Posts Tagged ‘Cooking’

Lemonade Slushy

Its been SO hot lately…

We needed something COOL to drink!



Lemons were on sale!



Don’t you just love the beautiful color of lemons??



They just say SUMMER to me.




Lemons, water, sugar, and ice.

That’s all you need for this refreshing lemonade slushy.




I used 3 lemons
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup ice
1-2 cup(s) of cold water

Put in blender
then pour into chilled glasses.




It is so good!!




You can add more lemons/sugar/water according to your taste.






So refreshing!
So easy!
So quick!





My family loves when I make this.

It lasts about 1 minute.





One good thing about summer,



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A Visit

It was so good to visit my Dad recently.

I don’t get to see him as often as I’d like.



Visits to see Dad usually include a walk in the backyard.
It was the end of the mango season for his trees…



He counted seven on this tree…




They would be the last ones of the summer…




I did get to eat one or two that he’d pick earlier.  They were delicious!!
They smell so good!
I wasn’t the only one enjoying these delicacies…



There he is in his workshop, enjoying the fruits of his labor,
taking a break from work.  That’s his lovely wife.
They’ve been married for over 15 years (my Mom passed away many years ago).



I did get to bring one or two of these home with me.  🙂


Later that night he decided to cook some ribs on the grill.



I made a rub for them, and he put them on the bbq.




He kept a close eye on them until they were done.




We had a great time that night.
My brother & his wife & kids came over and we laughed a lot
as we always do when we get together.


It was a short visit but oh, so sweet.

Enjoy your summer.  🙂



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Sofrito Meatloaf

There are so many recipes for meatloaf out there!

I don’t think I’ve made it the same way twice…
It usually depends what I have on hand.

It’s never turned out tasteless, but I have to admit
sometimes it’s been better than others.

Here’s one way I like to make it…


I start  by making sofrito, and giving it a quick cook with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.
Sofrito is a mixture of green pepper, onion, garlic, cumin, olive oil, and vinegar.
For more on sofrito, click here.


Cook the sofrito in the pan for about 5 minutes and set it aside.


I add the sofrito to the meat mixture.
Sometimes I just use ground turkey,
Other times I use ground beef & turkey sausage — that’s my favorite mixture

To the mixture, I also add:
one egg
1/2 c seasoned bread crumbs
1 Tb mustard
2 Tb sour cream or yogurt
2 Tb worcestershire sauce
NOTE:  I mix these in a separate bowl before I add it to the meat mixture.




Then, I spread it in a cake pan.
A cake pan??
I love the topping most of all– So, instead of using a loaf pan
and just getting a little area of topping,
I spread it out in a cake pan and get a lot of it!  🙂



The topping:  I mix brown sugar, mustard and ketchup in a small bowl.
You can mix it to your taste…
If you want it sweeter, add more brown sugar,
if you want it with more of a tangy flavor, add more mustard.

Then, I spread it all over the top of the meatloaf and bake it for one hour at 350.




It’s a classic family meal.




My favorite sides with the meatloaf is, of course, mashed potatoes.
Corn is also good on any day, but especially when it’s fresh.

Are you hungry yet?

Have fun in the kitchen!
I’m linking up today on Tasty Tuesday at Creatively Homespun.


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Turkey Burgers

These turkey burgers are perfect for a summer lunch!

This whole meal is an easy, tasty variety of healthy foods…
Turkey burgers, roasted sweet peppers, and sweet potato oven fries.

This is my husband’s plate
(He didn’t have any bread/buns with it).
You can tell he likes mustard with it.

I buy a bag of these small sweet peppers for $2 and they add so much flavor
to so many dishes.  I use them to season black beans, different soups,
and even salads.


I drizzled some olive oil and some balsamic vinegar over the peppers,
then sprinkled Jane’s Krazy Mixed Up Salt over them.
I’ve been using this salt since I was in college when
a sweet lady from church was teaching me how to make potato salad
and she told me, “I never make it without Jane’s salt!”

I buy it at the local Supermarket for $1.79.


I roasted the peppers at 425 in the oven for about 20 min.
I flipped them over once, half-way through cooking.


I also made some sweet potato oven fries to go with the burgers.




This is one of the easiest and most delicious ways to eat sweet potato.
All I do is peel and slice the sweet potatoes,
then I season them with brown sugar, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar,
and I sprinkle just a tiny bit of salt over them.

They’re done in about 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven.
For crispier fries, leave them in a few minutes longer.





They come out crispy, sweet, delicious!

My favorites are the ones that look a little burnt – the brown sugar caramelizes on them
and they are crunchy goodness!





While the peppers and the “fries” cooked in the oven, I made the burgers on the skillet.




