cooking

Milk vs Water

So, this weekend, I really wanted to bake, but I had forgotten to buy a cake mix, or milk, or a bread pan, so all I had was two choices, Cinnamon muffins, or this shake & pour funfetti cupcakes, and then sadly, it dwindled to one, as the shake & pour was so far past it’s use by date, I wasn’t even willing to risk that,

 So I decided on muffins, as I also have no non stick spray or butter in the house to grease a pan for coffee cake, which was the original plan.. and if things couldn’t have gotten worse, the recipe called for milk, which I didn’t have, and since it was Sunday, and no buses are running, I didn’t want to walk a half hour for.

So I subbed water, after reading countless reviewers battle it out, and I’m pleased to say, I had a good experience as well.  I luckily had enough oil for the mix, plus a tiny bit extra, which is always good if you leave out the milk, the oil will help keep them moist.

So I baked them, luckily having bought a cupcake pan, about three months ago, that came with it’s first round of wrappers! 

So, anyway, despite the fact that the mix was past it’s “better by” date, and I only had milk, and was baking at my nice, high altitude, the muffins came out, warm, moist and perfect. 

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I don’t mean to brag, I’m just basing this off the 4 my boyfriend ate that day.

 

Recipe below:

3/4 Milk or Water

1/4 Oil (increase this a bit if using water

Vanilla, optional (I didn’t have this either)

Betty Crocker Cinnamon Strudel Mix

2 Eggs

Preheat oven to 425

Mix together, don’t over mix, using a wooden spoon is better then a mixer to help in the moist category. A few little lumps are OK, they’ll bake out.

Sprinkle the topping

Bake for 16-21 minutes, depending on your oven, mine was about 18min.

Enjoy and remember, if using water, add a bit more oil, don’t overmix, and vanilla helps boost the taste.

 

On a hunt for a queso dip recipe!

So, back home in Ohio, all Mexican restaurants have a queso dip, and they are all (mostly) white, creamy, spicy and delicious. I assumed all Mexican restaurants were like Ohio joints. Unfortunately, a year after moving to Colorado, and over a dozen restaurants later, I have found that there’s no white queso dip anywhere. It may be because it’s less authentic, as Colorado is jam packed with Mexican places and dishes, but it also may be some other reason. Either way, I need this queso as the future of my yet to be created beef enchiladas with queso depend on me finding a good recipe, and making it easy as possible.

Attempt one, had me getting rotel and white american cheese, and completely flopped due to a lack of heat in my small melting pot, and a lack of paticece on my end. This time, it will be different. I have looked over many recipes (favorites are here, here, and here for a few) and I’m planning on combining them to a recipe, I have added the one that I’m using as my biggest base below, stolen from Center Cut Cook.com, and I think this one will help me build my dip my way. I already know i’m going for a mix of white american and pepper jack, possibly with a *little* velvetta queso blanco involved. I’m not sure as to jalapenos vs pickled ones, verses rotel, but that will happen with tests and chances.

 

Wish me luck! and let me know if there’s a recipe you suggest! 

 

 

Queso blanco

Prep: 5mn
Total: 15mn
Cook: 10mn

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound white american cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup half and half (more if desired)
  • 1/2-1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed, diced
  • 1/4 of a small onion, diced
  • 1 roma tomato, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • Tortilla chips

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil, then sauté’ jalapeño and onion until the pepper is tender and the onion is translucent.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium low and add in all of the shredded white american cheese and stir constantly.
  3. When the cheese is nearly melted, begin stirring in half and half. I used about 1/2 cup to get the desired consistency. Use more or less to get the consistency that you’re looking for.
  4. Add in diced tomato, chopped cilantro, and black pepper. Stir until everything is incorporated and the dip is smooth and creamy.
  5. Serve immediately with tortilla chips, tortillas, or veggies.
  6. Enjoy!

Cheesy Chicken Encharitos!

So, I decided to combine two mexican recipes I found and make my own twist for dinner! The recipe is at the bottom of this post. Forewarning, not the most healthy dish, but probably one of the yummiest!

