Thursday, December 26, 2013

Hot Sauce - from Grilled Veggies

My brother-in-law Marcus made some great hot sauce a couple of days after Thanksgiving..... Man was it good!  He also had some great chicken and rice boudin which most of us had never eaten before (he got it in Louisiana).  We all acted like we hadn't even just had a huge Thanksgiving feast two days before, it was sooo good!  The day before that some of us had gone to Canton, Texas for some shopping and when we came home he had Gumbo and Etoufee waiting for us...  again we ate like we hadn't had a big meal in days!  So much flavor in everything!

The next week I made this hot sauce in the freezing cold! I just kept thinking about how good it would be and being cooped up in the house there was a lot of cooking going on!  But still I wanted hot sauce!!  In Texas we had an ice storm but it didn't keep me away from  using the grill outside!  I make Hot Sauce a lot (link in blue of my original sauce), as good as the one I make is I love the grill taste for something different!  It reminds me of Pappasito's hot sauce and I love love theirs.  Marcus' is actually better!  Our whole family agreed and we all love Pappasito's!

You eat this hot sauce hot as in temperature! Might sound weird but it's really good!

I made this again a few weeks later and stored the leftovers in the fridge.  I ate some of the hot sauce cold out of the fridge and then I reheated some in the microwave.  I liked it both ways!

Place onions, tomatoes and jalapenos on the hot grill
This is what they look like when I took them off the grill, the peeling on the tomatoes comes right off.
I put this in a pitcher and used a hand held blender that you can place right in the pitcher.  You can also use a regular blender or food processer.


5 to 6 tomatoes 
3 to 4 jalapenos (or more if you like it hot, hot)!
1 onion sliced in thick slices (kept together)
Lawry's Garlic salt with the green lid
Black Pepper
Place tomatoes, jalapenos and onions on the hot grill.  Grill until the onions start to get a black marking then take off, same with jalapenos.  The Tomatoes will become soft and the skin will start peeling off, they are ready then..  The jalapenos you just throw with the black skin (after removing the stem but the tomatoes you peel, it will come right off after they get hot.
Put all in either a pitcher or blender then just pulse 4 or 5 times....don't over process or it will get pasty.   Season with garlic salt and black pepper!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Chicken and Rice Soup

 It’s 14 degrees here in Texas!!  Soup is in order for today!!  I love a good chicken and rice soup!!  I make this quite a bit especially when it’s cold outside! You can always switch out the rice for noodles, just prepare the noodles as per the package then add to soup.

I make the rice first in a separate pan, sometimes I use the bags of rice and other times I just cook some rice.  Then I add it to the soup, the longer it's in the soup the more tender it gets!

I use chicken base or  Knorr's chicken broth cubes (shown below) to add heartiness to the soup....
I didn't get a picture of the chicken boiling but all you do is add enough water to cover the chicken and cook until it's done!!  

Sauté'  onion, celery and carrots in pan then add garlic (whole)

This is what I use if I don't have chicken base (I get chicken base at Sam's Club)

I start out with the broth from the chicken I cook then I add can chicken broth
Hearty and delicious
 Chicken and Rice Soup

1 whole chicken or 3 chicken breast with bone (bone in gives more flavor)
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped or sliced celery
1 cup chopped carrots
3 garlic cloves (add in soup whole then pull them out in the end)
1 or 2 cans chicken broth ( depending on how much broth you get from the chicken you cook)
3 bags of cooked rice  (3 cups of rice)
Chicken base (1 Tbsp.) or 1 Knorr's chicken bouillon
Lawry's Garlic Salt (green lid)
Black Pepper

Boil chicken till done about 20 to 30 minutes

In a stock pot melt 1 Tbsp of butter then add onions, celery and carrots, sauté until tender. Sprinkle some Lawry's Garlic Salt and black pepper and add broth from the chicken.
 Shred Chicken or chop it,  then add the chicken and cooked rice to the above.   Add Knorr's chicken bouillon or chicken base  along with Lawry’s garlic salt to taste. Let cook for about 30 minutes to  45 mins on med- high heat.  Add extra chicken broth as needed. 

The longer you cook the soup the softer the veggies and the more tender the rice.



Saturday, November 23, 2013

Popcorn in a lunch bag

My new favorite way to make popcorn and its soooooo easy and fast!! 

I needed a way to have 16 kids make their own popcorn which would take up time but would also taste good!  I had seen how you could make popcorn in a lunch sack but had never tried it.  I found  out how it works then tried it the night before I had the kids do it (last minute lucy).  Oh my, it reminded me of Orville Redenbacher's Natural line of microwave popcorn .  Problem is Redenbacher  got me hooked with the salt and pepper then all the sudden I can't find it in the store anymore!! This is my replacement!!! I have used oil and I have used butter and like them both equally.

