Friday, November 30, 2012

Breaded Baked Chicken Florentine Casserole

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I wanted to make a nice and lite casserole for dinner.  I didn't want it laden with cream soups, or creams, what have you.  I mean I have to cut back on something... we are  in COOKIE SEASON after all!!  How else can I possibly justify having a cookie or two? Okay, three, maybe four, but then my lips are sealed, ummmm!

So I reverted back to an old favorite when I was on a low carb lifestyle.  This particular casserole was one of our favorites!!  I use to use crushed pork rinds as the topping, and it was always so crisp and smoky and just delicious!!  I also really love how nutritious it is, and, wait for it... it only uses 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts yet it makes 6 good size servings.  So it's very budget friendly as well.  That was something I was always looking for when I had all 5 of my children at home. 

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Ready for the recipe?  Here we go;

Prep time: 25 minutes
Bake time: 45-55 minutes
Yield: 6 generous servings

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg frozen chopped spinach thawed - all water removed
1/4 cup sliced Asiago cheese
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese- divided
3/4 cups milk
1-3/4 cups bread crumbs 
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 tbsp coconut oil or butter

 -In a saute pan, add your coconut oil and bring till very hot.  Add your bread crumbs and saute till golden and crisp, about 5-6 minutes.  Immediately remove from heat and transfer to a plate.  Add 1/2 cup of Pecorino cheese and garlic, stir with fork till thoroughly incorporated, set aside.

-Take each chicken breast and filet into three slices, set aside.

-Using your favorite casserole dish, spray with non stick cooking spray.  Sprinkle, half your bread crumb mixture into bottom of pan only.


-Place your chicken slices directly over bread crumbs.  Lay your Asiago slices directly over the chicken.  Sprinkle with dried thyme and the black pepper.


-Add your well drained spinach over the chicken and cheese slices.  Sprinkle with that heavenly nutmeg.

-Pour your milk evenly over the spinach and then add the remaining 1/2 cup of Pecorino Romano cheese.

-Sprinkle the other half of your bread crumbs. Press down softly using the back of a spoon or your very clean hands.

-Bake uncovered for 45-55 minutes till chicken and spinach are cooked and the aroma wafting through your kitchen is just amazing...
Don't worry, the addition of the milk helps keeps your chicken amazingly moist!! Just decadent!
Wait just a few minutes, then cut into 6 generous portions, plate and just dig in!!

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Serve with your favorite veggie side.  I love to serve this with a simple salad!

Till next time!!

Dishin with Didi

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Turkey Lentil Barley Stew (crockpot)

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It's been snowing on and off brrrrrrr...
Comfort food is in order!  I wanted something hot, very hearty and delicious!

I also wanted to use up some of the leftover turkey as well. I mean how many sandwiches can we possibly consume?  I love hot turkey sandwiches and all, but come-on!!

This stew is hearty, comforting, low fat and downright yummy!! I also love that you can make it in the crockpot which leaves you free to shop online...

Ready for the recipe? Here we go;

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: *crockpot*/ 7-8 hrs (low)
Yield: 8-10 servings

1 cup lentils pre-rinsed
1 cup barley
2 cups diced turkey (can sub chicken easily)

2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
8 cups chicken stock or water (I used the stock I made with my turkey)
1 tbsp fresh rosemary minced or 1-1/2 tsp dried rosemary - *please don't skimp on this spice, it's downright magical in this dish*
1-1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

-Saute celery, onions and garlic in the olive oil, set aside.

-Add the pre-rinsed lentils and barley in the crockpot, add all your dried seasonings and stir till all coated.

-Add the diced turkey and canned tomatoes.

-Add in the sauteed vegetables to the crockpot and stir again.

-Finally pour in your stock/water.

-Cook on low for 7-8 hours or till barley and lentils are cooked.

Serve in your favorite bowls and get ready for a hearty comfort!  Better yet, light up candles, or cuddle up in front of the fireplace with a blanket and a glass of wine...

Till next time!!

Dishin with Didi

Monday, November 26, 2012

Ooey Gooey Everything Bars

So I wanted a bar that was ooey gooey and had everything but the kitchen sink in there…
I think I’ve succeeded!!

I took pre-packaged cookie dough, added pretty much EVERYTHING from my pantry, and then topped with sweetened condensed milk. I mean that is the ULTIMATE right there!! Can I just ask really quickly? Am I the only one that after pouring the sweetened milk into their recipe, proceeds to stick their finger into the can and and just take a small dollop of this scrumptiousness?? I am?? For real? Oh well, is there a therapy group for this?

