Living a Pinterest Life

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken — November 28, 2012

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

It never gets old to throw something in the crock pot during the day, come home after a work out and dinner is already made. We have gotten quite used to not eating dinner until 8:30 or 9:00. It was nice to be done with dinner by 8:00 tonight. Put the Santa Fe Chicken over rice and top with cheese to make it very delicious and still low in calories. Happy Eating!

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken
Recipe thanks to Iowa Girl Eats
Serves 8

1 can chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
8 oz frozen corn
3 green onions, sliced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried cilantro
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
Salt, to taste
2 large chicken breasts, thawed


Combine all ingredients from chicken broth to salt in a crock pot. Salt chicken breasts, lay on top of mixture and cook on low for 7 hours.

Remove chicken breasts and shred with two forks. Return shredded chicken to crock pot, stir to combine, taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve over cooked rice, or in tortillas. Top with more green onions, sour cream, cheese and fresh cilantro.

Chicken Tostadas — November 27, 2012

Chicken Tostadas

When Scotty found out I was making tostadas he said, “Oh no! Do you remember the last time you made tostadas?” Haha I do remember and I also remember not planning on making those particular ones again. I cooked the tortillas way too long and they became more like chips than tostadas. I paid more attention while cooking these tortillas this time and ended up taking them out of the oven two minutes before the recipe said. They were perfect. They had a crisp outer layer and soft inside. I am a sucker for refried beans and I think they are the reason these are so good. I used chicken breast for this because I didn’t want to buy a whole rotisserie chicken, but if I ever have leftover rotisserie chicken I will use it on this. Happy Eating!

Chicken Tostadas
Recipe thanks to My Recipes

8 6-inch flour or corn tortillas
2 avocados, pitted, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fat-free refried beans
2 cups shredded cooked boneless, skinless rotisserie chicken
1 1/2 cups shredded pepper Jack (about 4 oz.)
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1 cup tomato salsa


Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty foil. Mist both sides of tortillas with cooking spray. Place on sheet and bake until crisp, about 8 minutes.

Toss avocado with lime juice; season with salt. Spread some beans on each tortilla, top with chicken and avocado. Sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven and bake until warmed through, 7 to 10 minutes. Top with lettuce and salsa and serve immediately.

Mexican Stuffed Shells — November 26, 2012

Mexican Stuffed Shells

I am a cooker not a cleaner! I would much rather come home at night and chop a ton of vegetables than pick up all the crap I left around the apartment. It’s dishes like this that make me clean. The time that the food is in the oven is the time that I make myself clean up. This dish does take a bit of time to cook, but just use that time to get all the stuff done you have been procrastinating! Happy Eating!

Mexican Stuffed Shells
Recipe thanks to The Way to His Heart


1 lb. ground beef
1 package low-sodium taco seasoning
4 oz. cream cheese
14-16 jumbo pasta shells
1.5 cup salsa
1 cup taco sauce
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup monterey jack cheese
3 green onions
Sour cream


Preheat oven to 350°F

In a frying pan cook ground beef; add taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions.

Add cream cheese, cover and simmer until cheese is melted. Blend well. Set aside and cool completely.

While ground beef is cooking, cook the pasta shells according to directions; drain. Set shells out individually on cutting board/baking sheet so that they don’t stick together.

Pour salsa on bottom of 9×13 baking dish. Stuff each shell with the meat mixture. Place shells in 9×13 pan open side up. Cover shells with taco sauce. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, add shredded cheese and bake for 10-15 more minutes, with the foil removed. Top with any condiments you’d like (green onions, black olives, etc.) Serve with sour cream and/or more salsa.

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake —

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

I love holidays! It’s a time to eat until you can’t eat any more and spend good quality time with family. Scotty and I were lucky enough to get to go home for almost a week. His parents were out of the country and as much as I missed them and wished they were home I was excited to spend the whole time with my family. That will probably be the last holiday we spend with just one side. Starting on Christmas we will be shuffling around to both sides.
I made this pie in the oven when there were also three other dishes being baked. It ended up taking about two hours to cook. It was still great, but I would like to try cooking this all by itself in the oven next time. Or I will just cook it the day before I need it so it is completely cooked and cooled down. Happy Eating!

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake
Recipe thanks to The Girl Who Ate Everything


2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup homemade whipped cream (or frozen whipped cream, thawed if you are in a crunch)

1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2.In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Remove 1 cup of batter and spread into bottom of crust; set aside.

3.Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to the remaining batter and stir gently until well blended. Carefully spread over the batter in the crust.

4.Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until center is almost set. Don’t worry if there are a couple of cracks; when you refrigerate it they will close up. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Garnish with whipped topping before serving.

Bacon, Pesto, Tomato, and Swiss Panini — November 20, 2012

Bacon, Pesto, Tomato, and Swiss Panini

I am going home for Thanksgiving today!!! I am so excited. I haven’t been home for a month and a half and I am so ready to see my family. I was trying to use up things in the fridge today for lunch so it doesn’t get bad over the break.

Bacon, Pesto, Tomato and Swiss Panini


Sourdough Bread
3 slices of Bacon
Prepared Pesto
Sliced Tomatoes
2 slices of Swiss Cheese


Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread. Spread pesto on the other sides of the bread. Layer the cooked bacon slices, cheese, and tomato slices on the bread. Grill until crisp on the outside.

Cotija Chicken — November 19, 2012

Cotija Chicken

We had a friend come and visit us this past weekend. We had so much fun, but man was I feeling it today. Scotty and I are so exhausted tonight he is actually sitting with me on the couch watching tv without his laptop on his lap. I am loving it. We went to the Steelers game last night and it was a blast! The game didn’t start until 8:20 and we didn’t get home until 1:00 in the morning so today was a long day. With both of us being so tired this was a quick and easy meal to make for dinner. I served it over rice and poured the extra sauce on top. Happy Eating!

Cotija Chicken
Recipe thanks to All Recipes

4 servings

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 (16 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning
1/2 cup shredded cotija cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a glass baking dish with vegetable cooking spray.
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat; brown chicken on both sides. Place chicken in prepared baking dish. Mix together the tomato sauce and taco seasoning in a small bowl. Pour over chicken breasts. Sprinkle cheeses evenly over top.
Bake in preheated oven until chicken has fully cooked and cheese has browned, 20 to 30 minutes

Spicy Chicken and Pepper Jack Pizza — November 15, 2012

Spicy Chicken and Pepper Jack Pizza

It’s the little things of the holidays that make it amazing. Around Thanksgiving time it’s all the pumpkin flavored stuff. Around Christmas time it’s all the peppermint and egg nog flavored stuff. I caved tonight at the grocery store and bought my first thing of egg nog. I was trying to wait until Thanksgiving at home, but just couldn’t do it. I drank it with a little kahlua while cooking dinner tonight. It was so yummy!

This pizza was good, but not my favorite. If you love peppers this is definitely the pizza for you. I wasn’t expecting the pizza to have so much of a kick since it was only using bell peppers, but the cheese kicked it up a notch. Like I said, it was good, but won’t necessarily be my go to pizza. Happy Eating!

Spicy Chicken and Pepper Jack Pizza
Recipe thanks to My Baking Addiction
Yield: Serves 3 to 4

1 Tbsp. canola or olive oil
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
3 cups diced fresh red, yellow and green bell peppers
1 (13.8 oz.) tube refrigerated pizza dough
1/2 cup salsa
2 cups (8 oz.) Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
Chopped cilantro or dried oregano (optional)
1 ½ cups cooked and shredded chicken

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; sauté 2 minutes. Add bell peppers; sauté 5 minutes or until crisp-tender.
Meanwhile, unroll pizza dough onto a 15 x 10-inch jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray; press dough evenly to all edges of pan. Bake in preheated 425°F 8 minutes. 3. Stir salsa into cooked vegetables; spread over partially baked crust. Top with chicken and cheese.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown. Cut into squares; garnish with cilantro or oregano if desired.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Pesto Croutons — November 14, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Pesto Croutons

There are a lot of things that I wish Scotty loved as much as me. Soup, mushrooms, popcorn, mustard, pickles, and olives to name a few. We have very different tastes. I can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t love soup! He likes it, but can only eat it once in awhile. I am trying to change his mind like I changed it about guacamole and sour cream. If I keep making it I’m thinking eventually he will request it… ha that’s a long shot. For now I am only getting part of my soup fix. I was surprised tonight when he said he really liked this soup. I loved it of course, but I was nervous about what he would think. Score one for soup! One big bowl was only 300 calories and that was with the croutons! Happy Eating!

Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Pesto Croutons
Recipe thanks to My Recipes

1/4 cup refrigerated pesto, at room temperature
6 sourdough bread slices
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 (15-oz.) jar roasted red bell peppers, rinsed and drained
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnishes: fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, shaved Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 350°. Spread pesto on 1 side of each bread slice. Cut each bread slice into 1/2- to 1-inch cubes. Place bread cubesin a single layer on a lightly greased aluminum foil-lined jelly-roll pan.

Bake at 350° for 16 to 20 minutes or until golden, turning once after 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool.

Melt butter with oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add garlic and shallot, and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add tomato paste, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in bell peppers and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool 10 minutes.

Process red pepper mixture, in batches, in a blender or food processor 8 to 10 seconds until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Return red pepper mixture to Dutch oven; stir in half-and-half and parsley, and cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle soup into 6 bowls; top with croutons. Garnish, if desired.

