Chicken Cheese Melts

Posted on April 27, 2009
Filed Under Chicken and Turkey, Main dishes

Sometimes I feel stuck. In a rut. With cooking, that is. Well, other things too, but we’ll just stick with cooking. ????

I have a certain style of cooking and I don’t deviate from it much. I want to change that. Maybe doing some more ‘Out of my Comfort Zone’ foods would be a good idea. I don’t make stir-able casseroles. Pretty much the only all-in-one casserole type things I make are wet burritos and lasagna. Other than that, it’s sandwich-type things (like these melts) and most of the time it’s meat, potatoes/pasta, veggies, and rolls. And I pretty much use the same seasonings too. So, this evening for supper, I was browsing a cookbook for new recipes and passed up the Chinese Beef and the Sirloin Squash Shish Kabobs and landed on something ‘safer’ like Chicken Cheese Melts. I use way more chicken breast than any other meat and I never buy the dark meat unless I get a whole rotisserie chicken. Other meats I keep on hand and regularily use are ham, ground beef, beef roasts, and bacon. And that’s pretty much it. Other kinds of meat are very rare. Over the summer (think, more grilling), I buy pork chops, brats, and steaks.

Do you think I need a bit of help here with diversity? :)  What’s your style of cooking? I’d love to hear it! Tell us in the comment section!

Meanwhile, here is a recipe using exotic ingredients like chicken breast, butter, cheese, and bread. Just kidding about the exotic part. This recipe comes from my newest cookbook, which I’ve owned for a little over 48 hours now… What’s Cookin’, compiled by the Schlabach family. Makes it more fun because I’m good friends with some of these Schlabachs. And I like seeing their names under a recipe now and then.

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Chicken Cheese Melts

1 cup chicken, cooked and chunked (I used more like 1 1/2 cups, you can never go wrong with more meat ???? )
1/4 cup margarine, melted (I used butter)
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes
Shredded cheese

Saute onions in margarine briefly.
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Mix together all ingredients.
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Put on slices of French bread or any other bread. I used hamburger buns. And toasted them first.
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Top with cheese.
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Bake at 350 until cheese is melted. The cheese was melted after about 5 minutes, but then I turned on the broiler because I like cheese to have a bit of browning on top.
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These, by the way, got rave reviews and were thrown into the ‘Yum! Make again!’ category. And they were easy and fast too, esp since I pulled chunked up fried chicken breast out of the freezer.

Now, I wanna hear about your this-is-the-norm-for-me cooking. Also, do you plan menus? I’ve seriously thought of doing that. Seems like that would eliminate the 4:00 p.m. staring in the fridge/freezer/cupboards/cookbooks for a supper idea!

Comments

15 Responses to “Chicken Cheese Melts”

  1. Cheryl on April 27th, 2009 11:21 pm

    Last week I made a Chicken Tetrazzina which was basically a chicken spaghetti. I thought it was good and I asked Dan if he liked it. His reply, “I don’t talk like that. :)”” Okay. All this to say casseroles aren’t a big hit here.

  2. Twila on April 28th, 2009 5:27 am

    I don’t really plan out menus specifically, but something that has helped me is I kind-of have certain things I make on nights of the week. For example, on Wednesday night we always have soup and some kind of bread. On Thursday nights I make some thing using chicken. Monday and Tuesday nights can vary, but usually on one of them I use ground beef, and the other one I use steak or pork chops,sometimes using the grill. Friday evening is usually something simple like grilled hamburgers and fries, or tacos. Saturday evening is always pizza. Sunday, roast beef (I have alot of meat, so for some people this might not work) Or if we have to many leftovers we eat those. (Yes,leftovers for Sunday lunch!)
    This has really helped me, because usually the week before when I get my groceries I’m already thinking into the next week.
    I enjoy your site, and have used quite a few of your recipes!

  3. Wendell on April 28th, 2009 6:05 am

    My normal cooking style would be hot dogs, and on a daring morning a scrambled egg, but then I am a guy with a bad case of culinary illiteracy. Though I think sometime if I really want to impress my girlfriend with a special high class meal I just might be able pull off the Chicken Cheese Melts. :)

  4. Rene on April 28th, 2009 6:33 am

    Those look great!! My normal mode of cooking is like you — several tried and trues that are relatively safe. I work outside the home (ugh) so many times I’m looking for something fast that will just fill the need. Right now while I’m caring for my husband 24/7 after his transplant I’m needing to cook for his eating abilities and right now that’s soft food which means lots of pasta with very mild sauces. It’s also kind of strange to only be cooking for 2.

