Friday, January 29, 2010

Creamy Corn Chowder

from Our Best Bites

I know it might defeat the purpose of copying all my recipes from these other blogs. My whole purpose in this blog, however, is not to make up my own recipes but share recipes that we may be hesitant to try. So there, that's my defense :).

Like I mentioned in a previous post, sometimes I think of an ingredient I have that I need to use (for example, this time it was potatoes) and work around that. This soup was sooo good and cheap and easy to make. In her blog post, the author mentioned that if you don't put bacon in it, you can put smoked paprika in. I did so anyways and I put a dash of liquid smoke in too because for some reason that night the creamed corn and onion taste was just overpowering for me and making me nauseated. All I had to buy was an onion for this because I had already had everything else stocked. Also, I put 2/3 of skim milk and 1/3 whole milk because that is what I had. Next time, though, I will use all skim because it is definitely thick enough without the whole milk. Enjoy!

Creamy Corn Chowder

2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. water
2 1/2 c. milk (skim or 1% work just fine and lighten it up considerably)
2 regular-sized chicken bouillon cubes, 1 Knorr chicken bouillon cube, or 2 tsp. chicken base
1/2 lb. bacon (optional)
1 onion, minced
2 red potatoes, diced into small cubes
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can corn, drained
Salt and pepper to taste (you'll need a considerable amount of salt--probably at least 1/4 tsp. More about this later)
A few dashes of hot sauce (like Tabasco or Cholula)

Fry bacon until crisp. In the meantime, melt butter over low heat in a soup pot. When melted, add flour to make a roux and whisk until it comes together in a little ball. Add water and whisk until completely combined and there are no lumps. Add milk and chicken base or bouillon and bring to a simmer. Add potatoes, onions, and garlic, and simmer (but don't boil!), stirring very frequently, for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add crumbled bacon and corn and heat through. Add a few drops of hot sauce and then salt to taste. The reason why I don't have an exact measurement is that while the soup REALLY needs salt, bacon also really differs in its saltiness, so it can be super easy to make this soup waaaaay too salty. Start with about 1/4 tsp., give it a few minutes, and then add more if you need it.

Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with extra bacon and/or cheese if you want. Because, you know, if there's anything a perfectly healthy bowl of soup (it's only 3 Weight Watchers points!) needs, it's some extra bacon and cheese!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ground Beef and Cabbage Casserole

In my last minute effort to find something that sounded good to make for dinner last night, I came across this recipe and we loved it. It tastes just like a cabbage roll only in a casserole format. I liked it because the flavors mixed well and the tomato was not overpowering. It is also very good as leftovers! I didn't get a picture of the cooking process and a picture of our leftovers wouldn't do it justice, but I hope you try it anyway!

1 med. onion, chopped
2 tbsp. butter
1 lb. ground chuck (ground pork could be used as a substitute)
1 c. cooked rice
1 sm. cabbage, shredded

Saute onion in butter until soft. Add beef and rice and cook briskly about 3 minutes, stirring. Turn into shallow 2 1/2 quart covered casserole. Shred cabbage finely and arrange over meat mixture.

2 tbsp. flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. catsup
1 c. canned tomatoes
1 c. water
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 tbsp. butter

Melt 4 tablespoons butter and blend in flour. Cook until bubbly, remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Simmer stirring about 5 minutes. Pour over cabbage. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.

Correction on the Enchiladas

My sister made these enchiladas and she didn't like them. I was shocked!!! They are my favorite. HOwever, I have never made them in the manicotti shells, only in tortillas. I went to go look at what ingredients I needed to make them this weekend and I was surprised to find an ingredient that I had never added haha!! In the chicken mixture, it calls for sour cream and I have never added that. My husband says, the more calories the better. I say, why mess with a good thing?
So the inside is pretty much pico de gallo with the shredded chicken. I'm sure it makes it so much lighter than with sour cream. I just wanted to let you know!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Quick Pulled Pork Chica-dillas

I had some leftover pulled pork and I was out of buns so I typed in what I wanted to use into and up came this recipe. It was a little spicy, but so yummy and super easy considering my pork was already cooked and all I had to do was reheat it and reduce the sauce. Enjoy!


