Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I'm Back... with Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Tater Tot Casserole (and the easiest banana bread you'll ever make!)

Hello, Friends! It's been so long since I've posted, and for that I am sorry! My personal laptop crashed on me, taking with it all of my preferred settings and my computer comfort zone. Ha ha! My inlaws have been kind enough to allow me to borrow an extra laptop they have, and I am getting a bit more comfortable with it. The holidays of course were full of hustle and bustle, as they always are. I hope all of my readers have had a wonderful and blessed holiday season!

So, as of right now, we are on day three of being snowed in by winter storm "Ion"... am I the only one who finds this naming of storms things to be a little odd? But anyway, I've had quite a bit of downtime over the last few days, and I have finally found some time to sit down and post a couple of recent recipes I used. :)

I'll start off with my cinnamon roll monkey bread...

I'm certain I've posted this recipe before, it's so simple, but I have modified it from the original. I found the original to be far too sticky and gooey.

Preheat to 350, grease a bundt pan...

First, start off with a two cans of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. I buy the ones with cream cheese frosting. In a large Ziploc bag, mix together some cinnamon and sugar. I use about 1/2c sugar and tablespoon of cinnamon. Toss the rolls four at a time in the bag until coated, place them in two layers in bundt pan. Melt brown sugar and butter together in microwave (about 1 minute)... now here's the thing. The original recipe calls for 1 cup brown sugar and 1/2 c. butter.... That was just too much for me. I couldn't eat it, believe it or not, it was too sweet (for *me* to say that.. it must have been crazy sweet!). This time, I used a little over 1/2 c. brown sugar and 1/4 c butter, and that was just right for my tastes! Pour the brown sugar mixture over the rolls. Now for the frosting, I just use the cream cheese frosting that comes with the cinnamon rolls, mix it with a little vanilla and maple syrup until I get the desired consistency ( I pour it over bread after I invert it onto plate). You can make your own frosting, but the maple syrup is a great touch! It's super easy, but it looks gorgeous!

 Here is the "naked" version, with no icing...

And the prettied up version... with maple cream cheese icing. 

I've posted these before too, but I have to post again, because these are so incredibly delicious...

I just buy the Pillsbury crescent rolls, roll them out with a rolling pin to seal the seams, spread a thin coat of butter over dough (could use jam or apple butter too), then mix brown sugar and cinnamon and spread over top of butter. Roll the dough up, use a sharp knife and cut rolls about 1" thick. Place on greased baking sheet (parchment paper would work the best), and bake for 10 minutes at 350 or until *lightly* brown on top. I prefer these to be on the softer side, so I try to take them out of the oven before they get crunchy on the outsides! Soften a cube of cream cheese in the microwave for 20 seconds, add vanilla and my favorite again, maple syrup until you have a thinner "dipping" consistency. I call these cinnamon dunkers, because they are so easy to just dunk into the frosting and pop into your mouth! One of my kids' favorites! :)

Last night's dinner... Cheesy Chicken Hasselback. Easiest thing. EVER.
I used 4 boneless skinless breasts, colby jack and jalepeno jack cheeses, and black forest ham. Along with some peppered seasonings I had on hand.

Easy Peasy You can throw this together, start to finish in 30 minutes. Make cuts in the breasts about 3/4 of the way through, I did 4-5 cuts in each breast. Stuff with cheese and meat of your choice. The jalepeno jack was awesome! Place stuffed breasts on lined cookie sheet (silicone mat, foil, parchment paper), and bake for 20 minutes at 350. I would suggest baking 25 minutes, actually. I did 20 and it was a tad underdone, still good, but needed a few more minutes. This chicken is so moist when it is done baking, it was just delicious.

And I don't have a fancy picture of it, but I have to share this super-de-duper easy banana bread recipe! Found it on Pinterest tonight, and figured since I had a bunch or quite ripe bananas left from buying them out before snowmageddon, I had to put them to good use!

Cream together:
8 Tbs butter
1c Sugar

Stir in:
Two beaten eggs
3 mashed bananas

Mix in:
1/2tsp salt
1tsp baking soda
1 1/4c flour (I used wheat flour but recipe calls for all purpose)

Bake for 40 to 50 min (about 45 for my oven) at 350

Very good, so easy!

And for my friend, Ally... ;) Here's the recipe I promised you:

Broccoli Cheddar, Chicken and Tater Tot Casserole
2 small cans cream of chicken soup
2 small cans cheddar cheese soup
1 1/2 Cups milk
8-10 Cups broccoli florets
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (bake or I throw mine in the pressure cooker)
1 teaspoon hot sauce (Tabasco or Chalula)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1/8 teaspoon Lawry’s Garlic Salt with Parsley
1/2 bag Ore Ida Seasoned Tater Tots, frozen
1/2 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Place soup and milk into a large pot over medium heat.  Whisk until smooth and heated through, about 5 minutes.  Stir in broccoli and cook for 5 additional minutes to soften slightly.  Stir in chicken, hot sauce, salt, pepper and garlic seasoning.  Pour mixture into 11×7 inch baking dish that’s been sprayed with cooking spray.  Top evenly with tater tots and cheese; bake for 20 minutes then cover with foil. Bake for an additional 15 minutes with dish covered with foil.  Remove from oven and serve.

Tessie's Note: I changed up the recipe a bit... I omitted the cheddar cheese soup, and added another cup of milk (making it 2 1/2c total) and two cups of shredded cheddar cheese to the cream of chicken mixture. I did not have kosher salt, used table salt, used ground black pepper, added some garlic pepper seasoning (about a teaspoon), and used regular, not seasoned, tater tots. Still a totally yummy (and super FILLING) dish! 

Like I promised some of my IG and FB followers, I will slowly get things rolling again here in this new year of 2014. I am hoping to make at least one new post a week with a meal plan and two or three of my favorite meals/recipes from the week before.

I'll be back soon! Until then, stay warm, Friends!

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