  5. Shannon on April 28th, 2009 6:59 am

    Same old, same old here. Generally when I try something new, they turn up their noses at it unless it has the basic ingredients that I use in most everything else. I think I’ll try these soon. They look fast, easy and good!

  6. Freida on April 28th, 2009 7:06 am

    These look like my style- fast, easy, and good. :) I love to try new things, but my family doesn’t as much, so we try to find a balance. I stick with the basics, with a few different things stuck in every now and then. :)

  7. Kelly on April 28th, 2009 7:43 am

    Hi Kay!
    First off, I ALWAYS meal plan. It keeps our grocery bill down, which is important for us. Every meal during the week is planned, and weekends consist of leftovers or a treat at eating out.
    I blog my menus/meal plans every Monday morning, if you are looking for ideas.
    I plan my menu Friday night or Saturday morning, then make a grocery list, farmer’s market list, and walmart list. Then DH goes to the grocery store, and I do farmer’s market and walmart. Honestly, most of our stuff comes from the farmers market — fresh fruit, veggies, dairy, meat, etc. Grocery store is for pantry items, and walmart for toiletries and paper products.

    Since I love blogging, I try to make at least 1 new recipe per week. It can be a lunch for me at work, or a dessert for my co-workers, or a dinner, but at least 1 new recipe. That helps me incorporate new things all the time. Admittedly, sometimes they’re flops, but sometimes they’re pure deliciousness!
    We eat pretty similar to you as far as meats, etc, but I just try to find new ways to eat those things.
    I’ve learned I DON’T like at-home-chinese-style food. It just isn’t as good. I also don’t like most vegetarian meals, or anything with soy or tofu. So I just try to adapt the meats and veggies we already love into new things. I’ll post some of the new items I’ve made recently that were delicious to give you some ideas.

    Finally, I use my vegetable steamer all the time. I steam fresh veggies and toss them with olive oil, or lemon juice, or whatever, and it makes us new, healthy sides all the time. We eat a lot of broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, potatoes, peas, etc. Pretty standard veggies!

    Spicy Honey Chicken (grill recipe, so the hubby can make it!): http://kellycooksandotheramazingfeats.blogspot.com/2009/04/spicy-honey-chicken.html

    “Ben-chiladas”: http://kellycooksandotheramazingfeats.blogspot.com/2009/04/ben-chiladas.html

    Saucy Baked Chicken: http://kellycooksandotheramazingfeats.blogspot.com/2009/03/saucy-baked-chicken.html

    Cafe Rio Pork (this one is truly amazing and delicious): http://kellycooksandotheramazingfeats.blogspot.com/2009/03/cafe-rio-pork.html

    Crockpot Ranch Pork Chops: http://kellycooksandotheramazingfeats.blogspot.com/2009/03/crockpot-ranch-pork-chops.html

    Southwestern Potatoes (great side!): http://kellycooksandotheramazingfeats.blogspot.com/2009/03/southwestern-potatoes.html

  8. Aug on April 28th, 2009 10:23 am

    Well, as you know, I do plan menus, kind of off and on. But it sure if nice to know what you are making that night instead of the midafternoon going through cookbooks, starting at the refrigerator, etc.

    I like to try new things but I would say about 1/2 of the time they are not a hit with my family and two times lately they would hardly even eat what I made. Kind of hurt my feelings just a little, cuz I try to make things I think they will like.

    I usually do my menus on a 6 week rotation and then when I am kind of tired of that 6 week menus (maybe I would do it 3 or 4 times) then I’ll make up a new one. The way that I kind of narrow down what to pick for menus is that I divide it up by the meat part of the meal and then fill in from there. Like, I plan one meal with pork, one meal with chicken, one with hamburger, one with ham slices, one breakfast meal and one no-meat meal. Like soup or english muffin pizzas, or this crock pot lasagna stuff that uses ravioli.
    But recently I found that site called “Recipe Zaar” and so I’ve gotten lots of new recipes from there. I’ll just put in chicken for the ingredient, put main dishes, takes less than 60 minutes and I’ll look through what comes up.

    But, if you’re “stuck in a rut” and that works out well for you and your family, then hey, whatever works. I think sometimes Jeremy would say he’d rather have me “stuck in a rut” than trying all of this new stuff. But I think, “How would I ever find these wonderful new recipes if I’m afraid to try stuff??”

    By the way, do you know that Jeremy is pretty closely related to the Slabaugh’s (his Dad was Ada’s son) and that I even have some recipes in that cook book??

  9. Melissa K on April 29th, 2009 5:25 am

    Kay,
    Don’t really have a “normal” cooking style. I love to try new recipes, but have a house full of very picky eaters (even my hubby!) so I’m kind of limited. I do make out a menu every week. otherwise, I can’t think of anything and we end up with sandwiches or cereal or something!!
    Also, there are quite a few blogs that I regularly follow to get new meal ideas. There are tons of great blogs out there!

  10. Kay on April 29th, 2009 8:26 am

    This is really interesting! :) I like all your thoughts, tips, and ideas.
    Thanks for the recipe links, Kelly. Yeah, I knew you plan menus… some week I oughta just do your menu. ????
    Aug, I saw a recipe in that cookbook for Eclair dessert w your name under it, wondered if that was you.
    Ha, Cheryl, sounds like you’ve got a ‘meat&potatoes’ man, too. :)
    Twila, your rough menu planning is kinda like my mom used to do. I remember chicken on Tues nights, breakfast on Wed nights, and pizza on Sat nights, and i forget what the other ones were, but she kinda had a plan with certain types of things on certain days, but the actual dishes would vary.
    Glad to see there are some like me too, including some nights you can’t think of anything, so it’s kinda just eat whatever. ????

  11. Debbie on April 30th, 2009 11:11 am

    Those look like total comfort food to me. So delicious!

  12. Christy on May 2nd, 2009 7:21 pm

    My cooking style is lots of Mexican and Italian. Those are our two favorites and the easiest for me to slap together. We used to grill once a week, but don’t have a grill anymore. I miss it!

    I have already done the certain type of food per day thing. Funny thing is, I rotated startch instead of meet. Like Monday might have been rice, Tuesday potatoes, Wednesday pasta:) One day was leftovers or whatever, one day grill, one pizza-ish something and the other day?

    When I got married, my sister wrote up a list of probably 75 menu ideas. I still refer back to it when I get stuck in a rut. Or then I’ll try a new recipe. Or make one up; that would be the most likely.

  13. Roxanna on May 12th, 2009 3:36 pm

    mMMMMMMMM…I’m trying these sandwhiches tonight AND the Southwestern Potatoes from Kellycooks! Can’t wait for supper! Thanks Ladies!

  14. Priscilla on May 13th, 2009 6:47 pm

    Hi Kay! I just discovered your site and have spent the last hour (at least) just browsing. So interesting! Katie made your berry mandarin salad for the sewing today, & it was delicious! These Chicken Cheese Melts look really good…I will try them sometime soon.

  15. Judi on June 4th, 2009 12:36 pm

    These look yummy! I’ll have to try them

Chocolate Chip Cookies – Cooks in Training #7

Posted on April 23, 2009
Filed Under Cookies and bars, Cooks in Training

Yeah, I know… as you scroll down this page, the posts look a little heavy to kid stuff. It wasn’t planned, it kinda just happened, but how fitting… because that’s pretty much my life. And I say that in a good way, I love my 2 little girls and I know they’ll grow up way too fast. But until then, they’ll be a part of my cooking blog.

Lexi is 6. She already loves doing stuff in the kitchen, especially if it involves using her mini cooking stuff. She has declared it her job to make the iced tea around here, if I just do the part of dumping the hot tea into the pitcher. And, on non-school days, she often makes lunch around here (nothing on the stove). I’d have her pack her own school lunch, except that it makes more sense for me to do it while she’s eating breakfast or getting ready. She does have opinions though… the other day, she said, “Mom, next time you pack my lunch, do you think you could think of something healthy to put in it like an apple or something? I don’t wanna get all weak and stuff.” Thing is, it wasn’t exactly unhealthy, it was a sandwich, chips, and grapes.

