Author Archive

Homemade Tartar Sauce

March 30, 2019

This tarter sauce is what Mark and I call a “happy accident”.  We had planned on doing Cajun fish fry last night so I went to the store and bought all the fixens for it. Thinking that I had plenty of tartar sauce, I didn’t get any. I found out when I started fixing dinner that we did NOT in fact have any.  So I decided to make my own.  This is the best tartar sauce we have ever eaten! In fact, it is so good you can eat it by itself. Lets just say I just tested it more than I should have.  I will never buy store bought again; this will be my go to from now on.

I found a basic recipe and it was bland so we added stuff to it.


Keep in mind you can mix all of your ingredients together and add more to your liking.  The amounts just happen to be the way Mark and I like them.

1 cup of mayonaise
1 tbsp of pickle relish
1 tbsp of pickle relish juice
1 tbsp of minced onion
1 tsp of lemon juice
1 tsp of dill week
1 tbsp of horse radish
salt and pepper to taste.

Mix all ingredients and serve. 

I made up a double batch this morning and the longer it sits the better it tastes.



Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

February 9, 2019

I tried this recipe to use with my chicken enchiladas and it was the most tender chicken I have ever made.  The shredding of the chicken was so effortless


1 cup low sodium chicken broth
3/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Place broth, seasoning salt, Italian seasoning and pepper into the Instant Pot inner pot. Stir.
Add the chicken breasts (no trivet necessary!) and put the lid on.
Turn valve to sealing, and select Manual (or Pressure Cook), high pressure for 10 minutes (they will be cooked at 7-8 minutes, but a couple extra minutes makes them fall apart tender). It will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure and start counting down. 
Once the cook time is over, turn the Instant Pot off and let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes (i.e., don’t touch it!). 
Open the lid and drain about half of the liquid. Shred the chicken breasts with the remaining liquid in the pot, and serve as desired. To freeze, let cool to room temperature before placing in freezer bags.

I am going to use the left over broth to make chicken gravy.  The seasonings I used was Italian Seasoning, garlic salt, salt and pepper and lemon and pepper.

Instant Pot Fruit Yogurt

January 27, 2019

When I first got my Instant Pot the first recipe I tried was yogurt.  I was really excited about making my own, but the recipe I used was not a good one. It turned out terrible, which in turn scared me off of trying it again for awhile.  Well, I decided to try this one and it’s AMAZING!  I won’t be buying store bought yogurt anymore.  I got it from a site called “Instant Pot”.




4 Wide mouth Pint Jars
5 2/3 cups milk whole or reduced fat
4 tablespoons sugar all natural
4 tablespoons Dry Milk Powder Non-Fat
2 cups fruit Chopped
4 tbsp Yogurt Culture


  • Add 1 1/2 cups of water to the bottom of the Instant Pot and place the trivet at the bottom as well.
  • Put 1 1/3 cups of milk in each jar. Place lids of the jars on loosely and place jars into the Instant Pot.
  • Press Manual (on the newer models the “Manual” button is the “Pressure Cook” button) on the Instant Pot and reduce time to 2 minutes. This process scalds the milk killing any pathogens that might be in the milk. After cycle is done, release steam from the Instant Pot and safely remove jars to cool.
  • Remove the lids carefully and place jars into cool water to speed up the cooling process.
  • Once the milk is below 100 degrees, you can safely add your yogurt culture to the milk. (For A Yogurt Culture buy plain Cultured Yogurt from your grocery store).
  • Add 1 tablespoon of sugar to each jar. Add 1 tablespoon of Non Fat Dry Milk to each jar.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of Yogurt Culture to each jars and stir up the ingredients until they are mixed well.
  • Add 1/2 cup of fresh fruit to each jar. Be careful not to overfill the jars. Leave at least 1/8 inch from the top of each jar.
  • Replace lids and rings and place jars back into the Instant Pot. Make sure it still has the 1 1/2 cup of water in the bottom the Instant Pot.
  • Press the Yogurt cycle on the Instant Pot then increase the time from 8 hours to 12 hours.
  • After the cycle is complete place the jars into the refrigerator. Cooling the yogurt down stops the cooking process. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes:

After you make plain yogurt you will now have your own culture to keep your Yogurt making process going!  By using the jars this enables you to be able to make plain or different flavors all at the same time.

