Thursday, August 13, 2009

Quesadillas de Turquía!

Hola! Ok for those that do not know Spanish its OK...calm down...I will translate for you! This recipe is for Turkey Quesadillas! Hubby and I are avid fans of Mexican food although we have yet to find a really good place in Charlotte other than Los Arcos in the University Area. He commissions either taquitos or quesadillas at least once a week which I love to make because Mexican food is really easy to make and really filling. Quesadillas are a pretty easy meal to make and you can make it with any meat such as ground turkey, ground beef, shredded chicken, shredded beef or pork....the possibilities are quite endless. We tend to stick to the turkey or the chicken because they are the healthiest options.

I recommend serving it with lettuce shreds, diced tomatoes, sour cream and salsa! You can never go wrong there.
We really enjoy Zatarains Spanish Rice which is really good and Daisy Sour Cream. Ok....these are my personal favorites but you can use any brand you like.


Now without further ado.....the recipe....

  • 1 package of small or medium flour tortillas (You can adjust this according to your needs and how many you are feeding)
  • 1 package of lettuce shreds
  • 1 medium tomato (diced)
  • 1 package of taco seasoning
  • EVOO for cooking the meat
  • 1 lb of ground turkey/ground beef/ground pork
  • Daisy Sour Cream
  • 1 pacakge of Mexican Blend cheese
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 2 tsp of minced garlic
  • Preheat your oven to 300 degrees
  • In a large skillet start to brown your meat, continually breaking it up as it cooks. If you are using ground turkey, add the EVOO, one turn of the pan to help the meat cook. Season with salt and pepper.
  • After about 5 minutes add your onions and garlic to the browning meat mixture and cook until no longer pink.
  • Once the meat is done cooking, if using ground turkey, no need to drain. If using the pork/beef drain the excess fat from the pan.
  • Sprinkle the Taco seasoning over the meat and taste. I use about 1/3 of the pack as the seasoning is full of salt. If you like a stronger flavor follow the directions on the seasoning packet and add to the meat. *DOING THIS WILL MAKE THE MIXTURE WETTER*
  • Place a tortilla on the bottom and layer with cheese. Add enough meat mixture on the top to cover the cheese. Top with more cheese and press down to seal.
  • Continue to do this until all the meat mixture is gone
  • Place in oven and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the tortillas are browned.
  • Take out and serve with the lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream and salsa!

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Oniony Goodness!!!!!!




After much cooking and not enough blogging I am finally updating and adding some new recipes to the blog. So over the course of the summer, I have had to reinvent myself and cook more often which is a good thing. So I decided to tackle Onion Rings because I absolutely love them but depending on where you get them they can be oh so good....and some oh so bad... I figured this could not be a complicated recipe so I concocted one that came out absolutely wonderful! Hubby gobbles them up and he hates onion rings for the most part. So I hope you guys enjoy them!


I will post the ingredient quantities that I used. You will need to adjust according to your needs. This recipe covers 3 people....
  • Vidalia or Regular Yellow Onions - The number of onions will depend on how many onion rings you want to make.
  • 2-3 cups of Buttermilk - This depends on the desired number of onion rings
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 Cup of Cornmeal
  • 1 Cup of Flour
  • 1-2 tbsp of hot sauce

  1. Peel off the covering on your onions and discard. Cut them into 1/4 inch slices (thicker if you prefer but no thinner) and separate carefully.
  2. In a deep bowl combine the buttermilk, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Place your Onions in the mixture making sure that each is covered with the liquid. Set aside for about 3-6 minutes.
  3. Mix the cornmeal and flour in a paper bag or a large Ziploc bag.
  4. In your fryer or a deep fry pan, heat enough oil, about 3/4 of an inch. Make sure the oil is hot enough.
  5. Working in batches, remove the onions, shaking of the excess buttermilk, and place in the flour mixture.
  6. Remove from the flour mixture, shaking off the excess and fry about 1-2 minutes, turning at least once to brown on all sides. Remove and place on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until all onions have been fried.
  8. Enjoy!

