Monthly Archives: January 2013

Simple & Quick Meatballs

Meatballs in Spaghetti Sauce


Would you like to spruce up your jarred spaghetti sauce? After a long day I too use jarred spaghetti sauce, but it doesn’t have to taste so bland. Try adding simple and quick homemade meatballs to the sauce. While they simmer in the sauce they add great homemade flavor.


  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound sausage
  • 1/4 onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 fine Italian Bread Crumbs
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper

Combine all of the above ingredients. Form meatballs about 1-inch in size. Place on a boiling pan sprayed with pan release and broil on high for about 7 minutes. Turn the meatballs over and broil another 7 minutes. You want the meatballs to brown slightly on both sides. Gently add these semi cooked meatballs to your warmed jarred spaghetti sauce. Over medium-low heat let the meatballs simmer in the sauce for at least 20 minutes until fully cooked. I usually have them simmering before I start cooking my pasta.

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Posted by on January 30, 2013 in Beef, Budget friendly dishes, Pork


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Strawberry Gooey Butter Cake

Strawberry Gooey Butter Cake

Strawberry Gooey Butter Cake

Yum Yum Yum! I took Paula Deen’s Gooey Butter Cake recipe and substituted the yellow cake mix with a strawberry cake mix. What a sweet treat for Valentine’s Day.

Crust Ingredients:

  • One 18 1/4-ounce box of Strawberry cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 8 Tb salted butter, melted

Filling Ingredients:

  • One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 8 Tb salted butter, melted
  • One @ 1 pound box of Confectioners Sugar (Powdered Sugar)

Preheat your oven to 350 and butter a 13×9 baking dish.

In a large bowl combine the cake mix, egg and 8 tablespoons melted butter until well mixed. Place this mixture into your baking dish and using your fingers pat it down to form a crust. In another bowl using an electric mixer beat the cream cheese until smooth in texture. Add the eggs, vanilla and 8 tablespoons of melted butter and beat until well blended. Using a rubber spatula stir in the box of powdered sugar and spread this mixture of the crust mixture. Bake 40 to 50 minutes. It will be gooey in the center, but it’s done, so try not to over bake. Let it cool before cutting into squares.

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Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Desserts, Holidays


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Berry, Chocolate & Pecan Cake

Coffee Cake

Berry, Chocolate & Pecan Cake

Originally I made this as a breakfast cake, but honestly it’s to sweet for breakfast nowadays. It’s just an easy cake with lovely flavors that I put together in a bind.


  • 2 1/3 cups flour, divided use
  • 1 cup sugar, divided use
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, divided use
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup frozen mixed whole berries
  • 3/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • half a package of chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 and butter the bottom and sides of a 9 x 9 x 2 baking dish.

In a small bowl using a pastry cutter, cut 1/4 cup of the softened butter into 1/3 cup flour and 1/4 sugar until this mixture is crumbly. Stir in the berries, chopped pecans and chocolate chip. Set aside until needed.

In a large bowl add the remaining 2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup softened butter, milk, baking powder, vanilla, salt and egg. Using your electric mixer beat these ingredients on low for about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium and beat for another 2 1/2 minutes.

Spread half of the batter in the baking dish. Add half of the berry, pecan, chocolate mixture. Now add the remaining batter and top with the remaining berry, pecan, chocolate mixture. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the cake.


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Posted by on January 26, 2013 in Breakfast, Desserts


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Tamale Pie (Leftover Delight)

Tamale Pie

Tamale Pie

After making homemade tamales I generally have leftover masa. This is an easy recipe to make a tamale pie that taste like homemade tamales without all of the work.


  • 2 cups masa, (leftovers)
  • 2 cups or so of shredded chicken (leftovers)
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • a couple of fresh Roma Tomatoes, diced
  • a handful or so of shredded Mexican Cheese

Preheat the oven to 375. Butter and 9″-inch glass pie pan.

If you’re not using leftover masa you can find the recipe in my “Chipotle Chicken Tamale, Day 2, Making Masa” post. Using your fingers spread half of the masa in the bottom and sides of the glass pie pan.  In a bowl mix together the shredded chicken, onion, parsley, tomatoes and cheese. Place this mixture on top of the masa in the pie pan. Now place the remaining masa a tablespoon at a time over the meat mixture. Again using your fingers spread the masa over the filling until it forms a complete topping. Tent the pie pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 20 to 30 minutes until the masa topping has slightly browned.

Suggestions: Slice like a pie and serve with a dollop of sour cream and maybe some salsa. If you don’t have leftover shredded chicken you can always use leftover carnitas.

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Posted by on January 23, 2013 in Casseroles, Left-Over Delights


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Potato Soup

Potato Soup

Potato Soup

In the midst of winter we crave a nice big warm bowl of soup. For us nothing is better than a homemade potato soup. This time I wanted to spruce it up, so why not add roasted potatoes? Oh my, how this addition brought the soup to a whole new loveliness.


  • 4 russet/baking potatoes, peeled, diced, divided use
  • 3 red potatoes, peeled, diced, divided use
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled, diced, divided use
  • 1 Tb Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh Parsley, chopped
  • DSC_07152 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, divided use
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 to 5 stalks celery, minced
  • 1/2 large onion, minced
  • 4 Tb salted butter
  • 4 Tb flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 cup half & half
  • shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Preheat your oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with foil.

In a small bowl combine half of the diced red potatoes, half of the diced sweet potato and 1 diced russet potato. Add the Olive Oil, rosemary, parsley, garlic 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Toss all these ingredients until the potatoes are well coated. Place the potatoes on the foil lined baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, toss and roast another 15 minutes. Place aside until needed later in the recipe.

Using your food processor mince the celery and onion. In a large stockpot over medium heat melt the butter, add the minced celery and onion and cook for about 3 minutes, until they are heated thoroughly. Sprinkle the mixture with flour and whisking constantly cook for 5 minutes. It will be very thick. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, making sure it’s blended thoroughly with the flour mixture. Add the remainder of the diced potatoes, 1 tsp salt, white pepper and ground mustard, stir well.

Increase the heat and bring the soup mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes until the potatoes are soft. Remove 2 cups of the soup, this includes broth and potatoes, and puree in your food processor. Return this pureed mixture back into the stock pot. Whisk in the half & half and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in the roasted potatoes and serve in warmed bowls topped with the shredded cheddar cheese.

Suggestions: If I had thought ahead I would have cooked up some bacon and crumbled that over the potato soup also. This soup freezes very well in a zip lock freezer bag. When I prepare the leftover soup I will add some diced ham into the potato soup while it’s re-heating. Now I haven’t tried making this in my crock pot, but I bet it would be easy. I’m thinking after you have cooked the celery, onion and flour you could put the rest together in a crock pot. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, then add the cream and roasted potatoes and serve.


Posted by on January 21, 2013 in Soups and Stews, Vegetables


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Puffy Omelet with Spinach, Basil & Garlic

Puffy Omelet with Spinach, Basil & Garlic.

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Posted by on January 20, 2013 in Breakfast


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Sweet and Savory Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders

Bacon wrappedChicken Tenders

Bacon wrapped
Chicken Tenders

Here’s an easy way to serve chicken tenders for dinner. Mark just loves this recipe.


  • 1 1/2 pound Chicken Tenders, that’s 8 to 9 pieces
  • 1 Tb garlic salt
  • 1 tsp all meat seasoning, (basically pepper, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika)
  • 1/4 tsp ground thyme
  • 1/8 tsp ground sage
  • 8 to 9 slices of bacon, (1 slice for each chicken tender)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, give or take

Preheat your oven to 400, line a broiling pan with foil, spray the broiling grill with a pan release or non-stick spray.

Rinse and pat dry the Chicken Tenders. Mix together the garlic salt, all meat seasoning, ground thyme and ground sage. Sprinkle this mixture all over the chicken tenders. Wrap each piece with 1 strip of bacon. Sprinkle the entire piece with brown sugar and pat into the bacon wrapped chicken tender. Place on the broiling pan and bake for 40 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked.



Posted by on January 17, 2013 in Budget friendly dishes, Chicken


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