Thursday, December 17, 2015

Red Velvet Brownies

Found this recipe on Pinterest.  You can find it Here



  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottom and sides of a 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides; lightly grease foil.
  2.  Microwave chocolate and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. Whisk in sugar. Add eggs, 1 at a time, whisking just until blended after each addition. Gently stir in flour and next 4 ingredients. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
  3.  Bake at 350° for 44 to 48 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 2 hours).
  4. When brownies are cool make frosting. Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar and salt, beating until blended. Stir in vanilla.
  5. Lift brownies from pan, using foil sides as handles; gently remove foil. Spread Cream Cheese Icing on top of brownies, and cut into 16-20 squares. Garnish, if desired.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Smothered Pork Chops with Mushroom Gravy

Jud is always complimentary of my cooking, but sometimes he grades it over the top. This is one of those meals.  Easy and quick make for a great combination.  I bought a family pack of these pork chops so we will be eating left-overs for a couple more times. You can find the recipe Here

Printable Version

Mushroom Gravy Smothered Pork Chops 

 6-­8 large pork chops, bone in 1½ 
 2 cups Italian style bread crumbs 
freshly ground pepper, to taste 
1 tbsp of ground sage (I usually don't measure this out ­ I just go by taste)
Vegetable oil 
2 (10 oz.) cans reduced sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup 
1 cup milk 


1. Pre­heat oven to 425°F. 
2. Season the pork chops with sage and ground pepper. 
3. Coat the chops with the bread crumbs making sure that all sides are covered. 
4. Heat some vegetable oil in a large pan. 
5. Once the oil is hot enough (Med. Heat) fry up the chops so that they are browned on each side. 
6. Once browned lay the pork chops on a baking sheet lined with a couple layers of paper towel to help remove any excess fat. 
7. Once they have all been browned and set on the paper towel lay them in a large rectangular baking dish or casserole dish. It's fine if the pork chops overlap some. 
8. In a large measuring cup or mixing bowl combine the condensed soup with the milk. Make sure it's well combined. 
9. Pour the sauce evenly over the chops. 
10. Bake the chops in the oven covered with aluminum foil for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Recipe by Dishes and Dust Bunnies at /m ushroom ­gravy­sm othered­pork­chops

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas Toffee

Years ago, I was teaching Kindergarten and one of my students gave me some toffee for Christmas. I got the recipe and made it several times.  I found this recipe this year and it is not quite as good, but it is pretty darn close.  And sooooooooo much easier. You can make it start to finish in about 45 minutes, and that is counting being in the freezer for 30 minutes. I used Graham cracker, but I'm sure the salty/sweet combination of the saltine crackers would be awesome. I cut this recipe in 1/2.

50 saltine crackers or graham crackers
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, cubed
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 to 1 cup M & M's, chopped nuts, or sliced almonds (as you can see, I chose the pecans)
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a large jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray and then line the pan with saltine crackers.

Place the butter and sugar in a medium sized pot over medium-low heat. Stir until the butter is melted. Once the butter has melted, bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes. Stir constantly.

Once it is nice a bubbly, remove pan from heat and pour evenly over the crackers. Spread mixture with a knife, however it doesn't have to be perfect. Try to move quickly during this part so the toffee doesn't harden.

Place pan in the oven and bake for 6-8 minutes. The mixture will spread evenly over the crackers as it bakes.  Remove pan from oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the toffee while it is still hot. Let the chocolate chips melt for a few minutes and then spread the chocolate all over the toffee with a spatula. Sprinkle with M & M's or nuts. Place in the freezer 30 minutes. Break pieces off the foil and place in a container. It will stay fresh 1-2 weeks. I took mine out of the pan with the aluminum foil still under the toffee. I used a big knife to cut mine into 1 1/2" strips and then cut the strips into 3" pieces. Some of them broke, but it worked well.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Chicken Pot Pie

I used several recipes to make this chicken pot pie, but the pie crust came from Here

For the Filling:

In a saucepan cook 2 potatoes, and 2 carrots until tender. I had some left-over green beans and some frozen peas that I threw in after the potatoes and carrots were fork tender. 
To a skillet add 1/4 cup of melted butter and 1/2 of an onion chopped. Cook this until the onions are soft. Add 1/4 cups of flour and cook for about 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of chicken broth and about 1/4 cup of milk.  Cook until thick.  Add the cooked   vegetables and onion mixture. Add 1 rotisserie chicken chopped into bite-size chunks. You can either put this mixture in a pie shell and then add the filling and then top with another crust, or you can put the filling in an oven proof dish and top with the crust. I like this method because I am eating less crust.


