Sunday, March 29, 2015

Grilled Burrito Recipe and More with RO*TEL Savings at Walmart

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #JustAddRotel #CollectiveBias

You might have noticed that RO*TEL shows up in quite a few of my favorite recipes. It is a pantry staple in our house and a can added to an everyday recipe is a great way to kick up the flavor and fun. Since warm weather means we will be outside shooting hoops instead of cooking in the kitchen, why not take advantage of the coupon below to stock up for easy meals and snacks. 

Also, check out two of my favorite RO*TEL recipes below.

Great Savings on RO*TEL at Walmart!

Are you creating a big snacking spread for the Big Tournament? Looking for ways to spice up game day and save money at the same time? #JustAddRotel is the perfect way to spice up your favorite recipes. From guacamole to pot roast sliders, adding a can of RO*TEL makes a traditional game day recipe into something extraordinary. Click this link  to print a Walmart coupon where you buy 3 cans of RO*TEL, you will get 1 can free!

Hurry, this coupon expires on April 6th and is only while supplies last!

Be sure to look for RO*TEL in either the Pasta or Hispanic aisle in Walmart!

For my hungry crew I love to whip up a large batch of Grilled Burritos. I can keep the ingredients on hand in the pantry for this simple, but delicious meatless meal option.

Grilled Burritos

You Will Need:

  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • olive oil
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/2 c. chicken stock
  • 1 can RO*TEL
  • 1 c. frozen corn
  • 2 c. cheese, shredded
  • 8 large flour tortillas
  • lime wedges for serving
  • sour cream, as desired
In a large skillet warm the garlic and olive oil over medium heat for about a minute, then add in the black beans and chicken stock. Let this come up to a simmer slightly mashing some of the beans. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes.

Stir in the can of RO*TEL and corn and let this heat through. Add a splash of lime juice now, if desired. Turn off the heat.

Get a cast iron skillet or large frying pan heated to medium on the stove, then begin assembling the burritos. Sprinkle a little cheese in the middle of each tortilla then spoon about 1/4 c. of filling into the center. Fold up the burrito, starting with one end, then the side, the other end and wrapping it closed.  Repeat with all the remaining burritos.

Working in batches, place the folded side down in the frying pan and cook until it starts to turn golden brown. Flip and cook the other side.

Serve with remaining lime wedges and sour cream.


Also check out my Mexican Penne Casserole Recipe featuring RO*TEL. 

Be sure to stock up on Ro*Tel for your favorite recipes. How do you use Ro*Tel?
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Kahlúa Crêpe Cake

There is something amazingly decadent about a crêpe cake. All those lusciously delicate layers with  whipped cream filling in between.

I actually had my first crepe cake at the oddest place. It was Tokyo, Japan and I was an intern during college. I lived with a family and commuted to work in the city each day. Some days I packed a lunch, other days I ran across the street to the "combini" (convenience store) which quickly became a single person's salvation in Japan. Just thinking about that store brings up fragrant memories of Oden and Pork Buns in the Winter.  I could grab lunch, a snack, something sweet or a drink there. I must have ducked in there a thousand times to grab a bottle of water or iced tea. The Summer was so humid.

I probably tried every confection that particular combini offered. One of the items was a single serve slice of crepe cake. It was just a basic crepe with a whipped cream filling, but it was cold, light and amazing.

Now that I have broken in my crepe pan, I thought it was about time to tackle my own crepe cake at home.

I was feeling a little adventurous and just happened to have a bottle of Kahlua handy. Now, you could leave out the rum and coffee liqueur and just add the good cocoa, or add a nice vanilla bean paste. This particular day though, I wanted chocolate and Kahlua.

I started with a simple crepe recipe and set out to make at least 20 individual crepes. Crepes don't stick, so you can cook them ahead of time and assemble as needed. You can even refrigerate them and assemble the following day if needed.

You can find my basic crepe recipe below, but if you have a favorite, feel free to use it here.

I went ahead and created the chocolate ganache and the Kahlua chocolate whipped cream while my crepes were cooling. Then I put everything out for quick assembly.

I wanted my layers to be as thin as possible, so I used a pastry brush to spread the ganache later on top of each crepe.

Then I put a thin, but even layer of the whipped cream on top with an offset spatula. There are a lot of layers to go (I think I had 19 or 20) so don't use all your whipped cream too quickly. I kept layering till I ran out of filling.

Also a thinner layer gives more stability to the cake.

Once finished (or out of the whipped filling), pour remaining ganache on top of the cake, then dust with powdered sugar.

For my last parting tip, let the cake chill well before serving and slice with a sharp, but not serrated knife, for best presentation.

