Baked Sesame Chicken

My New Year’s Resolution was to publish a blog post at least 3 days a week. FAIL. But hey, I’m here today & I have a pretty easy dinner to share. If you know me through the blog or in real life, you know that I have three kids that keep me running constantly from one end of the county to the other with all their extracurriculars. Who has time to plan & execute elaborate meals? Not me. However, I still want to cook decent meals for my family, so quick & easy is where it’s at. Who’s with me?

Baked Sesame Chicken

I love Asian inspired food, as does my oldest daughter. I like making it at home because I can make it so much healthier than take-out. Plus, we have one local Chinese place…and it wasn’t very good the one time I’ve been. This Baked Sesame Chicken is fairly simple to make, just takes a few ingredients, and is baked instead of fried – which makes this a healthier (and less messy…I hate frying) option.

Baked Sesame Chicken

Baked Sesame Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (this was 8 thighs for me)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine the ginger, garlic, soy, water, oil and sugar in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Reduce heat and let simmer.
  4. Place chicken in a baking dish and pour sauce over chicken.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, turn chicken, then bake for an additional 15 minutes or until chicken has cooked through.
  6. *OPTIONAL: once chicken is done, you can baste with sauce and broil for a few minutes to give it a darker color and help caramelize the sauce. You can also thicken the sauce by adding cornstarch per directions on box and heating in a sauce pan.
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http://makinitmobetta.com/baked-sesame-chicken/

Recipe adapted from Friday is Cake Night

Even though I would have liked a nice thick sauce to add at the end, I didn’t want to use the sauce that the chicken cooked in because it contains so much chicken fat (thighs are fatty), but it is certainly an option (just thicken with cornstarch). I think next time I may reserve some of the sauce, thicken it, and baste it on, under the broiler at the very end. That would give it a sticky sauce, kind of like my Slow Cooked Sticky Chicken. The chicken has a good flavor & is good with rice or sesame noodles. We also had egg rolls, which I normally make from scratch, but these were super convenient!

What’s your favorite Chinese food? I want to try some other dishes at home. This Bourbon Chicken is one of my favorites!

 

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) Little Miss DexterousThe Tumbleweed ContessaI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Naptime  Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206The Cookie Puzzle (Wednesday) Sew Crafty AngelThe Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap Crafts (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,Close to HomeWalking on SunshineVintage ChicDaily DishThe Diary of a Real Housewife, Life with Lorelai (Sunday) My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies

Creamy Hoisin Egg Roll Dipping Sauce

This post was sponsored by MINH® Mini Chicken Egg Rolls and I was compensated to write it. Regardless, what I have written reflects my own opinion and experience. I hope you find it useful.

The holidays are in full swing, and with that brings social gatherings. And obviously you can’t have a get together without lots of good eats…otherwise it’s just a meeting. (Ok, so I’m sort of paraphrasing Julia Child, but she definitely had a point.) I love party food (aka appetizers, appies, finger foods, or hors d’oeuvres <– hardest word ever to spell)

Egg rolls w sauce collage_Fotor

Sometimes we have hors d’oeuvre night where we just have a bunch of party food for dinner. My kids love that (for obvious reasons.) It’s mainly for “special occasions”. Anyway, as much as I love making everything from scratch, like homemade egg rolls, I often just don’t. have. time. So, I was thrilled to find these MINH® Mini Chicken Egg Rolls at Sam’s Club.

Minh at Sams

They are affordable, you get a bunch in a box, and most important – they are delish!

egg rolls labeled photo

They are the perfect size to serve at a party too. They bake in the oven in under 15 minutes, and come with a tasty sweet chili sauce.

party egg rolls

I’ve sprinkled this platter with dried cilantro and red pepper flakes (green & red!) but it could be easily omitted, or just added to the sauces. You could also use basil I think, but I would not recommend oregano (personal opinion).

Egg Rolls

Along with the sweet chili sauce, I wanted a white sauce (I almost made it green with the addition of green dragon sauce, but I wasn’t sure if it would look appetizing.) This is a mild, creamy, slightly sweet sauce that pairs well with the egg rolls and perfect for those who have a low heat tolerance (everyone in my house except me!), but you can easily spice it up by increasing the chili paste or adding red pepper flakes.

Creamy Hoisin Egg Roll Dipping Sauce

Creamy Hoisin Egg Roll Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons Hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chili Paste (increase for more heat)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • dried cilantro/red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Let sit for 10-15 minutes (for the flavors to 'marry')
  3. Taste, adjust seasoning as needed.
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http://makinitmobetta.com/creamy-hoisin-egg-roll-dipping-sauce/

 

In addition to mini egg rolls, my other “go-to” party foods are sausage balls (these are a must at Christmas and New Year’s!), Creamy Sausage Dip, Chips with restaurant style salsa, chips and dip, cheese and crackers, and at Christmas, there will be fudge on the dessert table, along with these…022

Pretzel Treats…my kids LOVE these. Obviously, we don’t usually have fancy parties. We have family, kid-friendly parties! What’s your favorite party food?

