Poppin’ Garlic Ranch Biscuit Topped Chicken Pot Pie

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Well, that’s definitely the longest title I’ve ever had in my blog!  It is the perfect name though, so I didn’t want to shorten it.

The garlic and ranch flavors in this dish really do pop.  It is extremely flavorful, which is a nice take on a chicken pot pie.  Sometimes pot pies can be a little bland.  Quite the opposite with this dish though!

It was a big hit with Tim too!  I can tell when a meal rates high with him when he tells me its “yummy” before I even ask.  He took his first bite of this and immediately said that he liked it!  Normally, we’ll be a few bites into a meal and I’ll have to ask what he thinks about it.   He almost always says it is good, but I don’t like fishing for feedback!

I made a few changes that I will note in italics below.  But one important note that I want to point out that this barely fit in my 9x13x3 pan so, I’ll use my huge lasagna pan that is approximately 11x17x3 next time.

Since this makes a huge amount, I think it would be great for a large family or pot luck type of meal where it will be finished in one sitting.  Leftovers were okay, but not great because the biscuits got a little soggy.

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Poppin’ Garlic Ranch Biscuit Topped Chicken Pot Pie

Source: Picky Palate

Servings: 6-8

4 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

1 packet dry Ranch Dressing Mix, reserve 1/2 teaspoon for topping

1/2 teaspoon salt – I omit

1/4 fresh cracked black pepper

2 10 oz cans cream of chicken soup {I used one cream of chicken & one cream of celery}

10 oz can cheddar cheese soup

1 Cup chicken broth

1 Cup milk

2 15 oz cans Mixed Veggies, drained {I used 1 can of green beans and 1 can of corn}

3/4 Cup crumbled bacon pieces, already cooked {I used 1/2 cup or less and I think it could be omitted all together.}

1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 six count can Pillsbury Homestyle Biscuits {I used an 8 count can.}

1/2 teaspoon Lawry’s Garlic Salt

1/2 teaspoon reserved dry Ranch Dressing Mix

1/2 Cup shredded cheddar cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.    Place shredded chicken into a large mixing bowl.  Sprinkle in ranch mix (reserve 1/2 teaspoon for later), salt and pepper.  Toss to combine seasonings.

2.  In a large stock pot or dutch oven, place soups, broth and milk over medium heat; whisk until combined.  Stir in mixed veggies then shredded chicken.  Transfer to a large 9×13 inch {or larger if you have one!} baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.  Sprinkle bacon and 1 cup of cheese over top.

3.  Open biscuits and place onto wax paper.  Cut each biscuit into little triangle pieces {I cut each one into 6 pieces}.  Place little pieces of biscuit over top of chicken mixture until it’s all covered.  Sprinkle biscuits with remaining ranch dressing mix, garlic salt and 1/2 Cup cheese.  Bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown and biscuits are cooked through underneath.  Cover with foil the last 25 minutes of baking to prevent too much browning.  Let cool for 10 minutes then serve in shallow bowls.

Enjoy.

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Pumpkin Spiced Cream Cheese Breakfast Rolls

Hmmm…I don’t really know how to describe these rolls.  They were both easy and difficult to make at the same time.  Easy because they call for pre-made crescent dough and just a little mixing of a few other ingredients, but difficult because I found them messy and hard to roll and slice.

Also, they tasted good, but had no wow factor.  I tasted the frosting on its own before spreading it on the rolls, and I thought it tasted great. I also tasted a roll without frosting and thought it had nice flavor and I would probably enjoy eating them again sans frosting.  Although I may suggest kicking up the flavor with just a little more cinnamon/spice next time.  But the combination of the frosting with the rolls did nothing for me and I thought they tasted like little boring blobs.

The recipe creator {Picky Palate}, suggests using the frosting as a fruit dip, and I think that sounds like something we would like.  Tim thought the rolls were okay, but said he wouldn’t care if I never make them again and he normally LOVES all things pumpkin flavored.

Normally I wouldn’t post a recipe that we don’t like but, I am posting this recipe because I don’t think it is necessarily a flop.  I think it has potential, it just needs a little tweaking.  And I think each of the two elements are good on their own.  The thing that I am banking on being the true problem here is that the crescents aren’t a firm enough dough for my liking.  I just think they are too soft.  I’ll probably experiment with this filling and frosting on my go-to cinnamon roll recipe in the near future.  I’ll keep you posted!

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Pumpkin Spiced Cream Cheese Breakfast Rolls

Source: Picky Palate

2 packages/cans Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

4 oz cream cheese, softened

1/4 Cup brown sugar

1/4 Cup canned pumpkin

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Unroll crescent rolls to form 4 rectangles placed side by side.  Pinch seams together to form one long rectangle.  Repeat with the second can of rolls, and line them up directly below the first row.  When you finish lining them up, you should have one large rectangle consisting of 8 single rectangles, 2 rows and 4 columns.  Take care to pinch all the seams together!

Place cream cheese, brown sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg into a mixer; beat until well combined.  Spread mixture over crescents leaving a 1/2 inch border around edges.  Starting at long end, roll up then cut into 1 inch pieces.  Place around two 9 inch cake pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray.

2.  Bake for 18-22 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.  Remove and let cool for 5 minutes.  Frost warm rolls with cream cheese frosting recipe below.

Frosting

4 oz softened cream cheese

1/2 Cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 Tablespoon canned pumpkin

1.  Mix all ingredients into a large bowl until smooth.  Spread over warm rolls.

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Tater Tot Casserole

Well, the Duggar’s definitely put this dish on the map with their TLC show about 18 kids and counting, but I think there were already many versions of it out there….most of them found at picnics, church suppers, and other potlucks.  So, if you haven’t eaten this, you have probably at least heard of it.

I really only make this dish because Tim loves it.  He actually loves anything that resembles Hamburger Helper.  Since Tim was 27 when we started dating, he had been on his own cooking for himself for several years and he pretty much survived on Hamburger Helper and frozen pizza.  But, that’s not to say that he didn’t make anything else to eat.  He is actually a pretty good cook.  He’s just slow and messy.  🙂

This meal, while not pretty, is very comforting.  It also is a nice casserole to take to someone who is sick, or in need of help with meals for any reason.

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Tater Tot Casserole

{serves 6}

Ingredients:

1 pound lean ground beef

1 small onion, peeled and chopped – optional

cracked black pepper

1 can green beans, well drained

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 can milk

frozen tater tots

1/3 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degree.  Spray a large casserole dish {9×13} with non-stick cooking spray.

In a skillet, crumble and brown the ground been with the onion until cooked. Remove from heat and drain fat.  Season with black pepper to taste.  Add the green beans to the meat.

In a medium bowl, stir together the the can of cream of mushroom soup and 1/2 can milk.  Add it to the beef and beans.  Gently stir to combine everything.  Pour it into the prepared casserole dish and spread it out evenly.  Then add a single layer of tater tots placed very close together.

Bake for 30-35 minutes.  Remove it from the oven and add the shredded cheese to the top.  Return to the oven and bake 10 more minutes.

Enjoy!

Upside Down Pizza

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Lately I have really been favoring one pot meals like casseroles.  They just involve less planning and usually only require pantry staples.  The recipe for last night’s meal was adapted from my hometown’s church cookbook.  You can easily adapt it to include your own favorite pizza topping.  For example, add mushrooms or olives to the meat and sauce mixture and omit the peppers.  Whatever you prefer is fine.

You’ll notice that the recipe calls for one and a half tubes of crescent rolls.  You could probably get by with crescents from just one tube if you roll and press them to cover.  We like a thick topping though, so I always use 1.5 tubes.  With the remaining 4 crescents, sprinkle inside and out with cinnamon and sugar, roll and bake as you normally would.

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Upside Down Pizza

serves 6

Ingredients

1 lb. ground beef

1 small onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped {Last night I used 3 or 4 jalapeno peppers}

1 package pepperoni {I strongly suggest using turkey pepperoni or somehow blotting the grease off regular pepperoni before adding it.}

1 {15 oz.} can tomato sauce

1/2 cup sour cream

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 and a 1/2 tubes crescent rolls

2 or 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350*.

Brown the hamburger with the chopped onion and pepper.  Drain.  Add tomato sauce to the meat and spread in ungreased 9×13 inch baking dish.  Then, make a layer of pepperoni.

In a small bowl, mix sour cream and mozzarella cheese.  Spoon it over the meat.  Top with a layer of crescent rolls.  Brush crescents with melted butter and then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes.

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Appetizer Night!

With Tim and I eating dinner together now, I have had to come up with more complete meal menus for every night.  And to tell the truth, I’m running out of ideas which explains last night’s meal.  Appetizers!  I made Pigs in a Blanket (lol) and bacon wrapped jalapenos.

Back when I was fixing and eating dinner alone a few months ago,  I tended to wing it and not necessarily fix a complete meal every night.  For that matter, I didn’t even cook every night.  Sometimes I’d eat leftovers or a bowl of cereal.  Also, I used to do most of my meal planning (recipe research, reading blogs and cookbooks, etc) in the evenings when I was home alone.  Now, he is home and my schedule has been thrown off.

I hope to develop a routine soon as far as meal planning and grocery shopping.  But for now, we’re eating some pretty random things.

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Pigs in a blanket

approximately half a package of cocktail wieners (or regular hot dogs cut in half or thirds)

1 can of crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut each crescent roll into 2 triangles.   Wrap each hot dog in a crescent roll and place on a baking sheet.  Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden.

The next recipe is one that I make ALL.THE.TIME.   Since we grow our own jalapenos we have several to use up throughout the summer and this is primarily how I choose to use them.  YUMMY!  This time I stuck to the simple 3 ingredient recipe, but last year I made them so often that I started experimenting with different additions to the filling.  I would recommend mixing the cream cheese with any combination of the the following to boost the flavor:   cooked and crumbled sausage, garlic powder, shredded cheddar cheese, and/or chopped green onion.

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Bites

recipe from the Pioneer Woman

Adjust the quantities for the amount of people you are serving.

bacon or turkey bacon (approx 5 slices)

cream cheese, softened (about 2-3 oz.)

fresh jalapenos (We used about 9 whole jalapenos = 18 bites)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil.  If you are using regular bacon, place a rack over the foil (like a cookie cooling rack) so the bites don’t sit in the bacon fat.  I used turkey bacon so I didn’t use a rack.

Cut the bacon slices in half or thirds –  it kinda depends on the size of the jalapenos.  Ours were kind of small, so I did thirds.

Slice each jalapeno in half and clean out the seeds and membrane.

Fill the jalapeno halves with cream cheese and wrap with bacon pieces.  Secure with toothpicks if necessary.  Place on baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes.

These are great served warm, but they are also terrific served at room temp. So if you are having a party, go ahead and make them ahead of time.

ENJOY!

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Easter

For Easter Sunday we went to my husband’s side of the family for lunch and then to my parents house for dinner.  This meant that I had to make two dishes to share.  My Mother-in-law requested a decorated cake and I decided to make a pasta salad for the meal with my family.

After work on Saturday, I had my work cut our for me!  I got home from work at 4:00 and was busy until 9:30!  I started by baking the cake.  While it baked and cooled, I made the pasta salad as well as our supper for that night which was spaghetti and meat sauce.  I’m not going to blog that meal because it was very basic and I’m pretty sure everyone already knows how to make it.  I’ll blog my homemade sauce recipe some other time.

Pasta Salad (adapted from Allrecipes.com)  This makes a ton, feel free to cut in half!

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Ingredients:

16 oz. dry pasta {I like the tri-color rotini}

6-8 ounces hard salami, diced  {or 1 package mini pepperoni}

1 red onion, chopped

1 medium cucumber, thinly sliced

3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper

3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

1 (6 ounce) can pitted black olives, sliced

2 or 3 medium carrots, chopped small

2 small heads of broccoli, chopped

Dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground mustard seed

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1-2 tablespoons sugar or to taste

I needed more dressing, but it was at the last minute so I added about 1/2 cup of bottled Italian salad dressing.  You will probably want to go ahead and double the dressing especially if you make this salad in advance.  As it sets it absorbs the dressing and more is needed before serving.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add rotini pasta, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente. Drain, and rinse with cold water.
  2. In a very large bowl, mix the cooled pasta, salami, and veggies.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, oregano, ground mustard, salt, and pepper.
  4. Pour the dressing mixture over the pasta salad, and toss to coat. Cover, and chill 8 hours in the refrigerator.

My brother-in-law can’t eat dairy, so this recipe doesn’t contain cheese.  Normally, I would add 1/4-1/2 cup of grated Parmesan, mozzarella, or provolone cheese right before serving.

CAKE

I took the Wilton cake decorating courses a few months ago, so now I get the pleasure of baking and decorating a cake for just about every family function that we have.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to do it, but with working 6 days a week now, I don’t have the time that I wish I could devote to doing it!

For this Easter cake, I used a boxed cake mix.  I normally would not do this but I didn’t really have a choice due to time restrictions.

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I borrowed a cross shaped pan from my mother in law.  And decorated it with some roses, the only flower I’m good at making…

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Here’s a close up:

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Medium Consistency Buttercream frosting: (recipe adapted from my Wilton instructor)

1 Crisco stick {=1 cup}

1/2 cup water

1/2 tsp clear vanilla extract

1/2 tsp butter flavoring

2 lbs powdered sugar, sifted

1 Tbsp meringue powder

1 tiny pinch of salt

Directions

Cream Crisco, water, vanilla, flavoring and salt in bowl of stand mixer until smooth.  Slowly add sugar and meringue powder, scraping side of bowl 2 or 3 times.  Once all of the sugar is incorporated, turn mixer to medium high and mix until fluffy.

Chicken Squares

This was a very quick and easy meal that I fixed for lunch the other day.  They are very filling and really hit the spot.  🙂

Be sure to evenly distribute all of the filling onto the squares so that they bake evenly and you don’t have filling left over.   As I was making these I had the idea to make them into appetizers using one triangle of dough and less filling, creating 16 smaller pockets.  I’ll have to try that soon!

 

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Chicken Squares from Vintage Victuals

2 tubes of 6 Pillsbury crescent rolls – I used reduced fat
1 10-ounce can of chicken breast meat, drained
8 ounces of cream cheese – I used the 1/3 less fat kind
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Dash of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Apply cooking spray to a large baking sheet or line with parchment paper and set aside. 

Roll out the crescent dough and divide into rectangles, pinching the seam of the 2 triangles together to form oblong rectangles of dough.

In a medium bowl, combine chicken, cream cheese, onion, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper, creaming the ingredients together.

Spoon a dollop of the chicken mixture onto one side of each crescent rectangle. Fold one end of the rectangle over the filling to form a square. Pinch the dough together around the edges to seal, and place the squares on prepared sheet.

Bake the chicken squares for 20-25 minutes or until the crescent rolls are golden brown. Serve immediately.

Yields 8 squares.

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