Thursday, October 9, 2008

Chicken Bacon Pasta Casserole

I made a super yummy dinner tonight.

Chicken Bacon Pasta Casserole

I know it's a mouthful to say and I promise you will eat it and end up trying to talk with you mouth full. Words like, "Ohhhhhh" and "Hmmmmmm" and "Donn moot dat in da fwidgdth yed... I wann moe." (Isn't that how that would sound with your mouth stuffed full of yumminess? I think so anyways. Sorta like that.)

So when I'm in the cooking mode and I know something is going to come out stinkin' delicious I always momentarily think, "Oh, I should take pictures of the process like my Buddy Ree does." But then I just get too in the zone... and I cook when I'm already starving and therefore in a hurry and therefore decide, "Nahhh... I'd rather just get 'er done and eat this grubbin' good faire." Yup. That's the thought process behind the fact that I never ever have pictures of food that I am either making or have made. The only time I'd be able to get a picture is after the family has devoured half of it and you will all thank me and agree with me that a half-eaten crock of casserole is hardly an appetizing and alluring image of a food that you want someone else to try.

So in the absence of any real pictures of food I have decided that heretofore, due to my lack of patience with a camera during meal preparation, the picture below will be substituted for any real picture of food. You should thank me. What this does is force your underdeveloped (due to the sensory overload it endures day in and day out at the invisible hands of the internet and television monstrosity) imagination to exert its sorry little self.

food picture substitute

See? I'm helping you.

You're welcome. Any time.

Now, for the recipe. And be advised that all amounts in pretty much any recipe I create are going to be "some of this and some of that" and "about this much" and "about that much" because when I am in the zone it's like art... I don't measure. Does an artist measure paint daubs? Don't answer that. If they do measure them I don't want to know about it because I am living in my dream world and using analogies to things with which I am wholly unfamiliar.

And now for the recipe!

And by the way, feel free to alter this thing until it makes you happy. Until it makes you sing (if casserole has a habit of doing that for you that is). Until it makes your olfactory glands explode with intense, never before felt emotion. And be aware while you are cooking this dish that, while it is delectably delicious and perfect for an Autumn evening, I do have a tendency to exaggerate just a wee tad... so if your olfactory glands and your taste buds don't actually break into the Tango, well... just blame it on my obsessive use of superlatives and my penchant for hyperbole.

And NOW for the recipe!

This is what I'll be sharing with you today:

food picture substitute

Miss Nancy says to put on your thinking caps and try really hard to imagine what you believe to be the picture of overt yumminess. (Anyone remember Miss Nancy? From Romper room? She never said my name when she looked through her magic mirror, which we later discovered was just a handheld mirror with the mirror part removed... because if she did say my name, she'd be saying her name and what televised preschool teacher ever says "hello" to herself in a magic mirror? No. I'm not bitter. But thanks for asking.)

Got the picture in your head? Good. Now I can tell you the recipe.

First you gather your ingredients. These:

ingredients list CBC

Plus whatever else you think would be good. Oh, and (((gasp))) I left out Butter. How could I have left out Butter? Oh well, I dare say Butter has enough friends that he's not dying for my attention anyways. That's why I'm not going back to change my formal ingredients list. It has nothing whatever to do with the fact that I'm too lazy to do it. No sir. It's just that I mostly don't want to raise Butter's Google page ranking. He already gets plenty of hits without me adding to the madness. Oops... and I forgot chicken broth too... but yup... still not feeling like editing my formal list. Sorry.

First you do all of your veggie chopping. That would be two veggies. The onions and the celery. Melt some butter (a few Tablespoons) in a deep skillet or dutch oven. I used my dutch oven because I'm lazy and want to wash less dishes. When the butter is almost all the way melted, throw in your onions and celery. Sauté them for several minutes until the onions are translucent. Next add in your corn. You may or may not need another little touch of butter. Continue cooking for several more minutes. While it cooks cut your chicken breasts (or thighs or whatever you've got) into cubes. When the onion mixture smells divine and the corn is cooked through remove to a bowl.

Right about this time you'll want to start a pot of water boiling and cook your vermicelli noodles.

Again, if you need to add just a bit more butter to cook the chicken in, do so now. I usually like to use a little bit of butter and canola oil instead of all butter as it seems to not be as likely to burn. But do as you please on that front. Brown the chicken until almost done. Now add your bacon pieces, your fresh minced herbs as well as salt and pepper to taste. Give it a good stir and then add a few Tablespoons of white cooking wine and cook for another couple of minutes. Throw the corn/onion mixture back into the skillet/dutch oven followed by the cooked and drained vermicelli noodles.

