Search This Blog

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Brownie Pudding

While watching The Barefoot Contessa, I saw a mouthwatering dish she had made for her husband. Now I do love my chocolate... in ANY form, and I figured it would be something I could probably make. I saw "probably"  because as I have stated before, getting certain ingredients in this area is down right impossible! Like the Vanilla Bean she calls for. The employees at the store just give you a bewildered look when you tell then "No, I do not want extract, I want the whole bean!". I used to love going food shopping. *Sigh*

But not to fear, I came up with my own version of this great dish that tastes heavenly! So grab a spoon and dig into this! It serves any where from 4 (if you really really like chocolate like I do) to 8 (for those trying not to be a pig like my dear hunny). Its easier than it looks so give it a try!

2 Sticks Butter, melted and cooled
4 Eggs
2 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Cinnamon
2 tsp Vanilla
1 tbsp Red Stag (Cherry Bourbon) or  Framboise (Raspberry Liquer)
Chocolate Chips (Optional)
Walnuts (Optional)

1) In saucepan, melt the butter and set pan aside to cool. Preheat oven to 325. Prepare 9 inch oval baking dish by greasing it, set aside.

2) In food processor cream together eggs and sugar. In medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa and cinnamon. Back in processor, add vanilla and bourbon, pulse to blend. Slowly begin to add the dry ingredients and finally the butter.

3) Pour batter into prepared dish. Sprinkle the top with chocolate chips and nuts if desired. Set dish into a larger casserole dish and fill the larger one up with water to about the same height as your batter.

This will give it a good even baking on the edges. Bake for 1 hour to 1:15. It's done when you can insert a toothpick into the center and pull it out still wet with the edges pulling away from the sides.

Tex-Mex Lasagna

Ohhh lala! How wonderful is this?!? I found this recipe over at Mom's Who Think and thought, I could do this! With all my allergies, this is something I could work with. My hunny loves Mexican food and normally only gets it on the rare chance we eat in town. I feel bad not having it here, but I am really really allergic to all peppers and onion. Pretty much takes care of all Mexican foods. This is why I have learned to improvise in all my cooking. And THIS dish allows for it! Follow the pictures to see how he was able to get everything he likes and I was able to eat without fear!

I had to separate the dish in half. On his side I placed the onion and jalapeno. My side had the black beans. And on top, I marked which side was which so I didn't make the horrible mistake of biting into his piece! You can find how it was laid out in Figure 2.

This dish is so easy too. It makes 4-6 servings and can be prepped early in the day so when you get home, all you have to do is to pop it into the oven!

6 Flour Tortillas
16oz Tomato Sauce
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Cayenne
15oz can Black Beans, drained
15oz can Whole Kernal Corn, drained
1/2 cup Chopped Spinach
2 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
8-10 Jalapino slices (pickled)
1/2 cup Black Olives, sliced
1/2 cup White Onion, chopped.
Sour Cream

1) Pre-heat oven to 400. Prepare a 3 quart casserole dish with cooking spray.

2) Cut tortillas in half. Using four halves, line the bottom of the dish, cut sides to edges.
(Figure 1)
In medium bowl blend the tomato suace with the cumin and cayenne.

3) Spread 1/3 of the sauce and on the bottom then 1/2 of each in the following order: spinach, onion, beans, corn, jalapino, olives, and onion using only 1/3 of the cheese.
(Figure 2)
Then repeat with tortillas and the rest. On the last 4 tortillas, spread the remaining sauce on the tortillas topped by the cheese.
(Figure 3)
 Cover with foil and bake 35-40 minutes, until it has cooked through. In the last 15 minutes, remove foil so it gets bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
(Figure 4)

4) Top with Sour Cream and Salsa.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The West Texas Gourmet: Happy Hour Tapas

The West Texas Gourmet: Happy Hour Tapas: Tapas... what are they? For someone who can barely speak to ten in Spanish, the answer drove me nuts! I kept having people talking to me ab...

Happy Hour Tapas

Tapas... what are they? For someone who can barely speak to ten in Spanish, the answer drove me nuts! I kept having people talking to me about them, and I would just nod my head, with a silly grin on my face, hoping they wouldnt realize I had no clue what they were talking about. After all, This little cook is severly allergic to Mexican food. Yes, ALL mexican foods. If it tastes good, you can bet I can't eat it without a lot of torture soon to follow.

So, when I was hired at the "new" place in town here in Fort Davis and was told they would be serving "Tapas" at the bar, I figured I had better brush up really quick. And with the help of the everlasting internet and the site, I was able to figure out that they were Spanish... not Mexican (ask any Spainard and he will tell you there is a BIG difference between them) along with several other interesting facts.

My favorite one is that on a long trip, King Alfonso had stopped to rest in the town of Ventorillo del Chato in the southern province of Cádiz, and he ordered a glass of jerez or sherry. There was a gusty wind, so the inn keeper served him his glass of sherry covered by a slice of ham to prevent the sherry from getting dirty. King Alfonso apparently liked it, and when he asked for a second glass, he requested another tapa or “cover” just like the first.

But that still doesnt tell you what exactly they are... does it? Basically they are a Spanish Bar Appetitizer which can be anything from an olive and onion on a toothpick to more elabrate meals such as shrimp and squid. I have gathered a few recipes below that you all can try for yourselves at home. Let me know how they turn out!

Patatas Bravas Serves 4
5-6 medium potatoes
salt to taste
1 1/2 - 2 cups Spanish olive oil for frying
1 - 8 oz can of tomato sauce
1 1/2 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
1/2 tsp sweet Spanish paprika
toothpicks for serving

1) Peel the potatoes. Cut potatoes into 1/3" to 1/2" chunks as follows: Cut the potato lengthwise, then cut it lengthwise again. You should have four long pieces. Now, cut each of those pieces into 3-4 pieces, cutting crosswise. This should give you nice bit-sized pieces, small enough to use a toothpick to skewer. Sprinkle with salt.

2) Pour olive oil in a wide, deep frying pan, with a heavy bottom. Heat the oil on medium high until hot. To test the oil, carefully place one piece of potato in the oil. It is hot enough if the potato immediately fries. If there is no bubbling/frying, the oil is not hot enough and the potato will absorb too much oil. Once the potatoes are fried(about 10 minutes), use a slotted spoon or spatula to remove and set them aside to drain.

3) Using a small 8-inch frying pan, put 1-2 tablespoons of the olive oil in the pan. Heat over medium heat. Pour tomato sauce into the pan and "saute" the tomato sauce for 5 minutes. Turn heat down and add the mustard, stirring well. Finally, add the Tabasco and paprika, and mix well. Taste the sauce and adjust as necessary with salt, more Tabasco, etc.

4) Place the potatoes on a plate or in a wide open dish. Pour the sauce over the potatoes and serve warm, with toothpicks.

Gambas al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp) Serves 4
1 lb shrimp, 25 count to a pound
4 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 tsp sweet Spanish paprika
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2-3 oz of cognac (you may substitute dry sherry instead)
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
3 tsp chopped fresh parsley
1 lemon for juice
1 Baguette

The shrimp can be peeled first, before cooking them if you prefer. In addition, if you like larger shrimp, you may purchase shrimp with fewer count to a pound. However, 25 to a pound are about the right size for this tapa.

1) In a sauté pan or heavy frying pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for about one minute or until they begin to brown. Be careful not to burn the garlic!
Raise the heat to high and add the shrimp, lemon juice, sherry or cognac and paprika. Stir well, then sauté, stirring briskly until the shrimp turn pink and curl – about 3 minutes.

2) Remove from heat and transfer shrimp with oil and sauce to a warm plate or serve right from the pan. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with fresh bread.

Croquetas de Jamón (Ham Croquettes) Serves 6
1/2 cup (100ml) chicken broth
8 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup (107 gr) flour
1 1/2 cups (350 ml) milk
1/2 tsp nutmeg
dash of ground pepper
1/2 cup very finely hand-minced ham
2 eggs, lightly beaten with 2 teaspoons water
bread crumbs for coating
olive oil for frying

Tip: Make sure that the ham if very finely minced, so it can be mixed thoroughly with the dough.

1) Heat the 8 Tbsp olive oil in a small saucepan on medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually add the milk and the chicken broth, stirring without stopping. Add nutmeg, salt andd pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened and smooth.
Add the minced ham and continue to cook for about 2-3 minutes on low heat, continuing to stir. Remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

2) Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and refrigerate at least 3 hours until mixture is cold. If you are preparing a day or so ahead, you can cover the mixture tightly and keep refrigerated until you are ready to fry the croquettes.

TIP: If the mixture is spread out in a thin layer on a flat dish, you will need to refrigerate it for less time. A large glass baking dish works well.

3) Pour the bread crumbs into a small, wide bowl. Beat the eggs with water in a small, wide bowl. Cover your hands in flour, then divide the mixture into 1-inch balls and set on a plate so that they are not touching.
Pour enough olive oil in a medium to large frying pan to cover 1/2 inch deep. Heat the olive oil for frying to about 355F degrees. Dip the croquettes in the beaten egg and coat with crumbs by rolling in bowl. Place the croquettes in the hot oil and fry quickly, turning several times, until golden. Remove the croquettes with a slotted spoon and set on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Serve immediately.

*If croquettes will not be served immediately, place in a warm oven (200 degrees) for up to 30 minutes.
*If you prefer, you can use a deep-fryer to fry the croquettes. Be sure not to over-cook them!

If you want variety or simply do not eat ham, substitute 1/2 cup finely minced, cooked chicken for the ham.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Dilly of a Lemon Chicken

Remember way back when... back when sitting down at the table each night was a common practice among families? I can almost smell my grandma's Lemon Chicken baking away in the oven. Those memories came flooding back when Eating Well posted a picture and recipe a while back that had me drooling over my key board.

Here is my own version of theirs, with a slight West Texan kick to it. This makes about 4-5 servings.

6 Chicken Thighs, boneless, skinless
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
3 tsp Olive Oil, spereated
3 Garlic CLoves, minced
1 cup Chicken Broth
2 tsp Flour
3 tsp Dill, dried and divided
Dash Red Pepper Flakes
1 tbsp Lemon Juice

Bed (Optional)
1 cup Spinach, fresh
12 Grape Tomatoes, sliced
Parmesan, grated fresh

1) Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Heat 1 1/2 tsp oil in large heavy skillet (cast iron is good) over medium-high heat (if using electric, turn it down to just medium). Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and sear it a golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Remove chicken to a warmed plate and cover with tin foil to keep hot.

2) Reduce the heat to medium (med-low for electric). Add the remaining 1 1/2 tsp oil to pan. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minutes. In medium bowl, whisk together the broth, flour, dill, red pepper and lemon juice then add it to the pan. Continue whisking about 3 minutes.

3) Return the chicken to the pan as well as any juices on the plate. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes.

