Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Smothered Grilled Chicken


It's been a few years, but I tasted a delicious grilled chicken dish at a restaurant in Las Vegas. It was grilled chicken layered with bacon, tomato slices and tons of ooey gooey cheese. I tried to make it once for my husband, but the bacon wasn't cooking good, soggy in some spots and burnt in others. And besides, bacon plus chicken is a little over the top, although delicious. I haven't forgotten that dish, and last week I made such a delicious comparison Vegas better watch out. I love using fresh spinach, mostly just to have my husband eat it and then say, "HA! See, you DO like spinach!" Instead of bacon I layered spinach, it softened while I was melting the cheese and ended up being tender and perfect. I made extra and it reheated great for lunch the next day. Outstanding dish that I will be making for years to come!

Husband Rating: 5 stars

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I cut mine in half so they'd grill faster)
1 tsp. McCormick's Parmesan and Herb seasoning (or your fav)
1 tomato
1 cup spinach leaves
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used a mozerella/cheddar combo, it was all I had on hand)

In a grill pan, cook chicken over medium heat. Sprinkle both sides with McCormick's seasoning. When chicken is almost done, layer each piece with 4-5 spinach leaves and tomato slices. Sprinkle with cheese. Put on the lid (or a foil tent) to melt the cheese. When cheese is melted, about 3 minutes, serve. Enjoy!

Here's what my chicken looked like right before I added the cheese. This grill pan is my true love, every kitchen needs one. I purchased it at Target for around $30, totally worth it since I use it every week.

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Shout Out: McCormicks


It's time for a shout-out. That's right, where I sent out a "hey there, love your stuff" to the best products that I wouldn't want to live without. Today's shout-out is for one of the best (and most used) seasonings in my cupboard: McCormicks Parmesan Herb!

This is one of those yummy seasonings that I toss into everything. All of my pastas get a little dash and just about all my chicken gets a hint. It's the secret ingredient in a killer white sauce, or the easiest ingredient in a lazy dinner. My favorite thing is to sprinkle it on chicken, throw it on the grill pan, whip up a caesar salad and the perfect dinner is served. A little bit goes a long way with the seasoning too, it will last you a while. Go and invest, mmm, so delicious!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Most Popular Baby Names

Here's the top 10 most popular baby names of the decade. Interesting! None of the names we considered are on the list. I love the traditional names like Andrew and Michael for boys. I'm surprised Abigail didn't make the list, I know so many baby Abigails. Is your baby's name on the list?

Girls:
Emma
Emily
Madison
Sophia
Isabella
Kaitlyn
Ava
Hailey
Hannah
Olivia

Boys:
Aiden
Jacob
Ethan
Matthew
Nicholas
Jack
Joshua
Ryan
Michael
Andrew

Monday, December 21, 2009

Chicken Parmesan (easy!)


Mmm, Chicken Parmesan is just one of those great recipes that I never get sick of. This is my easy, low fat version of the recipe. Of course, chicken dripping with butter and then fried in oil might taste better, but you'll be surprised how easy the oven version is. If you don't have bread crumbs, use Ritz crackers, crushed corn flakes, crushed rice krispies or even saltines. I even used crushed tortilla chips once, it was pretty good. Of course, you can drench your chicken in sauce and melted cheese, but for a nice picture I left it off here. Usually when I make these I'll bake 6-8 pieces of chicken and freeze half for another meal. The reheat great and are always delicious!

Husband Rating: 4 1/2 stars

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 egg
3 TB milk
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/3 cup flour
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Gather 3 small bowls. In the 1st bowl, mix together flour, salt and pepper. In the 2nd bowl, beat the egg and stir in milk. In the 3rd bowl pour bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning and mix well. Dip chicken into the 1st bowl with flour and cover. Next, dip into the egg mixture and cover well. Finally, dip chicken in the 3rd bowl with breading and cover well. Place in a lightly greased baking dish. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and breading is toasty. Melt mozzarella cheese over the top and serve with spaghetti.

-Note: If your chicken is thick, slice through it or pound it with a meat mallet. The fatter it is the longer it will take to cook.


Back to the Kitchen

I know, I said before would be my last craft boutique for the year. I lied. I couldn't resist just one more, but I did great on sales, handed out lots of business cards, had fun and scored some sweet deals.

Working craft boutiques is dangerous because I want to buy all the cute stuff at other booths. One lady used to own a scrapbooking store and was clearing out inventory, SWEET DEALS! She had a huge box full of things for 50 cents, I found sparkly ink pads and other cuties. My friend Jaimie had a booth of her feather fascinators (bows and clips for glamorous grown-ups!) and I'm going to have to buy more in lots of colors. She is working on setting up a blog, so I will be linking there soon!

This is my favorite apron I've made that I sold Saturday. I was kind of experimenting with the pattern and not even sure if it would sell, but it did. It got enough compliments that I'm confident in making more. Watch for new colors!

I will get to work posting some fun Christmas and holiday recipes for everyone. Stay warm and check back!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Neglect for a good cause!

I know *sigh* I've just been neglecting my poor blog. I've got like 10 recipe photos I need to upload, but I haven't devoted any time to my recipes.

I do have a good excuse though
. . . I've been sewing up a storm! This weekend is my final craft fair of the year and I've been working nonstop to make a million cute aprons and kitchen cutie pie things. I sewed my last stitch tonight, put away my sewing table and I'm going to set up the Christmas tree in its place. (Yes, I sew in my living room, I only dream of a sewing studio!)

So, if you are looking for the perfect holiday gifts or in the mood to spoil yourself a little, stop by the Christmas Boutique!!


Friday and Saturday from 9am to 7pm, corner of Ammon & Lincoln Rds, watch for the signs. Email me at camillescasa @ yahoo.com if you need directions, details, or need me to hold an item for you.

And after all my business is over, I will be back posting all yummy things!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Winner Announced!

Sooo . . . . . I numbered all your entries and went to random.org to pick a winner.

It spit out #3 - which happens to be

--- KRISTIN D. ---

Congratulations! You and your little princess will look adorable while you whip up your thanksgiving feast. I'll be dropping off your prize box soon, and don't forget to take a pic so I can post it. Yippee!!

Thanks all for playing and keep watching for more giveaways and games!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Holiday Apron Giveaway


*giveaway ended* (but keep watching for more!)


Yes,
you heard correct - it's time for a giveaway!!

I've been sewing my little heart out and love the results. Just in time for your thanksgiving dinner prep one lucky winner will receive a Camille's Casa designer apron SET. Yes, set, that means two! The set includes one full size adult apron (for mom) and one small apron (for daughter) in matching prints! Cook that turkey while your little one sets the table in your adorably stylish matching aprons!


The giveaway ends on November 20th at midnight (so the winner can get their aprons by Thanksgiving.)

There are 3 ways you can enter (and yes, you CAN do all 3):

1. Become a follower of Camille's Casa and leave a comment saying you did

2. Post about Camille's Casa on your blog linking back here and leave a comment saying you did

3. Make one of my recipes, take a picture, and email it to camillescasa@yahoo.com




Good luck!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Garlic Chicken Flatbread Pizza


I am a fan of Papa Murpheys, and without a doubt their best pizza is the Gourmet Chicken Garlic. It's kinda pricey, so this is my take on their yummiest pizza. You could easily buy a pizza dough or make your own, but I went for truly EASY and used flatbread. Each pizza came out the perfect size for one serving. I saved the already chopped ingredients in the fridge and yes, my husband had flatbread pizzas for lunch, dinner and a snack the next day. They are that good! I didn't have any mozzerella on hand, but cheddar was delicious. Mmm! Precooked chicken cuts down your time here also. (P.S. I found my flatbread near the deli at my grocery store in whole wheat or white, $2 for a pack of 6.)

Husband Rating: 4 1/2 stars
(he says not as good as the original, but a delicious substitute!)

6 flatbreads
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups cheese, grated
2 roma tomatoes, diced
2 green onions (scallions) diced
1 chicken breast, cubed
1 TB parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1 TB olive oil

Preheat oven to 425. In a drizzle of olive oil, cook chicken over medium heat until no longer pink. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning and stir until coated. On a cookie sheet arrange flatbreads. Spread with a spoonful of ranch dressing. Sprinkle on shredded cheese. Add diced tomatoes, green onions and cooked, cubed chicken. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and flatbread is golden. Cut and serve.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ice Cream Cheesecake


I learned this recipe in my high school home ec. class and I still love making it. It always gets ooohs and aaahs when I serve it to guests. I love it in the summer, since it's ice cream, but it makes an impressive holiday dessert as well. The secret is how simple and fast this recipe is. I love make-ahead recipes when we have company over. I make the cake the night before and then I can spend all day cleaning and cooking the main course. I topped with frozen berries above, but garnishing with chocolate syrup or chocolate shavings always looks impressive.

Husband Rating: 5 stars
Father-in-law grunt of approval recipe!!

1/2 gallon carton of vanilla ice cream
1/4 cup melted butter
1 package of graham crackers, crushed
1 can (12 oz.) frozen lemonade concentrate

This recipe makes 2 pies, double or half as needed. Soften ice cream in a large bowl. Stir in lemonade and mix until smooth. Crush graham crackers, add melted butter and stir. Place cracker mixture on the bottom of 2 pie tins and press until firm. Spread ice cream mixture over top and refreeze. Garnish, cut and serve!


(I know, I need a better camera!)

Beef Gorditas



These are a lot of fun to make and have endless possibilities. I used ground beef for the filling, but I'm thinking shredded chicken, shredded pork, heck even tuna fish or salmon would pass! I used pillsbury grands biscuits, but the generic brand would taste the same I'm sure. You could layer on so many veggies in gorditas. They are perfect for the picky eater too, since you can choose your own toppings. My favorite part of these gorditas is the melted cheese - yum!

Husband Rating: 3 1/2 stars

1 can refrigerated biscuits (yay Pillsbury! My can had 8)
4 TB cornmeal
1 cup cheese, shredded
1 cup beef (shredded or ground and seasoned)
1 cup shredded lettuce
Optional toppings: sour cream, salsa, hot sauce, onions, tomatoes, guacamole, black beans, rice, olives, jalepenos

Preheat oven to 375. Flatten each biscuit until about 5 inch round. Coat both sides of flattened biscuit with cornmeal. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Take out, sprinkle the tops with cheese, bake for 2 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Top each biscuit with meat, veggies and sour cream. Fold in half to serve.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Reviews: Red Robin and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day



Welcome to reviews!

Restaurant Review: Red Robin
Rating: 3 1/2 stars





I have been to Red Robin 4 times now, most recently last week. I considered lots of areas before arriving on a score of 3.5 stars. In the above picture (sorry it's so dark, my camera was dying) you can see our meal. I ordered the Fish and Chips and my husband got a Bacon Cheeseburger. If you look closely you can see the salt on the fries and fish, you kind of scrape it off with your fingers before eating it, lol. The fish was really good, the fries were so-so and the burger was good. They have a huge menu with lots of cool options for your burger like pineapple and guacamole. The waiter was super friendly, the booths actually fit the carseat and they were fast. You can join the Red Robin club and get email coupons and a free gourmet burger on your birthday (that's why we went!) by clicking here.
Now for the downside to Red Robin - the price! I love strawberry lemonades, but their lemonades run around $4.50 each. Ouch! My husband got a sprite and it was $2.50. By the time you get 2 burgers (around $9 each) and drinks it could rival Olive Garden in price. There were lots of families and little kids there (getting their free balloons) and I was wondering how you could afford to take your 3 kids to Red Robin. So, if you have a coupon or your date is paying enjoy some Red Robin.

P.S. I do have to add that they have delicious honey mustard with poppy seeds in it. Ask for honey mustard to dip your fries in when you go, yum!

Movie Review: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Rating: 4 stars



Set in London in the 1930s this movie's greatest elements are the MUSIC and FASHION. The music was so fun and I loved the clothes, coats, hats, scarves and shoes. You root for Miss Pettigrew the entire film as she flies into a glamorous life after a little lie. You hope she gets a good meal, a new outfit, glossy hair and that HANDSOME designer. I think Amy Adams is fun to watch and this show was no exception.
I will say though, that I watched this movie by myself. Husband would not have enjoyed the fashion, music or flirty/childish Amy Adams. Her numerous affairs with men were funny, but I wouldn't recommend by little sister watches unless I'm armed with a remote and ready to skip a scene. Cute, clever and enjoyable.

Baby Back Ribs

It happened. The stars aligned and it finally happened. I saw the baby back ribs on sale, husband started to say, "wouldn't it be good if . . ." and I picked them up and put them in my cart. See, truth is I've been a ribs fan for a long time. They are so sticky and lick-your-lips delicious. I've always thought they were beyond my chef capabilities and never attempted. Only occasionally do I order them at restaurants even, I mean ribs are impossible to eat gracefully. But, it happened, they were in my cart and there was NO turning back!

And don't worry, because this story has a happy ending thanks to my dear Kristin. Kristin of
Make Your Cake and Eat It Too has an easy to follow picture recipe, you can't go wrong. Click here for Kristin's Succulent Baby Back Ribs recipe.

Here's how Kristin's finished ribs look:



And here's how mine turned out: (Don't you just LOVE it when your food actually resembles the recipe photo?)



So, now there should be no more fear. They take a while in the oven, it's true, but it doesn't actually require that much effort. Husband was delighted and reminded again how glad he is he married me:)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chicken Quesadillas


The perfectly easy lunch or dinner begins with a quesadilla! Yum! There are so many delicious variations, like adding refried beans, guacamole, salsa or chorizo to the tortilla. Here, I use a classic white flour soft taco size tortilla, Mexican cheese blend and shredded chicken. For simple directions on how to shred chicken go here, I always have some in my fridge or freezer. My favorite tortillas are Guerrero Tortillas. I love the flour and corn in all sizes, they are the only ones we buy. They are thicker than most and just taste great. Quesadillas pack great too, sometimes I'll wrap several in foil and drop of at Hubby's work. Enjoy all the gooey cheese!


Husband Rating: 5 stars

1 cup shredded chicken
2 cups (8 oz) shredded Mexican blend cheese (monterray a must!)
12 flour tortillas
Sour cream and salsa, optional

Warm one side of the tortilla over medium heat in a skillet. Turn over and to the hot side add a handful of cheese and chicken on half of the tortilla.

Fold over and press down with a spatula. Cook for about 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until cheese is melty and tortilla is toasty. Serve with sour cream and pico de gallo (equal parts red onion, tomato and cilantro with a dash of lime juice and salt.) Enjoy!




Monday, October 26, 2009

Gourmet Hot Dogs


It's time to spoil yourself a little and throw some gourmet dogs on the grill. Buy the best kosher beef dogs you can find, or use spicy smoked sausage. Slice them in half and grill until perfect. Get the fancy rolls (or make your own) and toast them too on the grill! I didn't take the picture after I loaded it, but cram as many delicious vegetables as you can on there. So messy and so amazing!

Husband Rating: 5 stars

Toppings we used:
Grilled mushrooms
Grilled onions
Ketchup
Mayo
Mustard
Lettuce
Diced tomatoes
Pickle relish
Jalapenos (him, not me)


BBQ Pork Chops



Honestly, it can't get any easier than this meal. I could have gone all fancy and made my own BBQ sauce, but this is just good ole store-brand BBQ sauce. No effort involved, your husband could even handle this meal:) Pork chops are always reasonably priced and I always have some in my freezer. I took them out of the freezer the night before and let them hang out in the fridge. By dinner time they were thawed enough to throw in a pan. So delicious it should take longer-- enjoy!

Husband Rating: 4 stars

4 pork chops
1/2 cup (approx.) BBQ sauce
Dash of pepper

Spray the bottom of a skillet lightly with cooking spray. Over medium heat cook pork chops for 2 minutes on each side. Pour BBQ sauce on top and cook for an additional 5 minutes on each side. If too dry, add more sauce. Sprinkle with a dash of black pepper.

On the side I served cheesy mashed potatoes. I used leftover mashed potatoes from a previous dinner, but potato pearls or dehydrated would work fine here too. Put a handful of cheddar cheese on top of potatoes and sprinkle with Italian Seasoning. Microwave until melted. Yummy!

Lemon Pork Chops


It's true, I kind of have a thing for lemons. In dinner or dessert I just can't get enough of lemon flavor. I hate how expensive lemons are here in Idaho during the winter, but I always have a stock pile of lemon juice in the fridge. This recipe perfect for a fall day! To get lemon zest I run the peel of a lemon (washed, of course) across the skinniest part of my cheese grater. Buying one lemon will probably get you all the juice you need. If I can't get enough out of the lemon I add a little chicken broth to make up the difference.

Husband Rating: 3 1/2 stars

4 pork chops
2 TB butter
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 TB flour

Sprinkle pork chops with garlic salt and lemon pepper. Melt butter over medium heat in a skillet. Add chops and cook for about 7 minutes on each side or until done. Remove to a plate. In the same skillet add lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook and stir (scraping the pan to pull up all the drippings from the meat) until the pan is smooth. Whisk in 1 TB flour to lemon sauce. Pour lemon sauce over pork chops.

The tangy lemon sauce is delicious mixed with red potatoes and carrots. Halve baby carrots and chop red potatoes into quarters. Steam until soft, sprinkle with garlic salt and drizzle with lemon sauce. Mmmm.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Shredded Chicken Education

There are so many meals that require shredded chicken and I'm going to teach you a simple way to always have delicious shredded chicken at your fingertips. It takes too long to cook and shred the chicken every time you want to use it, and canned chicken isn't nearly as delicious. Follow along and make your life easier!

First off, when a big pack of chicken is on sale, buy several! My local Albertsons has a buy one get one free chicken event ever 3 months or so, and boy do I partake! You can do this with frozen chicken, but I usually buy it fresh, cook it all, then portion it in the freezer.


