Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

We spent our New Year's Eve at a neighbors house just around the corner. It was so much fun and my friend Melissa is the best cook! She grilled steaks, made spitfire shrimp (recipe to follow), and baked potatoes. Dessert was Bananas Foster and Lemon Bars. My favorite meal for sure! It was especially good since the stomach bug had been visiting our family for the past 10 days or so. I was so sick....I felt like I would never get over it. Yuck. That's the worst thing in the world. But, I rallied and felt better by the afternoon of the 31st so we could go enjoy spending time with our friends. They had just gotten the Wii for Christmas so we spent the night bowling, playing darts, and golfing. Anytime competition is involved, Jim is a happy man!
The boys were with their Dad so we haven't had them with us since Christmas. That really makes the holiday hard for me. It just doesn't seem like a holiday without my little guys around. But, I always try to make the best of it and get through it.

The economy is still shaky so I'm looking for recipes for the New Year to make at home. I want to stop eating out for lunch everyday at work. That's a good $10 that I don't want to spend on food. Especially when I can just bring leftovers to work and eat that. I found some recipes that sound really great. I think I'm going to try them in the next week or so.
From whatsmandicooking.blogspot.com

Country Casserole
from: Southern Plate
2 cups small shell pasta, cooked and drained
3 cups frozen mixed vegetables, cooked and drained
2 cups shredded cheddar, divided
One can French fried onions, divided
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
¼ cup milk
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine everything in a large bowl, reserving half of the cheese and half of the onions for topping later. Spoon into 9x13 casserole dish. Bake for twenty five minutes. Top with remaining onions and cheese, bake until cheese is melted, about five minutes more.Freezing options: Instead of freezing this in your casserole dish, simply spoon it into a gallon ziploc bag. Lay the bag flat so that it will thaw out quicker and place it in your freezer. On the day you want it, take it out the night before and refrigerate or place in fridge that morning.If you forget to do all of this, no sweat! Just microwave the bag until it thaws just a bit, pour into your casserole, and bake! To bake a casserole that is still frozen, simply place in the oven while the oven preheats. This allows the casserole to thaw quickly and then bake to perfection!

Bruschetta Chicken Skillet
From: Brie's Blog
1/4 cup KRAFT Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing
4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
2 large red peppers, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (14-1/2 oz. each) pasta-style or Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup water
2 cups instant white rice, uncooked
1 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 large tomato, chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
HEAT dressing in large skillet on medium heat. Add chicken, peppers and garlic; cover. Cook 10 min. or until chicken is cooked through (165ºF), turning after 5 min. Remove chicken from skillet; cover to keep warm.
ADD canned tomatoes and water to skillet. Stir in rice; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, 10 min. Meanwhile, combine cheese, chopped tomatoes and basil.
RETURN chicken to skillet; sprinkle with cheese mixture. Cover. Cook 5 min. or until chicken is heated through and cheese is melted.


2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil1 medium onion, peeled and diced3 cups diced, cooked chicken2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans green beans, drained and rinsed1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped1 (4-ounce) jar pimentos1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup1 cup mayonnaise1 (6-ounce) box long-grain wild rice, cooked according to package directions1 cup grated sharp Cheddar Pinch saltPreheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat butter or oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl.Add all remaining ingredients to bowl and mix together until thoroughly combined.Pour into a greased 3-quart casserole dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.

Poppy Seed Chicken (From Kelly's Korner)
2 or 3 chicken breasts, boiled and cut in small pieces
1 16 oz sour cream
2 cans cream of chicken
2 tbls of poppyseeds (I don't measure - I just shake a ton in)Ritz crackers
1 stick of butter
Mix the first 4 ingredients and put in a baking dish. Cover with crushed up ritz crackers. Melt a stick of butter and pour on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350.

The recipe above came from KellysKorner.com. I just love her blog. She's so cute and positive. Everyone needs to be as positive and thankful about things in life as she is. I'm going to work hard to just thankful for what I have.

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