Saturday, January 31, 2015

Spiced Chipotle Honey Chicken Breasts with Sweet Potatoes

I have had this recipe in my 'to try' file for a long time.  I am SO glad I finally tried it.  We all really liked this.  I was worried that the sweet potatoes may not cook in the time stated, but they really do. 
Spiced Chipotle Honey Chicken Breasts with Sweet Potatoes
serves 6

4 sweet potatoes (10 ounces each), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces Beth sliced into 1/2 in pieces and then cut those circles into 4 pieces
3 Tbs olive oil
4 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced Beth used 3 t of puree
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs honey, plus more for drizzling
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 lbs)
chopped cilantro, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the sweet potatoes in a medium bowl.

In a small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, chipotles, garlic, honey, vinegar, salt, cumin, and cinnamon. Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil with 2 teaspoons of the paste. Toss with the sweet potatoes.

Scatter the potatoes on the bottom of a roasting pan, and bake 15 minutes. Meanwhile, rub the chicken breasts with the remaining paste.

Stir the potatoes. Carefully place the chicken on top of the sweet potatoes, and continue to roast until the chicken is just cooked through (registers 165 on an instant read thermometer), about 15-20 minutes longer

Divide the potatoes and chicken evenly among serving plates and drizzle with remaining honey and garnish with cilantro. Serve.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Chees and Green Chilies Biscuits

I have had this recipe in my file to try since 2012.  They are DELICIOUS!  They do make a lot, so I froze half of them.  They remind me a bit of the biscuits from Red Lobster, only with green chilies in them.
Author Joanne Fluke of “Cinnamon Roll Murder”

Preheat oven to 425 degrees, rack in the middle position

3½ cups all purpose flour (pack it down in the cup when you measure it)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar (this is important)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup salted softened butter (1 stick, 4 ounces, ¼ pound)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies; drained and patted dry with a paper towel (I used Ortega Diced Green Chiles)
2 large eggs, beaten (just whip them up in a glass with a fork)
1 cup sour cream (8 ounces)
½ cup whole milk
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Use a medium-size mixing bowl to combine the flour, salt, cream of tartar, baking powder and baking soda. Stir them all up together. Cut in the salted butter just as you would for pie crust dough.

Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese and the drained, chopped green chilies. Mix everything up thoroughly.
Add the beaten eggs and the sour cream in that order. Mix everything all up together.
Add the milk and stir until everything is thoroughly combined.

Drop the biscuits by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets, 12 biscuits to a sheet.
If you have only one oven, bake one sheet on the upper rack and the other sheet on the lower rack, switching places halfway through the baking time.
Once the biscuits are on the baking sheet (or sheets if you decided to use two) you can wet your fingers with a little water and shape them if you like. (I leave mine slightly irregular so everyone knows they’re homemade.)
Sprinkle the tops of the biscuits with shredded cheese.
Bake the biscuits at 425 degrees 12-14 minutes, or until they’re golden brown on top. For two sheets of smaller biscuits, reduce the baking time to 10-12 minutes. They’re done when they’re golden brown on top.
Cool the biscuits for at least five minutes on the cookie sheet, and then remove them to a wire rack. Let them cool for at least another 2 minutes before you serve them. (I place mine in a towel-lined basket so they stay warm.)
Yield: Makes 12 large Cheese and Green Chiles Biscuits or 18-24 smaller biscuits that are equally delicious.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Charro Beans

Charro beans down here in Texas are very soupy.  These are not, but OHHHHH so good.  We all really liked the flavor of these with the chorizo in them.  Served these with fajitas and Spanish rice. 
Charro Beans

1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 med onion, diced
1/2 lb. chorizo, cooked and drained Beth used a 10 oz roll
2 tbl. molasses
1/2 c. salsa, (any temp)
1 tsp. chili powder ( I use more)

In large saucepan, cook sausage over medium heat for 4-5 min, or til browned. Drain, add onion, cook and stir for 4-5 min longer. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, partially cover. Simmer 15-20 min to blend flavors. Serve


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Dr Pepper Crockpot Pork Chops

My girls don't care for pork chops, so I made these on a night that Jenna would be gone.  Don and I really liked these.
Dr Pepper Crockpot Pork Chops

6-8 Pork chops with or without bone. I did bone in
1 can and a half of Dr. Pepper Beth used diet
12 oz. of ketchup
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in the crock pot (stir).

Cook on low for 6 hours or until the pork chops are cooked through. They will be so tender at this point.

