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Chicken Casserole – An oldie but a goodie

How many of you have recipes still on cards and use them frequently?  Haven’t we moved on to the electronic age and look up our favorite recipe on the internet or Pinterest?  Well this one is classic.  I believe that it was from right after we were first married some 26 years ago.  Hubby asked for a recipe that used cooked chicken.  I looked around Pinterest but then remembered I had a couple of older recipes in my recipe box.  This wasn’t the first one I was thinking of, but it caught my eye.  I think I would rename it Chinese Chicken Casserole.

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups chicken, cooked and diced
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cans cream of mushroom soup mixed with 1/2 cup warm chicken broth
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 large can of chow mien noodles
1/2 cup cashews

Directions

Combine all ingredients reserving 1/4 cup noodles for topping.  Place in 1/1/2 or 2 quart casserole.  Bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees. Sprinkle reserved noodles on the last 15 minutes of baking. 
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Baked Ravioli Lasagna

How easy can this get!  4 ingredients, a little prep time, then 30 minutes in the oven. Plus this is perfect now that the weather is slowly beginning to change.  Think if it as a little bit of comfort food when you don’t have the time to make real lasagna from scratch.  We are making this extra special by using one of our favorite sauces from a little restaurant that recently closed.  Canale’s traditional sauce is my hubby favorite and we stocked up before they closed their local restaurant.  They still have the original restaurant but that is about 45 minutes away from our house.  It is good thing though that we can get the sauce at the local grocery store.  
So, give this a try and let me know what you think.  

Easy Ravioli Lasagna

1 – 25 oz package frozen cheese ravioli
1 lb cooked ground beef
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 quart or 32 oz tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9″x 13″ baking pan with non stick cooking spray. Pour a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan. Layer with half ravioli. Pour 1/2 of the remaining sauce over mixture and 1 cup of cheese. Add half the cooked beef.  Layer remaining ravioli on top of sauce. Layer 1 1/2 cups cheese, top with cooked beef and remaining sauce. Add remaining 1 1/2 cup cheese to top of casserole.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Top with a little fresh basil.
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Crockpot Pizza

Spring has been very busy with late baseball practices or games, and when you get home after 7:30 or so you really don’t want to cook. Takeout or fast food for us is not really on our menu.  And we like to sit down as a family and enjoy a meal together.  So crock pot meals are our go too.  Especially ones that don’t take too long to cook.  this recipe has been around for a few years and we have tweaked it lately with using Italian Sausage and adding green pepper.  This is adapted from Taste of Home Slow Cooker Meals.

Ingredients

1 package (16 ounces) wide egg noodles
1-1/2 pounds ground sausage or ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 jar (26 ounces) spaghetti sauce
1 jar (4-1/2 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
1-1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 package (3-1/2 ounces) sliced pepperoni, halved
3 cups (12 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
3 cups (12 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

Cook noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef, pepper and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the spaghetti sauce, mushrooms and Italian seasoning. Drain noodles. 

In a 5-qt. slow cooker coated with cooking spray, spread a third of the meat sauce. Cover with a third of the noodles and pepperoni. Sprinkle with a third of the cheese. Repeat layers twice. Press down to compact.
Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours or until heated through and cheese is melted. Yield: 6-8 servings.

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    Comfort Plus!

    Creamy Garlic Mac and Cheese 
    Comfort plus describes this new Mac and Cheese recipe.  I mentioned last weekend that I want to make some macaroni and cheese for dinner.
     Hubby suggested that since it was the weekend we should try something new and not my tried and true recipe.  I had saved this recipe from a post by The Noble Pig, a blog from a winery out west that I have followed for years.   It has three different types of cheeses and a crispy breadcrumb topping.  Now the one thing about the topping is that my son for some reason says he doesn’t like the bread crumb topping so when I sprinkled it over the top I left a small portion without the topping.
    This dished turned out to be delicious.  We made sure we saved some for our daughter’s return from college.  I will make this one again.
     
     
    INGREDIENTS:
     
    1 pound pasta (elbow, macaroni or any other pasta)
     
    CRISPY TOPPING:
    1½ tablespoons butter
    ⅔ cup Panko breadcrumbs
     
    SAUCE:
    ¼ cup butter
    4 cloves garlic, crushed
    ¼ cup flour (all purpose or plain)
    4½ cups milk, divided (I used skim, but 2% or full fat are fine to use)
    1 tablespoon cornstarch (corn flour)
    salt and pepper, to season
    1 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder (or a vegetable stock powder)
    ¾ cup low fat grated cheddar cheese
    1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
    6 ounces low fat mozzarella cheese

    DIRECTIONS;
    Boil pasta in salted water, according to packet instructions, until JUST al dente (do not over-boil)! Drain and rinse well with cold water. Set aside.

    Preheat oven grill or broiler to 375°F.

    To make the topping – Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large, oven proof pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the Panko breadcrumbs; stir to coat and cook until golden browned. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.

    To make the sauce:

    Melt the ¼ cup of butter in the same pan / skillet. Add the garlic and sauté until just fragrant (about 1 minute). Whisk in the flour; continue to cook while whisking (or stirring) for at least 2 minutes. Reduce heat down to low; gradually whisk in 4 cups of the milk (about ¼ cup at a time), whisking between each addition to combine. Bring to a boil until beginning to thicken.

