Only One Dish

Today was busy. Not just a little busy either. It was (and for the record, one child had not had a nap, one had a pre-teen attitude issue, and the other asked approximately 265,873,005 questions about everything from space to why some flies bite. Plus, the husband worked overtime today.)  :

  • piano- 2 kids=1 hour
  • lunch with my husband (30 minutes away)
  • drop off paperwork at doctor (that said husband forgot)
  • drive back 30 minutes to meet my brother with a camera charger
  • drive to my aunt’s business to pick something up
  • drive past the grocery store (oops) so stopped at the dollar store to grab a few things
  • go back to grocery store #1
  • leave #1, go to house to deliver cold stuff
  • unpack cold stuff into the refrigerator while kids stayed in the car and played WWF (well, they wrestled. They’ve never actually seen WWF)
  • go to grocery store #2 because #1 didn’t have everything I needed
  • as I was unloading the car at #2 it came a monsoon
  • got home and unpacked the car for a second time while all three kids whined for drinks
  • started laundry and dishes
  • started dinner
  • did more dishes
  • changed out laundry
  • continued dishes
  • finished supper
  • ate dinner with kids
  • bathed kids
  • bedtime
  • etc. etc. etc.

See! But do you want to know the thing I’m most annoyed at? I did dishes for TWO HOURS. Why? I keep thinking if leave them there, they will get done. No one does them though. I have to cook and clean?! What kind of torture is this?

Tonight, in protest, I made One Pan Chicken Dinner. Okay, okay… It wasn’t technically in protest. I basically picked this meal because it’s one pan. It really is the easiest meal ever and incredibly yummy! Actually, since it is so simple to make, I’ll just share a few pictures and then the recipe. I’m too exhausted to write too much anyhow!

And the best part? Simply rinse the pan out, shove that baby in the dishwasher, and you’re done! A glass of wine to celebrate the simplicity is optional!


Print Recipe
One Pan Chicken Dinner
This easy recipe only messes up on pan and is easy on the wallet.
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 X 13 glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Wash and dice red potatoes and put on one side of the dish.
  3. Line chicken down the middle of the dish (if it's thick, butterfly first and then place in dish)
  4. Pour entire bag of frozen green beans down the open side of the dish.
  5. Sprinkle Italian seasoning over entire dish.
  6. Place small pieces of butter over entire dish.
  7. Cover with foil and place in the oven for 60 minutes. Chicken is done when it is no longer pink inside and the juices run clear when the chicken is cut.
  8. Serve and enjoy!
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Who Needs Directions?

I finally got around to making this casserole Wednesday night. I had put it off after seeing it took over an hour to cook. I mean, really?! Who has time for that? However, I finally had time so I tried it. In all reality, I did not have time, but I had chicken that was going to expire so I made time.

I am going to apologize in advance. I have failed you miserably when it comes to bringing you quick and easy recipes with few ingredients. This is not one.

I started really late as I COMPLETELY forgot it took an hour. I started prepping at 6:30. The casserole still needed to bake though. I figured getting done at 7:30 was late, but still acceptable. I failed to realize I needed to wash and/or chop EVERY. SINGLE. INGREDIENT.

Once I finally finished all the prep, I had to layer the ingredients. This was actually kind of fun and I made pictures of each step!

Repeat the above layers a second time and then cover with heavy cream and a little butter here and there. Cover with foil and bake!

I stuck it in the oven at 7:20pm so we didn’t actually eat until 8:40ish. Oh well….

Oh, but wait! Did I mention that I didn’t pay much attention to the ingredients? The recipe I used was aggravating because the page kept scrolling up incessantly on my phone so I kind of only halfway followed it. Plus, the recipe had measurements for the vegetables and meat. I’ll measure seasonings and such, but with vegetables and meat, I don’t. Plus, I was feeling salty about how much time this stupid recipe was taking so I was not in the least bit concerned with it. Anyhow, there was a key step I realized I had overlooked about five minutes into the hour long cook time.

After one hour, remove foil and sprinkle remaining cheese on casserole. Return to oven for five minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Remember this pre-foil picture? See all that cheese?

I looked at my husband and said, “Oh well!” What could I really do at this point? Not only was it most likely already melted, but there was no way I was going to try and pick it all off. Luckily, it seemed to do just fine and didn’t burn at all!

The casserole tasted okay. I was really hoping it would taste as amazing as it looked! It absolutely has potential though.  Next time, I will grill the chicken and season it ahead of time and “pre-boil” the potatoes. The chicken was just too plain and the potatoes were still hard. Other than that, it was pretty good. I thought the cream would be gross, but it was actually good!