And above all else, don't forget to clean up every last bite and Kahlua cream smear. It is so good!

Kahlúa Crêpe Cake

You Will Need:
For the Crepes

  • 6 Tbsp. melted butter, unsalated
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 c. milk
  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 5 Tbsp. sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 lb. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. Kahlua
For the Filling
  • 3 c. heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 c. powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Kahlua
  • 3 Tbsp. cocoa

Start by making the crepes. The batter can be made up ahead of time, but needs to rest for at least 30 minutes. Put all the ingredients in the blender and mix well. Pour into a bowl to let rest for 30 minutes, or overnight in the fridge,.

Preheat your pan on medium with a tiny bit of butter, or non-stick spray. Pour a scant 1/4 cup batter into the pan, then lift and swirl the batter so the entire pan is evenly coated. Cook till the crepe top is dry and the bottom has a little color, then with a spatula, flip the crepe and continue to cook for another 30 seconds or so. Take out of the pan and set on a plate. Repeat with the rest of the crepes, using a little dab of butter if the crepes stick.

While the crepes are cooling, make the ganache and Kalhua whipped cream filling.

To make the ganache, heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan. Whisk till it starts to simmer. Turn off the heat and pour over the chopped chocolate. Stir in the Kahlua and continue to stir till it is all melted and smooth.

Whip the filling ingredients in a stand mixer until stiff peaks form. Keep chilled until you are ready to assemble the cake.

To assemble, lay down a crepe, then spread a thin layer of ganach over the top. Do not go all the way out to the edges. Then top with a very thin and even layer of filling. Add another crepe on top and repeat. Reserve a small amount of ganache for the top of the cake.  Keep going until the cake reaches your desired height, or you run out of filling. Then spread with remaining ganache and sprinkle with powdered sugar to serve.

Chill before serving and enjoy!

Have you ever tried a crepe cake? Do you have a favorite flavor?

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

NEW Dial Sugar Cane Husk Scrub with Giveaway

Dial provided me with a sample of Dial Sugar Cane Husk Scrub hand soap in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and experiences are my own.

There has been a whole lot of hand washing going on this Winter. Now into Spring, I don't want the routine to stop. With a busy kitchen, diapers to change and life in general to wash away, I like to pick a scent I love and a hand soap formula that leaves my hands feeling clean and soft.

My newest find is this Dial Sugar Cane Husk Scrub. Oh, boy this stuff smells amazing!

I put this in our highest traffic area, the kitchen sink.

The smell is subtle, warm and sweet. It smells like fresh sugar cane and doesn't overpower the room or take over. I could almost call it, "yummy".

This hand soap from Dial's Boutique Collection contains micro-scrubbers for a deep clean, as well as a moisturizing formula designed to leave your hands smooth. That is important to me considering how many times I am stopping at my kitchen sink throughout the day to wash my hands. Other great scents in the line include:

  • Yellow Raspberry and Black Sugar
  • Water Blossoms
  • Coconut Lime Verbena

Now, I do have a confession. The smell and feel of my hand soap does have an effect on how often (or how eager I am) to wash my hand. Am I right? If I pick up a new hand soap with an exciting scent, I find myself going back more often... and even enjoying those few minutes when I lather up.

Keep an eye out for the Dial Sugar Cane Husk Scrub in your local stores But, you can also enter below for a chance to win your own coupons (2) to try this product for yourself.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Family Movie Night - Grab Your Copy of Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

I received a complimentary movie copy and goodies to start off our family movie night as a Vocalpoint member. All opinions and experiences are my own. #VPMovieNight

We love a good family movie night, and this month we popped our popcorn for the final installment of Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb now available on Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital HD.

I can't believe the first movie came out when I was pregnant with my oldest. In fact, Night at the Museum was one of the last movies I went to the theater to see with my husband before our first baby was born. It left quite an impression on us. It was funny, magical and had an all-star cast of historical and Hollywood names.

The third movie in the series did not disappoint..

We showed the kids the first movie, so they were familiar with all the characters, well except Lancelot (played by Dan Stevens) and British Museum night guard Tilly (played by Rebel Wilson) who joined in the fun for Secret of the Tomb.

To get ready for the fun, we spent a warm Spring break afternoon showing Flat Dexter around the farm. Do you remember this mischievous monkey from the movies? He is a big favorite with all my kids, especially the toddler.

Flat Dexter popped up in our cherry orchard, then started sneaking around the tall grass around our house.

Yes, my kids had a blast seeing what kind of trouble they could get their Flat Dexter into.

He even made an appearance during our movie night. My daughter was so into the movie, it was a while before she noticed her brother had "Flat Dexter'd" her.

