Friday, March 14, 2008

Brunch Cups

12 refrigerated biscuits
1 lb. ground sausage, browned and drained
6 eggs, scrambled
shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven according to directions on biscuit can.

Flatten biscuits and mold into muffin cups in pan; fill with sausage, egg, and cheese. Bake according to directions on can.

*Include whatever ingredients you have on hand: bacon, ham, peppers, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, etc. Another option is to use refrigerated crescent rolls instead of biscuits. If you have any filling ingredients left over, wrap then in flour tortillas and have breakfast burritos another day.

Tuscan Chicken

Tuscan Chicken served over angel hair pasta, garlic bread on the side

1 lb. chicken tenders
3 Tbsp. Pampered Chef Italian Seasoning Mix, divided
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 can diced Italian-style tomatoes, undrained
1 can black olives, sliced
1 small pkg. mushrooms, sliced
1/4 c. water
fresh grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Thaw chicken and trim fat; coat with 2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning. Heat oil in skillet and cook chicken until done. Add tomatoes and liquid, olives, mushrooms, remaining seasoning, and water. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer 5 minutes. Serve over pasta and top with cheese.

*The original recipe came from the McCormick One-Step Italian Seasoning jar, but I haven't been able to find it in several months. I copied down the recipe before I threw away my last empty container of it and have added a few ingredients here and there. My friend Kim mentioned putting Parmesan cheese on top of a similar dish that she makes. That was an "Aha!" moment. I hadn't thought of that, even though Parmesan cheese is one of my staples.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Chicken Tortilla Soup

3 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
2 14.5-oz. cans chicken broth
1 15-oz. can black beans, undrained
1 15-oz. can Mexican-style chili beans
1 15.5-oz. can Mexican diced tomatoes
1 10-oz. can diced Ro-Tel tomatoes
1 c. salsa
1 4-oz. can chopped green chilies
1 11-oz. can Mexicorn
1 15.5-oz. can white hominy, drained

Combine all ingredients in large stock pot; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 20 minutes. Serve over tortilla chips and top with grated cheese.

*My changes: Instead of using canned chicken broth, I used the chicken stock from boiling the chicken breasts. It was more than 29 ounces, probably more like 3 quarts (96 ounces). I also added some water. Since I made it in my 8-quart stock pot, I would guess I made a total of 6 quarts of soup, including the chicken and veggies. It lasted for several days.

Since Billy doesn't like chunks of tomatoes, I used my hand mixer to blend the larger can of tomatoes. I put the Ro-Tel in as it was, but will blend them next time, too.

I used a 6-oz. or larger can of green chilies, which turned out good.

Instead of Mexicorn, I used fiesta corn and drained it. It's cheaper and has more corn in the can.

Tip: When boiling chicken, add some trimmings from onions, peppers, and celery to the water. As it cooks, it provides a good natural seasoning for the chicken and the stock. If you won't be using the stock immediately, skim out the trimmings, let the stock cool, pour it into freezer bags, and store it for later.