Sausage and Green Chile Breakfast Enchiladas-1

Alrighty! Here they are, as promised- breakfast enchiladas. Flour tortillas filled with sausage, egg, and green chiles, then topped with green enchilada sauce and monterey jack cheese. Sounds pretty great, huh? Well they are! I got the idea from my uncle Steve who happens to be an awesome cook.

As I mentioned before, we served these at Cassidy’s Birthday Brunch a couple of weeks ago and they were a big hit. I think they’re perfect brunch fare- just “breakfast-y” enough with the sausage and eggs, and the green chiles, cheese, and green enchilada sauce add tons of great tex-mex flavor. These can also be assembled the night before and baked in the morning. It doesn’t get much easier than that! Can’t wait to make these again!

Sausage and Green Chile Breakfast Enchiladas-2

Sausage and Green Chile Breakfast Enchiladas

1 pound ground breakfast sausage (I used mild, but hot would be great too)
6 large eggs
1 4-oz can green chiles
salt and pepper
1 19-oz can green enchilada sauce
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the sausage and drain off grease. Scramble the eggs. Combine the sausage, scrambled eggs, and green chiles in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Spoon a little of the sausage/egg mixture in a flour tortilla, roll up, and place in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining filling/tortillas. Top with the rest of the enchilada sauce and sprinkle with cheese.

Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes, until bubbly. Serves 6.

Sing For Your Supper original


Peach Cobbler Enchiladas…

Insanely scrumptious.

Devilishly delicious.

Delightfully sinful.

(These are all perfect phrases to describe what I feel every time I take a bite of this aaaaaaaa-maaaaaa-ziiiing dessert).

As my Peach Cobbler Week comes to a close, I thought something as wacky as peach cobbler enchiladas would be a great way to end with a bang. Don’t be thrown off by the title – obviously, this IS a dessert (duh) and has nothing whatsoever to do with Mexican food or traditional enchiladas.

My dad received this recipe from a coworker years ago and it immediately took my family by storm. Something magical happens when fresh peaches, butter (and lots of it), and sugar meet flour tortillas. It’s a bubbly, gooey, buttery, peachy miracle, is what it is!  So run, don’t walk, to the grocery store and buy yourself the ingredients for these! You. Will. Thank. Me.

Peach Cobbler Enchiladas

4 cups peaches, peeled and sliced
1 cup sugar
squirt fresh lemon juice

2 sticks unsalted butter*
1 cup sugar
pinch salt
10-12 flour tortillas
cinnamon and sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 325.
Place the sliced peaches in a large pot and add just enough water to cover. Stir in the 1 cup sugar and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until peaches are soft and most of the water has cooked down; about 20 minutes. Remove peaches with a slotted spoon and reserve 1/2 cup juice.

Bring sugar, butter, and the reserved peach juice to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2-3 minutes, just until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.

Fill tortillas with the cooked peaches and arrange in a single layer in a greased 9×13 pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Pour the melted butter mixture over the top and sprinkle with additional cinnamon and sugar.

Cover with foil and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Bake for 1 hour uncovered, until bubbly. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving. Serves 8.

Recipe source: heavily adapted from a former coworker of my dad’s

*Clearly, this recipe is NOT of the health food variety. I realize that. But with that in mind: YES, you can use margarine instead of real butter. And YES, you can cut back on the amounts of butter and sugar called for (even though I’ve already cut the recipe down from 3 sticks of butter and 2 cups of sugar). BUT, please do not blame me when it doesn’t turn out. As they say, “all things in moderation”. Just eat it and be happy. :)



I realize that lately, I’ve made quite a few recipes that I claim to be “the best ever”. I guess I’ve just been really lucky with my choice of recipes here lately…what can I say? Apparently I have great taste! ;-) And here’s another one to add to that “Best Ever” category; the Homesick Texan’s Salsa Verde Sour Cream Enchiladas…these are pure gold, my friends. Pure. Gold. I have to be honest, when it comes to sour cream enchiladas, I’m not a big fan. They just always seem really bland to me, and I almost never order them at restaurants. But when I spotted these on The Novice Chef, something about them was just reaching out to me…“make me, Amy; make me!”. Thank the good Lord I did; after just one bite, hubby and I both deemed these the BEST enchiladas we’ve EVER had. That’s a pretty serious statement, y’all. Tex-Mex isn’t something we take lightly down here…it’s serious stuff. But these are seriously good enchiladas. I will most assuredly be making these over, and over, and over again.

Salsa Verde Sour Cream Enchiladas
-seen on The Novice Chef, originally from the Homesick Texan

4 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I cooked mine in the crackpot for about 5 hours)
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 Jalapeno, seeded, minced
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups sour cream (I used reduced-fat and it was still insanely good)
16 oz jar Medium Salsa Verde
1 & 1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
12 flour tortillas, small fajita size
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack
1/2 medium onion, diced

Preheat the oven to 350. Melt butter over medium-high heat. Saute onions and Jalapenos until soft and then add the garlic, cooking for 1 minute. Stir in the flour and let cook 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the chicken broth until smooth and let cook until bubbly. Stir in the sour cream, salsa, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper, garlic powder and cilantro until the sauce is smooth. Remove from heat.

