Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Amazing Taco Dip


I am not a song writer, but I did make a mean taco dip last weekend....

I usually make the traditional layered beans, salsa, sour cream, etc..but I tried something new this time and it was magic. Everyone wants the recipe, so here it is!

Amazing Taco Dip

1 (8 oz) block of cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 cup French onion dip (I used Helluva)
1 pack taco seasoning
Shredded Lettuce
Picante Sauce
Shredded Cheese
Chips for serving

Use an electric mixer to mix salsa, sour cream, dip and taco seasoning. Spread on a platter and top with desired amount of lettuce, picante sauce and cheese. 

Dig in!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Easy-Creamy Alfredo

This is another MIL jewel....

She got the recipe out of one of those books a church or large group of people will put out of their recipes for a fund raiser type deal.....know what I mean? That was a big sentence, anyway.

It's supposed to be a copy cat Olive Garden Fettucine Alfredo recipe, to me it doesn't taste like it....but it's fabulous. There's only 4 ingredients, not including pasta. You'll eat until you can't breath, so wear stretchy pants....:)

Easy-Creamy Alfredo

1 (8 oz) block of cream cheese, cut into pieces
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup butter
1/2 milk
8 ozs pasta of choice, cooked and drained

In a large saucepan, combine all but pasta. Heat over medium and stir constantly until cheese melts and sauce is smooth. Toss pasta with sauce, coating well. 

Dig in!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Toasted Cereal and Almond Snack Mix

Toasted Cereal and Almond Snack Mix

2 cups Golden Grahams
2 cups Cinnamon Toast Crunch
2 cups oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup

Heat Oven to 300. Line a large cookie sheet with foil, spray with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix cereal, oats and almonds. Set aside.

In a 1-quart saucepan, heat butter, brown sugar and syrup over medium, stirring frequently, until butter is melted and mixture boils. Pour over cereal mixture, stir until well coated. Spread evenly on cookie sheet with a rubber spatula.

Bake 35-40 minutes, until almonds are golden brown. Cool completely.

Eat it by the handful, and also yummy over yogurt!

Store in tightly covered container.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Wild Rice Salad with Cashews

I know I have been a little absent lately, I am sorry.

I started a local all-natural co-op and that's been my computer time lately. Also, I am trying to 'get my life back together' in areas like cleaning and organizing, the house has been a bit 'tumbled' since early pregnancy with Luke. I also haven't been cooking as much, just hasn't been my focus lately! I have a ton of ideas I want to try out though, so I will be posting more!

This is one of my favorite ways to eat rice, and you'll love it too!

This cold rice salad makes an excellent side or a main dish served in an avocado like we did. I think it would even be good served inside of a roasted red pepper.

Wild Rice Salad with Cashews

1 cup uncooked wild rice, or wild rice blend (we used Uncle Ben's the night I took the picture and just left out the seasoning pack)
4 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped red bell pepper
3/4 cup cashews, coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper

Rinse and drain rice in cool water.

In a saucepan, bring rice and broth to a boil over high. Reduce to simmer and cover for 45 to 50 minutes until rice is tender. Drain excess liquid and set rice aside. 

In a medium skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium high. Add peppers and cook 3 to 5 until tender. Add cashews. Cook for 2 to 3 more until nuts begin to brown. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, mix together rice and peppers. 

Combine dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake well. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Dig in!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Snow Pea Cold Noodle Salad

I AM SO TIRED! I stay up wayyy too late every night to watch television not appropriate for the 4 year old's eyes and crochet. I regret it every morning. EVERY.MORNING.

Complaint done.

I stumbled across these little cucumbers at our local produce stand. I figured they were for pickling, but the lady working there said they were good for salads. I bought a few bunches and used them in the salad below.

Snow Pea Cold Noodle Salad

2 cups snow peas, cut diagonally into strips
12 ozs soba/buckwheat noodles
2 scallions, white and green parts diced
1 medium carrot, shredded
1/2 cup thin matchstick cut cucumbers

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 garlic clove, grated

Bring 4 cups of water to boil and salt. 

Boil snow peas for 1 minute and immediately plunge into ice water using a slotted spoon. Place soba noodles in boiling water and cook according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Pour snow peas over top. 

