Monday, August 27, 2012

2 Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos with Mango and Black Bean Salsa

Happy First Day of SCHOOL! :-) 
I absolutely 100% adore my job, my principal, the friends I work with and my kids. . . 
and today was no exception! :-) 
God is so SO good! :-) 
With school starting, I wanted to share a quick and easy weeknight meal! :-) 
Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos
Juice and zest of 3 small limes
3-4 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of any fat
Place all ingredients in a large zip lock back and combine thoroughly. Add the chicken breasts and mix until the breasts are evenly coated. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for 2-4 hours.
Mango and Black Bean Salsa 
2 large ripe mangos, peeled and chopped
 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
2 green onions, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp cumin
Juice of 1 large lime
Peel and chop the mango. Rinse and drain the black beans. Chop the green onions, jalapeno and cilantro. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice and cumin until well mixed. Place the mango, black beans, green onions, cilantro, and jalapeno in a large bowl. Pour the lime/cumin mixture over and mix gently. Taste – add more lime juice if needed.
To assemble/additions
Corn tortillas, warmed
Sour cream
Guacamole
Salsa
Grill chicken breasts until thoroughly cooked. Let the meat rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing into thin slices. Place the corn tortillas in a panini grill for 30 seconds (or cook them in a dry skillet on each side for 45-60 seconds). Layer the warmed tortilla with sour cream, sliced chicken, mango and black bean salsa. Serve with a side of guacamole and salsa. Enjoy.
For the Love of Cooking
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Sunday, August 26, 2012

4 Southwestern Chopped Chicken Salad

Last weekend, my aunt and uncle were in town and we had a lovely progressive dinner! Since all of the siblings live close to each other, it was a great idea that my mom came up with and allowed a little break between each course! :-) 
Appetizers were at Clark and Rebecca's, the main course was at our house, and then dessert and coffee was served at Parker and Emily's! :-) 
I made:
Southwestern Chopped Chicken Salad 
Turkey Enchilada Casserole
Goat Cheese, Chicken, and Spinach Quesadillas with Avocado Sour Cream
Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos with Mango Black Bean Salsa 
Spicy Corn Bake
and Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili
I have talked about how to have a successful dinner party here, but I also need to point out, that it is important to remember how many dishes need to be hot and how much oven space you have. I specifically picked a salad and something that could go in the slow cooker to allow for more oven space. The quesadillas were made on the stove top and just needed to be warmed in the microwave right before everyone was served. This allowed the corn bake, the casserole, and the chicken for the tacos to have plenty of room to stay warm in the oven! :-) 
When deciding on a salad, I wanted to stay with the "Mexican" theme and remembered seeing this Southwestern Chopped Chicken Salad on Harvest Home! :-) 
It was beautiful and allowed for a lot of color on the plate, which I love! And, of course, it tasted wonderful as well! :-) 
Southwestern Chopped Chicken Salad:
2 cups shredded chicken
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can sweet yellow corn (or 1 cup frozen corn, thawed)
2 roma tomatoes, diced
4 green onions, sliced
1 head lettuce, washed and chopped 
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 ripe avocados, diced
1 cup crushed tortilla chips
Put all ingredients in a bowl, toss, and top with tortilla chips. Enjoy!
Harvest Home
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Thursday, August 16, 2012

1 Monte Cristo Sandwich

I spent quite a bit of my time volunteering in the Junior League kitchen this summer. . . and one of the items on the menu that caught my eye was this Monte Cristo Sandwich! 
French Toast with ham and cheese and topped with powdered sugar. . . I knew Nate would love it! :-) 
I was right, he was obsessed! :-) 
Don't forget to enter the facebook giveaway going on now! :-) 
Monte Cristo Sandwich 
Two slices of sourdough bread
2 eggs
splash or two of milk
a couple slices of ham
2 slices of swiss cheese
powdered sugar
Mayonnaise (optional)
Raspberry or strawberry preserves (optional)
Spread mayonnaise on the two slices of bread and then build the sandwich with the cheese and the ham. Crack the eggs and scramble them in a shallow bowl or on a plate. Add a splash or two of milk. Dip the whole sandwich into the egg mixture. Place sandwich on a hot non stick skillet (as if you were making french toast). Once the sandwich is lightly browned on each side, place on a plate and sift powdered sugar on top! Serve with preserves warmed in the microwave or sweet potato fries! :-)
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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

0 GIVEAWAY: Wilton Individual Tart/Quiche Pans Set of 6! :-)

I received these tart pans for my birthday one year and have LOVED baking in them! :-) From Fresh Berry Tarts to individual cheesecakes, many beautiful desserts have adorned my table made from these cute pans!! :-) 
Would you like to win a set of 6??!!! :-) 
Head over to my facebook page to read how to enter! :-) 

