Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Blog Overhaul

It was time for a change... what do you think of my new look?  Do you love it? Hate it?  Stuff you want to see, things I should get ride of?

A couple changes I want to point out:
1. I have added a blog list of cooking blogs I follow or check in on occasionally.  Keep your eye on this list as I will be adding more in the future!
2. All recipes from here on out will have an option to "print this recipe" which will make it much easier for those of you wanting a hard copy of the recipe.  I am slowly adding that feature to the recipes that are currently posted.  You may be told by Google that I have posted a bazillion new recipes... I am only editing those posts, sorry!!

I <3 my readers and want you to like what you're lookin' at!  :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Cranberry-Chipotle Chicken


{print this recipe}
This is an amazing fall dish!  The smokiness of the chipotle pairs amazingly well with the sweetness of the cranberry sauce.  Serve with a side of baked sweet potato for extra yummy fall goodness.


INGREDIENTS
8oz. bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 C chopped onion (about ½ of a medium onion)
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz can white kidney (cannellini) beans, rinsed and drained
1 C chopped roma tomatoes (about 1 large tomato)
½ C uncooked long grain rice
½ C chicken broth
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 16-oz can whole cranberry sauce
1 canned chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped (just one! Not the whole can!)
2 Tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime)
¼ teaspoon salt


DIRECTIONS 
  1. In a large skillet cook bacon and onion over medium heat until bacon is crisp. Drain off fat.
  2. Transfer bacon mixture to slow cooker.  Stir in black beans, kidney beans, tomatoes, rice, chicken broth, the ½ teaspoon of salt, the cumin, cinnamon and garlic.  Add chicken.
  3. In a small bowl combine cranberry sauce, chipotle pepper, lime juice, and the ¼ teaspoon salt. Pour over mixture in cooker.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or on high for 3 to 3½ hours.

I serve it by placing the chicken on the plate first.  Then I mix up the rice, beans and cranberry goodness and serve on top of the chicken.  


KITCHEN TIPS:
  1. If you don't use bacon often, you can keep the package in your freezer (put in a ziploc freezer bag). No need to thaw before cutting into strips and cooking.
  2. Chipotle chiles are smoked jalapeno peppers. They freeze well which is great because most recipes call for just one. I bag them individually (1-2 chiles per bag) with a teaspoon or two of the adobo sauce. Don't forget to label each bag with the number of chiles. Then place all the bags in one quart-size freezer bag and stick them in your freezer! If using a frozen chipotle for this recipe (and if you don't mind the extra heat from the seeds), chop it up while frozen.  This makes the chopping SO much easier!
  3. I buy several limes at a time and freeze their juice in ice cube trays (about 1 Tbls per cube) so that I always have lime juice on hand for the recipes that call for just a tablespoon or two.  Using silicone ice cube trays makes it easier to pop the cubes out.

Black Bean & Shredded Chicken Soup

{print this recipe}


Source: this recipe came from friends of ours who brought us dinner when our youngest son was born.  It was so delicious I had to have the recipe!

INGREDIENTS

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (frozen ok)
2 cans of diced tomatoes with chiles
2-3 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup of salsa
2 cups frozen corn*
salt to taste

garnish:
Mozzarella cheese
sour cream
avocado

DIRECTIONS
Place all ingredients into slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4 hours. After cooking, remove chicken and shred with a fork (should shred very easily), then put back in and stir.

Serve with chips or on top of rice/barley/potato/your favorite starch.  Top with mozzarella cheese, sour cream, and/or avocado.

This recipe makes enough to feed a small family twice (2-3 people).  It freezes very well so when I make a batch, I put half into a ziploc freezer bag, remove as much of the air as I can, label and lay flat in the freezer.  Thaw and reheat and dinner is ready in an instant!  :)

* the original recipe calls for 1 can of corn.  I prefer frozen corn because it is fresher and more rich in nutrients than canned corn.  Either way is fine!