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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Refried Bean Stew

On thursday night (which is usually crockpot night) I hadn't had time wednesday to get stuff into the crockpot. So I decided I'd make a bean soup. So where did I first go to look? The Crockpot lady ( even though I wasn't going to do it in the crockpot) and she did not dissapoint, here is the recipe.
She had changed it from another recipe and I've also made some changes.

1 Large onion- chopped
3-4 cloves garlic (I used 3 monster ones)- minced
1 1/2 cups Chicken stock
1- 8 oz can no salt added Tomato Sauce
1 Large Hot House tomato- chopped
1 Can Refried Beans
1 Can Black Beans (rinsed)
1 Cup Corn ( I used frozen) cook it first
1 1/2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1 T Hot Sauce

Take a Large Sauce pot and place it on the stove on medium heat. Once it is heated, add a few Tbsp of Oil. Add your chopped onions and cook for 5 min. Add in your garlic and all spices and cook for another 3 minutes ( you may have to add a little bit of water to keep from sticking). Now you dont have to put your spices in then. You can save them for when you add all of the other ingredients but here is why I do it.

It just gives it more flavor. The onions soak up the flavor and make it more potent (at least in my mind). So it is your choice. Before or after.

Then add the refried beans to the pot. Stir them around so they break up and start to melt. Then add all of your other ingredients (you can adjust the chili powder and hot sauce to your desired level, ours turned out with a pretty good kick). Stir it up well. Turn it down to medium low and allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes.

Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

Have a great day and God Bless!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Southern Plate Giveaways for February

So Christy at Southern Plate is a Cooking stud (see below for the doughnuts I made from her recipe). Check out her site at to check for giveaways and to check out some amazing recipes.

Here is some of what she is giving away!


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Rotisserie Style Chicken looks good doesn't it!

I have to thank Stephanie the Crockpot lady for this recipe that I have adapted my recipe from Rotisserie Chicken

8 Chicken thighs (or any chicken for that matter)
1 tsp Salt ( you will need 3 tsp if you wan't it to be like the stuff you get in the store)
1 tsp paprika
1 tosp onion powder
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp italian dressing mix
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp black pepper
4 cloves minced garlic (added on top)

Mix all of the seasonings but the garlic into a bowl. When I make it I make a big portion, I made about 4 servings last time so this time I just had to pull it out and rub it on the chicken and I still have at least 1 serving less. Sweetness, saving time is awesome.
my bowl o' saved rub on the left and the one to use on the right.

Ok, if you are using chicken thighs you get to do the fun part now, skin the chicken *enter sarcastic typing now*, no really, skin your chicken. Well you don't have to but it's WAY healthier for you.

Once that's done, put them all on a plate, meaty side up. Like so. Now it's time to make the chicken "happy" as Emeril would say. Take that rub and pour it on top of the chicken and then rub it in, now you have happy chicken. When you eat it when it's done you will also be happy.
This is Happy Chicken

Put it in the crock pot meaty side down and DO NOT ADD WATER! not even a little bit, I know what you are thinking, won't it turn out dry? Nope, nope it won't, it will turn out moist and wonderful. So just trust me on this one and step away from the water (and the chicken stock for that matter).

Mince up your 4 cloves of garlic, add it on top in the crock pot. Then cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 8.

Yum. Go make this.

Have a great night and God Bless!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Biscuit Pizza "Man Meal"

I came home from the grocery store spending the last of our $300 budget (which I went over $2.16 whoops) and I had to make dinner for tonight and dinner started in the crockpot tomorrow when we have guests.

I had just bought some Pioneer Baking Mix. So I wanted to use it. So, I did.

2 cups Pioneer Baking Mix
2/3 Cup Milk
10 Tbsp Pasta Sauce
1 lb Ground Beef ( I used 93/7)
1 Cup Monterey Jack Cheese- shredded
1 Medium Onion - Sliced
2 Cloves Garlic- Minced
3 Handfuls Spinach
Salt and Pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 450*

Mix Baking mix and Milk together to form a biscuit dough (follow directions, including kneading and adding extra flour while doing so), spray a 9 x 6 Pyrex dish with Pam. Place Biscuit dough in the bottom and flatten along the bottom. Spread the pasta sauce over the top.

In a medium frying pan add some canola oil and heat on medium, add your sliced onions and salt and generous pepper, cover and cook for 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add spinach and cook down. Add this mixture to the top of the biscuit and pasta sauce.

Cook up your ground beef in the same pan and add to the top of the mixture. Top with Monterey Jack cheese and cook for 15-20 minutes.

Allow to set for 5 minutes and serve. Hubby said this is a man meal because everything is in it together. The carbs, some veggies, meat and cheese.

I'm excited to have it as a leftover for lunch tomorrow!

God Bless and have a great night.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Pork Carnitas

This is one of my favorite crockpot recipes. So easy and so absolutely tasty.


3 lbs pork loin
1 bunch cilantro
5 cloves garlic - minced
1 T Chili Powder
1/2 T Black Pepper
1/2 T Salt
1 Medium Onion Chopped
1 bottle Black Butte Porter

Here we go,
Step 1. Get out your crockpot
Step 2. Put your pork in the crockpot
Step 3. Chop cilantro/ garlic and add on top

Step 4. Add seasonings and onion

Step 5. Pour the beer (goodness) all over the meat/spices

Step 6. Cover and turn on low for 6-8 hours or on High for 4
Step 7. Shred (or have your wonderful husband do it, because he's better at it than you)

Step 8. Serve on a tortilla with Cheese and Salsa and enjoy!

Have a great night and God Bless!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sausage Milk Gravy and Biscuits

So again I have to thank Christy at Southern Plate for this recipe, it turned out absolutely spectacularly! check out her recipe here Sausage Milk Gravy Recipe , I modified it slightly

1 Package of Mild Italian Sausage (out of casings)
3 Tbs Flour
1 3/4 Cups Milk
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat a large skillet to medium heat and place sausage into the pan. Break up into pieces and cook until it is no longer pink. When fully cooked remove only the sausage onto a plate covered in paper towel (leaving all the sausage fat in the pan).

Turn to medium low heat and add 3 T of flour and cook until a light brown. Add your salt and pepper to taste and be sure to make sure you get all of the drippings from the bottom of the pan, because this is your flavor for the gravy. Add the milk and continue to heat until it thickens. Depending on how thick you like your gravy you can cook it longer or add more milk.

Then take your broken pieces of sausage and liberally add to your gravy. Then spoon over fresh biscuits and enjoy.

This gravy was spectacular, the pepper gave it a nice kick and the mild italian sausage paired nicely. Hubby even asked for a spoon so he could get all of the gravy out of his bowl!

Tomorrow I'll be posting the carnitas recipe like I promised! So stop back.

Good night and God bless!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Crockpot Chili

So here is the 2nd part of the 2-fer. Use the meat leftover from yesterdays recipe as your base. If you missed it here it is.

1 1/4 lb lean ground beef (I used 93/7)
1/2 Tb Garlic Pepper
1/4 T Curry
1/4 T Garlic Powder
1/4 T Cayenne

2- 8 oz cans Tomato sauce (no salt added)
1- 8 oz can Tomato sauce (with salt)
2 cans Hot Chili Beans
1 Can Black Beans
1 Can Kidney Beans
2 Cans Diced tomato's
1 Large onion Chopped

2 T Chili Powder (add more if you like it really hot)
1 T Onion Powder
4 Cloves minced Garlic
1/2 T Black Pepper

Shredded Cheese (we used cheddar).

This is so easy and SO tasty and hearty. Mmmmm
If you haven't already, brown your beef ( with all the spices under it) , then put it in your Crock pot (which is a great friend).
Chop your onions and Garlic. Put it on top of the beef, add all the other ingredients, give it a good toss.

Put it on low heat for 4-6 hours. Add some shredded cheese and enjoy a nice warm meal!

Have a great night and God Bless!

Hodge Podge Lunch at G-Ma's

This is a 2-fer meaning I'm going to use a little more than half of my meat for the next dinner. So i'll adjust the ingredients as necessary.

2 lbs lean ground beef (I used 93/7) (3/4 lb for just this meal)
1 Tbs Garlic Pepper (1/2 T)
1/2 T Garlic Powder (1/4 T)
1/2 T Curry (1/4 T)
1/2 T Cayenne (1/4 T)

1 Box Rice-a-roni Chicken flavor (Fry's Brand)
1 Packet Rice Sides Taco Flavor
2 Cans Corn
Canola oil
Shredded Mexican cheese
Heat a large skillet on medium high heat and then add a drizzle of oil for browning the meat (If you are using a larger fat blend you probably wont need it. Add the beef to the pan and break up. Add all spices and cook for 5 min on medium high, flip meat when browned and decrease heat to medium (or medium low).

In a large pot cook your rice to the package directions (since this was a hodge podge I didn't have the same brand, so I had to add half of the rice halfway through the cooking time. In an ideal world I would have had the same. Cook it until it is nearly done, in the last 3-5 minutes add the corn to the mix. Then at the end add your meat (3/4lb). Stir up.

Add mexican cheese on top and stir up and serve. Mmm I forget how much I love curry.
We had a very relaxing day of sittin on the porch swing and playing rummikub with G-ma with an easy hot, comfy meal.

Have a great night and God Bless!

Spicy Chicken Fingers

look I never said it was gonna look pretty, but it tastes good!

Ok ok I know, I'm a few days behind, but I HAVE been cooking, so look for 3 recipes tonight!
3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 egg- beaten well
1 Cup Flour (with salt and pepper to taste)
1 Cup Bread Crumbs
Tapatio or other hot sauce to taste

1 part Spicy Garlic Wing Sauce (I used Fry's brand)
1 part BBQ Sauce
1 Part Ketchup

mmm I love buffalo wings ( I grew up in Upstate NY and I went to school in Buffalo) and chicken fingers, but I also like having semi-clean arteries. So it's best for me to find a way to bake these. Which I do ;)

Also, let me say that my very helpful hubby was doing the picture taking tonight, so you will actually see some of me and some of his *personality* in these pictures ;) he's awesome.

Pre-heat oven to 400* and Spray a large cookie sheet with a good amount of Pam. Set near where you will be working.

Take your Chicken Breast and cut them into 1/2 in slices about 2 inches in length (or so). Once that is done take your Tapatio (or hot sauce of your choice) and put it on your raw chicken, rub it in and then if you are weird like me wash you hands ( I do this ALOT while cooking, which seems counter productive since I am just going to touch raw chicken again, but whatever).

Get out 3 bowls, 2 shallow-ish and one medium mixing bowl.
In the first bowl place your flour. This is your first of your assembly line. In the second bowl place your well beaten egg. In the medium mixing bowl place your bread crumbs.
Now here's the fun/messy part. I usually try to use my left hand to put raw chicken in the flour and then drop in the egg. Then my right hand to move around in the egg and then put in the breadcrumbs. But that doesn't usually work that way. So you can try that, perhaps you will have more success than I *sigh*

So take a strip or 3 at a time and place in flour, coat on both sides, remove and place in egg, coat on both sides then place in bread crumbs. Shake bowl around until they are well covered. Remove and place on baking sheet.

Repeat this mundane process 85 more times (ok maybe it just seems like that many) until you are done with your strips. And remember if your hands don't look like this, you're not doing it right! ;) at least that is what I tell myself.

Spray the top of them with pam and then slide the baking sheet into the middle of your 400* oven. Cook for 8-10 min on one side, flip and cook for another 5-8 (depending on thickness) you can always cut one open to see.

In a large mixing bowl create your sauce of 1 part of each of these three ingredients: Spicy Garlic Wing Sauce, BBQ Sauce and Ketchup. Mix together well. Then add chicken fingers to the bowl and toss till they are all covered in yummy spicy goodness.

