Thursday, May 31, 2012

7 layer tostada

I love to cook a crock pot full of beans early in the week, then use them for several meals later on.  I originally posted the recipe for the smashed beans(refried beans...just no frying about them) here.  I still make them the pretty much the same, however, if I have an onion and fresh garlic, I use that instead of the garlic salt and onion powder.  I just add three or four garlic cloves and 1/2 to a whole onion in when I add the beans to the crock pot and let them cook while the beans cook.  Since I puree them in my food processor later...the garlic and onion get blended in nicely.  When I blend the beans I add salt to taste.  Also, I very rarely add the bacon grease anymore.  These beans are SO good.  Maybe I should just re-post the recipe with all the measurements I use now...I think I use more chili powder and cumin now too....I don't really measure, just dump some in.

A month or so ago, I was at the store buying tostada shells to use with our beans and thought I would make them like a 7 layer bean dip, but on a tostada shell.  They were a bit hit at our house.  I make my guacamole real fancy....smash the avocado out of the shell, add lime juice, salt and pepper to taste and then mix well :)  Also, my kids would prefer to substitute salsa for the tomatoes.  Of course the amount of ingredients will depend on if there are 2 of you or 10.
7 layer tostadas

  • tostada shells
  • smashed beans...if you use a can of refried beans, you will want to add some taco seasoning for flavor
  • guacamole
  • sour cream
  • shredded cheese
  • sliced olives
  • chopped tomatoes....or salsa
  • slice green onions

Directions:  Heat your beans and layer ingredients in order from top bullet to bottom.

Do you have a favorite way to make guacamole?  Please share :)
Pin It!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

chocolate fruit dip

Have you heard of chocolate cream cheese?

I bought some strawberries at the store yesterday(and today and the day before yesterday...etc) and the cashier told me that I should try them with chocolate cream cheese and cool whip. I didn't even know there was such a thing as chocolate cream cheese, but of course I ran back and got it and the cool whip. We LOVE strawberries...we love them plain, with this dip and this dip and like this....but.... I think we have a new favorite around here!!

Chocolate Fruit Dip

1 8 oz tub Cool Whip
1 8 oz tub Philadelphia Indulgence (chocolate cream cheese - I used the Dark Chocolate)

Directions:  Beat ingredients together until smooth.

Thanks Maria!!  :)
Pin It!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Homemade Granola Bars

I LOVE granola bars, my kids LOVE granola bars and we all LOVE sweetened condensed milk :)...when I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it and I am glad I did!!  I really love the taste of these and the fact that MOST of the ingredients are healthy...AND  they were very easy to make.  I have been storing these in the refrigerator.  I was afraid that they would be hard, when I took them out to eat, but they are not at all.

A little tip...if you are buying flax seeds and/or wheat germ at your grocery store, look for it in the bulk bin area.  It will be much cheaper there.  Also I found my sliced almonds much cheaper in bags in the produce isle than the nut isle...go figure:)

Homemade Granola Bars
slightly adapted from

3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup flaked coconut(I used sweetened)
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup flax seed
1/4 cup wheat germ
Directions:   Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch pan.  In a large bowl, mix together the oats, sweetened condensed milk, butter, coconut, almonds, chocolate chips, flax seed and wheat germ) with your hands until well blended. Press flat into the prepared pan.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, depending on how crunchy you want them(I took mine out at 20 minutes so they would be nice and chewy, not crunchy). Lightly browned just around the edges will give you moist, chewy bars. Let cool for 5 minutes, cut into squares then let cool completely before serving.      
The original recipe called for sweetened dried cranberries instead of the flax seed and wheat germ.  I love dried cranberries in my salad, but I am not a big fan of fruit in my granola bars...
How about you?  Do you like dried fruit in your granola bars?           
Pin It!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

quick and easy chicken marinade

So...the other day (or week) when I was planning to make my friend's  Won ton Salad, I wanted to marinade and grill some chicken to add to it.  Of course...I started thinking about dinner about an hour and a half before I needed something quick that used ingredients I had on hand.

I marinated 2 large chicken breasts which I cut in half first, so they would be thinner and cook quicker.  If you are marinating more, just double..triple...quadruple the recipe :)  I would recommend that you only marinate the chicken for any hour or don't want the lime juice or the vinegar from the dressing to start 'cooking' the chicken. 

Chicken marinade

1/2 cup Italian dressing
1/8 cup soy sauce
juice from 1/2 of a lime

Directions:  Mix marinade ingredients together.  I reserved 1/4 cup of the marinade to baste the chicken with while grilling.  Place chicken and marinade together in a large plastic bag or glass bowl and let marinate for approx. 1 hour.    Grill until chicken is fully cooked. is marinate, marinated, marinating....marinade, marinaded, marinading?   Spell check is not saying any of them are wrong....too bad I was not an English major...maybe I would know.  Hopefully you are not here to check my grammer and if you are, I'm SO sorry :)

Pin It!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Wonton Salad

I LOVE salad!!  I had this salad at a friend's house and it is delicious and SO pretty.
Wonton Salad

4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded or chopped
1 head lettuce (I used half green leaf and 1/2 spinach)
2-3 green onions chopped
toasted almonds
1 can mandarin oranges (I can't remember the can size...11ish oz.)
1/2 pkg. wonton wrappers cut into quarters and fried (cut from corner to corner so that you have triangular pieces)

2 TBL vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup oil (I used canola)

Directions:  Mix salad ingredients together(except wonton wrappers).  Mix dressing ingredients with fork until sugar is dissolved.  Toss salad with dressing.  Top with fried wontons.

Pin It!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Macaroni Grill Rosemary Bread

I have only been to Macaroni Grill once and it was awhile ago.  I remember that I LOVED their bread!  When my sister told me about this recipe, I knew I wanted to try it!

 She got the recipe here, from Creations by Kara.  The recipe says to bake at 450 for 20 minutes.  The first time I made this bread....I cooked it for the full 20 minutes and the bread was very dark!  I baked the bread in the picture above for probably 13 or 14 minutes.  I would definitely watch it after ~10 minutes and take it out when it is a nice golden brown.

Not sure why mine fell in the middle...didn't happen the first two times I made it.  Must have been to rough with it when I put it in the oven....oops...still delicious!

Macaroni Grill Rosemary Bread

1 Tbsp SAF yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary (or 1 Tbsp fresh)
Topping:2 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary (or 1 Tbsp fresh)
Coarse salt

Directions:  Mix yeast, sugar, and water till frothy. Add 2 cups of the flour, salt, oil and rosemary and mix till smooth. Add enough flour to make a soft dough. Form into a round loaf and place on a lightly greased pan. (I used my pizza stone, so I didn't grease it, just dusted with a little cornmeal.) Brush the loaf with butter using a pastry brush. It will be really wet. Sprinkle with rosemary and coarse salt. Let rise till doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake in a 450 oven for about 15-20 minutes. Serve with balsamic vinegar and olive oil if desired.
Pin It!