Monday, August 29, 2011

Santa Fe Chicken Burritos

Welcome to...Kim's!  I was recently catching up on some magazine reading and ran across a recipe for Santa Fe Grilled Chicken Soft Tacos.  In my de-clutter mode, I cut it out and added it to my recipe pile.  I liked the fact that it was a recipe that I didn't have to go shopping in order to prepare it.  I did do some bulk shopping recently though, which included burrito sized tortillas, boneless skinless chicken breasts and a pico de gallo salsa.  I originally planned to make a few batches of our chicken fajitas to freeze for later use.  I ran across the recipe again this weekend and made a last minute change.  A good move!

I gathered the necessary ingredients...chili powder, cumin, paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, brown sugar, olive oil & boneless skinless chicken breasts. {We tend to buy some spices in bulk.  It seems to be cheaper.  We also buy bulk olive oil, but I was finishing off the little bottle we had to buy on vacation.}

Measure the spices and brown sugar into a bowl.

Mix them together using a whisk or fork.

Add the olive oil & mix together.  The mixture will be crumbly paste-like.  Now, it's time to get your hands dirty...rub both sides of each chicken breast with the seasoning.

Let the chicken sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Grill over medium heat until done.  Let sit 5 minutes before thinly slicing.

While the chicken was marinading, Pete cut up some of the peppers and onions from our CSA to grill while he was grilling the chicken.  We loaded our tortillas with pinto beans, grilled chicken, grilled onions & peppers, cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo salsa {I sampled this in-store & loved the flavor - spicy but not too - as well as the texture.  It isn't mushy like a lot of salsas are.} & even a few fresh tomato chunks.  I then learned that I have mad burrito wrapping skills.

We also had tortilla chips with pico de gallo salsa and a dab of guacamole.  The burritos. were. awesome.  They were a big hit with the kids and Pete too.  So big a hit that I used the rest of the pack of chicken and now have 2 dinners' worth {and lunch too with leftovers} marinating in the freezer.  They all raved that it was great and as good as going to one of those burrito places.  I'm happy to have a new Mexican recipe to add to my collection.

Santa Fe Chicken Burritos
Adapted from All You's Santa Fe Grilled Chicken Soft Tacos

2 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
6-8 burrito sized tortillas

Extras: grilled onions & peppers, pinto beans, cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo, lettuce, olives and/or whatever else you like in your burrito

In a small bowl, mix chili powder, cumin, paprika, red pepper, salt, pepper & brown sugar.  Stir in oil until moistened & crumbly.

Rub the seasoning on both sides of chicken breasts.  Let sit at room temperature up for 30 minutes {or freeze for later}.

Grill chicken over medium heat until done.  Let sit for 5 minutes before thinly slicing.

Serve with tortillas and desired extras.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Star Wars Cupcakes

We celebrated 7 this summer with Star Wars cupcakes...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

White Barbeque Sauce

White Barbeque Sauce is a staple around here.  In other places, you have barbeque sauces of all kinds - honey barbeque, Kansas City style, Memphis Style.  Even South Carolina is known for their mustard based barbeque sauce.  Here in Alabama, it's all about the white sauce.  It is mostly used for barbeque chicken, but we've been known to use it like ketchup for french fries & hushpuppies.  Here at home, I like it with oven roasted potatoes. 

I've been using this recipe for White Sauce for a long time - since before I left home.  And we won't talk about how long ago that was.  My Mom has a cookbook - from my Grandmother's church if I'm not mistaken - that had the recipe in it.  I have adapted some because I like a thicker sauce than the original recipe makes. 

White Barbeque Sauce

6 heaping Tbsp mayonnaise
3 Tbsp vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar 
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Whisk together all ingredients until smooth.  Additional mayo and/or salt & pepper can be added to obtain desired thickness and flavor.

*Note:  when making a bigger batch, I don't usually use the full amount of vinegar or pepper.

I've been known to quadruple this recipe when Pete's got the smoker fully loaded with chicken, so it's adjustable. {And good!}

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Road Trip to Falls Mill, Monteagle & Chattanooga

We had hoped to escape for the weekend before school started.  We had reservations at a hotel with a really cool pool.

The weather forecast - for rain - didn't cooperate with our plans.  We cancelled our reservations and decided we should do something...anything...else.  Something before the chaos of schedules - school, soccer, scouts, and dance/gymnastics.

