Thursday, March 31, 2011


Sometimes I don't feel like cooking...and I grab something simple, few ingredients, and still really yummy. I'm going to show ya'll a couple "bag seasoning" meals that I really love and can always depend on.


All you need with it is:
1 lb beef sirloin, cut in thin strips
4 cups broccoli florets (I use the frozen kind!)
1/2 white onion, sliced
1 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Yes folk, thats it!

And here's proof....
Step 1
Step 2

Step 3

And your done! Told-ya!

And I recommend this soy sauce:

Why? Because I said so. Actually, a great friend of mine did a "soy sauce taste testing" and told me this one is the best. So now I say this one is the best! It works just like that.

A serve with a giant mound of jasmine rice.

Enjoy--we sure did!

Something funny...I go to "Publish Post" and was confused when my background and images with all wacky...thats when I realized I publish on my hubby's web page. Wow. Its late. *note to self: check and make sure you're on your own web page!*

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tuna in Celery Boats

My son insists on making tuna at least 3 times a week and he loves it when I put it in celery boats. He also gets to help me make the tuna, and I think thats why he likes it so much. =)


2 cans Chunk-light Tuna in water
1/2 green apple (Granny Smith) diced really small
2 celery stalks, diced really small
2 teaspoons relish
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 celery stalks, cleaned and cut in thirds
Club multi-grain crackers

Mix the first 5 ingredients together then spread into the celery stalks.

See? How easy was THAT! The trick is the green apples--it adds a crisp, sweet flavor!

I like eating the club multi-grain crackers with them, but in the picture those are Ritz crackers (I was out of Club). But any cracker will work!

Monday, March 28, 2011



1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 egg white
1 tablespoon white onion, diced really small
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice
a dash ground pepper
1 can pineapple chunks
Gouda cheese slices
Toasted buns
Fresh spinach

Mix first 7 ingredients together and form into small patties.

Grill over med-high for about 4 minutes on each side.

Place cheese over top and grill for another 2 minutes (gouda cheese doesn't melt that quickly).

Place on toasted bun, put a few leaves of spinach and a few chunks and top with other half of bun.

Eat all 8 sliders. Why not? I almost did--but my family wanted to eat too. =)

~~Fresh bread crumbs~~ This is actually really easy. Take some bread, put it in your food processor and pulse for 30 seconds--and whooola! Magic happens. 

~~Toasted buns~~The ones I used were homemade. Just regular white rolls, with crushed rosemary and sea salt cooked on the tops (like Pioneer Woman's rolls). Then I sliced them down the middle, buttered each side, and put them on a med-high skillet, butter side down, until golden brown and crispy around the edges.

~~Pineapple~~ This would be awesome with fresh pineapple, cut into rings and grilled with the patties. I had non available, otherwise I would have--but next time for sure!

This would be easy to make into "regular" size burgers. This recipe would make 4--so make sure you double or triple it!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.

Mets la main à la pâte!

What an interesting challenge--and get this....I strayed from the recipe!! Whoooo hoooo! Well, kinda. I made the whole recipe, and followed the filling for one, then had fun with the 2nd. Maaaaannnnnn they are good! I need to find someone to give to so all my running won't go to shame.

1st cake--chocolate chips, pecans, cinnamon-sugar
2nd cake-- Cafe' Vienna instant coffee, chocolate chips

I did realize after pulling them out of the oven that I totally forgot to put an egg wash over tops before baking! ooops! And I'm just now seeing the confectioners sugar topping. I can see where this would throw it over the top, but it defiantly didn't NEED it. So it might not look as pretty, but the taste is incredible!!!

Thanks Ria and Jamie for the yummy challenge! [my butt is not thanking you, however ;) ]

Friday, March 25, 2011


This is actually a recipe I've used for almost 8 years--and my mother has used 15 years before that. Its based around this little seasoning called "TexJoy." Its a fabulous "steak" seasoning--but I used it for everything from steaks to burgers to pot roasts.

This seasoning can't be found in stores anymore, so my mother orders a BATCH from the company, then disperses them to the family. I can't imagine living without it.

And today I'm going to show you a recipe for a pot-roast using this seasoning--and the flavor can't be beat!


3 to 4 lbs beef pot roast/bottom round roast
1/4 cup TexJoy seasoning (this is all by "eye" so this measurement is just estimating)
3 cups water (this is also an estimation--it depends on size of roast)

Place the roast in a 5-quart slow cooker. Fill water up until 2/3 of roast is covered. Sprinkle roast and water with TexJoy until the whole cooker as a thin layer of seasoning on top.

Cook for 6 to 8 hours on low. Make sure you don't remove the lid [you will loose at least 30 minutes of cooking time]!

Remove roast and let it rest 5 minutes until serving.

