Monday, September 28, 2009

Chili Mac Pasta

{{Chili Mac Pasta}}

(printer friendly version... click here)

1 pound sirloin or round steak, cut into strips
1/2 large onion, diced
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1-2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
16 ounces pasta, cooked to the directions on the box (Here I used jumbo shells, but you can use macaroni, or bowtie, or whatever you have on hand).

Brown the beef in a pan, add onions and saute together. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, rinse the cans with water and add the water to the pan. Stir in chili powder. Cover and allow meat to cook for 30 minutes to 3-4 hours, depending upon how much time you have. Meat will become very tender. Add cooked pasta to the sauce and stir together. For a variation: add some canned corn into the soup. Serve with grated cheddar cheese. Mmmm... Yummy!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Beef & Noodle Stir Fry

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 cup sliced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. boneless beef sirloin, sliced
3 cups water
2 packages (3 ounces) Beef or Oriental-flavor ramen noodle soup mix
1 bag (16 ounces) California frozen vegetables or stir-fry veggies

Heat a 12 inch skillet over medium high heat with olive oil. Add the onion and garlic. Saute for a few minutes. Add sliced meat to the skillet and cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown. When cooked, pull meat out of the skillet and set aside.

In the same skillet, heat water to boiling. Add noodles from the ramen soup and one packet of seasoning. Mix into water and let boil until noodles are slightly softened. Stir in vegetables. Heat to boiling and then boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are heated through and tender. Remove excess water and add the meat back into the skillet with the last seasoning packet. Fry the noodles, vegetables, and meat for few minutes, heat through and then serve.

Quick and easy! The kids loved it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Zucchini MexiCali

{{Zucchini MexiCali}}

(printer friendly version)

1 lb ground beef or ground turkey (optional... can make this with only veggies and no meat)
salt and pepper, to season the meat while cooking

1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped green peppers
4 cups grated zucchini
salt and pepper

2/3 cup salsa
1 t. prepared yellow mustard
1/2 t. dried basil

1-2 cups grated cheddar cheese
tortilla chips, tortillas, lettuce leaves, etc.

First brown the meat and season it with some salt and pepper. Put the cooked meat aside and let any fat drain off.

Add oil into frying pan and let heat up on medium high heat. Add onions, celery, carrots, and green peppers. Let these cook for a few minutes until they start to get tender. Add grated zucchini and season vegetables with some salt and pepper. Continue cooking the vegetables until they are soft and tender.

Add the salsa, mustard, and dried basil into the saucepan and mix together. Add the browned meat and heat through. Top with cheese and serve with chips on the side, or put the zucchini on top, add melted cheese for nachos. Two other ideas for serving include rolling the mixture up in a tortilla like a taco, or rolled in a lettuce leaf for a lettuce wrap. So many possibilities with only one little recipe.

Serve with chips on the side....
Serve as nachos...

Wrap up in a lettuce leaf and enjoy!

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour (can use 1 c. wheat flour)

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups white sugar

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil (can use 1/2 oil and 1/2 applesauce)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups shredded zucchini

1 cup chocolate chips (or more)

3/4 cup chopped nuts, pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans.

In large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt, mix well. In separate bowl, combine sugar and eggs, beat until well blended. Add oil and vanilla; beat until combined. Stir in zucchini. Add flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Spoon evenly into loaf pans.

Bake in preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pans; cool completely on wire rack.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A bit of England...

30 minutes Shepherds Pie

2 pounds potaotes, such as russet, peeled and cubed

2 T. sour cream, or softened cream cheese

1 large egg yolk

1/2 cup cream or chicken broth

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 3/4 pounds ground beef or ground lamb

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 T. butter

2 T. all purpose flour

1 cup beef stock or broth

2 t. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 t. sweet paprika

2 T. chopped fresh parsley leaves

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain potatoes and pour them into a bowl. Combine sour cream, egg yolk and cream. Add the cream mixture into potatoes and mash until potatoes are almost smooth.

