Mauve Cabinets and a Bottle of Red

My two passions–Food and books

Homemade Frozen Burritos September 11, 2011

Filed under: beans,cheese,Chicken,Freezer Meals,Mexican,Quick and Easy — hmills96 @ 7:13 pm

Wow guys. It’s been a really long time since I’ve blogged. I’ve kind of been all over the place the last few months, and really not cooking very much–or at least no actual new recipes. I’m completely changing the way I eat so mostly it’s been a bit of trial and error to see what works and what doesn’t.

I went and visited my cousin in Winston-Salem a few weeks ago. She’s really big into clean eating–organics, local produce, no preservatives. I cannot afford to go as extreme as she does it, but I did learn some helpful lessons about what my body needs when. It’s been a bit of a shock on my body, to cut out so much of the junk. I’m not even talking about junk food, just the preservatives and extreme amounts of sodium so much of the convenience foods have today. Hence the trial and error–because of my migraines, I have to be careful about going too extreme too fast–which is why crash diets and cleanses have never really worked for me. I’m starting to feel a lot better–monitoring what goes in, as well as taking up biking.

Anyway, this recipe idea came at an amazing time. I’ve been trying to spend a few hours every weekend putting together a few dishes that I can freeze in individual portions. It makes it so easy then, to pack one of the meals for lunch. Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice  are great for portion control–but there’s a lot up unpronounceable ingredients on their lists. This uses simple ingredients and was so easy to throw together. The following is what I had on hand (and no, most of it isn’t organic, and probably does have some preservatives in it, but it’s still better for me than what I was eating), but feel free to change it up. I would have loved roasted peppers in this, and some cilantro.

Homemade Frozen Burritos

Inspired by The Kitchn 

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
2-3 cups roast chicken (you can use raw, just make sure you cook it fully)
Cumin, chili powder, hot sauce (whatever spices you have on hand)
1 can black beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 bag frozen corn, thawed
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Tortillas (I used Low-Carb)

In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Saute onions and garlic until soft.

Add chicken, toss with spices of your choice. My chicken was left over from a roast I had done the day before, but feel free to saute sliced chicken breasts if you want.

Add beans, tomatoes and corn. Toss until warmed through.

Set up a little work station. Make a pile of tortillas, a bowl of cheese, your foil for wrapping.

To make the burritos:

1. Grab a tortilla.

2. Spread a little line of cheese down the middle.

3. Scoop about 1/2 cup of filling onto the cheese (you need less than you think).

4. Fold two ends in towards the center. Roll burrito.

5. Roll completed burrito in foil.

6. Repeat until you have all your tortillas filled!

7. Freeze.

8. To heat, remove the foil. Wrap in a damp paper towel (this will help keep the ends from getting hard). Microwave for 3 minutes. Enjoy!

Man, I wish I would have taken pictures of this process. I could have gone all Pioneer Woman on you. Unfortunately, I do not have that much foresight or blogging prowess. Make this though. It’s so easy, and it’s soooo yummy.

 

Creamy Pepper Pasta with Peas September 20, 2010

Today was definitely a Monday. Work was crazy busy–there’s a lot of shuffling going on and so things are kind of nuts this week.

Then I came home, planning to make chicken and go work out. Instead, J went up to a friend’s for the evening, so there was no need to make a big fancy dinner. I decided to go with something simple instead. I still planned on working out this evening, until the devil dogs next door (two completely evil Chihuahuas that are constantly escaping and terrorizing the neighborhood) apparently knocked a board loose in our fence and proceeded to come into MY yard and attack my dog. Poor Jenny, she was so confused! She just stood there looking at these stupid little creatures that were nipping angrily at her ankles like “WTF dudes, you are in MY yard, what did I do to you?”

I managed to chase them out without getting bit (a miracle) or shooting them (damn). The next hour was spent hammering the fence back together. I feel very manly. Fortunately, we had proper nails. Unfortunately, the only hammer we have is a very lightweight blocky sort of thing, not a traditional hammer. It took a lot longer and a lot more effort to get those nails through the old wood. But, I accomplished something tonight that I’ve never done before, that counts for something right?

Creamy Pepper Pasta with Peas
Original Recipe

1 lb vermicelli
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
4 oz Pecorino Romano, grated
4 oz Cream cheese
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp nutmeg
1-2 cups frozen peas

Cook pasta in boiling, salted water. Reserve 1 1/2 cup pasta water, drain pasta.

Dry out pot, heat olive oil over high heat until almost smoking. Add pasta and reserved water. (Be Careful!!! This WILL splatter!)

Add butter, cheese, pepper, nutmeg, and peas. Salt to taste.

