Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Tomato Basil Broccoli Salad for Weight Loss

Almost everyone I know wants to lose a little weight or maintain their current weight. And we all can’t be like Kelly Clarkson and lose 37 pounds by just drinking a glass of wine before we go to bed. So we need meals that help us. 

This Tomato Basil Broccoli Salad from BHG will help with weight loss because it’s four ingredients only have 74 calories per serving. This salad would go great with a lean steak or baked chicken breasts. Serves 4 Total Time: 20 minutes


2 cups broccoli spears 
8 cherry tomatoes, quartered 
2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, finely chopped 
1 – 2 tablespoon shredded fresh basil


Place broccoli in a steamer basket in a saucepan. Add water to saucepan to just below the basket. Bring to boiling. Steam, covered, for 8 to 10 minutes or until broccoli is crisp-tender. Transfer broccoli to a serving bowl. Add tomatoes, cheese, and basil; toss gently to combine. Yum Yum! 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 74 calories, (2 g saturated fat, 0 g polyunsaturated fat, 0 g monounsaturated fat), 10 mg cholesterol, 76 mg sodium, 7 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 5 g protein.

Good Golly Tamale Keto Friendly An Instant Pot Recipe

Have you watched season 3 final episode of 13 Reasons Why? Tony’s boyfriend is sitting at the table making tamales for Thanksgiving. I thought “Good Golly I want to make Tamales for Thanksgiving too!” But I’ve never made them before. And I want them to be Keto Friendly and make them in my Instant Pot. Am I asking too much? Apparently not.
Makes 8-12 tamales Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes


8-12 dried corn husks, plus 2 more for tying
2.5 pounds boneless pork shoulder steaks
2 1/2 cups water, divided
1 large onion, chopped into large chunks
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups fine almond flour
1/2 cup ground flax meal
1 cup bacon fat
2 ounces shredded cheddar cheese


In a large heat-safe container, add corn husks and pour hot water over the top until they are completely covered. Weigh them down with a bowl or plate to keep them submerged. Soak for 30 minutes.

In your Instant Pot, add 2 cups of the water and all spices (use only 1 teaspoon of salt). Stir to combine, then add pork. Lock the lid in place, set the valve to sealing, and set your pot to pressure cook at high pressure for 45 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally (about 15 more minutes).

Boil remaining water. While water reaches a boil, add bacon fat to a mixing bowl. Pour boiling water over the top to soften and melt the fat, stirring so it melts completely. Add almond flour, flax, and remaining salt to the mix and stir well until a paste forms. Set aside.

Remove meat from the Instant Pot and shred, discarding any large portions of fat, onion, and garlic. In a skillet on medium heat, dry fry the meat to eliminate excess moisture. Set aside. Remove corn husks and dry them just enough so that they are not dripping wet. Tear two of the corn husks into long, thin strips for tying tamales together.

Lay out a corn husk with the widest end facing you (see photo in the post above). Starting a few inches down from the narrow end, spread a thin layer of masa downward and create a rectangle shape. Be gentle and work slowly so you get a smooth, even layer. Leave about an inch of room from the edge closest to you. Add a small amount of shredded pork down the center of your rectangle. Top with a small amount of shredded cheese. Avoid overstuffing! Fold the left and right sides of the corn husk up like a taco and ensure that the meat and cheese are fully surrounded. Wrap the edges of the cornhusk around the tamale. Then, fold up the “tail” where you left extra space. Tie the folded tamale with one of the corn husk strips so it stays bundled together. Repeat steps 6-11 until all keto tamales are assembled.

Drain liquid from the Instant Pot and wipe clean. Add a trivet and enough water to reach just below the bottom of the trivet. Add a steam rack on top of the trivet, then place tamales open end-up in the pot. Lock the lid in place, set the valve to sealing, and set the pot to cook with the “steam” button. Steam keto tamales for 40 minutes. Remove and serve warm, or allow to cool fully and store in your
refrigerator or freezer. Yum Yum!

calories 469 fat (grams) 39 sat. fat (grams) 11 carbs (grams) 6 net carbs 2.5 protein (grams) 25 Fiber (in grams) 3.5

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

How Can I Lose Weight?

