Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fajita Bacon Chicken

You already know we love Mexican food around here.  Any kind of Mexican food.  Good Mexican food.  Even bad Mexican food isn't that bad.  It's like pizza, even the bad Mexican food is still pretty good.  Of course we love fajitas, and who doesn't with the peppers and onions???  The only thing I don't love about making fajitas is they are kind of a chore.  Marinating, cooking, slicing, dicing.  When I started off making this recipe, I kind of envisioned serving the chicken breasts whole, topped with the bacon, onions, peppers etc... (similar to a Monterrey Chicken Dish.) But then we got hungry and I thought the chicken might cook faster if I sliced it first.  And after I did that I decided to serve it fajita-style  with flour tortillas.  Really good.  Really easy.  One dish.  Make this for dinner tonight.  Seriously.
It's like a cross between Monterrey Chicken
and Chicken Fajitas.
Oh so good!
Allow cheese to melt over the top.
Ooey Gooey Cheesy Chicken Goodness.
One skillet.
4 Stars.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Easy Oven-Baked Ribs

Mr. Devilish Dish is a huge rib fan.  I on the other hand am not fond of any dinner that requires immediate dental flossing.  So we rarely have ribs.  We do have a smoker in the back yard that I haven't the slightest idea how to use.  Basically if the weather is nice enough for smoking, it's nice enough for golfing.  He doesn't like ribs well enough to babysit a smoker on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.  I decided I would attempt to make him his beloved ribs, only definitely inside the house.  This method was so simple and the ribs came out great.  I ate my obligatory one, but Mr. DD ate 5.  And we are not talking baby ribs.  We are talking Fred Flintstone Gigantasaurus Ribs.  Use whatever seasoning and barbecue sauce you have, and pork or beef ribs, your choice!  They will come out great.
3 Ingredients, 3 Hours. 
I told you they were EASY!
I used a sauce and seasoning we had on hand.
Try your favorite bottled sauce and
all-purpose seasoning.
The ribs came out tender and delicious!
So EASY!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Pumpkin Cupcake Centerpiece

I LOVE Halloween!  It's my favorite holiday.  Even more so than Christmas.  I even have a huge Halloween village that lights up and makes noises.  (Yes, I know most people have Christmas Villages.)  Since my accident, this is the first year I've decorated for Halloween.  The porch, the door,  the kitchen table.  I intended to set up the Halloween village on the dining table but I gave up.  It's a lot of work to make sure the lights and cords work for 50+ houses and I ran out of time and patience.  Maybe next year.  So I was left with an empty dining table with only a black tablecloth and my silver candelabras with black tapers in them.  We were in Dallas last weekend and Central Market had the cutest little white baby pumpkins you've ever seen!  I didn't know what I was going to do with them at the time, but I bought a bag full.  I brought them home and the idea hit me.  I have a really cool black wire cupcake stand.  I added the white pumpkins (now I wish I had bought more) and orange pumpkins and came up with an adorable centerpiece I'm really proud of.  You could substitute mini decorative gourds too, but I love the Halloween look.  I hope you do too!
My mother-in-law bought me this
adorable cupcake stand at Target.  She said
they only carry the black this time of year.
(I also have it in cream.)
I love cupcake holders and cake stands
almost as much as I love Halloween!
Here's a better view.  It's easier to see the
cupcake stand when It's not against
the black tablecloth. Isn't it fun?
And yes those are Halloween
platters displayed on the bar.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Easy Apple Crisp

Occasionally, my family will get a yearning for something sweet.  I don't make dessert every night.  Usually on special occasions.  But once in awhile I'll make a treat to go along with a meal, for no special reason.  It might be cookies or brownies.  In my husband's world it would be something to go with ice cream.  This apple crisp hits the mark.  It is ooey-gooey and super rich.  Super Rich.  As in you need AT LEAST two scoops of ice cream to take the edge off.  And if you're one of those people that likes to lick the cake batter off of the spatula then this is the dessert for you.  It's like an apple pie with a cake batter-flavored crust.  And butter.  Lots of butter.  Try it, but trust me...have a small bowl with extra ice cream.
The Easy Apple Crisp Line-Up
Spread pie filling into a greased dish.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
Top with dry cake mix.
Pour melted butter over cake mix layer.
Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Until golden brown...
Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

CHOCOLATE 13th Birthday Gift

My Devilish Assistant Emily just turned 13.  Sadly that cute little apron that says "Baking Princess" doesn't fit anymore.  But she still loves to bake and I'm so glad to have a helper in the kitchen.  Like most 13-year-old girls she loves dogs.  She has two big chocolate Labrador Retrievers that she adores.  One of them was her birthday gift 4 years ago.  A cutie-patootie chocolate lab puppy.  What a birthday that was!  The other ball of chocolate love was adopted after the tornado that struck Moore, Oklahoma in May of 2013.  The poor guy went through a lot, has had several surgeries and he's just so happy to have a family that loves him.  He sleeps with Emily every night and he's quite the cuddle bug.  It's safe to say she is a fan of chocolate labs, so when I saw a set of notebooks and folders with chocolate lab puppies on the cover I knew exactly what she was getting for her birthday.  Since she loves to bake almost as much as she loves chocolate labs, I included a brownie mix.  (Because we call the dogs the Brown(ie) Brothers.) And like every girl on the planet, she loves chocolate so I added some of that too.  I put everything in a dog bowl (ha!), added some shrink wrap and tied it up in a cute bow.   A chocolate-themed 13th birthday gift for a girl that loves chocolate AND chocolate labs!

A "Chocolate" Themed
Birthday Gift for my
favorite 13-year-old!
Folders and notebooks featuring
"Chocolate" Labs, Brownie Mix,
and some Chocolate too!
(All in a cute dog bowl!)
Here's Emily on her birthday 4 years ago
with Moose.
Get it?!?
Chocolate Moose.

Monday, September 29, 2014

New Mexico Pinon Coffee Chocolate Cake

We recently returned from a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico and I could go on and on for days about how much I love that place.  I tell my husband it must be because it's stimulating to all of the senses.  From the flavors of spicy green chiles, the sight of the rustic adobe architecture, the sound of the church bells ringing at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi to the scent of pinon wood burning in fireplaces all over town.  The pinon tree is the State Tree of New Mexico, commonly found in the high desert landscape.  Not only does burning wood have an intoxicating smell unique to the area, but the roasted nuts of the tree are used in all kinds of cooking.  My nephew loves the Pinon Coffee, which is a blend of roasted coffee and roasted pine nuts.  It has a rich, nutty flavor.  In rush to get to the airport, he wound up with some ground coffee when what he really wanted was whole bean.  I said I would take the ground coffee home with me, because the flavor would be a delightful addition to my baking.  And that's how New Mexico Pinon Coffee Chocolate Cake was born.
A dark, moist chocolate cake with a hint
of rich, nutty Pinon Coffee flavor.
Let cakes cool before adding glaze.
You won't believe how moist this cake is.
It doesn't even need the glaze, but we
love the extra touch of Pinon Coffee flavor!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Green Chile Mashed Potatoes

In a previous life, I think I was from Hatch, New Mexico.  I LOVE green chiles!  Green Chile Stew is my signature dish.  Well my husband would stake his claim to that dish too, but I'll go ahead and take credit for the development of that recipe.  Green Chiles add a wonderful flavor to any dish.  They can be spicy, but there is a mild variety too.  That's usually what you see canned at the grocery store.  If you get the opportunity to buy them fresh and have them roasted, that is a special treat.  Not only are they wonderful in soups and stews, you can add them to almost anything, including potatoes or scrambled eggs.  Pretty much anywhere you would use a bell pepper, especially in casseroles.  Think of it as a bell pepper that went on vacation in the Southwest.  These mashed potatoes make a rich, delicious side dish, perfect alongside the Mexican Roast.  They are creamy, cheesy and green chile-y.  And oh so good!
Look at that fluffy pile of mashed potato goodness!
The Green Chile Mashed Potato Line-Up
Boil the peeled and cubed potatoes until tender.
Drain.
Mash with milk and butter.  (If you don't have a
hand masher, you REALLY need to get one.  It is
not that much effort to mash the potatoes by hand.
I find if I use an electric mixer, the potatoes get
too sticky and starchy.)
Add the cheese...
And the green chiles.
Season with cumin, salt and pepper.
Now you can die happy. 
You've had Green Chile Mashed Potatoes.
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