Family News and Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Three weeks have passed since I last posted here. I can’t believe it has been that long! I seriously try to write more frequently, but it seems like 3 weeks is the norm these days! Here is what’s been happening on the home front.

Last week we did indeed get the freezing temperatures that I was afraid of. Most of the gorgeous blossoms that I showed in the previous post froze when our spring-like temperatures dropped into the 20s for several nights in a row. Our plum trees had bloomed a few weeks earlier than the peaches and were already showing tiny plums. They also froze and turned black in the freezing temperatures.

We had a bridal shower for Ben’s lady. I am so glad my sister was able to come for it! And we had a birthday party for Little Miss Mia’s daddy! She really wanted to blow out all the candles by herself, so he had to discourage her!

But the best news of all was that my girl’s man came home safely from his deployment! I just love this picture!

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Now for the recipe! I had never made stuffed chicken breast before this try, and the guys loved it! It was not as hard as I had thought it might be. I didn’t follow a recipe, but just went by what I have read online about stuffed chicken breasts. I am sure that there are people out there who know tricks to make it easier!

  • 3-4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2-3 tbsp. heavy cream
  • several large hands full of fresh spinach (sorry! I didn’t measure!)
  • salt and pepper
  • 12-16 slices of bacon

Carefully slice open the chicken breasts making a small pocket in the side of each.Be careful not to slice all the way through. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the two cheeses and the heavy cream and mix well. Lightly steam the spinach to soften. Squeeze all the moisture out of the spinach and stir it into the cheese mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into the chicken breasts. Wrap each chicken breast with bacon, using about 3 slices per piece of chicken. The amount of bacon will depend on the size of each chicken breast. Place wrapped chicken in a slightly oiled pan. Bake at 350 degrees until juices are no longer pink and the bacon looks crispy, about 40 minutes. Again, baking time will depend upon the size of the chicken breasts. Thicker pieces will require longer baking time. Serve with a green salad on the side!

 

 

 

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Breakfast Casserole, THM style!

Things have been pretty quiet around here this week. My little grand darling and her parents are away for a week of family vacation with her other grandparents. I miss that little girl like crazy!! I can’t believe she is almost 2 years old! It won’t be long until she is in “First Day of School” pictures like I’ve been seeing on my Face Book news feed this week. Those children are so adorable!

This is also the time of year for colleges to begin again. It is hard for me to believe that my Citadel grad is starting his second year out of college! I have remained a member of some of the Citadel parent pages on Face Book in order to encourage parents who are new to the 4th class system of a military college. Back when Ben was a knob, I wrote this blog post about mailing packages to him. It is my most viewed post…over 2500 clicks on that post alone! I am amazed!

And of course, my heart misses my newest bundle of love! I can’t wait to see him (and his mommy!) again in September!

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Last week I saw this recipe come through my news feed and realized that I could make it low-carb with no trouble at all. The original recipe called for 1 lb. of hash brown potatoes. I switched that out for finely chopped cauliflower, and it worked great! The hubby even took seconds! This recipe makes 6 large portions.

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Mix these ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

  • 1 lb. chopped cauliflower
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. paprika

Cut  7 slices of bacon into bite-sized pieces and fry them in a skillet. Drain on paper towels.

Mix these ingredients together in another bowl.

  • 6-7 eggs
  • 1/3 c. heavy whipping cream
  • the fried bacon pieces

Lightly oil a baking pan. I used one that is 7 x 11 inches. Press the cauliflower mixture into the pan on the bottom and part way up the sides. Pour the egg mixture on top of the cauliflower. Sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese and 1 tbsp of  chopped, fresh chives.

Bake at 350* for about 40 minutes or until the eggs are firm. Serve with a spoonful of fresh salsa. Enjoy!

 

Zucchini Pizza Slices

We always eat our main meal on Sunday after our morning worship service. And we always have the same foods! There is something comforting to having the same big Sunday dinner each week. Our kids grew up with beef roast, gravy, rice or mashed potatoes, and broccoli with cheese sauce each week. It was something they looked forward to! They still do if they happen to be home on the weekend! I mean, really! Sunday dinner is just not the same without them!

Having the main meal in the middle of the day means that I don’t cook anything fancy after our evening church service. Often, I make flat bread pizza for the hubby and myself. Yesterday, though, I wanted to try something different. And I did have a zucchini in the fridge that needed to be used!

This is based on a recipe that I saw on a cooking video over on Face Book. Unfortunately, I can’t remember which group shared it! I thought it was from Tasty, but when I did a search on their page, it did not come up. I really do want to give credit to the creator of this amazing dish, but, alas, I can not!

We’ve been eating a lot from our garden in recent weeks…fresh tomatoes, hot peppers, figs, peaches, basil, green onions, and garlic…to name just a few items! I even got some tomatoes canned this afternoon! The zucchini has not been as prolific this summer as it usually is, but we did get a few. The most recent one was rather large! It was about 2 inches in diameter and about 10 inches long! Usually, the large ones don’t taste as tender and delicious as the smaller ones, but this one was fine for the pizza slices!  I had my doubts as to whether the hubby would like this recipe, but he loved it! I had no leftovers!

