Monday, May 3, 2010

Chimichurri Soft Tacos

El Gaucho's Chimichurri Blend is inspired by a thick sauce traditional to Argentina.  It's great as a marinade for flank steak and here, with chicken.  I started by making the marinade according to the directions on the back of the jar--using lemon juice, grapeseed oil and some salt (optional).  

Let that marinate for a couple of hours, but since it has lemon juice in it, you don't want to do this much longer than 4 hours because your chicken will get mealy.  If you are using, flank steak, overnight is fine.

Throw this on a grill--or in my case an indoor grill and grill till done.

Meanwhile, get some other toppings ready.  I sauteed up some red bell pepper and sweet onion in Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil.  Even though my husband and I are the only ones that eat these, I always do a lot because leftovers are great diced up in omelets, or on top of salads or even in sandwiches.

Pull the chicken off the grill and let rest a few minutes.

Then slice across the grain--this is especially important if you are doing this with flank steak--it will be much more tender that way.

Warm up some tortillas--flour or corn are fine, whichever you prefer.  I've been buying those unbaked tortillas from Costco lately--they are really good!

I topped my tortilla with the chicken, peppers and onion mixture, cheese (I would have rather had jack or even pepper jack, but alas my fridge only contained cheddar), lettuce and some cilantro.  I also spread my tortilla first with a little guacamole--that way you get a little guac in every bite instead of in clumps on top--great way to do sour cream too!  I love the Chimichurri blend--it's even on my Top 10 bundle.  Instead of grilling, I also just throw the chicken (or pork) in the crockpot with the same marinade mixture and then shred it at the end of the day--either way tastes great and so easy!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Giveaway Winner (FINALLY!) AND another chance to win stuff!

So, I finally got the order with the prizes so I figured it's time to choose a winner.

According to, the winner is. . . comment 3!

So who is lucky comment 3?

OpenID thesixthseason said...

YaY! See! Peeps are perusing your great blog! And a fun give-away, too. Look at YOU! See you soon, Renae

Well, isn't that appropriate since she just left my house and now I'll have to mail it!!!  Congrats Renae--you deserve it since you comment the most!

If you didn't win this time--no worries!  I'm having a Mother's Day Sale AND a Mystery Host Drawing!  So you have a chance to win more stuff!  

Here's the deal:

Place a $60 order and receive:
 A FREE product of your choice (up to $10 value) AND
 The Wicked Good Slow Cooker Sauce for FREE!
 Entry ticket into the Mystery Host Drawing for a chance to win another $20 of FREE product.
Place a $75 order and receive:
 A FREE bottle of Grapeseed oil of your choice AND
 The Wicked Good Slow Cooker Sauce for FREE!
 TWO entry tickets into the Mystery Host Drawing for a chance to win another $20 of FREE product.

Forward this along to anyone who is interested in dinners that are natural, nutritious, delicious and easy to prepare!  TWO extra drawing tickets for referring someone that orders!

No purchase necessary for entry into the drawing: Book a party for the month of April and receive 10 tickets into the Mystery Host Drawing.  Book a party for May and receive 5 tickets into the Mystery Host Drawing!  (This can be a catalog party for all you out-of-towners!)

Check out the products at

Friday, April 9, 2010

Pineapple Stuffed Jamaican Jerk Chicken

This is a recipe I adapted from an Everyday Food magazine recipe.  The stuffing is virtually the same, I just use the Wildtree Jamaican Jerk Seasoning, because it's sooo much easier and tastes just as good as the homemade one suggested by Everyday Food, but a whole heck of a lot less work!  This is totally company worthy, but easy enough for everyday too.  First, make the pineapple stuffing:

I use canned pineapple because I have a weird sensitivity to fresh, but I'm sure it would be fab with fresh as well.  Mix:
1 whole big can of pineapple (use tidbits or cut up chucks like I did), drained 
 juice of one lime
3 green onions, sliced
then season to taste with a bit of kosher salt, pepper and a bit of sugar.  

Next, prep your chicken.  Um, do my hands look old?  Anyway, just cut into the chicken horizontally with a sharp knife.  I stabilize with my hand firmly on the top of the chicken breast.  

Lift up the top and make sure you have a nice deep pocket.

Stuff with the pineapple mixture.  There is enough stuffing for about 6 large chicken breasts.

Lay on a baking sheet and season generously with the Jamaican Jerk Seasoning.  Bake at 450 until juices run clear or internal temperature is 170 degrees, I think about 25 minutes.  You can also broil them, and they'll get done faster.  I didn't because my broiler doesn't work that great.  

On the side I sauteed some onions just in the Natural Grapeseed Oil and then added in some fresh green beans.  I also made some Cilantro Lime Rice--it's a great accompaniment to anything with the Jamaican Jerk.  

I ended up overcooking the beans a bit, so it's not just bad lighting--they really are lacking in color, but doesn't the chicken look yummy?  Let me know if you try this!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Random Photos

If you're here for the giveaway, it's still going right here.  But, for the grandmas, here's a few photos of our recent activities.  This is totally out of order from my last few posts, but I thought I'd share anyway!

Cutie pie Maegan!

Snowboarding with Dad over winter break

Abby with some friends over our winter break up in Reno--miss you!

Both boys got to do a Pinewood Derby this year--Brayden's fourth car because of the move.

This is a picture of where I take the girls walking in the mornings--isn't it beautiful?

Drew got a worm making kit for Christmas--he got Maegan involved too

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My First Giveaway!

Want to make this!?!

I thought so. This is Alfredo Pasta with Broccoli and Grilled Chicken--one of my all-time favorite Wildtree dinners. So, in an effort to determine if anyone besides my mother-in-law (hi Renae!) reads this blog and likes my recipes, I'm giving away some products!! This collection includes the Alfredo Extraordinaire, the Rancher Steak Rub and the Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil--everything you need to make this dinner, plus you'll have leftover product to try other recipes as well.

All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment (just click on the comment link below this post) and let me know which recipe on my tiny little blog is your favorite, or which one you'd like to try. If you'd like to book a tasting and get MORE FREE products, you'll get 3 extra entries into the drawing! Just let me know in your comments and I'll give you a call! This giveaway will be open until April 7 at noon and a winner will be chosen at random from all entries. Thanks and good luck!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring in San Jose

I was thinking of an old post titled Summer in Northern Nevada in sharp contrast to what we did today. The boys had the day off school so we decided to do a little hiking with some friends. It was beautiful. This is Quicksilver in San Jose--the trailhead is literally about 2 miles from our house.

The boys were "steaming" when we got home. So this happened:

In case you're wondering, it was probably around 72 degrees at this time--and we don't heat the pool. Abby decided it was a good day to work on her tan. She asked me to take this picture:

Maegan had to get in too--just not actually in the water!

Friday, March 12, 2010


On page 13 of the new January catalog is a great little recipe for Tex-Mex Sliders. My kiddos have been begging for these--what's the appeal about little burgers? Well, I can tell you--they're great for kids and adults alike. The little ones only need one--no more cutting burgers in half or quarters for them. And the big kids (like dad) can have more than one, with different toppings on each. On one he had the classic toppings and on the other he had the Tex-Mex toppings. Fun!

I made the burgers according to the recipe found in the catalog. If you don't have a current catalog, I'm happy to email you one, but here is the recipe as found on page 13.

Tex Mex Sliders

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
Salt to taste
Cheddar cheese slices
mini burger buns or soft dinner rolls

Wildtree Guacamole, prepared according to package instructions
Wildtree Fiesta Salsa, prepared according to package instructions
Baby arugula (I used the spring lettuce mix from Costco)
Red onion, thinly slices.

Preheat grill or grill pan.

In a large bowl, combine ground beef, hickory oil, garlic pepper and salt. Mix well and form into 8 mini patties. Grill meat to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side over medium-high heat. Add the cheese as soon as the burger is flipped to the second side. Grill buns until lightly toasted. Dress burgers with guacamole, salsa, arugula and onions and serve.

As you can see from the pics above, I made more than this recipe calls for--I used about 2 pounds of ground beef. If you're into weighing stuff, each little burger should weigh about 3 ounces. I tried to go a little smaller than that, but they shrunk up more than I would have liked.

For those of you that really know me, you know that I love to make bread. I make most of my own bread--buns are no exception. So, I made some dinner rolls, half whole wheat and flattened them out a bit for the buns. But seriously, store-bought dinner rolls are just fine. I'm just a little crazy like that.

Once again, our outdoor BBQ is still not working, so I used an indoor grill pan. Honestly I think even when it is working, these little guys would make Andy a little (ahem, a lot) irritated, so it's probably just as well to do them indoors, where you're not risking losing them through the grates.

I served them alongside some sliced oranges (thanks Dad!) Aren't they cute? Plan on 2 for each adult female or large child (such as your growing 11-year old boys) and 3 for adult males. Abby, 4 years old (I'm 4 1/2 MOM!) ate one.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

BBQ Chicken and Winter Salad

I take lots of pictures of dinners that I make, but sometimes it takes me a while to actually post them. This is one of those meals, so the details may be a little vague!

I like to make salad most nights for dinner, but when tomatoes are not in season, I struggle. My sister Amy has taught me her formula for a winter salad. Basically on top of the greens of your choice you had a fruit, (fresh, dried or both) a nut and a cheese. Complicated--I know! This particular salad combo is one of my favorites.

I start by toasting some almonds. Now normally I would use slivered almonds, the kind without the skin, but I didn't have any of those and I just happened to have a couple cans of regular almonds that my Dad gave me, so I just coarsely chopped those. This also works great with pecans or walnuts.

Put the nuts in a non-stick skillet over medium low and let them warm up. This is key to proper carmelization of the sugar. If you add the sugar in when the nuts are still cold, it will burn before the nuts are toasted. Once you can smell the nuts starting to toast, stir them until all sides are a little toasted and then toss in a generous pinch of kosher salt and about 1 tsp. of sugar. I like to use this type of sugar:

but plain ol' white sugar works too. Stir continually at this point, letting the sugar melt and get all sticky on the nuts. When all the sugar is melted and the nuts are toasty, turn them out onto a plate to cool.

Break them up when they're all cool. This just takes a few minutes all together and makes a great addition to a winter salad.

Here's my salad, sans nuts. Not sure why the nuts aren't on top yet--it's a mystery to me when I look at these photos. But, as you can see, this salad consists of romaine lettuce, chopped apples, dried cranberries and cheddar cheese cubes. I served this with Wildberry Dressing, but I also like it with the Honey Mustard Vinaigrette.

I served this salad alongside BBQ Chicken. This is simply chicken breasts, grilled outdoors (back when our BBQ was still working!). Andy brushed the Toni's Over the Top BBQ Sauce in the last few minutes of cooking. This has some kick to it, but Drew practically licks it up with a spoon!

Later I made some chocolate chip cookies. Don't you just love those eyes!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Grilled Fish and Home Fries

I'm way behind on posting and I have lots of great meals to post, so I'll be posting one right after another this week--I hope! For starters this week, I'll show you a great use for the Dipping Oils. I used European Dipping Oil-Chili for this fish, but the European Dipping Oil-Garlic or European Dipping Oil-Tuscany would be great as well. Simply brush the oil on a piece of Tilapia and place in a heated grill pan or an indoor electric grill (such as a George Foreman). Grill 5-7 minutes, until fish flakes with a fork.

For sides I made the Home Fries and garlicky green beans, but I don't have pictures of anything except the potatoes--woops! I actually made the green beans exactly like in this post. For my Home Fries, I like to add a little chopped onions, but other than that, I pretty much follow the instructions on the back of the Home Fries Seasoning--but I'm going to show you a shortcut. I think the most important thing with this blend is to use red potatoes or yukon golds--something in the waxy family. I definitely do not like this recipe using a regular russet potato--it turns out quite dry. My family devoured these potatoes in the pictures but the next time I made it I only had russets on hand and they hardly ate any.

So, chop up a little onion if you like and then cube your potatoes--this is the proportion I used--you can see I just used a little onion. The instructions say to cut and boil potatoes until almost cooked then do the frying. Well, I just don't like dirtying more pans than I have to, so I simmer the potatoes in the large non-stick skillet I plan to fry them in. When they are almost done (this takes only about 7-8 minutes because they are in small cubes) drain them with the lid and dump them back on the cutting board.

Heat a little Butter Grapeseed Oil or Natural Grapeseed Oil (or even Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil) in a non-stick skillet combined with an equal amount of butter--I use about 1 T. each for this amount. You can always add more later if you'd like. Saute your onion a bit. Then add the Home Fries Seasoning (1 teaspoon per pound of potatoes) and the potatoes back into the pan.

Stir fry until cooked through and golden delicious!

The finished meal--

Magean was so surprised that she actually liked this!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup--in a HURRY!

A few weeks back everyone in the house was sick--time for chicken noodle soup! But, I didn’t have a chicken to roast and then simmer for hours to make stock, blah, blah blah. What I had was 30 minutes to get dinner on the table. So, this is my in a hurry chicken noodle soup. I started with boneless skinless chicken breasts, because that’s what I had. You could easily use thighs here or a combination and it would be great. You actually don’t want to start with already cooked chicken because we need to develop some flavor since we don’t have a long cooked stock. Generously sprinkle with Herb Grilling Blend. This is my favorite recipe for this blend I've ever made! It adds a nice poultry seasoning type flavor because it has some sage--a great blend! Heat some Butter Grapeseed Oil (or Natural Grapeseed Oil) in a large stockpot and slap in those seasoned chicken breasts. You'll notice that there is a lot of liquid here in my pot--it's not all oil. Actually I was using frozen chicken breasts--I was that unprepared! Now walk away and let them brown--especially if you are using a nonstick pot like this one.

When you give the chicken a little time to brown without moving it, you'll get a rich golden browning which equals a lot of extra flavor in this short cook soup.

Beautiful! Now there is a major lack of pictures coming up because quite simply I was in a huge hurry to get this on the table. So just imagine a nice pile of cut onions, celery, carrots and green beans. Use what your family likes veggie-wise. I used 1 whole onion, 2 stalks of celery (not a favorite around here, but I feel the flavor is a must in chicken noodle soup) 5 or 6 carrots, sliced and about 1/2 pound fresh green beans, cut in half. After the chicken is nicely browned, remove from pot and place on a cutting board. (Note: your chicken need not be done all the way through--mine wasn't since it started out frozen.) Dump your veggies into the stockpot and brown them. You want to get some color on the edges, but not burned. My finicky electric stove has some trouble with this concept--hopefully you get along better with your stove. While the veggies are sauteing, shred/cut your chicken. If it isn't done all the way through, you won't be able to actually shred it--just get it into bite size pieces you want to see on your soup spoon.

Back to the pot: add some low-sodium chicken broth. I like the Pacific brand boxes or the Better than Bouillon base from Costco. The latter is what I used. You'll need about 8 cups--but again, depends on how your family likes it. You can always add more later on. Bring to a boil and add noodles of your choice (see my choice below!). Boil until noodles are almost done, then add the chicken back to the pot. Simmer gently until chicken is done through and veggies are tender. In case you're wondering, you don't want to add the chicken back to the pot before you add the noodles because you want to boil your noodles so they don't stick together but you only want to simmer when the chicken is in because you don't want to make it tough. Since you are using chicken breasts, you must be careful not to boil hard when the chicken is in the mix--it will dry it out. Check for seasonings--I added another teaspoon or so of the Herb Grilling Blend.

Now for the noodles: I have made these noodles lots of times, so they are fast for me. If you are really pressed for time, this isn't a good idea. Just throw in some wide egg noodles and call it good, vowing to try these another time. This noodle recipe has been in my family for as long as I can remember. See that little orange 3 x 5 card in the back--it's the original recipe my Mom wrote for me. My Mom always made them for turkey noodle soup after Thanksgiving. She likes to let them dry a bit before cooking, but as you know by now, I was in a hurry. You get a little more of a dumpling texture when you don't dry them. Honestly, my kids love them however I make them, so try them out--you'll be glad! I made these while the veggies were simmering.

1 tsp. salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1 T. oil (I used Natural Grapeseed Oil)

Blend salt and flour in a bowl. Crack eggs in a measuring cup and whisk up. Add water to make 3/4 cup total liquid. Pour egg/water mixture and oil on top of flour and blend with a fork. Dump on a lightly floured surface and knead 2-3 times until you have a cohesive ball. Roll out as thin as you can. Seriously, keep rolling. (see the above picture) Sometimes it helps me to divide the ball in half before I start so I don't end up with such a gigantic circle at the end. Cut into strips about 1/2 inch wide. Let dry a little, if you have time. Keep liquid at a good boil while cooking these so they don't stick together. It's okay if there is a little extra flour on the noodle surface when you throw them in the soup.

Noodles, and my lovely pink Corian!

The finished soup! Seriously make this the next time you have sickies in the house--the Herb Grilling Blend adds such a great flavor combined with the browning of the chicken--they'll never know it only took 30 minutes!