Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Overloaded Enchiladas

It's been awhile since I made Mexican food so I did it up good today - combining all my favorites into enchiladas - Mexican rice, refried (sort of beans) and taco meat with an enchilada sauce and cheese.  I'm going to post all the recipes for the different parts so you don't have to search in the older recipes.

Overloaded Enchiladas

Taco Meat ~

1# ground beef
1/4 cup onions, minced
2 tbsp taco seasoning
1/4 cup water

Cook beef and add onions just a couple minutes before it's fully cooked.  Add water and taco seasoning.

6 room temperature flour tortillas

Smear a 1" line of refried beans down the center of each tortilla.  Top with 1/4 cup of Mexican rice following the same line.  Top with taco meat.  Roll up and place seam down in a greased 9 x 13 pan.  Top with 1 cup enchilada sauce making sure the flour tortillas have each been covered with the sauce so they don't dry out will baking.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350°.  Remove from oven and top with 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese.  Return to oven until melted.  
Any leftovers from the prep mix are freezable and a simple thaw will make an easy weeknight dinner in the future.

Taco Seasoning ~

1 tbsp chili powderp
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp parsley
1/4 tsp  oregano
1 tsp pepper, freshly ground
1/2 tsp salt

Place in a sealable plastic bag or container that's airtight and mix well.

Mexican Rice ~

2 cups chicken broth
1 cup white rice
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp onions, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp parsley
salt to taste

In a medium sized pot, place chicken broth, rice and butter. Bring to a boil, stir one time, cover and turn the heat down to simmer and leave for 20 minutes. Remove from heat after 20 minutes and keep covered for another 10 minutes. While you're waiting, in a small pan heat the olive oil and cook the onions until translucent. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in tomato paste, cumin and parsley. Mix into cooked rice and add salt if necessary.

Enchilada Sauce ~

2 cups chicken broth
4 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp garlic powder
1 pinch cinnamon
1/4 tsp sugar

Mix all the ingredients together and simmer until almost to a boil.

Yield: 2 cups

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Sometimes I go back and revamp my recipes and I was very happy with the taste of this recipe but I wasn't happy with the height that it rose to so I tweaked the recipe and ended up very happy with the results.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

 1 1/2 cups zucchini, shredded and drained
 1/4 cup canola oil
 6 ounces plain yogurt
 1 1/2 cups flour
 1 tsp baking powder
 1/2 tsp baking soda
 1/2 tsp salt
 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
 1/4 cup dark cocoa
 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

In a large bowl, put drained zucchini, oil and Greek yogurt and mix well.
Add in dry ingredients.  Pour into a greased 4 x 9 bread pan.  Bake for 50 minutes at 350°.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Roasted Romano Cauliflower

Ah cauliflower...finally a really good vegetable from my CSA which has had a few disappointments this year.  I do like the sweet bursts of flavor when you bite into it so I looked in my refrigerator for a cheese to pair with it and chose Romano.  

Roasted Romano Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup Romano cheese, grated

Place cauliflower florets in a bowl.  Pour lemon juice and olive oil on top and toss lightly so the florets are evenly covered.  Place on a non-stick baking sheet, season with salt and pepper and bake for 40 minutes at 350°.  Remove from oven and evenly cover with Romano cheese.  

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cinnamon Waffles

Nothing like a little Sunday morning pampering with waffles for breakfast.  The aroma of the cinnamon when the maple syrup hits it is just heavenly.  

Cinnamon Waffles

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup milk
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla

Sift all dry ingredients into a large bowl. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until light and fluffy. Gradually mix milk, egg yolks, oil and beaten egg whites into dry ingredients.

Bake per your waffle makers instructions.

Makes 6 waffles.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sloppy Joe Bake

This recipe has been in my family for as long as I can remember.  It's so easy to make and perfect for after a long work day.  I've got my recipe below for my sloppy joe mix but substitute in your families favorite if you'd prefer,

Sloppy Joe Bake

2 cans buttermilk biscuits (not the jumbo size)
1# ground beef
1/4 cup onions, diced
1 small pepper, diced
1 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp Heinz 57 sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
5 slices Cheddar Jack cheese (or you can use American cheese)

Press out buttermilk biscuits onto a greased pizza pan or baking sheet.  Top with sloppy joe mixture leaving a 1/2" space around the edges.  Bake at 350° for 20 minutes - the outside biscuits should be turning a golden brown.  Top with cheese slices and return to oven for a couple minutes until they are melted.  Allow to cool a few minutes before cutting into.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sweet Potato Chips

I had the leftover cinnamon sugar from the Peach Monkey Bread so I decided to attempt making these chips again.  I tried last weekend and they weren't quite ready and walked away for three minutes.  Well...that three minutes were critical so this time I stood by and waited until the right moment to remove them from the oven.  This does require that you have a mandoline so all of your slices are uniform or some chips will get done before the others.  

