Monday, April 20, 2015

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I can't tell you how many recipes I've pinned for chicken tortilla soup. Many. But I've never made any. Then I saw this recipe on Ashley's blog, Rainstorms and Love Notes. It was so easy! And contained all the stuff I like! I knew it was the perfect choice for Secret Recipe Club this month. Ashley's version is for the crock pot, but I adapted it for the stove top. My crock pot is so hot that I can't leave it alone for more than 4 hours, which makes the point of the crock pot almost irrelevant, but anyway...

I loved making this AND eating it - it was SO quick and easy and SO delicious. And to say it was a hit with my family is a gigantic understatement. There was nearly a fist fight when determining who would take the one serving left for lunch the next day.

You should check out all of Ashley's great recipes, and the adorable story of how she met her husband. Swoon. And then you should make this soup. Even if it is 75 degrees today.

Get more inspiration at Totally Talented, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Tasty Tuesday.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 cup medium salsa (I used my homemade salsa)
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 soup cans water
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
2 whole wheat or flour tortillas
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Sour cream, chopped tomatoes, diced avocados, for topping (or your favorite fixins!)

In a dutch oven, whisk together the salsa, cream of chicken soup and water. Add the black beans, corn, chicken and cumin. Cook over medium heat until soup comes to a simmer, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cut tortillas into strips. When soup is hot, add tortilla strips, cheese and cilantro and stir well until cheese is melted. Top with sour cream, tomatoes, avocados and crushed tortilla chips, if you like. Serves 6.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Strawberry Oatmeal Yogurt Muffins

It is finally beginning to look, and feel, like spring here in Minnesota. The trees are getting buds, the snow has turned to rain (although it snowed as recently as last week!) and the earth is greening up. Another thing that felt like spring? Eating these muffins! I served these for dinner alongside a frittata, and they were a huge hit. And they're filled with good for you stuff like oats and whole wheat flour, not to mention the delicious and nutritious strawberries. Whether you make them for breakfast, dinner or a snack, you and everyone else will enjoy them!

Find more great ideas at Create Link Inspire, Totally Talented, Clever Chicks, Try a New Recipe, Tasty Tuesday, Full Plate, Showcase your talent.

Strawberry Oatmeal Yogurt Muffins

1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
½ cup oats
½ cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 - 6 oz. container plain, strawberry, vanilla or coconut yogurt
1 large egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup diced fresh strawberries

Whisk together flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl and set aside.

In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together yogurt, egg, oil and vanilla. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Gently fold in strawberries to the batter. Divide batter evenly among 12 paper-lined muffin tins. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Recipe Source: Adapted from The Lemon Bowl

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Sweet 'n' Sour Polish Sausage

I love cooking with kielbasa, so when I found this recipe in an old cookbook, I was sure it would be a winner. And I wasn't disappointed. Kielbasa is PERFECT for sweet and sour; I can't believe I didn't think of it myself! Salty polish sausage swims in a tangy sauce along with peppers, onions and pineapple. It's delicious! This recipe is super easy to whip up, perfect for a busy weeknight. Cook the rice in the microwave while you assemble the stir fry, and supper will be ready in a jif. (Do you have a microwave rice cooker? It has transformed my rice cooking life, and I am not exaggerating.)

Find more great stuff at Hearth and Soul, What's Cooking, Totally Talented, Create, Link, Inspire, Clever Chicks, Try a New Recipe, Tasty Tuesday, Tickle my Tastebuds, Foodie Friday, Friday Flash, Showcase your Talent.

Sweet 'n' Sour Polish Sausage

1 pound smoked kielbasa, cut into 1/2 inch slices and then cut in half to make half moons
1 medium onion, chopped in large dice
5-6 mini peppers, chopped, or 1 1/2 cups chopped sweet bell peppers
3/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 - 20 oz. can pineapple chunks
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup water

In a large skillet, brown the sausage over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add peppers and onion and cook and stir for 3-4 minutes.

In a large measuring cup, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, cider vinegar and salt. Place a strainer over the cup and empty the can of pineapple into the strainer. (The juice will go into the sauce; set aside the pineapple chunks.) Whisk the sauce well, then add to the skillet. Stir well and bring to a boil.

In same large measuring cup, combine water and cornstarch and whisk well to combine. Add to the meat and vegetable mixture in the skillet, and stir and cook for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add the pineapple chunks and let simmer til heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve over hot rice. Serves 6-8.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Asparagus with Balsamic Onions and Bleu Cheese

Do you need a new asparagus treatment to liven up your Easter dinner? Then look no further. In this beautiful spring side dish, asparagus is roasted, then topped with carmelized onions soaked in a delightful balsamic mixture and topped with blue cheese. The varying textures and tastes are phenomenal. And if you have any leftovers, those are great as the flavors have even intensified. I first served this with chicken, but it would be great with ham or other pork. Or anything else. I can't get enough asparagus, and hopefully now, you can't either, once you try this delicious version!