Back to the recipe. We have cookie dough, pecans, dried cherries, peanut butter cups, M&M’s, coconut and the finale… “Heath’s” toffee tid bits. Well, yes because I could, and I did!!
These bars are so gooey and just absolutely ooey delicious!!

Ready for the recipe? Here we go;

Prep time: 25 minutes
Bake time: 27-30 minutes
Yield: 24 bars

1 cup chopped pecans ( or nuts of choice, chopped roughly with a knife)
1 cup peanut butter cups chopped
1-1/4 cup shredded coconut *divided – reserve 1/4 cup*
1/3 cup English toffee bits (I used Heath)
1/2 cup M & M’s
1/3 cup dried cherries chopped
1 tube premade (16.5 oz) chocolate chip cookie dough (I used Pillsbury Chocolate chip)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (I used Eagle brand) *not evaporated*


-Preheat oven to 350F.

-Pre-spray a 13 X 9 baking pan with non stick baking spray.

-Press your cookie dough down onto the baking pan, set aside.

-Roughly chop your pecans (or nuts of choice), using a knife. It gives bigger heartier pieces. Set aside

-Roughly chop your peanut butter candies, set aside.  You know, the secret stash from Halloween... "what" doesn't everyone hide some?

-Add your chopped pecans directly over your pressed cookie dough.

-Add your delectable chopped dried cherries.

-Now let's add the peanut butter candies, then the M & M’s and finally your shredded coconut – don’t forget to reserve 1/4 cup.

-Now open up your can of that sinfully delicious can of awesomeness, also known as “sweetened condensed milk” (is this a food group)?
Pour the amazing milk all over the cookie dough concoction.

Mmmmm is the only thought I can think of when viewing the creamy sweetened milk!!

-Top with reserved coconut and the English toffee bits.

-Bake for 28-32 minutes till edges are golden brown and your cookies are bubbling and popping, YES look at that deliciousness!!

-Let cool thoroughly, about 1 hour.

-Cut into bars 24 bars

These bars are so easy and decadent!! You would think that because of “everything” in them including the sweetened condensed milk they would be amazingly rich and overly sweet.
Nope! They are for the lack of a better word, “perfect”! Not too rich, not to overly sweet, but as Goldilocks said, “just right”, with the perfect amount of crunch!!

*Note: You can add whatever ingredients you want in these cookie bars.  Want more nuts?  More cherries? Chocolate chips?  Make them your own, just don't forget the condensed milk... what are you waiting for?  Let's head into the kitchen!!

Till next time!!

Dishin with Didi

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am very grateful and count my blessings for my family, I adore them.  The holiday's would not be the same without them! 
Therefore I am taking a few days to spend time with them and triple fold count my blessings!!

I am wishing you and yours an amazing "Thanksgiving Day", and may your blessings triple fold as well this upcoming year!

I am so grateful for each and everyone of you, I can't thank you enough for your loyalty and readership!
My blog would be nothing but me talking to myself if it wasn't for you! I love your comments, questions, sharing and inspirations!!
Heck, I just love you!!

Thank you!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dishin with Didi

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Hashbrown Casserole

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Goodness at it's best...

This recipe was inspired by my very good friend Diane.  Diane recently made a Bangin Buffalo Cheesy Tide Roll that looks absolutely "to die for"!!  I will for sure be making her recipe soon.  

So that being said, "Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip" was on the brain, well actually I never stopped thinking about it to be honest with you.  Have you ever had Buffalo Chicken Wing dip?  Oh my heaven's!  You get chunks of chicken, and cheesy blue cheese dressing, ranch dressing, cream cheese, HOT SAUCE and I always add some chopped green onions too.
I had myself convinced that I was going to make this amazing dip for dinner and serve it with a side salad.  But then I got to thinking... (scary I know).
"Well Didi, you will eat about half of it, what are the rest of the family going to eat"?  Hmm...
"Aha", let's make that delectable dip into a casserole.  The rest as they say, "is history"!!
This casserole is chock full of the above ingredients, and then... You add hash browns!!  It's a win~win!!

Look at all those pieces of chicken and the hash browns.... oh yes!

Ready for the recipe?  Here we go;

2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts(can use leftover chicken or canned)
1 bag (26 Oz - 1lb 10oz) frozen hash browns (still frozen)
1 brick (8oz) cream cheese (I used Neufchatel), room temperature softened
3/4 cup blue cheese dressing
1/3 cup ranch dressing
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2-3 green onions chopped (or 1 small onion diced fine)
3/4 - 1 cup hot sauce (I used Franks) depending on heat preference
1/2 cup reserved chicken broth *see notes*

-In a medium saucepan, add chicken breasts and enough water to cover and boil chicken for approximately 20-25 minutes or till cooked through.
*Notes: reserve 1/2 cup of the water you boiled your chicken in, or 1/2 cup of water. *

- Measure out shredded cheddar cheese, set aside.

