Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Green Bean Casserole

This was a new recipe for me. Normally my mom and I make green bean casserole a little differently, but I wanted to give something different a try! I made this for my office Christmas party last night, and I think everyone seemed to approve of this dish.

Vegetable cooking spray
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 (9-ounce) packages frozen French-style green beans, thawed and drained
1 1/2 cups herb-seasoned stuffing mix
2 teaspoons margarine, melted
1 egg white, lightly beaten

Coat a medium saucepan with cooking spray, and place over medium heat until hot. Add onion; saute 5 minutes or until tender. Add flour, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add the milk, stirring until blended. Stir in cheese, sour cream, sugar, and salt; cook 5 minutes or until thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly.

Place green beans in an 8-inch square baking dish; pour the sauce over beans. Combine stuffing mix, margarine, and egg white in a bowl; stir well, and sprinkle over green bean mixture. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Weeknight Lasagna Toss

This meal was VERY good, and it was easy too!

1 lb. lean ground beef
2 cups chopped green peppers (about 2 peppers)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 jar (26 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1-2/3 cups water
1/4 cup KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing
12 oven-ready lasagna noodles, broken into quarters
1 cup KRAFT Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese

BROWN meat in large (4-qt.) saucepan on medium heat; drain.

ADD peppers, garlic, spaghetti sauce, water and dressing; bring to boil. Stir in noodles; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover.

COOK, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 min. or until noodles are tender. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover; let stand 5 min. or until cheese is melted.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Three Cheese Chicken Penne

This meal was great! I got the recipe off the Kraft foods website, and they even include a video tutorial on how to make it! I made a few tweaks to the recipe by not including chicken and using different cheeses, and it turned out great! I think the recipe is great the way it is... I just didn't happen to have everything it called for. :) I had fun experimenting, and I think this is an easy recipe to make some changes if you're feeling adventurous!

1-1/2 cups multigrain penne pasta, uncooked
1 pkg. (9 oz.) fresh spinach leaves
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1 jar (14-1/2 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
2 oz. (1/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, cubed
1 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
2 Tbsp. KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese

HEAT oven to 375ºF. Cook pasta as directed on package, adding spinach to the boiling water for the last 1 min.
COOK and stir chicken and basil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat 3 min. Add spaghetti sauce and tomatoes; bring to boil. Simmer 3 min. or until chicken is done. Stir in Neufchatel cheese.
DRAIN pasta mixture; return to pan. Stir in chicken mixture and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Spoon into 2-qt. or 8-inch square baking dish.
BAKE 20 min. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Bake 3 min.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Special Helper

One night I found Carter with this oven mitt. He absolutely loved it, and I couldn't resist letting him have it. I think he was trying to let me know that he really loves my new quest for cooking and he'd help me if he could.

Melts your heart... :)

Hubby's Favorite Chicken

I made this chicken meal on Wednesday night, and it was delicious. I got the recipe off a friend's blog, and she claimed it was her husband's favorite chicken. Mathis ended up loving this recipe too, so I guess it's a winner with most newlywed husbands! :)

Jen gives a great detailed recipe on her blog. You can read it by clicking here. Definitely a great, easy meal to try sometime. Thanks for the recipe, McCradys! :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Strawberry Salad

Don't worry! I haven't forgotten about my quest to cook new meals!! :) Thanksgiving kept us busy, but we're back to Abilene this week and that means back to cooking. Last night I didn't have much time (or energy) so I threw together a quick salad. It looked something like this:

I have to admit I definitely improvised on this one, but the result came out good! I used a pre-made Baby Romaine salad mix from Dole and added in some fresh strawberries and mandarin oranges. I topped the salad with some honey roasted sliced almonds and used a classic balsamic vinaigrette dressing from Kraft. This was easy and also healthy (I think we'll be eating a few more salads in the coming weeks to combat all the holiday eating!).

