I recently started dabbling in wine. I’ve always been more of a vodka girl personally, but it just seems so socially grown up to drink a glass of wine at a party. Who says peer pressure stays in high school? A while back I managed to finish my first glass, but it was Moscato so I hardly think that counts. My next attempt was a Riesling. I got a local wine called 14 Hands and found it to be delightful. I’m still a long way from attempting a musky red wine, but I feel I’m maturing.
Dun-dun-dun-dun. Ba-ba, ba-ba. (drums) Dun-dun-dun-dun!! Ba-ba, ba-ba! What? Don’t recognize that? Hmmm. I may be overreaching the bounds of my regular viewing audience here. Let’s try this.
That’s right! It’s back! Football season! Woo-hoo! Tonight is the return of Monday Night Football and I couldn’t be more pleased. My husband can’t wait until February 2013 when all the pigskin madness comes to a close. I know, we are NOT a normal couple. My Seahawks have two new quarterback prospects (who I’m every excited about) and a new wide receiver (who I’m trying to get on board with). It is going to be a great year! Surely I’ve mentioned before that I love football. Right? L.O.V.E. One of the beautiful things about NFL season is the food. Glorious game time snacks. There’s nothing better than settling in for three hours of helmet crunching, bone jarring hits with a table of munchies. They are one of my favorite things. Like these little poppers. Perfect for throwing back while you cheer on your favorite team. You may want to double or triple this recipe if you are having the whole gang over for a game. Pretty sure that in the heat of a the action I could take down half this batch solo. Yeah, I gain weight in the fall because of football…not holiday parties. Come on, I’ve been a Hawks fan since Kindergarten. I’m a stress eater. And usually, the Seahawks provide plenty of anxiety riddled games.
Sometimes, sandwiches just aren’t going to cut it for lunch. I mean really, I can’t expect my kids to eat them every day just because I can make them in my sleep. I made these pizza puffs to change-up our mid-day meal today and my two preschoolers ate the entire batch. They devoured them so quickly that all I got was a little taste and I had to beg for it from my daughter. I filled my version with some sautéed mushrooms, bell pepper and some ham. You could use pepperoni and sausage or just about any other pizza combo you can think of. Feel free to switch out the cheese too. Cheddar or pepper-jack would be delicious I’m sure. No matter how you prepare them, these light fluffy bites filled with big pizza-y flavor are sure to be a hit!
I used non-fat milk because it’s what I have in the house to use up. These still tasted fantastic, but were a little more difficult to get popped out of the muffin tin than if I’d used whole milk. So just keep that in mind. More fat = less bits stuck to your pan. I was planning to freeze some of these for a later use, but the ravenous children didn’t allow that to happen. I’m sure they’d freeze up very nicely though. Mmmm. Just look at all that cheesy goodness packed into a perfect mouthful!
These would be great appetizers for your next party or to celebrate the start of football season (it is less than 100 days away).
adapted from Plain Chicken
3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
3/4 cup whole milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
2 oz Canadian bacon (or deli ham)
1/2 cup mushrooms, sauteed until slightly cooked
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup pizza sauce
Pre-heat the oven to 375°. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, garlic powder , Italian seasoning and baking powder; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella, mushrooms, bell pepper and Canadian bacon; let stand for 10 minutes.
Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.
Do you ever want to pick up the giant box of frozen taquitos at the warehouse store but have no idea where you would store them? Well, with this recipe you can make your own, in whatever quantity you can manage to make room for in between frozen corn and random half bags of ice leftover from your last party. I made a double batch, half corn and half flour tortillas which ended up making 36 taquitos. Now I have them ready for when I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to come up with something for dinner (or lunch). 20 minutes straight from the freezer and you have a delicious homemade meal that you can feel great serving to your family. You could even make them, freeze them and have them for a party appetizer! Yum!
At the beginning of every week I poach a few chicken breasts. It’s really easy. Boil broth in a medium saucepan, add the chicken – making sure it’s completely covered by the broth. Cover and turn off the heat. Allow the residual heat from the broth to gently cook the chicken for about 20 minutes (or until it’s cooked thru). Remove from broth and then shred with two forks or throw it into your Kitchen Aid with the paddle attachment and turn it on medium for about 30 seconds. Seriously. Shreds chicken perfectly. Like a restaurant. I keep a bag of it in my fridge pretty much at all times. It’s fantastic for throwing into casseroles, soups, making tacos or these taquitos.
So, I took a few cups of my already prepared chicken and added it to some cream cheese, spices, onion, salsa and fresh cilantro. Mix it all up and you’re ready to fill your tortillas.
Heat up a couple tortillas at a time to soften so they don’t break apart when you roll them. Corn tortillas will need a little longer in the microwave than flour. I put mine under a slightly damp paper towel for about 20-30 seconds. Put a couple of tablespoons of the mixture on the bottom third of the tortilla and then roll.
Repeat until all the mixture is used. Then you can freeze for later, or bake them up right away. If freezing, “flash freeze” them in a single layer on a baking sheet. 15-20 minutes until they’re firm.
Then you can put them in a freezer bag and they won’t stick together. Easy easy.
When you cook these up they get all crispy on the outside with that rich chickeny cheesy filling melted up on the inside and are just divine. Use your favorite tortilla. Flour or corn works just as well. I know. I’ve tried both.
All ready to be devoured by your whole family. Mmmmm.
Creamy Chicken Taquitos
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup green salsa
- 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice (juice from half a lime)
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
- 2 Tbsp sliced green onions
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
- 1 cup shredded Mexican flavored cheese
- small flour or corn tortillas
- kosher salt
- cooking spray
Mexican food is a big time favorite in my house. We have some variety at least once a week. And it seems that whenever I make tacos, I always have leftovers. Not enough really for another meal though. I hate throwing food away, leftovers especially. I mean, I already made all the stuff right? What a waste! So, I borrowed an idea from “Just Us” using wonton wrappers and my leftover taco stuff to create a quick and easy lunch. Used up all my leftovers, but put a new spin on them so I wasn’t bored with my food. I hate being bored with meals.
My kids LOVE corndogs. They would eat them breakfast, lunch and dinner if I let them. Seriously. If I ever make the mistake of asking what they want to eat, the unanimous enthusiastic response is CORNDOGS!! Here’s the problem-o though. My kids are still young enough that I’m paranoid about them choking on a hot dog. I still cut them in half lengthwise and then into small little bites for them. So, aside from not being that healthy, corndogs are kind of a pain. The kids can’t just dip them and eat them, it’s a big production for me before they can even touch their food. Annoying! I’ve found a great solution in these adorable mini corndogs made in my tart pan.
One of my all time favorite light meals is Chinese Chicken Salad. I always thought it was hard to make, until my friend Emily shared her recipe with me. Wow. So easy and scrumptious. I love it! Crunchy almonds mixed with a slightly sweet, slightly tangy sauce take a plain old bag of coleslaw mix to a whole new level. Rip apart a rotisserie chicken and toss it all together for an incredibly quick and easy delicious meal! I love to make this salad to take camping as well. We take a big batch of this, throw it in the cooler and munch on it for lunch and dinner. Fantastic. Continue reading
My poor kids have been in a lunchtime rut for a while now. All I ever make them is turkey and peanut butter sandwiches. No, not together. Turkey for the girl. Peanut butter for the boy. My son always asks for “peanut butter…(yelling) and JAM!”. Apparently he’s unclear if I remember from the previous 200 sandwiches I’ve made him that I know he likes jam. One of the few things he likes better is pizza. So today I broke free from the mid-day doldrums and made them these easy little pizza rolls. Not the healthiest of lunches, but I had all the ingredients in my fridge and needed to use them up. Continue reading
Everyone should have a favorite go-to chicken salad recipe. If you don’t, use this one. It’s the greatest in the world. I thought I’d posted this ages ago, but when my sister went looking for it there was nary a chicken salad recipe to be found. So here it is. Depending on how I’m feeling, I sometimes add a dollop of Dijon to this recipe as well. When making it for a large crowd, I do the whole thing and add the almonds last. Then I separate half of the recipe out and don’t put nuts in it. You know, to be kind to the anti-nut or allergy oppressed people. This stuff is great served on sandwiches, crackers, open-faced as a crostini or just piled on a big bed of spinach or lettuce. You can use it for appetizers at a party, a nice tea sandwich or for a light summer dinner! Enjoy! Continue reading