Deedles Dish in a Nutshell

I am a Midwestern girl from a long line of cooks who doesn't think cooking needs to be complicated. Enjoy the recipes!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Housewarming Party Shenanigans...and Chicken Tacos to top it all off

Hello, hello! First off, I apologize for not taking pictures of this.  I'll add something from online because I can't handle not throwing a pic in here and there.  So, as many of you know, the life changes just keep coming for me.  Now single and in my own apartment, I had to commemorate my new adventure with all of my best friends.  The food was more of a side dish to the alcohol but it was still delicious.

The crock pot chicken tacos were seriously so easy and absolutely delicious.  I recommend this for any sort of party or bigger gathering but you can also freeze the meat and use it for taco salads, burritos, enchiladas, nachos, etc.  You could also use pork for another yummy treat.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used almost 3 lbs but it was for a party so use your best judgment)
1 can diced green chiles
1 12 oz can of salsa (your choice on spice level, etc.  I used a roasted tomatillo.)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 small sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced

Place chicken in slow cooker.  Top with chiles, salsa, cumin, garlic and onion.  Cook for 8 hours.  Remove chicken from bowl.  Shred and return to juices. 

Aaaannnnnnnnddddd, that's it!!! Can you say easy? And it was so good.  Top with your favorite taco toppings in hard or soft taco shells and you have a crowd favorite on your hands.

Good eatin',


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Yummy Iowa Corn Chowder

On a chilly October day, this was the perfect recipe.  I first had this chowder when I was back in Iowa for my grandfather's funeral.  My aunt's mother-in-law and a close friend to my grandparents brought over a big pot of corn chowder to feed our large, mourning family.  I couldn't get enough then and I can't help but make it around this time of year.  So yummy and really quite easy.

4 slices bacon finely chopped
1 medium onion (sweet or yellow), chopped
4 medium potatoes, cubed
1 c. water
4 c. corn (fresh or frozen)
2 c. half and half
1 tsp sugar
1/4 c margarine
2 1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1/4 tsp pepper (to taste)
1 c. milk

Saute bacon in dutch oven or large saucepan.  Add onion, potatoes, and water, cover and bring to boil.  Simmer 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender but not mushy.  Remove cover and set aside.  In medium saucepan, combine rest of ingredients and simmer covered 10 minutes.  Combine and heat over low heat.

Tips: I actually cook the bacon first, let it cool and then break it up by hand.  I find it easier than cutting raw bacon.  I also used 5 slices instead of 4. :) When you combine the bacon and onion in the dutch oven, I added a little bit of butter to keep it from sticking to the pan before adding the potatoes and water.  I let this chowder simmer on the lowest temperature for 3 hours before serving, stirring occassionally.

If you have fresh Iowa corn or even frozen Iowa corn, USE IT!! If you don't, that's okay because it's still absolutely delicious.  And leftovers will not disappoint.

Good eatin',


Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Tribute...The "Famous (or Infamous)" Lasagna

I've been procrastinating on this post.  It's a tough one.  When I made this with the intention of putting it on my blog, this posting would have been nothing by happy stories and smiles.  But since then, tragedy struck and it may take a different tone.  Sorry.  I'll try to keep it light and keep it as titled...a tribute.

I have talked a lot about my family on this blog so it's not a surprise that we are all extremely close.  Extended family included.  Our family gatherings are some of my favorite memories and times that I look forward to even as an adult.  There are certain requests everyone has and, unfortunately, the person who made them is no longer around but we do our best to replicate Grandma Ruth's macaroni, rolls, cinnamon rolls, ham balls...the list goes on and on.  But there is another thing that is ALWAYS requested. 

Aunt Sherri is a quiet presence at our family gatherings.  (It's not her fault, Menefee's are a loud bunch.) She takes her time to approach her nieces and nephews individually to check in and see how we are doing.  She can almost always be found with a grandchild on her hip or answering to a "Grandma Sherri" request.  She tends to her brood tenderly and unassuming.  Even in the face of recent tragedy, Sherri put family first and was making sure her grandchildren were cared for and loved.

But I digress, I love my Aunt Sherri and couldn't help myself.  Her famous contribution to our family dinners is lasagna.  My cousins and I would wait with baited breath to see if we would see Aunt Sherri carrying in her casserole dish with tin foil on top...because we knew what it was.  LASAGNA! A meal that intimidated me from the outset, thus my procrastination in asking for/making the recipe.  I mean, who wants to be the person to screw up Sherri's lasanga? Not I.  But don't fret, this recipe is not too complicated and is absolutely delish.

1 box lasagna noodles (regular or I use Barilla "no boil" lasagna noodles)
1 can stewed tomatoes (or diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning)
1 can tomato sauce
1 can pizza sauce
1 container cottage cheese
1 larger package of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 lb hamburger or Italian sausage
Shredded parmesan for topping
10x13 pan

Boil noodles and drain (usually about 12).  Brown meat.  Drain off any grease.  Add the tomato sauce, pizza sauce and tomatoes to the meat. 

Lay noodles along the bottom of the pan.  Spoon meat sauce on noodles.  Cover sauce with 1/2 container of cottage cheese.  Add approximately 1/2 the bag of shreeded mozzarella.  Add more noodles.  Spoon on more sauce, leaving enough to use on top.  Add rest of the shredded cheese.  Last layer of noodles.  Spoon on the rest of the sauce.  Sprinkle parmesan on top.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Note: If you use the no-boil lasagna, be careful with the sauce.  You need to cover the bottom of the pan with sauce first and also make sure that all of the top layer of noodles are covered by sauce so the noodles bake and don't burn.  Also, follow heating and timing instructions according to the box.  You cook for 45-55 minutes using no boil noodles.

I like to serve with some sort of bread and salad to round everything out a little.  Eat and enjoy!

So there it is...Aunt Sherri's lasagna.  Bake and serve carefully as there is a lot of love associated with this recipe.  Next time I make this, I'll have some different memories but that's ok.  The underlying factor is still love.

Good eatin',