  • (2 to 3-pound) pork tenderloin, cut in 1 1/2-inch slices, quartered
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle beer (I substituted ginger ale.)
  • 2 tablespoons papaya nectar or juice (I just used some passion fruit juice in the fridge, because I couldn't find papaya juice anywhere. I also used apricot BBQ sauce so that probably helped.)
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup regular barbecue sauce
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, seeded and chopped (This is what really adds heat, so if you would like to do less, go ahead)
  • 2 teaspoons Delicioso Adobo, recipe follows
  • 20 flour tortillas
  • 2 cups grated queso fresco or farmer's cheese
  • 3 avocados, thinly sliced (more if you are like me and love avocados, they really balance out the heat.)
  • Cilantro leaves


Mix all ingredients (except tortillas, cheese, avocados, and cilantro) together in a large, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Shred the pork, using 2 forks, or mashing with a potato masher. Put shredded pork back into sauce and mix ingredients. Cover up and cook on low for another 10 to 15 minutes.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook a tortilla about 2 minutes on each side. Spoon some pork onto the tortilla and top with 4 to 5 avocado pieces and cilantro. Heat up another tortilla until toasted and add cheese. Cook until cheese is melted. Place the second tortilla cheese side down on top of the pork and avocado. Cut into 4 slices and repeat process. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Delicioso Adobo:

  • 1 teaspoon parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon achiote powder from annatto seed (I couldn't find this either. I used less than 1 tsp, maybe half of cayenne pepper.)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper

Add all ingredients and mix together.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Asian Lettuce Wraps

Doug loved these the best and I did not have rice vinegar so I put a little salt and sugar and white vinegar instead and it was still delicious! The dipping sauce really was the best part :)

Asian Lettuce Wraps

2 t vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T minced fresh ginger
1 lb ground chicken (about 2 boneless, skinless breasts(yeah the author of this recipe ground her own chicken! It makes me want to try sometime))
3/4 C minced mushrooms
1/2 t kosher salt
4 C minced cabbage (about 1/2 a head)
1 8oz can water chestnuts, minced
1/2 C minced green onions
1/4 C soy sauce
2 t sesame oil
1 lemon, zested, then juiced
1 t hot sauce
1/3 C chopped cilantro
1 head iceberg lettuce
*Dipping Sauce recipe to follow

Heat up a large skillet. Really, a large one, this makes a lot. Put in vegetable oil and when it's hot add minced garlic and ginger. Saute for a minute just until it's fragrant and then add in the ground chicken, minced mushrooms, and salt. Cook until chicken is cooked through.

Then add in the cabbage, water chestnuts, and green onions. Cook for a few minutes until cabbage starts to wilt. Add in the soy sauce, sesame oil, juice and zest from the lemon, and hot sauce. When everything is cooked through, remove from heat and stir in the cilantro.

To serve, carefully separate the whole leaves from the lettuce. Wash and dry them and keep them in the fridge so they're nice and cold. Spoon chicken filling onto the lettuce leaf and then roll it up and serve with dipping sauce below- or any other favorite Asian dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce
¼ C Soy Sauce
¼ C Seasoned Rice Vinegar
1 T Fresh Minced Ginger
2 T chopped green onions

*This makes quite a bit. It's enough to feed my small family for a couple meals, so I use half and freeze the other half for later use! You'll get about 6 cups total of filling.

Asian Night

Dinner menus at my house are planned with three things in mind usually:
1. What have I made before that sounds good?
2. What can I make using only ingredients that I have? (This is the main one usually and this week it is potatoes :))
3. Experimenting and trying something new.

So I tried 2 new recipes yesterday for dinner, which is always a little frightening on a Sunday dinner, but it was delicious so enjoy!!

Both recipes were from here.

The first was fried rice, which cooking the rice actually took the longest in this meal. (Use your food processor if you can both these recipes!)

Fried Rice
Recipe from Disneyworld's Ohana Restaurant

2 c. white rice + 4 c. water (OR 4 c. cold, leftover rice, which is actually better)
3 Tbsp. butter
1/4 c. minced red onion
2 Tbsp. chopped green onions
1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/4 c. chopped carrots
1/2 c. chopped mushrooms
8 oz. (1/2 bag) of coleslaw mix
3-4 generous Tbsp. soy sauce

1 Tbsp. dried onion
1 Tbsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 ½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. celery salt
1 ½ tsp. sugar

Boil water and add rice. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. This step can be done even up to 2-3 days in advance (and for some reason, fried rice tastes better when the rice is cold). Heat butter over medium heat and saute onions, carrots, and cabbage until carrots are tender. Add cooked rice, soy sauce, and seasoning to taste (you won't even come close to using all of it; save the rest for future fried rice or use as you would seasoning salt.)


