Tomatillo and Chicken Tostadas

Thursday, April 29, 2010

If you're looking for a fun new way to use up a zucchini, this is the recipe to try.  It was by far my favorite main dish with zucchini and the flavor on these was so fabulous, that all of the kids were asking for seconds...even my 5-year-old picky girl.  By the way, you won't find anything at the store called tomatillo salsa, but from what I can tell any green salsa is a tomatillo based salsa.  You can top these with any of your favorite taco toppings, but we liked ours nice and simple with black beans and chopped cilantro. 
Click here for printable recipe.

The ingredients:

3 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for brushing onto tortillas
1 medium zucchini, finely chopped
4 green onions, chopped
2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and finely chopped (or shredded)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 cup tomatillo salsa (green salsa)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 lime, juiced
8 (6-inch) flour tortillas
2 cups shredded cheese of your choice (we liked pepper jack)
Toppings of your choice: Chopped cilantro, black beans, chopped avocado, diced tomatoes, sour cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the zucchini and saute until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Add the green onions and shredded chicken and sprinkle with cumin.  Stir until combined and add the tomatillo salsa and heat through.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Squeeze the lime juice over the chicken mixture and remove from heat.

While the chicken in cooking, place the tortillas on a baking sheet in a single layer.  (you'll probably have to do these in a couple batches)  Brush lightly with olive oil and bake until crispy, about 6 minutes (watch closely though, so they don't burn).

Remove from oven, but don't turn the oven off.  Top each crisped tortilla with some of the chicken mixture,

followed by a small handful of shredded cheese.

Return the tostadas to the oven to melt the cheese.  Garnish with your choice of  chopped cilantro, black beans, avocado, tomatoes, or sour cream.  We liked it simple with just the cilantro and black beans.  Makes 4-6 servings. Enjoy!


Spaghetti Pie

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

This kid pleasing dish is another one I found in our new church cookbook.  It was a cinch to put together and the adults in the house enjoyed it as much as the kids.  The consensus was that it tasted just like lasagna, which is a fancy Sunday dinner for us.  This came together much quicker than lasagna and is definitely going onto our weeknight menu. 

Click here for printable recipe.

The ingredients:
6 oz. uncooked spaghetti noodles
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbs. melted butter
1 carton (15-oz.) ricotta cheese
1 lb. ground beef, cooked and crumbled (I used ground turkey)
1 jar (28-oz.) favorite spaghetti sauce
1-2 cups mozzarella cheese

Directions:  Cook spaghetti to al dente, as directed on package.  Drain.  In large bowl, mix noodles with eggs, Parmesan cheese, and butter.  Press into 9x13-inch baking dish.

Add layer of ricotta cheese,

then layer with ground beef (or turkey).

Top with spaghetti sauce and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Add 1-2 cups mozzarella cheese for the last 5 minutes or until melted.  Enjoy!


Menu 4/26 - 5/1

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Monday-spaghetti and meatballs
Karen's Easy Breadsticks (new)
Dessert: Celestial Bars

Tuesday--Fresh Fettuccine with Roasted Chicken

Wednesday-Mexican Corn Chowder (new)
French Peasant Bread (super easy)
Thursday-Knock-off Panda Express Orange Chicken

Friday-French Bread Pizza
Saturday-out to eat
Sunday-BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Ranch Dressing

Dessert:  BYU Mint Brownies

Go check out Organizing Junkie for lots more menu ideas.


Stuffed Wieners with Chipotle Smashed Sweet Potatoes

Friday, April 23, 2010

If you think this recipe is a little different from my "normal" fare, you should've seen the looks on the kids' faces when they realized that it was their female parent that was actually feeding them hot dogs.  I have to say that these were surprisingly good with the chipotle smashed sweet potatoes and my kids were crazy for them.  My friend makes these with instant potatoes or leftover mashed potatoes which would definitely put this into the super easy, I have 10 minutes to feed my family, kind of meals and I'm always up for a few more of those!  :) 

 Click here for printable recipe

Stuffed Wieners
The ingredients:
1 pkg. hot dogs
2-3 cups mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes* (see note below)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:  Split hot dogs down the center vertically without cutting all the way through and place on cookie sheet.

