Friday, February 27, 2009

Breakfast Tacos

These breakfast tacos are great on the go. I make a huge batch in advance and then wrap them individually in plastic wrap or a baggie and pop them in the freezer. Then, when I want a quick breakfast, I take it out, microwave it for 1 minute (if still frozen, 30 seconds if thawed) and eat! I also will grab one on my way out the door and just pop it in the microwave when I get to work. You can really pump these up with more vegetables or more meat if you prefer...or you could also add potatoes....just throw in there whatever you like.

1/2 onion chopped
1 bell pepper chopped (I prefer yellow/orange/or red)
1 cup shredded cheese (whatever you prefer, I used cheddar)
1 hand full of fresh spinach
salt and pepper to taste
9 eggs
16 tortillas
2 teaspoons of Mrs. Dash
1 tablespoon Oil or butter (I used olive oil)
1/2 to 1 cup of chopped up ham, bacon, or some other breakfast meat, I really like the ham, so I put about a cup in there but for bacon bits I would probably use less.

Place oil in large skillet and melt, then add onions and peppers (and any other veggies you might want to throw in there). Once they have started to get translucent and toasty, add the spinach and stir it around until it is fully wilted, then add the seasonings and continue to stir as needed.

While that is cooking, I will lay out about 5 tortillas and put a little shredded cheddar on each.

Back to the skillet....Crack your eggs into a container and mix them with a fork to break them up, then add them to the skillet. You can also add a little milk here if you prefer...or cream if you want to live high on the hog. Continue stirring to make scrambled eggs until they are done to the firmness that you desire. My husband wants them WAY question on whether they are that is how I do it. That is what you get when you have a Poultry Scientist for a hubby.

Once the eggs are done, taste them to make sure the seasoning is right, then just take a large spoon and place the egg mixture down the middle of every tortilla, fold the tortilla in half and then wrap up in plastic wrap or place in a baggie. You can really make these tacos or burritos...its your choice. Then, I usually hold a few out for tomorrow's breakfast and just put those in the fridge, and the rest I place in the freezer individually wrapped.

I love them! I made 16 last time I made them but if you want to bulk them up a bit, you would make less and use more filling. This is a great grab and go breakfast on those busy mornings....and its easy for older kids to fix themselves since it just involved a microwave.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pizza Loaf

This is fun for FHE!

1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
2 eggs, separated
1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp EVOO
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic pwd
1/4 tsp pepper
8 oz pepperoni slices
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 can sliced ripe olives
1 medium green pepper
1 can pizza sauce (I used spaghetti sauce)

Roll out dough on baking sheet (or counter). In a bowl combine egg yolks, Parmesan cheese, oil, oregano, garlic powder and pepper. Brush over dough. Sprinkle with pepperoni, mozzarella, peppers & olives. Roll up jelly roll style, pinch ends together.

Brush with egg whites. DO NOT LET RISE. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Slice and dip in pizza sauce!

Chicken Pot Pie

A little bit of work, but well worth the effort! I double this recipe and it makes 4 potpies in an 8" square foil pan that freeze very well!

Pie Crust
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 sticks butter (unsalted)
4-10 Tbsp ice water -- add water by the Tbsp until it is pie crust consistency (The amount fluctuates depending on the temp and consistency of your butter.)

2 1/2 cups cooked cubed chicken (or turkey)
2 cups fresh/frozen peas
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 large carrots sliced
2 med/large potatoes peeled, cubed and parboiled

White Sauce
6 Tbsp butter
6 Tbsp flour
2 cup half-half
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Roll out 2/3 of pie dough and place in the bottom of two 8" square foil pans. (Save 1/3 for the tops of the pies.) Make white sauce in sauce pan by melting butter and stirring in flour with a whisk until smooth and bubbly. Whisk in half-half, chicken broth, salt & pepper. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens. Stir hot sauce into a large bowl with the remaining filling ingredients. Pour filling ingredients into pie crust. Roll out remaining pie crust and place on top of filling. Flute edges to seal. Make three small slits in the top of the crust and lightly brush with milk. Bake for 50-60 minutes at 375 degrees.

These freeze REALLY well. However, they must be THAWED before baking. I will usually pull mine out a day ahead of time and put in the fridge. . . . Enjoy!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Carnitas with Grilled Salsa Verde

Amazing, and sooo much flavor! I got this recipe from my Bon Appetit magazine. It's from a restaurant in Chicago, Table Fifty-Two (that appears to be pretty fancy). I only made the meat and used my favorite tomatillo sauce for my carnitas. But I put the grilled salsa verde recipe at the bottom. I'll try it someday... but I wanted to stick with what I knew to be good, real good. The meat is my new favorite, and will replace my recipe for the tomatillo burritos.

3 1/2 oz. achiote paste (about 1/2 package) {the pkg I found was exactly 3 1/2 oz.}
8 garlic cloves, peeled
2 jalapeno chiles, chopped with seeds
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro with stems
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
2 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 pounds boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), cut into 2 inch cubes
20 corn or flour tortillas
Grilled Salsa Verde (recipe below)
Sour cream
chopped red onions

Preheat oven to 300 F. Puree first 10 ingredients in blender until smooth.

Arrange pork in large roasting pan. Add achiote puree; mix to coat pork. Cover pan tightly with foil. Roast pork until very tender, stirring occasionally, about 3 1/2 hours. Cool slightly. Coarsely shred pork. Mound pork in large bowl; add enough juices from roasting pan by 1/4 cupfuls to moisten as desired.

Wrap tortillas in paper towels or clean kitchen towel. Microwave on high until headed through, about 1 minute. Fill warm tortillas with carnitas. Top with Grilled Salsa Verde, sour cream and red onions.

{I just put the meat and puree in the crock pot all day}

Grilled Salsa Verde
{makes about 3 1/2 cups}

nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 pounds tomatillos, husked, rinsed
1 cup coarselty chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 jalapeno chile, halved, seeded

Spray grill racks with nonstick spray. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill tomatillos until slightly softened and charred in spots, about 15 minutes. Transfer to processor. Add cilantro, 1/4 cup warm water, lime juice and jalapeno; process until almost smooth. Transfer salsa to medium bowl. Season to taste with salt.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Easy Italian Pasta Bake

This is another recipe from the Kraft Food & Family website. I've decided I'm only going to cook 'fancy' meals once or twice per week and will do easy/cheap meals the other nights. This falls into the latter category.

1 lb. lean ground beef {or turkey or sausage}
3 cups whole wheat penne, cooked & drained {I only boiled mine for 6 mins. b/c it's going to be baked and I didn't want it to get soggy}
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella
1 tsp italian seasoning
3 cloves garlic, minced

Heat oven to 375*. Brown meat in large skillet with italian seasoning and garlic. Drain. Add pasta, sauce and 1/2 the parmesan and mix well. Spoon into 9x13 pan and top with remaining cheeses. Bake for 20 mins. I served mine with Rhodes rolls and steamed broccoli. Yummy!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Chicken Enchilada Soup

This is one of those recipes that I can't wait for the next day so I can eat the leftovers!

3-4 chicken breasts, boiled and cubed
1/2 c. diced onions
1 T. garlic, minced
4 c. chicken broth
1 c. tomato sauce
1 c. fresh, diced tomatoes
16 oz Velveeta cheese
1 tsp. chili powder
1 small can diced green chilies (optional)
salt and pepper to taste (I never add any)
1 1/2-2 Tbsp Taco seasoning
1/2 tsp. cumin (optional)

Mix together before adding to pot:
1/2 c. corn starch
2 c. cold water

Add all ingredients together. Cook over medium heat until heated through, stirring occasionally. Serve with corn chips, sour cream, grated cheese and salsa.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Corn Chowder

Here's another soup recipe! I need spring to come!

2/3 cup celery, chopped
1/3 cup butter
2 1/4 cup water
4 cups potatoes, cubed
3 green onions, sliced

Simmer for 20 minutes.

6 Tbsp butter
6 Tbsp flour
2 1/2 cups milk

In a separate saucepan, combine to make white sauce. Then add the following to the white sauce:

1 1/2 tsp dill weed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Add white sauce to vegetables, and then add the following:

1 bag frozen sweet white corn
2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Heat through and serve with your favorite bread! Yummy!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Spicy Spinach Artichoke Dip

1/2 white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium jalapeno, minced (seeds removed for a milder flavor)
1/2 red pepper, diced
3T butter
1 10oz pkg frozen spinach, thawed (squeeze to remove most of the water)
1 can artichoke hearts, diced
1 8oz pkg cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
6 oz shredded Parmesan cheese
1 t salt
1/2 t white pepper
1 pkg blue corn tortilla chips

In a large skillet, melt better. Add jalapeno, cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and onion and cook another 5 minutes, until onions begin to turn clear. Add red pepper and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add spinach and artichokes, heat through. Cut up the cream cheese into about 8 chunks and add with the sour cream. Cook until the cream cheese is melted and mixture is smooth. Add salt, pepper and 1/2 the Parmesan cheese. Heat about 3 minutes, until cheese is melted. Pour into a greased shallow dish (8" square or similar). Top with remaining Parmesan cheese. **Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes, until hot and bubbly and top starts to turn brown. Serve with blue corn tortilla chips.

**This can be made a couple of days in advance then covered and refrigerated until ready to serve. If heating from the refrigerator, it will need to be cooked for 30 to 40 minutes.