Friday, February 19, 2016

Mexican Breakfast Pita Pizza

I make pita pizzas all the time for dinner but decided to try out a breakfast pizza this morning!

Mexican Breakfast Pita Pizza

Ingredients (Serves 2):
2 Pita Pockets (I suggest Joseph's 60 calorie pita)
2 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
2 eggs
1 avocado, sliced (optional)
4 thin slices of deli ham
1 tsp taco seasoning
Sriracha (optional)
Chili Powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Microwave 2oz of cream cheese for 20 seconds, add taco seasoning, and mix well. Spread this mixture on the pita.

Cut the ham into bite seized pieces and disperse evenly over the cream cheese. Top with cheddar and bake for 10 minutes.

While your pita is in the oven, cook your eggs however you would like. I prefer over easy, so this is how I did it: I turned my pan to medium heat and added a pad of butter. I cracked the egg into the pan once the butter started to bubble and cooked for 1 minute on the first side, (on until the whites are just set) and about 30 seconds on the second side. I topped my egg with salt, pepper, and chili powder.

For over medium, cook the egg for 2 minutes on the first side and a minute and a half on the other.

For over hard, cook the egg for 2 minutes on the first side and 3 minutes once you flip.

Once you have your eggs cooked and pitas out of the oven, it's time to assemble! Place the egg in the center of the pizza and spread sliced avocado on top of that. Drizzle sriracha if you desire, and cut into 4 equal sized slices.

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Chicken Taco Soup

Don't worry, soup season is almost over! Maybe. Probably not.

I made yet another taco soup variation last night and it's really good, in my opinion. I cheated and used a rotisserie chicken because I was feeling extra lazy in the kitchen and was doing a million things at once!

Chicken Taco Soup

Ingredients (makes 4 servings):
4 cups of chicken stock
1 bag of baby spinach (6oz)
1-2 cups of shredded chicken
1 14.5oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained of liquid
1/2 large white onion, diced
2 jalapenos, diced (see spice instructions below)
1 bell pepper, diced
8oz Ortega Medium Taco Sauce
1  Tbl cumin
1 Tbl paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 Tbl oil

Heat oil over medium high heat and add onion, jalapeno, and bell pepper. Cook for about 8 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Add your spices, black beans, and spinach. Cook for about 3 minutes and make sure the spinach has wilted. Add the chicken, chicken stock, and taco sauce to the pot, turn down to medium low, and cook for 30 minutes to an hour.

Enjoy :)

Spice level instructions:
Really Spicy- Do not remove any seeds or stems from pepper
Spicy- Remove seeds and stems from 1 pepper
Warm- Remove seeds and stems from both peppers
Not Spicy- Use green bell peppers or poblanos instead

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Baked Mac and Cheese

I've actually never made mac and cheese from scratch before, only assisted others and made alfredo sauce. I decided I was up for the challenge last night and wanted to put my spicy twist on it (which came out very delicious)! I'd say it was the perfect comfort food for a chilly February night, but El Nino decided it would be 52 degrees out yesterday up here in Boston.

Baked Mac and Cheese

Ingredients (Serves 6-8):
1 lb. pasta of choice (I used cavatappi, macaroni would have worked well too)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbl butter, separated
1 cup light cream
1 1/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (Cabot is my favorite)
1/2 cup shredded aged gouda (I used Rembrandt and it's amazing)
1/2 cup shredded gruyere
1/2 cup Romano or parmesan cheese
1tsp dried mustard
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
1 sleeve of Ritz crackers, crushed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook the pasta al dente according to instructions on the package.

In a deep sauce pan, melt 1/4 cup of butter. When the butter starts to bubble and turn golden, add your spices and whisk until well mixed. Add the flour once they are. Add the milk, cream, and cheese, and stir until the cheese sauce is smooth and to your desired thickness.

Empty a package of Ritz crackers into a large Ziploc bag. Using a rolling pin, bottle of wine, or your hands, crush the crackers until they are very fine and resemble breadcrumbs. Melt 2 Tbl of butter, add to the bag, and mix well.

Once your pasta is drained, add the cheese sauce into the large pasta pot (for less mess) and mix well. Pour into a lightly greased (with cooking spray) casserole dish and top with the Ritz crackers.

Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. If you want the crust to be extra crispy, broil for 2 additional minutes.

I served my mac and cheese with roasted broccoli and some cabernet sauvignon!

Enjoy :)