We made some baked potatoes with blue chese crumbles on top and a salad. Hubby thought they were great (yes, I got them spicy enough I think) and I thought they were hot, but not so bad that my eyes watered. So try them out!

*now that's a spicy personality*
Have a great night and God Bless!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cinnamon and Sugar Doughnuts (the quick way!)

First, I have to thank Christy at Southern Plate for this recipe, Hubby and I both loved it. Dang these things are delicious.

Here is her recipe Melt in Your Mouth Doughnuts

Ingredients (slightly modified)

1 Can Butter Biscuits (not the flaky kind (they will soak up too much oil))
3/4 Cup White Sugar
1 T Cinnamon
1/2 stick butter, melted
Vegetable Oil for Frying

Ok first I just have to tell you that these are stinking AMAZING, I told hubby he could taste test the first doughnut hole, so he sat patiently post-lunch waiting. He tried it and then said "when is the next one gonna be ready" So I did another doughnut hole and then a few minutes later he had the first doughnut. Man, these.are.good!

(he's a good sport and funny too!)

Enough salivating, time to cook.

Get out a big skillet, fill with vegetable oil so it is around 1/2 inch deep. Heat on Medium-Medium high for at least 5 min. Note: the first doughnut hole I did, it didn't simmer too much (on 6), so I bumped it up, then the second one cooked to fast (on 8) so I dropped it back down to 6, so you'll have to test it
Open your can of biscuits, place them on a plate, and using a bottle top (man Christy is smart) pop out the middles of the bisquits and save them for doughnut holes.

Melt your butter in a shallow wide bowl. Mix your sugar and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl (it makes them easier to coat).
Get a plate out, put some paper towels on it. And we are off.

Test a doughnut hole, make sure it bubbles and sizzles. If it does you are ready for the doughnuts. My pan could comfortably fit 4 at a time. Drop them in (well more like place, if you drop them you'll get burnt, and that's no fun, but if you do the doughnuts will make you feel better) and note the time (you'll need seconds). After anywhere from 45 sec to 1 min flip them over, they should be golden brown. Cook for about the same amount of time on the otherside. Then remove them to the Paper-toweled plate.

Let them rest for a minute or so, so they are warm but not hot.

Place one in the butter to coat, flip and coat the other side. Then drop it into the cinnamon and sugar bowl and coat, like so (hubby was on the phone so I was video-ing and sugar-ing at the same time so sorry if it's bumpy). Note: the video won't post, I'll try later. Essentially grab the bowl and toss it in the sugar until coated. Repeat till you have finished the 4. Place them on a clean plate.
Do the same for the last 4 and the doughnut holes. Then eat one and prepare to be amazed. I was. So was hubby.


Cheese Steak Wraps

1 lb thin sliced steak (tenderized and pounded thin)
1 Medium Onion, sliced
1/2 stick butter
Salt and Pepper
Hot Sauce
2 Tortilla's
1/3 cup Shredded Monterey jack Cheese (or provolone would be best, I used what I had)

Heat a large skillet on medium high heat, once heated add 1/2 stick butter to the pan and allow it to melt and turn a light brown ( be ready to add steak at this point).

Place thinly sliced steak between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper, using a meat tenderizer (or if you don't have one yet like me, use something heavy and flat ;) ). Pound it until it is 1/4 inch or less in thickness. Salt and pepper the side that is up.

Place steak salt and pepper side down, then salt and pepper the top add hot sauce depending on your preference (this should not over power, just compliment). Allow it to cook on one side for 1-2 minutes (depending on thickness) flip over and cook on the other side to your preference. Remove steak from pan and let it rest on a cutting board for 2-3 minutes (so the juice stays in the meat). Then cut into strips.

In the meantime, place your sliced onions in the pan with the butter/steak mixture, cover and cook for 8 ish minutes until they become translucent, add steak back into the pan, place shredded cheese on top and toss until melted.

Place a hearty amount in your tortilla, fold over and enjoy! We paired this with a salad (healthy, remember).

Have a great day and God Bless!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Chicken Fajita Burrito's


3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts- sliced thin
1/2 bag frozen Peppers/Onions (or 1 full pepper and 1/2 an onion)
Salt and Pepper
Mexican Rice and black beans (leftover from last nights dinner)
1/3 cup Mexican Cheese (shredded)

Thursday nights are usually our Bible study, so I usually do Crockpot Thursday's, but I didn't get it done this am *shame on me* so we did this instead since it was quick. Although as I write this we are not going to home group because hubby is sick :(

After you have sliced your Chicken Breasts, heat a large skillet on Medium High heat, add oil to lightly coat pan and add your sliced chicken to the pan. Salt and Pepper to your liking and cook through.

In a smaller pan, heat to medium, add oil and cook peppers and onions for about 5 minutes. In the mean time reheat your rice (my rice was too too spicy so I put it in a colander, rinsed 3/4 of it and then mixed it back in with the spicy stuff, voila! Less spicy rice!) in the microwave.

Lay your Tortilla's on your plate. Add a generous spoonful of rice, followed by chicken, then veggies, top with shredded cheese and roll up!

A quick, easy, pretty healthy dinner. Serve with salsa or sour cream and guacamole. Whatever your favorite sides are. We also had some green beans (gotta get those veggies!).
Have a great night and God Bless.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Beer Brats w/ Onions and Mexican Rice and Black Beans

1 Package Beer Brats
1 medium onion- sliced

Mexican Rice and black beans
4 cups cooked Brown Rice
1 8 oz can- Tomato sauce no salt added
1 Can Black Beans- Rinsed
1/2 Tbsp Chili Powder ( I used 1 Tbsp) * read note below
1/2 Tbsp Black Pepper ( I used 1 Tbsp) * read note below
1 Tbsp Onion powder
1 Tbsp Garlic powder

Heat a grill pan or skillet on medium high, spray with pam, then add brats to the pan, halfway through flip the brats and add the onions and a bit of water to the pan. Cook for 30 min or so (the grill pan takes a bit longer) but it tastes great.

I took my leftover rice from last night put it in a microwave safe mixing bowl and mixed all of the ingredients together. Note I used 1 Tbsp of Chili powder and black pepper because hubby LOVES spicy food. So, I asked him what he thought about it and he said that for mexican rice it was too spicy, the chili powder and black pepper were over powering it (but I did accomplish spicy *it was HOT* ;) ) . So yes, I have a good hubby that is willing to tell me what could be improved with my food so that I can be a better cook. So I would try the above measurements, and I think that will take care of alot.

We drank a black butte porter with it, which is our favorite dark dark beer. It's also one of the main ingredients in my carnitas which I think I'll be making next Thursday, so keep your eyes peeled ;)

Have a great night and God Bless!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Packet Teriyaki Salmon

Salmon Fillets (just under a lb)
3 Tbs- Teriyaki + 2 Tbsp
1 1/2 Tbs- Vinegar
1-2 Tbs- Canola Oil
2 cloves Garlic- minced
1 Tbsp Ginger + 1/4 Tbsp

Pre-heat oven to 400*
Place two pieces of tinfoil together side by side and pinch together to form a seal. Place in a oven safe dish. Spray the bottom of the tinfoil with pam. Place salmon in the bottom of the pan.

Heat a small skillet to medium heat and then drizzle oil in and add minced garlic and ginger. Cook for about a minute until it smells flavorful then add the teriyaki and vinger and heat through.

Drizzle 3/4 of this liquid into the salmon packet, pinch the packet together so it is sealed and place in the oven. Cook for 17 min.

Go back to your 1/4 remaining liquid add 2 more Tbsp Teriyaki and 1/4 tsp ginger and reheat.

Remove salmon from the oven, slice a hole in the packet, let the steam escape and then open to stop the cooking.

Move to a plate and drizzle liquid on top.

We paired this with some brown rice and yellow sweet corn. I really liked the sauce/marinade the ginger gave it a great flavor.

Enjoy and God Bless!