Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Beef Burritos aka Mexi Melts

I found these on Pinterest under copycat of a Mexi Melt. I never had a one of those but I know that it looked amazing so I needed to make it. The combination of taco meat, cheese and pico de gallo is so wonderful and it has become a great addition to taco night. My mom loved them so much she said she can no longer eat Taco Time anymore. What's also great about them is how easy they are to make. Coolidge who doesn't even like tomatoes likes these. 

Give it a try and let me know what you think. 


1 pound ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
8 ounce pepper jack cheese
8 ounce cheddar cheese
8-10 flour tortillas
Pico de Gallo


In a large skillet brown ground beef. Add taco seasoning and cook according to instructions.

To each tortilla add pepper jack cheese, spoon over beef mixture, pico de gallo, and then cheddar cheese. Wrap and microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Yes it's that easy.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Pico de Gallo

I love pico de gallo because it adds a lovely freshness to your tacos, burritos, or anything Mexican you are having that day. It's great with chips and the next day with your scrambled eggs. I first discovered it when I visited Mexico and it makes my mouth water just thinking about all the ingredients blended together.  

Its great to make for a party. It doesn't take much time and your guests will be very happy. You can make it early in the day and serve later. Try it and let me know what you think. 


1 Roma tomato diced
1/2 jalapeno seeded and diced
1 tablespoon cilantro chopped
1 clove of garlic minced
2 tablespoons red onion diced
1/2 lime juice
salt and pepper to taste


Add all ingredients to a bowl, stir and let sit for 30 min to 1 hour before using or serving.  You can double but I like to use this the day of because I find the fresh tomatoes get to soft over time. Double if 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Classic Margarita

I love cocktails and margaritas are great in the summer. The combination of sweet, tart, and little bit of salt in each drink are awesome. I found this recipe from the Rachel Ray magazine and what I like about it is that it is strong and easy to make. I think use premixes are great when you can't get any fresh juice but once you start making them with fresh ingredients it is real hard to drink anything else because they are usually loaded with sugar and give me a stomach ache. 


1 lime (3/4 ounce juice)
2 1/4 ounce of silver Tequila
1 1/2 triple sec
3/4 ounce simple syrup (you can add more if you like it sweeter)
Coarse salt for rimming the glass (optional)


Spread salt on small plate. Rim the glass with lime and dip glass on to plate with salt to coat. Fill glass with ice.

Fill a cocktail shaker with lime juice, tequila, triple sec, and simple syrup. Add ice and shake well and strain into your prepared glass.

Try it and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Strawberry Sauce

I love to get food magazines and find amazing recipes. Getting a food magazine in the mail is like getting a gift. I go through it and drool and rip pages out. I put these recipes aside and then will go through them to make when I am feeling ambitious. Having picked all these amazing berries I decided none of them could go to waste. I always have a fear it will suck but if it looks good and the ingredients are not a crazy amount and directions are fairly easy, I will give it a try. 

I have a weakness for strawberry sauce and this looked way to easy to not try. This recipe came from the Food Network magazine. It was very simple and made a great silky sauce that was super delish. Try it and let me know what you think.


3 cups strawberries, finely chopped
1/2 cup sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract


Combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons water in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until berries break down, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in the vanilla

Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing against the solids; let cool completely. Store in refrigerator up to 4 days. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Strawberry Freezer Jam

I have been wanting to make jam for many years but living in the city where there are no farms and no a lot of space in your freezer has kept me from doing it. Well this year we moved to Washington and finally have the access to many farms and plenty of freezer space. 

I grew up eating my grandma's strawberry jam. My sister told me that she follows the recipe on the box but my other grandma did it a little different because her's was a little runny but we never go to figure out just how she did it. Well I bought the Sure Jell box at the grocery store and compared it to a recipe I found on Betty Crocker's site.  I think I came up with just how she did it. I didn't follow recipe perfectly but quite close. 

I picked and bought 1/2 a flat of strawberries. That allowed me to make 11 small containers and 1 small container of strawberry sauce for ice cream. I think that means it officially cost. $1.20 per container of organic strawberry jam.  Not bad but I have to say I didn't do it to save money. I did it because I knew it would be fun and taste amazing. Well that is if it turned out as good as my grandma's. I think they both would be very proud of me. 


