Monday, April 29, 2013

Ranch Chicken Enchiladas:

I often feel like I make the same thing for dinner every single day.
I know I don't, but I guess we just get in a rut, and there are times where I can't figure out what to make for dinner because it seems like we just had everything.
Today was definitely one of those days and anything I did think of making,
we were missing some key ingredient (or we had just had it!)!
I came across this recipe and it sounded super yummy
and I was shocked to find that we had all the ingredients!!!
They turned out so good, too!
(please excuse the picture - they really did look yummy!!!)
They do take a little while to put together, but they are totally worth it!! 
I really hope you give them a try!

3-4 chicken breast, thawed and cut into thirds
3-4 tblsp. taco seasoning
3 tblsp. dry ranch dressing mix
1 cup chicken broth or water
1 cup prepared ranch dressing
1 cup salsa
Shredded cheddar cheese
Corn tortillas wraps

Place chicken, taco seasoning, ranch mix, and chicken broth or water in a slow-cooker. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or until chicken shreds easily. Shred the chicken and continue to cook on low until you are ready to use.
In a small bowl, whisk together the prepared ranch dressing and the salsa; set aside.
Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 2-3 tablespoons of the ranch and salsa mixture over the bottom of the pan; set aside.
On a microwave safe plate, layer 4-5 tortilla wraps in between damp paper towels. Microwave approximately 1 minute or until warm and pliable
(you will need to use these first, and then heat more as you are ready to use them).
Assemble the enchiladas, by putting 1 tblsp. of the ranch/salsa in the center of a tortilla wrap. Add chicken and sprinkle with a little cheese. Roll up tightly and place in the pan, seam side down
(it's good if the tortilla rolls are packed tightly together in the pan. This keeps them from unrolling).
Repeat, making as many tortillas as you want. Once you are finished, sprinkle the entire dish with additional cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly and everything is warm through. Drizzle with a small amount of additional ranch dressing if desired. Serve!

-Some in my family do not care for salsa, mainly because of the chunks of peppers and onions. So I put the salsa in a mini food processor and and processed until smooth. They really liked it this way.
-I cooked my chicken in the crock pot, but if you didn't have that much time, you could try Plan B: Boil your chicken in water until done. Shred with two forks. Place the shredded chicken, taco seasoning, ranch mix and water or chicken broth in a skillet. Saute over medium-high heat until most of the liquid is absorbed.
-Use more or less taco seasoning, depending on how spicy you like it.  

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins:

I just love muffins! Equally good cold or hot from the oven,
these are perfect for breakfast or a snack!
 I hope you give them a try!

1 cup old-fashioned oats (not instant)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup applesauce
2 egg whites
1 cup flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins, optional
1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional
1 tsp. each of sugar and cinnamon

Soak the oats in the milk for 1 hour. Combine the applesauce and egg whites with the oat mixture and mix until well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, xanthan gum, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in raisins and nuts, if desired. Line your muffin tin with paper muffin cups and lightly spray with cooking spray. Divide the batter between 12 muffin cups. Mix together sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over muffins. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in muffin pan for 5 minutes. Serve or cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

-Soaking the oats is optional, but results in a softer, more moist muffin.
-I think these would also be great with a variety of dried or fresh fruit.

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Monday, April 15, 2013

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies:

My mom and I LOVE oatmeal cookies, and these were chewy and delicious! 
I think they would even be good without the chocolate chips!
Make sure you don't bake them longer than the directions say, though, because they have to sit on the cookie sheet for a few minutes, and that causes them to continue to bake!
I hope you try them out!!

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 & 1/4 cups flour
1 & 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups quick oats
1 cup chocolate chips, optional
1 cup chopped nuts, optional

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add vanilla and mix well. Combine flour, xanthan gum, baking soda and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix just until combined. Add oats, nuts and chocolate chips. Mix just until combined. You don't want to over mix these. Drop onto cookie sheets. Bake at 325 degrees for 12 minutes. They may seem like they aren't done, but go ahead and take them out. Let cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

-Swap out the chocolate chips for butterscotch or peanut butter chips for something really different.
-This makes approximately 3-1/2 dozen.
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Monday, April 8, 2013

Homemade Cheese Crackers:

A nice, soft cracker is something that I really miss sometimes, so I was really excited to find this recipe. They turned out soft inside and crisp on the outside! They didn't have a strong cheese flavor at all either.
Plus, I couldn't believe how quick and easy they were! It took less than 30 minutes from start to finish! 
I hope you give them a try...even if you don't eat gluten-free!

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup butter, cubed and slightly softened
3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp. xanthan gum (omit if you are not making these gluten-free)
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1 tblsp. milk

Combine the cheese, butter, flour, xanthan gum and red pepper flakes in a food processor. Pulse until the dough turns into course crumbs. Add the milk and pulse until the dough forms into a ball.
Place the dough on a plastic cutting mat and form into a rectangle shape. Cover with plastic wrap and roll out in a rectangle shape to about 1/8-inch thickness. Use a pizza cutter or knife and cut into 1-inch squares. Use a wooden skewer and poke and hole in the center of each cracker. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray. Place the crackers on the cookie sheet allowing at least 1/2-inch between each cracker. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until bottoms are slightly browned (you don't want to bake them too long). Cool for about 5 minutes before serving. Cool leftovers completely and store in an airtight container.

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Ham Salad:

Here's yet another recipe to use up some of that leftover ham from Easter!
Super fast and easy to make, you can serve this with crackers or on some sandwich buns. Look past the picture! I promise it's much better than it looks!!!
I hope you give it a try!

3-4 cups cubed, fully cooked ham
1 & 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 tblsp. relish

In a food processor, grind the ham into very small pieces. Place in a bowl and stir in the mayonnaise and relish. Add more mayo and/or relish to your taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve!

-Check out this post and find out where you can get some AWESOME gluten-free sandwich buns!

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Ham and Pineapple Casserole:

I hope everyone had a nice Easter!
Even though it was cold and snowy here, we still had a wonderful day with family and of course yummy food! Speaking of food, if you're like us, we always have a ton of food leftover from big dinners like that.
This was an awesome casserole for the leftover ham! I am NOT a fan of ham, but I loved this casserole! It was so easy and the flavors were just so yummy!
I hope you give it a try!

1 (20 oz.) can pineapple chunks
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. mustard
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 cups cooked rice
2-3 cups fully cooked ham, cubed
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup chopped green bell pepper, optional
2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Drain pineapple, reserving 1/2 cup juice; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together reserved juice, mayonnaise, mustard and black pepper until smooth; set aside. In a large bowl, toss together rice, ham, onion, pepper, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Pour mayonnaise mixture over rice mixture and stir until well combined. Pour into a greased baking dish and spread evenly. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until heated through. Top with remaining 1/3 cup cheddar cheese and 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Serve!

-I cut the pineapple chunks in half, so that they weren't so big.
-Next time I will try it with crushed pineapple, because some in my family didn't care for the chunks.

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