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Monday, July 30, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Taquitos

These taquitos rocked!  Every time I think I spend too much time on Pinterest, I find an awesome recipe that has me going back for more!  lol.    As soon as we tried them, we thought of the perfect occasion to serve them - football season!  I actually think they were even better the 2nd day so you can definitely make them ahead of time and just warm them up.   They were crunchy and full of flavor.  So good!  (I added kid friendly directions under cooking instruction #4 below).  


4 cups of chicken, cooked and shredded
12 flour tortillas
2 cups of mozzarella cheese, grated
4 oz cream cheese (we used neufatchel)
1/3 cup of Frank’s hot sauce or something similiar
1/3 cup of milk
2 TBSP of butter (we used I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Light and it worked fine!)
1 tsp. of Mrs. Dash
1 tsp. of garlic powder
2 TBSP of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a small sauce pot over medium low heat, melt butter.
  3. Add Mrs. Dash, garlic powder. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add cream cheese and stir until melted and completely combined with butter and spices.

    ** To make some taquitos kid friendly, we added only the milk from the next step and let it simmer for several minutes and then put it aside so we could keep some NON spicy.  Then just stir in a handful of chicken and the non spicy ones are ready to assemble. **

  5. Whisk in hot sauce and milk and simmer for about 3-5 minutes.
  6. Combine chicken and sauce.  Simmer several minutes or until the sauce thickens up a bit. 
  7. Lay out a tortilla; fill with about ¼ – 1/3 cup chicken and 2 tablespoons of mozzarella cheese.
  8. Tightly roll up taquito and place on a greased baking sheet; repeat until chicken is gone.
  9. Brush taquitos lightly with EVOO on all sides.  (We brushed very lightly and used way less than the 2 TBSP it called for and they still came out very crispy.)
  10. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes; rotate them every 5 minutes, until golden brown.

*recipe adapted from here


Friday, July 27, 2012

Baked Tortellini

I've never had baked tortellini, but have wanted to try it because it sounds so yummy. I found this recipe and it seemed like just what I was looking for. WARNING: Make this recipe on a night when you aren't counting calories. It isn't terrible for you if you watch portion control (which you won't have a choice because it's very rich) but it's not light or "skinny." I usually go full steam ahead on Friday night with the carbs and filling foods because I run so much on Saturdays. I digress...make this. It's GOOD.


3 cups or 1 (13 oz) bag fresh cheese tortellini (I used 20oz and shared with the neighbors. It made a ton)
1  (24 oz) jar of marinara sauce of your liking
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup fresh grated reduced fat Parmesan cheese, divided
salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 11 x 7-inch baking pan.

In a pot of boiling water, cook tortellini for 3 minutes. You don’t want it fully cooked because it will cook more in the oven. Drain and place in a bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoons of butter to prevent sticking.

Combine the the marinara, cream, and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Then add to the pasta and gently toss until coated. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

Place the tortellini into the greased baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and mozzarella. Then bake uncovered for 25 minutes at 350 degrees or until lightly browned.

Serve with a nice hunk of french bread of garlic bread. YUM!

recipe adapted from:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Barbecue Chicken Pizza with Gorgonzola

We are huge pizza eaters around these parts. I always make my own pizza crust, which you can find here, and then I vary the toppings. Tonight I wanted something a little more 'grown up' than the cheese pizza topped with broccoli that I usually make. I have always loved barbecue chicken pizza so I threw this together and it was DE-LISH. I highly recommend using the Gorgonzola cheese but you could substitute sharp cheddar and sit on the lame side of the table. Enjoy!

This recipe makes 1 medium sized pizza. If you follow the whole wheat pizza recipe above, cut it in half.

1 pre-made or homemade pizza dough
1/2 cup barbecue sauce of your choice. I used Kraft Original.
1 medium red onion, sliced thin and caramelized
1 cup of shredded chicken
1 5oz container of crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

Spread dough on a well greased baking pan or pizza pan. Top with barbecue sauce, chicken, onions and cheese. Bake for about 15 minutes on 425 until the sauce is bubbly. The cheese will not melt so don't wait for that to happen!

