Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Baked Chimichangas

My husband's cousin passed on this recipe to me last week and I was dying to try it out. We love Mexican food, and especially the kind that is easy to put together, uses ingredients we already have all the time, and is DELICIOUS!This plate includes Spanish Rice and Tortilla chips as well. The chimichanga is under the sour cream, salsa, and cheese in the middle. You can see the gooey goodness on the middle right side.

This recipe makes 6 chimichangas, so if you are feeding a large family, double or triple it.

1 1/2 cups Cooked Chicken (I boiled three chicken breasts in water with garlic and onion powder and then tore them up after they cooled.)
1/2 cup Salsa (whatever your favorite kind is)
1 cup. Shredded Cheese (I used Cheddar, but I think just about any cheese would be delicious.)
1 teaspoon Cumin (I wouldn't think that missing this one ingredient would matter that much.)
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Dried Oregano

6 (8 inch) flour tortillas
2 Tablespoons Butter, melted
Salsa, sour cream, cheese, lettuce, etc....for garnishing

Combine chicken, salsa, cheese, and spices in a bowl. (I did this step during naptime so I could pull it out right when my husband got home from work.) Divide mixture evenly among center of tortillas or about 3/4 cup for each tortilla. Fold opposite sides of tortillas over filling, then roll up from the bottom and place, seam side down, onto a baking sheet. Brush with melted butter.

Bake at 400 until golden, approximately 25 minutes. Garnish as you wish.
I would expect these to freeze well, so if you wanted to have an easy freezer meal later, you could make a big batch and then freeze them in a ziplock bag to pull out on one of those exceptionally busy nights when no one eats at the same time and you don't have much time.
Recipes for Black Beans and Spanish Rice to come soon. As soon as I've perfected it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Nauvoo Wheat Bread

This recipe came from a recipe book called Tried and True Recipes my friend put together for our Relief Society about a year ago.
I was wanting to try another wheat bread recipe and this one had the best and easiest ingredient list. It is also great for a food storage recipe because it doesn't use eggs, milk (just powdered milk), or butter.
I do have a wheat grinder. It's an attachment with my Kitchen Aid. I love it, but if you wanted to buy a bag of ground wheat at the store, that would work just fine too.
Nauvoo Bread
5 cups Hot Water
1/2 cup Potato Flakes
1/2 cup Sugar
1 cup Powdered Milk
2 Tablespoons Salt
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
2 Tablespoons Yeast
10-14 cups Fresh Ground Whole Wheat Flour

Combine hot water, potato flakes, sugar, powdered milk, salt, and vegetable oil in mixer (or large bowl). When water temperature is luke warm, add yeast. Mix in 5 cups of wheat flour until the dough is elastic. Mix well. Then add 5-7 more cups. I ran out of my freshly ground wheat, so I added a cup or so of regular white flour. I didn't want to open a new can of wheat and get my grinder out again for one cup. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes. Punch down and turn dough over in bowl. Let rise 45 more minutes. After second rising, shape into loaves (mine made five medium sized loaves). Let rise a third time for 45 minutes and then bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Place on cooling rack and wait until it is cool enough to eat. I used a little bit of margarine to melt on the top of the bread after it came out to make it extra yummy and a little shiny.
Elizabeth (7 years old) ate this as her afternoon snack. She was so excited!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dinner Planning

One of my cousins requested more information on how I plan my meals out.
I really just started having a more planned written out menu at the beginning of the year. Previous to that, I would just buy more things if I was getting low on them of all of my basic things I use in my regular recipes.
I made a week of written out ideas, including days for leftovers. After I did that for a few weeks, I made a separate list of all the meals my family likes to eat so when I make my menu I don't have to remember what else we like. The meals range from 30 minute meals, like baked potatoes with chili to my chicken pot pie, which took more than two hours to prepare.
I use a 10x14 dry erase board that I hang in the kitchen to display the menu. I think my husband likes to see what is coming. He really does check it and when I have to move things around if my day gets crazy and I don't have the time to prepare the meal in the middle of the day, he notices and asks about it (not in a controlling way, just in a funny way). I like to get all meal prep done during my baby's naptime so I don't have him underfoot in the kitchen and so I can help my daughter with homework after school without being frantic. Instead of being frantic, an hour or so before my husband comes home I pull the pan out of the fridge and put it right into the cold oven to heat up while the oven heats up and cooks it. It is then ready to eat when it's dinnertime.
Each week when I make a new menu I just pick something from my list that we haven't had in a few weeks or I try out a new recipe. I normally don't try more than one new recipe a week because of time and possibly purchases of special ingredients.

Weekly Menu Example:
Sunday-Dinner with in-laws (take rolls)
Wednesday-Baked Potatoes and Chili
Thursday-Tatertot Casserole

Up next: (I do this in case I don't feel like making one of the things on the menu. It also makes the next week a lot easier.)
Chicken Alfredo, Taco Soup, Velvetta Cheesy Noodles, Sloppy Joes

Here is a list of the dinners my family enjoys:
Easy (30 minutes Prep Time)-
Baked Potatoes with Chili
Velvetta Cheesy Noodles
BBQ Chicken or Beef on a Bun
French Dips
Pizza Spaghetti

Medium (1 hour Prep Time)-
Pizza (some extra time is the dough rising)
Enchiladas and Mexican Rice
Chicken and Rice
Cheesy Manicotti
Tater Tot Casserole

Chicken Alfredo
Chicken Stir-fry with Veggies
and Rice
Spaghetti and Meatballs

Harder (2+ hour Prep Time)-
Lasagna and French Bread
Sesame Chicken with Chow Mien
Chicken Pot Pie

I have 17 dishes listed here that I normally have the ingredients for.
I try to make my weekly meals include a chicken dish, a beef dish, cheesy dish, and meatless dish, but that is mostly so we don't get tired of chicken every night.
I also don't normally do all the easy dishes in one week because I like one night a week to be easy for me.