Easy Skillet Nachos

You know you’re almost fully recovered from a stomach bug when you can start experimenting with food again! Monday was horrible, but little by little this week things have been getting better.

I did have some fresh ground beef, but since that had been claimed for Sunday hamburgers, I decided to do a meatless meal since I didn’t have any meat that’s not frozen. That’s when I remembered my aunt had given me canned chicken. I am generally not a fan of canned meat, but decided to go all in.

You do know you’re still recovering from a stomach bug when the mere sight and smell of canned chicken turns your stomach instantly. But, it’s hard to tell you’re using canned chicken when you later this with Bush’s Cocina Latina Refried Black Beans and Knorr’s Spanish rice.

Ingredients

  • 10 oz canned chicken, drained & shredded
  • 1 can Bush’s Cocina Latino Refried Black Beans
  • 1 pkg Knorr Spanish Rice
  • 1/4 cup ceaser salad dressing
  • 1 tsp taco seasoning
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp miced garlic
  • 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese

    Directions

    1. Cook rice according to package.
    2. In a 10″ oven-proof skillet, drizzle some vegetable oil. Add onion and cook for two minutes.
    3. Add chicken, salad dressing, garlic, and taco seasoning. Cook until heated through. Transfer chicken mixture to a dish and set aside. Wipe out pan and add refried beans.
    4. When beans are cooked through, make sure they are spread evenly in pan. Sprinkle beans with pepper jack cheese. Next, spread rice evenly over beans and pepper jack layer. Top rice with shredded chicken mixture, spreading as evenly as possible. Sprinkle with Mexican cheese.
    5. Broil uncovered until cheese is melted.
    6. Serve with your choice of toppings. I used shredded lettuce, chopped green onion, sour cream, and my favorite mild Ortega Sauce.

    I dished out the skillet nachos on my plate, added toppings, and then devoured with tortilla chips. It turned out quite well. My grandfather actually complimented this dish saying it tasted “surprisingly good.” It’s rare for him to actually praise my food to my face even if he likes my cooking.

    In the future, I’ll use fresh shredded chicken breast (I’m thinking about a pound, as the 10 ounces of chicken wasn’t quite enough) and experiment with the amounts of taco seasoning and salad dressing.

    Turkey Cheeseball Recipe

    For this past Thanksgiving holiday, I decided to make a cheeseball. I don’t know why exactly, but I did. Thus I took to the internet for recipes that incorporated the cheeses available in my fridge. I found several recipes that let me know mixing feta with cream cheese and pepper jack would be just fine, but I decided to forgo a formal recipes in favor of just randomly throwing things together.

    I did try to make the cheeseball look like a turkey using dried fruit and cooked bacon. It looked more like a duck, but I tried. I get an E for effort. A tip… use a thicker cut of. bacon. Mine was super thin and it didn’t want to hold it’s shape well.

    Ingredients

    • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
    • 5 oz feta, crumbled
    • 1 wedge Laughing Cow pepper jack
    • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
    • 1 cup pepper jack, shredded
    • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
    • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
    • 2 green onions, chopped
    • 1 tsp garlic, minced
    • 1/4 tsp dried lemon thyme
    • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
    • 1/2 tsp lemon juice

    Directions

    1. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, Laughing Cow, yogurt, and lemon juice until well combined.
    2. Stir in herbs, feta, garlic, and dried cranberries. Make sure to get these things as evenly distributed as possible to avoid pockets of garlic and cranberries on the bottom only.
    3. Add the green onions and shredded cheeses, stirring gently until combined.
    4. Spoon into plastic wrap and roll into a ball. Chill for an hour, unwrap, and garnish as desired.

    My family is not feta lovers and some even dislike pepper jack, but they had half this cheeseball eaten before we sat down to dinner. That’s saying something. This was served with Wheat Thins and Ritz crackers and went well with both. You could also serve thus with pretzels and bagel chips. This stuff was awesome on toasted cranberry bagels, by the way.

    My family also took apart the bacon tail and ate it with the cheeseball. Next time I think I’ll add bacon to the cheeseball mix.

    Yummy Fiesta Bean Dip

    I wanted to make bean dip for my family’s taco night. I remembered making a yummy dip with cream cheese, salsa, and refried beans, but couldn’t find the recipe for it. Typical me. Thus this dip was born because I decided to throw leftovers in the dip.

    • 1 block cream cheese, softened
    • 1/2 can of Hormel Chili (I used no beans)
    • 1 cup Fritos cheddar cheese
    • 1 can refried beans
    • 1/4 – 1/2 pint of salsa
    • 1/2 – 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
    • 1/2 cup sour cream

    Directions: In a large mixing bowl, mix together your cream cheese, sour cream, and Fritos cheese. Then add in your salsa and refried beans.

    Once that is nicely mixed together, stir in half your pepper jack cheese and pour into a 8×8 baking dish. Top with remaining pepper jack and bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes.

    Serve warm with tortilla chips or throw inside your tacos with ground beef. My grandfather loves eating this on bread with butter and topped with extra homemade salsa.

    Custom Crochet Stand Mixer Cover

    My favorite aunt requested that I make her a crocheted cover for her KitchenAid stand mixer. After joking with her about only making it if I had time, I started looking for inspiration and patterns on Pinterest. After finding several crochet, fabric, and knit patterns, I sent them on to my aunt.

    She fell in love with the idea of a hat being used as a mixer cover as done by this crafter. Because I’m such a wonderful niece who doesn’t listen, I looked for more inspiration and decided to use the start of a basic bag pattern that I made 2-3 years ago. Of course, since I wanted to use that pattern, I couldn’t find the book it was from. Typical, lol. Thus I went back to Pinterest and found a cool crochet tote that utilized the star stitch. 

    I tried making sense of the pattern, but gave up. Being new to the star stitch, the instructions just made no sense (like when I try doing the crocodile stitch). I then went to my ever trusty books. I found the star stitch formula in one, but still didn’t get it. Thus I took to the internet for picture tutorials. I finally found one that I could wrap my head around and then it was time to start.

    Since I couldn’t find my original bag pattern, I crocheted the oval in the round from memory. I’m fairly certain it is not 100% correct, but it looked okay. After I had my single crochet oval base, I moved on to the star stitch.

    Since I had to rip out my oval a few times, I did not want to have to rip out my star stitches. Thus, when I realized I wasn’t doing the stitches entirely correct, I improvised. My aunt wanted a hat-like mixer cover, right? I created large pleats at the top to make it sort of like a rectangular version of a chef’s hat. Of course, it only really looks like one when it’s off the mixer. This is mainly because I made the cover to fit snuggly.

    I then finished the cover off with a little mini-shell frill. My only regret isn’t taking better notes so I have an actual pattern formula. Overall, I think it turned out just fine.

    This was made using two skeins of Red Heart Super Saver variegated yarn and a size H crochet hook.

    Bulgur Sausage Gravy Breakfast Bowl

    Bulgur Pilaf

    Jazzed up bulgur pilaf.

    I sadly did not take a picture of this before I ate it. Not that I suppose it matters because my food photography definitely leaves a lot to be desired (just look at the horrible low-quality of my bulgur pilaf image). This was my first time working with bulgur. It’s a nifty grain and in the pilaf was very chewy, but in this bowl it’s barely noticeable, probably because the extra liquid helped detract from the earlier chewiness. I made the bulgur pilaf two days before as an accompaniment to a spiced chicken dinner with baked beans. It was very yummy (a little dry because I let it sit a little too long with the lid on after it was finished cooking). That makes this a very quick to make breakfast. My main problem was getting my hashbrowns cooked. I didn’t have enough butter/oil at first so it took a lot longer than it should have.

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