Friday, August 31, 2012



Makes one 8"x8" pan.

The suggested additions at the bottom are also from Smitten Kitchen.  I chose to add semi-sweet chocolate chips... yum!  I love brownies, but I also love me a gooey Blondie.
Source: Smitten Kitchen

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
1 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

Butter an 8×8 pan

Mix melted butter with brown sugar – beat until smooth. Beat in egg and then vanilla.

Add salt, stir in flour. Mix in any additions (below).

Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350°F 20-25 minutes, or until set in the middle. I always err on the side of caution with baking times — nobody ever complained about a gooey-middled cookie. Cool on rack before cutting them.

Further additions, use one or a combination of:
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts, toasting them first for even better flavor
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon mint extract in addition to or in place of the vanilla
  • 1/2 cup mashed bananas
  • 1/4 cup bourbon, scotch or other whiskey; increase the flour by one tablespoon
  • 2 tablespoons of espresso powder with the vanilla
  • Stir 1/2 cup dried fruit, especially dried cherries, into the prepared batter
  • Top with a vanilla butter cream or chocolate peanut butter cream frosting

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Easy Garlic Chicken

Easy Garlic Chicken

Serves 4.

I only had three chicken breasts, but as you can see, the recipe calls for four.
This was easy and flavorful... a great dinner when you need something easy and fast!

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons brown sugar
3 teaspoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 450°F and lightly grease a casserole dish.

In small sauté pan, sauté garlic with the oil until tender.  Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar.

Place chicken breasts in a prepared baking dish and cover with the garlic and brown sugar mixture.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

Bake uncovered for approximately 30 minutes, or until cooked through.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Roasted Veggie & Black Bean Burritos

Roasted Veggie & Black Bean Burritos

Makes 6-8 burritos.

Fabulous, fabulous recipe.  Love these!  The Mr. requests I add chicken to his sometimes, so you can do that for your meat-loving family, if need be.  I, however, like them just the way they are.  We top with sour cream and avocado.  Salsa is good too!
Source: Tasty Kitchen

2 whole Sweet Potatoes, Peeled And Cubed Small
2 whole Jalapenos Diced
1 whole Red Pepper, Diced Small
1 whole Red Onion, Diced Small
2 teaspoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
1 pinch Salt And Pepper
1 can Black Beans, Rinsed And Drained (15 Ounce Can)
½ cups Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
2 teaspoons Fresh Lime Juice
2 cups Shredded Cheddar
1 package Burrito-Sized Wheat Tortillas Or Wraps (6-10 Count)

In a bowl, toss your raw veggies in olive oil and season with spices. Place in a large baking dish and roast in 425 degree oven for 20 minutes, tossing around halfway through. Let cool. Add your roasted veggies to a can of rinsed black beans. Add cilantro and squirt of lime juice. Combine gently. At this point, mixture can be stored for later use.

Warm your wheat tortillas or wraps in microwave according to directions on package. Spray a casserole dish with nonstick spray or olive oil spray.

Add two heaping tablespoons of vegetable and bean mixture to center of wrap. Top with shredded cheese. Fold over, fold in sides, place in pan and continue to roll the others. Place into your baking dish, seam side down so that they stay together.

Bake in 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Baking this way will make the tortilla wrap crisp. For a softer burrito, spray burrito with nonstick spray, then wrap in aluminum foil and bake for same amount of time.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cast Iron Cookie

Cast Iron Cookie

Serves 8-10, family-style.

You know you want to make this.  Because, let's be honest... the concept is awesome.  Warm chocolate chip cookie (a HUGE one, nonetheless), cold vanilla ice cream, a handful of spoons, some great friends... you know how the rest goes.
Source: Sophistimom blog

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in an 8 inch cast iron skillet set over medium-low heat. Stir in sugars and vanilla and remove from heat. Let rest until pan is warm, but no longer very hot, about 5 minutes.

Crack an egg onto the butter and sugar mixture, and use a fork to whisk it well into the mixture. Place flour, baking soda, and salt on top, and very carefully stir into the mixture until smooth and well-mixed. Stir in chocolate chunks. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes*, or until starting to turn golden on the top and around the edges, but soft in the center. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Note from Sophistimom blog: As many readers have pointed out, cooking time can vary greatly. When I doubled this recipe, for instance, I made it in a larger pan, and the cooking time was probably around 35 minutes. Also, it will depend on how hot your pan is when you put it in the oven, the size of it, and how well it conducts heat. When you’re making it, judge the cooking time according to the doneness of your preference. You may have to wait a little longer than the recipe says, but you won’t be sorry.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Chicken Chorizo "no potato" Hash

Chicken Chorizo "no potato" Hash
Serves 2-3.

