Sunday, December 26, 2010

Chili's Southwest Chicken Eggrolls

So I have always wanted to make this recipe because it sounded so good, but I was always turned off by the ginormous list of ingredients. The list was soooo long, so I figured this must be really time consuming. Thus, months and months went by, and I still hadn't made this recipe. I finally put on my big girl panties and decided to take the plunge into this recipe. I am SO glad I did. We loved these, and they were A LOT easier than I had assumed. I doubled the recipe and was glad I did to use more of the ingredients that I had already opened for the single recipe. Plus, we loved them and wanted more. Don't be afraid, just take the plunge and make these. Your boca will thank you. I did make a couple of adjustments to this so I will include those. Oh, I should mention I have never actually eaten these at Chili's so I have nothing to compare them too, but I hear they are very similar to the restaurant version. These would definitely make a great appetizer for New Years festivities.

Chili's Southwest Chicken Egg rolls

Egg roll
1 chicken breast fillet
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons minced red bell peppers
2 tablespoons minced green onions
1/3 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 tablespoons diced canned jalapeno peppers
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 dash cayenne pepper
3/4 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
5 seven inch flour tortillas

Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup smashed fresh avocados(about half of an avocado)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried parsley
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1 dash dried dill weed
1 dash garlic powder
1 dash pepper Garnish
2 tablespoons chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped onions

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cook the chicken breast either on the grill, in a pan, in the oven, use a rotisserie, or boil it. I boiled mine because it was the quickest way for me to cook it. If I am just going to shred the chicken and put it in something, I usually just boil it until it's done.
3. Preheat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat.
4. Add the red pepper and onion to the pan and sauté for a couple minutes until tender.
5. Dice the cooked chicken into small cubes and add it to the pan. Add the corn, black beans, spinach, jalapeno peppers, parsley, cumin, chili powder, salt, and cayenne pepper to the pan. Cook for another 4 minutes.
Stir well so that the spinach separates and is incorporated into the mixture.
6. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted.
7. Wrap the tortillas in a moist cloth and microwave on high temperature for 30 seconds or until hot.
8. Spoon approximately one-fifth of the mixture into the center of a tortilla. Fold in the ends and then roll the tortilla over the mixture.
Roll the tortilla very tight, then pierce with a toothpick to hold together.
9. Repeat with the remaining ingredients until you have five egg rolls.
10. Lay the egg rolls out on a baking sheet. Brushed them with a little bit of oil, and bake them at 350 for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
11. While the egg rolls cook, prepare the avocado-ranch dipping sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
12. When egg rolls are done, slice each egg roll diagonally lengthwise and arrange on a plate around a small bowl of the dipping sauce.
13. Garnish the dipping sauce with the chopped tomato and onion.

Adapted from:

Friday, December 24, 2010

Banana Cream Pie

Here's a last minute pie for the Christmas festivities tomorrow. This is the best banana cream pie I have ever encountered. It doesn't have any of those imitation banana flavors or banana pudding. It does have a vanilla custard type filling with real bananas. It tastes fresh and delicious. I'm not even a huge banana fan, but this pie, oh my, I cannot resist it. I don't know why I haven't posted it before. My momma has made it my whole life. Whenever I'd be places where they offered pie, I'd think, "I'll get banana cream pie because I looooove it!" But then I began to realize, I don't love banana cream pie. I love my Momma's banana cream pie. Big difference! :)

Banana Cream Pie

9-inch baked pie shell

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk
4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large bananas
1-2 cups sweetened whipped cream

Bake pie shell. Stir together sugar, cornstarch and salt in saucepan. Blend milk and egg yolks; gradually stir into sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. This takes about 15-20 minutes. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat; blend in butter and vanilla. Press plastic wrap onto filling in saucepan and cool to room temperature or put in refrigerator to cool.

