Chicken and Rice This is one of my childhood favorites and brings back lots of memories for me of family time watching Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman on Saturday nights with my family. My mom created this recipe when I was diagnosed at age 4 with high cholesterol and I could no longer eat fried chicken. My dad still makes this for me when I come home to visit. (serves 4) Ingredients: 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed 2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup 3 cups white or whole-grain rice Preparation: 1. Preheat oven to 350° F. 2. Cut the chicken breasts in half and place them in a deep casserole dish. Pour both cans of Cream of Mushroom Soup on top and cover with a lid. 3. Place the chicken in the oven. Let bake for 1-1.5 hours. 4. While the chicken is cooking, boil water in a saucepan and cook the rice according to packaging instructions. 5. When rice and chicken are finished, spoon a bed of rice onto plates and cover with chicken and gravy. I always serve this delicious, simple meal with a side of green beans and brown-and-serve rolls. Chicken Squares These easy, delightful chicken squares were introduced to me as a child by one of my mother’s best friends, and I still love them. (serves 4) Ingredients: 2 cans white chicken meat, chopped 1 8-oz. pckg cream cheese (I use fat-free) 8 oz butter or margarine 1 T milk Dash salt and pepper 3 T chopped onion (optional) 2 T chopped red pimentos (optional) 1 can ready-made croissant squares Preparation: 1. Preheat oven to 375° F. 2. Open chicken and drain. Dump into medium-sized mixing bowl. 3. Add softened cream cheese and butter and the milk. Beat with a fork until thoroughly mixed and smooth. 4. Stir in salt, pepper, and optional veggies. 5. On an ungreased cookie sheet, roll out the croissant dough into squares (2 triangles put together). Pinch edges to create a seamless square. 6. Place 2-3 T of chicken mixture in center of each square. 7. Fold corners of croissant squares up and pinch edges together, creating a closed “pocket” of dough with the chicken mixture inside. Pinch closed any open seams. 8. Bake 25-30 minutes, until golden. Serve! Sexpert’s Crockpot BBQ Chicken Like all recipes with my name on them, this is one I created myself. I ate it when I was first living alone. I could dump it together in the morning and it was ready to eat when I got home for dinner. It’s so easy yet delicious, and it saves well. Great for parties! (serves 4) Ingredients: 8 chicken legs, thawed 1 bottle sweet BBQ sauce ¼ c water Dash of salt Preparation: 1. Turn your crockpot on high and dump in the thawed chicken legs. 2. Pour in the ¼ c water so the chicken does not dehydrate. If you’re going to be cooking it a while, check to make sure you don’t need to add more water. 3. Pour in the entire bottle of BBQ sauce. Cover the mixture with a dash of salt. 4. Cover and leave for 6-8 hours. Makes a gooey, delicious, messy dinner! Sexpert’s Moules à La Rochelle Like all recipes with my name on them, this is one I created myself. Moules [pronounced “mool”] is the French word for mussels, so if you like seafood, this one’s for you! When my husband was just my boyfriend, I lived in France and he came to visit me for one amazing week. We took a little weekend trip to the beautiful coastal town of La Rochelle and had the most romantic, wonderful time. Of course, all French cuisine is great, but the fresh mussels served upat a seaside restaurant in La Rochelle were to. die. for. This is my recreation of that delicious seafood dinner. (Serves 2 people) Ingredients: 1/2 lb. fresh mussels (you can get them from larger grocery stores) 2 c heavy cream 1 T chopped white onion 1 T chopped green onion 5 T butter 1 T freshly chopped parsley 3 shakes salt 1 shake pepper Preparation: 1. Put the mussels in a large saucepan on medium-high heat. 2. Pour the cream and butter into the pan, followed by the other ingredients. Stir gently. 3. Mussels will open when they are properly steamed, so wait until they open, stirring occasionally so the butter/cream mixture doesn’t burn. 4. When the mussels are open, pour the entire mixture into 2 bowls and eat with a fresh baguette. Shrimp Boil When I was younger, my family lived in Tulsa, and they had the best seafood restaurant, The Cajun Boiling Pot, where a huge Cajun shrimp boil was just dumped on your table and you ate with your hands. (My mother and I used to torture my little brother, who was afraid of tentacles and all things sea-like, by putting crawfish heads on our fingers and waving them in his face.) Sadly, that restaurant has closed, but this recipe is my dad’s recreation of their awesome, messy, finger-lickin’ good shrimp boil. (Note: My dad often adds spicy sausage, as pictured below, but since I don’t like it, I skip that step.) (Serves 8) Ingredients: 1 lb. shrimp (fresh or thawed) 6 ears of corn, shucked, washed, and cut in half 10 red baby potatoes, cut into thirds 1 T cajun seasoning 4 shakes of salt, 2 shakes of pepper 2 quarts water Preparation: 1. In a large pot, bring to boil the water and potatoes. Let boil until potatoes begin to soften. 2. Throw in corn, shrimp, and seasonings. Stir. 3. Let boil for 10-15 minutes, or until shrimp is done (see packaging details) and potatoes are soft. 4. Drain the water. For a spicy mix, add another 2 t of the Cajun seasoning and toss gently to mix. 5. Serve with melted butter for dipping sauce. Sexpert’s Salmon and Veggies If there’s anything I love more than seafood, it’s easy, no-fuss meals. This one is simple, delicious, and heart-healthy. (serves 4) Ingredients: 4 fillets fresh pink salmon 1 t oregano 1 t chopped basil ¼ t salt ½ t paprika (optional) 3 T salt (to season salmon) ½ fresh squash (I use yellow, but pick your favorite kind), cleaned and chopped into thin slices ¼ yellow onion, chopped into bite-sized pieces 8 red baby potatoes, cleaned and cut in halves 8 stalks fresh asparagus Other chopped veggies to taste 1 T extra-virgin olive oil (or any oil) Preparation: 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 2. Prepare a clean, dry plate with the 3 T salt evenly spread over plate. 3. Rinse salmon fillets and pat dry with paper towel. 4. Transfer fillets to clean plate and pat down into salt. Let sit 5 mins. 5. Place fillets, salt side down, in 13x9” baking pan. Add ¼ inch of water to pan. 6. Wash your hands (raw fish germs, ew.) 7. In a small bowl, mix the salt, oregano, and basil. 8. Arrange the cut veggies in the pan around the fish. 9. Drizzle veggies with the olive oil. 10. Sprinkle salmon and veggies with the mixture of spices. 11. Cook for 15 minutes, or until salmon is flaky on top. Best when served on a bed of rice and with fresh slices of lemon as garnish!
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