Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Jalapeno cheddar deer summer sausage...er...um...winter meatloaves...

Deer is not a meat that
I am familiar with, but I love a challenge.
So my boyfriend killed a deer, 
challenge accepted!  We processed
it ourselves.  It really is a beautiful
lean meat.  Only time will tell if 
I can cook it...or not.   We were 
wanting to try a summer sausage, 
so we found a recipe online that had
good reviews and seemed to be the 
flavor we were looking for and
tweaked it just a bit.

The results....well I am still
iffy on what we have here.  
To me,
it is definitely different than
summer sausage, but more like
mini meatloaves with a nice punch of 
flavor.  I ate it with cheese and Ritz 
crackers and couldn't stop, 
so I definitely like it.
  I guess I will call it
winter meatloaves...yep, that is it!
Mini winter meatloaves!

Summer sausage/winter meatloaves

1 1/4 cup water
3 T tenderizer with spices
2 t mustard seed
2 t garlic powder
2 t pepper
3 t liquid smoke
4 lb ground meat
2 c grated extra sharp cheddar 
2-3 jalapenos seeded and minced
(I wish I had left a few seeds for a little more spice)

Stir the water, tenderizer, mustard seed, garlic powder, black pepper and liquid smoke in a large bowl until blended.  Mix in the ground meat, cheese and peppers.  Mix 2-3 minutes, until well blended.
Shape into logs, about 2 inches in diameter and wrap each tightly with foil and refrigerate for 24 hours.

This is what they looked like going into the oven...
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Place the unwrapped logs on a foil covered cookie sheet.  Cook for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours just until the internal temp is 170.
Check a couple of times and pour off any excess juices.  Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to drain and cool to room temperature.  Refrigerate or freeze logs.  

I ate this with cheese and crackers just because I couldn't wait to try it.  I think it would be good served as a meatloaf too with a little topping of ketchup and brown sugar heated up as a sauce and some mashed potatoes and gravy and some green beans!

Love what you eat and eat what you love! :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Raviolasagna...or whatever you wanna call it :)

Two things are necessary for you to
want to make this dish.
One...you gotta love lasagna
Two...you gotta love raviolis.
If you or your family fill these two 
categories...you should try this!

It has to cook for nearly an hour,
 but it takes just
a few minutes to put 
together.  So if you are needing
to pop something in the oven...this is it!


1 pkg frozen ravioli
(I tried half cheese and half meat raviolis. 
I personally liked the cheese better)
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 jar spaghetti sauce
(my favorite is Ragu flavored with meat)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spread a little less than a third of the spaghetti sauce in a casserole dish.  Cover with 1 cup mozzarella.  Make a layer of raviolis laying them side by side on top of the cheese. 

Top this with half of the remaining sauce and a cup of cheese.  One more layer of raviolis, then top them with the sauce and the last cup of cheese.  Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes then uncover and bake for 20 more.  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Serve with garlic cheese bread.

Love what you eat and eat what you love!  :)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Chicken, cream cheese, spinach taquitos

I was given a recipe by my cousin 
Ashley, who admits she likes to
cook but hasn't done much of it
in her lifetime.  These taquitos 
seem to be a hit with her crowd, so 
I figured, what the hay...let's make 'em!

First off, as always, 
I cannot follow a recipe.  I have no
clue why, I just can't.  They usually are 
not huge changes, typically I just 
double the cheese or add more 
sour cream.  Things that will make
the dish cheesier or creamier.  

Cheesy chicken taquitos

                   1 rotisserie chicken 
                   8 oz cream cheese
                   1/2 cup sour cream
                   2 cups sharp cheddar grated
                   1 can rRotel drained
                   2 cups chopped fresh spinach
                   salt & pepper
                   1 or 2 pkgs small flour tortillas
                   oil for frying

Shred the meat from the rotisserie chicken into a large bowl.  Warm the cream cheese in the microwave just to get it soft.  Add the cream cheese, sour cream, cheddar, rotel and spinach to the bowl and gently mix well.  Add a few dashes of salt and pepper.   Lay one of the tortillas out and put about 2 tablespoons of the mixture on it and roll tightly. 

Depending on how many people you are feeding, you can add more or less of the mixture to the tortillas.  From what I could tell, it looked like I could have easily made 20 from the filling.  I had a hungry bystander who ate it with chips while I was cooking, so it's hard to say.  :) 

Continue rolling the tortillas until you have the amount you need.   After you have them rolled, add enough oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet and cook them 3-4 at a time over medium low heat. Turn them to brown on all sides.  Remove from oil and let drain on paper towels.  You can dip these in whatever you are craving.  My favorite was slightly warmed sour cream.  I was out of salsa, I will try that next time.  I am sure guacamole would be awesome.  

