Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lime Chicken Tacos

(This is Jennie's post, but there was a bug or something so I re-posted it for her)

This is it, folks! After this one, I'm all caught up with posting recipes! I hope I can stay on top of it from now on, because it's overwhelming when I get all backed up like that. Phew!

We had these tacos for dinner last night, and I really enjoyed them! (It may have something to do with the fact that I have been a big slacker lately with dinners and we've been eating a lot of fast food, leftovers, and throw-together meals. It was nice to have a real dinner again! I should do that more often. ;) Ha ha.)

Anyway, I found this recipe at Favorite Family Recipes, and I think it may be my favorite of the recipes I've tried from that site. The chicken had a great flavor. It wasn't overwhelmingly lime flavored, and the cilantro wasn't too much either. It was delicious and had a bit of a kick. :) A nice change from regular old tacos.

Lime Chicken Tacos
1 1/2 lbs. chicken, cubed
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
juice of 1 lime
2 t. sugar
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
4-5 green onions, chopped (I didn't have green onions, so I used 1/4 of a white onion, chopped)
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 T. fresh cilantro, chopped (or to taste)
flour tortillas

Saute chicken in a skillet for a few minutes (until white on all sides). Meanwhile, mix together the other ingredients (vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt, pepper, onions, garlic, and cilantro) in a small bowl. Pour over chicken and cook for 10-20 minutes, or until chicken is done. For me, this was when the liquid had almost all evaporated (about 17 minutes).

Serve on tortillas (or shells--Paul doesn't like soft flour tortillas) with toppings of your choice. We used cheese, tomatoes, avocado, and sour cream. And they were REALLY good. :)

Here's a link to the original recipe: Lime Chicken Tacos.

Chicken Bell Pepper Chowder

I think I'm a sucker for creamy vegetable soups. I love potato soup, cream of broccoli soup, corn chowder, ham chowder, clam chowder. Pretty much all the chowders. ;) So, when I saw this recipe (on The Frosted Cupcake that you introduced us to, Mandy! Thanks!), I knew I had to try it.

The recipe is HUGE, and I knew I didn't have a pot big enough to hold it all, so I halved it. I'll post the halved recipe here, but if you want the original amounts, you can find them at The Frosted Cupcake: Chicken Bell Pepper Chowder. For numbers that didn't divide evenly, I rounded up because I love a hearty soup with lots of vegetables in it. It has a lot of ingredients, but it's still easy to make.

Chicken Bell Pepper Chowder
1/8 c. olive oil
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 sweet onion, diced
3 stalks celery, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, diced (the original recipe says to cut them into slices, but I didn't think I would like big strips of bell peppers in my soup)
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper (the original recipe called for white pepper, but I don't have any of that)
1/4 t. cumin
1/8 t. dried thyme
1/2 T. chicken bouillon granules
2 cans chicken broth
1/8 c. chopped cilantro
1 1/2 c. diced grilled chicken (I just cooked mine in a pan on the stove)
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. flour
1/4 t. hot sauce, or more to taste (I don't have any hot sauce, so I used a dash of cayenne pepper)
1/2 c. heavy cream

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add carrots, onions, celery, garlic, bell peppers, salt, pepper, cumin, and thyme. Saute for 7-8 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Stir in the chicken bouillon granules. Add chicken broth and cilantro, and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. (Meanwhile, cook your chicken.) Stir in the chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is heated through. In the mean time, melt the butter in a skillet. Add the flour and stir and cook for a few minutes, but do not let it brown. Ladle one scoop of the soup mixture into the flour mixture and whisk to combine. Gradually add two more ladles full of soup. Add the flour/soup mixture back into the pot with the rest of the soup and stir to combine. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until soup thickens. Remove from heat and add cream and hot sauce (or cayenne pepper ;) ). Serve with bread! :)

Paul and I really enjoyed this soup, and I will definitely make it again sometime soon. It had a very good flavor, and I loved all the vegetables. I think I sliced my carrots a bit too big (they took quite a while to cook), so I'll probably make them smaller next time. But that's really all I would change!

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

I found this recipe randomly one day when I came across this blog. I had a couple classes with Lillian at BYU, but I had no idea she was such a cook! Her blog is full of yummy looking things, and after trying this recipe, I'm sure I'll be trying more of her ideas in the future.

The most interesting thing about this recipe is the way it is prepared. It's easy, but definitely different. Because of how it is made, the pasta tastes like it has a cream sauce, but there is no cream in it. It is really delicious, and I highly recommend it.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara
3 eggs
3/4 c. Parmesan cheese*, grated
1/4 c. romano cheese, grated...or you can use a whole cup of either cheese (I used all Parmesan because that's what I had)
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz. bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 T. olive oil
1/2 c. dry white wine (I just bought a small bottle of white cooking wine. It's in the same aisle as the vinegar and salad dressing at the grocery store.)
1 lb. spaghetti (or linguine or fettucine...I used linguine)
salt and pepper

*I used the powdered grated Parmesan cheese because that's what I had. I think if you used fresh grated Parmesan or romano cheese the pasta would come out more smooth, but it was still delicious when I made it.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Place an empty oven-safe serving bowl in the oven. Meanwhile, boil water for the pasta.

Mix together the eggs, cheese, and garlic with a whisk. Set aside. Cook the bacon in the oil until crispy. Add wine and simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover. When the water is boiling, add 1 T. salt and the pasta. Stir frequently. Cook until pasta until it is al dente (about 8 minutes, or according to package). Reserve 1/2 c. pasta water, and then drain the pasta.

Remove serving bowl from the oven and add the pasta to the bowl. Immediately pour the egg mixture and the bacon mixture over the pasta and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. The hot bowl and hot pasta cook the egg as you toss it. Add the reserved pasta water if you need to loosen the sauce before serving. Serve with additional grated cheese.

Here's a link to the original recipe (her picture looks even more delicious): Spaghetti alla Carbonara.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

I know you're probably all tired of pumpkin recipes since the holiday season, but I need to post this recipe here. I made it back in November, but I will definitely make them again sometime! They were DELICIOUS!

Hopefully some of you will remember seeing this recipe and give it a try next fall. Or, there's no rule against having pumpkin things in other seasons! Go for it!

I first found this recipe at Baked Perfection, but she found it at Annie's Eats. I think I ended up looking at both versions of the recipe when I made them. Here's the link to the recipe at Annie's Eats: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins. The direct link to the recipe at Baked Perfection doesn't seem to be working, but you can find it under her pumpkin label.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
3 c. flour
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
1 t. ground cloves
1 T. + 1 t. pumpkin pie spice*
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
4 eggs
1 1/4 c. vegetable oil
2 c. sugar
2 c. pumpkin puree

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 c. powdered sugar

Streusel Topping:
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. + 1 t. flour
4 T. butter, cubed
1 1/2 t. cinnamon

*I googled a replacement for pumpkin pie spice since I don't actually have it. It's just a mixture of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger.

Prepare filling by mixing together cream cheese and powdered sugar with an electric mixer and whip until smooth. Form a log with the filling on top of foil or plastic wrap. Make sure the diameter is small enough that it will fit inside your muffin cups. Wrap up log tightly and freeze for 1-2 hours.**

Next, prepare the muffin batter by combining the eggs, oil, sugar, and pumpkin with an electric mixer. Add the dry ingredients (original recipe has you combine the dry ingredients separately): flour, spices, salt, and baking soda. Mix on a low speed until just combined. Set aside.

Then, prepare the streusel topping by combining all the ingredients together with either a pastry cutter, two forks, or two butter knives.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper wrappers. Fill each wrapper halfway with the pumpkin batter. Remove cream cheese log from the freezer and cut into 24 equal slices. Place a slice in each muffin well. Fill the muffin cups with the rest of the batter. Top with streusel topping. The muffin cups will be pretty full. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

**I wasn't patient enough to let the cream cheese log freeze this long. It's harder to handle when it isn't all the way frozen, but it works. It's messy, though.

These were a big hit at Paul's office. I think I ate like four of them right away. Oops. ;)

Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas

I'm going to finally catch up on posting recipes today. I haven't made anything new (that turned out well, anyway ;) ) lately, so it's a good chance to get caught up.

I can't remember when I made these enchiladas, it was that long ago, but they were very yummy! Because of my previous experience using canned chipotle chiles for Chili Chicken Tacos, I knew they were quite spicy. So, when I saw that the recipe called for 1-2 tablespoons of them, I definitely knew I would be using a scant 1 tablespoon. ;)

Another Chef Britta hit!

Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 T vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. ground cumin
1 to 2 T. canned chipotles in adobo, minced
1 can (14.5 ounces) chicken broth
1/2 c. water
6-inch flour tortillas
2 c. grated Pepper Jack cheese

Boil chicken* until done (about 15 minutes). Drain and shred chicken with two forks. Set aside. While chicken is cooking make the sauce. In a medium saucepan heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for about a minute. Add flour, cumin, and chipotle chiles and cook for another minute, whisking constantly. Whisk in chicken broth and water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5-8 minutes (until sauce thickens slightly), whisking occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Pour 1 cup of the sauce over the shredded chicken and stir to combine.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour 1/4 c. sauce into the bottom of an 8x8 baking dish. Assemble enchiladas by filling each one with chicken and sprinkling with cheese. Then, roll them up and place them seam down in the baking dish. Pour over remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake until cheese bubbles, about 20 minutes.

*Chef Britta's recipe has you steam the chicken in one inch of boiling water in a skillet with a tight fitting lid. I don't have a skillet with a tight fitting lid, so I just boiled the chicken and it worked fine. If you would like to try it Chef Britta's way, you can follow her directions.

Anyway, these enchiladas were delicious! I liked that they were different from traditional enchiladas. Quite exciting. As usual, here's a link to the original recipe on Chef Britta's blog: Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas.

Also, I decided we should have a Mexican label. Eventually, I'll go back and label past Mexican recipes, but for the future you guys can all start using it. :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Bride's Biscuits

(Again, sorry no pictures)
From the Essential Mormon Cookbook (Stan says it should be one of our standard works- I love most all the recipes-esp. the corn bread- just typing that makes me want to eat another warm slice with butter and honey)

I like these biscuits because you can leave them in the fridge for up to one week and make them as desired. Also, they fluff up really nice and do those layers like Grand's biscuits do.

1pgk dry yeast
1/2 c warm water
5 c flour
3 TBS sugar
1 TBS baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 c shortening or butter (I used shortening and they turned out really well)
2 c. buttermilk (remember you can make it easy 1TBS of lemon juice per c of buttermilk in recipe and then fill cup with enough milk to equal the liquid amount. sit for 10 min. before using

dissolve yeast in warm water. let stand 10 min (if making buttermilk do so now)
sift dry ingred. tog. cut in shortening.
comb. buttermilk and yeast mixture- add to dry ingred. working only until moistened
cover and refrig. several hours or up to a week
carefully roll out onto well floured surface 1/2 in thick (I worked the dough with flour before rolling it out to get the consistency I needed)
Cut with biscuit cutter (or a glass like I do)
bake on greased sheets for 15 min at 400* F

Makes 3 dozen biscuits

Robin's Groundhog Stew

(again sorry no picture, but this stew was really good, so I wanted to share.
to serve 12 people

2 lb. stew meat (I cut it into smaller pieces)
6 red potatoes diced
3 onions chopped
1.5 lbs. baby carrots chopped
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
3 cloves garlic minced or garlic powder
1 cup beef broth
1 cup water
1 lipton onion and mushroom pkg
salt and pepper
2 TBS worcestershire sauce

in greased crockpot cut veggies, layer into crockpot with s &p
add stew meat on top and s&p again
mix all the liquids pour on top of meat and veggies
cook on low for 8-10 hours

you can serve these with Bride's biscuits (recipe to follow)

Crockpot Chocolate Dessert

Yummy Dessert! Of course I forgot to take any pictures- Again.

1-6 serving pkg. instant choc. pudding
3 c. milk
1 chocolate cake mix
Ingredients to make cake mix

Place pudding and milk in bottom of greased crockpot
whisk until smooth
in separate bowl make cake mix following box directions
pour cake batter carefully into crockpot to cover pudding- do not mix.

cook on high for 1.5 to 2 hours
serve with whipping cream and your choice of garnish- crushed peppermint sticks or cinnamon bears, or fruit etc.. The red looks really nice with the brown.

Serve immediately- Enjoy!