Category Archives: Meals
Want to know something… I LOVE sloppy joes! I don’t know what it is about them, but there is something so comforting and hearty and delicious about the beefy, saucy, yummy meat…. Whether you toast a roll or serve them on super soft hamburger buns (our favorite way)… I can never pass one up!
These are great with tator tots, fries or chips and/or sliced up fresh fruit AND we always like fresh veggies as a side for these sloppy joes!
This is a tried and true “gramma” recipe so you know it’s good…. Each batch makes about 6+ decent sandwiches so I often double the recipe so I can freeze half for a quick easy meal another night. This recipe is perfect for heating in the crock for a few hours and is always a favorite to come home to after a game night!
Also a favorite “CAMP” meal because the crock can sit and sammies can be made as wanted!
• As with many of “MY” recipes – this is a variation of a cook book recipe found online… Also, as usual, I tripled the original recipe and then cut in ½… because 1 lb of burger just can’t feed my brood – but a pound and a ½ is perfect!
SLOPPY JOES –
1 and ½ lbs. ground beef
¾ cup diced onion
¾ cup diced green pepper
½ cup water
1 and ½ cups Ketchup
1 TBS beef bouillon
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS brown sugar
1 and 1/2 tsp mustard
Dice your peppers and onions… as big or as little as you want… feel free to throw other diced veggies in too – sometimes I add zucchini and/or squash and even carrots if I have some extra… I just like the ratio of 1.5 cups diced veggies to 1.5 lbs ground beef and the veggie mix has to include peppers and onions for the flavor!
Brown the beef with the peppers and onions… drain off the fat.
Add the water, ketchup, beef bouillon, Worcestershire, brown sugar and mustard – mix well.
(FREEZE to use later – thaw overnight)
Heat in Frying pan – then once hot – simmer for 20 minutes… or heat in a crock for a few hours!
Serve on buns – either crispy toasted or super soft…. No in between! ENJOY!!!!
Garlic Lime Chicken… by far the most versatile dish we have discovered on this FREEZER MEAL journey that has become life!
This chicken is perfect anyway you cook it… it started as a perfect grilled chicken (thaw and throw it on the grill), then a baked chicken (pan fry, crock pot it or throw in the oven then serve over rice with veggies – I also thicken the sauce)… and now I have begun cooking all day in the crock, then shredding it and using it for AMAZING wraps! Our favorite has become this shredded chicken with some jack cheese and diced up veggies – cucumbers are phenomenal – then drizzled with ranch! We have even taken to making double batches… we get a FULL sit down meal out of it, then have wraps for a quick dinner and THEN use the leftovers to make delicious quesadillas (another quickie meal for busy weeknights!)… entire family approved – 5 thumbs up – TRULY!!!!
Because I am on my 3rd week in a row of making a batch of this chicken (family demanded) I just knew I had to post it to share!
This is such a GREAT recipe to make ahead and freeze… Give it a try!
GARLIC LIME CHICKEN (Freezer Meal)
- 2.5 lbs chicken breasts – trimmed and cut in 1/2
- 1/2 Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce (MAKE SURE you use LOW SODIUM soy sauce – it makes a HUGE difference!)
- 1/4 Cup Lime Juice
- 1 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 TBS Minced Garlic
- 1/2 tsp Dry Mustard
- 1/2 tsp Ground Pepper
- 1/4 cup water
Everything into a freezer bag! Thaw 24 hours prior to cooking… OBVIOUSLY – you can just make and cook but a bit of marinating is better!
Preferred Cooking Method: Crockpot, 4-6 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low
You can serve the chicken as is (You may add cornstarch to remaining sauce to thicken and use as a “gravy/sauce”) – or OUR FAVORITE way to eat – Shred chicken, in crock, with 2 forks… stir around in juices…. And serve on wraps (ladle the chicken out with a slotted spoon) with diced cucumber, shredded cheese and ranch dressing!
