Sunday, September 30, 2007

Texas Caviar Salsa

I got this recipe from Catherine T. She brought some for me once and I had to have the recipe. I don't know why it's so good, but it is. When I want something salty, nothing beats a bowl of this with tortilla chips. Plus, it’s healthy (depending on what you’re dipping in it).

2 cans shoepeg corn (usually comes in a short, fat can—small white kernels)
2 cans black-eyed peas
1 can diced green chilies
4-6 tomatoes, diced
1 bell pepper diced (I like orange or yellow)
diced: cilantro, green onions, garlic (to taste)
¼-1/2 cup zesty italian dressing (bottled, not powder)
Salt, pepper, jalapenos and Tabasco to taste

Mix together in a big bowl and chill overnight for best flavor (we usually can’t wait that long).

Notes: My taste buds can’t handle spicy, so I omit the jalapenos, Tabasco, and a little less than half of the diced chilies. To me the chilies I do put in and the cilantro give it enough bite. Also, I often just include one can each of the corn and black-eyed peas.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Tortilla Lasagna

1 T. vegetable oil
1 lb. ground beef
1 c. chopped onion
1 1/2 c green or red bell pepper, chopped
1 4 oz can diced chilies
1 pkg taco seasoning
2 c taco sauce
10 soft taco size tortillas
2 c grated cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9X13 baking dish. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat and ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Add onion, bell peppers, chilies, and seasoning mix. Reduce heat to low, cook for 3-4 minutes or until veggies are tender. Spread 1/2 the taco sauce in dish. Cover with 5 tortillas. Spread half the meat mixture and 1/2 c sauce, sprinkle 1 c. cheese. Repeat this with the rest of the ingredients. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

I usually put sour cream on top and serve with corn or salad.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Awesome Chicken Enchiladas

*2 dozen corn tortillas
*2 cans of cream of chicken soup
*1 can of diced green chilies
*1 med. onion chopped
*2 cups cooked shredded chicken
*grated cheese

Combine cream of chicken soup (add enough water to get consistency of a thick gravy), onions, green chilies, and shredded/cooked chicken.

Brush oil onto corn tortillas and place about 5 at time in a sandwich bag, in the microwave, for about 15 seconds (to soften them). Tear each tortilla into 4 pieces and layer the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.

Next add some of the soup mixture, then more tortillas, then more soup mix, then top with a lot of shredded cheese. BAKE at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

BBQ Chicken Marinade

*1/4 C Olive oil
*2 Tbsp Lemon juice
*2 Tbsp Vinegar (balsamic)
*1 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce
*1 tsp Salt
*1 tsp Sugar
*1/2 tsp Garlic salt
*1/2 tsp Pepper
*1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce

Mix all together and marinate up to 6 small or 4 large chicken breasts. Marinate 6 hours to over night!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Cashew Chicken

One of our favorite easy meals! If you've eaten at our house, we've probably served this to you. It barely serves four though, so if you have a bigger family, want leftovers, or are entertaining more people, you might want to double the recipe.

1 1/3 lbs chicken breasts
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 rice wine (sake, mirin)*
5 green onions
1 piece ginger (3/4 inch)*
2/3 cup cashews (or walnuts, if you prefer [I don't])
1/4 cup olive oil
3-4 tablespoons soy sauce

Cut chicken into 3/4 inch cubes. Stir cornstarch into 2 tablespoons of the rice wine and mix well with chicken cubes (we throw it all in a freezer ziplock and let it sit while we chop everything else).

Remove root ends and any dark green or wilted parts from the green onions and rinse. Cut into 3/4 inch lengths. Peel ginger, slice thinly, and then slice into matchsticks. Break cashews into small pieces or chop coarsely.

Heat oil in a wok or pan, add cashews, and stir fry for a minute or 2 until they start to turn brown. Remove and set aside. Add chicken to the pan and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add onions and ginger and stir-fry for another minute. Combine remaining rice wine, soy sauce, and about 1/3 cup water and add to chicken along with cashews. Stir-fry for another minute, make sure chicken is cooked through and serve. Great with sticky rice.

*Kayla's Notes:

-You can find rice wine and good sticky rice (Aaron is a total rice snob, so only the real good stuff will do at our house) at Lee Lee's. If you don't feel like making the effort, regular white wine or cooking wine works just fine and I can't really tell the difference in taste.

-When I gave my sister this recipe the concept of ginger in plant form as opposed to powdered form was totally alien. So, just in case you read that and went "...3/4 inch?" You can find ginger root everywhere (including Fry's and WalMart) in the vegetable section. It's quite cheap and you really don't need much at all for this recipe.

-I use my onion chopper to quickly chop the cashews. Also, they burn real quick, so keep an eye on them while stir-frying! A slotted spoon works well for putting them aside while stir-frying everything else.

-I like to let the whole thing simmer for a bit at the end. I usually mix a little more cornstarch in some water and add it right at the end to thicken it up, otherwise it tends to be a bit watery.

Thanks to Bethany S for the invite! This is such a great idea and I'm really excited about trying some of these recipes and sharing my good ones!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


This is our second favorite...we eat A LOT of chicken!!

1 (6.2 oz.) pkg. Rice-a-roni fried rice flavor (I use the chicken flavor). COOKED!
4 cups of shredded cooked chicken
1 cup of reduced fat sour cream
1 can reduced-fat cream of chicken
36 (1 roll) crushed RITZ crackers
6 Tbsp unsalted butter or margarine
1 T poppy seeds

Prep: preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spoon the (cooked) rice in an even layer over the bottom of an 11x17 (2 QT.) baking pan. Combine cooked, shreaded chicken, sour cream and chicken soup in a medium sized bowl. Spoon evenly over the rice. In the same bowl, combine the crackers and butter. Scatter this over the mixture. Sprinkle the poppy seeds evenly on top. Bake the casserole until it is bubbling and the crackers have lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve at once!

--the rice and chicken can both be cooked ahead of time to make dinner prep tons easier, it also freezes well this way (w/o the crackers on top).

Cathy's Creamy Chicken

This is our all-time family favorite and similar to one that Meredith posted early on!
***I usually half this entire recipe, this will feed a VERY large family of like 6 or more??***

5 chicken breasts
2 cans of cream of chicken
1 can of chicken broth
3 TBSP. of Italian Seasoning
I also add Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning salute or another something.... (I like seasony sauce).

Cut the breasts into strips...or just buy the strips!! Cook 6 hours on high or 8-9 hrs on low.
1 hour prior to eating I'll add a 3/4 cup of cream cheese OR sour cream.

Serve over rice or noodles.
We prefer the rice and I'll steam vegetables with that--- it's a perfect meal!

Chicken Cordon Bleu (crock-pot)

I made this last night and it turned out GREAT!

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 slices of swiss cheese
4-8 slices of ham (depending on size and how ham-my you want it).
2 Tbsp. of butter
1 can of cream of chicken
3 Tbsp. of milk
3 Tbsp. white wine (optional)
1/4 tsp. of pepper
(I also add a little seasoning to mine-- 21 seasoning salute from Trader Joe's- the best!)
Sliced bacon is also an option & keeps your chicken MOIST!

I flatten my chicken with a mallet/meat tenderizer it makes it so much easier to roll. Place ham and cheese on top of chicken, roll up (also, this in the time to add the bacon around the outside of the roll, if you choose) and secure with toothpicks (I use 2 in each--just dont forget about them ;)).

Melt the butter in a pan on the stove. LIGHTLY brown each roll, DO NOT overcook! I do about 1 min. or so on each side.

Place in slow cooker, combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the top. Try to make sure the the chicken almost fully covered, it won't dry out that way. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. I will usually add sliced potatoes and carrots to have a complete meal!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Easiest Chicken Burritos

I stole this recipe from Pimp my Dinner - we had it for dinner tonight and it was SO EASY and SO GOOD!

