Ranch Roasted Vegetables

I was looking for a good side to go with buffalo chicken quesadillas. Google found me this.

Ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil

1 package hidden valley dry ranch mix

6-8 cups of vegetables

Directions

Preheat oven to 425.

Mix olive oil and ranch dressing mix together.  Add veggies and toss to coat.  Pour onto baking sheet and cook for 10-40 minutes depending on the vegetable (link has full list of vegetables and roast times).  Serve.

Notes

I made it with asparagus.  Which I learned after making isn’t something husband isn’t a big fan of.  Drats.

1 bunch didn’t need the full amount of olive oil or dry ranch. The link says should be baked for 10-15 minutes which was about right.

The asparagus was underwhelming but it was a bit iffy at the beginning so not sure how much that impacted it.  Will probably try again with another veggie.

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Lightened Up Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas

Original post found here but I adapted quite a bit so below is mine. Unfortunately – because I am awful with noting ingredient amounts.

Ingredients

Shredded chicken – I had a 1.64 lb container that I cooked and shredded

Buffalo sauce – I use Red’s – maybe 1/2 a cup or so, give or take, enough to give a coating of the chicken

About 4 oz cream cheese (I use 1/3 less fat)

2 cups cheese – this time I used cheddar but in regular buffalo dip I’ve used just about anything (cheddar, mozzarella, mexican blend, or whatever else)

8 Tortillas

Oil or cooking spray

Ranch for dipping (I use light ranch)

Directions

Heat skillet to medium heat.

Spread one side of each tortilla with cream cheese.  Toss chicken with buffalo sauce.

Lightly grease pan. Place tortilla on pan, top with 1/8 of the chicken mixture and a sprinkle of cheese and fold in half.

Allow to cook for 2 minutes then flip for 2 minutes on the other side.

Repeat for all tortillas.  Serve with ranch dressing on the side.

Notes

I don’t know if it actually is, but this feels just oh so much healthier than regular buffalo chicken dip.  In regular tip, I use equal parts buffalo sauce, cream cheese, and ranch.  By using cream cheese just on the tortilla, I used about half as much as usual, and by just having ranch for dipping sauce- was far far less.  I also conserved on cheese, actually only used about 1 3/4 cups.  All in all felt healthier than it could’ve.

Plus it was tasty.

Bubble Up Buffalo

February 13, 2013 was the first time I ever tried my hand at making a recipe found on Pinterest.  It was Bubble Up Pizza.  That adventure can be found here.  Since then, I’ve made Bubble Up Pizza again countless times and Boyfriend hails it as his favorite meal. Back in December, we went to visit a friend up in Maine and I cooked dinner on our last night there to repay their hospitality.  Boyfriend of course suggested Bubble Up Pizza but the friend misheard him thinking he was saying Bubble Up Buffalo (how he got confused on that I don’t understand but anyway)… and that got me thinking.  In Maine, I made the Bubble Up Pizza but last night, I got to experimenting and tried Bubble Up Pizza meets Buffalo Chicken Dip.  The results:

 

Bubble Up Buffalo

 

Ingredients

4 7.5-oz Pillsbury Grands Biscuits (my store has the 4 together in a pack)

1 lb Chicken

1 cup Ranch dressing

1 8-oz container of Cream Cheese

1 cup Frankie’s Hot Sauce

2 cups of Cheese – dealers choice. I’ve made buffalo dip before using anything from cheddar to mozzarella to mexican cheese blends to options are pretty much whatever floats your boat.

 

Directions

First, cook and shred the chicken.

Next up, cut the grands muffins into quarters.  Then mix up all the ingredients (minus the cheese) and pour into a casserole dish.  Add the cheese on top (although you can mix in some of the cheese as well).

Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

 

Notes

Alright – I was stupid when making this.  Because theoretically, I could have been (should have been) cutting the muffins and mixing everything else together while the chicken was cooking.  If I had done that, once the chicken was done I would just have to shred the chicken and let it all bake.  But silly me didn’t do that.  I did everything with the chicken first and then the rest of it.  Which meant that in total – it took nearly 2 full hours to get to eat.

You could also probably expedite everything by getting rotisserie chicken at the food store and just shredding that – which would take out the extra time needed to cook the chicken.

Even with these suggestions – it’ll probably take longer than an average week night’s dinner.

When I made it, I only used 3 7.5-oz muffins containers which I don’t think was enough.  I probably would’ve rather had a higher bread to dip ratio which is why I suggest 4 containers instead of 3 in the ingredients above.

Overall though, I think it came out really well – tasty and really good for a Friday night while watching a movie.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

I made this again last night using rotini instead of penne (no real difference – pasta is pasta to me) and Hormel “Real Bacon Pieces” instead of cooking the bacon. I was real impressed with the Hormel find. I was expecting just little bacon bits kinda of things but this contained larger chunks of bacony goodness.

I attempted to use more flour to counterbalance the sauce not thickening – I had this problem before likely because I use skim milk. It ended up making the sauce a bit grainy. I’d rather have the thinner sauce than how it came out yesterday so prolly not worth continue to mess around with.

Pretty much as good as I remembered though.

Noms Away

With Halloween almost upon us, Boyfriend and I decided to host a party on Saturday night.  As this party would be including alcohol, we figured a heavier dinner, full of yummy carbohydrates, was probably necessary.

Enter the recipe below.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

The link for this can be found here and the ingredients and directions are copied below:

Ingredients:

8 ounces penne pasta
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp dry ranch dressing seasoning mix
2 cups milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup cooked, chopped bacon
2 cups cooked chopped chicken 

Directions:

In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In same pot melt butter. Add flour and stir. Cook flour for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk. Continue cooking until sauce thickens. Stir in ranch dressing mix and cheese. Stir until cheese melts. Add chicken, bacon and pasta. Stir…

View original post 475 more words

Buffalo Chicken Dip

So, I was wondering around Pinterest (what else is new?) and I found a posting about Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas.  The original poster started by putting her regular buffalo chicken dip in a tortilla and toasting and when she wanted that again without going through the whole process of making the dip- she shortened the process and the recipe was born.  I’m not going to link to that post this time because I feel fairly certain I’ll give the shorter version a try at some point in the future but the anecdote at the start got me thinking.

Why didn’t I think of that?

Boyfriend and I both enjoy buffalo chicken dip but I haven’t made it once this football season (which is the most perfect excuse for dip) because he’s got braces on and tortilla chips are firmly in the “Do Not Have” category.  But wrapped in a tortilla? That’s pretty solidly in the “Can Have” or definitely should have group.

So Friday night, since I had time to do the full thing, Buffalo Chicken Dip it is.

 

Buffalo Chicken Dip

 

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs of Chicken
  • 1 8oz block of Cream Cheese
  • 1 cup of Ranch Dressing
  • 1 cup of Frank’s Hot Sauce
  • 1 cup of Cheese – dealer’s choice, this particular time I used ShopRite Brand Mexican Blend but I’ve made it before with cheddar, mozzarella, and pepper jack so got with what you’ve got/like.

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350.

Boil the chicken by putting it in a large pot, filling with enough water to cover and putting on the stove.  Bring the water to boil and let simmer until the chicken is cooked through – for the boneless skinless breasts that I used as my chicken – that took about 15-20 minutes.  Drain the chicken.

While the chicken is heating up, mix up the cream cheese, ranch, and hot sauce in a large bowl.  This is easiest if the cream cheese is softened first.  My stove top normally gets pretty warm while one burner is on so I leave the cheese on alongside the burner for a bit once the chicken goes on and add that to the bowl last.

Next step – Shred. There’s probably other ways to shred chicken but what I always do is put a fork in it.  Literally.  I stick one fork in the larger part of the chicken piece and use a second to pull smaller pieces of chicken off.  Once done, add the chicken to the bowl with the mixed up ingredients.  Toss them all together and ensure the chicken is coated.

Now into the pan – a 9×13 normally works for me.  Add the cheese on top.  Then cook for about 20 minutes or so – really just until the cheese melts and everything warms up together – the chicken has already been cooked so it’s not like anything bad will happen if it’s not in as long.

Serve with tortilla chips or just tortilla.  For the tortilla, toast in a saucepan for just a minute or so each side.

 

Notes

I got none. I’ve made the dip many times before, I’m happy with how it comes out.

The quesadilla part of it was a great idea for anyone who doesn’t like chips or can’t eat them.  

I’ll definitely be trying the original poster’s quicker version at some point though.

 

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

A couple of weeks ago, I shared with you this post about Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta.  While I thought it was a win, Boyfriend enjoyed it but was under the impression it was more of a casserole than just pasta and sauce.  As a result, I took to twitter and found this recipe to try.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

The link Pinterest connected to can be found here.