In a separate bowl I added the juice about two cups from the crock pot and added 1-2 tablespoon of corn starch, whisked with a fork to form gravy. You can also use flour if you don't have corn starch on hand.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Pistachio Dream Cake

We made this for the Packer playoff game--had to have something green!  I only had a funfetti cake mix that was white and it already had the sprinkles added in.  I also used diet gingerale since I had it in the house.  We all loved this!
Pistachio Dream Cake

1 (18 1/4 ounce) packages white cake mix (Beth used funfetti cake mix)
1 (1 ounce) package Jell-O instant pistachio pudding mix
1 (8 ounce) nonfat plain yogurt
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup carbonated lemon-lime beverage Beth used diet gingerale
1 1/2 cups nonfat milk
1 (1 ounce) package Jell-O instant pistachio pudding mix
2 cups reduced-fat whipped topping

In a large mixing bowl, combine dry cake and pudding mixes, yogurt, egg whites and vanilla; beat on low speed for 1 minute.

Gradually beat in soda.

Pour into a 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

For frosting, combine milk and dry pudding mix in a mixing bowl; beat on low for 2 minutes.
Fold in whipped topping. Spread over cake.

Store in the refrigerator.
Yield: 20 servings.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Crockpot Jalapeno Popper Chili

This was a great recipe.  Here are the changes I made.  I used frozen chicken breasts and at hour 7 or so, I took them out and cubed them.   I did NOT puree the soup(I forgot to do this before putting the chunks of chicken back in and didn't want pureed chicken)and wouldn't do it again.  I used a full pound of beans, so I used 4 cups of broth(4 cups water and 4 tsp or cubes of bouillon)  I also let everyone add their own bacon.  Will make this again for sure!  Loved it.
Crockpot JalapeƱo Popper Chili
Serves 6 - 8

1 yellow onion, diced
1 - 2 jalapeno peppers, seeds removed, and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red or yellow bell pepper, diced
2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (breasts work too - I just find thighs less dry and more flavorful)
1 teaspoon chile powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
pinch of crushed red pepper
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
3-4 cups chicken broth (use 4 if you're doing a full pound of beans)
1/2 or 1 lb dry white beans, rinsed and sorted (I used navy beans)
1 cup frozen corn
salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled

Add all ingredients except the cream cheese and bacon to the crockpot. Cook on low for 7-9 hours. Shred chicken with two forks.

(optional) Using an immersion blender, briefly pulse a few times to break up some of the beans and thicken the soup - you don't want it smooth, just a few of the beans pureed. Or take about 2 cups of the chili out and blend it in a countertop blender (leave the lid cracked so the steam doesn't make your blender explode)

Add the cream cheese and let melt for about 10 minutes, stir to combine, and mix in crumbled bacon. Salt to taste and serve.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Chocolate Banana Crinkle Muffins

These were some of the best muffins I have ever made!  I got 12 regular muffins and 8 mini muffins.  They were super easy to make--so use those over ripe bananas and make these TODAY!
Chocolate Banana Crinkle Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
heaping 1/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1 large egg
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/4 cup sour cream (lite is okay; Greek yogurt may be substituted)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (from about 3 medium/large bananas)
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (strongly recommended but regular size may be substituted)
about 1 teaspoon granulated sugar for each muffin, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a Non-Stick 12-Cup Regular Muffin Pan and one mini loaf pan (recipe yields 13 or 14 muffins, or one dozen plus one mini loaf; or simply discard excess batter if that's easier) very well with floured cooking spray or grease and flour the pan; set aside.

To a large bowl, add the first 6 ingredients, through optional salt, and whisk to combine; set aside.
To a medium bowl, add the egg, oil, sour cream, vanilla, and whisk to combine.

Stir in the bananas.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir until just combined. Batter is quite thick and is prone to having dry bits hiding at the bottom of the bowl. Make sure everything is incorporated without unnecessarily over-mixing or muffins will be tough.
Stir in the chocolate chips until just combined.

Using a large cookie scoop, 1/4-cup measure, or spoon, turn batter out into prepared pans. Each muffin cavity should be filled to about 3/4 full, but not exceeding, or batter could overflow.
Sprinkle the top of each muffin generously with sugar, about 1 teaspoon each. It looks like a lot but I like the visual pop and contrast of the white and dark; noting some absorbs and some is lost to the pan.

Bake at 350F for about 22 to 25 minutes, or until muffins are set, domed, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into a crack comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter, noting it's not a perfect test and you may hit melted chocolate chips which shouldn't be confused with raw better. Don't overbake which is very easy to do with dark-colored items and start watching them closely at 20 minutes. Allow muffins to cool in pan for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until they've firmed up and are cool enough to handle. Muffins will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. I find the muffins taste better on day 2 after the flavors have married.