Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tip of the Day

When you can't buy fresh, buy frozen! Fruits and veggies that have been frozen for sale are picked at the height of freshness which means they are perfectly ripe and picked while in season. Frozen veggies are often quickly blanched to retain color and are better for you then the canned type. Canned veggies while a little cheaper on the wallet are cooked and then preserved using, well, perservative, meaning different types of salt and other chemicals to keep them fresh. They lack nutrients and lose their flavor because they are cooked before you ever cook them, or rather re-cook them. Moral of the story: buy frozen!

To Spicy for Me!

Those words came from my husband the other night when I made a mexican lasagna. It was spicy, I'll give him that but it was pretty darn good too.

Mexican Lasagna


3tbs Olive Oil
1lb of ground beef or chicken
2 tbs chili pwd
2 tsp cumin
1 small onion, chopped
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 c med heat taco sauce
1 c frozen corn
10 flour tortilla
1/2 lb cheddar


Add 2tbs oil to pan and cook the beef or chicken. Once it's cooked through add in the seasoning, onion, beans, taco sauce, and corn. Stir together.


Coat a 11x9 baking dish with the last 1tbs oil. Cut tortilla in half. Build layers: tortialla, 1/3 meat, tortilla, 1/3 cheese, tortilla, 1/3 meat, tortilla, 1/3 cheese, tortilla, rest of meat, tortilla and rest of cheese.




Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 15min or until the cheese is melted and bubblly. Serve with a tossed garden salad. Total time for this meal is about 30mins.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Tex-Mex Affair

I have a great love for Mexican food. The spiciness, the creaminess of the cheese and the crunch of tortillas are the best things in the world. I've been on a Tex-Mex kick lately and while my poor husband's acid reflux is kicking his butt, he never complains because he loves it too. One of my favorite dishes is Chicken and Cheese Enchilada's. It's been months since I’ve made them. Mostly because I hate turning my oven on during the hot days of summer, but now that the weather has shifted here and it hasn't hit 70 degrees in a few days, I thought it would be the perfect night for some spicy, cheesy goodness.

Chicken & Cheese Enchiladas


The Ingredients:

1lb boneless skinless chicken breast
1tbs cumin
1tbs garlic
1/2 red pepper flakes
1 (10 oz) can Enchilada sauce (or make your own)
8 10in flour tortilla
1lb shredded Colby Jack or cheddar cheese (reserve 1 cup of cheese for top)
Pinch of salt
Few grinds of black pepper
Water or chicken stock


Dice your chicken into smaller then bite sized pieces. Place in a pot over med-high heat which a touch of veg oil. Make sure to put chicken in a single layer and do not stir it until the chicken has browned.

Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas

Once the chicken is no longer pink add in your spices and give a stir to coat the chicken. Add in the sauce and 1/2 can of water or chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 mins.


Now there are two ways you can do this. The quick way, and the longer but tastier way. I almost always do the longer way because I feel the end result is so much tastier but when you don't have time the quick way is pretty good too.

Quick Way: Coat your tortilla's by dipping them into the cooled sauce and chicken mixture, letting the excess drip off. Then continue onto stuff and folding below.

Longer Better Way: Coat your tortilla's by dipping them into the cooled sauce and chicken mixture, letting the excess drip off. Then in a skillet over high heat with a touch of oil, fry the sauced tortilla, flipping once or twice, until air bubbles start to form and the sauce is "cooked" into the tortilla. One cooked set aside on a plate. Continue with the rest of the tortilla, adding more oil when necessary.

Chicken Enchiladas
Chicken Enchiladas

Now comes stuffing and folding! Simply add a little bit of the chicken mixture to the middle of your tortilla, top with some cheese and fold over. I do this step right inside the 11x9 baking dish that I cook them in. The tortilla will be soft and prone to tearing so be careful. After folding push it up against the dish or the other enchilada's you've done to keep them tight and get all 8 in there. Make sure that you use all the chicken but use a slotted spoon so that some of sauce stays behind.

