Spicy Beef Taquitos

img_2513img_4519Spicy Beef Taquitos


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 large jalapeno, stemmed and seeded ,very finely diced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 teaspoon New Mexico chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chunky salsa
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 4 ounces roasted hatch chiles, finely chopped (or sub 4-oz can diced green chiles)
  • 3 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 10 small flour tortillas
  • Olive oil cooking spray


Heat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and then lightly mist it with cooking spray and set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add beef and cook, breaking into very small chunks with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink. Add jalapeno, onion, and garlic to the pan and cook until jalapeno and onion are tender, about 2-3 minutes. Add spices, salsa, sour cream, and hatch chiles. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and add the shredded cheese. Stir to combine.

Warm the tortillas in the microwave for 20-30 seconds until they are warm and pliable. Distribute filling, roll, place on baking sheet. Spray the tops of the taquitos lightly with cooking spray. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes until tortillas are dark golden and crispy.


I made these two weeks in a row and am probably going for a third. Steve says I need to put them on the weekly menu from now to infinity. Seriously, they are that good. Contemplating trying them with pulled pork or shredded chicken next.

One-Pot Creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta



One-Pot Creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta
slightly adapted from Belly Full


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-1/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 ounces cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 8 ounces thin spaghetti, broken in half
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes with herbs, julienne cut, in oil, drained
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (or sub 1 tablespoon lemon juice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz) grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley


Heat oil over medium-high in a very large skillet with a lid. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper, then add to the pan and saute until cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add mushrooms and garlic to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes, until the mushrooms have softened. Raise heat to high; add in white wine and allow to reduce by half. Pour in broth; bring to a boil.

Stir in the pasta, cover, and cook for about 9 minutes, until the pasta is tender and most of the liquid has absorbed.

Uncover and mix in chicken, sun dried tomatoes, and lemon zest. Season with the red pepper flakes and a few grinds of salt and black pepper, to taste. Add in cream and warm through. Stir in the mozzarella, Parmesan, and parsley.

Serve immediately.


This was AMAZING. Pictures do not do it justice. Nothing I could say about it could do it justice. All I will say is that of the 29 recipes I have posted so far this year, this might top the list as my new favorite of 2016. Go. Make. This.

Sloppy Joes

IMG_0491.JPGSloppy Joes


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon pickle juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water


In a medium skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef (breaking it into small bits as it cooks), onion, bell pepper until the vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the salt, pepper, cayenne, ketchup, mustard, pickle juice, brown sugar, and water; mix thoroughly. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes until most of the liquid has disappeared. Serve warm on buns with chips and pickles on the side.


Perfect weeknight meal: simple, family pleasing, quick. One of Steve’s all-time old-fashioned favorites. I’m not reinventing the wheel here, obviously, but I am quite pleased to have tweaked this into something that better suits our tastes – i.e., less sweet, more zing than typical recipes. And I love my addition of pickle juice – mixing it in with ketchup and mustard to make it like the “Braum’s sauce” we so enjoy on our burgers or for dipping fries. It really gives it something special.

Albondigas (Mexican Meatballs)


Albondigas (Mexican Meatballs)


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb bulk Mexican chorizo (I use my homemade version)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs (preferably fresh)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced (plus 1/4 cup minced, for garnish)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pinch off about 1.5 tablespoons of filling and roll it into a ball about 1 inch in diameter. Repeat until you have made about 30 meatballs. Place the meatballs on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, until cooked through and sizzling.

Remove from oven. Serve over Spanish rice.


Pretty much every time Steve and I ate my Albondigas Soup, one or both of us would say “you know, at some point, we should just have these meatballs by themselves over Spanish rice.” Obvkious yet brilliant. So I finally did it and oh man, what an awesome little meal. Proud of this one.

Spanish Rice

img_3461Spanish Rice


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 cups uncooked long-grain rice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups water or chicken broth
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce


Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add the rice and saute until golden brown. Add the onion, garlic, and seasonings and continue to saute for a couple more minutes. Add the water/broth and the tomato sauce. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until rice is cooked.

Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes, still covered, then fluff rice with a fork. Serve.


For some reason, since moving back to Texas in 2011, I have had major Spanish rice problems. I made it fine for years in California but could not get it to work here. Most of the time, it came out undercooked and on the rare occasions when I didn’t, it was a big pan of soft mush.

But recently, through a lot of trial and error, weighing my ingredients, deleting another ingredient, and paying close attention to the browning process, I finally – FINALLY – have a Spanish rice recipe that works consistently again. I seriously cannot express how happy this makes me. A years-long kitchen fail and I conquered it. Yeah baby.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie


Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie


1 oreo pie crust


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream


  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

Optional decoration:

  • Chopped peanuts
  • Chocolate curls


To make the filling: Using a stand or hand mixer, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, and 1/4 cup sugar until blended. Whip the 3/4 cup heavy cream into very soft peaks. Fold whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture. Spoon filling into the cookie crust.

To make the topping: In a pan, combine the 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 cup heavy cream. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Lower heat immediately and simmer, without stirring, 4-5 minutes until slightly thick and pale yellow. Remove from heat and stir in butter and chocolate until melted. Let chocolate mixture cool slightly.

Pour the topping over pie and spread to cover completely and evenly. Chill, uncovered, about 1 hour until firm.

Optional decorations: For the peanuts: immediately after pouring the topping over the pie, before it sets, add chopped peanuts in a 1-inch circle around the edge. For the chocolate curls: run a vegetable peeler along the length of the flat side of a bar of chocolate at room temperature.


This is a crazy quick and easy pie, but so intensely delicious and such a crowd pleaser, it’s become a go-to dessert for guests in my house since 2010. And after all these years, I am finally getting a blog post down. It’s a miracle! Ha. Seriously though. Make this. Way too easy for such a big flavor payoff.


Chipotle Cheddar Chicken and Broccoli Pasta


Chipotle Cheddar Chicken and Broccoli Pasta
with recipe inspiration from Thyme for Cocktails


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1-1/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 lb broccoli florets
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 chipotle peppers, minced
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon oregano
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 oz medium shells
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese


Heat oil in a large deep skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium. Add onion, sauté 2-3 minutes. Mix in garlic, chipotle peppers, adobe sauce, oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook for another minute.

Stir in stock and pasta, bring to a boil and simmer 7-8 minutes. Add broccoli and water, then cover and simmer for another 3-4 minutes, until broccoli is tender. Uncover, reduce heat to low. Mix in half and half and cheese, and stir until melted. Stir in reserved chicken. Serve.


Sooooo proud of this one. I came up with the meal idea on my own (with inspiration from a tumblr friend who posted about the evol brand chipotle mac and cheese) and, with very few reference points to start from on the internet, made a one-pot wonder that combined this gal’s Chipotle Chicken Mac and Cheese Skillet flavors with the methods and ratios of my tried and true Skillet Chicken and Broccoli Pasta.

The result is SPECTACULAR. Saucy, spicy, cheesy goodness, without at all being too heavy. Another recipe I will be making for life.