Sunday, February 13, 2011

Santa Fe Chicken

My goodness - really a year and a half since I last posted? So much for my goal of one recipe a month:) But I did make this recipe for an informal dinner after Isaac's baptism this month and I've had many requests for the recipe, so I thought I would post it here for all of the world to see.

PS - this is one of my very favorite-est meals EVER. And it's another recipe where the crock pot and the rice cooker do all the work for me.

Santa Fe Chicken
Crock-Pot recipe

2 (small) can Cream of Chicken Soup, undiluted

1 can Black Beans, drained

1 can Whole Kernel Corn, drained

1 cup Salsa

1 (8 oz.) pkg. Cream Cheese

4-6 boneless Chicken Breasts

Combine soup, beans, corn and ½ cup salsa in crock-pot. Add chicken; top with remaining salsa. Cook 4-6 hours on low or 2-3 hours on high. 1 hour before serving cut cream cheese into chunks and add to chicken mixture; let melt. Serve over hot rice or noodles.

That's it - I told you Easy-Peasy and super delicious. ENJOY!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Marinated Flank Steak

I had this super yummy recipe at my In-Laws house, oh, years ago. And it stuck in my mind, but I had just never taken the time to get the recipe - which actually comes from my Brother and Sister-in-law. And to make it even better it's super easy, too. I finally broke down a couple weeks ago and we got the recipe from my Sis-in-law and made it up for dinner at ward camp out. It was SOOOOO good. So I've decided to make it again tonight and I can wait! I'll try to remember to take a pic and post it here when they're cooked. In the meantime here's the recipe. Oh - and I can't seem to find flank steak in my local grocery store, so I just get whatever large, thin-ish steak I can find.

Marinated Flank Steak

1.5 - 2 pounds flank steak (serves approximately 4 people)

1 Tablespoon oil
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon garlic

Roll flank steak length wise. Secure the roll with a toothpick (I just use bamboo skewers) placed one inch apart. Slice with a sharp knife (I use kitchen shears) in between tooth picks for small rolled steaks (you should get about 8-11 rolls for every 2 pounds of meat).

Mix marinade. Put in shallow pan. Marinate rolls either for one hour flipping often, or for several hours flipping once.

Grill on medium heat for an estimated five minutes on each side.
Totally forgot to take a pic - we were too hungry and they were too yummy! Sorry!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hawaiian Haystacks

Well, I haven't posted a new recipe in a while and my friend Tonia just started her own recipe blog, so I thought I'd add a little something to mine. Nothing too exciting - but we had Hawaiian Haystacks for dinner last night and I seem to get a myriad of people who have NO CLUE what this is. Those poor, poor souls. I'm here to enlighten:

Hawaiian Haystacks

This recipe can really just be made to fit how much your family eats. The follow are the amounts that I made last night and I had no left overs (and Juliana only had a spoonful of rice before her dinner from a jar). So in short this is about right for 2 adults and 3 children.

3 cups rice
2 chicken breasts, trimmed and cubed
2 cans (10 1/4 oz) Cream of Chicken Soup
1/2-2/3 can (from the soup) milk
Salt to taste
Toppings - I'll explain below

Prepared the rice {I like to mix mine 2 cups white, 1 cup brown} as preferred. I use a rice cooker, so I usually start my rice about 2 hours before I want dinner on the table.
Brown the chicken in a skillet, adding salt to taste. When cooked through add both cans of soup and the milk. Mix together and heat through.

That's it - easy peasy.

Here's how you serve it, starting with the plate (duh):
chicken and sauce

At our house we serve the following toppings:
grated cheese
Chow Mein noodles
sliced black olives
pineapple chunks

I've also seen:
green onions
green peppers

You get the idea. You can put whatever sounds good, or that you have lying around on top. The chow mein noodles and cheese are the clear winners at our house. And this is a meal that all the kids will eat - picky Abby included.

Tonight we're having Hamburgers - no recipe involved there.
Wed we're having Crispy Onion Chicken, which I've already posted.
Thurs we're having Potato Cheese soup - I usually just make it up, but I think I have a decent recipe around here somewhere...
Fri we're having nachos - I'll post that info later. Easy and so good. And the kids don't even think we're eating dinner, it's too fun.
Sat we're having blackened Chicken Alfredo - I'm pretty sure I've posted this recipe already, too. I'll double check that.
Sun we're having Ham, a yummy cheesy potato recipe and asparagus - I'll get those recipes up soon, too.

OK, got to run kids to baseball practice and then get the laundry.....

