Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Crock Pot Beef Carnitas Tacos

I have made this recipe twice now, and will be making it again soon.  I LOVE good crock pot meals and really love it when they make enough to have a second night!  I'm so glad I found this on Eat, Live, Run.  If you want an easy, yummy meal, make this soon!
Crock Pot Beef Carnitas Tacos
2 pounds flank steak
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped  (I accidentally picked up a yellow pepper)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
For spice rub:
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
For serving:
corn tortillas 
sour cream
Mix together all of the spice rub ingredients in a small bowl.
 Rub the spices over the flank steak and place in the bottom of the crock pot.
 Cover the steak with the jalapeno pepper, bell peppers, and onion.  Turn the crock pot on low and cook for 8 hours.
 After 8 hours, shred the meat with a fork.  It will literally fall apart.  You can continue to cook it for another hour, or go ahead and serve it.  Heat the tortillas in a skillet over the stove and serve with the toppings of your choice.
These are SO good!! Enjoy.  :)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Slow Cooker Chocolate Chip Brownie-Cake

Delicious and crazy easy...that is how I will describe this recipe.  My mom's birthday was a few weeks ago and we were having her over for dinner.  I was more focused on the main course, so I knew I needed something without a lot of prep work for dessert.  My mom loves anything chocolate, so I looked through my Pinterest recipe board and found this buried VERY far down.  I am so glad I didn't keep scrolling because this will be made OFTEN!!  The best part was that you make it in the crock-pot.  I haven't ever made a dessert in the crock-pot before, but I am officially sold on it.  Thanks My Favorite Things for this fantastic will be made again!  :)
Slow Cooker Chocolate Chip Brownie-Cake
1 box fudge brownie mix
1 pouch chocolate chip cookie mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 eggs
Vanilla ice cream, as desired (You know you desire it!)
Spray your slow cooker with baking spray with flour.  In a large bowl, mix brownie mix with 1/4 cup butter and 2 eggs.  In another large bowl, mix cookie mix with 1/4 cup butter and 2 eggs.
 Drop alternate spoonfuls of each mixture into your slow cooker.
 Cover, and cook on high 2-3 hours until cake is set in center.  It took mine 2 hours exactly to be done.  I strongly recommend checking it at 2 hours if not a little before.  I tested the center with a toothpick, and this is what it looked like when it was done:

SO, SO GOOD!!!!  You could even serve it with some hot fudge if you wanted to just go crazy. Enjoy!  :)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Grilled Veggies

I have a new best kitchen friend for the summer!  Yes, I know that sounds strange, but I am in love with my new grill basket.  If you don't have one, run to the store and get one today.  I picked mine up at Bed Bath & Beyond.  It has a removable handle, so you can close the lid to the grill...genius!  I used it for the first time Friday night and will now be using it multiple times each week!  This is what I made on Friday and it was amazing!
Grilled Veggies
1 zucchini
1 yellow bell pepper
1/2 red onion
1/2 bunch of asparagus
1 portabello mushroom
Zesty Italian Dressing to taste
Cut all of the vegetables up and place in a medium bowl.  Stir in the dressing until the vegetables are coated.
 Put the veggies in your grill basket and stir every few minutes until they are crisp tender.

That is it!  So delicious and easy and it made the perfect side dish.  Enjoy!  :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Grilled Steaks with Cilantro Sauce

Normally my husband is in charge of steaks around our house.  But, when I saw this recipe in my most recent Taste of Home, I decided to give it a try. is GOOD!!!  Needless to say, we devoured this meal!!  Trust me, if you make it, your family will devour it too!
Grilled Steaks with Cilantro Sauce
2 cups fresh parsley leaves
2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup fresh mint leaves
8 garlic cloves, chopped
1 3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp plus 3/4 tsp fresh ground pepper, divided
2 cups olive oil
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
4 lbs. beef flat iron steaks or top sirloin steaks (1 in. thick)  ***I didn't see flat iron steaks, so I asked at the counter (at Sprouts) and they cut them for me.  
***I halved this recipe.  Even halved, it made a ton of cilantro sauce.  I think I will 1/4 it next time.
Place herbs, garlic, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper in a food processor;  pulse until herbs are chopped.  Gradually add oil, vinegar, lemon juice and pepper flakes, processing just until blended.  Sprinkle steaks with remaining salt and pepper.  Grill, covered, over medium heat for 6-8 minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness.  Cut steaks into 1/4 in slices and serve with sauce.
Seriously easy and seriously delicious!!!  We decided these would be great in tortillas or in a salad too.  Enjoy!  :)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Andes Sugar Cookies!

