Updated every Tuesday for your culinary convenience!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Salsa Verde Chicken Burritos

These burritos are my own creation, and I am mighty proud! And since they're quick and easy, I thought they'd make a great Christmas post. I mean, who really wants to do MORE cooking? Not me... and I didn't even do that much cooking!

You will need:

That's olive oil, lime juice, refried beans, cumin, Monterrey Jack cheese, salsa verde, sour cream, an onion, a leftover baked chicken breast, and tortillas (I use whole wheat).

If you don't have a leftover chicken breast, you can always bake one or throw it on the George Foreman. But this is definitely a handy recipe to have when there are leftovers in the fridge.

Start by cutting several thin slices of onion. Saute them in about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until somewhat limp.

Start heating your beans on a separate burner. I like to add cumin and chili powder for an extra kick.

Shred your chicken breast with a fork.

And add it to the onion. Turn the heat down a little.

Add 1 teaspoon cumin, 2 tablespoons lime juice, and 1/3 cup salsa verde. Heat and stir until liquid is absorbed. It only takes a couple minutes.

Shred some Monterrey Jack cheese.

By now your beans should be hot. Be sure and scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula so it doesn't get crusty!

Keep stirring the meat occasionally. Once the salsa and lime juice are absorbed, it's ready to go!

I like to put everything on the table so that each person can decide how much of each ingredient they want.


Want to print it? Copy and paste the text below to a Word document!

Salsa Verde Chicken Burritos


1 large cooked chicken breast, shredded
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 thin slices of onion
1/3 cup salsa verde
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 can refried beans (plus 2 teaspoons cumin and ½ teaspoon chili
powder to doctor it up!)
Sour cream
Shredded cheese
4 tortillas

Put the refried beans in a small saucepan on a small burner over medium heat, and stir occasionally throughout the cooking process. Shred the chicken with a fork. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the slices of onion and sauté until tender, then add the chicken and salsa verde. Cook until hot and the salsa is absorbed, then add lime juice and cumin. Saute for a minute more, then simmer until beans are hot and food is ready to serve.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tasty Tuesday: Warm Lentil and Barley Soup

It's soup weather, and Dan and I recently enjoyed one of my personal favorites.

I made this soup for the first time when I worked at David's Bridal. In the midst of the crazy fast-paced world that is the bridal business, I spent my half-hour lunches sipping this soup all week and reading In Praise of Slowness.

Those breaks were like a mini vacation to look forward to each day. A perfect way to shed the stress. Since it takes a little more time to make than some of my other recipes, and it's flavor is simultaneously simple and complex (is that possible?), the soup and the book go together like seafood and white wine.

So here's what you'll need:

That's olive oil, an onion, two carrots, a cup of lentils, 12 cups of chicken broth (or, in this case, 12 cups of water and 4 tablespoons of bullion), a can of kidney beans, a can of white beans, a can of black beans (I cook my own and freeze them - if you do the same, you need 1 1/2 cups), a can of diced tomatoes, a tablespoon each of basil and cumin, 1/2 a teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and a few sprigs of parsley, or, if you're like me and forgot to buy fresh parsley, about 2 teaspoons of dried parsley.

Start by putting a very large pot on the stove (I use a Dutch oven - this makes a lot of soup!) and heating about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Meanwhile, chop the onion.

Add the onion to the pot and saute it until translucent - probably around 5 minutes? Meanwhile, boil 2 cups of water in a small pot.

Add the lentils and four cups of the broth/water and bullion.

Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Add the barley to the boiling water and cook it for 20 minutes as well.

Meanwhile, chop the carrots.

When the lentils are done cooking, add the carrot, cover, and simmer for 10 more minutes.

While that's cooking, drain the black beans and the white beans. Put HALF of them in a blender or food processor and puree them. I use a baby food processor, because it is very easy to use and clean up.

When the 10 minutes are up, add the pureed beans and the whole black and white beans to the pot.

Drain the kidney beans and the barley and add them, too.

Finally, add the tomatoes, herbs, and spices.

Simmer, uncovered, for 30 more minutes.

Don't even think about serving this without some very hearty bread! It's not filling enough to be a stand-alone dinner...

MMMMMM! Enjoy!

Want to print it? Copy and paste this:

Warm Lentil and Barley Soup


1 large onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup lentils
1/3 cup pearl barley
12 cups quarts chicken broth
2 carrots
1 can black beans
1 can white beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon cumin
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons parsley (dried or fresh)

Chop the onion. In a very large pot over medium heat, sauté the onion in olive oil until translucent. Meanwhile, boil 2 cups of water in another saucepan. To the onion, add the lentils and 4 cups of chicken broth, and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Add the barley to the boiling water and cook until the 20 minutes is up.

