Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dinner in a Pumpkin

Use a pie pumpkin.
Open it up and clean it out. 
Sprinkle salt and pepper on the inside.
Put the pumpkin on a baking sheet, then put it into a 350 degree oven while you prepare the insides. 

In a pot heat:
2-3 cooked and chopped chicken breasts
1 cube cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup water
A package of Italian seasoning 

You can add other veggies to this mix - corn, carrots, peas, - but make sure you cook any "hard" veggies (like carrots) first. They won't get cooked enough in the pumpkin. 
Or you could have fresh veggies or a salad on the side. 

Pour mixture into your pumpkin. Put the pumpkin lid on top and cook for 60-90 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft and cooked. 

Serve over rice. Don't forget to scoop some of that yummy pumpkin out as you eat!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

spicy halibut chili

This recipe originally came from Kassi (who thought it was from Marsha J.), but I have made some alterations to lighten it up.

Halibut isn't cheap, so this might be a once a year meal, but we liked it.  All my kids except the picky one, who's name starts with C ate it.

1 medium onion, diced
1/4 cup white wine vinegar (or red if you are like me and that's all you have)
1 jalapeƱo, seeded and diced
1 can green chilis
2 Tblsp garlic, minced
1 tblsp thyme (I didn't have this, and it still tasted good)
1 tblsp basil
1 tsp oregano
2 tblsp chicken base
1 cup cream or 2 cups half and half (use milk or chicken stock to bring your cream up to 2 cups)
2 cups chicken stock
2 cans great northern beans
1/2-1 cup water
pepper jack cheese (I used about a cup shredded, but you could definitely use more.  I didn't want it to be too spicy for my kids)
cooked halibut.  (I used 2 large pieces)
salt and pepper to taste

saute onion and jalepeno, add garlic.  Add vinegar and herbs and chicken base.

add liquid (chicken broth and cream) and beans, and warm.

add halibut.

We like it with this cornbread.  I wasn't sure if veggies would be any good with the halibut, so we just had carrot sticks and fruit on the side.  A salad would be great.

***The original recipe called for 1 cup of white wine vinegar.  I think that's too much.  I think that it was supposed to be wine, but someone altered the recipe to be alcohol free.  I made it originally with 1 cup, and added my half and half and it totally curdled.  So, I remade it because I still had some cream in my fridge.  I'm not sure if half and half will always curdle, but I'm kind of afraid to use it again.  As I was throwing the box away, I realized that the half and half was the fat free kind.  So that's probably the problem, but proceed with caution when using half and half.   It's also possible that the vinegar is used to thicken it.  anyway, vinegar is so strong, I don't think I'd use 1 cup.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

when dad's away...

...i make this kind of dinner a lot; or for lunch sometimes even when he is home. chop up whatever is around, put the platter in the middle of the table, serve it with dips, and everyone digs in. the kids stick mostly to the cheese and fruit, but will try a little of the veggies -- especially as a carrier for the dips.

Peanut butter with celery or apples. Poppyseed dressing with cucs. Hummus (or ranch) with celery or cucs. Cheese with the apples. Mix and match as you choose. Easy and healthy.

if I buy veggies at costco in bulk, we eat lots more than normal so they don't go bad and go to waste. 

but bananas from costco make me so mad. they are the fruit that is always good ... except from costco. blech.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Baked Ham and Swiss Malibu Chicken

Rob dies over Mel's Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe, but it's kind of a lot of mess and work, so I don't make it very often. This recipe has the same feel, but its so much easier. It's like Chicken Cordon Bleu, inside out. The mustard dipping sauce is so dang good, esp. if you love honey mustard. I would make extra if you really like it. Rob liked dipping his veggies in it too.

Baked Ham and Swiss Malibu Chicken
If the chicken breasts you are using aren't thick enough to cut in half (to form two thinner pieces), pound them slightly and consider using a few more chicken breasts to equal the six pieces you would have if following the recipe instructions.
My favorite brand of ham deli meat is Hormel Naturals. The honey ham is delicious and works great in this recipe. I just had some honey ham sliced at the Deli.
  • 3 large chicken breasts, cut in half to form two thinner cutlets (see note above)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs I want to try using mashed up Ritz next time, so it's the same as her Cordon Bleu recipe
  • 1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 12 slices deli ham (see note above)
  • 6 large slices of swiss cheese
  • Dipping Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish.
  2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and lightly season both sides with salt and pepper.
  3. Whisk the eggs together in a shallow pie plate or dish. In another shallow dish, toss together the panko, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. 
  4. Dip the chicken into the egg mixture and immediately press it into the dry mixture, pressing the mixture into both sides of the chicken. Place the chicken in a single layer in the prepared baking dish. 
  5. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and layer two slices of ham across each chicken piece, followed by a slice of Swiss cheese to cover most of the ham/chicken.
  6. Return to the oven and bake for another 5 or so minutes until the cheese is melted.
  7. While the chicken bakes, whisk together the dipping sauce ingredients. 
  8. Serve the chicken warm with the dipping sauce on the side.

Recipe from Mel's