You can cook all kinds of great things to celebrate the 4th of July, even if you are not grilling or don’t have a grill of your own. The New York Times Cooking has put together fantastic July 4th recipes for everything from beverages to grilling to sides to dessert and the best sauces you can use as well. you’ll find all you need to make a great day of your summer celebration. Check it out!
Father’s Day is just a few days away and coming up with a nice meal to treat Dad on Father’s Day would be a nice way to cap off the day. Whether it is making his favorite dinner, favorite dessert, ideal breakfast or just his favorite beverage you can make something and let him know he’s special to you. Speaking as a dad myself, it makes you feel great when others take the time to show and tell you their appreciation of what you do. Bon Appetit has put together 31 recipes that are perfect for Father’s Day so you can show Dad just how awesome he is. Check them out and have a Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads!
When the weather gets warm you may not feel much like doing any baking for desserts at home or to bring to parties. The NYT Cooking site has put together some great options for desserts that involve no baking at all so you can put some great things together even on the days when you might be feeling too hot, too tired or too lazy to bake. Check it out!
Store-bought condiments can be great and are simple if you are doing a lot of grilling in the summer, but there is nothing quite like having your own homemade ketchup, mustard, mayo, salsa or other condiment. You get to control the ingredients, the freshness and the taste to get just the perfect addition to any meal. Bon Appetit has put together 27 condiment recipes for all of your grilling and summer barbecue parties, dinners, and meals. Check it out!
After being busy for weeks it seems that things have finally slowed down a bit where I actually have the time and energy to do some blogging. After writing for 10 hours a day sometimes I just don’t have the energy or will to sit in front of the computer anymore and blog even though I really enjoy it. Hopefully I can have some more time to do some in the coming days and weeks. We’ll have to see what the work schedule brings along. With the craziness behind me for now, I have had some time to cook a few new things lately, including this recipe from Cook’s Country that I made last night for chicken noodle casserole. Granted, this dish combines two ingredients I personally don’t eat myself – cheese and noodles – but Michelle and Sean both love them and I had all of the right ingredients on hand to have a go at the recipe and see what I could do with it. It seemed simple enough to make so it was worth a shot.
Chicken Noodle Casserole
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine
1 carrot, peeled and chopped fine
1 onion, chopped fine
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise and trimmed
4 ounces deli American cheese, chopped coarse
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
25 Ritz crackers, crushed coarse
Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add the noodles and 1 tablespoon of salt and cook, stirring often, until the noodles are just al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain the noodles and rinse them with cold water until they are cool, about 2 minutes. Drain the noodles again and set them aside.
Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in the now empty pot over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper, carrot and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and set them aside. In the now-empty pot, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the half-and-half and chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken and cook until it is no longer pink, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the pot from the heat, transfer the chicken to a plate, and shred the chicken into bite-size pieces once it is cool enough to handle. Whisk the American and cheddar cheeses into the sauce until it is smooth. Stir the shredded chicken, noodles, bell pepper mixture, peas, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 1/4 teaspoons of pepper into the cheese sauce.
Transfer the mixture to a 13 by 9-inch baking dish and top with the Ritz crackers. Bake the casserole until it is golden brown and bubbling, about 15 minutes. Let the casserole cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Serve.
It was very simple to make and the whole dish comes together in about 45 minutes. I actually used some leftover chicken that we had on hand and sped the process up even more, just warming it in the sauce for 2 minutes instead of having to cook it all the way through. even though I personally didn’t eat any, I have to admit that it looked pretty good and Michelle and Sean both had seconds so I guess it tasted good too. This recipe makes a lot, with a suggested serving of 8 to 10 people, so if you don’t want a lot of leftovers you can cut it down to half. While they had the casserole, I had a soft shell crab sandwich and slaw, which I will share the recipe for tomorrow.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!
My apologies for not posting as regularly as I would like lately. Work has gotten the better of me and I just have not had enough free time to get to everything. I am still cooking away and trying new recipes and accumulating them to put on, so I will be back to it when I get the time again. In the meantime, since it is coming up on that outdoor party and barbecue time of year where you may be going to different places, here are 36 recipes from Bon Appetit for great dishes that you can bring to any outdoor party as your contribution. You will find all kinds of great ideas listed here that can make a great addition to any buffet or party. Check it out!