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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Clam Chowder for those cold winter nights......

I LOVE clam chowder!! There are so many varieties. Some people like it thin and runny, some people like more liquid. I like mine thick and filled with veggies and clams....and when I'm feeling sassy....I'll make it a seafood chowder and add shrimp and scallops too.

I made a huge pot of this last night cause its just so cold outside and nothing warms the soul like clam chowder and sourdough bread that's been heated in the oven....right???? I cant wait for leftovers tonight!!

3 large potatoes, cut into chunks
2 large carrots
1 medium onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, diced
1 lb bacon, diced
2 tall cans clams
1 bottle clam juice
flour or cornstarch for thickening
1 quart half and half
4 cups water or stock such as fish stock or chicken stock

In a large stock pot cook diced bacon and cook completely. Add potatoes, carrots, onions and celery cook for 10 minutes, stirring often. Deglaze pan by adding bottled clam juice, plus juice only from canned clams, and stock. Simmer approximately 20 min until potatoes and carrots are cooked. Add half and half and clams and bring to a boil. Add either cornstarch or flour and water mixture to thicken chowder to desired consistency. I used cornstarch and I used 3 Tbl and 3 Tbl of water, mixed together and added to boiling soup, stir until thickened. Serve hot with sourdough bread.

El Salvadorian Pupusas

First of all..I would like to apologize for the poor picture quality!! I took the pictures with my Iphone and normally they don't come out this bad.....but this time they look super for that I'm sorry!! That matter how poor the doesn't affect the taste!! If you've never had a pupusa before, well your just missing out!! My husband is from El Salvador and my mother in law taught me how to make these when we first got married. I have been making them for 17 years now and I think I'm damn good at it now!! There are several varieties of filling for them, but this recipe is my favorite. This is a pretty authentic recipe since it came straight from my husbands grandma.

2 lbs Chicharrones
8-10 Roma Tomatoes, seeded
1 large onion, cut into wedges
5 cups of Masa
2-3 cups water
1 Tbl season salt

Chicharrones is basically pork meat with the fat marble through it (you can use butt roast or whatever you find that is boneless and fatty), you chop into bit size pieces and put in a pan and cook it down. Eventually in the cooking process the fat will liquefy and 'fry' the pork meat. When the pork meat is golden brown it is done. Wash tomatoes and cut in half and squeeze the seeds out. Cut onion into wedges. Put 1/3 of pork, tomatoes and onion in food processor or blender and blend until pretty well blended together. Repeat until all ingredients are gone. Add salt to taste. In a large bowl add masa and season salt and combine well. Add water starting with 2 cups. Dough must be very moist but still firm enough to maneuver. Grab golf ball sized piece of dough and form a 'bowl' with the masa. See below

Now that you have your dough bowl fill it with the pork mixture.

You want enough filling to cover the entire pupusa once you flatten it. Close the top of the bowl so that you cannot see the filling any more and flatten between your hands.

Pat it with your hands to form a round shape that has the filling inside of it. Now fry on a oiled griddle or pan for about 6-8 minutes on each side. Serve hot.

Serve these with salsa and/or with this recipe for curtido which is a delicious cabbage salad that goes perfectly with them. Enjoy and good luck!! If you have any questions feel free to contact me through this blog!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pumpkin Oatmeal's no secret......I love pumpkin.....pumpkin EVERYTHING!! Pie, cake, bread, pancakes, muffins, cookies....and the list goes on!! Well I was cruising the internet this morning and found a recipe for Pumpkin Risotto here and it made me think of oatmeal!! So I thought.....I wonder what it would taste like with pumpkin in it. Im sure other people have done the same thing.....but here is my version!! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!! This oatmeal came out so rich and thick and creamy and the pecans gave it a great texture. It would make a perfect Thanksgiving morning breakfast, or any fall day really!!

3 c old fashioned oats
1 c milk
2 c water
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg, allspice and cloves
2 Tbl butter
1/4 c brown sugar (I used agave) or more to taste
dash of salt
pecans, chopped

Just put everything in the pot and bring to boil according to package directions.
Top with chopped pecans, butter and a drizzle of agave or more brown sugar, if you dare.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Alfredo Chicken Roll

Ahhhhhh.........Alfredo Chicken Roll.......brings back was many many years ago....the first Pampered Chef party I ever went to. The demonstrator made something similar, well the only similarities were the crescent rolls, chicken and Anyways, I thought it was good, but I thought I could make something great!! So I came up with this, WORKS!!

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped
1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, grated
3 green onions, chopped
6 mushrooms sliced
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 jar of Alfredo sauce
2 pkgs refrigerated crescent rolls

In a large frying pan cooked chopped chicken breasts. When almost done add in mushrooms and season mixture with salt and pepper. Add in remaining ingredients and stir until mixed well.

Open crescent rolls and separated each roll. On a round pizza pan or baking stone arrange crescent rolls to look like a 'sun' with the point part facing out of the pan and the wide edges over lapping each other on the pan. Press those wide edges together and flatten out to form a nice sized circular base for your chicken mixture. There should be an open center in the middle. Along the inner edge of the crescent roll sun, place your chicken mixture so it forms a circle as well. Now take the pointy edges of the dough and bring over the top of the chicken mixture to tuck into the center. Brush top with 1 beaten egg. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown and crescent roll dough is cooked completely.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Lemon Blueberry Scones.....absolutely perfect!!

Ok.....I mighta got a little carried away with the amount of blueberries I put in's all good!! These were beautiful scones and tasted wonderful. The only thing I did differently to the recipe was add freshly grated nutmeg to the batter. I found the recipe here: 
But here it is:
Lemon Blueberry Scones
adapted from Tyler Florence

2 cups unbleached flour, plus more for rolling berries
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
⅓ cup sugar
1 Tbs lemon zest
¼ cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut in chunks
¾ cup buttermilk or cream
1 egg
1 cup fresh blueberries (I used frozen... do not thaw)
milk for brushing (optional)
raw sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat oven to 400ยบ F.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and lemon zest; mix thoroughly.  Cut in butter using 2 forks, a pastry blender or your fingers. The butter pieces should be coated with flour and resemble crumbs.

In another bowl, mix the buttermilk and the egg together, and then add to the flour mixture. Mix just until partially incorporated, do no overwork the dough.

Toss the blueberries in flour to coat, this will help prevent the fruit from sinking to the bottom of the scone when baked. Fold the blueberries into batter, being careful not to bruise.  Pour sticky dough out onto a well floured surface.  Pat to a ¾ inch height and cut with a pizza cutter into desired triangles or squares.  Place on a non stick baking mat or a baking sheet sprayed lightly with cooking spray.  If desired, brush the tops of the scones with milk and sprinkle with raw sugar.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until brown. Cool before applying lemon glaze.

Lemon Glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted (may need a bit more or a bit less)
  • 2 - 3 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs lemon zest
To prepare Lemon Glaze: combine butter, sugar, Lemon zest, and juice over a double boiler.  Cook until butter and sugar are melted and mixture has thickened.  Remove from heat and whisk until smooth and slightly cool.  Drizzle or brush on top of scone.

Appetizers anyone??? maybe I watch a little too much Food Network........
This plate was super fun to make though, and all recipes are ones that I made up.....I mean obviously there are similar recipes out there.....but I didn't follow any recipe...just threw some ingredients together and made these.
This plate was for my sons youth pastor and his wife. The youth group decided to have a date night dinner for them to show how much they appreciate them and Kim (whose idea it was to have the dinner) asked if I could make the appetizers. Well of course!!!!!! I <3 to cook!!!!

Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

3/4 c blue cheese
2 slices of ham/prosciutto/bacon chopped or 1 c cooked sausage
1/2 Parmesan cheese
1 c panko bread crumbs
1 tsp parsley
salt to taste
12-15 cleaned mushrooms with stems removed

Preheat oven to 400. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and stuff mushrooms. Bake in greased baking dish with about a 1/4 water in bottom.

Creamy Artichoke Parmesan Stuffed Puff Pastry

1 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 c marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
1/2 c Parmesan cheese
2 cloves grated garlic
2 green onions, chopped
2 thawed puff pastry sheets
1 beaten egg

Cut each puff pastry sheet into thirds along the fold. Then each third into thirds, so each sheet will yield 9 squares.

Stir all ingredients together, brush two sides of puff pastry squares with egg, put a spoon full of artichoke mixture by egged edges. Fold over to make a triangle. Press down edges to seal. Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes.

Mozzarella Stuffed Rice Balls

2 c cooked seasoned rice
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 tsp fresh basil
1/4 cup marinara sauce, more for garnish
mozzarella cheese, I used cheese sticks and cut them into chunks
2 eggs beaten
2 cups Panko bread crumbs

Mix first four ingredients together. Make a golf ball sized rice ball and shove a chunk of mozzarella in the center. Drop into egg mixture then into the panko. Deep fry in oil that is 350 degrees until golden brown. Put the remaining marinara sauce either in a bowl to dip the rice balls or under them on the plate.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pumpkin Pecan Crunch

Well I definitely don't want to offend anyone........but.......I think this is better than pumpkin pie. *ducking* Don't throw things at me....until you try can't say I'm wrong!! There is something about they pumpkin on the bottom then the buttery, nutty cake topping.......can you excuse me.....I need to go get more.......

K......I'm back.....thanks for your patience!!! I got this recipe on a recipe exchange website that I have, my friend Amy posted it!! I appreciate her posting this more than she knows!! :) can use yellow cake mix, butter cake mix, white cake mix, or I've even tried spice cake mix!!

