Friday, August 21, 2015

Freestyle Friday:Hospitality

Hey y'all!

Today, I want to talk a little bit about hospitality. I'm actually just going to touch on this topic today and will delve into the different branches of it in more detail in later weeks. Hospitality is defined as "the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers". This topic is one that enhances life so much. It's so meaningful to me, but it seems that the fine art of hospitality has lost its value in today's world. I too, tend to get too ' busy ' & overlook hospitality, but I want to start making a conscious effort to make it blend into everyday life at my home.

Have you ever walked into someone's house & immediately felt just warm and relaxed inside? It's almost like you're greeted with an invisible hug and you know you can make yourself at home there. I believe the hospitable nature of that home - which, of course, is put into place by the host - is what makes you feel that way. Hospitality  does, for the most part, seem to be a fading part of life; but I've been thinking about it a lot lately and I want to bring it into my home as a part of everyday life. Everyday hospitality doesn't mean you have to have someone over every day, but I think it means always welcoming that idea and never letting busyness get into your way of that. I also feel like when you welcome others into your home, even for just a short visit, it enriches life for both you and your guest(s). I think it brings a lot of joy to your life, not to mention the memories you make. 

I've noticed with myself, that a lot of times when I want to catch up with a friend or meet someone new, I always suggest meeting at a restaurant, book store, bakery, etc. I never say, "I would love to catch up with you sometime, Would you like to come over for dessert?". Every time, I suggest somewhere outside of my home. But, starting today, I want to make a more conscious effort to invite friends & family and whoever else this may pertain to, into my home for visits and 'catching up'. For staying connected and a part of each other's lives. I want to challenge each of my readers to do the same. Over the coming weeks, challenge yourself to make your home a more hospitable one.

Some ways of making a hospitable home that come to mind right away are: 

  1. Keeping a tidy home (not perfect, but tidy -we'll go deeper on this later)
  2. Having a refreshing drink (even iced water will do!) on hand
  3. Having goodies of some sort on hand - muffins, cookies, etc.
  4. Flowers on the table
  5. Blankets on couches, chairs
  6. A pleasant scent around the house (achieved by candles, essential oils, etc. or just having windows open!)
  7. Hand lotion & tissues for guests in bathrooms
  8. Invitations for dessert, dinner, or a visit (by phone call or written mail)
  9. A door that opens easily (and I'm not talking about the hinges! ;) )
  10. Your smile! :)
I'm sure there are many more ways to show hospitality in your home, but these are just the first ones that jumped into my mind - things that make a home feel warm and welcoming, feel like more than just a building where people reside. I am so excited to get started on this challenge and I look forward to sharing more with y'all over the coming weeks and months. :)

Leave your ideas or experiences in the comments below!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Weekend Reading

Hey Y'all!

Got any weekend plans? I have a few things going on, but mostly just taking it easy - the way I like it. :) Here are two articles to take a look at in your downtime:

1. This one has some great baking tips!

2. This one isn't food related, but still a quick, enjoyable read. There truly is a lot of richness in a so-called "boring life" . :)
Happy Weekend! :)

Friday, August 14, 2015

Freestyle Friday: Organizing 'The Utensil Drawer'

Hey Y'all!

I am so excited to be sharing my first Freestyle Friday post. I was a bit delayed getting started on these posts, but I finally have the first one ready to go. In this first post, I am sharing with you all the recent organization of my utensil drawer; more accurately 'The Utensil Drawer'. That ominous drawer in just about every kitchen that becomes the catch-all for every extra spatula, serving spoon, grater, and measuring cup. I cringed every time I opened that drawer - everything was such a jumbled mess! So recently I decided it was time to straighten it up once and for all. Lucky for you all, I didn't get a 'before' photo. However, the photo below shows everything that I had crammed in that one drawer.

Yes, I had all of that crammed in this drawer.

I'm sure you can imagine the disaster it looked like before!

I removed any utensils/tools that were broken or not frequently used, then grouped the remaining items together by type/function.

Once everything was categorized that way, I could better see how it should all be laid out in the drawer. The end result was this.

Like items were grouped together and the most frequently used items took up the front 2/3 of the drawer for easy access.

Less frequently used items such as extra whisks and graters as well as decorative cookie cutters were placed in the back.

Since I was on a roll, I went ahead and straightened up my main utensil drawer too.

As with the other drawer, least used items (large scoop, baster, & panini spatula) were placed in the back. I also placed our pizza cutter in the back - not because it isn't used often! haha - simply because of it's size. The most used utensils/tools were placed in the compartment on the right side of our silverware. The less frequently used utensils/tools were placed on the left side of our silverware.

I went ahead and straightened my utensil crock as well (although it's really hard to tell). These are the utensils I use on a daily/weekly basis which I keep by my stove for easy access. All I did here was separate the sides with spatulas, spoons, and tongs on the right and baking/mixing tools on the left. 

Lastly, I placed any tools that I rarely use in a ziploc bag to go in my pantry. I don't neccessarily want to get rid of the items, but I see no need for them to take up space in a drawer or crock at this time. 

The only broken utensil I had was this one:

The little piece that had these together was broken and they could not function properly without it. I had known that for several months. Why I had held on to them all this time is beyond me. haha ;)

I am pleased to say that these drawers have remained organized for the past 3 weeks now! I think my grouping strategy worked this time. I love how the first drawer just glides open now, it makes me so happy. It's the little things in life y'all, it really is. ;)  One day, if I'm brave enough I'll clean my pantry and can share that with y'all, but until then I'm finished organizing my kitchen.

Stay tuned for next Friday's post! :) I'll reveal the topic of next week's post on my Facebook page Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Barbeque Chicken Salad

Hey Y'all!

We are in the final month of summer already, but I refuse to start getting all crazy about fall. It seems like everywhere I look lately there's 'back to school' and pumpkin-everything and cozy sweaters. And I just won't have it. Not yet. Fall is a lovely season, but summer is my favorite and I will not rush it. I just will not. ;)

So, with that in my mind, I wanted to share a very simple, fresh, laid-back summertime salad with you all. Salads definitely mean 'spring/summer' to me. Interestingly, I typically have no desire for salads in the colder months but the moment the weather starts warming up, I think salads are great for almost every meal! :) And in the opposite way, during the warm months I have no desire for soups, casseroles, etc., but the moment the weather starts turning cold, that's all I want. For every meal. It's like I have an internal seasonal appetite regulator. hehe

Anyway . . . I went off on a bit of a bunny trail, didn't I? Back to the salad. I saw a photo for a bbq chicken salad recently and decided to make it for our dinner one night. I must admit, I measured almost nothing. I added ingredients based on the looks of things alone. But that's part of what makes this salad so simple. No recipe to follow really, just a general round-up of ingredients.

I thawed 1 chicken breast (for two entree size salads), then butterflied it completely in half to thin it out and sliced it into strips. After that, I seasoned it with a southwestern seasoning. Almost any will do - taco, Adobo - whatever you have on hand. Once it was seasoned, I just tossed it in a pan and sauteed it until it was cooked through.

While the chicken cooked, I chopped up a combination of Romaine and iceberg lettuce. To the lettuce, I added sliced onions, chopped green bell pepper, cherry tomatoes - halved, canned corn - drained, and black beans - drained & rinsed. (You'll probably notice there aren't any tomatoes in the photo of the salad. I took a photo of my husband's salad because it looked prettier than mine, but he's not a fan of tomatoes so that's why they aren't there. :) ) By the time I had the veggies all mixed up and plated, the chicken was finished cooking. I added it directly on top of the salad in addition to tortilla strips and freshly grated cheddar cheese. For the finishing touch, I drizzled on some classic Ranch dressing and some bbq sauce.

From start to finish, the assembly of this entire salad only took about 20 minutes. It was so convenient for a weeknight and gave us the benefit of being both filling and light at the same time if that makes sense. ;) Filled with fresh garden veggies, this salad definitely makes me feel like we're still deep in summertime and that makes me very happy. :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Rotisserie Chicken: One Bird, Countless Meals

Hey Y'all!

