Sunday, December 20, 2009

Mexican Rice

Mexican Rice
Ree Drummond

2 Tablespoons canola oil
½ whole large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups long grain rice
1 (10 oz) can mild rotel
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 cups low sodium chicken broth (I use a whole can of Swanson's)
1 teaspoon cumin (more To taste)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh cilantro, chopped

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onions, then cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add rice and garlic. Stir constantly, making sure the rice doesn’t burn. Cook over low heat for 3 minutes. Add Ro-tel and tomatoes. Stir to combine and let cook for 2 minutes. Finally, add broth, cumin, and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low (I leave it at 2.5), cover, and simmer for 15 additional minutes or until rice is done. Add more liquid as needed; rice shouldn’t be sticky. If the rice is still a little crunchy, turn off the heat and let it sit with the lid on for at least 5 more minutes.

Just before serving, sprinkle lots of freshly chopped cilantro over the top. Serve immediately.

White Chicken Enchilada Casserole

And another delicious meal by Ree. I make this, along with her Mexican rice, once every two to three weeks along with mexican rice. It is also one of the best leftover meals ever.

My casserole version of White Chicken Enchiladas
Ree Drummond

2-½ cups cooked, shredded chicken (dark meat tastes much better than breasts in this recipe)
2 cups chicken broth
3 Tablespoons Canola Oil
8-12 whole corn tortillas
1 whole large onion, Diced
3 whole 4 Oz cans whole green chilies, diced
1 whole jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
1 teaspoon paprika
½ cup heavy cream (can use milk or fat free half and half, but I'm not convinced this ingredient is necessary)
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1 cup sour cream (I use fat free/low fat or the new smart balance kind)
2-½ cups monterey jack cheese, Grated
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Picante Sauce (optional)
Cilantro, chopped (optional)


If you are going to use dark meat (which I recommend, but it takes longer - definitely a weekend meal), they sell a 10 lb bag of chicken thighs and legs for about $5 at Kroger. Put all of the chicken legs/thighs in a big pot and fill it with water. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 minutes. Shred for two forks when cooked. Portion the extra chicken in quart freezer bags, and freeze until next time.

Microwave the tortillas to warm and soften them. Break them up into 1" squares.

Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in separate skillet over medium heat. Add onions and jalapenos and saute for 1 minute, just to start the cooking process. Add chicken, half of the green chilies, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Stir together. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and stir. Add cream (or half and half/milk) and stir, allowing mixture to bubble and get hot. Turn off heat and set aside.

In a separate large skillet, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. (Light butter does not work. I've tried :o(.. ) Whisk together and cook over medium heat for one minute. Pour in 1 1/2 cups chicken broth. Whisk together and cook for another minute or two. Stir in the other half of the chilies. Reduce heat, then stir in sour cream. Add 1 1/2 cups grated cheese and stir to melt. Add 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Check seasoning and add salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste.

Ree makes these into enchiladas, but I am lazy, so I make it into a casserole. Use a greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Go here to see a visual.

Pour cheese mixture all over the top, then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle generously with chopped cilantro, if desired.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Beef with Broccoli

***This wasn't so good for leftovers... I think the oyster sauce becomes overpowering. It was really good the night of though. I'll let you know if I ever find a better beef and broccoli recipe.

I have been going to the BCS Asian grocery store a lot recently. There are so many sauces I've never heard of before. So exciting! I love making stir fries (sp?), but I have noticed that they don't taste like real asian food. I want to change that; therefore, I have to branch out to new ingredients. Ok, so the ingredients in this doesn't sound too appealing, but they are! I don't like sushi or fishy fish, so don't worry, Oyster sauce doesn't taste anything like that. I've always wanted to try something on Jaden's website, but some of the ingredients made me nervous. Ree put up one of her recipes, so I knew I had to try it. Amazing.

Beef and Broccoli
Jaden from Steamy Kitchen
Serves 4

1 lb top sirloin or flank steak, thinly sliced into 1/8-in (3-mm)-thick strips
1-1/2 lbs broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
1 tablespoon high-heat cooking oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cooking oil
Freshly ground black pepper to season the beef

3 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
2 teaspoons Chinese black vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)

In a bowl, combine the ingredients for the Beef Marinade. Add the beef and let mari- nate for 10 minutes at room temperature.

In a small bowl, mix together the ingre- dients for the Stir-fry Sauce.

In a wok or large sauté pan, add 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli and cover to steam for 3 minutes. The broccoli should be bright green, crisp tender and you should be able to pierce the stem with a fork. Drain.

Discard the water in the pan and dry the pan well. Set the pan over high heat and when hot, add the high-heat cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the garlic and fry for 15 to 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the steak strips, keeping them in one layer and fry 30 seconds. Flip the strips and fry the other side.

Pour in the Stir-fry Sauce and stir to combine. Simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 30 seconds. Add the cooked broccoli back into the pan and toss to coat well.

Green Chili with Pork

I've been so busy, I never update my blog anymore! So sad, I know. I still can't find my camera charger, but to be perfectly honest, I haven't looked that hard. It's dark by the time I get home these days, so the pictures wouldn't be so pretty anyway.

I made Ree's Spicy Shredded Pork a week or two ago (which is delicious, of course) and used the rest in the following recipe I found on Tasty Kitchen. I had never made roasted poblano peppers, but I love cooking with new things. I'm actually making it again tonight (halving the recipe) with left over pork I made in the crockpot from Thursday.

Green Chili with Pork
candykettle on Tasty Kitchen

1/4 cups Olive Oil
2 whole Yellow Onions
8 whole Garlic Cloves, Peeled And Minced
8 whole Jalapeno Peppers, Stemmed And Minced
3 whole Carrots, Peeled And Sliced Crosswise Into 1/2" Pieces
1-1/2 Tablespoon Oregano
3 pounds Boneless Pork Loin, Cut Into 1/2" Cubes
5 cups Chicken Stock, Homemade Or Canned
28 ounces, weight Canned Plum Tomatoes, Crushed And Well Drained
1 whole Potato, About 8 Oz, Peeled And Grated
12 whole Poblano Peppers, Roasted And Peeled - instructions here
Salt To Taste
Cumin To Taste (if you like cumin)

(Roast poblano peppers by turning them on an open flame of a gas burner or grill until charred. Wrap the chilies in a paper bag. When cool, peel charred skin from the peppers. Stem and seed the peppers, and slice or chop.)

In a 5-quart heavy stock pot, warm the oil. Add the onions, garlic, jalapenos and carrots and cook, stirring once or twice, for 10 minutes. Stir in oregano and the pork cubes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat has lost all pink color, about 20 minutes.

Stir in the chicken stock, salt, cumin, tomatoes, and the grated potato. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, partially cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours.

Cut the poblanos into 1/2″ strips. (I would dice them up, it is a little strange having long strips of poblano peppers in a soup.) Add them to the chili and cook, stirring often, for another 30 to 45 minutes, or until the pork is tender and the chili has thickened to your liking.

Serve topped with sour cream. Warm crusty garlic bread goes well with this soup, too.

