Monday, May 14, 2012

Chicken Avacado Quesadillas

Grilled Chicken & Avocado Quesadillas

Chicken Avacado Quesadillas

4 chicken breasts
  • 6-8 tortillas (fajita size)
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar jack, shredded
  • Fresh jalapeno slices, optional
  • For the Wet rub
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder, optional
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • juice of 1 lime


  1. Heat grill to medium-high. Whisk wet rub ingredients together in a glass bowl, add chicken, and turn to coat.
  2. Place chicken on the grill and cook until the juices run clear (about 6-7 minutes per side). Remove from grill and let rest 10 minutes.
  3. Cut the chicken breasts into strips or small cubes. Top one half of each tortilla with chicken and cheese and fold the other half over, pressing down lightly. Brush or spray the outside of the quesadilla with olive oil and place on the grill. Grill two minutes on each side - keep an eye because they can scorch quickly.
  4. Remove from heat and serve with salsa, guacamole, or your topping of choice.


Yields: 6-8 servings
Wet rub adapted from My Husband Cooks
Estimated time: 30 minutes

Classic Lime Margaritas

  • Classic Lime Margarita
  • Classic Lime Margaritas
  • For the homemade margarita mix:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (~8-12 limes)
  • For the margarita:
  • 3/4 cup silver tequila (recommended, or less to taste)
  • 1/2 cup orange liqueur
  • lime wedges/slices for garnish (optional)


  1. Heat water and sugar in a small sauce pan until completely dissolved and the water is clear. Let cool.
  2. Pour into a pitcher with lime juice. Homemade lime mix done!
  3. Add tequila (the recipe above is a full shot/1.5 oz per serving, can reduce to 1/3-1/2 cup if you feel it's a little stiff) and orange liqueur, to your preference.
  4. Pour over ice and garnish with lime slices.
  5. To make frozen margaritas, freeze the lime mix into ice cubes. Blend the ice cubes with chilled tequila and orange liqueur until uniformly slushy.


Yields: 4 6-ounce servings

Pineapple Margaritas

Pineapple Margaritas

For the homemade margarita mix:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (~8-12 limes)
  • For the margarita:
  • 3 oz tequila
  • 2 oz orange liqueur
  • 4 oz pineapple juice
  • 3 oz margarita mix
  • Salt or sugar, for rim (optional)
  • Lime wedges, for serving (optional)


  1. Heat water and sugar in a small sauce pan until completely dissolved and the water is clear. Let cool.
  2. Pour into a pitcher with lime juice. Homemade margarita mix done! It will keep a couple of weeks covered in the fridge and also freezes nicely into ice cube trays.
  3. To make the margarita, add margarita mix, tequila, orange liqueur, and pineapple juice to a pitcher.
  4. Stir to mix well.
  5. Serve in salt- or sugar-rimmed glasses, over ice.


Yields: 2 drinks

Asian Slaw with Roasted Peanuts

Asian Slaw with Roasted Peanuts

For the salad:
1/4 green cabbage, shredded
1/4 red cabbage, shredded
2 large handfuls baby spinach, chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 bell pepper, julienned
1 cup frozen peas (thawed, not cooked)
1 carrot, shredded
2-3 green onions, sliced
Fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped

For the dressing:
1/4 cup vegetable or peanut oil
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely grated
1-2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce

In a large salad bowl, toss together cabbage, spinach, cilantro, pepper, peas, carrots and onions. In a smaller bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Add roasted peanuts and black pepper. Serve immediately. (If you plan on having this for more than one meal, you may want to have the dressing on the side so that it doesn't wilt the salad.

SOURCE:Adapted from Ezra Pound Cake

This recipe linked to Potluck Sunday at Mommy's Kitchen.

Thai Peanut Sauce






Thai Peanut Sauce

One 13.5 ounce can of coconut milk
2 ounces (approx 1/4 cup) of Thai red curry paste
3/4 cup unsweetened (natural) peanut butter — the kind that has a layer of oil on the top.  I use Adam’s.
1/2 Tablespoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar or white vinegar (Do not use any other type of vinegar, including rice vinegar)
1/2 cup water
Combine all ingredients in a medium pot and bring to a very gentle boil over medium heat, whisking constantly.  Reduce the heat to low, and let the mixture simmer for 3-5 minutes, again whisking constantly. Be careful not to let the mixture scorch at the bottom of the pot.  Remove from heat and let the sauce cool to room temperature or slightly warmer before serving.
Recipe Source: Adapted from SheSimmers

Baked Chimichangas

Baked Chimichangasfor the Mexican Meat Mix:
2 lb. beef roast
1-2 cups beef broth
olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 4-oz. can chopped green chiles
1 7-oz. can tomatillo salsa (salsa verde)
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp. cumin
3 Tbsp. flour
juices from roast
salt & pepper

for the chimichangas
12 8-inch flour tortillas
sour cream
roma tomatoes, diced
lettuce, shredded

Set out a crock pot large enough to fit your roast. Turn on low.