Love what you eat and eat what you love! :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Poppy seed chicken casserole

I have no idea why I have never
made poppy seed chicken.  
It is easy and yummy.
For some reason it hit me yesterday and
that is what I decided to make for supper.

I always look at 5 or 6 recipes on
 Pinterest and then 
take from them what I want and
make a combination of all the recipes.

I saw it served over rice and over noodles.
I decided to add the noodles to 
it and just make it into a complete 
casserole dish.  Most didn't have cheese, but
I looooove cheese, so mine got cheese.  :)

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

                1 lb shredded cooked chicken breast 
                1 can cream of chicken soup
                1 can cream of mushroom soup
                8 oz sour cream
                4 oz sharp cheddar cheese grated
                1/2 package wide egg noodles cooked
                few sprinkles of salt & pepper
                1 1/2 sleeves of Ritz crackers crushed
                3/4 stick of melted butter
                1-2 tablespoons poppy seeds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Gently stir the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl until well mixed.  Spray a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and pour the mixture into the dish and spread it until even.  Top with the crushed Ritz and pour the melted butter over the crackers.  Sprinkle with poppy seeds.  Cook at 350 for 30 minutes.  Enjoy.

  Love what you eat and eat what you love! :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Frito Chili Pie

Frito Chili Pie...three words
that just make my belly instantly

Some foods are just better in the 
fall of the year...chili is a quintessential
fall yumminess.  

Growing up, our Frito pie was simply
putting your Frito's in a bowl and covering
them with chips and cheese.  After 
having a request for Frito Pie...it has
been brought to my attention that
this can be baked into a glorious

After many Pinterest recipe browsings, 
and drooling over pictures of said PIE...
I am ready to make my own.

Frito Chili Pie

1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1 can Rotel
1 can chili beans
1 can kidney beans (drained)
1 pk chili seasoning
1 can tomato sauce
1 cup cheddar cheese grated
 1 cup montery jack cheese grated
sour cream for topping 

Brown ground beef in a large skillet.

  Then add the 
rest of the chili ingredients.
Let simmer about 15-20 minutes. 
 Cover the bottom of a casserole dish with Frito's.  Top with a generous layer of the chili.  
I had alot of chili left over that
 I am gonna use
for loaded chili baked potatoes...
with lots of cheese and sour cream! 
They are the bomb!

After baking my pie, I realized I should
 have waited to add the next 
layer of chips and cheese. 
They say you learn from your mistakes...
well I am letting ya'll learn from mine.  
It was still yummy but the cheese can get a 
little tough if you cook it the whole time.

So bake just the bottom layer of chips and the chili at 350 for 15 minutes.

THEN add a top layer of chips and

a big layer of cheese...
and cook for 5 more minutes.
This will let the cheese stay ooey gooey!

I made my dad one to go before I 
was ready to bake the casserole, 
 I just added some chili
to the top of the Frito's and some cheese.
It works great either way.  

Enjoy your FALL! 

Love what you eat and eat what you love! :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

An easy versatile Mexican dish for our busy lives :)

I was experimenting in the kitchen 
recently and came up with something
that will now be a staple around my house.  
I have some in the freezer already.
It thaws out easily in the microwave and 
can be used in alot of different
tasty ways.

I had started making some plain ole tacos
but when I tasted it...BLECH...it was bland.
I had tried a smothered burrito from
Taco Bell, and I realized
 that was what I was 
craving.  They are the bomb!
I happened to have some burrito
seasoning in the cabinet and added
half a packet...wham!  Instantly it was
much better!  It still looked plain, so I also
added a can of chili beans and the result
was delicious. 

The great thing about this meaty topping
 is you can use it so many ways.  
It is great on taco shells whether hard 
or soft.  It also makes an awesome
 topping for tortilla chips for
some nachos supreme.  But my favorite
is probably a loaded Mexican baked potato.
Just make your tater and add the meat 
and whatever else you desire...I prefer lots of
sharp cheddar cheese and sour cream....
maybe even some ranch dressing.

(since it is like a taco and burrito)

1 onion diced
3 T olive oil
1 lb lean ground beef
a few dashes of Cavendar's Greek season
1 can Rotel undrained
1/2 packet taco seasoning
1/2 packet burrito seasoning
1 can chili beans undrained
Sharp cheddar for topping

Cook onions over medium heat in 
olive oil until translucent.
  Add meat and Greek seasoning and cook just until browned.  Add Rotel, both seasonings and beans.   Cover and cook about 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring a time or two until juices have cooked down.  Put this meat mixture on whatever
your little heart desires.  :)

Love what you eat and eat what you love! :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The quail cooking experiment...

