Thursday, September 30, 2010

Oatmeal Coconut Chewies=The BEST EVER!

So I know I get a lot of stuff off of Mel's Kitchen Cafe but we must have very similiar tastes in food because nearly everything she suggests I love. She hasn't steered me wrong yet so I will continue to trust her. She said these were the BEST cookies she has EVER had and I thought that is impossible there isn't even any chocolate in it. Well Oh My they are flippin Awesome. I mean I Love Them, they are the bomb! I don't know how many ways I can say how good they are.
After I made them I froze them and then every day I would take out 2-3 cookies and eat them, over about a month. I rarely let other people share with me, except to try and convert them to the cookies awesomeness. So there you have it, my story please try for yourself and see.

* I always try to use 1/2 the amount of sugar a recipe calls for and it always tastes the same- just an easy way to cut a little sugar out of your diet- idea from "Tip A Day Guide For Healthy Living"

Oatmeal Coconut Chewies

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened to cool room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
1 cup quick oats

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl cream together the sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased or lined (silpat or parchment) baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes, until the cookies are set but not overly browned (bake a few minutes longer for a crispier versi

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Red Neck Taco

I love watching DDD ( Diners Drive-Ins and Dives). I write down where I want to go to and what I want to get there. My goal is to one day take a cross country drive and hit all those places up. Most of the dishes are things I could never make but this particular one looked so good and easy that I thought I would give it a try. It was called a Red Neck Taco from Martins BBQ in Nashville Tn. A corn cake topped with pulled pork, bbq sauce and a mountain of coleslaw on the top. This looked so good my mouth was watering. Now I have never actually made a corn cake or my own coleslaw so I found some recipes off the food network for them. Made the pork I usually make and then topped it with some Sweet Baby Rays sauce ( your fav. sauce can be substituted here)

I absolutely loved this meal and had it for leftovers for about 3 days ( I made way too much pork and coleslaw) btw coleslaw is better the second day. So I hope you try this or make it to Nashville to try it in person, I know I will try!

Pulled Pork recipe

Ultimate Coleslaw

Tyler Florence


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or pinch
  • 1 store-bought bag shredded slaw mix (containing red and green cabbage and carrots)


In a large bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients. Add the shredded slaw mix and toss until combined.

Corn Cakes

Emeril Lagasse

  • Ingredients
  • For the Corn Cakes:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh sweet corn kernels, from 1 medium-size ear
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggsshowlist_icon.gif
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup masa harina flour
  • 2 teaspoons bakingshowlist_icon.gif powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons vegetableshowlist_icon.gif oil
  • 1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning, recipeshowlist_icon.gif follows

  • Directions
  • For the Corn Cakes: Heat the olive oil in a medium-size saute pan over medium heat. Add the corn, shallots, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the black pepper and cook, stirring, until the corn and shallots are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Combine the eggs and cream in a large mixing bowl and whisk to blend well. Add the cornmeal, flour, masa harina, baking powder, cayenne, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the water. Mix well. Fold in the corn-and-shallot mixture. Heat 1/2 teaspoon of the vegetable oil in a large nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, gently drop the batter, 1 tablespoon at a time, into the pan. You can cook about 8 cakes at a time. Cook until the cakes are lightly golden on both sides, about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Repeat until all of the oil and the batter are used up. Drain the cakes on paper towels. Sprinkle with the Creole seasoning.
  • * I left out the creole seasoning and shallots- still great

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Oven Baked Chimichangas

I made this and absolutely loved it. I didn't have black beans so I substituted pinto, and I also added grated zucchini. It calls for chipotle in adobo which I loved but since it is pretty spicy I didn't add it to half of them ( for the kids) Everyone that ate this was a huge fan I even got hit up for the recipe after. Best thing is that it is a freezer meal and on the healthier side.
I got the recipe from Mels Kitchen Cafe where I get so many of my meals. I am just so mad I forgot to take a picture of the finished result. Truly these puppies are good and I am just waiting to make them again!

  • Oven Baked Chimichangas
    *Note: this recipe makes use of already cooked rice and chicken so plan ahead!
  • *Makes 6 chimis
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
    * shredded zucchini
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 (16-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed-* pinto beans
    1 1/2 cups cooked brown or white rice
    2-3 cups diced, cooked chicken
    1-2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (use the lesser amount for less heat, greater amount for a bigger kick)
    1 cup shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese (or a combination of both)
    1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
    Salt and Pepper
    6 large burrito-size flour tortillas
  • Place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven and heat the oven to 450 degrees. While the oven is heating, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat until the oil is shimmering. Cook the onion until it is just softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the beans, rice, chicken and chipotle and cook until the mixture is heated through, about 3 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the cheese and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1/4 teaspoon each).
  • Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave the tortillas until they are warm and pliable, about 1 minute. Top each warm tortilla with some of the chicken mixture, leaving about a 2-inch border at the bottom of the tortilla. Fold in the sides and roll up the tortilla tightly. Brush the wrapped tortillas with the remaining oil and arrange them seam side down on the hot baking sheet that has been preheating in the oven. Bake until the chimis are golden brown and crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes. Serve.

Monday, September 27, 2010


I got this recipe off of Becoming Betty, always in search of a great Squash recipe. Well it looks like I found a new one, which is great since you can never have to many. Everyone loved it and I can not wait to make it again.
I added some red pepper as well since I just loved red pepper and basically this is one of those great recipes that is so easy to add to or take away from.
CALBACITAS ( little squash)

1-2 medium zucchini
1-2 medium yellow summer squash (or all one type)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped, peeled roasted green chile (or canned, drained and rinsed)
1 cup corn (frozen or fresh, cut off cob)
2Tbs tomato paste (or 1 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes)
chopped cilantro (optional—add at end)
1/2-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or jack cheese)
* diced red pepper (optional)
Cut squash into halves lenghtwise, then cut up into half moons about 1/4 inch thick. Cook diced onion in a large skillet in some oil or butter until it is softened. Add squash and garlic and cook on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. Add green chile and corn, season with salt and pepper. Add tomato paste or diced tomatoes and cook until most of the liquid is cooked down.and stir in. The liquid from the veggies will thin it out the tomato paste. Remove from heat and stir in ciantro. Immediately sprinkle cheese on top so it will melt. You may also place in a hot oven for 15-10 minutes to better melt the cheese. **NOTE: I add about 1/2-1 t. of sugar to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Summer Veggie and Pesto Pizza

While reading my Family Fun magazine I came across this recipe for a Veggie & Pesto Tart made with pie crust. It looked so amazing I just had to make it. Also being that we were knee deep in squash I thought it a perfect time. Instead of doing a tart I made a pizza, using the whole wheat pizza dough from Fresh & Easy, which is in my opinion the best way to do pizza dough ($1.50 for a spectacular dough either white or wheat).

This Veggie & Pesto Pizza was absolutely incredible! I loved every last bite of it. I will be making this many more times and am hoping to introduce it to as many people as I can.

Summer Veggie & Pesto Pizza
8 servings

1 pizza crust ( mine was a wheat one from Fresh and Easy)
2 tsp. olive oil
2 small zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
2 small yellow squash sliced into thin rounds
Kernels cut from ear of 1 sweet corn
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. of your favorite basil pesto
2 oz. fresh goat cheese or cream cheese at room temp ( I did a combination of both)
1 large egg
5 to 10 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
5 basil leaves thinly sliced
Heat oven to pizza instructions or 450. Roll out pizza dough onto pizza stone or sheet.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, squash, corn and season with salt and pepper. Cook vegetables until the they are lightly browned, about 5 min.

Transfer to a bowl to cool, then toss with the pesto

In a small bowl, whisk together the goat cheese and or cream cheese with the egg until almost smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to spread the egg and cheese mixture over the crust. Spread the cooked veggies on top then scatter on the tomatoes and parmesan cheese. Bake until crust is golden about 20 min. Let it cool slightly on a wire rack. Sprinkle it with basil before serving.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Beef Stroganoff

A couple of months ago we went out to Landmark Restaurant in Mesa. I am usually not a fan but this last time I got the Beef Stroganoff. I couldn't believe it, it was the BEST I had ever had by like a million!
I know that sounds grossly exaggerated but I really want to get the point across of how good it actually was. I loved that it was roast meat in it than stew meat chunks, it also had some flavor that for the life of me I could not put my finger on.

Anyways onto my meal, I have been trying to track down that recipe with no luck. So I decided to just start trying some and see what I can put together. My first attempt was from Mels Kitchen Cafe. I did everything the same except for the stew meat- I used leftover steak and man did it work.

