Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Southwest Avacado Ranch Dressing- Part 2

Southwest Avocado Ranch Dressing

 I have tried many recipes that try to imitate the tomatillo Ranch dressing from a local restaurant called Cafe Rio's.  Likely, it was just me but none of them ever really was a good imitation.  The flavor just wasn't there.  Then after working with a few recipes and combining the best ideas, it happened!  Just the right combination of ingredients make this amazing!  You can adjust the heat by using more or less Jalapeno and cayenne pepper.  I like mine with just a little more kick than mild so here it is:
(Part 3 to Sweet Chicken Tortilla Salad)
Southwest Avocado Ranch Dressing

Combine in a small food processor or blender:

1/2 small to average ripe avocado
1/2 cup Ranch Dressing (I use a Hidden Valley mix with milk and mayo)
1 small diced jalapeno (1 inch to 1 1/2 inch)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon lime juice
3 sprigs of chopped cilantro (optional, but it is sooo good!)

Blend all together until smooth. Store in refrigerator.

Isn't that beautiful?

This dressing can be used for with many foods.  I use it with Sweet Chicken Tortilla Salad
Click on this link to get the recipe.  You'll love it!
What ideas do you have that would taste good with it?  Comments are loved and appreciated!

This is an original recipe and was first seen here on Scrumptilicious 4 you!
This recipe was shared on these great blogs:
Chef in Training
Whimsy Wednesday
Our Table for Seven

Sweet Chicken Tortilla Salad - part 1

Get ready for summer with this fabulous lunch or dinner salad.  This is really gonna knock your socks off!  No kidding you guys, this is so great for hot weather.  It is fresh and crisp, yet filling with chicken, black beans, and cheese.  It is very good just as it comes in this recipe but if you combine it with my homemade tortillas here and Avocado Ranch dressing(found here -click on this link) it just might make you famous!  Lightly sweet with a southwest flavor.  

This recipe has several steps so to make it easy on everyone it is best to prepare some parts ahead even a few days before when you have time.  Then when the chicken and tortillas are already made it is fast to put together and not difficult at all!  

Part 1
This recipe comes from a really great blog..Your Home Based Mom.  I use my own home canned salsa which is quite sweet and not hot at all but you can use your favorite kind.  

Bajio Chicken (Slo Cooker)

4 large boneless, skinless Chicken breasts
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon Cumin
1 (4oz) can diced Chilies
6 oz Sprite 

Put all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours.  Shred chicken and let simmer for 1 more hour.  (Not hard at all was it?)  This can be used for multiple purposes which makes your efforts even more productive.  Try it not only for salad but tacos, burritos, enchiladas,nachos, etc!!  It is divine!

This will just get you started.  Now that blog posts for Avocado Ranch Dressing and Soft Flour Tortillas are posted you can make this chicken, make the Tortillas, and you are ready to go!  

First place a tortilla on a plate.  Sprinkle it with cheddar cheese and warm a few seconds in the microwave to melt it.
  Warm some black beans with some of the juice from the can.  Top the cheese with some beans and a small amount of juice.  Place some of the shredded chicken on top of these and then top all this with Romaine lettuce and some sprigs (if you are like me...alot of sprigs) of cilantro. 
You can pour the Avocado dressing on top but I like to keep it on the side and dip the salad into it.  This is the bomb!!! 

This recipe has been shared on these wonderful blogs:
Nap Time Creations 
Any Onita Nibbles 
Mandy's Recipe Box 
The Recipe Critic 
Whimsy Wednesdays 
High Heels and Grills
Our Table for Seven
This blog can be found on Bloglovin!
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Monday, June 10, 2013

My Best Kept Secret!

Pan Release (You're really gonna love this!)

This week's recipe isn't pretty, good tasting or even gourmet but......it is the one of the best recipes that I have ever found!!!   And here it is!!
If you haven't ever tried this pan release this is going to change your life!  It is so simple but the first time I tried it I was blown away.  Everything I use it on comes out of the pan perfectly...  It is so amazing.  I have gone through my share of times crying over cakes that had places that stuck to the pan.  I had to run a knife around the sides of loaves of quick bread or even regular bread to get them to finally come out and even then the sides were all ratty and messy because it got stuck!
NO MORE!  When you spread this on a cake or bread pan your product comes out so beautifully.  It just slides right out like this----

 This recipe is found in many places so I am not sure who the original came from.  (If you know please let me know so I can give them credit.  I would also like to personally send them a thank you letter because I really love this stuff.  

Pan Release

1 part flour
1 part shortening
1/2 part vegetable oil

You can make any amount as long as you follow this guide.  For example, I usually use 

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Mix it together well with a wisk and brush on pan. 

Make sure not to miss any spots.  I keep the remaining mix in my fridge in a covered container.  This keeps well for a few months if refrigerated. 

I would also appreciate it if you kept this just between us.  It's kind of a secret!!
If you like this post please leave a comment so I can get to know you better!

This recipe has been shared on these wonderful sites! 
Mandy's Recipe Box 
Make ahead Meals for Busy Moms 
The Recipe Critic 
Chef in Training 
Anyonita Nibbles 
The ny Melrose Family 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Juicy, Roasted Chicken

When you want a succulent, juicy meal but you are busy at home, this recipe is for you!  It is quick to put together, then put it in the oven and forget it.  An hour and a half later you can pull out a complete dinner all in one dish that is fit for company!   The meat is so tender and juicy it will amaze you!  Let's eat!

Juicy Roasted Chicken

1   3 to 5 lb. Whole Chicken
1/2 cup margarine (I cut this down to  5 TBSP)
1 TBSP onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
salt and pepper to taste
1 stalk celery (no leaves)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place chicken in a roasting pan or dish and season generously inside and out with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle inside and our with onion powder and sprinkle outside with garlic powder.  Place 3 TBSP. margarine inside the chicken and the rest in small chunks around the outside of the chicken.  Break celery stalk into 3 pieces and place inside the chicken cavity.  Scrub 3 medium potatoes and cut (with skins on) them into 2 inch chunks.  Peel 4 to 5 med. Carrots and cut into 3 inch sections.  Place vegetables around the chicken.

Bake uncovered until a thermometer reads 180 degrees when placed in a thick part of the chicken. (Usually the thigh).  The time to cook a 3 lb chicken is usually about 1 hour and 15 min. and up to 1 hour 45 min. for a 5 lb. chicken.  Test frequently at the end of cooking time to avoid over cooking.  Remove from oven and baste with drippings.  Cover with foil and allow to rest about 30 minutes before serving.  
This recipe was slightly adapted from Allrecipes found here


3/4 cup cooled drippings
3/4 cup cold water
3 TBSP. flour
Salt to taste

Mix ingredients together with a wisk in a small saucepan.  Heat to boiling and boil 1 minutes. Serve over chicken and potatoes. 
Comments are loved and appreciated!

This recipe was shared on the following sites
Mandy's Recipe Box 
Make ahead meals for busy moms 
The Recipe Critic 
Chef in Training 
Nap time Creations 
pint sized baker 
A to Zebra Celebrations