Thursday, May 26, 2011

Peanut Butter Bars

This recipe has been moved to The Traveling Circus.

Click the link below for the recipe

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Costa Vida Chicken Salad

One of our favorite restaurants is Costa Vida. We eat there all the time and we mostly order their salads. They're so good. If there isn't a Costa Vida by you, you're really missing out! I found this recipe for a copycat version of their chicken salad. It was so good!

Printable Recipe

Costa Vida Chicken Salad

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
Chicken mixture
Cilantro lime rice
Garlic black beans
2 tomatoes, chopped
Creamy tomatillo dressing
guacamole or avocados
crispy tortilla strips

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Spray crock pot with cooking spray. Place chicken in crock pot. Top with remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours.

Cilantro Lime Rice:
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups Minute rice
2 tsp chicken bouillon
2 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup cilantro
1/4 of an onion
1/2 can green chiles

In a food processor or blender, blend together cilantro, onion, and green chiles. Pour into a medium saucepan with water. Bring to a boil and add all ingredients. Mix well. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 5-6 minutes or until rice is tender.

Garlic Black Beans:
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup tomato juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add cumin and garlic. Cook and stir until garlic starts to pop. Add remaining ingredients except cilantro. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro just before serving.

Creamy Tomatillo Dressing:
3 fresh tomatillos
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 pkg. ranch buttermilk dressing mix
1 cup fresh cilantro
4 green onions, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 tsp sugar

Combine all ingredients in a blender; mix well. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Tortilla Strips:
Slice 10 corn tortillas into narrow strips. Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle generously with salt. Spray with cooking spray. Place under broiler until crispy and brown.

To assemble salad, top lettuce with chicken, rice, black beans, tomatoes, dressing, guacamole, and tortilla strips.

Serves 6-8

Monday, May 23, 2011

Oreo Cupcakes

Printable Recipe

Oreo Cupcakes
2 1/3 cup flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup buttermilk at room temperature

1 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp whipping cream
3 Tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
6 Tbsp Oreo cookie crumbs
24 Oreo cookies

Preheat oven to 350. Place cupcake liners in muffin pans. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Gradually add brown sugar and beat until fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk. (Begin with flour and end with flour) Mix until just incorporated without overmixing. Pour into cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

To make frosting, beat together whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold in Oreo crumbs. Pipe or spread frosting on cupcakes. Top each cupcake with an Oreo cookie.

Makes 24 cupcakes

Recipe adapted from Annie's Eats

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chile Verde with Tomatillos

Chile Verde happens to be my favorite food ever! When I got some anaheim peppers and tomatillos in my bountiful basket, I decided to alter my original recipe a little. Both recipes are delicious! This one has a slightly tangy flavor from the tomatillos. I hope you enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Chile Verde with Tomatillos
6 anaheim peppers, roasted, peeled, and chopped
3 tomatillos, roasted and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, roasted and diced (optional)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 lbs boneless pork chops, cut into small cubes
3 Tbsp flour
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup water
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp cumin
shredded cheese
flour tortillas

To roast vegetables, place on greased baking sheet. Place under the broiler for 12-15 minutes, turning halfway through, until charred. Let cool and peel skin from peppers.

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add pork, flour, and garlic. Brown for about 3-4 minutes. Stir in water, anaheim peppers, tomatillos, and jalapenos, scraping up any bits at the bottom of the pan. (Every pepper is different so I taste them before I add them. You can always add more heat but you can't take it out.) Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes, garlic salt, and cumin. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve in flour tortillas. Top with cheese.

Serves 6

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pirate Ship Cake

My 5 year old had a Pirates of the Caribbean birthday party this weekend so I made a pirate ship cake for him. I got this idea from Family Fun. It thought it turned out cute but my cakes never turn out exactly how I want them to. Maybe if I was a professional cake decorator they would be better. But he loved it so that's all that matters!

Pirate Ship Cake
2 cakes baked in 9" round pans
4 cups chocolate frosting
chocolate wafer sticks (such as Pirouette)
tootsie rolls
2 skewers with paper for flags
pirate figures

Freeze cakes for easier frosting. Cute each round cake in half down the center.

Stack each cake on top of each other in the same direction, with frosting in between each layer. Stick 2 straws inside the cake to help hold it together.

