Thursday, January 26, 2017

French Onion Chicken Casserole

Casseroles are going strong in my house and I wanted to share a new favorite inspired by one of my favorite soups.  I saw this recipe and decided that I needed to make my own version of the recipe for my family. This recipe is really easy and soooo delicious. I have been liking to use ground chicken in my casseroles, but if you prefer pieces of chicken that will work, but I recommend cooking it first.
I use it because I prefer the texture to large pieces in my casserole. Also, make sure to leave time to cook the onions, or cook them prior leaving even faster prep. The casserole is creamy, rich, cheesy, and topped with delicious flaky biscuits. This was a big winner in my house.

THis morning I am a little slow moving and tired! My sister and I participated in the Point in Time (PIT) street count last night from midnight until 2 am.   The  is required by Housing and Urban DEvelpoment (HUD) and it is a count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on a single night in January. There is also another count done in summer. Our group did see anyone is our assigned area last night, but normally counts are higher in summer. Needless to say I am a little sleepy after going to bed at 3 am and getting up at 5 am....coffee for me this morning!

Tonight we are relaxing at home after 2 barre classes and PIT I need an early bed time!

Have a great day everyone!


Ingredients

2 large onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbl olive oil
1 lb ground chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of onion soup
1/3 cup soup cream
1 can french cut green beans, drained
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 beef bouillon cubes, crushed
1 1/2 cups grated swiss cheese
8 flaky refrigerator biscuits, cut into quarters


Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.

In a medium saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and add onions. Slowly cook till they become a caramel brown color. This will take about 15-20 minutes.

While onions are cooking, cook the ground chicken breaking is apart with a spoon. In a medium bowl, mix together soups, sour cream, green beans, black pepper, and crushed bouillon cubes.

Add caramelized onions to soup mixture and stir. Add the ground chicken and stir.  Layer into the baking dish and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Remove from over and top with cheese. Next, evenly layer the quartered biscuits on the casserole. Return the casserole to the over and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until biscuits are cooked and begin to brown.

Remove from oven and serve.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Weekly Meal Plan 1/23 - 1/29

The weekend needs to be longer folks. 

This weekend was a lot of fun, inspirational, and ended with a disappointing Packer loss. 

Friday we relaxed at home and got take-out. Saturday I took a Pure Barre class, headed to Costco to use my new membership (finally), and headed to my friend Kayla's for children and adult play-dates. We made tacos and chatted while the kids ran around and played.  Prior to the play-date, Kellen and I spent a large part of the morning watching coverage of the Women's March from all over the world. I was not able to join the March, but my Mom went and we are so proud of her. Kellen had many questions and I was happy that he was so engaged with what he was watching. I am so happy to see so many women come together. Issues like equal pay, reproductive rights, education access, and family leave are big issues for me. I have been a member of AAUW since I graduated from college. I believe is activism and staying informed. I have already written to my 3 federal representatives on the imortance of the March and about the confirmation hearings- specifically the Secretary of Education and EPA.  Click here to find your representatives!

Om Sunday I did another Pure Barre class and then headed to the store for some grocery shopping before going to my parents house for the game. The game was horrible from start to finish, but overall the Packers had a great season and we are already looking forward to next season. I have to say that I am pretty sick of seeing the Patriots in the Superbowl......again. 

This week is pretty low key. I am doing a few Pure Barre classes and participating in a State-wide Point count to bring supplies to our homeless county residents who are not in a shelter. This weekend we actually have no plans! I am planning to see Hidden Figures on of the nights and get a bunch of laundry done! Have a great week everyone!

Monday: French Onion Chicken Casserole and Peas
Tuesday:  Chicken Tamale Casserole, Rice and Green Beans
Wednesday: Subs
Thursday: Chili
Friday: Out
Saturday: Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Tacos and Rice
Sunday:  Beef Stew Meatballs and Rolls

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Smoked Turkey Sausage, White Bean and Pesto Soup #SoupSwappers

The weekend is here along with a new group I am posting with: Soup Saturday Swappers. The group selects a theme and posts our recipe on the assigned date. I love soup so this was immediately something I wanted to try out! The theme for this month is: Healthy Soups. A perfect theme for the new year when everyone is being a little more health conscious. 

I was originally thinking of doing a light version of a cream based soup, but I opted for something a little different. We love pesto and I know it would be perfect along side a hearty white bean soup with a little turkey sausage and a sprinkle of feta cheese.  I know that sausage is not traditionally healthy, but I used a turkey variety to lighten things up. I also opted for a sprinkle of feta, but you could easily leave this off if you wanted to reduce calories a touch more. 

