Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese

Original post is here.

Ingredients

2-3 jalapenos, seeded and diced (I’ve always used 3 and could probably be okay with a 4th. Husband would probably prefer more than that or a spicier pepper used)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream cheese, 1 block (8 oz)

2 cups milk

1 cup water

8 oz dried pasta

8 oz shredded Monterey jack cheese

1/2 cup bread or cracker crumbs

1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400*.

In a large skillet, saute peppers with garlic powder and salt, cooking until softened (about 5 minutes).

Stir in cream cheese. Mix until until melted.

Add milk, water, and pasta. Bring to boil and then simmer for 10-15 minutes on medium or until the pasta is cooked through. Stir regularly.

Add in cheese; stir to melt.  Transfer pasta/cheese mixture to an oven safe pan.

In a small bowl, mix crumbs with oil to evenly coat.  Add to the top of your mac and cheese.

Bake for 5-10 minutes or until brown on top.

Notes

The original post calls for 1 medium onion, diced, to be cooked with the jalapeno in step one.  Husband isn’t a big fan of onions and I force them on him in enough other meals that I figure I’d spare him on this.

Usually makes 4-5 servings, depending on how hungry we are.

I’ve done some variations.  I’ve added bacon before – 6 slices just chopped up and mixed in.  I’ve switched pastas – penne, cavatappi, rotini.  Monterey jack cheese as listed sometimes or switched with cheddar or colby-jack or pepper jack depending on my mood.  Most recently I used the Monterey jack cheese and added slices of pepper jack cheese on top of pasta/cheese mix and below the crumbs.

I have made this on several occasions and it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite meals.  It doesn’t take too long to make, not too difficult, and is super delicious.

“Perfect Chicken”

Ingredients

1 to 1 1/2 lbs Chicken breasts

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix salt and spices.

Rub all over chicken.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Notes

The original recipe was reported as a broken link on Pinterest so I can’t share it.  The pin itself shows the full recipe though.

I tried it out because my family was a big fan of Lemon Pepper Chicken – literally just thin sliced chicken breaks with lemon pepper seasoning – quick, simple, delicious; I was looking for something similar just with different seasonings.  This met that mark.

I’m not sure I’d jump all the way to the “Perfect Chicken” it was labeled as but it was pretty good.

1 note though, the recipe called for 1/2 teaspoon of each spice and that was not enough to cover the breaks, I had to mix another few sets of spices to get them all covered.  Otherwise though, pretty good.

Sweet Corn Spoonbread

Original right over here.

Ingredients

1 8.5 oz package of Jiffy corn muffin mix

1 14.75 oz can cream style corn

1 15 oz can whole kernel corn, drained

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 cup sour cream

3 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375.

Lightly grease a 2-quart casserole dish with non stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the ingredients, mix well and pour into the casserole dish.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until it’s set.

Comments

So this was made as a side dish shortly after eating out at Don Pablo’s, a Tex-Mex style restaurant in my area (not to sure how wide spread the chain is). One of their side dishes is Cornmeal Spoon Bread and I’m pretty sure I could eat it with every meal and not get sick of it.  This recipe was intended as something similar to Don Pablo’s deliciousness.

I was unimpressed with the dish, both on it’s own and in comparison to the Cornmeal Spoon Bread. Simple enough to make but just not impressing to taste.

Ah well. Next time.

Taco Seasoning

So I found plenty of Pinterest posts about mixing your own taco seasoning rather than buying those packets every time.  Last time I remade the One Pan Enchilada Pasta (recipe over here), I decided to make a whole bunch of taco seasoning for that and for next time. So:

 

Taco Seasoning

I used this graphic for my mixture.

 

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon Chili Powder

1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 Teaspoon Paprika

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

1 Teaspoon Oregano

1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

1/2 Teaspoon Sugar

2 Teaspoons Onion Powder

 

Directions

Mix together. Store in Mason Jar or similar container.  Season meals with to add tex-mex-y goodness.

 

Notes

I had most everything on had which made this really easy and had no problem picking up the few additional items.

I don’t know how much the above yields compared with how much is needed for well, anything.   I just about quadrupled it (may have actually been more) which gave a good amount (I think).

The packets I’ve seen previously of taco seasoning include 2 tablespoons of the mixture – now I can just easily measure out that much from my jar instead.