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Recipe: Chicken Broccoli Braid

This is one of my most favorite Pampered Chef recipes (this, and the Touch Down Taco Dip…yum!)

It’s also the first meal I made for Mike…and look how that turned out! *grin*

It looks really fancy, but it’s super easy…and really tasty.
(But probably not all that good for you, so don’t make it TOO often!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 4 oz. (1cup) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. dill
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 pkgs. (8oz. each) refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • (optional) 2 tbls. slivered almonds (I don’t use this)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Mix all ingredients together except the rolls, egg white, and almonds.
  3. Unroll 1 package of crescent dough; do not separate. Arrange longest sides of dough across width of 12″ x 15″ rectangle baking stone. Repeat with remaining package of dough.
  4. Roll dough to seal perforations.
  5. Spread filling evenly over middle of dough.
  6. On longest sides of baking stone, cut dough into strips 1 1/2 inches apart, starting from the filling.
  7. To braid, lift strips of dough across mixture to meet in center, twisting each strip on turn. Continue twisting strips to form a braid. Tuck ends under to seal at end of braid. 

  8. Brush egg white over dough.
  9. Sprinkle with almonds.
  10. Bake 25-28 minutes or until deep golden brown.

Cookbooks

A recent discussion with my twins club got me thinking about cookbooks. Every year, someone from the club decides that creating a club cookbook would be a great idea (I was one of those people about 2 years ago…and then last year, VP, WAC, and I even got together to discuss it.) Life happened and we never actually got around to publishing one, but it was a good conversation.

But what did this recent discussion get me thinking about? Two things.

First: Would people actually purchase a cookbook? In this day and age where millions of recipes are at your fingertips online, would you purchase a cookbook? Perhaps if it were billed as a fundraiser for something I’d support anyway… Don’t get me wrong. I have a ton of cookbooks. There are even a few I crack open from time to time. My favorite one though? A Levenger Circa Junior notebook that I’ve written all of my favorites in. Some from cookbooks I own, some from online, some passed down from my grandmother and Mike’s mom.

Second: Where do these recipes come from? I know…members submit their favorites. But…what about people like me who mostly just use OTHER people’s recipes? Isn’t that, like, copyright infringement or something? I’ve found a few recipes online that I’ve changed around a bit to meet my tastes…does this mean that it’s now my recipe? And what about those that have been passed down from family members..? For all I know, they did the same thing that I did…found their favorites and just wrote ’em all down in one spot.

So…would you purchase a cookbook? Would you contribute to one? And would it be your “own” recipe?

Succulent Death

Mike sent me the following link: http://www.bbqaddicts.com/bacon-explosion.html and told me that we definitely needed to try this Bacon Explosion recipe.

I emailed him back and told him that even though I could already feel my arteries clogging and the pounds piling back on, if the sausage was substituted with hamburger, I’d be right there with him. (I’m not a big sausage fan.)

He replied that he was worried about my lack of vision. We should substitute the sausage with his mom’s meatloaf recipe. (Holy COW that’s an awesome meatloaf!!).

We chatted more about this recipe when he got home from work and decided that a layer of mashed potatoes would make this the perfect recipe. He then asked me what we should call it. I immediately said, “Death.” His response? “Hm. That’s just not … succulent enough.” Then his eyes got big and he laughed…the recipe title is now Succulent Death. Can’t wait to try it.

Recipe: Crock Pot Chicken

As another companion to my Ladies of Loserville post, I’m sharing my Crock Pot Chicken recipe.

This is another one that I make all the time. It calls for Italian dressing…which, if you use the tasty kind isn’t great for the diet. I made it with the lite Italian dressing last time, which was okay. But that also could have also been due to the fact that I made it with whatever I had laying around the kitchen, so it wasn’t the USUAL stuff. Too many variables to call that one. I think the next time I try, I’m going to eliminate *2* whole points a serving and try it with the fat-free chicken broth that I got from Progresso. (Go see my giveaway!)  Maybe add some Italian seasoning? We’ll see.

If I calculated correctly, one serving using the lite Italian dressing is 5 points. I’m sure depending on the type of veggies you use, this could go up or down in points.

**UPDATE** Do NOT use the broth or the lite dressing…both turn out terrible!

Ingredients:

  • 4 Chicken Breast halves. (We’ve been through this. . . I know that it’s 2 chicken breasts…)
  • I can sliced potatoes (you can use real ones diced up, but the canned ones mean that they’ll be super tender)
  • 1 bottle lite Italian dressing
  • 1 pkg. frozen veggies
  • 1/2 pkg. frozen pearl onions
  • 2 cans water chestnuts
  • Garlic powder
  • Seasoned salt (If you haven’t tried Penzey’s Spices yet…whoo boy. Yum-my)
  • Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Place chicken in the bottom of crock pot.
  2. Generously sprinkle chicken with garlic powder and seasoned salt. Use pepper to taste.
  3. Add remaining ingredients.
  4. Cook on Low for 8 hours or High for 4 hours.

