Saturday, November 23, 2013


I have seen so many PINs and google postings about oreo brownies...even Bryan came home the other day talking about this brownie recipe that had oreos baked in the middle.  Psst...I had seen it on Pinterest for months before this...come on Bryan, get with the  Anyway, I decided we would have this treat even though it would be all my calories for the entire week :( !  I wanted to make my own brownies for my first batch, but after running all over town searching for vacuum screws, roasting a pumpkin for puree and then pureeing it, cooking dinner (shephard's pie with steak instead of ground beef and sweet potato fries that seemed to take hours), cleaning the kitchen and then eating, making brownies from scratch just didn't appeal to me.  So, I used the boxed mix of dark chocolate fudge brownies. 
I prepared the brownies according to the package.  I used skim milk instead of water and coconut oil instead of vegetable oil.  I sprayed my 12 muffin tin with baker's joy and put 1 tbsp of the batter in the bottom of each space.  I then put an oreo in the middle of each one...topping it off with more batter for each muffin.  One box was EXACTLY enough for 12.  I sprinkled the top with Resse's pieces (the more the merrier for me, but not everyone likes, I put ALOT on half of them and only a few on the other half).  I put the pan in the oven for 20 minutes and they were perfectly cooked.  If you are like some people who like the inside brownie, you could make this recipe in a square cake pan.
ENJOY!  The joy of brownie, oreos, and Resse's

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Chicken Potpie

On Monday, I had some chicken I had put in the fridge to be marinated (with Frank's red hot sauce, lime juice, garlic, and olive oil) for no specific reason, just to have ready when I needed it.  So, yesterday, I wanted something easy to either have with it or put it in.  I came across a bubbly up chicken pot pie that uses puff pasty, so I ran in to HEB and got a box of puff pastries.  I didn't use the recipe I found on facebook....noo...I couldn't use the one that called for ingredients that I had ALL of...noooo....I had to use Paula Deen's recipe that calls for cream of celery and cream of cheese soups, neither of which I had.  Well, then I went in search of recipes for those cream soups and used the ones found here:
 This turned out the best thing I believe I have ever made..well, if not the best, then close to it.  I made a few MINOR changes, but basically went by what Ms. Deen suggested.  The following is the recipe:

 2 sheets frozen puff pastry
2 large chicken breasts cooked and diced or shredded (I marinated mine in 1/2 c Franks red hotsauce, 1/4 cup olive oil, and juice of 2 limes overnight in refrigerator.  I then baked in the oven (in the marinade) for 45 minutes while I went to get my daughter at school.)
1 can cream of celery soup
1/4 tsp minced sauteed ginger
1 can cream of cheddar cheese soup
1/2 c skim milk
bell pepper
2 stalks celery
about 2 cups frozen peas
2-3 carrots...depending on size and how much you love carrots, diced and cooked (I cooked my carrots in the marinade from the chicken  and boiling water)
salt and pepper

I put the carrots on to boil and then I concentrated on my soups (instead of making 2 seperate soups, I just doubled the base and followed the 2 soup recipes together...I also added some fresh ginger to the celery while sauteing).  I set the soups aside and sauted the onions and bell pepper until they  were a little under crispy (these would soften up more during oven cooking).  After I added the milk to the soup, I put it back on the stove and brought to a boil to combine completely.  I removed the pot from the heat and then added the diced chicken, carrots, peas, onions and bell pepper, and salt and pepper to taste then combined completely.  In the bottom of a 9x13 pan, I sprayed with bakers joy and lay one sheet of the puff pasty.  I then added the filling.  You could just put the other sheet of puff pastry over the top, but I cut the pastry in 1/2 in strips and put it as a latice over the top.  Paula Deen shows you how to do that in her book, or you can find a tutorial online.  It's easier than you think, especially if you didn't have to make the crust to begin with :). 

There are 3 of us in the house now and this potpie has disappeared already.  As soon as my 14yo daughter took her first bite, she yelled "I want this for lunch tomorrow".  That's always a good sign.  I will be taking this to any potluck.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Pork Rib enchilada casserole with tomatillo/hatch chili sauce

Yes...that does sound a little weird.  First of all, pork rib?  You would be amazed how awesome the country style rib meat is in stews and casseroles.  When you cut it off the bone and into bite size pieces, it is so very tender and more flavorful than chicken.  I combined tomatillo and hatch chilis together to make the enchilada sauce.  Wow, what a flavor boost.  I love both of them as green enchilada sauce and when you combine them...well, words can't really explain it.  Add some cheese and corn tortillas and the casserole is a great dinner and could easily travel for a potluck.  Here is how I did it:

Country Style Pork Rib enchilada casserole with tomatillo/hatch chili sauce:

8 medium tomatillos
3 medium sized roasted/skinned/seeded hatch chilis
6 cloves garlic
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 medium onion
3 cups water

Add above ingredients in to a large sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until tomatillos are very soft.  Using emersion blender, blend until smooth and set aside until needed.  You will only need about 1/2 of it.  Either freeze or can the rest.

