Sunday, October 30, 2011

Chicken Fiesta Casserole

My body was temporarily taken over by aliens this morning.  I woke up at 6 and proceeded to start working on laundry. I then went to the gym followed by my first trip to the grocery store of the day. Scary, isn't it? Anyway, my second trip to the grocery store was my main shopping trip for the month. So, of course by the time I reach the check out my cart is overflowing and I am getting a serious workout pushing the cart.  The first thing the cashier asked me when she saw my cart was, "Are you hungry?". Actually, I was hungry but  seriously was that nice?  It isn't like I was going to eat the entire cart of food by myself.  I do have a 16 year old boy at home.  So, I decided to have fun with her and told her about my family of 10 at home. She thought I looked great for having 9 kids.

Here is a recipe that could actually feed a family of 10. I made it while trying to clean out my pantry.  I love casseroles, they require very little effort and you can add or leave out whatever ingredients you like and it will still turn out yummy.

1 lb cooked chicken breast
1 Family Size Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Can Black Beans
1 Can Mexican Style Corn
1 Jar Salsa
3/4 Box Short Pasta
1 Cup Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
Crushed Tortilla Chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

I decided to cook chicken by preparing it in the slow cooker so it would be ready to go when I came home from work.


Mix all the ingredients you like in  an oven safe dish.


Add crushed tortilla chips to the top.


Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.


Bake for 20 - 30 minutes.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Spicy Popcorn Chicken

I have a confession to make, sometimes I fake it. The screams you hear are not heartfelt, I just want you to feel good about yourself.  Yes, I am talking to you, Mr. Scary Monster in the haunted maze.  I admire your effort, but I saw you coming long before you jumped out to scare me.  I have to give you an "A" for effort. I don't want you to be sad because you didn't scare me,  I am sure you scared the teeny boppers that were in line behind me though.

Speaking of faking it, sometimes I have to fake it with my meals for my family.  They want chicken nuggets and I want to feed them something a little bit healthier.  This is my version of spicy popcorn chicken using Fiber One cereal.

2 egg whites
2 tbsp spicy mustard
1 ½ cups crushed Fiber One Cereal

1 lb chicken breast tenderloins

Seasonings to Taste
Garlic Powder

Crushed Red Pepper
Hot Sauce


Preheat oven to 450 F. Coat dish with cooking spray

Chop chicken up into bite pieces.

In a shallow dish combine crushed Fiber One cereal, salt, pepper, garlic powder and crushed red pepper.*


Add a couple of dashes of hot sauce to egg whites.



Form an assembly line.


Dip chicken into egg white mixture.


Coat chicken with the Fiber One cereal mixture.


Add to cookie sheet.


Bake for 15 minutes, then use a spatula or tongs to flip the chicken pieces. Continue baking until golden brown and or until a meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees F (juices will run clear when cut with the tip of a knife).


Try not to get distracted by an episode of Supernatural or you will have extra crispy popcorn chicken.


*Here is a helpful tip that I wish I thought of earlier.  If you crush the cereal using a blender or a food processor, add the seasoning beforehand and you end up with crushed and seasoned coating for your chicken.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday Window Shopping: Salmon Florentine

Do you know what the worst thing about getting older is? Well, besides the random gray hairs I keep finding. The slowing down of my metabolism.  I miss the days when I could eat anything I wanted and not gain an ounce without having to exercise.  Now that I am over 30 I have to watch what I eat and I have to exercise on a regular basis.  I am pretty sure it is all my husband's fault. I have put on about 30 pounds since we have been together, 15 of those pounds have been put on since we got married. I am sure it has nothing to do with my fondness for my couch and chocolate.

In the interest of my wallet, because I can not afford to buy anymore clothes, I do solemnly swear to eat a little bit healthier and to exercise more. 

I found this recipe for Salmon Florentine on Self Magazine's website.  It is very delicious, it's only 334 calories per serving and it is very satisfying.  The only complaint Michael had was that he didn't like the sun-dried tomatoes, so next time I will leave them out.


