Cracker Crumb Chicken

This is one of the first recipes Mom taught each of us to make, so if you’re teaching someone to cook — or just trying it out for yourself — this is a wonderful “get started” recipe.  Most importantly, you’ll love it whether you’re a novice or a pro.  Simple can definitely be delicious.  ~Tracy

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Cracker Crumb Chicken
    Ingredients:
  • ~½ c. butter or margarine
  • ~1 sleeve saltine crackers, crushed
  • ~½ c. Panko bread crumbs
  • ~½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ~1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (more or less to your taste in spice)
  • ~½ tsp. salt
  • ~½ tsp black pepper
  • ~4 medium sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  1. Place each chicken breast between two sheets of wax paper. Pound each breast to around 1 in. thickness using a flat meat mallet or rolling pin.
  2. Melt butter in microwave safe dish.
  3. Combine crushed crackers, Panko, garlic powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper in a large plastic zipper bag (e.g. Ziploc).
  4. Dip each chicken breast into melted butter covering both sides. Drop the buttered chicken breast into the crumb mixture. Close the bag and roll the chicken breast around in the bag to coat all sides with crumb mixture. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Repeat this process for each chicken breast. Sprinkle some of the remaining cracker crumbs onto the top of each chicken breast.
  5. Bake on 375 for approx. 40 minutes or until center of chicken is no longer pink and juices are clear. (Internal temp of the chicken should reach 165 F.)

If you don’t have Panko bread crumbs, this recipe can easily be made with just a few extra cracker crumbs to make up the difference. If crackers begin to become too brown before chicken is done, loosely lay a sheet of foil on top of pan to avoid overbrowning.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/05/14/cracker-crumb-chicken/

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Thai-Style Peanut Chicken Wraps

I love Thai food; peanut sauce is one of my favorite flavors. I mixed this Thai-style sauce up at home for a lighter version of the restaurant favorite. Served in a wrap with a slaw blend and grilled chicken, this makes a great lunch or summer supper! ~Erin

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First, mix the lime juice, honey, powdered peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger & sriracha in a small bowl.

Arrange each wrap with ½ of a sliced grilled chicken breast and about ½ a cup of slaw blend. This is the slaw mix I use but any broccoli slaw will work.

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Drizzle each with 1 T. peanut sauce and top with 5 grams (about a teaspoon) of chopped peanuts.

Wrap it up and enjoy!

Thai-Style Peanut Chicken Wraps
    Ingredients:
  • ~ juice of one lime
  • ~ 1 T. honey
  • ~ 3 T. powdered peanut butter (I used PB2.)
  • ~ 1 T. low sodium soy sauce
  • ~ 1/8 tsp. ginger paste or freshly grated ginger, optional (not pictured)
  • ~ A few drops of Sriracha, optional
  • ~ 2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced (I seasoned mine with salt, pepper, & garlic powder.)
  • ~ Bagged slaw blend (I like the one that’s broccoli slaw, shredded Brussels sprouts, kale, carrots, and cabbage. Regular broccoli slaw would work too.)
  • ~ ¾ oz. (or 20 grams) dry roasted peanuts, chopped
  • ~ 4 wraps of choice (I use Ole Xtreme Low Carb High Fiber Wraps.)
  1. Mix lime juice, honey, powdered peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger & sriracha in a small bowl.
  2. Arrange each wrap with ½ of a sliced grilled chicken breast and about ½ a cup of slaw blend.
  3. Drizzle each with 1 T. peanut sauce and top with 5 grams (about a teaspoon) of chopped peanuts.
  4. Wrap it up and enjoy!

Weight Watchers Info: This makes 4 servings.

Peanut sauce = 2 Freestyle SmartPoints per Tablespoon. 5 grams chopped peanuts = 1 SmartPoint.

The chicken and slaw mix are both zero SmartPoints.

If you use the same wrap I did, they are 1 SmartPoint each.

Total per wrap: 4 Freestyle SmartPoints each!

