Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Homemade Refried Beans

These are a constant staple in our fridge nowadays.  We eat them with everything, whenever we can...  mostly because they are delicious, but also because they are so healthy.  I put them in a tortilla with my eggs in the morning, with quesadillas for lunch, or tacos for dinner.  Amazing.  This recipe comes from a friend whose parents we know and love, from our former Plano 8th Ward.  Her blog is FULL of great, easy, and cheap recipes.  Here's the link: Fast,Cheap, and Easy. (Picture below is a before picture).
Homemade Refried Beans

1 32oz bag Pinto Beans
1 onion –  diced
1 1/2 T - Salt
1 T - Pepper
1/4 t - Cumin
9 C Water

Combine everything in the crockpot. Cook on high ALL day (8 hours). Blend everything until smooth using an emersion blender, Bosch, or Vitamix. If the beans look thick at the end of the day, add a touch of water. You’ll NEVER go back to canned refried beans. I freeze the leftovers in quart sized zip seal freezer bags. Just lay them flat and freeze them like file folders. Enjoy!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Crock Pot Enchilada Steak

I found this recipe on Pinterest and tried it last week.  It was so good and super easy to make.  I was picking at the steak meat all night long because it was flavored perfectly and really tender.  Plus, its done in the crockpot and you can do whatever you want with it afterwards- we used it for tacos, but the original recipe uses them for baked enchiladas.
Crock Pot Enchilada Steak
Adapted from Chef in Training

2 lbs. stew meat (I used 1lb lean, 1 lb. with a little fat)
1 16-oz. can red enchilada sauce 
2 beef bullion cubes
Refried beans (see this recipe for homemade)
Tacos and desired fillings

Place stew meat in crock pot.  Top with crushed bullion cubes (if yours wont crush, put them in a small container with a little water for about 30 seconds and then crush) and enchilada sauce.  Cook on low for 7-8 hours, until meat is very tender and falls apart.  Drain off extra juice and use meat as desired.  Here's the link for the original recipe if you'd like to make enchiladas.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Julie Johnson's Rolls!!

Julie Johnson's Rolls

These are the best rolls!  She cooks them for our ward for all of our activities and everyone begs for the recipe.  The key to the recipe is the shaping so I made a video of how to do it!  Disclaimer: Please remember that I just had triplets about 4 weeks before the video and I hadn't gotten to the stage where I was putting make up on!  Another reason I love this recipe is that it is basically fool-proof!  Because you mix all of the ingredients but the flour in the blender you only have to knead the dough for about a minute or so!  It is so easy and so good!  Also, they make really good cinnamon rolls!  They just make good everything...but make sure you shape them correctly!

Blender Rolls
From my RS Pres, Julie Johnson

7 c. flour (bread flour works best but AP will work too)
2 1/2 c. water, hot
2 T quick-rise active dry yeast
1/3 c. sugar
2 t. salt
1 cube margarine
1 egg

Measure flour into a large bowl (If you lose count, start with all new flour so the air pockets don't destroy the flour measurements).  Put remaining ingredients into a blender jar and push stir until well blended.  Pour over flour and stir with a wooden spoon (I use my Kitchen Aid) until flour is mixed in and the sides are cleaned.  Cover with a warm wet towel and let rise for 1 hour.  Shape into rolls and place on greased baking pans.  Let rise until double, about 20 to 30 minutes.  Cover with towel again.  Bake at 375 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until done.  Note: Dough will be sticky so use shortening on your hands to keep from sticking.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Chicken Fajita Mac and Cheese

Pic courtesy Annies Eats
I made this last week and it was delicious. And talk about an easy and kid-friendly weeknight meal! I actually think it would have been just as good, if not better without the chicken. I mean, who eats chicken mac and cheese anyway, right? Yum!

Chicken Fajita Mac and Cheese
adapted from Annie's Eats 

12 oz. pasta shapes, such as rotini
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced (optional)
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. paprika
Dash of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp. butter
3 bell peppers (multiple colors), seeded and thinly sliced (I used one bell pepper b/c my husband is vegetable-averse and it was delicious)
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles
½ cup sour cream
8-12 oz. monterey jack cheese or pepperjack if you like some spice

Tuscan Chicken Stew

Pic courtesy South Your Mouth

I made this for dinner tonight. And you know if I'm posting it the same night I made it, it's good. I've posted a lot of soup recipes this winter, but this one has got to be the most unique. It's such a hearty meal. I loved it and so did Christian.

Tuscan Chicken Stew
adapted from South Your Mouth 

1 4-5 lb. chicken (I actually thought it could have used a little less chicken and I used a 4.5 lb-er)
2 cups water
4 cups chicken broth
2-3 teaspoons salt, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper, divided
1 bay leaf
4 stalks celery, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 large onion, diced
6-7 medium red potatoes, sliced (I used golden potatoes)
1 15-oz. can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2-4 roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise and sliced
In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, simmer chicken, water, chicken broth, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper and bay leaf, covered, over medium-low heat for one hour.  Remove chicken and set aside to cool.  Pour broth through strainer and add broth back to Dutch oven.
Bring broth to a boil and add celery, carrots, onions, potatoes, beans, thyme, garlic, paprika, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, tomatoes and remaining 1-2 teaspoons salt (this depends on how salty your prepared chicken broth is – salt to taste) and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered for 45 minutes (cooking this uncovered will help reduce it and enhance the flavor).
Meanwhile, remove skin and bones from chicken; shred or chop chicken, cover and set aside.  Once vegetables and broth have cooked for 45 minutes, add chicken and stir to combine.  Cover pot, remove from heat and let stew rest for 30 minutes.  Stir and serve with cornbread or crusty bread. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Chipotle Chicken and Corn Chowder

Chipotle Chicken and Corn Chowder

I made this last week and have been too busy to post it. You must make this before soup season comes to an end. It is delicious and so different from anything I've ever made. I loved the potato with the southwestern flavors. It really came together so well and made for delicious leftovers too!

Chipotle Chicken and Corn Chowder
adapted from Brown Eyed Baker 


1 can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 poblano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried thyme
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
2 cups chicken stock
6 small red potatoes, peeled and diced small
4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
4 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
2 cups diced, cooked chicken
1 (30-ounce) can sweet corn, drained (I halved this and used frozen corn)
1 (15-ounce) can cream-style corn (I only put in about 3/4 of the can)
Juice from 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
Chopped cilantro, to garnish (optional)


1. Remove one chile from the can of chiles and mince it. Remove 1 teaspoon of the adobo sauce and set it aside to be used later. You can save the remaining chiles and sauce for another use.
2. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat. Add the poblano pepper, red bell pepper, the chile from the can, cumin, thyme and oregano, and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the peppers become soft. Add the garlic, stir and cook for an additional 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
3. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon and cook for 1 minute, or until there is no longer any visible raw flour. Slowly stir in the milk and chicken broth, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan as you stir.
4. Add the potatoes, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and can be easily pierced with a knife.
5. Add the shredded cheeses a handful at a time, stirring after each addition until the cheese is completely melted.
6. Finally, stir in the chicken, both cans of corn, lime juice and the reserved 1 teaspoon of adobo sauce. Cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until the soup is completely heated through. Serve immediately.
Note: If you have leftovers that have been refrigerated and reheated, you may need to thin out the soup with some extra chicken stock, as it may thicken up in the refrigerator.