TRY IT – TELL US WHAT YOU THINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Creamy…white chicken chili… I had only heard about it – you know, saw it on menus, but never deviated enough from my standard order to try anything new… BUT then, it happened… someone with me ordered the WHITE CHICKEN CHILI!! The smell alone…wholly Moses! Spice and garlic and YUMMMM… so of course I had to taste test – you know in the name of truly caring about my friends and making sure their food is safe for consumption… OMG… that stuff was AMAZING!!!!!!!! I knew then and there – just as sure as that cup of soup would now be mine – I had to remake this recipe!
Regular Chili has always been a favorite in our house…. Click HERE for our favorite regular CHILI recipe… but sometimes we overdose a bit on the red sauce versions of things – and even though that statement is so far from the truth – having another chili (soup really) option is AWESOME!
Go ahead – get this WHITE CHICKEN CHILI rolling, then make a batch of the Copy Cat Red Lobster (Cheddar Bay) biscuits to serve along with it… what a perfect combo!!
Creamy Crockpot White Chicken Chili
• 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts – *cooked and shredded = 3 cups
• 3 tablespoons butter
• 3 tablespoons flour
• 1 cup milk
• 4 cups broth – either from the carton or make with bouillon chicken base
• 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 can chopped green chiles (4.5 ounce size = ½ cup)
• 1 can corn, drained = 1 cup
• 2 cans white beans, drained = 2 cups (cannellini, white kidney, butter or great northern)
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• Salt to taste if needed
• 1/2 cup sour cream
*If you don’t have precooked shredded chicken in a twenty pound stash – SERIOUSLY, I know the CRAZY that I am – then go ahead and cook and shred your chicken… any cooking method will do but I generally cook up large amounts in my crockpot with a bit of garlic and season salt in a cup of broth for about 8 hours on low (overnight even). The meat will fall right apart and can easily be shredded with 2 forks. So set aside 3 cups of cooked, shredded chicken.
In a pan, melt the butter then whisk in the flour – stir constantly. Add the milk and mix well. At this point you can pour this “cream starter” into your crockpot (if you want to set it and forget it) – or continue in your soup pan (where you will need to stir regularly – but the soup will thicken quicker).
Add the broth and then the chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, STIR REALLY WELL, and add the chicken, green chilies, corn and beans. At this point you could FREEZE this soup and then cook it another time.
Cook on low for 4-8 hours (It’s a broad range, but that is the beauty of it). Add salt to taste and just prior to serving, add the sour cream – either stir it all in, or just plop a dollop in each in bowl.
THIS is by far my newest FAVORITE recipe… I have been playing and playing with it and I have now, what is the perfect combination of ingredients to make AMAZING Stromboli – or to cut the Stromboli prior to baking and make EASY and DELICIOUS pizza rolls… which the kids prefer!
The great news is this recipe is for 2 – so we always make one of each!
I started with actual dough – which you can certainly use, but quickly reverted to Pillsbury Pizza Crust… they have perfected it, and who am I to challenge that??!!
Lay out the dough, Mix up your “saucey” ingredients and cover the dough, add your pizza preferences…. We go for plain old pepperoni and mozzarella cheese, but I have used burger and swiss, ham and provolone or cheddar and I am working on a bacon, egg and cheese breakfast variety.
Roll the dough like a jelly roll – use the remaining egg whites as a wash and sprinkle with a bit more garlic and Parmesan, then bake as a Stromboli or cut into 1” slices and bake as pizza rolls.
Start with 2 crusts… lay them out on a cookie sheet.
Mix up this ‘sauce’ and spread 1/2 on each crust:
• 2 egg yolks (save the whites to use as a wash)
• 1 TBS parmesan cheese
• 1 tsp Italian seasoning
• 1⁄2 tsp garlic powder
• 1/2 tsp onion powder
• 1⁄4 tsp pepper
• 1 vegetable oil
• 1 TBS jalapeno juice (right from the jar of slices)
Add your pizza toppings, split between the 2 crusts:
• 1 bag (5 oz.) pepperoni
• 1 bag (2 cups) of cheese
• Any other favorites you have – sausage, peppers, onions, olives….