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/05/10/thai-style-peanut-chicken-wraps/

Luscious Lemon Blueberry Cake

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In case you haven’t noticed, choosing your birthday cake is a big deal in our family.  It often takes weeks of contemplation and meditation to make the choice.  My husband has a tendency to lean toward the fruit flavors, so his latest birthday cake request was this lemon beauty.  Generous amounts of lemon and big blueberries can almost make you think you’re eating something healthy.  ~Tracy

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Luscious Lemon Blueberry Cake
    Cake Ingredients:
  • ~1 c. soft butter
  • ~1 ¼ c. sugar
  • ~½ c. brown sugar
  • ~4 eggs at room temperature
  • ~2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ~1 c. buttermilk
  • ~Zest and juice from 3 lemons
  • ~3 c. sifted all-purpose flour
  • ~1 T. baking powder
  • ~1 small package (3.4 oz.) Vanilla Jell-O Instant Pudding
  • ~½ tsp. salt
  • ~2 c. blueberries
  • ~1 T. flour
    Frosting Ingredients:
  • ~12 oz. cream cheese
  • ~½ c. softened butter
  • ~3 ½ c. powdered sugar to start; you may need to add more as you mix
  • ~Pinch salt
  • ~1 tsp. vanilla
  • ~Zest and juice from 2 lemons
    Cake Instructions:
  1. In large mixing bowl or bowl of your electric stand mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add in sugar and brown sugar and cream well together.
  2. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, mixing slightly after each. When all eggs are incorporated, beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes.
  3. Add buttermilk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Mix well.
  4. Add dry ingredients (pudding, flour, salt, baking powder) and mix just until incorporated.
  5. Toss the blueberries in the 1T. of flour. Gently fold into batter.
  6. Pour batter equally into 3 prepared* cake pans. You can use 2 pans if you prefer, but you will need to adjust the cooking time.
  7. Bake at 350ºF for approximately 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow each cake to cool for 10 minutes, then remove / turn them out of the pan.
  8. Cool cakes completely before attempting to frost. Cakes are easier to frost of you allow them to sit in a freezer for a few hours after removing them from their baking pan.
  9. *For this cake, I use 3 9” round cake pans. I recommend lining the bottom of each pan with a circle of parchment paper. Spray the top of the parchment and the sides of the pan with a flour baking spray to ensure easy removal from the pan.
    Frosting Instructions:
  1. For the frosting, cream together cream cheese with butter.
  2. Gradually add powdered sugar and salt and cream together with cream cheese mixture.
  3. Add zest and juice from 2 large lemons and 1 tsp. of vanilla. Mix on medium speed. You may need to add a little more powdered sugar to achieve the right frosting consistency. Making homemade frosting is not an exact science. If you accidentally feel like you’ve gotten your frosting too thick, add 1 T. of milk to thin.
    Instructions for Layering Cake with Frosting:
  1. Be sure cakes are completely cooled.
  2. Stack layers of cake with your preferred amount of frosting between each layer. Use remaining frosting to cover top and sides of cake.
https://foursistersdish.com/2018/05/07/luscious-lemon-blueberry-cake/

Mexican Chicken Lasagna

Sometimes a change from the classics is a good thing.  Variety is the spice of life, right?  I LOVE a good, classic, tomato-y lasagna!  Well this is an upgraded, creamy, flavorful chicken version of lasagna.  Low-cal it is not, but it is comfort food at its finest.  I used rotisserie chicken, so this goes together in a flash.  Everyone at the table will be asking for seconds of this one!   ~Kathy

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Preheat oven to 375˚.

In a bowl, season shredded chicken with cumin, chili powder, garlic, salt and pepper.  Stir in onion, green chilies, salsa verde and ¾ c. pepper jack cheese.  Combine well.

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In the bottom of a baking dish, spread a small amount of the chicken mixture.

Top with layer of lasagna noodles which have been pre-moistened with water (I just run them under a slightly running faucet).  Spread with another layer of the chicken mixture.  Spoon or pour Crema Mexicana over the entire layer, paying close attention not to skimp around the edges.  Drizzle about 1 ½ T. of chicken broth on each layer.  Top with a layer of shredded Mozzarella and pepper jack.

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Continue building casserole alternating between layers of dampened noodles, green chili-chicken mixture, Crema Mexicana, chicken broth and shredded cheeses.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven for 35 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue baking another 5-10 minutes until cheese on top has melted and the entire casserole is bubbling and hot.  Allow the casserole to rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

 

