Saturday, September 22, 2012

Buffalo Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad

 Need a side dish for a tailgate, football party or any party for that matter?  This tasty little salad wraps the flavor of buffalo wings into a one dish meal.  It is best if made a few hours before your gathering and refrigerated for a few hours.  It is also very portable...just pack in a cooler with ice packs and make sure to keep it chilled until you are ready to serve!

To make the dressing mix together 1 jar of Ranch Dressing (light dressing can be substituted) and I ended up using about 1/2 the bottle of Frank's Red Hot, you may use more or less, depending on your "hotness" tolerance. 
Next, cook a box of pasta and your chicken.  (I seasoned chicken tenders with a little salt and pepper).
Once pasta has cooked - rinse in cold water and place in large container or bowl.  Dice/shred chicken.  Dice celery and red onion. 
Top with dressing (I reserved a little of the dressing and added it to the salad before serving; you know - to "freshen" it up) and stir to combine -
Chill for 2 hours and serve.
Buffalo Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad
1 Bottle Ranch Dressing
1 Bottle Franks Red Hot
1 1lb. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or tenders)
3 Stalks Celery, washed and diced
1/2 Red onion, peeled and diced
DIRECTIONS:  Combine dressing and approx. 1/2 the botttle of Frank's Red Hot Sauce (adjust amount to your taste).  Set aside.  Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse in cold water.  Cook chicken (season lightly with salt and pepper).  I browned my chicken in a skillet - however, I think it would be really good grilled.  Dice celery and onion.  Place pasta in large bowl/container.  Add chicken, celery and onion.  Top with dressing and stir to combine.  Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Caramel Apple Dip!

Hands down - best. dip. ever!

I used to co-facilitate a Mom's group at my kids preschool (it feels like a lifetime ago....).  The great lady who facilitated this group with me brought this dip for snack one morning! 

This dip is a great fall dip and is very portable, so if you need something quick and easy to take to a party or gathering - this should be your go to dip!

Here is how it goes -

Caramel Apple Dip

1 (8oz) Block of Light Cream Cheese
1 Jar of Caramel Sauce (I used Hershey's)
Toffee Bits or Chopped Heath Bars (I use Heath Bars) - enough to cover the top.
DIRECTIONS:  Blend cream cheese and caramel sauce with an electric mixer, until smooth.  Spread into a bowl.  Top with toffee or heath bar.  Chill!  Serve with apple slices and graham crackers.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

BLT Salad Pizza!

This pizza really needs no kids had a tough time with the whole "cold" pizza concept but, in the end, they finally understood and gobbled it down! 

This recipe is easy and I paired it with broccoli cheese soup for a quick meal!

BLT Salad Pizza

2 pkgs. Crescent Rolls (can use low fat)
1 (8oz) pkg. Cream Cheese (can use light)
1/2 C. Light Ranch Salad Dressing
1 Clove Garlic, minced (I used 1 1/2 tsp. Tastefully Simple Garlic Garlic)
2 C. Iceburg Lettuce, chopped
1 Large Tomato, diced
8 Slice Bacon, cooked crisp
1/2 C. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Red Onion
DIRECTIONS:  Place crescent rolls on a cookie sheet (do not separate them) and press into the cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Combine cream cheese, garlic and 1/4 C. ranch dressing.  Spread on cooled crust.  Top with chopped lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onion and bacon.  Drizzle with remaining 1/4 C. ranch dressing.  Slice and serve!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Aloha - Hawaiin Chicken!

This is one of the five meals that I prepped on Saturday and put in the freezer!

I think the jury is still out.  I enjoyed the dish.  Think sweet and sour chicken.  JD ate two helpings (no surprise).  Jimmy only ate one serving - but said it was good....and well, Riley said she liked the rice.

So, I think that you should try it and let me know what you think.  The recipe makes 3-4 servings - but I definitely had leftovers.

Hawaiin Chicken (Freezer/Crockpot)

2-3 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Can Pineapple Chunks (I think I would recommend pineapple tidbits - the chunks were to big)
1/2 C. White Sugar
1/2 C. Vinegar
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce (I used low sodium)
1/2 C. Pineapple Juice (drained from the can - you can dispose of anything more than 1/2 C.)
DIRECTIONS:  Add all ingredients to a gallon size freezer bag.  Freeze.  Pull from freezer and place in crockpot.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Shred chicken and serve.  I served this with rice and peas.  If you are not planning on freezing this - just place chicken in slow cooker and combine remaining ingredients.  Pour over chicken and cook as directed above. 

