Mexican Restaurant Style Chicken

Occasionally I find a recipe that I get so excited to share with you…this is one of them.  I know I say everything is delicious, and well, it is.  Honestly, I don’t post all of the recipes that I try that the family and I don’t like.  This recipe is so delicious that I’m planning to make it again next week when I go up to visit my mom.  You can use this meat in many different ways, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, and chimichangas are just a few that I can think of right off.

We simply put the chicken in flour tortillas, rolled up and placed seam side down on a plate.  Top with a dollop or two of purchased refrigerated cheese dip and then zapped in the microwave for a few seconds to warm the dip so that it melts down over the tortilla.

 

Mexican Restaurant Style Chicken
 
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Ingredients
  • 4 lg. boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 4 c. chicken broth
  • 2 c. water
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • ¼ - ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 (4.5-oz.) can chopped green chilies
  • 1 c. diced onion
  • 3 lg. cloves garlic, minced
Instructions
  1. Place the chicken breasts into a large Dutch oven. Add the chicken broth, water, chili powder, salt, ground cumin, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Cook over high heat until hot and almost boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Add green chilies, diced onion, and minced garlic. Cook at a gentle boil, (breaking up, but not shredding, the chicken with your spoon when the chicken is done and tender enough to do so) until the liquid has reduced to 1 cup.
  3. Remove the chicken and shred with two forks. Return chicken to the onion mixture and stir. Use chicken as desired.
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Cinnamon Rolls

cinnamon rolls 1

I made these cinnamon rolls for a friend that had family in town for Easter.  They are the best homemade cinnamon rolls I have ever had and they are super easy.  I used my bread machine for the dough, but never fear…I’ll give you the recipe with and without a bread machine.

 

Cinnamon Rolls (using a bread machine)
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 c. warm milk
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ⅓ c. butter, melted
  • 4½ c. bread flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ c. granulated sugar
  • 2½ tsp. bread machine yeast
  • Filling:
  • 1 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 2½ tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ c. butter, softened
  • Icing:
  • 1 (3-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ c. butter, softened
  • 1½ c. confectioners' sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order listed above or in order recommended by manufacturer. Select dough cycle, then start.
  2. When the dough cycle has finished turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
  3. With a hand mixer combine butter, brown sugar and cinnamon until well combined, set aside.
  4. Roll dough into a 16 x 21 inch rectangle. Sprinkle dough with brown sugar mixture. Roll over lightly with a rolling pin. Roll up dough from the 21 inch side and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled in size (about 30 minutes). Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 20 - 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
  6. While the rolls are cooling, make the icing by beating cream cheese, ¼ c. butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on rolls and serve.

Cinnamon Rolls (without a bread machine)
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 c. warm milk
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ⅓ c. butter, melted
  • 4½ c. bread flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ c. granulated sugar
  • 2½ tsp. bread machine yeast
  • Filling:
  • 1 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 2½ tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ c. butter, softened
  • Icing:
  • 1 (3-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ c. butter, softened
  • 1½ c. confectioners' sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. Substitute dry active yeast for bread machine yeast. Heat oven to 200 degrees F, then turn off the oven.
  2. Melt butter and warm milk. Dissolve yeast and sugar in the milk mixture and let stand about 10 - 15 minutes. Add eggs and mix. Stir in bread flour and salt and knead by hand for about 20 minutes or in an electric mixer with dough hooks until a ball forms.
  3. Spray a bowl with nonstick cooking spray and place the dough ball in the bowl. Cover with a damp towel and place in oven until dough has doubled in volume. Remove from oven and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Follow the above directions to finish up rolls.

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Pecan Bars

pecan bars

 

I made these pecan bars for a recent camping trip.  It is a Barefoot Contessa recipe and it is incredible.  It is one of those recipes that you only want to make on special occasions though…it has a LOT of butter and pecans!  The crust is a shortbread crust and the topping isn’t as gooey as a southern pecan pie.

I would use a pan with 2″ sides if I were to make these again.  The filling baked over in my oven and I had quite a mess to clean up.  The original Ina recipe calls for honey instead of corn syrup, but I used light corn syrup.

Make sure the pan that you cook your topping in is big enough to accommodate the 2 lbs. of pecans, I almost underestimated.

I melted a bag of 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate and dipped half of each bar into the melted chocolate.

In an airtight container these bars keep well in the refrigerator for over a week.

 

Pecan Bars
 
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Ingredients
  • Crust...
  • 1¼ lbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ c. granulated sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • ¾ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 4½ c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • Topping...
  • 1 lb. unsalted butter
  • 1 c. light corn syrup
  • 3 c. light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. grated orange zest
  • ¼ c. heavy cream
  • 2 lbs. pecans, coarsely chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. For the crust, beat the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, until light, approximately 3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the batter with the mixer on low speed until just combined. Press the dough evenly into a ungreased 18 x 12 x 1-inch baking sheet (I will go with a pan with at least 2-inch sides next time), making an edge around the outside. It will be very sticky; sprinkle the dough and your hands lightly with flour. Bake for 15 minutes, until the crust is set but not browned. Allow to cool.
  3. For the topping, combine the butter, honey, brown sugar, and zests in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat until the butter is melted, using a wooden spoon to stir. Raise the heat and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the heavy cream and pecans. Pour over crust, trying not to get the filling between the crust and the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the filling is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. Cut into bars and serve.
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Asian Marinated Chicken

This marinade gives chicken a wonderful flavor.  You will notice in the above picture that I used chicken breasts with bones.  I recommend boneless skinless, but I didn’t have any in the freezer at the time.

 

Asian Marinated Chicken
 
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Ingredients
  • ⅓ c. soy sauce
  • ⅓ c. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. orange juice
  • 1 tbsp. Thai-style sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tsp. chile-garlic sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp. curry powder
  • 4 chicken breasts
Instructions
  1. Mix the soy sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, orange juice, sweet chili sauce, chile-garlic sauce, garlic and curry powder. Place the chicken in a ziplock bag and pour marinate over chicken, refrigerate for 24 hours, turning bag occasionally.
  2. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding the marinade. Grill chicken until done.
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Roasted Carrots

I know I haven’t been posting as normal.  However, with tax time quickly approaching I have been busy helping Greg make sure everything was in order.  I really don’t like tax time because it stresses me out, so blogging had to go on the back burner.  Finally, things are finished and I can get to cooking again!
Today I made roasted carrots…a delicious way to serve carrots.  I even have a friend that claims to hate carrots that actually likes these.  The first time I had them was after my daughter, Savannah, was born.  My mother-in-law brought dinner to our house which included these carrots.  I have been hooked ever since.
Roasted Carrots
 
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Ingredients
  • Carrots, cut into 3" pieces or mini carrots
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 to 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • fresh baby dill, snipped
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place carrots on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil. Add minced garlic, salt and pepper and toss to coat all of the carrots.
  2. Place in oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes, until tender crunchy.
  3. Remove from oven, sprinkle snipped dill over the carrots and toss.
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