Friday, June 29, 2012

recipe of the week: lora's ranch mix/dressing

i have several recipes that are lined up to post...but since this is one of the bases to several of them, i thought i'd go ahead and share my ranch seasoning mix and dressing recipe.

i stopped buying prepackaged seasoning once i realized how much sugar and chemical additives there are in the vast majority of them. this was probably about a year ago, and i have tried several combinations to get my seasoning just the way i like it.  a friend sent me a recipe (and i have no idea where she got it, so i can't give the credit) but it was a little too bland for me...however, playing around with ratios and a couple of added spices did the trick!

not only is this healthier than prepackaged mixes, it's WAY cheaper.  and it's not time consuming at all.  you can whip up a batch of the seasoning AND a container of ranch dressing in less than 10 minutes.

so, here's my recipe.

2 tsp parsley
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
4 tsp dill
4 tsp onion powder
1 tsp basil

mix and store in airtight container. i love the round spice tins for this, and they're less than $2

i love that this is truly a base recipe.  it's great on it's own, but it's also adaptable. if i want to make it a chipotle ranch, i just add a bit of chipotle along with the ranch mix when i make the dressing. i use a tablespoon of this mix in anything that calls for a packet of ranch seasoning. so far, that seems to be the correct ratio!

so for the dressing itself

1 tbsp dry ranch seasoning
approximately 1 cup each sour cream, olive oil mayo and skim milk

you know, mix together (i use an immersion blender). pictures are self-explanatory.


it'll keep in the fridge for a week or more, although it never (ever) lasts that long at our house.  enjoy!

(if you click on this picture, you're sure to find some tasty recipes. in fact, there's a lemon squares recipe that i'm salivating over at becky's blog!)

feed my family friday


Friday, June 22, 2012

recipe of the week: creamy chicken taquitos

have i mentioned i love pinterest?
yeah, probably.
this is a recipe i originally found there.  as far as i can tell, this is the original source.

however, the first time i mixed up the recipe exactly as the original stated, i thought "there is no WAY that is creamy enough for us."'s the adapted version for our house :-)

lora's creamy chicken taquitos

1 package (or more!) tortillas (we prefer the habaƱero lime from trader joe's or the red chile from whole foods)
2 cups shredded chicken* 
1 package cream cheese
1.5 cups shredded pepperjack or mexican blend cheese (this is one of the VERY FEW recipes i'll actually buy a blend for!)
1/2 cup salsa verde (plus more for dipping)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cloves of minced garlic
3 or 4 chopped green onions
juice from one lime
your ratio of the following spices...i'm putting approximates for what i use
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

*this is roughly 1.5 pounds of raw chicken. i grill them up and then use my kitchenaid to shred (another pinterest tip, naturally!)  i usually use just under a pound of breast mixed with just under a pound of thigh, OR strictly chicken thighs. it's so.much.cheaper

preheat your oven to 425゜(that's hot people!)
if you happen to have parchment paper (NOT the same as wax...learned that the hard way once. rookie mistake!), line a baking sheet with it. if not, no worries.

if you have grilled your own chicken to shred, place it in a stand mixer and shred it. if not, just put your shredded chicken in a mixer and follow the next few steps.
add the cream cheese and shredded cheese, followed by the spice blend, salsa, lime juice, cilantro, green onion and garlic. keep mixing until it's blended quite well.

for each tortilla, spoon a generous amount onto the edge and then roll is up. place seam down on your baking sheet.

bake for 15 - 20 minutes (watch for your desired level of crispiness). serve with rice, guac, sour cream, salsa, and whatever else you desire :-)


you should get about 12 taquitos out of this.  per taquito, based on chicken thigh meat only, here's your nutrition info.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

thursday's ten or so: a few new (to me) things

things i have done over the past 3 weeks that i never imagined i'd do

- fixed a hearing aid that had split in two (hard not to figure out when the child hands it to you and says 'my ear broke!')
- pulled an entire outfit out of my car at the last minute to participate in water day
- helped four 5 year old little boys get outfitted in princess dresses and shoes and watched them put on a dance show
- set the alarm later than i've done in recent memory and MADE myself stay in bed until it went off (twice)
- handed out veggie straws for a snack and didn't eat even one! (several times)
- wore surgical gloves to change a diaper. because it's required, not because it was that bad of a diaper.
- wished for a surgical mask because it WAS that bad of a diaper.
- successfully negotiated between teachers who didn't want to do what a parent had asked, and said parent. (for the record the request was NOT unreasonable, and the parent won. as they should have. tiny preview of what i'll be doing full-time in the seems that it will be necessary to remind others that we are here to serve and support families...)
- worn close-toed shoes every day for a week (because it's required to not wear sandals that have a strap between the toes...and i don't own any that don't...ick) {but bonus: i get to buy new toms!}
- laughed when a fellow teacher was surprised when i had only been there 2 weeks...she thought it had been at least 2 months. i think that's good? maybe?

so...that's why i haven't been around much lately.  lots of first, lots of exhaustion, not to mention the other random stuff happening.  90% of it is good though, so no worries. and i plan to be back more full-time here soon!