Thursday, December 19, 2013

Simply Delicious Tacos

Dinner should be quick, simple and delicious.   Most of all it should have all of the right ingredients, not something you won't be able to pronounce, much less find at your neighborhood supermarket.  Not only are these Simply Delicious Tacos on the table quick you'll find everything you need right in the kitchen pantry.  The combination of rice, ranch style beans, ground meat and chili powder made for a wonderful flavor.  Next time you want a quick meal on the table you might want to give these warm and zesty yummies a try.  This will make 12 to 16 tacos.
1 1/2 LB Ground Beef
1 Cups White Rice
2 Cups Pico De Gallo
1 Cup Chili Powder
1 TBS Salt
1TBS Pepper
2 Cups Cold Water
2 Cups Diced and Cubed American Cheese
1 Can Ranch Style Beans
1 PKG 16 Count Flour Tortillas
Optional toppings:
Shredded Cheese
Sour Cream
Diced Jalapeno
Brown meat in a large skillet until no pink is visible.  Do not drain.  Stir in rice for three minutes, or until it becomes slight softened.  Add Pico De Gallo, Chili Powder, salt, pepper and water.  Cover skillet and allow mixture to simmer for 20 minutes (stirring occasionally) or until rice is completely done.  Toss in cheese stirring constantly until completely melted.  Stir in beans and cover skillet  for an additional 5 minutes.  Remove skillet from heat.

 Warm Tortillas on a hot griddle turning each after a minute or when tortilla begins to bubble in the middle. Fill with meat mixture and add your favorite toppings.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Fajita Chicken Casserole

Quick, easy and very tasty!  I hope your family will enjoy this dish just as much as mine did. Fajita seasoned meat has such a great flavor, and can be so versatile. You can use any cut of chicken you prefer.  A nice chicken breast is the best, but in order to cut cost I use  thighs. TIP:  Make this real simple and use leftover grilled fajita meat.  It makes the dish even better.  This casserole will serve four to six.

2 LBS  chicken cut into strips
1/2 Cup Zesty Italian Dressing
1 Medium Green Pepper diced
1 Medium Jalapeno Pepper diced
1 Cup Minced Onion
2 Cloves Garlic minced
4 Tbsp. Chili powder
1/4 Tsp. cumin powder
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. pepper

1 16 OZ Pkg Shell Pasta
1/4 cup Sour Cream
3 Cups Shredded Mexican Blend cheese

Pour Italian Dressing in a skilled.  Add Peppers, Garlic and Onion stirring for two minutes.  Add all remaining seasonings and chicken.  Cover with lid and let simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is done through and tender.

Cook pasta in 4 cups of boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes until tender.  Strain, but do not rinse pasta and add to chicken.  Stir in 1/2 of the shredded cheese and sour cream until cheese is melted. Pour into a 9 X 13 (or comparable) casserole dish.  Cover with remaining cheese.  Place in 350 oven cooking for 10 minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes to cool and thicken before serving.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Grilled Asiago Potatoes Casserole

This might be just a little out there, but it was a wonderful dish.  My husband was smoking a pork roast (yes we can still do that in the south).  We wanted something different to go with it, but I didn't want to heat up the stove.  The smokey flavor of this potato casserole combined with the Asiago cheese was really good.  It will be just as flavorful when you decide to bake it in the oven.  I used one very large baking potato for a dish that served four.

1 Large baking potato
4 slices of bacon cooked crispy
2 tbs green chillies (I used my canned hatch peppers)
1/2 cup (fat free) french onion dip
2 tsp Chris's seasoning (by Fiesta)
2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup Asiago Cheese.
1/2 cup evaporated milk

Slice potato very thin.  Place half of the slices in a 9" round baking pan coated with cooking spray.  Crumble cooked bacon and place half over the potato.  Sprinkle 1 tbs chillies and spread evenly. Top with 1/4 cup french onion dip.  Sprinkle with 1 tsp Chris's seasoning and garlic powder and top with 1/2 cup Asiago Cheese that has been shredded.  Add another identical layer with remaining ingredients.  Pour in milk and bake on smoker at 250 degree for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until potatoes are tender.  You may also bake this casserole in the oven at @350 for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Brisket & Asiago Pocket

If you have not had a chance to taste the wonderful flavor of Asiago Cheese yet I would recommend you try some.  It has a very different flavor that lingers like any good cheese will.  Of course that may just be my opinion.  I happen to enjoy cheese.  This is another quick and easy meal made from left over pulled brisket that had been cooked in my crock pot.  It went very well with the Sunday afternoon football game.

1 large red pepper chopped
1 medium onion chopped
2 jalapeno peppers chopped
6 cloves garlic minced
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon liquid mesquite smoke
2 large tomatoes diced
1 tbs Salt and 1 tbs pepper
1/4 cup mesquite seasoning

6 cups pulled beef brisket
2 1/2 cups shredded asiago cheese
4 pita pocket bread

Saute pepper, onion and garlic in large skillet for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes until slightly tender.  Add sauce and smoke stirring gently.  Stir in tomatoes and seasonings allowing to slightly warm. Slowly fold in brisket with vegetables.  Cover and simmer on low stirring only occasionally for 10 minutes.