Stay tuned - tomorrow is Beef Burritos (crockpot style......).


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dinner Tonight...

Have you all seen this little packet of goodness yet?  I just so happened to be looking for another herb/seasoning packet type thing at the store last week and saw this....I knew that we didn't have sports tonight and that I would have time to prep something before the kids got home from school so I added this to my menu this week!

Can I just tell you that my kids ate all 5 chicken drumsticks and each had 2 helpings of carrots....go figure!

This is super easy to toss together ~ all you need are the ingredients on the packet.

Herbes de Provence Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

1 pkt. of Seasoning Mix (plus ingredients to make it)
3-5 lbs. Bone-in Chicken (I made the drumsticks for kids and a breast for Jimmy and I)
1 lb. Red Potatoes, cubed
2 C. Baby Carrots
DIRECTIONS:  Mix wine (if you don't have wine - chicken broth is a good substitute), olive oil and seasoning packet.  Add chicken, potatoes and carrots.  Toss to coat.  Arrange in a roasting dish and bake at 425 for 45-60 minutes - or until chicken is done.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Spaghetti Garlic Bread Braid...

Yes, I did.  I stuffed spaghetti and mozzarella cheese into a loaf of bread dough and baked it.

Not the most carb friendly recipe - but since I like to be friendly, I made the recipe - I mean really, what is not to love about it?

The recipe got rave reviews from all but one of family members - and she liked the spaghetti, just not the combination of spaghetti and bread together.

Here is how you do it:

1. Take a loaf of frozen bread dough and thaw it to room temp.  Roll the dough out to fit your cookie sheet.  Slice the dough at 1" intervals.  Allow to sit for 15 minutes.  While your dough is resting, cook your spaghetti noodles.

2.  Add spaghetti noodles, sauce and cheese down the middle of the dough.

3.  Braid your dough over your noodles and cheese.  Brush the top with egg white and sprinkle with parmesan cheese, parsley flakes and garlic powder.  (I used parm cheese and Tastefully Simples Garlic Bread Mix)...

4.  Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.  Slice and serve!

Spaghetti Garlic Bread Braid
6 oz. spaghetti noodles, cooked
1 1/2 Cups of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1/2 lb. Ground Beef, browned
8 oz. Mozzarella Cheese
1 Loaf frozen bread dough (I used Rhodes)
DIRECTIONS:  Thaw bread dough to room temprature.  Roll dough out into a rectangle.  Cut strips into dough in 1" intervals (as shown in the picture above).  Place cooked spaghetti, sauce and meat, cheese down the middle of the dough.  Braid your dough by criss-crossing strips.  Brush with egg white and sprinkle with parmesan cheese, garlic powder and parsley flakes.  Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes!


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Walking Tacos!

 Happy Labor Day Weekend!  We have had a really, really relaxed weekend so far!  Friday night was a Barnstormers night, last night was to be a campfire night but it was incredibly humid and the threat of rain loomed - the kids actually opted for a Family Movie Night, including walking tacos!  Movie of the night was Mirror Mirror!  Hmmm, interesting take on the fairy tale!

For anyone who does not know what a walking taco is - it is basically a taco inside of a bag of crushed up chips.....very portable and kid friendly!  Here are some of the toppings that we included (note:  I am the only one who ate pinto beans.....).

Because I wanted to have Fritos - I had to put mine a bowl because the Frito bags are teeny tiny and would not accomodate all of my toppings!

Maybe tonight we will get the chance for a campfire - I found this idea on Pinterest.  You stuff a marshmallow with a Rolo!  What is not to love about that?

Walking Tacos
1 lb. ground beef
1 pkt. Reduced Sodium Taco Seasoning (I used McCormick)
Single Serving Bags of Doritos or Fritos
Taco toppings of choice
*Brown your ground beef and prepare according to taco seasoning packet directions.  Open bag of chips and add a spoonful of taco meat.  Add desired toppings.  Serve with a fork and eat!

Stay tuned this week!  I jumped on the concept of prepping 5 freezer-to-crockpot meals!  Yesterday I prepped Hawaiin Chicken, Chicken Fajitas, Teriyaki Pork Chops, Beef Enchilidas and Garlic Honey Chicken and placed them all in the freezer.  Now all I have to do is pull them out of the freezer and throw them in the crockpot.  This week I will try and feature the recipes and what I served with them! 
I am hoping to do some more of this during our Fall season!

Riley and I also made Magic Pumpkin Layer Bars today!  They are still in the oven baking and they smell heavenly - so watch for that recipe this week also!