Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

Long time no post! It’s been over a month since I have posted last, and I can’t promise any more regularity. I don’t cook very often, as we live with Brandon’s family at the moment. I had started the blog as a catch all for recipes, (wedding) craft stuff, fashion, etc. However, I don’t do… any of that stuff anymore. I had to leave my job during the move, and despite my hardest efforts, I haven’t been able to get hired anywhere yet. So I don’t even get out of my PJs most days.

But! I did get a craving for my mom’s stuffed mushrooms this weekend. I hate crab and when I think about portabella mushrooms for too long I get sick (even though I love mushrooms), so I obviously have to be in a specific mood for these mushrooms. I spent way too much on the ingredients because I must live in a food desert now, and I ended up throwing most of them away because one woman can only eat so many stuffed mushrooms! But this is a treasured recipe, so I have to share it!

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Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

You’ll need:

  • 1-2 packages of portabella mushrooms ( I use the baby bella size)
  • 1 package of imitation diced crab
  • 1 block cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • Handful of parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoons dill weed

You will:

  • Set the oven to 350 degrees
  • Put softened cream cheese in a bowl and mix it up
  • De-stem and use a damp paper towel to wipe off the mushrooms. Don’t rinse them under water!
  • Get a cookie sheet or a cake pan handy. I always put my destemed and cleaned mushrooms on the cookie sheet while I prep!
  • Keep a few stems and dice them finely, adding them to the cream cheese in the bowl
  • Add the mozzarella cheese, onion and dill into the bowl
  • Dice the crab as small as you can/want and then add it to the bowl
  • Mix everything together
  • Fill the mushrooms with heaping spoonfuls of the mixture
  • Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over top of the mushrooms
  • Once all the mushrooms are on the cookie sheet and filled, pour a tiny bit of water along the bottom of the pan
  • Cook for 15-20 minutes
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Copycat Chick-fil-A Chicken Bites

It’s been nearly two weeks since I’ve done a post! I have cooked in the past two weeks- don’t think I let my husband starve. I’m just growing increasingly more frustrated with my inability to photograph food. A) I use my iPhone camera and B) I typically cook dinner at 10 pm and there is no natural lighting. I know from personal experience that if the picture isn’t good, I’m not very likely to try the recipe. My goal with the blog is to share ALL the good foods, so terrible pictures don’t help very much.
I decided that these chicken bites deserved a post, even with a bad picture. Full disclosure, Brandon and I have never had Chick-fil-A, so I don’t know what to compare these to. But! They are delicious little chicken bites!

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Copycat Chick-fil-A Chicken Bites

You’ll need:
– 2 large chicken breasts, diced
– ¾ cup milk
– ¼ cup dill pickle juice
– 1 egg
– 1 ¼ cups flour
– 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
– vegetable oil
– salt and pepper

You will:
– Whisk together the egg, milk and pickle juice and pour it into a large bowl or big ziplock bag
– Add the chicken and let the pieces sit for 2-4 hours
– Combine flour, powdered sugar, salt and pepper (just a few pinches) in a large ziplock bag & shake to combine all the ingredients
– Add the chicken chunks to the bag and shake to coat the pieces completely
– Heat oil in a large skillet on medium high (make sure it sizzles and doesn’t pop when you add your pieces)
– You will cook the chicken in a few batches, as not to overcrowd the pan, so add the first batch and cook until golden brown on one side, then turn to cook the other
– Remove chicken to a plate
– Add more oil and cook the next batch, repeat if necessary

So on my first batch; I adhered to the recipe which said 3-4 minutes on each side. As you can see, some of my pieces got um… crispy. They still were delicious, which speaks to the tastiness of the recipe. I should know better by now that I know how my oven cooks and sometimes 3-4 minutes is way too long for my hunk of metal. Just be alert when cooking these things!
I totes cheated with cooking and brought home fast food fries and honey mustard from work. My work schedule has been crazy and I haven’t had time to cook, so even making part of dinner was a big victory for me. I’ve got a few more weeks of a crazy schedule ahead of me, and I’m hoping our bellies don’t suffer!

Honey Lime Chicken Skewers

I was beyond excited to try this recipe. I’m pretty sure everyone around me, especially at work, hated me for a span of 3 days because this is all I talked about. I’d drop it casually in conversation or just blatantly flail my arms around while screaming about honey and lime chicken skewers. Everyone can rest easy now because I made them for dinner tonight. Actually, no, they can’t rest easy… because I’m going to be talking about these things for a solid week.

