Friday, May 31, 2013

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

When I was in high school, we were suppose to wake someone up for psychology class. Then we were suppose to ask them what they were dreaming about. So, I woke up my sister and she told me that she was dreaming about The Young Riders. Sometimes it is better not to ask any more questions. Well, I noticed my son was dreaming the other day and tried to wake him up. It isn't an easy thing to do. Eventually, he answered my question about what he was dreaming about. His reply, "I was dreaming about sleeping." It is one of his favorite things to do besides eating. Well, this recipe is one of his favorite meals. He has asked for me to make it a couple of times.
Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
1Tbsp vegetable oil
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped fine 
1 (10 oz.) can Rotel original, drained
1 (8 oz.) pkg cream cheese, cut up and softened
2 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped
8 flour tortillas
2 cups Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup chives


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray with cooking spray a 9x13 baking dish.
  3. In the skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
  4. Add the jalapeno pepper and saute for 1 minute.
  5. Add the drained Rotel tomatoes and green chilies to the pan. Saute for 1 minute.
  6. To the skillet, add the cream cheese and the cooked chicken. Cook until the cream cheese melts.
  7. Add 1/2 cup of the Pepper Jack cheese and turn off the heat.
  8. In the middle of each tortilla, spoon about 3 Tbsp of the chicken mixture.
  9. Roll up the tortilla and place it seam side down into the baking dish.
  10. Sprinkle the remaining Pepper Jack cheese over the top of the tortillas.
  11. Bake for about 20 minutes and the cheese has melted.
  12. Top with chives and salsa.
Recipe adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything.

One year ago........................I made Mahogany Cake.
Did you already know..........
-The Young Riders was a television show that aired between 1989 to 1992.
-The Young Riders were about a group of Western Pony Express riders.
-Some noted actors who starred in the show was Stephen Baldwin and Josh Brolin.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Peanut Butter Cup PB Cookies

The other night I made sloppy joes for supper. For the sides, I had green beans and cut up fresh pineapple. All the children loved the pineapple except for my youngest niece. She didn't even want to try it. My sister tried but she refused. So, I told her if she tried it then I would make her some peanut butter cookies. My sister suggested I should add peanut butter cups into the cookies. With this type of enticement, my niece did try the pineapple. She says she doesn't like it but she tired it. However, she did like these cookies. All the children liked these cookies. 
PB Cup PB Cookies
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed firmly
2 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup miniture peanut butter cups, chopped
1 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
1 Tbsp heavy cream (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 
  3. In a large bowl, combine the butter with the peanut butter.
  4. Add the sugar and brown sugar to the peanut butter mixture. Mix well.
  5. Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well.
  6. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until combined.
  7. Fold in the peanut butter cups.
  8. Scoop about 2 inch balls of dough and place onto the parchment paper. Space the dough about 3 inches apart. (I used an ice cream scooper.)
  9. Lightly flatten each ball of dough.
  10. Bake the cookies for about 13 minutes or until golden brown on the edges.
  11. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.
  12. Optional: melt the chocolate chips in a double broiler or microwave. Stir in the heavy cream then drizzle over the cooled cookies. 
Recipe by Jen of Sweet Morris.

One year ago........................I made Feta Topped Chicken.
Did you already know..........
-Pineapples originated from South America.
-The majority of pineapples are grown in Asia.
-Pineapple contain an enzyme bromelain which is used as a herbal remedy for arthritis.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Star Cake

When I was a kid, my Dad would make this wonderful sitting bear cake. He would use the star tip for the frosting. We all thought it would be great. I have used the star tip occasionally but not on the whole cake. I thought the star tip would be appropriate to use for this cake. My daughter Allie helped me decorate it. We took turns. I would pipe the white and she would pipe the blue. 

Red, White, and Blue Star Cake
One cooked rectangle cake
Red, white, and blue frosting

  1. Lightly trace a star design onto the top of the cake. (Either free hand, use a template, or a ruler.)
  2. Once the desired pattern is traced on the top of the cake, cut the pattern out. Be carefully but if you make a mistake use frosting to fill in the error.
  3. Lightly cover the cake with a base coat of white frosting.
  4. Pipe the sides with the white frosting using the star tip.
  5. Border the side of the cake with the white frosting.
  6. Pipe the blue frosting onto the cake on each triangle of the cake.
  7. In the middle of the cake, alternate between the red and white frosting.
  8. Pipe 3 white stars in the middle of each triangle.
Cake created by Jen of Sweet Morris.

