Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mexican Chicken Casserole ****

Sorry for the absence.  If you look back, I'm rarely posting recipes during this time of the year.  With baseball and soccer games and/or practices 5 nights a week, I don't have a lot of time to cook new stuff.  I stick to the old tried and true recipes.  I haven't reviewed this one in a couple years, though, so I figured I'd post it again.

This has always been one of our favorite meals.  I've been making it for at least 10 years now.  It's one of those recipes that I can remember by heart, so it's easy to pick up the ingredients at the last second if necessary.  I can change it around to suit my moods, which is always nice.  Tonight, our baseball games were rained out, so I ran in the store and grabbed a rotisserie chicken to use in it.  We could honestly eat this several times a week and be happy. The very best part is that it's so easy. I keep all of the items on hand, and it only takes about 3 minutes to throw together. Even the kids can make it on their own, which they just love.  Perfect for a last-minute meal. Plus, you get the little bit of Mexican flavor without the heat. That makes it a safe choice for the entire family. Dh can add salsa and sour cream to his. The boys and I can eat ours plain. Just yummy all around!  Oh yeah, baby.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy)

1 (10-3/4oz) can Campbell's Healthy Request Cream of Chicken soup
1 (10-3/4oz) can Campbell's Healthy Request Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can fat-free evaporated milk
1 (4-oz) can diced green chilies
1-1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 package plain Doritos
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 (4-oz) can sliced black olives

Mix first four ingredients in order. Crush the bag of Doritos into little pieces; add to mixture. Stir in chicken.
Pour mixture into 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle with olives, and then cover with cheese. Bake at 350* for about 30-35 minutes.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Easy Chili ****

Yesterday was rainy and cold and just all around yucky.  My very favorite cold weather food is chili, so I pulled this recipe out yet again. This has been my tried and true chili recipe for several years, since it's the only one I've found that doesn't contain those dreaded kidney beans (hubby's thoughts, not mine). My original recipe only had 3 cans of beans, but I added a fourth, to make it a little heartier.  I eventually added a fifth, to make the recipe go further.  To me, it's the green chilies that totally make this dish. You can't taste them at all, but they just give another dimension to it.  Hubby and I have ours over Fritos and topped with shredded fiesta blend cheese.  The boys like to have their chili with the cheese on it and then scoop it up with the Fritos. 

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy)

2 lbs ground beef
5 (16 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained
2 (1 1/4 ounce) packages mild chili seasoning mix
1 (46 ounce) can tomato juice
1 (4 ounce) can green chilies (optional)

In large stewpot, cook ground beef until no longer pink; drain.
Put back into pan; add seasoning, beans, chilies, and tomato juice.
Mix well.
Simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes.
Serve over corn chips with cheese on each serving.
Crockpot version: Cook ground beef in skillet on stove until no longer pink; drain.  Add all ingredients to crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Do not add extra liquid, as it's not needed.
*Amy's notes: Sometimes, I will skip draining the beans and just use less tomato juice.  I very rarely use the entire 46oz, since we don't like ours overly juicy.

This time around, I made it in the crockpot, since I was so pressed for time. I'll be doing that from now on. I loved how the chili seasoning flavor really soaked into the meat that way. I just cooked the ground turkey and then threw everything into the crock for about 7 hours. I was afraid some of the liquid would evaporate, so I added about 1/4 cup of water to it. It was not necessary at all. The boys both had baseball games until late tonight, and it was so wonderful to come home to a meal that was completely ready!

We had the same winter storm come through that most of the country got this week. Our snow came late Wednesday night, so by the end of the day yesterday, I was really craving chili. This is strange, but I have never made plain chili in my life. I've made vegetarian chili and white chicken chili, but never plain old regular chili. Since that's what I was craving and I hadn't included it in my weekly meal plan, I went in search of a recipe that would be easy to throw together last minute so that I could just hit the grocery store really quickly on my way home from work. I found this one and gave it a shot. It was SO yummy! Dh loved that this one had pinto beans instead of kidney, since he hates kidney beans, lol. We all loved it, though. I stuck to the recipe, except I used 2.4 lbs ground turkey and reduced sodium pinto beans. We had it over Fritos and then topped it with shredded cheddar cheese. The best part is, it made enough for dh and I to both have leftovers for lunch today, and it just gets better the next day!