Monday, December 29, 2014


One of the best things about a waffle is not just how good they taste.  If you make ahead on the weekend the waffle will  freeze easily.  You can pull one out any day of the week and simply stick it in the toaster for a quick, easy, warm and delicious breakfast.  This recipe will make roughly 1/2 dozen.

2 Cups Flour
Tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/4 Cup Sugar
2 Tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp. Nutmeg
1 Small Banana ripe
1/2 Cup pumpkin puree
Cup Soy Milk
Preheat waffle iron according to directions. Mix first five ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.  Blend mashed banana and pumpkin in a separate bowl.  Using a pastry blender, or a large fork, stir into dry dough until combined well to resemble a slightly moist batter.  Add milk a little at a time to reach right consistency.  Batter should pour easily into waffle maker, but not overspill.  Cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or until waffle maker no longer steams and your waffle is a golden brown.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


One dish meals are always quick and easy.  When they are full of old fashion, cold weather, comfort they are even better.  Throw in a lot of those home grown crops and you simply can't miss.  It's the most perfect way to warm up with a good movie and someone special.  If you are in a hurry canned chicken will do in a pinch.  But I don't recommend it.  Fresh cooked chicken is best  and you have the advantage of all that rich chicken broth to make any dish full of flavor.  I like to use chicken quarters.  Not only are they tasty, but you can usually find them at a good price.  Serves 4 to 6.

Four good size chicken hind quarters

Boil quarters in fresh water with a dash of salt for at least an hour until done.  Remove meat from pan and set aside.  Save broth.

1/2 cup green bell pepper
1/2 cup red bell pepper
4 cloves of minced garlic
1 bunch (about one dozen) green onions chopped
2 cups fresh, uncooked green beans sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 8oz can cream of mushroom soup
four medium to large white potatoes

1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups panko bread crumbs

Heat olive oil in a large pan.  Saute all vegetables in oil for 5 minutes stirring constantly.  Add 2 cups of the saved chicken broth and the mushroom soup.  Stir until thoroughly blended.  Remove chicken from bones and add to pan.  You want nice large chunks of meat to bite into so don't over shred.

Slice potatoes thinly and place in a 9X13 casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking oil.  Smother the potatoes with chicken and cover with foil.  Bake in oven at 350 for one hour.  Remove pan from oven and layer top with cheese.  Top with bread crumbs and return to oven.  Bake uncovered for another 15 minutes.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


My favorite way to fix Sunday dinner is a tray of finger food to enjoy while watching the game.  Chicken nuggets are always a favorite weather they are baked or fried.  Buffalo Chicken is the best.  They are well seasoned, and you can add as much spice as you like.  I always make plenty so there are leftovers.  Reinventing leftovers is something I get a kick out of.  This is quick and simple and oh so delicious.  If you don't want to make Buffalo Chicken I'm sure the local supermarket has a bunch already prepared for use.  Recipe serves 2


2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Beasts

Monday, September 22, 2014


Potatoes to me are the ultimate comfort food. They happen to be one of the most versatile vegetables around. They will make a great side dish or a complete meal on there own.  It is the only vegetable I can think of that you can fry, mash, bake, steam or boil and still have the ultimate dish.  Leftovers? No problem.  They reheat perfectly, or try creating a hole new dish (ie fried potato cakes from leftover mashed potatoes).  This recipe will serve four to six with enough of tomorrows lunch.

2 LBS russet potatoes sliced
2 Cups chicken broth
1/4 Cup chopped green onion
1/4 Cup chopped green pepper
1/4 Cup chopped red pepper
4 garlic cloves crushed
1 mini chipotle (or 2 if you prefer) bullion cube
1/4 cup flour mixed with 1/2 cold water
1 Medium tomato sliced
1/2 LB Velveeta cheese sliced
1/2 Cup Asiago cheese shredded

 Add broth, onions, peppers, garlic and bullion in a large pan and bring to a boil.  Briskly whisk in flour and water mixture. Remove from heat.

Place 1/2 of the sliced potatoes in the bottom of a glass casserole dish and cover with 1/2 of the broth..  Layer 1/2 of the sliced Velveeta cheese on top of the potatoes.  Repeat the the layers one more time.  Top with sliced tomato and shredded Asiago cheese.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until potatoes are completely done.  Let set 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, September 8, 2014


Even a rainy Summer afternoon can call for a little bit of comfort food.  This really turned out to be more than I expected.  Trying to come up with something different and tasty my mind started twirling around a Pork Steak Pie,    Along the lines of say a Pot Pie, but I wanted something  different.  This dish has a rich, creamy gravy and a flaky golden crust that practically melts in your mouth.  This will make one 9" pie.

Preheat oven to 350

2 lb pork loin steak (or roast) cut into cubes
3 cups water
4 cloves garlic minced
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS Salt and 1 TBS Pepper
1 1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli
1 1/2 cups chopped cauliflower
1 1/2 cups chopped white mushrooms
1/4 cup melted butter flavored with 1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 cup flour mixed with 1/2 cup cold water

Place first ingredients in a large dutch oven and simmer for one hour stirring occasionally.

While the meat is cooking prepare the pie crust as below (or simply buy two pre-made pie shells if you prefer).

After pork has become nice and tender add the remaining vegetables and let simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Continue to stiff occasionally.  Thicken broth with flour and water mixture stiring briskly while adding to avoid lumps

Once vegetables are tender, but still firm remove from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

This makes 2 Pie Crusts

3 cups flour

additional 1/4 to 1/2 cup flour (as needed)
Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl.  Add oil and butter blending with a pastry cutter, or fork until mixture is slight moist and looks crumbly.  Add milk a little at a time until dough is just right (slightly moist, and not to dry. It should stick a little  to the side of the bowl).  You may not need to use the entire amount of milk.  Place doug on a counter that has been coated with additional flour.  Kneed the dough into the flour until it becomes stiff and forms a solid ball, adding more of the flour as needed.  Split dough in half and roll each half to about 1/4" thickness.
Place one rolled pie shell in the bottom of a 9" pie dish that has been sprayed with cooking oil. After cooled for 15 minuts pour Pork Steak filling into shell and spread evenly.  Place additional shell on top.  Move around the top edge and roll the bottom and top crust together (to prevent pie from spilling over).  With a fork poke four chris-cross indents along the length of the shell to allow air flow inside.  Brush 1/2 of the garlic over the top shell, including the edges.  Place in oven preheated to 350 and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and coat the top with the remaining garlic butter. This process will help to make the crust very flaky. Bake an additional 30 minutes or until crust is flaky and a nice golden brown.  Let set 10 minutes before cutting. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


I know, it sounds a slight bit out of sync to actually indulge in a Meatloaf anymore.  But, I for one find it hard to resist on occasion.  Meatloaf is one of those versatile dishes that will work well with anything.  With the price of beef I find it important to revitalize any leftover dish.  For breakfast topped with an over easy egg, or for lunch serve as a panini.   It adds delicious to any meal.  This particular dish made one bread pan loaf and served two for four meals.

1 LB lean ground beef
1/2 LB Italian sausage
1 small onion minced
2 large eggs
2 cups dried bread crumbs
1 medium green pepper chopped
4 large garlic cloves minced
1 medium jalapeno minced (optional)
4 TBS chili powder
salt and pepper

1 16 oz can original marinara sauce

Blend meats together in a large bowl until well mixed.  Fold in eggs and bread brumbs until dough is stiff and not sticky. Add all vegetables and seasonings and continue mixing until the meatloaf is smooth and all vegetables are evenly distributed for flavor.  Place the meatloaf in a large baking pan, such as a deep pie dish, or large bread pan.  Lightly cover with 1/2 of the marinara sauce and bake for thirty minutes.  Check the meat loaf after about 15 minutes and remove any grease that is sitting in the pan.  After 30 minutes top with remaining marinara and return to oven for another 30 to 45 minutes, until completely done.  Meatloaf is done when the center is no longer pink. Check frequently for any grease that will need to be removed so that the meatloaf remains solid and firm.


Monday, August 4, 2014


I don't like spending money on things I don't have to.  When my husband  requests some Hamburger Helper for dinner I just make my own.  It's easy when you've got a little imagination and the right ingredients to work with.  Best of all it's so much better than those prepackaged products with a seasoning packet full of who knows what.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm not knocking them.  In a real pinch they come in pretty handy.

2 lbs uncooked ground meat (beef, turkey or chicken)
1/2 cup fresh chopped onion
1/2 cut fresh chopped green onion
2 tbs garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups fresh beef broth
2 cups tomato sauce with roasted garlic and chili's

4 cups elbow macaroni
1 lb Colby jack cheese cut in cubes

Brown ground meat in a large dutch oven until there is no pink visible.  Add onion and green pepper and stir for 2 minutes.  Add garlic, salt and pepper.  Pour in broth and tomato sauce and cover.  Once broth begins to boil add macaroni and cover again.  Stir occasionally cooking covered for 20 minutes or until macaroni is done.  Add more water if necessary. Once macaroni is done remove from heat and stir in cheese a little at a time until melted.  Set aside for 5 minutes to allow broth to fully thicken.


Fresh grown vegetables right from my own back yard don't get much better than this.  Tender vegetables creamed together make a perfect side dish for any meal.  If you have never had an opportunity to taste new potatoes right from the ground they are so much better than store bought.  They are so easy to grow and one of the most cost efficient crops to continuously grow year after year.

4 tbs butter
1/2 cup minced green onion
3 cups chicken broth
2 lbs New White potatoes
1 lb Snap Snow Peas
salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup butter
4 tbs flour
2 cups milk

In a large dutch oven saute minced onion in butter for 2 minutes.  Slice all Potatoes and Peas in half. Add to onion.  Stir in chicken broth.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

In another pan melt putter and whisk in flour until smooth.  Quickly pour in cold milk and continue whisking until all lumps are gone.  Pour roux into potatoes and continue stirring gently until broth is smooth.


I can't get enough of using my fresh crops to come up with great tasting recipes.  This tasty feast includes fresh canned Tomato Sauce and infused Olive Oil using vegetables and herbs from my own garden.  Freshly grown vegetables will make any dish taste and even look so much better. This recipe will serve four, but be sure to make plenty.  The leftovers are just as tasty.  Add fresh garlic bread, or warm tortillas to the meal.