French Onion Beef

Brett's sister gave me this recipe from one of her favorite slow cooker cookbooks. It's really good! If you're not too into stuffing, I'd use half a stuffing package - then you can half the butter and have a healthier meal all around. This recipe works great during a busy week.

French Onion Beef
Goose Berry Patch Slow Cooker Recipes
Serves 4-6


1-1/4 lbs. boneless beef round steak, cut into 6 pieces
8 oz package sliced mushrooms
1 cup onion, sliced and separated into rings
10-3/4 oz can French onion soup
6-1/4 oz package herb-flavored stuffing mix (I used cornbread flavored)
1/4 cup butter, melted
8 oz package shredded mozzarella cheese

Layer half of beef, mushrooms, and onion in a slow cooker; repeat layers. Pour soup over top; cover and cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours. Shortly before serving, toss stuffing mix with its seasoning packet (there was no seasoning packet in mine since I used cornbread stuffing), melted butter and 1/2 cup liquid from slow cooker. Spread stuffing mixture on top of beef. Increase to high setting; cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until stuffing is fluffy. Sprinkle with cheese; cover and heat until cheese is melted.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Chinese Coleslaw

This is one of Brett's aunt's recipes, and it's also one of my favorite side dishes.

Chinese Coleslaw
Judy Ray

1/2 cup sugar (use 1/4 cup if too sweet)
1/2 cup oil
6 Tbsp red wine vinegar (can use rice wine vinegar)
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp pepper
1 package Ramen Noodles (discard seasoning)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 package coleslaw
1 bunch green onions, chopped

Crunch Ramen noodles in bag. Toast with almonds until light brown at 350 degrees for approximately 10-15 minutes. (I put them in the toaster oven and hit toast.) Mix coleslaw with green onions. Mix first five ingredients separately. (I put them in a small container and shake.) Mix coleslaw, almonds, and ramen. When ready to serve, pour desired amount of dressing over just before.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tasty Chicken Pasta

My camera is dead, and I can't find its charger (it doesn't use batteries). I found this yummy recipe on Tasty Kitchen. :o)

The Best Chicken Pasta Ever

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (more if you like lots of chicken)
Garlic salt, to sprinkle
Olive oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms (canned/drained Or Fresh)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 cup Spinach (fresh or frozen), chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced, OR 1/2 Tbsp dried
1/4 cup basil, chopped, OR 1/2 Tbsp dried
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup parmesan, grated
1/2 lb pasta

Cook spaghetti until barely al-dente according to package directions. Remove from heat, but leave in water to keep warm. (I didn't leave mine in water because I was scared they would get too soggy.)

Sprinkle chicken with garlic salt and grill or pan-fry in a little olive oil. After it’s done, slice into thin strips or 1″ chunks and set aside (keep warm).

If you grilled, drizzle a skillet with olive oil and heat or, if you pan-fried, reheat the pan as-is. Add in mushrooms and garlic, saute until tender. Stir in the remaining ingredients (except pasta) and simmer until cooked through. Add chicken.

Drain pasta, put in serving bowl, and drizzle with olive oil. Toss in the chicken and sprinkle with cheese. Enjoy!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Pam’s Simple, Scrumptious Caesar Salad

Brett's favorite salad in the whole world is a caesar salad. I never had the guts to make a homemade caesar salad because of the anchovies, but now there is a new alternative. Pam Anderson shared her recipe on the Pioneer Woman with no anchovies! Yum. It was good - especially the homemade croutons.

Pam’s Simple, Scrumptious Caesar Salad
Pam Anderson on the Pioneer Woman
Serves 4-6


Garlic Croutons
3 - 4 cloves garlic
A generous 1/4 cup pure olive oil
2 packed cups 3/4″ bread cubes, cut from a good-quality baguette or Italian loaf
Large pinch of salt

3 romaine hearts (outer leaves discarded), torn up in pieces
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
5 tablespoon pure olive oil (I use 1/4 cup extra light evoo)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling.
1 - 2 cooked chicken breast, chopped


Heat a 10-inch skillet over low heat. With motor running, drop garlic cloves through feeder tube of a food processor fitted with the steel blade to mince. (A blender works as well.) Scrape down sides of bowl and add olive oil through feeder tube as well. Continue to process so that garlic releases its flavor into the oil, about 30 seconds. Strain garlic from oil through a fine-mesh strainer; reserve half of the garlic for dressing.

Increase skillet heat to medium. Place bread cubes in medium bowl. Drizzle garlic oil evenly over bread, along with big pinch of salt; toss to coat. Add bread cubes to hot skillet and toast, turning the cubes and shaking the pan often, until crisp and golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Return croutons to bowl and set aside to cool while preparing salad.

Place lettuce leaves in a large bowl. Whisk lemon juice, mayonnaise, half the reserved garlic, and Worcestershire in a small bowl. Drizzle lettuce with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and toss lightly and carefully. (Clean hands work well.) Drizzle lemon mixture over lettuce; toss again. Sprinkle Parmesan over greens; toss again. Sprinkle croutons over the salad; toss and serve, sprinkling each portion with a little more Parmesan cheese.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I have always wanted to make these, and I'm glad I chose this recipe! It's Todd Wilbur's version of P.F. Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps. So good! When I was making the special sauce, I had my doubts, serious doubts, but it was delicious! :o)

Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Adapted from Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur
Serves 2-3

3 Tbsp oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup water chestnuts (about half of a 5 oz can)
2 mushrooms
3 Tbsp chopped onions
1 tsp minced garlic
4-5 leaves iceberg lettuce

Special Sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp sesame or peanut oil
1 Tbsp hot mustard
2 tsp garlic and red chile paste
2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water

Stir Fry Sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp hoison sauce
1/2 tsp rice vinegar

Bring oil to medium high heat in a wok or large frying pan. Saute chicken breasts for 5 minutes per side or until done. Remove chicken from the pan and cool. As chicken cools, mince water chestnuts and mushrooms to about the size of small peas. (Also mince garlic and chop onions.) When chicken is cool, mince it.

Turn the heat back onto medium and prepare the stir fry sauce by mixing the soy sauce, hoison sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar together in the wok/frying pan. Add chicken, garlic, onions, water chestnuts and mushrooms to the pan. Saute the mixture for a couple minutes.

Get another frying pan and add the sugar, water, soy sauce, rice vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice, sesame or peanut oil, hot mustard, and garlic chili sauce to make the special sauce mixture to pour over the wraps. I thought this is too water-y, so I added 2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in some water. Stir on medium heat until thickened.

Serve chicken mixture in lettuce "cups" and top with "special sauce."


We had Brett's brother, Chris, over for dinner. This only made enough for 6 lettuce wraps, and the boys were still hungry. (I'm not really sure why I didn't double the recipe.) Brett said he was going to make a salad with the rest of the lettuce. This is what he brought back to the table for us to eat.

:o) He made one for each of us, and he demanded that we take a picture and write about it in my blog.

