Friday, January 12, 2024

New and Improved Chicken Enchilada Soup

I have a few different Chicken enchilada / chicken tortilla, and different chicken soups on here, but I did a few things different yesterday when I made this soup and it was soooo good I had to write down what I did. It's cold, winter and blizzardy weather here, and it always makes me crave soup. Nothing like a warm soup at the end of the day to warm you up. I love garnishing soups like this with a lot of different topping choices, just adds a little something to the soup. Garnish with your favorites and enjoy!

 New and Improved Chicken Enchilada Soup

4 or 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups chicken broth
1 4-oz can diced green chiles

Seasonings: I used salt, pepper, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder,  chili powder, smokey paprika and dried cilantro.

Place these ingredients in a crockpot and sprinkle the seasonings over the chicken. Feel free to use whatever seasonings you have and like for this soup. I never measure my seasonings, I just sprinkle a bit of each. I cooked on high for 3 to 4 hours until the chicken was shreddable. Turn off and set aside.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic

In a soup pot, drizzle the olive oil over the bottom and heat over medium high heat till it starts shimmering slightly. Add the chopped onion and cook until fragrant and slightly translucent (around 5 to 7 minutes). Then add the garlic, and cook another 30 seconds. 

Next, sprinkle more of the seasonings you used to season the chicken over the onion mixture and cook over medium heat for another minute. I didn't measure my seasonings, just used a good sprinkle of each. 

Remove the cooked chicken from your crock pot  and add to your soup pot with onions, shred with 2 forks. Next, strain the broth from your crock pot and add to the soup pot with onions and chicken. 

2 10-oz cans red enchilada sauce, I used mild but you can used medium or hot if desired.
2  14-oz cans hominy, I used 1 white and 1 yellow. Rinsed and drained
1 19-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
4 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature. (I warmed in a bowl in the microwave and mixed with one can of the enchilada sauce to get rid of big lumps.)

Add  all of the ingredients above to the soup pot. If you need more chicken broth to thin out a little, add as needed. I think I added another 2 cups. Taste for seasoning and add more salt , pepper,  and a little sprinkle of chipotle powder if you need it a little more spicy. Bring up to a boil, then turn to medium / medium low heat  and let this simmer for about 20 minutes to let the flavors blend. Prepare the garnishes while you wait.

Garnishes :

Fresh Cilantro, chopped
shredded green cabbage
Sour cream
Grated cheese
Chopped avocado
Tortilla chips

Serve! Let people pick the garnishes they like and enjoy!!

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Chicken Piccata

 I love chicken Piccata.. and from my photo you can tell I love Parmesan Cheese!! LOL This recipe is breaded chicken that is fried  in a little olive / avocado oil. Then a sauce made with wine, chicken broth, lemon juice, butter and capers. Served over pasta or zoodles, it's amazing. I love it.  I  took two recipes and made my own. The one I used most you can find Here. Enjoy

Chicken Piccata


  • 1½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used 4 pieces and butterflied)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs 
  • 1/2. cup panko crumbs
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil


  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, from 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons brined capers, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley (or 1 Tablespoon Dried parsley)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place cooling rack on top.
  2. If your chicken is thick, use a very sharp knife and slice each chicken breast in half horizontally. One at a time, place the chicken breasts in a large sealable plastic bag and, using a meat mallet or rolling pin, pound them to an even ¼-inch thickness.  
  3. To a shallow bowl, add the flour, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper; stir with a fork  to combine.  Beat the eggs in a large, shallow bowl. In another large, shallow bowl, mix the bread crumbs, and the panko crumbs with ¼ teaspoon salt. Using tongs (or your hands), dip each chicken breast first in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, turning to coat evenly and letting any excess egg drip off, and then into the bread crumbs, turning to coat evenly. 
  4. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the chicken to the pan and cook until the first side is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook until the second side is golden, about 2 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to the prepared baking sheet / cooling rack. Finish frying all the chicken, then  place in the oven while you make the sauce. The chicken should reach a temperature of 160 to 165 --should be done by the time the sauce is.
  5. To make the sauce, discard any excess oil from the pan and wipe any burnt crumbs out with a paper towel.  Add the wine and simmer rabidly for a minute. Next, add the stock and lemon juice, continue to simmer, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, for about two or three minutes, until reduced to about half. Take off the heat, swirl in the butter, capers, and the parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary. Remove the chicken from the oven and transfer to plates. Spoon the sauce over top.
  6. I like to serve over Zoodles, and top with parmesan cheese. 
  7. Enjoy

Monday, January 1, 2024

Steak with Creamy Peppercorn Sauce

 I LOVE steak... a good steak with a good sauce... mushroom & butter sauce... yum.  I tried this creamy Peppercorn sauce last week and it was sooooo good!! Served with cauliflower mash and steamed veggies, it's a good way to start off a new year I think.

Steak with Creamy Peppercorn Sauce

2 or 3 New York Steaks or boneless Rib Eyes (or steak of your choice)

Salt and Pepper ( or a good peppery steak rub)

Worcestershire sauce

1 Tablespoon Olive oil or avocado oil


1/3 cup Brandy or cognac

3/4 cup Beef Broth / stock

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 - 3 teaspoon coarsely crushed whole black peppercorns


Take steak out of the fridge about 1/2 an hour before you plan to start cooking. I sprinkle Worcestershire sauce on my steaks and then the rub. I do this to both sides then let the steak rest and come up to room temperature. 

Crush the Peppercorns using a plastic bag and rolling pin, mortar and pestle or the side of a sturdy knife.


Heat oil in a skillet over high heat until smoking. Add the steaks and cook the first side for 2 minutes until its has a great crust, then flip and cook the other side for 2 minutes (for medium rare) I like to check my steak with a thermometer, I usually like my steaks from 130 to 135 degrees. Remember the steak will continue to cook a little out of the pan and will come up a degree or two while resting.

Stack the steaks then use tongs to sear the fat strip along the sides for a minute or two. Transfer to a plate or small baking sheet and cover loosely with foil and let rest while you make the sauce.


Turn the heat down to about Medium-high heat on the skillet you cooked the steak in, then add the Brandy / cognac and simmer rapidly, scraping up the bits from the bottom of the pan. Let this cook and reduce for about a minute. This should cook off the harsh alcohol smell as well, about 1 minute.

Add beef broth, bring to a simmer and let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until it is reduced by half. 

Turn the heat to medium low and add the cream and crushed pepper corns, simmer for about 2 minutes until it thickens. Don't let this boil rapidly or it will split. 

Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper to taste if needed.

Transfer steaks to serving plates and spoon the sauce down the center. 


Sunday, December 31, 2023

Brown Butter Pecan Sugar Cookies

 I love making cookies at Christmas and sending to family and friends. One of my new favorite sugar cookies are these. They aren't too sweet and I LOVE pecans. AND I have really loved Browned butter lately, whether it's frosting or a brown butter sauce for butternut squash ravioli... I just love it! You can find the original recipe Here. The first time I made them the frosting was thicker more like a butter cream, this year it turned out more like a glaze! Both worked, but I kind of liked the glaze better!! I just dipped the cookies face down into it then let the extra drip off and sprinkled with chopped pecans. However they turn out, enjoy!

Brown Butter Pecan Sugar Cookies



  • 1 and 1/4 cups (150gpecan halves
  • 2 and 1/4 cups (281gall-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (12 Tbsp; 170g)  buttersoftened to room temperature. (I use salted)
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Brown Butter Icing

  • 6 Tablespoons (85g butter
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (180gconfectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • a Dash or two of salt (it helps make the frosting not too sweet)


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C).
  2. Toast the pecans: Spread the pecans on a lined baking sheet and bake for 8–10 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, then chop, either with a knife or a food processor. You’ll use 3/4 cup (about 90g) in the dough, and save the rest for garnish. You can turn off the oven for now.
  3. Make the cookie dough: Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar together on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, and vanilla, and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Stir in 3/4 cup  toasted chopped pecans. Dough will be a bit soft. If the dough seems too soft and sticky, add 1 more Tablespoon of flour.
  6. Place the dough on a cookie sheet size piece of parchment paper. Flatten with your hands as much as you can, then place another piece of parchment paper on the top. I roll this with a rolling pin to the edges of the parchment or to about 1/4-inch thickness. Place this on a baking sheet, then refrigerate for 1 or 2 hours.
  7. Once chilled, preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2–3 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and remove from the cookie sheet onto your counter. I lift the top sheet of parchment off the dough. Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into shapes. Any shape will do, I picked trees. I just press the cookie cutter on my dough with the parchment still under it until it's filled with the shapes,  then using a spatula carefully remove and place on your prepared baking sheet about 2 to 3 inches apart, they don't spread much.  Re-roll the scraps of dough between the two parchment sheets and continue cutting until all is used. I like cutting my sugar cookies this way, you use less flour and the cookies taste better!!
  8. Bake for 9 to 12  minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. If your oven has hot spots, rotate the baking sheet halfway through bake time. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating. No need to cover the cookies as they cool.
  9. Make the brown butter icing: Slice the butter up into pieces and place in a light-colored skillet. (Light colored helps you determine when the butter begins browning) Melt the butter over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once melted, the butter will begin to foam. Keep stirring. After 5–8 minutes, the butter will begin browning—you’ll notice lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan and it will have a nutty aroma. Once browned, immediately remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.  Whisk in the remaining icing ingredients until smooth.
  10. Immediately dip the top of each cookie into the icing, (or wait 10–15 minutes for the icing to thicken at room temperature. Then, spread on with a knife). Garnish with remaining toasted chopped pecans right after applying the icing.
  11. Icing sets after a few hours at room temperature, so you can easily stack and transport these cookies. Cover and store decorated cookies for up to 3 days at room temperature or up to 10 days in the refrigerator.

Sunday, July 9, 2023

Bacon Marmalade and Tomato Jam

If you want the best burgers ever you need to make this bacon marmalade and tomato jam. You don't even need catsup or mustard! just cheese melted on the burger then with each of these slathered on the bun! These recipes were pretty quick and easy to make. You know I love watching food shows that show other peoples stories along with good recipes...I LOVE Food 52 and loved This episode. Watching recipe shows usually inspires me to make something new and fun for dinner. I did half the recipe since there is only 3 of us at home, but I dare you to give these recipes a try. Watch the whole episode for cooking the burgers, I just grilled mine on my outdoor grill and topped with medium sharp cheddar cheese the last minute.

Bacon Marmalade

  • 8 slices, thick-cut smoked bacon, finely chopped
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1/8 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  •  In a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until browned but not crisp, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pan. Add the onion to the skillet, and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the reserved bacon, the coffee, brown sugar, maple syrup, and vinegar. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes. If the moisture evaporates a little too much feel free to add a Tablespoon or 2 of water. I added after the first 10 minutes since I didn't want the Marmalade to scorch.
Let the mixture cool, then pulse in a food processor until it is the consistency of a spread that holds together but is still a little chunky. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The marmalade can be made up to 1 week in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

  • Tomato Jam

  • 2 cups juicy, ripe cherry, or grape tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2  tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
 In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, combine tomatoes with olive oil, ¼ cup water, garlic, and plenty of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes on medium-low, until the tomatoes release their liquid and begin to collapse
Continue cooking, uncovered, at a strong simmer for another 10 minutes or so, or until the mixture is thick enough that when you draw a line across the bottom of the pan with a rubber spatula; it takes a moment for the jam to come back together. Stir in sugar and white vinegar (plus red pepper flakes, for a spicier version), cook for 1 more minute, then transfer to a pint-size mason jar, cover, and cool to room temperature. The jam can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Saturday, July 8, 2023

Sourdough Hamburger Buns


Lately I have been really into making my own bread- that way I know what ingredients goes into it. I love hamburger buns that are soft, lighter, and still hold together when you eat the burger and this recipe is that.
Love this Recipe -- now I don't like buying buns anymore. This Fourth of July I made the best burgers!! I will post some recipes that I did on the 4th for the burgers later, but this also makes great hot dog or brat buns - Give it a try ! and it's a good way to use some sourdough starter. Enjoy

Sourdough Hamburger Buns



  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water
  • your favorite seeds and/or seasonings; optional
  • Instructions
    1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the sourdough starter, water, and yeast.

    2. Weigh your flours; or measure them by scooping them into a cup and sweeping off any excess. Combine the flours, dry milk, salt, and sugar, then add to the mixer bowl with the starter and water.

    3. Fit your mixer with the paddle attachment and turn it to its lowest speed. Mix all the ingredients together for 2 to 3 minutes to make a sticky, cohesive dough. 

    4. Stop the mixer, scrape the bowl, and switch to the dough hook. Add the butter, then turn the mixer up a speed or two and continue to knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 to 12 minutes longer. Try the windowpane test: you should be able to stretch a piece of dough until you can see through it.

    5. Cover the dough and let it rest in a warm place (75°F to 80°F) for about 4 hours. To de-gas and even out the temperature of the dough, stretch and fold it in the bowl two or three times during the rest. You can be fairly flexible in your timing of these; one stretch and fold per hour is ideal.

    6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into six ( did 8 for a smaller bun) equal pieces;.

    7. Shape the dough pieces into tight balls and place them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.

    8. Press the balls gently to flatten them slightly

    9. Cover the buns and let them rise until puffy, about 4 hours 9 or until double in size, in a warm place.

    10. Twenty minutes before you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F.

    11. Uncover the buns and brush them with the beaten egg yolk/water mixture. Sprinkle with toppings.

    12. Bake the buns for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown and a digital thermometer inserted into the center of one bun reads at least 190°.

    13. Remove the buns from the oven and allow them to cool before serving.Store buns at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

    14. ***Looking at the total time it takes to make them, these buns clearly require some planning. You don’t have to bake them all in one day, though. You can prepare the dough through shaping, then let the shaped buns rest at room temperature, covered, for 1 to 2 hours before transferring them to the refrigerator overnight or for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to bake, pull the buns out of the refrigerator and leave them at room temperature, still covered, for an hour or so. Preheat the oven, uncover the buns, brush on the egg wash, and bake. You may need to extend the bake time by a couple of minutes, but the added refrigeration will also lend the buns more robust sourdough flavor.

Friday, July 7, 2023

Easy Sourdough Bread


I love a crusty, chewy , sourdough bread! This is my favorite recipe for that, sooooo easy. You must need to plan a little bit since the dough sits in the fridge over night. Sometimes I bake this in my dutch oven like the recipe says, or you can cut in two and make 2 small round loaves or oblong loaves and bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. When I do that, I put a cookie sheet under the rack I'm baking on and after I put my baking sheet with the bread on it in the oven I pour a cup or two of water in the pan below so it steams... this helps your bread rise a little more by providing moisture, that's what baking in a dutch oven does when you leave the lid on for the first 20 minutes of baking.  I also use a good bread flour  and I bought a kitchen scale. I find using a kitchen scale works way better than measuring the flour when it comes to the consistency of the dough. I love baking bread and haven't bought any from the store for years!!  Hope you enjoy!

  • Easy Sourdough Bread
  • 1 cup (227g) ripe (fed) sourdough starter


First off: Measure your warm water and add the yeast and sugar. You don't have to use yeast and sugar but I find I get a little more rise to my bread with its help. The yeast also eats the sugar and blooms. Set this aside while you measure the rest of your ingredients into a large Bowl with a lid.

Weigh your flour: or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, them sweeping off the excess.

Combine all the ingredients into the bowl. Using a big wooden spoon, mix and stir everything together to make a sticky shaggy dough. 
Leave the dough in the bowl, cover it with the lit or a piece of plastic wrap for 1 hour.

Gently pick up the dough and fold it over itself several times, cover and let it sit for enough hour.

Repeat this rising-folding process one more time for a total of 3 hours. Then, place the bowl in the refrigerator  and let it rest over night.

When you're ready to make the bread, take the dough out of the fridge and let it warm up for about an hour.

Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and shape it into a rough ball. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and let raise until double in size. 
I like to make a proof box in my oven by barely turning the oven on for 30 seconds and then turning off. 
This takes the chill off of it. I boil a small saucepan of water them put that in the oven along with the dough and let raise for around 30 to 45 minutes. Then take the dough out of the oven along with the saucepan of water and heat oven to 450 degrees. I put my dutch oven in the oven to preheat as well.

When the dough is double in size, I slash a couple of lines in the top of my loaf with a razor blade. Any design you choose is great, I go about 1/2 inch deep.
Take the lid off your dutch oven and pick up your dough by lifting the parchment paper. Place the dough in your dutch oven and put the lid back on. Bake at 450 with the lid on for 20 minutes. Then take the lid off and turn the oven to 425 and bake another 20 to 25 minutes or until your bread reaches 200 degrees internally.

Carefully remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes then remove the bread from the dutch oven to a cooling rack.
I love it when you can hear the bread crackle as it cools. 
Enjoy a thick slice slathered in butter!! yum!

New and Improved Chicken Enchilada Soup

I have a few different Chicken enchilada / chicken tortilla, and different chicken soups on here, but I did a few things different yesterday...