Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tortilla Roll-ups

Here's two of my favorite roll-up recipes - Mexican chicken and Italian roll-ups.  They're a great appetizer for a party, or you can slice them in bigger halves for lunch or a picnic.

Mexican Chicken Roll-ups

2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese
2 cups cooked shredded chicken
1 1/3 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
4 green onions, chopped
10 oz. can Rotel, drained
cayenne pepper to taste
salt to taste
half a bunch of cilantro, chopped (optional)

2 packages burrito sized tortillas

-Mix filing ingredients together.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Spread 2 heaping spoonfuls of filing on each tortilla.  Roll up and cut into slices.

Italian Roll-ups
Source:  Midwest Living

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon chives
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, crushed
Salt and Pepper to taste

For wraps:

Combine all ingredients for spread.  Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.  Let come to room temperature, spread a heaping tablespoon over each tortilla and layer with choice of meats.  Roll up and slice.

Pineapple Cheeseball

This is a really yummy cheeseball.  The flavors are so different and unexpected and it's very addicting.  It doesn't really have a name; I'm just calling it the pineapple cheese ball.  Anywho, it would be a great appetizer for all the holiday parties coming up!


8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
small can crushed pineapple, drained (8 oz. I believe)
½ green bell pepper, diced small
2 green onions, chopped small
4 oz. diced pimento, drained
1 teaspoon seasoned salt

Combine all ingredients and chill in refrigerator.  It gets even better the longer it sits.  You can shape it into a ball or serve in a bowl with good snack crackers.


Thanksgiving Menu

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, and lots of great food.  Even after eating sandwiches for five days, I still have half a ham in my fridge.  Anyone have some ham recipes to share??

I hosted my family at our house, a small 7 people; and then later in the evening we went to C's family's Thanksgiving, which is about 60 people.

Here's what was on our menu this year:

Specialty Cocktail:  Sparking Pear Cocktail

Appetizers:  Spicy Crackers, Blue Cheese Walnut Spread

Main Dishes: Turkey Breast, Ham

Side Dishes:  Vinegar Slaw, Mashed Potatoes, Dressing, Gravy, Fried Corn, Roasted Asparagus, Cranberry Relish, Rolls

Dessert:  Apple-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake with ice cream

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cajun Chicken Pasta

This is a great fall recipe; one of my favorites.  A mix of Cajun and Italian - who doesn't love that?  I made this last Sunday while we were watching the Cardinals.  It's also a really quick and easy weeknight meal.  I was surprised that I've never put it up on the blog because I make it a lot during the fall and winter.  Oh well.  Here it is now!

Courtesy of Emeril


1 pound linguine pasta (I had spaghetti on hand and it worked just fine)
1-1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning (I use Slap Ya Mama!)
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped habanero pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1½ cups Half n Half
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
½ cup white wine
½ cup parmesan cheese
chopped green onions, for garnish
chopped parsley, for garnish


  1. Cook pasta in a large stock pot according to package directions.
  2. In a large skillet set to medium-high heat, add butter and olive oil.  Once butter has melted, add chicken and season with 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning and salt to taste.  Sear chicken until brown and cooked through.  Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Add onions and habaneros to pan and saute until lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add wine, Half n Half, tomatoes, remaining tablespoon Cajun seasoning, and reserved chicken to the pan.  Cook until sauce is slightly reduced, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add pasta to the sauce and toss with parmesan.  Serve with green onions and parsley.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Soup

Well, it is officially fall, and you know what that means....soup time!  Chicken Tortilla is one of my favorite soups so I decided that should be the first one I make this season.  This is a different recipe than I normally use, but I decided to try it because it uses those canned chipotle chilis that I love so much.  I always seem to have some extra I need to use up.  This soup is so so good and was really fast to prepare.  I cooked my chicken the night before so that made it even faster.  It is really spicy though, spicier than I thought it would be; but I don't mind spicy food, so something to think about if you don't like things really hot.  Maybe only use one chipotle.

