Sunday, February 12, 2012

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

I've been trying to look for new recipes that my picky family will like.  I was craving Mexican food when I came across this recipe and thought I would give it a try.  The first time I made it I didn't use as much of the spices that were called for (completely leaving some out even) because I was worried nobody would eat it.  It wasn't bad, but I have since made it as the recipe calls for (well, almost) and they are delicious.  I got the recipe from Our Best Bites and it can be found here.

A few things I did differently:
Completely left out the green salsa, mostly because I was just too lazy to look for it at the store.
Left out the green onions, because green onions are gross.
Instead of using Pepperjack cheese I bought a mexican cheese blend. It's easier for me to use leftover mexican cheese blend than just straight pepperjack cheese.
Also, the first time I made these I used white corn tortillas.  They were good, but it was a lot of work to microwave a few, then fill, then roll. This last week I tried mini white tortillas and they were delicious!  I didn't have to heat them and they rolled up perfectly with no cracking.  In my opinion they were much crispier, too.  And my family far preferred the taste of white versus corn.
Another pro: you can make the filling ahead of time and refrigerate until ready.  I was tempted last time to make a double batch and see if it would freeze well, but I didn't have enough chicken.
All in all it was a deliciously satisfying dish that my family loved. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

San Francisco Chops and Baked Brown Rice

I know my food photography does zero justice for making you want to try a new recipe (especially when I don't remember to take a pic until I'm putting away the leftovers), but hey--at least I'm sharing!  Just head to Mel's Kitchen Cafe where I found the recipes for both San Francisco Chops and Baked Brown Rice if you'd like to see better pictures or try either one.  It was my first time cooking brown rice and I thought it was easy and good.  We might mix some brown and white next time to change the taste a little for my family who prefers the white.

Coconut Banana Bread w/ Lime Glaze

I tried this banana bread a while ago so I'm trying to remember what we liked and didn't love compared to the standy-by recipe I always use.  The bread is really moist and I liked the lime glaze, but none of us are huge fans of coconut so I think I'll skip the topping next time or maybe leave it out altogether.

Coconut Banana Bread w/ Lime Glaze  (from Our Best Bites)

2 C flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 C sugar
1/4 C (4 Tbs) real butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 C mashed ripe bananas (about 4 large bananas)
1/4 C sour cream or plain yogurt
3 Tbs apple juice or milk*
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C coconut
Topping: 2 Tbs additional coconut
Glaze: 1/2 C powdered sugar whisked with 1 1/2 Tbs fresh lime juice

*as in: don’t go buy apple juice just for this recipe. If you don’t already have some, just use milk!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until blended. Add eggs and beat to combine. Add banana, sour cream or yogurt, apple juice (or milk), and vanilla. Beat until blended.  Add flour mixture and beat at a low speed until just combined. Stir in 1/2 C coconut.  Pour batter into a 9×5″ loaf pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Sprinkle additional 2 Tbs coconut on top.

Bake in the oven for about 1 hour or until a knife or skewer inserted in center comes out clean. Note: Check bread after about 40 minutes. If the top has browned and the coconut pieces are looking toasty, cover top of bread lightly with a piece of foil. Continue baking until done.  When done, remove pan from oven. Let cool on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes and then carefully remove from pan. Whisk powdered sugar and lime juice together for the glaze and then drizzle over top. Cool for another 15 minutes before slicing.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

I love pumpkin desserts this time of year and I tried these cupcakes last year, but never shared the recipe.  A kind neighbor brought me a dessert after I had Nash and it was probably very similar to this recipe but baked as a cake instead...and I pretty much ate the whole thing myself it was so good.

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

1 box spice cake mix
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix together all ingredients.  Pour batter into paper liners and fill 3/4 full.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until cakes are light golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.


8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth and light.  Stop mixer and add sugar and vanilla.  Start mixing again on low and gradually increase speed until frosting is fluffy.  This is optional, but I think when I made these before I added some cinnamon to the frosting as well.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ginger Beef Stir Fry

Source for this recipe: Ginger Beef Stir Fry

While I don't have a photo of the finished product, I included one from prepping for this meal because I was proud of myself for making something with so many vegetables.

