Sunday, August 2, 2009

DARN GOOD CHILI! Mmmm the best!

2 c. water
1 c. beer ( or can substitute 1 c. beef broth)
1- 1 1/4 lbs. lean hamburger
2 Tbsp. onion powder
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp mustard from fridge (any kind you like & have on hand)
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. chili powder
3/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. Chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
3/4 Tbsp. salt
3/4 tsp. ground allspice
8 oz. can tomato paste
3/4 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 lrg. and 1 small whole bay leaves
Crumble raw hamburger (do NOT brown) into water, add all ingredients, stir with wooden spoon while bringing mixture to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, for 3 hours, chili will thicken as it cooks, stirring occasionally. Due to raw meat in initial mix - DO NOT taste for at least 1-2 hours. Remove bay leaves. Serves 5 to 6. Serve and top with cheese, and onions, if wish. Great on chips with cheese, on hotdogs or hamburgers, or serve with cornbread. ~ ENJOY :) IS So delicious and worth the wait! Freezes well or enjoy over the next 3 days.

Saturday, July 11, 2009



All-Purpose Cleaner
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup baking soda
1/2 gallon water
Mix ingredients above to store and keep.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner
1/4 cup baking soda
1 cup vinegar
Mix ingredients above. Pour into basin and allow to set for three minutes. Scrub with brush and rinse.

Rust Remover
1 lime
Sprinkle a little salt on the rust. Squeeze a lime over the salt until it is well soaked. Let the mixture set for two to three hours. Use the leftover rind to scrub the residue.

Glass Cleaner
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 quart warm water
Mix ingredients above. Pour into a spray bottle or apply with a sponge. For lint-free results, wipe dry with crumpled newspaper instead of paper towels. Buff to a shine.

Furniture Polish
1 lemon
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon water
Extract the juice from the lemon. Mix with oil and water. Apply a thin coat to the wood surface and let set for five minutes. Use a soft cloth to buff to a deep shine.


Delicious Smoothies....

Thought you had to spend $5 and go to Jamba Juice or Juice It UP or one of the many other smoothie places popping up??? THINK AGAIN! Grab your blender and try out the following:

3/4c. plain non-fat yogurt
8-10 drops of liquid stevia or a packet or two (plant derived natural sweetner!){Find at Trader Joe's or Henry's} (or use Honey, about 1-2 Tbsp)
4 oz. Juice (Orange, Pineapple, Apple, or a 100 % juice)
2 bananas
12 oz. frozen pineapple (great tip - buy canned in pineapple juice, dump in a baggie and freeze)
1/2 c. frozen strawberries

Mix all put last two ingredients - when combined open and place pineapple in, blend - when well blended - drop strawberries in as they will act like ice cubes and start freezing and thickening the drink - mix really well. Enjoy!! :)
This recipe is just like the 'Aloha Pineapple' or " Pineapple Punch" drinks at Juice It Up - so good and good for YOU!

Monday, June 29, 2009

$5 Dinners....

Check out this weeks giveaway at the $5 Dinner website!

If you haven't visited the $5 Dollar dinner site you should check it out - This gal was featured on Rachael Ray and she is one creative mom! She has tips on grocery shopping, menu and meal planning, even grocery coupon organizing, and she does everything for under $5 a night! AMAZING! Please stop by and visit her site! :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Vegan Lunch - Un-Caesar Salad

Serves: 4
Time: 15 minutes
Tear the lettuce into small pieces and place in a large salad bowl. 
Meanwhile, toast the sunflower seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat for about five minutes or until just barely browned and starting
to smell nutty and fragrant. Put them in a blender with the remaining ingredients (except, of course, the croutons). Blend until fairly
smooth.  Dress the lettuce with as much dressing as you’d like. Serve with the Rosemary and Thyme Croutons.
2 heads romaine lettuce, washed and dried (dark outer leaves discarded)
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup water
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 tablespoon capers
2 teaspoons smoked dulse flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
Courtesy of Gwenyth Paltrow and Her "Goop" blog

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


.....THE OTHER White MEat!

1 egg, beaten 2 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs dry sherry or water ground ginger and garlic powder
4 lean pork chops dry breadcrumbs to coat

Beat together egg, soy sauce and sherry, with ginger and garlic powder
to taste. Dip chops in egg mixture; coat evenly with breadcrumbs. Arrange
single layer in baking dish/sheet - sprayed with non-stick vegetable oil. Bake
in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes, turn, and bake until tender, about
20 minutes more. ~Enjoy :)

Friday, June 5, 2009


Active Time: 5 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 5 Minutes
Yield: Serves 4
Jamaicans love this sweet-and-spicy rub on both chicken and meat. Our rub is a little less fiery than the traditional version, but if you'd like to kick the heat up a notch, just add more cayenne pepper.
3 scallions including green tops, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon vinegar
1/4 cup cooking oil
4 whole chicken legs

In a food processor or blender, puree all the ingredients except the chicken legs. Put the chicken in a large roasting pan and coat with the pureed mixture. Let the chicken marinate for about 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Cook the chicken legs in the upper third of the oven for 15 minutes. Turn the legs over and cook until just done, about 15 minutes longer.

Menu Suggestions

Corn bread, rice and beans (or just plain rice), or corn on the cob would all taste great with this highly spiced chicken. Fried plantains are another appropriate accompaniment.

Test-Kitchen Tip

The longer you can marinate the chicken legs, the more the flavor will penetrate the meat. We've suggested thirty minutes, but you can marinate the chicken for up to twenty-four hours.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Amazing and EASY Homemade Enchilada Sauce

3 cups chicken broth
4 Tbsp. Chili Powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 heaping tsp. garlic powder (with no salt added)
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1 pinch ground cinnamon (less than 1/16 tsp.)
3/4 tsp. sugar
5 Tbsp. cold water
4 Tbsp. white flour

In a 2 quart sauce pan add the chicken broth, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt, cinnamon and sugar (the sugar is a little secret to eliminate any bitter taste from the chili powder).

Use a whisk to mix everything well. Heat to a boil, reduce heat to a low boil and cook for 3 minutes.

Whisk frequently to make sure all spices dissolve. This is important for flavor and a nice smooth sauce.

While the sauce is on a slow simmer/boil, add 5 tablespoons of cold water in a small bowl.

With another whisk mix 1 tablespoon at a time of flour. Whisk vigorously to avoid lumps. If you have lumps here, you will definitely have lumps in your sauce.

After 3 minutes of cooking sauce, turn the heat up to high. Very slowly, pour the flour mixture into the boiling sauce. Here you must whisk the sauce vigorously while adding the flour to avoid lumps.

After all the flour is added, continue to whisk for one minute. You can turn the heat down to medium during this time. Just make sure the sauce is boiling.

Turn off the heat, this enchilada sauce recipe is done.

You will notice that as this sauce sits it will form a "skin" on the surface. This is normal and in fact the longer the sauce sits the thicker this skin becomes. All you have to do is peel the skin off and throw it away.

As you can see, this enchilada sauce recipe is very quick to make.

So go on, make some cheese, beef, or chicken enchiladas tonight for dinner.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tri-Tip and left overs! Mmmmm

Oven Roasted Tri-Tip

1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
Dry rub or marinade of your choice.

1 1/2 to 2 1/2 pound beef tri-tip, fat trimmed to 1/4 inch
Pan Sauce: (do not make if you use a wet marinade)
1/2 cup beef or chicken stock
1/4 cup red wine
1 teaspoon chopped fresh herb of your choice such as thyme or rosemary, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Flavor Step: If you're using the garlic rub or a dry rub, combine all ingredients and generously season or rub the meat all over and let it stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Or cover the roast and leave it overnight in the refrigerator; let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours before cooking. If you're using a wet marinade, puncture the meat all over with a meat fork or skewer. Place it in a zip-lock bag or large bowl and pour the marinade over the meat. Marinate (cover if using a bowl), for up to 2 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator. If the meat has been refrigerated, let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours before cooking.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat it dry. Discard the marinade. Place the tri-tip, fat side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast for 20 minutes, then begin checking the internal temperature: You should remove the roast at 115 degrees F to 120 degrees F for rare, 120 degrees F to 125 degrees F for medium-rare.

Transfer the meat to a carving board or platter, cover loosely with foil, and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving to allow the residual heat to complete the cooking and the juices to stabilize.

Meanwhile, make the optional pan sauce: Pour off any fat from the roasting pan. Place the pan over a burner and add the stock, wine, and herbs. Bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the sauce almost to a syrup. Whisk in the mustard and taste for salt and pepper.

Slice the meat into thin slices across the grain. If you made the sauce, pour it over the sliced meat, and serve.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

$5 dinners and Dinner Solutions...

Dinner Solution software....

Dinner Solution software

Check out and enter to win some amazing time saving. menu planning, grocery list, and more software. Check out this blog while your at it for more amazing, inexpensive, and healthy, cheap dinner ideas today!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Amazing Salsa Verde (Tomatillo Salsa)

I recently attended a baby shower. Grandma made every bit of the food....God bless Grandmas! :)
Well she is originally from El Salvador and at one point in her life worked for a popular Puerto Vallarta restaurant and worked under many great chefs! She told me the ingredients to her amazing salsa.... Mmmm.... After listening I went home bought these ingredients and whipped this up. So good! and as double duty turn it into Salsa verde chicken enchiladas too! To make spicier add another jalapeno to the pot!

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Remove outer skins of 5 tomatillos, place whole in a cooking pan, add 1 whole jalapeno (don't cut open), 1/2 a sliced brown onion, and a smashed garlic clove - with just enough water to cover them, but they will float!
Add about 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp sea salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper, and a pinch (small) red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper. Bring to boil, then simmer for about 30-40 minutes - (do not throw away water broth!) the tomatillos will turn brown/tan and the rest will soften. Turn off. Scoop tomatillos, onions, and the garlic clove, out to a blender. Scoop out jalapeno and slice top and bottom off. Run a slit down the jalapeno to open - remove seeds and ribs, can wear gloves if wish - if not, be careful to not touch your eyes or nose for about 1/2 a day and wash hands thoroughly - can irritate these areas! Ouch! Scoop jalapeno minus seeds into blender (amp up the heat) add about 1/2 the seeds or use a second jalapeno. Scoop about 1/2 a cup of the stock water into the blender - now mix until liquified. Wallah ... excellent salsa or sauce.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees for about 5-10 minutes.
Wrap 12-13 corn tortillas in a moistened kitchen towel and toss in microwave for 1 - 1 1/2 minutes. Pull out and set aside. Spray a 13x9 pan with cooking spray. Pour a little salsa verde in pan. Toss in about 3 tortillas to work with. Use prepped how you like it - 2 cans of chicken in water, or a rotisserie chicken or left over chicken, or boiled chicken in stock with taco seasoning for 22-25 minutes and shred chicken! Add a couple Tablespoons of chicken then a little cheese, fold and roll, and place in corner. Keep going to have all the 12-13 enchiladas done. Pour salsa all over top of dish, then add about 1/2 c. cheese on top - the 2-4 blend mexican cheese works nicely. Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minute to heat through and brown top a little. Take out and turn off oven. Let stand about 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Spiced Grilled Chicken

5 minute prep, 30 minute marinade, 30 minutes in the oven and Yum-O! Courtesy Rachael Ray, Everyday
One 6-ounce container yogurt
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and pepper
4 large chicken breast halves on the bone

1. In a gallon-size resealable plastic bag, combine the yogurt, garlic, cumin, chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cut 2 slashes in each chicken breast through to the bone and add to the yogurt mixture; turn to coat. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 450°. Place the chicken on a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet and roast until cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Breaded Garlic Parm Baked Steak Fries

recipe Courtesy Rachael Ray
4 large Idaho potatoes, each cut into 8 wedges
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon garlic powder
Ground black pepper
4 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 425ºF.
Place the potato wedges into a pot with some salt and cover with cold water. Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring up to a bubble. Simmer the potatoes until just tender, about 7-8 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, combine the cheese and breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Reserve.