Mexican Chicken Lasagna
    Ingredients
  • 3 c. cooked, shredded chicken (I used rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 ½ c. shredded pepper jack cheese, divided
  • 2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 (15 oz.) container Cacique Crema Mexicana (table cream)
  • 2 (7 oz.) cans fire roasted diced green chilies
  • 1 c. green taco sauce (or salsa verde)
  • 1/3 c. finely diced onion
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ c. chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 to 16 no-boil lasagna noodles (also called oven ready)
  1. Preheat oven to 375˚.
  2. In a bowl, season shredded chicken with cumin, chili powder, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir in onion, green chilies, salsa verde and ¾ c. pepper jack cheese. Combine well.
  3. In the bottom of a baking dish, spread a small amount of the chicken mixture.
  4. Top with layer of lasagna noodles which have been pre-moistened with water (I just run them under a slightly running faucet).
  5. Spread with another layer of the chicken mixture.
  6. Spoon or pour Crema Mexicana over the entire layer, paying close attention not to skimp around the edges.
  7. Drizzle about 1 ½ T. of chicken broth on each layer.
  8. Top with a layer of shredded Mozzarella and pepper jack.
  9. Continue building casserole alternating between layers of dampened noodles, green chili-chicken mixture, Crema Mexicana, chicken broth and shredded cheeses.
  10. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven for 35 minutes.
  11. Remove the foil and continue baking another 5-10 minutes until cheese on top has melted and the entire casserole is bubbling and hot.
  12. Allow the casserole to rest at least 5 minutes before serving.
https://foursistersdish.com/2018/05/03/mexican-chicken-lasagna/

Italian Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf

This recipe came to me in church cookbook from a small town in western Oklahoma. I’ve adapted the recipe over the years but the original is from Rita from Fairview. I don’t know Rita but I am grateful to her for this recipe. Church cookbooks are the best, aren’t they? I’m always looking for new ones to add to my collection. They are always full of tried and true family recipes and time tested pot-luck favorites. I go through them page by page, flagging recipes I want to try with sticky-notes. This is one of those recipes I’ve had flagged for a long time. I keep coming back to it, making notes in the margins when I make it. It’s a good one, this meatloaf. Picture a giant stuffed Italian meatball. I serve it over spaghetti because, of course you have to have spaghetti with a giant cheesy meatball. Italian dinner perfection! ~Erin

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Making this Italian Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf is so much faster and easier than making a million little meatballs, but you get similar results (only cheesier). Start by preheating the oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl combine ground beef, onion, egg, 1 T. Italian seasoning, garlic, ¼ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper, and 1/3 cup of tomato sauce (reserve the remainder); mix until well combined.

Mix breadcrumbs into meat mixture until just combined. Do not overmix.

Turn the meat mixture out onto plastic wrap or wax paper. Pat into a large rectangle. (Please excuse the blurry photo… my 11-year-old took it. 🙂 )

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Sprinkle the meat evenly with both cheeses. (Keeping it real with my cooking mess in the background.)

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Begin to roll the meat by pulling the plastic wrap up and toward you. Continue forming into a roll and tuck the ends under.

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Transfer the roll to a large baking dish; set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together 1 can plus what’s left of the other can of tomato sauce, ½ T. garlic powder, ½ T. Italian seasoning, 1 tsp. onion powder, ¼ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper.

Pour tomato sauce mixture over meatloaf.

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Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 1 hour.

Serve over spaghetti, if desired.

Italian Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf
    Ingredients:
  • ~ 1 ½ lb. 96% lean ground beef
  • ~ 1 small onion or ½ a large onion, finely diced
  • ~ 1 egg, beaten
  • ~ 1 ½ T. Italian seasoning, divided
  • ~ 1 T. minced fresh garlic
  • ~ ½ tsp. salt, divided
  • ~ ½ tsp. black pepper, divided
  • ~ 2 cans (15 oz. each) tomato sauce, divided
  • ~ 1 c. garlic & herb seasoned bread crumbs (I use Progresso.)
  • ~ ½ T. garlic powder
  • ~ 1 tsp. onion powder
  • ~ 1 ½ c. low-moisture part-skim shredded Mozzarella
  • ~ ½ c. shredded (not grated) parmesan cheese
  • ~ fresh chopped basil, for garnish (optional)
  • ~ cooked spaghetti noodles, for serving (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl combine ground beef, onion, egg, 1 T. Italian seasoning, garlic, ¼ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper, and 1/3 cup of tomato sauce (reserve the remainder); mix until well combined.
  3. Mix breadcrumbs into meat mixture until just combined. Do not overmix.
  4. Turn the meat mixture out onto plastic wrap or wax paper. Pat into a large rectangle.
  5. Sprinkle the meat evenly with both cheeses.
  6. Begin to roll the meat by pulling the plastic wrap up and toward you. Continue forming into a roll and tuck the ends under.
  7. Transfer the roll to a large baking dish; set aside.
  8. In a medium bowl, mix together 1 can plus what’s left of the other can of tomato sauce, ½ T. garlic powder, ½ T. Italian seasoning, 1 tsp. onion powder, ¼ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper.
  9. Pour tomato sauce mixture over meatloaf.
  10. Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 1 hour.
  11. Serve over spaghetti, if desired.

Weight Watchers info.: This recipe makes 8 slices at 6 Freestyle SmartPoints each. Don’t forget to add extra points if you serve over spaghetti.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/05/01/italian-cheese-stuffed-meatloaf/

Marinated Chicken Tacos

Fire up the grill for this recipe! If you are familiar with fresh Mexican grill Costa Vida restaurant chain, this is a copycat recipe for their grilled chicken.  It is used in all their chicken entrees from burritos to salads. I absolutely LOVE their grilled chicken! This recipe is wonderful for anything you would use grilled chicken in, but my family’s favorite is tacos.  And it’s great because it is really quick to mix together; score one for me! You might even want to make a double batch, grilling and freezing some for a quick heat-up option another day!  ~Kathy

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Marinated Chicken Tacos
    Ingredients:
  • ~ 3 lbs. chicken breast
  • ~ ½ c. olive oil
  • ~ 1 heaping T. fresh garlic, finely minced
  • ~ 3 T. all purpose seasoning (I used a combo of original Mrs. Dash & Emeril’s Original Essence.)
  • ~ 1 T. kosher salt
  • ~ ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ~ ½ tsp smoked paprika, optional
  • ~ Juice of 2 lemons
  1. Pat chicken dry. Trim all fat and cut each chicken breast in half, lengthwise.
  2. Add all other ingredients in a large Ziplock freezer bag. Mix to combine well. Add chicken, seal bag, and turn to coat chicken pieces completely.
  3. Place in refrigerator to marinate for 30-45 minutes, turning occasionally.
  4. Remove chicken from marinade; place on pre-heated, oiled grill. Grill on medium-low heat until cooked completely through. Chicken should reach 165 F. Chop chicken into bite sized pieces and serve warm in a soft tortilla with your favorite taco toppings.
https://foursistersdish.com/2018/04/26/marinated-chicken-tacos/

Easy Homemade Pizza Crust

We are not pizza snobs in our family.  Our table has been graced by so many boxes of Little Caesars $5 pizzas that it’s a little embarrassing.  That being said, I do love to make my own pizza crust and make ‘fancy’ pizza (if there is such a thing).  Homemade pizza crust is actually very easy – this practically foolproof recipe can be the start to some of the best family pizza nights you’ll ever have!  ~Tracy

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Here’s how to make it:

Sprinkle the yeast over the water in a small bowl.  Stir gently to dampen all yeast.

Combine the both types of flour and salt in mixing bowl.

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Gradually add the olive oil into the flour mixture until just mixed together.

Pour the yeast and water mixture into the flour and oil while mixing; preferably with the dough hook of a stand mixer.  If you do not have a stand mixer you can do this the old fashioned way – with your hands (spray them with cooking spray first to avoid everything sticking to your hands).  Dough should eventually form a ball and pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Swirl a little olive oil (or you can use cooking spray) around the bowl to avoid dough sticking.  Cover the top of the bowl loosely with parchment paper or a lightweight dish towel and allow to rise for approximately one hour or until at least doubled in size.

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Roll out dough on parchment sprayed with cooking spray (helps the dough not to stick) and slide both onto baking sheet or pizza stone.

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Add your favorite toppings and bake at 450 for 12 – 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

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*Makes two crusts approximately 12 x 12 inches.  Adjust the size of your pizza to control the thickness of crust.

*Hint – As dough is rising, you can set your mixing bowl on a heating pad to speed the rising process.

*Hint – If you don’t have wheat flour, using all white flour is perfectly fine.

