Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Spicy Flank Steak

I have to say this is one of my FAVORITE recipes. I love it and my family loves it. We had this for dinner tonight and our oldest daughter said, "This is the BEST meal!" I have to admit that my husband is an awesome GRILLER. He always gets the meat perfect - never overcooked and that is so key with this flank steak. I highly recommend this recipe! The leftovers are just as yummy. I have even made this for a large crowd and served with Mexican Pinto Beans, Texmati Rice and Pico de Gallo. You're just gonna love it!

This recipe came from my dear Baylor friend - Lya! Lya is a great cook - I am always curious to know what Lya is cooking!


¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup minced cilantro
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 ½ lb flank steak

Mix marinade ingredients together and spread over both sides of steak. Marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes ( up to 2 hours). Grill approximately 5 minutes on each side. Slice diagonally across the grain and serve immediately.

** Ours took longer than 5 minutes on each side to get done – more like 10! Please don't overcook!

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Mexican Pinto Beans (Charro Beans)

While living in Houston quite a few years back, we enjoyed our share of TEX-MEX! We had our favorites of Pappasitas and Lupe Tortillas. All of these restaurants serve Mexican style pinto beans with fajitas, etc. that are called Charro Beans. I was determined to try to copy these beans. I am not a huge bean fan but my hubby loves them. This is what we came up with. They are actually very yummy-I think you will be quite impressed!

Mexican Pinto Beans

1 lb. dried pinto beans
3 qts water
½ - 1 lb. bacon (more gives them more flavor)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 dried red chile pods, rinsed, stemmed, seeded and chopped
(you can find these in the produce – I used my kitchen shears)
3 – 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
5 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander

Cover beans with cold water. Let stand five minutes, stir and pour through a strainer. Rinse well under cold water and repeat procedure twice. In a large stockpot, combine beans with cold water. Cover by about one inch. *I like ours thicker and with less water – You can add more water if you need to – just check on them. Stir in bacon, onion, chile pods, garlic, cumin and coriander. Bring just to a boil. Lower heat and partially cover the pan. Simmer for at least 2 hours. Add salt and simmer for another hour. * I simmered mine for quite a bit longer to reach the desired consistency – thicker and tender. I made them the day ahead and heated them up the next day. On the third day, I took the left overs and squished them with a potato masher. I layered them in pan with grated cheese on top. I heated them and served them with chips and sour cream!!!

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Pico De Gallo

This is a great recipe. I love to serve it with the Spicy Flank Steak! Enjoy!

Pico de Gallo (Roosters’ Beak)

4 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and chopped

2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped

1 medium white onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. minced fresh cilantro

1 – 2 serrano chiles, seeded and finely chopped

3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp. olive oil

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Mx all ingredients together well. Cover and refrigerate 1 – 2 hours.

This great as a dip or tucked inside a fajitas!!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mexican Rice

We made Fish Tacos again tonight and that yummy Lime Cilantro Creme. I made a visit to Kirsten at My Kitchen in the Rockies. Kirsten has great ideas and recipes. I made her Mexican Rice and we loved it. My family loves rice and they were very pleased with this.

Mexican rice:


* 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
* 1 teaspoon garlic salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/4 cup chopped onion
* 1/2 cup tomato sauce
* 2 cups chicken broth


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add rice. Cook, stirring constantly, until puffed and golden. While rice is cooking, sprinkle with salt and cumin. Stir in onions and cook until tender. Stir in tomato sauce and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Toffee Almond Chocolate Bars

I love finding new favorite blogs. Annie Bakes is definitely one of my favorite. Annie has such great recipes - all ones that my family and friends would like. Please visit Annie's blog when you get a chance.

I tried her Toffee Almond Chocolate Bars and boy is Annie right! "There is nothing better than this combination all mixed into one delicious bar! Super easy--I say YES!"

Toffee Almond Chocolate Bars


2 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 egg
1 cup slivered almonds
2 cups chocolate chips
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 3/4 cup toffee bits


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbles. Add egg; mix well. Stir in almonds and chocolate chips. Set aside 1 1/2 cups for topping. Press remaining mixture firmly into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Pour milk over crust; sprinkle with toffee bits and reserved topping. Bake 25-30 minutes longer or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

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Black Bean and Corn Dip

Southern Living is my all time favorite "Go TO" for recipes. I love it... but I am southern girl. I found this recipe years ago labeled Black Bean and Corn Salad. I have always served it as a dip. In fact, this recipe is a tradition at several of our Sunday School parties - especially the 4th of July party. Please try this. It is so fresh tasting- the perfect tastes of summer!

Black Bean and Corn Dip (Southern Living)

3 fresh ears of corn
4 Tbsp. lime juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
2 (15oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
3 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 small purple onion, chopped
1-2 avocado, peeled, seeded and chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (use kitchen shears)

Cook corn in boiling water to cover for 5 minutes; drain and cool. Cut corn from cob. Whisk together lime juice and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add corn, black beans and remaining ingredients; toss to coat. Cover and chill 2 hours. Serve with Fritos SCOOPS!!

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Treasure Cookies

I absolutely LOVE this recipe. I know you have eaten what we refer to in Texas as "Hello Dollies". Here in Nebraska I hear them referred to as 7 layer bars. Well this cookie is all of those yummy ingredients formed into one amazing cookie. But then again, we all know I love cookies.

Treasure Cookies

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 – 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
½ cup softened butter
1 1/3 cups of coconut
1 cup of chocolate chips
1 cup of butterscotch chips
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375. Beat milk and butter to smooth. Add crumbs, flour and baking powder and mix well. Mix in rest of ingredients and drop by spoonful onto greased cookie sheet. Bake 8 min or so.

So scrumptious - ENJOY every bite with a cold glass of milk!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mexican Cornbread

Life is insane right now so I went with one of my standby recipes that I have been making for years. I got this recipe about 20 years ago from Diane - a teacher friend when I taught high school. Nothing fancy but the flavors just work together and everyone in my house enjoys - even my picky middle daughter! Jenna actually said this is one of her favorites! I did take a picture of the final product but this recipe just isn't very photogenic. I promise - it tastes much better than it looks.

Mexican Cornbread

1 lb ground beef
chopped onion (I used minced onion)
1 small can green chiles
2 beaten eggs
2 cups cream style corn
2/3 cup milk
1 - 8.5 oz pkg Jiffy Cornbread mix
4-6 slices American Cheese

Preheat oven to 425. Brown ground beef with onions and drain off excess fat. Add green chiles and set aside. Combine eggs, 1 cup of corn and milk with cornbread mix. Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour half of batter in a greased 9 inch square pan. Top with beef, cheese slices and remaining cup of corn. Pour remaining half of batter on top. Bake 25-30 minutes or until brown on top. Serve with green salad and ENJOY!


Well - Life is a little insane right now so I am just not cooking as much. I teach 3 yr old preschool 4 mornings a week at my church and that is starting. We are getting NEW carpet which I am thrilled about but that is insane... we have WAY too much junk. Our two oldest have been trying out for school volleyball and the oldest made Varsity and the middle made JV - we are thrilled. It is a brand new high school and know it is going to be a great season. I am trying to keep up!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Indian Tea

This is another yummy refreshing tea! Enjoy!

Indian Tea

1 quart tea
Juice of 3 lemons
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract

Mix together. Mix ½ bottle of ginger ale to ½ of recipe of iced tea. Serve in pretty wine glasses with lemon or orange slice.

Fruit and Mint Iced Tea

It has been so HOT in Omaha lately - just thought of this yummy tea. This tea is perfect for your family, guests and I have served this at many baby or wedding showers in wine glasses. You will just love it.

Fruit and Mint Iced Tea

**can do this with mint tea bags instead of using fresh mint

1 qt boiling water
8 regular size tea bags (caff or decaff)
½ cup fresh mint leaves
1½ cups sugar
1 – 6 oz can frozen lemonade, undiluted
1 - 6 oz can frozen limeade, undiluted
¾ cup orange juice
3 qts of cold water

Boil one qt of water and remove from heat. Add tea bags and mint; cover and steep for 30 minutes; discard tea bags, stir in sugar and next 4 ingredients. Pour tea through a strainer into large container. Chill – serve over ice. `

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Grilled Corn Mexican Style

I was with my Baylor crew this summer and my friend Jennifer made yummy Carnitas and Grilled Mexican corn almost just like this. I LOVED it. Jennifer used the Cotija Mexican cheese and I thought that was the perfect touch. I found this recipe at www.Foodbuzz.com

What you need for Grilled Corn Mexican Style:
- 1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) of grated Parmesan
- 4 ears of corn, husks and silk removed, cut each in half
- 1 tablespoon of butter, room temperature
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons of light mayonnaise
- 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder (I like to use Chipotle)
- 1 lime, cut into wedges for serving

What to do:

1. Heat your grill to high. Place the cheese on a plate or in a shallow bowl and set aside.
2. Brush the corn with butter and season with salt and pepper. Grill it, turning every 2 to 3 minutes, until tender and slightly charred, usually for about 10 to 12 minutes. Take it off the grill and let the corn cool 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Brush the corn with mayonnaise, and roll in the cheese to coat. Sprinkle with chili powder.

Serve Grilled Corn Mexican Style with lime wedges and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! Summer will not escape me yet! :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

1st Day of School

Meg is 13 and Tucker is 1 1/2!

Jenna is 15 and Annie is 16
This is the first day of school for our three girls. Annie is a junior and Jenna is a sophomore. They had to go early today to work Student Council and help the freshman. Meg is in 8th grade. All 3 have such different personalities and handle school in very different ways. I pray for a great year!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


My two oldest girls have been getting up at 5:30 every day this week for high school volleyball practice. I decided to make something yummy for when they got home. I have found a new blog that I love ...Homesick Texan. Please visit- I tried her recipe for Biscuits. Mine don't look as pretty as hers - I must not have beat them enough. :) I will keep trying. I truly cannot remember the last time I made biscuits.... and I am from Texas. These are wonderful - house smelled amazing too. I have softened butter, honey, and amazing raspberry jam made by my friend Shelley's mother - Paulette - ready for the girls when they walk in the door. A very delightful experience!

P.S. they loved them

Biscuits - from Homesick Texan

Two cups of flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of sugar (can add more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 stick of butter, cold (8 tablespoons)
3/4 cup of buttermilk, cream or half-and-half

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Mix all the dry ingredients together.
Cut the stick of butter into pieces, and work into the flour mixture with your hands or a pastry blender until it resembles pea-sized crumbs.
Add the liquid, mixing until a bit loose and sticky.
Pour dough out on a floured surface, and knead for a minute. Dough should be smooth and no longer wet. You can sprinkle more flour on the surface if you find it’s sticking.
Take dough into a ball, and hit it with a rolling pin, turning it and folding it in half every few whacks. Do this for a couple of minutes.
Roll out dough until it’s 1/4 of an inch thick, and then fold it in half.
Using a round cutter (can use a glass or a cup if don’t have a biscuit cutter) cut out your biscuits from folded dough.
Place on a greased baking sheet close together (so they rise up not out), and bake for 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
Makes 10-12 biscuits.

If you don’t want to roll and cut them out, after kneading and beating the dough you can drop the dough onto the baking sheet with a spoon. They’re not as symmetrical (dropped biscuits are also known as cat head biscuits) but they’re no less delicious.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fish Tacos with Lime Cilantro Creme

Okay, I loved this! I have been in a cooking mood this weekend so I tried another new recipe. Our girls don't just love fish so I figured I need to start cooking fish more. My sweet friend Lya has told me on several occasions how yummy this recipe is. Lya lives in Plano, TX and I only see her a couple of times a year. I was bugging her for the recipe and I am thrilled to have it. I especially love the Lime Cilantro Creme and I don't love cilantro. I could keep the creme around to eat with veggies or on a wrap with the carnitas... it is very yummy.

Fish Tacos with Lime Cilantro Creme

Tilapia filets

Brush the filets with olive and generously season with Fiesta fajita seasoning(here in Nebraska, I could only find Kroger fajita seasoning-what is a girl to do!) Grill and separate into bite size pieces with two forks.

Lime Cilantro Creme

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
3 Tbsp sour cream
1 tsp grated lime peel
1 1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp salt
1 garlic cloved, minced

Mix creme and refrigerate til ready to enjoy. I would double or triple the creme depending on the size of your family. My husband, myself and one of our daughters almost finished off one recipe of creme... but like I said - I loved it!

We enjoyed our fish in white corn tortillas topped with cabbage slaw, lime cilantro creme and sliced avocados with sides of black beans and Texmati rice! YUM!

5 Minute Oklahoma Strawberry Shortcake

I got this recipe from my mom in East Texas. She raved on and on about this recipe that her coworker, Laura, brought to share with them for a birthday lunch. Laura got this recipe from her Floyd side of the family in Oklahoma. My mom is a great cook and she raved on and on about this so I had to try it. We loved it and I know you will too!

5 Minute Oklahoma Strawberry Shortcake


2 lbs of strawberries, washed, sliced and covered with sugar and I mean covered(in my East Texas accent) as the strawberries need to make a lot of juice. Mash to help make juice and let them sit in the refrigerator long enough to make lots of juice. The cake isn't just terribly sweet so all of the sweetness from this dessert is coming from the strawberries.


Break 2 eggs in a 2 cup measuring cup and add milk to make 1 1/4 cup.

Mix in a bowl:

3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Add eggs and milk and mix. Spray a 9x13 pan that has been generously sprayed with Pam. Bake at 350 degrees until done. In my oven, this took about 20 minutes. Flip out on to cooling rack to cook completely. Slice cake in half, lengthwise and place the bottom layer into a glass 9x13 or some type of deep dish. Cover the cake with half the strawberry mixture and juice - soaking this layer. Top with the other half of cake and then the rest of the strawberries and juice, soaking this layer. Refrigerate. When ready to serve, top with Reddi-wip!

The secret to this cake is to soak up all of the juice! Enjoy!

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Friday, August 13, 2010

Crater Cake

I had some very ripe bananas as I often do. I typically make banana bread, banana chocolate chip muffins, banana cake or put them in smoothies. I was looking through my recipes and found this recipe for Crater Cake. I didn't think I knew who gave me this recipe but a friend informed me that another friend Cindy gave it to us. Cindy was a hoot. She lived in Omaha but has since moved to Wisconsin. My family loved this cake! I couldn't get them to stop eating it. Actually, I couldn't stop eating it either. I think it would be great for dessert or for brunch or breakfast as a coffee cake.

Crater Cake 

1 cup butter 
1 cup sugar 

Cream the above, then add: 

 2 eggs 
1 tsp vanilla 
3 mashed bananas 

Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternating with sour cream.

3 cups flour 
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda 
1 cup sour cream or 1 cup plain yogurt (I used sour cream) 

Mix topping in separate bowl: 

1 tsp cinnamon 
1/2 cup brown sugar 
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips 

 Spray a 9 x 13 with cooking spray and pour in half of batter then top with half of the topping.  Add remaining batter then top with remaining topping. Bake for 350 for 50 minutes. Enjoy!

* I entered these ingredients into the Recipe Builder at www.weightwatchers.com and using greek yogurt (which turned out great) and having 20 servings per 9 x 13 - each piece would be 10 points plus

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dishpan Cookies

I LOVE cookies! Cookies are probably my biggest weakness. Actually
I have many food weaknesses...but a good cookie...crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside..I just can't resist!

Years ago, a few Sunday school friends got together to do some Christmas baking. This recipe came from Robyn Brown. She has since moved away. I believe she said this recipe came from her grandmother. "everything is in this cookie but the dishpans"

Dishpan Cookies

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup oil
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp.salt
1 tsp. baking powder

Mix well and add:

2 cups flour ( I used Eagle Mills whole grain)
3/4 cup quick cooking oatmeal
2 cups corn flakes
1/2 cup raisins (I used dried cherries)
1 cup coconut
6 oz. chocolate chips

Mix again and bake at 325 for 8-10 minutes.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Sandwiches

We love this recipe. I can't tell you how many times I have made this for my family, for guests and for parties. I have had 3 crock pots going at one time. I know you will love it!


2 – 3 lbs. lean boneless chuck roast

1 cup tomato ketchup

2 Tbsp. Dijon-style mustard

4 Tbsp. brown sugar

3 cloves crushed garlic

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 tsp. liquid smoke flavoring

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

10 -12 soft French rolls or sandwich buns

Spray Crockpot with PAM. Place beef in slow cooker. Combine ingredients and pour over the meat. Cover and cook on low 8 – 9 hours. Shred the beef by pulling it apart with 2 forks. Add enough sauce to get the desired texture. Spoon on warm rolls.

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Shay visits

Chris' brother Shay was in town for a guy's golf weekend. They had a great time playing golf with like 18 other guys in western Nebraska. Shay lives in Florida with his family. We happened to have all 3 girls at home so we grabbed a picture with Uncle Shay.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Chicken Lasagna

I love this recipe and so does my family. I got this recipe from my good friend Barb. I have made it for extended family and also for a volleyball potluck dinner. It "sets up" great, everything melts together and is so yummy. Even the pickiest will like this!

Chicken Lasagna

1/2 cup Finely chopped onion
1/4 cup Finely chopped green pepper
2 Tbsb Butter
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
2/3 cup Milk
8 oz Package Barilla no-cook lasagna noodles
16 oz Small curd cottage cheese
8 oz Cream cheese-cubed
2 ½ cup Cooked-cubed chicken
3 cups Shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In large skillet sauté onion and green pepper in butter until tender. Stir in soup and milk. Lightly spray bottom of 9 x 13 pan and spread enough sauce to lightly cover bottom. Layer 1/3 of noodles, cottage cheese, cream cheese cubes, chicken, sauce, and cheddar cheese in order. Repeat 2 more times. Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese. Bake 50 to 60 minutes and let sit for 5 min. before eating.

** I boiled my chicken breasts. I reserved some chicken broth in case I needed some extra liquid. I did add maybe a1/2 cup to the soup and milk mixture to make the sauce go a little further..I have also used precooked chicken that I get from Costco, and it was even easier and still very yummy!

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I think everyone has this recipe but I had to share it just in case. This is my standard quick dessert to take anywhere there are kids and families. I first got this recipe from a friend when I lived in Dallas. Amy was a dear friend - don't talk to her as much these days - but Amy was from Nebraska. At the time - who knew we would end up living in Nebraska and Amy still lives in the Dallas area. If you have never made these - please do - a favorite at all gatherings!


1 cup light Karo syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
6 cups rice krispies
12 oz. chocolate chips
12 oz. butterscotch chips

Bring Karo syrup to a boil in a small saucepan and remove from heat. Add 1 cup sugar and stir till melted. Add peanut butter and blend. Pour rice krispies into a large bowl. Pour syrup mixture over cereal and gently stir. Pat into in a lightly greased 9 x 13. Melt both chips together in a microwave bowl. Stir to make sure all chips are melted and pour over cereal mixture. Spread to cover the entire top. Refrigerate just til firm.

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Monday, August 2, 2010

Chicken Vesuvio

I made this tonight for dinner and it was just so good.

This recipe is from a dear friend that I met when I first moved to Omaha 12 years ago. She and her family were our neighbors. Miss Pat and Mr. Phil - as my children refer to them - were our live-savers. Our families were together all of the time. Many nights of last minute get togethers for meals, movies, etc. We had some great times. We were from Texas and they were from Pennsylvania - two very different families from two different worlds -who became lifelong friends. Miss Pat is a great cook and this is just one of my many recipes that we shared. I used to sit our her bar stool and we would share ideas! I miss YA'LL!!

Chicken Vesuvio

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 (10 oz.) boneless breasts (cut into ¾ inch strips)

flour for dredging

2 cloves minced garlic

¼ tsp. oregano

¼ tsp. basil


1/3 cup white wine

½ cup chicken broth

3 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over high heat. Dredge chicken in flour. ( I put my chicken in a container, added flour and s/p, covered and shook) Over med high heat, sauté strips in oil until golden brown – approximately 1 ½ minutes on first side and 30 seconds on the other side. Add garlic and sauté until garlic is lightly browned – approximately 30 – 45 seconds. Add oregano, basil, salt white pepper, white wine, broth and parmesan cheese. (I did add more wine, broth and spices as my family is a "saucy" kind of family. Cook until thoroughly heated. Serve with rice or pasta.

*Feel free to lower the heat a little if this is cooking too fast for you. Be organized when you start because it does cook fast but it is way yummy!!

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