bcmom's kitchen

bcmom's kitchen

Monday, February 25, 2013

Crock Pot Beef Carnitas Tacos

I found this recipe on Pinterest, and so far I've made it twice.  In the last couple of weeks.  It's that good!

Not only is it good, but it's so easy to make.  All you do is mix spices together - chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, etc. - and rub them on a flank steak.  Place the steak in the bottom of your crock pot, put chopped onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno on top, and cook it for 8 hours.  After 8 hours, you take the steak out, shred it with two forks, and return it to the crockpot.  You can either serve it then or keep it warm in the crock pot until you're ready to eat.  Serve with corn tortillas, salsa, avocado, cilantro and lime. 

You can prepare this the day before - rub the spices on the steak, chop the onion and peppers, and throw everything into the crock pot.  Then it's easy to just pull it out of the fridge the next morning and start it cooking.  Another option is to prepare everything, let it cook overnight, and then it's ready to shred when you get up in the morning.  Also, your house will smell amazing when you get up.

The meat is seasoned so nicely and is even good cold, but the leftovers also heat up nicely.  I put enough meat for two tacos into one half of a large skillet and two corn tortillas in the other side and heat on medium heat until the meat is warmed through and the tortillas are warm.

The first time I made this, I followed the recipe, using 1 green pepper, 1 red pepper, and 1 jalapeno.  The second time I just pulled some diced green peppers out of the fridge and didn't worry about the red one.  I don't even know how many peppers I had diced - just put the onion, frozen green peppers, several pieces of frozen hot peppers, and a clove of garlic into my food processor and chopped them up good.  It turned out really good. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Raspberry Swirl Bread

I stumbled across this recipe for raspberry rolls with cream cheese icing a while back, and I started thinking about how I could make some raspberry rolls.  I had some frozen raspberries, so I figured I'd make my own  raspberry filling recipe and use my regular cinnamon roll dough.  That ought to work, right? 

Except that I didn't know how much 1/2 a tube of raspberry filling was (as called for in the roll recipe), and I didn't know how impossible it would be to roll the dough and cut it into rolls when I used all my filling.  So, I improvised and made Raspberry Swirl Bread instead of raspberry rolls.

The first time I made this, I didn't bake it long enough.  I was meaning to bake rolls, so I followed my cinnamon roll recipe and baked it 25 minutes like that recipe said.  The bread was nicely browned.  It looked good and smelled good, but the next morning when I cut into it, I found that it was all doughy inside..  I ended up slicing it and baking it again - so it got all toasty.  It was good, but not exactly right.  It didn't go to waste, but I had to try it again.  Covering it with foil for the first 30-35 minutes of baking keeps it from getting too brown while it bakes.   This time it turned out beautifully.  Such a great combination of sweet dough, raspberries, and gooey icing.  Really yummy.

Even Weasley had to check it out!

Next time I'm thinking about trying to lay one rectangle of dough on the bottom of the baking dish then spreading the filling on top, adding some pieces of cream cheese, and then topping with the other rectangle of dough.  And cut slits in the top before baking.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mediterranean Marinated Cheese

Going through things for packing, sorting, tossing, etc. I found this Kraft foods calendar from (I don't know what year it's from), and I tore out just one page because the recipe looked so good.  I've been going through my Kraft Food & Family magazines and saving all the recipes I want to keep in my Kraft Recipe Box, so I can recycle the magazines instead of packing them.  I figured I could do the same with this recipe, but it's not there.  So, I'm typing it up here.  I even took a picture of the picture.  It just looks so good.

Only 2 pieces each?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Crock Pot Tex-Mex Chicken and Dumplings

I'm excited to be joining the Secret Recipe Club (Secret Recipe Club) this month!  My assignment was to choose a recipe from Jenna's Cooking Journey, and I had a really hard time choosing because she had so many great looking recipes to choose from.  Jenna didn't start cooking until college, but she's certainly been busy since then and become quite a good cook if all the recipes and pictures on her blog are any indication.  She lives in Wyoming with her husband, who helps her eat all those delicious creations.