Pumpkin Pecan Crunch
1 large can pumpkin
1-12oz can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 package cake mix such as yellow, white, butter or spice
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
3/4 cup butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with non-stick spray.

Mix pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice until smooth
Pour into baking dish
Sprinkle cake mix (dry) over pumpkin mixture.
Sprinkle pecans over cake mix
Pour melted butter over top.
Bake uncovered 50 to 60 min. until knife inserted in center comes out
Serve with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream.

Feel better chicken soup I know that there is probably really not healing qualities in chicken soup.....its still fun to make when there are sick people in the house!! Besides....with the amount of garlic I put in this bad boy......there's no way it couln't be good for you!! There must me hundreds of varieties of chicken soup and I enjoy hearing what people like to put in theirs!!
Here's mine:
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 stalks of celery, halved + 2 more, diced
2 carrots, halved, + 2 more, diced
1/2 an onion
4 large cloves of garlic + 5 more
4 T rice
dash of red chili flakes
chicken bouillon

Put first 5 ingredients in a pot and boil until chicken is cooked through. Then remove everything, reserving chicken, but throwing out carrots, celery and onion. Dice chicken in bite size pieces. Add diced chicken, diced celery, rice and carrots. Boil until rice is cooked, about 20 min, then using a microplane grate remaining garlic into soup. Chop a hand ful of cilantro and stir it in. Serve right away after adding garlic and cilantro. That way the garlic stays as fresh and raw as possible. It has a nice spicyness to it from the fresh garlic.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Crabby Cakes with White Wine Butter Sauce

 I love crab!! So naturally I love crab cakes!! I made these precious little ones the other night and I have to say....they were deeeeeee-licious!! My only complaint...I got full!! So here is my take on crab cakes, I came up with this recipe from several crab cake recipes that I have seen and added all the flavors that I love!!

1 lb crab meat, make sure you run your fingers through it to make sure there is no shells!!
2 Tbls mayo
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped red
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
juice of 1 lemon
2 eggs, beaten
1 Tbls garlic, grated on microplane
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 Tbls Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp hot sauce
1 Tbls Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbls yellow mustard
1 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 Tbls chopped parsley

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. When well mixed grab out a golf ball sized portion and shape into the crab cake. Now in a frying heat 1 Tbls butter and 1 Tbls olive oil. When that is heated add 3 crab cakes to the pan and brown on both sides.

White Wine Butter Sauce

Melt 2 sticks butter, just until melted but still creamy
1/4 cup good quality white wine
2 garlic cloves, grated

Serve with crab cakes.

Paella......I cant believe I did it.........


Um hello....Paella!! I did it!! Yeah me!! It was super fly good!! I got myself a Paella pan today with my gift card from my bro and his wife. So I thought I'd give'r a try.....and it totally worked. I got online and checked out a bunch of different recipes and kinda combined them into one. I will definitely make it again and this is definitely something you can make for a crowd cause I got alot of stinkin leftovers!! Might not of been the best idea to make for just me and the well too late now!!
1 lb Sausage or Chorizo
3 Boneless skinless Chicken breast, cubed
1 lb Shrimp
1 lb Scallops
1 lb of another seafood, I used calamari rings but you can use whatever you want ie: clams or mussels
4 cups rice
6-8 cups water or broth
1/2 tsp saffron
salt, pepper, paprika and oregano to taste
1 can diced tomatoes
1 large onion diced
1/2 bunch of cilantro, diced
5 cloves garlic, crushed
Sprinkle raw chicken with paprika, oregano, salt and pepper to taste and drop in paella pan that has olive oil in it. Cook 1o minutes. Remove from pan and add sausage ( which should be precooked) cook for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Add onion, cilantro and garlic with more olive oil and fry for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and fry until caramelized. Add rice and fry for about 7 minutes. Add water/broth, salt (about 2 tsp) saffron and simmer for 10 minutes. Check to see if you need to add more water and cook for another 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add seafood and cook for another 10 minutes adding more water as necessary. Serve with fresh lime wedges!!

Holy Mole invention......I think....

Ok....I could be mistaken....but I think I came up with something today. If there are recipes out there Ive never heard of them......but......I really haven't checked either. Ok....ok....maybe its because I want to take credit for the creation of Holy Mole Chili and possibly because of my fear of rejection....but that is a whole other topic of discussion!!

Anyways back to the subject......Holy Mole I was talking with a co-worker today and she mentioned that her husband won a chili cook off at a local casino here in my town not too long ago. That got me's cold out side and chili sounds soooooo good and it screams warm comfort food. But I have never been able to make a chili that blows my hair back....until today!!

AND.....the best part is I did it with things that I had in the pantry and fridge!! Granted not everyone probably has a tub of homemade salsa from last Thursdays Christmas party......but....well that is not for me to worry about now!! ;)

Ok ok I'll shut up now and tell you the recipe!! the way, instead of serving this with corn bread (which you can totally do) I served it with corn tortilla quesadillas which was super yummy to dunk in my chili!!
Holy Mole Chile
2 cans of your favorite beans, drained (I used white)
1 lb ground beef, or any other ground meat you'd like
2 chipotle peppers chopped until pretty much mush
1 large onion, diced
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
dash of cloves
5 gloves garlic, grated on micro plane
2 Tbls Mole paste (I used the jarred kind)
2 cups homemade salsa (tomatoes, cilantro, onions, garlic, jalapenos, salt and lime)
1 small can tomato sauce
1 -2 tsp salt depending on taste
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 Tbls chili powder
1 heaping Tbls agave nectar (or 1 Tbls sugar)
Saute ground beef and onion until cooked thoroughly, then add all the other ingredients and simmer for about a half an hour or more. Top with cheese and sour cream and serve with corn bread or quesadillas like I did!!

Caribbean Spicy Sausage and Sweet Potato Chowder

Ok first off I must say, I only subscribe to 2 magazines!! Cooking Light and Food Network....and I love them both!! So every month I get my magazines in the mail and I sit down and go through all the recipes and cut out the ones I am pretty sure I will use. When I was going through Cooking Lights Jan/Feb issue I came across this little gem!!
This soup......or chowder as they call it has an absolutely lovely flavor to it. It is packed with healthy things and even looks beautiful. I made a few changes to adapt to what I had on hand. It came out so good and even my teenage boys loved it. That is a hard enough task to accomplish!!
Caribbean Spicy Sausage and Sweet Potato Chowder
2 tsp olive oil
3 peeled and cubed sweet potatoes
1 chopped red bell pepper
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, grated on micro plane
2 tsp peeled fresh ginger, grated on micro plane
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground curry
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbls brown sugar (I used agave, because I don't use sugar)
4 cups chicken broth
2 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 cup frozen corn
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 packages Turkey Italian Sausage, chopped
Heat oil in dutch oven over medium heat. Add sausage and cook for 5 minutes until cooked almost completely. Add next next 6 ingredients through ginger. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir in next 4 ingredients through cinnamon and cook for 30 seconds. Add broth and agave or sugar. Add thyme and bay leaves. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 12 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender. Stir in tomatoes and corn and simmer for 5 minutes. Add cilantro and stir. Discard bay leaves. Yield six servings

Peppermint Bark

Ok this one ended up looking kinda funny......but it tastes awesome!!!!!!
All I did was melt milk chocolate and semi sweet chocolate together in a 'double boiler' until melted then spread it on a pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Then I melted the white chocolate over the double boiler. While it was melting I added about a half a teaspoon of peppermint extract. When the milk chocolate is set up enough spread the white chocolate over it. Break up some candy canes and sprinkle evenly over the white chocolate. Put in the frig until set up and then break into random size pieces.
That's it!! It is that easy!!

Christmas Eve Seafood Lasagana


Is it just me, or is seafood a beautiful thing?? I love it all. I have never made a seafood lasagana before, and actually I dont recall ever tasting one before. But I would have to say for a first try, it was successful!! I used shrimp, crab meat and small scallops!! It was super easy to throw together too and a big hit amoungst family members. Even my hubby, who doesnt love pasta thought it was good!!

1/2 lb lasagna noodles
1 1/2 jars alfredo sauce
3 cups grated mozzerella or any cheese you like
1/2 lb real crab meat, shredded
1 lb small scallops, cooked
1/2 lb small shrimp, cooked
1 small container of ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
salt & pepper
parmesean cheese

Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. In a small bowl combine three seafoods, salt and pepper to taste. In another small bowl mix ricotta, egg, salt, pepper, and about 1/4 cup parmesean cheese. In a 13 x 9 baking dish which you have sprayed with cooking spray, begin layering. First drizzle a little bit of alfredo sauce (right out of the jar) to coat the bottom of the dish. Layer approx. 3 lasagna noodles, drop some ricotta mixture and spread on noodles, sprinkle 1/3 of the seafood mixture, then drizzle sauce from the jar and finally a thin layer of cheese. Repeat all steps until you reach the top of the baking dish. Topping with cheese. Bake in a 350 oven for approx 45 minutes to 1 hour.

My take on a Chicken Corn Stoup....mmmmm!!

Ok the first thing I would like to say is.....this is a basic recipe of NOT exact measurements!! I make this stuff up as I go depending on what sounds good!! So I'm gonna give it my best shot trying to remember everything I put in there!! Good luck and may the force be with you.
On a side note....even my kids liked this soup!! That's always a bonus!! ;o)
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded or chopped(depending on how many you are feeding)
1 container chicken broth
3/4 cup salsa (I used homemade that I had already)
2 cans corn
1 cup heavy cream, milk or sour cream
1/2 onion diced
1 can diced green chile's
1 cup grated cheese of your choice (cheddar, pepper jack, monterey jack)
corn tortillas fried until crispy, then broken into pieces
Just cook the chicken and shred or chopped it. In a saucepan cook onions until translucent, I think I threw in a little butter! Add chicken broth, and corn. Now use your fabulous immulsion blender and blend it up a little. Next add in all the rest of the ingredients except the tortillas and cilantro. When cheese is melted serve. Top with broken tortillas and cilantro!! Yummy!!

