Thursday, September 10, 2020

slow cooker potato soup

I didn't have dinner plans but had a big bag of potatoes.  Glad I tried this recipe because it was awesome.  The day before we had really good clam chowder at the coast which inspired me to want to make this nice, thick soup recipe.
Note:  I doubled this recipe and shared some with a friend.  Doubled very well.

slow cooker potato soup (gimme some oven)
6 slices cooked bacon, diced (I used diced little smokies since that's what I had)
3-4 cups vegetable stock
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
4 tablespoons bacon grease or butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 (12 ounce) can 2% evaporated milk
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream (I omitted; didn't think it needed it)
1 teaspoon salt or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
optional toppings:  thinly sliced green onions, extra cheese, extra bacon, sour cream

Add bacon, 3 cups vegetable stock, potatoes and onion to the bowl of a large slow cooker and stir to combine.  Cook on low 6-8 hours or on high 4 hours or until the potatoes are completely tender and cooked through.
Once the soup has slow cooked and is about ready to serve, cook the butter in a small saucepan on the stove over medium-high heat until it has melted.  Whisk in the flour until it is completely combined, and then cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.  Gradually add in the evaporated milk while whisking it together with the flour mixture, and continue whisking until the mixture is completely smooth.  Let the mixture continue cooking until it reaches a simmer, stirring occasionally and then it should get really thick.
Immediately pour the milk mixture into the slow cooker with the potatoes, and stir until combined.  Add in the cheddar cheese, greek yogurt or sour cream, salt and pepper and stir until combined.  Use a potato masher to mash some of the potatoes in the soup (I used an immersion blender).  If you would like the soup to be thinner, add in an extra 1-2 cups of warmed vegetable stock.  Stir to combine then taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

jalapeno popper pigs in a blanket

I'm currently encouraging my kids to cook more so my youngest daughter went to Pinterest and found this recipe she wanted to make.  It's combines all the good things in life and literally bundles them together.  They were a hit.
Note:  I wish I'd have purchased 2 cans of crescent rolls to use up the big bag of jalapenos I purchased and the little smokies.

jalapeno popper pigs in a blanket (adapted from host the toast)
4 jalapenos
16 little smokies or cocktail wieners
4 ounces whipped cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can Pillsbury crescent rolls
1 egg
sea salt for sprinkling
marinara sauce, optional for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside.
Cut off the tops of the jalapeno peppers and then cut each pepper in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the seeds and membranes and discard them.  Slice each half in half vertically.  Place a little smokie on each of the scooped out pepper pieces.  Set aside.
In a medium sized mixing bowl mix together the cream cheese and cheddar cheese until well combined.  One at a time, remove the little smokie from each pepper segment and fill each jalapeno pepper segment with the cheese mixture.  Top each one with the little smokie.  Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg.
On a lightly floured surface, unroll the crescent rolls.  There will be 4 rectangles with cut marks diagonally through each one.  Press through the diagonal marks to "erase" them so you have four solid pieces of crescent dough.  Make 4 vertical cuts through each rectangle so each rectangle has 4 strips.  Roll each stuffed pepper piece in 1 piece of dough then seal with the egg wash.  Place the wrapped jalapeno pieces on the prepared baking sheet.  Repeat until you have used all of your jalapeno pieces and dough.
Brush the tops with the remaining egg and sprinkle lightly with sea salt.  Bake until browned, about 25 minutes.

Monday, August 31, 2020

mexican stuffed peppers

These were sooo good!  I used leftover cilantro lime rice and some of the best green salsa I've ever had from a local restaurant.  We'll be having these again the next time we have leftover cilantro lime rice!

mexican stuffed peppers (me!)
3 large green bell peppers (or whichever color bell peppers you prefer)
1 pound ground chicken
2 teaspoons taco seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups cooked cilantro lime rice (see recipe on this blog)- I used leftovers
1 cup mild green salsa (you could use your favorite green enchilada sauce)
handful of shredded mozzarella cheese
handful of shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Lightly coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.  Slice the bell peppers in half form top top bottom.  Remove the seeds and membranes then arrange cut side up in the prepared baking dish.
Spray skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat to medium high.  Add the chicken, taco seasoning, garlic powder and salt.  Cook, breaking apart the meat, until the chicken is browned and cooked through.  Stir in the rice and salsa.  Heat through.  Take off the heat then add the shredded mozzarella.  Stir until combined.  Mound the filling inside of the peppers, then top with the shredded cheddar cheese.
Pour a bit of water into the pan with the peppers- just enough to barely cover the bottom of the pan.  Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes, until the peppers are tender and the cheese is melted.  Serve hot.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

the best grilled chicken for burritos, tacos and salads

This grilled chicken was awesome.  My youngest daughter made some fiesta beans and Mexican rice and I threw this chicken on the grill.  We had the best burritos ever. 

the best grilled chicken for burritos, tacos and salads (gimme delicious)
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Add the chicken, garlic, olive oil, lime juice, spices and cornstarch to a zip-seal bag.  Place in fridge and let marinate for at least 15-30  minutes or up to 24 hours.  Remove chicken from marinade and grill until done.  Serve chicken in tacos, burritos, on salads or over rice.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

ground chicken tostadas (or burritos) with creamy salsa

This taco meat and salsa is delicious!  Everyone gobbled it right up.  What's great is that's it's a little different so these tacos and burritos are a little bit different of an experience.  Why eat the same taco every time Taco Tuesday comes around?  That's boring. 

ground chicken tostadas (or burritos) with creamy salsa (food network)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon sazon seasoning (see recipe below that I got from skinnytaste)
1 pound ground chicken
2 teaspoons flour
1/2 cup chicken stock
tostada shells, taco shells, tortillas...whatever you like!
shredded lettuce
shredded cheese
warm beans, optional
creamy salsa, below

creamy salsa
4 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon Frank's Red Hot
2 teaspoons lime juice
kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

In a large saute pan with straight sides over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil.  Add the red and green bell pepper, onion then season with salt and a few grinds of black pepper.  Saute until the vegetables are tender then add the garlic, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, and sazon seasoning.  Cook for a minute or so then add the ground chicken and cook, breaking up the chicken with a wooden spoon while stirring.  Make sure to really break up the ground chicken on this step so there are no large clumps.
Once the chicken is cooked, sprinkle the flour over the top and stir while cooking to allow the flour to blend into the chicken for a few minutes.  Add the chicken stock then raise the heat to a simmer and cook until the stock thickens a bit, about 4-5 minutes.  Serve in taco shells, on tostada shells or in flour tortillas with all the fixings...especially the creamy salsa!
For the creamy salsa, combine the tomatoes, cilantro, red onion, jalapeno, scallion, sour cream, hot sauce, garlic powder, and lime juice in a medium bowl.  Stir to combine then season with salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate at least an hour before serving.

homemade sazon seasoning (skinnytaste)
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Store in an airtight containter.  1 1/2 teapsoons of this mix equals one packet of commercial sazon.

Monday, July 13, 2020

jalapeno, cheese & onion foccacia


This foccacia was a hit!  It made two rounds and all but two slices were eaten.  I'll be making this again very soon.

jalapano, cheese & onion foccacia (adapted from Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook)
3 1/4 to 3 3/4 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup sliced jalapeno rings from the jar (mine were "tame")
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

In a large mixing bowl combine 1 1/4 cups of the flour and the yeast.  Add the warm water, the 1 tablespoon oil and 1 teaspoon salt to the dry mixture.  Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly (I did this by hand).  Beat on high speed for 3 minutes (I stirred by hand).  Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead in enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (8 to 10 minutes total).  Shape dough into a ball.  Place in a lightly greased bowl; turn once.  Cover and let rise in a warm place til double in size, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down.  Turn onto a floured surface.  Divide in half.  Shape each portion into a ball.  Place on 2 lightly greased baking sheets.  Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
For topping, in a medium skillet cook onion and garlic in the 2 tablespoons oil, covered over low heat 3 to 5 minutes or till onion is translucent, stirring occasionally.  Uncover; cook and stir just till onions begins to brown.  Remove from heat.  If using olives, stir into onion mixture; set aside.
Using your hands, flatten each ball to about 12 inches in diameter.  Make 1/2-inch deep indentations over 2 inches.  Place jalapeno rings onto the dough, spreading them around. Spoon onion mixture on top.  Top with 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese per foccacia.
Bake in a 375 degree oven 25 minutes or until golden.  Use a pizza cutter to slice.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

cilantro and lime refried beans

I had Mexican Bowls on the menu for this evening but I was out of black beans so we went a new route and I loved it!  I made cilantro lime brown rice, shredded chicken with green chiles then made these beans, corn and put out all the other fixings.  It was a slightly different twist on our usual bowls and they were so good!!!  It's fun to mix it up sometimes.

cilantro and lime refried beans (closet cooking)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (I had to use jalapeno slices from a jar)
1 (15 ounce) can Great Northern Beans
salt and pepper
handful of cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced

Heat the oil in a pan.  Add the onion and saute until soft.  Add the garlic, cumin and jalapeno and saute until fragrant, 1 minute.  Add the beans (undrained) and salt and pepper.  Simmer until beans begin to break down a bit.  Add the lime juice and cilantro.  Allow cilantro to wilt before serving.