Enchilada Salad

This is one of my husband's all-time FAVORITE recipes. It's from my book 101 Things To Do With a Salad and is super yummy! I hope you LIKE it as much as we do.

Enchilada Salad
1 cup ranch dressing
1/3–1/2 cup salsa
Tabasco sauce, to taste
1 head leafy green or romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (optional)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed and cooked
1/2 cup enchilada sauce
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup crushed Fritos

Mix the ranch with the salsa and a few shakes of the tabasco; chill until ready to serve.

Layer the lettuce, onion, bean, and chicken on individual plates. Drizzle enchilada sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle cheese and Fritos over top. Serve with the salsa ranch dressing. Makes 4–6 servings.

TIP: Instead of drizzling the enchilada sauce over the chicken when it's already on the salad, toss the cooked chicken in the sauce and then layer on the salad—then it's completely coated! Other good additions to this salad include chopped red bell pepper, diced tomatoes, and avocado. 


Easy Chicken Pot Pie

So EASY and so good! I love pot pie on a COLD day. It's just so . . . comforting. I think you'll LIKE this recipe too because it comes together so FAST

Easy Chicken Pot Pie
1 1/2 cups cooked and chopped chicken (see tip)
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup thinly sliced baby carrots
1 (15-ounce) can diced potatoes
1/2 cup chopped onion, optional
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup (or so, maybe a little more) sour cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 premade refrigerator pie crust

In a bowl, combine the chicken, peas, corn, carrots, potatoes, and onion, if using. Combine the condensed soup and sour cream then stir into the chicken and veggies. Season with salt and pepper and then pour into a pie or tart pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Place the pie crust over the filling in pan and fold the excess around the edges. Bake at 400 degrees for 15–20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling. 

TIP: I like to use the rotisserie chicken from Costco for  this recipe. I buy it, cut the whole thing up into pieces, then freeze the extras. Then when I'm ready to make pot pie again (or something else), I just grab the chicken out of the freezer and thaw!

BONUS TIP: I sometimes throw a handful of grated cheddar cheese into the filling. It gives just a little bit of a different taste that makes it even more rich!


Better than Sex Cake

This is a favorite CAKE of mine, mainly because it is soaked in GOOEY yumminess! I can't think of a better chocolate SURPRISE for Valentine's Day than this super rich cake. Is anything better than CHOCOLATE?

Better than Sex Cake
1 dark chocolate or fudge cake mix
Ingredients called for on box
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (10-12-ounce) jar caramel ice cream topping
1 small container Cool Whip
2-3 Heath candy bars, crushed

Bake cake according to directions for a 9 x 13-inch pan. Let cool about 3-5 minutes and then poke holes all over top of cake with the handle of a wooden spoon. Pour the condensed milk over top of cake. Pour the caramel over top of cake. Let cake cool completely. Spread Cool Whip over top of cake and sprinkle with the crushed candy bars. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Mmmmmmm!

TIP: I use Cool Whip just because it's handy and often cheaper than making fresh whipped cream. However, fresh whipped cream would make this cake even better, I'm sure!!!


You're My Sweetheart Cake

A super EASY heart-shaped cake from my book Easy Cut-Up Cakes for Kids. Try making it for your KIDDOS for Valentine's Day, or make it a family activity and bake and decorate it together.

                                                                                                Photo © Zac Williams

You're My Sweetheart Cake
1 strawberry cake mix
Pink frosting
1 large tube white frosting (or homemade)
Pastel candies, such as M&Ms, Skittles, jelly beans, or gum drops

1. Make cake according to package directions. Bake cake as directed on box for two pans, using one 8-inch round pan and one 8-inch square pan. Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes, and then invert and cool completely on a wire rack.
2. Place the square cake diagonally on a platter or foil-wrapped board. Cut the round cake in half and the place the cut sides against the top two sides of the square cake to make a heart.
3. Frost entire cake pink. Outline top edge with white tube frosting (or homemade in a decorator's bag with a star tip). Decorate the cake with pastel candies of your choice. You can use the candies to create flowers as seen in the photo.

TIP: Switch up the color scheme if you don't want a pink cake! Use cherry chip cake mix, frost the cake white, and use red tube frosting and candies.


Chicken Roll-Ups (or Bundles, or Pockets!)

This EASY recipe is so versatile and can be made in so many different ways. I first started making these little BEAUTIES with the crescent roll dough from a can. I've moved on to pre-made PIE CRUST, which I think tastes much better!

Chicken Roll-Ups (or Bundles, or Pockets!)
2 cups cooked and shredded or diced chicken (rotisserie chicken works great!)
1/2 package (4 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2-3/4 cup chopped nuts
1/2 green, red, or yellow bell pepper, chopped or diced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Montreal Chicken seasoning (optional)
1 pre-made refrigerator pie crust

Mix together the chicken, cream cheese, nuts, and bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper, and/or chicken seasoning, if desired.

Roll out the pie crust just so it's a little bit thinner than what's in the package. Cut out long rectangles to make roll ups or pockets, or circles to make bundles. Place a tablespoon or two of the chicken mixture on one end of the rectangle and roll up, or place in the middle of the rectangle and fold dough over top to make a pocket. (Then press with a fork around the edges to make it pretty!). Or place filling in the middle of a circle of dough and pull dough up around filling to make a bundle (my husband's favorite version).

Bake at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned and you can hear your little creations starting to sizzle. Serve with a nice green salad! Makes around 6 servings, or more depending on how thin you roll out the dough.

TIP: Change things up a bit and just use the chicken and cream cheese as a base. Throw in some celery and craisins instead of the bell peppers, or stir in some salsa and black beans. The possibilities are endless, and everything seems to taste good mixed with cream cheese and wrapped up in pie crust! :)


Lemon Garlic Chicken

My mom treats my little family to this TASTY meal quite often. We always gobble it up and try to SNEAK leftovers home with us (if there is any!). The best thing about this is that my mom got it from Weight Watchers, so it's actually HEALTHY too! She's adjusted it over the years I'm sure, but it's pretty BASIC and, of course, easy.

Lemon Garlic Chicken
1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed (about 1-inch cubes)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (14-ounce) can low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried parsley

Put oil in a large frying pan. Add chicken and garlic and saute until chicken is done. Mix the chicken broth with the cornstarch; add lemon juice. Add broth mixture to chicken in pan and heat to boiling. Stir constantly until sauce thickens. Stir in parsley and serve over brown or white rice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes 4–6 servings.

TIP: Try adding fresh parsley instead of dried if you have it!


Chocolate Football Cake

Wow! Can you believe the SUPER BOWL is just around the corner? I posted a bunch of APPETIZERS throughout the month of December, plus a few more thrown in for good measure in January, so check those out for your Super Bowl PARTY. However, this cute cut-up cake is always a hit at any FOOTBALL party. It's from my Easy Cut-Up Cakes for Kids book and, of course, is super easy to make!

Photo © Zac Williams

Football Cake
1 chocolate cake mix
Chocolate frosting
1 large tube white frosting

1. Make cake mix according to package directions. Bake cake as directed on box for a 9 x 13-inch pan. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes, and invert and cool completely on a wire rack.
2. Cut the cake according to the diagram below and throw away or eat the unused pieces.
3. Frost the entire cake with chocolate frosting. Using the white tube frosting or a decorator's bag, draw a white line in the center of the football and then the smaller white lines across it to look like the football laces.
4. On each end of the football, draw curved white lines for the football's stripes.

TIP: Using 1 to 2 large tubes of green frosting, create grass around the football by putting the end of tube right up against the bottom of the football and pulling out while pressing on the tube.