Thursday, July 9, 2015

Remaking Leftovers into Something Wonderful "BBQ Chicken Pizza"!

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Last night was pizza night at our house.  We were actually craving take out pizza on Tuesday (our favorite is Casey's) but - trying to be diligent about saving money, I quickly made our favorite pizza dough before leaving for work (Wednesday morning) and stuck the bowl of dough in the fridge.  I use the 5-Minute-A-Day dough which I blogged about here.

Making pizza at our house involves dough, a can of plain tomato sauce spread over the dough and sprinkled with salt/pepper/garlic powder/oregano, and then topped with cheese and usually pepperoni.

Tuesday we had crockpot BBQ chicken for supper so I had one lone piece of BBQ chicken in my fridge.  I have often seen BBQ chicken pizzas on menus and on Pinterest but had never really checked out what was on it.  BBQ chicken on pizza sauce never sounded very good to me.  Well... to my surprise most people don't use PIZZA SAUCE on a pizza with BBQ chicken on it.  Duh!!!  The recipes I found just involved spreading the dough with your favorite BBQ sauce, topping with cheese, and then BBQ chicken.  I had to try it!

I'm here to tell ya... BBQ chicken pizza is delicious!  What a great way to use up leftover chicken, either from BBQ chicken, crockpot BBQ chicken, or even leftover rotisserie chicken.  It was a great, cheap way to put dinner on the table.  AND IT WAS DELICIOUS!  In fact, I brought the leftovers with me to work for lunch.  I loved it.

My husband??  He was a sceptic.  I'm not sure I convinced him because he's weird.  But he likes those frozen BBQ chicken hot pockets and BBQ Chicken Pizza is the same thing - just made flat for heaven's sake!  Trust me, it is delicious!

Here's how I made BBQ Chicken Pizza AT HOME MY WAY:

BBQ Chicken Pizza

  • Unbaked pizza crust of your choice.  Hey, you could even use a tortilla, canned biscuit, a mix, or my favorite - the 5-Minute a Day recipe for dough
  • BBQ sauce, your favorite kind (it doesn't take much)
  • Grated Cheese (I used mozzarela and sharp cheddar)
  • Chicken, chopped (leftover BBQ chicken, rotisserie chicken)

Spread your dough into a greased/sprayed pizza pan.  Drizzle on some BBQ sauce and spread evenly.  Layer on the grated cheese.  Top with the chopped chicken.

Bake at 350 until cheese is melted and crust is browning (15 minutes or so.



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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Super Easy - Crockpot Salisbury Steak

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My hubby is a real meat and potatoes kind of man so I'm always trying to dream up new and improved ways of getting dinner on the table that he will enjoy.

One of our go-to meals is round steak or cube steak cooked in the crockpot with cream of mushroom soup or brown gravy mix, which he prefers over mashed potatoes (he even likes instant, so there ya go).  The problem is that cube steak and/or round steak is kind of pricey!

I had a brain storm Monday and decided to try out a similar method for making Doug's go-to meal with hamburger meat.  The one thing I was concerned about was that since we are gone from home for so long during the day, that the long cook time until we got home would pretty much cook the hamburger patties down to nothing.  The solution I came up with was to use hand patted, frozen hamburger patties, which I normally keep in baggies in my freezer for days when we need a quick fix in the kitchen. (Normally, I just cook them in a skillet with a lid as hamburgers/ cheeseburgers from frozen until they are done.)  I figured frozen hamburger patties would be small enough that they would have time to thaw and cook and yet not overcook throughout the day.  

Boy, was I right!  Doug peeled and sliced a few potatoes into the crockpot before we left since he likes potatoes, potatoes, and more potatoes.  He only sliced two into the crockpot since I planned on having noodles with mine.

Hamburger is SOOOO much cheaper than steak and throwing frozen hamburger patties, adding a packet of gravy mix and some water in a crockpot can't get any easier for busy mornings.  This meal turned out completely over-the-top wonderful!  Definitely I will be making this often!