One year ago.................................I made Mahogany Cake.
Did you already know...................
-Memorial Day once was known as Decoration Day.
-Memorial Day is honor those who have died serving our nation.
-In 1967, President Johnson legally named Memorial Day a national holiday.

Please have a safe Memorial Day!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Banana Muffins

Since I have company staying with us, I have been buying more fruit. Well, I guess lately bananas are not our first pick. What to do with lots of ripe bananas? Well, my sister requested banana bread. I figured banana muffins would be easier for the kids since they could eat them for breakfast, snack, or dessert. Yes, they wanted to eat them again right after supper. I guess when colorful muffin wrappers are used helps.
Banana Muffins
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
5 ripe bananas, mashed
1 egg
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a muffin tin with 12 muffin liners.
  3. Cream the brown sugar with the butter until fluffy.
  4. Add the mashed bananas and mix well.
  5. Add the egg and combine well.
  6. Add the flour, baking power, baking soda, and salt. Mix until just combined.
  7. Fold in the sour cream with the vanilla extract until combined.
  8. Evenly, divide the batter into the muffin liners about 3/4 full.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.

One year ago.....................I made pickles.
Did you already know.......
-A bunch of bananas are called a hand.
-Phloem Bundles are the strings on the peeled fruit.
-The strings carry nutrients to the fruit.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dulce de leche Flan

     I really like to try new recipes. It gets my family to try new recipes and expand their palate. Also, it is cheaper to try a lot of foods at home then out to eat. Plus, what if we order something new and then don't like it? My husband will not share his plate. My oldest daughter will reluctantly share her food. It depends on my oldest son's mood if he will share. 

     Last year, I made dulce de leche for the first time and my youngest daughter loves it. So, I decided to make flan with dulce de leche. This custard is really good. I made them individual size so we each could have our own.
Dulce de leche Flan
1 1/2 cup dulce de leche
3 eggs
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups (12 oz.) milk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.
  2. Coat the bottom and the sides of 5 small ramekins (about 5.5 oz) with 1 cup of dulce de lech.  
  3. Place the ramekins into a large glass baking dish. 
  4. In a large bowl, whisked the eggs.
  5. Add the condensed milk, milk, and vanilla extract to the whisked eggs until smooth.
  6. Pour the egg mixture evenly into the ramekins.
  7. Carefully pour the boiling water into the glass dish to make a water bath. Make sure no water splashes into the egg mixture.
  8. Bake the flan for about 45 minutes. The flan should be set.
  9. Remove the individual ramekins from the water bath and allow to cool completely.
  10. Run a knife around the edges of each ramekins and invest the flan onto individual dishes (or to save dishes serve in the ramekins).
  11. Drizzle additional dulce de leche over the flan before serving.
Recipe adapted from

One year ago..................I made Olive Garden Salad.
Did you already know....
-A savory flan was served by Ancient Romans.
-One Ancient Romans savory flan was eel flan.
-Early recipes of a sweet flan was made with honey instead of sugar.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Graduation Cap Cupcakes

Do you have someone graduating? Maybe from grade school, junior high, high school, or college? When I graduated, I didn't want a big party just something small. When my daughter graduated, I threw a nice party. One of the dishes I made was these cupcakes. They are pretty easy to make and fun to assemble.
Graduation Cap Cupcakes
12 cupcakes
12 oz. mini semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup of frosting
12 pieces of Twizzlers, cut into small strips (may have to flatten)
12 brown mini M&M's candies

