Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sopapillas! (Nancy's recipe...AGAIN)

Boy how I LOVE this woman's cooking!! I'm so glad she let's me share them with you all!:) There are so many things you could do with these! Tony wants to open up a sopapilla restaurant and just serve different kinds of sopapillas for every meal! For breakfast you could stuff it with eggs, fried potatoes and then drench in Green Chilie sauce, he's thinking of doing an Italian sopapilla, and dessert sopapillas...his mind was going CrAzY!!:) Anyway, back to the recipe...


6 cups flour
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 heaping Tablespoon shortening\
1 cup scalded milk
about 1 cup water

Mix flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the shortening and mix together with your hand until incorporated with flour. Make a "well" in your bowl and pour in the milk and water. Using your hand again, mix liquid with flour mixture. The dough should be just a little sticky...if it's is too sticky add a little more flour, if the dough just isn't coming together add some more water. Then knead with hands for a couple of minutes.

Divide dough into balls about the size of a raquetball. Cover dough with towel until ready to fry. Heat oil in a fryer or in a cast iron pan on the stove. (You will know the oil is hot enough if when you put a small amount of dough in there it immediately rises to the little fact I learned from Nancy!:))

Take one of the balls of dough and roll into a circle...about 1/8" thick or so. Use a pizza cutter to cut into quarters and then place in the oil until both sides are browned...don't over fry them. This only takes a few seconds on each side.

When they are done you can "open" them up and stuff them with whatever you'd like. Last night we stuffed them with fried potatoes and then covered them with the Green Chilie sauce. (That's what the picture above is!) They were sooooo yummy!!

Another yummy way to do it (which the kids LOVED!) is to make some a little smaller (cut into 8th's instead of quarters) and then once they've cooled a little put them in a bag with some powdered sugar and shake. These were scrumptious!!

Nancy's Green Chili Sauce

So our good friend Nancy came and showed us how to make her Green Chili Sauce (that I thought would be really good with my Chicken Enchiladas)last night. It was just as good as I remembered! Although if used as an enchilada sauce I would probably leave the meat out of it. Here's the recipe:

Nancy's Green Chili Sauce

1 1/2-2 lbs pork (whatever you have on hand), cubed
Meat tenderizer
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons oil
1 lb ground beef

Sprinkle meat tenderizer on pork and let sit for a couple of minutes. Heat oil in large frying pan and then add the pork, salt and pepper and cook until the pork is done. In a separate frying pan cook the ground beef until no longer pink. (set ground beef aside until needed)

3 Tablespoons flour
3 Tablespoons oil

When pork is ready, move it to the side of the frying pan and then make a roux using the flour and oil. While stirring let the roux toast (it will turn a kind of light mustard color).

5 cups water
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4-1/2 cup roasted green chilies (use Anaheim peppers and I am told that Walmart will roast them for you for free at the deli counter. Then just remove the skins and then coarsely chop the peppers. Freeze any leftovers for future use!)
1 tomato, diced

Add the ground beef to the pork and combine with the roux. Then pour in the water, garlic powder, cumin, salt, green chilies and tomato, then stir to combine. Sauce will thicken as it heats up. If the sauce is too thick just add a little more water.

We had it with sopapillas stuffed with fried potatoes and then drenched in the green chili sauce!! But there are a ton of other things you could use it for! This one is a must'll LOVE it!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup

Here's a new recipe I tried out last night. Tony had been going through my recipe books and came across this one that he thought looked really good so I figured I'd give it a go. Can you say SUPER easy and yummy!!! There's nothing like a good soup and rolls.

Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup

1 cup chopped onion (about half of a large onion or 1 whole small onion)
1 cup chopped carrots (I used matchstick carrots from a bag...anything to make life easier:))
1 cup chopped celery
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
4 cups cubed peeled potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
2 cups uncooked yolk-free wide noodles
1 cup fat-free evaporated milk

In a large soup kettle, saute the onion, carrots, celery and garlic in oil for about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour, oregano, thyme, and poultry seasoning until blended and saute for about 1 minute longer. Gradually add your chicken broth. Then add potatoes and salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Stir in the chicken and noodles and simmer for about 10 more minutes or until the noddles are done. Reduce heat. Stir in the milk, and heat through but do not boil.

