Tuesday, December 24, 2013

holiday round up!! Merry Christmas!!

i want to wish everyone very merry christmas !! and if you don't celebrate christmas then a very happy holiday to you and your family.. the following are some of my favorite holiday dishes/recipes!! i hope you enjoy them!

christmas eve cuban pork and black bean "soup"
{janet's mom makes the best cuban pork and black beans.. i can't wait to have them tonight!!}

yorkshire pudding
{I love yorkshire pudding with either prime rib or leg of lamb it's one of my all time favorite holiday meals!}

garlic crusted prime rib
{love me some prime rib.. rare.. with spicy horseradish!!}

grilled butterflied leg of lamb
{grilled leg of lamb is outstanding!}

hot cocoa!!
{this cocoa is amazing.. add a little alcohol to make it even better here are 7 ways to spike your hot cocoa make it a boozy hot chocolate}

grandmommy's toffee squares
{wouldn't be christmas without these}

grandmommy's christmas snow balls
{i love this cookie}

oreo truffle
{so easy yet so good}

oreo snowmen
{how cute are these guys}

{what else needs to be said..}

sweet n salty crisps
{so easy and so good}

and remember
enjoy and get cook'n!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

a week in the kaotic kitchen

it's been a little more kaotic around the kitchen these days than normal...  lot's of fun, exciting changes happening.. first my son jake and his girl friend sam bought the house next door to us.. kind crazy right?? well it was one of those meant to be type things.. halloween night our neighbor comes by and tells pete, who was outside giving candy away and scaring kids.., that she was getting another job and would be moving.. so pete asked how much, details, etc.  jake and sam stop by and pete tells jake about it.. i was getting my hair done and jake called me and asked what i thought.. what did i think?? I THOUGHT IT WAS FABULOUS!! so that monday sam had an appt. with the local credit union.. by tuesday they were approved by wednesday a purchase and sale agreement signed.. by friday escrow opened.. 21 days later they took possession... for the last month they have been working on it and making it their own.. it's darling.. i absolutely love it and so do they.. i've mentioned before and had pictures of frankie their albino boxer.. well they thought new home need a new dog.. they got a brindle boxer pup they named coors.. who by the way could melt any grinches heart he is so fricken cute.. so we are loving our new neighbors.. then there is the girl child, shelby.. she announced her and karlee, her bff since 1st grade, were moving out.. they decided this last monday. they found a condo, not to far from our house on tuesday, signed a lease on thursday and moved in on friday.. it's such a cute condo and the girls have given it their own personal flaire.. i love it.. so i quickly became an empty nester.. so far so good.. shell has been home more than when she lived there and we get to see jake, sam, and the doggies whenever we want.. win win.. but all this kaos has made for little or no cooking or when i do it's late and no pictures.. i promise after the holidays i will get back into the swing of things.. so today i will share with you some things we've had lately.. between christmas shopping, baking, moving, cleaning out, etc.. it's been hard to make big meals.. so i opted for some of my more easy, simple, 30 minutes or less kinda dinners..


we had pete's mom's 80th b day party last friday.. and since most of the kids were going to be around we headed over to the santa train ride in boulder city and took a ride..

happy birthday granny!!

cousins, cousins and cousins..

shell, ollie, jake and amelia..

we had a wonderful time!!

happy holidays and remember
enjoy and get cook'n!! 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

throwback thursday!! cinnamon.. heart shaped cinnamon rolls, the best cinnamon toast ever.. cinnamon "roll" donuts and pumpkin cinnamon chip donuts!!

today's throwback thursday is homage to cinnamon!! i love cinnamon.. the spice.. the bite.. the loveliness of it all.. today are recipes from the past i wanted to share with you and one at the bottom which is new.. pumpkin cinnamon chip donuts!! seriously folks.. nothing could be better {only way to make it better if i had added mini chocolate chips!!} try some of these recipes i highly suggest it..

heart shaped cinnamon rolls {these are fun on christmas morning}

the yummiest cinnamon toast ever {your thinking why do i need a recipe for cinnamon toast.. umm cause this is the best cinnamon toast in the world.. mommabell says so..}

cinnamon "roll" donut {loving my new donut pan.. and these cinnamon "roll" donuts where scrumptious..}

the friday after thanksgiving my sis in law, carey, who lives in arizona, was staying with my brother in law jimmy, who lives one door up from us!! so she came over early and had coffee and donuts and we meant to plan an exciting day but ended up sitting on the couch watching dvr'd  episodes of the new comedy sitcom "mom".. not a bad friday indeed.. but back these donuts.. they are light, fluffy, airy and oh so cinnamony.. in a word.. awesome.. you gotta try them!!

