Monday, February 24, 2014

2 Ingredient Brownies-#1 Thing To Do When You Lose Your Job

I posted this a year and a half ago one day when I really needed chocolate. 

Today, February 24, 2014, I really am in need of these chocolate babies again.  This morning I was informed after almost 9 years that I no longer had a job...

Photo Courtesy of Lori Lange

I have witnessed this same scenario where I work 3 or 4 times in the last 3 years. I was thinking since I had been there that long I might be safe, boy was I wrong. It came down to it being a small family owned company that changed hands to a younger generation; where loyalty, hard work and dedication must not apply anymore (I refuse to believe that my being diagnosed with cancer a month ago had anything to do with it...). 

Sad day..I liked my job, my co-workers and I thought I was a valued employee that made worthwhile contributions in my work. Sigh...

So, today make these awesome brownies-that's the FIRST thing to do when you've lost your job. 

And 4 more things to do as well--

  1. Make these brownies.
  2. Take a deep breath....and then take 10 more. 
  3. Register online with your local Workforce Center.
  4. Polish your resume. 
  5. Eat half of the pan of brownies.

Sometimes you just need chocolate.

Chocolate can make even the worst day, just a little better, easier. 

So those farmers in South America and Africa that grow the cacao beans and ship them to be processed are an important part of a magical process to produce happiness and euphoria all over the world.

And yet, sometimes you just don't have the energy to make an epic chocolate something, it's just not happening baby....but you want more than just a plain old candy bar.

You want ooey-gooey chocolatey goodness and you want it NOW!

Saved by......

2 Ingredient Decadent Brownies

Photos Courtesy of Lori Lange
Photos Courtesy of Lori Lange

Cheesy Hash Brown and Hotdog Casserole-REDUX!!

If you thought Cheesy hashbrowns were good, just wait until you try this version. It will be loved by kids, adults and even others (?). 
No seriously, this is THAT good. 
Serve it with your favorite coleslaw or salad and voila, lunch or dinner DONE!!  

 Yum! It's so good!

Cheesy Hashbrown and HotDog Casserole

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup melted butter(opt.-I omit)
 2 tsp. dry minced onion
 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
 6 cups frozen hash brown potatoes-thawed

1 package hot dogs-sliced into 1/2" coins
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup Panko or bread crumbs

  1. Preheat oven to 375F and spray a 11 x 13 baking dish.
  2. Mix mayonnaise, soup, cottage cheese, butter-if using, onions and 1 cup cheese in a large bowl. Gently stir in potatoes, hot dogs and pepper. 
  3. Place mixture in a lightly greased 3 quart casserole. 
  4. Top with panko and remaining 1 cup of cheese. 
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until bubbly and slightly browned. 
  6. Cool for 8-10 minutes and then serve.


This recipe is shared on My Link Parties

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tender Blueberry and Lemon Muffins

My family will be the first to tell you that they don't consider me a "baker".

A chef, yes certainly, a baker, no, non, no way....


I keep trying to convince them that I may be able to hold my own in the baking world though and every once in a great while I make something  that actually makes them give it a thumbs up.

These Blueberry and Lemon Muffins did just that!! And yes I was still able to "riff" a baking recipe and it still turned out, rather well. :)

The secret is.....Greek Yogurt. 

Yep-thick, rich, creamy and tangy. It makes the muffins tender and gives them a nice "crumb". (See-I speak Baker.....)


That brown speckled look is from the Organic sweetener I used. If you haven't tried it yet, I would say you really should. 

It's called Sucanat, it's so good, and not too sweet. It's naturally made from dehydrated cane juice and it's made for baking.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Cilantro Lime Rice

Rice is generally considered a side dish here in the US, while in the east Asian world it is literally served with each meal of the day. It is also served mainly just plain. 

Leave it to the folks to the way south of us to take something so bland, and make it just jump up and dance with flavor!! The Lime zest and citrusy punch of the juice combine with the cilantro to make this boring side dish a welcome addition to any main, not just Mexican.

If you have never had this rice, you should really make an attempt to try it. It elevates plain white rice to a whole other level, almost main-dishness!


1 1/2 cups long grain Rice-cooked according to the directions
2 tbsp finely diced onion
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 3/4 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes

1 Lime, zested and juiced

1/4 cup Cilantro, minced

  1.  In a deep saucepan with a tight fitting lid, heat the oil the medium. Add in rice and onions, tossing all in the oil to coat and saute for 3-5 minutes until, onions are softened and rice is translucent.
  2. Add in water and bouillon, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. 
  3. Add in zest, juice of the lime and cilantro, cover and set aside for 10 minutes. Toss and serve. 

This recipe is shared on My Link Parties

Friday, February 14, 2014

Slow Cooker Pork Enchiladas-THE BEST!!

I seriously thought that my 16 year old daughter had come down with something because after she started eating this dish, she could not stop talking (she doesn't vocalize much at this age...) about how GOOD these enchiladas were!!

I love it when I can make my family non-speechless!!

I have to admit we are a family that loves a lot of diversity in our foods, but hands down the one we always consider "comfort" food is of Hispanic origin.
We like to tease my mom, she's almost 76, that she is from the "old country" but in reality she was born in northern New Mexico and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area (I was raised there also, hence SourdoughNative-wink wink).

She grew up cooking many Mexican dishes among so many others and it has just always been our favorite. Whenever we gather as a family 8 out of 10 times it will be centered around a big Mexican meal. And we LOVE it!

This easy take on a classic Mexican dish was started the day before in my slow cooker. I threw put a 3 pound pork butt roast in the slow cooker and covered it with 1 1/2 cups of homemade enchilada sauce (you could use canned of course). And that's it..........

For the pork filling of course. Once it's done, after 8-9 hours, shred it with 2 big forks and then make enchiladas, tacos, burritos, bowls, sandwiches and on and on. 

Come on! Let's get your Enchiladas on!

I was Featured:

I was featured at #GetHimFed Fridays


Monday, February 10, 2014

Easy Chicken Cacciatore Pasta

I was featured:
Flour Me With Love

This is a super delicious and phenomenally easy take on a Classic Italian dish.

Cuz sometimes you just want a really good meal but you can't fly to Tuscany today...

and the kids have a basketball game later know?

Yeah-we've all been faced with that dilemma, right?

Any way...

It's still colder here than in the North Pole I swear. Tonight it's supposed to get down to -25F. 

Yes, you read that correctly, -25 degrees Fahrenheit. 

But don't worry, this dish will have you nice and warmed up in no time. Totally unlike a traditional Cacciatore recipe~~

Chicken Cacciatore generally involves browning chicken pieces in a pot over high heat, then sauteing a mix of vegetables—onions, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes—in the same pot. Spices are added, followed by a little wine, and the chicken and veggies are allowed to cook together in the oven for an hour or more longer. 

This on the other hand will be sitting on your table and soon to be in your belly in just under 40 minutes!

Diggin' in-soooo good!!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Lemony Parmesan Pork

Even though we're still entrenched in Winter up here in the Midwest, there is no reason not to dangle a taste of Spring into our dishes!

This is a classic, simple way to bring fabulous flavor out in chicken, pork or fish. Simply season, lightly dust in flour, dig in egg and dredge in a parmesan/bread crumb mixture. 

Then lightly fry in olive oil and butter. Add in fresh lemon juice and white wine and...

You get tender crispy and oh so flavorful cuts of deliciousness, that you can almost taste that Spring might just be around the corner.  

Served with a fluffy baked potato and zucchini, you'll be counting the days to Spring!!