Friday, April 30, 2010

Mom B's Spanish Rice

This is one of my ultimate comfort foods. Mom made it all the time and it was one of my favorites to come home from school to. Serve with home made bread and there you go! Yummo!

Spanish Rice

1 lb. package Jimmy Dean Hot sausage
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1- 4oz. can mushrooms
1 -15oz. can diced tomatoes
1 -8oz can tomato sauce
3/4 cup uncooked rice (NOT minute rice, use regular)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 green pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
2 carrots, sliced thin
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Brown meat, drain off fat. Stir in everything else. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes total.... don't over cook or the rice gets mushy.
Serve with crusty french bread or homemade bread. Enjoy!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pasta E Fagioli

Sarah and I ate at Olive Garden on my Birthday and got soup and salad. I love there Pasta E Fagioli soup. Here's a recipe that was in one of my cookbooks, yummy!

Pasta E Fagioli

1 to 2 pounds lean ground beef
1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
1 large carrot, julienned (or use 1 cup of the pre-grated carrots you can get in the produce section)
3 stalks celery,  chopped ( 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced ( or 1 teaspoon minced garlic from a jar)
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 15 ounce can red kidney beans (with liquid)
1 15-ounce can Great Northern beans (with liquid) or you can use pinto beans either
1 15-ounce can tomatoe sauce
1 12-ounce can V-8 juice
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 pound (1/2 pkg. ) ditali pasta (small 1/2 size macaroni noodles, I didnt' have the 1/2 size and used the whole elbow macaroni, was still good)
Parmesan cheese for Garnish
1. Brown the ground beef in a large soup pot over medium heat. Drain off most of the fat.
2. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and saute for 10 minutes.
3. Add remaining ingredients, except the pasta and simmer for 1 hour.
4. About 50 minutes into the simmering, cook the pasta in  2 quarts of boiling water over high heat. Cook for 10 minutes or just until pasta is al dente, or slightly tough. Drain.
5. Add the pasta to the pot of soup and simmer for 5 to 10 more minutes. Garnish with Parmesan cheese if desired. Serve and enjoy!!

Southwestern Egg rolls

I love Southwestern eggrolls. I've gotten them at California Pizza kitchen in Salt Lake City at the Gateway. This is what I came up with! I thought they were pretty dang good! They're more like burritos than egg rolls, but taste good. I bake mine instead of frying, thought they'd be a little healthier that way.

Southwestern Egg Rolls

3 or 4 boneless skinless chicken breast
1 pkge. Grill Mates Chipotle Pepper Marinade
1/2 a medium sized onion, chopped
1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
1 cup blackbeans drained and rinsed
1 cup corn, either frozen or canned, drained
1 small can chopped green chili's
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon ground chipotle powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash of black pepper
3/4 cup grated cheese
Flour Tortilla's (use smaller one's for appetizer's, or the burrito size for main dish)
Sour cream**
Pico de gallo or Salsa

Mix up marinade packet according to directions (I add the lime juice) Marinade chicken in a ziploc bag for 15 minutes to an hour. The longer you marinade the more flavorful your chicken will be.
Heat Grill. When hot, place chicken on the grill and cook about 8 to 10 minutes per side.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
While chicken cooks, saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes until onion starts to get tender. Add corn, beans, green chili's, and seasonings. Saute for a few more minutes until everything is heated through and seasonings blend, and onion is translucent.
When chicken is done, chop up into small pieces and add to bean and corn mixture. Remove from heat and add cheese.
Warm tortilla's for 20 seconds in the microwave. To assemble the eggrolls, get one tortilla, and spoon a couple of spoonfuls of filling  onto the center of it. Fold in the ends, then roll the tortillia up into a roll. Place on cookie sheet that has been sprayed with pam. Continue until you have the amount of eggs rolls you need or until the filling and tortilla's are gone. Brush melted butter or spray some Pam over the tops of the eggrolls.
Bake in oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until the tortilla starts to turn golden brown and get crispy. Slice eggroll diagonally across the middle. Serve with Sour cream, Guacamole, and pico de gallo or Salsa! Yum!!

