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May 31, 2011

Chicken Fajitas























More Mexican food. I told ya! Actually, most of the "Mexican" recipes I'm posting are probably not considered authentic Mexican food. But if it has the word 'fajita' or 'taco' or 'burrito' then I think it is Mexican enough for me!

These chicken fajitas were tasty, but you wanna know why I liked them so much? Probably because I drizzled poured some of that creamy lime cilantro ranch sauce on top of it. I know I know, I pretty much can drench anything in that sauce and call it divine. So if you are looking for more of a traditional chicken fajita recipe, then by all means leave out that sauce. But if you are as obsessed with it as I am, then add it to just about anything you can get your hands on! Well, maybe not ice cream. 























Oh, and we also were having corn as a side item, so I decided to add some to my fajita. You can too, but certainly don't have to!

I used pre-cooked chicken that we had cooked the night before for Chicken Flautas but didn't end up using. So I had 2 already cooked chicken breasts. But if you are starting with raw chicken, which you probably are, then just slice your chicken breasts into strips, saute them in a skillet until cooked through, then add the peppers and onions to the skillet and then pour in the lime juice, seasonings, and liquid smoke and let the flavors get absorbed in the chicken, peppers, and onions.

Chicken Fajitas
from the kitchen of SteakNPotatoesKindaGurl
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pre-cooked and sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 of a green pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 of a red pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 of a red onion, sliced
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder
  • flour tortillas
  • Mexican shredded cheese, optional
  • corn, optional
  • green salsa, optional
  • Creamy Lime Cilantro Ranch Dressing, optional
In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil and then add the sliced onions and allow to cook on medium until starting to brown and soften. Reduce heat to medium-low, add the sliced peppers and allow to soften. Add the sliced cooked chicken strips to the skillet. Add cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, lime juice and liquid smoke. Mix well and let the flavors mingle.

Heat tortillas in the microwave in between damp paper towels to keep them from cracking. Add the chicken, pepper, and onion mixture. Top with cheese, corn, green salsa, and sauce, if desired.

*Note, if chicken is not yet cooked then you can saute it in the same skillet prior to cooking the peppers and onions.



















I by no means claim to be a Mexican food expert, so pardon the corn and cilantro sauce additions. If it peeves you, just stick to the basic fajita recipe, which... if you remember my little lesson on Mexican food terminology.... focuses on the peppers and onions. So as long as you've got chicken or steak, and peppers and onions, then you've got yourself a fajita!

Peace, and bacon grease!

May 30, 2011

Menu Planning - Week of 5/30/11

Hey guys! Happy Memorial Day to you all. I am enjoying a day off, gratefully, and later get to enjoy grilling out with my family. PJ and I grilled out last night too, some pork chops, metts and brauts, and potatoes. I love grill out food so much. I am lovin this weather which is allowing us to be able to grill outside!

Sorry I skipped the menu plan last week. But I'm back for more planning. Today's easy, I get to go eat at my Mama's house. So no cooking for me :) But for the rest of the week, I'm gonna select a couple of meals from that cookbook that I told you about, you know, the one that I want to get more use out of? And looks like pretty nice weather for the upcoming week, so more grill time over the weekend, I hope!

Monday 5/30/11:  HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY! grill out with family

Tuesday 5/31/11:  grill out with Peej - brauts, metts, not sure what else

Wednesday 6/1/11:  BLT Lettuce Wraps (+ avocado!)

Thursday 6/2/11:  Lasagna Roll-Ups - from cookbook

Friday 6/3/11:  Cajun Chicken Pasta - from cookbook



Doing my usual linkups - to Menu Plan Monday












and Marvelous Menu


 







Hope you all enjoy or have enjoyed your holiday weekend. I love a great excuse to get together with family and eat well. And thanks to all of those who fight for our country, of course! I'm proud to be an American!

Peace, and bacon grease!


Baked Tilapia with Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce






















There are so many amazing food blogs out there. Don't you agree? One of my faves is Jenn's Food Journey. That girl is a master at grilling, and she also shares my love of sauce. She does love fish too, tilapia in particular! And she is so sweet... she has invited me to be a guest blogger on her blog, and helped me with any questions I had in improving my blog. She's a sweetheart! And she also makes some great food! Like this tilapia dish, with a delicious sauce. I'm glad I'm not the only one who appreciates a good sauce, whether it be with seafood, beef, pork, or any kind of meat! We both share a love of sauce, that's why I love her! Yes, meat is delicious. But add some sauce and it is pretty irresistible. 




















