Wednesday, December 22, 2010

BowTie Chicken Pasta Salad

This is yet another amazing recipe my mom used to make growing up. I have made it several times for various events and I continually get rave reviews. This pasta salad is unbelievably simple, but so delicious. It is definitely my go-to recipe for potlucks, church parties, baby/bridal showers and any type of summer meal. The variety of ingredients make for a colorful and eye-catching display, and the creamy sauce pulls everything together perfectly. (Picture courtesy of Oh Sweet Basil)

  • 1 16-oz. box bow-tie pasta noodles, cooked and drained (any type of medium-sized noodle would work well here)
  • 1-2 cups cooked chicken, diced
  • 2 cups red or purple grapes, sliced in half
  • 1 large can mandarin oranges
  • 1 large can pineapple tidbits
  • 1 can water chestnuts, sliced in half
  • 2-3 green onions, diced in small pieces
  • 1 cup cashews


  • 1/2 bottle Kraft Coleslaw salad dressing
  • 1 cup mayonnaise

Toss all salad ingredients together in a large bowl until combined. Mix coleslaw dressing and mayonnaise together and pour over pasta salad, stirring until evenly coated. Serve immediately or store in fridge until needed.

Cream Cheese Enchiladas

I know I just posted my favorite enchilada recipe a few weeks ago, but I was having a craving for enchiladas last night and wanted to try something new. I found this recipe on My Kitchen Cafe and immediately knew I had to give it a try. Although not the healthiest of meals, it is absolutely delicious. The biggest difference between my go-to enchilada recipe is the filling. This one had a cheesy cream cheese base and an addition of black beans. It was a cinch to throw together in a bowl and stuff into the tortillas. The sauce was also incredible! I definitely think I'll be using this sauce from now on, no matter what enchilada recipe I use. It was so rich and creamy and it added a huge pop of flavor to the simple filling. Top it all off with fresh cilantro and Mmm baby! You can't go wrong! (Picture and recipe courtesy of My Kitchen Cafe)



  • 2-3 cups cooked chicken, diced
  • 2 cans diced green chilies
  • 1 8-oz container cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (you can really use any type of bean here)


  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/3 c. chicken broth
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 can (7 oz.) green enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 c. sour cream

5-8 flour tortillas

Toppings: grated cheese, cilantro, salsa, hot sauce, etc.

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients to make up the filling. Fill each tortilla with several spoonfuls of the filling and roll up. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish and place tortillas seam-side down inside.

In a large nonstick skillet, saute the onions and butter over medium heat until onions are soft and light golden brown. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir well until combined. Slowly, whisk in the chicken broth and milk. As you whisk and the mixture cooks, it will become less lumpy and will thicken - about 3-4 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the salt, pepper, enchilada sauce, and sour cream until smooth. Pour over the top of the enchiladas. Top with cheese. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, or until heated through. Sprinkle fresh cilantro over the top and serve.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Swiss Steak

I'll have to say that my favorite kitchen appliance is definitely my crock pot. I love throwing everything in, turning on the heat, and walking away for a few hours, only to come back to a mouth-watering smell and cooked food! A big shout-out to whoever invented this little guy- I. Love. It. Moving on, this is one of my favorite crock-pot recipes of all time! Although I love the original flavor of a Sunday roast, this one is a refreshing change and is sure to please everyone around the table. At first I was a little skeptical to try a roast recipe that included canned tomatoes, but they provided so much moisture and just the right amount of sweetness. And the best thing is, it is extremely versatile. Just add in whatever ingredients you have, wait a few hours, and voila! You have a wonderful, heart-warming meal ready to serve. (Picture courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens)

  • 1 medium-size pot-roast, OR 1 lb. boneless beef round steak
  • 3-4 large carrots, cut into small 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2-3 small potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 14.5 ounce can Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Lay meat on bottom of the crock pot and sprinkle with carrots, onions, and potatoes. Pour tomatoes, worcestershire sauce and garlic over everything. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours, or until meat is tender and cooked through. Serve and add salt and pepper to taste.

Optional: Omit the potatoes and serve over mashed potatoes, rice, or cooked pasta noodles.