Turtle Tassies —

Turtle Tassies

I have been so giddy lately. I am so completely excited to go home for Thanksgiving. I haven’t seen my family in over a month and I miss them immensely! The holidays are the best time of the year because everyone is so cheery. Scotty says it’s because I’m so cheery so everyone else seems cheery. Baking just seems like a think to do when you’re cheery. I put on my apron, some good music, and my dancing/baking shoes. These were really fun to make and oh so good. These babies are rich though so one cookie should curve your craving all day. I even tried some smores tassies. I changed out the caramel for marshmallows. If I had graham crackers I would have crumbled a bit on top. Happy Eating!

Turtle Tassies
Recipe thanks to The Girl Who Ate Everything

1 Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
butter and egg called for on the pouch
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 (14 ounce) bags caramels, unwrapped
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Make dough according to package directions. Make 36 (1-inch) balls. Press each ball into the bottom of each mini muffin cup and press up the sides.

Bake 8-9 minutes or until edges just start to brown. Meanwhile in a small saucepan place unwrapped caramels and cream and heat until melted. Reduce heat to low.

Remove pans from oven. Using the back of wooden spoon press down the sides and bottom of each cup to flatten being careful not to make holes.

Bake for 2 minutes more. Remove from oven and immediately place 4-5 chocolate chips in each cup.

Spoon about 1 Tablespoon of caramel into each cup and immediately top with pecans and slightly press them down. Cool for five minutes then remove with narrow spatula or a knife.

Makes 36 turtle tassies.

Crab and Cream Cheese Wonton and Easy Fried Rice — November 13, 2012

Crab and Cream Cheese Wonton and Easy Fried Rice

Something I need to learn how to master is how to cook rice. My mom always made good rice. Hers was never crunchy and never too soggy, always perfect! I wish I could learn how to make perfect rice. From now on it’s Birdseye Steamfresh microwave rice for me! I tried to make rice tonight, but failed miserably. My wonderful husband went to the grocery store without complaining and bought me some new rice. What came of this new rice was delicious! The fried rice was easy to make and went great with the wontons. Happy Eating!

Crab and Cream Cheese Wonton and Fried Rice
Recipe thanks to Budget Bytes
Servings: 32 wontons total

8 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. imitation lobster or crab
1 large egg
½ bunch green onions
1 pkg. wonton wrappers
½ tsp sriacha hot sauce
non stick spray

STEP 1: In a bowl, combine the cream cheese, green onion, egg and Sriracha until well combined. Add the lobster and break the chunks up slightly as you stir it in.

STEP 2: Get a small bowl of water to help seal the edges of the wonton wrappers. Working in groups of about 6 wontons at a time, place about one teaspoon of the cheese filling in the center of each wonton square. Using your fingers, wet the wrapper all along the four sides. Fold them diagonally corner to corner and pinch the wrapper together to seal. Try to squeeze the air out as you make the first fold. Bring the two opposite points of the triangle together around front and squeeze together to seal. See the photos below to see how this is done.

STEP 3: Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Working in groups of about 8-10 wontons, drop them into the boiling water and remove them once they begin to float (about 3 minutes). Place the boiled wontons on a cooling rack placed over a baking sheet so the excess water can drain off. The wontons skins should now look nice and transparent.

STEP 4: Once all of the wontons have been boiled, heat a large non-stick skillet coated with non-stick spray oil over medium-high heat. When it is nice and hot, place about 8 wontons in at a time. “Fry” the wontons on each side until they are golden brown, blistered and crispy in some spots. You may need to spray more non-stick spray as you go, it will help crisp up the wontons.

Easy Fried Rice
Recipe thanks to Weight Watchers


2 spray(s) cooking spray
2 large egg(s), lightly beaten
1 cup(s) uncooked carrot(s), shredded
1 cup(s) uncooked scallion(s), sliced, divided
3 cup(s) cooked white rice
1/2 cup(s) frozen green peas, thawed
1/4 cup(s) low-sodium soy sauce, or to taste


Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; warm pan over medium-high heat. Add eggs; tilt pan so that eggs cover bottom.

When eggs start to set, break them up into pieces with a heat-proof spatula or wooden spoon. Cook until eggs are cooked through, about 1 minute more; remove eggs from skillet and set aside.

Off heat, recoat same skillet with cooking spray; set over medium-high heat. Add carrots and all but 2 tablespoons scallions; sauté until carrots are crisp-tender, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in cooked rice, peas and soy sauce; cook until heated through, stirring once or twice, about 1 minute. Gently stir in cooked egg and remaining scallions; heat through. Yields about 3/4 cups per serving.

%d bloggers like this: