Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Spiral Bound Cookbooks and on the Menu this week: Chicken Salad Sandiwches, Crockpot Tortellini Lasagna, Pigs in a Blanket, Tex-Mex Roll-ups, Slow Cooker Chicken and Noodles with Vegetables

Some people say that cookbooks are going to be obsolete in the years to come because of the internet.  I hope they don't!  I love my cookbooks and collecting unique, old-fashioned ones.  Ok, maybe not so old-fashioned, but ones that are fun, and quirky in their own way. 

My mom came across two spiral bound cookbooks that belonged to her mother who passed away in the late '60s.  When my mom and dad moved, she gave them to me.  I love these cookbooks because of how simple and down home the ingredients are in the recipes.  Many of which were put together by military wives.  One of the cookbooks is printed copies of the original submitted recipes, so they are all in the person's handwriting.  Hardbound cookbooks are fascinating, but the spiral bound cookbooks that you can come across in those unique bookstores are special in their own way.

During my elementary school years, I attended a school called Gayton Elementary.  My class was the second group of kids who went through the school from kindergarten to fifth grade.  We practically ruled the school in our stir-up pants, scrunchies, and sweatsuits rockin' out to the New Kids on the Block.  However, I digress...One of the coolest things our PTA did was put together a collection of recipes and titled it "The Gayton Gourmet."  So fun, right?  One of my favorite recipes in this cookbook is a layered Mexican Dip.  I made this so much back in high school for my family that I had it memorized.  My sister knew this, so I had a lot of phone calls from her as a freshman in college that started with,"I'm making that mexican dip, and I'm at the grocery store.  What do I need again?"  Serve this at your next get-together or football party!

Mexican Dip adapted from the Gayton Gourmet

1 can Fritos Bean dip
1 can frozen guacomole dip (refrigerated is fine)
1/2 c. sour cream
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/2 pkg. taco seasoning mix
2 tomatoes
1/2 bunch spring onions
4 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese

Mix sour cream, may, and taco seasoning mix.  Set aside.  Mix chopped onions and chopped tomatoes.  Set aside.  Grate cheese.  In glass baking dish cover bottom with bean dip.  Next spread guacamole on top of bean dip.  Add sour cream mixture on top of guacamole.  Sprinkle onions and tomatoes next.  Finally top with grated cheese.  Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight (f you can wait that long).  Serve with tortilla chips.

I hope you enjoy the menu this week!  Remember to throw in a leftover night and a breakfast for dinner night and you have the whole week planned!

These next two recipes are straight from food network.  The magazine came with this booklet that included 50 Chicken Dinners.  I had gotten one of those value pack of chicken drumsticks and didn't need to use all of them, so I went ahead and cooked up the whole batch, shredded the chicken from the uneaten drumsticks and froze the cooked chicken.  This extra work set me up for minimal effort during the work week.

  Creamy Chicken Salad
2 large chicken breasts
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 chopped celery stalks
2 tbsp chopped celery leaves

Cover 2 large chicken breasts with cold water in a pot; add 1 tbsp kosher salt.  Bring to a gentle simmer; cook until just firm, 15 minutes.  Plunge into salted ice water, 30 seconds, then drain.
Dice cooked chicken.  Mix with mayo, sour cream, parsley, celery stalks, and celery leaves.  Serve on lettuce, buns, or as is with chips and fruit and you have a nice meal!

Shopping List:  Chicken breasts, mayo, sour cream, parsley, celery

Tex-Mex Roll-Ups
2 large chicken breasts
2/3 cup mayo
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup sour cream
1 can chopped green chiles
Chopped scallions
Juice of 1 lime

Cover 2 large chicken breasts with cold water in a pot; add 1 tbsp kosher salt. Bring to a gentle simmer; cook until just firm, 15 minutes. Plunge into salted ice water, 30 seconds, then drain.  Shred cooked chicken.  Mix chicken with mayonnaise, salsa, sour cream, green chiles, chopped scallions, and juice of one lime.  Serve in tortillas.
Serve with a side salad, refried beans, or spanish rice.

Shopping List:  chicken breasts, mayo, salsa, sour cream, green chiles, scallions, lime

Crockpot Tortellini Lasagna:  I found this recipe on the mostly homemade mom blog.  Visit her fun site at www.mostlyhomemademom.com.

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 tbsp dried minced onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
26 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 cups fresh spinah
19 oz. package frozen tortellini
1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown ground beef in large skillet and drain.  Add onion, garlic and spaghetti sauce.  Simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in spinach and ricotta. Spoon 1/3 of the meat sauce on the bottom of slow cooker.  (I would use a 4 quart.  My 6-7 quart was too big.)  Top with 1/2 package of tortellini.  Repeat layers, ending with meat sauce on top.  Sprinkle mozzarella.  Cook on low 3-4 hours.

Serve with crunchy rolls and a salad.
Shopping List:  ground beef, dried, minced onion, jar spaghetti sauce, ricotta cheese, fresh spinach, frozen tortellini, mozzarella cheese

Pigs in a Blanket:  Seriously.  Serve these when you want something different than plain, ole hot dog on a bun.  The kids love 'em.  Give in.  Let your inner child out.  You know you want these, too.

1 package hot dogs (I've been sneaking the turkey franks.  Shhhh...No one notices the difference.)
1 can crescent rolls

Unroll crescent rolls.  Place hot dog on widest end of crescent.  Roll hot dog in crescent roll.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Follow directions on crescent roll package.

Serve with coleslaw and mandarin oranges.

Shopping List:  hot dogs, crescent rolls

Slow Cooker Chicken and Noodles with Vegetables:  I got this recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook that my sister-in-law got for me one Christmas.  I don't normally do two crockpot meals in one week, but sometimes busy weeks make you do the unthinkable. 

2 cups sliced carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 cup sliced celery
1 bay leaf
4 chicken legs, skinned
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
8 ounces dried wide noodles
1 cup frozen peas

In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker stir together carrots, onions, celery, and bay leaf. Place chicken on top of vegetables. In a large bowl stir together soup, the water, salt, thyme, and black pepper. Pour over chicken in cooker. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 9 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 4-1/2 hours.
Remove chicken from slow cooker; cool slightly. Discard bay leaf. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, stir frozen peas into mixture in cooker. Remove chicken from bones; discard bones. Shred or chop meat; stir into mixture in cooker.
To serve, in a large serving bowl stir together chicken mixture and noodles.
 Shopping List:  carrots, onion, celery, chicken legs, bay leaves (if not in spice cabinet), 2 cans cream of chicken soup, dried thyme, dried wide noodles, frozen peas