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

1 Summer Stir-Fry

I served this delicious stir fry to some friends of ours a while ago and since it is a  Pioneer Woman recipe. . . of course it was amazing! 
I placed the stir fry over plain spaghetti noodles tossed in a little olive oil and the dish turned out wonderful! It was a pretty quick but colorful and impressive meal!   
Summer Stir Fry
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 cloves Garlic, Minced
12 whole Jumbo Shrimp, Peeled, Deveined, Tails Left On
2 whole Zucchini, Sliced On A Slight Diagonal
2 ears Corn, Kernels Sliced Off
1/2 cup Grape Tomatoes, Sliced In Half Lengthwise
Salt And Freshly Ground Pepper, To Taste
Chopped Fresh Herbs, If Desired
Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic. When oil/butter is hot, add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes. Remove to a plate. Do not clean skillet.
Add the rest of the butter and oil and heat over medium heat. Add zucchini slices in a single layer and cook for one minute, tossing once. Scoot the zucchini to the edges of the pan, then add corn kernels to the middle of the pan. Cook for one minute. Add grape tomatoes, salt, and pepper, and toss around, then add shrimp. Cook for an additional 30 seconds, then remove from heat. Serve on a big platter.
Hint: Much better after it's been allowed to cool for a bit! Yummy and refreshing.
Pioneer Woman
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Monday, August 13, 2012

0 Ultimate Death By Chocolate Brownie Cake

I made this Ultimate Death By Chocolate Brownie Cake for a special birthday girl a week or two ago! 
The cake has two layers of chocolate cake, with a brownie layer in the middle, and chocolate chips and chocolate icing separating each layer. 
One more selling point for this masterpiece. . . it is made from boxed cake and brownie mix. . . so it takes all of 1 minute to prepare. 
Make sure and serve a slice with a HUGE glass of milk! :-) 
Ultimate Death by Chocolate Brownie Cake
Chocolate Cake Mix (any chocolate flavor)
Brownie Mix (13×9 Family Size)
2 cans of chocolate frosting (any chocolate flavor – dark, milk, fudge…etc)
5 eggs (for the cake and brownie mix)
Vegetable oil (for the mixes)
One 12oz package of Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Three 8″ round pans


1. Make the chocolate cake according to the box. Pour batter evenly into two lightly greased 8″ round pans and bake at 350 degrees for 32-37 minutes. Cake is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a plate to cool completely.
2. Make the brownie mix according to the package. Pour entire brownie batter into one (1) lightly greased 8″ round pan. Bake the brownie at 350 degrees for 25-27 minutes. Watch the brownies carefully as not to overcook them but make sure they aren't completely doughy in the center.Cool in pan for 15 minutes before transferring to a plate to cool completely. It is easiest to remove the brownie carefully using a wide spatula underneath.
3. Pick the plate you want the cake to be displayed on and start with one (1) cake layer. Frost the top of the cake layer with about 1/3 of one of the frosting containers. Sprinkle a handful of chocolate chips on that layer. (Note: Any chopped up candy – Reese’s, M&Ms, Heath Bits etc can be substituted for the chocolate chips to add another flavor!) Carefully place the brownie layer on top of the cake layer.
4. Frost the top of the brownie layer with about 1/3 of one of the frosting containers. Sprinkle a handful of chocolate chips on that layer. Carefully place the 2nd cake layer on top of the brownie layer. Carefully frost the top of the cake with the remaining 1/3 of the frosting container.
5. Spread the entire 2nd container of frosting on the sides and top of the cake. BEFORE THE FROSTING SETS, you need to apply the chocolate chips to the outside. Take a handful of chocolate chips at a time and firmly press against the side of the cake until most of the chips stick. Some chips will fall to the plate and you will use those to fill in the holes.
6. Repeat this process around the entire cake. Take the fallen chips and the chips that you have left and fill in the holes and sprinkle on top. (I only put chocolate chips on the top of the cake, and I used 'mini' chocolate chips which I thought would be fun for the birthday girl! :-) 
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Sunday, August 12, 2012

3 Monster Pudding

I saw these cute Monster Puddings on Pinterest and knew that any kid would love the idea of eating green pudding with oreos! 
They were a hit and the different "faces" made the pudding all the more fun! :-) 
Monster Pudding
Clear plastic cups
Oreos
Vanilla pudding
Permanent Marker
Green Food Coloring
Draw faces on the plastic cups. Dump the vanilla pudding into a bowl and add green food coloring. Stir and then spoon pudding into the plastic cups. Crush Oreos and then sprinkle them on top of the pudding!
Pinterest
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Saturday, August 11, 2012

