No tandem recipe this week because I had to use up a shit-ton of ground beef that was in my fridge. Here’s a hint…our upcoming tandem recipe does not take ground beef. Luckily I had an entry/recipe waiting in the wings and it’s right up Robyn’s alley!
Drain the juice from the pineapple chunks into a medium size saucepan. Set the pineapple chunks aside (you’ll need them later). I didn’t think to pull out the ingredients to take a picture of them like Robyn does. That would require me to pay attention to what I’m doing and you guys already know who the flake is in this gruesome twosome.
Add the ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, cornstarch, garlic powder, mustard powder, worcestershire sauce and ginger to the pineapple juice. I know it seems like a lot of different ingredients, but it’s all stuff you probably already have in your cupboard so I don’t want to hear it, Shirley.
Whisk it and forget about it until after you fry the chicken. Start heating up your Peanut Oil in another pan or deep fryer. Make sure you use Peanut oil for this part. Vegetable oil is just a headache waiting to happen. And for chrissakes, be careful! Hot oil is HOT.
Take your pieces of chicken and dredge them in cornstarch. Don’t even think about using flour. It’s cornstarch and cornstarch only here.
In case you didn’t notice – the two most IMPORTANT parts of this recipe are PEANUT OIL and CORNSTARCH. I need shit spelled out for me sometimes so I figured you might appreciate it too.
After the cornstarch the chicken gets dunked into the beaten egg.
I have no idea what temperature my peanut oil was. I always wing it on the first piece (it’s kind of like that first pancake you make) and adjust it from there. It doesn’t take long for the coating to get golden brown and I don’t worry about cooking the chicken the whole way through because I’ll be baking it.
Rick managed to snap a picture when I was first starting out. You can see the plate of cut-up chicken and the bowls of cornstarch and egg. You can also see where I dunked the hell out of that chicken in the eggs and made a mess when I dropped it in the oil. Give the egg a second to drip back into the bowl before you go flinging it into the hot oil.
It doesn’t take long to fill a casserole dish up if you keep at it. This is usually when I throw an iPod in so I can focus on doing it without a million distractions.
Put the drained pineapple and pepper slices all over the top. Cook your sauce over medium-high heat until it thickens.
Pour the sauce over everything and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Serve over rice.
Edited for clarity: We love this dish and it’s been in our family meal rotation for a while now.
This is how I make sweet & sour chicken at home. The recipe is basically for the sauce that I use...the directions for the rest of it are half-assed because I'm not a technical writer. I just cook. Follow along with the pictures and you should be fine.
Original Source/Author: Your mama and the Internet
Cuisine: Early American Robyn
20.5 ounce can Pineapple Chunks (drained, reserve juice)
¾ cup Ketchup
¾ cup Brown Sugar
½ cup White Vinegar
4-1/2 tablespoons Cornstarch
1-1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
½ teaspoon Mustard Powder
3 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup cornstarch
4 Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into 1" chunks
1-2 Green Peppers, sliced into strips
Drained pineapple chunks (see above)
Combine pineapple juice (save chunks for later), ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, cornstarch, garlic powder, mustard powder, worcestershire sauce and ginger in a saucepan. Set aside.
Coat chicken breast pieces with cornstarch, then dip them in the beaten egg. Place carefully in hot peanut oil. Turn over as needed. Remove from oil and layer in 9 x 13 casserole dish. Top with pineapple chunks and pepper strips.
Heat sauce over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until thickens. Pour over chicken. Bake at 350 degrees, uncovered for 25 minutes.
Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Cheesy Bacon Chicken Casserole. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post. The original recipe can be found over at The Coers Family.
This week’s recipe was submitted by Jai. (We have so many reader-submitted recipes in the queue that for the time being we’re going to do reader-submitted recipes every week. That might change in the future, we’ll see how it goes.)
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, bacon, cream of chicken soup, Monterey Jack cheese, spiral pasta, garlic powder, and salt and pepper.
The first thing you need to do is make your bacon. Luckily, there’s a simple step-by-step instructional post on the easiest way to make bacon in the oven. You don’t have to make your bacon like that, if you don’t mind walking around with spatters of bacon all over your shirt front and tiny little burned-oil spots on your hands and arms, then you go on with your bad self and make your bacon on the stovetop. You could also make it in the microwave. Whatever works for you works for me. You do what you feel is right (even if it’s wrong.) No judgement here! Who am I, Amanda? As long as you don’t make me clean up the grease spatters, I don’t care how you make your bacon.
(But if you’re making your bacon in the oven, these cooling racks are perfect. I actually got that cooling rack as part of a package – a “value pack” – but I like that cooling rack way more than the stackable ones I’ve had forever and which are kind of flimsy. Also, what’s the point of having stackable cooling racks when you never actually stack them?)
While the bacon is cooking, chop your chicken into bite-sized pieces.
Raw chicken! Is there anything less appetizing? I don’t think so.
Also, at some point, make your pasta using the directions on the back of the box. I think I waited ’til the bacon was done to put the pot on, but then I was stuck waiting for the pasta to be done cooking. Kitchen timing: I suck at it.
When your bacon is done, put it on paper towels to cool so that you don’t burn your fingers when you crumble it, and then dump all (or at least some) of the bacon fat from the cookie sheet you baked the bacon on, into a large skillet. Let it heat, and then toss your chicken in there.
While the chicken is cooking, once your bacon has cooled, crumble it into smallish pieces. Try not to cram it all in your face instead, because then you won’t have it for the casserole and then everyone will be very very sad.
When the chicken is cooked through and your pasta is cooked and drained, then throw everything (chicken, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, cream of chicken soup, pasta) except the bacon and 1 cup of the Monterey Jack into the pot you used to make your pasta. Mix it together well.
Once it’s well mixed, dump it into a 9×13″ baking dish, which you have already sprayed with cooking spray.
Sprinkle the top evenly with your crumbled bacon, and then top with your remaining 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese.
Bake until the cheese is melted and starting to brown on the top. I might have let mine bake a little too long.
While it’s cooling enough to be eaten, go snuggle with your resident ham-hog kitty.
“I know you gots bacon in there.”
Annnnd then eat it.
The verdict? I wasn’t crazy about it, and I don’t know why. I like all the components that went into it, but just didn’t really care for it all together. IT IS A MYSTERY. Fred said it best when he said that it was “Edible, but not memorable.” In other words, he’ll eat it if it’s put in front of him, but he’d never ever ask for it.
I won’t be making it again (and the way things usually go around here, Nance will be all “OMG BEST THING EVER, A++++!” Damn her.)
Have a recipe you want us to make? Check out this page (there’s also a link to that page up there under the banner) and follow the instructions to submit a recipe!
Everybody in the house loved this recipe. Oops…Spoiler!
Come on. We knew this recipe would not be a fail since it had bacon, cheese, chicken and pasta in it. My bitch was not with the taste, but the fact that your ass will be stuck in the kitchen for a while making it. Casseroles are suppose to be EASY.
You have to fry the bacon in a skillet. I didn’t do it because Shirley is the queen of frying bacon. Had Shirley not been around I would have used Robyn’s baken method. And if it would have messed up my stove I would have made Robyn fly up here and clean it. She needs to come visit anyway. We’ve got things to talk about. Like how to avoid the fucking Food Blogging Illuminati and shit.
This part upset me because I am trying to watch what I eat and damn, frying chicken up in bacon grease just got to me. Shirley didn’t drain the bacon grease out before she did this so those motherfuckers were deep fried in bacon grease. If I have a heart attack, MOM.
My mother drives me ape-shit because she never uses the right tools when she’s cooking. Here she is frying chicken with a bowl scraper/spatula that you use for cake mixing and such. I have no idea how I learned to cook when I have a mother like this. Thank God for cable and cooking shows.
Shirley was handling the casserole because I was busy doing other things. Rick came home from a work trip with goodies! A massive amount of pretzels from a pretzel factory in Reading, Pa.
I don’t have a banana for scale, but I do have the husband. That’s a lot of motherfucking pretzels, man! And oh my God, so freaking good.
I suppose it should be noted that I once again over-cooked the pasta. Remember that kitchen trick where people say to throw spaghetti at the wall? WTF? I never understood it. If I threw food at the wall, Shirley would kick my ass. No throwing food, dammit.
I know those aren’t Rotini. I have 10,000 boxes of pasta back on my shelf and not one of them was Rotini (we call them springs). I made an executive decision to USE WHAT I HAVE because The Beagle killed my money tree* this summer.
Here’s a little secret nobody knows about me. I have never crumbled bacon in my life. I have always used kitchen scissors. I cannot even fathom what crumbling bacon is like and I don’t want to find out.
Uh-oh, a cat creeping up on my bacon! KILL IT.
You throw everything into a bowl and mix it together. Shirley used her bowl scraper/spatula again. GAWD.
And then you throw it into the casserole dish. That’s not hard at all.
Bacon and another freaking cup of cheese go on top. Now toss that bad boy in the oven for 20 minutes.
Beagle is always appalled at how much bacon is wasted on The Humans. This picture was snapped while she was trying to get that bacon-creeping cat to play with her. It did not end well and feelings were hurt.
Everybody got really excited when this came out of the oven. Rick was especially excited because he loves it when the cheese gets brown. Yes, those are more bags of pretzels back there. I wonder when I’ll start craving potato chips.
It’s not a pretty dish, but it tasted really good (of course!). My problem is that this reminds me of a dish Pioneer Woman would make and that pretty much sums up why it’s not going into our rotation. It’s just too much for me to be comfortable serving on the regular. My family drives me crazy, but I wanna keep them around for at least a little while longer.
* Vet bills are a bitch so I’ve been staying at home and window shopping via the Internet. As I come across things that I think are interesting or unique, I’ll post them as an affiliate link here. Robyn and I want beach mansions so feel free to shop till you drop, baby!
Flexible measuring cups – They’re microwaveable (melting butter or cheese). And I love the idea of having control when I’m pouring something. Okay, honestly. I want these because I think they’ll be perfect to drizzle butter all over my popcorn. I really like popcorn.
This Breakfast Sandwich Maker is the shits! I would totally get this for Trey if he would ever decide what he wants to do with his life. Trade school, college…COME ON, man! Perfect gift for that male (or female) that doesn’t have much of a clue in the kitchen. I just think it’s neat.
If you’re making a sandwich without a spreader, you’re doing it wrong. Look, I spent 40 years making sandwiches and smearing butter all over my toast with a butter knife and dammit, they are useless. Get one of these and you’ll realize how pathetic your life really was before I told you what to do. Make sure you buy two because you’re going to be pissed if one’s in the dishwasher when you’re wanting to make a sandwich.
Chop and Drop Silicone Cutting Boards. Where have you been all of my life? God, I’ve had Shirley dropping raw chicken all over my hands while trying to put it in freezer bags for years. I had no idea, but you can bet your ass I’m asking Santa for this.
Bwahaha. The Squatty Potty. Robyn told me about this one because we both listen to Keith and the Girl and The Girl talks about how she uses a waste basket to lift her feet up when she goes to the bathroom. And this is where you have to ask yourself the most important question of all. Do you throw your pride out the window in order to take a better shit? Hmm. What Would DCEP Do?
Aly in GA submitted this recipe for us to make in tandem, but Nance was pretty much over the Asian recipes, and so I said I’d do it. Y’all know how much I love that soy sauce!
The original recipe came from The One-Armed Cook. Aly reports that she makes this recipe at least twice a month during soccer season. She also says:
I renamed my take on it “Oh My Asian Thighs (and Breasts)!!” because that’s what my husband said the first time he tasted this dish.
*Disclaimer: “The One-Armed Cook” is all about the shortcuts – frozen pre-chopped onions and peppers, bottled minced garlic, bagged and pre-cut veggies …basically everything to make a new Mom’s life easier when trying to get dinner on the table, while balancing a baby on your hip (metaphorically speaking, or not.) Therefore, if you WANT to harvest, wash, peel, cut, and mince garlic out of your own garden – go for it! Me, I’m going to reach in my fridge and grab the jar of already-did-that-for-you stuff!
Yes. Yes, we did JUST make an Asian chicken recipe a few short weeks ago in the form of Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken, but shaddup. This one looked easier, and you KNOW how I am. The easier, the better! And everything in this recipe is stuff I already had on hand, so I didn’t have to go out and buy anything. I love it on the rare occasion that that happens!
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, low-sodium soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and tomato sauce.
Let me just say here that Aly uses a pack of boneless, skinless chicken thighs AND a pack of boneless, skinless breasts. I have sworn to never ever put another boneless, skinless chicken breast in my crockpot and you cannot make me do it, Aly! So I just used the thighs. The more adventurous of you out there may certainly give it a try with the breasts, with my blessing.
Put your chicken in the crock pot.
I counted out 12 thighs so that we could get several meals out of it, and they fit perfectly in the bottom of the crock pot.
Mix the rest of your ingredients together (I used a measuring cup to make pouring easier), and then pour it over your chicken.
Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.
I served mine over rice.
The verdict? It was pretty good! And you certainly can’t beat the ease. We ate it for dinner three nights in a row, and enjoyed it.
But to be honest, I prefer the Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken and will probably opt for that over this one – unless I need an easy meal and don’t want to go to the grocery store!
Thanks for the submission, Aly – it was very little work to get three meals worth of food for each of us, and that’s nothing to shake a stick at!
Good morning, y’all! Is it time for more Amanda-baiting? I think it is! The recipe for Taco Soup is at the bottom of the page; the original recipe can be seen over at High Heels & Grills.
Months and months ago, cookie-decorator and commenter extraordinaire Traci posted this recipe on my Facebook wall. Instead of printing it out and adding it to my ever-growing stack of “recipes I’m gonna try some day,” I was swayed by her raving about how damn good it was, and since I had most of the ingredients on hand, I went out and bought what I needed and I made it THAT VERY DAY.
(That is a complete and utter lie. I think I made it the next week because I am a lazy slacker and also a liar, obviously.)
I don’t remember when Traci brought the recipe to my attention, but I do know it’s been several months, and I’ve made it six or seven times since then. It’s a very forgiving recipe, and you could add more of the stuff you like, and less of the stuff you don’t. It all works out! Traci makes hers in the crock pot, but I just toss it all in a big pot, heat it up, and it’s ready to eat. You seriously can’t get easier than this recipe, and you guys KNOW how much I like a simple, tasty recipe. Also, Fred LOVES it, and Fred is actually not any big fan of soup.
Pinto beans, enchilada sauce, black beans, chicken broth, petite diced tomatoes, cream of chicken soup, corn, chicken, and an envelope of taco seasoning.
Changes I made: the original recipe called for green enchilada sauce. I could not find that in my local Publix for anything, so I tried regular enchilada sauce. Guess what? It was so good that I’m too scared to try it with green enchilada sauce because I’m worried I won’t like it as much. Which is crazy, I know, but I never claimed to NOT be a nut.
