Sunday, March 29, 2009

Chickety China the Chinese chicken

My sister-in-law hooked me up with this recipe for Oriental chicken salad. We used it as our main dish for dinner and gobbled it right up. It's a simple salad with only a few ingredients, which you can adjust to suit your fancy. I did a little of that myself.


1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped (I boiled mine)
3/4 c. sliced almonds, lightly toasted if desired
1 package Oriental-flavored Ramen noodles
1 11-ounce can mandarin oranges, drained

3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/3 c. oil (I used canola)
1/4 c. sugar
Seasoning packet from Ramen

Wisk together dressing ingredients and chill until ready to serve. Break up dry Ramen noodles (I pounded the package before opening it), then brown in skillet. Toss with lettuce, chopped chicken, oranges and almonds. Toss with dressing.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A little luck o' the Irish

Corned beef with mustard sauce is the traditional Irish-American meal for St. Patrick's Day. It is really good and so easy to make. It is usually served with cabbage, but we served ours with roasted asparagus, which we absolutely love. Mind you, asparagus isn't just for St. Patrick's Day. You'll want to mark this recipe and use it all through spring!


1 corned beef brisket, flat cut*
Seasoning packet that comes with the meat

Put corned beef in slow cooker. Cover with water, then sprinkle with seasoning. Cook on high for 6 hours, or low for 8 to 10 hours. *There are two popular cuts of corned beef brisket, flat cut and point cut. I recommend the flat cut, even though it's more expensive. Every thread of meat on the point cut is laced with fat.


1/8 c. mayo
1/8 c. sour cream
1 Tbsp. prepared mustard (I used spicy brown for half)
1 Tbsp. honey
1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. creamy horseradish

Mix ingredients well. Use as a dipping sauce for corned beef. Refrigerate leftovers.


Asparagus spears, washed
1 Tbsp. olive oil or melted butter
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Break off woody ends of washed asparagus. Bend the end of the spear, and the asparagus will know what to do. It snaps where it needs to. Arrange spears on shallow baking pan or cookie sheet. Drizzle oil over all, then roll spears around so they are well-coated. Season with salt and pepper. Bake spears of medium thickness for about 10 minutes. Skinny spears may need less time, and thick ones may need more. Asparagus is best when it is still a little crisp. Don't make them mushy!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Food in a flash

Tonight I needed a really fast, easy dinner. There were leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge, so I came up with a chili casserole that was actually really good. I would make this again. It's kind of a food storage meal, because it calls for canned ingredients. You could even use instant mashed potatoes. These kinds of recipes are great to have on hand when you're in a rush.


1 15-ounce can chili with beans
1 15-ounce can corn, well-drained
2 c. mashed potatoes*
1 c. shredded cheese (I think)

Coat an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray. Spread chili in dish, then top with corn. Spread on mashed potatoes. If your potatoes have been refrigerated, microwave them to make them more spreadable. Cover with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. Serves 4.

*My potatoes had been mixed with butter, sour cream and a little garlic powder. Also, I always leave the skins on for the nutrients.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mommy, I love this food

This is one of my 3-year-old's favorite foods. We call it creamy Italian chicken. The first time I made it, she said, "Mommy, I love this food. Thank you so much for making it!" Needless to say, I have made it many times since. I know a lot of people who make this dish, and there are many ways to do it. I think most people use a slow cooker, but I usually just boil my chicken. It's faster, and a lot of the fat boils off so I don't have to cut it off while it's raw. I hate working with raw chicken. Just put frozen chicken right into a pot of water, then boil for about 20 minutes.


2 boneless chicken breasts, boiled then chopped*
1 packet powdered Italian dressing
1/4 c. melted butter
1 can cream of mushroom soup
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
Milk for thinning (maybe 1/2 cup?)
Cooked rice (or noodles would work)

Mix chopped chicken with melted butter and Italian seasoning. I usually just put it all in a baggie and mush it together. For best results, make ahead and refrigerate so flavors mix. Combine chicken mixture with soup, cream cheese and milk, then heat through. Serve over rice.

*If you choose to use a slow cooker or oven, then cook raw chicken in butter and seasoning. Add the remainder of ingredients later, before serving.