Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Chicken Chili with Black Beans

This was really good and super easy for a chili. 


  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 medium sweet red peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (28 ounces) Italian stewed tomatoes, cut up
  • 1 cup Progresso ® Chicken Broth or beer



In a Dutch oven, saute chicken, red peppers, onion and garlic in oil for 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Add green chilies, chili powder, cumin and coriander; cook for 3 minutes. Stir in beans, tomatoes and broth or beer; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring often.

I topped mine with a mix of monterey jack cheese and cheddar.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding)

So good. Such a great Christmas treat!


  •  7 Cups of water
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 (4-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 (14-ounce) can condensed milk
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Ground cinnamon, for dusting


Put the water, rice, and cinnamon stick in a medium-size heavy saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, uncovered, and cook until the rice is tender, about 18 minutes. Strain out the liquid, discard the cinnamon and reserve the rice. Return the rice to the saucepan. Stir in the evaporated milk, condensed milk, and whole milk. Continue cooking over medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick, about 20 minutes. Add the raisins, and stir well. Transfer the pudding to a serving bowl. Dust the top of the pudding with ground cinnamon and serve.

Spanish Rice and Chicken

This was dinner last night.


  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt (I didn't have celery salt...)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion (This is optional... an option that i chose not to do)
  • 3/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley (Seemed like way too much for me... I say use half of that)
  • 1-1/2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder


Place chicken in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Combine garlic salt, celery salt and paprika; sprinkle over chicken. Bake, uncovered, at 425° for 20 minutes. Remove chicken from pan, cut into slices. Combine rice, onion, green pepper and parsley; spoon into the pan. In a saucepan, bring broth, tomatoes, salt and chili powder to a boil. Pour over rice mixture; mix well. Place chicken pieces on top. Cover and bake for 45 minutes or until chicken and rice are tender.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Apple Nachos

I got this recipe from the taste of home magazine, and made a few changes to it. These were so good. I made them for our Christmas party and I was surprised at how yummy they were!

  • 36 Caramels
  • 1 Tbs Water
  • 15 large marshmallows
  • 1/3 Cup of butter, cubed
  • 4 medium tart apples (cored and thinly sliced)
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup white chips
  • In a microwave-safe bowl, melt caramels with water; stir until smooth
  • Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt marshmallows and butter. Arrange apple slices on a large platter. Drizzle with caramel; top with marshmallow mixture. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Serve immediately.

Vegitarian Linguine

Don't be afraid! I was nervous about this recipe... zucchini, mushrooms... not my top favorites. but if you want to try something new... worth trying, this would be it! with a few tweaks here and there, this pasta turned out perfect! such good flavors! make this for anyone, and they will be impressed! Don't be afraid!

  • 6 ounces uncooked linguine
  • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced and halved
  • 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced up
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large tomato, chopped (I used two plum tomatoes)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh basil (I didn't have fresh basil, mine was dried)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 ounces provolone cheese, shredded (I went with a lot less provolone... didn't want a provolone overload!)
  • 3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • Cook linguine according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the zucchini, mushrooms, onions and garlic in butter and oil for 3-5 minutes. Add the tomato, basil, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes and parsley; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain linguine; add to vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with cheeses and toss to coat.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Coconut Caramels

This is my other contribution to the Larson Christmas Party to go along with the horchata cupcakes. Stay tuned tomorrow for my last contribution!


  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 24 caramels
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flaked coconut, divided
  • 1/2 cup white baking chips


  • Line an 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pan with foil and grease the foil with butter; set aside.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the caramels, and /4 cup coconut, baking chips. Microwave on high, uncovered, for 1 minute; stir. Cook, uncovered, 30-60 seconds longer or until caramels are melted; stir to combine. Press into prepared pan. Sprinkle with remaining coconut. Cool.
  • Using foil, lift candy out of pan. Discard foil; cut candy into 1-in. squares. 

Cinnamon Horchata Cupcakes

When I eat these, I die.
They are so good.
make them.
don't drop dead.

-2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 1/2 level tablespoons cinnamon
-1 cup Safflower oil
-1 cup Fresh Horchata
-2 large eggs, room temperature
-1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, horchata, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric
mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.
Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake at 325 degrees F in oven for 16 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for
doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting. (I don't want to give away my tricks for the best cupcakes of all time... but i guess i will. As soon as the cupcakes come out of the oven, put them on a plate or cooling rack and stick them in the freezer. leave them there until they're cool. somehow... it just makes them taste 100 times better.)

Cream Cheese Frosting:

-1 stick of butter, room temperature
-8 ounces cream cheese, room temp
-3/4 tsp teaspoons vanilla extract
-1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- drizzle a little horchata in, if you want. 

Cream the butter and cream cheese on med speed using an electric mixer. Add vanilla extract, mix in thoroughly.
Sift 3 cups of powdered sugar into butter, cream cheese, vanilla mixture gradually on low-med speed. Once all powdered sugar is mixed in put mixer on med-high speed and beat for a few minutes until light and fluffy.

Lasagna in White Cream Sauce

This isn't my recipe, but i made it last night for dinner and it was pretty good! not your regular lasagna.


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Diced Tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (i used more paste than 2 tbs)
  • 1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (i just used basil, oregano, garlic salt, parsley)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (i'd use a little less that 3 tbs)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1-1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 10 to 12 uncooked lasagna noodles


  • In a Dutch oven, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, bouillon and seasonings. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan; stir in the flour, salt and pepper until blended. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in half of the cheese; set aside.
  • Pour half of the meat sauce into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Layer with half the lasagna noodles and remaining meat sauce. Top with remaining noodles. Pour white sauce over noodles. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  • Cover and bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until bubbly and noodles are tender. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chicken Stir-Fry

ok so this is a good one. I’ve never made stir-fry before, and the recipe I had was not that great so it’s sort of a made up recipe but turned out super good. Chris said its one of the best he’s ever eaten (chris is my taste tester… and he’s allowed to tell me if its gross). I’m hoping that I get these measurements right because I have a habit of just dumping stuff in and not paying attention to how much. This recipe is more like a two person recipe so if things seem like not enough…add more! And it’s great because you can be creative…. Don’t like the veggies I used? Pick new ones!

Steamed rice
2 chicken breasts
2 Tbs sesame oil
½ Tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1 carrot (peeled and julienned)
1 zucchini (sliced)
1 red bell pepper (julienned)
a bunch of fresh green beans (don’t forget to snap the ends off – I cut them in half also, if you want them a little softer you can boil them before adding them to the mix)
3 Tbs teriyaki sauce
2 Tbs honey
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

Directions – (p.s. my stir-fry was wok-less)
  • Add ½ Tbs of olive oil, 1 Tbs of sesame oil and garlic to the pan (wok)
  • Cook the chicken (salt and pepper them) on med about 5 minutes on each side. 
  • Remove the chicken from the pan and dice them up
  • In the pan, add the remaining sesame oil, your vegetables, teriyaki sauce, salt and pepper (med-low)
  • Soften the veggies up and add the honey and red pepper flakes
  • Add the chicken cubes back in and simmer until the chicken is cooked through
  •  When your sauce starts to caramelize – it’s time to eat.
 ·         Serve over steamed rice and enjoy!