4 frozen chicken breasts (you don’t even have to thaw them beforehand)
1 15 oz. can of corn (drained)
1 15 oz. can of black beans
1 16. oz. jar of salsa
sour cream (optional)

Place all four ingredients in the crock pot for 3-5 hours (until chicken is cooked enough to shred easily). Shred chicken and stir all ingredients together. Place in soft flour tortillas and add cheese, lettuce, sour cream, salsa, and any other taco toppings you prefer.

Chicken Parmigiana

2 eggs, beaten
dry bread crumbs
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Beat eggs in a bowl. Place bread crumbs in a separate bowl. Dip chicken in egg, then bread crumbs. Place chicken in greased 9X13 glass pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until done.

Pour 1/2 of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of the 9X13 pan. Pour the rest over the chicken. Sprinkle cheeses on top and return to oven for 15 minutes. Serve over pasta.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Twice Baked Potatoes

*Bake potatoes @ 400 degrees for 2 hours*
*Take them out and let them cool*
*Cut the in half and scoop out the centers*
*Put that into the mixer*
*Add a cup of milk, 1/2 cube of butter, & salt to taste*
--------Potatoes should be fluffy and thin---------
*Scoop back into potato skins (fill them full)*
*Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top*
*Bake again until cheese melts*

Sorry, kind of strange way to write the instructions but
I didn't know how else to explain it!

Ginger Snap Cookies

3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs
4 and 1/4 cups flour
4 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves

Cream shortening/butter, sugars, molasses, and eggs. Add the rest of the ingredients. Roll into small balls of dough in sugar, place on cookie sheet (24 to a cookie sheet). Bake 375 degrees for 7 minutes Makes about 80-100 cookies!
*This is really easy and so very yummy! You've all probably tried Bethany P.'s! They are moving up the list of my fav. cookies of all time!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Brazillian Pancakes

-These are way yummy & easy. They're not quite as thin as crepes, but not as thick as regular pancakes either.

2 cup milk
3/4 cup flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 egg
pinch of salt

Whisk all ingredients together. Pour circles onto buttered frying pan on medium-med. high heat (just like regular pancakes). Swirl the pan a little so the batter goes into a big flat circle. Serve warm with butter & cinnamon sugar, or whipped cream and fresh chopped fruit. Awe and inspire your houseguests with hardly any effort at all!

**easiest way to make "crepes"- no special pan needed! (by: Bethany S.)

Brazillian Black Beans

-This is what Andre pretty much grew up on, his mom makes it all the time! (She is native Brazillian!) Its cheap, easy, flexible, and uses food storage (yay!)

black beans (dry or canned)
1 onion, chopped
1 sausage, sliced & cut into quarters (just to clarify: like deli sausage, not breakfast sausage)

Cook the above together. Depending on how much time we have we'll either cook dry beans in the pressure cooker (1-2 hours) or the crock pot (for Sunday Dinner). Or if I'm using canned beans I just do it on the stovetop or in the microwave (quick weeknight dinner). In that case I dont put sausage in it, and will just cook whatever kind of meat we have on hand separately & put the strips on top. (or sometimes we dont even have meat with it). Sometimes I add cumin, garlic salt, and/or lime juice to it, but you don't have to.

Cucumber and Tomato Salad

1 cucumber, sliced & quartered
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
olive oil
salt & pepper
balsamic vinegar

Mix cucumbers & tomatoes in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with balsamic vinegar, and salt & pepper it liberally. Serve with black beans and rice- we layer it all and eat it together. Mmmmmm! (by: Bethany S.)

*Andre's family also eats it with a fried, sunny-side-up egg on top. But I think thats kind of weird, and I usually don't have the time to do it or I forget. So I usually leave it out unless I'm trying to really impress him, haha. :) I do admit though, it does taste okay/pretty good. And its a good source of protein.

Broiled Tex Mex w/ black beans & rice

steak strips
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
2tsp chili powder
1 tsp sugar
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

Toss and coat steak in olive oil, sprinkle on seasoned mixture. Broil under top rack in oven, on foil covered baking sheet. Turn once. Broil until fully cooked and browned. (sometimes I just cook it in a frying pan on the stove)

Serve over rice and black beans. I thought the spices might be too spicy/hot for my kids, but they love it!

Avocado and Tomato Salad

3/4 cup quartered grape or cherry tomatoes
1 med. avocado, diced
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
1 tsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp salt

Gently mix ingredients in a bowl. Serve with Broiled Tex Mex recipe above. This is also yummy with tortilla chips! (by: Bethany S.)

Basil Chicken in Coconut-Curry Sauce

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 cup red onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced (I only do 1 clove, but I am scared of using too much garlic!)
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 (14oz) can unsweetened coconut milk
1 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp fresh basil, snipped
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

3 cups hot cooked rice (I use Jasmine rice)

Cut chicken into 1" pieces & put in large Ziploc bag. Dump spices & olive oil in bag & moosh till all the chicken is coated. Chill for 1 hour. While that marinates throw the onion, jalapenos, & garlic in the food processor, set aside. Snip the basil, grate the ginger & set aside. Start cooking your rice.

In a large nonstick wok or skillet, cook and stir onion, garlic and jalapeno peppers in hot olive oil over med high heat for 2 minutes. Add chicken to skillet; cook and stir for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. (add more oil if necessary.) Pour coconut milk in and add cornstarch. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Stir in basil and ginger. Cook and stir about 2 minutes more or until heated thru. Serve over hot jasmine rice with naan on the side. Die and go to heaven b/c its so amazingly good!!! (even my kids eat it!!!) (by Bethany S.)

-This recipe freezes really well, too, so I usually make 2-3 batches at one time.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Grape Jelly Meatballs

2 lbs ground beef
1/2 c dried onion
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c half and half
1 c italian bread crumbs
2 tsp corn starch
2 dashes all spice
2 eggs

2 bottles Del Monte chili sauce
1 cup grape jelly

Mix together and chill. Form into walnut size balls. Place in 9x13 pan, cover with sauce. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 325. Serve over rice.

1 big bag of frozen meatballs (72 small meatballs)

Place meatballs in a 9X13 pan. Combine the chili sauce and grape jelly, pour over meatballs. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

-Give this a chance. I didn't think I would like it when I first tried it, but was so surprised that is was great! It is so easy and so yummy! (By: Jennifer)

Crockpot Roast

1 beef roast
1 envelope Itailan dressing
1 envelope brown gravy dressing
1 envelope ranch dressing
1 envelope onion soup mix dressing
1/2 cup water

Place roast in crockpot, sprinkle seasonings on top of roast. Place the water around the roast. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. It is yummy over rice or mashed potatoes. Enjoy! I hope I did this right, I have never done a blog before! (By Jennifer)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Never-Fail Chicken Enchiladas

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 C sour cream
2 C cheese (I use more)
1 T salsa (I use more)
2 cans cream of chicken
Chopped green onions to taste
10-15 tortillas

Boil and cube chicken breasts, setting aside 1/2 cup broth for later. (This dinner is pretty fast if you do the boiling step earlier in the day, or used canned chicken.) In a large bowl combine soup, salsa, onions, sour cream, chicken, and half of the cheese. Set aside 1 cup for later. Spoon mixture into tortillas, roll, and set (flaps down) in a 9X13 casserole dish. Mix remaining cup of mixture with 1/2 cup broth. Pour over rolled tortillas. Cover with remaining cheese and bake at 350 until warmed through--usually about 20 minutes. (by Janell)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Italian Meatballs

-These are an easy dish done in the crock pot and very delicious! I have to give my sweet cousin, Alyssa, credit for this wonderful recipe.

2 28oz cans Seasoned Diced Tomatoes (seasoned w/garlic, basil, oregano--or buy plain and season them yourself)
1 6 oz can Tomato Paste
1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced
1 Green Bell Pepper, sliced
Frozen, store-bought meatballs (about 7/adult)

Put all ingredients in crock pot. Cook on low 8-10hrs, or high 4-6 hrs. Serve over egg noodles. Enjoy! (by Meredith)