Friday, August 30, 2013

labor day round up - burgermania

it's no secret that i love burgers.. sometimes i am a plane jane no frills kinda burger gal.. no cheese, no fancy sauces just meat some veggies and a bun.. but then there are the days I crave sloppy, juicy in your face kinda burgers.. those are the kinds i will be making this weekend for a bbq we are having.. I will also be making green chili mac and cheese.. ohh i can't wait for saturday.. {check back next week for some of those recipes from the bbq} but for now i want to share with you some of my favorite burgers recipes over the past 2 years that i have shared and think are worth sharing again.. i hope you have a safe weekend..

Thursday, August 29, 2013

throwback thursday.. crab rangoon pizza

well it's that time again.. throwback thursday!! this is when i pull a recipe from the archives.. this one is shell's allllllll time favorite.. and i have to admit it's pretty amazing.. in the photos i forgot to top the pizza with the won tons and sweet chili sauce.. but don't you forget to do that.. the crunch from the wontons and the sweet and spicy chili sauce knock this pizza right out of the park.. my original post is here.. and even though it's been nearly a year since i first made this, it's still up there with the top favorite pizzas!! it's so worth making!! i hope you will try it..

crab rangoon pizza

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 7 minutes
servings: 2 pizzas

pizza dough (my go to recipe that i use can be found here or a pre made pizza dough from the store is fine..)
8 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1 can of lump crab meat, drained and any hard bits picked out
1 scallion chopped green and white part
2 tsp. red thai curry powder
1 cup mozzarella cheese


wonton skin cut into strips and fried or you can buy the fried crispy won ton salad toppers
sweet chili sauce
the green part of the scallion, chopped


preheat your oven to 500 degrees (f) for 30 minutes with your pizza stone in the oven.. cut dough in half and roll out dough on a floured surface to the thickness your family likes.. slide the pizza dough on to a piece of parchment paper.. in a medium mixing bowl combine cream cheese, lump crab meat, scallions and curry powder.. stir to combine.. spread mixture among the 2 pizza dough rounds.. sprinkle 1/2 cup of mozzarella on each pizza.. pick up parchment and pizza and slide gently onto pizza at a time bake until lightly brown and cheese is melted.. about 6-7 minutes.. but keep an eye on it the thin pizza cooks up pretty fast.. remove from oven sprinkle green onion, crispy won tons and drizzle a little sweet chili sauce..

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

take my word for it wednesday.. these grilled talipia fish tacos are so easy to make but taste outstanding..

sometimes the simplest of recipes are the tastiest..  there are times you don't need fancy ingredients or crazy preparations to achieve a flavorful result.. years ago.. like 10 or so we had a boat we kept at the lake and would spend the weekends on it.. we called it our floating condo.. every weekend was like a mini vacation.. we loved it.. unfortunately the kids got older didn't want to spend every waking moment of the weekend at the lake and we eventually sold it and got a different boat.. but on the weekends we did used to stay one of our favorite meals was catfish tacos.. shell and pete would catch the fish and I would grill it up on the dock.. {you couldn't have fire on the dock so we had a standing george foreman grill.. I love that thing out there} we make them at home quite often they are very simple to make and very satisfying .. i posted the recipe a few years ago {that post here} so today is a combo of throwback thursday and take my word for it wednesday.. {i really want you to take my word that the recipe i posted back in 2011 is worth trying!!} also i changed it up a bit.. added some different toppings.. even old favorites sometimes need a re vamp..

the picture is horrible, I took with my phone in my kitchen during a rain storm so the lighting was atrocious but you can kinda see how amazing they look while cooking..

grilled talipia tacos

prep time: 15
cooking time: 8 minutes
servings: approx. 4


2 tblsp. taco seasoning {store bought or my recipe here}
1 lb. talipia fillet (or any firm white fish)
lemon infused olive oil {if you don't want to make the infused lemon oil a little olive oil with a a squirt of lemon juice is fine}


spicy pickled veggie relish {recipe below}
cabbage mix {recipe below}
sour cream {i mix mine with a little pico pica taco sauce for zip}
cheese of your choice

