Thursday, March 31, 2011

Veggie Bars and Fabulous Chicken: As Good as it's Name Suggests

      As I sit here typing, I can here the rain falling softly outside, which is such a peaceful sound.  A less peaceful, but more endearing sound that I can hear is Lily not-napping in her room.  We call it the "Lily Comedy Hour" (or two . . . ), because many days, instead of napping she sits in there and yacks.  She talks to her Lambie and Kiki (her two favorite lovies), and she reads to herself and recites the alphabet.  One day it sounded as if she was ushering out a great crowd of people by saying, "Thank you.  Good bye.  Thank you." just like we do when people are at our house.  I know many years from now I will look back fondly on this - today I wish she were sleeping, because she so desperately needs it as she demonstrated quite demonstratively by screaming at me and others as we were leaving Mother's Day Out.  (She did say "sorry" in the car.  I made her.)
      While I was cooking, the girls were enjoying one of their favorite pass times: Lily pushing Bella in the swing.  This delights them both so much that I am glad I caught this little part of our world since Bella will soon outgrow the swing completely.

Swing 1
Swing 2

      Anyway, onto the recipes.  I made these for dinner last night, and by all accounts that I heard, they turned out pretty well.  I got the Veggie Bar recipe from the Fellowship of NWA cookbook, and I got Fabulous Chicken from my fabulous sister, Ellen Davis.

Here's what you need for Veggie Bars.

2 packages crescent rolls
1/2 cup mayo
8-oz package of cream cheese (softened)
1 envelope Hidden Valley ranch dip
Finely chopped vegetables
Shredded Cheddar Cheese

(Note: the number of vegetables shown here is too many.  Sometimes I get a little carried away, and these veggie bars actually had broccoli falling off of them, since there was so much of it, and I only used 3 of the tomatoes)

Lay crescent rolls flat onto a cookie sheet and press the seams together to make a "crust."


Cook 7-8 minutes at 350 degrees.  Mix mayo, ranch dip and cream cheese and spread it onto the crust once it cools.


Chop all your veggies.  I used a food processor on all of mine, but it was definitely a little overkill (hence the escaping broccoli).  However, it would have been fine if I had used a little less.


Sprinkle with your finely chopped vegetables.  Fun thing about this recipe is that you can use veggies that you like, or like me, that you don't like but may like better when paired with cream cheese and crescent rolls, i.e. Carrots.


Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.  I did it the day before and refrigerated overnight, which also worked fine.  Top with cheddar cheese.


Then broil for 3-4 minutes until the cheese melts.  Ta-da!  Veggie Bars.


Next up, Fabulous Chicken - here's what you need.

4 boneless chicken breasts
1/4 cup melted butter
1 lg package of shredded Swiss Cheese
1 can of Cream of Mushroom soup
1/4 C White Grape Juice
1 package Good Seasons Herb and Garlic


Place chicken breasts into baking dish.  (I used five and actually made two pans worth since I was doing Food Co-Op and having people over.)


Top with cheese.


Mix the soup and juice together.  (really, it will taste good later)


Pour it over the cheese and chicken.


Mix the seasoning mix with the melted butter.


Pour it over everything.


Bake at 350 for 1 hour, and presto, fabulousness will be ready to eat.  I love that this is simple and easy to prepare, and kids seem to really eat it up.


We had dear friends over last night who happened to be in town, which is part of why I was cooking.  It was such a joy to see them, and I wish that we still got to do life together.  It was so fun to see Lily play with their sweet little boy, Liam.  There was so much fun to be had - thanks for blessing us, Lawsons!