This recipe was right UP there. The steak fell apart and was melt in my mouth, and the flavors all worked perfect together. I may still try finding that Landmark recipe, but if I am unable I will be satisfied with this winner!

The Ultimate Beef Stroganoff
from Tami W.

Put in crock pot:
2-3 pounds stew meat-* leftover steak or roast
1 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
1 onion, sliced

Mix in a bowl and pour over meat:
¼ tsp. garlic salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ cups beef broth or stock (made up from cubes or granules)
1 tablespoon ketchup

Cook in crockpot on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. When cooked make a simple roux by whisking 1/3 cup flour with enough apple juice (about 5-6 tablespoons) to make a thick but still pourable flour mixture. Whisk the roux into the crockpot and add 4 ounces sliced mushrooms.

Cook on high for 15-30 minutes. Then stir in ½ cup sour cream. Serve over pasta, rice or baked potatoes (pasta is my favorite option!).

*Freezable Meal: The leftovers of the stroganoff can be frozen. I store the leftovers in a freezer-safe container and then thaw in the refrigerator (usually takes about a day) and reheat over medium-low heat in a saucepan on the stove.

I also froze some and loved it later

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Caprese Salad

I absolutely love a good Caprese Salad ( now I just wish I knew how to pronounce it correctly). My dear friend Ang is always looking for a place that has a great one on the menu. She has introduced me to Liberty Market- which is incredible, they even make their own balsamic vinaigrette. Sauce also has a great one, their's is more of a salad type with greens grape tomatoes and mozzarella balls- but it still rocks. If anyone knows of any place that has an awesome caprese salad please let me know.

Now the key to a good Caprese salad is FRESH ingredients.

Great basil- I picked mine from my garden, but store bought is just fine as long as it is fresh.
I used tomatoes from my grandmas garden, because frankly there is nothing like a homegrown tomato. It is unlike any other kind- but if you must buy make sure you get a good one ( not mushy or bitter.
And DO NOT skimp on the mozzarella- get the one in the specialty cheese aisle. The Buffalo Mozzarella that is soft to the touch.
Now if you follow all the rules, I am positive you will have an excellent Caprese Salad.

Caprese Salad

Sliced Tomatoes
Sliced Buffalo Mozzarella
Thinly sliced Basil strips
EVOO- extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic Vinegar

Once you have assembled the sliced tomatoes and mozzarella, sprinkle the basil over. Then drizzle EVOO and Balsamic Vinegar, and salt over the top.
Refrigerate till you are ready to eat.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dad's Favorite Cake

Once I got married and started inviting my dad over to eat, he told me I needed to learn Grandmas Flour Frosting Cake. He picks this for every special occasion.

It took me awhile to perfect it- with many phone conversations and in person tutorials from my Grandma. But it has all been worth it. I made one for my father in law once and now he is hooked ( requesting one for birthdays and anniversary presents! )

The cake isn't hard considering it comes from a box- but the frosting is a bit tricky. If you have ever had flour frosting you will know it is a totally different experience. Rich and light as air. Also full of shortening so beware!

Start with a chocolate cake
make per directions then put in 2 round cake pans
I like to use tin foil for easy clean up and to prevent sticking - I even grease the tin foil a bit just to be on the safe side
Bake per pkg. instructions then let cool while finishing the frosting

I start the flour frosting once the cake goes in the oven so that it has time to cool to room temp.
On the stovetop you
mix 1 c. milk, 4 Tbsp. flour - cooking over medium heat until thick
- stir almost constantly with a wisk to keep from clumps forming and burning.
Once thick set aside on counter to cool to room temp. This should be done by the time your cake is done cooling.
Once mixture is cooled
Cream 1/2 cup Margarine/Butter, 1/2 cup crisco , 1 cup sugar , 1 tsp vanilla
Make sure your cream very well at least 7 min. - trying to eliminate the sugar granules

Add flour mixture to sugar mixture
Then beat until fluffy
I always cut the bottom cake to get it as flat and even as possible.
My husband then turned those pieces into a little "Snack"
Then begin to frost making sure you get a good amount in the middle. Don't be shy I always end up with a little frosting leftover so go for it.

While this cake is truly Heavenly it is quite a mess to clean up with all that shortening So enjoy!
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