Saturday, March 26, 2011

The birth of the GIANT white our favorite Chicken Taquitos!

Hi There!  Finding easy recipes that my family will love is my passion! Over the years, my collection of "family tested, kid approved" recipes has grown to a GIANT white binder, overflowing with tried and true, "sure thing" recipes that I know I can count on to please.   I've been asked over and over to lend my binder out so people could make copies, and I've always had to say "no" because I just couldn't be without it that long (it would take FOREVER and cost a FORTUNE to copy the whole thing!) There's enough people that want recipes that I've decided to start sharing them!I can't wait to start sharing my families favorite easy much as cooking is my passion, what I REALLY love is sharing a good thing!The reason I started putting the best recipes in a binder in the first place is because I really needed a place I could go when I was short on time, short on patience (or both), and easily find a recipe I knew would pass the "kid" test. This was especially important because I try new recipes several nights a week, and we all know unpredicatable new recipes are. So some nights we discovered a new "hit" and other nights were just plain McNasty. Every week, after a few nights of having to throw away a whole batch of whatever and having the kids end up eating cold cereal, I would get my fill of trying new things, and just needed to give my family something I knew they would love. This led to the "giant white binder".

Every time I found an easy recipe and it passed the kid test (and the husband test), I would put it in the binder. A recipe couldn't be just "okay", it had to be a "definately make again, requestable, no leftovers" kind of dish. I also had a few other requirements:

1) NO KETCHUP allowed (and no growling): Often times, when faced with some unidentifiable dish, instead of saying "this is scary", my husband would quietly get up from the table and come back with the giant Industrial sized bottle of  ketchup, and drench the whole darn thing. I fairly quickly learned that this was code for: if I have to eat this ever again my head will explode. Occasionally, if a new recipe yielded particularly bad results, my husband would just growl at it. yes, sad I know. (The growling may or may not have been followed by a trip to fetch the ketchup bottle.) Needless to say, if a recipe was eaten with ketchup, or growled at, It was not binder worthy.

2)The leftover test: When deciding if a recipe was worth saving, I looked for dishes that either had no leftovers, or the leftovers were just as good when re-served. Occasionally something was really good the first night, but I ended up having to throw the leftovers away. If that was the case, I didn't save the recipe.

Even within the binder, I have a rating system where I mark the REALLY, REALLY good recipes with a foil star. I also mark the best recipes in other cookbooks I use with a foil star. So now I know that ANY recipe in my binder is a "safe bet" for my family, and when looking through other cookbooks I know at a glance which recipes are already "family tested, kid approved."

So that's why I started "the giant white binder", and why I think you should start one too. Every busy mom should have a go-to place to find sure-thing recipes that have already passed the "family" test.

So, on to this week's recipe!


This week's recipe is a definate kid pleaser, and adults love it too. I have to serve dinner for 26 people this weekend, and when I was deciding what to serve, this was at the top of the list. Enjoy!

Creamy Chicken Taquitos
From Machelle Littlefield

makes approx. 10-12 taquitos

6 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup green salsa
1 tbs lime juice
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. granulated garlic
3 tbs chopped cilantro
2 tbs chopped green onions
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken*
1 cup grated pepper jack cheese *
6-inch corn or flour tortillas (we like flour best!)
Nonstick cooking spray
Kosher salt

Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray it lightly with cooking spray.

Heat cream cheese in the microwave 20-30 sec. so it's soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, and garlic. Stir to combine and then add cilantro, green onions, chicken and pepper jack cheese.

Place 1/4-1/2 c.  of the chicken mixture on the lower third of each tortilla, keeping to about half inch from the edges, and then roll up. If you are using corn tortillas, warm a few in the microwave between wet paper towels, until soft and pliable. Place seam-side down on the baking sheet in a single layer. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray. Sprinkle tops with a pinch of kosher salt. Place pan in the oven and bake for 15-20 min or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown. Cool 5 min and then serve with sour cream, salsa, guacamole or pico de gallo.

Left Overs : Put left overs in a Ziploc and store in the fridge up to a week. Reheat by placing them on a baking sheet and cook for 10 min at 400.

Freezer Instructions: Place unbaked taquitos in a single layer of a baking sheet and place in the freezer for  2 hours or until frozen enough to hold their shape. Pack in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. To bake, follow the same instructions, thaw or extend the baking time by 10 min.

*I have also used regular jack cheese and added a can of diced green chili's (stick blended of course, so the kids don't have a heart attack over the green chunks)
* I have used both canned and fresh chicken for this. The easiest is to throw frozen chicken into the crockpot in the morning, fresh from the freezer. By dinnertime, it shreds nicely and is ready to be mixed with the rest of the filling!

Have a perfectly wonderful day!

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