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Mar 30, 2012

Mexican Chicken

This recipe was quickly thrown together one night and it was very tasty.
It is just chicken breast, lots of spices, and cheese with some enchilada sauce over it.
Simple and full of flavor!


1 pound boneless chicken breasts 
1 teaspoon
 Seasoning for Tacos (recipe below)
Salt, to taste
1/2 cup enchilada sauce
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
3 green onions, chopped (optional)

Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with taco seasoning; grill or sauté
Cut the chicken into cubes and place in a greased 8x8" baking dish; 
season with salt to taste. 
Add the enchilada sauce and toss to coat the chicken. 
Sprinkle the cheese over the chicken and bake at 350º for 10-20 minutes,
 until hot and bubbly. 
Scatter the green onions over the top.

1 teaspoon chili powder 
3/4 teaspoon paprika 
3/4 teaspoon cumin 
1/2 teaspoon onion powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
3/8 teaspoon garlic powder 
Pinch cayenne


Mar 29, 2012

Light it up Blue

I know this is a cooking blog, but I wanted to share something that was close to my heart. 

This year on April 2nd it will  be World Autism Day and the entire month of April is Autism Awareness Month. So in honor of that we will be swapping out our outdoor lightbulbs and switching them to a bright blue lightbulb and joining the "Light it Up Blue" Campaign.  Home Depot has partnered with Autism Speaks and has just put out their blue light bulbs! I talked to our Home Depot manager this week because I went to buy them, but they weren't released on shelves until today, March 29th. The bulbs are  Coleman brand and they are $1.65 and there are also lanterns on discount and Home Depot will donate $1 for each product purchased to Autism Speaks.  

This is what is will most likely look like in your store:

So join me, the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Niagara Falls, the Sydney Opera House, the Hungarian Parliament Building, and countless other families in the Light It Up Blue Campaign and lets shine a spotlight on autism.

Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

I love a good crock pot recipe and this one fit the bill!
It was super easy to just throw all the ingredients in and let the aroma fill the house.
I skipped the sour cream because I just don't care for it, but I added extra tortilla chips for that added crunch!
It has a lot of flavor because of all the spices and is really good as leftovers too!


2 chicken boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cans Ro-Tel (I like the lime & cilantro, but the regular is fine)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn
1 onion, chopped
2 cans low-sodium chicken broth
1-2 cups of water
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp chile powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp dried cilantro
tortilla chips
sour cream
shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese

To make:

Put chopped onion, cans of beans, rotel, corn, chicken broth, water, and spices in CrockPot and stir to mix.
 Put chicken breasts on top of mixture and make sure they're at least partly submerged in liquid. 
Cook on high 6-7 hours or low 8-9 hours. 
Before serving remove the chicken breasts from soup and shred, if needed, (sometimes they'll just fall apart on their own, but sometimes they need some help). 
Return chicken to CrockPot, stir to combine.

To serve put a few tortilla chips in the bottom of a bowl, ladle soup over tortilla chips, top with shredded cheddar cheese, and a dollop of sour cream, serve with more chips if you like.


Mar 28, 2012

Mexican Chicken Casserole

I got this recipe from Paula Deen and I have been searching for a good, easy casserole.
See I am not a casserole girl, I have yet to find one that I truly love and that is easy and quick.
I tried this one, and it was good, but I'm not sold on this being the one for me.
Although it got raving reviews online, it was tasty, but not quite what I was looking for.
I have to say that it was super easy and quick and a nice change for dinner.

Mexican Chicken

Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cheddar cheese soup
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (10-ounce) can tomatoes
1 whole chicken, cooked, boned, and chopped or 4 cups leftover cooked chicken
Unsalted butter, for greasing pan
1 (11 1/2-ounce) package flour tortillas
2 cups shredded Cheddar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
Spray a 13 by-9-inch pan with the cooking spray.
In a large bowl, stir together the 3 kinds of soup and the tomatoes. Stir in the chicken.
Layer the tortillas and the chicken mixture in the pan, beginning and ending with tortillas. 
Sprinkle the cheese over the casserole and bake for 30 minutes.

Source: Paula Deen

Mar 27, 2012

Tiny Spicy Chicken

So back in college my husband and I used to go to this great little Chinese place called Formosa. 
It has the best egg drop soup and the BEST tiny spicy chicken.
For some reason they don't have that dish on the menu in the midwest and I so wish they did!
I found this recipe on's website and made it.
It was very delicious, but different from the dish at Formosa.
Looks like I will keep hunting for a similar recipe, but in the meantime, this one will surely do!

To make it yourself, here's what you need:

3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in to bite size pieces
1 (16 ounce) boxes cornstarch
3 eggs, lightly beaten
garlic salt

1 -2 teaspoon chili paste
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup ketchup
6 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3/4 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup white vinegar
1 dash salt
3 -4 tablespoons olive oil

Place all cut up chicken into a 9x13-inch pan and sprinkle with garlic salt.
Let sit at least one hour.

Mix the eggs in a bowl and pour the box of cornstarch on a large plate. 
The pieces get dipped in the egg and then the cornstarch.
Fry them in a pan over medium heat in batches with a little olive oil (or you can put them in the deep fryer which is what I did).
After frying them, place them in a 9x13-inch pan.

Mix all of the ingredients in the sauce in a sauce pan and heat until sugar dissolves only. 
Pour this over the breaded chicken in the pan.
Cook at 325°F stirring every 15 minutes for 1 hour.
I served mine with a bed of white steamed rice. You can either get a rice cooker which cooks a ton in about 20 minutes, or you can even shorten that by purchasing frozen bags of rice that you just throw in the microwave for 5 minutes!


Healthified Baked Potato Soup

I love me a good bowl of Baked Potato Soup, but not so much with all those calories that come with it. So I found a great recipe that uses potato and cauliflower, yes, CAULIFLOWER to reduce the calories and I have to say that I am SO thrilled with this find. It makes the soup really creamy and I couldn't even tell a difference! What a great trick! Here's the recipe so you can make it too!

Healthified Baked Potato Soup

2 russet potatoes, washed and dried
1 small head of cauliflower, stem removed cut into florets
1 1/2 cups fat free chicken broth
1 1/2 cups 1 or 2% reduced-fat milk
salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup light sour cream
10 Tbsp reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6 Tbsp chopped chives, divided
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

To make:
For a really quick way to cook the potatoes you can  pierce potatoes with a fork; microwave on high for 5 minutes turn over and microwave another 3 - 5 minutes, until tender. 
Or if you prefer to use your oven (which I have to say that I do) bake at 400° F for 1 hour or until tender. 
Cool and then peel potatoes.

Meanwhile, steam cauliflower with water in a large covered pot until tender. Drain and return to pot.

 On medium heat, add chicken broth, milk, potatoes and bring to a boil. 
Use a food processor or blender to puree until smooth. 
Add sour cream, half the chives, 
salt and pepper and cook on low another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat. 

Ladle 1 cup soup into each bowl.
 Top each serving with 2 tbsp cheese, remaining chives, and bacon.
and then do a little dance because it tastes oh-so-good and it's healthy!

Mar 26, 2012

best EVER chocolate sheet cake

Warning......warning......this is the MOST DELICIOUS CHOCOLATE CAKE!
I got the recipe from the Pioneer Woman (whom I love) and I am so glad that I chose to make it, because wowzers, is it to die for!

 2 cups Flour
2 cups Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
2 sticks Butter
1 cup Boiling Water
1/2 cup Buttermilk
2 whole Beaten Eggs
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Vanilla

1/2 cup Finely Chopped Pecans
1-3/4 stick Butter
4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
6 Tablespoons Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 pound (minus 1/2 Cup) Powdered Sugar

Preparation Instructions
 I used an 18x13 sheet cake pan.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.
In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together.
Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.

In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes.

While cake is baking, make the icing. 
Chop pecans finely or buy them already finely chopped (that's what I did!)
Melt butter in a saucepan.
 Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat. Add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar.
 Stir together. Add the pecans, stir together, and pour over warm cake.

Cut into squares, eat, and totally wig out over the fact that you’ve just made the best chocolate sheet cake. Ever.

 Source: The Pioneer Woman

Fabulous Blueberry Pie

So I always have trouble with rolling my pie crust's out. They are NEVER big enough to fit in the pan. Well, let me say that I finally did it! I used this recipe for the crust, Pate Brisee from Martha Stewart. If you don't want to make a crust, then just feel free to get the store bought ones. 
Anyway, so I made a yummy Blueberry Pie! It was definitely the best one I've ever made!

Fabulous Blueberry Pie

To make this you will need (these ingredients are JUST for the pie, not the crust)
flour, for dusting
2 pounds (about 7 cups) fresh blueberries, picked over and rinsed
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 large egg yolk, for egg wash
1 Tbsp heavy cream, for egg wash
fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling

To make:
Preheat oven to 400 F
On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 dish of dough to a 13" round, about 1/8 " thick. Fit dough into a 9" pie plate.

*look at all that beautiful crust overhand, ah yea......It makes me so proud!*

In a large bowl, toss together blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and lemon juice until well combined. Pour mixture into pie plate, piling in center.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out remaining disk of dough.  Then place on top of pie filling and trim dough to a 1" overhang. Fold edges over and crimp with a fork.

In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and cream for egg wash. Brush on top of dough and edge of pie shell. Generously sprinkle with sanding sugar.
Refrigerate or freeze entire pie for 30 minutes.

Transfer pie plate to a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet and bake until crust begin to brown, about 20 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350 F and continue baking until crust is deep brown and juices bubble, about 55 minutes. (If crust browns too quickly, then tent the pie with foil or cover edges with foil or use one of these cool pie crust shields, found here).

Transfer to a wire rack and let cool at least 3 hours.