Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year from Mr. vs Mrs.!

Hello readers! We dealt with a lot of changes in 2011. We got engaged on January 6th, moved into our house on May 15th, and got married on June 11th. Since the wedding, we've been adjusting to life together and the blog has been seriously neglected and for that, we sincerely apologize.

With a new year comes renewal and energy to get back "on the horse" as many may say. Neither of us are ones to make "new year resolutions", but I plan to keep up with the blog more often and share as many recipes as possible (at least biweekly, if I can!). It is unlikely our "challenge" format will actually take off, since our schedules are often opposite. However, we will continue to develop and share our recipes as they come :)

We look forward to 2012 and all of the blessings it will bring!

Expect a recipe for a Strawberry meringue buttercream icing in the very near future!

Until next time,
The Mrs.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Orange Creamsicle Cake

So the blog has been deeply neglected over the past month and a half...oops.

Today I decided I wanted some I used my new-found addiction (pintrest) to come up with this idea! It's pretty easy and really doesn't take much time to put together.

1 box French Vanilla Cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
3 Eggs
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Orange Juice

1 7 oz jar Marshmallow Cream
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter @ room temp

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter @ room temp
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon Orange Extract
4 cups powdered sugar

For the cake, mix ingredients together and bake as directed on the box. Allow the cake to cool, & slice in half (I used a springform pan, but you could bake 2 separate layers). To mix filling, cube butter and allow to soften to room temperature, using the whisk attachment whip the marshmallow cream and add in cubes of butter 1 at a time until fully incorporated. Spoon on top of bottom cake layer, add top layer of cake. For the frosting, cream the butter until smooth, add in orange juice and extract. Whip until fully incorporated. Add in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until fully incorporated. After 4 cups of sugar, mine was a little too stiff so I added a bit of extra orange you could either back off a little early and test it at 3-3.5 cups or add in some extra juice if it isn't the right consistency. Frost cake. and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

White Bean Chicken Chili!

This is a perfect soup for a rainy day (like today)! It is easy, quick, and doesn't require a lot of ingredients. Hanz went back for seconds and asked to take some with him to work (it must have been good!). The best part? It is pretty healthy! YAY!

1 tbsp Oil (olive, vegetable, etc)
1 lb boneless/skinless chicken breast, cubed
1/2 large sweet yellow onion, diced
3 jalapenos, diced/minced (depends on you)
3 cans of white beans (I used 2 Great Northern, 1 Navy)
1 8oz can of diced green chiles
1-2 cups of chicken stock
Spices: Salt, black Pepper, Garlic Powder, Cumin, Cayenne pepper

Heat up a large pot (to medium heat) and throw in your oil. Add in onion, jalapeno, and season with salt, pepper and cumin. Cook until onions are almost translucent. Season chicken with a pinch of salt & a little pepper. Put onion & jalapeno mixture around the side of your pot and throw in the chicken & let it brown a bit. Stir it around until all sides are cooked (3-4 minutes). Throw in your beans (drain 1 of the cans), green chiles, stir, and then add in chicken stock until everything moves freely in the pot. Season with garlic powder (couple of dashes), cumin (1 1/2 tbsp), and a couple of dashes of cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil and then allow to simmer as long as you want (I did for about 30 minutes). To serve, ladle soup into bowl, top with monterrey/colby jack cheese & enjoy! I made a loaf of corn bread and topped it with some cheese just before taking it out of the oven.

NOTE: This did have quite a bit of heat from the jalapenos, it was something I could handle, but if you are concerned about too much heat maybe try 1 jalapeno first.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Chicken Cacciatore

My Mom came up with this recipe, and over time I have made it into my own. It was my easy go-to meal when I was living by myself, the leftovers lasted for lunches almost all week, and it is a pretty healthy meal! I hope you enjoy!

~1 lb Chicken breast (boneless, skinless), in strips
1 medium onion (I always buy sweet yellow onions...), in rings or strips
1.5 (1-2 really) Bell peppers (I love to mix 1 green and 1 red, but only had green today), in strips
1 tsp Olive Oil
1 can Diced Tomatoes (mine were flavored with olive oil & garlic)
1/4-1/3 cup Tomato Sauce

Slice up the onion and bell pepper. Usually I leave the onion in rings, 
but cut it the wrong way and ended up with strips.

Cook the onion and bell pepper in a pan with oil on medium heat. Add in some salt, pepper, and oregano (sometimes I will experiment with other spices for new combinations, tonight I added Rosemary) to taste. 

When the onion starts to brown, remove from pan and set aside. 

Throw chicken into pan, season with salt & pepper, brown chicken on all sides, but don't worry about cooking completely through.

Add onion & bell pepper and then stir.
Top with the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.

Cover and simmer on medium-low (around 4 is good on my stove) for 45 minutes, quickly stirring every 10 minutes or so.
Eat on its own (low carb!) or add in some pasta. 
Feel free to top with some Parmesan 
(we did tonight, but usually I don't add it).

The best part about this recipe is it is so simple, you can REALLY make it your own. I've used a can of Rotel (diced tomato & green chiles) for a Mexican flavor, it was delish!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Enchilada Casserole

For some reason, I've been in the mood for Mexican food (see below...fajitas & chicken avocado enchiladas...ha) and decided to make Enchilada Casserole! It is a pretty easy recipe and is packed with flavor! Enjoy!

