Southwestern Eggrolls

Wow, it’s been a while, hasn’t it. I guess sometimes you need to take a break from something in order to get back to really enjoying it.

I think that is kind of how I am feeling about Blogging. It was something I jumped into…which is awesome, but maybe I went too fast. I am going to take my time, this time, and really think about what I want to share, and not feel like I have to blog every day, about something fantastic that I just made. ‘Cause sometimes, you just have to run to get pizza for dinner…or make PB&J. And that’s ok!

I am super excited, though, to write about our year…things that happen, and yummy food I experiment with…and I hope you enjoy.

Today, I want to share a recipe I have wanted to try for a while, but never did. I LOVE Chili’s restaurant. It is seriously one of my favorite places to eat. I have attempted a few different recipes…and REALLY succeeded on a couple, one of which is the Southwestern Eggrolls.

These delicious eggrolls come, perfectly crispy, with a delicious avocado ranch dipping sauce. To. Die. For. They were a little bit scary to try, which is why it took me so long to do so, but they were SO worth the wait. When we sat down and took our first bite, Philip looked at me, and was actually speechless for a few seconds! That’s how you know they are yummy!

I got the recipe from this site and decided to go for it! I made a couple of changes but it was pretty much exactly the same.

 

photo 2

 

Oh yea, that’s me…getting ready to fry up the eggrolls! You can never be too prepared…right?

 

Southwestern Eggrolls

1 Cup cooked, diced chicken

2 tablespoon red bell pepper, minced
2 tablespoon green onion, minced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoon spinach, sliced very thinly
1/3 cup corn
¼ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoon canned jalapeño peppers, diced
3/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
½ teaspoon cumin
½ tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon chili powder
Dash cayenne pepper
Eggroll Wrappers
Avocado Ranch Dipping Sauce
¼ cup fresh avocado, smashed, about half of an avocado
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 ½ teaspoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon buttermilk
Dash dried dill weed
dash garlic powder
Dash black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon onion, chopped
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
For Dipping sauce:
Mash avocado, mix with all other ingredients, chill.
For Eggrolls:

In a medium size skillet heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat.
Add to skillet red pepper and onion; sauté until tender, about two minutes.
Cube chicken and add to skillet.
Add spinach, corn, jalapeño peppers, black beans, chili powder, parsley, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper to mixture.
Cook for 4 minutes; stir well to incorporated ingredients in the mixture.
Take pan off the heat; add cheese and stir until melted.
Fill skillet or large pot with 2-3 inches of vegetable oil, for frying. Turn on to medium heat.
Place eggroll wrapper, one at a time, on a clean surface, so that it looks like a diamond. Place approx. 2 spoonfulls of the filling in the center of the wrapper. Fold up bottom corner, then fold ends. Finally, roll the eggroll closed, sealing with a touch of cool water. Do this until all filling is used.
Take a pinch of flour and put into oil. If it sizzles, you know your oil is hot enough. Place eggrolls in the oil, seam side down. Do not crowd them! When the under-side is nice and golden brown, flip. When entire eggroll is crispy, place to dry on a paper towel. Repeat for all eggrolls.
Slice diagonally and serve with avocado dipping sauce.
photo 1
I have to admit, I made these again tonight…yes, the night after we had them the first time. I happened to have enough to make a second batch and let me tell you, they were JUST AS GOOD the second time.
Enjoy!

Money-Saving Shopping!

Yesterday, Philip and I went grocery Shopping. I decided it would be a good idea to make a menu for the next 5 weeks (until February 15) and shop for only what we need for dinners for that amount of time.

**(I did not plan a meal for Valentine’s day because we are going out. I also did not plan dinners for Saturday nights. We go into town for church Saturday nights and have dinner. It also leaves a night for left overs too.)

After our shopping adventure, I sure was surprised.

After shopping at both Costco (aka heaven) and Walmart, we spent….drumroll please…..

$130! For a MONTH!!!

I am pretty stoked.

Of course we will probably have to go get milk, and maybe more cereal (because who doesn’t like cereal?) but I am estimating no more than $150. At the most. Wow!

Want to know how I did it? Well, let me tell ya.

Ladies and gentlemen, My calendar:

541709_4614150945447_273272368_n

And yes, we do like Mexican food. I’m from San Diego. I can’t help it.

Anywho, I made up this calendar. Then, I opened a word document and wrote down every ingredient I needed for EACH recipe.

Sounds like it takes a while huh? Well it did. But I think only paying $150 for a month of dinners is worth it.

