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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sausage and Egg Dish

This dish can be made for breakfast obviously but also makes a lovely dinner alternative!! It's not a super complicated dish either and typically it's ingredients are ones that you have on hand!! Well.....ok maybe not the loaf of french bread......but there are many substitutions available!!

This is also a good pot luck dish or brunch dish!! It can serve a lot of people and you walk away full!! Not to mention it's super tasty. ;) It's very similar to the Sausage and Egg Minis I posted, just baked in a 13 x 9 instead of a cupcake tin!!

12 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
1 tsp season salt
1 tsp ground mustard
1 small can of diced green chile's
1/2 loaf of french bread, cut into cubes (you can sub sandwich rolls, slices of bread, sourdough or no bread at all if you are following a low carb diet)
1 lb ground sausage, cooked
2cups grated cheese, (you can use cheddar, jack, pepper jack, colby, swiss or whatever kind you'd like)

Preheat oven to 400 and spray baking dish with pam cooking spray. Arrange bread in bottom of 13 x 9 baking dish and sprinkle cooked sausage over top of bread. Now sprinkle green chile's evenly over sausage and bread. In a large bowl crack eggs and beat with milk, salt and ground mustard. Pour over bread and sausage mixture pressing bread into eggs so that it soaks in. Sprinkle top with grated cheese and bake for 45 to 60 minutes until eggs are set in center.

You can literally substitute ANY ingredients with the sausage or add things like spinach or mushrooms or bell peppers. You can use ham intead of sausage or you can use bacon or all three. The possibilities are endless!! Be creative!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mocha Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

15 Years ago, on July 22nd, I gave birth to my second and last son. All I can say is.....time flies!! So for all you moms out there....take advantage of every moment you have with your babies, because before you know it they are gonna be all grown up!! I know this because my oldest just graduated from high school this year too!!

I can't believe how fast the time has gone!! It feels so weird. Who am I? I am a mom and a wife. Though, no matter what, I will always be a mom, even when they move out. I cant imagine life without taking kids here and there, and having their friends over and cooking large meals for our family. I'm not quite ready (even though my youngest is only 15 and I have 3 more fantabulous years with him at home) for this family and kids at home thing to be over.

But.....I can't stop I have to just accept what it is!! The best advice I can give as a parent love your children, give your self to your children, but don't forget discipline. They need that too. Teach your children morals and values, if you tell them not to do something.....tell them why!! Teach them to be responsible, caring, and compassionate human beings.

Ok.....mushiness......done!! Now for the sweet part!! My son LOVES CHOCOLATE!!! He would have double chocolate cake with fudgey chocolate frosting and double chocolate brownie ice cream. But this year I made his step out of his comfort zone a little and I threw some peanut butter in the chocolate frosting!!

Unfortunately I can't share my cake recipe, but I would love to give you my frosting recipe!! And you can drool while you look at the picture of how the cupcakes turned out!!

1 stick of butter, room temp
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
3 T heavy cream
4 T cocoa powder

Put all ingredients in the bowl of a kitchen aid mixer or a large bowl. Beat on med-high until creamy and smooth. Spread on cake or cupcakes.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fried Apples and Buttermilk Biscuits

This dish brings back memories from my high school years and spending the night at my friend Debbie's house. I used to love to spend the night over her house because she was an awesome friend and.....her mom always cooked the best food!!

I remember thinking how not fair it was cuz her mom used to make her lunch for school and she made her the best sandwiches!! But this breakfast.....this was my all time favorite!! Fried Apples and Biscuits!! Oh man......this is good stuff!!

So this is my tribute to Luana Parker!! One of the people who inspired to me to cook!!

2 cups ap flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup lard or butter
3/4 cup buttermilk

Sift together dry ingredients. Cut in butter or lard. Stir in buttermilk until just combined. Turn onto floured surface and knead 10-12 times. Roll out to 1/2" thickness and cut with a 2" round biscuit cutter. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Fried Apples

3 large apples or 5 small apples, thinly sliced into wedges
3 T butter
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 - 1/2 cup of brown sugar, depending on your taste

Melt butter in frying pan and add apples. Fry for 5 minutes and add cinnamon and brown sugar. Fry for 5 additional minutes. Top biscuits with fried apples.

Chicken Pad Thai

This dish is AMAZING!! It is so fresh and light and delicious but filling. It is a perfect summer meal. I could literally make it and eat it everyday for lunch!! Making this dish is the first time I have used tamarind paste and who knew that stuff was sooo tasty??

It's interesting that tamarind is used in Hispanic and Asian cooking. My hubby grew up in El Salvador and he remembers his grandma making juice out of the tamarind and also just eating it raw. So on our hunt for tamarind paste (which we found at our local Asian market) we also visited one of our local Hispanic markets and bought some whole tamarind pieces so we could taste that too. Not gonna was pretty yummy!!

  • approx. 8 oz  rice noodles

  •  4 boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked

  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly

  • 1 stalk celery, sliced thinly

  • 3 spring onions, sliced thinly

  • 2 to 3 cups bean sprouts

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, lightly chopped

  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, lightly chopped

  • 1/3 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts, lightly chopped


  • 1/2 cup hot water

  • 1 +3/4 Tbsp. tamarind paste

  • 1/4 cup (packed) brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup fish sauce

  • 1-2 Tbsp. chili sauce

  •  4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 thumb-size piece ginger, minced

  • Cook noodles according to package direction. Drain and cool. In a large bowl place all ingredients.  Make dressing and pour over your noodle mixture. Toss until everything is coated in dressing. Serve.

    Chicken Pot Pie

    If you look up comfort food in the dictionary there is a picture of chicken pot pie. Seriously!! It is definitely on the comfort food top ten list, along with fried chicken, mashed potatoes, meatloaf, mac and cheese, egg rolls......ok....well maybe not egg rolls......but they are good!!

    I used the pie crust recipe that I posted with the Blueberry Pie you can find it here in case you missed it. This was probably the best pie crust I've ever made!! I will use it again and again!!
    I put so much love into this pot pie and there were just layers and layers of flavory goodness!!

    I roasted my veggies in the oven before mixing it with my roux that I added sage to. I also used mini potatoes whole. But I must confess it wasn't all fresh veggies....I used frozen corn, peas and pearl onions. It's just so much easier to add them frozen at the last minute before pouring into your pie dish and baking.

    2 whole bone in chicken breasts (or precooked rotisserie chicken or 2 boneless chicken breasts)
    1 lb mini potatoes
    4 carrots, diced in 1" pieces
    1 pkg frozen pearl onions
    1 cup frozen peas
    1 cup frozen carrots
    6 fresh mushrooms, sliced
    3 Tbls flour
    3 Tbls butter
    1 cup milk
    1 1/2 cup chicken stock
    salt and pepper to taste
    1/8 tsp nutmeg
    3 fresh sage leaves, minced fine
    Pie crust

    Place chicken breasts on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in oven on 400 and roast until cooked through. Cool chicken for 10 minutes then remove from bone and dice in 1" pieces. Place whole potatoes and diced carrots on baking sheet. Sprinkle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast on 400 til veggies are tender. In a large sauce pan melt 3 Tbls of butter, once butter is melted add flour. Whisk together and let 'fry' for 1-2 minutes. Then add milk, chicken stock, salt and pepper to task, sage leaves and nutmeg. Allow sauce to simmer and thicken for about 10 minutes. Taste to make sure you salt levels are good. Mix in chicken and all veggies. Once everything is coated in the sauce pour into pie plate. Top with pie crust and shape it to look pretty. Bake until golden brown on top. About 30 minutes.

    Tres Leches Cake

    Oh man do I LOVE this cake!!! It is sooooooooooooo moist and delicious!! I get tons of compliments when I make this cake!! You will be overwhelmed with the ease of making it too!! Then pleasantly surprised at how good it is!!

    Don't ever pay $40 to buy one again!! Make it yourself!!

    1 1/2 cup flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    2 cups sugar, divided
    5 eggs
    2 tsp vanilla, divided
    1 cup milk
    1/2 can evaporated milk
    1/2 can condensed milk
    1 1/2 cup heavy cream

    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13 x 9 baking dish and set aside. Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside. Cream butter and 1 cup of sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time then 1 tsp of vanilla. Beat well. Add flour mixture slowly beating until light fluffy mixture. Pour into baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.

    Mix together milk, evaporated milk and condensed milk and pour over cooled cake. The three milks will soak into the cake.

    Using heavy cream and remaining remaining sugar and vanilla, place into a large bowl or kitchen aide mixer and beat until stiff peaks form. Frost cake with whipped cream. Top with berries if you want or eat without!! :)

    Blueberry Pie

    Blueberry pie......mmmmmm.....blueberry pie........I <3 blueberry pie!! I didn't know I liked it....until I made it for the very first time........oh how I love blueberry pie! Sooooooo easy to make and I have a yummy pie crust recipe that I'm gonna share with you too!!

    If you remember in the peach crisp post, I mentioned how I loved to decide what I'm making by the fresh ingredients I buy at the store. Well....this was one of those situations. I new I wanted to make a pie and I had the freshest sweetest the choice was easy!!

    For the crust:
    12 oz Ap flour
    5 oz very cold unsalted butter cut into very small pieces no bigger than ¼ inch- making them very small is SUPER important.
    3 oz very cold lard crumbled into tiny pieces
    ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
    7 tablespoons ice water
    1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

    Dissolve sea salt in the ice-water and add the apple cider vinegar to the mix. 
    Scatter butter and lard pieces evenly across the flour and begin gently working the butter and the flour together with your fingertips. This should be a gentle and easy process.
    Once most of the butter is broken down into pieces, you can start working in a short rocking motion with the pastry cutter around the bowl- for maybe 10 or so strokes
    The final product will look like coarse corn meal.

     Add five tablespoons of the liquid being very careful not to get any chunks of ice in the dough. Also, make sure it is distributed very equally over the surface of the dough. Begin gently working the water into the dough with your hands. You should be able to tell quickly if there is enough liquid for the dough to stick together. If not, add more, and work that in. If the 8 tablespoons of ice-water/vinegar is not enough, add more cold water to the ice I prefer to have a slightly moist dough to a dry one. Your dough will be kind of a shaggy mess- not pretty and completely smooth. It should just stick together.

     Work your dough into a rough ball and turn out onto a well-floured rolling surface. Cut into two equal halves and form each into a ball. Form each ball into a 5 inch disc. Wrap each disc tightly in plastic and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour (two hours is even better) to rest. This allows the gluten to relax so that you’ll have a tender crust. You can leave the dough up to five days, but if you’re leaving it overnight or longer, place the plastic-wrapped discs inside of a ziptop bag to prevent moisture loss.

    Pull dough from frig and place on a well floured surface. Roll out the size or your pie dish. Bake according to your pie directions.

    Blueberry Pie:
    3/4 cup sugar
    1/3 cup flour
    1 T lemon juice
    5 cups fresh blueberries

    *Now if you want to do a double crusted pie you can....I didnt I just put the crust on the top cuz that's how I roll....

    Place one crust in the bottom of the pie dish (If you doing that) In a large bowl mix blueberries with lemon juice, flour and sugar. Pour blueberries into pie dish. Top with pie crust and shape and make it pretty. Cut an x in the center of the top pie crust. If you like to brush it with milk and sprinkle with sugar you can.

    To prevent overbrowning cover edge of the pie with foil. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 20-25 more minutes or until top is golden. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 8 servings.

    Saturday, July 23, 2011

    Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry

    Well not much to say about this little number. This is a regular dish that I make at my house. I usually try to make some homemade naan when I make this dish.....but this time all I had was pita!! Throwing in the sweet potatoes was just an idea I had that worked well!!

    Then I just make some white rice and a veggie and serve the curry chicken over the rice. Good stuff and so is homemade naan!!

         3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 tablespoons curry powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root

  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar

  • salt to taste

  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into bite-size pieces

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 cup plain yogurt

  • 3/4 cup coconut milk

  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


    Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion until lightly browned. Stir in garlic, curry powder, cinnamon, paprika, bay leaf, ginger, sugar and salt. Continue stirring for 2 minutes. Add chicken pieces, tomato paste, yogurt, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove bay leaf, and stir in lemon juice and cayenne pepper. Simmer 5 more minutes.

    Blue Cheese Burgers with Bacon Jam

    There truly are no words to describe the utter deliciousness, the wonder and amazement of a giant juicy burger stuffed with blue cheese and then slathered in bacon jam. If I don't have your attention and your mouth is not should schedule an appointment with a therapist..........cuz you got issues!! ;)

    Please don't be intimidated......there is nothing to making this burger or the jam!! And we all know that bacon goes good with anything. I'm surprised there's not like Lucky Charms with bacon or something?? Hey......maybe I should contact the cereal company....I might be on to something!! Oh......and btw......that's a whole wheat bun.....for the healthyness factor.....hahahahaha!!

    For the Burgers:
    2 lbs ground beef
    1 tsp salt
    1-2 tsp pepper
    6 Tbls blue cheese

    Mix ground beef with salt and pepper. Divide meat into 6 equally sized balls. Divide eat meatball in half and flatten out. Spoon 1 Tbls of blue cheese into the center of the flattened beef patty. Place the other half of the flattened meat patty on the one with blue cheese and push sides together so you don't see any blue cheese. Repeat until you have made 6 patties. BBQ or bake in the oven until desired doneness. Top with your favorite burger toppings and the bacon jam recipe below!!

    Bacon Jam:

    1 lb good-quality bacon
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    1/2 cup coffee, cola or beer (I used Dr Pepper and it was AWESOME!!)
    1/4 cup maple syrup or honey

    Roughly chop the bacon and cook it in a heavy pot; transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon, draining off most of the drippings. Saute the onion and garlic cloves in the rest for 5 minutes, until soft and starting to turn golden.
    Return the bacon to the pan, add the brown sugar, coffee soda or beer and maple syrup. Cook over medium heat for half an hour, or until deep golden and thickened to the consistency of jam.

    Peach Crisp

    Do you wanna know what I love most about cooking......well besides the pure adventure of it all........that what I make depends on what I buy that is great and fresh at the store!! That's what I LOVE!!

    I mean come on let's face it.....would I make peach crisp in the middle of probably not....because I wouldn't walk into Trader Joes and see the most gorgeous box of fresh organic peaches!! But that is what happened and that is why I made peach crisp!!

    Ahhh.....and it was heavenly!!


    • 4 -5 cups fresh peaches, sliced
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons flour, divided
    • 1 cup old fashioned oats
    • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
    • 1 cup butter, cold
    • Optional: Whipped or ice cream


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 9 x 13 glass baking dish. Mix peaches, cinnamon, sugar and 3 tablespoons flour. Add to dish.

    Mix rest of flour, oats and brown sugar. Cut in butter. Sprinkle butter mixture over peaches. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.

    Best served warm with homemade whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

    Fruit Topped Waffles

    Ok so I was shopping one day and came across some coconut flour. I had been doing research on coconut flour for a while and had come to the conclusion that I would have to order it online because there was NO WAY that I would find it in my town..........but then randomly there it was!! Yeah me!!

    So I bought it....then it sat for like a week in my pantry.....because I had NO IDEA what do make with it!! Until one lovely Saturday morning when I felt like making breakfast for the fam.......and alas......a coconut flour breakfast was born!!

    Hello.......waffles....duh.....that would totally work....right?? It did work although there was a slightly different texture to the waffles they were very tasty!! I love the way you get the slightest hint of coconut taste with the flour.......well and of course I did use coconut oil too. Instead of a light crispy waffle these were more of a cake like waffle, but equally delicious!! This version is going to be the super low sugar version. You will see the substitutions if you don't want the low sugar version!!

    Then all I did was chop up fresh strawberries and mix with blueberries and top with homemade whipped cream that was also sugar free!!

  • 1 cup coconut flour

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (or 2 cups all purpose)

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 3/4 cups  almond milk (or regular milk)

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil

  • 1 tablespoon xylitol (or sugar)

  • 4 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Directions
    1. Preheat your waffle iron. Beat eggs in large bowl with hand beater until fluffy.  Then add  in flour, milk, vegetable oil, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla, and beat just until smooth.
    2. Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour batter onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden brown.