October 25, 2011

Leftover madness and other topics

I haven't made dinner in a while. I'm a lazy lump. My work had me going to Tulsa last week for a seminar, I've been petsitting, and poor Zach has been a ball of stress. So, we've been picking our way over the leftovers, eating with my folks, and eating pizza. Healthy, I know. I noticed we had rice left over from the burritos last week, so I'll be making a sweet casserole. Here's the recipe:

Tex-Mex chicken casserole

* 2 whole Cooked Skinless Boneless Chicken Breasts, Shredded
* 1 can Rotel Diced Tomatoes And Green Chilies - Drained, 10 Ounce Can
* 1 can Cream Of Chicken Soup (10 Ounce Can)
* ½ cans Refried Beans, 15 Ounce Can
* 2 cups Cooked Rice (cooked According To Package Instructions)
* ½ cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (will be omitting this and substituting small can of mushrooms)
* ½ cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese


Mix together all of the ingredients except the cheddar cheese in a casserole dish then top it with the cheddar cheese and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. You can finish off the last 3-4 minutes on broil if you like crispy cheese on top!

I have been itching for a pumpkin dessert lately, and about had a fit when I saw the recipe for these pumpkin blondies... They remind me of the Dorothy Lane inspired brownies PW influenced me to make this summer.


* ¾ cups Butter, Softened
* 1 cup Packed Brown Sugar
* 2 whole Eggs
* 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
* 1 cup Pumpkin Puree
* 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
* ½ teaspoons Nutmeg
* 1-¾ cup All-purpose Flour
* 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
* ¼ teaspoons Salt
* ½ cups Chopped Walnuts
* ¼ cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
* 14 ounces, weight Caramels, Unwrapped (1 Bag)
* ¼ cups Heavy Cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan with non stick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in eggs, vanilla and pumpkin until combined. Slowly incorporate the remaining ‘blondies’ ingredients into the batter. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly to ensure a smooth batter. Spread about 2/3 of the batter evenly into the prepared pan.

For the filling: Sprinkle nuts and chocolate chips over top of the batter.

Place caramels and cream into a heat-proof bowl. Microwave on high until caramel is smooth and completely melted, being sure to stir every 20 seconds. Stop as soon as it’s melted and smooth.

Pour melted caramel over chocolate and nuts. Spread around evenly with a butter knife or spoon. Place dollops of the remaining batter over the top of the caramel layer. Spread those dollops out to try and get a smooth layer of batter over top. (It’s fine if some of the caramel layer is peeking through.)

Bake for 25 minutes or until edges are golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. (It might come out with a little caramel on it which is fine. You don’t want batter on the toothpick.)

Cool completely before serving. Or be prepared to get a whole lot of oozing caramel if you serve it warm.

All of this stuff is getting ready to go in the oven, so I can slip off around 6:45 for a young friend's high school choir performance. I'm excited! :)

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