• Any sauce (jarred pizza or spaghetti or of course your own homemade) – for dipping once cooked.
Roll each crust up like a jelly roll, and make a wash of the remaining egg whites – by whisking with 2 TBS water – and spread over roll, then shake down with additional parmesan and garlic….
Bake the Stromboli as is, or cut in 1” slices (like cinnamon rolls) and bake as pizza rolls.
Bake at 400 for about 25 minutes.
Serve with a warmed bowl of dipping sauce!
Chocolate, and a sundae, and a cake…. All in one….
Minimal ingredients, easy instructions and tastes delicious….
I had such a great response from posting my Banana DREAM Cake that I decided to showcase all of the goodies in my DREAM Cake arsenal. And I had a birthday to attend to, so CHOCOLATE SUNDAE DREAM CAKE it is!!
Like a poke cake – remember the dreadful red jello on white cake your granny always served? Went with the jello mold with fruit cocktail in it… YUCK… no sir’ree bob!!
Well, THIS, is a whole new POKE cake and that is why I changed the name to the DREAM Cake series!
Here is the Sundae variation…. YUMMMMOOOO
Chocolate Cake Mix – make cake as directed
1 jar Caramel Sauce
1 jar Fudge Sauce
8 oz. (regular container) Cool Whip
• If you are feeling FANCY and want a decorative topping, crush about 6 Oreos or even use chocolate sprinkles or Mini chocolate chips….
Bake the cake as directed… then allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
See these beaters… lick ‘em…go ahead, I still have yet to meet anyone that died from eating raw eggs… LOL!!!
Now, once the cake has cooled, take a wooden spoon and using the handle end, poke holes in the cake – all the way to the bottom – everywhere! I usually go every 1/2” or so….
Open and microwave the toppings for about 30 seconds just to make them easier to pour… the fudge may take a bit more…. Slowly pour the caramel over the cake and make sure all the holes get filled…
…then pour the fudge (or dollap and spread as the case may be…) and smooth over the cake.
Cover the cake with plastic wrap and set in fridge for an hour or so… I make them the night before and leave in the fridge overnight.
Uncover cake, and spread cool whip on top and smooth out.
Crush your Oreos (I used my mini chopper) and sprinkle on top!
Gaze fondly at your handiwork… then DIG IN!!!
So I am venturing through some ‘hoarded’ recipes… I want to develop a list of PERFECT FOR THE GRILL (but can be cooked many other ways) freezer meals for a summer MEAL APEAL workshop. Last weekend I played with this BOURBAN marinade and also THIS – CHICKEN SOUVLAKI and TZATZIKI SAUCE (HERE) recipe.
I love days when I can just mess around in my kitchen – and they are so few and far between right now… It makes me wonder why I can’t find the perfect job where all I do is shop for groceries and prepare meals for people (with NO clean up) AND to be paid BIG bucks to do so…. Is that too much to ask??
Well at Chez Kelsey, I sometimes get paid in love and kisses – after all I do have 2 doggies that appreciate my skills!! My husband loves all these great dishes but he would be happy with a bologna sandwich and these kids of mine…. They’re all like – aww Mom, can’t we have cereal?!! They just don’t know how lucky they are – oh but I tell them… EVERY SINGLE DAY!!
Seriously though – first the SOUVLAKI (HERE) then this BOURBAN CHICKEN…. Oh me oh my…. BOTH are absolutely AMAZING and have risen to the very top of my recipe file! Both are awesome because you can essentially dump all the ingredients into/onto the chicken and either throw it in the freezer for later, or make it right then.
