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chicken tacos – made in a crockpot or slowcooker

01.27.2012

A few nights ago I was doing one of my favorite night time activities, browsing Pinterest, when I came across this amazingly simple and delicious recipe for chicken tacos. I made it last night for all of us and was so surprised how not only easy it was, but how good it tasted, and knew I had to share with you asap.

3 Ingredients:

6 boneless chicken breasts

1 jar of salsa – I bought homemade from our market in town

1 packet of taco or fajita seasoning, low sodium if possible

3 Steps:

Get out your crockpot or slow cooker

Throw in all the ingredients

Turn on low for approximately 6 hours, or high for approximately 4 hours.

The chicken shreds very easily and tastes great piled into a tortilla with guacamole, black beans, sour cream and cheese. I didn’t take a photo myself because the light in my kitchen during the winter is pretty awful so I will borrow one from Chocolate Therapy, which is where the recipe was featured. The best part is it leaves plenty of leftovers for tortilla soup. My favorite recipe can be found on bakedbree.com.

 

tomato soup

10.03.2011

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a recipe… We’ve been cooking as much as we usually do around here, but I just haven’t had the time to photograph our meals, hence my Iphone photos below. This recipe is too good to not share, so the Iphone pics will have to do.

The fall weather is finally here and there is nothing better in my book, than soup on a chilly night. Not only does it provide a comforting dinner, but a tasty lunch the next day as well. This weekend I chose to make tomato soup and Brendan took care of the prosciutto and mozzarella paninis. Then for lunch today I mixed up a quick salad of fresh greens from my famers market, cucumber, carrots, a little goat cheese and walnuts, all topped with my one of my favorite store bought (shhhh…) dressings, Annie’s Goddess. Enjoy!

Tomato Soup – from the New York Times Cookbook

Ingredients:

8 tbsp. of butter, I used about 1/2

2 tbsp.of olive oil, I used about 4 to make up for the butter I chose not to use

1 large onion, thinly sliced

4 basil leaves chopped

2 sprigs of thyme

1 35 oz. can of whole tomatoes, I prefer San Marzano

3 tbsp. of tomato paste

1/4 cup flour

1 QT of chicken broth

1 cup of sour cream, plain yogurt (greek would be good) of creme fraiche. I chose to just add a little creme fraiche to the individual bowls.

1 tbsp of sugar

salt and pepper

Directions:

Melt butter over medium heat.

Add olive oil, onion, thyme, basil and salt and pepper.

Cook until onion is wilted.

Add tomato paste and tomatoes.

Bring to simmer for 10 minutes.

Mix flour with 5 tbsp. of chicken stock and add to soup.

Add remaining broth.

Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid scorching.

Blend with immersion blender.

Add sugar. I forgot this step and it tasted fine.

Add sour cream, creme fraiche or yogurt.

recipe box – for the boys

08.10.2011

Around here veggies are fought off like the plague. Especially Conner. Anything green on his plate (besides guacamole) provokes whining, and we all know how we feel about whining. SO, I make these meatballs packed with spinach about once a week and the boys love them. Actually, we all love them. They taste great over pasta or in a hot dog bun as meatball subs. I’m all for a 2 night meal or anything that can be frozen for the following week. They make good leftovers.

Whine-free veggies, a.k.a. Turkey Meatballs with Spinach

18-24 oz. of dark turkey meat

1 egg

3 cloves of minced garlic

3 tablespoons ketchup

1 small onion, grated

1/2 cup of Italian breadcrumbs

3/4 cup parmesan

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/2 a box (about 3/4 cup) of creamed spinach (found at most supermarkets in the freezer section).

salt, pepper

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, adding turkey last. Roll the meatballs into small balls. Line them on a baking sheet covered with foil and a cooling rack. Make sure to spray they cooling rack with Pam so they don’t stick. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Put in your pasta sauce to simmer.

This recipe was inspired by Bree Hester over at bakedbree.com. Some of the ingredients and the idea to bake them on a cooling rack came from her.

U2

07.21.2011

Last night we went to see U2, which was amazing. Bono and band never disappoint. This was my fourth time seeing them and by far one of the best. It doesn’t get much better than singing your heart out to many of the anthems we grew up to in Giant Stadium on a hot summer night. My friend Blake was in charge of tickets, I was in charge of food and beverages.

SO, for our fancy tailgate party I packed the following:

My favorite Rose from Wolffer Vineyards in the Hamptons.

Quinoa with currants, dill and zucchini. Recipe from 101 Cookbooks.

White bean dip with flatbreads. Recipe from Mark Bittman. (I substituted the cumin for rosemary and added Parmesan).

Roasted carrots and beets. Recipe from Epicurious.

Turkey and brie sandwiches.