Let’s get one thing straight I’m no expert. What I can tell you is what works for me and give you recipes that are low in calories. So, you’ve asked the question How Can I Lose Weight probably a million times.

Here is one simple way that will help you lose weight and keep the weight off. 
With each meal eat a huge portion of salad and/or veggies. Think along the line of bowls and not plates. Think of huge bowls!
Probably you have heard that the only way you can lose weight is if you consume less calories than how much your body burns.
Ideally, in a perfect world, you would calculate this with an online calculator maybe with your Fitbit and then you would weigh your food for at least a couple of weeks to have an idea how much you eat and how much less you would have to eat to lose a few pounds. But most people, me included, don’t take the time to do it.  
My advice is simple and salads and veggies that are very low in calories and high in fiber. They have high nutrient density (full of vitamins and minerals) and low calorie density meaning a large volume of salad is still very low in calories.
When you eat a large portion of veggies or salads with every meal, you get very full and you might feel full for a while. This is important because even though you are full you did not take in much calories. You can add in some lean protein; such as lean turkey, chicken, fish or lean beef and remember to avoid heavy salad dressings, only choose a light one; like a vinaigrette or diet option. 
Here are some dinner salad recipes: 

With this Cowboy Salad that’s loaded with vegetables just add BBQ chicken or steak to make a meal.

I personally lost weight eating just a Greek Salad for dinner. I did not make my own dressing, but bought a diet Greek dressing at the store. Here are two of my favorite Greek Salads. 

Try this Chicken Salad with Vegetables for dinner tonight. Serves 6 Total Time: 35 minutes 
4 tbsp olive oil
1 lb. chicken breast
1 medium onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 red bell peppers, diced
16 oz baby bella mushrooms, quartered
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp paprika (optional)


Cut the chicken breast into small pieces. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Cook the chicken pieces until fully cooked. Remove the cooked chicken and set aside.

Sauté the garlic and sliced onion in the skillet over medium high heat until the onion becomes translucent. Add the diced red bell pepper and sauté for about 4 minutes. Cut the mushrooms into quarters and add them in the skillet for 3 minutes. Add the cauliflower florets and sauté for 3 minutes. Then add the broccoli florets and sauté for an additional 5 minutes.

 Lastly, add the cooked chicken back in, and season with salt, pepper, and paprika, if using. Toss just to combine. Yum Yum!

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Crockpot or Instant Pot Garlic-Ginger Pork Lettuce Wraps

I got a fantastic deal at Meijer for pork chops, buy 1 get one free. Now what to do with them . Well, BHG has a few good ideas, but I liked the Garlic-Ginger Pork Lettuce Wraps because I could use my Instant Pot or Crockpot to make this recipe. Now which cooking method to choose? Decisions, decisions... Serves 8 Total Time Crockpot: 4 hours (low) 25 minutes
Total Time Instant Pot: 45 minutes


1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce 
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar 
2 tablespoons apple juice 
1 tablespoon minced garlic 
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger or 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger 
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
2 – 2.25 pounds (8) boneless pork loin chops, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes 
1 cup chopped onion 
1 8oz can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped 
2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce (optional) 
1 large Boston Bibb lettuce, cored and separated into leaves (iceberg lettuce can work too) 

Toppings: such as shredded carrots, sliced radishes, chopped peanuts, sliced green onions, and/or chopped fresh cilantro


In a small bowl stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, sherry, garlic, ginger, and chili garlic sauce. Set aside. 

Instant Pot

Use the sauté setting to cook pork in hot oil, in batches if necessary, 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Add onion and water chestnuts. Pour soy sauce mixture over pork mixture. Lock lid in place. Set on high to cook 6 minutes. Use the “quickly release” when done and open lid carefully. Using a slotted spoon, divide pork among lettuce leaves. Add desired toppings. 


In an extra-large skillet cook pork in hot oil over medium-high heat, in batches if necessary, 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to a 3 1/2- or 4-quart crockpot. Add onion and water chestnuts. Pour soy sauce mixture over pork mixture. Cover and cook on low 4 hours or high 2 hours until pork is tender. Using a slotted spoon, divide pork among lettuce leaves. Add desired toppings. Yum Yum! 

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Easy Cannelloni

My EASY Cannelloni recipe has only 5 ingredients and takes under and hour to make. A must for any busy work day. Change it up a little and use ground turkey or shredded chicken instead. Experiment using feta or ricotta instead of cottage cheese. This would go great with a Iceberg Wedge Salad with Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing Serves 4


1/2 lb ground beef
16oz cottage cheese
1 egg
Cooked lasagna noodles
Ragu Thick and Zesty with Meat sauce or Homestyle Thick and Hearty with Meat sauce


Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 13x9-inch baking dish.

Cook your lasagna noodles al dente, drain and rinse in cold water. While the noodles are cooking, in a bowl combine your cottage cheese and egg. In a skillet brown your ground beef, drain grease and let cool. Mix the ground beef to the cottage cheese mixture.  Roll the mixture in the noodles and place in the prepared baking dish. Cover with the Ragu sauce. Bake 45 minutes. Serve hot. Yum Yum!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Copycat KFC’s Crispy Potato Wedges

KFC Potato Wedges Lightly Battered In A Thin KFC Chicken Flavored Seasoning And Double Fried Until Super Crispy On The Outside And Fluffy On The Inside. Serves 8 Total Time: 35 minutes 

French fries are generally a side dish we don’t want to do at home. Yes, you have to fry….then fry again. It isn’t optional if you want a good crispy fry. The second fry is the only way to get it.
Making your seasoned fries at home are actually easy and don’t take a lot of ingredients or frozen bags of premade fries. I once did calculations on those fries, buying them costs roughly 10 times the cost of making them at home. I’m not saying you don’t have some sunken costs in effort, but really if you’re already cooking by the stovetop you could totally add these as something you make on the side..


Ditch the milk/egg/flour and instead coat the wedges with the spices and enough oil to suit your tastes (I would use 2-3 tablespoons) and bake in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. I fried them to stay authentic to the recipe, but it would be almost as delicious baked!
Tools Used in the making of these KFC Potato Wedges:

Cast Iron Dutch Oven: A Dutch oven is perfect for frying larger pieces of food and it keeps heat really well.

Slotted Skimmer: Love this tool for gently removing and draining oil from fried food.

1 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons seasoned salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
5 large russet potatoes
shortening for frying (or canola oil)


Set up a two large bowls and in the first one whisk the milk and egg together. In the second bowl combine the flour, seasoned salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder. Scrub clean the potatoes and
slice into 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick wedges. Once cut let the potatoes sit in the milk mixture. In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat 3 inches of shortening in to 375°F. Take a handful of the potatoes out of the milk mixture with a slotted skimmer or tongs. Toss in the flour mixture. Fry in the hot oil for 3-4 minutes. Once all the batches are done with the first round of frying, fry them a second time for 4-6 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Yum Yum!

Grilled Shrimp with Mango Lime and Radish Salsa

Grilling gives shrimp a smoky flavor that pairs well with sweet and tart homemade mango salsa. Tyler used an electric indoor grill, but you could also use a stovetop grill to make this Grilled Shrimp with Mango Lime and Radish recipe. Serves 6 Total Time: 55 minutes


12 large shrimp
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 limes
2 mangoes, diced
4 to 5 red radishes, diced 1 red onion, diced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


 In a large bowl, toss the prawns with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Let marinate for about a half hour while you heat up the grill. Grill prawns on each side until they turn pink, about 5 minutes depending on size.

