Sunday, January 13, 2008

New Year... New old school FOOD

Do you ever get tired of making the same old things for dinner all the time? Or do you ever get sick of paying the high price for mediocre food at a restaurant? Don't be afraid. YOU CAN COOK! Cook at home and save money. With all the money you will save eating at home, when you want to splurge at a restaurant you can afford to and the price of gas it takes to get you there.

It seems as though in our busy lives, convenience is key. We eat what is convenient. But those foods are not always the best for us. For some of us, it is easier to make reservations than open the refrigerator or pantry. Dust off those cookbooks or search the web for something that tempts your palette. One meal we can make convenient is CASSEROLES!

Crazy to think that the word casserole entered the English language in 1708. Casseroles have been around for a long time. They are a great way to incorporate leftovers into a new meal. Try an old family classic for a new meal.

Casseroles are awesome! They can even be made ahead and frozen to be used for a night when you don't want to prepare a meal. You can even make them in disposable tins so you don't have to do any caked on casserole dishes. The two casseroles below can be made ahead using one main ingredient, chicken. On a weekend mess up the kitchen and make a few meals to freeze.

This casserole is one from my Grandma Esther Getskow Johnson. She made this for us when she would visit from the Midwest. It is excellent comfort food.

Overnight Casserole

1 3/4 cups cooked macaroni noodles

2 cups shredded cooked chicken (or cooked hamburger)

1 can Campbell's Cream of Celery Soup

1 can Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup (I use Cream of Chicken)

2 cups milk

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Buttered bread crumbs or croutons

Combine soups and milk in a large bowl. Add macaroni, chicken and cheese, stir until mixed. Pour mixture into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight. When ready to cook, place casserole in a 350 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours. Serve with crusty bread and a fresh lettuce salad.

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

from the kitchen of Bonnie Olson

4 chicken breasts cooked and shredded

1 can Campbell's Cream of Chicken

1 can Campbell's Cream of Mushroom (I use another Cream of Chicken)

1/2 cup chopped onions

1 cup milk

1 cup sour cream

1- 4 oz can diced green chilis

10-12 corn tortillas (cut into bite size pieces)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese

Combine milk, soup, onions, sour cream and green chilis and set aside. Spray bottom of 9 x 13 pan or smaller pans with cooking oil spray. Layer tortillas, sauce mix, chicken and cheese. Repeat until all ingredients are used up. Refrigerate 12-24 hours. Bake for 1 hour in a 350 degree oven.

These two casseroles are tasty and easy to make.

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