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Category Archives: recipes

Black Eyed Peas with Hog Jowls

Happy New Years!! My mom always would make us Black Eyed Peas for the New Year.  It’s about the only thing she cooks all year and it gets the year off to a good start!!  My mom is the only person I know that puts lentils in her Black Eyed Peas.  I looked it up and Lentils on New Years is an Italian custom and since she is Italian, that makes sense!!  Both Black Eyed Peas and Lentils are eaten as a symbol for good luck and prosperity! I really want both, so this year I decided I was going to make my own Black Eyed Peas!

Recipe:
8 ounces Hog Jowls
2 cups of Black Eyed Peas
1/2 cup of Lentils
Pico De Gallo (I got this pre-made from Krogers)
1 can of Rotel
Pinch of salt and pepper
Tsp of sugar

1st step:  Pick through the Black Eyed Peas and then soak them over night. /home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/03b/33389964/files/2015/01/img_1413.jpg

2nd step:   Boil the Hog Jowls for about an hour. /home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/03b/33389964/files/2015/01/img_1412.jpg

Using the same water, add in the black eyed peas, lentils, and rest of the ingredients and simmer with the lid on for 2.5 hours or until the peas are tender

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Jalapeño Sausage Balls

This is a year of creating new Christmas traditions!! My new German Shepherd puppy, Kaizer, finally has all of his shots and is able to go to places that other dogs go.  First stop on Christmas morning was to take him to the Katy Trail for a walk.  While we were out, we noticed that the Katy Trail Ice House had the fire pits going, so after our walk, we went and warmed up by the fire.  I’m not sure if they were open on Christmas day, but they were nice enough to come build a fire and leave water for all the people who exercise on the trail.  Kaiser absolutely loved being out there and greeting all the other dogs.  We have hereby renamed the Katy Trail to the Kaizer Trail and the Katy Trail Ice House is now the Kaizer Trail Ice House.

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After the walk on the Katy Trail, we went home and made Jalapeño Sausage Balls.  They were so delicious and will be how we start off all of our future Christmas mornings!! They are SO easy to make and they are SOOOOO good!! I wasn’t sure I’d like the jalapeño in them, so I made half with peppers and half without. From now on I will make them ALL with the jalapeños!!

2 Cups of Bisquick
1 Cup of Cheese
1 lb of browned sausage (I prefer the Hot)
Diced Jalapeños to taste

Combined the ingredients until all the Bisquick is mixed together and there is no dry flour. Roll the mixture in to small balls and put on a cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 20 – 25 minutes until brown.
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Italian chicken salad

One thing I will tell you about a cruise is that you WILL gain weight.  I had so much fun on the cruise, but I gained about 6 lbs.  YIKES!  I’d already gained about 15 since I moved back to Dallas, so 6 more is totally not acceptable to me!! PLUS, my 30 year reunion is in 2 more weeks.  So, what is one to do in this situation?  Get back on track.  Start eating healthy.

I went to the book store and got a couple of South Beach Diet books.  I’m not going to do the full diet.  I don’t want anything that is restrictive, but they have some really good recipes in those books.  I’ve already done grocery shopping and plan to eat my own cooking for lunch and dinner rather than eat a lean cuisine at lunch and go to a restaurant for dinner.

This one I kind of made up on my own, but it was really good!!

Baked Italian Chicken:
1 chicken breast
1/4 bottle of Zesty Italian Dressing Lite
Lemon pepper to taste

Put the chicken breast in a pan and cover it with the italian dressing, it doesn’t have to be all the way full of the dressing, just enough so there is a little at the bottom.  Shake as much lemon pepper on top of the chicken as you like.  Put in the oven at 400 degrees for about an hour or until cooked thoroughly.

Salad:
50/50 Spring Mix
Zesty Italian Dressing, Lite
Mozzarella cheese
Baked italian dressing
(you can also add tomatoes, onions, etc on top)

Make a bed of lettuce.  Put mozzarella cheese on top of the lettuce. Put chicken strips on top of the cheese. Cover with Italian Dressing.

You now have a healthy salad to eat that will fill you up!!

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Moscow Mules on the Roof

The best thing about my loft is the roof.  I feel like I have my own personal oasis to wonder over all the hopes and dreams in Downtown Dallas.  What a view I have!!

What better way to enjoy my view than to have a Moscow Mule on the Roof. The Moscow Mule is the “IN” drink of the season!  In fact, I’ve read that the copper cups are the most stolen cup at the restaurants and bars that have them.  I didn’t steal mine, of course, I got mine from Sears.  I chose to get the 20 ounce cups so I don’t have to make more than one.

Moscow Mule Recipe:
2 shots of vodka
Half of a ginger beer
Squeeze half a lime in the drink
It’s pretty important to serve the Moscow Mule in a copper cup.  It makes all the difference in the world!!

Be careful though. This is a STRONG drink.  Drink responsibly!

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Spicy fruit

I went to the doctor recently for my stomach problems. Turns out I’m not eating enough fiber.  I don’t really like fruit, but luckily the ladies at work recently introduced me to Tajin.  It’s a spicy blend that you put on fruit to give it a kick.  Let me tell you, since trying it, I am addicted.  I’m hoping that this will make me eat more fruit and I will have fewer stomach issues in the future!!! 20140616-110310-39790807.jpg

Campout Chicken Taco Soup

Instead of dealing with all the drunks out on the road for New Year’s Eve, I decided to head out to Lake Tawakoni and go camping.  I guess I should use the word “camping” lightly, because going in a travel trailer isn’t exactly roughing it!  In fact, a lot of people actually LIVE in their travel trailers.  I stayed at the Sunset Resort; I think 99% of the people who were there actually live there.  My two favorite parts of the trip were starting a campfire each day and cooking out, not that I cooked over the campfire or anything.