Also, the recipe calls for canned chicken. I have nothing against canned chicken, but we always have chicken in the freezer, so that’s what I used. I’ve also made this with turkey, and it was damn fine. I used 2 cups of chicken/turkey.
Ready to make your taco soup? It’s a long and involved process. Try to follow along.
Open your cans and envelope of seasoning, dump everything into a big pot, and place over medium heat until warmed through.
That’s it! Seriously, could it be any easier?
We eat ours with baked Tostitos and oh, good lord. So good! The best part is that it makes a lot, so we usually eat it for two meals, and then get a couple of lunches from it, as well. Highly HIGHLY recommended, this stuff. Make it! Now! Git! Who cares what Amanda thinks?
“Yo, seriously? It’s THAT easy?!”
(Amanda is totally clutching her pearls right now. Or maybe she was so horrified she passed out.)
Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Sweet Baby Ray’s Crockpot Chicken. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post. The original recipe can be found over at Just a Pinch.
This week’s recipe was Nance’s choice. I’ll be interested what prompted this choice, because I have my suspicions. What suspicions, you ask? Well. I think Nance was like “This recipe looks really simple and it will make Amanda’s head blow clean off her shoulders at the idea that we’re referring to this as a recipe.”
That’s right – I think Nance is Amanda-baiting. Which, don’t get me wrong – I’m ALL for Amanda-baiting. I bet Amanda’s nostrils are flaring in anticipation of how much this is NOT a recipe and doesn’t meet her high standards. I bet Amanda wears a headband and cardigans and has her hair straightened to within an inch of its life. Amanda’s hair wouldn’t dare stray out of place for one instant or she’d just pluck the offending hair right out of her head. Amanda, I think I’m saying, has stringent and rigid standards regarding what is and is not a recipe.
ANYway. (I bet Amanda hates it when I say “ANYway.”)(Also probably not a fan of parentheses.)
Your ingredients (“Not MY ingredients,” Amanda is saying.)
Chicken breasts, white vinegar, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder. Also, a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce. Fred was in charge of buying the Sweet Baby Ray’s (I had kittens to cuddle), and he reported that there was nothing that was JUST plain regular barbecue sauce, they had 30 different variations, so he bought the one that looked the best to him, the Sweet ‘n Spicy (Amanda: “Grrr! Sweet AND Spicy. AND.”)
Those chickens breasts are store-bought. After the last time we used our home-grown chicken in a recipe and then didn’t like it, Fred declared that from then on out if we were making a recipe for the first time and weren’t sure if we’d like it, we’d use store-bought because it is a mortal sin to use home-grown chicken for meals that we end up not liking. He’s so bossy and forceful, that Fred.
The recipe calls for 4 – 6 chicken breasts, but store-bought chicken breasts are so damn big that I’m not sure 6 of them would have fit in the crockpot, for the love of Sweet Baby Jesus (see what I did there?)
Okay, put your chicken breasts in the crockpot.
Mix all the other ingredients together. I used a big measuring cup so that pouring it over the chicken breasts would be easier.
I had to get a little violent because my garlic powder was all clumped together in one big, uh, CLUMP. I suspect that bottle of garlic powder is about as old as I am. Yes, I know you’re supposed to replace your herbs and spices regularly. I don’t give a shit. You’re also not supposed to keep them over the stove where they’re subjected to heat. What, I don’t spend enough time pampering cats, dogs, and chickens, I need to pamper my goddamn spices, too? Fuck that.
“The Prince will have a light snack after his nap and before his massage. Also, be sure that the masseuse isn’t all chatty. The Prince hates it when they’re chatty. Just rub the toes and shut UP, you know?”
(Sorry about that watermark being all up in his face. I have a real problem with people stealing my pictures, using them without attribution, and then suggesting that I should be grateful for it. Oh, don’t get me STARTED. And that picture, I’m sorry – SO FREAKIN’ CUTE. I was half tempted to plaster the watermark across his damn forehead.)
Dump the barbecue sauce, etc over your chicken breasts.
Cook it on low, 4 – 6 hours. When given a range like that I usually split the difference (5 hours), but I was a little late in getting it all in the crockpot, so it only cooked for 4 hours.
This is what it looked like right before I put the lid on the crockpot. It looked pretty much the same after 4 hours.
And this is after I removed the chicken breasts from the liquid.
I was going to slice the chicken breast and ARRANGE it and take an artsy-fartsy picture, but the chicken pretty much shredded as I cut it, so you get this.
The verdict? Meh. Totally meh. Like, meh minus. The chicken was dry, and just… meh. Fred felt the same. I wouldn’t waste any home-grown chicken on this recipe. The sauce was good and might be better on something else, but I won’t make this recipe again. Life’s too short for meh chicken.
Have a recipe you want us to make? Check out this page (there’s also a link to that page up there under the banner) and follow the instructions to submit a recipe!
I’m from Pennsylvania and there’s no way in hell I would try to make my own barbecue sauce. People in the south know their shit when it comes to barbecue and this yankee prefers to just enjoy the good stuff when I visit. But I do use barbecue sauce in a bottle sometimes. I stick with Sweet Baby Ray’s or KC Masterpiece. I do not like Kraft’s Barbecue Sauce because it tastes like the stuff I threw up that one time I was mixing tequila with beer. In the same glass. Glass after glass after glass…
Everybody’s different and I’m not going to judge (this time), but I have been known to pitch a hiss if the husband brings home that cheap Kraft Barbecue shit just because I forgot to specify a brand on the grocery list. Goodbye, Kraft Sponsorship! Heh.
I picked this recipe because a) I recognized the name b) it looked easy and c) it was made in a crockpot. There are days when I can’t be bothered to stop what I’m doing to make dinner. Especially if I fell down a rabbit hole of trying to figure out if Amanda Bynes is crazy or just has a vicious drug problem.
A crockpot meal is the perfect solution for, ahem, busy people like me.
I just realized that this picture makes it look like I don’t know how to spell the word chicken. I do. When I’m packing up a butt-load of chicken (we buy in bulk because I’ll be goddamned if I’m gonna chop the head off a live one!) I sometimes get lazy about my penmanship. These chicken breasts have been cut into smaller sizes because we’re controlling portions. Some of us eat the leftovers for lunch the next day so it all works out. I just told you that in case you were dividing the chicken by the number of people in this house and were getting confused. You’re welcome.
Crybaby Felina didn’t want to be up on the counter with the Barbecue Sauce.
Here she is walking away from the situation because I had a dilema and she was over it. I didn’t know the amount of barbecue sauce I should use since my bottle said 50% more free. I couldn’t decide if I should only use half of the bottle or just dump the whole thing in there and hope for the best. This recipe would have been more helpful if it had included what size bottle for chrissakes.
Of course Sadie Mae was all about posing for DCEP because she’s the good one. If you look real close, you can see where I had her toenails (front paws only) painted a lovely shade of metallic blue. She drags the top of her feet across the cement on our porch when she walks (arthritis/old age) and it just plum ruined her manicure. The look on her face tells me that she doesn’t care. At all.
Remember when Pizza Hut was just new and they had glass shaker bottles of this stuff on their tables? I would sprinkle it all over my pizza and it was fabulous. Now? I don’t eat Pizza Hut because…barf. Bye, bye Pizza Hut Sponsorship! Truth Game: When I left home to live in Washington, DC at the grand old age of 18, Shirley stole a shaker while we ate at Pizza Hut so I would have one in my new apartment. Shirley. STOLE.
