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Monday, May 18, 2015

Ham & Potato Blender Quiche


If you've been following our blog since the beginning, then you might remember the Crustless Blender Quiche I posted back in 2011 (back when my picture taking skills were very lacking to say the least).  I wasn't really well acquainted with quiche until I married my husband.  And since this blender quiche has been in the family for quite some time it was one of the recipes that was in the recipe book I got from his mom and my bridal shower. I had asked her to write down all of their family favorite recipes when we were engaged so I could learn to make them.  I love having this book!  


Here is the cute book she gave me with several family favorite recipes. It's been the best gift to have so many favorites of the family written down. We enjoy a lot of them on a fairly regular basis.  The quiche is no exception. 

Recently I've been experimenting with different flavors for the quiche - and I've found two favorites. So this recipes varies slightly from the original quiche.  This quiche has mashed potatoes and ham in it.  It's still just as simple to make. 


You start by greasing a baking dish and sprinkling in some diced ham, green onion and some grated cheese. 


Then you top it with a mixture that of blended eggs, milk, salt, pepper, optional seasonings, chicken broth, flour and baking powder (or you can use a hand mixer if you don't have a blender). 



Bake it for about 45-55 minutes until it's golden on top and the egg mixture is cooked through, and serve it up.  {Printable Recipe below}


This is something we generally enjoy for dinner. But it would be equally as good for lunch or brunch! 

Enjoy!

I'd also like to thank Patience Brewster (unique Christmas ornament designer), who posted about the roots to our recipes.  I really enjoyed the read.  This post has inspired me to share lots of other family staples and we have been enjoying for years.  I love connecting our family history to the food we eat. After all, food is what keeps us alive and going and is a huge part of family life and getting together, so I love these old time recipes that we can keep enjoying through the generations! 

Ham & Potato Blender Quiche

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups ham, diced
2 green onions, chopped
½ - 1 cup cheese, grated (Colby or cheddar)
¾ cup mashed potatoes
1 cup milk
½ cup chicken broth
½ teaspoon salt/garlic salt
5 eggs
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ cup water
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash (optional)


Directions:



1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease a 1 ½ to 2 quart size baking dish (9x9 should work great too) with spray grease or butter. Sprinkle diced ham, green onion and cheese evenly over the bottom of the dish.
3. in a 6 cup+ blender (you can also use a hand-mixer and bowl if you don’t have a blender) combine milk, mashed potato, chicken broth, salt, eggs, flour, baking powder, water, pepper and Mrs. Dash or other seasoning of choice.  Blend on high until mixed well.
4. Immediately pour blended mixture over the ham/onion/cheese in the baking dish. (if you don’t the mixture kind of separates, so if you wait a minute or two give it a quick pulse in the blender to incorporate it.
5. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until golden on top and you can stick a toothpick or chopstick in to see if the egg mixture is cooked. Let it cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe Source:

A Leesh & Lu original, by Lu (inspired by my mother-in-law’s quiche recipe). Originally posted on landeelu.com

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Chicken Pesto Pasta

  
Are you a pesto person?  It seems that there are only lovers and haters and not many in-betweeners.  I'm definitely a lover.  I love it on garlic toast, pizza, spread on sandwiches or stirred into pasta.   This dish is a favorite and is so quick to make.  It's also a perfect dinner as the weather warms up because you don't have to turn the oven on and heat up your whole house.  


This dish is stupidly simple and comes together in no time at all–especially if you already have cooked chicken on hand.  It’s sophisticated enough to serve to dinner guests, but familiar enough to please little ones.  If you happen to have leftovers, they are delicious eaten warm or cold. 3 hoorays for versatile, quick, family-pleasing meals!

Chicken Pesto Pasta

Ingredients:


1 pound angel hair pasta
2 cups cooked, diced or shredded chicken
½ -¾ cup prepared basil pesto (see note)
½ cup feta cheese crumbles
2-3 roma tomatoes, diced
Grated asiago or parmesan cheese for serving

Directions:


Break pasta in half and cook according to package directions. Using tongs, toss chicken, pesto, feta cheese, tomatoes, and hot cooked noodles together until well combined and evenly distributed. Serve immediately topping each serving with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
.  

Notes:


I like to get by pesto at Sam’s club in the refrigerated section by the cheeses and salsa.  It comes in a giant jar and ounce for ounce is a lot cheaper than buying the shelf-stable stuff on the pasta aisle at the grocery store.  I usually freeze it in 1 cup increments and pull it out of the freezer the morning I plan to use it.

Recipe Source:



Leesh and Lu Original--by Alycia

Monday, May 4, 2015

Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken {Moist & Tender}


Disclaimer: If you are one of the people that despise the word "moist", then you may want to skip this post altogether.  ;) I had a friend once tell me that she couldn't stand the word.  I thought she was just weird, but one day I realized that it's a real thing.  People really hate the "m" word.  Anyway, if you want to know how to cook non-dry, hydrated chicken breasts, then stick around.  If you can't stand the word just leave and come back another day.

I don't know about you, but I have several recipes that I need shredded chicken for.  After a few years of getting dry chicken every time I put it in the slow cooker, I finally found a way to make it moist, so it actually shreds easily with two forks and tastes good because it's not all dry and touch.  Before I would always get tough, dry chicken that was nearly impossible to shred - and made me want to say lots of bad words! I won't name those for you.

Another great thing about this chicken is you can do a big batch - as much as will fit in your slow cooker. Leesh often does up to 6 pounds and then freezes about 2 cups in each freezer bag and freezes it for easy and quick use for later. It makes quick dinners that much easier when you are short on time. 

This method has proven to Leesh and me to be easy to make, easy to shred, and perfect to use in our favorite chicken dishes.  In fact there are 2 ways. An easy way and an even easier way. 

So here it is: 

STEP 1
Salt (and pepper!) your chicken, both sides.  

There is a chemistry thing with salt and protein. 
If you salt it beforehand it helps it not be so tough and dry. 

STEP 2
(optional - but highly recommended for a better flavor.  
I know, it will dirty another pan, but it's worth it!) 

Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to a hot skillet and cook the chicken for a couple minutes on each side until you get a nice sear. 

STEP 3
Place chicken in a slow cooker with about 1/4 cup of water per pound of chicken. If you skipped the searing step, then drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil per pound of chicken over the chicken. Cover with the lid and let it cook on low for 4-6 hour or on high for 2-3 (depending on your crock-pot it might need more or less time). 

 

STEP 4
To make sure the chicken is done, test it with a meat thermometer and make sure it reaches 165 degrees F. Once it's reached temperature you can turn it off or to warm depending on how soon you plan to use it. I don't like to let it over cook.  

STEP 5
Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and place on a cutting board and allow to rest for 5 minutes.  With two forks pull the meat apart until it's as shredded as you like.  Or be a rebel and use a knife to cut it into small pieces.  Whatev. (Sometimes I even put it in my Bosch with my cookie paddles and shred it really quick - and I have a pretty tough hand mixer that will shred it if I place it in a big bowl and turn it on medium to high).


Now you can add your shredded chicken to your favorite meals calling for cooked chicken. It's easy, it's simple, and the meat should shred nicely. Now my kids don't have to learn curse words from me!  Enjoy! 

See below for a printable version of the recipe  -  this includes a few more notes and tips. 


Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken

Ingredients:

1 pound chicken
Salt & pepper to sprinkle
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
Notes:

If you want to do a big batch of this shredded chicken you can do as much as you can fit in your slow cooker. Leesh likes to do about 6 pounds and then freeze about two cups of it in a freezer bag for quick and easy use.  

You can use as much chicken as will fit in your slow cooker.  Just use ¼ cup of water and 1 tablespoon of olive oil per pound of meat (skip the oil if you sear it -see below).

Directions:

1. Salt and pepper chicken on both sides.  
2. (optional but recommended) Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to a hot skillet and cook the chicken for a couple minutes on each side until you get a nice sear.
3. Place the chicken in the slow cooker with about ¼ cup of water per poud of chicken that you are doing.  If you skipped the searing drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil per pound of chicken over the chicken and cover with the lid.
4. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 (time may vary depending on your slow cooker).  Check temperature to make sure it reaches 165 degrees F.  I try not to over cook my chicken so it’s not dry and tough.  
5.Remove chicken from the slow cooker, reserving the liquid, and place it on a cutting board, let it rest for 5 minutes. Shred with two forks by pulling the meat apart. Or cut with a knife or use cookie paddles in Bosch or other stand mixer.   Add as much liquid as you think is necessary back to the meat - this helps it stay moist in whatever dish you are making.  
6. Add it to any meal calling for cooked chicken.