I'm off to the grocery store right now... I have some fun new recipes to try this week!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Early Christmas Present

Look what Betty is sending me!! :) I had an email today letting me know that Betty Crocker was sending me a FREE 2009 Recipe calendar... definitely another thing to be thankful for this week!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Zesty Minestrone

I just made this (was very easy!) and now it's in the crockpot slow cooking for tonight's dinner! It came from Kraft recipes and had a lot of good reviews... hopefully it'll be a good one! I'm going to serve it with a tossed side salad.


1/4 cup KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing
1 cup chopped onions (about 1 medium)
1/2 cup chopped celery (about 1 stalk)
1/2 cup chopped carrots (about 1 medium)
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (19 oz.) red kidney beans, drained, rinsed
2 cans (14 oz. each) vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1-1/2 cups small shell macaroni, uncooked
1/2 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese

HEAT dressing in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add onions, celery and carrots; cook 2 min. or until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Spoon into slow cooker. Add tomatoes, beans, broth, water and Italian seasoning; stir. Cover with lid.

COOK on LOW for 6 hours (or on HIGH for 3 hours).

STIR in macaroni; cook 10 to 15 min. or until macaroni is tender. Sprinkle with cheese just before serving.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Deluxe Cheeseburger Salad

Made this salad for dinner tonight, and Mathis and I both loved it!! It was simple, delicious and healthy! It was also pretty filling for a salad. This recipe came from Pampered Chef's website an you can see the recipe by clicking here. Normally, I would give you the recipe directly on this post, but I can't copy and cut the text AND I'm too lazy tonight to re-type it. :) Hey... I cooked dinner after all! ;) But don't let that stop you from enjoying this delicious meal. And don't get caught up by the Pampered Chef lingo -- you don't need all their special tools to make this meal, I promise!! If I can make it, so can you!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Light King Ranch Chicken Casserole

After getting this recipe from Laura, I made this for dinner tonight and it's amazing!!!!

1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
Vegetable cooking spray
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breasts
1 (10-ounce) can fat-free cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 (10-ounce) can fat-free cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomato and green chiles
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 (8-ounce) block reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, shredded


Sauté onion and bell pepper in a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender.
Stir in chicken and next 6 ingredients; remove from heat.
Tear tortillas into 1-inch pieces; layer one-third tortilla pieces in bottom of a 13- x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with one-third chicken mixture and one-third cheese. Repeat layers twice.

Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly.

Note: Freeze casserole up to 1 month, if desired. Thaw in refrigerator overnight, and bake as directed.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hashbrown Casserole

I planned on making a different meal for tonight's dinner, but after spending all afternoon cleaning and organizing I decided I wanted some quick and easy tonight. This meal was both! It's also a great meal to make on those nights you're wanting to eat breakfast for dinner. I had Mathis fry up some eggs to eat with the casserole, and it tasted great!! We have a lot left over which will make for some good breakfasts this week.

Definitely a good recipe to have on hand for those holiday breakfasts coming up!

Hashbrown Casserole

1 package frozen hashbrowns
1 8 oz container sour cream**
1 can cream of chicken soup**
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 stick butter melted**

Combine the first 4 ingredients and put in a 9 x12 baking dish. Top with cornflakes and melted butter. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

**I used reduced/fat-free items here**

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Welcome to Our Kitchen!

A few days ago I posted about my desire to learn how to cook. After receiving some great advice from friends and discovering several new recipes I was excited to try, I realized I had a lot I wanted to share. I could already envision myself blogging about each week's recipes and new cooking tips and techniques I had learned along the way. I also wanted to keep receiving advice from others at the same time.

So without further ado... welcome to our kitchen!! I hope this blog is a way for me to stay motivated in my pursuit of culinary expertise, and a fun place for bloggers to exchange recipes. I've already got four different meals lined up for this week, and I hope to post the success of each along the way! Tomorrow I'll be doing my grocery shopping... check back later to see what's cooking with the Kenningtons! :)