This meal was reminiscent for me of the TV dinners I ate at my granny's house when I was little.  Yummy little meat patties covered in thick brown gravy.

Here's how I made EASY CROCKPOT SALISBURY STEAK at home my way:

Easy Crockpot Salisbury Steak

  • Hand patted, FROZEN hamburger patties (I just pat some decent burger into patties, and store individually in my freezer in baggies.  You could also freeze them and stack with wax paper in between - you do neet to get them apart.)
  • 1 package cheap brown gravy mix (mine came from Aldi)
  • 2 cups water 
  • Salt/pepper/onion powder
  • Optional:  Sliced/peeled potatoes (lengthwise), carrots, whatever vegetables you like.  This would be great with some mushrooms as well!
Thickening (for after you get home, but before you eat):

  • 3/4 cup COLD water
  • 3 heaping Tablespoons flour


Place frozen hamburger patties in your crockpot first.   Salt & pepper a little.

Top with any vegetables you are using, if any.  Sprinkle with seasonings like onion powder, salt, pepper.

In a measuring cup, measure the 2 cups of water, and add the gravy mix.  Stir until smooth.  

Pour over vegetables and frozen patties in the crockpot.

Cook on LOW all day!  (At least 8-10 hours).


Measure 3/4 cups COLD water in a cup (it has to be COLD).  Add 3 heaping Tablespoons flour and stir until smooth (should be like a runny milkshake).  Pour into crockpot and stir gently.

Replace crockpot lid and let cook while you are getting the rest of your dinner ready.  I made a side, some noodles for me, and mixed up some Homemade Biscuits.  (mmmm!)

Let the thickening in the crockpot cook another 15 or 20 minutes until thick (while you change your clothes, let the dog in- stuff like that).

Now dive in and be so glad that you threw all of this in the crockpot!  YUM!

(Any leftovers will make a great vegetable soup base or even a pot pie!)



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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Comfort Food - Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole

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This weekend we had surprise overnight guests.  Our friends live in Florida so it was super nice to see them.  We wanted to make a really nice meal since they had been living out of a suitcase for many days.  

For supper on Sunday, my hubby smoked a pork loin and some chicken. I was looking to make a side that wasn't our typical, boring baked potatoes and decided to make my husband's family's recipe for Broccoli Cheese Casserole (which has actually has rice in it so I added that to the title). This is always one of the first dishes to be emptied at our family dinners.  It's yummy and cheesy and is always a family favorite.  It goes as well with baked ham and turkey for winter meals as it does with summer BBQ; a year round dish!!

I called my sister-in-law on my cell while I was at Walmart to see if she remembered the recipe.  She was at a ball tournament out of town but this recipe is so easy, she remembered it right off.  

My sister-in-law's recipe makes a 9x13 dish of this casserole.  I only made half of the recipe since my two overnight guests and I would be the only eaters.  

This recipe is fast to prepare. You literally mix it all together and toss it in the oven.  I even mixed it right in the dish.

Our family recipe for Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole uses Cheese Whiz and Minute rice. (eeek!  I know, LOL...)  I have yet to play with the recipe using real cheese and long grain or brown rice, but I'm going to try a few variations to see what I come up with.  For now, this will have to do!  Why mess with perfection when you're craving a family favorite?

Here's how I made Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole AT HOME MY WAY:

Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole

  • 2 bags frozen steamable chopped broccoli
  • 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 jar Cheese Whiz
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup instant (Minute) rice (UNCOOKED)

Steam the broccoli.  Carefully open and place in a sprayed 9 x 13 dish.  Add all remaining ingredients.  Stir well and spread evenly in the pan.

Bake @ 350 degrees UNCOVERED for approximately 45 minutes to one hour - or until edges are browning and all bubbly/cheesy.

Remove from oven and let sit a few minutes before serving.

(** If making one-half of this recipe, bake in a regular square or round casserole dish.  Also an 8x8 square pan would work fine.)

I served this dish with the smoked pork/chicken, some corn on the cob, rolls, and another family favorite:

It was a feast, I yell ya!



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