Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts

October 14, 2016 by



1 cup almonds

1 cup pecans

1 cup walnuts

1/4 cup shelled raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika

1 teaspoon kosher salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Toss all ingredients in a medium bowl to evenly coat nuts.  Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet or a large cast iron pan and roast, tossing occasionally, until nuts are toasted and maple syrup caramelizes, 20-25 minutes.

Transfer to a sheet of parchment and spread out in an even layer, breaking up to prevent clusters from forming.  Let cool.

Slow-Cooker Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

October 12, 2016 by

Yet another recipe Mark found when he was hungry.  We get a lot of our recipes from Betty Crocker’s website. They have some pretty good ones on there. This was a great soup and it was easy and inexpensive.

We did a few things different and I have some suggestions in the notes below.



1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs (5 thighs), cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
1/4 cup fresh or frozen chopped onions
2 cans (10 3/4 oz each) condensed cream of potato soup
1 can (14 oz) roasted garlic-seasoned chicken broth
2 cups frozen sliced carrots
1 cup half-and-half

Place chicken in 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker. In large bowl, mix wild rice, onions, soup, broth and carrots; pour over chicken.
Cover; cook on Low heat setting 7 to 8 hours.
Stir in half-and-half. Increase heat setting to High. Cover; cook 15 to 30 minutes longer or until hot.


We made this on a weekday and I did not use the crock pot.  I put it in my small pressure cooker for 15 minutes and then when the steam was released and I could take the lid off, I let it simmer for about 20 minutes.

I don’t prefer chicken thighs so I used boneless, skinless chicken breast.

I also fried up some bacon and crumbled it on top of our soup when it was served.  I added peas  and I think another good addition would be some mushrooms and corn.

I could not find any roasted garlic-seasoned chicken broth, so I made my own by roasting some garlic in the oven and mixing it in with my regular chicken broth.  I turned out fantastic.

And an added bonus, it reheats very nicely.  I had some for lunch today and it tasted just as good as the night before.



The Ultimate Chicken Bacon Grilled Cheese

September 23, 2016 by

I found this recipe on one of the recipe blogs that I surf, named Good Cook.  We had it for dinner the other night and it was delicious!  There are some notes at the bottom that I would do different next time.

And you will notice we broke out the fine “redneck china”


2 pieces sourdough bread
2 Tbsp butter, softened
3 Tbsp grated parmesan
1/4 cup whipped cream cheese
1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1/2 grilled chicken breast, sliced
3-4 pieces cooked bacon
2 scallions, diced

1. Heat a cast iron grill pan over medium heat.
2. Spread butter on the top of both pieces of bread, dip butter-side-down in parmesan.
3. Flip parmesan side down. Mix together cream cheese and cheddar, spread mixture on both pieces of bread. Top with chicken, bacon and grilled cheese. Place cream-cheese covered sides of bread together. Grill on hot grill pan, until cheese is melted.


It states to use a “cast iron grill pan” and I don’t have one so I used just a regular cast iron pan.  If you coat the bread in parmesan cheese, don’t use cast iron.  The cheese gets too hot and it sticks to the pan.  I took mine out and put it in my normal grilled cheese sandwich pan.

Also, I will not coat the bread in parmesan cheese.  I did not care for the flavor that way.  I mean it was good but just not a preference for me.

Oven Fried Chicken

August 27, 2016 by


I love southern fried chicken.  Unfortunately my digestive system hates it.  I found this recipe and tried it today.  I like it a lot.  Probably because of all the spices.


2 cups buttermilk

1 Tablespoon Tabasco

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into strips

2 cups bread crumbs

6 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 Tablespoon onion powder

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, but why would you want to omit it?)

1 teaspoon paprika

cooking spray

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Coconut & Chocolate Bites With Sea Salt

August 21, 2016 by

This is another recipe that I got from FB.  I’m a huge Almond Joy and Mounds fan so I thought this would be really good.

Please see my notes below for suggestions and what I did different.  Normally I make a recipe exactly how it states the first time and then modify it to my liking the second time.  But I chose not to do that this time.



  • 1 14 ounce bag flaked sweetened coconut
  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole almonds, toasted
  • 12 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

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Bacon, Egg & Cheese Crescent Roll-Ups

August 19, 2016 by

Mark found this recipe. These things are SO delicious and so easy to make!  We had them for dinner rather than breakfast. They re-heat very nicely, so you could easily make up enough for the whole week. 

See my notes at the bottom.


We normally like our bacon crispy, but keep in mind that after you fry it, the bacon will get baked making it even more crispy.  So I didn’t fry it as crispy as I normally would.  You could also substitute sausage links for the bacon .

Homemade Tater Tots

August 18, 2016 by

I am not too sure where I came up with this recipe, probably a FB post.  The site is called Damn Delicious and these are the best tasting tater tots that I have ever had. 

FullSizeRender (20)

2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook until parboiled, about 6-7 minutes; drain well and let cool.
Using a box grater, finely shred potatoes. Using a clean dish towel or cheese cloth, drain potatoes completely, removing as much water as possible.
Transfer potatoes to a large bowl. Stir in flour, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and dill; season with salt and pepper, to taste. The mixture should be workable but dry. Form potatoes into tots.

Heat vegetable oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add tots to the skillet, 5 or 6 at a time, and cook until evenly golden and crispy, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.*

Don’t let your oil get too hot.  They will get brown too fast and the insides won’t get done.  I heated mine up too hot and then had to cool it back down after I did my “tester tater tot”

Fideo (Pork Spaghetti)

August 17, 2016 by

From Joy in Texas….she’s a great chef, so we expect many more recipes from her…wink, wink Joy!


2-3 lbs. pork shoulder, cubed
Olive oil for browning meat
1 large onion, chopped
5-6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 tsp bittersweet paprika, or whatever paprika you have
1 quart chicken stock, plus water
2-3 boxes vermicelli noodles (I use L&L brand which are 5 oz. boxes, use whatever brand you have available)
Salt and pepper

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Zucchini Rice Casserole

August 17, 2016 by

From Joy in Texas.  This looks fantastic!

14067469_10153736971703038_1486348185566484046_nBrown Rice

1.5 cups short grain brown rice
3 cups chicken broth, heated
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 cups zucchini, diced
1.5 cups milk
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
1 cup corn
8 ounces’ sausage, browned
8 ounces’ cream cheese
¼ cup chopped pickled jalapenos

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Pork Tomatillo Stew

August 17, 2016 by

We are finally getting more recipes from Joy in Texas!  Great job, keep them coming in!


The Salsa


The Meat Sauce


The Finished Product (After Cooking)

For the sauce
2.5 lbs. tomatillos, husked removed, rinsed and cut in half (not through the stem)
2 large jalapenos
4 poblanos
1 large onion, cut into wedges
6-8 garlic cloves, peeled
Handful of cilantro stems with leaves
Juice from 1 lime
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