Cheesy Chicken and Potato Casserole – Crockpot Recipe – So easy a kid can make it!

Potatoes 1

Before I get into this blog post, I must apologize for the horrendous pictures.   I am still learning how to use my camera, and the white chicken in this dish completely didn’t turn out correctly.  Oh well, I’m learning.

There are some days when my children surprise me.  Yesterday was one of those days.  I had thawed a bag of chicken to be used for dinner, but completely forgot to put it in the crockpot before I left for work. When my husband called me to ask what needed to be done with the chicken, I scrambled to think of what we could do with the chicken once we got home.  He suggested that I call the kids and have them put together their favorite crockpot recipe.  I was very leery about asking 2 teenagers to do anything while they are on Spring Break, much less asking them to COOK something.  I decided I would call them later to see if they would be so kind as to prepare dinner for the family, fully expecting to hear groaning and complaining.  To my surprise, I received a call from my son asking what he needed to do with the chicken.  WHAT!?  Could this be true?  My husband had called my son to ask him to make dinner, and he said “yes.”  I’m still shocked.  After explaining that “slow cooker” and “crockpot” were exactly the same thing, he was ready to prepare dinner.  He didn’t require any additional help.

I was very excited when I arrived home and, 1) my house was still in tact, 2) dinner was finished, 3) the teenagers had even folded some laundry.  I felt like I had won the lottery!

If you are looking for a quick and simple dinner, this should be your go-to recipe.  It is one of our favorites.  One important note about this is that it only requires 4-5 hours of cooking time on low, and it won’t last long if you leave it on warm after it is done.  It dries out quickly.

p.s. This recipe is “naturally” gluten free

p.p.s. My kids really didn’t fold any of the laundry.  My mom stopped by for lunch and decided to do me a favor.  Thanks mom!

Potatoes 2

Cheesy Chicken and Potato Casserole for the Slow Cooker

Ingredients:

1 bag frozen tater tots (32 ounces)

1/3 cup bacon pieces

4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts (thawed, diced, uncooked)

2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, colby, mexican, etc)

3/4 cup milk

Directions:

  1. Cover crockpot with plastic liner or spray with cooking spray.
  2. Layer half of the tater tots in the bottom and sprinkle with 1/3 of the bacon pieces and 1/3 of the shredded cheese.
  3. Add chicken on top of the previous layer and sprinkle with 1/2 of the remaining cheese and bacon pieces.
  4. Add the remaining taters tots and top with remaining bacon and cheese.
  5. Pour milk over the top.
  6. Cook on low for 4-5 hours or until chicken is fully cooked.  Do not overcook or leave in crockpot on warm once casserole is finished.

Cheesy Chicken Pot Pie – Gluten free!



My blog should be named…Everyday I dream of Bread. I have an issue with bread. I love everything about it…I love to eat it and I love to make it. There are so many things you can do with bread. It can be used for sandwiches, Thanksgiving stuffing, French toast, bread crumbs, croutons, and almost anything else that is awesome.

The worst part about having Celiac disease, at least what I think would be the worst part, is not being able to eat regular breads. The gluten-free breads are ok, but they aren’t stellar. We pretend like they taste good, and to someone that can’t eat the regular stuff, it’s better than nothing, or a poke in the eye.

So this morning, the hubby suggested that we have chicken pot pie for dinner. I started looking around for a gluten-free recipe and then I remembered that I had just bought a box of gluten-free Bisquick mix. The main reason that I ever started buying Bisquick was to make the cheddar bay biscuits that they serve at Red Lobster. Which gave me the idea that became this recipe. Could I top the pot pie mixture with a layer of cheddar bay biscuits? Oh yes I can!!! Everything about this recipe was perfect, except the hubby thought the topping was too thick, so I posted the recipe for half of the topping mixture, and that should be the perfect amount.

You could make this recipe using regular flour and regular Bisquick, just decrease the amount of milk by half in the topping mix. If you or someone you know has issues with gluten, make this for them. It’s so good that I had 3 helpings.
YUM!



Cheesy Chicken Pot Pie
Recipe by: The Accidental Cook
Printable Recipe

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1/4 cup gluten-free flour (I used Andrea’s)
3 cups chicken broth
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 cup cooked chicken, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup whole kernel corn
2 whole carrots, chopped
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced

1 1/4 cups gluten-free Bisquick
2 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2/3 cups cold milk
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In large skillet over medium/high heat, melt butter. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Sprinkle the onions with flour and stir until the flour is completely mixed into the onions. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, and continue whisking until the mixture starts to simmer and becomes thick. Add in the chicken, peas, corn, carrots and potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Continue simmering over low heat and prepare the top crust.

Pour Bisquick in a large bowl. Add in the chilled butter and use a pastry cutter, pizza wheel or 2 knives to cut in the butter to the Bisquick until is resembles small pebbles. Add in milk, cheese and garlic powder and mix until just combined.

Remove vegetables from heat and pour into a 9×9 baking dish. Spoon the topping mix over the top of the vegetables and spread to cover the entire dish.