I’ll include my altered recipe below with notes on how to make it better. If you make this, I encourage you to play with it and definitely make it your own! Good luck!

Print Recipe
Loaded Baked Potato Casserole
This casserole is good, but could definitely use improvements! I have included the steps I intend to use next time, but I strongly encourage you to make this your own!
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 65 minutes
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 65 minutes
  1. Grease a 9 X 11 pan and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Layer half of the ingredients as follows: -potatoes -chicken -broccoli -bacon -onion -cheese
  3. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  4. Repeat layering steps (EXCEPT CHEESE) with the second half of the ingredients.
  5. Season again and then cover with heavy cream. Slice butter and layer over top of casserole and cover tightly with foil. Put into the oven for 1 hour.
  6. Remove casserole from oven and remove foil. Sprinkle on 1 cup of cheese and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.
  7. Remove and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
  8. **NOTES: I strongly suggest seasoning and grilling the chicken and paraboiling the potatoes beforehand and reducing the cook time. This way is okay, but the chicken is fairly bland and the potatoes were a little too hard. This recipe definitely has potential though.
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Oh…I Guess It Is Alfredo After All

As I was scanning through my pins the other day, my husband walked past me and glanced over. He immediately backed up and practically drooled on my shoulder. That is how I decided which pin I was going to try first.  I don’t know the actual name of it, so we will just call it Chicken Awesomeness- or maybe Chicken Fettucini Alfredo if you like boring names.


I went to the store and bought the basic ingredients needed for this recipe. I should’ve known it would be trouble when the recipe called for heavy cream. I stood in front of the milk section of Publix and stared at the carton labeled “Heavy Whipping Cream” for longer than I should have. Was this the same thing as “Heavy Cream”? I tried calling Russ to no avail. I bought it anyway and proceeded to checkout with full intention of Googling it at soon as I got home. I didn’t and waited until I was much too far into making this recipe to have another option. Luckily, heavy cream and heavy whipping cream are basically the same thing.

I started out by frying the chicken in a skillet. I managed to fry it without completely killing it. During this time I started boiling the fettucini noodles and steaming the broccoli.

Just as I was thinking this was going to be a REALLY boring post, I remembered I needed to cook bacon. I despise cooking any and ALL breakfast foods. Seriously. My husband cooks breakfast for the kids when they get a craving because I. Just. Don’t. I put the bacon in a skillet and got this…

I mean…what is that? I have found a way to simultaneously burn and have raw bacon at the same time. Ehh. I fashioned a weird pan by putting a metal cooling rack onto a pan to catch the grease and put the rest of the bacon into the oven. I proceeded to read the rest of the recipe to see what else I could destroy.

It didn’t disappoint. The next thing I read was this line:

Add minced garlic to the skillet. Add heavy cream, milk, bring to boil. Add cheese and stir till it completely melts. 

Um…crap. I was about to dump the chicken juices out of the skillet. I took out the chicken and sliced it. Meanwhile, I dumped garlic powder (it’s just easier), heavy cream, and milk into the skillet. Once I added the cheese it dawned on me- I’m making alfredo. I yelled to Russ, “Hey babe! I just made homemade alfredo!” He congratulated me for finally figuring out what I was actually cooking and comes to taste test. He eyes the bacon before I finish the sauce and decides to steal some and run.

Once the oven bacon finished, I put it all together in a pot so I could take this pretty picture for you and then dumped my homemade alfredo on top and mixed it up. It was really good and two out of three children approved, which is pretty high around here.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb chicken breast, boneless and skinless
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (or 3/8 tsp garlic powder)
  • 2/3 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 8 oz fettuccine
  • 2 cups cooked broccoli florets
  • 7 strips cooked bacon
  • salt and pepper


  1. Heat olive oil on medium-high heat in a large skillet. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper. Cook chicken breast on high heat for 2 to 4 minutes on each side, until browned, then remove the skillet from heat and keep the chicken covered to continue cooking it in its own steam until no longer pink. Remove chicken from the skillet. You can also use pre-cooked chicken. Cut chicken into thin slices.
  2. Add minced garlic to the skillet. Add heavy cream, milk, bring to boil. Add cheese and stir till it completely melts.
  3. Cook pasta according to instructions. Drain.
  4. Add cooked pasta, cooked bacon, cooked broccoli and mix everything in. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with sliced cooked chicken.

Archives- Casserole and Melt-in-Your-Mouth Yeast Rolls

Original post- June 24, 2013

Friday night we tried another one of the freezer dishes. It was a broccoli, cheese, and chicken casserole. I already have one recipe that I make regularly, but this was a vastly different recipe and it seemed like a good dish to try (plus I was positive I could freeze it). Also, I was really wanting to find a good, fast yeast roll recipe. I found one called 30 minute rolls. They were amazing!

