Thursday, March 31, 2011

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

Here's  another recipe my family thought was absolutely heavenly! (They were eaten while watching BYU play Florida...they helped take some of the sting out of the loss!!:))  They were really pretty simple to pull together and I love that they are baked and not fried.  And the creamy chicken concoction inside...I could have just eaten it with a spoon (in fact I did have a couple spoon fulls!)  Very very yummy!

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos
(sorry you can't really see the yummy insides!) 
UPDATE:  Pictured with Spanish good together!!

1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese
1/2 cup green salsa (I used my Green Enchilada Sauce recipe...I made tons last fall and froze quite a bit and just defrosted it and it worked perfectly, but feel free to use whatever kind you like or have on hand!)
Lime juice from 1 lime
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3-1/2 cup chopped cilantro (depending on your love of cilantro...mine is a 10...I absolutely adore cilantro!:))
3-4 green onions, sliced
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
1 cup grated pepperjack cheese
fajita size flour tortillas (all I had was regular sized...forgot the smaller ones at the store!! ours ended up being a little bigger, but it still worked great, they were just more like burritos than taquitos)
cooking spray
kosher salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with a Silpat (or if you're like me and really want a Silpat but haven't gotten one yet...just use tinfoil and spray with some cooking spray).

Soften cream cheese in microwave for 20-30 seconds or until nice and soft and melty.  Stir in green salsa, lime juice and spices until well mixed and then add the cilantro and green onions.  Stir in chicken and pepperjack cheese and combine well. 

Working with 3-4 tortillas at a time, briefly heat in microwave so they are malleable and easier to work with.  If you skip this step some (or all) might break down the side when you roll them up.  Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of mixture onto your tortilla, if you're using the small ones, if you've got the burrito sized tortilla spoon in about 1/3 cup of chicken.  Roll them up tightly and place seam side down on your baking sheet, making sure that they are not touching.  Lightly spray the tops of the tortillas with cooking spray and sprinkle with kosher salt.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and edges start to turn golden brown.

We used salsa and sour cream for dipping, but wished we would have had some guacamole!!  Next time I make these I will make sure we do!!   Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fiesta Pasta Salad

I told you I love salads this time of year!!:)  This is one of my favorites and I was surprised when I realized that I hadn't blogged about it yet!!  Well, I'm here to fix that!

Fiesta Pasta Salad
2 boneless, skinless chicken breats
1 box (12 oz.) bow tie pasta
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, drained
1 can black olives, drained and sliced
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (or regular tomates diced)
4 green onions, chopped (white and green parts)
1/2 green pepper, chopped

1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1/3 cup ranch dressing

Cut chicken into bite size pieces and fry in a skillet in a little oil until browned and completely cooked.  Set aside.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain (you do not need to rinse).  Put pasta in a large bowl.  Prepare all the vegetables and add to the pasta.  Then add the black beans, corn, olives, and chicken and then stir to mix. 

Make dressing by mixing oil, vinegar and taco seasoning together.  Whisk until combined and then add the ranch dressing and mix again.  Pour over the pasta mixture and stir until combined.  Let cool in the refrigerator for at least a few hours before eating (I always have to take a few bites before I put it in the frige...just can't help myself!). 
This is one of those salads that's even better the next day when it's had lots of time for all those flavors to combine and soak in to the pasta, veggies and chicken! 

I like to serve this as a main dish with some breadsticks to go with it and possibly a fruit (like grapes).  Perfect spring meal!! 

This is also a really good side dish!  You can serve it as a side as is, but if you have a meat main dish you could also just leave the chicken out of it and serve it as a side to your meat dish.  I've had it many times without the chicken and it's still delicious!!

Honestly, you're gonna love this one!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Raspberry Pretzel Jello Salad

I always serve this with dinner as a Jello salad, but it can also be a dessert on it's own!  It is especially delicious (as Nacho would say!!:))!!  I must hear that line or some other one from Nacho from my hubby or kids no less than 30 times a day!!  And whenever I try I always get made fun of because I have a terrible accent!  Anyway, that has nothing to do with this recipe...I just got carried away!:)  Just trust me...YUM!

Raspberry Pretzel Jello Salad
1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels
1/2 cup sugar
1 cube butter, melted
1 cube cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tub (8 oz.) cool whip
1 large box (6 oz.) Raspberry Jello
2 cups boiling water
1 bag unsweetened frozen raspberries

Pretzel Crust:
Mix and press the pretzels, 1/2 cup sugar, and melted butter into the bottom of a 9X13 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.  Let cool

Cream Center:
Blend together the cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar.  Add and mix in the cool whip.  Spread over the cooled pretzel crust and then refrigerate until cooled.

