Friday, September 21, 2012


I have to confess I haven't always liked guacamole.

I didn't like the fact it was green! 

I didn't like the fact that it was mushy!

And, I didn't even like the look of an avocado!

I was weird! Ha!

Honestly, I cannot even remember when I started liking guacamole but all I know is that now I LOVE it!!!

No one in my house ever made it when I was growing up.  I don't even remember knowing about guacamole until I was older...probably in my teens.  Gosh, that was a fateful day when I realized I liked that green mush because now I can probably sit down and eat a plate of it! "Moment on the lips...forever on the hips" comes to mind when I scoop up a big serving of it...but it does not deter me because I realized how "healthy" it is for me...haha!  Everything in moderation...right?

Because I did not have anyone teach me how to make guacamole...I just kind of made up my own recipe so it may be unconventional but I think it tastes amazing.  Don't let the mayo or sour cream in it deter you.  You can leave it out if you would still be creamy and yummy.  I like it because it adds just another level of flavor and a little more creaminess to it and I only add about a teaspoon.  But it is strictly your call.

I usually just "eye" the recipe and look for the right consistency and flavor.  This is a recipe that you just can't go wrong on.  So, go ahead and give it a try.  It's easy and it's just right for a Friday night!


4 large avocados or the equivalent
3 tablespoons of onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon mayonnaise or sour cream (optional)
1-2 teaspoons lime or lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Choose your avocados.  The picture above should give you an idea of the size I used for this recipe.

Peel the outer skin off of the avocado.

Cut avocado in half and remove the pit.

Cut avocado into chunks and mash with whatever you like.  I have always used this meat tenderizer, don't ask me why, I just do.  You can use whatever works best for you. I like to mash it but leave some smaller whole pieces for texture.

Add your onions and garlic and stir

Add your mayo or sour cream (or not) and stir

Add salt and pepper to your liking. 

I forgot to take a picture of the lime/lemon juice being added but you can add it now.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Oh my goodness.....just look at that cheese!

Yesterday, I was in the mood for comfort food.  What better food than cheesy, hot, melt in your mouth, macaroni and cheese?

This is my daughter, Holly's, recipe.  She made it a couple of years ago and it was an instant hit.  I spent years making homemade macaroni and cheese but using Velveeta, which is good, don't get me wrong.  As a matter of fact, a while back my stepdaughter, Crystal, called to ask me how to make that recipe because it is what she grew up eating.  But this just has the richest, cheesiest flavor and isn't that what we all  love about macaroni and cheese?

This recipe doesn't take very long to put together and it could not be simpler.  I served it with hamburgers and ranch style beans.  My son, Christopher, is a vegetarian so he had a Gardein Veggie Burger.  The link will bring you to the Gardein site but there are more products and HEB carries them.  And let me just say, the Gardein Meatless Burger is really, really good!  I ate one the other day because I did not want to cook and I did not want take out.  I was very pleasantly surprised!

I was running behind last night so I didn't get to take a lot of pictures....sorry!  Hopefully, the one above will give you enough of a reason to try this recipe!


12 ounces small elbow macaroni, boiled in salted water until cooked but firm (mine took 7 minutes)
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk (I used 2%)
1 teaspoon onion salt
12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded separated into 8 ounce     and 4 ounce portions
8 ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup of melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Boil macaroni in salted water until firm but cooked.  The macaroni will continue to cook in the oven so you want the macaroni to hold its shape and not become mushy.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour and approximately 1/2 cup of milk until blended.  Add the remaining milk and onion salt.

In a large bowl, combine the hot macaroni and 8 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese and the 4 ounces mild cheddar cheese.

Stir in the milk mixture.

Pour into a 9 X 13 buttered dish.  I used a 9 X 9 stoneware dish by Pampered Chef because I like mine deeper.   Sprinkle with the remaining 4 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese and 4 ounces of mild cheddar cheese.

Drizzle with melted butter.

Pop in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Is your mouth watering yet...mine is....again!

Now here are a couple of pictures from our plates last night....

This is mine...I don't really care for ranch style beans so I will just have a double helping of mac n cheese...please and thank you!

Now, here is Christopher's creative plate....cracked me up so I had to take a picture!!


Sunday, September 9, 2012


 This post should be called the "Confessions of a Carb Girl"!  

I think I could live happily ever after if carbs simply had no effect on my waist, rear end, or general health!  I absolutely love them.  So, when I made this cornbread for supper the other night, I knew I was going to be in trouble.  I literally could devour this entire recipe by myself...that's how much I love it.  For that reason alone, I do not make this recipe very often.  I ate wayyyy too much!  Oh my goodness, when it comes out of the oven is the best time to eat it, in my opinion.  It is so cheesy and flavored just right with green onions and peppers.  The jalapenos add just a little kick (I would even add more if my family would let me).  

I have added a pound of seasoned, cooked ground sirloin into the recipe and it becomes a one dish meal.  You could even serve it up with guacamole or a green salad.  I actually served this with my Chicken Tortilla soup recipe and homemade guacamole.  This recipe makes a 13 x 9 pan of cornbread.  

I have given this recipe out so many times and it is one of my families favorites.  It is a perfect recipe for an upcoming cool day.  Give it a whirl...I bet it won't be your last!


1 cup of cream style corn
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1-1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup of jalapenos diced very fine
1 tablespoon salt (some people feel like this is too much - cut to 1/2 tbsp. if you like)
1 cup grated colby jack cheese
1 cup green onions, chopped

In a large bowl, combine corn, eggs, sour cream, milk and canola oil.

Next add baking powder.  I sprinkle each teaspoon over the top of the cornbread mixture and then whisk to make sure it is well combined.

Next add the green onions and jalapeno peppers.

Add the cheese and salt.

Now, pour in the corn meal and stir to combine.

Spray a 13 x 9 pan with cooking spray to keep from sticking.

Pour in the cornbread mixture.

Pop in the oven for approximately 1 hour at 350 degrees or until firm and golden brown.

Voila, you have "carb heaven"! 

Just thought I would "doctor" this photo to show you how I truly feel about this recipe...ha!



Monday, September 3, 2012


 Yesterday, I was going through my cookbook trying to find my recipe for Texas Trash.  While I was thumbing through it, I ran across my recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup.  I love this recipe but I haven't cooked it in awhile...probably because it has been soooo hot lately.  Anyway, it just sounded good and healthy today so it made the cut for dinner tonight.  The house smelled absolutely divine with the garlic, onions, cumin, and cilantro wafting through the air!

What I love about this recipe, is the rich flavor and that it is loaded with lots of healthy stuff like tomatoes, kidney beans, corn, garlic, onions, and poblano pepper.  I like to top it off with avocados and cheese.  But be sure to pick a firmer avocado than you would for guacamole so it will not turn to mush in your soup.  Even though this soup is called Chicken "Tortilla" soup, I don't like the tortillas in mine.  I serve the tortilla strips but I do not like the fact that they get soggy in my soup.  It's kind of like letting your cereal get soggy in  the milk...yuk.

Tonight, I made Navajo Cornbread and Guacamole to go along with the soup and it was scrump-dilly-ump! It made so much that even though there were 6 of us who ate, and some of us (they will remain anonymous) had multiple bowls, I have enough to have Round 2 tomorrow night!  This would be a perfect recipe to put in individual freezer containers and freeze for later.

 I will blog the soup tonight and the cornbread and guacamole later this week!

This has the little tortilla strips


3-4 pounds chicken breasts (use your own judgment as to how much)
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons butter
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
4 cans chicken broth (I use Campbells)
1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
2 small cans diced green chiles
small bag frozen corn
1 or 2 cans Kidney Beans, black beans, pintos etc.  your choice
3 cups water (I used the water that I boiled the chicken in)
1 cup of cilantro, chopped (measure cilantro before chopped)
1 teaspoon oregano 
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin, salt and pepper

In a large stock pot, boil chicken in water that has been salted.  Add 2-3 tablespoons of garlic powder and boil until done (approximately 30 minutes), cool and cut into bite-size pieces.

In a large saucepan, melt butter and add oil.  

Saute' onions, poblano pepper, and garlic in the butter/oil until the they are translucent.

Here is a little safety tip...when cutting a bell pepper or any pepper for that matter, cut with the rough side up.  It is easier to cut with a dull knife and reduces the risk of the pepper slipping causing you to cut yourself.

Add chicken broth and tomatoes to the vegetables.

 I thought I would just throw a helpful note in here.  I use a Pampered Chef can opener.  I like it because it removes the lid but leaves the cans edge smooth and without a razor-sharp edge.

Add the tomato paste and tomato sauce

 Add your diced green chiles.

 Add the water that the chicken was boiled in.

Add the oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.

Chop the cilantro and add to soup

Add corn

Then beans

And chicken

Stir and simmer covered for 1-2 hours

Spoon into your bowl and add your choice of toppings

I bought these instead of making them from scratch