I have been married to a wonderful Christian man since 1976. The Lord has blessed us with two daughters and two sons. I consider each day the Lord gives me on the earth yet another chance to serve Him.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Spicy Chicken Stuffed Peppers

Just a little different twist on the original stuffed pepper.  I love the cilantro rice in it.  If you are not a big fan of cilantro just omit it.  If you don't want spice just omit or cut down on the chipotle peppers.

(serves 4)

*2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
*1/8 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried)
*1/2 teaspoon chili powder
*1 teaspoon cumin
*1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1/8 cup olive oil
*1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
*1 yellow onion, chopped
*6 cloves garlic, minced
*2 tomatoes, chopped
*1 cup white rice
*1 cup water
*2 large red or green bell peppers, halved and deseeded
* 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
*2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
*sour cream (optional)

~Chop two of the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
~In a large zip-loc bag, mix 1/8 cup cilantro, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper,objhb 1/8 cup olive oil and chopped chipotle peppers with adobo sauce.
~Place chicken breasts in bag and seal.
~Make sure chicken is coated well and marinate in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
~Chop 2 more chipotle peppers with adobo sauce and set aside.
~Heat up 3 tablespoons olive oil a large skillet.
~Add onions and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
~Add minced garlic and cook for another 30-60 seconds.
~Add chicken and cook for 5 minutes on each side.
~Add chopped tomatoes, the chopped chipotle peppers and sauce.
~Mix so everything is combined.
~Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
~Remove pan from burner.
~Shred chicken in pan or remove and shred with a mixer (I do it in the pan).
~Add rice and water.
~Cover and simmer for another 20 minutes.
~Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
~Place peppers on a oven safe pan, cut side up.
~Stuff bell peppers with chicken mixture.
~Top with shredded cheese.
~Bake for 20-25 minutes.
~Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining chopped cilantro.
~Add a dollop of sour cream if desired.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Chicken Burrito Bowl

I love Chipotle burrito bowl, but I don't like to make the trip there.  This is my version of the burrito bowl.   Pretty yummy to me.

(serves 4)

*4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves.
*1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped  (or 2 teaspoons dried)
*2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
*1 (ounce) package of taco seasoning mix
*1/4 cup olive oil
*1 teaspoon butter
*1 lime, juiced
*2/3 cup basmati rice or white rice
*1 1/2 cups water
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*3 teaspoons fresh cilantro, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)

Toppings of your choice
*black beans
*pinto beans
*cheddar cheese
*grilled red and green peppers
*grilled onions
*chopped lettuce
*sour cream

~In a gallon size zip-loc bag, place chicken breasts,  1/4 cup cilantro, chipotle peppers and adobe sauce, taco seasoning mix and olive oil.
~Seal, and shake until chicken is well coated.
~Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
~Remove from refrigerate and allow to sit for 20 - 30 minutes before grilling
~In a 2-quart saucepan, heat butter over low heat, stirring until melted (do not let it get brown).
~Add rice and lime juice, stir for 30 seconds.
~Add water and salt
~Bring to a full boil.
~Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until rice is tender.
~Add 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro and fluff rice.
~In a large skillet heat up butter.
~Cook chicken for about 4-6 minutes on each side, until chicken is done.
~Slice chicken into bite size pieces and cover to keep warm.
~Place rice and grilled chicken into bowl and add your favorite toppings.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Banana Bread

One of my favorite breads.  I love to add coconut and nuts to make it really over the top good.  It's so moist.  I normally will only add the chocolate chips into the bread.  I then put the batter into the pans. Once in the pans I add the cocoanut and walnuts into one of the batters.  I do this because not everyone loves coconut like I do.

(makes 2 loaves)

*1 cup butter, softened
*2 cups granulated sugar
*4 large eggs
*2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
*4 bananas, mashed
*1 1/4 cups sour cream
*3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
*2 teaspoons baking soda
*1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
*2 cups milk chocolate chips
*1/2 - 1 cup shredded coconut (1/2 cup if you are only adding to one loaf, 1 cup if for both)
*1/2 - 1 cup walnuts, chopped (1/2 cup if you are only adding to one loaf, 1 cup if for both)

~Preheat ove 350 degrees.
~Lightly grease two bread pans.
~In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
~Mix in eggs, one at a time.
~Mix in sour cream.
~Mix in vanilla and bananas, mix until well blended.
~In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking soda and unsweetened cocoa.
~Mix into wet ingredients until well blended.
~Stir in 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, coconut and nuts.
~Pour into prepared pans.
~Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips over top of dough.
~Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into bread comes out clean.

Poor Man's Beef Barley Soup

Super easy soup to make and it is ready in about an hour and a half.  Like all soups it is even better the next day.

(serves 6-8)

*1 teaspoon vegetable oil or olive oil
*1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
*1 large yellow onion, chopped
*3 medium carrots, chopped or sliced thin
*3 stalks of celery, chopped
*3 garlic cloves, minced
*1 cup mushrooms, chopped (optional)
* 1 quart stewed tomatoes
*1 cup water
*1/2 cup pearl barley, rinsed thoroughly
*1 (32 ounce) container of beef stock
*1 bay leaf
*1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
*1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon black pepper

~In a large stock pot, warm up oil over medium heat.
~Add carrots, celery, onions, garlic, mushrooms and hamburger.
~Cook until meat is browned, stirring and breaking up meat as it cooks.
~Drain any grease from pan.
~Return meat mixture to stock pot.
~Add stewed tomatoes, water, barley beef stock, bay leaf, thyme, marjoram, salt and pepper.
~Bring soup to a boil.
~Reduce heat to medium-low, cover stock pot and simmer for about 1 hour or until veggies and barley are tender.
~Remove bay leaf and serve.

`Substitute barley with rice.
`Add yellow squash soup, when you add the tomatoes.
`Add fresh tomatoes when they are in season rather than stewed tomatoes.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Turkey Feta Spinach Burgers

Oh my, these are so good.   Now if you are not a big fan of turkey burgers you can substitute the ground turkey with ground beef or ground chicken.   I would give it a try at least, because it's nothing like your typical turkey burger.

(makes 4)

Burger Ingredients:
* 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
*1/2 small onion, chopped
*2 cloves garlic, minced
*2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
*1/4 cup water
*2 ounces feta cheese
*1/4 - 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
*1 pound ground turkey (chicken or hamburg)
*1 egg, beaten
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon ground black pepper
*1/2 teaspoon paprika
*1/4 cup dried bread crumbs (optional)
*1 teaspoon olive oil
*red onion, sliced (optional)
*black olives, slice (optional)
*4 hamburger buns, (I like to toast mine)

Tzatziki Ingredients:
*1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
*1 teaspoon kosher salt
*1 cup plain greek yogurt
*1/4 cup sour cream
*1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
*1 teaspoon dried dill weed
*1 teaspoon olive oil
*1/2 garlic clove, minced
*1/8 teaspoon ground oregano
*1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Tzatziki Directions:
~In a small bowl, combine cucumber and 1 teaspoon kosher salt.
~Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes.
~Place colander over a bowl.
~Pour salted cucumber into colander.
~Squeeze the cucumber until the liquid as drained from the cucumbers.
~Allow to sit.
~In another bowl, mix yogurt, sour cream, lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, dill weed, oregano, and pepper.
~Stir drained cucumber into sour cream mixture.
~Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (I do mine the night before).

Burger Directions:
~In a large saucepan, sauté onions in butter until onions are translucent.
~Add minced garlic and cook for another 1 -2 minutes, stirring often.
~Add water and chopped spinach.
~Cover and cook until spinach is wilted.
~Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 -15 minutes.
~Mix egg, feta cheese, sun dried tomatoes, ground turkey, salt, pepper, paprika, bread crumbs and spinach mixture together.
~From into four patties.
~Plate, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (you can still this, but it helps keeping the patties from falling apart).
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees or set grill to medium high.
~Spray a cookie sheet with a cooking spray or lightly oil grill grate.
~Brush tops of pattie with olive oil.
~Bake for 35-40 minutes or until burgers are done or grill or 15-20 minutes.
~Place burgers on buns.
~Put a dollop of tzatziki sauce over burger and place top bun on burger.

`Place a slice of cheese over burger right after removing it from heat.
`Place chopped olives over top of burger after it's removed from heat, but before you put the top bun on.
`Mix in 1/2 cup of cooked rice into meat before cooking.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Apple Fritter Bread

If you love apple fritters, you are going to love this bread.  Very easy to make and pretty to look at.

(1 loaf)

*1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
*2 tablespoons granulated sugar
*2 large apples or 3 medium, peeled and chopped
*1/3 cup light brown sugar
*2/3 cup granulated sugar
*1/2 cup butter, softened
*2 large eggs
*2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
*1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
*3/4 cup heavy cream
*1/2 cup powder sugar

~Preheat over to 350 degrees.
~Spray an 9x5 nah loaf pan with cooking spray.
~In a medium bowl, mix sliced apples, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar until well incorporated.
~In a medium bowl, beat light brown sugar, 2/3 cup granulated sugar and butter together until smooth and creamy.
~Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until well mixed.
~Stir in vanilla.
~Sift flour and baking powder into a small bowl.
~Mix flour mixture into butter mixture until just blended.
~Mix in milk until batter is smooth.
~Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan.
~Pour half of the apple mixture over the batter.
~Lightly press the apple mixture into the batter.
~Pour remaining batter over apple layer.
~Top with remaining apple mixture.
~Lighty press the apples into the batter.
~Bake for 55-60 minutes or until bead is done.
~In a small bowl, mix powdered sugar and heavy cream together until smooth.
~Drizzle over bread once it has cooled for 15-20 minutes.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Creamy Parmesan Chicken Pasta

A nice quick comfort food.   It  is one of my favorite pasta dishes.  I like to have some warm french bread with it.  If you don't want to take the time to roast your garlic and tomatoes, you can just minced garlic and cherry tomatoes in when you put the spinach in.   I just like the taste better when it's roasted.

(serves 4-6)

*1/2 pound bacon
*1 pound chicken breasts, sliced rather thin
*1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
*3 teaspoons Italian seasoning
*1 teaspoon paprika
*1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
*1 tablespoon roasted garlic
*1 (10 ounce) cherry tomatoes, roasted
*2 cups fresh spinach
*1 1/2 cups heavy cream
*2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
*2 1/4 cups mini penne (uncooked)

~Cook penne in boiling as directed on box (about 7 minutes).
~Drain and set aside.
~In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until done and crisp.
~Remove from pan and drain on paper towel.
~Once the bacon as cooled, chopped it into bite size pieces.
~Drain grease from pan, leaving bout 3 tablespoons in pan.
~Season chicken with salt, pepper, paprika, red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning.
~Cook chicken in skillet,  flipping when half way done.  Cook until no longer pink (about 4-5 minutes per side).
~Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
~Add spinach, roasted tomatoes and roasted garlic.
~Cover and cook until the spinach is wilted.
~Add heavy cream and bring to a low simmer.
~Cook until sauce is thickened.
~Add parmesan cheese.
~Stir until the cheese has melted.
~Add cooked pasta, chicken and bacon, a mix well.
~Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5-8 minutes before serving

I roast the garlic and tomatoes at the same time.

*Roasted garlic:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Using a sharp knife, cut 1/4 inch from he top (thin end) of the cloves (exposing the individual cloves).
Drizzle a couple teaspoons olive oil over cut end of garlic.
Wrap in aluminum foil.
Place on a baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, or until garlic is tender.
Allow garlic to cool and then squeeze out roasted garlic.

*Roasted tomatoes:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place tomatoes on cookie sheet.
Drizzle with a little olive oil.
Sprinkle lightly with salt.
Bake for 20 minutes.