Monday, January 30, 2012

Sloppy Joes

This year I have volunteered my time working the mid-week meal ministry at church. There is one lady who does all the shopping, recipe picking, and most of the cooking. My part is to help with last minute needs, serving and cleaning up. But last week, she was sick, so my dear friend Cathy and I said that we would try to do what the main lady does. We made these Sloppy Joes. They came out wonderful! We had people say that they weren't big Sloppy Joe fans, but, these were so good! I hope that your family likes them as much as my church family did!

Sloppy Joes
1 lb ground beef
 2 -3 stalks celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup barbecue sauce 
1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon vinegar

In a large skillet, brown ground beef, celery and onion, drain the fat.Stir in remaining ingredients, simmer covered, 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If Joes appear too soupy, leave cover off and let moisture evaporate. Cook until it's the consistency you like for serving on toasted buns.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Baked Chicken Fajitas

My family has a little, ok, a big love affair with Mexican food! We love our enchiladas, tacos, tostadas, rellenos, quesadillas, and of course, fajitas! I have a fajita recipe (here) that I love, it is our standard. But, there is always room for one more awesome fajita recipe, right? This is for baked fajitas. I loved the idea of baking the fajitas, it was super easy. The results were delicious! The leftovers also made for really tasty quesadilla fillings!
Baked Chicken Fajitas
1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 - 4 oz. can diced green chiles
1 medium onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/3 cup lime juice
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
Grated cheese and assorted fajita toppings
Preheat oven to 400°. Grease a 13x 9 in. baking dish. Mix chicken, onion, chiles, bell pepper in the dish. Pour oil and lime juice over the top. In a small bowl, mix the spices together. sprinkle over the chicken mixture and toss lightly to coat. Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve on tortillas with cheese and any other toppings that you want and have handy.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Taco Rice

Some of you may know that I home school my boys. I love doing it, but sometimes having to make three meals a day is overwhelming! Taco Rice is a recipe that I discovered while blog hopping a couple of years ago. I found the original recipe here on The Picky Apple. It is a great recipe that I can make a batch of and keep in the fridge for the boys and I to reheat and throw into tortillas for a quick and easy lunch. One batch will last us for a couple of lunches.
Taco Rice
1 lb. ground beef
Taco seasoning to taste- the recipe I use is here or you can use whatever you like
1 can Rotel- we use mild, but if I were cooking for my husband and I, I would use hot- we like the spice!
2 cups cooked rice
Brown meat and drain. Combine all the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve in tortillas with all the traditional taco toppings.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Beef Tips and Noodles

This is such a simple recipe. This is pure comfort food to my family. Tender chunks of beef in a creamy gravy served over noodles. Yummy! This recipe rocks because it is one of those chop, drop and leave it alone recipes. It is perfect for all the busy people out there.

Beef Tips and Noodles
1 lb. beef stew meat, cut in chunks
3 can cream of chicken, mushroom, onion......whatever you have or feel like making
1 onion, diced
1 bag egg noodles, cooked and drained
Place 1 first 3 ingredients in a slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper, cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours. Serve over noodles.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Homemade Chai Tea

Years ago, one of my oldest and dearest friends introduced me to Chai tea. I am so glad that she did. I love the fragrant spiciness of this tea. I have been faithfully buying chai flavored tea bags so that I can get my fix. But no longer. Another friend shared this from scratch Chai tea recipe that has really rocked my kitchen! I have made it every day since she gave me the recipe. It is amazing! I have great friends that  introduce me to wonderful new recipes and experiences.....thank you Beth and Cathy for expanding my tea world!

Homemade Chai Tea
2 cups milk
2 cups water
4 cardamom pods, bruised (my friend showed me how to gently tap the pods with a blunt object, you don't want to crush the pod, just slightly bruise them so their flavor is released easier.)
1 whole cinnamon stick
2 whole black peppercorns
1-2 whole cloves
3 black tea bags (make sure it is straight black tea, not Earl Grey. This is important!)
1 tsp. vanilla
Honey or sugar to taste

Bring milk, water, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, peppercorns and cloves to a near boil. Turn off heat, add tea bags, stir and cover for 5 minutes. Remove cover and stir again. Strain and add desired amount of honey or sugar.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Crispy Parmesan Garlic Chicken

