Tag Archives: cooking

chicken crescent roll casserole


chicken crescent roll casserole  I frozen pizza, again?

photo credit to my brother Brian

I have made this recipe a couple of times, and both times it’s gotten rave reviews. (Ok, so technically the second time my brother’s fiancée Sharon actually made it. But I chose the recipe and bought all the ingredients, so that counts, right?)

chicken crescent roll casserole  I frozen pizza, again?

I realize this photo doesn’t look that appetizing, but trust me that this dish is delicious!

Chicken Crescent Roll Casserole
Slightly Adapted from the Kitchen of: Plain Chicken

Prep Time: approx. 1 – 1 ½ hours
Servings: 4-8 (depending on whether you eat 1 or 2)
Difficulty: Easy

2 (8 ounce) cans Reduced Fat Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls
1 (10 ¾ oz) can 98% fat-free cream of chicken soup
3 ½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded & divided into ¾, ½ – ¾, and 1 -2 cup increments
½ cup + 2 Tbsp milk, divided
4 oz cream cheese ,very soft (I used ⅓ less fat cream cheese)
2 Tbsp butter, very soft but not melted
½ – 1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp minced onion flakes (I used about ⅛ cup diced onion)
2 large chicken breasts, cooked and finely chopped (I used 2 cups shredded chicken)
½ tsp seasoning salt (or to taste)
½ tsp ground black pepper (or to taste)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9”x13” dish with non-stick cooking spray, and set aside.

Mix together ½ cup milk, ¾ cup cheese, and soup. (Can season with black pepper if desired.) Set aside.

In a bowl, mix cream cheese with butter until very smooth. Add in garlic powder, chicken, onion, and ½ – ¾ cup cheddar cheese; mix well. Add in 2 Tbsp milk; mix to combine (add in a little more if the mixture seems too dry). Season with seasoned salt and pepper.

Unroll the crescent rolls. Do not pull them apart individually; leave them in pairs so that they form rectangles. Lay out the rectangles and pinch the middle seam together. Place 1 ½ – 2 heaping Tbsp of the chicken mixture in the middle of one half of each rectangle. Fold the other half over top and press edges together to seal.

Drizzle a small amount of soup mixture on the bottom of the prepared baking dish, then place the filled crescent rolls in the dish. Bake for 10 minutes.

Once the 10 minutes are up remove the dish from the oven. Drizzle the remaining soup mixture on top of the crescent rolls (you don’t have to use all of it, but I highly recommend that you do) and top with 1 – 2 cups cheddar cheese. Bake for another 20 – 30 minutes, until crescent rolls are completely cooked.


You can substitute cooked turkey for the chicken. Also, you can substitute swiss cheese or any cheese of your choice for the cheddar.





cheesy zucchini and rice casserole


cheesy zucchini and rice casserole  I  frozen pizza, again?

At first this recipe sounded a little odd to me, but I’m glad I tried it. It’s a nice twist on your everyday casserole. And I’m sure as my mom is reading this recipe she’s wondering what has happened to her picky little eater. She never could have gotten me to eat this as a kid. The only Tex Mex/Mexican type food I would eat was a very plain quesadilla.

cheesy zucchini and rice casserole  I  frozen pizza, again?

Cheesy Zucchini and Rice Casserole
From the Kitchen of: The Boomer Brief

Prep Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 – 8
Difficulty: Easy

1 lb lean ground beef
2 large zucchini, sliced into half moons
¼ cup green onion, chopped (I used about ⅓ cup)
2 tsp salt
¼ tsp garlic powder
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 (7 oz) can green chilis, undrained
3 cups cooked white rice (1 cup uncooked rice yields 3 cups cooked)
1 cup light sour cream
2 cups Pepper Jack cheese, shredded and divided
1 large tomato or 6 cherub tomatoes, sliced (I omitted these)
ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Sauté ground beef, zucchini, green onion, and spices in extra-large skillet until meat browns and veggies are crisp tender. Drain grease.

Add green chilis, rice, sour cream, and 1 cup Monterey Jack; stir to combine.

Grease a 9″x13″ baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the meat and rice mixture into the dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly. (If you are excluding the tomatoes like I did, top the casserole with the remaining cheese before you stick it in the oven and skip the last step.)

Top with remaining Pepper Jack, sliced tomatoes, and pepper to taste. Return to oven until cheese melts and tomatoes are hot – about 5 minutes.