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces


  1. To make the dough for the pie crust, mix 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 1 teaspoon each salt and sugar in a medium-size bowl. Cut 2 sticks chilled unsalted butter into pieces. With a pastry blender, cut in butter, working until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  2. Add 4 tablespoons ice water; work with hands until dough comes together. If dough is still crumbly, add more ice water a tablespoon at a time (up to 4 more tablespoons). Do not overwork.
  3. Divide dough in half, and flatten halves into disks. Wrap disks separately in plastic; refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  4. To form the pie shell, roll the dough on a floured surface into a 14-inch round. Wrap around rolling pin and carefully unroll over a 9-inch pie plate.
  5. Fit gently into bottom and side of plate. Use kitchen shears to trim dough to a 1-inch overhang; fold under, and seal to form a rim.
  6. Crimp rim with fingertips and knuckle. Repeat with remaining dough; wrap each with plastic, stack and freeze

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Barbeque Shrimp - Ruth Chris

Found this on Pinterest and decided to try it.You can find it Here
I only used 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick). Jud and I didn't have any trouble eating all 30 shrimp. My shrimp were not large, I'm just saying.

  • 20 large (16/20) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 ounce canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon plus 5 teaspoons green onions, chopped
  • 2 ounces dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped garlic
  • 4 tablespoons Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) salted butter


Place a large cast iron skillet on a burner and heat over high heat. Add oil and cook shrimp until they are just done. It's best to prepare shrimp in batches if you do not have large skillet. Remove shrimp and set aside on a large platter.

Add green onions to the oil in the skillet and cook for 1 minute. Add white wine and let simmer until it is reduced by half.

When the wine is reduced by half, add chopped garlic, Worcestershire, Tabasco. cayenne pepper and paprika. Shake the pan well and cook for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low.

Cut butter into small chunks with the knife and slowly add into pan, shaking fast to melt butter.

Continue to add butter and shake until all butter is melted. Add shrimp back to pan and toss well to coat shrimp with butter and seasonings and to heat the shrimp. Place shrimp on four plates and enjoy..

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Green Bean Casserole

This is a great recipe if you don't mind going to a little trouble.  I found this in the Austin American Statesman 2015 Thanksgiving issue. It was by Shauna James Hern. She made hers glutten free by using glutten free flour. 

Ingredients for crispy onion topping:
1 large onion- peeled and thinly sliced
Peanut Oil for frying onions
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For Casserole:
1 1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and snapped in half
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups sliced cremini or white mushrooms
Kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup coconut milk
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Set a large pot of salted water over high heat. Bring the water to a boil. Put a large bowl of ice water in the sink. Put the green beans in the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Plunge the hot green beans into the ice water. Let them sit for 1 minute, then immediately drain the water. Dry the beans with a towel and spread them out on a baking sheet to air-dry entirely.
Put flour, salt, and pepper for the onions into a wide bowl. Toss the onions in the flour to coat entirely. Put enough fat into a large cast-iron skillet (I used my fry daddy) to make a depth of 1 inch. Set the skillet over medium-high heat. When you can flick a tip-of-your-finger-full of water into the fat and it skizzles, you are ready to fry. Lower a light layer of the sliced onions into the fat and fry until they are lightly golden. Remove them with a slotted spoon or spider, and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat until all the onions are fried. Set them aside for later.
Pour the stock into a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat down to low and keep it at a simmer. Set a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Put the butter in the skillet. When the butter has melted, add the mushrooms and season lightly with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are hot and wilted, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic and cook, stirring, 2 more minutes. Toss the flour over the tops of the mushrooms and stir until the mushrooms are fully coated. Pour 1 cup of hot stock into the skillet, stirring constantly. When the stock is incorporated into the mushrooms and bubbly hot, add the other 1/2 cup.Add the coconut milk and keep stirring until the sauce is reduced and thickened, 5 minutes.
Put green beans into a large baking dish. Pour the mushroom sauce over the green bean. Toss until everything is coated. Sprinkle with a bit of black pepper on top. Top with the crisp onions. Bake until the sauce is bubbly around the edges of the onions, about 15 minutes.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Chicken Lazone

This is definitely a top ten recipe. You can make it in about 15 minutes. Serve with pasta or mashed potatoes.  It was amazing. We will be eating this at least once a month.
You can find the recipe Here

1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds chicken tenders
1/4 cup butter, divided
2 cups heavy cream
Combine salt, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Sprinkle over both sides of chicken tenders.