  1. Line parchment paper on the back of a cookie sheet.
  2. Spread the melted chocolate over the parchment paper in a thin layer. Allow to cool in the refrigerator for about 3 minutes.
  3. Remove the chocolate from the refrigerator and cut into 3 inch squares.
  4. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the chocolate.
  5. Place another cookie sheet on top of the parchment paper to flatten the chocolate. 
  6. Refrigerate the chocolate for at least 10 minutes so the chocolate hardens.
  7. Remove the harden chocolate from the refrigerator.
  8. Take a cupcake and turn it over so the base is facing up.
  9. Frost the base of the cupcake.
  10. Place a piece of the harden chocolate square on top of the cupcake.
  11. In the center of the chocolate square, place a dab of frosting. 
  12. Place the edges of two different color small strips of the Twizzlers.
  13. Cover the two edges of the Twizzler which are in the frosting with a dab of frosting. 
  14. Place a brown mini M&M piece on top and press down to seal. (Make sure the M is facing downwards.)
  15. Make sure the graduate receives a cake before others. 
Recipe adapted from Beth from Hungry Happenings.

One year ago...........................I made PB & J Bars.
Did you already know.............
-Normally, the high school graduate's tassel is the school colors.
-A college graduate's tassel may be the color of their represented field.
-The tassel color for a business degree would be drab (dull brown).

Friday, May 17, 2013

Spicy Honey Chicken Wrap

I love meals that I can make into two meals. I made this chicken for supper and served it with rice and a vegetable. Then I was able use the left over chicken for a wrap. I will admit I love wraps. They are in their own convenient to go edible wrapper. Also, the best part is saving some money on groceries especially on meals that we like.
Spicy Honey Chicken Wrap
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 coriander 
1/2 tsp cumin 
1/8 tsp cayenne powder
6 chicken breast
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp cider vinegar
1 cup mixed greens
1/2 cup of  tomatoes, chopped
4 tortilla wraps
Dressing, if desired

  1. In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, chili powder, onion powder, coriander, cumin, and cayenne powder.
  2. Coat the chicken with the spices.
  3. Spray a grill or a inside grill pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Heat over medium heat.
  5. In a small bowl, microwave the honey for about 30 seconds.
  6. Add the cider vinegar to the honey and combine well.Remove about 1/8 cup of the mixture and reserve.
  7. Add the chicken to the grill and brush on the honey mixture.
  8. Cook the chicken for 5 minutes and flip it over.
  9. Brush the other side with the honey mixture.
  10. Cook the chicken for about 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  11. Remove and with a clean brush coat with the reserved honey mixture.
  12. Serve 1/2 the chicken for supper and allow the remaining chicken to cool.
  13. In the middle of the tortilla wraps, add 1/2 cup of mixed greens with a couple of tomatoes and some cooled chicken. Add dressing if desired.
  14. Wrap the tortilla up like an envelope and serve.
Recipe adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything.
One year ago....................I made Taco Seasoning.
Did you already know......
-In 1897, the first charcoal grill was patented in the U.S. by Ellsworth B.A. Zwoyer.
-In 1952, George Stephen began selling his Weber grill created from cutting a metal buoy in half and adding a grate. 
-In the 1960s, the gas grill was invented by William G. Wepfer with Melton Lancaster as a new way to sell natural gas. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Broccoli Cheese Soup

My husband is the first person to rally against vegetables. Maybe you have seen him in our front yard with a sign shouting "No more vegetables! No more vegetables!" So, it surprises me when he kept ordering broccoli soup in restaurants the past couple of weeks. I asked him if he would just want me to make some for him. He told me it would be nice. My oldest daughter told me this is the best broccoli soup she has ever had.
Broccoli Cheese Soup
2 lbs. broccoli
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp butter
1 shallot (about 1 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups milk (I used skim milk)
4 oz. fontina cheese, grated
8 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
4 cups chicken broth

  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. Arrange the broccoli on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil.
  3. Season the broccoli with salt and pepper.
  4. Broil for 5 minutes and remove. 
  5. Turn the broccoli pieces over and broil for another 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn the broccoli. Set aside to cool.
  6. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
  7. Add the shallot and stir for about 1 minutes.
  8. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute.
  9. Whisk in the the milk.
  10. Add the cheese and stir until melted.
  11. Stir in the chicken broth and turn down the heat to low. 
  12. Add the roasted broccoli pieces and stir. 
  13. Allow the soup to simmer for 10 minutes and serve.
Recipe adapted from Katy's Kitchen.

One year ago.....................I made Lemon Tassies.
Did you already know...................
-Broccoli belongs to the cabbage family.
-The word broccoli derives from the Latin word (brachium) and Italian word (braccio) that means arm.
-1 cup of broccoli has the same amount of Vitamin C as 1 orange.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Chewy Brownies

I am partial to box brownies. I have tried many homemade versions of brownies and they are good but still not the same. I will admit these brownies do not taste like box brownies. They are so much better. It doesn't mean I won't still buy box brownies but if you want a bakery style brownie then you need to make this recipe. My family agreed this is the best brownie I have ever made including the box brownies. Oh, they are so good!
Chewy Brownies
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp boiling water
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, sliced into cubes
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate , chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line the bottom of the baking pan with parchment paper. (I used a 4 qt. glass pan.) Spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, the chopped unsweetened chocolate, and water.
Add the butter and stir until the butter has melted.
Add the oil and mix well.
Add the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
Mix in the sugar.
Add the flour and sea salt. Mix until combined.
Fold in the bittersweet chocolate.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. An inserted toothpick will be a little moist.
Allow the brownies to cool for 10 minutes before removing the brownies from the pan and placing on a wire rack to continue to cool completely.

Recipe adapted from Project Domestication.

One year ago.........................I made Apple Cinnamon loaves.
Did you already know............
-Some dictionaries list a brownie as a cookie as others list it as a cake.
-One of the first brownie recipes published was the Bangor Brownie.
-The Bangor Brownie is suppose to have been created by a frugal housewife from Bangor, Maine. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Abstract Art Sugar Cookies

When you were a kid, did you make your Mom wonderful artwork?  She thought it was a master piece and would hang it up for you. Well, I guess I never stopped wanting to make my Mom something special. So, I made her cookies with lemon extract. She loves lemon flavored desserts. I also spent some time with my kids making some art work of our own. I gave these to my Mom and she liked them.
Can you tell what I made?
Abstract Art Sugar Cookies Icing
4 Tbsp meringue powder
1/2 cup water
1 lb.powdered sugar, sifted
Food coloring gel

  1. In a large bowl, mix the meringue powder with the water.
  2. Beat the icing until foamy.
  3. Add the sifted powdered sugar to the meringue mixture.
  4. Beat on medium high for about 5 minutes or until the stiff peaks form.
  5. Divide the icing into separate bowls before adding desired colors with food coloring gel. Make sure to leave some of the icing white.
Decoration directions:
  1. To frost your cooled cookie, pipe a white border in the center of the cookie. (I used this cookie recipe.)
  2. Flood the cookie with white icing. Allow to dry for at least an hour.
  3. Once the middle white "canvas" dried, decorate the white icing with your art work. Allow to dry.
  4. Take the cookie and dip the side of the cookie into the desired color to make a border. 
  5. Carefully dip another side of the cookie into the icing and allow to dry before attempting the two other sides.
Frosting recipe adapted from Bake at 350 degrees. Make sure to check out her step by step directions or her wonderful cookies.
One year ago....................I made Seven Cheese Bread.
A bow, butterfly, and flower for my Mom
Did you already know......
-On May 10th, 1908, Anna Jarvis organized a Mother's Day observation in Grafton, West Virginia and Philadelphia.
-In 1914, Congress designated Mother's Day would be observed on the 2nd Sunday in May. 
-According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 4 million woman gave birth last year.

Happy Mother's Day! I love you Mom!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Fruit Cups

If you end up making fresh squeezed orange juice, you will have a lot of orange shells left. Since we love fruit salad, I figured it would make nice bowls. Also, my children thought they made nice cups. I loved this recipe. You can use any fruit that you like. I used berries, bananas, oranges, and grapes. I love berries as you can see. Melons would work just as great.
Fruit Cups
4 oranges
2 cups fruit
1/4 cup sugar

  1. Slice the oranges in half. Scope out the orange sections to create a smooth bowl with the outer rind/peel/shell of the orange.Test each bowl to make sure it will stand with the open end up. If not, slice off a thin part of the bottom of the orange to make it flat. Be careful not to poke a hole in the bottom.
  2. Chop the fruit into bit size pieces. (add the orange sections to the fruit.)
  3. In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of fruit with the sugar. Set aside for about 15 minutes.
  4. Combine the macerated fruit with the 1 cup of fruit.
  5. Fill the orange bowls with the fruit.
  6. Serve immediately or allow to chill for about 1 hour.
Recipe by Jen of Sweet Morris.

One year ago........................I made Pizza Sauce.
Did you already know..........
-The subsections of a blackberry and a raspberry is called a drupelet.
-A white drupelet on a blackberry or raspberry is due to the fruit being scalded by the sun. It is still usable.
-A blackberry has about 90 seeds (drupelets) per a berry.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Fresh Orange Juice

Since this weekend is Mother's Day, I wanted to try out some recipes with my kids. Yes, this way I can hint at maybe some possible suggestions they may want to make this weekend. Now when I make recipes with them, I notice sometimes they want me to add weird combinations. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. Well, we had a lot of oranges that I needed to use up. For some reason, my son thought there should be at least one lemon in there. It does taste good. I'm unsure if my husband or oldest daughter will make it this way but I would make it again. I didn't use any fancy kitchen equipment except a hand juicer. If you are going to hand juice anything, I highly recommend placing a paper towel under the cup. This way it will give it more stability. My cup slide which knocked over my cup. My son escaped being covered with juice but I wasn't so fortunate. Next time, I just hope I remember my lesson.
Fresh Orange Juice
9 oranges
1 lemon

  1. Squeeze the oranges and the lemon one at a time into a cup.
  2. Remove any additional seeds from the cup before adding to a pitcher.
  3. Serve or add a little water for a more diluted taste.
One year ago........................I made Dulce de Leche Rice Pudding.
Did you already know..........
-Some Valencia oranges are green due to the warm weather.   
-With Navel oranges, the bigger the navel is an indicator the sweeter the orange.
-In 1493, Christopher Columbus brought the first orange seed to the New World. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Migas in a Taco Bowl

My family love eggs. I love them since they are a cheap, fast breakfast, brunch, or supper. When I added tortilla chips to the eggs, the kids thought this was the best thing ever. I thought they would even think it was more cool if they were served in Taco Bowls. I made my Taco Bowls from corn tortillas since they tied with the corn tortilla chips. They are really easy to make. I used these directions but there are even YouTube vidoes.
Migas in a Taco Bowl
4 large eggs
2 egg whites
2 Tbsp skim milk
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 tsp butter

1 cup tortilla chips, crushed (I used blue corn tortilla chips)
1 cup Monterey Jack with Jalapeno Cheese
4 Taco Bowls
Optional garnish toppings:  guacamole, sour cream, cheese, salsa, salt and pepper

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, and skim milk. Set aside.
  2. In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
  3. Add the onion, red bell pepper, and jalapeno pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes while stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the whisked egg mixture to the skillet. Stir well. Turn the heat to medium low. 
  5. Add the butter and cook until the eggs are fluffy. 
  6. Add the crushed tortilla chips and fold in the cheese.
  7. Serve the egg mixture into the center of the taco bowls.
  8. Top with desired garnish.
Recipe by Jen of Sweet Morris.

One year ago..........................I made Chicken Salad Roll Ups.
Did you already know............
-The Spanish word Migas translates into crumbs.
-Migas ordered in Spain or Portugal is a dish made with stale bread, olive oil, sausage, or pork.
-The Tex Mex version is just scrambled eggs with tortilla chips.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


It is amazing how something so simple like guacamole can have so many variations. My son came home from school and told me how they served guacamole at lunch. My son loved it then my youngest daughter told me how much she loved it. I told them I would make it soon. Then I went to work and my friend was telling me how she had made guacamole. I asked for the recipe that she used. I knew the school recipe was different from the one my friend used so I adapted her recipe to be similar to the school one from my children's description. My children told me it tasted just like the one they had a school. I will admit they do love it. I had them help me make it so they can make it anytime.
1 ripe avocado
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
  1. In a bowl, mash the avocado until smooth.
  2. Add the lemon juice with the salt and pepper to the dish. Mix well.
  3. Serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.

One year ago.....................I made Coconut Cream Cheese Pinwheels.
Did you already know.......
-Avocados are a fruit.
-Another name for avocados are alligator pears.
-The average avocado tree can produce about 150 avocados a year.