Friday, March 20, 2009

Chicken Fajita Casserole by Old El Paso / Favorite Ingredients Friday

1 can (16 oz) Old El Paso® refried beans
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 package (1 oz) Old El Paso® fajita seasoning mix
1 package (9 oz) frozen cooked Southwest-seasoned chicken breast strips, thawed
8 Old El Paso® flour tortillas for soft tacos & fajitas (6 inch; from 8.2-oz package)
1 bag (1 lb) frozen stir-fry bell peppers and onions, thawed, drained
2 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese blend (8 oz)

Fresh Tomato Salsa
Total Time: 20 min
1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In medium bowl, mix refried beans, tomato sauce and fajita seasoning mix. Stir in chicken.
2. Spread 1/2 cup of the bean mixture over bottom of baking dish. Arrange 4 tortillas, overlapping if necessary, in baking dish. Top with half of remaining bean mixture, half of the stir-fry vegetables and 1 cup of the cheese. Repeat layers with remaining tortillas, bean mixture, stir-fry vegetables and cheese.
3. Cover baking dish with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 15 to 20 minutes longer or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting..

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Easter Cookies

Servings: Makes 24-30 cookies

It's fun to decorate these delicious sugar cookies for Easter and spring .

Use oval or egg shaped cookie cutters for making Easter Egg shaped cookies, and decorate with pastel colored sugars. Using decorating pens, make soft spring-colored designs. Also, royal icing may be used for decorating cookies (See Royal Icing Recipe Below).


1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened, at room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3 egg yolks

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp vanilla

For Decoration and Icing: Pastel colored sugars and decorating pens Royal Icing: (optional) See Tips and Recipe Below

In a bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. add vanilla. Mix well. In a sifter, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Sift the flour mixture directly onto the butter mixture. Reduce the speed to low and beat until well mixed. Divide the dough into four equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball, then flatten the balls into disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (the dough can be prepared up to 3 days ahead). Let it soften slightly at room temperature before continuing. Position a rack in the upper third of an oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter two large baking sheets.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out a dough disk 1/4 inch thick. Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes. Transfer the cutouts to the prepared baking sheets. Gather up and re-roll the scraps and cut out more cookies. Repeat with the remaining dough disks. Bake until the cookies are golden on the edges, about 8 minutes. Transfer the cookies to wire racks and let cool completely.

Decorate the cookies as desired with colored sugars and decorating pens or royal icing. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week. Makes 24 to 30 cookies, depending on cookie cutter size.


Makes 5-6 cups


3 egg whites, at room temperature

4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

A few drops of vanilla extract or fresh lemon juice (optional)

For tinting royal icing, use paste food coloring* (see note below)

Instructions: Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and salt on medium-low speed until blended. If adding vanilla or lemon juice, add it now. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating until stiff peaks form and the mixture is nearly triple in volume, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover tightly with plastic wrap and store at room temperature until ready to use. Icing will stay fresh for 4 to 6 hours. Use a pastry bag with tip for piping royal icing decoration. Makes 5 to 6 cups. Note: Paste food colors will tint Royal Icing the richest, deepest hues. Use a clean wooden pick to dip into color, then into icing. Stir to mix. If the colors start to separate, gently massage the pastry bag to remix the icing.