Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas

This was my huge meal of the week.  When served with all the sides, and homemade enchilada sauce it is a real treat.  It is on the time consuming side to make, but it is well worth the effort!


  • 1 lb of boneless, skinless chicken (I use the thighs for this, but you can use the breast if you choose)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp adobo seasoning
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 green bell pepper; chopped
  • 1/2 small onion; chopped
  • 1 can black beans OR 1 can refried beans
  • 4 oz. New York sharp cheddar cheese; shredded
  • 8 oz. Pepper Jack cheese; shredded
  • 12 six inch flour tortillas
  • 1 recipe Red Enchilada Sauce
For the chicken:
  • Heat a 9 inch skillet over medium-high heat.  Add olive oil and chicken.  Cook until the chicken is near done and can easily be shredded in the pan.
  • Shred the chicken.  You can shred the chicken in the pan or remove it if it is easier to do so.  If you shred it on a cutting board put it back in the pan when finished.
  • In a 1/4 cup of water mix the adobe seasoning into a paste.  Scoop the adobo paste onto the chicken and cook 5-10 minutes.  Remove chicken from heat.
For the enchiladas:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spray a 9x13 inch casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Set up a small assembly line with your tortilla shells, sharp cheddar cheese, green bell pepper, onion, beans and seasoned chicken.
  • Make 12 enchiladas by adding all the above ingredients, gently roll them and place them into the baking dish.  You should get 10 enchiladas to fit the length and then you can tuck 2 more under the row of 10.
  • Cover the enchiladas with the recipe of red enchilada sauce.  
  • Top the dish with the shredded pepper jack cheese and back for 35-45 minutes or until that cheese is nice and brown.
* I highly recommend serving this dish with Spicy Corn Relish and Cilantro Lime Rice! It is a pretty time consuming recipe that will take a good 2-3 hours to prepare if you serve it with the sides, but it is well worth the effort!  It is certainly a dish to make when there are lots to share with!

Mexican Adobo Seasoning

There are many different forms of adobo seasoning throughout South and Central America.  It has a totally different flavor profile if you find an adobo recipe from the Philippines.  I use adobo to season my taco meat, in salad dressings, guacamole etc.  This particular combination is essentially a  house seasoning for Latina inspired dishes.


  • 1/4 cup sweet paprika
  • 3 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Mix all the spices together in a small bowl and funnel into a spice jar to use as needed!

Spicy Corn Relish

Ever since I made this for my family to go along with the chicken enchiladas I made it is the only way they will eat their corn.  This is a very tasty recipe that can be served with any number of Mexican inspired dishes!  It is certainly one of my favorite recipes.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 of a medium onion; chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves; minced
  • 1 tsp white granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano
  • tiny tiny pinch of cinnamon (less than 1/8 of a tsp or it will over power the dish)
  • 10 oz of frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 1 lime
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh cilantro; chopped


  • Heat a 9 inch skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the olive oil to the hot pan and then sautè the onion and garlic for about 7 min, until the onions are translucent.
  • Add the sugar, chili powder, cumin, oregano and cinnamon and cook until the onions are covered and are sticky. (About 1 min)
  • Add the chicken stock and the corn and continue to cook on medium-high heat until the liquid is reduced out.  
  • Add the juice of one lime and fresh cilantro.  
Serve this side hot or cold next to your favorite Mexican inspired meal! 

Cilantro Lime Rice

This recipe uses the tricks that Chipotle uses to season their rice.  I use brown rice in place of their long grained white rice because the health benefits to brown rice are amazing.  Feel free to use any rice you like. This rice goes great next to any Mexican inspired meal!


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 whole grain brown rice
  • 1 lime
  • 2 1/2 cup water
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh cilantro; chopped

  • In a two court sauce pan heat the oil over medium-high heat.  
  • Add the rice and the juice of one lime and sautè for 2-3 min.
  • Add the water and bring to a boil.
  • Once it is at a rolling boil reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer rice for 30 min or until all the liquid is absorbed.
  • Add the fresh cilantro and give it a good mix.  Serve as a side with any Mexican dish.  
*This makes about 4 servings of rice.

