Thursday, January 10, 2013

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

I am well aware that I haven't posted in FOR-EV-ERRRR. But, oh well.  I don't write this blog to gather a massive following, or to get a book deal.  I post this blog for me.  For fun.  To keep track o what I do and what I like.  Not that there is anything wrong with feeling compelled to continuously write the blog in order to get a book deal.  In fact, I think cooks across America are now benefiting from Smitten Kitchen's dedication to blogging and her new amazing cookbook! Yay!

Anywho, new recipe, why not.  This one is great, easy, and freezes well, so we can have it for lunches when I don't have time to actually pack other lunches.  And did I mention it was easy?  Check this out:

5 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce (the red kind)
1 package taco seasoning
about 40 tortillas
Cheddar cheese- optional
A few dashes hot sauce- optional

Combine enchilada sauce, taco seasoning, and hot sauce if using.  Place in crock pot.  Add chicken.  I know, it doesn't look like enough liquid, but it's fine.

Cook on high 4-6 hours or low 6-8 hours.  Now it looks too liquidy, but trust me, it's fine. Shred chicken and mix around in the sauce.

Divide chicken between tortillas, add cheese if using. Roll up tortillas and either eat now, or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for quick meals later.  Just take out of the plastic wrap and microwave on a paper towel for a few minutes.  If you are eating it fresh, you can add other toppings like lettuce and tomatoes, but I would not put those in the ones for the freezer.

Told you it was easy!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Seven Layer Chicken Taco Salad

A while ago I picked up a used copy of Mexican Light Cooking, but had not yet had a chance to break it open until last night. Last night I made the book's Seven Layer Chicken Taco Salad. I think I used more chicken than recommended, but even still it was probably close to 400 calories (the recipe as published is 332 calories).

Flavor and texture wise, it was very good. Not the best ever, but still very good. Next time I will likely do even more lettuce and tomato and less beans. Oh, and more avocado if I feel like more delicious guac flavor :)

Seven-Layer Chicken Taco Salad
6 servings
  • 1lb skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups fat free reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • (I added 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, divided)
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 cups (I'd use more) shredded lettuce
  • 1 lb tomatoes, diced
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 1 cup finely diced onion (preferably red onion)
  • 1 cup shredded reduced fat Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • (I added some lime juice)
  1. Trim visible fat from the chicken, place in medium sauce pan, add chicken broth and enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to simmer over medium high heat, reduce heat to medium low and cook until chicken is cooked/white throughout, about 15 minutes. Let chicken remain in the liquid until it is cool enough to handle, about 20 minutes.
  2. Remove the chicken and shred it (I cubed some because it was easier). Reserve 1/3 cup of the broth. In small bowl, combine shredded chicken with parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1 tablespoon cilantro.
  3. In a wide (preferably clear) bowl, layer lettuce, tomatoes, black beans, chicken, avocado, onion, and cheese.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together vingar, olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt,1/4 teaspoon pepper, reserved 1/3 cup chicken broth, remaining cilantro and a dash of lime juice. Drizzle dressing over salad and serve.
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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tortellini with Peas and Prosciutto

I LOVED this meal. It is so filling, and comforting, and delicious. It reminds me a lot of a carbonara sort of taste. Creamy deliciousness. All that for around 400 calories per serving with a veggie included. I would call this a success.
As always, the boy sort of had an issue with the peas. Gosh does that boy really not like peas...but he still ate it all and said that other than the peas he liked it. But the peas were so good! They add a different texture and a bright pop to the dish. Keep them in...even if you have a veggie-hating boy in your life. (plus, peas are heavy in fiber, vitamin c and iron; definitely worth keeping)
Tortellini with Peas and Prosciutto
adapted from food network magazine
serves 4
  • 8 oz dry, spinach and cheese tortellini
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces prosciutto or pancetta, finely chopped(chops easier when really cold)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup light cream
  • 1/2 bag (~1 1/2 cups) frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook as the label directs.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and prosciutto and cook until crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Ladle in about 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water and simmer until reduced by about half, about 3 minutes. Add the peas. Add the cream and simmer until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.

Drain the tortellini and add to the skillet, tossing to coat with the sauce. Stir in the parsley and basil. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Skillet Rosemary Chicken

This. Was. Amazing. The chicken was so moist and juicy. And flavorful! The lemon rosemary flavor was perfect. And along with the crispy, flavorful skin, YUM.

And the potatoes were great too! They absorbed a lot of the flavor, were soft but not mushy, and some had a nice crisp side without being burned. The only change I would make next time is to specifically salt the potatoes after boiling but before putting with the chicken because they needed more salt than the rest of the dish (not a big deal, I just salted the potatoes on my plate).

Oh, and if any of you are counting along at home, including the potatoes and crispy chicken skin, this meal is only around 415 calories. We added asparagus to that, and we were set.
"Skillet" Rosemary Chicken
adapted from Food Network Magazine
Serves 4

  • 3/4 pound small red-skinned potatoes, halved, or quartered if large (for me this was only 4 potatoes)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus 1 tablespoon leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Juice of 2 lemons (squeezed halves reserved)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts (6 to 8 ounces each)


Preheat the oven to 450. Cover the potatoes with cold water in a saucepan and salt the water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender, about 8 minutes; drain and set aside.