When the potatoes are cooked, toss them in the EVOO, salt and pepper in a bowl. Sprinkle the cheese and breadcrumb mixture over the potatoes, tossing to coat and pressing on them lightly so that the mixture sticks. Transfer the potatoes to a nonstick bake sheet and then into the oven to bake, turning once halfway through, until golden brown and crispy on all sides, about 10-15 minutes


Now a link between the two (facebook & blog) will help make recipes more accessible to more people. Updates coming soon! :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Beefy Chili

This recipe doesn't have beans, but you could easily add a few cans of beans if you want. Also, if you like a tomato based chili, you can replace some of the additional water with a can of crushed tomatoes. I recommend adding the tomatoes first, and only add enough water to keep it from being too thick.

Beefy Crockpot Chili
1 ½ pounds ground round
1 ½ pounds stew meat, cubed
3 teaspoons olive oil
½ cup all purpose white flour
1 cup water
3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ cup cocoa powder
12 ounces beer
5 cups water
¼ cup chili powder
In large skillet, brown ground beef over medium heat. Dredge stew meat in 1/4 cup flour. With slotted spoon, transfer browned ground beef to crock pot. Sprinkle 1/4 cup flour into beef drippings, stir well to prevent lumps. Cook for about 1 minute, then add 1 cup water and Worcestershire sauce. Stir until thick. Pour over beef in crockpot.

Wipe skillet clean, heat olive oil over medium heat. Brown stew meat. Pour into crockpot.

Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Cover and cook on low for 8 - 10 hours, stirring occasionally.

***Note: You can make this on top of the stove with a large stockpot instead of using a crockpot. After combining all ingredients, bring just to the boiling point, reduce to simmer, cover -- let cook for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Chili is always better cooked ahead of time, refrigerated, and served after it has been reheated.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Giada's Mini Italian Club Sandwiches... The Best! :)

Mini Italian Club Sandwiches

Cook Time: 18 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 6 servings

3 large eggs
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon (about) unsalted butter
10 slices bacon
2 (8-ounce) round loaves focaccia bread (7-inch diameter)
1 cup purchased pesto
8 ounces thinly sliced turkey OR Herb Deli Chicken (so Good!)
4 ounces thinly sliced provolone cheese
Whisk the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl until well
blended. Heat a 6-inch-diameter nonstick skillet over medium-low heat.
Brush the skillet with some butter. Pour 1/4 cup of the egg mixture
into the pan, swirling to coat the bottom of the pan evenly. Cover and
cook until the egg crepe is just set, about 1 minute and 30 seconds.
Invert the skillet over a plate, and allow the egg crepe to drop onto
the plate. Repeat to make 4 crepes total, brushing the skillet with
melted butter as needed and stacking crepes on the plate.

Cook the bacon in a heavy large frying pan until crisp. Transfer the
bacon to paper towels to drain. (OR worth the wait... Bake the Bacon at 400 degrees for
25-30 minutes on a broiler pan over a foil ined cookie sheet! So tasty!)
Do this first if baking so is ready and cooled and crispy! :)

Preheat a griddle or grill pan over medium-high heat. Cut the focaccia
horizontally in half. Place the focaccia cut side down on the griddle
and cook until the focaccia is heated through and golden brown on the
bottom, about 2 minutes. OR turn oven on to HIGH Broil and Broil in preheated oven for 2 1/2-3 minutes.
Spread the pesto over the toasted sides of
each halved focaccia. Cover the bottom halves of the focaccia with the
egg crepes, turkey, provolone and bacon, dividing equally. Cover with
the top halves of focaccia, pesto side down. Cut the sandwich into
bite-size wedges. Arrange the sandwiches on a platter and serve.