Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas Verdes Casserole Recipe

{print this recipe}

This is a super easy slow-cooker recipe. I wanted to make an enchilada casserole the other day and I really love slow cooker recipes so I don't have to be cooking dinner during "the witching hour" (anyone with small kids knows what I'm talking about). I figured I could come up with something good and this was it! We like a little heat in our Mexican dishes so next time I would add the can of diced chiles. I will include them in the recipe even though I didn't use them the first time.

Source: combo of several recipes plus a little Mama Jan Original

• 2½ cups cooked chicken, shredded or cubed (2-3 chicken breasts)
• 1 cup asadero or Asiago cheese, shredded (divided)
• 1/2 medium onion, chopped
• garlic (a couple cloves), minced
• 1/3 C fresh cilantro, finely chopped (subs. green onions, sliced)
• 1/3 C lowfat sour cream
• 1 4-oz. can chopped green chiles (optional, for heat)
• 1 T lime juice
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 14-oz. can mild green enchilada sauce (or try the homemade sauce from this recipe if you have time!)
• 18 6-inch corn tortillas, cut into quarters


1. Combine chicken, 1/2 cup of the cheese, onion, garlic, cilantro, sour cream, canned chiles (if desired), lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

2. Spread 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of your slow cooker.

3. Layer 1/3 of your tortilla quarters, then half the chicken mixture, 1/3 of your tortillas quarters, the remaining half of the chicken mixture, and finally the remaining tortilla quarters.

4. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce on top. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.

5. Cook on low for 3-4 hours.

Conventional Oven option: Follow instructions using a 9x13 casserole dish. Cover with foil and bake 30-40 minutes at 350°.

Kitchen Tip:For shredded chicken (my favorite in any Mexican dish), I place the chicken breasts in my slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt and pepper then pour in enough water or chicken broth to cover the breasts. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Remove and shred! You can make a bunch and a time and then freeze it in portions. Be sure to remove as much air as possible so your chicken doesn't get freezer burn!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sour Cream Coffee Cake Recipe

{print this recipe}

The recipe came from my grandma. My grandparents lived in Hawaii for a few years in the 1960s and this recipe came from a neighbor of theirs while they lived there.  It's been a family favorite every since!  It was my contribution to Christmas breakfast this year.  I've eaten this coffee cake so many times but it was my first time making it.  I was surprised to find out just how easy it is!  Would be perfect for special occasions, brunch, serving to your Sunday School class or PTA group!

source: Grammy/Mom - family favorite recipe.

2 C flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking pwder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 C butter (2 sticks), softened
2 C sugar
2 eggs
2 ½ teaspoons vanilla
1 C sour cream
½ C chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans are good)
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
powdered sugar (for dusting)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Grease and flour an angel food cake pan.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. Cream together the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the sour cream to the creamed mixture. Put half the batter into the prepared cake pan. Sprinkle with half of the filling. Add the remaining batter and top with the remaining filling. Bake for 1 hour.
  5. Remove from oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  6. Cool right-side up in the pan for 2-3 hours or overnight.  Carefully lift the cake off the angel food cake pan, slice and serve!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Peppermint Chippers Cookie Recipe

{print this recipe}

Peppermint Chippers are a family favorite for the holidays!  They're basically just chocolate chip cookies with crushed candy canes but the cookie recipe is different than the one I use for chocolate chip cookies.

They are soooo good.  You can even freeze them and eat them just as they start thawing - cold, pepperminty, chewy, crunchy. Yum.

cookies for Santa!

source: family favorite recipe
• 1 cup shortening
• 1 cup sugar
• ½ cup brown sugar
• 2 teaspoons vanilla
• 2 eggs
• 2 cups flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 ½ teaspoons salt
• 2 cups chocolate chips
• 1 cup crushed peppermint candy canes (about 8 candy canes) *see kitchen tip*

