Saturday, May 31, 2008

New Picture

I finally remembered to post the picture of the Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Pound Cake. Go check it out, but be prepared to drool. :-)
My mom made this one after seeing it on my blog so I posted a picture of her cake. Thanks mom!

Black Bean and Mango Salsa

Black Bean and Mango Salsa

1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, rinsed throughly
1 mango, peeled, pitted and chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped fine
1/4 minced red onion
1/4 cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1/2 jalapeno chili, seeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin

Mix all the ingredients together and season with some sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Cover tightly and let rest to blend the flavors, about 10 minutes.
If you want a little bit more kick to your salsa, keep the seeds and ribs from the jalepeno pepper and add those in.

You can scoop it up with some chips or do like I did and top my burger with it. Yummy!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Convenience Dinner

I am falling behind on my recipes again. I have lots to post and even pictures to go with many of them.
Check out the Foodie Blog roll on my side bar. There are all sorts of great food blogs there to check out.
Now on with the food!

I really like making my own sauces but sometimes it is nice to have some bottled stuff on hand for nights when I just need to throw something together fast.
We are also a big fan of potstickers and as much fun as it is to make them from scratch, it is hard to accomplish on a regular basis.
This is one of our favorite, not from scratch meals.
I used to just brown some chicken and then pour some teriyaki sauce in and let it cook up with some broccoli and call it good. This particular brand of sauce tastes extremely salty and is just gross on its own. In order to lesson the pure sodium taste I started adding some pineapple juice. I just eye it based on the amount of chicken and sauce I am cooking. (Just add a little corn starch to the sauce if it gets too thin after adding the juice.) Since I had the pineapple I just went ahead and started tossing that in too. And then I add in some broccoli and let it all heat up. Quick and simple but oh so yummy!

While the chicken and sauce are cooking up I cook up some potstickers according to the package directions. They take about 10 minutes to cook. Don't they look so good?

I am still trying to concoct a good potsticker dipping sauce. I don't like dipping them in straight soy sauce but you can do that if you don't have anything else.

Now doesn't that look yummy? All up, it probably takes 15 -20 minutes, a little longer when I forget that I need to cook up some rice too. :-)

I probably have enough sauce left in my bottle for one more batch of teriyaki chicken but once it is gone I will not buy this brand again. I will, however, probably keep adding pineapple and juice to whatever brand sauce I do buy.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Book Give Away

Hey there my fellow foodies! Do you know that in addition to baking and cooking I love to read? And that I have another blog where I write my thoughts on the books I read? I am hosting a book give away on my book blog. If you think you might be interested in winning a book head over there and check it out.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Cooking for the Family

My parents are in town for the weekend and the family gathered at my house last night. 6 adults and 5 kids. I decided to make chicken enchiladas and my sister made a layered dip with beans, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, and I can't remember what else. I also made a cucumber curry dip to go with some vegetables as a little appetizer/side dish.
I thought the dip was really good but I don't think my family was as enthusiastic about it as I was. Cucumber and curry. What's not to love?
Here is the recipe:

Cucumber-Curry Dip
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cucumber, seeded and chopped fine
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro

Stir all the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate the dip for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend. If you feel it necessary, you can season with additional lemon juice and some salt and pepper before serving.

I usually make beef enchiladas, in fact I have never made chicken endiladas before, but after making these last night my husband told me he prefers them to the beef. They were pretty darn good if I say so myself. They were drier, not as saucy as the beef ones I usually make. Again, I don't know how much the extended family liked them, but they were a hit with me and Expert.

Chicken Enchiladas
3 cups shredded cooked chicken (1 1/2 pounds)
3 cups extra sharp (or just sharp, we prefer extra sharp) cheddar cheese, shredded
2 1/2 cup enchilada sauce (see below)
1 (4 0z) can chopped green chilies
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
salt and pepper
12 (6 inch) soft corn tortillas

Combine the chicken, 2 cups of the cheddar, 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce, the chilies, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Wrap the tortillas in plastic wrap and warm in oven for 60 seconds to make them warm and pliable so they won't tear when you roll them up.
Put about 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla. Tightly roll the tortilla around the filling and lay seam side down in a 9x13 inch baking dish that has been lightly coated with vegetable cooking spray.
Lightly spray the enchiladas with vegetable oil spray. Pour more sauce over the the enchiladas to coat thoroughly. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup cheddar down the center of the enchiladas. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese browns, about 5 minutes.
Serve with chopped lettuce, lime wedges and sour cream.

