Well Hello There

Um, yes it has been a while....I appreciated your kind notes and inquiries....it was just....Life.
It happens you know. Busyness sets in, stuff happens, and things like blogs fall by the wayside. 
But, while I was away there was this.

We spent Thanksgiving in Brussels eating loads of CHOCOLATE and giving thanks for great beer. 
Really. Great. Beer.

And then there was this

We spent the Christmas holiday wandering around Italy with some family friends. (More about that later).

And the blog was set aside for a bit. But, with the New Year, I have some new inspiration in the kitchen, I have new look for the blog (BIG thanks to Kristin at Designer Blogs), and well, there is more new stuff coming down the road. Intrigued? Stay tuned.

While in Italy we (surprise) ate our fill of pizza, pasta, bread, and cheese so when we got home, even though inspired by what I saw in the markets and ate in restaurants, I was craving Mexican food. Actually I am always craving Mexican food. No really, if you ever want to go for a taco ask me. I'll say yes every time.
EVERY time.

So I whipped up burrito bowls, technically Tex-Mex, but we're not going to argue that point are we? To be honest, whipped up is not the right word here. There's a lot of parts to this. Not a school night meal at all but a great weekend, curl up and watch the Seattle Seahawks take down the Washington Redskins meal for sure.

Burrito Bowls
Grilled Chicken with Spicy Honey Chipotle Glaze (recipe follows)
Brown Rice with Cilantro (recipe follows)
Mojo Black Beans (recipe follows)
Salsa (recipe follows)
Guacamole or sliced avocado
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheese
Sliced Green Onions

Grilled Chicken with Spicy Chipotle Honey Glaze
1/3 cup honey
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce minced
1 tablespoon of orange juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts placed in a zip top bag

In a small bowl whisk together the honey, minced chipotle pepper, and orange juice. Set aside.
In another small bowl whisk together the olive oil, salt, ground coriander, ground cumin, and paprika. Pour this mixture over the chicken breasts and give the bag a few good squishes to coat the chicken evenly with the oil. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Prepare grill to medium high heat. Cook chicken breasts for 3-4 minutes on one side. Turn chicken over and brush cooked side with the glaze. Cook for another 3-4 minutes. Turn again and brush the second side with glaze. Cook for 1 minute, turn the chicken and brush again with remaining glaze.
Allow chicken to sit for 5-10 minutes then slice diagonally.

Brown Rice with Cilantro and Lime
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/4-1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 clove of garlic minced
salt and pepper

Whisk together the cilantro, lime juice, orange juice, olive oil, cumin and garlic. Pour over prepared brown rice while still warm and stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Mojo Black Beans
2 cans of black beans drained and rinsed
1 medium onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
11/2 teaspoons ground cumin
11/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried chipotle chili powder
Juice of one medium orange
Juice of one medium lemon
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Saute the chopped onion until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until the garlic becomes fragrant and starts to turn golden.
Add the black beans, chicken broth, bay leaf, cumin, oregano, chipotle powder, orange and lemon juice. Stir well and simmer for approximately 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2 cans of diced tomatoes (drain them if you like less liquid in your salsa)
1 shallot minced
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar or lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

In a medium mixing bowl stir together all the ingredients and let sit for a few hours to blend the flavors. Keeps for one week in the refrigerator.

To assemble burrito bowls, place a few spoonfuls of rice in a bowl, layer on the beans, grilled chicken, salsa, guac, sour cream, cheese, and green onions.

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