Friday, May 27, 2011

Summer Fajitas

Well, it has been quite a week!  I have been bored because I have been home alone the past few weeks, but they have also been a very relaxing two weeks.  Now, my sisters are out of school, and we are headed to the campground with my grandparents for a few days...should be interesting.

Since the girls were out of school yesterday, we spent the day playing tennis and catching some rays.  Unfortunately I got a few too many and look a bit lobsterish today.  We also had plenty of time to cook up a delicious dinner dinner last night too!

To make these delicious fajitas all you need are a few simple ingredients.

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into strips
  • 1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 5-6 small sweet peppers
  • 2 large portabello mushroom caps
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • greek yogurt
  • 10 fajita/soft taco shells
Once you've gotten all of that together, the rest is just as simple!

Combine the chicken, garlic, and chili powder.  Stir and let sit for a while to "marinade".

While that mixture is setting, cut the peppers, mushrooms, and onion to your preferred size.  I cut the peppers into strips, cut the onion into about 12 wedges, and diced the mushroom caps.

Also during this time, wrap the tortilla shells in foil and place them in the oven at 350 until you are ready to serve them.  After the chicken has soaked up the chili powder for about 10 minutes, add 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil to a cast iron skillet and let it get hot.  Add the chicken and brown the outsides for about 5 minutes.  (you don't want to cook the chicken thoroughly just yet)

Transfer the chicken to a bowl and sautee the peppers and onion for about 3 minutes, until slightly brown and tender, and then add the mushrooms and cook the veggies for about 5-10 more minutes.

Add the chicken back to the veggies and sautee all of the ingredients together until the chicken is no longer pink inside, about 5 more minutes.

Now, just add the chicken/veggie mixture to the shells and top with yogurt for a delicious, healthy, and simple dinner.  We cooked a pan of spanish rice to enjoy with our fajitas  :)

 Also, I must share with you that many youngest sister just graduated kindergarten on Monday.  My sisters and I didn't have a chance to do much for her before then, so when she got home from dance on Tuesday night, we surprised her with a cake and the newest toy craze i the kindergarten world-squinkies.

Maire and I with her cake :)  She was so excited!

Hope you try out these fajitas soon.  And if you have a little one in your life, cherish every second and "make a memory", as Maire's teacher this year always said, because they grow so fast.  I'll let you know how camping goes

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Strawberry Lemonade Pie

Is there any better way to welcome summer than with the sweet yet bitter taste of an ice cold glass of lemonade?  Nope, I don't think so.  Well, today in all of my boredom, I decided to try a recipe I found in the most recent issue of Martha Stewart Living.  I fell in love with the pictures of the summer pies that they showcased.  All of them are made with fresh and delicious ingredients from strawberries and lemons to peaches, plums, raspberries, and many many more!  Needless to say, I just had to try one out!
(recipe adapted from:  Strawberry Lemonade Icebox Pie)

Ingredients you will need:

  • graham cracker crumbs (and whatever the recipe on the box calls for)
  • 1 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 4-5 lemons
  • 14 oz. fresh strawberries, sliced
  • dash of salt
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar

Rather than crushing my own graham crackers to make a crust, I happened to have a box of graham cracker crumbs on hand, so I decided they would work just as well.  I just followed the recipe on the box to make the crust.  I love the way graham cracker crusts smell when they bake!

The filling of this pie was really simple to make.  In fact the whole pie was pretty easy to put together!
First, pour the sweetened condensed milk into a bowl and add the yolk of two eggs (reserving the egg whites for meringue) and one whole egg.  Whisk together and add a pinch of salt.  Then add the juice of 4 lemons.  Continue whisking until blended well.  Pour the mixture into the pie crust and bake at 325 for 25-30 minutes until the center is firm.  I baked mine for exactly 25 minutes and it was perfect!  Cool the pie on a wire rack to room temperature and then refrigerate until chilled through, about 3 hours. 

To make the topping, add 2 tbsp. of sugar and 2 tbsp. of lemon juice to 14 oz. of fresh, sliced, strawberries.  Let these sit for about 30 minutes, until you notice the berries becoming juicy.  

For the meringue, use the 2 egg whites reserved from earlier plus one more (3 egg whites total).  Combine them with 2 1/4 cups sugar.  Place this mixture over a boiling pot of water until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch.  This took me about 5 minutes.  Then blend the mixture on high speed for about 9-10 minutes until it becomes fluffy and medium peeks begin to form.  I blended for exactly 9 minutes. 

still very runny...this was about 3 minutes of mixing

still runny after 6 minutes of mixing.....
I forget how long it takes to make meringue

Finally!  Very fluffy and holds it shape well.

To finish off the pie, top it with the freshly sliced strawberries and then add the meringue on top.  Broil on low heat until the meringue become slightly brown (or use a kitchen torch to brown the top if you have one). 

Before browning


I haven't tried this pie yet because my family had previous dinner plans last night.  However, I can't wait to try a slice.  I hope that you will give this pie a try and I hope that it reminds you of the wonderful colors and flavors of summer like it does  for me.

What are some of your favorite summer fruit recipes?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

apologies apologies

my my I have been slacking on my blog duties.  sorry!  In better news, I have alot to share with you (like always) so get ready!!

Mos importantly, I AM OFFICIALLY ON SUMMER BREAK!!  I can't express how excited I am to be done with the books for a while.  I am definitely in need of this break!  I have been home since Friday and have loved every minute of it.  I miss my family much more than I realize while I am away.  I have also gotten to spend alot of quality time with my Daddy which has been really nice. 

 While I don't have a new recipe to share with you today, I do have a few things.  As you all know, Mother's Day was on Sunday.  My mom is the best of the best as far as I am concerned, and I hope my sisters and I made her feel "like a princess" as Maire would say.  She surely deserves it for putting up with 4 daughters, and my dad!  The girls and I surprised her with a tub full of goodies (a candle, hand towels, table cloth, placemats, and candy).       

She was excited about her gift basket! 

After church on Sunday morning, the whole family headed over to Uncle David and Heather's for lunch.  Heather cooked baked spaghetti and seven layer salad, and Ashton brought pink lemonade pies.  Needless to say, we all rolled home after eating all of that yummy food!  Here are a few pictures of Maire and my cousins, Jackson and Harrison, playing after lunch.  We all had a ball watching them play together!

My sister Maire and cousin Jackson posing on the trampoline

in action

cutest kid I have ever laid eyes on!

all of us before church!

Mama was trying to get the horses in the background.  Unfortunately, we are all 5'9" (the girls both have heels on and I have on flats--they aren't that much taller than me yet) and we covered them up! 

All in all, it was a great day and I hope that Mama, my grandmother, and my Aunt Heather all know how much they are loved and appreciated!

Next, I am going to share with you some pictures of mine and my roommates garden!  We are sosososo excited about it!  I took these photos before I left Auburn on Thursday and can't wait to see how it grows until I get back in a couple of weeks!

Ok well I am having to use the PC at home and the connections here are a bit slower than my internet in Auburn.  Uploading those pictures was taking forever.  SO, you will have to check back soon for pictures of the garden and an exciting how-to tutorial I am excited to share with you!!  Untl then, I hope you're days are blessed!