Green Chile Chicken Casserole

Have you ever been torn between two similar recipes and couldn’t decide which one to make? That was my dilemma when craving comfort food not long ago. I wanted chicken…but was it going to be Chicken Casserole or Cream Cheese Enchiladas? I decided to take a little of both recipes and create this Green Chile Chicken Casserole –

casserole

It was warm & comforting and everything I love about a casserole! I’ve posted this recipe over at Eat at Home, where I am a contributing writer. I’d love for you to head over there and check it out!

Grilled Mongolian Chicken

I love lots of Asian inspired foods, and I have found that it is relatively easy to make many of my favorite dishes at home. I probably make Baked Egg Rolls at least once or twice a month, and I love Bourbon Chicken and Sesame Noodles. I discovered San-J Tamari Sauce a while back and have been using it ever since, so when they contacted me about trying their new line of Asian Cooking Sauces, I was happy to oblige!

SanJ Sauces

These are the three I chose, but there are more options available. I’m on a mission to try them all! The first one I used was the Mongolian Stir-Fry & Marinade Sauce. I simply added the sauce to boneless, skinless chicken thighs and froze them. When ready to use, I let the chicken thaw in the refrigerator overnight, which also gave it time to marinate well.

Freezer meals

I cooked these on the grill, which is my favorite way to eat chicken thighs. The thighs are great for grilling due to the higher fat content, and they really absorb a lot of flavor from whatever marinade you choose.

Grilled Mongolian Chicken Pin

These were juicy and flavorful! I served them over brown rice, with a little added spicy chili paste. So good! I am planning on adapting this Pineapple Chicken into Orange Chicken using the Orange Sauce next. It’s my oldest daughter’s favorite, so at least I will be guaranteed to make at least one family member happy at the dinner table! Sometimes (most times) it’s a struggle. *sigh*

Grilled Mongolian Chicken

Grilled Mongolian Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 bottle San J Mongolian Stir-Fry & Marinade Sauce

Instructions

  1. Place chicken in a gallon size Ziploc bag, add sauce.
  2. Seal* and place in refrigerator to marinate (the longer it sits, the more flavor the chicken will absorb. I recommend at least 4 hours.)
  3. Remove chicken, discard extra sauce.
  4. Cook on preheated grill until internal temp is at least 165 degrees F.
  5. Baste with extra sauce while cooking if desired.
  6. *Chicken can also be frozen at this point. Thaw in fridge when ready to cook.
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http://makinitmobetta.com/grilled-mongolian-chicken/

San-J provided me with samples to review. All opinions expressed are my own.

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Naptime  Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206The Cookie Puzzle (Wednesday) The Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeTessa the Domestic Diva (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,Close to HomeWalking on SunshineVintage ChicDaily DishThe Diary of a Real Housewife

Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas

If you want to make a good meal better, add cream cheese. It makes baked spaghetti creamy and fabulous, turns regular crock-pot beef into something my family will actually eat, and it transformed chicken enchiladas from something my kids wouldn’t touch into a meal they want on a regular basis. I think this would be the perfect meal for Cinco de Mayo! Followed by Margarita Cake for dessert:-)

Unfortunately, my pics are terrible. We have the worst artificial lighting in our house and it was one of those super gray, dreary days when I made these. But, y’all know I’m no fancy pants food blogger. Just keepin’ it real. Hey, at least I didn’t use paper plates.

It’s been pretty well established here how picky my kids are. None of the three will eat enchiladas because of the red sauce. When a friend mentioned she was making chicken enchiladas with a white sauce, I thought ‘hmmm…that just might work’. The girls love Alfredo sauce, so I thought they might give this a try. They also love the white cheese dip you can get a Mexican restaurants. Once they tried these, they loved it and requested I make it on a regular basis. Super picky Mr. Three had a tortilla filled with cheese only, but he liked the sauce too.

Oh yeah, and no “cream of” anything. Just good ol’ fattening ingredients like cream cheese, butter and flour tortillas. I used low-carb tortillas, making these pretty low carb overall, which is good for the diabetic hubby.

Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas

6-10 flour tortillas (depending on size you choose) I use low-carb
2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded (crock-pot is great for this)

1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese; divided (reduced fat is ok)

2 cups Mexican Blend or preferred cheese, shredded; divided
salt and pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chillies

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In a mixing bowl, stir together your chicken, 3 ounces of the cream cheese (my package was marked, but if yours is not, just a little less than half the brick is fine), and one cup of cheese. Season with salt and pepper. *I recommend going light on the salt because broth is full of sodium and you may have salt in the butter as well.
  • Divide chicken mixture evenly among tortillas and roll them up. Place seam side down in prepared baking dish.
  • In a sauce pan, over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and cook one minute while stirring. Whisk in broth until smooth, and heat until mixture is thick and bubbly.
  • Add remaining cream cheese and stir until melted.
  • Stir in green chilies. Remove from heat and pour over chicken enchiladas.
  • Top with remaining cheese and bake for approx. 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted and mixture is bubbling around the sides. (If desired, place under broiler for a few minutes to brown the cheese…I skipped this part as we were hungry!)
  • Let cool for a few minutes for sauce to thicken.
Recipe adapted from Recipes, Food and Cooking

Chicken & Biscuits Casserole {Quick and Easy Meal}

This Chicken & Biscuits Casserole is another quick and easy meal to get on the table, that is approved by 2 out of 3 (of my) children. It’s pretty much the ultimate comfort food, with creamy sauce, biscuits, cheese…oh yeah, and some chicken too. Some people even get crazy and throw a vegetable in there. Which totally would not fly in my house. 

This can be thrown together really quickly if you have pre-cooked or leftover chicken (or turkey), use refrigerated biscuits, and condensed cream of chicken soup. However, you could certainly use homemade biscuits, make your own cream of chicken, etc. I went with the super quick and easy version since as I mentioned in my last post…kids have practice in the evenings and dinner has to be FAST.
I used the large Pillsbury Grands biscuits, but next time I will use the smaller biscuits, just to make serving easier; or cut them in half before baking. I quartered and baked the remaining biscuits in the can because my crowd loves a biscuit, but you could buy the smaller container of biscuits. You can always do this with the leftovers too.

Chicken and Biscuits Casserole

1 can condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (I used the reduced fat version)
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
2 cups chicken, cooked and cut into bite size pieces
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 can of biscuits (I used Pillsbury Grands Reduced Fat)
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray an 8×8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. 
  • In a large bowl, mix the cream of chicken and yogurt (or sour cream) together.
  • Add chicken, milk and melted butter to the cream base. Stir until combined. 
  • Pour into prepared baking dish and top with cheese. 
  • Flatten your biscuits (only 4 of the Grands biscuits would fit) and place on top of the cheese.
  • Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until biscuits are nice and browned on top, and sauce is bubbly. 
  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes or so before serving (the sauce will thicken some as it sits)
Recipe adapted from: The Three Little Birdies

 

 

Creamy Lemon Chicken & Rice Soup

I know I’ve been whining about the cold a lot…but it’s so dang COLD! My Southern blood just can’t handle it! Therefore, there has been a lot of soup and hot beverages going on around here. This soup has been a favorite. It’s makes you feel like you are eating a warm blanket. No…wait…that doesn’t sound very good. It’s warm and comforting like a warm blanket? Maybe that’s better. Maybe I should just shut up and post the recipe…

You could make this with rice or orzo. I actually made both, left them out of the soup, and let everyone choose…because one child likes orzo and hates rice, and the other loves rice…and it was just easier this way. Trust me. But you can totally choose. I bet dinner is easier at your house. *sigh*

Creamy Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped (I was out, so didn’t use in pictured soup)
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 glove garlic, minced
6 cups chicken broth
2/3 cups rice (I used Jasmine)
1 lemon (zest removed and juiced)
1 lb chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper, to taste
parsley (optional)
In a stock pot, saute onion, carrot and celery on medium heat in tablespoon of olive oil. Once onions are soft and translucent, add garlic. Stir for about 30 seconds. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. At this point, you can blend your veggies and broth with an immersion blender or you can leave chunky. (Remember my picky kids? I love my immersion blender!) Add rice, cover, and cook 10-15 minutes or until rice is tender. Reduce heat to low, add chicken, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt and pepper. Let simmer for 15-20 mins. Remove from heat, add heavy cream, stir and serve. Top with dried parsley if desired.

Filipino Chicken & Rice Soup {Arroz Caldo}

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and it looked so warm and comforting I had to make it. Especially since the South is experiencing the Polar Vortex, which in Southern speak is called a cold snap, and it’s COLD. Anything below 50 is cold to me, so all this “feels like -3 degrees” is downright painful (literally. I have Raynaud’s!)

