Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sneak Preview of Recipes to Come!

Well after months of talking, I finally decided to get over my fear of pot pies.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to make the crust, or just use store bought pie crust.  And I couldn't find a decent filling recipe.  I didn't want to complain forever because the other person in the house (who shall remain nameless) kept asking when I was going to make him one.  So I finally did it.  I jumped off the ledge and cooked for 2 and a half hours to get the most awesome first attempt ever.  I'm going to share recipes and more pictures next time I make them now that I have the process down.  But here's the finished picture of tonight's dinner!

The top didn't get as golden brown as I wanted for presentation, but man was it cooked perfect!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bread. The Lost Art.

*Insert Raiders of the Lost Ark song*

Anywho!  I was given an amazing bread machine for a graduation present almost 2 years ago.  And I have to say I was a little rusty.  I used to watch my mom make rolls and even help her form them, but I knew nothing about actually MAKING the bread.  So I started dabbling after I got my own.  After many MANY tries, and not so much fails as they were just not great attempts, I finally made a near perfect loaf.  As I've mentioned, I keep forgetting to take pictures during the preparation processes.  But it's usually because I'm up to my ears in food!  I need a nice waterproof camera, that'll do the trick!  So I got a few pictures of the loaf, but none of the helpful steps are illustrated.

Onion Bread
*I'll give amounts for 1 lb and 2 lb loaves.

1 lb
8 oz. Water
1 Tbsp. Butter
1/4 C. Dried Onions
2 C. Flour
1 Tbsp. Sugar
1 Tbsp. Dry Milk
1 tsp. Salt
1 1/4 tsp. Yeast

2 lbs
12 oz. Water
2 Tbsp. Butter
1/3 C. Dried Onions
4 C. Flour
2 Tbsp. Sugar
2 Tbsp. Dry Milk
1 3/4 tsp. Salt
2 1/2 tsp. Yeast

1. (keep in mind, I use my bread machine to make my dough and this is also instructions for a 1 lb loaf, a 2 lb comes with much more dough and would make at least 2 loaves)  Add water, butter, and onions (and for the onions, you can be more liberal.  I usually just grab a big handful.)
2. Add all dry ingredients on top of the wet ones.  Then make a well in the center to add the yeast.
3. Add yeast and set machine on dough.  (Takes 90 mins for mine to process.)
4. Close to the time being up, grease a cookie sheet with Crisco and heat the oven to 200°.
5. Pull out the dough when it's done.  (I use Crisco on my hands instead of flour on the counter because I don't want it to dry out)  Kneed it for about 2-3 mins and then form your loaf of dough.  There are many many different shapes and sizes out there.  The loaf in my picture is a braided loaf.  You cut the dough into three parts and start each strand in the middle working your way out careful not to push too hard.  You want some bubbles left in there!
6. Once all three are as long as you want them (around 12-14 inches) stick the three together at the top.  Start braiding and mash the end together or tuck it under.
7. Lay the loaf on your greased cookie sheet and cover with a flour cloth.  Set at the back of the stove top and let it rise for 45 mins.
8. Separate an egg from it's whites and use a pastry brush or a bbq brush to lightly coat the top with the egg whites.  If you find it difficult, add a tsp of water to the egg whites and beat it together.
9. Raise the oven temp to 350° and wait for it to fully warm up.  Put the bread in and bake for 30 mins.
10. Take the bread off the pan and onto a cooling rack.  Enjoy fresh bread once it's cool!

 This is while the bread machine works on the dough.  About 15 mins into the 90 mins.
 Like I said, no helpful instruction pictures, but here's the finished loaf! (after I ate the end of course!)
And the pretty sammich I made with the loaf.

Shake Those Seasonings!

I must say, for one who cooks with practically nothing but salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chili powder, I collect a lot of spices.  As any good cook should!  I happened to be out and about today running errands and picked up two new ones.  Got me a nice Cajun rub that I want to try on grilled chicken.  And, I got a bottle of nutmeg.  Why nutmeg you ask?  Well see, I've never in my life needed nutmeg before until now.  I've decided to try my hand at homemade tortellini and EVERY single recipe I've found calls for nutmeg.  I can't find any explanation why, but it is so. So I purchased a bottle.  I got home and was putting stuff away when I got immensely sad!
Now my spice drawer is completely full!!!

