Chicken Casserole with Rice…

It seems some people think you have time to do more when you work from home and the opposite is true. There perception is you can keep the house clean, cook more, and all those other homely tasks. NOT…I haven’t been cooking at all!

Inspiration

Part of my motivation for cooking is my family.  Regardless of how much work I may have, I enjoy pleasing them through cooking.  Since I have not been living with them for almost a year, that motivation had disappeared.

My granddaughter is now with me in my environment for the first time in three years, vs. my visiting her in her environment.  I find all the little things I like to buy for her and cook for her are back, and I am loving it.

Today, I wanted to cook something that was different.  It needed to be easy, inexpensive and quick.  There were chicken legs in the freezer, which I normally don’t cook, but since it was a family pack, I figured it would be worth fixing and we would have leftovers. I thought I could put them on the grill or bake them.

Marinade Overnight

I thawed them, seasoned them and thought...this needs to be easy.  )If you have time, season your chicken the night before and let it marinade overnight in the refrigerator)

I decided I wanted to use them in a casserole with soup.  It has been a long time since I cooked a casserole, and  I needed to research and see what kinds of recipes were out there.  I looked at several…all of them called for chicken breast.  They either used cream of chicken, mushroom, or celery soup.

Most recipes suggested, mixing the soup with the rice and pour over the chicken, bake.  I decided to do a few things differently.

Ingredients:

Family pack of chicken legs (about 12)Before baking

2 cups of rice

1 can each of cream of chicken, celery, and mushroom

2 1/2 cups of milk

1 package of onion soup mix (the kind you get to mix with sour cream for dip)

4 cloves of crushed fresh garlic

1/4 c of bell pepper

2T of red onion

2T butter

1 cup of monterey jack cheese

About 1 T of creole seasoning

About 1 T of Sylvia’s Secret Seasoning

About 2 T of freshly ground pepper.

Process

In a bowl, mix all the soup, seasoning, cheese,  bell pepper, onion, garlic, and rice.  Pour the milk in the empty soup cans and stir to get the rest of the soup out of the cans and pour into the bowl.  In a deep dish (I used tin) place the chicken.  Pour the soup mixture over the chicken. Sprinkle the onion soup mix over the top. Cut the butter up and place on top as well.

Bake at 350 for about 2 hours.  Cover for the first hour and 1/2.  Uncover an cook for 30 more minutes.  If the rice is not soft, cover and cook for about 20 more minutes.

Very quick and easy, very tasty dish.  One addition I will make next time is add about 1/2 cup of sour cream. Yummy…

This Cheescake was Great

My daughters new boyfriend likes cheesecake and it was his birthday so I thought why not.  My granddaughter and I have a thing for making cheesecake together so I thought this was a good opportunity to let her help in the kitchen.  Being that I am not at home and no access to my regular recipe, I had to find one online.

This is the best I have tried.  It’s light, fluffy and has a great taste.  I have tried different cheesecake recipes that took quite a bit of time to make, but this one was very quick.

You gotta try it, if you like cheesecake…Click on the title to visit the website, there are several others to try there as well.

Easy Cheesecake #2

This is an easy cheesecake recipe that is topped with a delicious sour cream and sugar topping. It gets rave reviews at every family gathering!

Ingredients:

2 (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla

3 tbsp. sugar
8 oz. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
Easy Cheesecake #2 Directions:

1. Beat cream cheese, 2/3 cup sugar, 3 eggs, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla with mixer until smooth. Pour into well greased 9 inch pie plate.

2. Bake 22 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Turn oven off. Remove cheesecake and cool for 5 minutes.

3. Combine 3 tablespoons sugar, sour cream, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Spread over warm cheesecake and return to oven for 5 minutes.

4. Cool and refrigerate.

We had Brunch Today!!

Well it’s July 5th and my parents found a few more recipes to try.  One of them my mom saw it prepared on television and immediately went to the store to get the puff pastry.  She put it in the freezer and that was the end of that.  My mom is 73 and has COPD which reduces her energy and said she just does not always feel like it.  Well, that was my sign as she knows how I love to cook so I had to fix it for her.  Then BJ wanted me to go to the store to get the stuff for a different recipe – another sign that I was to cook it!  They are too funny and of course I wanted to please them so here we go!

These are not fast, but they are easy.  I think these are great “Brunch” recipes for the weekend. Both of these can be fixed and warmed up the next day as great leftovers for those times when we are very busy working from home and need to eat something.  Make a lil extra!

The first think I fixed was Easy Sticky Buns. (Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa)  I followed the recipe except I could not find parchment paper so I used cupcake filler paper.  They worked ok, but I am going to keep looking for parchment paper.  The other little mishap, since it was my first time using puffed pastry, the second piece of the pastry got warm and stuck together so I could not open it up.  Tip:  Keep it cool so they easily open up.  If not, do like I did, roll the dough together, knead, and roll it out with a rolling pin.  At the end, it worked perfectly anyway.  Now that I have made them, and they were good, I will probably add a little more pecans and put some in between the puffed pastry vs. all of them in the 1st step…Excellent.  Check this out here.

The second thing I fixed – Country French Omelet (Ina Garten).  Again, this was REALLY easy and can be completed within about 30 minutes.  I followed the recipe – but I did not want too much as I knew we would not eat it all so I just used 4 eggs instead of 6.  I also made a seperate one with egg beaters instead of real eggs..came out great.  After I made it, I now know there is soo much you can do with this. You could add bell pepper & onions to the potatoes step.  You could use crab or shrimp for the meat.  Add spinach  and/or mushrooms at the end before putting it in the oven.  Very flexible type of recipe and easy. Check it out here!

I baked the sticky buns first.  I then fixed the omelet.  The two together were just awesome – we were very satisfied!!