  • 2 packages (10 oz each) frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 5 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 4 skinless salmon fillets (6 oz each), rinsed and patted dry
Cook shallots and garlic over medium heat.



Add sun-dried tomatoes.

Add the spinach.

After it has cooled down add the ricotta cheese.



Top salmon with spinach mixture

I served over rice pilaf.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween Treats

I love Halloween. I do believe it is my favorite holiday.  Halloween is all about fun. There is no stress with having to finding the perfect present. I don't have to plan out a holiday menu or work on a seating chart. In fact the only thing I have to worry about is if I am going to be a sexy witch or a sexy superhero.  The best thing about Halloween? The treats and the candy.  I live in an apartment complex and we never get trick or treaters, but I always have a couple of bags of my favorite candy on hand, just in case. Don't judge me if you catch me eat miniature Kit Kat's while watching infomercials at 2 in the morning.

 I am starting my Halloween celebration early by heading down to Universal Studio's Halloween Horror Nights tomorrow.  I love a good scare!  Since there are 13 more days until Halloween, I thought I would share links to 13 spooktacular recipes on the web.  You may notice that a few of the recipes involve candy corn. I have a confession I am addicted to candy corn, I will eat an entire bag at once, so I tend to be drawn to candy corn recipes. I will check out a 12 step program in November. Maybe.

If you stop by these blogs, be sure to tell them I said hi!

Recipe Girl's Candy Corn Bark

Confessions of a Cookbook Queen's Candy Corn Meringue Cookies

Culinary Concoctions by Peabody's Candy Corn Whipped Cream Frosting

Confessions of a Cookbook Queen's Halloween Candy Brownies

Love From the Oven's Halloween Cupcake Cake Pops

Sweetopia's Spider Web Decorated Cookies

Our Best Bites' Glow in the Dark Food

Lila Lola's Jack-O-Lantern Cookies

The Other Side of 50's Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

Mandy Mortimer's Devils Food Cupcakes

Buns in My Oven's Pumpkin Caramel Spiderweb Cookies

The Pioneer Woman's Halloween Cake Balls

Lexie's Kitchen's Kid DIY Banana Mummies

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Glamour's 100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know: Let's Make a Baby Pasta

Tick, Tock. Do you hear that? That is the sound of my biological clock.  Isn't it annoying?  The clock makes me stop and look at little cute pink baby clothes.  It makes me want to rub pregnant women's bellies.  It makes me want to cook recipes like this when I come across them. This recipe doesn't seem to have any magical properties so I won't be making any announcements today.  But I will be adding it to my repertoire of pasta dishes, so who knows what the future holds.


Kosher Salt
3/4 pound penne
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or slightly more for spicier results)
1 14 oz cane diced or crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese



Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring constantly.


Add the tomatoes and simmer until warmed through. Add salt to taste.


Toss with pasta and sprinkle with cheese.


I added chicken to the dish.


Enjoy and eat responsibly.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Chocolate Banana Cupcakes

My husband's birthday was a month ago and since I was still recovering from surgery I wasn't able to make him a cake on that day. But a few days later I was able to make him cupcakes. I have mentioned before that Michael's favorite flavor combination is chocolate and banana so I decided to make him chocolate banana cupcakes with banana butter cream frosting. Now chocolate and banana is not one of my favorite flavor combinations, but even I enjoyed them. I was still recovering from the surgery so by the time I made it to the frosting I was a little tired, so it didn't turn out quite as smooth as I would have liked.  I ended up being too tired to mash the bananas properly. They turned out delicious, even if they weren't the prettiest cupcakes.

1 Box Chocolate Cake Mix
2 Medium Ripe Bananas
1/2 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Butter or Margarine
3 Eggs

3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter
1 Medium Ripe Banana
Pinch salt
1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream



Preheat oven according to box directions.

In a medium bowl mash bananas.


In large bowl, beat cake mix, bananas, water, butter and eggs with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.



Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups.


Bake 18 to 24 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.


For the frosting.

Add sugar and butter to a bowl. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.


Add mashed banana and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.


Frost the cupcakes.