Thursday, December 11, 2014

throwback thursday holiday style! christmas round up!

it's been a crazy last few months!! first shelby announced she was moving to port orchard, wa.. that threw me for a loop.. so we planned it got it all ready and unfortunately it didn't work out.  i was excited for her to have a new adventure but sad she was doing it so far away.. now here new adventure will be in vegas. she is starting barber school in a few months!! yeah shell!! and jake finishes his last law school exam tomorrow for this semester.. *whew* glad that is almost over. he tends to get a bit umm shall we say cranky during final exams.. and then on to my news!!!! i am  so excited.. pete and i bought a little cabin/cottage in the woods!! {sounds kinda fairy tale-ish when said that way ha} it's in a small town called williams, arizona, which is the "gateway" to the grand canyon.. we actually have a view {long distant view albeit but a view } of the grand canyon! it's so cute and i love love love it.. but it does need a lot of work.. it's on over an acre and the previous owners did nothing with the land but use it to store their junk, while they removed 99% of their stuff there still is some stuff we need to remove.. we also would like to have part of  it graded down flat for a bbq pit, cooking fire pit and seating area.. that is of course down the road! what needs to be done now is the inside... they kinda made the house a little crazy inside ha.. i will show pictures tomorrow we've got a looooooooooong way to go and i can't wait! lot's of fun projects in our future!! we've tried to furnish and decorate the house from yard sales, thrift stores, used furniture stores.. etc.. {except the mattresses} and we might have to break down and buy a couch from a furniture store.. we'll see.. pete has been pretty picky about the couch!
with all that going on i've neglected this poor little blog and i am sorry. but i think i am back into the swing of things.. we won't be going to the house in williams for several weeks with all the christmas activities we have coming up so it's my goal to post 4-5 times a week again.. check on tuesdays i will share with you our projects as we complete them..
today for throw back thursday i am sharing my past favorite holiday recipes!!

i make this christmas morning to have while opening presents..
heart shaped cinnamon rolls  

then we go to my mom's house and after presents we have this breakfast and have been doing so for probably 35 years..
christmas morning huevos rancheros

curtis and janet have a christmas eve party every year and janet's mom makes the best cuban pork and black beans..{my recipe here doesn't come close to how amazing her mom's is but mine is pretty darn good}
christmas eve cuban pork and black bean "soup"

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}

spicy ham 'n swiss sliders

from my family to your
and remember
enjoy and get cook'n!!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

throwback thursday.. happy fall y'all!! pumpkin crunch cake and pumpkin cinnamon donuts!!

I loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee this time of year!! now don't get me wrong me i love me some summer too, especially living in vegas and near lake mead.. but i also love fall and when everything is pumpkin!! so for today's throwback thursday i wanted to share with you 2 of my favorite and easiest pumpkin recipes!! you will not be disappointed if you make them this November {or anytime of the year}!!

pumpkin crunch cake

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 5-60 minutes
servings: 8-12 (depending on the size of pieces you serve)


1 box betty crocker super moist spice cake mix
2 cups pumpkin butter (my recipe can be found here) *
1 can of evaporated milk
3 large eggs
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup butter, melted


pre heat your oven to 350 degrees (f).  spray the bottom of your casserole dish with pam.  mix pumpkin butter with evaporated milk and eggs.. whisk to combine.. pour mixture into your casserole dish.. sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin mixture.. then top with pecans and chocolate chips.. drizzle melted butter over entire thing.. bake 50-55 minutes.. remove from oven allow to cool about 15 minutes and serve warm or you can serve room temperature... top with whipped topping if you would like..

* if you don't have pumpkin butter you can use 1 15oz. can of pumpkin puree, 1.5 cups sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice and 1/2 tsp. salt

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 tsp. 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!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

take my word for it wednesday.. it was our 40th anniversary of going camping at doheney state beach.. full menu

 it's been 40 years that we've been going camping at doheney state beach and although the other campers in our group have changed.. it's pretty much always been our family.. this year we ended up having about 19 at the campsite at one point.. camping was me, pete, shell, patrick, jake, sam, curtis, janet, ollie and  amelia.. staying in hotels near the camp ground where my  mom, dad, janet's mom and dad, my cousin sharon, ollie's god father and amelia's god mother.. coming to visit from near by cities was my cousin jimmy and childhood friend {who we started this entire adventure of camping here with when we were kids} and her hubby!!

parking cars was a little crazy but there was plenty of food, laughter and good cheer!!

so to get the menu started i made a big pot of chili the morning we left.. i got up at 5:30 and put it on and then an hour before we left i turned it off.. left it in the pot put it in an ice chest and away we went..
so the first night while setting up camp we had spicy turkey chili..
the following morning i made cheesy scrambled eggs {excuse the photo it was the second post i ever did ... so this weekend i am so going to re do the photo and dish} i then made bacon and potatoes like the ones below..
home fries.. i served everything with flour tortillas on the side and the left over chili for burritos.. I also made before we left

homemade cinnamon rasin bread and orange cranberry bread.. to snack on while breakfast was cooking..
after breakfast i  whipped up a big pitcher of sangria and kept it in the cooler for when guests stopped by.. my cousin jimmy and sam loved it..
for lunch the first day i made chili dawgs and
burgers.. and just served them with chips.. hey were camping on the beach didn't want to get to fancy.. *wink*
for dinner i did a grilled el pollo loco type chicken with beans and rice.. i'll share that recipe soon..
the next morning i made fluffy chocolate chip pancakes.. i also had blue berries, strawberries and  bananas.. so some had blue berry, strawberry, chocolate chip banana pancakes.. there was all kinds of craziness going on.. i didn't make pumpkin though and i think next year i will.. i served it with the cheesy scrambled eggs again, bacon and sausage.. and of course bloody marys and mimosas..

for lunch we had sub sandwiches..
for dinner i grilled tri tip.. i cooked 4 large tri tip.. they were amazing.. i took baking potatoes cleaned them real good, rubbed olive oil all over them, wrapped them in foil and cooked them in the dutch oven.. similar to my
baked potato but cooked in a dutch oven over the grill.. i also served salad and garlic bread that i grilled on a griddle on my coleman stove.. and for desert..
 a s'more bar!!! {basically the left over s'more stuff i had left over from pete's 50th birthday bash..}

it was a busy weekend.. but we had an amazing time!! ollie caught a fish which tio pete cleaned and i wrapped in foil with some butter, garlic and lime and grilled.. pete said it was most excellent!!

jake acting as usual.. which is like a dork.. ha

pete photo bombing shell and patrick.. ha

something's never change.. :)

jake and sam going to go play catch and take frankie for a walk..

ollie with bob and poppi..

 the boys enjoying the beach..

enjoy and get camp'n!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

recipe roulette.... grandmommy's sweet potato casserole

with thanksgiving coming up I thought I would share with you my grandmother's famous sweet potato casserole.. it was so popular at thanksgiving she took to showing up with the recipe already written out because she knew she would be asked by someone for the recipe!

to me it's the symbol of thanksgiving.. i could not imagine a holiday without this dish.. and i didn't use to like sweet potatoes but have alwaysssssssss loved this dish!!

the origin of the recipe is a mystery.. my grandma has always made it and that's that.. ha

the crunchy topping is to die for.. now warning there is NOTHING light, less fat or low sugar about this recipe.. it's straight up indulgent and pretty much that's why it only gets made once a year.. 

but it's amazing.. try it this year you will not be disappointed.. 

and here is the recipe in grandmommy's own hand..

and if it's hard to read here it is typed out..

sweet potato casserole
prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 40 minutes
servings: 8-10
1 40 oz. can of yams, mashed (or 3 cups mashed sweet potato or yams)
1 stick of butter, melted
1/2 cup of white sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 stick of butter, melted
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped pecans
mix casserole ingredients together in a glass casserole dish {not sure it has to be glass but my grandma always liked it in the glass} then in separate medium mixing bowl combine topping mixture and pour over yams as a topping.. {don't mix in} bake at 350 degrees (f) for 35-40 minutes or until light golden  brown.. 

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Monday, November 3, 2014

grilled sweet and spicy mustard pork chops

 i feel like a bad boyfriend these days and all i am doing is apologizing for not paying attention to you guys or not being around enough.. sorry :(* but that will end soon.. it's been crazy busy here at work and pete and i have a few fun things in the works.. once they are set in stone i will share them with you.. but if all goes well and as planned look for more cold weather yummy meals and diy refurbishing posts this winter.. so without jinxing it just keep your fingers crossed for us!!
also what kept me away we went on our annual doheney camping trip and this year it blossomed to about 17 people at one point i was feeding at the campsite.. i'll share those recipes this wednesday.. in the meantime i am sharing a wonderful dish inspired by our friend lo!! thanks tina and lo!! :)

tina and lo one day were telling about a tri tip they had grilled.  they slathered it with mustard then added a dry rub then at the end of grilling it added some spicy garlic jam i had gotten lo for his bday from schepf's farm in queens creek, arizona.. well i wasn't making tri trip that night and i didn't get myself any of the garlic jam so i improvised with pork chops.. and let me tell you it came out ahhhmaaaaaaaaaaaazing!! this might be one of my favorite ways to grill pork chops!!

the hot peach pepper preserves is amazing but if you can't find something similar mixing peach preserves with hot pepper jelly will do the trick!!

grilled sweet an spicy mustard pork chops

prep time: 2-3 hours
cooking time: 15 minutes
servings: 4


4 (1.5 inch) pork chops
bbq rub {recipe below}
2 tblsp. mustard {i used a habanero mustard that was delish i've also used regular or even dijon before..}
hot peach pepper preserves {if you don't have it just combine peach preserves with hot pepper jelly to taste}


slather your chops in mustard and add dry rub all over and place in the fridge for 2-3 hours before grilling .. then when ready remove chops from fridge and bring to room temperature.. while your doing that pre heat your grill to medium-high heat..  grill the chops 5-7 minutes each side.. after a minute or so of grilling brush them with the spicy preserves.. continue to grill 6 or so minutes.. your looking for an internal temperature of 140-145.. remove chops from grill and allow to rest for about 5 minutes before serving..

bbq rub:

1 tblsp.. chili powder {i used a garlic chili powder if you don't have that use 1/2 tblsp. chili powder and 1/2 tblsp. garlic powder}
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. cayenne
1 tblsp. smokey paprika
2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. salt


combine all ingredients in a small bowl.. keep in an airtight container until use and any left overs keep in the container.  super yummy.

enjoy and get cook'n!!