A winner when it's loved by both The Mr. and I!  Deliciously healthy, and a great way to use up leftover chicken.  The chorizo gives all the flavor!
Source: A Spicy Perspective

½ red onion, chopped
½ chopped cilantro
4 large zucchini, cut into 1/3 inch cubes
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
6-8 oz. *spicy* Mexican chorizo
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
1 Tb. oil, if needed
Salt and Pepper

Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Brown the chorizo for 2-3 minutes, then add the chicken until warmed through. Remove the chorizo and chicken, and set aside.

Add the onions to the skillet and sauté for 1 minute. Add the zucchini, red pepper and a tablespoon of oil if needed. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, until just cooked, but not mushy. Salt and pepper to taste. Then add the protein back in.

Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro. Serve immediately!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Beef and Black Bean Enchiladas

Beef and Black Bean Enchiladas

Serves 2-3.

I'm into black beans lately.  So you here you go... black beans in your enchiladas!
Adapted from: My Recipes

8 oz. ground sirloin (1/2 lb.)
2 t. olive oil
2 c. chopped onion
4 t. minced fresh garlic
1 t. dried Mexican oregano
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. kosher salt
1 T. no-salt-added tomato paste
2/3 c. rinsed and drained organic black beans
1/2 c. fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1 T. fresh lime juice
4 c. water
3-4  (burrito-size) flour tortillas, at room temperature
Cooking spray
2 1/2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2/3 cup packed)
2 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup packed)
3 green onions, thinly sliced and divided

Preheat oven to 400°.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef; sauté 5 minutes or until browned. Remove beef from pan using a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Wipe pan with paper towels. Return pan to medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; cook 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and next 3 ingredients (through salt); cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in drained beef, beans, and 1/2 cup broth; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in lime juice.

Place one tortilla on a flat work surface; spoon 3 tablespoons beef mixture onto 1 end of each tortilla. Roll enchiladas up jelly-roll style. Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas and beef mixture. Spread 1/2 cup sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange enchiladas, seam-side down, in prepared dish. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas. Top with cheeses. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle with 3 sliced green onions.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars with Pretzel Marshmallow Topping

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars with Pretzel Marshmallow Topping

Serves 24.

I made a lot of changes from the original recipe, in case you are curious to compare.  Mainly, I only wanted one dough (I'm lazy), omitted espresso and cocoa powders, and altered some of the measurements. 
Adapted from: Cake, Batter, and Bowl

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (2 sticks)
1-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup chocolate chips
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

2 cups mini marshmallows
2 cups coarsely chopped chocolate covered pretzels

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  To make dough, place butter and sugars in a large bowl and mix until creamed. Mix in eggs and vanilla, then peanut butter and chocolate chips.  Mix in flour, baking soda, and salt.

Drop large spoonfuls dough into a greased 13×9-inch pan and smooth to make an even surface. Top evenly with pretzels, then mini marshmallows; press into the dough. Bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and marshmallows are golden brown. Cool completely and cut into 24 bars.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Roasted Chicken and Bow Tie Pasta Salad

Roasted Chicken and Bow Tie Pasta Salad

Serves 4.

Love this for a light, healthy summer dinner.
Slightly adapted from: Cooking Light

3 c. uncooked farfalle (bow tie pasta) (about 8 ounces)
1/3 c. fresh orange juice
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
2 T. extravirgin olive oil
1 T. stone-ground mustard
2 t. sugar 
1 1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 t. rice vinegar
2 c. shredded cooked chicken breast (about 2 breasts)
1 1/2 c. seedless red grapes, halved
1 c. thin diagonally cut celery
1/3 c. finely chopped red onion
1/3 c. coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
3 T. chopped fresh chives
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
***I add 1/4 cup light mayo for a richer taste

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Cool completely.

Combine orange juice and the next 7 ingredients (orange juice through rice vinegar) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk to combine. Add pasta, chicken, grapes, celery, red onion, walnuts, chives, parsley, and mayo (if using); toss gently to combine.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Jersey Baby Headband

Jersey Baby Headband

Makes 1.

So cute, so easy, and such a great way to use up an old t-shirt.  The black text is copied and pasted from the website below.  The bold pink text is my own additions.
Source: Kelli Murray

-An old t-shirt you don’t mind cutting up (or any jersey fabric). I suggest finding a jersey knit with a bit more “give”. It’s a little harder to handle, but will make for a more comfy fit on your baby’s head.
-a needle and some thread
-fabric scissors
-hot glue gun (not a necessity)

Measure your baby’s head. Cut a strip of fabric that is just barely shorter than her head circumference, since the fabric will stretch. (I cut a long strip of fabric and then trimmed it down after fitting it around her head.)  The width is up to you. I cut mine at about 2 1/2″ wide. (I wouldn't go any thinner.  As it stretches around the head and scrunches together, it looks much thinner, as you can see in the photo above.)  And no need to make it perfect! The fabric edges roll and can easily be tucked under when the headband is worn.

Thread your needle and overlap your fabric ends. Sew them together with a loose stitch.

Cinch the fabric tight and knot it at the end. Creating a secure gathered center.

Cut out a handful of circles ranging from 3″ being your largest to 1″ being your smallest. I found that 8 worked well. (Next time, I will make the smallest circle about 1/2" and go up from there.)

Stack the circles on top of one anther beginning with the largest and ending with the smallest.

Take your needle and thread through the center of your circle stack a few times. Pinch the circles together from the bottom so they appear to form a flower bud. Then thread through the bottom (as many times as you want) until you feel like the bud looks right. There was no specific method to my stitching.  (This was slightly more difficult than I imagined.  I don't have much advice... just make as many crazy stitches as you need to make it look bud-like.  If you compare my photos to the original poster's, you'll notice I wasn't able to get mine quite as tight while still looking proportionate.)

Now all you have to do is use your glue gun to secure the bud onto the headband (in the center of the “cinch”). Or, if you don’t have a glue gun, you can always just hand stitch the bud to the band as well. (I just stitched it.  Must easier, in my opinion, since I already had the needle and thread out.)  And there you have it.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fast & Spicy Thai Noodles

Fast & Spicy Thai Noodles

Serves 8.
When I tried this, I had to have the recipe!  And it's so easy to make!  A great substitute for traditional pasta salad.  Be careful, it's got a zing to it!
Source: a friend's mom :)

1 lb. chunky pasta, such as farfalle
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
(2)  11 ½ oz.  bottles of Bangkok Padang Peanut Sauce (Only use House of Tsang Brand) in Asian section
8 green onions, cut diagonally into 1/4 –inch pieces
3-4 shakes dried parsley or a handful of chopped, fresh parsley (I use fresh)
½ cup dry roasted peanuts, whole or chopped (add more if desired)

Boil pasta, per package directions, in plenty of salted water.  Drain and transfer to large container, tossing with the olive oil and stirring occasionally.  Allow the pasta to cool to room temperature.  Just before serving, combine one entire bottle of Peanut Sauce (see note below), green onions, parsley and peanuts.  Toss just a bit as the dish is erved.  The first time this dish is served, it’s served at room temperature.  Leftovers are served cold. 

The person who gave me this recipe noted she had tried many other types of peanut sauce, commercial and homemade and, hands down, this is the best one available.  It is inexpensive and available at Giant Eagle and Kroger.  Be sure to let the pasta come to room temperature before adding the peanut sauce or it ruins the consistency and dish is diminished.  The reason she indicated one bottle of sauce will do it but adding the second bottle makes it nice and moist.  Prepare the pasta the night before and then added the second bottle before serving.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Banana Baby Muffins

Banana Baby Muffins

Makes about 12 mini muffins.

These little guys are dense, and a little gummy, but the wee one loves them, and that's good enough for me!  And since they are so good for her, I let her have 2-3 some mornings.  :)
Slightly adapted from: The Iowa Farmer's Wife

2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup oats
1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water
1/4 c water
1 mashed banana
1 tsp cinnamon (or nutmeg)
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp plain yogurt (I used Greek)
1 tsp olive oil
*the original poster makes her own by grinding organic oats in a coffee grinder.

Mix dry ingredients. Add flaxseed and 3 tbsp water and mix well. Combine water, banana, yogurt and oil until you have a smooth consistency. Grease a muffin tin with organic butter or olive oil. Pour batter into muffin tins. Bake at 350˚ for 15-18 minutes.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hummus and Veggie Sandwich

Hummus and Veggie Sandwich

Serves 4.

This is such a simple sandwich, some would say it doesn't even need to be posted.  But for someone like me, who used to cooking with some sort of meat most of the time, this was a fresh idea for my recipe box.  It will definitely remain there.  Loved these!

8 slices whole wheat bread
Hummus, your choice of flavor (I used roasted pine nut)
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
3 vine-ripened tomatoes, thinly sliced
~2 cups sprouts
~2 cups shredded carrots
~1-2 cups thinly sliced red onion
Spread hummus on all 8 slices of bread.
Top 4 slices with even amounts of vegetables.  Complete sandwich with other slice of bread.
Cut in half.  Serve.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Potentially the Healthiest Muffins Ever

Potentially the Healthiest Muffins Ever

Makes 8-10 muffins.

