Saturday, January 2, 2021

Christmas Breakfast Casserole

1 pound chorizo sausage (beef or pork)
1/2 large onion finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper finely chopped
5 cloves garlic minced
8 ounces Pepper Jack cheese shredded
8 ounces cheddar cheese shredded
4 green onions finely sliced
1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped
2 jalapeno peppers seeded, deveined, and finely chopped
12 large eggs
3 cups half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
9 corn tortillas quartered
Toppings: Pico de gallo, sour cream, and avocado or guacamole

In a large skillet, brown chorizo with onions, bell peppers, and garlic until chorizo is cooked through. Remove from heat, and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine cheeses, cilantro, green onions, and jalapenos. Stir until combined. Set aside.

Butter a 9"x13" baking dish.
Spread a third (1/3) of the tortilla pieces into the bottom of the dish (12 pieces). Then spoon 1/3 of the chorizo mixture and 1/3 of the cheese mixture on top. Repeat layers twice more, ending with the cheese layer.

In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, half & half, hot sauce, and black pepper until fully combined and a little bit bubbly. Set aside.
Pour egg mixture on top.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Bake at 350° for 60-90 minutes, until golden brown. You can test done-ness the same way you would with a cake. Simply insert a fork, and if it comes out clean it's ready.
Let set for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with fresh pico de gallo, sour cream, and avocado.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Sugar Cookie Icing

½ cup butter softened, room temperature, salted or unsalted
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract 1 teaspoon if using traditional vanilla
3 tablespoons heavy cream substitute half and half or milk

In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, whip butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar. Add vanilla and heavy cream and mix until smooth.

Allow cookies to cool 10 minutes and ice while warm, or allow them to cool and melt your icing in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Using a measuring cup, pour icing on each cookie individually and using a cake spatula, smooth your icing before moving onto the next cookie or dip cookies in a bowl of warm icing.

Place the frosted cookies on parchment paper. Immediately add sprinkles if desired.

Sugar Cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned & leveled
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg room temperature
2 tablespoons milk (whole, lowfat, skim)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, cream the shortening and sugar together for 1 to 2 minutes or until well combined. Mix in the egg, milk, and vanilla extract until fully combined, making sure to stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Add the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined. The mixture will be a little crumbly at first but it will come together as you continue mixing it. Once the dough comes together, use your hands to form it into a ball.

Divide the dough in half. Lightly flour a piece of parchment paper, add half of the dough, top with another piece of parchment paper, and roll the dough out ¼-inch thick between both pieces of parchment paper. Repeat with the other half of the dough between two separate pieces of parchment paper. This dough doesn't require any dough chilling, but if you prefer colder dough so that it's easier to work with you can place both pieces of rolled out dough between the parchment paper on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.

Peel off the top layer of parchment paper. Cut the cookie dough into shapes and place them onto the prepared baking sheets. Leave a little room between each one. If needed, flour a thin spatula and use that to transfer the cut out cookies to the baking sheet. Re-roll any scrap pieces of dough between the parchment paper and continue cutting out shapes.

Bake 9 to 12 minutes or until the tops of the cookies are set the bottom edges are lightly browned.

Kris Kringle Krinkles

1 cup Butter (softened)
1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 teaspoon Peppermint Extract (or Almond, Lemon or Mint)
1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
3 cups Flour (all-purpose)
Powdered Sugar

Cream the butter and sugar until completely combined.
Add eggs, vanilla and peppermint extract and mix until the dough is fluffy.
Add Baking Soda.
Mix in the flour, a third at a time.
Split into two portions and color one red and one green.
Refrigerate the dough for 2 hours.
Roll dough into balls.
Place the cookie dough ball in a bowl or plate of powdered sugar and roll the cookie dough ball in the powdered sugar until it is covered.

Bake at 350 degrees for 9-10 minutes.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread

Unsalted butter, for the pans
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan (see Cook's Note)
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
One 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons fine salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2/3 cup water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Butter and flour two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans.

Whisk together the sugar and oil in a large bowl until well combined.
Whisk in the eggs and pumpkin until combined.

Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and cloves in a medium bowl and whisk until well combined. Add half the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and stir to combine. Add half the water and stir to combine. Repeat with the remaining flour and water.

