Thursday, December 31, 2009

Chicken and Spinach Tortilla Bake

Now that things are starting to slow down after the holidays, I can catch up on some blogging. We tried this dish a couple of weeks ago and really liked it! I never would have thought to put spinach in a Mexican dish, but this was really good! This is a great dish if you want to trick your kids into eating spinach. My 3 year old loved it!
Chicken and Spinach Tortilla Bake
Rachael Ray

1 tbsp olive oil
3-4 chicken breasts or cutlets
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups salsa verde
3/4 cup ricotta
4 large flour tortillas, cut into wedges
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
3 cups baby spinach
2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese

Preheat oven to 450*. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over med-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper, add to the pan and cook, turning once, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Let cool, shred meat. (I just baked the chicken in the oven-then shredded it.)
Whisk together the salsa verde and ricotta; season with salt and pepper. In a greased 9 inch baking dish, layer one third of of salsa mixture, tortillas and chicken, onion, spinach and cheese; repeat twice. Bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

*Try using 3 cups crushed tortilla chips instead of flour tortillas
**Use 15oz can black beans or your favorite beans instead of chicken or add to salsa mixture for a different flavor

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dangerously Delicious Popcorn!!

I am so excited to do my baking this holiday season!! All of my sibling in-laws are coming into town next week and I am so excited! I am waiting to do my baking until next week so we will have lots of sugary goodness to enjoy over Christmas, but here is a preview! This popcorn is evil!! You cannot just have one bite and stop-it is literally not possible!! I have made it a couple times already this month and have a few more batches to go before Christmas is over. This will become an instant favorite-I promise!
Holiday (or any day) Popcorn
Carrie McCleary
2 bags microwave popcorn
12 oz vanilla almond bark
3 tbsp vegetable oil
4 oz colored candy coating chips
Pop popcorn and place in large bowl. Melt bark and oil in saucepan over medium heat and pour over popcorn. Shake or stir to coat popcorn. Spread popcorn onto wax paper to cool. Melt candy coating in microwave, 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each 30 seconds. (Get creative with your colors, I like to use red and green at Christmas time.) Drizzle over popcorn, cool and dry. Delicious!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Roasted Squash Penne with Autumn Pesto

I bought a butternut squash about a week ago so I could make ravioli-needless to say I ran out of umph this week. I made this dish for the first time a couple of months ago and loved it! I decided I wanted it one more time before all the squash is gone for a whileRoasted Squash Penne with Autumn Pesto
adapted from rachael ray
1 cup flat leaf parsley tops, packed
1 cup baby spinach leaves, packed
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp paprika
2 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1 tsp lemon zest plus juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1 butternut squash-peeled and cubed into 3/4 inch pieces
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper
1 lb penne
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400*.
Place parsley, spinach, ginger, garlic, nuts, lemon zest and juice, some salt and pepper in food processor and turn processor on. Stream about 1/3 cup olive oil into processor to form pesto sauce.
Spread squash cubes onto baking sheet. Drizzle cubes with about 2 tbsp olive oil and season with salt, pepper, paprika and nutmeg. Roast 15 minutes, turn cubes over and roast 15 minutes more.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of starchy cooking water just before draining. Drain pasta and return to hot pot. Add reserved water and pesto and toss to coat. Gently mix in squash cubes and serve topped with lots of cheese!
Serves 6-8

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Curried Chicken and Cider Soup

I think I have a new favorite soup~I made this on Sunday and have wanted more since! It is super easy, good for you and so filling. I changed the recipe a bit to fit my budget and schedule a little better. So, so good!
Curried Chicken and Cider Soup
adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp salt
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 cup apple cider
4 cups water
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
1 small head cauliflower, coarsely chopped
2 cups shredded chicken
In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion, ginger and salt and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder, cumin and cook for about 3 minutes. Add cider, scraping bottom of the pan. Add 4 cups water and sweet potato and bring to a boil. Add the cauliflower, lower the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
Using a blender or hand blender, puree the soup. (I pureed until a bit thick, but still chunky.) Stir in the chicken and heat through. Season with salt and pepper.