Sunday, January 27, 2013

Chicken Mexican Lasagne

Here is a recipe that includes tortillas, mexican cheese and chicken; what's not to love?  It is called Chicken Mexican Lasagne and it is GOOD!

I made this version with regular salsa but you could also do it green and use salsa verde for another delicious taste. You can also make it go further for a bigger crowd and add black beans, if you'd like to extend the amount it makes. 

1 pound chicken, (or 4 chicken breasts)  cooked and diced
1 onion diced fine
1 (16-ounce) container sour cream
1 small jar of your favorite salsa
1 cup frozen corn, thawed and drained
½ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder

3/4 cup milk
a few shakes Lawry's Seasoning to taste
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (plus additional for garnishing)
12 soft taco size corn tortillas (or try it with flour for a different texture)
1 (8-ounce) package shredded Mexican blend cheese

1 can black beans (optional)I don't add these but you could to increase the serving sizes for a crowd.


Mix chicken, sour cream, salsa, milk, corn, cilantro and spices in a large bowl.
Taste and adjust spices.  

Cut tortillas into fourths and layer on the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 casserole pan. Layer chicken cheese and tortillas again. You should be able to do it at least twice. Top with cheese. Sometimes I add sliced olives on top so it looks like enchiladas. Bake 30 minutes in 350 degree oven. Let set about 45 minutes before serving and you should be able to slice it into squares. It will set up by then. 

Top with sour cream and a slice of avocado if you like. Enjoy! In the meantime, I'm getting out my Valentines Decorations out and having fun with that! 

 My kitchen table decor....I got red plates last year too....I'll have to get them out and decorate the Valentines Table.
 Lollypops to give out to visitors.....
 Gotta have some fun candies in the jars and little ceramic Valentines bowls around the house....
 Front entry table...I love the lighted heart decoration so much....and so do my grandkids. They turn the lights out and stare at it!
 This is an end table in the living room....cute Valentines decor....
Now all I need is a few grandkids to give hugs and kisses to!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Chicken Enchilada Soup like Chilis

Chicken Enchilada Soup like Chilis Restaurant 
It is another COLD day in Utah, a perfect day for making hot soup. I had some poached chicken in the fridge and decided to make one of my favorite soups; Chicken Enchilada. It tastes just like the famous soup at Chilis Restaurant. 
Here are some of the ingredients I use.  I have a giant jar of Taco Seasoning mix, but you could use a packet of one. I always have enchilada sauce on hand, so I use what I have. 
I always start by chopping and browning my sweet onion in a Tablespoon of butter and a Tablespoon of oil. Then I add the Mexican Corn Flour....and stir it up for a few minutes. 
It looks like comes in a package just like a 5 pound bag of flour. You can make corn tortillas out of it and
pork tamales. I use this flour all the time. 
Stir in a few Tablespoons and cook the flour with the onions and a little bit of broth to make a roux. 
It should look kind of like this when you have simmered it for about 3 minutes.  Now it's time to add the rest of the chicken stock and the veggies. 
After adding the chicken stock, I puree a can of diced tomatoes in the blender and add that in. Then I add the 2 cans of enchilada sauce. I love the Rosarita Brand, but use whatever you have purchased on sale. I had 1 mild and 1 medium can and it tastes perfect. 
I also add the 1 1/2 cups of frozen corn. Then I chop up my chicken breasts (2 large or 3 small) and dump that in too. Then I start spicing it up with cilantro, taco seasoning, chili powder and cumin. 
This was 2 large chicken breasts I diced up. When I buy chicken fresh they don't shrink down as much as some that I've purchased at Walmart. Costco frozen breasts usually don't shrink down either, so those are a good buy. 
Here is the Chicken Enchilada Soup before I added the corn and the beans. It is a thick  base.  I just added cilantro and the spices. It already tastes wonderful! 
Now while that is simmering for about 10 minutes on low I start to figure out what toppings I would like to add. I usually add diced avocado, fresh cilantro, cheese, and some fried tortilla strips or just broken up tortilla chips.  Some people also like  fresh tomato diced into their soup too for a more chunky texture. 
 Slice up your avocado right in the peeling, then just scoop it out with a spoon. No mess!
I would fry up some tortillas and then cut them into 1 inch pieces about now. Then add them to your soup as toppings or as part of the soup. Or if you are lazy like me, just use some Tostitos chips and break them up in your soup.

Here is my Chicken Enchilada Soup and I'm just starting to add my toppings.....yummy....
Chicken Enchilada Soup like Chilis is SO GOOD! 
2 large or 3 small chicken breasts cut up into cubes
1 large, sweet onion diced and caramelized
3 Tablespoons Masa Harina (Mexican corn flour)
11/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
a few shakes of Taco Seasoning Mix
1 teaspoon Lawrys or Johnnys season salt
2 cups chicken broth (or water with 2 bouillon cubes)
2 small cans enchilada sauce of your choice (I used 1 can of mild, one can of medium)
1 medium can of tomatoes (pureed in the blender)
11/2 cup frozen yellow corn
1 small can black beans (drained)
Top with mixed shredded Mexican cheeses and sour cream, tortilla strips (or fried, sliced tortillas) and diced avocado, and chopped cilantro. (I usually use Tostitos Tortilla Chips with this recipe, or I fry some tortillas).

Caramelize onions in 1 Tablespoon butter and 1 Tablespoon oil. Add 3 tablespoons of Masa Harina and 1/2 cup of the chicken broth and make a roux. Cook for a few minutes on low. Then add the rest of the chicken broth and the spices and the cut up chicken. Add the corn and the enchilada sauce and season to taste. Puree a can of diced tomatoes and dump that in. Simmer for 10 minutes on low. Then add the beans. Simmer another 5 minutes while you chop the avocado, grate the cheese and chop the cilantro. It's ready to serve start to finish in about a half hour. Top with sour cream, tortilla strips (or fried tortillas cut up into bit sized pieces), avocado, cilantro, and cheese. It is delicious and filling. Serves 6

Chicken Enchilada is a great winter soup to warm you up on a cold, snowy day!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Texas Caviar or Black Bean Salsa

This would be a great recipe to try on Super Bowl Sunday, coming up.....guys LOVE chips and dips! But if you just want to munch on something pretty healthy and filling today while we are all stuck inside in this cold, winter weather, this is a fun chip and dip recipe that my family loves. And it is quick and easy too!
Texas Caviar or Black Bean and Corn Salsa
This is one of my favorite salsa recipes. But you can actually use any kind of bean you like. I've done it with BLACK EYED PEAS and BLACK BEANS and it is equally yummy. The secret is in the salad dressing you use and the flavorings. The veggies themselves and the beans and corn are rather bland without spicing it up! Let's make up a batch in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. We have the holiday off here in Utah. I'm betting he loved this southern salsa.


  • 1 (15 ounce) can white corn, drained 
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black eyed peas, OR black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Roma tomatoes diced
  • 1 bunch finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons small red onion, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 green or red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 avocado - peeled, pitted, and diced
  • A dash of Lawry's or Johnny's seasoning salt
  • A few shakes of chili pepper 
  • 3 Tablespoons Zesty Italian or House Italian Dressing 

I LOVE this recipe. I can sit and eat the whole thing myself in a few days. It is so colorful, healthy and yummy on wheat crackers or on Tostitos chips. Or on these new Pretzel Crackers. They get gobbled up REAL FAST! 

Texas Caviar or Black Eyed Peas  and Corn Salsa! It's SOOOOOO  yummy! 

I LOVE these new pretzel crackers too, called Flip Sides.  They hold the salsa a lot better than chips do. And they are pretty filling as a finger food. Enjoy!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Banana Nut Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Banana Nut divine.... I love it! 
Banana nut cake has always been one of my top 3 favorite cakes. I love banana nut ice cream too. How fun if I could bake a banana cake and top it with banana nut ice cream. no not really, that would be kinda weird.

But this is a great way to use up your extra bananas that are getting ripe on you. I was making homemade bread the same day or I would have probably made banana bread. But a cake is just right on a snowy day in January too!
Look what my daughter made me! It's a cake taker! Isn't it cute?  Here are a few others that I love. I have the
bundt cake taker but would LOVE the cupcake taker too. It's collapsible so it's easy to store! 

I really love the colors and the inside fabric is coordinating. She got me a cake pan with a lid and a cake server too (you can barely see it peeking out of the material. She's very creative. I loved it. 

This recipe is super easy. The base is just a yellow cake. I always mix the oil with some butter because I hate when you can taste oil in somebody's dessert cake. That's just wrong!!  You could use walnuts in this cake too but I only had pecans on hand.


1 yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup oil
1 cup mashed, ripe bananas
1/3 cup sour cream
3/4 cup pecans or walnuts
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 small box french vanilla pudding dry mix (I use a half a box in all my cakes)

Pour the yellow cake mix in your mixer and add all the rest of the ingredients mixing till smooth. Put in a 9 x 13 pan or use a smaller  cake pan (9 x 9) and then make a dozen cupcakes too!

