Thursday, March 31, 2011

Comfort Chicken

We had this for dinner Tuesday night. I had frozen chicken that I needed to use before the move, and I thought this recipe might be a good way to get Nate to eat more vegetables. It made the house smell super good! I got the basic idea here.

1 lb. chicken breast, cut into 1" cubes
1 lb. yukon gold potatoes (you could use any kind of potato though)
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped (I used a handful of baby carrots cut in half)
1 cup chicken broth
Lawry's seasoning salt, to taste
Lawry's seasoned pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. poultry seasoning (I love McCormick's GrillMates chicken rub)

Chop your veggies and put them in the crock pot. I left the celery and onion big enough that Nate can pick them out, he likes the flavor they add, but he doesn't like to eat them in dishes like this. Add your chicken, seasonings, and chicken broth. Cook on high for 4-5 hours.

P.S. Here is a little crock pot tip for you. Did you know that if your crock pot is not half way full it will dry out and possibly burn your food. I had no idea! For years I had been using a huge 6 quart crock pot and I had cut the recipes down to size for just Nate and I everything turned out so dry and tough. Every time I used the crock pot I got so frustrated! So once I found out that it was because my crock pot wasn't full enough, I had Nate get me a new one for my birthday. I love my new crock pot! It is a 4 quart size and it is perfect and works like a charm!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mexican Pie

This recipe is very similar to my Mexican lasagna, but fewer tortillas, so less carbs! I got the recipe from Mommy Hates Cooking. Since we are moving soon I am trying to not do a ton of grocery shopping. This A super simple recipe, a different twist on something familiar. I made just a few simple changes.

1/2- 1 lb. ground beef (just depends on how much meat you like)
1 packet taco seasoning and the water it requires
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
8 oz. tomato sauce
4 Tbsp. taco sauce
1 cup shredded cheese
3 flour tortillas

Brown ground beef and season with taco seasoning. Combine taco sauce and tomato sauce. Pour a small amount into the bottom of a glass pie dish or an 8x8" casserole dish to evenly coat it. Lay one tortilla on top of the sauce mixture. Pour ground beef on top of tortilla, layer corn on top of beef, and then pour the remaining tomato/taco sauce mix over the top. Cut the remaining two tortillas into 1" wide strips. Lay the strips on top in a lattice pattern. Top with cheese and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.

The original recipe recommended eating this with tortilla chips, but that is too many carbs for me. I served it some fresh cut veggies and we enjoyed it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Triple Chocolate Oreo Bars

One of my favorite foods are Oreos. Not just any oreos, double stuff! Oh goodness they are good! If I see a recipe that calls for oreos, I instantly want to try it. I found this recipe at It was so good! I took this treat for a ward party and they did not last long! I made another batch the next day because they were that good and so easy to make! My mouth is watering just thinking about them!

Triple Chocolate Oreo Bars
1 16.6 pkg of Oreo cookies
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips, melted

Preheat the oven to 325°

Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil (shiny side down) and spray with non-stick spray.

Set aside 8 Oreo cookies.

Crush the remaining Oreos with either your food processor or in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin.

(the ziplock method is what I did, as I loathe the food processor)

When the Oreos are crushed transfer them into a medium bowl and add you salt and melted butter, stirring to combine.
Press your Oreo mixture into your prepared pan.
Chop your remaining 8 Oreos into coarse pieces and set aside.

In a double boiler (a bowl fitted over a pan of boiling water) add your sweetened condensed milk, the semi-sweet chips, the milk chips and the vanilla. Stir until all melty.

(OR you could do this in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until melted)

Remove from heat

Pour your melted chocolate mixture over the Oreo crust.

Sprinkle the mini chocolate chips and the Oreo cookies chunks over the top of the filling.

Press down gently into the chocolate topping.

Bake for 20-22 minutes in preheated oven.

Cool pan on a wire rack for approx 1 hour.

Melt the white chocolate chips.

Drizzle the white chocolate over the top of the bars.

Chill in refrigerator until completely cooled, an hour or two.

Make sure they are completely cooled, otherwise they are a bit mushy...still delicious, but hard to cut.

When ready to serve, using the foil remove from the pan and cut into squares.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Oreo Pie

Yesterday we had Aaron's birthday dinner at the in-law's house. I was in charge of bringing dessert and this is what Aaron requested. In fact, he wanted a pie all to himself, so I ended up making 3 pies. I know that there is a recipe on the oreo pie crusts, this one is different, so I figured I'd post my version.

1 Oreo pie crust
1 (8 oz.) tub whipped topping (I always use fat free)
2 pkgs. Oreo pudding
1 1/4 cup cold milk

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the milk and both pudding packages. The mixture will be a little thick. Once combined, add the whipped topping, a little bit at a time, until it is all incorporated. Pour into pie crust. Freeze for a few hours, or overnight. About 30-40 minutes before serving, place it in the fridge so it can soften just slightly to make it easier to eat.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Baked Chimichangas

Since I was diagnosed with diabetes and a heart issue this year, I've really tried to be a little more health conscious. The recipes I've played around with have been pretty rewarding. The baked onion rings we tried were amazing! So when I saw that you could bake chimichangas, I knew I had to try it. Nate LOVES chimichangas, almost every time we go out for Mexican food he orders a chimichanga. I wonder where he got that from...could it be my mother-in-law? I think so:). I had made french dip sandwiches on Monday and had leftover beef that I used for these. You could totally use pork or chicken though.

leftover beef roast, shredded
flour tortillas
1 can refried beans
1 Tbsp. taco seasoning
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

Melt butter and add in oil. Prepare a baking sheet with tinfoil and brush with a small amount of butter/oil mixture. In a small pot, heat refried beans with 1 Tbsp. taco seasoning. Once hot add 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Heat beef. Spread beans, beef, and some cheese on tortillas and roll up. Set seam side down on baking sheet and brush with butter/oil mixture. Bake at 450 for 8 minutes. Flip chimichangas, brush again, and bake for another 8 minutes. Top with additional cheese, salsa, and sour cream if desired.

The husband loved these. He even took the leftovers for lunch today. Nate is not a fan of leftovers, so this means it was a big success!

Okay, here is a little recipe card. Every time I talk to my grandma she asks what I have been cooking lately. I thought it would be really cute to make a little book of recipe cards to send to her. I thought I would share with you guys too. I've left this picture unlocked so click on it and it will bring the image up in a new screen. Then right-click on the enlarged image and you can save it. I'll be adding them to previous recipes too. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Donut Bites

Nate and I both love cinnamon rolls. Nate eats them all the time. In fact the other night he ate 4 and then we checked his blood sugar. 105, pretty much a perfect blood sugar. I didn't eat any and my blood sugar was way higher than that, not fair. Anyway, I've had this recipe saved for a few weeks and after a disappointing dinner tonight I decided that I would make these. I must confess, I NEVER fry anything. In fact, I've only fried once before when making chicken fried steaks. Frying really intimidates me, and I find it super unhealthy, so I just don't do it. However, I knew Nathan would love these, so I decided to conquer my fears. His two favorite treats are cinnamon rolls and donuts, so this recipe was perfect for him! I got the recipe from Life as a Lofthouse. I think they would make a really fun FHE treat.

1 can (12.4 oz) refrigerated cinnamon rolls that includes icing
3 cups vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Heat oil in a medium saucepan to 350 degrees*. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Set aside. Remove rolls from container, set icing aside.
Cut each roll into quarters. Gently and carefully place 4 quarter rolls at a time into the oil and fry for 30 seconds* or until really golden brown (you want to make sure they fully cook in the center).
Place cooked rolls onto a paper towel-lined plate to soak up grease. Once all rolls have been cooked, roll them into the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Place icing in a microwavable bowl and heat for 10 seconds. Drizzle over the doughnuts and eat immediately.

*Make sure you keep your oil as close to 350 degrees as you can the whole time you're cooking. I left the thermometer in mine and adjusted the heat accordingly.