While the barley and lentils are cooking, chop the carrot. Add the carrot and the rest of the broth to the lentils and simmer, covered, for 10 more minutes. While the lentils are cooking, drain and rinse the black and white beans, and puree half of them. After the 10 minutes is up, add the pureed beans, whole black and white bean, and rinsed and drained kidney beans to the pot, along with the barley (drained), tomatoes, and herbs and spices. Simmer for 30 more minutes.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cowboy Cookies

I think most people have a special place in their heart for their mom's cookies. Dan is an extreme example of this. I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that she's not here to make them, but it's also largely because her cookies are just so dang good. Every once in awhile, I get a hankering for MY mom's cookies, and when I express my intention to make them, he is always baffled.

"Why would you make her cookies when Cowboy Cookies are so much better?"

"Um, because I like them, I grew up with them, and I made your mom's cookies the last dozen times."

"Yes, as you should have. Because they're better."


So here's what you'll need to recreate these hallowed morsels:

That's 1/2 cup of butter, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, an egg, 1 cup of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1 cup of quick oats, 1 cup of coconut flakes, and 3/4 cup of chocolate chips.

Let me just say that I personally have never cared for coconut, but I still love these cookies and think that the coconut is great in them!

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Start by melting the butter, then cream together the sugar, brown sugar and butter.

If Dan is helping make the cookies, he eats the "dough" at this point (if you can call it dough, which you can't). I think this is deplorable.

Next add the egg and vanilla, mix again, and then add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

I find that these cookies turn out the same whether I use white or whole wheat flour, so I always use whole wheat, to help justify how many of them I will end up eating.

This is a very versatile recipe, so sometimes I like to throw in something healthy. This time, I added some flaxseed meal.

It seemed a little too dry, so I added a few squirts of flaxseed oil.

Next, add 1 cup of quick oats.

Mix, and add a cup of coconut.

Mix again. By now, your arm is probably getting a bit of a workout. Don't worry - we're almost done!

Add 3/4 cup chocolate chips, and mix one more time.

Roll into balls and place on a cookie sheet.

Place them in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes.
Be sure to eat some dough while they're baking. This is VITAL. I'm careful to to it every time. Lord knows what would happen if I didn't...

They're done when the highest little knobs on each cookie are caramel brown. You want these cookies to have some crunch to them.

Let them cool on the sheet for a couple minutes, then move them to wire racks. Or don't. I do when I'm feeling particularly obliging - Dan likes the wire rack step. I like them nice and warm!


Here's the printable recipe:

Cowboy Cookies

½ cup butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup quick oats
1 cup coconut flakes
¾ cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Melt the butter and pour it into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar, mixing well. In a small bowl, beat the egg. Add the egg and vanilla to the sugar mixture, mixing again. Next, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix thoroughly. Add the oats, mix, add the coconut, mix, and add the chocolate chips, mixing once more. Roll into balls and place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until tops are a crispy golden brown.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Lady Ida's Prize

This is definitely one of my top eat-in-five-minutes meals - the Lady Ida's Prize. It is my take on an open-faced sandwich by the same name made by The Truffle Hunter, a restaurant on Powell Boulevard that my family used to go to every couple years as a special treat. Dan took me there on the night he proposed. And this is the only thing that I have ever ordered.

Note: at The Truffle Hunter, they use Swiss cheese, but I have always asked them to substitute cheddar because I'm a cheddar fiend.

Sadly, I haven't been able to eat this myself lately because of Felicity's dairy allergy, but I told Dan that, when I am able to have dairy again, I want to celebrate by going to The Truffle Hunter and eating the real thing.

Yeah, technically it's a sandwich, and it makes a great lunch, too. But it's hot and filling and, when we're ravenous and there's no time to cook up a big dinner, this works wonderfully!

You will need:
2 slices of bread per person, cream cheese, sliced ham (deli ham is what I usually use, but ham from an actual ham is always a treat!), sliced cheddar cheese (each slice about 1/8 inch thick), and a can of pineapple slices.

Move your oven rack up close to the burner and turn on the broiler. If you are using brick cream cheese, melt it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it. I used whipped cream cheese here, so it wasn't necessary this time. Spread cream cheese generously on each slice of bread.
Top each slice of bread with several slices of ham, then cover entirely with sliced cheese.
Place the bread slices on a cookie sheet. Put them in the oven and broil, watching carefully, until the cheese is melted but not yet bubbly. Remove from the oven.
Add 2 pineapple slices per slice of bread. The reason we didn't add these earlier is that the cheese won't melt if it's hidden beneath the pineapple.
return to the oven, and broil for another 30 seconds or so or until the pineapple is hot - again, watch carefully to avoid burning the cheese.
Serve piping hot!

MMMMMM... this is making me hungry! Felicity, you'd better be grateful that I'm still breastfeeding you!