Bake according to directions on box, usually around 30  minutes at 350. Check cupcakes which will be done in approximately 21 minutes. When cake is cooled top with cream cheese icing and sliced almonds (for looks).

Cute pans for a decorative party dessert.  I might invest in one of these cute pans soon.

Flower Power Cake Pan Wilton Daisy Sunflower Wilton 2105 3055

I thought these cake pans were really pretty and interesting. These would be  pretty designs on your cake wouldn't they? I have not seen these designs in the stores yet. I'm sure it is on Amazon though. I just love Amazon!  Check HERE for all kinds of cute ones. 

I got this silicone cupcake pan with football shapes to try it out for Super Bowl Sunday treats. 
Here's the after pictures. I will have to fill the cups a little bit less next time so they keep the football shape. 

1/2 cube butter, 1/2 large brick of cream cheese, 2 cups powdered sugar and a little milk to make smooth.
Beat on high in your mixer till smooth. Add a 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.

When cakes are cooled frost with icing and top with sliced almonds for a really pretty effect.

Yum this cake was soooooooo decadent and delicious and very nutty. Banana Nut Cake is a keeper! 

Here are the finished football cupcakes before icing.  I think chocolate icing with the 3 little white lines of the laces would be super cute, what do you think? 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Crockpot Chicken Tacos

These tacos only have 4 easy ingredients, and they are easy to make in the crock pot, or in the oven in only a few hours. Dump everything in and let them simmer all afternoon. Then fry up some tortillas, and dinner is served!

Crockpot Chicken Tacos....easy and very yummy! 

I have always loved Tacos. Even as a very picky child, I would always eat my mom's homemade tacos. But it wasn't until I was married that I really got a few good recipes from friends for a good taco filling. 

Sherry was my favorite newlywed friend. We both had only 2 kids and we hung out as stay-at-home moms together, going to the park or shopping at the mall. She has since moved to Northern California and I to Utah, but once upon a time we were very good buds. 

She used to invite us over for dinner and she was an excellent, gourmet cook. She taught me to put a packet of taco seasoning in with a small jar of green chili salsa to my ground beef. It was so easy but soooo good! 

This is the way I like my Crockpot Chicken Tacos.....with corn tortillas and cilantro along with traditional toppings.
Well, now I've tried lots of other taco recipes, and this chicken taco recipe is super duper easy and kind of cooking.  Here is the recipe.....I hope you like it too! 
 Chicken Tacos using flour tortillas and some avocado, sour cream and peppers for toppings..... My hub's favorite. 

 Crockpot Chicken Tacos Ingredients 
1 envelope of Taco Seasoning
5 to 6 pieces Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 16-ounce jar Salsa 

1 small can green chiles (diced up)

Dump everything into a crock pot no water needed. Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours. When done, the chicken should shred easily when stirred with a fork. It is even better as leftovers the next day. Sometimes when I don't have all day I just put it in an oven baking dish on 350 for 3 hours in the oven and it's pretty ready to shred by then. 

Use your favorite taco seasoning packet and salsa brand for these.  I just used generic salsa and it was wonderful. I have heard that Paul Newman's Own salsa is great for these tacos too. Maybe Mango Salsa if you want to try
a sweeter taco mix? 

The main ingredients for Chicken Tacos in a crockpot are 4 simple ones; chicken, salsa, a taco seasoning packet and green chiles. That's pretty much it! Dump them all in a crockpot and wait for the magic!! 

I try to find the diced green chiles in the can, but these were on sale for 50 cents, so who minds chopping a
little to save a lot. These can cost up to $2.00 a can! What a savings I scored! 

2 seconds to chop them up. It's kind of fun anyway. I feel like a real chef with my chef's knife!
Top it with lettuce, cilantro, tomato, avocado, sour cream and cheese. They are delicious, messy and yummy. 

Here is THE BEFORE  PICTURE  of Crockpot Chicken Tacos.

 Here is the AFTER PICTURES of Crockpot Chicken Tacos topped with avocado and sour cream, cilantro and red peppers, or whatever your favorite toppings are!
The hubs likes flour tortillas and lots of avocado so here is his taco. It's pretty massive I'd say. He likes them that way. Nice and sloppy. Messy eating means good eating, I always say! 
With the leftovers you can do a Tortilla Soup, check out my very favorite recipe HERE., or add some rice or black beans and make chicken burritos! Yum! 


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