2 Cups White Rice
2 Tbs Olive Oil infused with garlic and chillies
1 Small Green Pepper diced
1 1/2 Cup Minced Onion

1 14.5 oz Can  (or 3 cups) of Tomato Sauce w/Roasted Garlic and Chilies
2 Tablespoons Tomato with Chicken bullion
1 1/4 Cups water
2 Tablespoons fresh Cilantro
2 Links Smoked Medium Spicy Summer Sausage
3 Cups Salad Shrimp
Fresh Ground Pepper

Heat olive oil in a sauce pan.  Add rice stirring constantly until rice is no longer translucent.  Turn heat to a low temperature and add chopped green pepper and onion.  Allow vegetables to saute with rice for no more than 2 minutes.  Add tomato sauce, water, bullion, cilantro and sausage.  Let simmer covered for 10 minutes before adding shrimp and pepper.  TIP:  You probably won't need salt.  The bullion has enough to flavor the dish.  Add more water if needed.  Cover and simmer stirring occasionally for another 10 minutes of until rice is done.  Cool for 5 minutes for before serving to allow broth to completely thicken.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Taco Crunch Bowl

I really enjoy these cut little taco shell tortilla bowl makers.  If you're not in the market for these useful gadgets than you've certainly got an oven safe cereal bowl around that will work.  Just give it a light coating of cooking oil, snugly fit one flour tortilla inside and bake for 10 minutes.  I've gotten a lot of use out of mine.  They even hold up very well for several days so you can make a few in advance for a quick after work dinner.

This recipe will make four bowls

4-burrito size flour tortillas
1 LB ground meat
2 cups minced onion
4 cloves minced garlic
2 large diced tomatoes
1 3oz package taco seasoning
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 1/2 teaspoon crushed or dried cilantro
2 cups cooked brown pinto beans
2 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese

Sour Cream
Pico de Gallo

If you don't have a Tortilla Bowl maker, don't worry.  Try a ceramic cereal bowl, or a metal pan with no handle.  Try to find 6 to 8 (or more) inches across.  The metal will brown the tortilla much quicker.  Spray the bowl with a light cooking spray.  Fit the tortilla in the bowl as evenly as you possibly can.  A round bowl may cause a little "overlap", but that's OK. Bake the tortilla at 350 for 10 minutes or until the shell is golden brown and crisp all over.  Remove from oven all allow tortilla to completely cool.

Place ground meat, onion and garlic in a skillet.  Stir constantly until meat is done through and brown.  Remove from heat and stir in remaining spices and beans.  Fill each bowl with mixture and top about 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese.  Return to oven and allow to cook another 5 to 7 minutes or until completely warm and cheese is melted.  Top with you favorite garnish(es) and enjoy.  It really becomes fun when you get down to the bowl and start breaking the pieces to eat.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Empanada de Puerco

My favorite way to end any weekend is to relax with a good movie.  After the bustle of a few jammed pack days we deserve it, right?  That is why I prefer to prepare some make ahead trays of finger food such as these Empanada Puerco.  This recipe makes 2 dozen which left plenty for Monday's sack lunch.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Empanada Dough:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons garlic powder
3/4 cups of chilled butter
1 egg
1 1/4 cups water
1 additional cup of flour
1 additional stick of butter
Mix flour, salt, sugar and garlic in a large bowl (sugar and garlic powder are optional, but I think they add better flavor to the crust).  Cut in butter using a pastry cutter, or fork until dough is nice and moist.  Beat egg and stir into flour.  Slowly add water about 1 tablespoon at a time until dough is stiff and hard to stir.  You will probably not require all of the water suggested.  Cover dough and set aside while you prepare the filling.
Rallado Puerco
 2 lbs pork
4 crushed garlic cloves
3 green onions chopped
1 cup chopped red pepper
1 cup chopped green pepper 
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup water
Salt & Pepper
Cook pork until soft enough to pull apart using two forks.  Continue pulling pork with forks until all pork is finely shredded as pictured.  Place all ingredients in a skillet and heat together for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
Turn dough from bowl onto a heavily floured surface and kneed for abut five minutes.  Cut the dough in half.  Roll one of the halves until fairly thin (but not translucent).  It may take a few tries to get the feel of the exact thickness needed.  Using a large round object (my cereal bowl worked perfectly for the proper size) cut a large round disk from the dough.  Place 2 tablespoons (more or less as you prefer) spread along one side of the dough (as pictured).  Fold the unfilled side over leaving 1/2 inch of the dough exposed.  Fold the 1/2 inch of the dough over and pinch the two edges together (as pictured).  Continue the process until all dough is exhausted and you've used both halves.  You will need to make sure you have plenty of flour on had to cover the surface of the dough so it does not stick.  As you roll the dough it will become stiffer.  Add a few drops of water to the dough and knead again it so it will soften it up.  Than roll it and cut as before.
Once you have filled and rolled all empanadas place them on a large cooking sheet.  Gently brush on melted butter to both sides of each empanada.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and coat both sides again with melted butter. Serve warm, or cold with queso, or guacamole.

"Meat"ball and Bean Salad


1 lb bag of Meatless Meatballs (Mine were from Trader Joe's, but you can certainly pick some out for yourself or make your own)
1 Large Beefsteak Tomato
1 15 oz Can of Black Beans
1 Cup Raw Sliced Mushrooms (I used Button)
1-2 Chopped Green Onions OR 1 tsp of Onion Powder
1 Minced Garlic clove OR 1 -2 tsp of Garlic Powder
1 tsp Chili Powder
2 tbsp of your favorite BBQ Sauce (I used a Sweet and Spicy flavor)
1-2 tbsp of Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

If possible, cut meatballs in half (if not, that's fine. I waited until they cooked a bit and then cut them in half since they were softer by that point) and add to skillet with olive oil.Saute Meatballs, Green Onions, and Minced Garlic over Medium High until Golden Brown on all sides. If using onion and garlic powder, simply add to the saute while the meatballs are browning.