Love these muffins for myself and for the wee one.  Although she's (still) a good vegetable eater, it never hurts to sneak in more!  These muffins are super moist, super flavorful, and a good way to treat yourself to something healthy.  I didn't name these, and it's true that they still have a fair amount of sugar, but they taste AWESOME, and I don't know you could keep the taste if you eliminated the sugar.  So these are good muffins for mom and baby to share.  If you're looking for a recipe for baby, and only baby, check out the healthy banana muffins I'll be posting later this week.
Notes and nutritional information at the bottom also from the source listed below.
Source: Ceci n'est pas un food blog

½ cup sugar*
1 egg
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
¾ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup ground flaxseed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
½ cup pecans, chopped
2 cups carrot, zucchini and/or apple, shredded

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin pan with muffin cups.
In a large bowl, mix the sugar with the eggs. Add the applesauce and mix well. Mix in flour, flaxseed, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking soda. Stir in the nuts and vegetables. Ladle batter into prepared cups.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean.

Nutrition Info (per muffin)**: 114 calories, 4 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 17 mg cholesterol, 17 g carbohydrate (2 g fibre, 10 g sugar), 3 g protein, 116 mg sodium. An excellent source of vitamin E and manganese.

*You may want to bump this up to ⅔ cup if not using apple
 **Incorrectly assumes an equal proportion of carrot, zucchini and apple

Monday, August 13, 2012

Turkey, Pesto, and Roasted Red Pepper Sandwiches

Turkey, Pesto, and Roasted Red Pepper Sandwiches

Serves 4-6.
A delicious sandwich and a great thing to serve at a party!
Inspired by: Dishing the Divine

1 loaf Ciabatta bread
1/2 cup pesto
1/2 jar roasted red peppers, thinly sliced
1 lb. roasted turkey breast
5 slices mozzarella cheese

Cut Ciabatta loaf in half.  Spread pesto over one half.  Top with roasted red peppers, turkey, and mozzarella cheese.  Complete sandwich with other half of bread.  Slice into 10 small sandwiches and serve.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Birthday Party #2

Birthday Party #2

The second party was with my side of the family, a few days after Macey's actual birthday.  It was a casual weekend lunch with yummy sandwiches, sides, and, of course, cake!
My decor traveled with us:

As did the birthday banner:

Pictures of the birthday girl:

Two kinds of sandwiches for the hungry guests, Turkey with Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes & Hummus Veggie:

What goes best with sandwiches?  Chips and French onion dip, of course:

Asian Pasta salad:

We also had a spinach salad (from Costco, love it!) but I guess I never took a photo of it.

CAKE!  Made the same ones:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sprinkle Me Happy Cake

Sprinkle Me Happy Cake

Serves 32.

A delicious cake!  I picked the recipe originally because it had some of the wee one's favorite things in it -- sweet potatoes, bananas, and pineapple.  But then, after trying it myself, I realize it was all of my favorite things too.  The taste is similar to a carrot cake merged with banana bread.  Very dense, very moist, very delicious.  I will definitely be making this again!
To make the tiny tiered cake shown above, I did the following: Cut the recipe in half.  Pour batter into a standard loaf pan and a mini loaf pan.  Of course, I threw away my sheet with the times on it, but I believe they were around 40-50 minutes for the standard loaf and 25-35 for the mini?  Once cakes have cooled, I cut each loaf in half, making 4 squares.  From those, I assembled my TWO tiered cakes... one for each of the wee one's 1st birthday parties.
Slightly adapated from: Good Housekeeping magazine, May 2012

4 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 cup sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2-1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 5)
1-1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla
2-1/2 cups peeled, shredded uncooked sweet potatoes (about 9 oz.)
1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple (juice pack), drained
Your favorite buttercream frosting

Allow eggs to stand at room temperature 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, grease three 8' by 1-1/2" square baking pans.  Flour pans, shaking out excess; set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In very large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cloves.  Stir in bananas, oil, eggs, and vanilla just until combined.  Fold in shredded sweet potatoes and drained pineapple.  Evenly divide batter among prepared pans; spread evenly.

Refrigerate one layer.  Bake two layers on one rack for 50-55 minutes, until layers are set in center when gently shaken and tops are golden.  Cool layers in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.  Remove layers from pans.  Cool completely on wire racks.  Bake and cool third layer.

Place one layer on serving plate.  Frost top with 1 cup vanilla buttercream.  Add second layer; spread top with 1 cup buttercream.  Top with final layer.  Frost top and sides.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mexican Rice

Mexican Rice

Serves 8-10

See the notes at the bottom (taken from the website below) about using canned tomatoes (what I did) and some other helpful tips.  It claims to be "the best" Mexican rice.  I thought it was good, but seemed a little too dry, which I blame on my reheating.  It suggests making ahead, if you need to, and reheating in the microwave.  Next time, I will reheat on the stove, adding more broth to revive the moisture.

12 ounces tomatoes, very ripe and cored
1 medium white onion
3 medium jalapenos
2 cups long grain white rice
1/3 cup canola oil
4 minced garlic cloves
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste (may omit if using canned tomatoes)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced
1 lime

Adjust rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350.
Process tomato and onion in processor or blender until pureed and thoroughly smooth. Transfer mixture to measuring cup and reserve exactly 2 cups. Discard excess.
Remove ribs and seeds from 2 jalapenos and discard. Mince flesh and set aside. Mince remaining jalapeno. Set aside.
Place rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until water runs clear- about 1 1/2 minutes.Shake rice vigorously to remove excess water.This step removes the starch from the rice so it will not stick. IF YOU OMIT THIS STEP YOUR RICE WILL NOT BE DRY AND FLUFFY.
Heat oil in heavy bottomed ovensafe 12 inch straight sided sautee pan or Dutch oven with tight fitting lid over low-medium heat about 2 minutes. (The recipe is very specific about this but I used a 10 inch dutch oven and it worked out fine.) Drop a few rice grains in and if they sizzle then it is ready. Add rice and fry stirring until rice is light golden and translucent, about 6-8 minutes. Be careful that the oil doesn't get too hot too fast or the oil will splatter.
Reduce heat to medium, add garlic and 2 minced jalapenos and cook , stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes.
Stir in broth, pureed mixture,tomato paste, and salt. Increase heat to medium high, and bring to a boil.
Cover pan and transfer pan to oven to bake until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, 30-35 minutes.Stir well after 15 minutes.
Stir in cilantro, minced jalapeno to taste, and pass lime wedges separately.
Edited to add 6-15-05: If you can't get good fresh tomatoes you are better off using canned tomatoes. Don't use those awful hard and underipe tomatoes that are at most supermarket chains. Just be sure that the processed tomatoes and the one onion equals 2 cups. One the other hand- if you find that after processing your tomatoes and onions that you have less than 2 cups- simply add enough bottled salsa to make up the difference.
Edited 8-21-06: Do not skip any of the steps. It may seem stupid- but rinsing the rice to remove the starch is very important if you want fluffy rice. It will only take two minutes of your time but it makes the difference.
Edited 8-15-08: Leftovers are just as delicious the next day so this is a perfect dish to make ahead time for potlucks. This rice also freezes well. For Freezing Ahead: Cool, portion and freeze in a ziploc bag. To reheat from frozen: Place in a pyrex dish and warm in the microwave, stirring every 2-3 minutes until heated through.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Veggie Tacos

Veggie Tacos

Serves 4.

I totally forgot about the goat cheese -- gah!  It would've added so much.  Next time, because there WILL be a next time, I'll be remembering the goat cheese.  Otherwise, this is a good vegetarian option to have on your taco bar next time you have a group over for dinner.
Again, as per usual (sorry, readers!), check the link below to see some better pics than what I've offered you...
Source: Honest Cooking

8 fresh corn tortillas (white or yellow)
3 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves
1 zucchini chopped into small cubes
1 can cooked black beans
1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)
1 avocado, sliced
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. cumin powder
1/2 tsp. chili powder
Handful of cilantro
4 oz goat cheese (optional)

In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.  Reduce heat to low and add zucchini, corn, salt, cumin and chili powder.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add black beans. Cook until warmed through, should take more than five minutes.

Remove from heat, add cilantro and goat cheese if using.  Taste for seasoning.

To assemble, scoop a couple of tablespoons into the middle of each tortilla, add a couple of thin slices of avocado, and a squirt of sriracha (or hot sauce of choice) fold tortilla over and eat immediately.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chicken Tacos

Chicken Tacos

Serves 8.

Easy marinade, great taste, and a fun way to do tacos on the grill!  Check on the pics on the blog linked below.  They are much better than what I have posted above!
Source: The Meatwave

1 cup dark Mexican beer, such as Negra Modelo
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs 

Mix marinade ingredients together.  Put chicken thighs in a large resealable bag.  Pour marinade over chicken and let marinate for 2-24 hours in the refrigerator, tossing gently every once in a while, if you can.

Grill chicken over medium heat until cooked through.  Chop into pieces and serve with tortillas and your favorite taco toppings.