November 15, 2013

Bean and Cheese Chimichangas

I found this recipe online and after tweaking it a few times, I am proud to call it a masterpiece!


12 tortillas
2 egg whites
1 can refried beans
1-2 cups shredded cheese (depending on personal preference)
1/2 can Diced Tomatoes and Chiles
2 Tbsp vegetable oil


Place beans, tomatoes, and cheese in a pot and heat until cheese is melted.
Warm up tortillas.
Separate egg whites and whip with a whisk.
Put beans in the middle of a tortilla, sprinkle with more cheese and brush egg whites all around the beans.
Fold top and bottom of tortilla, wrap one side of tortilla securely, close with other side of tortilla.
Fry chimis by placing in pan of oil on medium heat. Heat both sides until golden brown.

Serve with salsa, sour cream, ketchup, or anything else you want to experiment with.

Microwave Score: -- haven't tried it, but not sure it would work out well, we make enough to eat at one time.
Freezer score:-- again, haven't tried, but not sure it would work well.
Rob score: 5.0 He LOVES these, he hates when I buy frozen burritos now, because these are way better.
Overall score:4.0 Not sure they would work to reheat, but they are easy to make, and really yummy!

Spicy Black Beans and Rice

Alright this is a recipe that Kelly and I found in college, and it continues to be a favorite for me. Pretty easy to make, very filling, and seriously yummy.


1/2 cup onion
4 cloves garlic minced
2 Tbsp oil
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can Mexican styled stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 cup salsa
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups rice

In a saucepan fry onion and garlic in oil over medium heat until tender, but not brown.
Stir in beans, tomatoes, salsa, salt and cayenne pepper.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes.

Let sit for 5-10 minutes, will thicken slightly. Serve over rice mounds.

Microwave score: 5.0 I really think this microwaves well. I've never been able to tell a difference between the first day and the 3rd day
Freezer score: 5.0 This freezes AWESOMELY. Just make the rice fresh each time.
Rob score: 4.8 He really likes this dinner, as long as I don't make it every single week :)
Overall score: 5.0 I love love love this recipe!

Maquel's critique: This is an easy to make recipe. It isn't something I crave, but it's a nice winter meal. With the hot rice and spicy salsa you can't help but feel warm when you eat it.

Slow Cooker Apple Crisp

One of my favorite parts of fall is all the yummy food! I found this recipe and it is SO DELICIOUS. Plus ridiculously easy, how can you go wrong with that?!

8 apples, peeled. cored and sliced thinly
1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup oatmeal
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter


Generously spray a crock pot with non stick cooking spray, line with apples. 
Melt butter, and mix with the rest of the ingredients in a bowl.
Cover the apples with this mixture, spreading evenly.

Every crock pot is different, but cooking on low worked way better for me then high. I did low for about 5 hours. If it looks like the sides are starting to caramelize, it's done. This was SO delicious, I really can't even say how often we make this, because it's embarrassingly often. :) Enjoy!

Microwave Score:4.0 This is amazing for breakfast the next morning! The "crisp" is a bit soggy, but still just as delicious.
Freezer Score: Never tried, but I bet it would work!
Rob Score:5.0 Like I said, we make this A LOT
Overall Score: 4.8 Aside from the reheating soggy habits, this is amazing :)

August 12, 2013

Banana Carrot Zucchini Bread

I went to the farmers market this weekend and bought zucchini. Just like in the fall where I have a pumpkin obsession, in the summer I have a severe obsession with zucchini. I will post a couple other zucchini creations of mine later but right now I will share with you a family recipe that I absolutely love. I could eat this bread at any time, day or night. With 2 vegetables it just seems like it's a healthy alternative to some of my other favorite snacks. Although I'm sure as you look at the ingredients below you will see that it's really not all that healthy... :) This is good hot out of the oven or room temp, butter or no butter, by itself or topped with homemade raspberry jam. YUM!

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup oil
4 eggs
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup mashed banana (best when really ripe)

Mix the wet ingredients together and then add in the dry ingredients. Bake for 45 mins at 350 degrees.

Batter will make one large loaf or 3 small loaves. I usually try to make it in 2 largish loaves.
Microwave Score: N/A - Never tried cause it's good in every way.
Freezer Score: 5.0 - I'm sure my mom has done it and it's never a problem.
Overall Score: 5.0 - No explanation needed.

April 25, 2013

Easy Shrimp Scampi

Confession: This is probably the most adult meal I've ever made. Ok, maybe not, but I was really nervous trying this out for the first time. Turns out this is now one of my fastest/easiest meals to make! It was AMAZING.