After I wrote down every ingredient needed, I deleted everything I already have.

This includes spices, flour, butter, milk, etc. Things that are staples that I always have in the house.

Fortunately I had just gone on a major chicken-purchasing spree as well. So I didn’t need to buy any meat this week.

Note about the chicken: We have a grocery store here called Smith’s. Every couple of weeks, their boneless skinless chicken breasts go on sale for $1.65/lb. and I STOCK UP. I think last time I went, I bought about 8 Packs of the chicken (approx. 6 chicken breasts per pack, which lasts us about 3 dinners). It ended up being around $80, but that chicken has lasted me about a week already, and I still have more than I will need for this next month. If you have space in your freezer, stock up when you can. It has saved so much money in the long run.

Because I wrote out all of my recipes, I knew that I needed to get 5, 15 oz cans of enchilada sauce. So instead, I got 2, 30 oz cans and a 15 oz can. It’s only a little bit of savings, but it adds up!

I also realized how much Mexican shredded cheese we would need, and how much sour cream. So, instead of buying a new container of sour cream every week or so, and a small bag of shredded cheese every time I want to make enchiladas, I bought the big packs of both at Costco!

Bottom line is this: When you KNOW you will be needing a ton of one thing, it is SO much cheaper to buy a big container once, instead of multiple small containers.

Planning ahead is going to save. A LOT.

It may take an hour or two of your day to plan out your meals and your shopping list, but in the long run, you will be thanking yourself for taking that time.

And, you won’t have to drag those sweet kiddos of yours to the grocery store every five minutes.

Go sledding instead.

Much love and Happy Shopping!

 

CopyCat Chickfila Nuggets and Sauce

I don’t know about you, but Chickfila is one of my favorite places to eat. Their chicken is cooked to perfection, I could eat their Chickfila sauce for days, and their manners are unbeatable.

Unfortunately, Montana has no Chickfila. I am pretty sure that the closest one is in Salt Lake. Which would be awesome, if that wasn’t like 9 hours away.

So, I did some research. and found this gem over at Table for Two Blog.

This has become a staple in our home. It took me a while to get the hang of the process, but after the second or third time making these nuggets, I had a system. and so will you.

*Note: I am not responsible for the amount of chicken and/or chickfila sauce that you consume thanks to this recipe. You’re going to want to eat the whole batch. Try to resist.

For the nuggets: (serving size: 4-5)

8 chicken tenderloins or 6 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces

2 1/2 cups flour

1/4 cup powdered sugar

4 tsp. salt

3 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. paprika

Peanut oil or canola oil for frying (I used canola)

 

For the Sauce: (serving size: 2)

1/2 Cup Mayonaise

4 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard

3 Teaspoons BBQ sauce

2 Tablespoons Honey

Instructions:

Fill a deep pot with 2-3 inches of oil (you want the nuggets to be covered). Let that get nice and hot (to test if the oil is ready I take a pinch of the flour mixture and throw it in to the oil. If it sizzles, it’s ready. If not, it’s too cold. I put my burner on medium heat and it keeps a perfect temperature the whole time).

IMG_4487

Combine flour, powdered sugar, paprika, salt, and pepper in a ziplock bag. Shake to combine. Throw the chicken pieces in the bag and shake until coated. Use a slotted spoon to transfer chicken to the pot. Put chicken in for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and place in a bowl lined with paper towels.

While *CAREFULLY* watching the chicken, stir together all of the sauce ingredients. Let the sauce hang out in the fridge until the rest of the chicken is done. Otherwise, you may find yourself eating before the meal is finished being made. I’m not speaking out of experience or anything…………

IMG_4491

 

IMG_4498

 

Enjoy!

Pizza Night!

Pizza. One of my favorite dinners. Is it because I’m part Italian? Probably. But it is seriously one of my favorite meals.

Moving to Bigfork, however, doesn’t give many options for cheap, fast pizza. Unless you drive 30 minutes into town. But doesn’t that get rid of the whole “fast” part? Oh well.

This pizza takes 10 minutes (maybe) to put together, 20 to bake, and is delicious.

Ingredients:
1 (.25 oz) package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy. Stir in flour, salt, and oil. Combine until smooth.

After mixing the dough in my stand mixer, I like to throw it on my pizza stone (or cookie sheet) and stretch it out to the size I want it. Then I let it sit for a couple minutes while I get out all of my toppings.

I just did pepperoni and cheese for this one, but the options are endless!

First step is the sauce. I am using my favorite spaghetti sauce, but I use BBQ sauce when making BBQ chicken pizza! Spread it all over the dough, leaving about an inch or so without sauce for the crust.

IMG_4477

Next is the all important Cheese. I lather it on there. I love cheesy pizza!

IMG_4480

And then the pepperoni. Philip loves his pepperoni. I bet you can guess which side is his. Crazy husband.

IMG_4481

Throw it in the oven to bake up nice and pretty for about 20-25 minutes and voila! Delicious Homemade pizza.

I like to let it sit for a couple of minutes before cutting, which seems to keep the toppings together a little better.

IMG_4482

Enjoy!

Sour Cream and Bacon Chicken

Sour cream, bacon and chicken.
Three wonderful ingredients. Especially when paired together. Philip and I really enjoyed this dish and know that you will too.
Thank you to Moms with Crockpots for this delish addition to our menu planning!
*This recipe was initially a crockpot recipe, but I made it into a make-and-eat recipe. For directions on how to crockpot this meal, click here.
Ingredients
  • 3 bacon slices
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon flour
    3 tablespoons butter
    1/2 cup chicken broth
    1/2 cup milk
    salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 Cup sour cream

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cook bacon in a skillet until brown and starting to crisp. Do not cook until crispy. Cut chicken breasts into 3 pieces. Wrap each piece with half of a bacon slice. *When I first made this, I made it with 6 slices, one per chicken piece and it was a little too bacon-y for my taste. Philip loved it. If you are a bacon lover, go for 6 pieces, otherwise i would stick to half a slice per chicken piece*

Place in oven-safe dish and bake for 25-30 minutes.

IMG_4471

 

Yum!

While chicken is baking, melt 3T of butter in a small sauce pan. Add flour and whisk until smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat and add chicken broth and milk. Return to heat and continue whisking. Bring to simmer. Add sour cream and whisk until combined.

Serve chicken with rice, potatoes, quinoa, etc.

IMG_4474

Enjoy!

 

Hot & Cheesy Corn Dip

Yum. I saw this recipe on How Sweet Eats  and HAD to make it right away. Sure, it included a short run to the store. But was it worth it? Definitely.

IMG_4462

We start out by frying up a couple slices of deliciously thick bacon. Then drain on paper towels.

IMG_4464

Next we take our corn and roast it in the same pan. After dumping the grease, use the same skillet to cook the corn. Try to not stir to much to allow the corn to get a slightly roasted flavor. When the corn is ready, scoop it into a bowl to hang out for a few minutes.

Next, put the onion, jalapeno, and garlic in the skillet and cook until the onions are soft. Place in bowl with corn.

IMG_4465

Add the sour cream, paprika, cheese, and diced bacon to the corn/onion mixture. Once combined, pour in an oven safe dish and top with extra shredded cheese.

It may not look beautiful, but just you wait. Your taste buds will assure you of the beauty of this dish in under 30 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips, and you have a delicious appetizer, side dish, or party dip.

IMG_4473

This was the best shot I got before it was destroyed by my husband and I. Sorry, but we just couldn’t wait.

Hot & Cheesy Corn Dip

Adapted from How Sweet Eats

3 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped

1 teaspoon olive oil

3 1/2 cups sweet corn

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 sweet onion, chopped

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 (16 ounce) container of sour cream

1 Cup Mexican Shredded Cheese Blend

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is golden on top. Serve immediately with tortilla chips or crackers.

Sweet and Spicy Chicken

At our house, we love chicken. We eat it probably 4 nights of the week, if not more than that. I love chicken because it can be done so many ways. sweet, spicy, cheesy, grilled, fried, etc. Sometimes, though, you just need a new recipe.

So, when Philip offered to make dinner the other night, I was thrilled! We searched the internet for a delicious combination of sweet and spicy and found a marinade that we loved.

Recipe adapted from The Food Network

  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 packed cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flake
  • 2-4 chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt
  • (optional) chunks of pineapple

Combine all ingredients and place in a bag or large glass dish to marinate for 3-4 hours.

IMG_4448

Grill chicken until cooked through. If also using pineapple chunks, place pineapple on a piece of foil and place on the grill for the last 3-4 minutes before the chicken is done.

Yum!

IMG_4458

We served ours with *Loaded* baked potatoes, but it would be great with rice or mashed potatoes as well!

This definitely a repeat recipe, and the grilled pineapple really added a lot!

Enjoy!