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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tortilla Black Bean Casserole

This is a South Beach recipe that I got from my aunt a while ago. I've made it several times and REALLY love it. It's very "hearty" and nice to know you're not shoveling a ton of "bad carbs" in your body at the same time.

A full pan can feed 5-6 people easily. Sometimes we cut the recipe in half just for the two of us if we don't want a ton left over.

Tortilla Black Bean Casserole

1 chopped onion
1 1/2 c. chopped green pepper
14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
3/4 c. picante
2 t. ground cumin
2 garlic cloves pressed
15 oz. can of black beans rinsed
12 6" tortillas
2 c. shredded monterey jack

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine onion, peppers, tomatoes, picante, cumin, & garlic. Bring to boil, simmer 10 minutes. Stir in beans. Spread 1/3 mix in baking dish, top with tortillas. add 1 c. of cheese, add 1/3 mix. Top with tortillas. Then rest of mix. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with rest of cheese. Let stand 10 minutes. Top with olives, tomatoes, lettuce and sour cream.



Monday, February 25, 2008

Chicken Cacciatore

This is one of my sister's favorite dishes that I've made and it was a big hit in our family, so I thought I'd share it here. I got this recipe out of the Taste of Home's Annual Recipes cookbook for 2006.

This meal can be served on both pasta, or rice, and can even stand alone for those watching carbs. We use whole wheat pasta with our's and it's been fantastic!

Chicken Cacciatore

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 lb. sliced mushrooms (we're cheap and used canned mushrooms slices)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
3/4 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup whole pitted ripe olives
hot cooked pasta or rice

Place flour in a large resealable plastic bag; add chicken and shake to coat. In a large skillet, brown chicken in oil on both sides. Remove chicken to a greased 9x13" baking dish.

In the same skillet, saute the mushrooms, onion and garlic until tender. Add the tomatoes, pearl onions, broth, tomato paste, and seasonings. Bring to a boil; pour over chicken. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. Add olives and bake 15 minutes longer. Discard bay leaf. Serve with pasta or rice.





Sunday, February 24, 2008

A couple of my "secrets..."

There's two meals that I eat at least once, if not twice a week. Scrambled eggs and grilled cheese sandwiches. I don't eat these two things together, obviously, but they are a favorite around here.

There are obvious ways to make both, but did you know that adding a little bit of dill weed to your scrambled eggs really adds a lot of flavor and gives it some kick? And did you know that adding a dash of oregano on the inside of each buttered slice of bread for your grilled cheese will make it even more "melt-in-your-mouth" good??

Try these tips out. Tell me what you think.

P.S. I can't take full credit of the oregano grilled cheese...my husband actually came up with that one.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Green Goddess Dipping Sauce

As most of you know, a couple weekends ago we hosted a huge Fondue Valentine's party at our house for about 20 of our church group friends. It was a BLAST! Luckily I didn't really have to provide all the food for that many people (everyone brought stuff to fondue), but I did want to share an AMAZING dipping sauce recipe that my friend, Rachel, brought for the evening. Oooh! It's heavenly!!!

She sent me the recipe and I'm glad I can share it with you all. You can probably dip just about anything in this, but we used it on meat. And obviously you don't have to use it just for fondue. :)

Thanks, Rachel, for allowing me to share your recipe!

Green Goddess Dipping Sauce

Into the food processor:
1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
1-2 T. chopped onion
1 t. lemon juice (optional)
1/4 t. salt (approximate)
1/4 t. black pepper (approximate)
1 16 oz. container sour cream
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 - 3/4 cup. parsley or 1/4 c.
chopped chives

Blend until the herbs are very well
incorporated.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sue's Egg Bake

You have to trust me when I say this is, by far, the most amazing egg bake you will ever have. I'm serious. My mom has been making this for us all our lives. It has been a huge hit with all our family and friends over the years and it's time I share it with you all. Try it out. Trust me...you won't be disappointed!

Sue's Egg Bake

1 loaf of English Muffin Bread (cut off crusts and butter both sides)
8 oz. of shredded cheddar cheese
8 oz. of shredded swiss cheese
1 lb. of ham cubed
3 c. milk
8 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt & a dash of pepper
1 1/2 c. corn flakes crushed
1/2 c. melted butter
1/2 tsp. dry mustard


Put 6 whole slices & take a 7th slice and cut it in half (that's the only
way it fits in pan) & put butter side up on bottom of greased 9 X 13 pan.
Sprinkle with cheddar cheese, then ham, then swiss cheese. Add last layer of
buttered bread to pan. 6 slices + a 7th cut in half. Mix milk, eggs,
mustard, salt, and pepper & heat. Pour egg mixture over casserole. Cover
with saran wrap and refrigerate overnight. Before baking, cover with corn
flakes and drizzle with melted butter.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes.
Picture to follow as soon as I can get it to upload!!! Sorry about that.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

An oldie, but a goody recipe that I got from my cousin, Shannon. It's her husband, Joe's, favorite.

