Monthly Archives: May 2012

Anna’s Quick and Easy Chicken Taco Lasagna

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Anna’s Quick and Easy Chicken Taco Lasagna

I absolutely love Shredded Rotisserie Chicken Tacos, especially heaped with lots of guacamole. So when we held our galpal Cinco de Mayo party a few weeks ago I eagerly volunteered to bring my fav… Mini Chicken Tacos. However… due to a miscommunication with my dear husband… he bought two rotisserie chickens many days prior to the party, AND allowed them to cool in the fridge. Heaven Forbid! 😉

Getting home late that Tuesday night from class and noticing that my chickens had arrived early, I knew that I had to deal with them that evening, and freeze the shredded meat for the party on the weekend. Usually I like to hand-shred the breast meat, and it’s actually much easier to do while the chicken is still a bit warm from the store. But I instead used my KitchenAid mixer and paddle to quickly shred the meat, thus learning that it doesn’t work with chilled meat. The consistency of the meat was more similar to ground chicken and that just wasn’t the effect that I was going for… SO I added the two packets of Old El Paso Taco Seasoning, mixed it together and froze it for future use. And then went out on Saturday and bought fresh chickens…

This is how this recipe was born! And it’s definitely a new favourite of ours.

Microwave Reheated Chicken Taco Lasagna on Day 2

Anna’s Quick & Easy Chicken Taco Lasagna

This is exactly what I used to make this recipe, but feel free to use almost 3 bottles of Salsa (spice level is your choice too), and leave out the crushed tomatoes, and use just one type of cheese. Some people do not like the sodium content of the Taco Seasoning packets, so you could use this salt-free spice blend instead if you wished.

2 Rotisserie Chickens, shredded breast meat
mixed with 2 Old El Paso Taco Seasoning packets

1 box Catelli Express Oven-Ready Lasagna Noodles
2 glass jars of Safeway Salsa, medium spicy
1 19 oz/540mL can of Aylmer Crushed Tomatoes
2 tbsp. Epicure Selections Poco Picante Salsa Mix
1 cup No Name Shredded Cheese Nacho Blend
1 cup No Name Shredded Cheddar Cheese
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1. Preheat oven to 350*F, and use a 9×13″ baking pan.

2. Dump the can of Crushed Tomatoes into the bottom, and sprinkle with Salsa Mix
or similar spice blend (click here for recipe).

3. Lay one layer of lasagna noodles in the pan.

4. Dump in almost one jar of salsa until the noodles are well covered.

5. Crumble your chicken/taco seasoning mix over top of the salsa.

6. Add about 1 cup of shredded nacho cheese.

7. Repeat with another layer of noodles + salsa + chicken.

8. Top with a generous final layer of shredded cheddar cheese.

9. Place on a large cookie sheet to catch any spills, and bake for 45 to 50 minute watching closely so that the cheese doesn’t burn.

10. Remove from oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes.

YIELD: Makes 8 large pieces.

As it’s just the two of us, we had one piece each last night, and then had a even quicker and easier meal tonight – with a twist.

DAY TWO

I added a large dollop of Shahina’s World Famous Guacamole (another favourite from the Cinco de Mayo party), and 3 roasted baby plum tomatoes that were kicking around in the fridge from the weekend’s ‘Portuguese’ Cordon Bleu Chicken meal.

Shahina’s World Famous Guacamole

This guacamole is super easy to make too – and super yummy!

2 ripened avocados, pitted and mashed
2 tbsp. finely chopped red onion
2-3 tbsp. chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup chopped seeded tomatoes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Mix ingredients together and enjoy.

YIELDS: 4 very generous servings as dollops on the side of the lasagna

TIP: When storing guacamole leave the avocado pits in the dip and cover with saran wrap right over the dip so that it sticks tightly to the surface of the guacamole.

For longer life ensure that your saran wrap clings to the dip thus sealing out any air which will minimize the avocado’s oxidization and discolouration.

I hope that you love these two recipes as much as we do. Everyone has a favourite lasagna recipe, so let me know in the Comments area what makes yours extra special as I love hearing about unique combinations, family traditions, and special ingredients.

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Belgian Chocolate Bourbon Balls

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To commemorate the series-ending of Desperate Housewives I’ve brought out a favourite no-bake cookie recipe that is a perfect Adults-Only dessert idea. My Belgian Chocolate Bourbon Balls are a super addition to any cookie baking day you may be planning as they are super easy to make while the other cookies bake away in the oven.

Recently I made them for an Easter alternative cookie just to shake up the dessert selections. They were such a hit, and freeze so well, that I decided to make them once again for the Manitoba Food Bloggers Bake Sale benefiting Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day. I dedicate this recipe to my mother, who always went the extra mile for my Bake Sales throughout the years.

Using just 6 Easy-to-Source Ingredients

Prep all ingredients in advance using your food processor

Once you add the melting Belgian chocolate using a mixer the dough consistency will look like this

My “Martha” and I make very consistent sized balls together

And just because there isn’t enough sugar content in these already… don’t forget to roll them in sugar to finish them off perfectly

Place on parchment paper lined pan and freeze for a couple hours before you place them in an air-tight container for future use as needed

Chocolate Bourbon Balls make a great gift too!
(photo credit to http://shelzolkewich.com/)

And now for the recipe so that you can get started!

Anna’s Belgian Chocolate Bourbon Balls
Yield: 4 dozen balls

2 1/2 cups Vanilla Wafers, crumbled
(1 box Nilla Wafers, or make from scratch)

1/2 cup White Sugar

1 cup Pecan halves, finely ground

6 oz. Belgian Chocolate wafers, melted

1/2 cup Jim Bean Bourbon

3 tablespoons Light Corn Syrup

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1. Add all dry ingredients to mixing bowl.

2. Carefully melt the chocolate wafers in a double boiler.

3. Remove chocolate from stove, stir in bourbon and corn syrup.

4. Add chocolate mixture to the dry ingredients and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

5. Roll dough into uniform 1-inch balls, and then roll them in sugar to coat. I love to use my OXO Gelato scoop for perfect sized balls every time.

6. Place balls in air-tight container and store at room temperature for up to 45 days. Or freeze on flat baking sheet for 2 hours, and place in air-tight container.

And for an interesting variation…

If you double or triple the recipe, and happen to run out of steam part way through rolling the balls,
you can refrigerate the dough which will make it crumbly.
And Voila! L.M.F.A.O. Bourbon Chocolate Crumble is born!

Place the mixture back in food processor to make a fine crumble that is perfect to use on sundaes,
on pancakes, over fruit, on yogurt, or even in a layered cake filling.

Enjoy!