Saturday, January 31, 2009

Easy SuperBowl Food

No matter if you are for the Steelers or the Cardinals, you'll want to have your Superbowl food ready in time for the half time Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band show!

Superbowl food is typically chips, dip or salsa, chili and that sort of thing. If you want to get fancy, you could make some quesadillas or small toasted sandwiches. I know some people who go for the shrimp platters and that sort of thing, too.

For example, take some loaves of that little cocktail bread - I like the rye - and make a bunch of little toasted cheese sandwiches. Now, you can get as creative as you like. Use different sorts of cheeses and meats. You could even make mini ruebens.

Same for quesadillas. You can make just plain cheese quesadillas with some salsa on the side, or get fancy with beans, chicken or beef inside.

We're going to pull out the stops with Crabmeat Quesadillas with Mango Pineapple Salsa this year. You can serve these with regular bottled salsa, too. Fruit salsas are especially good with chicken, pork or seafood. Here are the recipes:

Crabmeat Quesadillas

8 ounces crabmeat
1 cup finely sliced onions
10 (8-inch) flour tortillas
8 ounces Monterey jack cheese, shredded
3 ounces cream cheese
1 (4 ounce) can green chiles

Preheat oven to 175 degrees F.

Mix crabmeat, cheese, onions and green chiles. Cover tortillas with crabmeat mixture and fold over in half.

Using an iron skillet or griddle (my preference) heat the tortillas on each side until they are lightly brown and cheese is melted. You can weight them down slightly with a lightweight pan when you toast them. Put on baking sheets in oven to keep warm until ready to serve. Cut into wedges.

Serve hot with salsa.

Mango Pineapple Salsa

1 mango or papaya, diced
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
1 cup diced fresh pineapple
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
4 ounces diced green chiles
3 to 4 dashes hot pepper sauce

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate. This salsa will keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Have fun, and I hope your team wins!

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Best San Francisco Cippino Recipe

San Francisco is a beautiful place, and the food there is beyond fabulous! One of my favorite meals is cioppino which is a sort of soup or seafood stew.

Cioppino is San Francisco's answer to bouillabaisse without the saffron broth. Like that famous Provencal seafood soup, cioppino is made with a variety of the freshest seafood available. Feel free to use whatever seafood and fish you can find that is fresh and your favorite.

Here's a recipe that you will absolutely love!

Cioppino Recipe

1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, mashed or pressed
1 large green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced
2/3 cup chopped parsley
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
1 can (28 ounces) tomatoes
1 cup dry red or white wine
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dry basil
1/2 teaspoon dry oregano leaves
12 clams in shell, suitable for steaming, scrubbed
1 pound large shrimp, (30 per pound), shelled and deveined
2 live or cooked large Dungeness crab (about 2 pounds each), cleaned and cracked

In 6-8 quart pan over medium heat, combine oil, onion, garlic, bell pepper, and parsley. Cook, stirring often, until onion is soft. Stir in tomato sauce, tomatoes (break them up with spoon) and their liquid, wine, bay leaf, basil, and oregano. Cover and simmer until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.

Add clams, shrimp, and crab to the broth. Cover and simmer gently until clams pop open and shrimp turn pink, about 20 minutes. Ladle hot broth and some of each shellfish into large bowls. Serve with warm sourdough or crusty french bread.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Easy Mexican Casseroles Recipes!

Buy Authentic Mexican Food at!
We love Mexican food, and I'm always on the lookout for good Mexican recipes. I found some great Mexican casseroles recipes at - it's an online grocery shopping store for Authentic Mexican food, cooking recipes and culture. They were nice enough to offer us this 10% off savings coupon, so if you like Mexican cuisine like I do, you may want to take a look at what they offer.

We made this one last night, and it was fabulous:

Hearty Tortilla Casserole Recipe

1 1/2 lb. Ground Beef
1 large Onion chopped
1 pkg. Lawry's Taco Seasoning
3-6 Cilantro Sprigs
1 cup Olives chopped
1 28 oz. can Tomatoes chopped
1 1/4 cup Enchilada Sauce
8 Corn Tortillas
2 cups Cheddar Cheese grated
2 cups Monterrey Jack Cheese grated
1 cup Tortilla Chips crushed

Brown ground beef, drain any excess fat. Add onion, garlic and bell pepper; cook until soft.Add chopped tomatoes to beef mixture. Add enchilada sauce and taco seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

Grease a 3-quart casserole. Heat tortillas according to package directions. Put approx. 1/3 of meat mixture in the casserole dish followed by a layer of tortillas, cheese and olives. Repeat twice. Sprinkle crushed corn chips around the edges and bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes or until heated through. Cut into wedges.

