Category Archives: Recipes

Happy Hanukkah!

I’m kind of bad about posting lately because things have been so hectic here.  There’ve been a lot of exciting things happening so this is probably going to be a long post. First, Happy Hanukkah! This post is coming to you from my new iPad, which is really exciting.  Daniel’s parents bought it for us which was very nice of them.  I can already tell I’m going to be using it a lot.

Let’s recap what’s happened during Hanukkah so far.  On the first night, which was Saturday evening, we went to Daniel’s parents’ house to open gifts.  Nicole bought me two bottles of nail polish and some eye makeup.  She knows me so well.  I also received my annual gift card to Starbucks from Adrienne.   We spent the majority of that night eating latkes and chatting with Wendy and Andy, who are good friends with Ken and Adrienne.

On Sunday night, Adrienne handed me a gigantic gift bag full of Doritos.  She knows me pretty well, too.  As one of Daniel’s gifts to me, he made me a delicious dinner consisting of chicken bacon roulades, green beans, and homemade bread courtesy of Ken.  It was amazing.  We’ve only had that dish once or twice before, so it was a nice surprise.  I had expected risotto or something like that, so I’m glad he surprised me.  I only guessed what it was after we went grocery shopping together earlier that day.  From me, he opened The Orange Box for the XBox 360, which has Portal, Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episodes 1 and 2, and Team Fortress 2.  He was very excited about it.  And I’m looking forward to playing through Portal again on an actual console.

Our beautiful and delicious dinner!  Thanks Daniel.

Our beautiful and delicious dinner! Thanks Daniel.

The full table shot.

The full table shot.

On Monday I opened a chocolate orange and a gift card to Target, both from Daniel’s parents.  Daniel gave me The Avengers on DVD which I was thrilled to see because I love that movie. (You can read all about that here.)

But Tuesday was the most exciting day. Daniel called me around noon to tell me that he had received a job that he only just interviewed for on Monday.  As you may know, he is currently working a temp position at Duke, but his new job will be a full-time position at Duke that will start the same week that his temp position ends.  How perfect!  Last night we celebrated by going to Bull McCabe’s for some drinks and good Irish fare.  And then…we went to his parents’ house where they gave us an iPad. Ohmygod.  I love it.  AND we also went to Best Buy to pick up our new TV, which was also a gift from Ken and Adrienne.  So right now we have a lot of new toys to keep us busy for a very long time.  I can’t even express how excited I am right now, about all of it.  Daniel will finally be able to sleep now that he has full-time work, and I am so proud of him.  I have a fancy new gadget that I can’t get enough of, and we’re only half through with Hanukkah.

Our new TV.  Daniel is playing Skyrim.  He wanted me to take the photo so that it looked like he was doing something cool.

Our new TV. Daniel is playing Skyrim. He wanted me to take the photo so that it looked like he was doing something cool.

The iPad.

The iPad.

If anybody reading this has any suggestions for cool or interesting apps, let me know.

Cheesy Chicken Casserole

If you know me at all, you know that I really dislike cooking.  Daniel, on the other hand, really enjoys cooking and he’s great at it.  However, there are a few dishes that I can make (but only if they’re super easy).  One of those dishes is “Cheesy Chicken Casserole”.  This was actually a recipe that Daniel’s mom sent me, so I deserve absolutely none of the credit for creating it in any way.  I do want to share it with you though.  Whether you love cooking and are great at it or you hate cooking and are terrible at it, or any combination of those, you can make this recipe.

The quantities I’m giving you are great for 1-2 people, but you can definitely just add more chicken breasts and cheese to increase the quantity for larger groups of people.  (You really don’t need to make more sauce; this version includes double the sauce of the original recipe anyway.)

What you’ll need:

  1. A small casserole dish or glass pie plate
  2. 1 large chicken breast
  3. 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
  4. wine or chicken broth
  5. cheddar cheese (or a combination of cheddar and monterey jack, or whatever you prefer)
  6. bread crumbs
  7. butter
  8. rice or noodles

First, you’re going to want to thaw the chicken breast if it’s frozen, then cut off any excess fat.  Pre-heat the oven to 350° F.  Place the chicken breast in the glass dish or pie plate.  Cut 1/4 inch thick strips of cheese and place the cheese on top of the chicken breast.  Make sure the breast is completely covered.

Like this.

In the oven, the cheese will melt and mix with the sauce.  Speaking of sauce, pour 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup into a large mixing bowl.  We prefer Campbell’s for no other reason than it’s just a little bit thicker than any store brand we’ve found.  Using one of the empty cans from the soup, measure 1 can of wine or chicken broth and add it to the mixing bowl.  I prefer to use slightly less than 1 can so that the sauce will (again) be a little thicker.  Using a whisk, stir it until the sauce is thoroughly mixed.

Use this…

…and this…

…to make this.

Now, take the sauce, and pour it over the chicken in the casserole or pie dish.  Next, take the bread crumbs and sprinkle them generously over sauce covering the chicken.  Melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter and pour over the bread crumbs.

It should look like this.

Bake the “casserole” in the oven for 45-60 minutes.  You want the sauce to be bubbling; this will indicate that the breast is cooked through.  If you’re not sure, leave it in a bit longer.  The chicken will not get dry since it’s covered in the sauce.  You may want to place tin foil underneath the dish if you’re concerned the sauce may overflow.  When we make it, it’s usually in a more shallow dish, so we always put tin foil underneath it, just to be safe.

During this bake time, make your favorite rice or pasta to be served with the casserole.  Once you think the chicken is done, cut into the breast to be sure that it has cooked through.

And now…enjoy!

Daniel and I prefer it to be served over rice.  We make the extra sauce so that we can just mix that with  any leftover rice.  We call that the “poor man’s risotto”.  It makes for great leftovers.  I made this for dinner last Friday, and it’s kind of our standby.  If we have the soup and the chicken breast handy, it’s probably what’s for dinner.  It’s one of my favorite dishes, and I can actually make it well!