Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cheesy Chicken

This recipe came from a cookbook that we published one year at Park School when I was teaching 4th grade there. I love the recipes from that book as much as I love my friends who worked there. This one is my kids favorite - thanks Kari!
4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or I use 10-15 chicken tenders when I make it)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Mix the soups, sour cream and cheese. Layer the chicken and sauce in a crockpot and mix it all up. Cook on high for 2-3 hour or low for 4-6 hours. This can also be done in a 13x9 pan, covered with foil and baked at 300 degrees for 2 hours. Serve chicken and sauce over rice, pasta or mashed potatoes.

Minty Limeade

Can't wait to grow mint in my yard this summer, but today the mint from the grocery store filled in just fine. This limeade isn't too sweet, but refreshing and delicious!
In a large pitcher, toss in 6-7 mint leaves. Cut 4-5 limes in halves or fourths. Squeeze out as much juice as you can, but throw the lime in to the bottom of the pitcher as well. Using a spoon or whisk, smash everything around to release a bit of the mint flavor. Add 1 cup simple syrup (see recipe below). Pack the picture with ice and then fill with water. If you like it sweeter, add more simple syrup or more lime if you want more lime flavor.
Mix equal parts sugar and water (example: 2 cups sugar, 2 cups water) in a saucepan. Heat and stir until mixture comes to a boil and all sugar dissolves. Cool completely and use to sweeten any type of drink.

Recipes for Spiced Cider & Wassail

I love to drink spiced cider in the fall even more than hot chocolate. Here are a few of my favorite recipes that range from quick and easy to slow simmered. All are super yummy! These can be made ahead, refrigerated, then re-heated before serving.

Wassail (pictured above)
1 gallon apple juice or apple cider
1 quart orange juice
1 quart pineapple juice (unsweetened)
1 c. lemon juice
1 c. sugar (or you can do 1/2 cup granulated sugar & 1/2 cup brown sugar)
24 whole cloves
4 cinnamon sticks
Mix all ingredients and simmer in a crockpot for 2-3 hours. Before serving, remove the cloves and cinnamon sticks with a strainer. You can also speed this up by making it in a pot on the stove, but be careful not to boil it - just keep it at a low simmer.
Spiced Apple Cider
2 quarts apple juice or apple cider
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. whole allspice
1 tsp. whole cloves
2-3 cinnamon sticks
In a large pot, bring to boil. Simmer, covered for 30 minutes. Remove spices and serve warm.
Easiest Spiced Cider
1 gallon apple juice or apple cider
1 cup red hots candy
Heat this mixture in a crock pot or in a pot over the stove. Watch and stir the mixture often until the red hots are thoroughly melted so that they don't burn or stick to the pan.
Hot Cider
(Made with ground rather than whole spices)
1 gallon apple juice or apple cider
3-4 cups lemon-lime soda
4 cups orange juice
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 cup brown sugar
Combine all ingredients in a large pot or crockpot and heat on medium heat. Simmer, stirring often, until heated through. Can garnish with orange slices and cinnamon sticks if desired. Stir well before serving.