Easy Homemade Pizza Crust
    Ingredients
  • ~3 ½ c. all purpose flour
  • ~½ c. whole wheat flour
  • ~1 package quick rise yeast
  • ~1 ½ c. warm (not hot) water
  • ~1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ~1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
  1. Sprinkle the yeast over the water in a small bowl. Stir gently to dampen all yeast.
  2. Combine the both types of flour and salt in mixing bowl.
  3. Gradually add the olive oil into the flour mixture until just mixed together.
  4. Pour the yeast and water mixture into the flour and oil while mixing; preferably with the dough hook of a stand mixer. If you do not have a stand mixer you can do this the old fashioned way – with your hands (spray them with cooking spray first to avoid everything sticking to your hands). Dough should eventually form a ball and pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  5. Swirl a little olive oil (or you can use cooking spray) around the bowl to avoid dough sticking. Cover the top of the bowl loosely with parchment paper or a lightweight dish towel and allow to rise for approximately one hour or until at least doubled in size.
  6. Roll out dough on parchment sprayed with cooking spray (helps the dough not to stick) and slide both onto baking sheet or pizza stone.
  7. Add your favorite toppings and bake at 450 for 12 - 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

*Makes two crusts approximately 12 x 12 inches. Adjust the size of your pizza to control the thickness of crust.

*Hint – As dough is rising, you can set your mixing bowl on a heating pad to speed the rising process.

*Hint – If you don’t have wheat flour, using all white flour is perfectly fine.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/04/24/easy-homemade-pizza-crust/

Jalapeno Popper Chicken Salad

My goodness it’s a busy time of year. All four of us sisters have been lamenting about the vast amounts of things that need checked off our daily to-do lists. Kids’ baseball games and other activities to shuttle them to, meetings & special trainings and deadlines at work, and various other responsibilities have got us run ragged and longing for one of our girls’ weekends.

Busy times like this call for meal prep. If I can find time to prep a few things to keep on-hand, we usually avoid the fast food drive thru. Last weekend I took the time to boil some chicken to use in various dishes this week. Having cooked chicken in the fridge or freezer is a major time saver on busy weeks… same for bacon (and ground beef). I like to cook up several pounds of bacon, freeze it in a single layer on a cookie sheet (so it won’t stick together), then transfer it to a freezer baggie. A few seconds in the microwave thaws it right out. Bonus: pre-cooking your own bacon is much cheaper than buying the pre-cooked kind at the grocery store.

Since I (almost) always have boiled shredded chicken and cooked bacon in the fridge or freezer, it takes no time to throw this Jalapeno Popper Chicken Salad together for lunch or a quick, no-bake dinner. I serve it on a low carb wrap with some fresh baby spinach. Quick, easy, and so much better than a cold cut sandwich! ~Erin

Here’s the Reader’s Digest Version of how to make it:

Chop up 2 jalapenos. This is how I cut them. Cut out the ribs & veins if you don’t like the heat. Leave some of the ribs if you like a little spice!

Salt & pepper the shredded chicken a bit (you can add more later if needed).

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Throw in some Greek yogurt, mayo, lime juice, and a little jarred jalapeno pickling brine if you’re so inclined. Stir it up! Then stir in the bacon and fresh jalapeno pieces.

Lastly, stir in the cheese. I do this last so I don’t totally obliterate the shreds but I don’t know if it really matters. It just makes me feel better to be gentle with the cheese. Ha!

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Ready to serve! I like mine on a wrap with some baby spinach. It’s good on some toasted bread too or just served on a plate with some Ritz crackers. Enjoy!

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Jalapeno Popper Chicken Salad
    Ingredients:
  • ~ 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or 12 ounces cooked & shredded)
  • ~ 2 fresh jalapenos
  • ~ ¼ c. plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • ~ ¼ c. light mayonnaise
  • ~ 6 slices center cut bacon, cooked crisp & crumbled
  • ~ Juice of one lime
  • ~ 1 T. brine from a jar of pickled jalapenos, optional
  • ~ ½ cup fat free shredded cheddar cheese
  • ~ Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Boil & shred the chicken; set aside.
  2. Cut the tops off the jalapenos, slice, remove seeds and ribs (That’s where the heat is…leave some of the ribs if you like spicy.) and finely dice.
  3. Mix chopped jalapenos, shredded chicken, yogurt, mayo, bacon pieces, lime juice, pickled jalapeno brine, and cheddar cheese in a medium bowl.
  4. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
  5. Serve on toast, in a wrap with fresh baby spinach, or with Ritz Crackers.

