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Fabulous Food Friday #14

First, let me say that we had a fabulous time with my mom here! Both Liam and I cried when we dropped her off at the airport…(I still haven’t changed much). When I was younger I used to cry whenever I had leave family members that we were visiting. I was feeling under the weather (NOT with swine flu) this week so that is the reason for the lack of posts and pictures of her visit. Look forward to that this weekend!

When we first lived in Texas and I was a working gal I used to go out to eat for lunch. Such a concept now that I am a stay at home mom/wife/gal. There was a Mexican restaurant that my co-worker/friend, Stacy introduced me to and now I cannot remember the name of it for the life of me. All I remember is that it was gooooo-oooodd! The first time we went she suggested that I get the Baja Chicken (at least that is what I remember it being called…(I am getting old and a bad memory to go along with it!) Oh, I craved that chicken. I mentally and “taste”fully picked it apart and decided that I could make it at home….and I did. To this day, it’s one of Ian’s top 3 dishes that I make.

Baja Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or however many you need to feed your family)
garlic powder
parsley flakes
1 TBSP canola oil
1 box Rice-a-roni Spanish or Mexican rice (with ingredients to follow directions on the box)
1/2 can Ro-tel (we use mild even though Ian would love spicy)
1/2 large brick of velveta
1-2 avocados, sliced
Tortilla chips

Make rice according to directions on the box. While that is cooking start on the chicken. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with pepper, garlic powder and parsley flakes to taste. On medium heat cook and brown chicken in oil until cooked through and no longer pink inside. About 12-15 minutes. Once rice and chicken are done turn off burners and leave in pans to keep warm while you make your queso. Mix together velveta and Ro-tel in a microwaveable bowl. Heat for a minute at a time until cheese is completely melted. Place a scoop of rice onto plate and then top with a chicken breast. Drizzle queso over the top. Garnish (this is the most important part) with your sliced avocado. Place chips around the plate. Enjoy

*You can most definitely use your favorite boxed rice brand (Hal) if you are not a fan of the San Fransisco Treat! You can also buy the smaller brick of velveta and use the whole thing…but then you are left with 1/2 a can of Ro-tel and nothing to melt it with! I think the avocado totally makes this dish…Ian and I usually try to bribe the other out of their slices!

I (surprisingly) haven’t made a lot of sweets lately so I got this picture off of the Food Network site where I got the recipe from.
I discovered Paula Deen a few years ago and my life has not been the same since. I know a lot of people that cannot stand her, but she is someone who I would absolutely love to be my neighbor. I think most of you will like this recipe. And I think some of you will love this recipe if you like salty sweet things like me! SO EASY!!!

Pine Bark
35 saltine crackers
1 cup butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup chocolate chips (I use milk, but this would be fine with semi-sweet)

Preheat oven to 400º. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil. Lightly spray foil with cooking spray. Place saltine crackers, salty side down, in prepared pan. In a sauce pan, boil butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Pour mixture over crackers, evenly coating, and bake for 4-6 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately top with chocolate chips. Spread evenly as chocolate starts to melt. Cool about 6 minutes and break up into squares. Transfer to wax paper or cooling rack to cool completely.

*Paula’s recipe originally called for almond extract, but I think it’s better with vanilla. She also places her crackers salty side up, but I like to taste that salt on my tongue right before the sweet caramel and chocolate hit it!

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  • Reply
    May 1, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    oooooooo yum!!!

  • Reply
    May 1, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    I made these last night (a recipe from a friend) and the caramel came out a bit chewy rather than the toffee I was wanting. Is that how yours are?

  • Reply
    May 1, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    That chicken looks good!!!

  • Reply
    Dave L
    May 1, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    When are you going to produce a cook book??

  • Reply
    May 2, 2009 at 5:48 am

    These sound SO yummy! I hope you are feeling better!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    I am in love with Paula Deen. Do you know she was in Dallas this past weekend? She was. And well, I couldn’t get tickets to see her. Otherwise I would have called you asap. I think we should road trip to her next show for sure!

  • Reply
    HIGH STRUNG, low key
    May 10, 2009 at 6:13 am

    mine didn’t ture out like the picture! But the kids and the husband liked them so I quess that is a good thing!

  • Reply
    The cornbread queen
    February 5, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Hi I have made those pine bark as you call them but up here in canada we call them skor bars and yes they are fabulous I always make mine at christmas because i give boxes of baked goods to adult members in my family because we only buy for the kiddies and they go over so well i get requests for them all year only thing different is i dont use the extract but maybe i will try it that way this christmas and maybe use mint chips with crushed candy canes to make it more festive maybe flavour the toffee mixture with a touch of rum extract who knows it all sounds good to me keep up the recipes i have so many i want to try from you

  • Reply
    March 18, 2012 at 4:57 am

    Amy, I just saw that you posted this! I'm so glad I found it! I really miss eating this at Tia's! They are all closed now and haven't had this in years! Thanks for posting… I'm gonna try this out this week!
    Miss you my friend~!

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