Spray/grease a 9×13 baking dish. Add 1 cup of sauce to the bottom of the pan. Add chicken and cheese to the center of each tortilla and roll, placing seam-side down in the dish. Pour the sauce over the enchiladas, top with leftover cheese, and bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until top is brown and bubbling.

Yields: 12-15 enchiladas


Grandmother’s Enchiladas…

These stacked enchiladas come from my great-grandmother; but not Baba, the one who’s recipes I post so often – my other great-grandmother (my Daddy’s grandmother). I probably owe a lot of my culinary curiosity to Grandmother. There were three things I always wanted to do when I visited Grandmother- 1. put on one of her long, comfy nightgowns, 2. root around in her jewelry boxes, and 3. get in her kitchen and make a giant mess. She would let me put practically anything I wanted in her frying pan and “cook” my own little recipes (under her supervision, of course…I probably would’ve burned the house down had I been left alone. I was that kid) – one time in particular I remember making an epspecially large mess with a tub of marshmallow fluff. There was nothing I enjoyed more than having free reign in a grown-up’s kitchen. Good times….

Anyway, on to the enchiladas. When I was first married, my mother gave me a stack of hand-written recipes (all of her favorites) in my stocking at Christmas. A lot of the recipes have little stories written along with them, explaining where they came from or how they got to be so loved. Here is the story my mom wrote on the back of the recipe card for these enchiladas:

“Grandmother would call us and say, ‘I’m making enchiladas” – usually sometime after Christmas when Mexican food tastes so good after all the rich Christmas food, or the first really cold day in Winter. She never had to ask twice; we couldn’t get there fast enough!”

The best thing about these enchiladas (besides the taste, obviously) is how easy they are. They’re made with simple stuff you probably already have in your pantry. I like to use ground turkey and turkey chili to make them a little healthier. They’re just perfect when the weather is really cold and you need a quick, comforting dinner. They also make a great Super Bowl meal – a couple of years ago we had our friends over to watch the game and I served these along with hubby’s homemade salsa, guacamole and margaritas. That was one successful Super Bowl party.

Grandmother’s Stacked Enchiladas

1 pound ground beef
1 – 2 tablespoons minced onion (I use onion flakes or onion powder)
1 teaspoon salt (you can also add a little cayenne pepper if you like extra heat….I do)
2 tablespoons flour
1 can enchilada sauce
1 can chili (we like the kind with no beans…these ain’t no “Yankee enchiladas”!) ;-)
1 can tomato soup
corn tortillas (I use flour)
shredded cheddar cheese for topping

Brown meat in skillet and drain fat; stir in onion, salt and flour. Add enchilada sauce, chili, tomato soup and one can full of water and stir over medium heat until combined. Cook for 2 or 3 more minutes then turn the heat off. On oven-safe plates, layer one tortilla, then the meat mixture, then another tortilla and more meat mixture, then top with cheese and place in a 350 degree oven until bubbly and the cheese is melted. * If you don’t have oven-safe plates, I’ve found just popping it in the microwave will work just fine too. Some good toppings are sour cream, jalapenos, cilantro…whatever you want! Enjoy!


Chicken Enchilada Dip Roll-ups

A few weeks ago, we had our good friends Michael and Andrea (who happens to be a fantastic photographer) over for snacks and a Harry Potter fest. I had no idea what I was going to serve, but I knew I didn’t want it to be too fussy or involved – it was supposed to be just junky snack food, after all! So I decided to flip through one of my Gooseberry Patch cookbooks that is specifically for having company and found this recipe. Cream cheese, chicken, cilantro, rotel tomatoes….how can you go wrong with that cast of characters?! Sure enough, this was some seriously good dip – in fact, these little roll-ups didn’t even make it out of the kitchen! Once hubby and Mikey got a taste, they pretty much devoured them in no time. So, needless to say, I didn’t wait long before making it again – this time for my mom, who was visiting for a couple of days (the ultimate test, mind you).  Thankfully, she loved it too! In fact, she didn’t wait long before making it herself! This is good dip, people.

The recipe is for dipping, but they also suggest spreading the dip on torillas, rolling them up and slicing them to make roll-ups, which is what I chose to do – perfect for parties!

Festive Chicken Enchilada Dip
– Gooseberry Patch “Come On Over”

2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon minced garlic (I used garlic powder)
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
cayenne pepper to taste
salt to taste
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped or shredded
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
4 green onions, chopped (I used onion powder)
10-oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles (Rotel tomatoes)

Mix cheeses together until well blended; add remaining ingredients and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Serves 6-8.


“Holy Enchiladas!!!”

Sorry for the cheesy title….you can thank Joel for that. :-) Hey, I guess I should just be thankful he takes an interest in my blogging, right? Anyway, tonight’s dinner got off to a very rocky start, but finished strong. I had a hankering for chicken enchiladas and discovered a really delicious-sounding recipe from Renea of Sweet, Savory, Southern

So, everything was going along great – Joel had just walked through the door, I was really organized, dinner was just about ready – all I had to do was make the sauce and throw the enchiladas in the oven. I had just started my sauce – I added the oil to the pan, then the flour and spices, yadda, yadda… as I was stirring, I happened to notice the mixture seemed a little thin, even after adding the flour. So I went back and checked my recipe…um, ¼ cup of oil…NOT ONE cup!!! Yeah – I used an entire cup of oil as opposed to the ¼ of a cup that the recipe called for. I have no idea where I got that….so, to try to fix things, I just added a whole bunch more flour…and spices….and used up all the rest of the chili powder I had. I ended up with a giant saucepan full of MUCK. Poor Joel had to get back out and go to the store for me (since I had used up all my chicken broth and chili powder) so I could attempt the sauce again. Luckily, the second time around was muuuuuuuuch better (and didn’t end with me dumping the pan in the sink and throwing kitchen utensils every-which-direction).

This isn’t your usual, run-of-the-mill Sour Cream Chicken Enchilada – in fact, that’s why I chose this recipe – there’s no sour cream! Now, for those of you who can’t fathom a chicken enchilada sans the sour cream, don’t worry: this dish definitely delivers (Renea knows what she’s doing!)! The chili gravy topping is full of flavor and spice – topped with gooey, melty cheese and a dollop of cool sour cream (so, I guess there’s a little sour cream in the recipe…), its a perfect enchilada, in my opinion (and Joel’s). Even though this recipe calls for chicken, I think it would be fantastic with beef or ground turkey as well – whatever tickles your enchilada-fancy!

    Chicken Enchiladas

    (from Renea at Sweet, Savory, Southern)

    2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

    1/2 a green bell pepper, finely chopped

    1/2 onion, finely chopped

    2 Tbsp olive oil

    1 tsp garlic powder

    salt and pepper to taste

    2 cups chili gravy (recipe follows)

    4 flour tortillas (I had enough filling for 5-6 tortillas)

    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

    Preheat oven to 350. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.

    Add onion and peppers and cook for about 5 min. Add shredded chicken and stir. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Remove from pan and set aside. Using the same pan, make the chili gravy as follows.

Chili Gravy

    1/4 cup lard (she used vegetable oil and so did I)

    1/4 cup flour

    1/2 tsp black pepper

    1 tsp salt

    1-1/2 tsp powdered garlic

    2 tsp ground cumin

    1/2 tsp dried oregano (Mexican oregano is preferred if it’s available)

    2 T chili powder

    2 cups chicken broth (or water)

    Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and continue stirring for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it makes a light brown roux.

    Add all the dry ingredients and continue to cook for 1 minute, constantly stirring and blending ingredients. Add chicken broth or water, mixing and stirring until the sauce thickens. Turn heat to low and let sauce simmer for 15 minutes.

    Once the chili gravy is done, add 1/2 a cup to the chicken mixture and stir. Spoon the chicken mixture into the flour tortilla shells and roll up. Spread another half cup of the sauce in the bottom of a baking dish and place the rolled tortillas in the dish. Top with the remaining cup of sauce and shredded cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 min. (I baked for 15 minutes minus the cheese, then added the cheese and cooked for 5 minutes more – just to melt the cheese)

Prep time: 12-15 minutes

Cook time: 20-25 minutes

Serves: 3 to 6 (depending on appetites)


My Favorite Brownies

My Favorite Brownies-1

Ta-DAAAA!!! Here it is, my favorite brownie. The winner of the Great Brownie Comparison. This is HUGE! I never thought I’d find a homemade brownie recipe that excites me! If you’re just tuning in, over the last week, I’ve tried 2 other brownie recipes, one from another blogger and one from King Arthur Flour. While they were both really, really good, I couldn’t say they were THE brownies. The only recipe I’d ever need. The Big Enchilada.

My Favorite Brownies-2

Well here it is. The perfect brownie, suited to my personal brownie needs. Apparently, I have a lot of them. I NEED them to be fudgy. But not too fudgy. Maybe just a *touch* on the cakey side? But not really CAKEY, cakey. You know? And I really, really like them chewy. Chewy and fudgy. Can the two coexist? Yes they can, my friends, and here they do, in THIS brownie.

When I first started looking at recipes to compare, this one kept coming up, which was odd, because just looking at the ingredients/method, it was the LEAST exciting. I thought “there’s no way this brownie is going to be anywhere near the others”. For some reason, I decided to give it a try. It happened to be the ugliest brownie out of all 3 recipes, and was the most difficult to cut and photograph. They ugly. Let’s face it.

But one bite and Joel and I both decided this was our favorite. I guess I prefer them because they’re not too sweet. I know that sounds weird, but I don’t like a brownie that makes my teeth hurt. Nor was it too fudgy. It’s made with oil instead of butter, which adds to the moistness, as well as keeps it from being too rich. The method is totally straight-forward and lightening quick. There’s really no need to reach for a boxed mix anymore. This recipe comes together in minutes. It’s a real winner in my book and I’m so happy I decided to tackle this challenge!


