Taking a quick moment to share some super easy Mexican food faves from my amazing friends….tried and true, and all recommended! Don’t forget to sign up for these delish recipes delivered straight to your inbox. Thanks for stopping by!
Gina's Cilantro Lime Rice
1 cup long grain white rice
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. lime zest
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
Chopped onion to taste
*Combine the rice, chicken broth, salt and ground cumin (and optional onion) in a large saucepan or skillet. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover with lid then reduce heat to medium-low, let simmer 20 minutes.
*Remove from heat, but keep lid on. Let stand with lid on for 10 minutes. Remove lid and add in lime juice, zest, and chopped cilantro. Fluff with a fork and serve warm.
Ingrid's Crockpot Mexican Chicken
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tsp taco seasoning
2 c. chunky red salsa
8 oz. cream cheese (add after cooking)
Optional: fresh or canned sliced chopped jalapenos
*Arrange chicken breasts in slow cooker. Sprinkle with taco seasoning mix. Pour 1 cup over chicken.
- Cover and cook on high for 3 hours, or low for 6-8 hours.
*Use two forks to shred chicken.
*Add remaining salsa, cream cheese and jalapenos. Stir and enjoy!!
Diane's Refried Beans
Ingredients 1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 med. onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. chili powder
1 can pinto beans (15 oz.) drained and rinsed
2/3 cup chicken broth
Salt and pepper
1 can refried beans
Directions*Heat oil in skillet and add the onion. Cook until tender, about 3 minutes
*Stir in the garlic and chili powder, cook for one minute
*Stir in the beans and chicken broth, cook until beans are warmed through (about 5 minutes)
*Mash beans coarsely and add more chicken broth if necessary
*Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the cilantro
(Recipe courtesy of the Ellie Krieger, Food Network)
Gina's Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars
Ingredients2 pkg. refrigerated crescent rolls
16 oz. (2 8-oz. packages) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter melted
3/4 cup cinnamon sugar
*Preheat oven to 350. Liberally grease a 13×9″ baking pan with cooking spray.
*Lay one roll of crescent rolls down in a single layer on the bottom of the pan, pinching together any seams and stretching to fit pan.
*Beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until combined. Spread evenly over the crescent roll layer.
*Unroll the other crescent roll sheet onto a cutting board, pinching seams to seal and stretching as you go. Carefully lay it over the top of the cream cheese layer, covering it completely. Pour the melted butter evenly over the top and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
*Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Let cool completely before chilling in the fridge. Store covered bars in the fridge.
Recipe courtesy of The Domestic Rebel
Skirt or flat iron steak are cuts that are many times ignored as tough, chewy, etc. However, if you marinate and slice correctly, they are both delicious!
A friend of mine has told me how great naan bread is, and with a little searching, I found it in the deli section at one of our larger local grocers. Also, this recipe uses watercress — I have absolutely no clue what this is, so I grabbed some fresh spinach off of the salad bar.
Gotta tell you, we will make these again. Easy and delish, and I encourage you to try this meal that won’t break your bank!
Grilled Skirt Steak Tacos
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rings
- 1 onion, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 1 pound skirt steak
- 4 pocketless pitas or naan bread
- 1 tomato, chopped
- watercress or fresh spinach
Preheat a grill to medium high. Make the marinade: Whisk the olive oil, garlic, mint (if using), oregano, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the marinade to a small bowl or plastic bag; mix in the yogurt and 2 tablespoons water. Add the bell pepper and onion to the bowl with the remaining marinade and toss; remove to a plate with a slotted spoon. Add the steak and toss.
Grill the bell pepper, onion and steak, turning once, until lightly charred. Set steak aside to rest, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, grill the pitas or naan until marked, about 1 minute per side.
Slice the steak against the grain. Fill the pitas with the steak, grilled vegetables, tomato and watercress/spinach. Drizzle with the yogurt sauce.
Yep folks, that what I said. Not chicken. I ran across this recipe and adapted it to fit what I thought we would like. Gotta be honest though, not really sure on the purpose of the beer can except to keep it elevated off of the grill. But hey, it looks really redneck and impressive, and you have to drink 1/4 of it prior to mounting the cauliflower, so we’ll call it good.
You will notice I’m not posting a final pic because my cauliflower took a tumble or two off the can and got a little charred – I don’t think I cut the stem end even enough, and didn’t pick the most even one at the store. But anyway, I can tell you for sure that we’ll do this again. Delish. I have tried the mashed potatoes out of cauliflower game, and I am not a fan. But this is really good, and you can adjust it with the amount of hot sauce that you like. Also, you would typically put in shaved or minced garlic, but I figured I would try my hand at roasting garlic. I cut the top off, rolled it around in some olive oil, salt and pepper, put in foil and on the grill it went. WOW That will be on garlic bread in the near future! Anyway, I used the roasted garlic in this dish and it was super.
Quick, super easy and healthy! Enjoy!
Beer Can Cauliflower
Identify beer of choice, open and consume 1/3 of the can (or dump it out). Preheat grill to medium to medium high.
Trim the base of the cauliflower so it will be flat and sit on top of said beer can, but be careful that all florets are still intact. Melt butter and add salt, liberally brushing cauliflower. Place beer can on grill and Mr. Cauliflower on top of it. Grill for about an hour, checking to make sure that he didn’t hop off of the beer can. You want it to be tender and golden brown.
Melt additional butter, add hot sauce to taste along with grated garlic. Brush cauliflower and place back on grill for about 15 minutes. Remove from grill and brush with additional butter and salt. Serve with blue cheese for a dip.
oh yeah, and jalapenos, but not hot. I promise.
Since we had the day off yesterday, we did a barbeque run to a new spot, and are recovering from some amazing Kansas City BBQ at Slaps in Kansas City, KS. I highly recommend this joint to everyone. RIBS. The end. We ended up with an entire meal that we brought home, so order lightly. Oh yeah, and BRISKET. The best word to go with BBQ is joint, and this place brings it home. We will definitely be back. We shopped and then gambled at Hollywood Casino on the way home, and although we didn’t come out on top, it was fun!
Thought I might brew up something a little lighter for dinner, and made these chicken bacon jalapeno wraps. We had a wonderful Christmas with friends, family and even more friends from Australia, plus an upcoming Mexico vacay in which we might just possibly overindulge, so the hubs and I have been eating a lot of meat, veggies and fruit.
So, let’s bring on the yard bird. The husband of the house is not a fan of “yard bird” as he and his friend Charlie call it, but this, is delish. I remove all of the innards from the jalapeno so it’s not hot, and combine with cheese and bacon, and yummo. It’s about -10 degrees outside so I didn’t grill, which is the best, and most delicious option, but baking works as well.
Happy New Year everyone, and here’s to a fantastic 2018!!
Chicken Bacon Rollups
5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
5 jalapeno peppers
20 strips bacon
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup cup grated colby jack or cheddar cheese
salt & pepper to taste
Favorite BBQ sauce
Slice chicken breasts in half width wise (each half makes 1 chicken rollup). Place between 2 pieces of wax paper and pound to 1/4″ thickness. Season each with salt & pepper.
Slice jalapenos in half lengthwise and remove seeds, ribs and the end with the stem.
In a small bowl, mix softened cream cheese with your grated colby jack or cheddar cheese.
Fill each jalapeno half with cheese mixture. Place 1 jalapeno half at the end of each chicken piece, and roll up. Doesn’t always close the way you think it might – no worries, the bacon brings everything together. Wrap each piece of chicken with bacon, tucking in the ends of the strips.
Preheat grill and cook over indirect heat for 20-25 minutes, turning every 4-5 minutes. Baste chicken with BBQ sauce every time you give it a flip. Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, buy one. 🙂 Just kidding…you can pierce the chicken with a fork, and if juices run clear, you’re good to go.
Alternate method — if you choose to bake, set oven at 375 and bake uncovered for 30 minutes, basting as above. You can broil at the end so bacon can crisp completely.
Not sure I’ve ever made anything with wonton wrappers, but my maiden voyage occurred to try these snacks for a recent KC CHIEFS! game. You’ll find them in the produce section and about a zillion come in the package. Mix 5 simple ingredients, and ta da! Delicious! And, you can adjust the heat according to your liking by the amount of jalapenos you include.
Recipe below, and I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year. Here’s to 2018!
Jalapeno Popper Wonton Cups
12 wonton wrappers
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. sour cream
12 oz. bacon cooked & crumbled (reserve 2 Tbsp.)
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese (reserve 2 Tbsp.)
2-3 jalapeños seeded and chopped (*for a spicier version, do not remove all the seeds)
Set oven to 350 degrees, and spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
Place a wonton wrapper in each muffin cup and bake for 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool slightly.
n a medium-sized bowl, stir together cream cheese, sour cream, bacon, cheddar cheese, and diced jalapeños. Spoon filling into wonton cups, then sprinkle with reserved bacon and cheese.
Return to oven and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes, until wontons are golden brown and cheese is melted.
I just recently realized that some of my favorite go-to’s never make an appearance here, so I want to share one of the most requested side dishes from our family and friends.
As I’ve mentioned, my parents were in the restaurant business in Kansas City, and I think they were friends with the then-owners of Stephenson’s Apple Farm. I believe this recipe for Broccoli Rice Cheese Casserole originated from their Green Rice. It’s super easy and sooo amazingly delicious. The recipe below makes a 13 x 9 pan, but I usually cut it in half and that works great in an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 pan. In any case, I know you will love it!
Broccoli Rice Cheese Casserole
1 bag chopped broccoli
2 cans cream of celery soup
16 oz. cheese whiz
1 stick margarine or butter
1/4 cup diced onion
1 soup can milk
1.5 cups uncooked rice
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or spray 13 x 9 pan. Stir all ingredients together and cook for 45 min to 1 hour. Note: about 1/2 way through the cooking time, I give it a stir as everything is starting to melt.
In a very random conversation last week at work, my friend shared that she had made a frittata with leftover spaghetti (no sauce, mind you). I replied “I always make too much and throw it out”. Laura is with us today to share a super easy, economical and delicious way to use that leftover spaghetti (who doesn’t cook too much)???
She found that this frittata is a great way to use up left-over spaghetti, and her family of three ate the whole thing and asked for it again the next night. I plan to try it soon, but I think I’ll have to mix it up with a few different meats cuz I live with Mr. All Meat Pizza – you could use browned sausage, canadian bacon, ham, etc. If you do try one of these alternatives to the bacon that Laura used, we would love for you to come back and comment below!
Step 1 involves chopping up the cooked spaghetti:
Step 2 – whisk the eggs and milk, and adding the yummy (bacon and cheese) ingredients:
The Final Frittata!
I could most definitely snarf a piece of that right now! I’m sharing Laura’s recipe below, and hope that you enjoy as I certainly plan to! Thanks for dropping by to get in on Laura’s quick weeknight meal!
1 ½ cups cut-up cooked spaghetti
2 slices of chopped cooked bacon
1 cup of shredded cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a 9 inch round pie plate with non-stick cooking oil.
Whisk the six eggs in a separate bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Laura added a Zesty no-salt substitute to give it a little more flavor without adding additional salt.
Stir in the 2 slices of pre-cooked bacon, ½ cup of shredded cheese and chopped spaghetti. (Laura used the Mexican four cheese blend because that is what she had on hand and wanted to use up.)
Pour the blended items into the pie plate and sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of cheese. Bake for 30 min. or until center is set.
My friend Heather recently gave me a Hy-Vee magazine that came to her in the mail (she’s an Aisles Online fan) and it has some cool appetizer recipes that I thought I might try. The first contestant is these pecans….warning, the hubster decided we should smoke them, so the first round went in the trash. Turns out you need to cook them a little lower than the oven temperature. Round 2 also involved the pellet smoker but at a lower temp. YUMMO!
I think they would be good in the oven as well, and one thing I might try for Round 3 is to toast the pecans in the oven a bit, then add the gooey, bourbony deliciousness. Check out the recipe below – might be great for holiday gifts!
Candied Bourbon Pecans
2/3 C dark brown sugar
1/4 C butter
1 tbsp. finely grated ginger
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 1/2 C pecan halves
cinnamon sugar, optional
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or smoker to 225). In a saucepan, bring bourbon, dark brown sugar, butter, ginger, salt and pepper to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes until thickened.
Stir in pecans. Pour on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until toasted. If smoking, placed on foil vegetable-type rack (or we used screen from the hardware store) for about 30-40 minutes. Toss occasionally. Cool and toss with cinnamon sugar if desired.
The perfect recipe for tailgating or watching football – what can you not like about creme cheese, bacon, jalapenos? I sure cannot think of anything! Tried these a few weeks ago, and they did not last long at all. Super easy, and you begin with crescent roll dough, preferably the full sheet, or if not, just seal the triangles to make a sheet. Cover with a layer of whipped cream cheese to which you have added chopped jalapenos and crumbled cooked bacon. Sprinkle with sharp shredded cheddar cheese, and roll, starting with the long end. Cut with sharp knife, and you should have something similar to this:
You’re about 15 minutes away from yummy. Add shredded cheddar to the top, and bake at 375 degrees or until desired degree of brownness. Enjoy, and grab one first before your “friends” get to them!
My little girl turned 30 today (I had her when I was VERY young 🙂 ) and this post is a tribute to her. She wrote a blog post today titled “20 Thoughts on Turning 30” and item #18 is “I’ll never cook as good as my mom and grandmas”. Personally, I think she’s a VERY good cook, and really creative!
We all know that food, 1. tastes better when someone else cooks it for you, and 2. never tastes the same as did when that special loved one either made it for you, or you’re lucky enough to still have it occasionally. I say the same thing about stuff my mom used to make.
Anyway, somewhere back in her childhood, I threw together this chicken and rice. I don’t remember for sure, but it was probably out of sheer desperation and lack of time….probably just did chores, ran in from the arena late on a school night, kids running to the shower, and me trying to figure out what to feed them. I recently sent home a batch of this with Brandi because I know she loves it, and after that she called one night to clarify how to make it and declared hers will never be as good as mine. Well, I’m sharing one of her favorites today, and it’s handy because it heats up well (trust me, it does…I remember heating it up for dinner in the microwave in my living quarters horse trailer a few years back).
Happy birthday, Brandi, and hope you enjoy some chicken and rice!
Easy Chicken and Rice
Start with 1 cup of uncooked rice in a glass dish, adding 1 cup of water. Cook according to microwave directions on box. This will yield about 3 cups of cooked rice.
Either use a roast chicken from the deli, or while rice is cooking, prepare chicken, and dice when cool. Combine rice, chicken, 1/2 stick butter or margarine, and season well with Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and black pepper. The key here is plenty of butter and seasoning salt. Give it a stir and you’re ready to roll.