In a large saute pan, melt half of the butter over medium-high heat. Cook the tenders until done, about 4 minutes per side.

Pour the cream and remaining butter into the skillet with the tenders. Lower the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 5-7 minutes. Serve chicken and sauce over the pasta or mashed potatoes. Yum!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Caprese Chicken and roasted Broccoli

You can find the recipe Here

We grilled our chicken outside, but everything else was the same as this recipe.

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 pounds broccoli, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Roma tomato, sliced
2 sprigs basil, leaves thinly chopped
4 slices Mozzarella cheese, sliced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Slice the chicken breasts in half and then season and tenderize with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Whisk together balsamic vinegar, mustard, brown sugar and olive oil. Toss half with the broccoli and spread out onto a sheet pan. Sprinkle with salt and roast for 25 minutes, shaking midway through to prevent sticking.
Heat grill pan our outdoor grill over medium-high heat. Brush with some oil and grill chicken on both sides for about 4 minutes.After the last side is almost done, add the slices of mozzarella to each chicken breast. To plate add the basil and tomato to the top of the chicken with mozzarella.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Perfect Chocolate Cake

I have changed the way I eat in the last 3 months, so I haven't posted very many desserts.  If you are going to eat desserts, make sure they are worth the calories. If I need something sweet, I usually have one square of a Hershey's dark chocolate bar. As of this writing, I have lost 11 pounds. It has taken me 3 months to get here and I won't blow it with this cake.  Just a small piece is all I needed.

Printable Version
Ingredients for Cake:
1 cup cocoa powder                                    2 2/3 cup flour
1 cup butter                                                 2 cups boiling water
2 1/2 cups sugar                                          2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda                            1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs                                                          1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Whipped Cream Filling      
For cake:
Combine cocoa and boiling water. Stir until smooth, and set aside.  Cream butter, and gradually add sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time, making sure it is incorporated before adding another egg.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Add to creamed mixture alternately with cocoa mixture that has cooled slightly. Stir in vanilla. Pour batter in 3- 9" or 8" baking pans.
Bake 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes. Spread whipped Cream Filling between cooled layers. Spread Chocolate Frosting on top and sides.
Ingredients for Filling:
1 cup whipped cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Beat whipped cream until foamy. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until soft peaks form.
Ingredients for Frosting:
1 package semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup of half and half
3/4 cup butter
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar.
Combine 1st three ingredients in cooking pan. Cook stirring until chocolate chips and butter melt. Remove from heat and add powdered sugar. Beat like crazy. Set in ice and beat at a low speed. This icing gets a little hard for my taste, so I will probably use a different icing next time I make it.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Slow Cooker pot roast

I found this recipe in the Austin or San Antonio food section. I get both papers and I forgot to copy where I got the recipe. If anyone reads this and knows the answer to which paper, I would be glad to give them full credit. I have another slow cooker pot roast recipe, but thought this one sounded healthier.  This will probably replace my other recipe as my go-to pot roast.

Printable Version
1 - 3-4 pound beef chuck roast, trimmed of fat (I did not do this)
3 cups beef broth
6 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped in chunks
4 ribs celery, rinsed and chopped in chunks
3 potatoes peeled, and cut into chunks
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 onions, chopped in chunks
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
3 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. In a small cup, stir together cornstarch and 3 tablespoons cold water until no lumps remain
2. Pour cornstarch mixture into slow cooker and add carrots, celery, onions, garlic, and potatoes (I added the potatoes--the recipe does not call for them.)
3. Mix together to make sure everything is thoroughly coated.
4. Season your roast generously with salt and pepper. Rub all over with Worcestershire sauce
5. Transfer roast to slow cooker and place on top of vegetables. Pour beef broth over roast and cook on low for 10-12 hours, or high for 5-7 hours.(I cooked my roast on top of the stove for about 3 minutes per side to brown it. I just think that makes for a better presentation)
6. Let roast rest 10 minutes before slicing thinly. Transfer veggies to serving platter and serve cooking liquids with the roast. We did not slice the meat. It was so tender, we just took off chunks of the meat.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Mozzarella Meatballs with Spaghetti Sauce

