Where Cooking is Fun
We want cooking to be as fun for you as it is for us.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Bacon Nut Meatballs

Meatballs are so easy to make...and they are SO versatile. You can serve them plain, on a bun or over rice, as an appetizer, over noodles or mashed potatoes (see...look at all those ideas I just gave you for eating these meatballs! Its a great idea for leftovers!!!). I served mine as the main course with some cheesy potatoes and french bread. They were a huge hit. The almonds give them a little crunch and the bacon gives them their irresistible taste. Definitely a dish that everyone will enjoy.

Bacon Nut Meatballs

1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
5 eggs
1 1/2 c. soft bread crumbs
1 T. parsley flakes
1/2 c. chopped slivered almonds
1 t. oregano
1 T. salt
1 1/2 t. pepper
2 lbs ground beef
1 lb mushrooms (optional)
1 T. Butter
2 cans cream chicken soup
1 c. sour cream
1 c. beef stock (I used 1 bullion cube dissolved in a cup of hot water...worked great)

In a large bowl combine eggs, ground beef, spices, bread crumbs, almonds and cooked bacon. Shape into 1" balls. Brown meatballs in a small amount of oil or bacon drippings. When browned, remove with a slotted spoon and drain. In a large frying pan, saute mushrooms (in butter). Combine cream chicken soup and sour cream, add to sauted mushrooms. Turn heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a small amount of milk if the mixture is too thick (its all a matter of taste and preference). Place browned meatballs into a 9x13 baking pan, pour soup mixture over the top. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until meatballs are no longer pink (mine was done in approximately 20 minutes) IF you prepare the meatballs and let them sit in the fridge, to cook later....they may take longer to cook (just because they are going into the oven COLD instead of warm)...BUT the upside of that IS, the flavor increases. Either way, they are scrumptious and you will love them!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken

Crock Pot meals are perfect for the busy woman. They are also perfect for the lazy woman. Which is the category I fit into. I work for the school district which means I enjoyed my summer off. I usually spent my days crafting in my pajamas. It's a hard life =) Since I didn't work I felt guilty if Hubby didn't have a good meal for dinner. There's only so much lazyness I can justify. Which is why my crock pot became my best friend. And this dish was easily one of my favorite.

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken

4 chicken breasts
1 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4. Serve.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Blueberry Cheesecake Pancakes

This is BREAKFAST...and who wouldn't love biting into a fork full of this divine goodness for the first meal of the day? Its one of those yummy foods that you wake up in the night craving...so its a good thing that its an easy recipe and you can whip it up first thing in the morning. Hope your family enjoys it as much as mine does.

Blueberry Cheesecake Pancakes
2 c. flour
1 c. graham cracker crumbs
4 T. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
4 eggs
2 1/2 c. buttermilk
1 cube butter, melted
2 c. frozen or fresh blueberries

maple syrup
additional berries for garnish (optional)

In a large bowl combine all dry ingredient. Mix together. Add eggs, buttermilk and melted butter to dry ingredients. Stir until all dry ingredient is moistened. Fold in blueberries (if using frozen berries, don't thaw). Pour batter by 1/2 cupfuls onto a hot, greased griddle. Turn over when the top of the pancake bubbles. Cook until golden brown. Cool pancakes slightly (I put mine in the fridge to speed up the process). When pancakes are cooled spread Cheesecake filling (recipe below) in between layers of pancakes, as well as on top (refer to picture)...continue until you have the desired amount of pancakes that you choose to eat (heck...you can make an entire stack if you want). Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs on top and garnish with THAWED blueberries and maple syrup if desired.
*Some of my family topped theirs with maple syrup, some chose not to...it was extremely tasty either way!!!

Cheesecake Filling:

1 8oz cream cheese, softened
1 8oz whipped topping
1 c. powdered sugar

Combine all ingredient together and mix with an electric mixer until its completely blended and lump free.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cake Batter Rice Krispie Treats

I occasionally try my hand at couponing. I'm not very consistent with it but once in a while I'll find a deal that's worth an extra trip to the store. That's how I ended up with 10 boxes of Rice Krispies last week. I paid 18 cents a box. You can't beat that! That meant I needed to find some recipes for Rice Krispie treats STAT! Luckily the first recipe I came across was absolutely delicious. Cake batter anything is bound to be good. Fun treat for kids. Delicious for adults. It's a win no matter which way you look at it.

