Apple Pie Cupcakes




Before I start with the details of this divine recipe, let me share some information with you. I, like anyone else placed on this earth, have some heroes in my life. For different aspects of life, I have different heroes. Of course, I have the normal people who I look up to in life. My gorgeous Mommy and my adorable Dad – my kind brothers… But when it comes to food. I have some other kind of heroes. My Mum has always been my go-to for cooking ideas… But there are more. Every single day, I check up on my heroes and make sure they’re sprucing something up in their kitchen to amaze me with. And lo and behold, every single day, I’m taken to heaven and back with what they’ve cooked up in their kitchen. The list of my kitchen heroes are growing. But some of my *top* heroes are: Pioneer Woman, Annies Eats, Bakerella, Smitten Kitchen, Joy the Baker. Oh, how I love y’all (of course, the food-kinda-love), even if I wanted, I couldn’t count the ways… So most of my recipe ideas are from their sites. I’m a believer in giving credit where it’s due, so I just had to add that most of my recipes will be taken straight outta their kitchen. Do yourself a favor, and all the people living in your house and visit their blogs. You – won’t – regret – it. 

Now on to the real stuff. I love cupcakes. I have a thing for them. A real thing. My husband loves apples. He has a thing for them. A real thing. Anything apple-y. So when I saw this posting for Apple Pie Cupcakes on Annie’s site (I talk like we go way back!) – I had to make them. I was smitten with the texture of the cupcake, and the taste. Be warned though, I got way more than 24 cupcakes with this recipe. I got 24 cupcakes and 6 Texas size muffins. 

Enjoy!











Apple Pie Cupcakes

Ingredients:
For the cupcakes:

3 cups sifted cake flour
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
For the apple filling:
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp cinnamon
2-3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp Apple Pie Spice (McCormick)
3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced

For the frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Pinch salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp heavy cream  

Directions:
1. To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350°.  
2. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
3. In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt.  
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  
5. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.  
6. Add the vanilla extract and mix well to combine.  
7. Add in the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Stir until just combined.
8. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3-3/4 full.  
9. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 to 22 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pans.  Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
10. If you have any left-over batter, repeat the process of baking. Personally, I chose to make an additional 6 Texas Muffin Size cupcakes. 
11. To make the apple filling, heat the butter a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  
12. Add the cinnamon, Apple Pie spice and sugar and cook for a minute, until the mixture begins to bubble.  
13. Lower the heat to medium and stir in the apples.  Mix well.  Cook until the apples are somewhat tender, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool.
14. While the apple mixture is cooling, use the cone method to remove a chunk from the center of each cupcake, making sure to leave a rim around the top of the cupcake.  Fill the holes with the cooled apple mixture.  To decorate, top each cupcake with a swirl of vanilla buttercream.
15. To make the frosting: In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds.  
16. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. 
17. Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds.
18. Scrape bowl, add vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds.  
19. Then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.  

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Chocolate Sables



Sables….these delicate French butter cookies really need no introduction. The word ‘sables’ means sand, referring to the sandy and crumbly texture of this shortbread cookie. I needed no special occassion to try this cookie out. I baked these just because. Trust me when I say you don’t NEED a reason to bake these, they are pure indulgence. The melt in you mouth texture is achieved through ginormous amounts of butter and shortening used in the recipe. So if you’re counting calories, look away now. FAST. However, if you’re like me (I really should be watching the calories but hey, you only live once right!), then run to the pantry and get your baking gloves out.

This recipe uses simple ingredients but the end result is sophisticated and stylish. Don’t be put off by the amount of shortening or butter in this recipe as the end result is so light and airy, you won’t be satisified with just one. But maybe that’s a bad thing! Pour yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy these little pieces of heaven.

A little note about this recipe. Once the cookie batter is done, the colour will be a very light brown. Don’t be tempted to add more cocoa as this will make the cookies very bitter. I learnt this the hard way with my first batch. Oh, and use the best Dutch processed cocoa you have to get that deep, intense chocolate flavor.

Chocolate Sables

Ingredients:
3 1/2 ounces vegetable shortening
2 ounces butter
6 tbs sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbs milk
1 cup all purpose flour
3 tbs cocoa powder
1 egg

Directions:
Preheat rhe oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Combine shortening and butter at room temperature. Add sugar and using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer, beat mixture for at least 10 minutes. Add egg and beat for 1 minute. Add vanilla extract and milk. Combine the dry ingredients and add to mixture.

Pipe cookie batter using an extra large star tip onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. It’s difficult to tell when the cookies are done as they are still soft to the touch when done but bake more whilst cooling on the rack so avoid overbaking in the oven. Cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack.

Recipe adapted from bigFatcook.

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Thai Chicken Curry (for when you’re in a hurry…)

So this week has been fairly crazy! And hence I haven’t been able to post in a while ~ primarily because my kitchen experiments had been put on pause! But yesterday I sprung back into action and remembered we’re ever so close to Friday 🙂 Now, moving on to more pressing matters – food. Delicious food. Wait, it gets better – food that doesn’t take long to prepare… Read on… The perfect meal for my crazy week, was anything that could be prepared in less than 10 minutes. So when I first came across this Thai Shrimp Curry recipe on SteamyKitchen, it was a life saver for a weekday! I made her original recipe a few weeks ago and it was absolutely amazing! The husband equated it to a dish we both LOVE called Gang Dang at one of Austin’s best Thai restaurants – Titayas. So I was uber happy, and figured I’d incorporated it into one of my quick weeknight meal ideas; of course though, I had to change it up a little to spruce up the spices. Also, we love love love Chicken! So I had to try it with boneless chicken.



Thai Chicken Curry

Ingredients:

1 lb boneless chicken, cut into cubes
2 tsp Sambal red chilly paste
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Fish sauce
1 tsp garlic/ginger paste

1 tsp Chilly infused oil
1 4 oz Thai Red Curry Paste
1 12 oz can coconut milk
1 cube chicken bouillon, in 1/2 cup hot water
1/2 green pepper, sliced thinly
1 8 oz pack of mushrooms, sliced thinly
1/2 can baby sweet corn, cut stalks in half
Thai basil leaves, handful

Directions:

1. Wash the chicken cubes, rinse with vinegar to eliminate any pungent odors. 
2. In a bowl, marinade the chicken cubes with: red chilly paste, Worcestershire sauce, Fish sauce and garlic/ginger paste for 1 hour. 
3. Take a skillet, heat chilly oil on medium-high heat. 
4. Add curry paste, whisk for about 30 seconds.
5. Pour in the coconut milk and whisk to combine. 
6. Add marinated chicken with all the yummy juices, let boil once, then add the chicken bouillon (with the water) and lower the temperature. [Note: we like our curries with gravy, lots of it, so I opted to use 1/2 cup of water, if you like your curry’s thick, I’d use 1/2 cube of bouillon with 1/4 cup water]
7. Let cook for 10 minutes or until chicken is tender. 
8. Add mushrooms, green pepper and baby corn. Let curry simmer for 3 minutes till vegetables are cooked but still crispy.
9. Just before serving, garnish with basil leaves.
10. Serve over steamed rice and enjoy! 



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Juicy Mint and Coriander Chicken Burgers



Ok. So I know summer is over and believe me, I’m ecstatic to see the back of that scorching sun. However, does it have to be bright and sunny outside to be able to enjoy this monster? NO!! In our house, burgers are eaten anytime and anyday! This burger is loaded with all the goodies, bursting with flavour and large enough to not want seconds but good enough to finish every last scrap. Oh and did I mention that zesty sauce slathered over the buns….mmmm I can almost taste it in my mouth!

