Friday, April 20, 2012

Baked Beef Taquitos with Guacamole Dip

I've been pinning many recipes for chicken taquitos on Pinterest lately.  Although I'm sure the chicken taquitos are superb I've been craving beef.  I decided to throw some beef taquitos together and they turned out awesome.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
~1 can black beans drained and rinsed
~3 oz light cream cheese
~1/4 tsp chili powder
~1/4 tsp cumin
~1/4 tsp paprika
~1/4 tsp pepper
~2 tbsp salsa
Mix above ingredients in Cuisinart food processor until just mixed.
~1 lb lean ground beef
~2 tbsp Worshestershire sauce
~1/2 tsp pepper
~1/2 tsp garlic salt
~1/2 cup water
Cook beef thoroughly.  Drain.  Mix ingredients and continue cooking until all water is absorbed.
~10-15 corn tortillas
~2 cups shredded cheese
Cook in pan turning often on medium heat.
Begin to assemble your taquitos with the meat.  Add about 2 tbsp meat.
Add about 1 1/2 tbsp of the bean mixture.
Add 1 tbsp shredded cheese.
Fold over largest open area of tortilla and pull ingredients into roll. 
Then continue to roll as tightly as possible.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Place rolls with opening face down.
Place in oven and cook for about 10 minutes and them turn them over. 
Cook until golden brown.  Remove from oven and allow them to cook slightly before serving.
Serve with salsa, light sour cream or guacamole.
~1 ripe avocado
~2 tbsp salsa
~1/2 lemon squeezed
~1/4 tsp pepper
~1/4 garlic salt
~1/2 cup light sour cream

Kate Anne

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

"Honey, would you like chocolate chip cookies or cheesecake?"

How about both?!?!

These are a real treat!  I'm positive when I say that these will win your taste buds.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper allowing it to over hang on the pan.

For the Crust:
~1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
(that's about 9 whole squares)
~5 tbsp melted butter

Mix above ingredients and press into pan sprayed with cooking spray.

Place into oven and cook just until golden brown.  About 6 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool.

For the Chocolate Chip Cookie topping:
 ~5 tbsp butter room temperature
~1/3 cup light brown sugar
~3 tbsp sugar
~1/4 tsp salt
~1 tbsp vanilla
~1/2 cup flour
~2/3 cup chocolate chips
Mix ingredients together for chocolate chip cookie topping.  Mixture will be dry and flaky.

For the Cream Cheese Filling:
~10 oz neufchatel cheese (or cream cheese) at room temperature
~1/4 cup sugar
~1 egg
~1 tbsp vanilla

Mix ingredients together with an electric mixer for the cream cheese filling until smooth.
Pour mixture over prepared graham cracker crust.
After smoothing the cream cheese mixture and covering crust, place the topping over the cream cheese filling.
Place in oven for about 35 minutes.  It is done once the top has turned a golden brown.
Cool completely.  Place in the refrigerator for several hours before cutting.
To cut pick up by the parchment paper.

Kate Anne

Recipe adapted from Brandy's Baking

Texas Cheese Fries

Sunday brunch?  I'm ready for this goodness!  I made these this afternoon after church as we lounged around in our PJs watching movies.  Unfortunately or fortunately, Noah wanted peanut butter and jelly for lunch instead of these fries.  It's unfortunate for him because they were amazing.  But fortunate for Shawn and I because I got to use chili powder and jalapenos.  Yum!  They make the dish!!
 Perfect combination of comfort and deliciousness!
~6 potatoes
~4 slices of bacon
~1/4 cup jalapenos
~1 small diced Romano tomato
~1/2 cup black beans (drained, rinsed, dried)
~2 tbsp olive oil
~Salt & Pepper
~1/4 tsp cumin
~1/4 tsp paprika
~1/4 tsp chili powder
~1/2 tsp garlic salt
~2 cups shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Wash and dry potatoes.  Cut potatoes into uniform slices.  In large bag mix olive oil and all dry spices and shake bag to evenly coat.  Place potatoes on cookies sheet that is sprayed with cooking spray. 
One a side note, what do you do with your produce bags once you get your goods home from the market?  What do you do with your bags once you've eaten the last piece of bread?  I started saving the produce bags and bread bags about a year ago.  They are great for marinating meats or coating potatoes and vegetables with spices.  Start saving them.  They come in very handy.
 Cook for 45 minutes turning every 15 minutes.  Cook until crispy.  The last 5 minutes of baking I turn oven to broil to increase the crispiness of the fries.  Time may vary depending on your oven and size of potatoes. 
While cooking prepare toppings.  Cook and finely chop bacon.  Place jalapenos on paper towels to absorb some of the juice.  Then run a knife through them.  Dice tomatoes.  Drain black beans, rinse them and allow to dry.
Once crispy, place fries on oven safe dish coated with cooking spray.  Place fries and then top with cheese and other toppings.  Place back in oven for an additional 10 minutes.

Serve with light sour cream or light Ranch and a side of salsa.


Kate Anne

Recipe adapted from Skinny Taste

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken

Baked sweet & sour chicken. That's right, baked not fried, and it's Ahhhmazing!!  First bite and my husband proclaimed, "I'd put this in the top 5 of my all time favorite meals."  Yeah, it's that good.
For the chicken coating:

~5 chicken breasts
~1 cup corn starch
~2 eggs
~1/4 cup corn oil (it's what I had)

For the sweet and sour sauce:

~3/4 cup sugar
~4 tbsp ketchup
~1/4 vinegar
~1 tbsp soy sauce
~1 tsp garlic salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Rinse chicken in water and cut into chunks.  In two separate bowls place the beaten eggs in one, and the corn starch in the other.  Cover the chicken with corn starch and then place in the eggs.  Heat the oil in a skillet.  Place the chicken in the pan and heat the chicken till just brown. Do not cook thoroughly.  Next place chicken on cookie sheet sprayed with Pam.  Mix the ingredients for the sauce together and whisk till mixed.  Pour over the chicken and place in oven.  Turn the chicken every 15 minutes until cooked, about 45 minutes.

I served the chicken with steamed rice and I opted for Roasted Green Beans

I hope you enjoy!!

Kate Anne

Recipe adapted from Life as a Lofthouse

Roasted Green Beans

My new additive crave is roasted vegetables.  It gives the veggies such a different and crunchy texture as compared to steamed mushy vegetables.  I made these roasted green beans tonight to serve with my
Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken               
~1 lb of fresh green beans
~3 tbsp olive oil
~1 tsp paprika
~1 tsp garlic salt
~1 fresh squeezed lemon
~Salt & Pepper
Cut the ends off of the green beans on both sides and give them a good rinse.
Next in a large bag mix all the ingredients listed above and toss till coated.
Once evenly coated spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place in a 325 degree oven for about 25 minutes.  Time may vary depending on your preference on how crispy you like your green beans.  I like mine a little more crisp.

Kate Anne

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

Praise the Lord.  He has risen and we can experience new life through Him.  What an amazing day it has been.  Church this morning was awesome.  I have never been to a church when the pastor has had such a huge heart for the congergation.  I'm sure that all pastors love the church body.  But never have a felt cherished and so welcomed as I do at our church.  The people are so warm.  I am sure going to miss our church when we leave Iowa.
Didn't the eggs turn out beautiful!!
Yesterday Shawn, Noah and I went to the church Eggstravaganza.  The church filled 26,000 eggs for the hunt.  While Noah and I stood at the starting point, Shawn stood in the back hoping not to be trampled.  Once the whistle blew it was on....I had told Noah that we were going to run to the back and skip all the eggs in the front.  I knew that all the kids would begin collecting in the front.  He did pretty well for himself.  He collected about 25-30. 
Noah must get some of his weird quirks from myself or Shawn.  As you can imagine, with 26,000 eggs to scatter they tend to be pretty much on top of each other.  Most kids would stop at a pile with 20 eggs and collect them all right?!  No, not Noah.  He would stop at a pile of eggs and collect just a few select eggs and move to the next pile.  He sure makes me smile.  I love that boy.
Look at this madness.  Notice that all the kids are in one place.  I'm smart and we started in the back and moved toward the center.
Luckily security was not needed. 
I'd say it was a pretty good weekend.

Hope you enjoyed yours.

Kate Anne

Grilled Carrots

The past few times I've bought carrots at the store I've opted to buy regular carrots and not baby.
The flavor is much better in the long carrots.
Last weekend I decided to throw a few on the grill while I cooked the chicken legs.
They turned out delicious.
Just wash and cut the ends off.
Place in some tin foil and drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with your favorite seasoning.
I used a Mrs. Dash salt substitute.
Turn a time or two during cooking.
Try'll love them.
The carrots before the grilling goodness.

Kate Anne

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Cheddar, Broccoli & Potato Soup

One last Hoo-Rah to winter has been in order since our early arrival of SPRING!!  Hoo Rah!!!  So I figured on this gloomy Saturday that a bowl of delightful soup would hit the spot.
As some may know, my husbands favorite dish in the world is all things potato related. 
Mashed potatoes, french fries, hash browns or scalloped potatoes.
And as much as I adore pleasing him, there are only so many ways to prepare potatoes.
On the other hand, a favorite meal of mine to prepare is any type of soup.
Beans soup, tortilla soup, vegetable soup or chili.
You name it and I've made it.
My husband is not a big fan of soup but I thought it might work if I combined the two
my love of soup
his love of potatoes.
Surely it would be a hit!!
-8 medium potatoes
-8 cups fat free milk
-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
-3 heads of broccoli
-1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
-1 lb of bacon
-6 tbsp corn starch
-1 tbsp minced garlic
-3 oz light cream cheese
-1/2 cup sour cream
-2 oz Romano cheese
-1 lemon
Peel the potatoes, and cut into small chunks and place in large pot of water and boil until tender. 
 Meanwhile cook the bacon and place on paper towel to drain off grease. 
Click Cooking Bacon in the Oven for directions on cooking it all at one time
and without the mess.
 Wash and cut the broccoli into small pieces.
Add the butter to bottom of large pot.  Once melted add the broccoli and cook till tender.
Squeeze the juice of one lemon into the broccoli.
Add the milk, cream cheese, sour cream, and minced garlic. 
Warm on medium.  Drain and mash the potato's slightly before adding to the soup.
Set aside about 4 pieces for bacon for the top of the soup.
Chop the bacon into small crumbled pieces before adding to soup.
Add the shredded cheddar and Romano cheese.
The soup will seem really thin.
Add 6 tbsp of corn starch to a small bowl and mix with about 1 cup of cold water.
Mix till all corn starch is dissolve in bowl before pouring into soup mixture. 
Soup will begin to thicken. 
Cook for another 10 or 15 minutes.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with crumbled bacon and cheddar cheese on top if you like.

Kate Anne

Recipe adapted from Live A Little Wilder.

Cooking Bacon in the Oven

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with foil for easy clean up.
Place a single layer of bacon on the cookies sheet.
Place in over for 10 minutes.  Then turn each piece of bacon and place back in the over for an additional 10 minutes. 
All your bacon will be cooked at the same time without the mess.

Kate Anne