Friday, May 25, 2018

Cheesy BBQ Chicken Taquitos

This week is turning into a whirlwind. We are getting ready to close on the house so life is insane. To top it off I am taking a summer class I had thought was 6 weeks, but is 3 weeks. It feels like I wake up in the morning and the next time I look at the clock in 10 p.m. I am trying to work ahead in class so in the course of the move I don't fall behind. 

Moving on.

So, as promised I wanted to share one of my favorite ways to use my leftover Cola BBQ Chicken.  My kids love taquitos- easy to pick-up, easy to dip, easy to eat. I made these for the kiddos for a quick dinner before we ran to Kellen's soccer game. They were a big hit, and Kellen eve requested a few for his lunch the following day.  You could easily used a different type of shredded meat depending on why you are looking to re-purpose. I keep things simple with my recipe: chicken, shredded Monterey jack, and a drizzle of ranch dressing. I also added a few chopped jalapenos to my taquitos for a little spice.  I like to use corn tortillas, but I know that can be difficult to work with for some people and you certainly can used flour. My trick to rolling the tortillas is to warm them in the microwave and it allows them to roll without cracking or breaking. I served these to my boys with a plate of chopped veggies and a little extra ranch dressing on the side. 

Tonight I am meeting a friend for dinner for a much needed break from all things house and school, but tomorrow we are back to the grind! I am a little bummer we aren't going to Door County for the weekend because we always go for Memorial Day, but we are thinking of taking the kids to the firework show and doing a final grill out at home! 

Have a great weekend everyone! 



Ingredients

14 round corn tortillas
3/4 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1/4 cup ranch dressing (plus a little extra for dipping)


Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray (like PAM). 

Place corn tortillas on a microwave safe plate (they can be stacked, but make sure you have pulled them apart a bit). Microwave about 30 seconds (you may have to rewarm bottom tortillas) so they are easier to roll and work with.  Place a little chicken, cheese, and a drizzle of ranch towards one edge of the tortilla. Gently roll the tortilla around the filling tucking as you go to get a tight roll. Place seam side down on the baking sheet.  Bake 15-18 minutes or until tortillas begin to harden and filling is hot and cheese melted.  Serve with a side of ranch. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

InstantPot Cola BBQ Chicken

Last week I announced that I am going to share my favorite favorite non-transitional uses for my KitchenAid mixer because I  am part of a giveaway for a KitchenAid mixer. What is a better time to share a few tips! 


As I said in my post breaking down the Perfect Deviled Egg, mixers are traditionally thought of as a baking kitchen gadget, but I use mine more often to shred meat, whip deviled egg filling, and create airy and delicious mashed potatoes. Today, I am sharing my recipe and method to making Cola BBQ Chicken in my InstantPot and how to efficiently shred the chicken using the mixer.  I have embedded a few YouTube videos below so you can see my method. I find that, like with the deviled eggs, having the ability t see the tip can be more helpful and reading. 

This recipe is really easy and the sauce is filled with sweet smokey deliciousness. This does not produce a thick sauce, but you can easily add a little to the top of the sandwich if you like to have a thicker saucier sandwich.  The meat is juicy and tender, and I like to add a few tasty topping for an additional boost of flavor. I always add sliced dill pickles and a slice of pepper jack cheese- so delicious. My family loves this sandwich and it is perfect for a busy weeknight filled with different activities for the kiddos.  I have the instructions for this recipe for my Instantpot, but this would work fine in a slow cooker, and I would adjust the temp to low and cook 7-8 hours.  Tomorrow I am going to share a recipe using this BBQ chicken in the even that your family isn't wanting to have chicken sandwiches two nights so you have another yummy option to try! 

Tonight we have soccer and I am thinking that this will be perfect to prepare today for a quick dinner when we get home from the game. 

Don't forget to enter the giveaway (click the link above)!



Ingredients

2 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts 
1 bottle (18 oz ) of your favorite BBQ Sauce
8 oz regular cola
2 Tbl apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp Pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
 1 tsp onion powder


Instructions

Place rack into instant pot (if you are using a slow cooker just put the meat right into the crock). Place the chicken on rack. In a mixing bowl, whisk together bbq sauce, cola, vinegar, and spiced.  Pour the bbq mixture over the chicken. 

