Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tamale Scramble

One of my all-time favorite things to eat for breakfast are tamales. Baby Cakes goes to a little place around the way to get them for us on Saturday mornings, this isn’t an every weekend occurrence, but when he does we normally just shuck them and eat them straight from the paper sack they are packed in and that’s that. It’s time to shake it up a bit; dare I say that I am getting tired of our routine? No, I wouldn’t say that, ever, but the man of this house, aka Baby Cakes (manly name I know) deserves something new to delight his taste buds. He did wake up extra early to fill all the bird and squirrel feeders for me, so I would wake up to find that they are full (because don’t-cha-know, that is the very first thing I do every morning, run to the backyard to see if the birds ate all the seed. He’s too cute. And for those of you thinking ‘geez she really has an attachment to her bird feeders’, I was being facetious I am not kooky over my birds feeders. No not the feeders, but the birds? They are MY birds, MINE! Grin.)

I digress; this recipe was perfect for wanting to shake up the tamales a bit and the best part was that it really couldn’t be any simpler to make, wonderful for a Sunday morning. Basically it is just like tamales in a bowl, flavor wise, because the eggs just took on their flavor. I am most certainly going to make this again and again and again and then probably even again. Baby Cakes loved this one y’all, as did I.

Tamale Scramble

6 tamales, warm*
4-6 eggs, beaten
shredded cheese (optional)
sour cream (optional)

Break up the tamales in a skillet, stir in the eggs and scramble over medium/low heat. Top with cheese and sour cream if desired.

*to warm tamales: From frozen, thaw, wrap them in a damp paper towel and then nuke them in microwave for about 6 minutes. From just cold, wrap them in a damp paper towel or place them in a dish with a few tablespoons of water and nuke for 4-6 minutes.

I told you, just look at how simple this is to make. Sometimes simple recipe are the best recipes.

If you are a tamale fan I implore you to make this one.

Peace, Love and Spinach Dip,

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chicken and Gravy Pasta

This ones a little different.

Sometimes an uh-oh moment in the kitchen can result in something wonderful, albeit different yet still wonderful. Somehow in my mad rush the other night to pull out some chicken to thaw for yesterdays use, needing boneless skinless breasts, I managed to unbeknownst to me pull bone in, skin on chicken thighs. Hmm. I don’t know (shrugs). So at the last moment last night I was thumbing, quickly, I have the paper cuts to prove it, through my cookbooks trying to find something, anything to make; nothing. So I decide to just wing it (or thigh it as the case may be) and let whatever happens happen. This is what happened…

Chicken and Gravy Pasta

6 chicken thighs, with skin and bone
1 box pasta, your choice
1/3 cup flour
½ cup chicken stock
1 cup milk, plus a bit more if needed
salt and pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 cup frozen corn
2 tablespoon butter, melted
¾ cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Put a large pot of water on to boil, the amount of water is according to the type of pasta you use; see the package directions.

Put the chicken in a skillet along with a tablespoon of olive oil, skin down, and cook over medium heat, flipping once or twice until cooked through. The end result will end up with golden brown chicken. Once done pull the chicken from the pan and set aside on a plate to cool.

Turn the heat down to low, stir in the flour to the chicken drippings (you’re essentially making a roux) and cooking for a few moments until lightly golden; whisk in the chicken broth and milk, continually whisking until thickened, if the gravy it too thick continuing adding milk in ¼ cup increments until desired thickness; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions. Drain and pour back into the pot.

Shred and de-bone the chicken.

In the pasta pot add the chicken, corn and gravy, stirring to combine and spread into a prepared 9x13 baking dish.

Melt the butter and toss the bread crumbs in it; evenly spread over the pasta and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.

Baby Cakes was very content with this one, he gave it an 8 out of 10 rating. I liked it, in fact I am looking forward to eating it again tonight for leftovers (mainly because I don’t have to cook again) but I will admit that it needs something. I don’t know what just yet but something. I’ll have to get back to you on that.

Peace, Love and Spinach Dip,

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snow Day!

Two things:

One being that this morning I am excempt from work, the 45 minutes drive would just be too dangerous (due to ice) plus a bridge, or two or four, on my way there are shut down. So I don't have to fret over black ice, but the hubs did, although he made it without a hitch and he's safe and sound at work now. (He called me to tell me that he hit a few patches of ice but because he drove the entire way going only 20 miles per hour he just kind of slowly slid over them. Scary.) AT&T is making him and all the guys stay at the garage today and take classes, so I can breathe easy for now.

And two, it snowed y'all. Barely but it counts, I just saw it and had to take some pictures to share...

This is the first thing I saw when I looked outside this morning,

So I ventured out and took a shot from the driveway,

The sidewalk to the driveway? Ice.