Cranberry Vanilla Coffee Cake and Reuben Burgers were two of the recipes that caught my eye, but I finally decided to make Crock Pot Tex-Mex Chicken and Dumplings

I made a few changes, mainly because I didn't have the exact ingredients, but I think the overall taste was pretty much the same.  I am definitely planning to make this again, because it was so good!

Crock Pot Tex-Mex Chicken and Dumplings
adapted from Jenna's Cooking Journey

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tub Knorr® Homestyle Stock - Chicken, dissolved in 3-1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 cup carrots (about 2 small carrots), peeled and shredded
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 can diced tomatoes w/ green chiles
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • juice from one lime
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 heaping T. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 2 T. cilantro
  1. Cook chicken breasts for 2-4 hours on low.
  2. Pull chicken breasts out of crockpot and shred chicken.  
  3. Place all other ingredients for the stew portion of the recipe in the crockpot, and then put the chicken back in and mix well.  Cook on high for 2-4 hours.
  4. Mix all the ingredients together for the dumplings until the ingredients form a batter.
  5. Drop tablespoons of batter into the stew mixture and cook for approximately an hour on high until dumpling dough is cooked. 
  6. To serve, spoon into bowls and garnish with cilantro and/or sliced green onions, if desired.

Jenna's recipe called for a carton of chicken broth, which I did not have and wasn't sure exactly how much chicken broth is in one of those cartons, but I substituted what I had - a tub of the Knorr® Homestyle Stock, and that worked just fine.  Ordinarily I would have pulled some chicken broth out of the freezer, but I'm out right now.  I substituted Red Gold petite diced tomatoes with lime and cilantro for the Rotel in the original recipe and frozen corn kernels for the Mexicorn.

Because my husband doesn't like things too spicy, I just used one jalapeno in the whole recipe - 1/2 in the stew and 1/2 in the dumplings.  It was still very nice and flavorful, even for me, and I love spicy!  I loved the veggies in this, and the carrots added just the right touch of color.  I probably had more carrots than I was supposed to because I didn't measure, just peeled and grated two carrots and threw them in.

onions, garlic, celery, carrots, cilantro, chopped and ready
The only thing I wasn't too sure about was the dumplings.  The batter was much thinner than any dumpling batter I'd every used, not that I've really made dumplings that much in my life...  Also, there seemed to be more batter than I could use.  I covered the top of the stew with spoonfuls of batter, and I still had quite a bit left. Was it my fault for using milk instead of fat free half-and-half - what is that, anyway?  Maybe should have done some research first.

Now that I look closer at the picture on Jenna's recipe, I'm thinking that I should have just gone ahead and used all the batter and let it go down into the stew more and thicken it.  But I didn't.  It thickened up quite a bit when I reheated the leftovers, and it was wonderful.  So next time I'm just using all the batter,

or maybe trying a different recipe for the dumplings, perhaps something from this page of Corn Meal Dumplings recipes, with a thicker batter that uses more corn meal, adding the jalapeno and cilantro, of course.  I especially loved the little bits of jalapeno in the dumplings.  So good!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Chicken and Black Bean Pizza

Chicken, black beans and cilantro.  On a pizza.  What's not to love about this?

Chicken and Black Bean Pizza
Inspired by this Pillsbury Bake-off recipe

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • garlic powder
  • pizza crust for 1 pizza
  • 1/2 cup thick & chunky salsa
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 t. cumin
  • chopped onion
  • green or red pepper strips
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Sprinkle chicken breast with garlic powder and broil for 15-18 minutes, or until done, turning halfway. (or cook on your George Foreman Grill)
  2. When cool, dice chicken.
  3. In medium bowl, combine salsa, chicken, black beans, cilantro and cumin; mix well.
  4. Bake pizza crust for 5-7 minutes; remove from oven and spread bean and salsa mix evenly over pizza crust.
  5. Top with onion, pepper strips, and cheese.
  6. Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese is melted.
  7. To serve, garnish with sour cream and guacamole (or avocado). 

Makes one pizza.

    I like to use a pizza crust I make in my bread machine, but you can also use a packaged crust mix or a pre-made crust you can find in the store. My bread machine recipe makes enough dough for 2 pizzas so I just double the recipe.  One chicken breast also seems to be enough for two pizzas.

    The ingredients can be varied to suit your own tastes. Mushrooms and green onions are really good on this.


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