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So above are all my ingredients, except for sour cream, which was still in the fridge at this time. Pre cooked chicken from Safeway, basically what you’d pull off a rotisserie chicken (you can always cook your own chicken breasts, I just always want to save time, save with beans)

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So this is our chicken, we got it from Safeway, little less then a pound, but it worked perfectly, to save the cooking chicken step when I’m getting home from work, and I’m tired! Just sprinkled a little taco seasoning and onion powder over it.  It’s just one of the short cuts we used, like pre cooked, pre seasoned beans, fake mexican rice (rice, onion powder, taco seasoning) but they turned out amazing 🙂

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And lastly, some pictures of them in the oven, and then once they were done! 🙂

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We loved them, and had leftovers for a whole week! 🙂 The mixture is also good as a quesadilla filling, or a nacho topping if you’re not in the mood for rolling, or a dip, if you’re having a party! 🙂

 

Cheesy Chicken Encharitos

Ingredients:

  • 1 Can Progresso 3 Cheese Cooking Sauce (Soup section)
  • 1 –  ½ can of Black Beans (I chose pre-cooked and preseasoned for 65cents)
  • 1 bag of Mexican Shredded Cheese Blend
  • 1 Packet Taco Seasoning (or fajita or similar seasonings)
  • 1 Green Pepper
  • 1 Small Container of Sour Cream (You only use two big spoonfuls)
  • 1 ½ cup of Rice (brown or white, though cooking time will change for brown)
  • 1 lb of chicken (Can use pre cooked stripes, pull from a pre cooked chicken, or cook your own and shred)
  • 1 package of burrito flour tortillas
  • Salsa on side
  • (optional, tomato puree or sauce to make real Spanish rice, but my cheat tasted pretty good)
  1. First make sure you have all your ingredients.
  2. In a deep fry pan, or soup pot, pour in ¾ of the can of cooking sauce. Place over heat.
  3. Sprinkle a little taco seasoning in remaining 1/3 of sauce for later use.
  4. Once the liquid is warmed up, stir in 2 big spoonfuls of sour cream (can add more to taste).
  5. Drain most of liquid from can of black beans, and pour ½ of the can into the sour cream and sauce mixtures.
  6. In separate fry pan, cook 1 green pepper chopped (if you don’t like a complete raw crunch)
  7. Once pepper is cooked, stir into sour cream mixture.
  8. Stir 1/3 of taco packet into soup (This is also to taste; you can do more or less).
  9. Shred your chicken; stir shredded chicken into the mixture.
  10. Bring the mixture to a boil for about 2-4 minutes to help thicken the sauce mixture.
  11. Cook 1 ½ cups of rice according to box (I made mine in microwave, again you can have more rice too, if you like a lot of rice, this was a pretty good portion)
  12. Once rice is cooked, stir in 1/3 packet of taco seasoning (again to taste!)
  13. Once sauce boils, lower heat and stir in some Mexican blend cheese, about 1/4 of the package.
  14. Stir for about a minute.
  15. Pre heat oven to about 225
  16. Now, lay out a space to roll burritos.
  17. How I did mine, layered rice, and then sauce mixture, and sprinkled a little more cheese on each one, and rolled.
  18. Place your rolled burritos into a square baking pan (I lined mine with tinfoil to make it easier)
  19. Once you rolled all your burritos (This would make about 6 maybe 7, depending on filling level)
  20. Pour the remaining 1/3 of cooking sauce with taco seasoning in it over top of all the burritos.
  21. Sprinkle the remaining amount of Mexican blend cheese over top of the burritos.
  22. Place in oven for about 5-10 minutes (Depends how hot your oven runs, we used our little bread oven, as our oven is split in two, and that was fine, a bigger over might take 12 minutes to make everything hot and melty)
  23. Pull from over once it’s melty to your satisfaction (everything is pre-cooked so this step just makes it all hot and melty)
  24. Let sit for 2 minutes.
  25. Then Eat!

Bloglovin

Finally, I got my follow with Bloglovin button up on my blog! Yay for me! So if you use BlogLovin and you like my blog, follow me there! 🙂 So far, no one does, which is fine, because people follow my real blog at least. Like 13 of you! So things are getting interesting around here! Stay tuned, some awesome recipes, crafts, book reviews, and authors are coming your way soon! 🙂

Dress Down Day

We got to wear jeans and t shirts to work today because the rest of the office is off in Denver, having a planning meeting for the Gala that’s taking place next Saturday! Today’s a pretty slow day for me, nothing notable to post on the blog, no videos to make, no new ideas for tweets or statuses..

So, I’m working on my own blog, and writing, and goofing around on photoshop, working on logos for the orchestra pages and such, trying to keep busy but it’s almost noon which means I still have five hours of work..

Tomorrow night that staff is going to dinner at the previous board of directors president’s house, so I count that as good, because free dinners, even if i’m not a giant fan, are less work/money for me.

My host family/Dad just got into town yesterday, so soon I’ll be meeting up with him and his two dogs for dinner and to get to know each other. Good thing i’m not shy!

Oh well, I think that’s all for today, may post a poem later but I am proud to say it’s been over 2 weeks without fast food! 🙂