Saturday, November 7, 2015

Easy Cheesy Chili Mac Tutorial

Louisiana is being weird right now. Even though we are almost halfway through November, it's still running about 70 degrees and higher outside. 

I'm beyond ready for cooler temperatures because my favorite things happen once it gets cold outside. For example: unlimited hot chocolate and tea breaks, crackling fire in the fireplace (even though the downdraft fills our house with smoke momentarily), AND not leaving my house for days on end. 

Another favorite thing is warm and cozy comfort foods, like soup, gumbo, and casseroles...and Chili...and Chili Mac. 

So in direct violation of my imaginary food/weather code, I made Chili Mac for dinner even though it was 80 degrees outside and it was glorious. I threw some stuff together and it was delish!

Easy Cheesy Chili Mac


1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained
1 can of chili
1 can of Ranch Style Beans
1 can of corn, drained
1 lb elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
1 lb Velvetta Cheese, cubed

Combine all the ingredients and heat through. That's it!

My kids were big fans of this and even requested the leftovers for lunch (and dinner) the next day. I was cool with that because, for some reason, when I don't have to cook dinner for the kids, I forgo the dinner thing completely, make hubby a sandwich, and I eat cereal. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Homemade Granola Bars

I try not to keep many snacks in the house, aside from fruits and veggies, but granola bars are one of our favorites and I just can't NOT have them in the house. But I've never been super impressed with store-bought granola bars so I make my own and they are FANTASTIC. At least, we think so. This recipe makes a lot of thick and chewy granola bars, feel free to halve the recipe.

Homemade Granola Bars


6 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup oil (vegetable or grapeseed works well)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup peanut butter
3 cups of add-ins (nuts, dried fruit, pretzels, etc)

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the oats in a 9x13 baking pan and toast (stirring once) for about 15 minutes. 

Step 2 

While the oats toast, heat the oil, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and heat until the brown sugar has dissolved. Stir in peanut butter and set aside.

Step 3

Add 3 cups of add-ins to the toasted oats and stir. I chose dried chopped figs, raisins, dried cranberries, pretzel pieces, sunflower kernels, almonds, walnuts, and chocolate chips. 

Step 4

Pour the syrup over the oat mixture and stir to coat. With a spatula, press the oats into the pan. Flatten and press the mixture until it's smooth and even. Let cool for about an hour. Then cut into bars. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Parmesan Cream Sauce

Chicken Cordon Bleu is one of my favorite dinners. Especially covered in creamy Parmesan sauce. 

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Creamy Parmesan Sauce


3  skinless chicken breasts, cut in half length-wise
12 slices good quality deli ham
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 pound (8 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
For the sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Step 1 

Layer the chicken breast halves in a baking dish.

Step 2

Layer the ham on top of the chicken breasts (I accidentally bought ham that wasn't sliced...oops)! 

Step 3

Sprinkle the Swiss cheese over the ham.

Step 4

Sprinkle with bread crumbs. And drizzle with melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until chicken is cooked through and bread crumbs are browned.

Step 5

While the chicken is baking, make the sauce. Melt the 2 Tbs of butter in a sauce pan. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the milk/chicken broth while whisking. Whisk constantly and cook over medium-high heat until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat. Add the salt, Worchestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, and Parmesan Cheese. Stir until blended.

Step 6

Top the chicken with the warm sauce and serve.