Divide the batter between the prepared loaf pans. Bake until cake tester comes out clean and the loaves are golden brown, about 1 hour. Let the loaves cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the pans and let cool completely, about 1 hour.

Made 12/10/20

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Roast a whole Turkey

How to cook the turkey at Thanksgiving

A 20 lbs unstuffed turkey takes 2 hrs 20 minutes in the roaster. Adjust accordingly.
Salt the cavity before you add: a sliced apple and sliced onion
Slice a cube of butter and shove the pats under the turkey skin

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Old Fashioned Meat Loaf

2 lbs ground beef (minimun 80/20)
2 cups bread crumbs (substitute cumbled crackers(
1 cups chopped yellow onion
1 cup milk
2 large eggs beaten
4 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper

For the topping
1/2 cup ketchup
4 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 350
In a large bowl, combine meatloaf ingredients. Mix with your hands until everything is well combined

In a separate bowl, mix topping ingredients.

Bake meatloaf for 60 minutes at 350.  Spread topping evenly and bake another 20-30 minutes until the temperature reaches 150 degrees.  Remove from the oven and let stand 15 minutes. 

Final temperature will be at or near 160 degrees.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Easy Cinnamon Rolls

1 (1 pound) loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
3 tablespoons butter, melted 
⅔ cup brown sugar
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon water, or as needed
⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
⅔ cup sifted confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk 
1 dash vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350

Lightly grease 2 round cake pans with butter.

Roll bread dough out to a 6x18-inch rectangle.
Brush with melted butter.
Combine brown sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Sprinkle over butter.
Roll dough into a log, starting at the long edge. Moisten edge with water and seal.
Cut log into 20 slices.
Arrange rolls, cut sides down, in prepared cake pans.
Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 90 minutes.

Pour heavy cream over dough.

Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Mix confectioners' sugar, milk, and vanilla extract in a small bowl; drizzle over warm cinnamon rolls to serve.

20 servings 160 calories per serving

Denise: I made these Christmas 2018, very good and not too difficult.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Chicken Enchiladas by Rachael Ray

8 soft corn tortillas

3 cups chicken broth
4 pieces boneless skinless chicken breast, 6 to 8 ounces
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
2 sprigs fresh oregano
1 small onion, quartered
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/3 palm full
1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 cups tomato sauce
2 teaspoons hot cayenne pepper sauce, several drops
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 2 pinches
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 1/2 cups Monterey Jack shredded cheese, available on dairy aisle

Directions:Preheat the oven to 275

Wrap corn tortillas in foil and warm in the oven. Bring broth to a boil in a saute pan. Set chicken into broth with bay and oregano and onion. Return to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer. Poach chicken in broth 10 minutes. Remove chicken breasts to a bowl and shred with 2 forks. Add 1/2 cup of cooking liquid and tomato paste, spices and salt and work through the chicken using the forks.

Combine all sauce ingredients and heat through, keeping warm until needed.

Remove tortillas from oven and switch broiler on high.

Pile chicken mixture into warm corn tortillas and roll. Line enchiladas up in baking dish, seam side down. Pour sauce over the enchiladas and top with cheese. Place in hot oven 6 inches from broiler and broil 5 minutes to melt cheese and set enchiladas.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Banana Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter 
¾ cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 ⅓ cups mashed overripe bananas


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Chicken in Creamy Tomato Curry: Chicken Tikka Masala


1 cup plain yogurt, whisked until smooth
3 tablespoons Ginger-Garlic Paste, recipe follows (or 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger and 3 cloves garlic put through a garlic press or finely minced)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, poked with a fork, and cut into large bite-sized chunks

2 teaspoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup Ginger-Garlic Paste, recipe follows (or 6 cloves garlic and 2-inch thumb ginger minced)
2 serrano peppers, minced (seeds removed if you don't want it spicy)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoons paprika
8 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 to 2 cups water
Oil, for grilling
1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves (optional)
1/2 cup heavy cream
Minced fresh cilantro, for garnish
Cooked rice, naan, or crusty piece of bread, for serving

Ginger-Garlic Paste:
1/2 cup cloves garlic, whole
1/2 cup fresh ginger, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/4 cup canola oil


For the marinade: In a large bowl, mix together the marinade ingredients. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Marinate at least 30 minutes, or in the refrigerator up to overnight.

For the sauce: When you're ready to make the curry, place a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. When the butter has melted, add the Ginger-Garlic Paste and serrano peppers. Saute until lightly browned around the edges. Add the tomato paste and cook until the tomato has darkened in color, about 3 minutes. Add the garam masala and the paprika and saute for about 1 minute to draw out their flavors.

Add the tomatoes, salt, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and cook until thickened, about 20 minutes. You may need more water depending on how much liquid the tomatoes give off.

Meanwhile, fire up your grill. When it is nice and hot, lightly brush it with oil. Place the chicken on the grill, shaking off some of the excess marinade. Cook until it's charred, about 2 minutes on each side. (Don't worry that the chicken will still be a little uncooked, it finishes cooking in the sauce).

Pour the sauce into a blender or food processor, or use an immersion blender, and process until smooth. Pour back into the skillet and bring back up to a boil. Add the chicken and fenugreek leaves, if using. Take the heat down to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the cream and stir through. Garnish with minced fresh cilantro, and serve over rice, with naan, or a crusty piece of bread!

Ginger-Garlic Paste

Throw the garlic, ginger, and canola oil in a mini-food processor and let it go until it forms a semi-smooth paste. There will still be tiny little pieces in there, but overall, it should resemble a paste.

Save what you don't use in a small glass jar. It should last in the fridge for 2 to 3 weeks. It's a delicious addition to marinades, pasta sauces, stir fry sauces, slow-cooker recipes, gravy etc. We always had a jar of this stuff in our fridge growing up.

Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken

Spice Blend:
1 tablespoon garam masala seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 teaspoons jarred minced garlic
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

1 skinless rotisserie chicken, boned out and pulled into 1/2 by 1/2-inch chunks
1 (10-ounce) box frozen peas, placed in a colander and run under hot water to thaw
Hot basmati rice, for serving


To make the spice blend: Stir the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the pieces just begin to turn gold, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste and spice blend, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning. The spices will be fragrant. Add the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes and stir will. Add the chicken pieces, spoon the sauce over the top and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and cook, uncovered, until the chicken is warmed through and the sauce is flavorful, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Remove the chicken to a serving dish and cover to keep warm.

Shake any excess water from the peas. Add the peas and cream to the sauce in the pan, stir well and heat through. Do not boil. Spoon the sauce over the chicken. Serve over rice.

Kitchen Sink Chili Mac

Coarse salt
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni pasta
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 celery stalks, finely sliced
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup diced red onion
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean grass-fed ground beef
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes (not drained)
8 ounces shredded mozzarella


Preheat the oven to 350

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the elbow macaroni until just shy of al dente, about 5 minutes.

In the meantime, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add the celery, carrot, bell pepper and red onion. Season with a pinch of salt and saute until the veggies begin to get tender. About 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, another 30 seconds.

Add the ground beef and brown it with the veggies, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Season with the cumin, chili powder and a pinch of salt; toss the beef and veggies around in the skillet another minute or two. Add the diced tomatoes and stir into the mix. Transfer the mostly-cooked elbow macaroni to the skillet and stir to combine.

Transfer the chili mac to any casserole dish you want! Sprinkle with the mozzarella and bake, uncovered, until the cheese is browned and bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes.

Cooks note: Mix some of the cheese into the pasta. Put the rest on top.

Down South Pinto Beans

2 cups dried pinto beans
4 quarts water (more or less)
Ham bone and scraps
2 tablespoons brown sugar
salt and ground black pepper to taste

Wash pinto beans thoroughly and place in a large stockpot. Add water to cover beans. Let them sit overnight. Drain, rinse, repeat.

Add water to beans in stock pot, pork jowl, sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer; cook until beans are tender and tasty, 3 to 4 hours. Add water throughout cooking as needed; do not let the beans cook dry.

These beans can also be prepared in a slow cooker. Add all ingredients and set on High. They'll be ready to eat at suppertime.

Nutrition Facts
272 calories per serving

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

1 pork butt/pork roast, 4-5 lbs
Salt, pepper and garlic powder
1 onion sliced
1 can Dr. Pepper
3/4 cup barbecue sauce
Rolls and coleslaw for serving

Line the crockpot with onion slices

Rub the pork roast with seasoning and add to the slow cooker

Pour Dr. Pepper or Rootbeer on top 

Cook on high 4-5 hours or low for 7-8 hours.

The meat will be very tender, using two forks shred and place back in the juices.

Add the barbecue sauce to taste,  Allow to cook an additional 30-60 minutes if desired.

Serve with crusty rolls and coleslaw.

Notes:  If the pork produces too much juice, remove some before adding the pork back into the juice.

Crockpot Chipotle Corn Chowder

3 cups corn (3-4 ears of corn if fresh)
8 small red potatoes, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Chile’s in adobo sauce, diced
1 tsp adobo sauce
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp onion powder
6 cups vegetable broth
1 cup plain Greek yogurt, room temp to prevent curdling
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Place corn, potatoes, garlic, Chile’s, adobo sauce, flour, oregano, thyme, onion powder, and vegetable broth into crockpot.

Turn on and cook 7-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high

Turn off and fold in the Greek yogurt until fully incorporated.  Stir in cheese until melted.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Black Bean Tortilla Soup

4 cups (32 oz) vegetable broth (low sodium)
1 15 oz can retried beans
2 15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can corn, drained and rinsed
1 10 oz can rotella tomatoes
1 4 oz can diced green chilis
1 10 oz can red enchilada sauce
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
Salt and pepper to taste

Garnishes for serving

Shredded cheese
Sour cream
Lime wedges
Tortilla chips

Add vegetable broth and refried beans to crockpot, mix together until beans are dissolved
Add black beans, corn, rotella tomatoes, green chilis, enchilada sauce, onion and green pepper.  Salt and pepper.  Cook on high 4 hours, reduce to warm until ready to serve.  Serve with garnishes to taste.

Bourbon Balls

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 pkg (16 oz) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 cup finely chopped toasted pecans - to toast a bit of olive oil  and put into oven for about 7 minutes, checking often.
2 Tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup bourbon
3 pkgs ( 4 oz each) dark chocolate baking chocolate (I used chips and they melt when you are eating)
36 pecan halves, (1/2 c)

Blend butter and sugar until the consistency of cornmeal.  Stir in pecans, vanilla and bourbon.  Using 1/2 tbsp (1/4 oz scoop) scoop out balls.  Place on parchment paper lined tray.

Freeze 15 minutes or until firm.  Roll into smooth balls.  Store in freezer until ready to dip in chocolate

Melt chocolate as directed on pkg.  Remove 12 balls from freezer.  Using a toothpick or fork, dip each ball into melted chocolate then immediately top with pecan 1/2.  Place on parchment paper lined tray.  Freeze 5 minutes or until chocolate is firm.  Repeat dipping with remaining balls.  Store in airtight container in the refrigerator.

Serve balls at room temp.  (I like them colder)

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Sweet Potato Cassarole

4 medium sweet potatoes (about 24 oz)
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Scrub the sweet potatoes and pierce generously with a fork. Place on a baking sheet and bake until fork tender, 30-45 minutes. When they are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into a large bowl.

Raise the oven temperature to 400ºF.

To the bowl with the sweet potatoes, add the sugar, milk, eggs, vanilla and salt. Mash until combined.  The mixture does not need to be completely smooth – lumps are ok.  Pour the potatoes into a large baking dish. (I use a 3 quart baking dish.)

In another bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and butter. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in the pecans.  Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the top of the potatoes.

Bake in the oven until golden brown, 30-40 minutes.  Let the casserole sit for a few minutes before serving.

Thanksgiving 2018 at Stephanie's

Cream Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

12 whole fresh mushrooms
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully break off stems. Chop stems extremely fine, discarding tough end of stems.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and chopped mushroom stems to the skillet. Fry until any moisture has disappeared, taking care not to burn garlic. Set aside to cool.
When garlic and mushroom mixture is no longer hot, stir in cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Mixture should be very thick. Using a little spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing. Arrange the mushroom caps on prepared cookie sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the mushrooms are piping hot and liquid starts to form under caps.

Barb Lawry made these to bring to Stephanie's Thanksgiving 2018. Denise really liked them. Barb put more garlic in than the recipe called for.