Monday, November 26, 2007

Deep Dish Chicken Pot Pie

My co-worker, Sonja, told me about this recipe she found from Kraft. I love chicken pot pie, but Jason did not always feel the same way...until now! This will be made again very soon.


1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup KRAFT Light Zesty Italian Reduced Fat Dressing
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, 1/3 Less Fat than Cream Cheese, cubed
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 refrigerated pie crust (1/2 of 15-oz. pkg.)


PREHEAT oven to 375°F. Cook chicken in dressing in large skillet on medium heat 2 min. Add Neufchatel cheese; cook and stir until melted. Add flour; mix well. Add broth and vegetables; simmer 5 min.

POUR mixture into deep dish 10-inch pie plate. Arrange pie crust over filling; flute edges. Cut four slits in crust to allow steam to escape.
BAKE 30 min. or until crust is golden brown.

MY NOTES: I used regular dressing and cream cheese. I also added a little more broth and some spices (garlic powder, salt, pepper, thyme and poultry seasoning). Before I place the crust on top I sprinkled on a little cheese. After cooking for 40 minutes the crust wasn't as "golden" as I had wanted so I turned the broiler on...a quick fix! I did not have a deep pie dish so 1 1/2 quart casserole dish.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Cauliflower Gratin

When I saw this recipe on Barefoot Contessa I knew I had to try it for Jason's family Thanksgiving dinner. There are always so many things to chose from so it can hard to think of something new. I had never seen a cauliflower dish at their dinners so I decided to try it. It was so good and everyone said they liked it! I will certainly make this again.


1 (3-pound) head cauliflower, cut into large florets
Kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
3/4 cup freshly grated Gruyere, divided
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cook the cauliflower florets in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5 to 6 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture and stir until it comes to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until thickened. Off the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup of the Gruyere, and the Parmesan.

Pour 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of an 8 by 11 by 2-inch baking dish. Place the drained cauliflower on top and then spread the rest of the sauce evenly on top. Combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 1/4 cup of Gruyere and sprinkle on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over the gratin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is browned. Serve hot or at room temperature.

My Notes: I doubled the recipe so I ended up using 3 heads of cauliflower. I also added some extra cheese and used half and half in place of the milk. I was started to get worried when the sauce did not thicken up after adding the half and half....but I turned up the heat and everything worked out perfectly...just keep whisking. If you can not find Gruyere then you can use Swiss....but you should really try to find the was very good.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pimento Cheese Stuffed Pitas

My Mom and I found some cute mini pitas at Trader Joes and thought it would be good to stuff them with some pimento cheese. I used a pimento cheese recipe I saw Paula Deen make on the Food Network.


8 ozs shredded sharp cheddar cheese
8 ozs shredded white cheddar cheese
4 oz jar pimentos, chopped with juice
1/2 cup mayonnaise
salt & pepper (I omit the salt)
1 package mini pitas


Mix the shredded cheese together with the pimentos. Stir in the mayonnaise.
With a metal spoon (pimientos will stain plastic or wood), stir until the mixture is well blended.
Add salt and pepper to taste and stir again. Keep covered in the fridge until ready to use.

To stuff the pita cut a small portion of one side, and use a knife to open the pita the rest of the way if necessary. Fill the pitas will the mixture...I put the mixture in a baggie and cut a corner of the bag and used that to pipe the pimento cheese mixture in.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

This was very tasty...and as Jason would say "This is good s@#!". I had been wanting to make this recipe that I found on, and I finally had the perfect chance because we currently have no stove. We moved a week ago and have yet to take the time and buy a new one...actually we need to get a dishwasher too.

1 onion, chopped
1 (16 ounce) can chili beans
1 (15 ounce) can black beans
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer
2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning
3 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts

other spices - see My Notes below
shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
sour cream (optional)
crushed tortilla chips (optional)

Place the onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, beer, and diced tomatoes in a slow cooker. Add taco seasoning, and stir to blend. Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients. Set slow cooker for low heat, cover, and cook for 5 hours.
Remove chicken breasts from the soup, and allow to cool long enough to be handled. Stir the shredded chicken back into the soup, and continue cooking for 2 hours. Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips, if desired.

My Notes: I did not have an onion around so I added onion flakes. I also added some fresh garlic, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper. I served it with a healthy dose of sour cream, shredded cheese and Utz White Corn Tortilla Chips.
Here is a photo of it without all the fatty goodness: