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Gobble-Up Strata

Flipping through some cooking magazines at grandma’s house this recipe for gobble-up strata struck my attention.  It is an article on ways to use up leftovers after Thanksgiving.  Well it is no are we close to Thanksgiving and my Grandma and me wants to know who has leftover stuffing or dressing?  It is always the first thing to disappear at our meal and we usually make double dishes.

I figures I could make this whenever and it sounded pretty good.  Mr.Picky is not a huge fan of strata but I served it when company was around so I knew he would eat it no matter what.  Knowing that I would never have leftover stuffing I prepared some with the purpose of this recipe alone.  I also used some rotisserie chicken that I had pulled apart and frozen previously.  The peppers and onions give it great color, it reminds me of Christmas.

The strata turned out great and was very filling.  Mr.Picky said it would be even better with a bit of turkey gravy over the top, I must agree that it would make it even better.

Gobble Up StrataGobble-Up Strata:

  • 3-4 cups leftover stuffing or dressing
  • 2 cups cubed and cooked chicken or turkey
  • 4 green onions,chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

 

Lightly grease a 9×13″ baking dish.

Layer stuffing, then chicken, followed by the green onions and peppers.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, and mayonnaise and pour evenly over the top of the casserole.

Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for 60-65 minutes.  Allow to cool about 10 minutes before serving.

Gobble-Up Strata

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One Dish Italian Chicken and Sides

Five ingredient one dish meal!

Five ingredient one dish meal!

After a friend shared the recipe Green Beans, Chicken & Potatoes – Julie’s Eats & Treats, she raved on and on about how easy and great it was.  I immediately made it and let me tell  you she was right.  I don’t think dinner can get easier or more family friendly than this recipe.

This meal was a one dish Italian flavored chicken and sides dish.  No need for anything else besides maybe some dinner rolls if you have them around.  Moist flavorful chicken, tender potatoes, and perfectly cooked green beans.  Both kids loved this meal and ate seconds and leftovers the next day.  Not to mention my 5-year-old decided she did like green beans.

The only thing I would do differently and I will keep you all posted is to create my own Italian seasoning mix.  I am not a fan of packaged seasoning mixture because they are usually full of salt and junk.  Ranch dressing I have down but I don’t normally cook a lot with Italian seasoning so I will have to experiment.  If you try this with a homemade seasoning mix before I update let me know.

Italian Chicken and SidesOne Dish Italian Chicken and Sides:

  • 2-3 cups fresh green beans, trimmed and cut
  • 2-3 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 3-5 medium/large red or new potatoes, cubed
  • 1/4 cup butter, cut in small cubes or slices
  • 1 package of Italian seasoning/dressing mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a 9×13″ pan line up green beans on one side lengthwise and potatoes on the other.

Place the chicken in the center row.

Arrange the butter cubes evenly over everything and then sprinkle all with the Italian seasoning.

Tightly cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.

Carefully remove foil (it is so so hot) and serve.
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Caramelized Garlic Chicken

While skimming my Pinterest board I had forgotten about Easy Garlic Chicken Recipe – Food.com , which I had made quiet some time ago.  Mr.Picky didn’t get a chance to try it so I thought I would put to the test.  It is one of easiest chicken recipes without sacrificing flavor.

We love anything garlic so what is not to love.  I changed the recipe slightly, increasing the garlic and reducing the amount of chicken to what our family needs.  The chicken breast I buy are verily large and 1/2 a chicken breast a person is more than enough.  I also felt the need to rename the dish because it is more of a caramelized garlic flavor.

One more chicken dish for the recipe box.  Mr.Picky and the kids loved it and would eat it again.  We served out chicken along  with cheesy yellow squash casserole and cottage cheese crescent rolls.

Caramelized Garlic Chicken:

Just be sure to put foil and a bit of oil down to prevent sticking

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 4-5 cloves garlic,crushed or minced
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs olive oil

Prepare a baking pan that will fit the chicken by lining with tin foil and spraying well with cooking spray.

Place chicken breasts in pan and season with salt and pepper.

In a small skillet heat oil and garlic until fragrant, and then stir in sugar.

Spread sugar/garlic paste on top of each breast.

Bake uncovered at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until juices run clear.

Aunt Debbie’s Cantaloupe Salsa

Fruit with a bite is the perfect way to describe Aunt Debbie’s Cantaloupe Salsa.  Sometimes I skip the chips and eat it straight out of the bowl with a fork.  My Aunt Debbie married into the family and we warmed up quickly when she brought her famous salsa to a family get together.

Not only is this salsa super healthy, it is also flavorful and versatile.  Aunt Debbie said it is great on top of fish or chicken, she tops the chicken and fish with salsa covers and bakes.  I am going to have to make some to try this out.

Aunt Debbie's Cantaloupe Salsa

Cantaloupe Salsa:

  • 1 ripe cantaloupe seeded, peeled and diced into small bits
  • 2 bunches green onions, chopped
  • 2 -3 sweet bell peppers seeded and finely chopped any color—I like the red ones best
  • 2 large bunches of fresh cilantro—use just the tops and mince finely
  • Juice of 4 limes, you can add some zest if you need more lime flavor
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger—you can use pre-minced if you don’t have fresh
  • 1 or 2 seeded jalapeño peppers,finely chopped
  • Optional—1-2 cloves of minced garlic

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, best if the flavors are able to develop for an hour or two in the fridge.

This is a really forgiving recipe. Aunt Debbie has stretched the recipe for another meal by adding chopped apples, mango, peaches, or even tomatoes and sweet corn.

Pesto Ranch Crock Pot Chicken

So now that I had all this pesto made up I decided to use it left and right.  I got some inspiration from Pesto Ranch Crock Pot Chicken Thighs – Picky Palate.  Due to what I had on hand I changed up the directions but it turned out amazing.  I also was headed to the zoo for the day and needed to throw something in the crock pot quick, frozen chicken and all.

I was planning on attempting to make my homemade gnocchi to serve along with the chicken.  I had everything out and opened my ricotta cheese which had spoiled.  So now that my zucchini was grated and my eggs were cracked I made some zucchini and corn fritters.  Stay tuned for the recipe, it is a childhood favorite of mine.

Back to the chicken it was great.  Flavorful and very moist, it was fork tender falling apart.  Next time I would serve it with mashed potatoes or a buttered pasta.  The next night we were headed out so I fixed some cheese tortellini and chopped the leftover chicken up for the kids.  I found myself stealing bites from my children.

Pesto Ranch Crock Pot Chicken:Pesto Ranch Crock Pot Chicken

  • 4 chicken breast or thighs, I used two of each it was all I had, (thawed or frozen) mine were frozen
  • 1/4 cup healthier ranch dressing or bottled ranch
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3-1/2 cup pesto
  • pepper to taste

 

Place frozen or thawed chicken into slow cooker (crock pot).  Spread a bit of ranch on each piece and then a bit of pesto on each piece.

Grind a bit of pepper on the whole thing.  Carefully add chicken broth so it settle to bottom and doesn’t wash away the toppings on chicken.

 Pesto Ranch Crockpot Chicken

Place on low for 6 hours or high for probably 3-4 hours, after about 6 hours of cooking on low I turned my slow cooker to keep warm until dinner time.

Pesto Ranch Crockpot Chicken

Enjoy!

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Chunky Chicken Salad

Chunky Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is a great change to the regular weekday sandwich.  Not to mention once you put it together, it keeps all week and you can have a sandwich in 30 seconds.  Mr.Picky is a huge fan of chicken salad, and it travels well out-of-town.

Enjoy this recipe, and feel free to add in walnuts or almonds which would both taste great.  Serve with crackers, as a sandwich, or with tortilla chips.

Chunky Chicken Salad:

  • About 4-5 cups of cooked chicken, shredded or diced (I used a rotisserie chicken, skin removed)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2-1 cup dried cranberries

Whisk together mayo, sour cream, mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

Once dressing is combined and tastes good, add all the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Allow to chill for at least an hour for flavors to develop.

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork or Chicken

Slow cooker BBQ pulled pork or chicken sandwich

Nothing says summer like a sloppy barbecue and  coleslaw sandwich.  I liked my fingers even after this one.  The coleslaw was a new recipe which was wonderful and this recipe I have come up with for pulled pork or chicken is a family favorite.

This is a recipe I had adapted over the last few years, combining odds and ends of recipes.  I use this recipe for chicken usually but had some pork butt all trimmed ready, so away I went.

Slow cooker BBQ pulled porkBBQ Pulled Pork or Chicken:

  • 2 –3 lbs. of chicken breasts or 3-4 lbs. pork butt trimmed off fat, and cut in 2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup cola or root beer
  • 1/2-1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce

Rub:

  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle or spicy chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ginger

Place meat in slow cooker.  Combine all rub ingredients and mix well, sprinkle over meat and mix until coated.

Pour soda over meat, and turn to low.Slow cooker BBQ pulled pork or chicken

Cook on low about 6 hours.

Drain all but 1/2 cup of fluid, and remove meat to a cutting board or bowl.  Shred meat with hands or forks, and place back in slow cooker with liquids.

Toss with as much barbecue sauce is desired, about 1/2 bottle.  Continue to heat another 30 minutes on low.

Serve anyway you prefer!

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