Monday, December 31, 2012

top 12 recipes of 2012.. and wishing you a happy new year..

please forgive me for my absence.. i have a good excuse we went to hawaii for 7 days.. and while i thought i would have time to post recipes and what not i simply never got on the computer.. i had promised some christmas goodies before i left and well that didn't happen either.. sorry.. i will post those this week though and you can pin them on your christmas baking board on pinterest and have them for next year.. this has been an wonderful year.. with so many blessings.. i hope 2012 was a great year for you as well and may 2013 bring many opportunities, love and prosperity.. now on to the top recipes of 2012..

this was the top recipe of this year.. with over 80,000 hits!! wow thanks pinterest..

2nd place.. goulash

carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and pineapple flowers..

easy antipasta skewers

crab rangoon pizza

tacos el pastor

spicy buttermilk onion rings

loaded breakfast nachos

quick and easy tomato beef stir fry

healthy oven baked meatballs

i am so proud that i have 2 recipes that are in The Top 100 of 2012: Easy Casserole Recipes for Dinner, Plus Breakfast Casseroles and Dessert Recipes.. check them out here...

2012 Favorite AFCAS.gif

enjoy and get cook'n!!

happy new year..!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

take my word for it wednesday.. the flu bites!!

thank you all your emails asking if i was ok.. yes i am.. *smile* i got that horrible flu and it knocked me out for several days, of course it was on days i couldn't be down i had tons of christmas baking to do.. i will feature several of those recipes tomorrow so you can at least enjoy them before the holidays.. and to top it all off the tragic events of friday, december 14, 2012 sidelined me as well.  i was so sad that posting about my upcoming trip or all my holiday cheer and baking seemed silly in the wake of such loss.. i just needed some time to recoup and relax.. and while i am not 100% i do feel a lot better than yesterday and i am hoping tomorrow i will feel a lot better than today.. since i don't have a recipe to share, actually i do i have several waiting in queue to be posted but i am still not in a very festive foodie mood.. but i will be tomorrow i promise so check.. i thought today i would share our recent yardsale finds.. i had posted a few months ago we go yard saling all the time but pete will never buy anything.. well he recently changed all that and started buying stuff..

pete picked up 5 of these chairs at a yardsale for 30 bucks and he is going to refinish them to go with the table..

this was part of the 30 bucks above but doesn't go with the others so we have in the corner of the entry way..

we got the above birdhouse for 5.00 the lady who sold it to us said her nephew made it out of their old barn door..

we picked up the wagon from the same place as the chairs and was included in the 30 bucks.. the bottles and milk jug pete's dad gave me from his shed..

pete got the mastercard sign for 10.00

pete wanted the  ford cub cap and i wanted the box below which was holding all the cub caps and the lady said if i wanted the box i had to take all the cub caps in it.. ha ha so i got the box and all that was inside it for 5.00

the box if from an old victrolia company paulus bros. i was so excited to get it..
i will see you tomorrow with a recipe and remember
enjoy and get yard sale'n!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

take my word for it wednesday.. easy lemon-garlic chicken..

this dish was sooo good.. it was totally inspired by this recipe here.. we loved it.. i didn't change much of it at all.. so you need to take my word for it even though the photo isn't great.. this was worth making!! very very good..

easy lemon-garlic chicken

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 45 minutes
servings: 4

1.5 lbs chicken thighs, skin on and bone in, trimmed of excess fat
1 tblsp. mustard
zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp. italian seasoning
salt and pepper
1 tblsp. olive oil
1 1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tblsp. butter
olive oil

heat oven to 400 degrees {f}.. whisk mustard, lemon zest, minced garlic, italian seasoning and 1 tblsp. of olive oil together in a small bowl.. brush chicken with mixture on both sides.. two twirls around a large oven safe skillet with your olive oil.. heat over medium heat.. combine your lemon juice and chicken stock and set aside.. add chicken skin side down into hot pan.. cook 2 to 3 minutes or until skin is a golden brown.. when you go to turn it if it's still sticking to the bottom it's not ready.. once ready flip the chicken over and cook another 2-3 minutes.. add chicken/lemon mixture.. turn off stove and add chicken to the oven uncovered for 25-30 minutes.. you want your chicken an internal temperature of 175 degrees {f}.. remove pan from oven and remove chicken and put on a plate and loosely cover with foil to keep warm.. the liquid that is still in the pan heat on the stove over a medium high heat to rapid simmer.. add butter and whisk.. reduce heat and add chicken back and serve... we had it with rice and broccoli.. very good..

enjoy and get cook'n!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

sizzling sausage platter

this was so good.. and really rather easy to make!! we have a new bar/restaurant in town and we went last week and watched the christmas parade down main street.. pete and i shared their "sizzling sausage platter" it was so good i couldn't wait to make my own version of it this weekend.. i served it with deli rolls i sliced into thirds and made little sandwiches.. perfect for lunch..

sizzling sausage platter

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 30 - 40 minutes
servings: 4


2 hot italian sausage
2 brat wurst
1 polsa kielbasa, sliced diagonally
1 andouille sausage, sliced diagonally
2 hot links, sliced
2 green bell peppers, sliced diagonally
1 onions, sliced

since the other sausages come already cooked i took my italian sausage and brat wurse and cooked them over a medium heat in an iron skillet.. i cooked them until all sides were brown.. i then removed from the skillet allowed them to cool off, about 10 minutes and sliced them up.. while they were cooling i took the iron skillet i had just cooked them in, leaving the fat from the sausage i heated it up over medium high and threw in my peppers and onions and little salt and cooked for a few minutes.. about 4 minutes.. then i took all my sausage and threw them in and cooked until everything is cooked through and started to get caramelized.. i took my platter and put in a 400 degree oven and got it hot add my sausage and peppers and served it with deli rolls cut into thirds.. but any bun type bread would do.. yummy with a side of spicy mustard..

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

christmas eve cuban pork roast

every christmas eve my brother and his wife have a party.. and janet's parents make amazing cuban pork.. the first year they made it shell and i were skeptical.. we had never had it before nor had we ever had black beans or jasmine rice.. we were instantly hooked and it's something we look forward to every year.. well this year we are going to be in hawaii the week of christmas and no cuban pork for us so i decided to make it last weekend since we were going to miss out.. it's so good.. it's in my top 5 favorite meals.. i have made it before and my previous post is here.. i changed this one only a little bit.. basically i changed the cooking time and temp.. that's it.. i can't suggest this dish enough.. if you've never had it it's time to make it .. if you've had it before it's time to have it again..

christmas eve cuban pork

prep time: 10 minutes (marinade 12-24 hours)
cooking time: 4 hours
servings: 6

1 tsp. cumin
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/3 cup orange juice
3 tbslp. fresh lemon juice
3 tblsp. fresh lime juice (i used my key limes)
2 tblsp.  olive oil
salt and pepper
4 lb. pork shoulder or butt

in a medium bowl combine cumin, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, oj, lemon juice, lime juice and olive oil.. whisk until well incorporated.. put your roast in a zip lock bag and pour marinade over meat and seal.  kinda squish it all around to get it well covered.. place in fridge for 12-24 hours.. remove from fridge and allow to come up to room temperature.. about 30 minutes.. pre heat oven to 300 degrees.. transfer pork and marinade to a roasting pan and put in oven for 3 hours.. bast with pan juices every 1/2 hour if for some reason you run out of pan juices you can add chicken broth.. after 3 hours crank the heat up to 450 and cook for a 1/2 hour to crisp up the outside.. your looking for an internal temp of 145.  remove from oven and loosely cover with foil and allow to sit for 15 minutes.. carve and serve with black beans and jasmine rice..

black bean soup
prep time: 10 minytes
cooking  time: 1 hour
servings: 6
2 (10 oz.) can of black beans
1 onion, chopped
1 medium any color bell pepper
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1 tblsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
salt and pepper
cilantro for garnish
olive oil
two twirls around a medium sauce pot of olive oil.. saute onion and pepper until tender about 5 minutes.. add garlic.. saute a few minutes more.. add beans and the liquid and all other ingredients except for cilantro..bring to boil then drop the heat to a simmer and allow to simmer for 1 hour.. remove from heat sprinkle with cilantro and serve with cuban pork and jasmine rice..
enjoy and get cook'n!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

key lime scones with a lemon-lime glaze

when we first moved into the house we live in now on the side and out back where 3 of the most beautiful lemon trees a girl could hope for.. and within the first few months pete promptly ripped them out.. he also ripped out about 4 or 5 pomegranate trees.. i was sooooooo.. let's just say he is lucky he is still walking.. i was angry.. he left me one lemon tree out front that produced no lemons and a pomegranate tree that last year he tried to rip out and i nearly kicked him.. he left it.. it produced so many poms this year i was so happy.. a few years ago he had planted in our front yard a key lime tree and a meyer lemon tree.. and this year i got an abundance of lemons and limes.. i was so excited.. the first thing i made where these key lime scones.. i was inspired buy this recipe here.. and they turned out perfect..light..and critusy.. delicate.. we loved them.. and i was so happy i got to use my limes.. and a few lemons too..

key lime scones

prep time: 14 minutes
cooking time: 13-15 minutes
servings: 12 scones


2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 tblsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. sea salt
1/3 cup sugar
3-5 key limes, zested and juiced (depending on their size)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, cold (i cubed mine and put in the freezer for about 15 minutes before using)
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 egg

egg wash:
1 egg
1 tblsp. water
whisk together..

pre heat oven to 400 degrees (f).. i used my food processor with the "mixing attachment".. in the bowl of your processor combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.. pulse a few times to combine.. add your lime zest to the dry and pulse a few more times.. in a medium mixing bowl add egg and beat with a whisk, then add your lime juice, vanilla extract ( i used clear) and heavy whipping cream.. whisk until well incorporated.. start your food processor and through the top opening slowing add your egg and cream mixture to the flour mixture.. once thoroughly mixed add your cold butter and pulse a few more times.. it will form a ball and stick to the side.. it will be sticky.. turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead.. i separated them into 2 balls... flattened them out into a round disk about 1/2-3/4 inch thick, you will cheese chunks of butter it's ok then cut them into 6 wedges per disk.. put scones on a lined baking sheet, i used parchment paper.. brush tops with egg wash and bake for about 13 minutes.. check after 10.. the scones will be firm to the touch.. allow scones to cool for about 10-15 minutes..

the glaze was so tart and sweet.. simply lovely..

lemon-lime glaze:
1 tblsp. lemon juice
3 tblsp. key lime juice
zest from the lemons and limes
1/2 tsp. clear vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
whisk together and drizzle on top of scones..

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

take my word for it wednesday.. cuban style grilled cheese sandwich

today is wednesday and i ask you to take my word for it.. usually because the picture doesn't do the dish justice.. which is the case today.. this sandwich was amazing.. not like any other.. ohh so good.. i made cuban pork on sunday.. i followed my recipe here.. with a few changes.. i changed the cooking time and temp.. i will share the new version with you next week.. but let me tell you it was amazing and we couldn't wait to have cuban sandwiches the next day.. i have made them before and followed a more traditional recipe, that post here.. but this time i jazzed them up.. made them a little different... i used sour dough.. instead of thin sliced dill i used "wickles" which by definition on the jar means wicked pickles.. they were so spicy.. soo good.. i didn't have swiss so i used pepper jack and horseradish white cheddar.. they really were good.. sadly the pictures are blah.. it's getting dark so early.. and i live 30+ miles form where i work so when i leave at 5 and get home at 5:45 and then cook it's not until 6:30 and it's pitch black.. so sorry they don't do the sandwich justice.. your going to have to take my word for it.. they are yummy.

cuban grilled cheese sandwich

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 7-10 minutes
servings: 4


8 slices of sour dough bread
8 slices of thin sliced honey cured deli ham
8 thin slices of cuban style pork roast
8 slices of pepper jack
6 tblsp.+ of softened butter

pre heat a non stick skillet of medium/medium low heat.. melt a little butter in the pan.. assemble your sandwiches.. mustard, cheese, ham, pickles, pork roast, cheese and the top slice of bread.. butter the top slice of bread and butter side down add to your pan.. cover and grill until lightly browned.. the side facing up now needs some butter so spread a layer of butter on it before you flip it.. once flipped cover cook another few minutes until lightly browned on that side and cheese is getting melty.. repeat with your remaining sandwiches.. slice and serve with an ice cold beer..

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

easy pretzel poppers

i saw this recipe here.. and seeing how easy it was i knew i had to make them.. i am a pretzel junky.. i absolutely love the pretzels at the mall.. i love to dip them in spicy cheese or mustard.. when going to the mall during my lunch hour i actually park by the entrance where the pretzel stand is so i can grab one for my ride back to work.. when i saw how easy they were to make i was so excited.. be warned they are addicting.. you can't just have one.. i will most definitely be making these again.. i might even experiment with them.. i'll keep ya posted with what i come up with..i am thinking maybe stuffing them with cheese and jalapenos.. whatcha think??

pretzel poppers

prep time: 1 hour
cooking time: 5-7 minutes
servings: 24 poppers


6 texas rhodes rolls, defrosted and cut into fourths
1/2 cup warm water
2 tblsp. baking soda
course sea salt
3 tblsp. butter, melted

egg wash:
1 egg, beaten
1 tblsp. water

allow your rolls to defrost.. cut them into fourths and place on a lined baking sheet.. cover and allow to rise.. they should get double their size.. heat your oven to 450 degrees {f}.. once they have risen take your water and baking soda in a microwave safe dish and zap for 1 minute.. using a slotted spoon dip each popper into the water/baking soda mixture.. and place back on your baking sheet.. once they have all been dipped then brush each one with your egg wash {whisk egg and water together} then sprinkle each popper with course sea salt.. bake for 5-7 minutes.. {check after 5 minutes}.. remove from oven and brush each one with melted butter.. you can at this point roll them in paremesan cheese or cinnamon and sugar.. i left mine alone and dipped them into sweet n spicy mustard.. yummy... they are a great little appetizer or afternoon snack..

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

easy turkey shepherd's pie

this is a stick to your ribs comfort meal.. and so easy.. i used left over mashed potatoes from thanksgiving.. frozen mixed veggies.. i mean seriously easy but ohh so good..

turkey shepherd's pie..

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 30-40 minutes
servings: 4


3 cups left over mashed potatoes or store bought.. or you could make some if you are so inclined..
2 cups mixed frozen veggies, thawed, i put them in a microwave safe bowl and zapped for 4 minutes so they would thaw (my mixed veggies had carrots, peas, green beans, corn and lima beans)
1/2 an onion, diced
1 lb. ground turkey
1/4 cup tomato paste
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup red wine
1 tblsp. worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. smokey hot paprika
salt pepper
shredded cheddar cheese
olive oil

in a large iron skillet (or other oven safe skillet) over medium high heat two twirls around your pan with olive oil.. cook your onions until tender.. about 4 minutes.. add turkey and cook until no longer pink and crumbly..add tomato paste and stir around for about 1 minute.. add wine.. cook for about 2-3 more minutes.. add worcestershire sauce and chicken broth.. add paprika, salt and pepper and your thawed veggies.. drop the heat to medium low and allow to cook uncovered for about 15 minutes.. pre heat your oven to 350 degrees (f).. meanwhile heat up your potatoes.. i added a little chicken broth and got them creamy.. once most of the liquid has evaporated from turkey mixture then add your potatoes over the top of it and sprinkle with cheese .. put in the oven and cook until cheese is melted.. about 10-15 minutes.. remove from oven allow to sit for about 5-7 minutes.. then serve..

enjoy and get cook'n!!