Saturday, February 27, 2010

Mexican Shrimp Quesadillas

Do you have some Costco shrimp you need to use up? Or some flour tortillas? This is an easy and delicious way to use them.
6- 10" flour tortillas
1 lb. chopped cooked shrimp
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 avocado, chopped and sprinkled with lime juice (opt.)
Few drops Tabasco
4-6 sprigs Cilantro, chopped fine
Mix all together and scoop onto three tortillas. Sprinkle generously with jack/ cheddar cheese. Put another tortilla on top. Press down. Bake at 425 for about 8 minutes OR grill on both sides OR use a panini press OR you can do open face "pizzas" and broil under the broiler until cheese is hot and bubbly. Serve with salsa.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Skillet Beef Stew

Long before Rachel and her 30 minute meals, Better Homes and Gardens magazine did an issue that had thirty 30-minute meals in it. Much in mini- Julia/ Julie fashion, I made every one of those 30 meals (though I didn't blog it- I could have been famous if there was such a thing as a blog back then!) Though we enjoyed most of them, this is the only one that "stuck"- the only one I still make regularly. It is really good and pretty easy to make. I've tweaked that original recipe a bit. You can serve it over noodles or mashed potatoes.
1 lb. beef steak, cut into 1 1/2 squares- you can use flank steak, top round, sirloin, whatever you can get.
3 carrots, sliced thin
2 onions, sliced thin
10 oz mushrooms, cut in half
4 T. soy sauce
2 T. ketchup
3 T. corn starch

Mix together soy sauce ketchup and corn starch and some salt and pepper. Put meat chunks in, mix well and marinate while you prepare your veggies. In a large skillet, saute veggies in olive oil until tender. Remove veggies, add more oil, then add meat mixture. Stir and fry until meat is done. Add veggies back in and 1/2- 1 cup water or beef stock. Cook and stir together, stirring bits from the pan, until well blended and thickened. Serve over noodles or mashed potatoes. I like to serve this with green beans.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chicken Salad

This is a brave post from the Mackrory household because I made up this recipe...probably the first ever! I was craving chicken salad and we didn't have all the ingredients for any of the chicken salad recipes that I could find, so I was forced to create my own. I was thrilled when all 4 members of our family liked it. Here is my experiment:

2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced small
1 carrot, diced and partially cooked until tender/crisp
1 apple, peeled and diced
1/3 small onion, finely diced
1/2 cup pureed cauliflower (this helps make the is creamy and much more healthy than just mayo)
1/3-1/2 cup mayonaise
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients. Ideally it would taste best chilled...I usually get it made just in time for dinner. :) Serve with some type of bread (we usually end up with toast instead of a much yummier roll) and green salad.

Salsa Chicken Burritos

I got this recipe from my good friend, Whitney Allen. We got to know her and her family this summer in Wisconsin. It has become one of our regular family meals. We all love it.

2 cups salsa (original recipe called for Pace Picante Medium...we use mild)
4 frozen chicken breasts
1 cup cooked rice
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 can black beans
(This was our addition....I think Blake and Shonna suggested it when we served it to them durning their Wisconsin visit. We like the taste and that it makes it a bit more healthy)
Shredded cheese
(the kind you cook yourself are the best)
Spray crockpot with cooking spray. Add chicken and salsa. Cook on high for 3 hours. Then take out the chicken and shred. Put chicken back into crockpot and add rice, sour cream and beans. Cook 1 more hour. Serve on a tortilla with shredded cheese, wrapped like a burrito. Yum!

It is even better the second day. You can also use it as a dip with corn chips.

**One of my biggest faults in cooking is not planning ahead. I have found that this recipe works well even when I decide to make it 45 minutes before dinner. I just cook it in a saucepan on the stove. Cook the chicken and salsa until the chicken is cooked and then just heat through after adding rice, sour cream and beans.**
(from Kristen)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Vegetable Chowder

I've had this recipe so long, I really can't even remember where I got it. But it's Ken's VERY favorite soup that I make. It's a little time consuming, peeling and cutting up all those potatoes and veggies, but so worth it.
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (pre-cooked is okay)
6 green onions (the whole thing), chopped OR 1 large onion, diced
10 med. potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup chopped green pepper 
2 stalks celery, diced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart boiling water with heaping T. ham (or chicken) flavored Better than Boillion
Salt to taste
1 T. worcestire sauce
Several drops Tabasco ( this is the secret ingredient that makes it so good)
1 quart half and half
In a large kettle, saute bacon, then add carrots and celery. Saute for a couple of minutes, then add all veggies, Water and seasonings. Cover and simmer until veggies are tender. Mash with a potato masher. Pour in half and half. Slowly heat, but do not boil. Taste and add more of the following as desired:  Salt, pepper, garlic salt, more tobasco, more better than boillion, more worcestire sauce.  Adjust the seasonings until it tastes the way you like it.  

Cozy Oats

My new favorite breakfast: Cozy Oats! I got this recipe from Cara Johnson. It is healthy, simple and yummy! I didn't have cardamom or wheat germ, but it still turned out to be delicious. I plan on buying both ingredients soon, because I've already made it three times in the past week. I added 1 T of ground flaxseed and some frozen berries to add some nutrients and flavor. I am usually one to want breakfast the moment my head pops off the pillow in the morning, so waiting for something to cook was out of the question. This one is worth waiting for.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Soft, Thick Sugar Cookies

Tradition! Tradition! . . . Tradition, Tradition! Now, I've got you singing, I'll soon have you baking. It's tradition to make sugar cookies at our house at Halloween and Valentines (Christmas there is always too much other good stuff being baked). Pumpkins at Halloween; Hearts at Valentines. I got this recipe from a friend years ago, and it really is the best. Roll the dough nice and thick (about 1/4") and don't bake too long and they are soft and delicious. Frost with buttercream frosting(daddy's favorite way) , or Grandpa Gabe's favorite way was when I would sprinkle them with colored sugar before baking. Oh, how he loved those! Happy Valentine baking!
1 cup shortening (I like butter flavored)
1 cup butter, softened
4 cups sugar
4 eggs, room temp. (you can put them in a bowl of warm water while you're gathering ingredients to warm them)
2 cups sour cream
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp. soda
2 T. plus 2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
9 cups flour
In a very large bowl, cream shortening, butter and sugar until fluffy. Add each egg, one at a time, beating well after each one. Add sour cream and vanilla. Turn off beater. Add flour, then all of the other dry ingredients (or you can sift them together). Slowly turn on beater and mix the dry into the wet. Dough will be very sticky. Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour. Roll on floured canvas or breadboard and cloth fairly thick. Cut with cookie cutters. Play on sprayed cookie sheet (you can sprinkle with colored sugar here) and bake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes, depending on size of cookies. . .just until barely starting to brown. Do not overbake. Frost with buttercream frosting (recipe below) when cool and decorate as desired. They will be soft and thick.

Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp.+ vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
2 T. milk
Few drops food coloring
Cream butter and shortening then add vanilla and milk. Gradually add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well. Beat at high speed until light and fluffy. Add more milk or sugar to get desired consistency. Add food coloring and beat well. This refrigerates well, just beat before using.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New- Found Joy

I've found several new favorite recipes online lately. One of my new favorites: Butternut Squash Risotto. I didn't follow the recipe exactly, but it still turned out to be really yummy. B/c I don't have a food processor for the squash, I just diced it with a knife. I did brown rice in my rice cooker then added it at the end and just used 2 cups of chicken bouillon rather than 5. Yum!

Another of my new faves came from Sarah Cardon's Blog: Crockpot Mexi Chicken. Easy and versatile.

I found Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina on the food network website. I usually have most of the ingredients, and it is pretty inexpensive and easy. Love it!

Broccoli Chicken Bake

A yummy, simple favorite of the Prince family!

1 cup cooked chicken
1 cup cooked broccoli
1/2 cup green pepper, diced
1 tsp garlic powder
3/4 cup shredded cheese
1/2 cup mayo
1 tsp dill
1/4 tsp salt
2 cans crescent rolls

Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.

On Sprayed cookie sheet, spread out 2 crescent rolls, short sides touching. Finger press to combine. Repeat process, overlapping large triangles to cover bottom of pan. Spread mixture down the center of the dough. Fold over sides to enclose. It is best not to overlap dough for more even cooking.

Can substitute with pie filling. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 min.

Hungry Hintons!

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Without this amazing woman, we wouldn't be here! Kay is an incredible cook, hostess and Mother. Just thinking about her cooking makes us Hinton's hungry!