Pile the rosemary leaves, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt and the red pepper flakes on a cutting board, then mince and mash into a paste using a large knife. *note- this cannot be done in a food processor- I tried* Transfer the paste to a bowl. Stir in the juice of 1 lemon and the olive oil. Add

the chicken and turn to coat.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin-side down, cover and cook until the skin browns, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken; add the potatoes to the skillet and drizzle with the juice of the remaining lemon.*If you do not have an oven safe skillet, Instead of turning, move to a cookie sheet covered in aluminum foil. and continue as directed.

Add the rosemary sprigs and the squeezed lemon halves to the skillet/cookie sheet; transfer to the oven and roast, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crisp, 20 to 25 minutes.

Roasted Asparagus

As I have previously mentioned, the boy does not like veggies. Broccoli: yes. Green beans: maybe. Anything else green (or purple, or orange...): no. So when I told him we were having asparagus tonight, he made a face, joked about the smell it would cause, and got out of the kitchen.

When dinner was served I asked what he thought. The response? "It's edible."

I'll take it!!
I thought the flavor was great. The roasting in olive oil, salt and pepper plus topping with lemon zest and parsley is great. My one issue is that I don't think the pine nuts really added much. The boy disagreed and said he liked them, so I will leave it up to you whether to use them or not, but I think for me it won't be worth the cost in the future for so little value added.

Roasted Asparagus-adapted from Food Network Magazine
serves 4

  • 1lb asparagus
  • 1/2 TBSP olive oil
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 2 TBSP pine nuts (optional)
  • 2 TBSP chapped fresh parsley
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 450. Trim asparagus. Toss with oil, salt and pepper on baking sheet. Roast until just starting to brown, 10 minutes.
  2. Mix pine nuts (if using), parsley, lemon zest and salt and pepper. Sprinkle over asparagus.

Monday, April 4, 2011


The boy and I have been focusing on eating healthy recently. Somewhere between our dietetic Ray's Hell Burger and my butter and sugar filled banana bread, this ACTUALLY healthy pho was thrown in. With around 400 calories and 4 types of veggies, this pho would make your mother proud.

Oh, and it's filling and yummy too!
Pho- adapted from Self

Makes 4 servings


  • 6 oz rice noodles
  • 1 1/2 cups snow peas, ends trimmed
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • Chinese 5 spice powder to taste (~3/4 teaspoon)
  • 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (~2 limes)
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 sprigs basil
  • 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges


  1. Boil noodles in salted water for 3 minutes. Place snowpeas and carrots in a colander; drain noodles over them; rinse; divide among 4 bowls. Top with bean sprouts.
  2. Bring broth to boil with Chinese 5 spice powder. Reduce heat to medium; add chicken; simmer 5 minutes. Add bell pepper and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls; top with remaining ingredients.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Guinness, Jameson and Baileys Cake

This cake also goes by a more widely known, but also much more controvercial name. The Irish Car Bomb Cake. The name received so many comments on Smitten Kitchen, that Deb changed the name, as have I. But, whatever you call it, it is delicious!
I will warn you, this cake takes a lot of planning and time, but it is WELL worth it for a special occaision. I first made it for my birthday last year. BUT, the boy was out of town on work for my borthday, so he missed it. Shucks, guess that means I need to make it again! So, this year for his birthday I made it for him and his family.

My friends loved it. Then again, most of my friends are so wrapped up in law books they would love if someone made them a PBJ. The boy's family was the real test. Neither of his parents really drinks (for various reasons), so the novelty alone would not save the cake- it had to earn its praise.
And earn its praise it did. The boy's father raved that it was the moistest cake he had and that he loved it. His birthday was coming up, and he kept saying that he wanted a chocolate cake as moist as this one. No one said it was too alcohol-y, it just added flavor and brought out the chocolate even more. Success!
To make a 2 layer, 8 inch cake
1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Ganache Filling
8 ounces chocolate chips (dark chocolate is best)
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional)

Baileys Frosting (you will likely have extra)
5 to 7 cups confections sugar
2 sticks (1cup) unsalted butter, at room temperatue
8 tablespoons Baileys (or milk, or heavy cream, or a combination thereof)

Make the cakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil and flour 2 8" round cake pans. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among pans. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25-35 minutes. Cool slightly in pans, then remove to rack to cool completely.

Make the filling: Place chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. 20 seconds in the microwave, watching carefully, will also work.) Add the butter and whiskey (if you’re using it) and stir until combined.

Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped (the fridge will speed this along but you must stir it every 10 minutes). At this point you can either spread the ganach directly onto the top of your bottom layer of cake, or, what I like to do is use a mixer to beat slightly to aerate it and make it more of a frosting consistency. If it doesn't fluff like a frosting, it is not cool enough yet and will slide off the cake. Spread on the cake as the filling between the layers.

Make the frosting: Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time. When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys (or milk) and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin (it shouldn’t, but just in case) beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.

Assemble the cakes into layers and then frost. You can also use any leftover ganache to decorate the top by piping it on with a bag.