Vacation!

Hi everyone!
I just wanted to let you all know that we are on vacation right now, home in Oregon for three weeks!
I won’t be posting much, but hopefully will have some good recipes for you all when I get back!
I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Peace and love!

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Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

I love enchiladas! I posted a great beef one awhile back, so here’s an awesome “green sauce” enchilada recipe for you too!

Ingredients:
– 3-4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
– 8-10 corn tortillas
– 1 can of green chile enchilada sauce (green sauce)
– 1 small can of diced green chiles
– 3/4 cup of sour cream
– 1/2 tsp. cumin
– 16 oz. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
– salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Cook and shred your chicken, you can do this by boiling the breasts, roasting, or frying them on the stovetop. Place the shredded chicken in a large bowl. To the bowl add, 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce (save the rest for the end), 1/2 cup of the cheese, 1/2 can of the green chiles, 3/4 cup sour cream, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir this all together.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the chicken mixture into the corn tortillas, roll up, and place seam side down in a greased casserole baking dish. Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce on top and top with the rest of the cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the foil and turn the oven to broil. Broil for 5 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown. Remove the enchiladas from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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Chili Dogs and Chili Burgers!

Hubby and I watch a lot of Food Network, and we really enjoy Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives with Guy Fieri. We’ve noticed many times on his show that he visits these chili places that have the finest ground chili to put on top of burgers and hotdogs, I believe it’s technical term is “coney chili”. We always wondered how they got it so fine? Now, let me tell you one thing about my husband that makes me proud yet infuriates me all at the same time… The guy is beyond intelligent! He is incredibly smart and has the mind of an engineer (also what he is going to school for) and he can just figure things out just by looking at them. Whereas with myself, I’ll sit and think and think on something and he’ll come up and just figure it out just like that! I love him for that and that he is such a good problem solver, but man does it make me feel inferior some days! Hopefully Paisley gets his thought processing skills, or maybe not…just kidding 😉
Anyways, the chili. I’m over here trying to figure out if they put it through some kind of a grinder or sieve, and Mr. Smartypants just says, “I think they just put the beef straight into the pot with everything and cook it”. My immediate thought, “hmmm, possibly, but how do they get it so fine”, “just by cooking it down” he answers nonchalantly… So, we put it to the test! I’m not going to post my recipe, because it was seriously lacking flavor and I don’t want to give you a recipe that I don’t 100% stand behind. However, I will say that the technique that we used, just putting the raw meat straight into your stock pot and then adding the other ingredients in, will achieve that fine “coney style” chili. Just make sure you cook it at least 3-4 hours to make sure the ground beef is fully cooked before tasting it and then adjust the seasonings as needed.

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This beaut would be a chili dog 🙂

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Annnnddddd this would be a chili burger! Mmm!!!!!

The PERFECT chocolate chip cookie!

I’m over the moon excited to report, that I have officially mastered the perfect chocolate chip cookie!! I’m so stoked about this because, for the longest time mine were coming out sort of thin and crunchy. My husband always said they were great but to me they just didn’t scream “THE chocolate chip cookie”. I tried a few different things this time after reading a guide on Pinterest to making the perfect batch, and I am very happy with the results! Read on to see how I took these cookies one step further 😉

Ingredients:
– 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/2 tsp. baking powder
– 1/2 tsp. baking soda
– 1 tsp. salt
– 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened (very important step, make sure it’s softened at room temperature, it won’t work if you try and melt it in the microwave)
– 1 cup packed brown sugar
– 1/2 cup granulated sugar
– 1 tsp. vanilla extract
– 2 large eggs
– 2 cups (1 package) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Combine flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a small bowl. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the softened butter, and brown and granulated sugars together until creamy. Add in the vanilla. Add in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. At this point, cover and chill your dough for about 12-24 hours. I know this will take some pre-planning, but trust me, it’ll be worth it!
After your dough has chilled for the required time, preheat your oven to 375F. Using a spoon or cookie scoop, scoop out uniform size balls. If your dough is still cold, just roll the dough ball in your hands a few times to soften it up. Place dough balls on your untreated cookie sheets, making sure not to overcrowd them.
Bake the cookie sheets separately for 9-11 minutes. You want to watch for your edges to just get brown and then pull them out. They’ll become darker once they’re out and cooling on wire racks. Cool on baking sheets for two minutes and then transfer them to the wire racks to cool the rest of the way.
These cookies were soft, thick, and chewy with a pronounced butter flavor. Crisp on the edges, but soft on the inside, the ultimate chocolate chip cookie! I took them a step further and put a fun spin on them by making them into ice cream sandwiches 🙂 A neat trick to that, is just to take the pint size ice cream containers and slice them all the way through with a sharp knife. You’ll end up with perfect “slices” of ice cream to put between your cookies! 🙂 Such a fun take on the traditional ice cream sandwich!
My tips to the perfect cookie are as follows: chill the dough at least 12 hours, use SOFTENED butter, do a slight bit more of brown sugar than granulated sugar, and do half baking powder, half baking soda. Now, get to cookie baking! 🙂

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My official taste tester 😉

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One excited dinner guest!

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Twice Baked Potatoes

Hello lovelies!
Again I apologize for the delay in posts. I had a big bag of shrimp in my freezer, that had been literally staring at me (sorry that that’s a little gross)! for weeks now. I am not afraid to admit that those shrimp freaked me out, they were the heads, tails and all! Luckily, I have an awesome friend who just happens to have a dad who owns a restaurant. She said she had grown up cleaning shrimp and was basically a pro at it, and was she ever! Wow, did she rip through those shrimp! She butterflied them and cooked them in some garlic and butter, glorious! I was pretty much in heaven, they were so fresh and some of the best shrimp I’ve ever had! Anyways, we had those Saturday night and I made these baked potatoes to go with them. I also made some delicious homemade ice cream sandwiches cookies (which I’ll post next) for dessert 🙂 It was a very successful game night and dinner party I’d say 🙂

Ingredients:
– 6 russet potatoes
– canola oil for oiling the potatoes up!
– 10 slices of uncooked bacon
– 3 cloves of garlic
– 1 small onion, about 1/3 of a cup
– 1/2 tsp. salt
– 1/2 tsp. pepper
– 1/2 tsp. parsley
– 1/2 tsp. oregano
– 1 cup sour cream
– 2 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 375F. Begin by washing your potatoes, dry them off and poke each one a few times with a fork. Rub the potatoes down with some canola oil and place them on a baking sheet. Bake the potatoes for one hour, or until a fork can easily pierce the center of each potato. Once they are done baking, cut them in half, and begin letting them cool. Be careful with this step, the steam and potatoes are both very hot, so use caution.
While your potatoes are cooling, dice the strips of bacon and cook the pieces in a skillet. Cook the bacon until it is nice and crispy, but not over done. Remove to a paper towel lined plate, to soak up the excess grease. Leave the bacon drippings in the skillet, about 1/4 of a cup is all that’s needed.
Mince the garlic and finely dice an onion. Add the garlic and onion right into the pan with the bacon drippings. Sauté the garlic and onion until the onion is slightly golden and a delicious aroma is aerating through your kitchen. While the onions are cooking, scoop out the insides of the potatoes into a medium sized bowl. Leave about 1/2-inch of potato in each skin. Lay out the empty skins on your baking tray. Brush the inside and outsides of the potato skins with a bit more canola oil.
Add the sour cream, salt, pepper, oregano, and parsley to the potatoes in the bowl. Add in the onion-garlic mixture as well as all the drippings from your pan. Use a potato masher, and mash this delicious mixture all together. Add in about 2 cups of the shredded cheese, and give it another big stir. Spoon the filling back into the potato skins on your baking sheet. Top each potato with the crispy bacon and then add more cheese on top to finish them off. Bake these for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and they are slightly golden.
These got rave reviews from everyone, they were a perfect compliment to the shrimp. I also served a bountiful salad with the meal 🙂 Enjoy!

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Cheesy Mexican Lasagna

The original recipe is called “Cheesy Enchilada Caserole” but it has layers in it and i thought it was more reminiscent of a lasagna than an enchilada, hence the reasoning for the name change 🙂
This was really yummy and makes a bunch! I already have dinner done for tomorrow now too 🙂 Yay for not cooking on Friday’s! 😉

Ingredients:
– 1 pound lean ground beef
– 1 small onion, diced ( you can also use onion powder in place of the onion for a quick swap)
– 2 cups salsa
– 1 (15 oz). can black or red kidney beans, rinsed and drained well
– 1/4 cup Italian dressing
– 2 tbsp. Taco seasoning mix
– 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
– 6 corn tortillas
– 1 1/2 cups corn, frozen or canned is fine
– 1/2 cup sour cream
– 2 + cups shredded cheddar cheese, ( you can also use a Mexican cheese blend)
– shredded lettuce
– diced tomato
– fresh cilantro (optional)

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400F. Begin by browning your ground beef and onion (onion powder) in a large skillet. Drain the fat and return meat to the pan.
Stir in the salsa, beans, corn, sour cream, dressing, taco seasoning, and cumin into the meat. Now we will begin building the layers, start by spooning a generous amount of the mixture into the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with a good amount of cheese and then place two tortillas side by side on top of the cheese. I halved another tortilla and made two half circle moons for the bottom of the dish (see picture for details). Repeat this way for as many layers as you want/will fit into your pan. The last and final layer should have a good amount of cheese to finish the dish.
Cover your dish with tin foil, sprayed with Pam and bake I your preheated oven for 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Allow to sit and cool for 5 minutes, top with lettuce and tomatoes before serving.

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Bon appetit!

Chicken Teriyaki

I love Japanese food, more specifically I love teriyaki chicken rice bowls with sticky rice, like the ones you get at the mall. Sadly, I haven’t been able to find any good rice bowls meeting this criteria since I lived in Arizona, crazy huh? I haven’t tried my hand at sticky rice yet come to think of it, I honestly hadn’t even thought about doing it until now actually! I always just out of habit buy brown rice, and we don’t have a rice cooker, so boiled brown rice is always just my go-to. It’s healthier and tastes great to me, however now I’m intrigued, so watch for a sticky rice post in the future though 😉 I serve this dish over rice and veggies on the side and it’s very good, PlUS it’s a slow cooker recipe, Cha-Ching!

Ingredients:
– 2 pounds, boneless, skinless chicken breasts (can just throw them in frozen also)
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 1/2 cup soy sauce
– 3 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
– 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
– 1 clove garlic, minced
– 1/8 tsp. pepper
– 3-4 tsp. cornstarch
– 3 tsp. water

Directions:
Place chicken in your crockpot. In a medium bowl, combine sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic, and pepper. Pour straight on top of chicken and cook on low 4-5 hours, it will be closer to the 5 hour mark if you use frozen breasts.
Once done cooking, remove the chicken to a clean surface and chop/shred it, set aside.
Pour the leftover sauce from the crockpot into a large sauce pan and bring to a boil. In a ramekin, whisk the cornstarch and water together until fully incorporated. Slowly add the cornstarch/ water mixture to boiling liquid and reduce to simmer. Allow sauce to thicken for 4-5 minutes, then toss the chicken into the sauce to coat and heat through. Serve over rice and veggies.

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The sauce should be thicker after a few minutes, if it’s still not thickening up, you can add some cornstarch directly to the sauce, just make sure to whisk it in very well.

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Well aren’t you a delicious sight for sore eyes 🙂