Quick And Easy Nacho Chicken

Do you like cooking at home, creating tasty dishes and desserts for your family?  Or do you prefer the convenience of eating out or maybe picking up a quick take out?  Where does your preference lie?  10 years ago I would have readily told you that I preferred to eat out.  Quick, easy, variety, relaxing.  No planning, no shopping, no prep and no clean up.  How could I not be drawn to that?

That preference lasted until 2007 when our kitchen went through a major remodel.  I wanted walls torn down which resulted in the new joists added to the exiting ones in the attic and the floors torn out all the way down to the floor beams.  For two and half months our kitchen was blocked off by sheets of plastic resulting in Walt and I eating out each and every day, including lunches.

The first few weeks it was an adventure.   It wasn’t like we weren’t creative about the process.  Walt and I wrote the names of about twenty restaurants on little strips of paper and placed them in a box.  We included all types of cuisine and each morning one of us would pick one out and that’s were we would have dinner.

Once through the twenty or so names in the box we became less enchanted with our adventure.  By the two month mark even Joshua who was four years old at the time and was with during the weekends said “Grandma, I’m tired of eating out, when can we eat at home?”  Joshua missed his “Grandma’s Sunday Big Breakfast.”

But it didn’t last forever and once the plastic was torn down and we had access to our pretty new kitchen filled with beautiful new cabinets and counter tops, new top of the line appliances were in place and a lot more counter space than I had previously had before.  It didn’t take long before for the chopping, blending, mixing, baking, frying and simmering began.

Today we do eat out, at least once a week sometimes twice a week.  But, if the truth be told, we really do prefer our own home cooked meals that’s why we’re always looking through cookbooks, reading blogs and surfing recipe sites looking for new ideas.  It’s also why we’re not afraid to throw together, things we like with things we want to try just to see where our little experiment takes us.

That’s how Easy Nacho Chicken came to be.  A few weeks ago I had defrosted chicken breasts thinking that I would throw them on the grill when I came home from work but the temperature that day reached into the mid 90’s, heavy humidity hanging in the air.  The thought of standing over a grill in the heat and humidity just wasn’t appealing.  Something quickly thrown together in my nice air conditioned kitchen was much more appealing.

Going through the cupboards, I found two cans of Campbell’s Fiesta Nacho Cheese Soup and of course rice (I always have rice).  Going through the refrigerator I found green onions just begging to be used and sour cream.  Since I already knew the Fiesta Nacho Cheese soup had a nice little kick to it and that I wouldn’t have to add any spices I had absolutely no doubt that I could put together a tasty dish without much effort and it would be ready in a matter of minutes.

So, if you’re looking for a dish with few ingredients and with just a little bit of a kick try this one.  It won’t disappoint.

Nacho Skillet Chicken

EASY NACHO CHICKEN

What You’ll Need:

1.5 lbs boneless/skinless chicken breast cut into cubes

2 cans Campbell’s Fiesta Nacho Cheese Soup

1 soup can of water (more or less to desired thickness/thinness of sauce)

3 green onions cleaned and chopped

Sour Cream

Cooked white rice (I usually make 1.5 cups dry to 3 cups water)

Directions:

  • In a large skillet, brown chicken breasts in oil – drain grease
  • Return chicken to pan – add both cans of soup
  • Add 1 can of water
  • Stir to mix
  • Cook about 30 minutes until chicken is cooked through
  • Pour over white rice
  • Garnish with green onions and sour cream

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Drifting Into A Routine…….

Monday was another gorgeous day in Michigan…..wish we could have weather like this all year minus the trees that already turning red, yellow and orange.  As the days drift further into fall I’m drifting into a routine both at work and home.

Today is another story, at 5:30 a.m. it’s raining…a steady drizzle.  You don’t have to go outside to feel it, you already know it’s a cold, fall rain.  This will be one of those days that I wish I was in the office, thankfully I’ll be at an all day career fair so technically I won’t be in and out of the car and buildings in the rain.

My work day was busy yesterday, I can’t believe how quickly it flew by.  We hired a new CSR who started yesterday so I made myself a promise that I am going to start pulling back from the day-to-day office routine, I have to, they are getting used to me being in the office, that’s not where I’m supposed to be.

I spent my afternoon visiting Armed Services recruiting Offices and apartment complexes.  There are so many ways to think outside the box to find people to work.  It was nice to be on the road visiting different places and meeting new people.

I had a meeting with my boss when I returned to the office, we’ve decided that I’m going to work very little from the office since the staff tends to want to pull me into what is going on.  I’ll be on the road and working more from home, they’ve given me remote access and cell phone to make that possible.  Yahoo!   After she and I met and agreed on my routine, we met with the office staff so that they understand they are responsible for processing who I send in.  I recruit, they process.  I will admit it’s hard for me to watch them struggle.  I ran very successful multimillion dollar branches, it’s in my blood and nature to want to turn things around.

At home things are also drifting into a routine as well, probably a little slower than at work.  But I’m getting there and I am making a few new recipes this week.  Since I won’t be getting pulled into late nights at the office and will get home at a more reasonable hour or even working from here things will fall into place.

A quick update….Walt and I both had some of the roast beef and mashed potatoes for lunch Monday.  It was as delicious Monday as it was on Sunday, in fact, I thought it might have been even better.  I wanted to lick the plate clean (just kidding – not quite, I used bread).  There is absolutely no doubt now that we will be having the Three Envelope Pot Roast again.

Last night I made Taco Pasta which I also found on Pinterest from Plain Chicken

http://www.plainchicken.com/2010/09/taco-pasta.html.

At first I was afraid it would taste like the Taco Stroganoff that I made and posted but I am very pleased to say that it has a different flavor and for some people it may be just a little bit spicier.  When you serve it, you can add sour cream to the top to cut down on the heat.

This is very easy and quick to make.  My only suggestion and what I’ll make sure to do the next time is to cook my pasta first.  The sauce cooks quick so if you cook the pasta then throw together the sauce you can add the pasta right away and you won’t have to worry about over cooking your sauce.

Perfect recipe for those crazy, hectic days and you want something “homemade.”

TACO PASTA

What You’ll Need:

1 pound ground beef
8 ounce small dry pasta shapes
1 small onion, chopped (or 1 Tbsp minced onion flakes)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup salsa
1 packet taco seasoning
3 ounce cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper
Shredded Cheese for topping

Directions:

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  • Cook pasta according to the package directions.
  • Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water.  Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the ground meat and onion over medium-high heat until no longer pink.
  • Once the meat is cooked through, drain off the excess fat and mix in the garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Mix in the salsa and taco seasoning and let simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the cooked pasta, cream cheese, sour cream and reserved pasta water, and continue stirring until the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Top with shredded cheese and more sour cream and salsa if desired.