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Cream together the shortening, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Add eggs and mix well.
3. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture.
4. Stir in chocolate chips and peppermint candy.
5. Drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Kitchen Tip:
To crush the candy canes, unwrap them, put them in a plastic bag and break them with a meat mallet or rolling pin.  Don't break them up too small or you'll end up with candy cane powder!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Brie & Goat Cheese Panini with Basil Tomato Soup Recipe

{print this recipe}
I'm not a big "soup and sandwich" kind of girl but as soon as our weather turned colder I started craving grilled cheese.  One evening for dinner, my husband decided to fix a brie and goat cheese panini that he had heard Bobby Flay mention on an episode of Throwdown.  Bobby's recipe called for bacon and tomato but we left it out.  Personally, I'm super glad we left it out.  I LOVED the flavors of the brie and goat cheese together and their different textures.  There was so much going on in the sandwich that it didn't need any other flavors competing!
This was my first time eating tomato soup so I didn't have anything to compare it to.  I did like it and it was awesome with the panini.  We followed reviewers on and increased the sugar.  It was pretty sweet so the second time we made it, we left the sugar as-is (the recipe you'll find below).... so much better!  We froze half of the soup to have for next time!  Simply let the soup cool slightly and pour into a ziploc freezer bag.  Remove as much air as possible and lay flat to freeze!  Be sure to label your freezer bag  :)  I usually place the freezer bag on a cookie sheet until frozen through and then I can store it upright in my freezer.

source: adapted from
total time: 20 minutes
serves: 6

  • 2 (28oz) cans crushed tomatoes - aim for no-salt added!
  • 1 (14.5oz) can vegetable broth
  • 18 fresh basil leaves, minced (about a cup of leaves)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup butter

  1. In a large saucepan, bring the tomatoes and broth to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add basil and sugar.  Reduce heat to low, stir in cream and butter.  Heat (do not boil) until butter is melted.

source: adapted from Bobby Flay's recipe
serves: 4

  • 8 slices ciabatta, focaccia, herb slab or other favorite bread (we also liked it on sliced sourdough)
  • 8 to 12 ounces of good brie
  • 8 ounces soft goat cheese
  • watercress
  • butter
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

  1. Heat a cast iron griddle or cast iron pan over medium heat (or your panini grill...).
  2. Spread butter on 1 side of each slice of bread. Layer four of the slices of the bread with 3 to 4 slices of brie, watercress, and 2 slices of goat cheese (you can freeze the goat cheese slightly to make it easier to slice). Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Place the remaining bread slices on top, butter side up and cook on the griddle until golden brown on both sides and the brie has melted.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Beef & Black Bean Fajita Burrito Recipe

Last Friday, Whole Foods was having a huge (almost 50% off) sale on their grass-fed beef.  Time to stock the freezer!!  Since I already had the beef and had a few bell peppers left over from our recent fruit & veggie delivery, I decided to make up a recipe... not often that I do that!

We LOVED how these fajita burritos turned out.  I was able to freeze half for an easy dinner later on, too!  For the taco seasoning, I used a packet that I bought at Whole Foods.  We also really love the taco seasoning from  For something a little spicier, you could even try my homemade taco seasoning I posted ages ago.

source: Mama Jan Original
yields: 10-12 burritos

1 pound ground beef, chicken or turkey (for vegetarian option, substitute two cans black beans)
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
taco seasoning
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 bell peppers, thinly sliced (I used red, orange and yellow)
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4-1/2 pound shredded Cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
10-12 tortillas

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Cook your ground meat until brown, drain. Add 2 cans of black beans. Add in taco seasoning and cook according to seasoning's directions.

3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a frying pan. Add peppers and onions. Sauté.

4. When your meat mixture and pepper mixture are ready, scoop 1/3 to 1/2 cup meat mixture onto a tortilla shell. Add a scoop of the pepper mixture and top with a small handful of cheese. Fold sides and roll into burritos.

5. Place burritos in an ungreased 9x13 baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until the shells begin to brown.

