Sunday, January 22, 2012

Crockpot Mexican Shredded Chicken

Remember those breakfast burritos I made last week from Skinny Mom's Kitchen???  Well, she also had another recipe that I was just dying to try.  This Mexican shredded chicken just looked so yummy and we eat tacos at our house on a regular basis.  I knew I had to give this one a try.  Not only is this a tasty recipe, but it makes enough to have a meal and also put some away in the freezer!!  I didn't follow the recipe exactly.  I had to use garlic powder instead of the minced dried garlic and I also left out the coriander.  I didn't have the coriander on hand and it's not a spice I normally use.  Next time I make this (and there WILL be a next time),  I will definitely give the coriander a try!    In addition, I didn't have a can of chicken broth on hand, so I used chicken buillon granules to make my own.  This chicken turned out moist and delicious and was great for our chicken soft tacos.  I can't wait to try this for quesadillas and enchiladas!  Hope you give this one a try!! 

 I started by mixing all the ingredients (except the chicken) in a small bowl.

 I sprayed my crockpot with some nonstick cooking spray and then added four large chicken breasts.

 Then I poured the sauce over the chicken.  I cooked on low about 6 hours.

 During the last hour of cooking, I shredded the chicken and returned to soak up that wonderful sauce!

 I even had enough left from our meal to fill two freezer bags.  There are two cups of shredded chicken in each bag.

Our chicken soft tacos were delicious!!!

Crockpot Mexican Shredded Chicken
adapted from:  Skinny Mom's Kitchen
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 cup chicken broth
2 T. dried onion flakes
1/2 t. garlic powder
3 T. chili powder
2 t. cumin
1 1/2 t. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or 3-3 1/2 lbs.)

Mix all ingredients except chicken in small bowl.  Place chicken in crockpot and cover with sauce.  Cook on low for 6 hours.  During the last hour of cooking, remove chicken and shred.  Return to crockpot to allow the chicken to absorb the sauce. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Chocolate Bundt Cake

A few years ago I asked for a bundt pan for Christmas.  I think I've only used it once up until now so I began searching for a chocolate bundt cake recipe.  I found this one on Pinterest and it comes from The Sisters Cafe blog!  This cake is sooo moist and delicious!  This recipe is definitely a keeper.  The recipe called for semi-sweet chocolate chips but I didn't have enough so I used a mixture of semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips.  The original frosting recipe called for evaporated milk but I used regular milk and it turned out great!  This frosting reminds me of the frosting I use on my Texas cake. 

 You will need a devil's food cake mix, 1 pkg. instant chocolate pudding mix, 4 large eggs (one of my eegs is hiding in the picture), 1 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup warm water, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, and 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet).

 In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except chocolate chips with an electric mixer for 1 minute.  Scrape down sides and beat for additional 2-3 minutes.  Fold in chocolate chips and pour batter into prepared bundt pan. 
 Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. 

 Cool for about 20 minutes and then invert onto serving platter!!

 Sorry I didn't get pics of making the frosting!  It's really very easy.  Melt butter in saucepan over low heat.  Whisk in cocoa and milk.  Bring mixture just to a boil, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and add in powdered sugar.  Blend with an electric mixer until thickened and smooth.  Pour frosting over cake!  NOTE:  This make a lot of frosting and I did not use it all.

I really need to use my bundt pan more often!  Such a beautiful presentation!!!  :)

Chocolate Bundt Cake

adapted from:  The Sisters Cafe

1 devils food cake mix
1 small pkg. instant chocolate pudding mix
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream ( I used  LIGHT sour cream)
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet) (I used a combo of both)

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except choc. chips for 1 minute with an electric mixer.  Scrape down sides and mix another 2-3 minutes.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.  Cool about 20 minutes and invert onto serving platter.

8 T. salted butter
4 T. cocoa
1/3 cup milk
4 cups powdered sugar (sifted- I skipped this step but won't next time!  :) )

Melt butter in saucepan over low heat.  Whisk in cocoa and milk.  Bring mixture just to boil, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and beat in powdered sugar using an electric mixer until frosting is thickened and smooth.  Pour frosting over cake.

Shared at:

Wonka Wednesday Party

Recipes for My Boys

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Breakfast Burritos (Freezer Recipe)

I've been searching for some ideas for breakfast that are quick and easy and found some great ideas on Pinterest and on other recipe blogs.  I absolutely love McDonald's breakfast burritos and when I started seeing recipes to make some for the freezer, I knew I had to try one.  Also, in the spring of this year, we will welcome a new addition to our family.  With a new baby and a very active toddler, recipes like this one will ensure that I have something quick and easy on hand for breakfast!!  I adapted this recipe from one I found at Skinny Mom's Kitchen!  She has more freezer recipes so please go and check out her site!!  You won't be disappointed. 