Baked Tilapia with Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce
slightly adapted from Jenn's Food Journey
  • 2 tilapia filets
  • salt, pepper, and garlic powder, for seasoning
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dried dill weed
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Rinse the fish and pat dry. Season both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place fish in the prepared baking dish and place in the oven. Baked for 15 minutes, rotating dish halfway through. 

While the fish is baking, place the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Mircowave on low for about 20 seconds or until ingredients are blended smoothly. Stir until smooth. Let sit for 5 minutes. Serve over fish or on the side. 



















We haven't always necessarily been fish kind of people, but add some sauce and we are set! This was definitely a delicious fish dish with a flavorful sauce. I would definitely make it again!

Peace, and bacon grease!

May 28, 2011

Southwest Chicken Burritos

Hola!


I've come to you with another Mexican recipe. The funny thing is that I didn't really think I was a Mexican food lover. But seeing as I have blogged about several Mexican recipes recently, I'd say that is very quickly changing. I certainly am becoming a lover of Mexican food. And this recipe is a keeper. I love the black bean and corn mixture in these burritos. 

I'm still trying to figure out where I found this recipe from. I thought it was from a cookbook, but I could be mistaken. 
























Southwest Chicken Burritos
from the kitchen of SteakNPotatoesKindaGurl

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
  • 1 (11 oz) can kernel corn
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • flour tortillas
  • sour cream, optional
  • shredded cheddar cheese, for topping, optional
  • salsa, optional
Season chickens with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Bake chicken on a baking sheet with aluminum foil at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until juices run clear. Then slice the chicken into strips once finished cooking.

In a large pot, heat the black beans, corn, chiles, and onions on medium low. Add in the cream cheese, stirring to mix. 

Heat flour tortillas in the microwave for 20 seconds on paper towels, between damp paper towels. Add a bit of sour cream on the bottom of the tortilla, then some of the chicken strips, then some of the bean mixture, then a bit of shredded cheddar cheese on top. Top with a drizzle of salsa, if desired.























PJ also added salsa to his to make it even more of a Southwest feel. I'm not big on salsa. Say what?! I know, I'm strange. But hey, maybe that will change too. Like I said before, I didn't think I liked Mexican food much. But gimme a good salsa recipe and I bet I can't pass it up!


Peace, and bacon grease!


Cookbook Review: Chili for Two from Taste of Home Down Home Cooking for One or Two

Yes, I am posting a chili recipe in May. No, I didn't just make it though! I've been meaning to blog about it for awhile now... so no better time than now. My man and I am always looking for different chili recipes. I like to take different concepts from different recipes and discover what we consider to be the best chili. 

And I've been trying to use my cookbooks more. With the internet, I get so caught up in making recipes from other food bloggers. But I seriously have so many cookbooks that need to be used up! So I figured that I would try to make as many recipes as possible from a single cookbook before I move on to the next, and give you guys a review of the recipes I make from each cookbook! So I'm starting with Taste of Home's Down Home Cooking for One or Two. The longer I am in the food blogging world, the more I learn obviously. And I am learning that these Taste of Home cookbooks aren't anything high quality like ones you'd find from well-known celebrity chefs or seasoned pros. They are more basic cookbooks for the average person who just needs to make a simple, quick meal for the family... or in this case, for one or two people! I thought this was a perfect cookbook to start with because it suits our needs... quick and simple recipes that don't call for a lot of ingredients, and they are already scaled down to our portion size. So I hope to be making more recipes from here coming up!

We started with this quick chili recipe - Chili for Two. What a creative name. I want to change it, I really do. That's no name for a recipe! But I didn't make the recipe so who am I to say what it should be called? So yeah, we're talkin a pretty basic chili recipe. Nothing special from any other chili recipe you can find anywhere. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't fantastic. Not THE BEST CHILI ever! I did like the small batch and not having to bust out my math skills to convert measurements. But it could use some more ingredients to spruce it up, that's for sure!
 























