Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Baked Chicken Taquitos

Simple and delicious! Even my picky 2 year old loves these!
Baked Chicken Taquitos

1/3 cup (3oz) cream cheese
1/4 cup green salsa (salsa verde)
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 t granulated garlic
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tbsp sliced green onions
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup grated pepperjack cheese
small corn or flour tortillas
kosher salt
cooking spray

Heat oven to 425*. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray. Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 30 seconds so it's soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and garlic. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.

Work with a few tortillas at a time and heat in the microwave until they are soft enough to roll without cracking. It helps to place them between damp paper towels. Usually 25-30 seconds will do it. If you find yours are cracking when you roll them or come unrolled right away, just try heating them longer and try the paper towel thing.

Place 2-3 tbsp of chicken mixture on the lower third of tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges. Then roll as tightly as you can.

Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet, making sure they don't tough each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle some salt on top. Place pan in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown. Dip them in salsa, sour cream, guacamole or my brothers favorite....ranch dressing.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hearty Beef Stew

The only good thing about winter is the soup and stew! I am so ready for spring! I made this stew yesterday and it was super good. Hearty and filling all the way. It may require a few extra steps, but they are well worth the time.
Hearty Beef Stew
mel's kitchen cafe

5 lb boneless chuck roast, cut into 1 inch pieces (or you can cheat like I did and buy stew meat)
salt and pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 (6oz) can tomato paste
2 cups beef broth
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 bay leaves
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 lb red potatoes, washed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp minute tapioca
2 cups frozen peas

After the meat has been cut into chunks, pat it dry with a paper towel and season all the pieces with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat until the oil is rippling and hot. Cook half the beef until it is well browned on each side, about 4 minutes. No need to cook it all the way through-just get some good color all around. Toss the meat in a greased slow cooker and follow the same process with the rest of the meat (you may need another tbsp of oil in the pan if it's looking too dry). Remove the meat to the slow cooker, trying to keep as much oil in the pan as possible.

Return the skillet to medium heat and add the onions and 1/4 tsp of salt and cook until onions are translucent and golden, about 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the broth, soy sauce, 1/2 tsp thyme and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil and transfer it to the slow cooker, pouring it over the meat.

In a large bowl, toss the carrots, potatoes, 1 tbsp oil, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. On the counter, lay out a large piece of foil (use 2 sheets of regular foil if you don't have heavy-duty). Place the tossed veggies on one side of the foil. Fold foil over the vegetables and crimp the edges really well to form a little foil packet that will fit in the top of your slow cooker. Stir the tapioca into the slow cooker. Place foil packet on top of the stew, cover with the lid and cook on high for 6-7 hours or low for 10-11 hours.

When the stew is finished cooking, carefully remove the foil packet from the top of the stew. Discard the bay leaves from the stew. Carefully open the foil packet (be careful of steam that may escape when you open it). Return the veggies and any juices to slow cooker and gently mix them into the stew. Stir in the frozen peas and let them rest in the stew for 5-10 minutes, or until they are heated through. Serve and enjoy!

Serves 6-8

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Teriyaki Chicken and Rice

Last night we had one of my "easy dinners". It's fast to make, yet full of yummy flavor. My kids always gobble this up!
Teriyaki Chicken and Rice

2 lbs chicken, cut into 1 inch squares
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar

Cook rice as directed. While rice is cooking, cook chicken in a large skillet with a splash of olive oil that has been heated. Stir chicken occasionally until browned on the outside and cooked through on the inside. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine soy sauce, water and brown sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Cook over medium heat until sauce begins to bubble, but not boil over. Add sauce to cooked chicken in skillet and simmer until sauce thickens up and is more like a syrup. My kids like is a little more saucy than syrupy, so really, the amount of time you let it simmer is up to you.
Serve over cooked rice

Serves 4-6

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

My husband is a good sport. He puts up with a lot from me...especially my odd reading habits. I read cookbooks in bed like they are novels. I find it relaxing and that's about the only time I get some days to get my creative juices flowing. I got Rachael Ray's new cookbook for Christmas and I quickly put it to good use. This recipe is comfort food all the way! I would like to pass it off as healthy, but after the amount of cheese I put into it, that probably would not be truthful.

