New recipes: Two-timin’ Chicken pasta and Bean Burritos

A friend and I were talking recently about freezer cooking – possibly getting together and making/freezing several recipes. But really, I have no desire at this point in my life to spend a whole day cooking. But I have two recipes today that we have made and frozen several times and LOVE!

The first recipe came from a Birmingham Bargain Mom facebook post years ago ( I have NO idea who posted the recipe, but I love you sweet lady!) asking for your favorite 5 ingredient or less recipe 5 INGREDIENTS! woot woot! I makes a ton!! For a long time this was my go-to recipe when having a large group over for dinner. Then one night we decided to make it and freeze 1/2 to see how it turned out. Glory! It worked! So here is the recipe:

Two-timin’ Chicken Pasta

1 Jar Spaghetti Sauce
1 Jar Alfredo Sauce
1 box penne noodles
2-3 Chicken breast (cooked and cut bite-size) (I’ve used rotisserie chicken too!)
2 C Mozzarella cheese
1 handful Parmesan

{I know, I know there are six ingredients. She must have felt like a rebel. I never use the Parmesan. The first time I made this, I forgot to buy the Parmesan. So, we just added more mozzarella and it turned out great.}

Cook chicken then cut it up. Cook pasta and drain.

In a large bowl, mix together Spaghetti sauce and Alfredo Sauce. Stir in 2 C mozzarella cheese and chicken. Then mix in the pasta with the sauces.

Pour into casserole dishes and bake 30 minutes at 350. Then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and broil until browned.

Let sit for about 10 minutes for sauce to thicken.

To freeze: I either use 3 of the square foil pans or 2 rectangle pans. I freeze before baking. When I want to cook it, I pull it out of the freezer either the night before or that morning letting it defrost. then cook as directed above.

** I usually make this for dinner and then freeze 1/2 -2/3 before baking. Cook once and have dinner for 2 or 3 nights!

My other favorite freezer recipe, Bean Burritos, is a pinterest find from Oven Love. Here is the recipe:

Bean Burrito:

1 1/2 cup rice (brown or white)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 jalapeno chile, chopped (ribs and seeds removed, for less heat)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 bag frozen corn kernels (10 ounces)
16 burrito-size flour tortillas, 10 inches each
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
Salsa and sour cream, optional
 
{The original recipe says you only need 8 flour tortillas. I have NEVER been able to use only 8. Every time I make these, I make a different about (I guess we all know mine are clearly not uniform sized) but I usually make 13-15)

Directions:

  1. Cook rice according to package. Set aside
  2. Heat oil in skillet. Add onions, garlic, jalapeno, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook until golden, about 10-12 minutes. Add tomato paste, cook stirring about 1 minute
  3. Add beans and 1 1/2 C water; bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer stirring occasionally until thickened, about 10-12 minutes. Add corn, cook until heated through about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Heat tortillas according to package.
  5. Assemble: Mound 1/4 cup rice, 3/4 cup bean mixture, and 1/4 cup cheese on one side of tortilla. Fold sides, and hold them in. Starting from filled end, holding sides in as you work, tightly roll into a bundle. Place on a baking sheet, seam side down, and prepare remaining burritos
  6. Serve immediately or wrap and freeze up to 3 months.

To reheat from frozen:
Remove frozen burritos from plastic wrap. Place on a microwave-safe plate; microwave on high for 3 minutes. Transfer to baking sheet; bake at 450 degrees until crispy, about 10 minutes.

If only using a microwave, remove from plastic wrap, and place on a microwave-safe plate, covered with a microwave safe bowl. Defrost at high power for 3 to 4 minutes; uncover, and microwave on high 3 to 4 minutes longer.

**We prefer to reheat using the microwave and oven – the burritos get a little crunchy. But when Chris takes these to work just the microwave works fine too.

Again, I usually make this for dinner and then freeze the rest for a quick lunch or dinner.

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the world wide web, cuban sandwiches, and strawberry lemonade cake

It’s been 3 weeks since my last post. Not because I’ve run out of ideas or things to share. Nope not at all. May is generally my craziest time of the year – right up there with Christmas. The next event that I should have written about was Lane’s graduation. Oh MY was it funny! Few things bring me to tears like a bunch of 4 and 5 year old kids on stage singing. So precious! I had planned to upload some of the videos until I realized they were all on Chris’ Mac that he takes to work with him most days.

Y’all. seriously that MAC and I do. not. get. along. He has had the thing for a year and I still haven’t figured out how many fingers I need to swipe in which direction. I feel like a 90 year old grandma calling some foreign speaking person to help me navigate the world wide web.

struggles.