My Favorite Brownies-3

My Favorite Brownies

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×9-inch baking pan.

In a medium bowl, mix together the oil, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt and gradually stir into the egg mixture until well combined.

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the brownie begins to pull away from edges of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs (not raw batter). Let cool before cutting into squares. Serves 9.

Recipe source: ‘Mmm-Mmm Better Brownies’, from


Purple Party-5

Can you believe it?! My little bitty baby girl suddenly turned into a big 3 year old! WAAAHHHH!!! I’m not going to pretend there weren’t some tears shed. In fact, tucking Cassidy in that night, she wanted me to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ again and I was barely able to get through it. She kept asking, “Mommy are you sad?” Ha! No, baby girl; Mommy’s just having a minor freakout here…just ignore her. She found it pretty funny, actually. It’s just hard because, when I look at her, I still see my little fuzzy-red-headed baby girl, holding onto my fingers as I sing to her. OH GOSH. MUST STOP. MUST STOP NOOOOWWWWW. Yep. tears are here. I need to move on. Let’s move on.

As you can see, we went with a purple theme. Nothing else; just…purple. That’s all she wanted. When I asked her what kind of party she wanted, thinking she’d probably say Doc McStuffins or Minnie Mouse (thank goodness she didn’t. I freaking HATE that ridiculous Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show), but all she said was “purple”. Easy enough! We decided to go with a brunch since she loves breakfast food so much and that way we’d have the whole rest of the day to ourselves. It was a lot more low-key than her past parties, but she still had all her favorite people there (i.e. her grandmothers), so she had a great time.

Here’s what we served:

Fruit platter
Sausage, egg, and green chile breakfast enchiladas (recipe coming soon)
Mini pancake and banana skewers
Biscuits with honey butter, ham slices, honey, and jam
Powdered sugar donuts (duh)
Purple Ombre birthday cake


As far as decorations, I just used a plain white tablecloth and draped it with different sizes and shades of purple ribbon. I also got a bunch of different purple paint samples and used my big round paper cut-out to make circles to put on the table. You couldn’t really see them in the pictures, unfortunately. The marquee ‘C’ came from Michael’s and I spray painted it purple. I bought the paper lanterns at Party City and used purple sparkly washi tape to liven up plain glass vases. I used the same washi tape to make little flags for the tops of the pancake skewers. All super easy, super quick stuff!

I was pretty proud of my ombre cake, considering my cake decorating skills are usually on par with a kindergartener’s. All I did for that was separate the frosting into 3 bowls and make each shade of purple slightly lighter than the last. Then I just started at the bottom and worked my way up, finishing with the lightest on top. Easy!

Purple Party-4

Purple Party-2

Purple Party-3

Purple Party-1

I didn’t get as many pictures as I wanted this year because I was running behind and everyone was hungry, so I snapped what I could and hoped they were somewhat acceptable. I would’ve liked a few more, but…whatever. Also, Cass was feeling a little overwhelmed with all the attention and picture-taking, so I was hardly able to get any of us as a family. But like I said, it was still a great time and she loved it, so I call it a success! I was really happy with the way it all turned out and I loved the purple theme! Soon it’ll be time to start planning Elliott’s first birthday! But let’s not think about that right now…no more tears today, please!

3rd birthday


It’s ‘Crack Dip’ Season!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

YEEEESSSSSS. Blame it on the pregnancy cravings (give me all things Buffalo!), or the Super Bowl season, but I am PUMPED about Buffalo Chicken Dip, aka, Crack Dip. I only make it once a year for the Super Bowl, but I crave it year round. Don’t forget to make some for your Super Bowl bash! It’ll be the hit of the party!

Here’s a few more of my favorite football foods that would be equally as awesome for your party:

Baked Tex-Mex Pimento Cheese Dip

Cheesy Pepperoni Bread

Bananas Foster Nachos. These are seriously AH-MA-ZING.

Bananas Foster Nachos

BBQ Bacon-Wrapped Jalapenos

Baked Chicken Empanadas

Chicken Enchilada Dip Roll-Ups

Happy Super Bowl party planning, everybody! May you enjoy your fatty dips, quesos, and deep-fried stuff as much as I will! :)


Smothered Burritos…

It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for sloppy Tex-Mex. I love pretty much anything doused in enchilada sauce covered in cheese- it’s my weakness (well, one of ‘em). The other night I was craving Mexican food pretty bad (it happens a lot lately) and I decided to whip up these burritos. They took no time to make and tasted awesome. You’ll have to excuse the fact that I had to photograph them on a paper plate…we’ve been in the middle of having some renovations done and I packed all my dishes up temporarily. If you’re in need of a quick, delicious meal, try these burritos- they won’t disappoint!

Smothered Burritos

1 pound ground beef
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (4.5 ounce) can diced green chiles
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
half a (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
burrito-sized flour tortillas, warmed
shredded cheddar cheese

shredded lettuce
chopped tomatoes
shredded cheddar cheese
chopped green onions
sliced black olives

Brown ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat and drain.  Stir in chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Stir in the green chiles and turn off heat; keep warm. Warm the refried beans in a small skillet over low heat.

