Chicken, Potato and Refried Black Bean Tacos

I know what you are thinking, another chicken taco? Yes, it is indeed another chicken taco. I had some leftover ingredients from previous dinners, so this was a good way to use them up and turn it into another stay at home dinner. On a side note, hubby and I have been watching Taco Chronicles on Netflix, so that probably explains our sudden craving for tacos.

For this taco I used the rotisserie chicken I had stashed in the freezer, some taco shells from the previous chicken taco dinner, potatoes and a can of black beans. This is another quick meal that you can add any of your favorite sides that you like to serve on taco night.

Here’s what you need:

  • cooked chicken such as a rotisserie chicken, chopped
  • onion powder; to taste
  • garlic powder; to taste
  • cumin; to taste
  • coriander; to taste
  • dried oregano; to taste
  • cilantro, chopped (I used dried because my store was out of the fresh kind)
  • juice of 1 small lime
  • 1/2 C tomato sauce or more if desired
  • 7 baby red potatoes or 3 to 4 big ones; chopped into small pieces
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • salt; to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • refried black beans
  • hard shell tacos

Preheat oven to 425°.

Chop potatoes into small pieces.

Place potatoes in a small baking pan. Melt butter. Pour melted butter and olive oil over potatoes.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss potatoes to coat.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender and start to turn brown, stirring occasionally; set aside.

While potatoes are cooking, chop the chicken.

Heat a skillet to medium high heat and add 1 Tbs olive oil. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, cilantro and lime juice to the chicken.

Stir well to mix.

Add potatoes to the chicken in the skillet.

Pour in tomato sauce and mix well.

Taste and add more spices if desired. Turn heat down to medium low and heat thru. Take skillet off the heat and set aside.

Warm refried beans according to can directions.

Warm taco shells in the oven according to package directions; set aside.

To assemble the tacos, spoon desired amount of refried beans at the bottom of the taco shells. Next add chicken and potato mixture. Top with cheese if desired.

Slow Cooker Smoked Sausage and Potatoes

Since grocery shopping has now become more like a quest from The Hunger Games, I tried to come up with something that perhaps not many would think to buy. So on my recent journey to the store, with again hubby as my back up, we divided and was hopeful to conquer. My mission was in the meat department. Sowith fingers crossed and pushing my cart with determination, I set out to retrieve my bounty. As I neared the refrigerated section I noticed the typical items that I knew would be gone….lunch meat, hot dogs, bacon ( I shed a tear over that one) but there right at the end, it was there….smoked sausage. I looked both ways to make sure the way was clear and snatched that beauty right up, mentally doing a victory dance because I knew we were indeed going to have smoked sausage for dinner. Well, smoked sausage and potatoes to be exact. This makes a nice hearty meal that you can eat by itself or with some crusty bread.

Here’s what you need:

*1 TBS oil

*smoked sausage; mine was fully cooked but you can also use any kind.

*1 small onion, chopped

*2 garlic cloves, minced

*1/4 C white wine

* 1/2 C diced pancetta; you can use diced bacon instead.

* 1/2 C. Chicken broth

* 1 can of condensed cream of chicken soup

* 2 russet potatoes, cut into bite size pieces; you can use any kind, I prefer using the russet because it helps thicken up the sauce.

* 1 tsp dried Thyme; or more to taste

* 2 tsp Cajun seasoning; or more to taste

* cracked pepper

Heat a large skillet to medium high heat and add oil. Add sausage to the pan and cook about 2 minutes.

Add onions, garlic and pancetta to the pan.

Cook until sausage starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently so the onions and garlic do not burn.

Transfer sausage mixture to the slow cooker.

In the same skillet, add wine and cook for about 1 minute stirring frequently. Pour in chicken stock.

I like to use a soup base that comes in a jar. It has more of an intense flavor and you can add as much or as little as you like.

Cook broth mixture for another 1 minute. Add in condensed chicken soup. Stir to mix well.

Pour soup mixture into slow cooker with the sausage.

Add potatoes, thyme, Cajun seasoning and cracked pepper.

Stir to combine.

Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. At the last 30 minutes of cooking, stir a few times for the potatoes to thicken the sauce.

Serve with some crusty bread.

