99 Types of Chicken: # 3 Cheezy Cheez-it Chicken

I know it has been a long time since I’ve done a blog post.  Working 50-60 hours a week makes it hard to find time to blog, or do much of anything.

So finally here is a tasty chicken recipe, quick enough to be made on weeknights.  Next I will need to be planning all the holiday food: Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and Christmas cookies!  I’ll probably need to run a marathon every week…

But anyways, back to the chicken.  This Cheezy Cheez-it Chicken is similar to my Pepperoni Pizza Chicken, but has a completely different taste because the marinara and mozzarella are replaced with ranch dressing and colby cheese.

It all starts with a beautiful, crunchy crust of Cheez-it crackers.  You can use any of the cheese flavors – cheddar, white cheddar, parmesan, four cheese, etc.

cheez-it coated chicken

I didn’t want this chicken to be too dry, which is why I added the ranch dressing.  The ranch adds a nice punch of flavor.  I prefer Ken’s, but use whichever brand you like best.

cheez-it chicken with ranch

Since we have cheese cracker coating, it is only fitting that we add some cheese on top.  I used a colby-monterey jack blend, but cheddar would be good too.

Cheezy Cheez-it Chicken

No need to transfer the chicken to the oven or broiler.  I just let the cheese melt in the pan over low heat for a few minutes.  If you’re looking for a new chicken recipe, give this one a try.  It is relatively quick and easy and has lots of flavor.

 

Cheezy Cheez-it Chicken

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Tender chicken with a crunchy Cheez-it crust, topped with ranch dressing and shredded cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or cutlets
  • 1 Tb butter
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 Tb water
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 cups crushed Cheez-it crackers, any cheese flavor
  • 4-8 Tb ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup shredded colby-monterey jack or cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. If using chicken breasts, slice the breasts horizontally and flatten them to the desired thickness (if using chicken cutlets, skip this step).  Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour.  Next, dip the chicken in the beaten egg mixed with water.  Finally, dip both sides of the chicken in the crushed Cheez-it cracker crumbs (the finer your crumbs, the better they will stick).  Let the coated chicken rest while preparing pan.
  2. Heat 1 Tb butter and 1 Tb olive oil in a skillet over high heat.  Add the chicken to the skillet.  Cook the chicken on each side until browned, about 3 minutes per side.  Make sure the first side is fully-browned and crispy before you flip it to the other side (this will make sure your coating stays adhered).  Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking chicken on both sides until cooked through, about 10 minutes per side.
  3. Pour 1 or 2 Tb of ranch dressing on each chicken cutlet.  Then top with the shredded cheese.  Let the chicken stay in the pan over low heat for a few minutes until the cheese starts to melt, then serve.

99-taste.com

99 Flavors of Soup: #1 Lasagna Soup

The coming of fall and winter means it’s time to pull out the soup pot (even though it’s still close to 90 degrees in Georgia).  This Lasagna Soup is flavorful and hearty, full of ground beef, cheese tortellini, tomatoes and spices.  Bonus – it can be made in about 30 minutes.  My daughter declared it one of my best recipes yet.

You start by sauteing some onions, then adding spices, tomatoes, and chicken broth.  Your kitchen will start to smell amazing while it is simmering.

 

simmering lasagna soup

Using high quality tortellini is important.  I used Buitoni brand from the refrigerated section of the supermarket, not dried tortellini.

Lasagna Soup

Of course, what would lasagna be without cheese.  Once ladled into the bowl, I topped this soup with a slice of mozzarella, which melts right into the soup.  Yum!

Lasagna Soup with Cheese

Lasagna Soup

  • Servings: about 8
  • Print

A hearty soup full of ground beef, cheese tortellini, and tomatoes, topped with mozzarella cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 cups cheese tortellini (fresh refrigerated, not dried)
  • 1 Tb butter
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 ts basil, dried
  • 1 ts parsley, dried
  • 1/2 ts garlic, minced
  • 1/2 ts Italian seasoning
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 14.5 oz. can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 14.5 oz can whole tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 ts sugar
  • 1 ts salt
  • 1/4 ts pepper
  • mozzarella cheese, sliced

Directions

  1. Crumble ground beef in a skillet and cook over medium-high heat until browned.  
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the chopped onions and cook until soft, about 8 minutes.  Add the basil, parsley, garlic and Italian seasoning.  Pour in the chicken broth and stir.  Crush the whole tomatoes (using your hands works best) and add to the soup.  If the stewed tomatoes are large, chop them into smaller pieces and add them to the soup.  Stir in the tomato sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil.
  3. Add the cheese tortellini.  Boil for 3 minutes or until the pasta is soft.  Drain the grease from the ground beef and stir the meat into the soup.
  4. Reduce heat to simmer.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a slice of mozzarella cheese.

99-taste.com 

99 Kinds of Bread: #4 Savory Monkey Bread Muffins

Monkey bread doesn’t have to be sweet.  Nor does it need to be baked in a bundt pan.  These monkey bread rolls are cheesy and savory and baked in a muffin pan.  They make a nice addition to an Italian meal, pizza, or soup.

Using refrigerated biscuit dough helps this recipe become quick and easy.  Simply start by cutting each biscuit into 6-8 small pieces.  Then toss them in a large bowl with melted butter, seasonings, and cheese.

20180901_171450.jpg

biscuit pieces with seasoning and cheese

After that, you smoosh several of the biscuit pieces into each opening of a muffin pan.  Make sure you smash them down a little bit, so that the pieces with stick together once baked.

savory monkey bread muffins ready for baking

Once they come out of the oven, they are puffed up into cheesy, golden bread muffins.

Savory Monkey Bread Muffins

You can either take a big bite outta these or tear off the little chunks of biscuit one by one.  Enjoy!

Savory Monkey Bread Mufins

Savory Monkey Bread Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Print

Monkey bread in muffin form with seasonings and cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 16 oz. tube refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
  • 2 Tb butter, melted
  • 1/4 mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup colby monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 ts dried parsley
  • 1/4 ts seasoning salt
  • cooking spray

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Cut each biscuit into 6-8 pieces.  Place biscuit pieces in a large bowl and pour melted butter on top.  Stir/flip biscuit pieces to coat.  Add seasoning salt and parsley.  Stir to coat.  Finally add both cheeses and toss the biscuit pieces until they are covered in cheese.  They will be sticking together, which is ok.
  3. Smash several biscuit pieces into each well of the muffin pan.  The biscuits should come to the top of each opening.  Fill until all of the biscuits have been used.
  4. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the muffins are golden brown.

99-taste.com 

99 Flavors of Muddy Buddies: #1 Fruity Pebble Muddy Buddies

For some bizarre reason, I have not had muddy buddies, aka puppy chow in years.  Many years.  Then I happened to buy a bag of the pre-made stuff at the grocery store because it was buy one get one free.  I thought they’d be a good snack for my daughter’s school lunches since she’s had to eliminate some other snacks due to getting braces.  Well, she thought the muddy buddies were awesome and suggested we make some different flavors at home.  Thus, the beginning of 99 flavors of muddy buddies has been born.

We started with fruity pebbles.  My daughter is the official smasher.

fruity pebbles and rice chex

Adding white chocolate and powdered sugar makes this snack super addicting.

Fruity Pebble Muddy Buddies

I love that muddy buddies are no bake and can be made in just 15 minutes.  I can tell this is going to turn into a new obsession.

Fruity Pebble Muddy Buddies

The fruity pebbles add such a wonderful pop of color to this snack.  I may need to add this to my Christmas Eve menu.

Fruity Pebble Muddy Buddies

  • Servings: 6
  • Print

Chex mixed with white chocolate, fruity pebbles, and powdered sugar

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rice Chex
  • 3/4 cup Fruity Pebbles cereal, finely crushed
  • 1/4 cup Fruity Pebbles cereal, not crushed
  • 4 oz. white chocolate
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, gently stir the crushed fruity pebbles with the rice chex, being careful not to break the chex.
  2. Melt the white chocolate according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  I use Baker’s chocolate, microwaving it for 30 seconds and then 10 second intervals until melted.  Stir the chocolate until it is completely smooth and has no lumps.
  3. Pour the white chocolate over the chex mix.  Stir and add the powdered sugar and un-crushed fruity pebbles.  Mix until the chex pieces are coated.  Store in an airtight container.

99-taste.com 

99 Types of Cookies: #5 Chocolate Caramel Swirl Cookies

These cookies are so pretty; I may need to add them to my Christmas cookie platter this year.  This is a small batch recipe, so be ready for them to be gone.  Half chocolate cookie and half caramel cookie – the caramel cookie half is especially yummy!

Look at this cookie dough with melted caramel ready to be mixed in…I wanted to eat this right out of the bowl.  I’ll definitely have to come up with an edible caramel cookie dough.

caramel cookie dough

You don’t need to swirl the cookie dough together.  Simply scooping a small amount of each kind of cookie dough into a cookie scoop will result in a partially marbled cookie.

chocolate caramel cookie dough blob

As I mentioned, this is a small batch recipe.  I only had one dozen delicious cookies to eat.

chocolate caramel swirl cookies ready for baking

So here is how these cookies turn out: beautiful, swirled, soft, chocolately, and slightly sweet.

Chocolate Caramel Swirl Cookies

They are a nice change to the typical cookie contenders.

Chocolate Caramel Swirl Cookie

Enjoy a stack of these delicious cookies.

stack of chocolate caramel swirl cookies

Chocolate Caramel Swirl Cookies

  • Servings: about 1 dozen cookies
  • Print

Half chocolate, half caramel cookies

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter, softened but still cold
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 ts vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 ts baking soda
  • 1/2 ts salt
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup caramel bits
  • 1 Tb heavy cream

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Beat the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla.  Beat well.  Add 3/4 cups of flour, the baking soda, and salt, and beat on low speed until mixed.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt the caramel bits over medium-low heat.  Stir in the heavy cream and a dash of salt.  Cook and stir until melted and smooth.
  4. Divide the cookie dough in half.  To one half, stir in the cocoa powder.  To the other half, add 1/4 cup more flour and the melted caramel.  Stir until well mixed.
  5. With a cookie scoop, scoop up a little bit of each dough (chocolate and caramel).  Drop on the parchment lined cookie sheet several inches apart.  Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes.

99taste.com

 

99 Kinds of Bread: #3 Parmesan Panko-Crusted Cheese Bombs

I keep feeling like it should be cool out, but when I step outside it is still hot and humid.  That is what September is like in the south.  However, it’s football season, and these cheese bombs are great football food.  Soft and cheesy, with a crunchy top, they are quite tasty.

Using refrigerated biscuit dough makes this recipe easy.  Simply flatten the biscuits, add some mozzarella, and pull all the edges up to seal.  Make sure you pinch the dough tight so that the cheese stays enclosed.

flattened biscuit dough

biscuit dough with mozzarella

closed cheese bombs

Next comes a butter bath and the crunchy, garlicky topping.

parmesan-panko crusted cheese bombs ready for baking

Upon baking, these cheese bombs turn a beautiful golden color.

a parmesan-panko crusted cheese bomb fresh from the oven

My family just loved these.  They also make a great accompaniment to pizza or pasta.

