butter

Samoa Popcorn, Yes, please!

9:02 AM


Valentine's Day will be here before we know it and if you are like me, I love coming up with special treats for my little ones. In my house, we think it, we do it and we try it.  This popcorn recipe I made is now available at Living Locurto (Check out her awesome printables!) and is easy to make. Buttered toffee, chocolate, cookies...ummm yeah! 


appetizer

Super Bowl Recipe Round Up

7:09 AM


All across America, Super Bowl Sunday means, family, friends, football, bets, belly busting funny commercials and of course, good food. Chicken wings, hot dogs, pizza, burgers, dips and tons of sweets. I love this time of year, coming up with different recipes and ideas that my guests usually don't get to try. Here are some really awesome recipes that will make your guests' tastebuds tingle.

What's on your menu?





And if you are in the mood for burgers a mini version of this bad boy is truly dee-friggin-licious!





beans

Easy Southern Red Beans & Rice...

7:40 AM


Here in the South, we have tons of 'comfort foods'. Our idea of comfort food is something hearty, warming and filling. Chicken and dumplings, mac and cheese, chicken spaghetti, dressing, and of course, red beans and rice. Red beans and rice is one of those foods that is perfect for a cold day and being in the 20s and 30s the last few days (yeah, we are NOT used to such temperatures) red beans and rice seemed the perfect dinner for my little ones when they got home from school. Besides, they never can seem to resist cocktail smokies.

Most people make this with any type of sausage link or brats, but after becoming a mom I found cocktail smokies are the right bite size already and no need for the extra step of slicing up tons of sausage. You can slice the cocktail weinies in half though if making for children.



You will need:
2 packages of cocktail smokies (or one package of smoked sausage or brats, sliced)
2 packets of Brown Gravy Mix
2 Maggi or Knorr Chicken bouillon cubes
1 small bag of Dry Red Kidney Beans
Cooked Rice

I used dried beans which drives up the cooking time a few hours. You can clean and boil the beans in a large pot for 3-4 hours or start them in a crockpot full of water overnight for them to be tender by lunch. If using a crockpot, cook on low until dinner. Add your bouillon cubes to the water no matter which way you decide to cook them.

You can used canned beans but dried is always so good. Beans should be tender and easily mashed if pressed when they are done.

Once your beans are done, mix gravy as directed on package and pour into the reduced heat pot of beans. Stir for a slight thickness to create a nice and savory sauce.

Add in your cocktail smokies or sliced smoked sausage. Turn heat to low until ready to serve.

Serve your red beans over cooked riced and with a slice a cornbread or dinner roll. Truly delicious and oh so filling.


cream

Pepperjack Cream Sauce with Shrimp...

6:16 PM



I am one of those people who eat what I have a taste for. If I don't have a taste for it, then it just won't do. I feel empty. I just have to have it. Of course, sometimes I have a taste for restaurant food but being a family with 4 growing children, eating out all the time is just not so economical. That means, I have to work some dang near magic and make it happen at home. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. This was definitely a case of working!

I have been having the taste for blackened catfish for the longest. No catfish in the house and I was too tired and just did not feel like going to the grocer. Well....I had tilapia (we keep an endless supply of that stuff) so blackened tilapia it was. I knew I wanted some type of sauce to go with it. I had heavy whipping cream, a block of pepperjack cheese and a bag of shrimp. Hmmmm, this sounded like a good idea and boy oh boy it was! I think I died and went to heaven and came back just so I could finish it. It was that good.

Really, the recipe is so easy. It cooks in only a few minutes and believe me, it is worth it. If you like a little kick to your sauces, this is perfect.

You will need:

Half a Pint of Heavy Whipping Cream
3 slices of pepperjack cheese
1/2 tsp of creole seasoning
15 shrimp, peeled and deveined  (more if you are a shrimp lover like me)



*I cooked my shrimp and sauce in the same cast iron skillet I used to make my fish, so the oil you see if leftover from the Extra Virgin Olive Oil I used. You do not have to use this and the sauce will be whiter.

In a sauce pan on medium, begin cooking the shrimp, once they turn white,  begin pouring in your heavy whipping cream. Add in your creole seasoning and stir. Drop your cheese slices on top and stir until they melt. The cheese may get gooey but the cheese begins to incorporate into the cream.  Once the cheese has fully melted, continue stirring and turn off the heat. The sauce will thicken as it sits.



I served my sauce over blackened tilapia and rice. My family really enjoyed it and kept asking for more "gravy". I guess here in the South, every sauce is "gravy".


ground beef

Tacos...

4:31 PM


My mother is a Mississippian by way of Texas.  Even though she has been in Mississippi longer than she ever was in Texas, she still considers herself a 'Hook 'em Horns-Everything-is-Big-Texas gal. Born and raised there, if you ask her what her favorite food is, she will say, "Anything Mexican". Growing up in a town with a ton of Mexican influence, she loves everything South of the Border. One of favorites is tacos. Of course we do the premade taco shells but seriously warming and frying up your own is so much better and tastes wayyyyy better. Tonight, we had tacos, done three ways. Steak, ground beef and shredded chicken.

It was the first time I actually made my own ground beef using sirloin steak and my oh my, I will not be going back to prepackaged ground beef any time soon. 


When it comes to making tacos, it is fine to experiment. Step outside your ground beef box and try different toppings and meats.

Steak is perfect on freshly lightly fried corn tortillas and chicken shredded and seasoned with taco mix and rotel tomatoes is so good.

Here are some ideas:

Instead of your regular shredded cheese try crumbling Queso Fresco, a Mexican cheese, on top of your tacos. The texture is divine and the cheese itself is very light in taste.

Chop up some chipotle peppers and add them into your meat mixture for a nice smoky flavor and a little spicy kick.

Add a half a can of rotel tomato or salsa to your taco meat mixture for texture and  taste.

Serve your chicken or steak tacos with a wedge of lime and be prepared to have your tastebuds dancing.

Fresh slices of avocado are perfect on top of tacos.

Instead of lettuce, shred purple/red cabbage for crunch and taste. It does not get soggy like regular lettuce and tastes so good!

Making fresh pico de gallo is so good. The lime infused onions, peppers and tomato are perfect toppings for tacos. Check out my recipe here for it.








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