Tag Archives: Entrée

Two Winter’s Day Chicken Recipes: Chicken and Dumplings & Chicken Fried Rice

I’m always amazed at how differently people define the word “dumpling.”  Well I like them the way my mother makes them: thin and almost “noodley.”  No matter what the size of the dumpling, most people have no problem finishing off a huge bowl of this classic comfort food- Chicken & Dumplings.  Try some before the winter is over.

Leftovers for dinner.  BOO!  HISS! says my spoiled family.  BUT….. if they are re-purposed into something yummy- then YAY, MAMA!  I love Chicken Fried rice because it’s so versatile.  You just need to have some kind of cooked chicken, some old and cold rice, hopefully a piece of an onion and some random veggie remnants from the bottom of the fridge drawer.  This is usually a hit with the kids and it’s a one-dish wonder.


Weight Watchers Meatloaf is really good!

I found this recipe in an old Weight Watchers cookbook and decided to make it instead of my usual meatloaf.  Never hurts to feel good about eating comfort food, right?  I made a few little changes-  left out the green peppers, added 2 Tbsp. Allegro steak marinade  (for some extra zest and saltiness) and finished the top with some chili sauce.   I also like to form my meatloaf into 4 mini rectangular loaves instead of one big loaf.  Everyone likes having their own “loaf” and it cooks in just 25-30 minutes on a simple-to-clean sheet pan.  You won’t miss the usual fat content of 80/20 ground meat at all in this recipe!  All the vegetables keep it really moist and the herbs kick up the flavor.   Tips:  Be sure your loaves are evenly shaped rectangles with no skinny ends to dry out.  Also, use the back side of your pinky to make a little ditch down the middle of each loaf to hold the chili sauce.  This little ditch will also keep the juices from dripping off the loaf.. kind of a self-basting trick.



Chili Time! Two of my best chili recipes.

Chili preferences are as individual as one’s favorite team.  There’s Texas red chili, chili with beans, green chili, hot dog chili… the debate goes on and on.  Regardless of which way you lean, most everyone likes chili in one form or another.  So why choose just one chili?  Why not have a chili bar and make a bunch of people happy at your next winter-time gathering.  You could even have a little contest where guests vote for their favorite.  I make chili only slightly spicy and then serve hot sauce and jalapeños alongside.  You can always add heat.  Kind of hard to go back from that.  Don’t forget the toppings since that’s half the fun of chili.  Chopped fresh cilantro, different kinds of freshly grated cheeses, black olives, sour cream, corn chips and cornbread.  Here are two of my favorite chili recipes.  The first one is a slightly sweet recipe due to the baked beans.  This was originally a vegetarian recipe given to me by my friend Laura.  Well, nothing stays vegetarian too long in my house.  The result is a uniquely flavored chili that my family loves.  The second recipe is colorful crowd-pleasing Southwest version.  TIP:  use a potato  masher to break up the turkey meat while browning. So much easier than the back of a spoon.  Just be sure not to use a non-stick pan or you will trash the surface.

Turkey Taco Salad

My family has come to love ground turkey in a variety of dishes where I used to always use ground beef.  Tacos, spaghetti sauces, meatballs, chili… I particularly like this salad recipe because it used scratch-made taco seasoning instead of the processed stuff.  I think you’ll like the flavor and may find everything you need already in your spice rack.  Tip:  Heat your pan before adding turkey and onion.  Less sticking. If your turkey is just so lean that it sticks anyway, add a little bit of canola oil to get things moving.

Turkey Kielbasa and Sauerkraut was a big hit for dinner tonight

I don’t always go for the turkey and chicken substitutes for traditional meat ingredients, but I have found a few diamonds in the rough recently.  This dish certainly deserves full rank as a great dinner without a hint of obvious sacrifice.   The Jennie-O Smoked Turkey Kielbasa is just delicious and pairs so well with the subtle sweetness of this sauteed sauerkraut and onion mixture.  It was raining this afternoon, so I wasn’t interested in going anywhere near an outdoor grill.  I just broke out my grill pan which rarely disappoints me or ruins my hair.  The whole meal was ready in about 30 minutes, which was good news to hubby who was starving.  I served the kielbasa dish alongside some new potatoes drizzled with rosemary butter and sea salt.  Yum!  If you’re looking for a way to get out of your dinner rut, try this recipe.

Turkey Keilbasa and Sauerkraut

Affordable Family Favorite! Chicken Enchiladas

Just like you, I am often amazed at how much it costs to purchase good quality food.  I try to keep my food budget down by shopping the sales and clipping coupons.  I am pretty picky when it comes to purchasing meat, poultry and seafood so it’s important that I stock up when I find what I like on sale.  For instance, I really like that Smart brand of organic chicken.  It just tastes better to me, is really tender, and it doesn’t have that slimy feeling I sometimes notice on chicken.  But wow that stuff is expensive at regular price! So, I have figured out one of the days that my favorite grocery store reduces the price of some packages to sell before expiration dates get too close.  On that particular morning, I go to the store and literally follow the meat man to the chicken counter and wait for him to get out that magic money stapler looking thing. He just chuckles at me and hands me the chicken.  Chicken is perfectly fine to purchase on the “sell by” date and you can cook it within the next couple of days and it’s deliciously fresh.  You can also freeze it the day you buy it and thaw it out for later use.  Once thawed, I use it within two days to err on the side of freshness.   Here is one of my family’s favorite chicken dishes and it’s quite affordable when you get the bird on sale!  If your family doesn’t like food that’s too spicy, omit the Jalapenos and cayenne.



Orange -Scented Pork Chops

I admit it.. I’m a Southern Living recipe junkie.  You should see the cookbook collection I have.  I get almost giddy when that Southern Living Christmas edition arrives in July, just in time for the holidays.  LOL  I cook out of those books all year round.  I find it great fun to randomly choose one off the shelf and flip through a few pages until something strikes my fancy.  I inventory my kitchen, make my grocery list and am off on a mission for a culinary experiment.  I recently tried a recipe for Orange Scented Pork Chops out of the 2003 “Christmas with Southern Living” edition.  I actually made it twice.  The second time I used sliced pork tenderloin and added a little minced ginger root.  The rice is delicious on its own as a side dish.  I could eat a whole bowl of this rice on its own.