Monday, June 20, 2011


Fajitas always remind me of the restaurant Chili's. Usually I've ordered something safe and boring - like chicken - and then immediately regret my choice when a waiter walks by with a sizzling pan of fajitas, the smell wafting over our table. Then, by the time we go back again, I've forgotten just how good those fajitas look and smell, so I do the same thing over again. Solution: make my own at home!

This recipe came from one of my husband's co-workers years ago and it's definitely become a keeper in our family. I made a few changes to the original recipe (and I like my changes much better, if I do say so myself). I simply added some honey into the marinade and used a lime instead of a lemon at the end. It makes a difference, trust me.

And just because the recipe calls for good old chicken doesn't mean you couldn't mix it up a little bit. Have fun with the toppings, too, of course.


1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. chili powder
1 clove garlic, minced
1 dash hot pepper sauce (I didn't include this because I'm a spice-wimp and I think the chili powder gives it enough kick)
1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into strips
1 Tbsp. oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1/2 lime, juiced

In a medium bowl, combine Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, chili powder, garlic, and hot pepper sauce. Place chicken in sauce, and turn once to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate for several hours.

Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add chicken strips to the pan, and saute for 5 minutes. Add the onion and green pepper, and saute another 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and sprinkle with lime juice. Add additional toppings of your choice (we added some cheddar cheese and sour cream and it was perfect).

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

S'mores Cookies

I was looking for something different to take on our road trip to Yellowstone last week. I probably could have just stuck with a traditional chocolate chip cookie, but I saw this recipe on The Girl Who Ate Everything and thought, "Bingo!" We usually have S'mores when we camp with my husband's side of the family and they're, of course, a favorite treat. But there were no campfires this time around. The weather sentenced us to hotel stays, and hotels really aren't conducive to cooking around a fire. Enter: S'mores Cookies! The crunchy graham cracker bottom and little pockets of melted marshmallows were the perfect combination with a plain old classic chocolate chip cookie. They were almost as good as the real thing. :)

S'mores Cookies

11 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate because they're my favorite)
1 cup mini marshmallows
3 regular-sized Hershey bars, broken into pieces
1-2 pkgs. graham crackers, broken into squares

Line baking pan(s) with waxed paper. (I used one 12x16 cookie sheet and I had less than a cup of cookie dough leftover. I could have used it up in a second pan, but I really didn't want to bother. Plus the dough was really yummy, so it may have disappeared soon after anyways.) Lay out graham crackers side by side as close as possible. I could fit 24 graham cracker squares on mine, with a bit of extra room around the edges.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon to combine. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine on low speed. Fold in chocolate chips and marshmallows. Cover dough and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a heaping tablespoon of dough on each graham cracker. Press down slightly with fingertips.

Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from oven and press one Hershey bar piece on top of each cookie. You could also break the Hershey bar into smaller pieces and place 2-3 on each cookie, depending on how much chocolate flavor you want.

Bake for 5-7 more minutes or until dough turns golden brown at the edges. Let cool for 1-2 minutes, then cut between graham crackers to form separate cookies and remove to wire rack (this is important - if you let them cool all the way, the marshmallow gets stuck together and makes them kind of hard to get apart).

Friday, June 3, 2011

Creamy Chicken and Noodles

I was flipping through my Better Homes and Garden cookbook a couple of weeks ago and discovered that there's a previously-unknown "crockery cooking" section right smack in the middle of the book. WHY I didn't know about it beforehand, I'm not quite sure - I've flipped through that cookbook dozens of times. I actually think the "crockery" bit threw me off. I mean, who calls their slow cooker a crockery cooker anymore? It's a Crock Pot, people. Quit trying to be all technical. :)

Anyways, I found this recipe for Creamy Chicken and Noodles and it sounded just right to make for the dreary, rainy Sunday we had last week. (Sigh. Summer, where are you??) It turned out pretty good, so of course, I had to share. I made a few adjustments to the original recipe, which I've included below.

Creamy Chicken and Noodles

1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup sliced celery
1 Tbsp. snipped fresh parsley
1 bay leaf (I used about 1 tsp. of the dried bay leaf I had in my spice cupboard)
3 medium chicken legs, skinned (I acutally used 3 chicken thighs because they shred really easily - and they're conveniently boneless)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/2 tsp. salt (The original recipe didn't call for any salt and I thought it was a little bland, so this is my addition)
1/4 tsp. pepper
10 oz. wide egg noodles (about 5 cups)
1/2 cup frozen peas

In a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker place carrots, onion, celery, parsley, and bay leaf. Place chicken on top of vegetables. In a bowl stir together soup, water, thyme, salt, and pepper. Pour over chicken and vegetables.

Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Remove chicken; shred and place back in cooker. Discard bay leaf (if you used a whole one - I obviously just left the flakes intact). Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions; drain. Stir peas into soup mixture in cooker.

To serve, pour chicken mixture over hot noodles; toss gently to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper.