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Friday, September 19, 2014

Nelda's Cabbage Casserole!

This "Cabbage Casserole" is just a good old country recipe.  It transforms cabbage into something that even some who are not so crazy about cabbage will eat!  Every time I make this casserole, I think about a sweet friend of mine I grew up with in church, who passed away a few years ago.  She was not well most of her adult life, and when she would not be feeling well or would seem down, I would ask her what I could do to help her out.  She sometimes would ask if I would cut her hair and fix it for her, but  most of the time, she would ask if I would just make her this cabbage casserole.  Of course, I would say yes and even if I offered to cook her something I thought was more filling or more of a meal, she would say no, she just wanted the cabbage casserole.   I decided it only fitting to name this, "Nelda's Cabbage Casserole" in honor of  her!
Here is what you will need for this casserole:
1/2 head of a large green cabbage or 1 whole small cabbage, chopped in bite size pieces (not too fine)
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (10.5 oz.) can of cream of celery soup (can substitute cream of chicken)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup butter, divided (1 stick)
6 slices Velveeta Cheese or 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
Layer the shredded cabbage in a 2 quart casserole dish.  Sprinkle the top with the diced onion.  Sprinkle with the seasoned salt and the black pepper.  In a separate bowl, combine the soup, sour cream and 1/2 of the butter that has been melted. 
 Spread this mixture over the top of the cabbage and onion covering it all to the edges of the dish.
Lay the slices of Velveeta over the soup layer.  If you are one of those people that thinks Velveeta is the devil or it's 'disgusting', use shredded cheddar cheese instead.  However, I will tell you that the Velveeta makes this better, because when it melts it's so creamy! 
Sprinkle the top with the crushed Ritz crackers over the top and dot with the rest of the butter.
Place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes.   The top will be brown.  If it starts to brown too much just lay a piece of foil on top toward the end. 
This is really good with pork chops, pinto beans and cornbread!  Are you hungry yet?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

No Peek Chicken!

This is a variation on a recipe that has been around for a while now.  It's such an easy dinner to put together  and even though it needs some time to bake, once it's in the oven you can sort of just set your timer and forget about it.   Add a salad or vegetable and rolls and dinner is finished. This is a recipe that kids really love also and it's very budget friendly. 

I have adapted this recipe from the first version I originally posted, because a few who tried it said their rice didn't get tender enough.  The first version called for Rice a Roni.  I never had that problem myself, but anytime I get more than a few comments about a recipe not turning out just right, I like to go back and see if I can make it better.  This time I used Uncle Ben's Chicken flavored Long Grain and Wild Rice and it was perfect.  I don't think anyone will have a problem at all.

Here is what you will need:

4 boneless chicken breasts cut into thirds or 12 chicken tenders
2 (6 oz.) boxes Uncle Ben's chicken flavored wild rice, uncooked and use the entire contents (seasoning packets)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 (12 oz.) can of evaporated milk
1  1/2 cups water
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
2 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. curry powder (optional)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
4 Tbs. butter

Place rice mixes in a 9"x13" baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. You DO NOT cook the rice mixes beforehand and you do use the seasoning packets.  In another bowl combine the soups, milk, celery, green pepper, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, curry powder, and black pepper. 

Lay the chicken pieces over the rice.  Pour the soup mixture evenly over all.  Dot the top with the butter cut in pats. 

Cover tightly with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours (depending on your oven).  DO NOT PEEK for the first hour and 30 minutes, then check it to see if the rice is tender.  If not, recover and cook for about 30 more minutes.

  At the end of the time, remove foil and sprinkle with a little paprika or seasoned salt for color and place back in oven for about 10 minutes. 

Serve with a vegetable and salad and dinner is served!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Buttery Garlic Knots with Alfredo Dipping Sauce!

You are not going to believe how easy this is to put together!  These are great with soups or pasta dishes or to serve as a fun appetizer!   The Alfredo sauce is very comparable the one served at Olive Garden and it's a recipe I have experimented for some time to get just right!  It's great to use for pasta also if you thin it down a little.  I just like it thicker for the dip.  
Here is what  you will need for both of these recipes:
Buttery Garlic Knots
1 (12 oz.) can of refrigerated biscuits
4 Tbs. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. dried basil
2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
Cut each biscuit in half and then roll into about a 3 inch piece like a snake.  Tie it in a knot and tuck the ends under.  In a bowl, mix the butter with the other ingredients.  Dip each roll in the butter and roll around to cover all of it. 
Place on a cookie sheet.  Place in the oven and bake for 9-11 minutes or until slightly brown.
Alfredo Sauce
4 Tbs. butter, divided
4 Tbs. flour
1 (15 oz.) can of chicken broth
3 cups milk (you can use half and half cream  for an even richer sauce)
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt 
pinch of black pepper
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the flour and cook just until it's mixed with the butter and starts to bubble a little.  You just want to get rid of the flour taste.  Add the chicken broth and the milk.  Whisk  and cook on medium low until the flour is incorporated and it is smooth.  Bring this up to just a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer just until it starts to thicken.   Add the cream cheese and 1 cup Parmesan cheese and whisk until smooth and thick on low heat.  Don't let this boil after adding the cream cheese.  Add in the salt, black pepper, parsley and garlic powder. 
 If you want to use this for a pasta sauce, just thin it a little with about 1/4 more milk or cream.  It is so much better than any Alfredo sauce you buy in a jar.