Mexican Fiesta

Rounding out the Mexican theme (sorry for the delay in posting – retirement is a busy job!!) is this Mexican Fiesta recipe that is a simple, flavorful recipe that can be made on a week night.  This is also a great casserole dish for a pot luck affair.   Make this and watch it disappear!   Great for leftovers.

Mexican Fiesta

2 Lbs ground beef

1 small onion, chopped

1 pkg Taco seasoning

1 can whole kernel Mexicorn

1 can (14.5 oz) Hunt’s Chili tomato sauce

1 cup water

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp garlic salt

1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

16 oz. carton sour cream

1 1/2 cups crushed fritos

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9×13 inch casserole dish with cooking spray.  In a large skillet, brown the ground beef with the salt, pepper, garlic salt, and taco seasoning.   Drain well.  Add all remaining ingredients to meat EXCEPT sour cream, chips and 1/2 cup cheese.  Mix well and pour into the prepared pan.  Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.   Remove and top with sour cream, remaining cheese, and crushed chips in that order.  Return it to the oven for 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

I hope you will make this soon along with the other South of the Border recipes!   Have a great week!  And I am waiting for September for some new items to become available for some giveaways.  So keep checking back and happy cooking!

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Happy Easter Weekend

I pray that you have a worshipful Easter weekend and enjoy the time with your family!
We were in the mood yesterday for meatloaf – he, beef, and me, well you know the story. Mine was out of turkey. But to kick it up a notch, we smoked ours!

This is something you must try. Oh, my. I have a “steel grill meat loaf pan” from Williams Sonoma that I dearly love. It is made specifically for either grilling/smoking your meatloaf. It has a lift out insert with holes on the side of the insert and in the bottom, which allows the grill/smoker to get that flavor throughout the meatloaf. I used this pan for hubby’s and wrapped his loaf in bacon – added flavor! Just make up your favorite recipe and wrap the loaf in bacon, and there you go! I brushed some “jalapeno ketchup” (another layer of flavor) on the top of the bacon covered loaf and let her smoke!

Mine, made out of ground turkey, after making up my favorite recipe, I just placed in a wire grill basket, minus the bacon, of course, and in the smoker it, too, went. Great flavor. We love our masterbilt electric smoker.

Sorry I didn’t take pictures. I am an airhead. I admit.

I wanted to give this pan away on my blog but I can’t seem to find one on the Williams Sonoma site. If I can find one or two I will have it in a future give a way – if not, well, I will just have to get something else to pass along!

Enjoy all your peeps – both family and marshmallow kind! Love all of you followers!

Mississippi Roast and Pumpkins

What a great weekend!  Great football (well for some), great weather, and a to-do list done!  My kind of week-end.

I made a recipe for hubby that I have seen floating around all over pinterest and other places and decided this was the weekend.   I have not made him a good ole pot roast in forever.   And this one is so easy.  AND he loved it.  Win-win.  If you haven’t made this one, try it.   I can certainly attest, through hubby that it is one to make over and over.

Mississippi Roast

1 Chuck roast

1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix

1 pkg McCormick Au Jus Mix

1 stick butter

5 whole pepperocini peppers

Place Chuck roast in crock pot and sprinkle with the ranch dressing mix, then the Au Jux mix.  Place the stick of butter (uncut) on top of the roast, and place the pepperocini peppers around the butter (if one or two slide off, don’t worry).

DO NOT ADD WATER.   Cook on low for 7-8 hours.  Enjoy!

Each time hubby has eaten his, he comments how good this is.   Can’t get any easier than this.

While we were out running errands, I picked up this:

pumpkin wreath

(photo courtesy of Small town Gifts-the one I took had too many shadows in it)

And since it is fall, I want to give it to one of you to decorate your door with.   If you want to be in the drawing for this gorgeous pumpkin, (I got it from “Small Town Girls Gifts” who has a FB page and you can see all the great stuff they have.  Not a sales pitch but just a great place to get some great gifts)  just leave a comment and tell us what you did on the past beautiful weekend!   A winner will be selected and posted Wednesday.

Cabbage Rolls – Beef or Turkey

i made Cabbage Rolls this weekend – I divided the ingredients in half in two bowls and used 1/2 lb ground beef for hubby and 1/2 ground turkey for me.  I used 6 of the 12 cabbage leaves for hubby’s and 6 (actually only 5 – ground turkey is less dense than ground beef and I only got 5 out of the turkey which was fine for me) so we both got rolls (with 2 you get egg rolls…name that movie!)