This recipe is fairly easy though it does take a little time. Hopefully, the next time will go a little faster with some prior experience!! LOL! Truly, the most time consuming part was preparing the burritos for the freezer. With that said, I now have 19 breakfast burritos in the freezer!! So I guess some extra time is worth those many mornings that I will now have a quick, easy, and tasty breakfast!  I couldn't help thinking that this would be such a great recipe for older kids to help mom prepare for the freezer.  I'm envisioning an assembly line which would make quick work of these little bundles!!

 You will need 1 lb. of your favorite breakfast sausage, 1 dozen eggs, 3/4 cup milk, 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa (I used my salsa recipe) , 1 cup Mexican blend cheese, and 1/4 tsp. pepper.  You will also need 16-20 tortillas.  I used Mission brand tortillas and they were so very easy to work with!!  If you are using a very chunky salsa, you may want to consider adding a little more.  My salsa is more pureed and I knew more than a half a cup would be too much for this recipe.   Don't forget to also have plenty of plastic wrap and foil around so that you can put these in the freezer!!

 In a large skillet, cook breakfast sausage.

 Whisk the dozen eggs with 3/4 cup milk.

 When sausage is finished cooking, add in egg mixture and 1/4 tsp. black pepper.  Cook until eggs are set and then add in cheese and salsa and mix well cooking until cheese is melted.  Remove from heat and allow the egg mixture to cool slightly (about 5-10 minutes). 

 Begin preparing your burritos!

 Scoop 1/3 cup of mixture into the center of each tortilla.  Tuck in the sides (left & right) and then roll up the bottom and then fold over the top making sure the sides stay tucked.  Place burritos seam side down until you are ready to wrap them.  I rolled about 5 at a time and then wrapped. 

 I wrapped each burrito in plastic wrap and then covered each one in foil!

 This recipe made 19 burritos!! 

When you are ready to have a burrito, simply remove it from the wrapping and place it in the microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes.  (You may have to experiment with times on cooking because let's face it - everyone's microwave cooks a little differently!).  FYI:   I have a 1000 watt microwave.   Be careful when taking the first bite- the inside can get pretty steamy!!

Breakfast Burritos (Freezer Recipe)

adapted from : Skinny Mom's Kitchen

1 dozen eggs
1 lb. breakfast sausage
3/4 c. milk
1/2 cup salsa
1 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese
1/4 tsp. black pepper

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook and crumble breakfast sausage.  Whisk 1 dozen eggs with milk and add to cooked sausage along with 1/4 tsp. black pepper.  Cook until eggs are set and then add in cheese and salsa.  Cook and mix well until cheese is melted.  Remove from heat and allow mixure to cook slightly (5-10 minutes).  Spoon 1/3 cup of mixture into each tortilla and roll into a burrito.  To freeze, wrap each burrito in plastic wrap and cover with foil.  To heat, remove frozen burrito from plastic wrap and foil.  Heat on a microwave safe dish for about 2 1/2 minutes. 

Shared at:

Chef in Training Tuesday Talent Show

Raising 4 Princesses

Wonka Wednesday Party

Recipes for My Boys

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Horseshoe Sandwich (Cheese Sauce Recipe)

Tonight we had horseshoe sandwiches for dinner!  I know many of you will wonder what the heck a horseshoe is!!  This sandwich is native to Springfield, IL which is not far from home for me.  Many restaurants within a 50 mile radius of Springfield have this dish on their menu.  Typically, they are served with a hamburger patty, but many of the restaurants are getting creative and adding things like bacon, fried walleye, etc.  The possibilities are endless.  To be honest, I have never eaten one from a restaurant.  My hubby loves them and orders this often when we eat out.  I decided when we first got married that I should learn how to make these at home.  For the most part, it's fairly easy except for the fact that I couldn't get the cheese sauce right.  Well, my friend Sherry (and co-worker at the time) gave me her recipe for cheese sauce and it has never disappointed!  So delicious!!

If you want to learn more about the history of the horseshoe go HERE.

The actual recipe I'm going to share with you is the cheese sauce.  The rest is fairly self-explanatory.  They are not hard to make but it is a lot to prepare.  My advice is to make your cheese sauce first along with preparing the hamburgers.  I just covered the burgers with foil while I prepared the fries and toast.  This extra time will allow the sauce to thicken up while you prepare the rest!  Enjoy!

Note:  I cut this recipe in half for just my hubby and I.  Half of the recipe will serve about three people.  The recipe below will serve about 6.

 Heat milk and butter over medium heat until butter is melted.  Whisk in flour, dry mustard, cayenne pepper, and salt. 

 This is the kind of cheese you will need!

 Add in Old English spread and Worcestershire sauce.

 Continue to cook until all the cheese is melted.  Remove from heat and allow to thicken.

 To assemble your horse shoe, you will start with a piece of toast!

 Add a hamburger patty! 

 Then add some crispy french fries!!  It is really worth trouble to deep fry the french fries!!  Trust me on this!!!