Easy Shrimp Scampi

25-30 medium shrimp (shelled and deveined)
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Heat a saute pan on high heat.
Lower heat to Med-High and add olive oil and butter.  
Once butter melts,  foams up and subsides, add garlic.
When garlic begins to brown add shrimp. Then add the chicken broth and vinegar. Stir so the shrimp is coated in the juices.
Spread shrimp out so they will cook evenly, turn heat to high and let boil for 2-3 minutes.
Turn the shrimp over and cook for another minute or two.
Remove from heat, add lemon juice and pepper.

Can serve alone, with crusty bread, pasta, or over rice. 

Microwave Score: TBD...there is no way I will ever have enough of this left over to even try probably.
Freezer Score: TBD. I really don't know how this would do frozen...not sure I want to try?
Rob Score: 5.0 Before I could even ask him what he thought he yells "oh my gosh this is a 5! Who needs Johnny Carinos?!" haha
Overall Score: 5.0 I'm giving this a 5. I haven't had a lot of shrimp scampi to compare it to, but this was delicious and I can't really imagine anything tasting better :)

March 27, 2013

Creamy Crockpot Chicken

Ready for the easiest meal prep ever that still produces an amazing dinner? Here ya go.

Creamy Crockpot Chicken

3-4 Chicken breasts
Italian dressing
1 block cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup

Put chicken in bottom of crock pot.

Pour Italian dressing over the top to your satisfactory. I usually use between 1/4 to 1/2 cup.

Mix cream cheese and soup in bowl until smooth, then pour over the top of chicken.

That's it! If the chicken is frozen and you cook it on high plan on 4-5 hours. I usually cut my chicken into smaller pieces to help it cook faster. On low will take 6 or 7 hours. Defrosted chicken cooks much faster.

Serve over rice or mashed potatoes.

This is an awesome foundation recipe that you can mess with. Sometimes I add garlic for more of an Italian feel or I've also added sour cream to give it more of a zing. You can try all kinds of different things since it would take a lot to mess this recipe up.

Microwave score: 4.0 This microwaves pretty well. The sauce keeps the chicken from drying up but sometimes the cream cheese will separate over time a bit which can make the texture a little goofy.

Freezer score: 4.5 I have frozen this to use later and it does really well! I usually reheat it over the stove to make sure it all gets mixed well again
Rob score: 4.5 This is one of our staple meals that we do pretty often because of the convenience and he has yet to complain.

Overall score. 4.5 This is a great recipe. By itself it can get kind of old if you do it alot, but have fun with it and try new things to keep it new and exciting!

Maquel's Critique: Ok I just tried it this weekend (3/19/16). We were at my sister-in-laws house for dinner, and it is SO good. Jake really liked it as well and asked me to make it this week.

March 26, 2013

Creamy Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

Alright, So since I've been pregnant, I have become more of a Mexican food lover than ever before...and I really liked Mexican food before. But now I just cannot seem to get enough of it. I found this recipe, and not only is it pretty simple, holy deliciousness :)

Creamy Cheesey Chicken Enchiladas

1 block of cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
2-3 cups cooked shredded chicken
1 cup shredded cheese (or more if you're a cheese lover like us)
1 can enchilada sauce
8-10 tortillas

Preheat over to 400 degrees.
Stir together softened cream cheese and butter until smooth
Add chicken and half the cheese to the cream cheese mixture.
Dip each tortilla into enchilada sauce until completely covered. Spoon some of chicken mixture into tortilla. Roll up and place in a greased 9x13. Repeat until mixture is gone.
Top with remaining enchilada sauce, and then cheese.
Bake for 20 Minutes.

Microwave Score: 4.0 This actually microwaves REALLY well. The extra enchilada sauce keeps it saucy and doesn't allow it to dry out.
Freezer Score: TBD
Rob Score: 4.5 He really likes this meal.
Overall Score: 4.0 This is a delicious recipe, and I have no complaints...I just know there is a little something that can be added to give it that something extra that I haven't figured out yet....

March 25, 2013

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

This is possibly the best breakfast recipe I have ever found. I woke up early with the squirt this last weekend and decided I wanted to surprise my hubby and make some new and amazing for breakfast. This DEFINITELY did the trick. This recipe makes 4 moderately sized pancakes. When I realized that half way through I panicked thinking there was no way Rob would get full off only 2 pancakes...that being said I couldn't even finish my 2 because it is SO filling. He was stuffed :)

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

1 cup flour
2 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 egg

Cinnamon filling:
1/2 butter almost completely melted
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

4 Tbsp butter
2 oz. cream cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine pancake batter together until well mixed. A few lumps are ok.

In bowl, combine cinnamon filling ingredients. Spoon into a baggie, snip a corner, and set aside. The thicker the filling is, the better.

In separate bowl, microwave butter and cream cheese until melted. Whisk together until smooth, add powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix until smooth.

