Pioneer Woman's Chicken Tacos

This is another recipe that has been on my 'To Make' list, but never got around to trying.
And once again after I made them I can't believe I waited.
Maybe it has something to do with the frying and me hating the splattering grease that gets EVERYWHERE!
But these were so good, I think I'll forget about all the yucky, oily, splatter and just deal with it.

This delicious recipe comes from 'The Pioneer Woman'. I have tried several of her recipes and I have yet to find one that I don't like.
This is another recipe that is really easy to put together. And even though there aren't alot of ingredients or seasonings it still tastes delicious. And don't let the green peppers scare you, these yummy tacos weren't spicy.

Since Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner, why not give these a try. Invite some friends over fry up some tacos and have your own little Fiesta! :)


Pioneer Woman's Chicken Tacos
From: The Pioneer Woman (Click for the printable version)

16 whole Corn Tortillas (small Size)
4 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Pieces
Salt, Cumin, Chili Powder To Taste (or Use Taco Seasoning)
2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
2 cans (4 Ounce) Diced Green Chilies
1-1/2 cup Finely Grated Cheese (cheddar Or Cheddar/jack Mix)
Sour Cream
Hot Sauce (Chulula Or Other Brand)
2 cups Thinly Sliced Romaine Lettuce (or Any Lettuce)
4 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced
Canola Oil, For Frying Tacos

Preparation Instructions
*Be careful frying with hot oil!*
Season diced chicken liberally. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for a couple of minutes. Dump in the diced green chilies. Stir and cook until chicken is totally done inside. Turn off heat and set aside.
Have all other ingredients---grated cheese, sliced lettuce, diced tomato, sour cream, and hot sauce---ready.
Also have a plate ready, as well as a stack of five or six paper towels to hold in your hand.
To fry the tacos, heat a couple of inches of canola oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high. Place some chicken in the middle of a tortilla, then fold tortilla in half. Clamp the tortilla shut with a pair of heat-proof metal tongs, then carefully lay the taco---one side down---in the oil. As you lay it in the oil, use the tongs to hold the top side down for a few seconds to form it in place. Once it stays put, repeat with two other tacos. Turn tacos after 30 to 45 seconds, or when each side gets light golden brown (not too brown.)
One at a time, remove tacos from the pan with tongs, holding sideways as you remove them to allow oil to drip out of the sides. Place the taco in the stack of paper towels. Fold the sides and corners around the taco to tightly hold it, then give it three or four shakes to remove excess oil. Remove it from the paper towels and place on a plate. Repeat with other tacos in the pan.
As you continue frying the other tacos, have someone carefully place some grated cheese inside the tops of the tacos (gently pry them open just enough to place the cheese in). Then just let them sit until ready to serve---the cheese will melt as it sits in the warm taco.
To serve, garnish in this order: a smear of sour cream, dashes of hot sauce, shredded lettuce, diced tomato. You'll need to slightly open up the tops of the tacos to get all the garnishes in there.
Tacos will be hot for a minute or two after frying, so don't rush into eating! They'll stay nice and warm for a little while after frying.



Fiesta Lime Chicken: Applebee's Copycat Recipe

I have been eyeing this recipe for awhile, but never made. Why??? I have no idea!
I decided to make this last Sunday. It was amazing! 
Later that night I asked my hubby what he wanted for dinner during the week and his answer was..
"You could make that chicken again." WHAT!?!?
So that should tell you how much we enjoyed this recipe.

Another great thing about this recipe, it's so easy to put together.
So, have I sold you on trying this recipe? OK, good.

For our chicken I made an Avocado Pico de Gallo. Just chop up some tomatoes (I did 3 Roma), an onion, a large avocado, a little bit of Jalapeno, cilantro and toss it in a bowl. Then add some lime juice and give it another stir. Sometimes I add a little salt and some chicken bouillon.
That's it.

Now for the chicken. First you need to make the marinade. For ours I did a little shortcut that turned out great. I had a packet of Lawry's Mexican Chicken marinade and decided to use that. On the back it had an option for Mexican Lime Chicken, so I followed those directions.
I just mixed up my marinade in a large Ziploc bag then added the chicken.
Then I looked at the original marinade recipe and decided to add the liquid smoke, ginger, and Teriyaki Sauce to my marinade.
I let my chicken sit for about 4 hours. Then we grilled them.

When the chicken is done you top them with a yummy topping and then sprinkle cheese on top and let it melt.

