Sour Cream Enchiladas

I had been dying to try this recipe from The Pioneer Woman. She is the same person who is responsible for the amazing blue cheese pasta recipe that I posted a while ago.

The pictures for these enchiladas looked amazing, the recipe sounded great. The only reason I put off making this recipe is because it seemed so unhealthy. But sometimes a girl gets to splurge.

Sour Cream Enchiladas

Ingredients

12 corn tortillas
Canola oil, enough to fry tortillas
20 oz enchilada sauce
2 cups sour cream (plus extra for garnish if you want)
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup chopped green onions
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2) Mix sour cream, onions, cumin, cayenne pepper, and 1 1/2 cups of the cheddar cheese together in a bowl.

3) Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Also heat enchilada sauce in separate pan over low heat.

4) Once the oil is hot enough, fry tortillas one at a time, for about 5-10 seconds on each side. Tortillas should not completely crisp.

5) Remove tortilla from oil, dip in enchilada sauce, and place on a cutting board. Spoon a couple tablespoons of the sour cream mix into the tortilla and roll up. Place seam side down into a 9X13 inch baking pan. Repeat until all tortillas have been fried and filled.

6) Sprinkle the enchiladas with the rest of the cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes. The enchiladas are done with the cheese it melted and bubbly.

7) Garnish with some diced green onion and enjoy!

Original Recipe Here.

I’m going to be honest–I did not love this recipe. Even with the frying, the texture of the tortillas was strange. Weird textures bother me…I’m kind of picky that way.

Overall these enchiladas were alright, but not amazing. Maybe I was expecting too much after the pasta recipe? Who knows. Either way, I might make this one again, but it won’t be added into our normal rotation anytime soon.

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Menu Planning (March 12th-26th) and Baked Explorations…

Menu planning for March 12th-26th.

Tomato soup/grilled cheese
Gnocchi
Red pepper bagel sandwiches/soup**
Mexican Casserole**
Veggie Ranch Pizza**
Enchiladas (a recipe from the Pioneer Woman!)**
Turkey/veggie burgers/sweet potato fries**

Lots of new recipes coming up! The ones that I “starred” are the new ones, and I am super excited to spend the rest of my time off school in the kitchen!

My most exciting news? I finally took the plunge and bought “Baked Explorations”, a book I have been desperate to get my hands on for ages. The book focuses on making rustic, homemade, classic desserts. No cakes shaped like zebras or anything crazy like that. Just simple perfection. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite recipes, but you should really just go buy the book anyway. πŸ™‚ The hardest part now is choosing what to bake first. I am fascinated with all the options for breakfast (there is a recipe for Monkey Bread! I was so excited by that!), so maybe I’ll start there.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Sloppy Joes

I have been so incredibly lazy lately. No really, it’s getting a little ridiculous.

My third quarter of nursing school (finally) ended and all I wanted to do was lay around to recover. So that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing for the last week. A lot of daytime napping. Some cleaning house. READING for FUN. It has been a really long time since I’ve cracked a book that wasn’t school related.

Anyway, I completely forgot that I had this recipe laying around, but when I remembered I had to share it.

Sloppy Joes

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef, chicken, or turkey, or 16 oz soy “burger” crumbles
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green or red bell pepper
1 1/4 cups ketchup
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 Tablespoon vinegar
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire
3/4 Tablespoon dry mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup water

1) Heat a deep skillet over medium heat and add ground meat/soy crumbles. Brown meat until it is cooked thoroughly, or follow the directions on the soy crumbles package until they are also cooked completely.

2) Drain and place meat in a bowl. Reserve for later.

3) In the same skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add onions and peppers, cook for about five minutes or until vegetables are tender. Return meat to pan and add remaining ingredients. Stir to combine meat completely with sauce.

4) Reduce heat to low and cook for 25-30 minutes until sauce has thickened slightly.

**This recipe makes about 4 servings. The original recipe, seen here, makes 12 servings. I cut the recipe in thirds and altered a little bit more from there.**

 

This sauce was so good! My one complaint about it is that it was slightly too sweet, so I won’t use as much brown sugar next time.

