Friday, February 22, 2013


For someone who really enjoys Mexican food, I can't believe the first time I'd heard about this dish was just about a year ago!  

When I saw it online, I thought some genius homecook had created it.  

Then when I went out to eat at a local Mexican restaurant I noticed it on the menu.  

These are beany, cheesy and saucy and basically nothing more than a classic bean and cheese burrito!  



4 cups refried beans, make your own or use canned
1 cup Vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 package of small to medium size tortillas, corn and or flour
3-4 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded


Preheat oven to 350º

Heat up the refried beans in a saucepan.  Add in the vegetable or chicken stock, water and tomato paste and stir until blended and smooth.  The sauce needs to be thin (so you can coat the tortillas easily without them being too heavy and tearing), so add more stock if needed.

Using tongs, take a torilla and lay it in the sauce ensuring that the entire tortilla gets covered with sauce.    You don't want them to soak too long or they will tear too easy.  Lift out the tortilla and lay them in a baking pan. Fill the inside with cheese and fold over like a taco.  

Repeat with as many tortillas as you can.  Pour remaining sauce over the tortillas and sprinkle with cheese.  

Bake for about 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted. 

Serve with a dollop of sour cream on top.  

Source: Tasty Kitchen

Monday, February 18, 2013

Just like: Outback Steakhouse Alice Springs Chicken:

 Back when we first started dating, my husband was working at Outback, which also gave him a 50% discount.  So, that's basically the ONLY place we ate for a long time.  And even though he doesn't work there anymore, it's still our go-to place to eat.  Ok, I'll be honest, we eat at Outback for almost every single "special" occasion.  Sometimes we just make up an occasion so we can justify going to eat there.  It's SO GOOD!

For a while I would order the same thing off their menu.  Alice Springs Chicken.  A mountain of cheese, mushrooms and bacon on top of a chicken breast makes the perfect combination of flavors, not to mention awesome leftovers for lunch the next day!

When I found this reciepe in my new cookbook, it was one of the first ones I tried out! (with only a few slight changes)

Just Like: Outback Steakhouse Alice Springs Chicken


Honey Mustard Marinade: 


4 boneless chicken breasts, halved
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 Cups sliced mushrooms
2 Tablespoons butter
salt and pepper, to taste
paprika, to taste
8 slices bacon, cooked
1 Cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 Cup cheddar cheese, shredded

In a small bowl, combine all the marinade ingredients together for about 30 seconds.  Place chicken in a plastic ziplock bag and pour about 1/3 of the marinade in with the chicken.  Press out as much air as you can and seal the bag.  Marinate in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.  Chill the remaining marinade for later. 

Once the chicken as marinated, remove it from the bag and discard the bag.  Preheat the oven to 375º.  In a large skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon of oil and sear the chicken for about 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through.  Transfer chicken to a baking dish. 

In the same skillet, saute the mushrooms in butter. 

Brush each chicken breast with some reserved marinade, season with salt, pepper and paprika.  Break the bacon in half and stack four pieces of bacon on each chicken breast.  Spoon the sauted mushrooms onto the bacon and sprinkle with Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese evenly. 

Bake the chicken dish for 7-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and starting to bubble.

Serve with steamed broccoli and remaining Honey Mustard Sauce. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Macaroni and Tomato Sauce or "Zombies"

My Dad grew up eating this.  I think it's because it was a cheap way to feed 6 boys after they worked all day on the farm.  But Grandma knew what she was doing, because I grew up eating this too.  And I've never worked on a farm.  Now that I have kids, this has become a regular at our house.

I'll admit, it's a little weird and plain, but the taste is satisfying and it hits the spot.

I'm not totally sure why, but my boys started calling it "Zombies"  So you can call it "Macaroni and Tomato Sauce" (because that's what I called it growing up)  or you can call it "Zombies"

*Now try to follow this: My husband's little sister is best friends with my cousin's daughter.  My cousin's father is my Uncle, who also grew up on that same farm eating Macaroni and Tomato Sauce with his 5 brothers.  After we'd been married a few years, I spotted my sister-in-law making herself Macaroni and Tomato Sauce for lunch one day.  "What's that?!"  I said.  She had been eating this with her best friend (My cousin's daughter) for years!  (although she adds hot dogs to it....).  Looks like my Uncle passed on the yumminess of this meal to his kids, who passed it on to theirs...who passed it onto their friends! Whoa.

Macaroni and Tomato Sauce or "Zombies" 


1 lb macaroni, cooked, drained
2-3 15 oz cans of tomato sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste

Add sauce to cooked noodles.  Stir.  Season with some salt and pepper and eat with a slice of buttered bread.