Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chicken Tacos

This is not the first recipe I have tried for chicken, made in the slow cooker for tacos.  The first recipe I tried I was not overly impressed with.  This one however, exceeded my expectations.  It was incredibly moist and so very flavorful.  I will definitely be making this again and again.

Shredded Chicken for Tacos
Source:  Cooking Classy
2.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast halves
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup Zesty Italian Salad dressing
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, optional (adjust according to desired heat preference or omit)

Place chicken breast halves in the slow cooker.  In a mixing bowl whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour mixture over chicken in slow cooker, cover slow cooker with lid. Cook chicken on low heat 6 - 8 hours. Shred chicken (it's so tender I usually just shred it in the slow cooker without even removing it), then cook shredded chicken in broth in slow cooker an additional 30 minutes on low. Drain broth from chicken. Serve warm in tacos, burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, taquitos etc

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Texas Sheet Cake Brownies

I love Texas Sheet Cake so when I saw this recipe on Six Sister's Stuff I was eager to try it.  I have to say that it was more cake-like than brownie-like, but either way it is scrumptious!  It is really moist and not too sweet.

Texas Sheet Cake Brownies
Source: Six Sister's Stuff

For one 17 1/2 x 11" baking pan (48 brownies), you well need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup water
1/4 cup dark, unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup buttermilk*
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2 Tbsp dark cocoa
1/4 cup milk
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

*If you don't have buttermilk, no worries! Mix 1/2 cup milk with 2 tsp vinegar or lemon juice. Let sit for a minute before adding to other ingredients.

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and the sugar.
2. In heavy saucepan, combine butter, shortening, water, and cocoa. Stir and heat to boiling.
3. Pour boiling mixture over the flour and sugar in the bowl. Add the buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla.
4. Mix well using a wooden spoon or high speed on an electric mixer.
5. Pour into a well greased 17 1/2x11" pan (like a cookie sheet).
6. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until brownies test done in center.
7. While brownies bake, prepare the frosting. In a saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa, and milk. Heat to boiling, stirring.
8. Mix in the powdered sugar and vanilla until frosting is smooth (you may have to whisk it).
9. Pour warm frosting over brownies as soon as you take them out of the oven. Let cool. Cut into 48 bars.

Optional: Sprinkle chopped pecans or peanuts on top of the frosting.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

S'mores Mini Pies

One thing I really love about the seasons is the foods that go with them.  Just as pumpkin makes you think of fall, s'mores scream summer!  

Eating s'mores makes me so happy.  I love the combination of chocolate, marshmallow and graham crackers.  While a s'more in it's pure form is truly amazing, I really love to experiment with all of the different s'more recipes I see all over the web.

These little pies are amazing!  They are crispy on the outside and chocolatey and gooey on the inside.  Exactly how a s'more should be.  They are best warm from the oven but they are also yummy at room temperature.

While these are definitely easy to make, they are a bit time consuming since you have to fill and fold one pie at a time.  You may be tempted to add extra filling but don't!  If you put in too much filling it will burst out of the pie as it bakes.

This is a recipe from Monster Mama, however the recipe below is my slightly adapted version. 

I also want to add that I used this fun little gadget to cut my dough circles and fold over my little pies.  But you can use anything with a circle shape to cut your dough.  A glass works well.  

S'mores Mini Pies

1 box Pillsbury refrigerated pie dough

1/2 c marshmallow creme
2 tbsp cream cheese, soft
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 c choc chips

Crumb mix:
1/2 c graham crackers (about 8 cracker squares, finely crushed)
1/4 c sugar
3 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix together ingredients for crumb mix and set aside.  Mix filling ingredients in a bowl.  

Cut dough into circles using a round cookie cutter or glass.  Brush both sides of dough circles with melted butter and dip in crumb mixture.  Place a scant tablespoon of filling in center of each round.  Fold dough in half and press with a fork to seal.  Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until brown.