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Bacon, Apple Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad — September 30, 2013

Bacon, Apple Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad

You won’t believe how easy this salad dressing was. The dressing is pretty sweet so the bacon and feta are a perfect contrast to the sweetness. Have the recipe will make enough for about 4 dinner sized salads. Happy Eating!
Bacon, Apple Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad
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Bacon, Apple Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad
Recipe thanks to Clusters of Carlyn
Ingredients:
2-3 Romaine Hearts, Shredded
1-2 apples chopped
1 pkg. Bacon, cooked and chopped
1 pkg. Walnuts
1 pkg Feta Cheese
Dressing:
1 cup Sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 cup Red wine vinegar
1/2 small Red onion
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp poppy seeds
Directions:
Combine 1st 5 ingredients for dressing in a blender and blend till smooth. Slowly add in oil while blender is running. Stir in poppy seeds.
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Cake Batter Rice Krispie Cupcakes — September 26, 2013

Cake Batter Rice Krispie Cupcakes

Oh has it been one of those days today! I was exhausted because our softball team played in the playoffs last night and we didn’t get to sleep until 11:00. We won our first game so we needed to play again later in the evening. Even though we lost, we had a blast playing. However, today I was not as cheery as you need to be when teaching first grade, especially with one of my little, unique kiddos. I have one student who seems to know how to push every one of my buttons. Her parents know how to push even more. Today was the perfect day for the superintendent of our district to send out an email about parents. He said, “ I have really never ever met a parent who didn’t care about their child(ren).  They may not know how to care, they may be lacking the resources to care, or they may be working so many jobs or going to school that it is hard to have the time to care, but they do care!!” I guess for tonight I’m just doing to rely on the cupcakes and wine to make me feel better and tomorrow I’ll think about the quote more. I was really upset this afternoon, but baking these adorable little things helped. Ok, I confess it’s probably the wine that did the trick. Happy Eating!

Cake Batter Rice Krispie Cupcakes

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Cake Batter Rice Krispie Cupcakes

Recipe thanks to Baked from a Box

Ingredients:

  • 6 tbs margarine* (3/4 of a stick)
  • 3/4 cup yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups Rice Krispies
  • 1/2 10oz bag of marshmallows (5oz)
  • 1 tbs sprinkles

Instructions 

Melt margarine in the microwave (about 45 seconds). Mix in marshmallows and return to microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring between, until melted. Mix in cake mix and vanilla until combined. Add in sprinkles and 2 cups of Rice Krispies with a spatula. Add in the third cup of Rice Krispies.

Fill each well-greased muffin holder with the Rice Krispie mixture and press it in gently with the back of a spoon. Cool for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Remove Rice Krispie cupcakes from tin with a knife. Frost and top with sprinkles.

Chorizo and Vegetable Cream Soup —

Chorizo and Vegetable Cream Soup

It’s soup season ladies and gentlemen! Fall is my favorite season. Along with Fall comes soup, casseroles, apples, caramel, pumpkin and comfy sweaters. Pretty much it means the season of eating is starting and big sweaters will be needed to cover the pounds gained! I chose to make my first batch of soup when Scotty left to go out of town. He isn’t a huge fan of soup or Fall really in general.

This was a delicious choice as my first soup of the season. The flavor of the chorizo exploded in the broth. The spicy flavor of the chorizo matched well with the many veggies. Happy Eating!

Chorizo and Vegetable Cream Soup

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Chorizo and Vegetable Cream Soup

Recipe thanks to Everyday Occasions

Ingredients:

1 pound of chorizo sausage
3 carrots, diced
1 cup of mushrooms, sliced
1/2 small white onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, diced
1 large can of whole peeled tomatoes, hand crushed with juice
4 cups of chicken broth
1/2 cup of cream
4 cups of fresh spinach

Remove the sausage from its casing and break it up into small/medium pieces.

Cook it in a saute pan on a medium/high heat, rendering some of the fat.

Add the carrot, mushrooms and onion and cook until soft, approx 5-7 minutes.

Add garlic.  Cook for 1-2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes by squeezing them in one at a time.  Continue to break them into bite size pieces with the spoon.  Add the juice from the can of tomatoes.

Add the chicken broth and cream.  Add spinach.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Chicken and Cheese Taquitos — September 23, 2013

Chicken and Cheese Taquitos

I love cilantro! I love the taste, the smell, the pretty green color. It is just a delicious little thing.

The crunchy texture of the tortilla paired with the cheesy filling in this recipe is perfect. It was great as a week night meal, but you could also switch out the large tortillas for small ones to serve as football party finger food. We served ours with salsa and sour cream. Happy Eating!

