Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Last week I decided I was going to do a 2 week menu instead of only a week menu. I listed all the meals that we've tried that we like, and then I went online searching for new ideas. Since I've been pretty picky lately (thank you pregnancy), coming up with meals has gotten a little more difficult. Something will sound so good one day and then a few days later it sounds totally gross.
But one thing that has sounded good is Mexican food. I have no idea why, but I have been craving enchiladas, tacos, etc.
While I was searching the many food blogs I saw several different recipes for Chicken Enchilada Casserole. But all of them had something I didn't like or it just didn't sound too appealing to me after reading the ingredients. I finally found one that seemed to look pretty good, so I printed it out and added it to my Menu.

Then the day came that I was going to make this Chicken Enchilada Casserole. I pulled out the recipe and gave it a look, then I pulled out a family cookbook that my Grandma gave me and looked at one of her recipes (which were both really similar). I decided that both recipes looked good, but needed a little something, so I got to work and my version of Chicken Enchilada Casserole was born!

Since I changed the recipe quite a bit I was a little scared how it would come out, but it was a hit at dinner! We shared this meal with my in-laws and everyone loved it! We ate almost the entire casserole.

I think it could have used just a little salt. It tasted great, but it was missing just a little flavor, which salt was the trick. Another thing...I think next time I make this I might substitute the layer of corn tortillas with tortilla chips. The corn tortillas were good, but I would like to experiment and see the texture of tortilla chips in this casserole.
For my chicken I just boiled 3 chicken breasts in some seasoned water (garlic powder, salt, pepper, onion, and oregano). Once the chicken was done I took it out and shredded it. When I started layering the casserole I dipped the tortillas in the stock before placing them into the casserole dish.

Overall I was very pleased with my little creation and everyone was too. This is a really easy meal to put together and really yummy. If you don't want black beans try using pinto beans or just leave them out all together. But the addition of the beans and corn made it really great.

This meal is definitely going into our meal rotation, so give it a try and let me know what you think.Enjoy!!

Chicken Enchilada Casserole
From: 3 Sisters Sharing Ideas

2 Cups cooked & shredded Chicken (about 2-3 chicken breasts)
1 (10 oz.) Cream of Mushroom
1 (10 oz.) Cream of Chicken
½ C. Sour Cream
1 (8 oz.) can Diced Green Chiles
1 (10 oz.) can Ro-Tel Tomatoes
¼ C. onion, chopped
½ C. Corn
½ C. Black beans, rinsed & drained
Salt & Pepper
Cheese, grated- I used Cheddar/Jack, but Cheddar or Mexican Blend would work great also.
Corn Tortillas
Tortilla chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl combine the chicken, cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, sour cream, chiles, Ro-Tel tomatoes, onion, corn, and black beans and mix well. Season with salt and pepper and any other seasonings you would like (garlic salt, garlic powder, etc.).
In a greased 9 X 13 dish add a layer of tortillas. You can keep them whole or rip them in half or into bite-size pieces. Then add 1/3 of the soup/chicken mixture and top with cheese. Add another layer of tortillas, 1/3 of the soup mixture and another layer of cheese. Repeat one more time and then on top of the cheese add a layer of crushed tortilla chips.
Bake 30 minutes or until hot and bubbling. Then sprinkle some cheese on top and place it back into the oven until the cheese is melted, just a few minutes. Then take it out of the oven and let it sit for a few minutes.


**If you don’t want to use corn tortillas you can always use flour tortillas instead or use crushed tortilla chips.


Candy Crunch Pudding Parfait

Since Valentine's Day is only 2 days away I thought I'd better get on the ball and post some Valentine's treats.
 So I was thinking the other night of something I could make that I could post on here, and then the thought came to me, What about a Pudding parfait? I've seen tons of cookies, brownies, chocolates, but nothing about pudding. So I went to work...
A few weeks ago I was at my Sister's house and she had made this amazing pudding. I asked her what she did and she said that she just followed some directions for a different dessert on the side of the box. 
She should have said 'I'm just that good of a cook'. haha
The recipe that she saw was for 'Candy Crunch Pudding Pie'. 