A cooking tip: have an extra set of salt and pepper shakers on hand.  Whether you pick them up at Target or a rummage sale...they come in handy.  I always keep cinnamon sugar in one for easy dispensing.

Sweet Potato Chips

1 sweet potato
extra virgin olive oil
cinnamon sugar

Peel the sweet potato skin.  Set your mandoline to 1/16th and slice the sweet potato.  Place slices in a bowl and drizzle extra virgin olive oil over.  You want to make sure each slice gets some.  Since each sweet potato is a different size, I can't give you an exact measurement.  Lay out chips on non-stick baking pans.  Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on each chip.

Bake for approximately 22 minutes at 300°.  Start carefully watching at 15 minutes in case your oven temperature reading is different than mine.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Peach Monkey Bread

I love peach season and trying new ways to use my favorite fruit.  Today I made monkey bread for the first time and added peaches in the middle.  Of course there has to be a creamy icing to go with it...right?

Peach Monkey Bread

1 can Grands Buttermilk Biscuits
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup peach preserves
1 cup peaches, diced


1/4 cup butter, softened
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

In a zippered plastic bag, add in cinnamon and sugar and shake until well mixed.  Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces.  Add to plastic bag 4 at a time and shake so each piece is completely covered.  Place 4 cut up biscuits into a greased bread pan evenly.  Mix together peach preserves and peaches in a bowl and spread over the bottom half of the monkey bread.

Top with the remaining 4 biscuits with cinnamon sugar coating.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350°.  While still slightly warm, turn out onto a plate and top with icing.  

Monday, July 22, 2013

Blackberry Ginger Ale

I've found my new favorite summertime drink and since it's Monday, there may be an adult beverage additive such as vodka, gin or champagne added into it after work.  This came about since I had a few leftover blackberries from the jam I made on Saturday.  

Blackberry Ginger Ale

5 blackberries, muddled
3 drops Agave syrup, light
ginger ale to fill 

Place blackberries at the bottom of your favorite glass.  Crush and sprinkle on Agave syrup.  Add in ginger ale and ice.  Stir.  Sit back and enjoy.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday Buttermilk Chicken

This recipe calls for a little planning ahead since you need to marinate the chicken for at least 8 hours, overnight is even better.  It's worth it though since you'll end up with moist chicken with a little kick.

Sunday Buttermilk Chicken

Marinade ~ Place in a gallon zippered plastic bag

1 cup buttermilk
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp Frank's Red Hot Sauce
4 chicken breasts, bone-in

Coating ~

2/3 cup flour
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Place the chicken breasts in the plastic bag and add the garlic, buttermilk and hot sauce.  Place into refrigerator and let sit at least 8 hours.

In a bowl, place the flour, salt, pepper, and paprika and mix together.   Remove the chicken from the bag, shake off most of the buttermilk and roll in the flour mixture.  Place on a foil lined baking sheet.  Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until the chicken temperature reaches 165°.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Blackberry Pear Jam

I enjoyed the flavor combination of the blackberry pear crisp I made recently that I decided to use them together again to make some freezer jam.  It really makes a deep, rich color.  The scent is still lingering throughout the house....

Blackberry Pear Jam

3 pears, pared and sliced
3 cups blackberries
1 cup water
3 cups sugar
1 box Sure-Jell

In a medium saucepan, cook the pears and blackberries together until softened.  Let cool.  In another saucepan, add sugar, Sure-Jell and water together and stir until it comes to a boil.  Remove from heat and place a food mill over the sugar mixture.  Pour in pear and blackberry mixture and turn (backing up to scrap the bottom often) until the strained berries and pears are in the sugar mixture, leaving the seeds in the mill.  Stir and pour into freezer containers.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake

Sometimes refrigerator cleaning can be a good thing and this hotdish the result since it gets a nice little tang from using yogurt.  Plus it was another opportunity to use some funky pasta from Eataly.

Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake

1# chicken breast, seasoned, braised and cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup peas
1 cup cheddar jack cheese
1 tbsp parsley
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp celery flakes
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 cups cooked pasta


1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 tsp butter
1/8 tsp paprika
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a small pan, melt butter.  Add in Panko bread crumbs and spices and lightly toast.  Set aside.

Cook pasta per package direction and drain.  In a medium saucepan, heat chicken broth and whisk in yogurt and spices.  Stir in pasta and cooked chicken.  Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan or casserole.  Mix in cheese and top with panko crumbs.   Bake for 30 minutes at 325°.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Turkey Cordon Bleu

Naps kept trying to interfere with me making this dinner but it was worth the wait for this combination plus the buttermilk gravy that I made to go with it.  