1/2 peeled head of iceberg lettuce
3 squeezes of Kraft Ranch dressing (he told me to say Hidden Valley, but he used Kraft)
3 small handfuls of shredded cheddar cheese

Cut the lettuce into thirds. Put one squeeze of ranch dressing on each lettuce chunk. Drop one small handful on each lettuce chunk. Eat with hands.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup
Serves 4

4 cups canned whole tomatoes
4 cups tomato juice
4 tsp Better than Bouillon chicken base
12-14 fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup butter (I usually use 1/4 cup)
salt and pepper to taste

Combine tomatoes, tomato juice, and chicken stock paste in a large saucepan. Simmer over medium-low heat for 30 minutes. (I cover mine so that I don't get tomato juice all over the stove/floor.) Cool slightly, then using a wand mixer, process with basil until smooth. Return to saucepan and add butter, stirring over low heat until melted and fully incorporated. Add salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.

**You can add 1 Tbsp sugar to the tomato soup, juice, and chicken stock to calm down the tangy-ness of the tomatoes.

Target 9/15

I got all of this at a regular old Target. We don't have a Super Target here in College Station. :o( It's okay though. I can still do most of Target's deals here. I got all this for $6.31.

Deal: Buy 5 Kashi Cereals for $2.88 each, get a $5 Target Giftcard

I bought 5 for $2.50 each (price-matched at Walgreens - just bring in the ad)
-five $1.50 coupons from here, here, here (IE), here (FF), here ($1), or $2 vocalpoint coupon (I just got mine in the mail after I went to Target).
=$5 or free after the giftcard!

2 Kellogg's Poptarts, $1.46 each

-$1/2 coupon in 8/2 Kellogg's insert (inside the SS insert)
-two $0.75 target coupons
=$0.21 each

2 Market Pantry Cheese, 8oz, $1.79 each
-$1/2 Target coupon
=$1.29 each

2 Kraft Cheese, 6oz, $1.52 each
-$1/2 coupon in 8/9 RP (expires today)
=$1.02 each

Tide Stain release, 20 oz, $3.79
-$1.50 coupon I got in the mail
-$1.50 8/23 RP (Target coupon)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Chipotle Mexican Grill Barbacoa and Cilantro-Lime Rice

One of my favorite fast food restaurants is Chipotle. I always get their barbacoa. I found a copy-cat recipe of their barbacoa and cilantro-lime rice, and I made it last night. It is pretty close! I used a slow cooker instead of cooking it on the stove. Here is what I did.

Chipotle Barbacoa
Serves 8

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 chipotle peppers, canned (the cans usually say "in abodo sauce")
4 garlic cloves
4 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 lbs chuck roast
3/4 cup chicken broth
3 bay leaves

Make adobo sauce by combining vinegar, lime juice, peppers, garlic, cumin, oregano, black pepper, salt and clove in a blender or food processor and puree on high speed until smooth.

Trim the fat from the meat, and then slice the roast into 6 smaller pieces. Sear all sides of the chunks of meat in 2 tablespoons of oil until browned. Put meat in the crockpot. Add the adobo sauce on top of the meat, pour in the chicken broth, and add the bay leaves. Cover the crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. At the three hour mark, take the lid off and shred the beef with two forks. Cover and cook for the last hour.

Chipotle Cilantro-Lime Rice
Makes 6 cups of rice

3 cups water
2 cups converted rice
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, minced
2 tablespoons lime juice

Make the cilantro-lime rice by combining water, rice, butter and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to low, cover saucepan, and simmer for 20 minutes. When the rice is done stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Keep rice covered until you're ready to assemble the burritos.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Walgreens 9/6

Walgreens "paid me" $2 to buy this.

Buy 2 Glade Collection (2 oz.) candles at $2 each, Get $1 Register Rewards
-use two free candle coupons from the 8/9 SmartSource insert
=FREE after coupons, plus get $1 Register Reward

Buy $15 worth of Starbucks Ice cream, Get $5 Register Rewards
Buy 5 pints of Starbucks Ice Cream at $3 each
-use 4 $2/1 coupons from the 6/21 SmartSource insert and one FREE Startbucks Ice Cream coupon from Facebook
=$4 after coupons, plus get $5 Register Rewards, therefore FREE plus $1 overage!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

CVS 9/5

I got paid $1.50 to buy all this. :o) This is for the 9/6 - 9/12 CVS ad.

Schick Slim Triple ST3 Disposable Razors 8 ct $6.99, Earn $4 in ECBs (Limit 1)
-$3 coupon from 8/16 SS insert
=FREE after coupon and ECBs

Scope Outlast 750ml or Crest with Scope Outlast Toothpaste 5.8oz $3.49, Earn $2.50 in ECBs (Limit 2)
-$0.50 coupon from 8/30 P&G insert (for toothpaste not mouthwash)
=$0.49 each after coupon and ECBs (toothpaste)
OR =$0.99 each after coupons and ECBs (mouthwash)

Schick Quattro for Women Razor B1G1 FREE, $9.99
-two $4 coupons from 8/23 SS
=$1 each after two coupons

Poise 10 ct, $2.49
-FREE Poise CRT (I got it from the machine when I got to CVS)

**I got a $5 off of $30 purchase in my email to use this weekend only. Check your email! (That's how this was a money maker. I would have paid $3.50 for all of this without the $5 off coupon.)

Moroccan Chickpea Chili

Moroccan Chickpea Chili
Cooking Light: The Essential Dinner Tonight Cookbook
Serves 4

2 tsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 tsp minced garlic (fresh or bottled)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1 1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp no-salt-added tomato paste
2 (15.5 oz) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 (14.5 oz) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic; saute 5 minutes. Stir in cumin and next 7 ingredients; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 1 1/2 cups water, tomato paste, chickpeas, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in cilantro and juice.

Calories: 215 (23% from fat)
Fat: 5.5g (sat 0.4g, mono 2.9g, poly 1.9g)
Protein: 7.7g
Carbs: 36.3g
Fiber: 9.8g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Iron 3.4mg
Sodium 534mg
Calcium 102mg

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Chicken Tikka Masala

Another successful Indian recipe! I altered the original recipe to make it healthier, less saltier, and not so spicy. My nose didn't even run with the amount of heat below. :o) To make it spicier you can double the cayenne pepper and/or garam masala.

Chicken Tikka Masala
Serves 4

1 cup yogurt (plain or vanilla)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp garam masala
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
4 long skewers

1Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (optional)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
2 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 cups fat free evaporated milk, half and half, or cream
1 tomato, chopped, or 1 can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

In a large bowl, combine marinade ingredients: yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, garam masala, and salt. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight.

Preheat a grill for high heat. Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side. If you have a meat thermometer, it should be at least 150 degrees F.

Melt olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Season with cumin, paprika, garam masala, and salt. Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and evaporated milk. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve with basmati rice or naan.

Italian Toss

This is one of Brett's and my mom's favorites. It is like a rigatoni version of lasagna with a hint of sweetness.

1 16-oz box rigatoni noodles
1/2 stick of butter or margarine
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 lb grated mozzarella cheese
1 cup parmesan cheese
2 lbs ground beef (or 1 lb ground beef and 1 lb hot sausage)
1 large jar of Prego (or your favorite sauce)
2 eggs, beaten

Cook and drain the noodles. Meanwhile, brown ground beef and let cool. Melt the butter or margarine and add the brown sugar. Coat the noodles with the butter mixture. Sprinkle the cheese on top and mix. Add beaten eggs to ground beef. Combine the noodle mixture with the hamburger mixture. Mix in half of the jar of Prego. Put in a greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Pour the rest of the Prego over the top. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

**This sauce is really good.

The Pioneer Woman finished her cookbook!!

Ah! This is so exciting. Her book is available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble at a reduced price. It comes out October 27th! She's also doing a book tour and coming to TEXAS. Too bad she's not coming to Houston, but she is coming to Austin and Dallas. I might just have to go to Austin on December 3rd. I'm like one of her biggest fans. If you haven't tried her recipes or gone to her website, you need to, like right now.

her "book trip" schedule.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

My first whole chicken!

I have been wanting to do this for a while. I got the idea from The name makes me laugh - Beer Butt Chicken.

I got the chicken out of the plastic wrap, grabbed all the guts out (it's really not that gross), and ran it under a little water. I bought the cheapest can of beer they had at Shell ($1), poured out half of it, and plopped the chicken on the beer can. I then melted about 1/4 stick of butter and mixed in salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I then basted the chicken with the melted, seasoned butter, and put it in the oven at 350 degrees for about an hour and 1/2. I took it out when the temperature deep in the thigh was 180 degrees F. It's that easy! They said to use 2 sticks of butter, one on the chicken and one in the beer can, but I didn't want to use that much butter. I'm sure the chicken would have a lot more flavor if you rub the seasonings into the meat, under the skin, but I couldn't figure out how to do that.

Carving is another story. Videos on the internet make it look SO easy. It wasn't. I ended up with two pretty breasts and the rest very unpretty and all shredded up. I've decided I'm going to make chicken tortilla soup with the shredded up chicken, and fried rice with the breasts.

I really did all of this so I could make homemade chicken stock. I found many recipes. I'm going to follow this recipe sometime in the next week when I make the stock from the chicken bones. Fun!

Chana Masala

Chana Masala aka Chickpea Curry
Bhavini Patel
6 servings

1, 29 oz can of chickpeas (or two 15 oz cans), rinsed and drained
1 small onion, pureed
4 roma tomatoes, pureed
2 medium red (new) potatoes
cumin seeds
cinnamon stick, broken in half
whole cloves
mustard seeds
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
2 tsp fresh garlic, minced (can use 4 tsp ginger garlic paste instead of fresh ginger and garlic)
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala (1/2 tsp if heat sensitive)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder
salt, to taste
cilantro, chopped
juice of one lime

Boil the potatoes, skins on, until cooked through. You can also microwave them. (Make sure a fork can easily be poked into the potato.) Set aside to cool. When cool, peel off the skin and cut up the potato. I used a potato ricer, but Bhavini just holds the potato in one hand and a knife in the other and kind of shaves pieces off. Pour some oil in a pan on medium heat. Use a wok if you have one. When hot, add a pinch of cumin seeds, mustard seeds, cinnamon pieces, and about 8-10 cloves. Let them sizzle for about a minute. Add the ginger and garlic. Let it sit sizzle for a minute or two. Add pureed onion, and let it sit for a minute. Add cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt to taste. Let sit for 2 to 3 minutes, covered. Add pureed tomatoes. Let sit for five minutes, covered. Add chickpeas and potatoes. Garnish with cilantro and lime juice. Serve with rice or naan.

*This picture is thicker (less saucier) than how it should be. I used 2 big cans of chickpeas in the above picture, but I now use one can (29 oz).

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Sorry no picture this time! My camera is packed up and ready to move to College Station. :o)

Sandy Hern
She also makes a really good veggie lasagna!

1 lb ground beef (2 lb if you like really meaty lasagna)
2 Tbsp oil
1 small minced onion
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp black pepper
3 tsp oregano
4 Tbsp parsley flakes
1 tsp sugar
1 can diced tomatoes
3 cans tomato sauce

16 oz. lasagna noodles
Big bag of mozzarella cheese (I think it's 32 oz...?)
Regular size bag of Parmesan cheese

Brown beef in a large pot (at least 2 1/2 quart pot using 1 lb beef). Strain beef, wipe down pot with a paper towel, heat oil, and saute onions. Add strained beef, garlic salt, black pepper, oregano, parsley flakes, sugar, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Simmer for 30 minutes. If it is splattering everywhere, cover the pot with a lid.

Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water (add 2 tsp vegetable oil to water so noodles won't stick). Cook until tender, but slightly firm.

In a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, layer: meat sauce, lasagna noodles, mozzarella, and 2 Tbsp parmesan. (You will use all of the mozzarella, but not all of the parmesan.) End with sauce. (I always put cheese on top of the last sauce layer.) Also, somehow I always end up with a few lasagna noodles left over. I think my pan (glass pyrex) isn't as deep as most lasagna pans.

Bake 45 minutes to an hour at 350 degrees. Remove from the oven, and let sit for 15-30 minutes to set. Bon Appetit!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Kroger Run 8/15

Finally, I have awoken from a much needed nap. Last night I went to Kroger from 11:30pm-1:30am. (It took forever because I wasn't organized at all.) If you didn't know, Kroger did a sale today where they doubled coupons up to $1. That's a big deal in the coupon world. Sadly, the Krogers in this area didn't have everything I was looking for, but I still did pretty good. I got all of the following for $11.56:

Grande Tortilla chips
Knorr beef bouillon cubes
Activia yogurt
Mahatma Rice, 1 lb
Smart Balance Mayo
2 Ragu
French's mustard
I can't believe it's not butter spray
Smart balance oil
2 buitoni angel hair pasta
2 healthy balance juices
Luzianne tea, 24 bag ct
2 Success jasmine rice
Cinnabon bars
2 Starbucks coffee drinks
gallon of milk

2 oxy face products
covergirl eyeliner
skintamite shaving cream

Lysol toilet cleaner
2 glade air fresheners
2 air wick air fresheners
2 scotch green scrubber thingys

Energizer 4 AA pk
Rubbermaid cup

Monday, August 10, 2009

Speedy Chicken Stir Fry

Speedy Chicken Stir Fry
Kraft Foods

8 oz. angel hair pasta (capellini), uncooked
2 cups small broccoli florets
1 lb. bonless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup Kraft Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/3 cup chopped Planters dry roasted peanuts (optional)
8 oz can of sliced water chestnuts, drained (optional)

Cook pasta as directed on the package, adding broccoli to the boiling water for the last 3 minutes of the pasta cooking time.

Meanwhile, spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 6 to 8 minutes or until cooked through, stirring occasionally. Stir in dressing, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, crushed red pepper, and water chestnuts (optional); cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally.

Drain pasta mixture; place in large bowl. Add chicken mixture; mix lightly. Sprinkle with peanuts (optional).