Enjoy this delicious Mexican tortilla casserole Mexican!

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pillsbury Bakeoff Contest - Win $1 Million for Your Recipe

Calling all cooks. Think you can come up with a good, original recipe using certain Pillsbury products? If so, you may win $1 million in the Pillsbury Bakeoff Contest.

Each year Pillsbury accepts recipes from thousands of cooks nationwide (no professionals). This year there are four categories: Breakfast and Brunches; Entertaining Appetizers; Dinner Made Easy; and Sweet Treats. One overall winner will be chosen in each category, and one of the recipe category winners will be chosen as the grand prize winner.

Originally recipes must use two or more different eligible products. The varieties and sizes listed below are the only eligible products. You must use at least 1 ingredient from List A and a second ingredient from either List A or List B in at least the quantity specified - see the lists here.

Why not put together a great new recipe, test it on your family, and then enter to win as much as $1 million!

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Eating at Home More Often.....

Since we are currently involved in our own economic crisis, we are eating at home much more often. Although we do enjoy restaurants, and Miami has some really wonderful restaurants, it is more cost effective to cook for ourselves at home these days.

Sometimes I'm so tired and uninspired it's just eggs and toast for dinner - which can be quite tasty, so I'm not complaining. But planning to cook every night is getting to be a chore, especially since my husband will NOT eat leftovers. That's where I have to get creative and use the leftovers in such a way that he doesn't even know that he had it the night before. You won't believe how many times I have gotten away with it!

Anyway, I'm learning to plan ahead much better in order not to have to spend as much time in the kitchen. For instance, roast two chickens for a nice Sunday dinner, instead of just one. You'll save energy, and you'll save time when you use the extra chicken to make quesadillas or tacos on Tuesday. Leftover roast chicken is also great to make white chili, or sandwiches.

Likewise, leftover roast beef can be turned into beef stew, beef barley soup or shepherd's pie for a yummy cold weather dinner. We also like to make hash or sandwiches from leftover roast beef.
Basically, try to plan meals ahead of time. You'll save time, money, and effort.

Here's one of our all-time favorite recipes using leftover cooked chicken:

King Ranch Chicken Casserole Recipe
serves 6-8

1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomato and green chiles
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese, divided

Sauté onion and bell pepper in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in chicken and next 7 ingredients; remove from heat.

Tear tortillas into 1-inch pieces; layer one-third of tortilla pieces in bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Top with one-third of chicken mixture and 2/3 cup cheese. Repeat layers twice.

Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes.

Note: Freeze casserole up to 1 month, if desired. Thaw in refrigerator overnight, and bake as directed.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Easy Recipes for Ground Beef

Ground meats, including beef, chicken and turkey are great to keep on hand to make quick and nutritious meals. There are so many easy recipes using ground beef, but you can substitute the lighter turkey or chicken if you like. Best yet, ground meats are lower cost than other cuts of meat.

Some of our favorite easy recipes for ground beef include tacos or taco salad; chili with beans; sloppy joes; and shepherds pie (if you don't have leftover roast you can use ground meat).

My own chili with beans recipe is a great favorite with my family, and I hope your family will like it too:

Chili with Beans
serves 4

½ large onion, chopped
1 lb ground beef
1 envelope McCormick chili mix (spicy or medium blend)
1 T Mexican Chili powder
1 t Garlic powder
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce minced fine
1 can chopped tomatoes in juice (14 oz)
1 can spicy chili beans
Veggie broth

Saute chopped onion in olive oil until translucent. Add ground beef. Stir and cook until browned. Add about one tablespoon Mexican chili powder, one teaspoon or more garlic powder and McCormick chili mix. Stir in minced chipotle, tomatoes and beans. Add enough veggie broth or beef broth to make a nice consistency. Bring to a boil and simmer at least 10 minutes.

Serve with chopped red or green onion, shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

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