Tag Archives: delicious

Carmelitas

 Carmelitas

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Oh my, simply heavenly. This is heaven in a bar, well as close to heaven in a bar as one could possibly imagine. I mean this with utmost respect to our Heavenly Father as well. :) I love these precious little puppies more than you know. This will FOREVER remind me of high school volleyball team dinners. Our entire team LOVED my mom’s cooking and always requested Chicken Alfredo with my moms homemade sauce and these delicious dessert cups.

The memories are fond but the bars are even better than that. I turned my non-loving oatmeal man into a oatmeal lover with this simple dessert. Michael hates oatmeal in any cookie as it “ruins” the cookie entirely. Well, to his great surprise, he became a oat-lover within one single bite of this heaven in a bar.

See for yourself.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 jar caramel sauce
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips

Grease a 9×13 bake dish and set aside. Meanwhile, mix together flour, oats, salt, baking soda and brown sugar together in a stand mixer.

Add in melted butter and mix until combined.

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Take half the mixture and press into the baking dish reserving the other half.

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Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

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Remove from oven and top with chocolate chips

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And drizzle the caramel sauce one top of the chocolate chips.

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Drop the remaining mixture onto the top of the chips and caramel sauce. 
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Return to the oven and bake an additional 15-18 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool before cutting. 
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Enjoy with a delicious glass of milk or cup of water for those who are like me and despise milk. :)

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Tater Tot Casserole

Tater Tot Casserole

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Have you ever enjoyed a good comfort meal full of flavor, creamy and deliciousness? There is nothing more satisfying than a wonderful meal full of comfort especially on a cold, cloudy day.

This meal will forever remind me of post pregnancy and my mom visiting and helping out for two weeks. She made this meal and it was one of the only meals I would/could eat. I was sick as a dog but this cheered my upset tummy to no end. My tummy craved tater tot casserole made from the very hands of my adorable mother.

Not only was this meal great for post pregnancy but my mom was recently in the hospital as well. This meal is the epitome of hospitals and healing, full of comfort. Praise be to God as my mom is doing okay and has high spirits given the situation! Bless her soul.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tbsp minced dried onion
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cups fresh green beans (frozen works too)
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup**
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 32 ounce tater tots

In a large skillet begin to brown the meat with chopped dried onion, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper.

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Stir in chopped onion.

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Cook until meat is no longer pink and onions are tender.

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Turn on low heat and Cream of mushroom soup**

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Mix together well and pour into a greased casserole dish.

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Top with green beans

IMG_6479Sprinkle with cheese and…
IMG_6468Top with tater tots.

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Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min -1 hour. Or until bubbling and tots are golden brown.

IMG_6471Let stand for 15 minutes and serve.

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IMG_6474MMMMMM amazingly comforting and great for healing.

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**If opting out of using the cream of mushroom soup. Follow these instructions:

When it comes to adding the cream of mushroom simply add in

  • 6 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk

Continue as normal with the remainder of the recipe. :)

Sweet And Savory Crockpot Beef Stew

Sweet and Savory Crockpot Beef Stew

Fall weather is officially taken a turn and come to land in Portland for the next few months. I know this to be true because at 3 am when I heard a ticking sound, I thought to myself how something horrible was about to happen. But in all reality, that horrific sound that scared me still as could be was only our rain gutters. They finally failed to keep up with the rain that was quickly filling to the brim. The amount of rain these past few days had been impossible to keep up with. Needless to say, my evening scare was fulfilled with something entirely meaningless which allowed me to peacefully fall back to sleep.

I do love the cool crisp mornings, but I must say, I truly do not enjoy the rain for extended periods of time. A little here and there but not torrential downpour for days. There’s something about a rainy day that is comforting but not a hurricane taking over my life. I may be protesting a bit because my son loves outside no matter the weather. Tornadoes and hurricanes mixed with a little snow and ice and my son wouldn’t know the difference as long as he was outside playing. I on the other hand, can handle being outside if it’s not too nor too cold. Hmmm we shall see how this will play out the remainder of winter. I’m a little snow bird who loves to bundle up by the fire with socks, jammies (aka pj’s), blankets and a hot cup of tea or coffee. God changed my life when he brought not only a baby to my life, but a boy.

Enough of my complaining about the rain, I have many months I can continue this banter on rain as it is just beginning. ;)

Anyway, Michael’s step dad was coming over for pumpkin carving and dinner. I always enjoy a cozy meal on a beautiful fall day. This meal was perfect and allowed me to spend time carving pumpkins rather then slaving away in the kitchen.

