chicken

Fajita Spice Mix

I cook Mexican food in phases. I’ll make salsa and guac a few nights in a row, then Salsa Chicken the next night, and eventually I get around to mojitos (which I learned to make with fake sugar simple syrup and they are AWESOME–way better than they sound). Then I remember how much I enjoy cooking Mexican! It’s easy, healthy, and people generally like it.

I think the spice is best rubbed on chicken right before cooking. Making the spice blend ahead sets you up for a quick and easy dinner.

Fajita Spice

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp salt

Mix together all ingredients.

Advertisements

The Last Semester

Welcome to second semester senior year with Taylor. What does the welcome entail? Great question. First, I’m taking six credits, which means I have class exactly once a week on Monday night. That means I’ll have loads of time to cook, read for fun, work out, babysit, and pretty much do whatever comes up. I plan to devote a medium amount of time to school because with a part time class load I really should do well.

I completed all the credits I need to graduate last semester, so this spring I chose to take business classes. I figure more business knowledge can’t hurt. Since I’m still a student I continue living on campus with my best friends and all that, which makes me happy.

My cooking spree began over Christmas break when I served three course meals to my family. I had time and my parents’ food money, leaving no reason not to cook. Below is a list of a few recipes I found online, tried, and enjoyed.

Chili Soy Sauce Steamed Fish from Amazing Seafood Recipes

 Pan Seared Cauliflower Steaks from Love and Lemons

Chocolate Cake from Add a Pinch

For Christmas I got the best gift ever from my parents… A KITCHENAID MIXER! I still can’t believe it. The first time I asked for the mixer my dad said, “What are you, 45?” Thanks, Dad. Luckily he warmed up to the idea. I don’t think any other gift could make me happier. A new mixer most likely means more baking, so to my neighbors: stop by regularly.

Check back later this week for my new Fajita Spice recipe!

I used the Fajita Spice on chicken and topped with salsa last week

I used the Fajita Spice on chicken and topped with salsa last week

 

Italian Chicken

Italian Chicken

I forget how much I love being with the campus community. All my friends live within a one mile radius, so someone is always popping by the house. This might inhibit productivity, but it greatly improves student satisfaction!

In other news, I have been an iPhone 6 owner for ten days. I only dropped it once so far (probably a record for me), and although I harbored a bit of skepticism with the bigger screen, I quickly adjusted and now love it.

Back to the community that I love… My boss just stopped over with tomatoes from his garden, so what was I to do? Cook with them, of course! Thus, I made Italian Chicken, a simple weeknight dish.

Italian Chicken

1/2 lb chicken tenderloins

2 medium tomatoes

2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/3 cup parmesan cheese

2 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add chicken and season with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Brown and cook chicken (about 3 minutes each side), and remove to place in baking dish. Top chicken with a single layer of sliced tomatoes and parmesan cheese and bake for 7 minutes. Serve when the cheese looks delicious and gooey!

Caprese Chicken

IMG_0663

This always happens after spring break. The end of the year comes so fast. Before I know it all my papers are due and I face finals week. This is a beautifully difficult place to be. I dread the busy end of the semester, but I look forward to summer.

Nevertheless, I have to eat, so I continue cooking. I added Caprese Chicken to my weeknight meal rotation, since total prep and cook time is only about 20 minutes.

IMG_0660

 

Caprese Chicken

1/2 lb chicken breast or tenderloins

1 clove garlic

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

4 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, pulled to 1 inch balls

1/2 cup fresh basil, shredded

Salt and pepper, to taste

Dash of olive oil

Heat olive oil in large skillet. Add chicken and garlic. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook chicken until one side is brown, about 5 minutes. Turn chicken, and add tomatoes and basil. Continue cooking chicken, and stir tomatoes and basil occasionally. Just before removing skillet from heat (after about 14 minutes), place mozzarella on chicken, and let mozzarella melt. Serve, with tomato juices, if desired.

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

As strange as it seems to make dinner before eating breakfast, I love starting dinner in the slow cooker in the morning. The work is done after putting the ingredients together, and the kitchen smells great when you get home. Those are both good things.

For this recipe, grab chicken, salsa, lime juice, chili powder, sea salt, cilantro and a dash of season salt.

IMG_0980

There it is. I used the mini tonight. Isn’t it cute?

The salsa really affects the flavor of the chicken, so choose a salsa you like. If you have a little extra time, try the Pioneer Woman’s Restaurant Style Salsa.

I sneak Season-All into most recipes because it makes almost anything better (disclaimer: that is an opinion), but if you hate it, leave it out.

IMG_0978

If you like, serve with corn tortillas, guacamole, cheese and sour cream. I prefer the meat without the tortilla, but many of my friends (specifically the male college students) uphold carb overload diets, so I usually serve it with tortillas.

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

1 lb boneless skinless chicken tenderloins

1 cup salsa

2 tbsp lime juice

1 tsp chili powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

season salt, to taste

2 tbsp cilantro, for garnish

Combine salsa, lime juice, chili powder, sea salt and season salt in slow cooker. Add chicken, stirring to coat with salsa mixture. Cook on low for 6 hours. Shred chicken and leave slow cooker on warm setting for 30 minutes. Transfer chicken, with salsa mixture, to serving dish and garnish with cilantro.