Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Peach Smoothie

Since I don't care for bananas or milk, its difficult for me to find a smoothie recipe that I would like.  So, I just made up my own.  You could substitute a banana for the tofu if you wish.  This is very refreshing!

In a blender or smoothie maker, add the following ingredients and blend til frothy.

1 peach, cut into chunks (do not peel)
1/2 cup peach nectar
1/2 cup soft tofu
1 TBS sugar
2 cups ice

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cheese and Chive Gougère

These little cheese puffs can be served as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to a light lunch such as chicken salad.

1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (or use Pepper-Jack cheese)
2 TBS chopped fresh chives

Heat oven to 400.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly spray baking sheets with no-stick cooking spray.

Combine water and butter in a 2-quart saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil (5-7 min.).  Add flour, Italian seasoning and garlic salt.  Stir vigorously until mixture forms a ball.  Remove from heat.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, until smooth.  Stir in 1 cup cheese and chives.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto baking sheets.  Top each with about 1/2 tsp. of the remaining cheese.  Bake for 18-22 minutes or until puffed and browned.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

*To make ahead and freeze, bake as directed.  When completely cooled, place baking sheets in freezer until puffs are frozen.  Then place puffs in a Ziploc freezer bag or container; return to freezer.  To reheat, place puffs on baking sheet; bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes or until heated through.

Makes approx. 36 appetizers

Source:  Land O Lakes Best-Loved Recipes



This hummus is good served with pita chips or vegetables.

1 large garlic clove
1 can (15.5 oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
3 TBS plain yogurt (or sour cream)
3 TBS lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

Finely mince garlic in food processor.  Add beans, yogurt, lemon juice, salt and cumin.  Process until almost smooth.  While the food processor is running, gradually add the olive oil.  Process until mixture is smooth, scraping down sides of work bowl occasionally.  (You can also make this hummus in a blender.)

*If you don't care for the taste of raw garlic, you can substitute 4-5 cloves of roasted garlic.

Makes 4-6 servings

Source:  Semi-Homemade Cooking - Sandra Lee


Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

This is my favorite enchilada recipe.  The creamy sauce is wonderful!


Serves 5

Enchilada filling:
1 pkg (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened
2 TBS water
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
5 cups cooked shredded or diced chicken

1 can (10-3/4 ounce) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies

10 flour tortillas (6-8" Fajita size), room temperature
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, water, onion powder, cumin, salt and pepper until smooth.  Stir in chicken.  Set aside.

In another large bowl, combine the soup, sour cream, milk and chilies.

Place a heaping 1/4 cup of chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla.*  Roll up tightly.  Spread just a little bit of the sauce in a greased 9x13 pan (this prevents the tortillas from drying out and sticking to the pan).  Place enchiladas in pan.  Pour sauce over the top.  Spread to cover enchiladas entirely.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until heated through.  Sprinkle with cheddar cheese; bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Garnish with black olives and cilantro if desired.

*Tip: I lay out all the tortillas on my work surface and divide the filling out onto the tortillas before rolling to ensure that each has the same amount of filling.

Source: Modified from Taste of Home (Pat Coffee), April/May 2008


Pinto Beans - Mexican Style

These beans are a great accompaniment to any Mexican dinner. Delicious and good for you.

3 cups dried pinto beans, rinsed and drained
4 garlic cloves, mashed
1/4 onion
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. - 1 tsp. cumin
2 TBS Salsa
1 slice bacon
Salt and pepper

Combine the rinsed beans, garlic, onion, bay leaves cumin, salsa and bacon in a large pot. Add enough water to cover beans by about 1 1/2 inches. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Cover and simmer until the beans are tender, about 2 hours, adding more water if the beans are absorbing too much liquid. (The beans should be soupy when done, with plenty of liquid remaining.) Season the beans to taste with salt and pepper. Remove and discard the bacon.

You can serve the beans with the liquid as a soup. Or, use a slotted spoon to drain. These beans are great in a soft tortilla for a quick meal.

These beans can be prepared 5 days ahead. Cool, cover then refrigerate. Bring to a boil before serving. These beans also freeze well for up to 4 months.

The cumin, salsa and bacon are my additions.  These ingredients add enough flavor to make the beans extra tasty.

Makes 8 servings.

Source:  Fresh Mexico - Marcella Valladolid


Creamy Corn ("Esquites")

This recipe is from Marcela Valladolid, one of our favorites from the TV Food Network.  She said this is a popular "street food" in Mexico.  It's creamy and delicious!

4 ears sweet corn, husked and silks removed
4 TBS mayonnaise or Mexican sour cream
4 TBS unsalted butter, softened
6 TBS crumbled queso fresco or mild feta cheese
Ground chili powder, for sprinkling
Salt for sprinkling
Lime wedges, for serving, optional

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat.  Add the corn and cook until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Remove corn from water and cool slightly.  Using a serrated knife, remove the kernels from the cob.  Place into a serving bowl.  Add mayonnaise, butter and queso.  Stir to combine.  Sprinkle with additional queso, chili powder and salt.  Serve with a lime wedge, if desired.

*I prefer to grill my corn instead of boiling it.  It gives the dish a wonderful flavor.  (Remove husks and soak corn in salted and sugared water several hours before grilling).

Source: Marcela Valladolid, TV Food Network


Monday, June 13, 2011

Chicken Enchilada Dip

My cousin, Deb, brought this delicious dip to our family Christmas Eve party a few years ago.  I have made it many times since.  It has a bit of a kick to it.  Its one of those dips that  you just can't stop eating it!  Make sure you make it the day before serving it so the spices have time to bring out their flavor.

3 large chicken breasts, cooked and diced (don't cut too small)
2 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 TBS chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp paprika
cayenne pepper to taste
1 or 2 bunches of green onions, chopped (I use about 8-10 onions)
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (I use a little more than a 1/2 bunch)
1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes with chilies (do not drain)

In a large mixer bowl, cream the cream cheese and cheddar cheese.  Add the seasonings.   Blend well.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Fold together, mixing well.

Chill overnight.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Makes about 6 cups


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Breakfast Cookies

These are great for a breakfast on the go.

3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 TBS unsalted butter
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
3 TBS granulated sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup (1 small jar) strained carrot baby food
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup bran cereal flakes
1/3 cup raisins or craisins
1/3 cup walnut pieces

Whisk together flours, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Combine butter, oil and sugars in mixing bowl and mix on high speed, scraping down sides if necessary, until sugars have dissolved and mixture is light in color, about 1 minute. Add egg, carrot puree and vanilla and beat an additional 30 seconds. Add flour mixture and beat an additional 30 seconds. Add oats, flakes, raisins and walnuts and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Dough will be very sticky. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using about 3 tablespoons of batter, form a ball and place on cookie sheet, leaving about 3 inches between cookies. Wet hands and use palm of hand to flatten cookies until about 1/4-inch thick. Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes, until cookies are lightly browned but still soft. Let cookies cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 10-12 cookies

Source: Ellie Krieger