Here is the Bourbon marinade – I used on 2.5 lbs of chicken breast:
1 small onion, chopped
1 c honey
½ c soy sauce
¼ c ketchup
1 TBS veg oil
1 tsp minced garlic
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ c Bourbon – optional
So easy… dump everything on the chicken and then you can grill it, or crockpot it or even throw it in a skillet with some flour to thicken… I chose the skillet and the thickening… then served over mixed stir fry veggies and rice…
My all-time favorite meal is CHICKEN SOUVLAKI… I order it every time we go out!
I have attempted to “recreate” the pita sandwich at home but it never was quite right… and that is because I was using store bought marinades and they never quite hit the mark… now do not get me wrong… I am no hater on packaged foods… sometimes others have perfected it so well that there is no reason to attempt to make it – hello RAGU and BETTY CROCKER BROWNIE MIX… but I was wasting time and money trying store bought marinade.
You know how something is always better if someone else makes it for you… even a PB&J… AGREED?? WELL – I studied recipes and tried combinations and THIS RECIPE is SERIOUSLY – NO LIE the BEST chicken souvlaki I have ever had.. Sure I wish someone else would have made it for me, but it STILL was that good!!
I took 3 huge chicken breast and sliced them into strips! Then I poured all of this marinade on top of the chicken in a gallon freezer back… This is the point that you could squish the ingredients around, get all the air out and FREEZE this meal for later….
We tossed it into the fridge to marinate overnight and although you could crock pot this, or grill it, or even bake it… I was in a hurry, so I threw it into a skillet and heated it thoroughly – on med. Low heat – for about 15 minutes.
Here is the SOUVLAKI marinade (perfect on 2-3 pounds trimmed chicken breast):
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 TBSP dried oregano
1 TSP dried thyme
1 TSP salt
1 TSP black pepper
2 TSP minced garlic
Then because I am sometimes beyond crazy, I decided to attempt Tzatziki Sauce… This is the creamy cucumber-y goodness that totally puts this dish over the top… The ‘internets’ offers up 1,000s of recipes and there seems to be a great controversy over using Greek yogurt or plain sour cream. I have a gorgeous – amazing cook – Greek goddess friend, so I asked her… “Hey Didi… what up with the tzatziki sauce?” (Actually I WRONGLY called it cucumber dressing because I cannot pronounce Tzatziki – LOL) Ms. Didi’s exact response was, “Real Greek yogurt my friend is thick and creamy w/ a little bit of tang. In the US, the Greek yogurt has “a lot” of tang. So you see some subbing because of the tang, using sour cream, which provides creaminess…”
Next it was on to the cucumber… how do I peel and seed and grate and drain… OH my!! Luckily back to the ‘internets’ and my friend Pamela – another gorgeous girl and amazing cook (aren’t I lucky to be surrounded by gorgeous women that can cook!) – Pamela straightened me out on the cucumber… 1 – Buy the English cucumber, you won’t need to peel or seed it. 2 – Just grate it into a cloth lined colander. 3 – sprinkle the cucumber shreds with salt and allow to drip. AND 4- the one I learned on my own… actually set the colander in the sink because one little cucumber produces 18 gallons of slimy green water!!
Here is the recipe I used for the cucumber-y goodness – TZATZIKI:
2 cups sour cream
1 TBSP each: olive oil, white wine vinegar, lemon juice and minced garlic
Season with salt and pepper
1 grated and drained cucumber
1 TBSP chopped fresh mint!
Puree and allow to chill, then indulge!!!
Finally – to set up the perfect SOUVLAKI bar… I made a large salad, plated all of the cooked chicken, warmed pita breads and set out bowls of:
- black olives
- sliced onion
- green pepper
- cherub tomatoes
- feta cheese
My entire family went NUTS – they all LOVED it! AND strangely, every single one of them declared they had never had souvlaki before… even my husband… WHAT??? I totally live in the twilight zone!
So – just as I did again, make a batch of this so you too can have the BEST MEAL EVER this week!! Let me know what you think… I live for your comments!!