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!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

take my word for it wednesday.. this is one of the best french dip sandwiches ever.. balsamic glazed roast beef with grilled onions..


i have said it once i will say it again.. i really really don't like food cooked in a crock pot and i despise shredded meat.. however, this dish was actually pretty darn good.. we had a little get together for dinner and i served appetizers.. pete went a little crazy at toms farms on our way home from california and bought lobster pate, goose liver pate, smoked shark, smoked halibut, smoked salmon, smoked liverwurst, smoker oysters {wow boy was he in a smokey kinda mood} and pickled herring in a spicy tomato sauce.. then i had set up a make your own sandwich bar with horseradish sauce, different kinds of cheeses, ciabatta rolls, caramelized onions and a big platter of this roast beef.. everyone loved the sweet and slightly spicy flavor of the meat even if it was cooked in a crock pot and produced stringy meat.. ha try it.. according to pete you will like it.. :)

balsamic glazed roast beef sandwiches

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 6-8 hours
servings: 6-8



1 4 lb. boneless chuck roast
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
1 tblsp. worcestershire sauce
1 tbslp. low sodium soy sauce
1 tblsp. agave
1 tsp. sriracha
4 minced cloves of garlic


2 onions, sliced
olive oil
1 tblsp. balsamic vinegar
multi grain ciabatta bread
swiss cheese
caramelized onions {recipe below}


in a medium mixing bowl add all ingredients except roast and combine thoroughly..  in your slow cooker and spray the inside with a little pam.. place roast in cooker and pour sauce over the beef.. cook on low for 6-8 hours.. when your roast beef is done and your house smells amazing remove roast to a platter and shred with two forks.. ladle a 1/4 cup of the broth over the roast.. i served it as french dip sandwiches.. if you want to do that as well, pour your remaining broth in a "fat" separator and then pour the broth in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until it gets thick and reduces by 1/2.. it's delightful.. i had fresh ciabatta rolls, swiss cheese and caramelized onions.. i also had little bowls that i filled with the "gravy"/"broth" for dipping!! or serve the roast beef with mashed taters  and balsamic gravy and carrots for an amazing meal also..

caramelized onions: in medium pan heat 2 twirls around the pan of olive oil over medium heat.. when the oil is hot add your onions and salt and pepper.. add balsamic vinegar.. continue to cook for 15-20 minutes.. stirring to prevent burning.. after about 30 minutes they should brown and caramelized and yummy goodness..
enjoy and get cook'n!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

chili huevos rancheros

we are a chili kinda family.. we love it... i've been known to make a big pot of it at the beginning of the weekend or the first night of a camping trip so we can use the left overs, we love it with eggs, tortillas, hot dogs, hamburgers and even over pasta.. i have since long ago replaced the ground beef with turkey and no on complains.. the past few thanksgiving weekends i have had a chili bar party the saturday after thankgiving.. we nosh on chili then go out and sit by the fire pit and just enjoy that the family is together.. my niece, jess, asked your having the annual chili party right?? to which i replied of course!! i think this year i am going to make my traditional turkey chili, my grandpa's chili {pictures and recipe coming soon but if you want to see it now i have the recipe card posted at grandmommy's recipes look for don's chili} and i am making a white chicken green chile chili {recipe coming soon} but this week the kids came over for dinner and i made a big pot chili knowing i wanted to use it in breakfast on sunday morning.. chili for breakfast has a special place in my heart.. many years ago, about 27, pete and i bought a little camping tent trailer and one of our first camping trips was to cottonwood cove at lake mead.. we intended on only staying one night and i brought just enough food.. well we were having such a good time we decided to stay one more night, now this was back before atm cards and we were on a strict budget {meaning we were poor}so we scrounged through the car and my purse  and came up with 5 bucks.. so pete went to the store and came back with a can of chili and a package of flour tortillas.. i had butter and eggs left over from the morning previous so we had chili and eggs for breakfast.. it was amazing.. and we love remembering it.. we loved our tent trailer and our beloved white albino boxer dudley.. they have both since gone but chili and eggs always reminds us of that trip!!!