6. Enjoy! Serve with a fresh fruit salad.

After rolling your burritos, place on a baking pan in the freezer for a couple hours ("flash freeze"). Once frozen, roll individually in plastic wrap then place in a ziploc freezer bag. Label (with the date!) and freeze for up to 3 months. Try to remove as much air as possible from the freezer bag. To cook, thaw and follow baking instructions above.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

BBQ Chicken Tenders Recipe

I'm always on the hunt for easy, healthy dinners my whole family will eat.  I have two toddlers and you never know when their favorite dinner is suddenly the worst possible thing you could ever serve them! (If you have a toddler, you know what I mean...)  My last attempt at serving a breaded baked chicken did not go well, so I wasn't hopeful with this one.  I am pleased to say this was a HIT with my whole family.  For the first time in a long time, all four of us ate the same dinner.  That's huge.

I used panko-style bread crumbs for a lighter, crispier coating.  This was the first time I've cooked with panko (Japanese style bread crumbs) and I loved the way it turned out!  Will definitely do that again.  You can find panko breadcrumbs in the Asian food section at your grocery store.  We also loved the "dunkers" (reserved dipping sauce) - a little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, a lot bit delicious.  Served this with my "easy sides" (rice and roasted veggie - this time it was asparagus).

Yields: about 24 tenders
Active Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 1/2 hours (including 30 minutes marinating time)

1 cup prepared barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups coarse dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat (I used Panko style bread crumbs)
Olive oil or canola oil cooking spray

1. Combine barbecue sauce, mustard and honey in a large bowl. Set aside 1/2 cup of the sauce in a small bowl. Cut any large chicken tenders in half lengthwise, then add all the tenders to the large bowl with the remaining sauce; stir to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray (or cover with parchment paper).
3. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Lightly beat eggs in another shallow dish. Place breadcrumbs in a third shallow dish.

4. Coat each tender in flour, shaking off any excess. Dip in egg and let any excess drip off. Then roll in the breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess. Place the tenders on the prepared baking sheet.
5. Generously coat both sides of each tender with cooking spray.
6. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn each tender over and continue baking until the outside is crisp and the tenders are cooked through, about 10 minutes more.
7. Serve with the reserved sauce for dipping.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Baked Egg Rolls with Honey Soy Dipping Sauce Recipe

source: egg rolls recipe modified from, sauce recipe from
Yields: 8 servings (2 rolls per serving)
Points: about 1 Weight Watchers point per roll

Honey Soy Dipping Sauce

Mix all ingredients except sesame seeds together in a bowl. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Just before serving, add the sesame seeds.

Baked Egg Rolls

  • 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded (I use a bag of cabbage-only coleslaw)*
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups mung bean sprouts (or one can, drained if you have to use canned!)
  • 1/2 cup chopped water chestnuts (about 4oz can)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green or red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions (3-4 onions)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 16 egg roll wrappers

1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Coat a large skillet with cooking spray
3. Add the cabbage, carrots, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, bell pepper, green onions, garlic and ginger. Cook and stir over medium heat until vegetable are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.
4. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, water, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar and cayenne until smooth; stir into chicken mixture. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened; remove from the heat.
5. Spoon 1/4 cup of chicken mixture on the bottom third of one egg roll wrapper.  

Fold center piece up and sides toward center.

Moisten the flap with water like you would an envelope.

Roll tightly.

Place seam side down on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray (I use parchment paper). Repeat.

6. Spray tops of egg rolls with cooking spray. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. (I forgot to spray mine so they aren't browned like they should be...

Serve with dipping sauce.

* you can omit the cabbage and substitute 2 cups finely diced cooked chicken or 1 1/4 pounds ground chicken (cooked) if you prefer to have meat in your egg rolls. Add the chicken at the end of step 3.

Freezer DirectionsAfter rolling all the egg rolls, place baking sheet in freezer until rolls are frozen through. Remove from freezer, wrap individually in plastic wrap and place the rolls into a ziploc freezer bag. Label (including date) and freeze for up to 3 months. Unused egg rolls wrappers can also be frozen (place waxed paper between the sheets and freeze in a ziploc freezer bag).

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds