I love to cook. I love to look up new recipes to change things up. Ben is easy to please in the kitchen and is fine with trying new things so he’s an easy guinea pig. He will also be sweetly honest with me about whether or not he’d like to have something again, most of the time. So since I love cooking and finding good recipes, I’d thought I’d dedicate a post to my favorite recipes I’ve personally tried.
- Chicken Alfredo.
So I got this recipe several years ago form Lori Fox. I tweak it some with the cheeses every time I make it.
- 1 pound of chicken cut into bite size pieces
- ½ onion, finely diced
- 16 ounces of pasta ( I like the little bow ties but you can use whatever you prefer)
- 8 ounces half-n-half
- 16 ounces heaving whipping cream
- 1 cup shredded cheese (I like to use either Colby-jack or a triple cheddar but whatever you prefer will work just fine)
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
A note on the cheeses: this recipe can be done with different amounts of the different cheeses, I taste as I’m adding the cheese to determine the exact amount of cheese needed for each batch of sauce.
- Cook pasta according to directions on the box
- While the pasta is cooking, cook chicken on the stove top until no longer pink in the center.
- While chicken and pasta are cooking, cook the onion in butter or olive oil. Once the onion is tender, pour the half-n-half, and heaving whipping cream into a large pot. Stir while the mixture warms up. After the mixture is warm, add a handful of the cheese at a time, stirring and allowing cheese to melt before adding another handful.
- Add half of the Parmesan cheese. Stir until melted in.
- Taste the sauce to determine if more cheese is desired, if so add at this time. Mix in the rest of the Parmesan cheese. Taste and add the rest of the shredded cheese if desired.
- Drain pasta and put back in the large pot it was cooked in. Add chicken and slowly add sauce, stirring to desired thickness. Any leftover sauce can be re-used or frozen to save for a later date.
- Serve hot!
- Taco Soup
Oh man do I love me some Taco Soup! There are recipes all over the place for this dish but the one I like the best is one my mom got from somewhere (or I think someone) and gave to me. She cooks it on the stove, so that is an option, but I cook it in the crockpot as I LOVE the convenience of crockpot cooking.
- 1 pound ground hamburger meat
- 1 taco seasoning packet (I’ve used several brands, but I like the taco bell ones that can be found in the Hispanic food section the best)
- ½ yellow onion
- 1 can whole kernel sweet yellow corn, drained
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1 can kidney beans, drained
- 1 can pinto beans, drained
- 1 can tomatoes with diced green chilies ( I don’t drain this)
- 2 cans Rotel (I usually use one original and one mild, just depends on how hot you want your soup. I don’t drain these either)
- 1 ranch dressing packet
- Cook ground beef until no longer pink and juices run clear.
- Drain beef and pan of grease, put back in pan and cook with taco seasoning according to directions on the packet.
- Dice onion and cook in olive oil.
- While the onion and beef are cooking, combine corn, beans, tomatoes, Rotel, and ranch packet in the crockpot. Add beef and onion. Stir well.
- Cook on high for 6 hours.
- Serve with sour cream, cheese, and chips.
- Chocolate Chip Cake
This cake is my go to dessert recipe. It’s super easy to make and super yummy. It’s my mom’s recipe that she has made for years and I’ve stolen it. She doesn’t mind though. :)
- Yellow cake mix
- Water and oil called for on the cake box
- 4 eggs
- 8 ounces instant chocolate pudding
- Small bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Mix eggs, water, oil, and cake mix according to package directions (adding the extra egg).
- Add the package of chocolate pudding. Beat well.
- Add the package of chocolate chips, stir, then beat well.
- Spray a bundt pan with Baker’s Joy and pour batter into pan. (My mom and I have found that Baker’s Joy works with keeping the cake from sticking better than PAM, which is funny since my mom’s name is Pam)
- Cook according to directions on the cake mix box, adding about 10 minutes to the time. Cake is done when fork comes out clean (clean of batter, some chocolate from the chips will probably be on the fork).
- Let cool and put on a plate or cake stand.
Note: I personally think the cake is even better the next day or 2 days later. Ben likes it hot fresh out of the oven with some ice cream but if given the option, I will eat it a day or two later.
- Jalapeño Popper Chicken
I got this recipe from Elly Says Opa!, a blog with lots of recipes that look great though I think this is the only one I’ve tried so far.
Ben loves it when I decide to make this fantastic chicken.
A tip for the jalapeños: Sometimes when dealing with jalapeños, I have gotten the juice on my hands and burn if I touch my face or arm. I have personally found that washing my hands with toothpaste (yes I know it sounds weird, but it works) takes the spice off and I don’t have to worry about rubbing it off onto other things.
Here’s the link for the version of this recipe I have found I like the best: http://ellysaysopa.com/2012/07/24/jalapeno-popper-chicken/
- Crockpot Enchiladas
I am a huge Mexican food fan and this recipe hits the spot. Add some chips and queso for a great dinner! This is pretty easy and doesn’t take a whole ton of time. Not to mention, the results are fantastic! I made these when we had our Sunday school class over for dinner and they were a hit! I found the recipe on Allrecipes.com so here’s the link for this great recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/slow-cooker-enchiladas/
So…the Velveeta and Rotel combination for queso is no secret seeing as how it’s on commercials and on the packaging for both products and its great. However, Katie (through her sister, Chelsea) introduced me to an addition to this recipe that makes it even better. Add a can of Hormel Chili with no beans and oh man! Something great just got even better! Next time you want queso, whip up some of this; you won’t regret it! Anytime we make it when we have groups over, it goes quite quickly.
- Ben’s broccoli and cheese casserole
I can’t take credit for this one. I’ve never even made it; I always leave it up to Ben. This is his concoction for an amazing broccoli and cheese casserole. When he made it for Thanksgiving this year, I made him measure everything as he was making it so we could actually have a recipe for it.
- 2 cups rice
- 1 14 ounce bag of broccoli florets
- 2 cans broccoli and cheese soup
- 4 cups cheddar cheese
- 1/3 of the family size bag of Cheez-its
- 1 ½ sticks of butter
- Cook rice, broccoli, and soup according to the directions on each individual container.
- Mix cooked rice, broccoli, and soup well with cheese in a large bowl.
- Place mixture in a 1 quart casserole dish (or bigger, it won’t fit in anything smaller).
- Melt the butter.
- Place cheez-its in a plastic bag and beat until they are all crumbs
- Mix butter and cheez-its.
- Put the cheez it mixture on top of the broccoli, rice, soup, and cheese mixture
- Cook covered on 350° for 30ish minutes.
- Uncover the dish and continue to cook for another 15 minutes, or until heated through.
Note: Pay attention after you uncover the dish to make sure the cheez-its on top do not burn. If needed, re-cover while dish continues to cook.
- S’mores Pie
This pie is a sugar rush waiting to happen, but it was a much welcomed sugar rush for Ben and I since this dessert is soooooo good. I found this on a cooking blog so here is the link for the recipe: http://wishesndishes.com/smores-pie/
The recipe calls for the dish to cool COMPLETELY before serving so I made it the night before and we heated it up in the microwave and it was fantastic served this way!
If you have any great tried and true recipes, I’d love to try them!