2016 Summer Recipe #7: Chicken Pot Pie in a Muffin Tin!

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Tonight was one of those nights when I actually had all of the required ingredients on hand for a recipe! That’s why I love easy recipes from Pillsbury, or other big commercial brands like Kraft or Campbell’s. Tonight’s dinner came straight from the back of the biscuit can! You only need 4 ingredients and a muffin tin to bake them in. No specialty spices or hard to assemble steps. These mini chicken pot pies tasted so good tonight! They helped me finish the summer of recipes on a high note.
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (I used a bag of frozen steamable veggies – just let them thaw, don’t cook them)
  • cooked chicken, shredded (I used about 1 1/2 chicken breasts and boiled  them beforehand)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can of flaky refrigerated biscuits, uncooked (8-count)


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease the muffin tins.
  2. Place one biscuit in each tin. Since they will expand and may overflow, I left an empty cup between each biscuit and I ended up using 2 muffin tins. Push the biscuit down and try to pull up the sides, creating a little “nest” for your filling.
  3. Mixed cooked chicken, vegetables, and soup in a bowl. Gently scoop mixture into each biscuit (this part was messy). The directions said to pull up the sides of the biscuit and pinch them at the top, but I did not have enough room. 
  4. Bake for 18 minutes. Remove from tin and enjoy! I was surprised that my pot pies did not stick to the inside of the tin, but I used a very well coated nonstick pan so that must have helped.

   
 

2016 Summer Recipe #6 Corn & Sausage Chowder

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The summer is winding down and we are getting dangerously close to school starting again! For recipe #6 this summer, I decided to blog about a recipe I made a few months ago that I never got around to sharing! I remember having some corn and potatoes in my fridge and freezer, and wondering what I could do with them. A soup, or in this case chowder, was perfect, so I consulted Pinterest and found this recipe from the blogger Recipe Boy
Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. smoked sausage, halved and sliced (I just get Hillshire Farms or similar brand)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 cups diced potato (I may have used Yukon gold but at this point I honestly have forgotten!)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley (I always opt for dried, check the amount as it will require less)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil (ditto above, or omit)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • One can whole kernel corn
  • One can creamed corn
  • One can 2% evaporated milk

Directions:

  1. Brown the sausage and onion in a large soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add water, potatoes, spices, and herbs. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15 min approximately.
  3. Add corn and milk, and heat for another 5 min or so. Enjoy!

  

 
 

2016 Summer Recipe #5 Strawberry Shortcake

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The “short” in shortcake really rings true in this recipe! Wow, I had no idea shortcake was so quick and easy to make! This is going to be my go-to recipe for summer parties from now on. Quick, easy, and only a few ingredients. Read on to make your own shortcake, and enjoy the photos at the bottom! Thanks to Amanda C. for the recipe, which originally came from Food Network.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs. strawberries, stemmed and quartered
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (original recipe said 5 Tb. but then only used 3 for the first step; it seemed confusing to me so I went with 3)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Whipped cream *Food Network included a recipe for homemade, but I just used Ready whip this time.*

    Directions

    1. Mix strawberries with 3 tablespoons sugar and refrigerate while juices develop, 30 min or more. 
    2. Preheat oven to 400 F. 
    3. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, 2 tablespoons sugar, and salt in a medium sized bowl. *I wish I had something to use to sift with!! Oh well.*
    4. Add heavy cream and mix until just combined. At this point, my mixture was really bumpy and barely stayed together. If yours is the same, it’s okay! Mine turned out fine after baking. Place mixture in ungreased (very important!) 8×8 non-stick pan and bake for 18-20 minutes.
    5. Remove after baking and place shortcake on a cooling rack. It was extremely easy to cut into slices after it cools for a bit. Serve with strawberries and whipped cream.

       
       

      2016 Summer Recipe #4: Banana Cake

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      Do you have an overly ripe banana in your kitchen right now? I bet the answer is yes! Here is an amazing recipe in which you can use those older bananas. They are the best kind for making banana bread and similar recipes. This recipe is a banana cake, a twist on banana bread, with cream cheese icing. It is so moist and delicious, you will make it again and again. I got so many compliments on it when I baked it a few weeks ago! This recipe came from Craving Comfort’s blog.

        

       Ingredients:

      For cake:

      • 1 1/2 cups bananas, mashed, ripe (I used one whole banana)
      • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
      • 3 cups flour
      • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt
      • 3/4 cup butter, softened
      • 3 large eggs
      • 2 teaspoons vanilla
      • 1 1/2 cups butter milk

      For frosting:

      • 1/2 cup butter, softened
      • 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla
      • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

      This frosting recipe made a lot of extra frosting for me, so I may pare it down a bit next time.

       

      Directions:

      1. Preheat oven to 275 F. (Seemed like a low temperature to me, but this totally works!)
      2. Grease and flour a pan for your cake. I chose a bundt cake and it turned out beautifully.
      3. In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with lemon juice.
      4. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt.
      5. In a large bowl, cream 3/4 cup butter and 2 1/8 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Then stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla.
      6. Next, add the flour mixture (from step 4) to the large bowl and beat ingredients, but be sure to alternate it with the buttermilk.
      7. Add banana mixture (from step 3) to the large bowl, stirring it (not beating).
      8. Pour batter into your prepared pan and bake at 275 F until a toothpick comes out clean. This could take around an hour; for the bundt cake I made I set it for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
      9. Remove from oven and place directly into the freezer for 45 minutes. *Trust me, this really works! Makes the cake super moist.*
      10. While the cake is in the freezer – by the way, try to use a freezer with as little food in it as possible, as putting something warm into a freezer can affect the other foods in it – make the frosting. Cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
      11. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high until frosting is smooth.
      12. Spread on cooled cake and enjoy!

