Shredded Chicken & Cheese Burritos

My little one loves Mexican food.  She really does.  I can't say that I'm surprised, it was one of my favorite things to eat when I was pregnant with her!!  This is a simple meal that everyone can have fun making.  I make all the elements & let everyone assemble their own burrito.  It's great for a weeknight meal or for entertaining as everyone can make according to their own taste.
2 Chicken Breasts
2-3 cups Mexican Style Rice, prepared
1 Can Refried Beans
2-3 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1- 7 oz can Tomato Sauce
Burrito (Large) size Flour Tortillas
Olive oil
Adobo Seasoning, to taste

Optional Toppings:
Lettuce, shredded
Tomatoes, chopped
Black Olives, sliced
Green Onion, chopped
Sour Cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.   Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan.  Season with the Adobo Seasoning & drizzle with a little bit of olive oil.  (If you don't have Adobo Seasoning, you can use a little salt, pepper, garlic powder & dried oregano.) Roast in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until done.  I use boneless, skinless breasts, but you could use bone in & skin on too.  (You could even omit this step & use left oven chicken or a store bought rotisserie for a nice short cut!!)
Set aside to cool, then shred. 
Prepare your rice.  (You can use a store bought blend or make your own.)
In a small sauce pan, add the refried beans.  Heat over low- medium heat, stirring occasionally. 
This is the tomato sauce that I use for burritos.  You can find it in the Hispanic section of nearly every grocery store.  It is spicier than regular tomato sauce, so keep that in mind, but it adds a wonderfully authentic Mexican flavor.  We love it! 
When the chicken, rice & beans are cooked, it's time to make the burritos!  Start with a tortilla.  Microwave 1-2 tortillas for 15 seconds or so, just to soften them up. 
Then assemble each burrito.  On the bottom half of the tortilla, I spread some refried beans then add rice & chicken.  Next, I spoon some of the tomato sauce evenly over & top with some cheese. 
Wrap the burrito up by folding in the two sides then rolling it up.  I like to spoon some more tomato sauce over the rolled up burrito.   
Then I top with a little more cheese & microwave the burrito for 1 minute.  Just to melt the cheese. 
Serve with optional toppings- we like shredded lettuce, tomatoes, black olives & sour cream!
 This makes about 6 burritos, depending on how full you fill them. 
Our happy little senorita!! 

Mini Pasta, Bacon & Cheese Frittatas

Just like omelets you can add anything to frittatas.  One of my favorites is pasta!  You can make some fresh or even better- use up left overs!  Any kind of pasta will work; plain, white or red sauced, long or shaped pasta.  I had some Garlicy Fettuccine Alfredo left over and let's face it, Alfredo just doesn't reheat well.  So, I decided to make these mini frittatas.  My husband loves them. They are like a mini meal all in one & they are easily portable!  Perfect for week day breakfasts!  I used bacon but you could use ham, sausage, deli meat, or left over chicken- what ever you have on hand!
1 1/2- 2 cups Cooked Pasta (or left over)
6 eggs
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 cup Shredded Cheese (I used Mozzarella)
2 Green Onions, chopped
2 pieces of Bacon, cooked & chopped
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a standard muffin tin with nonstick spray. 
In a medium bowl, break the eggs.  Add the milk & whisk.
I used leftover sauced pasta but you could use plain, cooked pasta instead.  If you use a long pasta like this fettuccine, you need to cut it up.  If you are using a smaller pasta like elbow noodles you can leave them whole. 
Add the chopped onions, pasta, shredded cheese, & bacon to the egg mixture.  Season with salt & pepper; stir to combine. 
Spoon evenly into muffin tins filling about 2/3s of the way.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until set. 
Allow the frittatas to cool a few minutes in the tins before removing.  
 This recipe makes 12 mini frittatas.

Everyday Pancakes

My daughter LOVES pancakes!  So of course, I love to make them for her!  This is a great basic recipe-  it's made with simple pantry items.  I call them everyday pancakes because they are so easy, you could make them every day.  And, because I found it years ago in an issue of Everyday Food
1 cup All Purpose Flour
2 tbsp Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Milk
1 egg
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil or Melted Butter
1/4-1/2 tsp Butter

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.  In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. 
 In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, & 2 tbsp of oil (or melted butter). 
 Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients & whisk just until combined.  It should be lumpy, don't over mix it!
 In a large, non stick skillet add a pad of butter (about 1/4-1/2 tsp).  Melt over medium heat.
 Swirl the melted butter around the pan to evenly coat the bottom.
 For each pancake, spoon about 1/4 cup of batter into the hot skillet. 
 Cook until the surface of the pancake has bubbles & few start to burst. 
 For me, this was about 2 minutes.
 Carefully flip & cook 1-2 minutes.
 Transfer to an oven safe dish and place in the oven to keep warm .  (I don't always use the oven.  Unless I'm cooking a large batch, the pancakes cook so fast, that just stacking them on top of each other as I cook them keeps them all warm.) 
 Continue cooking the rest of the pancakes.
 Serve with a little butter & warm Maple Syrup. 
This makes about 10, medium sized, pancakes.  I usually double the recipe so we have some left over.  My family of 3 can easily demolish 10 of these pancakes in one sitting.  :)

Crostini Topped with Garlic & Herb Cheese, Roasted Tomato Bruschetta & a Drizzle of Balsamic Glaze

I love to make Crostini (Italian for little toasts) for appetizers. You can top them with all kinds of things but this is one of my favorite combinations. It's a slew of textures & flavors- crispy bread layered with creamy cheese, sweet roasted tomatoes & tangy balsamic glaze. It's perfection in a bite! Fancy enough for entertaining but easy enough for every day.  I especially like to make this when I'm serving soup for dinner.  It pairs nicely with my Broccoli & Cheddar Chowder
1/2 pint of Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
1/2 Yellow Onion, sliced
2 cloves of Garlic, smashed
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Bread (like a baguette of french loaf) sliced 1/4- 1/2" thick
Garlic & Herb Cheese Spread
Balsamic Vinegar Glaze

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  In a small casserole or baking dish, drizzle a little olive oil then place the tomatoes, sliced onion & garlic cloves.
 Drizzle a little more olive oil over everything & toss to coat.  Season with a little salt & pepper. 
 Roast uncovered in a 325 degree oven for an hour, until everything is soft. 
 Crush the tomatoes with the back of a spoon & stir to incorporate everything.  Set aside to cool. 
 Turn the oven up to 400 degrees.  You can use just about any crusty loaf of bread you'd like here.  Baguettes are good, as is french & sour dough.  I actually used a homemade boule.  You just want to make sure that it's a smaller loaf so your pieces aren't too big.  Slice the bread into 1/4- 1/2 inch slices.
 Lay the pieces on a sheet pan, drizzle with a little olive oil & season with salt & pepper.  Toast the bread in the oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, flipping once. 
 This is the Garlic & Herb Cheese that I used but you can use any brand that you like.  Alouette makes a good one too. 
 This is the Balsamic Glaze that I used, it's from our local Harris Teeter grocery store.  But again, you can use any brand you like.
 When the bread is toasted, spread a little cheese on each piece.  Then spoon on some of the tomato bruschetta & drizzle a little of the balsamic glaze over the whole platter. 
This recipe is for 4, you can easily double it for a larger group.