1/2 Sweet yellow onion, diced
1/2 Green bell pepper, diced
2 jalapenos, seeds removed & diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp vegetable oil
Cumin, Salt, Pepper, Season All, Oregano
1 pound ground beef (or turkey)
1 can red Enchilada Sauce
1 can Ranch Style Beans (I used the kind with onions)
2 cups Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
Corn tortillas

Corn tortillas, bell pepper, Monterrey Jack cheese, jalapenos, Ranch Style beans, Onion, & Enchilada Sauce

Oregano, Black Pepper, Garlic, Cumin, Salt, & Anita's (Hanz's family's recipe) Season All

Chop up onion, bell pepper, jalapenos, and mince garlic. 
Chop in half from top to bottom, lay flat
Cut into slices, but keep together
Dice in the opposite direction you cut slices

Throw into hot pan with vegetable oil, season with cumin, salt, pepper, and season all, then cook until they just start to brown (5-7 minutes). 

Remove from heat and set aside in bowl. Throw in beef and start to brown, season with some cumin, salt, and pepper. Throw in cooked vegetables and stir until meat is thoroughly cooked. 

Stir in enchilada sauce, but reserve about 2 tablespoons to put into the bottom of the baking dish. The sauce will probably need to cook down a bit until it is a favorable consistency.
Once the sauce is where you want it, take it off the heat and it is time to assemble to casserole! 

Cover the bottom of the baking dish (I used a 9x13 glass dish) with the reserved enchilada sauce.

Cover with corn tortillas. You can either tear them all up, or just tear up a few so it covers the entire dish.

Top tortillas with the meat sauce mixture.
Add some beans.

Top with cheese.

Repeat. I did a total of 3 layers, using about 16 corn tortillas.

Bake covered at 350F for about 30 minutes or until bubbly, then take off foil for the last 5 minutes of cooking to get some good color on the cheese.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hanz's Tasty Fajitas

I have to brag about my fantastic Mr., he made the most delicious chicken fajitas I've ever tasted (take THAT overpriced restaurants!)! It was all on the fly and he doesn't really use measurements, but these are pretty good estimations. He recommends adding mushrooms, if you like them (I don't), while cooking the bell pepper, tomato, and onion. We decided to save the leftover goodness from the pan and freeze it for later. Enjoy this delicious meal that doesn't require heating up a grill!

3 chicken breasts – strips ½ in thick and then in half the length

1 ½ tbsp - Salt
1 tsp  - Taco Seasoning
Dash - Cumin
1 tsp - Lemon pepper
1 tsp - Garlic powder
1 tsp - Mustard seed powder
1 tsp - Sage
2 tbsp – Dried minced onion

Melt together for sauce:
2 tbsp Butter
1 clove garlic
Juice from ½ lemon + zest

2 small tomatoes – rough chop
1 bell pepper - chopped
½-1/3 sweet yellow onion – chopped
4 tbsp Butter
Monterrey Jack cheese – shredded

Bake at 300 for 45 minutes

Combine spices to make rub, crush together using mortar & pestle. Lightly sprinkle rub onto chicken first, then mix together. On low, melt butter in small pan, add in minced garlic, lemon juice and zest. Pour butter mixture into leftover rub to make a thick sauce. Dip each piece of chicken into rub sauce, add in some additional butter if needed towards the end. Place into baking dish and top with about 1 tbsp of thinly sliced butter (randomly placed all over). In a pan heat up additional butter, throw in veggies and sauté for 5-7 minutes. Strain veggies with slotted spoon and put on top of chicken. Cover and bake.

When cooked take out of oven, add in a little cheese, put into warm tortilla, and eat. Repeat.

-The Mrs.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Chicken Avocado Enchiladas

Ok, so we put the most recent challenge on hold, but will each be making meatloaf soon! Thanks for voting, we're looking forward to sharing some creative recipes with you!

Since we aren't posting any meatloaf recipes yet, I decided to share one of my new favorite recipes. I do a lot of research in my spare time and was able to combine a few different recipe ideas for Chicken Enchiladas and Avocado Enchiladas into one delicious meal! The recipe is below...I WISH we'd thought to take a picture, as they were gooey and so yummy! Serve with refried beans, Spanish rice, or even a salad!

~1lb chicken breast (cut into small cubes)
Salt, Pepper, Cumin
1/2 cup bell pepper, diced (I used green)
1/2 cup onion, diced (I used sweet yellow onion)
6oz Cream Cheese
Salsa (any kind will work)
2 Avocados, cubed
Flour tortillas (although you could use corn)
Monterrey Jack cheese

Put some oil (veggie, olive, whatever you have around) in a pan to warm up. Season chicken with salt, pepper, and cumin, then throw into the pan until cooked on all sides. Throw in bell pepper & onion and saute. Add in 1/2-3/4 cup of salsa (start smaller and add in to your preference) and the cream cheese. Stir until cheese has melted and the sauce is creamy.

In a baking dish, put a thin layer of salsa down so the tortillas don't stick (or you could use cooking spray)

To assemble:
Lay out a tortilla, put down a row of avocado slices, top with a little Monterrey jack cheese, then add some of the chicken & sauce mixture. Roll up and place seam down in a baking dish. Repeat until you're out of goodies. Top enchiladas with more salsa and cheese. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes (until the cheese begins to brown and you can see the sauce bubbling out the sides of the enchiladas.

Tonight we're heating up a favorite: Zucchini Lasagna! I came up with this recipe when Hanz and I were in the beginning stages of dating, and he SCARFED it down! For Father's Day I was asked to make a "healthy" lasagna and remembered how much Hanz had enjoyed it in the past. I ended up making 2, and put one in the freezer (took it out a day ago to thaw in the refrigerator). I'll be sure to post pictures and the recipe for this soon!
-The Mrs.