Peel and slice bananas; arrange layer of banana slices 1/2 inch keep in baked pie shell. Pour in cooled filling. Cover. Chill pie thoroughly, at least 2 hours. Best if chilled overnight. Just before serving, top pie with sweetened whipped cream. Then invite friends over to consume because you might be tempted to eat it all yourself.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods

These little guys are so easy and fun to make. They make great holiday treats and are fun to do with the kiddos too.  Plus, let's be honest, who doesn't like that mixture of salty and sweet?  It's perfect! 

How to make Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods

12 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. shortening
1 10 oz. bag of pretzel rods
Toppings of choice

These were my toppings. What are your favorites?

1. In a glass bowl, melt chocolate and shortening in the microwave for one minute. Stir. Then continue to melt the chocolate for 15 second intervals stirring each time until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.

2. Pick your toppings. I put my toppings on paper plates. Each topping went on a separate plate in preparation for the pretzel. Then at the end I just threw the plates away. Next time, I'm just going to use wax paper. I'll put each topping on a separate square of wax paper for the pretzel rod roll.

3. Dip pretzel in chocolate. I had to spoon some of the chocolate onto the pretzel to get the chocolate closer to the end. Then roll the pretzel in the desired topping.

(What in the world?  You'd think I was decorating a log of poo. The more I look at it, the more I think it.  Hopefully you will still make chocolate pretzels after viewing this picture.)

4. Put dipped and topped pretzel onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.

(See!!!  They do turn out looking pretty.)

5. Let the chocolate cool. Then wrap if desired. I bought pretzel bags at Michaels. They worked great! Such a fun, easy, and delicious holiday treat!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Easy Pleasy Peppermint Bark

This delicious recipe is so perfect for Christmas! It's easy to make and so yummy! You will never want to buy peppermint bark in the store. My sister created this peppermint bark recipe. She is an excellent cook. I wished we lived closer so I could indulge myself on more of her scrumptious morsels. Thanks Tiffy for the fantastic recipe!

Easy Pleasy Peppermint Bark

2 - 16 oz. bags of dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips (or four cups)
1.25 lbs. Ghirardelli white chocolate dipping bar (you could also use white almond bark or 1 1/2 bags of Wilton white candy melts)
3 full sized peppermint candy canes (or more if desired)

Line a medium sized cookie sheet with parchment paper. Crush the candy canes in a zipper bag (e.g. Ziploc) with a small hammer or the butt of a butter knife until you have the desired size of pieces (large or small, depending on your preference). Set aside. Melt the dark chocolate chips or bars in the microwave for 1 minute, then stir. Microwave for 15 sec., then stir. Repeat this until the chocolate reaches desired consistency. Once it has a creamy consistency, pour onto the parchment paper on the cookie sheet. Spread out evenly with a spreader or scraper. Wait for the dark chocolate to harden. If you are in a hurry, put in the refrigerator for a few minutes. In another bowl, melt the white chocolate in the microwave until it reaches the desired consistency following the same method as with the dark chocolate. Pour the white chocolate over the dark and spread with scraper so none of the dark chocolate is showing. Immediately spread the crushed candy pieces over the top so as the white chocolate hardens, the candy cane pieces stick to the chocolate. Again, wait for the white chocolate to harden and put in freezer/refrigerator for a few minutes. Once the peppermint bark is hardened, lift out parchment paper, hold paper securely on all sizes and gently drop the solid slab of peppermint bark on a hard surface to make natural breaks in the peppermint bark. Continue this process until you have pieces small enough to enjoy!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Coconut-crusted Chicken Tenders

Have I mentioned that I love coconut? I absolutely adore it. Unfortunately, hubs does not like the coconut. Sometimes I try to be considerate and not make all these deliciously tantalizing things with coconut in them just out of pure gluttony for myself. Sometimes, that is... Besides the fact that it is just plain yummy, coconuts also remind me of the beach, sun, summer, all of my favorite things. My happy place (in my head) is sitting on a hot, sunny beach, sipping some fabulous beverage of exotic tropical fruits surrounded by good company. Hmmmmm....... Alright, back to the coconut. These little chicken guys are absolutely fabulous. Hubs really liked them as well. So even if you aren't a coconut lover, give them a try. We love them dipped in Sweet Red Chile Sauce. You can find it at the grocery store in the Thai section. They are fabulous plain as well or with other sauces. Enjoy!

