sunset harvest

Monday, March 25, 2013

Oven Chicken Fajitas

It is a rare occasion I make a meal and put it on here all in the same night, however these turned out too good not to share right away (This is for you Aunt Kathy). This can be thrown together right before dinner, and if I had the time this morning I probably would have let everything marinade together during the day. I enjoyed these and got "pretty good" from the rest of the gang. These are easy and I thought tasted delicious. 

Oven Chicken Fajitas

2-3 boneless/skinless chicken breast cut into strips
Place chicken in a greased 9x13 casserole dish. 

Mix together
2 TBLS vegetable oil
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried oregano 
1/4 tsp. salt
Pour over chicken and stir to coat

1 medium onion, sliced
1 red and/or green pepper, sliced
Add to chicken 

1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies, add to chicken and veggies and stir to combine

Bake 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. 

Serve in tortilla shells with your favorite toppings!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Soup is on! Although Spring is just around the corner (hopefully) today turned out to be a very cold, dreary, damp day with lots of rain. The rain hasn't stopped. Luckily it is rain and not snow, so there's something to be thankful for! This soup is perfect for a day like today, but after sampling the soup before it was even ready, I think this soup would be perfect any day. Since my favorite restaurant that carries the soup, you know the one that has the cows with the signs "eat more chicken"  is about an hour away, I decided to give this copy cat version a try. My mom always order this soup and my kids fight over sharing with her, so I was hoping they would enjoy this version at home as well.  This makes a large batch, I first halved it, but then decided it didn't look like that much in my crock pot, so I added more of each ingredient to make a full batch, glad I did because we all had full bowls of the soup for dinner, and there wasn't too much left over!

Before using the hand blender

After using the hand blender the soup is smooth, all the cheese is melted and smooth.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
adapted from Lindsey's Luscious

2 Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breast ( I threw them on the grill the night before and just seasoned with a little chili powder) OR you could easily use a rotisserie chicken that you buy from the grocery store
1 TBLS. oil (olive or vegetable)
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 quart chicken stock
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (add a little more if you really like the heat)
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
1 (19oz) can red enchilada sauce
5 corn tortillas, minced (this additional helps to thicken the soup and give it some real enchilada flavor)
16 oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded

Garnishes, fresh cilantro, tortilla strips*, salsa, sour cream, green onions, or whatever you feel like!

In a skillet, warm the oil and add onion and garlic. Saute till tender. Add onion and garlic to crock pot and add remaining ingredients, minus the chicken. Cook on high for 2 hours or 4 hours on low. Whisk the soup, I used my hand blender, and then add chicken and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Top with shredded cheese, cilantro, tortilla strips, and sour cream.

*I took about 4 additional corn tortillas and sliced them thin, tossed some olive oil over them to coat and sprinkled with kosher salt. Spread them on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until crisp. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Cinnamon Chip Bread

Snow days are allowing some much needed updates to this little food blog! This bread is amazing, served warm with a little butter and you will not be able to eat just one slice! Now, Kathy and my amazing sister, Katy, may want to start off with something more easy like pizza dough or even cinnamon rolls , since I know yeast frightens them both slightly! The yeast is not the scary part in this recipe, however the dough is very sticky, hard to work with. But if you can get past all that, it is completely worth it!

Cinnamon Chip Bread
adapted from Rae Gun Ramblings

1 cup warm water (Not too hot to the touch)
1 cups warm milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast (1 package)
1/3 cup oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
4-5 1/2 cups flour
1 cup cinnamon chips

In mixer, combine sugar, warm water and milk. Add yeast to the top and let rest for 5 minutes, or until bubbles begin to form.
Add in oil and egg and mix till combined
Slowly add 2 cups of the flour, then the salt.
Once the salt is combined, add remaining flour, just enough flour that the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Add Cinnamon chips and let rise for 30 minutes. Remove and place in greased in loaf pan, no need to get fancy, as the dough, as mentioned is sticky!
Let rise for an additional 30 minutes.
Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. I checked mine at 30 minutes, and the top was browning too close to burnt for me, so I placed foil over the top for the remainder of the baking time.
Makes 2 loaves

Katy/Kathy-try it :) And Call me before you do so I am ready to take your calls for about 20 minutes :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Easy Meat Balls

Working a full time job means less time in the evenings to make my family dinner during the week, so planning ahead is crucial.  When I was looking through my cookbooks recently I stumbled across a recipe for easy meatballs from my Aunt Rita, and what a relief when I realized they cooked all day in the crock pot.  The best part of this meal...I made it all up the night before. Got my kids in bed and spent about 15 minutes preparing this wonderful meal. I put all my ingredients in the crock pot, carefully laid the meatballs in the sauce, put the lid on and put it in the refrigerator overnight, so in the morning just took it out and put it in the crock pot, pushed a few buttons and out the door! Very helpful for those crazy school and work mornings!