Remove the peel and pith from the limes and cut between the membranes to remove the segments. Put these "supremes" into a bowl and squeeze over the juice from the membranes. Add the remaining ingredients and mix; season with salt and pepper. Place warm grilled prawns on a platter and top with salsa. Yum Yum!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Italian Tomato Soup Pappa al Pomodoro

All of your favorite pizza flavors-tomatoes, pepperoni, Italian seasonings and cheese make a delizioso soup. Just add your favorite garlic crusty bread and a salad..oh and don’t forget a glass of red wine 🍷, Serves 4-6 Total Time: 30 minutes 


2 tablespoons olive oil 
1 medium onion, chopped 
1 green bell pepper, chopped 
1 clove garlic, minced 
1 teaspoon dried oregano 
2 teaspoons dried basil 
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 cup uncooked rice 
1 cup diced, canned tomatoes with juice 
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth 
1-2 oz thinly sliced pepperoni 
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 
Garnish: 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 


In a large saucepan heat oil then sauté the onions and peppers until softened, add in the garlic and cook an additional minute. Add in the seasonings, rice, diced tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil then lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook 20 minutes or until rice is done. Stir in pepperoni and sprinkle on the cheese; cook another minute or two. Serve in individual bowls with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Yum Yum! 

Skillet Tortilla-Rotisserie Chicken Casserole

BHG states “This crunchy chicken casserole, packed with chipotle peppers, tortilla strips, onion, garlic, and spices, may be the most flavorful use for shredded rotisserie chicken you'll find. But the best part? It comes together in just one skillet!” Serves 6 Total Time: 55 minutes

10 6 inch corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch-wide strips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano or regular oregano, crushed
2 14.5 ounces cans diced tomatoes, undrained or 2 14.5 cans of fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 – 2 canned chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped,* plus 1 tsp. of the adobo sauce
1 14.5 ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups shredded cooked rotisserie chicken
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (4 oz.)
Fresh cilantro sprigs
1/4 cup light sour cream
1 tablespoon fat-free milk


Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread tortilla strips in an even layer on two large baking sheets. Bake 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Meanwhile, in an extra-large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and oregano; cook about 3 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and chipotle chile pepper(s) plus the 1 teaspoon adobo sauce. Bring to boiling; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add broth; return to boiling. Simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Stir in cooked chicken and black pepper; heat.

Set aside a few of the baked tortilla strips. Gradually stir the remaining tortilla strips into the chicken mixture; heat. Remove from heat; sprinkle with cheese. Top with cilantro sprigs and the reserved tortilla strips. In a bowl combine sour cream and milk; serve with the casserole. Yum Yum!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Chicken and Steak Fajitas in a Grill Basket

These chicken and steak grill basket fajitas keep all the ingredients separate so everyone can have their favorite combinations without creating extra mess, plus the grill adds a yummy char to everything. Serves 4-6 Total Time: 45 minutes


1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher salt One
1 1/2- to 2-pound skirt steak, sliced into 1-inch strips
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 bell peppers or poblano peppers, sliced into 1-inch strips
1 yellow onion, sliced into rounds
2 chicken breasts (6 to 8 ounces each), sliced into 1-inch strips
Ten to twelve 8-inch flour tortillas
Topping suggestions: sour cream, shredded Cheddar, salsa, hot sauce, cilantro, sliced avocado, lime wedges


Prepare a grill for medium-high heat. Place a grill basket on a baking sheet. Mix together the cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, cayenne and 2 teaspoons salt in a small bowl. Add the steak to a large bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle a third of the spice blend on the steak and toss until coated. Transfer the steak to one side of the grill basket. Repeat the process first with the peppers and onion, placing them in the middle of the grill basket, and then with the chicken, arranging it on the remaining empty side of the grill basket; try to keep the rows mostly separate (they can overlap slightly). Close and secure the grill basket.