My first....and VERY successful attempt at Chile Rellenos

OMG!!!! These came out sssssssssssoooooooooo good!! I have NEVER made them before, but LOVE Chile Rellenos so much. So I just thought....I can do this!! And I did!! =)

I am so happy!! I will be making these again!! It was over all pretty easy, didnt take more than an hour. The only bad thing was that by the time I was done frying them all I had eaten 3 and I was full so I didnt get to sit down and enjoy them!! ;o)

1 lg can green chiles

monterey jack cheese

1/4 to 1/2 cup flour + 1 Tbls

6-8 eggs separated

1 tsp season salt

oil or shortening to fry

Take the green chiles out of the can and place them on paper towels to dry them. Dust them with the 1/4 or 1/2 cup of flour (however much is needed to dust them completely). Cut thick slices (1/2") of monterey jack cheese, then cut the slice in 3 long strips. Cut as many as needed for your chiles (1 per chile). You can use toothpicks to hold the chile and the cheese together. It's ok if the chile rips, cause the egg is gonna act like a nice comfy blankie to hold it all together!

Put all the egg whites in your handy dandy Kitchen Aide mixer and put the whip attachment on it on med high and just walk away! But make sure you walk back when stiff peaks have formed! ;o)

Beat the yolks with the 1 Tbls of flour and the 1 tsp of season salt. Once your egg whites have formed stiff peaks FOLD did I mention you should FOLD.....not stir.......fold in the yolk mixture until well mixed. Now you just dip your chile with the cheese inside into the egg batter and drop it into your preheated oil. When they are golden brown on both sides (you'll have to flip them once) then they are done!!

I served mine with El Pato salsa de jalepeno. You can find it in a can in the Hispanic section of the grocery store. Did I mention how good they were??

Fabulous Fish Tacos

I love fish taco's!!! I was bored....and when I'm bored....I cook or bake!! So I whipped up some fish taco's for dinner one night. Freshly fried corn tortilla's, homemade mango salsa, homemade spicy green salsa, cod with garlic and butter, lettuce and sour cream lime sauce! How much better does it get?

1 lb cod or any white fish (or shrimp....mmmm)
Cook or bake how ever you'd like.

Fry corn tortilla's however you like them....extra crispy or soft and bendy...that's how I like them. I season them with season salt, it's my favorite! ;o)

Tomatillo Salsa
10-12 tomatillo's
1/2 med onion
1 jalepeno
3 cloves garlic
juice of 1 lime
1/2 - 1 tsp salt
handful of cilantro
Boil tomatillo's, onion and garlic for approx 15 minutes. Strain out tomatillo's, onion and garlic reserving the liquid. Put that and the rest of the ingredients into a food processor. Pour as much of the reserved liquid to make the consistency of the salsa as thick or runny as you like it. Salt to taste.

Sour Cream Lime Sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
juice of one lime
1 tsp agave or sugar
Stir well.

Mango Salsa
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 of a mango, diced
handful of cilantro, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped finely
Mix all of the ingredients, and salt to taste.

Don't forget to chopped lettuce, assemble the taco's and EAT THEM!!

Carne Asada, Arroz y Frijoles con Guacamole......bueno comida!!

Have you ever gone to a Mexican restaurant with the anticipation of having a great, authentic meal and left....hugely disappointed, unsatisfied and barely full cause the food wasn't even good enough to stuff yourself?? Yeah well that happened to me recently and I swore I was gonna come home and duplicate the meal and it was gonna knock my families socks off!! Nothing worse than paying good money for something you can make 10 times better!!

This dinner came out fabulous!!! It was by far the best guacamole and carne asada I have ever made!! I love it when that happens!! And well...beans and rice....I can do in my sleep.

Carne Asada

carne asada meat (they usually sell it sliced like that at the grocery store)

1 lg lemon, zested and juiced

2 limes, zested and juiced

1 Tbls chili powder

3 tsp salt

4 cloves garlic, mashed into paste

1 1/2 tsp oregano

1 1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili flakes

1 tsp black pepper

3 Tbls oil, I used canola

Put meat and all ingredients in a large ziploc or large bowl or plastic container and mix until all meat is coated!! Refrigerate at least several hours or preferably overnight. Cook either on the bbq or in a frying pan or on a griddle.


The problem with guacamole nowadays is people want to add too much stuff to it. I think it tastes best in its simpliest form!! And.....fresh garlic is key!!
2 avocado's

2 cloves garlic, made into paste

small handful cilantro chopped

salt to taste

1/2 lime juice

Mix all ingredients, I don't like to completely mash my avocado's I like it kind of chunky. But you can do what you like!!