Based off of Rachael Ray


1 pound chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
4-8 cups chicken broth, depending on how soupy you like (I use closer to 8 cups because I like a thinner soup)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 chipotles in adobo, plus 2 teaspoons sauce
28 ounces canned fire-roasted tomatoes (I used diced)

For Serving:

Crushed Tortilla Chips
1 Lime, cut into wedges
Shredded Cheese
Sour Cream
Chopped Onion
Chopped Cilantro


1.  In a soup pot, heat olive oil and cook onion and garlic for 5 minutes then stir in chipotles and tomatoes.
2.  Add in chicken and broth.
3.  Serve with crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese, a squeeze of lime, and any other toppings you like.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Jalapeno Pimiento Cheese

Once you make your own pimiento cheese, you just can't go back to the packaged stuff.  It's not even close to the real thing. 

Pimiento cheese is one of those staples you should always have in your fridge for when unexpected company shows up at your door.  It's great for a tasty snack or appetizer.  And as a grilled pimiento cheese sandwich...oh yum!

Inspired from Southern Living, July 2009

2 blocks sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 ounce jar diced pimientos, drained (I think next time I will use a 7 ounce jar)
½ cup mayonnaise
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons finely diced onion
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste

1.  Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix well.
2.  Place in bowl of food processor and pulse 5 or 6 times to desired consistency.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Salsa Verde Sour Cream Enchiladas and Mexican Rice

{adapted from The Novice Chef}

Printable Recipe

Chicken Enchiladas are one of my favorites to order at our local Mexican restaurant and to make at home.  But sometimes you want something different than your "usual" at the Mexican place.  These hit the spot!  They are so much better than the enchiladas with red sauce at the Mexican restaurant.  The sauce didn't take very long to make and I cooked my chicken the day before, so they came together pretty quickly . 

Cal really liked them; he had seconds and thought about thirds.  Definitely a keeper.  I'm always trying to get him to eat more chicken.


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 Serrano peppers diced (I used 1 green bell pepper)
2 Jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups sour cream
16 ounce jar Medium Salsa Verde
1½ teaspoons cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Flour Tortillas, fajita size
½ medium onion, diced
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend


Preheat oven to 350°.

In a medium size sauce pan, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Saute green pepper and jalapeno peppers until soft, add garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in flour and cook 1-2 minutes.  Whisk in the chicken broth and let cook until bubbly.  Stir in sour cream, salsa, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper and garlic powder, until sauce is smooth.  Remove from heat.

Spray/grease a 9x13 baking dish.  Spread 1 cup of sauce to the bottom of the dish.  Combine the diced onion with the shredded chicken.  Add some chicken-onion mixture and cheese to the center of each tortilla, placing seam-side down in the dish.  Pour the sauce over the enchiladas, and top with remaining cheese.  Bake for 25 minutes until brown and bubbly.

I served with Mexican rice and chips and salsa.

Mexican Rice
{from All Recipes}


3 tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ cup chopped onion
1 cup long-grain rice
1½ teaspoon taco seasoning
½ teaspoon cumin
½ cup tomato sauce
2 cups chicken broth


In a large sauce pan, heat oil over medium and add rice and onion.  Cook, stirring frequently until rice is golden and onion is soft.  Sprinkle in taco seasoning and cumin.  Stir in tomato sauce and broth and bring to boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes.  Fluff with a fork.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I have sprouts!

Cilantro, Basil, and Parsley.  Parsley hasn't quite started to sprout yet.  Soon we will have yummy fresh herbs!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Master Bedroom

Paint:  BM Sidewalk Gray

Thanks to my wonderful grandparents, we have a new King size mattress!  And of course we had to get some new bedding that would fit the bigger mattress.  Oh this new bed is pure heaven!  Once you go king sized, you never go back.

Now we need a headboard to go with the new bed.  I think I want an upholstered one, but I'm open to other ideas too (maybe metal?).  And then we'll need some nightstands to go better with the new headboard, (I'm thinking either a silver/mirrored finish or black) and eventually work towards a new dresser and chest of drawers.  Our current Mission-style furniture just doesn't go with the feel I'm going for in here, that and it sticks out too much.

We also need some art above the bed, but of course I'll have to figure out the headboard first.  I want to enlarge a picture from our honeymoon and have it printed in black and white.  And then we need a few more pictures and accessories to complete the room.

