Chicken Taquitos

Again, when recipes collide, you get this. Be sure to take a look at the reduced fat version at the bottom. It is the  same method I use when preparing corn tortillas for  enchiladas. IMG_2769_0004

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cooked and shredded
  • 1 cup picante sauce  or salsa
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups shredded Colby/Jack cheese
  • appx. 36 (6 inch) corn tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  In a medium bowl combine the shredded chicken, picante sauce, cheeses and ground cumin. Mix together.

In a small skillet heat vegetable oil over medium high heat. Place a corn tortilla in the oil for 1 to 2 seconds on either side to soften. Repeat with all of the tortillas. Place tortillas on paper towel to soak up some of the oil.

Put 1 tablespoon of the chicken mixture in the center of a tortilla. Roll up tortilla and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet, seam side down. Repeat with all of the tortillas until chicken mixture is gone.

Bake tortillas in the preheated oven for 15 to 25 minutes or until tortillas are a little crispy and golden brown.

Serve with sour cream, guacamole and salsa.

LIGHTER VERSION (the method I use!)

Using the same ingredients, prepare the chicken mixture.

Instead of frying the tortilla in the heated oil,  I heat them up one at a time in the microwave for 10-15 seconds each. I fill them and roll them immediately after heating them up.
(HINT: the fresher the tortilla, the less likely it will tear or break while rolling or baking.)

(If using this method, spray the taquitos with Pam before baking.)


I love hummus. My technique for making it may not suit everyone, so I've attempted to give accurate quantity measurements. My personal technique is a very scientific, refined system of dumping, free-pouring, and tasting! I've never measured anything I've dumped into the food processor when I've made this dip, so these are "best-guess" quantities.

2 cans garbanzo beans (I hear that it's smoother and tastes better with fresh garbanzo beans, but I've NEVER found fresh beans anywhere!)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (out of the green plastic container-the fresh grated stuff doesn't have the right consistency for this use)
Approximately 1/4 cup olive oil
Approximately 1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper sauce (Rooster sauce works well)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Rinse garbanzo beans, then use a food process to chop everything together until smooth - about 5 minutes. Add oil and lemon juice in equal quantities to loosen the beans as they process. Add the different seasonings to taste.

Serve with warmed or toasted pita bread, or your favorite crackers.

I've substituted garlic powder for the minced garlic, and ground cayenne pepper for the red pepper sauce. I prefer to use fresh ground black pepper from a mill over the pre-ground stuff.

Favorite Pizza Sauce

This one has a bit of a kick.

  • 1 6-oz. can tomato paste
  • 6 oz. water (just use the empty tomato paste can)
  • 3 Tbsp. garlic bread seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

Empty tomato paste into a bowl and add water a few tablespoons at a time, stirring constantly until combined. Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine, and allow to stand until ready to use. Covers two average-sized pizza; freezes extremely well.

(Original recipe found HERE)

Garlic Bread Seasoning

  • 1/2 c. powdered Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tsp. basil
  • 2 tsp. marjoram
  • 2 tsp. parsley

Combine ingredients in a jar (preferably one with a sprinkle top) and shake. Sprinkle on top of breadsticks or combine 1 1/2 Tbsp. seasoning with 1/2 c. of softened real butter and spread on a loaf of French bread (cut in 1/2 lengthwise). Wrap in foil and bake at 375 until butter's melted. If you want, you could also pop it open-faced under the broiler for a few minutes so it gets brownish and crispy.

(Original HERE)

Homemade Ketchup

Today is Sunday. It is my turn to cook for the family (extended included).  I am grilling hamburgers in spite of the weather (thanks Evan!). As I was filling dispensers with condiments, I realized I was out of Ketchup. Being a fan of the 10 commandments, panic ensued.

I quickly googled and found this recipe and though I would give it a whirl.  I had all of the ingredients on hand, so why not. When I first blended the ingredients together and gave it a quick taste, the cinnamon and cloves were quite noticeable. I am a picky eater and a die hard Heinz® Ketchup fan, so I was a little nervous about serving it but reminded myself to give the flavors some time.

  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar**

Mix together, cover and refrigerate (for at least two hours to allow the flavors to blend). Remember that when you make things from scratch, they don't have as many preservatives (good and bad). You are going to have to use it up in a month or so.

** I didn’t have any cider vinegar on hand, so I used white wine vinegar.
POST EDIT REVIEW: The cinnamon and cloves were still a distinct flavor that I did not like in the end. Will attempt to make ketchup again, but not with this recipe. I will try the one posted below.

Version 2

I have since found this recipe, and I like the recommended spices for this one. I will most definitely try this one next time. I predict it will be closer to what I expect from a ketchup and I will opt out of the the cinnamon and cloves for sure.

  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • pinch cinnamon (optional)
  • pinch ground cloves (optional)
  • pinch cumin (optional)

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl. You may adjust spices to your taste. (Some prefer a "spicier" ketchup.) If the mixture is too thick, add more water until the ketchup reaches the consistency you prefer. Cover and refrigerate. Since this ketchup doesn't have preservatives, it should be used up within a month.

Balsamic-Marinated Chicken

Once again, my neighbor, the krazycakelady, comes through with another great recipe. This one is for Balsamic-Marinated Chicken.

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts halved (or use 10 tenders)
  • 1 cup balsamic vinaigrette (She used Kraft reduced fat Balsamic Salad dressing)
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbs frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic

Combine all ingredients

Place chicken in large zip-lock bag. Add marinade to chicken. Squeeze air out of bag and seal. Marinate in fridge 4 hours (the longer the better, on Sunday mornings I make it early and let it marinate for 6-8 hours.)

Set up grill on medium high heat. Oil grate when ready to start cooking. I brush with Olive oil or use Pam for grilling, this is very important or chicken will stick. Remove from marinade, grill for 3-4 minutes per side until chicken is no longer pink.

Variation: Can be cooked under broiler. Broil 6-8 inches under heat source. Broil for 5-6 minutes per side or until chicken is no longer pink.