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Taco Mac & Cheese Aldi Ingredients Recipe

This is a quick, hardy recipe! I spent the day thrifting, I’m a full-time thrifter/reseller, I was tired and hungry when I came home. I had this dinner whipped up in literally, less then 30 minutes. This recipe has four ingredients and I used all ingredients from Aldi.

These are the ingredients plus 1-lb of ground beef.

Start by browning the ground beef. while that’s cooking, make the Mac & cheese according to the box instructions.

After the ground beef is browned, drain and add one packet of taco seasoning and a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies or you can use Rotel.

Simmer while macaroni is cooking.

Once macaroni is cooked, stir in the cheese sauce.

Dump the Mac and cheese into the ground beef mixture and stir all together.

You will very quickly have a delicious comfort meal.

I served ours with a salad mix from Aldi and we ended up having no leftovers. This would be a great busy weeknight dinner.

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The Ultimate Comfort Food; Instant Pot Chicken & Dumplings

I saw a slow cooker recipe for chicken and dumplings where you use canned biscuits for dumplings and although there is nothing wrong with that recipe, I decided to make my own version with homemade dough, in the Instant Pot.

I love cooking in my Instant Pot. I have not used my slow cooker since I bought mine a couple of years ago.

So, here is what I came up with and man is it delicious!

I started out by chopping about 1/2 cup of each, carrots, celery and onion.

I drizzled some olive oil in the instant pot and added a tablespoon of butter and turned it on saute.

I sauted the veggie trio for a minute or two, then added garlic.

I sauted them for about 4 minutes, until tender. I added salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.

While that was cooking, I cut up two boneless skinless chicken breasts into chunks.

Then I turned off the Saute function and added the chicken to the pot. I also added four cups of chicken broth and one can of Cream of Chicken soup, gave it a stir and sealed the lid and set the cook time to 10 minutes.

While that was cooking, I made the dough for the dumplings. I use self rising dough and I like to sift it because it makes the dumplings more fluffy. I use a strainer with a handle to sift with.

I added two beaten eggs, sour cream, salt and water to my flour and gently mixed it into a dough.

I use a cookie dough scoop to scoop my dough so they will be similar in size.

The chicken cooked for 10 minutes then natural released for 20 minutes. I opened the pot, turned off the cook function and turned saute back on and started adding my dough.

The dough cooks very fast in the hot liquid. I left saute on while I gently pushed the dumplings under the liquid, allowing them to cook all around. This only took 5-6 minutes.

Last thing I did was sprinkle some parsley on top and closed the lid and turned the instant pot onto the warming function, Lo, until they were ready to serve.

This is a very delicious recipe and the homemade dumplings make it extra special. Here is the ingredient list.

Ingredients:

Chicken:

  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • Drizzle of Olive Oil
  • 1 T Butter
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 3/4 t pepper
  • 1 t Italian seasoning
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup

Dumplings:

  • 2 cups self rising flour
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2 T sour cream
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 cup water

Start out by chopping about 1/2 cup of each, carrots, celery and onion. Drizzle some olive oil in the instant pot and added a tablespoon of butter and turn it on saute. Saute the veggie trio for a minute or two, then add garlic. Saute for about 4 minutes, until tender. Add salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. While that is cooking, cut up two boneless skinless chicken breasts into chunks. Then turn off the Saute function and add the chicken to the pot. Also, add 4 cups of chicken broth and one can of Cream of Chicken soup, give it a stir and seal the lid and set the cook time to 10 minutes. While that was cooking, make the dough for the dumplings. Use self rising dough and sift it because it makes the dumplings more fluffy. Add two beaten eggs, sour cream, salt and water to flour and gently mixed it into a dough. (I use a cookie dough scoop to scoop my dough so they will be similar in size.) Cook the chicken for 10 minutes then natural released for 20 minutes. Open the pot, turned off the cook function and turn saute back on and start adding scoops of dough. The dough cooks very fast in the hot liquid. Leave saute on while you gently push the dumplings under the liquid, allowing them to cook all around. This takes 5-6 minutes. Sprinkle some parsley on top and serve.

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Flaky Layered Biscuits and Sausage Gravy… The Ultimate Comfort Food

There are many recipes out there for biscuits and gravy but I’ve had many ask me how I make mine so here you go..

Ingredients for gravy:

  • Breakfast sausage (we get ours from a local butcher)
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Half and half
  • Salt and pepper to taste

I prefer an iron skillet for making gravy. First, Brown sausage. I use about 1lb for 3-4 people.

After browning, add about a tablespoon of butter. Stir until it melts.

Next, sprinkle a thin layer of flour over the sausage, maybe about 1/3 cup.

Stir the flour into the sausage really good until you don’t see the powder anymore. This make sure there are no lumps.

