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Just a girl that loves cooking in the great state of Texas!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Frito Burritos

 This is a fun and easy dish and also a big hit with kids! A frito pie in a burrito.

Chili- fresh or canned, whatever is your favorite.
Frito Chips
Cheese- we used shredded Sharp Cheddar and leftover cheese sauce
Recipe for cheese sauce can be found here. 
Large Size Tortillas
Sour Cream (Optional)
Heat tortilla up. Place open tortilla on large plate.
Add Fritos.
Add Chili.
Add Cheeses.
Add Sour Cream.
Fold into a burrito shape  How to fold burritos.  
Cut in half and serve immediately.
Add Fritos
Add Chili and Cheeses
Top with Sour Cream
I like to leave mine with an open end when i fold the burrito!
Served with sweet corn nuggets.


Slow Cooker Mexican Rice

This is a recipe a dear friend taught me, converted for the slow cooker. Tastes just like the rice you'll find in a good Texas Mexican restaurant. Easy too!

5 Cups Hot Water
1 Cup Long Grain Rice
1 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
2 Chicken Bouillon Cubes
1 8 Ounce Can Tomato Sauce
1 Lemon
2 Tablespoons Oil

Place a skillet on stove top and heat the oil on medium high heat until hot. Add rice, stir constantly and cook til lightly golden. Remove from heat and set aside.

Add chicken bouillon to crock pot. Crush with fork. Add Cumin, Garlic Powder, Salt and Pepper.

Add hot water, tomato sauce and juice from one lemon to crock pot and stir until well mixed.

Add browned rice to crock pot. Cover and cook on high.

After about an hour or so, check to see if water is boiling, if so, remove lid. Depending on your crock pot it may be sooner.

Cook for 5-6 hours uncovered and on high until all water is evaporated.

After cooling rice for 15 minutes, stir well and serve.

Tips: Never stir rice while cooking and keep the lid off after the first hour, if not you'll have mushy rice. When checking to see if water is absorbed use a fork and part the rice a bit to see to bottom. Cover back up if water hasn't absorbed.

This is what the rice will look like when you first start browning it.

This is what it will look like when done.

 Crush up chicken bouillon with fork.

 Add seasonings.

Add hot water, rice, tomato sauce and lemon. Its ready to cook!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Chicken Alfredo Florentine

Better than Olive Gardens Fettuccine Alfredo! Are you like me and hate heating leftover fettuccine from Olive Garden? The Alfredo Sauce separates and is oily, nothing like when you ate it fresh at the restaurant.

This recipe is great because your leftovers will look and taste like the first time you made it! And boy is it Easy and Delicious!! And tell me its not better than Olive Gardens, i dare you! ;)


2 Grilled Chicken Breasts, sliced into strips
1-2 9 Ounce Packages Buitoni Fresh Fettuccine
1 8 Ounce Package Philadelphia Cream Cheese
3/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese, the kind you find in the unrefrigerated aisle
1/2 Cup Butter
1 Large Clove of garlic, minced
1/2 Cup Frozen and Thawed Chopped Spinach
2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream

To start, place a large, deep saute pan on the stove. Add garlic and stick of butter (1/2 Cup) on medium heat. Stir gently with a wire whisk until butter is melted.

Add cream cheese and stir constantly but gently. It will look like a mucky mess at first, i apologize for not getting a photo, will update with more first step photos when time permits.
Keep stirring until it looks creamy, do not add cream until you accomplish this step. After you reach the creamy stage, add cream. Stir, still using wire whisk, until well incorporated.

Add in parmesan cheese and stir well. Now, switch to a spoon and turn fire down to low, add spinach. Stir until mixed. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
While simmering the sauce start pasta. Boil according to package directions, for the full Olive Garden effect please try to use fresh pasta, it makes a WORLD of difference!

 If chicken isn't warm, heat in pan until warm. We used a chicken breast marinated in italian dressing with black pepper and garlic. We just cooked in a skillet til done.
TIPS: When storing leftovers keep sauce separate from pasta. Just reheat on stove on a low heat and serve over pasta. I always make one package of pasta for dinner and when i make leftovers i'll use the other package, this recipe is enough for 2 separate dinners.

 We served this dish with a Tomato,Avocado and Cucumber Salad with Italian Dressing over it. French Bread with Homemade Parmesan Butter, recipe follows.

Homemade Garlic Parmesan Butter

1 Stick of Margarine
1/4 Cup Parmesan
1 Large Clove of Garlic
1/4 Teaspoon Dried Parsley
Mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve with warm bread.

This is what the cream cheese, butter and garlic mixture should look like before pouring the cream.
After adding cream and parmesan this is what it will look like. 

And finished Alfredo Florentine Sauce!

Dinner is served


Monday, November 5, 2012

Grandma's Banana Pudding

 This is a recipe my grandma had given me many years ago. She's gone now and i really miss her. I still find ways to carry her memory with me. Anytime i'm in the kitchen cooking i feel her presence and i'm always thinking of her. She was the greatest cook and person. I really miss her cookin' too ;) This recipe, as most recipes, i added my own twist to it. Hope you enjoy! It is DELICIOUS!