This is how I seasoned the burgers:

In a small bowl, I mixed together:
1 egg
2 Tb sour cream
3-4 dashes of hot sauce
1 1/2 tsp of: garlic powder and onion powder
1 tsp Jane’s salt
1/4 cup of bread crumbs
2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce

I added the mixture to 1 lb of ground turkey.
I shaped 4 patties out of the mixture, and placed on a hot skillet
with 2 tb olive oil, 1 Tb butter, and one half of a large onion, sliced.

I cooked the burgers for 7-10 minutes on med-high heat,
flipped each one and cooked for another 7-10 minutes.
Then I covered the skillet, lowered the heat to the lowest setting
and cooked for another 5-7 minutes.

I turned off the heat and removed the pan from the hot burner,
leaving the burgers covered for an extra 5 minutes.


I toasted the bread for my burger

Then I added the peppers right on top of the patty.


It was a healthy and  delicious meal!




Trying to eat healthier,


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Chicken Fresco

I’ve been trying to cook new dishes and
break out of the same-old-same-old recipes
I’ve done for decades.




Did you notice the chicken is shaped like a heart?!
I just noticed that!  🙂


So, here’s one I tried yesterday
and I loved it!!



Very simple and easy.

And delicious!!

I’m calling it Chicken Fresco because it tasted
so fresh and light.

Serves 2.  (It can easily be adapted to feed more
by just adding more chicken and tomatoes)


Chicken Fresco

2 skinless boneless chicken breasts, split (butterflied)
1/2 cup grape tomatoes  halved
3 Tb  olive oil
2  cloves of garlic
1/2 onion
1/4 cup of chopped parsley
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350.
I used a cast iron skillet.  I thought this was worth mentioning
because it gives the chicken such great color and texture.
Heat pan over medium heat, add olive oil, onion, and garlic,
cook for about 3 minutes.
Then add chicken breasts to the pan.
I browned the chicken on each side for a total of about 5-7 minutes.
Then, I placed the chicken on a cookie sheet and covered them
with aluminum foil, and put in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes.
While the chicken cooked in the oven, I put the tomatoes and parsley
into the skillet and cooked them for about 3 minutes.
Then removed it from heat.
Once the chicken was cooked, I took it out of the oven,
Uncovered it and placed it back into the skillet.
I placed it back on the heat for about one minute,
just enough for the chicken to get covered in the “sofrito”.
I served it with white rice and slices of avocado.

It was a quick, healthy, and easy meal to make.



Happy cooking everyone!



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Fish Tacos

A good friend of mine said the other day
she doesn’t think fish is for tacos.

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She hasn’t had these fish tacos.


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I season the fish fillets (in this case, Tilapia)
with salt, pepper, garlic & onion powder,
paprika, and lots of lemon.




Then I cook the fish
in 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, then add a tablespoon
of butter for flavor.




While the fish are sizzling in the pan,
I make the pico de gallo.
It’s just tomato, cilantro, onion,
a jalapeno pepper, and lemon.
Season it with a little salt.




I flip the fish only once, and very gently…
I don’t want them to break.

When they’re cooked through,
I turn the heat off,
and I warm the tortillas either in the microwave
(wrapped in a moist paper towel)
OR I warm them on a skillet, one at a time.




I use two tortillas per taco
(my husband thought of this great idea!)
so that it won’t break and it adds more stability
to the taco.  …and by the way, I always use corn tortillas…
…they have so much flavor.

I put one delicious fillet in each taco,
and add lots of pico de gallo,


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I’m joining the Creatively Homespun Tasty Tuesdays Link Party!  Click for some more delicious recipes from bloggers.



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Pork Chops

Since I haven’t felt like cooking much,
(I’ve been sick…)

but not wanting to eat something from a can,
I decided to try a simple recipe I saw last week
on Food Network by Trisha Yearwood.

Here’s the link to that page:

I made a few changes and loved how it turned out!

It’s an easy recipe with simple ingredients
(which is why I wanted to try it).

I added a few ingredients to the recipe
and changed a few of the measurements.

The most important thing to remember is:
THICK-CUT pork chops.  Thin-cut would dry out.

I added 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the butter
when I was “sauteing” the rice in the pan.
That insured that I wouldn’t burn the butter
and I like the flavor the olive oil gives to the rice.



Instead of one cup of rice, I used 1 1/2 cups.

I also added green onions for flavor.
I sprinkled them over the rice just before adding the beef broth.


Instead of using a can, I used the carton of beef broth.
I think it tastes a lot better.

I also increased the broth to 3 cups
because of the change in the amount of rice.


I seasoned the pork chops with a sprinkle of garlic powder,
onion powder, salt & pepper.
I placed some onion slices on top
and covered the entire dish with aluminum foil.

My oven isn’t working properly, so after 45 minutes at 350,
I increased the temperature to 375 and left it in for another 15 min.

It was perfect.  The rice was not dry and not too wet.
The pork chops were cooked but not tough.


I wanted a nice sear on the pork chops so I placed them
in a hot cast iron skillet for just a few minutes.

It was the final touch they needed.
They lost the “white, roasted” look
and now looked crispy and delicious.


I steamed some broccoli to round out the meal.

I also added some fresh lemon wedges to sqeeze right over
the pork chops.  It was amazing the difference!  It brought out all the flavors.


My husband thought it was delicious.

I can’t wait to try this recipe using chicken.  I think it’ll be great.

It was wonderful to have a home-cooked meal
with minimal effort.
Since I haven’t been feeling well, an easy recipe was the way to go.

I will be adding this recipe in my new “tried-and-true” file.
It’s nice to have something new to make for friends & family.  🙂

Happy cooking,


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Roast Chicken

There area many ways to roast chicken.

This is one way…




First, I wash and cut potatoes, carrots, and onions
and place them in a foil-lined pan.





Then I split the chicken in half, down the breast side.
This is important if you want that tasty, crispy skin.
I place it right on top of the potatoes/onions/carrots.
I season the chicken with lemon, salt, pepper, cumin, garlic & onion powder, and oregano.



Then I put it in a 350 degree oven for about one hour and 15 min.
Times vary, depending on your oven,
but the key is to leave it long enough for the skin to get extra crispy.
If you take it out too soon, you will be very disappointed.
So will your family.
So will I.



The onions and potatoes will get a wonderful toasty exterior
that you won’t want to miss.



Yes, sir!
The juices in the pan are fantastic poured over rice.



The wings are delicious because they’ll be crunchy and delicious.



This is a simple meal that I make when I’m doing something
and can’t be standing over the stove for a length of time.

You just put it in the oven
and forget about it until the timer goes off.

As you can see, I like to serve it with black beans and rice.

Give it a try.
You’ll be glad you did.
So will your family.
So will I.

Happy cooking,


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Growing up, I must’ve had this sandwich more times than I can remember.

I’ve made it for my kids countless times, and it’s one of their favorite meal choices whenever they come home to visit, or when I am visiting them.



It’s easy, quick, and very delicious!
It feels more like a comforting meal than
just a “sandwich”.



Here’s how I make it:
First, I brown some ground beef
with Sofrito.  For that recipe, just click here.

I also add 2 bay leaves.

Once the ground beef begins to brown,

I add a small can of tomato sauce or tomato paste.




Once it’s cooked, I add a small jar of stuffed green olives.
This is my kids’ favorite part, I think.




While the beef is cooking, I prepare the sandwiches.
It’s almost impossible to find cuban bread where I live.
But if you can find it… Wow.  It’ll make this so much better.
I use the softest french bread I can find.
Stay away from anything too dense.

First I spread mayo on one side, and put some
sliced roma tomatoes sprinkled with salt
on the other side.




After the meat is cooked, I cover it
and let it sit for about 5 minutes.

Then I load up the bread with a mound of picadillo.



Oh yes, this would definitely be on my list
of “Comfort Food”.
It’s so delicious.

If you try it,
you won’t be disappointed.

Happy cooking,



Pan Con Picadillo

1 lb   ground beef (or ground turkey)
1/4 c   sofrito
Salt to taste (about 1 tsp)
2   bay leaves
1  small can of tomato sauce OR tomato paste
(I use the roasted garlic flavored)
1 tsp  sugar
1 small jar of red pepper-stuffed green olives, DRAINED
For the sandwich: mayo, tomatoes, cuban bread or the closest thing to it

In a large skillet, brown ground beef with sofrito, salt, and bay leaves.
Add tomato sauce/paste when beef is halfway done.  Cover and simmer
for about 5-7 mins on medium.  Add sugar, olives, and stir to make sure
everything is combined.  Cover and cook for 2-3 mins.
Enjoy on a sandwich, or…
it’s also delicious with white rice and black beans!

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Apple Pie

Apples were on sale again…




I just had to make a pie.





The filling is just apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter.




It turns into the most delicious sweet and tender filling.




The crust gave me a little trouble this time…

But since I wasn’t going for perfect….

I was ok with it.




The smell of apple pie baking in the oven. . .




You just can’t hardly wait for the pie to be done . . .





. . . So you can take it out and have a piece.


Enjoy the apples while they’re in season!



Apple Pie

6-7 apples peeled, cored, and sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
6 Tb butter

Pie Crust (you can either make your own or use frozen)


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