Robyn’s probably getting ready to kill me by now. Trash talking possible sponsors and sharing my mother’s criminal past. Whee!
This is what everything looked like when I threw it all into a bowl. I know you’re impressed. I ended up using about 3/4 of the bottle since my brain gave up wondering what could possibly go wrong. Who gives a shit?
Action shot taken by Shirley (aka: mom). You can also see where I deviated from the recipe because I sprinkled pepper (not salt) on the chicken and sprayed the shit out of the crockpot with cooking spray. Pro-tip: Pepper the hell out of the sides of the crockpot so you look like an idiot.
Another action shot because Shirley was all proud of herself.
This is what I ended up with. I will tell you where I screwed up – I fucked around so much that I ended up having to cook it on high for a bit in order to have it in time for dinner. Cooking that shit on high made it DRY. VERY, VERY DRY. Hard to believe when you see that picture up there, huh? Yup. I suppose you could lick it if you don’t want to deal with that whole dry thing. But I’m pretty sure bending over and licking your chicken at the dinner table is frowned upon.
But here’s the very best part of all…
IT SUCKED! Blech. The recipe took a perfectly good barbecue sauce and turned it into a very poor imitation of that cheap-ass Kraft shit that I hate so much. No lie! The fuck with all that vinegar? Are you kidding me? Who wants to take a perfectly decent barbecue sauce and make it taste like swill? I was so freaking disappointed. This recipe needs to be flushed. Immediately.
Sweet Baby Ray's Crockpot Chicken - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
Mix barbecue sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder together. Pour over the chicken breasts.
Place lid on the crockpot and cook on low for 4 - 6 hours*
*Really, you don't want to cook the damn things for 6 hours. They'll be dust. Mine were too dry at 4 hours. I (Robyn) would actually go for 3 hours, then check to see if they're done. How do you check them? Slice into the middle of the chicken breast and check for pink. If there's pink, keep on cookin'. No pink? Ding! It's done! Then eat that chicken breast yourself, don't go serving it to someone else. What kind of animal are you? You ruined it! You gotta eat it yourself.
Robyn’s Take: This is our first reader-submitted recipe, sent to use by Nicole D!
I don’t know a whole lot about Rachael Ray except that she shills a $20 “garbage bowl”, and so help me if any of you buy a damn bowl ESPECIALLY to put your kitchen garbage in, I will come knock on your door and slap you into next Tuesday, because that is some ridiculous-ass shit. It always confuses me when a specialist – ie, a cook – gets a five-day-a-week show.
I mean, you’re a cook or a cardiothoracic surgeon (Dr. Oz, lookin’ at you), what on earth makes anyone think you need an ENTIRE show where you, I assume, do things other than cook or perform surgery? But I guess she’s had her show for several years now and it’s still going, so there you go. Speaking of Dr. Oz, is it just me or does that man recommend a HUGE number of supplements? If you took every supplement he recommended, you’d be eating nothing but supplements all day long. ANYway.
A chicken, removed from the bone and kind of shredded (the recipe called for a rotisserie chicken; we have a freezer full of chicken, so I cooked one in the crock pot and used that), peas, carrots, onion, celery, zucchini, egg noodles, olive oil, salt and pepper, and a bit of butter. The original recipe called for parsley, but I don’t do parsley so I left it out (the world would be a better place if parsley was left out of everything.)
Cook your egg noodles!
Put a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add your olive oil. Add the carrots, celery, and onion to the pan and cook until the veggies start to get tender, 3 – 4 minutes.
Add the zucchini and some salt and pepper to the pan, and cook for another couple of minutes, until all the veggies are tender.
This is the point when my noodles were done cooking, so I feel obligated to show you what noodles sitting in a colander look like.
Fascinating, no? I love the hell out of that colander; it’s made of silicone and it’s collapsible, so in theory it takes up less space. I mean, when I’m the one who puts it away, it takes up less space. The issue comes when Fred does the dishes. First he tries to take up half the damn dishwasher with that thing, and then when I yell at him for the fact that I’ll have to run the dishwasher with just that colander and two spoons and ask why he’s trying so hard to kill Mother Earth, he washes the colander and puts it away uncollapsed so it takes up the entire cabinet. When it’s collapsed it sits unobtrusively to the side, but when it’s not, it’s VERY FUCKING OBTRUSIVE. But I love it, so it’s staying.
Anyway. Add the chicken and peas to your pan of veggies, and let everything heat through.
Not shown: Adding butter to the noodles and tossing to coat. To serve, spoon chicken and veggie mixture over the noodles.
Really, just not impressive. It was okay, it wasn’t bad – we ate it for two meals and then Fred took the rest for leftovers – but it was pretty boring and bland. It could have used more spices (don’t try to tell me that it would have been better if I’d used the parsley. Parsley would have taken it from “meh” to inedible.) or maybe Rachael Ray in attendance to say “EVOO”, but all I know for sure is that I won’t be making this again.
Have a recipe you want us to make? Check out our new page (there’s also a link to that page up there under the banner) and follow the instructions to submit a recipe!
Okay, I’m going to admit it. I cannot stand Rachael Ray. I remember watching her on the Food Network and she drove me nuts with her 30 minute meals. 30 minutes if you buy a bunch of pre-sliced and expensive ingredients! And the real truth on why I can’t stand her…I think she’s a fake-laugher. I cannot stand people who fake chuckle, giggle or laugh. Nobody should ever fake something in order to appear like they have charm. She does it all the time and if you don’t believe me, watch her closely. Fake laugher. Fake grin. Fake Smile. Fake, fake, fake, fake, fake!
Although I do believe her boobs are real. See below.
You can’t possibly know how annoyed I was that I had to watch her cooking segment to get the gist of this recipe. Or it might have been to see how to “matchstick” vegetables correctly. Shut-up.
Rick picked up the rotisserie chicken for me since it was on his way home from work. This came from Sam’s Club and we call it a Pickin’ Chicken because sometimes we’ll grab one of these and pick at it all day like a bunch of gross carnivores. Then I throw it in a big pot of water to get all of the meat off of it and make chicken and dumplings (the real kind).
This is what it looked like after having been in the refrigerator overnight. Um, gross.
I had no idea what flat-parsley is and it didn’t matter because when I went to the grocery store they only had Italian Parsley. Who knew there were so many different types of parsley out there? Not me, man. Maybe there aren’t that many types. Maybe there is just flat and Italian and I’m just stupid. Hmm.
This is a carrot and vegetable peeler. I am not really good at peeling shit. When I have to peel potatoes (I avoid it like the plague) I use a knife and hack away at it. I may lose some of the potato, but I’m okay with that. There is nothing more annoying than peeling the skin off of anything (Silence of the Lambs – WOOT). Okay, I just grossed myself out. We’re not going to talk about it anymore.
As you can see, I muddled through. The recipe is really simple to make (although not quite as simple as Rachael Ray made it seem). The biggest pain in the ass and time-suck for me was getting all of the vegetables peeled, cut, and thrown into the pan.
I salt and peppered the shit out of those vegetables. The recipe calls for cooking them 3-4 minutes, but I cooked the shit out of those bad boys because I don’t care for vegetables. Zucchini? Get real. I don’t need a crunch to tell me that I’m eating a vegetable. I prefer mine to be cooked beyond recognition and then I’m all about them. What? At least they’re not deep-fried!
