Monday, December 17, 2012

Baked Cheesy Chicken Chimichangas

These turned out MUCH better than I had planned; which means they will be my go-to method for making chimichangas.  So much easier than frying, and less time!
Any combination of ingredients would be great in these, but I copied this particular recipe from
Baked Chicken Chimichangas 
8oz pkg. cream cheese
8oz. Pepperjack cheese, shredded
1 1/2 Tbsp. taco seasoning
1 lb. cooked chicken, shredded
8 flour tortillas
cooking spray
shredded cheddar cheese
green onions, for garnish
sour cream

Stir together cream cheese, Pepperjack cheese and taco seasoning.
Fold in chicken.
Divide among flour tortillas.
Tuck in sides, and roll up each tortilla.
Lay seam side down in a sprayed 9x13" baking dish.
Spray tops of tortillas with cooking spray.
Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
Turn chimi's over, and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Serve with cheddar cheese, green onions, sour cream, and salsa.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Creamy Bacon Carbonara

This creamy pasta dish is full of flavor.  In the time it takes to boil noodles, you'll have a great dinner on the table, followed by a happy belly.  This really couldn't be easier!

Creamy Bacon Carbonara
Recipe modified from Get Off Your Butt and Bake

 8 eggs
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1 1/3 c. Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 - 1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbed (amount depending on preference)
1 lb. pasta (I used fettuccine)
1/2 bunch green onions
1 1/2 c. chopped tomatoes, drained

Whisk the eggs, cream, Parmesan, salt and red pepper flakes together in a bowl.
Cook and crumble bacon.
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Drain pasta, but reserve 1 c. of the water.

Meanwhile, saute green onions in 2 Tbsp. bacon drippings.
Add drained pasta (while still warm) to the onion and drippings and stir to coat.
Pour cream mixture into pasta, and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce has cooked through and thickened, about 5 minutes.
If too thick, pour in reserved pasta water until desired consistency is reached.
Stir in half of the cooked bacon and the tomatoes.

Top individual servings with reserved bacon, and additional green onions.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Apple Almond Cranberry Salad

This delicious salad comes together in minutes and is perfectly sweet.
Apple Almond Cranberry Salad
Recipe modified from Taste of Home

8 c. torn salad greens
1 large apple, diced
1 large pear, diced
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 c. green onions, optional

Poppy Seed Dressing
Recipe from Our Best Bites

3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. canola oil
1/3 c. white vinegar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. mustard
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. poppy seeds

Blend together until smooth.
Refrigerate leftovers.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mexican Lasagna

  Let me just give a shout out to all Mexican food lovers out there; this dish is definitely for you!
3 layers of noodles with chicken, cheese, peppers, black beans, corn and salsa.  One of our family's go to meals.

Mexican Lasagna
Menu Managed Original

2 c. cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
1 c. diced red onion 
2 jalapenos, seeds and ribs removed, minced
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn
1 can diced tomatoes
4 tsp. minced garlic
3 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 c. salsa
large handful cilantro, chopped
1 1/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/4 c. shredded pepperjack cheese
8 lasagna noodles, cooked
sour cream and green onions for garnish

Combine onions, peppers and garlic in a skillet and heat until veggies are crisp-tender.
Add chicken, black beans, tomatoes, salsa, corn, chili powder and cumin, and stir to combine.
Stir in cilantro and remove from heat.

Spread 1/3 of the mixture in the bottom of a greased 9x13" baking dish.
Top with 4 noodles.
Top noodles with another 1/3 sauce mixture, and sprinkle half of the cheese on top.
Add remaining noodles.
Top with remaining sauce and cheese.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Top pieces with a dollop of sour cream and green onions.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Coconut Cream Pie Bars

Pretty much the best coconut cream pie ever, folks.  And because I have a severe handicap when it comes to making an actual pie crust that looks good, this is made in a 9x13" dish.  Just cut it up like you would a cake.  And if you are more talented than I and you want to make a pie, this recipe will make two (8-9").
Its delicious.  Its addicting.  Its going to made over and over again.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Coconut Cream Pie Bars
Recipe modified from Dough Puncher

3 c. flour
1 1/3 c. shortening
1/2 c. cold water

Cut shortening into flour.
Stir in water, adding more if needed, until just combined.
Press into a greased 9x13" baking dish.
Poke holes throughout with a fork.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned (15 minutes for pie crusts).
Let cool completely.

Coconut Pudding:
2 cans coconut milk
1 can evaporated milk
whole milk
2 eggs
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp.coconut extract
2 2/3 c. coconut

In a large measuring cup, add coconut milk, evaporated milk, and whole milk to equal 5 1/3 cups.
Whisk the eggs into the milk, until completely incorporated.
Add the sugar, cornstarch and salt.
Pour into a saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking often, until thickened.
Remove from heat and add the coconut and coconut extract; stir.
Pour into cooled crust.
Place in refrigerator until chilled, about 2 hours.

2 c. heavy whipping cream
4 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. coconut, toasted

Spread coconut out on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 2-4 minutes, or until lightly golden.
Combine the cream, sugar and extract.
Whip until light and fluffy.
Spread on top of chilled pie.
Sprinkle with toasted coconut and serve.