I am back today with a post that I have wanted to write for so long now. I have learned that when it comes to budgeting, rotisserie chickens can really be your best friend. About once a month I will buy a rotisserie chicken and use it to make 5 - 7 days worth of meals. Since there's just the two of us right now, we're able to make one chicken last all week, but keep in mind that with more people you might have to buy two chickens. There are countless ways - and I really mean countless - that you can use rotisserie chicken in recipes. In the wintertime, it's really great to use the chicken in soups & pot pies. The chicken also works well for chicken sandwiches or in a salad for lunch.  I also use the bones of the chicken to make a broth each time. I always have chicken broth on hand - never have to buy it at the store anymore! :) Below, I will share with you three meal ideas for using rotisserie chicken. 

First up, the most simple. Eat some of the chicken 'as is' for your main dish and pair some sides with it. Here I added snaps, lard biscuits, & chive mashed potatoes. Really, does a (mostly) home-cooked supper get any easier than that? ;)

Next up, quesadillas. My husband & I LOOOVE quesadillas. They are perfect, they are delicious, they are quick, they are easy. They are so satisfying. Again, a simple meal, but definitely a good one. I like to add shredded lettuce, sour cream, & *runny* salsa to the side to try to give it that restaurant feel. ahaha. ;) This is on our list of meals every time I buy a rotisserie chicken. Every time. I will share my quesadilla recipe on here soon. It is delish.

Lastly, I would like to share chicken & rice. I can't cook rice correctly to save my life but the gravy and chicken disguise it as something good. =D Needless to say, rice is easy to cook for normal people so this dish falls into the easy category as well. Just make a gravy to go with it or if you're feeling exceptionally unmotivated (that sounds better than lazy, hehe) combine some sour cream with cream of mushroom soup and voila! There's your gravy, baby. And the chicken? Just shred it on top of the rice. Easy-peasy.

What meals would you use rotisserie chicken in?

Friday, July 17, 2015

New Post Idea

Hey Y'all!

I have had an idea for a new sort of post in the back of my mind for a while now & wanted to share it with y'all. As I've mentioned before, I don't always have new recipes to share each week. However, I am trying to grow this blog and really would love to post at least 3 times a week. But, if my posts always revolve around a recipe, then it won't be possible to write a post 3 times a week. 

I started this blog because I love cooking and I also love writing. I definitely want to keep cooking as the main subject of my blog. Having said that, I've begun adding a broader range of topics relating to the kitchen in general (but not cooking/recipe specific) and those posts have actually been the most-read ones! With that in mind, plus the fact that at this time in my life I don't always have a new recipe to share, I want to try out a different sort of post that I will call "Freestyle Fridays". 

"Freestyle Fridays", as the name suggests, will cover a wider range of topics. When I first started this blog, I was still living with my parents, but now that I'm married and in my own house, I have so many ideas for posts relating to the home. And those ideas could be anything ranging from home finances, to cleaning schedules, to hospitality, etc. So on Fridays (starting a week from today) I will write a post that is not always cooking or even kitchen specific, but whatever particular household topic I've had on my mind. I am really looking forward to these posts as well as continuing to share recipes with my readers. I am so excited about my "Freestyle Fridays" in fact, that I am currently trying to choose between 5 different ideas for the first one! Hopefully I can settle on just one idea before next Friday. ;)

Let me know your thoughts and y'all take care! 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Poppyseed Dressing

Hey Y'all!

Back in the spring, I shared a simple salad recipe that I love to make for my lunches or as a side for dinner. I personally think it tastes great without adding any dressing because of the juices from the strawberries combined with the creaminess of the bleu cheese. However, I know some people just can't have salad without dressing so I am sharing the perfect dressing to go on this salad. My mother-in-law shared this recipe with me and I think it may have originally accompanied a Longaberger dish. It's a very simple poppy seed dressing with just the right amount of sweetness. You'll probably want to make half the recipe unless you're serving a large crowd as it makes a lot!

