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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Beef and Bean Burritos

Yield: 9 - 10 burritos (left overs freeze well.)

This beef and bean filling for burritos is the best I have ever eaten. It is simple to make yourself, and its easy to assemble with tortilla shells you can pick up at the grocery store or make your own with my recipe for burritos. In this burrito recipe, I use equal amounts of beef and beans.


  • Tortilla shells - try my recipe for easy flour tortillas
  • 1 pound cooked pinto beans drained
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 whole onion chopped (I use large size)
  • 1 large green bell pepper
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • chili powder to taste
  • Chili peppers minced to taste (you decide how spicy you like it)
  • Tabasco Sauce (I use about a tablespoon instead of chili's, but my husband likes both added)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Water (amount depends on the thickness you desire.


In a fry pan, brown your ground beef, onions, bell pepper and garlic.

In a mixing bowl, add the cooked and drained pinto beans, and either mash down by hand or you can use a mixer. If it is too thick for your mixer, simple add a little water.

Once your beans are mashed down, add them to the ground beef and cook together, adding water if needed to reach the proper consistency.

Add any remaining ingredients to suit your own tastes.

Begin filling warmed burrito shells (they are more pliable when warmed a bit) by adding a couple tablespoons of the beef and bean filling to the center of the disk.

Fold the closest edge of the disk onto the filling, this will be considered the bottom short edge.

Next fold the right edge over the filling to meet the opposite edge of the fill.

Now fold the top edge down and finally the left side seals it all up!

Turn filled burritos over so the seam side is down.

Add cheese before folding if you choose to.

I always eat mine with a bit of salsa and sourcream.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Homemade Flour Tortilla Shells

Yield: 16 disks

Flour tortillas/Flat Breads are so easy to make at home, and they taste so much better than store bought shells. Flour, shortening, water, baking powder and salt is all you need for these, and you will be pleased with the homemade taste! Use them for burritos, tacos or sandwich wraps. They are moreless flat breads!


  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups water


Combine first 3 ingredients completely.

Using your fingers, work shortening into flour until its evenly dispersed and crumb like.

Pour water in and mix until a ball of dough is formed.

Lightly flour your work surface and knead the dough 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic.

Let rest covered with plastic wrap for 20 minutes.

Divide dough into 16 - 18 equal pieces.

Cover them while you work so they don't dry out.

Roll one piece at a time into a thin 8 inch circle disk, and set aside.

The thinner they are, the better they turn out!

You may stack them on top of each other by using wax paper between each disk. Flour will work too but too much flour makes them chalky in my opinion.

After you get all the circles rolled out, use a griddle or fry pan on medium high heat or 400 - 450 degrees F.

Cook on the first side until the dough bubbles up and begins to dry. The underside will be browned in spekled areas.

Flip and cook until equally browned on other side.

If the temperature is too hot, you will see that it browns too quickly.

These tortillas may be frozen or kept in the refrigerator to store!

This is the press I am after!!!

Two Layer Baked French Toast

Yield: 16 servings of 2 slices each

This french toast bake has two layers of texas toast french toast, that is baked in brown sugar so when you serve it with the bottom side up, you have a brown sugar crisp coating on the top. No syrup necessary!

I used a large sheet cake pan, but you can split it up into a couple of pans if you need to.


  • 12 eggs
  • 3 cups milk 
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 24 slices Texas Toast
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar plus extra for a light sprinkle between bread layer.
  • 1 cup butter or 2 sticks


Melt butter and stir in brown sugar until smooth and liquid.

Pour evenly into the bottom of your baking dish.
In a wide shallow bowl, mix eggs, milk, and vanilla extract thoroughly.

Soak all 24 pieces of texas toast bread in the egg mixture.

Place the first 12 soaked pieces of bread evenly into the bottom of the brown sugar coated pan.

Sprinkle a bit of extra brown sugar over the first layer.
Repeat layering the second set of 12 pieces of soaked texas toast.

If you have extra egg mixture, pour it onto the layers evenly.

Bake in a preheated, 350 degree F oven for 30 - 40 minutes until top is golden brown, but not dried out. It may take up to an hour to bake completely, so I lay a piece of foil loosely over the top when it is browned to desired color.

The color of the brown sugar edges may be darker than the rest. If you don't like the crunchy edges, simply trim the outter crusts off.