*My donuts took much longer than 30 seconds each. I did a test donut and it was still really raw at 30 seconds. Make sure you cook them all the way through, hence why mine look so dark.

Sorry for the picture quality, I need to start cooking before the sun goes down!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

San Francisco Chops

I have to admit. I didn't cook this. Nate did all of it! I wasn't feeling too great today so Nathan made dinner. Now that I know he can follow a recipe, he may be cooking more often! This recipe and the notes come from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. Serves 4-6.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 pork chops, about 1-inch thick
Salt and pepper for seasoning
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar (we only added 1 Tbsp.)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (we only added 1/8 tsp.)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
Hot Cooked Rice, for serving

In a large 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it is simmering and hot. Season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Brown the pork chops for 1-2 minutes on each side in the hot oil until golden. Transfer the chops to the slow cooker. Add the garlic to the drippings in the skillet and stir constantly over medium heat until the garlic is aromatic and golden (but not burned or it will turn bitter!). Stir in the soy sauce, broth, brown sugar and red pepper flakes; cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour over chops.

Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours until the meat is tender. If using bone-in pork chops, fish out the bones from the slow cooker. Remove the chops from the slow cooker to a shallow pan or plate – they will most likely be falling apart in tenderness at this point. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the sauce in the slow cooker. Return the chops to the slow cooker. Turn the slow cooker heat to high and cook for 30 minutes to an hour longer, until the sauce is slightly thickened. If you want a super duper thick sauce, once you remove the chops from the slow cooker, pour the sauce into a pan and place it over medium heat on the stove. Add the cornstarch slurry and bring the sauce to a boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes until the sauce is thick. Add the pork and heat through.

Serve the tender chops over rice and garnish with green onions, if desired.

*Note: you can use boneless or bone-in pork chops. I’ve used both and either way, the meat becomes so tender it is falling apart so you can fish out the bones, if you are using bone-in chops. Just make sure that the pork chops you use are on the thicker side – about an inch thick. The dish benefits from the quick browning of the pork chops and although I know some of you will roll your eyes at this step, you’ll be grateful for the depth of flavor it provides. Also, the red pepper flakes do not add spiciness, instead, they add a dimension of flavor the dish needs to come together. You can reduce the amount to a pinch but don’t omit completely.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Santa Fe Chicken Enchilada Soup

This recipe comes from Alisha.

Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 28 mins
Servings: 6 servings, about 1 cup each

4 corn tortillas (6 inch), cut into strips
1 tsp. oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces
1 tub (10 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Santa Fe Blend Cooking Creme
1 cup milk
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed
1 can (11 oz.) corn with red and green bell peppers, drained
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Heat oven to 400°F.
2. Toss tortilla strips with oil; spread into single layer on baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 min. or until crisp, stirring occasionally.
3. Meanwhile, cook chicken in large nonstick saucepan sprayed with cooking spray on medium-high heat 8 to 10 min. or until chicken is done, stirring frequently. Stir in cooking creme, milk, beans, corn and tomatoes; simmer on medium-low heat 6 to 8 min. or until heated through, stirring frequently.

Serve soup topped with tortilla strips and cilantro.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ham Fried Rice

Nate loves ham fried rice. He judges all Chinese restaurants by their fried rice. After playing around a little bit with a few different variations, here is what I've come up with. I most closely followed this recipe from BlogChef. Making Chinese food really makes me want a wok. This recipe makes enough to serve 6.

1 1/2 cups rice, cooked (Most recipes call for the rice to be cooked the day before. I cooked mine in this morning and it turned out great)
8 oz. ham, diced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 eggs
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. butter
salt and pepper

Cook rice either the night before or the morning of. I always use basmati rice. Refrigerate until ready to use.
In a large skillet melt 1 Tbsp. butter over medium-high heat. Saute garlic, onion, peas, carrots, and ham until carrots are tender. Once done, remove from skillet and set aside.
Scramble the eggs and very lightly season with salt and pepper. Cook, and set aside when finished.
Add rice to skillet and heat through over medium-high heat. Once hot add the scrambled eggs, veggies, and ham to the pan and combine. Pour soy sauce over the fried rice and make sure everything is evenly coated. Cook until everything is nice and hot. Serve immediately.

Click to enlarge the recipe card. Once enlarged, right-click to save.

Cowboy Hash

This is a recipe my mom came up with when my dad was craving a hearty casserole. She also came up with the name. It's been a family favorite ever since. So easy to make and the leftovers taste as good as the night you make it.

1 lb. ground beef
2 cans sliced potatoes
2 cans green beans
2 cans condensed cream of celery soup
salt and pepper
hamburger seasoning, optional (I like the McCormick hamburger seasoning)

Brown and season ground beef. Drain both the potatoes and the green beans. Mix all ingredients together and put in a 9x13 casserole dish. Cover with tinfoil and bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes.

Click to enlarge the recipe card. Once enlarged, right-click to save.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mexican Haystacks

Super easy and relatively quick meal. I have had this recipe saved to try for a few months. I am glad I finally made it. It was such a fun variation on Hawaiian haystacks. This is my recipe, but I got the idea from Dinner for Dollars.

1 lb. chicken breasts
1/2 can cream of chicken soup
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
4 Tbsp. taco sauce (I used Taco Bell brand sauce)
salt and pepper
hot cooked rice, you could use either white or mexican rice

shredded cheese
sliced olives
really, whatever fun Mexican toppings you want!

Rinse chicken with cold water and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper and grill. Once chicken is finished cooking, let it cool for 5-10 minutes and then shred into bite-sized pieces. In a large skillet add shredded chicken and taco sauce and combine and cook over medium-high heat. Once hot add diced tomatoes, black beans, and cream of chicken soup. Combine well and heat thoroughly. Serve over hot rice and add toppings of your choice! Enjoy!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Easy Mexican Shredded Pork Tenderloin

Oh man, I tried a new recipe two nights ago and oh man, it was bad! The first two or three bites were really good and then it was too overpowering. I couldn't even finish my portion. I had really high hopes for that recipe too. I was disappointed. But I redeemed myself and I have a good recipe to share with you today.

I posted a recipe for shredded pork carnitas a little while back. It was really good, but I wanted something with a little more flavor. This is what I tried last tonight and I thought it turned out really really good. This is the version I'll make from now on.

2 lb. pork tenderloin
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup water
2 packets taco seasoning (Nate likes the Taco Bell brand best)
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced

Season pork tenderloin with salt, pepper, and minced garlic. Spray a large pan with cooking spray. Sear the tenderloin on all sides over medium-high heat. While the meat is searing, add chicken broth, water, and taco seasoning to your crock pot, whisking to combine. Once meat is finished searing add to the crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours. Once finished cooking, remove and let the tenderloin rest for 10 minutes before shredding. After you shred the meat, add 1 cup of the liquid from the crock pot to the meat and mix.

You can serve this on a salad, in burritos, in quesadillas, or make tacos. We like this with pico de gallo.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Chicken Strip Sandwiches

Okay, don't laugh at me for posting this! I needed to use up some hamburger buns and didn't feel like spending a lot of time cooking tonight.

So no real recipe, just an idea for you guys. Baked chicken strips on lightly toasted hamburger buns topped with your favorite toppings. I added lettuce, miracle whip, and ketchup to mine. Hope this helps for those busy week nights!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Baked Onion Rings

Oh my heavens these were so good, Nate and I could not stop eating them! I love how much healthier they are than fried onion rings. We will be making these again and again. They were perfect with our homemade hamburgers last night. I got the idea from For the Love of Cooking.

2 sweet onions
2 eggs
6 Tbsp. milk
1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
3/4 cup flour
3 Tbsp. garlic bread seasoning
Lawry's seasoning salt
Lawry's seasoned pepper

In a bowl, mix flour with salt and pepper. In another bowl whisk together eggs and milk, and in a third bowl mix together the Panko and the garlic bread seasoning. Slice onions into thick rings and separate. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with cooking spray. Dip rings first into the egg mixture, then into the flour mixture, back into the egg mixture, and finally into the Panko. Do this for all your onion rings. Evenly space them on the baking sheet so they don't clump together. You may need to use two pans. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and flip all the onion rings over. Return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Serve hot! I love my onion rings served with fry sauce. Enjoy!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Brownie Cupcakes

Am I the only one that didn't know you could make brownies this way? Super easy and I think it makes brownies more fun. This makes 12 cupcakes.

1 boxed brownie mix plus the oil, water, and egg it requires
powdered sugar

Make brownie batter according to package directions. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners. Spoon 1/4 cup of batter into each liner. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Just before serving, dust tops of cupcakes with powdered sugar.

I'm serving these tonight, so I'll add the powdered sugar then. I just wanted to take advantage of the tiny bit of natural light today.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

3 Packet Pot Roast

The flavor on the roast is so good! You would never believe how easy this is! A nurse I used to work with told me this recipe and it always turns out so tender and delicious and it makes your house smell so yummy.

pot roast (mine was a chuck roast about 2.5 pounds)
1 packet brown gravy mix
1 packet Italian dressing mix (I recommend Good Seasons brand zesty Italian mix)
1 packet ranch dressing mix
1 cup water

Season the roast with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. In a large skillet sear the roast on all sides. Mix together all the seasonings and the water. Pour half into the bottom of the crock pot. Add the roast and pour the rest of the seasoning mixture on top. It may not look like you have enough liquid, but I promise it is, there will be tons and tons of juice. Cook roast on low for 8-10 hours. Once finished let the roast rest 10-15 minutes before cutting.

Photo updated 04/09/14.

Garlic Red Potatoes

Yum! These turned out so good! Nate rated them an 11 on a 1-10 scale. I will definitely be making these again. I got the idea from Real Mom Kitchen.

2 lbs. red potatoes, quartered
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. Lawry's seasoning salt
1 Tbsp. powdered Parmesan cheese

*instead of garlic and Parmesan cheese you could use a tablespoon of garlic bread seasoning to get more of an herb flavor

In a mixing bowl combine the butter, garlic, salt, and cheese. Add potatoes and mix to coat them thoroughly. Bake potatoes in a tin-foil lined 9x13 pan at 425 for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cachorro Quente -- Brazilian Hot Dogs

Tonight I made cachorro quente, pronounced ko-sho-ho ken-shi for those like me who don't speak Portuguese. Nate ate this a ton while living in Brazil and since I have gained a little more confidence in the kitchen, I decided to make it. It is such an easy dish. It is definitely not the prettiest meal, but I have to admit, it tasted pretty good. I like that it has tons of veggies, it is really hard to get Nate to eat his vegetables! :)

6 hot dogs, cut up into bite-sized pieces (I used all beef hot dogs)
4 hoagie buns or 6 hot dog buns
1 green pepper, diced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2 tomatoes, diced (I used romas)
8 oz. tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. garlic bread seasoning
Lawry's seasoning salt (you can use regular salt)
Lawry's seasoned pepper (you can use regular pepper)
garlic powder
olive oil

In a large skillet, heat 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil. Once hot add diced green pepper and onion. Season with some salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook for a few minutes until vegetables are tender. Add diced tomatoes, 2 Tbsp. tomato paste, and 2 Tbsp. of water. Stir until everything is combined and bring to a simmer. Add tomato sauce and 1 Tbsp. of garlic bread seasoning. Give the sauce a taste, you may need to add a little more salt and pepper. Once sauce is simmering add cut up hot dogs. Keep simmering, stirring occasionally until the hot dogs are hot. I recommend toasting your hoagie rolls or hot dog buns. Spoon hot dog mixture over toasted rolls and eat it while it's hot!

Great served with Brazilian lemonade!

Cooler ranch doritos and cachorro quente. My husband was a happy man tonight.