Chicken and Cheese Taquitos

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Chicken and Cheese Taquitos

Recipe thanks to Keeping up with the Joneses

Ingredients:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup green enchilada sauce
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper
2 cloves minced garlic
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
4 green onions, sliced (green and white parts)
3 cups shredded cooked chicken (I used a rotisserie)
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese or a mix of Mexican cheeses
1 large package flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, mash together the cream cheese, lime juice, spices, garlic and green onions. Stir in enchilada sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the cheese, cilantro and shredded chicken. If mixture is still too wet, add a bit more cheese.
Warm your tortillas a bit in the microwave so they are more pliable. Spoon some of the mixture on to the tortilla and roll up.
Place on the baking sheet seam side down. Once all are prepped and ready, spray with more cooking spray.
Bake for about 10 minutes or until the tortillas are brown and crispy.

Simple Macaroni and Beef with Cheese — September 22, 2013

Simple Macaroni and Beef with Cheese

My family isn’t divided in our opinions very often, but this year with NFL we are rivals. Scotty and I have never really had an NFL team. We love college football, but I guess since he was never into it I never got into it either. Well the last time we were home, my dad said we needed to choose a team to make Sunday Football more fun. We decided to go with the Steelers since we lived in Pittsburgh for a little while. Now we cheer for the Steelers, my sister and brother-in-law cheer for Da Bears, and my parents are for the Packers. Sunday nights just got more interesting!!

I have made beefy macaroni before and I was disappointed by the lack of taste. I was determined to find a recipe packed with flavor and comfort. Here it is my friends! This recipe was very simple to make, but beware it takes a long time to cook. I cut the time down and it was perfect. I simmered it for 45 minutes, let it sit to soak up the liquid for 15 minutes and baked it in the oven for 20 minutes. Happy Eating!

Simple Macaroni and Beef with Cheese

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Simple Macaroni and Beef with Cheese

Recipe thanks to Michael Ruhlman

Ingredients:

1 large onion, diced

1 tablespoon canola oil

salt to taste

one 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, pureed in the can with a hand blender or in a blender blender

2 pounds lean ground beef

1 box macaroni

1 cup each grated cheddar and mozzarella cheeses

Directions:

Sweat the onions in the oil with a three-fingered pinch of salt.

Add the beef and cook it, breaking it up as you do.

Add another three-fingered pinch of salt or two, along with any dry seasonings you want.

Add the tomatoes and any fresh seasonings you may be using, bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cook for an hour.

Cook the macaroni in boiling water till it’s half done.  Drain it and add it to the tomatoes.  Stir it into the sauce.  Taste it.  Add more salt and other seasonings as needed, and cover.

When it’s cooled and the pasta has absorbed the tomato juices, transfer it to a large baking dish and cover it with foil.

Bake it in a 400 degree oven till it’s piping hot (about 45 minutes if it’s cold to room temperature).  Just before you’re ready to eat, remove the foil, cover macaroni with the cheese and broil till it looks beautiful.

Hubby’s Kitchen: Pulled Pork — September 21, 2013

Hubby’s Kitchen: Pulled Pork

Scotty doesn’t normally ask if he can cook unless he is craving pulled pork sandwiches. This is also the only time he plans on eating leftovers. He purposefully makes a lot so that he can have it for lunch all week. He asked me if he could make it this weekend and I was all for it. Although I wish I would have waited to clean the kitchen until after he was done! He has made this recipe so much that he now has it memorized. This smells amazing as it roasts in the oven all day. Happy Eating!

Pulled Pork

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Pulled Pork

Recipe thanks to The Frugal Chef

Ingredients:

5 pounds pork shoulder

Pork rub, enough to rub on pork shoulder

1 white onion, peeled

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 cup red wine

2 cups beef broth

2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.

Put the rub all over the pork shoulder.

Heat olive oil in a large stockpot that can also go into the oven.

Brown each side of the pork shoulder.

Place all ingredients in the pot.

Cook in the oven for at least 4 hours, turning the pork halfway through.

Shred and serve on buns with bbq sauce.

Walking Taco Casserole —

Walking Taco Casserole

I love football Saturdays. Although here in Albuquerque it’s Football Sundays. Albuquerque doesn’t have a very good college football team so they cheer way more for NFL teams, mostly the Broncos and Cowboys.

We decided to get the Big Ten network this morning so we could just stay at home and watch the game, while consuming cheap beer and food.

I would call this recipe an Oven Baked Frito Pie. It was a little dry so we put salsa and sour cream on ours. We wish we would have made some queso to go along with it. This was super easy to make. I just popped it in 20 minutes before the game started and it was ready for us at kick off. Go Big Red! Happy Eating!

