Monthly Archives: October 2012

Cheese Enchiladas

Cheese Enchiladas


  • 1 dozen corn tortillas, softened
  • a mixture of shredded sharp cheddar and shredded jack cheese
  • Queso Fresco
  • Enchilada sauce (try my recipe for “Enchilada Sauce Quick & Easy” it’s the perfect amount)
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced

Preheat your oven to 350, grease a small casserole dish.

Working in the greased dish, place about 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese in the middle of the softened corn tortilla and roll from one end to the other. (I’m not really sure on how much cheese and I just add it) Repeat this with the remaining tortillas and place them side by side in the casserole dish. Spoon and spread the enchilada sauce over the rolled tortillas, sprinkle with Queso Fresco, cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil bake for another 10 minutes, top with the sliced green onions and bake 5 minutes more. Remove from the oven and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.

Suggestions: Try serving these enchiladas over a bed of Spanish Rice, you can find an easy recipe here on my blog.


Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Casseroles


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Enchilada Sauce – Quick & Easy

Inspired by a co-worker who is a young newlywed I created this quick and easy enchilada sauce. For years I have always had the ingredients readily available in my kitchen to make my homemade enchilada sauce. It never occurred to me that someone wouldn’t have 3 different dried chilies in their pantry to cook with at every whim. Forgive me, I’m old….so a young woman who I work with said she had everything to make some enchiladas for dinner except for the sauce and she didn’t want to go the market. Of course the first thing I asked her was, didn’t she have some in the freezer? Silly me. I thought for a minute and then told her I’m sure you could make a pretty good sauce with regular ingredients and spices you have at home. After a bit more time of thinking I gave her a rough draft of this recipe. I had never tried it, but she did and said it was a bit runny but it worked. So tonight I decided to work on the recipe and fine tune it. So here you have it, my homemade Enchilada Sauce, quick and easily made with the young new cook in mind. No stove top cooking, prepare in a blender or food processor and use directly from there. Really simple. Thanks Tricia for the inspiration.

Ingredients:  enough sauce for 1 dozen enchiladas

  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
  • 1 Tb tomato paste
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp dried parsley, (make sure you crush it between your fingers)
  • 1/2 tsp dried cilantro, (also make sure you crush it between your fingers)
  • 1/2 tsp sweetened powered cocoa
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp cornstarch

Using a blender or food processor add all of the ingredients except the milk and cornstarch. Using a fork, whisk the cornstarch into the milk until completely dissolved then add the other ingredients. Process until the mixture is smooth. That’s all there is, now pour or spoon over your enchiladas before baking.


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Banana Crumb Cake

Crumb Cake

When I was growing up, Hostess had individual crumb cakes packaged for lunches. I absolutely loved them. This is a knock off recipe for those lovely little cakes, courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen. I added bananas to the batter but if you omit them it’s a pretty close duplicate of what I remember of this sweet treat in my lunch box.

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 Tb unsalted butter, sliced, room temperature
  • 1 egg plus 1 more yolk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk, room temperature

Topping Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed (They called for dark brow sugar, but I prefer light)
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 8 Tb unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted

Preheat your oven to 325 and line an 8″ square cake pan with foil or parchment paper then spray with pan release. When lining the pan make sure you have flaps on all 4 sides of the pan so you can easily remove the cake when cooled.

Use a medium bowl and make the topping first. Whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and cooled melted butter. Stir in the flour until the dough is mixed thoroughly to create a thick dough. Set the topping aside to rest at room temperature.

Using an electric mixer, in the bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. On medium-low speed beat the pieces of butter into the flour mixture one at a time. Once all of the butter pieces have been incorporated continue to beat for about 3 minutes until the mixture resembles moist crumbs.

Beat in the eggs, vanilla and bananas for about 30 seconds. Beat in the buttermilk until combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat the batter until it is smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute. Scrap the batter into the prepared cake pan, smooth the top.

Using your fingers sprinkle the crumb topping all over the top of the batter. Work from the outside towards the middle, careful not to press the crumb topping in to the batter. You want small crumb pieces, no bigger than a pea. Bake for 1 hour, rotating half way in the cooking process. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out fairly clean with only a few topping crumbs on it.

Let the cake cool in the pan for about 30 minutes. Remove by lifting the cake out with the foil. Remove from the foil, slice and serve. You’ll get about 9 servings from this wonderful cake.

Suggestions: If you omit the bananas reduce the baking time to 45 minutes.

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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Breakfast, Desserts


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The Reality Blog Award

Reality Blog Award

WhooHoo, I was nominated for another blogging award.

Thank you so much Cindy Knoke.

I am so glad she found me because I am falling in love with her blog. It’s packed full of wonderful posts. Here’s just a few of her topics that I thoroughly enjoy. Recipes, Gardening, Photos, Travel and Design. If you’re not already a fan of her blog please stop by it and enjoy what you have stumbled upon. You can find her at

As with other blog awards this one too has a few rules. Make sure you have “Thanked the person who nominated you” “Create a link to their blog within your post or blog” “Answer 5 questions” “Nominate 20 blogs you follow” “Create 5 questions for your nominees to answer”

Here’s the questions presented to me:

1. If you could change one thing what would you change? I would have spent more time cooking and enjoying meals with my son while raising him, rather than putting my priority on my career.
2. It you could repeat an age, what would it be? Early 30’s. I just loved coaching and watching my son play football and baseball back at that time. On top of that I was in great shape back then. Abundance of energy.
3. What one thing really scares you? Heights, especially bridges over large bodies of water.
4. What is one dream you have not completed, and do you think you’ll be able to complete it? Opening my own business. Maybe a small restaurant again or a small kitchen gadget and cooking lesson type of store. But the longer I take to pull the trigger the less energy I have for all of those hours. So, I’m thinking I won’t complete this dream at this time. No worries though, I have already had my own pizzeria and marketing business.
5. If you could be someone else for one day, who would it be? Tom Landry, how I admired that coach.

Now for the 20 nominees listed in no particular order:

Wow, those are my nominees for this blog award now here is the question to be answered.

  •  Tell us 5 things about yourself, your life and/or your blogging experience that you have not told or blogged as of today.

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Posted by on October 28, 2012 in Awards


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Liebster Award

Liebster Blog Award

Oh my gosh, Thank you so much Teresa for your generous nomination of the Liebster Blog Award.  Anyone who follows or just views my blog needs to visit Teresa’s blog. It is full of great recipes, techniques, step by steps and inspiration. I never thought about developing a blog friendship on this journey, but I don’t know what I would do without her blog or without her opinions on my recipes. You can find her lovely blog at

Thank you so much Teresa for your inspiration and internet friendship.

There are 5 rules for this blog award and here they are:

  1. Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and link back to them.
  3. Answer the 11 questions proposed by the person who nominated you.
  4. Select 11 people or blogs for the award.
  5. Pose 11 new questions to the new nominees.

Here are the 11 questions that were asked of me.

1. When did you first start cooking? I starting cooking in a 7th grade cooking class and haven’t stop since.

2. What would your “last” meal be? A sweet Maine Lobster

3. What is your favorite form of exercise and how often do you do it? Gardening, not enough. I would love to be able to garden everyday.

4. Is there anything you would really like to learn how to cook that you have not made before? Italian Homemade Pastas

5. What is your favorite hobby and how did you get started doing it? Fly-fishing….  I was watching the movie “A River Runs Through It” with Mark. His first time seeing this movie, one of my numerous times watching it. I made a comment to Mark that I would love to learn how to fly fish just like Brad Pitt in the movie. A few months later on my birthday he surprised me with a Fly Fishing vacation in the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee complete with an instructional guide of my own for 2 days. I was hooked. For me, while fly fishing, it’s the closest I feel to God.

6. If you were able to cook a meal for ANY person in the world, who would that special person or family be? My Grandmother, she has passed and I would have loved to share many more meals with her. She never got to see me at peace with my life.

7. What is one of your worst cooking disasters? Explain what happened. I was about 16 and my father had gone deep-sea fishing with the Rotary Club. He had bragged about what a wonderful cook I was and how he was sure I could make a wonderful meal with the mackerel he had caught and was bringing home. Upon receipt of all that fresh mackerel I proceeded to dice them up, toss them with butter, garlic and parsley. Wrap them in foil and steam them in the oven. We all sat down to dinner, everyone with their very own foil package to open and enjoy. I was devastated to find that mackerel has many tiny bones and I had just dice all of them so fine that no one could eat even a bite of the steamed fish. We had to throw it all out. Oops!  But I did have a chocolate mouse prepared for dessert.

8. What is the last thing you can ever imagine yourself cooking or trying out as a new recipe? Anything with brains, feet or tongue.

9. What do you hope to accomplish through your blog? I’m trying to compile my recipes so that I create a cookbook to share with my son, niece, family members and friends.

