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

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Triple Chocolate Buttermilk Muffins

Calling all chocolate lovers! Loaded with chocolate these muffins are just what the doctor ordered. These are great for breakfast, snacking, dessert or heck, anytime! Super easy to make and quick to cook, you'll be happy before you know it! I hope you enjoy this recipe. If you make these, I would love to hear how much you liked them!


1/2 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 3/4 Cups Flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa
1/2 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup White Chocolate Chips
You'll want extra chips to top the muffins before cooking
1 Cup Buttermilk
3/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
2 Eggs
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line 15 muffin tins with cupcake liners. You may need to give or take when filling so have some extra liners handy. Most of the time I get 15, sometimes 16.

In a medium bowl add sugars, flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa. Mix. Add chocolate chips and mix until incorporated.

In a large bowl add buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla. Mix well using a wire whisk.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix with spoon just until everything is incorporated. Don't over mix, muffins will be tough if you do.

Fill liners with batter 3/4 of the way full until all batter is used. Top muffins with extra chips don't press them in the batter, just lightly lay them on.

Bake for 17-20 minutes. Muffins are done when you touch top and it springs back. Remove from oven.

Remove from pan when cool enough to handle. Place on wire rack to further cool. Eat them as soon as they are cool enough to handle. These taste best served warm!

Mix dry ingredients in medium bowl

Add chocolate chips, mix

In large bowl mix wet ingredients

Stir well with whisk

It will look like this

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients

Stir just until mixed

Fill muffin tins 3/4 of the way full, top with more chips

These will remind you of devils food cake and a brownie put together

When broken you can see how moist these are on the inside

Dig in!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Barb's Creole Dip- Slow Cooker

Here's another dip I like making during the holidays. Super easy, very tasty and at parties or gatherings it goes quick! I received this recipe from my grandma many years ago. Not too sure who Barb was but boy, this is a great dip! Converted for the slow cooker. Which is also great to keep the dip warm while serving at parties. If you're pressed for time and need to come up with something quick for that company party, here is the go to dip!


1 Pound Ground Beef
3-5 Green Onions, Large
1 Bell Pepper
2 Stalks Celery
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Pound Package Velveeta Cheese
1 8 Ounce Package Cream Cheese
1/4 Cup Milk
1 4 Ounce Jar Chopped Pimento with Juice
4 Teaspoons Chili Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
2 Teaspoons Tony Chachere's Creole Season
Tabasco to Taste

Mince green onion, celery and bell pepper in food processor.

Brown ground beef and drain grease.

Add butter to beef and melt on medium heat.

Add minced veggies and sauté for 5-7 minutes

Add to crock pot.

Cut cream cheese and velveeta into cubes. Add to crock pot.

Add remaining ingredients to crock pot. Stir.

Cook on low for 2 hours stirring 2-3 times during cook time.

Keep on warm setting throughout party to keep warm.
Serve with chips.

Saute veggies and meat in butter

Add all ingredients to crock pot

Stir. Cook on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally

Serve warm with chips!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Perfect Fried Rice

One day while grocery shopping I ran across a fried rice seasoning sauce and decided to buy it and try my hand at fried rice. I absolutely love Benihana's fried rice but anywhere else, eh, not so much.

This seasoning is part of what makes this so delicious, its called Mr. Wong's Oriental Wok Perfect Fried Rice Seasoning. It seems the only place you can buy it is Kroger or online. You can find the online version here on this page, Fried Rice Seasoning There is also a link to the recipe that's on the back of the bottle. That was a bit of inspiration for my recipe. But after all the goodies I added, this rice is as close to Benihana's as you could possibly come!

Have all your ingredients on hand and easy to get to as the steps will move pretty quickly. You can use regular long grain rice but I find the jasmine has a nice nutty flavor and brings out the sesame oil nicely.