Avocado BLT with Fried Egg & Chipolte Mayo

Ok, so not the most health conscious meal around but my husband and I are pretty sure we have never tasted a better sandwich.   We did our best to make it healthier but sometimes you just have to give in to the flavor!  I don't have a picture of this one either but you can see a pic of it on the Closet Cooking link.  Makes 2 sandwiches.

  • 4 slices bread, lightly toasted (we used whole wheat)
  • A few crisp lettuce leaves
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • pepper to taste
  • 6 strips bacon, cooked until crispy (we used turkey bacon)
  • 2 eggs, fried (don't overcook the yolk!)
  • 1 avocado, cored, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle mayo (more or less to taste)
  1. Assemble sandwiches and enjoy.

**Recipe from Cooking Closet

Summer Taco

This was such a wonderful light tasting and flavorful taco.  Super easy to make too!  I don't have a picture of mine but you can see a picture on the link to the original recipe that I adapted from.   Perfect season for this too since it requires yummy tomatoes!  This recipe makes 4 tacos. 

Half a Rotisserie Chicken - shredded (bought one for $5 at my grocery store and had enough to make chicken salad for lunch the next day)
1 ripe avocado, cored, peeled & sliced
Handful of ripe tasty baby tomatoes, sliced in half
Handful of Cilantro (more or less depending on taste preferences)
 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon of any hot sauce (more or less depending on taste preferences)
Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon maple syrup
1 lime
4 small tortillas (we used 6" whole wheat tortillas)

To Make:
1.  Mash the avocado in a small bowl until it becomes a smoother texture.  Add S&P to taste.

2.  Mix the greek yogurt, honey, maple syrup and hot sauce together in a small bowl.  You can add more honey or maple syrup to taste (it helps knock out the tartness of the yogurt).

3.  Warm the tortillas.

4.   Start by spreading some of the yogurt mixture down the middle of the taco.  Then add the avocado mixture, cilantro and chicken.  Top with tomatoes.  Squeeze a few drops of fresh lime juice over the entire taco.  

5.  Roll it up & enjoy!!!!!!!!!!! 

**Recipe adapted from here. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Caramel Apple Pork Chops

I've never been a huge fan of fruit and meat food combinations, but ever since Carmen introduced me to the Skillet Pork Chop Sautee with Peaches I have been branching out a bit. This recipe is perfect for a fall meal. It came together really quickly and all of the flavors worked perfectly together. I made these sweet potatoes to go with the meal.

4 (3/4 inch thick) pork chops
1 teaspoon oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
2 tart apples (peeled, cored and sliced)
1/4 cup pecans (chopped, optional)

1. Brush the pork chops with oil, cook them in a pan until done, about 3-5 minutes per side and set aside.
2. Melt the butter in the same pan.
3. Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
4. Add the sugar mixture and the apples slices to the pan with the butter and cook until the apples are tender.
5. Set the apples aside and simmer the sauce to reduce so that it thickens a bit.
6. Serve the pork chops topped with the apples, drizzled with the caramel sauce and garnished with the pecans.

recipe courtesy of Closet Cooking

Twice Baked Savory Sweet Potatoes

Generally when I think of sweet potatoes, I think brown sugar, cinnamon and butter. I found this recipe on Pinterest and I couldn't resist trying it. I'm so glad I branched out to savory sweet potatoes because these were amazing!

Makes 4
 2 sweet potatoes, lightly pricked all over with a fork
 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
 2 tablespoons milk
 2 garlic cloves, minced
 1/2 cup feta, crumbled (plus extra for garnish)
 1 tablespoon minced thyme
 salt and pepper to taste
 chopped pecans
 crumbled feta

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until sweet potatoes have softened.
 3. Once sweet potatoes have cooled enough to handle, slice each potato in half and carefully scoop the flesh out into a mixing bowl (be sure not to tear the skins).
 4. Begin mashing warm sweet potatoes with butter, milk and garlic until smooth. Salt with salt and pepper.
 5. Fold in feta and thyme until fully combined. Scoop mixture back into the sweet potato shells.
 6. Bake sweet potatoes for an additional 10-15 minutes, top with crumbled feta and chopped pecan and serve.

recipe courtesy of

Friday, July 20, 2012

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Burgers

Another awesome recipe from Closet Cooking.   This burger was so much better than I even imagined it would be.  I thought it was going to be too spicy but it was perfect.  So flavorful.  One of the best burgers I've ever had.    The roasted jalapeno mayonnaise was amazing, highly recommend making that.   We didn't actually wrap our burgers in bacon, we just put some on top so either way works.   This makes 4 burgers.

  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (I used neufchatel)
  • 1 1/2 pound ground beef (used 93% lean)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 strips bacon
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns (toasted)
  • 4 leaves lettuce
  • 4 slices tomato
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise or roasted jalapeno mayonnaise
  1. Grill the jalapenos over medium-high heat until charred all over, about 6-8 minutes.
  2. Place the peppers in a zip-lock bag or other sealable container, seal and let them cool until you can handle them, about 20 minutes.
  3. Pinch the skins off of the peppers, cut in half and remove the seeds. 
  4. Dice 2 of the jalapeno peppers and mix into the cream cheese.
  5. Divide the beef into 8 equal portions, form into patties, place 1/4 of the cream cheese mixture on 4 of them, top with the free patties, pinch the sides closed to seal and form into patties again.
  6. Season the patties with salt and pepper to taste and wrap each with 2 strips of bacon.
  7. Brush the grill with oil and grill the burgers over medium-high heat until cooked, about 4-5 minutes per side, topping each patty with a slice of cheese after flipping.
  8. Assemble the burgers and enjoy!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Spicy Peanut Chicken Grilled Cheese

This was incredible.  Easy to make too.   Not too spicy, just a little kick.  This was a Pinterest recipe from an awesome site I found called Closet Cooking.   Check it out!  This recipe is for one sandwich so be sure to double for two.

1 TBS butter, room temp
2 slices bread
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (room temp)
1/4 cup cooked, shredded & warm chicken (we used a store bought rotisserie chicken)
2 TBS spicy peanut sauce
1/2 avocado, sliced thin
1 TBS cilantro torn (we used a little less)
Hot sauce to taste. 

  1. Warm a pan over medium heat.
  2. Butter one side of each slice of bread, place one slice in the pan buttered side down, sprinkle on half of the cheese, then top with the chicken, spicy peanut sauce, avocado, cilantro, hot sauce (if wanted) and the remaining cheese followed by the remaining slice of bread, buttered side up.
  3. Cook until golden brown on both sides and the cheese is melted, about 2-4 minutes per side.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Crunchy Taco Casserole

We inhaled this taco casserole. Topped with tons of shredded lettuce, fresh salsa and a dollop of sour cream, with the crunchy crust on the bottom, it was like eating a super fresh taco salad. It is by far the best taco casserole I have made. From start to finish it took about 45 minutes to make - and well worth it!

1 cup uncooked brown rice
2 cups plus 4 to 5 tablespoons water, divided
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)  You can also use turkey or chicken
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
1/4 cup water
1 envelope low sodium taco seasoning
2 eggs, lightly beaten  (I use egg beaters)
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro (optional)
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded lettuce
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
3/4 cup salsa
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

In a small saucepan, cook rice according to package.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in enough remaining water to form a soft dough. On a floured surface, roll dough into a 12-in. x 8-in. rectangle. Press into a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. (Don't worry if there are holes) Bake at 400° for 13-15 minutes or until very lightly browned.

For filling, in a large nonstick skillet, cook the beef, onion, green pepper, black beans and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add water, taco seasoning and cooked rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir in eggs. Spread over crust and top with cheese.

Bake uncovered for 15-17 minutes or until filling is set and cheese is bubbly. Cut into squares. Top with lettuce and tomatoes. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

recipe adapted from