Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cilantro Lime Chicken And Other Updates From My Kitchen

With all the activity of last week, I did not keep up with cooking homemade meals for our family.  We went out one night, my mom made us some yummy chicken noodle soup that lasted a few meals, and one night we ate pizza.  I was feeling bad about my lack of time in the kitchen so I wanted to make up for it this week!  Tuesday evening I tried a new recipe that I can tell is going to become a favorite standard.  I slightly modified a recipe that I received in an email from  Simple, healthy, fresh, and made in a slow cooker...not much better than that!

All I did was mix 1 jar of enchilada sauce, 1/4 cup water, a few tablespoons of cilantro, the juice of 2 limes, and a low sodium packet of taco seasoning in my crockpot.  I added some chicken breasts and cooked it for 8 hours.

Thanks to the cilantro and other great flavors, the house smelled amazing all day as the chicken cooked!

And when it was done the chicken was tender, juicy, and fell apart - just how I like it!  It was perfect on tortillas.

I used this Chi Chi's packet as a shortcut...mixed it with water and a can of creamed corn (I omitted the butter as it wasn't necessary for flavor)...what an easy but tasty side dish in a hurry!

My mom had made a batch of strawberry applesauce jello that Madi and I both love so she sent some our way.  I will have to get the recipe from her and post it.  I have eaten that jello for years with all sorts of meals!  It is a sweet, refreshing side to savory dishes.

Monday evening I had some thinly sliced steaks I had purchased on sale, so I seasoned them with Montreal Steak Seasoning (favorite), doused them with some worcestershire sauce, and broiled them for a few minutes.  I cooked some Jasmine Rice (the best for white rice I think), and used one of those McKenzie's frozen creamed corn logs that I never knew about until I moved down here.  That is some magic right there.  All you do is microwave it but it tastes as fresh as if someone's Southern grandma spent all day making it!  I got some gorgeous asparagus at Publix so I simply sauteed it with some Pam until it was nice and crispy, then added a pat of butter and the juice of a lemon.  I love fresh asparagus.

Since romaine was on sale, I thought we could have some Ceasar salad. I saw this dressing in the produce section and gave it a try and was throughly impressed!  Very fresh tasting for bottled dressing!

Then I used a box of Duncan Hines brownie mix and made the low-fat variation on the back of the box, adding a little less than half a cup of mini semisweet chocolate chips.  The key to brownies, especially when you are making them lower in fat, is not to overbake them!  Keep your eye on those babies while they are in the oven.  They have to be a little fudgy in the center!  These were just right and a sweet ending.

This week I also used a mix from Aldi that I found on clearance to make some pumpkin pancakes so the kids could have good breakfasts.  When I make pancakes I make a big batch and let them cool, then bag and freeze them.  After 45 seconds in the microwave, my kids can have homemade (or semi-homemade if from a mix) pancakes as we rush out the door before school!

This was when they were fresh off the griddle.  That is one happy pancake loving boy right there!  Those smiles make time and effort in the kitchen so worthwhile!

From fresh produce to leans meats to shortcuts and mixes, it has been a tasty week in the kitchen.  I can't wait to make that Cilantro Lime Chicken again.  I'm telling you, it was so good and so simple!  Give it a try!

And just so you know, the leftovers were all gone and we were in a hurry so tonight I fed the kids (drumroll)...

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with applesauce, bananas, and the rest of the strawberry jello.

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