Recipes from Our Table to Yours

Crockpot Pizza Casserole

Ingredients

1 45 oz. jar of Ragu® sauce (used Aldi brand, reg. size)
3 c. mozzarella cheese (or more) (used Mexican cheese bc that’s what we always have)
1 1/2 lb. penne pasta
1 c. mini pepperoni (or more)
any other pizza toppings (used sausage & green peppers too)

Instructions

Precook your penne pasta noodles but leave a bit al dente. Cook any meats such as sausage before putting into your pizza casserole. Layer spaghetti  sauce, then 1/3 of your cooked noodles, pizza toppings, and cheese until there is nothing left to layer (will be about 3 layers in a 6 qt. crockpot). Put on low for 2-3 hrs. Can keep on warm or just turn off and keep the lid on for several hours.

The T’s & I really liked it. K tried it & was ambivalent, not sure JC tried it. Next time, I will probably do less penne & more pepperoni. Good though, & definitely a keeper.

Oven Baked Chicken Fajitas

Ingredients
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 2)
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 poblano pepper (substitute green bell pepper, if preferred)
2 jalapenos (I used jarred)
1 large or 2 small onions
2 tablespoons taco seasoning; purchase ready-made or make your own (recipe at http://www.theyummylife.com/taco_seasoning_mix)
2 tablespoons olive oil
8-10 flour tortillas
optional garnishes/toppings: cilantro, lime wedges, guacamole, sour cream, salsa

Directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray or brush large 13×18 sheet pan with oil (or, use 2 smaller pans).

Cut chicken breasts against the grain into 1/4″ to 1/2″ wide strips. (Tip: freezing chicken for 15-30 minutes firms it up for easier cutting.)

Cut bell and poblano peppers into long thin slices, approx. 1/4″ wide.
Cut stem end from jalapenos. Use vegetable peeler to cut out membrane and seeds (or leave them in if more heat is desired). Slice into thin rounds.
Cut ends (poles) off of onions. Cut in half from pole to pole. Cut into thin slices.

Scatter peppers, onions, and chicken on sheet pan. Sprinkle on taco seasoning. Drizzle with olive oil. Use tongs to toss until everything is coated and spread in an even layer. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring half way through.

Wrap tortillas in foil and put in oven with fajita mixture during last 10 minutes of baking time.

Garnish sheet pan with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges. Serve with warm tortillas and optional toppings.

MAKE-AHEAD TIPS:
–Assemble the fajita mixture, cover and refrigerate up to 1 day ahead.
–Mixture also may be frozen, either in the sheet pan or flattened in a Ziploc freezer bag. To cook frozen mixture, add 10 minutes to cooking time for a total of 40 minutes; leave uncovered the entire time.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION per 1-cup serving of fillng (without tortilla): 259 calories, 13g fat, 344mg sodium, 7.7g carbs, 2.8g fiber, 3.8g sugars, 27.6g protein, Weight Watchers SmartPoints: 4
High in protein, iron, niacin, selenium, Vitamins A, B6 & C.

This is definitely a keeper recipe. K is the only one who didn’t try it, but he also doesn’t like chicken. (I know, right? *shrugs*)

Homemade Mac & Cheese

  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 3/4 lb. (12 oz.) VELVEETA®, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
Directions:
  • Cook macaroni in large saucepan as directed on package (approximately 6-8 minutes); drain well. Return to pan.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients; cook on low heat until VELVEETA is completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring frequently.
  • Take off the heat as soon as everything is melted & blended. It will continue to thicken over time.

The last couple of times we made a box mix Mac & Cheese, it was H.O.R.R.I.B.L.E.!!!! We decided to try a homemade version & the girls loved it! I even thought it was pretty good.

Fudge Brownies

1 C. margarine, melted
2 C. sugar
1/2 C. cocoa
4 eggs
1 C. flour
1 C. nuts (optional)

In a bowl, mix margarine, sugar, & cocoa. Add eggs & mix well. Stir flour into egg mixture & mix well. Add nuts, if desired. Grease a 9×13 inch pan & pour in batter. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until brownies test done with a toothpick. Cool in pan. Frost if desired.

Makes 18 brownies.

Ingredients:
1 30oz. bag of frozen diced hash browns
1 32 oz box of chicken broth
1 can of cream of chicken soup (10 oz)
1 pkg. cream cheese (8 oz, not fat free)
3 oz bacon bits
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Put the hash browns in the crockpot. Add in the chicken broth, cream of chicken soup and half of the bacon bits. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
Cook on low for 7-8 hours or until potatoes are tender.
An hour before serving, cut the cream cheese into small cubes. Place the cubes in the crock pot. Mix a few times throughout the hour before serving.
Once the cream cheese is completely mixed in, it’s ready to serve.
Top with cheddar cheese and some additional bacon bits.

Crockpot Santa Fe Chicken

We tried a new recipe gotten off of Pinterest (love that site!!!) So far, John & I both really like it, Tahni likes it pretty well, Taryn is ambivalent, & I don’t know yet about Cam or the boys.

Here it is:

1-1/2 pounds of chicken
1 14.4 oz can chicken broth
1 15 oz can of black beans
8 oz frozen corn
1 14.4 oz can of diced tomatoes with mild green chiles
1/4 C fresh cilantro chopped
3 scallions chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste

1)  In slow cooker, add chicken broth, beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper & salt. Stir to combine.

2)  Lay seasoned chicken breasts on top of other ingredients inside slow cooker.

3)  Cook on low for 10 hours or high for 6 hours.

4)  Half hour before serving, remove chicken & shred. Return shredded chicken to slow cooker & stir it into other ingredients. Adjust salt & seasoning to desired taste.

I changed a few things b/c I didn’t have all the ingredients like I thought I did, added crushed red pepper flakes instead of cayenne pepper, & seasoned my chicken breasts with lemon pepper, Italian seasoning, & crushed red pepper.

It’s very good served over brown rice & is definitely a keeper!

Pretzel Salad

1 cup crushed pretzels
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick butter, melted

8oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar.
8 oz. cool whip .
20oz. crushed pineapple, drained

Mix pretzels, 1/2 cup sugar and butter and bake at 400° for 10 minutes on cookie sheet. Let cool.

Beat cream cheese with sugar, add pineapple, fold in cool whip, mix. Crumble in pretzel crunch. Save a bit to put on top. Pour into dish and refrigerate.

*Most of my people love this! I definitely need to double the recipe b/c 1 is just not enough!