My family loved this and it was the perfect meal on one of our particularly ice cold nights. 

I love that this soup eats like a meal. Sometimes I struggle with the light veggie based soups because I find myself hungry shortly after eating them! That certainly is not a problem with this soup- crammed full of beans and turkey sausage in a flavorful pesto broth. 

This weekend Ron is off to play cards and the boys and I are having a get together with my friend Kayla and a taco bar! We are also really looking forward to the Packer game on Sunday! Green Bay started rallies and other types of events yesterday- Go Pack Go! 

Stick around for next month when we make get inspired by international recipes!


Ingredients

1 lb Smoke Turkey Sausage, halved and sliced
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 (15.8 oz) cans Great Northern Beans, rinsed
1/3 cup basil pesto 
4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
Crumbles Feta Cheese, optional


Instructions

In a medium soup pot, cook sausage and onion with olive oil over medium heat till onion becomes tender. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add beans, pesto, and chicken broth. Bring to a low simmer and cook for about 15 minutes. Serve in bowls with a bit of feta on top if desired. 

Serves 4. 



Friday, January 20, 2017

One-Pot Cheesy Taco Barley Skillet #CIC

I have no participated in the Crazy Ingredient Challenge in what feels like forever! I missed it!

Theme of barley and salsa has my gears turning and I was excited to put together a dish to share.  Each month blogger participants vote to select two ingredients. Sometimes the selections are pretty tame and sometimes things get a bit crazy. Click the link to view past challenges!

This recipe is one of my favorites for a weeknight: one-pot. We love tacos in our house and I opted to make one of our favorites into a tasty one-pot using barley over a pasta or rice. I also used lean ground beef and black beans to create a perfect weeknight meal. Ron, Kellen, and I all loved this meal and it was so tasty for lunch leftovers the following day. We opted to top ours with a little sour cream (not pictured), sliced olives, and chopped tomatoes. 

Last night I co-hosted a fundraiser for my friend Amanda and it was so much fun. She raised some money and we all got to meet new people! Tonight we are home relaxing and unwinding from the week and gearing up for a Packer win on Sunday!

Happy Friday folks- check out the blog hop below for more salsa and barley creations!


Ingredients

1 1/4 lb lean ground beef
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 packet Taco seasoning
1 can black beans, rinseed 
1 small can diced green chilies
1 1/2 cups medium salsa (I used a thicker store bought variety) 
2 1/2 cups beef broth 
3/4 cup uncooked medium barley 
Salt, to taste
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Black olives
Chopped tomatoes


Instructions

Brown beef and onion until the beef is no longer pink. Add the taco seasoning and stir to coat. Add beans, chilies, salsa, broth, and barley. Simmer 30-40 min or until barley is tender; stirring every so often to prevent burning. Keep a little extra broth or water on hand in case you need to add extra. Season with salt if desired.

Top with cheese and allow it to melt. Top with desired taco toppings (example: sour cream, olives, and tomatoes).





Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Slowcooker Cheesy Potato and Smoked Sausage Soup #FantasticalFoodFight

Welcome to a new challenge I am participating in starting this month- Fantastical Food Fight!

Since the Secret Recipe Club ended I have been looking for a new challenge now that I am back in the kitchen more. This challenge is similar to the Crazy Cooking Challenge hosted by Tina of Crazy Cooking Mom back in 2012.  This challenge is hosted and organized by Sarah of Fantastical Sharing of Recipes  and I am excited to be part of it. I missed the opening month of December with a shortbread theme, but was excited by this month's theme: Slow Cooker Soups. 

You all know I love a good slow cooker meal and was excited to put a family friendly recipe together. I have been craving a good potato soup for awhile now and this was the perfect opportunity. This recipe is really easy and my family loved it. I kept is simple with prep and cooking. I opted to thicken mine slightly at the end, but you could skip this or make it thicker if you like a more chowder like soup. I put some notes in the instruction section if you are wanting to adjust a bit. 

This soup was perfect for the icy weather we have had this week and heats up perfectly for lunches the following day. I found the 6 hours was a good cooking time for this soup. I think you could go to 8, but I would worry you might have a little scalding of the soup. 

Today I am back at work after an impromptu  ice day with Rowan after his daycare was flooding-yikes! It's that lovely January weather.....

Enjoy the other slow cooker soups in the blog hop below- I can't wait to try some of these!


