Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Baked Fish

Blame it on living in Minnesota but we do not cook with seafood, really, ever. I am making a conscious effort to cook with fish more often and with it being Lent, it is the perfect time to try out some new recipes. My mom gave me this recipe and we loved it. The crushed potato chips and Parmesan cheese give the crunchy exterior tons of flavor. It actually tastes fried, not baked. We enjoyed this baked hake with homemade tarter sauce (just mix mayo, lemon juice, diced dill pickles, salt and pepper). Enjoy!

Baked Fish

1 lb boneless fish fillets (we used wild caught hake)
1/2 c milk
1 c of crushed potato chips
1/4 c shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbls bread crumbs
2 Tbls melted butter

Butter an 8x8 pan and sprinkle bread crumbs on bottom of pan.
In a shallow bowl, mix chips, cheese, and thyme. Set aside. In another bowl pour milk and dip fish fillets in milk and then coat in the crushed chip mixture.

Place coated fish in pan and pour melted butter over fish.
Bake at 475 for 15-18 minutes.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ugh, I have been in the worst food rut the past two weeks. (Hence, no blog posts.) Have you ever been in one of those? It is terrible. I would go to the grocery store with no plan and get home and feel like I had nothing to cook with. Then in an attempt to get out of my food funk, I took on recipes that were much to complicated for my blah-food-state. I made whole wheat homemade poptarts and stuffed pretzels that required both boiling and baking (and should be illegal to attempt with a whiney toddler). Finally, a batch of chocolate chip cookies pulled me out of my rut and back into the kitchen with good spirits. It happened on Friday afternoon: Vaida was napping, my house was clean, Pandora was playing my favorite country music, and it was just me in the kitchen. These cookies are easy and delicious and best enjoyed when they are warm with a glass of ice cold milk. When baking cookies I always take them out before they look done so they don't dry out.

On a side note, I have tried out several semi-healthy desserts lately: spinach brownies, whole wheat flour cookies, brownies made with coconut oil and honey, etc. Our family didn't want to eat seconds of any of these recipes and I came to the realization that dessert should be dessert. These cookies are made with Crisco, refined sugar and white flour - enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 cup Crisco shortening
1 1/4 c light brown sugar
2 Tbls milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 lg egg
1 3/4 c all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c chopped walnuts (optional)

In a large bowl, cream Crisco and sugar. Add milk, vanilla and egg and mix until smooth. Stir in the remaining ingredients: flour, salt, soda, chocolate chips and nuts. Drop tablespoon size amount of batter on cookie sheet (I lined with parchment paper but you don't have to) and bake at 375 for 9-10 minutes.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

White Chicken Enchiladas

I love Mexican food and make the classic version of enchiladas (ground beef with red sauce) on a regular basis. I saw this recipe on Pinterest yesterday around 1:00; picked up the groceries for it at 3:00; and had it prepared and in my refrigerator by 4:30. I just had to put it in the oven and dinner was served at 6:00. (Awesome, I know!) This recipe was so good. I couldn't get enough of the sour cream sauce that covered the enchiladas and every bite was tender and cheesy. This will be a recipe I will continue to tweak, not because it needed it, but because I can already think of variations that would be fun and equally delicious.

White Chicken Enchiladas

This picture doesn't really give this recipe justice.

16 oz. Daisy brand sour cream*
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 Tbls fresh chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp pepper
2 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast (I used rotisserie chicken)
1 can Rotel (tomatoes with green chilies)
1/2 c chopped onions
(1) 4 oz can diced green chilies 
8 medium-sized flour tortillas
1 c shredded pepper jack cheese
1 c shredded white cheddar cheese


Cheesy goodness
In a sauce pan mix together sour cream, soup, cilantro and pepper. Heat through over medium-low heat and set aside.
Combine the chicken, rotel, onions and green chilies in a large bowl.
Fill each tortilla with about 2-3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture and then top with about 1-2 tablespoon of the pepper jack cheese. Roll the tortillas up and place them seam side down in a greased 9 x 13 pan.
Pour and spread the sour cream sauce over enchiladas and top with the shredded cheddar cheese.
Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes until bubbly and cheese is melted. (I baked the enchiladas with tin foil for the first half of baking and removed the tin foil for the 2nd half.)

