Baked Chicken Taquitos











Baked Chicken Taquitos

For the chicken:

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 can diced tomatoes

1 packet taco seasoning

Place chicken, diced tomatoes, and taco seasoning in a heavy pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cover. Cook approximately 1 hour until chicken can be easily shredded. Shred chicken using 2 forks and let cool.

To make Taquitos:

1 lb cooked chicken (see above), most of liquid removed

1/3 cup finely chopped green onions

1/3 cup cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup shredded Mexican style cheese

salt and pepper to taste

12 fajita size flour tortillas

cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cooked chicken with cream cheese, green onions, shredded cheese, salt and pepper. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. Using 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture place on one end of the tortilla and wrap ending with seam down. Once all the taquitos are wrapped spray the tops with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Bake approximately 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy with salsa, guacamole or just plain. These also freeze very well and can be reheated in the oven (or microwave, but they will be a little soggy)

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Healthy Orange Chicken












Everyday I get an e-mail from Hungry Girl and everyday I delete the e-mail without ever reading it. It is one of those things I should unsubscribe too and for some reason I find it easier to just delete the e-mail everyday. Well, this one day a few weeks ago the title of the e-mail must have caught my attention because I opened it and found what sounded like a delicious healthy swap for Chinese orange chicken, which happens to be one of my favorite Chinese dishes. So I thought why not lets try it, just because I never had luck with any Hungry Girl recipe in the past, this one might be different. So to my surprise with a few alterations, the dish was actually pretty tasty.  So below is the recipe that I used, the original is on the hungry girl website.

Healthy Orange Chicken

2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless cut into 1 inch cubes

1 egg

1 tbsp water

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup chicken broth

1 tbsp cornstarch

2 tbsp orange marmalade

1 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp minced ginger

2 scallions, sliced thin

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.

Place chicken in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Whisk together egg and water and pour on top of chicken. Place flour in a plate. Individually lift chicken from egg mixture allowing excess to drop off and coat in flour. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk broth with cornstarch until cornstarch has dissolved. Add marmalade, vinegar, soy sauce, and thoroughly whisk.

Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat. Cook and stir garlic and ginger until slightly softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth mixture and cook until well mixed and slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Once thickened add chicken and coat with sauce.  Top with scallions

Serves: 2

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Click on the below link to enjoy the first Pinch & Dash Newsletter.

Pinch and Dash Newsletter Feb ’12

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Valentine’s Day Cookies









Let me start by saying that I am obsessed with these sugar cookies with a thick layer of frosting that you can buy in a plastic package in the bakery department of my grocery store.  So when I saw a picture on pintrist that resembled the look of the famous grocery store cookies I had to give the recipe a try. I decided Valentine’s Day would be the perfect occasion for there to be some sweets in the house (I have been trying to keep sweets out) and I knew my husband would really enjoy that. While the cookies are not exact (I am sure the grocery store ones have some sort of preservatives in them) they are still AMAZING and we haven’t been able to stop eating them. I finally put them out of reach so we could save some for Valentine’s Day. If you want to save your self and not feel the need to feed all your neighbors, I would cut the below recipe in half. This recipe adapted from The Baker Chick made four dozen very large cookies.

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies


6 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ cups sour cream
for the frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons heavy cream
1. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the flat beater attached, cream the butter and granulated sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add the vanilla and sour cream and beat at low speed until combined.
3. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. Dough will be a bit “sticky”.  Chill in the refrigerator overnight or at least two hours until firm.
4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
5. Using a small cookie scoop, portion the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place the ball of dough on the cookie sheet. Using the bottom of a glass that you dip into flour, press the top of the cookies to flatten out until they are about 1/4 inch thick and even and smooth. Place them evenly on a cookie sheet and bake for 7 minutes or until pale golden. Don’t over bake!
6. To make the frosting, in a large bowl cream together the butter and vanilla with an electric mixer.  Slowly beat in the powdered sugar and the pinch of salt. Once smooth and creamy, add in heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, then beat at medium-high speed for a minute or two until light and fluffy. If desired, add food coloring and beat until combined.
7. Once cookies have cooled, frost and add sprinkles. Allow frosting to set, then store in an air-tight container. Let cookies sit for several hours before serving to allow the flavors to develop.

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For years now we have been going to my in-laws house for their blow out superbowl party. With up too 100 people some years, a sushi chef and a fully catered menu of everything “superbowl” the party was always a huge success. This year was the first year in probably 15 years they decided to forgo the party and stay in California to avoid the Chicago winter. So we decided to carry on the trend, on a MUCH smaller scale. I did most of the cooking with a some friends bring a few items as well. Overall it was a huge success with way too much food. There pretzel bread bites were a huge hit. The recipe is from

Soft Pretzel Bites

Pretzel Dough:
4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tbsp butter, melted
Topping:1/2 cup baking soda
4 cups hot water
2 egg whites
2 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled
Coarse kosher salt, for topping
Parchment paper and cooking spray


In a measuring cup, dissolve the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Set aside. (Mixture should become foamy – or you have bad yeast or too hot water).

In the bowl of a standing mixture fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, sugars, and salt on low speed. Turn off the mixer and pour the water/yeast mixture and melted butter into the bowl. Turn the mixer on and knead for 6 to 8 minutes until the dough is smooth. If the dough is too dry you can add extra water, a tablespoon at a time.

Lightly oil a large bowl. Remove the dough from the mixer and shape into a ball. Place the dough ball in the bowl, cover with a clean towel, and allow to rise for one hour (or until double in size).
Note:*Keep it somewhere warm, but not too hot. I placed it on my stove top with the oven on low

Towards the end of rising time, preheat oven to 450 degrees and prepare baking sheets with parchment paper and cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the hot water and baking soda. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg whites and melted butter.

After the dough has risen, punch down the dough and then knead with hands for one minute. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and divide dough into 12 even portions. Now you can pick your shape. For pretzel bites roll each portion into a snake then cut the snake into bite size pieces, about 1 1/2 inches in width.

Dip the pieces in the baking soda water and place on the baking sheet. Dab with a paper towel if there is an excess of water. Brush each pretzel bite with egg whites/melted butter mixture then sprinkle with kosher salt.

Bake for 7-8 minutes, or until browned.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 3 dozen+


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