Friday, January 31, 2014

Mexican Cookbook Freebie


Grab this little freebie while you can!


Get your “ole” on...experience Mexican home cooking that is fresh, easy to prepare and delicious.

Reader Reviews:

“...exceeds expectations”
“Jackpot! Great pictures...easy recipes”
“...quick and easy family pleasing recipes”
“...all these recipes have a nice homey feel to them”
“My appetite for Mixican food has returned”
“ have ingredients I keep on hand”

In her new cookbook, “Mexican Cookbook: Easy & Delicious Recipes Everyone Will Love”, best- selling author Sara Jane Scott shows you:

* How to make authentic homemade enchiladas and enchilada sauce.
* How to get the “fiesta” started with the best margaritas and sangria ever
* How to make fresh tacos, burritos, fajitas, dips, salsas & casseroles
* How to make a “Sopapilla Surprise”... a mouth-watering delight for dessert
* How to choose the right chile peppers to suit YOU. There is a chile pepper guide to what's hot and what's choose how much hot & spice you want.

“Mexican Cookbook: Easy & Delicious Recipes Everyone Will Love” is perfect for new cooks just starting out, seasoned cooks looking for new recipes and anyone who wants to have fun, add some variety to their life and spice up their meal plans. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I recently found this recipe on  Pinterest and it looked so easy that I wanted to give it a try. I made a few small changes, but if you would like to see the original recipe you can find it at For the Love of Cooking


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 c heavy cream
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips


Combine butter, egg, bananas, heavy cream, peanut butter, heavy cream, and vanilla and blend until smooth. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 

Add the dry mixture into the wet and mix until smooth. Then add the chocolate chips.  I coat the chocolate chips in a teaspoon of flour before mixing it into the batter so that they do not sink to the bottom. 

Spoon mixture into individual muffin cups. I use muffin liners and a scoop so that each muffin is about the same size. The original recipe says that it makes 12, but mine made 16 generously sized muffins.

Bake at 375* for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. 

These turned out wonderfully moist and will not last long around here!

Happy Eating!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Slow Cooker Beef Sandwiches

I saw the recipe for Italian Beef sandwiches in a cookbook that I recently reviewed Come Home to Supper and it sounded so easy that I wanted to give it a try with just a few small changes. In Christy's version she sautes the peppers and onions separately before adding them on top of the beef after it's on the buns and she adds Zesty Italian Dressing. For some reason the Italian dressing didn't sound so good to me and I couldn't bring myself to add it and if I was going to use the slow cooker I didn't want to dirty another pan by sauteing the veggies later. (That's just pure laziness I know, but it's the truth!) Also, I had never used a jar gravy before but I wanted to give it a try and it actually turned out pretty good! I think that next time I will play around with different seasonings and do a repost in the future. But as for right now, here is my slightly lazier version!


1 3lb boneless chuck roast 
1 jar of beef gravy
Half of 1 yellow onion sliced
1 yellow bell pepper sliced

(This is the jarred gravy I used)


This is literally an assembly recipe with very little work! I just but the roast in the bottom of the slow coooker, sliced the onion and bell pepper, laid them on top then poured the gravy over the whole thing!

I set the cooker to slow and let it cook for about 8 hours. The roast was fall apart tender and I shredded it with a fork, placed them on buns and added a think slice of provolone and voila! Thursday night dinner with very little effort! I will definitely be doing this again! I may even go all out next time and toast the buns and add sliced tomato on top!

Happy Eating!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I got this recipe from the cookbook Come Home To Dinner and it turned out pretty good. I made a few small changes, but the basic recipe is the same. You can also control how spicy this is by getting mild or spicy enchilada sauce. Next time I think that I will add a can of black beans to this as well. This recipe is all about opening a few cans, pouring them into the slow cooker, and voila! Dinner's ready. 