A delicious mix of sweet and spicy, seared to perfection, these skewers make for the perfect meal.

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Honey Lime Chicken Skewers

You’ll need:

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, diced

You will:

  • In a bowl – combine soy sauce, salt, pepper, honey vegetable oil, garlic, lime, red pepper flakes, and 1 tablespoon of cilantro
  • Place chicken in the marinade – cover and place in the fridge for at least one hour
  • Place chicken on skewers and heat on a grill or fry pan – cook each side for a couple minutes

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We served the skewers over a bed of white rice with some fried and seasoned potatoes.

I left the lime in the marinade bowl, cut up, instead of tossing it. I don’t know if it actually made a difference or if it was just a mental game. It also was marinating for 6 hours. I had Brandon put it in before he left for work, and I took it out as soon as I got home.

Alton Brown (Good Eats is now on Netflix!!! So I’ve been binge watching it, along with all the other goodies they added) said marinating anything for more than 2 hours is almost pointless because the meat can only  retain so much flavor. Honestly, I only leave things in so long because of scheduling conflicts. Brandon and I work staggered second shifts, he goes in a few hours after I do, making it hard to cook most of the time.

We are becoming more adventurous with our cooking. Some stuff doesn’t end up on the blog- like the yummy fresh salsa I made yesterday- just because I don’t think it’s particularly exciting enough to warrant a post. We also replaced our blender with a new and better version that doesn’t have a seal I can lose (whoopsy), and have experimented with lotsa smoothies already. I’m not sure if anyone is interested in those recipes, but I will also start to post them a little. Who doesn’t love a good smoothie recipe?!?!

Okay- so to sum this post up…

Honey lime chicken = good.

Taco Bake (Hassle-free walking tacos!)

Brandon and I just got back from our belated honeymoon in Philly. It was fantastic! I will be posting a blog about it and all the fun we had. We are still in the woes of post-vacation. Work is dragging and we’re overall grump-butts to everyone. I’m also going through husband withdraw. It was a treat getting to spend 6 whole days with him! We’ve been back at work for 3 days now, and they’ve been miserable. And somehow, the laundry fairy didn’t stop by the house when we were away, and I have an unnatural amount of clothes to clean.

I first heard of this recipe when my mother-in-law texted me some pictures of it. Cruel! It looked so tasty I almost drove two hours to steal it from her. I jotted it down in a book so I’d remember to try it… but like most things go, I completely forgot about it. When I was on Pintrest the other day, I spotted it again! I was quick to put it on my actual grocery list so I wouldn’t forget.

This is a quick, tasty, and easy meal! If you’re cooking for more than 3 people, or you like having leftovers, I would suggest doubling the recipe. This bake is PERFECT for work events and family outings because it is a hassle free, non-messy walking taco. Try it out!

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Taco Bake

You’ll need:
1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg taco seasoning
2/3 cup water (for seasoning)
1 bag chili cheese corn chips
1 can cheddar cheese soup
½ cup milk (for soup)
1 bag shredded mozzarella
Toppings as desired

You will:
Brown beef, drain, and add the seasoning and water
Pour enough corn chips to cover the bottom of a pan (I used a 9×9 pan)
Top with taco meat
Combine soup and milk in saucepan and heat until smooth
Top taco meat with cheese sauce
Add a thick layer of mozzarella cheese to the top of the mixture
Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes, or until top layer of cheese is melted
Serve over lettuce with desired toppings

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I didn’t serve this with any toppings, but I wish I would have. It completely slipped my mind at the store. Still, this was delicious even sans sour cream and lettuce and all the extras!

Trust me when I say it is a delicious and hassle free walking taco. The bottom chips get a little soggy, so I added a few chips to my bowl after it was done cooking to give me an extra crunch. If soggy chips completely freak you out, I’d suggest doing a very light layer of chips in the bottom of the pan and then loading up your bowl after it’s done with fresh crispy chips!

Chicken & Cheese Casserole

I told you something good was cooking in the oven! I couldn’t wait to share the recipe with everyone. This casserole is quick, easy, and delicious. I loved it and my hubs loves it, so its a no-brainer to keep this recipe in my big red book. So what is it exactly that I’m raving over? Chicken and cheese! In a casserole! Together! Need I say more? 