So easy...and oh soooooo good.

Check it out.

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

Frozen broccoli florets
Cooked, shredded chicken
1 can cream chic
1 can cream shroom
½ c mayo
1T lemon juice
2c shredded sharp cheddar

On the bottom of a 9x13 put one layer of frozen broccoli (I don’t quite use a whole bag)

Layer on shredded chicken (I buy a cooked rotisserie chicken to save time—I use most of that chicken)

Mix together soups, mayo & lemon juice—spread over the top

Sprinkle on all of the cheese

Friday, February 8, 2008

Diet Dr. Pepper Cake

Are you ready for this??? Are you really ready for this deliciously moist, extremely low cal, low carb, and low fat everything cake??? I didn't think it could truly be as good as everyone was saying, but I have to say...this is one of the best cakes I've ever had. Ever.

You're gonna be shocked. I was. All you do is mix one 12 oz. can of diet dr. pepper (or your pop/soda of choice) with a box of white cake mix. Bake according to directions. No water added, no eggs, no oil. JUST the can of pop. The pop takes the place of the other ingredients.

Top with frosting or cool whip. It is HEAVENLY.

Trust me. Try it and tell me what you think. It's ready in half an hour. And be prepared for one of the best desserts you've ever had, my friends. Go for it!

Diet Dr. Pepper Cake

1 box of regular white cake mix
1 12 oz. can of Diet Dr. Pepper (or your pop of choice)

Mix cake mix only with can of pop. Bake according to directions on cake mix box. DO NOT ADD WATER, EGGS, OR OIL.

ENJOY!





Monday, February 4, 2008

Creamy Guacamole

I got this recipe off the nest web forum I participate in and was it posted by "ChiOCutie." I'm so glad she posted it as it was AMAZING. Chris and I have a little obsession with Chipotle and we usually make their guac recipe, but this was almost better than that...*gasp* For real. Try it.

Creamy Guacamole

½ Tomato, finely chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped green onions
a dash of fresh cilantro, chopped
Squeeze juice of 1/3 lime
1 cup Mexican shredded cheese
3 fresh avocados, mashed
1 container of Dean's guacamole (by the sour cream at grocery store)
4oz. sour cream
one finely chopped fresh jalepeno
Mix with spoon, Chill before serving


Sunday, February 3, 2008

Double Cheese Chili

This is another recipe out of the Kraft Food and Family recipe magazine that we got last week in the mail...

I wanted something a little bit "hearty" for the Super Bowl this evening. It's so easy to get stuck in the "pizza, chicken wings, velveeta hot dip, etc" rut, so I wanted to try an actual meal this time. Since I'm all about the comfort food, this recipe was at the top of my list to try and what better night than for the Super Bowl????

And you just can't go wrong with cheese, ya know? I doubled the recipe when I made it, but here's how it is in the magazine...

Double Cheese Chili

1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans, drained, rinsed
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) whole tomatoes, undrained
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1-1/2 cups KRAFT Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, divided

Brown meat in large skillet on medium heat; drain. Add onions and peppers; cook and stir 5 min. or until tender.

Add beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce and chili powder; mix well. Reduce heat to low; cover. Simmer 30 min., stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle 3 Tbsp. cheese onto the bottom of each of six soup bowls; top with chili and remaining cheese.




Saturday, February 2, 2008

Chicken Pecan Wraps

A very quick and easy recipe that you could whip up for a relatively lighter lunch...or dinner...when you're in a bit of a hurry, but still looking for something with a bit of substance. We've had these twice now, and both times we've been really impressed by how great they are.

Check it out...

Chicken Pecan Wraps

* 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes (we use Tyson grilled chicken strips and they work really well)
* 1/4 cup chopped onion
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
* 1/4 cup chopped pecans
* 3 tablespoons sour cream
* 4 (10 inch) flour tortillas, warmed
* 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
* 1 cup salsa
* Shredded lettuce

In a large skillet, saute chicken, onion and cumin in butter until chicken juices run clear. Reduce heat to low. Add pecans and sour cream; cook and stir until heated through. Spoon about 1/2 cupful down the center of each tortilla; top with cheese, salsa and lettuce if desired. Fold in sides.