Wednesday, October 29, 2014

White Chicken Chili

One of the highlights of this past summer for me was loading the kids into the car and heading on a not-quite-two-hour road trip to see one of my best friends.  The hours between us and life, in general, keep us from seeing each other more than once or twice a year these days.  But during that visit, she presented me with this amazing recipe and made me promise to try it.  The very next weekend, I did, despite the summer heat.  I have made it three times since and it is a huge hit with my family.  And every time I make it, I get to enjoy some good memories, too.

  • 1 rotisserie chicken, de-boned and diced
  • 3 medium onions, diced (I used a large and medium)
  • 3 tsp garlic, minced
  • 3-4 cans great northern beans
  • 2 (32 oz) chicken stock (by order of the recipe author, this must be stock and not broth)
  • 1 (4 oz) can green chilis
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup whipping cream
  1. Saute garlic and onion in oil.
  2. Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT for whipping cream.  Simmer 30-45 minutes
  3. Add whipping cream (and some corn starch if you would like a thicker broth).  Simmer 5-10 minutes.
  4. Garnish with shredded cheddar and sour cream, as desired.

Difficulty: easy
Time: 15 minutes prep, 35-55 minutes simmer
Source: one of my besties, Jen

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Liesa's Throw and Go

My communications with my Aunt Liesa usually go something like this, "What time can we come to the pool?", "What is the temperature?", "What foods should I bring?" Recently, I got a text and photo that looked very similar to the one below. The message was something like, "I made this; it was easy; you should share on the blog."

I didn't have all the ingredients my aunt recommended.  No potatoes, but sweet potatoes.  No Italian dressing mix, but savory herb and garlic.  I figured it was worth a try.  One of the easiest and best meals I have ever made. EVER.

I couldn't keep my mouth shut about it, so lots of my coworkers have tried it with various soup mixes and dressing packets-ranch and Italian were favorites.


  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4-5 sweet potatoes, quartered (or red potatoes)
  • 2 cans of green beans, drained
  • 1 package of Lipton Recipe Secrets Savory Herb and Garlic soup mix
  • 1/4 of a stick of butter, melted 
  • Optional-chicken broth (a few times I've not thawed my chicken enough so I threw in the broth midway through cooking to keep from drying out the beans and spuds)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Use a 9 x 11 baking dish; spray lightly with olive oil.
  3.  Add beans, chicken, and sweet potatoes into thirds of the dish.
  4. Top with soup mix or dressing mix of your choice and melted butter.
  5. Cover with aluminum foil. Cook for 45-55  minutes.  Uncover and cook for 5 more minutes.

Second time-going with red potatoes

TIME: 5-10 minutes prep, 30-40 minutes baking time
SOURCE: My aunt

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tomato and Gorgonzola Pasta Salad

I seriously cannot express how much I love this pasta salad.  The flavors of the arugula, Gorgonzola, and homemade Lemon Shallot Vinaigrette are amazing together.  This uses an entire box of pasta, so you can definitely serve a crowd if using this as a side dish; it would be perfect to take as a contribution to a picnic or another get-together.  (Use whole wheat pasta for an added healthy twist.)  I have also taken the leftovers as a stand-alone lunch.

  • 1 16 oz package penne or rigatoni pasta
  • 1/2 cup Lemon Shallot Vinaigrette (click here for the easy recipe)
  • 1 1/4 lb beefsteak tomatoes (I used what I had available), seeded and chopped
  • 4 oz. Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 (4 oz.) package arugula 
  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.  (If you haven't made the vinaigrette, there is enough time to do so while the pasta is cooking.)  Toss together hot pasta and vinaigrette in a large bowl.  Cool.*  
  2. Stir tomatoes and cheese into pasta mixture.  Just before serving, stir in arugula; stir in salt and pepper to taste.
*The recommended cooling time from the original recipe is 30 minutes; I don't always wait so long.  The difference is that the cheese may melt a bit when you add it.

Difficulty: very easy
Time:  about 30 minutes
Source:   Southern Living magazine, July 2014