We packed a cooler with some drinks & a few snacks and then stopped for a eat-while-you-ride lunch so we could get on the road.

We didn't really have a particular place we wanted to go so we just started driving and ended up here at Falls Mill.

Pete & I visited here many years ago.  It was neat to see it again.  The kids enjoyed looking at all of the machines & equipment inside the mill. 

In the country store upstairs, they had an Aeolian player piano.  The lady there gave us a quarter to put in it.  The kids had fun listening & dancing to the music.

Sam soaked up the history and loved learning about how the mill operates.  He declared that he enjoyed coming there so much that we should visit every month.  That's one thing I like about that kid.  He is pretty easy to please.  Quite often, he'll say that whatever we're eating, doing, etc. {family day trip, game night or leftovers for dinner} is the best "fill in the blank" EVER. 

After we finished touring, we picked up some corn meal and pancake mix.  I've already started using the corn meal for frying okra from our CSA, and I'm hoping we can make pancakes this weekend.

Pete said the drive to Monteagle was a pretty drive so we headed that way after we left the mill.  It was pretty, but I'm sure it would've been even better had we not run into torrential downpours.  

The kids were ready for a snack after we left the mill, so we continued with our eat-while-you-ride plan.  Apparently, the multitasking was too much for Grace.  She fell asleep mid-snack with her hand in the bag.

We continued through the rain towards Chattanooga.  We were afraid that we would bring the rain with us since it was moving in that general direction, but we lucked out and didn't get wet during our stop for dinner in Chattanooga.  We've been to Chattanooga several times - enough for Sam to occasionally ask when we can go back to Sticky Fingers.  So, it wouldn't be right to go to Chattanooga & not eat there.  Right?

 I saw this bike on a building as we were driving in.  After dinner, we walked to find it.  I thought it was cool because it reminded me of the bikes we rented at the beach and it is similar to the bikes Pete & I just got.

We spent several minutes looking at all the "stuff" that was used to create it.  Really cool!

Grace spotted a carriage down the way...

On our way back to the van, we made one last stop at the Moon Pie store.  The kids had never had one so we bought a box of mini's to take home.

Although we didn't get to spend the day lounging around the pool as we'd hoped, we a fun day on our impromptu round about trip to Chattanooga.  Sam has asked when we'll be headed back to Nashville.  I think our next road trip might involve eating spaghetti in a train car...or something like that.

Have you been on any road trips lately?  Or come up with some spontaneous fun?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Happy Mail Day

It's not very often that we get anything in the mail other than the occasional bill or loads of junk mail so today was a really special day.  I found 2 boxes on the porch & another in the mailbox.

The first box was a surprise from my hubby...a Lisa Leonard "play everyday" necklace.  I love her jewelry!  This is actually my 3rd piece.  I have a camera necklace and a bracelet.  I wear them all the time.

The 2nd & 3rd boxes were both from Picaboo.  I first learned about Picaboo last summer.  I took advantage of a FREE photo book offer they had, and I also bought 2 different Groupons for them.  I started working - last summer/fall - on the book for our 2010 vacation, but we got busy.  I didn't finish it until a day before my Groupon expired last week.

I did a custom cover and upgraded the pages in my book to the lay-flat pages.  I love how it turned out.  The print quality {and overall quality, too} was great!

After I ordered my book, I still had some credit left on the Groupon.  I got to work and put together a 2012 calendar.  

 Again, I upgraded...I got the 11x14 calendar which has laminated pictures, but the calendar pages are matte to make writing on them easier.  I added in a few birthdays and called it a calendar.  

Since I was in a hurry, I used photos from earlier this year for the first part of the calendar and finished it with last year's Halloween & Christmas at Disney pictures.  If I had more time, I would've considered doing a theme {kids, Disney, beaches, flowers, etc.}, putting some photos on some of the calendar pages {i.e., a pic of Sam on his birthday square, etc.} or even putting more pictures on the top.  I do have another Groupon to use still so I need to get busy so I'm not rushed at the last minute to create something.  What will I do next???

Have you received anything fun in the mail lately?

P.S. I don't get anything if you buy their stuff...other than the satisfaction of others benefiting from my experience.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

1st Day of School

Hello first day of school.

Hello 2nd grade.

Hello breaking 102 books read records.

Hello new teacher. 

Hello to friends...old and new.

It's going to be a great year!

P.S.  Wow! He has grown so much since last year!