Sara Welch, author of an excellent food blog, Dinner at the Zoo. (Click for Monterey Chicken at Sara’s blog.)
She writes, “This Monterey chicken is a Chili’s copycat that features seasoned chicken breasts smothered in barbecue sauce, cheese, bacon and tomatoes. An easy dinner option that the whole family will love!”
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 T. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 c. barbecue sauce
1 c. shredded cheese I used a blend of Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese
4 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
1/2 c. diced tomatoes
1/4 c. green onions
Heat the olive oil in a large oven safe pan over medium high heat. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Cook the chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until done. Cook time may vary depending on the thickness of your chicken. Pour the barbecue sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese over each chicken breast. Place the pan in the oven for 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle the bacon, tomatoes and green onions over the chicken and serve.
An anonymous lady (not Loretta) heard me say that I might need more recipes to share and generously provided a stash for this column – thanks friend.
½ c. mayo
1 tsp. oregano
1 ½ tsp. garlic powder
1 ½ tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. salt
1 T. water
2 lb. potatoes, cubed with skins on
Layer potatoes in a 9×13 dish – pour the mixture of all other ingredients over. Bake at 400°F for 35 minutes. Stir after first 15 minutes of baking.
Watermelon Fruit Bowls
With graduation season here, I am sharing my own carved party bowl. Now you know my age. 😉 The world of Pinterest has a seemingly endless list of ideas for this – everything from baby shower tractors with grapefruit and lemon “wheels” and hedgehogs with toothpick spikes in the fruits of the bowl, piggies with blueberry eyes and snouts, or the edges of the bowl being carved into wave shapes with banana dolphins popping up from the “ocean”. Even simply a carved pattern on the edge of the bowl is attractive – but of course you can find the most elaborate designs made in the rind in an internet search as well.
If my memory serves me correctly 13 years later, I believe I started with a butcher knife and finished the fine detail with pairing and Exacto knives and maybe used skewers or toothpicks to assist carving. I probably cut out the number design on wax paper and traced with a toothpick or fine tip sharpie onto the rind of the melon. Also, I would carve most of the bowl out, leaving margin around the numbers to work with last.
The choices of fruits for this bowl are completely versatile – I recommend tossing the prepared mixture with ginger ale or other carbonated drink, such as sparkling water or white grape juice, orange juice, honey, or lemon juice with honey. This enhances the flavor of the fruit and prevents browning. Refrigerate fruits before serving and ensure that the watermelon bowl sets securely and level for display.
Strawberry Pretzel Dessert
This recipe comes from A+ Recipes from Hickory Hollow Christian School printed March 2012; used with permission.
2 c. crushed pretzels
3 T. sugar
¾ c. melted butter
8 oz. cream cheese
½ c. powdered sugar
8 oz. whipped topping (recipe calls for Cool Whip; I like to use freshly whipped heavy cream)
2 c. mini marshmallows (I omitted this in my notes – don’t recall why)
1 qt. water
1 c. sugar
½ c. Therm-Flo
1 sm. pkg. strawberry gelatin
1 pkg. strawberry Kool-Aid (I omit)
1 ½ qt. fresh or frozen strawberries
Crust: Mix pretzels, sugar and butter. Press into 9×13-inch pan. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes; cool.
Filling: Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar. Fold in whipped topping and marshmallows. Spread on cooled crust.
Topping: Cook all ingredients, except strawberries, until thickened. Cool, then add berries. Make sure it’s completely cooled before spreading it on the cream cheese layer.
Refrigerate overnight before serving.
This recipe is also delicious using a peach Danish for the topping!