Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mexican Haystacks

It comes as no surprise that I love me some Mexican flavors.  It is pretty safe to say that this is my very favorite type of food by far.  These haystacks were a fun alternative to the yummy Hawaiian Haystacks we've had in the past (although, these are completely phenomenal as well :)

Mexican Haystacks

8 oz cream cheese
2 C milk
1 C water
1 C sour cream
2 tsp cumin
1 med sweet onion diced
1 Tbl chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch Dip
3-4 frozen chicken breasts
2 Can diced green chilies
1 bag frozen corn
2 cans black beans
2 cans Rotel
Fresh cilantro

(**This makes a big serving so 1/2 the recipe if needed)

Combine all ingredients but chicken, beans, corn and Rotel. Heat until smooth and blend until creamy. Immersion blender works best. Then add remaining ingredients and let cook all day, stirring occasionally.  Once chicken is cooked it can either be removed from crock pot to be diced up or the longer is simmers, the closer you'll get to it shredding on it's own :)

Serve over a bed of tortilla chips and rice with warm bread sticks. Garnish with cheese and fresh cilantro. YUM!!!

Recipe Source:  Yummy Fun

Monday, May 21, 2012

Lemon Recipes

I feel as though I have been neglecting my little blog for a while...all these preparations for moving haven't left much time for cooking, let alone blogging!  So in the meantime, here's a post full of yummy lemony treats that I shared a while back on...

These tasty treats won LDS Living’s cookie contest, and for great reason!  They are easy to make and taste phenomenal!  I would take a few plates over to my neighbors, otherwise, I’d probably eat them all myself :) 

Lemon Crinkle Cookies
½ cups butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 whole egg
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons baking powder
⅛ teaspoons baking soda
1-½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease light colored baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice. Scrape sides and mix again. Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.
Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.
*If using a non-stick darker baking tray, reduce baking time by about 2 minutes.
From: Lauren Brennan; laurenslatest.com
So I have two lemon cheesecake bars on my “to try” list, and this one looked simpler and faster to make, so therefore, this is the one I decided to make this time around!  I’ll try the other one sometime soon and see which one really is better :)   
Lemon Cheesecake Bars
1 box yellow cake mix
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs
8 oz cream cheese
1/3 c. sugar
1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Mix cake mix in a small bowl with oil and one egg until crumbly. Reserve 1/2-1 cup of cake mixture and put aside. Mash remaining mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Bake in 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes (this is better underdone!). While baking, mix together until smooth- cream cheese, sugar, remaining egg, and lemon juice (no matter how much lemon juice you put in, its not a huge flavor). As soon as the crust comes out of the oven, spread cream cheese mixture evenly on top and then crumble remaining cake mixture over this. Bake in 350 degree oven for 13 minutes. Cool and cut into bars (I like mine cold, so I keep it in the refrigerator)
This recipe recently caught my eye….I love Muddy Buddies, and this sounded like a fun twist. They are a great treat and you will be eating them by the handful! It’s also a good one for the kids to help with, letting them shake up the bag with the powdered sugar. Little man loved it :)
Lemon Chex Mix
From: Chex
9 cups Rice Chex® cereal
1 1/4 cups white vanilla baking chips
1/4 cup butter or margarine
4 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups powdered sugar

Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside. 

In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave chips, butter, lemon peel and juice uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.
Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; gently shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper or foil to cool. Store in airtight container.

Nothing like a good lemon bar.  This one was a little different than some of the other recipes with the addition of some lime juice and lime zest.  They were mighty tasty, and will be made again!

Lemon-Lime Delight Bars
From:  Angel Shannon’s Stick of Butter cookbook

2 sticks of butter (or margarine), softened
1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 c. flour
4 eggs, beaten
2 c. sugar
1/4 c. flour
4 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice and zest, to taste
Combine butter, powdered sugar, and flour…mix well.  Press into a 9×13 pan and bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
Blend eggs, sugar, flour, juices, and zest together; pour into slightly cooled crust.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until set.

