Recipe: Italian Garden Enchiladas

Before we leave on vacation we’re trying to clear out the fridge and freezer, not to mention I have all the goodies from the garden to use up. So, for dinner tonight I had the girls go with me and harvest some of the veggies from the garden. We filled up a small bowl with beans, peas and some cherry tomatoes.

Looking through the fridge, we’ve got a ton of tortillas and I had an open bag of pasta sauce. I also found a few cans of beans in the back of the closet, so I had my little one pick one out to eat – she chose garbanzo beans.

In the end, I made Italian Garden Enchiladas.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Garden veggies, such as beans, peas, carrots, onions, garlic, cherry tomatoes, etc.
  • Fresh basil
  • Pasta Sauce (16 oz or so.)
  • Tortillas
  • Chicken
  • Garbanzo Beans (1 can.)
  • Cheese (about 8-16 oz – depending on how much cheese you like!) – I used Italian Blend and Sharp Cheddar.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cook chicken on stove until done. (I used a bit of olive oil.) Optional: Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
  2. Chop up the garden veggies and sautee on the stove in a little bit of olive oil. Set aside.
  3. Rinse garbanzo beans and heat in same pan on stove. (I added enough water to the pan to cover the beans, then boiled the water out.)
  4. Place a layer of sauce in a baking dish.
  5. Lay out tortilla. Place a layer of sauce, then add the veggies, chicken, beans and a few slices of the tomato and basil. Add cheese and more sauce.
  6. Roll up and place, seam side down, in the baking dish. Repeat 5 times.
  7. Spoon the remaining sauce on top, add basil, sprinkle on cheese.
  8. Cover with foil and bake for about 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees.
  9. Remove foil and bake for a few additional minutes until cheese is browned to your liking.
  10. Cool and enjoy.

BONUS: You can EASILY freeze this meal! Use a disposable foil baking pan, and prep the meal as stated above. Then, thaw and continue with baking ingredients.

Garden veggies. Basil, onions, carrots, peas, beans and tomatoes.

Grilled some chicken on the stove. Sprinkled with Italian Seasoning.

In the same pan, tossed the veggies – chopped up – in some olive oil and sauteed.

A can of garbanzo beans. Threw in the same pan with enough water to cover them, then boiled until the water was gone.

Whole wheat tortilla with a layer of my pasta sauce, a couple spoonfuls of the cooked veggies, plus the garbanzo beans, sliced up chicken and sliced tomato. Before rolling up, top with cheese.

Add a layer of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish, add the rolled up tortillas and top with more sauce and basil.

Add cheese, cover with foil and bake at about 375 for about 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional few minutes until cheese is browned to your liking.

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Mini-Pot Pies

I love this recipe!!!

I found it on Pinterest as part of a collection of recipes using muffin tins: 24 Awesome Muffin Tin Recipes.  There are a bunch of recipes on here that I plan on trying, but I ended up going for the Chicken Pot Pies first. You can find the original recipe over at Quick Dish.

This is what the recipe says you need, followed by what I actually used.

  • 1 Chicken breast, poached and diced (I just used a can of chicken chunks, found next to the tuna at the grocery store.)
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup (they say 14.5 oz, but as far as I know they only sell the 10.5 oz size and it worked just fine.)
  • 1 cup frozen mixed veggies (I used carrots, peas and beans.)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese.
  • 1 tbs Herbs De Provence (I didn’t have this so I just mixed 1/4 tsp of the following dried herbs that I already had in my spice rack: Savory, Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, Basil, Marjoram, then measured out 1 tbs out of that mixture. I’ll hang onto the rest and use it later for more of this, or something else!)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic salt (Not powder! Salt! There’s a HUGE difference! If you use powder it’s going to be WAY more garlicy vs using the salt!)
  • 2 (10 oz) cans Pillsbury biscuits. (I can’t bring myself to spend the money on something like this, when I can easily make it myself! I ended up using this recipe I found over at Pinch My Salt – I’ll go over that at the end!)

The pot pies were SO easy to make!

1. Preheat oven to 400. 

2. In a medium sized bowl, dump in everything except the biscuits (obviously.) Mix well.

3. Lightly grease your muffin tin and press the biscuits in. I kind of pressed in with my fingers and pulled it around the side.