2 Cups uncooked Jasmine Rice
4 Cups Water
2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Eggs, beaten
1/4 Cup Yellow Onion, chopped finely
1/3 Cup frozen Peas and Carrots Mix
3 Green Onion, chopped
2-3 Garlic Cloves, minced
3 Tablespoons Butter
1/3 to 1/2 Cup of Oriental Wok Perfect Fried Rice Seasoning

Add 4 cups water to large pot. On medium high heat bring to a boil. Add rice. Cover and turn heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Set aside.

In a very large non stick skillet or wok if you have one, you'll end up with four cups of rice in the end, add sesame and olive oils. Heat on medium high heat.

Once heated,add beaten egg and spread around. Cook until just set. Break up and push to side of pan. I like to move my pan where the heat isn't so much on the eggs but on the rest of the pan for the next step.

Add yellow onion, peas and carrots to cleared area in skillet. Add small handful of green onions. Saute until yellow onions become translucent. 

Clear an area in center of pan, add butter. Immediately add minced garlic on top of butter. Let melt. Mix everything all together in skillet now.

Add fried rice seasoning. Stir well. I always start with a 1/3 cup of seasoning, sometimes I may need more when mixing the rice in with it. Most of the time I use the amount that's between a 1/3 and 1/2 cup.

Add half of cooked rice to skillet. Mix well. Add remaining rice and mix until sauce is evenly incorporated. Add remaining green onions to top of rice.

The Sauce!

Heat oils in skillet

Add beaten egg

Move egg to side, add yellow onion, peas n carrots and a small handful of green onions

Cook until yellow onion is translucent

Add butter and garlic to center of skillet

Mix it up

Add sauce and stir

Add half of rice

Mix well and add remaining rice. Mix

Until sauce is evenly incorporated

Add green onions to top

Serve as is or with your favorite Chinese dish

Monday, December 9, 2013

Ham and Cream Cheese Spread

This is an unbelievably easy, very tasty and impressive holiday appetizer. Five ingredients, you won't believe that after you taste it!

 This recipe has been in my family for a good 30 years plus. It's a great treat to make for a party. You can easily shape it into anything. For this time of year, I thought it would look cute shaped into a Christmas tree!

My mom is quite the gourmet cook and she still makes this for parties. She likes to shape hers into a pig and add olives for eyes. A heart shape would be nice for Valentine's day. Egg for Easter. This recipe is very versatile!

With the leftovers you can add onto a toasted bagel. Add into a chicken breast and then bread it for stuffed chicken. On top of eggs for breakfast. Seriously, the possibilities are endless!


2 8 ounce packs of cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon worcestershire
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3 2 ounce packs Buddig ham, chopped into squares
3-4 green onions, finely chopped

In a medium bowl add cream cheese, worcestershire and garlic powder. Mix well.

Add green onions and chopped ham, mix until well incorporated.

Shape and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Essentially overnight works best. Serve with crackers, pita squares, bagel crisps, etc.

Add cream cheese, worcestershire, and garlic powder. Mix

Chop ham into little squares

I like to use scissors to cut my green onions, easy and quick!
I think I need some new scissors :)

Add ham and onions. Mix

Shape into desired shape

I chose a tree

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate

Adding curled parsley and crackers makes it ready for the party!

Serve with love!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Flat Iron Steak Street Tacos and Roasted Pepper Guacamole

Find us on Facebook! Cookin' it up in Texas

Here in Texas you can find several taco stands all over town. A popular taco is called street tacos. The tacos have a smaller tortilla. You usually double the tortillas for each taco. Add your favorite meat. Voila, you have a street taco! Hearty, filling and very tasty! In this recipe you'll find a cut of meat that doesn't seem to get the popularity it deserves. Flat Iron Steak.

Here is a handy article about this cut of meat, Flat Iron Steak

If you've never sampled this cut of beef seriously, you have been missing a delectable meat. It reminds me of a cross between Rib Eye and Filet Mignon. It was a good choice for tacos!

What's great about this recipe is its versatility. If your not in the mood for Mexican food, and just want to grill it, omit the lime juice. Served sliced over a salad and/or a baked potato and you have a totally different meal in itself!

Now, for the guacamole, roasted garlic, serrano and jalapeno peppers give this guac a unique taste. Great addition for those street tacos!

Ingredients for street tacos:

2-5 pound flat-iron steak
Steak seasoning of choice
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper
Juice of one lime
Package of small size corn tortillas
Fixings for tacos, lettuce, tomato, salsa, cheese, sour cream, etc.

Season meat with steak seasonings, I used a mesquite and texas style steak seasoning. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight is fine.

When your ready to cook steak, remove from fridge and let sit out for 30-45 minutes to reach room temperature.

Fire up the grill and let it reach 345-350 degrees, it should take about five minutes or so. Right after you fire it up, clean grill with a half of an onion.

While grill is preheating, melt butter in microwave, after melted add 3 tablespoons worcestershire and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Stir well.

When grill is ready add meat, cook for 5 minutes. We use a timer that we sit right next to the grill. Using tongs rotate a half turn on the grill. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Flip steak. Start basting with butter mixture, make sure you stir before each baste. Cook 5 minutes. Rotate steak a half turn. Cook 5 minutes. Make sure you baste throughout remaining cook time.

Flip steak and cook 5 minutes. And a final flip, baste and cook for 5.

Cook time will be 30 minutes total. If you want a less well done meat, lessen cook time by a few minutes.

Remove from grill and add lime juice to steak. Let rest for 10-15 minutes. Slice into thin slices.

Warm up tortillas and build tacos.

While steak is cooking prepare guacamole.

Roasted Pepper Guacamole

2 small avocadoes
1 serrano pepper
1 jalapeno pepper
Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of roasted garlic, finely minced
Half a lime
Half of roma tomato, diced
Salt and pepper to taste

If you need to roast garlic here is a simple tutorial, How to Roast Garlic I just wrap the whole head loosely in foil, no need to dirty any pans for this! Make this well before you start cooking steak.

If you have a gas stove, turn heat to medium high. If not, use the grill while preheating for meat. Put peppers directly onto heat. Don't be alarmed when you hear crackling and popping. Turning with tongs as you cook.

You want a nice char on the outside of the peppers. Refer to photos, if needed. After you hear no more popping and skin has blackened, add to paper bag. Close and set aside.

The smaller serrano was done a lot sooner then the bigger jalapeno, keep this in mind when roasting.

Add avocado, onion, roasted garlic, cilantro and salt n pepper into medium bowl.

By this time the pepper should have cooled enough to handle. Shake the paper bag really hard to remove some of the blackened skin. Remove from bag and chop peppers. There will still be blackened skin, keep this on there. Add to avocado mix.

Using a fork mash avocado.

Add juice of one half lime and chopped tomatoes. Serve

Note: When slicing peppers we don't usually use the whole peppers, I used about a quarter of each. If you add more avocado increase amount of ingredients.

For Flat Iron Steak Street Tacos:

Seasoning for steak

Seasoned meat

Add pepper to melted butter

Add worcestershire

Stir well

Add meat to preheated grill

Grill should be around 345-350 degrees

After 5 minutes rotate half turn

This ensures pretty grill marks

These photos are making me hungry!

Baste throughout cook time after first flip

Oh jeez, I love the charred edges!

Almost done!

Squeeze lime after you remove from grill

After meat rests, slice into thin slices

Roasted Pepper Guacamole:

Roast peppers on medium high heat

Popping and crackling and a great roasted pepper smell!

Add peppers to paper bag

The bigger jalapeno will take longer to roast

You want peppers nice and charred

Seal in paper bag when finished

Fresh ingredients for guacamole

Photobomb! Our "kids" :)
This was the only shot I got after shaking the bag, it will have to do!

Slice peppers

Finely dicing 

Add to guacamole mix, mash with fork

Squeeze lime and add tomatoes

Warm up those tortillas

You could stop here

But why not add a little more to those tacos

Don't forget the cheese!

And sour cream, if you prefer

We served the tacos with pinto beans and macaroni salad

Macaroni salad will be an upcoming recipe!


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