** I like to add a Tablespoon of lime juice and about 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder to about 1/2 cup sourcream for a dipping sauce.
**I had some chipotle coleslaw left over from my shrimp tacos and threw that in when sauting the beans and corn, and it was yummy too.
You could also fry these, I just don't like the grease.
*** I also served mine with a salad that I used the rest of the corn and blackbeans in with more grated cheese. I tossed this with a bag of salad. For the dressing I made some of the chipotle dressing from my recipe for chipotle coleslaw  (see shrimp taco recipe) and tossed in a large bowl with the salad, and served on the side of the eggrolls.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Lemon Cream Cake

I made this for my Birthday this year.. I got it out of my Top Secret Recipe cook book! Have you ever eaten the Lemon Cream Cake at Olive Garden?? this is it! Drizzled with Raspberry Sauce, (I used warmed up raspbery jam) it was light and Yummy!!! I 've said it before, right next to chocolate, lemon is my favorite flavor!

Lemon Cream Cake

1 box Betty Crocker white cake mix
1-1/4 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
(or the ingredients on the back of whatever cake mix you get)

Lemon cream filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup heaviy whipping cream

Vanilla crumb topping:
1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon flour
1/2  cup plus 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Make the white cake following the directions on the box. Pour batter into a greased 10-inch cake pan or springform pan. (I grease and line the bottom and sides with waxed paper for easy removal) Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow cake to cool for 30 minutes then remove from pan by running a knife around the sides of the pan, then placing a plate on the top of the cake and flipping it over. Remove pan and take off the wax paper, place a paper towel on the bottom and flip back over and place on cooling rack. Let cool completly before icing.
2. Make lemon cream filling by mixing the  cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Mix in the lemon juice.
3. Whip the cream in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until it forms stiff peaks. Fold the cream cheese mixture into the whipped cream . Stir gently by hand until blended.
4. Make the crumb topping by combining the flour, powdered sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the butter and dribble in the vanilla extract. Use your hands to mix the butter into the flour and sugar until mixture is crumbly, with no pieces larger than a pea. Chill mixture in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
5. When cake is cool, slice it in half throught the middle and remove the top. Spread half of the lemon cream mixture onto the bottom half of the cake, then carefully replace the top half of the cake.
6. Spread the remaining cream filling over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle the crumb topping on top of the cake and press it inot the sides all the way around the cake.
Chill the cake for a least 3 hours in the fridge before you serve it. When you're ready to dig in, slice the cake into slices, Serve each topped with raspberry sauce drizzled over it if desired ( i just warmed raspberry jam in a sauce pan until it was runny) and a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Serve with a scoop of vanilla icecream. Yummo!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Shrimp tacos with Chipotle Coleslaw

Have I said I love experimenting with tacos?? And I love Shrimp and I happened to get some out to thaw before leaving for work this morning not quite knowing what I was going to do with them. But here's what sounded good and what I did. Then when I went to make my coleslaw, this Chipotle coleslaw recipe was on the lid. Just what I needed, Thanks Bobby Flay! Mmmmmmm betcha can't eat just one!

Shrimp Tacos with Chipotle Coleslaw
2- 14 ounce packages 41-60 raw Shrimp
1 package Grill Mates Baja Citrus marinade
1 package classic coleslaw mix
Chipotle Coleslaw sauce (see recipe below)
2 avacadoes, sliced into thin strips
grated colby-monterey jack cheese
12 corn tortillas

Chipotle Coleslaw Sauce
1/2 cup Best Foods Real Mayonaise
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (canned, I just used 2 peppers and a spoonfull of sauce and keep the rest in the freezer)
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together in a blender until smooth.

First, make coleslaw sauce. Put Classic coleslaw mix into a large bowl, pour coleslaw sauce over and toss to coat all the coleslaw. Cover and set aside in refrigerator 30 minutes or until ready to eat.
Next take the shells and tails off the shrimp, place in a medium size bowl. Mix the Baja Citrus marinade according to directions on package. Pour marinade over shrimp and toss to coat. Set aside in refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes.
While shrimp marinades, slice avacados and place on plate, I drizzle a little lime juice over them to keep from browning. Next you can grate cheese and place in bowl so you're ready to eat.
Heat grill. I use a vegge grill tray to cook my shrimp on so it doesn't fall thru the grates, so I heat that up too. When hot pour the shrimp out onto the vegge tray and spread out into a single layer. Grill for two minutes. Then turnover and grill another 2 minutes or until shrimp has turned pink and curled up. Remove from grill into a bowl and cover.
Cook tortillas that have been sprayed with pam either on the hot grill or preheated 375 degree oven. I lay them straight on the grill close lid and let cook 1 minute, flip over and cook 1 minute more. Place in a towel lined dish with a lid to keep warm. I do 6 at a time.
Assemble tacos by laying about 6 to 8 shrimp on half of tortilla, sprinkle cheese on next, add a spoonfull of coleslaw, a slice or two of avacado and you're ready to eat!!
These are Yummo!!! Right up there with fish tacos at the Gateway Mall in Salt Lake City!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Orange Julius

I love Orange Julius'! We used to make it all the time when I was younger!! When my kids were little we would make a big batch of popcorn and have Orange Julius' to wash it down with!! Yum!!

Orange Julius
1 small can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 cup water
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
10-12 ice cubes

Put all the ingredients in a blender and puree till smooth, may add more ice if necessary, should be pretty thick, yet drinkable.  Pour into glasses and enjoy!

Bacon Potato Soup

I love potato soup. I can remember my mom making it when I was little, it's the ultimate comfort food for me. Sinced then I've updated it by adding bacon and cheese.... so good! I love the bacon potatoe soup at Carino's and have tried to imitate the flavor with this recipe. I love to put croutons on the top... Yum!

Bacon Potato Soup

4 medium baking potatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium sized onion, diced
6 strips thick sliced bacon (or more for garnish on top)
chicken broth or water
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk or cream
1 cup grated cheese (extra for garnish)
Salt and pepper to taste
Croutons for garnish
thinly sliced green onions (for garnish)
In a soup pot place potatoes and onion, put in enough chicken broth or water to just barely cover the top of the potatoes. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then turn down heat and simmer until potatoes are tender.
Cook bacon in a medium sized frying pan. When done remove from pan and drain on paper towel. In the bacon drippings (if there is more than about a 1/4 cup, drain a little off) add the 1/4 cup flour, whisk until the flour is mixed in and it starts to bubble. Then slowly whisk in the milk, stirring constantly while adding. Bring the milk mixture to a boil over medium heat, turn down slightly and continue to stir and cook until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the grated cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
Once the potatoes are tender, stir the milk and cheese mixture into the potatoes (don't drain the water or chicken broth, this mixes with the sauce to make the soup). Taste again to see if you need more salt and pepper. Crumble bacon and stir into soup mixture, (you can reserve a little to toss on top for garnish). Serve in individual bowls with a sprinkle of grated cheese, 4 or 5 croutons on top and a sprinkle of bacon, and some thinly sliced green onion (sometimes I use bacon bits you can buy in a package for a garnish, but you want to have cooked bacon in the soup, the bacon drippings add flavor to the milk mixture)
Serve and enjoy!! Yummo!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A little of this and that Meatloaf

I came home from work not knowing what I was cooking for dinner. I had hamburger thawed out, green chili's in the fridge, and avacado's that I needed to use. I decided to make a meatloaf...This is what I came up with. It was delicious!!

This and That Meatloaf

1-1/2 to 2 pounds ground beef
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1 envelope lipton onion soup mix
2 Tablespoons Ranch dressing mix
1/2 cup salsa (I use homemade, you can use whatever kind you like)
3 whole canned green chili's diced ( or you can use a can of diced green chili's)
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients together and form into a loaf shape on a cookie sheet.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until juices run and clear and browned well.
Top each serving with a spoonfull of Guacamole. Enjoy!

2 ripe avacados
3 Tablespoons Salsa
1 to 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Scoop out the insides of the avacados and put in bowl with the salsa, and lemon juice, mash with a potatoe masher and season with salt and pepper.

Lettuce Wraps

I love lettuce wraps! You could make these with pork (I used the Kalua pork recipe I already posted) or cooked chicken, or whatever you have. This was something different to have for dinner, and fun! May look like a lot of work, but it's really easy and cooks quick. Have your ingredients all prepped before you start cooking

Lettuce Wraps
Cooked meat (shredded pork, or chopped chicken about 4 cups or so...)
1 can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1/2 package fresh sliced mushrooms(the larger size package)
3 or 4 green onions, chopped
1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic

1 or 2 heads of iceburg lettuce (depending on the size) I've used romaine lettuce too, just doesn't form a cup, but if you break off the bottom half that has the end rib part, it folds up like a taco really nice.

Special Sauce:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons ketchup
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
To make special sauce: Mix sugar and water and stir a minute or two to dissolve the sugar. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to eat the lettuce wraps.
*may want to double this sauce if serving more than 4 or 5 people.
Have sriracha hot chile sauce and prepared Chinese Hot mustard on hand as well. More to follow on this.

Stir fry sauce:
2 Tablespoons Soy sauce
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
11/2 teaspoon rice vinegar.
2 tablespoons Hoisin Sauce ( I use this quite a bit in stir fries, it's yummy. You can find it in the chinese section of the grocery store.)
Stir together in a small bowl.

To prepare the filling for the wraps, heat 2 Tablespoons oil in a large frying pan or wok. Add green onions, mushrooms, water chestnuts,  and garlic, and saute a minute or two, then add the meat, and stir fry sauce, and saute a couple of more minutes until it's all heated through and sauce coats the meat well.

To assemble: (I let everyone assemble their own,) I serve the meat mixture in a bowl, and have lettuce cups on another plate or bowl--to make these, slice the top off of a head of lettuce right through the middle of the head. Pull your lettuce cups off of the outside of this slice.
Give everyone a small bowl to put a spoonful or two of the special sauce in. Than each person can add however much of the sriracha chili sauce and Chinese hot mustard to this as they like for spiciness., stir well.
Assemble letttuce wraps by spooning meat filling into a lettuce cup, adding special sauce over the top, folding up like a taco , and then eat up and enjoy!!! Yum!!

*I used a whole 3-1/2 pound pork roast that I shredded and chopped, or you could get roasted chicken and chop up .

Monday, April 12, 2010

Kalua pork in a slow cooker

This is a simple way of making traditional Hawaiian kalua pig without having to dig a hole in your back yard. It is a great tasting pork you could use for lettuce wraps, tacos, BBQ pork sandwiches with added BBQ sauce.. it was way tender. I used it for lettuce wraps... will post recipe for that later.

Kalua Pork
Original Recipe Yield 12 servings

1 (6 pound) pork butt roast  (I had a 3 1/2 pound roast, made a lot)
1 1/2 tablespoons Hawaiian sea salt
1 tablespoon liquid smoke flavoring  ( I used the Hickory smoke flavor)

Pierce pork all over with a carving fork. Rub in salt, then liquid smoke over meat. ( I didn't measure the salt or liquid smoke... I just sprinkled it over the roast and rubbed it in) Place roast in a slow cooker.
Cover, and cook on Low for 16 to 20 hours, turning once during cooking time.
Remove meat from slow cooker, and shred, adding drippings as needed to moisten.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Taco Salad

Was wondering whether or not to post this recipe.. I think most everyone knows how to make Taco Salad. But just in case you don't know how to make your own tortilla bowls this is what I do!!!  Sometimes they turn out better than other times (shape wise) sometimes Jim laughs at them... but they are still yummy!

Taco Shell Bowls

10-inch flour tortillas (one for however many your are serving)
Spray pam or oil
Emty food cans or pop cans, oven safe small custard cups, or balls of aluminum foil (what ever you have to drape the tortilla's over to make the bowl for your salad) I've used cans a lot.. if my tortillas are big I lay the can on it's side instead of upright, to make a deeper bowl.

Preheat your over to 400 degrees.
Place the cans on a cookie sheet. I microwave the tortillas for about 20 seconds to warm them slightly, then spray them with spray pam or brush with olive oil. Drape the tortilla's over the can (if you place it slightly off-center the shell with have a dramatic higher flair to one edge, soemtimes this is fun). Bake for about 5  minutes until starting to brown around the edges and firm enough to hold their shape. Using pot holders, carefully lift shells off the cans and place them cup sideup on the pan; the edges on larger tortillas might need support so you can place 4-in aluminum foil balls under the sagging areas if you want. Return to oven and bake until crispy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Watch them.. you don't want them to get too done.
I experiment alot... like I said sometimes they turn out with small cups.. and if I have the can laying  lengthwise sometimes they don't have much side to them.. but you're going to eat it anyway with the salad... so who cares what they  look like! 

Taco Salad filling:
 1-1/2 to 2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 medium sized onion, diced
1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

Lettuce or salad mix, chopped to bite size pieces, I throw in diced green onion tops
Sour cream
Grated cheese

Brown meat with onions and garlic till done and onions are tender. Mix taco seasoning with about 1/4 water and pour on beef, stir till mixed in well. Add black beans and continue cooking for about 5 more minutes or so until the seasoning and beans are heated through and flavors mix.
Assemble the taco salad by layering in lettuce in the cup of your tortilla bowl, next add a  few spoonfuls of the meat and bean mixture, top with grated cheese, a spoonful of salsa , sour cream and guacamole if you like.
I always eat my bowl at the same time.. but sometimes the men in my family eat the inside and go back for seconds of the fillings then eat the bowl!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Nellie's Frittata

I love experimenting with breakfast..sometimes Jim will go on a low carb diet which requires a lot of protien and vegge's.. so I made this this morning... I named it Nellie's frittata cuz when i say frittata I think of the singer Nelly Furtado ... hahaha!! I know.. my sense of humor is a bit off! But this was good!!

Nellie's Frittata
4 eggs
1/2 cup egg beater's egg product ( I always add a bit of this to my eggs when making omelette's or anything, I think it helps them stir together better and seem more creamy)
3 or 4 green onions, diced (save a couple of Tablespoons for on the top)
4  whole green chile's, (I used canned) diced into about 1 inch pieces.
1 can mushrooms, or fresh if you have them
1 cup or so grated cheddar cheese
3 Tablespoons Salsa, and some for garnish
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat about a Tablespoon or so of olive oil in a medium sized skillet  over medium heat, saute onions and mushrooms for a couple of minutes until onions start to turn transparent, add green chili's and saute a few more minutes.
While vegges cook, whisk the eggs and egg product together with a little salt and pepper, then add 3 tablespoons of your choice of salsa and 1/2 cup of the cheese, whisk again.
I move the vegge's to the edges of pan, then put another tablespoon of oil (just making sure the bottom of the pan is greased before you add the egg stuff) then spread the vegies back out, and pour egg mixture over them , I stir a bit (for a couple of minutes)and keep rotating the eggs so the pan stays covered, turn heat down a bit and cover with a lid for 2 to 3 minutes. When frittata is almost set, remove lid sprinkle with another half cup grated cheese and the rest of the green onions. Then place in oven and bake for about 5 minutes until cheese is melty, and the egg is the rest of the way cooked.
Remove from oven and cut into pieces like you do a pie and top with more salsa! I serve this with crispy peppered bacon and fruit if desired!! Enjoy

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hot Wings!

I love Hot Wings... used to be too hot for me. But the more you eat the more you like 'em! Jim loves them! I've fried them, but hate the way the house smells oily afterwards, still good tho'. I've baked them, but they always stick to the pan no matter how much I grease it. So I grill them and then toss in a big bowl with sauce. Here's my recipe and 3 different sauce recipes that I love to use!  or if you want BBQ wings toss with your favorite BBQ sauce.

Hot Chicken Wings

20 to 30 Chicken Wings, separated at the joints, tips dicarded
Tony Chachere's Original Creole seasoning

Preheat grill for medium high heat.
Pat chicken wings mostly dry with paper towels, sprinkly lightly with Tony Chachere's seasoning. Or you can use salt, pepper,  a little onion powder, garlic powder, and a little cayenne pepper.
When grill is hot, place on grill and grill 8 to 12 minutes on each side, or until juices run clear. (You can deep fry or bake the chicken instead if you want to. I just find grilling easier. Frying takes about 10 to 15 minutes and baking takes 30  minutes at 400 degrees. Just make sure juices run clear)
Remove chicken from grill and place in a bowl or cake pan. Toss with enough sauce of your choice to coat well. (See sauce recipes below)
Serve with  Ranch or blue cheese dressing and of course celery sticks. Enjoy!

Hooters Hot Wing Sauce
1/4 cup Butter
1/2 cup Louisiana Hot Sauce or Frank's Red Hot Sauce ( I use Louisiana)
dash of ground pepper
dash of garlic powder
Combine the butter, hot sauce , ground pepper, and garlic powder in a small saucepan over low heat. Heat until butter is melted and the ingredients are well blended.  This is a good regular sauce, it's spicy but not too spicy.

Sweet Spicy Wing Sauce
1-1/2 cups Louisiana-style hot sauce
3/4 cup butter
1 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (still plenty hot without any cayenne pepper)

In a saucepan over medium heat, mix the hot sauce, butter, honey, garlic powder, pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper. Simmer about 10 minutes, until blended and heated through. (This makes alot of sauce, can keep leftover in fridge for qutie awhile). This is a good sweet spicy sauce, a little more spicy than the first.

Jamaica Mistaica Wing Sauce
1 cup water
1 6-ounce can tomatoe paste
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
1 minced habanero pepper (these are way hot! be careful, use rubber gloves when mincing)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion
1/2 teaspoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke, hickory flavor
1/3 cup white vinegar
Combine all ingredients except vinegar in a large saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer sauce for 1 hour uncovered or until sauce reduces to about half of its original volume and thickens. Remove sauce from heat and stir in the 1/3 cup white vinegar and cover till ready to toss on wings. This makes alot of sauce too. Store in refrigerator or you can freeze it too. This is a good BBQ sauce for ribs too, just remember it's spicey hot!! I think this is the hottest of the 3 because of the habanero pepper.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Oreo Truffles

A girl at my office brought these in on "Treat the Office" day at Christmas time. They were sooooo yummy!!! I could eat about a whole batch!! And they look pretty too, when you dip some in white chocolate and milk chocolate then put the opposite chocolate as a drizzle on top! Yumm!!!

Oreo Truffles
1 pkg. Oreos
1 8 oz pkg. cream cheese
1 pkg white almond bark
1 small package dipping chocolate

Twist oreos and take apart. Scrape cream from cookies and put into large bowl. Add cream cheese to bowl and cream together. Put remainder of cookies into a ziploc and seal. Use a rolling pin to finely crush.
Add finely crushed cookies to the creamed mixture and stir. Roll into 1-inch balls and chill.
Melt almond bark and dipping choc. Dip half of the cookie balls into  white almond bark and the rest into the dipping chocolate and place on wax paper covered cookie sheet. Let set, then drizzle opposite chocolate over the top to make a design.
Let set and enjoy!
Makes about 3-4 dozen.

Luscious Lemon Bars

I love lemon bars. I used to make them alot when before I was married and now I usally just make them at Christmas, they're Jim's favorite! And I said it before... next to chocolate, lemon is my favorite flavor!

Lemon Bars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Dash of salt
2 cups flour
zest of 1 to 2 lemons

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Press mixture into greased 9x13" pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until starts to brown slightly around the edges.

4 eggs, beaten
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup flour
6 Tablespoons lemon juice

Powdered Sugar for garnish

Combine flour and sugar in a medium bowl. Mix in beaten eggs and lemon juice. Pour into slightly cooled curst. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until set. Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into bars.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Di's Potato Salad

I never used to like Potato Salad until I got married. Jim's Mom showed me how to make it and I've been making it this way ever since. Now I love the stuff!

Potato Salad

8 medium red potatoes
6 eggs
2 stalks celery, diced
1/4 of a medium onion, diced
1 whole pickle chopped (or 1/2 cup pickle slices, chopped)
1/2 can olives, sliced
1 cup real mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Ranch dressing
1 heaping Tablespoon yellow mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste
Paprika for garnish

Boil potatoes until they are fork tender, then cool. Boil eggs for 10 minutes then drain and pour cold water on them. When cool enough to handle peel and dice the potatoes into a large mixing bowl, then peel and dice the eggs and put in the bowl with the potatoes. I usually season these two with salt and pepper. Add the diced celery, onions, pickles and olives and toss with a little more Salt and pepper. I taste the potatoes at this point and see if they're seasoned enough.
Mix the mayo, Ranch , and mustard in a small bowl and whisk to mix thoroughly. Dump the mayo mixture into the potato mixture and toss until every things coated.
I taste again at this point, if it's too dry, you can add a little more mayo and mustard if needed.
I put into a serving bowl and sprinkle the top with a little sprinkle of paprika for color. Cover with Saran Wrap and keep in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

**it's a guestimate on the amount of mayo and ranch and mustard I use. I usually put 2 or 3 spoonfuls of mayo into a bowl, and then do a big squirt of Ranch and a little bit smaller squirt of mayo. Add more or less of each according to your taste.

Di's Rib's

I started making ribs a few years ago, they turned out so good, it's usually what we make for our family 4th of July party! Yum!!! You can use the recipe for sauce that I've typed here, or use Sweet Baby Ray's Original BBQ sauce found at most Grocery stores.


2 or 3 large racks Baby Back Pork ribs (or spare ribs work okay too!)
Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning

Cut each rack in half or into thirds if really big. Using heavy duty aluminum foil, tear off a square for each piece of rib. Place one piece of rib on 1 square of aluminum foil, sprinkle liberally on each side with Montreal Steak seasoning. Then bring up the two long sides of foil and roll down, then roll up ends, creating a packet. Do all the pieces of ribs this way. Can rest in the refrigerator over night or until your ready to cook. Then preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place ribs on a cookie sheet in a single layer, place in oven when hot and bake for 2 1/2 hours.Cook sauce while the ribs are cooking in the oven.
When done take out of oven and let rest for 15 minutes while grill heats up.
Remove from packet and place on hot grill for about 5 to 10 minutes per side so you get those grill marks that restaurant ribs have and the meat crisps just a bit. Brush the BBQ sauce on during the last few minutes of cooking per side. Don't put sauce on too early or it will burn. I usually get grill marks on each side, then add sauce and cook a minute or two longer per side.

BBQ Sauce:
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup minced onion
1-1/2 cups water
1 can tomato paste
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1-3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon liquid smoke (I usually use Mesquite or Hickory flavor)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon paprika
Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for a few minutes till they turn translucent and start to brown slightly. Add the rest of the ingredients, and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer, stirring occasionally for 1-1/2 hours uncovered so the sauce will thicken slightly. Remove from heat until ribs are ready.

Fabulous French Toast!!

I made this for our Easter Breakfast!! It was fabulous!!! I love french toast, just ask my Mom and Dad... every family trip we went on when I was little, I always had French toast for Breakfast... Mmmmmmm!

Fabulous French Toast

4 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
French bread (cut into 1 inch thick slices, or you can use Texas Toast)
powdered sugar
Maple syrup

1. Stir together the flour and the sugar (this will reduce lumps from the flour), then add eggs, milk, vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Whisk together till there are no lumps.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat till hot, then add 1 tablespoon of butter. Let butter melt. (if butter begins to smoke the pan is too hot, turn down the heat)
3. Dip each bread slice into the batter for about 30 seconds per side. Let some of the batter drip off, then drop into the buttered pan. Cook for 1 1/2 minutes or so per side unti golden brown. Add butter to skillet as needed as you cook the rest of the bread slices. (this made about 10 slices for me)
4. Serve hot with butter and a sprinkle of powdered sugar, then let each person add their own syrup!
Yummo!!! Especially delicious served with thick sliced peppered bacon!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies!

This is my favorite recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies! It's usually on the Quaker Oatmeal box... but I"m posting it so I'll always have it. My Young Women especially like this recipe, we make them alot and put ice cream in the middle of two slightly warm cookies... Mmmmmmmmm!

Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups Quaker Oats (quick or Old fashioned, uncooked)
1 12-ounce package semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat together the butter and sugars until creamy.
Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Add to butter mixture; mix well.
Stir in oats and chocolate chips; mix well.
Drop by rounded Tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes about 4 dozen.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Chicken Enchilada Soup

I made this soup last night because it had been snowing, yes snowing on April Fool's Day, thought it'd warm us up! It was one of the best soup's I've ever made! Tastes like the Chicken Tortilla soup you get in restaurants. Yum!!

Chicken Enchilada Soup

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 small onion, chopped
1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup masa harina (this is a corn flour you can find in the grocery store in the Mexican section, I use it to make tamales)
3 cups water
1 10-ounce can red enchilada sauce
1 15-ounce can Reeco's Nacho cheddar cheese sauce **see note below
1 can yellow corn, drained (can use frozen, just thaw out and drain water)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Sour cream
grated cheese
Tortilla strips or chips

1. Add the oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add chicken to pot and brown for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and set aside.
2. Add onion and garlic to pot. Saute over medium heat for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken broth.
3. Combine the masa harina with 2 cups of water in a medium bowl and whisk until blended. Add masa mixture to the pot with the onion, garlic and broth.
4. Add remaining cup of water, enchilada sauce, cheese and spices to pot, stir and bring to a boil.
5. Shred or chop the chicken into bite size pieces and add it to the pot along with the corn and beans. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer soup for 30 to 40 minutes until it thickens a bit.
6. Serve soup in bowls and garnish with shredded cheese, tortilla strips, a dollop of sour cream, and a spoon full of salsa!

**I found Reco's Nacho cheddar cheese sauce in the Mexican section of Walmart. Or the jarred nacho sauce would work too. Or you can even use a 16 ounce box Velveeta cheese diced. I just like the nacho sauce better cause of the texture and it has a little spice to it.

To make Tortilla strips, just take about 6 small corn tortilla's and cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick strips. Place on cookie sheet and spray with Pam spray and sprinkle with salt. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for about 12-15 minutes. Take out of oven and they'll crisp up as they cool.

My take on Chicken Cordon Bleu

I love Chicken Cordon Bleu but sometimes I worry that it's not done all the way and it's a pain to pound the chicken breasts and roll them up. Then you have to bread and fry it. So I came up with this little healthier version of it. Hope you enjoy!

Di's Chicken Cordon Bleu

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts,
1 envelope Grill Mates Garlic, Herb , and Wine marinade
4 slices of Black Forest Ham (or your preference)
4 slices Swiss Cheese (or Provolone)

Prepare Marinade according to package directions, and marinade chicken for 1/2 to 4 hours, the longer the more flavorful the chicken will be. Grill on hot grill at about medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes per side depending on how thick the chicken breasts are.
When there is about 3 minutes left of grilling time on the last side, plase one piece of ham (may have to fold over) and one piece of cheese (may have to cut in two and place both halves on, depending on the size of your chicken breasts.) Close grill lid and let it finish grilling. Cheese should be melty when done.
Serve with dipping sauce and I like to serve with Potatoe wedge fries. See below....

Mustard Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup or so Kraft Real Mayonaise
1 Tablespoon prepared mustard (French's yellow)
Whisk together the Mayo and mustard, (this tastes like the dipping sauce you get for the Malibu Chicken at Sizzler.)

Potatoe Wedge Fries
3 or 4 baking potatoes
Olive oil
Lawry's season salt (or any other seasoning you have)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Wash and slice potatoes into wedges. (I cut them in half and make 3 or 4 wedges out of each half. Place in large bowl. Drizzle about 2 or 3 Tablespoons of olive oil over them, and sprinkle liberally with season salt. Toss to coat.(Can add a couple of sprinkles of hot sauce to kick'em up a notch) Place on greased cookie sheet (I try to stand them up with the peel side touching the cookie sheet) and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown and tender like french fries. Yummo!

Portabella Mushroom Tacos

I love tacos. My hubby and I thought it would be awesome to see if we could do a meatless Monday  and Portabella mushrooms have a grea...