Parmesan Panko-Crusted Cheese Bombs

Parmesan Panko-Crusted Cheese Bombs

  • Servings: 8
  • Print

Fluffy mozzarella filled cheese bombs topped with a parmesan, garlic, and crunchy panko breadcrumbs

Ingredients

  • 1 16 oz. tube refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
  • 1-2 Tb butter, melted
  • 4 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tb grated parmesan
  • 1/8 ts garlic salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a shallow bowl combine the panko breadcrumbs, parmesan, and garlic salt.
  3. Lay the biscuits on the parchment paper and press to flatten.  Place 1-2 tablespoons of shredded mozzarella onto the center of the each biscuit.  Pull the edges up and over the cheese and pinch to seal.
  4. Roll each cheese bomb in the melted butter, then press the top side (without the seam) into the breadcrumb mixture.  Lay seam side down on the parchment paper.
  5. Bake on the top rack of the oven for 10 minutes or until slightly browned.

99-taste.com 

99 Kinds of Bread: #2 Mini Cheese Cornbread Muffins

Sometimes you want an extra bite at dinner that doesn’t take too much effort.  These mini cheese cornbread muffins are just that.  They can be whipped up quickly and easily and add a tiny bit of something to your dinner plate.

Using a mini muffin pan produces a whole bunch of these little guys, so you have a big family there’s plenty for everyone.  Or if you’re just cooking for one or two, the leftovers save nicely and can be popped in the microwave.

mini cheese cornbread muffins pre-baking

I used sharp cheddar cheese in these, which complements nicely with the cornmeal.

Mini Cheese Cornbread Muffins

Since these were so simple, and tasty too, I’m sure they will become a new staple to my family’s dinner rotation.

Mini Cheese Cornbread Muffins

 

Mini Cheese Cornbread Muffins

  • Servings: about 24 mini muffins
  • Print

Mini muffins made with cornmeal, buttermilk and cheddar cheese

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 Tb sugar
  • 1/2 ts baking powder
  • 1/2 ts salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Generously grease a mini muffin pan with cooking spray.

2. Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Stir in the buttermilk and egg.  Beat until smooth.  Add the shredded sharp cheddar cheese and stir until fully mixed.

3. Pour the batter into the mini muffin pan, filling each hole about 2/3 full.  Bake on the top rack of the oven for 10 minutes.

99-taste.com 

99 Flavors of Pancakes: #1 Funfetti Pancakes

These Funfetti Pancakes are like eating dessert for breakfast.  They don’t taste far off from a donut, especially when drizzled with powdered sugar glaze.  I wanted to eat the whole stack (but I didn’t).

stack of funfetti pancakes

These whip up quickly, only requiring a couple of extra ingredients compared to plain pancakes.  I cooked mine on a griddle heated to 300 degrees.  You can also cook them in a large skillet or griddle pan on the stove top.

funfetti pancake batter cooking

I love the color added by the rainbow sprinkles.

Funfetti Pancakes

Fluffy and sweet, these pancakes are yummy!

Funfetti pancakes with glaze

Funfetti Pancakes

  • Servings: 6-12 pancakes depending on size
  • Print

Cake flavored pancakes with rainbow sprinkles and powdered sugar glaze

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cake mix
  • 2 ts white sugar
  • 1/2 ts baking powder
  • 1/2 ts baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 Tb vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup rainbow springkles

glaze ingredients

  • 3 Tb milk
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Directions

1. In a large bowl, combine flour, cake mix, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.  In a separate bowl, beat the egg with the buttermilk, milk, and oil.  Blend the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients using a wire whisk.  Whisk until smooth.  Gently fold in the sprinkles.

2. Heat a griddle to 300 degrees or heat a small amount of butter in a large skillet over high heat on the stove.  Once the butter is sizzling or the griddle has heated, pour circles of pancake batter to the desired size.  Cook for about 2 minutes, then flip.  Cook other side for 1-2 minutes.

3. To make powdered sugar glaze, heat milk in a small bowl (I did this in the microwave for 40 seconds).  Do not heat milk to boiling.  Stir in powdered sugar until smooth.  Serve glaze over pancakes.

99-taste.com

99 Flavors of Nachos: #1 Chicken Nachos

I love, love, love nachos, and I’ve come to love chicken nachos more than the ground beef variety.  The flavors and textures of salty, crunchy tortilla ships, spiced, shredded chicken, and gooey, melted cheese, come together so nicely.