Recipe Source:

A Leesh & Lu original



Here is a handy pinterest friendly picture for saving this for later! :)  


Friday, May 1, 2015

Layered Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas {New Mexico Style}


If you know anything about New Mexico it should be that the people here are CRAZY for green chile.  You find green chile mentioned everywhere, it's probably on every single menu in all the restaurants all around.  There are tons of breakfast burrito joints around and they all feature green chile.  Subway even offers NM green chile for their subs.  

I thought the food here would be like all the other Mexican style food I'd had, and while it is similar, it's not the same. The Hatch Green Chile grown here is amazing. If we ever move from here we will have UPS ship us green chile. We are hooked! Amazon actually sells fresh roasted green chile that you can get shipped to your door.  


Now that you know we're crazy about green chile. Let me introduce you to this amazing Layered Green Chile Chicken Enchilada recipe. Perfect timing for Cinco de Mayo next week!  My neighbor is a sweet lady who has lived here most of her life, and she made us her enchiladas.  She told me she used to run a restaurant in Santa Fe - she's an amazing cook, especially of New Mexcian food! You better believe these enchiladas were good. Wow! So good!  I asked her for her recipe, she doesn't really follow one, she just whips it up. So she told me what she did and I made them and let her sample. She approved, so now I have a recipe that we LOVE.  We've served this to several guests.  There are some missionaries from our church that work in our area and whenever we invite them to dinner this is what they request.  

I love that theses are layered enchiladas, it saves a lot of time and hassle rolling up corn tortillas. I'm not a huge fan of corn tortillas usually, but I do love them in this dish. Especially if they are white corn tortillas. You can buy white or yellow - I always choose white. 

I've included some notes in this recipe for making your own enchilada sauce from scratch or using cream of chicken soup.  I'm not a cream of chicken soup fan - and so the recipe for the sauce it something I use in a lot of dishes that call for cream of chicken soup. And I hope the pictures below help you see how nicely these come together.

I hope you'll enjoy these! Leave me a comment letting me know how you like them! (see below for the printable version)

Xo,
Lu

s

For making the sauce, you'll saute some onion and garlic in some butter or olive oil. You'll add some flour to make a roux. Then add milk and stir and let it simmer until it's thick. 

Then you'll add some diced (salted and drained) tomatoes, green chile, sour cream and shredded or diced chicken. 

 
You'll be left with this tasty sauce.

You'll grease a 9x13 pan and place it by your sauce, tortillas and cheese. 

  Then you'll spread a little sauce in the bottom of the pan.

 
And dip each tortillas in the sauce. 

Flip the tortilla to cover both sides.

Repeat this until you've covered the bottom of the pan with dipped tortillas.
Cover the dipped tortillas with some sauce.

And top it with some cheese. 

Repeat this at least 3 times, but you can use up as many tortillas as you want, making as many layers as you have sauce and cheese for. Bake it until bubbly. Enjoy! It's super yummy topped with guacamole, salsa, and cilantro.


Layered Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

Yield: 9x13 size dish
Notes:

You can make this using 2 cans cream of mushroom soup thinned with about ½-1 cup of milk.  If you prefer this way, cook the onion and garlic in butter, and then add the soup, milk, sour cream, tomatoes, and green chile.  

I like to dice and salt my tomatoes to get any excess liquid out. I set them in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl to drain while I prep the rest of the sauce and then stir them in at the end.

Ingredients:

½-1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons butter or olive oil
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 ½ cups milk
1 tablespoon chicken base (or 3 chicken bouillon cubes)
Salt and pepper to taste
½ - 1 cup sour cream
2 tomatoes, diced and salted (see note about draining) (roma or tomatoes on the vine work great)
1-2 small cans diced green chile, or 3-4 fire roasted NM green chiles, diced (with or without seeds - you can pick your spicy level)
2-3 cups shredded or diced chicken (rotisserie chicken works great here)

corn tortillas (I prefer white corn)
1 ½ - 2 cups grated cheese (preferably colby jack or monterey jack)

Directions:

Dice tomatoes and salt and let them sit in a fine mesh strainer to get rid of all the excess liquid. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a stock pot or large sauce pan melt butter over medium heat and add onions, cook for 5-7 minutes until onions are translucent, add garlic and cook 30 seconds more.  Stir in flour with a wire whisk until incorporated and immediately pour in the milk.  Stir  until smooth.  Let it cook until it reaches a simmer, and then let it simmer for 3-5 minutes until it’s thickened significantly.  Once it’s thick - remove from heat and add green chiles, tomatoes (salted and drained (see note above), sour cream, and chicken. Stir until mixed well.  

Lightly grease a 9x13 casserole dish. Spread ⅓ - ½ cup of the chicken sauce mixture over the bottom of the pan.  Dip each tortillas into the sauce mixture just to wet it and lay as many as you need to cover the bottom of your pan. You can rip some in half if you want. Or they can overlap - it doesn’t matter.  

Once you have a layer of dipped tortillas, put about ⅓ of the remaining sauce over top of the tortillas and then sprinkle with about ½ cup of grated cheese (you can make this as cheesy or non-cheesy as you prefer).  Repeat this step until you have at least 3 layers. You can do more if you have more sauce and tortillas.  The final layer will need to be sauce and grated cheese.  

Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-30 minutes until it’s hot and bubbly and these cheese is starting to brown. Let it cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

It tastes really good topped with salsa, guacamole and cilantro.  

Recipe Source:

Adapted from a recipe from a friend in New Mexico, I altered her recipe to make it with my own sauce vs cream of chicken soup.



Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Chicken Caesar Sammies



It is really starting to warm up here in Utah, which always puts me on the hunt for yummy slow cooker meals that won't heat my whole house up.  This one was a definite hit with my family.  It was a breeze to throw together without sacrificing any flavor.  And if you want to, you could even skip the slow cooker and use a rotisserie chicken and it would be equally easy and yummy! 


I've also served it at a few baby showers on little slider buns and had great reviews.  My kids won't always eat sandwiches--usually they deconstruct them and eat all the components separately, but this was a sandwich they actually ate in sandwich form.  I love simple "set it and forget it" meals.  It would also make a great take-in meal for a new mom or someone in need.  




Chicken Caesar Sandwiches

Ingredients:


2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/2 to 1 cup of your favorite Caesar dressing
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley (if you don't have fresh use 2 teaspoons of dried parsley)
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
12 slider buns or 6 regular sized buns or rolls (I served them on these rolls)

Directions:


Place chicken in slow cooker and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.  Remove chicken from cooker and drain any excess juices/water. Using two forks, shred chicken, discarding any fat.

Return shredded chicken to the crock pot and add dressing, Parmesan cheese, parsley, and pepper over the top. Stir until combined. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes or until hot.

Toast buns, if desired.  Spoon mixture onto buns and top with additional Parmesan cheese and shredded romaine.  

Notes:


Lu and I both really like Brianna’s Asiago Caesar dressing.

Recipe Source:



Sweet Treats and More via The Girl Who Ate Everything

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Perfect Fresh Squeezed Lemonade {or Lemon-Limeade}



I like to tease my husband about his love for juice. When we buy it I rarely think about drinking it and then I realize it's about gone, and look at him like...."who drank all the juice!?!"  

He's quite the cook, baker and now lemonade maker.  He's tried several recipes. And this is THE ONE.  Some are too sweet, some are too watery. This one is perfect. One thing about this recipe is how you dissolve the sugar.  You cook it with the water on the stove until it's totally clear and dissolved.  I think that helps give it the perfect texture. No grainy sugar granules that didn't dissolve all the way.  



This drink is great fresh, and it's also good kept in the fridge a few days.  That is, if you can keep it around that long...

Fresh lemonade is the perfect drink for a hot spring/summer day or to accompany you to any BBQ or get together.  


Fresh Squeezed Lemonade (or lemon-limeade)

Ingredients:

1 ¾ cup white sugar
8 cups water
1 ½ cups lemon juice (or ¾ cup lemon juice and ¾ cup lime juice)

Directions:

In a saucepan, stir together sugar and 1 cup of the water.  Bring the mixture to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar.  Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.

Juice lemons/limes and discard any seeds, leave the pulp with the juice. Add the syrup to the juice and the remaining water.  You can let it chill in the fridge to get nice and cold or add ice.

Enjoy!

Recipe Source:

lightly adapted from allrecipes.com