This was one of those recipes made up on the spot that ended up being a hit. I wanted to make a cheese ball but I didn't want to go to the store so I thought about the things I had on hand: cream cheese, bacon, Country Bob's ....jalapeno jelly...and that's about it but that's about all you need!
The greatest thing about the invention of the Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole is the ease of it. I've made cordon bleu from scratch, and while it's not hard, it takes time. The casserole combines both the basic elements of traditional cordon bleu: chicken, ham, and swiss cheese, along with a built in sauce for that creamy, dreamy, yumminess that is chicken cordon bleu.
I pinned two different recipes for Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole on Pinterest and this was the night I finally got around to moving it from my "wish" list to my "been there/done that/plan to do it again" list.
This recipe (on the left) from Recipe Sweet was my biggest inspiration. I liked the sauce made from scratch, although I spiced mine up a little differently and I used whole pieces of chicken rather than rotisserie, not that there's anything wrong with using rotisserie chicken, it can be a great time-saver. I just used what I had on hand. I prefer white meat and Gene prefers dark meat so it was easy to make a His and a Hers side to our casserole, along with a last minute thought on my part of adding broccoli to cook in that wonderful sauce, added to the Hers side, of course, since Gene hates broccoli. But for non-broccoli-haters, it would be good strewn throughout the casserole to bubble away in the sauce.
My second inspiration was this Pinned recipe from Little B Cooks for a quick put together. The sauce is made from Cream of Chicken Soup which cuts the time down to almost negative minutes putting this one together and there are times when that is a HUGE plus! Both of these recipes call for pre-cooked chicken, rotisserie or other, which can save oven time but I started with the uncooked chicken breasts and thighs I had on hand. Either works beautifully.
All we really need here are two words: "bacon" and "cheese".
If pushed, I could probably say a few more words: like yummy to the tummy Milton's snack crackers. I've been a fan of their gourmet line for many years but the beauty of the snack cracker line is that that crackers are smaller so you get the crunch, the whole graininess, and the slight sweet in a smaller version so you also get bacon and cheese with every bite--that's a win every way there is to win!
Out of the six flavors Gene and I, and lots of other family members, tried these were our favorite flavors: Original Multi-Grain, Honey Multi-Grain, and Honey & Corn, all yummy on their own or as a great base for chips or chicken and tuna salad.
In this area, southwest Missouri, they can be found at Wal-mart, Target, and Sam's Club.
Found this recipe from Rita's Recipes on Pinterest and it looked like the perfect no work Crockpot/slow cooker recipe for dinner tonight, on this cold and dreary rainy day in the Ozarks. It was!
It's a little different style from most of the dishes I make but Gene's always game and always honest. Not rude, but honest. If he doesn't like something, like the stuffing I made the other day, he'll be honest and and reply to my "Did you like it?" with a simple and direct "No, I did not. But thank you for making dinner tonight." The reason why I make a point of telling that is that I was curious to see how he'd react to this new recipe. He chose to heat up leftover mashed potatoes instead of spooning it over rice, but he cleaned his two chicken breast bowl like a big boy begging to get dessert. He even said about halfway in, with a full mouth no less, "This is surprisingly tasty!" (I think he assumed that creamy would mean boring but it's not) Lots of flavor and perfect comfort food.
I made a few changes to the recipe, mainly spicing from my spice rack since I don't keep packets of ranch dressing mix on hand, more chicken for my meat-eater hubby, and I used chickpeas instead of kidney beans. It was delicious. I think any type of bean would work well in this dish.
Thank you to Rita for blogging this dish (Gene thanks you too).
Ham & Provolone roll up is one of my favorite weekend night meals. Even though it takes a couple of hours to make, there's relatively little hands-on time so I can lay the dough out to defrost in the early afternoon, run errands, make the roll-up, and then do laundry or other household chores for the next hour while it raises again. After that, it's only a matter of baking. By the time we eat, usually serving only a simple salad on the side, I barely feel like I've spent any time at all in the kitchen. Magic!
It, and its pepperoni cousin, also make great party appetizers, almost always found on my family holiday menu list.
Scallopped Potatoes has always been one of our favorite dishes but as a cook it can be frustrating to make sure that the slices of potato are thin enough and get cooked long enough to make sure they're cooked through to nice and soft. This recipe addresses so many problems with mediocre scallopped potato recipes. The potatoes are cubed and pre-boiled on the stove top so the texture is that comforting soft, cheesy, richness that everyone loves. Plus, by adding herbs to the mix instead of just cream and cheese, the flavor pops in a very 3-D way. I've never served these potatoes that guests didn't ask for the recipe and tell me how much they love this dish. It is the best scallopped potato recipe I've ever made.
After all the rain and thunderstorms last night followed by a late night of movie-watching and gloriously sleeping in to a chilly fall morning, eggs seemed to fill the bill of fare this morning. Not just any eggs, not plain scrambled or even the richness of dipping toast into the rich yolks of fried eggs over easy, but the cheesy, bacony goodness of the classic Quiche Lorraine. With pre-cooked bacon and previously rolled pie crust in the freezer, shredded parmesan in the fridge, and a couple of green onions in the crisper, it took less than five minutes to beat the eggs along with the other ingredients and pour them into the pie shell--so worth it this morning!
Gene's Croque Monsieur and Arugula Salald from The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado.
Murder in the Rue Dumas by M. L. (Mary Lou) Longworth
There are some books that start off with a character so over the top that you immediately either love or hate him or her. Refreshingly, this is not one of those books. Second in the series, I enjoyed this softer, quieter, more gentle book and its hero, Judge (Detective) Antoine Verlaque. Please don't read that as insult to the author. I'm being honest here in that even though I am a fan of fast-pased high profile thrillers and mysteries, I'm also a fan of quieter books as well. Let me explain.
At first, Detective Verlaque reads a bit cool and removed, definitely not a hot-headed maverick of a detective but throughout the book bits and pieces of his background come out, his love of food and cigars, his loyalty to his opera-loving partner Bruno Paulik, and well as, his depth of emotion for his girlfriend, Marine Bonnet. And that's not even mentioning his dogged persistence, intuitiveness, and compassion in solving the mystery of who murdered Dr. Moutte, director of the theology department at the University d'Aix. (Aix-en-Provencer in southern France) where Marine's mother is also a professor.
For foodies and "mental travelers who have no need for luggage" (Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen) the book inspires smile after smile with descriptions of food and towns so unlike my small midwestern American city that I feel that I'm vicariously traveling. Even the sound of the beef and chicken roasts with potatoes and carrots that Antoine and Marine make, that we eat often for Sunday dinners here at home, seem exotic in the setting of southern France. One of my favorite of the book's meals was the Croque Monsieur Antoine treats his friend and crime-solving partner, Bruno, to in a small family-owned restaurant while they're out tracking down leads in the case.
I first wrote about Croque Monsieur after seeing the movie "it's Complicated". The "Crispy Mister", fried ham and cheese sandwiches or what we would call grilled ham and cheese, first appeared on Paris menus around 1910 and has variations as plentiful as there are chefs: plain, with mornay sauce, with a fried egg or fresh tomato slices on top, etc. My favorite version is with thick cut ham slices and mornay sauce, which I've included a recipe for here..
To cut to the chase, did I like the book and its characters? So much I've already ordered its predecessor, Death at the Chateau Bremont, and am eager for the summer 2013 release of the next in the series, Death in the Vines.
My cousin, Colleen. posted this collage to Facebook with the caption "Lucy approved!" so I had to blog them. The enchiladas look divine and Lucy's adorable enthusiasm about them say this recipe is definitely a winner! I'm adding rotisserie chicken and tortillas to my grocery list for this week.
Simple preparation with complex flavor, this a great work night family recipe and could even be prepared the night before for more dinner hour ease the next night or even frozen for a later date.
These days I'm having a particularly good time paying attention to what my friends and family are eating and posting about on Facebook. Why? Because I can't eat right. Well, not much or much of anything yummy. I'm on the plain, boring non-functing gall bladder diet, looking forward to surgery next Tuesday. After month of intermittent pain and vomitting followed by the last few weeks of non-stop vomitting and pain, I'm ready for them to get this little troublemaker out of my body!
So in the meantime, until I can eat/cook again, I'll be blogging lots of goodies my friends are eating. This pasta dish comes from Janna, who made it for her family this week and said they'all liked it so much it's going to be a permanent fixture in her recipe box.
Looks delicious! Can't wait to be able to make it myself. Thanks for sharing, Janna!.