Ingredients

1 lb. bacon, fried and crumbled (The blog I found it from used bacon bits)
2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken 
2 tablespoons of ranch seasoning
1 lb. bow tie pasta
2 jars of Alfredo sauce
1/3 cup of evaporated milk or regular milk
4 cups shredded Italian cheese blend

Directions

Cut chicken into cubes. Mix in ranch mix, evaporated milk and half a jar of alfredo sauce. 
Cook pasta al dente. Drain and return to pan. 
Pour half of a jar of Alfredo sauce into bottom of 9×13 baking dish. Spread evenly. 
Begin layering casserole starting with half of noodles, then half the chicken mix, half of the second jar of Alfredo sauce, half the bacon, and half the cheese. 
Repeat layers with remaining ingredients.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 

Notes

This was a fairly last minute idea.  I had most of the ingredients on hand but not quite the same amounts as what was called for.  I used a bit less than 1.5 lbs of chicken, 6 slices of bacon, 1 jar of Alfredo (I actually had 2 I could’ve used but didn’t, mainly because it looked like 1 jar was plenty and when it was all said and done – 1 jar tasted like plenty), and 2 cups of cheese (I had 1 cup of cheddar from my previous Chicken Bacon Ranch adventure and used 1 cup of mozzarella).
Even with the lesser amount of ingredients, 30 minutes wasn’t a long enough bake time.  The chicken was not cooked all the way through when I took it out.
All things considered, it tasted pretty good.  Boyfriend liked this better than the first chicken bacon ranch pasta.  I think I disagree. I’m not sure if it was the Classico Alfredo I used or what but something in the creamy sauce wasn’t working for me personally. It’s not that I didn’t like it, I just didn’t like it as much.
It worked out to feeding both of us Sunday night – two larger portions for him, 2 smaller for me.  Also gave a lunch portion for me and a slightly larger lunch portion for him.
I think next time, I’m going to try to take the previous pasta recipe and add more cheese and bake it like a casserole to kinda give the best of both.  We’ll see how that works out.
Here, have a picture:
I forgot to take a picture Sunday night but it was as tasty as leftovers Monday.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

With Halloween almost upon us, Boyfriend and I decided to host a party on Saturday night.  As this party would be including alcohol, we figured a heavier dinner, full of yummy carbohydrates, was probably necessary.

Enter the recipe below.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

The link for this can be found here and the ingredients and directions are copied below:

Ingredients:

8 ounces penne pasta
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp dry ranch dressing seasoning mix
2 cups milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup cooked, chopped bacon
2 cups cooked chopped chicken 

Directions:

In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In same pot melt butter. Add flour and stir. Cook flour for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk. Continue cooking until sauce thickens. Stir in ranch dressing mix and cheese. Stir until cheese melts. Add chicken, bacon and pasta. Stir to coat.

Notes:

8 oz of Penne pasta was about 1/2 of a regular box.
2 tbsp of the ranch dressing seasoning mix was 1 envelope of the hidden valley ranch mix – it’s no where on the box how much mix is in each envelope and I felt rather silly opening the envelope into a bowl to then measure it out so hopefully this will save someone that step.
1/3 cup bacon is 6 slices according to a Google search – timing for this dinner couldn’t have worked out better for me – I’d already planned a larger breakfast for Saturday of pancakes, eggs and bacon.  I just fried up the extra slices and tossed them in the refrigerator until later.
2 cups cooked chicken is about 1 lbs again according to a Google search – the original blog talks about how she used a rotisserie chicken.  I boiled up a whole package of boneless skinless chicken (a bit more than a lb (more like 1.3) because I’ve never seen a package of chicken in the food store that was 1 lb even or close to it) and chopped it and the bacon up while the pasta was boiling.
This recipe came with an important reminder: read the comments before starting the recipe or tutorial.  I recently had a similar problem when I started to crochet a hat from a youtube video tutorial (more on that if I ever actually finish the stinking hat) and I thought I learned that lesson.  Clearly not though.
One of the steps above talks about cooking until the sauce thickens.  I’m not the biggest cook and most of the things I make are really simple meals.  As such, I’ve never had to thicken milk before.  After quite a while my milk was still real soupy.  Another Google search told me it should only take a few minutes for milk to thicken so I moved on – thinking maybe I was overestimating how thick a sauce like this should guess.
Later on, I read through the comments on the original recipe to see if anyone else had any improvements or suggestions.  Several people noted that when they used Skim milk (which I had used), the sauce wouldn’t thicken and offered suggestions – one person put part skim, part half and half; another added more flour – either way, I wish I had seen this before dinner and I would’ve tried something like that.
Oh well.  Hopefully the reminder sticks this time.
And even with the soupier sauce – both Boyfriend and I enjoyed the pasta a whole lot.  The recipe says it serves 4 – for us it served 2 large helpings for him, 2 smaller helpings for me, and a decent enough portion to bring to work for lunch. I think this is definitely a recipe to repeat.