Tag Archives: new recipe

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?

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A 5K and a Poke Cake

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What an interesting weekend! I spent majority of it lying on my parents’ couch because I was still feeling really sick. However, I did make the most of my Saturday by running in the 5K I had previously signed up for. And wow, was it tough!

Completing the race in under an hour was my goal. I finished in just over an hour and was originally really disappointed in that time, but after hearing from lots of my other friends who were healthy and completed the race, I do not feel as bad about it. Not only could I not run most of the time due to the fact that my throat kept closing (being sick while already an asthmatic is fun) but it was extremely hot that day! So I am very proud of my time!

This past Monday was also my brother’s fiance’s birthday so I decided to take the opportunity to make a dessert I had pinned a couple weeks ago – Oreo Poke Cake. I’ll take any excuse to bake something new, especially if it involves chocolate 😉

The cake turned out great! Hallie loved it and there was so much leftover that I even took the cake into work. My coworkers were very appreciative and it was devoured in about 5 minutes. My boss even told me that it was “epic.” I’ll say this one was a success!

Oreo Poke Cake

  • Chocolate cake mix (plus what you need to make the cake, usually eggs, oil, and water)
  • 2 boxes of Oreo instant Jello pudding mix (4.2 ounces)
  • 4 cups of milk
  • Oreo cookie crumbles

Mix and bake cake mix in 9 x 13 in. pan according to instructions. When the cake has about 5 minutes left, begin making your pudding. Whisk the pudding mix with the cold milk for about two minutes, until lumps are gone. Let set only 2-3 minutes (not the whole 5, you don’t want it to set too thick or it won’t pour!)

Take cake out of oven and begin poking holes all over cake. Try to use something with a 1 inch diameter, like the end of a wooden spoon. Do as many holes as you’d like – there’s no such thing as too many or too little!

Pour your pudding mix all over cake and into the holes you created. Use the back of a spoon to help get the pudding into the holes. Let set 5-10 minutes and cool.

Cover & refrigerate for at least an hour. Top with Oreo cookie crumbles before serving.

What is your favorite type of cake to make?

Sick & Tired

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The title of this post I mean very literally. Today I woke up to find myself not feeling well at all, and decided to go to Urgent Care to get myself checked out. I don’t get sick often, but when I do, it’s usually pretty bad. This was confirmed today when I was diagnosed with both an upper respiratory infection and inflamed allergies. Yay!

I was prescribed the Z pack for my infection, and Claritin and an OTC nasal spray for my allergies. Needless to say, I did not do much of anything at all today. Both the sickness and the medication completely wiped me out and I spent the entire day on the couch and napping on and off (uncomfortably I might add.) I finally woke up about 7 PM and decided I needed to stay awake for at least 4 hours so I could get some sleep tonight.

Another lovely side effect of my sickness is that nothing sounds good to eat – at least, nothing I currently have stocked in my kitchen. I decided to hop on Pinterest and browse my Delicious board until something stood out to me. What I picked was super easy to whip up and will be warm when it gets out of the oven so I cannot wait to take a bite.

This recipe is originally from Gimme Some Oven (her recipes are great!)

Honey Beer Bread

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) beer (I used Sam Adams Cherry Wheat)
  • 4 tbsp. (half stick) butter, melted (you can double this, which I opted to)

Preheat your oven to 350° F. Grease a 9″ x 5″ x 3″ inch loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir the beer and honey into the dry ingredients until just mixed. (Ali from Gimme Some Oven recommends popping your honey in the microwave for a few seconds beforehand to make it easier to stir in, and this works!)

Pour half the melted butter into the loaf pan. Then spoon the batter into the pan, and pour the rest of the butter on top of the batter.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until top is golden brown and a toothpick/knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

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.

Baked Ranch Dorito Chicken Nuggets

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My favorite thing to cook with is chicken. Chicken is something I could eat every day and never tire of, which is also why I love experimenting with it so much.

After running 1.5 miles at the gym tonight, I knew I wanted to make something for dinner that was semi-healthy, so I wouldn’t be completely wasting all the calories I just burned.

