Microwave Cheesy Potatoes

In case you hadn’t realized, I’m really liking my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker!  I love that it goes in the microwave and the oven, and pretty enough for the table!  And the convenience of the microwave (and not using the stove) with 2 kids around is pretty awesome. Last night I made these cheesy potatoes in the microwave while the meatloaf baked in the oven.  I adapted the recipe for Cheesy Potatoes I found while googling “Deep Covered Baker recipes”. They were excellent and easy!

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Microwave Cheesy Potatoes

2 lbs frozen hashbrowns
1 tbsp onion powder
1 can cream of chicken soup
4 tbsp butter, melted
8 oz sharp cheddar, grated
1 cup sour cream

Mix all ingredients, except butter and spread into Deep Covered Baker (or a microwavable glass dish with cover).  Drizzle butter over top. Microwave on HIGH for 30 minutes.

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Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are a favorite in our house. I grew up associating them with birthday parties. They are one of my favorite comfort foods. Plus easy and quick and my kids eat them (bonus!).

Somewhere along the way, I came up with this version of them and pretty much stick to it, although there are a few ingredients that are occasionally added or subbed depending on my mood, and I rarely measure; there is a lot of tasting going on! AND there are a few ways to make them, again depending on mood. Lately my favorite is in the microwave in my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker, but stovetop and even crockpot work just as well!  This is a “quick to the table” meal and works great if made ahead of time and reheated.
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Sloppy Joes

1 – 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 can Chicken Gumbo Soup
1/2 cup barbecue sauce – (Sweet Baby Ray’s is my sauce of choice)
2 tbsp mustard
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Ground the ground beef and drain.  Add in remaining ingredients. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, uncovered.  Remove from heat.  Sauce will thicken the longer you let it sit uncovered.

Microwave: Cook in covered glass or stoneware dish for 4 minutes. Break up ground beef and continue to cook for 2 more minutes.  Drain. Add ingredients and stir. Microwave (covered) for 3 more minutes. Remove, stir and let stand uncovered for 3-5 minutes.

Crockpot, for larger batches: Ground beef on stovetop or in microwave.  Drain the meat. Add to crockpot with other ingredients.  If I triple (or more) the batch, I usually cut back on one can of soup. Cook on low for 1-2 hours.

Other ingredients: chopped green peppers, can of diced tomatoes, ketchup (instead of BBQ), splash or 2 of white vinegar (especially if only using ketchup), white sugar (instead of brown)

Autumn Risotto with Chicken & Cranberries

I had a Pampered Chef party in November and was able to get the Deep Dish Covered Baker at a fabulous price! I haven’t used it much, but tonight, I made this great recipe for Autumn Risotto with Chicken & Cranberries – YUMMM!!! Did I mention I made this in the Microwave!??

We loved it. And when I say “we”, I mean Chad & I. Maria doesn’t try much when she is tired. And Charlie only ate one bowl. (This kid is a machine eater lately, and only one bowl, is not even close to what he does with cereal or anything with cheese!)

OK. so here is the recipe, with my modifications.  I did not add Almonds as it makes me all itchy. I used turkey instead of chicken, because I had some in the freezer from Thanksgiving. I did not have parsley, so did not use it. And used all chicken stock, instead of some wine.  But if you like any or all of those things, then reference the original recipe. AND if you don’t have a Deep Dish Covered Baker, then I would suggest a nice glass dish with a top on it.

Autumn Risotto wih Turkey and Cranberries

Autumn Risotto with Chicken & Cranberries

1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
2 cups hot water
1 medium onion
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
1 tbsp olive oil
2 3/4 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup dry white wine such as Chardonnay
1/2 tsp each salt and coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds
2 stalks celery
2 oz cream cheese
2 cups diced cooked chicken or turkey breasts
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (optional)

  1. Combine cranberries and hot water; set aside. Coarsely chop onion. Combine onion, rice and oil in Deep Covered Baker and stir. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 2-4 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add stock, wine, salt and black pepper; microwave, covered, on HIGH 13 minutes or until rice is still slightly firm, stirring once halfway through.
  2. Meanwhile, toast almonds in Sauté Pan over medium heat 5-7 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Slice celery. Cut cream cheese into cubes. Drain cranberries; set aside. Carefully remove baker from microwave. Add chicken and celery; stir. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 3-5 minutes or until rice is tender and risotto appears creamy.
  3. Carefully remove baker from microwave. Add cream cheese and almonds; stir until cheese is fully incorporated. Fold in cranberries. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings (about 6½ cups)
Autumn Risotto with Chicken & Cranberries