Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

I love taquitos, crispitos, flauta,and anything else that resembles those, but don’t eat them very often because of the calories and grease from frying. So when I found this recipe, I couldn’t wait to try this baked version. I was also excited that it had directions for freezing them to make later. What a great idea for a fast good meal later as well as for dinner tonight. I had to try it. I found this recipe on www.chef-in-training.com website. I have only changed it a tad to accommodate what I had in my pantry.

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

Makes 12 servings

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup green salsa
  • 1 T. fresh lime juice
  • 1 t. chili powder
  • 1/2 t. onion powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 T. dried cilantro (fresh can be used)
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 12 flour tortillas (6 inch works well)
  • sea salt
  • cooking spray
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425º F.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl combine cream cheese, salsa, lime juice, chili powder, onion powder, garlic, and cilantro.
  3. Add shredded chicken and cheddar cheese and mix until combined.
  4. Spread 2 – 3 tablespoons of chicken mixure on 1/3 of tortilla and then roll as tight as possible.
  5. Place on cookie sheet seam side down.
  6. Continue with the rest of the tortillas, placing so they are not touching.
  7. Spray lightly with cooking spray and lightly sprinkle with sea salt. (Stop at this point if wishing to freeze)
  8. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until tortillas are crispy and lightly brown.
  9. Enjoy
Helpful Hints:
  1. If tortillas are not very soft, warm a couple at a time between paper towels in the microwave for just a few seconds to make soft.
  2. If you want to freeze for later, flash freeze them at the point before baking them. Then wrap individually in plastic wrap and store in freezer bag for up to 3 months. When ready to eat them just pull the desired amount from freezer and cook in preheated 425º oven for 20 minutes. There isn’t a need to defrost first.
  3. I used some rotisserie chicken that I had. Not having to cook chicken first helps speed up the prep time.
  4. The cooking spray and sea salt are important. They are what help the tortillas to crisp up.
  5. Light cream cheese works just as well as regular if you are watching calories. I used the light version.
  6. Estimated 196 calories per taquito

 

Brown Sugar Blueberry Cookies

I found several varieties and reposts on multiple blogs with this recipe when I started to search for blueberry cookie recipes. Now that I have made the recipe, I see why it is on so many blogs. I had to add it to mine. These cookies taste like a great muffin. So you could almost rename this recipe as a cookie/muffin or breakfast cookie. Hope you enjoy it as much as my family is.

A great breakfast cookie

Brown Sugar Blueberry Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1 stick of butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 T. milk
  • 3/4 c. fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 c. granulated white sugar (used for rolling dough in)

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375º. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or grease them. Set aside
  2. With mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Scrape sides as needed.
  3. Add egg and vanilla. Mix until combined.
  4. Add flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Mix until combined.
  5. Add milk and mix. Dough should be combined and a little sticky. If it appears dry, add a little more milk.
  6. Fold in blueberries carefully.
  7. Roll dough with the palms of hands into 1 1/2 inch balls.
  8. Roll balls in bowl of white sugar
  9. Place on prepared baking sheets 2 inches apart.
  10. Bake for 16 – 18 minutes. Switch sheets from top and bottom racks of oven half way through.
  11. Cookies are done when centers are set and lightly colored.
  12. Cool on cookie sheets for 3 minutes, then remove and cool on wire racks until room temperature.
  13. Enjoy

Tastes like a great muffin cookie

Helpful Hints:
  1. If you damp your hands before rolling the dough it will help the dough not to stick, as well as help the sugar to stick to the balls. . Be careful though that you don’t get the dough too wet from your hands.
  2. These cookies are quite tall and do rise up and out quite a bit. 2 inches a part is definately recommended.
  3. I haven’t tried it yet, but this recipe should taste good substituting strawberries for the blueberries.
  4. Each cookie is about 87 calories.

Blueberries

This past weekend my family went to a local blueberry festival. So much fun! I got to taste a variety of products made with blueberries such as spice salsa, honey, and jams. I came home with a flat (12 pints) of blueberries. So the next few posts you will notice have a common theme, blueberries. This first recipe that I will be posting is the first one I tried with my supply of blueberries. It was a great success. I am very excited to continue to try new recipes with blueberries. Such a great fruit and full of goodness.  They are loaded with antioxidants, good for cholesterol….. Enjoy. Just a fair warning though with summer here, as fruit becomes available to get fresh from farms or able to be picked, you will notice more recipes with a common fruit theme.  So here is to summer and fresh fruit!

Glazed Donut Mini Muffins or Glazed Donut Cake Balls

My oldest sons loves donut holes and would eat them every day if possible (like most kids).  But the amount of sugar on them not to mention the amount of money to buy daily donut holes from a donut shop makes it not desirable. When I saw a recipe for regular muffins labeled glazed doughnut muffins on pinterest  from www.sweetpeaskitchen.com, I just had to try it. Below is the recipe with some “tweaks”. I made this recipe two ways: mini muffins and cake balls using my cake ball maker. Let me tell you fresh out of the oven or from the cake ball maker hot and dipped in the glaze can be hard to resist.

Glazed Donut Mini Muffins or Glazed Donut Cake Balls

Ingredients for Muffins/Cake balls

  • 1/4 c. butter softened
  • 1/4 c.  canola oil
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. nutmeg
  • 3/4 t. cinnamon
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 1 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 2 2/3 c. flour
  • 1 c. milk
Ingredients for Glaze:
  • 3 T. butter melted
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 3/4 t. vanilla
  • 2 T. hot water
Directions for making mini muffins
  1. Preheat oven to 425º F. Line muffin tin with papers.
  2. Beat together butter, oil, and sugars until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time.
  3. With mixer on low, add baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla until just combined.
  4. Alternate adding flour and milk to butter mixture.
  5. Spoon batter into cups.
  6. Bake until muffin tops are a pale golden and springy to touch, about 12 – 15 minutes.
  7. Cool muffins in tin for about 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool for 10 minutes before glazing
Directions for making donut holes with cake ball maker
  1. Plug in cake ball maker and allow to completely heat.
  2. Use butter to grease wells. ( I use a paper towel wadded up with butter on one end)
  3. Fill bottom wells mostly full with batter and close lid. If more full, they will overflow as they rise.
  4. Bake for 3 1/2 minutes then open lid. They should be starting to look golden.
  5. Allow to bake for an additional 30 seconds with lid open before removing.
  6. Allow to cool slightly, then follow instructions for glazing.
Directions for making glaze and applying glaze.
  1. In a medium bowl whisk together melted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and water until smooth. Should be slightly thicker than runny stage.
  2. When muffins /donut holes are slightly cool, dip the whole donut hole or muffin top into the glaze and allow glaze to harden.
  3. Once harden, dip a second time.
  4. Allow to harden and serve.
Helpful Hints:
  • Once donut holes and muffins are glazed, set on wire rack that on a cookie sheet to allow extra glaze to drip off.
  • This recipe can be made into regular size  muffins as well.
  • This recipe makes a lot. After some batter tasting to tweak spices, I made 24 mini muffins and 35 donut holes. With that many I had to make double the glaze recipe.
  • Each mini muffin or donut hole has about 70 calories.
  • I use wooden chopsticks to remove my donut holes and cake balls from the maker. They don’t seem to tear them like a fork or knife and won’t scratch the non-stick finish.
  • I make these on the weekend and my son can then have several of them every day if he desires as part of his breakfast or a snack. Since there is a lot less glaze and sugar in the recipe, he doesn’t have a sugar high.

 

Double Chocolate Biscotti

Biscotti is a wonderful invention. Got to love a cookie that can be dunked in coffee, tea or milk (if you like to dunk like my kids) and it doesn’t get super soggy. It also doesn’t’ have an overly sweet taste. I drink a hot cup of tea every night and love a little something to munch on with it.  So one rainy day recently I was in the mood to make new recipes and a little on the cold side, so out came biscotti options.   The one below is what I ended up making. It is so good and went great with that night’s cup of Earl Grey tea. It has a great super-chocolatey flavor!

Double Chocolate Biscotti

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. white baking pieces
  • 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Grease a large cookie sheet and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter on high speed with mixer for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add in sugar, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Beat until just combined, scraping bowl sides as needed.
  4. Beat in eggs until combined.
  5. Add flour slowly, beating in between as much as you can. Then add rest of flour and mix by hand.
  6. Stir in white baking ships and chocolate chips.
  7. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a 9 inch long roll and place on prepared cookie sheet.
  8. Flatten the rolls until they are about 2 inches wide.
  9. Bake at 375 º oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  10. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 1 hour.
  11. Reduce oven temperature to 325º. Transfer rolls to a cutting board.
  12. Using a serrated knife, cut each roll diagonally into 1/2 inch slices.
  13. Place slices on ungreased cookie sheet, sliced edge down.
  14. Bake at 325º for 8 minutes. Then turn slices to other sliced edge and bake for 7 to 9 minutes more, or until dry and crisp (do not overbake.
  15. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely
Helpful Hints:
  1. Instead of greasing a cookie sheet for first baking, I lined mine with a silicone mat and it worked well. I used that same sheet with mat for the second baking as well.
  2. If using a heavy duty mixer such as a KitchenAid, you should be able to get all the flour mixed in.
  3. Makes about 32 cookies.
  4. Store in airtight container with layers seperated by wax paper.
  5. Can freeze for up to 3 months.
  6. Makes a great gift for those coffee and hot tea drinkers you know!

Peanut Butter-Filled Cookies

One of my sons LOVES peanut butter cups. So I am always looking for recipes that combine his love of peanut butter and chocolate. The other day I remembered a recipe that I made a few years ago that is like a peanut butter cup. When I made them for him and he bit into it…. he was so surprised and excited. He asks for them all of the time. I got this recipe from the Better Homes and Garden Biggest Book of Cookies cookbook.

Peanut Butter-Filled Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • Granulated sugar

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda; set aside
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat butter, the 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and the 1/4 cup peanut butter with an electric mixer until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour mixture with a wooden spoon. Shape dough into 1 1/4 inch balls (should make 32); set aside
  3. For peanut butter filling, in a medium bowl stir together powdered sugar, and the 1/2 cup peanut butter until smooth.Shape mixture into 3/4 inch balls (should make 32).
  4. On a work surface, slightly flatten each chocolate dough ball and top with peanut butter ball.  Shape the chocolate dough over the peanut butter filling, completely covering the filling. Roll dough into balls.
  5. Place balls 2 inches apart on an un-greased cookie sheet. Lightly flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in granulated sugar.
  6. Bake in a 350 degree oven about 8 minutes or until just set and surface is slightly cracked. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.
Helpful Hints:
  • It is easier to roll the chocolate dough if you refrigerate it for about 20 minutes first.
  • The dough won’t stick to your hands wet. I had to rinse my hands every 4 balls or so.
  • These cookies freeze pretty well for later.

 

 

Perfectly Easy Dinner Rolls

This is one of my favorite dinner roll recipes. It tastes like a combination of a yeast and sweet bread. The best part is that it is an icebox dough that requires no kneading and can be made up to 4 days ahead. How convenient is that. Just take it out of the refrigerator when ready to bake them, let rise, and bake for the perfect rolls every time.

Perfectly Easy Dinner Rolls

Perfectly Easy Dinner Rolls

Makes 2 dozen

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm water (105 – 115 degrees F)
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • additional melted butter (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine the warm water and yeast in a large bowl. Let the mixture stand until yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes
  2. Stir in butter, sugar, eggs, and salt. Beat in the flour, 1 cup at a time, until dough is too stiff to mix (some flour may not be needed).
  3. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or up to 4 days.
  4. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Turn the chilled dough out onto a lightly floured board. Divide dough into 24 equal size pieces. Roll each piece into a smoot round ball; place balls in even rows in the prepared pan.
  5.  Cover and let dough balls rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  7. Bake until rolls are golden brown, 15 – 20 minutes. Brush warm rolls with melted butter, if desired. Break rolls apart to serve.

Helpful Hints:

  1. Don’t use quick-rise dry yeast if planning to keep in fridge more than 2 hours.
  2. When letting rolls rise ensure they are in a warm place.  (My kitchen stays pretty cold from A/C so I let my rolls rise in the oven that I have heated a little and then turned off.)
  3. Before adding the yeast mixture, use an instant read thermometer to check the temperature of the water. If the water is too cold or too hot the yeast won’t foam.
  4. When putting dough balls in baking pan to rise, leave room between each one for them to rise and just touch rather then havint them crowded. The first time I made these, I made that mistake.

Slow Cooker Cheesy Potato Soup

You probably have figured out by know that I love recipes that taste wonderful but aren’t time consuming. With two boys, I don’t have a lot of time on my hands. So I am always on the look out for slow cooker recipes that will pass the family approval and be ready when we get home. I tried this one and was very impressed. Potato soup is always a warm filling meal, but I was looking for a twist. Even though this recipe has the word “cheesy” in it, it isn’t an overpowering cheese flavor.

A Soup to warm and fill you up

Slow Cooker Cheesy Potato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 2 t. onion powder
  • 5 cups diced peeled potatoes
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 t. sea salt
  • 1 T. dried chives
  • 1/4 t. pepper
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1/2 c. skim milk
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. Cook bacon until crispy. Allow to cool on paper towel, then crumble. Place in fridge for later.
  2. Spray  3 1/2 to 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In cooker, mix potatoes, chicken broth, onion powder, pepper, salt, dried chives, and sea salt.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours or until potatoes are starting to be soft.
  4. Melt butter and mix with skim milk and heavy cream. Whisk in flour to cream mixer and add to slow cooker. Cook on high for 30 minutes or so until soup starts to thicken.
  5. Add shredded cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Stir in bacon and serve.

