Tuesday, January 31, 2012

sweet and spicy chicken stir fry

this past sunday I decided to make sweet n spicy chicken.. i was inspired by this recipe here..  it was so yummy.. i also made pork dumplings, fried rice and shrimp puffs!! boy was i in the kitchen all day.. i totally broke my rules but believe you me it was so worth it!! the picture isn't very good, by the time I got done making everything, pete and shell were so ready to eat so waiting for me to set up a nice picture was not an option! but the flavors were spot on.. really nice..

sweet and spicy chicken stir fry

prep time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 20 minutes
servings: 4

1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into cubes (breasts would be fine we prefer dark meat)
1 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. cornstarch
sesame oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. ground ginger
2 cups assorted bell peppers, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 cup snow peas, chopped
1 cup bean sprouts
1 can chunked pineapple, juice reserved
1/4 cup thai kitchen spicy red chili sauce (more if you like it hotter)

mix chicken with fish sauce and corn starch in a medium bowl, toss to evenly coat.. set aside.. heat 2 swirl around a wok or other non stick skillet with sesame oil over medium high.. stir fry chicken until cooked through about 5-7 minutes.. remove and set aside.. one more swirl around the wok with sesame oil.. add garlic stir fry for about 30 seconds then add all the veggies, garlic, ginger and pineapple.. stir fry 4-6 minutes or until peppers are tender-crisp.. take your reserved pineapple juice and mix with your spicy red chili sauce.. whisk to combine.. add to veggies.. toss to combine.. add chicken (you can do either the veggies and remove then do chicken or vice versa) stir fry until well blended.. i served it with fried rice.. and of course i added siracha to mine.. love me some heat...

Monday, January 30, 2012

breakfast burritos and a day at the dog park!

soo i don't have pictures of the burritos umm cause i don't know why.. ha but i made the burritos for pete and i and we then headed over to the dog park with monroe and junior and jake and sam met us and brought their dogs frankie, dennis and lola! but i will give you the recipe for the burritos because they were so darn yummy! jake and sam rescued all their dogs from the henderson dog pound last year..

meet junior we rescued him december 2005.. he is the cutest darn thing..

meet monroe we rescued her december 2011..

breakfast burritos

prep time: 20 minutes
cook time: 10 minutes


6 eggs
shredded cheddar cheese
2 roasted green chilis, diced
2 large tortillas (i used LaTortilla Smart Balance)
tomatillo pico de gallo (1 cup diced tomatillos, 1 cup diced red onion, 1 cup chopped cilantro, squeeze of 1/2 a lime and 1 clove of garlic minced and a dash of salt)
green chili crema (1 cup non fat greek yogurt and 3 roasted green chilis process in small food processor)

add 6 eggs to a medium bowl and whip with a fork.. then in a medium non stick skillet over medium heat spray pam, add your eggs and green chili's and scramble your eggs.. about 7 minutes.. in the meantime heat your tortilla's in microwave oven for about 12-15 seconds so they are easy to work with.. devide your eggs between the 2 tortillas, top with pico de gallo, cheese, and green chili crema.. wrap like a burrto and devour.. YUMMY!!

monroe and jake's dog frankenstien aka frankie..

she doesn't gallop when she runs she prances.. yes so very lady like!

hey mom whats that thing you got right there.. ohhh it's a lense..

yeah monroe dominated the wrestling match..

jake and sam's dog dennis!!

the only dog to bark, bite and growl was this little one right here.. lola!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

the most expensive french dip but probably the best!!

this just might be the most expensive steak/french dip sandwich ever .. but it's so worth it... the recipe comes from my grandmother, mommabell, her best friend.. nancy williams.. they met in vegas but both were from texas!! they bonded over their love of the south.. they were both in junior league and this recipe comes from the junior league recipe book.. my mom makes it for "special" occasions.. it's a bit pricey because it calls for a beef tenderloin.. and well they run on the expensive side.. but it works so well for a buffet or if your having a sit down dinner and want to impress this is the recipe for you!! now i have never deviated one little bit from the recipe as written and i suggest you don't either.. it's ahhmazing!! 

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 50 minutes
servings: 4-6 sit down dinner; 10 for a buffet 


1 whole filet strip, (beef tenderloin)
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cube beef bouillon
fresh mushrooms, sliced (as many as you wish)
1 cup burgandy wine

skin filet strip, removing all fat.. place filet in a deep sided cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.. ice entire filet with the softened butter.. cook in a preheated 400 degree (f) oven for 30 minutes.  remove from oven and place mushrooms all around meat, then baste with beef bouillon cube that has been dissolved in the wine.. cook an additional 20 minutes EXACTLY no more no less.. let meat rest for 10-12 minutes before slicing..then place sliced meat on a platter and pour mushrooms and pan juices over meat and serve hot.. 

additional serving ideas.. serve cold and sliced on rolls.. remove mushrooms put on the sandwich and reduce the left over sauce and serve as an au jus to your sandwich!! it's so good.. 

for a buffet make 2 or 3 put them in the fridge until just before serving slice them up and put on a platter and serve with different kinds of rolls, cheeses, horseradish and mustards.. :) super yummy..

Thursday, January 26, 2012

did you say were having cow's butt for dinner?

the title says it all.. shell asks whats for dinner? i said oxtail.. and she replied cows butt? i am not eating cows butt for dinner.. with that being said she had 2 helpings.. ha ha.. i went to a local mexican market by my office and asked for 4 lbs of oxtail.. they were huge and meaty and the meat literally fell off the bone and the sauce was so rich and yummy and over garlic mashed taters truly a splendid sunday supper! its decadent and scrumptious! when i googled recipes i found many many stews and well the word stew totally turns my stomach so i discarded anything with that word.. what i was envisioning was a thick red sauce with chunks of meat.. and no recipe i found was offering that so i improvised and took my short rib recipe and adjusted it.. if you notice i took the picture on the same plate so they actually look alot alike oops.. better get different plate...

prep time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 4 hours
servings: 4-6

4 lbs oxtails
1 large sweet onion, chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 can of tomato paste
1 (28oz) can of crushed tomatoes
2 cups red wine
2 cups beef broth
1 bunch fresh thyme
4 tsp. smokey paprika
salt and pepper
olive oil

season oxtail with salt and pepper.. coat a large heavy bottom dutch oven with olive oil.. 2 swirls around the pan.. and bring to a high heat.. add oxtails and brown on all sides.. about 2-3 minutes per side.. (you might have to do in batches depending on the size of your dutch oven) pre heat your oven to 275 degrees (f).. once all of them are browned removed to a platter and cover and set aside.. take your veggies and garlic and run through a food processor you want them chopped pretty good almost a paste.. add the veggies to the pot and season liberally with salt and cook until all liquid has absorbed and they start to make a brown "crud" on the bottom of the pan (quoting ann burrell here) then add the tomato paste and brown it for about 4-5 minutes.. add wine and scrap all the lovely brown bits off the bottom of the pan.. lower the heat and reduce the wine by half.. add beef broth bring back up to a boil then reduce the heat to low simmer.. add the oxtail back to the pan and any juices that have accumulated on the plate.. toss in your thyme bundle cover and put in the oven for 4 about hours.. after 4 hours check it.. the meat should be falling off the bone.. remove your thyme bundle and discard.. remove the oxtail and with a fork pull off bone.. and return to pot.. discard bones.. it should be ready to serve.. i served it over roasted garlic mashed taters..

spicy garbonzo salad

i love chickpeas.. aka garbonzo beans.. i actually only like to call them garbonzo beans.. mainly because i like saying garbonzo!! say it with me.. garrrrrbonzzzzzzooooo.. its a friendly word! ha anyway.. when i was kid and well adult (ok last week) i would open a can and eat them right out of the can.. or put them in a bowl add some blue cheese and a little dressing.. ohh yumm.. if i go to a restaurant and notice they have garbonzo beans on their salad bar i will order the salad bar.. i love them that much.. then i found a recipe combining them with bacon? helloooooooooo count me in!! i was blog hoping one day and found this recipe here.. loved the ingredients... so i wanted to make it that day for lunch.. i changed it a bit from the mentioned only because of what i had on hand.. it was a sunny saturday and pete wasn't around so it was perfect.. you see he hates garbonzo beans.. thinks garbonzo beans are icky.. won't eat garbonzo beans (see that.. i threw the word garbonzo beans as many times as i could in that sentence he he).. he doesn't like hummus either *eyeroll*.. basically he is nuts.. but that my friends is a talk for another day and another recipe i am sure.. :)

spicy garbonzo bean salad (yeah salad is used here but can it really be a salad who knows!)

1 can of garbonzo beans, drained and rinsed (you rinse them to get off any excess sodium it was kept in the bacon is pretty salty)
1 slice of bacon, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp. smokey paprika
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

heat a skillet over medium heat.. add bacon and fry until golden but not crispy (unless your into that kinda thing).. remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.. leaving the bacon grease in the pan add your garbonzo beans.. (make sure they are dry from when you rinsed them or a big mess will ensue..) toss with the paprika, pepper and cayenne stirring and toasting for 5-7 minutes.. add garlic and cook for another  minute or so.. turn off heat and add parmesan cheese.. sprinkle on bacon.. serve immediately.. its so yummy.. you could throw it on some lettuce but really why ruin it.. ha ha just kidding.. well sorda.. not really.. *wink*

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

grilled flank steak..

several years ago for mothers day my dad bought me an awesome grill and green egg combo from sam's club..i've probably had it for about 7 or so years and i have used it so much we have had to replace the heating elements because they disintegrated ha.. so when it's cold outside i get a little sad because we just don't grill as much.. well recently we were up in the high 60's in the afternoon and i totally seized the moment and ran to the store got a flank steak.. marinated it then grilled it.. served it with steamed broccoli and crushed baked potatoes.. super yummy.. we like our steak on the rare side and flank steak seems to grill up so nicely!! this recipe was inspired from here..

prep time: 10 minutes
cook time: 8-12 minutes


2 lb. flank steak
salt and pepper


1/3 cup of olive
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tblsp. rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tblsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. pepper

score the surface of the steak across the grain of the steak.. combine the marinade ingredients and place steak and marinade in a large zip lock bag.. coat steak with the marinade.. refrigerate for at least 2 hours up to over night.. preheat your grill to high heat.. take your steak out of the marinade and sprinkle with salt and pepper.. place steak on hot grill.. grill 4-6 minutes on each side depending on how you like your steak.. flank steak should be eaten rare.. grey meat is so unappealing blah!  how do you know if your steak is done?? check out this side for helpful tips! here.. remove from grill and tent with foil.. let sit for about 10 minutes before cutting into it!!  make very thin slices against the grain and at a slight angle..

super easy broccoli..

i have these steamer bags i get at the grocery store they look like zip lock bags but i have been told you can use zip lock bags.. we like our broccoli simple.. one time at outback my friend tina asked how they make their broccoli and the the waitress said we take our broccoli put it in a zip lock add a little butter and salt and microwave it viola that's it.. and that's how i've been making it for years...

1 bunch broccoli
1 tblsp. butter

rinse our broccoli.. cut off the stem leaving only the florets.. put in a zip lock or steamer bag add 1 tblsp. butter and salt to taste. zap in the microwave for 4 minutes.. remove and let sit for about 30 seconds the bag with be hot so be careful..

crushed baked potatoes

4 medium size white potatoes
olive oil

rub each potato with olive oil and sprinkle salt on .. heat your oven to 400 and bake until soft about 30 minutes.. with a potato masher "crush" each potato and put back in oven for about 5 minutes.. serve with sweet spicy ketchup.. (which basically is ketchup with honey and cayenne..)

Monday, January 23, 2012

banana bread/cake

so i got a new stand mixer for christmas!! and i am loving it.. originally pete bought me the 4.5 qt. kitchen aide in white and i didn't think it would go with my kitchen and wasn't going to be big enough so we took it back and ended up getting the 5.5 qt. kenmore.. and i love it.. i've been using it like crazy.. it sure would have come in handy when doing my holiday baking believe you me.. on christmas morning when i opened it i exclaimed "holy sh*t" ha and my kids won't let me live it down.. i wasn't expecting it i had already gotten so many kitchen things already from pete i wasn't expecting the one thing i really really wanted but didn't actually add to my list! so i was very pleasantly surprised.. one thing i've made every weekend since christmas is the skinny taste's banana bread.. we love it..and it works out well in the morning with all our busy schedules!

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 50-60 minutes


7 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2.5 cups of ap flour
1.5 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tblsp. butter, room temp.
1 cup light brown sugar
4 large eggs whites
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 oz. walnuts, chopped (optional and i opt out and don't use them)
pam baking spray

preheat oven to 325 degrees (f), spray 2 loaf pans with cooking spray.. in a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk.. set aside.  in a large mixing bowl cream butter and brown sugar with electric mixer (i used my stand mixer).. add egg whites, bananas, apple sauce and vanilla and beat on medium until thick.. scrape sides of the bowl down.. add flour mixture and nuts, if using,  and blend on low until combined.. (i actually added my flour gradually so as to not make a huge mess) don't over mix.  pour batter into loaf pans and bake on the center rack for 50-60 minutes or until tooth pick inserted comes out clean.. let cool for about 20 minutes before slicing.. for the "cake" picture on top i poured it into a greased casserole dish and cooked for exactly 60 minutes and it came out firmer and more cake like.. but either way it's awesome!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

{45 by 45} homemade flour tortillas

so i've been wanting to make flour tortilla's forever.. i found a ton of recipes and they are all basically the same.. one thing i didn't do which i would do next time is use warm water.. i plan on making them again maybe this weekend.. I didn't use enough shortening either.. the recipe i used called for 1 tlb. and well now looking at other recipes i realize i should have used like 4-5 .. the recipe i used is here.. and i just have to beleive it's wrong with the amount of shortening.. another i looked at afterwards was from here.. one recipe i saw called for olive oil that one found here.. and i think might try it this weekend.. no matter what they were still yummy.. just not pretty..  mine weren't exactly round either i finally got the hang of it around the last 2.. figures!!

Update: 1/24/2012 I made them again this weekend and used the proper amount of shortening and they didn't last long enough to even make it to the warming platter so no picture.. so definately use 5 tbls. of shortening if you want traditional style tortilla's.. less if you want them more cracker like..

oh and those little black flecks are from using my iron skillet tortilla pan not sure how to avoid that :/

the recipe below is how they should have been made and not i made them.. so it's more of don't do what i do.. do what i say kinda thing.. he he *wink*

prep time: 45 minutes
servings: 12


2 cups ap flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
5 tbls. vegetable shortening or lard ( i did not use enough so the picture above looks funky)
3/4 cup of hot water

in a large mixing bowl add the flour, salt and baking powder.. whisk to combine.. add shortening... using  your fingers cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles pea size pieces.. add hot water and mix together with your hands until it starts to form a ball.. knead dough on a floured surface about 5-7 minutes.. form into a ball and cover in a bowl for about 10 minutes.. then pinch off the dough and form a smaller golf ball size ball.. you should get about 12 balls.. place them on a lined baking sheet and cover again and let it set about 20 minutes..preheat your cast iron skillet to medium high heat.. roll our dough on a floured surface forming a circle.. to make a circle roll out the dough then make a 1/4 turn and roll some more then make another 1/4 turn and roll some more.. keep doing this until your tortilla is about 1/8 inch thick.. place on a hot skillet and cook until bubbly.. flip over and cook on other side.. each side should take about 25-35 seconds.. place in a basket lined with a tea towel and continue to cook them all.. they are delish!!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

take my word for it wednesday.. enchilada stack..

howdy howdy.. it's wednesday again and this is when i ask you to take my word for it.. now if you've been here before you can skip this mumbo jumbo where i explain "take my word for it wednesday" and if your new here welcome.. (this is all assuming anyone reads my blog besides my mother .. *waving hi mom*) on wednesday's i post recipes or whatever the case may be and i ask you to take my word for it that the recipe is good, i won't stear you wrong.. believe me.. but for whatever i reason i won't have a picture, or the picture is not very appealing, which seems to be the case more and more.. pete bought me a wizbang supededuper camera for mothers day last year and i haven't figured it out yet :( but that's a goal for 2012!! anyway in today's case the kids were standing behind me telling me to hurry they were hungry.. jake even was holding a plate and he wasn't staying for dinner ha he had just stopped by to get something but when he saw how amazing it looked, which by the way it did.. he wanted to try it.. so I didn't get to take very many photo's and none before it got attacked :) .. today's recipe comes from pinterest.. my favorite place in the world ha.. my brain can't handle all the ideas and recipes i see .. hard to contain myself.. the original recipe is from this site here.. i changed mine a bit to suit my families likes and dislikes!! :) and the result was ahhmazing.. i suggest you making these this weekend!! :)

(red chili turkey enchiladas)

enchilada stack

i made 2 different kinds of stacks i made a red chili one and a green chili only difference was the can of enchilada sauce i used.. both were el paso brand though..

1 lb. ground turkey (beef can be substituted we just don't ever eat it..)
1 can of your favorite enchilada sauce.. (green or red) oh and they have a HOT RED one it's amazing!
6 or so tortillas i used the corn/wheat ones we get them from Vons here is their website.. here
1 bag of mexican shredded cheese ( i also grated about 1/2 a block of jalapeno jack and added that too)
1/2 an onion, diced
sour cream (optional)

cook ground turkey in your skillet over medium until browned and cooked through. (if using beef you will want to drain it off) add about a 1/4 of a cup of your enchilada sauce .. spray a pie plate with pam.. i then added a little enchilada sauce and swirled it around to cover the bottom of the plate.. start with a tortilla, swirl around a little enchilada sauce add meat, then onion then cheese then top with another tortilla and keep going until you finish with a tortilla add a little swirl of sauce.. cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree (f) oven for 40 minutes.. remove cover add a another swirl or 2 on top with enchilada sauce and top with cheese.. bake another 15 minutes .. let sit for 5-7 minutes then slice into wedges.. top with sour cream.. serve with home made re fried beans.. (my recipe for beans is found here..)

(green chili turkey enchiladas)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"crispy" crock pot pork carnitas

i am a diners, drive in and dives'aholic.. i love that show and no matter how times i have seen an episode i still watch it.. i especially love the shows where they eat at mom and pop dive mexican joints.. so after watching it all these years i was surprised to learn that true original carnitas is slow boiled in lard.. ackkkkkkkkkkkkkk.. but it's pete's favorite and well um no i am not boiling anything in lard for hours.. (especially since he has lost nearly 20 lbs since december 2..) so i went on the hunt for a "skinny" carnitas recipe and i found a great one here.. and by using her recipe i was able to tweak it and come up with the "crispy" carnitas we like.. i ended up making cilantro lime rice as my side dish.. the recipe found here.. i didn't tweak it, it was perfect the way it was..

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 8 hours
servings: 6-8

2 1/2 lb pork shoulder blade roast, fat removed
5-6 cloves of garlic, slivered
1/2 tbls. cumin
1/2 tbls. onion powder
1/2 tbls. garlic powder
3/4 cup fat free chicken broth
3 chipolte peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
salt and pepper

using a sharp knife cut slits in the pork and insert a garlic sliver into each.. rub all over the pork your chipolte peppers with the adobo sauce then season pork with salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder and onion powder all over..   pour chicken broth into crock pot.. place pork in crock pot and cover.. cook on low for 8 hours or until meat is fork tender.. after 8 hours remove pork with a slotted spoon and discard the bone and juice except 1 cup ..  shred the pork with 2 forks and add the reserved juice.. then take your wok or non stick pan and get it "screaming" hot.. *really hot* hehe then add a handful (a serving size) of the pork let it sit don't move it around until it starts to get crispy on the bottom then flip over and do the same to other side.. then serve immediately.. shell had a mock chipolte restaurant bowl (rice, pork, avocado, tomato, sour cream and little cheese) and pete had a burrito with home made tortillas.. all in all everyone loved it!! :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

easy oven bacon..

I love bacon.. i didn't used to.. and i don't like it with my eggs for breakfast.. but i like to cook with it and put it in sandwiches and wraps.. but not my burgers.. no bacon on my burger please... one thing i hate about cooking it was the mess it made in the kitchen.. blah.. but now i cook it in the oven and viola no mess.. and it's so good!!

line a baking sheet with foil.. arrange bacon slices on the foil and put the baking sheet in a cold oven on the center rack.. turn the oven on to 400 degrees.  check it about 15 minutes later remove when the bacon is golden brown, not too crispy.. it may take a little longer than 15 minutes or shorter depending on the thickness of your bacon.. remove the pan and trasnfer your bacon to a paper towel covered plate or other baking sheet.. (one way to spice up your bacon for sandwiches and wraps is take 1/4 of a cup of brown sugar and 1 tsp. of cayenne *more if you like it hotter* and rub the brown sugar mixture over both sides of the bacon before cooking)

what to look forward to in 2012...

it's been a busy 2012 so far and we are only 9 days in..  trying to get the house back together after the christmas storm that passed through it.. it looked like santa's factory blew up in my living room.. we got a new fridge (well new to me not new new ha) and boy did it take me forever to clean out the old one and then fill the new and while the new is much fancier with gadgets galore (which i haven't figured out all of them yet) its actually smaller in depth than my old one so i lost some room.. but never fear i was able to jam all my food in there ha.. now i haven't posted in a week or so but i have been cooking up a storm so i am going to post some pictures of things you have to look forward to this week..now i know i said back in october that i would be starting a segment called "under cover" and i wanted to try and duplicate a recipe from the cover of a magazine.. and while i haven't abandoned that idea i just hadn't had time.. but hopefully with the new year i can manage my time and get that started.. we have a new addition coming to our family this evening.. a precious beautiful baby girl dog.. i will post pictures tomorrow of her and my other sweet dog junior.. :)  so onto the photo's of the recipes coming up this week.. if you see a recipe and you don't want to wait for the recipe just drop me a note..

(easy oven bacon)

skinny taste's low fat banana bread

yorkshire pudding

crispy crock pot carnitas

fried egg quesadilla

asian marinated flank steak

roasted garlic red skin mashed taters

roasted leg of lamb

roasted chicken with herb butter

flour tortillas

eco friendly homemade lotion