  • Do not crowd the fryer. This will cause the onion rings to steam not fry! No one likes soggy onion rings.
  • Feel free to up the ante on the hot sauce if you want them hotter!
  • Se sure to season as soon as they leave the fryer.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Goobers, Raisinettes, and Graham Crackers


Gotcha...A break from the norm. So I have been cooking up a storm but have been rather lackadaisical about posting the recipes to the blog. *sigh* Forgive me...Hubby and I are working on a major project that requires time, energy, and finessing. The above title is an ode to our favorite snacks that tend to find their way into the kitchen while I am cooking. So snack on those while I compile the latest dishes!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cheesy Bacon Mashed Potatoes

So I decided to develop some kind of mashed potato recipe that my dear husband would eat without complaining and sans the gravy. One thing that I have learned being a Southern girl is that we will put gravy on just about anything that can be doused so I am trying to break the hubby from that habit. We typically eat those mashed potatoes that come in those colorful bags that you just add milk or water too, but those are BORING so I took it back to when my mom would cook. She would make these wonderful mashed potatoes that still had chunks of potato in them......Lord it would make you want to smack her but we knew better than that. So after much debate I came up with this and it was a hit.


Cheesy Bacon Mashed Potatoes

3-4 Russet Potatoes (at least 3 lbs)
6 Strips of Bacon or 1/2 bag of Bacon Pieces
1/2 cup of heavy cream
8 oz. of sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup of chives
1/4 cup of sour cream
4 tbsp of butter

  • Peel your potatoes and place in a pot of boiling water with enough to cover the tops of the potatoes at least 1 inch. Add your salt to the pot as well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low and cook for about 20 minutes or until tender.
  • If you are using bacon strips, go ahead and cook those until crisp. Be sure to drain them and crumble them. Set this aside until later.
  • Once cooked, drained your potatoes and return to the pot.
  • Add your pepper, cream, and a dash of salt and return your pot to the heat. As the potatoes heat, use a potato masher to incorporate the mixture fully. The mixture should be fluffy. Do this for about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat and immediately add the cheese, bacon, and sour cream to the mixture. Taste and season to your liking.
  • Garnish with chives if you like and serve immediately!
  • Feel free to use bacon pieces from the salad section of the supermarket. They incorporate the same and sometimes you can find reduced sodium options. DO NOT USE BACON PIECES...that is not bacon....
  • Feel free to reduce the salt in the recipe or use a substitute.
  • You don't technically need a masher. You can use a heavy spoon which will do the trick.
  • Pre-cutting your potatoes into chunks will cut down on cook time as well.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Caramel + Apples + Cheesecake = Yummy Goodness!!!

After spending a lazy week around the house that involved no cooking whatsoever unless you count heating up a BagelFul as cooking, I decided that I would whip out a cheesecake for the hubby since it was the last day of his vacation. So he requested a Caramel Apple Cheesecake concoction that I made a few months ago for Thanksgiving. Since he was going to handle the other part of dinner I focused solely on the dessert. I am sure that most people have seen cheesecake two ways. The first being the no bake kind that is really a no-brainer or the kind you bake that requires just a touch more effort. This is the latter but a much simpler version that does not require the use of a spring form pan. (If you don't know what that is don't worry about it). I am a cheesecake lover and figured I couldn't go wrong with those ingredients so here it is. Just a warning though...this is not one of my "original" recipes. I stole this from Paula "Butter Makes It Taste Better" Dean. She beat me to it.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

1 9" Graham Cracker Pie Crust
1/4 Cup Caramel Topping
1/2 Cup Sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
lemon juice to taste
1 can of apple pie filling
2 eggs
2 8 oz packages of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup crushed pecans or walnuts


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a large bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract. Blend well until smooth.
  • *NOTE* You can leave out the lemon juice if you like...if not then ->Add the lemon juice to the mixture. (You will want to taste the mixture often as you don't want to overpower it with lemon flavor)
  • Once you have the flavor you like set this aside and open your can of apple pie filling.
    Spoon about 1/4 cup of the apples into the bottom of the graham cracker crust.
    Set the rest of the can in the fridge to chill while the cake bakes.
  • Go back to the cream cheese mixture and add your eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated into the mixture.
  • Pour your mixture in the graham cracker crust and smooth out.
  • Place in the oven for approximately 30-35 minutes or until firmly set in the center.
  • Once done, remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Once cool, take your apples and the caramel topping and place in a microwave safe container. Microwave in increments of 30 seconds or until you are able to mix the two together. Spread evenly over the top.
  • Take your crushed walnuts/pecans and sprinkle on top of the cheesecake and around the edges for decoration.
  • Place in the fridge to chill completely and serve!
* The nuts are completely optional just in case you have an allergy or you don't like the flavor.
* Keep a close eye on this as it cooks. No one likes burnt cheesecake.
* 1/3 Less Fat Neufchatel Cheese, the low fat "cream cheese" just is not going to cut it here. I didn't like the consistency or the flavor it produced. Besides, this is dessert...let go of the calories for this one. ;)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Stuffed Shells!!! Without the icky poo ricotta!!!

