Daily Tidbits

Be Kind. Do Good. Love is a Verb.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

BBQ Chicken Enchiladas

Printable Recipe

2 T. olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1/4 t. salt
2 cans (10 oz each) red enchilada sauce
½ cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays Original)
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
1 T. BBQ seasoning
1 pinch/sprinkle cayenne pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
8 whole wheat tortillas

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on low-medium heat. Add the onions with a pinch of salt, and let caramelize until soft and golden, about 10 minutes.

While onions are cooking, whisk enchilada sauce and BBQ sauce together until combined.

Add shredded chicken, BBQ seasoning and cayenne pepper to onions. Mix together thoroughly. Pour in about a half of a cup of the enchilada/BBQ sauce mixture and add half of the cheddar cheese. Stir until mixture comes together and remove from heat.

Pour a drizzle of enchilada/BBQ sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Take each tortilla and fill it with a little over half a cup of the chicken mixture. Roll each up and set it in the baking dish. Pour remaining enchilada/BBQ sauce on top of tortillas and add the remaining cheese. Bake at 375 for about 20-25 minutes.

Serves 4.

Holly's Note:
I found the original recipe at Tasty Kitchen from How Sweet It IsNow, the thought of BBQ sauce mixed with enchilada sauce was a bit weird at first and I wasn't sure how they would be.  But, these were fantastic.  Absolutely fantastic. I prefer them over regular enchiladas actually.  I might mix in some cooked rice next time

When I asked my husband if this was a keeper, his response was, "Oh, hell yes!" 

**This recipe works just as well with ground beef or shredded beef.  If using ground beef, just brown a pound of ground beef and drain it.  Then add it to the onions instead of the chicken.  If using shredded beef, you want about 2 cups cooked and shredded beef, the same as with the chicken.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mini Vanilla Cupcakes

Printable Recipe

1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk

Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Beat in the butter one heaping 1/4 teaspoonful at a time, using an electric mixer set on low speed, until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Beat in the sugar a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture resembles fine damp sand. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and milk, beat on medium-high, just until blended. Do not over beat.

Divide the batter among two lined 24-cup mini-muffin pans.
Bake at 400 for ~10 minutes.

Frost with cupcake glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
6-7 tablespoons cream
Food coloring

Whisk together until smooth. Add more cream to reach desired consistency. Then dip.

Makes 48 mini cupcakes

Holly's Note:
I saw a really cute post at The Farm Chicks about mini donut-shaped cupcakes. I don't have the donut pan, but I have a mini muffin tin and the recipe sounded delicious. It was ok, but it wasn't special. My husband commented that these little cupcakes were simply a sugar delivery vehicle. He'd prefer them larger-sized. I agree. I thought the glaze was nice and easy, but very, very sugary. These are orange, because my son didn't want pink ones, because pink is for girls. The boys really didn't like the cupcakes anyway.  It wasn't simply a dump and mix recipe and for the effort required to make it, I don't think the results were all that worth it.

So, bottom line, I don't think we'll make these again.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Honey Mustard Chicken

Printable Recipe

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed and tenderized
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup honey
2 T. mustard
1/4 t. salt

Place chicken in shallow baking pan.  If chicken is overly thick, pound it a little to flatten.

In a small bowl, combine butter, honey, mustard and salt and whisk well. Pour over chicken. Bake for 45 minutes. 

Serves 4.

Holly's Note:
My girlfriend gave me this recipe and I believe she found it at We Are EatingIt's terrific: very light, very mild.  My boys were a bit suspicious of the golden yellow color, but both admitted to liking it. I served it with baked potatoes but my husband suggested that it would be perfect simply with a salad.  I am also going to marinate the chicken next time to infuse the flavor a bit more.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Keeping the Feast...Review

About the book:
A story of food and love, injury and healing, Keeping the Feast is the triumphant memoir of one couple's nourishment and restoration in Italy after a period of tragedy, and the extraordinary sustaining powers of food, family, and friendship.

Paula and John met in Italy, fell in love, and four years later, married in Rome. But less than a month after the wedding, tragedy struck. They had transferred from their Italian paradise to Warsaw and while reporting on an uprising in Romania, John was shot and nearly killed by sniper fire. Although he recovered from his physical wounds in less than a year, the process of healing had just begun. Unable to regain his equilibrium, he sank into a deep sadness that reverberated throughout their relationship. It was the abrupt end of what they'd known together, and the beginning of a new phase of life neither had planned for. All of a sudden, Paula was forced to reexamine her marriage, her husband, and herself.

Paula began to reconsider all of her previous assumptions about healing. She discovered that sometimes patience can be a vice, anger a virtue. That sometimes it is vital to make demands of the sick, that they show signs of getting better. And she rediscovered the importance of the most fundamental of human rituals: the daily sharing of food around the family table.

