Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chicken Quesadillas

The perfectly easy lunch or dinner begins with a quesadilla! Yum! There are so many delicious variations, like adding refried beans, guacamole, salsa or chorizo to the tortilla. Here, I use a classic white flour soft taco size tortilla, Mexican cheese blend and shredded chicken. For simple directions on how to shred chicken go here, I always have some in my fridge or freezer. My favorite tortillas are Guerrero Tortillas. I love the flour and corn in all sizes, they are the only ones we buy. They are thicker than most and just taste great. Quesadillas pack great too, sometimes I'll wrap several in foil and drop of at Hubby's work. Enjoy all the gooey cheese!

Husband Rating: 5 stars

1 cup shredded chicken
2 cups (8 oz) shredded Mexican blend cheese (monterray a must!)
12 flour tortillas
Sour cream and salsa, optional

Warm one side of the tortilla over medium heat in a skillet. Turn over and to the hot side add a handful of cheese and chicken on half of the tortilla.

Fold over and press down with a spatula. Cook for about 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until cheese is melty and tortilla is toasty. Serve with sour cream and pico de gallo (equal parts red onion, tomato and cilantro with a dash of lime juice and salt.) Enjoy!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Gourmet Hot Dogs

It's time to spoil yourself a little and throw some gourmet dogs on the grill. Buy the best kosher beef dogs you can find, or use spicy smoked sausage. Slice them in half and grill until perfect. Get the fancy rolls (or make your own) and toast them too on the grill! I didn't take the picture after I loaded it, but cram as many delicious vegetables as you can on there. So messy and so amazing!

Husband Rating: 5 stars

Toppings we used:
Grilled mushrooms
Grilled onions
Diced tomatoes
Pickle relish
Jalapenos (him, not me)

BBQ Pork Chops

Honestly, it can't get any easier than this meal. I could have gone all fancy and made my own BBQ sauce, but this is just good ole store-brand BBQ sauce. No effort involved, your husband could even handle this meal:) Pork chops are always reasonably priced and I always have some in my freezer. I took them out of the freezer the night before and let them hang out in the fridge. By dinner time they were thawed enough to throw in a pan. So delicious it should take longer-- enjoy!

Husband Rating: 4 stars

4 pork chops
1/2 cup (approx.) BBQ sauce
Dash of pepper

Spray the bottom of a skillet lightly with cooking spray. Over medium heat cook pork chops for 2 minutes on each side. Pour BBQ sauce on top and cook for an additional 5 minutes on each side. If too dry, add more sauce. Sprinkle with a dash of black pepper.

On the side I served cheesy mashed potatoes. I used leftover mashed potatoes from a previous dinner, but potato pearls or dehydrated would work fine here too. Put a handful of cheddar cheese on top of potatoes and sprinkle with Italian Seasoning. Microwave until melted. Yummy!

Lemon Pork Chops

It's true, I kind of have a thing for lemons. In dinner or dessert I just can't get enough of lemon flavor. I hate how expensive lemons are here in Idaho during the winter, but I always have a stock pile of lemon juice in the fridge. This recipe perfect for a fall day! To get lemon zest I run the peel of a lemon (washed, of course) across the skinniest part of my cheese grater. Buying one lemon will probably get you all the juice you need. If I can't get enough out of the lemon I add a little chicken broth to make up the difference.

Husband Rating: 3 1/2 stars

4 pork chops
2 TB butter
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 TB flour

Sprinkle pork chops with garlic salt and lemon pepper. Melt butter over medium heat in a skillet. Add chops and cook for about 7 minutes on each side or until done. Remove to a plate. In the same skillet add lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook and stir (scraping the pan to pull up all the drippings from the meat) until the pan is smooth. Whisk in 1 TB flour to lemon sauce. Pour lemon sauce over pork chops.

The tangy lemon sauce is delicious mixed with red potatoes and carrots. Halve baby carrots and chop red potatoes into quarters. Steam until soft, sprinkle with garlic salt and drizzle with lemon sauce. Mmmm.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Shredded Chicken Education

There are so many meals that require shredded chicken and I'm going to teach you a simple way to always have delicious shredded chicken at your fingertips. It takes too long to cook and shred the chicken every time you want to use it, and canned chicken isn't nearly as delicious. Follow along and make your life easier!

First off, when a big pack of chicken is on sale, buy several! My local Albertsons has a buy one get one free chicken event ever 3 months or so, and boy do I partake! You can do this with frozen chicken, but I usually buy it fresh, cook it all, then portion it in the freezer.

First step: Put your chicken in a pan, put in enough water to just cover the chicken and turn it to medium-low (I use a '4 1/2' on my stove). Put the lid on and let your chicken cook. Depending on how big and how many your chicken will probably take 20ish minutes. (This amount of chicken in the picture took 25, I usually cut into one piece after 15 and see how it's coming along.) Go fold some laundry or play wii fit while it cooks, you don't have to do a thing.

Second step: Remove your chicken to a plate to cool. With or fork or your fingers shred chicken.

Third step: Portion your chicken into meal size sections. I usually call a large handful, about 3/4 a serving size for us. Put into quart size freezer bags, label, toss in your freezer.

I usually leave one bag of chicken in the fridge (for last minute quesadillas, omelets, sandwiches, etc.) and put the others in the freezer. I would make sure to use all your chicken within 2 months.

Shredded chicken can be used in:
Chicken Tacos
Chicken Salad
Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken and Rice Bake
BBQ chicken sandwiches
BBQ chicken pizza

Have any other ideas for using shredded chicken? Leave a comment and share!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Honey Bunches of Oats

Here is a honey bunches deal you CAN'T resist!

Post cereals are on sale at Albertsons this week for $1.99 per box.

If you go to this website www.postcereals.com/honeybunchesofoats you can print a $2 off a box coupon

So . . . . you are making 1 cent!

Albertsons' deal also says that if you buy 4 post cereals, you get a free box of vanilla almond shredded wheat. Post will only let you print ONE coupon per computer, so you need 4 computers to get a heck of a deal.

The pecan box is husband's favorite cereal. I'm stocking up!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Whine about it!

Here we are for another installment of WHINE ABOUT IT WEDNESDAY!

I'm normally a cheerful person, but sometimes things just get under my skin. I could take up 4 paragraphs ranting and raving, but I've found that I can get it out and get over it in 3 words. Hence the creation of Whine about it Wednesday.

So, here's how you play:
1. Whatever irritated, frustrated, angry or ticked off items you have this week you need to reduce to 3 WORDS
2. Leave a comment with only 3 words, your 3 little whines for the week.
3. Take a deep breath. Now don't you feel better?

HERE ARE 3 little whines:


(this particular whine includes a sigh and 2 rolled eyes:) just imagine . . .

Friday, October 16, 2009

Halloween Party

It's time to start preparing for Halloween! We are hosting a Halloween party for about 15 including kids. We will do a dinner at 4 with a few games, so after wards we can load up the little ones for some trick or treating before it gets dark.

I delivered spider invitations yesterday.

I created this jpeg (leave a comment and I will email you a pdf if you want it) for the spider's middle.

I glued the wording onto black cardstock and cut around it. I put 4 hole-punches around the edge for the legs. I cut a black pipe cleaner into 3 sections, bending into an L shape for each leg. I looped the pipe cleaner leg through the hole and twisted it until secure. The googly-eyes are hot glued on the top. Presto!

I don't have the menu totally nailed down yet. Here's what I have to so far:

Deviled Eggs
Carrot Sticks and dip
Pink Lemonade
Green Grapes

Make your own Pizza Bombs
Sauce, cheese, olives, green pepper, canadian bacon, pepperoni, mushrooms, jalepenos, pineapple and parmesan cheese

Chocolate cupcakes with orange frosting and chocolate spiders

Of course, I need to give all of the menu items scary names like "vampire blood, human guts and brains" but that will come later. I'll post recipes soon!

Creamy Basil Chicken & Linguine

When I was pregnant I couponed several box pasta dinners. They are "Macaroni Grill Restaurant Favorites" so I assumed they be pretty good. Husband made one exactly as the box directed, but the second time we pumped it up a little bit. First off, the box doesn't make very much. I bought a box of linguine and added a handful to theirs. Anyway, here are my directions for an easy creamy pasta that is actually quite delicious! At coupons.com and bettycrocker.com you can find coupons for $1.10 off the box. Great for a last minute (or husband in-charge) dinner.

Husband Rating: 4 stars

1 box Macaroni Grill Creamy Basil Pasta (+ 2-3 oz. extra linguine)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 6 oz)
2 TB extra virgin olive oil
1 cup milk
1 clove garlic, minced
2 TB onion, diced
1 roma tomato, diced
3/4 cup mushrooms, sliced

Cook noodles according to package directions. Cut chicken into thin strips. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in medium skillet. Add chicken, minced garlic, mushrooms and onion. Cook about 4-5 minutes or until chicken turns white. Stir in milk and seasoning packet. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium, simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in creamy sauce packet, sun dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese and fresh tomatoes. Toss with noodles.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Reviews: Five Guys & Nanny Diaries

Welcome to Reviews!!

My husband and I enjoy "dinner and a show" at home. Most of the time we'd rather get takeout and a rental then deal with a restaurant and movie theater. Read along as I review favorite restaurants and movies and tv shows.

Restaurant Review: Five Guys
Rating: 5 stars

Five Guys is brand new in town and I am already a big fan. They serve "regular" burgers that have 2 patties, and "little burgers" that only have one. They have a million delicious toppings and they are made to order. If you are a dog kind of person, the kosher dog is divine. The fries are my favorite, crunchy and they taste more like potato than salt. I usually get cheese, lettuce, ketchup, pickles, grilled onions, tomatoes, grilled mushrooms and next time I'm going to be adventurous and try BBQ sauce. Even if they're crowded they are still fast. My favorite part is the price, it's pretty sweet when we can enjoy a dinner out and pay $11. Husband would eat there every night if I let him. Hooray for Five Guys and welcome to town!!

Movie Review: Nanny Diaries
Rating: 1/2 star (cause I felt bad giving it a zero)

The previews made it look cute and laughable, but unfortunately it was neither. Let me preface by saying I got this from Netflix and it took me almost 2 weeks to return it. Yep, that bad. I'd watch a few minutes here and there, but it just didn't grab me. The narration through the movie was irritating, the characters and love-interest boringly predictable and I didn't laugh ONCE. It wasn't trashy or offensive, just lame. Usually after a movie (even if I didn't enjoy it) hubby and I can have an interesting conversation about some points in the movie. Our only point of conversation went like this, "I wonder if Scarlet Johannsen did this movie as a favor to a friend. Is she a bad actress or was the script just awful?" If you want to watch a cute movie about babysitting kids rent "Raising Helen" or go classic with "Marry Poppins."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Whine About It Wednesday

Welcome to the newest feature at Camille's Casa - Whine about it Wednesday!

I'm normally a cheerful person, but sometimes things just get under my skin. I could take up 4 paragraphs ranting and raving, but I've found that I can get it out and get over it in 3 words. Hence the creation of Whine about it Wednesday.

So, here's how you play:
1. Whatever irritated, frustrated, angry or ticked off items you have this week you need to reduce to 3 WORDS
2. Leave a comment with only 3 words, your 3 little whines for the week.
3. Take a deep breath. Now don't you feel better?

Ok, here are my 3 whines for today:

clueless - walmart - cashiers

Join us every Wednesday where we Whine about it! (and then get over it . . . !!)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mucho Cucumber Pasta Salad

Summer barbecues are winding down, but I refuse to give up my summer pasta salads. This recipe invention came from 2 things. First, in one of my Albertsons couponing adventures I picked up 4 boxes of Suddenly Salad. I made one plain according to package directions and it was pretty blah. I found the seasoning packet to be a little to strong (salty) and the dehydrated vegetables didn't rock my world. Second, I went to the local farmer's market and bought 4 of the most gigantic delicious cucumbers ever. I was determined to make some amazing cucumber pasta salad creation, and it turned out A+. Using half of the seasoning packet kept the salty flavor away, while adding ranch gave it the perfect ooomph.