I don't remember where I heard about this recipe (if you can even call it that!)...but I know it was YEARS ago!  I had a tube of sugar dough in my refrigerator and remembered these fun, CRAZY EASY cookies and thought I would make them for my son.  OK, and me too!  There are two ingredients and a few minutes until a yummy treat is served!!
Andes Sugar Cookies
1 tube of sugar cookie dough
1 package of Andes Mint Candy
Cut your dough into circles and lay on cookie sheet.  Place one Andes Candy on each circle and top with another circle.  Press the edges to seal.  Bake according to sugar cookie dough instructions.  (Pull them out a minute or so early if you like soft cookies...that is my favorite way to eat these!)

These are so good!!  Enjoy!  :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Crunchy Black Bean Tacos

We recently had some friends over for dinner and I wanted to make something that would be easy to prepare while talking.  :)  You know how that goes, right??  Something where you don't have to concentrate too hard or look at the recipe over and over again?  I found this recipe from Endless Simmer and it was so good!!  I mixed everything up before friends arrived and just made them while they were here.  So easy, so good!
Crunchy Black Bean Tacos
2 cups black beans, cooked (I just used canned and heated them up in the microwave)
1/2 cup red onion,minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
4-6 ounces pepper jack cheese, grated
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper
8 corn tortillas (I was able to make more than 8)
condiments of your choice...salsa, sour cream, guacamole...
In a medium bowl, add beans along with red onion, cilantro, and spices.  Add a pinch of salt and lightly mash all of the ingredients together.  
In a large non-stick skillet, add a few Tbsp of olive oil and heat over medium-high heat.  Add one corn tortilla at a time and let each get hot int he oil for a few seconds.  Then add about 1/4 cup of the bean filling to one half of the tortilla.  Top with a sprinkle (or more!) of grated cheese.  Using a spatula, carefully fold the tortilla over so it forms a shell.  Press down lightly on the tortilla so it holds its shape.  As the first tortilla cooks, move it to the side and do a second one.  Depending on the size of your pan, you should be able to get 2 or 3 tacos at once.  Cook each taco for about 3 minutes per side until they are nicely browned and crispy.  When flipping the taco to cook on the other side, use a spatula and flip the taco toward the fold so the filling doesn't fall out.

Yum...SO good!!!  They are so crispy and so filling!  Enjoy!  :)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Honey-Lime Chicken Skewers

I pinned these from Kitchen Meets Girl recently and knew I had to try them immediately.  They did not disappoint!  They were crazy easy and tasted fantastic.  I see these on the menu a lot this summer!!
Honey-Lime Chicken Skewers
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
juice of one lime
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 tsp Sriracha (I had a hard time finding was with the Asian food and the kind I bought was made by Kikkoman)
red pepper flakes, to taste
2 Tbsp cilantro
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except the chicken and mix thoroughly.  Pour marinade over chicken breasts and turn to coat.  Cover and allow to marinate for at least one hour.
 Put chicken on skewers and grill on medium high heat for 6-8 minutes per side, until juices run clear.
Seriously delicious stuff here!  They do have a bit of a kick to them, so have some water ready!  Enjoy!  :)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Chicken Pesto Panini

Oh, how I love a good sandwich, and I REALLY loved this one!!!  The original recipe from Damn Delicious was for a Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Pesto Panini.  I've said it before and I'll say it again...I love anything with Peso.  So, I thought I'd give this sandwich a try, but I substituted the turkey for baked chicken breast and it turned out AMAZING!!  I didn't even get to add the avocado to mine (it was bad when I cut into!) and it was still amazing.  So, if you love a good sandwich and you love pesto, you will LOVE this!
Chicken Pesto Panini
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 loaf of French bread cut into 4 equal pieces
1/2 cup pesto
4-8 ounces mozzarella, sliced
2 cups sliced baked chicken
2 roma tomatoes, sliced
1 avocado, sliced
Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.  Spread pesto over each side of French bread.  Top with mozzarella, chicken, tomatoes, avocado, and top half of bread.  Repeat for remaining sandwiches.  Add sandwich to a pan and grill until bread is golden and the cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes per side.

This really is amazing!!  Enjoy!  :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Fruit Flowers...a Spring Snack!

