Thursday, September 29, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Cream Sauce

It's so easy for me to get stuck in a routine, rotating several different prep ahead recipes from week to week.  Sometimes it's easier to stick to what you know.  My oldest critic called me out on it a few weeks ago and I (although thoroughly annoyed by the sass) decided to branch out.

Chicken cordon bleu!  I can't believe I have never made this before.  So ridiculously easy to throw together with restaurant quality results.  It's a keeper!

Prep Ahead Plan:  I prepared the chicken the night before and refrigerated the baking dish overnight.  The sauce took about 10 minutes to prepare on the stove.  I made it while the chicken cooked but you could easily make it ahead of time and heat it in the microwave.

Chicken Cordon Bleu
(I doubled the recipe and there were no leftovers!!!)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thinly sliced)
Salt and pepper
4 slices of deli ham
6 slices of swiss cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
4 small pats of butter

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 X 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
2.  Lay the chicken out and pound with a mallet if you find they are not thin enough.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.   Lay one slice of ham and one slice of swiss cheese on each piece of chicken. Roll up and secure with toothpick. Place rolled chicken in baking dish.
3.  Brush each chicken roll with egg and top with 1/2 a slice of swiss cheese.  Roll chicken in bread crumbs.
4.  Put a small pat of butter on top of each chicken roll before baking.  
5.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Lemon Cream Sauce
1 can condensed chicken soup (or mushroom soup)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
water for thinning sauce (about 1/2 cup)

1.  Place soup, sour cream and lemon in a sauce pan and heat through.  Add enough water until you get the consistency you want for the sauce.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Prep Ahead Pizza Casserole

Two posts in the same week? Crazy!  For some reason, my productivity level rises as my days get increasingly busier.  Why is that?  Summer afternoon cocktails with friends is not the most motivating  activity, I guess.   Oh how I miss those late afternoon pool-side mai-tais.  I will count the days until next summer, until then, let's talk about easy, weeknight, crowd pleasing meals. Or we could just drink mai- tais and call for pizza. Tempting.  

I feel like my oven is rarely turned on over the summer given all of the grilling that takes place!  These days it has been putting in overtime and I have some great recipes to share.  We had this really simple, kid friendly recipe tonight and we can't stop raving.  No, it's not gourmet food but it was SO GOOD!  Such a great weeknight meal!  Try it!

Prep Ahead Plan:  Prepare recipe the night before and bake it right before the dinner hour!  It freezes well too!!! 

Pizza Casserole


  • 2 cups uncooked egg noodles
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced pepperoni, quartered
  • 1 1/2 (16 ounce cans) pizza sauce
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese PLUS 1/2 cup for topping
  • dash pepper
  • salt to taste
  • **Crushed red pepper and parmesan for serving if your family likes it!

  • Directions:
  • 1.  Brown meat with onion, pepper and garlic.
  • 2.  Cook noodles according to package directions and drain.  Put back in pot.
  • 3.  Mix meat mixture and remaining ingredients in the egg noodle pot.
  • 4.  Pour into a greased 9 X 13 baking dish.  Cover and refrigerate overnight or bake, uncovered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Asian Style Pepper Steak

Ready, set, GO!  That's how I feel when our back to school routine starts.  I'm already missing our lazy summer days filled with poolside fun and surprise get-a-ways.  A small part of me likes getting back to a set schedule, I guess. VERY small.

I have taken on a part time job at my daughter's preschool and while I adjust to this addition to our already busy schedule, I decided to try some new set it and forget it slow cooker meals.  I found this asian style pepper steak on Allrecipes and adapted it slightly.  It was picky eater approved and will definitely be making the regular rotation in our house.  I thought I would share it for those of you, who like me, are looking to free up some time during those crazy hours right before dinner!

Prep ahead Plan:  Mix all ingredients in the slow cooker insert the night before and refrigerate.

Slow Cooker Asian Style Pepper Steak
2 pounds beef sirloin strips*
2 teaspoons garlic
1 cube beef bouillon
1/4 cup hot water
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 onion chopped
1 green pepper, cut into strips
1 red pepper, cut into strips
1 can (14.5 ounce) stewed tomatoes, with juice
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar

1.  Sprinkle garlic over meat and place in a slow cooker insert that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
2.  Mix bouillon with warm water and add in the cornstarch. Pour over meat.
3.  Add remaining ingredients to pot and cook on low for 8 hours.  Serve over rice.

* To add a layer of flavor, sear beef on both sides in a couple tablespoons of oil.  I didn't do this but it was recommended.  Also, the peppers were very soft after 8 hours of cooking.  If you can, toss the peppers in 2-3 hours before the steak is done instead.