Monday, March 26, 2012

Southwest Green Chile Corn Bread

This is hands-down THE best cornbread that I make/have eaten. Whenever I serve it people rave over it; I'm always sharing this recipe!! It comes from Austin Entertains - The Junior League of Austin cookbook. Next time you make chili or ribs or any type of BBQ, PLEASE make this cornbread to go with it!!

1 c. (2 sticks), butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 c. flour
1 c. yellow cornmeal
2 Tbl baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 c. cream-style corn
1/2 c. chopped green chiles, canned
1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 325F

Beat the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until creamy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in a mixture of the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Add the corn, green chiles and cheese and mix well. Spoon into a greased 9X9 inch baking pan. Bake for 50 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before cutting into. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Aloha Sunrise Muffins

I was in the mood to bake this morning. After a look in my pantry, I gathered a can of crushed pineapple, a bag of shredded coconut and some sliced almonds...and this is what I whipped together! They are on the sweet side, I'll tell you that...but, yummy with a "sun-shiny," happy taste! Would be great for breakfast or served at a brunch. Enjoy!
2 c. plain flour
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
1/2 c. sour cream
1 cup crushed pineapple in 100% juice, drained well 
1 Tbl. pineapple juice
1/4 c. canola oil
1/2 c. shredded coconut
1/4 c. sliced or slivered almonds
Preheat oven to 375 F. 
Drain pineapple well; save 1 Tbl of juice (I gave the rest of the juice to my daughter- a HUGE hit!).
Mix flour, salt, baking powder and sugar with a whisk.  Set aside. 
In another bowl, slightly beat egg; add sour cream, drained crushed pineapple, 1 Tbl pineapple juice, oil and coconut and mix. Make a "well" in center of dry ingredients. Stir until all ingredients are moistened. Spoon batter into a greased 12 cup muffin pan. I used my 1/4 c. measuring cup for each scoop of batter. Bake 21-24 minutes or until slightly brown. Let cool 10 minutes in pan before removing. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Chicken & Wild Rice Salad with Almonds & Cranberries

This recipe is simple, healthy and full of flavor! I serve it as a meal with a nice piece of crusty bread. I use the white meat from a rotisserie chicken to save gobs of time! I really enjoy the nutty, rich flavor the wild rice brings to this dish.

1/4 c. white wine vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbl canola oil

2 c. chicken broth
1 1/2 c. uncooked wild rice
1 Tbl butter
white meat from a rotisserie chicken, chopped into bite sized pieces
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 celery ribs, finely chopped OR 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 carrots, shredded
1/3 c dried cranberries
1/4 c chopped almonds (or pecans)
3 green onions, finely chopped

Mix dressing ingredients in a tight fitting container and shake well to combine. 

Combine broth, rice and butter in saucepan; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 45 min or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove rice from heat and cool.

Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add cooled rice.  Add dressing and toss. Cover and chill for at least three hours (this meal is best eaten when everything is cold! The leftovers are excellent!).


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Flank Steak Marinade

This is the marinade recipe I took from The Pioneer Woman's blog. I have it listed with her Fajita Nachos...but, it's so good, I think it needs it's very own post!

Flank steak marinade: 
1 whole flank steak (1 to 2 pounds)
1/3 cup olive oil 
the juice from two whole limes
4 whole canned chipotle peppers, with a little sauce 
4 cloves garlic, peeled 
1 whole handful of cilantro

Combine olive oil, lime juice, garlic, chipotle peppers, and cilantro in the bowl of a food processor or a blender. Blend until totally combined. Place flank steak into a large plastic bag or baking dish. Pour in marinade and make sure it adequately coats the meat. Seal bag or cover tightly and refrigerate for 24 hours at least. Cook meat as you wish!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fajita Nachos

Oh boy was this flank steak delicious! An incredible marinade from my new favorite cooking blog, The Pioneer Woman. Check her out, she's got some amazing recipes!!

So, back to this about fantastic! I bought a 2 lb piece of meat and had plenty of left overs. I used half the meat to make these yummy nachos and the rest I fed to my children who promptly gobbled it all up! I won't lie, the steak is pretty spicy (my kids are known for eating spicy salsa and guacamole without blinking an eye- started 'em young), but, it's that kick that makes it so good! I loved these nachos, but, I will use this marinade again and again to make fajitas or just eat the steak on its own with a baked potato and green salad.
Here is The Pioneer Woman's recipe:

Flank steak marinade:
  • 1 whole Flank Steak (1 to 2 pounds)
  • 1/3 cup Olive Oil
  • 2 whole Limes, Juiced
  • 4 whole Canned Chipotle Peppers, With A Little Sauce
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Peeled
  • 1 whole Handful Of Cilantro

  • 2 whole Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 whole Bell Peppers, Cored And Sliced (can Use Different Colors)
  • Olive Oil, For Frying
  • Sturdy Tortilla Chips
  • 8 ounces, weight Cheese, Grated (cheddar, Jack, Pepper Jack, Etc)
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Sour Cream
To prepare the steak: Combine olive oil, lime juice, garlic, chipotle peppers, and cilantro in the bowl of a food processor or a blender. Blend until totally combined. Place flank steak into a large plastic bag or baking dish. Pour in marinade and make sure it adequately coats the meat. Seal bag or cover tightly and refrigerate for 24 hours at least.

When ready to make the nachos, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat an outdoor grill or an indoor grill pan (or you can use a skillet). Drizzle a little olive oil on the grill and grill the meat over very high heat, about 4 minutes per side. (Turn 45 degrees halfway through on both sides to get nifty grill marks.) Remove steak from grill and set aside to rest.

In a large skillet, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and peppers and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until vegetables are somewhat soft and starting to get black bits. Remove from heat and set aside.

Slice half of the flank steak into strips against the grain, then chop slices into smaller bites. Place sauteed veggies on a cutting board and roughly chop to get them into smaller pieces.

Arrange tortilla chips on a large ovenproof platter (or cookie sheet.) Sprinkle plenty of cheese all over the top. Place platter in oven for 3 minutes or so, just long enough to melt the cheese (but not burn the chips.) Remove from oven, then generously sprinkle peppers, onions, and chopped steak all over the top. Return to oven for no more than another minute---just long enough to heat up the meat and peppers (but not cook the meat all the way through.)
 Remove from oven and plop guacamole all over the top. Serve immediately with salsa and sour cream.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chocolate Cherry Cookies

I love these chocolate cherry cookies! This Cooking Light recipe definitely makes a "grown-up", sophisticated cookie. I don't make these for my kids. But, I do make them for dessert when I have friends over for dinner or throw a hostess party. The tartness of the dried cherries pairs beautifully with the deep, rich flavor of the dark chocolate. Enjoy!

1/3 c. all purpose flour
1/3 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c. old fashioned rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbl butter, melted
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. dried cherries (NOT dried cranberries)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 c. high quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350F

Combine both flours, rolled oats, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl; stir with a whisk.

In another bowl, combine melted butter with brown sugar and stir until smooth. Add sugar mixture to flour mixture and mix until well blended. Add dried cherries, vanilla and egg; beat until combined. Fold in chocolate.

Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350F for 10 - 12 minutes.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Caramelized Onion & Chicken Sandwiches

My husband gave this incredibly yummy sandwich rave reviews when I served it last week for dinner. And I concurred- delicious! The recipe comes from Peace Meals (okay, this cookbook is seriously in my Top 5 favorites! A must have for cooks of all kinds!). I served it with a side salad and Salt & Pepper Kettle Chips (another favorite!). Like always, I used a rotisserie chicken because it just tastes so good and saves so much time! Enjoy!

1 Tbl olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbl brown sugar
1 Tbl Balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. raisins, soaked in hot water until plump
All the white meat from a rotisserie chicken, thinly sliced
2 crusty, good quality sandwich rolls (I used sourdough)
1 vine ripened tomato, thinly sliced
several red or green lettuce leaves
2 Tbl pesto

Heat 1 Tbl olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and gently saute for 20 minutes. Add the brown sugar and vinegar, and cook for 10 more minutes. Drain the raisins and add to the onions; gently stir and remove from heat. Slice the rolls in half lengthwise and remove some of the soft bread inside to make a shallow well in each piece.

Layer the bottom halves with the caramelized onions and raisin mixture, chicken, tomatoes and lettuce. Spread the tops with pesto and press the halves together.