Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Best Lasagna Ever!

I've been making Lasagna for years, literally YEARS...and never made it right until now.  ;)  This meaty Bechamel sauce is the kicker, and takes this Lasagna over the edge!  It's Soooooo good! :)

Please go to my recipe page for the printable recipe... right HERE

Saturday, May 7, 2016

BBQ Jalapeno Popper Chicken

I absolutely LOVE the Pioneer Woman's BBQ Jalapeno Poppers, but you just can't make a complete meal out of them...well, I could, but for some reason my husband likes to eat meat too :)

I decided to take the general idea of her Popper recipe, stuff it inside the chicken, top with bacon and bbq sauce and then bake it till it got all amazing!  ... and amazing it certainly was!

You will need these things: 

4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
Shredded cheddar (about 1 cup)
cream cheese 6 oz (softened)
flame roasted and chopped jalapeno, or some chopped green chilis, or adobo chilis, whatever floats your boat (use the amount you and your family will enjoy)
bbq sauce
bacon slices cut in half crosswise
1/4 minced onion

Heat a cast iron skillet over med-high heat and cook bacon until just barely crispy, still slighty pliable though. Remove from pan and set aside.

While bacon cooks, mix softened cream cheese, shredded cheddar, and chopped jalapeno in a medium bowl until well combined.

Saute chopped onion for a few minutes in that luscious bacon grease. ;)  Scoop out of pan leaving drippings behind and stir onions into cheese mixture.  Set aside.

You can see the little extra pieces of "rib meat" trimmed away, you will use that as a topper in a  minute so hang on to that... pay no attention to the "pile" at the top right corner of the cutting board..that's for Stormie (our Boxer). ;)

Preheat your oven to 375.

Cut a slit in top of chicken breast and open out into a "cave" to stuff from the top.  Stuff about 1/8 of the cheese mixture into each chicken breast cave, then add a 1/2 slice of bacon.  Lay a piece of "rib meat" over the bacon and bring up edges.... secure with a toothpick if you need to, but you shouldn't have to.

At this point, I went ahead and popped these in the bacon grease laced cast iron pan

Top with the remaining cheese mixture

Pour some of your favorite BBQ sauce over the top

Cover the skillet with a lid and bake for 35 minutes.  Remove lid and bake 5 more minutes or until chicken test done.  I served this with mashed potatoes, cuz... yum!  I was so excited to eat this that I forgot to photograph it... here is a picture of my leftovers for my husbands lunch. ;)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Jam Tarts

These little Jam Tarts were SO delicious... absolutely, incredibly delightful... and EASY to make!  Yay!  Who doesn't love that?

This recipe will make about 12-14 tarts... I highly recommend doubling the whole shebang and making enough to make everyone happy. :)

You'll first need to make this quick and super easy 15 Minute Puff pastry (add 1 hour for chillin' time!)

Grab this stuff:

1 C. flour
1/4 tsp. fine salt
10 Tbsp. unsalted HIGH QUALITY butter
1/3 C. ice water

Follow these instructions at "Dessert for Two"   15 minute Puff Pastry

After your Puff Pastry chills, grab the rest of your stuff:

Jam!  I used Polaner all fruit, and what I had on hand was "Orange" (which is basically Marmalade), and seedless Raspberry
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. Whipping Cream
1/3 C. Turbinado Sugar

Heat your oven to 375. 

Grab your favorite Jam!  I used Polaner all fruit, which doesn't have any added sugar.

For best results, I cut the (below) pastry dough into 4 sections, working one section at a time and keeping the remainder in the fridge.

Roll out your portion of dough gently, but thin, about 1/8 inch, or just a tad thicker.  Using a 2 inch cutter, cut 2 rounds per tart.  Cut out the center with a 1 inch cutter of any shape you desire. :)

Place the whole round portion on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Add about 2/3 tsp. Jam... (the amount below is maybe a wee bit too much. ;)  Live n learn.

Use your finger to dab a little water around the edge of the bottom portion, top with the next round, and place the cutout on top in an "offset" fashion.

Whisk the egg and cream in a small bowl, brush over pastries.  Sprinkle with Turbinado Sugar

Now these little beauties are ready for that hot oven...

Bake at 375 for 25 minutes.  Don't worry if some of the jam oozes out... it'll be fine. ;)  Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes, remove to rack and cool to room temperature.  Serve at room temperature with tea or coffee. ;)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Jimmy Dean Sausage Copycat Recipe

I've been fiddling around for years trying to get this recipe "just right", and I truly believe it has "arrived"!  I'm blessed to have a local farm source to get delicious, organic, pasture raised pork and beef from... I highly recommend you seek out the best meats you can purchase for any recipe.

These breakfast sausage patties are so delicious, juicy and full of flavor!  This recipe will make 9 thick patties.

NOTE:  If you're planning to make breakfast "egg, sausage and cheese biscuits", consider making these patties a bit thinner, resulting in about 15 patties per recipe instead of 9.

*A printable recipe link can be found at the bottom of this page

What you'll need:

1 lb. ground pork
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1 1/4 tsp. ground sage
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp. REAL Maple Syrup
Dash Hickory smoke seasoning (optional)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 tsp. dried parsley
1/8 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. dried coriander
1/2 tsp. dried oregano

Fat of choice for frying patties (I prefer a tasty bacon fat)


Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl... go ahead and use your fingers to get it nicely incorporated!

Heat a heavy skillet over med to med-high heat, and add a thin layer of your fat of choice.

Form desired number of patties into flat discs.  

Slowly brown on both sides until beautifully golden and cooked through.


Recipe Suggestions:

These are delightful served up alongside a nice stack of homemade pancakes, "real" french toast or farm fresh eggs....or maybe you could crumble this up and made a yummy egg casserole to feed a group...OR, you could make some flaky homemade biscuits, top with a cooked egg, your favorite cheese and a juicy sausage patty... oh yum!  I'm getting hungry just typing this!

For an easy to print recipe, go .... HERE!  

Monday, September 7, 2015

Vegetable Soup

I pulled this soup together a couple of evenings ago.  It's rich in flavor, so delicious that you will certainly want to drink up every last drop of broth, or sop it up with a nice hearty bread.

I list the veggies I used, because that is what I had on hand, but feel free to change it up to meet what you have in your fridge.

It is all veggie, no grain, no legumes, no meat.  However, it would be very easy to add meat or grain (add in ideas are at the bottom of the post).

Printable recipe link is at bottom of post.


2 tsp. Olive Oil
2-4 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 large onion, or a medium one, finely chopped
4 medium carrots, roughly chopped
2-3 celery stalks (with leaves), sliced
1/2 large bell pepper, roughly chopped
1/2 - 3/4 c. White Wine
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 C. frozen or fresh green beans, cut into 1 1/2 in. pieces (roughly)
1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
Texas Pete (or your favorite hot sauce), just a few splashes as desired
1 Tbsp. "Spike Seasoning
1 tsp. dried marjoram (rub between fingers to release flavor)
1 tsp. dried basil (rub between fingers to release flavor)
1 tsp. drid oregano (rub between fingers to release flavor)
12 oz (approximately) Tomato Sauce
Worchestershire Sauce (couple of dashes)
8-12 oz. Chicken or Veggie Broth
8-12 oz. Water
2 large kale leaves, ribs removed, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1/2 - 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper


Heat olive oil in dutch oven or heavy soup pot over med-high heat.  Once pot is nice and hot, add onion and garlic, reduce heat to medium and saute 2 minutes.  Raise heat to med-high, add carrot, celery, and bell pepper, saute 2-3 minutes.  Add white wine and simmer until reduced by almost half.  Add tomatoes, green beans, and remaining ingredients.  Stir.  Simmer on med-low for 20-30 minutes or until Kale is tender.