Put the grill basket on the grill and let cook, flipping once, until everything starts to brown and caramelize, and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken registers 165 degrees F, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Remove from the grill, place on a clean baking sheet and open the basket, letting it rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, grill the tortillas until they start to char slightly, about 30 seconds per side. Divide the meats and vegetables among the tortillas. Serve with desired toppings. Yum Yum!

You need a grill basket for this recipe

Monday, August 19, 2019

Southwestern Casserole

My family has been enjoying this Southwestern Casserole for years. It tastes delicious, relatively easy on the wallet and you can freeze any leftovers. Not that there will be any! In fact, this recipe will give you an extra casserole you can freeze for later. Serves 6 Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes


2 cups (8 ounces) uncooked elbow macaroni
2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chiles, drained
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped


Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook beef and onion over medium heat, crumbling beef, until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Stir in next 8 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Drain macaroni; stir into beef mixture. 

Preheat oven to 375°. Transfer macaroni mixture to 2 greased 2-qt. baking dishes. Top with cheese and jalapenos. Cover and bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake until bubbly and heated through, about 10 minutes longer. Serve one casserole. Cool the second; cover and freeze up to 3 months. 

To use frozen casserole: Thaw in refrigerator 8 hours. Preheat oven to 375°. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake, increasing time as necessary to heat through and for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165°, 20-25 minutes. Yum Yum!

Peach and Pecan Chicken Salad

A peach and nut chicken salad for lunch or dinner is like having a big candy salad, no dessert needed. The peaches are ripe, the nuts toasted and the dressing is a mixture of tangy and sweet.  I think when adding fruit to a salad you need to balance out the sweetness.  

This peach pecan chicken salad is the perfect example – the peaches are sweet but the pecans are a little salty and a simple, bright lemon-yogurt dressing balances things out – all you need to add are your favorite greens, a little red onion and maybe some crumbled feta, you’re done. Serves 4 Total Time: 30 minutes 


3 skinless boneless chicken breasts 
1/2 cup pecans 
2 medium ripe peaches, pared and cut into 3/4” pieces 
1/2 red onion, chopped 
4 tablespoons mayonnaise 
2 tablespoons plain yogurt 
2 teaspoons lemon juice 
Salt and pepper, to taste 
1 teaspoon brown sugar 
10oz mixed greens or your favorite lettuce 
Garnish: 1/2 crumbled feta (optional)


In a large saucepan parboil your chicken for 20 minutes or until fork tender. Let cool, then cut into bite-size pieces. During the 20 minutes, toast your pecans in a preheated 350F oven on a baking sheet for 10 minutes. 

In a small bowl combine the dressing ingredients; mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, salt, pepper and brown sugar; mix well. 

In a serving bowl add your greens, onions, chicken, peaches and pecans. Pour on dressing and toss gently to coat. Garnish with crumbled feta, if using. Yum Yum! 

Homemade Pepperoni Pizza

Wouldn’t pizza night be better if you made it from scratch? This recipe is for a pepperoni pizza, but you can add or change any topping you desire. Personally, I’d make mine vegetarian. Makes a 12” pizza Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes


2⁄3 cup water (11O°F to 115°F)
1 teaspoon sugar
1⁄8 ounce package fast rise yeast or 1/8 ounce package active dry yeast
1 3⁄4 cups all-purpose flour or 1 3/4 cups bread flour 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cornmeal (optional)
3/4 cup marinara sauce
4 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
2 ounces sliced pepperoni
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese


Combine water and sugar in small bowl; stir to dissolve sugar. Sprinkle yeast on top; stir to combine. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes or until foamy. Combine flour and salt in medium bowl. Stir in yeast mixture. Mix until mixture forms soft dough. Remove dough to lightly floured surface. Knead 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic, adding additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed. 