While this should be a good thing, due to my tiny TINY kitchen, I have no other room to put spices!  /facepalm  Guess I should use more stuff faster!

(Right after we moved in and let me tell you, that's the WHOLE kitchen.) And yes, I love magnets.

Monday, July 23, 2012

South of the Border without the Grease!

I must say that we eat chicken probably 5 nights a week due to being picky eaters and honestly it's my favorite in the whole world.  So I decided to get a little crazy and make baked taquitos with chicken stuffing!  They turned out way more awesome than I had imagined!!!  (And minus the tortillas, they're really healthy!)

Chicken Taquitos

*makes approx. 14 taquitos

2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1/3 C. (3 oz.) Cream Cheese (I use low fat just because that's what I have on hand)
1/4 C. Salsa (a liquidy kind like Pace or something similar)
1/2 C. Black Bean Salsa (make a batch and serve on the side for dipping too!)
1/4 Lime (juiced)
1/2 tsp. Cumin
1/4. tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Chili Powder
1/2 tsp. Onion Powder
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 C. Shredded Cheese
1 package Fajita Size Tortillas (You could substitute some whole grain tortillas if you're going for healthy.)

1. Boil the chicken for about 45 mins and then shred.  Set aside.  If you are going to make the black bean salsa, now's the time to do it so it can chill in the fridge.  Set oven to 400°.
2. Soften the cream cheese in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.  Mix in a large bowl with the liquidy salsa, lime juice, and all the seasonings.
3. Add the chicken, cheese, and black bean salsa to the mixture and mix well.  You want to make sure the chicken gets fully covered.
4. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil and spray with a non cook spray.
5. Proceed to spoon mixture into tortillas being as generous as you'd like.  Then roll up tight and lay on the pan with the seam down.
6. Once they're all done, bake for 15-20 mins depending on the oven.  Look for the ends to turn a nice golden brown.  Pull them out and serve with the black bean salsa or your choice of dips!

 I'm working really hard to remember to take pictures at each step. As you can see, I get a little side tracked by the actual cooking part.  Oh well. I'll just keep trying!
Served them up with the black bean salsa and a red salsa recipe I got from a family member. (Haven't quite got that one down yet so I won't share until I do.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

McDonald's Breakfast, Eat Your Heart Out!

I'm guilty of loving the cheap, unhealthy, $1 breakfast burritos at McDonald's.  But that requires driving, and wasting money and I'm always tempted to buy more than just one.  Or I have to add on a drink!  Such a bad situation to put myself in!  So I made my own that are freezable and you can pull out however many you want at a time and they (imo) are way healthier than McDonald's processed crap.

Mini Breakfast Burritos
*There is no exact number of burritos to make.  It all depends on tortilla size and ingredients.  This particular recipe made 18 mini burritos but I bought extra tortillas just in case.

1/2 a roll of Jimmy Dean Sausage (we use the hot sausage)
1/2 Onion (chopped)
1/2 Bell Pepper (chopped)
2 C. Hash Browns (I made my own fresh ones in a food processor but you can use frozen too)
6 eggs
Shredded Cheese of your choice
Tortillas (I use fajita size and 2 are usually perfect for a meal, but you can use soft taco size for bigger ones.)

1. Cook onion, bell pepper, and sausage in a skillet.  Set aside when it's done.
2. Cook hash browns next (season with salt and pepper).  Throw the sausage back in once it's done.
3. Use a whisk and whip the eggs (I season these too before I throw them in the skillet).  Add them into the skillet and keep turning it to make sure it cooks thoroughly.
4. Take a tortilla, add some of the egg mixture, top with some cheese and roll into a burrito.  Make sure and tuck both ends.
5. Wrap in saran wrap and repeat until all the eggs are gone.
6. Put the burritos in freezer safe bags and pull out however many you'd like to eat!
7. For warming them back up:  Fajita size: 30 seconds on each side  Soft taco size: 45 seconds on one, 30 seconds on the other
8. Serve with your favorite salsa and enjoy your real eggs, and yummy hand picked ingredients!