--Peas, snap peas, or pea pods

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pasta with Spiced Chickpeas and Whipped Feta

This recipe piqued my interest so much and I had been wanting to try it. I was a little disappointed yet surprised. I think next time, I will add less chickpeas and add chicken or something. The flavor of the sauce was soooo good and I am not a mint fan, but the texture of the chickpeas was a little off with the pasta. Also, I might try a pasta other than rigatoni because it wasn't very filling. Anyways, those are my suggestions, but I originally found the recipe here. Enjoy!

The idea for this dish started with a Greek whipped feta recipe we discovered. The feta is creamed with olive oil and lemon juice, and typically used as a dip or appetizer. Here we use whipped feta as the "sauce" for a pasta with spiced chickpeas. The flavors are distinctly Mediterranean, but unusual at the same time.

Pasta with Spiced Chickpeas and Whipped Feta

Pasta with Spiced Chickpeas

3 cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs fresh mint, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lb dried rigatoni pasta
sea salt and black pepper

Whipped Feta

1/2 lb feta, crumbled
juice of 1/2 lemon
3 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp black pepper

  1. Combine chickpeas, tomatoes, garlic, mint, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Let sit at least one hour at room temperature.
  2. Make Whipped Feta by combining all the ingredients in food processor until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  3. Cook pasta. Drain and toss with a small amount of olive oil. Top with spiced chickpeas, then a big dollop of whipped feta. Eat while pasta is still hot.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Baked Chicken Taquitos

I am a recipe-blog-hopper now. And I found another site I like: My Kitchen Cafe and they took this recipe from a site I like called Our Best Bites. They were absolutely delicious and easy. I made it throughout the day. Enjoy!

Baked Chicken Taquitos
adapted from Our Best Bites

Makes 14-16 taquitos (served our family of two adults and three kids with three or four leftover for lunch the next day)

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup green salsa
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 green onion, sliced finely (white and green parts to equal about 2 tablespoons)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (I cook large batches of chicken in my crockpot with a little chicken broth and salt, shred it and freeze it for meals like this)
1 cup grated monterey jack cheese (use pepperjack if you like a little heat)

small yellow or white corn tortillas
kosher salt
cooking spray

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix softened cream cheese, green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.

You can prepare this step ahead of time (which I did - I made it the morning of). Just keep the mixture in the fridge.

Working with a few tortillas at a time, place 3-4 between two damp paper towels and microwave for 30-45 seconds, until tortillas are soft and pliable and don't crack while rolling. Place 2-3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture on the lower third of a soft tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges. Then roll it up as tight as you can. (A few of mine wanted to rebel and come unrolled so I stuck a toothpick through them to keep them right and tight.)

Place filled taquitos seam side down on the baking sheet, making sure they don't touch each other. When ready to bake, spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and lightly sprinkle some kosher (coarse) salt on top.

Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown. Serve immediately. Taquitos can be dipped in in salsa, sour cream, guacamole, or any other combination you can dream up .

Apple-Cinn Bread Pudding

I saw this on Food Network (Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee) and decided to give it a try. It is not a super sweet dessert and I have to say I have only had one other bread pudding that I have liked in the past. It isn't something I would make a ton, but wasn't heavy or too sweet and I liked it!


  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups milk, cream, or combination
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rum extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 6 cups cinnamon bread, cubed (about 15 slices)
  • 1 (20 1/2-ounce) can apple pie filling
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 packets apple cinnamon instant oatmeal (recommended: Quaker Oats)


  • 1/2 cup ginger ale
  • 1 package whipped topping mix (recommended: Dream Whip)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, rum extract, salt, and brown sugar. Stir in raisin bread, pie filling, raisins, and oatmeal packets until bread cubes are moist. Spray a 9 by 12-inch baking dish with the pan spray and pour the mixture into the dish. Set aside for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake pudding until it has risen, browned, and a knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 to 40 minutes.

For sauce: combine all ingredients in a bowl and blend with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Serve bread with a dollop of sauce. Cover and chill until ready to use.