September 13, 2008: Muy Caliente!

Today I attended the 24th. Annual Fiery Foods Festival in Pasco, WA. Our town has a very large Hispanic population, and they bring out their colorful produce and wares each September and put them on display over several downtown blocks.

Of course, it put me in the mood for a little fiery food, even though I prefer the Americanized versions. Here is my favorite fajita recipe, and I do make my own seasoning which is lower in sodium than the packaged brands.

Chicken Fajitas
Serves 4

1/2 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound boneless,skinless chicken breast, cut in 1/2" slices
1 large onion (8 oz), sliced
1 large green bell pepper (4 oz), sliced
1 large red bell pepper (4 oz), sliced
1 recipe Fajita Seasoning (recipe below)
1/2 cup water
4 large tortillas, such as Mission 88% Fat Free or South Beach Diet Whole Grain Wraps
4 T. fat free sour cream

Spray a large skillet with vegetable oil spray. Heat the 1/2 T oil. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until chicken pieces are no longer pink in the middle. Remove chicken, set aside. (NOTE: Chicken may be grilled then sliced. Use oil for sauteing onions). Add the onion to the pan and cook and stir until onion is golden. Add the peppers, cook and stir until peppers are tender-crisp. Stir in the fajita seasoning and water. Add the cooked chicken. Bring to a boil and simmer until liquid has reduced and thickened. Serve with warm tortillas and sour cream.

Fajita Seasoning

1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 crushed chicken bouillon cube
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. cumin

Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Pour into small glass or plastic container, seal tightly and store in a cool, dry place. Makes the equivalent of 1 packet of commercial or purchased Fajita Seasoning Mix.


What's a fajita without a Margarita? I like mine low-cal and fruity, and Hungry Girl has just the one I like!

Rockin' Razzy Rita
Serves 1

*1.5 oz. tequila
1/2 tsp. Crystal Light powdered drink mix, Raspberry Ice
5 oz. water
1 oz. lime juice
Optional: lime slice for garnish and salt or no-calorie sweetener for rim of glass

If desired, run some lime juice along the rim of the glass and dip into a dish of salt. Combine all ingredients, mix well, and serve over ice. Or, for a frozen one, place all ingredients (dissolve Crystal Light in water first) in a blender with 1 cup crushed ice, and blend on high until well mixed. Optional: Garnish with a slice of lime.

Entire recipe: 105 calories, 0g fat, 5mg sodium, 2g carbs, 0g fiber, 0.5g sugars, 0g protein = 2 Points

*You can also make your margarita alcohol-free. Without tequila, it contains around 10 calories!


Another spicy favorite is jalapeno pepper jelly. This is so delicious, especially on a butter or Ritz cracker, with a bit of reduced fat cream cheese.

Hot Pepper Jelly
Makes 6 (8 ounce) jars

3 cups finely chopped red bell peppers or green bell peppers
1/4 cup finely chopped jalapeno peppers *see note
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 (1.75 ounce) package powdered pectin
5 cups white sugar

Sterilize 6 (8 ounce) canning jars and lids according to manufacturer's instructions. Heat water in a hot water canner.

Purée half of peppers and 1/2 cup vinegar in blender or food processor. Purée remaining peppers and vinegar. Combine purées in a large saucepan over high heat. Mix in fruit pectin.

Stirring constantly, bring mixture to a full rolling boil. Quickly stir in sugar. Return to full rolling boil, and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and skim off any foam.

Quickly ladle jelly into sterile jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the tops. Cover with flat lids, and screw on bands tightly.

Place jars in rack, and slowly lower jars into canner. The water should cover the jars completely, and should be hot but not boiling. Bring water to a boil, and process for 5 minutes.

*Note: After making this jelly, I found it to be too mild. I would increase the amount of jalapeno peppers to 3/4-1 cup chopped.

Adiós amigos!


  1. Granny - I've never heard of making a margarita like that. Sounds really good, though! I may just have to try it. Hmm....I'm going to the store in the morning....I may have to pick up those ingredients. I've already got the tequila, I think....Oh well, there won't be any building tomorrow! I may get too soused!!

  2. EG, the best Margarita I ever drank was a Huckleberry Margarita at the Montana Steakhouse in Lake Havasu City, AZ.

    I'm glad you finished the planter bench before you found the tequila!

  3. Granny - I made the drink today, and it was pretty good! The only thing I didn't like was the "sugar free" after taste. As far as the drinking and building thing goes, I actually do better work if slightly intoxicated! Ha!
    BTW, let me tell you bout my taters! I've had to add more soil to them again. I think the little taters that I planted probably have about 6" of soil on top of them now. Maybe that will be enough. I'm pretty excited about it! Planting time for a spring crop where I live is in February, and i'm planning on planting at least 36 squares in my big box at that time, and hopefully they will be ready to harvest on the first of May. I can then amend the soil, then move my summer transplants in there.

  4. I already answered your first comment in the Garden Web forum, about the sugar free drinks, so I won't address it here.

    Good luck with those potatoes! My tater planting time here has always been St. Patrick's Day, but if I plant them next spring, it will have to be after April 1. I cleared out an area behind the garden shed today that I think would be a good spot for a potato bin, or cage, or box...whatever I decide on. There is one sunny spot, in the middle of the lilacs, that I hope would get enough daylight for them to grow.

  5. Those hanging chili arrangements are beautiful, great photograph. I think chili seeds will be on the wish list for next year.

  6. They are gorgeous, Dan. So colorful! I would love to grow them just for their beauty, but I probably wouldn't use more than a dozen in a year's time for cooking. They would be pretty in a flower bed though, and then could be dried and hung in the kitchen or used in arrangements.

  7. These all sound like delicous recipes i love it!

  8. I'm glad you enjoy it, jasonmrazfanluv. I take it you are a fan of Jason Mraz, as am I! I especially like "Geek in the Pink" and his new "I'm Yours".

  9. I love the Tri Cities. I don't get out there nearly often enough!

    And Mraz is awesome! I've got both his albums. EG have already discussed this but I like acoustic guitar best, and I have almost as good a voice as him (sorry if you think he sounds great), so I'm excited that he does well. hehe.

  10. LOL, what a place for Mraz fans to gather, on an old granny's blog! And Sinfonian, if you can sing like Mraz...well I've already commented on what a cool dude you are, that's just icing on the cake!