Welcome to Food thoughts....

I created this blog to help friends find fun in cooking by sharing tasty recipes, cooking techniques and answering questions. I hope you enjoy it!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Ridiculously Fast Chicken Taco Filling

Hey there!
     Here's a super fast and easy recipe to pull together in minutes.  Use it for tacos, burritos, on a salad or over rice or even pasta....whatever you happen to have on hand.  I almost always have tortillas on hand and usually some cooked up rice in the fridge, so it's an easy meal to pull together when I'm dragging.  I have no fear of taking help wherever I can get it!

Ridiculously Fast Chicken Taco Filling

  • 2 cans canned chicken breast (I get the kind from Costco)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 (15 oz.) can of beans (your choice...kidney, black, garbanzo, white) drained and rinsed.
Open both cans of chicken and pour contents, liquid included into medium sauce pan, add taco seasoning and beans, heat through and until it reaches desired consistency. I sort of break up the chicken as it heats and flavors blend.   Serve as desired with your favorite accompaniments.  

Hope you enjoy!  Happy Cooking!

Black Bean Hummus

This is a tasty, easy, low-fat and even healthy dip, spread or filling.  What you choose to use it for is up to you.  I think it's great spread on tortillas and filled w/ veggies for a great snack or lunch.  Great for dipping pita wedges, tortilla chips, crackers or veggies.  Also lovely for a sandwich spread with or without meat!  You can spice it more if you like things hot or tone it down a little if you don't like big flavor.  Myself, I like things with a kick!  Here's my moderate spice version.

Black Bean Hummus
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed and reserving 2 tablespoons bean liquid
  • 3 cloves garlic (I really like garlic!)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 chipotle pepper or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (the chipotle gives it a smokey flavor)
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
Place all ingredients except the bean liquid and paprika in the food processor, blend until smooth. Use the bean liquid if needed to thin the consistency if needed.  Garnish with the paprika and a few extra cilantro leaves if desired.
You may use it right away, or let it chill for a few hours.  It's even better the next day. 

Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Happy Cooking!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Rice Cooking 101

     Everyone needs to know how to make rice and not that instant stuff either.  Making rice and having it turn out right is much easier than you might think and no you don't need a "rice cooker".  Just follow these few simple instructions and your rice will turn out perfect EVERY time.  
     Once you know how to make rice, you have the start of an easy and excellent meal.  You can stir fry some veggies to go with it, add some meat if you like and there you have it.  Or serve it under your favorite chicken and mushroom sauce.  The possibilities for rice are endless.  

     Whether it's long grain or short grain, Jasmine or Basmati, just about any white rice will turn our great with these few easy steps.  Always use a two to one ratio of water to rice and remember rice doubles when cooked.  So one cup rice will equal two cups cooked.  Also remember to add salt to your rice and water before cooking, it's your only chance to season your rice from the inside and if you don't it's going to taste flat and blah.  

Basic Rice

1 cup Rice
2 cups cold water
1 pinch of salt

1. Place rice, water and salt in 1 quart saucepan with a lid.
2. Turn heat to high and bring water to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover with lid.  Allow to simmer for 8 minutes.  
3. DO NOT remove the lid at any time!  
4. When 8 minutes have elapsed, remove from heat with lid still in place and allow to sit for 15 minutes. 
5. After 15 minutes, rice is done.  Remove the lid, fluff with a fork and serve!

I've had someone ask about brown rice too so here's the scoop. 

Brown Rice

1 cup brown rice (long or short grain)
1 1/2 cups cold water
1 pinch of salt

    Follow basic directions for white rice except let rice simmer for 20 minutes remove from heat and allow to sit covered for 10 minutes minimum.  You can let it sit longer just make sure it sits for 10 without lifting the lid.

Happy Cooking!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My first blog, for all my friends.

Alright my friends, this is a first for me so per your request here we go. My pledge to you is to post tasty recipes, offer some simple cooking techniques and answer your cooking questions.
As I go along and learn more about blogging and posting I will expand per request or as needed. Feel free to let me know what you'd like to see and I'll of course give my own bits of information as well.

Happy Cooking!