 I'm not sure this is worth the effort. Just regular meatballs would have been fine. Printable Version

Ingredients for Sauce:
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 oz. pancetta, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 can crushed tomatoes
3/4 teaspoon salt and pepper
1/2 cup Romono cheese
1 small onion, grated
2/3 teaspoon + 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 large egg
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 oz. mozzarella, cubed
3/4 cup parsley
1/3 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
16 oz. ground beef
1 lb. long pasta
Method for sauce:
Heat oil and add pancetta. Cook 5-7 minutes. Remove pancetta and set aside. Add onion and cook 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, and pancetta. Simmer 15 minutes. Stir in cheese and season with salt and pepper.Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil and place in lower 1/3 of the oven. Combine onion, 1/2 cup parsley, 2/3 cup Parmesan, bread crumbs, egg, Ketchup, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Add meat. Combine and make into meatballs. Make a depression in center of meatball and place a cube of mozzarella in the center. Bake 15 minutes. Cook pasta. Drain, and add sauce and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Serve meatballs separately.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Grilled Chicken with Andouille Mustard Sauce

This was a really nice dish that we enjoyed very much. I will certainly make this again.
I cut this recipe in 1/2

6 chicken breasts
Creole Seasoning
1 cup of andouille sausage cut in 1/4" slices and then cut in 1/2
1 cup button mushrooms
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup creole mustard
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
Rub chicken with extra virgin olive oil and season with creole seasoning. Grill chicken breasts. Cook sausage over medium heat until fat is rendered. Add mushrooms and saute 1 minute. Stir in cream. Reduce temperature and reduce liquid by 1/4. Add mustard and simmer until thickened to coat spoon. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange chicken on a platter and top with andouille sausage. Garnish with green onions.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

This is super simple if you use rotisserie chicken instead of the chicken breast the recipe calls for in Organic Life. We loved this soup and it came together in a matter of minutes.
Of course, you skip the step of cooking the chicken that is in step #2.

White Chicken Chili

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chile powder or chili seasoning
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • salt
  • 3 cans (19 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup fat-free half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese (2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1. In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, 4 to 5 minutes.
2. Push the onions to one side of the pan, add the chicken and garlic, and sprinkle with the chipotle chile powder, cumin, and salt to taste. Cook, stirring, until most of the chicken is opaque on the outside, 5 to 6 minutes.
3. Stir in 3 cups of the beans and 2 cups of the broth. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Partially cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the remaining beans and remaining 1 cup broth. Process to a smooth puree.
5. Stir the bean puree and half-and-half into the soup. Divide the soup among 4 bowls and serve hot sprinkled with cheese and cilantro.

Recipe Tips
If you want to prepare your own cooked white beans for this recipe, you'll need 4 1/2 cups (from 2 1/4 cups dried).

Nutritional Facts per serving
Calories       368.7 cal
Fat     8.4 g
Saturated fat     2.2 g
Cholesterol     88 mg
Sodium     512.2 mg
Carbohydrates     28.1 g
Total sugars     2.6 g
Dietary fiber     6.8 g
Protein     43.2 g

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Beef Stroganoff over Buttered Noodles

I have adapted this from Tyler Florence's recipe. You can find it 
Here  I love to make things in my crock pot so I have adapted this to be cooked in my slow cooker.

Printable Version
3 cups beef stock
1 carrot, cut in 3 pieces
6 sprigs fresh thyme (divided use)
1 bay leaf
2 pounds chuck roast, cut into 2 inch cubes (or beef tips)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons Merlot
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons of sour cream, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves + more for garnish
1 (1-pound) package wide egg noodles
Place beef stock carrot and 3 thyme sprigs, and bay leaf in crock pot on high with the lid.  Pat the beef dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet over high heat. Fry the meat in batches so that it is browned on all sides. Lower the heat to medium and return all the meat to the pot. Add the onions and cook until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Remove carrot, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf from the crock pot. Add the beef and cook on low for 5 hours. In the same skillet you used to brown the meat, melt 3 tablespoons of butter and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add the mushrooms and 3 thyme sprigs. Cook until the mushrooms are starting to brown. Add garlic and cook about 4-5 minutes. Set aside for later. When the meat is cooked and tender remove from heat and add mushroom and garlic mixture. Then add sour cream, mustard and parsley. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.

Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling, salted water until tender. Drain the noodles well, toss with remaining 2 tablespoons butter, and season with salt and pepper. Serve the stroganoff over the noodles; garnish with more sour cream and chopped parsley.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Baked Chicken with lemon zest and milk

I forgot to take a picture before Jud had carved the chicken.  This is a recipe by Jamie Oliver. Someone adapted it and you can find it Here

I know it is easier to pick up a chicken at the grocery store, but this is really good and the gravy it makes is nice. Tomorrow I will take the grease off the top of the gravy and put the rest of the chicken in the gravy for leftovers.

Printable Version


  • 1 (4- to 5-pound) whole chicken
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 5 to 8 large sage leaves
  • 2 (3") sprigs rosemary


Active time: 25 minutes 
Total time: 2 hours

Preheat oven to 375°. Discard chicken neck and any included giblets. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season generously with kosher salt and black pepper, including inside the cavity. 

Place a 4-quart (or larger) Dutch oven or heavy oven-safe pot or pan over high heat. Add butter; when it melts and foams, add chicken. Brown chicken over high heat 10 minutes, using tongs to turn over. When chicken is evenly golden brown, turn it breast side down in pot and pour in milk. Bring to a simmer, then turn off heat. 

Add to milk the lemon zest, garlic cloves, cinnamon, sage, and rosemary. Cover pot with a lid or foil and roast 45 minutes. Remove lid and roast until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°, 30 to 45 minutes more. Remove from oven and carve or shred chicken (it should pull off the bone easily). If needed, add salt to sauce to taste. Serve, spooning sauce from pan over meat. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Baked tilapia with lots of spice

This is an awesome recipe.  Really quick fish dish.  I made some orzo and placed the fish on top of it.  You can find the recipe

Printable Version
Ingredients: In a small container combine the following spices:
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon basil
3/4 teaspoon basil
3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 tilapia fillets
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons diced green onions
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
In a small bowl combine the spices.
In a shallow container mix the bread crumbs, dried parsley, and green onions.
Measure 4 teaspoons of the spice mix and sprinkle that over the fillets
Add remaining spice mix the the bread crumbs, mixing well. Add the olive oil to the bread crumb mix, blending it with your hands.
Dredge the fish in the breadcrumbs, coating well. I covered one side really well.
Place the fish on a baking pan that has been covered with parchment paper and sprayed with non-stick spray.
Bake 450 degrees for 15 minutes. The original recipe says to bake 6 minutes, turn and bake 4 minutes, turn and bake an additional 4 minutes. Baking it 15 minutes without turning makes all of the breading stay on the fish.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Pies

The picture does not capture how awesome these little morsels of goodness they are.  I only ate 1/2 at a time, but they were worth every calorie.
You can find the recipe Here

Printable Version
Graham Cracker Toffee Crust
5 whole graham crackers
3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons toffee bits
Peanut Butter Pie Filling
1 cup heavy cream
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup toffee bits
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Chocolate Ganache
1/4 cup chopped salted peanuts
1 1/2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
mini chocolate chips
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 count muffin tin with muffin/cupcake liners.
2.  Add graham cracker crust ingredients to food processor and blend to a fine crumble. Divide Crust mixture between the 12 liners (about a heaping tablespoon each) and press into the bottom of the liners. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until lightly golden. Set aside.
3.  Add heavy cream to a large mixing bowl and beat with mixer on high until firm peaks form. Set aside.
4. To a separate mixing bowl (or remove heavy cream), using the same beaters, beat peanut butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the confectioners' sugar, toffee bits, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Beat until smooth (it will be thick). Gently fold the whipped heavy cream into the peanut butter/cream cheese mixture with a spatula until completely blended.
5. Spoon peanut butter pie filling into muffin tins (they will fill to the top). Freeze for at least one hour.
6. Meanwhile, prepare chocolate ganache by adding chocolate and heavy cream to a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for one min. Stir, and then microwave at 30- second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate is melted. Stir chocolate until smooth. Let cool to barely warm, stirring occasionally (it will thicken as it cools.). Spoon the chocolate ganache over the peanut butter cups and spread with the back of the spoon (it's okay if some spreads over the edges).
7. To garnish, melt peanut butter and drizzle over mini pies (I add my peanut butter to a ziploc bag and snip the corner), sprinkle with salted peanuts and mini chocolate chips. Freeze for at least 4 hours. Can be may up to 7 days in advance.
8. When ready to serve, serve immediately, as the mini pies soften quickly.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Chicken and White BBQ Potatoes

This is a recipe from Cooking Light. You can find it Here
I made this ahead and put it in the refrigerator. On a night I didn't want to cook, I just heated it in the microwave for a few seconds and put it over baked potatoes. 