 

Choriqueso Fritters May 17, 2010

Filed under: appetizers,cheese,Mexican,Pork,sausage — hmills96 @ 3:03 pm
Tags: , , , ,

There is a dish at our local Mexican joint that I LOVE. Choriqueso. I don’t often order it, because it’s more than I really need to eat before a giant burrito. But it is sooooooooo good. The chorizo just sort of melts into the cheese. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

What could be better than turning that wonderful substance into a fried mouthful? NOTHING! I was so excited when I found this recipe. I had 3/4 of a wheel of Queso Fresco leftover from the pork tacos, and a tube of chorizo in my freezer that I’ve been dying to use for something.

These were good. Maybe not the melty, oozy goodness I was hoping for, but they were delicious. I’ll use a different cheese next time, as Fresco doesn’t melt very well. And I had my oil way too hot, so, as you can see in the pictures, they browned way too fast and dark. That may have been party of the melting problem too. But, this was the first time I had ever deep-fried anything, so I’m glad I did try.

These definitely need a dipping sauce. Boom Boom sauce would be great with this, or even just fresh salsa (not the nasty canned stuff).

Only slightly burnt haha! Still good though!

Choriqueso Fritters

Adapted from Cacique Ad in Cooking Light

10 oz package Queso Fresco
5 oz ground chorizo
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 cups Panko
Oil

Brown chorizo. Drain and let cool.

With a fork, crumble cheese into a mixing bowl. Add egg yolks and mix. Add cooled chorizo (best way to do this is with your hands).

Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat until it reaches 350 degrees.

Make 2 Tbsp balls of mixture, flatten slightly, and roll in panko.

Fry until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels, season immediately.

 

Homemade Mac & Cheese April 26, 2010

J & I had a lazy day today. He worked late last night, and I stayed up watching a movie, so we slept in. We did get some dishes and laundry done, but for the most part, the day was spent killing droids on our favorite video game- Star Wars Battlefront II. We are nerds, what I can say? This just means that I really do need to be productive tomorrow. These past few days of dreary weather have made me into a sloth.

After a long, hard day of doing nothing, especially when it’s cold and rainy, is there anything better than comfort food? Plus, I always have cheese, milk, and pasta in my pantry.

This recipe was really good, J loved it and I’m sure he’ll be begging for this one quite often. It’s smooth and creamy, and I really liked the bread crumb topping, which isn’t really popular around here (our potluck macs usually have cheesy toppings).

This is one of those recipes that you can play around with a little bit. Once you have the base cheese sauce, you can mix and match your spices–tonight I used that sun-dried tomato spice you see me use all the time, and a little nutmeg. Some other night I might use thyme or rosemary. An Italian mix would be good in this as well. Guys, this is the great thing about cooking. You may see me do some fancier recipes on here. But if you’re not comfortable with those yet, grab a few of the simpler ones, get comfortable with them, and mix up the spices. Most groceries carry ALL KINDS of spice combos now, so does Pampered Chef. Play with your food!

mmmm warm and creamy!

Mac & Cheese

Adapted from Ella says Opa!

Topping:

2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 shredded parmesan
1 tsp sun-dried tomato spice mix
2 oz shredded cheddar cheese

Sauce:

1/2 stick butter
3 Tbsp flour
1 tsp nutmeg
2 cups milk
1/2 cup cream
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt & Pepper
1 tsp Sun-dried tomato spice mix

1/2 lb elbow macaroni pasta

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

For the topping–Mix together all the ingredients in a small bowl with a fork. Set aside for later.

Boil water, salt. Add pasta. Cook for only 3/4 the recommended time. Pasta should be VERY al dente, so it does not get soggy while baking.

In a Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and nutmeg, and continue whisking over heat for about 3 minutes until slightly browned.

Slowly whisk in milk and cream. Bring to boil, then lower heat to medium low and simmer for 3-4 minutes, until thickened.

Add handful of cheese, whisk until smooth. Add more cheese, whisk until smooth. Continue until all cheese is added. Add mustard, Worcester, and spices; stir until smooth. Add macaroni. Sprinkle topping over the pasta.

Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, until topping is golden brown.

**Note–If you don’t have a Dutch oven, you can make the sauce in a large sauce pan, then transfer everything to a baking dish before putting it in the oven.

 

Easy Mock Queso Dip March 25, 2010

Filed under: cheese,Cookout/Potluck,dip,My Recipes,Parties,Quick and Easy — hmills96 @ 1:31 pm

When J. saw that I had posted my guacamole recipe the other day, he immediately had a craving. He stopped at the store on the way home and picked up the ingredients so I could make it that night. Normally, I buy Medium level salsa, but J. bought Hot. Holy crap. We like things spicy, but jesus this was major. We tried to eat it plain, but it just wasn’t refreshing, because it was so over the top. To cool things down a bit, I decided to play with some cheese, and see if that helped. It did! And it was pretty similar (though not at all authentic) to the dip at our favorite Mexican joint.

