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MexiSkillet1

Cheesy Mexican Skillet Casserole

 Cheesy Mexican Skillet Casserole via The Baker Chick

The time has come you guys. I never thought I’d see the day, but lately my kitchen is getting more action from real meals than desserts…I knew that with a growing boy with a big appetite I’d have to start cooking real food soon, but I have to say it’s really crept up on me. I am the mother to a one year old boy who prefers spicy Mexican, Thai & Indian food over anything else. As excited as I am for my budding foodie, I really have to up my game- baby food just won’t cut it for this boy.

He’s made it clear he likes adult food more than anything else, so I’ve been making an effort to cook a big dinner most nights that he can also eat. The meals I cook need to be: Quick, Easy to prep ahead of time, and great leftover, (as Hugo usually eats our dinner for meals the following day.) I’ve gathered quite a collection of awesome recipes and I’m excited to start sharing with you guys! Because really- who doesn’t love quick and easy?

 Cheesy Mexican Skillet Casserole via The Baker Chick

This meal is also super adaptable, making it pretty simple to whip up with whatever you have in your fridge. I’ve made this 3 times in the last month and it’s always a little different. This version uses ground beef, but it’s also wonderful with ground turkey or even all beans. I’ve made it with greek yogurt instead of sour cream, fresh tomatoes instead of canned, and extra garlic instead of onion. This meal can handle all the changes and really just turn out so well.

It’s basically onions and peppers sautéed with beans, ground beef and lots of taco seasoning. To that mix goes some rice (or quinoa!) tomatoes, and sour cream. The creamy mixture is then topped with cheese and jalapeño peppers, and baked for a few minutes to melt the cheese and finish the dish. It’s really that simple! Delicious, hearty, family-friendly dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less.

Do you like this meal series? Please let me know! I hope to make it a regular thing around these parts :)

Cheesy Mexican Skillet Casserole

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of cooked rice (any variety, quinoa would be great too)
  • 1 medium or large onion, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 1 lb. of ground beef (or turkey)
  • 1- 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1-15 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
  • 1 cup of sour cream or full fat greek yogurt
  • 1 cup of grated cheese, (I used cheddar)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced (optional)
  • lime wedges & tortilla chips for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. In a large cast iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Sauté the onion and pepper until soft. Add the beef and break apart with a spoon, stirring until browned and cooked through. Add the taco seasoning and stir well to combine.
  4. Add the beans, rice, and tomatoes, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Stir in the sour cream and top with the grated cheese and jalapeños. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden.
  6. Serve with a squeeze of lime and some tortilla chips on the side.
http://www.the-baker-chick.com/2015/01/cheesy-mexican-skillet-casserole/


LemonCurd1

Homemade Lemon Curd (in a jar!)

 Homemade Lemon Curd (in a jar!) via The Baker Chick

If you’re by chance living in the part of the country covered with snow this morning, you may need something bright and sunny as much as I do today! Now don’t get me wrong I happen to love me a good snow day: the quiet blanket of white covering everything, and the way it forces us all to slow down and relax. But my mind is dreaming of Friday when I leave this winter wonderland for five glorious days in Mexico! Andy & I survived the first year as parents so we thought we’d take our sweet little boy to see the ocean and drink a margarita to celebrate his birthday. (Well we will, not Hugo ;) )  Homemade Lemon Curd (in a jar!) via The Baker Chick


Sweet&Salty

Sweet and Salty Layer Cake

 Sweet and Salty Layer Cake via The Baker Chick

Have you ever had a dream about a cake? I actually have dreamed about several desserts in the last few years and this beauty was one of them. I woke up super excited to make a cake that involved ground up potato chips and pretzels in the frosting! Yup- this chocolate cake is topped with thick caramel sauce, and a sweet & salty frosting concoction that has the most amazing flavor. Sweet,salty, almost savory with some delicious crunchy bits. This cake was everything I imagined it would be and more.   Sweet and Salty Layer Cake via The Baker Chick


Pizza3

Perfect Homemade Pizza Crust

 Perfect Homemade Pizza Crust via The Baker Chick

One of my New Years Resolutions was to bake more homemade bread. After mastering pita, I felt like the natural next step is a really delicious, classic pizza crust. Middle of the road- not too thick or too thin, crisp but also chewy… you know- that pizza crust that will house years of pizzas for my family. Is it weird I already have this vision of Friday pizza night becoming a household tradition?  Perfect Homemade Pizza Crust via The Baker Chick


BloodOrangeBars2

Blood Orange Curd Bars

 Blood Orange Curd Bars via The Baker Chick

It’s January and you should be expecting at least one recipe per week that involves juicy, citrus, goodness. Are we Ok with this? I was lucky enough to find a bag of perfect looking blood oranges at Trader Joes last week and they were just begging to be juiced and baked into something so here it is.  Blood Orange Curd Bars via The Baker Chick


PeanutbutterCookies3

Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies for Two

 Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies for Two via The Baker Chick

This is the time of year when it’s popular to cut out sugar and replace it with salad and green juice right? No don’t get me wrong, I happen to love salad AND green juice, but I also think a little dessert is Ok. I’ve always been someone who prefers to allow sweets in small quantities vs. cutting them out all together, so portion control is a must. When I have a sweet craving, I love being able to bake up a small bit of something I love without 2 dozen cookies sitting around, waiting to be given away to friends and neighbors.

 Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies for Two via The Baker Chick

 Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies for Two via The Baker Chick


LemonPoundCake

Lemon Greek Yogurt Pound Cake

 Lemon Greek Yogurt Pound Cake via The Baker Chick

It’s January 5th, you guys are cool to be back to sweets again right? I tried to crank out a healthier recipe for you today, but then I made this amazing pound cake over the weekend and I just couldn’t wait to share. I do have some non-dessert recipe plans for this month, but for today it’s all about this super luscious lemon-y cake.

 Lemon Greek Yogurt Pound Cake via The Baker Chick

 Lemon Greek Yogurt Pound Cake via The Baker Chick


AppleCrisp3-682x1024

Best of 2014- Your and My Favorites

 Best of 2014  Your and My Favorites via The Baker Chick

Happy New Years Eve! I cannot believe this year is over! Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was waddling around, as pregnant as can be, spending New Years Eve 2013 in my PJs on the couch? I have to say, without a doubt, that 2014 was the most wonderful year of my life. I was meant to be a mother and giving birth to Hugo was not only the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it gave me my little love, who brings me more joy than I could ever know. He also  made doing the simplest of tasks a huge challenge, so the fact that I was able to keep the blog afloat for the whole year is something I’m pretty proud of.

The most popular posts this year include many of my personal favorites as well. This year I focused a lot on simple, quick recipes, with some more elaborate ones thrown in here and there. Here are the top 10!   Best of 2014  Your and My Favorites via The Baker Chick


gingerbreadloaf

Dark and Sticky Gingerbread Cake

 Dark and Sticky Gingerbread Cake via The Baker Chick

Is holiday senoritis a thing? Like I’m so ready to be on vacation and home with my family that I’m a bit over doing anything that can be considered work. Is that a thing? Well I have it. It has been a helluva busy week and all that is getting me through is knowing I’ll be on a plane to Wisconsin tomorrow!! Christmas time is so fun with a baby and I am just brimming with excitement for Hugo to experience it all. He’ll have no idea what is happening of course, but still!!

Before I sign off for a week or so, I have to share this last fabulous recipe with you. I know that “Dark & Sticky” may be weird adjectives to describe a cake, but there is really no other way to explain it. This is a super molasses-y cake made with blackstrap molasses and lots of spice. It is super moist and sticky and the thick cream cheese frosting is literally the icing on the cake.  Dark and Sticky Gingerbread Cake via The Baker Chick