Bacon Wrapped Chicken

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Ingredients:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 4 pieces, lengthwise

1 1/2 C brown sugar

1 Tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

1 pound bacon

1/2 C favorite BBQ sauce

1/4 C water

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees…or decrease to 400 AFTER ¬†you take your artisan Couronne with Everything bagel topping out of the oven!

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YUM! That’s another post. Anyway, place a rack on a baking sheet, spray with cooking spray. Combine the brown sugar, Cajun seasoning and paprika in a shallow dish. Roll chicken strips in brown sugar mixture, shake off excess and wrap with one to two strips of bacon, depending on strip size. Set on rack with loose bacon ends underneath chicken strip.

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***TRICK*** I found instead of securing bacon with toothpicks in the center where the two strips meet, that If I brush the ends with a glaze, they stick together!!! Here’s where your BBQ sauce and water come in…combine the two into a thin glaze, brush the tops of your bacon wrapped chicken with this before placing in the oven. It’s a delicious SEALANT that helps keep the bacon in place!! Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes. I like to turn the broiler on for about 3 mins after to make the bacon extra crispy! ENJOY!

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Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta

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Ingredients:

2 small chicken breasts, cooked and chopped

2 cups diced ham

2 packages bacon recipe pieces

8 ounces swiss cheese, freshly shredded

1 1/2 cups bread crumbs

About 12 oz Penne pasta, boiled (I usually boil a 16 oz pkg and reserve the rest)

1 8 ounce package cream cheese

16 ounces heavy whipping cream

2 Tablespoons dried parsley

1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder

1 1/2 teaspons garlic powder

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

I usually boil my chicken in a pan just covered in water about 20 minutes until cooked through, then chop it up. While cooking chicken boil the pasta with a little oil until done then drain, set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To make the sauce; melt cream cheese on medium low in pot. Add cream, about an ounce at a time, whisking into cream cheese. Once they are combined smoothly, add garlic and onion powders, salt and pepper. Whisk. Then add in 4 ounces of your freshly shredded Swiss. Don’t use the preshredded stuff, it doesn’t melt well. Let it simmer on medium low for about 15 minutes, whisking often. You want to be able to pull the whisk up and not have a long string of cheese hang off. It takes a little while to fully melt it.

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While you are simmering cheese sauce, assemble the pan. I use a 9X13 nonstick casserole. Layer the bottom with the pasta, then top with chopped chicken, diced ham, and bacon bits.

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Once cheese sauce is of the right consistency, pour evenly over pasta mixture. I usually gently tap the whole thing on the counter a few times after I add the sauce to push it through to the bottom. Top that with the rest of your shredded cheese, parsley, and breadcrumbs.

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Bake in oven for about 15-20 minutes to heat through thoroughly and melt cheese. Put oven on broil for about 1-2 minutes at the end to brown the top. Be careful…oven temps vary so keep an eye on it.

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I like to garnish with a little extra bacon and as usual, green onion. Today I didn’t have time to make fresh bread, so I made some boxed Red Lobster Cheddar Bay biscuits to go along…these ARE SO GOOD. I recommend these highly. About 20 minutes from box to table and delicious!

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Chicken Cordon Bleu Muffins

Chicken Cordon Bleu Muffins

This is another staple in my house. I got the idea from a recipe that originally was deep fried appetizers without the cheese or bacon.

Ingredients:

2 pounds ground chicken
2 cups finely cubed ham
1 package real bacon or recipe pieces
1 cup panko bread crumbs
About 4-6 oz Swiss cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
Pepper to taste

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a couple muffin tins with cooking spray. Combine all the ingredients minus the cheese in a large bowl and mix well. I usually use my hands to get it thoroughly mixed.

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Grab a small handful of meat mixture, and form into a patty. Place a piece of cheese in the center, then wrap meat around cheese.

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Pat ball into greased muffin tin. I usually end up with 14-16, depending on how big I make them

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Place tins in preheated oven. Bake for approx 30 minutes, then turn the broiler on for about 2 minutes at the end to brown tops. I usually push the cheese on some of them that melts out of the tin back onto the muffins while they are hot. I run a spoon around the side to scoop them out just to make sure they aren’t sticking. Enjoy!!!

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10cc

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So, I have this song, er, a part of a chorus….”The things we do for love, the things we do for love” from 10cc stuck in my head and I can’t get rid of it now. Yes, the time on the stove is P.M. My 17 year old asked me “What’s for dinner Ma?”…when we got home from shopping, after I got off work…at 10 P.M.

I moved to this shift, which is noon to 10pm, after 8 years on overnights. It’s nice, although not an ideal day shift, better to me than 9pm to 7am. I’m getting old and I can’t deal with that anymore. I want to SLEEP AT NIGHT! Although still getting used to it, it’s kinda hard on the kids too. They got used to me making dinner every night and spending time with them before work. Of course, they are all picky and at least one of the three wouldn’t like what I made and eat something else, but I think they liked the idea of Mom cooking. I do cook on days off but lately we’ve all been busy or half the family gone so we have been eating takeout or fast food a bit more lately too…boo me!

So when my son asked me what’s for dinner, I looked through the freezer and fridge and told him I could make him bacon and eggs. I hadn’t anticipated such an enthusiastic reaction he was like ALRIGHT! THANKS MOM!..(you would think I asked if it was ok that I invited Bruce Dickenson from Iron Maiden to join us for dinner)

I start frying this incredibly cheap ass bacon (I will NEVER buy sale off name bacon again, it fell apart completely…I originally bought it for wrapping chicken in another recipe I will share down the road, and am glad I found out this way it was not substantial enough for wrapping!) and eggs, and made him some toast with butter and strawberry jelly and those lyrics kept going through my head. “the things we do for looove!”

My friend Niki would tell me I like to do “acts of service” to show love. Like making something that I know someone will enjoy eating…although impromptu, on a chipped plate with no fancy garnish, he inhaled the plateful and went back for seconds. THAT makes me happy, and I know in a small way makes him feel loved. He and I have been through some rocky territory in our relationship, but we worked through it. So bacon and eggs at midnight might be weird, but it’s imperative to cook and eat stuff with the ones you love in the middle of the night sometimes!

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