Thursday, January 28, 2010

Crunchy Cheerios Chicken Biscuits

I guess I can't ever get bored of making due with what food I have on hand in the house. Can you tell by this recipe? Traditionally, people have used corn flakes or even Capn' Crunch as chicken coating. Well, we had none of those, so I used Honey Nut Cheerios. It was totally tasty! I whipped out my trusty hammer and Ziploc bag, then smashed those little bits of honey nut goodness into smithereens!!! If they ever make a reality show where you use tools instead of kitchen appliances, I could totally be the star. Plus, since I didn't use a food processor, I have less clean up. Less clean up and a quick meal. I like it!

Crunchy Cheerios Chicken Biscuits
1 package of Bisquick Complete Biscuits(ready in 15 minutes- I used the honey flavor)
2 6-8 oz thin chicken cutlets
1/4 cup of flour
1/2 cup of smashed Honey Nut Cheerios
1/4 TSP ground mustard(optional)
2 TBSP of olive oil

Prepare biscuits according to directions.Toss the chicken in flour to coat. Place Cheerios in a sealed Ziploc and crush with a hammer or meat tenderizer(on its side) or pulse Cheerios in a food processor until finely ground. Add ground mustard to mix, then chicken cutlets. Shake,shake, shake until fully coated. Heat olive oil in medium pan. Add chicken and cook for about 10-12 minutes, turning every 2-3 minutes. Cut into small tenders so they fit on the biscuits and serve.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fettuccine Alfredo

I will spare you the "I hate cheese" speech that usually accompanies my posts about meals with cheese. What I can say about this dish, in particular, is that it really did smell good enough to eat. Alas, I was not brave enough to try it. But everyone else chowed down and loved it. The sauce is really quick to make and simple; my short cut for the pasta was to use the ready made Buitoni Fettuccine. The pasta took 2-3 minutes to cook after the water finished boiling. The sauce took about ten minutes with tons of stirring. So Alfredo lovers, you are certainly in for a treat with this recipe.
Alfredo Sauce from All
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup of butter
1 1/2 cups of grated Parmesan cheese 
1/4 cup of parsley 
1 package of ready made Fettuccine(such as Buitoni)

Melt the butter. Add the cream, garlic and cheese and stir continuously.  Boil water and add pasta. When pasta is done, drain and separate with fork. Add sauce and serve. Top with parsley for garnish.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore

Let's face it. Crock pot cooking is the simplest way to get a great, home-cooked meal without much effort. Sometimes we don't have time in the morning to toss everything in the pot, so what can we do? You can still use the crock pot, just take some short cuts. This Monday was an example of how my day became so crazy, I totally forgot to set up the crock pot in the morning to get our meal going. Fortunately, this particular recipe from was able to be made on low or high. I also found this recipe in a search for my friend Jen R., who loves cacciatore but wanted to avoid making it with a whole chicken. So here's the secret to my short cut: Perdue Perfect Portions. They sell them in the meat/poultry aisle, by the chicken cutlets and come individually sealed and marinated (I used the white wine garlic).  The cutlets are pretty thin, so cooking time is faster. The dish was done with in two hours, cooked alternately on high and low.

Crock Pot Cacciatore from
3-4 lbs. boneless/skinless thighs and breasts ( I used about 4 portions of White Wine Garlic Perdue Perfect Portions)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 large red or green bell peppers, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon each basil and oregano
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 (8 oz.) can stewed tomatoes with chiles
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups burgundy wine( I used about 1 cup of Merlot and the wine did not clash with the 'white wine' taste of the cutlets)
Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling before serving

Place sliced onions on bottom of crock pot. Add chicken.
Stir together remaining ingredients and pour over chicken.
Cook on low 7-9 hours or high 3-4 hours.(I alternated between high and low for 2 hours, checking the consistency/doneness of the chicken) Serve over pasta, with a salad on the side.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Quick Bites: Salsa Chicken and Mexican Rice

I have decided to dedicate my upcoming posts to the busy individual.  Anyone with a busy schedule should be able to appreciate these short cut meals.  Here's one to satisfy your craving for Mexican food without getting takeout and it only takes 20 minutes to make. The recipe is a combination of ready made items (salsa, quick rice) and items that require preparation(grilled chicken). Regarding the grilled chicken, you can purchase the chicken already grilled and portioned at the grocery story.  This will also help cut the time involved in making the entire dish.  You can also add a side of beans, green salad or tortilla chips to complete the meal.

Chicken Salsa with Mexican Rice (Serves 2 - multiply as needed)

2 8-10 oz skinless,boneless chicken cutlets
1/2 cup of salsa ( I used Jack's Special Medium Salsa)
1 bag of El Paso microwaveable Mexican Rice ( done in 60 seconds and comparable to restaurant style)

Thin out chicken breasts with a tenderizing mallet. Cook in heated grill pan, turning every 2-3 minutes. Cook instant rice in microwave; remove and vent to cool. Heat salsa in microwave for about 45 seconds or warm in small sauce pan. When chicken is done, top each breast evenly with salsa. Place on top of rice and enjoy!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Roma Tomatoes

Welcome to 2010! After a few week absence, I am back and ready to roll. Tops on my resolution list? Finding new and healthy recipes to make.  This particular recipe was something I threw together on one of those evenings when I had to make due with whatever I had in the house. Once in awhile, I stock up on packet marinades at the supermarket since I find they are a great fix to break up meal boredom. In my shopping travels, I came across a pesto sauce packet and decided to add it to my meal repertoire. I also had some left over Roma tomatoes in the fridge, defrosted chicken, and pasta, on hand. This all gelled together to make one of the best and healthiest meals we have had in awhile. It's particularly easy to make for someone who is always on the run and makes awesome leftovers -cold! Happy New Year and Good Eating to all!!!

Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Roma Tomatoes(Serves 2 adults and two tiny kids)
1 packet of pesto sauce (I used Lawry's or McCormick)
2 8-10 oz boneless chicken cutlets
2-3 Roma tomatoes, roughly cut
3 TBSP Olive Oil
1/2 box(8oz) of Penne pasta
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare pesto and pasta as directed on package and combine. Add oil to medium pan and heat. Once heated, add tomatoes. Cook until soft. Add cutlets to pan and cook until done. Slice cutlets into strips. Combine pasta, chicken and tomatoes and toss. Add salt and pepper to taste.