Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A few recipes

Cooking used to be just another chore, but I told you, I've found a new love for it since we've been here. There are so many good recipes I want to share, but we're usually too hungry to stop and take pictures. Besides, an intimate photo shoot with food is kinda weird for me. I get embarrassed if Jason walks in on me in the corner gettin' all up in the enchilada's bidness. But I took one for the team here. There's no fancy staging, it's all Kmart dishes all day over here. There's also no step by step photo documentation, mostly because that would involve pictures of Maddox eating cheese by the handfuls and me gagging as I remove the fat from the roast. But here you go....

Don't be intimidated if this looks like a recipe that takes all day. In reality it is a recipe that takes all day. But it's so worth it. This is hands down the best enchiladas I've ever had. And this coming from a girl who is borderline vegetarian. Just reserve it for special occasions like the missionaries coming for dinner, a birthday, or a celebration of shaving your legs for the first time all winter. (I tweaked the meat recipe from one I found on and the sauce is one I've had forever that I use with chicken enchiladas, I can't remember where I originally got it from).

Shredded Beef Enchiladas
For the meat:
1 chuck roast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
½ Tbs tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 C beef broth
Add broth to slow cooker then add all ingredients, except for roast and mix together. Add the roast and cook on high for 5-6 hours, remove meat and shred, removing any fat, then return to slow cooker. Reduce heat to Low, and continue cooking for 2 to 4 hours. Transfer the meat to a large skillet and add 1-2 cups of the liquid. Saute on high until all the liquid has been absorbed, adding any necessary seasonings to taste.
For the enchilada sauce:
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 teaspoon canola oil
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons sugar
2 (8-oz) cans tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 1/2 cup shredded cheese
12 flour tortillas
Preheat oven to 400. Remove meat from skillet and set aside. In skillet combine the onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oil. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions have softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, less than 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a simmer. Remove about half the sauce and set aside for the top. Stir the shredded beef into the remaining sauce in the pan. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer about 10 minutes. Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with plastic wrap; Microwave on high about 40-60 seconds. Spoon the meat mixture evenly down the center of each tortilla then tightly roll and lay seam-side down in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Pour the reserved sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas and top with the shredded cheese. Cover dish with foil and bake 20 minutes, or until heated through. Remove foil and bake another 5-10 minutes, until cheese browns. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve with sour cream, shredded lettuce, olives and diced tomatoes.

Muffins are a staple around here. For breakfast, for after school snacks, for road trips, for Jason to take to work for morning tea. That morning tea is a legit business around here. I've got some pretty great muffin recipes up my sleeve, but this one takes the cake. Or the muffin? (source:

Glazed Apple Crumb Muffins
Crumb topping:
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk 
1 1/2 cups peeled, chopped apple (2 small apples)
1 cup confectioners' sugar
3 Tablespoons heavy cream 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

First, make the crumb topping. In a medium bowl, combine both sugars, the cinnamon, and melted butter then stir in the flour. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. In a medium bowl beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and beat on high until creamed, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, yogurt, and vanilla extract and mix well. In a large bowl, toss together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and slowly whisk together. Add the milk, gently whisking. Fold in the apples. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full with batter then sprinkle with crumbs (crumble it with your hands to make some big chunks). Bake at 350F  for 15-20 minutes or until just lightly beginning to brown. To make the glaze, whisk all of the ingredients together and drizzle over warm muffins. 

Jason and Kylie are devoted hawaiian pizza fans. Every weekend we get pizza hut. A cheese for me and all three boys and a hawaiian one for Kylie and Jason to have all to themselves. For our anniversary I wanted to venture outside the grilled cheese and tomato sandwich box and do something a little special for lunch. And special it was. This was a huge hit and immediately made it into the recipe archives. (the bacon only comes in strips here, it would be much easier to flip if it were in slices) (source:

Hawaiian Grilled Cheese
Bread slices
Jack cheese
Pineapple rings
Canadian bacon
Parsley flakes
Soften butter, mix in parsley, oregano and parmesan then spread on to one side of each slice. Place in skillet, add cheese slices, Canadian bacon and pineapple (use paper towel to absorb juice before putting on sandwich) then add more cheese slices and top with other slice of bread. Cook over low heat until lightly browned then flip and cook on the other side.

And you get a two-fer on this one. The absolute best chicken soup (and this is coming from Jason who is most definitely not a soup person), and these bread bowls that my friend Chelsea introduced into my life and I have never been the same. It is the perfect comfort food that has gotten me through many long cold dreary winter nights. Be sure to use Rotisserie chicken and not just shredded chicken breasts, it makes all the difference. (source:

Creamy Rotisserie Chicken Soup
      For the roux:
      4 T flour
      2 T olive oil
      2 T butter
      make the roux by heating the oil and butter in pot then sprinkling the flour on top. Whisk together for a few minutes.Take off the heat and set aside while combining other ingredients. 
      For the soup:
      2 T butter
      2 T olive oil
      2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
      1 C frozen corn
      2 potatoes, diced
      1 yellow onion - diced
      4 cups chicken stock or broth
      3 cups milk or cream or half & half, or a combination
      2tsp chicken base granules
      1 t fresh cracked pepper
      1 tsp kosher or sea salt
      1 T dried parsley or 2 T fresh parsley
     3 bay leaves
     1½ t dried basil
      2 cloves garlic, minced
      1 deli rotisserie chicken, shredded
      shredded cheese to sprinkle on top

      Start by making the roux. In a large pot, saute the potatoes, carrots and onions in 2 T olive oil and 2 T butter until softened (add the onions at the end). Add all other ingredients including the roux, stir well. Bring to a boil then turn down the heat to low and let simmer 20-30 minutes until the soup thickens to the desired consistency, stirring every few minutes. If you need to thicken the soup a little, mix together some cornstarch with milk then stir into the soup. Before ready to serve, take out the bay leaves, pour into bowls and sprinkle with shredded cheese.

       Bread Bowls 
      2 Tbs yeast
        2 Tbs sugar
       3/4 Tbs salt
        2 C warm water
        2 Tbs olive oil
        5 C flour
        Cornmeal (optional)

      Preheat oven to 400. Mix water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Mix remaining ingredients, then add water and yeast mixture. Knead together, adding more flour until no longer sticky. Cover and let the dough rise until doubles in size (about 30 minutes). Grease 2 cookie sheets and sprinkle with corn meal. Punch down the dough and make 6 tennis ball size dough balls. Place on cookie sheet (don't let them touch). Let them rise for another 30 minutes. Bake at 400 for 18 minutes. Cut off the top and scoop out the inside then fill with your favorite soup.

I remember it was such a treat when my mom would buy french toast sticks for us. I can still taste the maple flavoring and remember the film it would leave in my mouth. The kids inherited my love for them and could inhale a Costco sized box in no time at all. When I came across this recipe it was one of those "duh, why didn't I think of that?" moments. We make regular french toast all the time, but turning them into french toast dippers has upped the ante and opened new doors for breakfasts on the go and after school snacks. We take our after school snacks very seriously around these parts. (source:

French Toast Sticks
8 slices white Texas Toast bread
5 eggs
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ C brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 Tablespoons butter
Powdered sugar
Maple syrup
Cut each slice of bread into 4 equal strips.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, whipping cream, vanilla, brown sugar and cinnamon.  In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Dip each piece of bread in egg mixture, let excess drip off and place in skillet.  Once one side is golden brown, flip over and cook the other side until golden brown and crispy on the outside (add more butter between batches if necessary).  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup.


Chelsea said...

yummmmmmmm to all of it!

Sorry we got cut short, I called you back but probably a hectic time for you. I'll try again tomorrow! xo

Janessa said...

Oh. My. Yum. I think I just gained three pounds reading that post. I'm going grocery shopping tomorrow and am definitely going to be trying some of these out. They look fantastic! Way to get up in the enchiladas bidness!