Saturday, June 26, 2010

Polish Cheese Potatoes

This is another recipe out of the cookbook my Grandma Patton gave me.  I was looking for something inexpensive, easy & different from what we'd been eating when I happened across this recipe. It fit all 3 requirements & has become a family favorite. 

Polish Cheese Potatoes

8 square hashbrowns
2-4 polish sausage links (I usually use 2, but the recipe called for 4 so it really depends on your family's tastes).

1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small onion, diced (I often leave this out since I've got some sensitive stomachs in the household & the onion AND sausage can be a bit overpowering.)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
Shredded cheddar cheese

Grease a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish.
Lay out the 8 square hashbrowns in the bottom of the pan
Cut up the polish sausage into small pieces & put on top of the hashbrowns
Pour the soup mixture over sausage & hashbrowns

Sprinkle 1 cup of cheese (or more if you like) on top.
Bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes.

Crock Pot Beef Manhattan

Beef Manhattan has ALWAYS been a favorite of mine.  I came across this recipe in a cookbook my Grandma Patton gave me.  It has been an instant hit at our house & even Miss Liv (who is not a big meat eater) really likes beef fixed like this.

Crock Pot Beef Manhattan

2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
2 cans of cream of celery soup
2 cans of french onion soup
1 pkg of stewing beef (I use around 3# for this recipe)

Put everything in the crock pot & let cook all day.

Serve over bread & mashed potatoes. 

Best Baked Beans

It's funny how we can grow up loving a food & then one day decide we want to fix that food & have no recipe for it.  That's where I was with baked beans.  I LOVE baked beans (well any bean really) and a year or so ago I thought I'd make some for a BBQ we were having.  I went to digging through my recipes only to realize I didn't have a baked bean recipe.  Enter the internet (which has been this cook's saving grace more than once).  I started searching for a recipe that wasn't fancy, was easy to make, but tasted like the homemade baked beans I remembered eating.

I found this recipe on  As with most recipes I find, I did a little tweeking.  The result was some awesome baked beans.  I always get compliments on this recipe & even Toby (who despises all things bean) really likes these.  

Best Baked Beans

1 (28 oz) can of baked beans - I always use Bush's original baked beans for this recipe

1/2 pound bacon, cut into small pieces

8 oz. brown sugar

chopped onion to suit your family's taste (can be completely omitted if you want)

Preheat oven to 400

Pour beans into a 2 qt casserole dish

Place bacon in a skillet, completely covering bottom of pan. Spread brown sugar over bacon & cook over medium heat. Add onions to this mixture if you are using them. When bacon grease starts bubbling up through the sugar, transfer to the casserole dish & mix with beans.

Bake for 45 min.

Serves 5.

Did you see that?

"Serves 5".  
How many of you have a big BBQ for 5 or less people at a time?  Around here the answer is VERY seldom.  Unfortunately, this recipe doesn't multiple well by just taking the ingredients times the number of batches you want to make. (Yes, that's the voice of experience talking :) The bacon becomes an issue.  You end up with WAY too much bacon & WAY too much grease.  

So for a triple or quadruple batch (which will easily feed 20-25 people), here's what I do:

I use 4 or 5 cans of Bush's Original Baked Beans (28 oz).
12-16 oz of bacon (I use Oscar Meyer Center Cut because it has less fat which means less grease)
32 oz. of brown sugar (Yeah, you read that right.  I never said they were healthy baked beans :)
3/4- 1 cup of chopped onion

I prepare it as instructed above, but rather than heating up the kitchen to bake them, I throw it all in the crock pot and cook on low-med. for 4 or 5 hours. Of course, if you're in a time crunch you can always bake them as instructed above. 

Sunday Chicken & Stuffing

My goal at the beginning of this project was to post at least once a month.  Although, I think I've managed to do that, I had hoped to post more often, but I've been so busy enjoying real life with the gal that this blog was created for, Miss Liv, that I've kind of let my blog commitment slide. So, I thought I'd take a little time today & post 3 or 4 recipes that our family likes.  I don't have pics for all of them, but as I make them again I'll try & remember to take pics & come back later to post them. In the meantime...ENJOY :) 

Sunday Chicken & Stuffing

I found this recipe in Quick Cooking magazine back in 1999.  It had actually been sent in by a fellow Hoosier :) The recipe is super simple & yet it tastes like you've worked for hours on it. 

1 package (6oz) of instant chicken stuffing mix
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1/3 cup milk
1 TBSP dried parsley

Prepare stuffing according to package directions; spoon down the center of a greased 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish. 

Place chicken around stuffing.  Combine milk, soup, & parsley; pour over chicken.

Cover & bake @ 400 for 20 minutes.  Uncover & bake 10-15 min. longer or until chicken juices run clear. 

Serves 4-6. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Nacho Chicken

Tonight's blog will be brought you in the style of Ms. Cris and let me tell you,  I now have a new appreciation for her blogs about recipes.  It's not that easy to cook & take pictures at the same time! :) 

I found this recipe several years ago in a magazine called Quick Cooking.  (The magazine is technically still around, but it's called something different now & not near as good as the original.)  In our house no one mentions Nacho Chicken without someone saying, "It's not your chicken" (say it real fast with a slight Spanish accent & you'll get it ;) It's became a running joke & when any of us mentions Nacho Chicken we automatically wait to see who says it 1st - LOL!  

This recipe is super simple to make and can be adjusted to suit your family's "spicy/hot" meter by simply adding the mild, original or hot tomatoes & green chiles.  Personally, I left out the onion because with the green chiles it is just too strong for us.  But I've had it with the onion & it's good that way too (if your broods' bellies can handle it). 

The ingredients are fairly simple:

(I would like to say that I normally use the Kroger brand of cream of chicken soup, but they were out of stock.  Since that is also Kroger "velveeta", this is an almost entirely "Ruler/Kroger" meal making it VERY affordable.  If Kroger feels compelled to give me free groceries for my numerous shout-outs & continued loyalty to them...well, call me Mr. Kroger rep :) 

In a large bowl combine: 

4 cups of cooked cubed chicken 

(I used 4 cans of cooked chicken - 1 is hiding in the above pic - but if you are one to freeze ahead like the Freezer Queen, Ms. Cris :), you could definitely use some you already had cooked up or just cook some up that you buy at the store.  Me:  I'm all about easy & I didn't have any frozen to use :) 

1 pound of processed American cheese, cubed

2 cans of condensed cream of chicken soup (10 3/4 oz. ea.), undiluted
1 can (10 oz.) tomatoes & green chiles, UNdrained
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp of pepper

1 bag (12-15 oz.) nacho cheese tortilla chips, crushed
(Reserve 1 cup of crushed chips)

Mix everything together & place in a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish.
Sprinkle with reserved chips.

Cook uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted & edges are bubbly. 

And, there you have it!  Nacho Chicken...
I serve it with some kind of vegetable (whatever I have on hand) & we always get at least 2-3 meals out of the dish.