Posts Tagged With: recipes

Crock Pot Red Beans and Rice

red beans recipe

Crock pot red beans and rice

Glenn talks fondly of his years spent growing up in Slidell, Louisiana. Mostly it’s about the crazy things he did as a kid, but also he misses the red beans and rice served in the South. Apparently, Colorado don’t know nothing about red beans and rice. This is the only recipe that passes his taste test:

Louisiana-style Red Beans and Rice

  • 1 lb. red kidney beans
  • 8 cups boiling water
  • 1 large meaty ham bone
  • 1 lb. hot sausage (fried & drained)
  • 2 stalks chopped celery
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp garlic salt
  • large pinch of dried thyme
  • 4 bay leaves (removed before serving)
  • salt, pepper & cayenne pepper to taste.

Layer in crock pot and cook at least 8-10 hours on high. The longer it cooks, the better it gets! About 45 minutes before serving, mash about 1/4 of the beans to help thicken. Serve over rice (optional). Could serve with crusty bread or cornbread…yum!

I said the rice is optional because I don’t eat the rice. I guess it’s just me. It’s so good you don’t need the rice!

The best things I ate this weekend:

atkins diet salad

Spinach, arugula, feta, Roma tomatoes, leftover prime rib and Greek vinaigrette salad

Ham greek salad-blog

Spinach, cucumber, tomato, avocado, green olives, ham, feta with Greek Vinaigrette

Both salads are Atkins Diet (Phase 1) friendly; the red beans, not so much. So, 3 months of serious cardio and calorie counting and I only lost 5 pounds. Very frustrating. After careful evaluating of my food log it was clear: too many carbs and not enough protein is my problem. Hopefully, Atkins will get the scale moving in the right direction…

Categories: Food | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

November Joy: Let the holiday baking begin!

It’s that time of the year. Time to pull out baking recipes that you haven’t whipped up since last November/December. Time to try something new. Hubby and I are making a trip over to my old office tomorrow to pay a visit and to show off the Charger. So, I thought I would make them some treats to get them through working Thanksgiving week.


First up, Chocolate Peanut Butter & Pretzel Truffles (from Eating Well, Diabetic appropriate, low carb)

  • 1/2 c crunchy natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 c finely chopped salted pretzels
  • 1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips, meted (the recipe calls for milk chocolate, but I prefer semi-sweet)

Use good chocolate like Ghiradelli. Combine peanut butter and chopped salted pretzels in a small bowl. Chill in freezer until firm, about 15 minutes. Roll the peanut butter mixture into 20 balls (about 1 tsp each). Place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Roll frozen balls in melted chocolate. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 30 minutes. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Yum! Note to self: I got a little carried away when rolling the balls and made them too large!

Chocolate Bailey® Truffles (this is an old recipe that I used to make every Christmas)

  • one, 12 ounce package of semi-sweet chocolate chips (Ghiradelli is best)
  • 1/3 c whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp Baileys (or use extract of choice such as, vanilla, mint, almond)
  • melted white chocolate Quickcandy to drizzle
  • whole almonds, dipped in Quickcandy
  • optional: years ago I would roll the truffles in ground almonds or walnuts instead of doing the Quickcandy drizzle. This drizzle/almond this is a new idea I had to decorate the truffles.

In double boiler combine 12 ounce chocolate chips and whipping cream. Stir constantly, keep on low heat so that you do not burn the chocolate. When melted remove from heat and let cool slightly, then add Baileys or extract. Beat chocolate mixture until smooth. Put in refrigerator to chill completely, about 20 minutes. Drop by teaspoons onto prepared wax paper on baking sheet. Chill in freezer until firm enough to handle and roll into balls, about 10 minutes. Shape chocolate mixture into balls (if you chill too long, like I did, and can’t shape into balls, just let them sit out until easy to shape).

*Meanwhile, melt Quickcandy and dip half of the almonds, set aside on wax paper to set. (I had a little chocolate leftover from the above truffles so I double dipped the almonds.) Remove chocolate balls, drizzle with Quickcandy, add dipped almond to top of truffle. Let set. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Suggested to let truffle sit at room temp before serving, but honestly, who can wait that long? *Now, if you don’t want to do the drizzle thing roll the truffles in ground nuts and place in airtight container.

Christmas Amaryllis starting to peek through

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Adventures in French Cooking or Stick With What You Know

Okay, maybe it’s not exactly an adventure…it is just cooking after all. I have been wanting to try making a beef wellington for a while now. It can be a little daunting so I did my research checking out different recipes online. But not one to take the easy way out, I chose not to just make a beef wellington, but the French version, Boeuf en Croute! Go big or go home, right?

I used Laura Calder’s version (from the Cooking Channel). And because I can’t leave any recipe alone, I had to make my own modifications. I left out the creme fraiche because Target doesn’t carry it and I didn’t want to go through the hassle of making it from scratch…somewhere a Frenchman is crying right now. Instead of Madeira I used a Robert Mondavi Cabernet.