Decapitation brought to you by DCEP! Shirley (aka: mom) cracked my shit up when I opened the refrigerator this morning and found the bottom half of that bunch in a plastic baggie. She was cooking with me and either she has even less of a clue about parsley than I do or she was just on a roll cleaning up and not paying attention. Either way, I got a chuckle out of it. A real chuckle. Not to be confused with a Rachael Ray chuckle.
I was in a hurry so I used one of Rick’s tricks to cook the noodles. You know how the instructions say to bring water to a boil and then add the noodles? Rick just adds them right away. I flip out every time I catch him doing it. But I was in a hurry so the noodles went into the pot and I was all, “Boil, goddammit, BOIL!”
Don’t tell Rick.
Action shot! Please Note: Those vegetables are seriously COOKED (and some of them even look like worms).
Noodles with chopped parsley. You don’t know how badly I just wanted to add a shit-ton of parmesan cheese and call that dinner. But I soldiered on because I’m trying to be good about this bullshit recipe site with a weird name. Sigh.
It was really very good. And that’s saying something coming from a vegetable hater like myself. It’s going into the rotation for sure. Whoever picked this (I don’t pay attention, I figure Robyn will know) did a good job because it’s the first Rachael Ray recipe that has ever made it in to my recipe book!
Chicken Noodle Hold the Soup - Nance & Robyn make the same recipe
1 whole cooked chicken (rotisserie from the grocery store, if you must), removed from bone and torn into small pieces or shredded
2 tablespoons Olive Oil (extra-virgin, if you want. Who can tell the difference? Not ME)
1 thinly sliced medium onion
3 carrots, cut into matchsticks
4 ribs celery, cut into matchsticks
2 small zucchini, cut into matchsticks
Salt and pepper
1 pound egg noodles (medium or extra wide)
1 T butter
½ cup (about a handful) flat-leaf parsley, chopped (If you must)
5 oz frozen peas, thawed
Cook your noodles according to the instructions on the box and drain. Put the noodles back into the pot they were cooked in and add butter and parsley, and toss to coat (you can do all this while you're making the chicken and veggies if you think you won't screw it up.)
Put a large skillet over med-high heat, add olive oil. If you're feeling feisty, call it "EVOO" and roll your eyes.
When the pan is hot, add carrots, onion, and celery to the pan. Cook 4 - 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to get tender.
Add the zucchini to the pan and add salt and pepper (to taste) and cook another 2 - 3 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender.
Add chicken and peas to the pan and cook until heated through.
To serve, put noodles in a bowl and spoon the chicken and vegetable mixture on top.
This week’s recipe was Nance’s choice, and I was like “We’re gonna stuff a chicken breast with what and then wrap it with what? Um, okay.”
“You two is some crazy, crazy bitches.”
At least the ingredient list was pretty short and simple. One of the things required was two pieces of partially cooked bacon for each chicken breast. Instead of frying up that bacon in a pan, I opted to keep the mess contained to the oven (note to self: clean the damn oven). I baked the bacon in the oven at 450ºF for 8 minutes. It was fairly thin bacon, so if you use thicker bacon, you’ll want to bake it longer.
Now please gaze upon the rest of the ingredients:
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cream cheese, and green onions. Pretty simple, right? Guess who has a back forty FILLED with chickens but still had to buy chicken breasts at the damn grocery store? I know, completely ridiculous.
My main gripe about buying chicken breasts from the grocery store is that they are SO FREAKIN’ HUGE. I mean, look at those monsters. Those damn things are just pumped full of hormones, I guarantee it. (I should have bought the organic, pastured-raised chicken breasts, but… I didn’t. Because HO BOY is that shit expensive.)
First step: pound the chicken breasts ’til they’re about 1/4″ thick. I put my chicken breasts in a Ziploc® bag, zipped it mostly closed, and then beat the hell out of that thing with a rolling pin ’til it was flattened enough.
See? No chicken goop everywhere. The chicken goop is contained, there’s no salmonella running rampant over my counters, all is good.
“Why you beat the chicken? Was it bein’ bad?”
Mix 2 T cream cheese and 1 T chopped green onions for each chicken breast, then spread it across the chicken breast as you can.
Then you’ve got to roll up your damn chicken breasts. I will confess to you that I didn’t so much carefully roll up each breast as KIND OF roll each breast up and then tucked in the ends.
Then I wrapped two pieces of bacon around each chicken breast and tucked the ends under, putting each piece of chicken on a baking sheet afterward. I did not, as was instructed by the original recipe, secure the bacon with a toothpick. I just figured tucking the bacon under would be good enough.
Then while the chicken baked, I went upstairs for some kitten therapy. This pounding and rolling and wrapping bacon thing is STRESSFUL.
The best kind of stress reliever.
The chicken cooked for 30 minutes, and then sat under the broiler for another 5 minutes to make the bacon crispy. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the cream cheese did not, in fact, melt out of the rolled-up chicken breasts and go all over the place.
The verdict? Well, Fred said it was good and he’d never request it, but he’d eat it if it was put in front of him and wouldn’t complain.
The first bite I took, I thought “Hey, this is pretty good.” That lasted until about 1/3 of the way through the piece of chicken, and then it was suddenly gross. I didn’t really care for the cream cheese and green onion stuffing, I guess. Something about that, combined with the chicken was not appealing. I think that if it had been stuffed with something different it would have been good, but the way it was… ugh. No. I won’t be making it again.
Have a recipe you want us to make? Check out our new page (there’s also a link to that page up there under the banner) and follow the instructions to submit a recipe for us to consider making!
This is a picture of Felina Marie and Sadie Mae. AKA: The most hopeful dogs in the world. They love trying new DCEP recipes, but they have been put on a grain-free diet so our last few recipes have just made them sad. If you look closely at Felina (especially the eye to your right), you can see why I call her a googley-eyed ugly dog. Marty Feldman doesn’t have shit on her!
This is a picture of me. Shirley has a new camera and I was being a smart-ass, showing her how to take selfies and what you do if you’re a fat chick that wants to look thin (hold the camera up in the air and aim down). While I was making this chicken. Except I guess I don’t know how to do it right because I lost an eye. The reason I included these two pictures is so you can see that there was some messed up shit going on in this house. Poor deprived dogs. And a dummy that can’t fit her huge goddamn face into a camera frame. Things are not looking good around here. Not at all. And we won’t even mention how it looks like I broke my nose as a child. Or the fact that my real mother’s name was probably Barbra. Barbra Streisand.
This was supposed to be our dinner Friday night. Rick brought the chicken up from the freezer the night before and it thawed in the refrigerator over night. I could have shit when I got a good look at it. Freezer burn. What the fuck.
This was the only piece of meat that wasn’t entirely ruined (although we did have to cut a bit of it off). We put our meats, etc., in name-brand freezer bags in order to not waste food. This was an issue for a while now, but I had been on the fence about buying one of those fancypants FoodSaver™ (damn right that’s an affiliate link) things because of the cost of the bags.
You know what else is expensive? Meat (and any other food) that you’re throwing away. So yeah, I’m using my FoodSaver™ exclusively now. Those name-brand bags can be used in the canister that I keep by my sink for food scraps. Please note the pro-tip: God forbid, you might have to walk 3 feet to the garbage can with potato peels in your hands!
Okay, okay. I’ll get back to the topic at hand which is the making of this god-forsaken recipe that I picked and how I regretted it from the minute I actually took five seconds to read it. I have got to STOP just glancing at the recipes that I pick for this site! I honestly saw the pretty picture with the words bacon and chicken, figured that would make the family happy and went with it.