Tiffany is 3. She loves doing stuff in the kitchen too. But WHY can’t she dump a 2 1/2″ in diameter measuring cup full of flour into an 8″ in diameter mixing bowl without spilling it out over the side?!!!!! ????

We’ve got a chocolate chip cookie recipe to feature today, from the Kid’s Cook cookbook. Cute little chocolate chip cookies. I told them to make the dough into balls and (because of their little hands?) the balls ranged from the size of a marble to the size of a super ball. Instead of the usual 12 cookies that I bake on one sheet, we got almost twice that many on, no problem. I realized I kinda like little cookies… they’re bite-sized and easy to pop in your mouth. This is not my usual chocolate chip cookie recipe, but it’s actually pretty close. This recipe is a small recipe, which is nice because there’s less chance of the mom having to finish the cookies when they get tired of making them and run off to play. I usually copy the directions word for word, but I’m just gonna paraphrase these because it’s written kinda kid-like and detailed.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375. Stir egg, sugars, and butter with wooden spoon until mixed.
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Add flour, soda, salt and stir with wooden spoon till mixed.
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Stir in chocolate chips. Form into balls and put on cookie sheets.
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Could I please have the cookie in the front on the left up there?

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

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Comments

6 Responses to “Chocolate Chip Cookies – Cooks in Training #7”

  1. Shannon on April 23rd, 2009 2:30 pm

    Oh boy, now mine will have to make the cookies next time. :)

  2. Lorrie on April 24th, 2009 12:03 pm

    That’s the cutest thing. They are so sweet. I miss my daughter being that age.

  3. Rina on April 24th, 2009 8:45 pm

    I cannot WAIT till my son is old enough to help me in the kitchen!!! Great pics.

  4. liz on April 27th, 2009 10:44 am

    Okay, finally getting around to commenting. I usually have one arm full when I’m on the computer.
    The 3rd paragraph sounded like you were talking about my girl. Can’t complain about Kaitlyn wanting to help bake cause she also helps me clean and do the not so fun stuff. She is wanting to start breaking the eggs too. :{
    That one choc chip cookie that you spoke for definitely looks like the best one! After Kaitlyn saw the pics she wanted to go make cookies. Didn’t happen yet though.

  5. Katrina on May 5th, 2009 12:11 pm

    Awesome! Same issues I have with kids in the kitchen. That’s how they learn though, huh! Trial and error. Looks like you let them do WAY more than I do. What a fun pail full of cookies!

  6. Bonniejean on June 7th, 2009 12:14 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! Finally a fool proof chocolate chip cookie recipe. I made them yesterday and they are some of the best cookies I’ve ever made. Yummy!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Squares

Posted on April 15, 2009
Filed Under Cookies and bars, Desserts

Pumpkin. Cream cheese. Chocolate. They make a fine trio.

This recipe comes from the Simply Wonderful cookbook compiled by the Honeybrook Community Church. I’ve only had this cookbook for several months and it’s already a favorite! It’s got lots of cheesecake recipes in it, a grilling section, and the salad department is outstanding! If I were to describe this cookbook in one phrase, it would be “good ol’ Mennonite cooking with a bit of flair”. My cookbook is dog-eared on pages with recipes I’ve gotta try.

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Squares

Printable recipe

1 c. canned pumpkin
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1/3 c. oil
1 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger

1/2 c. chocolate chips

4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 c. sugar
1 egg

Mix together pumpkin, sugar, egg, and oil. Sift together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and ginger. Stir into pumpkin mixture. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan.
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Beat together cream cheese, sugar, and egg. Drizzle mixture over batter.
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Cut thro’ batter with knife for marbled effect. I know, the whole marbling thing didn’t get as pretty and marbled as I thought it should, either… too much white, not enough pumpkin showing on top.
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Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Shannon (H.), don’t even THINK of leaving out the choc chips! ????
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Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.
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Mmmmmm! Make these at your own risk… they’re dangerous to the waistline. And they loudly call your name every time you wander thro’ the kitchen, even if you’ve hidden them out of sight.

Comments

11 Responses to “Pumpkin Cream Cheese Squares”

  1. Shannon on April 15th, 2009 2:12 pm

    Um, you know me to well. :) I was reading along thinking, “I bet it would be really good without choc chips” and I’m like “WHAT?” she’s reading my mind!!! ????

  2. Monica on April 15th, 2009 6:23 pm

    Mmmm!! They sound good!! But, I would probably leave out the choc chips, too, or maybe use the mini chips and only use half of the amount!! :) I’m not a big choc chip fan, either! The pumpkin and cream cheese parts sounds delicious.

  3. Katie Mast on April 15th, 2009 7:59 pm

    I agree that cookbook is one of the best. I have it only 1/2 a year and just love it. I got it for my mom and sister for christmas.

  4. Katrina on April 15th, 2009 8:44 pm

    Ooh, that does sound like a great trio of flavors!

  5. Debbie on April 16th, 2009 11:31 am

    Looks absolutely delicious. Just found your site and love it!!

  6. Renita on April 16th, 2009 12:07 pm

    One of the many recipes in my favorite cook book I got to try. And right now it looks real good..can you tell I’m hungry? But oh the addition to the wistline gets me to hold off at least for another day. I KNOW how I don’t have self control with something like that around.

  7. Rhonda H. on April 20th, 2009 2:12 pm

    Oh. My. I just ruined my dinner by eating two pieces of this dessert–warm, right out of the oven. Delicious! It was almost a baking disaster, as I was distracted and poured a whole cup of oil in before I realized what I was doing, but I dumped out all but 1/3 c. – and then I didn’t have quite enough baking powder – but it still turned out great. This is a keeper. Thanks!

  8. liz on April 21st, 2009 1:19 pm

    Rave reviews from the Northwoods Mennonite Church. Well, ok, they didn’t tell me that, but I took a 15 x 11 pan of them to carry in and I didn’t bring any home. Good bars and definitely put the chocolate chips in! They wouldn’t be near as good without it.

  9. Andrea on April 24th, 2009 8:11 am

    This is one of our favorites!

  10. Danielle on October 24th, 2009 8:44 am

    omg i love punkin crean chease squares they are my
    favirote!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Danielle on November 25th, 2009 4:15 pm

    oh my go punkin chease squares are so good every one in my family loves them including my dad,an he doesent even like cream chease.

Easter snack – Cooks in Training #6

Posted on April 13, 2009
Filed Under Breads Biscuits and Rolls, Cooks in Training, Holiday cooking

Ideally, I’d plan ahead and make Easter food to feature BEFORE Easter, huh? Well, sigh, that didn’t really happen this time.

I forget where I saw these little rolls… it was online last year sometime. The reason these are called an Easter snack is because they’re meant to symbolize the empty tomb. It’s pretty neat how it works. You wrap a marshmallow inside a crescent roll and while it bakes, the marshmallow melts and lines the inside of the crescent roll, leaving it empty inside!

I don’t have an actual recipe, but my little cooks will show you how it’s done…

Unroll refrigerated crescent rolls and separate into triangles. Butter the trianges.
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Put a marshmallow on each crescent roll and sprinkle with cinnamon.
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Fold the dough over and around till the marshmallow is all enclosed. Pinch seams to seal.
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Bake at 375 for 12 minutes. And this is how they look! A couple of them were open, not sure if it was supposed to be like that or if the seams weren’t pinched shut well enough.
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I hope you all had a happy Easter. We did. It started with an outdoor sunrise service at church. It was a perfect Easter morning… clear skies and a beautiful sunrise. The coffee, hot chocolate, donuts, and campfires were a nice addition too. :)

He is risen! Hallelujah!

Comments

2 Responses to “Easter snack – Cooks in Training #6”

  1. Sharon on April 13th, 2009 7:32 am

    Cute! The sunrise service sounds neat. We used to do that some where I grew up… would love to do it again. Maybe WI is too cold for that?

  2. Mom Martin on April 14th, 2009 11:28 am

    I didn’t know they are called Easter snacks. I have the recipe. They are delicious!
    Never went to a sunrise service…always wanted to do that. I guess it’s still too cold out here at Easter time.