*I had to list Daisy brand sour cream because I am their biggest fan - I pick up a tub weekly and use it for everything from chips and dip to baking. Once you try it, you won't buy any other brand either. : )

Recipe adapted from: http://skinnymom.com/2012/05/11/skinny-sour-cream-enchiladas/

Monday, February 11, 2013

Homemade Vanilla Pudding

I was rummaging through my cupboards last night trying to find a quick dessert but had little success. A Sunday night doesn't feel complete without a little sweet treat. Then I realized I had Reddi Whip in the fridge so pudding naturally popped into my head. Unfortunately I didn't have any Jello brand boxes on hand so homemade was my only option. I'm so glad this was the case: homemade pudding is in fact not that difficult or time consuming. (I was able to make it in the time it took Ryan to give Vaida a bath.) Next time I'm going to add cocoa to make chocolate pudding.

Homemade Pudding

1/3 c brown sugar
2 1/2 Tbls cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
2 c milk
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 Tbls butter
1 tsp vanilla

In medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Gradually stir in milk. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute.
In small bowl, stir about 1/3 of hot mixture into egg yolks. Stir yolk mixture into hot mixture; blend well. Cook until mixture bubbles, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Cool before serving.

Recipe from Betty Crocker

Friday, February 8, 2013

Amazing Salsa

I am so excited about this recipe!! If your family is always on the hunt for great salsa - you can stop the search now. My husband and I have never been able to agree on a salsa that we both enjoy. I love fresh pico de gallo-style salsa, while Ryan likes Pace Picante. Needless to say we have had our fair share of salsa debates throughout the years. Until now. Now, we both agree that this is the best salsa ever. This is the kind of salsa you get at a Mexican restaurant where you end up eating more chips and salsa than your actual meal. I doubt I will ever buy a jar of salsa again. Even though this uses canned tomatoes, the cilantro and lime juice make it taste so fresh. Using a food processor or blender, you can create the consistency you like. (We like ours with small chunks.) Be warned: this makes a very large batch; but somehow I think you will find a way to eat it!

Restaurant Style Salsa

1 can (28 Ounce) whole tomatoes with juice
2 cans (10 Ounce) Rotel diced tomatoes with green chili
1/4 c chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and diced (alter depending on the heat you like)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 whole lime, juiced

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until a semi-smooth consistency. Because it is a large batch you may need to blend the ingredients in batches. I blended the whole tomatoes and one can of Rotel in one batch, and then I blended the other can of Rotel with all other ingredients and mixed the two batches together. Let refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.

Recipe courtesy of Pioneer Woman

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Baked Italian Chicken

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and debated weather or not I should give it a try. It looked delicious, but I thought the recipe seemed way to easy/good to be true. Just mix together artichokes, tomatoes, a little seasoning, chicken breasts and mozzarella and an hour later you have dinner. Well it is extremely easy and equally tasty. We served this on top of whole grain spaghetti and it was a complete meal. I am excited to have a new go-to chicken recipe to have on hand. : )


Baked Italian Chicken

5 Roma tomatoes, chopped
(1) 14 oz can artichoke hearts (liquid drained)
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbls olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 Tbls flour

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 c mozzarella
2 Tbls fresh basil (optional garnish)

Mix first group of ingredients (tomatoes through flour) in a medium sized bowl and pour into a 9x13 casserole or glass pan. Place chicken into pan and partially cover with the tomato mixture. Cover in tin foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and remove tin foil - add cheese. Place back in oven under the broiler (I did mine on the low setting) for 5-10 minutes until cheese is golden. Top with fresh basil.

Recipe courtesy of Jill at http://aaronandjillw.blogspot.com

Monday, February 4, 2013

Make Your Own Salad Bar

Alright so this really isn't a recipe but it is a great meal so I thought I should share it. We love to do cobb salads for dinner but my husband and I disagree on what should be on a salad so I make a variety of toppings and serve it as a mini salad bar. This works great for feeding toddlers since all of the food is already cut in bite-size portions. Vaida loved being able to choose from all of the toppings and I find she eats more when she can scoop a portion for herself. You can make a mini salad bar with any vegetables and fruits you'd like. I posted a list of what we included but certainly don't feel limited to my list - the possibles are endless!

  • Spinach & spring lettuce blend
  • Grilled chicken
  • Pears
  • Shredded cheese
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Beets
  • Peas
  • Carrot shreds
  • Avocado