Test Kitchen ~ A Product Review

Normally my test kitchens are all about a specific recipe. And, while I will share this recipe, it is more a review of a product than anything else. I am not being compensated or anything. I just know that sometimes I see something at the store, wonder if it’s any good, and wish I knew someone who had tried it so I could ask their opinion. I don’t like wasting money especially when it comes to food so I tend to not be very adventurous and just randomly buy something off the shelf.

There is also a trend for everything to be from scratch when it’s shared on a  blog. I don’t have anything against made from scratch recipes but I also like quick and easy because, quite frankly, Martha Stewart I’m not and sometimes I just want to bust open a can of biscuits or whatever.

Because I am not prone to trying new things just willy nilly, I have no good reason for why I tried this McCormick season packet but a few weeks ago that’s just what I did. Turns out it was a pretty good idea because the kids love it. I like it because it’s simple and easy, and gosh darn it sometimes that’s all you’re looking for come dinner time 😉

What you’ll need:
1 McCormick Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken Seasoning Packet
1 can black beans
1 can corn
2 cans of diced tomatoes
2 large chicken breast or 6 chicken tenderloins
What you’ll do:
Put everything in the slow cooker and cook for four hours on high.
Shred the chicken.
Serve over rice.

In case you’ve been wondering how it tasted or you’re just looking for something new to try, this gets a thumbs up from the Hadding test kitchen.

Test Kitchen # 50 ~ Pineapple Casserole

This is one of those weird dishes that you will either love or hate. (Kind of like the frito dessert I shared here.)

I happen to fall into the love category…there is just something yummy to me about the blend of salty and sweet. I first had it years ago made by an elderly woman in our church. I forgot about it for a while and then around the holidays remembered it but couldn’t find my recipe. But I did find it on pinterest (Is anyone surprised by that? Yeah, me neither.) The recipe isn’t complicated and centers around a love triangle between pineapple, cheese, and Ritz crackers.

What you’ll need:
1 cup of sugar
6 TBS all purpose flour
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 20oz cans of chunked pineapple drained (but reserve 6 TBS of the juice)
1 cup crushed Ritz crackers
1 stick of butter, melted
What you’ll do:
Stir sugar and flour together.
Add cheese and toss until well mixed.
Add the pineapple and stir until well combined.
Spoon into a 8×8 or medium sized casserole dish.
In a separate bowl combine the reserved pineapple juice, Ritz cracker crumbs, and the butter until it is evenly mixed together.
Sprinkle over pineapple mixture.
Bake at 350 degree for about 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

When I make this for a potluck most people aren’t sure whether to include it with the desserts or not. You can but it makes a great side for pork which is usually what I pair it with.

Enjoy!

Pinterest Test Kitchen #48 ~ Chicken Pot Pie

Good gracious, I haven’t posted a recipe since November! I knew it had been a while but not that long. It is what it is though so there’s no use crying about it. I’m just going to put this one out there with no promises about a weekly recipe right now. We shall just have to find out together whether I can get into some kind of routine again 🙂

This is one of those adaptable recipes that can be a major made from scratch (ha!) delight or a take-some-short-cuts-and-it’s-still-a-delight recipes. I’ve tried making homemade pie crust and frankly I’ve found the store bought ones to be just as good. (No offense to you homemade pie crust making women…I’ve just never made one that was so significantly better that it was worth the extra time and work.) I’ve also made this with fresh vegetables as well as frozen and both work just fine.

What you’ll need:
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups boiled and shredded chicken (I use about 6 chicken tenderloins) 
3 cups vegetables of your choice (I have used the frozen mixed veggies for soup and I’ve also chopped up celery & carrots and mixed them with corn and green beans.)
4 TBS butter
4 TBS flour
1/2 cup milk or half & half
Italian seasoning
double pie crust
What you’ll do:
Place one crust in the bottom of a pie plate and set aside.
Add your chicken and veggies to your broth and boil for 15 or 20 minutes.
Turn your heat down and let simmer.
In a small sauce pan melt your butter.
Add your flour, milk and Italian seasoning. (You may need to remove from heat so you do not scald your roux. It should be pretty thick.)
Add roux to the chicken and vegetables and stir until it is mixed in very well.
Pour mix into prepared pie plate. Unroll and add top pie crust, pinching sides together and cutting out small vents.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

This has quickly become a family favorite and it’s a hearty meal that goes far. One pie feeds six of us with enough leftovers for my beloved to take for lunch the next day. I’m excited about trying it this week with shredded beef, mushrooms, potatoes and onions. I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out.

Test Kitchen #45 ~ A Bonus Recipe Reblogged ~ Applesauce

Last week my niece was pinning some apple sauce recipes and it reminded me of this bonus recipe I had shared last year. It’s so good and since it’s apple season I thought I’d share it again.

Plus it has the added bonus of breaking the silence that has been around here lately. Life got a little frantic lately and while I don’t look for much to slow down now that the holidays are upon us, I do still want to keep up with the blogging. (May I just say that part of the reason it has been so very crazy is that 4 babies have been born into our church since September? So it’s been busy but full of sweetness!) I miss the blog hopping, reading really great stuff and finding some great recipes. Just got to make time for it all.

But such is life for everyone so let’s move on to the apple sauce recipe. I originally found this one off the label of a Juicy Juice bottle. Super easy and, besides tasting good, will make your house smell o-mazing.

What you’ll need:
6 baking apples chopped into pieces (best apples recommended for baking are Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, and the Pink Lady)
1 1/2 cups apple juice
1/2 cup dried cranberries 
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon 
What you’ll do:
Combine all ingredients into a large pot. 
Cook on high heat for about 30 minutes or until your apples are tender.

A couple of things to note:
I don’t like super chunky apples sauce so I used my potato masher to break down the larger apple pieces. Also, I don’t exactly measure out my cranberries~I just add what looks like a good cranberry to apple ratio. And as long as I am admitting that I don’t follow directions exactly my brown sugar wasn’t exactly packed down and if measured out was probably a little closer to 3/4 a cup.

Enjoy!