Jaime's kids love these chicken bundles
Written by KAREN NADLER COTA Sentinel Lifestyles Editor
Tuesday, 03 January 2012 09:43
NORTH BALTIMORE - The Cook's Corner is used to getting telephone calls or emails from people praising their grandmother's soup or dessert or holiday entree.
|Jaime Keller with her baked chicken bundles. (Photos: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
A little less common is the opposite - a grandmother calling to recommend her granddaughter as a Cook's Corner subject.
That's what happened with this week's cook, North Baltimore resident Jaime Keller.
"My granddaughter is just a great cook," insisted Fran Adams in an early December call to recommend Keller's popular chicken bundles. "She also had this great dessert at Thanksgiving" that involved crumbled brownies and Reese's peanut butter sauce in a glass trifle bowl.
Adams is herself an early Cook's Corner subject, having shared a recipe for coconut cream pie in a column way back in January 2006. So clearly, her opinion of Keller's kitchen acumen had to be taken seriously.
Keller says the brownie trifle "is just something I've thrown together. This time of year people are always asking me to make it."
Adams was one of those people, and Keller was glad to make the trifle for her grandmother to serve when Adams hosted her card club at her home.
As for the chicken bundles, "my kids love them," Keller said of sons Blayne, 11, and Logan, 7; and daughter Rylee, 3. "My husband, Marc, really likes them as well.
"Blayne is the one who really loves the chicken bundles. He's constantly begging me to make them."
Since she's had the bundles recipe for about 10 years, Blayne has grown up with it. Keller originally modified a recipe she received from her sister-in-law Tammy, who got the recipe from a co-worker.
"I made a few changes. I added the onions and mushrooms, and the original recipe called for regular crescent rolls" to create the dough pouch into which the chicken and other tasty ingredients are tucked. "I changed it to the garlic butter crescent rolls," which are only made by Pillsbury.
"It really makes a difference."
Over the past decade she's served chicken bundles to plenty of people.
"I've made them for work potlucks, and every time I make 'em somebody wants the recipe," said Keller, who is employed at Psychological Resources in Bowling Green.
"My mom just started a new job and the women she works with couldn't wait for it to be in the paper because they all want the recipe."
One of the bundles ingredients is casserole cheese, a pre-packaged mixture of cheddar, mozzarella and colby cheeses.
The story of the brownie trifle recipe is very different. The idea only came to Keller recently.
"I've heard of a recipe where you just use the Cool Whip and brownies" to make a trifle. "But I thought the two peanut butter items would taste good in it. I just dreamed it up in the last four months, but I've made it six or seven times in the four months" to rave revues.
"I made it for holiday gatherings. The first was a get-together with friends."
Both the chicken bundles and brownie trifle recipes are pretty rich, Keller admits. "So I try not to put a lot of the mixture in the crescent rolls." Just a small amount will do.
Often for her own family she will serve the bundles with a vegetable and a cottage cheese-and-applesauce combo that the kids love.
Keller, the former Jaime Dilsaver, grew up in Bowling Green and was a 1994 Bowling Green High School graduate.
Many people know her from the five years when she worked at TSC just north of town, or when she worked registration at Wood County Hospital.
Along with her current job, Keller holds the title of "sports mom."
"The two boys go to Powell Elementary in North Baltimore, where one does wrestling and one does basketball." In addition, both bowl on Saturdays.
It all sounds like enough effort to work up a serious appetite - for chicken bundles and brownie trifle, of course.
2-3 good sized chicken breasts - cooked; shredded or cubed
8-oz. pkg. softened cream cheese
16-oz. bag of shredded casserole cheese
4-oz. can of mushrooms, drained
1 small onion, diced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. of melted butter
3 cans of Pillsbury garlic butter crescent rolls
Put cooked chicken, onion, salt and pepper, mushrooms, cream cheese, and shredded cheese in a large bowl. Stir until well blended. Mixture will be very sticky.
Open crescent rolls and piece together two of the triangles on a flat surface, to make a rectangle. Put a heaping tablespoon of the mixture on each rectangle. Bring up the corners of the crescent roll diagonally and piece them together so that the mixture is not spilling out. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until the crescent rolls are light brown on top.
Peanut Butter Cup-brownie trifle
1 19-oz. box of brownie mix (make as directed on box)
2 8-oz. tubs Cool Whip
1 bottle of Reese's Peanut Butter Sauce
10-15 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, crushed
Bake brownies as directed on the box and cool completely. Crumble half of the brownies and spread evenly in a trifle bowl.
Drizzle half of the peanut butter sauce on top of the crumbled brownies. Sprinkle half of the peanut butter cups over the peanut butter sauce. Spread one tub of Cool Whip over top of that. Repeat that layer, saving a little of the peanut butter sauce and peanut butter cups to garnish the top.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.