Saturday, July 28, 2012

Taquito Casserole

My husband had a yen for taquitos and suggested this. I think it turned out pretty good!!

2 cups refried beans*
4 oz cream cheese
4 oz can diced green chilies
1 recipe taco seasoning
20 taquitos(you can use homemade or frozen, chicken, beef or cheese. Use gluten free corn tortillas for GF)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup salsa
2 cups shredded cheese(we like a colby jack mix, pepper jack would be awesome)

topping ideas
shredded lettuce
sour cream
diced roma tomatoes
pico de gallo
more cheese
hot sauce

in a pan heat refried beans with cream cheese, stir until the cream cheese is melted well. Add green chilies and taco seasoning. Mix well

spread bean mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.

Arrange taquitos over the beans

mix salsa and sour cream and spread over taquitos

top with cheese

cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. uncover and bake 15 minutes more until cheese is melted and it is bubbly

top with toppings as desired

*Refried Beans:

1 lb. dried pinto, pink or black beans plus soaking water
6 cups water
2 onions, chopped (optional)
1/4-1/2 cup fat ( bacon drippings, butter, margarine, or lard)
Salt to taste
plus any seasonings to taste....cumin, chili powder, cilantro, coriander...what ever you like. My kids prefer them plain.

Soak beans overnight or by quick method.
Drain and Rinse Add fresh water and onions.
Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer slowly until beans are tender, about 2-3 hours.
Drain any extra liquid if you want thicker beans, leave it if you want it a bit thinner
Mash beans well , (I use an immersion blender, not to a puree so leave some good chunks.

Add fat and salt(and seasonings). Mix well; continue cooking, stirring frequently until beans are thickened and fat is absorbed.

Friday, July 27, 2012

BACON! and Jalapeño BACON!

Not a fancy recipe or anything but I had to share this! Awesome way to cook bacon that turns out delicious every time. I was skeptical when I first saw the video, but it is fantastic!!


* sub all or some of the water with up to 1 cup liquid from a jar of pickled Jalapeños with a few rings thrown in for good measure!

In a large pan lay out your bacon slices,

(if doing your jalapenos, add them here, I also add some fresh ground black pepper!) add water until the slices are just covered.

Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium high , cook until the water completely burns off.

Reduce heat a bit more(medium low-medium) and continue cooking to your desired crispiness.

Alternately (and this works better for the Jalapeno Bacon due to the stickiness of the jalapeno residue) remove from the pan after the water has boiled away and place on a foil lined broiling tray. Bake at 350 degrees until your desired crispness.

This makes for awesome tender bacon slices that are crisp on the outside. I have been using this method and cooking them until the water just burns off, then when they are cool enough to handle wrapping them around things like steak, pork or chicken. Then when I bake or grill the meat, the bacon is done to perfection too!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Anniversary Pork Roll Ups

I found this chicken recipe years ago and it has always been a huge favorite. I made it into a salad a few months ago. This time I am turning it into a pork roll up! It would be fantastic rolled up with chicken breasts too!

Amounts depend on how many you need to feed. I did 4 chops. Add toppings as you like but just remember to not go overboard.

boneless pork chops pounded thin
Ranch Dressing
Cheese(cheddar is the original or change it up with a different flavor, we did cheddar jack)
green onions, chopped
fresh parsley, minced
1-2 slices bacon per chop
garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
teriyaki sauce

Prepare your bacon via THIS method, only cooking it until the water has just boiled off, set aside to cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 350

Lay pounded pork chop on a flat surface, spread with ranch dressing

Sprinkle with cheese

Add green onions and parsley.

Carefully roll up from the shorter side.

Take a piece of bacon( or 2 if you like your bacon LOL) and wrap it around the chop . Place seam side down in a lightly greased baking dish. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Pour a generous amount of teriyaki sauce over them.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 35 minutes until an internal temp of 165 is reached.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Black Bean Brownies(Flour-less)

Super delicious gluten free treat. Full of protein too! It is hard to believe that they are made of black beans!
They are great untopped, but I also included a recipe for German Chocolate topping and a peanut butter fudge frosting at the bottom.

*Variation 9/2014-
Add 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4-1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper and top with cinnamon chips instead of chocolate chips for a wonderful Mexican Chocolate Brownie!

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup ground flax

2-15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed*
2 eggs
1/2 cup melted butter(coconut oil is a great sub!)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 TB pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350, grease an 8 x 11 pan and set aside.

In a dish combine water and flax, mix well and allow to sit 5 minutes.

In a blender combine all ingredients except chocolate chips.

Puree well....let it go a while, scraping the sides if you need to. You want to make sure the beans are completely pureed.

(to those who are new to using beans(or bean flours) in sweets, if you are a batter taster you WILL taste the beans in the batter, dont let this deter you! When they are cooked the bean flavor disappears!)

Pour into prepared pan , sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Bake in preheated oven for 60-70 minutes until they are set in the middle. Cool slightly.

While they are baking make the topping:

2 TB melted coconut oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 TB corn syrup
2 TB coconut milk(regular is fine too)
3/4 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Mix oil and brown sugar well. Add in corn syrup and milk, then fold in coconut and pecans.

Set your oven to broil . Scoop the Coconut mixture over the warm brownies.

Spread evenly  then return the pan to the oven and broil for 2-3 minute.

Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
Store in the fridge.

*Usually I am all for going from dried beans you cook yourself , but IMO canned is better for this recipe unless you are cooking your beans with a pressure cooker. The texture just doesn't come out the same.

Here they are topped with a chocolate peanut butter frosting

2 TB coconut oil
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup white sugar(plus or minus to sweetness preference)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt oil and chocolate chips in a double boiler. Add peanut butter and sugar, stir well until the sugar is dissolved. Add vanilla and stir again.

Frost brownies while still warm, then chill well.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Grilled Lavender Yogurt Chicken

Another treat for Lavender Festival Weekend. Lavender is a really tasty herb if used correctly. Go overboard and your dish will taste like soap but just enough and it can make a dish absolutely delicious!
I made this recipe a few weeks ago and it was a huge hit, my 8 year old even said he wanted this for his birthday dinner (its not until next MAY LOL) It is based on a recipe I found on allrecipes.
This is fantastic with breasts or any pieces you like. I used skinless thighs because they were on special and we were having some guests for a BBQ lunch. It is also excellent cold and sliced up in a wrap!

8 skinless chicken thighs

1 1/2 cups nonfat honey flavor greek yogurt
2 TB olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
zest of 1 lemon
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 TB fresh lavender buds
1 TB fresh oregano
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste

In a gallon size ziplock bag combine all the marinade ingredients. Mix Well and remove 1/2 cup, cover that and set  it aside

Add chicken pieces to remaining marinade and squish it around well to cover them completely. Marinate at LEAST 3 hours, overnight is best.

Preheat your grill to medium high.

Place chicken pieces on a hot grill and cook to an internal temperature of 165. Times will vary greatly depending on your heat evenness, thickness of the chicken, bone in or boneless go with the meat thermometer.

You can brush a little of the marinade from the bag over the tops if you like, but make sure they will be cooked a bit longer after brushing because the raw chicken was sitting in it.

Remove from grill top with a dollop of reserved marinade and a sprinkle of lavender buds if you like.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Lavender Lemonade Vodka Shooters

So the Orange Creamsicle shooters were a huge hit. I decided to celebrate Lavender Festival with Lavender Lemonade Shooters in Lemon Peels! Make them kid friendly by using all Lavender Lemonade.

8-10  lemons
1 1/2 Cups Lavender Lemonade(see* for recipe)
1 1/2 Cups vodka, chilled very well
3 packets gelatin

 You can adjust your vodka/lemonade ratio as you like as long as there is 3 cups total liquid...

Slice lemons in half and carefully scoop out the flesh leaving the peels in tact.

Sprinkle gelatin into chilled vodka and allow to sit for 2 minutes

Bring lemonade to a boil, remove from heat 

Pour cold vodka into hot lemonade and stir until all the gelatin is fully dissolved(5 minutes or so) you can add some more fresh lavender buds for a pretty flair if you like.

Pour the liquid into the waiting peels.

Place in the fridge and chill until fully solidified, about 2 hours (faster in the freezer if you have room!)

Slice each half in half and enjoy the wedges!

*Lavender Lemonade

Juice from the 8-10 lemons(about 2 cups)

1/4 cup fresh lavender buds( you can go plus or minus on these, 1/4 cup is a good ratio IMO)
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar

Cold water to taste 4-6 cups
more sugar to taste

In a sauce pan bring lavender, 3 cups water and sugar to a boil.

Boil until it is reduced to 2 1/4 cups liquid. Add sugar , reduce heat and boil gently until the sugar is dissolved and has reduced down close to 2 cups.

Strain out lavender and allow to cool.

Combine syrup with lemon juice and add water and more sugar or lemon juice as you see fit.