Asparagus with Balsamic Onions and Bleu Cheese

1 pound trimmed asparagus
2 tsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
1 1/2 cups vertically sliced sweet onion
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 ounce crumbled blue cheese

Combine asparagus, 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, and pepper on a baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 9 minutes. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil; swirl to coat. Add onion to pan; sauté for 6 minutes. Stir in vinegar and thyme. Top asparagus with onion mixture and crumbled blue cheese. Serves 6.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Caramel Apple Dump Cake

This is not the most picturesque cake ever, but the photogenics it lacks is more than made up for in deliciousness. This is a great cake to make for company, as a little goes a long way. You can serve it warm or at room temperature, and don't forget to add a little vanilla ice cream. While caramel apple-things are usually posted in the fall, I don't think there's any season that you wouldn't enjoy this wonderful dessert!

Find more great stuff at Totally Talented, Clever Chicks, Tasty Tuesday, Try a New Recipe.

Caramel Apple Dump Cake

1 - 11 oz. package caramel bits
2/3 cup evaporated milk, divided
1 box yellow or vanilla cake mix
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 - 20 oz. cans apple pie filling

In a medium saucepan, melt together the caramels and 1/3 cup of the evaporated milk over medium low heat, stirring often.

While the caramel is melting, stir together the cake mix and the cinnamon in a large mixing bowl until fully combined. Then add the melted butter, vanilla and remaining 1/3 cup evaporated milk and stir together until combined.

Place half of the batter into the bottom of a greased 9x13 cake pan. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven, and pour the apples and filling over the cake mix.

Pour the caramel over the apples and then top with clumps of the remaining cake mix. Bake for 20 to 25 more minutes or until the caramel at the edge begins to bubble and the cake at the edge begins to brown. Serves 16-20.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Wine and Glue

Monday, March 16, 2015

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples

I roast brussels sprouts a lot at my house. A LOT. And they're wonderful. But when I saw this recipe on Melissa's blog, I knew it would be the recipe I would have to try for this month's Secret Recipe Club. Melissa adds apples to the already wonderful roasted sprouts, which takes them over the top. The sweetness and softness of the roasted apple pairs perfectly with the savory, chewy brussels sprouts. I used braeburn apples for this, since that's what I had on hand, but there are probably many varieties that would be delicious. In fact, next time I'll try them with honeycrisp, THE Minnesota apple, and then I can be more of a locavore like Melissa!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples

1 pound brussels sprouts, halved
2 medium apples, cored and coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Combine chopped sprouts and apple in a medium bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, then stir well to coat. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and sugar, and stir well again to coat all pieces. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast at 400 for 25 minutes or until sprouts are nicely browned. Serves 4.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Lucky Charms Chex Mix

You'll definitely find a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow of a snack... Even though I'm a grown adult, I love love love Lucky Charms. So I couldn't have been more thrilled to find a recipe for Lucky Charms Chex favorite naughty cereal (that's what my family calls sugared cereals!) mixed with a healthy cereal, with white chocolate to keep it all together. St. Patrick's Day will never be better, once you make this delicious treat!

Find more great stuff at Mouthwatering Monday, Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Totally Talented, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Try a New Recipe, Inspire Me, Tasty Tuesday, Full Plate, Showcase Your Talent, Friday Flash, Foodie Friday.

Lucky Charms Chex Mix

1 box (11.5 oz) Lucky Charms cereal
6 cups Rice or Corn Chex cereal
2 bags (12 oz each) white vanilla baking chips
2 Tbsp. multicolored candy sprinkles

Pour box of Lucky Charms out onto a large tray. Pick out all the marshmallows (about 2 cups); set aside to add to the mix later. Measure 2 cups of the remaining Lucky Charms cereal (without the marshmallows) into large bowl, add Chex cereal.

In medium microwavable bowl, microwave white vanilla baking chips uncovered on High about 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until chips can be stirred smooth. Pour over cereal mixture in large bowl; toss to evenly coat. Stir in the marshmallow pieces.

Spread mixture in single layer on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet. Immediately sprinkle with candy sprinkles. Let stand until set, about 20 minutes. Gently break up mixture; store in airtight container.

Recipe Source: Tablespoon
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