The casserole was pretty simple. I cooked the chicken, broccoli, and rice a few weeks ago when I made the casserole, so it didn’t have to spend too much time in the oven. I will admit that I overcooked (ahem…burned) the rice to the point that I’m still trying to get the rice off the bottom of my pan. It has been soaking off and on for two weeks now and I’ve even tried putting Bar Keeper’s Friend in the pan. I would call it a lost cause, but I’m not done trying yet. I can be annoyingly persistent. Anyhow, I almost didn’t use the rice because the recipe said specifically not to overcook the rice. I was in “waste not” mode so I used it anyway. Thankfully, we didn’t even notice it upon re-heating. If you make this recipe, make sure you have a very large bowl. I mean really, really large. I have the general small, medium, and large nesting bowls and my largest bowl has never let me down. Until now… I kept spilling everywhere! I didn’t have anything large enough to mix the casserole in so I eventually had to split it into two separate bowls.

I took the casserole out two nights before I intended to use it. Since I had frozen it flat, I wanted to make sure that it would be thawed enough to form to the casserole dish. I will do this again in the future as well. It seemed to help it heat up a little faster also. On a side note, I do not like mushrooms so I was sort of dreading trying this recipe because I was afraid of the cream of mushroom soup. I couldn’t taste the mushroom soup at all. I was very aware of it being in the casserole the entire time I was eating it, but it did not stand out among the other flavors.

The yeast roll recipe was a fluke. I found it by typing in something along the lines of “super fast yeast rolls” into the Google search box. My husband got involved in the making of these rolls as he was in and out of the kitchen while the casserole was cooking. I used all-purpose flour and I did not sift it, for those curious. I happened to actually have a hook on my mixer for mixing bread and thank goodness I did! For some reason, and I’m not sure why I thought this is what I was supposed to do, I started trying to mix the dough with the hook in my hand. Such a stupid idea. I couldn’t get it mixed at all. My husband suggested using the mixer for it’s intended purpose. To be honest, I should tell you I had a mishap with the mixer a few months ago and I wasn’t sure if I could use it anymore so that is the reason my brain was thinking of hand mixing. I’m sure I’ll elaborate in a future blog. Anyway, he got the hooks put into the mixer and he and I had to hold the mixer while it was kneading the dough. It was trying to jump off the counter! Once it was mixed and had time to rise a little, I made the dough into balls in my other casserole dish. The dough was a little sticky, but not so much that I needed flour on my hands to form the balls. I was pretty happy with how quick the recipe was. It was also easy, which was great since I had no other plans if this recipe fell through! I should also point out that this is not actually a 30 minute recipe. Maybe other people will not have the same issue, but it was more like 47 minute rolls for me. I didn’t mind, though. They are worth it!

I actually remembered to take pictures so I have those posted below.  I did not post them with the recipes because the recipes do not belong to me and I didn’t want the pictures tagged to them. The first is a picture of the casserole. The second is the rolls while they were resting. The third is when I remembered to take a picture and the rolls were under attack. I’m lucky I even got a picture of the finished product!

Happy Cooking!

*If you decide to take a recipe from this site and post it somewhere else, that is great! Please just be sure to link back to this site so that the person seeing the recipe can find their way back to the original owner. Thank you!*

Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
10 cups cooked rice (white or brown)-brown is less mushy after frozen
4 cups cooked chicken, chopped (I bake mine in the oven like this.)
4 cups chopped broccoli, lightly steamed (can use frozen or fresh)
2 cans cream of mushroom soup (or 2 batches cream of mushroom soup)
2 cans cream of chicken soup (or 2 batches cream of chicken soup)
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

To freeze: Divide into four ziptop freezer bags and seal tightly. Freeze flat.
To serve: Thaw overnight (or for 8 hours) in the refrigerator. Dump into a greased casserole dish (each bag will fill an 8×8-inch pan; two bags will fill a 9×13-inch pan). Sprinkle with additional shredded cheese, if desired.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until heated through and bubbly.


This recipe makes around 15-18 servings. Each freezer bag serves 4-5 people.


30- Minute Rolls

1 C plus 2 Tbsp warm water

1/3 C oil

2 Tbsp yeast

1/4 C sugar

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

3 1/2 C bread flour (seems to work better but all purpose flour will also work)

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

In your mixer bowl combine the water, oil, yeast and sugar and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Using your dough hook, mix in the salt, egg and flour.