chili huevos rancheros

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


approx. 2 cups left over turkey chili
1 or 2 eggs per person (depending on their preference) i poached mine.. i love love poached eggs but they totally scare me to make.. sam "taught" me how to make them on the last camping trip and i have been an egg poaching maniac ever since.. but if your like me and feeling uneasy check out this blog it will ease your to poach an egg by smitten kitchen..
1/4-1/2 cup low fat shredded cheddar cheese
cilantro and onions {garnish/optional}
low fat sour cream {optional-i forgot to put in the plate that i took the picture of}
4 fajita size flour tortillas


re heat your left over chili.. once it's ready start your tortillas.. in an iron skillet over medium high heat lightly spray your tortilla with spray oil, like pam, on both sides.. heat a few minutes in the pan until the tortilla begins to brown and get crispy.. wrap in foil and set aside.. poach your egg.. take a crispy tortilla and spread about a 1/2 cup of chili over it, sprinkle with cheese then add your egg or eggs, sprinkle with cilantro, onions and dollop of sour cream and then dig in.. pete adds a few dashes of tobacco and i had sriracha!!
enjoy and get cook'n!!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

throwback thursday.. tomatoes and eggs..

today's throwback thursday post is one of my all time favorite breakfasts!! I shared tina tomatoes and eggs back in october 2011.. my friend tina turned us on to this recipe one camping trip many moons ago.. and ever since then it's been a family favorite.. i even made it this past camping trip at the beach.. it's so simple.. like crazy simple.. but the results are a luscious tomatoey sauce which go perfect with creamy eggs.. i am going to change things up bit to the recipe soon i ordered harrissa from amazon.. which is a spicy moroccan tomato paste.. i can't wait to try it with these eggs!! i'll keep you posted.. in the interim if you want to try something delish and easy please try this recipe you won't be disappointed tina and i promise!! {this recipe is the stripped down no frills version.. tina adds breakfast meats to hers and i have even added salami before.. be creative..}

tomatoes and eggs

prep time: 5  minutes
cook time:  1 hour
servings:     3 (you could easily make this for 4 just add 2 more eggs)

2 cans of diced or crushed garlic and olive oil tomatoes  (i like the crushed garlic and olive tomatoes but i have used italian and plain on many occasions, however the mexican didn't work well)
olive oil
italian spices
salt and pepper
6 eggs (or 8 if making it for 4)
flour tortillas or crusty bread

in a dutch oven or whatever pot that can go in your oven heat twice around the pan of olive oil over medium low heat.. then add your cans of tomatoes.. cook for about a 1/2 an hour.. stirring occasionally.. what your looking for is the liquid to evaporate.. add italian spices.. i did basil, oregano and thyme this time add salt and pepper and let simmer on medium low another 15 or so minutes.. your looking for it to start to get thick and most of the liquid to be gone.. heat your oven to 350 degrees (f).. crack your eggs into the tomatoes.. like sunny side up eggs.. then put in the oven for another 15 minutes or so.. you want the white part to be cooked all the way through.. now if you like your eggs cooked a little hard then by all means cook them to your liking.. once done remove from oven and let sit for about 3 minutes (it's super hot) scoop onto your plate take a flour tortilla or toasty bread and dig/dip in.. super yummy.. i add crushed red pepper to mine and pete adds tobasco to his.. there are no rules..
enjoy and get cook'n!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

take my word for it wednesday.. these mini biscuits and sausage gravy are perfect for brunch!!

these little guys came about totally unintentionally.. i was making biscuits for my biscuit burger {recipe soon} and i had some left dough and thought i would make mini biscuits.. then i remembered i had some breakfast sausage and whipped up some gravy and viola..

this could easily be served on a brunch menu or if serving little ones they would love the mini biscuits..

or as a little appetizer.. 

 if you have ever made biscuits and they turned out like hockey pucks this recipe is for you.. they are so light and fluffy and only 3 ingredients!! yes you read that right!! 3.. you could serve this with honey and jam.. anytime a little bite is wanted.. 

easy buttermilk biscuits

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 1-12 minutes
approx. 23 1"  biscuits


2 cups self rising flour
1/4 cup cold butter, cubed {i stick it in the freezer for like 10 minutes before ready to use}
2/3 to 3/4 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup butter melted, to brush the tops with


preheat oven to 425 degrees {f}.. in a medium mixing bowl add flour.. then with a pastry cutter or long tined fork work in cold butter until crumbs are the size of peas.. add 2/3 cup of the buttermilk and stir until the mixture holds together and leaves the side of the bowl, add more buttermilk if needed.. dump dough out on a well floured surface and fold over on it's self several times using more flour as needed.. roll dough into a rectangle about 1/2" thick.. using your biscuit cutter cut out biscuits.. once you've cut all the biscuits you can pat the scraps together and cut additional biscuits.. line a baking sheet with foil.. arrange biscuits on sheet with about 1/2-1" between them.. bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown..remove from oven and brush the tops with a little butter.. serve hot/warm.. any leftover you should keep in airtight container and store at room temperature for a few days.. serve with sausage gravy..

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

throw back thursday.. pumpkin palooza

today's throwback thursday is some of my favorite pumpkin recipes!!
we love pumpkin in our house.. shell especially!!
sam made a pumpkin pizza last year that got rave reviews so we might have to try it..
pumpkin is very versatile.. you can add it to chili, pasta, risotto.. make frothy sweet spiced drinks with it.. tons of things..
have fun.. go pumpkin!!
enjoy and get cook'n!!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

take my word for it wednesday.. acorn squash and pan seared pork chops are a perfect weeknight meal..

today is take my word for it wednesday.. where i am usually asking you to forgive my shortcomings.. like these horrible photos.. despite the funky photos this is such an easy, quick {30 minutes or less} and satisfying meal i wanted to share it with you.. take my word for it that this meal is good.. like really good.. like really really good..

lot's of exciting things are happening around here.. i can't share them with you yet but just know
 V E R Y  E X C I T I N G!!  
so anyway.. with this time change {boo hiss} i don't leave work until dark.. so by the time i get home and cook it's o'dark thirty!! unfortunately that's the only time i can take the photo.. :/ i am going to try this winter to set up a photo room but we'll see.. that poor room has so many intended uses.. work out room, craft/scrapbooking/sewing room, extra bed room.. we'll see what it actually becomes for now it's a junk room.. ha ha anyway.. this recipe.. soooo easy.. i mean minutes to prep.. not long to cook.. but ohh so yummy.. growing up my mom would make acorn squash a lot in the winter.. it's been one of my favorites since i was munchkin.. if you've never tried it you must try it!!

chili roasted acorn squash with perfect pan seared pork chops
prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 30 minutes
servings: 4
acorn squash:
2 acorn squash, halved lengthwise, seeds removed
2 tblsp. butter
chili powder
garlic powder {my chili powder is actually chili garlic powder}
salt and pepper
pre heat oven to 450 degrees {f}... line a baking sheet with foil.. take your cut squash and place on the baking sheet cut side up, add a 1/2 tblsb. of butter to the center of each {you can use a drizzle of olive oil instead if you prefer} sprinkle with chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.. roast until fork tender and starting to brown.. about 20 minutes.. *tip.. unlike some squashes you can eat the outside of the acorn squash it's really rather good after it's roasted* remove from oven and drop the heat of the oven to 350 degrees {f} for the pork chops..

perfectly pan seared thick cut pork chops
prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 10-12 minutes
servings: 4
4 12 oz. thick cut pork chops {about 1 1/4 inch thick}
salt and pepper
olive oil
heat your oven to 350 degrees {f}...pat each chop dry with a paper towel.. sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.. heat an iron skillet {or oven proof skillet} over medium high heat add two twirls around the pan with olive oil.. once it's hot and shimmering add your pork chops.. sear on one side for 2 minutes.. turn pork chop over and sear other side for additional 2 minutes.. remove skillet from stove and put in the oven for 4-5 minutes, the internal temperature should be around 140-145.. remove from oven and allow chops to rest for 5 minutes.. i served the chops with acorn squash and added the pan juices over the chops right before serving..
enjoy and get cook'n!!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

recipe roulette.. grandmommy's mac n cheese

recipe roulette is a "game" where i randomly pick one of my grandma's thousands of recipes and make it, without change, now some i might change a bit.. because honestly some of her recipes call for oleo.. blah ackk.. not going to use it.. ha ha and after i make it her way i might tweek or revamp to modernize it.. or i might not ha ha that's what makes it a gamble!! interesting note about me.. i grew up in vegas.. been here my entire life and i have never played a table game and only the slots about 10 times.. i might gamble with my food but not my money.. :)
i have a confession.. i am a little ashamed about it.. but for the record i love.. like really love box mac and cheese.. yes the box with the powdered cheese and yellow dye number whatever.. it's a little embarrassing but i what can i say, even shell the cheese snob likes it, i think it's childhood in a box..

with that being said.. i also love fresh cheesy home made mac and cheese.. it is such a comfort food.. it's perfect on a warm summer day or on a cold blistery winter one.. doesn't matter bottom line mac and cheese rocks.. i made this for our camping trip and ollie says i don't like this.. i was shocked.. this kid loves mac and cheese and how could you not like this recipe.. his reply.. i only like shells.. {not shelby's but the pasta in the shape of shells} "whew" it wasn't the taste it was my choice in macaroni.. when he did finally eat it he liked it and had several helpings.. funny thing about this recipe it was from a box top.. a box of what i don't know i assume the macaroni but not sure, it was on an old, very old in fact yellow cardboard box top and i almost missed it when i did my blind fold pick, because it was so small.. luckily i didn't and we got to enjoy this very simple basic mac and cheese that jake declared "this might be the best mac and cheese i've ever had.."  way to go grandmommy..

grandmommy's mac and cheese

prep time: 15 minutes
cook time: 15 minutes
servings: 6


4 cups uncooked pasta
4 tblsp. butter
4 tblsp. flour
2 cups milks
2 tsp. dried mustard
1 lb. grated sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper


cook pasta to package directions, drain and reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.. in a large pot melt butter over medium low heat.. when frothy but NOT burned whisk in flour.. continue to whisk for about 3 minutes.. don't stop whisking.. pour in milk and whisk again.. keep whisking.. add mustard and whisk until smooth.. cook for 5 more minutes.. it will begin to get thick.. reduce heat to low and add cheese.. whisk until cheese is melted.. add your salt and pepper... add your drained pasta.. if you think it needs to be less thick add some of the pasta water until you get your desired consistency.  serve immediately.. like most things i like mine peppery!!! now since this is pretty basic you can change it up.. add different cheese.. maybe cheddar and pepper jack.. or maybe add some crumbled bacon to it.. what i loved as a kid was cooked cut up hot dogs in my mac and cheese.. anything is possible :)

enjoy and get cook'n!!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

cinnamon "roll" donut

for my birthday i got a donut pan and could not wait to use it... i decided my first attempt would be a cinnamon donut.. i love cinnamon in the morning and even though i don't drink coffee, i personally think these dipped in a warm cup a' joe would be delicious.. i might have to actually have a cup of coffee next time i make these..
this little guy is pretty darn cool.. they popped right out. no muss.. no fuss..
this was a trial run to see out easy it was and it passed with flying colors.. very easy..

cinnamon "roll" donuts

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 12-15 minutes
servings: 6 donuts



1 cup ap flour
1/4 cup + 2 tblsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup + 2 tblsp. buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tblsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla extract


4 tblsp. butter, melted
1/4 cup cinnamon
1/4 sugar


pre heat the oven to 350 degrees {f}.. spray your donut pan with pam.. in a large mixing bowl combine, flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.. in a smaller bowl whisk together the egg, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla.. add wet mixture to dry and combine all ingredients.. spoon batter into your prepared donut pan, filling each well a little more than 3/4 of the say full.. bake for 12-15 minutes or until a cake pick comes out clean.. allow to cool for 5 or so minutes then turn the pan over and tap and they will fall out.. place on a cooling rack.. while they are cooling, take a small microwave safe bowl and melt the butter for topping.. in a separate bowl combine sugar and cinnamon.. dip the top of each donuts in the butter and then sprinkle with the cinnamon/sugar mixture.. place back on the cooling rack in case some of the butter melts down.. serve warm or put in an airtight container and serve at room temperature..

enjoy and get cook'n!!