Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Picnik-- the new photo obsession

I've discovered a wonderful new tool.  It's called picnik and it helps your photos go from drab to FAB!  Here are a few touched up pics of my furry babies...

Mr. Tobie on the couch.

Ralfie snoozing on the other couch.

Charlie and Mocha in the SAME PICTURE!!  Plus, Charlie is doing his 'sitting like a human' trick. 

I had fun playing this afternoon.  Now that my brain is refreshed, time to get back to work!

Chicken Fajita Salad

Wondering what to do with the leftover meat from your Chicken Fajitas that you made the other night?  Me, too!  This morning, I opened the refrigerator to throw something together for lunch (another lean pocket was NOT going to cut it today).  What did I see??

1.  Leftover grilled chicken and green bell peppers from Chicken Fajitas
2.  Iceberg Lettuce
3.  Carrots from the garden
4.  Tomatoes from the garden
5.  Cukes from someone else's garden
6.  Cheddar cheese
7.  Ranch dressing

Folks, we have a salad!!  I added a couple of things that were hanging out in the pantry and... viola!  A lunch to write home about.  That reminds me... I need to email my Mom!

Chicken Fajita Salad
1/2 cup grilled chicken and green bell peppers from here:
1 cup iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 oz. cheddar cheese, chopped
1 cup various chopped veggies (tomatoes, cukes, carrots, celery, etc.)
1/4 cup drained and rinsed black beans
1/4 cup drained and rinsed canned corn
4 or 5 black olives, sliced
1 to 2 TBSP of your favorite dressing
6 crushed restaurant-style corn chips

1.  Place the chicken and peppers in a smaller container for transport to work.  Layer the lettuce, veggies, beans, corn, olives and dressing in a larger container.  Be sure there is plenty of room at the top for shaking.  Place the chips in a separate baggie.
2.  When its time to eat, heat the chicken and peppers for 45 seconds to 1 minute in the microwave.  Dump on top of the salad in the larger container.  Add the crushed chips to the top and shake, shake, shake!  Shake, shake, shake!  Shake your sa-lad!  Shake your sa-lad!  (while shaking your booty, of course)
3.  Enjoy and remain energized for your afternoon of whatever you do at work! For me its been cooking french fries.  LOTS of french fries.  Thank goodness no fries were included in this salad or I'd have to harm them mortally with a fork. ;)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chicken Fajitas

Hey everyone!  The end of the week, we'll be in September.  HOLY COW!!  Where did the summer go?

Well, the weather doesn't know that September is coming.  Its still been pretty toasty here in the Treasure Valley with highs in the 90s the last few days.  The last thing I want to do after coming home on a hot day is heat up the kitchen.  Plus, we need to take advantage of grilling while its still grilling season!

This recipe is simple but delicious!  Even Ty will eat it so you know its good.  Have a great last week of August/ first week of September.

Chicken Fajitas
3 large chicken breast halves
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp southwest seasoning (Mrs Dash has a good one)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh garlic
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
3 Tbsp oil (I used canola)
2 Tbsp water
1-2 bell peppers, bottom and top cut off, then chopped into 4 pieces
1 med sweet onion, sliced thick (optional)
Other toppings if desired

1.  Slice each chicken breast piece in half horizontally.  The easiest way is to hold the breast flat against the cutting board with your hand while sliding the knife through the meat.  You should end up with two thin chicken breast pieces.

2.  Mix seasonings, lime juice, water and oil in a bowl for the marinade.  Place in a ziptop bag with the chicken pieces and shake well to distribute the marinade.  Let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes.   Meanwhile, heat the grill over medium heat.

3.  Place the chicken and veggies on the grill.  Cook over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes per side.  The veggies may take a bit longer than the meat. 

4.  Let meat rest for 5 to 7 minutes on a cutting board.  Slice meat and veggies thin, then layer with cheese and salsa into warm flour tortillas.  Serve with additional toppings such as sour cream, guacamole, etc. 

Tip: The meat stores well in the freezer!  Make extra, slice it up, and transfer to a freezer bag once its cool.  Reheat for a quick dinner or as a topping on a crunchy fajita salad!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Raspberry Blackberry White Chocolate Muffins

Howdy ho!  How are you this fine Monday morning?  We are finally getting settled in our new temporary home.  Most of the boxes have been unpacked and sorted.   All that is left is the garage-- the end is in sight!  The animals are all adjusting quite well.  Ralfie is very happy to have his couch back...

And Tobie found a comfy place to nap...

The kitties are having fun exploring all the new nooks and crannies.  Mocha especially loves the upstairs family room.

The kitchen in this place is HUGE.  I love it!  This weekend, I had a pint of raspberries and a pint of blackberries that needed to be used up.  I wasn't in the mood for cobbler, so I decided to make the next best thing-- Muffins!  Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!  Dark chocolate chips may be substituted for the white chocolate if you'd like.  I made them both ways and they were both great.

Raspberry Blackberry White Chocolate Muffins
1 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup oil (I used canola)
2 Tbsp orange juice
1 tsp vanilla

1 cup raspberries and 1/2 cup blackberries (or any combination of 1-1/2 cups berries)
1 cup white chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 375°F.  Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.

2.  Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

3.  Make a well in the dry ingredients.  Pour in the wet ingredients and mix just until moistened.

4. Add berries and chocolate chips.  Mix until well blended.

5.  Line a muffin tin with liners and spray lightly with cooking spray.  Fill each liner 2/3 full (I used a #24 scoop).

6.  Bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.

7.  Cool for about 5 minutes in the tin, then remove to a wire rack to cool.  Enjoy!