what rhymes with tortilla?

There is beer in this recipe. I want to put that out there up front so those sweet, apple pie stay at home mom’s out there reading this don’t get all the way to the grocery store before realizing that there is—oh no not that!—beer on the ingredients list. I’m sure you can substitute chicken broth to make this more kid friendly, but for those of you adults who just don’t normally drink beer I challenge you to be bold—just trust the recipe. You don’t really taste the beer outright, but I think it adds something to the flavor that really makes it complex and delicious (and it smells amazing!). And of course the chicken breasts, cooked in the crockpot for several hours, are as always fall apart tender and moist. It’s always, hands down, the best way to cook chicken. In fact, at the end of this recipe you are supposed to remove the cooked chicken breasts, place them in a bowl, and shred. Well I tried to stick them in the middle with a fork and lift them out and they literally fell apart. It was beautiful. The best kind of cooking failure, when you can’t shred your chicken in a bowl as the recipe calls for because it shreds itself. And wonderful, moist chicken aside, this was just delicious. It definitely climbs to the top of my slow cooker recipes. It’s cheap and simple and makes SO much food. My husband and I literally have been eating it for a week, which is okay with us because its delicious and reheats like a dream. Add a dollop of sour cream and tortilla chips–crunched or used to scoop–and you’ll be set. I’d recommend this recipe for when you’re having people over for a quick and easy solution. And if you’re going to tortilla chips anyway, do it right and get the ‘hint of lime’ chips. So delicious.

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east meets south

No, not the far east….put your chopsticks down and back it up. I saw a picture of this recipe and had to try it. It looked unique and it wasn’t until as I was preparing it that i realized that it was Italian meets Mexican. It’s like a lasagna, but instead of noodles there is tortilla. And there is ricotta, but it is mixed with salsa verde. The flavor is unique and delicious, and it’s so fun to stack the layers. It’s cute to look at, easy to prepare, and unlike any recipe I have ever tried. We loved the flavor and I know this will be a new go-to recipe. Healthy, quick, and delicous. It’s sure to please!

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slow buffalo

I took a trip. A week long work conference in Vegas (I got wild and took a picture in front of a slot machine! lol) and of course what would my poor sweet husband do without me all week long? Who would watch him play video games and eat pizza all night long feed him and make sure he gets to bed okay?? So I perused the wonderful world wide web for an easy slow cooker recipe that screamed out man-meal (yes, okay, there are recipes like that. They usually involve some combination of cheese, bacon, sausage, and as seen here—buffalo sauce never hurts). I was not surprised and secretly excited when I came home to find he’d been eating fruit and vegetables a large pizza for days and I would get to make this recipe myself. I was a little skeptical about lasagna in the slow cooker and also about the idea of mixing buffalo and marinara sauce—are there Italian cowboys?–but bleu cheese and buffalo flavors are one of our favorites and they sure didn’t let us down. I love a good twist on a classic and this was awesome and so tender and thick, cooked to perfection as I walked through the door after a long day which is awesome because lasagna normally involves an hour of pressing your face up against the oven door and watching the cheese slowly bubble for an hour or more. Subtly classic, with a true flavor kick. Try it out and then give your slow cooker a hug!

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honey lime, anytime!

Enchiladas are always good. But with most things, I almost always enjoy a white sauce version over red. So the classic enchilada you will not find here on my blog, but a few variations are quickly becoming favorites (see white chicken enchiladas—yum!). This is a sweet version that is a great twist with delicious chicken marinated in a sweet lime sauce. So cheesy and, as with most hispanic foods, gets better as leftovers which is great since this was almost a whole week worth of dinners for my hubby and me. Serve with some yellow rice and a dollop of sour cream. Sweet with a little kick.

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hey there dumplin’

With the winter weather finally visiting us here in Florida, now come the marathons of crockpot recipes. I probably don’t need to explain why I love crock pots, but I’m going to do it anyway because there is just something wonderful about unlocking the door after a long day to be greeted by the most welcoming smell of magically cooked, hot food (thank you crockpot fairies!). And down south we like our chicken and dumplings, so here’s a delicious recipe that whips up a whole pot full of creamy, gravy goodness with the perfect doughy dumplings.

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chicken saltimwhatta?