Here’s what to do:

First- have a rainy day (check)
Second- have pumpkins (check)
Third- have a crockpot and LOVE to use it (check)

VIOLA, watch the magic happen!!!!!

Ingredients:

  • I lb Stew Meat
  • 1 cups baby carrots (as is)
  • 4 Celery Stalks, chopped
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 6 Red Potatoes, chopped
  • 2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 4 tbsp beef Bouillon
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 2 1/2 tbsp flour

In a crockpot add stew meat, carrots, celery, onion and potatoes.

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Add in water and beef bouillon and stir.

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Top off with rosemary, bay leaf, garlic, pepper and parsley. Allow to sit for 6-8 hours on low heat.

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20 minutes before serving, take a cup of broth and add flour. Mix together until no lumps are present. Pour into the stew and give it a good stir. Let sit for 20-30 minutes.

Serve with fresh garlic toast and a fresh cut green salad.

While the crockpot was cooking, I was enjoying watching my son try and drill holes into his pumpkin.

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“Cheez” my boys scooping out the guts…

Yes that’s right, Cooper has scissors in his hands.

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The pumpkins are coming to life…or maybe that’s just us.

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Marlin, Michael’s step-dad getting in on the magic as well.

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Helping daddy cut some eyes out.

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And here is masterpiece in action. 
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Carving pumpkins is never really “my thang,” but I do it for the simple joy it brings my son to watch things transform and get goop all over his hands. It was fun and we had a great time together with good food and good conversation.

Flavorful Beef Stroganoff

Flavorful Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff

Wanting a recipe that is beyond easy, tastes fabulous and is wonderful for company? This meal is all three combined.

I first had this dish while visiting my sister one night and all of us devoured the entire dish. There was absolutely NO leftovers. Isn’t that the type of meal you want to serve your guests? Isn’t this the type of meal you want to be served if visiting family or friends?

I tell ya, this meal is literally too easy but amazing!!! I can’t stress to you enough how important the Dijon mustard is and I would encourage you all to use exactly what the recipe calls for because this is the “secret” ingredient that makes this meal stand out!

See for yourselves!

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2-3 tbsp beef bouillon (or 1 packet Auju Mix)
  • 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 16 ounce egg noodles cooked to package instructions

Heat oil in skilled and add chopped onion.

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Add in mushrooms and cook until softened.

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Add in ground beef and cook until no longer pink.

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Stir in beef bouillon (Auju mix), mustard and pepper.

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Remove from heat and add sour cream and fresh parsley. Serve on top of egg noodles and enjoy with garlic toast and Caesar salad.

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My sister graciously gave me this recipe and is allowing me to share with all of you this amazing, delicious, easy meal!

Quick Homemade Croutons

Quick Homemade Croutons 

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My husband grew up eating homemade croutons all the time. So when I purchased croutons awhile ago, he refused to eat them. I used to think he was crazy until he made them one evening and I was forever sold.

Than, just the other night we had my family over for dinner and everyone wanted them as soon as Michael mentioned it. He made them yet again and we all ate them as is and loved them, as well as topping our salad with this delicious crunch.

They are super easy and taste really good with my homemade english muffin bread (see below).

Goodridence to store bought croutons. Hello homemade goodness! Your guests will be impressed!

Ingredients:

Turn oven to broil or 550 degrees. Cut bread into medium chunks and place on a foil lined baking sheet.

Drizzle with EVOO, garlic salt and sea salt all to taste!

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Place in the oven and broil 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned. Toss croutons to toast the bottom of them as well! An additional 1-2 minutes.

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These croutons are perfectly crunchy without busting a tooth and are healthier than the 50 ingredient croutons in the store AND taste phenomenal.

If you do not have an impressive salad for dinner guests, please make these as a perfect distraction. You will get compliments on these easy little suckers.

Moutwatering Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Mouthwater Pulled Pork Sandwiches

The weekend started promptly with my sister and her beautiful family coming to visit. We had not only the best time and memories spent, but we also enjoyed wonderful food including these pulled pork sandwiches. They were mouthwatering goodness!

While they were here we enjoyed wonderful conversations and time well spent with one another. Times like these make me appreciate family and what it stands for. Family is so crucial and simple gatherings recreate those deep, lasting impressions not only on my heart, but on our children as well.

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We hung out at the very back to consume as much shade as possible (or shall I say, enjoy the port-a-potties). Just kidding…kinda!

IMG_6285-400x300Trace sat up in a tree enjoying the music without any distractions ahead of him. He really enjoyed this experience and I was thankful to be able to participate in this one-hit-wonder with them! :) You know, kids and their first concert experience. What a blessing that they enjoyed the atmosphere and Christian fellowship. 