Weight Watchers Info: This makes 4 servings of ½ cup each. Each serving is 3 Freestyle SmartPoints.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/04/19/jalapeno-popper-chicken-salad/

Cotija and Bacon Stuffed Chicken Breast

It was the famous Oklahoman, Will Rogers, who said “If you don’t like the weather in Oklahoma, wait a minute and it’ll change.”  As I type this, Oklahoma is one of those weeks during which the weather has fluctuated from near 90 to freeze warnings in the span of 7 days.  Somewhere I imagine our favorite native son is now saying, “See. Told ya!”   Around here, as we wait for a true spring to finally set in, we are grabbing the rare nice day to fire up our grill and at least pretend the weather will stay warmer!  And seriously folks, when you’re eating chicken stuffed with melted cheese and bacon, and covered with more cheese, the weather really doesn’t matter!  ~Tracy

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Ingredients:

~ 4, 4 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts

~ 1 tsp. garlic powder

~ 2 tsp. seasoned salt (I use Lawry’s.)

~ 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

~ 4 oz. part skim Cotija cheese (I use Cacique brand.)

~ 3 T. Hormel Real Bacon Bits (no imitation)

~ 2 slices reduced fat pepper jack cheese

~ 8 toothpicks soaked in water for a few minutes

 

Trim any excess fat from chicken breasts.  Place chicken breasts on paper towels and pat dry (seasonings stick better to dry meat).

Combine garlic powder, seasoned salt, and cayenne pepper; set aside.

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Using a very sharp knife, split open each chicken breast leaving the edge attached to create a sort of envelope for the cheese and bacon.

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Sprinkle the seasoning mixture over what will be the outside of each chicken breast.

Crumble 4 oz. of Cotija cheese and put ¼ of the cheese inside each chicken breast.

Sprinkle the bacon bits equally inside each breast with the cheese.

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Use toothpicks to pin each chicken breast closed to keep the cheese and bacon from falling out.  (Soaking toothpicks in water keeps them from burning on your grill.)

Carefully place each chicken breast on your pre-heated grill to cook, turning occasionally being careful not to spill out cheese and bacon.

Grill each stuffed chicken breast until it reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees.  Juices should be clear.

Just before each chicken breast is done, place ½ slice of pepper jack cheese on each piece of chicken.  Remove from heat when chicken is done and cheese is melted.  Cheese will melt within about a minute on a hot grill.

Remove toothpicks before serving.

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Cotija and Bacon Stuffed Chicken Breast
    Ingredients
  • ~ 4, 4 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • ~ 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ~ 2 tsp. seasoned salt (I use Lawry’s.)
  • ~ 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ~ 4 oz. part skim Cotija cheese (I use Cacique brand.)
  • ~ 3 T. Hormel Real Bacon Bits (no imitation)
  • ~ 2 slices reduced fat pepper jack cheese
  • ~ 8 toothpicks soaked in water for a few minutes
  1. Trim any excess fat from chicken breasts. Place chicken breasts on paper towels and pat dry (seasonings stick better to dry meat).
  2. Combine garlic powder, seasoned salt, and cayenne pepper; set aside.
  3. Using a very sharp knife, split open each chicken breast leaving the edge attached to create a sort of envelope for the cheese and bacon.
  4. Sprinkle the seasoning mixture over what will be the outside of each chicken breast.
  5. Crumble 4 oz. of Cotija cheese and put ¼ of the cheese inside each chicken breast.
  6. Sprinkle the bacon bits equally inside each breast with the cheese.
  7. Use toothpicks to pin each chicken breast closed to keep the cheese and bacon from falling out. (Soaking toothpicks in water keeps them from burning on your grill.)
  8. Carefully place each chicken breast on your pre-heated grill to cook, turning occasionally being careful not to spill out cheese and bacon.
  9. Grill each stuffed chicken breast until it reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees. Juices should be clear.
  10. Just before each chicken breast is done, place ½ slice of pepper jack cheese on each piece of chicken. Remove from heat when chicken is done and cheese is melted. Cheese will melt within about a minute on a hot grill.
  11. Remove toothpicks before serving.

Weight Watchers Info.: This recipe makes 4 servings. Each stuffed chicken breast is 5 Freestyle SmartPoints.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/04/16/cotija-and-bacon-stuffed-chicken/

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry

My daughter turns 11 this week. She’s just like I was as a kid in that she starts planning her next birthday celebration the minute her previous birthday ends. I have to put the kibosh on some of her wild hair ideas but I try to always allow one or two. This year we are taking her and a few of her friends to the zoo and she wants to go dressed as unicorns. Yes, unicorns. I ordered unicorn horns as party favors and she’s created unicorn shirts, complete with rainbow colored tails attached. Good thing she’s crafty.

She also wants a 3 layer cookie cake. Not a plain cookie cake. A sugar cookie cake with 3 layers, frosting between, and sprinkles. It’s a little unexpected (as usual) but honestly it sounds divine so, challenge accepted. (I’m sure you’ll be seeing that soft sugar cookie recipe here on the blog soon. I got it from Kathy and it’s THE BEST. Keep your eyes open for it.)

She also requested this Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry for her birthday. Just kidding, that’s a lie. Hahaha, she’s 11, she wants pizza. Surprisingly though, as my more picky child, she actually will eat this stir fry. I know that doesn’t sound like a glowing recommendation but I promise it is. She usually turns up her nose at vegetables mixed in with meat. Not this one. She mostly eats the broccoli and chicken out, but I ain’t complaining if she eats it at all! My son likes it but he eats like a grown up. Anybody else out there have a picky eater? (All the moms raise their hands.) There’s one in every family.

This stir fry is one of our mom’s creations. Mom has always liked to create new recipes, and this is one she came up with not long ago and shared with us at one of our visits to her house. I immediately asked for the recipe. Thanks, Momma! It’s made with basic ingredients but is packed with flavor… spicy without being hot, and has a hint of salty sweetness as well. What can I say, our mom knows how to cook! ~Erin

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Ingredients:

8 T. red pepper jelly (found in the jelly isle)

4 T. Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce

½ tsp. ginger paste or freshly grated ginger

1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces

Seasoning of your choice for chicken (I used a prepackaged Asian seasoning but salt, pepper, and garlic powder would be fine too.)

1 large white or yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 T. garlic, minced or pressed (I use pre-minced jarred garlic)

1 yellow, 1 orange, 1 red, and 1 green bell pepper, deseeded sliced into strips

2 small heads of broccoli (about 3 cups), cut into small florets; discard stems

2 ½ T. sesame oil or olive oil, divided

Prepared rice, red pepper flakes, chopped green onions, and/or more soy sauce for serving (optional)

Instructions:

In a small bowl, whisk together red pepper jelly, soy sauce, and ginger; set aside.

In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 T. oil over medium high heat. Cook the seasoned chicken a few minutes on each side, until lightly browned and cooked through; remove from pan and set aside.

In the same skillet, heat 1 T. oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook until onions are tender and becoming translucent (about 5-6 mintues, stirring often).

Increase heat to medium and add ½ T. more oil. Add all the bell peppers and cook until they start to get tender.

Add the broccoli and cook for 3-4 minutes, until tender but not overly soft.

Add the cooked chicken & sauce to the pan with the veggies; cook & stir until evenly coated & heated throughout.

Serve over rice with more soy sauce if desired.

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Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry
    Ingredients
  • ~ 8 T. red pepper jelly (found in the jelly isle)
  • ~ 4 T. Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
  • ~ ½ tsp. ginger paste or freshly grated ginger
  • ~ 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
  • ~ Seasoning of your choice for chicken (I used a prepackaged Asian seasoning but salt, pepper, and garlic ~ powder would be fine too.)
  • ~ 1 large white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • ~ 1 T. garlic, minced or pressed (I use pre-minced jarred garlic)
  • ~ 1 yellow, 1 orange, 1 red, and 1 green bell pepper, deseeded sliced into strips
  • ~ 2 small heads of broccoli (about 3 cups), cut into small florets; discard stems
  • ~ 2 ½ T. sesame oil or olive oil, divided
  • ~ Prepared rice, red pepper flakes, chopped green onions, and/or more soy sauce for serving (optional)
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together red pepper jelly, soy sauce, and ginger; set aside.
  2. In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 T. oil over medium high heat. Cook the seasoned chicken a few minutes on each side, until lightly browned and cooked through; remove from pan and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, heat 1 T. oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook until onions are tender and becoming translucent (about 5-6 mintues, stirring often).
  4. Increase heat to medium and add ½ T. more oil. Add all the bell peppers and cook until they start to get tender.
  5. Add the broccoli and cook for 3-4 minutes, until tender but not overly soft.
  6. Add the cooked chicken & sauce to the pan with the veggies; cook & stir until evenly coated & heated throughout.
  7. Serve over rice with more soy sauce if desired.

Weight Watchers Info.: This recipe makes 8 servings. Each 1 ½ cups serving is 4 SmartPoints on Freestyle, not including rice.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/04/12/sweet-spicy-chicken-stir-fry/