In a saucepan, combine the tomato soup and enchilada sauce. Mix well, and cook over medium heat until heated through.

Place a warmed tortilla on a plate and spread some of the refried beans into the center; sprinkle with cheese, then spoon some of the ground beef mixture onto the center. Tuck in the ends of the tortilla and carefully fold into a burrito. Spoon some of the enchilada sauce over the burrito and top with additional cheese and garnishes. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Serves 4-6

Recipe source: Adapted from


Photography: A Walk Down Memory Lane…

When I started Sing For Your Supper over 2 1/2 years ago (almost 3!), I had just gotten a hand-me-down Canon 30D camera from my father-in-law and couldn’t have been happier. I didn’t know about natural lighting or flashes or color balance…or even HOW to take a good shot. I just aimed the camera at my dinner plate and hoped for the best. I thought those pictures were amazing. Looking back (not so far back, even), I know now that they were pretty terrible. But you know what? I’m still so proud of those old, out-of-focus, unedited pictures; because they meant so much to me. They meant that I had started something. Something that was all my own and 100% Amy. Something to be proud of. 2 1/2 years later and I’m still writing what I want to write, shooting how I want to shoot and cooking what I love to cook.

I’ve grown a lot and since learned a few more things about my camera, but really, I’m still the same girl who just aims and hopes for the best. Which is why I thought it would be fun to give you a glimpse into the past. A few of my first shots. I’ve been slowly re-shooting bunches of my old recipes, in hopes of updating the old, ugly beginner pictures. But I don’t want to just throw them away- they deserve more than that, so I’m honoring them here, one last time before they visit the archives forever.

* * *

First up, one of my earliest posts, Potato Soup. We had just moved into our new house. I had made this for dinner and it was dark outside, but I didn’t care- I went ahead and just put the bowl on the table and snapped a few quick pictures.

I recently re-shot this one, this time with better lighting and a teensy bit of food styling. Much better.

* * *

Up next, Cinnamon Pound Cake. I shot this in my florescent-lit kitchen (what was I thinking?!), and I’m pretty sure I didn’t even bother to edit it.

Once again, better lighting (taken around 2 or 3 pm), a simple place mat and a couple of cinnamon sticks made a huge improvement!

* * *

Here’s my great-grandmother’s stacked enchiladas. I’ve always loved this recipe, but sure didn’t make it seem very appealing with this picture…this was taken when I was really struggling with the lack of light after Daylight Savings.

I’ve since learned better ways to get around the early sun setting, AND choosing better colored plates helps a lot too.

* * *

And lastly, here’s my Cheater Chicken and Dumplings (one of my most popular recipes ever!), taken February of 2009. I had recently found the “white balance” function on my photo editing software and abused it tremendously. It makes things appear blue-ish and washed out. I thought I had no choice and it was the only way to brighten pictures. Silly me…

Once again, bright, natural light is our friend. And learning a few things about the F-stop and ISO settings doesn’t hurt either.

Over the past 2 1/2 years, I’ve learned SO much from other food bloggers; watching them grow and learn has in turn, helped ME to grow and learn! And boy, the pictures have sure come a long way! Not that they’re anywhere remotely NEAR perfect – I still have a lot of learning left to do, which is what makes this so much fun! These old pictures represent so much, which is why I’m so happy to share them here today- they show just how much I’ve grown and how far I’ve come. From just taking one or two shots, hitting the ‘white balance’ button and calling it a day, to taking a wee bit more time and care with each shot and learning a few more tricks about my very loved camera. I’m so happy to be where I am now and so proud of where I came from! So bye-bye, ugly pictures- thanks for the memories! :)


You Need Mexican Food.

Yes, I know it’s practically New Year’s and everyone is scouring the internet for New Year’s Eve appetizers, drinks and fancy desserts. To be honest, hubby and I don’t really do all that fancy shmancy stuff. We stay home. It’s heaven. We watch the Twilight Zone marathon on tv, play cards, eat snack food or cook steaks, drink lots of champagne and most times, fall asleep before midnight. I love it and look forward to it year round. I’m sure a big fancy party would be nice, but frankly, after all the Christmas festivities and driving all over the place to be at so many different celebrations…we need a little break. AND you may recall the lovely picture of me holding 4 gorgeous kinds of delicious cheeses?? Well, I’ve made a New Year’s Eve date with those cheeses and I simply can’t wait. It doesn’t take much to make me happy. :)

So, the point of all this rambling is to let you know that I won’t be posting New Year’s Eve recipes here today. Nor will I be posting a list of my favorite recipes from 2010 like so many other bloggers are doing. Today, I’m posting….Mexican food. Yes, that’s right. Trust me, you’ll thank me later. Immediately after Christmas and the holidays, the one thing I crave above all else is Mexican food. Think about it- we’ve all been eating party food, ham, turkeys, dressing, cakes, and grandma’s fudge for weeks straight. I don’t know about you, but I need a little variety after all that holiday food. And Mexican food is just the ticket. Hubby and I went last night and ate Mexican food and it tasted SO good! So, since I thought some of you might be needing a little variety this time of year, here are my very favorite Mexican food recipes. Do yourself a favor and try some this week- I promise, you’ll be so glad you did.

Mexican Casserole -my mom’s famous recipe that never seems to get old. So easy to make and assemble and always a crowd pleaser!

Grilled Chicken Fajitas -if you love fajitas, you’ll love these! The chicken is so flavorful and juicy- these are my very favorite fajitas. If it’s too cold to grill where you are, don’t worry- feel free to use an indoor grill pan or even just a skillet.

Salsa Verde Sour Cream Enchiladas -AKA: “knock-your-socks-off enchiladas”; these are hands down, the BEST sour cream enchiladas I’ve ever had! You simply must try them!

Pulled Pork Tacos -throw everything in a dutch oven, let it do its thing, and you’ve got moist, tender pork tacos that are bursting with flavor. These are my very favorite tacos! Even my husband, the taco connoisseur said these are some of the best tacos he’s ever had!

Stacked Enchiladas – my Daddy’s grandmother’s recipe and a family favorite. I make these every year right after Christmas. They’re so easy and so, so good!

Homemade Salsa and Guacamole -whatever you choose to make, don’t forget the homemade salsa and guacamole! These come together in literally minutes, and so worth the extra effort! Forget that jarred stuff!

Now, GO and make yourself some tasty Mexican food! Happy New Year!!! :)


Yesterday was a fun day. We had a ginormous party for my sister, Nana and Uncle Steve who are all having a birthday this week (within two days of each other) and I made a boat-load of cupcakes (as well as a big batch of pulled pork tacos). It was a really great time- we had homemade guacamole and salsa, chicken enchiladas and pork tacos….and cupcakes. Lots and lots of cupcakes. I made chocolate with chocolate buttercream, strawberry with vanilla buttercream and buttermilk (yellow) with vanilla buttercream. Boy, you just can’t beat a good ‘ol yellow cupcake with good ‘ol vanilla buttercream. That’s the best there is! Normally, when I make cupcakes, I always use Dorie’s perfect party cake recipe (it’s perfect every single time!), but this time I wanted to try a yellow cake, so I chose Martha Stewart’s version. Good call- these were delicious! And as always, I used my stand-by Magnolia Bakery buttercream recipe- it’s everyone’s favorite. I’ll be posting the other cupcakes throughout the week (there’s no way I could possibly leave out those chocolate cupcakes…Lordy, were they good!).

Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes
-Martha Stewart ‘Cupcakes’
Makes 36

3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
5 large whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks, room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium. Add whole eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add yolks, and beat until thoroughly combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each. Beat in vanilla.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until cupcakes spring back when lightly touched and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

Vanilla Buttercream
-Magnolia Bakery

2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4-6 cups powdered sugar

Cream butter and gradually add powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until you reach piping or spreading consistency.  *I doubled the recipe- it’s always a good idea to have extra frosting, just in case! Plus, the birthday girl was entitled to a little extra frosting! :)


Some Super Bowl Favorites…

Super Bowl season is seriously one of my favorite times of year. Around New Year’s Eve I start craving football food- buffalo wings, dips, fried stuff, etc. I thought it might be helpful to some of you who might be preparing for a Super Bowl party if I posted a few of my favorite snack-type foods. Give you some ideas, maybe.

Starting with my favorite: I love buffalo sauce – I would seriously eat just about anything dipped in buffalo sauce! So naturally, my all-time favorite Super Bowl food is “Crack Dip” (click for recipe). Yeah, it’s fattening; it’s tacky; and let’s be honest- it sounds kinda gross; but you can’t argue with the fact that it’s down-right delicious. And yes, there are a few “snoots” out there who have a real problem with this recipe; to them, I say….bite me. Please. And thank you.

Number 2, my Chicken Enchilada Dip (click for recipe), which can also be rolled into tortillas and sliced, which make excellent finger foods for football parties! I make this stuff, ALL the time and we never get tired of it. It’s totally addicting!

Number 3, the best darn chili (click for recipe) I ever ate. Sure, it takes a lot of preparation, but if you have a big strong man handy to dice up your meat for you, the hard part’s over! And trust me, it’s worth every bit of the hard work – you won’t be sorry!

Number 4, Chewy Chex Mix (click for recipe). This makes a GINORMOUS batch, so it’s perfect for large crowds. Plus, it’s really hard to stop eating the stuff…so it’s good to have lots. It’s chewy, salty, not too sweet, and like I mentioned before- completely addictive!

Number 5: You’ll definitely need sweets at your Super Bowl party. Personally, I think cookies are the way to go – they’re portable, easy to eat, and really, who doesn’t love a cookie?? Really. My favorites – my winning Toasted Oatmeal Cookies, really, really good M&M Cookies, or everybody’s personal favorite, the BFCCCC’s (that’s Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies -click for recipe and scroll down a ways). I love a good, chewy chocolate chip cookie and these really fit the bill. Everyone absolutely loves them.