Using pre-cooked chicken makes these nachos quick and easy.  I season and roast bone-in chicken breast in a 400 degree oven for about an hour.  Then I shred the meat and place portions into freezer bags for later, which can be used for soups, nachos, tacos, sandwiches, chicken and dumplings, the list goes on…

shredded chicken for nachos

Of course, what would nachos be without lots of cheese?  For chicken nachos, I use pepper jack, Monterey jack, and mozzarella – all soft cheeses that melt well and provide extra gooey-ness.

20180418_163336.jpg

For some extra spice, you can add sliced or pickled jalapenos.  Or if you prefer your nachos more cheesy and less spicy, you can omit them (like my daughter’s preference on the left).

Either way, they will be delicious!

Chicken Nachos

Chicken Nachos

  • Servings: about 6
  • Print

Nachos topped with shredded chicken, cheeses, and jalapenos.

506 calories per serving

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 ts garlic, minced
  • 1/2 ts salt
  • 1/4 ts cumin
  • 1 Tb hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 ts olive oil
  • 8-10 oz. tortilla chips
  • cooking spray

Topping Ingredients

  • 4 oz. pepper jack cheese, sliced
  • 4 oz. Monterey jack cheese, sliced
  • 4 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz. Colby Monterey jack cheese blend, shredded
  • sliced or pickled jalapenos

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a 9×13 inch pan generously with cooking spray.

2. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet.  Add the shredded chicken and chopped onion.  Cook for about 5 minutes until the onion is tender.  Add the taco seasoning, garlic, salt, cumin, and water.  Stir in the hot sauce.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer until most of the liquid has cooked off, but not all.  You want the meat to be a little juicy.

3. Spread the tortilla chips in the 9×13 pan.  Layer the sliced pepper jack and Monterey jack over the nachos.  Top with the chicken mixture.  Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheeses on top, along with sliced jalapenos.  Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

99-taste.com

99 Kinds of Sandwiches: # 1 Open-faced Italian Chicken Cutlet Sandwich

This Open-Faced Italian Chicken Cutlet Sandwich makes a great summer-time dinner.  The only prep work is cooking the chicken, which is quick because the chicken is pounded very thin.

chicken cutlets for italian open-faced sandwiches

Adding garlic bread, pesto, tomato, and mozzarella cheese to the chicken creates a flavorful sandwich.

Open-faced Italian Chicken Cutlet Sandwich

Thinly sliced tomato works best so as not to over-power the chicken.  After topping with mozzarella, you can pop the sandwich under the broiler, in the microwave, or leave as is.  Any way is delicious!

Open-faced Italian Chicken Cutlet Sandwich with melted cheese

Open-faced Italian Chicken Cutlet Sandwich

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Thin chicken cutlets coated in Italian breadcrumbs, served open-faced on garlic toast with pesto, tomato, and mozzarella.

468 calories per sandwich

Ingredients

  • 2 large chicken breasts or 4 chicken cutlets
  • 3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tb grated parmesan
  • 1/4 ts lemon pepper
  • 1 Tb butter
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • pesto
  • garlic Texas Toast
  • tomato, thinly sliced
  • mozzarella, sliced

Directions

1. If using chicken breasts rather than prepared cutlets, slice them horizontally and pound very thin.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan, and lemon pepper in a large, shallow dish.  Dredge the chicken cutlets in the breadcrumbs.

2. Heat the butter and olive oil over high heat in a large skillet.  When the butter has melted and is sizzling, add the chicken cutlets.  Brown each side over high heat, about 2 minutes per side.  Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking an additional 10 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

3. Heat garlic Texas toast according to manufacturer’s directions.  Spread pesto on garlic toast and top with a chicken cutlet, a thin slice of tomato, and a slice of mozzarella cheese.  Place under a broiler or in the microwave to melt the cheese, if desired.

99-taste.com