.

.

Monday, February 25, 2013

In the Kitchen

If you've kept up with my blog over the years (or know me personally!), you'd know I'm not the best of cooks. I'm not a complete disaster, but I would rather spend my time outside of the kitchen. In truth, my husband cooks far more than I do. With that said, I do take the dinner reins when the urge strikes and I do try my best. Usually things turn out quite well and people seem to be pretty pleased with my efforts. :) Here's a few meals I've made recently that were mighty tasty! 


Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

This was super delicious and Sam said it was his new favorite casserole. I made it on Valentines Day and even the kids gobbled it up. Credit for this recipe is given to http://www.chef-in-training.com.

My changes to the recipe are as follows: I made ranch from the hidden valley ranch packet and used almost all the ranch made....much more than what the recipe called for. I used milk instead of heavy cream for my sauce and had to use Wondra to thicken it up. I added chopped onions to the recipe and cooked those in the bacon drippings. I then added the bacon drippings to my sauce. I used tons more cheese too and even added some on top. No one said this was a healthy meal!

Ingredients


  • 10-12 oz penne pasta
  • 2 cups cooked and chopped chicken
  • 3/4 cup cooked and crumbled bacon
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream (milk would be fine, too)
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/3 cup ranch dressing
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions


  1. Cook pasta according to its package's directions. Drain. I always add a little olive oil after I drain it and stir in around so the pasta noodles don't stick together or the pot.
  2. Toss in cooked and chopped chicken as well as cooked and crumbled bacon into the pasta.
  3. TO MAKE RANCH ALFREDO SAUCE: Melt butter in saucepan, add flour and stir to combine. Once you have your roux, add heavy cream (or milk) stir constantly until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in Garlic salt, onion powder and ranch dressing until well combined.
  4. Pour ranch alfredo over pasta, chicken and bacon. Stir to evenly combine.
  5. Add in shredded cheddar cheese and stir to combine.
  6. Pour into a casserole pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.



Whole Chicken in a Slow Cooker

I usually stay away from cooking meat. If it's not simple like browning hamburger or cooking a chicken breast on the stove, then the meat duty falls to my husband because I know I would fail miserably. However, during my mom's last visit, she did a whole chicken in a crock pot that turned out great and I felt that was something I could handle. I was right. I found a recipe I liked and got to work. The chicken was magnificent and moist. I beamed with pride over my meat accomplishment! It wont let me copy and paste the recipe over, so visit http://www.thelittlekitchen.net/2011/02/03/whole-chicken-in-a-slow-cooker/ to view the recipe. 

If I recall right, I followed the recipe exactly, making no changes.



Slow Cooked Macaroni and Cheese

I'm a fan of Mac and Cheese. I have one recipe given to me by my mom (given to her by her mom) that I make a few times a year.....usually for larger gatherings like the kiddo's birthday party. I like making it for a freezer meal as well. My mom and I made a few pans for the freezer right before Timothy was born. Anyway, I found a recipe for mac and cheese in the crock pot and thought I'd try it. It turned out great and the kids acted like they had died and gone to Heaven. I couldn't keep my fork out of it the whole time it was cooking. In fact, it turned out so yummy, I made it a second time for a Super Bowl party we went to. Credit for this recipe is given to http://momswithcrockpots.com/

I used different noodles and doubled the whole recipe. I added garlic powder and chopped onions. I'm pretty sure I added more cheese too....because I always do that.....to everything. Haha


Ingredients
  • 8 ounces medium shell macaroni
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese or a Cheddar blend
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Cook the macaroni following package directions. Drain in a colander and rinse with hot water. Drain well.
  2. Generously butter the sides and bottom of a 3½- to 4-quart slow cooker (I use about 2 tablespoons of butter).
  3. Combine the macaroni with the remaining ingredients in the slow cooker and blend well. Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 2½ to 3½ hours, stirring a few times.
  4. If desired, spoon the cooked macaroni and cheese mixture into a baking dish, sprinkle with a little more cheese, and put under the broiler for a minute or 2, just until cheese is melted.




Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups

I know I've already talked about this one, but these are SO DELICIOUS I thought I'd post it again just in case you missed it. I think I only posted the link last time, so I'll post the whole recipe this time. I've made this tasty dessert twice (the first time being a double batch for Sammy to bring to work for Valentines Day) and it's a hit with everyone who's been so lucky to have had one! Credit for this recipe is given to http://www.blueeyedbakers.com

Other than doubling the recipe that first time and being super careful with melting my chocolate, I followed the recipe exactly.

Ingredients

*1/4 cup butter
*3/4 cup peanut butter
*3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
*1/4 cup sugar
*1 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips
*1/4 cup milk
*Sea salt


Instructions

1. Line a  muffin tin with papers (you could also use a mini muffin tin if you prefer).
2. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter & peanut butter together for 45 seconds.  Stir until smooth.  
3. Add graham cracker crumbs and sugar and mix to combine.  
4.Distribute mixture evenly between the prepared muffin cups and refrigerate for 15 minutes to set peanut butter layer.
5. After the peanut butter has chilled, combine chocolate and milk in a microwave safe bowl and heat in 25 second intervals until chocolate is just melted.  Stir until smooth. 
6. Distribute chocolate evenly over the top of the peanut butter layer. 
7. Sprinkle with sea salt and chill until firm, at least 30 minutes.  Store covered in the fridge.




With love,
Mama Hauck

3 comments:

  1. Hi there! I was reading about one of your pregnancies on another blog and followed the link that led me here! I was curious to know, since you got pregnant immediately after an IUD removal, if you were on your period during removal? I recently had my IUD paraguard removed, while not on my period, and got pregnant days later. I have read about a lot of woman having miscarriages after getting pregnant immediately following removal without allowing yourself to go through at least one complete menstrual cycle first. I am just worried sick!

    ReplyDelete
  2. What blog was it that led you here? I'm glad you stopped by! Thanks!

    No I was not. I have heard/read that it is best to allow one cycle before trying to become pregnant as well. Please don't worry or stress though! That is not good for Mama nor baby! Stay positive and just be as healthy as possible and believe all will be well!

    I got pregnant 8 days after having my IUD removed without having a cycle and although my pregnancy was not without complications, I do not believe my complications had anything to do with not having a cycle before getting pregnant.

    Deep breaths, Mama! Congratulations on your pregnancy. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I made slow cooker mac and cheese too, sounds like the same recipe! It didn't make enough though even though it said 8 servings!!

    ReplyDelete

Please share your thoughts with me!