The chicken gets a perfect partner here with the addition of mint and coriander. However, its the onion which is the secret ingredient here- the water content helps to keep the chicken moist and juicy and lends flavour too. A light drizzle of ketchup and tabasco finishes this off to perfection. It’s a mouthful of flavour, no doubt. All you need to do now is envision yourself opening you gob as wide as you can to get every layer of this baby into your mouth all at once and when you do, the juices and condiments will be oozing out! YUM YUM!! We served this with chunky fries.

Juicy Mint and Coriander Chicken Burgers

Ingredients:
500 grams chicken mince
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 large onion, very finely chopped
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder (optional)
1 handful coriander, chopped
1 handful mint leaves, chopped
salt, to taste
1 tbs sour cream/ yoghurt
3 tbs oil
6 burger buns
6 lettuce leaves
1 carrot, grated
1 cucumber, sliced
tomato ketchup
tabasco sauce

Zesty Sauce:
4-5 tbs salad cream
2 tsp mustard sauce
1 tbs ketchup
1 tbs chili sauce
salt to taste
1/2 tsp paprika

Directions:
Mix all the ingredients up to and including the sour cream. Heat oil in a frying pan. Divide the mince mixture into 6 large balls and form each into fat burgers. If the mixture feels sticky, dip your fingers into a bowl of water which will help you form the burgers without the mixture sticking onto your hands. Fry the burger on low heat on both sides till golden brown. Refrain from using medium or high heat as the will cause the outside of the burger to go brown before it’s fully cooked. 

Mix all the sauce ingredients together. Cut the buns in half and grill both halves. To assemble the burger, spread the sauce onto each grilled bun. Put down a lettuce leaf before placing your chicken burger on top. Drizzle with ketchup and tabasco sauce. Sprinkle some grated carrots before placing the sliced cucumbers on top. Close the bun and dig in.

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Mini Puff Pastry Pizzas


Well, I promised you an appetiser that had homemade Red Pesto and here it is, mini puff pastry pizzas. OH. MY. GOODNESS. Am I allowed to blow my own trumpet and say that these were amazing!! I made this for a birthday party last week and let’s just say, they were gone in a jiffy. When I saw this recipe on Kayotic Kitchen, I was just waiting for an opportunity to be able to make them. As a lover of mini desserts, mini appetisers, basically mini anything, this was right up my alley. 

Now if your pesto is ready, these literally take just a few minutes to whip up and the best thing is, they can be prepared in advance. I personally preferred eating them warm but they can served cold as well. Just thinking about the flaky pastry with a dollop of nutty red pesto, crunchy red onion and heavenly stretchy mozarella makes me want to run into the kitchen and make these all over again. These are perfect appetisers for the upcoming holiday season or any party for that matter. And don’t be afraid to adapt the recipe to your liking by adding YOUR favorite toppings. You won’t be sorry you made these as they are astonishingly tasty. And oh so bad for your thighs. But oh so good on the lips!

Mini Puff Pastry Pizzas

Ingredients:
15 puff pastry squares
1/2 red onion, chopped
grated mozarella cheese
1 firm tomato, halved and sliced into rings
basil powder
oregano powder

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Using the back of a glass, cut out circles from the pastry. The size should be slightly larger than the circle of your muffin tray as you want some of the pastry to come up the sides (shaped like a bowl). You can knead and roll out the leftover pastry again using a little flour. Keep cutting our circles and repating until all the dough is gone. Place the circles in the muffin tray (mine is non stick so I didn’t have to grease) with part of the circle coming up the edges and pierce randomly with a fork 2-3 times each. Load a teaspoon of pesto into each cicle and spread it around. Add a few pieces of onion into each circle followed by a sprinkling of mozarella. Add one slice of tomato with a dashing of basil and oregano powder. Place the muffin tray into the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and puffy.

The recipe yielded 18 mini puff pizzas for me.

