Friday, June 27, 2008

cafe rio-ish chicken salad and burrito

- 4 chicken breasts
- 1 can coke
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 small cans of diced green chiles
- 1 8oz can of tomato sauce
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp cumin

Put everything in crock-pot. Cook on high for 2 hours, and then cook on low for 2 hours. I usually turn off the crock pot and let it sit for 2 hours, and then shred the chicken. My crock pot cooks things fast, so you might need to adjust cooking time.


- burrito size tortillas
black beans
- cheddar cheese
- green chile enchilada sauce (if you want it “enchilada style”)
- tomatoes diced
- avocado

Heat the black beans. Put the chicken, black beans, and cheese in the tortilla. Roll it up and heat for 30 seconds in microwave. Top with enchilada sauce, more cheese, avocado, and tomato.

- burrito size tortillas
- black beans
- frozen corn or canned corn
- lettuce
- bell pepper (red or green)
- tomatoes
- avocado
- salsa
- cheddar cheese
- sour cream
- ranch dressing or Cafe Rio Creamy Tomatillo Dressing*

Preheat oven to 425°F. Crumple four large sheets of foil to make four 3-inch balls; place on baking sheet. Place 1 tortilla on top of each ball; spray tortilla with cooking spray. Bake 6 min. or until tortillas are golden brown. (Tortillas will drape over balls as they bake.) If you have tortilla molds you can use them instead of the foil balls (duh).

Heat black beans and corn.

Create your salad: I usually put the hot stuff on bottom (chicken, beans, corn), and then all the veggies topped with the salsa, cheese, sour cream, and dressing.

*Cafe Rio Creamy Tomatillo Dressing (one of the many recipes circulating):
- 1 c mayo (full fat not light)
- 1 c cilantro
- 1/2 t cayenne pepper
- 1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch Buttermilk Recipe Dressing Mix
- 1/2 c buttermilk
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 3 tomatillos (quartered)

Mix all ingredients in blender until well blended. Chill before serving.

lemon drop cupcakes

Got this one from kraftfoods. I made two changes: I only added 2/3 of the powdered sugar to the frosting. 16oz was way too much. I just tasted the frosting and stopped adding powdered sugar when I liked it. I topped them with Lemon Heads instead of lemon zest.

Prep Time:

10 min
Total Time:
1 hr 34 min
24 servings, one cupcake each
1 pkg. (2-layer size) white cake mix
1 pkg. (4-serving) JELL-O Lemon Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
1 cup water
4 egg whites
2 Tbsp. oil
1 pkg. (16 oz.) powdered sugar (way too much, only add a little more than a cup - my opinion)
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
2 Tbsp. lemon juice

PREHEAT oven to 350ºF. Beat cake mix, dry pudding mix, water, egg whites and oil in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed until moistened. (Batter will be thick.) Beat on medium speed 2 min. Spoon batter evenly into 24 paper-lined 2-1/2-inch muffin cups.

BAKE 21 to 24 min. or until wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 min.; remove to wire racks. Cool completely.

MEANWHILE, beat sugar, cream cheese, butter and juice with electric mixer on low speed until well blended. Frost cupcakes.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

I got this recipe from some magazine, but I can't remember which. I doubled it to use up some oats and it fit just fine in my KitchenAid mixer, even though it seems like it might not.

1 stick butter

1 cup dark brown sugar (regular worked fine for me)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup pureed fresh or canned pumpkin

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

3 cups rolled oats (I used the quick-cooking kind)

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (not in the original recipe, but I think it makes them even better)

Heat oven to 350. Beat together butter and sugars. Add pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla; beat. Mix in combined flours, baking soda, and spices, then stir in oats. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes. Let cool.

I was out of butter, so I used the vegetable shortening substitution (1 cup butter or margarine = 1 cup shortening + 6 teaspoons water). I couldn't tell a major difference in the cookies compared to the first time I made them. I think they could use a little bit more spice, but they definitely have a pumpkin flavor. And I prefer the chocolate chips in them because they compliment the pumpkin and spice flavor so nicely.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Chicken Gyros

I really can't remember where I got this recipe, I think it was from here. They are Delicious and very easy!!

Chicken Gyros

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4" strips
2 Tbsp. finely chopped dill
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 large onion, thinly sliced
a few tablespoons olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper

For serving:
Tzatziki (recipe follows)
8-10 small pitas
fresh lemon juice

(I place everything in a gallon-size freezer bag to let it marinate.)

Let the chicken marinate anywhere from 1/2 hour to overnight. (I usually let it marinate for 2-3 hours.)

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a little olive oil. Saute the chicken and onions until chicken is cooked through. (I sometimes remove the chicken pieces and let the onions cook a little longer.)

To serve--place some of the chicken on the pita, top with tzatziki and a little fresh lemon juice. Fold up and enjoy!

Tzatziki (Yogurt Dill Sauce)

1 large container Greek Yogurt
1/2 seedless cucumber, grated and drained (see note and picture below)
2-3 Tbsp. fresh dill, finely chopped
4 scallions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1-2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
a drizzle of olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper--to taste

Combine all the ingredients and chill for several hours to allow flavors to meld. Yields about 2 1/2 cups.

(I prepare it at the same time as the chicken marinade.)

Note: Cucumbers are so full of water that it is necessary to let them drain in a sieve before using in the yogurt sauce. You may even notice up to 1/4 cup liquid in the bowl after draining.