It's been a couple of months since my first bag and now I have showed people all over!

 I will say my microwave with the glass plate takes about 2 1/2 minutes and the ones without the plate need to be watched more closely.  You might have to test your microwave to see the best time would be for yours.   You also might burn a bag or two but it's cheap and once you figure out how long it takes in your microwave your are good to go for life!

I also attached a couple of popcorn recipes... one is caramel popcorn, great recipe and the other is candy corn popcorn (yes, you actually melt candy corn).  You can also make marshmallow popcorn by just melting some butter add marshmallows then once they are melted must pour onto popcorn!  Delicious!

This is fun for kids and just in time for the Holidays with kids out of school and hungry all the time!!!

* I got some bags that started coming apart in the microwave!!!  They held together mostly but you could see them coming apart at sides close to the bottom of the bag .... I had to stop the microwave so that there wasn't popcorn everywhere.  I got about 1/2 to 3/4 of a bag of popped popcorn out of them though. Most don't but if yours does just get some new ones... I have found the white ones work pretty good but I had a pack of brown ones that did great too... I think I just got a pack brown ones that weren't glued well (or whatever they do to them).

In a bowl add 1/3 c to 1/2 cup popcorn kernels, you can  use either 1 tsp oil or butter.  I actually melted a 1 tsp of butter then added the rest of the stick which you can see here.. I added salt and pepper but you can just add salt if your not into salt and pepper popcorn.
Dump the bowl into your sack then fold down twice, turn microwave on for 2 1/2 minutes, listen closely.
Ready... you can see some kernels in the bag which can be reused for the  next bag or tossed out.  I wanted to make sure it didn't burn so I pulled it out.

                                                             Seriously delicious!!!


Microwave Popcorn

1/3 to ½ cup popcorn kernels

1 tsp vegetable oil

½ tsp salt or salt to taste

1 paper lunch sack

  1. In a cup or small bowl, mix together the unpopped popcorn and oil. Pour the coated corn into a brown paper lunch sack, and sprinkle in the salt. Fold the top of the bag over twice to seal in the ingredients.
  2. Cook in the microwave at full power for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, or until you hear pauses of about 2 seconds between pops. Carefully open the bag to avoid steam, and pour into a serving bowl.
                                   Caramel Popcorn
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
½ cup corn syrup
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
5 quarts popcorn popped (there are 4 cups in 1 quart)
1.      Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (95 degrees C). Place popcorn in a very large bowl.
2.     In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.
3.     Place in two large shallow baking dishes and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces.
    Candy Corn Popcorn
    12 cups popped popcorn
    10 Tbsp butter
    1 bag candy corn
    ¼ cup brown sugar
    1 tsp vanilla
    On the stove, melt 10 tablespoons of butter, 1 bag of candy corn, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, and a big splash of vanilla—stirring just until melted and right before boiling. Spray your wooden spoon with Pam and pour melted mixture evenly over your popped popcorn. You need a big fix and mix Tupperware bowl for this–it works great! Stir to coat.
    Next lay it out evenly on parchment paper to dry for 30 minutes (I love it like this) but for crispy popcorn bake in oven at 250 degrees for 35 mins.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Several months ago one of the ladies in our Creating Heartstrings group made this dessert!  We cook dinner for the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Dallas every other month.  It is always fun to see what people make for dessert.  We have to make everything there from the main course to the dessert, they have a wonderful commercial kitchen! 

One of our ladies, Jan made this dessert and it was a hit, everyone wanted the recipe!

This is pretty easy to put together and they really look like cinnamon rolls!  What you do is drop a butter mixture that has cinnamon and sugar onto the cake batter and swirl with your knife giving you the look of a cinnamon rolls!

This is a great recipe for Company during the Holidays...... this also reminds me a lot like coffee cake!  I didn't even use a mixer it just mixed it by hand, easy peasy!

mix everything together except the butter
Stir in melted butter and pour into a greased pan
make the topping mixture then drop by the spoonful it onto the batter and swirl with a knife
this is what it should look like after you make the in a 350 degree oven and bake for 28-32 mintues
make the glaze
pour glaze over warm cake

looks like cinnamon rolls!
goes well with coffee :)

Cinnamon Roll Cake

3 c. flour
1/4 tsp.salt
1 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. butter, melted

1 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Mix everything together except for the butter. Slowly stir in the melted butter and pour into a greased 9x13 pan. For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes.

2 c. powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

While warm drizzle the glaze over the cake.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Soup....Glorious Soup!

This weather has got me making soup!  I thought I would share links to some of the soups I have on my blog so they would just be a click away!

Tomato Basil Soup is one of my favorites for sure!
Goes so well with a grill cheese sandwich! I also make Seasoned Crackers often when I make this soup. 

Chicken Tortilla Soup is another favorite!  The picture I am going to attach isn't the best but this is a great soup! 

Taco Soup with Cheese Tortellini is a great soup!  I don't have any pictures of this soup but I have made it several times!  I got this recipe from my friend Shari in Minnesota!  I do not like beans and most taco soups has beans, but not this one!!!  I need to make this again so I can get some pictures!
Italian Chicken Soup makes a lot of soup!!!  I got this recipe from The Pioneer Women's website several years ago.  This is a great pasta soup with a chicken broth base splashed with some heavy cream.  Great flavor and goes along way.
La Madeleine's A L'Oignon Gratinee aka French Onion Soup, if you like French Onion Soup this is a great recipe!  I don't have any pictures of this recipe but have made is several times!  The key to the recipe lies in the slow cooking of the onions.. really!  Once they caramelize they flavor the soup so nicely! 
I am going to post Creamy Tortilla Soup this week!  I thought I had it on here but I do not!!  It is another favorite of mine!!
I can't post soup without post my favorite Cornbread , I found this on pinterest last year and WOW, it's really good!  I don't ever eat cornbread the next day but this cornbread I do!!! 



Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tomato Basil Soup

Today I made one of my favorite soups, Tomato Basil!  I found this recipes 6 to 8 years ago, it truly is one of my favorites!  I added this to the blog a couple of years ago but I didn't have pictures so I thought I would add it again.

This is La Madelines "copy" recipe, the only thing I different is about 4 years ago I started using half and half instead of heavy whipping cream.  It cuts out a lot of fat and now I actually like it better!  You can  make it either way with heavy cream or half and half.

I also make Seasoned Crackers (click for recipe) when I make this soup, with my seasoned crackers I don't even bake but you would think I did!  They are delicious and keep in an airtight container for 4 to 6 weeks!  Actually one time I forgot about them and they were still good several months later! 

This goes well with a grill cheese sandwich or a Hot Turkey or Ham Sandwich on a Croissant which is also on my blog.  Tonight I had a hot turkey on croissant sandwich with my soup!

Also, I double this recipe a lot!  Earlier today I doubled it and was able to make 10 -12oz portions.  I made it for dinner since I still had tomato juice left and because I didn't get any from the first batch I made! 

Combine tomatoes, juice & chicken broth in saucepan; and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add basil then puree with hand held blender or you can put in a regular blender
add butter, season with salt & pepper then add whip cream (or I use half and half)
keep on low until you are ready to eat!

 I got this cup and the tablecloth when I was in France.  Perfect to eat soup in.....reminds me of being in France!


La Madeline’s Tomato Basil soup


4 cups (8to10) can tomatoes in juice

2 cups of tomato juice

2 cups of chicken broth

12 to 14 washed fresh basil leaves (or the one in the tube which you get by the fresh basil)

1 cup of heavy cream  (or I use half and half instead)

1/4 lb unsalted butter

Salt to taste

¼ t cracked black pepper

Combine tomatoes, juice & stock in saucepan; and simmer for 30 minutes.

Puree, along with the basil leaves in small batches in blender, food processor (or better yet, one of those handy hand held Blenders right in the cooking pan (that is what I do)).

Return to saucepan & add cream & butter, while stirring over low heat.

Garnish with basil leaves and serve with favorite bread

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Nutella Hot Chocolate

 Today here in Texas we are having a nice cool day, for us anyway (low 70's)! I wanted something warm to drink after lunch so I quickly thought hmmmm hot chocolate!  I made this for the first time about a month ago and as I was drinking it, thought this reminds me of drinking liquid chocolate!!!

 I don't even remember where I found this recipe, I was searching for Nutella Hot Chocolate and found many variations.  The first recipe listed  is for about 4 to 6 people and the one below that is for 1.  If you need a chocolate fix, this is it!!!  Next time I will make some homemade whip cream.  The first time I made this I added marshmallows!

You can add less chocolate chips or add more milk to tone down the rich chocolate if you would like!! 

Nutella Hot Chocolate
Serves 4-6

2 cups whole milk
2 cups half-and-half
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup Nutella
marshmallows or whip cream for garnishing

Combine the milk and half-and-half in a saucepan and bring to a low boil. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and Nutella. Whisk until the chocolate is melted and the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Cover to keep hot.  Pour the hot chocolate into small coffee mugs, top with the marshmallows or whip cream, serve hot.
2nd Recipe for 1
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp Nutella
1/2 tsp cocoa
In a small saucepan, melt Nutella on low heat.
Add milk and cocoa powder.
Stir frequently until desired temperature is reached



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