Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Sautéed Zucchini with Mint, Basil & Pine Nuts

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I love how a fresh herb can really brighten up a dish. The mint and basil really brings the dish to life. I didn’t have any capers on hand so I left that out of the recipe. Overall it’s a nice side dish and I wouldn’t mind making it again.

Sautéed Zucchini with Mint, Basil & Pine Nuts

(Adapted from Alexandra’s Kitchen)


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1 pound zucchini (or any summer squash), sliced into 1/2-inch rounds

3 tablespoons (or less) olive oil, divided

3 small cloves garlic

10 (or more) mint leaves

5 (or more) basil leaves

1 heaping tablespoon capers, rinsed

2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts, lightly toasted

1 to 2 teaspoon red wine vinegar or white balsamic or whatever vinegar you have

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Additional mint and basil, torn, to garnish (optional — I omit bc I go big on the knife pesto)

homemade ricotta and your favorite bread (optional, for serving)


Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add half the zucchini and sauté, flipping and turning every few minutes, until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Don't salt them yet!


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While your zucchini cooks, chop together the garlic, mint, basil, and capers so that they intermingle and turn into a sort of knife pesto.

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When the zucchini is golden, remove it from the pan and cook the remaining zucchini in another tablespoon of oil, just as you did the first batch. Note: I've cut back the oil here, but if you feel you need a splash more while you are sautéing, go for it. Then add the first batch back into the pan, along with the herb-garlic mixture and the vinegar, to taste. Taste for salt; add a good pinch, plus a few cracks of pepper. Toss well. Add nuts. Scoop everything out onto a serving plate. Right before serving, sprinkle on extra herbs if using.

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole

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Having a toddler in the house keeps me busy, and luckily he loves to help mommy in the kitchen cooking! We recently made this for daddy to take for lunches and it was a big hit, not to mention super easy to throw together. I honestly used the recipe more as a guideline and tossed stuff together that I had on hand. Also I used HEB’s 50/50 tortillas.

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Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole

(Adapted from Eat at Allie’s)


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4 cooked chicken breasts, shredded I used a frozen green chile flavored chicken from HEB

8 ounces sour cream

garlic salt to taste

14 corn tortillas

1 (28 ounce) can green chile enchilada sauce

16 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Combine the cooked shredded chicken breasts with sour cream and garlic salt. Set aside.


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Pour about 1/2 inch enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch baking dish.


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Place 4-5 tortillas on top of the sauce in a single layer.


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Top with half of the chicken mixture.


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Sprinkle with one third of the cheese.


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Pour one third of the remaining enchilada sauce over the cheese.


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Repeat the layers (tortillas, chicken mixture, cheese and sauce). Coat remaining tortillas thoroughly with enchilada sauce and arrange on top of the layers. I didn’t coat my tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and top with any remaining enchilada sauce.


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Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes.  Remove foil the last 5 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

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Thanks Lindsey for sending me pictures of your dish. She used rotisserie chicken in hers, which I bet added a nice flavor.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Happy 2nd Birthday to my son!!

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On February 22nd my son turned 2. How can I have a 2 year old already! I can’t get over how quick this past year has gone by, I’m pretty sure it went faster than the first year! BTW how cute is his shirt I made him?!?! On Saturday we had a party for him. In Texas the weather is unpredictable, but since I had a large guest list I decided to still chance it and have an outdoor party. Boy did I not bargain for my stress level to max out the week of the party seeing 60-90% rain in the forecast!! The day of the party and it was just overcast no rain, thank my lucky stars!!! The party was  a huge hit and everyone including the adults had a great time!

My son is addicted to basketball so that’s the theme I went with this year.

Special thank you to my friend Jennifer who made his birthday board! She used a foam board from the 99 cent store and some markers from Hobby Lobby. I have the shot clock time as the time he was born then put all his favorites on the board. Thinking I want to go back and make one for his first birthday then keep them for him for a future party.

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Usually I go over the top with my parties, but with the un known weather I kept this one on the simple train. We moved all the tables in the garage which I think in the long run made life a little easier.


I made labels for the drinks using an NBA logo added into a Word document.

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For food, I made a concession stand sign and we did pizza, popcorn, cheese balls, pretzels. Just snack food stuff and I made cute names for the items using a cloths pin blackboard I got at Hobby Lobby.

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I made orange sugar cookies (click HERE for recipe) and then used black icing to make the basketball lines and white icing for the 2 since my son turned 2.


I decided not to do a cake this year and just do cupcakes so I made chocolate cupcakes in black wrappers then made my Buttercream Icing (Click HERE for recipe) tinted orange then topped the cupcakes with vanilla wafers which I piped black icing on to make them look like tiny basketballs. The candles I got from Party City. Travis even got to help make his own cupcakes for the party!

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For décor I got some basketball lanterns from Party City for the trees, put out a bunch of chairs and a kid picnic table. We had a chalk area, basketball goals big and little, toddler bounce house, tunnel and I rented a giant dry slide. Since we had big kids and toddlers the best idea ever was the slide so kids wouldn’t get trampled.

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I wanted a simple party favor as well and decided to go with orange Gatorade and attached a basketball whistle from Party City and a little thank you note from Travis. I then put them all in his wagon so I could pull it out later rather than all the kids taking them at the first of the party. I’m sure the whistles where not a huge hit with the parents, but as I told them the whistle is for mom and the drink is for the kid!

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Happy birthday big boy we love you!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lemon & Feta Roasted Potatoes

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I feel like this is a strange combination only because it’s just chunky on chunky textures. The recipe is good, but you need to make sure you stab a piece of cheese and potato on the fork to have in one bite. The other thing that may have helped is if I wasn’t distracted and read the recipe right about adding the feta in to bake a little. Maybe it would have softened and done better.

Lemon & Feta Roasted Potatoes

(Adapted from Cinnamon-Spice and Everything Nice)


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5 cups peeled and cubed Russet potatoes (1 + 1/2 to 2 pounds)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan

1 tablespoon parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

the zest of 1 lemon, just the yellow part, not the pith

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

coarse salt and pepper

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese


Soak the potatoes in ice water for 20 minutes to 1 hour.


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Drain and pat dry with paper towels.


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Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Generously grease a large, non-stick baking sheet or 2 medium ones.


In a large mixing bowl whisk together the oil, Parmesan, Dijon, zest, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, thyme and oregano.


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Add the potatoes and toss to coat using your hands to rub the oil all over the potatoes.


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Dump them out onto the baking sheet and spread them out so they're not touching. If the pan is too crowded they won't get crispy. Sprinkle well with salt and pepper.


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 Bake 20 minutes then flip them over and bake additional 15 - 20 minutes or until fork tender.


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Toss them on the baking sheet with the feta and drizzle the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice over them. Bake 5 more minutes just to warm up the feta.

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