Thursday, July 28, 2016

Oven fajitas

It is the middle of summer and boy is it hot outside...ugh   I do not do well when the temp is over 90 degrees, & just last week in Michigan it was 98 degrees.  I don't want to do anything except sit in the air conditioning and relaxing.. even going to the grocery store or doing anything for that matter just takes it out of you. 

I want quick and easy dinners.  Like this, I know what your saying it's hot why turn your oven on.  I have air conditioning, and I usually make a big batch of something and we eat it for a couple of days.  Leftovers on hot days, are a lifesaver, so make an extra casserole and throw it in the freezer for days like this.  I have tried experimenting and making this dish in the crockpot and did not like the results.  Everything was a big mushy mess.  Peppers and onions, were soggy, and the chicken was mushy.  Not my idea of a good dinner.  So made it this way and winner, winner... I use boneless chicken breast, but you can use boneless chicken thighs, or a small pork tenderloin, or whatever meat you like.  I was thinking of next time skipping the meat, and adding zucchini and summer squash and making veggie fajitas.. I will let you all know how that turns out:)

To make it even easier, the produce section at your supermarket has cut up fajita kits (peppers and onions cut up), or you can cut up your own.  When I do cut my own, I use red, yellow, orange & green) and a big red onion.

Use whatever condiments you want, I use lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and shredded cheese.  My husband adds sliced jalapenos, and hot sauce.

Oven fajitas

1 package of boneless chicken breast ( about 1 1/2-2 lbs)
One package of cut up onion, peppers (Mine had red, & green)
1 package of taco seasoning mix
*seasonings of your choice, (I used, cumin, garlic and onion powder, salt  & pepper)
olive oil
tortillas (heated for a couple of seconds in the microwave to soften)
lime juice
condiments of your choice

Preheat oven to 375.  Place foil down on the pan.  If your chicken breast are very large, cut in half the long way.  Place the chicken breast on one side of the pan, and the veggies on the other.  Drizzle olive oil on the chicken and vegetables (keeping separate) mix each side well coating with oil.  For the veggie side, sprinkle with salt,  pepper and garlic and onion powder.  For the chicken side, sprinkle both sides with taco seasoning, cumin, salt & pepper.

Cook for around 30 minutes, stirring veggies half way thru, and turning the chicken too.  Cook until veggies and the chicken are done.  Remove from oven.  On the pan thinly slice the chicken against the grain, and mix getting any seasoning and additional juices from the pan.  Drizzle meat with lime juice. 

Serve the tortillas with a little chicken, vegetables and condiments of your choice.  Enjoy.  (I sprinkle mine with a little extra lime juice at the table to brighten up the flavors). 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

My mom's famous macaroni & potato salad dressing

Ah this dressing... this is the stuff legends are made of.. no seriously everyone that eats this dressing on either macaroni salad or potato salad falls in love with it.  It is just yummy... and until now, this was an "eyeball" thing.  My mom learned to make this from her mom. We have never measured amounts of anything.. just tasted it and went.. until now. Just like when my grandma made cinnamon rolls, she was like, measure what, I just do it.  Which I totally get, because that is why I am not a baker.... I HATE measuring stuff, and being all precise.. I like to eyeball measurements when I cook.  But sometimes even me (sigh) measure to preserve and get things right. 

You must use MIRACLE WHIP salad dressing, or you will not get the same results.  I have tried using other mayo and it is not the same, at all.  This is a must.  NO light either.  Regular kind.

Also, we use Plochman's mustard. It is in the barrel shaped bottle, our favorite.

This dressing can be used on either macaroni or on potato salad either one.  Use your favorite ingredients and add this dressing at the end and mix well.  For macaroni the pasta sucks in the dressing and you might have to make some extra for the next day, stir well and if it seems dry add some more. 

For our macaroni salad, we use cooked macaroni, frozen peas (unthawed I put mine in the colander frozen and then pour the cooked macaroni with the water before it is drained, and the boiling macaroni and water will unthaw the peas, with no extra work :), chopped peeled hard boiled eggs,chopped red onion, shredded carrots, chopped celery, and bell pepper (we also sometimes use colored peppers, and or radishes use what you like).

For our potato salad, we use peeled and chopped Idaho russet potatoes (they hold up the best and don't get mushy or watery, or waxy like sometimes redskins do), chopped onion, chopped peeled hard boiled eggs,chopped celery, radishes, carrots, and bell pepper. 

Again, use what you have on hand and like.  Make this soon.. Enjoy

My mom's famous macaroni & potato salad dressing

2 cups Miracle whip (no substitutions)
1 Tbls and 1 Tsp mustard (we use Plochman's mustard
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup milk
plenty of salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients together with a whisk, mixing well.  Pour over salad ingredients, & mix well.  Cover and refrigerate several hours.  Enjoy