I decided to make chicken nuggets, but these would be baked, not fried, and not from a frozen bag. And they turned out pretty awesome, if I say so myself 🙂

Here’s the recipe!

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Baked Dorito Ranch Chicken Nuggets

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 2 in. size pieces (bite size, like nuggets!)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup Hidden Valley ranch dressing powder
  • 2 cups Cool Ranch Doritos, crushed

Directions

Preheat your oven to 400° F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray sheet with cooking spray.

Mix together flour, ranch powder, and Doritos in bowl. Place chicken pieces into ziploc bag with sour cream. Massage sour cream onto chicken pieces. (Be sure these are covered really well or the coating won’t stick!) Cover chicken with coating, and then place on baking sheet. Bake in oven for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

What’s your healthy alternative on a popular dish?

Venison Meatballs

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I am Polish, and my mom makes pretty amazing meatballs. Tonight, I wanted meatballs. But, since I no longer live with or near my parents, I am on my own for dinner.

Truthfully, I wanted meatballs on Thursday, but things got crazy and hectic between then and today so I didn’t get a chance to make them until today when I had the time.

My mom makes her meatballs with a mix of pork and veal usually. I didn’t have either, but I did have a pound of venison hamburger. I also wanted to bake mine (my mom fries then bakes hers) so I decided to search Pinterest for a recipe. I stumbled across one here but did make my own changes to it.

ImageMeatballs

  • 1 lb. hamburger
  • 1 cup of Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp. mustard
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp. garlic
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • salt & pepper to taste

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. mustard
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Mix meat, bread crumbs, mustard, eggs, milk, garlic, soy sauce, ketchup, and salt & pepper together in a large bowl. Form in 20-25 large meatballs. Bake in a 9 x 12 in. pan or casserole dish at 350° for 40-45 minutes. While baking, mix together ingredients for sauce. After time is up, pour over meatballs. Put back in oven for about 5-10 minutes, until bubbly.

Enjoy! What’s your favorite recipe that your mom makes?

Turkey, Bacon, and Cheese Panini

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When I went grocery shopping Friday night, I picked up my normal stuff – meat, dairy, veggies, and stuff to make pizza. I make pizza a LOT. Well, today I was bored of pizza, but I was stuck with a can of refrigerated pizza crust. So I decided to visit Pillsbury’s website to find out what else I could make with pizza crust, and I found a GREAT sandwich recipe! I just finished eating it and I already cannot wait for tomorrow’s lunch when I can have leftovers. Using pizza crust for the panini was a really great change to normal white bread, and the apricot preserves gave the sandwich a sweetness to balance with the saltiness from the bacon and turkey.

My kitchen is not stocked with everything needed for this recipe per Pillsbury’s website, so I had to improv a bit. If you want to read the original recipe, you can do so here.

Turkey, Bacon, and Cheese Panini

  • 1 can (13.8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated thin pizza crust
  • 8 slices Turkey bacon (or more if you want some to snack on while making!)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup apricot vinaigrette
  • 4 slices of turkey breast (from deli)
  • 4 slices of Kraft American cheese

Directions

Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 15 x 10 x 1-inch pan with a no-stick cooking spray. Unroll pizza crust dough in pan; press dough to edges of pan. Bake about 9 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, turning once, until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet; drain on paper towels.

In small bowl, make apricot spread by stirring mayonnaise and vinaigrette until well mixed. Set aside.

Cut pizza crust in half to make 2 rectangles. Remove rectangles from pan; spread half of the apricot spread evenly over each rectangle. Top 1 rectangle evenly with turkey, bacon and cheese. Add other rectangle, spread side down. Cut large sandwich in half crosswise; cut each in half diagonally to make 4 sandwiches.

Heat 12-inch skillet over medium heat until hot. Place 2 sandwiches in skillet. Place smaller skillet or saucepan on sandwiches to flatten slightly; keep skillet on sandwiches while cooking. Cook about 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown. Repeat with remaining two sandwiches.

Yum!

What is your go-to sandwich recipe?