Monday, February 27, 2012

Rotel Cups

Think for a minute...what do you have coming up that you need to make an appetizer for? Supper club? Snack for spring break beach trip? Bunko night? Well...this is it. You MUST make these.

I found this recipe courtesy of Kendall Boggs, and I took them to my friend's annual Oscar Eve party this past weekend. I'm glad these little cups of heaven only had a few ingredients, because I was asked for the recipe repeatedly.

I was worried about the transport, so I made the mixture ahead of time, and then filled and baked the cups at the party. I should have doubled this, as I had people literally waiting for the second batch to come out of the oven.

One over-eager friend grabbed one off the plate as I was photographing them, and was rewarded with a nasty burn on the top of his mouth. (Sorry, Randy.) These are equally delicious hot or room temperature, but I guarantee they won't make it long enough to be cold. These were ultimately dubbed "The Jillys" by one sweet friend.

Printable recipe

1 cup mayo
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or Swiss)
1 can Rotel, drained
1 bag bacon bits
3 packages mini phyllo shells, thawed

Mix together first four ingredients and spoon into shells. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ranch Chicken

I saw a recipe for Sour Cream Chicken over at Making Life Delicious, and it looked too easy to pass up. I had sour cream on hand, but when I opened my fridge, I saw a jar of Ranch dip (like those found in the chip aisle) that I had purchased for pretzel-dipping. I thought this may make a more flavorful recipe...and OH MY. It was rich and creamy, with a nice crunch from the stuffing and a great mix of seasonings. I packed the stuffing on the top and sides of the chicken, completely sealing it in.

Printable recipe

1 package chicken breasts
Garlic powder
1 cup sour cream or prepared Ranch dip (like Lay's)
1-1/2 cups crumbled herbed stuffing (like Pepperidge Farm)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed

Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray. Place chicken breasts close together (touching). Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Spread sour cream or Ranch dip across chicken, coating completely. Sprinkle stuffing across the top. Dot with butter. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-60 minutes, until top is browned and chicken is cooked through.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Creamy Crockpot Pork Chops

 Three-ingredient dinner? And, it's totally hands-off in the crockpot? Sold!

I found this over at Cassie Craves and knew I had to give it a try. We eat late, so I put this on after work, but you could certainly cook on low for longer if you wanted to put it on around lunch.

The sauce had tons of flavor, especially spooned over (not homemade) mashed potatoes. My only issue (as it usually is) was that the pork was a little dry and chewy. I would recommend using bone-in pork chops to keep them juicier.

1 package pork chops
1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
1 can cream of chicken soup

Place pork chops in bottom of slow cooker. Stir together dressing mix and soup and pour over top of pork, spreading to cover chops completely. Cook on high for four hours.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Pinterest Party: Mozzarella Cheese Ball + Craft!

My friend Jenny had a great idea to host a Pinterest party this past weekend, with each guest bringing a dish from one of their boards, along with a craft they had pinned, with supplies for the whole group to make. I decided to bring Stephanie's Mozzarella Cheese Ball, as it had gotten great reviews from a friend at work.

I have a confession....this was my first time to make a cheese ball. I is that possible? It's possible because I have a favorite one that I always pick up from a local bakery to take to events.

I'm pretty much a fan of anything with ranch adds such a great and distinct flavor. I also liked the twist of using mozzarella cheese. This was a big hit!

8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 package dry ranch dressing mix
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Finely chopped pecans

Combine first 4 ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Refrigerate to firm up. Form mixture into a ball and roll in chopped pecans.  Refrigerate again before serving with crackers.

As far as the craft...let it be noted that I'm not the first in line to participate in these kinds of activities. I wasn't able to stay at the party long, so I only made one of the selections. It was a photo of my nieces attached to a canvas with Modge Podge glaze and bordered with scrapbook paper. Now I just need to decide where to hang it in my house!

Here's a collage from the day...great idea, fantastic group of girls, delicious food...and craft supplies everywhere!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Chicken Tamale Casserole

So...this one's on me. I was standing in the Mexican aisle at the grocery store, picking up ingredients for this dish, courtesy of Emily Bites. I saw the can of diced chiles it called for...and then saw a can of diced jalapenos next to it. I thought, a) we like spicy food, b) I can never really taste chiles in recipes anyway, and c) go for the kick.

You bake this in two stages...I took a small bite of the corn cake layer to make sure it was set, and it had some serious heat from the jalapenos. I thought, "No big deal. The enchilada sauce, chicken, and cheese I'm about to add will offset and even it out."

Ultimately, I thought this was spicy but still delicious...however, my BF declared it too hot to eat and microwaved leftover pizza. So...I personally highly recommend this recipe, but stick with the chiles (like you would make the same mistake I did, anyway). 

I loved the sweet component from the corn muffin mix (I love me some Jiffy), and I could pretty much eat Mexican every other day/night.

Printable recipe

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1/3 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 can cream-style corn
1 box corn muffin mix
1 small can diced green chiles, drained
1  can enchilada sauce
2 cups cooked, chopped chicken

Mix together ¼ cup of the cheese, the milk, egg, cumin,  corn, muffin mix and green chiles in a bowl until combined. Pour into a greased 9x13 dish and bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes (or until toothpick comes out clean).

Poke holes all over the surface of the corn cake with a fork. Pour the enchilada sauce over the top and spread across the surface. Sprinkle the chicken evenly across the top and follow with the remaining shredded cheese. Bake for another 15 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before cutting and serving.