So, with a little (or alot) of help from my Sister and a little thinking from myself I came up with the 'Candy Crunch Pudding Parfait'.
First you start with a layer of that delicious Candy Crunch Pudding. Then add a layer of crushed Graham Crackers. Next a cream cheese/Cool Whip layer. Repeat by adding another pudding and graham cracker layer and top it off with Cool Whip. Mmmm....you can't go wrong with that.
I even had some left over strawberries that I ate along with this....delicous!! You could definitely add a layer of those while your at it.
So if you're looking for a chocolatey treat to serve on Valentine's day or just for a delicious little snack, try this Parfait. It's pretty rich, but it is so good.

Crunch Candy Pudding Parfait

1 Large Pkg. Chocolate Pudding Mix (or 2 small pkgs.)
2 C. Cold Milk
4 oz. Cool Whip, thawed
2 (1.4 oz.) milk chocolate English Toffee Candy bar, chopped, divided

Cream Cheese Layer
4 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 C. Confetioner's Sugar
6 oz. Cool Whip, thawed

Graham Cracker Layer
5-8 Graham Crackers, crushed (the rectangle kind that you can split into 4 pieces)

Cool Whip
Graham Cracker Crumbs
Toffee Candy Bar Crumbs

In a small bowl mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and Cool Whip and set aside.
In a medium bowl beat the pudding mix and milk with a whisk for 2 min. Stir in the Cool Whip and all but 3 Tbsp. candy.
In 4-5 small glasses layer your parfaits in this order:
-Graham Cracker Crumbs
-Cream Cheese
-Graham Cracker Crumbs

Top your parfait with Cool-Whip. Then sprinkle some left over Graham Cracker Crumbs and Candy crumbs. You could even top it with a chocolate heart or some strawberries.


Easy Chicken & Cheese Enchiladas

I think enchilada recipes are alot like Cookie recipes for me, if I see a recipe I haven't had I have to try it. It doesn't matter how many enchilada recipes I have or if I have a favorite one. Anyone else have this problem???
I happened to see this recipe on the back of a can of Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup. It looked good, so I ripped off the label and decided I'd give it a try.
We had this last night for dinner and our 'rating' was: We liked it!

These enchiladas were super easy to make and were good.
Just some things I did: I seasoned my chicken (like always) and next time I make this I will probably shred my chicken. I cubed the chicken last night, but I think I'd like it better with shredded chicken. I also sprinkled extra cheese on top of the enchiladas.
I may try adding onions or green chiles next time also or just add a little more salsa. You could even add rice or black beans to the enchilada filling, yum!
One review on the Campbell's website even said that they tried it with leftover Taco meat.

Overall, a good, easy recipe that will be sure to please the family.
Give this a try and see what you think?

Easy Chicken & Cheese Enchiladas
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup Pace® Picante Sauce
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (you could even use Cheddar, Mexican Style Cheese, etc.)
6 flour tortillas (6-inch), warmed
1 small tomato, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 green onion, sliced (about 2 tablespoons)

1.Heat the oven to 350°F. Stir the soup, sour cream, picante sauce and chili powder in a medium bowl.
2.Stir 1 cup soup mixture, chicken and cheese in a large bowl.
3.Divide the chicken mixture among the tortillas. Roll up the tortillas and place seam-side up in a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Pour the remaining soup mixture over the filled tortillas. Cover the baking dish.
4.Bake for 40 minutes or until the enchiladas are hot and bubbling. Top with the tomato and onion.

•Ingredient Note: Stir 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed, into the chicken mixture before filling the tortillas, if desired.


Navajo Tacos

I think I've had this recipe in my 'To Try' file forever, so I finally decided to try it.
The Verdict: They were really good!

I don't know what is going on, but every day right before dinner is done I realize I am starving. So when we sit down to eat I am seriously trying not to stuff my face. haha I'm blaming it on being pregnant! But that is what happened with this meal. I ate this thing so fast, I probably didn't get a real chance to taste it. But it was really good, the bits I did in fact taste.

I found the recipe for this on Gather Round our Table. She uses Rhodes Roll dough to make her scones. That is what I decided to use this time, but next time I will probably try my friend's scone dough recipe: Jessica's recipe from her blog, A Country Girls Livin'.
(You should check out her blog, she has lots of yummy stuff!)