 Stirring in the eggs.
Add the innards and cheese, then get to rollin'!
Rolled, and wrapped to go in the freezer.

What's a Taco Soup?

I still can't answer the question of what a taco soup is.  It's like a Mexican chunky chili of sorts.  Well, whatever it is, it came out tasting like heaven.

Taco Soup
*serves 6-8

1 1/2-2 lbs. Hamburger Meat
1 Onion (chopped)
1 Can Chili Beans w/ Liquid
1 Can Black Beans w/ Liquid
1 Can Corn w/ Liquid
1 Can Tomato Sauce
2 Cans Rotel Tomatoes (with Green Chiles or Habañeros)
1 Can Diced Green Chiles
2 Tbsp. Taco Seasoning
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Chili Powder to taste
2 C. Water

1. Brown the meat in a skillet with the seasonings (not the taco seasoning), drain, and throw in a crock pot.
2. Add everything else to the crock pot, mix, and cook on low for 8 hours.
3. Serve with cheese on top and have tortilla chips or Fritos handy!

 The lighting in my kitchen kinda sucks for pictures.

A Twist on Alfredo

We eat a lot of spicy food in our house and I wanted to experiment with something that would feed more than 2-3 people.  I came up with an Alfredo casserole that's definitely a keeper.

Spicy Alfredo Casserole
*serves 6-8

Allergen Tips:

Rice flour noodles are a great g-free option for any pasta dish!

2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
16 oz. Favorite Noodles
1 Bell Pepper (chopped)
½ Onion (chopped)
1 ½ C. Nacho Chees
2 bottles Favorite Alfredo Sauce
Spoonful of Butter or Margarine
1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Grillmate’s Chicken Seasoning
1. Set oven to 375°.
2. Cook noodles to your liking with some salt in the pot.
3. Cook bell pepper and onion in a skillet on med heat with the butter until they’re soft.
4. Add chicken and seasonings to taste (not the chili powder).
5. Warm alfredo, nacho cheese, and chili powder so they mix well.
6. Throw everything together and put in a 9X13 baking pan.  Cover with foil and cook for 20 mins.


Sammiches Done Every Day

I would hope that most people know how to make a sandwich but I like to have a little more than just lettuce and tomato on mine.  Plus as my picture will show, I just like to have a little fun :D

Plain Ol' Turkey Sammich
*serves 1

2 slices of Favorite Bread (I tend to use a 8 or 9 grain bread)
1 slice of Cheese
4-6 slices of Turkey (or your favorite lunch meat, but keep in mind the Nutrition Facts will be different)
1-2 leaves of Lettuce
3 rings of Onion
4 slices of Bell Pepper
1 Tbsp. of Spicy Ranch (you can change this or omit but I think it just makes the sandwich)

1. Just put them all together, spreading the ranch on the bread and enjoy!

 I like happy food!

Just Bloggin'

Well it can't ALL be about food right?  Ok ok it really is but I had to share my excitement about the little things in my life.  :D  I went shopping the other day at our new grocery store Winco.  There are a TON of people against this store because they do not take credit cards, just debit and cash to keep the costs of food down.  So here is my haul of food!  I spent $71 on what should have cost me well over $125.

And not long after putting all this yummy food up, I rearranged my kitchen to make room for my new canisters I got from an aunt.  :D I've been waiting years to finally own a set!!!

They go great with my black and red dishes.  :)  So now my kitchen is more organized and I have more room to do all my cooking.

A Little Sweet, A Little Sour All in a Salad

This is a great, light salad for lunch when you're not feeling like something heavy but you still want healthy.

Tart Chicken Salad
*serves 1

2 C. Romaine or Spring Mix salad
1/2 C. Mandarin Oranges
1 Tbsp. Dried Mixed Berries
3 oz. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (if you don't have the small tenderloins, you can just cut a regular sized one in half to make 2 thin "fillets")
Grillmate's Chicken Seasoning
2 Tbsp. Kraft Free Caesar Italian Fat Free Dressing

1. Season the chicken and grill if you have a grill, George Foreman grill, or if not, sear on the stove.
2. Slice against the grain and lay on top of the bed of lettuce.
3. Add oranges, berries, and dressing.  Enjoy! :D

Simple Chicken and Rice

I like to make things a tad more difficult for myself so I use real rice instead of instant rice in this recipe.  But any way you make it, it's gooey and awesome!

Chicken and Rice
*serves 4-6

2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (diced)
1 C. Rice
1 package Frozen Veggies (your favorite combination)
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder
1 package Knorr Onion Soup Mix
1 can Cream of Celery (prepared with ½ milk, ½ water)
½ C. Cheese

1. Set the oven to 375°.  Spray a 9X13 baking pan with non-stick spray.
2. Cook Rice with half as much water as it calls for just to soften it up.  Pour rice into the pan when the waters almost gone.

3. Add the chicken next.  Then add all seasonings to taste including the onion mix.

4. Pour soup over the chicken making sure to cover it all.  Add veggies on top.  Cover with tin foil and bake for 50-80 mins.

5. 10 mins before it’s supposed to come out, add cheese to melt on top, and remove foil.

Warning! This Beef is Not For Woosies!

After making this over and over and playing around with the recipe, I think I've found the perfect balance for the most spicy meat I make. :D  I would recommend using this for tacos.  I think using it for anything else just doesn't do the flavors justice.  But you can play with it and do what you'd like!  It also goes great with Scary's Salsa (soon to be sold for anyone interested)!

Shredded Beef

*serves 8-12

*NOTE: The seasonings are for a 2.5 lb. roast, so make adjustments accordingly to the size you buy! It's very important!

1 Roast 2.5-3.5 lbs
2 Garlic Cloves
½ Bell Pepper (chopped)
½ Onion (chopped)
1 Jalapeno (chopped)
1 Small bunch of Cilantro (chopped)
2 Tbsp. Hot Sauce (Tabasco, Chalula, Tapatio)
1 ½ Cans of Beer (or Beef Stock)
3 Chili Pods (seeded and ripped in to little pieces)
1 Tbsp. Seasoned Salt
2 tsp. Garlic Powder
2 tsp. Parsley
2 tsp. Pepper
1 tsp. Chili Powder
1 tsp. Cumin
1 Lime (juiced)

1. Start off with the hot sauce, ripped up chili pods and half the beer. Let it sit in a bowl so the pods start to reconstitute.
2. Take a sharp knife and cut 7-8 holes in the roast.  Stuff pieces of the garlic into these holes.
3. Combine all the seasonings in a bowl.  Sprinkle on the roast and rub it in so it sticks.  Turn over and repeat.  There should still be some seasonings left.  Pour the remainder into the bowl with the beer and chili pods.
4. Put the roast in the crock pot as centered as you can get it.
5. Proceed to chop all the veggies.  Sprinkle them all around the roast; try not to leave any on top.
6. Squeeze the lime juice on the roast.  Pour the beer mixture into the crock pot.  Add more beer to where the roast is almost covered.
7. Cook on low for 7 hours.  Shred and then return it to the crock pot for another hour.  Serve however you see fit!

 I'm still working on an after picture but here's just going into the crock pot.

Shredded Chicken You Can Use on Anything.

This is a very easy recipe for shredded chicken that just takes up a chunk of time.  You can use it in enchiladas, tacos, burritos, nachos, or anything you can think of!

Shredded Chicken
*serves about 6-8

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
4 Dried Chili Pods (seeded)
2 4 oz. cans of Green Chiles
Salt, Pepper, Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, Dried Onion
1 C. Water
1 Cube of Chicken Bullion

1. Boil chicken with the chili pods for 25-35 mins until soft for shredding.
2. Shred chicken and throw away the red chili pods.
3. Dissolve the cube of bullion in the water with some dried onion and add to the chicken in a crockpot.  Add the two cans of green chile to chicken and put in the seasonings (to taste) for 30-45 mins.
4. Use however you see fit from here.

Who Needs Breadcrumbs When They Have Chips!

I must say this is one of the most fun recipes I've come up with.  Its booming with flavors and fun to put together!  Keep in mind, this recipe is not very healthy so I wouldn't recommend it often!  But occasionally it's nice to have a little taste.

Dorito Chicken

*serves 2

Allergen Tips:
**Dorito's cross contamination warning if you're gluten intolerance is severe** If it's not or you're not terribly worried, then these are considered gluten free.

2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
¼ C. Butter
1/8 C. Cilantro (chopped)
¾ C. Cool Ranch Doritos (crushed)
¾ C. Salsa Verde Doritos (crushed)
1/8 tsp. each Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Chili Powder
1/8 C. Pepper Jack Cheese

1. Set oven to 375 °.
2.Spray a pan with non stick spray. (I use my 6X9 Pyrex baking dish)
3. Melt butter with the seasonings.
4. Dip the chicken breasts in the butter mixture and then coat with the Doritos.  Place them in the pan.
5. Add the remaining Doritos to the last of the butter mixture and mix well.  Add this to the top and around the chicken.
6. Put in the oven and cook for 55 mins.

7. With 12 mins left, add the cilantro and then the pepper jack cheese.  Cook for the remaining time.
8. I suggest serving with a side of corn because the chips that fall off mix great with corn!

Not Your Average Burger

While on the phone with my mother the other day talking about some stuff I was making, she asked me when I was going to learn how to make American food.  I pondered for about a second and said, probably never.  I'm too in love with Mexican and Italian!  But I do have a recipe or two up my sleeve that rock.

Loaded Hamburgers
*makes as many as you want. it's portioned per hamburger.

½ lb. Hamburger for EACH burger
Bell Pepper, Onion, Jalapeño (all chopped)
(I’d estimate 2 Tbsp of each veggie per hamburger)
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Taco Seasoning
½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce per burger
¼ C. Favorite Cheese

1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and form large hamburger patties.
2. Grill to your liking.
3. IMO these go great with a spicy bbq sauce (Bill Johnsons!) as the condiment!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Full of Flavor, Classic Chicken Alfredo

Who doesn't enjoy a nice $13 dish of chicken alfredo from Olive Garden now and then?  I certainly don't appreciate the price, so I went ahead and made my own fancy version full of flavor and spices for a portion of the price!

Chicken Alfredo
*serves 2-3

Allergen Tips:

Rice flour noodles are a great g-free option for any pasta dish!

Double check your Alfredo labels for any sneaky gluten ingredients.

1 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (diced)

½ C. Onion (chopped or strips)
½ C. Bell Pepper (chopped or strips)
Spoonful of butter or margarine
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Grillmate's chicken seasoning
1 Bottle of favorite Alfredo Sauce (I’m a fan of Classico)

Favorite type of noodle (I try to switch it up with Rotini, Penne, Angel Hair, Shells, or Fettuccine to make things fun)
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Good shake of Dried Oregano
2 Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese

1. Cook noodles with a sprinkle of salt.
2. Cook onion and bell pepper with butter in pan on med heat for a few mins to soften them up.
3. Add chicken and spices and cook until chicken is fully done.
4. Add alfredo sauce to chicken.
5. When noodles are to your liking, drain and add the oil, oregano, and cheese.
6.Once the sauce is hot, divide the noodles into wide mouthed bowls and pour sauce on top.

The Most Unhealthy Taco Salad You've Ever Met

I know taco salads should be a shell with a bed of lettuce and a little garnish of meat and veggies on top but sometimes my body screams for some good ol' fashioned unhealthy Mexican food.  Here's my recipe, but you can alter it back to a more healthy version if you'd like.  The shells alone make it worth it to look at the recipe.

Taco Salad
*feeds 2-3

1 lb. Taco Meat
1 1/2 C. Nacho Cheese or Queso Dip (none of that Velveta crap)
Scary's Bean Dip
2 Tbsp. Cilantro
1 1/2 C. Lettuce (chopped)
Pepper Jack Cheese
2-3 Tortillas (burrito size)
Salsa to taste

1. Prep Scary's Salsa ahead of time or just use what you have on hand.
2. Start the Taco Meat and I recommend just throwing the Scary's Bean Dip in a pot, and we'll heat it up later.  Also put the nacho cheese in another pot to warm up later.
3. Set oven to 350°.
4. Spray both sides of torillas with non-stick pan spray (any brand) and put in oven safe bowl to shape.  (I use a wide mouth pasta type bowl)  Cook in bowls for 20-25 mins.  Cooking time varies depending on brand. Keep an eye on them!  Pull them out when golden brown but crispy.
5. While the taco meat is simmering, cook the bean dip.  When that reaches close to its soupy consistency, turn on the nacho cheese burner.
6. All stove top ingredients should finish close to the same time.  It doesn't have to be perfect.
7. As soon as the shells come out of the oven, sprinkle the pepper jack cheese on the bottom so it melts.
8. This is where you layer the goodness of a heart attack waiting to happen!  A little taco meat, then some beans, then some nacho cheese, then some more meat, and more beans.  Top with the cilantro, lettuce, and salsa.  Mix up and enjoy!

Double Decker Tacos with Ground Turkey!

 I love me some Mexican food as we all know!  And tacos are just easy, awesome, and versatile.  Growing up, I was addicted to the double decker tacos from Taco Bell but those are riddled with fat and unhealthy ingredients so I branched out to make my own!  This is normally made with hamburger, but I've discovered that you can't tell the difference with ground turkey!! It's healthier, less fatty and man is it good!!!  Feel free to play around with it to your liking!

Taco Meat
*can make around 8-10 tacos

1 lb. Ground Turkey
½ a Bell Pepper (chopped)
1/4 Onion (chopped)
2/3 C. Water
¼ C. Taco Seasoning (We use Tone's Taco Seasoning from Sam's Club)
Salt, Pepper, Chili Powder, and Garlic Powder to taste
Olive Oil

1. Cook onion and bell pepper with oil on med heat for a few mins to soften them up a bit.
2. Add turkey and spices and brown the meat.  
3. Add taco seasoning and water.  Bring to a boil and then switch to low heat.  Cook until water is pretty much gone (around 20-25 mins).
Double Deckers

*can make around 8-10 tacos

8-10 Taco Shells
8-10 Fajita Size Tortillas
1 lb. Taco Meat (above)
Scary's Bean Dip
Pepper Jack Cheese (or your favorite type)
Lettuce (chopped)
Onion (chopped)
Tomato (chopped)

1. Spread Scary's bean dip over the tortilla and stick it on the outside of hard taco shell.

2. Add meat, then cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato and Scary's Salsa to taste.

Night on the Town with New Mexico

We recently came back from a trip in New Mexico where I spent a lot of time in the kitchen with the grandparents.  I decided to try and recreate the meal as best as I could.  Here's what came outta the pot.

Green Chile Stew
*serves 8ish

1 Small Onion (chopped)
1 Cup Fresh Roasted Green Chiles (or more for spice)
1.5-2 lbs Beef for stew (cut into smaller chunks)
1 Tbsp. Oil
2 Beef Bullion Cubes
6-8 Cups of Water
2 Potatoes (diced)
Salt, Pepper, Garlic to taste
(Flour if you want it to be thicker)

1. Add oil, onion and meat to a pot.  Brown the meat and continue cooking until onions are transparent.  (add seasonings here while cooking)   
2. Add the green chiles, water, and bullion cubes.  Bring to a boil then simmer for an hour.   
3. Add potatoes and simmer for another 30 mins.  Taste and add more salt due to the potatoes (most likely).  Thicken at this point as well if you so choose.

Pinto Beans
*serves 8-10ish

2 C. Pinto Beans
1 small Onion (chopped)
2-3 Garlic Cloved (minced)
2 Beef Bullion Cubes
9 C. Water
Salt for taste

1. Sift through beans for rocks and rinse.
2. Saute onions and garlic with a touch of oil.
3. Add all ingredients minus the salt into a pressure cooker.
4. Set on high until the "pressure gauge" starts going nuts.  Let it cook for 4-5 more mins.  Then turn the heat down to medium or 5/6 depending on your stove.  Cook for an hour.
5. Take off the heat, let sit for 20 mins and if it still won't open, run under cool water.
6. Add salt to taste and boil for approx. 5 mins.

*makes 8-10 depending on size

2 C. Flour
1 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Baking Soda
2 Tbsp. Crisco or Shortening
1 C. HOT Water
Veggie Oil to fry

1. Sift dry ingredients and Crisco really well.
2. Add water and kneed with hands for around 10 mins.  Dough should be barely tacky, not dry, not really wet.  (add a TOUCH of flour or water depending then kneed again)
3. Let it sit, covered, for approx. 30 mins.
4. Form small balls of dough, smaller than an egg.  Roll out one at a time, should be around 1/8 of an inch; very thin.  Use your finger to make 3 small holes in the dough to help it aerate.
5. Your oil should be warming and I keep mine at Med-High or 7/8 through-out.
6. Fry one at a time.  Use a fork to pop particularly large bubbles.  They don't take much time at all to cook on either side.  Maybe 30-45 seconds a ball.  Pull out and put in a bowl with paper towels and repeat with the next ball of dough.

The Whole NM Sheebang
*serves 2-8 depending on leftovers!

Smother the sopapillas with the Green Chile and the Beans and then top with your choice of cheeses, salsas, fresh chopped onions, or anything else you might like.

*NOTE: This is a Spanish meal but for ease of searching it's under Mexican*

 This is a picture with my shredded beef, not the green chile stew, but it's essentially the same thing!

Stuffed Chicken with Black Bean Salsa

Well here I am after trying like 4 different methods on sharing my recipes.  I'm in the progress of making a cookbook website but let me tell you how much work that actually is!  I figure this might be an easier way to share my culinary adventures with everyone. :D

Last night's dinner (since it came out way more awesome than I figured):

Stuffed Chicken with Black Bean Salsa
*Serves 2

Black Bean Salsa
1 Can Black Beans (drained and rinsed)
1 Can of Rotel Tomatoes (choose your level of spicy, green chiles or habañero)
1 Can of Corn (drained and set aside 1/8 of a cup)
1/2 of a Bunch of Green Onions (chopped)
1/4 C. Cilantro (chopped)
1/8 C. Yellow Onion
1/8 tsp. of each Salt, Pepper, Garlic powder
(you can add chili powder if you'd like it to be more spicy, but it's more for flavor)
Set in fridge to chill for at least 3-4 hours

Stuffed Chicken (this can be done with ANY choice of stuffing!!)
2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (cut a pocket in the side as large as you can.  If your not comfortable with that, you can pound it and roll it over.)
1/8 C. Corn you already set aside
1/8 C. Fresh Roasted Green Chili (chopped OR a whole 4 oz. can of green chili)
1 Jalapeño (seeded and chopped)
Small handful of Cilantro (chopped)
1/4 C. Cheese (I use pepper jack)
 Salt, Pepper, Chili Powder, Garlic Powder to taste

1.  Make your salsa ahead of time so it has time to chill.
2.  Set oven to 375°
3. Cut the pocket in both breasts.  Mix the corn, green chili, and jalapeño, and half of the cheese together and stuff both breasts.  Pin the breasts closed with toothpicks.
4. Spray your pan with non stick spray. (I use a 6X9 Pyrex baking dish)  Sprinkle the bottom with all 4 spices.
5. Put chicken in the pan with the open, pinned sides facing each other.  Sprinkle the top of the chicken with the spices and put in the oven for 55 mins.
6. With 12 mins left of the timer, pull the oven rack out and top chicken with chopped cilantro and then the rest of the cheese.
7. Serve chicken with the salsa on the side.

 Black Bean Salsa
 Close up on yummy goodness!
I know, I know, It's partially eaten, but I had to show the stuffing!