Tuesday, June 29, 2010

#105 :: Steak & Chicken Fajitas with Poblano Peppers

Tonight was experimental dinner night! I'm beginning to try my hand at selecting my own spices and ingredients, rather than follow a recipe. I'm sure it will end up in disaster eventually, but tonight it was perfect! I read so many recipes about what to marinate fajita meat in, and I didn't like any one in particular. So, I chose my own ingredients that I knew I liked and created my own marinade. The steak was amazing! The chicken was good, but I think it needed to marinate longer to pickup more of the flavors. I let them all marinate for about 2 hours.


For Fajitas:

1 lb. flank steak
2 small chicken breasts
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Poblano Pepper
1 Large Onion, sliced
1 Jalapeno, seeded and diced (optional)
1 Tbsp. Oil
Sour Cream
Quesadilla Cheese, grated

For Marinade:

Make your marinade in two separate freezer bags. In each bag, add:

1 garlic clove, smashed
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp. Oil (Olive, Vegetable, your choice...)
1 Tbsp. Coarsely Chopped Cilantro
1/2 tsp. Chili Powder
1/2 tsp. Cumin
1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste


Mix marinade ingredients in two freezer bags. Add the chicken to one and the steak to the other. Let them marinate for at least one hour.

Using tongs, broil (or roast over an open flame) all of the peppers until charred on all sides. Seal the peppers in a ziploc bag for about 15 minutes so they can steam and soften the skin. Remove the charred skin, using a paper towel if necessary. Remove the veins and seeds, then slice into strips. Slice the onion into strips as well. Remove the seeds and veins from the jalapeno and dice.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a pan. When hot, add the onions and peppers. Cook until the onions are caramelized and remove from heat.

Remove the chicken and steak from the marinade and grill them. The steak only takes a few minutes on each side, and the chicken should take a few minutes longer on each side than the steak. Our steak took 5 minutes, the chicken took 15. Let the meat sit for a few minutes before slicing into fajita strips.

Pile your meat, peppers & onions, jalapeno, sour cream and cheese into a flour tortilla. Roll it up and enjoy.

Makes 2-3 servings

Recipe from Amy :)

Star Rating: -- Steak: 5 out of 5 stars -- Chicken: 4 out of 5 stars

Monday, June 28, 2010

#104 :: Mexi-Burgers

This was just a "throw it all together and throw it on the grill" recipe. We had some red bell peppers and onions, plus some leftover Avocado Aioli from another meal, so we decided to create some Mexi-Burgers. They were definitely good... and no recipe was required!


1/2 lb. hamburger beef
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, diced (small)
1/2 small yellow onion, diced (small)
Salt, Pepper & Chili Powder to season
Quesadilla Cheese
Lettuce and Tomato Slices
Avocado Aioli


Saute the diced red bell pepper and onion just until the onions are translucent. Allow them to cool. Season the beef patties with salt, pepper and chili powder (to your own taste).

Add the peppers and onions to the beef and mix in with your hands. Separate the meat into two patties. Grill until done (8-10 minutes) or longer if you like yours well done.

Tip: Add the quesadilla cheese to the burger just a few minutes before it's done grilling, so it will begin to melt.

Makes 2 servings

Recipe by Amy :)

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, June 24, 2010

#103 :: Lime Cilantro Marinade

This was an O.K. marinade. We both agreed yesterday's was better, but this was good for a change from the regular plain grilled chicken breast. They didn't get to marinate as long as they did yesterday (today we left them in the marinade for an hour, yesterday was 3 hours) so that might have a little to do with it. The recipe mentions using the chicken for fajitas, which we didn't do but I think would make even better use of the flavor of this marinade. It would have been great for fajitas!


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive or other oil


Place the chicken in a shallow bowl. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the chicken, turning the breasts to coat both sides. Let set about 30 minutes. Heat a grill to high heat. Grill the breasts until just cooked through, turning to brown both sides. (The amount of time depends on the thickness of the breasts and the heat of the grill.) Remove from grill, tent with foil, and let rest about 5 minutes before serving. If using in the fajitas, carve into thin slices.