Ingredients

32 oz frozen cubes potatoes
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 smoked sausage,  halved and sliced (I use smoked turkey sausage)
1 cup milk
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup water
3 Tbl flour
Salt and pepper, to taste


Instructions

In a slow cooker, mix together potatoes, soup, onion, and cheese. Add the sausage and stir in the milk and broth.

Cooke 6 hours on low.  Whisk together water and flour till smooth and pour into the soup. Cover and cook an additional 20 minutes to allow the soup to thicken slightly. 

Note: You may add additional flour and water to make a larger amount of the slurry if you prefer a thick soup. This amount will be slightly thick, but still closer to a soup consistency than a chowder. 

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Weekly Meal Plan 1/16 - 1/22

Better late than never this week!

We had a really fun weekend which included my work holiday party, barre class, my niece's birthday party, and the Packer game!  My work party was nice and casual this year, and we went bowling. I am a horrible bowler and got 60 the first game followed by 90 the second.....sigh...

My niece's birthday was at Chucky Cheese and it was Kellen's first time there. He loved it, but it is not a place I will rush back to! It is so busy and way too many kids not being supervised.  I find Kellen's age the be a little challenging at places like this because he wants to be independent but can feel intimidated by the bigger kids. 

The Packer game was stressful with an awesome end! We are so excited to watch them play on Sunday!

This week I am doing a few barre classes and helping host a fundraiser for my friend Amanda. She is a State Representative and has been one of my best friends for years. My Mom is having a party at her house to give support, make some money, and meet new people. 

This week I am also really hoping to see the movie Hidden Figures. I have heard it is great and am excited to see it. I feel guilty not knowing more about this story and have been really a bit about the women and the program, and it is so interesting. 

We are having an ice storm in Green Bay and most of the schools are closed. Kellen goes to a Montessori school and it is open for the day- hope we make it in safe!

Have a great week!


Monday:  One-Pot Cheesy Taco Barley Skillet and Salad
Tuesday: Skillet Rice and Beans with Kielbasa and Peas
Wednesday: Subs
Thursday: Pizza for Boys- I will be at a fundraiser
Friday: French Onion Chicken Casserole
Saturday: Taco Night: Dinner with Friends
Sunday:  Packer Party! BBQ Pork Pulled Pork, Potato Salad, Deviled Eggs, Lil Smokies, Coleslaw, and Cupcakes

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Southwest Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

So school is closed today for Kellen and it reminds me of when I was a kids we would wish and wish for a snow (in this case ice) day, but as a adult it means the morning scramble unless you can stay home for the day as well. The joys of being a parent who works out of the home....

Today I am sharing a perfect cold weather meal, Southwest Chicken Spaghetti. This meal is really easy and my little guy loved it. The recipe is weeknight easy and can be made n advance only leaving you to top with the onion topping and get in the oven. I adjusted the amounts of some of the ingredients from the original and used ground chicken of pieces of chicken. Sometimes I do not like how chicken reheats and like the ground chicken in some casseroles. The crunchy onions are the cherry on top and I usually have to fight Ron and Kellen off before they eat them all off the top of the casserole- sneaky boys!

Did you watch Obama's address last night? It was really moving and makes me miss him already. He and his family are intelligent and classy.  It brought tears to my eyes because it reminded me what an honor it was to work for the House of Representatives during the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Thank you, Mr. President. 

Tonight I am hoping to get to Pure Barre as long as the ice stays away! Happy hump day folks!


Ingredients

1 lb thin spaghetti, uncooked
1 lb ground chicken 
2 (10.75-oz) can Cream of Chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 (10oz) can Rotel Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 (2.8oz) container French fried onions 


Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

While pasta cooks, cook the ground chicken until completely cooked and no longer pink.

Mix together chicken, soup, sour cream, onion powder, garlic powder, Rotel tomatoes (undrained), 1/2 cup cheese. Add cooked pasta. Spread into prepared baking dish.

Top pasta with remaining cheese and French fried onions.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until bubbly.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Weekly Meal Plan 1/9 - 1/15

Sunday night already?? The weekend goes too fast.....way to fast. 

I was off work on Friday to get ready for our family holiday celebration and to help my mom get redy for my cousins to come to town from Chicago. My cousin and his wife welcomes twins a few days after I had Rowan and it was their first meeting this weekend! 

Our celebration was so much fun. We did a casual taco bar and I made homemade margaritas. It was low maintenance and perfect because we were all so busy with all the kids!  The kids had a lot of fun and it is funny watching them adapt to playing together each year as they get older. I look forward to our family gathering every year, and can't wait to see everyone again. 