While meat is simmering cut 4 pita pocket bread slices lengthwise down the center.  Locate the opening line down the top of the bread and gently slice open with a sharp pointed knife.  Avoid puncturing the exterior of the bread if possible.  Drop a sprinkle of asiago cheese on the bottom of the bread. Place approximately 1 1/4 cups of meat into each pocket and top with another sprinkle of cheese.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Zip'n Mac 'N Cheese

Mac ‘N Cheese is good just about any time you make it. You don’t have to wait for cooler temperatures to enjoy this classic comfort food. I’m always looking to add a special touch to any dish so I put my casserole pan to work and did what is one pretty good spruce up of an American favorite.  This is one tasty side dish, or make it a meal on it's own.   A good casserole is something you make your own. So, as always just be sure and make it your way. After all, you are the one who will be devouring this delicious dish! This recipe easily serves four.

3 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
5 cups water
1 cup beef broth
2 ½ cups cubed Velveeta cheese
Salt and Pepper
1 ½ lb. chopped ground beef
2 cups Pico De Gallo
½ cup chili powder
2 cups shredded fiesta blend cheese
1 ½ cup Panko bread crumbs

Boil macaroni in water for 15-20 minutes, or until macaroni is al dente (tender, but slight resistant in the center). Strain water, but do not rinse the macaroni. In sauce pan heat beef broth. Slowly add in cubed cheese until all cheese is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir in macaroni. Remove from heat.

In skillet brown ground beef until no pink is visible. Drain fat and stir in in pico de gallo with chili powder and simmer for 5 minutes so vegetables are warm, but not overdone. Add ground beef to macaroni. Place mixture in a 9X13 baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Top with shredded cheese and bread crumbs.

Bake at 350 to 10 minutes.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Alfredo Pumpkin Ravioli

Every fall I purchase my annual pumpkins.  Since I'm not prone to wasting anything I always can, or freezes,  the squash for baking and cooking.  I used my frozen pumpkin to make this delicious, and very healthy dish.  Since it freezes easily it also makes a wonderful brown sack lunch. I served this dish and had enough left for a weeks worth of additional meals.  This meal is easily turned vegan by using Dayia cream cheese and soy milk.  Either way you prefer it I'm pretty sure you will be surprised at how good this dish is.

4 cups uncooked pumpkin
2 cups water
1 small onion chopped
1/4 cup minced garlic
1/4 cup Italian blend seasoning
2 TBS pepper
2 TBS salt

4 dozen won ton wraps
wax paper

 Cook pumpkin in water with onion, garlic and seasonings.  Cover and boil for 1 hour or until pumpkin mashes easily.  Place cooked pumpkin in a strainer and allow juice to drain and cool, saving juice for later use.

Once pumpkin is completely mashed and smooth place approximately 1 tablespoon in the center of a won ton that has been brushed with the strained pumpkin juice.  Fold edges corner to corner.  Turn edge under and pinch won ton together tightly.  Fold other corner to corner over pumpkin and pinch dough together. Pinch all four of the corner edges  together to hold pumpkin into won ton. Continue with this process until all pumpkin has been used up.

Place won tons in a large pan of rapidly boiling water no more than six to eight at a time.  Boil for ten minutes.  Remove from water and place on waxed paper.

Easy Alfredo Sauce
1 16 OZ fat free cream cheese (or) 1 16OZ package Dayia dairy free cream cheese
2 cups skim milk (or) 2 cups soy milk
2 TBS Italian Seasoning
salt & pepper

Whisk milk and cheese together in a saute pan until cheese is melted.  Add Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.  Place cooked won tons on a serving place and cover with alfredo sauce.

Easy Cheesy Steak and Pasta

You could probably make this dish just as easy with Ground Beef.  I prefer to use cubed steak because I think it has a better flavor.  If your local grocer has a discount meat section you may just find a few packages of this versatile carne at a very reasonable price.  This recipe will serve four.  Even the leftovers are delicious.

4 Half Pound beef Cube Steaks
1 Small Onion Diced
3 Cloves Garlic Minced
1 Small Red Pepper Diced
1/4 Cup Diced Green Chilies
2 Cups Velveeta Cheese
1/2 Cup Sour Cream

3 Cups Shell Pasta uncooked
4 Cups Water
Salt and Pepper

Brown cube steak in skillet while chopping into bite size pieces.  Add onion, garlic, peppers and chilies.  Stir until vegetables are tender, but not over done.  Dice cheese into cubes.  Stir into meat until completely melted.  Add sour cream and remove skillet from heat.

Heat water until boiling and add pasta.  Continue to boil for ten minutes or until pasta is tender.  Strain water from pasta but do not rinse.  Stir pasta into meat and serve.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Breakfast Souffle

Sometimes it's the most whimsical moments that create the best dishes. You can only enjoy so many scrambled eggs before you need something different. Mom was right. It's always a good idea to get the day started with a delicious breakfast. I really needed something new! This tasty and filling dish makes a wonderful brunch, or a quick dinner too.  This will serve four.

8oz PKG Breakfast Sausage
1 Small Potato Diced
1/2 Cup Red Pepper diced
1/2 Cup Onion Diced
1 Small Jalapeno Diced
2 Cloves of Garlic Minced
4 Slices of bread
6 Eggs
1/4 Cup Milk
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar Jack cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cooking Spray
Brown sausage in skillet until no longer pink.  Remove from skillet and add diced potato to sausage grease.  Cook potato until brown and crisp.  Add Peppers, Garlic and Onion stirring constantly for 2 to 3 minutes.  Return sausage and remove pan from heat.
Spray a 9" round pie dish with cooking spray.  Slice bread into approximately 1 1/2" slices.  Place one layer of bread on the bottom of the pie dish.  Make sure they are tight and close together.  Spoon half of the Sausage and Potatoes over bread.  Add another layer of bread and top with remaining sausage. Whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper together until smooth.  Pour into pie dish making sure bread is completely covered.  With a flat spatula gently flatten the bread into the egg mixture.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until eggs are completely done.  Top with cheese and return to oven until melted about 2 minutes.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Puerco de Cremoso Papas

I guess it's true.  I tend to lean  heavily toward old fashioned comfort food.  My favorite dishes include one's with potatoes.  Mashed, baked, doesn't matter.  It's the main reason I do my best to grow my own.  Home grown potatoes have so much more flavor.  Start this dish in the crock pot and it's almost done by dinner time. Any cut of pork will do.  Just be sure to pick one that is lean.  I like to visit my supermarkets discount rack and pick up bone in pork steaks at more than half the normal cost This will serve 4 to 6.

Pork Chops with Mushrooms

3 Lbs. Pork
2 16 Oz. Packages White Mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tsp. Liquid Mesquite Smoke
1 1/2 Cup Minced Onion
4 Cloves Minced Garlic
3 to 4 cups of water
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place pork in an oblong slow cooker so the meats sits easily on the bottom.  Add remaining ingredients and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.  Remove meat carefully (it will tend to fall apart) and pull both ends using two forks to cut the meat into chunks.  Leave remaining broth in crock pot for now.

Creamy Potatoes

6 Medium Russet Potatoes
1 16OZ Container French Onion Dip
3 Tbs. Margarine
Salt and Pepper to taste

Scrub and dice potatoes leaving skin on.  Boil on medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes or unit they are tender enough to stick a fork through.  Remove from heat and drain all water.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl.  On low speed begin to whip the potatoes with a mixer.  Add butter and French Onion a little at a time until potatoes are the consistency you like.  If too dry add additional dip. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Mushroom Gravy

1 Cup Flour
1 1/2 Cups Cold Water
Pour all broth and mushrooms left in crock in a large pan and heat on high.  Once broth begins to boil rapidly mix flour and water in a bowl whisking briskly to remove any lumps.  Slowly stir mixture into broth in intervals stirring constantly until gravy is as thick as you like.  You may not need to use the entire bowl of flour and water.  Add additional salt and pepper if needed.

Place a large helping of potatoes (about 1 1/2 to 2 cups) on a large dinner plate.  Leave an empty well in the center by spreading potatoes to the outside.  Fill the well with meat. Cover meat and potatoes with gravy.


Banana Chocolate Muffins

It's always nice to wake up to a house filled with the aroma of fresh baked muffins for breakfast.  I serve these warm straight out of the oven.  No need to drench them in butter (unless you really prefer them that way).  They have enough flavor without it.  These muffins freeze well too.  Simply place then on a cookie sheet and heat at 350 for 10 minutes.  This recipe will make 2 to 2 1/2 dozen muffins.

2 Large Eggs
1/4 Cup Sugar
2 Medium Ripe Bananas Mashed
2 1/2 Cups Flour
1 1/2 TBS Cinnamon
1/2 TBS Nutmeg
1 TSP Ginger
2 Cups Milk Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degree.  In large mixing bowl whip egg and sugar together until well blended.  Stir in mashed bananas until mixture is smooth.  You will find a few banana chunks, but don't worry about them. Mix all dry ingredients in a separate bows.  Add small portions (about 1/4 cup at a time) to banana and eggs to avoid flour lumps.  Mixture should not be too doughy or too runny.  It should be smooth and slightly runny.  Add tiny amounts of additional flour, if necessary, until batter is the right texture.  If mixture is too doughy add a tablespoon of milk at a time.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Spray two six cup muffin pans with spray (or use pre coated muffin cups) and place approximately 1/2 cup of batter in each cup.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and inserted toothpick comes out clean.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Crispy Breakfast Bites w/Pepper Gravey

I love coming up with something really different for breakfast.  It believe it is the most important meal of the day.  You can only eat so many eggs and than they are just eggs.  Breakfast bites don't have to be just for breakfast.  They work well anytime you want to make a tray of finger foods to enjoy a peaceful afternoon.  The crunchy crusty outside is really tasty, and the inside is soft and full of flavor.  This will make one tray of about a dozen.

4 Slices of Bacon
1/2 16 oz. pkg. Breakfast Sausage
1/4 Cup Minced Onion
1/4 Cup Minced Green Pepper
1 Small Jalapeno Pepper Minced
4 Cloves Minced Garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 Egg
2 Cups Flour
2 Medium Potatoes
Canola Oil

Cook bacon until crisp.  Let cool and crumble to fine pieces.  Brown and crumble sausage in same skillet.  Add bacon, onions and peppers and stir for two minutes adding salt and pepper.  Drain all grease and save for later use.

Shred potatoes using a cheese shredder, or shredder attachment for food processor.  Toss potatoes in a large mixing bowl and add meat mixture.  Add egg and flour (you may not need the entire 2 cups) stirring until you have one sticky mess.   Heat oil in a skillet filling about 2 1/2 inches full.  Roll potatoes into one inch balls and place into hot oil.  Cook on one side until golden brown (about 7 to 10 minutes).  Turn with a slated spoon and cook other side until brown.  Serve with pepper gravy using grease left from bacon and sausage..

Pepper Gravy

1/4 cup oil
1 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 TBS pepper

Heat oil and stir in flour until you have a smooth paste
Stir in cold milk while whisking briskly to avoid lumps.
Add salt and pepper. Serve with Breakfast Bites.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Sandwich de Puerco Y Asiago

To me it is one of the most versatile ways to cook meat.  Pulled Pork will go on just about anything.  It makes a great pizza, chalupas, enchiladas and of course tacos.  Here is an idea that turned out so good my husband couldn't stop talking about it.  The meat was so tinder it melted in your mouth and had just the right flavor.  The secret to good pulled pork is the right combination of spices.  Make sure you let it cook long enough so that it falls apart.  I usually start if first thing in the morning and let it simmer in the crock pot all day.

2 to 3 LBS Pork Ribs, or Roast
3 Cups Water
4 Cloves Minced Garlic
3 Chopped Jalapeno Peppers
2 Cups Minced Onion
1/2 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
2 TBS Mesquite Flavored Liquid Smoke
1/2 Cup Chili Powder

I like to start by poking the meat with a carving fork to allow the juice to flow throughout.  Place all of the ingredients (except chili powder) in a crock pot and simmer on medium heat for 4 to 6 hours (the longer the better). Remove meat from crock pot and place on a large baking dish or cookie sheet.  With two forks pull the meat apart in sections until it is fine and completely shredded.  Sprinkle with a dash of chili powder and stir in.  Let set for 15 minutes to cool.

4 to 6 Sesame Seed Hoagie Buns
1 16 oz container shredded Asiago Cheese
1 Large Tomato sliced and split length wise (to fit properly on bun)
1 Large Avocado sliced
2 Cups diced cooked chilies (I used my own home canned Hatch Chilies)
Mesquite BBQ Sauce

Once meat is cooled and ready for use split buns in half and place in oven top down to toast the insides.  Remove from oven and place a tablespoon of cheese directly on one side of warm bread.  Top with meat and sprinkle a slight drizzle of BBQ sauce.  Layer with tomato, avocado and chilies.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Smokin Nachos

I'm sure you've probably had nachos before.  Maybe not like this. My idea of a nacho was throwing a layer of chips on a baking sheet, add a layer of beans and meat and heat it in the oven.  Top it off with some cheese and choice condiments and that was it.  The first time I saw my husband make nachos I snickered at him.  He topped each individual chip with beans, meat and cheese.  What's the big deal it all taste the same!  Boy was I wrong.  When you get the same perfect blend of flavors first bite to last its definitely win win.  And, you won't wind with a plate full of dry beans and soggy chips that no one really wants to eat.  This is how Nachos are meant to be set off with a layer of smoked Beef Skirt Fajitas.

1 Large Bag of Restaurant Style tortilla chips

3 Cups Refried Beans
2 Cups Diced Beef Skirt Fajita meat (or anything else of you choosing)
1 16oz Package Fiesta Blend (or Taco Blend) shredded Cheese

3 Cups Fresh Pico de Gallo (see below)
1 Large Avocado Mashed
Sour Cream (optional)
Sliced Jalapeno (optional)

Gently spread a layer of beans on each chip (to avoid breaking them) until you have no more beans.  Top with a generous pinch of diced meat.  Place in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes to allow beans and meat to become warm.  Top each nacho with a good sprinkle of cheese and return to oven until cheese is melted.  Remove from oven and add a spoon of Pico de Gallo spreading it on top of cheese evenly.  Add one dollop of mashed avocado to top it off.  Add sour cream and a slice of fresh jalapeno if you like.

Making fresh Pico de Gallo is simple.  It taste better and is a lot more economical that store bought

1 Medium Tomato Diced
2 Medium sized Jalapeno Diced (less if you don't want it too spicy)
1/2 Medium Green Pepper Diced
4 Garlic Cloves Minced
1 Cup Minced Oniol

Mix all ingredients in a air tight container and store in fridge overnight to allow the best flavor.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Edible Chicken Suprise

This is a quick dish that is perfect for a relaxing Sunday.  Be careful though.  I took leftovers for lunch and several people enjoyed the aroma so much they ask me to make it for them. One of the best parts of this dish is the unique flavor the smoked chicken.  Any tender, moist chicken available will make this dish wonderful.  This dish will serve four.

1 16oz Pkg Miniature Shell noodles

1 Tsp Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Chopped Green Pepper
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Cups Fat Free Chicken Broth
1 Cup Frozen Peas
1 Cup Frozen Corn
1 Cup Sour Cream
1 Cup Velveeta Cheese
2 cups shredded Chicken
salt and pepper to taste

Cook noodles according to package direction.  Drain, but do not rinse. 

Saute garlic and green pepper in medium sauce pan for 2 minutes, or just enough to soften.  Add Chicken Broth, Peas and Corn leaving on medium heat until the broth comes to a full boil.  Reduce heat to medium low and stir in Cheese and Sour Cream stirring constantly until smooth.  Gently mix in shredded chicken and noodles on low heat.  Once well blended remove from heat and let set 5 minutes before serving.

Vegan Pasta Cheesy Crumble

I haven't officially tried this one, but just looking at it I know I'm going to.  It's another one of my daughter's tasty creations.  This recipe serves two, so adjust accordingly.
1/2 of a 16oz Pkg Tubular Pasta (Macaroni or whatever you may have on hand)
2 Vegan Boca Patties (beef or chicken)
1Tbs Olive Oil
1 Tsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Tsp Soy Sauce
1 Tsp Spicy Teriyaki Sauce
3 Tbs Earth Balance Butter
1/8 Cup Flour
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Hot Mustard
1 Cup Soy Milk
2 Cups your favorite flavor of Daiya Cheese
1 cup bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
Cook noodles according to package directions until Al Dente.  Once done drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.Set noodles aside for now.
In a medium skillet set to cook on medium add 1 tbs of olive oil and heat slightly.  Add the Boca Patties and  brown until they are done enough to crumble.  Once the patties are in small pieces stir in Rice Wine Vinegar, Soy Sauce and Teriyaki Sauce.  Saute for about 10 minutes, or until the Boca is brown and has absorbed all of the flavors.
In medium saucepan melt butter.  Whisk in flour and hot mustard.  Stir in soy milk and let simmer for about 5 minutes until completely thickened.  Melt in cheese leaving 3 tablespoons to sprinkle on top of dish.
In baking dish stir together noodles, boca mixture and cheese sauce.  Top with remaining cheese and bread crumbs.  bake in oven uncovered for approximately 20 minutes.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Awesome Cheese Steak

I don't know many that shy away from a tender, juicy cheese steak sub.  There are only two basic tips for one pleasing Cheese Steak.  Tender meat full of flavor, and one nice soft bun. I happen to use a wheat bun with sesame seeds that I found on the discount rack. My daughter prefers to use a nice warm slice of French Loaf about six inches long and lightly toasted.  For an amazing flavor I used grilled steak.  Pepper Jack cheese gave the sub a zesty taste. Make sure to compliment the meal with your favorite cheese. This will make two sandwiches.

1 LB cooked Shredded Beef Steak
2 TBS Olive Oil
1 Cup Chopped Onion
1 Cup Chopped Green Pepper
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
4 Slices Pepper Jack Cheese
Honey Mustard

2 6" Hoagie Sandwich Buns

Heat Olive Oil in sauté pan.  Stir in onion, green pepper and garlic.  Cook for 5 minutes stirring constantly.  Add meat and Worcestershire sauce.  Cover and let simmer.  Lightly  toast your choice of buns in heated oven for about 2 to 3 minutes.  Remove and spread honey mustard on the bottom bun.  Top with beef.  Split Pepper Jack cheese down the middle and place both slices on top of the sandwich.  Place back in oven until cheese is melted.


Monday, July 15, 2013


My husband was at it again.  What was I suppose to do?  He grilled so much meat I had to get my mind working fast to come up with something new.  These crunch corn shelled taco were so good, and ready to eat in only minutes.  I used a little of the different meat on each one, even combined some on a few.  The pollo and picante chorizo were the best.  Once you try a taco full of chopped grilled filete you might think a little differently about the traditional taco.  I made my own shells, but lets face it.  All yo want to do is get them on the table.  Don't hesitate to buy some. This will make a dozen tacos.

12 Corn Taco Shells
3 Cups Smoked Meat (I  used Pollo, Puerco, Chorizo and Filete)

Toppings (your choice)

Shredded Lettuce
Diced Tomato
Sliced Jalapeno
Sliced Avocado
Shredded Cheese (Taco blend)
Sour Cream

Make sure to heat the shells.  This makes them good and crunchy.  Place about 2 TBS of Shredded Lettuce and 1 TBS Diced Tomatoes in the bottom of each shell (more if you like).  Add a good sprinkle of Shredded Cheese, your choice of Meat and finish with a nice thick slice of Avocado.  Top off with Jalapeno and Sour Cream if you prefer.  There you have it something quick and delicious.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Hawaiian Kissed Grilled Chicken

If you keep with any of my recipes you know we enjoy grilling outdoors any time of the year.  I try to be creative and come up with something different every once in a while.  This chicken is so moist and tender.  The pineapple really infused it with flavor. I take advantage of fresh pineapple when it is on sale.  I can part of it, and freeze part of it in slices.  You can use store bought and it will be just as tasty.  Just be sure to omit the honey since it is presweetened.

Deysauno Chalupa

Breakfast should be fun and simple.  Who wants to spend a bunch of time in the kitchen when you'd rather be working on getting motivated for the day?  I'm going to take a guess and say this is probably something you've not had before.  I will confess one thing though--they were delicious.  This is one for the books!  I used my own homemade maize tortillas (Caliente y Fresco Maize Tortilla) made in advance of course.  They were just the right size!  If you prefer to use store bought NO PROBLEM!  They'll taste just as awesome.  This served four to six.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Caliente y Fresco Maize Tortilla

Ever had a caliente y fresco tortilla right off of the Comal?  That's what I call good!  You can serve these little jewels up with just about anything.  Great with a scrambled egg for breakfast, perfect with a bowl of chili for lunch.  Toss some carne, frijoles and salsa on top you've got a yummy dinner.  They go great with soups, stews and casseroles also. Yes, it takes a little time but the result is well worth the work.  This will make 2 to 2 1/2 dozen tortillas approximately 3 1/2 inches across.

You can purchase maize in a prepared form.  If you check the ingredients it is simply ground corn soaked in lime juice.  I could do this myself, but regular maize is about the same price so I purchase the prepared and add my own spices.  You'll find the prepared mix at any local supermarket in the Hispanic section.

3 cups Para Tortillas de Maize (Corn Tortilla Mix)
1 TBS Garlic Salt
1 TBS Onion Powder
1 1/2 TBS Chili Powder
1 TSP Red Pepper
1 TSP Sugar
3/4 Cup Bacon Grease (if you don't have any regular 1/2 vegetable oil is good)
1 to 1 1/2 Cups warm water

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  Blend in grease/oil with a fork of pastry cutter until dry mixture is coarse.  Slowly pour in warm water until mixture will form stiff round balls easily without falling apart.  Roll balls about 2 inches round.  Place tortilla ball 3 inches from the farthest edge of a Tortilla Press, each side covered with a piece of wax paper. I just happen to be fortunate enough to have a tortilla press.  If you don't have one use two (salad size) plates, or even two Tupperware lids.  Pull over the side of the press (or press the places together) and squeeze gently.  If you press too hard the tortilla becomes too flat and will stick to the paper.

Carefully remove both sides of paper from the tortilla so that it doesn't tear.  Place the tortilla on the comal.  I like to use my electric one.  I can cook more of them at one time that way, and I don't risk getting them too dark.  One you see the tortilla begin to bubble on top turn and cook at least another two minutes, of until you've got a nice golden brown tortilla.

Don't get discouraged if the first couple or tries do stick to the paper.  You will eventually get the right thickness so they won't stick.  And remember the longer you use the paper the more resilient and easier to use it becomes.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Spicy Puerco Taquito

Talk about the perfect party pleaser, and so much better than those packaged frozen brands! Spicy Pork Taquitos are such a hit I’ve had requests for them several times.  See how easy they are to make and serve them up at your next party along with your favorite dips.  I use smoked pork ribs for these, but you don’t want to limit yourself.  Trade out the meat and even the cheese if you prefer something different. Just use the imagination. This will make 2 to 2 ½ dozen taquitos.

 4 Cups shredded pork
¼ cup chili powder
1 ½ tsp. red pepper
3 cloves crushed garlic
1 3 oz. can green chilies
1 16 oz. Package Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese
24-30 corn tortillas
Canola cooking spray
Canola oil

Preheat oven to 350
In a large bowl mix meat and next four ingredients together blending very well.  Set bowl aside.

The tortillas will need to be softened so they will roll easily.  Typically this is done by placing the shell in hot oil about 15 seconds on each side.  To me this makes them too hot to work with, and leaves them drenched in oil.  So I prefer to use my breakfast griddle.  Set the temperature to the highest level.  Brush tortilla with a small amount of canola oil and heat three tortillas at a time about 30 seconds on each side.  You must roll the taquito while the shell is still hot so don’t get too far ahead of yourself.
Once your shell is ready place about 1 tablespoon of cheese and 2 tablespoons of meat 1 inch from the edge.  Carefully fold he very edge over the meat and gently roll the taquito as tightly as you can to the very end.  Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be perfect.  It’s more important to be careful and not tear the shell.  Place the taquitos on a baking pan (jelly roll pans work best) coated with cook spray.  Place end side down and as close together as possible.  Continue rolling until you have used all of the filling.   Spray the top with cooking spray to get a perfect shell.

Cook for 20 minutes or until taquitos are nice and crisp with a golden brown color.  Turn broiler on for 30 seconds if necessary to complete the process.  Sever with your favorite dip such as Fr. Onion, Guacamole, Queso of Salsa

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Harvest Rice

Always looking to spruce up a meal with something different?  This is another of my daughters’ creations, and it is good!  It makes a terrific side dish.  You can add some baked tofu, or grilled chicken breast (if you aren’t a fan of vegan) to turn this packed dish into a healthy lunch.  Either way it’s a flourishing treat that is tasty!  His recipe serves four.


2 Cups (uncooked) white rice

1 Small Onion Diced

1 Small Green Pepper Diced

2 Garlic Cloves Minced

2 TBS Olive Oil

2 Cups Fresh Corn

2 Cups Sweet Peas

1 Large Tomato Diced

1 Large Firm Avocado Diced

1 TBS Cilantro

Salt and Pepper to taste


Cook rice according to package directions making sure it is not overcooked.  Do not rinse rice. Meanwhile sauté onion, green pepper and garlic in olive oil until slightly translucent (about 2 minutes).  Add cooked rice to sautéed vegetables along with corn and peas.  Remove from heat adding tomato and avocado.  Season with cilantro, salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Vegan Hot Dog Casserole

Growing up my daughters loved Hot Dog Casserole.  Now it has turned it into a vegan dish that is so good.   Look at the creamy cheese melting over the potato and corn.  That is what you call just plain ole good!  If you love a great bowl of comfort food your gonna want this one!  I made it so many times I could do it in my sleep.  I can tell you from experience there were never any leftovers.  This is the vegan version.  Making non-vegan version is a simple substitution of hot dogs, instant potatoes and Velveeta cheese.

8 Lightlife Hot Dogs
1 3.5 oz package Edward & Son's Roasted
                               Garlic Instant Potatoes
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 Cups Frozen Corn
2 Cups Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds

Prepare potatoes according to package directions adding salt and pepper to taste.  Place frozen corn and sliced hot dogs on the bottom of a 9" casserole dish or pie pan.  Spread hot mashed potatoes on top of hot dogs.  Top with cheese.  Bake at 350 until cheese is melted.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sopa de Cosecha

When I get a chance to combine two of my favorite activities together and create something spectacular its just fun.  This is one soup that is so tasty it amazed me.  I was simply looking for something to do with the abundance of vegetables building up in my refrigerator before they started spoiling.   It's even more fun when you just toss it all in a crock pot and let it cook without a lot of fuss.  This makes a large crock pot full that serves 4-6.
4 Cups Water
6 Carrots, scrubbed and sliced
6 Stalks Celery sliced
3 Cups Broccoli
2 Cups Corn
2 Large Tomatoes
1 Cup Diced Onion
1 Cup Diced Green Pepper
3 Cubs Shredded Cabbage
1 3oz can tomato sauce
3 Better Than Bullion No Chicken Chicken Bullion
1 6oz Package Bow Tie Pasta
Wash, scrub and slice all of the vegetables (except cabbage) exactly as you prefer.  I like mine nice and chunky, cut them finer if you prefer.  Shred cabbage. Place vegetables and water in crock pot with bullion and tomato sauce.  Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours or longer.  If you prefer a nice crispy soup cook less, if you like the vegetables more done cook longer.  Add pasta and cook for an addition 30 to 45 minutes.  Remove crock from pan and let cook for ten minutes before serving.  This allows the pasta to absorb the flavor of the sauce.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Fire Grilled Beef Fajitas