Red Enchilada Sauce

It has taken me a couple years to get an enchilada sauce I really enjoy. This is a hybrid of various recipes and what I liked about them.  The two most important parts of this recipe is the rich roux and the hint of coca powder.


  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/2 of a medium onion; minced
  • 1 clove of garlic; minced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin 
  • 1 1/2 tsp coca power
  • 1 15oz can of tomato sauce

  • In a 2 quart sauce pan heat the oil over medium high heat.  Add the flour and make a roux, cook for one min.
  • Add the chili powder, the minced garlic and the minced onion to the roux and cook for another min.
  • Add the chicken stock and mix until thick.
  • Add the Mexican oregano, cumin and coca powder.
  •  Add the tomato sauce.
  • Mix the sauce until thick then reduce the heat and simmer for at least 45 min.  Mix occasionally to prevent anything from burning to the bottom of your pan.
  • Poor sauce over your favorite enchilada dish and enjoy!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Stuffed Pepper Soup

Stuffed Pepper Soup

As per my New Year's promise, here your recipe for the week.  It's quick, simple, filling, warm and delicious to help you push through the last couple cold months of winter!


  • 1lb ground beef; seasoned, browned and drained
  • 1/2 of a medium onion diced
  • 2 green bell peppers chopped in nicely sized chunks
  • 1 15oz can of plain tomato sauce
  • 1 15oz can of diced tomatoes 
  • 1/2 cup of rice
  • 1 1/4 cup of beef broth OR water
  • 1 large garlic clove; chopped
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp of Italian Seasoning
  • 2 tbsp of brown sugar

  • Season the ground beef and brown it in a skillet and drain.
  • Add all of the above ingredients above in a large dutch-oven or any 5 quart pot.  
  • Bring the soup to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for at least 1 hour.
  • Allow to cool for 5-10 min and then serve with a hearty garlic bread!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Citrus Glazed Blueberry Bread

Citrus Glazed Blueberry Bread

Nothing reminds us it is summer time more than a fresh loaf of blueberry bread. This particular bread uses some fresh lemon juice to balance the blueberries and is topped with a glaze made from fresh citrus. 

  • 1/3 cup butter; melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • juice from 1/2 fresh lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • zest from 1/2 fresh lemon
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup fresh (or frozen) blueberries

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8 X 4 inch loaf pan.
  • In a batter bowl, beat the butter, sugar, lemon juice and eggs.
  • In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Stir in (by hand with a whisk) one half of the flour mixture into the egg mixture then stir in 1/4 cup of milk.  Repeat this step with the remaining flour mixture and milk.  
  • Bake in preheated oven for 55-65 min until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Cool bread for 10 min in pan and then turn onto a cooling rack for 15-20 min.
**To make a citrus glaze take 2 tablespoons of citrus juice of your choosing (lemon, lime, orange etc).  You can combine 2 or 3 different juices here if you choose.  (lemon and lime go smashingly together)  Mix in 1/4 cup of granulated sugar with 2 tbsp of citrus juice and drizzle this over the top of the warm bread.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Strawberries with Ginger Shortcake

Strawberries with Ginger Shortcake


  • 4 cups fresh strawberries
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups all purpose flour; sifted
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter; chilled
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg white


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Cut the berries in quarters and put in a medium sauce pan with sugar and lemon juice.  Cook the berries over medium-low heat until tender. (About 7 min) Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, ginger & salt in a food processor and pulse 3 times. 
  • Add the butter pieces and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  • Place mixture in a large mixing bowl and add milk.
  • Stir with a wooden spoon until just moist.
  • Press dough into a 7 in circle and cut into wedges.
  • Brush the wedges with the egg white and bake for 15-20 min or until golden brown.
  • To serve, slice a wedge in half and sandwich warm berries in between the sliced wedge.  Top with fresh whipped cream and enjoy! 
This is a very tasty treat to go along with our seasonal change where the sun is showing it's face more.  My boyfriend has pointed out that the shortcake biscuit is great on it's own with his morning coffee!  Happy eating! 