IMG_6305-e1409694552461-300x400After being there all day in the high heat, I had planned ahead to come home to pulled pork in the crock pot. I thought this would be genius as I know we all would be hungry upon our arrival home and would need something delicious and available very promptly. 

This was the perfect meal to come home to and a perfect meal to feed 8 people. :)  

So lets get into it….

Ingredients:

  • 1- 4 lb boneless pork shoulder
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 28 ounce (3 1/2 cups) Barbecue sauce, separated
  • 2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp garlic salt
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • Coleslaw
  • Ciabatta Rolls

Sprinkle the bottom of your crock pot with chicken broth, one onion and minced garlic.

Next, rub garlic salt, paprika, chili powder and cumin on the pork shoulder. Place in slow cooker.

Top with second onion and dump 2 1/2 cups barbecue sauce upon everything. Cover and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours (or high 4-6 hours).

When the pork is cooked remove from slow cooker reserving sauce. Add in 1/2-1 cup additional barbecue sauce and 1 tbsp white vinegar and stir well. Strain sauce to rid of any excess fat.

Meanwhile, pull pork apart with a fork and add to strained sauce. Mix together and top on a toasted Ciabatta roll with coleslaw.

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Such a simple meal and so wonderfully delicious! Nothing beats a pulled pork sandwich.

This is for all you meat lovers out there! :)

Chocolate Chip Snickerdoodle Blondies

Chocolate Chip Snickerdoodle Blondies 

DESSERTS!!!

It seriously must be “that” time of the month for me. And yes, I did just say that! :) I am craving, pinning and gaining weight all over looking at pictures of what I want to make to satisfy my “fat foodie” days.

The gloomy aspect outside isn’t helping with my dessert cravings either. Typically when it’s warm outside I have less cravings, but the colder it gets and the quicker winter approaches, I have my extra 5 pounds stored up for winter to help keep me warm. :)

Part of the weight gain comes from these amazing Snickerdoodle Blondies. They are incredibly moist and utterly satisfying for those days you simply need something sweet. Take the pan to the couch and enjoy every bite if that will make you feel better! :)

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cups butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 baking dish. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy (1-2 minutes).

Chocolate Chip Snickerdoodle Blondies

Add in both sugars and beat another 2-3 minutes. (Scrap sides as needed)

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Add in eggs and vanilla and cream together.

Scrap sides of the bowl and add in all dry ingredients. Mix just until combined.

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Fold in chocolate chips.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl make the cinnamon mixture.

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Place 3/4 of the dough into the bottom of the pan (reserving the rest) and sprinkle with 3/4 the cinnamon mixture.

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Drop remainder of the dough into little chunks evenly across the top.

Sprinkle with remainder of the cinnamon mixture.

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Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Be prepared to be wowwed and devour.

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We have enjoyed this cookie bar for breakfast with a cup of coffee. Super yummy if you are a pastry lover and a coffee lover.

Country Fried Chicken Double Dipped

 Double Dipped Country Fried Chicken

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Comfort food, ah ya!

Definitely had a craving for fried chicken but instead of frying it I opted to bake it. I did this because it actually is quicker and healthier without compromising the flavor.

I served this chicken with fresh corn, red mashed potatoes and homemade gravy.

My mouth is watering just reliving this experience.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs chicken, chopped largely
  • 8 eggs, whisked
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 lbs red potatoes
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 cups plus 1/2 (reserve) milk or cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Breading:

  • 2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar

Chop thawed chicken into large chunks and set aside.

Grease a 9×13 baking pan and set aside.

Fried Chicken

In a medium bowl combine eggs and 1 cup milk and whisk together.

In a separate medium bowl add the breading ingredients.

Fried Chicken 1

Dip your chicken in the egg batter and then into the breading.

Dip AGAIN back into the egg batter and again back into the breading for the double dipped effect. :)

Fried Chicken 2 Place into greased bake dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until no longer pink in the middle.
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Bring the potatoes to a boil and begin making the gravy.

For the gravy:

Once chicken is cooked, remove from pan and reserve the chicken remains and grease.

Spoon into a sauce pan and add 1-2 tbsp flour.

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Coat batter with excess flour.

Add in 3 cups milk, (reserving the last half cup for the potatoes) heat through on med-low heat until it begins to thicken.

At this point check and see if you need more chicken flavor, if so add about 1 tbsp chicken better than bouillon and stir until melted.