 You know the best part of grilling?  I get freed from the kitchen!  That's right.  My husband takes over and I get the night off!  Well, mostly.  I don't know anyone who doesn't enjoy a good Fajita.  Trouble is they are so popular restaurants charge a bundle, and buying pre-marinated meet is, well unreasonable.  So we came up with our own marinade and put these things to the grill.  Tender, tasty and just the right amount of smoky flavor.  The meat is one of the least expensive cuts of beef, but don't let it fool you.

2 lbs Beef Skirt Steak

1 Green Pepper
1 Red Pepper
1 Large Onion

1 16 oz Bottles Zesty Italian Dressing
4 TBS Chili Powder
2 TBS Oregano
2 TBS Cumin
1/4 TSP Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
4 TBS Mesquite Liquid Smoke

20 Fajita Sized Flour Tortillas

Optional Toppings:
Shredded Cheese
Sour Cream
Pico De Gallo

In a large bowl mix Italian Dressing saving 1/4 cup.  Add Remaining ingredients mixing very thoroughly.  Add meat to marinade and allow to set for at least four hours in fridge covered..

Slice Vegetables in strips and place in heavy duty foil.  Sprinkle with remaining Italian dressing ad mix well coating all vegetables.  Wrap tightly and store in fridge until ready to cook.

Prepare Grill and allow to get very hot.  While coals are heating place vegetables wrapped in foil to the side of the fire.  Once fire is ready add meat and cook turning constantly until done.  Skirt meat is quick to cook so it won't take long.  Leave vegetables as close to, but not directly above heat so they turn nice and tender, but not limp.

One meat and vegetables have been removed from heat cook the tortillas over heat while it is still hot.

Add your favorite toppings, serve with beans and rice.

No Chicken Chicken Stew

Wow!  My daughter sure picked up the imagination gene!  She is so good at grabbing whatever she has available and making one tasty dish.  I love the way she combines nutritional dishes with vibrant colors.  This dish will serve two, so if you need more (and you certainly want more) step up the recipe.  The leftovers are so perfect for a workday lunch.

1 14 oz Pkg extra firm Tofu
Poultry Seasoning
2 Cups Imaging No Chicken Chicken Broth
1 Cup Brown Beans cooked with salt and pepper only
1/4 lb fresh green beans washed and snapped
1 Cup White Rice-uncooked
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Fried Onion Crisps

2 TBS Corn Starch mixed with 1/2 Cup Cold Water

Dice Tofu and place on a lightly sprayed baking pan.  Sprinkle with Poultry seasoning and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or until golden brown turning once halfway through.

While Tofu is baking place Green Beans, Brown Beans and Rice in Chicken Broth and simmer on medium heat.  Add onion, garlic, salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer until rice is done.  Add baked Tofu and simmer for another 15 minutes.  Add Corn starch mixed with water and stir constantly until thicken.  Remove and garnish with fried onion crisps.

Vegan Carrot Cake

 There are some things you just never know are vegan.  Like this moist and tasty Vegan Carrot Cake.  Perfect texture, and topped with a cream cheese frosting it will satisfy any ones sweet tooth.  It even made a great breakfast treat.  This recipe makes one 9 X  cake.

1 Cup flour
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1 TBS Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Canola Oil
1 1/4 Cup Canned Pumpkin

1 1/2 Cups Shredded Carrot
1 Cup Raisins
1 Cup Walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 Mix all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir until well blended.  Add oil and mix in with a fork or pastry cutter until mixture is course.  Add pumpkin mixing with dry ingredients until moist.  Mixture should pour easily when lifted with spoon.  Add additional pumpkin if necessary.  stir in carrot, raisins and walnuts.  Coat 9 x 9 baking dish with canola cooking spray.  Cook 45 minutes in a 350 oven or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cook in pan for at least 2 hours.

2 TBS Earth Balance Butter
1 Cup Follow Your Heart Cream Cheese
1/2 Cup Powder Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla
1/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts

Allow Butter and Cream Cheese to reach room temperature.  Place in mixing bowl with powdered sugar and vanilla.  Blend with mixer until creamy and smooth.  Spread on cooled cake and top with chopped walnuts.

Calabacina y Carne Gumbo

When my husband and I began dating he invited me to his place for lunch one day.  I only lived five minutes away from work, and he lived in the same apartment building that I did.  It was nice to get away and join him, but what he made me was a big surprise.  It wasn't just that he could cook.  I had never tasted anything quite like Calabacina Y Carne Gumbo in my life.  I knew that was a big moment for me!  To this day every time he makes this overwhelming dish of deliciousness I'm reminded of that day sitting at his breakfast nook enjoying this amazing meal with him.  Even though this makes on very large kettle full be prepared.  The leftovers never stick around long.

1 1/2 LB Tender Boneless Thick Cut Pork Chops
1 8 OZ Package 41-60 Count Shrimp
1 LB Spicy Summer Sausage Link
2 TBS Vegetable Oil

1 5oz Can Tomato Sauce
4 Cups Hot Water

1 Small Onion
1 Medium Green Pepper                                                               OPTIONAL
1 Large Yellow Squash                                                                  Shredded Cheese
1 Large Green Squash                                                                     Sliced Jalapeno
3 Garlic Cloves Minced                                                                  Sour Cream

2 TBS Salt
1 1/2 TBS Lemon  Pepper
2 TBS Oregano

Dice Pork into 1 1/2 inch cubes.  Heat oil in frying pan, add pork and stir constantly until golden brown about 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and add to a large soup kettle.  Add chopped onion, chopped green pepper and minced garlic to oil and cook until slightly tender abut 5 minutes.  Add to kettle.  Quarter Sausage link and slice adding to kettle.  Add tomato Sauce, water, salt, pepper and Oregano.  Simmer on medium heat for 30 minutes.  Slice green and yellow squash add to Carne and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.  Make sure shrimp is thoroughly clean, deveined and rinsed in cold water.  Toss into Gumbo.  Cover and simmer an additional 10 minutes.

Top with Cheese, Sour Cream or Jalapeno if desired. Serve with fresh flour tortillas.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Fire Grilled Stuffed Burger

This has got to be the best burger I've ever had.  After doing a stuffed chicken breast I wonder "why not a hamburger.  I  brain stormed trying to come up with the best combination of flavors to stuff it with.  I'm sure this would work just as well cooked up in a frying pan, or even in the oven.  You want to get the best flavor possible so I definitely recommend sticking with an open grill.  Just remember, if my filling does not appeal to you toss together what ever sounds the best to your taste.  Either way, you'll be completely awed at how good it is.  This recipe will make four 1lb hamburgers.

3lbs Hamburger
3 Tbs Weber's Mesquite seasoning
1/4 TSP Mesquite smokey flavoring
2 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 bakery style deli bun
1 1/2 Cup shredded Colby Jack Cheese

3 Slices Bacon cooked crisp and chopped
1/4 Cup Minced Onion
1/4 Cup Minced Green Pepper
1/2 Cup Chopped Mushrooms
4 Small Garlic Cloves Minced

Condiments (optional)
Mayo, Catsup, Mustard, Avocado, Lettuce, Tomato, Sliced Cheese

Mix meat very well with Mesquite Seasoning, Smokey flavoring, Worcestershire, salt and pepper.  Divide meat into four equal portions and set aside.  Cook bacon crisp and crumble in mixing bowl.  Add onion, green pepper, mushrooms, garlic and cheese.  Flatten one portion of the meat into a round patty about 1/4" thick.  Place 1/4 of the filling on the right side and fold the meat over.  Carefully mold the meat back into a round shape.  Follow same procedure for remaining hamburger.

Place patties on heated grill and cook ten minutes on each side, longer if you prefer.  Toast the buns if you like.  Place hamburger on bun and add your favorite toppings.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Oriental Tofu Bake

Thanks again to my daughter for another outstanding vegan dish.  I had to give this one a try.  One look at it and I immediately knew it would be delicious.  This is a simple relaxing dinner that serves two.  Notice the gorgeous green salad :).

2 Packages of Oriental flavor Top Ramen
2 TBS of Earth Balance Butter
1/2 Cup Chopped Green onions
1/4 Cup Shallot
1 Cup Diced Mushrooms
1/2 Cup Baked, Diced Tofu

Melt butter in a cause pan.  Add two packages of Oriental flavor seasoning packets included in ramen packages.  Stir constantly until dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Add all vegetables and tofu to a large bowl. Pour melted butter over the top and blend very well.  Pour into a 9 X 9 casserole dish and cover with foil.  Cook at 350 for 20 minutes (be careful, it's smells so good cooking)

Meanwhile prepare Ramen noodles according to package directions.  When done top with Tofu Bake and enjoy

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

PineappleBerry Pie

Here's just what you need to top off those sunny summer weekend Barbecue's.  Sweet, with a slightly tart nip and full of refreshing berry goodness.  The secret to making this pie so yummy is simple.  Don't over do it!  Mother nature supplies all of the awesome taste you could possibly want.  You won't believe how easy and delicious this pie turns out.   As always I like to make my pie crust from scratch. In hurry? a nice store bought crust works just fine.

1 9" Pie Crust

1 1/2 Cups Diced Pineapple
1 1/2 Cups Sliced Strawberries
1 1/2 Cup Blueberries
1/2 Cup Orange Juice
2 TBS Cinnamon
1 TBS Nutmeg
2 TSP  Sugar
1 Cup shredded coconut
1/4 Cup Corn Starch mixed with 1/4 Cup cold Water

2 Cups Whipped Cream
2 TBS Coconut

Place fruit and Orange juice in a large sauce pan.  When mixture begins to boil add cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut and sugar.  Mix corn starch with water and stir until dissolved.  Add to pie filling stirring constantly until mixture thickens.  Remove from stove and set aside to cool.

Cook pie shell until it begins to turn very light brown.  Add pie filling and cook until shell is brown and crisp all the way through.  Remove from oven and cool completely in fridge.  Spread reaming 2 TBS of coconut on a baking dish and place in oven until toasted and brown, about 5 minutes.  Stir coconut at least halfway through the toasting process. Remove from oven to cool.

When Pie is completely cooled remove from fridge and carefully top with whipped cream.  Sprinkle with toasted coconut.  Return to fridge until ready to serve.