Saturday, May 21, 2011

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Don't you just love the all-in-one printers we have these days. Printer, fax machine, copier, and scanner capability in the same machine. It's genius. I remember when we first got our all-in-one printer, I LOVED it. The copier option was my favorite. No more running to the library or office supply store to make copies. It was great! I don't use the fax capability much at all, but the other three options I use all the time. So I would be just as content without the fax machine, which would make it a three-in-one printer instead of an all-in-one printer.  

I think of this Chicken Pot Pie dish as an all-in-one dish. It includes the meat, veggies, and the crust which could take the place of dinner rolls or bread. The only thing that is not included is the dessert, and depending on whether or not you usually eat dessert with your meals, it may be a three-in-one recipe just like my printer. This recipe is one that my mom used to make often while I was growing up. It is so easy and really delicious. Since it calls for frozen pie shells for the crust there is no mixing or rolling of dough, and canned or frozen vegetables make this dish a snap to prepare.

Chicken Pot Pie

3 to 4 chicken breasts or whole chicken, cooked and deboned
1 can Veg-all vegetables, drained
1 small box broccoli, cooked and drained
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
¾ cup milk
2 pie crusts (Pillsbury frozen in a box)

Put one pie crust in the bottom of a large pie pan. Mix together other ingredients and put into pie shell. Top with second pie crust and pinch closed. Bake at 350 for one hour to one hour and 10 minutes. Check after one hour and cook until browned.

It's that easy! Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Apricot-Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Some of you may have read my post several months ago about the $100,000 Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls. They are the bomb diggity of cinnamon rolls. They are worth every bit of time and energy it takes to make them, but I realize that not everyone has the time or desire to tackle that recipe. It is not a difficult recipe, but does require several steps. Now that I think about it, selling cinnamon rolls might be a great little business for me here in Italy. I could call it The Bomb Diggity Cinnamon Roll Co. What do you think? Ok, maybe not one of my best ideas:)

These Apricot-Pecan Cinnamon Rolls are also really good, and are much easier and quicker to make. The dough is frozen biscuits, so there is no mixing, kneading, or rising required. The apricots are a nice change from typical cinnamon rolls, and there are other variations you can try with this recipe. I really want to try the chocolate cherry version. It sounds scrumtrulescent!

Apricot-Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Prep: 10 min., Stand: 55 min., Bake: 40 min. To prepare individual rolls, prepare as directed; place one slice in each of 12 lightly greased 3-inch muffin cups. Bake at 375° for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly, and remove from pan.

Yield: Makes 1 dozen


• 1 (26.4-oz.) package frozen biscuits
• 1 (6-oz.) package dried apricots
• All-purpose flour
• 1/4 cup butter, softened
• 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
• 1 cup powdered sugar
• 3 tablespoons milk
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Arrange frozen biscuits, with sides touching, in 3 rows of 4 biscuits on a lightly floured surface. Let stand 30 to 45 minutes or until biscuits are thawed but still cool to the touch.

2. Pour boiling water to cover over dried apricots, and let stand 10 minutes; drain well. Chop apricots.

3. Sprinkle thawed biscuits lightly with flour. Press biscuit edges together, and pat to form a 10- x 12-inch rectangle of dough; spread evenly with softened butter. Stir together brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over butter. Sprinkle chopped apricots and pecans evenly over brown sugar mixture.

4. Roll up, starting at one long end; cut into 12 (about 1-inch-thick) slices. Place rolls into a lightly greased 10-inch cast-iron skillet, 10-inch round pan, or 9-inch square pan.

5. Bake at 375° for 35 to 40 minutes or until center rolls are golden brown and done; cool slightly.

6. Stir together 1 cup powdered sugar, 3 Tbsp. milk, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla; drizzle evenly over rolls.

Cinnamon-Raisin Rolls: Prepare Apricot-Pecan Cinnamon Rolls as directed, substituting 1 cup golden raisins for 1 (6-oz.) package dried apricots.

Peaches-and-Cream Cinnamon Rolls: Prepare Apricot-Pecan Cinnamon Rolls as directed, substituting 1/2 (8-oz.) package softened cream cheese for 1/4 cup butter and 1 (6-oz.) package dried peaches for 1 (6-oz.) package dried apricots.

Chocolate-Cherry-Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls: Prepare Apricot-Pecan Cinnamon Rolls as directed, substituting 1/2 (8-oz.) package softened cream cheese for 1/4 cup butter, 1 (6-oz.) package dried cherries for 1 (6-oz.) package dried apricots, and 1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels for 1/2 cup pecans.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Beans, beans good for your heart...

Beans, beans good for your heart, the more you eat them, the more you will love these awesome refried beans! I know, you thought I was gonna say fart, but I am too much of a southern belle to say such things:) Refried beans are not a glamour food, and you never hear anyone say they are craving them. People often crave ice cream, chocolate, or chips, but never refried beans. You would have to be a weirdy to admit that! Maybe you don't crave beans, but if you do have an affinity for them you will LOVE this refried beans recipe. They are a perfect complement to any Mexican dish.

Growing up we had tacos at least once a week, and one of my best friends used to laugh at how often we ate them. I can't blame my mother since she had five girls, and it was really hard to find foods that everyone liked. Our two favorite meals were tacos and spaghetti. Now my boys and husband love them as well, and although we don't continue the weekly ritual, we eat them very frequently. If you have Mexican night at your house, these beans would be a great addition. This recipe makes a ton, so it is great to take to a party, or you can freeze any leftovers for the next Mexican night. One tip, if you love these beans, and your family, you might start off with a dose of Beano before your first bite! Enjoy!

Refried Beans

1 lb. pinto beans
1 large onion
4 T. margarine ( I use butter)
8 ounces Monterey jack cheese, grated (with or without peppers)
1 ½ tsp. salt

1. Cover beans with water; add chopped onion and bring to a boil.

2. Boil 2 minutes

3. Take off heat, cover and let sit one hour.

4. Do not drain water, but again add enough water to cover beans, heat to boiling, turn down heat and cook until beans are tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 to 2 hours.

5. Add more water if needed during cooking. When beans are done (make sure there in not too much water in the beans), take off heat and mash with a mixer. Add margarine, salt, pepper, and cheese and continue to beat with a mixer until the beans are soft.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Crockpot Chicken

This recipe comes from a friend that I met in what seems like a lifetime ago when I had preschoolers. Some of you can relate to the endless tiresome days that are spent chasing a little one around and attempting to get other things done in the process. There were days if I didn't throw something in the crockpot in the morning, there wasn't enough time left at the end of the day to cook anything other than chicken strips and fries, which according to my boys is a perfectly good meal!

This Crockpot Chicken recipe is one of my go-to recipes. My family really enjoys it, and I often make it for new moms since it is so simple and delicious. I like to use bowtie pasta and serve with salad and garlic bread for a quick delicious meal.

Crockpot Chicken

6 or 7 boneless chicken breasts
1 can cream of mushroom soup
¼ cup butter
8 oz pkg. cream cheese
½ cup chicken broth
1 envelope Italian dressing mix
16 oz. pkg. noodles of your choice prepared according to directions

Cut raw chicken into small bite size pieces. Add all ingredients except chicken and pasta to Crockpot and stir. Add chicken, uncooked and stir.

Cook on low for 6 hours.

Serve on top of noodles.