All posts by Jenny

Chicken and Rice Casserole

I’ve been researching old recipes from my mother in laws collection.  She worked in a school lunchroom for years and has all these awesome recipes tucked away.  I found some that looked well-worn – which is an indication that those particular books have some pretty bomb recipes!  I’ve been looking through them and it’s been such an inspiration!

My kids love a good casserole so this one stuck out.  It was a little different from the ones I’ve found online so I had to try it out.  It was SO FLIPPIN GOOD!  Like eating chicken risotto without all the work and all the stirring.  Mmmmm…..

Chicken and Rice www.choppingsticks.com

I always try to find ways to add veggies to one pot meals – or one casserole meals.  The old recipe didn’t add any veggies but I needed to add some!  My kids LOVE broccoli and mushrooms so I had to add them in.

Chicken and Rice www.choppingsticks.com

Do you SEE how delicious the rice looks?  Flavored with soup, Portobello, and broccoli… I could eat a bowl of just the rice.

Chicken and Rice www.choppingsticks.com

Now go home and COOK THIS!  Easy one pot casserole – it’s up there with all the deliciously satisfying Christmas casseroles.  Your family will love you for this.  Mine did!  They’re even scarfing down the leftovers!

Chicken and Rice Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 medium bag of frozen broccoli, cut up
  • 1 1/2 cup of sliced portobello mushrooms
  • 1 cut up fryer chicken
  • 1 can of cream of celery soup
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a deep rectangular Pyrex dish 9x13, put uncooked rice on the bottom.
  2. Then add cream of celery soup and spread over the rice.
  3. Add sliced mushrooms evenly along the bottom of the dish.
  4. Arrange the cut up fryer evenly - I placed the chicken breasts on the outside of the pan - you can also cut the breast in half. Place chicken bone down.
  5. Sprinkle thyme evenly along the chicken breasts and salt and pepper the chicken as well.
  6. Add the frozen broccoli along the edges of the chicken.
  7. Spread the cream of mushroom soup on the chicken pieces.
  8. Add 1 1/2 cup of warm water to the casserole being sure to add on the corners so the mushroom soup doesn't wash off of the chicken pieces.
  9. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour or until the chicken is done. Check the chicken breast to make sure it's done - it's the largest piece of chicken that is in the dish.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://choppingsticks.com/?p=186

Please follow and like us:

Easy Chinese Dumpling Soup

When I say this is easy – I mean that it’s SUPER easy!  I know you’ll love it!

For Chinese New Year, my family ended up with a virus that caused fever, sore throats, and runny noses!  Woo Hoo!  Fun!  This ruined our plans of going out to eat some delicious Chinese food at Mr. Chen’s or Red Bowl off of Greensprings Hwy.  I didn’t have time to make dumplings myself so I met my family in the middle and ran to our local Chinese grocery store to pick up some things for dinner.

I knew I wanted some mushroom, garlic and ginger.  I thought this would help in making all of us feel much better!  If I had a whole chicken, I would’ve made some chicken broth with it… nothing like chicken soup to make you feel better!  I went with organic chicken broth from Sprouts instead.

I chopped up some onion, peeled garlic and cut up chunks of ginger – added mushrooms and baby bok choy – the house smelled AMAZING!

Dumpling Soup www.choppingsticks.com

One ingredient I added was a pho Hua spice bag.  We bought it at the Chinese grocery store so we could add it to our soup when we made noodle bowls.  I love the fragrant spices that are in the spice bag.  It’s so super delicious.

FullSizeRender-2

I bought some frozen dumplings from the Chinese grocery store.  Now I agree that homemade is SO much better, but in a pinch, the frozen dumplings are perfect!  I am a busy mom so frozen satisfies the family but when I have time, I love to treat them to homemade dumplings!  My mom’s are always so much better than mine so it’s especially delicious when she makes them.  My kids love Wai Puo’s cooking!

Dumpling Soup www.choppingsticks.com

Easy Chinese Dumpling Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 cups of oyster mushrooms, fresh and chopped
  • 6 bunches of baby bok choy, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 box of organic chicken stock (48oz)
  • 1" piece of ginger, skin removed
  • 1 bag of pho Hoa, Vietnamese Special Spice (find at Chinese Grocery)
  • 2 bags of frozen Chinese dumplings
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Add oil to a hot soup pot or dutch oven. Saute Onion for 3 minutes. Be careful not to burn.
  2. Add garlic to the onion and stir until you can smell the garlic cooking. Immediately add the bok choy to the pot. Cook for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the oyster mushrooms to the pot. Stir and cook for another 3 minutes. Season with pepper.
  4. Pour the box of organic chicken stock into the pot and add another 2 cups of water (you want all of the ingredients to be submerged in stock!). Add the bag of pho Hoa and the block of ginger to the soup and let it come to a boil on medium-high heat.
  5. Once the stock comes to a rolling boil, add both bags of frozen dumplings to the soup. You may need to add some more hot water if the dumplings are not covered in soup.
  6. Let the soup come to a boil Once it comes to a boil, add enough cold water to stop the soup from boiling (about 1.5 cups cold water). Do this process three times.
  7. Once the soup comes to a boil the fourth time, turn down to low and add 1/4 cup of soy sauce and let simmer. Taste to check flavoring - you may need to add more soy sauce or salt. You can also add some sambal oelek to the soup. I add it to my bowl when serving because my kids don't like it too spicy.
  8. Garnish with fresh lime juice, cilantro, fresh green chopped jalapenos and/or chopped green onions, optional. Enjoy!
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://choppingsticks.com/?p=180

Please follow and like us:

Crock Pot Pork and Sauerkraut

This is a go to crock pot meal when we want some serious sauerkraut.  We love sauerkraut!   The first time we cooked this we baked it in a Pyrex dish.  We heard about it from Nick’s mom.  She worked in a school lunchroom – you know… when they would actually cook meals from scratch.  So we tried it and baked it for years in a rectangular Pyrex dish.

For real – it’s not the most beautiful dish.  It’s super “casserolie” without the ritz crackers and all the cheese.  But wow is it yummy!  I decided to cook it in a crock pot one day because I really didn’t have the time to bake it for dinner.  My kids play softball so when it’s softball season (when is it NOT softball season!) we need easy crock pot meals!

Warm and comforting during the winter months.  Sauerkraut is what brings it over the top…. yum!  Nick decided to use some paprika to brighten it up and to put some color on it.  Although it’s beautiful – I think he kind of gave the meal a paprika shower.  HAHA!

Pork with sauerkraut www.choppingsticks.com

It has pork chops in it, sliced onion, sliced potatoes, sweet kale and cream of mushroom soup.  Mmmmm what’s not to love?

Pork with sauerkraut www.choppingsticks.com

Can’t stop laughing at the paprika  – adds some color that’s for sure.  But seriously – it does tie into the paprika used to flavor the pork chops.

Crock Pot Pork Chops with Sauerkraut

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 4 medium potatoes, sliced1/4"
  • 1 cup of sweet kale
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom
  • 4 bone in pork chops
  • 1 bag or large jar of sauerkraut

Instructions

  1. In a 6 qt crock pot, place the sliced onion on the bottom of the pot.
  2. Slice potatoes approximately 1/4' and place on top of the onion.
  3. Salt and pepper the potatoes to taste.
  4. Add 1 cup of sweet kale and cover everything with 1 can of cream of mushroom soup plus one can of water, measure directly in can.
  5. Season pork chops with salt, pepper, and paprika. I did not measure - I sprinkled each chop evenly with the seasoning, both sides.
  6. Place pork chops on the cream of mushroom soup.
  7. You have two options: You can go ahead and add the sauerkraut to the top of the pork chops and cook on high for 6-7 hours - until pork cooked and potatoes are soft.
  8. OR if you enjoy a stronger sauerkraut taste, add the kraut after the pork and potatoes cook for 3-4 hours.
  9. It seems like the longer you cook the kraut with the meat and potatoes, the less sour it is.
  10. I garnished the meal with fresh sweet kale and a bit of paprika.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://choppingsticks.com/?p=167

Please follow and like us:

El Poblano

I have a kid who loves Mexican food.  Namely tacos.  That’s all she wants to eat.  I’ll do the good mom thing and make them for her when she wants them…. lots of taco bell boxes at Publix when they’re buy one get one free.  Just being honest.  I picked her up from school and she begged to go out to eat tacos at an actual restaurant.  Not Moe’s – Not Chipotle – but a Mexican sit down restaurant.  I told her to ask her daddy… which is a 110% yes.  I’m not sure why I didn’t just break down and say yes but I was trying to pass the buck.

And since I didn’t have tacos on my grocery list, I thought what the heck.  I mean she DID get a 100% on a quiz!

We decided to go back to El Poblano in Vestavia Hills off of Rocky Ridge Road.  They have more on their menu that we don’t really recognize so we like that!  A lot!

www.choppingsticks

The chips were thin and super crispy.  Let’s talk about the salsa – medium spicy and delicious!  The cheese dip?  Well it was melty cheese.  Nothing to talk about there.

Carne Azada www.choppingsticks.com

I ordered the Carne Azada – Grilled flank steak with strips of poblano chile and potatoes.  Sides were black beans with cheese and a mixed yellow rice (loved it!).   This is going to be something I’ll make our next taco night.  So good!

Carne Azada www.choppingsticks.com

LOOK AT THIS!  Yum.  It’s a lot of food though.  Share!

Seafood Taco www.choppingsticks.com

Nick opted for the deep fried seafood tacos.  It’s  a taco flauta!  This taco was stuffed with small scallops, shrimp, and fish in it.  The salsa that it’s served with is super spicy.  I couldn’t do it…. I ran out of heartburn meds.  Boo.  He won’t eat avocado so he passed that onto me – SCORE!  It was really good too but beware… oil will drip out of the back as you bite it.

We’ll be back to visit El Poblano.  There were some specials that I didn’t see that I want to try – they had Mahi Mahi tacos and chorizo tacos.  I think I’ll order a special next time!

Please follow and like us:

A New Hope

2016 is going to be more of everything…more meals, dining experiences, and more posts.  I realized today that I have not updated this blog in two months.  Seriously what a loser.  HA!  Let me reassure my family again – I will continue to cook and I will start posting recipes and more photographs of my food.  I’m sure my Instagram followers are tired of seeing my food.  And since I hate posting without a picture… here is my obligatory food photo for this post…. even though it has absolutely nothing to do with the content….

Braised pork belly in steamed buns

To be perfectly transparent, I believe I freaked myself out by even starting this blog.  I put so much pressure on myself to have pleasing and perfect pictures that I forgot to have fun and enjoy the entire process.  The light in my house is far from perfect and I have to make do with flash and strobe lights – which I thought was sub par.  But my husband reminded me to just do what I love.  Just cook…. find great recipes and take pictures as I can.  With my phone or my camera!  So here’s to 2016!!!  Going back to what I love and trying not to put unnecessary pressure on myself!

Now I can breathe and go cook, bake, and blog!

Please follow and like us: