Friday, July 30, 2010


Well im going to be MIA for the next week or so. I know, dont be too sad! Haha. We are taking a long overdue family Spain! Im sooo excited. When we moved overseas I had two places I had to see, Italy and Spain. We went to Italy in 2008 and now Spain! Ireland is next on our list. We are leaving Sunday night. Its supposed to be an 11 hour drive, I figure with 2 kids and my many bathroom breaks it will be more around 13 hours. Ughhh! We are planning on driving overnight in hopes of avoiding meltdowns from our 9 month old. We'll see how that goes. Either way, we have 7 days to relax on the beach, okay more like fight with little man to keep sand out of his mouth and chase our 4 year old up and down the beaches.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pork Enchiladas

So I had chimichangas on the menu but enchiladas sounded too yummy to pass up! There are 3 recipes to go with my enchiladas since I decided to be brave and make my own enchilada sauce and tortillas! Yes, you read that right! I have to say, my tortillas turned out looking very ugly but they tasted amazing!!! I will be tripling this recipe in the future so I can freeze them. For the enchilada sauce I did triple it and froze 2 15oz containers for later use. I also had about 2 cups of shredded pork leftover that I froze for later. These may seem like alot of work, but they really aren't, and even if they were, its worth it!

Slow Cooker Mexican Pork

3-4 lb pork shoulder
1 small onion- sliced
1/4t white pepper
1 1/5t cumin
1t chili powder
1t minced garlic
5t lime juice

Place pork in the bottom of a crockpot. Slice onion and throw in with the garlic. Mix all the seasonings in a small glass bowl. Place lime juice on top of the pork, then rub seasoning mixture all over pork. Cook on low 5-6 hours. Remove and shred.

Homemade Tortillas
Makes 10

2c unbleached all purpose flour
1t salt
3/4t baking powder
2T shortening
2/3c warm water

In a large bowl mix flour, salt, and baking powder. With your fingertips, rub in shortening until crumbly. Stir in water and knead lightly to make a soft dough. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest for 15 minutes. Divide into 10 pieces and shape into balls. Roll out on a lightly floured surface. Heat a cast iron skillet, and add one tortilla. Cook for 1-2 minutes, turning over as soon as the surface starts to bubble. It should stay flexible. Remove from the pan and wrap in a clean towel to keep warm.

Red Enchilada Sauce

2T canola oil
2T flour
2T chili powder
1/2t cumin
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
2c water
1t salt
1/2t garlic powder

Heat oil in a large saucepan. Stir in flour and chili powder, cooking for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Makes about 3 cups of sauce.

Now to put it all together!!!

Preheat an oven to 375F. Take a 9x13 baking pan and place enough enchilada sauce on the bottom to cover it. In each tortilla place shredded pork and cheese, then roll and place in pan. Once they are all filled cover with enchilada sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in oven about 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Huevos Rancheros

I will admit, I had never had huevos rancheros before I made them. They seemed....interesting. Im used to eggs really only being for breakfast, so to put one on top of a corn tortilla and refried beans intrigued me. After trying them I can say, im not in love, but they were good and I can now say I tried them. If you like them and are looking for a healthier version then I think these are for you! You can also sub the refried beans for frijoles de olla, recipe coming soon!

Huevos Rancheros
Adapted from Biggest Loser Simple Swaps


Ranchero Sauce:
2t olive oil
1 small yellow onion chopped
1T chopped garlic
1 (14oz) can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1/2t coriander
1/2t cumin
1/2t oregeno
1/2t salt
Pepper to taste
1/2t dried chipotle powder

For each Serving:
1 corn tortilla
2T fat free refried beans
1 fried egg

For the sauce:
Heat oil in a nonstick skillet. Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until softed. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute longer, dont allow garlic to brown. Add the tomatoes, and seasonings, cook for a few minutes longer. Transfer sauce to blender or food processot and blend until smooth.

To make one serving:
Warm tortillas and refried beans, set aside.
Coat a small nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Cook egg however you like it.
Place tortilla on a plate and top with beans. Place the egg on beans. Top with ranchero sauce and garnish with cheese.

Garlic Chicken Pasta with Summer Squash

This recipe is simple, light, and flavorful! A perfect summer dish! Both my 4 year old and 9 month old loved this, which is a keeper in my book. The squash gives a nice bite to this dish. You could sub any fresh veggies you have on hand and it would be just as delicious. Dont let the amount of oil scare you off.

Garlic Chicken Pasta with Summer Squash


5T olive oil
2t minced garlic
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts- cubed
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dash of red pepper flakes
1 box penne pasta
1/2 yellow squashed- diced
1T dried basil
4T lemon juice
1/2c parmesan cheese


Heat olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a small glass bowl in the microwave for about 1 minute to blend flavors. Pour 1T of the oil in a skillet. Salt and pepper the chicken and cook in the oil over med-high heat. Add the chopped squash and saute with chicken for about 5 minutes, remove from heat. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package and drain well. Add the chicken and squash to the pasta, along with the basil, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese. The stir in the remainder of the flavored olive oil. Toss until all ingredients are well combined.

Monday, July 26, 2010

What's Cookin'?

Monday- Cheese Manicotti
Tuesday- Garlic Chicken Pasta with summer squash
Wednesday- Chimichangas with black bean and corn salad
Thursday-Coconut chicken curry with white rice and sugar snap peas
Friday- Tacos with spanish rice

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tinga Poblana with Chicken

This recipe does require a little more work than some of my dishes but it is absolutely worth it. I didnt have Mexican Oregeno so I just subbed regular oregeno. I also used regular boneless skinless chicken breasts which the original recipe said DO NOT DO, but mine turned out fine.

Tinga Poblana with Chicken


1lb chicken breasts or chicken thighs
1 white onion- 1/2 cut into large cubes and 1//2 finely diced
4 cloves of garlic- 2 smashed and 2 minced
1T olive oil
1/2lb chorizo, casings removed and crumbled
1 can chopped tomatoes, drained
1t dried Mexican oregeno
2 bay leaves
2 canned chipotles in adobo with 1T sauce, diced


Place chicken, onion chunks, and smashed garlic in a saucepan and add enough water to cover. Add 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil, skim off any foam that forms on the surface. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer uncovered until the chicken is cooekd through, 20-30 minutes. Using tongs transfer chicken to a plate. Reserve the broth. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred (If using thighs, remove skin, fat, and bones) In a large frying pan cook chorizo over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Remove excess rendered fat. Add the finely chopped onion and garlic. Saute until beginning to soften, but not brown, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of the reserved chicken broth, deglazing the pan. Add the shredded chicken, tomatoes, oregeno, bay leaves, and chiles. Stir until blended. Simmer, uncovered, until the flavors blend, abotu 15 minutes. Add more broth if the mixture begins to stick. The mixture should absorb the liquid and not be runny. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Serve on warm tortillas with all the fixings, or on a hot bed of rice.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Want to Make Your Life Easier???

If you know me at all then you know I like to make my life as easy as possible. So when it comes to cooking there are two key things that help me do this

1. Meal Planning
2. Cooking and Freezing

Trust me when I say meal planning can save you money in the long run. Every Saturday I sit down and plan my dinners for the week. (I run a daycare in my home so my breakfast and lunches are already planned for me. I will be quitting my job soon so I will be planning my own complete menu in the next few months.) I also plan on making snacks for the week to avoid buying boxes of junk filled with high fructose corn syrup and loaded up on sugar and salt.

I have a dry erase board in my kitchen that has every meal written down so my husband does not come home from work and ask me whats for dinner, he can take a look at the board.

The next great time and money saver is freezing! You can always make double batches one to cook, one to freeze, or you can devote a day to cooking meals and freezing for later use. This is great for days when you really dont have the time or energy to cook. You can grab something out of your stash and throw it in the oven. Simple!! Personally I cook my dishes before freezing, but alot of foods can go straight into the freezer. For things like sauces I place them in ziploc baggies, lay flat to freeze and they are much easier to stack and take up less room. You can individually freeze waffles and pancakes then place in baggies, or you can place a sheet of wax paper between them to keep from sticking. There are endless possibilities when it comes to freezing your food!!! So next time your making your kids some pancakes for breakfast, make a huge batch and freeze them to avoid buying boxes of junk that cost too much!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rosemary Pork Tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce

Im not a pork fan at all.I will however eat pork tenderloin. Did you know tenderloin is actually just as lean as a skinless chicken breast? I eat alot of chicken, but sometimes its nice to throw something different and just as healthy in the mix! I usually make my tenderloin in a crockpot but decided to try out the oven this time. I have to say, I prefer the oven method now! The meat turned out moist and packed with flavor. I poured a little of the red wine sauce over it and it was heavenly!

Rosemary Pork Tenderloin
2 lb pork tenderloin
1/2 t kosher salt
1/2 t pepper
1.5 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder
1 T dried rosemary leaves
1 T olive oil
1/4 c red wine


-Place tenderloin on a large piece of saran wrap. Drizzle olive oil over pork. Mix all the seasonings in a small bowl and rub into meat. Wrap meat tightly in saran wrap and refridgerate at least 1 hour.
-Pre-heat oven to 400F
-Place in a shallow baking dish with 1/4 cup red wine in the bottom. Bake about 40 minutes or until internal temp reaches 155 degrees.

Red Wine Sauce


2 T butter
1 T all purpose flour
1/2 t garlic
1/2 small onion chopped
3/4 c red wine
1/2 c beef broth
1/2 T dried rosemary leaves


In a small sauce pan melt butter. Add onions and garlic cooking about 1 minute. Add flour and whisk. Cook an additional minute. Stir in red wine, broth, and rosemary. Bring to a boil stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

** I poured a little of the sauce over each individual serving.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tex Mex Lasagna

Im a Texas girl at heart, and I love Mexican food so I knew I had to try this recipe! I was actually a little skeptical at first. When I think lasagna I think of ooey gooey cheesey Italian comfort food. Let me just say this was absolutely amazing!! It has layers and layers of goodness!I had 2 helpings and really thought about getting a third, but im trying really hard to cut down my portions and lose some of this baby weight. My 4 year old even loved this and she has become a very picky eater! I made this during lunch and threw it in the fridge until dinner time. This recipe would also freeze very well. Next time I will be making a double batch, 1 to eat and 1 to freeze.

Tex Mex Lasagna


1 lb lean ground beef
1 16oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 c frozen corn
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 envelope taco seasoning (see recipe below)
1 15oz can tomato sauce, divided
2 c salsa
12 lasagna noodles
1 bag reduced-fat Mexican blend cheese


-Boil lasagna noodles according to package.
-In a large skillet cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in beans, corn, jalapeno, taco seasonings and 3/4c tomato sauce.
-Combine salsa and remaing tomato sauce. Spread 1/4c into a 9x13 in baking dish. Layer 4 noodles, half of the meat, 1c salsa mixture, 3/4c cheese. Repeat layers, topping with salsa mixture and cheese.
-Cover and bake at 350F for 45-50 minutes or until edges are bubbly and cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

** I like to make my own taco seasonings. I can control the heat, salt and there is no MSG! Its simple and you can makes multiple batches and store in ziploc baggies for easy use.

Taco Seasoning:

3t chili powder
2.5t paprika
2.5t cumin
1.5t onion powder
1.5t garlic powder
1/8 t cayenne pepper

Mix together and store in ziploc baggie or use right away!

Tuscan Garlic Chicken

There's 2 things I really really love when it comes to food. I mean, its an unnatural kind of love. Garlic and pasta, of any kind. I put garlic in pretty much anything, which if you stick around to read my blog (hint hint) you will see for yourself. And when it comes to pasta, I try to minimize how much we eat because of health reasons. I also try to stick to whole wheat, whole grain pastas. Well, its a no brainer that this recipe was just calling out to me. The recipe called for fettuccine which you can see from the picture I didnt use. I used tri color rotini, still delicious! I will say now to make sure the chicken gets nice and crispy or it just wont be nearly as good. I reheated it for lunch the next day and I have to say it was even better!

Tuscan Garlic Chicken
Olive Garden Recipe


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1.5 c flour, plus 1T
2 t salt
2 t black pepper
2 T Italian seasoning
1 lb fettuccine pasta (or your favorite pasta!) cooked according to directions
5 T olive oil
1 T garlic, chopped
1 red pepper julienne cut
1/2 c white wine
1/2 lb spinach
2 c heavy cream
1 c parmesan cheese, grated

-Pre-heat oven to 350F.
-Mix 1.5c flour, salt, pepper, and Italian seasonings in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in mixture, shaking off excess flour.
-Heat 3T oil in a large skillet. Cook chicken over med-high heat until golden brown and crisp.
-Place cooked chicken on a baking sheet and place in oven. Cook 10-15 minutes or until internal temp reaches 165F
-Heat 2T oil in a sauce pan. Add garlic and red pepper and cook 1 minute. Stir in 1T flour, wine, spinach, and cream, bring to a boil. Sauce is done when spinach becomes wilted.
-Coat cooked, drained pasta with sauce, then top with chicken and remaining sauce.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sloppy Joes

...or not so sloppy if you're like me. I used to hate sloppy joes. Maybe it was the name, or maybe because it had ketchup in it. Hmm probably the ketchup. Yes im a reformed picky eater and I loathed ketchup! Anyways, my husband loves sloppy joes. For the first year of our marriage he was always asking me to make them...and I refused. Well one day I broke when I found this yummy recipe. I like that they do not come from a can of any kind and I can adjust just how sloppy these get. I for one do not like a ton of sauce. It really doesnt get much easier than these, so give them a try and your kids, and possibly husband will be thanking you! Enjoy!

Sloppy Joes
Source: 4kowboys


1 lb ground turkey (or beef)
1/2 t chili powder
1/4 t dried mustard
1/4 t cumin
3/4 t minced onion flakes
1 clove garlic - minced
1/2c- 3/4c ketchup (adjust to your taste)
Salt & Pepper to taste


Brown the meat adding salt and pepper to tast. Drain any fat then add remaining ingredients until heated through. Serve on buns.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Blueberry Muffins

I have been trying to eat less processed pre-packaged foods, so I needed to come up with healthy-ish snacks to have throughout the week. I found a recipe for blueberry muffins and adapted it to make it more on the healthy side. I will warn you all ahead of time, these arent really sweet.

Blueberry Muffins

3/4 c low fat milk
1/2 cup natural applesauce
1 egg
1 c unbleached all purpose flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1/3 c sugar
3 t baking powder
1 c fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray. Blend milk, applesauce and eggs in a small bowl. In a seperate bowl stir together, flours, sugar, and baking powder. Make a well in the center and pour wet ingredients in. Stir with a spoon just until the flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy)Fold in blueberries. Divide batter inot muffins cups. Bake until golden brown. Regular size muffins- 18-20 minutes Mini-Muffins- 10 minutes. Immediately remove from pan.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Slow Cooker Carnitas

If you dont own a crockpot you really should get one! I love using mine when I know im going to have a busy day, or when its too hot outside to stand over my stove. This recipe is simple and delicious, two of my favorite things when it comes to cooking! The meat is tender and has a light citrus flavor. I wrapped it in warm wheat flour tortillas, corn tortillas would be great also. I didnt have any cheese to top it with...I know who runs out of cheese?!?! It would have made this dish even better! I paired it with a homemade spanish rice recipe which I will post later, it still needs some tweaking.

The picture doesnt look like much, but trust me, its yummy!

Slow Cooker Carnitas

2 lb pork shoulder
1/2 c fresh squeezed orange juice, about 1 orange
1/4 c fresh squeezed lime juice, about 1 large lime
7 whole cloves of garlic
1 t kosher salt
1 T cumin
1/2 c beef broth

In a small bowl combine salt and cumin. Rub mixture into pork and place in slow cooker. Add garlic cloves, lime and orange juice, and beef broth. Cook on low for 8-10 hours, until pork shreds easily with a fork. Serve on warm tortillas!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Breakfast Skillet

I love love love breakfast for dinner. Im not a morning person so we rarely eat a real breakfast in the morning. This recipe was great. It had everything I love in a breafast (aside from pancakes) and I didnt dirty a ton of dishes to get it.

Breakfast Skillet
Adapted from For the Love of Cooking

4 slices of bacon
10 red baby potatoes, diced
1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
1/2 red or green bell pepper, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 egg for each person (or however many you want!)
1 green onion, diced
Salt and Pepper to taste

Dice the potatoesand place in a pot of boiling water to par cook. Boil for 7 minutes, remove and drain. While the potatoes are boiling, cut the bacon into 1 inch pieces and cook in a large skillet over medium heat. Once bacon is cooked, remove from pan and drain on a paper towel. Remove all but 2t of bacon grease from the pan then add the potatoes.

Cook the potatoes over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes. Add the onion and bell pepper, cooking for an additional 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Turn heat to low, adding potatoes back into the pan.

Fry 1 egg per person in a seperate skillet. Place potato mixture on a plate and top with egg. Can be topped with cheese or hot sauce if desired.

Bourbon Chicken

This recipe is fast, easy and delicious, what more could you ask for?! The chicken has a definite kick to it so if you have little ones eating it you may want to use less of the red pepper. It's great served over rice, or left on its own. I served it with green beans and roasted potatoes.

Bourbon Chicken

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1T olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 t ginger
3/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 c apple juice
1/3 c light brown sugar
2 T ketchup
1 T cider vinegar
1/2 c water
1/3 c low sodium soy sauce


Heat oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned. Remove chicken. Add remaining ingredients, heating over med. heat until well mixed and dissolved. Add chicken to the pan and bring to a hard boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Enjoy!