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Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Potluck Club Cookbook...Review

About the book:
From the popular authors of the Potluck Club books comes a cookbook loyal fans (and anyone who likes to eat) won't want to miss. The potluck meal makes sharing good, home-cooked food with family and friends simple and easy. Start with a few (or a lot of) guests, bring delicious dishes to share, and mix with love. A proven recipe for success. Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson , veterans of countless potluck dinners, have gathered their favorite recipes. From salads to casseroles to slow-cooker delights, there's something for everyone, even those watching their waistlines. Eating in is the new eating out. These great potluck ideas not only save money, but also build memories to last a lifetime.

A versatile cook book that will appeal to many people. All the recipes are easy and made from simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. The authors share their own dishes with little anecdotes about each recipe, as well as anecdotes about the Potluck Club book characters.

If I have any complaints it's that there are some inconsistencies: some recipes state how many servings, but others don't.

One recipe from the book:

Linda’s Chicken Tortilla Casserole

2 ½ T. chopped onions

¼ cup butter
3 T. flour
1 ½ cups milk
¾ cup chicken broth
1 t. salt
3 T. jalapeno peppers
1 ½ cups chopped canned tomatoes (stewed)
3 cups cubed chicken, cooked
½ cup shredded cheese
12 tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips

Sauté onions in butter, then add flour and cook until mixture is bubbly. Stir in milk and broth gradually. Stir in salt, peppers, and tomatoes.

In casserole dish, layer chicken, cheese, then strips of tortillas. Pour sauce over layers then sprinkle casserole with cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve hot. Serves 6-8.

Linda: “You can’t go wrong with this tasty dish. It’s a potluck crowd favorite.” (Page 130)

Available September 2009 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Donna Hausler from the Baker Publishing Group for the opportunity to review this book. You can find out more about Linda Evans Shepherd here, and Eva Marie Everson here. You can learn more about the Potluck Club books here. You can purchase your own copy here.

* * *
3/5 Stars

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bruschetta Chicken

Printable Recipe
Serves 4

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2-3 eggs, beaten
~1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
~2 cups dried bread crumbs
2 large tomatoes, chopped or about 2 cups canned tomatoes, drained well
1 1/2 t. dried basil or more to taste (about 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil)
2 garlic cloves, minced (~1 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Mix the tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil and salt/pepper together. Set aside so the flavors can blend.

Beat the eggs, place them in a pie tin or flat plate. Mix the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese together and place in another flat plate. Flatten the chicken breasts, dip in the egg mixture and then in the bread crumb/cheese mixture.

Place in a greased pan. Bake at 375 for about 30-40 minutes, until crust is browned and juices run clear. Top the chicken with the tomato mixture and bake for about 8 minutes longer.

Serve with baked potatoes.

Holly's Note:
I found the original recipe at Bakin' Bits and, like most recipes, modified it before I even tried it! I didn't have fresh basil on hand and no large tomatoes, only a few cherry tomatoes. So I drained a pint of home-canned tomatoes and mixed in a few fresh cherry tomatoes. Fresh basil would definitely give it a fuller flavor, but the dried basil was just fine. This is an easy recipe to double or triple. I rarely measure, but usually just eyeball the Parmesan and bread crumbs, so it's easy to adjust it to your tastes or needs.

This works just as well without breading the chicken.

This was definitely a keeper for our family.