Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Mini-Flu

I had every intention of posting all the meals last week with the results of the soup experiments but I was sick. I dragged myself to work but my poor computer was left sorely neglected. Since we are still in the process of moving all of J's stuff, that project has taken precedence over blogging. That being said I will be commenting on the meals from last week even if I wasn't able to photograph them all.

Soup Meal #1 Swiss Chicken Casserole
(adapted from


  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2.5 cups dry bread stuffing mix (seasoned)
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 package frowzen chopped broccoli

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Arrange chicken breasts in the baking dish. Break up broccoli and spread around chicken. Place one slice of Swiss cheese on top of each chicken breast. Combine cream of chicken soup and milk in a medium bowl, and pour over chicken breasts. Sprinkle with Mix stuffing mix with melted butter and pour over top.
  3. Bake 40 minutes uncovered, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
I was really underwhelmed with this whole thing. I added the broccoli and changed some of the amounts and I thought it was a little bland. J took the leftovers for lunch. I didn't mind using the soup but it needed some extra seasoning.

Soup Meal #2
Chicken Enchiladas (from


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup fat free sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast meat (I sauteed mine with cumin and chili powder)
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 6 (12 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1/4 cup milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and saute the green onion until tender (about 3 to 4 minutes). Add the garlic powder, then stir in the green chiles, cream of mushroom soup and sour cream. Mix well. Reserve 3/4 of this sauce and set aside. To the remaining 1/4 of the sauce in the saucepan, add the chicken and 1/2 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese. Stir together.
  3. Fill each flour tortilla with the chicken mixture and roll up. Place seam side down in the prepared baking dish.
  4. In a small bowl combine the reserved 3/4 of the sauce with the milk. Pour this mixture over the rolled tortillas and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.
I think this was even worse than the casserole. I don't how you can even use the word enchiladas to describe this. It was bland and just tasted all around unhealthy. I also thought there wasn't enough filling but WAY too much sauce. I would rename this and add some healthy ingredients. Maybe a package of frozen spinach would have made this heartier.

The best meal of the week according to J (and I might have to agree...if only I could remember what else I cooked...oh yeah Rachel Ray's Greek Goulash without the gremolata. Go check out for that one it is delicious) was the Golden Potato Soup which I made more or less from scratch (meaning I used canned broth instead of my own as one of the ingredients). I don't have a picture but it was fantastic! Finally allrecipes had a good one after 2 not so hot recipes.

Golden Potato Soup (adapted from
Soup Meal #3 (homemade variety)
  • 3 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 can low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded American cheese or velveeta
  • 1 cup cubed ham
  1. In a large stock pot add potatoes, celery, onion, chicken bouillon, water and parsley flakes. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until vegetables become tender.
  2. In a separate bowl mix flour and milk. Once it is well blended, add to soup mixture and cook until soup becomes thick.
  3. Stir in cheese, cooked ham and simmer until cheese is melted.
This soup is highly recommended. It was supposed to make 5 servings but we only got 4...I think it depends on if it is cup or bowl. We were eating bowls since it was our entire dinner. If we get unpacked and I can actually use my kitchen I'll attempt to post this week.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Dinner from a Can

I have always been skeptical about those recipes that use canned soup as one of the ingredients. My mother never did it that way. I actually didn't even like soup as a child. The only kind of soup we ate was from a can unless we were at a restaurant. Now soup is one of my favorite foods. I don't buy canned soup though. I think in the pantry right now there are 7 cans of soups: 2 for this week's experiment using canned soup as an ingredient, 1 Italian Wedding because my boyfriend claims you need something in case you get snowed in, 1 chicken noodle that he bought for when he is sick, and 3 creamy potato that he brought with him when he moved in which are supposed to be for when he doesn't want to eat what I'm having for lunch on the weekends. All the soup I make is homemade otherwise. I love smooth soups, certain chunky soups, creamy soups, cold soups etc. Anyway I'm about to embark on 2 experimental dinners...

Chicken Enchiladas (which use cream of mushroom, not very authentic)
Swiss Chicken Casserole (with cream of chicken soup)

I am also going to attempt to make my own potato soup. I am not a potato soup fan but I'm going to try.

I predict that using the soups may be faster/more economical in some cases, but not as tasty or satisfying (or fun) as making things from scratch.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Beef Carnitas, Skinny Turkey Meatballs, & Chicken Pierre

Soooooooooooooooo...I'm not the best at finding where I put the camera and so I didn't get a chance to upload some of last week. Here are some beef carnitas I made in the oven while I was at church.

Ronaldos Beef Carnitas (from

Before, J didn't eat here once a week. Usually I make something easy or something he won't like. For example this week I am making everything with eggplant. I don't know why he doesn't like eggplant but because he is on a trip this week that's what I"m having. Be on the lookout for those posts later this week. Last week I tried a "weight watchers" recipe for turkey meatballs and sauce.

Skinny Italian Meatballs

I followed Gina's recipe for the meatballs but halved the recipe for the sauce. I would use something other than raw onions in the meat. I don't like chunks of partially cooked onion in my meatballs. Maybe onion powder? If anyone has other thoughts on this feel free to let me know.

For some reason there's also a meal that J calls the required meal. This is something healthy or using an ingredient I knowingly used that he doesn't like etc. He actually thought the meatballs were going to be that meal but instead he got stuck with these beauties. For some reason I have trouble recreating something to be exactly the same. It's lucky most things I make are new. Here's a chicken recipe from I've made in the past that failed so badly this time I added a piece of melted provelone. It only helped a little. I will say the first time I made it we liked it a lot, so I have no idea what went wrong.

Chicken Pierre (from

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

So we are going to be having a new addition at our house and so moving and planning to make room for his stuff in addition to what I already have. It's amazing how much junk is hiding in the nooks and crannies of someone's house. Apparently my house looks rough. Anyway last week was a nice mix of school and snow days. Teachers secretly love snow days. Even when it messes up my teaching schedule I still get excited when they close school. Last week on the snow day I attempted to make pumpkin dinner rolls. I don't know what happened but I ended up with too much dough because I could barely cram all the balls into the spring form pan. Here is a picture after they were baked.

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls ( from Closet Cooking)