Anywho, next week I’ll get Lane to upload pictures from his preschool graduation to share with you all from is 4k graduation. I’m sure he will have it figured out in about the seconds.

Tech savvy I am not but I can cook. After Lane’s little graduation, we were having my parents and grandparents, as well as, Chris’ parents over for dinner. I knew better than to try to cook for 8 adults after the graduation. So I turned to one of our favorite, inexpensive, and easy crock pot meals that feeds a crowd – Cuban sandwiches! Mmm!

Mom and Dad went on vacation to Key West several years ago. While they were there they fell in love with these Cuban sandwiches. So obviously they went to a grocery store in search of the amazing bread. While they were at the store, mom spotted a little Cuban grandma and asked if she knew how they made the sandwiches. And like any good grandma would do, the lady took mom and dad around the grocery store showing them everything they would need and how to cook the meat. Love that sweet little lady! So here it is:

Cuban sandwiches from the kitchen of a little Cuban Granny:
ingredients:
Boston Butt
A stank load of garlic (I buy the little bag of garlic)
even more onions (like 5-6)  {don’t fear it somehow isn’t an overwhelming amount}
Goya Mojo sauce (large bottle in the ethnic food isle)

Take your Boston butt and cut a ton of little slices all over it. Top bottom and sides. Then stuff the little slices with your garlic cloves. Put the meat in the crock pot. Pour the sauce over the meat. Slice  the onions into rings. Fill the crock pot with the onion to the point that you think there is no more room and the lid might not close. Cook that bad boy all day long (6-8 hrs) Check back about an hour before it should be done. Check to see if you still have plenty of visible onions on top (they tend to cook down) You want plenty of “grilled” onions for your sandwich.

Now for the sandwich ingredients:
Cuban rolls (or some type of hoagie style bread)
Meat (from crockpot)
onions (from crockpot)
sliced ham (I buy the black forest ham from Costco)
Swiss cheese
mayo
mustard (regular or Dijon)
lettuce
dill pickles

Build your sandwich then press it on a panini press. Or if you don’t have one, we use our George Forman grill. 🙂

So, so good! We served it with just chips because this is a crazy good and filling sandwich. Or you could go all out like mom does and serve it with back bean soup. I personally can never eat a whole sandwich and soup.

For dessert, I continued with my ridiculously easy theme for the night. I have a obsession deep love for this Strawberry Lemonade Cake recipe that I found on pinterest. I’ve made it several times and it has wiped out almost everywhere that I’ve taken it.  The icing recipe make a ton so I’ve started taking the extra icing as a fruit dip. No need in wasting perfectly good icing, right?

Well, I didn’t make that cake. I didn’t have it in me to bake a cake and all that jazz. I was already making sugar cookies for Lane’s birthday party, so I made a few extra. And by “made” what I mean is I baked the break apart and bake cookies. Then I made just the icing from the strawberry lemonade cake. I put out several different berries and we had a build your own fruit pizza bar. Delish and too easy!

Overall, it was a wonderful laid back evening! We went ahead and gave the kids their big birthday present that night. A sandbox built by my amazing husband!! I’ll share pictures of that soon. 🙂

pinned it. made it. loved it.

So I love pinterest. I spend WAY too much time on this site. However I tell myself it’s ok to spend so much time IF I actually make the recipes I pin. Then, it’s more like I spend all this time researching, right? Of course! So I thought I would share some of the recipes that we have tried and loved.

Also, I recently joined Weight Watchers. I mentioned that to several friends and I quickly learned 1/2 of the women at Highlands are also doing WW. (slight exaggeration, but only slight) So, I’ll try to share the PP for each recipe also. Keep in mind that whatever brand you use may change the points. Here is a breakfast recipe we have tried and loved. I’ll post more favorite recipes soon!

Breakfast Omelet

I originally pinned this from Six in the Suburbs however it doesn’t show up on their page anymore. So, I’ll share how I make these now.

Ingredients:
12 eggs
bacon
onion
bell pepper
spinach
-Anything you would put in your omelet
English Muffin

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Grease muffin pan with butter cooking spray
  3. crack one egg in each muffin spot & use your fork to scramble
  4. Add other diced ingredients (spinach, onion, bell pepper, bacon)

You could also add cheese. The only reason I didn’t was to save points. Bake 15-20 minutes.
At this point you can wrap them up and put them in the freezer. When you want one, put the frozen egg in the microwave for about a minute. Throw your English muffin in the toaster and you have a quick, way better than McDonald’s Egg McMuffin.

**Before making these, I was pretty worried about the reheating a frozen egg. Sounds pretty sketchy, right? We have made these several times and they taste great.

6pp