Give it another good stir. Now add the abomination that causes atrial fibulations, your cream of mushroom soup, and then the sour cream, followed by the cheese. Stir all of this madness up together like as unto a witch stirring her evil bubbling gruel. Make sure to reserve some of the cheese to sprinkle on top. For what would a casserole be without a crustified crown of cheese, I ask? What?!

When it is mixed well and topped with cheese, sprinkle some paprika on it and place it in a 350° oven and cook for about 30 - 40 minutes. In my dutch oven it only needed 30 minutes to become piping hot.

And this folks... THIS is what it will look like when it's all done!

food picture substitute

Pull out of the oven and rapidly ingest whilst blessing me with a thousand blessings. (And don't forget that I warned you about my penchant for hyperbole.)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Quick and Easy Taco Salad

This recipe possibly seems like a total no-brainer to some but I know that sometimes in the evening I am so hungry and have thought so little in advance of dinner time that I am just too ravenous to come up with anything to eat. Here is about the quickest way I know to make a super yummy taco salad that you could even feed to guests and get compliments for. You don't have to tell them that it took you 8 minutes to assemble. It will be our dirty little secret.

Here are your ingredients:

1 Bag of Hearts of Romaine Lettuce (or whatever other lettuce you like)

1 to 1 1/2 Cups Mexican Style or Tex Mex shredded cheese
1 Store bought rotisserie Chicken (Just the meat folks. No bones please. This is about the only step that requires more work than mindlessly opening a can or bag and haphazardly dumping.)
1 Can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 Can olives (drained)
3 Scallions (chopped up)
Several handfuls of your favorite corn chips (broken up). My real dirty little secret is that I actually really like mine with coronary artery disease in a bag Fritos.
1 to 2 Avocados (sliced up)
Okay, so mix all of that up together in a big bowl. Just dump it all in and stir wildly. Let your pent up emotions out. It's quick taco salad, not pretty taco salad so therefore it doesn't have to look pretty. Don't you like how the name of it sets you free like that? It just has to taste darn good. And it will. I promise. Okay so in another smaller bowl mix the ingredients for the dressing. There's nothing easier than this. In all honesty when I make it I measure it in blops. But "one blop of this and one blop of that" doesn't sound very good so I'm giving you estimates of how much I use. Mix it all up and either dress portions of your salad individually (if you want to save any for leftovers this is the best way to do it) or dress the whole kit 'n' kaboodle at once because you'll likely consume the whole thing in one sitting.1/2 cup of Ranch Dressing
1/2 cup of your favorite salsa
1/4 cup of sour cream
3 - 5 shakes of Tabasco Sauce
1 Can diced green chilies
That's it. Taco salad, whether I make it a little more gourmet or whether I throw it together in 8.2 minutes, is one of my favorite meals. It's because deep down I am part Mexican. I'm just sure of it. I'm just a really washed out Mexican. (And I realize fully that this meal doesn't really constitute real Mexican food. But work with me people.)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday, July 4, 2008


These two recipes were perfect together.

Cucumber Dill Salad (I call it Tzatziki Salad) I added two cloves of minced garlic some chopped chives and a bit of chopped fresh mint. It was better than fantastic. It was DELICIOUS!!

We ate it with this divine Rosemary Mustard Chicken. I never knew chicken breasts could taste so heavenly.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Chili and Cornbread

This is what we had for dinner tonight and it was super duper yummy. You probably already have a favorite chili recipe but I'm going to post mine anyways. It's just a series of cans to be opened.


1 lb. ground beef

1 large onion diced

2 cloves garlic minced

1 can Heinz chili style beans

1 can black beans

2 cans oregano and basil seasoned diced tomatoes

1 small can diced green chiles

1/2 cup beef broth

several shakes chili powder

several shakes cumin

salt to taste

Brown beef, garlic, onions and seasonings until cooked and onions are tender. Drain. Dump all canned items and meat mixture into large pot. Simmer for 1 hour. Top with cheese and a dollop of sour cream. YUM!

It hit the spot tonight. Accompanied by a friend's recipe for Mexican cornbread, it was just perfect!

Mexican Cornbread

1/2 cup butter (softened)

1/3 cup honey

4 eggs

1 small can green chiles

1 can cream style corn

1/2 cup shredded Monty Jack cheese

1/2 cup shredded Old Cheddar

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 green onion, minced

1 cup flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

4 tsp. baking powder

Cream butter, honey and eggs together. Beat well. Add chiles, corn, cheese, buttermilk and onion. Beat well again. Add dry ingredients (sift together ahead of time if desired... I didn't because I didn't have time and it turned out divine so I wouldn't worry about it if I were you.) Blend well. Pour into greased 9x13 baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven. DELISH!