Thursday, March 28, 2013

Terrific Turkey Enchiladas

Well, I inadvertently took more than a week off of blogging.  Between parent teacher conferences, a visit from my family from Idaho, and closing on our house, this past week was crazy busy!  It flew by without me even realizing it!  In fact this whole month has!  Just minutes ago, a flier fell out of my cupboard for an event that I planned to attend...on March 9th.  I thought for a second about what day it was and could not wrap my mind around the fact that it had taken place almost 3 weeks ago!  Time is flying by too fast for me right now!  

Anyhow, I am back with a delicious recipe for some hearty Mexican food.  I love Mexican food!  I mean, you cannot go wrong with melted cheese, and I do not know about you, but I don't believe I have ever eaten Mexican anything that wasn't smothered in cheese!  I'm not big on spice, in fact, often times I can't even hack mild salsa, so you can rest assure that anything I post will not pack a huge punch...just in case you can't handle the spice like me.  These enchiladas have a white sauce, which I much prefer over the red stuff, but I had only ever had when stuffed with chicken (which I also love!!).  These enchiladas break the mold in that they are made with ground turkey.  I really enjoyed this dinner!  It seems like there are a ton of ingredients but they really do come together fairly easily, so don't fret!

Terrific Turkey Enchiladas

1-1/4 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 can (4 ounce) chopped green chilies
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves (I have to leave these out due to my husband's pure hatred...I am jealous of anyone that can add these in)
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


3/4 pound ground turkey
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tablespoon olive oil (Optional.  I left out because I feel there is enough grease coming off the turkey.)
3/4 cup salsa
1 Tablespoon cornmeal
2 teaspoon chili powder
1-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
6 flour tortillas (8 inch)
1-1/4 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives (Optional...I left these out due to my pure hatred)

Place the first six ingredients into a food processor; cover and pulse until blended.

In a large skillet, cook the turkey, onion and garlic in oil over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink.  Remove from the heat, stir in the salsa, cornmeal and seasonings.  Spoon 1/3 cup turkey mixture down the center of each tortilla; top with 2 Tablespoons of cheese.  Roll up and place seam side down in a greased baking 9x13 inch baking dish.  Spoon corn mixture over the top.  Sprinkle with olives (if using) and remaining cheese.  

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until heated through.

Recipe Source:  Taste of Home

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps

One of my most favorite fast food restaurants in the world to eat at is New York Burrito.  I don't know if it is a big chain or anything, but I have yet to encounter one in Phoenix, which basically has everything (except for Cafe Rio, Wingers and Maurice' least not anywhere near me.)  But there was one in my lovely hometown, and going back to Pocatello for visits, always meant a stop at New York Burrito for a chicken caesar wrap.  Until it closed down about a year ago.  It was heartbreaking news to me.  Every time I am home for a visit and I drive past the old building, I mourn.  They really did have the best wraps of all time.  As I mentioned before, my very favorite was the chicken caesar.  I have tried many times to recreate that wrap, with only sub par results.  Don't get me wrong, anything smothered in caesar dressing can't be bad, but they just never compared to that.  Then I found the recipe for this wrap and knew I wanted to make it immediately.  And I am in love.  It is super simple and you probably have most or all of the ingredients on hand already.  Now, it isn't quite the same as NY Burrito, but it is amazingly delicious and maybe one of my favorite new meals.  I saved the leftovers, and even with the lettuce having wilted a bit, it was still yummy enough that I had a wrap for both lunch and dinner the next day!  The whole in my heart from the absence of New York burrito isn't entirely healed, but this recipe has helped quite a bit and for that I am thankful:).

Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps

The original recipe called for 1 (2.5 pound) rotisserie chicken.  I just boiled several chicken breasts in chicken broth and then shredded them afterwards.  So you could do either.  Obviously a rotisserie chicken would make this even easier.  I have included that change in the recipe.

1/4 cup light or regular mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 1 large lemon) I used bottled lemon juice with amazing results
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cups cooked chicken  
1 Romain lettuce heart (about 6 ounces), torn into bite sized pieces
4-6 (10 inch) tortillas or wraps (I have used both whole wheat, white tortillas and soft wrap bread...all work wonderfully)

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and garlic.  Whisk in the olive oil slowly until thouroghly incorporated.  

In a large bowl, toss the chicken and lettuce with the dressing.  Divide the chicken/lettuce mixture evenly among the tortillas or wraps.  Roll and secure with a toothpick, if desired.  Serve.  

Recipe Source:  Slightly adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe who adapted it from Cook's Country

I am linking up at these parties!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Mousse Cheesecake

Are you looking for a crazy, decadent, over-the-top in deliciousness, dessert?  Well then look no further.  Seriously.  I have you covered right here.  This cheesecake is heaven.  I am a lover of all things  peanut butter and chocolate (who isn't though, right?!), so this was right up my alley.  You know, when my husband and I were dating, he claimed to be a hater of cheesecake.  I thought he was completely nuts and it was almost a deal breaker for me.  I mean, how could I be with someone who wouldn't share a slice of cheesecake with me?!  Thankfully, I have since converted him (yeah, I'm taking credit for it) and he now loves long as it is high quality and totally rich.  And let me tell you, he loved this!  He even had a piece for his after-church snack today and he does NOT do left overs of any kind!  My favorite part was the peanut butter mousse.  It balanced perfectly with the rich chocolate and ganache layers to create a little bit of heaven in every bite.  Make this as soon as you can, but make sure you have someone to share it with...and maybe a tall glass of milk.  This is insanely delicious!  You will love it!

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Mousse Cheesecake

1-1/2 cups chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs (like Oreos)
1/4 cup butter, melted

Mousse Layers
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
5 ounces cream cheese softened
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1-1/4 cups heavy cream, whipped, divided
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 milk chocolate candy bar (3.5 ounce), chopped
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2/3 heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a bowl, combine cookie crumbs and butter.  Press onto the bottom of a greased 9-inch springform pan.  In a bowl, beat the peanut butter, cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Add confectioners' sugar and beat until smooth.  With a spatula, fold in 1-1/4 cups of the whipped cream.  Spread over crust.

Place bittersweet and milk chocolate in a bowl.  In a small saucepan, bring sugar and milk just to a boil.  Pour over chocolate and whisk until smooth.  Stir in vanilla.  Cool to room temperature.  Gently fold in remaining whipped cream.  Spread over peanut butter layer.  Cover and freeze for 2 hours or until firm.  

For ganache, place chocolate in a bowl.  In a small saucepan, bring heavy cream just to a boil.  Pour over chocolate and whisk until smooth.  Stir in vanilla.  Cool to reach spreading consistency, stirring occasionally.  Spread over cheesecake.  Refrigerate until set.  With a knife, loosen cheesecake from the springform pan and remove rim.  Serve.  Refrigerate leftovers.

Recipe Source:  Adapted from Taste of Home

 I am sharing this recipe at these great link parties!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tomato Cream Soup

As I mentioned last week, my family has been hit hard with sickness.  My kids had it, my husband had it, and after 2 weeks, I still have it!  I have had enough of this little bug and can't wait to kick it!  On the day that my husband was at his worst, I knew that the only thing that he would be able to handle for dinner, would be a nice hot bowl of soup.  But since I was still not feeling fabulous, I wanted something easy and fast.  This recipe fit the bill for all of those things.  I whipped it up in a matter of minutes and served along side a hot grilled cheese sandwich, it was the perfect meal for all of us sickies around here!  My husband especially liked this soup.  You can never have too many soups in your file and one that is as easy and painless as this, is even better!  

Tomato Cream Soup

2 cups milk
1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 package (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened (I used light with stellar results)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Place all ingredients in a blender.  Cover and process until smooth.  Transfer to a large saucepan and heat through.  Serve warm. 

Recipe Source:  Taste of Home
I am linking up at these great parties!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Caprese Chicken with Bacon

I adore the flavors of caprese!  I love the fresh taste of basil and tomato together, and mozzarella is my very favorite type of cheese.  Now throw some bacon to the caprese mix and holy cow, we have a major winner!  This dinner is so simple, so fresh, so beautiful and so delicious!  It really couldn't be easier to throw together and my house always smells divine while its baking.  I love this dish and I think that you will too!

Caprese Chicken with Bacon

8 strips of bacon
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 Tablespoon olive oil 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 plum tomatoes, sliced
6 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
4 slices mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place bacon in an ungreased baking dish.  Bake for 8-10 minutes or until partially cooked but not crispy.  Remove to paper towels to drain.  Place chicken in an ungreased 13x9 baking dish.  Brush chicken with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Top with tomatoes and basil.  Wrap each breast in two bacon strips, arranging bacon in a criss-cross.  Bake uncovered, at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees.  Top with cheese and bake 1 minute longer or until melted.  

Recipe Source:  Taste of Home
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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Peanut Butter-Banana Whoopie Pies

My family has been hit majorly hard with a bug this past week!  I was sick the entire time we were in Disneyland!  We have been home for days and I still can't kick this thing!  I was even stuck in bed on my birthday for the whole day!  I didn't even have the strength to make myself a cake!  It was a sad sad way to enter the last year of my 20's!  I guess I will just have to find another excuse to make a decadent and yummy dessert!  Anyways, this sickness has caused me to be useless in about every facet of life right now...except laying on the couch and ingesting rather large amounts of popsicles...I've got that down okay.  I have not cooked a real meal for my family in what seems like an eternity!  I'm hoping to get back to that tomorrow.  So for tonight I will leave you with these delightful little whoopie pies that I baked up several weeks ago.  I think peanut butter and banana are a match made in heaven and these combine both flavors perfectly.  This was my first experience with whoopie pies and I thought they were a pretty fun little treat to throw together, and I'm excited to try out many more combinations!  Enjoy!

Peanut Butter-Banana Whoopie Pies

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 package (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 Tablespoon butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Additional confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  In a small bowl, combine banana and buttermilk.  Combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.  Gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with banana mixture.  Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until set.  Cool for 2 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.  For filling, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter and butter until fluffy.  Beat in confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Spread filling on the bottoms of half of the cookies, about 1 Tablespoon on each.  Top with remaining cookies.    Dust with additional confectioners' sugar.  Store in the refrigerator.  I would suggest removing pies from the fridge about 10 minutes before consuming. They are much more delicious when closer to room temperature than cold.

Recipe Source:  Taste of Home

I am linking up at these great parties!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sausage & Pepper Chip Dip

Not so long ago, I was sure that I hated sausage and peppers.  I mean, I have spent my whole life thinking that I despised both, right along with mustard, ketchup and mushrooms.  So as a general rule I pretty much steered clear of any food items, that included either of those ingredients.  For about a year my husband begged me to make him some incredible chip dip that my mom had made "about a million times" (he said).  I honestly and truly had zero idea what he was talking about.  Even as he described it, I thought for sure he was making things up because I had never so much as laid eyes on what he was talking about.  I finally called my mom on the off chance that she would have any idea what this was and sure enough, she did.  And she apparently had made it on several occasions in which I was in attendance.  But because of my pepper and sausage hating ways, I just skipped right over it without paying it any ounce of attention at all.  Finally having the recipe in hand, I made this for Jason and some friends several times before I finally relented and gave it a try myself.  One bite and I was hooked.  For a moment, all was right in the world and I wondered how I had willingly skipped over this dip for years and years.  No matter, I have definitely made up for the lost time by now.  We make this for every football party, family get together and holiday.  We love it!  I love it!  I, the sausage-loathing, pepper-hating, spicy-fearing woman, could eat this every day!  It really is that good.  Not convinced yet that a dip can change your life...make this.  I dare you.

Sausage & Pepper Chip Dip

5-6 medium size peppers, using a combination of red, yellow and orange
1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chiles
1-16 ounce container of sour cream (I always use light with excellent results)
1-8 ounce package cream cheese (I always use light with excellent results)
1 pound spicy pork sausage
1 pound mild pork sausage

Brown sausage in a large skillet over medium high heat.  When completely browned, drain fat and place sausage in a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker.  Wash peppers and roughly chop them.  Place them in slow cooker with the browned sausage.  Add the tomatoes, sour cream and cream cheese to slow cooker.  Stir until combined.  Cover and let cook on high for about 45 minutes to an hour or until peppers are soft and dip is warmed through.  We have also cooked this on the stove top when we needed it in a hurry and it worked great as well.  Serve with tortilla chips.  

Recipe Source:  My really great mom Kris
This recipe can be found linked up at these great parties!
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