Stuffed Chicken Breasts

As I was reading through my blog the other day I realized that I am just 9 posts away from 200!  I also just need 593 more views to reach 7000!  These facts just amaze me! I’d love to reach 200 and 7000 by the end of 2012!   When Barbi started us on this cookbook journey about 2-1/2 years ago, I never dreamed that I would actually make it this far.  I am not really a writer. However, I do love baking and cooking, and in order to keep the blog going, I do need to write.  It has been a fun project!  I also can’t believe the wide variety of readers that I have…many different countries are represented by you, my faithful readers!  While North America claims the majority of you, most of the other continents are represented, too.   I humbly thank you for taking your time to read my posts!

Now to the recipe for today’s dinner.  I have never made stuffed chicken breasts before and assumed that they are difficult to make.  I was pleasantly surprised to discover that they are quite easy.  You can use a variety of fillings…whatever flavor you want to achieve…spinach and cream cheese; shredded cheddar; broccoli, etc.  I decided to use stuffing, Parmesan cheese, and dried cranberries.  Yummy! By the time they were cooked, my kitchen smelled like Christmas!

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 box stuffing mix

1/2 c. dried cranberries

1/4 c. parmesan cheese

Place chicken breasts in a self-sealing plastic bag and pound with a meat mallet until thin.  Cook stuffing according to package directions.  Place about 1-2 tbsp. of stuffing on each chicken breast and sprinkle with about 1 tsp. of parmesan cheese.  Roll each breast and place seam-side down in a greased baking pan.  Spread remaining stuffing mix in pan in between each of the rolled chicken breasts.  Sprinkle dried cranberries and remaining parmesan cheese over the top.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until chicken is tender.  Remove foil for the last few minutes of cooking so that the meat can turn golden brown.  Serve with rice or mashed potatoes and a side of green beans!  Enjoy!

Cranberry Applesauce

Ever have “one of those weeks?”  Well, for me, this past week was “one of those weeks!”  I am so thankful that it is finally Saturday!  I honestly don’t know what the problem was, but it just seems like something went wrong nearly every day.

Today I wanted to do something with most of the remaining apples that my hubs brought back from PA a few weeks ago.  I’ve been keeping them in our spare fridge, but knew that I had to do something soon before they spoiled!  All the recipes that I looked at in my cookbooks called for cinnamon. This is usually not a problem, but I had run out of cinnamon!  I have not yet had an opportunity to visit my favorite bargain food store where I purchase cinnamon.  And believe me…I refuse to pay twice the price at a traditional grocery store.

Since most of the apples were getting a little soft, I decided to peel, core, and slice them and cook them in my crock pot for applesauce.  I didn’t follow any particular recipe at all!

Peel, core, and slice enough apples to fill up your crock pot.

Layer about 1 cup of fresh cranberries in between the apples.

Cover and cook on high for about 3 hours or until the apples and cranberries are tender.

If you like your applesauce chunky, just stir in a little sugar to taste. I used about 1/3 cup.  You can add cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg if you desire.

My peeler/corer/slicer tool wasn’t working too well today, so I decided to run my cooked apples through a sieve.  I used the one my mom always used when she cooked fruits.

When I was a little girl, I would use this to help my mom make grape jelly! It was fun to squish all those cooked grapes through the sieve and see the juice in the bowl beneath!

This particular batch of applesauce came out very smooth and thick!  I think the key is letting the apples cook in their own juices!  I added just a touch of sugar to cut down on the tartness of the cranberries.  One crock pot full of apples cooked down to 1 quart of apple sauce.