Monday, February 13, 2017

A Tex Mex Homage for Food Blogger Love: Chicken Corn Chowder and Breakfast Tacos

Happy Monday ya'll. It's almost Valentines Day and after discovering a great post contest through Pintertest Kitchen, I decided to participate in some Food Blogger Love. What is that, you may ask? Well each participant was assigned a blogger to show some love. You could make a recipe from that person's blog, or make your own recipe in their style. Either way, you were just meant to show someone else a little love this Valentines Day.

I was assigned Rose Garden Lane, a fabulous new blog by Katheryn. She lives in Georgia with her husband, Lane, but is originally from Texas. She doesn't have that many recipes yet since her blog is only a couple months old, yet her photos and recipes are all so good already. It's going to be an amazing real blog, not just my silly hobby blog.

Katheryn seems to love Tex Mex food. Of her different recipe categories, a large number of her recipes are Tex Mex. I knew I had to make my own homage to her with a few new Tex Mex recipes of my own. The first was a chicken corn chowder that really had all the flavors of a Tex Mex meal and was perfect for a rainy day The second was some great breakfast tacos, just because those are delicious

Tex Mex Chicken Corn Chowder
  • 3 strips bacon
  • 2 chicken breasts (mine were larger, but if it's small you might do 3)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 carrot,  diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 5 fresh poblano peppers
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • a quart to 6 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups frozen corn (more or less to taste)
  • 1 cup milk
  • splash of heavy cream
  • shredded cabbage for garnish
  1. Roast poblano peppers on the stove (gas stove or under broiler) until skins blister and turn black. Place peppers in a plastic bag to steam off the skins.
  2. Cut bacon into small pieces and cook in a large pot until fat is rendered. Remove bacon and set aside.
  3. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and brown well in the bacon fat and remove.
  4. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic to the pan and scrape up the fond. Cook until onions begin to soften.
  5. Add potatoes, chicken breast and chicken stock to the pan and simmer until chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken and shred with forks.
  6. Peel the blackened skin off your peppers and remove the seeds. In a blender, place 2 peppers, stems from 1 bunch of cilantro, zest of 1 lime and juice from one lime. Add 2 ladles of soup and blend until smooth
  7. Add blended soup back to pot and add in the corn and chicken. Chop remaining peppers and add those as well. Add milk and cream and thicken as needed, either with a roux or with corn starch. 
  8. Serve soup with shredded cabbage, cilantro leaves and the crumbled bacon.

Ingredients for Breakfast Tacos
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 lb sausage or chorizo
  • cheese as desired
  • spinach, onion, tomato
  1. Cook sausage in a large pan and drain off most of the grease. Add onion, tomato, spinach or whatever other veggies you'd like and cook until soft
  2. In a separate pan, scramble eggs with a little salt and pepper
  3. Heat tortillas until pliable and add cheese, egg, veggies and meat. Enjoy with plenty of hot sauce!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Banana Apple Oatmeal Muffins and a new Recipe Swap Challenge

I'm here today for a couple different reasons. First, I wanted to share an awesome new food blog challenge I discovered. It's through the PinterTest Kitchen and is the February Food Blogger love challenge. Participants will be assigned another blogger that they have to show some love in some way. Whether its making one of their recipes or making their own recipe in the style of that blogger, they just need to do something to show someone else a little love. Sign up or discover more information on their website!

Second, I wanted to share with everyone a great recipe for apple, banana oatmeal muffins. They're super hearty, delicious and not too sweet. They freeze really well and make excellent breakfasts for the entire week. I'm always looking for something that is a different spin on banana bread and these did not disappoint at all. I got the recipe from Rock Recipes

  • 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 6 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup mashed banana
  • 1 cup grated apple
  1. Mix together oats, flours, baking powder, salt cinnamon and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, mix together oil, eggs, milk and sugar.
  2. Mix wet ingredients into the dry and fold in banana and apple
  3. Spoon batter into greased or papered muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes until done.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Black Bean Brownies

I don't think there's an attractive way to photograph a brownie.This original recipe found a way to photograph them and make them pretty, but that is not something I can do.

