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Margarita Chicken

Margarita Chicken

This whole week began with me asking my hubby what he wanted for dinners this week. He simply replied with “Mexican”. Therefore, I spent the next couple hours searching for more traditional dishes than the ones I usually make. I grew up for a good portion of my life in New Mexico and worked in a Mexican restaurant as my first legitimate job (I was a newspaper girl before that). Working around the spices and living amongst the Tex-Mex food definitely left a lasting impression. My family now loves our Christmas enchiladas at Christmas time and the different New Mexican dishes I cook throughout the year.

Living in New Mexico definitely changed my food preferences for the better. Hot and spicy food is a staple in our household, no matter the ethnicity. For the last few months I have been toying with the idea of trying different ethnic cooking each month. The plan for that hasn’t really come around, as I haven’t made one; however, it does seem that it is just gonna happen as it happens.

My Husband teases he married me because I know how to cook, and for my spicy red enchiladas with their homemade sauce and homemade everything else. He teases he married me based on my creativity and ability in the kitchen…. not gonna lie, it really isn’t a bad reason.

Having someone who has very supportive with my passions has been so instrumental in encouraging me to continue cooking new, creative dishes. He never complains about any type of dish I make and is excited for all of the meals I cook. It is wonderful being with someone who supports and isn’t critical of me trying new things.

Ok, on to the point of this post. The Margarita Chicken was delicious, tasty, tender, and a great start to our Mexican meal filled week.

This dish is focused on the lime and tequila flavor, so you won’t find a lot of extra spices added. Paired with the turmeric rice and the beer beans this Street Taco Dinner did not disappoint. It is easy to make and prepare since we are using a crock pot. The rice and beans only take about 20 to 30 minutes to finish making it is a perfect weeknight meal.

So here we go, Mexican week started with Margarita chicken tacos.

Margarita Crock Pot Chicken

Servings: 8-10/Prep: 20minutes/Cook:6+hour

Ingredients

4 – 6 Chicken breasts

5 Limes (for juicing)

1 Lime (for zesting and slicing)

1 Orange

1 Onion (red/yellow)

2 Jalapeños

½ – ¾ cup Dark Tequila

1tsp. Cumin

1tsp. Chili Powder

Directions

Start by Juicing all your 5 limes and your one orange.

Zest your 1 lime and slice it into a few slices.

Mince up the Jalapeno and onion.

Layer the onion on the bottom of your crock pot.

Place the chicken on the onion.

Put the Cumin and Chili powder on top of that.

Add all your juice from the limes and orange, as well as the tequila at this point.

Turn your crock pot on low and let the chicken cook for at least 6 hours. 

After it cooked, take the chicken out, put it in a separate bowl, and shred it.

Pour the liquid from the chicken into a pan on the stove, add some honey, reduce it down and thicken it with Arrowroot Powder (or your preferred way to thicken things).

Add the chicken to this and mixed it up. I found the liquid too runny, this is why I thickened it.

Serving Suggestion

To complete your meal, top the tacos with guacamole, cojito cheese, and purple cabbage on white corn soft taco shells.

Pair with turmeric rice and beer beans.

Til next time!

Keeks

Teriyaki, Digestives, and Frigid Weather

Teriyaki, Digestives, and Frigid Weather

Over the weekend I made teriyaki and some homemade digestives. I was happy with all the results. I was nervous about making teriyaki. How the heck was I going to achieve the flavor Mark and I love about teriyaki without coming short. I’ve used teriyaki sauces before, they were disappointing compared to what you get at all the teriyaki places here. I don’t know why. Maybe they use the same thing, but since it comes in the take-out boxes from the shop it seems to taste special. 

I did use a jar of Kona Pineapple Teriyaki Sauce, but I spiced it up a bit with a few extra ingredients. Once I added those and tasted it, I knew I hit the jackpot with it. I left the chicken marinating for about three days in the teriyaki marinade, that was unintentional, but ended up being wonderful. I also found a recipe that is VERY close to my very favorite dressing from the simple little salad they always seem to serve as a side. When I first had teriyaki when we moved to Seattle I thought the simple salad was a funny little side, then I tasted that plain-looking dressing and LOVED it and typically had the teriyaki for the salad. I found the dressing recipe by Mom’s Dish called China Coast Salad Dressing. Next time I make it, I will not use as much sesame seed oil and honesty, will most likely start with none and see how that tastes. Not a bad start though on a path to find the perfect sauce/dressing to pair with that simple teriyaki salad.

My next mission this last weekend was to try making homemade digestives. You see, they are something my husband loves. I’m not talking a small infatuation here, I’m talking full on obsession. They are the reason he gets out of the bed in the mornings, braves the cold morning air in the hallway and kitchen, put water in the kettle, and makes us tea. He does all that just because he knows he has a biscuit tin in the tea cupboard that contains his dark chocolate digestives. He literally gets up to have one every morning. So I made some of my own. I used King Arthur recipe I found as a starter recipe. I then added some chocolate to the top once they had cooled and BAM they were finished. I was surprised with how easy and simple they actually were to make.

Well, that’s all for now. The weekend was cold and dreary. I slept a lot more than I am proud of but I know I needed it. I cooked a bit, crocheted a bit, explored a bit, and then started my Monday back off at work for a bit. I worked Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. It is now Wednesday evening and I have more to prepare for our Christmas Celebrations. I’m excited to do some cooking the next two days! But mostly I’m excited to rest. My endo has been flaring up and it has been wiping me out.

Til next time.