While potatoes boil, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to hot pan with beef or lamb. Season meat with salt and pepper. Brown and crumble meat for 3 or 4 minutes. If you are using lamb and the pan is fatty, spoon away some of the drippings. Add chopped carrot and onion to the meat. Cook veggies with meat 5 minutes, stirring frequently. In a second small skillet over medium heat cook butter and flour together 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and Worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy 1 minute. Add gravy to meat and vegetables. Stir in peas.

Preheat broiler to high. Fill a small rectangular casserole with meat and vegetable mixture. Spoon potatoes over meat evenly. Top potatoes with paprika and broil 6 to 8 inches from the heat until potatoes are evenly browned. Top casserole dish with chopped parsley and serve.

Raspberry Fool

1 pound raspberries

2 T. Butter

white sugar

1 pint heavy cream

Rinse and drain the raspberries and place them in a pan with butter. Cook over low heat for about five minutes, then mash them slightly with the back of the spoon, finally add sugar to taste. Set raspberries aside (or in a freezer for a few minutes) and allow them to cool. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Fold the raspberries into the cream. Allow to chill before serving. Serve with scones.

Scone Recipe

Typical English scones are light and flaky but not sweet. They are perfectly designed to accompany cream and jam.

Basic Scone Recipe:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup milk (approx.)

Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Stir in the egg. (If you are using one of the variations below, this is a good point to add nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, cheese, etc.)

Gradually add the milk until a thick dough is formed. (It may take more or less than 3/4 cup.)

Turn out the mixture onto a floured board and knead lightly. Roll out the dough to 3/4" thickness and cut into rounds with a 2" cookie cutter. Gather the trimmings and lightly knead, roll, and cut them as well.

Place the rounds about 1" apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush the tops with a little beaten egg or milk. Bake in a preheated 450° oven for about 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm.

Makes 12 to 16 scones, depending on the recipe version used.

Variations of the Basic Scone Recipe:

  • Spiced Scones: Add enough cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice to the dry ingredients to total 1/2 teaspoon.
  • Raisin Wheat Scones: Our favorite. Substitute white flour with whole wheat pastry flour or half and half white and wheat. Use brown sugar instead of white and plain yogurt instead of whole milk.
  • Buttermilk Scones: Substitute buttermilk for whole milk and add 1 tablespoon sugar to the basic recipe.
  • Walnut Scones: Add 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts.
  • Cheddar Scones: Add 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese and 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard.
  • Dried Fruit Scones: Add 1/2 cup raisins, currants, cranberries, or chopped dried apricots.
  • Chocolate Chip Scones: Add 1/2 cup white or dark chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon vanilla to the basic recipe.
  • Lemon Scones: Add the juice and zest of 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon sugar to the basic scone recipe.

Simply Scrappin' Cards

Here are some easy cards that you can make using a Stampin' Up Simply Scrappin' kit. The kit is usually used for scrapbooking. The kits comes with cardstock, patterned papers, die cut stickers and images. Instead of making a scrapbook page from the kit you can make cards, lots of cards. Add some ribbons, brads or other embellishments and you have beautiful cards that are easy, quick and simple.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Here are some aprons that I embroidered to give as gifts... Just an idea of different sayings to put on an apron. Making the saying match the personality of the recipient makes it more fun!

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Here is a metal sign made by my brother Wayne... Bishop Built. It has nails welded onto the letters so it can easily be installed onto a wall or wherever you want to put it. You have the option of pushing it all the way to the wall so it is flush.... or like we did here and leaving it raised off of the wall for a 3-D effect. We installed it over the door of my pantry... INDULGE... perfect fit eh?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I was given some dehydrators a few months ago and I have been dehydrating lots of stuff since. Here is a picture of the dehydrator that I have. You can pretty much dry anything. Some of my favorite stuff to dry has been the fruits (strawberries, bananas, pineapple, apples) and jerky. They turn out soooo yummy and the kids like them too. A good alternative to fruit snacks.

Here is what I did...

