Secret Recipe Club: Slow-Cooker Shredded Tex-Mex Chicken Monday, Oct 29 2012 

It’s my favourite Monday of the month again, time for Secret Recipe Club! I love getting assigned a blog, browsing through it, picking a new recipe to make, review, and rave about. 🙂  This month, I was assigned to Amy’s Fearless Homemaker’s blog. She has beautiful photography of her food! I can only dream of being able to do that. 🙂  (Doesn’t help that I live so far in northern Canada that it’s already dark when we eat supper. Natural lighting sure adds to beautiful photography!)

When I received her blog as my next assignment, I found it very easy to pick a recipe! It’s a recipe she had just posted: Slow-Cooker Shredded Tex-Mex Chicken! It looked amazing, and something my little family would love. I was right!

I served the shredded chicken with homemade salsa, corn, diced green peppers, and shredded cheese, on homemade tortillas! Delicious!

Slow-Cooker Tex-Mex Pulled Chicken

1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder (I used less as my boys are not overly fond of spicy)
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon paprika
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-2″ pieces
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup (packed) cilantro leaves, chopped (I omitted this)
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice

Place all ingredients in the slow-cooker. Cook on low for 3-4 hours, until chicken is cooked through and tender. The chicken pieces will be very tender at this point – you can either leave them as is, or shred them. I used a fork and pressed all the chunks to break them apart, right in the slow-cooker.

Serve with corn or flour tortillas. Can be served with rice, beans, salsa, sour cream, green peppers, corn, cheese, and any other toppings you desire!


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Zucchini Fritters Monday, Oct 8 2012 

I bought a large zucchini at a farmers’ market this fall. I shredded it all up and froze it into baggies to use as Zucchini Bread, and Zucchini Brownies. I also wanted to try making Zucchini Fritters, as I had some at a friends’ this summer and really enjoyed it. I followed a recipe from here, with just a few tweaks. It’s a bit plain in taste, but I prefer it that way due to my boys’ still-budding taste buds. 🙂  They ate theirs with ketchup, while I ate mine with homemade green ketchup! I’m glad there are leftovers to eat tomorrow for lunch. 🙂

Zucchini Fritters

2 cups zucchini, shredded
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour (I used wheat)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4-1/2 cup cheese

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Heat a frying pan, add some oil, and drop zucchini mixture by heaping tablespoonfuls, and cook for a few minutes on medium-low heat, until golden on each side.

Hearty Harvest Bread Monday, Mar 19 2012 

I was wanting to make a very healthy bread, packed with nutrients, iron, and overall goodness. A bread that can boost the system, and help one recover from a long illness. So, I partially followed a recipe from Eat More Whole Grains, and adapted it to my preference. 🙂  Bread is versatile (other than the basic water, yeast, and flour!), so go ahead and experiment! I was pleased with how fluffy this bread turned out, even though it has so many hearty ingredients.

 

Hearty Harvest Bread

3 1/2 cups lukewarm water
3 Tbsp yeast
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup flax, ground (I use my coffee grinder)
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 cup cracked grain (I used Red River ceral)
2 eggs
1 cup lentil puree*
2 Tbsp vinegar/lemon juice (keeps bread more moist)
1 chewable vitamin C (I have powder vitamin C, keeps bread moist longer, optional)
3/4 cup oatmeal, cooked**
1/4 cup molasses (I used blackstrap, richer in iron)
11-15 cups flour (I used spelt)

If using regular yeast: dissolve yeast, and water, let sit 3 minutes. (If using instant yeast, simply add it in with the flour – saves a step!)

Add remaining ingredients, except flour, and mix briefly. Add flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Knead to develop the gluten. Depending if you knead by machine or hand, it may take 8-12 minutes (4 minutes for spelt flour). Place in a slightly greased bowl, cover, let rise until it doubles in volume (about 1hr). Punch down, let rise another 30-45 min until it has risen again. Punch down, divide into 4 sections, shape into loaves. Place in greased bread pans, cover and let rise until doubled. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cover the tops with foil paper towards the end of cooking time if the crusts get darker than desired. Cool completely on cooling rack.

Freezes well! When thawing out, remove loaf from bag so the moisture doesn’t make bread soggy.

* I cooked red lentils until mushed, similarly to oatmeal! 1/2 cup lentils and 1 1/4 cup water, bring to a boil and let simmer for 20-30 minutes until cooked and mushed. Can blend in blender, if desired. I used it as is.
** I put 1/3 cup of quick oatmeal in a bowl, add 2/3 cup water, microwave for 1 minute, and voila! Ready to throw into the bread. 🙂

Homemade Applesauce Friday, Mar 16 2012 

This past Fall, I was able to get a lot of apples, and make tons of applesauce! I meant to blog about it, and kinda forgot until now. So, better late than never? Now you’ll know where to come for a tutorial on making applesauce next Fall! 🙂

First you start with a cutie baby…. and apples. 🙂

Wash your apples, then set your husband and friend to work, cutting them in quarters!

 

Fill your pots with apple chunks, and add just a little bit of water at the bottom of the pot (1″or less). The apples will make water of their own, so you just need enough so it doesn’t stick at the bottom before they do. Let the apples cook on medium heat until completely soft, stirring occasionally.

 

Place apples through a sieve, to squish out the applesauce and separate out the seeds and skin. If you don’t have one of these, you’ll need to peel/core your apples before cooking them, then putting the cooked apples through a blender or food processor to puree. A  lot more work, which makes using one of these so worth it if you plan on making applesauce regularly!

It’s a fair bit of work to push through the applesauce…. yummy applesauce! So worth it! 🙂

 

Oooooooh la la! Sooooooo good! Once it’s pureed, you can eat plain, or add cinnamon and sugar. I add cinnamon, but never sugar as I like its own natural sweetness.

 

Applesauce freezes really well, or you may can it using the hot water bath method. I like canning mine as I don’t have tons of freezer space.

I looove the sight of canned goods! 🙂  This Fall I canned applesauce, apple juice, carrots, and pumpkin. We’ve been enjoying it!

Lasagna Friday, Mar 9 2012 

When I got married, a mentor of mine put together a recipe book with some of her good trusted recipes which has been using for years. What an awesome wedding gift! This lasagna recipe is hers, and I’m sharing it in case you don’t already have a recipe. Who doesn’t like lasagna?! 🙂

Lasagna

12 lasagna noodles
1 1/3lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 jars pasta sauce (500-700ml each) – I use homemade
2 Tbsp parsley
1 container (500g) cottage cheese
1 egg
1 cup shredded cheese

Cook 12 lasagna noodles for 10-12 minutes.*

Cook ground beef and onion. Stir in pasta sauce and 2 Tbsp parsley.

Mix cottage cheese with the egg.

Spread in layers, in a 9×13″ pan:
1/4 meat sauce
Noodles
1/4 meat sauce
Noodles
Cottage cheese
Noodles
1/4 meat sauce
Noodles
1/4 meat sauce
Cheese

Bake at 350F for 45 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving, as it sets the layers better.

*My Mom told me that you can skip cooking the noodles first, even if they are not ready-to-use noodles, as long as you have enough liquid in the lasagna and cook it a bit longer. That’s how I always do mine now! Saves a step, saves some dirty dishes, and is much quicker!

Easy Corn Tortillas Wednesday, Mar 7 2012 

My friends were talking about an easy homemade corn tortilla recipe recently. I was intrigued since we love tortillas but seldom have them. Why? Because they are so expensive in my area, and I seldom make them since they are quite a bit of work homemade!

They graciously gave me their recipe, and I tried them that night. Why postpone what can be made right away?! 🙂

I had high hopes of it turning out like a regular tortilla (but corn-flavoured), but it’s not like a regular tortilla. It’s more like a crepe. It cooks like a crepe, it tastes like it too! But it worked! My husband said “You can definitely do these again!” 🙂

If you’re up for a super easy recipe, to use in place of a tortilla, you may want to try this one out! I’ll be making it again. So simple, and so cheap to make. 🙂

 

Easy Corn Tortillas

2 cups flour (I used spelt)
1 cup cornmeal
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups water (probably will need to add more to thin out batter as you go on)

Mix all ingredients together. Makes a runny batter. Simply pour 1/4 cup into frying pan and spread it out immediately to make it thin. Flip it when the edges curl.

Voila! That easy! I bet these would also taste good for breakfast, or with dessert toppings inside. Mmmmm!

Secret Recipe Club: Sweet Potato Wedges Monday, Feb 27 2012 

Doesn’t this supper look yummy?! Steak topped with roasted onions, garlic and mushrooms, fresh homemade baguette, and sweet potato wedges! Oh, we had salad too. 🙂

This month, I was assigned Lynsey Lou’s blog, through the Secret Recipe Club in which I participate. I always look forward to seeing which blog I get assigned to, and browsing through. I end up opening tons of tabs with possible recipes to choose from, then have to somehow narrow down to one!! That was the “problem” again this month looking through Linsey Lou’s blog. 🙂

I decided on these Sweet Potato Wedges, as I don’t often cook with sweet potatoes but want to experiment with them more. I was disappointed at all with these! Easy to make, minimal ingredients, and very tasty. Thanks Lynsey for a yummy recipe!

Sweet Potato Wedges

1/2 Cup, plus 2 Tablespoons butter
1 1/2 Teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 Sweet potatoes, cleaned and cut length wise into wedges
2 Teaspoons salt
2 Teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
A little brown sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large pan, over medium heat, melt the butter.  Remove pan from heat and stir in the cinnamon, then add in the potato wedges and toss to combine.  Season the potatoes with salt and pepper.

Place wedges in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Roast the potatoes stirring occasionally, until tender, about 20-25 minutes.  Remove from oven, sprinkle brown sugar (if desired) and serve warm.

Recipe source: Paula Deen, Food Network


Banana Oatmeal (Chocolate Chip) Muffins Friday, Feb 17 2012 

My husband really loves banana chocolate chip muffins. I like this recipe because it’s more hearty due to the oatmeal! I like the chewiness of oatmeal in muffins. 🙂  The chocolate chips are optional, of course!

Banana Oatmeal (Chocolate Chip) Muffins

1 cup oatmeal
1 cup milk
2 cups flour (white/wheat/spelt)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup melted butter/margarine
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups banana, mushed (4-5 bananas)
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (optional)

Mix together oatmeal and milk.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Add melted butter, eggs, vanilla and bananas to the oatmeal and milk. Combine wet and dry ingredients, mixing only until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips, if desired. Spoon into greased/lined muffin tins.

Bake 20 minutes at 375F, or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

Blueberry Oatmeal Coconut Muffins Wednesday, Feb 15 2012 

I first had this muffin “back in the day” when I was a bank teller. Before kids. Nearly 4 years ago! Seems like another lifetime. 🙂  Every Friday was casual Friday and we took turns bringing in a snack for our co-workers. My supervisor brought these and I LOVED them. They are still a favourite around here!

I recently realized that I never shared this delicious recipe on here, so without delay, here it is!

 

Blueberry Oatmeal Coconut Muffins

1 cup oatmeal (rolled, or quick)
1 cup flour (wheat, spelt, white, or a combinaison)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup coconut
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup oil
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup blueberries

Combine oatmeal and buttermilk, soak for 30 minutes.

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

Blend oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla and coconut. Add oatmeal and buttermilk. Stir in flour mixture, stirring only to moisten.

Fold in blueberries. Spoon into greased/lined muffin tins.

Bake 20-25 minutes at 350F, or until toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean.

Cool on cooling rack, enjoy!

Valentine’s Day Muffins Friday, Feb 10 2012 

(Pictured: Blueberry Oatmeal Coconut Muffin! Recipe to come soon!)

Valentine’s Day muffins!! Isn’t it cute? It’ll make a perfect Valentine’s Day breakfast (or snack)! Make your husband/children’s favourite muffins in a heart-shape!

It’s so simple. Fill your muffin tin papers with batter, then slide a marble on one end. Keep it closer to the top so that you see the definitely heart-shape on the muffin top. If you push it down too far, it will look like you just squished the muffin when it was warm. 😉

See? Only takes a few extra seconds, and you have a cute heart-shape muffins to give to your loved ones!

Here are some of my favourite muffin recipes:

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Muffins

Cappuccino Muffins

Bran Muffins

Chocolate Banana Pecan Muffins

 

Shared at Kitchen Tip Tuesday!

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