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Chicken and Broccoli Stuffed Crescents

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A few years ago I was talking with my co-worker Megan about favorite meals our moms make. She described this yummy dish to me and I said, “Ok, I have to try these. Can you get the recipe from her please?” Now they have become part of the dinner rotation in our house. Since it’s just my husband, toddler, and I, I only cook one can of the crescents at a time. I put the leftover filling in the fridge and cook the next half when we are ready for seconds. For the sauce I also only use one can of Cream of Chicken soup and it is usually enough for us. I have tried other brands of crescents and pillsbury works the best. The other brands have torn while rolling them out or folding them up.

Makes 16 crescents

Ingredients:

Filling:

1 8 0z pkg cream cheese at room temperature

4 Tbsp melted butter

4 cups cooked chicken cut into small cubes (about 2-3 large chicken breasts)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

4-5 Tbsp milk

3/4 cups cooked finely chopped broccoli

Crescents/sauce

2 cans Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (80z each)

2 Tbsp melted butter

1 1/2 cups italian bread crumbs

1-2 cans Cream of chicken Soup (depending on how much sauce you want)

swiss cheese to taste

1-1 1/4 cups milk

Directions:

Blend the cream cheese with the 4 Tbs of melted butter. Stir in the chicken, salt, pepper, broccoli and 4-5 Tbs milk. On an un-greased cookie sheet Lay the crescents out flat and spoon a heaping spoonful onto the larger portion of the crescent roll.

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Take the top of crescent (long skinny point) and fold up over the center tucking it under the flat edge of the triangle. Then pull the two remaining corners up and pinch closed. Brush tops with the remaining 2 Tbsp melted butter and sprinkle tops with bread crumbs.

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Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

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While the crescents cook make the sauce. In a medium saucepan combine soup, milk (add milk slowly until desired consistency is reached), and swiss cheese together. Heat on medium heat until warmed through and cheese is melted. You can add sour cream or cream cheese instead of swiss cheese if desired.

Enjoy!

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Sugar Cookie Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

 

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I made these for a July 4th family BBQ at my parents’ house. I grew up in a small town in Northern Utah; there are no gas stations, no stores, no stoplights, and no noise. It was torturous as a teenager. Anyway, back to my parents’ house, we had our BBQ in the shade of their tall hedges that border the west side of the yard. The large yard has open fields to the South and East and is surrounded by beautiful views of the mountains in Cache Valley. As the sun started to ease it’s way to the horizon and the heat of the day started to wear off it was so enjoyable to just relax in the backyard. I was reminded of how lucky I was to have grown up in such a peaceful, beautiful place. As the time grew closer to my toddlers bedtime I kept saying to my husband, “we should go” but neither of us wanted to. I think we left an hour later than we were planning on.

These are the perfect treat for large gatherings, it makes 1 large and 1 medium baking sheet. This is my mom’s sugar cookie recipe which is a family favorite because they are super soft and chewy! I added some lemon to the cream cheese frosting I usually make, and it was the perfect hint of fresh lemon.

 Recipe: 

For the cookie: every time a recipe calls for shortening I replace it with coconut oil. As long as you mix it well with the sugar it has always works out. Coconut oil does clump up when it gets cold and I saw a few clumps in my batter but it didn’t affect how it cooked. I get my coconut oil from bountiful baskets. They sell regular and unscented and it is a huge 64 oz bottle for about $20.

3/4 cup coconut oil at room temperature (or shortening)

3 cups of sugar

2 cups of sour cream

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp baking powder

7-8 cups flour

Directions: In a large bowl combine the coconut oil and sugar. Beat on high with a kitchen mixer for a good 2-3 minutes make sure the coconut oil is at room temperature so it mixes well with the sugar. Add sour cream, vanilla, and eggs and cream again for a couple minutes until mixed well. Add baking powder, and 2 cups of flour and mix on low until combined. Continue adding flour 2 cups at at time and stirring after each addition. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold at least 1 hour or overnight.

After the dough has chilled Pre-heat oven to 350. Spray a large jelly roll pan (17″x12.5″) and a medium jelly roll pan (15.5″x10.5″). Lightly flour your counter and roll out a large piece of dough  into a smooth, rectangular shape and 1/3 inch thick. Continue until you have filled both pans. I pieced my dough together in the pan and pushed it together with my fingers. Bake for 15 minutes for the large pan and 12 minutes for the small pan. Let cool before frosting.

For the frosting:

8 oz reduced fat Cream Cheese at room temperature

1/4 cup of butter (1/2 cube) room temperature

zest of 1 lemon

juice of 1.5 lemons

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

5-6 cups powdered sugar

In a large bowl cream the cream cheese and butter. Add zest of lemon, lemon juice, and vanilla and cream again. Add 2 cups powdered sugar and mix on low. Add 2 more cups and mix again. Add 1-2 more cups of powdered sugar until you have reached your desired consistency. Frost cookies and top with sprinkles if desired.

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Crock Pot Chicken Taco Salad

 

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I grew up with a huge garden in my backyard, thanks to my Parents. I love having fresh vegetables straight from the garden; not only do they taste better but they stay fresh much longer and you pick what you eat. I currently live in a town house which means I don’t have a yard to have my big garden; but this year we have proved to ourselves that we can have a small garden on our patio. Our patio has a strip of dirt that is about 2′.5″ wide and 8′ long. My husband built a garden box to sit on our little strip of dirt. I was able to fit way more in it than I thought I would. We have 3 tomato plants, 6 different types of peppers, a cucumber, spinach, red romaine lettuce, and buttercrunch lettuce. I also have rosemary, oregano, parsley, and basil growing in pots. I have been using my herbs and lettuce for a few weeks. There is nothing better than eating a salad 30 minutes after cutting lettuce from your garden. I made this salad the other day and it was yummy! Definitely hit the spot for a summer meal. The original recipe for Chicken Tacos called for taco seasoning but ever since I came across a recipe for homemade taco seasoning I stopped buying the packets. Why? Because it has less salt, no msg, no sugar and it tastes better!

Recipe modified from- Life in the Lofthouse: Chicken Tacos.

Taco seasoning from- skinnytaste.com 

For the Chicken:

4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 jar (16 oz) salsa

1/2 tsp oregano

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

juice of 1 lime

1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained

Directions: In a small bowl make the taco seasoning by combining the oregano, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and paprika. Stir until all of the seasonings have mixed well. Place the chicken in the crock pot and pour the salsa over the chicken. Sprinkle the taco seasoning over the salsa and squeeze the lime on top of the seasoning, stir to cover the chicken with the salsa mixture. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. Remove the chicken onto a large plate and shred with a fork. Add the black beans, stir and cook for 1 more hour.

For the tortillas:

6-8 corn tortillas

2 tbs olive oil

chili powder to taste

Of course you can use store bought tortilla chips but I had some soft corn tortillas from bountiful baskets on hand so I made my own. I love the tortillas from bountiful baskets because they have 4 or 5 ingredients and I can read them!

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut 6-8 tortillas in half and lay flat on baking sheet, it’s okay if they overlap a little bit. Drizzle the tortillas with 2 tbs olive oil and then using your hands rub the oil all over to cover both sides. Use more oil if needed. sprinkle with Chili powder.

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before they are cooked

Bake at 450 for 8-9 minutes. watch carefully during the last minute so you don’t burn them. Tortillas should be crisp and browned on the edges.

After... yummy, crispy, homemade tortillas!

After… yummy, crispy, homemade tortillas!

For the Salad:

Place desired amount of tortillas on your plate. Top with mixed greens (I used red romaine lettuce and buttercruch lettuce), placed desired amount of the taco chicken mixture on your lettuce and top it off with desired toppings. This salad doesn’t need dressing, we put salsa, avocado, and sour cream on ours and it was delicious!

Enjoy!

Enjoy!

 

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

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A Story: I know that summer isn’t the typical season to bake pumpkin goodies but in our house we enjoy pumpkin anything no matter what time of year it is. I always keep pumpkin puree stocked in my pantry especially in the fall but this year my sister-in-law and I made pumpkin puree out of the pumpkins from her garden. When I was digging in the freezer the other day I found that I still have multiple bags of it left over so I decided it was the perfect day to bake! I searched the internet for Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins and found a recipe from Eat Live Run. I made a few changes including substituting over half of the sugar for honey and replacing the oil with applesauce. I also left off the streusel topping. I hope you like it!

The Recipe:

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Choc Chip Muffins

2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup brown sugar

3/4 cups raw honey

2 eggs

1/2 cup applesauce (no sugar added)

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup ground flax seed (optional)

1 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions: Pre heat oven to 375 and grease muffin tins with cooking spray. Combine dry ingredients (WW flour through nutmeg) in a large bowl and whisk together until combined. In a large bowl with a kitchen stand mixer or hand held mixer combine the brown sugar, honey, and applesauce beat on high speed for a good two minutes. Add eggs, pumpkin, milk, vanilla, and flax seed and beat until smooth. Stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients just until combined. Stir in 1 cup dark chocolate chips. Pour batter into the muffin tins until about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 16-20 minutes. Makes 15-18 muffins. Enjoy!

 

 

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