{She Cooks} Cheesy Chicken, Rice, and Broccoli Casserole.

Please excuse the Instragram quality photo.

 

Ingredients:

2 bags steam fresh brown rice

1-2 bag steam fresh broccoli {depends how much broccoli you want}

2 cups of cooked, shredded chicken

3 tbsp margarine

salt

pepper

garlic powder

Cheese Sauce:

4 tbsp margarine

1/4 cup flour

2 cups of low sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup Gorgonzola cheese

1/2 cup {ish} Italian cheese mix

2 cup {ish} Mild cheddar cheese {reserve some to top the casserole}

salt

pepper

garlic powder

The nitty gritty:

Preheat the oven to 350.

I took the easy way out with this meal and got the steam fresh bags. They’re easy. I threw each bag into the microwave and let it do it’s thing. Once finished, I put the rice in a bowl with 2 tbsp’s of margarine, garlic, salt, and pepper and mixed it up. This gave the rice some flavor of it’s own. I then did the same thing with the broccoli. Meanwhile I put the chicken in a pot of water and let it boil away until it was cooked through. I then shredded it with a  fork.

Once those three guys were ready I sprayed a 9×13 glass dish with cooking spray and then layered the rice, then chicken, then broccoli in the dish.

I set this aside and made the cheese sauce.

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat melt the 4 tbsp’s of margarine then slowly whisk in the flour to make a roux. Once the margarine and flour are combined, slowly whisk in the chicken broth. Keep whisking until it’s just about to bubble and becomes thick – lower the heat to medium-low to be sure the bottom of the sauce doesn’t scorch  Then whisk in the cheeses and seasoning – whisk until the cheese is completely melted through and the sauce is very thick and creamy.

Then pour the cheese sauce over the rice, chicken, and broccoli. I then lightly stirred the mixture to make sure the sauce was all the way through. Top with the remaining cheddar cheese then throw it in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

I kind of made this recipe up through a combination of different recipes I had pinned on pinterest. I love the creativity in cooking. It makes me happy. 😉

Happy hump day, lovelies!

 

She Cooks {Drunken Lasagna Soup}

A few months ago I made this soup and it got rave reviews. However, tonight I made it again {without regards to the original recipe} and I think I liked it even better. A few changes were made – and to me, they made all the difference.

The best part of this meal is that it’s quick, easy, and all made in one pot. The clean up is quick – and that’s far more than you can say about normal lasagna.

Ingredients {serves 4}:

1lb ground beef {turkey or sausage would be delicious too}

1 clove of fresh garlic

drizzle of olive oil

1 10oz can of tomato sauce {you’ll also fill this up with water once you empty the sauce – to add to the broth}

1 small can of tomato paste

1 10oz can of chicken broth {or beef – but I had chicken on hand}

1 oz {or a shot} of whiskey – honestly, adds the best flavor to the beef

1/2 box of broken up lasagna noodles {bite size}

1 tbsp of sugar

garlic

chili powder

sea salt

basil

Directions:

In a large pot saute the minced garlic in the olive oil over medium heat. Once the garlic has started to turn golden brown add the ground beef. You can turn the heat up to medium high. When the beef is about 75% browned add half of the whiskey {or a splash – it’s really up to you, the alcohol will cook out and the whiskey will really flavor the beef}. Once the beef is all the way browned just add the rest of the ingredients {aside from the pasta}, stir so everything is mixed well {season to your liking}. Set the heat to low and let simmer for 20ish minutes {or however long you want}. Add the pasta, let cook another twenty minutes or until pasta is cooked through.

Once in bowls I top with a mixture of ricotta, Gorgonzola, and Romano cheese.

I do think this recipe could easily be made in the crockpot as well. {Brown the beef, add the rest of the ingredients, cook on low 4-6 hours, add pasta about 20 minutes before you want to serve}

I think the joy of this recipe is that it’s simple – you could add veggies, spice it differently, let it cook for hours or make it in twenty minutes. Its a really good, basic, fall meal.

If you try this – let me know how it turns out or any tweaks you make to it!

p.s. don’t call this a comeback 😉 I’m trying – but I make no promises, yet. 😉

Happy Thursday, lovelies.

{Pinteresting} Making a comeback…

Sometimes I get bored when I do something over and over again – I think I can equate that to undiagnosed ADD. So I stopped doing my Pinteresting Tuesday posts. I kinda stopped blogging. AND playing on Pinterest for a bit. Butttttttttt… it’s baaack!

Try to contain your excitement, guys. I know… you’re on the edge of your seat right now.

There isn’t a theme this week… just a hodpodge of things I’ve found pin worthy.

So, I mentioned yesterday about my “Morning Person Wannabe” thing – well, this, I think I could do…

I was inspired by this recipe and concocted something similar last week – it was DELICIOUS!!!! Recipe to be posted soon!

I think this is another good reminder. To be content where you are and to make the most of your life even if there are things you want to change… eventually.

