Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Garlic Lime Chicken

I found this chicken recipe via pinterest and made it a few nights ago...it was super tasty and a great way to spice up a plain old chicken breast...not to mention healthy too! I loved this recipe because I had pretty much all of the ingredients already on hand, so I didn't have to buy anything extra. I didn't have parsley flakes, so I omitted them....and I'm pretty sure I added a little extra lime. I served this with some cheesy cauliflower and a salad...perfect for an easy, healthy dinner!

Garlic Lime Chicken

You will need:

-3/4 tsp salt

-1/4 tsp black pepper

-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

-1/8 tsp paprika

-1/4 tsp garlic powder

-1/8 tsp onion powder

-1/4 tsp dried thyme

-1/4 tsp dried parsley

-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used three...pretty large chicken breasts)

-2 tablespoons butter

-1 tablespoon olive oil

-2 teaspoons garlic powder

-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (I may have used more...also squeezed fresh lime over the top)

*In a small bowl mix together salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, and parsley.

*Sprinkle spice mixture generously on both sides of chicken breasts...pat on with your hands...kind of like a spice rub

*Heat butter and olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken until golden brown, about 6 minutes on each side.

*Sprinkle chicken with remaining 2 tsp garlic powder and lime juice. Saute chicken an additional 5 minutes. As chicken is cooking, spoon the pan sauce over the top of the chicken to keep it moist.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Spicy Ranch Crackers

I found this recipe via pinterest and made them for snacks on New Years Day. Let me warn you, these can be seriously addidictive. I literally snacked on these things for three days straight. You can add as little or as much of the red pepper flakes as you want...mine had a little kick to them, but not too spicy. These would be perfect for superbowl or any kind of party. Store in an airtight container or ziploc bag.

You will need:

-1 cup canola oil

-1 packet ranch dressing packet

-2-3 tablespoons red pepper flakes (I used about 2 1/2)

-3 to 4 sleeves of saltine crackers

*Mix all ingredients in a large bowl (for about 5 minutes with your hands) until crackers are very well coated

*Spread out crackers on large baking sheet and pour any remaining oil mixture that's in the bottom of the bowl over crackers

*Bake at 250 for 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway through

*Let them cool on baking sheet before storing (Or, if you're like me, just start eating them now)

Enchilada Casserole

I made this enchilada casserole a few weeks ago, and it was definitely a crowd pleaser. This is perfect for a busy weekday dinner because it can be put together fast. I served it along with fresh guacamole and tortilla chips...and a beer in a frosty mug, just because it seemed to go along with the meal. Kind of felt like I was on a tropical vacation for a minute...until I hear my precious 4 year olds fake burping on the other side of the table...that snapped me back into reality real fast:)

This recipe is adapted from Taste of Home...their picture was really pretty-it stood up in layers (lasagne like) after it was cut. Mine didn't, but it sure did taste good so I didn't care!

Enchilada Casserole

You will need:

-1 pound ground beef

-1/2 onion, chopped

-2 cups salsa (I used Clint's salsa)

-1 (15oz) can black beans, rinse and drained

-1/4 cup light italian dressing, I used zesty

-1 packet low sodium taco seasoning

-1/4 tsp cumin

-6 flour tortillas

-3/4 cup low fat sour cream

-1 cup shredded mexican cheese

-1 cup shredded lettuce

-1 medium tomatoe, chopped

-1/4 cup minced, fresh cilantro

*Cook beef and onion in skillet together over med-high heat until no longer pink. Drain and return to the pan.

*Drain and rinse black beans...I really just wanted to include this picture because this is my Grandma Johnson's colander. It's one of the only things I have of hers after she passed away...it's missing one leg, but I still use it...a lot...because it makes me happy:)
*Stir in salsa, dressing, taco seasoning, black beans, and cumin into the meat/onion mixture

*Spray a square dish with cooking spray. Place 3 tortillas on bottom of the dish. Layer with 1/2 of meat mixture, then sour cream, then cheese. Repeat layers again.

*COVER with foil and bake at 400 for 25 minutes

*UNCOVER, and bake 5-10 more minutes until cheese in melted and bubbly

*Top with shredded lettuce, tomato and cilantro

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fancy Mac N' Cheese

I call this mac n' cheese "fancy" because my version of mac n' cheese has always been the kind right out of the box. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a lover of the boxed stuff, even though I know it's not the best for you...but I got a craving for some good old-fashioned macaroni and searched the internet until I came across this recipe from Martha Stewart's site. Macaroni is another subject where my husband and I are opposite. I love pizza, he's usually not a fan. I love macaroni, he usually hates it. How in the world can you not like those two things? Anyway, I knew this recipe was a keeper when he said he really liked it. I made this for dinner along with my meatloaf to celebrate my father in law's birthday, which was before Christmas. And before our New Year's resolution to eat healthier....but you have to indulge yourself every now and then, right?

this recipe is adapted from marthastewart.com

You will need:

-3 Tbsp unsalted butter

-1/4 cup finely chopped onion

-1/3 cup all purpose flour

-1/2 tsp salt (I used sea salt)

-4 cups whole milk (I used 2 cups 2% milk and 2 cups half and half)

-1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

-3/4 pound small shell pasta or elbow macaroni (I used elbow)

-4 cups sharp cheddar cheese

-1 tsp dijon mustard

-1 tsp worcestershire sauce

*In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened about 4 minutes.

*Add flour and salt, stirring constantly until pale golden and it has the consitency of oatmeal, about 4 or 5 minutes. Note: I may have freaked out on this step and added another tablespoon of butter because the flour mixture seemed extra lumpy...think I had the heat turned up to high though:)

*Whisking constanly, pour in 2 cups of milk. Add 2 more cups of milk (or half and half like I did), and cayenne pepper and whisk until smooth.

*Cook mixture, stirring constantly along bottom of pan until it is boiling about 6-7 minutes, then reduce the heat to low.

*Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 10 more minutes until sauce thickens

*Meanwhile, cook the macaroni in a separate pot of water according to directions. Drain and return to pot.

*When sauce is thickened, remove from heat and quickly whisk in shredded cheese, mustard, and worcestshire sauce.

*Pour cheese sauce over pasta and stir to coat. Serve immediately.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Easy Breakfast Casserole

I'm taking advantage of this beautiful day to sit outside and catch up on my blogging while the kids play! I found this easy breakfast casserole recipe on pinterest and made this for breakfast Christmas morning. I've done a casserole for breakfast the last several years for Christmas, mostly because you can make them ahead of time the night before....I love the fact that you can go to bed knowing that all you have to do in the morning is pop it in the oven! The recipe I usually use calls for a layer of white bread on the bottom. Kevin informed me this year that he has never liked it because it's too "bready". Really? Good to know I guess after so many years! When I saw this recipe, I knew I wanted to try it....it's so easy to prepare and calls for very few ingredients. The only change I made is that I added about a teaspoon of dry mustard to the egg mixture. All the other egg casseroles I've made have called for this, and I had it in the pantry...so, I added it! We also served it with a little bit of salsa to give it an extra kick. This will definitely be a regular dish on our weekend breakfast menu from now on...maybe even dinner too!

sorry for the not so flattering picture...it was almost half gone before I remembered to snap a picture

Easy Breakfast Casserole

You will need:

-1 package crescent rolls

-1 lb mild ground sausage, browned and drained

-6 eggs, beaten

-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese ( I used sharp cheddar)

-1 tsp dry mustard (if you don't have this, don't worry...but I think it makes it better)

*Preheat the oven to 350 and spray a 9x13 inch dish with cooking spray

*Roll out package of crescent rolls and place on bottom of baking dish

*Top crescent rolls with an even layer of browned and drained sausage

*Beat the eggs together along with dry mustard and pour evenly over sausage

*Top with cheese (believe it or not, I don't think I used the entire 2 cups of cheese...it seemed like too much to me, but you be the judge!)
*Bake at 350 for 30 minutes

*This can be made right away, or like I do, the night before. Just keep it in the fridge and take it out about 15 minutes to sit on the counter before putting it in the oven to bake