    Sunday, April 25, 2010

    Twice Baked Potatoes

    These yummy piles of starch, cheese and bacon I brought to a family function.  The entire 9x13 dish was gobbled so I assume they were enjoyed.  I tried to make them semi healthy by replacing the cream (heavy, sour or whatever one uses typically in potato) with plain yogurt.  To boost the flavor I added some red onion and a hint of horseradish and the result was somewhere in the middle of  "indulgent side dish" and "it's not terrible for you".

    Twice Baked Potato

    • 7-10 small to medium baking potatoes
    • 1/2 bacon; cooked and chopped
    • 1/4 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese; shredded
    • 1/2 of a medium red onion; chopped
    • 1 6oz container of plain yogurt
    • 1-2 tablespoons horseradish (to your taste level)
    • 2 table spoons olive oil
    • salt & pepper to taste
    • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
    • Scrub your potatoes with a vegetable brush.  Slice each potato in half along the length and place face down on a large baking sheet.  Poke each potato 2 or 3 times with a fork and drizzle them with the olive oil.  Coat the skins in salt & pepper to taste.
    • Bake the potatoes 45 -55 min and then remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle.
    • Scoop out the potatoes from their skins and place in a medium mixing bowl. (Leave just enough potato on the skin to keep the skin sturdy.)
    • Mix the horseradish into the cup of yogurt until well blended and then mix the horseradish yogurt into the potato bowl.  Fold in the red onion.  Salt & pepper the potatoes to taste.
    • Scoop the potato mixture back into their skins and cover the tops with the sharp cheddar and bacon.
    • An hour before you want them served preheat the oven to 375 degrees and bake them for 45 min or until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. (I know the ones in my picture aren't browned at all but I had to remove them a little early so I could finish baking them off at the actual party!)

    Friday, April 23, 2010

    Spinach and Roasted Tomato Quiche

    After rolling around in butter and sugar for the majority of last week making the cake I decided I wanted to make savory food with healthy bright colors.

    Spinach & Roasted Tomato Quiche

    • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes; roasted
    • 1 10oz. package frozen spinach (or equivalent fresh spinach balanced)
    • 1-2 cloves of garlic; pressed
    • 1/4 cup feta crumbles
    • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
    • 6 large eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
    • salt & pepper to taste
    • 1 recipe for a 9inch pie crust or puff pastry


    • To roast the tomatoes; preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  Slice 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes in half. Combine 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and 1 pint tomato into a mixing bowl and toss together. Spread tomatoes out on a shallow baking sheet and cook on top rack for 15-20 min until caramelized.  
    • When the tomatoes are done remove them from the oven and allow them to cool.  Reduce the oven temp to 375 degrees F.
    • In a large mixing bowl mix together the eggs, heavy cream, salt & pepper until foamy using a hand mixer on low speed. Set aside
    • Mix the prepared spinach, roasted tomatoes, feta and garlic into the bottom of a prepared pie dish with  your crust of choice.  
    • Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
    • Bake for 35-45 min or until the egg is set in the middle. 

    Monday, April 19, 2010

    The Pretty Princess Cake Part 2

    The birthday cake was a huge success!  The little girl was very excited and all the adults were very impressed which made it well worth the 15+ hours it took to get everything just right!

    For the structure of the cake I used the Wilton Castle Set.

    The bottom tier is a 10 inch a coconut cake with a whipped coconut custard filling and a vanilla buttercream  frosting. I added some coconut rum to the frosting recipe to marry the flavor with the cake. The top tier is a kid friendly sprinkle cake with a chocolate buttercream frosting filling and a vanilla buttercream frosting on the outside.  Not only was the castle itself a hit but the cake wasn't so bad either.  Not a single piece was wasted and there were plenty of to-go plates to go around.  

    For more photos of the cake and party view the album on the Facebook fan site!