So you see….. just about any recipe can be adapted to your tastes/likes.   The sauce for this recipe is so good – it is so much more than just a can poured over your rolls and gives so much flavor to the cabbage rolls – make some for your supper.  I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Meat Stuffing:

12 cabbage leaves

1 pound ground beef

3/4 cup cooked rice

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup milk

Sauce:

1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce

1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, un-drained

3 Tbsp sugar

2 Tbsp vinegar

1/2 cup water

2 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup cold water (will be used to thicken the sauce after rolls are cooked)

Drop cabbage leaves into boiling salted water (I find by cooking 6 at a time they do better); cover and cook for 3 minutes.  Drain well.   In bowl, combine meat, rice, onion, garlic, egg, salt, pepper, and milk.  Mix well and divide between all 12 cabbage rolls, placing in center of each cabbage leaf.  roll leaf around filling, fasten with toothpick.  Place in baking dish.  

For sauce, combine tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, sugar, vinegar and water and pour over cabbage rolls.   Bake covered in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.   Remove rolls and discard toothpicks.  Place pan with juices (if metal pan you can place directly on stove eye – if you used a glass pan pour juices in to a sauce pan); over medium heat and stir cornstarch/water mixture into the sauce; bring to a boil and cook and whisk until thickened.  pour thickened sauce over cabbage rolls or serve on the side.  

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we have!   Enjoy your week!  

Pot roast – with a kick

We’re eating at work next week.   We do that a lot.  No wonder every one is always either exercising or trying to diet.   We’re like that.  Keeps life interesting.  And fun.  And very flavorful!

I am making Pot roast.  But not just any old pot roast. I’m kicking it up a notch.   This one will start off my regular way but with some added spice.  Then the gang (not me cause I don’t eat beef but I know it will be good – don’t ask how – I just know) will chow down on it and on the sides that they are responsible for – maybe real flavorful smashed potatoes – and some green beans – or whatever they choose.  That will be their department.  

Try this one and see how you like it – I think it would make some great sliders – or some open faces roast beef sandwiches.  

Cajun Pot Roast with Gravy

2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil 

2-4 pound pot roast

2 tablespoons Creole seasoning (or more if you really like to flavor up the roast)

1/3 cup flour, plus 2 tablespoons for the gravy making

1 onion, sliced

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained ( use the fire-roasted for more depth of flavor – or the diced with peppers and onions-yum)

2 cups beef broth, divided. (may need more if roast is large)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  

Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven or other oven proof pan.  Rub the pot roast with the creole seasoning.  (I like to salt and pepper my roast also).  Place the /3 cup of flour on a plate (I like to add a little salt, pepper and creole seasoning to my flour and mix well also)  and dredge the roast in it.  Sear the roast on all sides until it starts to brown, about 3 minutes per side.

Sprinkle the onions around the roast and pour the tomatoes (I throw in a  in along with one cup of beef broth. Cover and cook in preheated oven for 3 hours or until roast is cooked through and tender.  I like to check mine periodically to make sure the liquid hasn’t all cooked out – that’s why I like to keep some extra broth on hand – just pour a little in and keep on going.  I also like to turn my roast over during the cooking process.

Remove roast from pan and cover to keep warm once it is so very tender.

Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons of flour into remaining cup of beef broth.  Whisk mixture into pan juices.  Bring to a boil and stirring constantly, cook until the gravy reduces and thickens, about 5 minutes.  Ladle the gravy onto a large serving platter, cut the roast and place on top of the sauce.  

 

Now this is the recipe – remember that I cook by the look/feel of stuff – so my cooking may be – add more broth/add more flour/add more seasoning.   You may want to stick exactly to recipe and you may be like me – eyeball it.   Change it up a bit.   Just go for it and make the recipe your own.

Or if you are serving it open faced, just slice the roast or shred it, put it back in the pot with the gravy, and then spoon over your rolls.

Sounds yummy!   Can’t wait to serve this up next week!   Have a great weekend!

 

 

Krystal Burgers…..make them yourself

I came across this recipe in one of my cookbooks and am making these little scutters!  I am making one recipe the regular way with ground beef and one recipe using ground turkey (my choice of meat!).  When I read the method of preparing this tasty little burger, I knew it was just like eating a Krystal, only better.  

So get ready, oh you brave souls at work! You will be taste testing these little beauties sometime in the next week or so.  I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait.  And if you are watching carbs, have it served as a lettuce wrap – using your lettuce as your bun!  

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Sorry for the side view – I could not for the life of me get this photo to turn around!

Petite Party Burgers

1 1/2 lb ground beef (or 1 1/2 lb ground turkey)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 cup finely cup chopped onion

paper towels

1 – 20-count package party rolls (small size rolls)

1/3 cup mustard

20 dill pickle slices

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Flatten the ground beef on a 13 x 9 x 1 inch cookie sheet to 1/4 inch thickness.  Season the beef with the salt and pepper.  Press the chopped onion into the meat.  Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and using a spatula, place the beef on paper towels to absorb the grease.  Cut the beef into 20 little burgers, or cut to the size of the buns.  Split the buns in half, spread one side with mustard, top with meat, and pickle slice and top with other bun.  Enjoy!

