Recipe of the Week

Recipe of the Week ~ A Dozen Ways to Make a Quesadilla

Posted by on Aug 25, 2011 in Recipe of the Week | 0 comments

Yummmmm. Oozy, cheesy, delicious goodness between two tortillas grilled to perfection. Quesadillas are one of my favorite “quick” meals. I also love to make different varieties by using up leftovers in the kitchen.

BASIC QUESADILLA

  • Cheese – shredded (or cut into extra thin slices)
  • Two tortillas
  • Butter (or an oil equivalent)
  • Skillet
  • Spatula

Place a pat of butter into the skillet set on low/medium heat.

Lay one tortilla into the skillet. Add shredded cheese onto the tortilla, then place tortilla number two on top.

Allow the tortilla to grill for a few minutes then flip to the other side. Once side two is grilled and cheese is melted, remove from pan, slice into quarters, and enjoy with picante sauce, sour cream, guacamole, or by itself.

NOW, here’s the fun part…. To jazz up the basic quesadilla, you can add beans, different spices, cheeses, veggies like onions, mushrooms, peppers, or corn, and different meats like steak, chicken, or lunch meat.

Here are a few of my favorite combinations:


MEXICAN QUESADILLA 

  • Two tortillas
  • Refried/pinto beans (can also use black)
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Onions
  • Cilantro
  • Corn (optional)
  • Chicken or Steak (optional)

Serve with picante, sour cream, avocado, or by itself

ITALIAN QUESADILLA

  • Tortillas
  • Pepperoni (Chicken or beef work too)
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Tomatoes, diced
  • Onions
  • Spinach
  • Sprinkle with garlic powder and Italian seasoning (or use fresh basil and oregano!)

Serve with marinara or meatless spaghetti dipping sauce

 


GREEK QUESADILLA 

  • Tortillas
  • Chicken
  • Spinach
  • Feta Cheese
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Red Onion
  • Olives (preferably Kalamata)

Serve plain or with a creamy Caesar dipping sauce

 

BBQ QUESADILLA (sorry, no picture)

  • Tortillas
  • BBQ sauce spread thin
  • Dinner sausage, brisket, or chicken
  • Mozzarella Cheese

Dip in coleslaw and baked beans. :)

 

TIPS:

  • In a rush you could cook on higher heat, but often the outside will brown before the insides are warm and melted which is why I like to use a lower heat setting
  • Try corn tortillas for a gluten free twist
  • Make sure your meats are cooked thoroughly before adding.
  • Sometimes I will saute the veggies before using them, and occasionally I will simply chop some fresh to use.
  • If I’m using leftover meats or beans, I will normally warm them slightly in the microwave before putting them into the quesadilla
  • When making these for a group, either serve each individual quesadilla while its hot, or make sure to keep them warm

 

Try some of these out or invent your own then come back here to tell me about it!

 

Our current giveaway ends tomorrow night. Check it out here!

 

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Recipe of the Week ~ Creamy Avocado Dip

Posted by on Aug 11, 2011 in Recipe of the Week | 2 comments

Here in Texas we are experiencing the longest consecutive days of over 100 degrees since 1980. It’s hot. Very hot. Our family has been enjoying cool fruit and lots of ice cream this summer!

This dip is also a delicious and cool treat to enjoy as an appetizer with chips or next to some Mexican food. It’s easy to make and will “wow” your family and friends. Give it a try!

Creamy Avocado Dip

  • 16 oz container sour cream
  • 3 avocados
  • 6 tomatillos (found in the produce section, usually next to the peppers)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 banana peppers (if you prefer spicy dips, use jalapenos or serrano peppers instead)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (possibly more to taste)

Tomatillos come with a papery shell on them. Remove that, then carefully cut an X shape in the skin, just barely breaking the skin.

Drop the tomatillos into rapidly boiling water. Boil for approximately five minutes or until the skin is soft and pulling off of the inside.

Remove from the water and let cool.

While the tomatillos cool, chop garlic and peppers and scoop out the avocado. Place into a blender.

Peel cooled tomatillos and place insides into the blender.

Add sour cream and salt.

Blend together.

Taste. If salt is needed, add more and blend.

The original recipe calls for one Tablespoon of salt. This is too much for my taste buds, but my brother loved it with that amount. Taste, and add more to your liking!

Keep refrigerated until time to enjoy!

 

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Recipe of the Week ~ Pico de Gallo

Posted by on Jul 14, 2011 in Recipe of the Week | 4 comments

Fresh produce says “summertime” to me unlike anything else can. I LOVE to fill my fridge with fresh berries, fruits, and garden veggies. One of my favorite things to make with these treats is pico de gallo. This is a recipe that doesn’t need strict measuring and can be made to your taste. Perfect as a side to tacos or fajitas or eaten just with chips, you’re sure to get a mouthful of good flavor with each bite!

Here’s how I throw it together:

First, I grab my key ingredients: Tomatoes, onion, garlic, cucumber, peppers, cilantro, lime juice (I prefer fresh, but didn’t have it on this particular day), and salt.

My family doesn’t like their pico too spicy, so I use banana and bell peppers. You could use jalapeno, serrano, or whatever you prefer.

Next, I dice up the ingredients so they look like this. As you can see, I used about 2/3 of the cucumber, both tomatoes (seeded), both peppers, about 2/3 of the onion, 1/2 of the cilantro bunch, and three-ish cloves of garlic.

I then dump everything in a bowl and sprinkle it with around 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1 hefty Tablespoon of lime juice.

After stirring, I try it on a chip. Sometimes, I’ll add more salt or lime juice. Occasionally, I’ll decide it needs more of one of the veggies. You may like extra tomatoes, colored peppers, or a different spice (ground pepper, cumin, paprika, etc.).

Hopefully, my finished product looks something like this:

I like to make my pico several hours before serving it so that the flavors have time to meld. I wouldn’t recommend more than 12 hours ahead or the veggies will get slightly soggy.

 

 

 

 

Make sure to enter this week’s giveaway for a free picture print! 

 

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Recipe of the Week ~ Spinach & Feta Hummus

Posted by on Jul 7, 2011 in Recipe of the Week | 7 comments

Hummus! This snacky treat has found a home with Abigail and me over the last few weeks. She and I could probably sit down and eat an entire batch in one setting… I’ve been trying to stretch it to three times though! This recipe was my first attempt to make this yummy snack. I’m not sure how it compares to a normal hummus recipe or flavor, but this is simply outstanding! Whether you’ve never eaten this healthy dip or you’re a hummus-loving human, try this out and let me know what you think.

 

Spinach and Feta Hummus

  • 15oz can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained with liquid saved and set aside
  • 1/2 c. fresh spinach (I pack mine pretty tightly into a measuring cup)
  • 1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder

Place all ingredients into a blender.

Depending on your desired consistency, add some of the liquid you drained from the can. I like to add between 1/3 and 1/2 of a cup. (You can add a little bit, blend, then add more if you need to.)

Blend until mixed thoroughly.

Serve immediately with crackers, pita bread, or veggies.

Store in airtight container in fridge.

 

 

 

 

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Recipe of the Week ~ Freezer Soup

Posted by on Feb 21, 2011 in Recipe of the Week | 4 comments

Our last soup recipe of the month is probably the easiest, cheapest, most versatile, and contains the most unique blend of flavorings that are up for the chef to invent. Yes, you get to make this recipe up as you cook, and I guarantee, you will never have the same soup twice!

Here is the step-by-step method for making this healthy, simple, scrumptious soup:

1. Every day as your family finishes dinner, rather than throwing one or two spoons of vegetables away, toss it into a freezer safe container. As the days and weeks continue, add little bits of leftovers to this container. Within a month or two, you should have a large (or several small) freezer bowls full of bits of corn, green beans, carrots, tomatoes or tomato sauce, possibly some mashed potatoes, rice, peas, or beans. Make sure to include the juices from these veggies as well!