We seem to eat a lot of chicken at this house. I am always on the look out for a new way to serve it. This recipe was so good! The garlic infused chicken is delightfully crisp because of the Panko bread crumbs. Have you ever used Panko before? This was my first time, and I must tell you, we became fast friends, the bread crumbs made the outside of the chicken nice and crispy! Everyone in my house cleaned their plates- so it is kid friendly, and husband approved! The real bonus of this recipe though, is in the leftovers. I threw them on my salad for lunch today, and they were amazing! The flavors had really had a chance to meld together. I am making this again, and making extra so I can have leftovers! I found this recipe here.
Crispy Parmesan Garlic Chicken
4-6 chicken breasts
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/3 cup olive oil
3/4 tsp. poultry seasoning
3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
Pour garlic, olive oil and poultry seasoning in a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat for one to two minutes- you are just trying to infuse the oil, not cook the garlic. Let cool. Cut the chicken breasts into tenders, place in a large zip lock bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Preheat oven to 425° . Pour Panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in shallow bowl, mix well. Dip each piece of chicken into the bread crumb mixture , patting the bread crumbs onto each piece, and then place on a cookie sheet that has been pre-sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown and the juices run clear.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pork Tenderloin in the Crock Pot

I like to make this dish when the grocery store puts pork tenderloins on sale. This is a simple, throw it into the crock pot, turn it on, and forget about it kind of meal. It smells so good as it cooks all day long. I serve it with steamed carrots and herbed garlic red potatoes.
Pork Tenderloin in the Crock Pot
1 pork tenderloin
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 cup water
3/4 cup red wine or extra water (I have always done the extra water)
3 Tbsp minced garlic
3 Tbsp soy sauce
Pepper to taste
Place pork in crock pot with all ingredients except garlic. Spread the garlic over the tenderloin. Cover and cook low for 7-8 hours.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Almost a Meal Queso

It is playoff time in the football world. We are Denver Bronco fans in this house, and we have really enjoyed watching Tim Tebow lead the Broncos to the playoffs this year. We usually like to eat things during the playoffs and the Superbowl that we can have in front of the TV and that is more like appetizers. This is one of my favorites because it is warm, easy and is made in the crock pot.  That means I don't have to miss the game while cooking! It is already done and waiting for us!
Almost a Meal Queso
from Seasoned with Fun Cookbook
1 pound ground beef
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pkg. Kielbasa sausage, cubed
2 lbs. Velveeta, cubed
1 14 oz. can chopped tomatoes, drain half the liquid
1- 4 oz. can chopped green chilies, drained
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp chili powder
5-6 chipoltes en adobo, chopped (I have never added these)
Tortilla Chips

Cook ground beef, pepper, salt, onion, garlic and Kielbasa in skillet. Drain fat. Transfer to crock pot and add Velveeta, tomatoes, green chilies, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder and chipoltes. Cook on high heat, stirring constantly, until cheese is melted. Turn heat setting to Keep warm or Low and serve with tortilla chips.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Beef and Cilantro Enchiladas

Today is my wedding anniversary. I feel like I have won the lottery in the marriage department. My sweet husband is simply the best guy in the world for me. He is such an amazing husband. So instead of gifts or a card, I asked him what he would like for a special dinner, and these enchiladas were his answer. We laugh that these are the "love" enchiladas because they have multiple steps and they take a little bit extra love to make them. Try them out on someone you love...they will definitely feel all the love that you put into these delicious enchiladas!

Beef and Cilantro Enchiladas
recipe from Pioneer Woman
1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
1 Tablespoon All-purpose Flour
1 can (28 Ounce) Enchilada Or Red Sauce
2 cups Chicken Broth
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Chopped Cilantro
1-1/2 pound Ground Beef
1 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
2 cans (4 Ounce) Diced Green Chilies
1/2 teaspoon Salt
10 whole (to 14) Corn Tortillas
1/2 cup Canola Oil
3 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup Chopped Black Olives
1 cup Chopped Green Onions
1/2 cup Chopped Cilantro

In a large saucepan over medium heat, add oil and flour and whisk together to make a paste, cooking for one minute. Pour in the red sauce, chicken broth, cilantro, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30-45 minutes. Meanwhile, brown the meat with onions in a skillet. Drain off fat. Stir in 2 cans diced green chilies and seasoned salt. Set aside. Next, heat canola oil in a small skillet over medium heat. One by one, using tongs, fry tortillas in oil until soft, not crisp – about 30 seconds per side. Remove to a paper—towel lined plate. Repeat until all tortillas have been fried. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour ½ cup red sauce in bottom of baking pan. Spread to even out. Dip each tortilla into red sauce, then remove to work surface. Spoon meat, a little grated cheese, a little black olives, and green onions in the center of tortilla. Roll up and place, seam down, in baking pan. Repeat until pan is filled. Pour extra red sauce over enchiladas. Top with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle cilantro over enchiladas before serving.