Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Guest Blogger: Renee Cervantes - Savory Cabbage and Potatoes

Renee Cervantes lives in Terre Haute Indiana with her husband Chris.  Chris and Renee both love to cook and love creating new recipes.  Renee's daughter, Lanee, is vegetarian, so she is always looking to develop new, healthy, meat-free recipes like this one that can be meatless or you can add meat.

Savory Cabbage and Potatoes

2 - 30 oz. containers of vegetable broth
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 stick of butter
1/2 tsp. anchovy paste
4-5 potatoes, cut into small pieces and boiled with 2 tsp. salt (retain 2 cups of the salted potato water)
1 head of cabbage (chop as desired)
1 green bell pepper, chopped  (optional)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Turkey Ham
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. garlic
(saute' for the non-vegetarians in the house)

Boil potatoes until soft.  Meanwhile allow broth, butter and garlic to simmer.  When the potatoes are ready, add them to the cabbage and bell pepper.  Add 2 cups of the reserved potato water.

Cook on low for approximately 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, sauté some turkey ham, cut into chunks, with the butter and garlic.  They added this separately since her daughter is a vegetarian.  This way it serves vegetarian and meat lovers.

Very flavorful and filling.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken Fried Steak has always been a comfort food for most of the people I know.  My daughter absolutely loves it!  I don't make it often, but it is always a big hit.

Chicken Fried Steak

4 thin minute steaks (or thin slices of round steak)
3 eggs beaten in a bowl with 4 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. hot sauce (optional)
1 Tbsp. salt
2 cups flour
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil

In bowl 1, 1 cup of flour 
In bowl 2, beat eggs, hot sauce and milk together.  
In bowl 3, add 2 cups of flour, salt and pepper and mix

Lay out steaks on a good cutting board and pound with a meat mallet or rolling pin to thin out and tenderize the meat. 

Add 4 Tbsp. vegetable oil (more or less as needed) to a skillet and bring up heat to medium heat.

Dip the meat in the flour only of bowl 1, coating both sides.  Dip it into bowl 2 with the eggs and milk, coating both sides.  Dip it in bowl 3, coating both sides.

Place on hot skillet or griddle.  Cook on one side until it is browned and then flip over to finish cooking the other side.  (Don't flip too many times or you will lose your breading).  Set aside as they come out of the skillet while you make the gravy.


Use same pan that you fried the meat in.  Add more vegetable oil if necessary.  You should have about 2 to 3 Tbsp. in the pan.  Add 2 heaping Tbsp. flour and whisk immediately.  Once it starts to thicken, add your milk/water mixture below.

In a bowl, combine 1 can evaporated milk + 1 cup of water.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  Pour into the skillet and continue to whisk until it thickens.  If your gravy doesn't thicken as you would like, combine 1/4 cup water and 2 heaping Tbsp. cornstarch.  Slowly drizzle it in until your gravy starts to thicken to the consistency you want.

Lay steak on plate and top with gravy.  I always serve this with mashed potatoes.


Monday, January 25, 2016

Hamburger Roll-Up

This recipe is very easy and very good. Once it is finished baking, you can slice it and almost eat it like a sandwich.  Great served with some thick steak fries!

Hamburger Roll-Up

2 packages Crescent Rolls
3 Tbsp. melted real butter
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 white onion, sliced in thin strips or diced
2 Tbsp. Taco Seasoning
1 tsp. Basil
1 Tbsp. ground pepper

In skillet, brown ground beef with onion.  Add taco seasoning, basil and ground pepper.  Drain to remove any grease.

Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray.  Open 1 pkg. of the Crescent Rolls and form them into a large rectangle, pressing edges together.  Spread out thinly, using buttered fingers or rolling pin.

Place the ground beef mixture down the center of the Crescent Rolls long ways.  Layer 2 of the 3 cups of mozzarella cheese along the top of the ground beef.  On a separate buttered board, do the same thing with the other package of Crescent Rolls and lay it on top.  Bring the sides of the bottom layer up to meet the top layer and press the sides together.  Should make a large log (see picture).