I haven't posted anything on this blog in quite some time. Ever since Secret Recipe Club ended, I haven't been very good at posting consistently, but I want to try and get back into it. I wanted to start off 2017 with a delicious easy recipe. These black bean brownies are gluten free (but you'd never know it) and the beans make them super moist. I highly recommend it for the next time you need an immediate chocolate fix.

Black Bean Brownies


  • 1 14 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  1. Blend beans in a food processor or blender until smooth
  2. Add all other ingredients to the beans and mix until uniform. 
  3. Pour into a greased 8x8 inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Make sure you do not over-bake the brownies, otherwise they will be dry.
  4. Let cool completely and then slice.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Secret Recipe Club: Beef and Apple Goulash with Czech Bread Dumplings

It is the end of an era folks. Today is the last reveal day for group C during Secret Recipe Club. I've been blogging with the group for a little over two years and it has really made me step up my blogging game. It has made me keep up with posting recipes and keep track of things I do. Usually, it's somewhere along the lines of "hey, that banana bread recipe was really great but I can't really remember which of 10 banana bread recipes it was or how I changed it..."

This has been a wonderful group and I will miss it so much. If anyone knows of any other similarly fun blogging challenges that you're part of, please let me know. I'll have some time to fill.

For my last secret recipe club post, I'm so happy I was able to explore Where's My Spoon by Adina. She lives in Germany and has a really fabulous selection of recipes. I was super interested in her black bean brownies (which I made tonight and which were delicious, but didn't seem special enough for a final post since lots of people have been posting black bean brownies recently). I was also interested in her Arab Almond Cake and German Cheesecake, which I will absolutely make in the near future.

I opted to make her Beef and Apple Goulash, which was delicious and complex. It had just the right amount of sweet and tart flavors from the apples and it went perfectly with another recipe for Czech Bread Dumplings. I made these with fried cabbage, which was so delicious I wish I had recorded what I put in it. Next time, I suppose

Thanks Adina. This recipe was perfect and I know I'll make it again.


  • 2 lbs beef chuck, trimmed of larger pieces of fat and cut into bite sized pieces
  • vegetable oil
  • flour
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 12 oz carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 granny smith apples
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • bay leaves
  • 3/4 cup yogurt or sour cream
  • honey as needed
  • salt and pepper
  1. Dust beef with flour and cook in oil in a dutch oven until well browned on all sides. Do this in batches and remove beef from pan
  2. Add onion, celery and garlic to pan, scraping up the fond. Add thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and beef stock after vegetables are tender.
  3. Add beef. Cover and cook for 1 hour
  4. Add carrots and cook for 15 minutes. Then add diced apple and cook another 15 minutes
  5. Add dairy and stir in until well incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper
  6. Serve immediately over noodles, bread dumplings etc with fresh parsley and cabbage

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Stuffing Bread (Perfect for Sandwiches!)

These rolls were are from the always amazing Cheeseboard Bakery Recipe Book. This particular bread was something they only served in their bakery once a year.  They called it "Stuffing Bread" because it had all the flavors of Thanksgiving and could be dried and used to make stuffing, or be used to make turkey sandwiches with your delicious Thanksgiving leftovers.

I made it recently as a trial run before Thanksgiving. I made rolls as well as a loaf and decided that this was not what I wanted to serve with my meal this year. I did, however, have it with a roast chicken for dinner and it absolutely makes the best sandwich.


  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 4 1/2 - 5 cups bread flour
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp fresh minced sage
  • 1/2 cup buttermik
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 2/3 cup water
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 1 stalk of celery, minced
  1. Mix yeast and 1/4 cup of water to dissolve.
  2. Mix 4 1/2 cups flour, salt and sage in a large bowl. Add yeast mix, water, butter and buttermilk and mix in a stand mixer until everything is well combined, soft and only a little sticky (10 minutes or so)
  3. Add onion and celery and more flour as necessary, kneading until dough is soft and shiny.
  4. Form dough into a ball and let rise about an hour until doubled in size. Divide into two pieces, form into loaves and place in loaf pans. Let rise another hour until bread rises just above the loaf pan.
  5. Bake loaves for a total of 50 minutes at 375 degrees. Let cool completely before slicing.
One year ago: Masala Chai Tea
Two years ago: Peach Sorbet
Five years ago: English Muffins

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sous Vide Asparagus

Asparagus is one of my all time favorite vegetables. It goes with just about everything and is very easy to do, so long as you don't get distracted by other things. It is super easy to overcook normal steamed asparagus, but this sous vide asparagus recipe from Anova is foolproof. It takes a long time for the circulator to heat your water as high as it needs to go (185 degrees) so if you're pressed for time, I would still stick with steaming.

I made asparagus this way because I hadn't put away my anova yet after making my amazing sous vide maple rosemary pork loin for dinner with friends.They loved it and we had plenty of leftovers, so we got to love us some leftover pork with cornbread stuffing and asparagus (and really, waffled stuffing is he best way to reheat stuffing)

Give it a try sometime. It's not necessary, but fun, and the butter poached asparagus is really delicious.


  • 1 bunch of asparagus, woody stalks trimmed
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • large pinch of salt
  • pepper
  • fresh herbs (I used tarragon because that is what I had, but mint is what is called for, and would also be delicious)
  • touch of lemon zest
  1. Heat a water bath to 185 degrees with your Immersion Circulator. Meanwhile, trim asparagus bottoms.
  2. Place asparagus in a single row in a vacuum seal bag with butter, cut into small pieces, salt and pepper. Seal bag on dry setting and set aside
  3. When water is hot, place bag in the water. It may have a large air bubble due to the high heat, but try and find a way to weigh it down. Let cook for about 10 to 12 minutes depending on thickness
  4. Remove asparagus from bag onto plates. Spoon a little of the butter from the bag over the asparagus and garnish with herbs and lemon.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Secret Recipe Club: Rosemary Chicken Chowder

This Secret Recipe Club reveal week!

This week we have a special theme reveal. There are 5 Mondays this month and this week's theme is Fall recipes.

You all already know all about Secret Recipe Club. Every month, a group of bloggers make another member's recipe (in secret, of course) and reveal on a particular day. I usually participate in group C, the 3rd Monday of the month, but this week everyone is participating together to make some delicious fall recipes.

Usually, theme reveal day is pretty easy. There's usually only 10 or so recipes that fit that theme and you pick your favorite one. It might be difficult because you can't find anything you want to make, never the other way around.

This month, I had a hard time with Amy's Cooking Adventures because there were just too many delicious recipes. I had about 20 tabs open when I was letting my husband pick what I should make. Amy has tons of recipes involving pumpkin and fall flavors and more soups than I can count. When I think fall, I always think soup first.

The man picked her Rosemary Chicken Chowder for me to make. I really wanted to make these awesome Pumpkin Pie Bars, but he vetoed that one (not sure why...he usually has a sweet tooth). Doesn't matter because I'm sure happy he told me to make this chowder. It was absolutely delicious with chicken, bacon, corn (I kind of mixed to recipes) and just the right amount of rosemary. Thank you so much Army! I will 100% make this recipe (and so many of your other recipes) again.


  • 3 slices of bacon, cut into half inch pieces
  • 1 lb chicken breasts
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary, minced
  • `1 bay leaf
  • 12 oz potatoes, diced into bit sized pieces
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 can cannelini beans, drained
  • 1 bunch kale, removed from stalks and chopped
  • 2 cups frozen corn.
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook bacon in a heavy bottom pot and render the fat. Remove bacon and set aside.
  2. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Add to the pot and brown well on all sides. Remove from pot and dice into small pieces
  3. Add onion, garlic and celery. Cook until aromatic.Add hers, chicken, potatoes and chicken stock. Cook until potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through
  4. In a separate pot, melt butter and stir in flour until it smells nutty. Whisk in milk to form a bechamel sauce and set aside. 
  5. When potatoes are almost cooked through, add milk mixture to the pot, stirring constantly. Add beans, corn and kale and let thicken slightly.
  6. Add cream cheese at the very end, stirring until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with fresh parsley and the reserved bacon. 

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