I tackled a recipe that I have always avoided because most of the stuffed shells I have seen have ricotta cheese. Now some people enjoy the taste of ricotta but I absolutely can not get down with the mushy stuff. So I set out to develop a recipe that included cheese, just not the ricotta kind. So alas I came up with my own and after nearly jumping in the oven because it smelled so delicious, I deemed it a success. DH doesn't eat much pasta but he ate a good bit of this. Hope you all enjoy!

Stuffed Shells
18-24 jumbo pasta shells
1 lb ground turkey or ground beef
1 jar (26 oz.) of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
1 egg...beaten
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
8 oz mozzarella or Italian blend cheese
1 small diced onion
1 garlic clove... diced
8 oz can of tomato sauce


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Bring a nice size pot of water to boiling and add 18 to 24 jumbo shells to the water. Salt and bring back to a boil. Cook for about 12-14 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK -> this will cause the shells to rip apart.
  • In the meantime brown your turkey/ground beef along with EVOO, one turn of the pan, with the onions and garlic. Break up into crumbles as the mixture cooks.
  • In a large bowl, combine the mozzarella cheese, Italian bread crumbs, and the beaten egg. Set aside.
  • Once the meat mixture is complete, drain, and combine with the mozzarella mixture being sure to incorporate all the ingredients well. The cheese will begin to melt which is fine.
  • Drain your shells and allow to cool for just a bit.
  • Combine your pasta sauce and tomato sauce together and pour about 1/4 of the mixture on the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  • Place your shells on top of the mixture and begin to stuff with the mozzarella mixture.
  • Pour the remaining sauce on top of the shells, sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and back 20-25 minutes until bubbly!
  • Take out and serve with salad! EnJoY!

1. You may incorporate some fresh herbs into your meat mixture or a dried Italian seasoning blend if you prefer.
2. This recipe freezes well~you can make it ahead of time and reheat when ever you need it!
3. Make sure to boil a few extra shells just in case some break.
4. If you have extra of the meat mixture, feel free to sprinkle this around the shells.
5. If you like ricotta cheese you can eliminate the mozzarella and add the ricotta instead.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sloppy Joe's with class.....

Being that hubby and I made the switch to ground turkey instead of ground beef a few months ago, I have had to reinvent ways to make this tasty. For those of you who have never cooked with ground turkey, it is no doubt different. If you are looking for that lovely, slick grease that beef creates in the bottom of the pan, you won't find it! Its a fairly healthy option and it sits lighter in your system. So there is my unpaid service announcement for the wonders of ground turkey.

Now on to the recipe!

I decided to make Sloppy Joe's aka Manwich sandwiches...whatever you prefer. Now if you like the mix in the can go for it, but it gives me crazy heartburn so I decided to concoct my own variation sans the heartburn. So I hope you all enjoy it! Hubby loved it and quickly demolished....not ate....but killed three sandwiches so I must have hit something on the head here.


1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil EVOO
1 lb of ground turkey or beef
14.5 oz can of tomato sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 medium onion choped or diced (depends on how you like your onion's presentation)
3 tbsp light brown sugar (more or less to taste)
1 tbsp steak seasoning
1 tbsp chili powder
3 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 pack of burger rolls
Cheddar Cheese for topping

1. Heat the EVOO on medium high heat and add the turkey or beef being sure to crumble it as it browns. Cook for until half way done and then add the onions. Cook until soft, about 5 to 6 minutes.

2. While the meat and onions are cooking, in a large mixing bowl combine the salt, pepper, all spices, tomato sauce, worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar. MIx until well incorporated. Taste to see if you want to add anything.

3. If using beef, drain your meat from the grease and return to pan. If using turkey you do not need to drain unless you want to.
4. Pour the sauce over the meat and simmer for 5-7 minutes to combine the flavors.

5. When ready to serve, place on buns, top with cheddar cheese and ENJOY!

No pointers for this one other than the more brown sugar, the sweeter the sauce. You may need to adjust to your liking.