1 tsp. cornstarch
¼ cup cold water
3 tbsp. plum sauce (I didn't have this)
1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
1 lb. boneless sirloin steak, cut into thin strips
1 tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced thin
1½ cups small broccoli florets
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
4 green onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tbsp. salted peanuts, chopped (optional)
Rice, for serving
Sesame seeds, for garnish

In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water; whisk until smooth. Stir in the plum sauce, ginger, soy sauce and red pepper flakes. Set aside.

In a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat, cook the steak strips until no longer pink. Remove to a plate and set aside, draining the excess fat from the skillet if necessary. Add the oil to the pan and heat through. Add the red pepper, broccoli and carrot pieces to the skillet and stir fry until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Mix in the green onion and garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Return the steak pieces to the pan. Add the sauce to the pan, stirring well to coat everything. Cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes more. Stir in the peanuts.

Serve the warm stir fry over rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds for garnish, if desired.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Tortilla Soup

We tried a new recipe this week . . . another one from pioneer woman, I'm obsessed! But another delicious recipe, so she can do no wrong. Eddy was not a huge fan because he does not like chunks of tomato, but he still ate a little.I'm being a little lazy tonight so here is the link.

She did say the best part about the soup was the condiments and they did make the soup. We had the usual sour cream and cheddar cheese, but I also made some pico de gallo and tortilla strips. I just cut up a tortilla and threw the strips in the oven at 375 for 10ish minutes. They are actually quite a nice crunchy little treat.

And my new favorite recipe for pico de gallo Brandt found for his 7th grade CTE class. Just chop up equal parts tomato, red onion, and cucumber. That's right, cucumber. It's my favorite part!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

I tried a new recipe the other night that is definitely a keeper. Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas from Annie's Eats (link on the right--a food site worth checking out). She actually calls them Benchiladas because it's her husband's favorite dish. Easy to make and adjust for how much you need--I just did a small pan because I was using leftover rotisserie chicken so then I had to fight JP for the leftovers the next day.

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 oz. reduced fat sour cream
8 oz. Ranch salad dressing
flour tortillas (10-15)
jar of salsa (I like to pick up a pint from our favorite Mexican restaurant)
shredded mexican cheese (close to 4 cups)

Cook chicken breasts by preferred cooking method until cooked through. Set aside to cool a bit.

While chicken is cooling, mix up the sauce. In a large mixing bowl, combine half of the sour cream and half of the Ranch dressing. In a small bowl, combine the rest of the sour cream and Ranch dressing. Stir both until well combined. Shred or chop the cooked chicken and add to the large mixing bowl. Mix well with sauce.

Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease a 9 x 13″ pan (and possibly another, smaller pan if needed). Take one tortilla and top with a little less than 1 tbsp. of the sauce from the small bowl. Spread over the tortilla in an even layer. Add some of the chicken mixture to the center of the tortilla. Top with salsa to taste. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, to taste. Roll up tortilla and place, seam side down, in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining ingredients (usually makes 10-15 enchiladas).

Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes (30 for a crispier tortilla). Allow to cool a few minutes before serving.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Snowman Cookies

How cute are these melted snowman sugar cookies? I haven't tried them yet but wanted to share so I don't forget to do something fun like this with the boys this season. Photo and recipe from Truly Custom Cakery.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mini Pumpkin Pies

I had this tasty treat at a get together early on in November and had to try it out. So delicious and so easy, definitely a keeper. Here is a link to the recipe I used. I did not garnish with mint leaves and had no pumpkin pie spice (all sold out the week before Thanksgiving), but found a recipe online for how to make my own.
  • 3 packages (15 tarts each) prebaked frozen mini pastry shells (we used Athens Mini Fillo Shells)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • 2 cups (plus extra for garnish) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon (plus extra for garnish) pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 (3.4-ounce) package cheesecake-flavor instant pudding and pie filling
  • Mint leaves (for garnish)
  1. Remove the shells from the freezer and let them thaw at room temperature for 15 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, combine the pumpkin, whipped topping, and pumpkin pie spice in a medium bowl, whisking until smooth. Add the pudding mix and whisk until smooth and thick.