The longer it cooks--the more tender meat will be. Keep the layer of fat on the roast that usually comes with it from the meat department. It will be completely dissolved by the end of the cooking time, and the little that is left will drip right off.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Sorry my friends. I've been cooking in the crock-pot all week, but slacked on the photos of them. I will make it up to ya'll!

And for now...

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
6 medium red potatoes, sliced 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick (make sure they are consistently same size)
1 medium onion, chopped
4 boneless pork loin chops

In a 5-quart crock pot, combine first 7 ingredients.

Stir in potatoes and onion and top with pork chops.

Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.

~~ I didn't take a picture of the pork chops--they weren't as pretty as the potatoes! I would also quickly sear the chops quickly to brown the sides before placing in crock pot. Enjoy!

Monday, March 21, 2011


Guess what? ITS CROCK-POT WEEK!! I'll be doing 7 slow-cooked and delicious meals to share!


Place in a 4 or 5-quart slow cooker:
1 small whole chicken

Mix in a large bowl, then pour over chicken:
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup soy sauce
6 tablespoons cider vinegar
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until chicken is falling off the bone. Remove to serving platter and keep warm.

Skim fat from cooking juices; then transfer juice to small saucepan. Bring to a boil and add:
4 1/2 teaspoons each cornstarch and cold water, combined
Bring to a boil again and cook for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Serve over:
Hot cooked rice

Friday, March 18, 2011



I used this random number web site to pick....



Please E-Mail me to claim your prize!

Thank you all for participating!

Maranda said...
Oh wow! That's pretty awesome! It's like twine...but on crack! LOL!!! And I'm already a follower of your blog!  

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Know what its time for? HERBS! I love this time of year! Of course, there is still time for another freeze, so make sure you have a spot inside to move the herbs at night or on cold days.

What you need...

Herb seeds
Little baggies (ziplocs work great too)
Planting soil (make sure its free of chemicals)
Water sprinkles
Clothes pins

In each bag, place a little soil, then a few seeds, sprinkle a little water and zip them close. Hang a line, and overlap the baggies a little and secure them with a clothes pin.

I usually tie the string loosely so I won't wrestle with knots when I need to move them inside.

The clothes pins are fun to decorate or use as labels!

This is simple, fun and the kids love to help!

You'll start to see them sprouting, and when they are big enough, and the freeze isn't a threat anymore, move them to bigger pots and planters! Use the clothes pins (if you labeled them) and clip them on the side of the pots so you know whats growing. And don't throw away the bags--you can use them again.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Ohhh mouth-watering!


3 tablespoons EVOO
1/2 pound small red potatoes, quartered
2 cups white mushrooms, halved
salt and pepper
1/2 bunch asparagus, cut into thirds
4 6-oz salmon fillets with skin
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 clove garlic
grated peel and juice of 1/2 lemon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a large heavy duty [and oven proof] skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil over med-high heat. Add potatoes and mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned [about 5 minutes]. Transfer to the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Stir in asparagus and roast for another 2 to 3 minutes [until asparagus is crisp-tender].

Meanwhile, rub salmon with EVOO all over and season with s&p. Arrange salmon on baking sheet, skin side down, and roast for 10 minutes or until opaque in center.

In small bowl, mix honey and coriander. Drizzle honey mixture over salmon right before removing from the oven.

In small bowl, whisk together the parsley, garlic, lemon peel and lemon juice, and 1 1/2 teaspoons EVOO, and season with s&p. Toss with veggies and serve with salmon.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011



I actually came across this at our Commissary! I thought the box was the coolest thing--I always check our things according to the "advertisement" [because my major is Graphic Design]--and packaging falls in that category--so I grabbed this food loop thing! It wasn't until I got home that I really checked this thing out. And now all I can say: FLIPPIN COOL! Now I don't need to worry about stringing things together--like chicken, tenderloins ect...because this loop is recyclable and can heat up to 675 degrees F.

I am so excited about this thing! Its fishing season now--and what perfect timing! There are also many uses outside the kitchen..but I'll keep mine IN the kitchen! It also comes with a little white mesh bag to keep them in--so they are just laying around. I say, if you're cooking "stuffed" dishes a lot--these are a must!

So, I say if you come across these in a store--GET THEM! I wish I could afford getting some for EVERYONE, but I can't.

HOWEVER: Become a "follower" of my blog, and leave a comment on how you would use this gadget--and you could win one! 

Winner will be chosen [at random] Friday morning, the 18th of March. Good luck!

**Only shipping to United States, Sorry!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Daring Kitchen: Ceviche and Papas Rellenas

Kathlyn of Bake Like a Ninja was our Daring Cooks’ March 2011 hostess. Kathlyn challenges us to make two classic Peruvian dishes: Ceviche de Pescado from “Peruvian Cooking – Basic Recipes” by Annik Franco Barreau. And Papas Rellenas adapted from a home recipe by Kathlyn’s Spanish teacher, Mayra.

The Daring Cooks March 2011Challenge: ¡Me Encanta Perú! - Ceviche and Papas Rellenas

Ok, well to start....I'm sorry but I have to say EW. I knew immediately that I couldn't do the Ceviche. Me and raw fish don't work--plus I'm allergic to iodine in the fish. So that was out. But I still wanted to try the papas rellenas. So, I had planned on doing it one day, but things got crazy--so the mashed potatoes got stored in the fridge, and a few other things got stored back away. So when I finally got to cooking--it just all messed up. My time line, my ingredients...just all of it. I didn't even bother taking pictures. It was a mess. The End.

Sorry DK gals! I'll keep on trekking though....bring on the next challenge!!

Plantain Chips

I saw this done a long while ago and thought what a genius idea! Its soooo good and HEALTHY too!


3 plantains--fairly green/ripe
1 teaspoon sea salt (about!)

canola oil

Peel the plantains using a knife [they will not peel easily the "normal" way being so green] then slice them very thin with a mandolin or the slice side of a box grater. Pour oil in heavy duty [I like using my cast-iron pan] pan until 3/4 to 1 inch thick and heat up to 350 degrees (med to med-high). Place slices in the oil carefully, and "fry" them for 3 to 5 minutes. If you want them more crispy--keep them in for more like 5 minutes. Don't let them "burn" or turn brown in the oil, they won't have the same flavor. Remove the chips and place on paper bag [to soak up the oil] and immediately sprinkle with sea salt. They are ready right away! Enjoy!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Resaurant Review: The Cave Restaurant and Resort

My husband and I were looking around for things to do on our "kid free" (grandparents took them!) weekend. We decided to go to Haha Tonka state park for hiking and exploring. On the way there, we passed by "The Cave." I was actually told to go here a few times, but had no idea it was our our route. So on our way back home we stopped. What an excellent place!

"The Cave Restaurant and Resort"
[Click on image to go to their website]

When you get there, you have to park in a little lot and a "shuttle" comes and drives you to the big cave. Its an adventure, for sure, climbing up 2 stories of rod iron stairs...don't go if your afraid of heights!

Once inside, there is a little "gift shop" to get souvenirs, a bar to get drinks while you wait (if you have to wait) and even a little gold fish pond that can entertain the kiddos.

We got there at 5:30pm and were the beginning of the "dinner rush." The restaurant seats 250 people, so if you do have to wait, it wouldn't be for long. The staff is very welcoming and personal, I was quite pleased by the service!

The menu has great choices and a nice variety of food. I ordered the "Cave Chicken"--I asked the waitress what she recommended, and this was it. While we waited for our food, the waitress brought our warm home-made bread and butter, as well as our "soup/salad choice" that came with our meal. [I ordered the potato soup] It was the perfect thing to eat while waiting for the main course. The soup had the best home-made flavors--like the one I make! Delicious.

While waiting for the main dish, you have time to look around in the cave. The "decorations" are nice and its fun to find hidden things in the nooks and cranies of the cave walls and ceiling.

Our meal arrived and I dove right in. This cave chicken was positively the best. So moist! It came with noodles [home-made?] and a side of veggies. The chicken was mixed with mushrooms, prosciutto, and a white wine sauce. My compliments to the chef! This is a must-try dish!

I can't wait to bring my kids back to this place. Defiantly a kid-friendly, family-friendly, everything-friendly, must-go attraction! And there is so much more to this place, so check out their web site!

Oh, and don't forget to bring a sweater/sweatshirt. It gets a bit chilly inside. =)

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I <3 Starbucks. No question. But I do NOT <3 paying $5 for a cup of coffee. Especially if I can make it myself. This is a wonderful idea for "special occasions," but I will also make a dozen jars and keep them in the fridge just for myself. Of course, when they are just for me, I don't do the pretty cloth and ribbons. It IS however, a big hit at a baby shower or bridal shower when the ribbons match the theme of the party. Its so versatile! Best part--totally recyclable! Just make sure you get the jars back from your guests (or your spouse!). 


This is for 8 pint-size jars:
Brew 8 cups of coffee--your favorite Starbucks kind, or any other [I personally like vanilla flavor]
4 cups milk [low fat]
16 tablespoons white sugar
16 tablespoons chocolate syrup, or more [Hershey's is the best!]

For each jar, pour 1 cup coffee, 1/2 cup milk, 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup. Twist on the lid really tight and shake until everything is combined. If serving immediately, drop in a few ice cubes after shaking.

Have fun and be creative with decorating!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fried Potato Logs

Yummy goodness in every creamy, crunchy bite!


3 to 4 Yukon gold BIG potatoes
4 green onions, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon EVOO
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt & Pepper
2 eggs
1 cup Italian style bread crumbs
Vegetable oil, for frying

Peel and slice up potatoes and place in large sauce pan. Cover with water and boil for 10 to 15 minutes or until fork-tender. Drain. Mash with potato masher.

In a small saute pan, heat EVOO over med-high heat, add green onions and garlic until fragrant. Remove from heat.

Combine the mashed potatoes, onion mixture, cheese and salt and pepper. Place in fridge for 30 minutes to cool.

In a shallow dish, whisk eggs and 2 tablespoons of water together. Pour crumbs in different shallow bowl.

Heat frying oil over med-high heat, about 1/4 inch deep, in a heavy-duty saute pan.

Once cool enough to touch, shape potatoes into logs. Dip in egg mixture then crumbs and place gently in frying oil. Turn until all sides a gold brown then remove. Place on rack with paper towel underneath (to catch dripping grease). Serve warm.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


This is a very quick recipe, which is a bonus, and my kids loved every bite!


1 red bell pepper
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 lb ground lamb (turkey is also a great substitute if that's your preference)
1/2 carrot, finely grated
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 to 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
salt and pepper
pinch ground cloves
1 fresh bay leaf
1 teaspoon orange zest
about 1/4 cup tomato paste
about 3/4 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup pitted green olives, chopped
1 lb long fusiolli (pasta)
pecorino-romano cheese, for serving
1/4 cup pistachios, chopped for garnish

Char the bell pepper under the broiler until blackened all over. Transfer to bowl, cover and let cool, then peel, seed and chop.

In a dutch oven, heat EVOO over high heat until smoking. Add the lamb and brown well (keep some big chunks). Add carrot, oinion, garlic and rosemary. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Stir in cloves, bay leaf and orange zest.

Once onion has softened, add tomato paste and stir until fragrant, about 1 min. Stir in the wine to deglaze the pot. Add stock, milk and olives and bell pepper.

Lower heat and simmer.

Meanwhile, bring large pot of water to boil, and cook the pasta until al dente according to the package. Drain.

Remove bay leaf from sauce, then toss pasta in. Serve in shallow bowls and top with cheese and pistachios.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"How to loose a guy in 10 Days" Rack Lamb with Cherries Recipe

One of my "All time favorite" movies is "How to Loose a Guy in 10 Days," with Kate Hudson. Even if you haven't seen the movie, you KNOW the seen where Matthew Mcconaughy cooks Kate dinner, Lamb with a cherry sauce, while the TV is showing Basketball game..and she looks at him with a fake "sad" face and starts singing "Mary had a little lamb...." HAHA I still laugh every time!

Anyway--has anyone been curious about the meal itself? I HAVE! I found this good recipe, and changes just a few things--whether its because I'm not a professional chef and probably doing something wrong...or just because of things I prefer. So, here it is!


2 cups merlot 
2 cups fresh cherries, pitted
2 cloves garlic, chopped 
1 shallot, chopped
4 cups lamb stock (or chicken stock, which I used)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
salt & fresh ground pepper 

1 bottle  merlot (750 ml)
1 1/2 cups good quality balsamic vinegar
1 shallots, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped

4 lamb racks, excess fat trimmed
salt & freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
rosemary springs, for garnish

To prepare the sauce, combine wine, cherries, garlic and shallot in saucepan over high heat and reduce until the mixture is almost dry, about 10 minutes.

Add the stock, decrease the heat to medium and reduce until the sauce is think and coats the spoon [about 10 to 15 minutes]

Add butter and stir until melted. Season with s&p to taste.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

To prepare glaze, combine the wine, vinegar, shallot and garlic in saucepan over medium heat and reduce until about 1/2 cup liquid remains, 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.

To prepare lamb, season well with s&p.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over high heat until smoking hot. Add as many racks as will fit, meat side down, and sear well [3 to 4 minutes]. Transfer to sheet pan. Continue searing racks.

Baste the racks well with the glaze. Set the pan in the oven and roast, basting every 5 minutes, until the meat reaches 135 degrees F internally. About 20 minutes for med-rare doneness.

Remove racks from oven and let sit for 5 minutes, then slice. [mine were too rare at this point, so I sliced them all individually, then seared them again on each side, which gave a better doneness for my taste]

Place on platter to serve and drizzle the some of the sauce. Garnish with rosemary springs and serve warm, with extra sauce on side.

**This was absolutly FABULOUS! Must try! Start the sauces all at the same time, it will help save time. Also plan a little more time for cooking, just incase the degree of doneness is to your liking.

**I also couldn't find fresh cherries that week, so I used a canned kind. Then I waited to add the cherry until the very end of making the sauce, so just enough time to soften them and heat them through.
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