We've gotten a lot done in the 3 months we've been here in the new house...

Penne with Five Cheeses

Original Source:  Ina Garten
Printable Recipe

Oh man.  This. Was. Good!  Who would have thought this dish was so easy and quick?!  Hubs liked it so much, he had his first serving and then started eating some more right out of the baking dish! 

I was a little concerned what the blue cheese would taste like in this dish, but it really wasn't overpowering since there is only 1/4 cup.  You can't really taste it at all, just an extra little salty bite.

I may add some chicken or sausage to it next time to make it more of a meal in itself.  We served this on the side of some grilled chicken. 


  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream - I used Half n Half
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes in thick tomato puree - I used 2 cups
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano (1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup shredded imported Italian fontina (1 1/2 ounces) - I used Asiago
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Italian Gorgonzola (1 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced - I shredded
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 pound imported penne rigate pasta
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter


Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Bring 5 quarts of salted water to a boil in a stockpot.
Combine all the ingredients except the penne and butter in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
Drop the penne into the boiling water and parboil for 4 minutes. Drain well in a colander and add to the ingredients in the mixing bowl, tossing to combine.
Pour mixture into a 9x13 casserole dish. Dot with the butter and bake until bubbly and brown on top, 7 to 10 minutes.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dining Room Update

I found a cool mirror and a pair of Chinese rubbings to hang in my dining room. 

We also had a piece of glass cut for the top of our table, so it will be super easy to wipe clean after we eat.  
I'm still working on finding an area rug and some drapes or curtains in here.  And I may have to change the fabric on the chairs.  The cinnamon/rust color is just not working for me.  It's not one of my colors.

Even though it is a dining room and I want to display my pretty wedding gifts, I don't want it to feel too too formal.  I want it to be a comfy place to eat, play games, and have casual get-togethers, not a museum where you can't touch anything.

So here's what the room looks like now.    

And click here to see what the dining room looked like when we bought the furniture over New Years.  Eh, it's a start.  A rug and drapes are my priorities right now.  I just have to find the right ones!  It takes time.  

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chicken and Biscuits

Or, Chicken Pot Pie minus the Pie
Adapted from Southern Living, Feb. 2011
Printable Recipe
  • Frozen or refrigerated biscuits
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 ½ cups frozen cubed hash browns
  • 4 cups chopped cooked chicken, I used a rotisserie chicken
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 package cream cheese (you may not need the whole package, I only used about ¾ of it)
  • 1 packet Italian dressing mix (I only used a little over half of the packet, season to taste)
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  1. Bake biscuits according to package directions.
  2. In a large skillet, sauté onion in oil over medium-high heat until golden.  Add in hash browns and cook 5 minutes until slightly browned and heated.  Add chicken and next 5 ingredients, stirring frequently until cheese is melted and everything is thoroughly heated.  Stir in vegetables and cook 2 minutes until heated through.
  3. Serve over biscuits.
This is a great quick and easy weeknight meal.  Very warm and comforting like Chicken Pot Pie, but in half the time!  Hubs really enjoyed it too, he had 2 big servings. That's always a good sign!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year! Happy New Dining Room Furniture!

I’m way behind again on updating you all about the happenings of our new house.  We moved in the first weekend in December and we’re gradually getting everything organized and in place.  More pictures to come on each room later!

I did manage to get a few Christmas decorations out in the short time I had before December 25.  I decided to do my tree in purple this year, for something fun and different!

2010 Christmas Tree

And of course I had to put my Mizzou snowmen out.


Then, New Year’s weekend we bought some dining room furniture so I had to take my tree down in a hurry (I set it up in the dining room so it wasn’t empty).




Ta da!  It’s an antique Duncan Phyfe style set.  We bought the table, 6 chairs, china cabinet and buffet from a super nice couple in Alabama.  The chairs have just recently been recovered and I actually like the fabric that’s on them!  I may try to incorporate some more dragonflies into my decor in this room.

Now it’s time for a list!

To Do:


-Area rug

-Mirror over buffet

-Dragonfly art