Peppermint Extract

Peppermint Extract

Yesterday I had a very productive and busy day. I greatly enjoyed it! One of my little projects was making some peppermint extract 🙂 Next extract to make is gonna be lemon because I have a whole ton of lemons!! I also need to buy a couple more types of containers for these liquid concoctions. Anyway, onto the recipe/pictures.

Peppermint Extract

As you can tell, here are my instructions.

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1/2 cup peppermint leaves
1 1/2 vodka (I used 80 proof)
1 jar of choosing

Instructions:

Harvest peppermint
Wash the leaves
Dry them with a towel
Place the leaves in your jar
Cover completely with vodka
Close your jar
Leave in cool, dark place for the next month (or for the taste of your choosing)

I have not gotten to these steps yet:
Strain out solids
Store the extract 

Here is the peppermint plant before I went to town on it… we have harvested from this one once before. The first time was when Matthew picked the leaves to make his ice cubes for his headache water.

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Here is the after…. Apparently, peppermint loves it when you really prune them! They are also one of the hardier plants that will do ok during winter and come back the next year for more fun! Once harvested, it will grow back bushier than ever and we will be able to make more of whatever we want.

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The bounty!!

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So cute!

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I used one of my little jars. I love these jars! They store my face washes, salad dressings, small snack, face masks, and now I am gonna do some extracts in them. I seriously need more of these things!

I filled the jar entirely with the peppermint leaves then covered it with vodka 🙂 After which I placed it in the pantry to chillax for a month.

There it is! Hiding away like a little hobbit for the next month 🙂 CAN’T WAIT!

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I will let you know how it turns out and how I chose to store it and use the solid peppermint leaves 🙂 I was thinking it will come in handy for holiday time treats 🙂 Have a great day and have fun!

Peachy Simple Syrup and Jam

Peachy Simple Syrup and Jam

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Why make your own simple syrup? Because it is SIMPLE! Hahahaha!

Firstly, why did I do this? Well, because we were out and I forgot to grab some at the store! Also, I realized all that makes up this simple syrup is sugar and water!! Amazing right?

That is the simple syrup that I made. I did use raw sugar so that is why it is brown 🙂 Then I wondered what else could I do with this easy recipe!

PEACHES!!! I have a whole flat of peaches so why not make Peach Simple Syrup?!

Peach Simple Syrup

Ingredients:

2 Peaches
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

How to:

Cut up peaches into pieces and of course taking pits out! Place in medium sauce pan with your water and sugar.

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Boil water with ingredients. Stir and dissolve sugar while there is a rolling boil

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Once sugar is dissolved, turn off heat, cover, and let simmer for 30 minutes.

IMG_3117Strain the liquid and peaches.

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I love the pinkness!! So cute!

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I didn’t feel right wasting those peaches I used. I in turn cooked them up with some vanilla and salt then blended them up, placed it into a jar, and called it jam.

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We ate that jam and that jam was yummy 🙂

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Well enjoy your simple syrup and jam if you also choose to make that! Up next for recipes will be some extracts!! YAY!

Saving Your Fresh Herbs

Saving Your Fresh Herbs

This year I planted a herb garden 🙂 Because of this I have A LOT of herbs (Basil, peppermint, thyme, parsley, cilantro, sage, and oregano) that I will not be able to use ALL RIGHT NOW! So I decided to do this fun way of preserving them.

Preserving Herbs for Cooking by Freezing 🙂

What you need! 

Fresh herbs
Olive oil(or oil of choosing)
Some helpers – preferably with smiles.
About 30 minutes of time (or thyme) whichever you prefer 😛

First, pick your herbs!

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Here is our first pickings

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Next we wash them!

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Chop them into LITTLE BITS! I liked to use my little CPR chopper 🙂

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Fourthly, place them into an ice tray like these ones. I made sure they were 3/4 of the way full. I also REALLY like using our star-shaped tray 🙂

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Add your oil!!Olive oil pictured here

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FREEZE!!!

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Use for your meals!! YAY!

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And one minor suggestion, don’t forget which ones are which! I accidentally forgot which were my sage and parsley. Because of this I wrote a little map down in my journal.

Anyway, enjoy! I will have to do this again this weekend with cilantro!

I did not show my peppermint!! I will do a post later about those ones 🙂

 

First Attempt at homemade Beefless Beef

First Attempt at homemade Beefless Beef

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Alright, so tonight I attempted to make homemade beefless beef. I love the Trader Joe’s brand of it, but I always seem to need it when I’m out. I keep TVP in the pantry at all times and most of the beefless beef have TVP as the main ingredient. When I am at the stores I tend to scan all the ingredient lists and sometimes I am just grossed out, so I don’t buy them (Note to self: make list of all non-meat meat I hate and like).

 

 

 

 

 

Beefless Beef: 
1cup TVP

7/8cup of hot water

2tbsp dried onion

1tsp of garlic powder

1tbsp soy sauce

2tbsp worcestershire sauce

splashes of oregano

– once I made up the TVP and then added all the ingredients I then added a mixture of guar gum to thicken the mixture and added 2tbsp of nutritional yeast to help it out. Honestly, the premix tastes pretty good considering. I placed it into a ziploc and threw it in the freezer. Mark and I will try it out sometime this week with enchiladas or something.

 

🙂 First attempt down, will update on how it actually tasted.

Some of the ingredients 🙂

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Ok, so I know it doesn’t look appetizing at this stage. Just imagine it mixed into sauce! Or as meatballs!

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