Friday, April 29, 2016

Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese is one of my favorite comfort dishes.  Pasta coated with a creamy cheese sauce.  A very satisfying and delicious meal. 

This recipe uses 3 different cheeses in the sauce - sharp cheddar, Swiss, and my personal favorite Dubliner.   The sauce is seasoned with some cloves, black pepper, nutmeg, and salt.   Once the sauce is made, the cooked pasta is added.  Once all ingredients are mixed well, the mac and cheese is poured into a casserole dish and baked until bubbly. 

MM, deliciousness in every forkful. 

Mac and Cheese
From Kerry Gold  Irish Mac and Cheese adapted by From My Southwest Kitchen


Cook pasta according to package instructions and set aside to cool. In saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, add onion and lightly season with salt. Add a pinch of sugar and cook onion until translucent.
Add flour and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not cook long enough to color. Whisk in milk and cream and incorporate totally. Bring mixture to a simmer; add bay leaf and cloves.
Reduce burner to low heat. Cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and remove bay leaf. Whisk in 1 cup each of the  Cheddar,  Swiss, and Dubliner Cheeses, until incorporated. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. In large bowl, combine pasta and cheese sauce. Spoon into 2 1/2-quart casserole dish.  Top with  remaining 1/2 cup grated Dubliner cheese. Bake at 375° F for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly.  

Makes 6-8 servings

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Pressure Cooker Chili-Lime Chicken

I love the flavor lime adds to chicken.  It adds an extra limey zesty flavor.  Add some chili powder and you have a delicious chicken breast.  Usually, I serve the chicken breasts whole.  This recipe shreds the meat and it is perfect for salads, tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, quesadillas, sliders.

This recipe is made in a Pressure Cooker.  Usually, I shy away from cooking in a Pressure Cooker.  I cannot say why this is.  Every time I cook a meal in the Pressure Cooker, I love it.  It turns out delicious.  This recipe is no exception.  It  is one of my favorites. 

Begin by placing the chicken breasts in a pressure cooker.  Squeeze some lime juice over the breasts.  Rub the spices into the chicken breasts.

Ready to cook

Secure the lid on the pressure cooker and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes.  Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before releasing the steam.

Ready to be shredded


Remove the chicken and shred with two forks.  Place the chicken back in the pot and toss with the juices.  The chicken is ready to serve.   This chicken makes some of the best tasting tacos, burritos, sliders, and queadillas you have ever tasted.  Enjoy:)  Great for Cinco de Mayo parties.

Pressure Cooker Chili-Lime Chicken
From Our Best Bites Adapted Slightly by From My Southwest Kitchen

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 medium (or large) sized limes
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt (use a little less is substituting table salt)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  1. If chicken breasts are more than 1-inch thick, cut in half. Place chicken in pressure cooker pot. Squeeze in the juice of both limes. Sprinkle all seasonings over chicken. Use clean hands to rub spice mixture all over all sides of chicken.
  2. Secure lid on pot and cook at high pressure for 6 minutes. When finished let rest for 5 minutes and then release steam. (Or if you're short on time, just do immediate steam release). Check temperature of chicken with an instant-read thermometer and make sure internal temperature is at least 165 degrees.
  3. Shred chicken and return to pot and toss in juices. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, if desired.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Minestrone Soup

Who doesn't love a rich hearty soup?  I am a big soup fan.  I love the flavor of combining different veggies, meats, pastas, spices, herbs, and rice.  You are free to experiment and develop new and tasty combinations.

This recipe is a copycat recipe of  Olive Garden's delicious Minestrone Soup.  Veggies and pasta cooked in a flavorful broth that has been seasoned with garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, basil, and thyme. Once the veggies are tender you add some spinach and pasta.  Cook for 20 more minutes and serve.  I add grated Parmesan cheese to the soup.  I love the extra 'pow' the cheese give to the soup. 

This soup taste great the second day.  The flavor just blend together.  To me, it is better the second day.

 Minestrone Soup


3 tablespoons olive oil 
1 cup minced white onion ( about 1 small onion) 
1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1/2 cup frozen cut Italian cut green beans
1/4 cup minced celery ( about 1/2 stalk)
4 teaspoons minced garlic ( about 4 cloves)
4 cups vegetable broth ( Swanson is good *note ( Do not use chicken broth!*)
2 (15 ounce) cans red kidney beans, drained
2 (15 ounce) cans small white beans or 2 (15 ounce) cans great northern beans, drained
1 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1/2 cup carrot ( julienned or shredded)
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups hot water
4 cups fresh Baby Spinach
1/2 cup small shell pasta
Parmesan Cheese for garnish


  1. Heat three tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.
  2. Saute onion, celery, garlic, green beans, and zucchini in the oil for 5 minutes or until onions begin to turn translucent.
  3. Add vegetable broth to pot, plus drained tomatoes, beans, carrot, hot water, and spices.Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Add spinach leaves and pasta and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until desired consistency.

    Makes about eight 1 1/2 cup servings.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken

I love this recipe.  I found it on the Well Plated website and is it ever delicious and easy.  I just modified it a bit.  Instead of using chicken thighs I used chicken breasts  and I substituted 1 teaspoon granulated garlic for the garlic clove. 