(6-ounce) Yukon gold or baking potatoes
Cooking spray
2/3 cup canola mayonnaise
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1/4 cup sliced green onions


Hands-on: 20 Minutes
Total: 1 Hours
1. Preheat oven to 450°.
2. Pierce potatoes with a fork, and coat lightly with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 50 minutes or until tender. Remove potatoes from oven, and cool slightly. Cut a lengthwise slit in each potato that goes to, but not through, the other side, and squeeze the ends to loosen potato flesh.
3. Combine mayonnaise and next 6 ingredients (through garlic) in a medium bowl. Stir in chicken and relish. Divide the chicken mixture evenly among potatoes. Top each potato with 1 tablespoon onions.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Brown Sugar/ Dijon Pork Tenderloin

Jud says, put this on the regular rotation.  It was amazing, and so easy.  I forgot to put parchment paper under the pork when I cooked it, so it will soak overnight. But so worth it.  I found this recipe on Pinterest. You can find it Here

1 1/2 pork tenderloin
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
salt and pepper, to season
Brown Sugar Dijon Dipping Sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1-2 teaspoons brown sugar
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Season the pork tenderloin with salt and pepper on both sides.
2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add pork tenderloin and brown, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from heat.
3. Place pork tenderloin in an oven proof pan lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Brush the entire pork tenderloin the Dijon Mustard. Then sprinkle the pork tenderloin with brown sugar all over and press gently with your fingers to make it stick.
4. Bake, uncovered for 30 - 40 minutes, or until pork is cooked through. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
5. Slice and serve with a Brown Sugar/Dijon dipping sauce if desired. ( And you do desire, trust me). I did not measure, but the recipe says mix together 2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard and 2 teaspoons brown sugar.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Salami, Bacon and Spinach Hash

We have started eating two meals a day with a snack about 3:00 p.m.  This could be served for breakfast or lunch.  We both loved it. I cut the recipe in 1/2 except for the eggs and it was still too much for two people.  I served some left-over biscuits with it. This will definitely be added to our regular rotation. This recipe comes from Giada De Laurentiis

Printable Version

8 ounces apple-smoked bacon (5 to 6 slices), cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 medium russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I didn't use this)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces ( ( used a green bell pepper)
3 cups baby spinach leaves
5 oz. dry salami, peeled and cut into 1/2 -inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
zest of 1/2 medium orange
4 large eggs, at room temperature
Cook the bacon over medium-high heat in a 12-inch nonstick skillet, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 10-12 minutes. Remove the bacon using a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.
Add the potatoes, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to the pan juices. Cook, stirring frequently, until brown and crisp, about 25 minutes. Remove the potatoes using a slotted spoon and drain on  paper towels.
Add olive oil, if desired, onions, bell pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach, salami, nutmeg, orange zest, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook until the spinach is wilted, about 4 minutes. Stir in the bacon and potatoes.
Make 4 indentations in the hash and break an egg into each. Cook until the eggs are cooked through, 5-6 minutes.  The last couple of minutes, I covered the skillet to allow the egg to cook through.


We really enjoy eating hummus in the afternoon for a snack.  We have gone to eating two meals a day with a snack around 3:00 p.m. This is one of the hummus recipes that I make. I read recently that if you want a smoother hummus, you peel the garbanzo beans. I have started doing this even though it is a little more trouble.

In a blender or food processor add the garbanzo beans that have been rinsed and peeled. This is where you can get creative.  Sometimes I add 1 roasted red pepper. This particular recipe has 3 roasted garlic cloves and 3 sun dried tomatoes in oil.  Pulse until well incorporated then add olive oil until you get the consistency you are looking for.  I blended a few sun dried tomatoes in a coffee grinder that I use for spices to put on the top.  Just before serving, you can add a little extra olive oil.

Shrimp Gumbo

 This is my mom's shrimp gumbo recipe. It is really very simple ingredients.  I was surprised how little was in it the first time I made it.  

1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup flour
1/2 onion
1 can (16oz..) tomatoes
1 package frozen okra or fresh
2 cups water
In a dutch oven lightly brown the oil and flour.  You want it to be a little darker in color to honey.  When it is the color you want, take it off the stove and add onion. Stir to combine and soften the onions. Then add tomatoes, okra, and water.  Simmer 30 minutes to let thicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add peeled and deveined shrimp. Simmer 30 minutes longer.  To serve, put a couple tablespoons of cooked rice in the bottom of the bowl.  Add gumbo and enjoy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Lemon/ Butter Scallops

Scallops are one of Jud's favorite foods so on our anniversary every year, I try to find a recipe that uses scallops.  I'm not a huge fan of scallops, but this was nice and he liked it.  He grilled vegetables and that was my favorite part.


 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 pound scallops Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 cloves garlic, minced Juice of 1 lemon Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves


Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Remove the small side muscle from the scallops, rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry. Season scallops with salt and pepper, to taste. Working in batches, add scallops to the skillet in a single layer and cook, flipping once, until golden brown and translucent in the center, about 1­2 minutes per side. Set aside and keep warm. To make the lemon butter sauce, melt 2 tablespoons butter in the skillet. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve scallops immediately with lemon butter sauce, garnished with parsley, if desired

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Classic Stuffed Shells

I made two of these. Shared one and ate one. This recipe was on the back of the H.E.B. Jumbo Shells.  I added the ground meat.

1 pkg (12 oz.) H.E.B. Jumbo Shells                                   2 Tablespoons Chili Sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil                                                1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped onion                                                     1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 clove garlic, minced                                                        1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 (12oz.) cans Tomato Juice                                               1 (16 oz.() container Ricotta Cheese
1 (6oz.) can Tomato Paste                                                 2 eggs, beaten

1 pound ground meat
3 cups (12oz. ) shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 teaspoon dried Parsley Flakes
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1. Cook Jumbo Shells as package directs, drain, Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Cook ground meat in a medium skillet while shells are cooking. Cook until browned.
3. Add onions and garlic. Cook until tender. Stir in next 6 ingredients, simmer 10 min., uncovered, stirring occasionally.
3. Blend Ricotta cheese and eggs in medium bowl. Stir in 2 cups Mozzarella, Parmesan, parsley flakes, seasoned salt and pepper.
4. Pour 1/2 of the tomato sauce into a 13"X 9" baking dish. Fill shells evenly with Ricotta mixture. Place in baking dish.
6. Bake for 30 minutes or until hot.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Pine nut crusted chicken tenders

I had some left over pine nuts in the freezer and decided to use them in this dish. I think they would have been better if I had not frozen them. When I put them in the coffee grinder it made more of a paste.  But then again, it did go on the tenders easily.

chicken tenders
pine nuts
Put the pine nuts in the coffee grinder and pulse until desired consistency. Rinse the chicken and dredge in the pine nuts.  Place on a baking sheet lined with foil (for easy clean up) and bake 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Turn 1/2 way through.  I thought this was o.k. Probably not a repeat for me.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Honey Lime Tilapia

This may be my favorite tilapia recipe . You can find it Here
I have started following some of her pinterest boards. Looking forward to finding more gems.

    Fish and Marinade:
  • 4 tilapia fillets (about 4-5 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (from 1 large lime)
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • Coating and Cooking:
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, honey, salt, pepper and garlic. Place the tilapia in a gallon-sized ziploc bag and pour the marinade on top of the fish. Press the air out of the bag and seal. Refrigerate the fish for at least an hour and up to 4 hours. It helps to lay the bag in a flat dish and turn it over once or twice during the marinading time since the marinade won't completely cover the fish.
  2. Before cooking, whisk together the flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish like a pie plate. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until rippling and hot. Dredge each tilapia fillet in the flour, coating both sides lightly. Cook the fillets for 3-5 minutes per side without moving the fish while it cooks on each side; this will ensure a more even browning. Adjust the cooking time as needed depending on the thickness of the tilapia and the heat of the skillet and work in batches if necessary so the skillet isn't overcrowded.
  3. Serve immediately with lime wedges.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from One Lovely Life, found via Pinterest