I was in the kitchen dicing 1 pound of mushrooms when my five-year-old Parker came into the kitchen. Curious, she asked what I was cutting up.


Real serious she informs me, “You know those things will killed you. They’re poisonous.”

I suppressed my laughter. “Well, I bought these at Target so I am pretty sure they’re not the poisonous kind.”

“That’s good.” And she runs off to do something else.

Cooking roast at high altitude can be tricking. It always seems to take longer than the recipe calls for. In fact, turkeys take longer to roast too. And it was the case here; 25 minutes longer! {sigh.} And that was a little too long because the beef came out more than medium. Oh, well. It was still good but not excellent. Laura makes it look soooo easy. But realistically I should just stick with what I do well which is chili, pulled pork, lasagna, and red beans with rice.

This just proves that I will never be a French cook. I didn’t even take a picture of the finished product. It wasn’t pretty.


Cooking Lessons with My Almost-Ten-Year-Old…

Alex not liking the hot oven

Adding the sauce

Finished Pizza Quesadillas

Alex is now old enough to start making more than just popcorn in the microwave. Tonight we made Rachael Ray’s Quesadilla Pizza. And we altered this recipe too. The girls don’t like green olives, scallions, or salsa, so we used pizza sauce, black olives and no scallions instead. Yummy!

Now, Rachael Ray is more my speed.

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Attention Pumpkin Pie Haters: Try This Pie

I am one of those Pumpkin Pie Haters. Give me any other pie, except Pumpkin, and I’ll eat the whole thing. I made this recipe years ago and I have to tell you, it changed my mind about pumpkin pie. Of course, it’s not really a traditional pumpkin pie…it’s a creamy pumpkin pie.

Recipe from Keebler Ready Crust

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 1/2 cup cold milk
  • 1 package (6-serving size) vanilla flavor instant pudding & pie filling
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 1/2 cups frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
  • Keebler® Ready Crust® Graham Pie Crust


  • In large bowl beat milk, pudding mix and spice with wire whisk for 1 minute. (Mixture will be very thick.) Whisk in pumpkin. Stir in whipped topping. Spread in crust. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until set.
  • Garnish with a dollop of whipped topping and a sprinkle of cinnamon before serving.**
  • Store in refrigerator.
  • *NOTE: May substitute 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves in place of pumpkin pie spice.

**I plan to sprinkle some chopped Texas pecans atop a dollop of whipped topping before serving…yummy!

This is one of the 2 dishes we plan to make from “scratch” this year. The rest of the Thanksgiving meal is from a local grocery store. It’s completely cooked; all we have to do is heat it up. Let’s face it, easier is better on Thanksgiving day. I hope it’s not a disaster.

Categories: family holiday, Food, Holidays | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

St. Patrick’s Day inspired McFlurry at home

My girls love the McFlurry from McDonald’s. And who doesn’t like ice cream and Oreo cookies? That is what I would like to know! I made this St. Patrick’s Day inspired version at home.

shamrock mcflurry treat

It’s pretty simple…you don’t even need to right it down. Take some frozen vanilla yogurt (or you could use ice cream), blend in a blender with a few drops of green food coloring. Put a few Oreo cookies in a Ziploc bag and break up with a rubber mallet. (What, doesn’t everyone have a mallet in their kitchen?) I found it was easier to hand-mix the green ice cream and the cookies together in a bowl rather than use the blender. Transfer to a pretty dish…’cause everything taste better in a pretty dish, silly. Add a sugar shamrock and enjoy!

my taste-tester gave it 2 thumbs up!

Categories: Food | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

december daily | day sixteen

december daily | day 16 | 25 days of advent

I have officially “shopped til I dropped”! I hadn’t started Christmas shopping until Thursday. Oh yeah, I am a tad bit stressed. I had a few medical test earlier this week that just piled on the stress. (It’s okay Mom…nothing that is unmanageable.) But still. I spent the last two days making Christmas gifts (above). On the left is pie in a jar. This is totally from Our Best Bites. I came up with a Cranberry-Cherry pie recipe for the filling though, which will be at the end of this post. The right is, again totally Our Best Bites, homemade hot fudge. It is so good! Butter, sweetened condensed milk and chocolate…Serious goodness! I am including in the gift bags these single-serving Haagen-Daas ice cream cups. And the custom made round labels on the top of the mini pies are from My Own Labels. They have really cute label designs for all your homemade gifts and they also offer tags and unique packaging.  Think wine labels, canning labels, wedding favors, party favors…so much more. The website is user-friendly to design and customize the labels to your needs.

Cran-cherry pie filling: Pay attention ’cause it’s hard (snort). 1 large can of cherry pie filling, 1 can of whole cranberries, 2 teaspoons of ginger. That’s it. Mix together and fill in mini pie jars. You can also use this recipe for a large pie too. Go to Our Best Bites to get all the details of how to make the mini pies. Your gift recipient will be soooo happy you did!

*****Need more creative ideas? Check out: Today’s Creative Blog.

Categories: Christmas, Food | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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