Chili for Two

*Yields 2 servings
  • 1/4 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can chili beans, undrained
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp sour cream, divided, for garnish
  • 2 tbsp cup shredded Monterey Jack and mild cheddar cheese, divided, for garnish
  • 2 cilantro leaves, divided, for garnish
Cook beef, onion, and garlic in a saucepan on medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Drain. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until heated through. Serve in two bowls. Garnish each bowl with 1 tbsp sour cream, 1 tbsp shredded cheese, and 1 cilantro leaf.

Printable Recipe

Rating: 3 out of 5 forks













I will be linking this up to:
Foodie Friday @ Designs By Gollum
Foodie Friday @ Little Brick Ranch

 
So there you have it. Not the greatest chili of my life, but still tasty!

One down, many more to go!

Check out my other review from this cookbook, Bart's Black Bean Soup for Two.

Peace, and bacon grease!

May 23, 2011

Sauteed Corn, Bacon, and Green Onions



















Hey friends! I'm up for another round of Martha Mondays, and it was my turn to pick the Martha Stewart dish we would all be making. I had already made out a menu plan when I realized it was my turn, so I chose a simple side dish to go with one of our dinners for the week. We did enjoy it, though it is very basic. It was better than my fiancee expected, he said. 















Martha's original recipe calls for scallions, but our local grocery store didn't have any scallions (I'm not sure how they have some of the most exotic things but not scallions, but whatevs). So I subbed in green onions because they are pretty much the same thing. I sliced them diagonally with scissors... love that easy method! I used frozen corn this time, next time I would try fresh corn and it would definitely be even better! The crushed red pepper flakes added a nice touch of heat. I think I added more than a pinch, but it definitely amped up the flavor.

This is a nice simple side to accompany any main course. Or it can be used in any recipe that calls for corn. We used ours in a taco salad that we made last night. It called for corn, so I used this corn, bacon, and green onions mixture instead of just plain corn.

AND it doesn't take very long at all, you just have to cook your bacon, and then mix everything in a skillet. How hard can that be?

































Sauteed Corn, Bacon, and Green Onions
adapted from Martha Stewart
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • Pinch or two or crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, for taste
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through. Drain some of the grease, leaving about a tablespoon.

Add corn kernels. Season with crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook until corn is tender for about 8 minutes, stirring often. Stir in green onions. Serve immediately.


Printable Recipe



















I am also linking up to:

Isn't that a purty dish? Love the colors! I'm a sucker for a colorful bowl or plate of food! Next time I bet I could add in some red onions, maybe even a little tomato, and up the green onion amount, and make that an even more colorful dish!




Peace, and bacon grease!

May 19, 2011

Bacon and Onion Omelet





















Have I ever told you guys about my love affair with breakfast food? Well, I am an addict. I love all things breakfast - the sweet, the savory, the salty, the meats, the pastries. And if you've been reading my blog for awhile now, you probably also know how much I love bacon. I mean, I even sign off with a bacon reference! So you see that I do have a problem. But I don't really think it's a problem. More of a solution. Sad? Eat some bacon. Happy? Eat some bacon. Bored? Eat some bacon. Problem solved. I guess that is characteristic of an addict... not thinking they have a problem....

Anyways, so I love bacon. And omelets. Put em together and I've got a satisfying morning. Or afternoon, or evening... whatever time of day you decide to eat these, it will be equally delicious! Side note: have you guys seen the reality show called "Solitary"? Well, Val - an artificial intelligence voice and the only source of communication for the contestants - always says 'Good morning, afternoon, evening...' because the contestants are confined to a pod and don't have any sense of time while they are in there. They don't know if it's the morning, afternoon, or evening. And Val plays along, she doesn't wanna give them any sense of the outside world. That's what my little comment above reminded me of. You can eat these omelets for a 'good morning, afternoon, evening...' Imagine me saying that in my "Val" voice.

Enough about reality tv, and more about breakfast food. We used what we had on hand... we had 8 slices of bacon so that's what we used (we made 2 omelets total, one for him and one for me... so we cooked 8 slices total but use 4 per omelet). We had about a cup of onions so we used that much for the both of us. Keep in mind that onions do shrink a bit when you saute them so be sure to use more if you like alot of onions!  We just didn't have more at the time.
















Bacon and Onion Omelet
from the kitchen of SteakNPotatoesKindaGurl

*Yields 1 omelet
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1/2 cup onions, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 slices of pepperjack cheese
  • Salt, pepper, and parsley
  • 1 tablespoons chive and onion cream cheese 
  • 1 green onion, chopped
Cook bacon in a skillet. Once finished, remove bacon to a paper towel and drain some of the grease.  Leave about a tablespoon for the onions to cook in. Crumble the bacon. Add onions and saute in the bacon grease until golden and soft.

In a bowl, whisk 2 eggs together. In a separate skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter on low. Add the eggs to the skillet and cook on low. Season with salt, pepper, and parsley on first side. Flip, season again. Place 2 slices of pepperjack cheese on one side of the omelet. Cover the cheese with crumbled bacon and sauteed onions, then flip the empty side of the omelet on top to cover. Top with a 1 tablespoon of chive and onion cream cheese, and chopped green onions. 

















I am linking up to Whisking Wednesday

This will put a good start to anyone's day! Whip up some of these babies on a weekend morning...afternoon...evening for your loved ones and show them how much you care. If someone woke me up to two one of these I would be a happy woman. And I'm not even a morning person! But these omelets can change a gurl.


Peace, and bacon grease!


 

May 17, 2011

Cranberry Gorgonzola Salad




















I just wanted to share a quick semi-recipe with you all - I don't have measurements, but just throw it all together to make this wonderful salad with an array of flavors in it!

I told you that I drizzled that dressing on just about anything I could... including this salad!

















Cranberry Gorgonzola Salad
  • Green leaf or red leaf lettuce
  • Red onions, sliced
  • Toasted pine nuts - they must be toasted! 
  • Dried cranberries
  • Gorgonzola crumbles
  • Hard-boiled egg, sliced
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Croutons  
  • Creamy Lime Cilantro Ranch Dressing
Season sliced egg and halved tomatoes with salt and pepper. Combine/layer all ingredients and drizzle the dressing on top.

Ta-da!




















That's tough stuff right there, do you think you can handle all of that strenuous work?  :)

Next time I make it, I promise I will try to get some measurements! It just seems silly to measure out the lettuce, and each ingredient. I did use one hard-boiled egg though, that is the one measurement I know.

And a soakfest of dressing. Is soakfest a measurement?

I am linking this up to Tuesday Night Supper Club - the theme this week is SALAD... AND you will be entered to win a cookbook giveaway. I'm all about cookbook hoarding collecting! Come join me!

....and what do you know!? The theme for This Week's Craving is salads also! I'm linking up there also!

Updated 6/5/11: I am also linking up to Souper Sundays over at Kahakai Kitchen.











Peace, and bacon grease!

May 16, 2011

Menu Planning - Week of 5/16/11

Ok so I pretty much didn't follow my menu plan AT ALL last week! Oops! I was sick much of the week so things didn't quite work out like we wanted. We only ended up making that buffalo chicken mac and cheese... and boy was it good! We actually just made it last night for dinner. We are both totally in love with it. I will have to post the recipe soon.

And even though I was sick, I wasn't gonna miss our anniversary dinner so I sucked it up and we enjoyed a wonderful, romantic meal at The Quarter Bistro in Mariemont. I had never been to Mariemont and it was the cutest town! I'll write up a review about it, hopefully soon.

Since we didn't make any of the other meals from last week, I'm just gonna carry them over to this week. And hopefully we actually make them this time!

Monday 5/16/11:  leftover Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Tuesday 5/17/11:  Seafood Sausage and Spinach Pasta


Thursday 5/19/11:  Cheeseburger Pie

Friday 5/20/11:  Ranch Doritos Taco Salad

I also need to work in this side item recipe at some point during the week - Sauteed Corn, Bacon, and Scallions from Martha Stewart's website. I am a member of Martha Mondays and it is my turn to pick the next Martha recipe. I thought this would be a tasty, simple side to go with any of my meals this week. And I can make it in time to post about it by next Monday!

Doing my usual linkups - to Menu Plan Monday....










.... and to Marvelous Menu.









What's on everyone's menu this week?

Peace, and bacon grease!

May 13, 2011

Baked Creamy Chicken Flautas
















I know, I am like the one millioneth blogger to post about this recipe. What does that tell you about the recipe?  :)

In my quest to find more Mexican recipes, I noticed that I needed a little vocab refresher. What the heck is the difference between all of these different kinds of Mexican foods?! What makes a fajita different from a taquito different from an enchilada, and so forth? Sadly, I wasn't really sure. So I looked to my dear friend, Google - I'm sure you've met - to help me out a bit.

I've learned that:

-An enchilada is a casserole-filled tortilla, covered in a sauce and baked. Sauce is key.

-A fajita is a chicken or steak tortilla with peppers and onions. Peppers and onions are the key ingredient to a fajita.

-A taquito is a small, filled deep fried corn tortilla that is crispy. The crispiness and smallness are key to what a taquito is.

-A flauta is pretty much the same as a taquito except using flour tortillas.

(source Wikipedia)

And since I didn't use corn tortillas, these are actually flautas.

So there is your Mexican food terminology lesson for today (and mine!). Now, today I wanna share this flauta recipe with you, but it is not actually deep-fried. This is the baked version, without losing the crisp!

Unfortunately, I stuffed my flautas too much and they overflowed a little. Next time I will not stuff them so much, and I will also use smaller tortillas. I want them to look more mini next time. Mine seem pretty jumbo! And while parts of the baked tortillas were crisp, I bet it would have had even more crunch had I used smaller tortillas. 

We didn't have any cilantro at the time - I know, that's a must in Mexican food! - but we worked around it... we just upped the green onion amount. I would recommend using the cilantro though, since it is a Mexican food staple. We also didn't have grated pepper jack cheese, so we just used 2 pepper jack slices and tore them into little bits to disperse throughout the flautas. Gotta work with what you've got! But do use grated pepper jack if you have it!

And of course you can play with the filling mixture and add to it or take away from it, whatever you like! I think next time I may try to modify the filling a bit to make it more of my own. The sauce is really the star of the show. Without it, these flautas just wouldn't be the same. Ok, maybe dipped in some salsa or guac, but they don't really stand alone. They need a dipping companion.


Baked Creamy Chicken Flautas
slightly adapted from Our Best Bites
  • 1/3 cup chive and onion cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup La Costena medium green salsa
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 cup grated pepper jack cheese
  • small flour tortillas
  • cooking spray
  • sea salt
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and then spray it with cooking spray. 

Heat the cream cheese in the microwave for 20 seconds, just until soft enough to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder. Stir to mix. Add in cilantro and green onions. Then add the chicken and cheese and combine. 

Heat tortillas in the microwave in between damp paper towels for about 20 seconds, so tortillas will be easier to roll. Spread the chicken mixture onto the lower third of the tortilla, roll tight, and place seams side down on the pan. Spray the tops with cooking spray (to help the browning process) and add a pinch of sea salt.

Bake for 20 minutes. Serve with Creamy Lime Cilantro Ranch Dressing.

Printable Recipe





















I am linking up to Saturday Swap!













Not gonna lie though - I'm still not very sure how a chimichanga differs from a flauta or taquito. Is it just a larger version? Got me. Oh well, I think I've learned enough for one day!  :)


Peace, and bacon grease!

Creamy Lime Cilantro Ranch Dressing

That's a long name for something so simple! This just may be my new favorite dressing. I already gushed about my newfound love of this sauce on a previous post. It is so versatile! Like I said, I originally made it as a dipping sauce for some Chicken Flautas, then as a dressing on a salad, and I also drizzled some on our Chicken Fajitas the following day!

Or if you are a sauce kinda gurl or guy, you can just slurp it off of your fingers... straight up, like me. Yes, I did test it out for you guys like that.

It is THAT good!

The ladies over at Our Best Bites used 1 lime to get about 2 tablespoons. I dunno how they dun it. Cuz 1 lime didn't even get me 1 tablespoon! And I had only bought one lime. So in a pinch, I used my lime juice that comes in a mini bottle. If you want to use only fresh lime juice, be sure to buy at least 3 limes to yield 2 tablespoons of juice, maybe even more! I would have definitely bought more limes if I had known. Next time I will know better, and there will be a thousand more next times!

















Creamy Lime Cilantro Ranch Dressing
  • 1 (1-oz) packet of Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (may need at least 3 limes, or you can just use bottle lime juice)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup La Costena medium green salsa 
  • hot sauce, to taste
Blend mayo, milk, and ranch mix in a blender. Add lime juice, then garlic, cilantro, and salsa. Blend well. Add hot sauce to taste. Refrigerate and let thicken.



Please go make this now. No matter what you do with it, your meal will be a better one because of it. And that's a promise.

Peace, and bacon grease!