Cake Batter Rice Krispies

3 Tbsp. butter
1 (10oz) bag of mini marshmallows (4 cups)
1 cup Funfetti cake mix
6 cups rice krispies cereal
6 Tbsp. sprinkles

Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Stir in cake mix. Add cereal and stir until evenly coated with marshmallows. Add sprinkles and continue stirring. Press into a 9x13 pan. Let cool. Cut into bars and enjoy.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Butterfinger Pie

One of my friends, Annette, told me about this Candy Bar Pie that she makes all the time. She said it was super easy and tasted HEAVENLY....so of course, I knew I had make it. She said that you can use any candybar to make it...so I chose to make mine with Butterfingers. Butterfingers are one of my favorite candy bars...one my little "guilty pleasures" you might say, so it only seemed logical to make a "Butterfinger Pie". I mixed up this pie and had a really hard time not just eating it with a spoon BEFORE it made it into the pie crust...yep its that good. IF your questioning your ability to make a delish dish...you should whip a pie up right now, BRING it on over to my house, I'll sample it...THEN when the pie is all gone I will let you know how your pie turned out. SOUNDS like a good idea to me...OH P.S.... if you don't want to make Butterfinger Pie, I like Reeses Peanutbutter cups and Crunch bars too...just sayin'

Butterfinger Pie

1 prepared graham cracker pie crust
1- 8oz whipped topping
1- 8oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. sugar
1 KING size Butterfinger Bar, crushed
(I beat mine with a rolling pin, after placing it in a ziplock bag.

Mix whipped topping and cream cheese together until smooth. Add sugar and crushed candy bar. Whip for 3 minutes until mixed. Scoop filling into pie crust, cover and refrigerate until set. Keep covered until ready to eat or the top dries out.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Taco Rice

A little "shake up" the ol' traditional "Taco Salad" has got my family singing! I made this little dish for dinner the other night and got a ton of "ohhhhh's" and "awhhhhh's" as the family chowed down on dinner. IT'S as easy as 1-2-3 yet tastes like you spent hours on it! Don't wait another day...make something scrumptious for dinner tonight, starting with this!

Taco Rice
Rice (cook as much as your family will eat)
1 lb ground beef, cooked and seasoned with 1 package of taco seasoning...drain grease
grated cheese
chopped olives
black beans
diced tomatoes
diced avocados
chopped onions
favorite dressings: Ranch, Chipotle, or a dollop of sour cream

Start by putting a scoop of cooked rice in the bottom of your bowl. Top with seasoned ground beef and your favorite taco salad toppings and dressing.

This brings a smile to EVERYONE's face!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Spicy Pulled Pork + JDawgs Sauce

A few weeks ago Hubby's work had an open house to tour their new building. It was catered by a local hot dog stand. I rolled my eyes when I heard they were serving hot dogs. I take back all my annoyed thoughts. These were the BEST hot dogs I have ever eaten-- huge polish dogs nestled in soft and moist buns topped with their special JDawgs sauce. My mouth waters just thinking about it. I knew I needed to recreate that sauce at home. I found a copycat recipe and thought it would be delicious on these pulled pork sandwiches. I was more than right.

Spicy Pulled Pork

2 lb. country style pork ribs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. hot sauce (i used Franks)
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients in crock pot. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Shred pork and eat on your favorite buns.

JDawg sauce
3/4 cup ketchup
3/4 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. onion powder

Mix all ingredients together. Top pulled pork sandwich with a generous amount of sauce. Enjoy!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Zucchini cupcakes???.....YES, and they taste SUPERB! I think its the frosting that makes them a cupcake instead of a muffin, but YOU could serve these for breakfast and you wouldn't get any complaints! I love that I can sneak in a little veggie with dessert, it just does my little "mommy" heart good! You have to taste these to appreciate them, they don't taste as ordinary as they look, trust me!

Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
3 eggs
1 1/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. orange juice
2 t. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
2 t. cinnamon
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 t. ground cloves
1 1/2 c. shredded fresh zucchini

In a large bowl, beat eggs, sugar, oil, orange juice and vanilla. Combine all dry ingredient and mix until everything is combined. Stir in zucchini. Fill paper lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 17-20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, transfer to cooling rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 8oz pkg. of cream cheese
1/4 c. butter
2 t.milk
1 t. vanilla
blend until smooth then add...
4 c. powdered sugar-1 c. at a time. (if its too runny add more powdered sugar until you get your desired consistency)
Mix all together and cupcakes.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Oreo Brownies

I've been in such a brownie mood lately. Any recipe I see for brownies immediately gets bookmarked for future baking. I made these delicious Oreo Brownies for a meeting one afternoon. These brownies were gone before the meeting was half over and my friend said they were the "best brownies she's ever tasted". I am inclined to agree with her. I could easily eat an entire pan of these babies in one sitting. Absolutely delicious.

Oreo Brownies

1 box brownie mix (with ingredients to prepare them according to package directions)
1 package oreo cookies- chopped
1 tub of cool whip- thawed
1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese- softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup chocolate chips

Prepare brownies according to package directions. Add 1/3 of the chopped oreos. Bake according to package directions. Let cool completely. In a mixing bowl beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Fold in cool whip and another 1/3 of chopped oreos. Spread the cream cheese mix on top of cooled brownies. Melt chocolate chips in microwave. Spread evenly over cream cheese layer. Sprinkle remaining oreos on top. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Serve.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Waffles

Cinnamon rolls are one of my "drugs of choice" desserts. When the world seems to be closing in around me...I make cinnamon rolls (AND eat them). THE only problem with that is...they tempt me beyond my control most days and I end up eating more than I intend to, SO when I make them, I HAVE TO pass them around to neighbors and friends (which is all good and fine, and I thoroughly enjoy sharing the wealth...but it would be nice to not have the all the work that is involved in making cinnamon rolls...just so that I can EAT my problems away)....BUT I might have come up with a solution to my eating freenzy... CINNAMON ROLL WAFFLES. While searching for something to make for breakfast, Dayna told me that I should try out this recipe...I always take her advice because she is a wise lady...so I made them right up...ONLY to discover that she is more than WISE she is BRILLIANT...these were spectacular! Everyone loved them and commented on how much they tasted like homemade cinnamon rolls...guess my "self medication" will entail a little of these YUMMY breakfast treats!

Cinnamon Roll Waffles

2 c. bisquick mix
1 1/2 c. milk
2 T oil
1 egg
2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. cinnamon

Mix until all ingredient are combined. Plug in waffle iron, heat completely. Spray cooking spray on waffle iron and pour 1/3-1/2 c. waffle batter (or whatever your waffle iron holds) into HOT waffle iron. Cook until done. Top with butter, cinnamon syrup and butter cream frosting syrup (recipes below).

Cinnamon Syrup:

1/2 c. butter
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 T. cinnamon

Heat on low, in a small saucepan until butter is melted and brown sugar is dissolved...turn off heat.Serve on top of cinnamon roll waffles.

Butter Cream Frosting Syrup:

1 cube butter, softened but not melted
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla

Mix ingredient together with an electric mixer, heat for 3o seconds in the microwave and stir.
Serve on top of cinnamon roll waffles.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Julie's Bacon Onion Dip

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this DIP! I use to buy the Bacon Onion Dip at the store...because I love the smokey taste, BUT it also has a SWEET taste that I don't really adore. I decided to try my hand at making my own and was super excited when it tasted so darn good! Its easy and tastes great with any potato chip (I tried it on several kinds and LOVED it).

Julie's Bacon Onion Dip

1 8oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c. sour cream
1-2 T liquid smoke
1/2 lb. cooked, crumbled and drained bacon
1/2- 1 c. grated cheddar cheese
1-2 T. chopped FRESH chives or green onion (my family isn't a huge fan of onions, so I used chives)

Mix all ingredient together with an electric mixer. Chill. Serve with your favorite chips.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Reese's Cheesecake Bars

I love having reasons to bake goodies. A few weeks ago my mother in law turned 50 and we went home to spend the day with her. I made these delicious Cheesecake Bars for the party we had that night and they were a huge hit. There wasn't even a crumb left to pick at.