 Pour on that delicious cheese sauce and you're ready to eat!!!

Cheese Sauce

1 stick butter
2 c. milk
4 T. flour
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
2 jars Old English cheese spread
1 T. Worcestershire sauce

Combine butter and milk in saucepan and cook on low until melted.  Whisk in flour, dry mustard, cayenne pepper, and salt.  Continue whisking until the flour is dissolved.  Add in cheese spread and Worcestershire sauce and continue to cook until melted.  Remove from heat and allow to thicken before serving.

Shared on:

Everyday Mom's Meals Church Supper

Melt in Your Mouth Monday Blog Hop

Chef in Training Tuesday Talent Show

Wonka Wednesday Party

Thursday, January 12, 2012

White Chocolate Bark

I saw this recipe several years ago on Barefoot Contessa and have always wanted to try it.  Well, not long ago, my mother-in-law shared some white chocolate melts she had purchased at a nearby candy shop.  I knew immediately the chocolate would be perfect for this recipe.  Ina used walnuts, but I had pecans on hand so that's what I used.  Here's a link to her recipe

 You will need 16 oz. of good white chocolate (I used Peter's Westchester Caps), 1/2 c. chopped pecans, 1/4 c. dried cranberries, 1/4 dried apricots.  I gave the pecans a rough chop and diced the apricots into smaller pieces.

 Draw an 8x10 rectangle on a sheet of parchment paper.  Then flip the paper over onto a cookie sheet.  This will keep the pencil/pen from touching the chocolate.  Be sure you can see your rectangle once you flip the paper.

 I began (on Ina's suggestion) by melting only part of the chocolate in the microwave.  I melted about 2/3 of the chocolate in 20 second intervals.  This is really important as you don't want to scorch the chocolate.  Once chocolate is melted, add in the remainder of chocolate and stir until all chocolate is melted.  Immediately, pour into the middle of the rectangle on the parchment paper.  Spread melted chocolate to the edges of the rectangle.

 Sprinkle on the pecans.

 Then add the dried fruit.  Carefully press the toppings into the melted chocolate.  This will keep your toppings from falling off when you break up the chocolate later.  I chilled mine in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes to firm up.  When chocolate is firm, break into pieces!

White Chocolate Bark

Adapted from :  Ina Garten ( The Barefoot Contessa)

16 oz. quality white chocolate  (I used Peter's Westchester Caps)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped

Melt chocolate in microwave at 20 second intervals until all chocolate is melted.  Pour onto prepared parchment paper (see description above).  Sprinkle remaining ingredients over melted chocolate.  Be sure to press toppings into the chocolate.  Allow time for chocolate to set or place in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.  When chocolate is firm, break into pieces.

Shared on:

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sandwich Ring

I started making this recipe several years ago.  I've adapted it over time from a Pampered Chef recipe.  I make it a little simpler.  The original recipe calls for more ingredients to fill the sandwich.  However, I prefer to keep the sandwich simple and then offer my guests lettuce, tomato, or other toppings on the side.  I make this sandwich many years on Christmas Eve to accompany one of our favorite soups.  It's always a hit!!  This would be great for a New Year's party, Superbowl Sunday or any party!  This is so simple, but so delicious!!

Start with the two Pillsbury French loaves.  Place both loaves end to end on a round pizza stone or pan (seams side down).  Pinch the ends of both loaves together to form a circle.  Be sure to pinch dough together securely.  Using olive oil spray, spritz the top of the ring of dough.  You can also just brush the dough with olive oil.

Sprinkle the top of the ring with a little garlic powder and Italian seasoning.  I don't measure this but if I had to guess it would be about a 1/2 t. of garlic powder and  1 tsp. of Italian seasoning. 

Using a serrated knife, cut slits in the dough about every 3 inches around the ring.  Only cut about 1/3 of the way through.  This is mostly just a decorative touch but also helps when you slice the finished sandwich.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown!  Your house will smell wonderful!

Cool completely!

Using a serrated knife, slice bread horizontally all the way around the ring.  Arrange your favorite toppings on the bottom half of bread.  For this sandwich I used deli ham and salami and swiss cheese.  I then added some romaine lettuce.

When you have the toppings on your sandwich, place top half of bread on sandwich!

Doesn't this look delicious!!

Use the score lines on the top of the bread as a guide for slicing!

Sandwich Ring
Adapted from:  Pampered Chef Classics Cookbook

2 pkgs. Pillsbury French loaves
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning

Place loaves end to end (seams side down) on round pizza stone or pan.  Pinch ends to together securely.  Spritz top of ring with olive oil spray.  Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. garlic powder and 1 tsp. Italian seasoning.  Using a serrated knife, cut slits in top of bread about every 3 inches.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool completely.  Cut bread in half horizontally using a serrated knife.  Fill with your favorite sandwich toppings.