For those who care (unfortunately...I'm one of those:)) here is the nutritional facts:

One serving (1 1/2 cups of soup...which was REALLY filling)equals 235 calories, 3 g fat, 31 mg cholesterol, 851 mg sodium, 33 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 20 g protein. Or in Weight Watchers terms: 4 points!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Green Enchilada Sauce

Alrighty...I had a TON of pork brought to my home Thursday night after our big Relief Society party and decided this was the perfect time to try out the Green Enchilada sauce...Pork enchiladas!!! YUMMY!! I just used my the Best Chicken Enchiladas recipe and substituted the chicken with shredded pork and then used this Green Enchilada recipe. When I found this enchilada sauce recipe they said it tastes like Cafe Rio's green enchiladas sauce (which I CrAvE..and hardly ever get!) so I was excited but didn't know if it would hold up to what they were suggesting!:) I'm here to's pretty darn close! Here ya go!

Green Enchilada Sauce
Recipe from Our Best Bites
This is how it looks before it's simmered...such a pretty green color don't ya think?
And this is how it should look after it's simmered (if you can see through the steam!:))

2-3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, minced
5-6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 green peppers, cut into chunks
2 jalapenos, remove seeds and membranes for less heat(this is what I do)
1 1/2 lbs. (about 15) tomatillos, husked and quartered
1/2 bunch of cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 cans (14.5 oz.) chicken broth
2-3 Tablespoons sugar (optional) I used about 2 1/2 Tablespoons...just add to taste! (Tony thought it was too sweet, but I think it was just next time I think I'll try it without the sugar and see what he thinks.)

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Saute the onions and garlic until tender.

While onions and garlic are being sauteed, combine the tomatillos, green peppers, jalapenos, and cilantro in a blender and blend until smooth.

Pour the tomatillo mixture over the onions and garlic and add the chicken broth, salt, pepper, cumin, and sugar. Bring to a boil and then turn down heat and simmer until desired consistency. I think I boiled mine for too long, it ended up being thicker than I would have like for enchilada sauce...I think maybe 15 minutes would have been about right.

And here's a picture of the Pork Enchiladas with the green sauce.
You can't really see the sauce, but believe me you could taste it...SO YUM!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Peanut Butter Bars

I made these at the request of Caleb to take to his class for his Birthday. I got the recipe from my sister probably close to 10 years ago and they are requested quite often at my house!

Peanut Butter Bars

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 bag milk chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars together. Mix in the eggs, vanilla and peanut butter. Then add and mix baking soda, flour and oatmeal. Spread onto a ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes. The dough will still seem a little wiggly when you pull it out and that's how it should be!:) Sprinkle the chocolate chips on immediately and return to the oven for about 1 minute. Spread the melted chocolate on bars.

Now for the frosting (we have left this off before and it just isn't as good without it!) I usually don't wait until the bars are cooled to do this part so the chocolate and PB frosting gets swirled together which I don't mind at all, but in this picture the chocolate was pretty much set up and so I didn't get that same effect, but either way it's good!

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
2-4 Tablespoons milk

Mix all ingredients together until it makes a spreadable frosting (I usually end up using about 3 Tbsp of milk in mine), and then spread on top of the chocolate. Cut into bars and serve...or if you're taking them to a classroom full of 3rd graders for a birthday wrap them in plastic baggies and add a Happy Birthday tag!:)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Chocolate Mousse Crunch Cake

OK, I think I have died and gone to HeAvEn!!!:) If you like chocolate this is the cake for you!! And it is really easy to put together! It was Caleb's birthday and I talked him into letting me try out this one. And I have to say he really liked it too. may just drool on your keyboard when you see this picture!:)

Chocolate Mousse Crunch Cake
Recipe from Our Best Bites
1 package Duncan Hines Devil's food cake
1 recipe Chocolate Ganache (recipe follows)
4-5 Kit Kat Bars, chopped  (you can also use toffee bars like Skor or Heath)
1 tsp. unflavored gelatin
1 Tablespoon cold water
2 Tablespoons boiling water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Chocolate Ganache
8 oz. semi-sweet or dark chocolate
8 oz. heavy cream
Combine chocolate and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 2 minutes and stir. Heat for an additional 1-2 minutes or until chocolate is fully melted and can be whisked and incorporated into the cream. Be sure and scrape the sides and bottom to make sure you don't find any globby bits of chocolate when you start working with it. The ganache will thicken as it cools, so if it's a little too thin for you, just wait and it will thicken pretty quickly. When it's completely cool, it will be thick and fudgy and can be used like frosting. Store in an airtight container. You can reheat it to achieve your desired consistency.