I enjoy trying new foods and 
experimenting with how to cook them.
Recently had some "homegrown" quail make
its way into my fridge.  It basically looks like
small chickens, so I treated it
as such.

Here are a couple of the birdies after 
marinating in soy sauce for a few hours.
I also sprinkled them with Lawry's seasoning
and some garlic powder and added a 
few tablespoons of olive oil.

I cooked them breast side up on the
grill over low flame for about 5-7 minutes
then flipped them and cooked another
5-7 minutes.  I didn't want 
to overcook them because I knew
they were supposed to be drier
than chicken, but really I want
any form of bird meat to
be thoroughly done.  

Overall, the meat was good.  A bit
more gamey and a little dry for my 
taste, but hey...it was free, so I 
enjoyed it.  And they looked 
really nice.  :)

Deep frying them would probably
be a good method to try.  I am sure it would
let them retain more juices and 
just about anything is good deep fried. 

And actually, the meat would probably 
have went well in a quail version of
chicken rotel.  
Bottom line, I won't be buying any
quail, but if it is free...heck 
yeah...I will cook
it up!  

Love what you eat and eat what you love!  :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sour cream beef enchilada bake...extra gooey please.

Sometimes you just
know what it is that you want.

In this case, 
I was craving something 
with an 
ooey gooey

This enchilada bake hit the spot!

I tweaked a recipe that I found online to
make it how I wanted it to taste. 

Sour Cream Beef Enchilada Bake

1 small onion diced
1 lbs ground beef
1 (1 1/4 ounce) packet taco seasoning
3-4 T water
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies
8 ounces sour cream
1 (10 1/2 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
6 flour tortillas
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded


Saute onions until translucent.
Add meat and brown, then drain grease.
Add taco seasoning and ½ green chilies and water
and cook on low heat for a couple of minutes.
Combine sour cream, soup, and other ½ 
chilies in a saucepan and heat through.
Pour enough soup mixture into a 9 x 13” pan 
to coat bottom.
Heat tortillas 30 seconds in the microwave.
Fill tortillas with meat mix and top with
sharp cheddar, wrap 
and place in pan.
Pour the rest of the soup mixture over the top 
of tortilla wraps and sprinkle with the Monterey 
jack cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees; for 30-35 minutes, or 
until cheese is melted and soup is bubbling 
on the sides.
Serve with shredded lettuce, sour cream, 
tomatoes, salsa...or whatever your
heart desires.  :)

Love what you eat and eat what you love! :)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Pork tenderloin smothered in provolone and mushrooms

Sometimes all I need to make 
my creative juices flow is
to see a picture.
This was a photo I saw last week:


It made me crave some kind of 
cheesey ooey gooey goodness.

The picture has chicken under the 
lovely cheese, but I tend to use more
pork tenderloin.  I think it has more 
flavor and stays juicier.

I buy the 2 pack of tenderloins and 
slice them into pretty thick pieces,
about an inch I would say.  

I normally don't use butter but I did for
this project.  I put a couple of
pats in the skillet and got it nice and hot 
to get a good brown on the tenderloin.

Turn the heat down to medium and
flip them after about 3-4 minutes.

They need to cook about 4-5 more minutes
You can tell when the pink is no 
longer there.  I like them just barely done
because they stay really juicy and
super tender.

In another skillet, add a couple of pats
of butter and a container of
fresh sliced mushrooms.  Saute them
until golden brown.

I took a couple of slices of provolone,
some of the mushrooms and a little fresh
parsley that I am growing and melted it with 
a pat of butter in a small skillet.
Then poured it over 3 of the pork
pieces.  You could probably
melt the cheese in the microwave over
them, and it would be less messy but still
ooey and gooey.  

Even though I used butter, this is 
still overall a healthy dish.  Mushrooms
are very low calorie and tenderloin
is pretty much one of the leanest
cuts out there.  Provolone as far
as cheese goes is on the low calorie end.
So I didn't feel guilty about eating 
every single gooey bite!  :)

Monday, June 2, 2014

My afternoon with the EAGLES.

The beauty and majestic grace of
the bald eagle has always intrigued me.

To see them in their natural 
habitat was just plain awesomeness.

 I first got the opportunity
a while back to see them 
and as luck would 
have it...I left my bleeping 
camera card at home!  Oh the horror.  :(

2nd opportunity arises...the sun went 
down too soon.  It was 
a great time riding, and I got to see them
but still no pictures.