Everything is cooked together in a crock pot for 4 hours -  if using the low setting.  The breasts are removed and shredded. Set the shredded chicken aside.  Now you are ready to make the Teriyaki Sauce that coats the chicken. The cooking liquid is strained and then added to a cornstarch and water mixture.   Cook until the sauce is thick and glossy.  Add the shredded chicken to the sauce and coat well.  Spoon some of the chicken over some rice.   Sprinkle with some sesame seeds and green onions - if desired. 

This recipe is great to make for dinner an it is  great for lunches at work. Just heat and serve. 

Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken
From Well Plated and Adapted Slightly by From My Southwest Kitchen


1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (breasts) 
2/3 cup low sodium soy sauce 
3 tablespoons rice vinegar 
3 tablespoons honey 
3 tablespoons brown sugar 
1 clove minced garlic (1 teaspoon granulated garlic)
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger 
2 tablespoons water 
1 tablespoon cornstarch 
Toasted sesame seeds, for serving 
Chopped green onions, for serving 
Prepared brown rice, quinoa, or other whole grain, for serving


  1. Place the chicken thighs in the bottom of a 6-quart or larger slow cooker.
  2. In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, brown sugar, garlic, (or granulated garlic) and ginger. Pour over the chicken thighs.
  3. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours, until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Remove the chicken to a plate and shred with two forks. Strain the cooking liquid through a mesh sieve and into a medium saucepan.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water until smooth. Add to the strained cooking liquid, whisk to incorporate, then heat the saucepan over medium high, stirring constantly until the sauce bubbles. Continue cooking and stirring until glossy and thickened, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. Add the chicken to the sauce. Toss to coat. Serve warm with rice or quinoa, garnished with sesame seeds and green onions as desired.
Makes 6 servings

Friday, April 15, 2016

Cauliflower and Potato Curry With Peas

This curry recipe is from Tori Ritchie and is it ever delicious.  A little spice and heat in a sauce where cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, and peas are cooked.  The cauliflower is especially delicious:)    I served my curry over rice but you can use naan bread also.

This recipe is very easy to make.  You start by cutting and coring the cauliflower.  Next cut some potatoes into chunks.  The spices that flavor the wonderful sauce the veggies are cooked in comprises of ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, salt, and cayenne.  Fresh ginger is also used in this recipe. The veggies are cooked with the spices, some tomatoes, and water.  Once the vegetables are tender you stir in come coconut milk and peas.   Cook for about 5 minutes and serve.  I topped my curry with some chopped cashews.   This recipe serves 6.

Cauliflower & Potato Curry with Peas 
From Tori Ritchie

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
1 pound Yukon gold or red potatoes
1 head cauliflower
1 tablespoon ground coriander*
2 teaspoons ground cumin*
1 teaspoon turmeric*
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons grapeseed, canola, or coconut oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 inch piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 large can (28-oz) crushed or pureed tomatoes
1 can coconut milk (preferably not light)
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
chopped peanuts and chopped fresh cilantro, optional
hot cooked rice or naan bread

*note: you use 2 tablespoons curry powder instead of these spices
Cut the potatoes, unpeeled into 1-inch chunks. Core the cauliflower to remove the leaves then cut cauliflower stem and florets into 1-inch pieces. In a small ramekin, stir together ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, salt, and cayenne. Set vegetables and spice mixture aside.

Pour the oil into a 4- to 6-quart pot, such as a Dutch oven, and place pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrot and stir until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ginger and spice mixture and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in 1 cup of water and stir well; add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Stir in potatoes and cauliflower and let mixture return to the boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender when pierced with a knife, about 35 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and peas and simmer mixture, uncovered, for 5 minutes. (Curry can be made ahead and left in pot for up to an hour; reheat to a simmer before serving. Or cool, cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. The curry will thicken as it stands.)

Ladle curry into bowls and garnish with peanuts and cilantro, if using. Serve with hot rice or naan.

Isn't this dish a lovely color. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Taco Braid

Today's recipe is a twist on a family favorite - tacos.   It is very easy to make and is kind to your budget.  You take pizza dough, cut it in strips across but not all the way, add some seasoned taco meat and fold the strips over.  Top with some cheese and bake.  Remove form the oven and serve.  I served the Taco Braid with some tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, and salsa.

This recipe is delicious and very easy to make.  It is a family favorite at my house.  Perfect for those days when you are busy and have very little time to cook.  This dish would also be perfect for a Cinco de Mayo Party or a pot luck.

Taco Braid
From Tip Hero Adapted by From My Southwest Kitchen

  1 can refrigerated pizza dough
  2 tablespoons olive oil
  ¾ pound ground beef
  1 package Taco Seasoning
  1 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese, divided
  1 tomato, diced
  1 ½ cups chopped lettuce
  Sour cream and salsa for serving

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius).
  2. In a large skillet, add the ground beef and taco seasoning, and fully cook the ground beef.
  3. Once it’s fully-cooked, drain the ground beef and set aside.
  4. Unroll the pizza dough onto parchment paper. On both sides, cut equal strips, going about 1 ½ into the dough but NOT all the way from side to side. The dough should look like it has fringe.
  5. Layer the ground beef  and 3/4 cup of cheese in the center of the dough.
  6. Braid the dough strips over the top of the filling, so that the filling is almost fully-encased in the dough.
  7.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the braid.  Slide the braided loaf onto a baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until browned on top.
  8.  Serve with garnish of  tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream and salsa.
Makes 6 servings