Cut the side off the cake to make a base for the cake.

Carefully turn the cake upright so the side is now the bottom. 

Frost the cake. Refrigerate for 1 hour to firm the frosting.

Use frosting to place wafer sticks along the edge of the cake. Cut a hole in the center of each tootsie roll and stick a candle in each one. Place tootsie rolls on the side of the cake for cannons. Use toothpicks to hold in place if necessary. Place skewers in the cake for flags. Place pirate figures on the cake. Set the rolos in the back for the pirate gold. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Favorite Meatloaf

Printable Recipe

Favorite Meatloaf
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup Italian dressing
2 lbs ground beef
3/4 cup ketchup, divided
1 pkg. (6 oz) stuffing mix for chicken
1 cup water
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Cook onions in Italian dressing in a skillet over medium heat for about 8 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine meat, 1/4 cup of the ketchup, stuffing mix, water, egg whites, and onions. Mix well. Place mixture in a greased 9x13 baking dish. Shape into a 10x5 oval loaf. Spread with remaining 1/2 cup ketchup.

Bake 55 minutes or until cooked through. Sprinkle with cheese; bake 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Recipe adapted from Kraft Food and Family

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Chicken and Corn Chowder with Sweet Potatoes

Printable Recipe

Chicken and Corn Chowder with Sweet Potatoes

3 cups whole milk or 2 cups 1% and 1 cup cream
1 cup corn muffin mix
2 Tbsp butter
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
2 quarts chicken broth
1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2-3 sweet potatoes, cut into cubes (about 3 cups)
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
3 cups frozen corn
1/2 cup fresh parsley or 2 1/2 Tbsp dried
salt and pepper to taste

Mix together milk and muffin mix until combined; set aside. Heat butter in a large pot over medium heat until foaming. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin, and oregano. Cook and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken broth, chicken, and sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in milk mixture and simmer for 10 minutes or until soup starts to thicken. Add cheese and corn. Cook until cheese melts, about 2 minutes. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Serves 6-8

Recipe adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Monday, May 9, 2011

Scalloped Potatoes and Pork Chops

Printable Recipe

Scalloped Potatoes and Pork Chops

5 cups potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup onion, diced
salt and pepper to taste
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup sour cream
6 boneless pork chops
chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 375. In a greased 9x13 baking dish, layer half of the potatoes and half of the onion. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining potatoes and onion and salt and pepper. Combine soup and sour cream and pour over potatoes. Cover and bake for 45 minutes. With about 10 minutes left, heat olive oil in a large skillet. Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Brown pork chops for about 1-2 minutes on each side. Place on top of potatoes. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Remove cover for the last 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tortellini Soup

Tortellini Soup
1 lb Italian sausage
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, sliced
5 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water
2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
1/2 tsp oregano
4 Tbsp fresh parsley or 4 tsp dried
2 cups zucchini, sliced
16-20 oz pkg frozen tortellini

Cook sausage with onion, green pepper, and garlic. Add remaining ingredients except zucchini and tortellini. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and add zucchini and tortellini. Cook for 15 minutes, or until tortellini is cooked through and carrots are tender.

Serves 8

Monday, May 2, 2011

Princess Cake

My 3 year old had a princess birthday party with her little friends last week. Everyone dressed up as a princess and it was adorable. For dinner, I made quesadillas and cut them out with princess cookie cutters. We also served fruit, veggies, and pink lemonade. Two teenage girls from my neighborhood came dressed as "real princesses." It was a hit! The little girls had so much fun. I also made this princess cake. I thought it turned out really cute.

Princess Cake

2 baked 9 inch round cakes
1 baked dome cake (baked in a 2 1/2 quart bowl)
barbie doll
6 cups frosting

Stack the two round cakes with frosting in between the layers. Frost with another layer of frosting and stack the dome cake on top to form a skirt. Frost the cake with desired frosting. Wrap the barbie doll's legs in plastic wrap and stick in the center of the cake. Decorate the cake however you like (piping, sprinkles, etc).

*Note: I made this cake using White Almond Sour Cream Cake. I thought it was the right amount of cake for this recipe; however my doll was a little too tall for the cake. I used a little extra frosting around the doll's waist to compensate. The frosting recipe was the exact amount that I needed. If you want to pipe some decoration on the dress, increase the recipe by half.


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