Make mexican rice.....I think the key to rice is frying it before you cook it!! Just fry it with oil, onion and tomato for about 7-10 min, then add your liquid and salt.

Boil your pintos with an onion cut in half, 3 cloves of garlic, a jalapeno, and salt until beans are cooked. Approx. 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I usually reserve about a cup of whole beans then throw the rest in the food processor. Then mix them all together. Then in a frying pan I heat some oil and add 1/2 of a very thinly sliced onion. Brown the onion, then add the beans and fry.

I served this meal with corn tortillas....of course!!

Pizza for dessert...........Um......yes!!!!


Sugar cookies + marshmallow fluff and cream cheese + strawberries and chocolate = A good thing!!
Sugar cookie dough (packaged, refrigerated or homemade if you have like a zillion years to wait for a delicious dessert!!)
1/2 pkg cream cheese
equal amount marshmallow fluff
approx 15 strawberries sliced in half
1/2 cup milk chocolate, white chocolate or semi sweet chocolate chips....or all three or a combo of 2....whatever floats your boat!!
Now....spread cookie dough out on cookie sheet to form as close to a circle as possible. Or whatever shape you want....heck if you feel like shaping like your dog Spot...go for it!! Bake according to package directions....well kinda....I had to bake mine longer cause it was like a giant cookie. While that is baking, mix marshmallow fluff and cream cheese in a separate bowl. Now cut the green leafy thingy off the strawberry and cut it in half. (After you wash them of course!!) By this time your ginormous master piece of a cookie should be done. Let it cool for a couple of minutes......if you can stand the wait!!
Spread the fluff mixture over the entire surface of the cookie, strategically place strawberries forming a circle, being careful to measure with a ruler........NO WAY....JUST KIDDING....just put the strawberries on the cookie!! If your feeling adventurous form a pattern!! Lastly stick the chocolate chips in a ziploc baggie in the micro for like 30 seconds. Take bag out of micro and massage it to mix chocolate. Snip a small corner off the bag and drizzle chocolate all over cookie and strawberries.
Cut using a pizza cutter and serve. Now enjoy the silence while the kids are quietly eating!!

I cant even tell you how good this was!! Big hit with the kids!! They think I'm some sort of super mom.....but it's only cause they don't know how easy it was!! ;o)

Homemade Tomato Soup


So my neighbor comes over with this bowl of tomatoes the size of Texas from her garden and says she cant look at another tomato ever again!! Well, what does any noble neighbor do to help out another neighbor? They take the bowl of tomatoes and help out a friend!! ;o)

Then....... make salsa and tomato soup!! This recipe for tomato soup is so fabulously delicious, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. I also made homemade wheat bread that day and made grilled cheese sandwiches out of it to dunk into our tomato soup!!

12 cups ripe tomatoes, chopped (approx)
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (Salt to taste basically this is just a guideline)
2 teaspoons white sugar (I used agave)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 clove garlic mashed and made into garlic paste


Place tomatoes, onion, celery, parsley and bay leaf in a large pot and cook, covered, on low heat for 1 to 2 hours, until forms tomato mush. ;o) Remove bay leaf and blend tomato mixture in batches in a food processor or blender, or you can use your hand blender, which is what I did. Then run through a sieve or strainer and return to pot. Stir in salt, sugar, seasoning salt, pepper and garlic salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook, uncovered, 1 to 2 hours, until thickened. If you would like to turn this into a creamy tomato basil soup, during the cooking process add basil leaves as well. Then about 5 minutes before you serve your soup add in about a cup of heavy cream!!

Simple Sweet Potatoes

These are so simple to make and yet soo good!! I don't know about you all, but a lot of times around the holidays when we go to peoples houses they have these "sweet potato" dishes that are whipped with 10 pounds of butter, 5 pounds of brown sugar and piled high with marshmallow's. Then it seems like what was once this beautiful and tasty, good for you vegetable is now candy. I don't want to eat that!! I like to keep my sweet potato's a lil more o'natural.

So I came up with this.........

2 good sized sweet potatoes sliced in half long ways

olive oil

kosher salt to taste

1 tsp of brown sugar

Drizzle olive oil over sweet potatoes and lightly sprinkle with salt. Then place face down on a baking sheet and place in a preheated oven at 400 degrees. Bake for about 45 until tender and browned. Flip them over and sprinkle (very lightly) with the brown sugar. Serve warm. They are delicious!!

Peanut Butter Squares

As far as Im concerned.....if it has peanut butter in it.....Im down. Peanut Butter ROCKS!!!! Then add no baking and ready super's a no brainer!! I love these!!  Bring these somewhere and people will think you are a magician in the kitchen and they wont even know how easy it was to make them!!

2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 c peanut butter
1 c butter melted
2 cups peanut butter chips
2 3/4 c powdered sugar
In a medium bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, confectioners' sugar, peanut butter and melted butter. Press firmly into the bottom of the 9x13 inch pan. Melt peanut butter chips over a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring occasionally. Spread melted peanut butter chips over the crumb crust. Chill for about 15 minutes, then cut into bars before completely set, then chill until set.

Po' Mans Dinner or Dirty Rice or Rice with Hangabur Meat

This rice dish is a huge hit around my house!! Everyone loves it and it can feed a ton of people or you can have leftovers the next day for lunch!! It is so easy and you can change it up to add whatever you like in it. I make mine with ground beef, but you can certainly use ground turkey, chicken or even sausage. Or if you don't like meat just use veggies!! This is great to make if you are feeding a crowd of if your food budget is low this week. It tastes so good you'd never guess it was so easy and inexpensive!!
1 lb ground beef
2 cups long grain rice
1/2 cup chopped red and green bell pepper
1/2 of a medium sized onion, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 14.5 oz can broth (beef, chicken or veggie)
2 cups water
3-4 dashes hot sauce (I like Franks)
1 1/2 cups cheese (Cheddar, jack, colby, pepper jack or any kind you like)
1 small can green chile's (optional)
juice of 1/2 of a lime
1-1 1/2 tsp salt to flavor

It should look like this.

Now add all the liquids, including the water, broth and hot sauce. Then add the cilantro. Cover and let it come up to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let cook for 20-25 minutes until rice is completely cooked. Now spread cheese over the top and let melt for about 5 minutes.

You can garnish with cilantro, avocado, sour cream, jalapenos, or anything else you feel like throwing on there!!
Doesn't that look good!!! Serve to all your hungry people waiting for a delicious meal!Now add the rice and 'fry' it all together for about 5 minutes stirring constantly.Just like add in the veggies...except the cilantro!!Brown you ground beef.Here are all the things I used in mine today. Fresh tomatoes, red and green bell peppers, onions, cilantro, green chile's, lime juice, rice and cheese!! You'll want to chop up your veggies and cilantro before you start cooking!!

Sunday Mornin' Breakfast Burritos

Look at all these beautiful breakfast burritos. I used to make these once a month for church and we serve them in our cafe. You want to talk about pressure....try cooking for 60-75!! I've got it down to a science now!! It only takes about 2 1/2 hours from start to finish!! I will give you the estimated recipe for a few less!! ;o)

1 pound of ground breakfast sausage
1 pound of hashbrowns (not the shredded kind)
15 eggs beaten
1 cup milk
1/2 onion chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup grated cheddar cheese or pepper jack or combo of your favorites
Approx 15-20 flour tortillas

Cook ground sausage thoroughly, also cook the hashbrowns with the onion in a seperate pan until golden brown.

Add all spices to eggs, add milk and beat until well beaten.

Add eggs and hashbrowns to the sausage and cook until eggs are cooked thoroughly.

Melt cheese on top and it should look a little something like above!! Can you say.....yummy??

Ripe off a bunch of foils and lightly heat the tortillas to make it easier to roll. Add a spoon full of egg mixture into a tortilla and roll like a burrito, with one end open.

Now dont you just wanna pick one up and take a bite?? I like to serve them with fresh homemade salsa!! Maybe I will post that recipe someday soon!!

Turkey/Chicken Salad

Since Thanksgiving is coming up, I thought we'd talk about leftovers!! Here is one of my favorite turkey leftover recipes!! I LOVE a good chicken salad so why not substitute leftover turkey!! If you notice, there is also a dinner roll in the picture. I got that recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks website....and oooohhhh man are those rolls good. I will put the recipe up so you can try them out!!

Another good thing you can make with your leftovers is Potato Soup out of the mashed potatoes, or stuffing patties....just take your leftover stuffing and shape it into a crab cake looking thing. Then fry on both sides or bake it and serve with a little leftover gravy!

Turkey/Chicken Salad

3-4 cups cooked turkey/chicken
1 cup chopped cashews
2 stalks celery chopped
3 green onions chopped
1 1/2 cups red seedless grapes
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of fresh grated nutmeg
dash of salt

Mix everything together and serve on your favorite bread or over greens or avocado.

Here is the link to it will take you directly to the dinner rolls....which I highly recommend making. I made them on Wednesday and just refrigerated the dough until Friday, which is when I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for my family, and they worked out perfectly!!!

Enjoy and happy eating!!

Apple Coffee Cake


Apple Coffee Cake-Doesnt get much better!!

This recipe is different than any other coffee cake recipes I have had. Instead of using white sugar you use brown sugar and I think that make all the difference. It is so rich and moist!! I bake this when I make breakfast burritos for church and this thing disapears quick!!! Hope you enjoy!!


1 stick plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs 2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream (you can substitute yogurt for half or all of this cause I have done it!!)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups peeled, cored and chopped apples (pampered chefs apple, peeler, corer helps save time on this!!)

