Friday, February 22, 2013

Chicken Enchiladas with Avocado Cream Sauce

Chicken enchiladas with avocado cream sauce
• 2 Tbsp. olive oil
• 1 medium white or yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
• 2 poblano peppers, stemmed and thinly sliced
• 1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
• 8-10 flour tortillas
• 4 cups shredded cooked chicken(rotisserie works best)
• 2-3 cups Monterrey Jack cheese
• optional garnish: fresh cilantro, sour cream, and/or shredded cheese

Avocado Cream Sauce Ingredients:
• 2 Tbsp. butter
• 2 Tbsp. flour
• 2 cups chicken broth
• 3/4 cup sour cream
• 1/2 tsp. cumin
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
• 1/4 tsp. pepper
• 2 California avocados, peeled and pitted
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
• juice of one lime


1. First make the avocado cream sauce:

2. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat.
 Add the flour, whisking until golden and bubbly, about 2-3 minutes.

3. Slowly whisk the broth into the flour mixture.
 Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Stir in the sour cream, cumin, salt, garlic powder and pepper, whisking if necessary to remove any lumps.

5. Remove from heat and transfer mixture to a blender or food processor.
Add avocados, cilantro and lime juice, and pulse until smooth and well-blended.
 (Be very careful blending hot liquids -- the heat will expand! So be sure
to remove the lid occasionally so that the heat can escape.)

6. Season with additional salt or pepper if needed.

7. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
Add onion, poblano and jalapeno, and saute for 5-6
minutes until the onions are cooked and translucent.

8. Remove from heat.

9. To assemble the enchiladas, place a tortilla on a flat surface.

10. Spread a tablespoon or two of the avocado sauce down the middle of the tortilla.
Then layer on some of the vegetable mixture, shredded chicken and cheese.

11. Carefully roll the tortilla and place it seam side down in the baking dish.

12. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

13. Drizzle the top with about half of the remaining avocado cream sauce, then cover the dish with foil and bake for about 20 minutes, or until tortillas are heated through and begin to harden.

14. Remove from the oven, then serve individual enchiladas drizzled with the remainder of the avocado cream sauce.
You can also garnish with additional cilantro, cheese, and/or sour cream.

Recipe by The Holzmanns at

This was very good.

I did forget to add the lime to the sauce. It would have brightened the sauce a bit,  Lime would also have made the leftovers more appetizing because without the lime the avocado turned gray.

The apartment smelled wonderful while the veggies cooked. 

I sprinkled cheese on top in the last minutes of reheating the next day. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Spinach and Cheese Strata

Spinach and Cheese Strata

1 -2 (10 ounce) packages fresh spinach, roughly chopped 
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 cups cubed French or Italian bread in 1-inch cubes (1/2 lb)
6 ounces coarsely grated Gruyère (2 cups) 
2 ounces finely grated parmesan (1 cup)
2 3/4 cups milk
9 large eggs

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion with 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and nutmeg until soft. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.

Butter a 3-quart baking dish. Spread one third of the bread cubes in the dish. Then add one-third of the spinach mixture and one-third of the cheeses. Repeat these layers twice, using all of the bread, spinach and cheese.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pour evenly over the bread mixture in the baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

When ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 350 and let the strata stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes. Bake, uncovered, until completely cooked, 45 to 55 minutes. The strata should be golden brown. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

This was very well liked.
I did cut the recipe in half and used an 8x8 pan.
I used the larger amount of spinach.
I used Gruyere cheese, the original pinner substituted Fontina but the price was the same at my store.

Thank you Megan for sharing the recipe.
You can find the original recipe here

Oatmeal Smoothie

I really love oatmeal. Did I tell you before...I Love Oats!

This oatmeal smoothie was yummy. I used my Bullet to mix it. I had to use frozen strawberries and frozen banana but didn't think to decrease the ice. It was so thick I had to spoon it into my cup. Then it was too thick to drink up the straw for about 30 minutes.

Here is the recipe

Oatmeal Smoothies Ingredients: 1 cup ice. 1/2 cup frozen raspberries or strawberries. 1/2 cup plain low fat yogurt. 1 banana. 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats. 1 tablespoon honey. 1 cup coconut water (or other liquid, such as juice).

I used strawberries and coconut water and Greek yogurt.

I will be adding this to my smoothie repertoire.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pomegranate Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

We are continuing our Month of Pinterest!
We were out and about today so what better way to end the day but with Cookies.

Pomegranate Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

½ cup butter, room temperature
½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chunks (semi-sweet or dark; about 4 oz chopped chocolate/4 sqaures of baking chocolate)
1 cup pomegranate arils (about 1 pomegranate)
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugars until smooth. Add egg and vanilla extract and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add dry ingredients to butter mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chunks, then gently stir in pomegranate arils.
  4. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 12-13 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool on baking sheet for a couple minutes before removing to racks to cool completely.
This cookie base would be perfect for any additions: try just chocolate, raisins, or chopped pretzels, skor bits, and chocolate for a Twix cookie!   

Yummy Yummy
The 2 year old couldn't stay out of them while they were cooling. She begged for more and more and then just sneaked them off the cooling rack when I was turned away.
The picky eater wouldn't try them because of the "blueberries" aka pomegranate. He is a tough one. I'll let you know if he ever tries any of my cooking.

Julie came home and oohed and ahhhed while eating several.
I ate too many myself. I did make them small so a few would be OK.