Back to School Giveaway: $50 Hanes Giftcard

One of my favorite blogs, Common Sense with Money, is hosting a giveaway for a $50 Hanes gift card. Go here to enter. This giveaway ends 8/16 at 9PM CST. Good luck!

Target Trip 8/10

I got all of the above for $7.96! I got a $5 off of $25 Target coupon in the home mailer for the opening of the new Wylie store, so I had to take advantage of that.

What I did:

Snickers and Twix, $0.52 each
-two coupons for FREE Mars Candy
=both FREE

2 Air Wick Freshmatic Ultra starter kits, $5.99 each
-two $6 off Air Wick Freshmatic Ultra i-Motion Starter Kit (SS 8/9)
=both FREE

Stacy's Pita Chips, $2.50 each
-$1 printable coupon
=$1.50 each
I've been waiting to get these half price all summer! Now I can try the Pioneer Woman's Stacy's pita chips recipes! :o)

Kellogg's Poptarts, $1.52

-$0.75 Target printable coupon
-$0.55 Kellogg's Poptarts printable coupon

Broccoli, $0.99

Hunts Diced Tomatoes, $0.79
-$0.25 Target home mailer Hunts coupon

Ronzoni Smart Taste Pasta, $1.22 each
-$1/2 printable coupon
=$0.72 each

Kashi Cereal, $2.74
-$1 Target home mailer Kashi coupon
-$1.50 printable coupon (IE link and FF link)

Lipton Tea, $2.50
-$0.50 coupon (RP 6/28)

Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies, $1
-$1 printable coupon

Target Hydrogen Peroxide, $0.62

Bananas, $0.49/lb, got 1.46 lbs (accident)
-$0.49 Target printable coupon

2 apples, $0.99/lb, got $0.95 lbs

-$1 Target printable coupon

Free Air Wick Freshmatic Ultra at Target

Air Wick Freshmatic Ultra is on sale for $5.99 this week at Target (originally $11.99). There is a $6 off coupon in this past weekend's (August 9th) Smart Source insert, making them free!

**So, I am completely confused. I'm not sure if I got the right product with the coupon even though they gave it to me for free. There is the Air Wick Freshmatic Ultra and the Air Wick i-Motion scented oil warmer. The coupon says Air Wick Freshmatic Ultra i-Motion Starter Kit. Because of the i-Motion, I would think it was the Air Wick i-Motion scented oil warmer, but because of the Freshmatic Ultra, I would think it was the other one. There was another coupon for the Air Wick Scented Oil i-Motion Starter Kit, leading me to believe I got the right item, but the coupon beeped and the cashier's screen said "item not purchased." I'm officially confused.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings
All Recipes

4 skinless, boneless (partially frozen) chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons butter
2 (10.75 oz) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1 onion, finely diced
1 package refrigerated Grands homestyle biscuits (8 ct package - we like a lot!)
--Roll these out flat, sprinkle pepper on them, and cut into inch pieces
1 can chicken broth
Frozen vegetables (optional)

1. Place the chicken, butter, cream of chicken soup, and onion in a slow cooker, and pour chicken broth to cover. If you are sensitive to salt, use low sodium chicken broth or water instead of regular chicken broth.

2. Cover, and cook for 4 ½ hours on High.

3. After the 4 ½ hours, take two forks and break apart the chicken. It should fall apart very easily.

4. Place the cut biscuit dough in the slow cooker. Make sure to push them under the liquid with a fork so they will cook through. Cook for 1 ½ hours on High. Cook longer if dough isn’t cooked through. (If you want to add frozen vegetables, throw them in in the last 30 minutes. Brett likes me to add them because it reminds him of chicken pot pie.)

8/9 Trip to Walgreens

I bought:

Dallas Morning News - $3
Listerine 500 mL - $3
Reach toothbrush value pack - $3
Reach Ultraclean Floss 30 yd - $3
Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup - $0.79 (w/ in-ad coupon)
Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup - $0.79 (w/ in-ad coupon)
Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup - $0.79 (w/ in-ad coupon)
Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup - $0.79 (w/ in-ad coupon)
Colgate Total Enamel Toothpaste - $2.99

Subtotal before coupons: $18.15

I used:

$5/3 on the listerine, reach toothbrush, and reach floss
$1/2 on Campbell's soups
$1/2 on Campbell's soups
$0.75 on colgate total toothpaste
$3.50 Register Reward from last week

Subtotal after coupons: $6.90 (paid on giftcard that I got for free for transferring a Rx)

I got back:

$6 register reward for listerine and reach products
$3 register reward for colgate total

Saturday, August 8, 2009

My 8/8 Trip to CVS

I wanted to use the $5 off of $25 coupon, so I could get really cheap Nexxus products. This is how I got all of the above for $2.06. (This is for the 8/9 - 8/15 sale week. The CVS in Plano starts their weekly sales on Saturday.)

Get $10 ECB wyb $20 of Nexxus Products (Limit 1)
-Bought 2 stylers: mousse for $10.99 and heat protectant spray for $11.99
(These were cheapest products I found that I would use. My original plan was to get a shampoo and conditioner for super cheap, but shampoos were $11.99 and the corresponding conditioners were $13.99, so I passed on the shampoo/conditioner and got stylers.)

Candy on sale for $0.50 each
-Bought 2 candies (snickers and twix)

Sharpie Highligters for $0.99

Subtotal: $24.97 before tax ($27.03 with tax)
-$5 off of $25
-$3 off Nexxus Hair Care products SS 7/12
-$3 off Nexxus Hair Care products SS 7/12
-$1/2 candy coupon from the 7/26 RP insert
-$1 off Sharpie Highlighters printable

New subtotal: $11.98 before tax (CVS does not take into account tax when you pay with ECBs)
-$7.99 ECB
-$3.00 ECB

I then owed $0.99 ($1.07 with tax - since I am not paying this with extra bucks the tax matters here), and I paid it on a giftcard that I had gotten for free for transferring a Rx. I got $10 ECB on my receipt. Therefore, I lost $0.99 ECB and paid $1.07 on a giftcard = $2.06 total!

The best of Walgreens deals: 8/9 - 8/15

Register Rewards Deals

Get $2.99 RR when you buy one Colgate Total Enamel Strength Toothpaste for $2.99
-$1/1 coupon from 7/26 SS insert
=FREE plus $1 in overage after coupon and register rewards

Get $5 RR when you buy one Jergens Naturals Lotion 16.8oz for $5.99
=$0.99 each after register rewards

Get $4 RR wyb 2 Neosporin/BandAid Products
Neosporin - $3.99

-.50/1 Neosporin, SS 8/02, 6/28, RP 5/17
-$1 off Neosporin, SS 8/02, 6/28/ RP 5/17 or printable (IE) or printable (FF)
-$2 off Neosporin, Walgreen’s Activity Book coupon (store coupon)
Band Aid - $2.99
-.50/1 Band-Aid Adhesive Bandages, RP 5/17, SS 6/28, 8/02
-$1 off Band-Aid Adhesive Bandages, SS 6/28, 8/02

Buy 2 Band Aids at $2.99 each
-two $1 off Band Aids coupons (see above)
Get Back: $4 RR, makes it FREE

Buy: 2 Neosporin at $3.99 each
-$2 off Neosporin store coupon (comes off twice)
-two $1 off Neosporin
Get Back: $4 RR, you make $2.02 profit
***** (thanks, Southern Savers!)