4) OPTIONAL: PLace about a 1/4 cup of the spinach on each plate in a s mall bed, slightly larger than the chicken pieces. Top with the equivilent of 3 grape tomatoes and grate some fresh parmesan cheese on top.

5) Transfer chicken to top of the spinach (or right to the plate). Taste sauce and season with salt and peppers to taste. Spoon over the chicken and garnish with a sprinkling of the reserved dill.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dark Chocolate and Oatmeal Cookies

Decadent... gooey... oh so sweet! When making cookies I am so not the baker! You've heard me make that statement before, but seriously, I have witnesses to this. In my house, my hunny is the cookie maker. I do not even draw near the oven when they bake for fear my mere presence will ruin them. But boy did I knock one out of the ball park on these bad boys!

A friend of mine asked me a couple of weeks ago if I had any good recipes for Oatmeal Cookies. It seems her husband is a fan. So, off I went in search of something to fill his tummy and this is what I came up with. It makes about 24 cookies.

(You can stop licking the screen now!)

1 1/2 cup Flour
1 1/2 ts Baking Soda
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Salt
1 cup Shortening (I prefer Crisco)
3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
3/4 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Hot Water
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 cup Dark Chocolate Chips (or 2 cups semi-sweet)
2 cup Oatmeal

1) Preheat oven to 350. Generously spray cookie sheet with Butter Flavor Pam.

2) In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, set aside.

3) In large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, beating in between each. Gradually add in the flour mixture with the hot water. Once this is mixed well, add in the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

4) Drop by the spoonful onto prepared cookie sheet. You can use 2 sheets or bake one at a time. Into the oven they go for 8-10 minutes. Let cool on wire rack 5-10 minutes before moving, the chocolate will be hot.

Saute Asparagus

While watching a show on the Hallmark channel called Mad Hungry, I saw a side dish that made my stomach growl. he amazing part of this was that I hate asparagus. When I was a small child I remember my mother forcing me to eat it out of a can. The texture was so horrible I couldn't stomach it until recently. A neighbor had me try her Asparagus Soup and let me just say... WOW. I guess maybe its a grown up thing but now I've grown a taste for it.

This is simple, without a lot of ingredients so that the flavor of the vegetable comes through. It serves 3-4.

2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 bunch Aparagus
1 lemon
Salt & Pepper to taste (fresh ground)
Parmesan shavings

1) In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.

2) Break off ends of asparagus then cut each stalk in 1-2" pieces.

3) Add asparagus to skillet and grind in Sea Salt and Black Pepper. Using a hand grater, grate in about 1 tsp (or whole lemon peel) lemon rind. Cut lemon in half and squeeze in juice of half. Continue to stir frequently until asparagus is crisp-tender, about 5-8 minutes. Do not let scorch.

4) Move to a serving platter and toss with fresh parmesan shavings.

Fruit Clouds

Here is something quick, easy and if your like me, you probably have the ingredients already in your pantry. Sure to please all your picky eaters and a great way to sneak in extra fruit into the diets. 

I used sugar in this but you can always use a sugar sub instead. This recipe serves 4-6.

1 can Peaches, sliced, drained, reserve 1 tbsp juice
1 can Mandarin Oranges, drained, reserve 1 tbsp juice
10 Strawberries, quartered
2 tbsp Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tub Cool Whip 
2 tsp Vanilla

1) In large bowl mix fruit with juice, sugar and cinnamon. Let sit about 30 minutes, stirring often to break down strawberries.

2) Meanwhile, add vanilla to Cool Whip tub and stir to combine. Do not over stir. Return tub to refrigerator.

3) When fruit is ready, place a dollup of cool whip in bottom of bowl and place fruit on top.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saturday Seasonings: Marjoram

It is a tender perennial (a perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years) herb usually grown as an annual (annual or yearly is a word often used to describe something that happens once a year). It is a somewhat cold-sensitive herb or under-shrub with sweet pine and citrus flavors. It has a dense, shallow root system and an unusually bushy habit. Its hairy, branched stems are topped with clusters of tiny white or pink flowers in summer, making it a pretty addition to the herb garden, or in a pot or hanging basket.

Marjoram is indigenous to the Mediterranean area, and was known to the Greeks and Romans as a symbol of happiness. Egyptians used marjoram, along with other fragrant spices, to appease the gods in the embalming process. Hippocrates included marjoram in the many medical treatises he wrote and it was cultivated in the Roman Empire. Symbolizing happiness, when marjoram is found growing on a grave, it is said that the departed will enjoy a pleasant afterlife.

Marjoram needs full sun and rish, well-drained soil to thrive. Buy a plant to start with, or grow your own from seed sown indoors in midspring. Leave the tiny seed uncovered. Transplant the seedlings outdoors in small clumps after all the danger of frost has past.
Space clumps 8 inches apart. Weed frequently until the plant gets established. Pinch off the flower buds to promote business and more leaves. To overwinter plants indoors, dig up and pot them in the fall.

Pick the leaves as needed after the flower buds form. Before the flowers open, cut all the stems to 1 inch above the ground. Hang them to dry in a warm, dark place. Rub the stems on a screen to shred the leaves, discard the stems, and store in an airtight container.

Marjoram is something like mild oregano, with a hint of balsam. Use the fresh or dried leaves and flowers in recipes; add fresh spriggs to salads. The flavor of marjoram is especially good with beef, lamb, roast poultry, green vegetables, carrots, eggplant, eggs, potatoes, squash and tomatoes. Add it to stews, dressings, herb butters, soups and stuffing.

