Archive for the ‘what’s cookin’?’ Category

September 19, 2016

Karen’s Vegetarian Southwest Soup

Karen’s Vegetarian Southwest Soup

2 cans of low sodium vegetable broth (I use Swanson)
1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes with garlic (I use Hunt’s)
1 can of unsalted corn (drained) (I use Del Monte)
1 can of low sodium black beans (rinsed and drained) (I use Bush’s)
1 cup of salad macaroni (cooked according to pkg)
1/2 tsp of ground cumin
1/2 tsp of chili powder
1/8 tsp of black pepper
a sprig of fresh basil or cilantro

Add all ingredients (except cooked pasta) to a large soup pot and simmer for 15 minutes. Add warm pasta immediately before serving (if you add it too soon, it will soak up all your broth). Serve with cornbread.

My oldest has been a vegetarian for 5 years. Cooking dual meals isn’t always easy. I like this soup because it has a great homemade taste, is made with canned goods that I usually have on hand and cooks in minutes.

September 1, 2015

Easy Homemade Donuts Recipe

Homemade Donuts Recipe

The last recipe I posted caused such a controversy, I thought I’d share another sweet treat! Yeah, I know, I’m a troublemaker. 😉

I learned how to make these donuts in 8th grade Home Ec class. These days, the food police would probably arrest a teacher for having her class prepare such a nutritionally unsound creation.


1 roll of refrigerated biscuit dough (Store brand works great. Do not use Grands or flavored varieties.)
Vegetable Oil
1/3 cup of Powdered sugar


Pour powdered sugar into a brown lunch bag and set aside.

Heat about half a cup of vegetable oil in small frying pan. Oil level needs to be high enough to cover bottom half of donut.

Using your thumbs, poke a hole in the center of the biscuits and using your fingers, pinch the sides together to form a donut shape. Fry in hot oil over medium heat, flipping so both sides turn golden brown. Be careful not to have heat too high, as outside will be dark and inside will still be doughy. Cook no more than 2 at a time.

When donuts are done, set on a paper towel for 2 minutes to remove excess oil. Place donuts, one at a time, in the bag filled with powdered sugar and shake until well coated. Cool on a wire rack for no more than 5 minutes and eat right away. They are best warm!

August 27, 2015

Black Bean Salsa Recipe


Having a vegetarian in the house, I try to prepare things that can stand on their own without meat, but can be spiked with meat for the carnivores in the house. This dish is a perfect example of that and it eats like a meal. You can serve it like a salsa with chips, use it as a topping for burritos or fish tacos, or toss in some marinated, grilled shrimp for some fantastic tostadas!

Black Bean Salsa Recipe

2 cans of low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can of yellow corn, no salt added, rinsed and drained
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup sweet yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 ripe avocados, peeled and diced
1 jalapeño, finely diced (less or none depending on your heat tolerance)
3 TBS lime juice
2 TBS white wine vinegar
Fresh ground pepper and sea salt to taste

Mix all ingredients in a non-metallic container and refrigerate 2-4 hours. Serve with chips or on tostadas, tacos, or burritos.

July 11, 2015

The Halo Quesadilla, Revisited

Halo Quesadilla

Still one of my favorite lunches of all time, for taste and prep time, the Halo Quesadilla deserves another mention (and photo) on my blog.

The version pictured above is filled with a mexican cheese blend, grilled chicken, chopped tomato and fresh cilantro.

Here are a few tricks to making the perfect halo quesadilla:

Don’t overfill with cheese or other ingredients. It’s better to make 2 than one big huge one.

Most of the cheese should be in direct contact with the pan, with just a little on the tortilla to keep it attached.

After flipping, seal it shut by pressing the outside cheese layers together.

Rotate the pan to concentrate the heat on the outside cheese. It’s best crunchy!

For more instructions, please view the original recipe here.

January 26, 2015

Crock-Pot Mac N’ Cheese Recipe


I love homemade Macaroni and Cheese. I’ve just never had a whole lot of success making it because I always seem to get the roux wrong and the sauce ends up with a grainy texture. I decided to take a stab at making mac n’ cheese without a roux and the recipe below is what I came up with.

It turned out much better than I expected. Even my son, who is a picky eater, asked for seconds. I used orecchiette pasta, which has a starchier consistency than elbow macaroni. I think it helped to thicken up the sauce so you don’t even miss the roux. This one is on my keeper list!

Crock-Pot Mac N’ Cheese Recipe

12 oz Bag of Orecchiette pasta (boiled for 10 minutes and drained)
2 Cups of Milk (heated to almost boiling)
12 oz Evaporated Milk
2 TSP Dijon Mustard
1/2 TSP Onion Powder
1/4 TSP Black Pepper
1/8 TSP Salt
6 OZ American Cheese, cubed
4 OZ Gouda Cheese (shredded)
Optional: 1 cup of Panko for sprinkling on top

Turn crock-pot on high. Lightly coat with non-stick cooking spray. Add hot milk, evaporated milk, mustard, onion powder, salt and pepper to crock-pot. Wisk well. Add pasta. Cover and cook for 90 minutes. Stir in cheese and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

If you’re like me and have an appreciation for mac n’ cheese with a dark, crunchy topping, after you cook the mac in the crock-pot, transfer it to a casserole dish or individual ramekins, sprinkle the top with a little bit of Panko, and bake in a 400 degree oven on a high rack for about 10 minutes or until the top is browned to your liking. Be sure and lighlty spray the casserole dish or ramekins with non-stick spray so you don’t have issues with getting the mac out.

October 19, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Enchilada Recipe

Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas

It’s been a while since I posted a recipe. This one was too good not to share! If you and your family like hot wings and mexican food, you have to try this merging of supreme flavor goodness! These are so tasty that when my daugher got an A on a test, she asked if I could make them as her reward. As always, I welcome your comments, suggestions, and feedback on my blog! If you have friends you think would like this recipe, please share!

Without further ado, I would like to introduce you to Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas!

14.5 oz Can of Diced Tomatoes
8 oz Can of Tomato Sauce
½ Cup of Frank’s Red Hot
4 oz Can of Mild Green Chilis
1 Garlic Clove
½ TSP Fresh Ground Pepper
½ TSP Chipotle Chili Powder
4 oz Cream Cheese

Combine ingredients in a blender. Pulse until smooth. Pour into a saucepan and cook on medium-low until hot, thick and bubbly, about 10-15 minutes. Lightly spray 9×12” glass baking pan with non-stick spray and spread about ¾ cup of the cooked sauce evenly to coat the bottom of the pan.

2 Cups of Cooked Chicken (Rotisserie works great)
¼ Cup of Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend
¼ Cup Frank’s RedHot
8-10 Corn Tortillas

Shred chicken or cut into bite size pieces. In a bowl, combine chicken, cheese, and Frank’s Red Hot.

Warm tortillas in the microwave until soft, about 30 seconds. Or if you prefer a crunchy texture, fry them in oil for a few minutes on each side, then pat dry with paper towels.

Lay one tortilla in the baking pan, fill center with chicken/cheese mixture. Fold one side over and roll tightly to contain the filling with the seam facing down. Repeat the process until all of the chicken has been used, keeping a small space between each enchilada.

½ Cup of Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend
4 oz Bleu Cheese Crumbles
¼ cup Diced White Onion

Pour remaining sauce on the rolled enchiladas and top with the items above. Cook in a 375 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes or until hot, bubbly and edges start to brown. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Garnish (optional):
Chopped green onions
Bleu Cheese Crumbles
Sour Cream
Extra Frank’s RedHot

Add some extra pizzazz by serving the enchiladas topped with as many or as few of the items listed above.

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