Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Turkey Mei Fun Noodles

Aren't Thanksgiving leftovers wonderful?  You can do all sorts of things with leftover turkey.  I love Chinese food, and Mei Fun Noodles are one of my favorites.  I tried this recipe with turkey and it was fabulous!

Turkey Mei Fun Noodles

1 cup shredded turkey meat (cooked)
Mei Fun Noodles (cover in water and soak for at least 30 minutes)
1 can chicken broth + 1/2 can of water
1/2 small bell pepper, sliced into very thin strips
1/2 small white onion, sliced into thin strips
2 green onions, chopped
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. garlic
2 Tbsp. real butter
3 baby carrots, finely sliced

Cover Mei Fun noodles in water and allow to soak for at least 30 minutes or more, until they become tender.

In deep skillet, add butter, white onion, bell pepper, turkey and seasonings.  Add ginger, garlic, soy sauce and Worcestershire and stir over medium heat until onions are translucent.  Add green onions, chicken broth and 1/2 can of water.  Drain and the Mei Fun noodles that have been soaking and add to the mixture.  Toss continuously to blend the ingredients.  Toss for about 6 to 8 minutes to heat noodles through and to allow broth to dissipate. Once broth is has cooked down, the dish is ready.

Serve & Enjoy!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Easy Ground Beef and Sausage Jambalaya

Once in a while, I like to kick up the spicy element with some good old fashioned Cajun-style meals.  This Jambalaya is easy and so tasty!

Easy Ground Beef and Sausage Jambalaya

1 box New Orleans Jambalaya Rice
1 link of smoked sausage (comes with 2 links in a pkg.)
1 lb. lean ground chuck
1 bell pepper, cut into strips
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 white onion chopped
2 cans chicken broth
1 Tbsp. Badia Complete Seasoning
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
2 Tbsp. butter

In deep saucepan, sauté diced onions and bell pepper in 2 Tbsp. butter.  Once onions become translucent, add ground chuck, chicken broth and seasonings.  Add in the package of New Orleans Jambalaya Rice, cover and simmer until rice is tender.  Cook for approximately 40 minutes.  Check often and stir to make sure this is not sticking.  If the liquid reduces too much and it starts sticking, add water (1/2 cup at a time).   During the last 10 minutes of cooking, cut 1 strip of smoked sausage into small rounds (1/4") and add them to the pot. 

Once rice is done completely, serve


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Hoe Cakes

Like cornbread?  Like pancakes?  Well, then you will love Hoe Cakes!  These are fantastic with beans, great with jambalaya....   Give them a try!

Hoe Cakes

1 box Jiffy Cornbread mix
1 cup all purpose flour
1 egg
1/4 cup Evaporated Milk (approximately)

Mix Jiffy cornbread mix and flour together.  Add egg and start drizzling in evaporated milk until it is the right consistency.  Like pancake batter.

Butter a griddle or skillet and drop batter about 2 heaping Tbsp. per Hoe Cake.  Fry on each side and remove.  Immediately I add more butter to the tops  (of course).

Serve and Enjoy! I eat these with just butter lathered all over them, but my mom would probably break them up into buttermilk!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Onion Straws

These onion straws are easy and oh so tasty.  I love them with steak or soups.  Try them!

Onion Straws

1 white onion, cut in half and sliced into 1/4 " lengths
1/2 cup cornmeal (I like to use a box of Jiffy Mix)  It makes them sweeter
2 cups flour
2 Tbsp. sea salt
2 cups whole milk
Canola oil for frying about 3" deep in pan

Peel and cut onion into strips.  Separate them.  Place milk in 1 bowl and in the second bowl mix flour and cornmeal.  Dip the onions in the flour/cornmeal mixture, then the milk, then back into the flour/cornmeal mixture (You can use separate bowls and separate the mixture if you like).

I bread them all first and lay them on a platter.  They cook quickly, so you can keep going if you have them all breaded first.

Heat oil on medium/high heat.  Drop onion straws in a small handful at a time.  Toss them once so that both sides get browned.  Remove to paper towels to absorb grease.  Salt immediately as each batch comes out, while they are hot.  Continue until all are cooked.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Croissant Burger


I'm not a big hamburger eater, but once in a while, I just want a big ole burger!  The other night I fixed some burgers and then suddenly realized "Oh, no, we are out of bread".  I had some croissants in the refrigerator, so I build a better burger on a croissant.  They were great!


