Especially when it turns out as well as it did last night with the chicken Parmesan.

Start by cooking the chicken. Season the chicken with a little salt and pepper. Then dredge the chicken in some flour. You could also use panko crumbs for a crunchier texture. Put some olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot put the chicken in the skillet. Cook the chicken until golden brown, about 5 minutes, and turn the chicken to cook the other side.

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Once the chicken is golden brown on all sides, and cooked through, place aside on a plate. At this point, turn the burner down to medium and add some chopped garlic to the pan and sauté for about a minute. Next add a jar of spaghetti sauce. I used a jar of homemade sauce that I canned earlier in August. It was made with tomatoes from my garden, some Chianti wine, garlic, onion, basil and oregano. I also added a 15 oz can of regular tomato sauce to the pan to give it an extra tomato flavor. When that comes to a simmer,add a little bit more basil to the sauce. After everything is incorporated, place the chicken back in the sauce and let everything get hot.

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In the meantime, cook some spaghetti in a pot of boiling water. Once the spaghetti gets close to done, add some parmesan cheese (a big handful if you like cheese as much as I do) to the top of the chicken and place a lid on top of the skillet and let the cheese melt. Serve chicken and sauce over the hot spaghetti and you have a wonderfully rich and cheesy meal. This one is definitely worth the effort!

 

Enjoy!

 

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Chicken Parmesan

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Chicken Breasts
  • 2-3 Tbsp Flour
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 15 oz. jar Spaghetti Sauce
  • 1 15 oz. can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Basil
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • Cooked spaghetti

 

Directions:

 

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat, and add olive oil. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour, so both sides are covered. Once oil is hot, add chicken to pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Then flip the chicken and cook the other side for an additional 5 minutes. Once both sides are golden brown, and cooked through, set chicken aside. Turn heat down to medium, and add chopped garlic to skillet, and brown for about a minute. Then add spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce and bring to a simmer, then add basil. Place chicken back in skillet, and bring sauce back to a simmer. Add Parmesan cheese to the top of chicken, and cover skillet to allow cheese to melt. After about 3 minutes, remove the lid and serve chicken and sauce over hot spaghetti.

Chicken Noodle Casserole

Last night I made a super-yummy casserole, filled with joy and warmth… and chicken, noodles, and the last of my summer veggies. It was delicious. This can be made with so many different ingredients, and that’s why it’s one of my favorites meals. It’s very versatile. In this casserole, I used zucchini, summer squash, red bell pepper and onion. All of which came from my garden that I had this summer, except the onion, which came from my dad’s garden.

My Dad has always had an amazing garden in the summer, he’s like a wizard! He grows the best vegetables, including cucumbers, green beans, zucchini, different types of squash, peppers of all varieties, asparagus, onion, garlic, rhubarb, and most importantly tomatoes. This year he helped me start my own garden, and it turned out pretty well for my first garden. We had a little set back in the beginning due to some deer, but we got a good amount of produce. I was even able to can my own spaghetti sauce from the tomatoes I grew. So for this dish I used my last red pepper, summer squash, and zucchini from the garden.

This is an extremely cozy meal, perfect for a cold fall or winter evening. But since I used summer vegetables, I feel like there is still a chance for warmth. I love how food can make you feel good and warm inside. For the sauce, I just used a can of cream of chicken soup, and little lite mayonnaise. I seasoned it with some Italian spices, and a little paprika. Now usually I will make a sauce instead of using the goopy canned soup, but I was being a little lazy last night, so I went for convenience.

Now that its getting a little cooler in the evenings, go make this casserole. You won’t regret it!

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Chicken Noodle Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken, cooked, diced
  • 8 oz. egg noodles
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced
  • 1 small summer squash, sliced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1  10 oz can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a stainless steel skillet put in a tablespoon of olive oil over med high heat. Once heated add vegetables and saute until cooked through. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the soup, mayonnaise and seasonings.  Add diced chicken, vegetables, and cooked noodles into soup mixture and stir to combine. Pour mixture into casserole dish and sprinkle cheese on top of casserole. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until cheese it melted and casserole is heated through and bubbly.

 

Enjoy!