Thursday, January 31, 2013

Pigs in a Blanket

Pigs in a Blanket
These are so simple to make, and yet everyone asks me to make them for every occasion (and then asks for the recipe).  So here you go!

2 packages of Hillshire Farms Beef Lil Smokies
1 can 8 count Pillsbury Big and Flaky Croissant Rolls dough

Preheat oven to 350*
Using a pizza cutter, slice the pointed end of each croissant triangle off at about the 1/3 mark. 
Then slice the top into 3-4 thin strips and the bottom 2/3 rectangle like portion into multiple thin strips.
Roll each thin strip around each lil smokie (it may look like very little dough, but it puffs up so much that any more would be too much).
Place each one onto an ungreased cookie sheet (I find the dark metal ones to be the best as the lighter silver ones don't reflect as well therefore don't allow the grease to burn off enough and the bottoms end up a bit soggy).
Do this until all your smokies are wrapped up in croissant strips.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until the croissants are nicely browned.
Let cool a couple minutes, then serve.

*Major note...if you are having more than just a couple people over, make tons of these because they are always the first thing to disappear at my parties!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Chicken Pot Pie Pockets

                              Chicken Pot Pie Pockets

2 large chicken breasts
Diced carrots (about 10 baby carrots sliced)
Diced celery (3 small stalks or 2 medium)
Diced medium potato
Minced onion (about 1tbl)
1can healthy request cream chicken soup
1 cup shredded cheddar mix
2 tsp Thyme 
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 tsp Paprika
3 cans 8 count croissants (or if you can find the croissant rolls that are uncut, then cut each large square into 4 squares)
2 tbl Butter

Sprinkle salt, pepper and paprika on chicken.
Melt butter in pan on medium high.
Sear chicken on both sides.
Lower heat to medium.
Slice chicken into strips and sear each side.
Dice chicken and mix with remaining ingredients.

Place back into pan and simmer for 10 minutes (or if you are in a rush, you can put in a microwave safe bowl and cook on high 5 minutes).

Take 2 croissant triangles together in squares and pinch seam together.
Place heaping spoonful into center and fold corners to center.

Pinch side shut and place on greased cookie sheet.
Repeat with remaining croissants.
Bake at 350* for 20 minutes.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Ham and Swiss Mac n Cheese

                          Ham and Swiss Mac n Cheese

1 1/2 cups milk
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled to room temp to prevent curdling
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 pound elbow macaroni or mini penne tubes, par cooked and drained (this means cook them for about five minutes until tender but not completely cooked), cooled to room temp to prevent curdling
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup diced ham
1 Tbl Paprika
8 oz shredded Swiss cheese
8 oz shredded fontina cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs toasted in pan with olive oil
 Whisk together milks, cooled butter, eggs and seasonings until combined and smooth.
Add Swiss, fontina, ham and cooled macaroni.
Stir together to coat the pasta.

 Sprinkle the parm on top and cover
Cook on LOW 2 1/2 hours (ok to keep on warm an addtl 1/2 hr but no more or it may curdle).

 Sprinkle toasted bread crumbs on top and serve.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Chicken Primavera Alfredo Lasagna

                       Chicken Primavera Alfredo Lasagna

12 cooked lasagna noodles
2 jars Alfredo sauce
1/2 head finely chopped broccoli (about 2large stalks)
1/2 head finely chopped cauliflower
3 carrots shredded
2 boneless chicken breasts cut into 1" cubes
1 8 oz container ricotta cheese
2 bags shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2tbl Italian seasoning
Olive oil

Heat 2 Tbl olive oil over medium high heat in a large pan
Season chicken cubes with salt and pepper
Cook chicken cubes in pan (about 5 minutes each side) until golden brown on the outside and thoroughly cooked inside.
While chicken is cooking, steam cauliflower until very tender.

Put cooked cauliflower in a medium bowl and mash until very fine.
Add ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and italian seasoning to cauliflower and mix well.

Take cooked chicken and dice into small pieces.
Place chicken into a medium bowl and add broccoli, carrots, and 1 jar of Alfredo sauce, mixing well.

Preheat oven to 350*
In a 13x9 baking pan, pour half of the second jar of Alfredo sauce at the bottom, spreading it around to throughly cover the bottom of the pan. Place 3 lasagna noodles along the bottom.

Spoon 1/3 of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles, spreading it out to cover noodles
Spoon 1/3 of the chicken mixture on top of the ricotta mixture, spreading it out to cover the noodles.
Sprinkle 1/3 of one of the bags of mozzarella on top of the chicken. Place 3 more lasagna noodles on top and repeat the layers of ricotta, chicken and mozzarella. Repeat above step.

Place last 3 noodles on top, then pour remaining Alfredo sauce on top.  Sprinkle entire second bag of mozzarella cheese on top.  


Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes.
Remove from oven, remove foil and then bake an additional 10 minutes until cheese is bubbly and sides are golden brown.
Let cool 5 minutes then serve.