Thursday, June 15, 2017

Baked Chicken Taquitos

I remember the first time I had a taquito. It was in a hole in the wall type restaurant (aren't those the best?!?) I can almost taste the crispy corn shell with the juicy tender meat dipped in the perfect creamy guacamole. My mouth is watering now, how about you?

These totally hit the spot! They are a cinch to make and have all the crispiness of the fried ones.

So wash them mitts, lets get cookin'.

Baked Chicken Taquitos

16 corn tortillas
2 chicken breast
1/4c taco seasoning (homemade or otherwise)
1c Monterey jack cheese, grated
1/4c coconut oil, melted

In a crock pot place the chicken and seasoning with a 1/4c water. Cook on high for about 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Shed the chicken and mix in the liquid. You want the chicken moist but not watery so remove juices as needed. Add in the grated cheese. Wet two paper towels placing one on a large plate put three tortillas then cover with the other wet paper towel. Microwave for 25-30 seconds.  You are wanting to soften them so they will roll easily and not tear.  Take 2 tablespoons of the chicken and cheese mixture and place on one tortilla, roll up and place on a cookie sheet. Repeat these steps until you have rolled all the tortillas. Using a pastry brush, brush each one with coconut oil. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Serve with hot sauce and guacamole. Enjoy.

Morning Hash

I love an easy hot breakfast full of protein, fiber and all the vitamins and minerals to start your day.  This is a easy hash that I cook up ahead of time and store it in the fridge for about a week at a time. In the morning I heat up my portion in a pan and I love to have it with a fried egg but I will not confirm nor deny any adding of cheese in large portions.

This is a great recipe to play with and add in all sorts of vegetables. It's a clean out the fridge and throw it all in kind of thing.  I have added kale, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, sweet potatoes, carrots, and who knows what else.

So wash them mitts, lets get cookin'.

Morning Hash

3 potatoes, washed and diced (sweet or otherwise)
1 onion, chopped
1-2 bell peppers, washed and chopped
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
1lb sausage,
*any flavor you wish, I have used sage, maple and original
Any other vegetables you wish

In a large pot of cold water bring the potatoes to a boil.  Boil for about 5-10 minutes, until fork tender, depending on how small you have diced them. Meanwhile in a sauté pan fry up the sausage until nicely browned. Remove from pan and add in the onions. Let them cook until slightly translucent, about 5 minutes, then add in the peppers and any other vegetables you wish and sauté another 3 minutes.  Add back in the sausage and the drained potatoes and the red pepper flakes.  Serve immediately or let cool and place in an air tight container and store for up to a week.
Each morning remove desired amount and either heat in a pan or microwave. Top with scrambled, fried or boiled eggs and a little cheese can't hurt. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tropical Parfait

 Coconut, mango, kiwi, pineapple, banana... need I go on? Parfaits are so easy but look so elegant with all the colorful layers.  They just make me happy, don't they make you smile?!?

This one is so refreshing with the coconut yogurt topped with all the mangos, kiwi, bananas and fresh pineapple.  You can substitute any tropical fruit or if you don't fancy one or have it on hand then just omit it and no ones the wiser.

So wash them mitts, lets get cookin'.

Tropical Parfait

4c greek yogurt
1/2tsp coconut extract
1/2tsp vanilla bean paste
4-6tbsp honey
3c chopped mango, kiwi, banana and or pineapple
Toasted coconut (optional)

Mix the coconut extract, vanilla bean paste and honey into yogurt and whip by hand until smooth.
Begin layering four parfaits in cups or mason jars by using 1/4c fruit then 1/2c yogurt. Repeat. Top with any remaining fruit and toasted coconut. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Oatmeal Brown Sugar Muffins

I'm not someone to normally buy muffin mixes but there is an amazing oatmeal muffin mix in Canada. My family loves them! So instead of having to stock up while I'm home or wish I had some I recreated it. And they ended up pretty darn good if I say so myself.

I love to eat these slathered in melting butter and always with a side of hard boiled egg.  Not sure why but to us that is how you eat them.  These light, fluffy muffins with their hint of cinnamon are a perfect weekend breakfast!

So wash them mitts, lets get cookin'.

