Thursday, April 24, 2014

 Chicken Fajita Pasta

As of late I seem to have been plagued by a monster in my refrigerator. I go to make a delicious recipe I have been dreaming about all day and suddenly one of the ingredients is missing. It is terribly annoying. For instance, I was looking forward to making some delicious chicken fajitas for dinner one night. I mysteriously couldn't find a tortilla to save my life. Since I had of course chopped all the peppers and onions meticulously, and  had chicken ready to use I had to do something with them. 

 I created a quick sauce out of some tasty tomatoes and added plenty of cheese. A quick boil to some pasta and it was all ready. I have to say the monster in the refrigerator had helped me make a delicious plan b dinner. This chicken fajita pasta is super good with some cilantro and extra cheese on top. Try it out and you will love it!


1 tablespoon veggie oil
2 bell peppers, chopped
1 small onion, chopped 
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 14 oz can fire roasted tomatoes, with juice
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 package of spaghetti noodles

 Before you start the sauce, boil a large pot of water for the pasta. When it is boiling, add the whole box and continue to boil until it is tender or about 8 to 10 minutes. 

Heat up the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the peppers and onions. When these have just softened a touch, add in the garlic and some salt and pepper to taste. 

After the garlic has cooked for about 30 seconds, add in the tomatoes. Let this simmer for just a few minutes. 

Add in the cooked chicken and turn the sauce down to low. I like to add in a bit of cayenne pepper, but it is totally optional. Green chile would be great in this, too!

By this point, the pasta should be done. Drain this and add it to the sauce. Add in about half of the cheese and stir, stir, stir. Allow all of this to cook together for about 5 more minutes. 

Serve this with the remaining cheese sprinkled over the top. 

This is an awesome weeknight dinner that you and your family will love. Try this out soon even if you don't have a monster in your refrigerator.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Chocolate Popcorn Squares

Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks. I can eat it any time of day, even as a part of a meal. I just love how versitile and easy it is to make into any type of flavor. I often forget about the sweeter side of popcorn and how delicious it is to make a sweet and salty treat. 

Popcorn balls were something my mom and I made on Halloween and I loved them! The only bad part was shaping the sticky mass into tidy shapes. This chocolate drizzled treat saves you a bit of time and effort by just pressing the whole thing into a greased pan. Then it can be easily cut into squares. This will stay perfect in the fridge for over a week, making it a great afternoon snack and dessert. 


8 cups of popped popcorn
1/4 butter
1 bag of mini marshmallows
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 cup of milk chocolate chips (or  milk chocolate cut up)
1 to 4 tablespoons milk

Melt the butter into a large, heavy bottomed pot and add in the marshmallows. Let the marshmallows melt until they are smooth and creamy. If you are using popcorn that has already been salted, omit the salt at this point. Otherwise, throw that into the mixture and turn off the heat. Add in the popcorn and stir, stir, stir to make sure each kernel is covered in the marshmallow goop. 

Once all the popcorn is covered, carefully pour the mixture into a greased 9 X 13 pan. This will give you a tall bar with a lot of the marshmallow goodness to go with the popcorn. Chill this in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the chocolate drizzle.  Using the same pan, I just throw in the milk and the chocolate chips and turn this on to low heat and whisk constantly. Make sure it is on super low so the chocolate does not seize up. If it does, just add a few tablespoons of butter. Once this has almost melted, turn off the heat and keep whisking. Drizzle this over the popcorn mixture and cut into squares.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

 Mexican Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers was a dish I only knew from the freezer section as a kid, but I loved it! I still think the traditional kind with the green peppers and tomato sauce reigns supreme, but this is a great alternative. This has spicy and cheesy flavors all stuffed into a pepper. This is something that looks fancy but it is pretty simple. Try these peppers out with some guests and they will think you went through a mountain of trouble. It can be just our secret that it's just as easy as making rice and browning ground beef.


4 red or green bell peppers
1 pound of ground beef
 1/ 2 onion, chopped
2 1/2 cups of cooked rice
1 teaspoon each, salt and pepper
1 large can of red enchilada sauce, divided
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Cut the tops off of the peppers. I like to make a shallow cut and then dig everything out of the pepper.

Make sure the seeds and the membranes are out of the pepper as they can be a bit bitter.  Then rinse this out to make sure it's nice and clean for the filling.

Cook the ground beef over medium heat with the onion until the beef is browned and the onion is tender. Add in the cooked rice, the salt, pepper and about 3/4 cup of the enchilada sauce. I like to let this sit over very low heat for a few minutes to let the rice soak up the tasty sauce. Then add in about 1 cup of cheese and turn off the heat completely. 

If you want, let the filling cool before stuffing the peppers. I like to burn my hands in the process to make me feel like I have worked for it. You can cram quite a bit into the peppers, too.  Once the peppers are stuffed, place them into an oven safe dish.

Getting the peppers to stand upright is not completely necessary.  If it happens, it happens. These two stood up nicely until I put them in the oven. What's the worst that could happen? They soak up the sauce and get blistery on one side. Oh no! After you have placed your peppers in the pan, pour the remaining enchilada sauce into the bottom of your baking dish. Then, sprinkle the remaining cheese over the tops of each pepper.

Bake the peppers at 350 degrees for about thirty to forty five minutes or until the peppers are a bit tender.  I like to spoon over the enchilada sauce about half way through the baking time to make sure the top is nice and saucy.

This is great with just a salad, but some beans would go with this nicely as well!