  • The green chilis do not make this dish spicy at all; they only add flavor.
  • Pepper Jack cheese is spicy; however, the heat is very mild in this dish. I think the sour cream balances out the heat. (If it helps, I am a mild to medium heat kind of girl.)
  • If you don’t have an extra-large skillet, cook the meat and veggies in a large skillet then combine with the next set of ingredients in a large bowl.

Were you a picky eater as a kid? What foods would you not eat? Are there any foods you wouldn’t eat as a kid that you enjoy eating now?



crash hot potatoes


parmesan pork roast  I  frozen pizza, again?

I’m not a huge fan of potatoes, but these were yummy. They paired very well with my Parmesan Pork Roast and were quite tasty covered in the gravy. They would probably pair well with No Peek Beef Tips, which also has a tasty gravy.


crash hot potatoes  I  frozen pizza, again?

Crash Hot Potatoes
From the Kitchen of: The Pioneer Woman

Prep Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6

12 new potatoes (or other small round potatoes)
3 Tbsp olive oil
kosher salt, to taste (I used regular table salt)
black pepper, to taste
rosemary (or other herbs of choice), to taste

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add in potatoes and cook until fork-tender (about 10 -15 mins). Make sure to boil your potatoes enough or mashing them will be difficult and messy.

Kitchen Tip: For you other novice chefs, fork tender means the food item is tender enough to be easily pierced with a regular table fork.

Preheat oven to 450°F. On a sheet pan, generously drizzle olive oil or use parchment. Place tender potatoes on the cookie sheet, leaving plenty of room between each potato.

With a potato masher, gently press down each potato until it slightly mashes; rotate the potato masher 90 degrees and mash again. (Don’t use the Pampered Chef potato masher – the one that looks like a spoon; it doesn’t work as well as a regular potato masher with this recipe.) Brush the tops of each potato generously with more olive oil.

Sprinkle potatoes with salt, black pepper, and rosemary (or herb of choice). Remember that potatoes need salt, so don’t skimp.

Bake in a 450°F oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

I used baby red potatoes and only seasoned them with salt and pepper.




kitchen tip: how to easily measure out honey


I discovered this tip a few months ago. I probably found it on Pinterest or a blog I read, but I can’t remember which one. It’s super simple and one of those “*smack your forehead* why didn’t I think of that?” ideas.


Here’s what you need:

honey tip  I  frozen pizza, again?appropriate-sized measuring cup, honey, and non-stick cooking spray

Simply spray the inside of your measuring cup first then measure out the right amount of honey. Pour the honey into your recipe and now most of it should pour out of the cup without needing to be scraped. (This would also work for other sticky ingredients, such as molasses, peanut butter, or syrup, or even non-sticky substances, such as ketchup.)


This is all that was left in my measuring cup after I poured out the honey. And this little bit was super easy to scrape out because of the non-stick spray.

honey tip  I  frozen pizza, again?honey tip  I  frozen pizza, again?

Now you can use this tip when you make the Parmesan Pork Roast recipe I posted.




parmesan pork roast


Two weeks since my last post! Yikes! We had family in town last week, so that and other things kept me from posting about my latest domestic experiments. But I tried something new in the kitchen during my absence, and not just a new recipe, a new skill – baking bread! Super proud of myself for that one! (Also super proud of my co-baker, who just happens to be my brother’s fiancée, Sharon!)

But until I have that recipe typed up, please enjoy this yummy recipe for pork roast in a slow cooker. [That recipe can be found here.] I served this with a side of potatoes, and the gravy was awesome on both the pork and the potatoes!


parmesan pork roast  I  frozen pizza, again?

The potatoes are supposed to look smashed up like that. You can find that recipe here.

I also discovered during my absence from the blogosphere that my blog has a way cooler regular font than I originally thought. You see, I thought it used Arial, which is okay but sometimes hard to read. I downloaded a new font, Helvetica Neue, and suddenly my blog is no longer using Arial! Score! If you are reading this post in Arial you should download Helvetica Neue and experience this way cooler font with me. 🙂

parmesan pork roast  I  frozen pizza, again?

Parmesan Pork Roast
From the kitchen of: It’s a Keeper

Prep Time: 10 mins + 5 ½ hours
Servings: 8-10

1 (4-5 lb) whole, boneless pork loin roast
⅔ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup honey {Check out my tip on how to easily measure out honey}
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp dried basil (I only used 1.5 tbsp basil to prevent it from being overpowering)
2 Tbsp minced garlic (I used garlic powder)
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp cornstarch
¼ cup cold water

Cut roast in half. Transfer to a slow cooker. (The original recipe called for a 3 qt slow cooker, but a 5 lb roast fit perfectly in my 5 qt slow cooker.)

