Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pico de Gallo

You will need:

Fresh or dried Cilantro
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno, diced (optional)
1 teaspoon salt

Mix the chopped ingredients in a bowl and salt to taste.
Add half the jalapeno then taste. If you are looking for more of a kick, add the rest of the jalapeno.

The difference between Pico de Gallo and Salsa is very small.
They are made with the same ingredients but Pico de Gallo is raw coarsely chopped vegetables while Salsa's a ground or blended sauces and spices.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Monkey Chunks

You will need:

two bananas

12 ounces chocolate chips

2 cups crushed cookies, grahm crackers, toffee, nuts. Whatever you wish or happen to have onhand.

I had a few Oreo's, when I ran out of those I used crushed grahm crackers.

Cut the bananas into bite size pieces. Freeze chunked bananas for one hour.

Melted the chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stopping and stiring at 15 seconds.

Drop into melted chocolate. You don't have to cover them completely. When you drop them into the cookie/candy crumbs it will take care if coating it.  Kids will love this one, you will get your fingers all messy.

set on a lined cookie sheet. chill for atleast 1 hour. Really, at least, try to stay away and stop opening the refrigerator door, you'll only make it take longer.

Monday, April 4, 2011

S'mores Bar

I found this recipe surfing around on, you type in your interestes & this handy site gives you suggestions. Really neat.It is also on back of the Betty Crocker sugar cookie bag.

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup butter or margarine, melted
one bag of  milk chocolate chips
4 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, stir together cookie mix and crumbs. Stir in melted butter until soft dough forms. Press into ungreased 13x9-inch pan.

Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until set. Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over crust. Let stand 3 to 5 minutes or until chocolate begins to melt. Spread chocolate evenly over crust.

Set oven control to broil. Sprinkle marshmallows over melted chocolate. Broil with top 5 to 6 inches from heat 20 to 30 seconds or until marshmallows are toasted. (Watch closely; marshmallows will brown quickly.) Cool 10 minutes. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Serve warm. Store any remaining bars tightly covered.

This dish is best served after a few hours of sitting. Cutting right away is like eating wet cooking. yuck!

Oh how I wish I had a test kitchen and a photographer, lighting and a whole team so my bars would come out perfect. They are delicious! Just please, let it sit ans set a few hours.

My bars
Their bars

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Stuffed Tomatoes

Shelling these bad boys was a breeze. Easier then peppers, for sure. I used a spoon to loosen the harder membrane & the rest scooped right out.

I cooked the sausage first (drain then add) then I added:

1/4 c spinach
1/2 c bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
I didn't spice too much, I wanted the tomato & the sausage to be the dominant flavors.

I scooped the cooked sausage into the shelled tomato and sprinkled cheese on top. I placed the tomatoes into a bread pan so they would not roll.

Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese is browned.

This was delicious, served with stuffed peppers for a flavorful and colorful bounty.

(Oh, and I cut up the tomato tops & served in a tossed salad. I served these beauty's with steamed veggie mix with a tossed salad. )

Monday, March 14, 2011

Arroz Tapado (Rice on top)

This meal was so fun to make. I was apprehensive about my ability to "stack" the ingredients but it turned out quite easy. This recipe severed just three people so adjust accordingly.

2 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup rice

I set to water, olive oil & salt to boil and added the rice. Boil until tender and the water is absorbed.

In a separate pan I cook throughly
1/2 pound of ground beef
1/4 pound of mild sausage.
Add in onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper.

When the meat is cooked add in veggies.

 I used broccoli and yellow & orange carrots. (peas, beans & corn can also be used.) Also add 1 tablespoon of peanut butter. (Don't be scared, its delicious. Unless you are allergic. Then please omit this step.)

To stack the rice & meat I used an 8 ounce plastic container. (It was a small sour cream container.) I put a few drops of olive oil into the container & moved it around to coat the bottom & the edges.

I then put a layer of rice & pressed it down. Then a layer of meat & press. Lastly a layer of rice again & compressed it down. I put a plate on top of the container & flipped. The container will lift right off.

I served with sauteed asparagus.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Chocolate Cover Cookie Dough

Forget boxes of chocolates, make the perfect gift!

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon water
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Stir in the vanilla, water, flour, chocolate chips, and walnuts, if desired, and mix until well blended. Roll dough into bite-sized balls (or use a small ice cream scoop). Place on a baking sheet and freeze until firm, about 2 hours. Store balls in resealable plastic bags in the freezer.

Make a double boiler like the one I described in Fiber One Chocolate Cookies. I bought 2 bags of chocolate chips & used what was left & the other bag for the dipping chocolate. Melt the chocolate chips & dip the frozen cookie dough. (Use a spoon and place the dough ball into the melted chocolate. Using the same spoon remove chocolate covered dough ball & place onto tray or waxed paper. ) Place on waxed paper or plastic tray. 

I am a bit obsessed about green living and wastefulness. I am aware of  the amount of non-recyclables my family uses & throws away. I picked up some plastic serving trays at my last job. They were throwing them out. I use them for cooling or drying cookies and candies. You can see the trays in the top photo. I never buy waxed paper, paper towels or trash bags. Less use, less trash & more money.

These were very easy to make and quick. The longest was waiting the 2 hours for the freezer time. These were definitely ready in 3 hours.

I think next time I will try peanut butter or maybe Peppermint Patty. My Peanut Butter Fudge recipe will be perfect for the center.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Red Beans and Rice and Sausage and WOW! (Oh! and tomatoes and onions.)

I go to & type in a few things I have in the kitchen. I don't want to go to the store & I am not feeling particularly creative tonight. Hmmmm, mild sausage, half a green pepper & too small of an onion to measure.
(Digging deeper in the cupboard of abandoned foodstuff) Rice!  

In a saucepan put 1 3/4 cups of water a dash of olive oil & salt. Bring to a boil. Add 1 cup of rice & let boil for 5 minutes. (Or until you can see the top of the rice. Turn off heat & let the rice soak up the remaining water.

While the rice is boiling put 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a skillet or frying pan and bring to medium heat. You can tell when oil is if you get your fingers wet & flick water onto the hot oil. You will hear a sizzling sound. 

Add the sausage to your oil & cook for 5 minutes. Then add peppers & onions, saute until tender. Add can of red beans.Season with cyan pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper & cumin.

Cover and Set to Simmer for 15 minutes. Serve over rice for a delicious (box free) dinner in 30 minutes.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sleeping Cheeseburgers

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 small dill pickles, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

  •  Combine ingredients in a bowl & mix.  Form into 4 patties. I made my burgers smaller so for bigger burgers add an extra pound of beef.

2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Cook burgers on medium heat for 8 minutes. The burgers may fall apart some while cooking but you are going to pocket then so don't worry about it.

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound frozen bread dough, thawed
  • 8 slices American cheese

Cut dough into 4 pieces, roll out into rectangles. Place a piece of cheese on the bottom half, place the cooked burger on top of the cheese and place another piece of cheese on top of the burger. Fold over the top of the bread dough and pinch to seal edges.

  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • Brush melted butter over the tops of buns
  • Bake in oven at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until browned. Served with baked french fries, corn on the cob or a tossed salad.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Homemade Hamburger Helper:Beef Romanoff

I had a pound of hamburger & some leftover butter noodles in the fridge. What to do, what to do.

You will need:

1 pound hamburger
1/2 half onion
1/2 green pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup milk
8 ounces of pizza or spaghetti sauce

16 ounce box of noodles

I browned the ground meat & added diced onions and green peppers. I seasoned with garlic powder, 
cayenne pepper, black pepper & cumin.

Normally I would say, boil the noodles, add oil & salt then drain. Do not rinse but I'm using leftovers! Yay!

Once the meat is browned drained off any grease 

I add the can of pizza sauce and set to simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and add the noodles & milk.
Let sit for 5-10 minutes to thicken and serve.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips

A friend of mine served these at a get together. I had to learn how to make them. 

 Use 12 inch flour tortilla wraps or corn tortilla wraps. I cut some into circles & some into triangles.  

 Spread them out onto a cookie sheet. Add salt & pepper or any flavoring you want.
 Bake in the 200 degrees until golden brown and crispy. 

So easy and so good. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

20 Minute Peanut Butter Fudge

I found this recipe on Alton Brown's website. He is great to watch in the kitchen, if you've never seen him give him a try. He explains things so that even I can understand it.

1 cup butter
1 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound (16 ounces) powdered sugar

Butter a 8x8 dish.

Microwave butter and peanut butter for two minutes. Stir to combine. Add vanilla and powdered sugar to peanut butter mixture and stir with a spoon as much as you can. The mixture will get the consistency of sugar cookie dough. You will be able to pick it up all at once. Smooch it around with your hands if the powdered sugar still needs some mixing in. 

Press the fudge into the dish using your hand or a spoon. Place plastic wrap over the top of the fudge & let cool in the fridge. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Fun with Kool-Aid

I was bored, it's cold & snowing like mad here in Ohio. So here I sit looking at an empty ice cube tray & half a pitcher of Kool-Aid....hmmmmm, I wonder.

I pour the rest of the Kool-Aid into the ice cube tray. What doesn't fit goes into a glass. Waste not want not:) 

Now, I make a new pitcher of Kool-Aid, lemonade this time. I guard the fridge with my life & a spatula making sure no one drinks it. Then in a few hours I have ice for my fruit flavored beverage that won't water it down. So simple, so genius. 
 I like to mix and match flavors and colors. Contrasting reflections of light make me giggle. If you're not a mix it kind of person you probably only have packets of cherry drink mix anyway so ice & pour. No matter how long you let is sit, your fruity ade may become a different flavor but will never be watered down.