September 24, 2014

Chicken and Dressing Casserole

In the late 80's or early 90's, Delta Omicron Sorority sold cookbooks as a fundraiser.  I was a member of this sorority and bought one for myself.  It was published in 1989, and the name of it is Beta Sigma Phi Comfort Foods, and it is a compilation of recipes from Beta Sigma Phi sororities from all over the country.  It is one of my favorite cookbooks.

This is a great recipe to take to a potluck or to a friend or family member in need.  It never fails to please, and even in the days of getting recipes on the internet, I often get requests for this recipe.  It is one of my "go-to" comfort food dishes.

Chicken and Dressing Casserole:
(adapted from the Comfort Foods cookbook)

2 to 3 eggs beaten
1 10-ounce can cream of celery soup
1 10-ounce can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 cups shredded cheese
1 - 6-ounce package of corn bread stuffing mix
2 bone-in chicken breasts cooked and shredded
2 1/2 cups broth
1 box of chicken broth

Cook chicken breasts in boxed chicken broth in a crockpot on high setting for three hours and low setting for one hour or cook on low until chicken is done.  Remove chicken from crockpot, reserving the broth.  Let chicken cool, and shred by hand.

In a bowl, combine eggs, soups, pepper, 1 cup of shredded cheese, corn bread stuffing mix, and 2 1/2 cups of broth from crockpot, mixing well.  Stir in shredded chicken.  Spoon into a 10 x 10 x 2 inch baking dish.  Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.


September 18, 2014

"36" Banana Pudding

I am really happy about this banana pudding.  I saw this idea on Pinterest,  and I thought it was so awesome.  These are Pepperidge Farm Chessmen Cookies, similar to a shortbread cookie.  They are delicious by themselves, dipped in Nutella, which is my latest obsession, that and Peanut Butter Poptarts,  or they are great instead of the traditional vanilla wafers in banana pudding. 

I was thinking about a dessert that my son and daughter-in-law could serve at their restaurant, and this one was perfect.   I think it looks classy, is easy and quick to make, and is delicious.  It can also be cut into the sweetest little portion, just enough after a big meal,  

I have shared this pudding recipe on my blog before with vanilla wafers, but I will share it again.  It is very easy and really delicious.  I lined the bottom of the dish with cookies, spread the pudding over that layer, and put another layer of cookies on top.  It is a little expensive to make,  and I think that the cookies on top would be enough.  I am making it again for Cudjoe's birthday party tomorrow night.  He liked it so much that's what he requested.  I am only going to put the cookies on top and see how we like that.

Here you go:

Using a mixer blend together:

1 5.25 ounce box of vanilla instant pudding
1 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1 8-ounce carton of Cool Whip
1 cup of Water

Slice up four bananas and stir into pudding mixture.

Line bottom of baking dish with cookies.  Spread pudding on top and add a second layer of cookies.
(As I said earlier in this post, I am going to try just a top layer when I make it again.  I thought it was a little bit too much cookie.)

Refrigerate.  Serve to family and friends!

September 15, 2014

The Traveling Vietnam Wall

The Traveling Vietnam Wall was at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale September 11 - 14.   My hubbie and I went up to see it.  The booklet that was handed out to us at the gate says "The 80% replica of the Washington D.C. memorial is a tangible symbol of recognition."    "Of the 58,300 names inscribed on the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. and this Traveling Vietnam Wall, 162 names are from 23 counties of Southern Illinois."

When we first walked through the gate, this is what we saw.  It was very moving.

The black flag flying below the American flag was raised while we were there, and it represents the soldiers who were missing in action.

It was a perfect day with beautiful blue skies, no humidity and fall-like temperatures.   So great for all involved.

It seemed to be coordinated with the Southern Illinois University/Southeast Missouri University football game, so people attending the game got a chance to stop by and see it.  If it is ever in your community,  I would certainly recommend seeing it.


September 6, 2014

Rigatoni Primavera with Chicken

I made this for dinner recently, and, man, was it good.  I got the inspiration for this dish from a Weight Watchers Magazine I saw while checking out at the grocery store.  I bought the magazine, and it has some great recipes in it.  I'll have to refer to it again for more inspiration.

This dish is what I refer to as "restaurant quality".  When I eat out, I like to eat things that I either don't fix at home or don't do well at home.  We used to eat at a restaurant that was on a local golf course.  Sadly, it has closed.   They served a similar dish minus the chicken.   I just remembered as I'm writing this that it had capers it in.   I love pasta.  It is my very favorite thing to eat (besides chocolate chip cookies!).

Rigatoni Primavera with Chicken:

4 ounces uncooked Rigatoni
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 red pepper or yellow pepper
1/2 orange pepper
1/2 sweet onion
1 tomato, chopped
1 small zucchini squash, sliced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 box chicken broth
Grated Parmesan Cheese

Cut chicken breasts into pieces, salt and pepper,  and fry in olive oil and butter in a large skillet.  Cook chicken until it is done and remove to a paper towel-covered plate.  Saute peppers, onion, garlic, zucchini, and tomatoes in same skillet.  Add chicken broth and scrape up any drippings from chicken.

Meanwhile,  following directions on the pasta box, prepare the rigatoni.  Drain the rigatoni and rinse. Add the rigatoni and cooked chicken into the skillet with the sautéed vegetables.  

Top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Serve to family and friends!



September 3, 2014

Peach Sundae

It's the end of peach season in this little Midwestern town.  One of the local grocery stores still had a couple of boxes left, and I got some this evening to make this peach sundae.  They were very ripe, but perfect for this yummy little dessert.   

I made a simple syrup and poured it over chopped fresh peaches in a Mason jar.  After the peaches and simple syrup mixture set for awhile, Cudjoe and I had it over vanilla ice cream.

It you don't have time to bake a dessert or just want something simple and good, this fits the bill.

Peaches in Simple Syrup:

1.  Peel peaches and chop into small pieces.  

2.  Place the chopped peaches in a Mason jar. 

3.  On stovetop in a small sauce pan, pour in one cup sugar and one cup water.  Mix with a whisk and
     cook for 10 minutes.  

4.  Let cool slightly and pour over peaches in Mason jar.  

Serve over vanilla ice cream.