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August 9, 2007 10:45 - A Great Beginners Cookbook

Keri, a reader of mine asked me the other day if I had a Mexican cookbook that she could buy. Unfortunately I don't but I give very detailed directions in making the recipes you will find on this site.

Keri also mentioned that she recently is dating a man that she plans on marrying one day and would like to be able to cook well for him. She also has very little or no experience with cooking so finding a basic cook book would be helpful.

I decided to do a little research for her and found a beginner's cookbook that would show her the basics. Things like how to set up a kitchen, photo's of the finished product, cooking terms, how to measure, how-to's for a variety of cooking procedures etc.

What did I find? Betty Crocker's Cooking Basics. Click on this link and check out the positive reviews on this book.

One thing I really like about Amazon is that people can share their opinions about the products. This book got rave reviews. If you need a basic cookbook for yourself or a gift for someone else, check this out.

Have a great day,
Robin

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August 21, 2007 19:42 - Chile Lime Chicken Tacos

Yesterday I went to Trader Joe's and picked up some items to make Chile Lime Chicken Tacos. I needed a fast and delicious meal for dinner and these tacos fit the bill perfectly.

The key here is the chile lime chicken burgers which are nicely flavored with cilantro and lime. You don't need to add any more spices. So if you need a good meal in about 20 minutes check this out.

Here are the ingredients you'll need:


  • Trader Joe's Chile Lime Chicken Burgers, (these are in the freezer section)

  • Fire Roasted Guacamole,(if you have time make my guacamole recipe, you can't beat fresh)

  • Trader Joe's Corn Tortillas

  • 1 lb. mild cheddar cheese, grate the amount you think you will need

  • 1 or 2 cans of cooked pinto beans

  • sour cream, optional

  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil per can of beans



Directions:

Start cooking your beans first. Pour one can of cooked beans in a sauce pan and add about 2/3 cup of water, 1/4 cup of oil, pinch of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and boil until you are ready to serve (about 15 to 18 minutes). Turn off the flame and mash with a masher.

Prepare all your condiments next. Grate the cheese, stir the guacamole (if store bought) or make homemade guacamole
(my favorite).

The box of chile lime burgers contains 4 patties and will make about 8 to 10 tacos depending on what all you put in them. I cooked 2 of the burgers and 1 can of beans and it matched up nicely making about 6 tacos.


Cook the burger's according to the directions on the box. When you are ready to serve the tacos, sprinkle water on three corn tortillas and place them on a paper towel in a dish. Cover with another paper towel and cook about 35 seconds on high. Cooking times may vary so adjust as needed.

Take a piping hot corn tortilla and layer your ingredients down the center of the tortilla starting with the beans, then the meat, cheese and finish with a dollup of guacamole and sour cream. These are really tasty. I know your family will enjoy them. My son devoured them.

Enjoy,
Robin

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August 31, 2007 14:33 - Mark's Caesar Garlic Chicken

Here is a non Mexican recipe I know you will enjoy. I just had to share this one.

I visited my friend Mark last week and ended up staying for dinner. I'd had dinner earlier in the evening and wasn't planning on eating again but my nose got the better of me. I couldn't resist the delicious aroma of roasted garlic and chicken coming from his kitchen.

I decided that I would have a taste, it smelled so wonderful. Mind you I wasn't even hungry but some how I managed to have seconds. Next thing Mark knew, I was asking him how he made this dish? Tasted and smelled like he had been cooking all day. Nope. He said it was real easy. I was liking this more and more.

This is what I call a very casual recipe and by that I mean precise measurements are not necessary. If you need six chicken breast or even thighs go ahead and add them. Pour enough dressing so that the chicken is standing in about an inch and a half of dressing.

Make it easy on yourself and quick by buying garlic cloves already peeled. I bought a small jar and dumped the whole thing in the pan. I even added about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of white wine just for fun but you don't have to.

So let's start with the ingredients:


  • 4 skinless chicken breast

  • 1 bottle of Caesar dressing

  • 1 bottle of garlic cloves already peeled or about 20 or more

  • 1 to 2 tbs. butter

  • 1/4 cup white wine, optional

Directions:

Add the butter to a frying pan and heat to medium. Add the garlic cloves and saute until golden brown (maybe 15 minutes). You definitely want some brown spots on the garlic. Be careful not to burn the garlic though. Pour garlic into an oven proof dish like a 9 x 13 pyrex.


Rinse and pat dry the chicken breast and place them in the dish with the garlic. Pour the Caesar dressing over the chicken and garlic. Add the wine, if you want, and mix it in the dressing with a spoon.

Cover with foil and cook in a 350 F. preheated oven for 20 min. Then remove the foil to brown the chicken and cook 25 to 30 minutes longer or until chicken is done.


I was amazed at the flavor the caesar dressing and the garlic created together. Make sure you eat those garlic cloves. They are very mild tasting and have great flavor, roasted like this.

Try this recipe and let me know how you like it. You can leave a comment by clicking the comment link below.

Regards,
Robin

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