We also downloaded a few fun movie activities like these dress-up printables the kids could color and then wear to become Sacajawea, Jedidiah and Teddy.

But of course the main attraction was the movie. Well, my youngest was really into stealing his brother and sister's popcorn, but the older kids fell in love with Night at the Museum: Secrets of the Tomb. My kids enjoyed the suspense, jokes and learning a little about history through the movie.

I thought it was a great movie for my whole family to watch and enjoy together.

Grab a $8 off coupon for your own copy of Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, and download your own fun printables on the Vocalpoint site. 

I also have one digital download to give away here to one lucky reader! The winner will be able to download this movie through the usual download channels (Google Play, iTunes, or Playstation.

Enter below, and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tackling the Meatball Mess: Bounty with Dawn

This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Bounty. All opinions and experiences are my own. #BountyatWalmart 

There is nothing more enjoyable then a slow roasted tomato sauce with homemade meatballs. It is a stick-to-your-ribs, grandma loves you kinda meal. 

Well, unless you are the one stuck with cleaning the kitchen afterwards! 

Those gloriously delicious balls of meat, simmer in a sauce that just happens to get everywhere. In my rush to get dinner on the table I often miss the loud sputters of sauce as it goes from a gentle simmer to a more violent bursting out of the pot and onto my stove top or counters. 

Truly a delicious, but messy endeavor.

Usually I have to deal with the mess after we eat because the oils from the meatballs and the tomato sauce leave a film on everything. Messes can't just be wiped up, they need something to cut through the grease like Dawn.

I remember after I left for college, my parents started using paper towels for everything. They liked the fact they could be thrown away and didn't harbor germs like a kitchen sponge. I just rolled my eyes. Paper towels just don't cut it, in my book, for using with soap and water. Sorry.

Well, Bounty and Dawn have joined forces to make my cleaning fantasies a reality. Bounty with Dawn is a 2-in-1 product  that combines Bounty's durable paper towels with Dawn's grease fighting powers. Truly the perfect product to do battle against my meatball and red sauce nemesis! 

I ran my paper towel under the sink to activate, then wrung it out before setting to work to tackle those spills and pick up those greasy splatters.

I love that the Dawn in the paper towel sudsed up and took out my kitchen mess. I tackled the whole kitchen with just one of these paper towels. I just rinsed, wrung it out and kept cleaning between spills.

Oh, and they are also handy for cleaning out those messy splatters in the microwave, too. This has my traditional stinky kitchen sponge on notice. When I'm done with my cleaning, I can just throw the paper towel away.

Wouldn't this be a wonderful thing to take while at a vacation home or while camping? All the strength of my handy kitchen rags, without the laundry afterwards. Oh, the possibilities..

Be sure to check your local Walmart for Bounty with Dawn, and grab the Meatball recipe below.

recipe courtesy of New Bounty with Dawn

You will need:

  • lb ground beef
  • 1/4 c. plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • pasta
  • red sauce of your choice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.

Combine beef, breadcrumbs, egg, cheese and seasoning in a large bowl. Portion into 1 3/4" balls and bake until cooked through. (about 15 minutes)

Turn the meatballs during this time so they brown evenly.

Cook pasta according to the package directions.

Warm your sauce in a small saucepan over low heat. Add cooked meatballs to the sauce and simmer for a few minutes. 

Serve over pasta and topped with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.


How do you tackle your biggest kitchen messes?

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Brown Eggs? Silhouette and Sharpie Easter Eggs

My kids have been buzzing this week about decorating Easter Eggs. It is Spring Break here and with Easter coming up, it seemed like a great way to keep my kids busy and let them get creative.

The only problem is, I don't have any hens that lay white eggs!

This drives me batty every year. I don't buy eggs from the store. I have a great coop just bursting with producing hens. The eggs we eat come from my 15 girls. It just happens to be that the eclectic mix of chickens out back all lay gorgeous brown eggs.

I have Barred Rock hens, Cochins, Buff Orphingtons, several different crosses (for better egg production), a Silver Laced Wyandotte, etc. It is quite a colorful crew in the yard, but their eggs are all, pretty uniformly, brown.

Remember folks, those coveted brown eggs just come from breeds that lay brown eggs.They are not better or more nutritious. Those white eggs come from a breed that lays just white eggs.

But, have you ever tried the traditional Easter Egg kits with brown eggs?

They don't come out so pretty and colorful.

This year I decided to use the same technique I used to make my favorite "Mom" mug on our beautiful brown eggs. I started by "blowing" the eggs to remove the yolk and albumen, then I washed and dried them. I am blowing out the eggs this year because I can only take so many hard boiled eggs in a week.