 

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Chicken & Cheese Casserole 

You’ll need:
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
1 large can of cream of mushroom soup
3 cups elbow noodles, cooked
1 bag cheddar cheese
2 cups milk

You will:
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees
• In a large casserole dish or pan, combine all ingredients, mixing well
• Cover and bake for 35-45 minutes
• Remove the cover and bake for an additional 10 minutes

 

I adapted this recipe from a weight watchers recipe I saw online somewhere. Brandon told me it needs bacon and ranch, so the next time I make it, I plan on tweaking it a little bit more. We’ll see how that turns out! 

One Pan Chicken, Beans, and Potatoes!

When both a girl I went to school with posted this recipe on Instagram AND I saw it pinned on Pintrest on the same day, I knew it was a sign that I had to make this. The pictures looked so good, and the recipe seemed too easy to be true (spoiler alert, it isn’t!). So I added it to my weekly meal plan. I finally got a chance to make it yesterday, and I am praising the convenience and tastiness of this dish.

 

 

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I didn’t have any instructions, but it is as easy as it looks! Here is what I did::::

You’ll need:
4 chicken breasts
3 large potatoes
1 can green beans
1-2 sticks of butter
Italian seasoning
Salt & pepper to taste

You’ll do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
Cut your potatoes and layer them to one side
Lie chicken in middle (you may need to cut them in half)
Drain can of green beans and layer them to the other side
Salt and pepper the potatoes, meat and beans
Add generous doses of the Italian seasoning to the chicken
Cut your butter into little blocks and spread evenly around the pan
Cook for 50 minutes to 1 hour

 

You can obviously adjust the recipe to your serving size needed. I could have added another can of green beans because they went fast! I used one gigantic piece of chicken rib/breast meat and cut it into fours. Make sure you don’t use too big of pieces of chicken because you want everything to cook evenly. I have had one too many (okay, two total- but still that is more than necessary) meals ruined because my chicken wasn’t all the way cooked. 

I will most defiantly be adding this recipe to my big red cookbook. The way I have it now is plenty big enough for just Brandon and I, but some day in the future I could adjust it to feed a family. It is quick. It is easy. And most importantly, it is delicious. 

Family Dumplings

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. We can thank the business of a married life/lack of me cooking anything for that! Brandon and I only took one day off of work after the wedding, so things have been hectic. But we have our honeymoon in a few weeks to look forward too! I will be doing a post about the wedding day soon, whenever I get our wedding pictures back. I will also be doing a honeymoon post whenever we get back from that. Speaking of posts, since it’s been so long, I’m going to do two today.

One of the most upsetting things to me is that I never got a chance to meet Brandon’s grandparents. You can just tell by the way people talk about them and even from the pictures of them that they were such loving and funny people. And his grandma was one heck of a cook, I hear! It must be where his mom gets it from. If only Brandon got some of those culinary skills 😛 He gives it a good effort, at least.

In my recipe book are some of his grandma’s recipes. The other day I tried my hand at one of the southern meals- dumplings. Brandon really wanted them, and I didn’t want to disappoint! I had never had dumplings without chicken, let alone made my own. 

dumplings

 

You’ll need:

4 cans refrigerator biscuits
2 boxes of chicken broth
Pepper to taste

You’ll do:
Bring broth to a boil
Tear all biscuits into pieces and drop in broth
Add pepper
Reduce heat to medium low
Cook until thickened and dough is done (about 30-40 minutes)

*Stir occasionally to prevent sticking, but try not to stir too often or you will have nothing but gravy

 

I didn’t tear the biscuits up because I thought the recipe meant just tear them apart from one another. I also have a limited selection of pans, so I couldn’t use a big stock pot. I’m pretty sure I annoyed Brandon half to death because every few minutes I asked him if they looked okay, and he assured me they did (because he’s a good husband!). I still claim he was lying, but I honestly have no reference for what they should look like or taste like. I over peppered them a little, but they were still pretty good in my opinion! 

The next day he went to have them for lunch and they were terrible, so I’m not sure what happened there. I was going to half the recipe when making it but ended up just following it. If you’re looking for a southern fix for a group of people, this recipe is it!