We are having this again on Saturday, and I think I'm going to try the original marinade and see  how that tastes. I'll let you know. Until then, give it a try and see what you think.

Applebee's Fiesta Lime Chicken {copycat}

C. water
1 C. water
1/3 C.
teriyaki sauce
1/2 C. lime juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. tequila (substitute cactus juice OR just leave this out like I did!)
1 tsp. liquid smoke
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 C. mayo
1/4 C. sour cream
2 Tbsp. chunky salsa
1 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp.
cajun blackening spice (I couldn't find this anywhere but HERE is a recipe to make your own. Or you could try something else. I used a montreal steak seasoning because it was all I had on hand.)
1/4 tsp. parsley flakes
1/4 tsp. Tabasco
1/8 tsp. dried dill weed (or a little less, just do it to your own taste)
1/8 tsp. ground cumin
Shredded colby jack cheese
Crushed tortilla chips

Make marinade and marinate chicken for at least 2 hours. Meanwhile prepare dressing by whisking together all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Grill or broil chicken breasts until done. Cover completely with dressing and top with cheese. Cook one more minute until cheese is melted. Serve over crumbled tortilla chips.

**I'm thinking that maybe next time I'll try the crumbled tortilla chips on top of the chicken with my Pico on top of that.




I can't believe it's been 2 months since I last posted a recipe. Sorry! 
Today I have a recipe that I grew up eating at family get togethers. My Grandma always had a crock-pot full of this yummy cheese dip.

But the other day on Pinterest I saw the exact same recipe with an additional ingredient: Cream Cheese!
I decided I had to give it a try. The verdict....yum!
The cream cheese adds a wonderful creaminess to this queso. 
The original recipe said you could use ground beef or sausage. I have never tried ground beef, I prefer the taste of the sausage. But that's just me.

Super Bowl is right around the corner, what a great excuse to try this. :) 

Queso Dip
1 block (32 Oz. Block) Velveeta Cheese
1 package (8 Oz. Package) Cream Cheese
1 can (10 Oz. Can) Rotel
1 can (10.75 Oz. Can) Cream Of Mushroom Soup
1 pound Sausage
Brown sausage in a pan over medium heat and set aside. Cut up the Velveeta and cream cheese into cubes and place into a crock pot. Pour in the Rotel and the cream of mushroom soup and stir ingredients together. Place the crock pot on low setting for an hour, letting the ingredients meld. After about 30 minutes, add the browned meat and continue to let cook, stirring as needed.  


Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

I am a soup and sandwich type of gal, but unfortunately my hubby isn't. But as we're getting in to colder weather I am craving soups. I think I'm going to have to put this on the menu for this week, sorry Josh! :)

A few weeks ago we had a baby shower for my sister, Shawnna. We decided on having a few people bring soups for everyone. I asked a friend of mine if she could make a soup, which she said 'Yes'. But then she asked if I had any good soup recipes that she could use.
I decided to give her this recipe. Since the baby shower I have had several people ask me for the recipe, so I thought I'd better post it on here.

I promise you this is a delicious and easy soup, so give it a try.

Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup
Adapted from Allrecipes

4 C. Chicken Broth
2 C. Water
2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded or cubed
1 (4.5 oz.) Quick cooking long grain & wild rice with seasoning packet
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Pepper
3/4 C. Flour
1/2 C. Butter
2 C. Heavy Cream (I have used milk and it turns out great; Whole, 1% or 2%, but not Skim)
1/2 C Chopped Celery
1/2 C. Chopped Onion
1/2 C. Chopped/sliced Carrot

In a large pot sauté the Celery, Onion, and carrot with a little bit of butter or olive oil (about 5 minutes or until soft). Then add the broth, water, and chicken to the vegetables, and bring just to boiling. Then stir in the rice, reserving seasoning packet. Cover & remove from heat.

In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, and flour. In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt the butter. Stir in contents of seasoning packet until mixture is bubbly. Reduce heat to low, then stir in the flour mixture by Tbsp. to form a roux. Whisk in the cream, a little at a time, until fully incorporated and smooth. Cook until thickened (about 5 minutes).
Stir cream mixture into the broth & rice. Cook over medium heat until heated through. 10-15 minutes.


Buffalo Chicken Tenders

If you read my last post, you know that my children dont like anything. When I came across this recipe, I thought that most of our children should like it...it is just chicken after all. Well, I was wrong. My husband and I like them and one of our boys but the other 3 did not. Dont let that discourage you though, they are fairly easy and full of flavor. You can adjust the spicyness to the preferences of your family. 