Place dough in medium bowl coated with nonstick cooking spray. Turn dough in bowl so top is coated with cooking spray; cover with towel or plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down; place on lightly floured surface and knead about 2 minutes or until smooth. Pat dough into flat disc about 7 inches in diameter. Let rest 2 to 3 minutes. Pat and gently stretch dough from edges until dough seems to not stretch anymore. Let rest 2 to 3 minutes. Continue patting and stretching until dough is 12 to 14 inches in diameter. Spray 12- to 14-inch pizza pan with nonstick spray; sprinkle with commeal, if desired. Press dough into pan. 

Preheat oven to 5OOF. Spread marinara over crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border; top with mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, and Parmesan cheese. Bake at 425° for 16 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese melts. Yum Yum:

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Taco Bubble-Up Bake

This Taco Bubble-Up Bake from Pillsbury is not just for Taco Tuesday, it can be made any day of the week in just 50 minutes. You can add or substitute any of the 7 ingredients to make it your own. Add corn, use shredded chicken instead of ground beef or even spice it up with green chilies or jalapeño peppers. Serves 8


1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 package taco seasoning mix
2/3 cup water
1 can (10 oz) red enchilada sauce
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained, rinsed
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (8 oz) or any combination of cheeses like; Sharp Cheddar, Pepper Jack or Monterey Jack
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury™ Grands!™ Flaky Layers refrigerated Buttermilk biscuits


Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In 12-inch skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in taco seasoning mix and water. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened. Stir in enchilada sauce, black beans, 1 cup of the shredded cheese and the green onions. 

Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Cut each into 8 pieces. In large bowl, using rubber spatula, mix biscuit pieces and beef mixture, stirring gently to combine. Spoon evenly into baking dish. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown and thoroughly baked in center of casserole. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top. Bake about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with additional sliced green onions, if desired. Serve with additional toppings: shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, chopped avocados and sour cream. Yum Yum!

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Crockpot Cowboy Ground Beef and Bean Casserole

Aren’t you tired of chicken? Well this ain’t chicken cause we are changing it up with some down home cowboy ground beef and bean casserole. And when I say bean I mean beans, 4 different beans. Serves 8 Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes


1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean) 
1 large sweet onion, chopped 
1/2 cup packed brown sugar 
1/4 cup ketchup 
3 tablespoons cider vinegar 
2 tablespoons yellow mustard 
1 can (16 ounces) butter beans, drained 
1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained 
1 can (15 ounces) pork and beans 
1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained


In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a 3-qt. crockpot. Combine the brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar and mustard; add to meat mixture. Stir in the beans. Cover and cook on low until heated through, 4-5 hours. Yum Yum! 

Chicken and Dumplings with Vegetables

This Chicken and Dumplings with Vegetables is a stovetop meal that is slowly cooked and topped with homemade biscuit-like dumplings. Serves 6 Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes 


3 lbs boneless skinless chicken pieces (breasts and thighs)
1 1/2 qts water
Salt and pepper, to taste 
2 small onions, quartered 
2 carrots, cut into 1” pieces 
4 stalks celery with leaves, cut into 1” pieces 
3 tablespoons butter 
1/4 cup flour 
1/8 teaspoon paprika 
1/2 cup half & half 
Garnish: fresh parsley, chopped 

Dumpling Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup flour 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
3 teaspoons baking powder 
1 tablespoon butter, melted 
2/3 cup milk 


Pat your chicken pieces dry the salt and pepper both sides. In your Dutch Oven add the water, additional salt, 1 carrot, 1 quartered onion and 2 stalks of celery with the chicken. Cover and simmer on med/low until chicken is tender, about 50 minutes. Remove chicken but retain liquid. Once chicken is cool enough to handle, dice meat into bite size pieces. 

In a large saucepan heat the butter until melted then stir in the flour, paprika and 3 cups of the reserved liquid. Stir until thickened. Add in the remaining vegetables and cook stirring for 20 minutes. Add in the half & half the taste the sauce and adjust seasonings, if needed. Return the chicken to the saucepan. 