French Toast Topped With Bacon and A Fried Egg

Like many of you I’ve been staying at home when I’m not working or when hubby and I are not going out on a supply run. So, needless to say, I’ve had a lot more time on my hands to cook, clean (no thrills there) and movie watch. Maybe I’ve got too much time, but lately I’ve found myself trying dishes that are a little out of the box. Hubby seems excited when I’ve described some of my thought out recipe plans. I haven’t seen the look of what-is-my-sweet-wife-thinking-she’s-gone-over-the-edge (I threw in the sweet, I thought angelic would be pushing it too much). Anyway, this was one breakfast dish I came up with while I was standing in the kitchen with a box of frozen French toast in my hands. Yes, I said frozen. Nothing wrong with frozen when you are craving something fast for breakfast. Now where was I? Oh yes, frozen box in my hands….. hubby was craving eggs as well and of course, if you are having eggs, you’ve got to have bacon right? But what if you put them all together?

I’m sure some of you out there that are reading this…. and I hope some of you are reading this (please)…. are thinking, that’s not new. It’s been done before, where’ve you been? Ok, so it was new to me and hubby. I have to say it was really good. The saltiness of the bacon with the sweet taste of the French toast and syrup, and then the fried egg mixing and mingling with it all….. delicious!

Ok, so I’m sure by now you are thinking come on, get on with the recipe! It’s really pretty straightforward and so easy. Here’s what you need:

*french toast; frozen or homemade

*bacon

*1 to 2 Tbs oil for frying the eggs

*eggs

*salt and pepper; to taste

* butter; to taste

*syrup

Follow the cooking directions on the box of French toast. While toast is cooking, fry up the bacon, drain on paper towels; set aside.

In a non stick skillet, heat pan to medium high and add oil. Crack eggs in to the pan. Fry until whites are done and crispy on the edges, but yolks are still runny. Salt and pepper eggs to taste.

Place French toast on a plate. Spread with butter and add desired amount of syrup. Place 2 pieces of bacon on the French toast and top with the egg.

Ziti Bake

If your grocery store has been like mine of late, and I’m sure it has, it’s been a challenge to shop for meals. I start out with a list and end up planing meals in the store with what I can find. The one thing that I have found a good variety of, is pasta. Not sure why, but I’m thankful. Now as I type this and go back to the store this week, the pasta shelf will probably be bare. But luckily grabbed two boxes of different varieties. I had already had some ground beef in the freezer before all of this started, so I figured a Ziti bake would be a make a good dinner. It’s comforting and can easily be stretched into 2 meals for hubby and I….not to mention it’s like a warm, cheesy hug. I Hope you find it as satisfying as we did.

Here’s what you need:

*1 lb of ground beef

*1 small onion, chopped

*3 cloves of garlic

*dried fennel seed; to taste

*smoked paprika; to taste

*Hungarian half sharp paprika; to taste

*dried basil; to taste

*dried oregano; to taste

*onion powder; to taste

*garlic powder; to taste

*salt and pepper to taste

28. oz can crushed tomatoes

28. oz can diced tomatoes

*16 oz container of cottage cheese

*Parmesan cheese, grated

*egg

*nutmeg

*2 C shredded cheese of your choice; I used a blend of cheddar and Colby Jack

*1 Lb Ziti

For the Sauce:

This sauce you can make the day before, which I did to save some time on the day I was actually going to make it. But it’s perfectly fine to do it the day of.

Heat a large skillet on high heat. If you are using lean beef, add about 1 Tbs of olive oil. Add beef and cook, breaking it up as you go. Add onions and using a micro plane,grate in garlic cloves. If you prefer to use mince garlic, that’s ok as well. Continue to cook until beef is browned and onions are tender. Drain if needed.

Turn heat down to medium and add fennel, both kinds of paprika, basil, oregano, onion and garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for about 1 minute. Add both cans of tomatoes and mix well, tasting to see if you need to add any more spices or herbs. Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool while making the pasta.

Boil pasta until al dente; drain and set aside.

In a bowl add cottage cheese. I prefer using cottage cheese in this and I use it in my lasagna rather than ricotta as well, but if you want to use ricotta, feel free to do so. Mix in about 1 tsp of basil, 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg, cracked pepper and 1 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese. Mix well.