And I just have to share the bird bath from the backyard...

They have thier very own ice skating rink!

And just because I can, also in the backyard...

I also want to say that these pictures might see a bit odd to people who regularly get snow but in Southern Texas we rarely get it. My entire childhood it snowed twice and it never stuck, it would melt as soon as the sun came out. It has only been in the last four years that it has snowed, once per season, so I still get giddy over it.

Happy Snow Day,

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Cinnamon Caramel Sauce‏

I realize that it’s 20 degrees outside and I also realize that we might just get some snow tonight but I want ice cream. I want ice cream real bad. And I only want it because of this recipe.

I have made homemade caramel in the past and it has never been this simple and let me tell ya, it tastes just as good as some of the ones I slaved over in the past. Wonderful.

Cinnamon Caramel Sauce‏
recipe adapted from Sellers Family Favorite Recipes

1 cup light-brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup evaporated milk
pinch of salt
dash of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Combine all the ingredients except for the vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat.

Cook, stirring, until thickened to desired consistency. Once you reach that point take it off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Serve over ice cream or on anything that could use some caramel sauce.

The best part, besides how freakin’ good it is, it will keep for up to 3 weeks when stored in an airtight container. Go make some, right now, go, now.

Peace, Love and Spinach Dip,

Simply Great Chicken‏

The simple in the name of this recipe is no lie; it simply is the best chicken I have eaten in a long time. I wasn’t sure about it at first but I’ve been seeing it on multiple blogs and everyone whose shared it has raved about it, so you know I had to try it. Am I ever glad I did, both Baby Cakes and I were silent throughout the entire meal. The only sound coming from our mouths being sounds of delicious exclamations.

The recipe calls for boneless, skinless but all I had thawed were regular old chicken thighs and it was still amazing. Imagine how good it’ll be following the recipe to a tee.

Simply Great Chicken‏
recipe from Colleen's Recipes

3½ pounds of boneless-skinless chicken
.7 ounce packet of DRY Italian salad dressing
½ cup of brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350.

Mix the dry salad dressing mix with the brown sugar.

Wash and pat dry the chicken and coat all sides with the mixture.

Place the chicken in a sprayed 9x13 baking dish and sprinkle any leftover mix over the chicken.

Bake for 50-60 minutes.

I know that in the past I have said that I will be keeping recipes in a weekly/bi-weekly rotation, and believe me my intentions were true, but it seems every day I find a new recipe to try. But I have to tell you, I could find recipe for the rest of forever and they will never replace this one. Nevah!

Proof that I am making this recipe over and over again? An updated shot of boneless skinless chicken thighs...

It really is so much better make this way. Fo shore.

Peace, Love and Spinach Dip,

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cream Cheese Chili Layer Dip

I have a tendency to take meat out of the freezer with the intention of cooking it the next day only for something to come up or I have a rough day and don’t feel up to cooking that night. That’s the plus side to not having kids I suppose, I can just tell Baby Cakes to fend for himself. Well, I did that the other night and knew, as gross as it sounds, that I would have to smell check the chicken before I cooked it tonight. Just as I suspected it would be it was no good. So the question lurked all day in my mind, if the chicken isn’t any good anymore what should I make for dinner?

When I walked in the door from work I walked directly to the cabinet and starting scavenging. It super cold outside here in South Texas so I know something warm would hit the spot. I also want easy, as in 5 minutes prep time easy. Then I remembered a weekend or two ago coming across a recipe for Cream Cheese Chili Dip and y’all know how much I enjoy a dip (oh I do, I really really do). Bingo, Cream Cheese Chili Dip it is. I’m sensing a pattern here.

When it comes to ease this dip takes the cake or cheese as it were. Three ingredients is all it takes although the Wolf Brand Chili website actually lists more, oh well maybe one day, and when it comes to prep work it can’t get any simpler. I implore you to make this dip, when Baby Cakes walked through the door and asked what I was making I got a “oh, yummy” and it is, it may not be gourmet but it is yummy.

Cream Cheese Chili Layer Dip
recipe from the Wolf Brand Chili website

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 can chili, without beans
shredded cheddar cheese, use your discretion

Preheat the oven to 350.

Spread the cream cheese into the bottom of a small baking dish; spread the chili over the cream cheese and then the shredded cheese over the chili.

Bake for 20-30 minutes. Garnish with green onions if desired. Serve warm.

We tried it with tortilla chips, corn chips and well whatever the Cakes could get his hands on. This is a keeper for shore (yes I know the actual way to say that is for sure but my blog, my lingo).

I thought I'de give you a shot of what it looks like underneath the cheese.

Peace, Love, and Spinach Dip,

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