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Month: January 2017

This May Be The Best Quesadilla in the World. . . . .

This May Be The Best Quesadilla in the World. . . . .

Your family and friends will want you to make these again and again!  I ‘ve made what I thought were good quesadillas for years – just by layering fresh ingredients between tortillas.  They weren’t bad, but I had it all wrong!  This recipe blends the perfect flavors and seasonings in a meat and cheese filling that is easy to prepare.  It’s also the perfect consistency to “stick” to the tortilla and not fall apart.  This will be one of your “go to” recipes —  for an appetizer, a quick dinner or just a fun snack!

1 pound sirloin steak or chicken, thinly sliced
1/2 can (4 1/2 oz.) green chilies
3 teaspoons ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced sweet onion
1/4 cup minced red pepper

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon season-all salt

2 cups Monterrey Jack cheese
4 large flour tortillas
extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 c. fresh cilantro, chopped,  1/2 cup prepared guacamole
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 c. sour cream,  salsa

In a large skillet, drizzle enough extra-virgin oil to coat bottom of skillet – about a teaspoon.  Add steak or chicken, chiles, cumin, garlic, onion, red pepper, chili powder and salt.  Mix thoroughly and cook over medium heat until fully cooked.  Add cheese – I cut into small pieces – and stir until melted.  Set aside.
Preheat another large skillet over medium-low heat. Drizzle olive oil and place 1 flour tortilla and fill with 1/2 of meat mixture. There will be enough for two large quesadillas. Place another tortilla on top. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until light golden brown then flip and cook on other side. If the quesadilla is browning too quickly, turn down to low heat. Repeat steps for the remaining quesadilla.
Cut each quesadilla into 4 pieces and garnish with tomato, sour cream, salsa, guacamole and fresh cilantro.

Ready to top with second tortilla – chicken quesadilla made with chicken breast
Use a pizza cutter to cut into four pieces
Steak Quesadilla – my favorite!
Almond Pistachio Muffins

Almond Pistachio Muffins

I dream of these mini-muffins with a hot cup of coffee!

What a treat!

We fell in love with the Pistachio Muffins at a nearby market so I went on the search for a recipe.  I couldn’t find any recipes for pistachio muffins that were the muffins we loved, so I came up with this one.  I added a glaze and everyone loves them!

2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 packages pistachio instant pudding mix
2 cups flour
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon almond extract

Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk or cream (add more if too thick)
1/2 Tablespoon butter
1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease muffin pan.  In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, pudding mix and salt.  In electric mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs and almond extract and beat until smooth.  Gradually add dry ingredients and buttermilk, alternating, starting and ending with dry mixture.  Blend well.  Divide batter evenly into muffin cups.  Top with chopped pistachio nuts.  Bake 25 minutes or until edges are brown and top pops back when you touch it.

While the muffins bake, combine glaze ingredients and stir until smooth.

Cool muffins in pan 5 minutes then top with glaze before removing to cooling racks.

Regular and mini-muffins baking in the oven
Caramel Bread Pudding

Caramel Bread Pudding

Okay.  NOW I’m ready to diet.  Ever had that “last” meal before you begin a diet?  I had a few leftovers to deal with before I was ready to begin the annual tradition of losing the weight I gained over Christmas.  (Anyone else do this?  I swear it’s still worth every bite!)   I know that I could have tossed them in the garbage but they were such GOOD leftovers!  I had caramel rolls, caramel sauce, and heavy whipping cream.  Sounds like a delicious bread pudding, right?            It was. . . . . !

Bread pudding is an under-rated treat and making it with caramel rolls instead of plain bread takes it to a new level.  I cut up the leftover caramel rolls and let them dry out for the day.  I could have left them out for a couple of days but who has the patience for that?  Of course you CAN make this with any kind of bread.  You can also add cinnamon and raisins.  If you do not use sweet rolls, you will need to add 1/2 cup sugar to the liquid mixture. No extra sugar is needed with the caramel rolls.

Cut up caramel rolls left out to dry

The rolls measured out to about 4 cups.  I placed them in a 7 x 11 Pyrex baking dish.  I poured this mixture over the rolls:

3 eggs

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix thoroughly before pouring over rolls.  Let the combined mixture sit for 30 minutes while the rolls soak up the liquid.

Bake for 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven

Then bake for 45 minutes in a pre-heated 350 degree oven.  It is done when a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Drizzle with caramel sauce if desired.  Serve immediately if you like warm, delicious caramel bread pudding!

So good when it’s warm out of the oven!

There weren’t any leftovers this time.  Yum!

 

 

 

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