Hatch Chile Salsa

I love, love, love Hatch Chile season. It’s short. You only have a couple weeks to get your hands on these peppers and when you do, stock up. I ended up buying 6 pounds of roasted hatch peppers this weekend just to prepare and freeze to use over the next year. I saved just enough to make this salsa.

I love green salsa. The hotter, the better. I’ve just never been able to make it right. I came across this recipe at the grocery store this weekend when I was stocking up on my Hatch peppers. It’s the perfect heat and full of flavor.

Hatch Chile Salsa

5 roasted Hatch peppers
6 tomatillos ( cut in quarters )
1 garlic clove
juice of 1/2 a lime
1/4 Cup of cilantro
1 large jalapeno
salt to taste

Combine everything in a food processor and spin away. After a minute or so, you are left with a bright beautiful hot sauce.

Texas Trash

I came across this recipe and knew immediately that we had to try it. It’s really not the greatest for you, but usually the tastiest things usually aren’t.

This recipe was perfect for Cancy since it’s like a summer salad version of one his favorites ( Frito Pie ).

This is also great for one of those nights when you just don’t feel like cooking. I stopped by a local barbecue place on my way home from work and grabbed some brisket, beans, & sauce. I got lucky when they also had the jalapenos & onions ready to go as well.

Give this little recipe a shot. Easy meal & a happy husband.

Texas Trash
(there are no measurements because you just pile it on your plate according to how much you feel like eating!)


Chopped BBQ brisket (if you’re using leftover, make sure to heat it first)

pinto beans

BBQ sauce

shredded cheddar cheese

sour cream

black olives

pickled jalapenos

ranch or jalapeno ranch dressing

lettuce, chopped

Place the Fritos on a plate and top with remaining ingredients (however much you want!). Enjoy!

(Wasn’t that simple?!)

Chipotle Chicken Skewers with Cilantro Dipping Sauce

I had been meaning to make this recipe for awhile and kept forgetting to plan for the marinade time. This is key people, the marinade is what makes this chicken taste so good. You really need to give it overnight to fully get all of the flavor it needs.

This was a super easy meal ( once you had the chicken marinated ) We put it together in just a few minutes and then we cooked the rice while the chicken skewers grilled. Use a rice cooker & you won’t even have to heat up your kitchen to make this.

*Chicken Skewers
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 5 medium breasts)
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, minced
1 chipotle chile in adobo, minced
2 teaspoons adobo sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
nonstick cooking spray

* Dipping Sauce
3/4 cup low-fat sour cream
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup lime juice, from 2 to 3 limes
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, minced
2 scallions, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

FOR THE CHICKEN: Slice the chicken breasts across the grain into 1/2-inch-thick strips (you should have about 30 strips). In a large bowl, toss the chicken with the brown sugar, cilantro, chipotle, adobo sauce, salt, chili powder, garlic powder, and pepper. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the flavors meld, about 30 minutes. (The chicken, covered, can be refrigerated for up to 1 day before cooking.).

FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE: In a bowl, stir all the ingredients together. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until the flavors meld, about 30 minutes. (The dipping sauce can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Season with additional lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste before serving.).

Meanwhile, weave each piece of chicken onto individual skewers; We used metal skewers so we didn’t have to worry about the ends, but if you use bamboo skewers, just cover the ends with foil so they don’t burn. Grill until the meat is lightly browned and cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes, flipping the skewers over halfway through. Transfer the skewers to a serving platter and serve immediately with half the dipping sauce.

We served the chicken and sauce over a bed of Jasmine Rice. It was delicious!

Grilled Steak, Mushroom, and Green Bean Salad

One of my favorite things about summer is the abundance of fresh vegetables and the weekend Farmer’s Markets. You can find almost everything in this recipe at your local Farmer’s Market. With the addition of the steak, Cancy actually really enjoyed this. He’s not normally a big salad person but he ate every bit of this. Get yourself to the Farmer’s Market before the season ends and enjoy this delicious salad.

Grilled Steak, Mushroom, and Green Bean Salad

1/2 pound large white mushrooms, halved
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
1 red onion, cut into 1⁄2-inch-thick rounds
3 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
1 pound skirt steak, cut crosswise into 4 pieces
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 bunch watercress, thick stems removed (about 4 cups)

Heat grill to medium-high. In a large bowl, toss the mushrooms, green beans, onion, 1 tablespoon of the oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Season the steak with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

Grill the vegetables (place the beans on the grill perpendicular to the grates to prevent them from falling through), turning occasionally, and removing them as they become tender, 8 to 12 minutes. At the same time, grill the steak, brushing occasionally with 2 tablespoons of the vinegar, 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Divide the watercress, grilled vegetables, and steak among bowls. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of vinegar.


Creamy Asparagus Soup

Well, It’s been about 5 months since I’ve managed to get any updates on this little blog of mine. Time to play a bit of catch up.

You can still find asparagus in the grocery stores, but you do get some of the best color when you pick those stalks fresh at the beginning of Spring. Here in Texas, we sort of skip over the cool spring and seem to get right into Summer. I had a really tasty Asparagus Soup @ California Kitchen but was sure that it was full of cream & calories. I found found this recipe from Whole Foods. They use a potato to gain some of the bulk you would get from heavy cream. Way better for you.

This is a really great tasting soup and can be the main focus of the meal. Play around with the toppings. Chives and croutons are perfect on here.

Creamy Asparagus Soup

1 tablespoon butter

1 large leek, white and light green parts only, cleaned and cut into 1-inch pieces 

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth 

1 medium Yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces 

1 bunch asparagus (about 1 pound), woody stems snapped off and discarded, spears cut into 1-inch pieces 

1/3 cup low-fat sour cream

Sea salt and ground pepper 

2 tablespoons chopped chives

Melt butter in a medium pot over medium low heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth and potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, add asparagus and simmer gently until potatoes and asparagus are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove pot from heat ad set aside to let cool slightly. 

Carefully transfer soup to blender in batches and purée until smooth. Return soup to pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, whisk in sour cream and season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls, garnish with chives and serve.

White Chocolate Almond Blueberry Blondies

Emily is a great food blogger who is taking it a step further than most. You’ll catch her once in awhile on one of the Food Network Challenges. Her blog is great and her recipes are always tasty. She just posted this recipe this week and I knew I had to make it. I had everything on hand, so why not? I shared these @ work and with friends here. Everyone liked them. Great twist on a dessert bar.

White Chocolate Almond Blueberry Blondies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup finely chopped sliced almonds, toasted
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 large egg
4 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9-inch baking dish with foil; coat foil with cooking spray.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt; whisk in almonds. In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together butter and sugar until creamy - about 1 minute; beat in lemon zest and juice, almond extract and egg until combined - about 1 minute. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in flour mixture until combined; stir in white chocolate and blueberries until combined.

Spread batter into dish and bake 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before lifting foil out of pan and slicing into bars.

Taco Pasta Toss

Oh Rachael Ray, your recipes make for a very content husband. Your meals fit our tastes perfectly. Cancy was excited for another recipe with a bottle of beer in it. I was just excited for another good Rachael Recipe. This Taco Pasta Toss does not disappoint.

Taco Pasta Toss
Salt and pepper
1 pound penne rigate or whole grain penne rigate pasta
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 pound ground beef sirloin
1 large onion, chopped
1 large jalapeño chile—halved, seeded if desired and thinly sliced crosswise
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder (about 2 palmfuls)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin (about 1/2 palmful)
1 tablespoon ground coriander (about a palmful)
1/4 cup tomato paste
One 12-ounce bottle beer or 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 cups shredded cheddar, monterey jack or any Mexican semisoft cheese
2 small plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/4 head iceberg letuce or 1/2 small heart romaine lettuce, chopped

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and return to the pot.

While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat the EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add three-quarters of the onion, the jalapeño, garlic, chili powder, coriander and cumin; season with salt and pepper. Cook until the onion is softened, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute, then stir in the beer.

Add the sauce to the pasta and toss. Spoon into a serving dish, top with the cheese and tent with foil to melt the cheese, about 1 minute. Top with the remaining onion, the tomatoes and lettuce— just like tacos!

Stovetop Mac & Cheese

This is my very favorite mac & cheese recipe. I saw this on Alton Brown’s show, Good Eat ages ago and it’s our go-to recipe for mac & cheese.

We’ve also made a meal out of this on lazy nights by browning a pound of ground turkey and adding it to the finished mac & cheese. Try this one out, you won’t regret it.

Stovetop Mac & Cheese

1/2 pound elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
2 eggs ( We only use 1 egg )
6 ounces evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce ( We use about 2 Tbsp of Sriracha. We like it spicy )
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
10 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente and drain. Return to the pot and melt in the butter. Toss to coat.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and mustard. Stir into the pasta and add the cheese. Over low heat continue to stir for 3 minutes or until creamy.

Lemon Chicken & Sweet Pea Tortellini

I “heart” Rachael Ray. When her magazine comes in the mail each month, I dig through planning out new recipes. This one comes from the “$10 Spot” section. It’s really inexpensive and is a short list of ingredients for a Rachael recipe.

The chicken by itself is wonderful, but please try the tortellini with it. It takes a couple to get the hang of it, but then they are easy to put together. I hope you like it.

Lemon Chicken & Sweet Pea Tortellini

1 lemon, 1/2 thinly sliced crosswise, 1/2 squeezed into juice
4 chicken leg quarters
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
24 wonton wrappers

Preheat the oven to 425°. Arrange the lemon slices in a single layer down the center of a roasting pan. Rub the chicken with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken skin side up on the lemon slices and bake for 35 minutes. Transfer to the broiler and cook until the skin is crisp, about 3 minutes. Drizzle the chicken with the lemon juice.

Meanwhile, using a food processor, mix together the peas, ricotta, 1/2 teaspoon tarragon and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

On a work surface, working with 2 wonton wrappers at a time, spoon a teaspoon of the pea mixture onto the center of each wrapper. Moisten the edges with water and fold the wrapper in half diagonally to form a triangle, pushing out any air pockets and pressing the edges firmly to seal. With the long side of the triangle facing you, fold the top point back toward you, then fold the right and left points to meet it and press all 3 points firmly together, securing with more water.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the tortellini until they float to the top, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tortellini to 4 plates. Divide the chicken and roasted lemon slices among the plates and top with the pan juices. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons tarragon.

Tuscan Lamb with Garlicky Tomato Sauce & Polenta

Valentine’s Day.

Cancy knows I like lamb. He found this recipe in one of my Real Simple magazines and decided that he would cook dinner for us on Valentine’s Day. This was soooooo good.

We cheated on the polenta portion of this meal though. Instead of making it fresh we just just took a premade polenta log (found in the pasta section of the grocery store) and sliced it, sprinkled a little parmesan on it, and broiled it until the cheese was browned.

Spend some quality time in the kitchen with your significant other and make this meal. You will love it.

Tuscan Lamb with Garlicky Tomato Sauce & Polenta

1 teaspoon olive oil
8 small lamb loin chops (about 3/4 inch thick; 2 pounds total)
kosher salt and black pepper
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
3/4 cup instant polenta
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Heat oven to 400° F. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season the lamb with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side; transfer to a plate. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings.

Add the garlic to the drippings and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, wine, rosemary, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the sauce begins to thicken, 2 to 3 minutes.

Nestle the lamb in the tomatoes, transfer the skillet to oven, and cook, 10 to 12 minutes for medium-rare.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Gradually whisk in the polenta. Cook, whisking frequently, until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in the butter, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Serve with the lamb and tomato sauce.

Pulled Pork Tacos

I found this recipe on Tricia’s site. Looks like it’s originally from Allrecipes.com. Regardless of where it comes from, it’s wonderful!!! I’m a big crockpot fan, especially on the weekends. Even better, this recipe only has 6 ingredients. You will love, love, love this. If you’re not a pork fan, I bet this recipe would work just fine if you subbed chicken breasts.

Pulled Pork Tacos
3 lb. pork tenderloin

1/2 tsp. salt

2 4 oz. cans of diced green chiles

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 cup taco sauce

1/2 cup water

Place roast in bottom of the crockpot. Season with salt. Place garlic and green chiles on top. Cover with taco sauce. Pour about 1/2 cup water around the edges of the roast. (Note: You may not need 1/2 cup, because after cooking, there was quite a bit of liquid left. Next time, I’ll probably only use about 1/4 cup.)

Cook on low for 7 hours. At end of cook time, remove roast from crockpot and shred. (At this point, drain some — but not all — of the liquid in the crockpot, if necessary.) Return shredded meat to crockpot and let sit for about 15 minutes, so that it can absorb some of the liquid.
Serve on tortilla shells with your favorite taco toppings. Enjoy!

Steak Tips with Peppered Mushroom Sauce

We are still working through a freezer full of beef, so this was a perfect recipe for us. It looks like a long list of ingredients but if you prep and measure everything out first, you’ll move along really quickly through the meal. This has a really great flavor to it. Cancy & I both really enjoyed it.

Steak Tips with Peppered Mushroom Sauce ( Originally from Cooking Light January 2010 )

3 cups uncooked egg noodles
Cooking spray
1 pound top sirloin steak, cut into 3/4-inch pieces, fat trimmed
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1 (10-ounce) package presliced baby bella mushrooms
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (optional)

Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

While noodles cook, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add steak; sauté 5 minutes, browning on all sides.

Remove from pan; cover.

Melt butter in pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and mushrooms; sauté 4 minutes.

Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Stir in Worcestershire Sauce. Sprinkle flour over mushroom mixture; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Gradually add broth, stirring constantly with a whisk.

Add pepper, salt, and thyme sprigs.

Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes or until thickened. Return beef to pan; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.
Discard thyme sprigs. Garnish with thyme leaves, if desired

Baked Jambalaya

Jambalaya is comfort food in our house. We love the cajun flavors. When I saw this recipe, with one step, i was sold. I had to give it a try. You will love it.

Baked Jambalaya

1 stick butter, melted
1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced
1 can Rotel
1 can french onion soup
1 can beef consomme
2 lbs. uncooked chicken, turkey or peeled shrimp ( I used 1lb of Andouille sausage & 1lb of shrimp )
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 cups uncooked rice
2 bay leaves
14 ounces (or 1 can) chicken broth
We added some Cajun Seasoning as well as some crushed red pepper to this before baking.

Mix all ingredients and bake in buttered casserole, covered tightly for one hour at 350F; stir and recover, then bake 30 minutes more or until rice is done.

Beef Fried Rice

I saw this recipe from Lynn and thought it looked like a great way to use the beef in the freezer as well as the vegetables in the fridge. You could really make this your own and add whatever you need to use up.

I cut the rice in 1/2 when I made this, but left the vegetables and meat the same as the recipe. It came together pretty quickly and was an easy weeknight meal. We’ll definitely be making this again.

Beef Fried Rice
1 pound ground beef
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup finely chopped carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1 small can of diced water chestnuts, drained (This was not in the original recipe)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (or use a little fresh if you have some)
Salt and pepper to taste
5 cups cooked long grain rice
2 eggs, scrambled
1/3 -1/2 cup soy sauce

In a large skillet, brown beef. Drain all but 2-3 tablespoons fat and add garlic, carrots, celery and onion cook until onions are slightly tender. Then add mushrooms and cook until all vegetables are tender. Add ginger, salt, pepper, rice and eggs; stir until well mixed and eggs are cooked. Add soy sauce and heat through.

Grilled Glazed Steak & Asparagus

We love Steak & We love Asparagus. This recipe from Epicurious was perfect for us. The glaze tastes great on both the meat & the vegetables. We ended up broiling the steaks and roasting the asparagus in the oven so we missed a little of the grill flavor, but the recipe works well done inside the oven as well.

Grilled Glazed Steak & Asparagus

1/4 cup oyster sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon grainy mustard
1/2 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
1 pound medium asparagus, trimmed
1 1/2 pounds flank steak

Prepare a charcoal grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium-high heat for gas).

Stir together oyster sauce, vinegar, mustard, and red-pepper flakes in a large bowl.
Thread about half of asparagus crosswise onto 2 parallel skewers, leaving space between. Repeat with remaining asparagus and skewers. Brush asparagus with some of glaze, then brush steak all over with remaining glaze and sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Oil grill rack, then grill steak and asparagus, covered only if using a gas grill, turning steak once and asparagus occasionally, until asparagus is tender and well browned in spots, 6 to 8 minutes, and steak is medium-rare, about 10 minutes.

Let steak stand on a cutting board 15 minutes; put asparagus on a platter and cover. Thinly slice steak across the grain.

Slow Cooked White Chicken Chili

I found this in my Google Reader and knew I had to try it. We had a short burst of cold, blustery weather during March in Texas. I always crave soups/stews on cold days so this was perfect.

My favorite thing about this is that it’s in the crockpot. Throw everything in early in the day and then go about your business. Dinner will take care of itself.

Slow Cooked White Chicken Chili

1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken

1 cup dried beans, rinsed and sorted ( We used white beans )

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons oregano

½ teaspoon salt
1 10
¾ ounce can cream of chicken soup

5 cups of water

1 teaspoon cumin

¼ teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1 4.5 ounce can diced green chiles
* We also added 2 fresh jalapenos, chopped

Soak beans overnight. ( We skipped this step )

Drain beans. Place in slow cooker with chicken, onion, garlic, oregano, salt, soup, and water. Cook on low for 8 hours, or until beans are done. Before serving, stir in cumin, hot pepper sauce, and chilies. Serve with sour cream and cheese.

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

Around here, we love Alton Brown. We also had a ton of spinach that needed to be used. Food Network to the rescue. We saw this Alton Brown recipe and had everything on hand. It was a really great salad. Even Cancy, who’s not generally big on vegetables, seemed to like this. I hope you like it too!!!

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
8 ounces young spinach
2 large eggs
8 pieces thick-sliced bacon, chopped
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large white mushrooms, sliced
3 ounces red onion (1 small), very thinly sliced

Remove the stems from the spinach and wash, drain and pat dry thoroughly. Place into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Place the eggs into an electric kettle and cover with cold water by at least 1-inch. Turn the kettle on. Once the water comes to a boil, the kettle will turn itself off. Leave the eggs in the water for 15 minutes. Remove and peel off the shell. Slice each egg into 8 pieces and set aside.

While the eggs are cooking, fry the bacon and remove to a paper towel to drain, reserving 3 tablespoons of the rendered fat. Crumble the bacon and set aside.
Transfer the fat to a small saucepan set over low heat and whisk in the red wine vinegar, sugar and Dijon mustard. Season with a small pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper.

Add the mushrooms and the sliced onion to the spinach and toss. Add the dressing and bacon and toss to combine. Divide the spinach between 4 plates or bowls and evenly divide the egg among them. Season with pepper, as desired. Serve immediately.

Wedge Salad

This is definitely not much of a recipe, but it’s my current favorite salad. You can adjust the toppings to your taste. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Wedge Salad

1 head of iceberg lettuce, cut into quarters
Your favorite blue cheese dressing
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 onion, diced small
1/2 Cup blue cheese crumbles
1/2 Cup bacon, cooked and crumbled
Balsamic vinegar

Place a quarter of iceberg lettuce on a dish. Pour blue cheese dressing over top. Top with tomatoes, onion, blue cheese, & bacon. Drizzle Balsamic vinegar over top. Delish!

Jalapeno Cream Cheese Burger

We have been loving this local show called The Austin Daytripper. On the last episode we saw, he went to Bastrop, TX to a place called the Roadhouse. While he was there, they talked about about one of their burgers, called the Jalapeno Cream Cheese burger. That just sounds intriguing to both of us so we knew we had to come with our own version of that.

Jalapeno Cream Cheese Burger

1 lb ground beef
salt & pepper
Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp butter
2 good sized jalapenos, sliced
cream cheese
hamburger buns

Combine the beef, salt, pepper, & worcestershire sauce. Make 4 patties. Grill until done.

While the burgers are cooking melt butter in a pan and saute jalapenos until soft.

To put burgers together, place burger on bottom bun, spread with cream cheese, place jalapenos on top, and follow with the top bun. Enjoy!!

Sausage & Roast Vegetable Gnocchi

We were fans of Melissa D’Arabian when she was on the Next Food Network Star contest. Her recipes are always easy to follow, inexpensive, and pretty tasty too. I’ve been roasting vegetables a lot lately for side dishes. This takes that idea and turns into the focus. She used Penne’ pasta in her recipe, I had some spinach gnocchi on hand so I used that instead of pasta.

Sausage & Roast Vegetable Gnocchi

1 sweet onion, cut into wedges
1 medium zucchini, sliced in 1/2 lengthwise
1 red bell pepper, cheeks removed
1/2 pound button mushrooms, stemmed
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, washed and dried
2 sweet or hot Italian sausages, thinly sliced or casings removed
1/4 cup white wine
12 ounces shelf stable gnocchi, cooked according to package instructions
1/2 cup pasta water, reserved
Freshly grated Parmesan, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a bowl, toss all the vegetables, except the tomatoes, with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange on a baking sheet and roast, until caramelized, about 30 minutes, turning vegetables halfway through the cooking time. In a small bowl, add the tomatoes and the remaining olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and add to the baking sheet, at the halfway point of cooking, to caramelize.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, add the sausage and saute until cooked through. Turn up the heat and deglaze with white wine. Once the vegetables are cooked, cool slightly, then coarsely chop. Add the vegetables and any pan juices to the sausage in the skillet. Toss in the cooked gnocchi, adding reserved pasta water, if needed, to moisten. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve in bowls topped with Parmesan.

Pasta Bravo

Super Easy, Really Tasty, and very fast. This is a perfect weeknight meal. This was in a recipe found in my Google Reader from The Piggly Wiggly. Oh my goodness, talk about easy. I edited the recipe slightly, just because we didn’t have any mushrooms on hand so we skipped that step. You can check out the full original recipe here.

Pasta Bravo

8-oz penne pasta
Cooked chicken (something like breaded chicken nuggets)
1 cup alfredo sauce
1 cup marinara sauce
7-oz roasted red peppers, drained well

Boil pasta according to package directions.Cook chicken, according to package directions.

Place the alfredo sauce, marinara sauce, and roasted red peppers into a blender, and mix well. Heat in a pan over medium high heat.

Plate the pasta, top with chicken, and pour the roasted red pepper cream sauce on top.

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

This is what happens on a chilly night when you have too many vegetables in your fridge. I had carrots & celery that I needed to use as well as a big red onion. We always have chicken on hand so why not use that too? I wasn’t in the mood for plain chicken soup so this recipe just sort of happened. I’ve got to say, it was one tasty soup. Great for a chilly evening or just whenever you are craving some comfort food.

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

1 lg red onion, chopped
4 carrots, sliced
4 stalks of celery, chopped
3 chicken breasts
4 cups of chicken broth
3 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 1/2 Tbsp flour
1 C Fat Free 1/2 & 1/2
Italian Seasoning
Garlic Salt

In a lg stock pan, heat 1 Tbps of butter and 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Add vegetables and toss in pan. saute (with the lid on) for about 10 minutes. Add chicken breasts & seasoning to pan and cover with chicken broth. Simmer for about 20 minutes (or until chicken is done)

Take chicken out and chop into bite size pieces, set aside.
Using a slotted spoon, gather vegetables out of broth and set aside.
Pour broth out into a lg bowl or a small pitcher

In the empty pan, add the remain 2 Tbps butter and melt. Add flour and stir constantly. You are creating a roux. :) You’ll start to notice the roux darkening & you’ll smell the flour cooking. After about 3 minutes, add the 1/2 & 1/2 as well as about 2 Cups of the broth. Stir and let cook for a few minutes. Add the vegetables & the chicken. Stir and simmer on low for another 5 minutes. Add in the frozen peas. Stir and let cook another 5 minutes.

I served this over a couple of biscuits in a bowl. We really liked it. I hope you like it too!!

Cheeseburger Soup

This recipe comes from D*Lightful. It is so weird how much this soup smelled just like a cheeseburger. We made this more out of curiosity but it actually turned out to be pretty good. Be Brave, Try it, You’ll like it. :)

Cheeseburger Soup

1 pound extra lean ground beef
1 cup onion, diced
½ cup carrot, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
4 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon cumin
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups 2% milk
2 cups of 2% grated Mexican blend cheese
¼ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
1 small handful of spring mix lettuce
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown beef in a large pot over medium heat. Cook until the meat begins to brown, then add the onion, carrot, bell pepper and garlic. Saute about 10 minutes.

Stir in the broth and cumin; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 10-12 minutes, or until veggies are tender.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook 1-2 minutes, then add the milk, whisking until smooth, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add the milk mixture to the soup and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer.

Add cheese, ketchup, mustard, salt, and pepper, stirring until the cheese is melted. Stir in lettuce at the end and serve.

Carol's Ice Cream Sandwiches

Carol has brought this dessert over a few times and it's a hit each time. They are so colorful. This is actually one of the most simple blog pictures, but one that I think looks great. It's sort of like the dessert, simple to make, and tastes great!! Thanks Carol! :)

Carol's Ice Cream Sandwiches

Graham Crackers
Cool Whip
Chocolate Fudge ice cream topping
colorful sprinkles

Lay out the graham crackers face side down & spread the fudge topping over each.
Spread a thick layer of Cool Whip over 1/2 of them. Top them with the other fudge frosted graham crackers.
Dip the sides into sprinkles and then wrap in Saran Wrap before freezing.

Cheddar Ale Spread

I've had this recipe save for awhile. Peabody is one of my favorite foodie bloggers. This is a great appetizer to make if you are rushed for time. The ingredients in this recipe are things I typically have on hand at any time so it’s easy to put together. We used carrots, celery, garlic crisps, & pretzels for dippers.

Cheddar Ale Spread

8 oz cream cheese

2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 ½ cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese

2 TBSP heavy cream ( I used FF 1/2 & 1/2 )

¼ tsp Tabasco sauce

¼ tsp salt

¼ cup beer ( I used Corona )

2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley ( I used 1 Tbsp dried parsley )

Combine the cream cheese, mustard, Cheddar, cream, Tabasco, and salt in a food processor.

Process for about 30 seconds, add the beer, and continue processing until very smooth.

Pulse in the parsley until just dispersed.

Baked Green Olive Cheese Puffs

What a super easy appetizer!!! :) I found these on Kate’s blog the other day. Check out her link. I like her picture a lot better.

We had some friends over for a little cook-out last night & needed something to snack on while we grilled everything. I thought they were pretty tasty little bites and being that we didn’t have any leftover, I think everyone else agreed.

Baked Green Olive Cheese Puffs

1 1/4 c. finely shredded cheddar cheese
2 1/2 T. butter or margarine
1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. cumin (I used 1/2 tsp)
1/8 t. cayenne pepper, (I used 1 tsp)
1 small jar of green olives (you’ll need about 25 – 30)

Combine cheese and butter in a food processor until smooth. Run on low speed and add in flour and spices.

Using a teaspoon dough, flatten and wrap completely around one olive. (Again, I just do this in my hand.) Repeat until done. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, until golden.

Mediterranean Chicken Packets

I love the flavors used in Greek cuisine. I saw this recipe from Proceed with Caution (Originally from EveryDay Food) This recipe was so easy to do and tasted great. We served it with roasted broccoli & garlic couscous. File this one away for a quick & easy weeknight meal.

Mediterranean Chicken Packets

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each)
Ground pepper
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
4 artichoke hearts (from a 14-ounce can), quartered
12 Kalamata olives, halved and pitted
4 teaspoons capers
1/2 cup crumbled feta (2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning ( I used the same amount but Greek Seasoning instead of Italian )

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place four 12-inch squares of parchment paper or heavy-duty foil on a work surface. Place a chicken breast on one half of each square, leaving a 2-inch border; season with pepper.

Dividing evenly, top chicken with tomatoes, artichokes, olives, capers, and feta. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Fold parchment over ingredients, and crimp edges to seal.

Place packets on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until chicken is opaque throughout, 20 to 22 minutes.

Salsa Chicken

Always on the lookout for recipes to make in the crockpot, when I saw this recipe from the novice chef, I had to try it out. This recipe takes you no more than 5 minutes to put together and throw in the crockpot.

If not for the yummy smell taking over your kitchen, you’d totally forget about dinner until it was time to eat. This was great over brown rice, but also made for great leftovers, wrapping up in a tortilla. You can use whatever salsa you want in this recipe. We are partial to the Pace Hot Picante Sauce.

Salsa Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (you may use frozen or unfrozen chicken, it does not matter which)
1 cup of your favorite Salsa
1 package reduced sodium taco seasoning
1 can reduced fat condensed cream of chicken soup ( We used low sodium )
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream ( We used fat free )

Add chicken to slow cooker.
Sprinkle taco seasoning over chicken.
Mix salsa, sour cream, and cream of chicken soup; pour over chicken.
Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Shred Chicken with two forks and incorporate with all the sauce.

Serve over rice & Enjoy!

Corn Dog Casserole

This recipe showed up my Google Reader and for whatever reason, I was curious. I’m not ashamed to admit that I like a good corn dog every now & then... But a casserole? I had to try it. Like most casseroles, it’s not necessarily the prettiest of dishes. I don’t know if I’ll ever make this again but for curiosity's sake, it was worth trying. :)

Corn Dog Casserole

2 cups celery, sliced
1 cup onions, chopped
1 1/2 pounds hot dogs ( I used a 1lb package of jalapeno beef hot dogs )
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon sage
1/3 teaspoon black pepper
18 oz. cornbread mix ( I used a package of Jiffy cornbread mix. I think it was about 8 oz. )
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

In a skillet, cook celery and onions until tender. Place in a mixing bowl; set aside. Cut hot dogs into quarters, then into thirds. Place in a skillet, cook until lightly brown. Fold into celery mixture; set aside. Reserve one cup mixture. In another bowl, combine eggs, milk, sage, and black pepper. Fold in hot dog mixture. Stir in cornbread mix. Add on and a half cups cheese. Spread mixture into a greased 3 quart dish. Top with the reserved hot dog mixture and cheese. Bake uncovered at 350F until golden brown.

Chile’s Birthday PupCakes

Our little Puppy child turned 5 yrs old on New Year’s Eve. Chile has grown from an annoying-eat everything-destroy everything-rambunctious puppy into one of the sweetest most loving dogs I’ve ever seen. In keeping with every other birthday so far, Chile always gets a special birthday treat. This time, it was meaty little PupCakes. (Original recipe is here) She loved them.

Chile’s Birthday PupCakes

1 lb ground beef-extra lean

8 eggs (I cut this down to 4)

1 cup oat meal 

1/2 cup cracker crumbs

Using electric mixer, blend all items together until completely blended.

Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray. Fill muffin tins and shape top to a rounded cupcake shape. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Allow to cool. Carefully pop each PupCake out and frost with non-fat sour cream. I topped Chile’s with a little heart shaped dog treat. Store left overs in refrigerator.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Pie

My husband LOVES chocolate pie. I came across this recipe and decided to try making real chocolate pudding and my very first meringue. This recipe is much easier than you would think and makes a delicious dessert. Cancy thought it tasted “more chocolatey” on the second day. I was proud that my first ever meringue turned out as well as it did. Be brave, make pie. :)

Old Fashioned Chocolate Pie

1 - Pkg Pillsbury Pie Crust (one crust)
1 cup Sugar
¼ cup Cornstarch
pinch of Salt
1 heaping tablespoon of unsweetened baking cocoa
2 cups carnation evaporated milk or whole milk
3 eggs, separated - reserve egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter
Meringue Topping
3 reserved egg whites
dash cream of tarter
2 tablespoons sugar or
use Meringue Powder

Preheat Oven to 350. Prick the bottom and sides of your pie crust and bake until golden brown.

Remove from oven and let cool while you prepare the filling. Mix the sugar, cornstarch and cocoa together in a medium size pot. Add the 2 cups evaporated milk or whole milk. If using evaporated milk I use a 12 oz can, measure one cup evaporated milk add to the pot and then measure one more cup evaporated milk. you will be a bit short it comes to more like 3/4 cup so fill the rest of the measuring cup with water to make a cup. Using a wire whisk blend together and stir constantly over medium high heat. When the mixture is heated through add the 3 egg yolks.

You will need to temper you egg yolks so add a bit of the pudding mixture to the egg yolks and blend before adding to the pudding mix. (you don't want scrambled eggs) Stir constantly until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and add the vanilla and the butter. Let cool pudding mixture cool while you prepare the meringue topping. Mix the 3 egg whites with a dash of cream of tarter along with 2 Tablespoons sugar. Whip the egg whites till stiff and soft peaks form. Add pudding to cooled pie shell and top with meringue making sure the meringue touches the sides of the pie crust to prevent shrinking. Broil till golden brown on top.

Pumpkin Dip

This post is a little late. We made this pumpkin dip to bring over to our neighbor’s during a holiday get-together. For as simple as it was to put together, it was a big hit. This is an easy dessert/appetizer to bring with anywhere from Fall through Winter.

Pumpkin Dip

12 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup pumpkin (canned)

4 teaspoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Beat together cream cheese and brown sugar until well blended. Add pumpkin, syrup and cinnamon; beat until smooth. 

Keep refrigerated and serve with apples, gingersnaps, vanilla wafers, and graham crackers.

Paula Deen’s Porcupine Meatballs

I love a little Paula Deen every now and then. This recipe was a good starting point, but I had to make some adjustments along the way. The original recipe has just meat & rice as the meatballs. I added a few things to the meatballs to increase the flavor. The other, big adjustment is the baking time on this recipe. I followed the recipe at first and after an hour, the rice was still crunchy. Keep everything covered and plan on an hour and 1/2 of bake time. Just keep your eye on things... Everyone’s ovens are different.

Paula Deen’s Porcupine Meatballs

1 pound lean ground beef
1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice, divided
1 teaspoon dried onion
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 (14-ounce) can beef broth

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Put the ground beef into a mixing bowl. Measure 1/2 cup of the rice and put it in with the meat.
** Before combining everything I added about 1 Tbsp of worcestershire sauce, 1 Teaspoon of minced garlic, salt & pepper, and about a Tbsp of Italian seasoning. This will give a more flavor to your meatballs **
Mix it all together with your clean hands. Form the mixture into 8 or 9 golf ball-size balls.

In a large casserole dish, add the remaining rice, dried onion, salt, Italian seasoning, diced tomatoes and beef broth. Stir together with the spoon and top with the meatballs.

Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for about 1 hour. The rice in the meatballs will have puffed up all around the meat, and your meatballs will look like little porcupines!