So there you have it; my personal favorite football-approved recipes. Nothing fancy or difficult; just really simple, really good recipes that I guarantee everyone will really love. Everybody ENJOY your Super Bowl festivities!! Go Saints! ;-)


Is It Fall Yet??

I have a tendency to jump the gun sometimes…my husband would tell you I start listening to Christmas music entirely too early (which I think is debatable), I always buy Spring flowers and potted plants when it’s still too chilly out, and I start cooking/baking with pumpkin, apples and butternut squash when it’s still 90 degrees.  It’s just that I get excited about seasons! It happens every year (especially when Fall comes around!) and this year is no exception.


I’ve had this recipe saved for about a year now.  I copied it out of my mother’s Southern Living magazine last Fall and somehow just now got around to making it. Chicken and Corn Pie with Cornbread Topping…mmm, now doesn’t that sound yummy?? And it was, too – really yummy, actually! But after making it, I realized (ok, ok, so I pretty much knew all along…) that it really is a dish that is better served when it’s chilly or cold outside – however, I just couldn’t wait that long! I’m ready for Fall now! The filling is more like a thick stew (which I love!) and the cornbread topping is really cheesy and yummy- and the great thing is, it’s really versatile- you could put in ground beef, or another kind of vegetable…lots of possibilities! I think this would be a perfect dish for watching a football game when it’s nice and chilly outside! In fact, I’ll probably serve this again when the hubby and I are at home watching the Fightin’ Texas Aggies one saturday!


Chicken and Corn Pie with Cornbread Topping
-Southern Living Magazine, October 2008

1 (10-oz.) can enchilada sauce
1 (10-oz.) can Rotel Tomatoes
2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
1 teaspoon chili powder
3 cups chopped cooked chicken (2- 12.5-oz. cans chicken, drained, may be substituted)
1 (6-oz.) package Mexican-style cornbread mix
2/3 cup milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Mexican four-cheese blend, divided

Preheat oven to 375°. Stir together enchilada sauce and next 3 ingredients in a 3 1/2-qt. saucepan over medium heat until combined; cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Stir in chicken.
Whisk together cornbread mix, next 3 ingredients, and 3/4 cup cheese in a small bowl just until blended.
Pour chicken mixture into a lightly greased 11×7 inch baking dish. Spoon cornbread mixture over hot chicken mixture. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Serve with sour cream and jalapeno peppers if desired.


Another Quick Casserole…

Here’s yet another winner from Renea over at Sweet, Savory, Southern- I think this is something like the fourth or fifth recipe of hers that I’ve made and loved. This time around, it’s her Mexican Casserole – we had it last night with homemade guacamole and raspberry margaritas…a very pleasant meal, indeed! The recipe made enough for us to have it again tonight – yippee!!

Mexican Casserole
-Sweet, Savory, Southern

1 lb lean ground turkey (I used really lean ground beef)
1/2 an onion, diced (As always, I used onion powder)
1/2 cup corn kernels (canned or frozen) *I also added a can of black beans
1 bag Mintute rice
1 packet taco seasoning (or make your own with chili powder, cumin, salt, garlic powder and paprika)
10 oz can diced tomatoes with chilies
14 oz can enchilada sauce (small can)
shredded mexican cheese
6- 8″ tortillas

Preheat oven to 375. Begin by sauteing the onion in a little olive oil until it begins to soften, about 4-5 minutes. Add the ground meat to the pan. While the meat is browning, cook the rice according to the package directions and set aside. Once the meat is browned, drain any fat or liquid from the pan. Add the corn kernels, taco seasoning and 3/4 cup water. Stir to combine. Add the rice and stir. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Add 1/2 the can of enchilada sauce to the bottom of the pan. Next, make a layer with two tortillas. They should overlap a little. Add a layer of the meat mixture and then 1/2 the can of diced tomatoes with chilies. Add a thin layer of shredded cheese. Add two more tortillas and repeat the layers, ending with a layer of tortillas. Top with the additional enchilada sauce and cheese. Cover the pan with foil and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove the foil and allow to cook an additional 5-10 minutes. Let sit 5-10 minutes before serving.

YUMMY! Like I said earlier, this goes great with some homemade guacamole and a big ‘ol pitcher of margaritas (just don’t take the plastic pour spout-thingie off your tequila bottle…because then the cap wouldn’t fit back on and you’d have to duct tape it so it would stay on. Makes no sense to you? Yeah, me neither, but somehow it happened….) Enjoy!


One Pot Wonder…

I am categorizing this under “Soups/Stews/Other” because I really have no idea what to call this dish….or what kind of dish it is, exactly. I figure it fits under the “other” category pretty well – so we’ll just leave it at that.