In a small bowl combine the cheese, honey, soy sauce, basil, garlic, oil, and salt (the sauce will be thick); pour over pork. Cover and cook on low for 5 ½ to 6 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160°.

Remove meat to a serving platter, and keep warm.

Skim fat from cooking juices, then transfer juices to a medium saucepan. Bring liquid to a boil.

Combine cornstarch and water until smooth. Gradually stir into cooking juices. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Slice roast, and serve with gravy.

Kitchen Tip
I suggest either using a slow cooker liner or spraying the crock with non-stick cooking spray to make clean-up easier. If you use a liner: after you remove the meat and skim off the fat, lift the liner out of the crock, snip off a corner, and empty the juice straight into a saucepan. Way faster than ladling the juice from the crock to a saucepan!

*UPDATE 6/9/13* I froze half of the roast and half the gravy for a later meal. To reheat I placed both items into my slow cooker still frozen and set the heat on low. They were thawed after a couple of hours, so I stirred the gravy and spooned it on top of the roast to keep it from drying out. I left them in the slow cooker on warm until dinnertime.




chicken ro-tel pasta (a.k.a. chicken spaghetti)


chicken rotel pasta  I  frozen pizza, again?
I had never heard of chicken spaghetti until we moved here. The first time I had it was at a church fellowship soon after we moved in, and from that day I’ve been a fan of chicken spaghetti. And who wouldn’t be? It’s cheesy with pasta and chicken and a little kick from the Rotel. Yum!

Now technically this dish isn’t called Chicken Spaghetti, but it’s pretty much exactly like the dishes that have been served to me as chicken spaghetti. I’ve seen other chicken spaghetti recipes on the internet that involve cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soups. Those sound more like my mama’s chicken tetrazzini than chicken spaghetti.

[How many times can I say “chicken spaghetti” in one post? Let’s see… so far, 8!]

The only major change to the recipe I made is not putting it in the oven. The original recipe said to transfer the contents of the pot into a casserole dish and bake for 30-40 mins. My pasta was ready to eat after all the ingredients were mixed in and I saw no point in sticking it in the oven, especially since the cheese was already melted.

If you’ve never had chicken spaghetti before, you are in for a treat! We really enjoyed this dish; Russell even told me it was “really good!” before I asked him his opinion!

chicken rotel pasta  I  frozen pizza, again?
Chicken Ro-Tel Pasta (a.k.a. Chicken Spaghetti)
Slightly Adapted From the Kitchen of: The Thread Affect

Prep Time: 45 mins
Servings: 4

2 large chicken breasts
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
¾ stick (6 tbsp) of butter
8 oz spaghetti noodles
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chilis, drained
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 lb Velveeta (I used 2% milk Velveeta)
salt and pepper, to taste (optional)

Boil chicken breasts in water in a large pot (I used a 5 qt chili pot).  Save 3 ¼ cups of the chicken broth for cooking the spaghetti.

While chicken is cooking, sauté the pepper and onion in butter until soft. Remove from heat.

Remove the cooked chicken from the pot, and set aside. Drain chicken broth, reserving 3 ¼ cups for the spaghetti. (I poured the liquid through a mesh colander into a measuring cup to remove any “impurities.” After I emptied the pot I rinsed it before reusing it.) Cook the spaghetti in reserved chicken broth, according to package directions.

Once spaghetti is cooked do not drain. Reduce heat to medium. Add Ro-Tel and Worcestershire; cook until liquid is mostly absorbed.

Cut the Velveeta cheese into small cubes and add to pot; stir until melted.

Add the pepper and onion.

Tear the cooked chicken into bite-size pieces and add to the spaghetti mixture.  Salt and pepper well (optional).

Stir until all ingredients are well blended. Serve immediately. (Velveeta gets rubbery again when it cools off.)

[That’s a total of 11 times to say “chicken spaghetti” in one post!]


louisiana red beans and rice


louisiana red beans  I  frozen pizza, again?

“In New Orleans, you come out of the womb instinctually knowing how to cook red beans and rice. Really, only the nervous newlywed follows a recipe.”

Well, I’m not from New Orleans and I still qualify as a newlywed (who is sometimes nervous in the kitchen), so I definitely needed a recipe to make red beans and rice. I found several on the internet, but this one looked to be the simplest.

