March 31, 2012

Chicken Tamale Pie

Chicken Tamale Pie
A Pinch Of Yum

  • 1/3 cup fat free milk
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon taco seasoning, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 (14 3/4 ounce) can cream-style corn
  • 1 (8.5 ounce) box corn muffin mix (such as Jiffy)
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 1 (10 ounce) can red enchilada sauce – I recommend going with an authentic Mexican brand
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 3/4 cup shredded white cheese
  • Cilantro
  • Crumbled Cotija cheese for topping

Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine the first 7 ingredients (milk through green chiles), using just 1/2 tablespoon of the taco seasoning, in a large bowl, stirring just until moist. Pour mixture into a round pie plate (mine was glass) coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. While corn is baking, toss the chicken in the remaining 1 tablespoon taco seasoning. When corn is done – it will be just barely set and golden brown – pierce entire surface liberally with a fork. Pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken; sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces; top each serving with cilantro and Cotija cheese.


March 30, 2012

Sweet-and-Sour Meatball Skewers

Sweet-and-Sour Meatball Skewers
  • 32 (1-inch) frozen fully-cooked meatballs (1 lb.), thawed
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 1 green pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 1/4 cup apricot jam
  • 1/4 cup KRAFT Original Barbecue Sauce

HEAT grill to medium-high heat.
THREAD meatballs and peppers alternately onto 8 skewers.
MICROWAVE jam in small microwaveable bowl on HIGH 15 sec. Stir in barbecue sauce; brush half onto kabobs.
GRILL 8 to 10 min. or until meatballs are heated through, turning occasionally and brushing with remaining jam mixture for the last 2 min.


March 29, 2012

Sausage and Pepper Pita Sandwiches

Sausage and Pepper Pita Sandwiches
Recipe created in Aggie’s Kitchen
  • 4-5 chicken sausage links (I ended up using Kielbasa)
  • 2-3 large red and green bell peppers, sliced thin
  • 1-2 red and yellow onions, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 4-5 soft whole wheat pitas
  • your favorite mustard
  • crumbled feta

Toss sliced peppers and onions with olive oil and place in grill basket on grill, medium heat. Let cook for 15-20 minutes until soft and slightly charred, checking and gently tossing vegetables during that time to ensure even cooking.
Place sausage links on grill, over medium heat, and cook 3-4 minutes on each side. When done cooking, slice each link diagonally and set aside.
Warm pita bread by placing on top rack of grill for just a minute or two on each side.
Assemble your sandwiches with your favorite mustard, sliced sausages, pepper, onions and topped with crumbled feta.

March 28, 2012

Two Weeks have Flown By...

Time has gotten away from me again. This time I have been busy in the yard cleaning up since spring came early this year. I see that I have a TON of yard work to do but I enjoy it. So what have I been up to????  We celebrated Jon's Dad's Birthday/worked in the yard/hang out with hubby/A Beer Dinner and just relaxed. I know I know there is so many photos this time but I think they are worth it. I am so happy that all the plants are starting to pop up from the ground and showing their colors. Well I hope you enjoy the photos form the past two weeks. I am off to finish up laundry... Till next week!

March 21, 2012

French Toast BLT's

French Toast BLT's
E is for Eat

  • 4 slices brioche bread (or 8 baguette slices)
  • 2 large slices Applewood smoked bacon, cut in half
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk (or you can use cream or 1/2 and 1/2)
  • 1/4 cup snipped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • fresh ground salt & pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 Roma tomato slices
  • 4 lettuce leaves

The night before you plan to make the BLTs, set the sliced bread out on the counter to dry out slightly.
In the morning, preheat oven to 375. Place bacon on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Cook until golden and crisp, about 15-20 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees.
While bacon cooks, whisk together eggs, cream, chives, Parmesan, and flour. Season with salt and pepper. Lay bread in a single layer in a large shallow dish and coat with egg mixture. Soak 20-30 minutes, turning once.
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium. When butter sizzles, add bread and cook until golden and crisp around edges, about 3-5 minutes per side, flipping once. Transfer cooked pieces of bread to an oven safe plate in a warm oven until ready to serve.
To serve, layer tomato, lettuce, and bacon on a slice of French toast, and top with another slice or serve open-faced.

March 20, 2012

Cheddar Chicken Fingers

Cheddar Chicken Fingers
Running to the Kitchen

  • 1 lb. chicken tenders or breasts cut into “finger” size
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup regular breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 3/4 cup white cheddar, finely grated

Place chicken in a shallow dish and cover with buttermilk. Let soak for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet.
Combine breadcrumbs, flour, spices and parsley in a shallow dish/bowl.
Fold in cheese.
Dredge each piece of chicken in the breadcrumb mixture and line on rack.
Spray with olive oil or cooking spray and bake for about 7 minutes on one side.
Flip carefully, spray again and bake for 5 more minutes.
Turn oven to Hi-broil and broil for remaining 2 minutes until crispy and golden brown.
Serve warm and with favorite dipping sauce.