I was a DARN picky eater as a kid…I hated a lot of things my mother would cook for us, as well as most restaurants. Some of the things my mom would make that I can remember having the most disdain for were her chicken enchiladas (WHA?! What was I thinking??!), chicken stew and stuffed peppers, to name a few. Of course I love all of those things now, but back then there was just something about them that made me absolutely despise them. I guess I was just your typical snot-nosed picky little girl….heheh- some things never change, I guess. ;-)

My sister was sort of picky too, I suppose, though not near as whiny and shrieking about it.  But there were some things that my sister and I loved that most kids wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. For example, everyday when we would come home from school, our choice of snack would always be canned, cold spinach and Vienna Weenies (you know, those short, stubby little weenies that come in the tiny little can?).  We’d sit there and eat the stuff right out of the CAN! Even though we could have our choice of cookies, brownies, WHATEVER! We always wanted the cold spinach and weenies. Even looking back now I wonder what the heck we were thinking…and we were little kids, mind you – I was in like, 2nd grade! Weird freaking kids…..

So yeah, we had a habit of liking odd, non-kiddy type foods. I mean, sure, I liked those little frozen kiddy dinners that came with the cartoon-shaped macaroni and a tiny little brownie, but some grown-up foods were very appealing to us. One of those foods was cabbage. My sister and I both loved cabbage.  I remember my Nana (hey Nana!) cooking cabbage in her big pot in the kitchen and my sister and I would absolutely gobble it up.

I still love cabbage to this day – its great in soups, as a side dish or cooked my personal favorite way – in a big pot with sausage and potatoes. YUM. I’m almost positive this dish came from somewhere, I just have no idea where. I don’t have a title for it, nor do I know what kind of food category it would fall under. Obviously. All I know is, my mother got the recipe from our Uncle Benny. He didn’t have a title for it either – he just thew it all in a pot and that was that. So, without further ado, I give you Cabbage, Sausage, Potato….stuff.

Cabbage with Sausage and Potatoes

1 head cabbage, roughly chopped (I guess you could use any type of cabbage you wanted – I just use the regular old “white looking” cabbage that you find everywhere)
1 pound fully cooked Hillshire Farms smoked sausage, sliced into big bite-sized pieces (I used Turkey sausage – fat free and you couldn’t taste the difference!!)
2-3 yukon gold potatoes, cut into chunks
Salt and Pepper to taste (I also use a bit of Cajun seasoning)

Pour approx. 1/2 cup water in the bottom of a large dutch oven or heavy pot, then add the sausage; layer the potatoes, then the cabbage over the sausage, seasoning with salt and pepper as desired (not too much, though – the sausage will do most of the seasoning for you). Cover and cook over medium-high heat for 15-20 minutes, or until cabbage and potatoes are tender. Make sure the bottom of the pot never goes dry – if the water dries up during cooking, quickly add more. Serves 4.

* You can also add onions if you want; I just choose not to. My Uncle Benny likes to add a can of Rotel Tomatoes as well. I like to keep mine simple, though. But that’s the beauty of this dish, you can pretty much add whatever you want to it – carrots, celery….whatever!

You could definitely serve this all by itself, but I like to have a little bread with it – I served this with Katie’s Easy Cheesy Beer Bread.  This is seriously filling and delicious – hubby LOVES it. Plus, its a super satisfying meal in one pot that costs less than $5.00! You can’t beat that, people!


Ok, ok, I’ll admit it – when I had heard people talking about this recipe, I was a little skeptical – even snobbish, if you will. The title just doesn’t sound very appetizing to me – “Crockpot Salsa Chicken” – I always imagined it as throwing chicken in the crockpot with some jarred salsa and letting it go. Blech. Then I read the actual recipe – chicken…salsa…taco seasoning…cream of chicken soup…wait, WHAT?! Cream of chicken soup?!…..with SALSA?? Double blech!! But THEN I actually saw a picture of the stuff on Annie’s blog, Cooking For Fun and it looked creamy and delicious! How could something that sounded so unappealing look so very enticing and comforting?? Well, I decided I just had to find out for myself if this was as delicious as it looked on Annie’s blog! To get a second opinion, I even called up my sister and gave her the recipe and the idea to make it for her family’s supper too! (we would compare notes later – that’s what sisters do, right?) So she made hers and I made mine; the result: SUCCESS!!! It was completely delicious! Hubby gobbled it up over rice, and my sister’s hubby ate his with tortillas and chips. I was surpised at how moist and flavorful the chicken was. My sis and I both agreed that this would be an excellent filling for enchiladas. I’ll admit, even as I was combining the ingredients, I was still a little wary of it, but as it cooked and the smell starting filling my apartment, I knew it was going to be darned tasty! So thanks a heap, Annie – you convinced me! Next time, I’ll think twice before turning my nose up at a recipe!

Crockpot Salsa Chicken

-Cooking For Fun blog

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup salsa-Fresh
1 package taco seasoning
1 can reduced fat cream of mushroom soup (condensed) or cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream

Add chicken to slow cooker. Sprinkle taco seasoning over chicken. Mix salsa and soup (this was the part that looked a little iffy, but persevere! Its well worth it!); pour over chicken. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Shred chicken with a fork. Stir in sour cream until heated, then serve over rice or tortillas. I topped mine with cheese. De-lish!!