While Meatballs are sauteing, dice the tomato and add to salad bowl along with Mushrooms. Drain and Rinse the black beans. Add those to the bowl as well. Season with Chili Powder and Salt and Pepper.

Once Meatballs have browned, add the Barbecue Sauce to the Pan. Saute until Meatballs are completely coated.

Let the Meatballs Cool and add to the bowl. Toss, or mix well. Cover and set in Fridge overnight.

The Longer this dish has to marinate, the better the flavors have to develop, so I recommend leaving it in the fridge for at least 12 hours.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Shrimp Alfredo

When I fix a meal I look for five constant values
1)  It must be quick
2)  It must be easy
3)  It must include items I already have on hand
4)  It should include fresh crops from my garden
5)  Above all it MUST taste good

So here it is.  This one hits all five marks easily.  And when I can add "makes the house smell wonderful" to that list you know it's a winner. The Broccoli and Spinach out of the garden added great color and flavor. Shrimp Alfredo is one that my husband already ask for again.  I think that sums up number 5 on my list.  This is a two person serving. 

1 cup water
1 3oz package of cream cheese (or 1/2 of an 8 oz package will work fine)
1/2 cup Roasted Garlic Dip
1 TBS Tomato Chicken Bullion
2 TSP Onion powder
1 TSP Oregano
Pinch of Salt
1 TSP Pepper
2 cups chopped Broccoli
2 cups baby Spinach leaves

3 cups salad size shrimp
1 6 oz pkg Vermicelli Pasta

In sauce pan heat water until boiling.  Stir in cream cheese, garlic dip, bullion, onion powder, oregano, salt and pepper.  Wisk briskly until cream cheese is completely melted.  Toss in Broccoli and Spinach.  Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, cook package of Vermicelli according to directions (about 10 minutes).  Add shrimp to broccoli and cover pan simmering for 10 minutes.  Remove lid.  Let shrimp set for 10 minutes so it will slightly thicken.  Serve over pasta. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Sweet Pepper Chicken and Pasta

.Why not make a quick dinner that's hard to forget?  Seriously. 20 minutes and dinner is ready! How about a dish that is so good, it's even  better when it's left over.  The sweetness of the red and orange peppers with the chicken is so good.  Makes a great brown bag lunch that you're co-workers will envy.  Serve this easy dinner with a batch of make ahead Easy Breezy Southern Biscuits.  This recipe will serve four (or two with plenty of leftovers)

1 Tablespoon seasoned Olive Oil (see below)
1 1/2 cups each:
Diced Red Peppers
Diced Green Peppers
Diced Orange Peppers
Diced white onion

3 Cups Chicken Broth
1 Cup Sour Cream
2 TBS Knoors Tomato Chicken Bullion
4 Cups cooked and diced Chicken (I used leftover smoke chicken)
salt & pepper
1 16oz Package vermicelli

Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Add peppers and onions.  Saute for 5 minutes.  Add add chicken broth to vegetables.  Once the broth begins to bubble and bullion and sour cream.  Add diced chicken, salt and pepper to taste (tip: the bullion is high in salt so you won't need much).  Set temperature to low and cover.  Cook package of vermicelli according to package directions (about 10 minutes).  When done drain but do not rinse the vermicelli.  Add to peppers and chicken stirring well.  Remove skillet from heat and cover. Let stand 10 minutes until nice and thick.

Seasoned Olive Oil

Add 1 tablespoon crushed hot peppers, minced garlic and diced onion to a 17OZ bottle of Virgin Olive Oil.  Set overnight before using.

I put his together and have used it for everything from scrambled eggs to a coating on chicken legs.  I keep it on hand at all times right by the stove.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Tortilla Bowled Southwest Chicken Salad

It’s hard to beat a good salad.  Unless, of course you make it in the perfect bowl.  I had always been curious about the “Tortilla Pan Set” advertised but didn’t feel they were worth paying the advertised price.  When I saw them on mark down from $12.99 to $3.69 I had the perfect opportunity to see what these little pans could do.  They were easy to use, and I go toasty tortilla shell bowls to mix my salad in.  So here is my take on a delicius Southwest Chicken Salad. This recipe will make 4 delicious salads.

Place one burrito size flour tortilla shells in each of the four tortilla pans.  You may also try using a small round baking dish, such as Pyrex of corning ware.  Even a small cooking pan without a handle works very well.  Just be sure to coat with plenty of cooking spray.  Cook until shells are golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes.
3 cups of chopped Southwest Chicken:  I used leftover grilled chicken that had been rubbed with a blend of southwest seasoning.  If you prefer to use canned add chili powder, garlic salt, onion powder, lemon pepper, cilantro and mesquite seasoning mix.  Heat on medium for 10 minutes stirring once.  Set aside and let cool.