I love that it can easily be made vegetarian, and it would be relatively easy to make both vegetarians and omnivores happy just by dividing up the recipe. Cook half a pound of ground meat and 8 ounces of the soy crumbles. You could mix the sauce completely, then divide it in halfΒ  and simmer each half with the respective protein. Perfect!

Also, if you’re thinking about getting into meatless Mondays, this would be a great recipe to use to ease into it. Make it with the soy crumbles and the sauce is so spicy and delicious that I bet it’ll be hard to tell it isn’t meat!

Regardless of how you decide to use it, you should definitely try this sauce.


Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

Valentine’s Day. Oh, how I love it. Not because I’m into all that mushy stuff, most of the time the husband and I just cook a special dinner and dessert at home and spend some time together. That is my perfect Valentine’s Day.

As usual, Chad was in charge of planning and making dinner and I took care of the dessert. I decided to make cupcakes, knowing that Chad could take the extras to work with him.

I wanted to do something with chocolate and cherries, so the idea for this cupcake was born! It’s basically a chocolate cupcake with a chocolate cherry mousse. Yum!

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

Ingredients

For the Mousse

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
3 Tablespoons of cherry juice (drained from a jar of maraschino cherries–save cherries for later)
4 large eggs separated into yolks and whites (at room temperature)
A pinch of sugar

For the Cupcake:

**If you are going to make your cake from scratch, I personally LOVE this recipe from Hershey’s.** If you’re short on time, like I was, buy a box mix and doctor it.

1 box chocolate cake mix
The ingredients stated on the back of the box
1/4 cup cherry juice

For the Icing

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

For the Mousse

1) Melt chocolate with 3 Tablespoons of cherry juice over double boiler on medium heat.

2) Once chocolate has melted and juice has been incorporated, set chocolate aside to cool.

3) When chocolate has cooled to room temperature, add the egg yolks and mix well.

4) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and sugar on medium high heat until stiff peaks form.

5) Mix 1/4 of the egg white mixture into cooled chocolate. Mix until completely combined.

6) Add the rest of the egg whites and fold in gently just until there are no longer any visible streaks. Refrigerate for three or four hours.

 

For the Cake

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Make cake mix as directed on box, but sub in 1/4 cup of cherry juice for part of the water. I just poured the cherry juice into a measuring cup up to the 1/4 cup mark, then filled it the rest of the way with the water to make the total amount of liquid called for in the recipe.

3) Bake cupcakes 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

4) Let cupcakes cool.

 

For the Icing

1) Melt butter and stir in cocoa. Add powdered sugar and milk, beating to a spreadable consistancy.

2) Stir in vanilla. Add extra milk to thin, if needed.

 

To assemble the cupcakes

1) Take each cupcake and fill with mousse. I usually just put the filling in a pastry bag, insert the decorating tip into the cupcake, and fill until cupcake plumps up. This time, I used the cone method so I could put a cherry in the middle as well. To do that, cut circles out of the tops of the cupcakes and hollow out a small hole. Fill with mousse and one cherry. Replace the circle top and frost cupcakes. The frosting covers up the cut out circle and it looks beautiful! Add sprinkles and extra cherries to the top!

 

They were a little bit of work, but these cupcakes were delicious! A perfect Valentine’s treat. And I had some mousse left over, which was equally amazing by itself.

You can easily make this into a cake instead of cupcakes. Just bake the cake mix in two round cake pans, use mouse and cherries as filling, and frost!

 

The icing recipe came from the above Hershey’s link.
The mousse was adapted from this recipe by Michael Chiarello and this blog recipe from The Cook’s Corner.

 

 


Tortilla Pizza

Sometimes a good, easy lunch is born out of a necessity to use up some leftovers. I hate throwing out leftovers. Recently I’ve noticed that I can never seem to use an entire package of spinach and it drives me crazy. One of my cooking goals for the week is to throw spinach into everything I can just to use it up.