Push them in even more than this. I forgot to take a photo when I was done pressing them in. Whoops?

4. Spoon the mixture into each biscuit, filling a lot. 

Fill ’em up! Then keep going!

5. Bake for 15 minutes. My oven is ancient and I don’t trust it, so I usually check at 7 minutes and go from there.

6. Let cool a few minutes and enjoy! You should be able to pop these out with your fingers, but if that doesn’t work you can always slide a knife along the side to get some leverage.

Enjoy! I cut the kids in half to make it easier for them to take bites out of, but I kept mine whole and enjoyed it just like a cupcake!

After everyone had eaten we had 2 biscuits remaining (I believe this made 9 pot pies… using the non-pre-packaged biscuits) – I froze the left-overs and I’m hoping they re-heat well!

Part 2: Biscuits

As I mentioned above, I got my biscuit recipe from Pinch My Salt. I don’t see the point in buying biscuits from the grocery store when they’re SO easy to make!

The following is Pinch My Salt’s recipe, with my minor changes next to it.

  • 1 & 1/4 cup cake flour (I didn’t want to shell out the extra cash for cake flour, so the internet taught me that for each cup of All-Purpose flour simply remove 2 TBSP of the flour and replace with 2 TBSP of corn starch. I did that for the first cup of flour, then for the 1/4 cup I filled my 1/2 TBSP measuring spoon half full (do they even MAKE 1/4 TBSP measuring spoons???) and then filled the rest of the way with all purpose flour.)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour.
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder.
  • 1/2 tsp salt.
  • 1/4 cup butter, cut into small chunks.
  • 3/4 Cup buttermilk (I don’t buy my own. I just took 1 tbsp of lemon juice – or you can use white vinegar – let sit for at least 5 minutes, I stirred mine but I don’t know if you actually have to… and ta-da! Buttermilk! I froze in an ice cube tray the left-over. 1 TBSP in each cube.)

To cook the biscuits on their own, the recipe says to bake at 500*. In my recipe above, they cooked just fine as the pot pie base cooking at around 400* but if I make them again as just biscuits, I’ll bake at 500*.

Here are the steps to making the biscuits: (Her works, not mine, I’ll ask my notes in parentheses.)

1. Cut butter into small chunks, place in bowl and return to fridge.

2. Measure out buttermilk and set aside.

3. Sprinkle flour on a work surface and have extra flour nearby for your hands and biscuit cutter. Have biscuit cutter and an ungreased baking sheet handy.

4. Mix dough: In a medium-large bowl, wisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well blended. (I used a fork.)

Feel free to delegate your mixing! Allison was happy to help with both pouring in the ingredients and mixing!

5. Add butter and cut into flour using a pastry blender, two knives or your fingertips, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (I found my fingers to work best. I have never used a pastry blender, but I’ve used forks in the past and it was terrible! I’m using my hands from now on!)

6. Pour in buttermilk and stir lightly until dough comes together in a ball.

7. Dump dough mixture onto well floured work surface. With floured hands, lightly knead dough a few times until it is fairly well blended. Pat into a circle, 3/4-1 inch thick (I didn’t measure mine, I guesstimated.)

8. Dip cutter into flour and cut biscuits without twisting the cuter. (Yeah… I don’t have a cutter…. I searched the kitchen for an object that was roughly the same size as the muffin tin openings and came up with the lid for a kid’s cup from Olive Garden. I pressed it in pretty hard, then tore around the “perforated” circle.)

My make-shift biscuit cutter. Thanks Olive Garden! It worked out perfectly!

Removed the lid and tore the dough from around the circle. Worked great!

9. Once I’d cut everything out, I re-rolled the scraps and cut again. The small remaining piece of dough I just made into a ball and placed in an open muffin slot and baked as a tiny biscuit. (For the pot pies above.)

10. Bake biscuits: place baking sheet in the middle of a preheated 500 degree oven and bake 8-10 minutes until they are golden brown. Remove biscuits to a wire rack to cool for a few minutes. Enjoy!

Honey Mustard Chicken with Rosemary

Tonight was one of those nights where I didn’t put a lot of thought into chicken.
OK, let’s face it, most nights I don’t and we end up eating sandwiches or hot dogs or some other from a box meal.