I know, not the typical hot dogs and hamburgers right? That’s how we roll.

recipe box postponed

07.20.2011

due to a U2 concert at Giants Stadium. We will resume tomorrow with a recap and some of the goodies I packed for our tailgate party!

quinoa with roasted vegetables and soy sauce

07.13.2011

This past weekend we went to visit some of our closest friends at the Jersey Shore. We take turns visiting each other a couple times a year, in Westchester, at the Shore or in the Hamptons. The best part of the visit is once the kids are tucked in, the wine has been corked and we make dinner together while catching up. Mike and Farah always plan a wonderful menu. This visit one of the sides Farah made was quinoa with roasted vegetables, soy sauce, ginger and garlic. Last night I took a stab at recreating the dish. Easy and good. My kind of meal.

Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables and Soy Sauce

Start by roasting a few of your favorite vegetables with 3 cloves of chopped garlic, salt and olive oil. I chose a red pepper, 1 zucchini, 1 squash and a small white onion. Make sure to chop in bite size pieces. Roast for about 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees.

Make quinoa according to directions on the box. I used a rice maker to cook mine which saves time.

Zest or grate one large piece of ginger.

Combine all ingredients and add soy sauce. I added no more than 2 tablespoons. Add a little at a time until you reach your desired taste.

Enjoy at room temp!

veggie pasta

07.06.2011

This dish is a great summer meal. It’s light and fresh but filling at the same time. You can serve it for dinner and then have the leftovers for lunch, which is exactly what I did a few weeks ago while Bren was away, or as a side at a BBQ. That’s another advantage, it’s very easy to make for a party of one or ten. It’s a go-to recipe for me, one of those I make often when trying to clean out the fridge.

Veggie Pasta

Boil pasta until al dente. I used farfalle but you can use any kind you choose. Rotelle or orecchiette would look and taste great.

Start by sauteing two chopped cloves of garlic in two tablespoons of olive oil and butter for about a minute.

Add the juice and rind of one lemon.

Add half a pint of cherry tomatoes, a few large handfuls of spinach, and a cup of uncooked corn cut off the cob. Saute for a few minutes, until everything is softened and the spinach is slightly wilted. It’s best to add the spinach last so it doesn’t get over cooked. It cooks very quickly.

Once the pasta is done, drain while reserving a cup of the pasta water. Add the pasta to the veggies in the saute pan. Mix in some of the pasta water until blended. You most likely will not need the entire cup. Add a little at a time but avoid flooding the dish.

Add about 1/2 a cup or more of pine nuts (or almonds), atleast a cup of fresh parmigiano cheese and salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

This recipe is very loose. You can add more or less of any of the ingredients according to your desired taste without messing it up. You can also add any vegetable you choose, just make sure they cook easily in a saute pan. Asparagus or zuchini would work just as well and ricotta salata or goat cheese would substitute nicely for the parmigiano.

Enjoy!

cowboy cookies

06.29.2011

It’s no wonder I love these cookies, being from Texas and all, they are one of my favorites. We had new neighbors move in so it was a good excuse to whip up a batch. That was on Monday. There are only two left. Oink oink.

Recipe is from good ol’ Martha Stewart and can be found here.

strawberry jam

06.22.2011

After our strawberry picking trip last week we had quite a few leftover strawberries. The boys managed to eat about half (4 pounds!) and we did make a strawberry cake (which I’ll post about later) but the rest were going to go bad if I didn’t get creative so I took a stab at making jam. The jarring process makes it a little laborious, oh and so does hulling the strawberries, but it’s nice to have to give to friends and family. Brendan was out of town for a few nights so this was my entertainment one evening. I simply followed the recipe on the back of the pectin box, which was pretty on-par with every other recipe I found online. Next time (if there is a next time ; ) I would add more sugar than the Pectin people recommend but overall it tasted great – very light and fresh. Perfect on an english muffin.

perfect summer meal

06.15.2011

Saturday night we made grilled shrimp and corn salad. Fresh, light and simple. To prep the shrimp we made a quick marinade of olive oil, lime zest and juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Skewer the shrimp and grill for a few minutes on each side. And that’s it. For the corn salad I basically followed this recipe I found on Authenticsuburbangourmet.com. I omitted her cucumbers and feta cheese only because we didn’t have any on hand.

Avocado and Grilled Corn Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

4 Ears Corn, husk removed, brush with olive oil and lightly grilled, remove corn with sharp knife
1 Avocado’s, diced and sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent browning
1 C. Tomatoes, red and yellow cherry variety or equivalent
1 Small red onion, finely diced

Add to a large bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

Cilantro Vinaigrette

6 T. Olive oil
2 T. Sherry vinegar
1 t. Garlic powder
2 T. Fresh cilantro, minced
½ t. Salt
10 Grinds of fresh ground pepper

Whisk together the ingredients. When ready to serve salad, add the dressing and gently toss. Crack open a Corona and enjoy!