0 Dirt Cake

Another dessert I made while sweet kiddos were staying with us was this Dirt Cake! :-) I found some gummy flowers to put on the top of the cake along with the gummy worms which allowed for a pretty variety! 
It was definitely enjoyed by kids and adults alike! :-) 
Dirt Cake
3 1/2 cups whole milk
2 small packages instant French vanilla pudding
1 stick butter, softened to room temperature
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 (16-ounce) container Cool Whip
2 packages of Oreos
Assorted gummy worms or gummy flowers
Whisk the milk and pudding together in a large bowl until smooth.  Let stand five minutes.  In another large bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together with a hand mixer on medium speed until fluffy.  Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth.  Add the pudding and beat until smooth.  Fold in the Cool Whip.
Crush 1 package of Oreos so that there are some fine crumbs, but also some larger pieces.  There needs to be a variety.  Fold this into the pudding mixture until evenly mixed.
Finely crush the other bag of Oreos.  In a large clear glass trifle dish, pour about a third of the pudding mixture into the bottom and spread to smooth.  Sprinkle with a layer of about a third of the finely crushed cookies. Top with another third of the pudding mixture on top of the cookie layer, then repeat with another cookie layer.  Spread the remaining third of the pudding on top, then top with the remaining cookie crumbs.  Add gummy worms on top to decorate.  Chill for several hours to overnight before serving.
Mississippi Kitchen
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Friday, August 10, 2012

2 Trix on a Stick

I have pinned numerous cute "kid" treats on Pinterest for special occasions when I am going to see some of my favorite little ones! 
So when some precious kiddos got to stay with us for a couple days this past week, I went a little crazy! :-) The next couple of days, I'll share the fun desserts we made starting with Trix on a Stick! :-) 
This is the perfect 'not messy' treat and is adored by kids and adults (especially Nate) alike! :-) 
(oh and Gus.. . because he got his fair share of treats this week too since one little one in particular was always wanting to share with him!!) :-) 
These look great displayed on a tray or bagged individually with a pretty ribbon! :-) 

Trix on a Stick
1 box of Trix cereal (10.7 oz) 
1 bag of small marshmallows 
1 stick of butter 
1 package of tongue depressors or lollipop sticks 
In a microwave safe bowl, add 1 package of small marshmallows and 3 TBS of butter. Cook for 3 minutes on high (keep your eye on it - every microwave is different) Next, butter your spatula and add about 3/4 of the box of Trix cereal to the bowl of warm marshmallows and stir well. Let the Trix mix cool for about 10 minutes. While you're waiting, butter a pan to place the finished balls on. When you're ready to start, butter your hands so the mixture doesn't stick to you either. (re-butter after making each ball of trix) Grab a fistful of Trix mix, roll into a firm ball in your hands, then put a stick in the middle of it! :-) 
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Thursday, August 9, 2012

1 Peach-Whiskey Barbeque Chicken

With football season coming up, this would be the perfect "manly" meal for a houseful of boys cheering on their favorite team! 
These chicken thighs (or legs) are amazing, easy to make, and quickly disappear! :-) 
Peach Whiskey Barbeque Chicken
12 whole Chicken Thighs, Bone-in, Skin-on (I used chicken legs
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 whole Yellow Onion, Diced
1-1/2 cup Whiskey
12 ounces, fluid Barbecue Sauce
1 jar Peach Preserves
1/2 cup Water
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
4 cloves Garlic, Peeled
3 whole Green Onions, Sliced Thin
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Heat oil and butter in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. Place chicken thighs, four at a time, in the pot, skin side down. Brown both sides, then remove to a plate and repeat until all chicken is browned. Pour off half the grease, then return pan to stove. Add onions to pan and stir, cooking for 2 minutes. Pour whiskey into the pot, being very careful if you're using an open flame. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan, allowing whiskey to reduce for a minute or two. Pour in barbecue sauce, peach preserves, water, and Worcestershire sauce. Throw in garlic cloves. Stir until combined, then return chicken to the pot, skin side up. Cover and put pot in oven. Cook for 1 1/2 hours, then remove from oven. Serve pieces of chicken over mashed potatoes or rice. Sprinkle sliced green onions over the top.
Pioneer Woman 
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Monday, August 6, 2012

0 Bacon Lettuce Tomato Avocado Sandwich

This is my last Jackson inspired recipe! 
If you remember our honeymoon, Nate and I enjoy pretty active vacations. Nate would get bored after 5 minutes of sitting on a beach and he absolutely loves the mountains. . . hence why so many of our travels have involved heading north instead of south! :-) 
While in Wyoming, we hiked, rode horses, biked or did something athletic every day! It wasn't "hot" by Texas standards but at lunchtime I consistently found myself drawn to a BLT with avocado sandwich . . . with a large ice tea, of course! A cool sandwich was the perfect mid day meal in the midst of strenuous activities! (don't worry, at dinner I always ate elk or buffalo which was amazing and made me feel like I was truly experiencing the local cuisine! :-) 
My favorite place to have a BLT with avocado was at Dornan's Moose Chuckwagon! The view in and of itself was spectacular! Add good food and family and it was heaven! :-) 
The whole time we were in Wyoming, we kept commenting how incredible God's creation is! :-) From the animals, to the mountains, to the beautiful waterfalls and lakes. . . 
"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands!" Psalm 19:1 
Since returning to Houston, I still cannot get enough of this sandwich! Almost every afternoon, I slice half of a tomato and half of an avocado and eat it with honey mustard on whole wheat bread! The left over half is diced and eaten together like a salad! I normally leave off the bacon and lettuce but today I made the whole shebang! :-) 
Bacon Lettuce Tomato Avocado Sandwich
Combine all ingredients on the the bread of your choice and add condiments! :-) 
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Sunday, August 5, 2012

1 Cowboy Breakfast

Here is another Jackson inspired recipe! :-) 
The first morning we were in Wyoming, my family went to The Bunnery and Nate absolutely adored his breakfast! He made sure that I wrote down what his plate consisted of so that I could recreate it once we got home! 
A couple of nights ago, Nate got his Cowboy Breakfast. . . it might not have been served with 55 degree weather and a magnificent view of the Tetons, but it was made with love all the same! :-) 
Nate loves his cowboy breakfast covered in sausage gravy . . . 
and salsa! :-) 
Cowboy Breakfast
Biscuits, Sausage, an Egg fried in bacon grease with a side of hash browns and bacon. Top with Sausage Gravy and Salsa! (You can make this as easy or as hard as you would like! Buy all the ingredients in the frozen section of the grocery store or make everything homemade!! :-)
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Friday, August 3, 2012

0 Homemade Cherry Oat Granola

This is a recipe that has been on the blog for a while but needed to be revisited after our trip to Wyoming! 
I love granola! 
So when I learned that The Bunnery in Jackson was famous for their granola, I, of course, had to try it. . .and subsequently fell in love! :-) 
And then I had granola for almost every breakfast the rest of the time we were in Wyoming! 
While, I wish that we had a Bunnery here in Texas . . . 
this homemade granola recipe is pretty amazing!! 
 
Cherry Oat Granola
(adapted from the Cherry Almond Granola from Peace Meals)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 c sunflower seeds
1 c dried cherries
1 c sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 c Rice Crispies
1/2 c almonds
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir together the oil, honey, brown sugar and vanilla in a small saucepan over low heat until blended and the sugar has dissolved; keep warm. In a large bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients. Add the warm oil-honey mixture and stir until the granola is well coated. Spread the granola on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 30 to 32 minutes or until golden brown, stirring halfway through. Cool completely, then loosen from the baking sheet and crumble. Store in an airtight container.
Makes 8 cups.
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Thursday, August 2, 2012

0 Huckleberry Rhubarb Cobbler


One thing I noticed at the Jackson Farmers Market was that there were huckleberry products everywhere! 
(including Wild Huckleberry Ice Cream) 
But after seeing Huckleberry Rhubarb Cobber, I knew I would have to remake that dessert once I got home! 
Huckleberries grow in the northwest and basically only grow in the wild . . . so for those of us who live in the south, just use blueberries! :-) 
I added these fruits to our basic family cobbler recipe and the outcome was delicious! 
The tart rhubarb provides a great balance to the sweetness of the huckleberries/blueberries creating a pretty unique and memorable cobbler! :-) 
Huckleberry Rhubarb Cobbler
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 cup milk
1/4 stick butter (2 tbs)
1 to 1 1/2 cups of huckleberries (or blueberries) 
1 to 1 1/2 cups of rhubarb 
Mix flour, sugar, and baking powder with milk. Pour into a 9x9 baking pan which has butter melted in it. Pour fruit into the baking pan! Bake about 30 minutes at 450 degrees or until it is brown!
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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

2 Thankful for Jackson Hole! :-)

My parents took our family to Wyoming a couple of weeks ago and we fell in love with the town of Jackson, the Tetons, and, of course, with all of the wildlife! :-) 
The first morning we were in Jackson, we went to town to browse the local farmers market . . . it was in the 60s and fresh food, flowers, and friendly faces were everywhere! 
(Tomorrow I'll share a cobbler recipe inspired by the Jackson farmers market!) 
But my favorite part of shopping on the square was the sweet sound of live blue grass music! 
(scroll to the end of this post and hit play to hear the amazing couple that we saw! :-) 
 We are so lucky to have such a close knit family! God gave us each spouses that fit perfectly into our family! My brothers and sister in laws are not just our relatives but some of our best friends! God is so good and I am so thankful for Nate, Emily and Rebecca! :-) 
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above!" James 1:17
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