Meanwhile, combine dressing ingredients. 

Toss rest of veggies, noodles and dressing ingredients together and chill for about an hour. 

Dig in!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Hard Rock Cafe BBQ Baked Beans

Yes, it HAS been over a month since my last post. Life has been hectic...

I will do a catch up post next time, but for now....

Another copycat recipe...

I've never actually had the beans in the restaurant, but the recipe seemed yummy so I gave it a try. They were really REALLY yummy. The original recipe called for twice as much chili powder as I put below, so it's up to you if you want to add more. They were plenty spice with half as much, in my opinion.

Hard Rock Cafe BBQ Beans

Two 15 oz cans pinto beans, one drained, 1 with liquid
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons diced onions(I used dry)
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon for serving(I used fake bacon bits)

Preheat oven to 350.

Pour pinto beans into a 2 quart casserole dish. Dissolve cornstarch in the 2 tablespoons of water and stir until dissolved. Add to beans and stir. 

Add the remaining ingredients, except bacon, stir to combine. Cover. Baked for 90 minutes, stirring every 30. Cook for 5 to 10 before serving. Top with bacon.

Dig in!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cheesy Cauliflower Bake

Who else out there is watching Extant? I am on the 3rd episode..woo...good stuff! I hope it sticks around, sci fi shows don't always do well in mainstream television. 

BTW....it 'feels' like 100 degrees here today. LORDY it's HOT. 

Food time!

This recipe is super-easy, the 'hardest' part is cutting up the cauliflower. But it's worth it...yum.

Cheesy Cauliflower Bake

4 ounces cream cheese, softened and cubed
12 ounces cauliflower florets, steamed
6 to 8 ounces white cheddar, shredded
1/2 cup baking mix 
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
3 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400. 

Coarsely chop cauliflower. 

Combine cheddar and cream cheese. Stir in baking mix and ricotta, blend until smooth Stir in eggs, milk, green onions and salt. Stir in cauliflower. 

Transfer to a greased 2 quart baking dish. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until center is set and browned. 

Dig in!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Boston Market Copycat Squash Casserole

When we lived in Tampa, I fell in love with Boston Market sides....not the chicken, just the sides. One of my favs was their squash casserole. Recently, I bought a copy of a recipe book with a ton of restaurant copycat recipes. The squash casserole was included....and now I'm sharing it with you. It's DELICIOUS. I altered the recipe slightly to work with what I had on hand.

Boston Market Copycat Squash Casserole

1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
4 1/2 cups diced zucchini
4 1/2 cups diced yellow squash
1 cup chopped yellow onions
1 1/2 sticks butter (12 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon diced dried thyme leaves
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon minced garlic
8 ounces cheddar, diced

Prepare cornbread according to package direction, set aside to cool. 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 13x11 glass casserole dish with cooking spray. 

Place zucchini and squash in a large pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and reduce to medium-low and cook until tender. Drain. 

Meanwhile, melt butter in a skillet over medium and saute onions until tender. Add salt, pepper, and thyme. Add garlic and saute another minute. Add drained squash and diced cheese, stir. Crumble prepared cornbread over mixture and chicken broth. Mix well. 

Spoon mixture into prepared casserole dish. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 50 to 60 minutes until golden brown. Remove cover for the last 20 minutes. 

Cool for 5 before serving. 

Dig in!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Mexican Pancakes with Chili Beans

I know I am 2 posts behind the 4th of July, but how was your's to my American friends? We had friends over for dinner and went to fireworks after. This is Luke and I, yes he's huge now....5 months old. 

Cooper and Daddy....Coop did his first sparklers that night....

Luke is developing such a personality....I tried to get a non-wiggly without flash picture of him in his car, but he moves too much and it was blurry. So I had to use the flash, which just startled him. 


I am normally a classic pancake girl, I even have a hard time thinking about an APPLE pancake, so this was a bit strange to experiment with but I was glad I did. YUMMY. We served it with the Cheesy Corn from my last post. 

It was a very filling dinner!

Mexican Pancakes with Chili Beans

2 cups pancake mix (I used Jiffy)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 egg, well beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup ( about half a can) cream style corn
1 can chili beans in sauce
Sour cream and cheese for serving

Combine dry ingredients. Add egg and milk, mix well. Add corn, mix. 

Pour 1/3 cup of batter onto a hot skillet sprayed with cooking spray. Cook like you would any other pancake. 

Meanwhile, heat chili beans in sauce pan over medium. 

Serve pancakes topped with chili beans, sour cream and cheese!

Dig in!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Cheesy Corn for the Slow Cooker

I cannot remember where I got this recipe, I've had it in my collection for several years now. I would pull out the recipe. glance it over, think nah....and put it back. WELL, I FINALLY tried it and was pretty happy with how it turned out. It seems a little strange to me to used sliced cheese in a recipe, but it worked! This recipe makes a TON of corn, I actually cut back on the ingredients. It would make an excellent pot luck dish!

Cheesy Corn for the Slow Cooker

2 16-oz bags frozen corn
6 ounces cream cheese, cubed (about 3/4 of a block)
1/4 cup butter, cubed
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons sugar
6 slices American cheese, cut into squares

Combine all in slow cooker. Cook on low 4 hours until heated and cheese is melted. If liquidy at the end of cooking, take lid off and cook on high 20 minutes. 

Dig in!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Tomato Baked Beans

I don't think I ever shared the story of our broken camera...

On Cooper's last day of school, the parents were invited for a little party and I was SO EXCITED to see my boy at school. I was happily taking pictures and video of our sweet boy with his teachers and friends, and bam...I dropped the camera on the floor, lens out, jammed. We just JUST got the camera 3 days before I had Luke. I was SO upset. We are going to get a new one, but with plumbing work and just life in general, we just can't go buy a random camera because it's Tuesday, know what I mean? 

AND we don't have fancy smart phones, just very basic can't even send a picture message phones. 

That's why I have been posting a little less, I have a bunch of recipes archived that I pull from to blog at least once a week, until I can start taking pictures of food again. I haven't even really tried new recipes and ideas because I can't blog them. 

My mom is bringing me her camera to use this weekend, so I will be able to get by with it for now. Sigh.

Not that the camera took a beautiful pic of the beans below...but they were yummy, and easy....

Tomato Baked Beans

1 (28 oz) can vegetarian baked beans
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 425. Lightly spray a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray. Combine all ingredients and pour into baking dish. Bake at 425 for 25 to 30 minutes, until edges are bubbly. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Caesar Roasted Red Potatoes

It's JULY! Luke will be 5 months in a few days....wow. 

We have been staying busy doing library programs, story times and vacation Bible schools. Cooper has done 3 so far, 2 more to go. 

Plans for the 4th? We have friends coming over for late lunch/early dinner and fireworks that night. We are looking forward to it!

I am 96% I will be making this recipe below for our get together....

Caesar Roasted Red Potatoes

5 to 6 medium red potatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 cup Caesar salad dressing
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup shredded Italian blend cheese

Preheat oven to 400.

Place potatoes on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave potatoes on high 8 to 12 minutes, until tender.

Transfer to a greased 13x9 baking dish, Bake 15 minutes. Toss with dressing and green onions. Top with cheese. Return to oven 3 to 5 minutes to melt cheese. 

Dig in! 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Apple Streusel Cinnamon Roll Pizza

Happy Father's Day! (To the dad's I have reading my blog?)

We went to breakfast this morning at Mimi's Cafe. YUMMY breakfast. After, we took the boys to the park, it was Luke's first time so we didn't stay too long. It's wayyyyy tooooo hot for babies to be out too long in the sun in Florida. 

On a sad note, I broke my camera 2 weeks ago during Cooper's end of the year party at school. I don't even know how I did it. I had the wrist strap around my wrist and bam...on the hard floor..lense out. Jammed. My mom is sending me hers to use until we can buy a new one, I am so sad! I loved that camera and plan on buying the same one. 

NOW, onto the food....

This was super-easy, like a 10 minute dessert, depending on how long it takes you to peel and chop apples. 

Apple Streusel Cinnamon Roll Pizza

2 medium golden delicious apples
2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
1 (13 oz can, 8 rolls) cinnamon rolls with icing
1 cup granola ( I used vanilla honey)

Preheat oven to 400. Line baking sheet with foil or lightly spray a stick free cookie sheet with cooking spray. 

Dice apples and mix with cinnamon sugar. 

Open can of cinnamon rolls and DO NOT DIVIDE. Unroll entire roll onto baking sheet and press out to form a 9x13 crust. Sprinkle apples over crust and bake 7 minutes until edges are golden. 

Top with granola. Return to oven 6 to 7 minutes, until center is golden. 

Place container of icing without lid on microwave safe plate and microwave 20 to 30 seconds, until hot enough to drizzle over pizza. Drizzle over pizza, cut into squares, and serve!

Dig in!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Apple-Walnut Crescent Rolls

Apple-Walnut Crescent Rolls

2 packs refrigerated crescent rolls
2 Granny Smith or other tart, medium apples
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350.

Dice apples and toss with cinnamon, sugar and butter.

Unroll crescent rolls into triangles and fill with 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple filling. Close in apples to form pockets. (They will not resemble regular crescent roll crescent shapes).

Place on lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Dig in!

Monday, May 26, 2014

My oh My...It's Lentil Frito Taco Pie!

I have always been a big fan of the homemade taco salad. We had Old El Paso Tacos on a regular basis in y childhood. I always crumbled mine to make a salad...

It's hard to find a good replacement for real ground beef in a taco salad. I am not a big fan of TVP (texturized vegetable protein), even though it's the easiest to use and comes frozen already crumbled for about 4 bucks. Our current fav beef substitute is the Quorn brand crumbles. Quorn is made with fungus, like mushrooms. Sounds gross, but it's magically delicious. They're fake chicken is the closest I've ever come to chicken without actually eating chicken. 

Anyway. Lentils are another good substitute for beef in tacoy things. Good for you. Filling. Easy to cook. 

Like the recipe below....

Lentil Frito Taco Pie

1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
2 cups salsa
1 pack taco seasoning
Corn chips
Taco toppings (lettuce, tomato, more salsa, sour cream, cheese, olives etc)

Place lentils in a saucepan with 2 to 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and simmer, covered, 25-35 minutes, until tender. Drain and return to pan. 

Stir in salsa and taco seasoning. Simmer 5 minutes to heat through. 

Serve lentils over corn chips and topped with taco toppings. 

Dig in!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Asparagus, Tomato and Egg Salad

I know other bloggers always have something interesting to post about before they put up their purty pictures with their recipes....but I do not really get the 'purty pictures' others get and my life consists of sitting in a recliner and caring for small children at the moment. Kevin and I are going on a Dolphin Cruise for a good friend's bday this weekend....so I look forward to that....

The salad below was very satisfying. And easy. You may have to reduce the roasting time if you have itty bitty skinny asparagus, just keep an eye on it. 

Asparagus, Tomato and Egg Salad

1 pound asparagus spears
6 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
4 hard-cooked eggs, sliced into eighths

Preheat oven to 400. 

Break of woody ends of asparagus and line up on baking sheet. Drizzle spears with olive oil and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Cool. When cool enough to touch, cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces. 

Combine asparagus, eggs and tomatoes in a bowl. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss to coat. 

Dig in!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Spicy Black-Eyed Pea Spread

Hope the Mommy's out there had a good Mother's Day! We had Olive Garden to go...it was delicious. I love some carbs! I picked out my own present, a while bunch of my favorite lotion Au Lait. Cooper picked me out a super-cute owl and a nice card. I spent most of the day watching DVDs and painting my nails on our bed. Ah...a day without too much childcare, is it sad that's all I really want for Mother's Day? :)

NOW...this recipe...


A smooth, spicy and healthy spread for pita or a dip for chips. We had it on pita that night for dinner and I sampled some later on tortilla chips. I recommend both ways. 

Spicy Black-Eyed Pea Spread

2 cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch of salt
Half a block of cream cheese (4 ozs), softened and cubed
1/4 cup of plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Salt to taste

Pita bread for serving

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth, about 2 minutes. Chill 1 hour before serving. 

Dig in!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Cake Mix Hack: Streusel Muffins

It's a rainy day and I am watching Dexter while the boys nap....

It's still funny to say 'the boys'. I have more than 1 child now!

This is my latest cake mix hack, you can find the others in my recipe archive up top. Ya  ya ya yummy!

Streusel Muffins

1 spice cake mix
1 1/2 cups finely crushed graham cracker crumbs
3 eggs
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. 

Combine cake mix, graham cracker crumbs, eggs, oil, and water. Mix until blended on medium for 2 minutes. Divide into 24 paper lined or pan sprayed muffin cups. 

Combine butter, brown sugar and walnuts to make crumb topping. Crumble over each muffin. 

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until set. 

Cool for 5 minutes in pan before transferring to a cooling rack. 

Dig in!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Brussels Sprouts Mini Pies

Another muffin tin recipe...to see the others, go to the recipe archive tab up above.

This is actually a Pillsbury recipe I got in an email last week....

I could have eaten about 10 of these....

Brussels Sprouts Mini Pies

1 box (10 oz) frozen Brussels sprouts in butter sauce
1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup baking mix...I used Jiffy
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 375

Heat Brussels sprouts according to package directions. Dump into a medium mixing bowl and let cool 5 minutes. Chop into smaller pieces. 

Stir in mushrooms, thyme and pepper. 

In another bowl, stir together baking mix, milk, and eggs. Mix into Brussels sprouts and mushrooms. Add cheese. 

Spoon into 12 greased muffin cups. 

Bake 25 to 27 minutes, until browned and set. 

Cool 5 minutes and use a thin knife to loosen sides from muffin cups. 

Dig in!

Mac and Cheese Soup

This soup was FAN TAS TIC! Super-easy 20 minute dinner. Serve it with a salad and bread. 

Mac and Cheese Soup

2 - 12 oz boxes frozen macaroni and cheese (Stouffer's)
6 cups chicken broth (I used the Better Than Bouillion fake chicken kind)
1 can cream style corn
2 cups frozen broccoli florets 

Heat each container of macaroni and cheese for 4 minutes in microwave. 

Meanwhile, heat broth over medium in large soup pot, add broccoli. 

Add macaroni to broth and corn. Simmer for 10 minutes, until heated through. 

Dig in!

New Potatoes in Sour Cream Dill Sauce

Our family started the diet.....the diet. 

The diet seems so horrible....let's call it a lifestyle change. Now I sound like I work for Weight Watchers...

Just cutting back on the diary and eating more beans...not too bad, right? And less potatoes, that one isn't fun. I love potatoes. With cheese on them. And butter. Drool. 

The potatoes below aren't too unhealthy...if you do the low fat dairy stuff. But they sure are yummy!

Wish us luck!

New Potatoes in Sour Cream Dill Sauce

10 medium red potatoes, sliced or cubed
1 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoon grated Parmesan

Boil potatoes until tender. Drain and set aside.

In same pot potatoes were cooked in, combine sour cream, dill, salt, pepper and Parmesan. Stir to heat mixture. Add potatoes, stir to coat.

Dig in!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Chop Chop Chow Chow Tuna Casserole

This is another recipe brought to us by my Mother In Law. I tell ya....I was a little apprehensive about this one. I am not a big fan of hot tuna dishes, but I was SO SURPRISED! It's SO good.....I eat way too much of it and can't wait until she makes it again....

Chop Chop Chow Chow Tuna Casserole

4 small cans tuna, drained
2 (10 oz) cans cream of mushroom soup
1 - 2 tablespoons of water (enough to help mix soup smoothly into tuna)
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 1/2 cups ( about 8 - 9 ounces) cashews, chopped
4 cups chow mein noodles

Preheat oven to 350. 

Mix tuna, cream of mushroom and water until combined. Stir in celery, cashews and chow mein noodles. 

Pour into 13x9 casserole dish, top with more chow mein and cashews, if desired. 

Bake for 30 minutes. 

Let stand 5 minutes before serving. 

Dig in!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sour Cream 'Cold Slosh' Coleslaw

Cooper calls coleslaw, cold slosh....I find this amusing. I had to put it in the title.

Does watching shows like Clean House or Hoarders make you feel about your mess too? Ug....I don't get how they live with the boxes, and piles....and dead animals? It does make me feel better...as I sit here blogging, with my feet up, watching Clean House on Netflix....

Did that gross you out and not make you want to eat? Sorry....

This recipe is nice. Another coleslaw to add to my coleslaw recipe selection. To see the rest, click on the Recipe Archive link at the top of the page!

Sour Cream Coleslaw

1 bag (16 ounces) shredded coleslaw mix
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Combine vinegar, sour cream, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir into coleslaw mix. Cover and chill for one hour before serving.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Creamy Salsa Rice

We had a busy, busy weekend. The boys and I spent the day yesterday at my best friend's house with her and her boys and her sister and her boy. Got it...that seemed like a lot to follow...anyway. The kids played in the water, we had pizza, and caught up on gossip. All of the important things. 

Today, I got to sleep in a bit (yay!), did some Spring Cleaning and we ate out at a pizza place. Before you know it, it's 9PM and the day is done! But....I did save a little time to share a new recipe...

This was super-easy and REALLY yummy....


Creamy Salsa Rice

2 cups brown rice
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided
2 cups salsa
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups frozen corn

Cook rice according to package directions. 

Preheat oven to 350.

When rice is done, mix all ingredients, except 2 cup of cheese. 

Place in 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top. 

Bake for 20 minutes. 

Dig in!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Simple Spiced Black Beans

I love black beans. When I lived in South Florida in my early twenties, I worked with several Latin Ladies and they introduced me to WONDERFUL Cuban food. I had a favorite restaurant I went to on a regular basis for fried steak (I am not sure of the Cuban name for it), black beans, rice and plantains. YUM. I really miss that place. You can't find full Cuban restaurants in our area, just sandwich shops. 

Now....the black beans below are actually more of a MEXICAN flavor. We had ours with fake bacon, tomato, and cheese bagels and rice. They are super-easy, they use canned black beans and just 3 spices!

Simple Spiced Black Beans

One 15 ounce can black beans, drained
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons water

Combine all ingredients in saucepan over medium and heat!

Dig in!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

English Muffin Mexican Pizzas

We eat a lot of pizza in our house. We order it in almost every Friday from various chains and local places. We make frozen pizza. We eat pizza rolls....

I have a nice pizza stone I have yet to use. I've never actually made my own dough.....

I do like to make easy little pizzas on biscuits, slices of bread, or English Muffins!

I actually saw these made on Rachel Ray...by Bill Bellamy. BILL BELLAMY! Takes me back to my teen mtv days.

English Muffin Mexican Pizzas

English muffins, halved
Mexican blend shredded cheese
Sliced avocados

Toast English muffins. Top with 2 tablespoons of salsa and cheese. Place in oven at 350 for 5 minutes until cheese is melted. Top with avocado slices. 

Dig in!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Vegetarian BBQ Riblet Quesadillas

We have had a RAINY day today. Cooper and I went to Wal-Mart and had to wait out the storm for 45 minutes after we checked out. Luckily, the Garden Center has a nice covered area with patio furniture displayed. We waited it out there with about 5 other people before just making a run for it only to be greeted by ankle deep water by our car! Cooper was not amused.


Look at this pretty flower:

Last year, my sweet Meme gave me a hibiscus for Mother's Day. It bloomed a few times and hasn't bloomed since...getting close to a year without blooms. It remained green but didn't really grow. I had pretty much given up, BUT a few days ago I was greeted by this beauty! A few more have bloomed since and there are more buds waiting in line. So happy!

And now my cute boys....

I like making these comparisons.....

How cute they are!

OK, dinner bell is ringing. 

Another quesadilla! This was a big hit with everyone and I am sure it's going to go into regular rotation!

Vegetarian BBQ Riblet Quesadillas

1 box Morning Star Farm's BBQ Riblets
Four 9-Inch flour tortillas
Fiesta or Mexican blend cheese
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
Sour Cream

Heat riblets in microwave according to packaged directions. When cool enough to handle, cut into chunks. 

To assemble the quesadillas, layer cheese, about a heaping tablespoon of corn, riblets and more cheese on half of the tortillas. Fold in half a place in a hot skillet over medium-high sprayed with cooking spray. Brown side and flip to brown the other. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas. 

Cut in half and serve with sour cream.

Dig in!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Easy Restaurant Style Refried Beans

Happy Friday!

I look forward to the weekends....because I get to sleep in. Kevin takes over at 4 or 5 AM and I get to sleep until 10. It's the most sleep I get in a row all week. Luke is sleeping more at night...but only in 2 to 3 hour spurts. Yawn.....

Anyway, the beans below are super easy and make an awesome side on quesadilla night or taco night. They are creamy and yummy. They also make a good base for a taco dip or 7 layer type dip. 


Easy Restaurant Style Refried Beans

1 can refried pinto beans
1/3 cup sour cream
Hot sauce to taste

Heat beans in over medium heat. Stir in sour cream and hot sauce. 

Told you it was easy....

Dig in!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Lemony Coleslaw

Spring has sprung....

It's beautiful today. It started out with a misty rain but was done by lunch, now it's cool and breezy. Supposed to get down into the 40's tonight though...burr. At least the boys will get to wear the footie fuzzy pajamas one more time. 

I love coleslaw. Creamy to vinegary ones. The one below was the first time I'd ever made a lemony one, and it was actually by accident. I was originally going to use lime's....but stores have been out of limes for 2 weeks now! Is there a lime shortage I am not aware of? So I tried the lemon and it was yummy. 

Lemony Coleslaw
1 bag (16 ozs) coleslaw mix
2 or 3 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup canola oil
Juice from 1 lemon, about 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon soy sauce

Whisk together canola oil, lemon juice and soy sauce. Combine with the rest of the ingredients and serve right away!

Dig in!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spicy Lentil Soup with Veggies

When Kevin and I lived in Tampa, we liked to eat at this pita place called Byblo's. Kevin always gets a gyro at places like this and I vary, usually try new things each visit. I didn't at Byblo's...once I tried the falafel and spicy lentil soup....I was HOOKED. We moved to the other side of Tampa and often talked about going back for lunch, but we never did. Sigh. That was 5 years ago and I STILL MISS THAT SOUP. It has been so long since I had it, I couldn't really even remember the exact taste or try to recall what ingredients could have been used, but I still crave it.

I was browsing my copy of How To Cook Everything a few days ago and came across a recipe for Spicy Lentil Soup. I decided to give it a try to see if it came close, it didn't, but was still good! I have since figured out the soup is actually split red lentil soup, I plan on trying out a few recipes now hoping to recreate it!

Below is the recipe of the spicy lentil I made the other night.


Spicy Lentil Soup with Veggies

2 cups lentils, washed and picked over
Pinch of dried thyme
2 carrots, peeled and cubed (or couple hand full of baby carrots...it's all I had)
2 celery stalks, sliced thinly
12 cups chicken broth (I used the vegetarian chicken broth)
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can diced tomatoes in their liquid
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Bring broth, lentils, carrots, celery and thyme to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer until all is tender, about 30 minutes. Stirring occasionally. 

Meanwhile, heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a skillet and saute onions until tender. Add garlic, saute 1 minute more, and remove from heat. 

When lentils are tender, add tomatoes, parsley, ginger, cayenne, cumin, onions and garlic to lentils. Simmer a few minutes more before serving. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Dig in!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Cheesy Potato Casserole

How's your weekend going so far? 

Mine has consisted of taking Coop to play at McDonald's Play Place....his current favorite thing....., LAUNDRY, and watching Teen Mom 2 on Prime. Do you have a guilty pleasure reality show? I bounce from this and 19 Kids and Counting. I am so diverse. :P

FOOD! This was me playing around with that Cracker Barrel hashbrown casserole copycat recipe that uses cream o chicken soup. I used cream of potato....and diced potatoes....and a ton of sour cream....

It was creamy and good.....


Cheesy Potato Casserole

1 pack (30 ounces) frozen diced hash brown potatoes, thawed
2 cans cream of potato soup
16 ounce container sour cream
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 cups shredded cheddar
1 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 350. 

In a large bowl, combine potatoes, soup, sour cream, garlic powder, 1 1/2 cup of cheddar, and Parmesan. Transfer to a greased 13x9 casserole dish. 

Sprinkle with remaining cheddar. 

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until browned and bubbly. 

Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Dig in!