Thursday, August 16, 2012

Chicken Fajita Pocket Appetizers

Today is reveal day for the Improv Cooking Challenge, and this months ingredients are tomatoes and peppers! I love those two ingredients, don't you? They just say summer and freshness and yum! This month I made Chicken Fajita Pocket Appetizers. I know, a mouthful, right?  But, what a taste sensation, and the perfect, perfect  party food. I used these little whole wheat pita pockets, and stuffed them so full with chicken, tomatoes, peppers, onions, sour cream and guacamole. They are tasty and wonderful,  and you can just savor that summer freshness! What a treat!!
Chicken Fajitas Pocket Appetizers
1 Chicken Breast
Garlic Powder
1 Roma Tomato
1 small Onion
1 each Mini Red, Yellow, and Orange Peppers
Lettuce
Avocado
Sour Cream
Kangaroo Itsy Bitsy Whole Wheat Pockets
Pan fry, or grill if you prefer, the chicken breast, 
sprinkled with garlic powder.
While your chicken is cooking, cut your peppers,
and take the seeds out. 
Cut the peppers into small, thin strips. The peppers
have to fit in the mini pockets, so they should be small in length,
but they will shrink some while cooking.
Cut your onions the same way as the peppers.
Chop your tomatoes.
Make your guacamole, by smashing your avocado....
add a 1-2 tablespoons of sour cream, 
and a few of your chopped tomatoes.
Add some garlic powder. Mix well.
Finish cooking your chicken.
Sautee your peppers and onions in a pan.
Shred lettuce, and place in the bottom of the mini pocket.
Top with a couple pieces of chicken.
Add peppers, onions,
tomatoes,
sour cream,
and avocado.
Serve to all your friends! They will love them!

Check out what everyone else made:

The Freshman Cook is partying at the following fun spots:
Church Supper
Nifty Thrifty Sunday


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sugar Cookie Thongs!

I know I am showing my age here now, but when I was a little girl, flip flops used to be called thongs. Do you remember that? Of course now, flip flops and thongs are definitely 2 very different things. However, I still have a tendency to slip up once in a while and call my flip flops "thongs" and although I try to catch myself before I say it out loud, this is forever a source of humor for my husband. (So glad to be available for his amusement!)
Never the less, it is Cookie Journey Thursday and we are making sugar cookie flip flops! I have this cute little container that I think would make such a great gift if it was filled with matching flip flop cookies. So today I made two of the designs. I hope they make you smile!
Flip Flop Cookies
Outline the pink and the green cookie.
I used Americolor Soft Pink
and Americolor Electric Green
I also used a Wilton tip #2.
Fill in the pink flip flip and .....
the green one.
I made a little flower cookie for the center of the pink cookie.
Outline and fill in with Americolor Orange.
Use Americolor Electric Blue and a #2 tip to make
 a strap for your flip flop.
Attach the flower to the center top of the strap.
Freehand some white, 5 petal flowers of your green flip flop.
Place a small pink dot in the center of each flower.
Make the straps for the flip flop in the same pink as your dots.
Thanks for joining me as I continue to work on 
improving my cookie decorating skills. I am still a long way
from where I want to be, but I am closer than I was.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
That seems to be the major key.
If you are practicing with me let me know!



Tuesday, August 7, 2012

S'mores Cheesecake!

Although it is as hot as hot can be here in the desert, I love a roaring campfire and roasting marshmallows after the sun sets. As I thought about all the other things I love about summer, you know s'mores had to be on the list!  It's Crazy Cooking Challenge day and this month we are making cheesecake! I don't know about you, but I love a good cheesecake too! So, what could be better than S'mores Cheesecake! That's all of my summer loves rolled into one! Yum!
S'mores Cheesecake
(adapted from  Cheesecake Extraordinaire
 by Mary Crownover)
Graham Cracker Crust
1 1/4 cup finely crushed Graham Crackers
1/4 cup melted Butter

