Dubliner Potatoes {A Recipe}

posted in: homeschool, Recipe, thoughts | 0

This potato dish is another family favorite and while adapted from another recipe, the addition of the Dubliner cheese really sets this side dish apart from others. We enjoy it through out the year with special meals; steak or ham usually as well as it being a holiday tradition. I always buy my Dubliner cheese at Costco since it is much more reasonably priced there than most grocery stores and we like a fair amount of the cheese on top! 

Dubliner Potatoes
Serves 8
A cheesy potato side dish
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 cups potatoes, sliced as directed below (this is usually 4-6 large potatoes, but it varies);
  2. 2 TB butter;
  3. 1-1/2 cups Heavy Cream (you can sub with half and half, if you must, but nothing else 'lighter" will work as well!);
  4. 1/2 cup whole milk;
  5. 2 TB flour (to thicken... arrowroot, etc can be subbed);
  6. 4 cloves garlic, minced;
  7. 1 tsp salt;
  8. pepper, to taste;
  9. 1-3 cups Dubliner Cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees;
  2. Smear softened butter all over bottom of baking dish, I use a 9" square dish, but anything around that size works fine (Pam works too, but the butter works better);
  3. Slice potatoes into rounds and then cut slices into fourths;
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together cream, milk, flour, garlic, salt and pepper;
  5. Place 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish. Pour 1/3 of the cream mixture over the potatoes. Sprinkle a bit of cheese on;
  6. Repeat this two more times, ending with cream mixture and NO cheese (see below);
  7. Cover with foil and bake till potatoes are soft and bubbling;
  8. Remove foil and add remaining grated cheese to top, return to oven and make until cheese is melted, bubbly and starting to brown slightly;
  9. Let sit about 5 minutes before serving hot.
Notes
  1. I use a good 3 cups of Dubliner cheese - around a cup inside the casserole and another 2 cups when added later to the top..... if you are using less cheese, either omit adding inside the casserole and use all on top of dish or adjust the amounts accordingly to your cheese.
  2. I have baked this at lower temps along side a roast or such, it works, but allow longer bake time.... I have let the potatoes bake upwards of 2 hours on a low temp before they were done and added the cheese just before serving.
  3. If you don't use the heavy cream and whole milk, it just doesn't absorb and cook right.... trust me, I have tried it. More than once. It needs the heavy cream. Really truly.
  4. If you happen to have leftovers, these are excellent warmed up and scrambled into eggs..... like really good. Worth making a full dish just to have leftovers.
Adapted from Tasty Kitchen/ Ree, Pioneer Woman
CLAFF'S http://www.claffs.com/

Comfort Chicken {A Recipe}

This is one of our favorite casseroles. I actually don’t make many casserole dishes, but this has won a place on our dinner rotation. The recipe evolved from a clipping I found in a “Cooking for Two” magazine I read soon after getting married. Of course, making dinners sized for just the two of us was a challenge for me after growing up in a large family and then coupling that with the fact I had been eating vegetarian for a number of years, I always on the lookout for recipes I could make and would turn out well. I think I first made this recipe for a Valentine’s Day dinner and it was a hit. Over time I have tweaked the recipe to make it more family friendly and here is the result. I have made it several times for company and it is always a hit. The leftovers warm up nicely for lunch the next day but I have never tried freezing this. I usually serve with rice on the side to help soak up the sauce, a green salad and perhaps some homemade bread.

