Thursday, June 30, 2011

Barbecue Chicken Cobb Salad

Loved, loved, loved this salad!  It isn't anything different or new, but it was a great way to have a summer dinner without all the cooking!  You can even use leftover chicken for this and then it would be super fast!  All the ingredients can be prepared ahead of time too, which makes this a great busy day dinner or even a great lunch idea too!
 Barbecue Chicken Cobb Salad
(Our Best Bites)

  • 12 cups romaine lettuce (or whatever your family will eat.  I used a combo with iceburg lettuce)
  • 8-12 ounces grilled barbecue chicken (or leftover chicken is great too!)
  • 8 ounces bacon, cooked and crumbled (easy hint-cut your bacon with your kitchen scissors before you cook it and it is already crumbled and cooks fast!)
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  •  large avocado, pitted and diced
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • I also added in mine ~ sliced carrots, diced red pepper too!
  • Zesty Blue Cheese Dressing and Dip (in Dips and Dressings section)
You can divide the lettuce among different bowls or mix it all together.  My family prefers to add what they like to the salad, so the tomato haters don't get tomatoes!  I had all the ingredients prepared and added them to the salads as family members preferred! Just be sure your kids end up with some vegies, mine tried to only eat the barbecue chicken!

Top with all the yummy ingredients above and put on your favorite dressing or try the Zesty Blue Cheese!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Zesty Blue Cheese Dressing and Dip

I found this dressing/dip in my new Our Best Bites cookbook.  This dressing has become a favorite!
It definitely has a bite to it, but I really like blue cheese and really liked the flavor this had.  We have only had it as a dressing and put it on a cobb salad (which I will post later!)
Zesty Blue Cheese Dressing and Dip
(Our Best Bites)

  • 1 cup mayonaise (DO NOT USE MIRACLE WHIP!! but can use light mayo)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (about 1-2 cloves, minced)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1-2 tbsp milk or buttermilk (optional - for thickness of dressing or dip)
Whisk mayo, salt, pepper, red wine vinegar and garlic together.  Add in your blue cheese crumbles.  Depending on how thick you want it, add your 1-2 tbsp milk or buttermilk.

Best if you can refrigerate for several hours before serving!  Eat with our favorite Barbeque Chicken Cobb Salad or any of your favorite salads or vegies!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cool and Creamy Fruit Salad

This recipe comes from Sisters Stuff.  They talk about Cool and Creamy in there weekly recipes a lot.  I finally had to see what all the talk was about.  This was a simple jello fruit salad that I really liked.  My kids were a little funny about it, which I don 't understand why???  I liked the flavor and it was simple and a great cold salad for a hot summer day.  It would work great for a potluck salad to bring to a church function or even an outdoor barbecue!
Cool and Creamy Fruit Salad
(Sisters Stuff)
  • 1 small package of jello (orange, strawberry, peach or raspberry)
  • 1 small package of cook and serve vanilla pudding
  • 2 cups water
  • Mandarin oranges(orange jello) or Strawberries (strawberry jello) or Peaches (peach jello) or Raspberries (raspberry jello)
  • 1 small cool whip
Mix together jello, pudding and water in a saucepan.  Cook until it thickens.  Boil 1 minute.

Set in refrigerator overnight or until it sets and cools. 

Mix the set jello mixture and thawed cool whip in your mixer.  Whip until creamy.  Now add your chopped up fruit.  If you used orange jello, add mandarin oranges.  Strawberry jello add your chopped strawberries etc.  Add as much fruit as you like.  We wanted more fruit with some topping, but experiment the way you like it!

Stir your fruit in and enjoy!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Chipotle Beef Taquitos

I found this recipe in my Our Best Bites cookbook.  I have been slowly working my way through the book, trying new things.  I have been slowed down with cooking lately due to baseball.  Yes baseball has meant my kids are eating a lot of cereal and quick grabs for dinner!  YIKES!!!!
Well I am slowly getting back to cooking and trying new things again and I have missed it too!
This recipe is spicy, so I would definitely lean toward the lesser of the chipotle peppers for the more timid ones in your family!  I love the spiciness of these peppers and even my family liked it, with a good dollop of sour cream to cool it down!  If you like chipotle peppers you will love this.  This is also a quicker meal because it uses leftover roast that you shred for the meat.
Try something new and enjoy these!  You can also make these ahead of time too!
Chipotle Beef Taquitos
(Our Best Bites Cookbook)

  • 3 cups cooked, shredded beef roast (I used the Perfect Pot Roast meat)
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (1/4 tsp is mild)
  • 1 (4 ounce) can green chilies, undrained
  • 1 tbsp adobo sauce from the canned chipotle peppers
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • zest from 1 lime (which I left out due to no limes and using lime juice from a bottle)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice (or from a bottle)
  • 1 pkg queso fresco cheese, crumbled (I used a mixture of shredded cheddar and jack cheese)
  • about 20 6-inch corn tortillas
  • kosher salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Slice or shred the beef from your cooked roast.  Make pieces about 1/2 - 1 inch long.  Place in a bowl and set aside.