Oatmeal, Brown Sugar Muffins
Makes 12

1c white flour (you can use half wheat but it make the muffins a little more dense)
1c oat flour (blend the oats in the blender until smooth)
1c brown sugar
1/2tsp salt
1c milk
1/4c butter, softened
1 1/4tsp cinnamon
2 1/2tsp baking powder
2 eggs

Preheat oven 400F
In a large bowl mix together all the wet ingredients until smooth. Add in all the dry ingredients on top and then, by hand, mix in until the batter is well combine but not to much, you don't want heavy cakie (is that a word? That should be a word. You know what I mean right?!?) batter. To make them pretty you can top with oats and a sprinkle of sugar but I only did that for the picture usually I throw them in as is. Divide batter into the muffin pan with liners or greased and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and top with butter, jam or just eat them.😉 Enjoy!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Mojito Mocktails

There is just some sort of magic that happens when mint and lime are together! Enter Mojitos! They are one of my favorites and I love different versions. Mango, coconut, blackberry or even just plain. 

After my last trip I came home and one of the first things I did was recreate this mocktail. I feel like I'm on a tropical beach when I drink this and so will you. Get creative and add whatever flavors you can find.

So wash them mitts, lets get cookin'.

Mojito Mocktails
(Serving for one, so double, triple, quadruple as needed)

Juice of half a lime
1/4c simple mint syrup (recipe to follow)
4 mint leaves
1/4c fruit of choice (optional)
3/4c club soda
crushed ice

In a large tumbler squeeze lime juice in with mint, syrup and fruit. Use a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon and muddle it (smash all the contents in the glass). Add in ice and then the club soda. Give it a stir and enjoy!

Simple Syrup

1c sugar
1c water
2 sprigs of fresh mint

In a sauce pan add the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Once boiling remove from heat and throw in mint. Let it cool then remove the mint and it is ready to use

Monday, May 8, 2017

Tomato, Basil Pasta

I love this light flavorful pasta.  You can throw it together in ten minutes. So perfect for those busy summer nights when everyone is running every which way.

The simplicity of the flavors are perfection with that hint of garlic covered in parmesan cheese with the pop of sweet warm tomatoes. I'm not sure it can get any better. 😃

So wash them mitts, lets get cookin'.

Tomato, Basil Pasta

2c cherry tomatoes, sliced
1/2c basil, freshly chopped
1tsp minced garlic
16oz angel hair pasta
1c parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring water in a large pot to a boil, add in pasta and cook to package directions.  Meanwhile chop basil, tomatoes and grate cheese. *Before draining pasta save 1c pasta water and set aside. Drain pasta and leave it in the colander for a few minutes. Return empty pan back to stove and over medium heat add in garlic, half of the reserve water with generous amounts of salt and pepper. Heat until bubbling then add back in the pasta.  Toss it all around then add in the cheese and basil and tomatoes. If it seems a little dry and not mixing well add in a little more of the reserved pasta water.  Toss it all together and check for seasoning. Serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Onion Soup

When I was a small, my family went on a safari. On the last night they held an amazing banquet outside in a huge forted area with meats and vegetables of every kind.  The only thing I ate that night was from a large pot that was suspended under three post above the fire. There was the cutest old man that would serve it and after my, maybe fifth, time of returning for more he started grinning and laughing at me. That is where my love of onion soup began. In the deserts of Africa with a caldron about the size I was.

This recipe has been my favorite for so many years now. I love the bacon and tomato in it and the dynamic full flavors that they add. Onions are so full of vitamin C, folic acid and even calcium. They are full of antioxidants and antibacterial properties. They are so good for you raw or cooked but trust me if you like onion soup this is it for you.  You can top it with bread, cheese and broil it if that is how you prefer it.

So wash them mitts, lets get cookin'.

Onion Soup

3 med onions, sliced thinly
6 bacon slices
6c chicken broth
1c diced tomatoes with juice
1/4c fresh basil, chopped
1c parmesan cheese
fresh ground pepper

Chop bacon into small bite size pieces and in a large sauce pan fry over medium to high heat until crispy.  Set aside.  Drain most of the bacon fat off leaving about 1/4c cup and add in the onions. Over medium heat sauté onions until transparent, about 5-10 minutes but be careful not to brown the onions. Then add in the broth and tomatoes with juice and bring to a boil over medium/ high heat.  Then turn down and simmer for about 30 minutes.  Return the bacon to the pot and add in a few grounds of pepper and add basil.  Simmer for about 5 more minutes. Then get ready to serve.
To prepare bowls place about 1/4c of parmesan cheese in the bottom of the bowl then top with soup.  This is my absolute favorite way to eat it as the cheese is like a delightful surprise all melted in the bottom. Top the soup with more cheese, bacon and basil. Enjoy!