Knead with hook until will incorporated and dough is soft and smooth. (Just a few minutes)

Form dough into 12 balls and then place in a greased 9 x 13 pan and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees or until golden brown.

Archives- Day 9- If They Wanted Powder, They Should Have Said So!

Original Post- March 9, 2011

Picnic Chicken and Biscuits. A very interesting recipe. We weren’t having a picnic, but it sounded good so we decided to give it a go. Let me start off this blog by telling you about my day. This pertains to the story, I promise.

My daughter was having a particularly hyper day. I’m not sure if she has a secret stash of mountain dew and pixie sticks in her room or something, but some days she acts like her legs are pogo sticks and she only knows one speed: run. Plus, on these days her voice is a shrill scream. She was fairly good all day until she had a friend over. Then she turned into my evil child that needs a nap and is thisclose to having a major meltdown. My son developed a faucet for a nose on Sunday and by Monday,  it was BAD. Not to mention he was cranky. It was not a “cry for 10 minutes and be over it” type of cranky. It was a “hold me or regret it” cranky. He is also currently cutting four teeth (which I didn’t know at that point in time). Also, every day at 6 PM (I kid you not) his timer goes off. He is no longer a sweet baby. His colic kicks in and  he cries and cries until 7:30PM when it is time for him to eat. I cook most dinners with him on my hip because my husband has school and when he is home, he’s in the office doing homework so he can participate in the kids’ bedtime routines. So, if you will, just imagine a baby in a Bumbo seat (the little seats that help babies learn to sit up), on my kitchen island, screaming constantly except for the occasional acid reflux moment when I have to stop and Chlorox the counter, and a faucet of snot moving faster than I can. Then a little girl that is quietly sitting at the table until I tell her to put her activity book away and at which point she gets angry that I won’t let her help and that her brother won’t be quiet. Chaos ensues….

Back to the food:  I had to skin the chicken. The picture and explanation looks easy. The first sentence even says (in italics) “For easy removal“. It tells me to just grasp the chicken with one hand and grab the skin in the other hand with a paper towel to prevent slipping and pull it right off. So I do this. Okay…I TRY to do this. I was holding the chicken with my left hand and pulling up like I was trying to start a push mower with the right hand. I either had an extremely stubborn piece of chicken or this is the worst recipe card I’ve ever read. I flung a wing across the counter (which made Andrea crack up and Jake stopped crying briefly and was entertained by this thing flying across the counter). Andrea was still wanting to help me, but I wasn’t in the mood to deal with her burning herself again so I gave her corn flakes in a quart-size Zip Lock bag and told her to beat it up. She disappeared and beat the bag until it looked as if it might fall apart. Part of the corn flakes were powdered, but there were some bigger pieces as well. I didn’t think any of the pieces were too big to make a good crust though.

Wrong. So, so wrong. If they want it powdered, they should really write that on the recipe. Crumbs and powder are not the same thing. Once the chicken was naked, I dipped it in milk, and then in the corn flake mixture. I was thinking “Um, that doesn’t look anything like the picture”, but then again, none of my recipes do so I moved right along and put them into the oven.

The recipe now said I needed to make biscuits. I have a brain fart about this time and stare at my pantry and the Bisquick box that is sitting at eye level. I just kept looking for the baking mix. Granted, Jake was now on my hip screaming as Andrea was dragging her “ladder” across the floor and Russ was calling my phone. I finally picked up the box, said duh to myself, and measured out the ingredients and let Andrea stir it up. It said just plop it onto the pan by the spoonfuls so that’s exactly what I did. The dough “plops” weren’t by any means pretty, but you don’t get edible and pretty food here. It’s one or the other…

Regardless of the badly covered chicken, and the odd shaped biscuits it was really good. I thought Andrea was going to have a heart attack when I pulled out the pasta salad* again. She looked at me in a way that said ” I ate that once woman. I’m not eating it again!” (But she did)

This is definitely a “Family Approved Meal”. Although, I would greatly suggest a little more seasoning on the chicken. It wass plenty spicy, but it just needed something extra. It needs a little “oomph” because it’s just a bit plain. I will be making the biscuits for other things than just this particular supper though. They were great and so, so easy!

*Just a note, the pasta salad was not very appetizing cold. I would suggest heating it slightly.