2. Set your freezer bowls in the fridge to thaw the night before you plan on eating your soup. The next morning, plop them into a soup pot to begin cooking.

3. As your veggies blend together and warm, add more of a variety of veggies to “round out” the soup. Meaning, if you have a soup pot full of tomato pieces and green beans, it may be good to chop up a few carrots and potatoes to throw in. Maybe open a can of corn. Or perhaps your soup is heavy on corn and carrots already, so you add a cup of chopped fresh or frozen broccoli and a can of peas. You want to make sure that you have a good range of colors and textures for this soup! I always add one diced onion, some celery, garlic, and, if I have it, bell pepper. You can also add meat if you don’t want a strictly “veggie” soup. I’ve added browned ground meat, turkey, and browned breakfast sausage before.

4. Continue to simmer your soup. If it appears too thick, add some chicken, beef, or veggie stock.

5. Once soup has simmered for an hour or so and all the veggies are soft, taste your soup. It will probably need spices. This is the fun part! Grab some spices that you think will taste delicious. My standards tend to be: salt, pepper, garlic powder, basil, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, and/or parsley. I just shake a little of each of these over the soup and stir. Occasionally I will add dry chicken or beef broth seasoning as well.

6. The longer this soup simmers, the better it tastes. After another hour or so, I taste the soup again. If it’s still “missing” something, I revisit my spices and shake a little more of one or another over the top and stir.

7. By dinner time, I have a delicious, easy, and cheap meal to serve my family. Plus, I have used my leftover veggies for the last month wisely.

The best freezer soup I made was a couple of years ago. When I dumped my containers in the pot, I realized I had a LOT of tomato products with green beans. I took an Italian twist then! I added Italian sausage, Italian spices, some zucchini, and a couple handfuls of small shell pasta. The result was better than Olive Garden!

Try this soup on your family soon. Don’t be afraid to experiment. You’ll have fun and feel good knowing you’re feeding your family well!!

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Recipe of the Week ~ Broccoli Chicken Cheese Soup

Posted by on Feb 16, 2011 in Recipe of the Week, Uncategorized | 2 comments

Our third soup recipe for the month is another one of my favorites. I love the cheesy goodness of this thick soup. The chicken added to a normal recipe of broccoli cheese soup adds heartiness and flavor. Try this out soon, and let me know what you think!

  • 2 large chicken breast OR approx. 2.5 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 5 cups water OR chicken broth (use broth ONLY if you’re using already cooked, shredded chicken)
  • 1/2 of  a large onion, diced small
  • 2 large stalks of celery, diced small
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed and diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 extra large bunch of broccoli, chopped (frozen may be substituted) chop part of stalks too! Don’t skimp on the veggies!
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 pound Velveeta*
  • 1/4 c. cold water + 1 1/2 Tbs. cornstarch (to thicken if necessary)

*Normally, I would not recommend using a cheese product like Velveeta. There is nothing healthy about it… which is why I use it sparingly in my cooking, but it sure does make this soup taste good. :)

  1. Cook chicken breasts in water with onion, celery, garlic, and seasonings until chicken is cooked thoroughly. If using precooked chicken, cook veggies and seasonings in broth until veggies are soft.
  2. Remove chicken to cool.
  3. Add broccoli to water. Bring to boil. Cook broccoli until soft. While cooking, chop or shred cooling chicken.
  4. Reduce heat. Add chicken to soup.
  5. Add milk and diced Velveeta.
  6. Heat soup. Don’t boil or the soup may scorch.
  7. Once cheese has melted, use your discretion to determine whether or not you’d prefer the soup thicker. If so, stir the water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Once smooth, add to soup. Heat to nearly boiling while stirring until thick.
  8. Enjoy with crackers or carrot sticks.

Soup freezes well, and tastes great leftover!

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