This soup was filling, so we didn't have salad or bread alongside it, however it would be lovely with either.

Optional "Stir-ins":

*Add 1-2 cans of chicken breast packed in water (drained and rinsed)
*Saute chicken breast cut into bite size pieces, along with the garlic and onion, saute time will be until chicken is browned all over.
*Stir in cooked, shredded rotisserie chicken

Grain or Legume:
*Add one can of White Beans, drained and rinsed
*Add 1 C. of cooked rice, cooked quinoa, or cooked pasta

For a Handy Dandy Printable click HERE.

Spike Seasoning

I found this recipe online, but unfortunately when I printed it, it did not contain the link to where I found it.  So, thank you to whoever out there created it!  I have only made a couple of minor changes to the original, and they are reflected in the recipe below.

(link for printable recipe at bottom of page)

I love this seasoning, it’s great in soups, chicken dishes, grilled meats, onion rings, oven fried chicken nuggets, etc… 

It kinda looks like “everything but the kitchen sink”…and you may wonder how it works together, but it just does, and it’s delicious!


  • 1-2 Tbsp. Kosher Salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. dill
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. tarragon
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 Tbsp. dried onion flakes
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried celery seed
  • 1 tsp. marjoram
  • 1 tsp. crushed rosemary
Combine the above ingredients together and place in a container with a tight lid.  (I use an 8 oz canning jar).

For an easy printable recipe, go HERE.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Taco Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

If you are following the THM eating style, this meal is an "S"

This was so good... all through dinner all I could say was Yum, Yum, and YUM!  ;)

Taco Meat:

1 lb. Ground Beef (I use grass fed and/or organic)
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 sweet yellow onion, chopped
1-2 minced garlic cloves
Juice of one fresh lime
Tamari Sauce (to taste) (I use the organic, and I like to use both the regular as well as low sodium and do a 50/50 mix)
Texas Pete (to taste)
1-2 Tbsp Chili Powder (your heat preference)

Heat oil over med heat, add beef, onion and garlic.  Begin to brown, squeeze juice of lime over beef mixture. Continue to cook and crumble until completely browned.  Sprinkle with chili powder and add a few splashes of both Tamari and Texas Pete.  Actually, you want to add plenty of both. ;)

Let this mixtures simmer while you prepare a beautiful salad.  I used: Romaine, Spinach, red bell pepper, shredded purple cabbage, thin sliced red onion... you could also add black olives,cucumber, use your creativity here! 

Dressing:  I used this recipe from The Garden Grazer.  I double the recipe, but I used 1/2 an avocado AND 1/2 C. yogurt and doubled the remaining ingredients...EXCEPT the oil, I added 1/4 water instead of another 1/4 oil.  Add a pinch of preferred sweetener.

Spread salad on plate, drizzle on creamy dressing, top with taco meat, sprinkle with cheese... prepare to say YUM!!! :)

Fajita Plate!

 If you are eating within the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, this qualifies as an "E" meal. 

This dish was De-lish!  My husband does love my cooking most every day, but he fell head over heels for this one! :)  

Fajita Plate
(serves 2-3)

What you'll need ~

Chicken n' Veggies:
2 Boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves, trimmed of any remaining fat and cut into 4-6 chunks.

Fresh Florets of Cauliflower and Broccoli (1 1/2 C. each)
1/2 sliced sweet yellow onion
1/2 sliced red bell pepper

Marinade (you will need to make this 2 times):

1/4 C. Lime Juice
1/4 Water
Dash Tamari
1 tsp. Cumin
1-2 tsp. Chili Powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper
Pinch sweetener of choice

Pico de Gallo ~ Mix all this together in a small bowl and set aside

1/2 chopped tomoto
1/2 chopped sweet yellow onion
handful chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp. Lime Juice
Dash salt
(Optional)  1/4 -1/2 finely chopped jalapeno (remove pith and seeds for less heat)

Mexican Rice

1/2 C. Brown Jasmine Rice
1/4 Fine chopped sweet Onion
1 minced garlic cloves
1/4 finely chopped jalapeno (remove pith and seeds for less heat)
3/4 C. Water
1/3 C. Tomato Sauce
1/2 tsp. Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp. Cumin
1/4 tsp. Turmeric
1 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or coconut oil)

Remaining Ingredient:
Shredded 50% less fat Cheddar (I use Cabot)

How to:

Prepare and marinate chicken and Veggies at least 2 hours (or up to all day).  Marinate chicken in one batch of marinade.  Marinate veggies in a separate batch.

Heat oven to 450.  Preheat Grill.  

Begin Rice:
In a medium saute pan, heat the oil over med-high heat.  Add rice, onion, garlic and jalapeno.  Stir constantly until rice is lightly browned and begins to "pop" around pan.  Add liquids and seasonings.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to a very low simmer.  Cook for 30 minutes without uncovering.  Check for tenderness, add more water if needed and continue to simmer until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.

While Rice cooks.

Drain "almost" all of liquid from veggies, reserve 1/4 cup of marinade.  Place in oven to roast, uncovered.  Roast 20 minutes, toss with reserved marinade and roast another 10-15 minutes or until desired tenderness.

While Rice and Veggies Cook, pop that chicken on the grill and cook as usual.  Once it is cooked, remove to a plate and cover lightly with foil.  Let sit at least 10 minutes before serving.

Serve veggies over top of the rice (if desired).  Plate chicken, sprinkle with cheese and top with Pico.  


Monday, July 28, 2014

Recipe Review ~ Penne with Spinach Bechamel ~ Forks over Knives

I received my Forks over Knives cookbook in the mail today, and was really excited to begin trying out the recipes.  While I don't have any current intention to cut out all meats and dairy, I do like to incorporate a few healthy meatless mains throughout the week.  

I snuggled onto my couch and began to flip through the pages, reading through several recipes, until one in particular struck me as something I could make tonight.  I had all the ingredients on hand and just reading these recipes was making me hungry!

I chose "Penne with Spinach Bechamel"

The Bechamel itself is made from pureed cauliflower and I'm a big fan of using cauliflower in versatile ways, so I was game to try this one out.

The sauce came together very easily and quickly, and tasted really good.  I was hesitant to add the nutmeg, as that always makes me think of pumpkin pie, but it was perfect.  Being the rebel that I am, I tossed in 1/8 C. leftover shredded Parmesan just because I wanted the space in my cheese drawer and I thought....how could that not be a good thing???

The onions were sauteed in just a few Tbsp. of water and didn't stick my stainless steel pan at all, nice!  After tossing in the herbs, the scent was really fragrant and delightful.

Instead of "pre-cooking" the chopped spinach, I tossed it in the warm pan with my cooked pasta and covered with a lid for a few minutes to wilt it.

Once I put everything together, I served it up (I had made a half recipe, which in my opinion would be 3 servings).  It was placed on the table with some garlic bread and dinner was served.

I enjoyed it, really, ...  a lot.  It kind of grew on me as we ate and I had decided by the end of the meal that I liked it quite a bit.  The herbal taste was really fantastic, and the "Bechamel" was delicious!  

The problem?  

My Honey was not quite smitten with it.  He is the kind of man who will lovingly and uncomplainingly eat anything I put in front of him.  AND he tells me I'm the best cook in the whole wide world.  However, I asked for his "total, honest opinion" of this dish, and I got it.  He would be happy if it was never put on his plate again.  :)  He thought the "sauce" was mashed potatoes and once I told him it was cauliflower it kind of messed with his head. :)  The chopped up spinach didn't do much for him either.  

So, what is the end verdict?  I would make it again for myself....but it wouldn't be on the TOP of my list.  I won't make this again for the two of us though, there are plenty of other fish in the sea of dinner. ;)

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