Coming home and only having to make some spaghetti noodles and warm up some garlic bread in the oven made my day! Hope you try this soon!

Begin by making the sauce, no need to even use a bowl, just throw it all in the crock pot!

1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 (6oz) can of tomato paste
2 whole bay leaves
1/2 TBLS dried oregano
1 TBLS Italian seasoning
1 TBLS brown sugar
1 TBLS balsamic vinegar
I used four 15 oz cans of tomato sauce, but you could just use 2 of the large cans, and if I didn't have a picky family, I would have used a can of crushed tomatoes

Stir all ingredients together and begin the meatballs

Meat Balls
From my Aunt Rita

Mix together
1 lb. ground chuck
1/2 lb. sausage
1 egg
2 slices bread (wet and squeeze out water, then pull it apart and add it in small pieces)
1 tsp. dried oregano
3 or 4 shakes of garlic powder ( I love my aunt )
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 TBLS. grated Parmesan cheese

I made large meatballs because I knew they would be cooking for most of the day, a heaping Tablespoon, and they turned out perfectly. Cook on low for 8 hours. The sauce simmers on low all day and makes everything come together for one delicious bite!


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Happy Fall!

I can't even look at the day of my last post. Please hang in there with me! I miss my blog and have to do more frequent post! I have some recipes coming up and can't wait to share them! Here are some little treats I made for a party over the weekend.  I made one batch of rice crispy treats and then added some Americolor gel in the orange color. I wasn't going to add red/yellow food coloring and try to get the color just right, but you certainly could! Once the marshmallows were melted I added the food coloring. I tried a few different ways of molding my pumpkins but found the best way for me was while the mixture was still warm, I placed about a half a cup of the mixture in muffin tins. When they were slightly cool, I was able to mold them a little easier. I made some icing using some butter, powder sugar and milk and then attached the Rolo to the top of each pumpkin. Super easy and they were a hit at the party! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Enchilada Casserole

Tried another casserole that my mother strongly recommended, and I can't even describe the reaction from the crew. My daughter was the first to literally lick her plate clean. She loved it, Doug went back for seconds, which if you know him, says a lot as he is not a casserole type of a guy. This dish came together very easily and I hope you put this in your dinner rotation very soon! 
Most of the ingredients are probably already in your kitchen. I served this meal with a side salad and for Doug I threw in some tater tots since a salad on his plate would be the end of the world!

Enchilada Casserole
adapted from Buns in My Oven

Begin by bringing a large pot of water to a boil, and cooking the egg noodles according to package directions. I used about 8 ozs. of wide egg noodles.

Brown one pound of ground beef in a skillet.

Once meat is cooked through, add the following;
4 oz. Cream Cheese
1/4 tsp. Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp. Chili Powder

Stir until the cream cheese melts, and then add the following;
1/4 cup sour cream
1 (4oz) can diced green chiles
1 (10oz) can enchilada sauce
1 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese

Allow the cheese to melt and continue to stir. Add in the cooked noodles and stir to combine.

Pour into a greased casserole dish. I used an 8x8 dish and it worked perfectly.

Sprinkle an additional 1 cup of shredded cheese over casserole and bake for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Great Summer Salad

Where has the summer gone. I can't believe I have not posted anything for over a month. Time has flown by and I even sent my oldest off to kindergarten. So after making a great dinner last night, I was ready to put it on here and found a few other favorites I made over the summer that I wanted to share. This is a simple and delicious salad, you can often find similarities to this salad at your grocery store deli counter. But why not make it at home? So much better! 
Broccoli Salad

Begin by cooking about 6 slices of bacon, once cooked, do a rough chop to make bite size pieces. 

Mix together 
1 cup Mayonnaise
1/3/ cup sugar
1 TBLS. white vinegar

Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, 
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4/ cup diced onion
3 stalks uncooked broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup shredded cheese

Now dig in! Yum!