My First Giveaway!

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am. Not only because I have a giveaway to send out to a few lucky readers, but because it’s like these people read my blog and know exactly what I need!! Yep – I get to keep one too 🙂

MyBlogSpark and Progresso sent me a gift basket that’s full of goodies. And they are even goodies I can use on my diet! Check it out:

progresso-small

It’s the Progresso “Perfect Recipe” gift basket – and I get to give three away!!! The gift baskets include a free coupon for Progresso Broth, a recipe card holder, recipe box and wicker basket, as well as a set of serving spoons and a spoon rest.

I don’t know about you, but I use broth in a LOT of recipes. Well…actually I only use it in a few recipes – that I make all the time *sheepish grin* (like the Burger Soup!)

And if you read my blog with any regularity, you know that I could use another utensil to replace my melted one!

So…what do you have to do to win one of these lovely baskets? You’ll get entered once if you leave me a comment for THIS post (you can leave as many comments as you want here, but I’ll enter you once only – sorry!). And you’ll get entered a second time if you email me your favorite holiday recipe (or email me the link to it if you’ve posted it on your blog). I’ll post the recipes with the winners!

I’m closing the doors on Monday December 1, 2008 – Midnight Eastern time – so coment and email before then. Random.org will pick the winners on Tuesday morning and I’ll have them (and the recipes) posted at some point that Tuesday.

Recipe: Crock Pot Burger Soup

Mike picked on me for posting a recipe last week, but I’m going to do it again anyway *grin*

As another companion to my Ladies of Loserville post, I’m sharing my Burger Soup recipe. Like the Chicken Ole’, this one can be done in the crock pot or in a frying pan. I’ll include directions for both.

I have to say that Mike and I *love* this recipe. I make it at least once a week. You can use rice or pasta for either version…but the best way – in my opinion – is to use the rice in the crock pot version and pasta in the frying pan version. If I calculated correctly, one serving is 6 points. If you don’t add the cheese, it’s only 4 points.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. basil
  • 1 envelope dry onion soup
  • 3 Cups beef broth + water – boiling. (I use 1 can and then fill the rest with water, then pop into the microwave for 3 minutes)
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 C. sliced carrots
  • 1 C. cooked rice OR pasta (cooked and drained if in crock pot, dry if in frying pan – I use the curly, hollow pasta, Cellentani)
  • 1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Crock Pot Instructions:

  1. Crumble beef into crock pot.
  2. Add spices.
  3. Mix in water, tomato sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.
  4. Add carrots.
  5. Cover and cook on low 6 – 8 hours.
  6. Turn to high heat and add rice or pasta and Parmesan cheese.
  7. Cover and cook 10 – 15 minutes.

Frying Pan Instructions:

  1. Brown and drain the beef.
  2. Add everything else.
  3. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.

Recipe: Chicken Ole’

As a companion to my Ladies of Loserville post, I’m sharing my Chicken Ole’ recipe. Okay…so it’s not really my recipe. A very good friend made it for me one day, and I adapted it for my crock pot. I’ll include directions for both versions.

I love this recipe because it’s super easy and tastes SO good! And one serving – if I calculated correctly – is equal to 4 WW points. Mike and I ate this dish long before I decided to join Weight Watchers – so it’s not diet food! I was just super excited to see that it’s one of the better meals for me 🙂

Chicken Ole’

Ingredients:

  • 4 Chicken Breast halves (which would be 2 chicken breasts, but I’ve found they come in halves) – boneless, skinless
  • 2 jars of salsa (I use Green Mountain Gringo – THE best salsa!)
  • 1 Lime
  • Some squirts of mustard

Directions:

  1. Place the chicken in the bottom of the crock pot.
  2. Dump the salsa on top.
  3. Cut the lime in half, squirt the juice of both halves on top of the salsa.
  4. Squirt the mustard in and stir into the salsa (leaving the chicken on the bottom).
  5. Cover and cook on low for about 8 hours.

If you don’t have a crock pot, cube the chicken and then put everything into a frying pan and let it simmer until the chicken is cooked all the way through.

Serve over rice. (1 cup of white rice is another 4 WW points. But add a salad with no-fat dressing and this is an entire meal for 8 points!)