I had planned on getting to the grocery store yesterday to pick up some veggies and what not to try out another recipe from Pinterest or one of my many cookbooks (that I’ve barely glanced at in the almost 6 years of my marriage….)

Yeah… that didn’t happen. I went to get my oil changed on Thursday. While I was there they mentioned that my two front tires were looking pretty worn and would need them replaced soon. They gave me a quote and basically said that I was welcome to shop around but I knew where to find them. They were going to rotate my tires but returned a bit later with the bad news that when one of the tires was last put on, whoever did it, (Tires Plus I’m pretty sure…. ) misthread the screw or some other car talk, which basically meant that if they tried to force it off they could strip the screw, or worse – break it completely. So they didn’t.

So, Friday I needed to pick up a baby shower gift because we were supposed to get hit with a snowstorm on Saturday so I couldn’t do it any other time. I packed the kids in the car, we drove to Target, we did our shopping, I loaded everything and everyone in the car and we started to drive. We made it to the neighboring parking lot and the car was sounding strange so I pulled into the neighboring credit union’s parking lot and alas, flat. Completely flat. No question about it.

I call my husband, who had just gotten home from his new  job and was getting ready to head to work at his old job (he’s doing the two job thing right now, poor guy.) He eventually called into work to let them know he’d make it when he could and made his way over to me. Tried to get the car jacked up and…. it tilts. So he assumes he has it in the wrong spot and takes it down and tried again. Now it falls completely. And all while he’s trying we’re watching pieces of the frame of my car crumble. It’s a 1995 so that’s not too surprising, but it was not a pretty site. Sorry credit union parking lot! We didn’t mean to leave you all of those presents!!!

In the end, he carefully drove it back to the Target lot where I obtained permission from the manager to have it left in the lot as long as all weekend until we could get it figured out. Finally today, using a higher quality jack from my dad, my hubby was able to jack the car up and get the spare tire on. We loaded the kids in his car, went and picked up the car and drove it home. I’m not driving it, especially in the bad snow that started today, until I get a “real” tire on it! But that’s a job hopefully for tomorrow.
So, long story short, I couldn’t drive because my car had a flat.

Sooooo when it came to dinner tonight I had to figure out what I could throw together that wouldn’t take many ingredients. I flipped through my Betty Crocker 4 Ingredient Meals cookbook (which is misleading, because some do require more than 4… and some less!) and they had grilled honey mustard chicken in there. We don’t have much honey left… but we do have honey mustard! So I simply stuck the chicken breasts on the grill pan on my stove top. I used a basting brush to brush on the honey mustard on both sides, then let it sit for a few minutes. I took that time to do a quick internet search to find out what herbs/spices went well with honey mustard – we bought a spice rack a while back and really only use about 3 kinds that are in there! I found a recipe that used both honey mustard and rosemary so that was it. I just sprinkled some rosemary over the honey mustard mixture, flipped and sprinkled again. I didn’t taste much of it, so I probably should have used more. But it didn’t deter from the taste at all!

This was the end result:

Honey Mustard Chicken

Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken

Mmm…. on a burger bun with onion, ketchup and more honey mustard! We served this with mashed potatoes because The Big One insisted on mashed potatoes with dinner tonight.

So easy. And yummy. And amazingly I managed to pretty much cook it to perfection – it was not dry at all!

Step 1. Place chicken on grill (or grill pan on stove top.)

Step 2. Baste chicken with honey mustard, sprinkle with rosemary. Flip over and baste/sprinkle the other side.

Step 3. Cook chicken, flipping every few minutes. Cook until juices run clear and the meat is no longer pink in the middle. Tip: Cut into the fattest part of each chicken breast to ensure it’s cooked all the way through.

Step 4. Enjoy!

Oh! And to add, my picky daughter loved this! The baby, who is not so picky, loved it as well.

Bread and Chicken

Tonight we had Crockpot Sweet and Sour Chicken for dinner.
It was not great. Not sure if it was me or the recipe to blame!
I didn’t write down where I got the recipe, but I’ll share it here anyway!

Crockpot Sweet & Sour Chicken… EASY!

