Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Valentine's Day

Today was Brian and mine first Valentine's Day together.  I told him I didn't really want to celebrate, that we could just have a low key Valentine's Day, but he had other plans.  When I got back from my lunch break, a box of flowers were waiting for me and this is what I got.
 I absolutely love them!  They are called kaleidoscope roses. I have never seen anything like them before.

Instead of dealing with all the crowds Friday evening, I told him I would cook us a nice meal.  We had petite filet, roasted new potatoes, green bean bundles and molten chocolate lave cake for dessert.  It was wonderful!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Guest Bedroom Redo

I decided to redecorate my guest bedroom last year.  I wanted to go with the grey and yellow color scheme. It took awhile but I finally finished!

Before the walls were a light blue color with pink accents.
After the walls were a dark grey color. I made the valances with inspiration from Pinterest.

Breakfast Taquitos & French Toast Roll Ups

This weekend I decided to try some new recipes for breakfast.  I've grown tired of omelets, scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast. On Saturday we had Breakfast Taquitos, kind of a Mexican breakfast.  These were really good and not too complicated to make.  Sunday, I went with a sweater breakfast, French Toast Roll Ups.  Brian's favorite breakfast is French Toast, so these were a different twist on one of his favorites. These also were a big hit, even with Drew, who isn't a big fan of cinnamon. 

Breakfast Taquitos

10-12 corn tortillas, softened
3 large eggs, scrambled
6 ounces spicy Italian sausage, crumbled
1/4 cup julienned sun dried tomatoes, drained
1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
Working one at a time, transfer tortilla to a work surface; place eggs, sausage, sun dried tomatoes, avocado and cheddar cheese in the center of each wrapper. Bring the bottom edge of the tortilla tightly over the filling, rolling from bottom to top until the top of the tortilla is reached. Repeat with remaining tortilla and filling.

Place taquitos seam side down onto prepared baking sheet and bake until taquitos are crisp and cheese has melted, about 12-15 minutes.

French Toast Roll Ups With Cream Cheese and Strawberries
16 slices Soft Bread
2 Eggs
4 tbsp Milk
1/3 cup Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
Strawberry jam
Cream cheese

In a shallow dish, mix together your cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.
In another shallow dish, whisk together the eggs and milk. Set aside.
Remove the crusts from the bread.
Use a rolling pin or glass to flatten out the bread.
Place a small strip of your filling on one end of the bread and roll them. Repeat with the rest of the bread and filling.
Heat a non-stick skillet with the butter.
Dip the bread rolls in the egg mixture.
Place the roll ups, seam side down in the skillet.
Cook until golden brown, turning to brown on all sides.
Remove the rolls one at a time and immediately roll to coat in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Chicken Echiladas

On Sunday evening we had chicken enchiladas with refried beans.  Both were very good.  Brian always orders chicken enchiladas when we eat out at a Mexican restaurant and he said these were  better than any his had out.  

Chicken Enchiladas

Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: 4-6 servings

4 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. oregano
2 cups chicken broth
4 Tbsp. oil (vegetable or canola)
1 (15.5 oz.) can mashed lentils or black beans, drained
2 cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded
1 cup onion, diced
1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chiles
3 cups Mexican-blend shredded cheese
8-10 flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a large baking dish. (I used a 9 x 13 glass pan.)
Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add in the first six ingredients to the oil and stir for 1 minute. Then add chicken broth. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes until thick.
In small skillet on the side, heat 2 Tbsp. oil over medium heat. Add diced onion and green chiles. Saute until onions are cooked and translucent. Turn off heat and add chicken to mixture. (Or if you are beginning with raw chicken, feel free to cook alongside the onions and chiles. Then dice or shred the meat afterwards.)
To assemble the enchiladas, set up an assembly line including: tortillas, sauce, beans, chicken mixture, and cheese. Lay out a tortilla, and spread a spoonful of sauce in a line down the center. Then add beans on top of the sauce, then some chicken mixture, and cheese. Roll up tortilla and place seam-side down in baking dish. Once all enchiladas are made, pour extra sauce over the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Then remove dish and sprinkle extra cheese on top, and bake for 5-10 minutes more until tortillas begin to brown slightly around the edges. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Baked Club Pinwheels

Baked Club Pinwheels

6 slices pre-cooked bacon, chopped
1 (11-oz.) can Pillsbury® Refrigerated Crusty French Loaf
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
5 slices thinly sliced deli turkey
5 slices thinly sliced deli ham
5 slices thinly sliced deli roast beef

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Unroll dough. Sprinkle cheese over dough. Top with turkey, ham, roast beef and bacon. Starting with long side, roll up dough; press edges to seal. Make 3 to 4 slits in top of loaf. Place on sprayed cookie sheet.

Bake at 350°F. for 23 to 28 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Cut into 1-inch diagonal slices.

Oven Baked Barbecue Chicken Thighs

Oven Baked Barbecue Chicken Thighs

Approximately 3 pounds of chicken thighs
1 cup BBQ sauce (homemade or your favorite store bought sauce) You may want some additional for serving at the table.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Spray 9×13 baking dish with cooking oil.
Lay chicken in baking dish.
Pour the BBQ sauce over the chicken. 
Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes
Remove pan from oven and throw away foil.
Spoon the pan juices (baste) over the chicken.
Return pan to oven and bake, uncovered, for additional 20 minutes.  Chicken will be done when meat is no longer red and juices run clear

Remove from oven and let cover with foil, letting the chicken rest to seal in the moisture.

Stacked Enchiladas

Stacked Enchiladas
2 lbs ground beef
1/2 medium white onion diced
Enchilada seasoning
8oz tomato sauce
9 – 6 flour tortillas 
1/2 diced onion
diced lettuce
sour cream
shredded cheese

Brown ground beef in large skillet on med-high heat.  
Once ground beef is browned add in enchilada seasoning. Cook another 3-4 minutes Remove from heat and set aside.
In separate fry pan add vegetable oil until about 1/2 inch deep. Heat oil on medium heat. Once oil is hot add small tortilla and fry about 1-2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remember to use heat resistant utensils to flip the tortilla.

Once all tortillas are browned you can start to stack the enchiladas. Place one tortilla on a plate and add a few spoonfuls of the meat mixture and the additional toppings. Then add a second tortilla and top with more meat mixture and toppings.  Repeat until satisfied.