Makes 6 servings of 1 2/3 cup each)

 

Chocolate Truffle Pie

It has been a little while since I posted, but with the holidays things get hectic. Enough of excuses though. This pie is one I made for the first time for Thanksgiving. It was very popular and so good. Everyone that tried it said it did taste like a truffle. Be forewarned though, it is very rich so take a small slice first to try. I got this recipe off of the Betty Crocker website.

Life is good with chocolate pie close by

Chocolate Truffle Pie

Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
  • 1/4 c. butter or margarine, melted

Filling

  • 1 bag (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 egg yolks

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 T powdered sugar
  • Unsweetened baking cocoa, if desired

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, mix cookie crumbs and butter. In an un-greased 9-inch pie plate, press crumb mixture in bottom and 1 inch up sides.
  2. In double boiler set over hot simmering water, heat chocolate chips 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently until melted and smooth. Gradually add 1 cup whipping cream, whisking constantly, until contained.; Stir in vanilla and egg yolk until well blended. Cook over medium-low heat 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened and hot. Pour filling into crust. Refrigerated at least 3 hours or until firm.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat 1/2 cup whipping cream and the powdered sugar with electric mixer on high-speed 1 to 2 minutes or until soft peaks form. Top individual servings with whipped cream. Dust with cocoa.
Helpful hints:
  1. You can use a pre-made chocolate crumb crust instead of making your own. Just bake crust before pouring filling in it.
  2. When using the double-boiler, you want the water to just barely boil instead of a rolling boil.
  3. Whisking the cream and chocolate chips works better than using a spoon to ensure that the mixture is well combined and creamy.

Cheese Bread

I don’t know about you, but part of the wonderfulness of Thanksgiving is the leftover turkey sandwiches for the next few weeks. There is nothing more tasty then turkey and Muenster cheese on fresh bread.  So I started to browse my many cookbooks for different bread recipes to try with turkey. (I have plenty of turkey to experiment with). I found this recipe in my Great American Home Baking cookbook. This cheese bread recipe looked good in the picture as well as said it was a great sandwich bread with a “unique rich flavor” because of the cheese. That was all it took for me to try it.  I’m sure it tastes good with lunch meat, but if you love leftover turkey sandwiches like my family, you need to try this bread recipe. Don’t forget the added bonus of having a house filled with the wonderful smell of baking bread.

Cheese Bread

Cheese Bread

  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup warm water (105° – 115° F)
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water (105° – 115° F)
  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (preferably stone-ground)
  • 2 t. salt
  • 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (about 8 oz)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in 2/3 cup warm water. Let stand until foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, whole wheat flour, and salt. Stir in the cheese.
  3. Stir the remaining 2 1/2 cups warm water into yeast mixture.
  4. Using heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with a bread paddle attachment and set on low-speed, beat the flour mixture (1/2 cup at time), into the yeast mixture until a stiff dough forms.
  5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 to 10 minutes. Continue to add flour as needed to prevent sticking.
  6. Grease a large bowl, and place dough in it to rise, turning to cover in grease.
  7. Cover loosely with damp cloth and let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 40 minutes.
  8. Punch down dough. Turn onto lightly floured surface again and knead for 1 to 2 minutes.
  9. Grease a baking sheet.
  10. Divide dough into 2 equal sections, and form into a round loaf. Place on greased baking sheet and cover loosely with damp towel again.
  11. Place in warm place to rise until almost doubled, about 2o minutes.
  12. Preheat oven to 375°.
  13. Bake loaves until they are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped, about 35 minutes.
  14. Transfer loaves to wire rack to cool.
Helpful hints:
  1. The temperature of the warm water that is mixed with the yeast is very important. If the water is too cold, the yeast won’t activate. If the water is too hot, it will kill it.
  2. Placing in a warm place is also important to ensure your bread rises. I keep my house pretty cold, so I heat my oven slightly to just warm and then turn off. I then place my bread dough in it to rise.
  3. The rising times aren’t an exact time, but a rule of thumb.
  4. Experiment with other cheeses, such as Gruyére or Jarisberg or others for a different flavor.
  5. Nothing tastes better than warm bread out of the oven with melted butter and a glass of milk!
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