Turkey Cordon Bleu with Buttermilk Gravy

2 turkey tenderloin breasts
deli sliced honey ham
Provolone cheese slices

2 large eggs, beaten

1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp paprika

1 cup Panko bread crumbs

Pound turkey breasts until 1/4" thick.  Place slices of ham and Provolone cheese on top, roll up and tie with bakers string or secure with toothpicks.  Have 2 bowls and one plate ready.  In the first bowl, have the beaten eggs.  In the second bowl, combine flour, salt and pepper.  Place the Panko crumbs evenly on a dinner plate.  Dip the tied turkey breasts in the eggs, then roll in the flour mixture and finally roll on the plate before putting in a hot frying pan that has 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in it.  Brown on all sides before putting in a greased baking dish.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350°.  Bake until  the internal temperature reaches 165°.  Remove from pan and allow to rest.  

Pour pan drippings back into frying pan and add the following~

Buttermilk Gravy

1 1/2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp flour 
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Whisk all these ingredients together and cook over medium heat until the gravy thickens.  Serve over cut slices of the turkey cordon bleu.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Peach Tart

I love peaches and am always looking for new ways to make them.  This is my first ever tart and I was surprised how easy it was to make.  

Peach Tart

Crust ~

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking powder

Cream together butter and sugar.  Add in eggs and vanilla.  Gradually add in dry ingredients.  Mix all together and form into a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and put in your refrigerator for at least one hour.  When it's completely cooled,  roll out on a floured surface until 1/4" thick.  Place in a greased tart pan, spread out and trim away the excess.  

Mix together ~

1/2 cup peach preserves
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Spread over bottom of tart dough.

Top with ~

2 layers of thick sliced peaches

Bake for 30 minutes at 350°.

Sift 1 tbsp of powdered sugar on top before serving.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Italian Roast Potatoes

Beautiful weather here and I hope it's the same in your location.  Here's what I made to go along with my Tuscan Fried Chicken.  I promise, I'll branch off my trip to Tuscany now and try some other areas of the world.  You may want to make extra because they are addictive and nibbling does happen.

Italian Roast Potatoes

3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp oregano
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Boil the potato cubes for 10 minutes.  Don't let them get to fork tender, just under.  Drain and place on a non-stick baking sheet.  Sprinkle olive oil and spices on top.  Bake at 400° for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tuscan Fried Chicken

I'm enjoying all the flavors of Italy this week.  Simple seasonings that give this moist chicken the taste that will have you making it many times and the smell of the spices and lemon when cooking are mouth-watering.

Tuscan Fried Chicken

4 chicken breasts
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp rubbed sage
1 tsp Italian seasonings
1 cup flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large plastic bag that can seal, place chicken pieces that have seasoned on both sides with salt and pepper in with the olive oil, lemon juice, sage and Italian seasonings and let marinade for a half hour.  Heat a frying pan with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.  While it's heating, place the flour and eggs in two separate bowls.  When the pan is ready, dip the chicken breasts one by one into the flour, then the egg before placing in the hot pan.  Cook on both sides until 165°.  Remove from pan and allow to rest.  Using the same pan, make a light sauce to pour over the chicken.

Tuscan Chicken Sauce

Chicken drippings
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp rosemary
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 small pepper, thinly sliced

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Spicy Sweet Corn

I couldn't resist buying some sweet corn even though I know I'll be overwhelmed with it shortly from my CSA.  This sweet corn is double sweet since I used some of the honey butter I made the other day for the honey buns.

Spicy Sweet Corn

2 ears of sweet corn
1 tbsp honey butter
1/8 tsp ground Ancho Chili Pepper
1/8 tsp parsley

Rub corn with the honey butter and place in aluminum foil.  Sprinkle evenly with the Ancho chili pepper and parsley.  Make a pouch with the foil and bake on the grill for 15 minutes or for 30 minutes in the oven. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Peachy Pork Chops

I've been wanting to try a new fruit with pork chops since I enjoyed the ones I made with apple butter bbq sauce so much.  Today I chose peaches since I have quite a few frozen on hand and they also complimented the chops nicely.

Peachy Pork Chops

2-4 pork chops
2 cups slice peaches
1/4 cup peach juice
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp raspberry vinegar

Cook the pork chops, lightly seasoned with salt and freshly ground pepper, until the internal temperature reaches 145°.  Remove from pan and allow to sit while you make the peace sauce in the same pan with the drippings.  Add in the peaches and mix into the remainder of the ingredients.  Stir until completely combined and then cook until reduced.  Pour over the pork chops and serve immediately.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Honey Rolls

Due to my rain delay to the great outdoors yesterday, I also made this sweet honey rolls in addition to the spicy mashed sweet potatoes.  I normally don't bake bread very often in the summer but I was glad for an easy breakfast because all these needed was a quick brush of raspberry jam and I was off and running.