Walking Taco Casserole

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Walking Taco Casserole

Recipe thanks to Growing to Four

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 pkg taco seasoning mix
Fritos
Shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions:

Brown 1 1/2 lbs ground beef. Mix in taco seasoning and cook according to directions on package. 

Layer in a casserole dish in the following order: Fritos chips, meat mixture, shredded cheese. Repeat layers once again.
 Bake at 350° for about 15-20 min or until cheese is bubbly.
After removing from oven I added more cheese on the top.

Utensils Used:

Reese’s Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies —

Reese’s Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies

I try and promote positive reinforcement in my classroom as much as possible. I do this with a ticket giveaway program. I give out those little tickets you get at carnivals when students are making good choices. Each of the students have a “bank”, a ziplock bag, taped to their desk that they put their tickets in. Every Friday I let them take their tickets to the class store. They need 5 tickets to buy something from the store. There are little trinkets in there, but the hot item is my coupons. I have things like lunch date with the teacher, bring a stuffed animal to school, chew gum, and many more. One of the tickets is treats for the class. I had one little boy buy this ticket so I made the class cookies. I wanted to wait until Halloween to make these cookies, but I just couldn’t resist. They turned out great and the little boy stood a little taller when I told the class he bought them for everyone. Happy Eating!

Reese’s Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies

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Reese’s Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies

Recipe thanks to New Ideas for You

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and pudding; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Add eggs, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Add vanilla extract and honey and beat until combined.

Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, beat to combine.

Add chocolate chips, Reeses pieces and peanut butter chips and mix until incorporated.

Roll a tablespoon or so of dough into a 1inch ball between your palms and then place it on the prepared baking sheet.

Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the balls about 2 inches apart (you should be able to fit 12-16 cookies on each sheet).

Using your palm, gently flatten the dough balls until they are about ¾ inch thick.

Bake 10 minutes.

Remove from oven, let cool for a couple minutes and enjoy!

Mexican Chicken with Jalapeno Popper Sauce —

Mexican Chicken with Jalapeno Popper Sauce

As I was making this meal I was already planning on putting it on the stove of shame. I was disgusted with the amount of bacon grease the recipe called to cook with. I guess I didn’t read the recipe well enough because otherwise I wouldn’t have picked it. The only reason I’m not putting it on the stove of shame is because I think I can make this good without cooking the chicken in bacon grease and including the bacon grease in the sauce. If you make this let me know what you think. I served this chicken with Mexican Rice. Happy Eating!

Mexican Chicken with Jalapeno Popper Sauce

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Mexican Chicken with Jalapeno Popper Sauce

Recipe thanks to Krista’s Kitchen

Ingredients:

3 Chicken Breasts

A Sprinkle of Cumin per Breast

A Sprinkle of Chili Powder per Breast

A Sprinkle of Salt per Breast

2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced

3 Jalapenos, Seeded and Chopped

6-8 Oz. of Cream Cheese

2 Cups of Chicken Broth

3 Slices of Bacon

3/4 Cup of Shredded Cheddar or Colby Jack

1 Tbsp of Fresh Cilantro, chopped + more for garnish

Directions:

Fry bacon until crisp. Remove to paper towel-lined plate.

Sprinkle chicken with seasonings while the bacon crisps. Add the chicken to the hot bacon fat in the skillet. Cook chicken, turning every few minutes, until juices run clear and no longer pink.

Remove from skillet and keep warm. Add chopped jalapenos to the skillet and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds to a minute more, until fragrant.

Add chicken broth, deglazing pan. Bring to a boil.

Add cream cheese and stir until melted and smooth.

Add in shredded cheese and bacon, stirring until the cheese is melted. Turn off heat and stir in cilantro. Serve chicken on a bed of Mexican or Taco rice and topped with sauce.

Garnish with additional cilantro if desired.

Mexican Rice — September 12, 2013

Mexican Rice

I have been spending a lot of my time lately rethinking my plans and changing them up due to something going wrong. I think it all goes back to my mind being consumed with teaching. I planned on making taco chicken with Mexican rice tonight, but I only got half of that accomplished. Turns out I was supposed to marinate the chicken over night so I decided to just grill the chicken, shred it up and put it all in a tortilla with the Mexican rice. It turned out amazing and it was very filling. Happy Eating!

Mexican Rice

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Mexican Rice

Recipe thanks to The Observant Turtle

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup chopped onion
7 oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth

Directions:
1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add rice. Cook, stirring constantly, until puffed and golden. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt and cumin. (This doesn’t take long, so don’t let it burn!)
2.  Empty diced tomatoes into a blender and blend until tomatoes are pureed.
3.  Stir in onions and cook until tender. Stir in tomato sauce and chicken broth, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Add the additional 1/2 tsp. of salt and fluff with fork.

This was so easy and I know any cook, beginner or expert, could do this easily.

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