Crumble Topping:

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Brown Sugar Glaze:

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with 2 teaspoons of the butter. In a large bowl, cream together the remaining stick of butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating after the addition of each. In a separate bowl or on a piece of parchment, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients, alternating with the sour cream and vanilla. Fold in the apples. Pour into the prepared baking dish, spreading out to the edges. To make the topping, in a bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter, and mix until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the topping over the cake and bake until golden brown and set, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. To make the glaze, in a bowl, combine the sugar, vanilla, and water and mix until smooth. Drizzle the cake with the glaze and let harden slightly. Serve warm.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Not Baked Beans I was throwing a birthday party for a friend and we were having bbq chicken, potato salad, pasta salad, green salad, and garlic bread......and I was that going to be enough food for 20 people?? Cuz you know....that's what us food people do. So I decided to make beans. But the dilemma was...what kind?? Chili or sweet beans?? I've made chili hundreds of a matter of fact that reminds me, I have a recipe I made up....I'll post that soon!! ANYWAYS....I decided to go with 'baked beans' I use that term loosely!! I don't know if its just me, or what...but I've never really had great success with "baked" beans. So I decided to go with "Not" Baked Beans. Check out the recipe!!

2 lbs Pinto Beans, washed
1/2 lb Bacon, cut to 1 inch pieces
1 Medium Onion, diced
8 Cloves of Garlic
1 1/2 cups Ketchup
salt to taste
2 T Chicken Bouillon Powder
1 cup Brown Sugar
3/4 cup Molasses
salt to taste
Put cleaned beans in a large stock pot and cover with water. Add onion, 3 cloves of garlic, and chicken bouillon powder. Boil for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. When beans are almost done add all other ingredients including remaining 5 cloves of garlic grated on the micro plane, cook until beans are tender. During the first 1-1/2 hours you may have to add more water.

These beans turned out to be a huge success!!!

Chocolate Cobbler

Ummmm........need I say more??? Chocolate and cobbler....who knew they went so well together!!! I got this recipe from a one of the nicest ladies I know. She mentioned on her facebook page that she was eating chocolate cobbler and I messaged her and told her....I MUST HAVE THIS RECIPE!!! I just had to try it....I'd never even heard of this until a week'm addicted!!! Thank you Diana!!!!

1 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
7 T cocoa powder
1 1/4 c sugar
1/2 c milk
1/3 c melted butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c brown sugar
1 1/2 c hot tap water

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Stir together flour, baking powder, salt, 3/4 c of the sugar and 3 T of cocoa. Stir in milk, melted butter and vanilla to flour mixture. Mix until smooth.

Pour mixture into ungreased 8 inch baking dish. In a separate small bowl, mix the remaining sugar (1/2 cup) 4 T cocoa powder and brown sugar. Sprinkle over batter. Pour hot water over all of it. DO NOT STIR.
Bake for 40 minutes or until center is set.
Let stand for a few minutes and serve with vanilla ice cream!!

Empan-acos....what you get when you cross a Empanada with a Taco ;) today I took chicken thighs out for dinner because I totally planned to make oven fried chicken. However.....while trying to nap today....I got an "idea" I must be honest with "ideas" drive my husband crazy. He always comes into the kitchen and says......"Oh no, what are you making now?"

Granted, it would have been safe to stick with the chicken.....but who likes safe?? I like to step out and take some risks....ok so maybe it wasn't that big of a risk....but it was definitely something worth writing about!! So here's the story. Last night I made a delicious dinner of pork roast, mashed potatoes, gravy and corn. was so good....I made a rub of cloves, brown sugar, ginger, ground mustard, garlic powder, cinnamon, paprika and I rubbed that piggy down. Then I seared the rub on Mr Oinky and popped him in the oven. Oh man was it good!! Soooooo.....anyways......I had all these leftovers today and didn't want them to go to waste, and that's how I came up with Empan-acos. Its a cross between a Empanada and a Taco. Get it??? Empanaco????? I thought it was clever!! Typically Empanadas are made with a flour dough like pie crust, but I used Masa!!

Please note when you read this recipe....well one you can use whatever the heck filling you want.....but two I just threw the ingredients in the bowl so my measurements are approximations!! :)

Outer Shell
3 cups Masa
2 T tomato bouillon powder
1 tsp season salt
2 tsp garlic powder
2 cups water (make sure dough is nice and wet and soft)
Filling (I used)
Pork roast
mashed potatoes
Mix all filling ingredients together. Mix all outer shell ingredients together use a tortilla press and use a golf ball sized masa ball to make a tortilla. Put a tablespoon sized scoop of filling on one side of the tortilla and any kind of cheese chunk if you want (I used colby jack). Fold over the 'tortilla' and press edges together. Drop into hot oil and fry until golden brown. Break that puppy open and watch the cheese ooze then bite into it and burn your tongue.