Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chicken and Dumpling Casserole

Last week, while looking on Pinterest, I came across a recipe for Chicken and Dumplings Casserole. I am always looking for easy dishes as I have mentioned before and again, I find such great things on Pinterest. This time however, I could not get the recipe to come up when I clicked on the picture, so I just went ahead a did a google search. There were actually several different recipes listed, but the one I chose I knew would be simple and that is just what I needed.
Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures, but I hope that does not deter you from trying this, as it was super delish. Basically the 9x13 pan was wiped clear in 24 hours if that tells you anything!

I also sauteed some fresh spinach and garlic in a little olive oil as a side. I am really trying to be good about adding in the greens to every meal these days!

So I hope you enjoy this easy and yummy dish!

Chicken and Dumplings Casserole- Courtesy of www.plainchicken.com

3-4 cups of cooked chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken)
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 can Campbell's cream of chicken soup

Preheat oven to 400.

Melt butter in the microwave and pour into bottom of a 9x13 pan. Shred the chicken and spread it on top of the butter.

Whisk together the milk and the flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly pour over the chicken. Don't stir.

Whisk together chicken broth and cream of chicken soup. Pour soup over the flour and milk mixture. Don't stir.

Bake uncovered for 35 to 45 minutes, or until dumplings are golden brown.


Rigatoni with Chicken and Broccoli in Lemon Cream Sauce

Over the past few weeks I have been a mad woman pinning food on Pinterest! It is such a great place to look for new dinner ideas! I love it! I came across one dish that looked super yummy and I wanted to try it that night, but I did not have all that it had called for. So I took a look around the kitchen and came up with a similar dish, but with my own personal touches;)
It was already pretty late to start cooking, so I wanted to make it the fastest way I could and the easiest! I decided that instead of marinating and grilling the chicken like the recipe I saw, I defrosted and just baked the chicken to cube it. This recipe did not have any broccoli in it, but we needed some veggies for sure, so I steamed what we had and chopped it up as well and put it to the side.

While the rigatoni was boiling in a saute pan I melted about 3 tablespoons of butter and browned some garlic. I then added in the juice of two lemons, a dash of dried basil, a pint of heavy cream and a container of shredded parm. I let that simmer together for about 10 mins or so. Once the pasta was done, I drained that, added in the cubed chicken and broccoli and poured the sauce over it all in the pot. After mixing well, it was ready to serve with hot garlic bread! I have to say although there was a good bit of heavy cream and cheese in the sauce, the lemon really lighted up the flavor! So for just throwing this all together, I think it came out great and I would make it again for sure.

Banana Split Ice Cream Cake

Yesterday was my boyfriend's birthday! He is a big ice cream fan, especially loves a banana split. So when I started thinking about what to make for his birthday cake, I immediately thought of a banana split ice cream cake! I took a look around at a few sites to see if anyone had made one, there were a few out there, but I already had an idea of how I would make this one. I have to say, it is time consuming but very easy to make! He LOVED it and I loved making it. I would make it again in a heart beat! You can't go wrong as there is a little something in there that everyone has to love;)
Banana Split Ice Cream Cake:
I used a spring form pan for this cake.
For the crust, I ended up using chocolate Teddy Grahams as I could not find chocolate graham crackers at the store that day. You will need about 1.5-2 cups of crushed graham cracker/cookies depending on the size of your pan. Add in about 1/3 cup of sugar and 4 tablespoons of melted butter. Mix all together, pat into the bottom of the pan ( I sprayed the bottom and sides of the pan with Pillsbury baking spray, but many people say to use parchment paper. We had no issues getting the cake out doing it this way) Preheat the oven to 375 and bake for about 7-9 mins. Let cool.
For the ice cream layers, I ended up getting two- one gallon containers of Harris Teeter Neapolitan ice cream as they have the vanilla, strawberry and chocolate all in one and it was buy one get one free!! It was the perfect amount as well which was great! I even had a little of all three flavors left over.
For the first layer I took out all of the strawberry ice cream and got it as soft as I could with out it being too melted, I spread over the cooled crust and put it back in the freezer for about 30-45 mins to harden back up. I then topped it with strawberry ice cream topping- I can't recall who made it, but it is where all the ice cream toppings and cones are in the store. I put that back into the freezer for another 15- 20 mins. I did this same process for the vanilla and chocolate layer. I used pineapple topping on top of the vanilla and then once the chocolate was added, I just covered and put back in the freezer. I did not add the fudge until the pieces were cut. Once sliced, I added the hot fudge, sliced banana's, whipped cream and a cherry on top!
You can really use whatever flavors and toppings in between layers that you would like, but these are the typical banana split toppings and what he wanted as well!
Overall, it was a big hit! Super yummy, total crowd pleaser!
Enjoy!!! I know we did!!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Blueberry Goat Cheese Tart