Coconut-crusted Chicken Tenders

1 package boneless, skinless chicken tenders
1/2 Tablespoon vegetable/Canola oil
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/3 can light coconut milk
1/2 cup flour
1 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400F.
1. Heat oil in a non-stick skillet. Add panko and cook until golden. Remove to a shallow dish to cool.

2. Using the same skillet, add coconut and brown slightly - do not overdo or the coconut will burn in the oven when the chicken is baked. Toss coconut with panko in the shallow dish.

3. Pour coconut milk into a second shallow dish. In a third dish, combine 1/2 cup flour with salt and pepper.

4. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Wash chicken and dry with paper towels. Dredge in flour, then dip in coconut milk, followed by coconut/panko mixture. Place on baking sheet.

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. Be careful that the coconut doesn't burn.

6. Serve with dipping sauce(s) of choice, if desired!

Recipe Source: Unfortunately, I cannot find where I found this recipe from. I found it on a blog somewhere on the web, but I went back a searchin' for it and I found nothin'. Thank you unknown blogger friend for the great recipe.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Chocolate Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

These are fantastic and well loved Christmas goodies. We made them for a party and they got devoured! Plus, they are so easy to make. Especially if you do it the easy way like I did for the party. I totally used a box cookie mix. They still turned out great and saved me lots of time that I needed.

1 box Pillsbury Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies(or your favorite chocolate chunk cookie recipe)
1 Bag of Candy Cane Kisses

1. This is the trick to these bad boys: Place the kisses in the freezer! The candy cane kisses melt really fast when placed on the cookie. They will turn to a gooey kiss on your cookie if you don't freeze them.
2. Make the cookies as directed on the box. Cook them according to the directions on the package. Take them out of oven and let the cookies cool for 3-4 minutes. Unwrap kisses and push into the middle of cookie. You're done! Super easy and great for Christmas!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Spinach Salad

This spinach salad is so easy and so good. I can't believe I haven't posted it yet. I've had the recipe for years. My sister-in-law Shalae made this for us at a family dinner and everyone loved it. I hadn't ever made it for the hubs yet. He couldn't believe I hadn't because it's such a tasty little thing. It's a perfect side for most meals. We had it with our Spinach and Sausage Stuffed Shells.

Spinach Salad

spinach (around 20-30 oz. of leaf spinach)
red onion, chopped (however much you like)
8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
4 hard boiled eggs, cut and crumbly

1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tsp. worchestershire sauce

Stir it up and you're done! This makes a large salad with dressing so half it if you have a smaller family.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Spinach and Sausage Stuffed Shells

These spinach and sausage stuffed shells are superb, spectacular, succulent, sensational, and above all simple. Seriously... :) This is one of our personal creations. We love it. We've previously made it with ground beef, but let me tell you (and my hips and buns) that sausage is so much better. It's worth the extra calories to add the sausage. Plus, this is a fun red and white themed dish for the Chrismas holidays!

Spinach and Sausage Stuffed Shells

1 pkg. (12 oz.) jumbo shells, uncooked
1 lb. sausage, browned
2 cups ricotta cheese
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 tsp. parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. garlic
1-2 oz. spinach chopped
3 cups spaghetti sauce

Heat oven to 375. Cook shells according to package directions. Meanwhile, brown sausage in a skillet. Drain grease. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together cheeses, egg, parsley, salt, pepper, nutmeg, garlic and spinach. Then add the sausage. In a 13 x 9 inch baking dish, spread about 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce or enough to create a thin layer of sauce in bottom of dish. Fill each cooked shell with sausage/spinach mixture. Fill the shell so that it is full, but not bursting. Put each shell in the pan with the sauce. Once pan is full of shells, spread remaining spaghetti sauce over the shells. Bake for 30 minutes. Makes 6-8 servings.

