Thursday, July 23, 2009

I'm back from the beach...and Cinnamon Apple Flautas

Before I left for my week long trip to Ocean City, MD I made these yummy Apple Flautas found on Southern Plate. I was sure I saw them on another blog as well but when I did a search on google I only saw the one from southern plate. If you think I saw it on yours please comment and let me know. :-)

These were actually VERY simple to make and my family loved them...everyone except my 3 year old..but lately if its not a McDonald's plain cheeseburger or a bowl of chicken and rice she doesn't want it!

I had to get a quick picture of these because they were gone so FAST! I only changed the amount of sugar...

Cinnamon Apple Flautas

2 T sugar
3 T butter or margarine
3 to 4 apples, peeled and sliced thin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 - 6inch flour tortillas
1 tsp lemon juice

1.) Heat oven to 325.
2.) Mix sugar with cinnamon and set aside.
3.) Melt butter in skillet.
4.) Brush butter on each side of tortilla, sprinkle each side with 1/2 tsp cinnamon/sugar mixture.
5.) Place tortillas on ungreased baking sheet and put in oven for a few minutes until just warm and pliable.
6.) Remove from oven and roll in tortillas loosely to make tubes, placing them seam side down on the baking sheet and returning to oven for about ten minutes, until browned and crispy.
7.) While tortillas are baking, saute apples in remaining butter in skillet over high heat with the rest of the cinnamon sugar mixture, until browned and tender.
8.) Add in lemon juice.
9.) Remove browned tortilla tubes from oven and spoon apple mixture into them.
10.) ENJOY!!! Eat them while they are hot because they are awesome!

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

My oldest daughter had hers with her homemade french bread rolls

I had this big chuck of beef chuck roast and didn't know what to do with it so I saw this recipe online at All Recipes and decided to tweak it to my own tastes. It was pretty husband doesn't like roast or stew or anything of the sorts so I was eating this for the last 3 days and each day I ate it was better and better!

4 pounds chuck roast
5 cloves garlic, pressed
salt and pepper to taste
1 packet dry onion soup mix
1 can beef broth
1 bag of baby carrots
1 onion, chopped
4 red potatoes chopped into quarters
1/2 cup red wine
1 package button mushrooms
1 tablespoon flour to coat the meat
1 tablespoon Maggi (this can be found in most local grandmother would put it in just about everything)

Take the chuck roast and sprinkle with flour, salt, and pepper. Brown on all sides in a large skillet over high heat.
Place meat, beef broth, soup mix, and red wine in slow cooker. Let sit overnight in fridge. In the morning plug it in and let cook in the slow cooker on low all day. Three hours before serving, add rest of ingredients and turn up to high. Serve. This method worked for me because the night before I had chopped up and cleaned all my veggies and since my oldest daughter was at home with my dad I had her take the bowl of prechopped veggies and put them into the slow cooker so by the time I got home they were cooked perfectly. If you put the veggies in all day they get too soft and mushy.

*** A special note of thanks to Monica from Lick the Bowl Good who has given me some photography tips and I used outside lighting for this one and what a big difference eh? Thanks, Monica! ****

Eclair Cake

Ever since I had this at a work luncheon about 7 years ago I've been making it for my family and friends. They all love it and I've never changed the ingridents although I think the possibilities are endless with flavors and puddings you can mix and match. The secret is to let it sit overnight to allow the graham crackers to get a soft cake like texture. What's funny is that everyone thinks it is so elaborate and that it must have taken me such a long time to make when the truth is I usually let my 3 year old do most of the work for this cake!

* 2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant french vanilla pudding mix
* 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
* 3 cups milk
* 1 (16 ounce) package graham cracker squares
* 1 (16 ounce) package prepared chocolate frosting (I use Hot Fudge Sauce or Frosting..whichever is on sale that week)

1.) In a medium bowl, thoroughly blend the pudding mix, whipped topping, and milk.
2.) Arrange a single layer of graham cracker squares in the bottom of a 13x9 inch baking pan.
3.) Evenly spread half of the pudding mixture over the crackers.
4.) Top with another layer of crackers and the remaining pudding mixture.
5.) Top with a final layer of graham crackers.
6.) Melt the frosting/hot fudge sauce in the microwave for 30 seconds or until melted enough to drizzle and spread the frosting/hot fudge sauce over the entire cake up to the edges of the pan.
7.) Cover, and chill at least 5 hours before serving (best if overnight).

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Best Ever Black Beans

This is like top secret here...these are the beans everyone asks me to make ...they've earned my father in laws seal of approval and he is a bean man! No longer will I keep these beans a fact, they aren't even my original recipe! My intention was to make Dave Lieberman's Black Bean Soup but it became the best beans ever to put over the rice we eat so often. I follow this recipe almost exactly because it's perfect. I don't garnish it with the garnishes Dave recommends because we don't eat it as soup and I let it simmer all day to let the flavors meld longer. Everyone asks me what I put in them and compliments me on the flavor..they all want the recipe..well here it is world! :-) Next time I will put a picture of the beans topped over the's amazing!

10 slices bacon, finely chopped
2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
6 garlic cloves, pressed
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups canned chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
4 (15 1/2-ounce) cans black beans, drained but not rinsed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch cilantro
juice of 1/2 lime

Put the bacon into a large heavy pot and place it over medium heat. Cook until it starts to give up its fat, about 4 minutes. Stir in the onions and cook, stirring, until they start to turn translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until you can smell it, about 1 minute. Add the broth, tomatoes, ketchup, Worcestershire, and chili powder. Stir in the beans, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and let the soup simmer as long as your heart desires so the flavors can meld and become a pot of deliciousness!

About 15 minutes before you are ready to serve the beans over a hot plate of rice, off all the thick stems from the cilantro. Wash it and shake dry. Chop the cilantro coarsely and stir it into the soup. Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mango Salsa

I found this mango salsa a few years ago on the Food Network Site made by Bobby Flay and I've been making it ever since. It is the perfect accompaniment to the BBQs we usually have at my house which most often consist of rice, beans, steak (carne), chicken, sausage (chorizo), and plantains. Everyone loves it and it is so simple to make adding a dash of bright color to everyone's plates.


(recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay)

* 2 mangoes, peeled and diced
* 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
* 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
* 3 tablespoons lime juice
* 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
* Salt and freshly ground pepper


Combine the mangoes, onion, cilantro, lime juice, and orange juice in a bowl and gently mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Homemade French Bread Rolls

My oldest daughter's cousins came over this weekend and to keep them busy I pulled out a homemade french bread roll recipe I'd found at Mommy's Kitchen. This was the girls first time making homemade bread ever and they loved it. The end result was wonderful..they tasted amazing!

Recipe for French Bread Rolls

*1 1/2 cups warm water
(110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
*1 tablespoon active dry yeast
*2 tablespoons white sugar
*2 tablespoons vegetable oil
*1 teaspoon salt
*2 cups bread flour
*2 cups whole wheat or all purpose flour

1.) In a large bowl, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
2.) To the yeast mixture, add the oil, salt, and 2 cups flour. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl.
3.) Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
4.) Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat.
5.) Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour (in the oven with the light on works swell!).
6.) Deflate the dough, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces, and form into round balls. Place on lightly greased baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. Cover the rolls with a damp cloth, and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.
7.) Bake for 18 to 20 minutes in a preheated 400degree oven, or until golden brown.

Tip for Freezer Rolls
*after forming the rolls they could quickly be flash frozen to use another day. That way you do not have to bake up all of them if you do not plan on eating them all. This is done by placing the shaped rolls that you are not going to bake on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Remove and place each roll into a large freezer bag. To use rolls remove from freezer let thaw, place on a greased baking sheet and let rise until double in size. Bake as directed above.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Chicken Parmesan

Last night I made one of the regular meals we have at least every other week. I'd never really paid attention to how I made it so last night I decided to take some time and write down what I do so I can post it here. I'm sure there are a million versions of this around but this is how I've been making it for years now. This is really one of my husband's favorite meals. He gets it every time we go to a restaurant and it's on their menu. Last night he told me he was going low carb! I said what am I supposed to do??? I already planned on making the chicken Parmesan and he said it's okay..just don't bread mine. He had his chicken (not breaded) and on a bed of salad greens. Everyone else had theirs on top of spaghetti noodles with a side of garlic bread.


* 1 egg, beaten
* about 1 cup of Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs
* 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (I like to pound on mine and make them thin)
* 1 jar spaghetti sauce (if you can make this homemade..even better)
* 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
* Grated Parmesan cheese (fresh is best)


1.)Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking dish with Pam.
2.)Take your mallet and beat your frustrations away on a chicken breast placed between two pieces of wax paper.
3.)Pour egg into one shallow bowl and bread crumbs on a plate or another shallow bowl.
4.) Dip chicken into egg and then into the bread crumbs.
5.) Place coated chicken in the prepared baking dish and bake for about 40 minutes, or until no longer pink inside and juices run clear.
6.)You may now use another greased baking dish to pour 1/2 of the spaghetti sauce into and then place the chicken on top. Since I don't like dirtying up too many dishes I usually just remove the chicken from the dish..remove the liquid from the breasts and then place 1/2 the jarred spaghetti sauce in the dish. Then I put the chicken back and pour the rest of the sauce over the chicken, and then top with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
7.) Put the chicken dish back in the oven and bake another 15-20 minutes until the cheese is nice and melted on top.
8.) Serve over cooked spaghetti noodles with a side of garlic bread and dig in! I always sprinkle extra Parmesan on mine..hey it is called Chicken Parmesan!

Award! Thank you...thank you....thank you!

Thanks Allison for my award. It's my first one ever! I am supposed to pass it on to 15 other blogs I have recently discovered. So here it goes..not in any particular order...

1. Mommy's Kitchen
2. Amber's Delectable Delights
3. Bunny's Warm Oven
4. Lick The Bowl Good
5. Keeper Worthy Recipes
6. My Tasty Treasures (not G Rated! Say a little prayer of forgiveness before you click here!)
7. Lunch Bucket Bento
8. Dinner at Our House
9. The Frosted Cupcake
10. Carrie's Cooking and Recipes
11. Christy's Kitchen Creations
12. Favorite Family Recipes
13. Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice
14. My Sisters' Cucina
15. The Sisters Dish

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Beef & Bean Burritos

I saw this recipe at Carrie's blog called Carrie's Cooking and Recipes and since I had all the ingredients on hand wanted to make it right away. I only modified it the tiniest bit by adding cumin and more enchilada sauce. Then I also added sour cream and salsa.

My husband loved these..he says that whenever I find something he likes he is scared to tell me for fear that I won't make it again..or that I will modify it somehow. He's so silly...I have never done that! Now that I am blogging I will have a collection of what he likes so that I won't forget. He thanks Carrie for sharing this recipe.

My oldest daughter liked it...youngest one not so much. She's pretty picky..she's a rice and chicken girl...since it looks like I will be making this again in the future she may just learn to love it!


* 1 pound ground beef
* 1 can refried beans
* 1 cup enchilada sauce
* 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
* 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
* 1/2 tablespoon cumin
* 1&1/2 cups shredded colby/jack cheese (save extra for garnish)
* 10 large flour tortillas
* sour cream
* salsa

1.)Brown and drain meat.
2.)Add all ingredients, except tortillas, sour cream, and salsa. Stir the mixture and heat to a simmer/boil.
3.)Put about 1/2 cup of the mixture in each flour tortilla, fold the tortillas into burritos, garnish with cheese (I stuck mine in the microwave for 20 seconds to melt the cheese on top of the burrito) then garnish with sour cream and salsa and enjoy!

*note* I made some of these with the sour cream and salsa inside the burrito (these were the ones I put in the freezer in ziploc bags). This makes a delicious on the go meal for lunch and no fork or knife required!

Iced Coffee-No more watered down versions in my house!

I made ICED COFFEE that I found a recipe for on another blog called Dinner at our House and it is sooo good! I used to just have regular made coffee (refrigerate it for an hour or so) then add some ice and creamer but it would be watered down by the time I was halfway done. I'd never end up finishing my iced coffee..until now! I have to say it was a bit messy for me since I didn't have any mason jars and had to improvise but I say it is definitely worth it. I was spending 2$ a day on Mcdonalds Iced Coffee but not anymore! This one is wayyyyy better! You should try it.
Allison from Dinner at our House also linked this recipe to another blog called Southern Plate here. As I am a newbie to blogging about food my pictures aren't that great but I am hoping to improve with time. Suggestions are always welcome!

