Thursday, July 30, 2009

Diet Cherry Limeaide Sonic Style

I am sooooo addicted to the Diet Cherry Limeaide at Sonic. I have to stop and get one anytime I am anywhere in the vicinity of my local Sonic. I have tried to figure out how to make them at home before, but it was never quite the same.

I was busy checking out their website the other day and looking up the nutrition information on some of the items I will never let pass thru my lips, and saw the nutrition information for my favorite beverage, it gave every single ingredient and there are only three! There is no sugar, no carbs and no calories!

Whooo the hell Whoooooooo! Let me tell you the three secret ingredients!

Diet Cherry Syrup (I am a fan of the DaVinci line of syrups)
Sprite Zero
Limes, halved
Lots of crushed ice (luckily my ice maker has that option, cubes would work just fine)

Add a bit of your syrup to your glass with ice in it already, top with some Sprite and squeeze a lime into it, add the lime to the glass when you are done squeezing (it adds more flavor), stir and enter heaven!

TA DA that's it, I like a bit less syrup in mine, you can mix to your favorite taste or use different flavored syrups! Give it a try, it is the most thirst quenching drink I have ever had!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Heat Wave Pool Party

I thought I would share some photos I took of little Miss Bella Sue Who in her baby pool. It is a doggie baby pool, and she adores playing with her little yellow rubber ducky!

At least someone is staying cool. Don't ya just want to eat her, she is soo cute!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Lasagna Part Two - The Best Ever

I have been making lasagna the same way for about 15 years now. I put my own special twist on it by using cream cheese and cottage cheese. I adore the creamy taste and texture it gives the lasagna and it never turns out dry. I also use dry noodles, no need to cook them with my recipe.

I purchased a beautiful rustic lasagna pan, and I must say it was a great idea. I have been making it in a giant Corelle Dish for years, and it ends up being a. too much food and b. too many layers. So, I am very happy with my new lasagna pan!

This time I decided I wanted to improve my pasta sauce for my lasagna and try a new cheese mixture. Between that and the fact the new pan only allows me 2 layers, it turned out to be the best Lasagna I have ever made.

1 lb ground beef (not too lean)
1 lb regular ground pork
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 can of tomato sauce
1 can of diced tomatoes in juice
2 ripe fresh tomatoes, cored and diced
2 tbl tomato paste
1 onion diced
1 carrot, peeled and chopped into tiny squares
4 cloves of garlic, minced
6 to 8 Crimini Mushrooms, stems removed, cleaned and sliced
1 can olives, drained (get the sliced kind)
2 tbl dried oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbl dried basil or fresh if you have it
garlic salt
cracked black pepper
Red Wine - decent bottle please

Other ingredients needed
Lasagna noodles
1 8 oz container cream cheese (do not use fat free)
1 container low fat cottage cheese
Mozzarella Cheese shredded
Cheddar Cheese shredded
Monterey Jack Cheese shredded
*****You want a 40/40/20 mix on the cheese, 40% Mozzarella, 40% Jack and 20% Cheddar, mix them together********

Place your meats into a large non stick pan (don't use a fry pan, it needs to be taller, I used a non stick stew pot)

Cook your meat until it is about half way cooked, drain grease

Add your onions, garlic, carrots, mushrooms and continue to cook until most of the pink is gone

Add the spices and your tomato sauces, olives, 1/4 cup red wine.

Let cook for about 2-3 hours, the sauce should reduce and the flavors will improve. If it seems to be reducing too much, add some more red wine and continue to cook. You want a fairly thick consistency when you are done.

Assembly - Note you will use all the Cottage Cheese and about 3/4 of the Cream Cheese

Pan spray the dish you will be cooking your lasagna in

Place a few spoonfuls of the meat sauce down first, spread it around

Start by placing a layer of dried lasagna noodles

Add meat sauce, spread it around

Place dollops of cottage cheese and cream cheese randomly

Top with the cheese mixture

Another layer of noodles, meat sauce, cottage cheese, cream cheese and mixed cheeses

Continue until you are out of ingredients, top with any remaining cheese

Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes and it should be bubbly

Friday, July 24, 2009

Spanish Rice

If you have been around awhile, you will know that I have tried to make Spanish Rice a number of times and it always turned out badly.

I think I finally figured it out!

The rice turned out fluffy, a bit spicy and not at all bland like most rice served at a Mexican Restaurant! I served it with my Husband's creation Mexican Pork Chops!

In my opinion, using the Knorr Tomato, Cilantro and Onion cubes is the key (you can get these at your local Tienda), along with a good salsa. I used my rice cooker which requires 2X liquid to rice ratio. Your cooking method may be different.

1 cube of Cilantro
1 cube of Onion
2 cubes of Tomato
1 jar of your favorite Salsa or Rotel which would work even better!

Rinse your rice, and figure out how many cups of liquid you will require for your cooking method. Heat up half that amount of water, and add your cubes of cilantro, onion and tomato, mix well until they melt

Use Salsa for the remainder of the liquid, mix well and then cook according to the directions on the rice.

Fluff well and serve.

p.s. don't forget to post your Gawker and Tastespotting rejects at

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mexican Pork Chops

We have been trying to eat less Red Meat lately, much to my chagrin.

I purchased a value pack of pork chops and instead of freezing them all, my husband put some into a Ziplock and marinated them for 2 days before barbecuing them. He was going for a "Mexican" theme.

They were in a word "DELISH". Give it a whirl, the longer you marinate, the better they taste!!

4 pork chops (bone in)
1 jar of your favorite brand of Salsa
1 lemon or lime cut in half, add the juice and the lemon/lime itself
1/2 a white onion diced
2 tsp ground cumin
Bunch of Cilantro rinsed and chopped

Mix all the above in a Ziploc bag and marinate for one day, up to two days for extra flavor. When you think of it, flip the bag over in the fridge.

