Sausage with Cajun Alfredo

Sausagewithcajunalfredo

I feel like a genius after having made this dinner. This only came about because I thought I had everything I needed for dinner…until time to make dinner and it turns out I had about half. Half one one recipe and half of another.

My first reaction was panic. I’m not usually the “wing it” cook. But, I knew the two recipes well enough that I thought I could mix it. Of course, when Hubs asked what was for dinner I answered with a  “we’ll see!” Turns out, it was a blessing for our tummies!

So I combined my Sausage Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce (cajun style) with my Cheesy Garlic Chicken Alfredo.

Sausage Cajun Alfredo

You’ll need:

 

 

For the Alfredo:
2 cups milk
4 ounces cream cheese (1/2 a block)
2 Tbs flour
½ tsp salt
3 Tbs butter
1 cup grated Mozzarella cheese ( or Cheddar!)20160516_171323.jpg

For the Sausage pasta:
8+ ounces penne pasta (or whatever you prefer, I used small shells)
12 oz smoked sausage or Chicken!
14-oz can petite diced tomatoes with onion, drained well
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1-2 Tablespoons cajun seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

What to do:

First, I started my pasta cooking and then made the Alfredo just as I do for the regular recipe:

Use a mixer or blender to mix together the milk, flour, salt, and cream cheese until it is smooth. I also added butter to this mix and heated it until it thickens then added the shredded cheese and let it sit.

Then, while those two were going, I sliced up my sausage and sautéed it and then added my tomatoes and onion, garlic and cajun spices, and a little S&P. Mix well

Finally, once my Alfredo was ready I slowly stirred it into my pan of sausage. making sure to coat everything and mix in the cajun spice. Then I added the pasta and mixed again.

This was one of the best outcomes of not having what you need!! This mix may be one of my favorites!

Cheesy Garlic Chicken Alfredo

 

Cheesygarlicchickenalfredo

Cheesy Garlic Chicken Alfredo! After one bite the hubby said, “Oh, wow”. Yes, it’s that good. The pin from Eazy Peazy Mealz was for SHRIMP Alfredo. I decided to make this after I shopped, so chicken it was. But this would be oh so good with shrimp!!

The original post also says this is a 30 minute meal. It took me a little longer than that. I think after some practice and with shrimp (shorter cooking time) it will be closer to the 30 min mark. But ABSOLUTELY try this!!

You’ll need:

2 cups milk
4 ounces cream cheese (1/2 a block)
2 Tbs flour
½ tsp salt
3 Tbs butter
3 Tbs minced garlic (I used just shy of a Tbs of garlic powder)
1 cup grated Mozzarella cheese
⅓ cup parmesan cheese (optional)
Pepper to taste
1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp or chicken, cut into small pieces or strips (as I did)

Pasta of choice (I used thin spaghetti)

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What to do:

Use a mixer or blender to mix together the milk, flour, salt, and cream cheese until it is smooth. Then set it aside.

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Next, you’ll melt your butter and garlic in a sauce pan then add your shrimp or chicken to cook. Once it’s cooked, set it aside, removing it from the pan and leave the remaining butter and garlic . Cook up your pasta per the box directions.

Next add the milk mixture to the pan you just used to cook the shrimp or chicken. Stir until it comes to a simmer and then continue to stir until it thickens.20160516_175010.jpg

Remove it from the heat and add the mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Cover and let it sit for about 5 minutes.

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Yum! Steamy!

Add your shrimp or chicken and let it stand for about another 5 minutes.

My Alfredo was quite thick and super cheesy at this point so I put it back over a medium-ish heat and stirred in a little milk at a time until it thinned out. I served it over thin spaghetti, my hubby’s favorite, and seasoned with a little pepper.

This was so good. Like, you’d order in a restaurant good. Best off all, my lunch leftovers were great!

Update!

So we decided to switch it up a bit and cook our chicken on the grill. I love that chargrilled taste! I did what I would usually do for this, but I cut the butter and garlic in half, since I wasn’t cooking any meat in it then added the milk mix.

When the Alfredo was ready I cut up the chicken and added it along with some steamed broccoli. It was SO GOOD!!!

My husband turned up the heat a bit by adding crushed red pepper!

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Finally, you will feel like this too…our Little passed out after enjoying her pasta! This is a family favorite!20160602_183824.jpg

Cajun Sausage and Potatoes

Cajun Sausage and Potatoes

Cajun Sausage and Potatoes. Well, that’s my version. The original pin came from Recipes from the Big Blue Binder. Their post was for Oven Roasted Sausage and Potatoes. YUM! Over time mine has evolved a bit as you’ll see below.

This is a hearty meal. You can really kick it up in spice or keep it mellow.

You’ll need:

1 package of smoked sausage (slice into rounds, I like to also half the rounds)

1 large onion, peeled and chopped (I typically use half an onion)

5 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes (I usually use 3-4 potatoes and slice then quarter)

Olive oil

Sea salt

Ground black pepper

Sweet paprika*

Dried thyme*

About a cup grated cheddar cheese

          *in lieu of these two ingredients I use a cajun blend20160502_162044.jpg

Get started:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a 13×9 baking dish with aluminum foil. They suggest drizzling oil over the aluminum foil. I like to just spray with cooking spray.

Then you want to chop chop chop. I like to add thing into a bowl in layers. A little oil and onion with some Cajun mix and the S&P.20160502_162143.jpg

Then add in some potatoes and mix adding extra seasoning/oil as needed to coat. Repeat until onion and potatoes are chopped and added to your mixing bowl and everything is coated.

I cut up my sausage and before adding it to the baking dish, I drizzle a little oil over it and add the Cajun, salt, and pepper spices to it. 20160502_163509.jpg20160502_163709.jpg20160502_163758.jpg

Then I spread it out in the baking dish.

Over that, spread the potato and onion mix and give it all a light mix.

You’ll then bake it for about 45 minutes giving it a stir several times while it cooks.

Last sprinkle your cheddar cheese over the top and let it bake a few minutes more until the cheese is melted.

Serve and enjoy!

 

Sweet Hawaiian Crockpot Chicken

Sweet Hawaiian Crockpot Chicken.jpg

This lovely pin was sent to me by my sister-in -law (thank you!). I’m always taking suggestions of things to try and this was a good start. I loved that it fit my easy and fast criteria, but I think it was maybe a little too easy as the directions on the pin seemed to be lacking a bit. You’ll find my suggestions at the end.

What you need:

2lb. Chicken tenderloin chunks (I used about 1.5lbs)

1 cup pineapple juice

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup soy sauce

Flour (I ended up adding about 2 tablespoons to thicken the sauce at the end)

Of course, your Crockpot
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The directions on the pin said to take  the chicken chunks, pineapple juice, brown sugar, and soy sauce and put in a crockpot. The usual cook times apply 3-4 on high, 6-8 on low.

I followed this completely. I added my liquids then whisked in my brown sugar, finally stirring in my chicken.
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But about an hour before dinner I checked on it and while the chicken was cooked, it looked nothing like the picture, and the sauce was really runny. I had to at least thicken the sauce so here is where the flour came in. A little at a time I sifted it in then let it sit until we were ready.
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The result was really good. Hubby had seconds. I could eat just the sauce on rice all day! But here are my thoughts. I think for the chicken to look like it does in the picture, it should be fried a bit first. Maybe even battered and fried.
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I was thinking next time I might dip the chicken in that wonderful broth, then flour, and fry it before putting it in the crockpot. Also the addition of broccoli would be nice. You could just throw in frozen broccoli and let it cook.

Serve it up over rice and an easy dinner is yours!

 

ccsteph

Chicken Fajita Pasta!

Chicken Fajita Pastafinal

 

I never really cared for peppers or onions. Then,  I became pregnant with my second child and that was all I wanted to eat! So weird how that works. Since having my daughter, my cravings have subsided, but once a week I make fajitas to get my fix. I stumbled upon this pin from My Heavenly Recipes for chicken fajita pasta and couldn’t wait to try it.

You’ll need:

1 green bell pepper,  diced  (I also added a red pepper too)
1 onion, diced
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
5-6 chicken breasts (I used 3)
2 cans cream of mushroom
Choice of pasta,  cooked and drained
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
3/4 cup of chicken broth  (I used about half of that to keep it creamy)

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Put your onion,  peppers,  garlic powder, cumin, mushroom soup, salt and pepper, and 1 cup of cheese in the crock pot. Mix.

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Add your chicken. And cook on high 3-4 hours or low 6-8.
About 30 min before you’re ready to serve dinner,  pull out the chicken and shred or dice. Then add the chicken,  tomatoes,  and pasta and mix well being sure to get everything coated with that wonderful sauce.

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This is where you’ll want to add the broth as needed. I only added 1/4 to 1/2 a cup. Let it cook on low,  for about 20-30 minutes. Then serve!  Such a nice twist to my fajita night dinner. Very good and husband approved!

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Pepper Jack Chicken Stuffing

Pepper Jack Chicken Stuffing final

Every time I make this I always think about the movie Steel Magnolias. Annelle wants to make something that “freezes beautifully.” While I think she had something else in mind,  this is my beautiful.
Not only is this delightful and fulfilling like comfort food,  but it freezes beautifully!  I usually make two at a time,  one for dinner and one to freeze.
Plus,  it fits all my other requirements like,  easy and fast. It’s a win win.
I found this pin from Or So She Says for the Swiss Cheese Chicken. (Click there for their recipe) below is my variation that we really enjoy. Did I say this was easy?

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All you need: (just double for 2)
1lb chicken breast
1 can Cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup milk
Stove Top Stuffing of choice (one box is enough for two since you only use half)
1/4 cup of butter
Pepper Jack cheese slices, the original uses swiss cheese slices (both are yummy)

I spray both my freezer pan and glass dish with cooking spray first. Then put my chicken down.

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Next you want to layer the cheese slices on the chicken.  Four slices work for me in my 8×8 pan,  but I sometimes add one or two more.

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Now you want to combine the milk and can of Cream of Chicken.  I do one at a time just to make it easier. Combine one,  add it on top of the cheese,  combine one and to the other. It looks like yummy cake batter pouring out over the cheese. Just spread it around to fully cover the pan.

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Here is where you split. If making two, cover your dish you’re freezing,  label, and add directions of how to finish.

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To the other you now add half of a package of stuffing and then pour 1/4 cup melted butter on that. Pop it into the oven for 45-60 minutes at 350°.

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I usually let it cook for the full hour.
Serve it over rice and voila, wonderful dinner that you made 2 of, in about 10 minutes of prep time!
I have also made this with a small bag of frozen broccoli under the cream of chicken mix. It’s a good way to get your veggies in!

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Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken “Chili”

Cream Cheese Chicken Chili final

This was one of my first pins that actually turned out so delicious I had to keep making it. This is so good I make it just about weekly.

I love to use the Crock pot. I always feel like I’ve made a gourmet meal with minimal effort. Which, with an almost three year old and a 7 month old, makes me feel like super mom. The original post serves this yumminess over rice. At our house we prefer to make taco out of it. Some times lettuce tacos, as the hubby prefers, but usually of the flour variety. So layer the tortilla with some cheese, sour cream, shredded lettuce, maybe even some salsa or guac, and this chili mix and you’ve got a tex mex meal that REALLY satisfies! Best of all it makes for a great lunch the next day! The best meals are the ones that are better the next day!

Here is the link to Rita’s Recipes or keep reading for mine!

Ingredients:

1 can Rotel tomatoes

1 can corn kernels, do not drain

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix

1 T cumin

1 t chili powder

1 t onion powder

1 8-oz pkg. cream cheese

2 chicken breasts, still frozen

Instruction:

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1. Add all ingredients except chicken and cream cheese. Combine and give a good stir.

2.Add chicken and “bury”  in the pot.

3.Add cream cheese to top.

4.Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours (less if chicken is not frozen.

5.About 20 min before serving pull out and shred the chicken. Give the mix a good stir to combine the cream cheese then add the shredded chicken back to mix.

6.Serve over rice as suggested or my way with tortillas and toppings!

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