Note: Breasts can also be cooked in a grill pan, skillet or under a hot broiler.

Makes 4 servings

Recipe from Teri's Kitchen

Star Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

#102 :: Lemon Dijon Marinade

I noticed that we hadn't really done any marinades since we started this blog, so I decided to try some different varieties of marinades this week. This lemon Dijon marinade was the first, and Jamie loved it! He all but licked the plate clean when he was done! :) We served it with one of our new favorites, roasted broccoli.


  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup good olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts, bone-in and skin-on


In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Set aside.

Place the chicken breasts in a baking dish large enough to hold them in a single layer and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Pour half the marinade over the chicken, reserving the other half to use later. Allow the chicken to marinade for at least two hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Roast the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the oven and pour the remaining marinade over the top of the chicken. Cover the dish with aluminium foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Makes 2 servings

Recipe from Barefoot Contessa on Food Network

Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

#101 :: Mexican Rice

This rice was definitely good, but it just felt like it was missing a little something. I'm used to Mexican rice in Texas, and maybe they use a certain spice that's not in this recipe. I'm going to keep trying rice recipes until I find something that tastes like what I remember from home! But for now, this rice is good enough to serve with my Mexican meals!


  • 3 vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 1 large finely diced carrot
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups medium-grain rice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 whole serrano chile
  • 1/4 cup fresh or frozen peas, thawed


Cut the tomatoes in half, and remove the seeds. Add the tomatoes and 2 cups of broth to a blender and puree. Strain into a bowl and reserve the liquid. Add enough extra broth to make 4 cups of liquid.

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrots and saute for 4 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Stir in the rice and cook until slightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato broth mixture, stir and bring to boil. Add the salt, bay leaf, and the serrano chile. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from heat. Scatter the peas over the top of the rice, cover, and let the rice stand 5 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork, transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

Makes 6-8 servings

Recipe from Mexican Made Easy on Food Network

Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

#100 :: Mexican Shrimp Burgers with Avocado Aioli

Our 100th recipe! When I started this blog, I wasn't sure we'd make it this far!

I'm so glad the new season of Mexican Made Easy has started. I don't think I've ever made anything from this show on Food Network that I didn't like! These burgers were amazing, and putting them together was surprisingly easy. At first it seemed like a lot of ingredients, but the prep is easy; just toss everything in a food processor, shape into patties and toss on the grill. Done! Same for the avocado aioli; throw the ingredients in the food processor, give it a whiz, and you're done. Couldn't be easier!



  • 1 pound medium uncooked shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 3/4 cup plain bread crumbs, plus more as needed
  • 1 poblano chile, roasted, peeled, stemmed, seeded, and diced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Avocado Aioli:

  • 1 Hass avocado, halved, pitted, and peeled
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 serrano chile, stemmed, halved and seeded (we omitted the serrano)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 hamburger buns, split in half
  • 3 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 6 lettuce leaves or a mixture of baby lettuce leaves



In a food processor, combine the shrimp, egg, cilantro, garlic, 3/4 cup bread crumbs, poblano chile, salt, and pepper. Process until the mixture is a coarse puree. Form the mixture into 6 patties and set aside (if the mixture is too wet, add additional bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture can be molded easily).

Put a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Brush the patties with vegetable oil and grill until golden, about 3 minutes per side, depending on the thickness.

Avocado Aioli:

Scoop the avocado pulp into the bowl of a food processor. Add the mayonnaise, lime juice, garlic cloves, serrano chile and cilantro. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

To assemble:

Serve the shrimp burgers on buns, topped with a dollop of avocado aioli, sliced tomato, and lettuce.

Makes 6 servings

Recipe from Mexican Made Easy on Food Network

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Monday, June 14, 2010

#99 :: Watermelon Mint Agua Fresca

Cool and refreshing...perfect for hot summer days!