        
      I love using the iPad holder for reading recipes as I am cooking!

      2016 Summer Recipe #3: Mini Egg Omelets

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      I adapted this recipe from a post I saw on Facebook. I will include the original recipe if you’d like to follow it. I decided not to use egg whites because I was using the entire egg. Egg whites would make it healthier though, so please adapt it to your liking! If you end up making these, please post a pic in the comments. These mini egg omelets are great for reheating in the microwave on a busy morning, for a quick hot breakfast when you’re rushing around. I plan to make a batch a couple times a month on the weekends to keep in the fridge for our busy mornings once school starts!

       

      Ingredients:

      • 9 eggs
      • Sriracha hot sauce (amount is up to you, or omit it completely)
      • shredded cheese (your choice)
      • variety of mix-ins: choices could be baby spinach, chopped onion, red pepper, chopped jalapeƱo, chopped ham or bacon, chopped mushrooms, etc. For this batch, I decided to use what I had on hand – frozen sausage, an onion, and a red pepper.

       

      Directions:

      1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
      2. Choose your ingredients and chop/prepare. For me, this meant having the sausage thawed from the freezer, and then I cooked it in a pan and chopped it once it was cool. I also diced the onion and the red pepper had been chopped the day before.
      3. Spray a muffin tin and then add chopped ingredients to each cup in the tin.
      4. Gently beat 9 eggs and hot sauce in a bowl, then pour into each cup.
      5. Bake for 30 minutes.
      6. Immediately remove each mini egg omelet (I use a tiny spatula which is awesome) and let it cool on a cooling rack. Once they are cool, you can store them in the fridge sealed in a ziploc bag. To reheat later, just microwave for 1 minute.

      What I found online from a friend.

      “Before” pic.


      “After” pic.

      2016 Summer Recipe #2: Stuffed Zucchini

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      The perfect summer vegetable to cook with is zucchini! Here is a delicious recipe that incorporates zucchini (or you could use squash) and also tastes great.

       

      Ingredients:

      • 2 large zucchini or yellow squash, about 12 inches long
      • olive oil (to pour in pan, amount will vary)
      • 1/2 cup chopped onion
      • 1 green pepper, chopped
      • 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic (I used dried garlic in the pantry, use the guidelines on the container for the exact amount when not using fresh)
      • 1 lb. ground beef *Another option is to use ground turkey or a combination of the two meats.*
      • Seasoning, for the beef or turkey. Season to your liking with your favorite spices!
      • 1 jar (on the smaller size) tomato spaghetti sauce. I used Classico.
      • 2 cups mozzarella shredded cheese (I used half a bag that I had leftover in the fridge)

       

      As you can see, this recipe can be made with whatever you have on hand! I usually substitute dried spices instead of fresh (I’m too lazy to go to the store, I just use what’s on hand), and if I don’t have the correct vegetables to go in this recipe, I just change them or omit them. This time, I did not have enough cheese but I had too much spaghetti sauce in it. So each time is a learning experience! I made this recipe about 4 or 5 years ago when we lived in our apartment and had not made it since, so I thought it was time for Stuffed Zucchini last week. Here are the directions, and I included photos at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!

       

      Directions:

      1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Chop vegetables. Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan, then sauce vegetables for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and saute about 1 more minute. Remove all from pan and transfer to a bowl.
      2. Add more olive oil to the pan. Crumble in the ground beef (or whatever meat you’re using). Season with your blend of seasonings if you choose to. Drain fat from the meat once it has been browned.
      3. Add meat back to the pan, along with cooked vegetables from earlier. Add tomato spaghetti sauce to the pan, along with about half of the mozzarella cheese, and simmer until mixture has thickened (about 10 minutes), then turn off heat.
      4. *This step can be prepared ahead of time or while the meat is cooking.* Wash the zucchini and slice into large rounds. See my photos below, or the blog link below has more good pictures from another food blogger. Make sure you are not slicing lengthwise — you want these to resemble a cut tree trunk, short and stout.
      5. Use a spoon to hollow out the zucchini, being careful not to hollow it all the way through. You still want to have a “bottom” to the zucchini round so that nothing falls out of the bottom. I made 6 rounds out of two large zucchini. Arrange rounds on a cooking sheet – I used special baking paper on top of my cooking sheet to keep it clean, this recipe does get messy!
      6. Once the meat mixture is ready, scoop the mixture evenly into each zucchini round. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 F.
      7. Remove from oven, add remaining mozzarella cheese to the tops of the zucchini rounds. Bake again for 10-15 min. *Tip: I baked mine on the second to bottom rack of the oven, being sure to take out any racks above it (the rounds were taller than expected and they do bubble over while cooking). Serve with brown rice and enjoy!

       

      This recipe was adapted from KaylinsKitchen blog.