Bake cake according to cake mix instructions in 2 8" round pans. Allow to cool and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the gelatin and cold water and allow to sit for about a minutes. While gelatin is softening, bring the 2 Tbsp. to a boil in the microwave. Whisk into the softened gelatin and allow to cool slightly.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine sugar, cocoa, whipping cream, and vanilla. Beat with and electric mixer until medium-stiff peaks form. Mix in gelatin mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Prepare ganache according to directions.

Place one of your cakes on a plate and spread with the chocolate mousse. Sprinkle with the Heath bits (or whatever you like...Tony though nuts would be really good as well). Place the second layer on the Heath bits. Spoon the ganache over the top layer, allowing it to drip down the sides. Sprinkle with more Heath bits and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Side note: This was so rich, but wonderful! It went really well with a little vanilla ice cream...but doesn't about everything!:)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Southwestern Casserole

I wanted to try out this recipe for 2 reasons: #1...because it makes 2, one to eat now and the other to freeze for another time, and #2...I had all the ingredients already in my pantry and I didn't want to have to run to the store for anything! It was actually better than I though it was going to be and was a real crowd pleaser with the kids. They all loved it...which is another bonus!!:)

Southwestern Casserole
Recipe from Taste of Home

7 ounces elbow macaroni
2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each)diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cans (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained (I think this would be better with black beans...I'm going to try that next time:))
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 can (4 ounces) diced green chilies
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (I used cheddar...didn't have Monterrey and it was still good, but I think Monterrey would be better.)
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped (optional, if you like the heat...I left them off because me and a couple of my kids are wimps that way!)

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, tomato paste, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Drain macaroni; stir into beef mixture.

Transfer to two greased 2 quart baking dishes. Top with cheese and jalapenos. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until bubbly and heated through. Serve one casserole. Cool the second casserole; cover and freeze for up to 3 months.

To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator for 8 hours. Cover and bake the casserole at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until heated through.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas (The best Chicken Enchiladas!)

These are Tony and my favorite chicken enchiladas. And the recipe sprang from desperation!! It was one of those "what are we going to cook for dinner tonight" nights and so we raided the pantry and this is what we came up with. That was probably 2 or so years ago and we have these at least once a month. They are so delicious and is made from pantry pretty darn easy as well! We call them:

Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas

3 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
1 box of rice a roni; long grain and wild rice
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (28 oz.) Green chili enchilada sauce (we use Las Palmas, found at Walmart; we love stokes green chili sauce but it's rather expensive, so just try different ones out to find what you like!)
8-10 flour tortillas (you can use corn as well...both are really good)
2 cups grated cheese; use cheddar, Colby jack, or Monterrey jack cheese
sour cream
lettuce, cut into bite size pieces
fresh tomatoes, diced

Prepare Rice a roni according to package directions. While that is cooking, cut your chicken into bite size pieces and cook in a large frying pan until done. Add the black beans, rice and about 1/3 of the can of green chili sauce (or enough to make it moist). Pour enough green chili sauce onto the bottom of a 9x13 pan to coat. Put mixture into tortillas, roll up and place in the baking pan. When pan is full, use the rest of the green chili sauce and pour over the enchiladas. Top with cheese. (Most of the time we have some left-over filling and so I'll just "sprinkle" it on top of the rolled enchiladas and then top with the cheese...just an option:))Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until sauce bubbles and the cheese is melted. Top with sour cream, lettuce and tomatoes.

Let me know what you think! My next assignment for myself is to get Nancy (Spanish rice recipe...which incidentally is wonderful with this dish...& wonderful cook...who doesn't use recipes...and a great baker) to teach me how to make her green enchilada is SO good!!! I'll make sure to post it when I get it!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Morning Maple Muffins

Kyla and Caleb had their Destination Imagination competition on Saturday and they had to be at the school to load the bus at 6:15 a.m.!!! So I decided to make some muffins for them to take for their breakfast on the bus. These are one of Tony's favorite muffins. The best part is the topping!