4 cups strawberries
4 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1 package of fruit pectin (I used sure jell)
juice of !/2 lemon (I would only use if your berries are super sweet like mine)


Cut stems of strawberries and put all of them in a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher until you get consistency you like. Add 4 cups of sugar and stir. Let sit for 10 minutes and stir occasionally. 

Mix pectin and water in a medium size pan and heat until boiling and boil for 1 minute stir constantly. Then add berries to the pan and cook for 1 minute stirring constantly and turn off heat. Stir for another 2 minutes. Once sugar has dissolved it is done. 

Spoon mixture into containers and leave 1/2 inch space for the lid. Let sit for 24 hours at room temperature. Store in freezer up to 6 months or in refrigerator for 3 weeks. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Restaurant Salsa 2

I made The Pioneer woman's salsa over a year ago and wasn't very happy with it. I felt it was bland and couldn't figure out what went wrong. I recently watched her make it again and decided to try it one more time. This time I read the reviews and cut the tomato part in half and add a little more onion, salt, and cumin. It turned out great. Definitely making it again. 

click on the link above if you would like to see her recipe. She is great and love testing out her recipes. Try this one and let me know what you think. 


1 can (10 ounce) diced tomatoes with green chili's
1 can (14 ounce) can of whole tomatoes (drain the juice)
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 onion
1 clove of garlic
1/2 jalapeno (seeded) unless it's small then add whole
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar


Add onion, garlic and jalapeno to food processor, pulse just a couple times. Then add both cans, cilantro, salt, pepper, cumin, lime and sugar. Pulse until you get desired texture. Taste and then let sit for a few hours or overnight. It gets better with age. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

One pot Burrito bowl

I was on pinterest and found this yummy recipe from a blog called I heart nap time. I love burrito bowls at Chipolte so I thought I should check it out. The photo was amazing and all the ingredients looked great together. I didn't realize how much it would make but for big eaters this is perfect. I sent some of the leftovers to my neighbors and they replied back very happy with it. 

My mom just loved it and has been using the it in a burrito for that last couple days. I'm adding it to my blog because everyday she keeps reminding me how great it is. Definitely going to have to make this again. Hopefully the next time I will have a better photo to add to this post. 


1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced sweet onion
1 pound ground beef
1/3 cup chunky salsa
1 (15 ounce) can of black beans rinsed
1 cup frozen corn thawed
1 (4 ounce) can of green chilis
1 (15 ounce) can of chopped tomatoes
1 cup Jasmin rice or if you use long grain add about 10 minutes on cooking time.
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese or cheddar
salt and pepper to taste

additional toppings: chopped scallions, cilantro and sour cream and salsa.


In a large pan heat oil and saute onions and peppers for about a minute. Add ground meat and brown. Once cooked through add salsa, black beans, corn, tomatoes, green chilis, taco seasoning, chili powder, and rice.

Pour in chicken broth and bring to light bowl. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until rice cooked. Add cheese and cover for 2-5 minutes until cheese is melted. You can add additional topping if desired.

Serve as is or over romain.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Lemon Cake

I bought a huge bag of lemons from Costco and wanted to use them up. My sister was coming over for dinner so I searched for a lemon pound cake and found this recipe on Tasty kitchen. I read the reviews and decided I needed to try it. I was very impressed with how light and fluffy and the flavor was just wonderful. I wouldn't say it was pound cake but a great lemon cake. The pound cake I am used to is much more dense. If you have a party to go to or want an easy desert to make that is very tasty and impressive then give this a try.

I only changed the the box mix but pretty much everything else was the same. Let me know what you think.


1 box of Duncan Hines white cake mix
1 package Lemon jello pudding mix
3/4 cups water
1/3 fresh lemon juice
1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 eggs

For icing

1/4 cups butter softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 whole lemon zest
3 Tablespoon Lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Add all cake ingredients into mixing bowl and mix well on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Pour into greased bundt pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Let stand for 10 minutes and then turn out on to plate. Profusely perforate the top of the cake with a toothpick.

Mix softened butter with powder sugar, zest and lemon juice. Mix well and add milk until you get consistency of batter.

Ice cake while warm. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Make sure to not over bake

Perfect color. Now to poke with tooth picks so that the icing will seep in.

Easy to slice and you can see how moist

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Pear Drop Martini

My husband and I went on a date to Bonefish grill and tried these Pear drop martinis. I was a little leery because I hate paying $9 for a drink that is awful. When I find a place that makes a good cocktail I shout it out to everyone I know because I know how hard it can be to find. Well this drink was so fantastic that I couldn't stop thinking about it. I was now on a mission to make my own and the bartender told me what he put in it but I still need to know just how much of each ingredient. My first attempt was to sour but the second attempt was amaze balls and even my sister and mom said it was just right. They tell me the honest truth and are as picky as me so I know now I have a winner and is why it is now up on my blog. 

The pear vodka was not easy to find and as far as I know only Absolut makes it. If you find another brand please let me know.

Try it and let me know what you think. 


1 part Absolut Pear vodka
3/4 part fresh lemon juice
1/2 part Triple sec
1/2 part simple syrup
1/4 of fresh pear (optional)
lemon for rim
sugar for rim
1/2 cup ice


Chill glass in freezer. 

In a shaker add ice and piece of pear and muddle. If you don't have pear no worries it is just as good without it. The pear is great because it makes it just a bit more creamy. Add all other ingredients and a little more ice and shake well. Rim the glass with lemon and sugar. pour into glass and serve. 

Serves one but you can double to make two at a time. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Trader Joes Favorites

I remember walking into Trader Joes for the first time and not knowing what to buy and leaving with 3 items not sure if I was going to like it. Now I walk in there and am afraid I'm going forget something or miss out on a new fun item. However it has taken time for me to find just what I love. Yes I have bought some stuff that was average and even bad. 

I'm writing this post to help those who have never tried them or is looking for some great items to add to their pantry. I can't tell you how many times I have seen friends on Facebook share their favorite items and that is how I have learned about many of them. I hope this post helps you find some new favorites also. 

The coconut cream above is a new favorite I found and now use it in my Panang Curry recipe. It is super thick and a little sweet. It makes for a great sauce and now I keep a can in my pantry at all times. I have tried many coconut milks and none of them have been this good. 

These rice crackers are the best out there. I have tried many and none compare to these. I love the taste of sesame and they are also perfectly salty and crunchy. Some rice crackers are too bland and make me feel like I'm going to break my tooth. Not these. These are the best and another staple in my pantry. A bonus is that everyone in my family loves them. 

These are a great freezer find. It has cauliflower, carrots, peas and corn. They are easy to prepare and have butter and herbs in them. They are super fresh and great in a pinch. 

These veggie sticks are the best. We have tried many and the kids usually wont eat any others. these are perfectly crunchy and salty. The only problem is they don't last long so I usually buy two bags. 

I've never liked pasta prepared in the freezer section but I decided to give this a try and now there is a bag in my freezer at all times. It makes a delicious sauce and barely feeds two but because it makes a lot of sauce I always add more cooked penne and easily feeds four with a salad on the side. 

I was at Trader Joe's and they happen to be sampling this cornbread. I instantly fell in love and this is now a must have in my pantry at all times. I have tried many mixes but this doesn't even taste like a mix. 

It is also the best place to buy nuts, hummus, pesto, and olive tapanade. You can always get a good deal on fruit and vegetables. I'm not a big fan of their bread but for the most part they have many favorites and sometimes they are cheaper than most stores. Let me know if you have any questions or if you have some items I should try. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Panang Curry with Chicken

When I go out for Thai food my favorite item to order is Panang Curry with Chicken. I finally have found a recipe that is just like it. It has taken me a long time to figure it out and have tried many but this one is finally loved by me and my husband. 

I found a recipe on pinterest that was mouth watering so I decided to try it. I changed it a bit but it was a great guide to finding just what I wanted. Try it and let me know what you think. 


2 Chicken Breast cut up in cubes or strips
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red curry paste 
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 onion diced
1 can of Trader Joe's coconut cream
1 cup slivered carrots
1/2 cup green beans or green pepper
salt and pepper to taste


In large skillet add olive oil. Once it is pipping hot add chicken and salt and pepper and cook for about 10 minutes or until cooked through. Add diced onion, carrots and green beans and cook about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add red curry paste to get aroma and flavor mixed in with every thing. Then add coconut cream and stir. Let simmer another 10 minutes until carrots are cooked. 

I like to serve over rice 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Chicken Nachos

I was watching The Pioneer Woman and she made these delicious chicken nachos. I usually don't like chicken nachos and when I watched this episode on the food network I immediately thought I bet those would make great chicken tacos. 

First I made them as tacos and they were a huge hit with my family. Every one liked them and we each had several. That weekend I made them as nachos and they were amazing and vanished in minutes. So I am posting them as nachos but will add another post as tacos later. Try them and let me know what you think. 


2 tablespoons of taco seasoning
2 tablespoons of chili powder
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons of olive oil
8 ounce tomato sauce
1 cup water
a few dashes of hot sauce
1 bag of tortilla chips
3-4 cups Mexican blend cheese
jalapeno slices
sliced olives
diced tomato
avocado or guacamole


Pre heat oven to 350 degrees

sprinkle taco seasoning and chili powder on chicken. In a large skillet add olive oil and heat. sprinkle seasoning and chili powder on chicken. Place chicken in hot skillet and cook about 5-10 minutes on each side. Once they are cooked set aside and add tomato sauce and water and hot sauce. 

Shred chicken with fork and then add it back to the pan and let it simmer in the sauce until cooks down and is pipping hot about 20 minutes. 

Assemble nachos however you like. I like to add chips to a pan but not layer because they some chips don't get cheese. Add chicken, olives, onions, jalapenos, and then cheese. Bake until cheese is melted about 5 to 10 minutes. Then add tomatoes, avocado, and salsa with a dollop of sour cream in the middle. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Garlic Creamy Parmesan Pasta

I found this recipe on pinterest and couldn't believe it could be cooked in one pot or be very tasty but the photos were mouth watering so I had to try it. It was amazingly easy and tasted like a cross between Lipton noodles (I used to make when I was a teen) and fettuccine Alfredo. 

I was in disbelief that only using milk and chicken broth could get thick and creamy but because the pasta is cooked in it the starch thickens it up perfectly. The best part is that it is one pot. I used linguine but the recipe calls for fettuccine. You can also use spaghetti. I personally love linguine when it comes to creamy pasta recipes. I also changed this recipe by adding 2 cups of milk. In the original it is 1 cup. I made it twice and both times had to add lots of milk so now I make it with 2 cups. Try it and let me know what you think. 


1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves of garlic minced
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk (add more if needed)
2 tablespoons of butter
salt and pepper
8 ounces of uncooked linguine
1/4 cup of Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped parsley


Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat for 1-2 minutes just until garlic is cooked but not brown.

Stir in chicken broth, milk, butter, salt and pepper and linguine.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 18-20 minutes. I use tongs to move the the pasta around and will slowly thicken. You can add milk if it gets to thick. Once pasta is almost done add parmesan. Garnish with parsley and serve. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Prime Rib

I cooked my first Prime Rib this New Years day. I was terrified I was going to over cook or under cook it because I have heard stories of both. My mom and I went to Costco and saw these pre seasoned and were worried we wouldn't like them and that they would be over seasoned but it was a perfect combination of peppercorn and garlic all done for you. They sliced it off the bone but kept the bone attached with string and layed a massive amount of garlic inside. All I had to do was place it on a pan and follow the instructions. This is what I did and it turned out perfect. I will no longer be afraid. I hope you to try it. 

I will have to remember all of this for next year because it was worth all the stress and much easier than I every thought. The price was high but when I see that I feed 12 people and fed 8 the next day I think it wasn't that much after all. I hope my story inspires you to make one also. 


11 lb prime rib roast (which fed 12 adults and plenty left over for the next day)
3 carrots sliced
1 onion chopped to large pieces
3 celery stalks chopped into large pieces
1 package of au jus for pasting and gravy


I had the roast sit out for at least an hour before cooking. 

Pre heat oven to 500 degrees. Cook Au jus according to package directions.

I bought it pre seasoned so if you didn't I would just season with your favorites. I placed roast in roasting pan on a rack with chopped up onion, carrots chopped, and celery chopped. 

I cooked it at 500 for 25 minutes then turned it down to 200 degrees. I basted it and cooked slowly for 3-4 hours until thermometer read 140 degrees. The directions said to cook for 20-30 minutes per pound. That gave those people who like it rare slices in the middle those who like it medium it was perfect for them on the end. I had a thermometer in at all times and made it very easy to watch without to much opening the oven. 

Once the temperature was just right I took it out and let it rest for 20-30 minutes. In the mean time I made a gravy with the drippings and added left over au jus that I basted with. It was perfection and I can't wait to make another one. I was also surprised that we had enough left over to make french dips for 8 people the next day.