Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Cheesy Bacon & Onion Monkey Bread

Do you like monkey bread?  We do - A LOT!  Normally, it's full of buttery cinnamony-sugary goodness and absolutely delicious!

What do you think of monkey bread smothered with cheese & dotted with bits of bacon and green onion??  We weren't sure what to think, but after making this recipe last night - we can say we think it's YUMMM!!

We paired this with our favorite cheesy bratwursts & chicken/apple sausages and a big green salad.

Cheesy Monkey Bread
adapted from a recipe found at
Prep:  15 mins
Total time:  45 mins
Serves 12

2 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
2 packages (11.3oz each) refrigerated dinner rolls
1 pkg (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
3 green onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 350*F.  Lightly grease/spray with cooking spray a 9" deep pie pan.

Separate rolls; cut each into quarters.  (Much easier with kitchen scissors)

Layer half each of the dough pieces & cheese in prepared pie plate.  Sprinkle with half the cooked/crumbled bacon.

Cover with remaining dough pieces and bacon.  (As you can see from the picture below, we didn't follow this direction well...  We should have.)

Bake 25-30 mins or until golden brown.

Top with remaining cheese.  Bake 3 mins or until cheese is melted.

Transfer to a serving plate/platter (or a small cutting board) to serve.  Sprinkle with green onions before serving.

NOTE:  It's easier to cut pieces (like a pie) & serve them than to pull this apart.  But if you want to pull it apart, go for it.  Just know - it's messy!

Changes for next time:
We will definitely follow the directions correctly next time.  We sprinkled the onions between the layers and on top before baking.  The crisp of the cool green onions on top would've been much better than cooking them inside.  I also think the rolls would've browned better if they didn't have the cheese & onions on top before baking (the original directions called for them to added afterwards or at the end).

Another change request from my kids - more bacon!  I'll probably double the amount next time.

I think a dipping sauce or drizzle would be good too.

There are variations for Mexican-style, Italian-style, and Caramelized Onion-Rosemary monkey breads on - be sure to check those out too.  They sound yummy!



Thursday, January 24, 2013

Creamy Lemon-Garlic Chicken

How can you go wrong with chicken, lightly floured & browned, simmered in a creamy lemon-garlic sauce, and poured over whole grain pasta & fresh-steamed broccoli?!?  It's dreamy-delicious!

It all started with this recipe for Lemon Chicken with Capers that my family LOVES and it crazy-close to a dish we love at Bucca di Beppo.  I'd wanted to do a creamy, similar version, but hadn't gotten around to it...

Then I got an email with a free coupon for this:

Have you seen these?  They come in all kinds of flavors (tomato, cheese, creamy basil, etc).  I know some people aren't into processed foods, especially sauces.  But I was pleased with the low carb count (for my Type 1 diabetic son) and the quick-and-easy part really appealed to me.  I think from-scratch is always best, but you can't beat these in a pinch!   And it was FREE.  Double-good.

I decided to go to to see what kinds of recipes they had for these Recipe Starters before picking one up...

I found Creamy Lemon Chicken, made a couple of small adjustments, and it became my Creamy Lemon-Garlic Chicken.  Hope you like it!

Creamy Lemon-Garlic Chicken
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time:  30 minutes
Serves: 4

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tblsp vegetable oil
4 thin-cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts (see note below)
1 can (18 oz) Progresso Recipe Starters creamy roasted garlic with chicken stock cooking sauce
3 Tblsp lemon juice
1 8oz package whole grain angel hair pasta
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
optional toppings:  chopped fresh parsley, grated lemon peel

1.  Mix flour, salt & pepper together in a medium-sized bowl.  In a large skillet, preheat 2 Tblsp vegetable oil over medium-high heat. 

2.  Dip each chicken breast into flour mixture, coating both sides.  Shake off excess flour & place chicken breast in skillet.  (You can cook more than one chicken breast at a time.)  Cook chicken breasts in oil 6-8 minutes, turning once, or until brown.  **Note:  If you're doubling this recipe, like I did, you can get 2 skillets going at the same time.  When the chicken is done, move it to a plate & cover with foil until you add the sauce to the chicken in Step 3.)

3.  In a small bowl, mix cooking sauce & lemon juice.  Place all the cooked chicken breasts back into the skillet, turn heat to medium-low.  Pour sauce/lemon juice mixture over the chicken.  Simmer 5-10 minutes or until jice of chicken is clear when center of thickestpart is cut (at least 165*F).

4.  While chicken & sauce are simmering, cook broccoli florets & pasta together in a large pot of boiling water, according to pasta package directions.

5.  Drain pasta & broccoli well.  Pour onto large serving platter or into large serving bowl.  Pour chicken & sauce over the top.

6.  Optional toppings:  chopped fresh parsley and/or grated lemon peel

NOTE:  You don't have to buy thin-cut boneless skinless chicken breasts, but it sure makes this recipe go faster & easier!!  If you have regular chicken breasts, place each chicken breast, smooth side down, between pieces of plastic wrap or waxed paper.  Gently pound with flat side of meat mallet or rolling pin until about 1/2 inch thick.  Follow recipe as directed above. recommended this be served over rice.  I liked the idea of pasta better, but if you're into the rice - go for it!



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