Poppy-seed Dressing

3/4 c. sugar (pulse in food processor a few times so the sugar is fine & blends easily into the dressing)
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. salt
1/3 c. apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. finely chopped onion 

Add slowly to the above:
1 c. vegetable oil 
1 1/2 tbsp. poppy seeds

Make dressing 3 hours ahead in small pitcher/jar and refrigerate. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

"As American as Apple Pie"

Hey Y'all!

I wanted to share with my blog readers an exciting thing that happened on July 4th! I live close to a small town that I absolutely love - it is like the quintessential small town of America - and this town hosts a big 4th of July event each year. One of the  main highlights of this event is their "All-American Apple Pie Competition". I actually heard about this competition for the first time this year and decided to enter the competition what with my obsession with love of pies and all. Soooo, I thought long and hard about how to make this pie really stand out as well as how to give it a patriotic spin. I was talking about it with my husband/cooking adviser and he suggested I paint the pie crust (with food coloring of course). My initial reaction was, "No way! Who paints pie crust??". But, the idea kept nagging at me so much that finally I decided to Google it and see if anything came up. Whaddya know?! People actually do paint their pie crusts sometimes - even Martha Stewart!*laughs* I decided if I really wanted to make my pie stand out, this would be the way to go. Small town pie bakers tend to be good at this sort of thing (at least in my mind, anyway) so I didn't want to compete on taste alone. 

The night before the competition I made the pie and ever so carefully painted the pie crust. I anxiously placed it in the oven, checking every 5 minutes to make sure the food coloring didn't start to burn before the pie was baked all the way. It turned out beautiful - I was pretty pleased with the result! :) And apparently the judges were too because the next day my pie won the "Most Patriotic" category of the competition! It was a great 4th! :)




Friday, July 10, 2015

Weekend Reading

It's Friday! I'm so glad the weekend is here & am more than ready for some rest & relaxation. Speaking of r&r, check out this article in your downtime this weekend. It really breaks down the different categories of the classic American pies & I enjoyed the read.

Happy weekend, y'all! :)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Products I Love: OXO Cookie Scoop

Hey Y'all!

Some time back I mentioned that I would like to start doing product reviews periodically since I don't always have new recipes to post each week. Today, I bring you my very first product review!

I love baking cookies (who doesn't?) and my perfectionist side has always been a wee bit paranoid about making sure they're all the same size. A couple of years ago for Christmas though, I received an OXO cookie scoop and making cookies shaped nice became ridiculously easy. Every cookie was the same size and no more messy fingers from scooping dough off of a spoon and onto the cookie sheet. (Not that getting cookie dough all over your fingers is a bad thing.;)) 

These scoops are so handy - and not just for cookies as the name implies! The large size is great for scooping chicken/tuna salad. The medium size is perfect for meatballs. And I like to use the smaller size to put small scoops of ice cream on a brownie for a decorative touch or to stack "perfect" scoops on an ice cream cone. 

I have held cookie scoops from a few other brands just to get a feel for them and compare and I can honestly tell you these have the most comfortable grip. The rubber grips help your hand not to get worn out if you're scooping large amounts of cookies. They also are very sturdy and feel like they will hold up for quite a few years to come. Not to mention my favorite part - they are dishwasher safe! :)

This is a kitchen tool that I would definitely recommend having. I wouldn't say it's necessary to have it in every size, but the medium (1.5 tbsp) scoop would be perfect for most of the foods you would use it with in your kitchen. However, the small (2 tsp) scoop is great for bite size cookies and delicate scoops of ice cream to fancy a dessert up. And the large(3 tbsp) scoop is really handy for jumbo chocolate chip cookies (yum!) or chicken/tuna salad.

If you have one or if you have a cookie scoop from another brand, let me know your thoughts! And if you don't have one, put it on your wishlist! :)

*Disclaimer: The blogger is not being paid to review these products. Any brand names reviewed were chosen by the blogger for her own purposes.*

Monday, July 6, 2015

Grocery Shopping on a Budget

Hey Y'all!

Can you believe it's already July??? I feel like the summer is already halfway over & just going way too fast! 

With the start of a new month I went grocery shopping last week & stocked my kitchen with all of the food we will be needing for the next two weeks. While preparing to go to the grocery store, I got an idea to write a post about how I grocery shop on a budget. As much as I love to cook, I HAVE to go into the store fully prepared or else I'll get way too excited and get way too many ideas and just buy way too much food! ;) 

I happen to love grocery shopping and I really enjoy the challenge of using cash only and having to stay under a set dollar amount. (I won't share the exact amount, but it is a good portion under $100.) When I first got married I was so excited about buying groceries and making delicious meals that I overspent on several grocery trips (by a nice chunk too) and unfortunately wasted some food since I had bought more than two people could eat before it went bad! It didn't take me long to learn my lesson. I've learned that there are two key things when shopping on a budget: 1 - a meal plan & 2 - a detailed list. 

I go grocery shopping every two weeks when I get my paycheck. During the two weeks, I keep a list on the fridge that I add regularly used items to as we run out of them. Also, during that time I begin jotting down meal ideas. I like to make sure I have enough meals to cover 14-16 suppers, taking into consideration any nights that we will not be eating at home (i.e. family dinners, date night, etc.). I use a lot of "old trusty" recipes, but I also like to look through cookbooks & websites to find new recipes to try. It's also helpful to take a look at what's already in your pantry and "build" meals with that. My meal planning system is far from fancy and once I've chosen the meals we'll be eating for the next two weeks my "menu plan" usually looks something like this:

As I said, not fancy. ;)
Also, we have sides/veggies with the meals, but they're usually basic, so I don't bother writing them into my meal plan, I just add them to my grocery list if they're not already in the pantry/fridge.

Once I've gotten my list of meals and my list of items we have run out of, I start compiling my grocery list. I like to separate items based on what part of the store they are located in so that I don't end up going in circles and wasting time. My grocery list always looks like this. :)

I keep it on a clipboard while shopping as it's easier to jot down prices beside each item when I have something hard to write on. Plus, I can take in the whole list at once instead of having to unfold and then refold every time I want to skim the whole list. 

**Side-note: On the backside of my grocery list, I have two more categories - "toiletries" & "household" items. I buy them on the same day as my groceries, however I have separate cash envelopes that I use for them.**

One more thing I like to take advantage of in order to stay on my budget is coupons. I'm not a crazy coupon lady or anything, but I do like to use them if they are for an item that is already on my grocery list. If you have a Kroger card, they will periodically send you coupons based on items you regularly buy at the store. I had 5 good ones I was able to use this past time which you will see below. Some of the items were completely free! :)

Finally, armed with my grocery list, coupons, pen, cash envelopes, & calculator I head to the store! I use the calculator to add up my items at the end and make sure I am within my budget. If not, some items have to go back.

This might seem time-consuming and overwhelming, but actually making my meal plan & list from start to finish takes maybe an hour of my time spread out over two weeks. And once I'm at the store, my list is so detailed, I'm in and out in about 30 -45 minutes. By taking just a portion of my time I'm able to stay within my budget every time and never feel like money is tight because I've overspent at the grocery store. Also, since I only plan for enough meals to last two weeks, we're not wasting food anymore. It makes me feel so much better and it makes grocery shopping a breeze rather than a chore! And I kept the $ amount for the groceries far enough under my budget this time around that I was able to "splurge" and buy some yummy ice cream that I originally didn't think we'd have enough $ leftover for! :)

Here are the groceries + toiletries + household items I bought this time:

I split my shopping between two stores this time. These are the items I was able to get at Kroger with my coupons.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Chicken Skillet Lasagna

I have tried writing this post 3 times now & every time I was too distracted by other things to write it. But they say third times a charm, so here goes!