Pour about one cup of 2% milk in and stir. Add salt and pepper at this time to taste. Also make sure to scrape the bottom of the skillet to get those flavor crystals mixed in.

The gravy will start to thicken. At this point you can add more milk a little at a time until you get your desired thickness.

Keep warm until ready to serve.

Now for the yummy biscuits. I like to use Hudson Cream Short Patent Flour. You can also use all purpose flour but I really prefer this flour for the flaky texture.

This recipe makes 6-7 biscuits.

Ingredients for biscuits:

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 stick of cold butter cut into small cubes
  • 3/4-1 cup Half and Half

I like to use a wide shallow bowl for mixing, just preference. Mix all dry ingredients together in the bowl.

Add cold cubed butter. It’s important to keep the butter cold.

I use a pastry cutter to blend the butter into the flour. You can also use a fork.

Blend it until you have a course texture throughout.

Pour in half and half a little at a time until all the flour is worked together.

The dough will stick together, it shouldn’t be to dry and it shouldn’t be to wet. Turn it out onto a floured surface. It is VERY important not to over work the dough. If you do, your biscuits will be tough and dry.

Lightly roll the dough out until it’s about 1” thick.

Pick up an edge an fold it in half. Lightly roll dough again.

Again, pick up an edge and fold it over. This is how you get the layers that pull apart. Flatten down again, dough should be 2-3” thick.

Now for my fancy biscuit cutter. I use an aluminum vegetable can. It’s the perfect size. I actually have a fancy biscuit cutter but I prefer this can.

Now for one of the most important tips in biscuit making. This is crucial. Push the can straight down into the dough, DO NOT TWIST. If you twist the can you will seal the edges and there goes your flaky layers. Pull straight up and pick up your biscuit.

It should be about this thick.

Place the biscuits in an ungreased biscuit pan. Brush melted butter on top of each biscuit. Bake at 425* for about 14 minutes. Every oven is different, that’s how long mine takes, so keep an eye on them. Brush butter on one more time and let bake an additional 3-4 minutes.

See the pull apart layers? You don’t need a knife to cut these open.

They are crisp and flaky on the outside and soft and tender on the inside. The perfect landing spot for a heap of gravy.

And there you go…a nice hearty breakfast. Enjoy!!

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Mashed Potato Bombs

This is a total comfort food recipe! They are perfectly crisp on the outside and soft and gooey and full of flavor on the inside. Here’s how you make them:

  • 3-1/2 C Mashed potatoes (cold and leftover is better)
  • Approximately 3/4 C All Purpose Flour
  • Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder to your liking
  • 1 Egg
  • Panko Crumbs
  • For the filling: Cheddar Cheese, Green Onion, Bacon and Sour Cream
  • Canola or Vegetable Oil for frying

Start with cold mashed potatoes.

Add flour a little at a time and stir in until potatoes are stiff enough to roll into balls without being sticky.

Roll potatoes into about a half cup balls. Form a hole in the center.

Have your filling ingredients ready.

Place about a teaspoon of each ingredient into the center.

Close up the potatoes and make a ball, sealing the filling inside.

Brush with egg wash and roll in Panko crumbs.

Have oil hot and ready. I use a fry daddy.

Carefully drop potato ball into fryer.

Drain on paper towel.

Serve immediately. These are so filling and go great plain or with a side of ranch!

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Instant Pot Chicken Rice Soup Comfort Food

It’s Fall, temps are dropping and there is nothing better on a cold gray day then a cup of soup! Here is my instant pot recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Celery Stalks Chopped
  • 1-2 Carrots Chopped
  • 1/2 C Diced Onions
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Thyme
  • 1 tsp Dried Parsley
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1 C Brown Rice
  • 2 Chicken Breast
  • 4 C Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 C Half & Half

Set Instant Pot to Sauté. Add oil and veggies. Sauté until softened, add all dry seasonings.

Turn Sauté off. Lay chicken on top of sautéed veggies.

Pour chicken broth over top and add uncooked rice. Place lid on top and seal. Set manual time for 22 minutes.

After timer beeps, release pressure.

Open lid and carefully shred chicken breast.

Add half & half, stir and replace lid. Let instant pot stay on warm until ready to serve.

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Chicken & Stuffing Casserole

This is a hearty meal for a busy weeknight. It is a fast dinner and so delicious. I make mine with a special ingredient. I haven’t seen it used anywhere else.

First, I put boneless skinless chicken breast in a casserole pan. I use iron skillets for baking. The meals turn out so good. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the chicken. You don’t need much salt because the cream of chicken soup has salt too.

I use one can of cream of chicken soup and my special ingredient.

Ricotta cheese! I have seen most people use sour cream in this recipe but I think the ricotta makes it cheesier and richer tasting.

Mix the soup and about 1/4 cup of ricotta cheese together until blended well.

Smear the soup mixture onto the chicken breast.

Take stuffing mix, I love stove top, mix a two to one measurement together. I used two cups stuffing and one cup water.

Let the stuffing absorb the water for a few minutes then spoon onto chicken.

Next add a few pats of butter to the top. I don’t measure it. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes.

Remove from oven and serve.

You can make this ahead of time and place in refrigerator and bake in oven when you are ready. It’s very good!

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Chicken Paprikas An Old Classic Hungarian Recipe

I have this recipe that was from an old Hungarian cookbook that I have had for years. I didn’t have the original cookbook but I had a copy of the page from the book that someone gave me. It is a wonderful recipe. It’s very comforting and filling! I usually serve it with green beans. Here is how I make it.

There is a lot of steps, but I promise it is worth it!

For the Chicken:

  • 1 Large chopped onion
  • 4 T Butter
  • 2 T Paprika
  • 1 t Pepper
  • 1 t Salt
  • 5 Chicken Breast or Thighs Cut into big chunks
  • 1-1/2 C Water
  • 1/2 Pint Sour Cream

For the Dumplings:

  • 3 Eggs
  • 3 C Flour
  • 3 T Sour Cream
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1/2 C Water

I’m a large skillet, Sauté the onions in butter. Add Salt, Pepper and Paprika. Cook until soft.

This is my absolute favorite Paprika! Sadly, I only had a couple of tablespoons left. I like a little more then the recipe calls for, but at least I had just enough.

Once the onions are soft, add the chicken. A lot of people use chicken thighs in this recipe, I prefer to use chicken breast.

Add water and place lid on pan, let simmer until chicken is tender.

While this is happening, prepare the dumplings! The dumplings or as I like to call them, doughy balls of goodness, are the best part of this dish, in my opinion. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil while mixing the dough.

In a large bowl, add flour and make a well and add the rest of the dumpling ingredients.

Mix all together until you get a thick, sticky dough.

Scoop out a spoonful of dough at a time. I use a cookie dough scoop, they come out to be just the right size. Drop into boiling water.

When they float to the top, they are done. this only takes a few minutes. They also puff up.

After they float to the top, scoop them out with a slotted spoon and place them in a bowl until the chicken is ready.

Back to the chicken. It should be tender by now. Scoop out the chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Here’s a tip to get smooth sauce. Put the sour cream in a small bowl and add some of the hot liquid to the sour cream to warm up the sour cream a little.

Stir until creamy.

Add the mixture to the pan and whisk on low heat.

The last step is to add the chicken and the dumplings back into the sauce. Let it simmer for a little while on the stove. The starch from the dumplings will eventually thicken the sauce. Enjoy!

If you end up making a large batch, this recipe freezes very well.

 

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My Grilled Pizza Dough Recipe

I’ve been doing a lot of baking since the quarantine for several reasons.

We are only supposed to go out for essentials, A lot of places are closed, Certain foods are hard to find, and being “locked in” brings boredom.

I have been wanting pizza and our favorite pizzeria is temporarily closed so I thought I’d grill one today.

Here is my dough recipe: This makes one 12” pizza

  • 3/4 C Warm Water
  • Yeast packet
  • 1-1/2 – 2 C All Purpose Flour
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 1 t salt

First, dissolve one packet of yeast in 3/4 C warm water. This takes a couple of minutes.

Next, stir in flour, salt and oil. You can mix by hand or use a mixer. I prefer by hand because kneading dough is very therapeutic to me.

Mix until dough forms a ball then turn out on flat surface to knead. Knead for 6-7 minutes. Add flour a little at a time if too sticky.

Form into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a draft free area. I place on stovetop and if it’s cold in the house, I turn on the oven on warm for about five minutes then shut off. The warmth helps dough rise. Rising takes about an hour to hour and half.

Once dough has doubled in size, punch down and knead on counter for a minute then form into a crust.

I place the crust on a large cutting board to transfer outside.

Preheat grill, I use gas. Rub oil on grate (important) then place crust on grill.

Close the lid and stay near by. It doesn’t take long to cook. Grill on one side and use a spatula to lift and check to see if it’s time to flip. I wait until the dough has firmed up and browned slightly, this only takes a few minutes.

This is what mine looks like when I flip it. Let it cook the same on the other side. At this point, you can apply sauce and toppings right on the grill, close lid and let the toppings melt. You have to watch the bottom of the crust so it won’t burn. I prefer to bring the crust in and add my toppings and place in oven at 425 for about 10 minutes. I like my cheese and toppings to brown a little. You don’t really get that on the grill.

You can freeze the grilled crust if you want to make it quick for a busy week night.

Here’s mine all set to go in the oven. I used some of my Easter Ham, pepperoni and onions.

Since the dough is already cooked, you can bake it right on the oven rack. It tastes amazing this way!

And that’s it! This is a great way to prepare homemade pizza!