When you serve the french toast, flip it over to the bottom side where you have a nice brown sugar coating.

They look nicer on the plate if you cut them in half in either direction.

This photo appears darker than it was, but the color ends up like the photo above. It has a slight crisp to it, but a syrupy texture as well.

You may do 1 layer if you wish, simply cut the ingredients in half, or alter amounts to your chosen pan size.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Strawberry Muffins

Yield: 16 muffins or 2 - 8" loaves

These strawberry muffins are extremely light and fluffy with a mildly sweet and tangy flavor. Recipe is good with any berries!


  • 2 cups flour
  • 12 ounces strawberries cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup sourcream 
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 400 degree F.

Mix sugar and all wet ingredients together.

In a different bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.

Slowly add flour mixture to wet ingredients, being sure it is mixed smoothly.

Fold in straberry pieces.

Fill 16 standard sized cupcake papers.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until wood pick inserted comes out clean.

Cool completely before serving.

Add icing if desired! I drizzled the tops with a simple powdered sugar and water icing.

Granos - Puerto Rican Rice Patties

A little correction: I left out the "s" at the end of Granos!

These little fried rice patties are a recipe, or rather, more of a method that I learned from my step father when I was a child. He called them Granos, which means grain apparently.

Granos is a rice patty made by grinding rice finely, like flour, and then making a thick paste by steaming the watery mush, and frying the patties in oil. Granos is crunchy on the outside and firm but soft and creamy on the inside. I add a lot of salt to it because I love salty grano.

You can also fill these with cheese. They are absolutely unbelievable with seriously sharp cheddar or pepperjack.

While I was making these, I didn't measure anything out, and I just sort of went with the feel of everything. These are more instruction rather than exact measures.


  • 1 cup rice ground into flour like texture. (See below for details)
  • Water - enough to make a watery mush.
  • Salt (to your own taste...I like them salty)
  • oil for frying


Use a coffee grinder or similar chopper/grinder to grind 1 cup of uncooked white rice into meal. It will look very fine, but you will feel some grainy texture if you hold it in your fingers.

In a small mixing bowl, add rice flour and salt.

Pour enough water into rice flour to create a VERY liquid mush. Stir until completely combined.

Steam this liquidy mush until the starch is gelled up.
Here is the way I do it in order not to lose that starchy liquid. I used a large kettle, half filled with water. I place a piece of cloth material over the pot of water and tied it on just below the lip on the top of the pan. I pushed the material down into the pan enough to create a bowl. I brought the pot of water to a boil and returned it to med-med high heat, and poured my rice mush into the material bowl. Put the lid on and let it steam, moving the thickened mush around occasionally until it is thick and starchy. It should be pretty solid, but moist at the same time.

Remove it from the cloth bowl.

Allow this steamed mush to cool.

If you would like to add a bit of cooked rice for texture, this is the time to do that! Sometimes I do, and other times I don't because either way, these are just wonderful...especially the memory for me.

Once the mixture is cool and thickened a bit more, grease your hands with oil or you can use rice flour to coat your hands. I like the oil, as the rice flour makes a harder crunch than I like.

I also like to use a small cookie dough scoop then just slightly flatten the balls into patties in the oil with a fork.

Drop patties/tots into hot oil and fry until each side is lightly golden brown and crispy.

Drain on paper towels, and serve hot.

My husband likes them with a dipping sauce. I like them with a little black bean salsa!

This image here is of the tot sized patties I got when I used the small cookie dough scoop, and flattened them down a bit using a fork when they hit the oil. If you do it this way, make sure you have a butter knife or something to push the patty off the will stick.

Use butter flavored crisco and a lot of salt, and your grano will taste like popcorn. This is fun to do and you make the patties small popcorn size :)

This recipe is well worth the effort for me, and I have tried in the paste to just cook the rice and grind it down but it was not the same as steaming the flour mush.

For added texture, you may add cooked rice to your rice dough.

I don't know if the rice flour you purchase in stores will work or not. I have always ground my rice myself for this. If you try it, please let me know if store bought rice flour works the same.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Make 'em Yourself Eggroll Wraps

Breaded Fried Buffalo Chicken Wings (Rice Flour)

Yield: 1 dozen whole chicken wings

I was looking for ways to use rice flour since I make my own rice flour, and I like to try new things. I know a few gluten free people, so it's always good to have some gluten free recipes on hand.

This fried chicken is rolled in and egg, milk and hot sauce mixture then coated in rice flour, It is probably the crispiest chicken I've ever had, and even coating them all in buffalo wing sauce...they stayed crispy!

It seems that rice flour browns slower than regular flour, or even cornmeal. I like that aspect for fried chicken!
This photo to the left was the fried chicken before I coated it with Buffalo wing sauce. I personally would like it darker in color, but in this case, wings are smaller, so if I would have kept frying until they browned more, the chicken would have been over cooked and dried out.

Breaded Fried Buffalo Chicken Wings (Rice Flour) Recipe:

  • 12 whole chicken wings (if you purchase larger quantities, you should check Sam's Club as they are pretty affordable buying in big lots)
  • 2 cups of rice flour (learn how to make your own here)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (sour milk or sour cream will also work)
  • 3 tablespoons Franks Hot Sauce (for egg mixture)
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • 2/3 cups Franks Hot Sauce (for coating the finished, fried chicken)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Oil for deep frying
  1. Use large bowls or gallon sized zip lock bags.
  2. In one bowl or bag, mix eggs, buttermilk, and 3 tablespoons Franks Hot Sauce. Beat or mix it together thoroughly. Add a bit of seasoning if you wish. I add a little salt.
  3. In the other bowl or bag, add rice flour, salt and pepper. You may use any seasoning you like in your flour mixture. Old Bay Seasoning is great for this, and it may add some color to the lightly colored coating.
  4. Determine how many wings will fit in your fryer at one time with out over crowding them, and only do that many wings at once.
  5. Place your wings in the egg mixture first, being sure every one of them is completely coated.
  6. Shake off any excess egg mixture, and add the egg coated wings to the rice flour mixture, coating each wing completely. Using a bag will allow you to better press the coating onto the chicken firmly. You can do the same with your bare hands if you choose.
  7. Drop one coated wing at a time into hot grease. Be sure it is hot enough initially or your coating will come off from sitting in the oil if it's not hot enough.
  8. Fry the chicken until its fully cooked and the coating is lightly browned. Larger pieces of chicken will brown better because it will require a longer cook time.
  9. When chicken pieces are fully cooked, transfer them from the fryer to paper towels for draining the grease.
  10. Once all the chicken is finished frying, you can coat them in a mixture of 2/3 cup Franks hot sauce that has been heated with 4 tablespoons butter until the butter is fully melted into the hot sauce. I do this by using a large mixing bowl with a lid. I add all of the chicken, pour the hot sauce and butter mixture over it, cover with the lid and gently roll or shake the bowl upside down and side to side to be sure every wing is completely coated.
  11. Serve hot with blue cheese or ranch dip.
I am curious as to how the oiless fryer below works. If you know anything about it, preferrably someone that has actually used it, please let me know!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Ham, Potato and Corn Soup

Yield: 3- 4 bowls depending on appetites

Usually when I think of ham, potato, or corn soups, I think chowder. Not this time though. I started out with the intentions of a creamy chowder, but as the potatoes, veggies and ham simmered, I decided that I was more interested in a clear, brothy soup tonight.


  • 1 extra large potato or a couple of smaller ones. About 2 cups diced.
  • 1 tablespoon dried celery flakes or fresh celery stalk cut into bite sized pieces (I intended on chowder at first so I used the dry flakes)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup whole kernel sweet corn (I used frozen)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced ham
  • Water -enough to keep ingredients covered with broth.
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Add all ingredients and simmer about an hour.
Add extra water as needed to keep it "soupy"
Add any other veggies to it as well. I was looking for simple soup and this was perfect for simple and light.
Serve hot with french baguette

I want this orange pan...I want the whole orange set!

Sourcream and Chive Au Gratin with Ham

Yield: 1 - 9" x 9" pan

This cheddar and parmesan cheesy au gratin recipe is full of ham with subtle sourcream and chive flavors   layered in the baked casserole dish.