  • 4 cups watermelon, seeded and cubed (about 3 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 24 mint leaves, divided
  • 8 tablespoons super-fine sugar (adjust if too sweet when using a naturally sweeter watermelon), divided
  • 4 very thin lime slices, halved into half moons, divided


Add the watermelon and the water to a blender, and puree until smooth. Divide the mint leaves, sugar and lime slices among 8 glasses and muddle the ingredients. Add ice to each glass and pour in the watermelon agua fresco. Stir and serve.

Makes 8 servings

Recipe from Mexican Made Easy on Food Network

Star Rating: 5 out of 5

#98 :: Ginger Lime Soy Shrimp

I thought this marinade smelled kinda funny and wasn't sure if I would like it or not. Then when Jamie dropped them onto the grill, the smell turned heavenly! I wasn't really sure what to pair this shrimp with, since it had such a variety of interesting ingredients in the marinade....so we decided to put it on top of a simple salad of Romain lettuce and feta cheese. It was light and wonderful!


  • 2 large shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped (we used 1/2 tsp of ground ginger)
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds large shrimp, shells and tails on


Place shallots, ginger, garlic, soy, lime juice, and sugar in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the green onion and oil and blend until combined. Season with black pepper, to taste. Place shrimp in a large bowl, pour the marinade over, and let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Preheat a grill to high. Remove shrimp from the marinade and grill for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Serve on brown paper bags, if desired.

Makes 8 servings

Recipe from Boy Meets Grill on Food Network

Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Thursday, June 10, 2010

New Easy Recipe Search Feature

I added a cool new feature to the blog! Now you can easily search through all of our recipes in 3 different ways!

- Search by ingredient
(ie, pork, beef, chicken, cayenne, thyme, heavy cream, carrots, lemon, etc.....)
This is great for situations like.....if you have some fresh Thyme from the garden and want a great recipe to use it in, browse the recipes under "thyme". If you have some heavy cream in the refrigerator that you want to use up before it turns, browse the "heavy cream" recipes. Look up any particular ingredient to see recipes that use it.

- Search by course
(ie, appetizer, side dishes, salads, soups, desserts, etc...)
If you're not committed to a certain ingredient, try browsing all of the "salads" for a starter course. Need a dessert to take to a dinner party? You can browse just the "dessert" recipes.

- Search by region
(ie, Mexican, Italian, Southern......more to come!)
Mexican, Italian and Southern are our favorites, so we have the most recipes posted in these categories so far. Before the year is out we hope to add Thai, Japanese, Chinese, German and Mediterranean, so check back for new search categories!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

#97 :: Herb Tilapia with Green Beans

This is a one pan meal! It had the potential to be really good, but the crust didn't stick to my fish! Most of it ended up stuck to the bottom of the pan -- not burned, just stuck....and I'm not really sure why. It's said to cook over med/high heat (so I used medium), plenty of butter in the pan, followed the instructions to the letter.....all I can think is that the heat should have been higher so they spent less time in the pan. I got the perfect golden color I was looking for, it just wouldn't stick to the fish! Anyway, the important part is that the flavor was good, even if most of the fish had crumbled coatings. (Luckily we got one piece that turned out alright, so we were able to use it for the photo).


  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano, plus more for garnish (we used 1 tsp. dried)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (we used 1 tsp. dried)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 6-ounce tilapia fillets
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 pound thin green beans or haricots verts
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved (we skipped the tomatoes!)
  • Juice of 1 lemon


Combine the flour, oregano and parsley in a shallow dish. Season with salt and pepper.

Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge the fish in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in the skillet, then add 2 fillets and cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook through, 1 to 2 more minutes. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining 2 fillets.

Add the green beans and garlic to the skillet and cook about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then add the tomatoes and cook until just softened, about 1 more minute. Stir in the lemon juice and 1/4 cup water, then cover and cook until the beans are tender, about 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter until just melted.

Divide the fish and vegetables among plates. Garnish with oregano.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe from Food Network

Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Sunday, June 6, 2010

#96 :: Low Country Smothered Pork Chops

This recipe was just calling my name! It takes a while to prepare, so it's definitely not a meal to make when you have a busy night, but the time it takes is really worth it. The pork chops are fall apart tender, and there's a hint of a bite from the cayenne. I took advantage of the break in the rain to grill some sweet corn to go with the pork chops, and of course we had to have mashed potatoes as well. Perfect choice for a Sunday supper....


  • 4 center-cut pork chops, 1-inch thick
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, spread on a plate
  • 2 medium green bell peppers, stemmed, cored, and membranes removed, cut into strips
  • 2 yellow onions, trimmed, cut lengthwise
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 to 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce


Trim the excess fat from the chops and season well with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Lightly roll the chops in flour, shake off the excess, and slip them into the pan. Brown well, about 3 minutes per side, and remove them to a plate.

Add the bell peppers and onions, to the skillet, and saute until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about half a minute longer. Push the vegetables to the side of the skillet. Add chops to pan and place vegetables on top of pork chops. Pour in the broth and sprinkle with Worcestershire sauce. Cover pan with foil and allow to simmer for 45 minutes or until chops are tender.

Makes 4 servings

Recipe from Paula's Best Dishes on Food Network

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Saturday, June 5, 2010

#95 :: Crispy Skinned Herb & Lemon Butter Chicken

I made this one up on my own! I'm so proud of myself! I surveyed the cabinets and the refrigerator, chose some ingredients, applied a cooking method I've learned, and voila! This is my first recipe creation, and it was GOOD!

  • 8 chicken leg quarters with skin on, patted dry
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 stick butter
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried rosemary
  • Several sprigs of fresh thyme, tied in a bundle
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Parmesan (I sprinkled it over the chicken before serving)


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Lay out the chicken legs, pat them dry with a paper towel, and then season them with salt.

In a sauce pan over low heat, add butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, thyme, rosemary, and a pinch of salt. Heat on low until butter is melted.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick fry pan over medium heat. Pat the chicken dry once more, as the salt will bring out any additional moisture from the skin. Fry the chicken over medium heat, skin side down, for 7-10 minutes until skin is golden and crisp. Flip the chicken, cook the other side for about 2 minutes, and transfer the legs to a baking dish, skin side up.

Remove the thyme sprigs from the butter mixture, then pour over the chicken. Bake at 425 for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with Parmesan, and serve.

Makes 8 legs / 4 servings

Recipe from ME! :)

Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

#94 :: Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

This entire dinner cooked in just 30 minutes (Tilapia 7 minutes, Rice 10 minutes, Broccoli 30 minutes). The Parmesan sauce was extremely simple to whip up, and it was so good it melted in your mouth. Boil-In-A-Bag rice and roasted broccoli were just as fast and easy to prepare. Quick, easy, healthy and delicious.....the best kind of meal!


  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon celery salt
  • 2 pounds tilapia fillets


  1. Preheat your oven's broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery salt. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to over cook the fish.

**Roasted Broccoli: Place broccoli florets on a baking pan, drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle salt & pepper, and roast in the oven at 400 for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle Parmesan, and roast for another 10 minutes.

Makes 8 servings.

Recipe from AllRecipes

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

#93 :: Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

I made these for the Great American Bake Sale this past weekend and everyone loved them! They were all amazed at how it tasted just like the big pineapple upside down cake. It's really the same thing, just made in cupcake size instead of full size.


Fruit Topping

  • 1 can (20 oz.) pineapple chunks
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

Cupcake Batter

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 1/2 cup reserved pineapple juice or milk
  • 1 egg


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or grease a nonstick muffin pan.

Drain the pineapple chunks, reserving 1/2 cup juice for the batter, if desired. Place the pineapple on a double layer of paper towels to drain completely.

In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and melted butter. Divide evenly among the muffin pan cups. Arrange the pineapple chunks decoratively on top of the sugar mixture. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder. With an electric mixer, mix in the butter and pineapple juice, beating for 2 minutes to make a smooth batter. Beat in the egg.

Spoon the batter over the fruit in the muffin pan, filling each cup three quarters full. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes, then place a wire rack on top of the muffin pan and invert the cupcakes onto the rack so that pineapple is on top. Let cool completely.

Recipe from The Best Bake Sale Ever Cookbook by Barbara Grunes

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars