Friday, July 29, 2011

Easy Breakfast Sandwich

Per Person:

1 English Muffin, toasted
1 slice of ham
1 fried egg
1 T salsa

Build sandwich and serve. EASY!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Taco Soup

*updated* forgot the 1/2 cup salsa. added 7/24/11
Last night I decided to to make Taco Soup. After melting my pot and thawing out the wrong meat I finally got it made. I read several recipes online to get an idea of what people put in taco soup. Then I went to my cubbord to see what I had, this is what I came up with. My family LOVED it. It ended up having great flavor.

1 pound of ground beef
1 can white beans
1 can black beans
1 can corn
1 can diced tomatoes with chillies
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can diced chilies
2 cans tomato soup
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 onion (I used dried because I did have an onion)
1 pouch of ranch dressing.
1/2 pouch of taco seasoning(you can add more, I don't like this flavor to strong)

I browned my beef in a large pot. Then add onion and taco seasoning. After onion is soft add the rest of the ingredients. I let it boil for about 10 min. Then I turned it down on very low for about 45 min. I watched it close and occasionally stirred it. I let it simmer that long because we were waiting for my husband to come home. I have been told the longer you let it simmer the better the flavor. If you are in a hurry it should be fine as long as its hot. We topped our soup off with a little cheese and tortilla chips. Hope you like it!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Easy Chocolate Cake

This recipe has a lot of steps, but it's pretty easy to make. I haven't had a lot of success with homemade cakes, but this one rocks. The key is to have patience and follow the steps exactly.

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Layer Cake
Courtesy of America's Test Kitchen

1 1/4 all purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pans
12 T butter, softened, but still cool
1 1/4 c sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c + 2 scant tsp cocoa
1 c plus 2 T milk
2 tsp vanilla

Make sure your oven rack is in the center position and heat the oven to 350. Generously grease 2 8-inch round cake pans and cover the pan bottoms with rounds of parchment paper or waxed paper. Grease the parchment rounds and dust the pans with flour, tapping out the excess. Beat the butter in a large bowl at med-high speed until smooth and shiny (abt. 30 seconds). Gradually sprinkle in the sugar; beat until the mixture is fluffy and almond white, 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating 1 full miinute after each addition.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa in a medium bowl. Combine the milk and vanilla in a liquid measuring cup. With the mixer at the lowest speed, add about a third of the dry ingredients to the batter, followed immediately by about a third of the milk mixture. Mix until the ingredients are almost incorporated into the batter. Repeat the process 2 more times and scrape the sides of the bowl. Return to mixer to lower speed; beat until the batter looks satiny, about 15 seconds.

Divide the batter evenly (Important!) between the pans. Smooth the top. Bake 23-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean. Remove from oven and let cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around the pan, invert onto racks, and peel off the paper liners. Reinvert the cakes onto addition racks; cool completely before frosting.

*All in all, it took me about 2 hours to make and frost this cake. Make sure the cake is cooled completely before frosting. Some hints in frosting:
1) To avoid crumbs, crumb coat the cake
2) Dump all of your frosting on the top of the cake and then start to push the frosting toward the edges. You can get the desired thickness of frosting on top and then it's really easy to frost the sides because all of your frosting is already there.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Parrot Bay Coconut Shrimp - Red Lobster Copycat

I made this for my husband for his birthday.  It was very good.  This recipe does take some time.  Its good to have help to make this one. I also used Chicken.
I thought the ingredients would be hard to find. I found everything but the drink mix at my close grocery stored. I had to go to winco for the drink mix.

Pina Colada Dipping Sauce



  1. 1 Prepare pina colada dipping sauce first by combining all the ingredients.
  2. 2 Cover this and let it chill out in the fridge while you make the shrimp.
  3. 3 Heat oil to 350 degrees.
  4. 4 Measure 3/4 cup of flour into a medium bowl.
  5. 5 In another medium bowl mix together the remaining 3/4 cup flour, sugar, and salt.
  6. 6 Stir milk and rum into flour mixture.
  7. 7 Let this batter stand for five minutes.
  8. 8 While the batter rests, combine panko breadcrumbs and shredded coconut into a third medium bowl.
  9. 9 Butterfly cut each shrimp before you start the battering: Use a sharp knife to slice through the top of the shrimp (where the vein was) so that you can spread the shrimp open.
  10. 10 Leave the tail intact.
  11. 11 To batter the shrimp, dip each one in the flour, then the wet batter, then coat each shrimp with the panko/coconut mixture.
  12. 12 Arrange the shrimp on a plate until all of them are battered.
  13. 13 Fry the shrimp by dropping six at a time into the hot oil for 2 to 3 minutes or until the shrimp are golden brown.
  14. 14 Remove shrimp to a rack or paper towels to drain.
  15. 15 Serve shrimp with pina colada dipping sauce on the side, along with a small dish or your favorite salsa.

Read more:

Olive Garden Pasta E Fagioli Soup in a Crock Pot (Copycat)

Next time I will only do 1/2 of this recipe. My crock pot was to small for the whole thing.  I would also add more moister. Other than that this was easy and good!


1 Brown beef in a skillet.
2 Drain fat from beef and add to crock pot with everything except pasta.
3 Cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours.
4 During last 30 min on high or 1 hour on low, add pasta.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Calzone Pinwheels

Source: Taste of Home

I made these for a light dinner, but they'd be best as an appetizer. My husband requested we have friends over so I can make them again!

1/2 c. ricotta
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella
1/2 c. diced pepperoni
1/4 c. grated Parmesan
1/4 c. chopped fresh mushrooms
1/4 c. finely chopped green pepper
2 Tbsp. finely chopped onion
1 pkg. refrigerated crescent rolls
14 oz. pizza sauce, warmed

In small bowl, combine ricotta, Italian seasoning and salt. Stir in cheeses, pepperoni, and vegetables. Separate crescent dough into 4 rectangles and seal perforations.

Spread mixture over each rectangle up to 1/4 in. of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with short side; pinch seams to seal. Cut each into 4 slices.

Place cut side down on greased baking sheets. Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with pizza sauce.

Monterey Chicken

Source: Taste of Home

This was delicious! Easy and includes my favorite ingredients. We put ours between a toasted bun and it was the perfect chicken sandwich.

6 bacon strips
6 chicken breasts (4 oz each)
1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. pepper
6 thin slices onion
6 thin slices tomato
6 thin slices avocado
6 slices Monterey Jack (I used pepper jack)
6 hamburger buns (optional)

Cook bacon, drain. Flatten chicken to even thickness. In large resealable bag, combine oil, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, salt, oregano, and pepper; add chicken. Seal bag, marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Drain and discard marinade. Grill chicken uncovered, over medium heat for 6 minutes on each side. Move chicken to edge of grill. Top each with a slice of bacon, onion, tomato, avocado, and cheese. Cover and grill 4-6 minutes longer until cheese is melted.