Meat mixture and casserole layers

6 full size (about 1lb) country style pork ribs
3 medium russet potatoes (or whatever potatoes you prefer)
1 pkg taco seasoning (or 7 tsp homemade taco recipe)
2-3 cups preferred cheddar or Mexican queso
12-15 small corn tortillas
1 cup greek yogurt or sour cream
2 cups baracho beans (left over from previous meal.  used recipe from using both pinto and black beans)  or 1 can of drained black beans or pinto beans.

cut up ribs into bite size pieces.  cut potatoes into bite size pieces.  combine in large bowl with lid and add taco seasoning.  Shake to cover.  Add to large sauté pan and sauté until potatoes soft and pork browned.

Start with tortillas...add to large casserole dish.  Cover tortillas with meat mixture, then add yogurt, then half the cheese.  repeat layers except for the cheese.  Add the green sauce and put in an oven preheated to 350 degrees.  Bake for 20 minutes then add rest of cheese and put back in the oven until cheese is melted. 

Quick and Easy Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole Recipe

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Dang Good Pizza Sauce

I have been making my own spaghetti sauce for a while and believe I have just about got it perfected based on what veggies are in season.  So, today, I decided to make my own pizza sauce for some homemade deep dish pizzas.  As usual, I got some ideas and guidance from various recipes, but went out on my own for the most part.  It turned out better than I had expected...yum!  I used roasted tomatoes, peppers, and onions that I roasted about a month ago and froze.  There were about 8-10 medium size Roma tomatoes, a jalapeno, a bell pepper, a sweet onion, and a couple of sweet peppers.  I also roasted a few slices of zucchini and a sliced carrot as well as fresh herbs.


1 onion
1 bell pepper
4 stalks celery
hand full of fresh spinach
2 cloves of garlic
hand full of fresh basil and oregano
a sprig of fresh rosemary
(you can also use dried herbs...about 1/3 of the amount you would use of fresh)

I put all of this in my ninja and pureed.  I then added 2 tbsp of olive oil to a large pot...heated it and then added the above pureed mixture.

While that is sauteing, I added the roasted tomatoes to the Ninja and pureed until thick.

I added the tomatoes to the pan with the veggie mixture along with a bay leaf, 1 tsp of sea salt, some fresh ground pepper and a few shakes of some dried italian seasoning.  I also added 1 tsp of fennel seed and a few shakes of dried roasted garlic.
I brought it to a boil and then lowered the temp to keep it at a slow simmer.  I put the lid on the pot and let it simmer for about an hour.  It was the perfect thickness but if you want it really thick, let it simmer for about 30 minutes longer, uncovered.
I think next time I am going to start this in the morning and put it in the slow cooker on low for about 8 hours.
This recipe made enough sauce for 2 pizzas with 2 pints left over for later.  This would be great to use as dip for crusty breads and mozzarella sticks.  You could also use it as pasta sauce or in casseroles.  Don't forget to remove your bay leaf after it has cooked or someone will get an unwelcome surprise.
Easy Pizza Sauce III Recipe

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

zesty smoked sausage pasta

I got an idea from a Pinterest recipe today.  It called for pasta, smoked sausage, rotel, onions, and chicken broth.  Me, having an abundance of different vegetables, decided to go out on my own with the above base ingredients.  Here is what I came up with:

1lb smoked sausage-sliced
1 onion-diced
2 cloves garlic-minced
2 cups broth (I made my own vegetable broth, so I used a pint of that)
2 cans rotel (I canned some rotel with the abundance of tomatoes I had, so I used a pint)
2 cobs of corn (corn cut off the cobs)
1 small zuchinni-finely chopped
1 stalk of celery - finely chopped
3 mini rainbow peppers (not sure what they are really called)-chopped
2 Italian peppers (bell pepper would be ok)-chopped
salt and pepper to taste (I used an herb seasoning sea salt blend)
2/3 cup half and half
12 oz pasta (I used garden rotini)

in a large skillet heat a little olive oil...add sausage, onion, zuchinni, celery, corn, and peppers and sauté until veggies are soft and sausage is a little curled then add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.  Add the broth, rotel, and seasoning and bring to a boil.  Add the rotini and stir.  reduce heat and cover.  simmer on low for about 10 minutes or according to pasta instructions and soft.  Top with parmesan cheese.

This turned out really good.  It was well like by everyone and again, no one knew they what vegetables they were eating or even that they were eating vegetables :)

I hope you enjoy.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Meatballs with Peach Barbeque Sauce

My daughter LOVES meatballs...I mean really really LOVES meatballs.  I tried to keep up with that love by making homemade meatballs, but you know, sometimes I just can't.  I now buy frozen meatballs from Sam's club to supplement that LOVE of hers.  With that said, she, of course, asked for meatballs (for the second time this week).  I'm not a huge fan of meatballs, but I got a bright idea talking to her about them.  Just that morning, I had opened up a pinterest post on grape something or other meatballs...sounded pretty interesting, but something that I am just not interested in trying....and it popped into my head as we talked about what she wanted for dinner.  After deciding I didn't want to try the grape whatever, peach barbeque sauce popped in to my head.  I have been doing quite a bit of canning lately and had seen that recipe in the Ball canning book...which I was seriously considering.  Sooooo, I decided before I can this stuff we may not does sound a little more out there than my kids would care to even make it with meatballs and throw it over brown rice.  As I'm cooking this stuff and throwing in the ingredients it called for, I'm seriously thinking it was going to be a flop.  I wouldn't even tell anyone in my family what it was for fear they wouldn't even try it.  I never tell them what is in stuff because I tend to hide a lot of vegetables they would normally not eat in any sauce or casserole.  As this is cooking I put on fresh green beans and new potatoes (Paula Deen recipe) and cut up sweet potatoes for sweet potato home fries (another Paula Deen recipe..she really does know her stuff).  After I get all of this completed, I call everyone in to dinner.  Of course they are to tell them what the yellowish orange stuff is that the meatballs are swimming around in and, of course, I didn't tell them until they took at least one bite.  That one bite is all anyone was a HUGE hit.  Even my 18 year old that hates different stuff..she's worse than a 3 year old...came back for seconds...and I think she actually licked her plate.  My honey started putting the leftovers away and started eating  He is going to get me a box of peaches today to get this stuff canned to have all year...awesome.  I am going to try this in meatloaf, on chicken, in melted cheese for dip...the ideas are endless with this stuff.  So, I just had to post this recipe!!  I hope it is enjoyed by everyone else like it was by my family.

Peach Barbeque Sauce


  • 1 pound fresh peaches
  • 3/4 cup chopped sweet onion such as Vidalia
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minutesced fresh jalapeño with seeds
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/4cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons mild honey
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


Cut an X in bottom of each peach, then blanch in a medium saucepan of boiling water 10 seconds. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice and cold water and cool. Peel peaches and coarsely chop.
Cook onion, jalapeño, and a pinch of kosher salt in oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 to 10 minutesutes. Add peaches and remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until peaches are very tender, about 30 minutesutes.
Purée in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids).

Read More
Again, I served this with meatballs over brown rice, fresh green beans and new potatoes, and sweet potato home fries.  All of the recipe reviews used it on pork ribs and tenderloin...that sounds awesome as well. 

Monday, July 29, 2013


I have come to the point where I am just using recipes to get ideas but really don't go by them at all.  Yesterday I was looking for a recipe to use some steak I HAD to use by yesterday or it would be inedible, but I didn't want to grill it.  I also had some corn tortillas that MUST be used, so I decided on some kind of fajita casserole.  I went on the hunt of a good fajita marinade that wouldn't take over night but could become fully marinated by the time I got through canning some tomatoes (which I have become addicted to).  I came across this recipe found here: .  Of course, I only used it as a "guide".  It called for flank steak...I had ribeye.  It called for jalepeno pepper and chiles de arbol...I used jalepeno and fresh cayenne pepper (I had the chiles but needed to use the cayenne).  I also did not use the cumin seeds and peppercorns but cumin powder and fresh ground pepper since really that's what it turned out to be for her after she used her morter and pestle and ground them up.  I let them marinate just like she said.  instead of broiling the meat after it was through marinating, I grilled it on my George forman.  The rest of the casserole I made up as I went along and here is what I came up with:

2 medium size ribeyes
6 cloves garlic minced
1 jalapeno pepper finely diced
1 cayenne pepper finely diced
1 tbsp. oregano (didn't have Mexican oregano so I added a little paprika...don't ask me
fresh ground pepper (about 30 turns on the grinder)
1 tbsp. chili powder

I also made a tomatillo sauce but slightly different than her it is:

5 tomatillos (pretty big)
1 Anaheim pepper
lots and lots of cilantro (fresh)
juice of 1 lime

I also used the following in the actual casserole body:
18 corn tortillas (you could use flour but I have found that flour tortillas turn a little slimy in casseroles)
about 3 or 4 cups of cheddar and pepper jack cheese mixture
1/2 cup salsa (I used my own salsa)
2 tbsp. sour cream (mix with the salsa)
1 onion
1 bell pepper

after the meat has marinated 3 hours in the fridge and then taken out and let sit for 30 minutes, add it to a preheated grill (discard remaining marinade).  While that is grilling, prepare a casserole dish (I used a 9x13 glass dish) with cooking spray and then put 9 tortillas across the bottom.  Add the salsa mixture, then some cheese (how much ever you like).  Put the grilled steak next, then a little sprinkle of more cheese (I love cheese).  Add the remaining tortillas and then top with the tomatillo sauce.  Bake for about 20 minutes then add the remaining cheese and bake for another 10 minutes (or until cheese is melted).  My ENTIRE family loved this and that is saying something to me because my oldest daughter HATES steak...any form of it is gross to her.  Very easy meal to prepare when your canning everything under the sun.  I went crazy at the market this weekend!!
I hope you enjoy!