Flavor Combo #2: Greek Chicken

I got very excited about sharing with you some of the tried and true flavor combinations that I switch up every now and then to make our dinner meals a tad more exciting… and then life got in the way and all I shared was our Buffalo Chicken favorites.

Well, that’s going to change right here.

Introducing…. GREEK CHICKEN. I know. That doesn’t sound any more exciting than Buffalo Chicken. But my kids love all things “Greek chicken” making it worth the effort to find multiple ways to serve it up. So, here we go…

I. Mission: To create a basic Greek chicken recipe that can be used in multiple dishes.

II. Service Support:

*Chicken! Baked boneless, skinless chicken breasts (whole or shredded, depending on the recipe)
*Cavender’s All Purpose Greek Seasoning
*Feta Cheese
*Red and/or Green Onion, diced
*Fresh (or dried) dill
*Cucumber (optional)
*Tomato (optional)

cavenders

III. Execution:

It’s amazing how many things these simple ingredients can make. Here are a few of our favorites:

*Pizza! Use your favorite homemade (or store-bought, if you roll that way) pizza crust. Spread some warm cream cheese mixed with a little ranch dressing and some fresh dill on your crust. Drop a few generous handful of shredded chicken down and sprinkle with Cavender’s. Top with feta cheese, onion, and maybe a little mozzarella or Colby Jack cheese…whatever you have on hand.

This is probably our kids’ favorite. It’s rich and creamy and while you’re eating it you think to yourself, “Why aren’t all pizzas this rich and creamy.” Trust me. You do.

greek chicken pizza

*Roll-ups! My kids are obsessed with these. Mix some shredded chicken, Cavender’s, dill, onion, tomato, cucumber, feta cheese, and cream cheese together in a bowl. Spread onto a tortilla wrap and roll up. Yummmmmmmmmmo. Use warm chicken. Use cold chicken. It doesn’t matter. These are fast, easy and great on the go.

*Greek chicken salad! Mix chicken, Cavender’s, dill, onion, cucumber, and feta with a little greek yogurt and/or light mayo. Add chopped olives if you’d like or a little sugar to make it sweet. Serve on your favorite roll. We like it on croissants. We like everything on croissants.

*Greek chicken! Yep. Just good old Greek chicken. Throw the chicken breasts in the oven, coated in Cavender’s. Top with some red onion slices and feta cheese and throw it in the oven.

*Pita pockets! Let the kids make their own combination of the above in their own little pocket. Maybe add some lettuce, spinach, or olives to the line-up. And some easy tzatziki sauce on the side. Sooooo good.

And there you go! Greek Chicken five different ways!

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Amish Cinnamon Bread

This recipe has been floating all over Pinterest. So, like usual, I took it and gave it my own twist.

This “bread” is much more like a cake than a bread. I like baking it in a bundt cake pan or a 8″x8″ cake pan.

Last week our family made some homemade butter during our homeschool study of colonial America, so I whipped up a quick batch of this bread so we’d have something to apply our creamy butter on. It did not disappoint.

butter 1

Here’s my twist on the popular Amish Cinnamon Bread recipe that makes 2 pans.

Batter:
1 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda

Cinnamon/Sugar mixture:
2/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Cream together the butter, sugars, and eggs. Add milk, flour, and baking soda. Put 1/2 of the batter into 2 greased loaf pans, square pans, or bundt pans (1/4 of the batter in each pan). Mix the cinnamon/sugar mixture together in a separate bowl. Sprinkled 3/4 of this mixture on top of the batter in each pan. Add remaining batter to pans. Sprinkle with last of cinnamon topping. Swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min or so until an inserted knife comes out clean. Cool in pan for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve with delicious, creamy butter for best results.

Flavor Combo Meal Medleys- Combo #1 Buffalo Chicken

It’s hard to find meals that all five of my kids will like. I began to feel like I was stuck in a rut of always making the same meals over and over. And when I would venture out to try something new, I would inevitably find myself making a handful of PB&J sandwiches halfway through the meal for the kids that didn’t like my new creation.

Rather than fighting at dinner every night about expanding their palates or making the same five meals night after night, I decided to take what they like and shake it up every once in a while. Over the years they have grown to enjoy some new dishes, but I still have my handful of tried and true flavor combos that I know can produce any number of delicious meals my children will love.

The next few posts will cover some of those flavor combos that they love, the basic recipe, and a number of dishes you can make from them!

First up- probably our family’s favorite- buffalo chicken!

I. Mission: To create a basic buffalo chicken recipe that can be used in multiple dishes.

II. Service Support:
*Cooked, shredded, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
*Cream Cheese
*Shredded cheddar or Colby jack cheese, or a combo of both
*Blue Cheese Dressing
*Ranch Dressing
*Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce
*Blue cheese crumbles, optional

buffalo chicken ingredients

III. Execution

Melt the cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl. Stir in all other ingredients to form the flavors and consistency that you desire. Not a big fan of blue cheese? Omit it or only put a little in. Love your cheddar cheese? Be generous with it, then! This is your flavor combo. Flavor it up any way that you like! Add the buffalo sauce last and add it in slowly, tasting the mixture as you go. Consider the whiniest member of your family and how much heat they can tolerate.

Buffalo Chicken mixture on top of homemade pizza crust

Buffalo Chicken mixture on top of homemade pizza crust

Now you have the base of one of our favorite flavor combos! So what are you going to do with it?

Here are some suggestions that our family loves:

*Spread the mixture on top of homemade (or store bought, if you prefer) pizza dough. Buffalo Chicken Pizza!
*Spread the mixture inside a tortilla shell. Roll tight. Cut in half. Buffalo Chicken Roll Ups!!
*Put mixture in a dish, top with extra shredded cheese, bake until melted. Serve with chips. Buffalo Chicken Dip!
*Add some chopped celery for crunch. Be generous with the ranch and blue cheese dressings. Spread on sandwich buns. Buffalo Chicken Salad Sandwiches!

Baked Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Baked Buffalo Chicken Pizza

You get the idea! The possibilities are endless.

How would YOU serve up our buffalo chicken flavor combo??

Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole with Homemade Guacamole

I love making homemade meals….from scratch…like some kind of domestic goddess. I love kneading bread dough and simmering soups and dicing fresh veggies. But sometimes I really just enjoy popping open a bunch of cans, plopping all the contents into one big dish, baking it at 350, and eating it 20 minutes later on paper plates. Don’t judge. We’ve all been there.

I present to you Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole also known as We Have To Leave For Church In An Hour Casserole. Same thing. While the simple-to-make casserole is cooking, I dice up some fresh veggies for the guacamole and I don’t feel like a total failure. Who knew guacamole could be so tasty AND so redeeming?

I. Mission:

Produce a savory meal that can be prepared quickly and devoured even quicklier. I know that’s not a word. I don’t care.

II. Service Support:

*2 pkgs Uncle Ben’s Brown Basmati Ready Rice, cooked (It only takes 90 seconds!!!)
*1 can of black beans, drained
*1 can of green chile enchilada sauce
*1 can of corn, drained
*Three boneless, skinless chicken breasts that you’ve baked, shredded, and refrigerated ahead of time because you’re either more organized than me or you ran out of time to make dinner the night before and was left with a pile of shredded chicken (like me)
1 can of queso blanco (white cheese sauce)
*shredded cheddar or Colby-jack cheese to top

III. Execution:

*Empty heated contents of rice bags into a spray 9×13 baking pan
*Pour black beans on top, spread
*Pour green chile enchilada sauce on top, spread
*Pour canned corn on top, spread
*Pour cooked, shredded chicken on top, spread
*Pour queso blanco on top, spread
*Bake at 350 for 15-20 min
*Remove and sprinkle with shredded cheddar or Colby-jack cheeses
*Return to oven and bake for 5-10 more minutes until cheese is melted

The Result:

Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole with Homemade Guacamole

Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole with Homemade Guacamole

For the homemade guacamole on top, I simply add 2-3 chopped avocados, 1 chopped tomato, 1/4 chopped red onion, a handful of chopped cilantro, a few dashes of sea salt, and a big squirt of lime juice. Mix together and serve. Ole!

Stuffed Pepper Soup

I love soup on a cold day. And since we’ve moved to Florida, we haven’t had many “cold” days. But “cold” is a relative term, right?! So, I tried out a new soup recipe anyway and it was a HUGE hit in my house. I just thought I’d share in case it’s cold where you are… or not.