    In a separate jug, combine the cornstarch and remaining ½ cup milk; whisk until lump free and stir through the white sauce to thicken completely. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the bouillon powder.

    Remove from heat and add in the cheddar, ¾ cup of parmesan cheese, and the mozzarella slices. Stir through until all of the cheese has melted. Toss the pasta through the sauce until completely coated.
    Top with the Panko and the remaining parmesan cheese. Broil (or grill) in oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until bubbling.

    Allow to cool down slightly before serving.

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    Buffalo Chicken Casserole

     
    This has long been a staple in our house.  Who can not resist hash brown potatoes, chicken, cheese and buffalo wing sauce. A quick and easy casserole we found in one of the check out pamphlets that you see at the grocery store.  We tweaked the recipe a bit to our taste and often top with scallions for a bit of color.  I am sure that once our daughter heads back to school, this will be a casserole she will make many times over.
     
    I recently asked her if she wanted to take down some of my recipes and she told me she didn’t need to.  She would just go to my blog and pull up her favorites.  I have also found another fan in  my niece.  If I post something on Pinterest it quickly get’s added to Aunt Joanne’s Yummy Recipes board.  It is nice to know that someone is using these recipe creations!
     
    So give this one a try.  I have to admit – it is one of hubby’s go to recipes!
     

    Buffalo Chicken Casserole

    1 1/4 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips
    1/3 cup buffalo wing sauce
    6 cups frozen (thawed) southern-style hash brown potatoes
    1 cup ranch or blue cheese dressing
    1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (2 oz)
    1 can (10 oz) condensed cream of celery soup
    1/2 cup corn flake crumbs
    2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
    1/4 cup chopped green onions (3 to 4 medium)

    Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13×9-inch (3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.
     In medium bowl, stir together chicken strips and wing sauce.  In large bowl, stir together potatoes, dressing, cheese and soup. Spoon into baking dish. Place chicken strips in single layer over potato mixture.  In small bowl, stir together crumbs and butter. Sprinkle in baking dish. 

     Cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes; uncover and bake 20 to 25 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender and juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut. Sprinkle with green onions.

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    Taco Tater Casserole

    There is nothing more flavorful and fun that tater tots! Now add them to a taco casserole and you reach a new comfort food high.  I will admit that this is a recipe that hubby made.  He has been preparing a lot of meals lately and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.  He finds a recipe and adds his own special tweaks.    Give this one a try.

    Taco Tater Casserole

    1 lb ground beef
    1 small onion, diced finely
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 (4 oz) can Old El Paso diced green chiles
    1 (1 oz) package Old El Paso taco seasoning mix
    1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
    1 (12 oz) package frozen corn
    3 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
    1 (28 oz) package frozen tater tots
    1 (10 oz) can Old El Paso red enchilada sauce

    Toppings: olives, cilantro, sour cream, tomatoes

    Instructions
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. For extra crispy tater tots, bake tater tots for about 10 minutes while preparing the beef mixture – otherwise prepare as follows.

    In a large skillet, brown the beef and the onion. Add the garlic towards the end of the browning process and cook for 1 minute. Drain.

    Add the green chiles, taco seasoning mix, black beans, corn, and 2 cups of the cheese. Stir together to combine. If your skillet isn’t big enough you may need to stir it together in a bowl.

    Pour mixture into the prepared 9×13 pan. Arrange tater tots on top of the mixture in a single layer.
    Pour the enchilada sauce on top of the casserole as evenly as you can.

    Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until tater tots are nice and crispy. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheese on top and place back in the oven for 2-3 minutes or until cheese has melted.
    Top with olives, cilantro, sour cream, tomatoes when serving if desired.

    Notes
    For extra crispy tater tots, bake tater tots for about 10 minutes while preparing the beef mixture.

    This recipe is inspired from the blog – The-girl-who-ate-everything

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    Chicken Poppyseed Casserole

    I have been traveling quite a bit these days so blogging and cooking for me has been set aside.  .  Hubby has been cooking up a storm while I am away and sends me pictures of what he has created and fed the kids for dinner.  The other night was a Dorito Taco Casserole, I believe? 
    So this recipe was from about two weeks ago when I was on a day business trip.  Hubby asked me before I left what would taste good to me.  I saw this on Pinterest and said “Make this!”  Ask and you shall  receive.  This was very good and tasty, just what you expect in a casserole.  I guess my favorite part was the Ritz Crackers on top and I am a fan of poppy seeds too.  (See side note below)

    Chicken Poppy Seed Casserole

    Ingredients

    to 4 cooked chicken breasts, chopped
    16-oz. pkg. wide egg noodles, cooked
    24-oz. container sour cream
    (10 3/4-oz.) cans cream of chicken soup
    8-oz. pkg. shredded Cheddar cheese
    8-oz. pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese
    sleeve round buttery crackers, crushed
    1/4 cup butter, melted
    2 tablespoons poppy seed

    Directions

    Combine chicken, noodles, sour cream, soup and cheeses in a large bowl. Pour into a lightly greased 13″x9″ baking dish. Mix together cracker crumbs and margarine; sprinkle over top. Sprinkle poppy seed over cracker crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until crackers are crispy and golden and cheese is melted.