Heat skillet over low-medium heat. Scoop 1/2-3/4 cup pancake mix onto greased skillet. Squeeze cinnamon filling in a spiral design over pancake. Cook pancake like normal and keep on warm plate until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, pour topping on top of pancakes. ENJOY!!!

Microwave Score: We SO didn't have any leftovers to even try
Freezer Score: N/A
Rob Score: 5.0 This is his new favorite breakfast :)
Overall Score: 5.0 You find something wrong with this and let me know. Good luck!

January 30, 2013

Pizza Balls

Superbowl is coming up this weekend!!! And if you want to make something fun and easy let me suggest the recipe below. I made these for New Years and they were pretty yummy.

3 cans Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits (10 per can)
56 pepperoni slices
block of Colby cheese
1 beaten egg
Italian seasoning
Garlic powder
1 jar pizza sauce
Cut the block of cheese into 28 squares.
Flatten a biscuit out and stack pepperoni and cheese on top.
Gather up the edges of the biscuit.
Line up the rolls in a greased 9x13 pan.
Brush with beaten egg.
Sprinkle with parmesan, Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
Bake at 425°F for 18-20 minutes.

Microwave Score: 4-Just as good microwaved!
Freezer Score: Haven't tried them...
Overall Score: 4-simple and yummy, but no anything super special. Best when hot-but still good cool. The guys at our Superbowl party absolutely loved them! I got many compliments of the "amazingness" of them.

Nutella & Cheese Danish

So if you haven't figured it out already then i worry about you. Larissa and I both love cream cheese. I also love Nutella, so seeing this recipe made me very happy. I literally thought about it for a month after that. When would I be able to make it? Would it be too much to make it just because? Should I wait to premiere it for a big dinner or celebration?
Well after 5 trips to the store and every time starring at the Nutella trying to figure out if I should just buy it or not, I did it. I bought the ingredients, went home and made it. No special reason at all, and I think that made it all the more special. After it was finished I quickly sliced a piece and enjoyed while reading one of my favorite books The Host. Life was good. I did end up sharing it with friends and roomies, and I got a resounding "Yes!" when I asked if they liked it, though it wasn't like I would expecting to hear any other answer.

1 (8 ounce) can croissant dough (crescent rolls)

1 (8 ounce) block of cream cheese, softened
2/3 C powdered sugar
3 Tbs. Nutella
some extra Nutella, melted
a little powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease a cookie sheet.
Cream together the cream cheese and powdered sugar.
Mix in Nutella until combined; set aside.
Unroll croissant dough and arrange it into a circle onto the cookie sheet.
Spread the filling along the inside of the dough.
Take the dough and flip it over the filling; press to seal the edges.
Cut the excess edges off and place them over the rest of the openings.
Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes; until golden brown.
Drizzle on the melted nutella and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Slice, serve and enjoy!
Microwave Score: TBD-never reheated it cause it was good cool
Freezer Score: TBD-not enough left over to freeze it
Overall Score: 5-see above comments as to why it gets a 5...

Lasagna Soup

So we had a Relief Society activity and we were supposed to bring a soup to share. I had just made my cheesy veg chowder, so I wanted to try something different. I came across this gem here and decided to make it. Pretty risky considering I had never tried it yet I was serving it to other people. Luckily for me it was so amazingly fantastic! Everyone who tried it said they loved it and my roomie told me she had 3 bowls (I don't blame her). It's a good hearty soup that tastes delicious.

Takes about 1 hour from start to finish.
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 32 oz. container chicken broth
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes (undrained)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
8 lasagna noodles, broken into small pieces
*Optional: 1 tbsp. corn starch mixed with 1 tbsp. water

For topping:
3 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 mozzarella cheese (can use reduced fat)
In a medium to large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until onions are slightly translucent (2-3 minutes). Add in ground beef and cook until meat is browned.
Once meat has browned, drain the fat and then pour in broth, tomato sauce, petite diced tomatoes, salt & cayenne pepper. Bring mixture to a boil. Once mixture is boiling, reduce heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes. Add in the broken lasagna noodles and bring soup back up to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until soup thickens and noodles are soft, approximately 10-15 minutes.
If sauce is not thick enough, mix together 1 tbsp. corn starch with 1 tbsp. water in a small bowl and add into the soup. Stir until thickened. I haven't had a problem with the thickness of the soup. I put a lid on it after I add the noodles.
Spoon soup into bowls and top with mozzarella and parmesan.

Pictured with croutons for extra crunch, though i found that it wasn't needed.

Microwave Score: TBD-will finish the last bit for dinner
Freezer Score: TBD-not enough left over to freeze it
Overall Score: 5-I love lasagna so it's not really fair to rate it...