1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 1/2 Cups Milk
1 Small Box of Vanilla or Banana Instant Pudding Mix
Cool Whip 16 ounce size
1 Box of Mini Vanilla Wafers (11 ounce)
3-4 Bananas

In a medium bowl combine sweetened condensed milk and milk. Mix until well combined. Add instant pudding. Mix well. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
After removing pudding mix from fridge fold in 2 1/2 cups of cool whip.
After combining, start layering pudding, nilla wafers and banana slices in a large bowl until you have used all of the pudding mix.
On the last layer, you'll end up with nilla wafers and banana slices on top. Spread a layer of cool whip all over the top.
Refrigerate 3-4 hours and serve cold.

Fold whip cream into pudding mix
 Until well mixed, it should look something like this
The start of the second layer, to keep the bowl from getting messy on the sides, place pudding in center and spread to edges carefully.
Almost done! I like to add layers of nilla wafers around the edges, it looks pretty!

Gosh, i wanna dive in!


Aren't the layers pretty?

                                           Time to eat!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Beef Fajita Tortas

These are very tasty and filling sandwiches. Instead of beef fajita you can always substitue chicken or whatever meat you prefer.

In addition to these ingredients i used in the torta, you can also smear a layer of refried beans on bottom before meat and add cheese on top of meat.



1 Pound Beef Fajita fresh off the grill
Bolillo Bread, 4 loaves, these are usually sold 4-5 in a package for a $1
Cut Loaves Lengthwise and throw on the grill until toasted
Lettuce shredded
Tomato sliced
Sour Cream
Hot Sauce

Cut fajita into slices, against the grain and then cube the slices. I use kitchen shears and it makes cutting the meat easy and fast.

Assemble tortas. With bread opened on a plate add meat on bottom half of bread. Add lettuce and tomato. Sprinkle with lime juice and hot sauce. On the top piece of bread smear a layer of sour cream and then a layer of guacamole. Place top piece of bread onto bottom piece of bread, cut in half. Repeat with remaining bread. Serve.

We served the tortas with Slowcooker Pinto Beans, you'll find the recipe here, 

Slow Cooker Pinto Beans


For many years i tried to master pinto beans. After years of experimenting, finally, a very tasty but simple Pinto Bean recipe. And am also revealing a secret you won't see in any pinto bean recipe, concentrated beef broth. Read on!


1 1/2 pounds (3 Cups) of Dried Pinto Beans
4-6 pieces of Bacon depending on Thickness and Size
1 packet of
Knorr Concentrated Beef Stock
1 Tablespoon + 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
2 Teaspoons of Chili Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
3 Teaspoons Salt
1 Garlic Clove Minced

Rinse and sort beans and place in crockpot, i have a 5 quart crockpot.
In a skillet fry up bacon.

While bacon is cooking, add beef broth to a small cup of very hot water. Using a fork mix it well into the water until almost dissolved. Add to crockpot, along with garlic, cumin, pepper and chili powder.
Never add salt to beans until after they have cooked all the way. If you do the beans will never get soft.

After the bacon is done remove from pan and have a bacon snack while you wait for the grease to cool off. After grease has cooled for 5 to 10 minutes, add to crockpot.
Add water to crockpot about 3/4 of the way full, refer to photo. You may need to add water during cooking time if you see the water has evaporated significantly, but not always.

Cook on high for 7-8 hours until beans are tender. Add salt.

This recipe is very versatile and after beans are done,  you can eat them as is or mash for refried beans or add in whatever you like to make borracho beans.

You may also add beans to a freezer bag and freeze for later use.

Dissolve beef broth in hot water
Until it looks like this 
Add broth, garlic and seasonings to beans
Add cooled bacon grease to crock
Mix it well til it looks like this
After a few hours of cooking and by now your house is smelling really yummy!
Ready to serve!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Baked Chicken and Mean Shells and Cheese


Simple. But, oh so good! The crunchy skin is to die for!!

1 Whole Chicken
Small yellow or White Onion, cut into large quarters
Orange, Lemon or Lime, cut into large quarters- for this recipe i used oranges.
Lawrys Seasoned Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
Mrs. Dash Original Blend
Garlic Powder

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees.
Wash and dry chicken, discarding liver, gizzards and whatever else may be lurking inside there!
 Place chicken in 13x9 roasting pan breast side up. Stuff cavity of chicken with quartered onions and
whatever citrus you chose. Stuff it nicely til it almost overflows.
Season outside of chicken with seasonings.

 Bake for about an hour and a half. You want the outside of the chicken to be a nice golden brown and crunchy looking skin. Did i mention how much i love that crunchy skin? :)
Let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Mean Shells and Cheese

We call these mean shells and cheese, because its so good you'll get mean fighting over leftovers- if there is any!
This cheese sauce is also a good universal sauce that can be
served with many things.

4 ounces Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
6 ounces Velveeta cut into cubes
Small can of Evaporated milk 5 ounce size
1/2- 3/4 cup milk
Dash of Nutmeg
Salt n pepper
1 package of small pasta shells 12 ounce size

In large pan boil water for pasta. Cook pasta as directed on package.
While pasta is cooking prepare cheese sauce. Add Sharp Cheddar, Velveeta, Evaporated Milk, 1/2 Cup milk, and Nutmeg. Cook in medium saucepan on medium low heat. Stir Constantly or the sauce will scorch. Scorching = ruined cheese sauce.
After cheese is all melted you may need to add a bit more milk, if the sauce is too thick, you want a medium consistency.
Add cooked pasta and stir until well incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste.

We served this with a side of Field Peas also.

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