March 19, 2012

Cuban Flank Steak

Cuban Flank Steak
  • 1 large piece of flank steak (this recipes makes enough marinade for 1-3 pounds of meat)
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. ground chipotle chile powder (or use your favorite hot sauce)
  • 2 tsp. lime zest (optional)

Combine marinade ingredients. Put flank steak into a ziploc bag and pour marinade in, seal bag, and marinate all day in refrigerator. (You can marinate up to 24 hours if desired.)
Take meat out of refrigerator and let it come to room temperature before grilling. Oil the grill with a paper towel dipped in olive or grapeseed oil, then preheat gas or charcoal barbecue grill to medium-high (you can only keep your hand there for a few seconds.)
Grill meat to desired doneness, approximately 4-5 minutes per side for rare to medium rare or 6 minutes for medium. I wouldn't cook flank steak more than medium or it will be tough. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of your flank steak, the best way to judge the doneness is to use an instant-read meat thermometer, cooking to 140-145 for medium rare or 155-160 for medium. (The meat in the photo was cooked about 5 minutes per side.)
Remove meat from grill and let rest about 5 minutes. (You can cover with foil to keep it warm if needed.) Slice across the grain and serve hot, with slices of fresh lime to squeeze on the meat.


March 18, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

  • 13.25 oz. box Barilla Whole Grain Pasta (shells, penne or rotini)
  • 1 lb. cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 small bell peppers, red and yellow, seeded and diced
  • 1 bunch chopped green onions, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup GOOD blue cheese dressing
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup Buffalo Hot Wing Sauce
  • 3 cups shredded cheese, divided (cheddar, mozzarella or a blend)
  • 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Boil the pasta in salted water according to package instructions. Drain and transfer to a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
Add the cooked chicken, chopped bell peppers, 3/4 of the green onions, and 2 1/4 cups of shredded cheese to the baking dish. Mix well.
Place the garlic, cream cheese, blue cheese dressing and 1/2 cup hot wing sauce in a food processor. Puree until smooth, taste and add another 1/4 cup hot wing sauce if needed. Pour over the pasta and toss.
Mix the remaining 3/4 cup cheese and the Panko together. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta, then sprinkle with the remaining green onions.
Bake until golden, approximately 30-40 minutes.


March 17, 2012

Turn Back the Clocks

It is time to change to clocks back an hour. I am happy and sad at the same time. I wish I had another hour to sleep and get things done but I am happy at the same time. I am able to get things done around the house since there is another hour of light. I keep thinking of the posivites: I can use natural light for my photos, I will be able to work in the yard, walk the boys every night, etc etc. 

Last week we finally hung my chalkboard in the kitchen. I am super excited about it. I always wanted a big chalkboard in the kitchen to hang photos and write my menu each week or just to write my to do list for the week. Glad that project is finally done. I had made another little chalkboard for Jon to hang in the garage but we just ended up painting the wall instead. I think that was a much better idea to paint the wall instead of the tiny little board that he would of had. He had more room to write his to do lists for the bikes that he is working on.  

Also last week I ended up making a BIG change. I dyed my hair dark. I know in time for summer??? but I wanted to go more natural instead of the half bleach blonde and dark underneath. I like it but hard to get use to. I do not even remember the last time I was a single color... But so far I really like it. My hair looks more healthy than it did before so that is a good thing. I just hope when it grows in that there is not a big difference between my natural hair and my dyed hair. 

I am really excited since next month I will have some of my art work up at a local coffee shop. I have only really had my art work up once or twice at a local place. I am super excited and nervous at the same time. Thank you Michelle for thinking of me and letting your friend know about my work. I feel like for once things are headed in the right direction. We have taken some roads in the wrong direction or had some bumps along the road but I think for once that Jon and I are headed in the right way. I know it will be a long road ahead of us or just me but I am in for whatever the road has in front of us. We have been through a lot this past year but we have over come everything and have become stronger as a person and a couple. I do not know what I would do with out Jon and our boys. They have been there for me from thick and thin and I am so thankful for them. I am also so thankful for our friends that have been there as well. You truly find out who your friends are when times are tough. Thank you Dan, Michelle, Christina and Jeff for always being there for Jon and I at a moment notice. You guys mean so much to Jon, I, and the boys and things would never be the same with out you in our lives. Since I am on a roll I  do want to thank our families as well. I think this past year had brought all of us closer than we could ever be. Which I am happy and sad at the same time wishing my Dad could be here with us to experience all of this together but I know things happen for a reason and I am just still waiting for the reason to show. I love you Dad and miss you so much... 

Till next week...