Chicken Pot Pie with Tater Tots

Now, hear me out…….who doesn’t love a good meal that uses up leftover cooked chicken or turkey and throwing some crispy baked tater tots right on top?? This hearty, stew-like soup is a great way to use up leftover cooked chicken or turkey–and a perfect excuse to indulge in crispy, puffy tater tots. This is a super easy dinner recipe that doesn’t take much time from start to finish and is sure to be a hit with the whole family. It is a hearty, wholesome, and a delicious winter-time meal.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups frozen potato tots
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • ½ cup chopped celery 
  • ½ cup chopped onion 
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour 
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth 
  • 3 cups diced cooked chicken or turkey
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup half-and-half
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • Place potato tots on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden and crispy, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add carrot, celery and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in broth, chicken (or turkey), garlic powder, onion powder. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened and bubbly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in peas and half-and-half.
  • Arrange the potato tots over the surface of the soup. Serve topped with parsley.

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!

Banana Breakfast ‘Cookie’ Bar

Banana Breakfast Cookie Bar is a wholesome, yummy breakfast on-the-go…plus they’re naturally sweetened, gluten-free, and perfect for using up those ripe bananas!

I mean, who doesn’t want a ‘COOKIE’ for Breakfast?!?!…….I’ll wait.

These oatmeal banana cookie bars are loaded with chopped nuts, peanut butter, and sweetened with a touch of honey and cinnamon. They’re easy to make, healthy, and downright addictive.

This is a great recipe for your ‘how-am-I-going-to-use-up-all-of-these-ripe-bananas‘ file. AND – I’m the only one who eats bananas in my household so I’m always looking for different ways to use those extra overripe bananas I have.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed banana, from approximately 2 large or 3 medium overripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, or your favorite nut or non-nut butter, like almond butter or sunflower seed butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, or your favorite nut
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips or raisins, optional

Directions:

  • Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Measure oats, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl; whisk to combine. Stir in mashed banana, peanut butter, honey, vanilla, pecans, and chocolate chips. Spread dough into a shallow cake pan. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes. Allow ‘cookies’ to cool completely on baking sheet before storing in an airtight container.

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!

Pumpkin Pie English Muffin Bake

Brunch is arguably the best meal of week… wait, no, the best meal of the day! But if you’re having brunch every day, you are doing life right. This festive brunch dish will fill your kitchen with delicious scents of spices and pumpkin while it’s baking. No need to light your favorite seasonal candle. This dish is perfect for when you have to feed a crowd and want to get some of the preparation out of the way the night before.

Ingredients:

  • 6 whole-wheat English muffins, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 firm apples, I used Honey Crisp
  • 3/4 cup raisins, divided
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups low-fat or almond milk
  • 1 15 oz can unseasoned pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray
  • Place English muffins pieces on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted.
  • Combine apples, raisins and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the English muffin pieces and toss to combine. Transfer to the prepared baking dish, spreading into a single layer.
  • Whisk eggs, milk, pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, ginger and cloves in a medium bowl until smooth. Pour over bread mixture until all ingredients are submerged. Refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 12 hours.
  • Bake casserole at 350 degrees until browned and a little crispy around the edges – 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!

Simply Creamy Chicken Risotto

This cheesy skillet rice dish doesn’t require hours standing over the stove, constantly stirring, the way traditional Italian recipes do, but the result is just as rich, satisfying but most of all – delicious. Adding tender chunks of white meat chicken and asparagus make it a balanced meal that’s ready in under one hour and only uses a single pan, so you won’t waste time on cleanup. Mushroom and roasted garlic flavors enhance the savory Parmesan cream sauce that coats every grain of rice in this Simple Creamy Chicken Risotto, and a sprinkling of fresh basil on top makes the meal really pop.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
  • 1 can Condensed Cream of Mushroom
  • 2 1/2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup asparagus
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat half the butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken and cook until well browned and done.  Remove the chicken from the skillet, cover and keep warm.
  • Reduce the heat to medium.  Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes.  Add the remaining butter and heat until melted.  Add the rice and cook and stir for 2 minutes or until the rice is lightly browned.
  • Stir in the soup and broth and heat to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low.  Cover and cook for 25 minutes or until the rice is tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Return the chicken to the skillet. Stir in the asparagus, 2 tablespoons basil and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese.  Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken is hot, stirring often.  Season to taste.  Sprinkle with the remaining basil and cheese before serving.

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!

Graveyard Chicken Dip

This is a great meal for a Halloween party or get-together. It’s spooky, funny, and delicious at the same time. Made with melty Monterey Jack Cheese and spicy enchilada sauce, it’s definitely addictive.

Grab your chips and get to dippin’!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce
  • 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 oz can green chiles
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 4 flour tortillas
  • Tortilla chips, for serving

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine pepper jack, enchilada sauce, rotisserie chicken, cream cheese, green chilis, and taco seasoning.
  • Transfer dip to a cast-iron skillet and bake until warmed through and bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make tortilla graves: Cut tortillas into grave shapes and place on a baking sheet. Bake until sturdy, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Top dip with shredded lettuce and insert graves. Serve with tortilla chips.

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!

Chopped Thai Chicken Salad

The flavors in this dreamboat Thai chicken salad are going to rock your face off.

Lime, peanuts, cilantro, green onions, vinegar, chicken, soy sauce, chili pepper, garlic, all packed together in a highly textured salad bowl? Yummy!!

Simple to assemble – this chopped Thai chicken salad has BIG flavors – peanut, lime, soy, chili, cilantro. Topped with a homemade peanut dressing! Healthy and fresh.

Ingredients:

Thai Chicken Salad

  • 3–4 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 1 head of green and purple cabbage, chopped
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup peanuts, crushed
  • 1/2 cup wonton strips
  • 1/2 cup green onions, sliced
  • salt and lime juice to taste

Peanut Dressing

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup sesame oil (toasted or dark)
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chili paste (sriracha works, too)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • a small knob of fresh ginger, peeled
  • a clove of fresh garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup water to thin to desired consistency

Directions:

  • Chop: Put on some good music, pour a drink, and start choppin’!
  • Dressing: Pulse all ingredients in the food processor or blender. Adjust consistency with water (if desired).
  • Thai Chicken Salad Assembly: Toss the salad ingredients in a big bowl with a drizzle of peanut dressing so everything gets coated. Season with salt and lime juice. Serve chilled.

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!

Tater Tot Breakfast Skillet

Start the day off in a fun way with this bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast skillet. In this dish, the tots substitute nicely for hash browns and jazz up a breakfast skillet into a treat the entire family will love on Sunday morning.

The tater tots are a nice surprise in this dish. Using frozen tots makes this a simple dish to make during a crazy morning or a slow and lazy one. It’s quick and simple but so delicious!

And once again my friends, YOU NAILED BRUNCH! Now if only the weekend could be another day longer or you could nail folding a fitted sheet…….

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. bacon, chopped
  • 8 oz. cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 1/2 lb. Frozen Tater Tots
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp chives, chopped
  • 8 large eggs
  • pinch of salt and pepper 

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain half the fat.
  • To skillet add frozen tater tots, cooked bacon, tomatoes, cheddar, garlic, and chives and toss until combined.
  • Baked together for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and add eggs to the top of the tater tot mixture and cook until eggs are cooked through, another 15 minutes.

**you can easily split this recipe in half and make less or simply double it and make more**

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!

5 Ingredient Spicy Pork

Keeping this post quick today because what’s there to show you, really? You shake up 5 ingredients in a jar. That’s basically the recipe.

You will have no problem finding ways to eat this pork, but I recommend it in a fusion burrito with standard rice and bean combo as seen here. But you can use kimchi and rice for a breakfast bowl, with noodles and stir-fried veggies.

5 Ingredient Spicy Pork! A fancy-feeling dinner recipe that actually comes together in snap. Serve it in bowls, stir-fry it with some veggies, or add it to burritos!

Ingredients:

5 Ingredient Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp hot chili paste 
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated

Other Stuff:

  • 1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, very thinly sliced
  • vegetable oil

Directions:

  • Shake all the sauce ingredients in a jar. Pour the sauce over the pork and allow it to rest for 20 minutes – 1 hour.
  • Heat a good searing skillet (such as cast iron) over high heat. Add just a little bit of vegetable oil.
  • When the oil is hot and shiny, add the pork in a single layer (you may need to do this in batches). Cook, undisturbed, for 1-2 minutes until you are getting that nice caramelized look. Flip and repeat to finish.

