Sunday, March 26, 2017

Smothered Green Beans

We eat a lot of green beans at our house!  For Valentine's Day one year we were having steak, twice baked potatoes, rolls, and green beans, and I wanted to make the green beans more special without making green bean casserole.  I found this recipe and everyone in the family loved it!  With brown sugar and bacon, what's not to like?

5 cans (75 oz.) green beans, drained (We like Del Monte fancy cut)
1/2 lb bacon, cooked and chopped
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp garlic powder

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Put green beans in 9x13 baking dish.
3.  Sprinkle the cooked and chopped bacon on top of beans.
4.  Mix brown sugar, butter, soy sauce, and garlic powder and pour over bacon and beans.
5.  Bake for 40 minutes.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Casserole

I recently started a home based business called Tastes Like Home where I cook for people every Tuesday.  I post my menu for the upcoming week every Friday on my business Facebook page, and people can comment what they want to order and pick up the following Tuesday.  Yesterday was my fourth week and I made this casserole.  I had orders for five larges (9x13) and nine smalls (8x8) which made for a full day's work.  This recipe is made in a 9x13 dish for 8-10 servings or you can half the recipe to make it in a 8x8 dish for 4-5 servings.  I have been making this casserole since I got married 12 years ago.  I always liked the idea of having the meat and two vegetables in one dish, but felt like the flavor was lacking.  Then I found this recipe at Gonna Want Seconds, and it added a lot of flavor.  I don't add salt to the filling and I use less bread crumbs and a lot less thyme for the topping.  I also cook fresh broccoli before stirring it in to take away the toughness.  I don't like using frozen broccoli because all the brands I used ended up being mostly stems, which I cut off of the crowns before cooking and adding to my casserole.  I've started adding 1/2 cup water to the filling also, because it seemed too dry without it, and it helps keep the filling moist if you want to freeze it to eat later.  Jasmine Rice is my favorite, so that's the kind of rice I use for this.  I add 1 tsp salt to the rice while waiting for the water to boil and add 1 Tbsp butter after rice has been cooked.


2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp pepper
3 cups chicken, cooked and cubed
3 cups broccoli crowns, stems removed, cut into 1 inch pieces, and steamed for 10 min
3 cups cooked rice (about 1 cup uncooked) 

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup butter (5+Tbsp), melted
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 tsp dried Thyme

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Spray 9x13 dish with nonstick spray.
3.  In a large mixing bowl, mix the first 8 ingredients until evenly combined.
4.  Add the chicken, broccoli, and rice and stir until evenly combined.
5.  Pour into prepared dish and sprinkle shredded cheese on top.
6.  In a small bowl, mix melted butter and bread crumbs.
7.  Stir thyme into butter and bread crumb mixture and spoon evenly over cheese.
8.  Bake 30-35 minutes.

I usually make a fresh fruit salad to eat with our casserole.  This salad includes strawberries, blueberries, apples, bananas, raisins, and mandarin oranges.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Chicken Pot Pie

One thing I have experienced from cooking a lot of food for the past 12 years is having tried a lot of different recipes.  I have made chicken pot pie using a recipe that calls for chopping fresh vegetables and making biscuits from scratch that you place on top.  Although it looked really nice and homemade it was lacking in taste.  When I came across this recipe I thought it was way too easy to taste fresh and homemade, but it's the best!  I didn't even like chicken pot pie before eating this version.  It's a great meal to take to someone who's just had a baby or is sick.

2 cups chicken, cooked and chopped
2 cans cream of potato soup
15 oz. can mixed vegetables OR 12 oz bag frozen mixed vegetables, cooked
5 oz. can evaporated milk
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp pepper
9 oz. frozen pie crust (deep dish)
1 refrigerated pie crust

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.  Combine first 6 ingredients and spoon into frozen pie crust.
3.  Cover with refrigerated pie crust and crimp edges.
4.  Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

*Makes 6+ servings