Taste to see if you need to add any more herbs or cheese. Crack in egg.

Mix well; set aside.

Preheat oven to 375°. Spray a deep casserole dish with non stick spray. Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of dish.

Add a layer of ziti on top of the sauce.

Spread another layer of sauce on top of the noodles.

On top of the sauce, spread on the cottage cheese.

And next comes the cheese…. make it rain cheese on top of the cottage cheese.

Add another layer of ziti on top of the cheese.

Last layer…. pour more sauce on top of the ziti.

I’m sure you can tell by the picture that I did not use a deep enough dish for this. Yes, I was crossing my fingers that this would not spill out every where while cooking.

Lastly, add more cheese on top.

Cover dish…. and here is a tip- if you are using foil, spray the side of the foil that will cover the cheese with no stick spray. Cook for 35 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake for 10 minutes or until cheese has melted and sauce is bubbly.

Serve with some crusty bread and enjoy! On a side note, I’m happy to say the sauce stayed inside of the dish. Yay me!

Baked Eggs On Toast

When I was a little girl I would spend some weekends at my grandmothers house. She loved to cook and was an amazing baker. One of the many things she would make me for breakfast was an egg in the the hole. I’m sure you’ve heard of it right? The one with the hole cut out in the middle of the bread then you cook an egg in the hole. Recently I’ve seen something similar ,but an egg baked on the toast and covered in cheese. I say recently, but I’m sure you are thinking….. girl where have you been, that’s been around for a while now! So recent or not, this is what I made for breakfast. You can never go wrong with cheese and a runny egg on crispy toast.

This recipe is for one, but of course you can make it for however many servings you want.

Here’s what you need:

*sliced bread

*butter

*egg

*shredded cheese

*salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°. Place slices of bread on to a baking sheet. Make an indentation in the center of the bread. This is where the egg will go.

Spread butter all over the bread.

This is when I held my breath and was really hoping I wouldn’t have one of those recipe fail moments…. carefully crack the egg into the indentation. Some of the egg white will spread onto the bread and that’s ok.

Salt and pepper the egg to taste. Next, sprinkle on the cheese.

I got a little more cheese than I had intended, but really, is there any such thing as too much cheese?

Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 10 minutes for the yolks to remain runny, 15 for the yolks to be set.

Oven Roasted Greek Potatoes

I make a lot of different kinds of oven roasted potatoes. It’s an easy side dish to throw together….with love of course….when you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen, but need a satisfying side.

Here’s what you need:

  • red potatoes cut into bite size pieces.
  • olive oil
  • 2 Tbs melted butter
  • smoked paprika; to taste
  • half sharp paprika; to taste
  • onion powder; to taste
  • garlic powder; to taste
  • dried oregano; to taste
  • dried marjoram; to taste
  • salt; to taste
  • lime or lemon juice; to taste

Preheat oven to 425°. In a baking pan, add potatoes. I used red potatoes for this, but you can use any kind.

Pour olive oil and melted butter over potatoes.

Add rest of ingredients; toss to coat.

Place in oven and bake about 25 to 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir often to keep the herbs and spices from burning. If the potatoes start to look dry, add more olive oil.

Surviving Thunderdome

On one of my husbands podcast that he listens to, the guy described his recent trip to the grocery store as entering the thunderdome. Ok, so my trip to the grocery store yesterday wasn’t quite that bad, but it was very interesting to say the least. I expected to see a lot of bare shelves for sure, but some items that were depleted was very surprising….. like the whole section of cooking oils….. every kind of oil and spray that you can think of, gone. I know I live in the south and we like to fry a lot of things, but really? All of it?

I did find most things that I was looking for, for instance, the last item on my list….. a bag of frozen corn. I knew I couldn’t be choosy about the brand or the price for that matter. But It was there….. one lonely little bag on the bottom shelf of the freezer, stuck behind the big bags of cauliflower. Snatching up my sweet prize and doing a mental victory dance, I was ready to move on to the next phase….. checkout……the looong line of checkout. I really think there should be margarita trucks….. like food trucks…. in the grocery store parking lots. We would be the happiest, most relaxed and carefree shoppers around.