8 corn tortillas


season each side of your fish with the taco seasoning.. a few swirls around your grill pan with olive oil.. heat your grill pan to medium high heat.. add fish and cook for about 4 minutes on each side.. let it rest for 5 minutes..

heat your corn tortilla's according to package directions.. (i just took a griddle got it screaming hot and cooked them on each side about 2 -3 minutes but I have also been know to fry them... take about a 1/4-1/2 cup of canola oil.. heat on high in an iron skillet.. when oil is very hot gently put your tortilla in and then with tongs fold one side over making the taco shell.. turning over several times to make sure both sides get cooked.. cook until the desired crispness..) divide the fish among the corn tortillas and then top with your favorite toppings.. mine right now are cabbage mix, spicy pickled veggies diced into relish, sourcream/taco sauce and a little cheese ..

cabbage mix

prep time: 15
servings: approx. 1 cup


1 1/2 cups of shredded cabbage
1 small purple onion, sliced
1/2 bunch cilantro chopped
1 jalapeno, sliced thin
squeeze of half a lime

mix all ingredients .. i just combined them on the cutting board after slicing and chopping it all up..

i've been making this now like every other week and keeping in the fridge and putting on everything.. ha i love it..

spicy pickled veggies


3 or 4 radish, sliced
a handful of carrots chips
1/2 cup diced daikon radish
2 jalapeños, sliced into rings
1 anaheim pepper, sliced into rings
handful of chopped cilantro
1 cup of white wine vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tblsp. agave {or sugar or splenda}


cut up veggies into what ever shape you like... i used my mandolin to slice up the red radishes, the carrots came already sliced up and the daikon i diced up.. in a small mixing bowl whisk vinegars, salt and agave until combined.. and your veggies to a large mason jar and pour the liquid over them and put your hand in the jar and kinda squish everything down... store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks... the first day every couple of hours i shook up the jar and got the ingredients to mix and mingle..
enjoy and get cook'n!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

grilled butterflied leg of lamb with a hatch green chili chimichurri sauce and horseradish/garlic roasted veggies...

pete loves lamb and anytime i can find it at a good price i try to get it.. i saw this recipe grilled butterflied leg of lamb on pinterest last week and while shopping on saturday they had butterflied leg of lamb on sale it was kind of a meant to be thing.. then i saw this recipe here hatch chili chimichurri on facebook and since my amazing friend randi shared with me some of her fresh roasted hatch chilis last week, it again was a meant to be thing.. now let me tell you the chimichurri sauce is amazing.. i can't wait to put it on other meats and dishes.. but the lamb really shined in the dish.. it was garlicky and so luscious.. this was a great sunday supper.. i cut up carrots and potatoes tossed them with olive oil, horseradish and roasted garlic and roasted them in a 375 degree oven for about an hour.. they were perfect with the lamb..
i marinaded the lamb in white wine vinegar, lemon infused olive oil, 5-7 smashed roasted garlic cloves, chopped fresh parsley and oregano and of course salt and pepper...

seared both sides then cooked it for about an hour on the grill..

i took it off when it was about 130 degree internal temperature.. sliced thin at an angle and covered with the hatch green chili chimichurri.... ohh myyy word it was good.

grilled butterflied leg of lamb

prep time: 2.5 hours
cook time: about an hour
servings: 6-8


for lamb:

1 boneless leg of lamb, about 5-6 lbs. butterflied
1 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup lemon infused olive oil
5-7 smashed roasted garlic {easy way to roast your garlic is to make easy garlic confit}
1 bunch chopped fresh parsley and oregano
5-6 garlic cloves
salt and pepper


in a mixing bowl combine vinegar, lemon oil, smashed roasted garlic, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper.. whisk until well incorporated.. take a sharp paring knife and place 5-6 slits on the non fat cap side on the lamb.. then shove your garlic cloves into the slits.. place your lamb in a large ziplock bag and add marinade, seal and {squish the bag around to make sure the marinade thoroughly covers your meat} then place in the fridge for about 2 hours.. remove from fridge and bring to room temperature {about 20 minutes} before adding to your grill.. when ready to put on your grill remove from marinade bag and any left marinade discard.  preheat your grill to high.. place the lamb fat side up on the grill.. sear the one side for about 4 minutes then flip over and sear the other side, another 4 minutes.. then drop the heat to low, close the lid and continue to cook for about 35-40 minutes {check to make sure there are no flare ups} you want to maintain a temperature in your grill of about 325 {f}..  you will want the fat side up for most of the cooking because it melts down into the meat.. {lovely and delicious} once the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees remove from the grill, cover with foil and allow it to rest for about 7-10 minutes.. place on a cutting board and slice against the grain about 1/4 inch thick.. any juices that have accumulated on your cutting board pour of the sliced lamb.. serve immediately with hatch green chili chimichurri..

hatch green chili chimichurri


1 bunch cilantro leaves
3 medium sized roasted green chilis, peeled and stems removed
3-4 garlic cloves
2 tbslp. capers
2 tbslp. red wine vinegar
1/3 cup good quality olive oil
salt and pepper


place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.. pulse until all ingredients are well combined.. put in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use... serve at room temperature over meat, fish or veggies..

roasted garlic/horseradish potatoes and carrots


3 carrots, peeled and chunked up
5-6 honey gold potatoes, washed and chunked up
1/4 cup olive oil
4-5 smashed roasted garlic cloves
1 tblsp. prepared horseradish


pre heat oven to 375 degrees {f}.. line a baking sheet with foil.. place your cut up carrots and potatoes on the baking sheet.. in a small mixing bowl combine olive oil, garlic and horseradish.. whisk until well incorporated.. pour over veggies.. using your hands toss the veggies in the garlic/horseradish oil and make sure they are evenly coated.. place sheet in oven and cook for about 30 minutes.. remove from oven and with a spatula toss the veggies so they are cooking on the other side.. put back in the oven and cook another 30 minutes.. you might want to check on them to make sure they are evenly cooking.. once done remove from oven and serve immediately..

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

throw back thursday.. hippie roll sliders.. quick little appetizers

way back in 2011 i posted a recipe hippie roll, which are one of my all time favorite sandwiches.. they take me back to when we were first married on a budget and only ordered out like a once a month.. i then posted another version  of them in 2012 that recipe here and then in early 2013 i posted these hippy roll sliders.. i love them.. like really love them.. they are easy, quick and ohh so delish.. so for my throw back thursday recipe i am repeating yet again these tasty "sandwiches" i so want to make them this weekend.. i think might have to..

hippie roll sliders

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: about 15 minutes to cook the sausage and peppers and about 15-18 minutes to cook the sliders one assembled
servings: 3-4


1 can of the pillsbury grand biscuits, if using as a meal or 2 or 3 cans of the smaller biscuits for appetizers (i used the lower fat biscuits)
1 package of bulk spicy italian sausage (you can buy it in links and remove the casing or leave in links and cut up into bite size pieces)
3-4 small/mini bell peppers, sliced (or 1 medium sized any color bell pepper)
1/2 small onion, sliced
shredded mozzarella
herb infused olive oil (optional, i used it to brush the tops)
marinara for dipping (you can use store bought sauce or pizza sauce but i just took a can of italian diced tomatoes.. poured them into a saute pan and cooked over medium low heat until all the liquid was cooked off, stir every 10 minutes.. and takes about 30-40 minutes)

heat your oven to 350 degrees (f).. in a medium saute pan cook italian sausage until crumbly.. remove from pan with slotted spoon, leaving the oil that is now in the pan i sauteed my onions and peppers, about 7-10 minutes until tender.. roll/flatten out your biscuit add a little sausage, peppers and onions and cheese, roll up/fold up and place seam side down in a greased casserole dish (i sprayed then pan with pam) .. brush the top with flavored olive oil or regular olive oil and bake for 15-18 minutes, but check after 13... you want them golden brown and slightly cripsy.. not goey or hard..

enjoy and get cook'n!!

one meal.. two meal.. three meal.. pow.. shrimp~asparagus lemon orzo {salad}

this was not what i intended on making the other night.. i was going to take my nice succulent shrimp add a sliver of jalapeno to the back and wrap it all in bacon and then skewer it and cook it on the grill {like i did here}  along with grilled asparagus {like i did here} and then a side of lemon orzo.. {which was going to be the featured recipe..} buttttttttt when i got home from work that idea went out the window because there was another monsoon outside and grilling on the patio didn't look to be to safe or fun for that matter.. so it got switched up.. i took 2 slices of center cut bacon i cooked them down until tender then threw in 1 jalapeno diced and cooked it until soft.. then i threw in the peeled deveined shrimp and cooked until no longer pink.. while it was cooking i made the orzo and the last 3 minutes of the water boiling i added my cut asparagus  then drained it all.. added a little lemon infused olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice, then added it to the shrimp.. voila dinner is served.. it was so freaking good!!!! then the next day pete asked where it was i said why he said it would be good cold.. and guess what it was awesome cold!! so it started out as an entirely different meal.. got switched and made into a hot dish.. then the next day a cold salad.. i love it when that happens!! i hope you enjoy it!

shrimp~asparagus lemon orzo {salad}

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 15 minutes
servings: 4


2 lbs. uncooked, peeled, deviened and tail off shrimp
1 jalapeno, diced fine
2 strips center cut bacon, diced small
1 tblsp. cajun seasoning
1 bag of orzo
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends removed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 tblsp. lemon infused olive oil
juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon
salt and pepper


cook orzo according to package directions except about 3 minute before orzo is to be done add asparagus to the boiling water.. drain and add back to the pot.. add lemon zest, juice and olive oil.. toss until evenly coated.. in the interim while it's cooking take a large non stick pan {i used my wok} over medium heat cook bacon down until translucent but not crispy.. about 4-6 minutes.. add jalapeno.. cook until soft about another 3 minutes.. i tossed my shrimp with the seasoning before adding to the pan.. then add to the pan it won't take long to cook.. about 6 minutes or so.. you want to cook them until no longer pink..  once shrimp is done and the orzo is done combine the two add salt and pepper and check to see if you need more cajun seasoning then serve.. now it can be served hot or cold.. or both like we did.. hot one night with a nice crisp salad and cold the next night.. it's a win win!!!

enjoy and get cook'n!!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

the best turkey burgers ever with a spicy pickled veggie aoli

the pictures are icky... i was outside cooking turkey burgers and the sky turned black, the sun went away and thunder rocked and shook the house.. so it went from wonderful evening to bbq to duck and cover a monsoon is coming.. so yes my pictures were effected by the lovely weather but not the taste of these amazing burgers.. i have tell you these are by far the best turkey burgers i have ever had.. we are having a bbq over labor day and i intend on serving these burgers as one of the dishes.. i saw this recipe years ago on the oprah show mar-a-lago turkey burger and immediately made them and that was the first time i ever understood what people were talking about when they say they can taste the "layers" of flavor.. as i was preparing them pete saw the major gray chutney.. he gagged and sad your really not putting that in our burgers are you.. i replied with yes and he would love them.. after his second burger i said well did you like them he said yes they were wonderful either that or i was starving and would have eaten anything.. i socked him in the arm and went with the "these are wonderful" compliment.. which they are.. wonderful that is.. i have mentioned before how much i really enjoy the spicy pickled veggies i made recently .. i used them in this recipe greek meatball gyros with spicy pickled veggies as well as these amazing bahn mi pork tacos with spicy pickled veggies.. i can't seem to get enough of them.. my cousin said he was going to make a relish and put them on his burgers so i took it a step further and added it mayo for an aoli.. but i think if you just chopped them up and used them as a relish on burgers and dogs it would be pretty delish as well..

the apples and onions get a little caramelized while grilling.. scrumptious..
i like to grill my buns and sometimes the edges get a little burned.. which i think is awesome he he :)

turkey burgers

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 20 minutes
servings: 4 burgers


olive oil
1/2 an apple, finely diced
2 sliced green onions, green and white parts
1 lb. ground turkey
salt and pepper
2 tsp. tobasco
1/2 lemon, juiced and zest
1 tblsp. spicy major grey's chutney


sliced cheese

spicy pickled veggie aoli

1 tblsp. chopped pickled veggies
2 tblsp. light mayo

combine thoroughly and keep in an airtight fridge until ready to use.

directions for the burgers:

in a small skillet  heat two twirls around the pan of olive oil over medium heat.. sauté scallions and apples until tender.. remove from stove and allow to cool.. in a medium mixing bowl add turkey, sautéed veggies, tobasco, lemon juice and zest and major grey's chutney.. combine thoroughly and divide into 4 equal parts and shape into 4 patties.. refrigerate for about 2 hours {this is important they are loose and will fall apart if you don't put them in the fridge..}

season burgers with salt and pepper.. preheat your grill to medium heat.. grill burger about 7 minutes per side or until meat is thoroughly cooked.. add cheese and spray buns with pam and grill until toasted.. remove everything from the grill.. assemble your burgers by adding spicy aoli. lettuce, tomato and onions and serve immediately.. these are the best turkey burgers i have ever had.. you really need to try them!!
enjoy and get cook'n!! 

Friday, August 16, 2013

salisbury steak w/ creamy mushroom gravy and mashed taters.. skinny style..

when I was growing up we always had homemade dinners.. usually 5 nights a week my mom made dinner {until i turned 16 then i started helping with the cooking if you've ever read the about me tab up top you know all about that *smile*} anyway i saw this recipe skinny taste salisbury steak and it reminded me of those occasions, usually one weekends when a baby sitter watched us, that my brother and i got to have t.v. dinners... ohh those awesome frozen meals with the desert built right in and either mac n cheese or mashed taters. i loved them like really loved them.. not that i didn't love my mom's cooking.. i just didn't appreciate it i suppose and didn't understand why we couldn't have t.v. dinners all the time.. sorry mom *smile* now i appreciate you.. this dish filled that craving for a childhood favorite without the all the calories, fat and sodium of a frozen meal..
i made them with ground turkey and used my iron skillet to get them nice and browned..

i browned some onions {i had to use purple i was out of white/brown}, mushrooms, chicken broth and low fat half n half which made this wonderful cream sauce..

salisbury steak with mushroom gravy
prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 30 minutes
servings: 4
1 lb. ground turkey
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 egg
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tblsp. worcestershire sauce {divided}
1 cup beef broth
1/4 cup fat free 1/2 and 1/2
salt and pepper
1 tblsp. flour
8 oz. sliced mushroom
1 onion, sliced
olive oil
in a large mixing bowl combine ground turkey, bread crumbs, egg, garlic powder, 1 tblsp. of the worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.. shape into 6 patties.. in a large deep skillet, {i used my iron skillet}heat up 2 twirls around the pan of olive oil over medium high heat.. add patties and brown both sides.. remove to a plate.. add 1 more twirl around the pan with olive oil and reduce heat to medium and add the onions and sauté for 2 minutes and then add mushrooms.. add salt and pepper.. sauté both for another 2-3 minutes.. add flour and mix until flour is gone and a paste is kind of forming on the mushroom and onions.. add beef broth {yes beef instead of chicken it goes very well with the heartiness of the mushrooms} and mix everything together scraping up the brown yummy bits on the bottom of the pan.. cook for another 2 minutes.. add half and half and the other tblsp. of worcestershire sauce.. salt and pepper again.. add patties back and drop the heat to simmer.. cover and cook for about 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, check for seasoning.. serve over skinny mashed taters..
skinny mashed taters
prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 20 minutes
servings: 4
4-5 mediumish yukon gold potatoes, cubed {peeled if you like but i never peel mine}
3/4 cup non fat 1/2 and 1/2
1 tblsp. light butter {more if needed}
salt and pepper
fill a large pot 3/4 of the way up with water {you basically want the water to cover the potatoes}.. salt really good.. bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are fork tender.. about 20 minutes {might not take that long depending on how small you cube them so start checking around 10 minutes} when done drain potatoes and add back the pot.. mash with your potato masher until all of them are mashed then add your 1/2 and 1/2, butter, salt and pepper.. mash until smooth.. check for seasoning and consistency.. you might need to add a little more 1/2 and 1/2, butter, salt or pepper.. serve immediately..
enjoy and get cook'n!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

throwback thursday.. roasted butternut squash risotto

today is thursday!! that's just one day until friday! yeah yeah!! it's actually throwback thursday.. and today's recipe that i resurrected from the archives is roasted butternut squash risotto.. before making this i had never tasted risotto before.. i am now officially hooked.. it's amazing.. it's creamy.. it's smooth.. it's luscious.. it's soo satisfying.. yes it is a little labor intensive.. but only because you have to watch it.. so put your buds in our ears and rock out to pandora.. sway those hips.. sing.. and dance.. and stir that risotto... i promise if you've never made risotto you must try it, at least once.. if you've made it before you must try this recipe.. like this weekend you will not be disappointed..  original post here.. i really want you to try this.. hence repeating it.. *smile*

butternut squash risotto

prep time: 10
cooking time: 1.5 hour
servings: 8


1/2 whole butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
olive oil
2 tblsps. butter
sea salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. ancho chili powder
1 shallot, chopped
1.5 cups aborio rice
6 cups {approx} low sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup milk or heavy cream {i used organic skim}
1/2 cup parmesan shavings
finely minced parsley, for garnish {optional}


heat your oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.. lay your cubed butternut squash in a single later out.. drizzle with olive oil and then salt, pepper and chili powder.. bake for about 30-40 minutes or until your squash is a golden brown and tender, but not falling apart..  and don't be tempted to eat half of it like i was.. while it's cooking take a heavy bottom large skillet, i used my iron skillet and heat your butter over medium heat, then add chopped shallot and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until translucent.. i cooked mine a bit to long which why you can see "darker" pieces in my rice.. don't do that.. ha it's ok if you do.. but try not to.. now add the arborio rice and stir cooking for about 1 minute.. i had my chicken broth in a pot on the burner behind my rice on low heat and using a 1 cup measuring cup began adding my warmed broth into the skillet and stirring to combine and as the liquid would be absorbed adding another cup of the broth and stirring.. continue to do this and stirring gently as the broth absorbs into the rice and the rice becomes tender.. add salt and pepper a few times along the way.. taste the rice after about 5 cups of the broth has been added and absorbed  and check the consistency of the rice, it should be tender.. once it's to the consistency you like add your squash (i added another tsp. of ancho chili powder at this point too) and stir gently.. add milk or cream and parmesan shavings and stir to combine.. taste and if needed add more salt and pepper or even a little more chili powder.. sprinkle with minced parsley and serve immediately.

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

take my word for it wednesday.. shell turned 18 and we had a mexican fiesta!!

shell turned 18 last week.. *augh* *sigh* all the emotions one feels when their youngest grows up and becomes an adult were felt this past week, hell this past year.. she is an independent beautiful young woman who we are proud of.. the saying that sums her up pretty well is "why would every try to fit in, when you obviously were meant to stand out!"
for her party she wanted mexican food.. so a mexican fiesta was planned. we had:

 crispy pork carnitas eggrolls.. I combined 2 favorite recipes for a fun appetizer

{we also had carne asada, pollo asada, ground turkey tacos and rice.. and the best surprise was the

shell and amelia!! {heart}

shell get's her traditional kissy photo from keka

shell and deano..
my babies.. jake and shell
shell and her bff, karlee

aunt janet and uncle curtis know what this kid likes!! clothes!!!

amelia saying hello to jaxy

jaxy taking steps.. where has the time gone? how can my baby be 18 and this one already 1.. wow..