If you need to, you can wrap these individually in aluminum foil and refrigerate until time to reheat.  

How easy is that?  Man, could you feed a hungry crowd of teenagers, or a youth group with these!  And I don’t even want to think about taking these tailgating and just throwing on the grill to reheat! Man, oh, man!

Have some extra sides for those who just want extra stuff on theirs – there you go!  

Try these – I think you will like them.

 

Barbecued Meatballs for Football Weekend

I don’t know why I haven’t made these in so long.  Could it be because I don’t eat them?   Why I have deprived hubby of them on Football Weekend is beyond me.  When I make these and he remembers these he may never forgive me.  Maybe Old Timer’s Disease will set in and he will say, “boy these are good, you need to make them more often!” and won’t realize I have made them before….a while before…..a very long while before.   The good thing about these meatballs is that you can make them, freeze them and fix later.   Make a double batch.   You won’t regret it.  

These are a good, easy, saucy, great tailgate, hors d’oeurve type food.   They would also make a good meatball sub or a great meatball slider.   Go for it.  Make them this weekend and enjoy the leftovers…..if there are any!  If you decide to make these and 

Barbecued Meatballs

Meatballs:

3 pounds ground beef

1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk

1 cup oatmeal

1 cup cracker crumbs

2 eggs

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons chili powder

Sauce:

2 cups catsup

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke or to taste

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 cup chopped onion

To make meatballs, combine all ingredients (mixture will be soft) and shape into walnut size balls.  Place meatballs in a single layer on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet(s); freeze until solid.  Store frozen meatballs in freezer bags until ready to cook.  To make sauce, combine all ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Place frozen meatballs in a 13 x 9 inch baking pan; pour on the sauce.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  If you make these and bake fresh without freezing, decrease the baking time to approx. 30 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.  This will depend on the size you make them.  Makes about 80 meatballs (unless you decide to go bigger!)

Stuffed Bell Peppers

We had this for supper last night….

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It was so good!  My pepper was red – hubby’s was yellow and I liked these better than stuffing the green ones – these were sweeter and more flavorful to me.  The following recipe comes with a disclaimer…….these were “thrown together” ingredients that came out delicious.   Mine (ground turkey) had taco seasoning mix…homemade, of course, (will post the recipe later this weekend)  in my meat.  Hubby seasoned his (ground beef of course) with salt, pepper, and sauteed onions in his concoction.  We both loved it and threw in some cooked rice along with some medium heat enchilada sauce… and there you have it!  Here’s the handy dandy somewhat of a thrown together recipe for one or two – if you need to make more for a family, just don’t save the rest of the meat  for salads like we did.

Stuffed Bell Pepper

 (increase if you are making more)

1 Bell Pepper, color of your choice

Ground Turkey (or beef) , browned and seasoned with homemade Taco Seasoning Mix (add onions if you want)  or seasoned with just salt and pepper and onions like hubby

2-4 Tbsps Medium heat (or mild if you prefer) Enchilada Sauce

Cooked Rice

Salt, pepper to taste

 

After browning 1 lb ground turkey seasoned with taco seasoning mix and adding 2 Tbsp medium heat (or mild if you prefer) Enchilada Sauce, take out about 1/3 cup (save the rest for a taco salad the next night) and add about the same amount of cooked rice to the mix.   Stuff the bell pepper (we used a red and a yellow instead of the green ones – I liked these better – they are sweeter- we did the same with ground beef as hubby likes beef and I like ground turkey-he added onions to his)

Place stuffed bell peppers (you can certainly make more than 2 by using more meat and more rice if you want leftovers for the next day for lunch or supper) in a small pan lined with foil and drizzle more enchilada sauce over the tops of the peppers.   Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees (or until the peppers are soft).  Enjoy!

Beef Brisket Pot Roast

Boys Howdy, did hubby like this one!  And this one could not be easier.   If you like brisket, and you are used to eating it smoked, bbq fashion, give this recipe a try.  It will not disappoint you. 

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Beef Brisket Pot Roast

4-5 pound beef brisket (the only one I could find was the one in the package with the seasoning mix – I just threw away the seasoning mix and rinsed my brisket)

salt

1-2 Tbsp olive oil

3 large onions, sliced

5 garlic cloves, minced (less if you are not a huge fan of garlic)

1 sprig of thyme (mine hasn’t grown in the garden yet so I just used a tsp of dried thyme)

1 sprig of rosemary (I used 2 sprigs)

3 bay leaves

2 cups of beef stock (I had beef broth so that is what I used)

2-3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 pieces ( I didn’t have any like I thought so I left these out)

1 Tbsp mustard (optional)

1.  on the side of the brisket where the layer of fat is, score through the fat (not the meat) in both directions, about 1/4 inch apart. Salt the brisket and let brisket set at room temp about 30 minutes (I skipped this as I was in a hurry to get it on before church)

2.  In an oven proof  pot (dutch oven with oven proof lid) add the olive oil and heat on medium high heat.   You do not want it to sear on high heat. Pat the brisket dry and place it fatty side down in the dutch oven cooking for 5-8 minutes until fat side is nicely browned.  Turn it over and do the same on the other side.   If the roast seems to be cooking too fast, cut the flame down to medium.