 

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Red Pesto


Pesto is an extremely versatile sauce as I’ve just discovered. It goes with just about anything including a crunchy slice of baguette, bruschetta or even pasta. I’ve only ever had store bought pesto, so this recipe was a complete revelation to me. Trust me when I say that you will NEVER be buying the store bought variety again. This pesto is wonderfully frangrant, super tasty and a cinch to make. The great thing about this recipe is that it’s so versatile. No balsmic vinegar or parmesan cheese in the pantry?….No worries. I’m sure it will taste yummy without it. Love pine nuts with a vengeance? Double the amount and it will probably taste even better. Let your imagination run wild with this sauce and add or remove ingredients as you please. I’ll be posting an appetiser recipe in the next few days which makes use of this sauce to perfection so watch this space! In the mean time, I’ll be slathering this on any bread that crosses my path.

Red Pesto

Ingredients:
1 cup packed sun dried tomatoes
1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves
2 tbs pine nuts, lightly toasted
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tbs chopped coriander
splash of balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried basil (fresh would probably taste better)
1/2 tsp black pepper
salt to taste
olive oil, approx. 1/2 cup (I used the oil that the sun dried tomatoes were soaked in)

Directions:
Add all the ingredients and half the oil to a hand mixer and whizz. Keep adding oilve oil until the desired pesto consistency is reached (I ended up using approximately half a cup). Make sure you mix it once or twice while blending so all the bits are blended and not whole. This will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or so. It can also be frozen.

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Monday Blues Cured by Red Velvet Love!




In this corner of the world – it’s Monday. And Monday is just one of my WORST days of the week. Note, I said one. THE worst day of the week for me is Sunday. I just hate hate hate Sundays. It’s a reminder, that Monday’s-a-comin’. And I almost ALWAYS bake something decadent, divine, insanely fattening on Sundays, so I can occupy my mind with lining cupcake pans, sifting flour and washing up my lovely kitchen-aid – and not worry about the day that’s dawning upon us! 

The original recipe is from Food Network – by Paula Deen. I’ve made these Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting a gazillion times before, and they’re always a winner with kids and adults. The only changes I’ve made are with the frosting – I halved the recipe as the original just makes way too much. But this only applies if you’re going to ice them in a simple manner and be a tad stingy with the frosting (as my picture above). If you want an inch-high 1M gorgeous looking swirl, which I refrain from doing when I want to eat the cupcake, coz it goes straight to my hips, then you may just need the entire batch of icing! I hope you’ll be baking them this upcoming Sunday, to get rid of those Monday blues! Enjoy 🙂 

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cupcakes

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
3 tbsp red food coloring
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line cupcake pans with liners (this recipe yields 24 cupcakes).
3. In a bowl: sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. Please don’t skip this step – it makes the cuppies extremely airy. 
4. In your fancy shmancy mixer, put the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar and vanilla extract – beat until combined properly.
5. Add the dry ingredients, mix till smooth and thoroughly combined. 
6. Put batter into liners, until 2/3 full.
7. Bake for about 20 minutes, or when stick comes out clean. 
8. Remove from oven, let cool; in the meantime prepare your icing. 

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 (8 oz) packet of cream cheese, room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
Red Wilton Icing Color 
Red sprinkles

Directions:
1. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. 
2. Add the vanilla extract, beat a little longer till silky lookin’. 
3. Add sugar in small batches and beat until well incorporated.
4. Add red tint, so that the icing can become pink.  
5. Increase speed to high and mix until very fluffy and light. 
6. Garnish with red sprinkles or anything else that tickles your fancy! 
7. Serve on a hot lookin’ platter… 🙂


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Garlic Bread Rolls



I bookmarked this recipe as soon as I saw it on White On Rice Couple‘s blog together with about a gazillion other recipes that are in my favourites folder. Since one of the aims of starting this blog was to expand my horizons when it comes to food and reduce the load of untried but favorited (is that a word??) recipes, I decided to tackle that over expanding favourites folder, one recipe at a time.

Now there’s something about making bread that makes me feel a bit like a domestic goddess. But I’m a bit of a cheat in that I use one of my best friends in the kitchen to give me a helping hand, my breadmaker. When I first bought the breadmaker, I thought it would be one of those gadgets that you buy on a whim, use it in excitement on the first day and then promptly forget about. BUT….I’m proud to say that I make some sort of bread at least once in 2 weeks (that’s not so bad is it), be it pizza dough, dinner rolls or cinnabon.

Since I used a breadmaker, the dough was pretty easy to put together. The knots are a little difficult to shape to begin with but instead of following the instructions that were with the original recipe, I did it my own way which I thought was much easier. The babies baked up beautifully. They were soft like pillows and the dressing was like icing on the cake. If you’re not a fan of garlic like my husband, they tasted wonderful plain as well. These would go perfectly with a bowl of soup but since we live in a house of picky eaters, I served them as a side to penne arrabiata.  

Garlic Bread Rolls

Ingredients:
For the dough:
415ml warm water
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tbs sugar
1 1/2 tbs yeast
5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
extra flour for shaping

Garlic coating:
30ml olive oil
2 tbs butter
4 cloves garlic, finely crushed
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
salt to taste

Directions:
Add dough ingredients to breadmaker according to breadmaker instructions. If you’re brave and kneading by hand, mix all ingredients except the flour. Then add flour and mix to incorporate. Cover and place in a warm area until double in size (mine took half an hour in the breadmaker). Split the dough into four large balls and each ball into a further 10 balls. This will give you a total of 40 balls. Take a ball and roll into a rope about 5 inches tall. Roll this rope into a bowl of flour so it’s compeltely covered with flour and then shake off any excess. Tie a knot (over, under and through) and place on a baking sheet with at least 1 1/2 inch space between the knots. Continue until all knots are done. Cover baking sheet and let it rise for the second time in a warm place. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. When the knots have doubled in size, place in the middle rack in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until they turn golden brown. While the knots are baking, prepare the garlic coating by heating the oilve oil, butter and garlic in a pan. Add parsley and set aside. When the knots come out of the oven, immediately toss them in the garlic coating. Season with salt and serve warm.

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Moist Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting



Those of you that know me probably know of my love of cupcakes. I absolutely adore these pretty and dainty mini desserts and in my opinion, they are perfect for any occassion.

Now everyone needs a good, basic vanilla cupcake recipe that can then be used as a base for different flavours, frostings and toppings. Before I came across this recipe from Honey and Butter, my go to recipe was Billy’s Vanilla Vanilla cupcake. However, the problem with Billy’s was that even though it had vanilla extract in the recipe, the smell was very eggy and in comparison to this new recipe, quite dry.

I made these cupcakes to take to a farewell party for a friend who is going to Hajj this year and they were a huge hit, especially with the kids. The cupcakes itselt are super moist and tender. The texture is light and airy (I love it when I break a cupcake in half and I can see tiny uniform holes all over) and they would go beautifully with just about any frosting. I teamed it with a chocolate frosting that came with the original recipe.

If anything, make the cupcake just so that the amazing aroma can waft in the house!!

Moist Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:
3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter (room temperature)
2 cups sugar
4 eggs (room temperature)
1 cup whole milk (room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Line a cupcake tray with liners. In a bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and cream with the butter for 7 minutes, scraping the bowl when needed (batter should be nearly white and fluffy). Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Turn the speed to low and alternatively, add the flour mixture and milk, starting and ending with flour until just mixed. Add vanilla until just mixed. Divide the batter into the cupcake liners until 2/3 full (I used an ice cream scoop which was the perfect amount to fill 1 cupcake). Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out just clean ( mine took 20-23 minutes although the original recipe said 12-15 minutes). Cool for 5-10 minutes on a rack. Remove each cupake from the tray and wrap in cling film individually to seal in moisture. Cool on wire racks and frost when cold.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:
1 cup butter (room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 lb. icing sugar
2 tbs milk or cream
4-6 tbs cocoa powder

Directions:
Using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, beeat the butter with vanilla until smooth. Add the sugar a little at the time, allowing it to fully incorporate into the butter. Add cream and cocoa powder and keep beating the batter on high until fully smooth and aerated.

