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Posts Tagged ‘chicken’

Some new summer recipes

Are you looking for a good side dish for your next cookout? I tried a new pasta salad this summer which turned out to be very attractive and tasty.

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

2 cups broccoli florets, cooked and cut into bite sized pieces (I used 1/2 bag of the MW steamable kind)
a few slices of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup peas, cooked (I added these the last 2 mins. of pasta cooking time)
1/2 cup chopped red onion or sliced green onions
2 cups dry pasta (I used elbow macaroni but small shells or rotini would work well)
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsps. dry ranch dressing mix (about 1/2 a packet)
1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1 tsp. Johnny's seasoning (optional)

Cook pasta according to directions. I cooked the elbows about 10 minutes and added the frozen peas the last 2 minutes of the cooking time. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool somewhat. In large bowl combine the mayonnaise, milk, dry ranch dressing mix, and Johnny's seasoning. Add the broccoli, bacon, cheese, tomaotes, peas, onion, and pasta. Taste and see if it needs salt. Chill before serving and enjoy. I often find pasta salads dry out after a day int he refrigerator. To remedy this add a little more milk and stir gently before serving.

Here is a picture of the Johnny's Seasoning. I get it at Costco.


I served this salad one night with another new menu item. I wanted to try this recipe because we had eaten some similar burgers that were a frozen product from Costco.


Turkey Spinach Feta Burgers

1 pound ground turkey or ground chicken (I used ground white meat turkey)
2 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
2 cloves garlic,minced
about 4 oz. fresh spinach
1 egg
1 1/2 Tbsps. olive oil
3/4 cup bread crumbs

Saute spinach in olive oil until wilted and then add the minced garlic and cook briefly. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl mix together the turkey, cheese, egg, crumbs, and cooled spinach mixture. Form into 4-6 patties. Chill or freeze until ready to cook. Grill the thawed patties 7-9 minutes on each side or until well done.

We really enjoyed these and I plan to make them again.

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Chicken Caesar Sandwiches


I was recently re-organizing my freezer and discovered several packages of cooked chicken that needed to be used. I had seen a recipe for Chicken Caesar Sandwiches and thought that I could adapt it to use cooked chicken. The original recipe called for cooking the chicken in the crockpot and then using it to make sandwiches. This would also work with leftover turkey just in case you have any next week. ๐Ÿ™‚

This is more of a method rather than an actual recipe.

Heat the leftover chicken in a skillet with a little water or broth. As the meat cooks try to shred it up a bit if it is in large chunks. When the meat is heated through stir in some bottled caesar salad dressing, shredded parmesan cheese, pepper, and chopped fresh parsley. Serve on hamburger buns with a leaf of Romaine lettuce.

These were quite tasty and made a quick, easy meal. Keep this one in mind in the coming busy weeks.

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A recipe and a tip

The summer has been flying by and my poor blog has been neglected! We have been busy with some household projects and some special family times. Rather than trying to cover everything that has happened the last couple of months I thought I would keep this short and sweet and post a good recipe for a one-skillet meal that we tried recently and for a tip which is helpful in these hot summer months.


My daughter, Megan, told me about this Chicken Fajita Pasta recipe from a blog called Kevin and Amanda's Recipes. I tried this a couple of weeks ago and we really liked it. I made the taco seasoning that is mentioned in her post and we thought it was very good. About the only changes I made to the recipe were to use penne pasta, and some plain canned diced tomatoes, combined with some canned diced green chilis since I didn't have any Rotel tomatoes.

The tip I want to mention is one I read about in Cook's Illustrated magazine. They suggest reheating pizza on the stove top in a covered skillet. I have been doing this in my largest non-stick skillet which happens to have a glass lid. I heat the slices of pizza on a very low heat until the cheese starts looking shiny and kind of melted. If you watch carefully it doesn't get overly browned on the bottom and the pizza doesn't seem to dry out and get tough the way it sometimes can if you reheat it in the oven.



I have found over the years that one way to make leftovers more appealing is to find proper ways of reheating them so they are not dried out and so they look attractive. This can mean carefully transferring the leftover foods to a clean, smaller casserole dish, adding liquids such as milk or water, covering the pan or casserole while reheating, and garnishing the new dish with additional toppings. Many foods are actually better the second time around. Would you agree?

