Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Brrrrrr! It is now officially winter here and it has been cold, cold, cold the last few days. Junior's birthday was the last warm day I think we'll have for awhile. The high today was 13 degrees (55 F), but was really windy and meant to feel more like 9-10 degrees (48-50 F). That, coupled with my teeny tiny budget, means I've been searching for comfort food recipes that I can do cheaply.

I've been making peanut butter cookies recently for dessert because all you need is 1 egg, 1 cup of sugar (or I do half cup of white sugar and a half cup of brown sugar), and 1 cup of peanut butter. Mix together, throw on a cookie tray and bake for about 8 minutes, or until the edges start turning brown, at 350 F. A cheap and yummy dessert for sure.

I also found a recipe for "Cheesy Chicken Tomato Skillet" over at the blog "...And a Cookie for Dessert" ( It looked so yummy and like the perfect comfort food for a cold, wintery night. I'll give you her recipe straight from her site and put my changes in paranthesis as usual. I really liked how this turned out, it almost had a pizza-y taste to it and, in my book, you can't go wrong with something that tastes like pizza! I had a big serving for dinner and it looks like I have enough for another 3-4 big servings again so this would be perfect for a family or maybe frozen in individual containers for other singles like me. P.S. Isn't that like the hardest thing to do, cook for one? I hate it and always make too much. Anyway, the recipe...

Cheesy Tomato Chicken Skillet

2 cups of pasta ( I used half a pack of organic spaghetti)
3/4 lbs chicken, cut into pieces (I used a 7 pack of chicken drumsticks and then took the meat off the bones)
1 can Healthy Request cream of chicken soup (I thought I had grabbed cream of chicken off the shelf, instead I ended up with condensed chicken noodle and a can of cream of mushroom already in my cupboard)
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes (I think I used about an 8-10 0z can, but more tomatoes would be good)
1 1/2 cup of milk (I eye balled about 1 cup of skim milk)
1 tbsp dried basil (I just used all the different Italian herbs I could find in my cupboard)
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella (I grabbed a couple of handfuls and sprinkled it on)
(couple of tablespoons of garlic because i like it)
Cook the pasta as directed (as always, add the salt to the water like the package says, I cannot emphasize what a difference to the pasta consistency this makes). Heat 10 inch skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken & cook thoroughly. (I browned the drumsticks earlier in the day in a pan with olive oil and garlic, then threw them in a croc pot on high for about 3 hours. Then took all the decent looking meat-I'm picky about it looking too dark or like it had blood on it- off the bones.) Reduce heat to medium; stir in soup, tomatoes, milk and seasonings (I used a really big skillet and sprinkled all the seasonings in the bottom of it, then poured in the can of tomatoes, the milk, the liquid from one condensed chicken noodle soup can plus the whole can of condensed mushroom soup, the garlic, and the chicken and mixed it all together and then let it simmer for a minute or two.) Stir in cooked pasta. Cook about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until bubbly & heated through. Sprinkle with cheese. Reduce heat, cover & let stand about 5 minutes. (They also served theres with home made breadsticks that looked delicious and would be nice to do if you have a bigger group eating this with you.)

Pretty easy really and it turns out pretty yummy for not a lot of work/money!

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