Chill and sprinkle with additional powdered sugar, if desired.
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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Nutella Fruit Dip

Who doesn’t love Nutella?!  Why not make a fab fruit dip out of it!  This one caught my eye because of the Nutella, but I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the other ingredient was Greek yogurt, one of my absolute favorites.  Combine the two and you have a tangy, chocolate filled bowl of yummy deliciousness :)
Nutella Fruit Dip
1 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup Nutella
Mix the yogurt and Nutella together in a small bowl until completely combined. Refrigerate until ready to use (it was better after it chilled for a few hours). Serve with fresh cut fruit.  We loved ours with some strawberries and apples.
Recipe Source:  Family Kitchen

Monday, May 7, 2012

Garbage Omlette

Head on over to 

I'm still trying to clear our my pantry and freezer.  It is not fun, but getting rid of all this stuff will be very helpful when we move across the country in 4 short weeks...especially when I have to cram all my stuff in a moving van with VERY limited space!  I have had to get creative at times with some of our dinners...but it's all good.  My supply of can and boxes are diminishing, and the meats I bought in bulk are slowly disappearing from the freezer.  

This idea today is one of those that I don't even want to call a recipe.  More so a meal idea.  I saw this idea a while back on a garbage omlette casserole and thought how perfect that would be for me!  We just threw in a bunch of random ingredients we were looking to get rid of and threw a can of chili over the top.  Easy. Tasty. Done.

Garbage Omelette 

2-3 eggs per omelette, beat with a splash of milk and season with salt and pepper.

Add in things like:

diced ham
chopped broccoli
cooked and crumbled bacon
bell peppers
really anything you think would taste good and need to get rid of.

Once cooked on stove top, top with cooked canned (or homemade) chili.  This is also a great way to use your chili leftovers :)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

BBQ Chicken Orange Wraps

I know you all are thinking about bathing suit season...with Memorial Day weekend only 4 weeks away (yep, that's it), I've been thinking about a few ways to lose a few pounds myself since I will be sitting on the beach in beautiful Delaware that weekend.  This yummy lunch or dinner will help you in your quest to lose a few unwanted pounds.  It is around 400 calories and is packed with fruit, veggies, and grilled chicken.  A meal all wrapped up in one!  Enjoy :)

BBQ Chicken Orange Wraps

4 cups coleslaw mix
2 cans (11 ounces each) mandarin oranges, drained
1-1/2 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 medium sweet yellow pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon sunflower kernels
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/3 cup coleslaw salad dressing
2 packages (6 ounces each) ready-to-serve roasted chicken breast strips, chopped
3/4 cup honey barbecue sauce
8 flour tortillas, I like wheat (10 inches)

In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Add salad dressing; toss to coat. In another bowl, combine chicken and barbecue sauce.

Spoon 3/4 cup coleslaw mixture down the center of each tortilla; top with 1/4 cup chicken mixture. Roll up.

Recipe Source:  Taste of Home

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Salsa...5 Ways!

This is a post I shared over at Kiki and Company last week.  Enjoy and Happy Cinco de Mayo!

With Cinco de Mayo coming up, I thought I'd share some of my favorite recipes for the big day!  Mexican food has always been my favorite, and I would love to share some of my favorites I have made with you.  This week, salsa is the star!  There are many different ways to whip up a batch of salsa, and the ingredients can vary from anything from tomatoes and cilantro to strawberries and apples!  I love the possibilities...hope you can use a few of these at your Cinco de Mayo parties!

Restaurant Style Salsa

1 can (28 Ounce) whole tomatoes with juice (I drained some of the juice)
2 cans (10 Ounce) Rotel
¼ cups chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 whole jalapeno, quartered and sliced thin (less if you're not a heat fan)
¼ teaspoons sugar
¼ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons ground cumin
½ cups cilantro (or more to taste!)
Juice of 1 lime

Combine whole tomatoes, Rotel, onion, jalapeno, garlic, sugar, salt, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you’d like—I do about 10 to 15 pulses. Test seasonings with a tortilla chip and adjust as needed.

Refrigerate salsa for at least an hour. Serve with tortilla chips or cheese nachos.

Recipe Source: Amber's Delectable Delights

Next, a recipe I got from our ward's cooking club.  It is really tasty, and the secret in the dressing...balsamic vinegar!  It adds a yummy tanginess that is addicting.  It is easy to put together and will be a sure crowd pleaser and your summer parties.

Balsamic Black Bean and Corn Salsa

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed well
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained well
½ medium onion finely diced (about 1/3 cup) (I like red onion better)
½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 (7 oz.) can salsa verde (I used Embassa brand)
Juice of 1 lime
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the salsa marinate for a few hours (or overnight before serving). Drain most of the liquid from the salsa before serving. Serve with tortilla chips.