10. If you had unlimited funds, describe your dream kitchen. I am in love with Paula Deen’s kitchen….I would love to have one just like it, complete with the deep fryers.

11. If you were to host a dinner party in your home and you could invite anyone in the world, name 5 people you don’t currently know that you would want to get to know and why. 1. Tom Landry,I so admired him as a coach and christian when I was young.  2. Emmit Smith, seems to be so down to earth and oh what an athlete. I would love to pick his brain on skills and techniques of football. 3. My Grandfather on my mother side, He passed when I was very young. I would love to hear his life’s stories. 4. Martin Luther King, I want to hear more about his vision for our country, his life experiences and his relationship with the Lord. 5. Abraham Lincoln, I would be honored to listen to anything this wonderfully gentle man had to say.

Now for my 11 nominations:

  1. Modern Christian Woman @
  2. Acorn in the Kitchen @…
  3. How Small a Trout @
  4. Afternoon Popcorn Snack @
  5. Back Road Journal @
  6. Bucket List Publications @
  7. Cookies & Beans @
  8. Food Ventures @
  9. Homemade Delish @
  10. Going Dutch @
  11. Frugal Feeding @

Here are the 11 questions I propose for my nominees:

  1. What do you do for a living?
  2. What would be your dream career or job?
  3. What is your favorite food?
  4. Who would you like to cook a meal for you and what do you want them to cook?
  5. If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?
  6. Who is your favorite Disney character?
  7. What is your favorite song?
  8. When is the last time you danced?
  9. Between the smell of freshly mowed grass and a spring rain which do you prefer?
  10. What is your favorite sport?
  11. Do you feel you are a participant or a spectator in life?

Wow, now that’s a blog. Again I am very appreciative of my award and hope to be notifying my nominees as soon as possible. Hopefully many of your will read this blog and save us both some time. I apologize for any misspelled words and run on sentences, this was a doozy to write. Hoping y’all are having a wonderful weekend and enjoying some good ole homecooking with recipes from my kitchen. See you all on Monday.


Posted by on October 27, 2012 in Awards


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Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake

Those of you that follow my blog have read that I am a poor baker. Mark on the other hand is an awesome baker. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas he makes a homemade Red Velvet Cake. Here’s the recipe he uses every single time. This recipe is courtesy of Cook’s Country. The pictures, well those are courtesy of me.

Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 Tb white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs or 3 small eggs
  • 2 Tb sweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 @ one ounce bottle red food coloring, plus 1 Tb more
  • 12 Tb unsalted butter, room temperature, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

Preheat your oven to 350. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.

Christmas Cake

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl whisk the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla and eggs. In a third bowl combine the cocoa and food coloring until a smooth paste forms.

Using an electric and a large bowl on medium speed, beat the butter and the sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Always remember to scarp down the bowl as necessary.  Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat on medium-low until just incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk mixture and beat on low-speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Now add 1/2 of the remaining flour mixture, then the remaining buttermilk mixture, then the remaining flour mixture. Scarp down the bowl, add the cocoa and coloring mixture and beat on medium until completely mixed, about 30 seconds. Using a rubber spatula scrape the batter into the prepared pans and bake about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Whoville Christmas Red Velvet Cake

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 16 Tb unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar (powdered)
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces, softened
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the cream cheese one piece at a time and beat until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Beat in the vanilla and salt. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. When the cakes are completely cooled, spread about 2 cups of the frosting on one cake layer. Top with the second cake layer and spread top and sides of cake with the remaining frosting. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. You can store in the refrigerator up to 3 days.


Posted by on October 26, 2012 in Desserts, Holidays, Thanksgiving


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Carne Asada Tacos

Carne Asada Tacos


  • Sliced Carne Asada, see my recipe
  • corn tortillas, softened
  • Queso Fresco (this is a Mexican style crumble cheese)
  • Chunky Tomato Salsa, see my recipe (the restaurants and fancy chefs refer to this as Pico De Gallo)
  • shortening

In each softened tortillas place about 1 tablespoon of Queso Fresco, then a slice of the Carne Asada. Fold the tortilla in half and fasten with a toothpick. In a medium skillet over medium high heat melt enough shortening to measure 1/2″-inch depth. Fry each taco a few minutes on each side until just starting to brown. Don’t overcrowd the skillet. Place on a paper towel lined plate to drain. When serving, remove toothpick and top with my Chunky Tomato Salsa.


Posted by on October 25, 2012 in Beef


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