Husband Rating: 4 1/2 stars
(as a disclaimer I must note that my husband picked out every dehydrated pea from the pasta package before I put the salad together. He hates peas and wouldn't try it otherwise. Don't worry, there weren't very many:)

1 box Suddenly Pasta Salad Ranch & Bacon Flavor
1/4 cup mayo
3 TB milk
2 TB ranch dressing
2 large cucumbers
2 roma tomatoes
1 cup romaine lettuce, shredded

Bring water to boil in a saucepan. Add pasta and gently boil for 12 minutes, stir occasionally. Meanwhile, in a salad bowl stir together mayo, milk and ranch dressing. Pour in HALF of the seasoning packet included in box. Peel and dice cucumber and stir into mayo mixture. Dice tomatoes and stir in. Shred romaine lettuce and mix in. Drain pasta, rinse with cold water and shake to drain. Stir in pasta into salad bowl. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Enjoy!

Pigs in a Blanket

My husband was expected for lunch in 15 minutes and I hadn't prepared anything. What to do?!!? Pigs in a blanket to the rescue! These were so easy, I was just pulling them out of the oven when he walked in. He walked up behind me and said, "Mmm, you went all out for lunch today. Thanks babe." Of course, I took the compliment and let him think he was getting extra special treatment. I have made these before with homemade bread dough, and of course they're delicious that way. For parties as an appetizer buy the little sausages and cut the crescent rolls into 3 pieces each. For an added flair you can wrap cheese around the dog before the dough, mmm. Enjoy!

Husband Rating: 4 stars

8 beef hot dogs
1 can Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (8 count)

Prehead oven to 375. Wrap each dog in a crescent roll. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with ketchup and mustard.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Getting Organized

I'm getting organized here! Under each recipe you will see labels, things like "main dishes" or "chicken." If you click on chicken, it will show you all the recipes that contain chicken. Handy eh? If you want to browse recipes, feel free to use the Recipe Index. Have fun cooking!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Chicken Taquitos

It all started with a trip to Albertsons where boneless skinless chicken breasts were $1.79 per pound. I bought one large pack and thus began a chain of events that can only be described as delicious. THESE ARE SO CRUNCHY AND DELICIOUS! Words can't describe, if I could mail all my readers a taquito I sure would. The pack of chicken made 80 taquitos. We ate some for dinner, some for a snack, some for lunch the next day and rest are sitting pretty in my freezer. These are good with shredded beef, pork carnitas and chicken. You could slip in cheese, grilled onions or jalepenos, but just plain chicken is diiiivine. If you have a fryer that's the easiest route. I have also made them in a skillet with oil. You can bake them for a lower fat version.

Husband Rating: 5 billion stars
(he would eat these for every meal, this is the recipe he loves to take to work for lunch and brag about. love those recipes!)

You will need:
5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
80 white corn tortillas
1 lime
Dash of salt
Oil for frying

I put the chicken straight into a pot and covered with enough water to just reach the top of the chicken. I put the heat on medium low or a '4' on my stove.

Put the lid on and let your chicken boil. Check your chicken after 20 minutes, cut into each piece to see if it's still pink. Mine took 35 minutes, but they were fat pieces. Frozen chicken would take a little bit longer.

Remove chicken to a plate to cool. Trim off any fat or veins.

Shred chicken. I use my fingers, but a fork would be easy too. Cut your lime in half and squeeze one half over the chicken. Give it a dash of salt.

Thank you hubby's hands for demonstrating the next step. Warm your tortillas in the microwave or on a skillet so they are soft. Place a handful of chicken on one side and roll up tightly.

Use a toothpick to secure your taquito. It's a pain to try and hold them together while frying, just use a toothpick and take it out after. Fry each taquito in oil until golden and crispy. In a deep fat fryer they need 1 1/2 minutes total, where in a pan with oil they need about 2 minutes on each side. You want a nice crunch on the outside.

Throw together some pico de gallo with equal parts diced red onion, cilantro and diced tomato. Squeeze your other lime half over the pico de gallo and give it a dash of salt.

Remove toothpicks and serve taquitos with pico de gallo and sour cream. Enjoy!
To reheat taquitos from the fridge, microwave for 15 seconds per taquito on the plate.
To reheat frozen taquitos microwave for 30 seconds per taquito on the plate.

Don't forget to check out the blog carnival at BlessedwithGrace. Yummy recipes!

BTS Mini Cupcakes

I'm not a fan of the name "better than sex" cake. Perhaps the person who named the cake was horribly lonely or a had a lame love life because frankly -- it's not. I've also heard it referred to as "better than baseball cake" which fits the bill better, but most food is better than baseball. I will just use the initals BTS and you can fill in the blank. Better than sushi? Better than sunshine? Better than Seattle? Better than Sandra Bullock? Better than Sunday? Anywho, I brought these cupcakes to a party and the platter was scarfed down. They are just so adorable kids AND adults can't resist them. I love my mini muffin tin, and you can buy mini wrappers now -- too fun! I prefer whipped frostings for this recipe, they squeeze out easier.

Husband Rating: 5 stars

1 milk chocolate cake mix
(ingredients called for in cake mix)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tub whipped milk chocolate frosting
2 Heath bars, broken into pieces

48 mini muffin cups
1 ziploc bag

Combine cake mix ingredients according to package directions. Pour 1 TB of cake batter into each mini muffin cup. Press one chocolate chip down into the center of each muffin cup. Bake for 6-7 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool. Place frosting in a ziploc bag and cut a small hole in the corner. Swirl frosting on the top of each cupcake. Sprinkle with Heath cany pieces.

Smothered Brownie Ring

I created this for a goodbye party for some of our friends who moved to Virginia. I didn't realize until I got it on the plate how very holiday it looks. It got rave reviews, so I'll be making it again for holidays this time. I used my fluted pan and turned the brownie ring upside down. The brownie only filled half the pan, so for a fuller look I might use 2 brownie mixes next time. Betty Crocker products are coupon heaven, so be on the lookout. My favorite are when Albertsons has their massive Betty Crocker sale and the bettycrocker.com website has coupons for each item. I stock up once a year and enjoy Betty Crocker goodness all year long. Yaay!

Husband Rating: 4 stars

1 Betty Crocker Supreme Brownie Mix, Triple Chunk flavor
(eggs and oil called for in mix)
1 cup milk chocolate frosting (about half of a jar)
2 Reeses peanut butter cups

Make brownie mix as directed and pour into greased fluted baking pan. Bake according to package directions. Remove pan from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Turn upside down and remove brownie ring onto plate. Microwave frosting for 10-15 seconds or until smooth and slightly runny. Drizzle over brownie ring. Chop peanut butter cups into wedges and sprinkle over the top of brownie ring. Best when served warm. Enjoy!

P.S. I had leftover homemade peanut butter cups I used for the top. Reeses is just as good.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sammy Burgers

One adventurous day at the grocery store I purchased a can of pink salmon. I know right? Crazy!! On the back it had a list of ways to use it, and thus became my Sammy Burger. First, if you are pregnant or have a light stomach don't open the can! I had to slime through the entire thing to pull out chunks of bone and something brown and slimy. Yes, the burgers were quite delicious, husband ate two, but the process of cleaning out the can was a little ewww. Once I had the bones and clumps out, the salmon was very easy to flake, stir and shape. I just have to warn you, it's not like tuna where you drain and it's ready. I had planned on making these outside on the grill, but I added 2 eggs which made them too delicate they would have fallen through. I used a grill pan on the stove, but once they cooked they got a delicious crispy outer layer. Have fun with fish!!

Husband Rating: 4 1/2 stars

1 can Pink Salmon
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup mayo
1 egg, beaten
1/8 tsp of garlic salt, pepper, ground mustard
1 tsp. parsley flakes
1/4 cup. finely chopped onion
1 tsp. lemon juice

Flake and debone salmon. Stir in bread crumbs, mayo, beaten egg and onion. Add lemon juice, garlic salt, pepper and ground mustard. Shape into 4 large patties and grill until the crispy. Serve on a bun.

I served up the burger with mayo on the bun (tarter sauce would have been good now that I'm thinking about it, or ranch even) lettuce and tomato. I sliced up some divine farmer's market cucumber on the side.

This brand was on sale, that's why I looked at it. It is kind of a little pricey, so watch for deals!


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