Lock the lid and seal the vent. Set to meat with high pressure for 20 minutes. When it is done allow natural release 10 then finish with manual release. 

Remove chicken and place in mixer. Use the paddle attachment and slowly pulse to shred. It is important that you don't cram large of chicken into the mixing bowl because it could damage the mixer or spill hot chicken over the sides.. If you are cooking a larger amount of chicken I recommend that you shred in batches. 

Return shredded chicken to the pot. Gently stir and allow chicken to sit in the sauce for a few minutes before serving. If you want the chicken to soak in more flavor from the sauce, set the IP to Keep Warm. 

Serve on buns with sliced pickles and pepper jack cheese (or additional sauce if desired). 


Saturday, May 19, 2018

Instant Pot Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup

I am having a great time getting back into some of my favorite blogging events. The Soups Saturday Swappers is a fun group that posts the 3rd Saturday of each month with a different theme of soups. The theme for this month is: Go Meatless! Normally, I am a person that likes a chicken stock based soup, but I was excited to try something new. 

I found this recipe for Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup, and it looked too yummy to pass up! I made a few adjustments to my version, and it was so fantastic. I get so pleased when I try something new, it is delicious, and I can share it with you. This recipe uses an instantpot, but it can easily be made in a slow cooker or even stove top. I made a few changes to the original recipe and thought the end product was perfect. The original recipe uses tomato sauce, and I opted for diced tomatoes and petite diced tomatoes. I also used a mild salsa flavor packet  versus the salsa verde because it was what I had on hand. I also increased the seasoning amounts in the garlic powder and chili powder.  If you are looking to try a vegetarian soup that is so hearty you will not even realize it is meatless than this is the soup for you. Another plus is that is cooks very quick if you use the instantpot- i'm talking under 30 minutes from start to plated. I, personally, can't wait for lunch today so I can  have another bowl!

This morning I am hearing to Pure Barre because they are giving us the info on the summer challenge starting in June! I love challenges so I am excited to find out all the details. Tonight, the boys are getting new photos taken since my most recent are when the boys were 3 (almost 4) and 8 months. Time to update because these little monsters have grown. My photographer has a flower stand and the kids are going to look so adorable for the themed shoot. Well...if they behave...we will see. Thankfully, the photographer has three little boys of her own so she gets it. I am planning to let the boys pick dinner after so we will likely be eating pizza for the gazillionth time....or maybe I can convince them to go for sushi....hmmmm.... Kellen will go for it, but it is my big boy that is not always a fan.

Have a great Saturday everyone! Check out the blog hop below for more Go Meatless Soups!

Ingredients

1 small white onion, diced
1 bell pepper (any color), diced
1 small jalapeno pepper, diced
1 tsp olive oil
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 can (14.5 oz) petite diced tomatoes
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 envelope mild salsa seasoning (I use Concord Foods)
1 Tbl tomato paste
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can pinto  beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup corn (fresh, canned, or frozen)
3/4 cup dried red lentils
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste

Toppings:
Crushed Tortilla Chips
Salsa
Sour Cream
Cheese
Diced Avocado
Chopped Cilantro


Instructions

Place onion and both peppers into the instant pot with the olive oil. Set to saute mode and cook for about 5 minutes, or until onions begin to soften. Add remaining ingredients, besides the salt and pepper, stir, and set the pot to manual high pressure for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, allow the pot to natural release for 10 minutes and then manually release the pressure.  Season with salt and pepper if needed.  Ladle into bowls and top with desired toppings. 


Friday, May 18, 2018

Chili Lime Chicken Fajitas

Happy Friday friends!

I am ready for the weekend. Well, I am just ready to have all of the packing and organizing completed....so I suppose it does not really make a different weekend or not! Onward we go .... less than two weeks till we pack up close! Time is flying. 

