Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas

  Cinco de Mayo is this coming Saturday, so I thought I would share some Mexican inspired recipes this week. To those of you who celebrate Cinco de Mayo, I hope these delicious recipes will give you some ideas for your celebration!

  Flautas are one of my very favorite Mexican dishes. These ones are stuffed with seasoned chicken, spinach and monterey jack cheese. Best of all they are baked, not fried. They are sure to be a big hit as an appetizer or the main course.

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas
Makes 10 flautas

3 boneless, skinless Chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1/2 cup chicken broth, divided
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon cumin
3 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
8 ounces monterey jack cheese, shredded
10 taco-size flour tortillas
cooking spray
(Favorite Toppings: salsa, sour cream, guacamole)

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place the cooked, shredded chicken in a large bowl. Pour 1/4 cup of chicken broth over the chicken and then sprinkle with the chili powder, garlic powder, salt, paprika and cumin. Mix well. Set aside.

In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup chicken broth over medium heat and then add the chopped spinach leaves. Cook 3-4 minutes or until spinach wilts. Remove from heat, and set aside.

Take one flour tortilla and spread about 1/4 cup of seasoned chicken down the middle. Sprinkle with monterey jack cheese and then top with 1 Tablespoon of spinach. Roll up. Place flauta seam-side down onto a baking sheet lined with foil. Repeat with remaining tortillas, chicken, cheese and spinach.

Once all flautas are rolled and on baking sheet, spray the tops of them with cooking spray. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden-brown and crispy. Serve immediately with your favorite toppings!


Western Cheeseburger Sliders

   We are big burger lovers here at the Lofthouse residence. My hubby can grill up some mean hamburgers. He always gets praises (especially from me) for his grilling skills.

   When I was craving a nice, juicy hamburger last week, I decided to make these sliders. Kale was at work all day, so I thought I'd surprise him with some Western Cheeseburger Sliders to come home to!

   I'll admit that they were a little time consuming, but totally worth it. The crispy onion strings are what topped these off to perfection. They give these sliders a nice, flavorful crunch! Mmmmm..
We will be making these again and again this summer!

Western Cheeseburger Sliders
Serves 6 (2 sliders per person)

2 pounds lean Hamburger meat
12 good quality Dinner rolls
6 slices Cheddar cheese, cut in half
Barbecue sauce
Crispy Onion Strings (recipe below)

DIRECTIONS:  Heat a large grill pan or skillet to medium heat.

Divide the hamburger meat into 12 equal portions. Shape each portion into an oval patty. Sprinkle each hamburger patty with salt and pepper. Add 2 Tablespoons of butter to heated skillet and let melt.

Once butter is melted, add only 4-6 hamburger patties at a time, to ensure even cooking. Spread 1/2 a tablespoon of barbecue sauce over the tops of patties in the skillet.

Grill patties on each side for 4-6 minutes. Once you flip to other side, add another 1/2 tablespoon of barbecue sauce and spread. Continue cooking until no longer pink and cooked through. Place cooked patties on a baking sheet, and keep in a warm oven until all they are all finished cooking.

Place one cooked hamburger patty onto the bottom of dinner roll. (I buttered and toasted our dinner rolls first). On top of patty, add one half slice of cheese and more barbecue sauce. Top with crispy onion straws and the top half of dinner roll. Repeat with all others, and serve immediatley. Enjoy!

Crispy Onion Strings
Recipe from: Pioneer Woman

1 large Onion
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 quart canola oil
black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:   Slice onion very thin. Place in a large bowl and cover with buttermilk. Let soak for atleast an hour.

Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Heat oil to 375 degrees.

Grab a handful of onions and place into the flour mixture. Tap to shake off excess, and plunge into hot oil. Fry for a few minutes and remove when they are golden brown. Place fried onion strings on a large platter lined with paper towels to soak up grease. Repeat with remaining onions, then serve on sliders and as a side!


Banana Cake with Browned Butter Frosting

   I don't think I've made so many sweets and treats in my life, than over the past week. We celebrated my hubbys birthday 4 days after my babys, so there's been ridiculous amounts of sugar running through our family's bloodstream.

   It's been good and bad, all at the same time. Good for my taste buds....  bad for my thighs. Good for the smiles on my birthday boys faces....  bad that my kids have been on a sugar high for a week. Emma was running so fast in our hallway the other night, she ate the wall. Literally. She had paint in her mouth, and a nice little bump on her chin to prove it. : /

  I've had a pile of bananas sitting on my counter for a week. Who's going to eat a nice, healthy banana when you've got mounds of cake in the fridge!? I thought I better make one last treat with them...  ya know, so they did'nt go to waste ;)

  So banana cake it was. It was moist, delicious and divine. I would serve this for a dessert or even for a brunch. When you taste it, you might even eat it for breakfast. It's that good!

Banana Cake

1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1-3/4 cups ripe bananas, mashed (3 or 4 bananas)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:  Heat oven to 375 degrees (350 degrees, if using a dark pan) Grease and flour a 10x15 inch jelly roll pan.

Beat first 4 ingredients until creamy. Blend in bananas and vanilla for one minute. Add dry ingredients and blend one minute. Spread in prepared pan. Bake 20-24 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and then frost with browned butter frosting.

Browned Butter Frosting

1/2 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons milk

DIRECTIONS:  Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat past the melting point until it's boiling, and a delicate brown. Remove from heat and immediately add remaining ingredients. Stir until well combined. Pour and spread over cooled cake. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe source: The Girl Who Ate Everything


Chocolate Cupcakes with Oreo Buttercream

   Oreo cookies are one of my weaknesses. Especially double-stuffed Oreos. Oh my.....
Of course, when indulging in Oreo's a giant glass of milk nearby is pretty important. It's the only time I ever actually drink milk. When you've got a stack of Oreo's in your hand, they're just beggin' to be dunked.

   If you're an Oreo fan, than you will absolutely love this Oreo Buttercream! It is creamy, dreamy Oreo heaven! Just let me give you a little advice, and please practice some self control when you whip up this heavenly stuff. You will want to eat the entire bowl before those poor cupcakes even have a chance to be frosted!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Oreo Buttercream

Hershey's 'Perfectly Chocolate' Cupcakes

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

DIRECTIONS: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 30 muffin cups with paper bake cups, set aside.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin)

Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 20-22 minutes, or until tooth-pick insterted comes out clean.
Cool cupcakes completely before frosting.

Oreo Buttercream

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons milk or heavy cream
4 cups powdered sugar
16 Oreos, finely crushed (I used my food processor)

DIRECTIONS:  In a large bowl cream butter, vanilla and milk. Slowly add in powdered sugar until creamy and fluffy. Mix in crushed oreos until well combined. Frost cupcakes!

Cupcake recipe from: Hershey's
Oreo Buttercream adapted from: My Baking Addiction


Party Popcorn

  This is party popcorn, and it is life changing! You will never be the same person after you make this stuff.

 Just kidding.

You will, but people will love you a whole lot more :)

   If you like salty/sweet treats, than this is for you! It's tender white popcorn (popcorn without butter and a just a hint of salt) that is covered in white chocolate and mixed with pretzels, M&M's and anything else you love. I like to add lot's of sprinkles to mine!

   It is a great treat for any holiday or party! Just use the different colored M&M's they have throughout the year. The pastels for Easter, red and pink for Valentines, green and red for Christmas....  you get the drift.

Party Popcorn

1 (3.3 ounce) bag Tender White Popcorn, popped
6 ounces White Chocolate Bark  or White candy melts
1 cup M&M's (any color and kind you like)
1-1/2 cups Pretzel Sticks, broke in half

DIRECTIONS:  Place popped popcorn in a large bowl. Try and dig out as many un-popped kernals as you can. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper, set aside.

Melt white chocolate bark according to package directions. While chocolate is melting, pour M&M's and pretzel sticks over the top of the popcorn.

Drizzle melted chocolate evenly over the top. Carefully and gently mix all of it together to coat all of the popcorn and candy. Pour the mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet. Sprinkle with desired amount of sprinkles while mixture is still warm.

Let cool completely, and then break into pieces and eat! Enjoy :) I like to store any leftovers in a large ziplock baggy to keep fresh for a few days.

*This recipe serves about 4-5 people. Double or triple recipe as needed to serve more!


Happy Birthday Kallen!

    My little man turned 2 last Friday, so we did some celebrating over the weekend! We had a low-key family party on Saturday. It was a Mickey Mouse/ Pirate theme! I made him a Pirate Mickey Mouse chocolate cake. He loved it. He kept pointing at it saying, "Mine! Mine!" :)

   He was so excited and loved all the attention he was getting.... and all the sugary treats I let him eat! We had pizza, oreo cupcakes, party popcorn and a few other goodies. It was all delicious! I'll be sharing some of those recipes this week!

   Here are a few highlights from the celebration...... 

Pirate party table

Mickey Pirate Cake for my little guy!

Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes! Delish!

Party Popcorn! Amazing and highly addictive!

Riding his new bike! (well... trying to)

Make a Wish!

Happy Birthday buddy! We ♥ you!


French Dip Crescents

   I fell in love when I saw these French Dip Crescents on Pinterest. You all know me and my love of crescent dough! I use it all the time. I also adore French Dips. They are one of my favorite sandwiches. The two combined, I knew would be spectacular. These would be perfect for appetizers, lunch or dinner!

French Dip Crescents

1/2 pound deli roast beef, thinly sliced
4 pieces mozzarella string cheese, cut in half
1 (8 ounce) can refrigerated crescent rolls
1 packet Au Jus or Brown Gravy mix

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Seperate crescent rolls into 8 triangles. Top each crescent with 1 slice roast beef and one half piece of string cheese. Roll up and place on baking sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until golden brown.

While crescents are baking, make Au Jus or Brown gravy mix according to package directions. Serve with warm french dip crescents.

Recipe adapted from: Pillsbury.com


Cheeseburger Flatbread Melts

   These Cheeseburger Flatbread Melts are a fun idea for lunch or dinner! They are very yummy, very easy to make, and very versatile! (Did I say very enough?)

   The whole fam loved these! The flatbread is made from refrigerated canned pizza dough that you heat on a skillet. No oil required! They puff up into these soft, delicious flatbreads! You fill them with a 'cheeseburger' meat mixture and top them off with some shredded cheddar cheese. So so good!

   You could always add some lettuce, tomato, onion..... any kind of cheeseburger fixins' you like! While I was scarfing down mine, I was thinking of fun alternatives for them. I'm definitely trying Flatbread Tacos next time! Mmmmm....

Cheeseburger Flatbread Melts

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup water
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 pkg dry onion soup mix
1/2 cup ketchup
1 Tablespoon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (11 ounce) can refrigerated pizza dough
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

DIRECTIONS:  Brown ground beef in a large skillet. Add water, vinegar, onion soup mix, ketchup, mustard and garlic. Stir to combine and simmer over low heat.

Meanwhile, heat another large skillet over medium-low heat. Divide the pizza dough into 8 equal portions. Roll each piece out into a round, tortilla shape. ( Mine wouldnt roll very well into a round shape, I did the best I could)

Place one piece of dough onto the warm skillet. Cook on each side for 40-60 seconds or until puffed and golden. Place each flatbread onto a cookie sheet in a 200 degree warm oven, to keep warm until all flatbreads are made.

Take one flatbread and fill with a little of the cheeseburger mixture and shredded cheese. Serve while warm!  Serves 4 (2 flatbread melts per person)

Recipe adapted from: Kevin and Amanda


Menu Plan Monday #17

   How was everyones holiday weekend? I'm hoping you all had as much fun as we did. Ours was one for the memory books. It included lot's of Easter fun, a Dutch Oven cookout (YUM), hiking and exploring an old Ghost town, and lot's of laughing and visiting with family! It couldn't have been any better... and it ended way too soon!

   We have another exciting weekend to look forward to this week. My sweet baby boy turns 2 years old this Friday! I cannot believe it. It feels like I just gave birth to him yesterday...  :(  Why do our babies grow up so fast?? I'm really excited to make him a special Mickey Mouse cake for his party! Kallen's most favorite thing in the world is Mickey Mouse :)

   Okay, so I will quit babbling and get down to business. Here's the grub I'm making this week.....

(Leftovers from Sunday)

baked potatoes
garden salad

Chicken Enchiladas*
spanish rice*

Baked Penne Pasta*
green salad

~Kitchen's Closed~

~Kitchen's Closed~

mashed red potatoes
green beans

leftover birthday cake!


Easter Recipe Ideas

   I Easter. I love the meaning, and I love to see the excitement on my kids' faces when we have our Easter Egg hunt. It's always a fun time. I always look forward to that yummy Easter meal too. I thought I would share some perfect Easter recipes, in case your stumped on what to make. I wish you all a great holiday! I'll see you next week with some fun recipes I'll be sharing!

From breakfast, lunch, and dinner
here are a bunch of delicious ideas...
(Click on the recipe title to view recipes)