Cheesecake Filling
24 ounces softened Cream Cheese
2/3 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Whipping Cream
5 teaspoons Cornstarch
4 Eggs
1 Egg Yolk
1/4 cup Vanilla Flavored Syrup(Torani)
2 teaspoons Vanilla
8 oz. Milk Chocolate(Callebaut)
3-4 oz. Whipping Cream
Mini Marshmallows

This is my "go to" cheesecake recipe. Well, it is if you stop 
after the Vanilla in the ingredient list. I used it to create this 
s'mores recipe by making a few tasty additions.  But, if you are
in the mood for a really good, creamy, vanilla cheesecake
make this. You won't be disappointed. Oh, yeah, change the 
graham crackers to nilla wafers. So good!!
Combine the cream cheese, sugar, whipping cream
and cornstarch. Beat with an electric mixer till smooth.
Add eggs and the egg yolk, one at a time, beating well after
each addition.
Beat in vanilla flavoring and vanilla.
Mix together your graham crackers and butter.
Press the mixture into the bottom of your 
springform pan. Set aside.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler set up.
Add the cream a little at a time until a desired 
smooth consistency is achieved.
Fill your springform pan with your cheesecake filling.
Leave a little room at the top for the chocolate to be added.
 Add about 3-4 spoon fulls of the melted chocolate
to your filling.
Swirl around for a pretty effect.
 Place some of the chocolate on top of the cheesecake.
Top with mini marshmallows all over.
Using a kitchen torch, roast the marshmallows.
You can roast them as much or as little as you wish.
Happy Roasting!

Thanks for joining me today!
Let's see what everyone else made:
Photobucket

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Watermelon Pops!

I just love watermelon, don't you? When the watermelon is so perfectly kissed by the sun, that biting into a piece makes you close your eyes and say "mmmmm". Eating watermelon always reminds me of being a kid, when we were sent outside after dinner to eat our big, juicy slices in the backyard. To clean our hands and faces, we would squirt each other with the hose. Oh, my goodness, what fun, and what great memories!!      I hope these watermelon ice pops bring wonderful  memories to your house!
Watermelon Ice Pops
(from Cooks Country Magazine)
1/2 small Seedless Watermelon
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Mini Chocolate Chips
1 pint Lime Sherbet, softened
12-3 oz disposable cups-paper or plastic will work
12 popsicle sticks of flat sticks
Scoop and measure out 5 cups of watermelon pulp.
Puree watermelon and sugar in batches in blender...
until smooth.  
The recipe reads that you should use a mesh strainer,
but I didn't have one, so I used cheesecloth. Throw
away anything that won't go through the cheesecloth.
In small batches, I strained the watermelon pulp into a bowl.
I covered the bowl, and put it in the freezer for 2-3 hours
until it got slightly slushy, but not frozen. 
Remove the bowl from the freezer, and stir.
Remove all the slush that may be on the sides of the bowl.
Add the mini chocolate chips and stir again.
The almost frozen state of the watermelon slush
makes it easy for the chips to suspend in the slush
 and not fall to the bottom. 

Place your disposable cups in a muffin tin. on a cookie sheet.
I started with a muffin tin, but it was unstable in the freezer,
and it refused to sit flat.
I used plastic cups, and they worked great.
Spoon watermelon puree to within a 
1/2" of the top of the cups.  
Place in the freezer until puree is solid, but not rock
hard-about 1-2 hours.
Spread softened sherbet on top of the puree
in each cup. Make the sherbet come to the top of the cup, 
and smooth it with the back of your spoon.
Cover each cup with plastic. 
Cut a slit in the top of the plastic. I did this with a 
sharp knife. I also made the slit deep for the sticks.
 Insert a popsicle stick or flat stick into the pop
so that the stick almost reaches the bottom of the cup.
Freeze until solid, about 5 hours and up to 2 days.
To unmold, let the pops sit at room temperature for 
1 minute, then gently pull out from the cup.
 If you used paper cups, peel the paper away.
I had a hard time getting mine to come loose, so I ran
cold water very carefully on the cup for just a few seconds.
They came off quickly.
I hope these make you say "mmmmm"!!

Thanks for joining me today!