This soup is as warm and comforting as it looks. My 13 year old and I devoured it. (My 11 year old will not eat rice and my 6 year old will not eat soup. *sigh*) I added a little chili paste to mine to give it a little heat, and I added the green onions, but my daughter ate hers plain.

Arroz Caldo {Filipino Chicken and Rice Soup}

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 pieces of thickly sliced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds chicken, cut into bite size pieces (I used boneless skinless breast)
1 tablespoon salt (original recipe called for fish sauce, I didn’t have any on hand) 
ground black pepper, to taste
8 cups chicken stock
1 cup Jasmine rice
Green onions (optional)
  • In a large stock pot, saute the onion and ginger in the olive oil over medium heat until the onion begins to soften and become translucent, about 5 minutes. 
  • Add garlic, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  • Add chicken, salt and pepper. 
  • Once the chicken has cooked through, stir in the stock and Jasmine rice. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer. 
  • Cover and cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until rice is done, stirring often. 
  • Once done, remove chunks of ginger and add salt if needed. Serve with green onions if desired. 
Recipe source: Kitchen Confidante

One Dish Chicken Dinner

Talk about winner, winner, chicken dinner! This is going to sound too good to be true, at least it did to me. It’s a meal – meat, potatoes, vegetable (yes, I know potatoes are technically a vegetable…but let’s just go with it) all thrown into a dish and baked in the oven with very little ‘hands on’ time. Oh! And it taste good! Four out of five food critics that reside in my house enjoyed this meal, and that’s sayin’ something around here. (And by food critics, I’m not even kidding…my girls have seen way to many episodes of Chopped. They will literally critique my meals sometimes. Gotta love it.)

When I first saw this on Pinterest, I was skeptical. I expected my potatoes and green beans to be swimming in chicken ‘juice’ and that my green beans would end up mushy and overcooked. I was pleasantly surprised that this was not the case at all.  There was very little grease in the pan, the green beans were just fine (I used canned green beans) and the potatoes and chicken were perfectly cooked and well seasoned.  The original post I saw used an entire stick of butter, which would have produced more grease, but I only used a few pats…I didn’t see the point in a whole stick, but others seem to really like it that way too. It’s up to ya.

One Dish Chicken Dinner

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
8-10 small red potatoes (I’ve used Idaho potatoes as well); halved
1 can of cut green beans
1/4 cup butter (more or less as desired)
spices of choice (I sprinkled on some dried basil, oregano, onion powder, parsley, herbs de provence,)
*original recipe calls for a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning mix. I’m not a big fan of ranch seasoning, so I did my own thing.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place raw chicken down center of 9 x 13 dish.
Dump green beans (drained) down one side as pictured.
Place cut potatoes down the other side.
Season as desired (entire dish), and place pats of butter randomly over entire dish.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for one hour.

That’s it. One hour and remove the foil and viola! Dinner is served!

Recipe adapted from Cooked to Order

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouMaking the World CuterI Should Be Mopping the FloorThis Gal CooksHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Tickle My Tastebuds TuesdaySowdering About in SeattleNaptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe Box, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew LifeVMG206Anyonita Nibbles,Tasty Tuesdays (Wednesday) The Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from AboveLady Behind the Curtain,Ginger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeTessa the Domestic Diva (Thursday) Project Inspire,Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Foodtastic FridaysJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better BakerThe Best Blog Recipes,Close to Home30 Handmade DaysA Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution Walking on SunshineVintage Chic (Saturday) Six Sisters’ StuffMade from Pinterest

Super Bowl Round-Up

If some of you are like me and just now digging out from the snow, you may be heading to the grocery store to stock up on supplies for the game tomorrow. I may not know who’s playing, but I have my Super Bowl menu pretty much figured out – priorities.

(Pictured, left to right)
and if you like any of those, you may also like:
Chicken BBQ in the Crockpot
-OR-
“Cheater” Chili (super quick and easy, 3 ingredients!)
and just a suggestion, but the best chips ever (IMO)
Let’s not forget the dessert!
Chicago Mix (for the sweet and salty lover – just sub out the candy corn for your favorite candy!)
Looking for something simple and low fat? The 2-Ingredient Angel Food Cake is the ticket.
Or, need something low carb?
These Cinnamon Crunchies will satisfy the low-carber’s sweet tooth!
You can also turn almost anything you have on hand into a delicious flatbread or pizza…just stock up on some Stonefire Flatbreads. They are delicious!
{Disclosure} I was sent samples to try, and there will definitely be more of these in my future. Expect some recipe posts soon!
You can also keep things neat and tidy by having Stonefire Pita Bread ready for filling at your Super Bowl gathering. That way, when people jump up and down, the contents won’t go flying everywhere 🙂 Yep, always thinking over here. ha!
Have a great weekend!