Particularly good with lamb. Accents mushrooms nicely. Perfect in scrambled eggs. omeles or souffle by adding 1/4 teaspoon to every 4 eggs. Season rice with marjoram, chervil, parsley and thyme and serve with roast chicken or lamb.

Marjoram tea has been used historically for relief from symptoms of hay fever, sinus congestion, indigestion, asthma, stomach pain, headache, dizziness, colds, coughs, and nervous disorders.  It is a gently fragrant, calming herb that does have mild antioxidant and anti-fungal properties.  Unsweetened tea can also be used as a mouthwash or gargle.

Make a stomach soothing tea by adding 1-2 teaspoons of the dried herb to 1 cup boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes then drain. Drink up to 3 cups a day.

A calming oil, it has a warming effect on both mind and body and soothes tense muscles after exercise. It is beneficial for occasional simple nervous tension.

Externally, Marjoram leaves can be ground into a paste (add hot tea or water, and a little oatmeal for consistency purposes, if desired), and used for the pain of rheumatism and for sprains.  The leaves can be made into an oil for relief of toothache pain - drop a few drops of the oil on the affected tooth. Leaves can also be placed in cheesecloth or a coffee filter and placed under the tap for a fragrant and refreshing bath that is believed good for the skin.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Happy Hour Friday Featuring Mac & Cheese!

Bar food can be either good for you or just plain good. Seldom haove I found a place that puts out a healthy free food friday. Today I focused on a classic, Mac & Cheese but, definitely not the way your used to!

The recipes below I have located all over the web. The menus are from various bars in various cities across the nation. If any of my readers have bar food they love and want to know how to make it at home, please send me the info so I can pass it on!

The Saddle Club Alpine
 211 E Holland Ave, Alpine, TX (432) 837-9770
(This one is from my neck of the woods)

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons white truffle oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half
1/4 pound Swiss cheese, grated
1/4 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 pound Fontina cheese, grated
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces elbow macaroni

1. To make the truffled mac and cheese recipe, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

2. In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and 1 tablespoon of the truffle oil.

3. In a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture is thoroughly combined and forms a paste. Whisk in the half-and-half, bring to a simmer, and cook for 3 minutes.

4. Stir in the Swiss, cheddar, and Fontina cheeses and then add the mustard. Remove the sauce from the heat when the cheeses have melted. Stir in the remaining truffle oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over medium heat and cook the macaroni for about 7 minutes, until al dente. Drain the pasta and add to the saucepan with the cheese sauce. Stir well.

6. Turn the macaroni and cheese into a buttered 2-quart baking dish. (At this point you could refrigerate the casserole dish for up to 24 hours.) Top the casserole with the breadcrumb mixture and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the casserole is bubbling.

Deluxe Bar & Grill 
625 Broadway Ave. East  Seattle, WA 98102  (206) 324-9697

1 (7.25 ounce) package macaroni and cheese mix
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
3/4 cup pimento cheese spread
1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
 2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste 
4 eggs
3 tablespoons milk
4 cups peanut oil for frying, or as needed

1) Fill a pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Stir in the macaroni, and return to a boil. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the macaroni is cooked through but still firm to the bite, about 7 minutes. Drain. Stir in the 2 tablespoons butter, the 1/4 cup milk, and the cheese packet from the package.

2) While the macaroni is still hot, stir in the Cheddar cheese, pimento cheese spread, and Italian cheese blend, and continue to stir until melted. Place the macaroni and cheese mixture in a container and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.

3) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the macaroni mixture from the refrigerator, and, using a cookie scoop, scoop into balls. Place mac balls on the prepared baking sheet and freeze for at least 2 hours.

4) Heat oil in a deep fryer or large saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

5) Whisk the bread crumbs with the paprika, chili powder, black pepper, sugar, and cayenne in a shallow dish; set aside. Beat the eggs with the 3 tablespoons milk in a small bowl. Remove the mac balls from the freezer, coat in the egg wash, and then dredge in breading.

6) Fry the mac balls in small batches until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain briefly on a paper towel-lined plate; serve hot.

Thirsty Thursday 1/19/11

Yes, I am a day late. I know. And yes, I'm hanging my head in shame. I'm just still excited about that big ole tumbleweed that blew threw here the other day!

Today I have brought with me a few drinks that is easily available out here in the high country of the West Texas Mountains. Granted, alcohol costs at least twice as much here than any where else. Last time I was in Austin I picked up a gallon bottle of Red Stag for 25.00 while I can buy a litter here for the same price. BIG ouch on the pocket book so we've learned to stock up. Last trip I bought 2 gallons! ;-)


Snake Bite Black
1/2 Pint Beer
1/2 Pint Cider
2 Dashes Black Currant Cordial
Pour 1/2 pint Lager and 1/2 pint Cider into a Beer glass. Add Black currant until the drink turns purple.

Bourbon Fog
6oz Bourbon whiskey
6oz Strong Chilled coffee
6oz Vanilla Ice Cream
Pour all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake and pour into a lowball glass filled with ice.


Brandy Alexander
4.5oz Brandy
3oz Creme de Cacao Brown
3oz Half & Half Cream
Grated Nutmeg
Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg.

69 Special
6oz Gordons Gin
2.3oz Lemon Juice
12oz 7 up
Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour all ingredients over the ice and stir.


A Piece of Ass
3oz Amaretto
3oz Southern Comfort
Sweet & Sour mix
Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour liquors over the ice. Fill with Sweet and sour mix.


After Glow
12oz Pineapple Juice
12oz Orange Juice
3oz Grenadine Syrup
Pour the grenadine and juices into a cocktail shaker and mix them together. Pour into a highball glass with ice. Garnish with a pineapple chunk.


24K Nightmare
1.5oz Rumple Minze
1.5oz 151-proof Rum
1.5oz Goldschlager
1.5oz Jägermeister
Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into a shooter glass.


Apple Martini
4oz Vodka
4oz Apple Schnapps
4oz Apple Juice
Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.

(I Couldn't find a good picture of this drink so you have the glass instead)
All Night
3oz Tequila
2oz Lime Juice
1 Dash Grenadine Syrup
1 Egg White
Pour all ingredients into a cocktailshaker and shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.


Alaska Iced Tea
2oz Gin
2oz Rum
2oz  Vodka
2oz Blue Curacao Liqueur
2oz Cointreau
Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour all the alcohols over the ice and top up with Sprite. Stir gently.


6oz Canadian Whisky
1 Dash Angostura Bitter
3oz Cointreau
Pour all ingredients into a lowball glass with ice and stir. Garnish with a twig of mint.

Special Equipment
A tool used to measure liquor. The small end holds 1 ounce of liquid while the larger end holds 1.5 ounces. Great tool to have in any home bar!

Thanks to Drink Secrets for the info!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Scary Truth About Pre-Packaged "Nuggets"

First off, I must appologize for slacking on this blog during the past week. So much has been happening in our little world out here. One day a tumbleweed blew past which caused such an uproar here, we couldn't sleep for a week. Yep, Riley has NOTHING on my end of the world!

A few things I did do was to research some of the foods I had been missing since moving out ehre... like fast food. Nothing in particular, any and all fast food. Until the move, I never knew how much I enjoyed driving up to a window and being able to order, pay and recieve my food without ever leaving my car. Now I am lucky to have someplace open on the one day a week I go into town, much less something as facy as a fast food joint.

But upon watching some of the videos you are about to be introduced to, I feel I'm only missing really discuting things. Just wait, once you finish this blog today, you too will think twice about visiting your local Mc Donald's ever again!

The first video I found concerns chicken. Not the cute chickens squeezed into tiny boxes on farms. No, the stuff they call chicken in their nuggets and sandwich patties. Yeah, I call FALSE ADVERTISING on that! The video is called "What Are Chicken Nuggets Made Of?" So Mc Donalds didnt start using "white meat" in their foods for health reasons like they claimed. No, it was due to someone finding out they used AMMONIA in thier meats! Yuck.

The second video I want you to watch is called "The Truth About Mc Donald's". I have no words for this outside of, no matter how badly I was one of those damned toys, they will never again see me in their stores.

But never fear! If yout thinking that you will never again bite into the burger of your dreams, think again. I have found a guy on YouTube who posts videos of diffrent fast food chain recipes! Even Mc Donald's secret sauce! "NICKO'S KITCHEN". I'm sure it's healthier than buying them while sitting in your car after all!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Huli Huli Chicken

A friend of mine had mentioned this wonderful dish she and her husband had tried when they lived in Kentucky. Now that they have moved to Washington, they are unable to find it or the sauce it was made with. Well, you all know me, I went on a web hunt. I finally found the recipe on Disney's site of all places! But the day I was to try it out for myself, we had one of our rare occurances of snow falling. Normally I would grill ANY time of the year, but it was just a might too cold to be outside every few minutes to marinate meat.

The recipe that follows is my version of a Hawaiian dish called Huli Huli Chicken. It is typically grilled on traditional Hawaiian drums and comes out a marvelous flavor. Mine isn't quite like that, although it DOES use the traditional sauce, mine is made in the oven. I hope you all give it a try!

2 lb Chicken (boneless)
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Ketchup
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 tbsp Milk
1/4 cup Pineapple Puree
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1" Ginger Root, minced or grated
2 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar

1) Preheat oven to 400. Line baking sheet in foil and spray with non-stick spray.

2) Mix ingredients in bowl. Coat chicken and place on prepared baking sheet.

3) Bake 20-30 minutes, flipping over half way through and coating in sauce every 7 minutes.

Chicken Salad Salad

Confusing name, but oh so good for you AND it tastes great! I came up with this recipe after having a turkey sandwich here in Fort Davis that had cranberries in it. Wow... my taste buds stood up and saluted Miss Nell over at Nell's Coffee Shop. So, while scrounging around in my cupboards for something quick, easy and healthy, I created this dish.

I used Flax Seed in this and it can be omitted, but why? It really has no flavor and it blends well. It also helps to thicken it up in case you put in too much liquid. The best part, its super healthy for you. The chicken salad is wet enough to not need any extra dressing.

This recipe makes 1 1/2 servings.

1 can Chicken
2 tbsp Miracle Whip (or generic Whipped Salad Dressing is fine)
1 tsp Spicy Brown Mustard
1 tbsp Flax Seed
1/4 - 1/2 cup Cranberries, dried
1 cup Spinach, fresh
4 Grape Tomatoes, cut in half
3-4 Strawberries, quartered
Mozzarella, shredded

1) In small bowl blend together first 5 ingredients, set aside.

2) On salad plate place spinach in center. Put chicken salad right in the middle. Surround it with tomatoes and strawberries, then sprinkle entire salad with cheese.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saturday Seasonings: Arugula

Arugula is technically known as a salad green or salad herb. Add to lettuce, tomatoes and any other mixed baby salad greens, and create new and exciting taste sensations. You can usually find arugula in the fresh produce section in your health food store or at larger super markets. Like most salad greens, Arugula is very very low in calories and is also high in vitamins A and C.

Arugula is also known as rocket, roquette, rugula and rucola, and is very popular in Italian cuisine.
Rinse the leaves in cool water and dry on paper toweling. Store in zip lock bag. Best if used within two days.
Its leaves have a unique, peppery sweet tang, adding pizzazz even to the blandest salads. Although arugula provides a flavor impact, it does not have an aftertaste.

This food is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Zinc and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Manganese.

Prefers rich humusy soil with pH of 6 to 6.8, but will tolerate wide variety of conditions. Evenly moist soil will help slow bolting. Growth is low and compact until heat causes plant to bolt. Forms a rosette of deeply lobed leaves. Plants become erect when heat induces bolting.

Flowers are edible.

Seeds germinate quickly even in cold soil. Plant as soon as soil can be worked in spring. Avoid planting after other cabbage family crops. Plant ¼ inch deep and 1 inch apart in rows, or broadcast alone or mixed with other greens. Gradually thin to 6-inch spacings using thinnings for salads. Make new plantings every 2 to 3 weeks for a continuous supply until about a month before your average first frost date.

Slow bolting by reducing heat and moisture stress. Provide some shade for warm-season plantings.
Fast-growing plants are good for intercropping and relay cropping.

Often self-seeds. Is self-sterile and requires insects for pollination. Will not cross with other members of the mustard family.

For more information on Arugula please visit:

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday's Happy Hour Foods 1/13/12

One thing I miss about living in the city is Friday Happy Hours across the bay. Every bar you come across is offering free appetizers and half price drinks. Some places has out of the box munchies anyone can heat up at home. But other places offers something a little bit more in the way of food.

In my search online for some great grub ideas, I came across this link you all might be interested in. Instead of making these dishes at home, try out this link for your city to find Happy Hour Specials and coupons for your favorite bars! Daily Happy Hour

Soy Glazed Chicken Yakitori
From Food & Wine

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 scallions, white and light green parts only, cut into 1-inch lengths
6 shiitake mushroom caps, quartered
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin
2 tablespoons kecap manis (sweet Indonesian soy sauce)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon Sriracha chile sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Vegetable oil, for brushing

1) Thread each of 8 metal skewers with 3 pieces of chicken and 3 pieces each of scallion and shiitake.
In a saucepan, combine the soy sauce, mirin, kecap manis, sugar, ginger, Sriracha and garlic; bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, stirring, until slightly thickened, 8 minutes.

2) Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the skewers with oil and grill over high heat, turning, until nearly cooked through, about 5 minutes. Brush the skewers with the sauce and grill, turning, until the chicken is cooked through and nicely glazed, about 3 minutes longer. Serve at once.

Anchor Bar Authentic Buffalo Wings

36 chicken wing pieces (one wing makes 2 pieces - the "flat" and the "drum")
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons Louisiana hot sauce (Frank's is the brand used in Buffalo)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine
celery sticks
blue cheese dressing

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2) If necessary, cut whole wings into two pieces. In a bowl toss the wings with the oil, and salt. Place into a large plastic shopping bag, and add the flour. Shake to coat evenly. Remove wings from the bag, shaking off excess flour, and spread out evenly on oiled foil-lined baking pan(s). Do not crowd. Bake for about 20 minutes, turn the wings over, and cook another 20 minutes, or until the wings are cooked through and browned.

3) While the wings are baking, mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a pan, and over low heat bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and then turn off.

4) After the wings are cooked, transfer to a large mixing bowl. Pour the sauce over the hot wings and toss with a spoon or spatula to completely coat.

***These are always served with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing on the side.***

Marinated Shrimp
From Cooking Light

  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
  • 36 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 1 3/4 pounds)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 1) Combine first 9 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes, turning bag occasionally.
  • 2) Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of shrimp; cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until done. Remove shrimp from pan. Repeat with remaining olive oil and remaining shrimp.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thirsty Thursday 1/12/11

For those who really like to try new things, each Thursday I will attempt to bring you several different drinks to tempt your pallets. Please though, do not try all of them on the same night. I really do not want to be responsible for many people across the world hitting the floor.

“I went out with a guy who once told me I didn’t need to drink to make myself more fun to be around. I told him, I’m drinking so that you’re more fun to be around.” 
― Chelsea Handle (Added from

After Shock Surprise 
(Made in a Pint Glass)
1 1/2 oz Aftershock® Hot & Cool cinnamon schnapps
1 1/2 oz sambuca
4/5 pint Carlsberg® Export lager
Add Aftershock and sambuca to a pint glass almost filled with Carlsberg, and serve.

Cherry Bliss 
(Made in a Highball Glass)
Fill glass with ice. Then these ingredients:
2 part Jim Beam Red Stag
2 part Black Cherry Sparkling Water
Garnish with a cherry.

Bob Marley
(Made in a 2oz Shot Glass or a Pony Glass)
1/2 oz Midori® melon liqueur
1/2 oz Jagermeister® herbal liqueur
1/2 oz Goldschlager® cinnamon schnapps
Float each liquor in order to create layers.

Alcapulco Gold
(Made in a Highball Glass)
3 oz pineapple juice
1 oz coconut cream
1 oz whipping cream
1/2 oz grapefruit juice
Shake and strain into glass with cracked ice.

(Made in a Highball Glass)
Fill glass almost full with ice then pour in the ingredients.
1 1/2 oz dark rum
2 oz peach nectar
3 oz orange juice

(Made in 3 shot Glasses)
1 shot tomato juice
1 shot white tequila
1 shot lemon juice
Align the shot glasses in the following order: Tomato (red), Tequila (white) and Lemon (green), resembling the Mexican Flag. Quickly gulp one after another: Tomato, Tequila and finally finish with the Lemon.

A Southern Screw
(Made in a Tall Glass)
2 oz vodka
2 oz Southern Comfort® peach liqueur
6 oz Sunny Delight® orange juice
Orange Slice
Pour all over ice and garnish with an orange slice.

6 Wise Men
(Old Fashioned Glass)
1 oz Jack Daniel's® Tennessee whiskey
1 oz Evan Williams® Bourbon Whiskey
1 oz Jim Beam® bourbon whiskey
1 oz Maker's Mark® bourbon whiskey
1 oz Johnnie Walker® Scotch whisky
1 oz Jameson® Irish whiskey
Pour into glass, then fill with ice.

Wednesday's Websites 1/11/12

Well, I spent the past week rummaging through the web in search of some unique websites I thought you all would appreciate. I was caught off guard when I found the first link from Now That's Niffty. You would be surprised what some poeple would put in their mouths!

Some folks just don't know what real food is!

Now, if your one of those busy cooks who live by their Crock Pot, then this is the place for you to be dwelling in! This is a site started by a home cook and sponsers many contests, recipes, nad articles to help you create some of the best slow and easy foods for your own family.

For those who are like me and want to save a few pennies, I have a few sites here that offer you coupons! Some will make you join but those are legit companies and will send new coupons to your email monthly.

Pillsbury is kind enough to post almost 40 dollars in coupons for its site members. That means you have to join their site, but for great recipes and good deals on the foods to create those recipes, what more could a cook want?

Worried about the kind of foods your local grocery store handles? For those unlucky enough for one of these places near by (like me), you sure are missing out! And now, they even hand out coupons!

Contests are a fun way to get creative in the kitchen with friends and family. Even the smallest members can get involved by being a taster, stirrer or gatherer. Here are a few I located this week:

Southern Living Magazine Posted:
Do you know a home cook who makes the best biscuits in town? Or a strawberry cake that is locally famous? If so, please let us know! We’re searching for the best recipes in the South—and the home cooks behind them. Have someone in mind? Email us at and tell us about the cook and his or her specialty, and we may feature both the person and the dish in the magazine. (Please include a daytime phone number.) And don’t fret if you don’t hear from us right away. We’ll consider every submission carefully, and file those we can’t use immediately for potential future stories. We look forward to hearing from you!

Another Give Away comes from Two Classy Chicks. This is a great blog where they review new products and offer different giveaways for you to compete in! The latest is for a Mason Jar Wax Warmer... perfect for those whole love the country feel to their decor!

Red Vines: Pass the Jar Contest! Enter to win 5,000 for your own Touch Down Party!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cowboy Cacciatore

While I was surfing the web yesterday morning I came across a recipe for Chicken Cacciatore that had my mouth salivating. So off I ran to the kitchen to whip it up to have it in time for my dinner. But of course I wouldn't have all the required ingredients in my cupboard! After all, this was two days before market day. Why would I have the things I needed? 

Oh, not to fear! I whipped up this dish instead! It tastes like a cross between a chunky red sauce and chili. It is great being creative! 

Thanks to the Crock Pot site! This recipe makes about 6 servings. Don't forget to see what recipe I started with and how it ended up!

(I used Ziti Pasta in this)

6 Chicken Thighs, boneless & skinless (breasts will work too)
2 tbsp Olive OIl
24oz Jar Spaghetti Sauce (any variety)
8oz can Tomato Sauce
1 can Tomato Soup
1 tsp Basil, Oregano, thyme, dried
1 tsp Sea Salt
2 tsp Garlic, minced
1 White Onion, diced fine
1 can Rotel Tomatoes with Green Chilis (chili starter)
30 Pepperoni slices, quartered
6oz Sliced Mushrooms
1/4 cup Red Wine

1) In large skillet heat oil and brown chicken on both sides.

2) In large Crock Pot lay chicken on bottom and fill with remaining ingredients. There is no order to this, You can even mix it all in a seperate bowl before pouring over the chicken.

3) Cook for:
Low 5-7 hours
High 2-3 Hours
Best served over hot cooked pasta.

Monday, January 9, 2012

West Texas Goulash

It's Makeover Monday and today we are making over an old standard in many kitchens that we all grew up in... Goulash. I'm sure you remember it with the elbow pasta swimming in stewed tomatoes and ground beef. I still have nightmares over it! To this day I have a had time eating both cooked tomatoes as well as elbow pasta.

So I went on a web search (again) to find something more along our tastes. Nope... nothing looked good to me. The closest I came was when I went to the Moms Who Think website and found THIS little number. But it still wasn't quite right. That is why I have remade it to fit my own taste buds with a bit of spice to make my hunny happy. This recipe feeds about 4.

1 lb Ground Beef
1 tbsp Worechestershire Sauce
1 Carrot, peeled and diced
4 Mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
3 tbsp Garlic, minced
1 tbsp Paprika
1 tbsp Cholula
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tbsp Parsley
1 cup Spinach, chopped
1/2 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes, sliced in half
3 cup Beef Broth
2 cups Egg Noodles
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1/2 cup Mozzerella, shredded
Crushed Red Pepper (Optional)

1) In large skillet brown beef with carrots. Drain off grease, return to pan. Add mushrooms, garlic, paprika, chalula, cayenne and parsley, stir and cook until veggies are tender. Add tomatoes, noodles and broth and cook 8-10 minutes, until noodles are tender. Dump all into a collander to drain any excess grease or liquid.