Note: The recipe has been slightly adapted from the original. I made half the recipe and for me, this yielded 14 cupcakes.

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Endless Bowl of Chicken Soup with Hearty Bruschetta

Sundays are one of my worst days of the week. But I’ve been able to discover something that makes every day, situation, mishap, everything better. And that is.. this hearty bowl of chicken soup. We used to have this just on its own. But a good friend of mine recently served it to us with bruschetta- and I absolutely loved the combination. Both of these recipes are originally from Allrecipes – but I’ve tweaked them to better suit our taste buds. Trust me when I say you’ll be making this once a week – it has the perfect combination of chicken, spice, vegetables, tomatoes and a little bit of guilt ~ I hope I’ve gotten your attention now. Read on and let your minds indulge; then tomorrow make sure you make a quick run to the grocery store to pick up all the ingredients and allow your stomach to actually taste the indulgence ;-). 




Spicy Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

4 boneless chicken breast fillets
8 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp dried parsley
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tbsp rosemary
1/2 tbsp thyme
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tbsp onion powder
5 cubes chicken bouillon

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (16 oz) can Pace Hot Chunky Salsa
3 (14.5 oz) cans Hunts Diced Tomatoes with Italian Seasoning
1 (10.5 oz) can condensed Tomato soup
2 tbsp red chilly powder
2 (15 oz) cans whole kernel corn, drained
1 (16 oz) can Hot Chili Beans, undrained
1 (16 oz) can Black Beans, drained
1 small packet Hot Pico De Gallo or 8 oz Spicy Restaurant Salsa (in Austin we have a Mexican Restaurant called Chuys that serves this salsa called Fresca – it is amazingly tasty and has this wonderful kick to it – so I tend to use this if we have some left overs from there, as we eat there once a week!) 
1 (8 oz) container sour cream

Directions:

1. Wash the chicken fillets, rinse with vinegar to eliminate any pungent odors. 
2. In a large pot combine: chicken, water, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, parsley, oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, paprika, onion powder and chicken bouillon cubes. 
3. Turn heat on to high, let mixture boil, then lower, cover and let simmer for about 45 minutes.
4. Remove chicken fillets and place on a plate to cool slightly. 
5. Transfer the broth into another bowl.
6. Shred chicken very finely, using a fork.
7. Return pot to heat, add extra virgin olive oil and let heat up.
8. Add onion and garlic – let brown slightly.
9. Add: salsa, diced tomatoes, tomato soup, chilly powder, cans of corn, cans of beans (both kinds), Pico de Gallo or spicy restaurant salsa and shredded chicken. 
10. Let this simmer for 30 minutes.
11. When ready to serve, whisk in the sour cream and ensure there are no clumps.
12. Serve hot with bruschetta and let go of all the worries of the world!



Bruschetta

Ingredients:

5 tomatoes, chopped
3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red chilly flakes
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Pinch garlic powder
1 loaf French Bread
1 block of Mozzarella Cheese

Directions:

1. In a medium sized bowl, combine: tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil, salt, black pepper, red chilly flakes, dried basil, dried oregano and garlic powder.
2. Let this mixture sit in the fridge overnight.
3. Preheat the broiler. 
4. Arrange sliced baguette onto a baking sheet, broil one side for 2 minutes.
5. Remove bread, flip them over on to the other side, put the tomato mixture onto the slices.
6. Layer slices of cheese onto the tomato mixture and broil for an additional 3 minutes or until cheese is melted. 

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