-Chop green onions, set aside.

-In a medium bowl, add the softened cream cheese, beat till smooth.  Whisk in the dressings and hot sauce.  Incorporate till fully mixed, set aside.

- When chicken is cooked, removed from water (reserving water as stated above), and dice the chicken using a knife and fork so as to not burn your hands. Or simply dice the ready chicken, set aside.

-Whisk in the reserved chicken broth/water to the cheese/dressing sauce and mix well.

-Preheat oven to 375F.

-Using a 13 X 9 casserole pan, spray with nonstick baking spray. 

-Add half the frozen hash browns onto the bottom of the pan.  Now add half the chicken, distributing evenly.  Sprinkle with half the green onions, and half the cheddar cheese.  Pour half of the cheese/dressing sauce. 
Repeat layers ending with cheese sauce.

Oh yes, the hash browns, chicken, onion and amazing sauce... "more please"!

-Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes till hash browns are cooked through and all the flavors have melted together beautifully!
Guard, I mean let stand for 10 minutes prior to serving. 

Till next time!!

Dishin with Didi

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Taste of the Isles Chicken Sandwich

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I know trust me...
When you think of the Greek Islands what do you think of?  You think of sun, sand, water and FOOD!!
You know the food is going to be infused with mouth watering olive oil, olives, cheeses, peppers, vegetables...
This is my recreation of the "Greek Islands".  I however wanted it in an even/Steven sandwich.  I wanted all the flavors melding into one... The memories are rising (excuse me while I go play some Greek music).

I was yearning for that "Taverna feel".  You are roaming the Island, you find a nice tavern, sit outside as you watch the ocean and attractions... you order your beverage and "meze" - (appetizers).  They bring you the beverages, and mezethes.  Let's chinck glasses, "Stein igeia sas" means to your health!
Let's take our first sip of our beverages.  Mmmmm, okay, where are our forks? Let's dig into scrumptious olives, sharp cheeses, outstanding grape leaves, world renowned tzatziki sauce (aka yogurt cucumber sauce) and then fork into the grilled pieces of chicken, beef or lamb, or my ultimate favorite, meatballs!  Can you taste it?  But wait, now let's take our crusty bread and just sop up the amazing juices of the always accompanying salad. 
Chock full of tomatoes, peppers, onions, olive oil dressing and of course, more olives and cheese!!  A feast for the Gods I say!!
Sitting at that amazing Taverna with the most beautiful ocean view you have ever seen, we laugh, drink and eat with our friends. We watch the fisherman bringing in their bounty, the children frolicking, tourists sunbathing and swimming, the native ladies gossiping (common, you knew I was going to say that), the men playing checkers and bickering about politics all while drinking their coffees on outside tables... "ah yes", island life!!

The air is so warm, almost like a caress against your face, and full of enticing aromas.  You can smell a hint of the jasmine growing all over the island.  The succulent roasting meats, the wonderful aroma of fresh baking bread at the bakery next door, and last but not least, the slight saltiness in the warm breeze reminds you how close you are to the Aegean sea!!  
Are you with me?  So that being said, this is how this sandwich came to be.  I was craving the saltiness of the olives and cheese.  The sweet succulence of the peppers, toppled by the crustiness of the bread.  Add in the chicken, and the amazing topping sauce...  and well all I can tell you, it's the "Islands coming to you"!!
Ready for the recipe without travel?  Here we go;
Chicken ingredients:
3 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup olive tapenade
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Topping Ingredients:
3 cups arugula (or favorite salad green)
1-1/4 cups roasted red peppers drained
1/2 cup red onions sliced thin
1 cup crumbled Feta cheese
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup Kasseri cheese shaved thin (gruyere and provolone cheeses are excellent alternatives)

Sun-dried Tomato/Red Pepper Sauce:
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes (I use the dehydrated and rehydrate, much more affordable)
1/3 cup roasted red peppers drained
1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise
1 garlic clove pressed
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Extra ingredients:
1 large Italian bread loaf or Ciabatta loaf 
 Let's make our tomato/red pepper sauce!
-In a food processor, add all your ingredients except the mayonnaise.  Pulse till smooth.  In a small bowl add your tomato/pepper sauce and mix well with the mayonnaise.  Cover with wrap and place in refrigerator to chill.