Anyway, spinach is not the only leftover food we had hanging out in the fridge. In this case we also had leftover tomato paste, green peppers, pepperoni, onion, banana peppers, and leftover tortillas. I was tired of using the tortillas for veggie wraps so I figured I’d just make a fast and easy tortilla pizza!

Tortilla Pizza

 

Ingredients

Whole wheat tortillas
Tomato paste
Italian seasoning (oregano, basil, garlic)
Red pepper flakes
Italian cheese
Whatever toppings your heart desires!
We used:
Onion
Spinach
Green Peppers
Pepperoni
Banana peppers

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2) Place tortillas on a cookie sheet. Spread tomato paste onto tortillas and season with Italian seasoning and red pepper.

3) Top with whatever veggies/meats you’ve chosen. Top with cheese.

4) Bake for approximately 12 minutes, or until cheese is melted and edges of tortillas are crispy.

 

Chad used some leftover onion, green peppers, banana peppers, and pepperoni on his pizza. I just threw a ton of leftover spinach on mine.

I know I always like easy things like this for weekend lunches (it would be good as an appetizer for a get together too!), and it brought me one step closer to getting rid of that darned spinach!

Menu Planning–Feb. 13th-Feb. 27th

As I think I said in my last menu planning post, I am generally on a two week schedule when it comes to menu planning and grocery shopping. Sometimes I don’t get to everything on my menu in the two week period, either because we ended up going out of town for something or because we’ve had more leftovers than I counted on. Whenever that happens I just move the recipes I didn’t make to the menu for the next two weeks. That happened to two of my recipes this time, so I’m not making them again, just rearranging things so I can make them in the first place!

The Menu

salsa and rice wraps
gnocchi
turkey burgers for Chad, boca “chicken” wraps for me w/ oven fries
bruschetta and salad
blue cheese pasta
sloppy joes and salad
stromboli

As a side note, in case anyone in the Evansville area is looking for natural, humanely raised meat, I highly recommend Stonewall Farms. That’s where we got our turkey this past Thanksgiving. You can order individual cuts of meat or join one of their CSA programs. They are terrific!

Turkey Enchiladas

The husband and I decided we wanted to make something easy on Super Bowl Sunday. We stayed in and watched the game (well, he watched the game, I waited for the new Glee episode) since Chad was going to be gone the whole next week for work.

I was ridiculously excited to try this recipe because, really, who doesn’t like enchiladas? These were easy to make, delicious, and this is a great addition to my recipe collection!

Recipe Adapted from Robyn’s Blog!

Turkey Enchiladas

Ingredients

1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 small onion, diced
1/4 cup diced tomatoes with green chilies
1/4 cup of water
taco seasoning (you can make your own! I like this recipe, but add a dash of cayenne pepper)
1 can red enchilada sauce
6-8 whole wheat tortillas
1/2 cup fat free shredded cheese (I used cheddar)

 

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While oven is preheating, brown the ground turkey and drain.

2) Add water, onions, tomatoes, and taco seasoning to meat. Simmer for approx. 10 minutes until the mixture has reduced slightly.

3) Spread a little of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a a 9×13 baking dish.

4) Fill tortillas with meat mixture, roll, and place in baking dish. We ended up with 6 enchiladas.

5) Top with more enchilada sauce (I didn’t use the whole can, but it was pretty close) and cheese. Cover with foil and bake for about 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

 

These were really, really good and definitely husband approved! The only change I really made is that I added a little more onion than the original recipe called for. Chad loves onion, and I don’t mind it as long as it’s hidden in things. πŸ™‚

Check out Robyn’s blog for the original recipe as well as some other really great, healthy meal ideas.


Fish Tacos

This is yet another amazing recipe from Annie’s Eats (and she adapted it from HERE), and let me tell you, she really hits it out of the park with this one.

I am not generally a big fan of fish tacos. Or fish at all. I just don’t really like it, I think it always tastes “fishy”. Yes, I know that is weird. πŸ™‚ But all that went out the window when I tried this recipe.