First step: Put your chicken in a pan, put in enough water to just cover the chicken and turn it to medium-low (I use a '4 1/2' on my stove). Put the lid on and let your chicken cook. Depending on how big and how many your chicken will probably take 20ish minutes. (This amount of chicken in the picture took 25, I usually cut into one piece after 15 and see how it's coming along.) Go fold some laundry or play wii fit while it cooks, you don't have to do a thing.

Second step: Remove your chicken to a plate to cool. With or fork or your fingers shred chicken.


Third step: Portion your chicken into meal size sections. I usually call a large handful, about 3/4 a serving size for us. Put into quart size freezer bags, label, toss in your freezer.

I usually leave one bag of chicken in the fridge (for last minute quesadillas, omelets, sandwiches, etc.) and put the others in the freezer. I would make sure to use all your chicken within 2 months.

Shredded chicken can be used in:
Chicken Tacos
Taquitos
Chicken Salad
Enchiladas
Chicken Noodle Soup
Omelets
Quesadillas
Casseroles
Chicken and Rice Bake
BBQ chicken sandwiches
BBQ chicken pizza

Have any other ideas for using shredded chicken? Leave a comment and share!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Honey Bunches of Oats


Here is a honey bunches deal you CAN'T resist!

Post cereals are on sale at Albertsons this week for $1.99 per box.

If you go to this website www.postcereals.com/honeybunchesofoats you can print a $2 off a box coupon

So . . . . you are making 1 cent!

Albertsons' deal also says that if you buy 4 post cereals, you get a free box of vanilla almond shredded wheat. Post will only let you print ONE coupon per computer, so you need 4 computers to get a heck of a deal.

The pecan box is husband's favorite cereal. I'm stocking up!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Whine about it!



Here we are for another installment of WHINE ABOUT IT WEDNESDAY!

I'm normally a cheerful person, but sometimes things just get under my skin. I could take up 4 paragraphs ranting and raving, but I've found that I can get it out and get over it in 3 words. Hence the creation of Whine about it Wednesday.

So, here's how you play:
1. Whatever irritated, frustrated, angry or ticked off items you have this week you need to reduce to 3 WORDS
2. Leave a comment with only 3 words, your 3 little whines for the week.
3. Take a deep breath. Now don't you feel better?


HERE ARE 3 little whines:

FATHER-IN-LAW

(this particular whine includes a sigh and 2 rolled eyes:) just imagine . . .

Friday, October 16, 2009

Halloween Party

It's time to start preparing for Halloween! We are hosting a Halloween party for about 15 including kids. We will do a dinner at 4 with a few games, so after wards we can load up the little ones for some trick or treating before it gets dark.

I delivered spider invitations yesterday.

I created this jpeg (leave a comment and I will email you a pdf if you want it) for the spider's middle.


I glued the wording onto black cardstock and cut around it. I put 4 hole-punches around the edge for the legs. I cut a black pipe cleaner into 3 sections, bending into an L shape for each leg. I looped the pipe cleaner leg through the hole and twisted it until secure. The googly-eyes are hot glued on the top. Presto!


I don't have the menu totally nailed down yet. Here's what I have to so far:

Munchies:
Deviled Eggs
Carrot Sticks and dip
Pink Lemonade
Green Grapes

Dinner:
Make your own Pizza Bombs
Sauce, cheese, olives, green pepper, canadian bacon, pepperoni, mushrooms, jalepenos, pineapple and parmesan cheese

Dessert:
Chocolate cupcakes with orange frosting and chocolate spiders

Of course, I need to give all of the menu items scary names like "vampire blood, human guts and brains" but that will come later. I'll post recipes soon!


Creamy Basil Chicken & Linguine


When I was pregnant I couponed several box pasta dinners. They are "Macaroni Grill Restaurant Favorites" so I assumed they be pretty good. Husband made one exactly as the box directed, but the second time we pumped it up a little bit. First off, the box doesn't make very much. I bought a box of linguine and added a handful to theirs. Anyway, here are my directions for an easy creamy pasta that is actually quite delicious! At coupons.com and bettycrocker.com you can find coupons for $1.10 off the box. Great for a last minute (or husband in-charge) dinner.

Husband Rating: 4 stars

1 box Macaroni Grill Creamy Basil Pasta (+ 2-3 oz. extra linguine)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 6 oz)
2 TB extra virgin olive oil
1 cup milk
1 clove garlic, minced
2 TB onion, diced
1 roma tomato, diced
3/4 cup mushrooms, sliced

Cook noodles according to package directions. Cut chicken into thin strips. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in medium skillet. Add chicken, minced garlic, mushrooms and onion. Cook about 4-5 minutes or until chicken turns white. Stir in milk and seasoning packet. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium, simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in creamy sauce packet, sun dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese and fresh tomatoes. Toss with noodles.



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