Sunday, May 31, 2015

Cobb Dip

This is so very good.  Make this for your next party and it will be a hit for sure!
Cobb Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 c. sour cream
1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Dip mix
1 c. chopped Romaine lettuce
1 Roma tomato, chopped
½ c. shredded cheddar cheese
½ c. grilled corn
¼ c. bacon, cooked & crumbled
¼ c. blue cheese crumbles

Combine cream cheese, sour cream, and Ranch Dip mix and mix until smooth.
Spread into the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate or other similarly sized pan.
Top with lettuce, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, corn, bacon, and blue cheese.
Eat with your favorite tortilla chips, crackers, or pretzel flats.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

One Pan Mexican Quinoa

This was the first time we cooked with quinoa and we really liked it in this recipe.
One Pan Mexican Quinoa

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapenos, minced
1 cup quinoa
1 cup vegetable broth
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes we used plain diced tomatoes
1 cup corn kernels
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and jalapeno, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Stir in quinoa, vegetable broth, beans, tomatoes, corn, chili powder and cumin; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Stir in avocado, lime juice and cilantro.

Serve immediately.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Mexican Grilled Chicken

This was easy to put together and tasted great. I had this marinated and found out we were out of propane. This worked great on the George Foreman grill.

Mexican Grilled Chicken

8 chicken thighs or 4 chicken breast halves, on the bone Beth used boneless skinless

Marinade ingredients

1⁄2 onion
1 large garlic clove
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1⁄2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1⁄2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
1⁄4 teaspoon dried chipotle powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 lime, juice of or 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 handful cilantro leaf (optional)

Put all marinade ingredients in the blender or food processor and liquify.

Put marinade in a gallon-size zip lock bag and add chicken pieces. Turn a few times to distribute marinade.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours

Remove chicken from marinade and place on hot grill. Discard marinade.

Grill, turning occasionally, until chicken is cooked through.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Roasted Jalapeno Soup

Kathleen put this together for lunch one day.  Double this recipe right away since you will want to eat more than one bowl!
Roasted Jalapeno Soup

4 medium green jalapeno peppers
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream or milk
1/2 cup seeded and chopped tomatoes (can use also used canned if tomatoes are out of season)
1/4 cup sliced mushrooms

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Cut off the stem of each jalapeno then cut in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and membrane. Place them face down on the sheet. Roast for 15 minutes or until slightly darkened. When cool enough to handle, chop.

In a Dutch oven or other large pot, heat the olive oil. When hot, add the carrots and onion and cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and chopped jalapeno and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the butter. Once melted, whisk in the flour and salt until everything is coated. Slowly whisk in the broth and bring to a boil. Cook until the soup has thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream then bring back to a boil.

Once thickened, add about half of the soup to a blender then puree until smooth (be very careful as hot liquid expands when blended). Add the rest of the soup then puree until smooth. Pour back into the sauce pan. Stir in the tomatoes and mushrooms. Simmer until hot then serve immediately.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Brenda's Veggie Dip

My mom had this dip made when we were at her house.  I LOVED the zip that the garlic added to this dip.  I came home and made it right away!
Brenda's Veggie Dip

1 cup mayo
1 cup sour cream
1 tbsp dill weed
1.5 tsp Lawrys seasoning salt
1 T parsley
2 T dried onion
1 tsp garlic powder

Mix all together and chill for at least an hour to let flavors blend.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tomato, Cucumber and Avocado Salad

This is a tasty salad that we have made twice in the last week!  It goes together easy, too!
Tomato, Cucumber and Avocado Salad

1½ cups of chopped tomatoes - I used cherry tomatoes
1 cucumber - peeled and seeded then diced
1 avocado - diced
4 oz feta cheese - cubed We used mozzeralla
2 tbs minced red onion
1 handful parsley - minced - about 2 tbs
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs red wine vinegar
8 twists of black pepper from a pepper mill

Chop tomatoes into a medium dice. If using cherry tomatoes, cut in half. Add to a bowl.
Peel and seed one cucumber and dice. Add to bowl.
Remove pit, dice avocado and using a spoon scoop out the avocado from the peel. Add to bowl.
Cube feta and add to bowl.
Add minced red onion and minced parsley to bowl.
Whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar and black pepper - pour over salad.
Toss gently so the feta and avocado don't break up. Serve immediately.
If refrigerating - keep the avocado aside and add before severing.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake

Hey everyone, it's Kathleen-Beth's daughter. We were walking through H-E-B (our local grocery store) the day before Mother's Day and they were giving samples of a cake similar to this. Of course, we weren't about to spend $20 on a cake and figured it would be so much more fun to try to make it! I hope you enjoy it!

Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake
1 Red Velvet Cake Mix- prepared according to box directions and baked in 2 9-inch round pans
Vanilla Bean Cheesecake (recipe below)
Whipped Cream Frosting (recipe below)
1 bar Ghirardelli White Chocolate, shaved with a potato peeler

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake


1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs, about 8 whole crackers
4 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons melted butter

Cheesecake Batter
16 ounces (2 large packages) cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream or sour cream
3 large eggs
2 to 3 teaspoons vanilla extract or Vanilla Bean Crush
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel, optional
1 teaspoon lemon juice, optional

Preheat the oven to 375°F. To make the crust: Stir together the crumbs, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and melted butter. Press into the bottom and about 1/2" inch up the sides of an 8" x 8" square pan. For this recipe, bake it in a springform pan. Freeze for 15 minutes if using a metal pan (not necessary if using ceramic or glass). Note: this is to prevent the edges of the crust from slumping. If you're not worried about slumping (and in our testing, it only happened some of the time), you can skip this step. Bake the crust for 8 to 10 minutes, until set; the color won't change much. Remove the crust from the oven and cool for a few minutes while you lower the oven temperature to 325°F.

To make the batter: Mix the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Add the cream, eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice; mix until combined, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as you mix. Spoon the batter into the crust. Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until the filling is set but still soft in the center. An instant-read thermometer, inserted into the filling about 1" in from the edge, will read about 180°F. Remove the bars from the oven, and cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Whipped Cream Frosting 
1.5 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3-1/2 cup powdered sugar

Whip the whipped cream until just before soft peaks form, add the powdered sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks. 

Cake Assembly
Once the cake and cheesecake are completely cooled, take the spring form pan off and transfer the cheesecake to a plate or cake turntable. Place one of the red velvet cake layers on top of the cheesecake (if any cracks form, you can fill them with the whipped cream). Frost with the whipped cream until completely covered. Immediately press the shaved white chocolate onto the sides and top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Easy Cheese Danish

 This is another breakfast recipe that my mom and I put together while we were there.  Very easy and great flavor!  I am sure you could add some fruit to the cream cheese to make it a strawberry Danish!

Easy Cheese Danish

1 tube crescent rolls
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 cup powdered sugar
4+ tablespoons heavy cream( or milk)
splash vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, flour and vanilla. Set aside.

 Pop open crescent roll dough and unroll, leaving crescents in rectangles. On an ungreased baking sheet, lay the crescent roll rectangles together, lining them up width wise. Dough should be almost the entire length of a half sheet pan.

 Press edges together to even out edges and seal any holes. Carefully spread cream cheese filling down the center of the dough to be about 2-3 inches wide. Cut 1/2 inch diagonal strips up each side of the dough. Fold 1/2 inch dough pieces up over filling alternating sides to get a braided pattern. You may have excess dough once you reach the end of the danish, so fold them in as best as you can.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until filling is set and crescent dough is golden in color. Cool before removing from baking sheet.

 Once danish has cooled, remove to serving platter. In a small bowl, mix together powdered sugar, vanilla and cream to create icing. You may need to add more cream to get the desired consistency. Drizzle icing over Danish.

 Cut into pieces and serve.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Tator Tot Breakfast Casserole

My mom and I put this together for a breakfast when we were visiting their house over Mother's Day. This was great and easy to make.

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole

1/2 bag frozen tater tots(We used the whole bag and it just filled a 9 x 13 pan)
12 eggs
2 cups shredded cheese
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt & pepper, to taste
sliced green onions, for topping

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Layer frozen tater tots in a single layer on the bottom of the baking dish.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs until smooth.

Stir in onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix in crumbled bacon. Then stir in 1 cup shredded cheese. Pour egg mixture over tater tots. Make sure the egg mixture is spread out all on the bottom.  Add remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese to the top.

Bake uncovered for about 35-40 minutes.