In a medium bowl stir together all the dumpling ingredients to make a stiff dough. Spoon teaspoonfuls of dough batter on top of the chicken mixture. Cook, covered, 15 minutes without removing the lid. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley. Yum Yum! 

Friday, August 16, 2019

Barbecue Chicken Salad

The Barbecue Chicken in this Salad is prepared in a skillet then tossed into a salad with lettuce, corn, tomatoes and green onions. The salad is then topped with homemade croutons, crisp bacon and diced avocados...oh and don’t forget the homemade Western dressing. Serves 4 Total Time: 25 minutes

Western Dressing Ingredients:

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, pressed
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Combine all ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth.

Salad Ingredients:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into long thin strips
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 green onions, whites and a little of the green minced
1 can corn, drained
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 small head of iceberg lettuce, shredded
1/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
2 avocados, diced
1/2 lime, juiced
6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup cubed sourdough croutons, fried crisp in 2 tablespoons olive oil


In a skillet heat 2 tablespoons olive oil then add chicken and brown slowly, stirring occasionally. Add the BBQ sauce to the skillet, coat chicken. In a small bowl combine the diced avocados with the lime juice. 

In a large serving bowl combine the lettuce, green onions, corn and tomatoes, then pour in Western dressing and toss to coat well. Top salad with BBQ chicken, diced avocados, crispy crumbled bacon and fried sourdough croutons. Yum Yum! 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Crockpot Root Beer Shredded Chicken with Slaw Topping

Kids will love this saucy shredded chicken for lunch or dinner and it’s so easy to make with just main 3 ingredients. Have you ever tried chicken cooked in root beer and BBQ sauce? Try my simple slaw recipe for a topping, it goes great with any BBQ sandwich. Serves 8 Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes


2 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce
1 cup root beer
Serve: hamburger buns, shredded cheddar cheese (optional) or a slaw topping (optional)


Spray crockpot with cooking spray. 2 Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper, and place inside crockpot. Pour in barbecue sauce and root beer; spread around. Cover and cook on High heat setting 2 hours.

Remove chicken from crockpot, and use two forks to shred. Place chicken back in crockpot on Warm heat setting; simmer 30 minutes. Serve on burger buns and your favorite toppings, as desired. Yum Yum!

Simple Slaw for BBQ Sandwiches


1 small head cabbage
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt


Chop cabbage coarsely with a sharp knife. Wash thoroughly with cold water and place in a salad spinner to remove excess moisture. Combine cider vinegar, mayonnaise, sugar, black pepper, and salt in a large bowl plastic or glass bowl. Metal is reactive with acid, so do not use a metal bowl for this recipe as it will corrupt the flavor of the slaw. Add cabbage to the mixture and gently combine. Place into the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before using.

You need a salad spinner for this recipe

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Grilled Flank Steak Salad

It’s that time of year again when you make that weekend trek to the farmers market to get fresh vegetables. For this Grilled Flank Steak Salad you’ll be using fresh yellow or red bell peppers, sweet corn, green onions, cherry tomatoes, shallots and cilantro. Combined with strips of grilled steak and a homemade cilantro dressing.....the result is a healthy, hearty dinner for 2! Total Time: 1 hour 17 minutes (includes marinating time of 30 minutes)

 Cilantro Dressing Ingredients:

3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped shallot
2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons honey
1 large clove garlic, peeled and quartered
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin


In a blender or small food processor combine lime juice, shallot, cilantro, olive oil, water, honey, garlic, chili powder, salt, and cumin. Cover and blend or process until combined.

Salad Ingredients:

1 recipe Cilantro Dressing
8 ounces beef flank steak
2 small yellow and/or red sweet peppers, halved
1 ear fresh sweet corn
2 green onions, trimmed
Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups torn romaine lettuce
4 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 of a small avocado, peeled and thinly sliced


Prepare Cilantro Dressing and divide it into two portions. Trim fat from steak. Score both sides of steak in a diamond pattern by making shallow diagonal cuts at 1-inch intervals. Place steak in a resealable plastic bag set in a shallow dish. Pour one portion of the Cilantro Dressing over steak; set remaining dressing aside. Seal bag; turn to coat steak. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Coat sweet peppers, corn, and green onions with cooking spray. For a charcoal grill, place steak and corn on the grill rack directly over medium coals. Grill, uncovered, until steak is desired doneness and corn is tender, turning steak once halfway through grilling and turning corn occasionally. For steak, allow 17 to 21 minutes for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F). For corn, allow 15 to 20 minutes. Add sweet pepper halves to the grill for the last 8 minutes of grilling and green onions to the grill for the last 4 minutes of grilling, turning frequently. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place meat and then vegetables on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as above.)

Thinly slice steak against the grain. Coarsely chop sweet peppers and green onions; cut corn from cob, leaving kernels in "sheets." To serve, divide romaine lettuce between two bowls. Place steak,
grilled vegetables, tomatoes, and, if desired, avocado slices on lettuce. Drizzle salads with the reserved portion of Cilantro Dressing. Yum Yum!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken cooked “cacciatore” means a dish prepared “hunter-style” with tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and seasonings. Add a touch of white wine to make yours northern Italian-style. And pour yourself a glass while you’re at it. 😄 Serves 4 Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes


4 chicken leg quarters 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon pepper 
2 tablespoons olive oil 

1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms 
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced 
1 medium sweet red pepper, coarsely chopped 
2 garlic cloves, minced 
1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained 
1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth 
Fresh oregano and grated Parmesan cheese, optional 


Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown chicken on both sides. In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine sauce ingredients; arrange chicken over sauce. Cook, covered, on low until chicken and vegetables are tender, 4-6 hours. If desired, top with fresh oregano and grated Parmesan cheese. Yum Yum!

Monday, August 12, 2019

How to Make an Olive Garden Lasagna Rollata

I know we’ve all seen the Olive Garden advertisements on TV about their new Lasagne Mia’s and how yummy they look, but have you ever wondered how they make the lasagne rollatas? It takes less than and hour and if you have children that like to help in the kitchen, I bet they’d love to make these. Serves 8.


2 Cups Marinara sauce 
2 cups Alfredo sauce 
1/2 Cup Ricotta cheese 
1 Cup Italian blend shredded cheese 
1/4 Cup Red wine 

1 Egg 
15 Ounces Whole milk ricotta cheese 
8 ounces Parmesan ; Grated 
1/2 cup asiago ; Grated 
1/2 Cup Romano ; Grated 
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning 
Salt and pepper to taste 
1/2 cup Mozzarella ; Grated 

1/2 Cup Italian bread crumb 
1 pound Lasagna noodles 

Meatballs with Marinara Sauce 
Chicken with Alfredo 
Shrimp with Alfredo 
Stuffed Ziti Fritta (pictured)


Blend first two marinara sauce ingredients together in a large saucepan. Add remaining ingredients and heat on medium, stirring frequently. The cheese will melt and the sauce will become creamy. Keep warm. Set aside 1/4 of mozzarella cheese. Beat egg into a large mixing bowl and add all remaining ingredients, blending well. Keep refrigerated until you are ready to use. 

Cook lasagna exactly according to package directions. Drain and rinse immediately with cold water so they are cool enough to handle. When ready to make, spread about 1/4 cup of marinara sauce in a large 9x13 baking dish. Lay one lasagna noodle in baking dish and spread with filling along noodle. Loosely roll the noodle up, jelly-roll style. Continue with each lasagna noodle until all noodles are rolled and arranged in baking dish. Cover each roll with remaining sauce, the remaining mozzarella cheese and top with Italian breadcrumbs. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degree for about 35 minutes. Serve as is or with with your favorite topping. Yum Yum!