Tonight we are celebrating the Packer win and move to the next round of the play-offs! Next week they play in Dallas and we will wear our green and gold with pride! Go Pack Go!

This week is pretty mellow and we will have a final holiday celebration on Friday with my work holiday party! We are also celebrating a few birthday of cousins and hoping to get together for a pay date as well.....and of course I will be doing Pure Barre. We are setting goals in barre class for 2017 and my goals are 4 times per week, and doing the seat series with no breaks- so far so good.

Have a great week everyone! 

Monday:  Pesto, White Bean and Smoked Turkey Sausage Soup
Tuesday: Bacon Pieorogie Casserole and Peas
Wednesday: Out
Thursday: Chicken Tamale Casserole
Friday: Work Holiday Party
Saturday: Out
Sunday: Slow Cooker Smoked Sausage, Potato, and Leek Soup

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

Another year and another awesome slow cooker recipe. 

I have many times professed my love for slow cookers and crockpots. They routinely save my family from weeknight take out and we get to come home to a hot and ready meal. In the past I have heard the complaint of slow cookers drying out food and I think it is important to note that not all slow cooker recipes can sit and cook for 10 hours. I have a few great roast recipes that can take that amount of time, but I find many need 6-8 hours on low to be perfect. This recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Curry cooks perfectly in about 6 hours and makes a wonderful weeknight meal. When I saw the recipe it was a must try for me: easy to put together and easy to get on the table.  This recipe calls for cream cheese at the end to create a creamy curry and I followed their recommendation, but am intrigued on the idea of using a can of coconut milk next time! Yum! I opted to use a spicy salsa, but the nice thing about this recipe is you have a lot of control over the heat level depending on who is sharing the meal with you. 

Last night, we relaxed at home and are getting back into the swing of the work week. The boys had warm baths and settled into bed a little early tonight after a night with a fussy little Rowan last night! I think the poor buddy is teething pretty hard, but it certainly makes his mother appreciate her morning coffee and shower to wake up when the alarm buzzes at 5 am.....

Tonight I am headed to barre and we will have subs for dinner afterwards- gotta love easy nights!

Happy Wednesday everyone!


Ingredients

4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups thick and chunky salsa (spice level of choice)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 1/2 Tbl  yellow curry powder
1/2 cup cream cheese
Salt, to taste


Instructions

Place chicken in a slow cooker. 

Mix together salsa, onion, and curry powder. Pour over chicken and stir to coat. 

Cook on LOW 6-7 hours.
During final 15 minutes,  remove chicken and stir in cream cheese till smooth. Season with salt. Shred chicken into small to medium pieces.  Place chicken back in the slow cooker and stir. Cook for an additional for 15 minutes before serving.

Serve with rice.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Weekly Meal Plan 1/2/16 - 1/8

Happy New Year! 

I hpe everyone had an amazing New Year's Eve and are off to  a great start in 2017. 

We headed to a friend's house with kids in tow for a family celebration. The kids got to see the ball drop and even ended the night with a glass of kid friendly "bubbly".  We had tons of appetizers and homemade pizza....plus a few Moscow Mules and champagne.  We played a few games with the kids- Pie Face and Yeti in the Spaghetti before they ran to plan, and we played a few games with the adults. It was so much fun and a perfect way to ring in 2017. Rowan passed out on the sofa..so cute:

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New Year's Day was spent relaxing and movie watching. Kellen and I went to see Moana and really liked it!  We also watched the Packers beat the Lions in the evening. My parents came over to watch and we snacked on a few appetizers as we watched the game. The win means a play-off game in Green Bay next weekend!

I was off work yesterday and we took down the Christmas stuff for the season- always sad to see it go, but my house always looks less cluttered. I also went to a barre with my sister and had my first 2017 class in the books!

This week I am doing a board and brush class with my friend Kayla and am excited to try something new! This weekend my family is coming to town for a belated holiday celebration. There are 3 new babies  this year because Rowan and my cousin's twins were both born in April. It is going to be fun watching all the little people run around!

Hope everyone has had a great start to 2017!


Monday:  Chicken Curry and Rice
Tuesday: Penne Meatball Pasa Bake and Galic Knots
Wednesday: Out
Thursday: Pesto, White Bean and Smoked Turkey Sausage Soup
Friday: Out
Saturday: Family Holiday Celebration
Sunday: Slow Cooker Smoked Sausage, Potato, and Leek Soup