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 hours
Number of servings:
4

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 1 1/2 pounds chicken, boneless, cut into one inch, bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Recipe Secrets mix

Directions:

  • Mix the orange marmalade with the dry soup mix. Toss chicken pieces with marmalade mixture and place all in slow-cooker or crock pot for 1 1/2 to 2 hours (or longer) until chicken is cooked.
  • Serve over cooked rice.
  • *I like to double up on the marmalade & add in some grated carrot, onions,
  • green pepper and about a teaspoon of thai chili sauce

First of all, the bottom notes were from the original recipe – not mine! And well, what happened with ours was, first of all, I didn’t plan ahead so the chicken was still frozen when we started. We couldn’t get it apart so we let it sit out for a while until my husband could get the pieces apart. Then we had to let it sit out longer so I could get a knife through to cut into pieces! Finally when that was all done I put the chicken in first – oops? Then added the marmalade and onion mix. However, I put a whole 18 oz jar of the marmalade in :p  I think that may have overpowered the onion mix making it too sweet and not sour enough (and really, to me, it was just kind of bland!)

Toward the end, my husband dumped in a bag of the frozen veggies I had prepared. I’m not sure a whole bag is what I wanted in there, but oh well. He also added water chestnuts – again, didn’t really want to add a whole can but I didn’t tell him until it was too late!!!

My husband also cooked some rice because, while I don’t care, he feels that a meal like this needs to be served on rice!

In the end, it looked pretty!

Allison really liked it as well! Check out how she’s chowing down in the background!!!

In other domestic news, yesterday I spent 8 hours at my in-laws house. We baked bread! It was so much fun! I’m getting the hang of it and I’m hoping to bake some of my own bread this week. The only trouble with baking bread, aside from the fact that it takes quite some time to actually do, is the fact that once it’s baked it’s only good for a few days! There are perks to the preservative filled grocery store bread – but it just doesn’t taste as good! (Mmm…. I’m thinking a turkey sandwich on my bread is in the cards for tonight!)

Anyway, I took some photos from the day to share!

Savana (my sister-in-law's BFF) making cinnamon bread! Spreading the butter around the dough with her hands. (She's a riot! She makes this face in nearly every photo!) Oh yeah, and that's my mother in law on the left.

Rolling up the cinnamon dough into a loaf. You have to be careful not to tear holes in the thin dough or risk your cinnamon spilling out! See the butter still coating her hands? That's used to slather around the outside of the bread after it is rolled up and "sealed" shut.

Jennifer (my sister-in-law) is scraping the sticky dough off the counter so that we can begin our next bread project!

One of the bread loaves that Jennifer made was Wild Rice. Looks like bugs to me! I didn't get a chance to try a slice of this bread. 😦

After the bread has spent about an hour rising comes the best part! Punching the dough! Because I'm such a nice mommy, I let Allison do the punching for me. Grandma helped her while I took the photo. (She was going for her second punch when I took this particular photo)

Ta-Da! Fresh bread! The left is basic white bread. On the right is my cinnamon bread. I went for the fancy "S" shape (literally, fold the dough into an S shape when you put it in the bread pan!) Because the kitchen was so warm and we were baking so much the dough rose an insane amount! So delish though! (Next time I plan on attempting to make braided cinnamon bread!)

In addition to the loaves of bread, my mother in law helped me make a batch of pizza dough and we made personal pizzas with home made sauce!

Yum! Here is my finished pizza! Because I like thick crust I used the smaller pan and made mine more of a deep dish pizza. It's mostly just cheese (Mozarella/provolone mix with a bit of cheddar.) The top section has a bit of green bell pepper and onion. It was soooo good now I want another.... Maybe we'll make pizzas for dinner again later this week!

And that was my day of bread! In the end I ended up with a loaf of white bread and a loaf of cinnamon. Jennifer had her wild rice bread as well as, I believe, Swedish Dill Bread. I wish I could have tried hers but I had to leave. Savana had a loaf of white and cinnamon. We all ended up with personal pizzas, most of Allison’s came home with us!

If you’re looking for a good book on bread making, the one I have that I purchased on the recommendation of my mother-in-law is:


There is another book simly titled “Bread” which is the exact same book, just with a different cover. You can find it here:

Until next time! 😉