One of the best things I cooked was a Chicken Taco Soup. I’m not sure why, but everything tastes better when it’s cooked outside, even if you use regular kitchen utensils like I did.  This crockpot soup was made ALMOST entirely from cans so it was really EASY!! Not only that, I bought all generic cans, so it was really cheap!

  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 (15.25 oz.) can sweet corn, drained
  • 1 (10.75 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (10 oz.) can green enchilada sauce
  • 1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 Shredded Rotisserie Chicken

Pour all of the ingredients in the crockpot, cook on high for as long as you want. I think I had it on for a couple hours.  Stir it occasionally.

Garnish it with chips, shredded cheese, sour cream, or anything else you can come up with!  This was delicious!!! I will probably even make this for dinner at home!!

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Easy Cowboy Cornbread Casserole

I saw this recipe on Facebook last month and it’s been on my mind ever since.  I’ve been waiting on the weather to get a little cooler since cool weather and cornbread go hand in hand!  I’m pretty sure that this isn’t low carb, but sometimes you have to live a little!  This was well worth the wait!  Where has this been all my life!?

Ingredients:

Corn Bread 
2 packages of Mexican Cornbread Mix
1 can of Cream Style Corn
Jalapeño slices
Eggs
Milk

Center
2 lbs Hamburger Meat
2 cans rotel
1 can Ranch Style Beans
Chopped onions
Bag of shredded Cheese

20131006-195340.jpgBrown the ground beef, drain the grease….add ro-tel, onions, and ranch style beans.  Simmer for 10 minutes.

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Make the cornbread according to directions on the back of the bag, add Can of Cream of Corn, jalapeños and half of the bag of cheese.20131006-195410.jpg

Grease the bottom of the 8×12 casserole dish.  Pour half of the cornbread mix to the bottom of the pan. 20131006-195424.jpgAdd the meat mixture, then put the other half of the cheese on top.

20131006-195438.jpgCover the meat mixture with the other half of the cornbread mixture.  

20131006-195449.jpgCook in the oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until you can poke a toothpick in the middle and not get any mix on it.

20131006-195459.jpgServe and eat!

Low Carb Burger

I’m still attempting to do a low carb diet, although the Labor Day Weekend set me back a little bit. I’m pretty sure Blue Bell ice cream has no carbs these days, so I may be ok! The best thing to do when you get off track, though, is to get right back on track.

The hard part of doing a low carb diet is that you really can’t have any bread. This usually means no comfort food like hamburgers. One of the worst things about eating a hamburger is that after you eat it, you feel all bloated because of all the carbs in the bread. Today was the day I decided to fix that problem. I thought I’d attempt to pair my low carb bread with a burger. I was so excited when it tasted MARVELOUS! I don’t think I’ll ever eat a burger on regular bread again. The low carb bread didn’t get all soggy or anything!!

I might also want to mention that I made the pre-made burgers from Krogers on my George Foreman Grill!! What a winning combination!

Ingredients:
Hamburger
Low Carb Bread
Cheese
Lettuce
Mayonnaise (This probably wasn’t a great choice, but I like mayonnaise)

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Dallas ISD Chess Pie

Dallas ISD had the best cafeteria food in the 80’s. Almost everything was made from scratch. Even with the good food, I used to get a chocolate bar from Mr. Lancaster’s class and get two $.10 rolls with butter for lunch. Some of my favorite school cafeteria food, (when I ventured off from my lunch of champions), were Fiesta Salad, Rectangular Pizza, and Chicken Fried Steak!!! I even liked those fried fish squares with tartar sauce.

I think DISD was most famous for Chess Pie, but when everyone started to worry about childhood obesity, pies were off the menu. My friend, Flo, has been trying to recreate the recipe, and he thinks he has it!! Since this is a little more than my skills will allow, someone has to try to make this and let me know how it turns out!!!

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Photo by The Merry Gourmet!

DISD Chess Pie

1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons Cornmeal
1/2 Cup Melted Margarine
3 Whole Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 Cup of Milk

Mix sugar and cornmeal. Add melted margarine and mix thoroughly. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each. Add liquids and mix well. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until done.

 

 

 

Chicken on the Inside Grill

I started my low carb diet this week. The key to being successful is being prepared. I planned out what I would eat this week and made all my lunches on Sunday. I went and bought a George Foreman Grill at Target so I could have grilled chicken. The thing I like best about the George Foreman Grill is that it is built on an angle, so all the fat drains to a little cup that you put at the bottom of the grill opening. So far I have made sausage and chicken on the grill. Both have tasted great! I’m happy to say that the diet seems to be working, too. I’ve already lost 4 lbs! I don’t think I’ll lose that kind of weight each week, but it’s good to get some of that summer weight off!!!

Lemon Pepper Chicken

Ingredients:
Chicken
Lemon Pepper

Apply lemon pepper on the chicken generously and put it on the George Foreman grill until cooked!

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