Reese's Cheesecake Bars

14 graham crackers
12 Tbsp. butter- melted
6 Tbsp. brown sugar
4 Tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. salt

4 pkgs. cream cheese- softened
1 1/3 cup sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp. vanilla

1 bag mini Reeses peanut butter cups - chopped
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325. Line a 9x13 pan with aluminum foil, leaving a few inch overhang on each side. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray. For crust crush graham crackers until fine. Add butter, brown sugar, flour and salt. Stir until all ingredients are wet. Press into the bottom of dish. Bake crust for 12 minutes until browning. Let cool for 30 minutes.

In a large bowl beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar. Beat well. Add eggs one at a time. Beat after each additions. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Pour on top of crust. Bake at 325 for 35-40 minutes until the edges are set and the middle still jiggles slightly (only slightly). When done, turn oven off and open oven slightly. Let cheesecake cool with the oven. Cover and refrigerate overnight or longer.

Remove from fridge and remove bars from pan- using the foil overhang. Cut into small squares. Melt chocolate chips. Drizzle chocolate over each square (i used my cake frosting piping bag) and top with chopped reese's candy bars. Keep refrigerated until served.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pineapple Breakfast Cake

This is one of my families favorite breakfast cakes. It's so moist and full of flavor that everyone just gobbled it right down. Its not crumbly at all. It's one of those breakfast's that your family will beg you to make again and again.

Pineapple Coffee Cake
4 c. flour
1 c. sugar
2 T. baking powder (yes, that is 2 TABLEspoons)
2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2 egg
2 c. vanilla yogurt
1 c. oil
2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. crushed pineapple, DRAINED VERY WELL!

3/4 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2. c. butter
1/2 c. chopped walnuts

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl beat the eggs, yogurt, vanilla and oil. Add the wet ingredient to the dry ingredient and mix until blended. Fold in the WELL DRAINED pineapple. Spray 9x13 cake pan with pan coating. Pour prepared cake batter into pan.

Combine flour, sugar and butter. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Add chopped nuts and mix well. Sprinkle evenly over cake batter.

Bake breakfast cake for 40-45 minutes OR until middle is set and cake is lightly browned. Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes before serving.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hawaiian Crockpot Chicken

This is one of the easiest/delicious/healthy meals I have had in such a long time. I absolutely loved it. I always forget how much I love the crock pot until I use it. Throw everything in and forget about it until dinner. Plus the Hubby always raves about how amazing the house smells when he comes home from work. I will make this recipe again and again. You and your family will LOVE it.

Hawaiian Crockpot Chicken
1 lb. chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups canned pineapple (in juice)
2 cups BBQ sauce

In your crock pot layer chicken breasts. Top with BBQ sauce and pineapple (pineapple + juice). Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4. Shred and serve over brown rice. Makes aprox. 5 cups.

1/2 cup chicken = 3 points (points plus)


Monday, September 12, 2011

Zucchini Pineapple Nut Bread

Sorry about the "greenish/yellow" tint to my picture...the bread REALLY isn't that color (just my dumb camera makes it look that way). This delish bread is actually a golden brown...and it tastes DIVINE! It has a very "light" refreshing taste to it because of the pineapple. Its something completely different than I have every tasted before...as far as zucchini breads go. I loved it. Hubby did too...and he is a ZUCCHINI HATER...so you know it has to be good! I will definitely be making this bread again before my zucchini disappears.

Zucchini Pineapple Nut Bread

3 eggs
1 c. oil
2 c. sugar
2 t. vanilla
2 c. grated fresh zucchini
1 8oz. can crushed pineapple, WELL drained
3 c. flour
2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
3/4 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
3/4 t. nutmeg
1 c. chopped walnuts

Beat eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla together; continue beating until thick and foamy. Combine all dry ingredient. Stir until blended. Add zucchini, pineapple and walnuts. Stir gently until everything is combined, but don't over mix. Divide batter equally between 2 loaf pans sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes (start checking at 45 minutes). Cool slightly in pans before transferring onto a paper towel or cooling rack. Cover.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Bacon Mushroom Ranch Burger

If your still barbecuing burgers, this one is a MUST have. There is a quaint little restaurant that I like to go to that serves something similar to this homemade burger. It's one of my favorites. The trick to it tasting so FANTABULOUS is the RANCH. IF you just use "so-so" tasting ranch, your burger will reflect that "so-so" taste. I like to use my recipe for Ranch Dressing (on this blog, but a separate post) or the Hidden Valley Ranch powder that you mix with mayonnaise and milk...I'm NOT a fan of the bottled stuff...BUT really, this is YOUR burger, find the ranch dressing that you love and use it!

Bacon Mushroom Ranch Burger
ground beef
liquid smoke
seasonings for burger
hamburger buns
1 lb bacon, cooked and drained
sliced cheese (your favorite)
1 package sliced mushrooms
1/4 c. BUTTER
ranch dressing

Divide ground beef into the amount of burgers your going to cook, shape into patties and season with your favorite seasonings. Top each patty with 2-3 drops of liquid smoke and spread around so that entire patty has some on it. Grill (or cook in a frying pan) burgers until done. In a small frying pan saute mushrooms in melted butter until done. Place cooked burger on hamburger bun. Top with sliced cheese, bacon and mushrooms. Drizzle with desired amount of Ranch Dressing. Replace top of bun and EAT UP! Its a great "END of summer" dinner!


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Almond Poppy Seed Pancakes

I love almond poppy seed muffins. So when I saw this recipe for poppy seed pancakes I knew I would have to recreate them. I fell in love with the flavor. I love pancakes anyway but these were amazing. They mix perfectly with syrup making it a quick and easy breakfast/dinner that everyone can enjoy.

Almond Poppy Seed Pancakes

2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/3 cup poppy seeds
1 1/2 Tbsp. almond extract
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. melted butter

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In a seperate bowl combine buttermilk, eggs, butter, almond extract and poppy seeds. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Stir ingredients together until moist. Cook pancakes on a hot griddle and serve with syrup. Makes 15 large pancakes.

1 pancake w/o syrup = 3 points (points plus)


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Zucchini Cranberry Bread

My zucchini plants have exploded...every day there seems to be 10 more long green squash ready for harvest. SO I've been trying out new recipes to share with all of you, hoping your zucchini plants are producing as well as mine so that you will have plenty to whip up some of this YUMMY bread. I was really excited to find a recipe that wasn't the "generic" zucchini bread recipe (don't get me wrong...I am loving generic zucchini bread, BUT its nice to change it up a bit). I actually found a couple of fun Zucchini Bread recipes that I tried and I will be sharing another one shortly...but for now you HAVE to try this Zucchini Cranberry Bread...its a little bit of heaven!

Zucchini Cranberry Bread

2 eggs
1 1/3 c. sugar
2 t. vanilla
3 c. grated fresh zucchini
2/3 c. melted BUTTER
2 t. baking soda
dash salt
3 c. flour
1/2 t. nutmeg
2 t. cinnamon
1 c. dried cranberries (I used Craisons)

In a large bowl, mix together sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir in the grated zucchini and then the melted butter. Add dry ingredient and stir until blended, DON'T over mix. Fold in the cranberries. Divide batter and pour into 2 loaf pans coated with cooking spray.. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes (start checking at 45 minutes...and it COULD take as long as 60 minutes, mine took about 48 minutes). Cool for 5 minutes in pans then transfer to a paper towel or cooling rack and cover.

MAKES 2 loaves


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Samoan Brownies

I've never met anyone who didn't like Girl Scout cookies. Unfortunately we all eventually run out of our stash and need sweets to tide us over until they show up again. I saw this recipe for Samoan Brownies and knew they would hit the spot. These brownies are amazing! I had to send them to work with my Hubby or I would have eaten the entire pan. Absolutely delicious.

Samoan Brownies

1 brownie mix (+ ingredients to prepare)
3 1/2 cups shredded coconut, toasted
(2) 14 oz. pkgs caramel, unwrapped
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. milk
1 cup chocolate chips

Prepare browni mix according to box directions and cool. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place coconut on baking pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir and cook for another 2-3 minutes until toasted. Watch closely so it doesn't burn. I would check it every 30 seconds or so. In a large microwavable bowl combine unwrapped caramels, salt and milk. Cook on high for 3-5 minutes. Stirring every minute. Cook until all caramels are melted and smooth. Add coconut and mix together. Spread over cooled brownies. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours until cooled. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave and drizzle over brownies. Let brownies sit on counter while chocolate sets. (about 1 hour)


Monday, September 5, 2011

Flank Steak Fajita

Maybe with the long weekend, you are still grilling and celebrating summer in some fabulous way...if so, this recipe is a great way to top things off...if your not still celebrating, its still an awesome meal to make for your hungry crew. I love fajita's...they are one of my favorite Mexican meals. This recipe is no exception!! Its SCRUMPTIOUS, very easy and requires a minimal amount of work, especially if you can talk someone else into grilling the meat. Happy Eating!

Flank Steak Fajita
1 large flank steak
liquid smoke
onion powder
garlic powder
Season flank steak with onion and garlic powder to your desired taste... OR use your favorite steak seasonings. Apply liquid smoke to entire flank steak and grill until done. BE careful that you don't over cook it, you want it a little PINK inside (I prefer mine RED) otherwise it will be tough!
After the steak is done, slice meat on the diagonal, into thin strips. Set aside.

1 package tortilla shells

diced tomatoes (I used cherry tomatoes because I had tons of them in my garden)
grated cheese
diced onion
green pepper (grilled if you choose, I like them that way...because the flavor isn't so strong)

Lightly brown tortilla shells until warm. Fill with grilled flank steak, tomatoes, grated cheese, diced onion and grilled green pepper. Top with sour cream or ranch dressing....can't beat that!


Friday, September 2, 2011

Chili Bacon Cheese Burgers

It sadden's me to say this, but Labor Day weekend is what most people consider the LAST BIG weekend of summer...me on the other hand, will be holding on to the hope that SUMMER LASTS for some time still. Regardless of whether its your last big summer weekend or not...you can still use the outside grill for a bit longer regardless of whether the sun is out or the leaves fall... therefore you can MAKE these BURGERS again and again and again. They are a little mix of summer (hence the "grilling" part) and a little bit" fallish" (hence the chili part)...Its a people pleasing meal no matter how you look at it. My daughter thought I was a little out of my mind when I put "Chili" on a burger... (you put it on hot dogs, so why not a burger?!) BUT she was LOVING each and every bite as she gobbled it down! I can't wait to make these burgers again before the snow flies! THESE dandy burgers are a MUST TRY!

Chili Bacon Cheese Burgers
1 lb ground beef
Shape into 4-5 hamburger patties.
Top with a dash of:
onion powder
garlic powder
season salt
4 shakes of liquid smoke, optional (spread around burger so that the top is covered)
Grill burgers on your outside barbecue grill until they are done.

1 can chili, warmed

1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/2 brick processed cheese (Velvetta or something like it)
1/4 c. milk

5 onion hamburger buns (in the Deli section of your store...not a must, any bun will do, but these are very tasty!)

1 red onion, sliced

Bacon Cheese Sauce:
Cut 1/2 brick Velvetta Cheese into small cubes. Place in a microwave safe dish. Add 1/4 c. milk and stir. Microwave on high for 1:30 minutes then stir, continue to cook and stir every 30 seconds until cheese is melted and forms a sauce (if you like your cheese sauce thinner, add more milk...but we like ours a little thicker...don't add more milk until after its all done and you can see that you are going to want yours thinner). When cheese sauce is done, add cooked, crumbled bacon and stir until well mixed.

Burger assembly:
Place burger on onion bun. Top with warmed chili, add bacon cheese sauce, sliced red onion, tomato and lettuce if desired. ENJOY!!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Baked Beans

I crave picnic food during the summer months. It's hard to whip up a lot of the dishes when I am the only one who will eat it. Sometimes a girls just got to do what she's got to do. Even if it means making an entire pan of baked beans to eat herself. Which is what happened. This recipe is delicious! Everyone has their own version of baked beans and I love them all but this one had flavor like nothing you've tasted before. The only change I would make is to strain the onion chunks from the onion soup mix before I add it. I thought I could handle the onions but it turns out I can't. =)

Baked Beans

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1 pkg. onion soup mix
2 cans pork and beans
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. prepared mustard
2 garlic cloves- minced
1 lb. bacon

Cook hamburger and fry bacon. When done drain hamburger and combine with water, vinegar, onion soup mix, pork and beans, ketchup, brown sugar, mustard and garlic. Mix. Break bacon into pieces and add half to the bean mix. Pour into a 9x13 pan. Top with remaining bacon. Cover with tin foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for additional 15 minutes. Serve.