Heat a small drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high. Generously season both sides of roast with salt and pepper and place in skillet. Brown on all sides. Place browned roast into warm crock pot and add beef broth until it reaches about half way up the roast; between 1-2 cups. Cook on low for about 6-8 hours. Alternately you could put the roast in a roasting pan in the oven at about 275 degrees F for about 2-3 hours.

Once roast is cooked, remove meat to a large platter, reserving juices. Shred meat and set aside. In a large skillet, over medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil. Add onions and saute until translucent. Add garlic and saute about 30 seconds, then sprinkle with flour and saute another minute or so. Add green chiles, tomatillo salsa and cumin, then reserved meat and juices (should be around 1 1/2 cups-feel free to add more broth if you don't have many drippings). Cook about 5 minutes, until it has thickened. Cool slightly.

*Preparing the Mexican Meat Mix can be done a day in advance to minimize time spent in the kitchen during dinner prep.

To assemble the chimichangas: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Warm tortillas in the microwave about 20-30 seconds so they are pliable when rolling. Spread about 1/4 - 1/3 cup Mexican Meat Mix on lower third of tortilla. Fold bottom edge up over filling, then fold sides toward center and roll up the rest of the way. Place on greased baking sheet and continue with remaining meat mix and tortillas. Brush the tops of each chimichanga with olive oil and bake about 20-30 minutes or until lightly golden.

Serve on top of a bed of shredded lettuce. Top with your choice of garnishes: sour cream, chopped fresh tomatoes, salsa, guacamole, cheese, olives, etc.

*These freeze very well. Once you are done rolling them all up, stop there and place them in a zip-top freezer bag. When you're ready to bake, continue with the rest of the instructions, baking slightly longer to account for them being frozen.

Crispy Cheddar Chicken

Crispy Cheddar Chicken

4 large chicken breasts 
1 sleeve Ritz crackers
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 t salt
1/8 t pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons milk

1 (14 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut each chicken breast into 2 or 3 large chunks. In a food processor combine the Ritz crackers, grated cheese, parsely, salt and pepper.  Pulse a few times to form crumbs.  In a shallow dish, stir together the beaten eggs and milk.  Dip the chicken pieces in the egg/milk mixture, then in the cracker crumb mixture, pressing the crumbs on to coat well.  Place the coated chicken in  a 9x13 pan coated with cooking spray.  Spray the top of the chicken with a thin, even layer of cooking spray.  Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the edges of the chicken are golden brown and crispy. 

To make sauce, combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream and butter with a whisk in a medium saucepan. Cook and stir over medium high heat until the sauce hot. Stir in milk until sauce reaches desired consistency.  Serve over the chicken.

Banana Cream Oatmeal

Banana Cream Oatmeal

1 1/2 c. oats

1 1/2 c. water

1 1/2 c. milk

Sweetener, to taste (I have used sweetened condensed milk, but if you are going to be using that you might as well be having pie, and I have used white sugar. You can also try honey, and artificial sweeteners.)

3 bananas, sliced, and divided

Cool Whip (optional)

Cook oats in water and milk until desired consistency is reached. Add sweetener and two bananas. Separate into bowls (about 4) and garnish with bananas and cool whip.

Thai Chicken Wraps

Thai Chicken Wraps
Printable Version with Picture
Printable Version

*Note: Corina, who sent me the recipe, notes she often skips the tortilla and throws the ingredients together in a Thai-inspired chicken bowl. Yum! Also, if you like a sweeter peanut sauce, increase the honey according to your taste.
*Makes 6 wraps
For the Chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

For the Veggie Saute:

2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup finely shredded green cabbage
1 cup finely shredded carrots
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (tutorial here)
2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
To Wrap:
6 12-inch tortillas
3 cups warm, cooked Jasmine rice
4 green onions, thinly sliced
Chopped roasted, salted peanuts
For the Peanut Sauce:
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons peanut oil or canola oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Combine garlic, pepper, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Rub the mixture onto both sides of the chicken. Preheat the broiler to high (or use a gas or charcoal grill) and broil (or grill) the chicken about 4-5 minutes on each side until cooked through. Remove to a plate and tent with foil. Let the chicken rest 5-10 minutes before slicing into thin strips.
Combine all the peanut sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend/process until smooth. Set aside.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion, cabbage, carrots, ginger and garlic. Sauté the mixture, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes, until the vegetables are crisp tender. Place a scoop of warm rice on a tortilla. Top with sliced chicken, sauteed vegetables and sprinkle the roasted peanuts and green onions on top. Drizzle peanut sauce over the top. Roll up tightly and serve immediately.

Recipe Source: main recipe adapted from a recipe sent to my by Corina H, a MKC reader, peanut sauce adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook Mel's Kitchen Cafe