I asked Russell’s opinion of my first attempt at red beans and rice, since he lived in New Orleans for 3 years during seminary and was the one who requested I make red beans and rice, and he said that the beans I made weren’t quite on par with those he had at the seminary but they were still good. I personally think the beans turned out great! (We went to New Orleans a couple of weekends ago and I finally tried the seminary’s famous red beans and rice. Though they were good I thought the ones I made had more flavor. 😉 )

Also, I’m pretty darn proud of myself for making this completely from scratch (including rehydrating dried beans).

louisiana red beans  I  frozen pizza, again?

Louisiana Red Beans and Rice
From the Kitchen of : Budget Bytes

Prep time: 3 hours+
Servings: 10+

1 lb red kidney beans, dry
1 medium yellow onion
3 stalks celery
1 large green bell pepper
1 lb hot sausage: andouille or kielbasa (I used mild andouille sausage)
1 smoked ham hock
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic (I used garlic powder)
2 whole bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
3 cubes chicken bouillon
1 tsp (or to taste) cajun seasoning (I used Zatarain’s)
6 green onions, sliced
2 cups long grain rice, uncooked

The night before cooking, place your beans in a large bowl and cover with double the amount of water. Let soak at room temperature over night.

[If you forget to soak your beans over night, here’s how to quick soak them: Place them in a pot with double the amount of cold water. Cover the pot, bring to a boil, and let boil for 2 minutes. Remove the beans from the heat after two minutes and let sit, tightly covered, for one hour.]

While the beans are soaking, slice the sausage to your preference: small triangular bits, half moons, or medallions. Saute the sausage in a large pot over medium/high heat until they are cooked through and nicely browned. Remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon (leave the grease) and refrigerate until later.

Clean and dice the onion, celery, green bell pepper, and garlic. Add these to the large pot containing the sausage grease, and add 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil if needed. Saute the vegetables until they are soft and transparent (about 10-15 minutes).

Drain the soaking water off of the beans, rinse them then add them to the pot. Also add 7 cups of water, ham hock, bouillon, bay leaves, thyme and oregano. Stir it all together well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly (medium) and boil until the beans are soft (without a lid, about one hour). If the mixture gets dry, add more water.

Once the beans are soft, use the back of a large spoon to smash about half of the beans against the side of the pot. This will give the beans a nice thick “creamy” texture. (My mother-in-law gave me a Pampered Chef potato masher for Christmas. It worked great for this task, and then I just used it as a spoon to stir up the beans!)

Add the sausage back into the pot and continue to boil the mixture until it is to your desired thickness (without a lid, about an hour). Again, if the mixture gets dry, add more water. Add cajun seasoning to your liking. If the seasoning contains salt you will probably not need to add any more to the beans.

During the last hour of cooking, prepare the rice according to package directions.

At the end of cooking, remove the hock and cut away the meat from the bone and skin. The cooked meat can then be added back into the pot. Serve the beans in a bowl with a pile of rice on top. Top the bowl with some freshly sliced green onions.


  • Even though this recipe contains cajun seasoning it is not spicy/hot. The seasoning is just for flavor.
  • This recipe is supposed to cook very well in a slow cooker. A commenter on the original blogger’s post suggested starting with only half the amount of water and adding more as needed.
  • Both beans and rice freeze well for leftovers.
  • If you buy more celery or ham hocks than needed for this recipe, just stick the extras in the freezer until you can use them in another recipe. I chopped up my leftover celery, spread out the pieces on a cookie sheet (covered in parchment), and stuck it in the freezer. The next day I put all of the individually frozen pieces in a quart-sized plastic bag; so now I can scoop out the exact amount I need instead of thawing all of the celery.

Fun Facts

  • When I was searching the internet for a red beans and rice recipe I read an interesting piece of information: In New Orleans, Red Beans and Rice is a Monday tradition. “Mondays used to be the traditional ‘wash day’ of the week. […]Women of the house would put on a pot of red beans to cook all day while they tended to the laundry, since the meal required little hands-on attention. The beans were largely seasoned by the leftover hambone from the previous night’s dinner.” 2
  • The combination of celery, onion, and green bell pepper used as the base of a dish is referred to as the holy trinity. This is a common ingredient in Cajun/Creole food.
  • Apparently the favorite food of jazz legend Louis Armstrong was red beans and rice, (which isn’t that surprising since he was from New Orleans). He would often sign letters “Red Beans and Ricely Yours, Louis Armstrong.” 

source: southernliving.com
source: neworleansonline.com

There’s still plenty of time to join in on the New Orleans tradition of Red Beans and Rice Monday. Just remember to start soaking your beans tonight!