Home Cookin ~ Canning ~ Baking

Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Site!

Well hi there!
I know I know, its been a while since I have posted. Have you missed me? Well there is a great reason for the delay in posts and I think you will love it as much as I do.

…I have a new Website

Thats right a new site full of delicious country recipes straight from my family to yours. I have been working on getting this new site for a year now and am so happy to have finally got it up and running! It is still a work in progress, so please be patient as I continue to add recipes and work on the pages of the site. I am slowly transferring recipes from this site to the new site, including taking new updated pictures of most of the recipes! Yum!! It will be like seeing them all again for the first time. Along with the old recipes being added there will be a mix of new recipes as well. So keep an eye out!

The pages are turning out to be an even slower process. I plan on having pages for Tips & Tricks, Kitchen Essentials, FAQ, and an About me section. Please note that these pages are not yet up, but will be in time! I am working on them everyday and can't wait to show you all what I have come up with. For now enjoy the weekly postings of yummy recipes!

So what will happen to this site, you ask? I am leaving this site and all its contents up throughout 2015, at the end of the year I will dispose of the site. By that time everything will be transferred to the new site and therefore there will be no need for the old site. In with the new and out with old!

Thank you all so much for your support and for following through this journey. I hope you enjoy what you see!

your country girl,

Friday, June 13, 2014

Easy Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

I decided to spruce up my Easy Pizza Crust recipe for a healthier twist ...and from that Easy Whole Wheat Pizza Crust was born! I am really happy with how this recipe turned out and love knowing that my family are eating healthy on pizza nights. I simply swapped out more than half of the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour. I am still using 1 cup of all purpose so that it is not too over whelming of a change, but if you would like to use all whole wheat flour then I say go for it! My kids both ate 2 slices each with this crust and never muttered a word of the change. And although my husband and I could taste and see the change in the pizza curst it wasn't enough to detour use from eating it. I love this new healthier recipe and hope you and your family do as well!

Easy Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

1 Tablespoon yeast
1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
about 1 Tablespoon olive oil 

Combine yeast and warm water and let stand about 3 to 5 minutes or until yeast grows. Add salt, sugar, and vegetable oil to the yeast mixture. Mix well.

In a large bowl mix together both flours. Add the yeast mixture and combine with electric mixer with a dough hook, such as kitchen aid. When using a dough hook mix for 1-2 minutes until a ball forms. (If you do not have a kitchen aid mixer you can mix by hand. Mix until a ball forms and then knead for 10 minutes until dough is smooth.) Turn dough into a greased bowl, turning dough to coat. Cover with a towel and let rise 30 minutes or until double in size. Don't punch down. 

Cut dough in half. Roll out each portion into desired shoe and to about 1/3 of an inch thick. Keep in mind the dough will rise in the oven. Pinch the outer rim of the dough inwards to form the crust. Makes two medium-large pizza crusts. 

Cook the pizza crust on a pizza pan or cookie sheet for about 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees. Thake out of the oven and add toppings as desired. Brush the visible (outer rim) curst lightly with olive oil. Bake an additional 20 minutes or until the crust is lightly brown and cheeses are melted. Do not over cook or the bottom will burn. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Healthy Pork Stir Fry

Stir fry's are a wonderful healthy menu option! Not only that but they are easy to throw together and are packed full of flavor! This specific meal is full of fresh vegetables and pork. The sauce is full of flavor and uses a very little amount of sugar. My family really enjoyed this meal! Serve over white rice or dress it up a bit with fried rice!

Healthy Pork Stir Fry

1 pound boneless pork chops, cut into thin stripes
1 bell pepper, cut into thin stripes (I used orange but use which ever you would like)
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
1/2 carrot, cut into then slices
olive oil
4 garlic cloves, diced
5 green onions, chopped (separate the greens from the whites)
1/3 cups soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
4 cups prepared white rice

Drizzle some olive oil in a large wok or skillet to coat the bottom of the pan. Heat over medium-high heat. Add the pork stripes and cook until slightly brown. Add a little more olive oil if needed, then add the bell pepper, broccoli, and carrot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but crisp, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and whites of the green onion. Cook 1-2 minutes, contenting to stir. 

Meanwhile mix the soy sauce, water, and sugar in a small bowl. Add the mixture to the stir fry. Cook for a few minutes until the sauce boils and thickens slightly. Turn off the heat and add the greens of the green onions. Serve over white rice. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Chicken Lazone

I am always on the look out for new recipes that my family will love, usually this consist of Google searches, Pinterest, browsing cookbooks, or just getting creative in my kitchen and coming up with my own recipe. Well this recipe just so happened to be found on none of the above, but on Facebook. Thats right Facebook of all places.

This recipe is so so SO good! It has almost a Cajun twist to it, packed full of spices and heavy rich cream. I served this pasta with Buitoni's fettuccine pasta, but feel free to use whatever pasta you enjoy most. This would also be wonderful over mashed or baked potatoes! Mmmm. 

Chicken Lazone

1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 1/2 tsp chili powder 
1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder 
2 teaspoon garlic powder 
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
2 lb chicken tenders 
1/4 cup butter, divided 
2 cups heavy cream 
8 oz uncooked fettuccine, (I love Buitoni. You can find it in the refrigerator section)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the fettuccine. Add the pasta and cook as directed on the package. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile prepare the rest.In a small bowl combine salt, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.  Sprinkle all sides of the chicken tenders with the spice mix. Make sure you use all of it!  In large frying pan melt half of the butter over medium-high heat.  One the butter is melted and hot add the seasoned chicken tenders and cook until done, about 8 minutes. 

Add the heavy cream and remaining butter to the frying pan with the chicken.  Lower the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 5-7 minutes.  Serve chicken and sauce over pasta. Enjoy! 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Spicy Chipotle Tomato Bisque

As most of my recipes are, this recipe was inspired from a local restaurant. I was tempted to try this soup as it has two of my favorite things, chipotle and tomato bisque, tied into one amazing soup recipe! Unfortunately, this was a special on the restaurant's menu which means it could be months before I get the chance to order it again. So of course I made my own recipe!

The combination of fresh flavors of tomato bisque packed with a spicy smoky punch of chipotle makes this soup over the top amazing! I dream of soups like this, this time of year. There is nothing batter than a hearty hot soup to top off a cold winter evening. Serve this soup with fresh baked bread such as my Italian Bread and a salad to make it a meal. This would also make an excellent first course, but be warned they will probably want more! This soup makes around 4 four servings.

Spicy Chipotle Tomato Bisque

  • Two 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, cut into two chunks
  • salt, to taste 
  • freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons buter
  • 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2-4 tablespoon canned chipotle and adobe sauce, minced (I do half adobe sauce and half minced chipotle pepper) If you are sensitive to spicy foods only add 2 tablespoons, but if you like it spicy add 4 or more! 
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 to 2 cups chicken broth, to taste
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup heavy cream, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl combine the whole tomatoes, olive oil, brown sugar, and onions. Toss to coat. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Place the mixture on a baking sheet (I like to line mine with parchment paper or tin foil to make clean up easy). Roast in the oven until caramelized, about 30 minutes.

Heat a medium-large soup pot over medium heat. Add butter and cook until melted. Add the crushed red pepper and garlic. Sauté for one minute or until garlic is tender but not brown. Add the tomato past and chipotle, cook for 2 minutes. Add the sherry and cook until most of the liquid from the sherry has evaporated, about 1 to 2 minutes. Next add the roasted vegetable mixture from the oven, the crushed tomatoes, and 1 cup of chicken broth. Bring to a simmer. Season as needed with salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until you reach your desired texture. I prefer my bisque to be close to smooth, but still with a good amount of texture. Taste and if needed add more chicken broth and/or heavy cream to meet your desire consistency or taste. Serve with hot crusty bread and butter! Enjoy!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pumpkin Layerd Cheesecake With Carmel Drizzle

I am so excited to share this recipe! I came up with this recipe last year for a dessert I was making for Thanksgiving. I wanted to make a pumkin pie cheesecake, becasue I love me some cheesecake, so I searched through my recipe box. As I was searching I found a pumpkin layered cheesecake recipe my sister had shared with me years ago. I like her recipe but really wanted to add my own flare to it. So that is just what I did! I decided on a Oreo cookie crust for this cheesecake to add more flavor and give it that Fall look. I completely renovated the ingredients for this cheesecake and in result got the perfect combination of creamy and fluffy! Lastly I decided to add a Carmel drizzle to top it all off!

If you love pumpkin pie and cheesecake then you are going to fall head over heels for this cheesecake! The combination of pumpkin pie and cheesecake are absolutely amazing!

Pumpkin Layered Cheesecake With Carmel Drizzle

  • 25 Oreo cookies

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

  • 2 - 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened

  • 1 1/3 cup (10 ounces) evaporated milk

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 4 tablespoons flour

  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin

  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice

  • Carmel topping (Carmel topping for ice cream works great)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Place the Oreo cookies and butter in a food processor and process into crumbs. Pour cookie crumb mixture into a 9-inch deep dish pie place. With the bottom of a glass press the cookie crumb mixture onto the bottom and sides of the pie plate to form the crust. Place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile combine the evaporated milk, cream cheese, eggs, sugar and flour in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Measure out 1 1/2 cups of the mixture and pour into a small bowl. Add the pumpkin and pumpkin spices to the measured mixture and mix well. Pour the plain cheesecake mixture into the prepared pie plate. Slowly pour the pumpkin mixture in the center of the plain mixture. Using a toothpick or knife make swirls with two cheesecake mixtures.

Bake the cheesecake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the center is set. Cool on a wire rack then refrigerate well before serving. Top individual slices with a drizzle of Carmel. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cafe Rio's Chicken Salad

This is one of my favorite menu items to get a Cafe Rio! And here is how to make it! This makes a wonderful meal and there are always plenty of leftovers that I like to eat up for lunches throughout the week! Enjoy, I know I sure did!!!!

Cafe Rio's Chicken Salad

Prepare all the following recipes:

Cafe Rio's Shredded Chicken 

  • 5 pounds chicken breasts
  • 1 - 8oz Italian dressing
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
Throw it all in a crockpot and mix well. Cook on low for 4 hours. Sherd the chicken in the crockpot and mix well with sauce. Cook an additional hour. 

  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 - 15 ounce can chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 teaspoon lime juice, chicken broth, and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes until rice is tender. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour mixture over cooked rice and mix as you fluff the rice.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 - 15 ounce can black beans, drained but NOT rinsed
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
In a small saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cumin and cook until garlic is tender but not brown. Add beans, tomato sauce and salt. Mix well and cook until hot. Taste and season with black pepper to taste.

  • 1 packet original hidden valley ranch mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • tomatillo's, husks removed and chopped
  • a large handful of cilantro (about half a bundle you buy from the store)
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • juice of 1 lime
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender until pureed. Chill at least 1 hour before serving.

Cafe Rio's Chicken Salad
  • 2 Roman hearts, chopped or torn into leafy pieces
  • large flour tortillas
  • shredded cheese
Optional Garnishes:
  • Pico De Gallo (click the link for the recipe)
  • Guacamole (click the link for the recipe)
  • Sour Cream
  • Cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Tortilla Strips - I like to cut corn tortillas in thin strips and deep fry until crispy to use as a garnish!
After you have prepared the chicken, rice, black beans, and salad dressing prepare the salad as follows: Heat flour tortilla on a large frying pan over medium heat until heated through. Place a single heated tortilla on a large plate or bowl. Sprinkle with shred cheese. Layer on the rice, beans, and chicken. Next place a large handful of chopped lettuce. Pour on your desired amount of creamy tomatillo dressing. Garnish with your choice of toppings listed above. Enjoy!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Slow Cooked Shredded Pork Tacos in a Red Sauce

This is an amazing recipe! It is so easy to whip together and it is low in calories, you let it cook all day in the crockpot, then cut up some fresh veggies to top it off and make it a meal! This pork has an amazing flavor to it that my whole family loves. I have made this several times and figured it was about time I shared it with you all!

Slow Cooked Shredded Pork Tacos in a Red Sauce

1 to 1 1/2 pound pork tenderloin (I like to use the center cut roasts)
1 - 15oz can tomato sauce
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 garlic coves, minced

tomato, chopped
onion, chopped
avocado, sliced
lettuce or cabbage, shredded
sour cream
warmed tortillas or taco shells

Trim any excess fat off of the pork and place it into a large crockpot. In a bowl stir together the remaining ingredient's. Pour the sauce mix over the pork being sure to cover it entirely. Cook 8 hours on low or 4 to5 hours on high.

Once cooked shred the meat in the crockpot and mix it will with the sauce it was cooked in. Turn your crockpot to warm and prepare the toppings. Serve the Shredded Pork on a tortilla or taco shell and top with your desired toppings. See! Didn't I tell you it was easy? Enjoy!!!