Jello top:
Dissolve the Jello in the boiling water.  Add the raspberries and stir.  Pour over the cream center and refrigerate until set.  Usually 4-6 hours. 

Enjoy a yummy side or a yummy dessert!!:)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mexican Lasagna

This was SOOOO yummy!  Pretty easy to make!  And we have about half a pan leftover that we've been enjoying for lunch!!  This is definitely one that we will be making over and over!!

Mexican Lasagna
Recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 Tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
dash of ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 (6 oz.) can olives, chopped
9-12 no-boil (or oven-ready) lasagna noodles
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
8 ounces cream cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9X13 inch pan and set aside.

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef or turkey with the onion until meat is no longer pink.  Drain the grease.  The the garlic and tomato paste and stir to combine and cook for about 1 minute.  Stir in the chili powder, cumin, cayenne, oregano, salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Add the diced tomatoes and the tomato sauce and stir to combine.  Add the black beans, corn and olives.  Mix well and heat through, about 5 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat and spread about 1/2 cup of sauce in the bottom of the 9X13 inch pan.  (I used a little more...just use enough to cover the bottom of the pan)  Layer 3-4 noodles over the sauce.  I used about 3 3/4 noodles...3 length wise and then I broke the 4th one to fit width wise...worked perfectly!  Now spread 1/3 of the leftover sauce over the noodles.  Dollop 1/3 of the sour cream and 1/3 of the cream cheese across the sauce.  Just use your fingers for the cream cheese and pinch off a little and throw it on!  Sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheeses.  Repeat the layers two more times until all the ingredients are used.

Cover the lasagna with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Uncover and bake 10-15 minutes more, until the lasagna is hot and bubbly.  Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into and serving.

I made this in the morning and put it in the fridge until I was ready to bake it and it turned out wonderfully!!  I'm telling you...super delicious!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chocolate Malt Cake

So I was going to try to stay away from blogging all sweets and get a few main course meals on here, but I just couldn't wait to let you all see this recipe!! I found it over at Favorite Family Recipes, and when I showed Caleb he said that it was what he wanted me to make for his Birthday party (which is today, but we celebrated last night...too many things going on tonight!!:)) Anyway, it was really rich, but really good. You'll definately need a glass of milk with this one!

Chocolate Malt Cake
Recipe from Favorite Family Recipe
2 1/4 cup flour
1 1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 cup malted milk powder (find it by the hot chocolate or instant breakfast stuff!)
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 9" round cake pans. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl or your mixer.

In a small bowl, combine the milk with the malted milk powder and stir until dissolved. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients along with the oil and eggs. Beat until smooth. Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat just until combined.

Pour batter evenly into prepared pans and bake for 20 minutes. (I ended up baking mine for 30 minutes...just use a toothpick to make sure the center is cooked before taking them out of the oven!) Let the cake cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then transfer to racks and let cool completely.

After the cakes have cooled completely, make the icing.

(This makes a ton of frosting but I used all but about a cup of I definately wouldn't half the recipe. My kids would have just guzzled down the icing if I'd let them!)
1 1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup malted milk powder
7 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a large bowl, beat butter and cocoa until creamy. In a small bowl combine cream and malted milk powder and stir until dissolved. Add the cream mixture to the butter mixture, and beat at low speed to combine. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until smooth.

Take each cake and use a bread knife to cut them in half so you end up with four round cakes. Place one on a plate and cover with frosting, then add the next and cover with frosting and keep repeating until all four layers are covered. Then take your frosting all around the sides as well so the entire cake is covered. Place in the frige.

Make the ganache.

1 cup semi-sweet chcolate (I just used chocolate chips)
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Place the chocolate chips into a medium-sized bowl. Heat the cream in the microwave for about 3 minutes on high or just until it begins to simmer. Be careful not to let it boil over. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it stand for about 30 seconds. Use a whisk to beat the chocolate with the cream until it is smooth. I let mine cool for a little while...that also helped it set up a little bit more. Then pour over the top of the cake. You may not need all of it, just use what looks best to you! Put in the frige for at least an hour.

Top cake with leftover frosting and whoppers. Can I just say YuMmY!! And it looks so pretty too!! This is what it looks like when you cut into it!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dream-sickle Jello

Here's another salad for you, this time a Jello salad! Jello salads are right up there with pasta salads for me. I just really like them! This one also just yells spring to me. It is so yummy and really does taste like a dream-sickle in jello form!

Dream-sickle Jello
2 small packages cook and serve lemon pudding
1 large package orange jello
Cool Whip

Cook pudding according to directions. Dissolve Jello according to directions. Stir pudding and Jello together while they are both still hot. When mixed thouroughly, pour into 9x13 inch pan. Let set. Overnight is best, but at least 6-8 hours. Top with Cool Whip.
So easy and so yummy!! My kiddo's absolutely LoVe this one too!

I've now tried this in raspberry instead of orange as well.  Keep all the ingredients the same except change out the orange jell-o for raspberry.  It was REALLY REALLY good!!  Don't know which I like better.  I've got strawberry on my list of next flavor to try!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Country Pasta Salad

I've been posting so many sweet recipes lately I figured it was time for something a little healthier!! This time of year I just love eating salads! I especially love pasta salads! This recipe is one that we used to eat growing up that I've always enjoyed. It's perfect for those spring days!

Country Pasta Salad
1 box (16oz) pasta (any kind, I used the tri color rotini)
1 1/2 cups Miracle Whip
1 teaspoon dill weed
1 can (about 12 oz.) chicken or tuna (you can use boneless skinless chicken breasts cooked at chopped instead if wanted)
1 cup matchstick carrot
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (or regular ones chopped)
1/2-1 cup cucumber slices
1/2 c. frozen peas, thawed
(You can really use any vegetables that you like. I just put the carrots and tomatoes in mine this time, but I like it with the cucumbers and peas as well! I don't put in the celery because my family doesn't like it.)

Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, mix Miracle Whip and dill together in a large mixing bowl. When pasta is done drain and add to Miracle Whip and dill. Mix together well. Add rest of the
ingredients. Mix well and chill.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Raspberry Cream Cupcake

These were SOOOOO much fun to make!! I really enjoyed myself!:) And they turned out so stinkin' cute. And of course they were delicious!! They just scream spring to me! You could have fun with the topping and make whatever you wanted. I'm excited to try my hand at some other designs!

Raspberry Cream Cupcake
Recipe from Your Homebased Mom
1 white cake mix
1 1/3 C water
3 large egg whites
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 (6-ounce) containers fresh raspberries, or one bag of frozen raspberries, thawed and drained
1 Cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 Cup powdered sugar, plus additional for dusting

Makes between 18-20 cupcakes. Line muffin tins with liners. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In your mixer beat the cake mix, water, egg whites, melted butter, and extracts in a large bowl for 2 minutes, or until the batter is well blended. Place about 1/3 C of batter in each cupcake liner or about 2/3 fu

Bake the cupcakes until they are very pale golden on top, about 15 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely.
Using a fork, coarsely mash 1 1/2 containers of raspberries in a medium bowl.In your mixer beat the cream and 1/3 cup of powdered sugar until firm peaks form. Fold the mashed raspberries into the whipped cream.
Remove the muffin papers from the cupcakes and cut the tops off of each cupcake, about 1/2 inch down. Spoon the whipped cream mixture onto the cupcake bottoms. Place the cupcake tops on the cupcakes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with the remaining berries if using fresh.
Makes between 18-20 cupcakes.

Now to make the Chocolate Hearts (or whatever design you want to try out!)

Melt chocolate (white) or chocolate melts in the microwave and spoon into a piping bag with a small round tip. (I've tried it with almond bark and food coloring, this works fine, but is a little runnier than the others and kindof just runs out of the tip, so you need to let it cool and start setting up just a little before piping!)

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or wax paper.
Hold the bag upright and at a slight angle and write. You can write words, but if you do make sure all the letters are connected so they'll stay in one piece...just use your imagination!!

After you are done put them in the refrigerator to harden up and then remove from the wax paper and store in an airtight container.

Place sticking up on top of your cupcake! Aren't these about the cutest things ever!!:)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Oreo Cake (Eli's Birthday Cake!)

As soon as I saw this cake I knew it would be perfect for Eli's birthday cake! This is a really yummy recipe that I like because it's dense enought that all the oreo's don't sink to the bottom of the cake, but still light and fluffy! It was really good!