Chicken Enchiladas
Chicken Enchiladas
Chicken Enchiladas

Once all the enchiladas are done, spread the reaming sauce on top and cover with reserved cheese. Bake in a preheated 350 oven for about 30mins or until cheese has melted and everything is heated though.


Serve with Mexican Rice and Cilantro Lime Corn (keep reading for recipes).

Chicken Enchiladas

To make it look just as pretty as the picture above, you just place a dollop of sour cream on top of the enchilada's and sprinkle with some freshly chopped cilantro.

Mexican Rice


1 c long grain rice
1/2 c water
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 lrg garlic clove, minced
1 tsp salt
1-2 large tomatoes or a few smaller ones
1 small onion, chopped
2 c chicken or veggie stock

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add rice and cook until it starts to brown.


Meanwhile, slice tomatoes in half and squeeze over a bowl to remove seeds and pulp, then chop.


Reduce heat and add in spices, tomatoes, onion, 1/2 water and garlic. Simmer for a few mins.


Add the stock, cover, and simmer for about 20 mins or until the liquid is absorbed by the rice. Take off the heat and keep covered until you're ready for it.

Cilantro Lime Corn

1/2 bag of frozen corn or 1 can of corn
zest of 1/2 a lime
juice of 1 lime
1/4 c water
1tbs chopped cilantro

In a small pot place fozen corn and the rest ofthe ingredients over meat heat. Cook until heated through. If you using canned corn, drain and rinse before using.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tip of the day

Every wonder why egg shells don't always come off easily after being hard boiled? It's because of the membrane. It's what holds the egg together. To remedy this, first off, don't over cook the eggs. Get an egg timer if you're not sure. Second, once they are done, drain off the hot water and add cold until they eggs are cool. Give your pot a shake to break the shells while you cool them off. This allows some of the cold water in to help loosen the shell. Finally if you know you're going to be making deviled eggs, try buying the eggs a week a head of time so they have some time to "age" and loosen up!

Greek Chicken with CousCous

This was a pretty simple dish to make. Just throw everything in the crock-pot and let it go. It literally took me maybe 5 mins to gather my ingredients and put together. I made this dish yesterday and it was pretty good. The feta cheese in this dish is a must. It compliments and adds flavor to the chicken mixture. It's a one dish meal but I suggest adding a garden salad along side of it for some more veggie action.


The Ingredients:
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 cans (14oz each) diced tomatoes
1 1/2 c chicken stock
1 tbs oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tbs garlic pwd
12 oz box of couscous (preferably one with Pine Nuts)
1/2 c chopped Kalamata olives (I didn't use so it's not pictured)
4 oz feta cheese

Cut up the chicken into bite size pieces and place in the bottom of a crock-pot.


In a bowl combind the tomatoes, water and spices.


Pour tomatoes over chicken and cook on high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or on low for 5-6 hours.
Right before you serve it, turn off the crock pot and stir inthe couscous. Let it sit for 5 mins.


Serve on plates or in bowls with olives and feta cheese sprinkled on top.

This dish is great for a busy mom without a lot of time to make supper. I hope you all enjoy it!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I am a goddess. Not just your normal whorship me kind, but a goddess in the kitchen. I have been cooking since I was a little girl and can remember all the times I was in the kitchen with my grandma on cold winter days baking cookies. Cooking and food is not just my passion, it's my life.

I am not a professional cook and would never claim to be. I am just your average stay at home mom that knows a thing or two when it comes to the kitchen. I'm here to share my various recpies, tips and tricks, as well as give advice to any who need it.


Above is my wonderfully small kitchen. It might be large to some of you but to me it's about half the size I'd like it to be. However the point is that my kitchen is my palate, the place I create masterpieces. It's no different from yours. It's the dumping ground in my house. It's where I scrapbook at times, where my husband throws his stuff when he gets home, where I change my daughters diapers until our house is finished being built, which by the way, I will have a huge kitchen in! You don't need anything special to make delicious meals for your family.

Now a days, I spend most of my time taking care of my beautiful 9 month old little girl and trying out new recipes.
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