Place in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Place a cookie sheet underneath the pan to catch any drippings.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter and add garlic, parsley and salt. After the pot pie has been baking for 15 minutes, brush the top with the butter mixture and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Sauteed Mushrooms with Sage – The Perfect Addition to your Favorite Steak



I think I may be allergic to work. For the past week, every time I walk into the office I start sneezing and coughing. I have never had allergies, so this is all a new adventure for me. My eyes are watering and my nose is itching. What the heck? This is a real pain. I feel bad because my boss bought me flowers for my birthday and I think they may be the culprit. I can’t be 100% certain of this, but it seems coincidental that all of this started when those flowers appeared on my desk. Ugh…what would you do? I have already moved them into the empty cubicle next to me so I could “water them without making my desk wet.” WINK WINK! I think they’re still too close. Oh well, I guess I need to find some allergy medicine and move on.

I have been noticeably absent from my food blog lately. I have been engrossed in my daughter’s volleyball adventures. If you are unfamiliar with “club volleyball,” then you are lucky, and you are about to have a lot more money than me. Club volleyball is the same as a “select” level team, but it is referred to as “club” volleyball. You spend weeks and weeks preparing for tryouts, which take place on the same weekend. All of the volleyball clubs will have tryouts within the same 48 hour period. There’s a lot of time spent coordinating which teams your daughter will tryout for and making sure you can be at each tryout, which tend to be about 45 minutes apart and on other sides of the continent. The tryouts are this weekend, so I’m sure I won’t spend much time blogging this weekend, but I’m planning to get back to normal once this whole fiasco is over.

The hubby and I planned to make baked chicken, macaroni and cheese and mixed veggies for dinner last night. Me being the crazy foodie that I am couldn’t just have a plain, baked chicken. I started looking up recipes for Chicken Cordon Bleu. We had all of the ingredients, but then I decided that the kids probably wouldn’t like it very much. They really just like plain chicken breasts, spiced up with some salt, pepper and garlic powder. Then I remembered a recipe that I wrote down years ago for sautéed mushrooms. When I saw it in a magazine, I knew that it was going to be good. I have made them many, many times, but it has been years since the last time. A boring, baked chicken can be turned into a gourmet meal with these yummy mushrooms. You can add them to beef and fish as well. In fact, the original recipe was written as a topping for fish.

This recipe only requires a few ingredients and hopefully you can gather them up easily so you can make this as a great, last-minute dinner. This recipe is also naturally gluten-free!

Sautéed Mushrooms with Sage
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup onions, diced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon sage
1 cup chicken broth
Salt
Pepper

Directions:

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Add onions to butter and sauté until caramelized, about 15 minutes.



Transfer caramelized onions to a bowl.



Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Add sliced mushrooms and sage and sauté for 10 minutes.



Stir in onions and chicken broth and bring to a boil.



Reduce heat and simmer (stirring frequently) until all of the liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes.



Use on top of your baked/grilled chicken, fish or steak.

Honey Mustard Baked Chicken – A Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinner



I spent yesterday doing nothing. I did have to clean up the remnants of the party from the night before. It looked like we had a lot of fun….I’m pretty sure I had fun.

I have to apologize to everyone that called me yesterday. I didn’t answer the phone for anyone, not even my mom. I know it was my birthday, but I just couldn’t gather the energy to have a conversation.

So, I was lucky enough to have to make dinner for the kids on my birthday. I had 4 chicken breasts, and that’s about it. Unless I wanted to force the kids to make themselves Easy Mac, I was going to have to make something. I threw together this fun little recipe. It was very easy to prepare, and you will probably have everything you need to make it tonight if you need to. I made mine gluten free by using gluten-free bread crumbs, but you can use regular bread crumbs if you have them.

Ingredients: 4 chicken breasts, 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup Dijon mustard, 1/4 cup melted butter, 1 cup bread crumbs



In a medium sized bowl, mix together 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup Dijon mustard and 1/4 cup butter.



Pour bread crumbs onto a plate for dipping. Dip chicken into honey/mustard mixture until well coated and then press into bread crumbs on both sides. Place on foil covered baking sheet and bake for 35-45 minutes.




Honey Mustard Chicken
By: The Accidental Cook

Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup Dijon mustard and 1/4 cup butter.

Pour bread crumbs onto a plate for dipping. Dip chicken into honey/mustard mixture until well coated and then press into bread crumbs on both sides.

Place on foil covered baking sheet and bake for 35-45 minutes.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches



I always try to have a decent meal for everyone when they come back from my birthday/winery trip. I try to have something that is ready when they arrive and will be a crowd-pleaser. I’ve made chili, pizzas, BBQ, etc. This year I decided to make my slow cooker jambalaya, a sub sandwich (see the pic below), and this Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken. I can honestly say that I didn’t try any of this, but I know that I heard everyone talking about how good it was, and the hubby said it was one of the best things that I had ever made. Once again, this was one of the easiest recipes ever, and people will think it took a lot of effort to prepare. This would be perfect for a Super Bowl party or a World Series party (Go Cards!!!). Sorry, I don’t have pictures of the chicken on a sandwich, but I got pics of the leftovers…there wasn’t much.

