Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mexican Chicken and Rice

I found this recipe on a blog I look at regularly, tried it, and it has been a keeper in our house ever since. We scoop it onto our plate and garnish it with sour cream, salsa, guacamole, etc. You can eat it straight with a fork, but we love to scoop it up and eat it with tortilla chips. The best part is, you make it all in one big skillet so you only dirty one dish. It's a fast and easy recipe, and most the stuff I usually have in my cupboard so it's a nice go-to meal.

Mexican Chicken and Rice

2-3 tablespoons oil
3 chicken breasts cut up in large pieces
taco seasoning to taste
1 cup salsa
1 can corn or 1-1/2 cups frozen corn
1 can black beans, drained
1 package (7 ounces) Zatarain's New Orleans Style Black Beans and Rice
2 cups water
1 cup grated cheese

In a large skillet heat oil, add chicken and sprinkled with taco seasoning. When the chicken is white on all sides add salsa, corn and black beans. Cook on medium heat for 3 minutes. Add box of rice and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover, and then simmer for 20-25 minutes. Just before serving, add grated cheese. Cover and let cheese melt for 2-3 minutes. **When I haven't had a lot of chicken, I have even used 1-2 pieces of chicken and it still turns our great.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

.:Crockpot Mexican Breakfast Casserole:.

I haven't actually tried this yet, but it sounds delicious and I plan to put it on the menu for next week! I'm all about crockpot meals! It says it's a breakfast casserole, but obviously it would be good morning or nite! I found it on this awesome website.

Serves 8

Corn tortillas - 7 or 8
8 eggs
2 c fat free milk
2 c shredded Mexican blend cheese (or just plain cheddar or whatever cheese you want!)
1 can (7 oz.) drained green chilis
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 onion diced
1 c corn
1 c sliced mushrooms (optional)
3/4 t kosher salt
1/2 t black salt
* Optional - add whatever meat you would like
(In my opinion, the onions are optional too!)

- Butter or Pam the inside of your stoneware
- Put a layer of tortillas on the bottom (you may have to tear them to make them fit nicely)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the other ingredients, whisk together
- Pour about 1/2 of the mixture in the crockpot, on top of the tortillas
- Put in another layer of tortillas
- Top with the remaining mixture
- Top with another layer of tortillas
- Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours, or on high for 4-5 hours
- If your crockpot seals well (causing a lot of condensation) uncover 15-20 minutes before serving and cook on high to release the condensation and firm up the top a bit
- You know it is done when the eggs are cooked, edges have begun to brown, and the cheese is slightly crispy

If you don't like corn tortillas, or want to go another route, you can use frozen hashbrowns instead.


Monday, March 23, 2009

.:Cupcakes & Homemade Thin Mints:.

Okay, so this didn't really require a ton of baking, but there was some involved. I found this idea on a cupcake blog, and decided to try it. We are having a ward auction/fundraiser in a couple of weeks, and we are supposed to bring desserts to auction off. So I wanted to make sure it would work out! The blog I got it off of made everything from scratch. I do not have the patience for this, especially when you can just buy a cake mix and a can of frosting! :) I'm not necessarily lazy, just cheap. My sister did a tutorial of how she made her Easter wreath, so I thought it would be fun to do a tutorial of my cupcakes!

The ingredients: Devil's food cake mix, eggs, oil, strawberry frosting, chocolate chips for the coating
Put cupcake liners in your cupcake tin, and fill 2/3 full with the cake batter.
My friend Sarah gave me this tip for frosting when you don't have the real frosting bags/tools. Just cut the end off a Ziplock! (I'm sure everyone in the world knew that but me.)
Frost the cupcakes once they are cooled. I put them on a cookie sheet and put them in the fridge so that the frosting would harden.
Melt your chocolate chips in the microwave, and dip the frosting part of the cupcakes in it.
The finished product:
This is what they look like, cut in half.
VERDICT: They were delicious!

I also made some homemade Thin Mints. You use Ritz crackers, peppermint extract, half of a bag of semi sweet chocolate chips, and half of a bag of milk chocolate chips. Melt the chips in the microwave, add the extract to your liking, and dip your Ritz in them. I haven't tried them yet, but they look tasty!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

.:Root Beer Cookies:.

I found this great recipe here.


(You can leave out the root beer extract to have yummy chocolate sugar cookies.)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. root beer extract
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup water (optional–only use if dough is too dry)
- Cream butter and dark brown sugar until very light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add the root beer extract.
- Whisk dry ingredients together.
- Add a little at a time to the creamed mixture. The dough should be slightly sticky.

- Chill for at least an hour.

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lightly grease several baking sheets, or line them with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
- Roll into small balls (about 1″ diameter). You could use a mini scoop so that they are evenly sized.
- Place them on the pan, leaving a bit of space between the cookies.
- Gently press the tops of the dough. (If you leave out the water, sometimes the cookies don’t spread very much.)
- Bake for 6-8 minutes, rotating cookie sheet halfway through.
- Let cookies cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before placing them on a wire rack to cool completely.


  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. root beer extract
  • a few tablespoons hot water
- Beat butter on high with an electric mixer until it is fluffy.
- Add a little powdered sugar and the root beer extract.
- Beat until smooth.
- Add remaining powdered sugar alternately with a little hot water until a nice spreading consistency has been reached.
- Frost the cooled cookies and let stand for a few minutes to let the frosting set up. (It should dry a bit on the top.)

Yields about 4 dozen.

Friday, March 13, 2009

.:Thin Mints Part Two:.

I found this other recipe for Thin Mints that is much easier than the other one I posted! Not sure the taste difference because I haven't made either!


Ritz crackers
1/2 package dark chocolate chips
1/2 package milk chocolate chips
peppermint extract (not mint, you want the peppermint)

- Melt chocolate chips in a glass bowl in the microwave. Start at two minutes, then stir, then microwave for 30 second intervals with stirring in between, until smooth
- Add peppermint extract - about 1-2 teaspoons
- Dip your crackers in the chocolate
- Lay each cracker on wax paper to dry
- Let cool and enjoy

Yields about two dozen cookies

You can find recipes for other homemade girl scout cookies at

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

.:Bon Bons:.

Here are a couple of pictures of the bon bons that I made for young women's tonite. They were tasty! I did four kinds: cocoa, powdered sugar, cinnamon and sugar, and sprinkles.

Dutch Gingerbread Nuts

This is more for the holiday season but oh well. People in the Netherlands eat these for St. Nicolas Day (Dec. 5th).

1 1/4 cup self-rising flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter/margarine
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tablespoons milk

Knead it to a dough. Make little balls the size of a marble. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Bake on a greased cookie sheet for about 15 minutes. Cool down before eating!

The picture above is of the "pepernoten". They may look like this or more rounded.

Easy Pasta Salad

1 bag of multi-colored rotelli macaroni (cooked of course)
1 small can of sliced olives
1/2 bottle of (fat free) Italian dressing
1 can of Mexicorn (corn mixed w/ peppers)

Mix it all together and enjoy! It's great for lunch or dinner (about 4-6 servings), and keeps great in the fridge. Tastes good hot or cold.

Tomato-Cream Penne for 2

Super quick and easy, and delicious.

1/2 jar tomato pasta sauce
1/4 cup half-and-half
3 cups hot cooked penne

Mix and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese!

Twice Baked Potatoes for 2

2 potatoes
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 can cream of broccoli soup
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Bake potatoes at 400 degrees for 2 hours. Remove, slide in half longways and scoop out insides. Mash with butter, sour cream, soup, and half of cheese. Add salt, pepper, and garlic salt to taste. Refill skins and top with remaining cheese. Return to oven for 15 minutes. Serve.

Hot Fudge Sauce

It's not really fudge, because it's rather thin, but it's yummy. (Summer has had it before, so she can be a witness. I love this stuff.) I got the recipe from my mom, who I think got it from her mom...I don't really know where it came from. Absolutely delicious on ice cream.

1 cup sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
dash of salt
2 tbsp butter
1-2 tbsp white corn syrup
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients (except vanilla) in pan and cook 3-4 minutes. Add vanilla.

Chicken and Rice

This is one of my all time favorite is easy, yummy, and makes the house smell good!

Frozen chicken breasts or tenderloins
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
2 cups of minute rice
2 cans of milk
1 envelope of Lipton Onion Soup Mix

Spray a 9x13 pan with Pam and place frozen chicken all along the bottom of the pan. Mix together the cream of chicken, cream of celery, rice, and milk in a bowl. Pour over the chicken. Sprinkle the Lipton Onion Soup mix on top. Cover with foil. Bake at 325 F for an hour and a half to two hours.

.:Homemade Thin Mints:.

I stole this recipe off of another blog, but I was thinking - who doesn't love thin mints? :) The recipe is originally intended to be gluten free for those who aren't able to eat the real deal thin mints, but I figure if they taste as good as the originals, you will get a lot more for your buck however you make them!


For wafer:
1/4 c. butter
1 (16 oz.) package gluten free brownie mix or chocolate cake mix
5 T. milk (can use soy if you want)
1/4 t. mint extract

For chocolate coating:
2 c. semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 c. butter
1/4 t. mint extract
1-3 T. water

- Combine butter, brownie or cake mix, milk, and mint extract in a large mixing bowl.

- Stir with a fork until a ball of dough forms; it will be quite crumbly.

- Roll dough out 1/4-inch thick between two pieces of parchment paper.

- Use a 1 1/2 inch cookie cutter (or the lid from a spice container) to cut out circles of dough.

- Place circles on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

- Use the blunt end of a skewer to poke 5 holes in each cookie.

- Bake at 350° for 8-12 minutes. Let sit on sheet for a few minutes before moving.

- When cookies have cooled, combine chocolate chips, butter, mint extract and 1 tablespoon of water.

- Heat in a double-boiler or in a slow cooker (I used a 4 quart crockpot) until liquidy.

- Stir well, and drop wafers in, one at a time, and ladle chocolate over the top.

- Lift coated cookie out with a fork, and chill in the refrigerator until set. If your chocolate begins to harden, reheat as needed, and add a bit more water.

Yields 36 cookies

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Crockpot Chicken

2-3 chicken breasts
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can french onion soup
1 bag of mini carrots

Place all items in your crockpot and stir to combine. Cook on low 6-8 hours. I like to make mash potatoes on the side and use the soup sauce as a gravy. You could also put the potatoes right into the crockpot as well. **Use this same recipe to cook a roast instead of chicken!

.:Bon Bons:.

1 boxed cake mix (chocolate or dark chocolate)
1 can of frosting (chocolate)

Additional materials to roll your bon bons in:
- sprinkles
- powdered sugar
- white sugar
- cocoa
- cinnamon and sugar
- or whatever else you think would be tasty!

Bake the cake as you would regularly.
Let it cool!
Take the cake out of the pan and put into a bowl.
Mash it up with your hands.
Add the can of frosting into the bowl and stir together.
Roll into balls and place on wax paper. You may want to spray your hands with no stick spray.
Put in the freezer until tacky.
Roll them in whatever you'd like!
Store in the fridge.


Friday, March 6, 2009

.:Glazed Carrots:.

I got this from my friend, Jeanette's, blog. I haven't tried it yet, but I plan to! I thought it was a fun spin on veggies.

Start with however many carrots you need for your family. Cook them as you desire. (We like to steam our carrots in our steamer, but you can also do this stovetop.)

Use 1 1/2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter.

Mix it in with the carrots. The heat from the carrots should melt the butter and the brown sugar. If the brown sugar looks grainy, you may want to put everything in a pan on low heat to finish melting it.

If you want, you can sprinkle the carrots with dill weed.

The serving size on this is really as big or as small as you'd like it to be!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bruschetta Chicken

1/2 c. flour
2 eggs lightly beaten
3 chicken breasts
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
1/4 c. dry bread crumbs
1 Tbsp melted butter
2 large tomatoes chopped
3 Tbsp minced fresh basil
2 garlic cloves minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Place flour and eggs in separate shallow bowls. Dip chicken in flour, then in eggs. Place in a greased 13x9 baking dish. Combine the parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, and butter, sprinkle over chicken.

Loosely cover baking dish with foil. Bake at 375 for 20 min. Uncover, bake 5-10 min or until top is browned.

Meanwhile, in a bowl combine remaining ingredients. Spoon over the chicken. Return to the oven fir 3-5 min or until tomato mixture is heated through. You can serve it over pasta if you like.

.:No Bake Cookies:.

These are one of my favorite cookies. I also found this cute idea on a lady's blog from my mom's ward, and thought it was too cute!

4 1/2 c sugar
1/3 c cocoa
1/2 lb butter
1 c milk
Boil for 1 minute.
Add 2 t vanilla and 1 c peanut butter
Add a minimum of 4-6 c of oatmeal (You may need to add more to get the consistency right.)
Drop spoonfuls on cookie sheet to cool and harden.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Ramen Shrimp and Vegetables - 20-Minute Recipe

Makes 4 servings

1 lb uncooked peeled deveined medium shrimp, thawed if frozen and tails peeled
2 cups water
1 package (3 oz) Oriental-flavored ramen noodle soup mix
1 bag (1 lb) fresh stir-fry vegetables (I use frozen and thaw them before use)
1/4 cup stir-fry sauce

Heat 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook shrimp in skillet 2 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pink and firm. Remove shrimp from skillet. Keep warm.

Heat water to boiling in same skillet. Break up noodles from soup mix into water; stir until slightly softened. Stir in vegetables.

Heat to boiling. Boil 4 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in seasoning packet from soup mix and stir fry sauce. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until hot. Stir in shrimp.

210 calories per serving
4 g fat
160 mg chol.
1160 mg sodium
21 g carbs
22 g protein

Only takes 20 minutes to cook!

(I added a "nutrition facts" label and a "quick" label)

From Betty Crocker Cookbook, Bridal Edition