First, it was ridiculously easy to make, which automatically gives it bonus points in my book. The cilantro cream sauce was so good I could have eaten it by the spoonful. I didn’t, but the thought crossed my mind.

Plus they’re pretty to look at.

Fish Tacos

Ingredients

For the fish/marinade:

1 lb tilapia (or other white fish)
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 Tablespoons of olive oil for marinade + 1 Tablespoon for frying the fish
3 Tablespoon minced cilantro
1/4 teaspoon cumin
2 cloves of garlic, minced

For the cream sauce:

All the juice you can squeeze from 1 lime
2 Tablespoons of cilantro, minced
6 oz light sour cream
1 clove of garlic, minced
pepper to taste

To assemble the tacos:

Cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Green onion, diced
Red cabbage, shredded
Flour tortillas

Directions for fish/marinade:

1) In a shallow pie plate: mix 2 Tablespoons olive oil, 2 Tablespoons lime juice, cilantro, garlic and cumin. Whisk together until blended, then turn fish in the mixture to coat. Allow to marinate for about 30 minutes.

For the cream sauce:

2) While fish is marinating: in a small bowl combine lime juice, cilantro, garlic, sour cream, and pepper (to taste). Mix thoroughly and refrigerate until ready to use.

To cook the fish:

3) Place remaining 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, cook fish without disturbing for 3 minutes on one side. Then flip and cook an additional 2-3 minutes on the other side.

4) Let fish rest for a few minutes, then shred and assemble tacos with sauce, tomatoes, onions, cabbage, or whatever else you want to throw on! Enjoy!

 

Delicious and filling–the perfect easy dinner for a weeknight!

 

Tortellini and Spinach Soup

Tortellini soup, take two.

I do have another recipe that I posted maybe a year or so ago for tortellini soup, but that one was more broth based. And had nutmeg in it, which was strange. I liked that recipe, but considering I haven’t made it again since that first time, it clearly was not a favorite.

Then I found this version of a tortellini soup and figured it wouldn’t hurt to try it out.

Tortellini and Spinach Soup

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1//2 small onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
4 cups veggie broth
1 (14 oz) can whole tomatoes
1 (9 oz) package fresh tortellini
sea salt and black pepper to taste
10 oz spinach
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese

1) In a 3 quart soup pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Cook the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent.

2) Add broth and tomatoes, crushing the tomatoes through your fingers into the soup pot to break them up. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil.

3) Add tortellini and cook according to package instructions. When tortellini is almost done, add spinach. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4) Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve!

Adapted from THIS Food Network recipe.

 

I used a whole wheat pasta that I found in the refrigerator section. You can also use dried pasta, four servings worth.

I did like this soup, but to be completely honest, I prefer my tortellini drowning in thick, hearty tomato sauce. With garlic bread on the side. Yum!

Regardless, this was an easy recipe. I’ll keep it around in case I need an easy, cold weather meal in the future.


Menu Planning–January 30th-February 13th

In the spirit of honesty I will fully admit that I have been cooking, but kind of slacking on posting recipes. I’ve decided I’m going to start posting my menu planning to A) keep track of what we’ve had so I’m not forcing my poor husband to eat the same thing every week and B) force myself to actually update this when I make new recipes.

There is no magic formula for my menu planning. I actually wish there were, lately I’ve had a lot of trouble deciding what to make. We plan for two weeks. I generally plan 7-8 meals and plan on having leftovers fairly often and (*gasp*) frozen pizza or something similar at least one night. I try to plan for at least two new recipes per two week period.

So, the menu for the next two weeks:

Homemade spinach and feta pizza
White chili
Fettuccine Alfredo/garlic knots
Turkey burgers/Boca spicy “chicken” sandwiches, cajun oven fries
Ricotta Gnocchi
Salsa and rice enchiladas**
Turkey enchiladas**

The starred menu items are the new recipes that I should be posting sometime in the next two weeks.

Hopefully after this menu cycle we will have used up all the leftover Thanksgiving turkey and I can go back to my regularly scheduled veggie blogging. πŸ™‚