The egg mixture should be fully cooked and no longer jiggly. If you'd like, garnish with a little sliced green onion.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Best Ever Rice Krispie Treats

My mom and my sister had both made these the weekend we were in Wisconsin.  I LOVE the extra marshmallows and the vanilla in these.
Best EVER Rice Krispie Treats
10 cups crispy rice cereal
1 cup (2 sticks) real, salted butter
2 10-oz. bags miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla paste
1/4 teaspoon salt

Measure exactly 10 cups of rice cereal and add to a large mixing bowl (not more, not less – it has to be 10 cups for the magic to happen); set aside.
Grease a 9 x 13 pan.
Melt butter over low heat in a large pot. Once butter is melted, add marshmallows, vanilla and salt. Cook and stir over low heat until marshmallows are melted and everything is completely mixed together. If marshmallows start to brown, remove from heat and keep stirring until everything is well combined.
Pour marshmallow mixture over rice cereal and gently stir until cereal is evenly coated.
Spread mixture into prepared pan. Let treats cool to room temperature uncovered. Once set, cut into 24 squares. Store in an air-tight container.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Roasted Asparagus and Carrots

Kathleen made these for a snack this week.  Very tasty!
Roasted Asparagus and Carrots
Adapted from

6 medium carrots
1/2 bunch asparagus
Other vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, potatoes, mushrooms and onions would be good this way.

1 T (or more if needed) olive oil
1 t garlic powder
1 T chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 T chopped fresh chives
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425. Chop vegetables into uniform size (ours could have been a little smaller). Coat with oil and spices. Bake for 10 minutes, flip and bake for at least another 10 minutes. Since the asparagus is so small we took it out after about 18 minutes, our carrots took about 25-30 minutes.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Toasted Garlic Smashed Red Potatoes

Jenna made these up to go with the steak and broccoli.  Delish!
Toasted Garlic Smashed Red Potatoes
Jenna Johnson

1 2-lb bag of red potatoes
Salt & Pepper
2 T toasted garlic**
1/4 cup half and half
1.5 T butter

Rinse potatoes and place in a large pot of water, Bring to a boil and boil until fork tender (20 minutes). Drain and smash gently with a potato masher. Add the garlic, half and half and butter and mix until well incorporated. Garnish with parsley

**Over medium heat, add 1/2 TBSP olive oil to a pan with roughly chopped garlic. Stir continually until golden brown- don't burn! Drain additional oil if necessary.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Strawberry Poppyseed and Bacon Chopped Salad

This salad was good, but the dressing was GREAT!
Strawberry Poppyseed and Bacon Chopped Salad

6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
2 cups strawberries, chopped
8 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
½ red onion, diced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (We used shredded parmesan)
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon diced red onion
⅓ cup sugar
⅓ cup white vinegar
¼ cup strawberries, chopped
½ cup olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoons poppyseeds

In a large bowl toss together chopped lettuce, strawberries, bacon, and red onion. In a food processor or blender, add all dressing ingredients and pulse 1-2 minutes until smooth. (We shook in a mason jar and it worked great). Pour dressing over salad and top with crumbled feta cheese. Enjoy!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Lemony Broccoli

The girls adapted this from the Pioneer Woman. She used broccolini and they used broccoli. Loved the light taste.
Lemony Broccoli
adapted from Ree Drummond

2 bunches broccoli
2 tablespoons salted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare an ice water bath. Blanch the broccoli in the boiling water for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Immediately plunge into the ice water, then drain on paper towels.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for a minute, then throw in the broccoli. Toss to coat in the butter and garlic, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the lemon zest and juice and continue cooking for a couple more minutes.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Petite Filet

The girls were watching the Food Network last week and decided to make these.  I got to taste some and it was delicious!
Petite Filet
The Pioneer Woman 

3 petite filet (shoulder tender) steaks Tenderloin filet mingon
Olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Garlic, grated with microplane

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Drizzle the steaks with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and garlic. Add the steaks to the skillet and sear quickly, about 1 minute per side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for 5 minutes. (13 minutes was great for us for medium, almost medium rare)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Carino's Dipping Oil

Jenna and Kathleen put this together while I was gone.  They froze part of it and it tasted GREAT!
Carino's Dipping Oil
1T toasted garlic
1T rosemary
1T oregano
2t basil
1/2t red pepper flakes
1/2t salt
1/2t pepper
3T Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp sugar
olive oil for serving

In order to incorporate the "Johnny Carino's" type of garlic feel, I peeled, and finely chopped two heads of garlic. (You could make much less, but I figure make a batch and freeze the extra's for later!)

I placed about a quarter size dollop of olive oil in my pan, coated the garlic well, and then consistently stirred over medium heat for 10ish minutes! Its important to constantly stir so your garlic won't burn!

Once it's golden, drain any leftover oil and mix the spices, cheese and sugar. We froze half of it and placed half of it on the plate and drizzled with olive oil to cover.

We served it with ciabatta bread. Yummy!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Easy Slow Cooker Chili-Lime Mexican Shredded Beef

I wanted to cook a Mexican meal and had a roast in the freezer.  The meat was so tender and the lime soda and lime juice added a great flavor!
Easy Slow Cooker Chili-Lime Mexican Shredded Beef

1 (2 to 3 pound) beef chuck roast
4 cups lemon-lime soda Beth used 2 12 oz cans(diet)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Beth added 1 t cumin
2 limes, juiced

1. Place the chuck roast into the bottom of a 5 to 8 quart slow cooker.

2. Pour soda over chuck roast.

3. Season with chili powder, salt, and garlic, and cumin.

4. Cover with lid and cook on low for 8 hours until easily shredded with a fork.

5. Shred and pour lime juice over. Serve hot.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Mexican Street Corn

I have always wanted to try this but could only find a recipe for corn ON the cob.  When I found this, I knew I would try it.  We LOVED this and made it twice in a week!  See what we did in bold, below.
Mexican Street Corn

1 pound frozen corn (defrosted before using- or cut the corn off of fresh cobs)
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup mayonnaise  (I actually used sour cream!)
1/2 cup grated cotija cheese (grated parmesan can be substituted)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt to taste

1. Drain defrosted corn in colander; dry on papertowels, removing as much water as possible.
2. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat; add butter and melt.
3. Add corn to skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, approximately 10 minutes or until most of the kernels have browned.
4. In a large bowl, combine roasted corn, mayonnaise, cheese, and spices. Stir to combine.
5. Serve.

NOTES: For creamier street corn, increase the mayo or sour cream to 1/2 cup. Want to make it a bit spicier? Add a few dashes of cayenne pepper to taste.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Banana Coconut Oatmeal

I will be taking a vacation for about a week since I will be in the Midwest for a wedding.  I made this for breakfast last week and it was very good.  I love oatmeal and this gave it a pina colada feel!
Banana Coconut Oatmeal

1 cup water
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 banana, chopped (best if overripe)
2 tbsp shredded coconut
Pinch ground nutmeg

I bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. In go the oats, chopped banana, coconut, and nutmeg. I turn down the heat to medium/low and simmer while stirring frequently for two or three minutes. And that's it! I always top it with a splash of milk and sometimes a sprinkling of brown sugar. Okay, sometimes more than a sprinkling!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Chorizo Chicken Bake

We made this for dinner on Sunday.  This was NOT spicy and had great flavor.  If you wanted it spicy, you could use a spicy Rotel.  We sliced it and ate it on tortillas.  I only used half the chicken and will use the extra sauce over pasta!

Chorizo Chicken Bake

6-8 boneless skinless chicken breasts (6 if large, 8 if small)
10 ounce package pork chorizo
4 ounces light cream cheese or Mexican crema
1/2 C light sour cream
10 ounce can chopped tomatoes with green chiles, drained
1/4 C freshly grated parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×13 glass pan with nonstick spray. Lay down the chicken evenly in the pan.

 2. In a large skillet, brown the chorizo over medium high heat for about 7-8 minutes. Add the drained tomatoes, cream cheese and sour cream and mix until it is all blended. Spread the mixture over the chicken breasts, sprinkle on the parmesan cheese and bake, uncovered for about 45 minutes depending on the size of your chicken breasts. There will be enough pan juices to serve over some rice if desired. Or slice the chicken and serve it inside a tortilla topped with your favorite toppings.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Best Blondies

I needed a quick dessert on Saturday and this was it!  YUM!  My friend Janet gave me the recipe and I had also saved it from a Gooseberry Patch cookbook. 
The Best Blondies
Gooseberry Patch book/Janet

1 cup butter, melted
2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup white chocolate chips
3/4 cups toffee or caramel baking bits Beth used chocolate covered toffee bits

Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment. Spray sides with Pam. Mix butter and brown sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt; mix in pecans, white chocolate chips and baking bits. 375 for 30-40

Monday, May 4, 2015

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Granola Bars

I had a box and a half of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, so I went searching for a recipe to make.  This tastes great, but it is really crumbly.  I think it would make a great ice cream topping. 

