Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Crockpot Refried Beans {No Soak!}

If you haven't notice by now, we love mexican food at our house. Anything from enchiladas to taquitos, casseroles to tostadas... we'll eat it all! However, one thing I dont love about mexican food at home, it canned beans. They always seem too thick and dense, and always have a metallic aftertaste. Not to mention all the preservatives in them! So when I saw a recipe for homemade ones that looked easy, I pounced! Obviously, I tweaked the heck out of it to make it fit my family, but it worked wonderfully! They are great in burritos, on nachos, or just as a side! I will definitely be making these again!

3 cups pinto beans
10 cups water
3 TBS minced garlic
1 large onion
1 TBS chili powder
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 -3TBS Taco Seasoning
1 TBS kosher salt
Rinse pinto beans under cold water. Chop onion. Add all ingredients to the crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours, then LOW for 2 hours. Remove and keep extra liquid. Mash beans with a potato masher, adding liquid until you reach desired consistency. I actually ended up pureeing 1/2 of ours in the blender, but we like ours almost as thin as restaurant beans, so really, it's up to you!
Once the beans are mashed, taste them. At this point they are very very plain. Too plain for us, so I add more salt and taco seasoning, but that's totally up to you!
Store in air-tight containers, for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. Or freeze in ziplock bags.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Crispy Chicken Ranchero {Taco Time copy cat}

I worked at Taco Time for quite a while in my teenage years. And still to this day, I love their food, but this has to be my favorite thing on the menu! I love chicken strips anyways, but wrap them in a tortilla, with ranch and cabbage!? Uh, YUM! They are even better made at home too, because you dont have all the fry oil and who-knows-what-else that goes in fast food! We had these for much the other day with leftover spanish rice and it all came together really quick!
Makes 2 Burritos
2 large flour tortillas
4 frozen chicken strips, cooked (I used baked popcorn chicken)
1 cup prepared spanish rice
shredded cheese
shredded cabbage
ranch dressing
pico de gallo (I left this off because my husband hates it)
On your tortilla, place half the rice, 2 of the chicken strips and cheese. Nuke in the microwave for only about 15 seconds.
Top with cabbage and salsa, drizzle with  ranch. Roll and serve!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wild Rice and Sausage Casserole

Seriously, I have found a new favorite casserole! And that is saying a lot, because I am a casserole freak! This one is perfect for a cold winter day, and bonus, it's a freezer meal! Can't get better than that! It's creamy and filling and absolutely wonderful! Definitely a keeper!

2 cooked cups white rice
1 cup cooked wild rice
1 cup cooked spicy sausage
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder

I made this with leftovers, which is the reason my measurements are using cooked ingredients. But really, you can mess up this recipe, so if you are using uncooked, just guess, and if it seems a tad dry, just add a little more milk.
Other than that, mix all your ingredients in a large bowl, transfer to a baking dish and cover with foil. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes, and then remove foil and continue to bake for another 10 minutes. All the ingredients are cooked, so you just want to make sure its heated through.
To freeze, transfer to a foil baking dish, and wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and then foil. Label with the instructions (Once thawed, remove plastic wrap and replace foil. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, then without foil for 10 min.) and freeze.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Menu Monday

I've got lots of rollovers from last week!
Tuesday- Pizza
Thursday- Broccoli potato soup with rolls
Friday- Friend Christmas Party
Saturday- family Christmas party

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Apple Pecan Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is one of those things I always forget about, until it's the only option for lunch! I made this the other day last minute when I had to take my husband lunch, and we were out of lettuce to have regular ham sandwiches. They were a huge hit with my husband, and a nice change from the norm!
2 cups cookes, shredded and cooled chicken
1 apple, diced
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup miracle whip
salt & pepper
Mix everything in a bowl and chill. Serve on wheat bread (our favorite) or on crackers.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Decking Our Halls {2012}

I love putting out my Christmas decorations! It really makes it feel like the holidays are here!
I didn't go too crazy this year, pregnancy and a 2 year old consume my life now, so decorating is more of a luxury than a necessity ;)
But here's some of what I got up this year!

  This is what I'm most proud of this year. I saw something similar on pinterest, but it was selling on etsy for like $40! But in my mind of course, I think "I can make that!" So, I did! It's not perfect, but I like it! I had to take it down to get a decent picture of it, but normally its on the wall.
I used the 'vaseline' technique to get the chippy paint look!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

3 Bean Enchilada Soup

I love soup on a cold winter day! This soup is a perfect mix of mexican flavors and comfort food!
1 Large can green enchilada sauce
1 small can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can light red kidney beans
2 cups frozen corn
1 teas. cumin
1 tsp onion powder
2 teas. garlic (in the jar)
Garnish options: shredded lettuce, sour scream, cilantro, fried tortilla strips.
Dupm everything (except garnishes) into a crock pot or large pot. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook on low for around 20 minutes. Theres no meat, so you just want everything nice and hot!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Menu Monday

Is everyone loving this cooler weather as much as me!? Too bad my husband isn't a big soup fan, or we would be having it every day! I did manage to sneak it it without too much resistance!
Monday: Wild rice and Sausage Casserole (freezer meal)
Tuesday: Breakfast Casserole
Wednesday: Kung Pao Chicken with steamed veggies and rice
Thursday: Broccoli and cheese soup with rolls
Friday: Date Night
What are you all making this week!? I need some new recipe ideas to try!

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