Sadly, this was the only picture I snapped of the soup before we inhaled it.

Sadly, this was the only picture I snapped of the soup before we inhaled it.

Stuffed Pepper Soup

I. Mission

Make a savory soup to warm your belly…and your heart.

II. Service Support

2 lbs ground beef
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 medium red pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14.5 oz) cans of diced tomatoes
2 (14.5 oz) can of fire roasted tomatoes
2 (15 oz) cans of tomato sauce
2 (14.5 oz) cans of beef broth
4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
2 cups uncooked long graine white rice
Mozarella cheese, shredded for topping

III. Execution

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add beef, stirring until browned. Drain beef and set aside.

Heat remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil in the same pot and add peppers, onions, and garlic. Sautee for aproximately 3 minutes or so. Add in tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, parsley, basil, oregano, and cooked beef. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a light boil and reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occassionally for 30 minutes.

As the soup simmers, prepare rice according to the directions listed on the package. When you’re ready to serve your soup, add a generous portion of rice to your bowl first. (Keeping the rice separate prevents the rice from turning to mush if you have any leftovers! And if you’re lucky- you will!) Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and enjoy!

This recipe makes enough to feed an army… or at least a squad, so feel free to cut the recipe in half if you’re only feeding a small team.

ENJOY!

Banana Split Brownies

Recently a friend posted a picture of a scrumptious looking dessert on Facebook along with the recipe and it made my mouth water. After looking it over I decided that I liked the idea but it needed some alterations. The recipe posted below is the result of my brainstorming.

My husband and I are blessed to be friends with an Army Major and a Navy Commander who have a house full of kids that we love dearly. The Major and a handful of his kids are spending a few days with us this week and I wanted to whip up something special for them so I decided to give this recipe a go… and I’m glad I did.

banana split brownies

Being a good Army wife, I know my way around a 5 point Op Order, but I’m going to switch it up and present my own 3 point Op Order here for logistical purposes. Let’s get started.

I. Mission
We’re making a layered dessert with brownies, creamy fillings, and delicious toppings.

II. Service Support
2 boxes of your favorite brownie mix (and eggs, oil, water, etc. as listed on box)
32 oz heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 box instant vanilla pudding
1 cup milk
8 oz cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 banana
6 medium strawberries (approximately)
Caramel or Hot fudge sauce, or both

The oven should be set according to the brownie instructions.
You’ll need a good mixer, two 9×13 pans, baking spray, a whisk, measuring cups, and assorted bowls.

III. Execution
*Coat matching 9×13 baking pans with baking spray and bake brownies as instructed on mix packaging.
*When brownies are almost completely cooled, begin preparing the first layer of filling by mixing the whipping cream and sugar together on high until fluffy, stiff peaks form.
*Remove 3/4 of the whipping cream and set aside in a separate bowl.
*In the bowl with the remaining 1/4 whipping cream, add the softened cream cheese, and powdered sugar. Mix well.
*In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk and instant pudding. Add to the cream cheese mixture and continue mixing.
*Spread cream cheese mixture over one layer of cooled brownies.
*Gently remove second pan of brownies to form a layer on top of the cream cheese mixture. (You may have to cut brownies into sections to remove them.)
*On top of the second layer of brownies, spread the remaining whipped cream
*Top with chopped bananas and strawberries and drizzled caramel and/or fudge sauces.
*Refrigerate until serving.

I hope you enjoy this dessert as much as we did!

banana split brownies inside

Food- A Language Of Love

how to feed a soldier logo

Some people show love through words of affirmation, gifts, physical touch, quality time, or acts of service. I have found that I have my own love language- food. Nothing makes me more happy than watching the people I love dig into a plate full of something I’ve whipped up and hearing their collective “yummmmmmmmm…..” as they eat up every crumb. Whether I’m hosting a handful of soldiers for the weekend, making a cake for their annual Dining Out, delivering hot sandwiches to them while they’re pulling flood duty across the state, or making an assortment of cupcakes for one of their weddings, I’ve found many ways to say “Thank You” to members of our military with food. On this new page titled “How To Feed A Soldier” I hope to share soldier-approved recipes and morsels of wisdom on how to feed our Joes- body, mind, and soul.

soldier food