The hubby's awesome sandwich. He made this by himself.



Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken
Recipe Adapted from: Allrecipes.com

8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 bottle of buffalo wing sauce (I used Hooters)
1 package of dry ranch dressing mix
2 tbsp. butter

Pour wing sauce and ranch dressing mix into large, slow-cooker. Mix until combined. Add chicken breasts and stir to coat. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Remove chicken from crockpot and shred. Place meat back in crockpot, add butter and stir until chicken is coated and butter is melted.

Serve on buns or with tortilla chips.

Chicken Teriyaki Recipe – Just like the “mall” chicken teriyaki

Every time that I take the kids to the mall, we have to stop at the food court. Well, that’s after we have done the trampoline-bungee jump-money pit thing and the hurricane simulation chamber. Since when has the mall become as touristy as Branson?

Anyway, after doing all of the things that we DIDN’T go to the mall to do, we stop to get lunch/dinner, and the twins always go to the same places. One picks Subway and one picks the Japanese Grill. The Japanese grill is the place that sautes the food right in front of you and they are always handing out samples of their Teriyaki chicken. They serve the chicken with a variety of sauteed vegetables that consists mainly of cabbage. It’s all good though.

I have tried to recreate this dish on numerous occasions. And when I found this recipe, I was not holding out much hope that it would be better. But, finally, this was it! I promise, this is the way to prepare Teriyaki chicken just like they do at the mall.

I made this last night and the kids ate almost all of it. I have some very picky eaters, so I was excited to see them eating more than one helping. The hubby doesn’t like Teriyaki, so I made him something else. But, I think he would have liked it if I had made it gluten free.


Try the recipe, make sure you use the thigh meat like the recipes calls for, and then let me know what you think. I thought it was great!

Chicken sitting in the marinade



Chicken cooking



Chicken Teriyaki
Modified from: Technicolor Kitchen
Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients:
1/4 cup Mirin (found in Asian aisle)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tsp grated ginger
4 spring onions – chopped, white part only
Splash of Sesame oil
2 lbs of chicken thigh meat (chopped off bone)
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
White rice

Directions:

Chop up the chicken. Mix Mirin, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, onions and sesame oil in a large bowl. Place chicken in bowl and stir to coat. Let marinate for 25-30 minutes.

Add vegetable oil to large skillet or wok and heat over medium heat. Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken from marinade and add to the pan frying until chicken appears done on the outside. Pour marinade into pan with chicken and bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer with a lid for 5-10 minutes. Serve over steamed, white rice.

Planning Ahead Saves you Time and Money

How many times have you wandered through the grocery store aimlessly picking up stuff and putting together dinner ideas as you see different items? At some point, you see that head of broccoli and think, “I’m going to make Pasta con Broccoli for dinner this week.” Then you continue your shopping, checkout and realize that you have spent $200 and you didn’t even get the pasta you needed for the Pasta con Broccoli. So you have a $200 cart full of random things that may get you by for a few days.

I have a large family that eats A LOT! I can’t afford to do the $200 shopping trip every few days, so I have to plan better. I started putting together weekly menus and then putting together my shopping list based on those menus. I also have to consider the family calendar and try to put quick meals and crockpot meals on days when I know we will have to eat and run. I put together the menu below yesterday and then went to the grocery store. I have all of the family meals planned out through next Thursday and I have all of the ingredients that I need to prepare them. My total grocery bill was around $200. I tend to NOT plan meals for Fridays and Saturdays because we usually aren’t home.

I am really not a health nut. I don’t look for only organic items or only low fat recipes. But, I know that fast food is bad for myself and my children. They deserve good, home cooked meals that are well-balanced and don’t include fried foods. I feel better serving them tacos or pizza at home because I know what’s in it. If you know me personally, you know that I have a very busy life. All 4 of my children play sports, sing in choirs, play in bands, etc., and my husband and I try to make time to workout and spend time together. This leaves very little time to think about what I’m making for dinner. If I don’t plan a menu and have all of the ingredients on hand, I am more apt to order pizza or pick up fast food.

Try planning your menu for the week and see how this works for your family. Not only is it healthier, but it’s cheaper….which the hubby REALLY likes. Feel free to steal my menu or make one of your own. Heck, I would be happy to put one together for you and also create your grocery list, just subscribe to my blog and send me a message. I can’t wait to hear how planning ahead works for you.

Thursday

Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken
Crockpot Green Beans/Potatoes/Ham

Sunday

Grilled Hamburgers
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Frozen Veggies

Monday

Tacos – Ground Beef

Tuesday

Pulled Pork Sandwiches (crockpot)
Baked French Fries
Frozen Veggies

Wednesday

Angel Hair Chicken Pasta (crockpot)
Garlic Bread
Frozen Veggies

Thursday

Crockpot Ham
Mashed potatoes (probably the fake ones to save time)
Canned peas (only because this is the only “veggie” my youngest son will eat)

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