Mauve Cabinets and a Bottle of Red

My two passions–Food and books

Spanish-Style Rice October 10, 2012

Filed under: Mexican,My Recipes,Quick and Easy,Side Dish,Vegetarian — hmills96 @ 10:40 am

I moved AGAIN this weekend. Three apartments in 12 months. WHEW! I am so not moving again for a long time. But, now that we’ve gotten most everything put away, I actually feel at home. I’ve been feeling like a guest in someone else’s place for awhile, so it’s a relief to be so much more relaxed.

We had our first company over last night for the Red’s playoff game. I am in training this week with a new group of employees, and I knew I’d be getting home after Richard’s friend was already there. Because I needed a quick, easy meal, I settled on tacos. Those are pretty self explanatory–meat, seasoning, cheese, shell. Some refried beans on the side (or the way I like it–in my taco). But, I wanted to cook SOMETHING. This rice was super easy–just throw it all in a pot for 25 minutes. That gave me time to crack open a beer (Sam Adams Harvest Nut–get your hands on this, if you haven’t already), catch up on the game, and talk to our company. The boys loved it, so I will definitely be making this again.

Unfortunately, I didn’t snap a picture of this. There wasn’t really any recipe that I followed, just threw everything together based on what I THOUGHT was in Spanish Rice. It worked for us, even if it wasn’t totally authentic.

Spanish-Style Rice
Original Recipe

1 15-oz can Petite Diced Tomatoes
1 1/2 cup brown rice
1 1/2 cup water
1 chicken bouillon cube (I actually used a ramen noodle packet because that’s what I had on hand.)
Generous amount of a cayenne pepper/chili powder based seasoning blend
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp soy sauce (or Worcestershire would work as well)
2 Tbsp butter

Combine all ingredients in a large pot over high heat. Bring to boil, reduce to low heat. Cover. Simmer for 25 minutes.

Don’t touch this why it’s simmering, otherwise the rice will come out sticky and gooey.

Remove from heat when rice is tender and has soaked up most of the liquid. Serve hot.


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.


Chicken Enchiladas June 27, 2010

Filed under: Chicken,Mexican — hmills96 @ 8:40 pm
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When I woke up this morning, my first thought was “What am I going to cook today?” My mind was in recipe mode–cataloguing my pantry, going over what I have cooked recently, what I have been hungry for lately. I was coming up empty. My cabinets are far from empty, but I don’t have many of the KEY ingredients I like to use. Things that I use quickly because I like them, or because they HAVE to be used quickly. Shrimp or other seafood, chicken thighs, mushrooms, bell peppers, fruit of any kind. For example–I have every ingredient needed to make beef bourgenion (or good substitutes) except mushrooms. You can’t make beef stew without mushrooms. You just can’t. Actually a lot of the recipes that kept popping into my head needed mushrooms. Grrr. Guess I’ll have to pick some up this week. I don’t like to buy them unless I KNOW I’m going to cook with them within a day or two because they seem to rot so quickly. How do you keep your mushrooms from going bad?

I ended up pulling out my binder after J went to work and then my Casserole magazine. I settled on chicken enchiladas, as I had all the ingredients for them. Or so I thought. I got halfway through the prep and realized I didn’t have the can of green chiles it called for. Darn. Oh well, that’s what Tabasco is for! Good thing I had just bought a brand new bottle, right?

These were good. Not spectacular, but good. I think next time I’ll use my Boom Boom sauce with the filling, instead of this one, as it was a little bland. It needed more heat, but that’s to be expected out of what I think of as a cook book for suburban moms with picky kids. We put fresh salsa on top– fresh guacamole would be good with these too.

Oh, and I actually did try to take pictures of this but because I used corn tortillas and not flour, they came out as just a big mess. The tortillas didn’t hold their shape at all, they just kind of dissolved into the sauce. Trust me, the recipe is better without a picture :).

Chicken Enchiladas

Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Ultimate Casseroles

2 chicken breasts
2/3 cup chicken broth
1/4 tsp black pepper
10 oz pkg frozen spinach, cooked to package directions
Handful cilantro
1 1/4 cups sour cream
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup milk
4-6 drops Tabasco
4-6 flour tortillas
1/2 cup cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Grease baking dish (use one that has a lid).

In a large skillet, combine chicken, broth, and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered for 12-14 minutes or until no longer pink. Drain. Shred chicken.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, cooked spinach, and cilantro.

In a small bowl, combine sour cream, flour, salt, & cumin. Stir in milk and Tabasco. Stir half of sauce into chicken mixture. Set remaining sauce aside.

Divide filling among tortillas. Roll up and arrange seam sides down in prepared baking dish. Top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake, covered, for 20 minutes. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes more.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

**Note–Use flour tortillas, not corn. I used corn because that’s what I had on hand, but they do not roll at all, they just break. Flour tortillas are much more pliable, and won’t dissolve when baked.


Choriqueso Fritters May 17, 2010

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

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.


Pork Roast Tacos May 5, 2010

Filed under: crockpot,Family,holiday,Mexican,Pork — hmills96 @ 6:02 pm
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Happy Cinco de Mayo! Today is the day where margaritas are on sale at every restaurant that sells so much as a nacho chip and every food blogger cooks something with tortillas or tequila! Not that I’m complaining–seriously what’s wrong with tequila?

The 5th of May, in my family, has always meant Dad’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Daddy!! There’s an unwritten rule in our house that the birthday person gets to pick the restaurant for dinner, and I always remember going to get Mexican–Banditos in my younger days, then El Camino when they came in to town. Dad LOVES spicy food–chiles rellenos is one of his favorites!

This is old, but cute!

He would have liked this dish–it doesn’t pack much heat, but the spices are definitely there. The pork is seared, then braised for 2 hours in all kinds of deliciousness. My house smelled AMAZING yesterday when I was making this!


Pork Roast Tacos
Adapted from My Baking Adventures

Chili Spice Rub–See Below

3lbs pork tenderloin
1 large onion, cut into wedges
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
3 dried red chiles (or a handful of red pepper flakes)
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp Mexican Hot Chile Powder

Pat pork dry. Rub chili mixture into meat.

Set dutch oven over medium high heat, coat bottom with oil. Sear meat on all sides.

Add onion and garlic to pot and cook until the caramelize. Add tomatoes, chiles, cumin, and chile powder. Add 2 inches of water.

Cover and simmer for 2 hours, adding more liquid as necessary. Mine boiled down quite a bit, keep an eye on it.

Shred meat and serve on tortillas.

Chili Spice Rub
Adapted from 500 Five Ingredient Recipes

1/2 cup Hot Mexican Chili Powder
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp salt
8 cloves garlic, minced fine

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Rub into meat before cooking.

**Note–Once seared, this could probably be cooked lower and slower in a crockpot, just make sure your meat is cooked thru before serving.


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!!