1 lb. lean ground beef
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
4 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. Italian Seasonings

Patty out burgers and place them into a skillet.  Season with salt and pepper and dash Worcestershire sauce on top.  Fry the burgers on medium heat until they are cooked to your desired doneness.  Add a slice of Velveeta cheese and allow to melt slightly.


Shredded lettuce
Thin slice of Velveeta cheese
Sandwich Spread (you can buy this in a jar and it tastes like McDonald's Big Mac sauce)
Durkee French Fried Onions

Lay out the croissant and spread the sandwich spread on the bottom.  Sprinkle with the French Fried Onions and then add the lettuce.  Place the burger/cheese on top and add the top of the croissant.



Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Butter & Cream Orzo

Orzo is most often mistaken for Rice, however it is a Pasta.  Orzo can be added to dishes like vegetable soups, chicken soups, and even combined with rice.  This simple recipe is a great side-dish with most any meal.

Butter & Cream Orzo

2 cups Orzo Pasta
1 can chicken broth
1/2 can water
4 Tbsp. real butter
1 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. sea salt
1/2 can evaporated milk

Melt the butter in a large saute' pan.  Stir in the orzo until it is completely coated with the butter.  Add the chicken broth, water, salt and pepper.  Continue to stir until all of the broth and water is absorbed by the orzo and it is tender.  Once the liquid is all absorbed, stir in the 1/2 can of evaporated milk.  Stir until it is all combined and heated, but do not boil.

Serve and Enjoy!

Note:  Be sure to test the orzo, because often it will look done, but will still be hard.  

Monday, November 14, 2016

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

These enchilada's are so wonderful.  They are a great idea to take to a pitch-in also.  People eat them up!

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

2 chicken breasts, boiled and shredded
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can of nacho cheese
1 bell pepper, cut into thin slices
1 small white onion, cut into thin slices
1 Tbsp. Italian Seasonings
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp. pepper
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
6 to 8   10" flour tortillas
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter

Boil chicken breasts in 1 qt of water.  When chicken is done, remove and shred it with a fork or cut into long thin strips.  Meanwhile, in a saute' pan, add 2 Tbsp. butter, pepper strips and onion strips.  Stir until onions become translucent.  Add shredded chicken and 3 Tbsp. of the cream of chicken into the pan and stir for about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside. 

Drain the juice from the Rotel tomatoes and whisk together with the cream of chicken soup and sour cream.

Spray a 9x10" pan with cooking spray.  Lay a flour tortilla in the palm of your hand and ladle in about 4 to 5 Tbsp. of the chicken mixture.  Add about 2 Tbsp. of shredded mozzarella and roll up.  Place in the pan.  It is not necessary to tuck the ends in like you do with a burrito.  Continue until you have used all of the tortillas and filled the pan.  Be sure to place the filled tortillas close together.

Pour the cream of chicken mixture over the top.  Top with the remainder of the cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes.  Cheese will be bubbly on top and just starting to brown slightly.

Serve with shredded lettuce and additional sour cream if desired.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Peach Pie

I have never really liked just plain peaches, but I love Peach Pie and Peach Cobbler.  This recipe is really easy and you will love it!
Peach Pie
2 pie shells (homemade or store bought)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
4  cups of canned peaches (drained)
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. real butter (room temperature)
Mix brown and white sugar with the cornstarch.  Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Mix well.  Add the peaches and gently toss.  Add butter and gently mix.  Pour into a pie shell and add another pie shell on top, pinching the edges together.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for approximately 1 hour or until crust is browned and filling is bubbly.  If you don't like your edges as browned, place some aluminum foil around the edges of the pie shell for about 1/2 of the cooking time, then remove to finish off.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Sugar Cookies with Purple Icing

3 of the grandbabies were over last weekend and they always want to cook with grandma.  We made sugar cookies and decorated them with purple icing and sprinkles!

Needless to say, they are all gone!  We made very small bite-sized versions for little hands.  What fun!

Sugar Cookies

2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 egg
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. hazelnut extract (or vanilla)
1 cup real butter, softened

Mix the dry ingredients above.  Cream sugar and butter together with extract.  Add into the dry ingredients and mix well.  Using your hands, form into small balls and gently press down with your fingertips or the back of a spoon.  Place onto a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until bottoms start to brown.

Immediately spread with icing (while hot) 

Purple Frosting

2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. hazelnut extract
1 drop blue food coloring
2 drops red food coloring

Mix well.  Add water 1/2 tsp. at a time until the frosting is at a thick, but not too thick consistency.  Spread on cookies immediately after removing from oven to a cooking rack and top with sprinkles.  Sprinkles must be added while the frosting is hot or they will roll off!  


Friday, November 4, 2016

Wet Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

I generally make my Cheeseburger Meatloaf, but now and then I want something different. This version is hearty and rich.  Hopefully it will also become a family favorite of yours.

Wet Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

2 lbs. lean ground beef
4 Tbsp. catsup
1 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. Basil
1 egg
10 Ritz Crackers, Crumbled finely
4 Tbsp. real mayonnaise
1/4 white onion, finely chopped
1/4 bell pepper, finely chopped

Mix all ingredients and bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes or until cooked through.  I like to cook mine in a bread baking loaf so that it slices nicely


Pour off some of the meatloaf drippings into a small skillet.  Add 2 cups of water.  Make a slurry:  1/4 cup water + 2 heaping Tbsp. cornstarch and drizzle in the slurry into the mix, stirring continuously until thickens.  If it isn't thick enough, you can add more slurry.  If it is too thick, add more water.

Mashed Potatoes

6 medium/large potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes
2 quarters water

Boil potatoes until completely done when a fork is inserted.  The key is to make sure they are very soft.  If you try to mash potatoes before they are done, they will be lumpy.

Drain and add 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup evaporated milk, 2 Tbsp. salt and 2 Tbsp. pepper.  Add 1/2 stick real butter. Mash with a mixer until smooth.  Add more milk if required.  

You are ready to pull your meal together. Place a slice of the Meatloaf on the plate and cover with gravy.  Scoop mashed potatoes on top.  Add more gravy if desired.

Yum Yum!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Tips on Tuesday: Let's Talk About Spices!

Tips on Tuesday:  So, let's talk about Spices today!  I have lots and lots of spices, and I'm sure you do too.  The thing about spices is using them correctly.  Badia Complete Seasoning is one of my very favorites because it is a combination of a variety of spices including:  Oregano, Basil, etc.  It is my Go-To Spice.

Here are some of my favorite spices:

Basil:  Did you know that Basil is a natural anti-inflammatory?  It is a rich source of magnesium and makes your Italian and Meat dishes taste wonderful.  It's great on pizza and pasta alike.  I grow Basil and use it probably more than any other spice.

Oregano:  Oregano is my go-to spice for Mexican dishes.  It has an amazing aroma and is easy to grow.  There are several varieties of Oregano, even a hot and spicy variety.  Oregano is actually in the mint family.  Use in small doses because it can be bitter if overused.

Cayenne Pepper:  Personally I don't use much Cayenne, because I don't like very hot foods.  But, used sparingly, Cayenne can give a boost to chili, Mexican and other dishes.

Dill:  Dill is one of my favorite spices.  I make a quick dip using Dill, 1 cup of sour cream and 1/2 cup of real mayonnaise.  People love it and it is so easy.  Dill is also good in a hearty soup and on meat.  It really kicks up the flavor of fish.

Cilantro:  I also love Cilantro.  It is full of iron and fiber.  People usually don't just "like" Cilantro.  Either they love it or they hate it.  It has a bit of a licorice flavor some say.  It is rich in nutrients and easily grown on a window-sill in a pot.  Cilantro is great in salsa, guacamole, and on Mexican dishes.

Coriander Seeds:  Come from the same plant as the Cilantro.  Did you know that Coriander actually helps control blood sugar?  They are best used in soups, on meat and fish.  You can buy them whole or ground.

Rosemary:  Rosemary is another herb that is easy to grow.  It has thick petals that can be plucked and chopped.  Adds great flavor to meats.  I love to put Rosemary on a chicken and bake it and have added it to my Thanksgiving turkey.  Rosemary contains lots of fiber and iron.

Sage:  I don't really use a lot of sage, but if I ground my own meat more, I would definitely use Sage.  It has a peppery flavor that really spices up your sausage.

Thyme:  Just two teaspoons of Thyme daily are rich in Vitamin K and very good for you.  Refried beans are great with a little Thyme and hearty meats like lamb or beef.

Turmeric:  Turmeric is one of the healthiest spices you can buy.  It is rich in manganese, iron vita B6.  It is said if you use 2 tsp. a day of Turmeric it will help arthritis sufferers.  It adds great flavor to meats, rice and veggies.

Parsley:  Parsley is great chopped and sprinkled on veggies or add a sprig to the side of a meat dish.  It is often used to add color to a plate.  Great on fish, in pasta or chopped onto a baked potato.

Enjoy spicing up those dishes!