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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Catherine=1 Dinner=0

Last night was the night...dinner was a BIG success! I went grocery shopping on Tuesday, and I made sure to get everything I needed for this meal. I already had several of the ingredients around the house since a few were pretty regular items. However, I knew the recipe would be too much for only my boyfriend and I, so I cut the recipe in half. Then, to my surprise, I got a call from Justin at work yesterday...

"Hey! I just wanted to let you know that I told Macie and Honey that you were cookin' tonight, and I invited them over to eat with us!"

I was thrilled to have some of our best friends over for dinner, but I was afraid I wasn't going to have enough food for all of us! So, what did I do?  I went home from work at 4:30 and frantically searched for something I could add to the meal (without making another trip to the store). What did I find? Four large Idaho potatoes! I knew I had milk, butter, cheese, bacon, and a little sour cream on hand, so I decided twice baked potatoes would be the perfect addition to my meal. I didn't have time to watch potatoes sit in the oven, so I washed them, poked holes in them with a fork, and placed them in the microwave (14 mins full power did the trick). I then halved the potatoes and scooped out the insides. What is my magic recipe for twice baked potatoes? The more, the better! I don't measure out ingredients for this, I just sort of throw it all in the bowel. Especially, do not be shy with the butter, cheese, and sour cream  (Paula Deen style y'all!). The more of these ingredients you put in, the better the potatoes will be. After mixing everything in with the potato insides, I scoop the mixture generously back into the skins, and whenever I was ready for them, I put them in the oven for about 20 mins at 400ᵒF. The cook time and temp are not critical; since the potatoes have already been cooked, you are essentially just heating them up (my chicken crescent roll casserole needed to be cooked at 350ᵒ for 30 mins, so I put the potatoes in with them and it worked out perfectly). Since I was preparing for a 7:30 dinner, I prepared the potatoes early, covered them, and set them aside in the refrigerator until I was ready for the oven with the casserole. 

Next, I prepared the chicken crescent roll casserole. I followed the directions almost exactly, with the exception of a few things. I did not include the onion, and I did use the optional garlic powder. There is also an option of using mayo or whipping cream, and I used mayo since I had it on hand. The mixture and sauce was very easy to make. The recipe calls for 2 cans of crescent rolls, but I only used 1 since 8 rolls come in a can (I figured 2 would be enough for everybody). This worked out perfectly, because the mix is only enough to fill 8 crescents, and only 8 fit in a pan. The recipe says you can use as much sauce as you like, but since I have never made it before and didn't exactly know what I liked. I just used it all.  I put both the casserole and the potatoes in the oven at 7:00.

Chicken Crescent Roll Casserole--Check out the Recipe!
While the casserole and the potatoes were baking, I heated up some green beans with bacon, and I cut up some fresh pineapple and strawberries. At 7:30, everything (and everybody) was ready to eat! I had the table set up nicely, but the weather was so nice that we took dinner outside to the patio. Everyone really enjoyed the food! They told me the casserole recipe is definitely a keeper! I think the next time I make it, I will leave out the garlic powder; I think it was a little overpowering and slightly masked the rest of the flavors in the dish. However, we enjoyed it so much that we all got seconds. I intended on taking a picture of the meal beforehand, but i couldn't take one fast enough before everyone was digging into the deliciousness. Even Justin was really happy with the turnout, and he is the toughest critic I know! I have never heard him say that his meal was flat out good after leaving a restaurant. He is very picky and always finds something to complain about. After this meal, the only thing he didn't like was all the mosquito bites we were getting! He was very pleased, and I was very happy with the turnout. Making new recipes is a little scary to me simply because I don't know how it's going to turn out; just because it has good reviews and is highly recommended doesn't mean that my friends or I will like it. This one turned out just fabulous. I guess it's hard to go wrong with crescent rolls, chicken, and cheese. The taste was wonderful, and the recipe was quite easy to make. I was hoping to have enough leftovers for lunch today, but it was such a hit that "scraps" might be an overstatement for what was left. I will definitely be making this again!

If you missed it the first time, here is a link to the recipe that I used. 
       Chicken Crescent Roll Casserole

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