This little tool works for poking a hole in the bottom of the egg and then to manually blow out the contents. If you plan to do a lot of them, save the eggs for a quiche or frittata.

For this craft you will need:

  • Eggs
  • Sharpie Markers in bright colors
  • Sticker shapes or cut stencils on the Silhouette

Place the sticker or stencil material onto the clean egg. I start at the middle and work outward, trying to smooth down the edges the best I can.

Select your markers and start dotting. Be sure to get the dots heaviest around the edges and details of your shape. This will help to make the silhouette image or design stand out.

When finished, I removed the clear stencil material and my image showed through. My daughter also worked on her own designs. It was a colorful and simple way to create unique Easter Eggs.

Even on brown eggs!

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Chile Reno Casserole

This easy Chile Reno Casserole recipe is a great way to enjoy your favorite Mexican Dish deconstructed and without being fried.

Spring is off an running. In our house that means longer hours of farming, dirtier children and a lot of outdoor play. Thank goodness, I think the little ones were tired of being cooped up indoors.

Despite the longer daylight hours in the evening, it seems like my days are shorter. There is so much to do and dinner has to be easy and plentiful. My crew has been working up quite an appetite lately.

A few months ago I tried my hand at chile renos and it was amazing! Fresh is always better, isn't it? Unfortunately, roasting, filling and frying takes a fair bit of time and effort in the kitchen. It was a successful recipe that I filed under "special occasions" because it was more than I can pull off for a typical evening meal. It also created quite a whirlwind of mess in my kitchen!

Chile Renos are my number one thing to order when we go out. I love them! You can ask my husband, I measure a Mexican Restaurant by how good their chile renos are. I prefer them to be fresh, homemade and cheesy.

So the solution was simple... just like the Eggs Benedict Casserole that was perfect for serving up to a hungry crew, Chile Renos could be made into one big casserole. Brilliant, right?  Oh, and this recipe gets bonus points for not needing any frying. I promise you won't miss that part.

It contains all the same great flavors... and cheese... but, with far less fuss. It also means my husband can grab as large of a piece as his heart desires.

Grab a few simple ingredients, along with a whole bunch of beautiful poblano peppers, and let's get started!

This recipe is great for breaking up into separate steps. I roasted all the poblano peppers early in the morning. I rubbed them with a little olive oil and kosher salt and popped it under the broiler till they were all charred.

Then I put them in a big bowl and covered it with kitchen wrap. The steam from the hot peppers helps to loosen the outer skin on the peppers. Once cooled, it is pretty easy to remove with just a paper towel and my hands. Then I sent the sliced and seeded peppers aside till I was ready to assemble the casserole.

Making the sauce is so simple! The tomatoes, garlic, milk and chicken stock all go into a saucepan to simmer through. Then the mixture gets poured into the bottom of a large casserole dish.

Then let the layering begin!

I cut my poblano peppers in half and put a good layer on the bottom to cover the tomato sauce.

Then add a layer of cheese and the remaining peppers on top of that.

Then pour the egg mixture over the whole thing and top with more cheese. I used Monterey Jack and Cotija Cheese in the middle of my casserole and mixed the Monterey Jack with a little sharp cheddar on the top.

This baked for about 45 minutes or until the eggs were done and set.


Chile Reno Casserole

You Will Need:

  • 8 - 10 Poblano Peppers
  • Olive oil, enough to rub peppers for roasted
  • a pinch or two of Kosher salt
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 c. chicken stock
  • 1 c. milk, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
  • 3 c. shredded cheese (I used a combination of Monterey Jack, Sharp Cheddar and Cotija Cheese)
  • 12 large eggs
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. cumin
Rub poblano peppers with olive oil and sprinkle both sides with Kosher salt. Place under the broiler for 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on them as they will blister and char quickly. Turn and repeat on the other side. Place charred peppers in a large bowl and cover with kitchen wrap to let them steam. When cool enough to handle, rub off the outer layer with a paper towel, or peel with your hands. Slice in half to remove the seeds and stems. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9"x13" casserole dish with non-stick spray.

In a saucepan, combine the tomatoes, chicken stock, 1/2 cup of milk, garlic and salt and pepper. Bring up to a simmer and soften the tomatoes for about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the sauce cool slightly.

Pour the tomato mixture into the bottom of your dish. Top with half the roasted poblano peppers, then  1/3 of the cheese. Repeat the layers of peppers and cheese.

In a separate dish, whisk up the eggs, remaining 1/2 c. milk, flour, cumin, salt and pepper. Pour this mixture over the casserole and top with remaining cheese.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked through. Serve warm and enjoy! 

What do you serve on busy weeknights? Do you have a favorite casserole to make?
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