Mock Queso

1 Block Cream Cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup salsa

Warm up cream cheese in microwave for 30 seconds. Stir in cheddar and salsa. Microwave for another 30 seconds, stir, then repeat if needed, until hot. Enjoy!

 

Taco Pasta with Boom Boom Sauce February 26, 2010

Filed under: Beef,Casserole,cheese,Freezer Meals,Mexican,pasta — hmills96 @ 10:20 pm

I could not believe how much better I felt today! I always hate taking time off work, but when I have a MFH, sometimes I just have to cut my losses and stay in bed. I made the right decision this time–luckily I have some pretty awesome coworkers who understood and who are perfectly capable of handling things without me (although I’m sure they missed me terribly…right????).

I had been planning on making this recipe a few days ago, but, obviously, it just wasn’t happening. Instead, it made for a perfect Friday night meal for a hungry husband. J. had planned on going to a friend’s apartment for guy’s night but the weather is getting pretty nasty so he decided to stay in. He’s disappointed, but I think he won out with this tasty meal. He kept raving about it–I think I made him happy with this one 🙂

Taco Pasta!

Taco Pasta

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Ultimate Casseroles

1/2 box Jumbo shell pasta
1 16-oz jar salsa
1 lb ground beef
4 oz cream cheese, cut up
2 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp taco seasoning
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Chopped tomato

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Soak in cold water for 1 minute; drain again.

Pour salsa into casserole dish; spread evenly. In skillet, brown beef. Drain fat. Stir in cream cheese and seasonings. Cool slightly.

Spoon meat into pasta shells. Arrange shells on top of salsa.

Bake, covered, for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake, uncovered, about 15 minutes more. Sprinkle with tomato.

Serve with Boom Boom Sauce.

Mrs. Top Gun's Boom Boom Sauce

Boom Boom Sauce

Adapted from Mrs. Top Gun

4 Jalapeno peppers, seeded
1 cup sour cream
4 oz cream cheese
Large handful cilantro
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
Salt to taste

Seed and rib jalapenos (or don’t if you like it REALLY spicy. I didn’t, J. loved it but it was a bit much for me). Quarter, then place in food processor with cilantro and garlic. Pulse until pureed. Add sour cream, cream cheese and cream. Pulse until smooth. Add milk until you get the consistency you want. Salt to taste.

J. says this is his new favorite food!

*Note–This is not the original size of the recipe from the magazine. It called for 2 1/2 lbs of ground beef! I still had enough for 4 people to have at least 4 shells. Fortunately, this is a meal that will freeze well!!

 

Buffalo Chicken Dip February 20, 2010

Filed under: cheese,Chicken,crockpot,dip,My Recipes,Parties,Quick and Easy — hmills96 @ 9:21 pm

I have not been grocery shopping in a LONG time. It had been at least a month and a half. I’m not even kidding. My pantry, fridge, and freezer were all but bare. It was pretty sad. J. and I went to the store today and were there for 2 hours! I’ve never spent that much on groceries before. It was pretty ridiculous. But, it was a pantry restocking trip, most of what we bought will last us awhile, and I have at least 3 weeks of meals planned out right now. Hopefully, my posts will pick up quite a bit!

By the time we got the car unloaded and everything put away (and who are we kidding, the dishes done), we were starving, and both pretty grouchy. We both wanted to veg out in front of the TV for awhile and watch Man VS Food, our latest obsession. That called for some serious snack food.

This is the perfect party dip, by the way. It was actually born out of a dip that my friend asked me to make. She gave me her recipe, but it just didn’t pack enough punch for me. I made a few changes to fit J. and I’s taste, and now we can’t get enough of it. The recipe below is for a Crockpot  for parties. Tonight I just halved it and made it on the stove for the two of us. It’s a pretty versatile recipe!

Definitely not an easy food to photograph!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

4 Chicken Breasts

1 Cup Wing Sauce

1 tsp Worchestershire sauce

3 bricks cream cheese

1/2 cup ranch dressing

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

On the stove, poach the chicken breasts in wing and worchestershire sauce for 10-15 minutes until cooked thru. Remove from pan and shred chicken. Reserve sauce.

In Crockpot, melt cream cheese, ranch, cheddar cheese. Add chicken. Add wing sauce to taste (it should take most of it, but I usually start at half and go from there). Stir until creamy. Keep Crockpot on Warm setting throughout party. Serve with tortilla chips.