Tag Archives: dinner

A Warm Welcome Back

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Hello again to my blogging friends! I know that I have been MIA for much too long (has it really been a month?!), but I must tell you that the break was much needed. There have been many changes and developments in my life these past few weeks, among them in my health, relationships with friends and families, and my job. 23 has proven to have just as tough of a start that 22 had, but I’m taking each day one at a time and trying to stay optimistic.

One of my favorite things to do when I’m feeling down or stressed out is to bake some comfort food. For as long as I can remember, one of my most favorite dishes is a casserole that my mom made for my brothers and me. Whenever I tell friends or coworkers about this recipe, most of them turn up their noses at the thought of combining some of these ingredients, so I really must implore all of you reading this to at least try it before passing it by! It is truly one of those warming, feel good, comfort foods that make you think of home. (The best part is that this recipe only takes 6 ingredients!)

I have never actually learned the real name of this dish so I refer to it only as Mom’s Casserole.

Yum!

Mom’s Casserole

  • 1 box Kraft macaroni & cheese
  • 10 oz. frozen broccoli florets
  • 1 ring of Polish or smoked sausage
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1/4 cup milk (for mac & cheese)
  • 4 tbsp. butter (for mac & cheese)

Make macaroni & cheese according to package. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350° F and chop sausage into round pieces. Run broccoli under hot water to thaw, and cut into smaller pieces if necessary. Combine mac & cheese, sausage, broccoli, and cream of celery into casserole dish, mixing well. Bake at least 30 minutes, or until bubbly.

And I must point out that you don’t want to nix on adding the cream of celery soup to this dish. It is really important in keeping the casserole from drying out while baking. My mom can attest to forgetting it once or twice and having to throw the whole thing out.

Cream of Celery Soup

This is my Mom's Casserole recipe

Do you have a go to comfort food that reminds you of your mom, dad, grandma, or anyone special?

Sunday Dinner – Ranch Chicken Taco Muffins

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Ranch Chicken Taco Muffins

There’s something about Sunday that just beckons you to be lazy and stay in your pajamas all day. I almost always gladly oblige, and today was no exception. So I knew I needed to pick a recipe for dinner that didn’t require much prep or effort to make. I decided to make one of my favorite meals, Taco Muffins, but I wanted to use chicken instead of beef so I could use my crockpot to cook the chicken.

I found a recipe for Ranch Chicken Tacos and based on the comments, altered the ingredient amounts to make enough for just me (and maybe one more meal) and made everything in the crockpot versus the stove top. It was really easy and honestly I mostly guessed at my amounts since I didn’t want to dirty any dishes like measuring cups (because that would mean I would have to do dishes, and that doesn’t fit in my day today.)

The taco muffin cups were probably what actually took the longest to do, but I enjoy them so much more than just tortillas wrapped up that I didn’t mind doing it. Plus, I got to use a margarita glass and eat all of the trimmings! You can read a little more on how to make muffin cups here.

Ranch Chicken Tacos

  • 1/2 packet Ranch seasoning
  • 1/2 packet taco seasoning
  • two frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 8 oz. chicken broth (or bullion cubes in water, which is what I did)
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing

Pour all of your ingredients (except the ranch dressing) into the crockpot. Cook on high for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, depending on your crockpot’s heat intensity. When time is up, shred the chicken with a fork. Add in ranch dressing and mix well, covering shredded chicken. Turn heat on low and let simmer about 10 minutes.

That’s it! The chicken was so moist and basically fell apart when I shredded it in the crock. You could eat these in soft shells, hard shells, on nachos, on tostadas – pretty much anything. I baked my tortilla cups in a muffin pan in the oven at 350° for about 10 minutes to get them to the desired crunchiness I wanted.

Then I layered in my chicken, some shredded Mexican blend cheese, real bacon bits, a bit more ranch, and sour cream. Yum!

What did you make for dinner today?

Cheesy Nacho Casserole

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Yes, you read that right – I made a casserole out of tortilla chips. I pinned a recipe a while back that I’ve been meaning to try out, but I kept putting it off because of the heat apocalypse that Michigan has been put through in the last month. I did not want to be warming up my apartment with any oven.

I finally got an excuse to try out the recipe. Social Media Day was last month and a few local businesses have joined the fun by hosting their own SMD. Last week my brother and I attended a SMD event at Garden Fresh Gourmet in Ferndale, MI. (If you’ve never tried Garden Fresh, you really should indulge your taste buds, like right now. Seriously, go to your local grocery store and get some of their Sweet Onion Salsa). Garden Fresh is the most award-winning salsa in the US and they also have pretty amazing hummus, dips, and new to me – chips!

As we left the event last week, everyone received door prizes – a bag of Garden Fresh Tortilla Chips and a chip clip (I always need those). I chose the Nacho Cheese flavor because I had this recipe in mind, and my brother grabbed the Blue Corn since he’s into being healthy.

After spending my entire Sunday running errands, cleaning my dirtier than I realized apartment, and reading my book, I finally got around to starting the recipe at 8:30 PM. (This is what happens when you don’t have clocks in your apartment.)

This is what you will need for your Cheesy Nacho Casserole, including cooked shredded chicken. Mine was boiling at the time I took this photo.

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Since I love cheese so much, I made sure to basically double the amount that the recipe called for. You can always do more or less to what it calls, it just depends on your personal preference.

Cheesy Nacho Casserole

Cheesy Nacho Casserole

This ooey gooey concoction is currently bubbling away in my oven. I cannot wait until it gets out so I can try some.

And thankfully, when the chip crunching went awry and spilled onto the floor, I had a little helper on the ready to clean it up for me.

He loves tortilla chips!

Now what you were really waiting for – the recipe (as seen on Jam Hands)

Cheesy Nacho Casserole

  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (or more if you love cheese like me)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 packet taco seasoning (you can add more if you want more flavor)
  • Bag of nacho cheese flavored tortilla chips

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except chips.

In a greased casserole dish, put a layer of crushed tortilla chips, enough to cover the bottom of the dish so that you can’t see it. You want the chips to be smaller than originally but not really crushed. Think of breaking them into fours.

Spread a layer of the chicken mixture on top of the chips base. Repeat once more, ending with a layer of chicken mixture. Top with more shredded cheese and super crunched up chips. Cover and bake for 30-35 minutes.