1- First wash the fruit and then slice it into about 1/4 inch slices.
2- Lightly spray the trays with PAM non-stick cooking spray. This helps during the removal process after the fruit has dried.
3- Layer the fruit on the tray in a single layer. Each dehydrator came with 5 trays.
4- Once all of the fruit is on the trays you can turn it on. It takes several hours for the fruit to dry. I've noticed there is not a specific time that can be followed. It depends on the fruit and how much liquid is in that particular one. Watch the dehydrator and check on it every hour and a little more frequently at the end to make sure it doesn't get over done. The fruit on the bottom tray seemed to get done faster so I would rotate the trays in order to get them all to finish at approximately the same time. When I would check the fruit on the trays I would pull off the ones that finished earlier than others.
5- Pull off the fruit when it is still soft, and dry. Make sure they are not wet. There seemed to be a very fine line between done and over done. I preferred the fruit to still be soft and not crunchy, but that was my preference. I pulled off the fruit when it was dry but not stiff.
6- Store dried fruit in a zip lock bag or an air tight container. I have also used my Food Saver machine to store some of them for longer storage.

Here are how they looked before they were dried.

Mmmmmm.... Strawberries...
And Pineapple... oh my! (the center of the pineapple isn't very good, so I cut them out using a small cookie cutter that just happened to be in the shape of a star.)
This is what these three fruits looked like dried.
The possibilities are almost endless. I have also done apples, grapes (makes raisins), tomatoes, and some herbs. Plus a few different types of jerky. It's fun to make your own snacks.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cafe Rio Salad

Just looking at the pictures makes my mouth start to water again. This salad took a reasonable amount of time to make. The meat took the longest part but it cooks in a crock pot so it is a low maintenance type dish. Once the meat is almost ready, you start the rice and beans, you chop up some romaine lettuce, make the yummy dressing and serve it up.
I like to take corn tortillas and cut them into strips and fry them in a little vegetable oil so the salad has some crunch. Plus if you wanted to get crazy you an also make some pico de gallo and add that. But even with just the lettuce, pork, rice, beans, and dressing it is divine! Okay... enough raving... let's get on with the recipes.


2 pounds pork roast

3 cans Coke (NOT diet)

1/4 c. brown sugar

dash garlic salt

1/4 c. water

1 can sliced green chilies

3/4 can enchilada sauce

1 c. brown sugar

Put the pork in a heavy duty Ziploc bag to marinade. Add about a can and a half of coke and about 1/4 c. of brown sugar. Marinade for a few hours or overnight.

Drain marinade and put pork, 1/2 can of coke, water, and garlic salt in crock pot on high for about 3-4 hours (or until it shreds easily, but don't let it get TOO dry). Remove pork from crock pot and drain any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork.

In a food processor or blender, blend 1/2 can Coke, chilies, enchilada sauce and remaining brown sugar (about a cup, you can add a little more or less to taste..). If it looks too thick, add more Coke little by little.

Put shredded pork and sauce in crock pot and cook on low for 2 hours. That's it for the meat!


2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 1/3 c. tomato juice

1 1/2 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt. Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving, stir in the cilantro. (**NOTE** you can add a can of corn, drained, to the beans with a dash of cumin and chili powder. This is not traditional Cafe Rio, but adds wonderful flavor.)


1 c. uncooked rice

1 tsp. butter or margarine

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

1 can (15 oz) chicken broth

1 cup water

1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tsp. sugar

3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 tsp. lime, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice and mix in as you fluff the rice.


1 packet TRADITIONAL Hidden Valley Ranch mix (not BUTTERMILK)

1 c. mayonnaise

1 c. buttermilk

2 tomatillos, remove husk, diced

1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro

1 clove garlic

juice of 1 lime

1 jalapeno (If you like it SPICY you can leave the seeds in, otherwise take them out- best to use a spoon or a rubber glove when you handle the peppers since the hotness will stay on your hands or under your finger nail and will get you when you least expect it.)

Mix all ingredients together in the blender. That's it!

Oh yeah... and even if you don't want to make everything at once for the salad you can break it up.... the rice and beans are so yummy they would make a great side dish for any other main dish. Or you can make burritos or tacos from the meat.


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