Today I have a delicious recipe for Chili Lime Chicken Fajitas. A funny fajita story- when I was pregnant with Kellen any type of meat cooking in a cast iron that created a seared smell made me run for the hill. It was so random and unexpected. It also kept me out of Mexican restaurants for months! It is so strange how those things happen, and then leave after while and life (well food life) returns to some form of normalcy.  This recipe came together one afternoon when I was really wanting fajitas, not wanting to go out, and realizing that the boy had never tried them before! The chicken has a quick citrus and chili marinate, and comes together quickly for an easy kid friendly dinner. Kellen brought the leftovers to school for lunch, and produced some food envy! I like to use my cast iron skillet for this recipe because it gets the dark sear that give fajitas their  flavor. If you don't have cast iron a different pan will work just fine. We go pretty simple with our fajita toppings: lime wedges, cheese, and a little sour cream, but you can add anything that you wish. 

Tonight we are relaxing at home, and I have a spaghetti dinner request from Mr. Kellen. The weather is lovely, and I am hoping we can spend most of the evening outside! We are also hoping to get to the furniture store to pick out our new mattresses in hopes they can be delivered to our new place shortly after we close! Fingers crossed! 


Ingredients

2 pounds of chicken breasts sliced thin
2 1/2 Tbl of oil of choice
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder 
1/2 tsp garlic powder 
1/2 tsp ground cumin 
1/2 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp back pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Zest and Juice of 1 Lime
1 1/2 Tbl oil of choice
1 medium onion, sliced thin
2 bell peppers (any color), sliced thin
Salt and Pepper, to taste (optional)
1/4 tsp galic powder
Juice of half a lime


Instructions

Place chicken, 2 1/2 Tbl oil, spices, and juice and zest of 1 lime in a sealable bag.  Marinate in the fridge for at least two hours

One and a half tablespoons of oil heat cast-iron over medium high add peppers and onions season with a little salt, pepper and garlic powder. Squeeze juice of half a lime over veggies add to hot pan and cook until tender allowed veggies to slightly scorch

Remove veggies set aside add to the skillet chicken cook until it is no longer pink in the middle. Add the veggies to warm together and stir. Serve in tortillas with desire toppings and lime wedges

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

#FanrasricalFoodFight: Mediterranean Cucumber Salad

Welcome to the Fantastical Food Fight! I finally got my crap together and made a post for the challenge- yay! This month the theme is: Salad. I loved the theme because you can go so many different directions! I was debating between sharing this recipe or a recipe for curry tuna salad, and this one was my favorite. I will share the curry tuna sometime soon because it was also delicious. 

This recipe was something I came up with to bring to a cook-out at my parents house. Our menu was brats and a nice refreshing serving of veggies is always a welcome side. This recipe is so easy to put together- just a little chopping. I opted to make a red wine oregano vinaigrette with a little olive brine, but this salad would be delicious plain or even with a little balsamic or other flavored vinegar.  I like to add a little brine to mine because I love the olive flavor, but you prefer it not as strong you can certainly omit it from the dressing. The adults loved this and it was also well received by the kiddos- always a plus. 

Today, I am finishing up a workshop for school and excited to enjoy a night free from running to sports practice. It is a little over 80 degrees today, and I have big plans to relax and grill with a margarita in hand. Happy hump day friends!

Check out the bloghop below to see what other salads are part of our Fantastical Food Fight! 


Ingredients

2 large cucumbers, quartered lengthwise and chopped
3/4 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup halved Kalmata olives
2 Tbl chopped red onion
1/2 cup  crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbl red wine vinegar
1 Tbl dried oregano
1 tsp kalmata olive brine (from jar)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper


Instructions

Place cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and onion in a large bowl that can be covered. Whisk together oil, vinegar, oregano brine, and pepper. Gently toss the veggies in the dressing, and chill for 30-60 minutes. Gently stir in the feta cheese and serve. 


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Perfect Deviled Eggs

This week I am going to share my favorite favorite non-transitional uses for my KitchenAid mixer. On Sunday I announced that I am part of a giveaway for a KitchenAid mixer, and I thought what is a better time to share a few tricks and tips. 


Mixers are traditionally thought of as a baking kitchen gadget, but I use mine more often to shred meat, whip deviled egg filling, and create airy and delicious mashed potatoes. Today, I am sharing my recipe and method to making my favorite deviled egg recipe. This recipe is so simple and so straight forward, but like many things perfected over time- practice makes perfect. I think these are the number one most requested appetizer my family requests when we get together- I just made a batch for Mother's Day! This recipe gives a little range on certain ingredients like the mayo, mustard, and salt. This is mainly due to egg size. I use large eggs, but not all yolks are created equal and sometimes you need a little more or a little less to get the light fluffy filling I prefer. I find that adding the mayo slowly is key, and salting at the end important. I always pipe my filling into my eggs. It looks better and creates a lot less mess, and I never like the idea of fingers in the egg filling to scrape in into the eggs. Since this recipe has a few moving parts, I embedded two videos below so you can see my method in action. Once you have your method down it is fun to try different mix-ins like dill, chives, or curry (my favorite). Also, I don't have instruction for the perfect hard boiled egg because the only consistent thing I have found is the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker and I love it. I have also heard of people using their Instapots with success, but I have not tried that method. 

In other news, today is a bit crazy.... I am working on some teaching project stuff in between spring semester and summer semester, we have a kindergarten meeting (sniff), and T-ball to end the evening.... I honestly can't believe that my guy is almost in kindergarten.... feels crazy.  We are also getting closer and closer to moving, and it feels like the month of May is going full-speed and we are running as fast as we can to keep up! 

Don't forget to enter the giveaway! 


Ingredients

12 large eggs, hard boiled and peeled
5 1/2-6 1/2 Tbl Mayo
1- 1 1/2 tsp yellow mustard
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8-1/4 tsp salt
Paprika, if desired to sprinkle on top


Instructions

Halve the eggs lengthwise and place whites on to a serving plate or into whatever you plan to store them in. Place the yolks into the mixing bowl.

To start, add 2 1/2 Tbl of mayo, 1 tsp mustard, and pepper to yolks. Attach whisk attachment to mixer and start to whisk the yolks at medium speed. Gradually increase the speed and add mayo tablespoon by tablespoon. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides. Taste to see if more want t add additional mustard to you filling. Gradually increase speed to high and if you need to add more mayo add it slowly. The mixture will become fluffy and smooth, the color will lighten, and there will not be lumps. If the filling is thick and lumpy slowly add more mayo. Once desired consistency is achieved, season with salt. 

Using a spatula, put the yolk filling in a gallon bag and push it towards one corner. Cut the tip from the corner and pipe the filling into the egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika if desired. 

Check out the videos before for a visual of the process. 


Sunday, May 13, 2018

Giveaway Alert! Who wants to win a KitchenAid stand mixer?!

Who wants to win a KitchenAid stand mixer?


 I’ve joined forces with 20 food blogger friends to put together this giveaway. You’ll gain another entry every time you follow one of us on Instagram. Here are the details:
  • 1 winner will receive a KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Qt stand mixer in their choice of color. If the winner is from the continental U.S. they will receive the mixer directly. If the winner is from elsewhere, they will receive an Amazon gift card for the list price of the mixer.
  • The giveaway will end on May 26, 2018 at 11:59 PM. Any entries made after this point will be invalid. A winner will be drawn at random and emailed within 72 hours to claim the prize. If no response is received, a new winner will be drawn.
  • You must complete the mandatory Instagram follows as listed below in order to enter. You can complete additional Instagram follows as listed below to gain more entries. You may only enter with one Instagram account. If you enter using multiple account, all entries will be invalid.
  • Giveaway is open worldwide, except where prohibited. You must be 18+ (21+ in some locations) to win. Chances of winning depend on the number of entries we receive.
  • For a complete list of terms and conditions, please see the link below via the Rafflecopter giveaway widget.



The following bloggers have made this giveaway possible:
  The PinterTest KitchenShockingly DeliciousThe Baking FairySweet + SavorMakes, Bakes and DecorCindy's Recipes and WritingsBlogghettiThe Simple SupperChef Sarah ElizabethCheese Curd In ParadiseThis is How I CookThe Redhead BakerFix Me a Little LunchMoore or Less CookingSarah Cooks the BooksThe Spiffy CookieBusy Bee Kate • Missy's Views and Savings CluesSeasoned SprinklesLong Distance BakingJonesin’ For Taste2 Cookin MamasKaren’s Kitchen StoriesMyStyleSpot.net

This giveaway is not sponsored by KitchenAid, Amazon, Instagram, or Facebook.