A universal story of hope and healing, Keeping the Feast is an account of one couple's triumph over tragedy and illness, and a celebration of the simple rituals of life, even during the worst life crises. Beautifully written and tremendously moving, Paula's story is a testament to the extraordinary sustaining powers of food and love, and to the stubborn belief that there is always an afterward, there is always hope. 

This is another one of those books where the review doesn't come easily, but the story stays with you. Paula Butterini and John Tagliabue were recently married journalists living abroad when tragedy struck and John was shot in Romania.  Prone to depression in the past, John settled into a deep depression following the shooting.  Keeping the Feast is the story of their experience with getting him healthy again.  Having lived in Rome and having a deep love of Italy, due to the Italian heritage they both shared, Paula and John returned to Rome in an effort to find comfort and healing.

The feast part of this story comes from her focus on cooking. Shopping for the day's food and cooking those meals were the two things that helped keep her grounded as she struggled with the day to day unknowns.

This is very much Paula's story and how she reacted to John's life changing experiences.  I would like to read John's version of their experiences.  And I wished for some recipes, as so many of her meals sounded delicious, but I also understand that not cooking by the book is somewhat liberating and refreshing.

While not a completely happy memoir, I found it well written, enthralling and quite lyrical.  It also ends on a happy, positive note.  Paula certainly has a way with words and descriptions and her story is moving.  It's a terrific account of how depression truly is a sickness; a sickness that affects whole families, even if it is only one person who actually suffers from the illness. That Italy and Paris happen to be the settings is simply a bonus.

Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow.  You can learn more about Paula Butterini here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 7/10

* * * *
4/5 Stars

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Devil's Food Cake...Review

About the book:
It's been years since author Thom Mortenson has been back to Garrison, Colorado. As part of the library fundraising committee, who invited him to speak, Sadie Hoffmiller wants everything to be perfect—right down to the homemade Devil’s Food Cake she made herself. Murder, however, was not on the menu.

When Thom's manager ends up dead on stage, Sadie does what any woman with a history of solving murders does--jumps right in to offer her guidance and expertise. The police, however, are not very appreciative. In fact, they’d rather she just go home. But can Sadie help it if she keeps stumbling over information? Can she help it if the people intricately woven into the deception keep crossing her path? The more she learns, the broader the spectrum becomes and when the police refuse to take her seriously, Sadie has no choice but to sidestep them altogether in the pursuit of justice.

With her son Shawn at her side, her reputation on the line, and a full cast of suspicious characters, Sadie Hoffmiller is once again cooking her way through a case that offers far more questions than answers.

I love Sadie Hoffmiller. She's a kick and she's eccentric. But, she's also loyal. Josi Kilpack has created a charming character who just continues to grow on you as you read each successive story.

Sadie imagines herself an amateur, yet very experienced sleuth and since the police aren't listening to her, she decides to investigate things on her own. What follows is an intricate comedy of errors as Sadie uncovers layer upon layer of deception and secrets. If she's not tracking down potential criminals, she's cooking for them. And in this story, we meet her son Shawn, who's just like his mother at getting into trouble and tracking down criminals. He seems to have inherited her cooking skills too.

The story and Sadie's shenanigans are completely implausible, but hysterically funny. I wish Jane's character was better developed and that she got more of a comeuppance, but I also think that she will make a return appearance at some point.

Baking and cooking are as important to Sadie as breathing. So, just as in the first two novels, Lemon Tart and English Trifle, Josi includes the recipes that are relevant to the story. I can't wait to try several.

A delightful book, and easily recommended. I'm looking forward to the next one in the series, Key Lime Pie.

Thanks to Tracee at Pump Up Your Book Promotion for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Josi Kilpack here. You can find additional tour stops and reviews here. You can purchase your own copy here and here.

Read 2/10

* * * *
4/5 Stars

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Warm Chicken Salad Sandwiches

2 lbs chicken or turkey breasts--cooked and shredded (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (canned work just fine too)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 1/2 T. butter
1 1/2 T. flour
1 t. basil
2/3 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup whipping cream
Ciabatta sandwich rolls

Saute mushrooms and onions in butter until tender.  Stir in flour, basil, salt and pepper until blended.  Gradually stir in broth.  Bring to a boil, stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly.  Add the chicken and heat through.  Stir in cream and heat through.  Spoon 1/2 cup onto each roll.

Serves 4-6 

Holly's Note:
The week we moved was busy and stressful. My girlfriend brought us dinner one night which included this yummy chicken salad.  It was fantastic.  Very light, but very filling.  When I finally got the recipe from her, I couldn't wait to make it.  It would work with any kind of bread roll, but Ciabatta rolls are fantastic.  I had shredded turkey in the freezer and simply thawed it out to add to this recipe.  This is a definite keeper in our house!

**My husband has this on a salad.