Brush top of bread with melted butter and sprinkle with the last cup of mozzarella cheese.  Bake in a 350 degree oven until bread is browned and cheese is melted, approximately 15 minutes, depending on your oven.

Remove.  Slice with a bread knife cross ways to make sandwiches.  Serve


Friday, January 22, 2016

Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo SOUP

So, this picture doesn't do this soup justice....but hey, it's yummy, so try it.  I took my left-over Chicken Fettuccini and turned it into this fabulous soup.

Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo Soup

1 potato - peeled, cut into small cubes and boiled until almost done
2 cups left-over Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo (see previous recipe 1-15-2016)
1 can evaporated milk
2 cups of water
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
1 Tbsp. real butter
1/4 onion, finely diced (optional)
Parmesan Cheese for topping

thickening:  1/4 cup water and 2 heaping Tbsp. cornstarch

Boil potato in the microwave until almost done, but a little tough still.  In stock pot, add butter, left-over Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo Soup, evaporated milk, water, onion and pepper.  Stir together.

Bring soup to a gentle boil.  Beat together 1/4 cup water and 2 heaping Tbsp. cornstarch.  Quickly add it to the pot and immediately turn off the heat.  Stir quickly because it will thicken rather fast.

Serve topped with a couple Tbsp. of fresh grated Parmesan Cheese.

Note, if you left your fettuccini in the previous recipe whole, I suggest chopping up the left-over noodles before you add them to the soup.  Just makes it easier to eat.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Chicken Tacos

I love tacos....absolutely, no question about it.  These Chicken Tacos are so tasty and a change from regular burger tacos.  Give them a try!

Chicken Tacos

2 chicken breasts, skinless, cut into very small chunks
2 Tbsp. Taco Seasoning
5 to 6 hard taco shells  (or soft, your choice)
2 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. ground pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne (optional)
1 Tbsp. real butter

2 cups thinly chopped lettuce
2 cups mild shredded cheddar cheese
Sour Cream

Cut up chicken breasts and sauté in butter until they are done (about 8 minutes).  Add taco seasoning, water, ground pepper and cayenne (optional).  Saute' another minute or two just to bring the seasonings all together.  Remove from heat.

Thinly chop lettuce and shred about 2 cups of mild cheddar cheese. 

Heat 5 to 6 hard taco shells in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes just to hot. Remove and put chicken in the bottom.  Add cheese and lettuce.  Top with Sour cream and serve.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

French Fried Onions

I love those French fried onions in the can.  I put them on salads, eat them with steak, etc.  I love em.  So I thought, hey I can probably make these myself and they would taste even better.  Well, I was right.  I hope you enjoy this recipe for:

French Fried Onions

1 whole onion, sliced as thinly as possible. 
2 cups baking mix (like Bisquick or Jiffy)
Sea Salt for seasoning
2 cups milk

Separate milk and baking mix into two separate bowls.  Heat vegetable oil in a pan, making sure it is about 3" deep for deep frying, over medium heat.  To test the oil to see if it is ready, drop a pinch of the baking mix into the pan.  It will sizzle if the oil is ready.

Separate the onions into thin strips and coat them in the milk.  Immediately drop them into the baking mix, coating them well and shake them off a bit.  Drop them into the oil.

These fry pretty fast, so toss them once or twice and they will begin to brown.  Remove them and drain on a paper towel.  Sprinkle immediately with Sea Salt while they are hot.

These are great on a sandwich, with a steak, on top of a baked potato, or just to enjoy!

mmmm mmmm  Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Meat on a stick!  What more could we ask for?  Shish-Ka-Bobs are so easy to make.  Not sure what "Bob" has to do with it, but give them a try!  These can be cooked outside on the grill or inside in the oven.

First thing you need to do is buy either the long, reusable, metal skewers or you can buy less expensive, wooden ones.  I suggest if you buy the wooden ones, you soak them for about an hour (minimum) in water so they won't burn and splinter.

OK - Some Assembly Required...


