Sunday, February 27, 2011

Creamy Baked Chicken Taquitos

Probably not the most authentic Mexican recipe but pretty darn good. I like the idea of baking these taquitos instead of deep frying so they are healthier. We are already imagining the other fillings we can make for other taquitos.

The filling is made from salsa verde, cream cheese, spices, shredded chicken, two kinds of cheese, etc. See the recipe below :) Maybe I could use Mexican crema instead of cream cheese next time?

I baked these for the smaller amount of time, I think if I had left them in for a few more minutes they would have been crispier. We dipped them in salsa and sour cream. This is definitely a recipe we'll make again.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

This is getting its own post even though it was made for another part of a recipe. I'm making taquitos tonight and this salsa will be mixed with chicken and cream cheese for a taco filling.

The recipe is from a food blogger but the real credit goes to Rick Bayless, a famous Mexican food cook. I have one of his cookbooks (from my favorite big sis Ana) that I should use more often.

I love me some tomatillo salsa so I was happy to try a homemade salsa, something I haven't done ever with tomatillos. I think I went a little heavy with the lime juice but it's gooooood. The salsa was still warm from the roasted jalapenos and tomatillos and I made myself a little chips and salsa snack :) :) :) :)

Click here for the stolen recipe for Roasted Tomatillo Salsa.

Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins

These are definitely NOT light muffins. These are a very good banana and chocolate chip muffin. The espresso flavor is there, it's not very significant though. I think it just gives it a deeper, dark flavor. Nice.
I find that my espresso powder (pictured in the background) has come in handy for a few recipes. I've used it in brownie recipes, an ice cream, and now these muffins. It also came in handy during a blizzard when we ran out of coffee. I made espresso- mine diluted with a bit of cream and sugar :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Orange Chipotle Chicken

I thought this was a great recipe. It required a few ingredients that I didn't have on hand (pure maple syrup, orange juice and zest) but a few that I had handy. Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce are handy. Usually you just use one chile from a whole can, so I usually freeze them in individual baggies, and then collected in a freezer ziploc bag. I pull them out as I need them. I'm so economical :)
It came together really quickly and it was full of flavor. I've made recipes before that have been tasteless. This one was definitely flavorful. The sauce looks a little dark but it's smoky and deep. Love it.
AND this is a "clean" recipe. Clean eating is a concept that I've heard of lots of times but I have a friend at work that is a clean eater and so I thought of her when I was making this one.

Coconut Chicken Curry Soup

I don't have a link to this recipe because it's from my Best 30-Minute Recipe from Cook's Illustrated.
We really liked this soup too. Chicken, mushrooms, coconut milk, bok choy, cilantro, lime juice, curry paste.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Peanut Butter Cup Crunch Bars

With every bar that my husband Jim eats these go up on his "Top 5" list of things I've ever made. They were at #4 but today they're at #2, second only to his beloved Chocolate Intensity Cake.
What can't you love about a chewy brownie topped with peanuts and chopped peanut butter cups, and then a layer of chocolate, peanut butter and rice krispies? Yeah, sinful.

Black Bean Soup

It's winter. It's soup time! This was the first of two soups for the weekend. We really enjoyed this soup. I've never used dried beans before, and it was well worth the extra effort.

I also love a soup with lots of garnishes- especially cilantro and avocado. YUM. And some corn tortillas. BONUS.

I had some HoneyBaked Ham in the freezer, so I chopped that up. I do admit that we used more than the 4 ounces the recipe calls for :) We love our ham.

Click here for the stolen recipe for Black Bean Soup. I found the recipe online but I really used my Best 30-Minute Recipe cookbook.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

White Chicken Chili

Reposted because I included the recipe below!

OH WOW. I just love this soup. I think it could be one of my favorite meals ever. OR I'm just really hungry lately :)

This soup is low-fat, flavorful, and just awesome. It does take a bit of time to make- it involves many steps, taking about 2 hours total. Well worth it.

I did substitute white hominy for the cannellini beans. It reminds me of posole. And this isn't really a white chili but a green one. Those chiles just make this soup.

Make this on a relaxing Sunday and enjoy!

I just can't find this recipe online to save my life. That is just WRONG. No one has blogged about this great soup? Inconceivable!

There are 8 servings in this soup. Each serving is only 3 weight watcher points! I had two servings :)

The recipe since I was asked very nicely to share it :)

White Chicken Chili

3 lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
Salt and ground pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
3 medium poblano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and chopped medium
3 medium Anaheim chiles, stemmed, seeded, and chopped medium
1 medium jalapeno chile, plus 1 small jalapeno chile, seeds and ribs removed and set aside, flesh minced
2 medium onions, minced
6 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 Tablespoons)
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons dried oregano
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2- 15 oz. cans cannellini beans (or hominy), drained and rinsed
¼ cup juice from 2 to 3 limes
¼ cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
4 scallions, sliced thin

1. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Sear the chicken, skin side down, until browned, about 4 minutes. Flip the chicken and sear on the second side until browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and remove and discard the skin.

2. Add all of the chiles except the small jalapeno, onions, garlic, cumin, oregano, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large Dutch oven. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened, 12-15 minutes. Transfer half of the mixture to a clean plate; set aside.

3. Stir in the broth, chicken, and beans. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is fully cooked, about 20 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a large plate. Continue to simmer the chili, uncovered, until it has thickened, 35-40 minutes.

4. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces, discarding the bones. Stir the shredded chicken, reserved chile mixture, lime juice, cilantro, scallions, and small jalapeno into the chili. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If the chile is too thick, stir in additional water to thin it out.

The chili can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Per 1 ½ cup serving: Calories 320, Fat 4.5g, Carb 28g, Protein 39g, Fiber 9g

This recipe was adapted from The Best Light Recipe, from the Editors of Cook's Illustrated.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dad's Rocky Road Ice Cream

It's not my Dad's recipe :) It was made for my Dad because I know it's his favorite kind of ice cream. It's my sister Ana's too, I found out. Anything by David Lebovitz is my favorite, so we're all in agreement over this ice cream.

I used his lovely chocolate ice cream recipe and then mixed in some toasted chopped almonds and mini marshmallows. OMG. So good! So creamy and chocolate-y. I think the only thing that could have made this better was to make my own homemade marshmallows. I didn't want to go nuts though. Ha!

Click here for the online recipe for Rocky Road Ice Cream.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

A couple of people inspired me to make these whoopie pies. I thought my first whoopie pie adventure would be pumpkin pies with maple cream cheese frosting. Mmmm. But then I saw my sister Kristina post her pictures and my friend Ann mentioned she was making them too... I just knew that I wanted to try something new rather than just the regular (but very good) red velvet cake cupcakes.

The whoopie pies are for a family gathering tomorrow. My Dad is visiting from San Diego, for his annual ice fishing trip.

The cakes are very moist and much like regular velvet cake. They passed a very important test... with the four year old. I gave him just once cookie with a dollop of cream cheese frosting on top. He said it was "yummy".

Dishes are the most hated part of baking/cooking. I also made Rocky Road ice cream and that added quite a few more dishes to wash. Ugh.

I'll post the Rocky Road ice cream tomorrow. It's hardening in the freezer overnight. It's my Dad's favorite ice cream so I hope he likes it.

Click here for the stolen recipe for Red Velvet Whoopie Pies.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cake (aka I Love You Cake)

I made cupcakes for giggles. I used a small part of the batter to make a small cake for the family. I knew James would get excited by the chocolate frosting and sprinkles.

(There's a small piece of the cake missing because James and I had "just one bite" a little earlier.)

Cake makes James happy!

The cake is Martha's Chocolate Chip Cake. The white cake is fluffy and sweet. The recipe asks for whipped egg whites to be folded into the cake batter, making the batter very light. Light as in fluffy, not low fat :)

The frosting is the recipe from the back of the Hershey's cocoa tin. It all went very well together.

Click here for the stolen recipe for Martha's Chocolate Chip Cake. Okay, so you can't click on the link. I can't find the recipe online. I will post it some other time. The recipe is from Martha's Cupcakes book.

White Russian Tiramisu

This has been a favorite of ours for a few years. I found the recipe in a Cooking Light recipe so long ago.

We like our version so much that we don't get tiramisu in restaurants. Ours might not be the most authentic but it has all the flavors we like- cream cheese, a bit of cocoa, and kahlua/coffee soaked ladyfingers. Mmmmm.

The picture might not be the most appetizing but it layers prettily and tastes great.

Click here for the stolen recipe for White Russian Tiramisu.

Browned bits!

Today I had my first proper deglazing with red wine and scraping up of browned bits on the bottom of my Dutch oven. Yay!

My sister commented that the browned bits are actually called "fond". I am fond of the fond.

It was steamy and lovely.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Turkey (or chicken) Tetrazzini

I thought that this would be a James-friendly meal one day. He loves spaghetti, he likes chicken (sometimes) and he loves cheese but he wouldn't touch this. This is a pretty cheesy sauce and even though I'm not a big fan of cream of mushroom soup, it all goes well together.

Does it even look appetizing?

Why don't I like cream of mushroom sauce? The only reason is that I don't like the ingredient list. It's a processed food, so there are too many unrecognizable ingredients. Yes, I am a food snob sometimes.

This is a easy recipe if you have all of the ingredients and precooked chicken/turkey. Sometimes I've gone to the grocery store deli and asked them to cut me a 3/4 pound slab of turkey. Like one big piece that I've diced up for this recipe. THIS time I used a packaged box of deli chicken chunks. Again, a processed food but slightly healthier because it was a "natural" product and it at least has pronounceable ingredients!

Click here for the stolen recipe for Turkey Tetrazzini. Originally I found this recipe in a Cooking Light magazine.


There wasn't anything wrong with my old set of pots and pans YET but we tend to replace them every few years because the nonstick coating starts to flake off. I remember I made a batch of Almond Crack candy once and I saw little bits of black nonstick whatever were floating in the candy mixture. I threw that mixture away, of course. The pan too. It seems very un-green to buy pots and pans every few years, soooooooooo when I saw this stainless steel set in the Sunday Macy's ad, I decided to just get them.

They are purty. 14 pieces. I will still keep a nonstick skillet for eggs and things, but I'm hoping this set will last awhile.

This saucepan is cool because it has spouts on the side and a built-in strainer in the lid! Fancy!

The bottom part is the 3 quart casserole but it has two inserts- one is a steamer and the other is a double boiler. Melting chocolate the right way instead of the microwave, not that there is anything wrong with the microwave, but I can't wait to melt chocolate :)

I also can't wait to follow a recipe and truly follow the instructions of "scraping the brown bits" from the bottom. My nonstick pans never created brown bits. This probably doesn't make sense to you? Oh well :)