Thursday, December 30, 2010

Experiments in Cooking

A few weeks ago I shared with you some recipes that I was planning on trying that week and I promised I would share the recipes and the results with you if they turned out well. I didn't forget, I promise, I just really wanted to do a Christmas theme for last week so it didn't quite fit in. However, here are two of the recipes that we enjoyed.

Southwestern Chicken Bake
what you need
1 pkt. SHAKE 'N BAKE Extra Crispy Seasoned Coating Mix
1 Tbsp. chili powder
4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
1 cup KRAFT Mexican Style Finely Shredded Cheddar Jack Cheese

make it
HEAT oven to 400ºF.

COMBINE coating mix and chili powder in shaker bag. Use to coat chicken as directed on package. Place in 8-inch square baking dish.

BAKE 20 min.

SPRINKLE with cheese. Bake 10 min. or until chicken is done (165ºF) and cheese is melted.

I served mine with a broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot blend and baked potatoes. It turned out delicious! It had a little bit of a spice to it and was crispy and moist at the same time. And of course I love a good warm baked potato covered in butter with a little bit of salt. (The picture is of Collin's plate he prefers his with cheese.)

The other dinner we made was a delicious baked ziti. It probably could have used a little more salt for my liking but it was good. There wasn't a recipe for it, we just kinda threw some stuff together. I boiled some ziti noodles (we actually used penne because it was what we had in the house) and while the noodles were boiling the ground beef was browning. Once those were done we drained the noodles and put it into an 9 x 13 baking dish. We added the ground beef and stirred it around a bit and then added some cheese (enough to make it gooey) and stirred it around some more. Once the dry ingredients were mixed well I added a jar of Prego Traditional sauce. I covered all the dry ingredients well and then baked it in the oven for about 20-25 minutes at 350ºF until it was gooey and steamy. We made some buttered toast on the broiler and thoroughly enjoyed our meal!

I was very pleased with these meals and it was actually fun to make them because I had it planned out and knew exactly what I was making and that I had all the ingredients in the house. I will definitely be planning out our meals like that much more often! I haven't lately because of the holidays, but as soon as we're done with leftovers and what not from all the festivities I'll be planning away!

Do you have any fun meals planned coming up? Do you have any good recipes and things you think we should try? Let me know! I definitely want to try new things out!


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