4 cups lettuce
1 large tomato diced
2 green onions chopped
2 cups black beans drained and rinsed
2 cups fresh yellow corn

½ TBS Cilantro
Corn Tortilla strips
Roasted Garlic Dressing

In a large bowl toss together chicken and first five ingredients with two spoons mixing thoroughly.  Divide equally among the four tortilla bowls.  Top with a sprinkling of cilantro, corn tortilla strips and dressing

Roasted Garlic Dressing:  Add four minced garlic cloves that have been roasted in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes to one 16oz container of sour cream. Stir in one tablespoon of garlic powder, one tablespoon onion powder and 1 teaspoon cilantro.  Set in refrigerator for at least one hour before serving


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Chewy Breakfast Cookies

If you're like me you grab what you can for breakfast as you run out the door on the way to work.  I guess that's why the "quick breakfast" is so popular.  The granola bars, just add hot water oatmeal,etc.  Seems scrambled eggs have been kicked to the weekend.  Because they have become so popular those "power packed" breakfast bars have gotten expensive.  So, I figured I'd give my own a shot and see what I could come up with.  These are so simple I can't wait to make them again.  Makes 8

1 Cup Natural Peanut Butter
1 Cup Honey
1/2  Cup brown Sugar
2 Cups Oatmeal
1/4 Cup Sunflower Seeds
1 Cup Dried Fruit (I used dried cherries, pineapple, and mango) or Raisins

Place Peanut Butter, Honey and brown sugar in a microwave safe bow.  Mix as well as possible.  Place in microwave and heat for thirty seconds.  Remove and sir again.  Return to Microwave for 30 more seconds.  Sir again.  Continue heating and stirring until peanut butter, honey and sugar are blended well.  Sir in Oatmeal.  Add more if mixture is too moist to form a ball when rolled.  Once oatmeal is well mixed stir in sunflower seeds and dried fruit (use any combination that suits your taste).  Coat hands with an olive oil cooking spray and from dough into eight balls.  Pat each ball into a nice round cookie.  Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking oil.  Cook in oven preheated to 350 degree fro five to seven minutes.  Allow to completely cool before removing from pan.


Saturday, April 5, 2014


Fish is just one of those foods that is so right.  The benefits are so numerous.  It doesn't take a whole lot for me to enjoy the flavor.  I don't like to put any meat in a rut, so I'm always looking to change things up.  When I can create a dish packed full of great things from my harvest and an abundance of healthy benefits I'm reminded why I enjoy my garden so much.  This will serve four, and it pairs very well with these Southern Biscuits for one delicious and simple dinner.

4 cups fat free chicken broth
1 cup each of the following-chopped:
   Red Pepper
   Green Onion
2 TBS Knox Tomato Chicken Bullion
1 TBS Kosher Salt
1 TBS Fresh Ground Pepper
3 cups chopped cat fish fillets
2 1/2 Cups cooked white rice

In large pan heat chicken broth on medium. Once broth is boiling gently stir in all chopped vegetables, bullion, salt and pepper.  Simmer vegetables for no more than ten minutes so that they are still slightly crisp.  Add fish and cooked rice. Cover and cook on medium low  for another 10 minutes or until fish is flaky and done..  Remove from heat and let set for five minutes before serving.


Creating a new dish out of leftovers is one of my favorite things to do.  We had Pork Chalupa's (See: Chalupas de Puerco) for dinner so this was an easy throw together.  I really enjoyed this.  It had a different flavor with the pork blended right in with the beans, peppers, tomatoes and even a leftover avocado.  I topped it off with a little shredded cheese and a sprinkle of cilantro.  Add what makes the dish special to you.  It'll make the dip so much better.

2 1/2 cups refried beans
1 1/2 cups shredded pulled pork
1/2 large avocado
1 small jalapeno chili chopped
2 small romo tomatoes
2 TBS minced garlic
2 TBS minced onion
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

1 cup fiesta blend cheese shredded
1 TBS cilantro

Slightly heat the beans and meat in a pan together first so they will blend easier and smoother.  Do not over heat though. Place mixture in a blinder or food processor and mix on high until creamy smooth.  Toss in avocado, chili, tomatoes, garlic and onion.  Sprinkle in a dash of salt and pepper to taste.  Leave on high for several minutes until no lumps are visible.  Place in a microwave safe bowl and top with shredded cheese.  Microwave on high for one minute until melted.  Remove and top with cilantro.  Serve with these Baked Pita Chips



I can't recall ever meeting anyone who didn't enjoy a good biscuit for breakfast.  I have to admit I struggled trying to come up with the most perfect mix of ingredients.  The biscuits either came out too flat, or with no flavor.  So I played with several different combinations until I got just what I was hoping for.  A Biscuit so fluffy no one will believe it didn't come from a can, and so tasty you are sure to want seconds.   These are yummy by themselves, drenched in a good sausage gravy, or make a quick breakfast sandwich.  They even go well with a bowl or warm soup, or hardy dinner like fried chicken.  This recipe will make eight to ten biscuits depending on how big and thick you make them

4 Cups White Flour
4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Bacon Grease (chilled)
2 Tablespoons Butter (Chilled)
1 1/2 Cup Butter Milk

1/2 to 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups melted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  The best secret for a well raised biscuit is to place them in a well heated oven.

Mix all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt) in a large mixing bowl.  Add chilled butter and grease.  With a pastry cutter or fork cut the butter and grease into the dry ingredients until mixture is slightly moist with no visible lumps.  Slowly add butter milk mixing thoroughly until dough forms a ball, but is not too stiff.

Spray a 13" baking pan with cooking oil.  Cover a flat smooth surface with flour.  Place dough on flour and toss another hand full of flour on top.  Fold outside of dough inward, kneading slightly about ten times.  With a rolling pin that has been rubbed with flour flatten dough to approximated 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick.  When I cut the biscuits I like to use the top of a plastic glass that is 4 inches round.  Dip the rim of the glass in flour and cut slice through dough getting as close to the edges as possible.  Gather the remaining dough, gently kneed and roll again cutting additional biscuits.

When all dough is used (there will always be a small portion left) spread melted butter on top of each biscuit and place in oven.  Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until biscuits and a golden brown.  Remove from oven and spread remaining butter on top and bottom of each biscuit.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


This is one dish that is a win win in every way.  The nutrition value is off the charts.  Packed full of shrimp and fresh vegetables, this is one of the best reasons I know to turn to my garden for a great meal.  Not all of the ingredients have been grown in my own garden, but the variety and color is pleasing.  The flavor is amazing also with a slightly sweet taste.  I managed to keep the dish diet friendly by using fat free cream cheese and fat free chicken broth instead of the traditional cream and butter.  This recipe will serve four, but be sure to prepare plenty.  The leftovers will make you the envy of the lunch room at work.
2 Cups Fat Free Chicken Broth
2 Cups Water
2 Medium White Potatoes
1 Ear of Yellow Corn
1 Cup Fresh Broccoli
1 Cup Fresh Cauliflower
1 Cup Red Sweet Pepper
1 Cup Carrots
2 Stalks Green Onion
1 Cup Shredded Cabbage
1 TBS Minced Garlic
1 TBS Chopped Green Chilies
1 TBS Ground Pepper
1 TBS Kosher Salt
1 ½ Cups Fat Free Cream Cheese
3 Cups Salad Sized Shrimp
1/2 Cup Cold water
1/4 Cup Corn Starch

Place chicken broth and water in a large Dutch oven.  Scrub and dice potatoes leaving skin on and add to broth.  Cover and boil potatoes on medium for 10 minutes.  Cut the corn from the cob and chop the broccoli, cauliflower, red pepper, carrots and green onions.  Add all remaining vegetables along with garlic, chilies, salt and pepper.  Whisk in Cream cheese until smooth and melted.  Cover again and continue simmering on medium for an additional 10 minutes.  Stir in shrimp, cover and simmer five minutes.  Mix corn starch in cold water until smooth and no lumps are visible.  Slow pour mixture into chowder stirring constantly until chowder begins to thicken.  Serve warm with biscuits or crackers and cheese.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Touch of Spice Pasta Saute

This is such a great lunch, and so easy to toss together.  Switch it up and add some chicken breast, or maybe some shrimp to make it something really special for a quick dinner.  Just make sure to leave some leftovers.  You'll want them for lunch.  This recipe will serve 2-4.

First to prepare the saute mix the following:

1 17oz bottle Pure Olive Oil
1 tablespoon each of the following:
Minced Onion
Minced Garlic
Minced Chili Peppers of your choice (serrano, jalapeno etc)

Add the onion, garlic and chili peppers to the olive oil.  Adjust accordingly if you like.  If you prefer more or less chili pepper mix it up.  Let the saute set for up to a week, shaking occasionally.

Shake Olive Oil and pour 1/4 cup of the saute in a large skillet.  Toss in the following:

1 cup Baby Carrots
1 cup Snow Peas
1 cup Broccoli
1 cup Cauliflower
2 Tsp kosher salt
2 Tsp fresh ground pepper

Saute vegetables in olive oil with salt and pepper stirring constantly for 10 minutes.

Prepare two cups of pasta (your choice..I used vermicelli) per package directions.  Drain but do not rinse.  Add to vegetables and continue tossing in skillet for another 5 minutes.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Berry Berry Tarts

Oh sweet Summer Berries.  You gotta love them, weather they are Strawberries, or Blueberries or Blackberries they are simply delicious and nutritious.  I always stock up when they are in season and at the best price.  I either can or freeze them, depending on what I want to use them for.  I have never done a tart before, but with a fresh crop of berries to play with I was the right solution.It isn't necessary, although it is tastier, to use a scratch dough for the crust.  Pop a can of crescent rolls open and roll them out.  It works perfect.  This recipe makes 2 dozen tarts.  My husband loved them with his lunch.

Basic Dough
.25 oz active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees to 115 degrees)               
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/21 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine
Mix all ingredients into a large mixing bowl.  Using hands turn dough inside several times for about five minutes.  Cover bowl with a warm towel and let raise for 20 to 30 minutes until dough has significantly risen.
While dough is rising prepare the filling:
1 12oz Pkg Blackberries
1 12oz Pkg Blue Berries
1/4 cup Orange Juice
1 Tbs cinnamon
1 Tsp ginger
1 Tsp Nutmeg
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Corn Starch
1/2 Cup Cold Water
Place berries and juice in a large pan on medium heat.  When mixture begins to boil with a work gently mash the berries.  Do not over mash.  Once berries are broken up add the next four ingredients and let simmer for 10 minutes.  Mix corn starch in cold water with a whisk until smooth and creamy looking.  Gently pour into berries stirring constantly.  Add small portions of corn starch at a time until mixture is nice and thick.  Remove from heat to cook.
Punch risen dough until all of the air is released.  Turn to a floured surface and kneed a couple of more times.  Using a rolling pen (or large can or coke bottle) roll dough until it is approximately 1/4 inch think.  Dip the top of a medium size drinking glass into flour using it to cut circles into the rolled dough.  Fit each circle into the holes of a mini muffin pan that has been coated with cooking spray. I Fill each Muffin until the cup  is 3/4 of the way full of the berries.  Bake in oven at 350 degree fox 15 minutes.  Can be served either warm or cold.  TIP:  If  you have any leftover filling you'll love it on 9 grain toast for breakfast.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Southwest Chipolte Grilled Burger

In our house it is never to early in the season to start up the grill.  You can never go wrong with a good hamburger fresh off of the fire.  So if you love a tasty burger with lots of flavor fire up the mesquite and give this one a try.  You'll love it.  This recipe makes four 1/4 LB burgers.

1LB Ground Beef or Ground Turkey
1/4 Cup Southwest Marinade
1/4 Cup Chipolte Pepper Marinade
1/2 Cup Mushrooms Chopped
4 Slices crisply cooked bacon
1/2 Cup Minced Onion
4 Onion Rolls

Many big seasoning companies will make this particular marinade combination.  I found these at my local Kroger store.  Mix the two marinade packages together in a large bowl.  This way the southwest blends with the chipolte to create a smooth flavor.   Add 1/2 cup total of mixture (or simply 1/4 cup of each if  you prefer).  Crumble bacon and add with all vegetables to meat.  There is no need to add salt or pepper unless you prefer.  The two seasonings have all the flavor you are looking for.  Form patties and let set in refrigerator for at least an hour before grilling.  This will infuse the seasoning and allow the patties to keep their shape when cooking on the grill.  Cook at least 10 minutes an each side turning once.  Slice buns in half  and place face down on grill for 2 minutes until toasted.

Place patty on bun and add your favorite condiments such as:


Monday, February 3, 2014

Santa's Brussels Sprout Hash

Winter has got to be sole reason for all of the wonderful comfort food created.  Dishes just like this one prepared by my daughter.  Look at the color this bowl full of nutrition has?  Why is it called Sana's Brussels Sprout Hash?  Because it is so warm and cozy, just like Christmas Eve.

1 tsp. Fresh Grated Ginger
4 Minced Garlic Cloves
4-5 Bay Leaves
1 Whole Green Onion
3/4 pound Brussels Sprouts
1 Vegan Sausage (we used Field Roaster's Apple & Sage)
1 Yukon Gold Potato
1 tbsp. Vegan Butter
Salt & Pepper to taste

Sauté first 4 ingredients in a large skillet on medium heat. While sautéing, chop Brussels Sprouts in half and add to skillet when green onions start to look translucent and garlic is golden, about five to seven minutes. Cover and reduce to medium-low. Slice sausage about 1/2" thick and add to the Brussels Sprouts.  Add finely diced potatoes and 1 tablespoon of butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep covered until  Brussels Sprouts are soft and tender in the center when piecred with a fork. Makes two full servings.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Shrimp and Pinneaple Salad

This was such a good salad, and so simple, that I made up enough for several days of lunch. Works perfect as a side dish and stores well too. The pineapple and shrimp compliment each other nicely. I purposely made this as low in fat and calories as possible, which made it even better. So, if you are looking for a delicious, low fat, quick to fix lunch idea give this one a try. You won't be disappointed. This recipe will serve as a side dish for four, or a great lunch for two days.

1/2 Cup Salad Size Shrimp
1/2 Cup Broccoli Floweretts (loosely chopped)
1/2 Cup Fresh Pineapple chopped
1/2 Cup Cherri Tomatoes cut in half.
2 Cups Cooked Vermicelli Pasta

6 TBS Honey Mustard Dippin Sauce
2 TSP Teriyaki sauce

Mix first five ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a small mixing bowl whip honey mustard and teriyaki sauce together. Toss into salad, blending thoroughly. Cover and set for 1 hour before serving cold.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Fish & Shrimp Linguine

Does it really have to be a cold winter night to enjoy a warm plate of comfort food?  It's certainly more enjoyable, but not necessary.  Fish and Shrimp Linguine is just one of those dishes. I think this one even took my husband by surprise.  He's not one to normally tolerate leftovers (some things just aren't as good the second time around) but he sure didn't mind eating these leftovers.  Best of all-for an added plus-this dish is nutritious and diet friendly!  This serves a family of four.

2 TBS Olive Oil
2 lbs Fresh White Fish such as Cat Fish or Trout
2 Cups Finely Chopped Onion
4 Cloves Garlic Minced
4 Cups Broccoli
3 Cups Salad Size Shrimp
2 TBS Fresh Ground Pepper
2 TBS Seasoned Salt
3 oz Fat Free Cream Cheese
4 Heaping TSP Flour
4 to 5 Cups Fat Free Milk

1 16oz Pkg Linguine

Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium low heat.  Add loosely chopped fish, onion, garlic and broccoli cooking for 15 minutes or until fish becomes flaky stirring occasionally.  Stir in Shrimp cooking for another five minutes until shrimp is pink.  Add Salt and Pepper.  Divide Cream Cheese into four sections and add to fish and shrimp.  Stir Constantly until Cream Cheese is melted.  Spinkle in flour stirring constantly until well blended with fish.  Slowly whisk milk into fish until  it becomes a nice creamy sauce.  Continue adding milk until sauce is as thick, or thin, as you prefer.  Remove from heat and set aside to slightly cool.

Add 2 TBS of salt to six cups of boiling water.  Add linguine and allow to rapidly boil for 10 to 15 minutes or until done.  Pour pasta in a straining dish, but do not rinse.  Place 3/4 cup of linguine on a serving place and top with sauce.  Serve with freshly toasted garlic bread.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Lima Bean Tomato Stew

When the wind is blowing and cold it's nice to have a warm bowl of stew to fill the soul.  It's an even better stew when it's ready in a only a few minutes.  This recipe will make plenty of leftovers for a weeks worth of lunches.  Serve with a batch of warm vegan biscuits and you've got a meal to enjoy.

In a Large Kettle combine the following:

1 16oz can Lima Beans
1 Can  Diced Tomatoes with Onion
1 Can Whole Kernel Corn

Do not drain any liquid from the vegetables.

Simmer on medium until vegetables come to a full boil and stir in 1 8oz Package Bow Tie Pasta.

1 Tbs Chopped Basil
2 Tsp Garlic Salt
1 tsp Minced Onion
2 Tsp Oregano
2 Tst Pepper
2 or 3 pinches Kosher Salt
1/8 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup of water

Cover kettle with lid and let simmer for thirty minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Vegan Chicken And Rice Alfredo w/Steamed Soy Vegetables

 It's not that hard to come up with some creative and tasty vegan dishes.  You only need to know where to look for the best ingredients, and have the right amount of inspiration.  There are two big name markets that know just how to cater to the growing vegan community.  Whole Foods and Trader Joes both carry a long line of delicious products that can turn your favorite meal into a vegan delight.  My inspiration? Seanna and Sean.  Thanks girls. This is a nice cozy two serving recipe.

4 365 Everyday Value Breaded Chickenless Patties (sold at Whole Foods)
3 TBS Olive Oil

3 Cups Cooked White Rice Lightly Seasoned with salt and pepper

4 TBS Earth Balance Butter
1 1/2 TBS Italian Seasoning
5 TBS Daiya Cream Cheese


Heat olive oil in skillet on medium heat.  Add Chickenless Patties once oil is hot and sprinkle with Salt and Pepper.  After 5 minutes turn patty and sprinkle other side with salt and pepper.  Cook an additional 5 minutes and remove skillet from heat. Spread 1 1/2 cup of hot cooked white rice on a dinner plate and top with two patties.

Heat butter in a sauce pan and stir in Italian Seasoning.  Whisk in Cream Cheese until completely melted and sauce is creamy smooth.  Pour over chikenless patties and garnish with a sprinkle of Oregano.

Steamed Soy Vegetables

One microwave safe dish that is easily covered by a dinner plate

1 cup each:
Broccoli Florets
Sliced Carrots
Snow Peas
4 TBS Soy Sauce
1 Tbs McCormick Imitation Bacon Bits
1 Tbs Dehydrated Minced Onion
Salt and Pepper

Place vegetables and soy sauce in microwave safe bowl.  Cover with plate to hold in moisture and microwave on high for 1 minute.  Remove from microwave and add remaining ingredients stirring gently.  Return to microwave for one additional minute.  Let stand for one minute before serving.

Vegan Baked Lasagna

Italian food is just plain good.  Vegan Baked Lasagna is so easy it was on the table in just 30 minutes.  This is a one dish serving so double up if you need to.  I used a 3 X 3 corning ware baking dish.  Any sort of ramekin will work just fine. 

1 18" uncooked Lasagna

2 Cups Hunts Pasta Sauce w/Mushroom
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 1/2 onion powder
1 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 Cups Boca Crumbles

8 0z pkg. Daiya Mozzarella Cheese

Boil Lasagna in hot water about 10 minutes until soft, but not done.  Remove from heat and lay flat on a cutting board.

Heat Pasta Sauce in cooking pan and add the next four seasonings.  Let simmer for five minutes and add Boca Crumbles.  Leave simmering on stove while slicing lasagna into four equal pieces (4.5 inches apiece).

Coat a single serving baking dish with a fine hint of olive oil.  Place two of the Lasagna slices on the bottom of the pan.  Place 1/2 of the pasta sauce over the noodle and sprinkle with a generous amount of cheese.  Place the remaining two noodles on top and continue with remaining layers.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes of until the pasta is completely tender when tested by sticking a sharp knife through the middle.  Serve with French toast (see below)_

2 Potato Rolls
2 TBS Earth Balance Butter
1 TBS Garlic Powder

Heat oven to broil.  Melt butter in microwave and quickly stir in garlic.  Brush butter on rolls and place in heated oven for 30 seconds to 1 minute until golden brown.

New Year Stew

I think we all know that the Holiday's are full of good food, and lots of cooking.  I mean lots of cooking.  From that once a year glorious Thanksgiving Turkey to the New Year festivities with the Christmas dinners and baking in between I hate to admit that I could sometimes use a break from the kitchen.  So, why not make the first dinner of the year an easy one?  Turn all of those traditional New Year dishes into one and make a delicious good luck stew?  Don't wait for the New Year though.  This stew is delicious any time.  We could always use a plate of good luck!

2 LB Pork Roast (these can be purchased reasonably between the end of November and the middle of December)
1 Small Onion Minced
1 Medium Green Pepper Minced
4  Garlic Cloves minced
2 TBS Kosher Salt
2 TBS Ground Pepper

10 OZ PKG Uncooked Black Eye Peas
1 8 OZ Package Pealed Whole Baby Carrots
3 Cups Fresh Baby Spinach
1 Medium Stalk Broccoli
3 Cups Shredded Cabbage

Place pork roast in a 6 Quart crock pot with onion, green pepper, garlic salt and pepper.  Cook on high for 3 hours.  After 3 hours add Black Eye Peas and  Carrots.  Reduce heat on crock pot and cook an additional 2 hours or until carrots began to turn tender.  Once carrots have began to turn tender add spinach, broccoli and cabbage.  Cover and let simmer in crock for an additional 30 to 45 minutes until broccoli is tender, but not overdone.  Serve with fresh baked biscuits.