When the brisket has browned, remove and set aside.  Turn heat up to high and make sure there are a couple of tablespoons of oil in oven.   If not add some olive oil.  Add the sliced onions.  Saute, stirring often, until the onions re lightly browned, 5-8 minutes.  Stir in garlic and cook 1-2 minutes.  

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Add bay leaves, rosemary (leave on stem – you can take stem out after cooking) thyme.  Move onions and garlic to sides of pot and nestle brisket inside.  Add beef stock and bring stock to a boil.  Cover with lid and place in oven.  Cook for 3 hours,  Flip brisket every hour so it cooks evenly – (I flipped mine twice and then left for church – it cooked fine)

If you are using the carrots that I did not use, add them after 3 hours.  Cover and cook one more hour.  or until the carrots are cooked through and the brisket is falling apart tender.

 

My brisket cooked a total of 4 hours and 15 minutes.  It sliced beautifully.  I strained the juice and onions; I placed the onions in one bowl; I added a Tbsp of grainy deli mustard to the juice and stirred it which thickend the broth.  I then drizzled some of the juice on the roll, put some of those onions which almost spread on the bread, added some more mustard. layered that tender, sliced brisket, and hubby said it was like eating heaven!  Tender, juicy, moist.   

Give it a try!   Let me know if you like it!!!! 

18 AND HUNGRY!

One of our grandchildren turned 18! The parents usually take their child (and their family) out for supper of the birthday kid’s choice and invite the grandparents to tag along. This one had other plans and he requested to come to “Grammy’s” for his birthday supper.  ! He wanted a specific menu, and so we obliged.  He wanted Conecuh Burgers, Smoked Mac and Cheese, and Homemade Blizzards!  We had a few other sides, but these three took the show!  With spring coming up and great weather to dust off the grills and smokers, get ready  to include these in your menus and for some good eating!

 

 

Smoked Mac & Cheese:

16-oz. Pkg elbow macaroni, cooked and drained

¼ cup butter

¼ cup all purpose flour

3 cups milk

1 (8oz) cream cheese, cut in large chunks

1 teaspoon salt (I like to use garlic salt)

1//2 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups (8-oz block ) smoked sharp cheddar cheese

                (shred  cheese)

2 cups (8 oz block) smoked gouda cheese

                (shred cheese)

1 cup (4 oz) shredded parmesan cheese

                (can get the already shredded)

 

Set smoker at 225 degrees or cut one side of grill on or set coals on one side of grill (leave one side of grill either cut off or without coals for pan to sit)

Cook pasta according to package instructions (don’t forget to add a small amount of salt to pasta water!)

In a medium saucepan, melt butter, and whisk flour in the butter.  Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes, just to “cook” the flour. Add the milk, stirring, and bring to a boil.  Cook approx.. 5 min. or until thickened, stirring constantly. – add salt and pepper. 

In a large bowl, combine one cup Cheddar, one cup Gouda, the parmesan cheese, pasta and cream sauce (you will save the other 1 cup gouda and cheddar for the top of the pasta dish) and mix well.  Spoon mixture into an 11 by 9 ½ aluminum roasting pan coated with nonstick cooking spray.  Sprinkle top with remaining cheeses.  Place in smoker and cook for 1 hour until hot, bubbly, and brown!

 

Conecuh Burgers:

1 lb Conecuh sausage,

  Ground up (either by your

   Kitchen-aid food grinder attachment or

    Ask your meat dept to grind for you)

1 lb. lean ground beef, or ground chuck

 

Mix together and form hamburger patties;

Grill until done.  (My husband took a step further and put in the smoker and smoked for approx.. 45 minutes on 200-225 degrees.  The family loved them!)

 

Homemade Oreo Blizzards:

(thank you Mrs. Tiny for teaching me this recipe!)

 

1 carton Vanilla Icecream

1 12 –oz tub cool whip

1 pkg oreo cookies, crushed to desired lumpiness

 

Empty carton of ice cream and cool whip in large bowl and let thaw until easy to stir and mix.

 

Throw in the crushed oreos and stir all together.

Put back in the ice cream container and the leftovers in the cool whip container (it grows in content and won’t all fit back in the ice cream container!)

Re-freeze!  Let sit a few minutes prior to serving and enjoy!  Yummy!