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie
rachael ray

2 1 /2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
2 tsp grated orange zest
1 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 lbs ground turkey
1 large onion
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2-3 large garlic cloves
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander
1/2 cup tomato paste
2-3 cups chicken stock
2 cups shredded sharp yellow cheddar cheese

Place the potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Salt the water and cook until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and return potatoes to pot, then mash with butter, orange zest, and sour cream. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste.
While the potatoes are coming to a boil, heat chili pot or oven proof skillet. Add the turkey and brown, breaking up the meat and adding the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes while you chop the chili peppers, bell pepper, and garlic. Add the peppers and garlic to the pot, season with the spices, salt and pepper and cook for 8-10 minutes more. Stir in tomato paste for 1 minute, then add the stock and simmer for a few minutes longer to thicken and combine the flavors.
Preheat the broiler. Place chili in casserole dish or leave in skillet if it is oven proof. Spread mashed potatoes over the chili, and cover with cheddar cheese. Brown under the broiler until golden.
Serves 4-6

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Party Food

Here is the best salsa ever! It tastes the best with lime tortilla chips and the longer you let it sit in the fridge, the better it tastes!
The Best Salsa Ever!

Drain and reserve:
1 can shoepeg corn
1 can black beans
1 can black-eyed peas

1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
3-4 roma tomatoes, diced
1-2 bunches green onions, chopped

Mix together:
1 pkg Good Seasoning Italian Dressing Mix (the dry stuff-and NOT zesty!)
1/4 cup vinegar
3 tbsp water
1/4 cup olive oil

Blend all ingredients together and pour into a serving bowl. If you like, you can add some cilantro as well. Serve with lime chips or scoop chips. This salsa is better if you let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours so the flavors have time to soak! Delicious!!!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Party Food

My goal was to stay on top of my blogging and I am already behind. Oh well, I guess there are more important things to feel guilty about.
Party food is on the menu today! I made a bunch of party food this weekend and it was good!
Wonton Taco Cups
my bff Jodi Riley

24 wonton wrappers
1 lb ground beef (or turkey)
1 packet taco seasoning
Mexican blend cheddar cheese-about a cup or so
chopped olives
sour cream
salsa (optional)

Grease a mini muffin tin or two depending on how many your pan holds. Ground beef, draining excess fat and add taco seasoning, cooking according to package directions.
Place wonton wrappers in muffin tin, pressing down gently to mold them into the muffin cup. Add about 1 tbsp of cooked meat in to wrapper, top with cheese and olives. Bake at 350* for about 8 minutes or until wontons start to turn golden.
Once out of the oven, top with dollop of sour cream and salsa if desired.
Super easy, super yummy! These would make a great dinner as well!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells

I tried a new recipe last night and we loved it! I couldn't get a great picture of it, but trust me...it's so good! It takes a little bit of prep work and be aware this recipe makes 2 9x13 pans. So this is a great recipe if you need to take dinner to someone or just throw the extra pan in the freezer. I cut the recipe in half cause I didn't want two pans last night. I will make the full batch next time and throw a pan in the freezer! It was delicious!
Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells
adapted from girl who ate everything

1 (120z) box uncooked jumbo pasta shells...you may want to cook 1 1/2 boxes just to be safe in case some of the shells break while boiling
2 cups chopped, cooked chicken
2 cups frozen spinach, thawed, drained and chopped
1 tbsp minced, dried onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15oz) ricotta cheese
1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese (i used the lighter version and it was fine)
1 (5oz) pkg shredded parmesan cheese (about 1 2/3 cups)
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
1 (26oz) jar spaghetti sauce or more if you want it saucier

Cook shells according to package directions. Be careful not to overcook them or they will break easily while trying to fill them. Drain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350* Lightly grease 2 9x13 baking dishes.

In a large bowl, combine chicken and the rest of the ingredients except 1 cup of mozzarella and spaghetti sauce. Spoon filling into shells.

Spread half of spaghetti sauce into prepared dishes, dividing it between the two pans. Place shells on top of sauce and top with remaining sauce. Cover tightly with foil; if you are freezing one pan, freeze after this step. Include a bag of extra mozzarella for when you bake it.

Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with remaining 1 cup of mozzarella. Bake 10 minutes more until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Serves 8-10

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Moroccan Chili

A few years ago, we lived in St. George for a couple of months. I loved it there and would go back in a heartbeat. It wasn't a great time for our family, but I had a lot of self discovery while we lived there, so for me it was a very positive experience. It is also the only place we have ever had cable. I discovered and quickly became addicted to the Food Network. This was the first "difficult recipe" I ever tried and from this I learned that I can cook anything! Honestly...it isn't difficult at all. This is one of our very favorites! My husband got home from work last night and knew what I was making just from the smell. It is so fragrant and so flavorful!
Moroccan Chili
adapted from rachael ray

2 lbs ground turkey
salt and pepper
2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp paprika
1 bay leaf
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 (140z) can tomato sauce
2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
handful golden raisins
handful dried apricots, chopped
1 1/2 cups couscous
handful fresh parsley, chopped
handful fresh mint, chopped

Heat skillet and add meat and brown. Season with salt and pepper, chili powder, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and paprika. Add bay leaf, onion, pepper and garlic to pan. Cook until onions are soft, about 8 minutes. Add lemon zest, juice, worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce. Stir and reduce heat to simmer.
Bring butter, stock, apricots and raisins to boil. Add couscous; stir, then turn off heat and cover with lid. Let stand 5 minutes. Add herbs and toss with fork.
Pile chili in bowls and top with couscous.
Serves 4

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Jalapeno Poppers

Happy New Year!! I can't believe we are starting another year. 2010 had many ups and downs for me. It was also a very busy year and I am hoping 2011 is a bit calmer. I have been thinking a lot about resolutions and changes I want to make in my life for the new year. I have a long list, so hopefully I will accomplish at least one thing on that list. I have good intentions at least. One of my biggest projects I want to tackle this year, (besides losing the junk in my trunk!) is to get my recipes organized! I have a plan, now I just need to get started! I also want to be better about blogging my recipes. I love seeing what everyone else is making and am grateful that others are more diligent than I am.
I thought I would start the new year off right by sharing one of my top 10 favorite things to eat....Jalapeno Poppers! I could seriously eat all 36 of these poppers I made yesterday by myself. Hence the need to lose that junk in my trunk:) My family always makes a ton of party food for New Years Eve and we eat it for days. These were my contribution this year. So yummy!!!
Happy 2011!!

BBQ Jalapeno Poppers
pioneer woman

18 fresh jalapenos
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 green onion, sliced
18 slices of bacon, cut in half
bbq sauce or apricot jam

Cut peppers in half lengthwise, trying to keep stems intact. With a spoon, scoop out seeds and ribs of peppers. (You will want to wear rubber gloves or even plastic bags on your hands for this part! If you touch your face with your hands after seeding jalapenos, you will be sorry for hours!)

In a bowl, combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese and green onion. Stuff each pepper half with cheese mixture. Wrap bacon slices around each half, covering as much of the surface as you can without ripping the bacon. Secure peppers and bacon with a toothpick and brush desired sauce over each pepper.

Place a cooling rack over a baking sheet and place peppers on cooling rack. This will allow drippings from bacon to fall into the baking pan and not all over your peppers as they bake. Bake at *275 for 1 hour, or until bacon is sizzling. Serve warm or at room temperature.