Monthly Archives: January 2014

Southwest Chicken and Rice

Southwest Chicken and Rice

Last night my friends and I got together for the season finale of American Horror Story (craziness!!!) and it was my turn to make dinner so I decided on Southwest Chicken and Rice.  This dinner is super easy, all you need is one pan and a great combination of smokey spices, vegetables, chicken, rice, salsa, and spicy pepper jack cheese make it incredibly delicious!

southwest chicken and rice

Start by browning some chicken tenders in oil in a large skillet, sprinkling with spices as they cook.


After you remove the chicken from the pan add some diced onion and bell pepper (the kitchen and probably much of your house will start to smell incredibly delicious at this point, this is normal).

onion and pepper

Stir in rice, garlic, and cilantro.

add rice

Add salsa (you should probably eat some with tortilla chips, ya know, just to be sure it’s good).

add salsa

After this has all cooked together for a few minutes add some water, black beans, and corn.

black beans and corn

Add the chicken back to the pan and cover, cooking until the rice soft and the chicken is completely cooked through.

return chicken

Sprinkle liberally with shredded cheese (everyone loves cheese and if they don’t you should probably reconsider why you’re cooking them dinner…), recover, and let it melt.

melt cheese

Serve with extra salsa, sour cream, and guacamole (try my recipe here) as desired.

Southwest Chicken and Rice



Southwest Chicken and Rice

Serves 8


2 pounds of chicken tenders

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon dried cilantro

salt & pepper

1 large sweet onion – diced

1 bell pepper – diced

2 cups rice

2 cloves garlic – minced

2 cups southwest salsa – plus more for serving

3 cups water

16 oz can black beans – drained and rinsed

2 cups frozen corn

8 oz pepper jack cheese – shredded

sour cream – optional for serving

guacamole – optional for serving

– In a large skillet heat the oil and add the chicken tenders, sprinkle with paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt & pepper, brown both sides (about 3 minutes on each side) then remove to a plate

– Place the onion, pepper, and cilantro in the skillet and cook until tender (about 5 minutes)

– Add the rice and garlic to the skillet and stir, cooking for 1-2 minutes

– Stir in the salsa

– Add the water, black beans, and corn

– Return the chicken to the skillet, laying on top of the rice, cover and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes or until the rice is done and the chicken is cooked through

– Serve, topping with extra salsa, sour cream, and guacamole as desired



Pumpkin Brown Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Pumpkin Brown Butter Pecan Ice Cream

I’ve wanted an ice cream maker for the last few years and for my last birthday my boyfriend got me one!  The first thing we made was this Biscoff and Toasted Almond Ice Cream from Foodness Gracious.  Then for Thanksgiving we decided to try and come up with our own recipe so we created this Pumpkin Brown Butter Pecan Ice Cream.  We combined a few different ice cream recipes and this deliciousness was born!  It’s a great combination of rich custard, creamy pumpkin, decadent brown butter, and crunchy cinnamon sugar pecans.  It’s a great taste combination you’re not gonna want to miss!  And if you don’t have an ice cream maker you can try this plastic bag method.  While I LOVE butter pecan ice cream if you aren’t a fan of nuts you can stir in crushed ginger snaps instead, we tried this with one of the batches too and it was really good as well!

caramel topped ice cream

First whisk some egg yolks in a heat safe bowl (note we tripled this recipe so we would have 3 quarts, the recipe I’m posting here makes 1 quart).  Add some cinnamon and ginger.

egg yolks and spices

Pour some cream in a metal bowl and sit the bowl in ice water.  place a mesh strainer over top.

Heavy cream

In a high sided pan brown some butter (learn how to brown butter here) and then add brown sugar and a dash of salt and cook until it melts.  this part takes awhile and it won’t be purely liquid so don’t worry, you aren’t doing it wrong, it will still taste amazing).

brown butter brown sugar mix

Slowly add milk, it may foam up so be careful as you’re adding.

Add milk

Stir half of the milk/sugar mixture into the the eggs, whisking constantly.

milk mix into egg

Add the egg mix back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk/sugar mix.

stir eggs and milk

Add the pumpkin and stir until it starts to thicken up.

Add pumpkin

Pour the mixture through the strainer into the cream.  Add the vanilla and cool in the fridge.

Stir into cream

Freeze in the ice cream maker.  When there are about 5 minutes left add some maple bourbon and pecans to the machine.

Ice cream maker

You can use regular pecans but I suggest cinnamon sugar pecans to add even more flavor!

cinnamon sugar pecans

Scoop it out and serve

pumpkin brown butter pecan ice cream

You can top with caramel syrup and extra pecans for even more flavor!