  3. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the filling into each of the shells (you can also pipe the filling with a pastry bag or a plastic sandwich bag with one corner snipped off), then top the tarts with whipped topping, a sprinkling of the pumpkin pie spice, and a mint leaf, if you like. Makes 45 tarts.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ranch Chicken

I'm in love with the pioneer woman. Every recipe I've tried I've loved! She knows how to make good man food. This is her recipe for Ranch Chicken or just look below. I made some minor adjustments to fit what I had.


  • ½ cups Dijon Mustard (regular mustard is just fine)
  • ½ cups Honey
  • ½ whole (juice Of) Lemon (Or a splash of lemon juice)
  • ½ teaspoons Paprika
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • Crushed Red Pepper (optional To Taste)
  • 6 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (or any part of the chicken, I had some legs)
  • 1 pound Thick Cut Bacon
  • Bacon Grease
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese, to taste
  • Canola Oil

Preparation Instructions

To begin, make the marinade. In a large bowl mix together ½ cup Dijon or country/grainy mustard with ½ cup honey, juice of ½ lemon, ½ teaspoon paprika, and ½ teaspoon salt and whisk until smooth. Sprinkle in some crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne if you like things a little spicy. Set aside.

Next, rinse the chicken breasts, place between two sheets of waxed paper and pound to around ½ to ¾ inch thick with a mallet. Next, add the chicken to the bowl with the marinade, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 hours. (I used chicken legs so I just had to toss them in the marinade)

While the chicken marinates, fry up some bacon. When finished cooking, reserve ¼ cup of the bacon grease and clean out the skillet.

When the chicken is done marinating, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the chicken from the fridge and pour off excess marinade. Heat half of the reserved bacon grease with an equal quantity of Canola Oil in the clean skillet over medium-high heat. When the grease is nice and hot add two or three pieces of chicken to it. Cook until brownish/blackish, about 1 to 1 ½ minutes per side. Remove chicken to a large baking sheet. If cooking many pieces of chicken, repeat skillet process and remove finished chicken to baking sheet. Place chicken in preheated oven and cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven. (The legs took longer than 10 min.)

Lay a few pieces of bacon over each chicken breast. Sprinkle shredded sharp cheddar cheese over the top of the chicken as generously as you like. Return pan to oven for an additional five minutes until cheese is melted and bacon is sizzling. Serve immediately.

Really delicious! The marinade was so yummy you don't even need the bacon or cheese.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Taco Bowls

photo via Annie's Eats

Made this easy dinner the other night and wanted to share a different take on one of our go-to meals, tacos. I thought it would also be a good idea to heat up refried beans and make mini tostadas sometime. Basically you just heat up some corn tortillas in the microwave, lightly coat them with oil, and bake them between the cups of an upside-down muffin tin. Bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes. Just because this dinner is easy, don't think it's so easy you don't need to double-check the temperature before you start because cooking the tortillas at 325 makes them nice and stale! Just being honest.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Honey Walnut Shrimp

Mmmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Shelly, here is the recipe you've been waiting for.

Candied Walnuts
1 egg white
4 cups walnuts
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 325. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. In a bowl, whisk the egg white until it is completely foamy and no liquid remains. Fold in walnuts and brown sugar. Toss gently to coat. Arrange the walnuts on the prepared baking sheet, keeping the individual pieces separate. Bake until the egg white-sugar mixture is cooked through and the nuts are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Loosen the nuts from the pan with a spatula. Set aside on a plate to cool.

The Shrimp
1 egg white
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled

Mix together egg white, cornstarch and salt. Add shrimp and let marinate for 10 minutes.

oil for frying
3 TBS flour
3 TBS cornstarch
1/2 cup water

Heat the oil until very hot. Mix together flour, cornstarch, and water to make a batter. Dip the marinated shrimp one by one in the batter and deep fry for a minute until golden. Set the fried shrimp on a paper towel.

The Sauce
1/2 cup candied walnuts
4 TBS mayonnaise
3 TBS honey
dash of black sesame seeds

Mix together the mayo and honey in the skillet. Add shrimp and walnuts, stirring to coat. Sprinkle a dash of black sesame seeds on top and serve.