Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tortilla Soup

I love making Emily's Tortilla Soup from Pampered Cheif, but I tried this one last night and LOVED it. It has a lot of good flavors and my kids were asking for more! I didn't make the chipotle crema, but the spice one the fried tortillas was YUMMY! You'll have to give the fried tortillas a try!

Tortilla Soup
from: Emeril "BAM"


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 green bell pepper and 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon tomato paste
6 cups chicken stock
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
6 stale corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
1 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows
1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and chopped, for garnish
Chipotle Crema, accompaniment, recipe follows


In a Dutch oven or large heavy pot, heat the oil on medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, peppers, salt, cumin, and coriander for 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cilantro and lime juice, and stir well. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
Heat the oil in a heavy pot or electric fryer to 350 degrees F. Add the tortilla strips in batches and fry until golden and crisp, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Season with the Essence.
Ladle the soup into 4 or 6 serving bowls. Garnish each serving with the diced avocado, the fried tortilla strips, and Chipotle Crema.

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Yield: 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch
Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

Chipotle Crema:

1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/8 teaspoon salt

In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine all the ingredients. Process on high speed until smooth. Serve with the soup.
Yield: 1/2 cup

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chicken Chimichangas

I made this last week and didn't get a picture! My family loves this and it is quick and easy meal! The nice thing is I usually have all the ingredients on hand!
Chicken Chimichangas
(my sister gave this to me, so I don't know where it came from!)
2 1/2 cups shredded chicken, cooked
1 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese (I just use what I have on hand, and its still great)
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tsp dried oregano
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can chopped green chilies
1 (16 oz) can refried beans (I also like to substitute and use black beans)
6 flour tortillas
  • Preheat oven to 500 degrees
  • Combine first 6 ingredients. Spread beans down center of tortilla (beans uncooked), top with chicken mixture. Roll up and place on a greased cookie sheet seam side down. Spray tops with cooking spray and Bake for 7 minutes or until browned on top.
  • Serve with salsa, sour cream, chips, rice, anything you want!


I found this recipe on a blog and decided to try it this year. It was a huge success (as she described on the blog) and I am really glad to have made some (thanks Michelle for motivating to get it done!). It is Marla's recipe, so if you are knee deep in tomatoes right now and want a new recipe to try, give this one a try~
1 qt tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 can diced green chilies
1 green pepper, chopped
2 1/2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 tbsp garlic salt
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Boil all ingredients together for 30 minutes--Process for 30 minutes in water bath if canning.
**the more jalapenos, the hotter it gets, this recipe is on the milder side!
(We got about 6 1/2 pints from doubling this recipe)

Saturday, September 19, 2009


I had a few people want the recipe I have come up with for oatmeal. It is good ole oatmeal like you get from the oatmeal packets you buy at the store. I have tried for a while and this is what I came up with for how we like our oatmeal. We are fans of the maple and brown sugar. You can add what ever you like but this is a good base.
(and uses
some food storage items:)

6 cups quick cooking oats
1/4 cup powder milk
1 to 1 1/4 cup *sugar
(I put a heaping 1/2 cup brown and heaping 1/2 cup white)
1 tsp salt
Mix all together in a big bowl or container (or #10 can). Keep in an air tight container (I put mine in the fridge but it will stay good for up to 6 months in the cupboard). When serving, stir or shake container. Put 1/2 cup oatmeal in bowl and add 3/4-1 cup boiling water. I never make oatmeal in the microwave, it makes it too hot and always boils over. Just add enough water how you like it and let it sit for about a minute.

Add the following to the whole recipe not just each individual serving-
Maple and Brown sugar: I add 2 T powder maple flavoring. I found this on line at a spice store, if you can't find it or don't want to buy it, add a little maple syrup after it is cooked (and reduce the sugar).

Cinnamon: Add 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
I have also found at Alison's Pantry you can get mini cinnamon drops and they are just like the cinnamon in cinnamon roll oatmeal packets. They dissolve in the hot water. Yum!

Those are the only types my boys like but you can add raisins or dried apples before the boiling water if you like fruit in your oatmeal.

*you can always go less sugar and add it after it is cooked. If the sugar comes out at my house the boys put way too much on. I'd rather add it how we like it now and keep the sugar in the cupboard!

This makes 14- 1/2 cup servings (before you add water). The packets from the store are about 1/3 cup serving. The powdered milk in this recipe makes it creamy and yum. My family loves it and it is much cheaper to make it yourself. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Chocolate-Zucchini Cupcakes

I found yet another great recipe from real mom kitchen! She found this recipe and adapted it from one at! I didn't put the frosting on them, because I loved them just the way they were or I was too lazy to make the frosting! Either way, the cupcakes were very yummy and you can't even tell the zucchini is in there! Try both ways, next time I will definitely try the frosting too!!
Chocolate-Zucchini Cupcakes
  • 2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted (or I used 6 tbsp unsweetened chocolate powder + 2 tbsp oil)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I only had regular and it was fine)
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnets ( I didn't put the nuts in)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, beat eggs with sugar for about 10 minutes or until thickened and pale. Blend oil and cooled chocolate into the beated egg mixture. (If using unsweetened cocoa powder you don't have to cook it)

In a small bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir flour mixture into egg mixture until just blended. Stir in zucchini and mini chocolate chips.

Using an ice-cream scoop, spoon batter into 24 paper-lined or greased muffin cups, filling the cups 2/3 full (mine were probably a little fuller).

Bake for 20 minutes or until fork or toothpick inserted in a cupcake's center comes out clean. Let cool in pans on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans; let cool completely. Spread with chocolate cream cheese frosting (see below) and garnish with walnuts.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups sifted powdered sugar (you may want less depending on how stiff you want your frosting)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy. Mix in powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Mix in cocoa powder.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fried Rice

I got this recipe from my sister-in-law who served her mission in Thai Land. She says this is the closest you can get to good homemade Fried Rice. You may be a little afraid of the fish sauce, but it makes a big difference in making the dish really yummy!

  • 4 cups of steamed rice
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. Minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. Soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. Fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp. Vegetable oil
  • black pepper to taste
  • handful of peas
  • can add sliced ham, cooked chicken or cooked shrimp

  1. Have all the ingredients measured and ready
  2. Saute garlic and onion in heated oil until they turn light brown, Add rice, stir and cook until rice is well mixed with onion and well heated through. Add your meat now.
  1. Add soy sauce, fish sauce, and black pepper. Stir and cook for one minute
  2. Add eggs, stir and cook until egg is cooked and well mixed with the rice. Mix in the green onion and peas. Remove from heat and serve.

Korean Marinade

I thought this marinade was really yummy. I did not end up skewering the meat but barbecued it whole and than sliced it to serve.

Korean Marinade for Steak kabobs

1/3 cup chopped green onions
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp. sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
5 cloves garlic, crushed

combine the above ingredients. Slice chuch steak into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick slices. Marinate meat for 8 hours or overnight. Weave strips of steak onto skewers andcook on a hot barbecue for 8 minutes. Serve

Grilled Steak with Blue Cheese Potatoes

I made this this weekend with Elk Steak. And they were really yummy!! I'm not even that much of a blue cheese fan, but I loved it. I did end up broiling the potatoes instead of grilling them.

Grilled Steak with Blue Cheese Potatoes

by: Martha Stewart

Serves 4

* 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

* 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary, plus sprigs for garnish

* 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

* 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

* Freshly ground pepper

* 1 3/4 pounds skirt steak

* 1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes

* Coarse salt

* 3 ounces blue cheese, crumbled


1. Preheat grill to high. Stir garlic, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, and oil in a nonreactive dish; season with pepper. Place steak in dish, cutting to fit if necessary; coat both sides with marinade. Marinate, turning once, 15 minutes, or up to overnight in the refrigerator.

2. Cover potatoes with cold water in a medium saucepan; add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain; let cool slightly. Slice potatoes in half, and brush lightly with oil; season with salt and pepper.

3. Grill steak, turning once, to desired doneness, 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Set aside. Meanwhile, grill potatoes, turning once, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Immediately sprinkle with cheese. Thinly slice steak against grain. Divide steak and potatoes among 4 plates. Serve, garnished with rosemary sprigs.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Slow-cooker Lasagna

Totally bad pictures, but it turned out good! I think next time I will do it the 4 hours instead of 5 and then add some more spaghetti sauce. It may have been a little dry because I cooked it a little long too! It was perfect for my day yesterday! We had soccer games at 5:00, and it was wonderful to have lasagna waiting and ready when we got home!
Super simple too!

Slow-Cooker Lasagna
from Kraft food and family magazine

1 lb ground beef ( I added 2 cloves garlic to this)
1 jar (26 oz) spaghetti sauce (next time I am going to add 1 can of tomato sauce with this)
1 cup water
1 container ricotta cheese (15 oz)
1 pkg (7 oz) mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg
2 tbsp, chopped fresh parsley (I just sprinkled the dry stuff)
6 lasagna noodles, uncooked
Make it:
Brown the meat in large skillet; drain and add garlic if you want. Stir in spaghetti sauce and water. Mix ricotta, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, 2 tbsp parmesan, egg and parsley.
SPOON 1 cup meat sauce into slow cooker; top with layers of half noodles, broken to fit, and half cheese mixture on top of noodles. Cover with 2 cups meat sauce. Top with remaining noodles, broken to fit, cheese mixture and meat sauce.
Cover with lid.
COOK on LOW for 4-6 hours (try 4 first) or until liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses; let stand, covered, 10 minutes or until melted.