 

Comfort Chicken
Serves 6
A chicken based casserole with bacon, mushrooms and broccoli in a creamy sauce topped with cheese
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Prep Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2-3 chicken breasts;
  2. 1# bacon;
  3. 8-10 ounces mushrooms, sliced;
  4. 1# broccoli, trimmed to your liking;
  5. 2-3 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  6. Sauce; (for a 9x13 pan, adjust for other sizes accordingly)
  7. 1 cup mayonnaise
  8. 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  9. 1/2 cup honey
  10. 1 tsp garlic powder
  11. 1 tsp onion powder
  12. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook the bacon and set aside {I have made with less than 1# and it works fine, but since bacon is so yummy and the kids love finding servings with bacon, I usually try and do a full pound buy you can certainly do less!};
  2. Cut the chicken into large chunks - perhaps 2-3" size, slightly larger than bite size but this makes it way easier to serve kid portions without having to cut up a chicken breast after the fact;
  3. In the same pan with the bacon drippings, lightly sear the chicken pieces, turning once and then placing the chicken in your pan;
  4. In the same pan, add your sliced mushrooms and lightly sauté and then add to pan with chicken;
  5. Add the chopped broccoli to the pan {I have used both fresh and frozen and they work equally well, though I usually cut down from the size so if using frozen you might need to slightly thaw in that same pan you've been using!};
  6. Add the bacon to the dish {I usually break up into smaller bite size pieces, but anything from large slices to more bacon crumbles works fine};
  7. Mix up the sauce and combine well, add to dish and gently stir to coat all meat and veggies;
  8. Top with mozzarella cheese {I use at least 3 cups, but heavy cheese is preferred around here, you can certainly do 1-2 cups and have a nice dish};
  9. Bake 350 degrees until chicken is cooked through and cheese is bubbly and brown;
Notes
  1. I often serve with rice to help soak up the sauce as well as a green salad and bread.
  2. I have also made this in a large cast iron pan, combining the pan I cook the bacon, etc in with the baking pan, making it a wonderful "one pot wonder", however a 12" pan will just barely serve our family so I use the 9x13 when we are including friends or I want leftovers.
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The Alexapure Filter {A long-over due review & incredible sale}

alexapureOH MY! I just saw this sale come across my email and I almost wished I hadn’t bought my Alexapure a few months back!
 
I absolutely love my Alexapure filter, after months (maybe years!) of running to the grocery store to refill water jugs or replacing old jugs with new water jugs, we received one for our anniversary – best.gift.ever 😉 I truly do not miss visiting frequently with the ladies at the grocery store (who kindly asked ‘no water today’ for weeks after!) – I end up grocery shopping often enough just to keep food in the house 😉
Anyhow – our tap water is technically ok to drink, it’s on a city water system. However, it tastes awful. So, getting a filter has been on my wish list for years.
The Alexapure sits on our counter, the kids water cups nearby and I fill it up around twice a day. Usually, after cleaning up the kitchen in the evening, I make sure I empty out the reservoir filling the coffee pot, water pitcher or water bottles and then fill up the upper reservoir to filter. Typically, it take a 2-3 hours for the upper to completely filter down into the lower reservoir. Then sometime during the day, depending on our water usage, I will top off the upper reservoir and let it filter through. The upper and lower reservoirs hold approximately 2.5 gallons of water each which works out fine, even for our large family. I have filled several gallon jugs I leave in the pantry for the occasional time when I need a lot of water at one time (filling a soup pot, replacing my kombucha water or making a large pot of rice or pasta…..) Then that evening or next morning, I will refill my jug and put back away without draining the entire drinking water supply just before dinner 😉
 
The water filtered out of the Alexapure tastes wonderful, clean and pure. Even my rather particular and taste sensitive husband agrees it is wonderful. And after several months of using it, I cannot hardly stand the taste of our tap water anymore. Plus, knowing that our main beverage around here is water, I know I am supporting my kids bodies well using good water and not water that may have been compromised in some sort.
 
Another added benefit to this filter is its portability. Since it doesn’t permanently install, we can easily take it with us for overnight camping trips, long road trips or when we move. If we were ever faced with a natural disaster such as a wildfire or weather concern and we needed to leave, I could easily put the filter in the car and fill it up with water from anywhere and have fresh and safe water for my family to drink.
 