This recipe is AMAZING. (I know, that word is overused with food, but if the recipe is amazing, I see no point in finding a different word to use just to show off my wide vocabulary.) Anywho, I came across this recipe on YouTube actually. I was searching different ideas for budget dinners one day & stumbled upon a channel with some really great recipes that use everyday ingredients & won't blow my budget. The guy who runs the channel is actually a big, burly, redneck-motorcycle looking dude & not at all someone you'd expect to be a good cook. But I'm telling you, he makes some good meals! So I was browsing his different recipes videos and found one for Chicken Skillet Lasagna. Now, I was drawn to this recipe for a few reasons: 1) It's a one-dish meal . . . well, mostly anyway 2) It's cooked in a cast iron skillet - has anything ever been cooked in a cast iron skillet that didn't turn out good? :) and 3) It had the word lasagna in it. That sealed the deal. Oh yes, and 4) The YouTuber I was watching originally got this recipe from The Pioneer Woman. And everything she makes is good, so obviously, this recipe's a winner!

But, I'm rambling, aren't I? Let's just get to the recipe. ;)

*Side note: I don't really use a recipe here, I just eyeball it, so take good notes. :) *

To get started, take 2 chicken breasts, butterfly them all the way, & then slice them into strips. (Or, just buy chicken breast tenderloins. I already had chicken breasts though, so it just made sense to use them.) Then sprinkle them with an Italian seasoning of your choice & toss the chicken to evenly season all the pieces. (I used the Penzey's Spices Italian Seasoning because, well, Penzey's is awesome. ;) )

Next up, boil some water to start cooking the noodles. The original recipe calls for Farfalle (bowtie) pasta, but I didn't have that on hand, so I just used egg noodles. At this point, you can drizzle some oil in the skillet & add the chicken to start cooking that. Cook it just until the chicken is a little browned on both sides. 

Once the chicken has cooked, remove it from the skillet & immediately put about a 1/2 cup of chopped onion in there along with a cup of chicken broth. (I used some of my homemade chicken broth for this. :) )

You'll cook the onions until most of the broth has evaporated.

Now, basically just toss everything else into the skillet! You'll be adding Mozzarella cheese (or a blend of lasagna cheeses) , Ricotta cheese, & your favorite pasta sauce.

Once you've stirred all of that together to combine the ingredients, add your noodles & stir to incorporate. Chop your chicken into bite size pieces and add that too! 

Finally, generously (very generously) sprinkle Mozzarella cheese on top along with a little more Italian seasoning. Place the skillet in the oven  under the broiler for about 5 minutes or however long it takes the cheese to melt and get bubbly.

This is one of those great low maintenance recipes that gives you time in between adding ingredients to get your kitchen cleaned up, so by the time dinner is ready, the only dishes you have left are the skillet, serving spatula, & your plates/glasses/utensils! Score!

When it's all finished, the end result will be beautiful & smellicious. ;)

Enjoy and go ahead and throw some toast on the side too. :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

New Kitchen Products: Target, Southern Season, & Kroger

Hey y'all! I thought I would write a post and share some new kitchen products I've purchased over the last few months. I haven't gotten anything big, just a few small items that caught my eye while out and about. :)

First - and I think my favorite! - I found these milk bottles at Target. I thought they were so cute & couldn't resist picking them up. And a plus - they were from the dollar spot & cost $3 for the set! I kinda wish I'd bought a second set so we could use them sometime when we have company too & want to make a sweet treat, so I might go back and see if they still have any. Either way, I look forward to using these for chocolate milk, milkshakes, & floats. Just in time for summer! :)

The second item I wanted to share are these little condiment cups I found at Kroger. I was so excited to stumble upon these. They are perfect for sauces & ketchup to go alongside burgers, fries, & other sandwiches as well as holding dressing for individual salads.

Finally, I picked up a few items from Southern Season. I had a gift card for SS & had a wonderful time walking around the store looking at everything multiple times before I chose what I wanted to use the gift card on. It's a really awesome store & if you live near one or are ever traveling near one, check it out!

I bought a flour sifter. (Rather shamefully, I've gone a year without having one!) . . .

