If you have a question or comment, please e-mail me at marinscreations@yahoo.com

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Southwestern Rice Bowls

I found a recipe on favfamilyrecipes.blogspot.com for Southwestern Rice Bowls and I made my own variation of them. These were super good! Everyone in the family enjoyed them. I will definitely be making these again.
Spanish Rice, prepared (click here for my recipe)
2 chicken breasts, cooked (cook in taco seasoning and chicken broth for about 4 hours in the crock pot, then dice or shred)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained
shredded lettuce
shredded cheddar cheese
sliced black olives
tortilla chips, crumbled

1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 Tbsp. Hidden Valley Ranch mix
(mix above ingredients and chill)
Just prior to serving, add 1/3 cup homemade salsa (click here for my recipe) and mix till combined.

1. Heat corn and black beans.
2. Layer the following in 3-4 bowls:
Spanish rice
black beans
drizzle dressing over top and garnish with crushed tortilla chips, enjoy!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Cake Pops

I made these for a baby shower last night and had a lot of people ask me how I made them, so I figured I 'd post them. I've seen people all over blogland making these and putting their own cute twists on them. I used the directions from Bakerella and it's super simple, just a little time consuming.

1 box cake mix (cooked as directed on box)
1  16oz. tub frosting (I used cream cheese frosting)
1 package of chocolate bark or candy melts (any additional candy melts if you choose to drizzle them)
sucker sticks

1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
2. Mix thoroughly with 1 tub frosting. (It may be easier to use fingers to mix together, but be warned it will get messy.)
3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet. (Should make 45-50. I used my cookie scooper to get a consistent size and I ended up with 47)
4. Insert sucker sticks and chill for several hours. (You can speed this up by putting in the freezer.)
5. Melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package.
6. Roll balls in chocolate and place on wax paper until firm. Drizzle with additional colors if you choose. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

BBQ Chicken n' Cheddar Sandwiches

So I found this recipe over at the Recipe Shoebox, if you haven't visited this blog- check it out, Lara has lots of yummy recipes! This one was no exception, the entire family enjoyed these. They were very filling and very easy to make. You may want to leave the chipotle pepper out if you have little ones, they will still taste great!

4 strips bacon, halved crosswise
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1-1/2 lbs)
salt and pepper
1 cup favorite BBQ sauce
1/2 chipotle pepper, minced (optional)
1/4 cup water
4 large onion rolls, split (we used onion hamburger buns)
1-1/2 cups 
shredded cheddar cheese 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Fry bacon in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 4 minutes.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat.  Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.  Cook chicken in bacon fat until browned on one side, about 4 minutes.  Flip chicken and add barbecue sauce, chipotle pepper (if desired), and water.  Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until chicken is cooked through and sauce is slightly thickened, about 8 minutes.  Remove chicken from skillet and slice into bite size pieces.  Arrange onion rolls cut side up on baking sheet.  Divide chicken among bottom haves of rolls and top with sauce, cheese, and bacon.  Bake open-faced sandwiches in oven until cheese melts and rolls are golden brown, about 4 minutes.  Top each sandwich with toasted roll top.  Serve immediately with a fruit smoothie on the side.  Makes 4 sandwiches.  Enjoy!  

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Skillet Penne and Sausage Dinner

This is another one skillet meal from America's Test Kitchen, although I ran across it first on Teresa's blog,  A Blog About Food. The recipe called for sun-dried tomatoes as well, but for some reason they seemed to have missed my grocery list that week so I made it without- and it was still good. 
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, minced
pound hot or sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, rinsed and chopped fine
8 ounces penne
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used fat free half and half)
1 (5 oz) bag spinach
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1. Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

2. Stir in the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.

3. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Sprinkle the tomatoes and penne evenly over the sausage. Pour the broth and cream over the pasta. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, about 10 minutes.

4. Stir in the spinach a handful at a time and cook until wilted, about two minutes. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Skillet Tamale Pie

My sister bought me the 10 year Complete America's Test Kitchen cookbook for Mother's Day and I have been going through it like a mad woman marking the millions of recipes I want to try. This was one of them. First off, I love any meal that only uses one pan! The tamale filling was full of flavor and perfectly accented with a homemade cornbread topping. The meal came together pretty quickly and created little mess. Definitely a keeper!
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, minced
2 Tbsp. chili powder
table salt
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. ground beef
1 15oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp. minced fresh cilantro ( I used probably 2-3 times this much!)

3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal 
3 Tbsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
3 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. TAMALE FILLING- heat the oil in a 12 inch oven-safe skillet (I used my hutch oven) over medium heat. Add onion, chili powder, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, cook till fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3. Stir in the ground beef, bean, and tomatoes, bring to a simmer and break up meat with a wooden spoon, for about 5 minutes. Stir in the cheddar cheese and cilantro and season with salt and pepper. 
4. CORNBREAD TOPPING- whisk the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk and egg together. Stir buttermilk mixture into flour mixture until uniform. Stir in the cooled butter until just combined.
5. Dallop the cornbread batter evenly over the tamale filling, then spread into an even layer. Bake until the cornbread is cooked through, about 10-15 minutes. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake

I know this totally doesn't look appetizing but it's one of those comfort foods that tastes great and looks awful. I found the recipe at Baking Like Betty (and I think she found it at Sisters Cafe), but either way it was great and my family enjoyed it. I made two, froze one, and am happy to report they were both equally great. Sometimes things aren't as great after being frozen but this one was. Try it and see what you think.
2 pkgs reduced sodium Stuffing mix ( I didn't use reduced sodium)
1 can (10 3/4 oz) cream of chicken soup
1 C milk
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 lb sliced deli ham, cut into 1" strips
8 Swiss cheese slices, or 1 C shredded
2 C cheddar cheese, shredded 
2 C cooked chicken, ( I used canned chicken from Costco, and pulled apart the chunks)

Prepare stuffing mixes according to directions on box. Meanwhile in a bowl, combine soup and milk. Put chicken in a greased 9x13 or 2 8x8's (that's what I did for two small family batches). Sprinkle chicken with pepper. Layer ham, swiss, cheddar, soup mixture, and finally top with stuffing as final layer. At this point you can freeze or bake for 45 minutes at 350. If frozen, thaw in fridge overnight. Remove from fridge about 30 minutes before baking. Cover with foil and bake 350 for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 10-15 minutes longer. If using 8x8 cut baking time to about 30 minutes covered, 5-10 uncovered.