If your gravy still is not thick enough, add a little gravy to a small cup and add in additional flour. Mix well until no lumps appear and dump back into gravy. (This will help prevent lumpy gravy)

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Once the potatoes are soft, mash with a potato masher.

Add in 1/2 cup milk and butter.

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Now you are ready to make your plate look pretty and fill your tummy.

Bring all your ingredients to the plate. Fried chicken, potatoes and corn.

Drizzle or lather in gravy.

Fried Chicken 9I prefer the lathering of gravy.

Breakfast Egg Muffins

Hello happy child! I not only got a picture of him laughing, but also looking at me! Yahoo! Mission accomplished!

IMG_6817This morning we went on a family hike and ended at Vivace’s in northwest 23rd for crepes and coffee.

Cooper was attempting to fill up his little truck with cheerios and take them to the “dump” AKA his mouth! (This was taught by his daddy…no surprise there) 

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Michael prepared to devour his cup of coffee after a long jaunt hiking/walking.

“We must conquer our thirst.”

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As usual I pack Michael a lunch every day because it’s so easy to waste hundreds of dollars a month on eating out. This is a money saver folks.

Since he leaves so early in the morning I send him with breakfast, lunch and snacks to partake in all day long.

This mornings breakfast of choice was egg muffins full of delicious meat and veggies to fill his tummy. I choose this meal because it looks hard but this is exactly the opposite and that my friends, is why I made it. I was tired from the weekend and all the activities we did so this was perfect. It makes enough to send him with 3-4 breakfast’s depending on how many Cooper and I eat. :)

So lets get into it.

Ingredients:

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • Dash of sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup ham, diced
  • 1/4 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cheese, shredded

In a medium bowl crack the eggs. Whisk very well. 1 minute by hand.

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Add in seasoning. 
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After whisking the seasoning in, add ham and tomatoes (any vegetables work). 
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Line a muffin tin with muffin cups or oil and fill 3/4 full.

Cook at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the middle does not jiggle. :) 
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Remove immediately IF you greased with oil and opted out of the muffin liners. This helps them come out easier. Otherwise, let cool on a wire rack.

Spicy Black Bean Burgers

Music in the park tonight, yup that was music not movies. As we continually have this discussion all throughout summer about our movie dates we officially ended the movie phase last week and now have transitioned to music nights.

We decided we would continue our Thursday Date Night Park Night (boy was that a mouthful) with whatever decides to land itself in the park and tonight happens to be music.

I had a light bulb moment today while hashing out picnic ideas to myself and a brilliant idea hit–black bean burgers with a titch of spice. Before I get started, I must confess that this idea came to me only, I repeat only because I just made black beans last night. What was I making black beans for you may ask, I’m not entirely sure, they just sounded scrumptious. There was no heartfelt pondering as to what I should make for our dinner park date but that does not mean love is not genuinely wrapped tightly in my non-heartfelt idea. :)

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First, let me just say that replacing lettuce for fresh green beans was by far the best idea I’ve had to date. I do not know how to express to you this transitional period in my life. Something about the sweet flavor of the beans along with the crunch lettuce holds, brought this sandwich to a WHOLE new level; unexplainable.

Now here are the magical ingredients for my delicious spicy black bean burgers–

Quantity = 4 burgers

Ingredients: 

  • 4 Ciabatta Buns
  • 2 Cups Black Beans
  • 1 Cup Quinoa
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Green Beans, chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Palm full Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 TBSP Garlic Salt
  • 1/2 TSP Sea Salt
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Crumbled Blue Cheese
  • 4 Slices of Cheese

Toppings:

  • Spicy Spread (optional)
  • Fresh Green Beans (replacement for lettuce)
  • Tomatoes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine oil, eggs, garlic, sea salt and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Mix well.

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Add in black beans, quinoa, green beans, tomatoes and cilantro.

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Add in cheese.

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Use a 1 cup measuring cup and scoop onto a cookie sheet. Pat down to make flat.

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Bake for 20-25 minutes until crispy. Remove from oven and top with cheese slices.

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Return to oven and heat until melted; 1-2 minutes.IMG_6705

Lets just say that the blue cheese crumbles melted within this giant black bean burger is to die for. You do not want to opt out of using blue cheese crumbles as this adds lots of flavor and pairs perfectly with the spicy spread.

Top your buns with a black bean burger, a large dollop of spicy spread, green beans and tomatoes. If you love the spicy spread as much as we do, fill each side of your bun with it as well. :)

IMG_6713This meal will knock your socks off guaranteed. Holy smokes you may want to call the fire department, it’s that sizzling good.