Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chicken Fajita Melt

This is another super easy and super quick recipe ready in minutes. I found this recipe awhile ago on recipezaar, my favorite website for finding recipes. I have to admit I've tried a lot of recipes lately from several different recipe blogs and have only liked a few, so I'm always quick to go back to recipezaar since they're all rated. Anyway I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.

2-3 T. oil
2 chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 small onion cut into slices
1 red bell pepper cut into strips
1/2 c. tomato juice, or v8
2 T. taco seasoning
1 c. salsa- I used Herdez
1 c. cheese
1 loaf Ciabotta bread

Heat oil in pan on medium high heat. Add Chicken and cook until completely done (my chicken was still slightly frozen and therefore let off a lot of juice, if this is the case drain leftover juice) Add onion and bell pepper and cook until starting to get tender. Stir in tomato juice and taco seasoning and cook over medium heat for about 7 minutes. While that is cooking turn your oven on to broil, if your oven is like mine is has a high and low, put it on high. On a cookie sheet slice your ciabotta bread down the middle lengthwise. It's probably easier if you cut in half and then cut each half through the middle (does that even make sense? hopefully my picture will help) Otherwise your likely to get one thin side and one really thick side, like me:). Spread your salsa on your bread (I know this sounds strange but trust me it works.) Once your chicken is done cooking scoop it up and spread evenly over your bread. Sprinkle with cheese and throw into your oven for about 3-4 minutes just until cheese is melted.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Easy Meatballs and Rice Skillet

So this is another super easy skillet dish that also comes from my Pillsbury cook books. You can choose to make the meatballs, or buy your favorite frozen meatballs if you want it even quicker. Honestly I've never tried premade meatballs, but I've heard Costco has some pretty good ones, personally I choose to make my own. I know sometimes making meatballs can seem like kind of a pain, but really they're super easy. I have to admit that I get kind of squeamish about meatballs ever since I was pregnant, just because the thought of any meat when your pregnant can just make sick, but one day especially I chose to make meatballs which was just a bad choice, and ever since then I have a hard time bringing myself to making them, but I'm never disappointed when I have the finished product. Anyways after that lovely introduction, I promise this meal is actually very good and again quick and easy.

1 T. butter
1 pkg. beef-flavored vermicelli mix- I just used Walmart brand, but anything works really
2 1/3 c. water if using frozen broccoli if using fresh I add another about 1/2 c.
16 frozen or home made meatballs
2 c. frozen broccoli, thawed, and cut- or I use fresh
1 red bell pepper cut into strips

In a 10-inch skillet melt butter of medium heat. Add rice and cook until golden brown. Add water and seasoning packet, meatballs, and if using fresh broccoli add in as well. Heat to boiling, reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook for about 12 minutes. Gently stir in the bell pepper and if using fresh broccoli add as well, increase heat to medium, cover and cook for another 10 minutes. If peppers are still not tender enough for you just remove from heat and allow to stay covered for another couple minutes.

Let me make a disclaimer before I even give you my recipe. First of all I don't use exact measurements its one of those a little of this a little of that, and second of all this is just a basic simple recipe, nothing fancy I don't think it really needs to be for this recipe.

1 egg, lightly beaten
seasoned bread or cracker crumbs- really fine crumbs work best
salt and pepper
dried minced onion
beef bouillon granules

Mix all of these together, it should be kind of a runny paste. Add 1 lb ground beef and mix until fully incorporated. I use a small ice cream scoop just to get even sized balls and then I give it a quick roll between hands to make balls. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 400 for 10 minutes.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bacon and Bowties AND Easy Italian Pasta

Today is going to be a two for one, two recipes in one day. Both recipes are super easy and flavorful pasta dishes. I like both of these because they have very few ingredients but are still full of flavor and cook up really quick. Both of these recipes are from my Pillsbury Cook Off cook books which are full of fun recipes like these two. I only have pictures for the Bacon and Bowties because it's the only one I've made recently, to be honest its been a long time since I've made the Easy Italian Pasta because it has whipping cream and I try not to use milk products as much as possible because of my allergies. Well I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do!

Bacon and Bowties
5-6 strips of bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 onion minced
2 14.5 cans of diced Italian style tomatoes or tomatoes with onion and garlic
2 1/2 chicken broth-I just use bouillon
1/8 t. pepper
about 8-10 oz. bowtie pasta- I'm awful about measuring, but I used a little more than 1/2 of a 14 oz. pkg, also I tried using enriched pasta as I couldn't find whole wheat bow ties, but next time I'll def. use regular bowties because the texture of the enriched ones was kind of weird and not tender.
this is how the bacon should look before adding onions

Cook bacon on medium high heat until browned well, I like it fairly browned because after cooking in the pasta it doesn't stay crisp. Lower heat to medium and add onions and cook until tender, 2-3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and return heat to high until boiling, once boiling turn back to medium heat and allow to simmer about 15 minutes, I like my pasta pretty tender so just cook until the pasta is cooked to your liking.


Easy Italian Pasta
8 oz. cooked cavatappi -tubular, corkscrew looking pasta, or any favorite pasta
1/2 lb. bulk spicy Italian pasta-I use Jimmy Dean, I use to think I was not a sausage person because I didn't like breakfast sausage or like link sausage, but this is much better, so give it a try if you haven't already.
6-7 Roma tomatoes- Romas work best because they hold their shape and you don't get as much as the runny seedy part, but regular tomatoes would work ok if that's all you have
1 c. whipping cream
2 oz. shredded fresh parmesan

Brown sausage over medium heat until completely browned. Drain off grease. Add tomatoes, cream, and cooked cavatappi. Cook until completely heated through, without bringing to a boil. Sprinkle with cheese!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

Yep, you read that right, orange creamsicle cookies. I don't think it gets much better than that. These turned out every bit as good as I had hoped. I found these on a new blog I found called thegirlwhoateeverything. She has an awesome blog filled with tons of yummy looking food. This is the first thing I've tried from it and if the rest of the recipes are as good as this one I just may have a new favorite food blog. I hope you enjoy these as much as we have!

2 1/2 c. flour
3/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 t. vanilla
2 Tb. orange zest (about 2 oranges, just use a small cheese grater if you don't have a zester)
2 c. white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In another bowl cream together the butter and sugars. Add the egg and vanilla until smooth (at this point mine looked awfully dry and I added a little more vanilla, but I think the orange zest probably adds enough moisture I didn't need to worry, but if you get to the end and it's still looks crumbly add a little vanilla) Gradually blend in the flour mixture with the sugar. Fold in the chocolate chips and orange zest. It is kind of a thick cookie dough but if it's crumbly go ahead and add a little more vanilla, I did about a 1/2 teaspoon. Drop teaspoon size spoonfuls of cookie dough on an ungreased cookie sheet. Try not to over handle and shape your dough. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, but do not over cook. These are the kind of cookies that almost look uncooked when you pull them out of oven, but you can see a little golden on the edges of some of the cookies and they'll puff up. Allow to cool on pan for a few minutes before you remove. I don't have a picture yet but I will hopefully soon, if you can't wait check out