So seriously, if you have been contemplating a water filter for your family….. THIS IS THE WEEK TO DO IT!!!!!
Now thru November 18 APRIL 4th!!!! (New sale this week!)- any Alexapure filter will come with an additional filter – an $97 value FOR FREE! The filter system already comes with one, so this will give you two…. having 2 in the reservoir will speed up the filter time as well as extend the life of both filters (typical lifespan of a filter is 5000 gallons)
 
Click this link below and head to the Alexapure sale page – Sale is NOW thru April 4th, 2017!!!

You can also click the below link to find the Alexapure information page for additional information on the product!

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Shredded Chicken Burritos {A Recipe}

posted in: Crockpot, homeschool, Recipe, thoughts | 0

Shredded Chicken BurritosShredded chicken in the crock-pot is super easy-peasy. A wonderful meal for quick, on the run or hot days.

I usually put a couple chicken breasts in the crock-pot, frozen or thawed, just allow a bit longer if they are frozen 😉 For the sake of reference; I typically use 2-3 breasts, totaling 2-21/2# and, more often than not, start them frozen. The chicken is shred-able in around 8 hours, though with the added salsa it will not dry out if you put it in early and leave all day. If I have chicken thawed or am only doing a smaller amount, I don’t put into crock-pot till noon time and it is done by dinner.

Once they are completely cooked, use a fork and shred the meat. I find that the bit of juices left usually work into the chicken as I shred it but if you would rather you can certainly drain off first.

Once the chicken is shredded you can then you in burritos, tacos, burrito bowls or a chicken salad. It will save in the fridge 5-7 days or you can freeze for later as well.

Burrito 1

I also often make chicken this way for soups and chili as well….. you’ll find a simple shredded chicken is rather versatile 😉

Use the meat for tacos, burrito bowls, enchiladas….. or whatever you think of!

Here’s the recipe!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shredded Chicken Burritos
Serves 8
A simple chicken burrito recipe, easily adapted to tacos, enchiladas, burrito bowls or salads as well
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2-4 chicken breast (1-3# approx total)
  2. 1-2 cups salsa
  3. 1-2 cups black beans (or a 14 oz can)
  4. 1/2 cup diced green chilies (or a 4 oz can)
  5. 2-4 TB chili powder, depending on how spicy you like!
  6. 1 TB cumin (less for for mild)
  7. Salt to taste (try it, you might not need any!)
  8. 1 TB garlic powder and onion powder (OR you can add a couple cloves of fresh garlic and a chopped onion to your chicken while it's cooking)
  9. 12 Burrito size tortillas
  10. 2 cups shredded cheese
  11. 1/4 cup olive or coconut oil for frying
  12. Optional toppings: Sour cream, avocado, additional salsa or cheese or green chili sauce
Instructions
  1. Place in crock pot, 2-4 chicken breasts (1 1/2 - 3 # of meat approx)
  2. Pour 1 cup salsa over top, if using fresh garlic and onion - add in as well
  3. Place lid on crockpot and cook on low till chicken shreds easily with a fork.
  4. {The more meat, the longer it will take, frozen will take longer than fresh or thawed, you can also cook on high if needed for those days when you didn't get dinner in as early as you planned! Just for reference sake, I usually do around 2# of chicken frozen, and it shreds easily by 8 hours of cook time, if it's thawed it will shred easily in 5-6 hours.}
  5. Leftover chicken can be saved for another meal!
Once chicken is shredded, add
  1. Black beans and green chilies and mix well.
  2. Add all seasonings and combine.
  3. Spoon chicken mix into tortilla, add a small bit of cheese and wrap burrito.
  4. Place burritos into hot oil and fry on medium heat till outside is crispy.
  5. Repeat for as many burritos as you are making and serve hot with desired toppings.
  6. Leftover burritos can be re-warmed in oven on 300 degrees till warmed through.
Notes
  1. These make a quick and simple lunch or dinner. Or for a more complete dinner meal, serve with rice, green salad or a mexican bean salad on the side.
  2. You can also adapt this to tacos, burrito bowls or enchiladas; just use the shredded chicken and serve as you like!
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