One-Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta

January 4, 2019

This recipe came from Betty Crocker‘s website and it is amazing.  It also reheats really nice the next day for lunch.  It’s so simple to make and easy on the pocket book.

Please see the notes below.



1 tablespoon olive oil
1 package (16 oz) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces Save $
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3 1/2 cups Progresso™ reduced sodium chicken broth (from 32-oz container)
8 oz uncooked farfalle (bow-tie) pasta (about 3 cups)
4 oz (half of 8-oz package) cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup refrigerated basil pesto (from 7-oz container)
1 package (8 oz) fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese


In 5- to 5 1/2-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat; season chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook chicken in oil 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink. With slotted spoon, transfer to plate, and keep warm.

Add chicken broth and pasta to Dutch oven; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 12 to 14 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente and most of liquid is absorbed.

Add cream cheese and pesto, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted. Stir in chicken; cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is heated through.

Gradually stir in spinach until starting to wilt. Just before serving, garnish with basil and Parmesan cheese.



I sauteed some fresh mushrooms with a clove of garlic and added to it it when I added the chicken.  Also, I would cut the chicken in smaller pieces. 

Deep Fried Jalapeno’s

August 18, 2018

I have been trying to recreate Applebee’s Jalapeno Coins for some time now.  I have tried different recipes, all were good but not what I was after.  I finally came across this recipe and for the life of me, I can’t find it to give them credit.  So I am basically recreating the recipe from memory.

These are fantastic and I could eat them every day.

These are the jalapenos that I used, they are our favorite and they stay fairly firm after deep frying.


Cali-Mex Salsa

July 29, 2018

This recipe was given to me by a Mexican girl that works for me; we have known each other for years.  She brought some dried chili’s up from California when she was visiting family and explained to me how to make this salsa.  I have never heard of this type of chili, so I have posted a picture of the label on the bag that they were in. I modified the recipe a bit from how she told me to make it.

This is the best salsa you will ever eat.  It has taken me several times to get this recipe down but I think I have finally gotten it.  Everyone’s tastes are different so the amount of ingredients you use will be different from what I have listed.

This is the most amazing salsa ever!  I have been making up a batch every weekend.  We don’t use Pace now.

CAUTION:  This chili powder is  EXTREMELY HOT ! Use caution when using it and when grinding the chili up. Use a mask or don’t breath the dust.



1/2 tsp of Yunnan Hot Chili (Ground) (I would think you would be able to buy these in any Mexican grocery store)
12 Roma Tomatoes
4 Jalapenos
1/2 of a White Onion, diced
1/2 of a bunch of Cilantro, diced
Kosher Salt to taste
1 lime
1 garlic clove


Blueberry Coffee Cake

July 29, 2018

I was given some fresh blueberries and had to freeze a bunch of them before they went bad.  I started looking for a good blueberry coffee cake and found this one on Once Upon A Chef‘s web site.  This recipe was so simple to make and it was amazing.  My blueberries were frozen so please note in the ingredients that if you are using frozen, do not thaw them.


For the Streusel Topping

6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

For the Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon packed lemon zest, from 1 lemon
1/2 cup milk
2 cups fresh blueberries (frozen may be used but do not defrost)


Herb Grilled Chicken

July 21, 2018

Mark found this recipe on Kingsford’s website.  This was an amazing recipe and would be excellent as a sandwich.  The seasoning on it was perfect.



1 clove garlic minced
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh oregano
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons brown sugar
4 teaspooons Worcestershire sauce
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup chopped, fresh parsley
¼ cup peanut oil
½ teaspoon black pepper

2 split chicken halves (about 3 pounds)


Tomato Mozzarella Salad

July 21, 2018

I made this recipe for Bella’s birthday last night and I thought it was pretty amazing.  The recipe comes from allrecipes but I modified it a lot to adjust it to feed a large group of people.  Please see my notes below.

3 large tomatoes, sliced
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh basil


Old Fashioned Onion Rings

July 15, 2018

I got this recipe form allrecipes, we use them quit a bit. They seem to be a “go to” for us when we are looking for a good recipe.

I have a good recipe for onion rings, but I was looking for something more like the ones you get at Red Robin.  These were really close.  They turned out fantastic.  Please see my notes below.

1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk, or as needed
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
seasoned salt to taste
1 quart oil for frying, or as needed