  • 4-5 large potatoes peeled and sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups diced cooked ham
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sourcream
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 stick or 1/4 cup of butter
  • 2 tablespoons chives
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Using a 9" x 9" baking dish or casserole dish, coat bottom and sides with butter.
  2. Coat sliced potatoes with flour and reserve the remaining flour.
  3. Begin layering pan with flour coated potato slices. Overlap the edges of potato slices for you have a complete layer without gaps.
  4. Sprinkle a thin layer of reserved flour over potato layer.
  5. Add salt and pepper to each layer of flour as desired.
  6. Using thin slices of butter (aproximately 1/4 of the measured amount), scatter randomly over flour.
  7. Add your chives to the sourcream, place sourcream in ziplock baggie, and cut a small hole in the corner to pipe sourcream and chives in a zigzag pattern over butter. Be sure you figure the amount in each layer to split between 4 layers)
  8. Add a quarter of the diced ham being sure it is evenly distributed.
  9. Pace a layer of each cheese, being sure to reserve enough for 4 equal layers.
  10. Begin another layer beginning with Potatoes following steps 3-9 until all ingredients are used.
  11. Top with extra cheese and bake at 350 degrees F for 1 1/2 hours (90 minutes) or until potatoes are tender and top is browned and crunchy.
  12. Allow the au gratin to set for 10 - 15 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hush Puppy Meatballs

Yield 24-36 meatballs

Meatballs are best with a mixture of pork sausage and ground beef.


  • Equal amounts of each: I used 1/2 pound of each.
    • Ground Pork Sausage
    • Ground Beef
  • 1 cups crushed Fritos brand corn chips (1 cup for every pound meat)
  • 1/2 onion diced small
  • 1/2 green bell pepper diced small
  • 1 egg (1 egg for every pound of meat)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Goya Adobo 
  • 1/2 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • cracked black pepper to taste
  • 3 slices of onion diced/minced small
  • 1/2  cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream


Mix all meatball ingredients well.

Shape into balls of desired size. (I formed 12 balls and made the rest into meatloaf to freeze.)

You can cook them in a fry pan on the stove top, or you can bake them at 400 degrees F in the oven. I fry mine usually.

Cook meatballs until surface is browned and meatballs are firm. (about 15 minutes stove top, 15-20 minutes oven.

Remove from pan and allow to cool on paper towels.

In another bowl, mix dry ingredients for breading well.

Mix wet breading ingredients in a different bowl.

Add wet ingredients to dry, stirring until completely combined.

Roll each cooled meatball into batter to completely coat each one.

Drop into hot oil in a deep fryer.

Fry until golden brown and puffed.

Drain on paper towels and serve hot!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Italian Farro and Mushroom Bread

Yield: 3 - 9" x 4" loaf pans or various other sizes combined. See photo below!

This bread recipe uses whole grain Italian Farro with mushrooms and other flavors added. It is a hearty slice of bread with great whole grain texture! Use for sandwiches, toast or bread and butter with your meals.


  • 3 cups cooked Italian Farro and mushroom risotto w/ the mushrooms cut small, and omitting the parmesan. (alternately, you can cook farro according to package directions)
  • 8 cups high gluten flour. ( I buy mine from Sams Club in large bags)
  • 2 cups hot water (hand washing temperature)
  • 1/2 cup dry milk powder
  • 4 tablespoons soft butter (Also an item I get cheaper in bulk at Sams Club)
  • 2 tablespoons Red Star active dry yeast or any brand
  • 3 tablespoons sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons salt

In a large bowl, add water and yeast. Let set 5 minutes until the yeast water is foamy.

Add sugar, salt, butter, and dry milk powder. Stir.

Be sure farro is cooked whether you use our risotto recipe or just plain cooked farro. Also be sure it is completely drained of liquid. I use the risotto recipe because it has all the flavors that make this bread fabulous.

Add farro to wet mixture and stir.

Begin adding flour, stirring each cup in completely before adding more.

Once you have a thick dough ball, pour out onto floured surface, and start kneading moore flour in as it fits. You may not get all 8 cups of flour into the dough, but continue kneading it in until the dough is no longer sticky and elastic to touch.

Grease a large bowl and allow dough to rise in it covered, in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

After rising, punch dough down and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Shape each loaf, and place in 3 - 9"x4"  greased loaf pans. You may also do free form loaves on sheet pans.

Butter the tops of each loaf, and let rise again until doubled in bulk. About 1/2 hour (30 minutes).

Bake the loaves in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes or until browned with a hollow sound when tapped.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Honey Sweet Cornbread

Yield: 1 standard 9" loaf pan or 9" x 9" square pan

This cornbread has just the right amount of sweet honey flavor. Perfect with any meal or as a stand alone snack. Try this sweet honey cornbread with strawberries and whipped cream for a really tasty treat.


  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar or white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour milk or buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F for square pan, 350 degrees F for loaf pan.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine sugar, honey, eggs, milk, and salt. 

Stir by hand throughout entire process, but stir minimally once you start adding dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, and baking powder. Combine completely.

Add dry mixture to wet mixture stirring until just combined. There will be lumps, but they are want them.

Grease your pan and dust with a bit of cornmeal. 

Fill with batter and bake about a half hour - 30 minutes or until tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Chili Baked Potatoes

Chili baked potatoes are loaded with all of the goodness of chili and topped with cheddar cheese. I use a bit of ricotta and butter in the potato, then its smothered in a beefy chili. Vegetarians can add meat free chili like I do for my veggie eater.


Chili Ingredients-

  • 2 cups dark red kidney beans with liquid from cooking (canned is fine)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 - 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Baked potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon ricotta cheese per baked potato
  • 2 teaspoons butter per baked potato
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Shredded parmesan for an extra bite!
  • Sour cream and chives if desired


Cook ground beef in fry pan until browned. Add onion and bell pepper a little bit before the ground beef is fully cooked.

Add the kidney beans to a medium saucepan with enough of the juices the beans were cooked in or if you are using canned, don't drain.

Add the ground beef and the remainder of the chili ingredients to the saucepan.
Allow to simmer covered for 30 minutes.

While the chili is simmering, wash your potatoes, poke holes in each one with a fork and bake in a 400 degree F oven until they are tender to touch and have a crisp dried skin.

To assemble the chili baked potatoes:

Cut a slash in the tops long ways to expose the potato but not all the way around.

Squeeze each one around the edges to loosen the potato inside and to provide a bit of an opening down the center.

Add to each prepared potato, the butter then the ricotta cheese. Add a bit of the shredded cheeses.

Generously add a healthy ladle of chili over the potatoes, and top off again with shredded cheeses.

You may also use sour cream which is pictured here!


This scrapple recipe uses pork hocks and beef neck bones whereas traditional scrapple may use any pieces or parts left from butcher cuts. It has a more modern appeal without the organ meats and other waste products. I add Spanish olive slices to make it a bit like luncheon loaf. A more modern and subtle approach to scrapple.

While this is not a recipe that uses exact amounts of every ingredient, it is easy to make and should come together nicely if you follow all of the steps similarly.

I simply added a package of beef neck bones (meat on) and 6 pork hocks. I added about a quart more water and a pouch with all of the seasonings listed below, so there wouldn't be too many seasonings floating around in it. Add amounts to suit your own tastes. I intend on using less of these the next time around.

Since I have never had scrapple before this, I looked around for seasonings that were normally added to it, and I selected the ones that I had on hand. Next time this list will be much smaller so that it will have less of a bold flavor.
  • 2-3 pounds pork hocks, knuckles or any other fatty pork cuts will work
  • 2 pounds beef neck bone with meat on, or use beef liver or tails, whichever you prefer.
Amounts of meat and liquid will depend on each other, but the cornmeal really seals the deal and this is a good starting point for learning how to customize this old recipe with your own tastes.

This is still warm scrapple leveled in pans to refrigerate

I did this is a crock pot over a period of 2 days, but you can do it in a few hours. Let me explain...I made a pork roast in the crock pot which I cooked slow through the night. I used the pork roast for barbecue pulled pork, but I reserved the stock, and there was about a half gallon or better.

In the following list, those crossed out will be the flavors I choose to eliminate the next time around.

  • Red pepper flakes
  • Dried minced onions
  • Garlic powder
  • Nutmeg
  • Mace
  • Salt
  • Thyme
  • Chili powder
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Celery flakes
  • Oregano
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Cajun Seasoning

I cooked the added meats all day and through the night in the crock pot on low. That's 2 nights if you count the first from the pork roast that I used for a different meal. You do not have to start with stock, and can simply just put your scrapple meats into water in the crock with the same effect. Mine is very strong flavored.

Once the meats were cooked tender, I removed everything from the stock, and separated the meat from the bones. I also peeled the thicker skins from the hocks out of it and discarded them.

I ground the meat in a chopper until it was very tiny minced or mush. Add the meat mush back to the stock, along with sliced Spanish olives if desired.

Increase the crock pot heat to high, and add about 4 cups of cornmeal and 2 cups of flour stirring until smooth and lump free.

Cover the crock pot and cook for 1 -2 hours, stirring occasionally so it does not burn or clump. If you need more fluid, simply add additional water. The consistency should be very thick. It should be thick enough to have to spread it even and tap the pans to level it.

Pour the finished meal into loaf pans (I used 2 standard 9", and 3 smaller 4" pans.

Drop filled pans from 3-4 inches off counter surface or tap pans on the surface to level the tops.

Refrigerate over night or for several hours until they set up or gel up.

Remove from pans and slice into desired thickness.

Place a piece of wax paper between each slice and freeze excess.

Coat slices in flour and fry in butter or oil until crisp and browned on each side.

Serve with eggs, on sandwiches or with jam or syrup.

I am pleased with the results of this attempt, but seeing as how I have never even tasted scrapple, I decided to purchase some so that I knew what the texture and taste should be without depending on how others recall it. I decided to go on the sampler below because all I needed was a taste, and there are other samples included which are traditional Philadelphia eats! Click the photo below if you are interested in this Philly sampler! If you have never tasted scrapple, I would recommend this before you attempt making it!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Old Fashioned Pound Cake w/ Video

Yield: 1 bundt pan or 2 - 9" x 4" loaf pans

This Old Fashioned Pound cake is just like the pound cake grandma used to make. A subtle hint of vanilla and almond intensifies the buttery flavor, and the texture is just as perfect as it tastes!

Video tutorial below!


  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 pound butter soft
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 c. milk (see video)
  • Additional butter for coating pan(s)
  • Additional flour for coating pan(s)


  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F for bundt pan, or 350 degrees F for loaf pans.
  2. Coat your pan(s) with butter, then a thin layer of flour, and set aside.
  3. Be sure before you begin that your butter and eggs are at room temperature.
  4. Begin by mixing your butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. I use a kitchenaid stand mixer and let it go for 3 - 5 minutes.
  5. Once your butter is fluffy, add eggs and extracts. Continue mixing until completely combined.
  6. Begin adding flour and milk, alternating a bit at a time while your mixer runs until all flour and milk is incorporated,smooth and creamy.
  7. Pour into pan(s) and spread top(s) evenly.
  8. Bake for an hour and 20 minutes for bundt pan or 45 minutes for loaf pans. The time may vary and is only a round estimated point to check with a toothpick to be sure it is done! 
  9. After baking, let rest for 15 minutes, and remove from pan(s). Cool completely before icing if you choose to ice it!
  10. Icing would consist of powdered sugar and water with clear vanilla extract. I do mine a little thicker for a better drip off the cake!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Corned Beef Empanadas

This recipe has been moved to:

Breaded Stuffed Porkchops

Yield: 3 stuffed porkchops

These stuffed porkchops are so tasty and tender that you will want to make them all the time. It is a bit of a twist on the stuffed porkchops that you normally see. Its a simple recipe even when you use our homemade stuffing for it. Use panko bread crumbs or plain regular crumbs.


  • 3 thick cut porkchops
  • 3 - 4 cups stuffing - I use this recipe for the stuffing
  • Bread crumbs - I like Panko best.
  • 1 cup of Ranch Dressing or plain mayonnaise if preferred 
  • Lots of cracked black pepper (I use about a tablespoon per porkchop)

 Either this or the rub below are also great additions to this recipe or any pork recipe!

  1. Prepare stuffing as directed and set aside.
  2. With a fillet knife, butterfly each porkchop leaving enough solid meat at one end to make a pocket in the porkchop.
  3. Generously stuff each porkchop full and tight with stuffing mix. Set aside.
  4. In 2 shallow bowls, add ranch or mayonnaise to one, and bread crumbs to the other.
  5. Using some of the cracked black pepper, generously sprinkle the filled porkchops on each side.
  6. Put the remainder of the black pepper into the bread crumbs combining completely.
  7. Coat each filled porkchop with a nice even layer of ranch or mayonnase, then roll in peppered bread crumbs.
  8. Press the bread crumbs onto each porkchop so you have a thick, even crumb coating.
  9. Bake the porkcops on 400 degrees F in the oven for 20 - 30
  10. minutes or until meat is completely cooked.

Homemade Stuffing - Dressing

Yield: 3 - 4 cups

This is a homemade stuffing recipe perfect for stuffing meats and poultry. A slight sage and onion flavor that can be vegetarian or meat stock infused. Its great to eat as a side dish as well!


  • 5 slices whole grain bread 
  • 1 cup meat or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablesppon minced dried onion
  • 1 tablespoon dried celery leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  1. Cut your bread into 1 inch cubes.
  2. Add bread cubes to dry skillet on low heat.
  3. Allow bread cubes to dry, stirring occasionally to dry every side.
  4. Add all seasoning to hot stock.
  5. Pour stock evenly over dried bread cubes and stir to evenly coat.
  6. Allow stuffing or dressing (whichever you call it) to continue on low temperature, stirring occasionally until everything is dried again.
  7. If you are using the stuffing immediately, you may leave it as is only cooking long enough to absorb all of the flavors.
  8. I like to use this recipe for stuffed pork chops, but I like to fill the chops with stuffing a bit drier so that all of the pork favors soften the stuffing slowly!
  9. You can also do this in your oven on a sheet pan, and low temperature.
  10. It takes a while, so be patient!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Italian Farro Mushroom Risotto

Yield: About 6+ cups

Italian Farro Mushroom Risotto doesn't get creamy the way rice would, but it is perfect as is with the addition of parmesan cheese and seasonings.


  • 2 cups Italian Pearled Farro
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup diced bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon sweet basil
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon celery leaves
  • 1 - 6 ounce packet Chef's Advantage, Mushrooms Dinner Solutions (or 6 ounces mushroom gravy)
  • 1 cup grated parmesan (I used shredded but its creamier with grated)
  • Water (about 2 quarts. Add more as needed)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot, bring mushrooms to a boil and remove from heat. Cover and let cool there.
  2. Remove the mushrooms from the liquid in the pot, and set them aside.
  3. Add farro to mushroom liquid with salt if desired, and boil for about 15-20 minutes until farro is chewy tender.
  4. In a separate pan on medium high heat, melt butter, adding onions, bell pepper and mushrooms. Sautee until carmelized.
  5. Leaving a bit of liquid in the farrow, add onion, mushroom mixture, and seasonings to the farro pot and allow it to simmer 15 minutes to blend flavors. Be sure there is enough liquid or moisture in it so that it does not burn or dry out.
  6. Add grated parmesan, stirring until completely combined and creamy. You can add a bit of butter for added creaminess if you like.
  7. Add Chefs Advantage Mushroom dinner solutions packet and stir.
  8. Salt and pepper to your own tastes.
  9. Serve hot.

This recipe also attended:

Monday, April 15, 2013

Lemon Meringue Pie Cups

Yield: 20 lemon meringue cups

These little lemon meringue pies are perfect for parties. Use egg roll wraps instead of traditional pastry crusts. They are easy to make and your guests will love them.


  • 10 egg roll wraps cut in half
Lemon Curd-
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Corn Starch
  • 1-1/2 cups cold water
  • 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoons Grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

  1. With the 10 egg roll wraps cut in half, roll each piece, from end to end to form a cone. Seal edge with water and press into greased muffin tins. The corners will stick up above the top, and if you press the inner center of each, they will form nicely in the cups. 
  2. Bake them for 5 minutes or until lightly browned, in a preheated 350 degree F oven. Try not to leave them in too long or the tips will burn.
  3. Cool.
Lemon Curd
  1. Combine sugar and corn starch in medium saucepan. 
  2. Gradually stir in water and lemon juice until smooth. 
  3. Stir in egg yolks and lemon peel. 
  4. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Be patient, it will take a bit!
  5. Remove from heat and stir in butter. The curd will thicken even more as it cools so keep that in mind when you are cooking to desired thickness.
  6. Place plastic wrap directly on top of curd to avoid the skin that covers it with air exposure.
  7. Refrigerate until completely cold.
  8. Beat with mixer to loosen it up when you are ready to use!
  1. Add egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar to a medium mixing bowl. 
  2. Beat on high speed until mixture is thick and form stiff peaks.
  3. Do not make this until each baked cup is filled with lemon curd, waiting for it.
  1. Fill each cup with lemon curd, warm or cold is fine.
  2. Prepare the meringue.
  3. Top each cup of lemon curd with a generous amount of meringue. I use a pastry bag with a star tip for a nice swirl.
  4. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven about 5 minutes or until the meringue tips are golden brown.
  5. Cool completely before storing in the refrigerator.


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