My son came to me this morning with a picture of a "recipe" out of his Humpty Dumpty kids magazine.  He really wanted to make these "flowers" and I couldn't resist his request!  So, if you need a little Spring treat for your little one, or just a healthy snack for yourself, whip these up today!  :)
Fruit Flowers
Graham Crackers
Peanut Butter
Apple slices (thinly sliced)
Grapes (halved)
Banana slices
Spread peanut butter on the top of a graham cracker and let your little one build their own "flower" to eat!  You could even slice a bell pepper or use a stick of celery as a stem.  :)
Enjoy!  :)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Chicken Fajita Sizzling Salad with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

I love a great salad.  I love ordering salads at restaurants.  It is actually one of my favorite things to eat.  But...I never seem to make great salads.  They just never have the wow that I taste when I order them out.  Until now!  I got this from Iowa Girl Eats and oh my it is good!!  If you love a great salad too, then give this one a try!!  Don't let the ingredient list or steps scare isn't bad!
Chicken Fajita Sizzling Salad with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
For the marinade:
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1-1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
Combine marinade ingredients in a large bowl, then add two sliced chicken breasts and toss to coat.  Cover then let sit and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
 For the Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 cup cilantro
2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove
salt and pepper
Combine ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Set aside.
 For salad:
2 chicken breasts, sliced
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, but into sticks
1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil, divided
6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 tomato, cut into wedges
1/2 avocado, chopped (I used a whole avocado!)
Divide lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado between two plates.
 Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a large skillet.  Remove garlic clove from chicken then carefully add in one layer on the bottom and cook for 1 minute undisturbed.  Stir then saute until cooked through, about a minute or two.  Remove chicken to a plate and set aside.
 Heat remaining 1/2 tbsp oil in skillet and add onions and zucchini.  Cook for 1 minute undisturbed, then stir and saute until tender, about another minute.  Add chicken back into the pot and stir to combine.
 Top salad with cooked chicken mixture and drizzle with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette.  
This is so delicious!!!!  The dressing is amazing as is the marinade.  Enjoy!  :)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Balsamic Chicken with Asparagus

I pinned this recipe from Maggie's Bites and oh my goodness, it was GOOD!!!  It is so light, but full of flavor at the same time.  Her website says this dish only has 335 calories, so if you are watching your calorie intake, and want a seriously yummy dinner, try this!!  
Balsamic Chicken with Asparagus
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 bunch fresh asparagus
1 pint grape tomatoes
4 ounces mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup, plus 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup, plus 1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
Combine 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, garlic powder and pepper in a ziploc bag.  Add in chicken breasts and marinate for 30 minutes to overnight.  After marinating, grill chicken.  

Preheat oven to 400.  Line a cookie sheet with foil, wash and break off rough ends of asparagus and place on cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and bake for 8-10 minutes until tender.

In a pan, place sliced grape tomatoes with 1 tsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar.  Cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes start to get soft.

Place chicken and asparagus on a dish, top with tomatoes and mozzarella, and drizzle with the extra balsamic mixture from the tomatoes. Look how good this looks:
Seriously, delicious!  So light and fresh and full of flavor!!  Enjoy!  :)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Hot Chicken Salad

My friend Amy made this years ago at a playdate and I have served it many times since!  It is great for any occasion, or even just for dinner.  It is so easy and never disappoints!
Hot Chicken Salad
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
2 cups chopped celery (I leave this out...not a fan of celery!)
1 cup toasted, sliced almonds
1 1/2 cup mayo
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Crushed BBQ chips
Mix the first 4 ingredients together and put in oven safe bowl or dish.  Cover with cheese and then top with crushed chips. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes and serve hot.
Crazy easy and crazy good!!  Enjoy!  :) 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Italian Pepperoni Bites

Do you have any recipes that you have had forever, but have forgotten about them??  This is one of those!  I cut this recipe out of a magazine YEARS ago and haven't made it in forever!  I'm so glad I stumbled across it because I forgot how yummy and easy it was!!  I think these are intended to be an appetizer, but I make them a little bigger and we eat them for dinner.  Either way, try them!  They won't disappoint!!
Italian Pepperoni Bites
1 package (3.5 oz) sliced pepperoni, chopped
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 tomato, chopped
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp prepared pesto
2 packages (10 oz each) refrigerated flaky biscuits
Preheat oven to 350.  In bowl, combine pepperoni, cheese, tomato, mayonnaise, and pesto.
 (Now, the original recipe says to cut each biscuit in half and to use a mini muffin pan, but I don't cut them in half and use a regular muffin pan.)  Place biscuits into greased muffin cups, pressing gently to fit cups.  Spoon 1 tablespoon (more if you are doing regular cups) into each cup.  Bake 20 - 25 minutes.  Serve warm.
How good do they look???  :)
You can serve them as an appetizer, or throw a salad together and have them for dinner.  They are SO GOOD!!!  Enjoy!  :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken

I've had this recipe pinned  from Life As a Lofthouse for a while now and finally got around to making it.  I can't believe I waited this long...this is AMAZING!!!!  I was shocked at how good it was.  My husband actually said that he would prefer to have this any day over our favorite Chinese food restaurant...what?!?  It really is THAT GOOD!  If you haven't made this yet, run to the store and buy the ingredients.  This will NOT disappoint!!!
Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken
The Chicken Coating:
3-4 boneless chicken breasts
salt + pepper
1 cup cornstarch (you really don't need this much...I had A LOT leftover)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil

The Sweet and Sour Sauce:
3/4 cup sugar
4 tbs ketchup
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp garlic salt
Preheat oven to 325.  Rinse chicken breasts with water and cut into cubes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Dip chicken into the cornstarch to coat and then dip into the eggs.  Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet and cook chicken until browned, but not cooked through.  Place the chicken in a 9X13 inch greased baking dish.
 Mix all of your sweet and sour sauce ingredients in a bowl with a whisk and pour evenly over the chicken.
 Bake for one hour and during the baking process you will need to turn the chicken every 15 minutes.

I'm not exaggerating...this is truly fantastic!!!  This will definitely be a regular meal at our house!  Enjoy!  :)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Fruit Skewers

OK, so this is not a recipe.  This is a fun little side that I love to make!  Anytime I am asked to bring fruit to something, I always make these cute little fruit skewers .  They are so simple, but look much more elegant than bringing a bunch of fruit mixed up in a bowl!  :)  I had a brunch to go to this past week and signed up for fruit of course.  There were only 7 of us, so I didn't make many, but this pic will show you how pretty they turn out.  I've done these for baby showers and other events where I make MUCH more than this and just layer them around the plate...they look so nice and always get eaten up. 
 Hope you think these are as cute as I do! Enjoy!  :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cheez-It Chicken

My friend Trina texted me a recipe the other day that she thought I would like.  Once I saw how easy it was, I knew I just had to try it!  The best part was that I already had the ingredients.  Chances are, if you have kids, you have the ingredients too!  Thanks Trina and Winner Dinners for this easy, delish recipe...we'll definitely be having it again soon!  :)
Cheez-It Chicken
8 chicken tenders (I am funny about chicken tenders...don't like the tendons in them - YUCK, so I just sliced 3 chicken breasts into strips)
1 cup sour cream (I only used about 1/2 a cup and used Light sour cream)
3 cups Cheez-Its, crushed
1/2 cup butter, melted (I only used about 1/4 cup)
Here goes EASY...crush the Cheez-Its in a large ziploc bag.  Preheat the oven to 375.  Roll the chicken tenders in the sour cream and then in the Cheez-It crumbs.  Place them in a baking dish.  Drizzle with the melted butter.  Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.  Seriously, it doesn't get easier than this!  Only 4 ingredients and about 4 minutes of prep time.  Dinner is served!
This chicken turns out really moist on the inside, but super crunchy on the outside.  My 5 year old devoured it and even said at one point that it tasted like Chick-fil-A...SCORE!  BIG mommy points there!  Enjoy!  :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Roasted Asparagus

If you like asparagus and want the easiest recipe EVER, then this is for you!  It is hard to even call it a recipe when it only has two ingredients, but since I got it out of a cookbook, then I'll call it a recipe!  Here ya go:
Roasted Asparagus
1 pound fresh asparagus
Olive oil-flavored cooking spray
Snap tough ends off 1 pound fresh asparagus.  Coat asparagus with olive oil-flavored cooking spray, and bake at 450 for 10 minutes or until tender.

It really doesn't get any easier then that for a quick, wonderful side dish!  Now, if only I could get my son to take a bite!!  Enjoy!  :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sweet and Tangy Braised Chuck Roast

While at home for Thanksgiving, my Dad made an amazing roast!  It is very different from the standard roast that you are probably used has some really unique ingredients that give it a little bit of sweetness.  I couldn't believe it when he told me what was in it.  So, don't be alarmed by the ingredient list when you see that there are cookies in it...embrace it!  Trust me!  This was super easy because it is a crockpot meal and tastes wonderful!
Sweet and Tangy Braised Chuck Roast
6 (2-inch) gingersnap cookies finely crushed into crumbs
1 cups peeled baby carrots
2 large celery stalks cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
1 medium onion cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup raisins (I skipped this...not a raisin fan!)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (about 2 pound) beef chuck roast
In a 4 1/2 - 6 quart slow cooker, combine gingersnap crumbs, carrots, celery, onion, wine, vinegar, raisins, salt, and pepper.  Place roast on top of vegetables.  cover with lid and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 6-6 1/2 hours or until roast is very tender.  Place roast on warm platter. Skim and discard fat from cooking liquid.  Serve roast with vegetables and sauce.

The roast literally fell apart as I was taking it out...SO GOOD!!  Enjoy!  :)