3rd opportunity...Bingo!
I wish I had a longer lens, but hey 
they turned out pretty decent for a
point and shoot kind of girl.  :)

I want photography to be my lazy hobby, 
which in my mind means I don't want to
learn all the technical things about
my camera.  I can tell when a picture
looks good to me and that is really all 
I am after.  :)

They were at their nest and kept flying overhead squawking at me.  Here is one flying by the
huge nest.

I know they were not happy
to see me.  If they knew how happy I
was to see them, they would have posed
for me.

Instead, they just flew back and forth 
landing and taking off, if I got anywhere near.
I looked pretty silly chasing them back
and forth I am sure, but it was just "me and them".

Obviously here, he is taking off and 
calling me a several choice names
I am sure.  

He probably was figuring out how he
could poop on my head.  

He may have been thinking about it in this 
picture.  He could have got 
me pretty good.  :)

I didn't get many of them sitting down. 
They would fly if I got anywhere near.
I had to zoom pretty good to get
this one.

I will definitely try to get back to
see them.  Maybe I will have a 
better lens next time.  I will
be taking some sunscreen next time. 
I normally am adamant about taking it with
me, but I forgot just how far away the 
eagles were and even got lost a couple 
of times.  I had
taken the top off the Jeep for
the first time and got a little toasty.  :(

Get out there and take some pics!  :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Goodbye to the winter that would not end...hello SPRING!



I am ready to sweat and complain
about it.  :)

Bring on some mowing, gardening,
weeding, working, playing, swimming,
riding, fishing chilling....and grilling!

To me, food just tastes so much
 better when it is grilled.
I have been grilling throughout the 
cold, bitter winter,
 but only the foods that 
don't take long to cook, like a 
steak or yummy piece of salmon.  

The grilled jalapeno popper is 
one of my favorite appetizers, but
they take time on the grill, so they 
are pretty much a warm weather
food.  Sure, you can
make them in the oven, but they
just aren't the same.  

Here's how you make 'em...

1 package of bacon
12 jalapenos (the bigger ones stuff easier)
lite cream cheese
sharp cheddar

Cut the caps off the jalapenos and make a slit down one side.  Depending on how hot you like them, remove all of the seeds and gill for mild and leave some of it if you want them hot.  Stuff each pepper with a small amount of cream cheese and a chunk of sharp cheddar.  Using a toothpick, put the cap back on to help hold the cheese inside while grilling.  Wrap each pepper tightly with a strip of bacon.  Place them in the freezer for about an hour.  This will let the cheese harden and not melt out as bad while grilling.  Place these on a grill over a low flame and turn them several times while cooking.  When the bacon is cooked, the pepper will be soft and done as well.  These are best when they are just slightly still warm. 

Love what you eat, and eat what you love! :)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Finally a post to explain the SPARK PLUGS

I decided it was time to pay homage 
to the third part of my title.  
I have talked plenty about FOOD and 
quite a bit about FASHION.
Now I will mention the SPARK PLUGS 
that is part of my life.

My parents opened an auto parts store
43 years ago which just happened
to be the year before I was born.
Therefore I was basically
 raised in said auto parts 
store and worked there throughout
high school and college then 
took over in the year 2000.

Being a girl in the automotive business
has definitely been interesting. 
 I typically get
2 kinds of people: those who 
know me and want to ask me how to
fix their vehicle vs. those who don't know
me and because I am a girl, don't 
think I know a thing about 
a vehicle.

I have done my share of minor 
mechanic work
and actually love it.  I don't do 
the really big jobs. 
 I tend to stick with things
like starters, water pumps, tune-ups
and fixing basic 
"not running good" issues.
A 2-3 hour job is fun, whereas
if a job runs into 5-6 hours,
 I tend to lose interest.  I am 
definitely a "shade tree" mechanic, but
I am fine with that.  
I do all the work on my own vehicles, 
they are my main concern.

The picture above is of my blue Ford that 
I just love to drive around.  It is
a pain to keep clean, but I still like it.

Here is a pic when I was changing the oil
recently.  It really helps to have a step ladder.  Otherwise I usually almost fall
off the bumper.  

I didn't realize until I started changing
the oil that it held 10 quarts.  I had taken
6 quarts home as a guesstimate and had
to go back for more.  
It really needs a rear wheel seal, but that 
is one of the "bigger" jobs that I was 
referring to.  I eventually am going to 
tackle it, just waiting for some warmer

I will try to say more about the
 "spark plugs" side of my life in future
postings.  I would like to 
explain to especially the ladies out there
how important it is to know at least 
a few basics about your car or truck.
I have seen too many engines get 
ruined when all they needed was a little

 Check your oil and fluids, people! :)