Recipe Source:  our ward's cooking club.....via Jessica N.

Next up, a yummy salsa with some fabulous fresh ingredients that everyone loves.  My family has this for get togethers all year 'round.  It is packed with one of my all-time favorite ingredients....cilantro!  Hope you enjoy it as much as we do :)

Fresh Salsa

5-8 tomatoes (personal preference), chopped into small pieces
1 can white whole kernel corn, drained
1 can black eyed peas (or black beans), drained
4 chopped green onions
½-1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 env. Italian dressing, mix as directed on package (use red wine vinegar)

Mix all ingredients in large bowl and serve with tortilla chips.

Recipe Source:  the Ladies at the OAC

Next, something a little different.  This isn't your average guacamole.  This is avocado feta salsa.  Ok...maybe it's a stretch, but I'm including it because of how tasty it is!

 I just love feta.  I throw it on almost every salad I ever make.  It is yummy in pasta dishes.  Now, I am throwing it in my dips!  Avocados are definitely affordable this time of year, so I thought it was a good opportunity to try this yummy recipe finally.  It turned out very yummy, and were great with these pita chips

So make a batch of this up next time you are headed out the door for a BBQ, your friends and family will love it!  Not to mention you don't have to feel the guilt about eating a mayo or sour cream based dip.  Enjoy :)

Avocado Feta Salsa

1 chopped tomatoes
2 chopped avocados
1 clove garlic, minced
1 TBS fresh, chopped oregano
1 TBS olive oil
1 TBS white wine vinegar
6 oz. crumbled feta cheese
(can add diced red onion, if desired)

In a bowl, stir together the chopped tomato, avocados, garlic, and oregano (and 1/4 cup red onion, if you like). Gently stir in olive oil and white wine vinegar. Stir in feta. Chill for at least a couple hours.

Recipe Source: One She Two She

Lastly, why not share a fruity type salsa!  This one I came across and was immediately sucked in by the idea.  Pineapple salsa...why not!  Depending on how spicy or sweet you want it, just add less jalapeno. It goes great along your favorite tacos, burritos, or enchiladas.

Pineapple Salsa

2 cups chopped fresh pineapple (1/4-inch dice)
juice of 1 lime
1 handful cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse 2 or 3 times. This will give you the crushed pineapple texture. For a chunkier salsa, stir all ingredients together and salt to taste.
Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

Recipe Source:  Foodie Bride

Happy Dipping!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Beef and Green Chile Enchiladas

First off, I just wanted you all to know that I am posting over at Kiki's new site Kiki and Company today with some Cinco de Mayo dinner ideas.  Click the link below to check it out!

Cinco de Mayo is this weekend....what is on your menu?!  I still haven't figured out what will be gracing our table yet, to many choices!  From chimichangas to enchiladas, and burritos to nachos...the choices are endless!  I sure will be looking for some yummy sweet treats for dessert as well.  

My hubby frequently complains that we have chicken all too often in our house (although I could probably eat it every day without batting an eye).  So for dinner last week I busted out the ground beef for dinner. These were good, but I thought it really needed the taco sauce on top to complete the meal (wasn't spicy enough for me, personally).  They turned out good and were gobbled up.  Enjoy!

Beef and Green Chile Enchiladas
1 pound lean ground beef (at least 80% lean)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup sour cream
1 can (4.5 ounce size) chopped green chiles
8 ounces shredded Colby-Monterey jack cheese
1 can (10 ounce size) enchilada sauce (I like them saucier, so I had another can on hand)
6 (8-inch size) flour tortillas
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
In 10-inch nonstick skillet, cook ground beef and onion over medium-high heat until beef is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently.
Drain. Add corn; cook and stir about 3 minutes or until corn is thawed. Stir in sour cream, green chiles and 1 cup of the cheese.
Spread about 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce in 13×9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish. Spread about 2 teaspoons enchilada sauce on each tortilla. Top each with 2/3 cup beef mixture. Roll up tortillas; place seam side down over enchilada sauce in baking dish.
Drizzle remaining enchilada sauce evenly over filled tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Spray sheet of foil with cooking spray; place sprayed side down on baking dish and seal tightly.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 50 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve garnished with lettuce, tomato and additional sour cream.

Recipe Source:  cdkitchen