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Author Archives: believerbites

Fajitas

Marinade Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts
1/2 c oil
2 tsp. lime juice
1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
Onion, chopped
Red & Green pepper, chopped

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Chicken Enchiladas and Enchilada Sauce

We eat a lot of chicken at our house and I’m glad to find a variety of different recipes so we don’t feel like we are eating the same food all the time. This is a great addition and definitely worth giving it a try. You won’t regret it and it’s one of those meals with “safe” ingredients.

Enchilada Sauce

Sauce spread on bottom of 9×13

Enchilada “guts”

Wrapping the tortillas

Sauce-covered enchiladas

 Before baking


Out of the oven

On your plate, yum!

Enchilada Sauce
By: Browneyedbaker 

Ingredients:

1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons flour
1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
1.5 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
Salt to taste

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Stir in flour, reduce heat to medium, and cook until lightly brown, stirring constantly to prevent burning flour.

2. Gradually stir in tomato sauce, chicken broth, garlic powder, and onion salt into the flour until smooth, and continue cooking over medium heat approximately 10 minutes or until lightly thickened. Season with salt to taste.

Enchiladas
By: Browneyedbaker 

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts, sliced in strips
1/2 c oil
2 tsp. lime juice
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
Onion, chopped
Red & Green pepper, chopped

Refried Beans
Shredded cheese of choice (I used Taco Mixed Cheese.)

Directions:

1. Marinate chicken in oil, lime juice, pepper, salt, garlic and chili powder, and cumin for 1-5 hours. (I marinated the chicken while I prepared the rest of the meal and it was still very flavorful. I use this marinade for fajitas mostly.)

2. Slice onion and peppers very thinly. In skillet, sauté the chicken (with the marinade), onion, and peppers.

3. While the fajita mixture is being sautéed, combine a can of refried beans and a handful of cheese (however much you want). Spread about 1/3 of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 dish, enough for a thin covering across the bottom of the pan.

4. When the fajita mixture is ready, add to the refried beans and combine thoroughly.

5. Fill 8 tortillas with your choice of filling and roll them up and place them in the pan, seam side down.

6. Once the enchiladas are in place, pour the rest of the sauce over them, making sure there are no dry spots. Sprinkle the cheese of your choice on top.

7. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 350-degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake 5 more minutes.

It’s delicious! Good luck and happy cooking!

Copycat P.F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps

To be honest, I’ve never  been to P.F. Chang’s so I wouldn’t be able to really compare it. However, on a scale of 1 to 10 in ‘deliciousness’, I’d rate this a 9. (It’s a bit spicy so that is why I haven’t rated it a 10- but it’s certainly delicious!) I got this from the IowaGirlEats blog via Pinterest. I LOVE Pinterest! They are healthy and quite tasty. These are everything a girl wants, “all a girl needs”; now I have Christina Aguilera in my head. Do you?

 

Chicken Lettuce Wraps
From: IowaGirlEats

Ingredients:

  • 1lb ground chicken breast
  • 1/2 medium onion, minced
  • salt & pepper, a dash of each
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch nob fresh ginger, peeled & minced
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tablespoon water
  • 1 Tablespoon natural peanut butter (I used regular ole Jif)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon rice vinegar (I used Apple Cider Vinegar. Good enough.)
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce (I’d do less in the future.)
  • dash of fresh pepper
  • 3 green onions, chopped (I didn’t have these available so I used broccoli for color.)
  • 1/2-8oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained & chopped
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
  • 10-12 large outer lettuce leaves, rinsed and patted dry

Directions

1. Heat a large, non-stick skillet on high. Add chicken, onion, salt & pepper, and cook until chicken is nearly done, stirring often to break up the meat. Add in minced garlic and ginger, and continue cooking until chicken is no longer pink.

2.Meanwhile, in a microwave safe bowl, combine sesame oil, soy sauce, water, peanut butter, honey, rice vinegar, chili garlic sauce and pepper. Microwave for 20 seconds, then stir until smooth. Add into the skillet and stir to combine.

3.Add green onion and water chestnuts into the skillet then cook for 1-2 minutes until the onions are soft and the water chestnuts are heated through.

4.Sprinkle with chopped peanuts, and serve with cold lettuce leaves

Now, enjoy!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

If you are looking for a good, hearty, slightly spicy soup this is the one for you! I found the recipe from my favorite website, Browneyedbaker and get used to seeing links to her page. It’s my go-to for any baked goods and my friend Anna just adored the variety of cupcake recipes. To be honest, I’m not that much of cupcake/cake person, so you may not see much of that here. However, when I was pregnant with our precious little girl, I had an overwhelming craving for Chocolate Lava Cake or something similar to it. But, that’s another day (I think I’m hungry)..back to this soup. It’s a sure pleaser.
You can give me chicken, cheese, spice and flavor any day.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
From: Browneyedbaker

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ cup minced white onion
¼ cup mined Anaheim pepper (I omitted this and didn’t miss it)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 cups chicken broth
1 cooked skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-size piecesn (I used 2 chicken breasts.)
1 cooked skinless, boneless chicken thigh, cut into bite-size pieces
8 ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded
3 (6-inch) corn tortillas, minced
2 tablespoons lime juice
¼ cup canned diced tomatoes (Rotel or stewed tomatoes work too)
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon salt
Tortilla strips, optional, for garnish

Directions:

1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-low heat. Add the minced onion, pepper, and garlic and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until the minced onion begins to turn translucent.

2. Whisk the cornstarch into the chicken broth, then add the broth mixture to the pot, along with the chicken, cheddar cheese, minced tortillas, lime juice, diced tomatoes, cumin, cayenne pepper, oregano, and salt. Increase the heat to medium while stirring constantly to help the cheese melt. When the soup begins to bubble, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve the soup topped with tortilla strips and extra shredded cheese.

Serves 4 generously

***The cayenne pepper does give it a kick, so if you don’t like spice or want to limit it just had 1/4 tsp.***

Rich Coffeecake with Sweet Cheese Filling

(READ ME FIRST:
If you are hungry now, stop and go somewhere else because there’s no way to satiate your desires with this coffeecake unless you are amazingly patient. The earliest you can eat it will be tomorrow sometime.)
I had a lot of fun making this coffeecake but it did take a long time. By the end, I think I was exhausted from standing and waiting in the kitchen. Maybe I’d make it again if I had the time but there are simpler recipes out there for a coffeecake. Quick and simple are usually things that I like to make.

Look how beautiful that is!

Finished product-drooling again.

Rich Coffeecake with Sweet Cheese Filling
From: Browneyedbaker 

Ingredients:

Makes 2 cakes, each serving 8 to 10

Rich Coffeecake Dough
2 envelopes (4½ teaspoons) instant yeast
¼ cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
½ cup (3½ ounces) granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4¼ cups (21¼ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces and softened but still cool

Sweet Cheese Filling
8 ounces cream cheese, softened but still cool
¼ cup (1¾ ounces) granulated sugar
2½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
2 teaspoons finely grated zest from 1 lemon
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Streusel Topping (optional but not really)
1/3 cup packed (2-1/3 ounces) light or dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ cup (2½ ounces) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

Coffeecake Icing (optional, it’s not cake without a little icing)
¾ cup (3 ounces) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3½ teaspoons milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Egg Wash
1 large egg
1 teaspoon heavy cream (preferably) or whole milk

Directions:

1. For the Dough: Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in the bowl of a standing mixer; stir to dissolve. Add the sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla; attach the paddle and mix at the lowest speed until well combined. Add 3¼ cups of the flour and the salt, mixing at low speed until the flour is incorporated, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium-low and add the butter pieces 1 at a time, beating until incorporated, about 20 seconds after each addition (total mixing time should be about 5 minutes). Replace the paddle with the dough hook and add the remaining 1 cup flour; knead at medium-low speed until soft and smooth, about 5 minutes longer. Increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough tightens up slightly, about 2 minutes longer.

2. Scrape the dough (which will be too soft to pick up with your hands) into a straight-sided lightly oiled plastic container or bowl using a plastic dough scraper. Cover the container tightly with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at warm room temperature until doubled in size, 3 to 4 hours. Press down the dough, replace the plastic, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 4 or up to 24 hours. Alternatively, for a quick chill, spread the dough about 1 inch thick on a baking sheet, cover with plastic, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours.

3. For the Filling: Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer at high speed until smooth, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the lemon zest, egg, and vanilla. Reduce the speed to medium and continue beating, scraping down the sides of the bowl at least once, until incorporated, about 1 minute. Scrape the mixture into a small bowl and chill thoroughly before using. (The filling can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days.)

4. For the Streusel: Mix the brown and granulated sugars, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Add the butter and toss to coat. Pinch the butter chunks and dry mixture between your fingertips until the mixture is crumbly. Chill thoroughly before using. (The streusel can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.)

5. For the Icing: Whisk all the ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth. (The icing can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 week. Thin with a few drops of milk before using.)

6. When you are ready to shape the coffeecakes,remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface, scraping the container sides with a rubber spatula if necessary. Divide the dough in half for 2 cakes.

6a. Working with a half recipe of cold dough at a time, shape the dough into a log about 8 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. Using your outstretched hands, roll the log evenly into a 40-inch rope about 1 inch in diameter. (Refer to original website for pictures.)

6b. With your fingers together, gently press the log to flatten slightly into a 1½-inch-wide strip.

6c. Using both hands, twist the rope.

6d. Loosely coil the rope in a spiral pattern, leaving a ¼-inch space between coils. Tuck the end under and pinch to secure. Place the coil on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with second half of dough.

7. Proof until slightly puffed (they will not increase in volume as dramatically as a leaner bread dough), 1½ to 2 hours. (After this final rise, the unbaked cakes can be refrigerated overnight and baked the next morning.)

8. For the Egg Wash: Beat the egg and cream in a small bowl until combined.

9. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Working with and baking one coffeecake at a time, brush with egg wash evenly over the exposed dough. Place half of the filling over the center of the top, leaving a 1½-inch border around the perimeter. Sprinkle the top evenly with half of the streusel. Slide the baking sheet onto a second baking sheet to prevent the bottom crust from overbrowning and bake until deep golden brown and/or an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the cake reads 190 degrees F, 25 to 30 minutes. Slide the parchment with the coffeecake onto a wire rack and cool at least 20 minutes. Drizzle the cake with half the icing and serve.

Eggs Benedict and Hollandaise Sauce

This post is inspired by my FIL Dale. I would have not known Eggs Benedict without you. Thank you.
Love,
Your DIL Heather (and my waistline)

Before my FIL ever voiced his love for Eggs Benedict, I had seen the movie ‘Julie & Julia’ and recall when Julie had said, “Whipped into submission” referring to the Hollandaise sauce. Also, I remember how Amy Adams just melted when she took her first bite (of her first egg; too bad all other egg recipes go down hill from there sweetheart). You will experience the same reaction with this recipe–the melting part.

I’ve tried to poach an egg the traditional way: slipping an egg into boiling water to just end up with milky water, something that resembles a jellyfish, and the uncertainty if it’s finished. Well, no more. I found a wonderful new way to poach an egg without all that hassle and uncertainty. The website that brought you the Baked Apple, also brings you The Perfect Poached Egg.

Poached egg, Hollandaise sauce, fry up (or microwave) some bacon, and serve on an english muffin or toast with salt and pepper. Soooo delicious!
Caution: Hollandaise sauce is very fatty! Worth every calorie!

The Perfect Poached Egg Method
From: HollyandRose

Ingredients:

Eggs, as required.
Olive Oil (I used cooking spray)
Water

Tools:
Glad Wrap / Saran Wrap
1 ‘Traditional’ Tea Cup (I used a coffee mug)
1 Saucepan
A Clock or your iPhone as a stopwatch
Twist ties (As many as you have eggs to poach)

Directions:

1. Lay the glad wrap into your small tea cup (or coffee mug) to create a little pocket in the middle with about 4-5 inches of wrap around the cup. Drop a dollop of olive oil (or cooking spray) into the center and slide it around the little pocket (so the egg will easily slide out when ready).

2. Crack the egg into the middle of your pocket.

3. Twist the wrap together at the top leaving the egg resting in the pocket. Do not twist too tight so the pocket pops! Tie each individual pocket with a twist tie.

4. VERY lightly drop the pockets in boiling water making sure the twisted pockets are securely sealed.

5. Allow the eggs to cook in the lightly boiling water for 3-4 minutes depending on how running you like your eggs then lift out of the water and very carefully untwist the pockets allowing the eggs to slip out. (3.5 minutes cooking time is usually perfect for me just so long as the entire egg has been submerged in water the entire time).

And there you have it – Hassle free poached eggs that impress me every time!

Hollandaise Sauce
From: Tyler Florence via The Food Network 

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick) (I have salted butter, just omit the salt.)
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Pinch salt

Directions:

1.Vigorously whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl and until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume.

2. Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (or use a double boiler,) the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble.

3. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. (I haven’t been whisking long enough for the multiple times that i have made this recipe; which until you can make a ‘rose’ shape when you blow on the sauce. I wouldn’t suggest this method if you don’t know the person you are serving this too. ;))

4. Remove from heat, whisk in cayenne and salt.

5. Cover and place in a warm spot until ready to use for the eggs benedict. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving.

Quick Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

My MIL Carla has recently gone gluten-free and has had a somewhat hard time adjusting to the ‘no-cake, no-cookies, no-bread’ lifestyle. But she found this recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies and I’m so glad she did! (Carla’s comment below recipe.)

Looks delicious, don’t they?

Good luck!

Quick Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies
Recipe received from: Carla

Ingredients:

1 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions:

1. Preheat to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the peanut butter, sugars, egg, vanilla and baking soda until well blended.
3. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Dip a fork in white sugar and make crisscross pattern with the fork.
4. Bake 6-8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool on cookie sheet for about 4 minutes after taking them out of the oven. Place on wire rack and let them cool completely.

Carla’s comment:

I recently had to start eating gluten free and was wanting to find a recipe for cookies. I love peanut butter cookies and was very excited when I found a recipe online and it did not contain flour. I modified the original recipe and love the results. I did try making it with Stevia instead of white sugar. My son is diabetic and this woud be a good cookie for him to eat since it only has 7 carbs per cookie. He really liked both recipes…with Stevia and with white sugar. I preferred the one without Stevia. Also, I doubled the recipe and made about 48 cookies.
This recipe is a keeper and has a special place in my recipe file! Try it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!