Forgotten Food Medley

Apologies for missing yesterday’s post! I had a severe case of the Mondays or something, so I’m posting today to make up for it.

This past Sunday night I was running low on EVERYTHING. It was so late by the time that I got started that I literally only had two choices: find something I could prepare quickly in the pantry or go out and grab food. My children had already decided we were having Zaxby’s and were excited. Not today kids, not today. I decided to go the unpopular route and chose to make something at home.

I quickly searched for foods that were floating around the pantry, fridge, and freezer. I manged to find a few questionable carrots, a very small bag of broccoli, an almost empty bag of rice, and a can of cream of chicken. It was like a medley of the forgotten foods! (sorry for the crappy picture. It was an afterthought.)

First, I started the instant rice on the stove. I prefer “normal” rice, but, like I stated, it was late!

As the rice was cooking, I prepared the can of cream of chicken.

I used the microwave to steam broccoli and carrots separately and then mixed them together. (They could have been steamed together, but I was busy deciding whether or not I wanted to chance the carrots.)

Once my forgotten foods were finished, I tossed everything into one pot, mixed it together, and served with fresh green beans I had made earlier that day for a family gathering.

My family LOVED it. It was so good for being so simple!

 

On a side note, this would also be wonderful with some grilled chicken thrown in. I may try that next time, but if you are searching for quick and simple meal, this is the way to go!

Were we hungry or did I just totally rock that one out on a whim?

I think I’ll choose the latter option!

(Sorry for the lack of quality pictures. I was just not on my game Sunday night!)

Print Recipe
Rice and Veggie Mix
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cook rice according to package directions.
  2. While rice is cooking, prepare cream of chicken according to can directions.
  3. Steam broccoli and carrots by your preferred method (microwave or stovetop).
  4. Once all the food is cooked, mix together in medium-large pot.
  5. Serve with a side or bread.
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Rice and Veggie Mix

Print Recipe
Rice and Veggie Mix
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cook rice according to package directions.
  2. While rice is cooking, prepare cream of chicken according to can directions.
  3. Steam broccoli and carrots by your preferred method (microwave or stovetop).
  4. Once all the food is cooked, mix together in medium-large pot.
  5. Serve with a side or bread.
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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
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 65 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  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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Loaded Baked Potato Casserole

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
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 65 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  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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The Chicken Nuggets that Weren’t

Last night we had some old favorites at our house. I’m so familiar with salmon patties that I can practically cook them in my sleep. Nothing could go wrong with that, right? Um….yeah.

Although last night was relatively uneventful compared to most nights, I did manage to burn my fingers more than once and my pot of potatoes overflowed. By the time my children started asking for snacks, drinks, and dinner every two minutes, I was feeling my eye twitching every time they came into the kitchen. Then Ella, my three year old, walked in and said, “What are we having for dinner?” After my son told her salmon she immediately turned her nose up and started to whine. I quickly caught her attention and told her we were actually having “giant chicken nuggets” (which is exactly what my son thought they were until last year). It is slightly deceiving, but I go with whatever works!

Let’s get started! Here’s what you will need for the salmon patties. Well…and oil, but you get the drift. This recipe is very reasonable on the wallet.

A few important notes:

  1. Get boneless and skinless. If not, you’ll be like me the first time I made these and spend an hour trying to pick the minuscule bits of skin and bones out before just throwing it all away and screaming in frustration.
  2.  I have used different brands and noticed some of them need more or less cornmeal. Just be warned that all brands are different and what works for Double “Q” may not necessarily work for another brand (in terms of cornmeal amounts needed and such).

I mixed together two cans of salmon in medium-sized bowl. I always drain one and just dump in the second one with liquid and all. I added in two eggs and used a fork to mix the eggs and salmon together and then I added in the 1/4 cup of cornmeal and mixed well. Last night I added in an extra 1/8 cup. I usually know it’s “ready” when I push it all to one side of the bowl and it doesn’t automatically slide back into place.

After mixing them up, drop them by small spoonfuls into a skillet of hot oil. You can make bigger ones if you want. I vary on sizes.

It’s time to flip when they turn golden brown on the sides!

Once they are done, they should look like this on the inside:

As a side I also made cheesy smashed potatoes. I washed and sliced five UN-peeled potatoes and boiled them while I made the salmon patties. I then added a little milk, a Tbsp of butter, and a handful of cheese and mashed them up. The skin is just extra nutrients and it’s so much easier than peeling it. I also used my trusty Pampered Chef steamer (no, I don’t sell it- I just adore this product) to steam frozen broccoli in the microwave.

All in all it was a fast and easy dinner!Oh and my three year old still thinks we had chicken nuggets. And she ate every. last. one.

*Disclaimer: I make these pretty plain. You may want to add more seasonings, but we prefer them this way. This should be considered a base recipe by most.

Salmon Patties

  • 2 Cans of boneless, skinless Salmon- ONE drained (I prefer Double “Q”)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 C of cornmeal (may need an extra 1/8 C occasionally)
  • olive oil

Combine regular can of salmon and drained can. Add eggs. Mix together with a fork. Add in cornmeal and mix well. If needed, add extra cornmeal. Heat olive oil in skillet on medium to medium/high heat. Drop spoonfuls of salmon mixture into hot skillet. Turn patties when the edges turn golden brown. Once patties are done, move to a paper-towel covered plate to soak up any extra oil. Serve.

Cheesy Smashed Potatoes

  • 5-6 washed, un-peeled potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 2-3 Tbsp milk
  • “handful” of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (real technical measurements here…)

Slice potatoes and add to a large pot of boiling water. Let potatoes boil until they are tender and easily mashed with  fork. Drain and return to pot. Add in milk and butter and mash by hand. After butter melts, add in a handful of cheese and hand mash.

 

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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.