Morning Maple Muffins
Recipe from Taste of Home

2 cups flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup sour cream
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
9 Tablespoons flour
9 Tablespoons sugar
6 Tablespoons chopped nuts (I used pecans but walnuts are good also)
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 Tablespoons cold butter or margarine

In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, combine the milk, butter, syrup, sour cream, egg, and vanilla. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. For topping, combine the flour, sugar, nuts and cinnamon. Cut in the butter until crumbly (I usually use my hands for this much easier!). Sprinkle over batter. Bake at 400 degrees for 16-20 minutes or until muffins are done. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Make 20-24 muffins.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lemon Lime Jell-O Poke Cake (Eli's Birthday Cake)

It was my little (or not so much anymore) Eli's 7th birthday yesterday and while we were out to lunch he told me he wanted a green birthday cake because St. Patrick's Day is coming up and they've been talking a lot about it in school. So I told him about Jell-O poke cakes and that sounded good to him so that's what we did! The kids LOVED it. Didn't think it had been that long since I'd made one, but none of them remembered ever eating it before so I guess it has been that long!:) Anyway, here's the recipe.

Lemon Lim Jell-O Poke Cake
1 white cake mix
1 small jell-o mix, any flavor (Eli wanted green so we used lime, but strawberry and raspberry are really good as well)
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water
Make the cake according to package directions. Cool cake for about 20 minutes. Using a utility fork poke cake about every 1/2 inch or so. Make Jell-O by dissolving Jell-O in the boiling water. After dissolved add the cold water. Pour the Jell-O slowly over the cake covering all the holes. Chill for 3-4 hours. This is what it should look like when finished.
Next I make what my family calls "Chad's favorite frosting". That's my brother, and growing up he didn't like the traditional frosting that you put on cakes, but loved this "pudding" frosting. So I think this is what he had for his birthday cake almost every year!
Chad's favorite frosting
1 envelope Dream Whip
1 small package instant pudding (you can use whatever flavor you would like...chocolate is really good on a white or yellow cake as well, but for this one I just used vanilla!)
1 1/2 cups cold milk
Put all ingredients into a mixer and beat until it thickens. Then frost your cake.
Next I just top that with some whipped topping and then some green sprinkles (or whatever...or nothing!) Here's the finished product! I think I'll go get me a piece of cake now!:) (It's not quite 9:00 right now...can cake be considered a breakfast food???...PLEASE!!:)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The best spanish rice EVER!!

We had a dear friend over to teach us how to make some yummy spanish rice a few months ago, and I think Tony has made this dish probably about once a week since then! She is one of those people who cook without a recipe or exact measurements. It's just a dash of this about a fist full of that...etc! So while she was making it she would get about however much she usually used and then we would measure it so I would have exact amounts! Tony is such a rice lover, and is pretty picky about his rice, but the texture and taste is just perfect for him! It's really quite simple as well. I love it because HE makes it and it's one less thing for me to cook!:)

The best Spanish Rice EVER!!
(Nancy's Spanish Rice)

3 cups rice (we use Jasmine has a nuttier taste and is perfect for Spanish rice)
1-2 Tablespoons oil
1/2 of a green pepper, chopped
1/2 of a yellow onion, chopped
1 lb. ground beef, browned(optional)
2 cans (small ones) tomato sauce
5 1/2 tomato sauce cans full of water
4 garlic cloves, chopped or pressed
1 teaspoon cumin
pepper and salt to taste

Put your rice in a large pot and place on the stove top. Add enough oil to coat all the rice (I'm guessing we use about 1/3 a cup or so...that was one thing we didn't measure!) Brown the rice and oil on medium high heat stirring frequently. The rice will start to turn white(er) than it already is and then it will start to brown. You don't want it a dark brown but a light golden brown and not all of the rice will brown, but when the majority is browned it is ready. I think this is what gives the the rice the texture that Tony so loves, so don't skip this part!!!:)

Once the rice is ready add the remaining ingredients. The key to the salt is to taste the broth before you start timing the rice. It needs to be a little saltier than normal because the rice will soak up a lot of the salt. When it tickles your taste buds, bring it to a boil and then cover and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Enjoy with absolutely anything!!! We usually don't put in the meat if we are using it as a side dish, but sometimes Tony just likes to make it to eat as a meal in itself and he'll add the meat then (actually I think he would add the meat every time...It's me that doesn't think we need double meat at a meal!:))

Monday, March 8, 2010

Roasted Red Potatoes

I know everyone probably already has a recipe like this, but I just LOVE these...and so does Tony & the kiddo's! It's SO easy too.