Get $6 RR when you buy three Reach floss or Toothbrush or Listerine 500 ml at 3/$9
-$5/3 coupon from 8/2 SS insert
=$2 money maker after coupons

Get $2 RR when you buy one Glade Sense and Spray for $6.99
-$4 coupon from July All You Magazine (makes it $0.99 each after coupon and register rewards)
-$3 off Glade Plug-ins Scented Oil Lasting Impressions Holder, SS 8/02 (makes it $1.99 each after coupon and register rewards)

Non-Register Rewards Deals

Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers - 2/$5
-$2/1 or $2.50/1 printable coupons available last week
=FREE or $0.50 each after coupons

Campbells Soups - $0.79 with in ad coupon
-$1/2 printable coupon
=$0.29 each after coupons

All Detergent - $4.49
-$1/1 printable coupon
=$3.49 each after coupon

Lysol Toilet Bowl cleaners - 2/$3

-$1/2 coupon from 7/12 inserts or $0.50/1 printable coupon
=$1 each after coupon

Stayfree Maxi pads 16-24ct - $1.99
-B1G1 coupon from 6/28 SS insert
=$1.99 for two packs after coupon

Ecotrin - $1.99
-$2.25 printable coupon
-$2/1 from 5/17 SS insert
=FREE after coupon

Mentos Gum - .99¢ ea with in ad coupon
-$1/1 SS 6/21
=FREE after coupons

Back to School Deals

Bic Round Grip Pens - 2/$1
-$1/2 printable coupon
-$1/2 RP 8/09
=FREE after coupon

Sharpie Highlighters - .99¢ ea
-$1 off Sharpie Highlighters printable
=FREE after coupon

Penway Filler Papers $0.49 after in ad coupon

Penway one subject notebook $0.49 after in ad coupon

Mini Memo or Composition Book $0.19 after in ad coupon

Highlighters or Scented Gel Pen $0.19 after in ad coupon

Two pocket folder $0.19 after in ad coupon

The best of CVS deals: 8/9 - 8/15

**Fill out this survey and get a $5 off of $25 coupon to use this weekend**

3 Day Sale: Sunday - Tuesday

Get $9.99 ECB wyb Revlon Colorstay Mineral Mousse for $9.99
Free After ECB (Limit 1)
-$1 off Revlon Color Cosmetic Product SS 7/19
=$1 money maker after coupons and ECBs

Weekly ECB Deals

Get $5 ECB wyb Contour Meter for $14.99 (Limit 1)
-$30 off Bayer Breeze2 or Contour Meter RP 2/01, 3/22
=$5 money maker after coupons and ECBs

Get $3 ECB wyb Bic Soleil Razor or Cartridges for $6.99 (Limit 1)
-$2/1 printable coupon
=$1.99 after coupons and ECBs

Get $2 ECB wyb $10 in CoverGirl (Limit 1)
-$2.50/2 CoverGirl products PG 8/02
-$1 off CoverGirl product PG 8/02
=price varies

Get $4 ECB wyb Huggies Diapers or Pull-Ups for 2/$18 (Limit 1)

-$1.50/1 or $2/1 coupons from the 7/19 SS insert or $2/1 printable coupon
=$5-$5.50 a pack after coupons and ECBs

Get $2 ECB wyb Neutrogena Moisture Shine Lipstick for $6.99 (Limit 1)
-$3/1 from the July August All You Magazine
=$1.99 after coupons and ECBs

Get $5 ECB wyb $15 CVS Brand or Caliber School Supplies (Limit 1)

Get $2 ECB wyb Coppertone Nutrashield for $8.99 (Limit 1)

-$5 off Coppertone Nutrashield printable (makes it $1.99 after coupons and ECBs)
-$1 off Coppertone Nutrashiled Product printable (makes it $5.99 after coupons and ECBs)

Get $10 ECB wyb $20 of Nexxus Products (Limit 1)
-$3 off Nexxus Hair Care products SS 7/12
=price varies

Non-ECB Deals

Sharpie Highligters .99¢ ea
-$1 off Sharpie Highlighters printable (makes it FREE)

Colgate Total Toothpaste B1G1 starting at $2.79
-$1 off Colgate Total Toothpaste SS 7/12, 7/26
-.75/1 Colgate Total Toothpaste SS 7/12, 7/26
-$1 off Colgate Total printable
=buy 2, use 2 $1 off coupons makes it .40¢ ea

Spend $15 on Candy Earn $5 ECBs (Limit 5)
-Free Chocolate Friday Coupons
-$1/2 coupons from the 7/26 RP insert
=price varies

Friday, August 7, 2009

Cheeseburger Soup

Every time I make this, I think about changing the name. Whenever I tell people that I'm making cheeseburger soup for dinner, they always give me a fake smile and "mmm". I know what they are thinking. I mean really. Can you imagine putting a cheeseburger in the blender and eating it as soup? I'll admit. That sounds kind of gross. I really don't know why this is called cheeseburger soup... I sure can't remember the last time I had carrots, celery, and potatoes on my burger... but anyway. Here it is. The awesome cheeseburger soup. :o)

Cheeseburger Soup
From some magazine years ago

3/4 lb ground beef
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onions
3/4 cup chopped carrots
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon parsley
3 cups chicken broth
4 cups peeled and diced potatoes
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups Velveeta cheese, cubed (or one bag Velveeta shreds)
1 cup milk
salt and pepper
1/4 cup sour cream

Brown ground beef and set aside. In the same pan, heat olive oil. Saute the onions, carrots, celery, basil, and parsley in the olive oil until the vegetables are tender. Add the broth, potatoes, and beef. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

In a small skillet, melt butter and stir in flour. Cook until bubbly. Add to soup and boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; add cheese, milk and salt and pepper to taste. When the cheese has melted, remove from heat and blend in the sour cream. Enjoy!

NEW: CVS Printable Coupons

CVS has found a solution to make store coupons available online and now you can find CVS and manufacturer coupons on the CVS website. You can view all available coupons here. CVS coupons say "CVS" on them, and they can be used with manufacturer's coupons that do not say CVS on the image of the coupon. Yay, for more savings at CVS! Thanks, Saving Makes Cents. :o)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Spicy Vegetables with Penne

I didn't use penne because I had Barilla mini ziti in my pantry, but it all tastes the same, right? This is another super easy recipe.

Spicy Vegetables with Penne
The All New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook
Yields 6 main dish servings

1/2 cup dried tomatoes (or sun dried in a jar and skip the first step)
1/2 cup boiling water
12 oz uncooked penne pasta
2 medium sized sweet onions, chopped
2 small zucchini, chopped
1 medium sized green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium sized red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 (24 oz) jar hot-and-spicy pasta sauce
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (or dried basil, to taste)
1/2 tsp salt
crushed red pepper, to taste (optional)

Stir together dried tomatoes and 1/2 cup boiling water in a bowl; let stand 30 minutes. Drain, chop, and set aside.

Cook pasta according to packaged directions.

Saute onions and next 5 ingredients in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in chopped tomatoes.

Stir in pasta sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; stir in basil and salt, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Serve with pasta.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tortilla Soup

Ok, so this picture is horrible, but it was starting to get dark outside so there wasn't much light coming in through the window. If I use flash on it, it looks really orange and you can see oil all over, making it look nasty. I know that I am usually not drawn to recipes without pictures, so I'm putting that picture up there just for you. :o) I've tried many tortilla recipes, and this is a keeper!

Tortilla Soup
The All New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook
Yield: 14 cups

5 skinned and boned chicken breasts (I use 2 or 3)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
8 cups chicken broth (3 or 4 cans Swanson's broth)
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes, undrained and chopped
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes and green chiles
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 bag frozen corn
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp pepper
cayenne pepper, to taste
1 bay leaf
6 corn tortillas, cut into 1/4 inch strips (optional)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (optional)
Monterey Jack cheese (optional)
Avocado slices (optional)

Drizzle chicken with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Grill chicken, covered with grill lid, over medium high heat (350 - 400 degrees) 6 to 8 minutes on each side or until done. Cool and coarsely chop chicken.

Saute tortilla pieces, onion, and garlic in 3 Tbsp hot oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add chicken, broth, and next 9 ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Discard bay leaf.

Fry tortilla strips in 1/2 cup hot oil in a large skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle fried tortilla strips and cheese over each serving. Top with avocado. Enjoy!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Shrimp Tacos with Mango Pico de Gallo

I absolutely loved these. Brett on the other hand did not. He said that corn tortillas taste like paper if they are not in enchiladas and that fruit in salsa is weird. boooo. It was so good. The mango salsa (pico de gallo) tastes like the mango salsa at Cheddars.... mmmm.

Here's the delicious recipe:

Shrimp Tacos with Mango Pico de Gallo
Alice, Sweet Savory Life
Serves 2

Mango Pico de Gallo
3 medium tomatoes diced
1/2 mango diced
1/2 medium onion diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped.
1 jalapeño seeded and minced
juice of 1 lime
1/4 tsp salt

Shrimp Tacos
1/2 lb. of large shrimp shelled and deveined
2 cups of shredded red cabbage
6″ corn tortillas
lime wedges
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp of cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
salt and pepper to taste

Mango pico de gallo: mix all of the ingredients.

Shrimp Tacos:
Remove the shell, clean, and devein shrimp. Marinate shrimp in cumin, salt, and garlic powder for 30 minutes.
Saute shrimp in a medium hot pan with butter and cook until shrimp turns orange. Remove the shrimp from pan and cut shrimp in thirds.
Add shredded cabbage to heated pan and saute for 3 minutes and remove from heat.
In another pan, heat each tortilla on both sides for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and place it on a plate. Add about 1/4 cup of cabbage to each tortilla, mango salsa, and shrimp. Serve with a wedge of lime. Enjoy.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Deals I did at CVS - 8/2

***After you check out, you should get a coupon for a free item. I got a free CVS mouthwash.

Stayfree Pads (28-48 ct.), $5
Get $5 ECBs wyb $10 (limit 1)
-B1G1 Stayfree Product, exp. 8-31-09 (SS 6/28/09)
=FREE after coupons and ECBs

Blink Tears or Gel Tears
, $7.99
Get $7.99 ECBs (limit 1)
-$3/1 Blink Tears, exp. 10-24-09 (RP 8/2/09)
=$3 money maker after coupons and ECBs

Benefiber, $9.99
Get $3 ECBs when you buy one (limit 2)
-$2 off Benefiber SS 7/12, 5/10
-$2 off Benefiber Stick Pack SS 7/12, 5/10
-$3 off any Benefiber product CVS coupon printing on receipts
=$1.99 to $4.99 after coupons and ECBs

Colgate Total, Total Advanced, or Sensitive, $3.50
Get $2 ECB when you buy two (limit 3)
-$1 off Colgate Total, Sensitive, Max Fresh, Max White Or Kids Toothpaste SS 7/12, 7/26
-.75/1 Colgate Total, Sensitive, Max Fresh, Max White Or Kids Toothpaste SS 7/12, 7/26
-$1 off Colgate Total printable
-$1 off Colgate Sensitive printable
-$1.50 Colgate Sensitive toothpaste CVS coupon printing on receipts
=$0.75 to $1.50 each after coupons and ECBs

SoftSoap Nutri Serums (15-oz.), $4.99
Get $4 ECBs (limit 1)
-$2/1 SoftSoap printable (select zip codes)
=$0.99 out of pocket to $0.99 money maker after coupons and ECBs

Caliber or CVS Brand Pens (20-ct.) or Wooden Pencils (10-ct.), $.99
Get $0.99 ECBs (limit 2)
FREE after ECBs

Caliber or CVS It’s Academic Book Covers, $0.99
Get $0.99 ECBs (limit 2)
FREE after ECBs

Caliber or CVS It’s Academic Compass/Protractor, $1.50
Get $1.50 ECBs (limit 2)
FREE after ECBs

Caliber or It’s Academic Flexi Ruler, $0.99
Get $0.99 ECBs (limit 2)
FREE after ECBs

Caliber or CVS It’s Academic 5" Scissors, $2.99
Get $2.99 ECBs (limit 2)
FREE after ECBs

Caliber Sticky Notes (2-ct.), Glue Stick (3-pk.), or Pen Eraser, $0.99
Get $0.99 ECBs (limit 2)
FREE after ECBs

Caliber or CVS pharmacy 1-Subject Notebook, $0.99
Get $0.99 ECBs (limit 2)
FREE after ECBs

Poly Portfolio, $0.49
Get $0.49 ECBs (limit 2)
FREE after ECBs

Get more deals at Southern Savers.

Monkey Bread

Ok, so I made a lot of unhealthy food this weekend. Don't worry, this isn't normal.

Monkey Bread
Pastor Ryan on The Pioneer Woman

3 cans buttermilk biscuits (the non-flaky ones)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Open all three cans of biscuits and cut each biscuit into quarters.

Next, combine the white sugar with cinnamon in a 1 gallon zip bag and shake to mix evenly.

Drop all of the biscuit quarters into the cinnamon-sugar mix. Once all of the biscuit quarters are in the bag, seal it, and give it a vigorous shake. This will get all those pieces unstuck from one another and nicely coated with the cinnamon-sugar. Spread these nuggets out evenly in a bundt pan.

At this point, you're going to want to melt those two sticks of butter together with 1/2 cup of brown sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. This can be light or dark brown sugar. Cook butter/sugar mixture, stirring for a few minutes until the two become one. Then, pour it over the biscuits.

Bake for about 30-40 minutes until the crust is a deep brown on top. When it's finished cooking, remove it from the oven. Allow it to cool for about 15-30 minutes before turning it over onto a plate.

