Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Okay, Alisha made this soup for her family the other night and it was a huge hit! It is the same soup Aunt Kathleen made at our chocolate dipping party, and I remember everyone loved it. This recipe comes from Simply So Good. Enjoy!

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups onions, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
3 corn tortillas (6-inch size), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (10.5) ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies
4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 cups cooked chicken or turkey, shredded or cubed
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons lime juice
Salt and pepper
Black bean Salsa
Sour Cream
Tortilla strips

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high; add onions and garlic, and saute 3 minutes. Stir in tortilla pieces and saute until they begin to soften. Add tomatoes, broth, and spices, and bring to a boil. Removed from heat; let cool 5 minutes, then puree soup base in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return soup to pot.

Add Turkey, corn and cream. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes, or until beginning to thicken. Reduce heat to medium, sprinkle in cheese, and stir until melted. Add lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with salsa, sour cream and crispy tortilla strips.

Makes 8 cups. 267 calories per cup. Not including the salsa, sour cream or tortilla strips...Just so you know.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Lasagna Roll Ups

I've been meaning to try this idea for months! I don't know why it's taken me so long to make this. You know how I love pasta and this dish didn't disappoint. I really enjoyed it. Recipes like this are great, it's a new way to serve a family classic. There's no risk in trying it, because you already like lasagna! Here's how I made it, but you can put in whatever ingredients you like. I don't like ricotta, but you could definitely make a ricotta filling for the roll ups, make it how you like it!

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 lasagna noodles
1 jar pasta sauce
1 (14 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
2 cups shredded mozzarella
garlic bread seasoning

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef with the minced onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Once beef is cooked add diced tomatoes, pasta sauce, and 1 Tbsp. garlic bread seasoning. Let sauce simmer. Boil lasagna noodles, drain, and lay out noodles on a piece of parchment paper. Don't let the noodles touch or they'll stick together. In a 9x13" baking dish, add some sauce to cover the bottom. Using a slotted spoon, get some meat and spread on a lasagna noodle. Top with a little cheese and proceed to roll up lasagna noodle and filling. Place roll up in the baking dish. Repeat for remaining noodles. Once finished, top the roll ups with remaining sauce mixture and cheese. Sprinkle some garlic bread seasoning over the cheese. Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes, or until cheese on top is nice and melted. Enjoy!

My cheese is a bit over done. It was in the oven nearly 30 minutes so I adjusted the time in the recipe to 20 minutes.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Baked Chicken Chimi-Ritos

My handsome husband loves Mexican food. He could eat it several times a week if I made it that often. We couldn't decide what kind of Mexican we wanted to make for dinner last night (curse not having my menu planned for the week!) so we combined a couple ideas. That's how we came up with chimi-ritos, half chimichanga, half burrito. They turned out really yummy, so filling, I couldn't even finish one, but so good! Nate is really happy to have leftovers for lunch today. Enjoy!

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded*
4 large flour tortillas
refried beans
Mexican rice
shredded cheese
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. oil

Heat tortillas to make them more pliable. Spoon some bean mixture onto tortillas and spread. Add some rice then chicken then cheese. Fold side of tortilla in and roll up. Melt butter and then combine with oil. Brush a small amount of butter/oil mixture onto a tin foil lined baking sheet. Place rolled chimi-ritos seam side down on prepared baking sheet. Brush tops with a bit of the butter/oil mixture. Bake at 450 degrees for 8 minutes. Flip chimi-ritos, brush with butter/oil mixture and bake another 8 minutes. Serve warm at top with salsa, sour cream, etc.

Nate wanted to try a new seasoning on our chicken. I'm so glad we did, it was amazing! Here's the rub he used. Then I baked the chicken at 400 degrees for about 30-33 minutes, then let rest for 10 or so minutes before shredding.

2 tsp. chile powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Mix all of those really well. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on chicken breasts and then add some of the seasoning and cook your chicken.

Linked up at Fantastical Sharing of Recipes and Chef in Training.

Nate's Favorite Holiday Treat - Dipped Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels

No holiday season would be complete without me making these pretzels for Nate. I've made them three times in the last two weeks. Nate wants them made for every party we go to, for neighbor gifts, I'm even making a batch tomorrow for Nate to take with him to work. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as Nate does!

1 bag tiny twist pretzels
1 package vanilla flavored almond bark (or you could use white chocolate)
1/4 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
5 Tbsp. butter

Chop all the almond bark into small pieces. Melt about a third of the bark over a double boiler, stirring frequently. Once melted and smooth dip 1/2 the pretzel into the bark and then set on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Repeat until all the pretzels are finished, adding more almond bark to double boiler as needed, and continue to stir frequently. I usually get about 5 trays worth of pretzels from one bag. While pretzels are drying combine cinnamon and sugar and mix well. Place one tray worth of dipped pretzels into a gallon-sized ziploc bag. Pour in 1 Tbsp. melted butter and then sprinkle 2 tsp. of cinnamon sugar mix over pretzels. Close up bag and shake to evenly coat pretzels. Once coated pour pretzels out onto some wax paper, spread out and let cool/dry. Repeat with remaining trays of pretzels. I let my pretzels sit for about an hour and then they can be packaged and put away.

I should mention that if you are short on time you can simply go straight to the cinnamon sugar and butter coating. Let those dry and then drizzle the melted bark over the coated pretzels. Much quicker, but I think the original method looks better.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Slow Cooker Pork Roast and Vegetables

Okay, this recipe is a rarity. I never make a traditional pork roast. I usually do a Mexican seasoned pork roast that I can shred or a simple pork tenderloin. When I saw this recipe, it seemed too easy not to try. It is one of those great crock pot recipes where you just throw everything in and set it. I found this idea over at Mommy's Kitchen and adapted it for our tastes. It is really good, both Nate and I enjoyed it.

2 - 2 1/2 lb pork roast
1 (10 oz.) can cream of chicken soup (I also think cream of celery would be tasty)
2 packets pork gravy mix, {prepared according to packet directions}
3 carrots, cut
1 onion, quartered
4 potatoes, cut
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. montreal steak seasoning
salt & pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp. olive oil

Add olive oil to a large frying pan. Heat the pan up nice and hot. Sprinkle salt and pepper on all sides of the pork roast and rub. Place the roast in the pan and sear on each side before adding to the slow cooker. Add the carrots, onions, and potatoes to the bottom of the slow cooker and then place the roast on top. Pour cream of chicken soup over everything and add bay leaf. Cover and cook on low for 6 - 7 hours or high for 3-4. The last 2 hours of cooking remove the bay leaf. Add the prepared gravy. Continue cooking until roast is tender and vegetables are cooked. Remove from slow cooker and serve.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Double Stack Tostadas

We needed a variation on tacos. Nate really loves double decker tacos, so keeping that in mind we made these tostadas. I used ground beef, but these would also be super good with some shredded chicken or pork. It's a good recipe for using up leftover meat.

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/4 yellow onion, diced
1 packet taco seasoning plus the water it requires
small flour tortillas, warmed
tostada shells, warmed
easy bean dip
pico de gallo
shredded lettuce
shredded cheddar cheese
sliced olives
sour cream

Brown cook the ground beef with the onion and green pepper. Once beef is cooked add the taco seasoning packet and the water it requires and cook per package directions.
We like our tortillas and tostadas warm, so we just pop them in the oven for a few minutes. To assemble top a flour tortilla with some of the bean dip, then top with a tostada, next add some ground beef. Once that's done add whatever toppings you like, I did lots of shredded lettuce, some pico de gallo, sliced olives, and shredded cheddar cheese. Make them just the way you like them and enjoy!

I linked this recipe over at Totally Tasty Tuesdays and Twisted Thursdays.

Sour Cream Potatoes aka Funeral Potatoes

One of the ladies that I visit teach is getting married tomorrow and I got a phone call last night that they need some funeral potatoes provided. Of course I'd love to help, just one problem. I've never made funeral potatoes before, and I can't remember ever having eaten them either! It's a good thing I have a mother-in-law. Lucky for me she just made these the other night and she totally came to the rescue and provided me with her recipe and she's letting me share it with you! Here is Katie's sour cream potatoes recipe-

6 russet potatoes, peeled (or 12 small red potatoes)
Boil in salted water until tender
While the potatoes are boiling:
Saute 1 chopped onion in a little olive oil
Then combine:
1-28 oz can cream of chicken soup (or 2 small cans)
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

shred the boiled potatoes and stir into the creamed mixture with the sauteed onions

Pour into greased casserole dish and sprinkle top with cheese or bread crumbs or smashed corn flakes.
Cook in 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes until bubbly and golden.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gingerbread Truffles

Nate's cute Aunt Kathleen had all the girls over last Friday for the annual chocolate dipping party. One of the treats I brought to dip was gingerbread truffles. I found the idea over at Sing For Your Supper, and I followed her instructions exactly.

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup boiling water
1 package almond bark or white candy coating
1 8-oz. block cream cheese, at room temperature
nutmeg, for garnish (I didn't garnish mine)

Mix together the butter and sugar, then add the egg and molassess, mixing well. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, spices, soda and salt, then add to wet mixture. Stir to combine, then add the boiling water and mix. Pour batter into a greased 9×13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until springy. Let cool completely.
When cake is completely cooled, crumble into the bowl of a stand mixer (you could also use a hand mixer for this; even your hands!) and add in the cream cheese. Mix until the cake and cream cheese is totally combined. Roll out into walnut-sized balls and place on a sheet pan lined with wax paper. Chill for 1 hour.
Melt the almond bark in the microwave in 1 minute increments, stirring in between, until it is completely smooth. Dip the balls in one at a time (I use a toothpick for this) and coat with the almond bark. Set on a sheet of wax paper and sprinkle with nutmeg. Allow to harden completely. At this point you can serve immediately or freeze for later use.

Here are the links to the other two treats I made Oreo Truffles and Peanut Butter Balls.

Weekly Menu

Okay, here's the deal. I LOVE menu planning. I seriously love it. It helps in so many ways. I am better about using up what food I've purchased, I spend less because I have a list and don't eat out as much, we eat healthier, I get to try new recipes, the list goes on and on. I think I've mentioned it before, but I try and have quite a bit of variety throughout the week and I try not to have the same type of cuisine or protein two nights in a row. Anyway, if you want some help menu planning call me, I'd love to help you out!

Sunday: Super Easy Chicken Drumsticks with Garlic Bread and Salad

Monday: Beef Tostadas* with Pico de Gallo and Fresh Fruit

Tuesday: Nate works late so I'll just make a sandwich or eat leftovers

Wednesday: Stephanie coming to dinner, Do It All Marinated Chicken with Roasted Potatoes* and Green Beans

Thursday: Lasagna Roll Ups* with Salad

Friday: Ward Christmas Party, bringing dessert for 20 people

Saturday: Date Night

The starred recipes are new ones that I am trying out this week. I've also linked the recipes that you can find on our blog here. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thin Crust Pizza

We have Nate's little sister Stephanie over for dinner once a week. She likes to look at my weekly menu and pick what night she wants to come and eat. When she saw barbecue chicken pizza on the menu she got so excited. She has told me every day this week that she was excited for dinner. Thankfully she really enjoyed tonight's dinner, I was starting to feel the pressure! I got the crust recipe from Chef in Training. I like that there is only one short rise time for the dough making it a super easy meal. It was so good, and it's Stephanie approved!

2 cups warm water
1/2 Tbsp. yeast (I used Fleischmann's pizza yeast)
2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups flour
olive oil

Mix warm water and yeast, let sit 5 minutes. Add 1 1/4 cups flour and mix well in Kitchen Aid or with a dough hook, I used my Bosch. Add additional 1 1/4 cups flour and salt, knead. Let dough rest in a ball for 10 to 20 minutes. Spread a scant amount of olive oil on pizza pan, roll dough out very thin and place on greased pan. Also brush a small amount of oil on top of dough before adding sauce so that the sauce doesn't make the dough soggy. Top pizza with sauce and toppings and bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes.

Nate's and Stephanie's portion was barbecue chicken pizza, you just replace the pizza sauce with barbecue sauce and top with mozzarella, green peppers, and onions. My portion was veggie pizza with normal sauce, I'm not a fan of barbecue.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken

Even though we have church at 9 am and our afternoons are available, I really like to use my crock pot on Sundays. I like to be able to throw something in either in the morning or when we get home from church and just let it cook. It makes Sunday naps so relaxing when I don't have to stress about dinner when I get up. This recipe is one that I adapted for the slow cooker from an idea at Chef in Training. I halved this recipe for the two of us. I served this chicken with my garlic herb pasta.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 tsp. paprika
2 bay leaves
1-2 Tbsp. garlic bread seasoning
seasoned salt, to taste

Add water, tomato paste, onion, paprika, garlic bread seasoning, and salt to crock pot and whisk well to combine. Add chicken and bay leaves. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

I linked this recipe to Totally Tasty Tuesdays.

Garlic Herb Pasta

Nate and I plan on serving an LDS mission together one day. I would really love to serve in Italy. The culture, the history, the food would all be amazing. I seriously love Italian food. I have finally converted Nate to liking pasta and this dish tonight was really good. This dish is flavorful enough to stand on it's own as a side dish, or you could top it with some parmesan cheese or a simple marinara sauce. Yum! We will definitely be making this again and again. I adapted this dish from an idea over at Armstrong Family Fare.

8 oz. pasta, cooked and drained (I used thin spaghetti)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
1/4 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. oregano
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
seasoned salt, to taste
seasoned pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Cook pasta per package instructions. While pasta is cooking place butter and olive oil into a pan, stir to mix together while butter is melting. Add chopped garlic, onion, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook until onions are transparent. Add cooked pasta and toss to combine. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese if desired.