Roasted Red Potatoes

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Wash and dice red potatoes into bite size pieces. Just cut as many as your family will eat. We usually do about 3-4 pounds of potatoes, that way Tony has some leftovers to take for lunch the next day.
3. Place in a big enough bowl to toss (preferably with a lid), and drizzle with some olive oil. You don't need too much, I use maybe 1/4 cup for all those potatoes.
4. Then add a packet of onion soup mix. I usually just always use 1 full packet. Sometimes this flavor is stronger than other times just depending on how many potatoes I decided to do, so if you like a stronger flavor you might want to either cut back on the potatoes or use more soup mix.
5. If you have a lid for your bowl put it on and shake the bowl until the potatoes are coated really well. If not, just use a large spoon to stir it all together. You could also use a large baggie with a ziplock to shake if you're not making a whole lot.
6. Pour potatoes onto a large cookie sheet and spread into a single layer. (I also usually spray some cooking oil on the sheet before I put the potatoes probably don't need to do this as they are already coated in oil, but it seems to help them from sticking to the pan for me.)
7. Put in the oven and cook them for about 45-50 minutes or until they are tender when stabbed with a fork!:)

They are now ready to enjoy. My kiddo's like them with ketchup, but I think they're just as good plain.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Orange Marmalade rolls

I got this recipe for the Pioneer Woman (man I love her recipes!!!) and just added one extra ingredient to the glaze because I LOVE the orange flavor in my rolls. These were SOOOO good. This is actually what we made and took around to friends for Christmas with a note attached that said "Here's a sweet treat "rolled" up with Chirstmas wishes for you!" Pretty cheesy I know...but that's the kind of gal I am!:) Here it is:

Orange Marmalade Rolls
Recipe from Pioneer Woman

The dough:
1 quart whole milk (I've used skim before and couldn't tell a whatever you have on hand I think would be fine.)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 packages yeast
8 cups (plus 1 cup extra, separated) flour
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1 scant teaspoon baking soda
1 heaping tablespoon salt

Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture (heat until just before it starts to boil). Turn off heat and leave to cool for 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in both packages of yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 8 cups of flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour. After rising for at least an hour, add 1 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir mixture together. The dough is now ready!!!

Preparing Rolls:
1/2 jar of marmalade (PW used Bonnie Mama's orange marmalade but that stuff is pretty I tried walmarts brand of orange marmalade and it was fantastic!!!)
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Sprinkle rolling surface with generously with flour. Take half of the dough and roll it out into a long rectangle. Spread the marmalade over the top. Pour on the butter, and then sprinkle on the brown sugar evenly. Sprinkle with salt (I never did this...). Beginning with the long side farthest from you, rollt he dough in a long roll toward you; begin careful to keep it tucked tightly. Pinch edge to seal. Cut rolls into 1 to 1 1/2 inch rolls and place into buttered pans. (I use my 7" round cake pans...but this makes about 7 of those, and I don't have 7 cake pans so I just use the aluminum ones...those you can take to neighbors or friends or whatever and not have to worry about losing a cake pan!) Allow to rise for at least 20 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown.

While the rolls are baking prepare the glaze:
2 pounds powdered sugar
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup orange juice
1 dash salt
1 teaspoon orange extract (this is an ingredient I added because I like more of an orange flavor...also I didn't have any orange juice when I made them once and just used milk instead and the orange extract and it was just as good!)
Mix all ingredients together, thining with more milk or orange juice to make the mixture pourable.
Immediately drizzle orange glaze over the top of the warm rolls. Serve warm (this way is the best!) or at room temperature.'ve just made the best orange rolls EVER!!!:)
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