I know what you are thinking. Really Christy? Is this the point of your post? I do have a point to this post. One of the items I was able to find during my shopping adventure was milk. Hubby and I don’t drink milk, but I like to cook with it. The only milk that I could find was a small, one serving size that was about to expire soon. No big deal, I knew I could freeze it. When I mentioned this to my long time best friend, she never knew you could do this. So this got me to thinking that during these unforeseen times of just trying to find staples at the store, some may not realize what you can freeze now to use for a later time. So this was my point of this post.

These are a few things that I have on hand in my freezer.

Milk

I freeze milk a lot. As I stated before, hubby and I don’t care to drink milk….. unless it’s in the form of a shake with lots of ice cream and goodies…. so I freeze it for when I do need it. I usually buy a half gallon size and pour into several containers. These Chinese take out soup containers work perfect.

We tend to do Chinese take out often, so I have a lot of these containers.(Yes, Chinese food is a weakness.)When you pour in the milk leave a little space, because it will expand when frozen.

On the lid make sure you label and date each one .

Another plus to using these containers is that they stack great in the freezer.

Shredded Cheese

This is another staple that I find freezes really well. This comes in handy during the holidays when I get a little too happy with shredding cheese to go into my many holiday dishes.

If you are freezing pre bagged cheese, just slip that into a zip top freezer bag. If you have some cheese that you shredded yourself, place desired amounts into the freezer bags, then label and date.

I have found that only shredded cheese works well with freezing. Sliced cheese becomes very crumbly once thawed.

Butter

I have several kinds of stick butter in my freezer, salted, unsalted, store bought and also homemade Amish butter. Not to mention, when these go on sale it’s a nice thing to grab while you can. These I leave in it’s original box and just pull out a stick from the box when I need to.

If I have butter that I cut into portions, I put into freezer bags.

Bread

Freezing my bread has been a great thing for me during this time. I’m sure your grocery store has been like mine has been of late….no bread in site. The only way I was able to get some (and it should be laced in gold mind you) is my mom, bless her. She is retired so she can go at any time during the day to find what we need. She went to 4 stores to find bread and hit the jack pot at the last store. I think she was experiencing her own thunderdome. Anyway, she got me and hubby a loaf and herself one. Anyway, I figured this was a great time to freeze it so we will have it for when we need it. Bread is kind of tricky, because it doesn’t fit in a ziplock freezer bag. I keep it in the original bag, then double wrap with aluminum foil.

again, make sure you label and date it.

So, those are a few items besides meats that I like to keep frozen. I hope this helps. I hope during these times you and your loves ones are well. I hope that you are able to find ways to stay strong and maybe even reconnect with the things that you have not gotten to do in a while that makes you smile.

Breakfast Chicken Hash Topped with a Fried Egg

I Woke up craving potatoes and eggs for breakfast….. but I do that a lot because, well, I love potatoes and eggs for breakfast. I had some leftover chicken from the Chicken tacos that I made a few nights before, so why not make a chicken hash I said……Dont you talk to yourself too while plundering through the fridge early in the morning?

This was made as a single serving. The amount of ingredients will vary according to how many you are preparing this for.

Here’s what you’ll need:

*1/4 or more small onion, chopped

*chopped chicken or any other protein you prefer… but then this would not be called chicken hash, but hey, we aren’t that picky and call it what you like.

* 3/4 C. frozen diced potatoes (you can use fresh, I had these in the freezer because it was faster to cook)

*eggs

*salt and pepper to tast

In a medium skillet heat 2Tbs of oil over medium high heat. Add onions and sauté until tender.

Add potatoes and continue to cook until potatoes are crisp, stirring frequently.

While potatoes are cooking, in a separate skillet add a small amount of oil and heat on medium high heat. Add egg and fry until whites are done but the yolk is still runny.

Add the chicken in the skillet with the potatoes, stir and cook until heated thru, add salt and pepper to taste.

Place potato mixture on to a plate and top with fried egg.

Then proceed to cut open egg and savor all the yolky goodness with the chicken hash.

Chicken Tacos with Guatemalan Slaw

I wasn’t planning on posting this because it was really a spur -of -the -moment -throw -together- -dinner kind of meal, but I have had some ask for the recipe. So you will notice there isn’t any pictures on how to put it together, but it’s pretty easy. Here is what I used:

* Rotisserie chicken

* 1/2 red onion chopped

* cumin; to taste

*coriander; to taste

*onion powder; to taste

* garlic powder; to taste

*dried oregano; to taste

*salt and pepper to taste

*cilantro chopped

*lime juice

*Guatemalan Slaw

* Hard taco shells

I like to buy a rotisserie chicken when it’s on sale, break it down and shred the meat. I then freeze it for later use. This is what I used for these tacos. Take desired amount of chicken and chop into bite size pieces.

Heat taco shells according to package directions and set aside.

Heat about 2 Tbs of oil in a large skillet. Add onions and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Throw in the chicken and add all the spices, salt and pepper to taste. Cook about 10 minutes stirring often. Add cilantro and lime juice. cook for another minute or two. If you are using a boxed taco kit with the hard shells, you can add the taco sauce to the chicken mixture as well.

Fill taco shells with chicken mixture, add topping of choice and top with Guatemalan slaw.

Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Apple Whiskey BBQ Pulled Pork with Guatemalan Slaw

This sandwich was as big of a mouth full as the title. A mouth full of deliciousness that is. The sauce is sweet and tangy with a hint of spice from the rub. I’ve made pulled pork with BBQ sauce in the slow cooker plenty of times, but I wanted something a little different….something that had a little ump to it if you will, so I grabbed the whiskey and came up with this.

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the Pulled Pork

  • 3 1/2 to 4 Ibs Boston Pork Butt
  • BBQ spice Rub
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 C. Apple jelly of preserves
  • 2/3 C. Whiskey or more to taste
  • 1 bottle of BBQ sauce

For the Slaw:

  • 1 bag of shredded cabbage
  • 1 Tbs Mayonnaise
  • cilantro, chopped to taste
  • olive oil, to taste
  • salt to taste
  • lime juice, to taste

Dry pork with paper towels. Grab your favorite bbq rub. I like using Penzey’s Barbecue of the America’s .

If you don’t have one you like, you can make your own. I have used a mix of salt, thyme, paprika, nutmeg, pepper, garlic powder and chili powder.

Sprinkle a good amount of the rub on all sides of the pork and rub into the meat.

I like to do this at least 2 hours before I’m going to cook it. There have been times when I’ve prepped everything the day before, because I knew I would not have the time to do this on day that I’m going to cook it. But you do what you prefer.

Place pork into slow cooker fat side up.

Next, throw in the onions.

Now for the BBQ sauce. I used regular apple jelly, whisky and a bottle of BBQ sauce.

Use what ever brand of whiskey and BBQ sauce that you like. I like to use a BBQ sauce that has a bit of smoke flavor.

In a bowl combine all three ingredients and mix well.

Add little or more to taste. Pour over the pork.

Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours.

Remove pork carefully….. I say carefully because my white counter tops have seen it’s share of pork splatter mishaps. Place in a large dish.

Using 2 forks, shred the pork. It’s usually so tender that it will most likely fall apart very easily.

Add the pork back to the BBQ sauce in the slow cooker. Stir and cook for another 10 minutes.

While the pork is reheating, now is the time to put together the slaw.

This is my take on Guatemalan slaw. My mother in law showed me how to make the original version and I’ve made it many times, but I wanted to tweak it a bit. The original version has angel hair cabbage with red onions, lime juice, salt, cilantro and olive oil. I like a thicker cut cabbage for using on sandwiches.

I use the cabbage that’s already shredded….you know the kind that comes in those handy bags.

I also like using the pre bagged kind because it has a mix of different kinds of cabbage.

In a bowl, add desired amount of cabbage mix, chopped cilantro, salt, lime juice, olive oil and a small amount of mayonnaise to taste.

I like the hint of creaminess that the mayonnaise adda to the slaw, it really adds a nice taste to the cabbage. Mix all ingredients together.

Now back to the pulled pork.

Remove pork with some of the sauce and place on to a serving dish. I don’t use all of the sauce because it’s way too messy for me, but reserve as much as you like. Serve on hamburger buns and top with slaw.