Pita Bread

I'm never going to buy pita bread again! This was very easy (with a bread machine) and tastes just as good if not better than store bought pita bread. I'm still working on the hummus. The first time I made MckMama's hummus and it was too strong in lemon and garlic, and this time I made up my own by looking at several recipes and it was too bland. I also made it in a small food processor. I feel like food mixes better in a blender, so I will use the blender next time. Anyway, here's the recipe for the pita pocket bread.

Homemade Pita Pocket Bread
Tammy's Recipes
Makes 16 pita pocket halves

1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast

Directions (using a bread machine)
Put the following in order in your bread machine: water, oil, flour, salt, sugar, yeast. Turn on your bread machine, and put it on the 'dough' setting. This takes an hour and a half on my machine.

Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 8 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a 6- or 7-inch circle. As you roll the rounds, set them aside on a lightly floured countertop or table, and cover loosely with a towel. (I placed damp paper towels on top of them - these don't bubble up and separate in the middle if they aren't a little damp.) Let rise for about 25-35 minutes. (I'm not sure how necessary this is, but I let them rise for about 15 minutes.)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place 2 rounds, side-by-side, onto a wire rack, such as is used for cooling things. (I used a pizza stone - preheated in the oven.) Place rack in the middle of the oven. Bake for 4-5 minutes, until puffy and just slightly browned. (If bread is too browned, it will be dry and not pliable.)

Remove rack from oven and immediately wrap/layer pita breads in a damp towel, to soften. Continue baking the remaining breads, layering them between damp towels as soon as they're baked. Allow breads to completely cool.

Cut pita breads in half, or split the top edge, and fill as desired. Store pitas in a plastic zipper bag in the fridge for a few days, or place in the freezer for longer storage. To re-warm pitas, wrap them in a damp towel and then wrap in foil. Place in a warm (200-250 degree) oven for about 20 minutes. (To reheat, I just put them in our convection oven at 350 degrees for a couple minutes.) Enjoy! :o)

Friday, July 31, 2009

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie
Southern Living (not sure which book - the recipe was given to me from a friend)
Yield: 1 (9 inch) pie

1 1/4 cups graham crackers crumbs
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 (14 oz) cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup fresh key lime juice
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tarter
2 Tbsp sugar
Garnish: lime slices

-Combine first 3 ingredients. Press crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie plate.
-Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes; cool
-Stir together condensed milk and lime juice until blended. Pour into crust.
-Beat eggs whites and cream of tartar at high speed with an electric mixer just until foamy. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until soft peaks form and sugar dissolves (2 to 4 minutes).
-Spread meringue over filling.
-Bake at 325 for 25 to 28 minutes. Chill 8 hours. Garnish, if desired.

Sweet Jalapeno Ribs

I thought I would try it this weekend because country style pork ribs are on sale at Kroger for $1.49/lb, and I had free A1 from when it was on sale for $2 and had a $2 coupon. You can get the jelly for $1.99 at Kroger (not on sale). It was my first time to make ribs, and they were pretty good! This really isn't that spicy at all. I also made a (very unhealthy) key lime pie for tonight when the rest of Brett's family gets in. I'll post it with the recipe tomorrow after I cut into it! :o)

Sweet Jalapeno Ribs
Southern Living's Easy Weeknight Favorites
4 servings

2 (16 oz) can pinto beans, drained
3 lbs country-style pork ribs, trimmed
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (10.5 oz) jar red jalapeno jelly
1 (5 oz) bottle steak sauce (I used A1)
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped (optional)

-Place beans in an electric slow cooker. Set aside.
-Cut ribs apart; sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Place ribs on a rack in a broiler pan. Broil 5 1/2 inches from heat (with electric oven door partially opened) 18 to 20 minutes or until well browned, turning once. Add ribs to slow cooker, and sprinkle with onion.
-Combine jelly, steak sauce, and, if desired, chopped pepper in a sauce-pan; cook over low heat until jelly melts. Pour over ribs; stir gently.
-Cover and cook on HIGH 5 to 6 hours or on LOW 9 to 10 hours. Remove ribs; skim fat from sauce. Cook sauce with beans, uncovered, on HIGH 30 more minutes or until slightly thickened. Add ribs just before serving to reheat.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Delicious Baked Fudge

Like, whoa. This stuff is awesome and super easy. Sandy and Brett have had me make this two nights in a row for dessert. Oh, and if you don't have ramekins and you want some, go to Ross. I got super cute ones that match our dinnerware - 4 for $5. :o)

Baked Fudge
Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman
4 servings

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 heaping tablespoons cocoa
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

-Preheat oven to 300 to 325 degrees.
-Beat eggs until light in color. Beat in sugar until just combined.
-Add cocoa, flour, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Mix gently until well combined.
-Pour batter into four large ramekins or one 8-inch square baking dish.
-Set ramekins or pan into a larger pan halfway full of water.
-Bake 40 to 50 minutes, or until upper crust is crispy and the rest of the batter is firm but not set. Toothpick should come out not clean, but mixture should not be overly runny. If you pull it out of the oven and have second thoughts, stick it back in for ten minutes. (It will be more like pudding if you pull it out too early.)
-Serve with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Farfalle with Zucchini and Tomatoes

Ok, so I make a lot of Ree's recipes, but they are delicious!

Farfalle with Zucchini and Tomatoes
Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman

2-4 Zucchini, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half (can use 1, I just really like these)
Olive Oil
2/3 cup chicken broth or white wine
Box of farfalle pasta
1/2 to 3/4 cup Heavy Cream
Parmesan Cheese
1 Tbsp Arrowroot (or flour or corn starch)
Salt and pepper to taste (I use a lot of salt)
Fresh herbs - lemon thyme, basil, chives, or whatever you want (you can also use dried herbs, I've done both)

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. While the pasta is cooking, heat a couple of tablespoons olive oil over medium high to high heat. Throw in half of the zucchini. Don’t stir right off the bat; you want the zucchini to brown. Sprinkle the zucchini with salt. Stir it around ’til it gets good and brown, then remove to a plate. NOTE: Do NOT overcook the zucchini. You’ll want it to still have a little bite to it when you throw it into the sauce later. Repeat with the other half of the zucchini, and remove it to the plate. Now, in the same pan, drizzle in some more olive oil. Turn the heat to medium low or medium and throw in the onions and garlic and toss ‘em around a bit. Now throw the halved grape tomatoes on top and toss ‘em around a bit. Pour in 1/3 cup white wine or chicken broth.

Pour the remaining 1/3 cup of wine/broth into a small bowl. Mix in the arrowroot. (If you don't have arrowroot or don't want to buy it you can use corn starch or flour or just cook the pasta down a little). Pour the mixture in, and stir gently to combine. Now, immediately add in 1/2 to 3/4 cup cream. Add in the zucchini. Stir it gently to combine, turning off the heat at this point. You really don’t want to cook the sauce after adding the arrowroot. Add salt and pepper to taste.

After the pasta has been drained, put it in a serving bowl, and throw in the herbs. Now pour the contents of the pan over the top, and toss it together. Throw in some parmesan cheese, and it’s ready to eat!