Finally. I have been meaning to post this recipe for a LONG time. It’s one of the best chicken recipes I’ve got. Sometimes I notice I will do anything to avoid a “plain old chicken breast recipe”. Lots of recipes are for chicken in this sauce or rolled in that breading, and I feel like a lot of them end up tasting the same—good because its chicken covered in cheesy or crunchy or whatever it is, but nothing spectacular. THIS is spectacular. Truly. Full of flavor and complexity. Juicy, to say the least. I’ve never had another chicken like it. We love it with a side of quinoa for a flavor-packed, nutritious meal (the recipe is on the blog too!).

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oh. my. please try.

I only post the good recipes. I know I must sound silly in entry after entry, raving about each recipe as if it were the best thing since the last recipe¬†sliced bread. But I want you to know, there are recipes that don’t make it. There is the occasional recipe that just lacks flair, doesn’t cook quite right, or just isn’t as good as it sounded. I figure these aren’t ones to share with friends, I want to build a collection that is the best of the best–to develop a great resource for myself and others to feel like any choice is a good choice.

Now, that being said, the meal we had tonight was really one of the best we’ve made. We’ve had our share of good meals, impressive and flavorful. Tonight’s meal has earned its rightful place at the top of our favorite meals ever. I honestly am not exaggerating, I hope that you will consider trying it out—-it’s sooo amazing. I’m glad my husband and I were the only ones in the room when we ate it because the whole time we were making noises and exclaiming how amazing it was, and he kept telling me that from now on he wanted this meal to be his special yearly birthday dinner (replacing the long time favorite of corn dogs and mac n’ cheese). It was easy and just wonderful for this time of year—a wonderful spin on the classic grilled cheese and tomato soup. Buffalo and blue cheese—-a wonderful flavor combination, in happy balance. Once you try it you’ll understand. It is remarkably good. A new favorite for sure.

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chili for the chilly

I used to work at the University of Florida Digital Library. At first I spent my days scanning old newspapers into a computer, and later graduated to cropping and brightening these images. Let’s just say it’s not the most stimulating activity so you tend to start reading the articles, looking at pictures….perusing a little to keep your mind going. In between the obituaries and ‘Dear Abby’ columns (uh—‘my husband likes to wear my underwear, what do I do?’) I stumbled across a few strange pictures and this recipe I have saved as little¬†souvenirs, clips from a time in my life in college. I have tweaked the recipe over the years to what I consider to be a delicious, unconventional chili I go back to every year for it’s simplicity and great flavor. I like to throw it in the crock pot at lunch time and am always greeted with a wonderful scent when I walk through the door after work. I have recently discovered that Ritz makes a version of their classic cracker with a touch of honey which pairs wonderfully with this recipe and probably has influenced that extra scoop of chili I put in my bowl this time around. Double the recipe to make enough for the troops, or share the regular size with your hubby for a few nights—-it’s easy on the wallet. And good in your belly : )

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southern comfort

I am a southern girl, born and raised. Well, it can be argued that Florida is south of the real south, we just kind of stick out into the sea and associate ourselves with old people and flip flops and sort of this half southern accent. Ya’ll. yeah, we use that a lot. And along with the goodness associated with southern things, is southern food. Now I am probably commiting the ultimate southern sin by saying this but…I don’t like grits. at all. And surely I do not like sweet tea. Not your mamas, or grandma’s, or Mickey D’s…BUT this recipe is an ultimate favorite and easy to make. It’s almost an all in one entree—why make a main dish and a side when you can put one inside the other? It’s creamy and crumbly and oh so delicious. Try it out. And like us, you might just find yourself making it again and again.

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this is it…

Pancit! It’s the answer you’ve been looking for. In those desperate moments of last minute dinner plans, here is a recipe that I come back to time after time. It is so good. Like, really good. Like, make little noises of happiness while you eat it good. I don’t know how it happens—the ingredient list is straightforward, but something happens in that pan that is unparalleled. And it’s a good thing it’s delicious because it makes enough food to feed my husband to get through most of a week. Don’t worry about following the amounts too closely, I just grab the ingredients needed and play it by ear eye. And those ingredients are cheap. What more could you ask for in a recipe? Oh yeah, did I mention it’s delicious?

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