Back in July I had a little birthday party for my brother Chris. Several family members and friends came over for a cook out and everyone brought something to share. The best, well one of the best part's about having a party at your house is all the left overs..hee hee! One thing I noticed that was left was a sheet of puff pastry. I know kind of random, but I love puff pastry, however I always use it for the same brie recipe. A few days went by and I knew I had to use the pastry soon. I looked around in the fridge and the two things that stood out were blueberries and goat cheese. I thought to myself, those ingredients all together had to be good together, especially drizzled in a local cinnamon honey!
I called my mom to see what she thought. She is the one person I can call and list off things in my kitchen and she has a gourmet meal in mindin minutes. I so wish I was like that. I tell her all the time she should go on a reality top chef type show or that show that Rocco DiSpirito did, but she would never...such a shame as I would totally enjoy spending her winnings! ha Anyway, she agreed and thought I should definitely try this idea out. I looked up a few recipes that sounded similar, but some were a little too complicated or incorporated way too many ingredients. Hey, whats the worst that could happen right...so I tried it!
Basically I just followed the directions for cooking the puff pastry. Heat the oven to 400 degrees and bake for about 15 min or until golden brown. I decided to use a pizza pan with holes to lay the pastry on as I know when cooking it in my brie recipe the bottom always seems gooey and I knew that would not be good for this. I spread the pastry out in the best circle I could and folded up the edges a little. In a small bowl I melted a small container of crumbled goat cheese. I then spread that in the middle of the pastry and then sprinkled the blueberries op top. I drizzled that with the cinnamon honey, dusted the edges with egg yolk and into the oven it went.
If I remember correctly I had to keep it in a little longer than 15 mins, but no more than 20. Once it cooled I used a pizza slicer and cut it into appetizer size pieces! I have to say, it was really yummy, great flavor combo and I would make it again for sure. It was even good cold out of the fridge...I had to give the rest of it away as I could not stop eating it...oops!

Lemon Yogurt Cake Strawberry Shortcake!

A few weeks back my boyfriend's sister came to town for her birthday. This was the first time I was meeting her, so I definitely wanted to do something a little nice and what better way to a girl's heart than through sweets;) plus a great excuse to make something I have never made before. I found out her two favorite dessert's were lemon yogurt cake and strawberry shortcake. Right away I thought I could totally do that and incorporate both desserts! Perfect idea!
I had a few days before her arrival so I was all over looking for the perfect recipe. As per usual I got onto Foodgawker.com and typed in Lemon Yogurt Cake. A few recipes popped up and it turns out all the recipes came from the Food Network Site through Barefoot Contessa.
I knew that I would be making the whipped cream from scratch as it is super easy and so much better than cool whip or reddi whip hands down. I also lucked out that the strawberries that week at the store looked fabulous! Yay, I knew this was gonna be delish!!! And as it turns out, it was a crowd pleaser! As even after a great birthday dinner and totally stuffed, we all still managed to clear the dessert plates! So overall it was a great day, great food, awesome birthday cake and most of all great company!

Lemon Yogurt Cake- Courtesy of Barefoot Contessa


For the glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it's all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.
When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.
For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake

For the whipped cream- courtesy of my momma;)
I could have used a little more to be honest as there were 6 of us, but I scraped the bowl and it was just enough. If I did it again, I would use a larger container of whipping cream.( 1 pint vs. what I used which was the smallest container.) Add in about a teaspoon of vanilla and then sugar to your taste. I really just eyeballed it...but if you look it up most say about a tablespoon per cup of whipping cream.
 And lastly, one carton of fresh strawberries sliced.