As usual, I don’t have actual amounts for the ingredients. I just created the pizza slices with the pizza toppings that I had on hand. Use your own creativity to make yours! I love that it is THM-friendly!

  • Pizza Sauce
  • Pepperoni slices
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Onion and garlic powder
  • Oregano
  • 1 large zucchini

Wash and slice the zucchini. I cut mine about 1/4 inch thick. Lightly spray a cookie sheet and place the zucchini slices on the pan. Spread about 1 tbsp. of pizza sauce on each piece of zucchini. Place one slice of pepperoni on top of the sauce. *The video showed the pepperoni being cut into tiny circles. That seemed like too much work for me! One large slice of pepperoni one each zucchini slice works well! Sprinkle each slice with the cheeses and the spices.

Bake for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Rachel’s Macaroni Pie

It’s hard to believe that Christmas, 2012, is over and we are at the door of a brand new year! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and that you will be blessed in 2013.

This post is #200! And I need just 35 more views to the blog in order to reach 7000! You readers are amazing!  Thanks to all of you who have shared my blog with your friends!

I plan to make this recipe for our New Year’s Day buffet.  We usually end up snacking most of the day while we watch the parades and some football games.  My friend Rachel shared this recipe the other day, and I can’t wait to try it. I have heard of macaroni pie, but have only had just mac ‘n cheese.

1-1/2 c. uncooked macaroni

4 Tbsp. butter, melted

1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated

2 eggs

1 c. milk (evaporated milk is fine, too)

1/2 tsp. salt

pepper to taste

Cook and drain the macaroni. It can be just a tad undercooked since it will cook more in the oven. Return pasta to large sauce pan. While pasta is still hot, add melted butter and cheese. Mix well.  Beat eggs and add to mixture. Add milk and seasonings. Return to stove and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Pour into greased casserole dish and sprinkle shredded cheddar or monterey jack on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Broil for 5-10 minutes or until top is browned.

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Pillows for Breakfast

I love this recipe shared with me by my friend Cathy.  These pillows are easy to make and taste delicious!  Cathy filled hers with a sausage and cream cheese mixture, but since the only sausage I had was still in the freezer, I opted for bacon and eggs. You can use whatever you’d like for the filling. Try using a quiche mixture cooked in a skillet!

2 cans crescent rolls (8 each)

4 slices bacon, fried crispy and crumbled

6 eggs

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 c. shredded cheese

Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl until completely blended.  Cook over medium heat in a lightly-oiled skillet. Add salt, pepper, and crumbled bacon stirring  well.

Open crescent rolls and make rectangular shapes by  pinching 2 pieces together. Put a spoonful of egg mixture in the middle of each rectangle. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of shredded cheese. Bring corners up to the center and pinch edges together.  Place each pillow on cookie sheet and bake according to crescent roll package directions.  Makes 8 pillows.

Turkey Soup and Jumbo Cheese Biscuits

What to do with a left-over turkey carcass has never been a problem in our house!  I always try to leave a good bit of turkey on the bones when I am carving a turkey for our  Thanksgiving or Christmas feast.  I then wrap it well and put it in the freezer until we feel the need for some homemade turkey soup!  The cold temperatures this week called for some of that soup along with cheesy biscuits.  I modified a biscuit recipe I found in our church cookbook to make the jumbo biscuits, but the soup recipe just fabricated itself in my brain!  My amounts are not accurate at all…just a bit of this or a dash of that.  If you are an experienced cook, you understand!  If you are not, that’s ok, too.  I will do my best to give you fair amounts!  First, those biscuits!

3 c. flour

2 tbsp sugar

1-1/2 tbsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. cream of tartar

3/4 tsp. salt

3/4 c. shortening

1 c. buttermilk

1 c. grated cheddar cheese

1/2 stick butter, melted

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt, mixing well.  Cut in shortening with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Pour buttermilk into flour mixture, stirring until flour mixture is just moistened.  Stir in grated cheese.  Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead just 4-5 times. This is just to help the dough hold together, so don’t be rough with it!   Press dough into rectangle about 3/4 inch thick.  Using a 3-1/2 to 4-inch diameter glass, cut out biscuits. This size glass makes about 11-12 biscuits. Place biscuits close together on an ungreased baking sheet.

Brush with melted butter.Bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and brush with remaining melted butter. Bake for 3-5 minutes more until golden brown.

For the turkey soup, fill a large stock pot about half full of water.  Add the frozen carcass and put on the stove to simmer.  Let simmer until thawed and the meat falls easily off the bones.  Remove carcass from pot and pull all the meat off.  Add the following to the water in the pot.

1 can white kidney beans, drained

1 pack onion soup mix (can also use 1 chopped onion)

1 tsp. minced garlic

2 stalks celery, chopped

3 carrots, peeled and diced

1 can chicken broth

1 quart more water

about 1-2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. sage

Stir and let simmer until vegetables are tender.  Cut meat into bite-sized pieces and add to pot.   Taste and add more seasonings as desired.  Serve with jumbo cheese biscuits for a tasty lunch!  My family often likes soups served with croutons or crushed seasoned bagel chips.