Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Creamy Chicken Taquitos

I think almost every food blog I browse has a version of this recipe posted. Yes, it is that good. And yes, I think it is time for me to join the club. Also, it is super easy to make and can hang out in the freezer until you are ready to eat it. I think I have had a stash of these in my freezer consistently for 6 months or so. Whenever I miscalculate how much food Hunter and I are going to eat in a week or if I don't feel like cooking, Creamy Chicken Taquitos come to the rescue. They have yet to disappoint. 

Yield: 10-12 Taquitos

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup salsa
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
Green onion, chopped
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 cup shredded Mexican Cheese (our other variations according to your pleasure - cheddar, pepper jack)
10-12 6 inch flour tortillas
Cooking Spray
Kosher Salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (aluminum foil also works, but be sure to coat with cooking spray).

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, salsa, lime juice, spices, cilantro, green onions, chicken and shredded cheese. Mix well. 

Breifly heat the tortillas in the microwave to make them soft enough to roll easily. Place tortilla on a work surface, spoon 2-3 tbsp of the filling mixture down the middle of the tortilla, and roll the tortilla tightly around the filling. Place seam side down on a baking sheet.* Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes until crisp and golden brown. 

*To freeze: At this point, place the baking sheet in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer safe container or plastic bag. To bake from the freezer, add about 5 minutes to the baking time to ensure that they are fully warmed. 

Source: slightly adapted from Annie's Eats, also available on other various food blogs

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pepper Cornmeal Muffins

I rarely ate anything pepper related until I started dating my husband. Since then, I have been enlightened to the point that almost every time I go to the grocery store I buy some kind of pepper. There was a recipe on my menu last week that called for half of a red pepper so I had to figure out how to use the other half, right? These little guys were the result. 

I also added in a jalapeno because I think that jalapenos are my favorite things to buy and they add such a nice flavor. 

Of course these could be made without the peppers and still taste very yummy. 

Yield: 18-20 muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup corn meal
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup applesauce (or vegetable oil)
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line 18-20 muffin tins.

Combine flour, sugar, corn meal, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, combine milk, eggs, and applesauce. Mix well. Add to the flour mixture, stir just until blended. Add in the peppers. Pour into prepared muffin tins, filling them 2/3 full.

Bake for 18-20 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes, remove and cool slightly.

To make cornbread: Pour batter into greased 8 inch square baking pan. Bake for 35 minutes.

Source: adapted from Alber's Corn Meal Box

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Buttermilk Bacon Muffins

Are you feeling savory? I hope so because all of the recipes that are currently waiting to be posted do not involve chocolate or sugar as a main ingredient. This is a big moment.

This is also the first time I have ever baked with bacon. I have seen numerous recipes for cookies and cupcakes that include bacon but I just don't understand how bacon and chocolate mix. Both are wonderful things, but mixed? I am skeptical. I figured this recipe was normal enough to be a good introduction for me and maybe one day I will understand why people think baking with bacon is such a great idea.

These make wonderful little breakfast treats and are a nice break from all the sweet (gasp-did I really just say that??). Enjoy!

Yield: 12 muffins

6 slices thick cut bacon
2 golden delicious apples
2 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk*
1/2 cup canola oil
1 egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Oil 12 standard muffin cups.

In a frying pan, fry the bacon until crisp. Transfer to paper towels and pat dry. Crumble the bacon and set aside. Peel and grate the apples.

In a bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, and egg until smooth. Add the buttermilk mixture, apple, and bacon and stir until just combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them about 3/4 full. Fill any unused cups 1/3 full with water to allow more even baking. Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Source: Adapted from Williams Sonoma, Cooking at Home, page 427

*If you don't routinely have buttermilk, using 1 cup of milk + 1 tbsp vinegar gives the same effect and taste. This is almost exclusively the method I use because I can never go through a whole thing of buttermilk without at least wasting some of it. This way I feel more fiscally responsible and less wasteful.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Oreo Balls

3 posts in 3 days?!? This is unheard of.

Explanation: Since my husband ruptured his PCL and fractured his fibula, we are confined to our home due to his limited mobility which means lots of making and eating of food.

Because of his injury, he is entitled to certain perks - like me fulfulling random cravings on a whim. Yesterday's craving: Oreo Balls. 

Not only are these little guys super addictive they are also super easy to make. I think total time from when the craving struck to completion was just over an hour - and that included me debating whether I should do it and taking a trip to the store to get all the supplies. 

My final reasoning for satisfying his craving: chocolate makes everything better. While it may not help his knee heal faster, at least it can boost his spirits (and mine) through taste buds. 

Yield: about 24 Oreo Balls

1 package Oreos, crushed
1 package Cream Cheese (8 oz)
8-10 oz chocolate 

Mix together the crushed oreos and the cream cheese until very well blended. Form into 1 inch balls.

Melt the chocolate and dip the balls into it, covering them completely.

Source: My very good friend, Melissa

Friday, February 3, 2012

Saucy Baked BBQ Chicken

Let me first set the record straight: I rarely like BBQ sauce. I will never seek it out to use for dipping and will only eat it rarely and usually only when it has been used as a marinade. 

Now that we've got that clear, these are yummy, yummy! My husband is a big fan of dark meat and I have little exposure to it so when I see a recipe that looks like I will be able to stomach it I generally give it a try. I am pleased I did with this one. Granted, I cheated a little bit - instead of using legs or thighs with the bone in, I used boneless, skinless thighs. I don't at all support bones in my food. I am sure that if you are a bone in skin on kind of person they would be delightful made that way too. Next time I make these I might just try it with legs.

Yield: 3-4 servings

12 chicken drumsticks or 8 thighs, about 3 1/2 pounds
1 cup bbq sauce, divided (I used honey bbq flavored)
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp hot sauce (I used Cholula)

In a large, sealable plastic bag mix together 1/4 cup of the bbq sauce with the rest of the ingredients.

Make 2 slashes about 1 inch apart in the thickest part of the drumstick, cutting to the bone. Transfer the chicken to the bag with the bbq sauce mixture. Press most of the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Shake the bag gently to distribute the sauce evenly. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (I did mine overnight).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Line a baking sheet with foil. Remove the chicken from the bag with tongs and space evenly on the rack. Discard the contents of the bag. Brush both sides of the drumsticks with bbq sauce. 

Bake for 15 minutes, remove, turn over, and brush generously with more sauce. Return to the oven and repeat this process 3 more times for a total cooking time of about 50-60 minutes. When done, the chicken will be fork tender and nicely glazed. 

Source: The Comfort of Cooking

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Banana Chocolate Chip Scones

One day I will learn that chocolate doesn't have to be part of every recipe I bake. That day, however; is not today. If chocolate can be included in breakfast I am all about it. Often I buy the chocolate flavored mini wheats or mix chocolate chips in my oatmeal. And lets be honest, I have no shame in eating a cookie or cupcake for breakfast. Scones, however; are legitimately breakfast food and at least it isn't strictly chocolate flavored, right? 

Yield: about 8 scones

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup sugar
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 cup milk
Chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add in the cold butter pieces and cut in with a pastry cutter until the butter pieces are no larger than peas. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk and eggs. Add the mashed bananas and sugar and mix until blended. Add the dry ingredients and stir until moistened. Be careful not to over-mix the dough. 

There are different ways to shape scone. You can pat the dough into one large disc and slice into triangular wedges after cooked (this is what I did), roll it out and cut with a biscuit cutter, or use a dough scoop and make drop scones. 

Bake until light golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.