pumpkin cinnamon chip donuts

prep time: 5 minutes
coking time: 15 minutes
servings: 12 donuts



1/2 cup butter, melted
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2  tsps. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup cinnamon chips


cinnamon - sugar {which is 2 tblsp. of sugar and 2 tblsp. of cinnamon mixed.. any left overs put in an airtight container and use it on the best cinnamon toast ever..


preheat oven to 350 degrees {f}.. lightly spray your standard donut pan.. beat together the butter, eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree, spice, salt and baking powder until smooth.. add flour and cinnamon chips and mix until well combined.. fill the wells of your donut pan 3/4 of the way.. bake for approx. 15 minutes or until your cake tester once inserted comes out clean.. remove donut pan from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.. then with  a spatula loose the edges and transfer to a cooling rack.. in a small wide mouthed bowl mix the cinnamon and sugar.. while they are still warm take each donut and dip in the cinnamon/sugar mixture and place back on the cooling rack.. allow to completely cool and serve {if you don't allow to cool completely they are slightly fragile but super yummy while warm so might be worth the risk!!}

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

take two tuesday!! chili con queso

yesterday i shared with you pop's chili.. and it was so good.. so rich.. and hearty that while i was making it i thought it would go great in a dip..sadly to say i had velvetta on hand.. i know i know.. it's not "real" dairy but "hanging head in shame" i like it.. there i said it.. I LIKE VELVETTA.. now don't be judgy... *smile* it's not all the time i eat it.. but in some things i like the creamy taste of velvetta.. so yes this recipe calls for velvetta but when i make it next i will make my own and then compare.. but don't be surprised if i say velvetta wins.. but you never  know.. stay tuned..

chili con-queso dip

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 5-8 minutes


1 lb. {16 oz.} box of velvetta cheese, cut into cubes
1 {10 oz.} can of rotel medium tomatoes, not drained
1.5 cups prepared chili {you can use a can of chili or left over pop's chili like i did}


add all ingredients in a medium microwavable serving bowl.. zap for about 3 minutes remove from microwave and stir then add back to microwave and cook another 3-4 minutes or until completely melted and well combined.. remove from oven stir again and serve hot.. i served mine with tortilla chips but it's awesome with fries, crackers, fritos and much much more..
enjoy and get cook'n!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

recipe roulette.. pop's chili

we had a wonderful time this thanksgiving weekend and i hope you did too.. the saturday after thanksgiving i do a dinner at my house for all the family and have done so for many many years.. it's kinda turned into chili night the past several years and that's always a hit with the family..

this year i decided to make my grandpa's chili {not sure why i've never made it before}.. usually for recipe roulette i will pull out one of grandmommy's 1000+ recipes but this time it was pops turn!! now unbeknownst to me she actually had the recipe written down a few different ways.. not sure why..but the recipe i actually used was a  from a different one  and you can see that hand written recipe here.. they are basically the same ..  i also  had to make a few tweaks basically because of what i had on hand.. but let me tell you it was some of the best chili i've ever had..

it's so rich and hearty!!

grandmommy and pop's restaurant was pretty popular for it's chili!!

pop's chili

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 2-3 hours
servings: 6-8


2 lbs. ground beef
2 {16 oz} cans of crushed tomatoes {i used the hunts chili ready}
1 can of tomato paste {instead of the tomato sauce}
2 {16 oz} cans of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of water {i used chicken broth}
1 onion, diced small
1 green pepper, diced
2-3 peppers, diced {i used a pasillo, jalapeno and poblano pepper)
2-3 cloves of minced garlic
1 tblsp. chili powder
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 tsps. sugar
salt and pepper
canola oil


in a large stock pot or dutch oven heat 2 twirls around the pan with canola oil over medium heat.. add onions, garlic and peppers.. cook until soft and onions are translucent.. add meat and cook until no longer pink.. add tomato paste and cook until well incorporated.. add crushed tomatoes and water..stir to incorporate.. add beans.. add chili powder, crushed red pepper, sugar, salt and pepper.. stir to incorporate.. reduce heat and cook for several hours.. checking to make sure it's not getting to thick {if it does get to thick add 1/2 cup of water or beef broth}.. for more kick add some cayenne pepper.. ours was plenty hot enough with the peppers that were added.. when done serve in bowls with all the usual toppings.. sour cream, cheese, onions... it was soo good!! and i loved that i got to share one of my grandpa's recipes!!

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

thanksgiving round up!!

here are a few of my favorite thanksgiving recipes!! i hope you enjoy them and i hope this holiday your surrounded by loved ones, family and friends..


Thursday, November 21, 2013

throwback thanksgiving thursday.. brined/roasted turkey with jalapeno cornbread stuffing

thanksgiving weekend is a whirlwind of family and food!! my mom has a rather large get together and it's been known in the past to have up to 60+ people.. this year however will be more manageable with only about 32!! our other thanksgiving feast we attend is hosted by pete's sister pati and will be around 25 or so.. this year i will be roasting a turkey the morning of thanksgiving, basically so i have left overs during the weekend and can use the stuffing for pete's family gathering and the gravy will go to my moms.. {yes it sometimes gets confusing as to what i am taking to what house ha ha..} but this year for my mom's i will bring hot artichoke dip, grandmommy's sweet potato casserole, gravy, spicy cranberry pomegranate relish and pumpkin breadpudding with bourbon spiked whipped cream.. for pete's sisters thanksgiving i will make a ham, grandmommy's sweet potato casserole, spicy cranberry pom relish, this jalapeno stuffing on today's post and a bourbon pecan tart with chocolate drizzle.. my brother in law jimmy is in charge of the turkey, mashed taters, gravy and other yummy goodness while everyone else will bring their favorite dish.. it's a smorgasbord of deliciousness..

the Friday after thanksgiving this year we will be celebrating my nieces 21st b day Vegas style!! we are going to dinner at a strip hotel than the adult kids are going "clubbing" on the strip.. this should be interesting but fun!! wish me luck, i just hope i can stay awake through the dinner he he..

for today's throwback thursday i am sharing my favorite brined roasted turkey recipe along with my mom's jalapeno cornbread stuffing. which is one of my favorite dishes.. i love love these 2 recipes.. i hope you will too..

brined roasted turkey

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 3- 4 hours
servings: 14-16 (general rule of thumb is 1 lb. per person)


1 (14-16 lb.) frozen young turkey

for brine:

1 cup kosher salt
1/2 brown sugar
1 gallon veggie broth/stock or chicken stock/broth
1 tblsp. pepper
1 tblsp. poultry seasoning
1 gallon heavy iced water

for cooking the bird:

1 stick of butter
salt and pepper
stuffing (recipe below)


2 or 3 days before roasting begin thawing your turkey in the fridge.. then once defrosted (about a day before) in a large cooler (we use a gott water cooler) combine broth/stock, salt, sugar, iced water and pepper.. place your thawed turkey, with the innards removed, in the cooler.. set in a cool area for 8-16 hours before cooking. when ready to cook preheat your oven to 350 degrees (f).. remove bird from brine and rinse it off under cold water then place it on a roasting rack and pat dry with paper towels.. melt 1 stick of butter and pour over bird and inside cavity rubbing in while pouring.. (wash hands) then sprinkle with salt and pepper.. stuff cavity with stuffing and cover with foil and put in the oven on the lower rack of the oven... cook for 1 hour 30 minutes.. and check every 30 minutes and baste your chicken with the juices..after about an hour and half remove cover and cook another hour and a half or two.. ok here is where controversy has come up i was always taught to cook your bird 20 minutes per pound meaning that it would take about 5 hours to cook a 14-16 lb. bird.. but my mom called the butterball hotline a few years ago and they said that's old school and a 14-16 lb. bird should take about 3-3.5 hours..  i cooked mine the less amount of time last year and the turkey came out juicy and moist.. what your looking for is an internal temperature of about 155 is the best time to remove it from the oven  because when the turkey rests out of the oven it will rise to be about 160-165 which is what your ideal temp should be.. i removed my turkey after about 3 hours loosely covered with a foil tent and allowed it to rest for 30 minutes.. the temp was spot on and the turkey perfectly cooked... *when checking the temp of the bird insert thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh and then the breast* for extremely helpful tips check out this website here..

jalapeno cornbread stuffing

prep time: 30 minutes plus overnight
cooking time: depends on the size of your bird
serving: will stuff  a 14-16 lb. bird


1 cup butter, melted
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup apple, chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
2-3 jalapenos seeded and chopped {more if you like more heat or you could even leave the seeds in.. and remember these little babies are hot so wash your hands when done and don't touch your face or eyes before washing.. been there done that.. no fun}
1 cup chicken broth
2 6 ounce packages of mrs. cubbison's seasoned corn bread stuffing {one box}
salt and pepper to taste {i like alot of pepper in mine}

in a large mixing bowl combine all the above ingredients.. if it seems dry add a little more chicken brother and/or melted butter.. i let mine sit over night.. then in the morning i stuff my bird.. i let it cook in the bird until I remove the bird from the oven then i take the stuffing out to a bowl..  now if not cooking in the bird then place stuffing in a greased baking dish, cover and bake in a 350 degree (f) oven for about 45 minutes.. remove cover {check again to make sure its not dry.. if it is melt a 1/2 a stick of butter and pour over the stuffing} and bake another 10 minutes longer uncovered..

enjoy and get cook'n!!