Author Archive

Homemade Soft Pretzels

September 2, 2019

This recipe comes from Tasty.  I have used their web site a lot for recipes.  These pretzels turned out fantastic.  The recipe states that it makes 8 but I can only get it to make 7, maybe I’m making them too big.  It takes a couple of times to get the pretzel design down and mine still needs work.



  • 1 ½ cups water, warm
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 4 ½ cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons oil, divided
  • ⅔ cup baking soda
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • coarse salt


  1. In a bowl, mix water, salt, and sugar until combined. Add yeast, and let rest 5 minutes until yeast starts to foam.
  2. Add flour and 2 tablespoons of oil, and mix thoroughly until a dough forms.
  3. Remove the dough and use the remaining oil to cover the bowl.
  4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and leave in a warm place for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).
  6. Cut dough into 8 pieces and roll them out into thin ropes, twisting the two ends to form a pretzel shape.
  7. Add baking soda to a large pot of water, and bring to a rolling boil. Boil each pretzel for 30 seconds per side.
  8. Transfer pretzels to a baking sheet, brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.
  9. Enjoy!

Grilled Sausage Stuffed Zucchini

July 14, 2019

This recipe came from Filippo Berio‘s website.  These are amazing and a very simple, inexpensive meal to make.



  • 4 zucchini
  • Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 lb uncooked mild or hot Italian sausage with fennel
  • 4 fresh plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded provolone cheese, divided


  • Prepare charcoal or gas grill for indirect cooking, firing briquettes or lighting gas on one side of grid only.
  • Cut zucchini in half lengthwise; using spoon, scoop out seeds and discard. Rub zucchini lightly with olive oil; set aside.
  • Remove casings from sausage; using fork or your hands, mix together sausage, tomatoes, bread crumbs, garlic and 1/2 cup cheese. Spoon sausage mixture into zucchini, patting down evenly to ends; sprinkle with remaining cheese, patting down to help cheese adhere.
  • Place zucchini directly on greased grill, on side away from hot briquettes or burner; close lid and grill for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned. Let stand for 10 minutes.


To bake Sausage-Stuffed Zucchini in the oven: Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange zucchini on large greased baking sheet; cover and bake for 30 minutes or until nicely browned. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Turkey Bacon Avocado Wraps

July 14, 2019

I made this recipe some time ago and it’s fantastic.  We have actually had it a few times and I’m just getting around to posting it.  Easy and very tasty.

1 (8 oz.) container chive and onion cream cheese
2 tsps dijon mustard
6 tortillas
6 lettuce leaves
12 slices deli turkey
12 slices cooked bacon (I used the thick bacon)
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese ( I used slices the second time I made them)
1 tomato, sliced
1 avocado, sliced

Mix together cream cheese and dijon mustard until smooth
Spread 2 tablespoons of cream cheese mixture onto each tortilla
Top each tortilla with 1 lettuce leaf, 2 slices of turkey, 2 slices of bacon, 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese, tomato and avocado.
Roll up tightly and cut in half diagonally.

Homemade Jo-Jos (Super Crunchy)

July 14, 2019

I found this new recipe on ““, which is some how an appropriate website for me, LOL.  I already have a Jo-Jo recipe on the blog but this one is a much better.  They are so crunchy and taste amazing.

1 1/2 – 2 lbs gold potatoes, cut in wedges or sliced in 1/4 inch slices
2 T vegetable or canola oil, plus extra for frying
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cornstarch

Spice Mix:
1 T kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper (this was my addition)

Toss the potatoes in a microwave safe bowl with 2 T oil and 1 T of the spice mix.
Cover completely with plastic wrap. Microwave for 8 minutes, carefully tossing them around after 4 minutes to redistribute without removing the plastic wrap.
Carefully remove plastic wrap and pour potatoes out onto a baking tray and let cool. You should be able to pierce them with a knife but they won’t completely fall apart.
Heat a couple inches of oil in a dutch oven or deep pot to about 350 degrees.
Set up 2 bowls. In one, mix the buttermilk and baking soda together.
In another, whisk the flour, cornstarch, and remaining spice mix together.
Coat the potatoes in the flour mix, then the buttermilk, then back in the flour mix.
Place on a wire rack and continue coating the remaining potatoes.
Fry in batches for a few minutes, flipping halfway, until golden and crunchy.
Since they potatoes are pretty well cooked you’re really just cooking the coating more so.
When done, remove to a new wire rack set over a baking tray.
Sprinkle with salt while warm if desired.

Homemade Cocktail Sauce

June 23, 2019

We are having grilled shrimp tonight and it just came to mind that I didn’t have enough cocktail sauce so I found this recipe,

I made some additions to it though.  It tastes just like the store bought cocktail sauce and a lot cheaper.



2 cups ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons horseradish adjust to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. onion powder


Mix all ingredients together until well-combined.
Keep refrigerated.

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.