Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts

Friday, February 23, 2024

Chicken Broccoli Casserole aka Chicken Divan Recipe Review

My aunt shared her Chicken Divan recipe with our family over 40 years ago and I have been making it ever since. Every member of our family will eat it (except the vegans), which is pretty miraculous. It is very rare to find a recipe that everyone likes. 

The original recipe called for frozen broccoli, however a few years back, I started making it with fresh broccoli, which the members of my household prefer. However, that does take a little more preparation time. Both frozen or fresh broccoli need to be cooked before the casserole is assembled, but fresh broccoli has to be washed and cut up into bite-size pieces. I usually just break the florets off the stems while rinsing the broccoli instead of cutting it up. 

After I wash it and separate the florets from the stems, I pour melted butter on the broccoli, add a little salt and pepper, then steam it for 8 minutes.  If I use less than 4 bunches of broccoli, I would adjust the steam time to 5 or 6 minutes, then taste test the broccoli before adding it to the casserole dish. 

I boil the chicken breasts in a large pot (5qt dutch oven) of water for 1 hr.  After it cools, I remove/discard the bones and skin.  Then I shred the chicken into bite-size pieces. 

*If you use fresh broccoli, you need 1 stick of butter to melt & pour over the broccoli before steaming

 

Broccoli
I used 4 bunches of Broccoli Crowns in the casserole shown

Chicken Broccoli Casserole Recipe
aka Chicken Divan Recipe 


Prep Time Cook Time Ready In Yields
1 hr 30 min. 35 min. 2 hrs 6 - 8 servings

Ingredients

    chicken divan ingredients
  • 3 – 4 Chicken Breasts  (cooked – deboned -- shredded)
  • 3 or 4 Bunches of Fresh Broccoli OR 20 oz. Frozen Chopped Broccoli (2 Boxes)
  • 2 Cans Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese (we prefer the Sargento brand)
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • ½ cup Mayonnaise

  • Directions 

    • Cook Chicken Breasts  (see boiling chicken directions above)
    • Steam Broccoli  (see steaming directions and time above)
    • Line the bottom of the casserole dish with steamed broccoli 
    • Cover the broccoli with cooked & shredded chicken 
    • In a separate bowl, Mix chicken soup, mayonnaise, lemon juice & 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese together 
    • Spread the soup/mayonnaise/cheese mixture over the chicken 
    • Cover with remaining ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese 

     

    chicken divan in layers
    You won't be able to see the chicken and broccoli once the soup mixture is spread across the entire top of casserole,
    but I wanted you to see how densely packed each layer should be.

    Chicken Divan Ready to Bake
    Ready to Bake


    Bake on 350° (325 convection oven) for 35 minutes

     

    Chicken Divan Baked & Ready to Serve
    Baked and Ready to Serve

     

     

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    Chicken Broccoli Casserole aka Chicken Divan Recipe Review Written by:
    House of Sylvestermouse





    © 2024 Cynthia Sylvestermouse
     



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Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Batter Deep Fried Mushrooms

 Mushrooms, people either love them or hate them. I happen to be someone who loves mushrooms. Mushrooms are one of the foods I love, no matter how they are prepared. I even love them raw and dipped in ranch dressing. 

Batter Deep Fried Mushrooms

Today, I'm reviewing how I made our deep-fried mushrooms. These are a perfect side to any meal or delicious as a snack anytime.

Ingredients for Batter Deep Fried Mushrooms:

12 ounces of fresh white mushrooms ( I used medium size mushrooms)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of water
2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs ( I used Panko)

Instructions:
  1. Rinse the mushrooms in cold water and pat dry.
  2. Mix, flour cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a medium size bowl.
  3. Add the cup of water, and whisk together until you have a smooth batter.
  4. Dip the mushrooms into the batter and let the excess drip off. You can use toothpicks or a fork.
  5. Roll the mushrooms in the breadcrumbs until they are coated.
  6. Deep fry until golden brown.
  7. Place them on a plate lined with a paper towel.

Fried mushrooms

After dipping the mushrooms in the batter, I rolled them in the breadcrumbs.

Battered deep fried mushrooms

I coated several mushrooms at a time before placing them in the oil.

Deep fried mushrooms

I don't have a deep fryer, so I used my 10-inch cast iron skillet. I filled the skillet a little over halfway with vegetable oil, and set the burner to medium heat. The oil needs to be between 325 to 375 degrees for frying. 

I used my ThermoPro TP-18 instant-read thermometer to make sure I had the right temperature. I fried 6 or 7 mushrooms at a time until they were golden brown. I removed them with a slotted spoon and placed them on a plate lined with paper towels.

Using a deep fryer would be much easier for sure. Read my friend Cynthia's review here: of The Presto GranPappy Electric Deep Fryer. This would be the perfect kitchen tool for deep frying these mushrooms.

You can serve your mushrooms with cocktail sauce, or ranch dressing, or eat them plain. 

If you like mushrooms here are some more of my favorite recipes:

Baked Stuffed Portobello Mushroom CapsBaked Stuffed Portobello Mushroom CapsGrilled Stacked VeggiesGrilled Stacked VeggiesItalian Sausage Stuffed MushroomsItalian Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

 

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Thursday, January 4, 2024

Crispy Air Fryer Tater Tots

 Air fryer tater tots are quick and easy snacks or the perfect side to any meal. These tater tots come out of the air fryer so crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside.

Crispy Air Fryer Tater Tots
Crispy Air Fryer Tater Tots - Reviewed

Tater tots are just one of those foods that are loved by kids and adults alike. Our grandson Tyler loves his tater tots made in the air fryer. It is so easy to make tater tots in the air fryer from frozen to the table in about 10 to 15 minutes.

How to make tater tots in the air fryer:

The air fryer is the quickest way to make the crispiest tater tots right from the freezer.

  1. First, set your air fryer to air crisp and the temperature to 400 degrees. The high temperature is important for crispy tater tots. Set the timer for 12 minutes.
  2. I place the frozen tater tots in a one-gallon plastic storage bag. Add one tablespoon of olive oil and toss them around. You can also use a cooking spray if you like.
  3. Place the frozen tater tots in the air fryer basket and lightly season with salt. Cook for 6 minutes then open and toss them around in the basket. This is important so they don't stick together. Cook for the remaining 6 minutes. 
  4. Place them in a bowl and serve plain or with your favorite dipping sauce.
We like to have some different dipping sauces, such as ketchup, ranch, or barbecue sauce. My favorite is the barbecue sauce but when our granddaughters are visiting, the ranch is their favorite.

More seasoning suggestions for tater tots:

  • Smoked Paprika
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • Old Bay Seasoning
These are just some ideas for different seasonings. You can season your tater tots with whatever you like. The amounts depend on your taste but usually, one tablespoon per basket in the air fryer is enough.

We use our Ninja Foodi Grill to air fry. The Ninja is a combination indoor grill and air fryer. We have had our Ninja for several years and just love it. Any air fryer will work just as well.

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Saturday, December 30, 2023

What is Chantilly Cake? A Food Review

 Admittedly, I am not much of a cake eater, preferring pies & puddings to any cake-like dessert. With one exception – the whipped cream cakes that a Rochester, New York department store my dad worked for used to feature in their bakery. They also made an eclair filled with real whipped cream that was to die for!  But I digress! 


Chantilly Cake


Chantilly Cake


After dozens of years, I have finally found a cake every bit as good as that department store's whipped cream cake.  It's called a Chantilly Cake and is exclusively found in the Whole Foods Markets throughout the countries of the United States, Canada, and the U.K.


The reason Whole Foods features this Chantilly cake is it was created for Whole Foods by Chaya Conrad when she was working in one of their New Orleans stores in 2005. Chaya now runs the popular Bywater Bakery in New Orleans. 


Chantilly Cake ~ sometimes called Berry Chantilly Cake ~ is composed of white sponge layers with berries and sweetened whipped cream. The cake's name comes from Chantilly cream, which is a French term for sweetened whipped cream flavored with vanilla or liqueur.  For the frosting, a combination of whipped mascarpone and cream cheese is used, with berries such as raspberries, strawberries and blueberries folded in and placed on top. 


Chantilly Cake Recipe to Make Your Own Homemade Delight


There are several recipes online for making Chantilly Cake from scratch. My favorite is on the Preppy Kitchen website (PreppyKitchen.com), a blog filled with kitchen creations by John Kanell. John describes himself as a husband, dad to twin boys and an avid baker and cooker of all things delicious. John lives in Los Angeles. 


Personal Reflections of Chantilly Cake


My first introduction to Chantilly Cake from Whole Foods was a year and a half ago at a birthday celebration for one of my grandsons. Since it is my son's favorite cake, it is frequently served at most of the family celebrations, as you can see below. 


Chantilly Cake for a birthday party

Chantilly cake for grandson's birthday party


Summary


Once you have tasted a Chantilly Cake, you will wish to have it often. There is nothing like a whipped cream cake, especially one filled with fresh berries. The sweetness of the whipped cream/cream cheese/mascarpone frosting, combined with the tartness of the fresh berries, is an unbelievably delicious taste treat. Why not give Chantilly Cake a try for your New Year's Eve celebration?  


Chantilly Cake


Happy New Year!
Happy Eating! 


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*Chantilly Cake Review written by Wednesday Elf






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Thursday, December 21, 2023

A Delightful Morning Treat - Homemade Baked French Toast

Every year, on the first weekend in December, our daughter Jamie and the boys come over to help us decorate for Christmas. It's time to rearrange the furniture, get the Christmas tree out of the basement, put it up, and decorate it.

A Delightful Morning Treat - Homemade Baked French Toast
Baked French Toast - Reviewed

Every year, Fran likes to have a nice breakfast for this festive activity. Normally it's just eggs, bacon, sausage, and some fresh muffins. This year Fran added this delightful homemade baked French toast.

In my post today, I will guide you through how Fran created this sweet, mouthwatering comfort dish of baked French toast.

Ingredients: For Homemade Baked French Toast

1 loaf of French bread

7 to 8 large eggs

1 cup of milk

1/2 cup heavy cream or (half and half)

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup butter melted

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon of salt

Powdered sugar, cinnamon, and brown sugar for the top after baking. 

Directions:

  1. Cut the French bread into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Melt the butter, and mix with the brown sugar until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Pour the mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
  4. Add the cut cubes of French bread into the baking dish and spread evenly.
  5. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt until all is well combined.
  6. Pour the mixture over the French bread, cover, and refrigerate for one or two hours.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes until it's golden brown and set in the center.
  8. Sprinkle the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and brown sugar over the top while it's hot right out of the oven.
Serve warm with butter, and maple syrup. We had fresh-cut strawberries and whipped cream for some added treats on top of our baked French toast.

You don't have to wait for the holidays to enjoy this delightful baked French toast. Whether you're hosting a brunch or just treating yourself to a wonderful morning breakfast anytime.

Amazon Brand - Happy Belly Cinnamon, Ground, 15 OuncesAmazon Brand - Happy Belly Cinnamon, Ground, 15 OuncesAmazon Brand - Happy Belly Cinnamon, Ground, 15 OuncesPyrex Deep 5.2-Qt (9Pyrex Deep 5.2-Qt (9Pyrex Deep 5.2-Qt (9

 

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Tuesday, December 19, 2023

A Review of Gingerbread Dip

gingerbread dip
One of the best things about holiday parties is the food and of the food, my favorite is the dips! We always have lots of different kinds of dip at our family party, but after 50+ years we were getting a bit tired of the same variety of dips and dippers.  So one year I decided to find a new and unusual dip to bring to the family party.  I looked through cook books and websites.  I called friends.  I even tried to make some dips from scratch.  It was a failure of epic proportions. 

Then one day I ran across a very old cook book that I got from my Mom when she passed.  It is so old it looks like it was run off a Ditto Master.  Remember those?  The paper had gone yellow with age and the cover was gone.  There was no sign of where it came from or who had put it together.  Mysterious!

I began leafing through the small book and found lots of recipes I had never heard of and among them was exactly what I was looking for.  Something I had never seen before, but sounded delicious!


Gingerbread Dip

Ingredients

8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature

1 1/3 cups freshly whipped cream (I used Cool Whip)

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup powdered sugar

2 to 3 Tablespoons of molasses (to taste)

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg


Instructions

Beat and stir the cream cheese until smooth. (I used an electric mixer for about a minute)

Slowly tap in the powdered and brown sugars and stir until completely combined.  (I beat with my mixer for about a minute and a half)

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and molasses.

Add this mixture to the cream cheese and sugars and stir until thoroughly combined.  (used my mixer for about a minute, scraping the sides)

Fold in whipped cream and stir gently till completely mixed.  (I did this by hand, but you could use a mixer)

Now before you chill this dip, it is better to put it in its serving bowl because once chilled it is harder to smooth it into a serving container.

This old recipe did not say what to serve this dip with, but the suggestions really are endless.  A few off the top of my head are small butter cookies, honey graham crackers, vanilla wafers and even pretzels for those that like the sweet/salty taste.

When I made a trial run of this dip, I used honey grahams to dip because it was all I had on hand. However, when I made it for the family party, I used grahams, butter cookies and apple slices. (make sure you don't forget to soak them in lemon water so they don't turn brown) and all were equally well received.  

My old fashioned dip was a hit!  It was pretty much cleaned out by the end of the night and I received many compliments on my new and unusual contribution.  I was elated. In the car, on the way home, I wondered what other gems were hidden in that old, weathered cookbook.  I intended to find out!









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Monday, December 4, 2023

White Beans and White Bean Soup Recipe Review

white bean soup recipe
Making white bean (Great Northern Beans) soup is a holiday tradition in our home.  I don't just make white bean soup during the holidays, but it is a part of the holiday week menu of recipes that I look forward to making and eating.

Every holiday, whether it is Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter, I bake a big ham for the family.  I can hardly wait for the ham to be devoured so I can use the bone in a big pot of white bean soup.  The ham, itself, is usually served at least twice over the course of a few days.  I admit, sometimes (like this past Thanksgiving) I don't wait for all of the ham to be gone before I claim the ham bone for soup.

I love the holidays and cooking for the holidays, but after several days of heavy feasting, I am always ready for a lighter fare of soup for a few days.  For some, white beans are exclusively a side dish.  For me, they make a fabulous soup!  And, just so your know, I do make white beans as a side throughout the year.  I make the side dish exactly the same way as I make the soup, but with less water.

 


White Bean Soup Recipe by Sylvestermouse
ReviewThisReviews.com


I use a package of dried white beans.  I do have a preferred brand, but I have been known to use different brands if I can't find the Camellia Great Northern Beans in the store.  I have found that the Camellia brand has less beans that I need to throw away before cooking.

I use the entire package of beans in one pot of soup.  I start by inspecting the beans as I rinse them in small batches in my colander.  I toss any shriveled, dark or broken beans, as well as any bean loose or floating "skin". 

All whole, white beans that pass inspection are placed in a large dutch oven size cooking pot, covered with water, and left sitting out on the kitchen counter to soak for 8 hours, or overnight. 

 

Directions for White Bean Soup

  • Rinse the Beans & Soak for 8 hrs. or overnight (water should be 2/3 up the pan since the beans absorb water while soaking)
  • After 8 hours, Rinse the Beans again and put them in a dutch oven pot with Ham (Ham Bone Preferred) OR (2 T Bacon Grease if a ham bone is not available)
  • Bring to a Boil, then turn the heat down to a low boil  (on my stove top that is 3­½)
  • Add a generous amount of salt and pepper and stir the seasoning into the beans
  • Cook covered (tilted lid or Pampered Chef Boil Over No More cover) on low simmer for 1½ - 2 hours 


*Note: I normally check the cooking beans a few times to add water as needed to keep the water from boiling down too low 


 Pampered Chef Boil-Over No More Pot Cover Splatter Guard

 

 

Bacon Grease

I mentioned bacon grease in the recipe above because I season white beans with bacon grease if a ham bone is not available.  Bacon grease is exactly what it sounds like.  It is the grease that is rendered when cooking bacon.  I cook bacon in the microwave on a bacon tray or rack that allows the grease to settle below the bacon.  I literally pour the bacon grease from the tray into a bacon grease jar to use as needed, whenever needed.  You will find a partly filled jar of bacon grease in my kitchen at all times.


 



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White Beans (Great Northern Beans) and White Bean Soup Recipe Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





© 2023 Cynthia Sylvestermouse
 




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Friday, December 1, 2023

Banana Bread Mini Loaves Recipe and Mini Loaf Pan Review

mini loaf bread
After getting the Wilton mini loaf pan that makes 8 mini loaves of bread at one time, I have found that I actually prefer the mini loaves to one large loaf of bread.

My husband likes walnuts in banana bread, but I don't like walnuts in mine.  Therefore, I often end up making two large loaves or one that is not going to please both of us.  Making a pan of mini loaves is the perfect solution!

After I have mixed the batter, I add walnuts to half of the batter.  Therefore, I can make 4 mini loaves of banana bread with walnuts and 4 without walnuts. 

I can also share the mini loaves with friends and family.  These would make lovely gifts of homemade food during the holidays.  For our friends who have differing ingredients preferences like us, I could send several loaves.  

A variety of bread mini loaves will certainly make the food at family gatherings more appealing.  By labeling the mini loaves, everyone will know exactly what they are getting.  No more surprise walnuts in my piece of banana bread!

 


Mini Banana Bread Loaves Recipe by Sylvestermouse
ReviewThisReviews.com


Heat Oven to 350°

Grease & flour pan 


Ingredients 

  • 1/4 Cup Shortening 
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar 
  • 2 Eggs 
  • 2 Cups  Bisquick or Jiffy Baking Mix  
  • 1 Cup Mashed Banana (usually 2 or 3 very ripe bananas) 
  • 1/3 Cup Chopped Nuts, if desired

Instructions 

In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar together with a mixer

Then, add eggs, baking mix, & mashed bananas. Mix until well blended 

Stir in walnuts - If you are dividing the number of loaves that have walnuts, divide batter into two mixing bowls and stir walnuts into only one

Pour into the prepared pan 

Bake mini loaves for 30 minutes - Check if done by sticking a toothpick in the center of a mini loaves.  If the toothpick comes out clean, the bread is done

Let cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan 

Let the mini loaves cool completely before you wrap them in foil or plastic wrap.  




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Mini Banana Bread Loaves Recipe and Loaf Pan Recommendation Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





© 2023 Cynthia Sylvestermouse
 




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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