Honey Rolls

1 cup warm water
2 tsp quick active yeast
3 tbsp canola oil
1 large egg
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp sea salt
2 3/4 cups bread flour

Combine warm water and yeast and allow to sit for 15 minutes.  In a large bowl, pour in yeast water and stir in oil, egg, honey and salt.  Fold in flour  gradually.  When it's all combined, knead for 10 minutes and then return to the bowl and pour a little more canola oil on top, turn and make sure it's all coated, cover with a clean dish towel and let sit in a warm place for 2 hours. Turn out on a lightly floured board or countertop and divide into 16 equal pieces.  Place in a greased pan and allow to rise again until doubled at least. Bake for 15 minutes at 350°.  Remove from oven and brush honey butter on top (recipe below) and return to the oven for an additional 3 minutes.

Honey Butter

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp honey

Mix together and use for bread topping and many other things.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Spicy Mashed Sweet Potatoes

It's a rainy day here in the valley.  A thunderstorm rolled through two hours ago and it doesn't want to leave.  I decided to make some sunshine in a bowl using the sweet potatoes I had on hand.

Spicy Mashed Sweet Potatoes

3 sweet potatoes, pared and cubed
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp sea salt 
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Boil sweet potato cubes until tender.  Drain and mash with a potato masher.  Add in sour cream and all of the spices.  Stir until all blended and serve.

I tried to photograph showing some beautiful pottery that I found on Etsy but I'm afraid that I did not do it justice.  Visit the site ~ you'll be happy that you did because she has so many beautiful pieces ~

Friday, July 5, 2013

Tuscan Peas

Summer is here and the heat is intense.  These peas have a little heat in them but nothing like what is outside.  There is more than heat though, lots of flavors blended together to make these the perfect side to whatever you're serving.

Tuscan Peas

1 1/2 cups peas, fresh or frozen
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
1/8 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp butter
Romano cheese, grated

In a saucepan, heat olive oil.  When fully heated, add in garlic and cook for one minute.  Add in peas, spices and butter.  Cover and heat until fully cooked.  Put in a serving dish and top with grated Romano cheese

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Blackberry Lemon Water

Happy 4th of July!  Today is a day about celebrating with family and friends so I'm just posting an easy to make and family friendly beverage.  It's getting really warm outside now and amazingly no rain in sight here.  I hope everyone reading has good weather (and are mosquito free).

Blackberry Lemon Water

7 cups water
1/2 cup honey

1 cup blackberries
4 thin lemon slices

Pour 6 cups of water into your favorite pitcher.  Heat 1 cup of water
with the honey until it has completely dissolved, cool and add to the

Add the blackberries and slice the lemon and add to the pitcher.
Allow to cool and the fruit juices to release into the water.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Taco Spaghetti

It's so hot that I have no desire to be outside grilling.  Plus a slight sunburn from the weekend has me retreating indoors to figure out what to do with a pound of ground beef.  I went down to the pantry and saw my squiggly pasta from Eataly, aka fusilli, and a plan formed...

Taco Spaghetti

1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp taco seasoning (mine is homemade and salt-free)
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste1 cup beef broth
1 -  8 ounce can tomato sauce
4 oz cream cheese - I used the leftover 4 oz of Neufchatel from the grape salad
3 cups cooked small spaghetti
1 cup Marble Jack shredded cheese

1/2 cup broken Fritos
sour cream (optional)

Brown hamburger.  When almost cooked through, add in onions and garlic.  When onions are translucent, add in beef brothe, tomato sauce and cream cheese.  Stir until cream cheese has blended into sauce.  Pour over cooked pasta in a greased pie plate.  Place in oven at 350° for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with cheese and Fritos.  Bake for another 10 minutes.  Serve with sour cream if desired.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Raspberry Lemonade Cookies

It's not often when I make a cookie recipe but I'm usually happy with the results and this one screams summer.  The tangy smell that emerges from the oven is heavenly as well as the slightly tart icing blends together.  

Raspberry Lemonade Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup raspberry lemonade concentrate, thawed

Cream together butter and sugar.  Beat in the egg.  Alternate adding in dry ingredients and raspberry lemonade concentrate.  Bake for 12 minutes at 325°.  Allow to cool completely before icing.

Icing ~

2 tbsp butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp raspberry lemonade concentrate

Mix together until completely blended.  

Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Dorito Chicken Fingers

I found another new use for sour cream.  I thawed chicken breast strips and was looking for a different way to make them.  I happened to have some snack size Dorito packages so I used them with the sour cream to make these moist chicken fingers.

Dorito Chicken Fingers

2 cups crushed nacho cheese Doritos
1# chicken breast strips
1/2 cup sour cream
salt to taste

Place the sour cream in a dish that is easy for dipping.  I placed the Dorito bits in a plastic bag and rolled the chicken finger into the sour cream and then  placed it in the bag and shook it.  Place on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Salt slightly and then bake for 30 minutes at 350°.