For this amazing delicious Iced Coffee:

You will need:
*container to brew coffee grounds in (mason jars seem to work best but since I didn't have any I just used a regular 1qt glass pyrex bowl!)
*ground coffee beans (fresher is best)
* coffee filters (bigger is better)
* bowl to strain coffee into
1.) place 1 cup of coffee into your glass container
2.) fill container with water-not to the brim since you will need to shake it
3.) place on your counter to brew for at least 12 hours. (I actually brewed mine in the fridge because I did it overnight)
4.) Place your strainer over a large bowl and line the strainer with a coffee filter then pour your coffee and let it strain.
5.) Put a Van Morrison CD in and play a little dance because you are about to have the best iced coffee ever!
6.) Switch out your filter, and strain the other half of your coffee.
7.) After its been drained, add sweeter and cream as you like it, don't forget the ice and enjoy!

**************NEW UPDATE********************

Adding a tablespoon or so of cocoa powder to the brew gives an iced mocha flavor result and its DELICIOUS!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

No BBQ sauce? No problem!

So I was talking to my co-worker today and said I want to make BBQ chicken but don't have any BBQ sauce and didn't feel like making a trip to the store...she says all you need is ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar! I didn't even believe her so I told her I'd try it. Here's what I threw together!

My pictures keep turning...I don't know why!!! If anyone might have an idea of why my pictures keep turning in the wrong directions please enlighten me! They aren't turned like that when I preview them :-)

The finished result was a bit sweet...I didn't measure any of the ingredients since it was more of an experiment as I began to add different items from my pantry. I will definitely record the recipe next time...the possibilities seem endless...add chili powder if you don't mind a bit of heat. My oldest daughter loved it..she said we should bottle it and sell it. :-) I don't think it's quite there just yet.

BBQ Sauce Recipe
Brown Sugar
Ground Cumin
Garlic Powder
Liquid Smoke
Apple Cider Vinegar

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Banana Cupcakes with Honey Cinnamon Frosting by Martha Stewart

I needed to make cupcakes for my oldest daughter's All Star soccer tournament and the moms in our area are all about health and healthy eating. I am the one who always brings cupcakes but found a dilemma as I needed to make something healthy. Hence the Martha Stewart Banana Cupcakes came to the rescue!

They looked like this on the outside

and this on the inside

Mission accomplished...but I have to admit..I went ahead and made a batch of vanilla cupcakes with chocolate icing (no pic!) which were the first to go. Kids and parents all flocked to my cupcakes drenched in chocolate so the banana cupcakes were def not the star of the show. The parents who claimed to be on diets ended up eating those. I will most likely not make them again but I do recommend them if you feel like eating a banana muffin or perhaps for a banana themed party.

Recipe I used was just like Martha's except I added blueberries to the top:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 ripe bananas)
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Bunch of blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Make a well in center of flour mixture. In well, mix together butter, mashed bananas, eggs, and vanilla. Stir to incorporate flour mixture (do not overmix). Dividing evenly, spoon batter into muffin cups.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan; cool completely on a wire rack. Spread tops with Honey-Cinnamon Frosting. Top cupcakes with blueberries (for added antioxidants).

Honey Cinnamon Frosting

I didn't change a thing about this was really good!

1 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon honey
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat confectioners' sugar, unsalted butter, honey, and ground cinnamon until smooth, 4 to 5 minutes

Lemon BBQ Sauce

The other day I decided to try a different type of bbq sauce with a recipe I found on another blog called Lemon Barbecue Sauce for Chicken ...the only changes I made were that I used Olive Oil instead of Salad Oil..I didn't really know what Salad Oil meant. The recipe I used was:

1 clove garlic, crushed and minced
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp. dried onion
Combine ingredients and use to marinate chicken before grilling. I marinated the chicken for a full day.

It was pretty good..very light and you could still taste the lemon flavor after the chicken had been cooked. I wish I had made enough to spread on the chicken after it had been cooked but oh well. My youngest daughter loved this since it didn't have a strong bbq saucy flavor. I threw some burgers on the grill too for the hungry men that were waiting around the grill.

This is what it looked like after it was cooked. I don't know why the picture turned itself doesn't look that way when you open it as a file.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Food Blog??? ME??? All about food???

I have been so addicted to reading other food blogs since I discovered what a blog was that I've decided to try and start my own. I ask for your patience as my photography skills are not so great and keeping up with blogs isn't my best personality trait but I am going to give it a go and hope you can enjoy peeking in once in a while.

Here are some past pics I wanted to share with you.

One of my soccer mom daughter played on two teams this past season...The Falcons above and for the gators I made these...

So thanks for stopping by!