Chipotle Ranch Chicken Nachos

This post is sponsored by Stonyfield and Simply Organic. As always, all opinions are my own.

When I found out that Stonyifeld would be sending their new product, Double Cream, and some wonderful spices and dips from Simply Organic during the playoff season I knew some sort of game day snack would be born. We’re big fans of nachos in my house. Probably more than I care to admit. Sometimes we’ll even call it dinner if there is some sort of meat involved. Besides the fact that nachos are delicious the big factor for me is my kids wont eat them. That’s right, they don’t respect the nachos. They’ll eat the chips and the cheese, but not melted and not together. This is actually a huge win for us. We have found ONE snack that we can sit and enjoy at a normal pace without our kids eyeing it, asking for just “one bite,” or sticking their grubby hands in our food. They walk on by. It’s glorious! I can hand them a few chips out of the bag and then eat these in peace.

Typically, when we make nachos they become kind of a free for all and we toss anything and everything we can find on them. These nachos right here were thought out. I knew I wanted to use the Chipotle Ranch Dip from Simply Organic. My husband hates dips that do not involve cheese so I knew this was going to be one of the only ways I could utilize this. I was a little sneaky, sneaky with it. I had plenty left over though for dipping veggies, chips, etc. in addition to these nachos. The Chipotle Ranch dip had a great kick, plenty of spice, but wasn’t too hot. I really liked that. I’m not a fan of heat for the sake of heat. I like my food to have flavor and depth. The ranch gave it a great little twist as well. One little side note about Simply Organic that I did not know until working with them, perhaps you did? One percent of their sales goes to support organic farming and agriculture. I can always get behind a company that helps support the farmers that create their product!

 

Now, we’ve talked flavoring of these nachos but we haven’t talked about what really ups the ante in my book. That would be Stonyfield’s Double Cream. It’s their newest whole milk product and the stuff of yogurt cooking dreams. Made specifically with cooking in mind, Double Cream has just what it says, a higher fat content than any of our other whole milk yogurts, making it thicker, creamier, and more luscious for your cooking needs, while still boasting all the awesomeness of yogurt. It’s also an ideal and wholesome sub for cutting vegetable oils and sour cream. I love it personally because it doesn’t have as tangy of a flavor as yogurt so my family found it more pleasing. I enjoyed the Double Cream on it’s own atop of my baked potato, dipping my veggies into the Chipotle Ranch dip, or baked with the chicken and nachos. It’s definitely delicious and the fact that it has all of the health benefits as yogurt? Talk about a game winner!

So, back to the nachos really quick. The reason I think these are pretty awesome is because the chicken is smothered in the Chipotle Ranch dip made with the Double Cream. This gives the chicken a huge amount of flavor, but keeps the chicken nice and moist as well. These aren’t your typically nachos with over baked chicken on top that you have to smother in salsa or sour cream. Not at all! Then, put all the usual fixings on top and you’ve got yourself one heck of a game day appetizer! Enjoy!

Now tell me, if you could substitute Double Cream for sour cream, butter, or oils, which recipe of yours would you like to try first?

 

Chipotle Ranch Chicken Nachos

Ingredients

  • 8 oz shredded chicken
  • 1 cup  Chipotle Ranch Dip (see below)
  • Tortilla chips
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced tomatoes
  • cilantro for garnish

For the Chipotle Ranch Dip

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

Mix chicken and Chipotle Ranch Dip until combined.

Place tortilla chips in a oven proof dish. Top with chicken and cheese. Add more chips and repeat. Bake for approximately 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted.

Top with tomatoes, cilantro, and any other  favorite nacho toppings.

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As part of the Stonyfield Clean Plate Blogger program I received a gift card to Pay it Forward to a charity of my choice from Stonyfield.

Throughout the year, we make a point of teaching our children what it means to give back. It’s important for us that our children learn about social awareness and it’s a great way to teach generosity and kindness. Whether it is by donating or preparing food, a monetary donation, or providing services or physical labor to others these things build a community, our character, and lift us all up.

With the holidays upon us, we have many ways to Pay it Forward. Besides greeting the Salvation Army bell ringers at each store we enter and the food drives that the community sponsors, we have the children pick out a child that is their own age from the community Secret Santa tree. My daughter really enjoys doing this and she takes her time to find just the right child. She is six and really grasps what this is all about and really thought out what she wanted to give her recipient. This year she chose a girl who requested a winter coat and snow pants. My daughter figured this would be the best gift because every child needs warmth here in Maine, but because this young girl will be able to partake in all of the fun winter activities whether during recess or on the weekends. She decided that this gift was more important than any toy. I couldn’t have been more proud of her reasoning. She was right. This wasn’t just about providing warmth, it was a means for physical and social activity as well. She also decided to throw in some of her favorite books for when she was inside as well.

My son is new at this so he doesn’t grasp it completely at the age of three, but we talked about it and his excitement grew as he watched his sister. His donation of choice was through his school, providing a few pairs of warm and cozy pajamas for a local foster child program. He loved picking out some great pj’s that a fellow three year old would wear. Who wouldn’t love construction trucks and a silly moose?