Oreo Cake

1 box white or yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
1 3oz box vanilla instant pudding
1/2 cup oil
12 Oreos, coarsely crushed
Additional Oreos for top of cake

Combine cake mix, eggs, sour cream, water, pudding mix, and oil. Beat till smooth. Stir in oreos. Pour into 2 round cake pans that have been greased and floured. Bake at 350 for about 32 minutes, or till toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5-10 minutes before removing to cooling racks. Cool completely.

Place first cake layer on serving plate. Spread about 3/4 cup of frosting on the cake. Top with the second layer. Frost sides and top of cake. Crush a few more Oreo cookies and sprinkle them on top of the cake.

I just used already made frosting from the store. My favorite is Betty Crocker milk chocolate whipped! But if you would like you can make your own...this is the recipe that came with the cake.

Chocolate Frosting:
1/2 cup soft butter
1/3 cup cocoa
1/8 tsp salt
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4-6 Tablespoons milk

Combine all ingredients and beat till smooth, adding enough milk to achieve spreadable consistency.

Really good with some cookies and cream ice cream!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

I've been wanting to try these for a while now and had the perfect opportunity last night when my hubby announced that he needed to take some kind of breakfast food in the morning for a teacher birthday celebration that apparently they do once a month. So although it was late, I enjoyed making them (and tasting them)! The glaze on the top is a MUST!! So good!

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons poppy seeds
1 Tablespoon lemon zest (next time I think I'd actually use a little more...I like a strong lemon flavor!)
1 cup sour cream
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Add together flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, poppy seeds and lemon zest in a bowl. In another bowl combine sour cream, egg, melted butter and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Do not overstir. This makes a stiff dough...more the consistency of cookies than cake, so don't fret when this happens...that's the way it's supposed to be!

Spoon batter into prepared muffin pans (greased or with liners). Fill 2/3 full. If you have a large cookie scoop that works perfect!

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-17 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pan and cool on rack.

For Glaze: Add together powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in a bowl. Stir until smooth. Drizzle over the top of the muffins.

Makes 1 dozen muffins.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Cream Cheese Squares

Don't let the name of this one fool you...I know it sounds pretty blah, but this is one of the best little things EVER!! And oh so simple. I have had so many compliments on these things and when I tell people the ingredients they are shocked!! Honestly, they are so delicious!

Cream Cheese Squares

4 packages refrigerated crescent rolls
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese
2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup melted butter, approx.
cinnamon and sugar

Take 2 packages of your crescent rolls and roll out or press (or a little of both!) onto the bottom of a large cookie sheet.

Beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together until smooth. Pour over the crescent rolls and spread out evenly. Use the other 2 packages of crescent roll and roll and press them out the size of the cookie sheet and then place on top of the cream cheese.

Brush the melted margarine over the top. 1/4 a cup is sometimes a little too much, just use enough to coat the top of the rolls. Then sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over the top, just use as much or a little as you'd like.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned.
Slice into small squares and serve. This makes A LOT!! They were served at a church function and then the leftovers were sent to the school where my hubby works to get rid of them so I wouldn't eat them all!! I've had numerous recipe requests for this one!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Peanut Butter Balls

These are truly the best homemade peanut butter balls EVER! No grainy, crumbly fall apart peanut butter in these, but creamy melt in your mouth centers!! Better than a Reeses!

Peanut Butter Balls

1/2 cup margarine, softened (don't melt!)
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 cup creamy Peanut Butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 large package Chocolate Chips

Cream together the margarine, corn syrup and Peanut Butter until very smooth. Then add the powdered sugar and mix until incorporated.

Roll balls into a little smaller than bite-size pieces (the chocolate will make them bite-size!:)) Put on a wax paper covered plate and place in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, melt chocolate chips (or any other chocolate you have!) in the microwave. I put mine on for 30 seconds at a time and stir inbetween until it is smooth. (If you have a brick of chocolate to melt...a good way to melt it is to preheat your oven to 200 degrees and then turn the oven off and put your brick of chocolate in an oven safe bowl into the oven and watch for it to melt, or you could use a double boiler).

Remove peanut butter balls from the freezer and place in melted chocolate. Make sure the entire ball is covered and then let drip over the bowl to remove excess chocolate and then place on a piece of wax paper. Wait (or try to) until the chocolate has hardened and then dig in!! Keep any that you don't eat in the frige in an air tight container.

Yummy, yummy recipe from one of the best cooks I sister-in-law Candy!!
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