Pumpkin Brown Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Serves 8


4 egg yolks

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

2/3 cup heavy cream

6 tablespoon butter

2/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup whole milk

1 cup pumpkin

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup pecans (I use cinnamon sugar pecans)

1 tablespoon maple bourbon (optional)

crushed gingersnaps (optional for serving)

caramel sauce (optional for serving)

– In a heat safe bowl whisk the egg yolks then whisk in the cinnamon and ginger

– Pour the heavy cream into a metal bowl, place the bowl in ice water and place a mesh strainer over top

– Brown the butter in a high sided pan, then stir in the brown sugar, and salt, cook, stirring constantly until the sugar is melted (don’t worry if the sugar is not completely melted)

– Slowly add the milk, it will foam up so add carefully

– Stir half of the milk/sugar mixture into the egg mix, whisking constantly

– Add the egg/milk mix to the pan with the remaining milk mixture

– Add the pumpkin and cook until the mixture thickens and coats a spatula (about 5-7 minutes)

– Pour the mixture through the mesh strainer, add the vanilla and stir

– Cool the mixture in the fridge for a few hours

– Freeze the ice cream in your ice cream maker according the manufacturer’s directions

– With 5 minutes left in the ice cream maker stir in the pecans and bourbon

– Serve with extra pecans, crushed gingersnaps, and caramel sauce as desired

Crockpot Swiss(ish) Steak

Crockpot Swiss(ish) Steak

Earlier this week I busted out the crockpot to make a delicious recipe my mom came up with for Swiss Steak.  Now, I know this isn’t technically Swiss Steak, but it’s about a million times easier than all the pounding, and battering, and actual cooking required for actual Swiss Steak and all the flavors are still here.  My mom made this in the oven but I decided to make my life super easy and just throw everything in the crockpot so I would have a nice hot dinner waiting for me when I got home.  Dust off your crockpot and get ready for savory, tangy, Swiss Steak with peppers and onions.


First chop up some onions and bell peppers (as you can see I used red but really any color is fine).

bell peppers

sweet onion

Crush up some canned whole tomatoes and put them in a crockpot with some beef broth.  Splash in some Worcestershire (thank goodness for spell check because I can literally NEVER remember how to spell Worcestershire) sauce.

liquids in crock potAdd some pepper, paprika, oregano, and parsley.


Stir in the peppers and onion.


Toss in some garlic.

add garlic

I put the above ingredients in the crockpot in the fridge the night before so I had less to do the morning of.  Before I left for work I added the London broil and made sure t was covered in broth and veggies, then turned the crockpot on low.  When I got home I put some potatoes in the oven and then served up the delicious beef and veggies with a baked potato and sour cream (because, duh)!  The broth was tangy and flavorful, the beef was falling apart and tender and the sour cream made the broth nice and creamy.

Crockpot Swiss(ish) steak

My mom said she served hers with mashed potatoes, but baked potatoes were easier!  I also think it would be delicious served over rice or egg noodles, use your imagination and enjoy!




Crockpot Swiss(ish) Steak

Serves 4


2 – 14.5 oz cans whole tomatoes

14.5 oz can beef broth

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 bell pepper – chopped into 1″ chunks

1 large sweet onion – chopped into 1″ chunks

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried parsley

2 cloves garlic – grated or minced

1.5 pounds London broil

– Place the tomatoes and liquid in the crockpot and crush the tomatoes slightly with your hands

– Add the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, vegetables, and spices, stir until mixed

– Add the London broil, making sure it is completely covered by the broth and veggies

– Put the lid on and set the crockpot on low and cook for 8 hours

– Serve with potatoes, rice, or noodles


Chicken Bacon Ranch Macaroni and Cheese

Chicken Bacon Ranch Macaroni and Cheese

I’m back!  After a crazy last few weeks of classes and a great Christmas break I’m bringing you the perfect recipe for the crazy cold weather.  Prepare yourselves for Chicken Bacon Ranch Macaroni and Cheese.  Yes folks, it’s as wonderful as it sounds!  A few weeks ago FoodPorn tweeted a photo of Chicken Bacon Ranch Macaroni and Cheese so I googled recipes and came across this one from  Of The Hearth.  It kind of reminded me of my nanny’s baked macaroni and cheese which is my absolute all time favorite food ever so I decided to use that recipe as a base, it turned out fantastically!


First cook some bacon and crumble it when it’s cool.  No recipe can be bad if it starts with bacon, that’s a scientific fact.


Then cook some chicken.  After it’s done shred it up.


While your chicken cooks boil some water and cook a box of macaroni according to the directions on the package.  After it cooks drain the macaroni, return it to the pan, and stir in sour cream and ranch seasoning.

macaroni, sour cream, ranch

Then mix in the bacon and chicken.


Put half of the macaroni into a buttered pan and top it with shredded cheese and pepper (you can add salt too if you like but in my opinion the ranch seasoning mix is salty enough).  Repeat with another layer of macaroni and cheese.  Pour some milk over the macaroni.

mac and cheese in pan

Place the pan in the oven and bake until the cheese is browned and bubbly.

browned and bubbly cbrmc

Serve up the deliciousness!!!!!  I kid you not, this mac and cheese is a cheesy, ranch mac and cheese with delectable bits of bacon and chicken, yummmmmmmm!

chicken bacon ranch macaroni and cheese



Chicken Bacon Ranch Macaroni and Cheese

Serves 10-12


6 slices bacon – cooked and crumbled

2 chicken breasts – cooked and shredded

1 box (16 oz.) elbow macaroni

1 cup sour cream

1 packet ranch seasoning mix



24 oz. cheddar cheese – shredded

– Preheat the oven to 350 ºF

– Cook the bacon until slightly crisp, then crumble

– Cook the chicken, let cool, and then shred

– Cooke the macaroni according to box directions, drain and return to pot

– Stir the sour cream and ranch seasoning into the macaroni

– Mix in the crumbled bacon and shredded chicken

– Butter a 13 x 9 baking dish and pour half of the macaroni into the dish

– Top the macaroni with half of the cheese and some pepper

– Repeat the layering with the rest of the macaroni and the cheese

– Put the baking dish in the oven and bake until the cheese is browned and bubbly (about 40 minutes)