1 can of chicken broth
1 29 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 11 oz can of red enchilada sauce
1 4 oz can green chiles
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp dried cilantro
1 heaping tsp of minced garlic
1 pkg boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 c frozen corn
1 small onion diced

Tortilla strips or crushed up tortilla chips
Sour Cream

Add everything to the slow cooker! I didn't even cut up the chicken, it will fall apart by the time the soup is ready!

I cooked it on low for about 7 hours. That's it!

Happy Eating!

Review of Come Home to Supper by Christy Jordan

*I received a eBook copy of this cookbook in exchange for an honest review from Workman Publishing/Netgalley*

I was very excited to receive a copy of this cookbook because I love easy to make recipes that can be adapted to the slow cooker and this looked to be right up my alley. However, I was a little disappointed. There were not a lot of recipes in this one that jumped out at me. I actually had to go through the book a couple of times before I found the ones that I wanted to try out. There's a lot of opening cans and the recipes didn't seem overly inventive. I don't want to imply that  I am opposed to taking help where you can from a can, but if I am going to do that it is just as easy to get those types of recipes from the internet and not have to pay for them. I did try the Chicken Tortilla soup and it was very good and I will be sharing how it turned out on the blog. I am also going to make the Italian Beef sandwiches just because I have never used a jar gravy and I want to see how that will work in the slow cooker. I am sorry to say that this wasn't a home run for me, but it is reasonably priced for a cookbook and if you enjoy recipes where you get a lot of help from prepackaged products from the grocery store and would like them all in one place in book form this may be one worth looking at. 


It’s a heartfelt celebration of family dinners—the comforting, delicious food that memories are made of—by the new doyenne of Southern cooking. Christy Jordan is a former editor-at-large of Southern Living, a contributing editor to Taste of the South, and publisher of the wildly popular blog—boasting nearly 1 million unique visitors per month, over 60,000 e-newsletter subscribers, and more than 50,000 Facebook fans. She’s appeared on TODAY, Paula Deen, and QVC, among many other media outlets, and her first book, Southern Plate (William Morrow), has 107,000 copies in print.

Conceived and written to reflect the reality of today’s hectic schedules—and the need to gather around the dinner table—Come Home to Supper offers more than 200 deeply satisfying dishes that are budget-minded, kid-friendly, and quick. These are the everyday meals that Christy Jordan most loves to cook, and her family most loves to eat, and she serves them up with generous helpings of her folksy wisdom, gratitude, and lively stories.

Many of the recipes make ingenious use of the slow cooker or a single pot or skillet; require easily found supermarket ingredients; and are packed with time-saving tips and shortcuts. And the menu, well, it’s all good, including Crispy Breaded Pork Chops with Milk Gravy, Beef and Broccoli,Spicy Fried Chicken,Craving Beans, Summer Corn Salad, Slow Cooker Baked Apples,Ice Cream Rolls, and Cinnamon Pudding Cobbler. Or to put it like Christy Jordan, food to make your family “smile louder.”

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Refried Beans

This is my version of refried beans that aren't really fried at all. It's great as a side dish, but I also like eating it as a dip with tortilla chips as well. This is super easy and great for feeding a lot of people. 


6 cans of pinto beans rinsed and drained
2 Tbsp butter
half of a small white or yellow onion
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
1 tsp. salt
1 pkg of your favorite taco seasoning mix
3/4 c. water
1 c shredded Mexican cheese

In a large skillet melt butter and add in onion and garlic and cook until the garlic just begins to turn brown. 

Add in drained beans and combine. 

Add in the water, taco seasoning, and salt. Stir until combined. Cook until the beans are warmed through and the cooking liquid becomes thick. Then mash together until it's the consistency that you like. I like them to still look like beans and not bean paste so I just use my pastry cutter to mash. You can also use a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon. 

Pour into a lightly sprayed baking dish and cover with the shredded cheese. 

Bake at 350* for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is nice and bubbly. 

Happy Eating!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Doctored Up Sloppy Joes

My family loves Sloppy Joes and I love how easy this recipe is. I use a standard store bought Sloppy Joe sauce and doctor it up to add more flavor.


2 lbs ground beef
1-24 oz can of Sloppy Joe sauce (I used Manwich)
1-14 1/2 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 tsp each of black pepper, garlic powder, and oregano
1/2  small red onion (chopped)
1/2 red bell pepper (chopped)


In a large skillet or pot brown ground beef with onion, bell pepper, and seasonings until cooked through.

Add sauce and tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes or until the sauce is thick. 


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Slow Cooker of the Future

Say whaaat? A slow cooker that you can control from your phone? Alright, this may not be something that you have to have, but it's a cool kitchen gadget. I saw this on a segment of the Today Show and had to check it out. Just think, if you are out and need to turn the slow cooker from high to warm because you're running later than you planned, wouldn't that be convenient? While this new technology may not change any lives it sure is cool!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


This is my version of lasagna that combines a little cheating by using jarred marina sauce and oven ready lasagna noodles. I add to the sauce to give it a little gilding to add more flavor. This version is super easy and beats a frozen lasagna any day. This is a perfect make ahead recipe that can be put together a day or two ahead and bake on the day you need it. This is also easy to freeze and bake later.


1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
4 green onions-chopped
1 & 1/2 jars of your favorite marinara sauce
1 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp sugar
15 oz container of ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
2 cups of shredded Italian cheese blend
1/2 c shredded Parmesan cheese
12 slices fresh mozzarella

 (These are the cheeses that I use)


Meat Sauce:

Add the first 6 ingredients into a pan and cook until the meat is no longer pink. Drain the fat from the meat and then add the jarred sauce, oregano, and sugar, and heat through. 

Cheese mixture:

In a large bowl mix the ricotta cheese, eggs, basil, and parsley until all of the ingredients are incorporated. 

Now the assembly:

Generously spray the inside of a casserole dish. Add enough sauce (a little more than half a cup) to the bottom of your dish then add enough noodles to cover the bottom. You may have to break off pieces of noodles to make them fit.

Add half of the cheese mixture on top of the noodles then sprinkle 1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan on top of the cheese mix. Add half of what is left of the meat sauce on top of the cheese layer. (It's important to cover everything with sauce so that the noodles will cook.) Repeat the layer one more time. You will have two layers of noodles and should end with a layer of meat sauce. Then it's time to add the mozzarella.

Cover with aluminum foil. Lightly coat the underside of the foil with cooking spray and this will keep the foil from sticking to the cheese. Bake at 425* for 50 minutes with the foil on and then remove the foil and bake for about 15 minutes more until the cheese is bubbly. 

I always let the lasagna sit for about 15 minutes so that it has time to bind together a bit and this way it will cut nicely and not fall apart. 


Monday, January 13, 2014

Rice Casserole

This is my take on the rice casserole that so many of us have had and enjoyed over the years. This casserole is very rich so you can easily cut back on the cheese and make it a little less decadent. This can easily be made into a complete meal by adding cooked cubed chicken or ham to the mixture.


2 cups cooked and cooled rice
I head of broccoli (cut into florets)
1 pkg fresh sliced mushrooms (cleaned)
3 green onions (chopped)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp butter
1 lb Velveeta (cubed)
1 c. milk
1 c. shredded sharp cheddar or cheese of your choice
1 can cream of mushroom soup


In a large skillet add broccoli, mushrooms, green onions, and butter. Heat until the broccoli turns a bright green, about 3-5 minutes. Do not overcook the broccoli at this point or the finished broccoli will be very limp.

Add in the Velveeta, cream of mushroom soup, and milk and heat until cheese has melted and well combined. Add mixture to the rice and combine. Poor into a casserole dish that has been sprayed well with cooking spray.  Top with the 1 cup of shredded cheese.

Bake at 350* for about 50 minutes or until heated through and cheese is bubbly. 