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!

Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup is one of the fondest memories I have of my childhood. Classic, comforting, a cure-all for whatever ailed me, and I could taste all the love in it.

However, the version I remember from my childhood took hours and hours. Sometimes I don’t have time to watch a boiling pot for half the day and all the stirring……But this version is super easy, ready in 30-minutes, and has all the comforting qualities you want in classic chicken noodle soup.

To save time, I used store-bought rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken that you have on hand. Of course you can roast or pan sauté chicken if you’re so inclined.

There are quite a few herbs used including thyme, oregano, bay leaves, and parsley. You can certainly use dried herbs, if you don’t have fresh on hand.

Egg noodles can be substituted and you can use whatever noodles are your favorite.

This soup is so classic and the flavors are so ‘homey’. I love that it is ready in a flash and makes enough to stash half in the freezer for a rainy day or for cold and flu season.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 cup celery, sliced thin
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced small 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 64 oz (8 cups) low-sodium chicken broth, plus more if desired
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 12 oz wide egg noodles (or your favorite noodles or pasta)
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (I used store-bought rotisserie chicken to save time)
  • 4 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped

Directions:

  • To a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add the oil and heat over medium-high heat to warm.
  • Add the carrots, celery, onion, and sauté for about 7 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Stir intermittently.
  • Add the garlic and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the chicken broth, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, pepper, and bring to a boil. Allow mixture to boil gently for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are fork-tender. Note – If you like brothier soup, add additional broth, possibly as much as an additional 64 ounces because as time passes the noodles will continue to absorb broth.
  • Add the egg noodles and boil mixture for about 10 minutes, or until noodles are soft and cooked through. At any time while making the soup, if the overall liquid level is lower than you like and you prefer more broth, adding a cup or two of water is okay. At the end you will adjust the salt level.
  • Add the chicken, parsley, optional lemon juice (brightens up the flavor), and boil 1 to 2 minutes, or until chicken is warmed through. Taste soup and add salt to taste. I added about 1 tablespoon but this will vary based on how salty the brand of chicken broth used is, how salty the rotisserie chicken is, and personal preference. Make any necessary seasoning adjustments (i.e. more salt, pepper, herbs, etc.), remove the bay leaves, and serve immediately. Soup will keep airtight in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!

Brunch is Breakfast without an Alarm Clock

A Sunday well spent brings a week of content!

So you love brunch, too? And you stand in support of cheddar cheese baked into creamy eggs topped with crispy golden toasted bread and salty crispy bacon. All you do is WIN!! Eggs, cheese, bacon and toasted crispy bread.

The BEST Brunch Bake! Cheese, bacon, baked into creamy eggs and topped with a crispy golden toasted bread topping. YUM. OH and don’t forget their friends; beautiful summer fruit and delicious homemade Blueberry Muffins made from those blueberries you just picked up from the farmer’s market.

First up – the Delicious Brunch Bake!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf of bread (your favorite), cubed
  • 16 oz shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 10 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp onion salt
  • 2 cup milk (your favorite)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • dash of black pepper
  • Meat, optional; bacon, ham, sausage

Directions:

  • Spray 9×13 pan with non-stick cooking spray
  • Place 1/2 of the cubed bread in pan. Cover with 8 oz. of cheese. Top with remaining cubed bread. Cover with remaining 8 oz. of cheese. (Mix in meat, if desired)
  • In a bowl, combine eggs, garlic, onion salt and milk. Mix well. Pour over cheese and egg mixture
  • Melt butter. Pour over bread and cheese mixture
  • Dust top of casserole with black pepper
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, until top becomes brown and crispy

Make Ahead: Yes, you can make this ahead of time! I like to do steps 1 and 2 the night before, and then everything else day-of. The only part I would not recommend doing ahead of time is letting the croissant pieces soak in the egg mixture overnight.

Now onto the Homemade Blueberry Muffins!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 mashed ripe banana
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 4 tsp stevia in the raw
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • In a large bowl, mix together banana, milk, vanilla, maple syrup, butter, stevia, baking soda and baking powder
  • Mix in flour until combined. Don’t over mix!! Fold in blueberries gently. Pour the batter into 12 lined muffin cups
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!

I use this tool every time I slice fresh fruit. Super Easy!!