. . .A vinegar bottle. I actually bought this with the intention of using it for syrup, but then decided to use it for vinegar and buy something else for syrup.

The last item I got from Southern Season was this sparkling, crystal sugar. I'll use it for multiple things I'm sure, but I bought it specifically to grace my apple pies with. :)

Well, that's it folks! 'Til next time! :)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Spinach-Strawberry Salad

Hey y'all! I have a quick, simple salad recipe to share today! This salad is sooo good & light, perfect for the spring & summer. There probably are actual salad recipes out there for this, but I actually started eating and loving this salad rather spontaneously last summer. I was packing my lunch for work in a hurry one day last summer & didn't have much in the fridge & pantry so I just threw together some spinach, strawberries, and bleu cheese and said "This should work"!. It sure did & it was so good. I had it again today and decided to share it on my blog with you all. :)

Just toss/arrange spinach, strawberry slices & bleu cheese together on a plate.

Today, to make it a little more filling & hearty, I added some shreds of Rotisserie chicken & some walnuts. I'm not really sure how well the walnuts go with this, but I personally love them, so I decided, 'why not?'.

This would probably be nice with a berry viniagrette. However, I personally find that the juice from the strawberries plus the creaminess of the cheese dresses the salad just fine. :) 

If you're like me, you're always on the lookout for a salad recipe that's simple while also being tasty. I hope you give this salad a try and let me know what you think! :)  

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Chicken Enchilada Dip Rollups

Happy weekend everyone! I finally have a new recipe for y'all! :) I am so excited to share this one as it's been on my radar for about 6 months now & when I finally made it the other night it was a big hit. I'm not a huge fan of Mexican/Southwestern style food and never have been, but even I couldn't stop eating it! My best friend, Amber, found this recipe and wrote it down to send to me last fall while she away at college.

I really have her to thank for this because I don't think she could have picked a more perfect recipe to send my way. I'm tucking this one away for future parties, potlucks, midnight snacks, etc. ;)

It's really pretty basic. I started out with two types of cheese - cream cheese & Mexican blend cheese - that I mixed together in a bowl until they were all nice & comfy & well combined. 

Next I added in some seasonings. The recipe actually calls for coriander, but I didn't have any as I thought I did. Sooo, I just thought I'd throw some Adobo seasoning in there 'cause it smelled like it would mix well. ;)You really could substitute a package of taco seasoning in here if you don't have all the separate seasonings that it calls for.

Next up I tossed some Rotel tomatoes, green onions, & cooked, shredded chicken into the bowl. I mixed everything together with a spatula and voila! - you have some real goodness right there. 

Now, I may or may not have paused here and had a spoonful or two or three of this goodness. And then, I may or may not have gone to my pantry & grabbed a bag of chips and started dipping. I just couldn't help it. I had to make sure the flavors were just right, ya know? ;)

Anyway, after I finished "taste testing" I covered the mixing bowl with some plastic wrap & placed it in the fridge for an hour. 

The last steps were super simple - get a tortilla, place a heaping spoonful of the dip on it, roll the tortilla up, and slice it into little spirals. That's it! You're done! You now have a very filling, very tasty, and kinda fun & different meal.

My husband and I had these with some rice on the side. 

And then I took some to my best friend because what kind of friend-cook would I be if I didn't let the recipe-sharer have a taste? :)

As you can see this recipe was very simple. A great option when you need a quick dinner or a lunch to take to work. This also serves a lot! You can get several meals out of it or if you have a bigger family you can serve up to 8 if each person gets one full burrito roll-up. This meal actually fits into my budget meal category too because of how many meals my husband & I were able to get out of one batch. 

Additionally, this makes a great dip as the name implies! We saved a little on the side & used it for that purpose. I think black beans would taste great mixed in as well & add a little more of a filling boost to it. You could even put shredded cheese on top & place it under the broiler until it gets bubbly to have as a hot dip. Either way, I hope you all will try this recipe out for yourselves & let me know what you think or if you add any of your own ingredients to it. :)

*See photo at top of post for recipe instructions*