I had no green onions and there was a brouhaha in this house over whether or not chives are nothing more than dried green onions. It seems that Rick’s grandfather (who is a saint) told him this and homeboy was not backing down from that argument…even when google gave me ALL OF THE INTERNET to prove that he was wrong!
Them fools be fightin’ over chives and shit.
I still went with chives because there was no way I was running back into town for green onions in order to make ONE slightly freezer burned chicken breast with cream cheese and bacon.
You beat the meat, slather the cream cheese mixed with green onions (or chives, nobody really gives a shit) all over it, roll it up in partially cooked bacon and bake the hell out of it. And then when you’re done baking the hell out of it, you’re supposed to turn on your broiler and burn your damn bacon until it’s ash. Voila!
Rick and my mom tried it because they’re game for eating anything. Rick said it tasted like baked cream cheese. It was not a winner with him even with bacon. My mom liked it, but hey, she’s older and you know those taste buds are shot to shit.
This recipe was fairly simple to make, but so is a toasted cheese sandwich…stick with making one of those and you’ll be better off. And yes, the dogs did get some of the freezer burned meat after we cooked it for them. They didn’t mind it all. Go figure.
Bacon Wrapped, Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Velveeta Spicy Chicken Spaghetti, found over at Key Ingredient. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.
This week’s recipe was Nance’s choice, and as usual I just glanced at the title of the recipe before I okayed it. Then when it was time to gather my ingredients and make it, I took a closer look at the recipe, saw that it called for Velveeta (I know, you’d think the name of the recipe might have tipped me off to that), and I was all:
I don’t know that I’ve never used Velveeta before, but I don’t have a problem with it. HowEVER, the snob I live with is kind of a SNOB when it comes to “Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product”s. I originally wasn’t even going to tell him that it had Velveeta in it, but I hit a snag when I was at the grocery store. Wouldn’t you think Velveeta would be in the refrigerated cheese section? That’s where I expected to see it, but nay. It was nowhere to be found. Rather than ask a store employee where it was (I will generally just leave a grocery store instead of asking an employee for help, DO NOT JUDGE ME), I called Fred. Who was spectacularly unhelpful. I hung up the phone with his snobby “This recipe has VELVEETA in it?!” ringing in my ears and thought maybe, since it’s often used in queso dip (free surprise recipe for queso dip: melt Velveeta, mix in can of Ro-Tel, serve with tortilla chips), it might be in the chip aisle.
It was not in the chip aisle.
I was headed for the door, sailing on a wave of indignant FUCK ALL Y’ALL when I thought of one last place to look.
In the aisle where the pasta and spaghetti sauce are kept is where they keep the Velveeta. Near the pizza sauce. Near my beloved Kraft Old English Cheese (I love the SHIT out of Old English Cheese, spread on celery, and did I mention SHUT UP, YOU?)
The only other ingredients I didn’t already have at home was the can of Cream of Chicken soup, and chicken breasts.
YES. I USED STORE-BOUGHT CHICKEN.
YES. WE HAVE 7,000 CHICKENS OUT IN THE BACK FORTY.
It’s much like the cobbler’s children having no shoes, here in this house. Fred dislikes processing the chickens and I sure as shit am not going to do that, so when he does process them he processes a LOT of them. So I thought we had chicken in the freezer and didn’t realize we’d used up the rest of it, so it was kind of an emergency. Is what I’m saying.
Would you believe that there was NOT ONE CAN of Cream of Chicken soup in the soup aisle? Maybe someone somewhere had bought them all. Luckily, since the recipe calls for mushrooms anyway, I just opted to use Cream of Mushroom soup instead.
ANYway. Let’s get on with this, shall we?
Velveeta, cubed. Chicken, cut in chunks. Milk, a can of Ro-Tel, Cream of Mushroom soup, can of mushrooms. Also, angel hair pasta. The original recipe called for spaghetti, but I buy the big packs of angel hair at Sam’s, and I don’t think it makes a difference whether you use spaghetti or angel hair.
Cook your pasta.
Drain your pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, start cooking your chicken. Heat your skillet over med-high heat, spray it with cooking spray, and add the chicken. Cook, stirring, until it’s cooked through. Your mileage may vary; it took my chicken about 7 minutes to cook.
Add everything except your cooked pasta to the skillet with the chicken.
Stir everything together until the Velveeta is melted and everything is heated through.
Stir all THAT together with your cooked pasta. I used the pot I’d cooked the pasta in, so that I had room to combine it well.
Pour it into a greased 9×13 baking dish.
Bake it for 35 – 40 minutes.
HEY LOOK, GUYS. I STILL CAN’T TAKE A DECENT FOOD PIC.
It was my plan, before we had this for dinner, that we’d eat it for dinner once, and then Fred would take the leftovers to work for lunch. I didn’t expect to HATE it, but I also didn’t expect that I’d want to eat it more than once.
I was mistaken.
Damn, it was GOOD. We ended up eating every last bit of this stuff for dinner. Even Fred, the Velveeta snob, thought it was awesome.
It’s going into the recipe box, and I’ll definitely be making this again. Good choice, Nance!
Things you have to know…
1. It is all of my fault that we are late with this entry. I had one helluva weekend with an internet stranger staying here (gasp!), lots of yapping, phone calls and birthday gatherings. My plan was to complete my entry on Monday morning (I’m an early riser)…except Shirley (AKA: my mother) threw me off of my game by needing to go to the Emergency Room (she’s home now and doing better).
2. I had planned to make this dish on Friday evening (April 5th) and everything was ready when I was hit with the migraine from hell. My mother and Rick stepped in to save my ass (probably because they were hungry) while I hid under a blanket on the couch trying to survive the mother of all headaches. I’m not sure what triggers my occasional migraines, but those of you who get them on the regular have my heartfelt sympathy. Those fuckers are something else and I wouldn’t wish them on my worst enemy.
3. We skipped the mushrooms because Rick is allergic.
The biggest concern (discussed prior to the headache) was being able to cook the chicken without drying it out. Especially when it was going to be baked again. The women in this family are notorious for over-cooking meat, but we’re aware of it and getting a lot better. I would also like to note that Shirley is using her stainless steel pan to do this chicken. We got her the set at Christmas and it’s become an issue about whether or not we are allowed to use it. Shirley loves it and is afraid we’re going to mess it up. Hmph. Some people have no faith in my cooking abilities.
Rick took this picture. Obviously Shirley dressed for the occasion because she’s wearing her special sweatshirt and not the tube-top. Do you guys break your spaghetti or are we just weird? I don’t think I have ever had “long” spaghetti. I don’t order spaghetti in restaurants where I assume they leave it long because I never order things that I can make at home. Yeah, I take dining out pretty seriously. And also, since Shirley is now laid-up and under my control, I think it’s time for some beauty-girlie stuff to go on. Maybe some nail polish? Lotion? Pedicures. Yup. We’re gonna go nuts. All in the name of proving to the world that it can’t always be about tube-tops and sweat pants. Anybody want to place bets on how far I can get with the glamorizing? Just wait until I put Gram in a green mud mask. It’ll be fun. Maybe I’ll take pictures and make it an entry for here. How To Cook Up A Lady. Whee!
I’m pretty sure I’m going to get killed.
Oh, hello poor people. Yup, these are not name brand items. I am broke. Blame it on the vet bills.
The recipe didn’t really say how to cut up the Velveeta (HOLY HEART ATTACK, BATMAN) so Shirley went with cubes. I think. I see some rectangles in there so now I’m not sure. Whatever. Pro Tip: Just cut it up so it won’t take all day to melt. You’re welcome.
Action shot? I’m assuming due to the blur. I know my mom was loving the fact that it all got thrown in a pot because that means it’s easy. She likes that kind of shit.
After all that goddamn processed cheese melts down you toss in the pre-cooked spaghetti.
And then you mix it all together with the world’s oldest beat-up white trash looking spaghetti spoon (or whatever the hell they are called). We do have a really nice one, but nobody seems to use it. Apparently some of us are attached to things that came from the dollar store. Ahem. Ah, shit. I can’t say anything, I love that goddamn thing too. It bends where it’s suppose to and it works. But I am that type of woman that will pull out the other one if company comes. Like someone is going to be impressed with my nicer spaghetti spoon. Yes, I know that people who are judgemental assholes are the ones that worry the most about being judged. Hi, I’m that asshole.
After Shirley mixed it all up she poured it into a greased casserole dish while Rick attempted to take an avant garde photo. Jesus H. He thinks he’s a photographer and he sucks as bad as the rest of us. But at least we know better than to use weird angles.
This is what it looked like when it was done. Weird angle compliments of Rick (no shit). Shirley did put salt and pepper on it before she baked it. Full Disclosure cause that’s how we roll!
My mother and Rick LOVED IT. Raved about how great it was, blahblahblahblah. My uncle Chuck liked it enough to yap to my aunt Gin about it. I took one forkful and was over it. An entire box of Velveeta cheese for one freaking meal? HELL NO. I obviously didn’t read the recipe when I picked it. It’ll go in the recipe book because I’ll never hear the end of it if I don’t put it in there. But there’s a pretty good chance that I’ll hide it so that this mess will never show up in our house again!
Velveeta Spicy Chicken Spaghetti - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Laura’s Unbelievable Chicken and Pasta, found over at BookCooking.net. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.
This week’s recipe was my choice. I’d love to tell y’all where I found it, but once again I don’t remember. Pinterest, maybe? In any case, I’ve always got my eye out for quick and easy chicken recipes because we raise (and eat) our own chickens. The only kind of recipes that get me more excited than chicken-based recipes are egg-based recipes. I love eggs, and we eat tons of them (and my cholesterol is so good my doctor looks at me like I’m lying when I tell her how many eggs I eat on a weekly basis).
Chicken, cut into 1-inch strips. The recipe calls for 4 chicken breast halves, but I used 6 because our chickens are smaller than the factory-raised chicken you get in the store. Chicken broth (which I canned myself), cream cheese (I used neufchatel), spinach, penne pasta, and cherry (Sungold) tomatoes from our garden. Those tomato plants just kept hanging in there. I think they’re about done for (it’s starting to get down into the high 30s at night), but it still amazes me that they last so far into October.
Cook your penne pasta according to package instructions.
Do you know about putting a wooden spoon across the top of the pot to stop the water from boiling over? Someone told me about it (I don’t remember who), and it works like a charm.
Meanwhile, in a big pan over medium heat, cook your chicken in your broth for about 10 minutes, until it’s done. I’m not one for fancy-bitch cooking terms, but I believe this is called “poaching” your chicken (but I could be wrong.)
Not quite done, but it’s getting there:
Stir in your cream cheese (which you cubed, if you were following instructions. I didn’t actually do that; I just tossed the whole block in there. It’s soft; it melted quickly enough. If I’d had to cube that stuff before adding it to the pan, I would have gotten it all over the place and then the obscenities would have started and probably I would have told the cream cheese to go fuck itself.) and your spinach. Stir. Return it to a simmer and cook for about five minutes, stirring now and again.
Then stir in your cherry tomatoes and cook another three minutes. Mix it together with the pasta, then throw it in a bowl and then eat.
Offer some to Petey Pickle.
“Really? NOW you offer some to me? Where were you when I was HUNGRY for just plain old cream cheese and you were tossing it in the pan? Fuck off, lady.”
The verdict? WAY too much pasta. I like pasta as much as the next gal, but how about some freakin’ protein up in this shit? I’ll probably make it again, only I’ll double the amount of chicken and halve the amount of pasta, if not quarter it. And double the number of cherry tomatoes.
I liked the cheesiness of the sauce, though, and we ate it for dinner for two nights, and then I had it for lunch one day. Definitely needs some tweaking, though.
Truth Game: I was in no mood to cook when I made this recipe. Everyone was talking about Hurricane Sandy and I managed to let it work my last nerve. I’m from Pittsburgh and although we do not have to deal with hurricanes, it was reported that we were going to have high winds with rain and possible snow. After having experienced the power outage and storm damage from this summer, I decided that thistime I was going to be prepared.
Being prepared did not mean making a stupid penne pasta dish. I had shit to round up like candles, flashlights and battery operated radios. And I needed to make sure my iPod was filled with new podcasts! Priorities, people. Priorities. Penne pasta? Not so much on my list of things to do. And to make matters worse, I had company that was all up in my business (more on that later).
I had purchased all the ingredients ahead of time so I would be prepared to make this dish. I was annoyed when I saw cherry tomatoes as one of the ingredients because we all know how well that turned out the last time we had them. When I finally went to cook this dish I realized I was suppose to have had the spinach thawed ahead of time. Dammit!
This is me performing WWT (Warm Water Thawing). It’s a technique I perfected years ago and no housewife worth her salt should go without learning how to do this. Hee!
Diced chicken being cooked in chicken broth is kinda gross.
I threw my spinach in before the cream cheese had finished melting. I don’t know if I was supposed to do that or not, but my company was being a wee bit demanding and I couldn’t really focus on the recipe.
Thanks to my mom for cutting those damn cherry tomatoes for me! Shirley is the shits!
Make sure you have a big pasta bowl ready because the recipe calls for the entire box and GODDAMN, that’s a whole lotta pasta!
Action shot! I’m sure my company thought I was crazy when they saw me struggling to pour this mess while taking a photograph at the same time. But you know what? I’m just going to say it. I did not, nor do I ever, care about what these particular kitchen guests think of me because I am sick and tired of the way that they judge. Yeah. I said it.
Dump it. And give it a good stir to mix everything up. I think I cooked the cherry tomatoes too much because it appears they may have exploded. Oh well.
Done. The recipe was easy and very forgiving. Everybody loved it, except my company…
The ladies had just come from church and they were busy judging me harshly. From the clothes I was wearing to the food that I cooked. They actually turned up their noses and sniffed at me!
And this one, HA! The biggest hypocrite of all…thinking I wouldn’t notice that she had helped herself to extra communion wafers while no one was looking. I wonder what the church will think of her when they find out, hmmm. Me thinks that maybe Miss Judgy McJudgypants should watch her step around me or I will be glad to point the local parish to this site.
Don’t push your luck, Sister. Don’t push your luck.
Laura's Unbelievable Chicken & Pasta - Nance & Robyn make the same recipe.
4 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1 inch strips
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 (8 ounce) package cold cream cheese, cubed
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 (16 ounce) package dry penne pasta
Bring large pot of water to a boil, and cook penne pasta according to package instructions.
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook chicken strips in broth; simmer until done, about 10 minutes. Stir in cubed cream cheese and spinach. Return to simmer, and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cherry tomatoes, and cook about 3 minutes more.
In a large bowl, mix together cooked, drained pasta and sauce. Let stand a few minutes before serving.
Next time I make it, I'll double the amount of chicken and cherry tomatoes, and at least halve - if not quarter - the amount of pasta. (Robyn)
Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was White Chicken Enchiladas, found over at Joyful Momma’s Kitchen. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.
This week’s recipe was my choice. I don’t have a clue how I happened across it (Pinterest, maybe?), but I know we like enchiladas around here, and it looked fairly easy. Also, I feel like I pick a LOT of desserts, so I was trying to mix it up and make it all exciting and such.
That jar on the left is canned chicken – which I canned myself – and the one on the right that is kind of oddly colored and looks like spaghetti sauce is actually chicken broth, which I also canned myself. Because I am JUST that domestic. Also: sour cream, flour, butter, tortillas, chopped green chilies (that can in the lower right part of the picture), and Monterey Jack FANCY shredded cheese.
Mix your chicken and 1 cup of your cheese in a bowl. Like such.
Slap a couple of spoonfuls of the chicken/ cheese mix in the center of each tortilla. Roll it up and put it in a greased (I used Pam) 9×13 pan.
It was a tight fit, but I got all 10 of them in there, by god.
Toss your butter in a saucepan over medium heat until it melts. Then add flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly stir in the chicken broth and let it cook over medium heat until you get bored with all the fucking STANDING AROUND waiting for this shit to BOIL, and turn it up to high.
I was waiting and waiting for the shit to boil, and what do you suppose happened?
ANOTHER damn inspector kitteh was all “HAI AM HERE TO INSPECT.”
Inspector Magoo was all ::SNIFF::SNIFF::SNIIIIIIIIIFF::
Then he was all “You KNOW I can’t eat Monterey Jack cheese. It gives me gas! Sixty-three demerits and I’m on the verge of shutting this place DOWN.”
Then he got all NOSY and was all “Do you EVER scrub that sink? That is some nasty-ass shit. This place is a DISGRACE. You horrify me, lady.” So I had to distract him with a red straw, and off he ran.
Finally, FINALLY the butter/flour/chicken broth came to a boil, and after about three minutes it was visibly thicker. I was tired of waiting around, so I decided it was ready to come off the heat.
Add sour cream and chopped green chilies.
Dump the sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.
Bake for 22 minutes and then under the high broiler for another 2 minutes to brown the cheese.
Honest to god, I couldn’t get a decent food pic if you sent me to photography school and then bribed me with $10,000.
Inspector Magoo couldn’t oversee the plating or the eating of the enchiladas, as he was otherwise occupado.
The verdict? We both (Fred and I, not Magoo and I) liked it a lot. The one pan made dinner for the two of us for two nights, and then I got three lunches out of it. It makes plenty, is what I’m saying.
The only things I’ll different next time: instead of cramming all the enchiladas into one pan, I’ll use two pans (that way, they won’t bake together, and it’ll be easier to take just one enchilada.) I may try using half the sauce (there was a LOT of sauce), and just a sprinkle of cheese on top. I may also try adding rice and/ or beans to the enchilada filling just to make things exciting. Also, I’ll start the sauce at the same time I start rolling up the enchiladas, so I won’t have to stand there and be bored for so long. I have a short attention span, yo.
Here’s a little secret I’m going to tell you about Robyn (stalker alert). She lives within two miles of a fabulous place that serves authentic Mexican food. AUTHENTIC. And I know for a fact that it’s pretty damn good because Rick and I ate there, at our own risk, since Fred and Robyn were skeeerdy cats about it. Sure, it’s a converted trailer and not a “real” restaurant (Rick told me they are called roach coaches – or just food trucks, if you actually want to keep your appetite). But the food is good and you don’t have to force your friends to try and make it at home. ahem.
No, I did not go into this with a bad attitude. But I did do something that I don’t ever remember doing before…I prepared two meals because I was afraid I was going to have a fail. And also, my mother (Grandma Tube-top) hates enchiladas. Don’t ask me why because she doesn’t even know why. She’s just a hater. So I made lasagna at the same time because I didn’t want to hear it. And anybody who has ever had a mother knows what I mean about not wanting to hear it.
I wrapped my seasoned chicken in foil (I used way too much foil this time, yikes) and baked it at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. These breasts were super thick and it came out perfect (translation: not dried out/petrified).
Rick came home from work, saw my chaos, and immediately offered to help. Of all the complaints I have with my husband, I can honestly say that he offers to help me the minute he comes home from work…every single day. I’m well aware that not many men do this and I think it sucks. It really is just a curtesy thing. I am fixing his meal…of course he should offer his help, it’s just the polite thing to do. I usually don’t need his help and send him on his merry way, but the offer is always appreciated. Unless he’s pushing me to hurry up or some shit. Then I turn into a she-beast and start slapping pans around while doing my special brand of hate-cooking, but that’s a story for another day. Moody cow, thy name is Nance.
I told him he could shred the chicken for me while I did something else. I went on my merry way and only went over to supervise when I saw that he had 3 cats and a dog surrounding him and it appeared to be a chicken dance-off. Dammit! I hate the animals in the kitchen when I’m cooking and this type of stuff really pisses me off. You’re tripping over them and when someone gives the cats stuff like chicken it sits on the floor while they take fifteen minutes to decide whether or not they even like it. Our kitchen is very narrow and I am sick to death of worrying about breaking a hip because of one of these fuckers.
But my point about the whole thing (besides the fact that I hate animals in my kitchen when I’m cooking)? My husband has no idea how to shred chicken. No idea! He was over there dicing away and apparently thought that SHRED is the new word for CHUNKS. WTF, Rick!
So then I had to stop everything. Grab two forks and give a lesson on shredding meat. And now? I have a husband who knows how to shred meat with two forks. He’s a keeper.
Shredded Monterey jack cheese mixed up with the chicken. Yum!
Meanwhile, my lasagna noodles are still waiting.
This is the point that I realized that I don’t know how to roll an enchilada. Yikes!
I ended up using my phone to google how to roll them and found this simple video. Tuck and roll, bitches! Tuck and roll! And this, my friends, is why I love the fucking Internet. Instant information, FTW!
I wasn’t too sure about how thick this white sauce was supposed to be. It seemed thick enough so I took it off of the heat at about this point.
I have issues with sour cream in the house. I only give it one week in the fridge after it’s been opened because I have no idea (unless I see mold) if it’s spoiled or not. No one could identify what date our sour cream was opened so I pitched it and used my precious (OMG, so GOOD, but SO EXPENSIVE) Fage Yogurt instead since the recipe author said you could substitute greek yogurt. I made sure the white sauce was not boiling as to avoid the curdling she also talked about (yuck).
I put the rest of the cheese on the top and threw that bad boy in the oven (because I needed to get my lasagna made, dammit).
It came out of the oven looking like this. I put the broiler on it for a few minutes because I was afraid the family was going to automatically dislike something that was so bland looking.
Boy, plating (hoity toity alert) this thing was a nightmare! It doesn’t make a great presentation, but then again, it could just be that I have no natural skills when it comes to getting things out of a pan and onto a dish.
The verdict: I ate the hell out of the filling before it was stuffed in the tortilla shells, but after it was baked with the sauce I was un-impressed. But everyone else in the family thought it was really good! Even Grandma Tube-top, who hates enchiladas, thought it was good! So, there ya go. 3 against 1. It’s going in the cookbook.
PS: We had the lasagna for dinner the day after.
White Chicken Enchiladas - Nance & Robyn make the same recipe.