1 large Ribeye steak (or meat of your choice)
1 large, skinless, boneless, chicken breast (optional)
1/4 cup Soy Sauce + 1 cup beef broth
2 Tbsp. softened real butter
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
(Add to a large zip-lock bag, mix well by kneading with your hands and marinade at least 3 hours)

2 large potatoes, cut into big chunks (peeled or unpeeled, your choice)
  (I boil my potatoes for about 2 minutes in the microwave to help them cook quicker
8 cherry tomatoes
1 large onion, cut into large chunks or the small round onions

Remove steak and chicken from the bag (keep sauce) and start assembling your skewers, beef first, then chicken, then onion, tomato, potato, etc.  End with meat.  Beginning and ending with meat will secure the other ingredients from falling off when they are cooked.

Brush entire skewer with the remaining sauce from the bag on both sides.  Place on medium grill or, if it's winter place in a 375 degree oven for approximately 40 minutes.  Turn once during the cooking process. 

For inside cooking, I place mine across a cookie sheet.  This way, the skewer is suspended slightly above the depth of the cookie sheet and not laying in the juices.  Otherwise, the potato gets pretty mushy.


Friday, January 15, 2016

Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo

This pasta dish is cheesy and the Alfredo sauce is made from scratch.  It is a hearty dish that you will love.  I am not a big marinara lover, but I love Alfredo sauce.  I find the jars from the store to be strong, so I started making my own.

Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo

2 chicken breasts, cut into small bite-sized pieces
2 Tbsp. real butter
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 cups fettuccini noodles broken into thirds  (can leave whole if you prefer)
1 15 oz. can chicken broth
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp. Italian Seasonings
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Boil noodles in water with 1 tsp. salt until they are almost done (about 5 minutes once the water starts to boil).  Drain completely.

Meanwhile, in a deep skillet over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp. butter, garlic and lemon juice and the cut up chicken breasts.  Saute' until chicken is done (about 5 to 6 minutes).  Add chicken broth, evaporated milk and seasonings.  Stir to combine. Cook for about 8 minutes to reduce the sauce broth slightly.  Gently stir in the fettuccini noodles.  The sauce should be starting to cook down.  Add the parmesan cheese and stir to combine.  It may be necessary to continue to gently stir and cook down until the sauce thickens.  Once it is the desired consistency, remove and serve.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Creamed Herbed Potatoes

We are big potato eaters.  These potatoes are so good and a nice change from fried and/or mashed potatoes all the time.  They are easy and oh so good!  Give them a try

Creamed Herbed Potatoes

3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into about 1" chunks
2 Tbsp. real butter
4 cups water
1 can evaporated milk
1 Tbsp. dill
1 Tbsp. basil
2 Tbsp. salt
2 Tbsp. ground pepper

Thickening:  1/3 cup water + 2 heaping Tbsp. cornstarch (beat together)

Boil potatoes just until they are tender, but not really soft like mashed potatoes.  Drain off excess water and put potatoes back in the pan.  Reduce heat to medium/low and add 2 Tbsp. butter and 1 can evaporated milk.  Add seasonings and gently stir with a rubber spoon to combine.  Be gentle so as not to mash the potatoes. 

Remove from heat and immediately add in the thickening above, a little at a time.  You may or may not need all of it, so just use about 1/2 then add more if you need it.  The milk will immediately start to thicken.  Once it is the desired consistency, serve immediately.

Note:  When you are warming these up as leftovers, they will be pretty thick, so just add a little evaporated milk to thin them right back out to the desired consistency.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Grown Up Grilled Cheese

Once in a while, we just gotta have grilled cheese.  It is fantastic with tomato soup.  So, slapping a piece of cheese between two pieces of bread is ok, but what if we kicked it up a notch?  Try this grilled cheese out.  It is fabulous!

Grown Up Grilled Cheese

8 slices of bread or Texas Toast
Spreadable butter (about 4 to 6 Tbsp.)
4 Tbsp. good quality Pesto
4 slices Provolone cheese
4 slices American cheese
4 slices Swiss or Mozzarella cheese

Using a griddle or quality square pan, butter both sides each of 4 pieces of the bread and lay on the griddle.  Grill for about 3 to 4 minutes (or until browned) and flip over.  Immediately layer 1 of each slice of cheese:  Provolone, American and Swiss or Mozzarella.