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Something new for supper

I'm sorry about neglecting my blog for so long. I've been busy with a variety of things, including some sewing projects and some family events. I've cooked a lot of old favorites but nothing much new to talk about here.

Recently, however, I did try a new recipe that both Rob and I thoroughly enjoyed. It is called One Pot Chicken and Potatoes and we both thought it was delicious. I pretty much followed the recipe as it was written with the exception of the garlic. I did not have any whole garlic cloves so I used what I had on hand which was frozen crushed garlic.


I've been wanting to talk about this garlic for a while now. It occurred as a sort of happy accident. My daughter, Nora mentioned that she had bought a large bag of garlic at Costco and it kept well in her refrigerator for quite a while. So, when I went to Costco I purchased a large bag of garlic and brought it home.


What I did not realize was that Nora had bought fresh heads of unpeeled garlic. I purchased a bag of peeled cloves of garlic and as I read the information on the bag it stated that it would only be good for just a couple of weeks. I knew that we could never use that amount of garlic quickly so I did a little research on the internet and read that some people had pureed the garlic in the food processor and then frozen it and cut it into little cubes which they then stored in the freezer. I tried this technique and have really enjoyed the convenience of having this garlic all chopped and ready to go. It thaws very quickly and is easy to pop into soups, salad dressings, casseroles or wherever needed.

Here is the chopped garlic ready to be frozen and then cubed:


Here is the frozen cubed garlic packed into snack bags which are then put into a larger freezer bag. I keep most of them in the chest freezer and keep a small bag or two in the kitchen freezer for ready access.


So, if you have an abundance of garlic I would recommend you try this technique. If you need a new chicken idea try this recipe.


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A couple of new recipes

I haven't really meant to neglect this blog for such a long time but I've been a little uninspired. I didn't think my vast readership would enjoy reading about routine laundry, cleaning, mending, etc. Another factor is that all four of the books that I had on reserve at the library came in at once. So, most of my free time lately has been spent reading.

At the end of this month we will be hosting a Christian couple from Germany. They visited us a few years ago and must have enjoyed themselves because they are coming back. ๐Ÿ™‚ We didn't know them at all before their last visit but we have kept in touch since then and are looking forward to their visit. They will stay with us for a few days and then travel around a bit and then come back for a few days before they fly out of Atlanta.

I did try a couple of new recipes this week that I thought I could share. I love to find recipes which call for ingredients which I normally keep on hand. Both of these recipes fit that description.

The first recipe called for chicken and broccoli. I had both of those ingredients in the freezer. The recipe is here if you would like to try it. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Jane's blog which is called Thy Hand Hath Provided. About the only changes I made to this recipe were to use Rice Vinegar and to add a little Sesame Oil right before serving. We enjoyed this over some brown rice and thought it was a nice change from the regular chicken and broccoli casserole that I make.


The second recipe called for spaghetti, spaghetti sauce, carrots, zucchini, and meatballs. I actually had some zucchini which I needed to use up as well as the other ingredients. We really enjoyed this soup. Here is the original recipe from Iowa Girl Eats. I have enjoyed this blog and have tried other recipes she has posted. Below is how I actually made it:

Spaghetti and Meatball Soup

2 Tbsps. olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
1 zucchini, shredded
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
pepper to taste
5 cups water
1 tub of Knorr Soup Stock
24 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
large pinch of Italian Seasoning
1 14 oz. bag of frozen meatballs, thawed and cut into quarters
1 cup cut spaghetti (or other small pasta such as ditalini or orzo)

Heat large soup kettle. Add oil and when heated add carrots, zucchini, garlic, and onions. Saute until the vegetables wilt down. Season with pepper and then add the water, spaghetti sauce, soup base, and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil and then add the meatballs and pasta. Simmer 10-15 mins. or until pasta is tender. Garnish with shredded cheese. It would also be good if you added some navy or kidney beans to the soup.

This is very, very good. ๐Ÿ™‚

This is the pasta that I used in the soup. I had bought it thinking it would work well in chicken noodle soup.



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