Southwest Chicken and White Bean Chili

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Southwest Chicken and White Bean Chili

I don’t know if it was our first week of chilly mornings or preseason football starting but it feels more like fall and less like summer. Since fall is my favorite season, I am a bit excited so here is an easy recipe that you can throw together in a huge pot on the stove and snack on all day. I make my own chicken broth (its easy, much cheaper and I think it tastes better) but feel free to substitute canned broth if its easier. ok, here we go:

1 whole chicken (Use a raw if you want to make your own broth, or use cooked rotisserie if you are using canned broth)

2 stalkers of celery (If making broth)

1 whole onion (if making broth)

3 carrots (if making broth)

4 cans of white beans (only drain 2 cans)

3 Tbsp Taco Seasoning

2 cans of diced green chilis

1 can of corn

1 bunch of cilantro

Sour Cream, Salt, Pepper

  1. Put raw chicken in large stock pot and fill with water. (fill pot with enough water to cover chicken with an inch to spare). Add the onion, celery and carrots and bring to a rolling boil. Let boil for about an hour.
  2. When broth is done, remove the chicken and veggies. De-bone and shred .Discard veggies, skin and bones.
  3. Add the 2 (drained) cans of beans to the broth. Put the other 2 cans in a bowl and mash until only a third of the beans remain. Then add to the broth.
  4.  Add drained corn and shredded chicken.
  5. Let simmer for about 10 minutes until hot.
  6. Serve with a tablespoon (or 2……..or 3)  of sour cream and fresh cilantro, salt and pepper.

Happy Eating!

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Ganche and Carmel-Coffee Buttercream Cupcakes

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This is pretty much all of my favorite things in 1 cup cake!! Ganache…Um Yeah, Carmel-Coffee Buttercream…Um Hell Yeah! This recipe with go with pretty much and cupcake that you make. I used chocolate because when I made them, I had a ton of chocolate cake batter left over so why not? Basically, these were a throw together for a function and I didn’t want to take the same old same old bunt cake (when people know you bake, you had better bring something delicious to every party!~ LOL) I can tell you everyone was in love with them and they sound so fancy that people will assume you bought them!!

 

Chocolate whiped cream stuffed cupcake with ganache and whipped buttercream

Lets start with the cupcakes because that usually takes the longest.  I am not going to make you sit through my Chocolate Cake Recipe again but you can click on the link and go crazy!

Now that we have to cup cakes cooked and cooling, lets start the ganache:

Ganache

1 1/4 cups semisweet or dark chocolate, CHOPPED

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Heat the Heavy Cream over medium-high heat until it is bubbly but not quite boiling. Be careful not to burn the cream as it will RUIN the ganache. So start slow and heat it up higher and higher until it is nice and bubbly! Remove from heat and add vanilla, then pour over the chocolate. The chocolate should melt and turn into a gooey, amazing chocolate sauce that will cool into ganache and it is soooooooo amazing. But let cool all the way before using.
Carmel-Coffee Buttercream Frosting

2 sticks of butter room temp

2 1/2 c powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/4c carmel ice cream topping

3-5 Tbsp Brewed Coffee (cooled)

Beat butter, coffee, carmel and vanilla until creamy. Add in powdered sugar a cup at a time, mixing well between addition. Mix until smooth. If needed add more powdered sugar to get to the correct consistency.

Assemble

Take about t tablespoon of ganache and cover the tops of the cupcakes so they are shiny and coated in ganache. Pipe the buttercream right on top of the ganache. Make sure you leave a bit of the ganache showing because it is shiny and looks great. I hope you enjoy these and happy eating!!

 

Hawaiin Turkey Burger

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The first turkey burger I ever tasted was awful so I dismissed them (as dry, tasteless and generally gross…….now I’m not above admitting when I am wrong…I WAS WRONG) for the longest time but I finally did some research and found the many errors of my ways.  I have always been a fan of grilled pineapple so this was a natural fit!! I LOVE teriyaki anything so feel free to skip the teriyaki sauce drizzle at the end if you do not love it. BUT! if you have made the same mistake as I had………Give these a shot:)

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  • 1lb Ground Turkey
  • 1/2 Red Bell Pepper, diced (small pieces)
  • 1/4c Green Onions, diced
  • 1/2c Bread Crumbs
  • 2Tbsp Teriyaki Sauce
  • 1/4c Egg Whites (egg beaters)
  • 4 Pineapple Slices
  • 4 Slices Swiss Cheese
  • 4 buns

1. Combine turkey, bell pepper. green onions, bread crumbs, teriyaki sauce and egg whites in a mixing bowl. Separate into 4 patties and grill until internal temp is 165 degrees.

2. I always add my cheese while the meat is still on the grill. When I add the cheese, I also put the pineapple slices and the buns on the grill so they get nice and toasted too!

3. Assemble as follows: bottom bun, burger, pineapple slices, drizzle with teriyaki sauce, top bun with a little mayo. YUM YUM

HAPPY EATING

Freezer Meals!!

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Anyone who has had to stumble into the kitchen at 5:30 am to get their kids off to school and themselves off to work all the while trying to make a cup of coffee and anticipate what your family will crave in 12 hours…….. will appreciate this post! I LOVE freezer meals but I think there are a few misconceptions about how to make HEALTHY and FRESH freezer meals. First, I do NOT cook any of the meals before I freeze them. (Unless specifically noted). Second, I usually don’t add any vegetables to my freezer meals because I prefer fresh veggies SO, if I am going to freeze the veggies, why spend money on good fresh produce…just buy them already frozen. Third, I keep certain staples on hand so I can use them in several different ways to “finish” the meal. Fourth, 1 day of prepping is worth 25 or 30 days of not having to!!

My approach to freezer meals is to stay healthy but understand that a splurge in necessary sometimes. So I like to throw in a tray of lasagna or something pretty heavy for a change. I also usually use about 2 freezer meals a week depending on my schedule and menu.

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Some of these may seem like an odd combination but I like to keep my teenage sons guessing! Make sure that you have tons of baggies on hand. I like the gallon sized but that is up to you, also try to get all of the air out of them before freezing. This will help protect against freezer burn. My freezer meals today included:

BBQ Chicken, Pork

While I love Sweet Baby Rays bbq sauce, there is nothing better than homemade and I have to say that my friend Jess over at longlivethenoms nailed it with her Easy Homemade BBQ Sauce. I used this as my recipe and I can tell you that it is exactly what I was hoping for! Add about 1/8c sauce per chicken breast or pork chop. I love these grilled but if that is not an option you can always crock pot them or bake them in the oven If you crockpot them make sure you set it on the lowest setting as chicken cooks quickly in the crock pot so after a few hours it can turn into mush. If you bake in the oven I would recommend baking at 420 for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Siracha BBQ

Similar to the above recipe I just add about 3 Tablespoons of Siracha (Chili Sauce) and it kicks it up a notch! My husband loves anything spicy so this is really his fav!!

Hawaiian Turkey Burgers

It took me a while to get used to turkey burger bc they can get pretty dry, But I can promise these are anything but dry! For each pound of ground turkey add: 1/2 dices orange bell pepper, 1 green onion, 1/2c bread crumbs, 2Tbsp teriyaki sauce. Mix well and make into 4 patties. When ready to eat, grill or cook on flat top until cooked all the way through, top with swiss cheese. Spray buns with coking spray and lay on grill until toasty, Also put pineapple on the grill just to get the char marks and caramelizes. Assemble as follows: bottom bun, burger with swiss, pineapple, drizzle with teriyaki sauce and top with bun. I add a little mayo, it goes great with the teriyaki! ENJOY

Hamburgers/Hamburger saks

Per pound, 2 Tbsp A-1, 1/2 a diced onion, Garlic (minced 1 Tbsp), Salt and Pepper. Mix well and make into 4 patties per pound. These are great as Cheeseburgers on the grill or cooked on the flat top with mushrooms and onions without a bun!

Italian Chicken, Steak

Ok, These are a total cheat but are one of my favorite GO-TO meals. They are always amazing and go with pretty much anything. Per 3 chicken breasts use about half a batch of dressing. 1 Wishbone Italian dressing mix and ingredients to make it. (EVOO, Water and Balsamic Vinegar). Grill or Bake at 420 for 15 minutes. Good with any veggie! I love it with a cold sesame ginger noodle salad!

Teriyaki Chicken, Steak

Who doesn’t love a good teriyaki steak? It is a staple and my guys all love it We use flank steak for this and it is delish BUT you have to cut it correctly. If not then it will be the toughest piece of meat ever! Look at the muscle fibers of the meat, they will run from side to side, length-wise, cut the opposite direction. What I do is lay the meat on the cutting board and use my sharpest knife, cut at an angle so you are making a thin sheet of steak. Add to the baggie with about 1/4 c teriyaki sauce an about 4 Tbsp of water.  When you cook these they do much better in a skillet or a grittle, if you have one.  Get it super hot then sear the meat on each side for about 3-4 minutes. Set on a plate. After the meat is finished, leave the juices in the pan and throw in some fresh snap/snow peas and cook until fork tender. Serve over brown rice, or with cold noodles.

Creamy Chicken

This is the best thing over egg noodles EVER! It is 3 chicken breasts, 1 container of cream cheese, 1 Wishbone Italian dressing mix, 1 can cream of chicken soup. Throw this puppy ni the crock pot and it is good good good!

Cilantro-Lime Chicken, Steak

I really love the steak version of this because it is something different. I am pretty sure I could eat an entire steak with just this marinade by itself! Start by cutting the steak the same way you would the teriyaki beef. I use about 1 bunch of cilantro for 2 meals. Rough chop the cilantro add about 1 Tbsp of lime juice and about 1Tbsp EVOO. Again, this is great on the grill, in the oven or on the stove!

Twice Baked Potatoes

I used 10 potatoes. Pierce them, wash them and then pop them in the oven at 350 for about an hour or till soft. Let cool until they can easily be managed then cut each in half length-wise. Scoop out as much of the insides as possible without compromising the actual skin. Add 6 Tbsp of butter and about 6 Tbsp of light Sour Cream, then mash. Add 2 Oz shredded cheese. refill the skins and Freeze. To Eat, bake at 325 for about 15 to 20 minutes or until hot. I usually add a little extra cheese on the top when I reheat them.

Like I mentioned earlier, I keep several staples around so I can complete the meal in under 20 minutes. A few of my favorites are Brown Rice, Dreamfield Spaghetti Noodles (this brand is my fav) and Egg Noodles. If you have more time you can throw in a baked potato or sweet potato. (not 20 min but still a good staple)

Also, since I use mostly fresh produce it feels like a homemade meal everyday. When in doubt throw a spinach salad  with it and some green beans or some sautéed squash in garlic or cilantro-Romano-lime broccoli.

Please feel free to post your meals below in the comments. I am always looking to try new things!! Thanks for checking out my blog!!

Cilantro-Ginger Noodle Salad

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First and foremost, I am not the creator of this recipe but I did tweak the original a bit to my liking. The first time I made this, I was so IMPRESSED I drove some to my  very dear friend of mine Brittany. After she tried it and confirmed it was indeed as good as I thought it was. Her daughter Vanessa (who is a teenager, so you know she will be honest…..if it sucks) walked in the room and even she loved it!  Turns out…Yep it  really is that good. Thanks Brit and V for being such trusting taste testers for me!! I really appreciate it!

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  • 1lb Whole Wheat Spaghetti
  • 1 Head Green Cabbage
  • 1/2 Head Red Cabbage
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper
  • 4 Green Onions
  • 1 Bunch of Cilantro
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2c Olive Oil
  • 1/2c Soy Sauce
  • 4tbsp Splenda Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Lime Juice
  • 5 tbsp Grated Fresh Ginger
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame Oil

1. Boil spaghetti in salted water according to the package directions. Drain.

Rinse with cold water, drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss to keep from sticking.

Pop in the fridge to cool.

2. Shred cabbage, put in a VERY LARGE mixing bowl. (There is no bowl too large)

3. Dice green onions, bell peppers, cilantro, Add to cabbage.

4. In a small bowl whisk together: garlic, olive oil, soy sauce, brown sugar

lemon juice, ginger, sesame oil.

5. Add cold pasta to veggies in (not sure if I can stress this enough) a VERY

LARGE MIXING BOWL. Pour dressing over the top and toss.

6. Keep tossing

7. Keep tossing. It takes a while to get everything mixed evenly.

8. Serve. This is roughly 10 servings or so!

HAPPY EATING!

Ugly Marble Cake

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Ok, So this might not be the ugliest cake ever but it is not beautiful either. They say necessity is the mother of invention….this recipe is no exception. I had to have a dessert for a surprise get together and had literally an hour and a half. So this is what I made and it was freaking delish! The mix of rich chocolate, coffee, carmel and bittersweet ganache will get ya everytime! It makes me want to curl up on the couch with a huge piece and a glass of milk!
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  • 1 Chocolate Box Cake Mix (as I said…..major crunch time) and the box ingredients.
  • 4oz Dark Chocolate Chopped
  • 12 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate
  • 1c Heavy Cream Plus a Splash as needed
  • 2 Sticks Butter (REAL BUTTER) Room Temp
  • 4c Powdered Sugar
  • 6Tbsp Brewed Coffee (I Heart my Keurig)
  • 1/8 c Carmel Ice Cream Topping
Ok, So lets get the cake in the oven because it takes the most time.
1.  In a small bowl combine 8oz of Semi sweet chocolate and half of the hot coffee,
      stir until melted. (ok to microwave a bit if needed).
2. Follow the box directions but add in the coffee mixture, pour into 2 rounds pans
    and bake until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool or if on a time crunch (like
    I was) let cool in the fridge.
3. While the cakes are baking, add dark and semisweet (4oz of each) chocolate to
     a heat proof bowl. Heat 1c of heavy cream on medium until it starts to bubble.
    Remove from heat and pour over chocolate STIR until smooth. Cool in Fridge!
  
Buttercream Frosting! Coffee-Carmel Buttercream Frosting to be exact!!!

1. Put softened butter remaining coffee and carmel topping in mixer and beat together until smooth.

2. Add in powdered sugar a cup at a time and mix between.

3. If it is to think add a splash of heavy cream, if it’s not think enough

add more powdered sugar.

Assembly

Here is the fun part!!! Put the bottom layer on the cake plate and frost. Add the next layer and frost. Keep in mind this does not have to be pretty because we are going to marble it…Just covered.

Next, add spoonfuls of the ganache randomly on the top. You can add as much or as little as you like.  Start connecting the spoonfuls in a figure 8 motion. GO CRAZY…THERE IS NO WRONG DESIGN… UGLY MARBLE CAKE! It can be as light or as dark as you want it to be. I love the ganache, it really offsets the sweetness of the buttercream. I hope you enjoy YOUR creation.  Happy Eating!!

Santa Fe Chicken

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When I was 18, I used to work in a steakhouse and they made the absolute best BBQ chicken! It was the most juicy, tender…. PERFECTLY cooked chicken. When I wanted to impress with a fantastic dinner, I made this  because it tastes amazing and looks bright and pretty!! AND lets be honest who doesnt love BBQ anything?

Santa Fe Chicken

  • 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1-1.5 cups of BBQ Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Shredded 2% Cheddar Cheese
  • 4 Tbsp Sour Cream (I use light)
  • 1 Diced Ripe Tomato
  • 3 Green Onions

1. Place Chicken Breasts on grill (or a cookie sheet to go under the broiler.

Next best thing, if a grill is not available).

2. Glaze both sides of the chicken in BBQ sauce (don’t use it all, just enough

to cover the chicken). Keep glazing the chicken in bbq sauce until it is white

in the middle, but still very tender. (DO NOT OVER COOK, about 6 minutes per

side depending on the size of the chicken).

3. Turn heat off and cover each piece of chicken with 1/4 of the cheese and cover

until melted. Top with Sour Cream, diced tomatoes and green onion.

Happy Eating

Loaded Pulled Pork Sandwiches

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My favorite time of year is the beginning of football season! COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON to be more specific. This is a meal that is seen around my house quite often because there is always enough to go around  (Between my 2 teenage sons that is saying a lot) and it is just delicious! My mom (who doesn’t like sandwiches………YEP, I said that…..DOESN’T LIKE SANDWICHES!) said it was the BEST sandwich she has ever had! That is a better compliment than a Michelin Star!

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  • 1 Boston Butt (salt, pepper, garlic)
  • 1 Large Bottle of BBQ Sauce (Or Home Made)
  • 1 Bag Shredded Cabbage
  • 1/2c Real Mayo
  • 2Tbsp Sugar
  • 1.5 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Buns, Cheese, Pickles and Butter

Cook the Boston Butt First

A quick Note……. This does require a crock pot!

1. Put the Boston butt in the crock pot then fill about half way with

water. Season with seasoning salt, pepper and garlic, or your favs.

2.  Cook on Low for about 10-14 hrs or so (depending on size). you will know

it is finished when the meat is so tender that you have to spoon it out of

the crock pot. If its not that tender, let it keep cooking.

3. When the meat is tender, remove from crock pot and shred. Discard all but

1/8-1/4c. of the juice. Return meat and add BBQ sauce. Stir until covered

Make the Cole Slaw

1. Add the shredded cabbage, mayo, apple cider vinegar

and sugar in to a mixing bowl. Mix and Refrigerate.

When finished, the coleslaw should be tangy and sweet.

2. While the slaw is in the fridge, butter both sides of the

bun, sprinkle with garlic powder and lightly toast the

under the broiler. Add Cheese, return to broiler.

3. Assemble bottom bun with meat, slaw, pickles and top with cheesy bun!

YUM YUM Happy Eating!

The Perfect Chocolate Cake

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 I can think of about 1000 reasons to have a good chocolate cake recipe in my repertoire. Who doesn’t like to curl up on the couch with a warm piece of chocolate cake and a glass of milk? This girl sure does!
This is by far my favorite “from scratch” cake because it is so versatile. I don’t have any photos of just the cake but I do have photos of my cake loaded up with goodies, so…that will have to work.  It makes a lot of batter about 3, 9 inch rounds.
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  • 3 c Flour (All Purpose or Cake flour will work just fine) 
  • 2.5 c Sugar
  • 1 c Cocoa Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 c Evaporated Milk
  • 1 c Melted Butter
  • 2 tbsp Honey
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tsp Almond Extract
  • 3/4 c Chopped Chocolate Melted
 1. Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, cocoa powder.

     (All the dry ingredients)

2. In a separate bowl mix the milk, butter, honey and extracts.

     (All the liquid ingredients except the melted chocolate)

3. Add in half of the dry mix then add the melted chocolate

    then the rest of the dry mix.

4. Pour into well greases baking dish and bake.

5. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

6. Decorate or Frost!!

Happy Eating!

Lasagna 101

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Lasagna 101

What does every good woman have in their handy-dandy recipe book? A good (and easy) lasagna recipe!! This is a basic recipe that you can add to or make as is. This dish has gone to more potlucks and military dinners and the pan always comes back empty!! Who doesn’t like cheese and garlic?? Not anyone that I would associate with!! Just kidding, but this is a great starter recipe that will last you years to come!!

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  • 1 Box of Lasagna Noodles (NOT BOILED)
  • 4 cups of Ricotta Cheese
  • 1.5 cups Shredded Mozzarella
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 6 cups of your favorite Marinara Sauce
  • 35 Meatballs (I like the easy frozen ones)
  • Garlic, Oregano, Basil to taste

HOW TO

1. Mix the Ricotta, Eggs, Parmesan and 1 cup of the Mozzarella cheese. Season

with Garlic, Basil and Oregano to taste…I LOVE GARLIC

2. Cover the bottom of your pan with enough sauce to keep the noodles from

sticking. TIP: I spread the cheese mix over the noodles like buttered bread,

this keeps the cheese even throughout AND is faster!

3. Layer noodles over sauce until the bottom is covered. Top with sauce

and then layer with more noodles and sauce….until you run out of noodles or

cheese mix…or pan space!  Cover with sauce and the remaining cheese.

4. Place meatballs around the outside of the pan or randomly throughout the

noodles. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 1hour.

Happy Eating