Grill on your barbecue!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My Mama's Hot Dish

My mother used to make this for us kids back in the day, and I have been making it ever since. It is total comfort food for me. My husband is not as fond of it as I am, so I offered to "Mexicanize" it for him! He loved it!

We call it Tator Tot Casserole, and I am sure there are many ways to prepare it, but this is our family's way!

I still like it the traditional way, so next time I get it my way!

What you will need, depending on the size casserole you use, a 9X9 works with about 3/4 lbs of hamburger, for the 9X13 you will need about 1.5 lbs

Hamburger (I use 7%-10%)
1 bag of Tator Tots
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 can of cheese soup
chopped onion (as much as you like)
1 can of Mexi Corn
Cheddar Cheese shredded
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (half if you are using the smaller casserole)

Pan spray the bottom of whichever size casserole dish you decide to use

Pat the raw ground beef into the bottom of the casserole, getting all the way around the edges

Spread on the onion and red bell pepper

Put on as many tator tots as you can get to fit, it is like a puzzle

Mix your two cans of soup with 1/2 can of water, each, whisk it well

Pour the soup on top of the casserole

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook at 350 for 40 minutes, remove from oven and spread some cheese on top, put back into oven for a few minutes to melt

**Some folks add green beans and mushrooms, however I am a purist**

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ham Steak with Pineapple and Jalepenos

While trying to keep our diet varied and avoid red meat, I have been putting Ham Steak on the menu from time to time. I love it grilled with Pineapple Slices.

A friend was telling us about a Mexican Dish which included Sauteed Pineapple and Jalapeno Peppers. I thought that would go really nicely with my grilled Ham, and it sure did!

One would think it would be really spicy, but with the addition of red wine vinegar and some reserved pineapple juice it was just right.

p.s I hope you guys are submitting to, when the big guys reject your photos, it is a neat idea!

1 Ham Steak
1 Can of Pineapple Chunks (fresh would be even better)
2 Jalapenos seeded and chopped into chunks
Reserved Pineapple Juice
Olive Oil
Red Wine Vinegar

Place 2 tbl Olive Oil into a non stick pan, heat to medium high

Add your pineapple and jalapenos, and saute till they get nicely browned

Add in approx 2 tbl red wine vinegar and the same of pineapple juice

Place on your Ham Steak and serve

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies with a TWIST

I had an Oatmeal Raisin Cookie delivery to make to the wonderful and sweet Al, who owns our local ClearBra Franchise. If you get a new car or even a used car, I highly recommend getting the Clear Bra application, it will save your paint! If you are anywhere near Oregon, come see Al!

Anyway, back to the cookie! I decided to keep it simple and use the recipe from the Quaker Oats lid, they are called Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. I made one regular batch and one WITH one A little extra that you can taste only if you know it is there! Cuz you know I am sneaky like that!

My tasting crew indicated that the little "extra" made these cookies over the top, and I swear to DOG they are one of the top two best cookie I have ever eaten!

Here we go! This is the recipe for the cookies with the EXTRA secret ingredients! Donna was the inspiration for the EXTRA!

1/2 pound (2 sticks) margarine or butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
3 cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup raisins
2 tsp Instant Chocolate Drink Mix
1 cup of Whoppers chopped

Heat oven to 350°F.

In large bowl, beat margarine and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well.

Add oats, whoppers and raisins; mix well.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack.

Cool completely, store tightly covered.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Cowboy Pancakes

My husband made this once for me many moons ago and I loved it, but had totally forgotten about it.

Somehow, when I was at my local quick mart, I got talking to the cashier and he told me it was his favorite dinner. He adds shredded cheese and salsa to his. It goes by many different names, but he referred to it as Cowboy Pancakes, and liked that one best!

It was a great reminder and my mouth was watering, so we had it for breakfast today.

I could not remember what the original name of the dish was, so I did a bit of research, it goes by many names!

Some other names for it are; "one-eyed Egyptian", "cowboy eggs", "egg in toast", "eggs in a blanket", "egg in a hat", "egg in a well", "eggs in a frame", "eggs in a nest", "bird (or birdie) in the nest", "eggy toast", "Eye Openers", "gas house eggs", "gasthaus eggs", "hole in one", "one-eyed jacks", "one-eyed sailor sandwich", "popeye eggs", "rocky mountain eggs", "wes-egg", "Egyptian fish eye", "peekaboo toast", "egg in the window", "eggie' in a basket" and "sunshine toast".

4 slices of hearty seedy bread (we love Dave's Killer Bread)
4 eggs
shredded cheese (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Butter one side of your bread

Using whatever you like, cut a round circle out of the middle of each bread slice, save them (we used an empty soup can with both ends removed)

Place the bread buttered side down on your griddle or skillet, break your egg in the middle (also place your bread circles on the griddle)

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook to your liking and flip over (if you want your eggs cooked hard, break the yolk), I like my yolks runny

Serve with fresh fruit and you have a quick, balanced meal

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Smores The Easy Way

I watch a ton of cooking shows as I imagine all of you do. My personal favorite is Barefoot Contessa. I was watching her show the other day and she made smores using cookies. What a great idea! I love smores and on occasion crave one.

I don't normally eat cookies, but I perused the cookie aisle and found these fabulous Digestive Cookies by LU. I had my marshmallows ready and proceeded to make the best smores I have ever eaten, seriously, give this a try!

I used a chop stick and toasted my marshmallow over the flames of my gas stove, but I have done it on a regular stove top as well. Toast your marshmallow and put it between 2 cookies, you will be in heaven.

1 package large sized marshmallows
1 package LU Digestive Cookies
1 chopstick or stick or even a kabob dealie would work

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