On each of the other 4 slices of bread, spread one side with butter and one side with the Pesto.  Lay the Pesto side down on top of the bread/cheese already on the grill.  Flip to grill the butter side.

Remove, slice in half across the corners, creating a triangle and serve hot!

Fantastic with Tomato Soup.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Salted Caramel Scones

I love this recipe.  It is a little salty, a little sweet, and not as heavy as most scones are.  I have had scones before that were just too dry and heavy.  These are fabulous!  Give them a try.

Salted Caramel Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 stick cold butter cut into slices
1 cup evaporated milk
2 Tbsp. caramel ice cream topping
1 Tbsp. softened cream cheese
Cooking Spray

3 Tbsp. evaporated milk + 1 Tbsp. caramel ice cream topping combined + 1 Tbsp. ground sea salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Mix flour, sugar salt and baking powder.  Cut in the butter until mixture starts to become crumbly and all butter is incorporated.  Add milk and 2 Tbsp. of the caramel ice cream topping.  Mix well. 

Place onto floured surface and form into a circle about 3/4 of an inch thick.  Cut into triangles with a pizza cutter.  Place onto a cooking sheet treated with cooking spray.  Mix the 3 Tbsp. evaporated milk and 1 Tbsp. caramel and brush it onto the tops of the scones. Lightly sprinkle with coarse ground sea salt (1 Tbsp.)

Bake in 450 degree oven for 13 to 15 minutes or just until tops start to brown.  Remove to cooling rack.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Herbed Butter

Herbed Butters are so great to keep on hand.  You can slice a piece of herbed butter on top of a juicy steak, add a slice to mashed potatoes, or put it atop your baked potato.  I've listed a few of my favorites below:

Herbed Butters

1 stick real, salted butter (softened to room temperature)

It will take 1 stick of butter for each log of herbed butter you make.

1.  Italian Herbed Butter:  Add 1 tsp. Italian Seasonings

2.  Pesto Herbed Butter:  Add 1 tsp. quality Pesto

3.  Dill Herbed Butter:  Add 1 Tbsp. Dill Weed

4.  Spicy Herbed Butter:  Add 1/2 tsp. Cayenne and 2 drops hot sauce

5.  Garden Veggie Herbed Butter:  For this one, I use 2 sticks of butter at room temperature,  add 1/2
     tsp. Oregano, 1/2 tsp. Basil and 1 finely chopped green onion.

Choose whatever spices you want and mix into the butter.  Place butter onto a piece of plastic wrap and form it into a log.  Roll into the plastic wrap, sealing the edges.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours.  Slice as needed.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Easy Cheesy Bread

This will be one of the easiest, cheesiest garlic breads you have ever made!  And, oh is it fabulous!  Give it a try.

Easy Cheesy Bread

1 pkg. of easy pizza crust (I like Martha White or Jiffy) Prepared to recipe instructions, but add about 2 Tbsp. more water

3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp. Italian seasonings
1 tsp. softened real butter
1 Tbsp. garlic seasoning (I like Tastefully Simple's "Garlic, Garlic")

Prepare pizza crust mix according to recipe, but add an additional 2 Tbsp. of water so it is a little sticky.  Prepare a pizza pan by spraying it with cooking spray.  Using buttered fingers, spread the dough onto the cookie sheet until it is about 4" x 6".  It will be thicker than a normal pizza crust.

Spread 1 tsp. softened real butter with a brush all over top of pizza crust and season with Garlic, Garlic (or your favorite garlic seasoning).  You can also substitute real minced garlic if you want.

Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese generously over the top and push down slightly with your hands.  Sprinkle with Italian seasonings. 

Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes.  The crust will be browning and the cheese will be bubbly and start to brown a little.  Remove, cut with a pizza cutter and eat.


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Hammy Ham Ham! - Jane'e Stanton

Best Ham I ever ate!