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Granola Bars

1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup toasted rice cereal
1 cup Cinnamon Toasted Crunch Cereal, crushed
1/2 tsp vanilla


1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal, crushed

1. Stir oats, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, rice cereal together and cinnamon. Set aside.

2. Over medium heat, melt butter, honey and brown sugar together. Once it starts to bubble, reduce heat, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in vanilla.

3. Pour syrup over the oat mixture. Stir until well coated. Pat into a greased sheet pan. Thoroughly press them together, or they will crumble when you cut into them.

4. Sprinkle chocolate chips and Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal evenly across the bars. Lightly press in the chips and cereal. Allow to cool for at least 2 hours. Cut into bars, store in air tight container at room temperature.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Cake Batter Bark

I wanted to take treats to the kids at school when I was subbing this past week. I was searching through my recipes to find something without nuts. I found this while watching The Chew and knew it would work! 3 classrooms enjoyed this treat!

Cake Batter Bark
The Chew

1 pound dark chocolate (roughly chopped)(Beth used semi sweet chocolate chips)
3/4 pound white chocolate (roughly chopped)(Beth used white chocolate chips)
1/4 cup yellow cake mix(dry)
1/4 cup sprinkles

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the dark chocolate in a bowl over a double boiler and melt.(or melt in microwave for 1 minute , stir and do 15 sec increments until melted) Pour the melted chocolate onto the baking sheet, spreading to create an even layer.

Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate in a bowl over a double boiler. Add in the cake mix and stir until fully combined. Drizzle over the dark chocolate. Using a utensil, swirl the white chocolate throughout the dark. Top with the sprinkles.

Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.(Beth just refrigerated for an hour or so) Remove and break into pieces. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to eat.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Chicken Fajita Pasta

This was quick and easy to make after teaching all day.  We all liked it.
Chicken Fajita Pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 envelope (3 tablespoons) taco or fajita seasoning
2 cups diced onion (about 1 whole onion)
2 cups diced bell peppers (2-3 bell peppers)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
½ cup heavy cream
1 (10-oz) can Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles
8 oz (about 3 cups) penne pasta
½ teaspoon salt

1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Season with half of taco seasoning. In a 12-inch skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat. When the oil is very hot, carefully add the chicken in a single layer and cook without stirring until one side is seared and browned, about 1-2 minutes. Flip the chicken to the other side and cook until browned. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.

2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet with the heat still on high. When the oil is very hot again, add the onions, bell peppers, and remaining taco seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are slightly blackened. Turn heat to low, add minced garlic, and stir until fragrant and well combined, about 30 seconds. Remove the veggies to the plate with the chicken.

3. In the same skillet, add the broth, cream, diced tomatoes, uncooked pasta, and salt. Stir to combine and bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 15 minutes until pasta is tender and liquid is mostly absorbed. Add the chicken and veggies back into the skillet and stir to combine until heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve with buttery garlic bread and enjoy!

Makes: 4 servings.

Friday, May 1, 2015

White Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Ooops!  I realized about 7 this morning that I didn't have any recipes scheduled on the blog.  I substitute taught this week and it has thrown me off kilter!  I made this last night after school.  I had chopped cooked chicken in the freezer(yay for making extra last time)  We really liked this and it was easy to put together.
White Chicken Enchilada Casserole

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 (4 ounce) can  chopped green chiles
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
10-12  soft flour tortillas, halved
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 (14-ounce) cans White Northern beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray, and set aside.
Heat butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add flour, and whisk to combine. Cook for 1 minute until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add half of the chicken stock, and whisk until combined. Then add the remaining chicken stock, green chiles, and cumin, and whisk until combined.

Let the mixture continue heating until it reaches a simmer and thickens slightly, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in Greek yogurt (or sour cream) and whisk until combined. Remove from heat and set aside.

To assemble the enchiladas, place 8 tortilla halves in the prepared baking pan so that they cover the bottom of the pan. Spread about ? of the cream sauce evenly on top of the tortillas. Sprinkle half of the chicken on evenly on top of the sauce, followed by half of the beans, and 1 cup shredded cheese. Repeat with a second layer of tortillas, cream sauce, chicken, beans and cheese. Then add a final layer of just tortillas, cream sauce and cheese.

Cover the casserole with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Then remove the aluminum foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, uncovered, until the cheese is melted and begins to brown around the edges and the casserole is cooked through.
Remove pan, and sprinkle with avocado and fresh cilantro. Serve warm.