I loved this meal because it's almost as easy as regular tacos, but with a little twist.
Plus, if you have extra scones left over you can have those as dessert with Honey Butter or Cinnamon Honey Butter, mmmm...

So if you're looking for a quick and yummy dinner idea, then give Navajo tacos a try.
I've included the recipe from Gather Round our Table, below, but you can make these however you want. You could even try these using Chicken instead of beef. Try these with the Fiesta Chicken taco meat, mmmm.


Navajo Tacos

Meat Sauce:1-2 lbs. hamburger
Salt & Pepper
1-2 cans Chili Beans
1 pkg. Taco Seasoning (I like Ortega)

Brown hamburger and season with salt and pepper. Drain grease and add taco seasoning packet and water suggested on the back. Cook 10-15 minutes. Add chili beans (drain first) and stir well. Basically, when I make a small batch I use 1 lb. meat and one can of beans. When I make it for a crowd I add 2 lbs. meat and 2 cans beans. You can also use kidney beans (but I like the creamier chili bean better).
Rhodes or Terrell's frozen roll dough
Oil for frying

2-3 hours before dinner, place desired amount of dough on a greased cookie sheet and cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Once dough is totally thawed, press each roll out into the shape of a small scone and allow to rest on cookie sheet and rise some more (30 minutes to an hour). Heat oil to about 350 degrees in either a deep frying pan, dutch oven, or electric fry daddy. Fry the scones until they are golden brown on both sides. Remove from grease and place on paper towels.
shredded cheddar cheese
shredded lettuce
chopped green onion
chopped tomato
chopped olives
Sour Cream


Chewy Pretzel Bites

Since it's Super Bowl Sunday this weekend every food blog out there is talking about snacks and finger foods. I'm not much of a football person, so I don't get into the whole Superbowl Sunday excitement.
The other day I was looking at some recipes at Mel's Kitchen Cafe and saw the most beautiful thing!!

First....does anyone else love the pretzels that you buy at the mall? Well I do. They're so buttery and chewy and delicious. I am always so tempted when I walk through the mall and I pass the pretzel place. Every now in then I'll buy myself one, I think I deserve it. :) I tried making the pretzels at home a few times, but they never turn out the same.

Back to the story, like I said I was looking around Mel's Kitchen Cafe and I saw a post for Chewy Pretzel Bites. The first thing I saw was the picture of these delicous little bites, but that is all it took. It seriously was like Love at first sight! hahaha
I read on to see how to make these, and to my surprise they didn't take very much work. So I printed the recipe out and planned to make them.

Last night for dinner I made Stuffed Peppers (new recipe), which by the way wasn't very good, but I decided to make these Pretzel Bites also. Halway through dinner the first batch was done. I didn't waste any time trying one.

 Let me just tell you, they were DELICIOUS!!!
Everyone in my family loved them.
We had nacho cheese and Cinnamon Honey butter to dip the bites in. Mmmm....they were good.
I'm tempted to host a Super Bowl party just so I can make a huge batch of these and have an excuse to stuff my face. haha OK not really, but they seriously were that good.

So if you are having a Super Bowl party or are going to one, impress everyone with a batch of these. I promise you won't be sorry. And just a little FYI, they taste the best Hot, right out of the oven.

Chew Pretzel Bites

*Note: if using active dry yeast, increase the yeast to 1 tablespoon. Proof the yeast in the warm water and sugar (let it bubble and foam - maybe about 5 minutes) before adding it to the flour and salt.

*Makes about 2 dozen pretzel bites

2 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup (8 ounces) very warm water

1/2 cup (4 ounces) warm water
2 tablespoons baking soda
Coarse salt (optional)
3 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Mix to just combine. Add the water and mix well, adding more flour, as needed, a bit at a time to form a soft, smooth dough that clears the sides and bottom of the bowl. Knead the dough, by hand or machine, for about 5 minutes, until it is soft, smooth and quite slack. The goal is to get a really soft dough that isn't overly sticky. Lightly flour the dough and place it in a plastic bag; close the bag, leaving room for the dough to expand, and let it rest for 30 minutes or up to 60 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 500°F. Don’t be afraid of the high heat! This is what will help those pretzels to brown up perfectly and stay soft on the inside. Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or lightly greasing them.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into about four strips of equal length. Allow the pieces to rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes. While the dough is resting, combine the 1/2 cup warm water and the baking soda in a liquid measuring cup (deep enough to dip the pretzel bites into). Make sure the baking soda is thoroughly dissolved. Sometimes I have a hard time getting the baking soda completely dissolved, so I just lightly stir up the mixture right before adding each pretzel.

Cut each strip of dough into about 6-8 pieces, about 1 to 1 ½ inches in width. You don’t have to be completely exact, just eyeball it. Dip each pretzel bite in the baking soda solution (this will give the pretzels a nice, golden-brown color), and place them on the baking sheets. Sprinkle them lightly with coarse, kosher, or pretzel salt. Allow them to rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Bake the pretzels for 7-8 minutes or until they're golden brown. Bake one sheet at a time - it won't hurt the other pretzels to chill out for a little longer.

Remove the pretzels from the oven, and brush them thoroughly with the melted butter. Keep brushing the butter on until you've used it all up; it may seem like a lot, but that's what gives these pretzels their ethereal taste. Eat the pretzels warm, or reheat them in an oven or microwave on low heat.



Fiesta Chicken Tacos with Homemade Refried Beans & Spanish Rice

I love tacos because they are so easy! But having the same ground beef tacos with the little 'Taco' packet can get a little old.
While searching for new meal ideas I came across this yummy recipe for Fiesta Chicken Tacos on Gather Round our Table (a great little food blog). I wrote it on my menu right away and wrote down the ingredients I needed. Another plus for this recipe is that it's a Crockpot recipe. There is nothing better than throwing stuff in a crockpot and a few hours later dinner is done.

Doesn't that look yummy? You can't see the chicken too much, but believe me....it was good.

Then I happened to find another new food blog, Food Brings Families Together, and found the recipe for Homemade Refried Beans and Spanish Rice.
You may have a recipe for Spanish Rice and like your canned Refried Beans, but believe me these were GOOD. Plus they are authentic 'From Mexico' recipes. You can't get better than that. The refried beans weren't hard to make, they too are made in the crockpot.

 yah....you can't take a very pretty or appetizing picture of refried beans. It's just a big brown bowl of mush. But they were very yummy.

And here's the rice.

When I made this we had my Hubby's parents and my Sister and her kids over for dinner. Everyone raved about dinner. Josh (hubby) LOVED the tacos. This is definitely going to be a regular meal at our home.

Fiesta Chicken Tacos
4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or 12-15 chicken tenders)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1-2 cups salsa
1 pkg. Taco Seasoning Mix
Fixings for tacos (shells, lettuce, tomato, cheese, cilantro, guacamole, etc.)

Place chicken breasts in crock pot. Pour chicken soup on top, then salsa on top of that, then sprinkle taco seasoning all over the top of that. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 8-10 hours. Shred the meat and serve with taco fixings.
**I usually put my chicken in the crock pot when it is still frozen and it turns out great!

Refried Beans

2-3 cups dried pinto beans, rinsed

6-8 cups water
2 tsp. salt: you may need to add more later
1 tomato diced
2 jalapeno's diced
1 onion, diced
1 T. minced garlic

Place all in a crock pot and cook on high for 4-6 hours or until the beans are soft. (I know this is a broad time to give you but my beans cook in about 4 hours and my friend when she does it in her crockpot it takes 6 hours to get them soft)When beans are tender pour most of the liquid off the beans. Leave a little bit of liquid, then mash the beans to your desired consistency. I use and immersion blender to do this but you can use a potato masher or the back of a large spoon.

Spanish Rice
2 cups uncooked rice
1 onion, chopped
2 T. garlic, minced
2 T. olive oil
1-15 oz. can diced tomatoes (I prefer petite diced for this)
3 heaping tsp. chili powder
3 heaping tsp. chicken bouillon
1 tsp. Salt
2 1/2 cups water

Heat The oil in a large pot. Add the rice, onion, and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Then add all the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Stir, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes. Serve with burritos or any other Mexican dish!!