Remove 1 chipotle pepper from your can.  Try not to take much sauce out with the pepper.  Slit the pepper open and scrape out the seeds.  I didn't do this and it will make it spicier if you don't!  Mince the pepper (I put it in my food processor) and take out how much you want; 1/4 - 1/2 tsp.

Combine chilies, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, garlic powder, coriander, cumin, chili powder, and lime zest and juice in a bowl.  Stir together and then add it to your shredded beef and stir to combine and coat all your meat.

Wrap a pile of about 10 tortillas in a damp paper towel.  Microwave for about 1 minute to soften.  I messed up on this the first time and didn't soften my tortillas enough and my taquitos broke apart.  So make sure they are soft and you may need to microwave for longer.  Check at 1 minute.

Grab one softened tortilla and place some cheese down the center and then top with 1-2 tbsp shredded meat.  Roll tightly and then place on a greased (sprayed with cooking spray) cookie sheet seam side down.  Repeat with remaining tortillas.  Soften more tortillas as needed and keep adding the meat and cheese until gone.

Spray tops of taquitos with the cooking spray and then sprinkle with the kosher salt.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until edges are golden brown.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Serve with sour cream, salsa, guacamole, black beans, Spanish rice.  Options are endless and a great lunch or dinner throughout the week too!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I found this recipe last week when I had some left over oatmeal from canning a 25 lb bag.  I was in the mood for oatmeal cookies and decided to search the blogging world to find a new recipe.  I think this has become my new favorite oatmeal cookie.  The cookie was moist and chewy, not crunchy and hard like sometimes happens.  I am now replacing my last recipe with this one!
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, at room temp. (I used 1/2 cup margarine and 1/2 cup butter)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cup oats
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (I used about 1 1/2 cups)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.  I did this and it was very easy clean up.  I am not sure why this is needed.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugars until mixture is light in color.  Beat in the eggs 1 at a time.  Then add the milk and vanilla.

In another bowl stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Gradually beat in the flour mixture to your butter mixture.  (I hardly ever put all the dry ingredients together.  I usually add the baking soda, powder and salt first and then add the flour a little at a time)

Stir in the oats and chocolate chips on slow speed or the recipe recommended by hand.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes before cooking for a puffier cookie.

Drop balls of dough on prepared cookie sheets, placing about 1 1/2 inches apart so they have room to spread.  Bake for 10-13 minutes, until golden brown at the edges and light golden at the center.

Cool on baking sheet for at least 1-2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

I think this dip turned out really good!  In fact there wasn't much leftover but a few spoonfuls!  I kept telling myself this isn't that bad for you since I am eating a lot of spinach and good artichokes!  Yes I know I am only fooling myself, but oh well!  This was a super simple dip to put together and it had great flavor!  It is definitely a party dip keeper!
Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip
(Our Best Bites Cookbook)
  • 1 (9 ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice ~ I used the bottled kind
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 2 tsp dry parsley
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 (15 ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Make sure all your liquid is drained out of your spinach.  The book recommends a clean dry cloth, I used a few paper towels.  I will say the chopped spinach didn't retain too much moisture.  Place in a medium bowl.  Add the cream cheese, mayonnaise and sour cream.  Mix together well.  Make sure to get all the cream cheese mixed in!

Add remaining ingredients and stir together. 

Spray a square baking dish (8 x 8 or 9 x 9) with cooking spray.  Place the dip in your prepared pan and then cook for 35-45 minutes.  It is done when bubbly and hot!

Serve with crackers, tortilla chips, french bread or whatever you like!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Strawberry Sauce

I know it has been a while since I have posted anything!  We have been busy with baseball and end of the school year stuff and I haven't been very experimental or cooking a ton!
Well, I am back at it again and hoping to be cooking more now that I am not trying to rush kids to bed and going to activities etc.!
This sauce turned out really good (just need to adjust the sugar depending on the sweetness of your strawberries) and we ate it on crepes! 
Strawberry Sauce
(Our Best Bites cookbook)
  • 1 pint strawberries, washed, hulled, and roughly chopped ~ I googled what a pint of strawberries was since I bought mine at Costco and it is 2 1/4 cups sliced or 7 cups whole berries
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar ~ adjust to sweetness, mine needed more sugar
  • 1 tsp almond or vanilla extract ~ used vanilla
Combine berries, sugar, and vanilla(or almond) extract in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly and breaking up the strawberries with a wooden spoon.

After 5 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool before putting in your blender.  When cool enough, transfer to your blender and blend until desired consistency is reached.  Refrigerate unused sauce for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months!

Use on top of waffles, crepes, ice cream, milkshakes or even the cookbook suggests adding a few spoonfuls to lemonade to make Strawberry lemonade!  A yummy summer treat!!