December 29, 2016

CHICKEN CHEESEGETTI


This is true Comfort Food.  Yummy, cheesy, pasta with chicken.  What makes it a bit different and so good is a small can of chopped green chilies.

If it is time to start your New Year's diet, this dish definitely isn't "diet food", but my motto is "quality over quantity".


I made this yesterday for supper.  Chicken Cheesegetti with garlic Texas Toast.  As you can see from the photo, it is on a salad plate; not a dinner plate.  Small portions, right?


I absolutely love pasta, and this is exactly the kind of dish I love to fix and eat in the winter.


My Christmas dinners (and I made a big dinner Christmas Eve and another big dinner on Christmas Day) were sort of labor intensive. And it always seems when I cook and entertain, I never truly enjoy the food.   Probably because I'm a little "jacked up", but this hit the spot.

I have made this dish for many years, but hadn't made it in a long time.  It was only for my hubby and I; so, I didn't make the full recipe.  

I hope Christmas was lovely and meaningful for you!!

Chicken Cheesegetti

2 to 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 box of chicken broth
1 4-ounce can chopped green chilies
16 punches spaghetti
8 ounces Velveeta cheese, cubed
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1 10-ounce can cream of chicken soup
Salt and pepper to taste

Place chicken breasts in a slow cooker and pour chicken broth over chicken.  Add water if you need more liquid.  Cook on low for 9 hours - or until chicken is done.  Drain liquid into saucepan.  Add spaghetti.  Cook spaghetti according to box directions.  Shred chicken breasts and add to spaghetti.   Add Velveeta cheese, mozzarella cheese, chicken, chopped green chilies and soup to spaghetti.  Cook until cheeses melt, stirring constantly.  Add salt and pepper.

Serve to Family and Friends!

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December 19, 2016

CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES WITH MARSHMALLOW BUTTER CREAM FROSTING




It's been awhile since I've baked.  It was actually before Thanksgiving.  I made a yellow sheet cake with chocolate frosting, which I made from scratch and wasn't extremely satisfied with the taste and a pecan pie, which was delicious but not pretty enough to share here!

And then we traveled over the Thanksgiving holiday and were gone 10 days, and when we got back, I was roasting a turkey breast and my element on my oven went out, and I had a new element put in, but when I prepared a chicken and dressing casserole for dinner and preheated the oven, guess what?  It didn't work.

So the repairman was back, and the electric panel in the range was bad, and we were going to have to have it replaced, and so I went to Lowe's and bought a new range; this time with a convection oven!  I'm very excited about this.  I've never had a convection oven, and I baked these cupcakes using it. 

So . . . it was almost two weeks that I didn't have an oven, and I finally got around to baking these cupcakes yesterday.


I used a cake mix from Aldi's and not my beloved Pillsbury cake mix.  Years ago, I was told by someone who made and sold decorated cakes as a business that she used cake mixes from Aldi's; so, I thought I'd give it a try.  It was good enough, but I didn't think it was as good.  I dearly love shopping at Aldi's, but I will stick to Pillsbury cake mixes in the future.



Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

1 Chocolate Cake Mix
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup sour cream
3 eggs

Combine all ingredients and follow directions on back of cake mix box for mixing and baking.

Cool cupcakes before frosting.

Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

1 7 oz. jar of Marshmallow Cream
1/2 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
A pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of Half and Half

Cream butter and marshmallow cream together.  Add powdered sugar a little at a time on low speed on mixer.  Add in salt, vanilla, and Half and Half.  Continue creaming until smooth.

Frost cupcakes.  (This recipe for frosting was enough for me to frost a dozen cupcakes.  If you want to frost more, you will have to adjust the amount you make.) 

I used a large piping tip and piping bag and piped frosting on top.   I bought these cute little marshmallow Christmas trees at Marshalls.









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December 16, 2016

Cheddar and Beer Potato Soup


Today the high is 30 degrees F and cloudy.   It's a great day for soup!  Soup is a favorite for me, and it is especially wonderful on a cold (not quite winter yet but it feels like winter day).


Earlier this fall, I went to my son and daughter-in-law's restaurant and had their Cheddar and Stout Potato Soup, and this is my "copycat" recipe.

I've been intending to do this for awhile now, but today was the perfect day for it.


 I sprinkled Monterey Jack Cheese on top and bacon bits, but when I ate it, I did neither.  It adds color to the photograph, but I didn't care for the bacon bits.  But do what makes you happy!


Here's how I did it:

Cheddar and Beer Potato Soup

2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and diced into small pieces
2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1 cup of Half and Half
1/2 cup of beer
2% milk to thin to desired consistency
1 cup of Cheddar Cheese
Salt and Pepper, to taste

1.  Boil diced potatoes in water until fork tender.  Drain and set aside.
2.  Melt two tablespoons unsalted butter in a dutch oven.  Whisk in two tablespoons of all-purpose flour.  Add one cup of half and half and beer and cook over medium/low heat until thickened.  

3.  Stir in one cup of Cheddar Cheese and salt and pepper.  

4.  Thin with 2% milk until it is desired consistency.  I made my soup pretty thick (because that's how I like it), but you can thin it out with the milk to the consistency you prefer.

Serve to family and friends!!






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December 12, 2016

A NON-TRADITIONAL THANKSGIVING!




We had a non-traditional Thanksgiving this year.  Cudjoe and I left early, early Thanksgiving morning and drove to Miramar Beach, Florida, and spent a week at Sandestin Beach and Golf Resort.


The Christmas decorations were fabulous.  I absolutely love the lights on the palm trees.  I wish I had a palm tree so I could decorate it this way!!



I did a lot of Christmas shopping and was checking out HomeGoods to see if they had an owl tree topper for my Christmas tree.  (They did not.)


And I did some shopping here, as well.  The best thing was a new pair of jeans for myself!  These two favorite stores are right next door to each other, and there is a Fresh Market nearby.  I was in heaven!


Little Miss Molly was out for her morning walk with "her daddy".  Our condo was on this par 5 on the Baytowne Golf Course at Sandestin.  The weather was beautiful.


This is the Boathouse Oyster Bar in Destin.  It's a tradition that we eat there while staying in the Destin area.  Cudjoe loves oysters, and he really likes eating here.


And, of course, the main reason we went was for the golf.  This wasn't such a hard shot for this big guy!


This palm tree saved my drive from going into the hazard.  It ricocheted off this tree and landed back in the fairway!!


We also ate out every night.  What a treat!!  This dish above was from the Ocean Club Restaurant, which is also one of our favorite places to eat.  This is their chicken piccata.  I absolutely love this dish, and always get it when we go there.


We like to go to the Happy Hours at the local restaurants.  One of our favorites is Fleming's This is a Filet Mignon Flatbread Pizza.  Wow!  It was delicious.


These guys and gals make their home on the Par 3, Number 16, on the Links Golf Course.  They are fun to watch!


This is one of the last pictures I have of my dog, Gracie.  She turned 14 in November and was not in good health.  She made the trip to Destin with us, but sadly I had to have her put down the week after we got home.  I have to say I am truly heartbroken.  She was the very best little girl.  Rest in Peace, My Sweet Little Angel!


We did have a beautiful trip playing golf, going for walks with our dogs, Christmas shopping, and eating out at great restaurants!
We just may make it a tradition.




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