My step-daughter, Jane'e, makes the most fabulous ham I have ever eaten.  I begged her for the recipe so I could put it on today's blog.  This is a must-have recipe for your collection!

Best Ham Ever!

1 Spiral bone-in Ham (11 to 12 lbs)
1 stick unsalted butter
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup water

Glaze:  Melt butter in a pot on medium heat.  Add remaining dry ingredients, whisking constantly until fully integrated into mix.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Let cool five minutes and then brush the glaze onto the ham. 

Bake ham according to directions or until it has a beautiful glazed appearance. 

I guarantee you will LOVE this!  Debi

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Tips on Tuesday!

TIPS ON TUESDAY:  Welcome to another edition of Tips on Tuesday.  Periodically, I like to give some helpful hints or tips that cooks can use to make their life in the kitchen easier.

*  The smaller the item you are baking, the higher you can set the baking temperature.  Tiny
    cookies can be baked at a much higher temperature than say a cake.

*  Do not store your spices really close to or over the stove.  They will absorb the heat and
    become sticky and heavy.  Store your spices in a dark space like a drawer.

*  Bacon grease is a great substitute if you run out of oil.  Just be sure that what you use it in   
    can handle the taste.  You can strain it through a paper towel to get out all the little particles
    left behind.  In fact, I keep a jar full of bacon grease strained from every time I prepare

*  Want better, moister grilled cheese?  Spread a tiny bit of mayonnaise on each inside piece of
    the bread.  When you slap them together and add the cheese, it will be delicious.

*  For better results when baking with real butter, make sure it is at room temperature before
    incorporating it into your recipe.

*  Make your own stock.  Occasionally, I buy one of those pre-cooked whole chickens at
    Walmart.  They are wonderful for chicken salad because they are already seasoned.  Once I 
    have picked the entire chicken clean, I throw bones, skin and all into a deep pan with about  
    6  cups of water.  Boil for about 20 minutes.  Cool enough to handle and then strain through
    a piece of cheese cloth.  Pour into plastic containers with lids (like the ones you buy potato
    salad in, etc.) and freeze.  Next time you need chicken stock, just remove the lid and set it out
    long enough to start to thaw (or microwave it slightly).  Once it pulls away from the sides,
    dump it into your stock pot.

*  Read an entire recipes through at least once before you use it.  I have often found (and done
    this myself) that there may be a specific order to do things in, or something that needs to be
    done prior to completing the recipe.  Or there may be an ingredient that they didn't put in
    the list at the top.

*  If you are like me, sometimes I have a day when I just cook all day!  On those days, I try to
    prepare some things that can be eaten throughout the week since I take my lunch to work.  I
    fix potato soup or chili, or something that can be put into small containers and grabbed as I
    go out the door during the week.

*  Buy a cast-iron skillet.  I love my cast iron!  It can be used stove top or in the oven.  I love to
    make deep dish pizza in mine.

*  Add those French Fried onions to a salad.  You know the ones you buy in the can at the
    grocery store.  They make the salad crunchy and you don't have to peel and chop an onion!

Have fun!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Back from the Holidays! White Peppermint Bark

Hello everyone, I hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  I've been on vacation for a couple of weeks but I'm excited to get back to blogging! 

So, let's get started with an easy, easy recipe when you just want a candy snack!

White Peppermint Bark

6 squares of Almond Bark (white chocolate)
6 regular size candy canes
1 tsp. vanilla

Prepare a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper.  Do this first because you will need to immediately pour the candy onto it to spread.

Place candy canes in a Ziploc bag and crush them with a mallet or back of a wooden spoon until they are completely crushed into very tiny pieces. 

Place Almond Bark into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute.  Stir and repeat until it is completely smooth.  Remove and immediately stir in the vanilla and the candy cane pieces.

Pour out quickly onto the waxed paper and spread with a metal spatula.  I use a cake frosting spatula.

Allow to cool completely and it will become hard.  (Hint, you can put it in the fridge to cool quicker).

Break it into large pieces with your fingers.  Store in a closed container.  (Can be stored out or in the fridge if you like it cold)