Tag Archive | pot luck food

White Sauces – Easy (and From Scratch!)

I found a wonderful “comfort food” recipe on Pinterest the other day. It was just perfect to prepare after being out in the cold temperatures – Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole. It dawned on me, as I was making the dish, that the recipe called for cream of (something or other) soup. I've made my own white sauces for many years. It's easy and you can skip all of the preservatives and chemicals that the canned soups contain.

By simply using three simple ingredients and spending about five minutes of your time, you can create a “cream of” soup (white sauce) for your recipe.

Here's how:

For a cup of white sauce (for creamed and scalloped dishes) simply melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan.

 

Blend in 2 tablespoons of flour, cooking over low heat and stirring until the mixture is smooth and bubbly. Remove it from the heat and stir in 1 cup of milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly for one minute. Done! Season as you wish with salt and pepper, etc.

Here's that comfort food recipe: Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

For two servings, I grilled two chicken breasts and sliced them in serving size pieces in the bottom of an 8 x 8 casserole dish. Then chop some deli-sliced ham and sprinkle over the top of the chicken, followed by thin sliced swiss cheese. Prepare your white sauce (recipe above) and when you bring it to its final boil after adding the milk, ADD a good squeeze of fresh lemon, a dollop of dijon mustard, some salt, smoked paprika and white pepper to the sauce. Stir to incorporate. Pour the sauce over your chicken mixture in the baking dish.

Now, as if this recipe doesn't have enough comfort food calories, you finish the dish with a topping. Melt 1/2 stick of butter in a pan, add 1 cup of Panko crumbs, 1/2 teaspoon of Lawrys seasoning salt and a tablespoon of dried parsley. Combine and sprinkle over the chicken dish.

I baked for 30 minutes until the sauce was bubbly and then stuck the dish under the broiler to finish those Panko breadcrumbs into a golden brown.

Wow – is this good! (certainly not a dinner your waistline or arteries could take on a regular basis, but once in a while was sure delicious!)

Enjoy!

 

 

Power Your Day With A Kale Salad

Here is a recipe that just may change your opinion of a “kale” salad. It is packed full of color, flavor, fruits and veggies, is super-nutritious, and is just plain delicious!! The dressing is a simple mixture of fruit juice and olive oil. Give it a try!

 

Start with a bunch of freshly washed/dried kale – baby kale is ideal, however, I had good results from just removing the center rib section from my bigger leaves. To this, I added a good-sized handful of baby spinach leaves. Chop or tear all the leaves into small sections and place in a large salad bowl.

Next, toast one-half cup sliced almonds on top of the stove until slightly brown. Set aside to cool.

Dressing: In a separate small bowl, zest an orange. (Reserve the fruit for later). Add 1/4 cup of a good (organic) extra virgin olive oil to the bowl followed by 2 tablespoons of orange juice which you will squeeze from the orange you just zested. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice, a little salt and pepper and then stir.

Add 1/2 cup of cran-raisins and the toasted almonds to the kale/spinach mixture and top with the dressing that you've made. Toss to coat thoroughly and let stand at least one hour.

Just for fun, I also added some roasted sunflower seeds and raw hemp hearts. The hemp hearts have a nutty taste and add some all important Omega 3s to the dish!

Peel the rind from the remaining orange and chop fruit into small sections.

The dressing gives the salad a light, fruity flavor. Packed with goodness – hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

 

Mexican Roll Ups For Your Next Pot Luck….(or hopefully Super Bowl Party!)

Living in Colorado, we are ALL excited for our Denver Bronco team. With our first playoff game tomorrow, there are many gatherings to cheer them on. Hopefully, we will be gathered around the television on Super Bowl Sunday, with family and friends, watching our team compete and win!

Here is a great recipe for your next food gathering – regardless of the occasion. I found the basic idea on Pinterest, but have made a few changes that we found made this dish the whole complete meal! I had frozen some cooked chicken breast meat which I took from the freezer – this made this dish even easier

At least one hour before you wish to serve this dish, combine an 8 ounce carton of cream cheese with 4 ounces of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. To this mixture, add a teaspoon of finely chopped garlic, a couple shakes of chili powder, a 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, 1/4 teaspoon of coriander, and salt and pepper to taste. The recipe I saw called for cayenne pepper to taste and I added it. It was very good – but you use your own discretion if you want to add it or not.

 

Once your cheeses and spices are thoroughly combined, add a can of Rotel tomatoes – drained, but keep the juice as you may need to add it later. Add a can of black beans that were drained and rinsed, and then a handful of chopped fresh cilantro. Mix all together – and if it seems too thick, add some of the reserved Rotel juice to thin it out.

Cover and place in the refrigerator for an hour to really get the flavors to mix together!

Then, spread a heaping spoonful onto a flour tortilla. Spread to the edges with a knife or spatula. Roll the burrito up and cut into slices. Place each roll-up on a plate or serving tray. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro to garnish.

We served it with a side dish of homemade guacamole which rounded the platter. It's an easy dish to prepare and share.

(Go Broncos!!!)