Friday, February 20, 2009

Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot Pie!

This recipe is actually the combination of 3 different recipes. They all come from The Joy of Cooking. I got this super handy, dandy cookbook from my best college friend (who was my freshman and sophomore roommate)'s parents for a wedding gift. I thought it was terribly nice of them to send anything at all, since they hardly knew me. And never did I realize just how helpful it would be over the years. Seriously - if I have a cooking questions, I can usually find the answer in this book. And every recipe I've ever tried is fabulous. And yes, this is the source of my super yummy apple pie (using the pie crust below) that I always get complements on.

OK, onward toward the recipes. Like I said, it is 3 different recipes combined. First for the crust, then the creamed chicken, then the pot pie itself. I will type the recipes out as they are written and make any personal notes in red.

Deluxe Butter Flaky Pastry Dough
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter
1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbs ice water (plus more if need)

Using a rubber spatula thoroughly mix in large bowl flour, sugar and salt. Working quickly to prevent softening, cut butter into 1/4 inch pieces and add to dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives (old school way) chop the butter into pea-size pieces. Add shortening and chop using pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some pea-size pieces. It should be dry and powdery. Drizzle with ice water and cut with the blade side of the rubber spatula until mixture looks evenly moistened and begins to form small balls. Press down on the dough with the flat side of the spatula. If the balls stick together you have added enough water. If they do not, drizzle with 1-2 Tbs ice water and mix until dough sticks as indicated. Dough should look rough, not smooth. Divide the dough in half, press each half into a round flat disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 min, preferably for several hours or for up to 2 days before rolling. Can also be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 6 months, thaw completely before rolling.

Creamed Chicken (or Turkey)
3 1/2 lbs chicken parts or 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or if you'd rather use shredded meat you already have cooked you'll need about 4 cups and you can skip ahead to the appropriate spot in the recipe, of course)
water to cover chicken pieces
4 Tbs (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups chicken stock (you can use the water you used to boil the chicken pieces, or from the can, etc.)
1 1/2 cups milk, half-n-half, etc.
lemon juice (to taste)
salt and pepper (to taste)
nutmeg (if desired - you all know my opinions on nutmeg....)

Place chicken in a large pan or dutch oven, pour in just enough water to cover the pieces. Bring to a simmer, partially cover, and cook until meat is done through about 8-12 minutes. (Now my chicken NEVER cooks this fast. Am I retarded about this? I boil - not simmer - my breasts for at least 30 minutes.) Remove the meat from the water and shred or chop as desired when cool enough to touch. Reserve (clean) stock if you want to use that in the next steps.

Melt butter in a large sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and add chicken stock and whisk until smooth. (I use canned here, because I cook breasts, so the water doesn't really gain any flavor during the cooking.) Return to medium heat and whisk in milk. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Simmer for 1 minute, then add back the shredded meat. Cook for 1 minute more. Remove from heat and add lemon juice (which I don't), salt and pepper (I definitely do), or nutmeg (Yuck!).

Chicken Pot Pie
So, this really is not so much of a recipe. The one in the book if fancy-schmancy and calls for sauteing onions, peas, carrots, celery, etc. I just mix half a bag of frozen mixed veggies in the creamed chicken and call it good. The recipe also says to cook this "pie" in a 9x13 pan, I use a 9x9 glass pan. It also calls for a whole pie dough recipe, I only use a half because I use a smaller pan. But it all fits in that pan, so it works for me. You can do what you want. I like using the small pan, because then I can freeze half of my dough for next time.

So, while you're making your creamed chicken, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and grease your baking dish (whatever shape or size you choose). When the creamed chicken is ready, throw in half a bag of frozen veggies. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Roll out one half of the dough and lay on top of the mixture. Cut fancy vent holes if you so desire and cook for 25-35 min, or until the crust is golden and the insides are all bubbly (that's a technical term).

Everyone in our house seems to really like it - even Juliana. Abby says she only likes the crust, but she did eat all of it the other night when brownies were being offered as dessert for those who cleaned their plates.

Now after typing all this is doesn't seem so easy, so I'm sure reading it all you may be thinking the same thing, but it really is. Make the crust first, or even a day or 2 ahead if you want. the creamed chicken is fast once the chicken is cooked. It just seems hard because you're being all fancy and making it from scratch. If I were making all of it in one day I would make the dough whenever I had a free 10 minutes during the day, and the chicken can really be cooked whenever you have a free few minutes, too. Then creaming it and assembly probably take a 1/2 hour from start to in the oven. Not bad for a homemade meal. You could easily cook double chicken and freeze the filling and the extra dough for next time - I just haven't done that yet.

Let me know if you try it and how it turns out!


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Kalua Pig - So Yummy!

So I've been trying to find I way to make this excellent dish without having to heat up the whole house for an entire day with the oven on. So I just decided to give the crock pot a chance. All I would be out was the price of the roast, which was less than $10, so I figured, why not. And it turned out FABULOUS! I will definitely be making this again soon as it is a family favorite and is SO, SO, SO easy - since my crock pot and my rice cooker did all the real work.

Kalua Pig

1 pork shoulder roast - sometimes called a picnic roast - whatever size you will need/will fit in your crock pot - mine was a little over 3 lbs and fed us perfectly with just a little left over for a sandwich
1 tbs liquid smoke
1 tbs Hawaiian sea salt - any course sea salt with do, but Hawaiian is the best and does have a subtley unique flavor (or so I've heard)
1/2 cup water

Pout the water into the bottom of your crock pot. Rub the liquid smoke and salt all over the roast. The measurements above are approximate - I just rubbed it all over. Place the roast in the crock pot. Cook on low for at least 8 hours - mine cooked for about 10.
Serve with rice.

A side note: I wrapped my roast in Ti leaves as this is how the pig is traditionally cooked when placed in an imu (undergound oven). However, I don't think this really effected the flavor at all - maybe next time I'll try it without to see if there is any difference.

*If you want to see a pic of a Ti plant, check out my regular blog, MusingsFromParadise.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Kerry's Request

My sister, Kerry, kindly requested some recipes with rice, as her dear hubby is finally starting to eat it again (a mission to Venezuela kind of put him off rice for just a few years). Before offering a recipe I found and tried this week, I will kindly remind her of the recipes in her cookbook (the one I made for her a few Christmases ago) that are served with or over rice:

*Chicken Divan
*Sweet and Sour Chicken
*Apple Chicken
*Brazilian Chicken
*SantaFe Chicken (my personal favorite)
*Hawaiian Haystacks (I know you already mentioned this one, Kerry, but I added it for anyone else interested, too)
*Chili (I know it's a Hawaii thing, but chili on rice is really yummy)
*Bar-B-Q Meatballs

OK that all being said, I tried a Sweet and Sour Meatball recipe that I found online at, however, I of course changed it (click the link to see the original). Mostly I just cut the meatball amounts in 1/2 but made all the sauce - we're saucy sort of people. And I left out the nutmeg - I'm so not a nutmeg person, in anything, I just don't care for the flavor.

Anyhoo - Cam and I LOVED it; the kids not so much. But I think that was more of a mental thing - they decided before they even tried it that they wouldn't like it. I would think kids would love this, too. I will definitely be making it again, the kids will just have to learn to love it or learn to go to bed hungry!

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/4 cup dried onion flakes
3/4 cups dry bread crumbs (I actually crushed up some stale saltines)
1 tablespoon salt
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup cider vinegar
2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tablespoons mustard powder
1 cup water, divided
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine beef, onion flakes, bread crumbs, salt, egg and milk. Shape mixture into 1 inch balls, and place onto a cookie sheet lined with foil (one with edges recommended since the fat will cook out of the beef). Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Lower heat in oven to 350 degrees.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium heat, mix vinegar, sugar, mustard and 1/2 cup water; bring to a boil, and boil for 1 minute. Mix cornstarch and 1/2 cup water; add to saucepan, and boil for 1 minute more.
Add cooked meatballs to the sauce, and simmer on the stove for about 20 minutes, or until sauce is thick and meatballs are flavored.

Serve over rice. Makes about 40 meatballs.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Easy Peasy Brownies

Here's the recipe that I promised. I always have all this stuff on hand, so it's not only cheaper than a mix (at least in Hawaii) but it's easier, too. Chocolate chips are crazy expensive, too, so I've been buying the huge bag at Sam's and keeping them in the freezer for just such a baking occasion.

Easy Double Chocolate Chip Brownies
by Nestle Tollhouse

2 cups (12 oz package) semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, cut into pieces
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F, grease 9x13 baking pan
Melt 1 cup chocolate chips and butter in a large heavy-duty (or good quality) saucepan over low heat; stir until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in eggs. Stir in flour, sugar, vanilla and baking soda. Stir in remaining chocolate chips and nuts. Spread into prepared pan.
Bake for 18-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Makes 2 dozen (small) brownies.