-Using a serrated knife, cut your bread vertically in half, set aside.  Grate/shave your cheese in a bowl, set aside

-Slice your chicken into medallion slices. Set chicken aside.

-In a large saute pan over medium high heat, add your 3 tbsp of olive oil, let heat, add your chicken medallions.  Saute the chicken slices till no longer pink on one side, and flip over, sprinkle your garlic powder and your thyme.  Let the chicken cook till it is no longer pink on this side as well.  Spread your olive tapenade over the chicken, lower the heat to low, cover and let the chicken cook till it is cooked through, about 20 minutes.

-As the chicken is cooking, in a large bowl, add your arugula, and your olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Toss till arugula is coated, set aside.

-Spread your tomato/pepper sauce on both sides of your loaf.  Add the now dressed arugula to the bottom portion of your bread.  Sprinkle the feta cheese over the dressed arugula leaves.

Look at the beautiful dressed leaves... yum! 

-Place your roasted red pepper strips and your onion slices over the bottom part of the loaf.

-Now let's place the chicken medallions right over the peppers and onions.  Whatever tapenade is left in the pan, drizzle over the chicken. 

 -Immediately sprinkle with cheese, the heat of the chicken will melt the cheese just beautifully!

This is a perfect weeknight or quick meal dinner that is utterly delicious and satisfying that will transport you to the Greek Islands!  Opa!!

Till next time!!
Dishin with Didi

Monday, November 19, 2012

The giveaway winner is....

Randomizer #40 @ 5:01AM - Lea Ann W.

Please contact me with your mailing info.


Dishin with Didi

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cranberry Cookie Strudel - Blue Ribbon Winner

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This is my first "blue ribbon winner"!!  I can honestly tell you, this is beyond decadence, this is "totally rockin"!!!
First the luscious homemade cranberry sauce, cookie crumbles and then the decadent pie dough!!  
You will be running to your oven to check on these goodies... "oh wait, that's me"!  Cannot wait for them to cool and then slice into these luscious gems and add some vanilla ice cream right next to it.  Why?  Well hello just because!!

Want whipped cream instead? Go for it!!!

Ready for the recipe?  Here we go;

Cranberry Sauce:
1 pkg (12 Oz) fresh cranberries
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Ground cloves
1/4 tsp. Ground nutmeg
1/2 cups water
Zest of one lemon (or orange)

Cookie Strudel Remainder:
10 shortbread cookies or 8 oatmeal raisin cookies, crumbled (1-1/2 cups)
2 tsp grated orange zest
1/4 stick unsalted butter (divided)
2 pre-made pie crusts.
1/2 cup decorative sugar crystals
1 egg white, beat till frothy
1 tbsp water

-Prepare your cranberry sauce.  In a pot add your cranberries, spices, zest and water.

-Let simmer for approximately 25 minutes or till all the sugar has dissolved and most of the cranberries have popped.  Turn off heat and let cool.

-As cranberry sauce is cooking, in a mini food chopper let's process our cookies.  Set aside.

-Let's unroll and shape our pie dough shall we? Shape into a rectangle shape.  Set aside.

-Once cranberry sauce has cooled, it's time to prepare our strudel.

-Spread 1/2 of the (1/4 stick butter) all over the pie crust.  Add 1/4 of cookie crumbs in a center line vertically.  Then add half of your cranberry sauce,  add 1/2 of your reserved orange zest- reserve the other 1/2 for the second strudel.   Top with another 1/4th of the cookie mixture.

Working from the end closest to you, roll the pie crust away from you and up and over the cranberry sauce.  Let's tuck in ends.  Now last but not least, working with dough furthest away from you, fold over towards you, over the middle meeting the other dough, seal as best you can.  Just like a burrito! Using a spatula, lift strudel and place SEAM SIDE DOWN on an aluminum foil lined, pre-sprayed baking sheet.

-Preheat oven to 375F.

-Beat your egg white with 1 tbsp of water till nice and frothy.

-Baste your strudel logs with the egg white mixture.  Sprinkle your crystallized sugar over the strudel logs, making sure all areas are coated. Using a sharp knife, make 4-5 slits into each log ensuring it will allow the steam to escape.

-Bake for 30 - 35 minutes till nicely golden brown.  Remove from oven, and let sit on baking sheet till cool, about 25 minutes. 

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-Serve with your favorite side... sit back and just reign in the compliments!!

Till next time!!

Dishin with Didi

This recipe is part of the "Foodie Friends Friday" link up, found here: foodie friends friday
While your' there, check out some absolutely amazing recipes!!