Enchilada Sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chili powder
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons sugar
2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
1/2 cup water

Heat oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, salt and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, cumin and sugar. Cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sorry, no pictures. I was too busy visiting with the family to think about taking pictures of the food.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Creamy Chicken Soft Tacos

I've seen a few other food bloggers take pictures of all the ingredients for a recipe and post it. I thought I'd do that this time so you can see just how easy this recipe is. In fact, that sour cream? Don't even bother taking it out of the fridge yet. All you need to start is the chicken and salsa.

Put the chicken in your slow cooker and pour the salsa over it.

Let it cook for 6-8 hours and then shred the chicken. Add that sour cream now and let it cook some more.

Add whatever toppings you like. I like putting some cooked rice, cheese and lettuce in. Fold it up and eat it! Can cooking good food get any easier?

Creamy Chicken Soft Tacos
4 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (16 ounce) jar of salsa
1 cup sour cream
6-8 flour tortillas

Place chicken in greased slow cooker. Pour salsa over the top. Cover and cook on high 6-8 hours. Shred chicken by pulling apart with two forks. During the last hour of cooking, stir in sour cream.
Fold chicken mix inside warm flour tortillas with lettuce and grated cheese (or anything else that strikes your fancy.) Makes 6-8 servings

(Slow Cooking Thursday)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Hawaiian Chicken

4 to 6 chicken breasts
Cooking Oil
1 can (15 1/4 ounces) pineapple chunks
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 green pepper, cut in 1/4- inch strips

Roll chicken pieces in flour and sprinkle with salt. Brown in oil. Drain pineapple; reserve pineapple chunks and pour juice into measuring cup. Add water to make 1 1/2 cups. Add honey, cornstarch, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, and bouillon cube, bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour over chicken pieces in 2 quart baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Add pineapple chunks and green pepper; bake 5 minutes longer. Serve with cooked rice.

Menu Plan Monday

Blogger is acting up and won't let me add the banner for Menu Plan Monday from Organizing Junkie, which is a shame because she has some nice new ones this week. If you want to look at (lots) more menus just head over to I'm an Organizing Junkie.

I've been kinda lazy about planning my menus lately but today I sat down and remembered how much fun it is to plan menus. So much fun that I have pretty much planned out all of May and started on June as well. :-)

Here is what I've got planned for this week:

Monday: Grilling Night! Just Hot Dogs and Hamburgers tonight with some chips and potato salad (store bought because I did not plan ahead...)

Tuesday: Casserole Night because my hubby has class on Tuesday and does not come home after work. I take dinner out to him and casseroles travel and reheat well.
Martha's Casserole with Garlic Bread and Green Salad

Wednesday: Easy Chicken Enchiladas with Texas Toast and Green Salad

Thursday: Hawaiian Chicken and Rice

Friday: ?? We have family coming to town and I am not sure what the plans are yet. I might be cooking for everyone or my sister might or we might all be going out. It is up in the air right now.
Saturday: Mother's Day Dinner at Red Robin. Woo Woo! I have been looking forward to this one for a looong time! :-) I can already tell you what I am going to order. Onion Rings, Chocolate Milkshake and a Crispy Chicken Burger. MMM! MMM! I will be ready to burst when we leave but it will be sooo worth it! (Can you tell I am excited? Cause I am!!)

Sunday: Sweet and Sour Chicken, Egg Drop Soup, Fortune Cookies.

May's Cook Book

This month I will be trying 1-3 recipes a week from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. At the end of the month I will write up what I thought of the book overall.
I have been eying this book for a few months and really wanted to buy it but have been trying to cut back on my cook book purchases. Last time I was at Costco they had a huge stack of them and I could not resist it any longer. The fact that it was more than $10 off the cover price also helped my decision to go ahead and buy it.
There are 23 sections in this cookbook. I would like to try at least one recipe from each section but I don't know if I'll be able to accomplish that in one month. (I know I won't be trying anything from fish and shellfish section because I don't eat fish.) I will try as varied a selection of recipes as I can. This should be fun!