I need to do this to my nails.

Loving this color palette. L.O.V.I.N.G.

See, I told you it was a bit random. Kinda my theme of the week apparently. Do you follow me on pinterest? No? You should… jacmaries.

Happy Tuesday, kittens!

Monday Randoms. {Coconut oil. The Vow. Moscato.}

I made Strawberry Moscato Punch on Friday night – y’all – I think this is going to need to be a staple in my fridge from now on. At least for the summer. It was so easy.

1 large bottle of Moscato

1 can of strawberry/orange juice concentrate {or any juice concentrate of your liking}

8 oz. of Sprite {ish}

Mix it all in the pitcher and drink to your little alcoholic happy heart’s content. I think it’d be really good with fruit slices in it too – but I wasn’t trying to be fancy this weekend.

I also made a pasta bake – but obviously made the drink first. Priorities, people. 😉

Friday night, Missy and I decided to have a little DIY spa/girlie movie night. We put gobs of organic coconut oil in our hair and let it soak while we watched The Vow. {I’ll get to that in a minute} First of all – it smelled amazing, I love the smell of coconut. And once I washed it out my hair was so soft and manageable. I think I’m going to try to do this every couple of days. Being blonde kind of strips my hair of moisture and I can already feel such a difference just after one use. We also mashed up an avocado and slathered it on our faces and let it dry. My skin felt AMAZING once I washed it off. I had some very happy hair and skin this weekend.

The Vow – ohmigoodness… *sigh* that movie definitely pulled on my heartstrings. I can’t believe I waited so long to watch it! What was I thinking?! They cast that movie so, so well. I’m always for a sappy chic flick and this one completely fulfilled that. If you haven’t seen it – do it. 🙂

Last week I thought I wanted to try to persuade my 29 year old self into all of the sudden becoming a morning person. I set my alarm for 7am and hoped to get up and workout, get ready for my day, enjoy a nice breakfast and not be so rushed. Do you think that happened? Hell no. I can’t – apparently you can’t teach this old dog new tricks. I need to accept that and move on. It was a nice thought though… maybe one day. {Although, I’m not holding my breath 😉}

Now, my loves – I’m off to do some reading. I discovered the book Sisterhood Everlasting this weekend while at Barnes and Noble. I’ve been a huge fan of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants saga since it came out. {Years ago!} This last one has fast forwarded {is that a word? No? Oh well.} to when they’re turning 30 and how life has changed them and their friendship. You have no clue how crazy excited I was when I found this – AND then realized I still had $$ on my BN gift card… one. happy. girl.

And one last thought for your Monday…

Always remember… take a moment… and just enjoy life.

Happy Monday, lover butts. I hope it’s not rainy where you are {unless of course you are like me and enjoy the rain…}.

 

She Bakes {Ricotta Cookies}

When I went home for Easter {yea, I know – a little late} my mom and I had both stumbled upon this recipe for Ricotta Cookies. We were intrigued. I’ve heard of putting mayonnaise, sour cream, or applesauce in different baked goods – but never ricotta cheese. So we tried it.

I should preempt this by saying I am not a baker. I actually loathe the act of it. I love to cook, but baking… all that measuring and being neat and precise, no. thank. you. {However, I do enjoy eating sweets.} But this recipe was easy… and delicious.

Ingredients:

Cookie…
1 lb butter
2 cups of sugar
3 eggs
1 lb ricotta cheese {part skim worked GREAT}
2 tsp vanilla {not going to lie, I eyeballed it – see, horrible baker}
4 cups cake flour {I questioned this – but it really did make a HUGE difference in the cookie texture}
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350. Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Lastly, mix the ricotta cheese and the vanilla into the mixture. It will have a slightly grainy texture due to the cheese.
In a seperate bowl stir together the cake flour, salt, and baking soda.
Very slowly add the dry mixture to the cheese mixture… blending well. {The grainy texture should be gone by this point.}
Spoon the cookie dough onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. {BTW, I’ve never baked with parchment paper before – what a difference it makes!} We used a mini ice cream scoop and overfilled it – made the perfect sized cookie.
The dough is seriously delicious. Once it’s mixed it comes out almost snow white – so I thought it would be fun to mix some color into the dough itself. {Food coloring ain’t just for frosting, peeps!}
Bake for 8-10 minutes depending on your oven. Cool on a cooling rack and once they are completely cooled – slab some frosting on them.

 Frosting…
5 tbsps of butter
5 cups of powdered sugar
5 tbsps of milk
{again, the frosting was a lot more eyeballing than it was measuring… I knew the consistency I needed.}
I chose bright, Easter colors to mix in – but any colors work.
Once they’re frosted… ENJOY!
Don’t the ricotta cheese scare you off… these are probably some of the lightest, most delicious cookies I’ve ever made. Everyone who tried them that day raved about how yummy they were… I dare you to try them. 😉
Happy Thursday, lovelies.