Picnic Chicken and Biscuits- By: Healthy Meals in Minutes
Serves 4
3 T low-fat milk
1 1/2 cups corn flake crumbs (about 3 cups corn flakes)
1/4 t ground red pepper (cayenne)
One 2 1/2 lb chicken, skinned and cut into pieces (I bought the pre-cut pieces in bulk)

For the Biscuits
1 1/2 cups reduced-fat baking mix
1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 cup low-fat milk

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a nonstick baking sheet with veggie cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Place 3 tablespoons of milk in a pie plate. (I just poured some into a bowl.) On a sheet of waxed paper, combine corn flake crumbs and red pepper. Mix well. Dip each piece of chicken in the milk, then dredge in corn flake mixture, patting so crumbs adhere.
3. Place chicken on  prepared baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, until crisp and cooked through, turning once, about 40 minutes.
4.While chicken is baking, prepare the biscuits. In a medium bowl, combine baking mix and thyme. Add 1/2 cup of milk; stir just until dough forms. Drop dough by heaping teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake biscuits alongside the chicken until golden, about 7 to 9 minutes.
5. Place chicken and biscuits on a platter and serve.
**Here is a picture of my attempt.**



Per Serving:

Calories: 409 (19% from fat)

Carbs: 46 g

Protein: 36 g

Sodium: 842 mg

Fat: 8 g

Cholesterol: 99 mg

Archives- Day 2- Cooking Show with Chicken

Original Post- February 27, 2011

Did I mention my daughter loves Food Network? She calls it “the cooking show”. She usually gets up, eats breakfast and then I ask her if she would like to watch Disney while I feed her little brother. She says, ” No mommy. I want to watch the cooking show please!”. This does tie in, I promise!

So I made Chicken Casserole last night. My prep time was way off as usual. I figured out that if I set all the ingredients out in the beginning rather than getting them as I go, my recipe goes much more smoothly. Andrea kept peeking in to see what I was doing. She got closer and closer until I realized she was standing on her “ladder” (a step-stool) right next to me watching me cook.

I really didn’t have as much to cut up this time (although I managed to cut my fingernail in half…). Basically, this was an odd recipe that made me look at the paper 8464 times. I was concentrating on browning the chicken, something I’ve never done, when Andrea screamed, ” GO FASTER MOMMY! YOU’RE GOING TO LOSE!” I seriously almost splattered hot oil all over the both of us because it scared me to death. I must have given her a crazy look because she RAN out of the kitchen. (Do you see why I never cook?!) A few minutes later she returned and climbed onto the “ladder” again and then she starts screaming again. I was getting irritated at this point so I asked her,” Andrea, what on earth are you screaming about?” She said,” Mommy, if you don’t go faster, you are going to lose the cooking show and then we wont win any money!”


Evidently there must be some sort of contest show on Food Network. I know there is a show called Worst Cooks in America that I could probably qualify for, but I hope she doesn’t know/realize I’m that bad!

Anyhow, as for the recipe, there isn’t too much to tell. I was much more confident although the prep is still taking some time. I’m sure that I will get faster as I get used to it and as I learn the recipes. I would definitely recommend skinning the chicken first and letting all the spices sit on the chicken rather than the skin. It also cooked about 20 minutes longer than the cooking time posted, but I think that was due to the fact that I didn’t brown the chicken long enough beforehand. My husband loved it and Andrea ate every last bite (she didn’t touch Night #1 at all). I can officially say that this is our first “Family Approved Meal”!

Chicken Casserole- By: Healthy Meals in Minutes
Prep Time: 35 mins
Bake Time: 30 mins

3 mdm russet potatoes, sliced 1/2 in thick
2 T veggie oil
1 2 1/2 to 3 lb chicken, cut into pieces *(I just bought pre-cut chicken from Publix)*
1 t. poultry seasoning, divided
1/2 t. black pepper, divided
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 T imitation bacon bits
sliced green onion for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large saucepan, cover potatoes with cold water; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until tender, about 10 mins. Drain well.
2. While potatoes are cooking, in a large non-stick skillet, heat oil over med. heat. Add chicken; cook until well browned on all sides, about 10 mins. Place browned chicken in a 2-quart casserole; sprinkle with 1/2 t. of poultry seasoning and 1/4 t. of pepper. Set aside.
3.Add the potato slices to skillet and cook until well browned, about 5 mins per side. Add potato and onion slices to the casserole with the chicken; stir gently to combine. Sprinkle with remaining poultry seasoning and pepper. Top with parsley and bacon bits.
4. Cover the dish with foil and bake until the chicken is cooked through, about 25 to 30 mins. Garnish with green onions. Serve immediately. (To cut fat content, do not eat skin. Nutritional data is based on skinned chicken.)-Here’s a picture of my finished product below!

Per Serving:

Calories– 423 (56% from fat)
Carbs- 17 g
Protein-29 g
Sodium– 137 mg
Fat-26 g
Cholesterol-107 mg