They were still yummy cold from the fridge the next day.
This is a keeper recipe.

Thank you Hidden Ponies for the recipe.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Tortilla Chicken

 Tortilla Chicken

Another great one from my pinterest friends.

Serves 4

1/2 cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Light Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/4 lbs.)
1 cup tortilla crumbs*
1 large ripe avocado, cut into cubes
2 roma tomatoes, seeds removed, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
1 lime
sea salt and fresh black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F.
  2. Combine Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Light Mayonnaise, lime juice, garlic, cilantro and chili powder in small bowl; set aside.
  3. Coat chicken with mayonnaise mixture, then tortilla crumbs. Arrange chicken on aluminum-foil-lined baking pan.
  4. Bake 20 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  5. Make the salsa while the chicken cooks. Combine avocado, tomato, onion and cilantro. Toss with a tablespoon or two of lime to taste and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Garnish, if desired, with the salsa and cilantro.
  7. * For homemade tortilla crumbs, crunch in a zip lock bag. If you want a finer crumb process in food processor.
Adapted from Hellmann's

The Verdict

We ate too much. This was so so yummy our mouths kept eating til our plates were clean. 
The chicken was so very moist. It was tender yet crunchy. The salsa brought the whole dish together with a taste explosion in my mouth. This was so easy to make. It really was done in 30 minutes including prep. And I even got the dishes washed while the chicken was still baking.

I did cut the recipe for the chicken in half but made the entire salsa recipe. I intended to save half the salsa but it was so good we ate it. This was a complete meal by itself with the fresh avocado and tomatoes.

Thank you Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice and also Hellman's

Bacon, Ranch & Chicken Mac & Cheese

Wow!!!   This is a definite keeper!

I thought we would have leftovers. Nope. No leftovers.

I did adapt from the original. It needed more bacon and only called for one slice. I used whole milk and regular cream of mushroom soup.
The original blogger did make this a "healthier" version but we have different opinions on what is healthy.
I see no need to fry bacon in a non-stick pan. I used my KitchenCraft and stainless steel pans, less chemicals. I did not use all the bacon drippings as that would have been too much.
I do not use commercial cooking spray. I prefer to use my own oil in a spray bottle like the one Pampered Chef uses. It has no propellant.
I did not finish this under the broiler because it was too hot and I did not want the oven on.
I do like the broiled topping so on a cooler day or if the oven was already on I would broil the topping.


  • 8  ounces  uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 4 slices applewood-smoked bacon
  • 8  ounces  skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1  tablespoon  butter
  • 1  tablespoon  all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2  cups  milk
  • 1/3  cup  condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 3/4  cup  (3 ounces) shredded six-cheese Italian blend 
  • 1/2  teaspoon  onion powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  garlic powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2  cup  (2 ounces) shredded colby-Jack cheese


Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings in pan. Finely chop bacon; set aside. Increase heat to medium-high. Add chicken to drippings in pan; sauté 6 minutes or until done.
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; sprinkle flour evenly into pan. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Combine milk and soup, stirring with a whisk; gradually add milk mixture to saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat; let stand 4 minutes or until sauce cools to 155°. Add Italian cheese blend, onion powder, garlic powder, dill, and salt, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in pasta and chicken. Preheat broiler.
Spoon mixture into an 8-inch square pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with reserved bacon and colby-Jack cheese. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts.

Fantastic! I liked the whole food approach to the Ranch. It doesn't take any more time to mix in the seasoning than a packaged mix. If I have to look up an ingredient or it is not food I try not to use it.
I would encourage you to use fresh dill if at all possible. 
The eaters all loved this. The non eater wouldn't taste it but he didn't mind the smell too much so that is progress.
This is a keeper and will be added to our regular menu of family recipes.

pinned from First Look Then Cook

Refrigerator Oatmeal

A month of pinterest recipes!

I know I'm starting a day late. We went to Disneyland yesterday. Amanda arranged it for Josh's 6th birthday.

Never fear. Yesterday I made a breakfast for before we left.

Refrigerator Oatmeal - Raspberry Vanilla

I made it the night before. 

  • 1/4 cup uncooked old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried chia seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon raspberry jam, preserves, or spread
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup raspberries (cut each berry in half), or enough to fill jar

In a half pint (1 cup) jar, add oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds, and raspberry jam. Put lid on jar and shake until well combined. Remove lid, add raspberries and stir until mixed throughout. Return lid to jar and refrigerate overnight or as long as 2-3 days. Eat chilled.

I didn't have any jam so I left it out. I also bought flax seeds instead of chia because I didn't find chia seeds where I shopped Thursday night.

Without the jam I did need to add a little sweetening after tasting it. I just put a touch of brown sugar because I am partial to brown sugar.
I liked it. I will probably try some of the other flavors at a future date.
I will mention that it was in the low 80's at Disneyland. I was definitely  a warm day for a cold oatmeal breakfast. I did convince one other person to taste it and they did not particularly care for it.
I really really like oats. I have been known to eat them almost raw. I also love plain greek yogurt so this was a good fit for me in the morning. It was also great to just open the refrigerator and grab breakfast while we were rushing around with the kids anticipation of the day.

 Thank you Monica at The Yummy Life for the original post for Refrigerator Oatmeal and very good detailed pictures and directions. She also has the recipes for the other 5 varieties.