Happy Eating!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Healthy Cookbook Freebie

This is free at Barnes & Noble but I couldn't find the same version at Amazon. However, as always you can load the Nook app to your Kindle and access this freebie that way.


Let's face it, diets are the very definition of deprivation, and this is why they are not sustainable for long term weight loss. A healthy lifestyle does not relegate you to a life of rabbit food, rather it means making smart choices and practicing moderation. In this cookbook, I will show you how easy it is to make healthy, delicious, and filling dishes that won’t leave you feeling deprived. Bonus videos provide additional tips and techniques to make recipes foolproof for even the novice kitchen chef.

Recipes included in this book:

•Balsamic Glazed Albacore Tuna Steaks

•Baked Coconut Chicken Tenders

•Savory Goat Cheese and Pear Tart

•Ensalada Rusa

•Roasted Harvest Vegetable and Quinoa Bake

•Sausage and Lentil Soup

•Chinese Chicken Salad Pitas

•Buffalo Chicken Salad Pitas

•Creamy Saffron Quinoa with Vegetables

•Chicken Pot Pie

•Spicy Shrimp Tacos

•Chili Mint Chicken Skewers

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

One Pot Meals Freebie

I love easy one pot meals! Grab it while it's free!


It doesn't get any easier than a one-pot meal, so we've gathered 25 of our best-tasting, tried & true recipes for those busy nights when time is short, tummies are rumbling and no one wants to do dishes!

A Sweet Freebie

A sweet freebie!


If you love desserts, then this book is one you want in your kitchen. Callie has put together her family's secret dessert recipes to share with you.

These aren't the cookie-cutter recipes you find scattered everywhere else. These are unique recipes handed down through generations of this southern family.

Enjoy and entertain!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bread Making Freebie

There are few things better than the smell of bread baking and this freebie may encourage me to get back into making home made bread. I'm not sure why I stopped making bread, but now I am thinking about bread making again!

Book Description:

One of the most common things used in your kitchen (besides your utensils and appliances) is probably bread. You can use it for toast in the morning or sandwiches for lunch. You would think that when using so much bread, making it home made would be just a bit more common. However, making home made bread is seen as more of a treat than a common task. Whether you eat white bread, whole wheat bread, or all sorts of other breads, making home made bread isn't as complicated as it seems. Sure, there are fancy bread makers that make it REALLY easy to make bread, but even without a home made bread maker, it’s not very complicated. 

You only need a few simple ingredients and a loaf pan to make your bread in. Depending on what kind of bread it is, the actual ingredients might change but the process is never too complicated. That's where Every Day Home Made Bread Recipes comes in. If you want your house smelling great, read some recipes from this cookbook and choose your favorite breads and soon you'll be reaping all the benefits of making bread without any of the hassle. 

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Muffins

This is my favorite banana bread recipe that I make as muffins. This recipe makes 18 good sized muffins. Making these as muffins instead of loaves cuts the cooking time by almost a third. The bread takes about an hour to cook and these cook in about 20 minutes.
They are perfect with a hot cup of tea or coffee! 


2 cups + 1 tsp. All purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick of softened butter
3/4 c light brown sugar (packed)
1 egg
1/4 c vegetable oil
2 over ripe bananas 
1/2 c semi sweet or dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350* degrees.

Combine 2 cups flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl whip with an electric mixer the two bananas, egg, vegetable oil, brown sugar, and butter until bananas are completely mashed and incorporated. 

Add the dry mix into the wet mix until smooth. 

In a small bowl add the chocolate chips and 1 tsp of flour until the chips are coated in flour. This will keep the chips from sinking to the bottom of the muffins. Then gently fold in the chips into the muffin mix.

With a medium scoop divide the mix into 18 lined muffin cups. If you are not using muffing liner makes sure to thoroughly spray the muffin pan. 

Bake for 20-23 minutes until a toothpick or knife comes out clean when inserted into the center of one of the muffins.