Stuff mashed potatoes into each hot dog.  Sprinkle each with cheese.  Bake at 450 degrees for about 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden.  Enjoy!

*NOTE:  You can use leftover (or instant) mashed potatoes for this or for really yummy (and healthier) mashed sweet potatoes use this recipe:

Chipotle Smashed Sweet Potatoes
The ingredients:
2 lg. sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 Tbs. butter
1/2-1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
1/2-1 tsp. adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers
1/2 tsp. salt

Directions:  Put cubed sweet potatoes in boiling water and boil just until fork tender; about 15-20 minutes.  Drain and place in a large mixing bowl.  Add butter and mash together. Add 1/2 chipotle pepper and 1/2 tsp. adobo sauce and salt.  Mix well.
Taste and if desired, add up to another 1/2 chopped chipotle pepper and 1/2 tsp. of adobo sauce.  Enjoy!


"Greatest Brownies in the World" with Coconut Pecan Frosting

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My 7 year-old nephew and I found this recipe in our church cookbook and couldn't wait to find out what the "Greatest Brownies in the World" tasted like.  I know that people have all sorts of ideas about what constitutes a good brownie, but these were right up my alley.  They were ooey, gooey, fudgy, and bursting with lots of chocolate.  In other words, we loved them! Although the German Chocolate Frosting was not originally part of the recipe, after ogling over some similar brownies over at Kara's Kitchen Creations we decided to give it a try and I'm glad we did! I think these "German Chocolate Brownies" were even better the next day!

 Click here for printable recipe.

"Greatest Brownies in the World" (That's the actual name straight from the cookbook) :

Made by AnnaLisa:

1 c. unsalted butter
3-1/2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
3 T. unsweetened cocoa
1-1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chocolate chips

Melt butter and unsweetened chocolate. Sift cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt together. Beat eggs; add sugar, vanilla, and cooled butter-chocolate mixture. Stir in dry ingredients. Spread batter in greased 9x13-inch pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. (Do not overbake). Let cool for about 10 minutes and then put the frosting on. Enjoy!

German Chocolate Frosting Recipe (from Kara's Kitchen Creations)

1 c. evaporated milk
3 egg yolks
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter or margarine
1 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 c. coconut
1 c. chopped pecans (optional)

Combine milk, egg yolks and sugar in a heavy saucepan. Whisk till thoroughly blended. Add butter. Cook and stir over medium heat till thick; about 12 minutes. Add vanilla, coconut, and nuts. Cool till thick enough to spread onto brownies.


Menu 4/19 - 4/25

Sunday, April 18, 2010

This week's menu is a bit more boring than most, since a lot of my planned meals are ones we've never tried before.  And since we haven't tried them, it means there aren't as many pictures and links.  If we enjoy them,  you'll see them here soon. °Ü°

Monday-Stuffed Wieners (new)--supposed to be super easy and fun for the kids
Crazy Craisin Cookies (our new favorite cookies)

Tuesday-Spaghetti pie (new)--supposed to taste like lasagna, but is also supposed to be much easier to put together quickly

Wednesday-Steak Fajitas (new)--fun and different with a citrus marinade 

Thursday-Chicken Mango Rice Salad    One of my favorite meals for a hot day

Friday-Pizza on Sandwich Thins (for the kids)
Bruschetta Pizza (for the adults)

Saturday-Breakfast--Bran Muffins (new) with fresh fruit--a muffin batter that can keep in the fridge for up to 6 weeks, so you can make them fresh whenever you want them
DinnerPizza Joes
Sunday-Breakfast-Orange Breakfast Bread--very easy and very elegant looking
Cheesy Scrambled Eggs
Dinner--Thai Coconut Soup (new)
Fried rice

Naan Flat Bread (new)
Rich Double Chocolate Cupcakes (new)

Go check Organizing Junkie for lots more Menu Plans!


French Peasant Bread

Friday, April 16, 2010

This simple, rustic bread was the perfect accompaniment to an Italian meal. It uses only five ingredients in the actual bread and had a fabulous chewy texture and nice flavor. My husband couldn't stop raving about how much he liked it and I've already made it four times in the last week and a half. Thanks to my friend Jenny for a great recipe!

(perfectly yummy and dripping with melted butter)

Click here for printable recipe.

The ingredients:
1 Tbs. dry, quick rising yeast
2 cups warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. salt
4 cups all-purpose flour  (NOTE:  this will not be firm bread dough, but if the weather is humid and the dough is really sticky, you may need to add up to one extra cup of flour)
olive oil (for greasing the pan)
corn meal (for pan)
1/4 cup butter, melted (for brushing over top before and after baking)

Place yeast, water, sugar, and salt in warm bowl and stir until dissolved. Add flour and stir until blended, but do NOT knead.

Cover and let rise one hour or until double in size.  (NOTE:  I usually skip this first rising and still love the way it turns out!)  Flour hands, remove dough from the bowl and place in 2 roughly equal rounds on an oiled cookie sheet sprinkled with corn meal (dough may be sticky and not hold its shape well--that's okay.  It's not supposed to be pretty.)  Let rise an additional 20-30 minutes.

Brush the tops and sides of the rounds with melted butter and bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees and cook an additional 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush tops and sides of rounds again with melted butter. Serve warm. Enjoy!

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Cami's Citrus Cheesecake

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

 This rich, delicious cheesecake is a little fancier than the usual desserts we make around here, but when my  12-year-old daughter came to me begging to make it for our Easter dinner, I was not about to deny her.   Not only did it taste as good as it looks, but she taught me a few tricks along the way.  Apparently while watching Food Network one day, she learned a method for making those cute citrus curls that adorn the top.  It ended up being the perfect Spring-y cheesecake with its zesty, citrus taste and rich creamy filling.  You rock Cami! 
 Click here for printable recipe

The ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1/2 tsp. orange extract
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup butter, softened

5 packages (8-oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1-3/4 cups sugar
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. finely grated lemon peel
2 tsp. finely grated orange peel
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. orange extract
5 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1-1/2 cups (12-ounces) sour cream
3 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
thinly sliced lemon/orange peels (for garnishment)

Directions:   In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, lemon peel, and vanilla.  Make a well in the center; add yolk and softened butter.  Wrap with plastic wrap; chill at least 1 hour (dough will be crumbly).  Grease bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.  Remove sides (the sides come later).  Divide dough in half.

**(SEE NOTE) Between waxed paper, roll half of dough to fit bottom of pan. Set aside other half of dough for later use.  Peel off top paper; invert dough onto bottom of pan.  Remove paper; trim dough to fit pan.  Bake at 400° for 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool. 

Divide remaining dough into third.  Fold a piece of waxed paper in half; place one-third inside folded paper. Roll dough into 9-1/2 x 2-1/2-inch strip.  Trim and patch as needed.  Repeat with remaining dough to make two more strips.  Tear away top layer from strips.  Put together pan with crust on bottom.  Fit dough strips to side of pan, overlapping ends.  Press ends of dough together; press sides of dough to bottom crust to seal. Chill. 

**NOTE:  My daughter said that the dough was far too crumbly to roll and move into place.  She just pressed the dough into the bottom of the pan, baked and cooled it.  Then pressed it onto the sides and chilled before adding the filling. You can see from the photos that the crust still turned out looking reasonably well.   

For filling, beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, peels, vanilla, and orange extract until mixed.  Beat in eggs and yolks.  Add cream; beat just until mixed.  Pour into crust.  Bake at 500° for 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to 250°; bake 1 hour or until center is almost set.  Cool slightly.
Combine topping ingredients; spread over cake.

Chill overnight.  Garnish with thinly sliced lemon and orange peels.

Here's the method for making pretty citrus curls (my daughter learned it from watching the Food Network): 

Makes 12-16 servings.  Enjoy!


About This Blog

My name is Lara and while I'm definitely not a gourmet cook, I do love preparing tasty, healthy meals for my family. Finding new recipes to try and sharing the ones we've already fallen in love with is a passion I've had since college and the reason why I've started this blog! With five kids, I'm usually in a hurry, so you'll find most of these recipes kid friendly and simple to make.

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