Buffalo Chicken Tenders
For the Blue Cheese Dip:
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
6 oz blue cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

For the sauce:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp hot sauce (Frank's RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce)
1 Tbsp cider vinegar

For the chicken:
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 egg
1 1/2 cups plain bread crumbs
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
canola oil cooking spray
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips

In a medium bowl, use a fork to stir together the ingredients for the blue cheese dip, mashing the cheese crumbles into small limps as you work. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the sauce by melting the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the hot sauce and vinegar. Set the sauce aside.

Heat the oven to 450. Arrange 3 shallow bowls for dredging the chicken. Put the flour in the first bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and the egg in the second, and stir together the bread crumbs, salt and pepper in the third. Lightly coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.

Coat each chicken strip by dredging it first in the flour and then the buttermilk mixture. Press each piece into the bread crumbs, then transfer the strips to a baking sheet. Space the pieces on the sheet so that they don't touch. Lightly spray the strips with oil.

Bake the strips for 10 minutes. Flip each piece and spray them again. Return the strips to the oven and cook them until they're golden on the outside and no longer pink on the inside, about 10 minutes longer.

Brush each baked strip on both sides with the sauce (apply it generously for grown-ups, less for kids who prefer a milder version.) Serve the strips with blue cheese dip and celery sticks on the side.

Recipe from Oct 2011 Family Fun Magazine

NOTE: I didnt make the blue cheese dip because I knew my family wouldn't eat it. I would love to hear comments from anyone who tries it.


Peanut Butter Blondies

Cooking dinner isnt my favorite thing to do. I think it has something to do with my children. They dont like anything! How can children eat the same things over and over and over. One of our children loves spaghetti but the others don't. Another loves steak and only steak. Another..well I haven't quite figured out what she will eat. I guess she likes popcorn and cold cereal. I shouldn't complain, though. I was extremely picky as a child! I gave my mother fits! I am glad I have outgrown that stage and now love to eat a variety of things.
While cooking dinner isnt one of my favorite things to do, I do enjoy..or rather love..baking treats!  Amazingly all of our children like peanut butter treats so I when I found this recipe in the Aug/Sept 2011 Taste of Home I knew I had to try it. Everyone loved them!

Peanut Butter Blondies
2 eggs
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
3 Tbsp milk
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
4 peanut butter cups, chopped

Beat eggs and brown sugar for 3 minutes in a large bowl. Add peanut butter, butter and milk; mix well. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to sugar mixture, beating just until blended. Stir in the peanut butter cups.
Spread into a greased 8-in square baking dish. Bake at 350 for 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

NOTE: I cooked them for only 18 minutes and they came out perfect.


Chicken & Rice

This is one of my husband's favorite meals, and one of my go-to meals when I need something easy. It is such a simple dish, but is full of flavor.

 I always thought that chicken and rice was a little bland... so I have been looking for a good basic Chicken and Rice recipe. My mother in law gave me her recipe and one day I just kind of played with it and was pleasantly surprised. This is just a basic recipe, you could add veggies to this and it would be great too, but we like it with just chicken and rice.

Chicken & Rice

Several Chicken breasts or breast tenders (enough to cover the bottom of a 9X13 dish)
2 Cans Cream of Chicken Soup (sometimes I use one Cream of Chicken and one Cream of Mushroom)
1 C. Rice (Not Instant)
1/4 tsp. Garlic Salt
1/4 tsp. Onion Salt
1 Tbsp. Onion Soup Mix
2 Cans of Liquid (You can use water, but I use 1 1/2 cans of Chicken Broth and 1/2 can of Whipping Cream. It makes it alot creamier)
1/2 C. Shredded Cheddar Cheese (or whatever cheese you have on hand)
Pepper (just a dash and sometimes I will add a dash of Ms. Dash)

In a bowl, mix the soup and the liquid. Add the rice and cheese and stir until well mixed. Add garlic and onion salt and mix well. In a greased roasting pan or baking dish place the chicken on the bottom (I use frozen chicken breast tenders and it works great, I sometimes will season the chicken a little with Ms. Dash and Pepper.) Pour the Rice mixture on top of the chicken. Cover and Bake at 350 for 1 1/2-2 hours or until rice is done.

I usually cook mine for 2 hours with frozen chicken. If you use thawed chicken I would check it around 1 1/2 hours. If you don't have frozen chicken breast tenders then get chicken breasts and chop them into large pieces.