2) In same skillet, add in sour cream and stir over med-low heat until it becomes liquidfied, then add in the mozzerella and stir to melt. Pour in noodle mixture and toss to incorporate sauce with the rest of the ingredients.

3) Serve warm with a sprinkling of Crushed Red Pepper if prefered.

Friday, January 6, 2012

New Year, New Set Up!

I am redesigning the setup of this blog to be a little more informative. Instead of just random recipes I am going to try and set things up in an order that will be easy to follow and bring you new and exciting food AND drink ideas for those not just in my area. See the line up below for more info on this:

Monday Make Overs
Each Monday I will attempt to bring you something you already like, but with a new twist to it. Whether it is Mac and Cheese, Chicken and Rice or even Meat Loaf, we will be twisting things up.

TV Tuesday
You all know I am addicted to the Food Channels. So on Tuesdays I will bring you great recipes, ideas, drinks and even resteraunts that I find through my tele.

Wednesday Websites
My poor hard drive is getting overloaded with all the great websites I have been coming across. I thought maybe those of you who does not have the time to search could benefit from me passing them on to you. From Blogs to Coupons to Contests, I will search them out and pass them on.

Thirsty Thursday
From Jim Bean to Martinis Thirsty Thursday is to help get you set up for the weekend with new drink twists that are both easy and flavorful.

Friday's Happy Hour
Being from the Big City, I'm used to having great free food buffets at different bars. Some of the bar foods will blow your mind!

Saturday Seasonings
Alot of my readers know how to follow a recipe but they really couldn't tell you WHY certain seasonings are added. I will attempt to shed some light on different seasonings, their flavor, what best to add them to, and even some tips on growing your own.

So, what do you think guys and gals? Will this help you in your own kitchen endeavors? Feel free to let me know what it is you want and need from this Blog!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Kielbasa Soup

Every Tuesday is the day I clean out my fridge... it's the day before we go into town for our weekly shopping. Without a big freezer, I have to make a lot of room in my fridge to accommodate the new foods. So basically I try to throw everything I can into a big pot of soup or a casserole. This week I came up with a Kielbasa Soup that was outstanding! It serves about 4 regular sized bowls or 6-8 small bowls (if your using it in a course meal). I didn't have to use a lot of seasonings since everything already had it. Give it a shot and let me know how you changed it up to fit what was in YOUR fridge!

2 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp Olive Oil
3 Carrots, peeled and sliced
1 Potato, peeled and diced
4 Garlic Cloves, sliced
1/4 tsp Celery Salt
1/4-1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 can White Beans, undrained
1 lb Kielbasa, sliced
1 can Tomatoes, diced with garlic and olive oil
2 1/2 cup Beef Broth (+-)

1) In large pot melt the butter in oil. Add in the carrots and potato and let saute 10 minutes until carrots are crisp-tender. Add in the celery salt, garlic, cayenne, beans, kielbasa and tomatoes, stir well. Add in enough of the beef broth to cover.

2) Bring to a boil, cover and let simmer 30 minutes until the meat has puffed and veggies are tender.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Herbed Pork Chops

Coming up with unique ideas for someone who is an extremely picky eater isn't always an easy task. But with this recipe for Herbed Pork Chops, I hit it through the roof! I started out with this recipe I located online at Taste of Home and went from there with ingredients I had handy. My recipe though serves 4 and is very kid friendly since it doesn't have bones.

2 tsp Garlic Poweder
1 tsp Basil, dried
1 tsp Oregano, dried
1 tsp Parsley, dried
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1/4 tsp Cayanne Pepper
1/2 tsp Rosemary, dried & crushed
8 Boneless Pork Chops
2 tsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Garlic, minced

1) Combine the first 7 ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle then rub into both sides of chops. Let sit in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

*When seasoning meats cut the top of the plastic wrap and season the top of the meat. Using tongs, flip the meat over and season other side.*

2) Over medium heat in large skillet heat oil. Add chops and sprinkle the minced garlic on the tops. Cook chops about 5 minutes on each side until juices run clear.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ziti Pizza Bake

One night I was just too tired to make dinner. Yes, truly its so! I had found some personal sized pizza shells on my last shopping trip and thought to pull those out and make us a quick treat. I loaded up one with lots of pepperoni for my guy, but none for me since I'm allergic to the pepper part. Which means I had LOTS of pepperoni left over. So, I came up with this great baked pasta dish that was yummy and flavorful. Not to mention how quick and easy it was!

This recipe makes about 6 servings... unless my hunny is around then it drops to about 3.

1lb Ziti Pasta, raw
1 cup Speghetti Sauce
1/2 cup Pasta Water
1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
1 tsp Garlic, minced
30+ Pepperoni Slices, sliced in half
1 cup Spinach, fresh and stemmed
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
Salt & Pepper to taste

1) Preheat oven to 350. Line casserole dish in foil and spray with live Olive Oil.

2) In large pot cook pasta, drain (reserving 1/2 cup of the water) and set aside.

3) In same pot, whisk together the sauce and pasta water, add in peppers and let cook 3 minutes, stirring often. Add in garlic and pepperoni and stir. Add in pasta and and spinach, toss to incorporate all ingredients and pour in prepared casserole. Sprinkle with parmesan and then mozzarella.

4) Bake, uncovered about 10 minutes until cheeses are bubbly. Then plate up!