Arroz Con Pollo-Mercado Style

This recipe is bomb!  It was one of those days where I was just throwing things into a pot trying to come up with something quick for dinner.  My kids loved it. My husband loved it.  Success!



2 Cups of rice

1/3 Stick of Butter

2 Cans of low sodium chicken broth

1/2 Cup of water

Generous amount of Garlic powder

Generous amount of onion flakes




4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed


Generous amount of salt and pepper

Generous amount of paprika

About a tablespoon of garlic

Generous amount of cilantro, finely chopped

1/2 cup of salsa (you can replace this for chopped onions and tomatoes)


Melt the butter in a pan with the rice.  Add in the chicken broth and water, then add the garlic powder and onion flakes.  Cook rice according to the directions.


Meanwhile, cover the bottom of a skillet with oil and set the burner to medium high.  Add the chicken, salt and pepper, paprika, and garlic.  Cook the chicken about 15 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.  Add the cilantro and salsa, cook for about 5 more minutes.


Mix the chicken mixture with the rice.  Serve with tortillas or tortilla chips.  You could also top with cheese, sour creme, salsa.


Brine That Bird!

In my opinion, brined turkeys offer the best choice in flavor for Thanksgiving dinner.  I have eaten turkey many different ways – roasted, smoked, brined, and even deep fried.  To me, the brined turkey has the best moisture and flavor combination.  Although I do admit that a deep fried turkey is quite good as well!  This year I am using a recipe I got from my aunt’s boyfriend. He’s a chef and an extremely good cook.  Um, well duh!  I guess you need to be a good cook if you want to have job security as a chef:)

I don’t have any pictures since I haven’t actually started the process, but I will update this post over the next few days to show what I have been doing.

You will need:

A Turkey:) – Start with a thawed or mostly thawed turkey

A vessel (Andy’s words) large enough to fit the turkey in – You  will want something that is large enough to comfortably fit the bird in, but not so roomy that you have to make a ton of the brining solution. Ex: I’m using a turkey fryer pot.  You could use a small cooler.  A bathtub is probably too big:)

1 Gallon of Water

1 Cup of Salt

1/2 Cup of Sugar

Onions Chopped Into Large Chunks

Sliced Citrus – I’m using an orange, you could use lemons or something.

Herbs – I found a pack of fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme. I think it was called “The Herbed Bird.”

Okay, so what you want to do is thaw, or mostly thaw your turkey in the refrigerator or using a water bath.  Remove the bag from the turkey.  Boil salt, sugar, and some of the onion in a gallon of water.  Just boil it long enough to dissolve the salt and sugar.  By the way, the sugar is to balance out the saltiness of the brine. Cool the brine.  Put the turkey into the vessel and pour the brine over it until the liquid completely covers it.  Soak or marinate your turkey for 24-48 hours. Be sure to put the brining turkey in the refrigerator while it soaks.  I do not have room, so I plan to keep my turkey in my canning shed with ice in it to keep it below the danger zone (45 degrees).  Take the turkey out of the liquid and give it a quick rinse and dry it off.  Peel back some of the skin and put some slices of butter underneath.  This will give flavor and promote a crispy skin.  Put the rest of the onion, some citrus slices, and herbs into the cavity of the turkey.  Roast the turkey in your usual way, until the thickest part reaches 165 degrees.  (I got a 20 pound turkey, so I will be probably looking at 3 1/2 hours on 375 degrees.)  Let the bird rest for 30 minutes before carving.


Pollo Verde Recipe

This recipe is amazing, folks!  I was sort of at a loss for what to do with all these green chiles that I had, so I just started throwing stuff into my frying pan.  This is what I came up with.  My hubby says it is the best thing he has ever eaten. Hmmmm…..  I think he’s just trying to butter me up so that I’ll let him go on more hiking trips! 🙂

4 Green Anaheim Chiles (Finely Chopped)

2 T Minced Garlic

Canola Oil


Johnny’s Seasoning


2 Cups Water

1/2 Lime, Freshly Squeezed

5-6 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cooked and Shredded

Cover the bottom of a frying pan or skillet with oil.  Sauté the garlic for a few minutes over a medium high heat, then whisk in some flour (maybe 3-4 tablespoons, I didn’t really measure).  Let that thicken up a bit, stirring constantly, then add the green chiles and water.  You can add more water if you like, I just roughly estimated on the two cups.  Stir in salt, and Johnny’s seasoning to taste. Did I mention that I have met Johnny on several occasions?  He is a director of the bank I used to work for.  Great guy! 🙂  Anyway, back on topic!  Squeeze in 1/2 a lime and cook until your sauce is the desired thickness.  Add your cooked, shredded chicken to the sauce and simmer for just a couple minutes more.  Serve as a burrito or over rice.  Top it with Mozzarella cheese.

I apologize for not having a picture of this recipe.  We gobbled it up before I got to snap a photo of it.  Trust me though, it’s good!

Marshmallow Peppermint Patties Recipe

The holiday season is here and most people will be entertaining in their home or visiting friends and family this next week for Thanksgiving.  This recipe is a quick and easy treat that you can make and set out for your guests.  Or you could include them in a goody box to pass out to your neighbors and coworkers to let them know how thankful you are for them.


1 Package of Jet Puff Peppermint Marshmallows

1 Package of Bakers Semi Sweet Chocolate

Wax Paper

Step One:  Melt chocolate in the microwave or on the stove top per the directions on the box.  Lay out wax paper while chocolate is melting.

Step Two: Dip marshmallows one by one in the chocolate and place on wax paper.

Step Three:  Allow chocolate to harden at room temperature.  This will take approximately one to two hours.

Step Four:  Enjoy!  Store patties in ziploc bags; I personally like to put them in the refrigerator, they taste wonderful when they are cold!

Yum! So easy and good!

I got this recipe off the back of the marshmallow package.  I think it would taste good if you  topped the patties with crushed peppermint candies.  I might try that next time.

Strawberry Salad Recipe

I got the inspiration for this salad when I was in the hospital after giving birth to my third daughter.  So yummy!

2 Cups Romaine Lettuce

1/4 Cup Sliced Strawberries

1/4 Cup Diced Cucumbers

1/4 Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese

1/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts

1 Cooked Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast

2 Tblsp Light Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing

Directions:  Grill chicken on the bbq or broil in the oven.  You may lightly season the chicken if you wish.  While chicken is cooking, chop and toss all other ingredients of the salad.  Chop chicken into strips and add to salad.  Top with Light Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing.

I love this salad with or without the chicken.  It is very filling and is only 487 calories (367 without chicken).  I think I would like to add blueberries to it in the future, as I am a big fan of fruit in my salads.