“I always had a fantasy of being a chef, because I like kitchen life.” ~ Geoffrey Rush

Have new kitchen, will cook.

There is nothing like a new kitchen to get you out of the cooking rut. I’ve always loved to cook but for the past year, I’ve had to drag myself to the kitchen. I don’t know what the problem was but I believe I found a solution!

A new kitchen!

We just moved and I love, love the new space. The best part about it is that there are tons of cabinets! This makes it so easy to get to the things you need to cook. No digging or unstacking required. Makes putting up clean dishes a breeze as well.

So, hopefully now I can get back to the business of cooking and blogging about it.

Recipe #2 cooked in new kitchen is as follows:

Fajita Pasta

  • 1 lb chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning, divided
  • 1 medium yellow or sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped (I used red and yellow because my husband doesn’t like green)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (jar kind is fine)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 heavy cream
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes (mild for less heat)
  • 8 oz of bowtie pasta
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • sour cream
  • cilantro (optional, didn’t have any but wish I had)

Season chicken with half of the taco seasoning. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in large skillet over medium high heat and cook chicken until cooked through (approx 8-9 mins). Remove from pan.

While chicken cooks, season chopped veggies with the remaining half of taco seasoning. After removing chicken, add the other tablespoon of oil to skillet, followed by the vegetables. Cook, stirring occasionally until they are slightly charred then add in the minced garlic and stir for around 30 seconds. Once done, remove and add to chicken.

In the same skillet add the broth, cream, rotel, salt and pasta, scraping the browned bits off bottom of skillet. Bring to a boil, cover and reduced to medium. Cook for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Finally, add chicken and veggies back to skillet and warm through.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkled with chopped cilantro.


-abp

 

Advertisements

“Even in winter an isolated patch of snow has a special quality.” ~ Andy Goldsworthy

Bracing for the cold again.  You know I really wouldn’t mind the cold if we could get a little snow with it every now and then.

The weird thing is – the beach might be getting snow!!!

How crazy is that?  I’m used to the northern part of the state getting snow when we do not but the southern side?

Oh well. 51 days until spring.

One of my favorite things about spring is being able to eat outside at my favorite restaurants. One of those being a local Mexican restaurant – chips, salsa, cheese dip, margaritas, and fajitas all out on a covered patio.

Unfortunately, I do not have the sunny and 75 but I do have the fajitas.

Simple ones at that.

Simple Chicken Fajitas

  • 1 lb chicken breast cutlets, cut into strips
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon seasoned salt (I used Lawry’s)
  • 1 can Rotel (mild)
  • 1 medium onion, cut into strips
  • ½ red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • ½ green red pepper, cut into strips

Mix together spices. In a medium bowl, toss chicken with spices, making sure to coat evenly.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown chicken on all sides.

Add in onion and peppers. Cook for 5-7 minutes.

Pour in rotel and cook on medium/high heat until liquid is cook down and onion and peppers are soft. (about 15-20 minutes)

Serve with warm tortillas and any of your favorite fajita toppings.

photo-24This fajitas were crazy good and crazy easy!

-abp

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

What a week!!

There is so much going on and it’s not even officially the holiday season!

The past six months just seem like a blur to me – 4 major events – our wedding, the reception a couple months later, our honeymoon to Italy and my surgery. Thrown into that were football season (tailgating), getting a new house in shape and my new blog ( 🙂 )

Don’t get me wrong! I have loved every minute of it! Well, except the surgery, although I did enjoy the time off from work – that was awesome!. It’s just everything is going so so fast! I can’t believe Thanksgiving is 2 weeks away!! And it will be my first officially Thanksgiving in my new house! YAY!

ohmygoodness, ohmygoodness, ohmygoodness!!!

Starting then I’m pretty sure we will be having all kinds of traditional holidays foods for the next several weeks but this week and next weekI’m sticking to the normal everyday things I like to make.

You know I LOVE pasta and you know I LOVE Mexican food. So why not combine them??

When I came across this recipe on Pinterest – I knew I must try it!

Chicken Taco Pasta (adapted from Bev Cooks)

Serves 4-6

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbs. favorite taco seasoning
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can drained and rinsed kidney beans (or black)
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 roma tomato, diced
  • 2 cups pasta shells
  • 4 oz (half a block) cream cheese
  • 2 Tbs. greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro
  • coarse salt and pepper

(FYI – the pictures below are a double recipe)

Start by putting pasta onto cook according to directions. Reserving 1/3 cup pasta water.

Brown your chicken over medium-high heat. (I must admit, I’m not really a fan of what ground chicken looks like while it’s cooking)

Add onion, garlic and taco seasoning. Cook for 5 minutes.

Next add corn, beans, green chilies and salt/pepper to taste. Cook another 5 minutes.

Add diced tomatoes and toss to combine.

Stir in cream cheese and yogurt.

Combine meat mixture with shells. Add pastas water bit by bit if it is to thick.

Serve with plenty of fresh cilantro.

This recipe was very filling and had great flavor but I must warn you – wear your chopping gloves because there’s a whole lot a choppin’ going on!

I can tell you – my wrist wanted to revolt against me.

But it was worth it. 🙂

abp

“Food is not about impressing people. It’s about making them feel comfortable.” ~ Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa)

Italian food ranks right up there as being my favorite type of food but I have to admit when we got back home from our trip to Italy- I most definitely wanted something that 1) wasn’t Italian and 2) was not ordered in a restaurant.

I wanted good old comfort food and I wanted it in the form of Mexican!

So Mexican Chicken Casserole fit the bill perfectly!

It’s simple, simple and full of flavor.  It can also be adjusted according to the heat you desire.

Mexican Chicken Casserole

  • 2-3 cups of cooked chicken, shredded
  • 8 oz of jalapeno Velveeta cheese, cubed (use regular for milder version)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can mild rotel tomatoes (hot for spicier version)
  • 1/2 bag Doritos, crumbled

Mix shredded chicken, cheese, soups and rotel in large bowl.

Pour into casserole dish.

Top with Doritos and bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until slightly browned and bubbly.

Serve with Sante Fe Ranch Salad and chow down.

That sure was simple and perfect for this hungry jet-lagged girl.

Glad to be back in the kitchen!

abp