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Quick to the table

By Angie Sutton

www.mothersapronstrings.com

Cordon Bleu

The kids asked for seconds on this delectable dish! I served it with raw carrots and broccoli florets with ranch dipping sauce to complete this simple meal.

Ingredients:

5 c. diced cooked chicken
4 oz. thinly sliced deli ham
8 oz. sliced Swiss cheese

Sauce:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 c. milk
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4 tsp. onion salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. tap water
1 tsp. cornstarch

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, evenly spread diced chicken. Layer the ham slices over the chicken.

3. In a food processor, process the cream cheese, milk, olive oil, onion salt and black pepper. In a small bowl, whisk the water and cornstarch together then add to the food processor, pulsing until combined. Pour over the top of the casserole.

4. Layer the Swiss cheese evenly, completely covering the top of the casserole. Bake 20 to 30 minutes until heated through and cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes before cutting.

Apron Strings Notes: Add mushrooms or green beans to the casserole to make it a complete one-dish meal.


Chicken Casserole

Simple and yummy! This recipe offers a quick meal that can be doubled to make leftovers for day two.

Ingredients:

10 oz. roasted red tomatoes
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 oz. diced bacon
1 clove garlic, minced
1 c. chicken broth
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 c. baby spinach
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella

Directions:

1. In a large skillet, cook chicken and bacon until brown and nearly cooked through. Add garlic and saute 5 more minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.

2. Pour chicken broth into skillet and loosen browned bits from edges. Reduce heat to medium, and stir in cream cheese until melted. When sauce is smooth, stir in spinach and continue to stir until wilted.

3. Add the chicken back to the skillet and stir in roasted tomatoes only until combined. When heated through, sprinkle top with mozzarella cheese.

Apron Strings Notes: Skip the garlic and roasted tomatoes and substitute a can of fire- roasted diced tomatoes.


Cheesy Meatloaf

My kids will eat this if I don't refer to it as meatloaf. Something about the word "meatloaf" makes these cheesy bites unappealing, so I call them mini- cheeseburgers.

Ingredients:

1/2 c. crushed saltines
2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 large egg
1 garlic clove, minced and crushed
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 c. ketchup
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
6 oz. Swiss cheese
1/4 c. ketchup

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, mix together saltines, ground beef, egg, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. Don't overmix. Split meat mixture in half, pressing the first half into the bottom of the loaf pan.

3. Layer cheese slices over the first half. Top with second half of meat mixture making sure to press down enough to combine the two layers. Top with ketchup. Bake for 60 minutes or until meat is done.

Apron Strings Notes: I usually skip the garlic clove in this one and substitute 1/2 tsp. garlic salt. I often use two of my smaller loaf pans to speed the cooking process and make an adult version with spicy ketchup and some diced jalapenos added to the meat mixture.

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