“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

 

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“The Super Bowl is Americana at its most kitsch and fun.” ~ Sting

I must admit – I’m not a huge pro football fan but I do like the Super Bowl and yes, it’s because of the commercials. I also usually like the excuse to have people over and/or make yummy appetizers because appetizers are my fav!

Also – I love Peyton Manning. So, this year I will be pulling for the Broncos.

No big party this year but that doesn’t mean I can’t make a yummy appetizer and this year’s appetizer will be a little thing called Cajun Crack.

Cajun Crack

  • 2 cans of corn, drained
  • 1 can of rotel, drained (mild)
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoon Tony’s Seasoning
  • Fritos

Drain corn and Rotel. Combine all ingredients. Chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Serve with Fritos.

phontoThe original recipe called to serve it chilled but you cook also cook it in a baking dish at 350º for 25-30 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

And to be honest – I think next time that’s what I would do but if I kept it cold, I would use green onions instead of red onions.

Also, in the cold version, I might add chopped green pepper. Basically, this is a good base but it needs to be dressed up to your taste. 🙂

-abp

“When you win, nothing hurts.” ~ Joe Namath

Well, I’m a little sad.

You couldn’t ask for better fall football weather in the south, couldn’t ask for an opponent with fans just like ours (Ole Miss), nor could you ask for a better kick-off time for tailgating than 5:30.

But I am at home. 😦

I miss my tailgating family…..

I know I could have pushed my 8 month pregnant self to make the trek to campus but I also know about 30 minutes in to it – I would be miserable. My feet would most definitely swell and no fold out chair could be as comfortable as my big comfy chair with ottoman here at home, but most importantly – there would not be a bathroom one room over from me – the one I visit about every 15 minutes at this point.

So I will just have to make the most of it from home. We will chill in our comfy clothes, set a TV up on the back porch and fix a yummy supper.

Tonight’s meal will also be one of comfort.

Vegetable Beef Soup

(adapted from Ground Beef Budget)

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes and green chilies (I used mild)
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cans whole new potatoes (drained and cut into bite size pieces)
  • 1 bag mixed vegetables
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

1.  Brown ground beef and chopped onion, drain off grease.

2. Add flour and stir until incorporated.

3. Add remaining ingredients and cook on medium heat for 30 minutes.

****I added everything listed above but at the end added some of my favorite seasonings (Crazy Jane’s Mixed Up Seasoning Salt and Zoe’s Seasoning) to get the flavor I preferred. Feel free to adjust to your liking as well.

This was a very, very simple soup to throw together but you would never know it by the full on flavor it delivered!!! I also doubled it so I could freeze half.

photo-9

Roll Tide.

-abp

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cans whole new potatoes (drained and cut into bite size pieces)
  • 1 bag mixed vegetables
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup elbow macaroni

– See more at: http://groundbeefbudget.com/2012/02/homemade-ground-beef-vegetable-soup/#sthash.GYHOVy28.dpuf

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cans whole new potatoes (drained and cut into bite size pieces)
  • 1 bag mixed vegetables
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup elbow macaroni

– See more at: http://groundbeefbudget.com/2012/02/homemade-ground-beef-vegetable-soup/#sthash.GYHOVy28.dpuf

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cans whole new potatoes (drained and cut into bite size pieces)
  • 1 bag mixed vegetables
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup elbow macaroni

– See more at: http://groundbeefbudget.com/2012/02/homemade-ground-beef-vegetable-soup/#sthash.GYHOVy28.dpuf

“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