March 14, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas

Enchiladas are one of those foods everyone seems to make just a little bit differently, and there are countless ways of making them taste delicious.  After wading through a long list of enchilada recipes, I finally settled on this one, taking inspiration from multiple sources.  Hopefully you like them too!

Chicken Enchildas

1 Tbsp oil
1 chicken breast
1 tsp Montreal Chicken Seasoning Mix
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 can (10.75 oz) cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
8-10 large flour tortillas
1 small can green enchilada sauce (or choose red to mix things up)

1. Heat oil over medium heat in a skillet.  Cook chicken breast, sprinkling with Montreal Chicken seasoning and cayenne pepper until cooked through. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
2. Remove chicken from heat and shred with two forks in a medium-sized mixing bowl.  Add cream of chicken soup, sour cream, and 1 cup of the cheddar cheese.  Mix well.
3. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish by either coating lightly with cooking spray or by spreading enough enchilada sauce to just cover the bottom of the entire dish.
4. Warm tortillas in the microwave (I usually do about three tortillas at a time for about 15 seconds, fill those three, then warm the next three.  This way they stay warm enough to roll without cracking).  Spoon about 1/4 cup of the chicken filling onto each tortilla and roll the tortilla up into a roll.
5. Place enchilada rolls into the baking dish and cover with remaining enchilada sauce.  Any spots you leave without enchilada sauce will get crispy, so be sure to spread it evenly.  A basting brush helps with this.
6. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes or until bubbly.  Uncover and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese.  Bake for 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.
7.  Serve, and revel in the deliciousness.

March 5, 2011

Sweet Cornbread

Cornbread is wonderful, isn't it?  I sure like it, but what happens when you want to eat cornbread and you're out of honey to go with it?  Still good, but not nearly as great...unless you made this recipe.  This one is sweet enough on its own that you don't even need the honey.  It's delicious the way it is!  Don't believe me?  Make it yourself and see.

Sweet Cornbread
(adapted from "Golden Sweet Cornbread" on

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup yellow corn meal
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup oil (if yours is too crumbly, try adding a bit more oil to hold it together)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F) and grease a 9-inch round cake pan or an 8x8 square casserole dish.  (If you're going to make muffins instead, grease the muffin tins and reduce cooking time to 15 minutes.)
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, corn meal, white sugar, brown sugar, salt, and baking powder.  Stir in egg, milk, and oil until well combined.
3. Pour batter into prepared dish and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
4. Slather on some butter and enjoy your glorious cornbread creation.

March 3, 2011

What to do with Potatoes?

Potatoes.  They're cheap, and like a lot of people, I need cheap ideas for dinner.  So when my grocery budget is spent and I look in the pantry to see a big bag of potatoes, here's what I do with them.  I make Dirt Cheap Potato Soup, Garlic Parmesan Potato Wedges, or good old fashioned Mashed Potatoes.

Dirt Cheap Potato Soup
(adapted from "Peppery Potato Soup" in The Best Slow Cooker Recipes cookbook)

The thing we love about this recipe is that we can make a whole crock pot of soup for approximately $1.50, and it makes about 8 servings.  That's like 19 cents a serving!  Delicious and dirt cheap--a wonderful combination.

4-5 potatoes, halved and thinly sliced
4 cups chicken broth (or two 14.5 oz cans)
1 large onion, quartered and sliced
1-2 stalks celery, sliced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup half-and-half
1 Tbsp butter (optional)

1. Combine broth, potatoes, onion, celery, flour, pepper, and salt in slow cooker; mix well.  Cover and cook on LOW 6-7 hours. (Or, if you're short on time, just switch the slow cooker to high and half the cooking time.)
2. Stir in half-and-half.  Cover and continue to cook on LOW for one more hour.
3. Remove slow cooker lid.  Slightly crush potato mixture with a potato masher (or a whisk if you don't have a potato masher).  Continue to cook, uncovered, for another 30 minutes or until soup is slightly thickened.  Stir in butter, if desired, just before serving.
4. Eat, and revel in the fact that you just fed your family for pennies.

Garlic Parmesan Potato Wedges
(adapted from Parmesan Potato Wedges in the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook)

This one is a favorite of my husband.  It makes a surprisingly filling snack or side dish.

3-4 potatoes, cut into wedges (usually I cut them into 6 or 8 wedges per potato, depending on the size of the potato)
1 Tbsp oil or melted butter (olive oil tastes the best if you've got it)
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic salt
Parmesan Cheese (to taste)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees (F).
2. Wash and cut potatoes into wedges, leaving skins on.
3. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine oil (or melted butter), Italian seasoning, and garlic salt.  Toss potatoes in oil mixture until evenly coated.
4. Line a small baking sheet (with sides) in aluminum foil and spread coated potatoes evenly across the pan.  Bake for 30 minutes at 425 degrees, flipping over the potatoes after the first 15 minutes.  Not crispy enough for you?  Just keep them in there for a few minutes longer.  The longer they cook, the crispier they will be.
5. Remove potatoes from oven and let cool for a few minutes.  They will be very hot.
6. Grab some napkins and enjoy.

Mashed Potatoes 

Nobody makes better mashed potatoes than your mom, so think of her while you eat this comfort food.

4-5 potatoes, diced
2-4 Tbsp butter (depending on how flavorful versus how healthy you want them to be)
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Dice the potatoes.  No need to skin them--they're healthier that way.  Put diced potatoes in a large pot with enough water to just cover the potatoes.  Boil potatoes for about 15 minutes or until they're tender.  Drain water.  If you overboil, you'll have mushed potatoes, rather than mashed, and nobody likes that except for maybe babies.
2. Either using a hand masher or an electric mixer, mash potatoes.  Add butter, and keep mashing/mixing until all of the butter melts.  Add milk, sour cream, and salt and pepper, mixing until you achieve the desired consistency.
3. Eat!
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