We also decided to donate a few toys to Toys for Tots. A great national organization that collects tons of toys for kids who would otherwise go without.

Besides donating new items, we also cleaned and packaged our winter gear from last year and donated to our local community closet that provides for those in our neighborhood and neighboring towns.

There are so many ways to Pay it Forward and I hope that you find your own way to do so. It’s a lovely chain effect that will lift up your spirits as well as those you chose to help. With kind gestures, we teach each other how to give back and the rewards that that brings.

 

~ Wishing you all Happy Holidays!

Thank you Stonyfield for allowing us to give even more this year. Your generosity has allowed so many others to Pay it Forward.

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Sugared Cranberries

Sugared Cranberries ~ These sweet, yet tart cranberries make a wonderful snack on their own or a beautiful garnish on any festive dessert ~ The Way to His Heart

 

Why hello there! It’s been a while, because well, life. I’ll save you all of the details, but it’s been busy around here. Some good, some not so good, but there hasn’t been a lot of time for pausing and snapping pictures of our meals. Something had to give and it was the blog. I’ll be honest, I do have some posts planned for the upcoming month as the holidays approach and I’m in the kitchen more, but I don’t see any regularity coming back until hopefully after the New Year. Sometimes, though, a break is needed to refresh and revive the soul.

So, on to the food. I love all of the seasons because they bring great produce and a newness to your menu. For the most part, I think everyone is just about pumpkin-ed out, and while I love pumpkin, my favorite are cranberries. I’m fortunate to live in the Northeast where we have some great, local cranberry farms around. For the next month, my family will be inundated with cranberries from breakfast, snacks, to dinner. Besides their lovely tart flavor and vibrant color, they are just so healthy for you as well. Love!

These sugared cranberries are a great little snack to munch on during any of your holiday gatherings or you can use them for a garnish for any of your festive desserts. That’s why I just had to pop back on here and share these with you. So easy, so tasty, so pretty!

Sugared Cranberries

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 cup water

Make a simple syrup by bringing 1 cup sugar and water to a simmer and stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour into a bowl with cranberries and cool for 20 minutes. Once cooled, refrigerate overnight, stirring a few times.

Remove the cranberries from the simple syrup and let the remaining syrup drip from the berries by placing them on a baking sheet with a wire rack. Sprinkle the berries with 1/2 cup of sugar, turning over once to evenly coat. A little nudge from your finger will roll them enough without handling too much. Place the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a small bowl and roll each cranberry in it, giving it its final coat.

Let the cranberries sit until dry, about an hour and then place in an airtight container. The berries will keep up to one week.

Source: The Way to His Heart

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Creamy Steel Cut Oats with Cherries

Creamy Steel Cut Oats with Cherries ~ A make ahead breakfast that tastes amazing and is great for you in so many ways ~ The Way to His Heart

Thank you Stonyfield and Bob’s Red Mill for sponsoring this post as part of Stonyfield’s Clean Plate Club. As always, the opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Busy, cold mornings are upon us and I still want to make breakfast count before I send my daughter off to school each day. Thankfully, she loves oatmeal. It’s her first choice for breakfast, even over pancakes and waffles! My son will eat it as well, but not as often. I love this recipe because I can make a big batch and it can last the week. It becomes just as convenient as the instant stuff, but it’s so, so much better for you.

How good? Well, the way I’ve made it I’ve used some great ingredients from some great companies. Using Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats, I’m giving my daughter all of the nutrients that she can get from the oats. Toss in Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Sugar and I’ve given her a delicious taste, while not using as much sugar. Be forewarned, coconut sugar is lovely, but has a caramel taste and smell so use lightly until you’ve found your desired flavor. Next, I’ve used Stonyfield’s amazing Grassfed Yogurt. I’ve waxed poetic about this yogurt before, but suffice to say grass fed is best and I know that I’ve sent her off to school with a healthy gut which leads to a healthy mind, no really. It’s proven 🙂 Last, but not least, are the cherries. Yes, they are in there to add a punch of flavor and a pretty factor to the dish, but don’t be food, cherries are a great anti-inflammatory and help boost sleep and memory. Umm, I need to be eating a lot more cherries I think!

You all know me though, while I do care about what’s going into my family’s body, I am big on flavor and the flavor here is awesome. It really makes waking up early in the morning worth it, well almost!

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Creamy Steel-cut Oats with Cherries

Ingredients

To make the oatmeal:

Make this the night before you want your oatmeal.

Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the oats and brown them for 2-3 minutes, until they start giving off a toasted, nutty aroma. Pour in 3 cups water and salt, stir.

Bring to a rolling boil, then turn off heat and cover. Let sit over night.

To reheat the next morning, simply warm up on the stove top or scoop out what you’d like and microwave and put remaining oats in the refrigerator.

To make the cherries:

In the meantime, in a medium saucepan, combine 1/4 cup water, sugar, and cornstarch; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Stir in the cherries. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until thickened and cherries are soft, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add cherries to oats or refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble oatmeal:

Warm up oats, stir in yogurt, and top with warm cherry mixture. Enjoy!

Note: Both the oats and cherries may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The creamy factor is best when the yogurt is stirred in after warming.

Source: The Way to His Heart

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