Side note: I always have about 10 extra cooked shells left when making this.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Savory Onion Twist

This is what I call pretty bread. It just looks plain pretty to me. Sitting there in all it's glory, lookin' all delicious and such. It could be the foodie centerpiece of a Christmas dinner. I almost hated to dig in...Almost... :) This bread definitely was delicious. It was my first attempt at this so my twirlin' of the bread got a little crazy and skiwhompish (is that a word?). So I had to cook mine for a little longer than the recipe calls for. This definitely made my taste buds giddy.

Easy Refrigerator Dough

1 package or 1/2 tablespoon yeast
1 1/2 cups very warm water
1 cup unseasoned lukewarm mashed potatoes
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup shortening
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs
6-7 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in potatoes, sugar, shortening, salt, eggs and 3 cups of the flour. Beat with spoon until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead about 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover bowl tightly; refrigerate at least 8 hours but no longer than 5 days. Punch down dough before using.

Savory Onion Twist

1/2 of the Easy Refrigerator Dough from above
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped red pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons mayonnaise or miracle whip
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried cilantro
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1. Prepare Easy Refrigerator Dough. Divide dough in half; cover and refrigerate half of cough for another use.

2. Grease large cookie sheet. Roll remaining half of dough on lightly floured surface into rectangle, 15x10 inches. Mix 1/2 cup of the cheese and the remaining ingredients. Spread cheese mixture over dough to within 1/2 inch of edges. Roll up dough, beginning at 15-inch side; pinch edge of dough into roll to seal.

3. Cut roll lengthwise in half. Place halves, filling sides up and side by side, on cookie sheet; twist together gently and loosesly. Pinch edges to fasten. Cover and let rise in warm place about 25 minutes or until double.

4. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately sprinkle with 1/2 cup remaining cheese. Serve warm.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

This lasagna was fantastic! We loved it. The vegetables added such a great flavor. It wasn't too rich like some lasagnas can get. It is a little time consuming if you make your own sauce, but I've always considered lasagna to be that way. It takes a whole lot of kitchen lovin' and dish washin' to make lasagna. This recipe is mmm...mmm.....good.

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

1 red bell pepper, chopped into small pieces
1 green bell pepper, chopped into small pieces
1 medium onion, chopped into small pieces
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced and diced
2 medium zucchini sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
12 uncooked lasagna noodles
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (16 ounces)
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (4 ounces
Tomato Sauce (See recipe below)

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a 13x9 inch pan with cooking spray. Place peppers, onion, zucchini, and mushrooms in single layer in pan. Sprinkle the vegetables with the salt and pepper. Bake uncovered 20-25 minutes, turning vegetables once, until vegetables are tender.

While vegetables are roasting, prepare Tomato Sauce (see recipe below). Cook and drain noodles as directed on package. Rince noodles with cold water; drain. Mix cheeses; set aside.

Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees. Spray a 13x9 inch pan, with cooking spray. Spread 1/4 cup of the sauce in dish; top with 3 noodles. Layer with 3/4 cup sauce,
1 1/4 cup vegetables and 1 cup cheese mixture. Repeat layers 3 more times with remaining noodles, sauce, vegetables, and cheese mixture.

Bake uncovered 20-25 minutes or until hot. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Tomato Sauce

1 pound ground beef (leave out the ground beef if you want it vegetarian style)
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 garlic colves, chopped
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes, undrained
3 tablespoons chopped fresh or 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh or 1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2-1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Spray 2-quart saucepan with cooking spray. Cook beef, onion and garlic in saucepan over medium heat until beef is browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 15-20 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Recipe Source: adapted from Betty Crocker's Best Christmas book and my Momma's lasagna recipe


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