Split Pea with Ham Soup

1 pound dried split peas, picked through, rinsed and drained
1 ½ pound ham bone
8 cups cold water
3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 potatoes, diced
2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

1. In a large pot melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots and potatoes cook, stirring until soft, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic cook another minute.
2. Add in the peas, ham, water, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper.
3. Bring to a boil then simmer for 1 ½ hours or until peas are tender, stirring occasionally.
4. Remove the bay leaf and the ham bone. Cut off any remaining meat, chop up and return meat to the soup. Return soup to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Apple Gravy Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
garlic powder
1/2 onion, chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced into wedges
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups apple cider

1. Heat oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper and garlic powder, add to pan and sear until golden, about 4 minutes each side.
2. Remove chicken from pan, and set aside. Add remaining butter, onion, apple, garlic, thyme and bay leaves. Sauté until apple begins to brown, about 6 minutes. Add flour and stir 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Stir in cider, and place chicken back into pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until chicken is cooked through, about 12 minutes.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

4 strips thick-cut bacon, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved
1/2 large onion, chopped

1. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
2. In same pan with bacon fat, melt butter over high heat. Add onions and Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally, until Brussels sprouts are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Season with salt and pepper, and toss bacon back into pan. Serve immediately.


Shrimp Scampi

1 ½ - 2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
7 garlic cloves, minced
3 green onions, chopped
pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon parsley leaves, chopped

1. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onions, garlic and red pepper flakes about 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Add them to the pan and cook until they have turned pink, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.
3. Add wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil. When the butter has melted, return the shrimp to the pan along with the parsley. Stir well to coat.


Slow Cooked Beef and Spaghetti

2-3 pound beef roast (I used tri tip since that is what I had)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2- 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoon oregano, dried
2 teaspoons basil, dried
cooking spray

1. Season roast with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add roast and brown on all sides.
2. Spray crock pot with cooking spray. Place roast in the crock pot. Add onions, garlic, tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.
3. Cook on low for 8 hours. Slice and serve over the top of spaghetti noodles.


Cinnamon Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease one 9x5 inch loaf pan or 4 mini loaf pans.
2. Add flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, salt, buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla into large mixing bowl. Beat 3 minutes. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Smooth top.
3. Combine 2 tablespoons white sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and butter, mixing until crumbly. Sprinkle topping over smoothed batter. Using knife cut in a light swirling motion to give a marbled effect.
4. Bake for about 50 minutes for large loaf pan or 35 minutes for mini loaves. Test with toothpick. When inserted it should come out clean. Remove bread from pan to rack to cool.



I was fucking around on the Carrows Website last week. I had a coupon and I wanted to see what was offered. I came across this picture of their burger quesidilla thing. I thought it looked good and easy to make. Then I realized that my husbands version would have to be different. Here is the version I came up with. In hindsite I kind of think i would have either fried the burger up as ground beef instead of patties, or done it as a longer thinner patty as opposed to a thick round one, and folded it burrito style. Either way he loved it, and it was sealed good enough to take to work and reheat! Here is my version of it. (Please note, I used a veggie burger in mine, and just let it cook in the oven and it came out friggin perfect!)

5 Burrito size flour tortillas
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 package mushrooms sliced
1 cup white onion halve and sliced
3 tbsp grill seasoning
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
4 slices bacon
1/2 cup shredded pepperjack cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
2 tomatoes sliced
oil to sauté

Note: I did this all in one pan, to make it faster I suppose you could use two or three pans.

Preheat oven to 450. In large nonstick skillet heat oil over medium high heat. Toss in mushrooms and cook until soft. Don't stir them much so they can brown. Add in onions and sauté until onions and mushrooms caramelize. Remove onions and mushrooms and reduce heat to medium low. Place bacon in and turn every few minutes until crispy. In large bowl combine hamburger, salt, pepper and grill seasoning. For 3 long patties. Remove bacon from pan and turn heat back to medium high. Place burgers in the pan and brown on both sides. It is important not to cook them all the way through. Remove from heat. Heat tortillas for 30 seconds in microwave so they are soft and bendable. Place one tortilla on cookie sheet. Add 1/3 pepperjack cheese to center of tortilla, followed by 1/3 of tomatoes, mushrooms & onions and bacon. Place burger on top and spread mayo on the patty. Top with 1/3 mozzarella cheese. Halve a second tortilla and place half on top of the cheese. Fold the bottom tortilla over. I did it by folding on side and then slowly bringing up the corniners so I had a total of about 6 folds. Then place it folded side down on a cookie sheet. Repeat with the other two. Bake for 15 minutes or until brown on one side, flip and bake until brown on the second side. Remove and allow 5 minutes to cool. Cut in half and serve. We served ours with ketchup and mayo mixed together, and also with ranch. Both were great for dipping.

Fried Fish Tacos

vegetable oil for frying
1 pound talapia fillets
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup beer
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 cups cabbage, shredded
1 lime

1. Heat the oil in a deep fryer or in a large saucepan.
2. In a large mixing bowl mix 1 cup of the flour, the baking powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Add the oil, beer, and hot sauce. Stir until smooth.
3. Cut each fillet into 1 1/2-inch strips. In a small bowl combine the remaining 1/2 cup flour with the garlic powder. Cover the fish in the seasoned flour. Then place each piece of fish in the beer batter, making sure the fish is completely coated. Allow any excess batter to drip into the bowl.
4. Fry the fish in the hot oil until it is golden brown and crispy, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the fish and drain on a paper towel.
5. Serve tacos with fresh lime juice and topped with shredded cabbage and hot sauce.


Hamburger Pie

1-1 ½ pounds ground hamburger
6 cups mashed potatoes
1 can French-style green beans, drained
1 can tomato soup
3 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1-1 ½ cups shredded Colby cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a large skillet cook hamburger, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper over medium-high for about 5-8 minutes, or until no longer pink, stirring constantly. Drain excess fat.
3. Mix in the can of tomato soup, half of a can of water, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in the green beans. Simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
4. Place hamburger mixture in a 9x13 baking dish. Top with a layer of mashed potatoes then sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 30 minutes.


Turkey and Rice Soup

12 cups turkey or chicken stock
5 cups cooked turkey
1 onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
5 stalks of celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 cup wild rice, uncooked
1 cup white rice, uncooked
olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon sage
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon rosemary

1. Coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil. Saute the onions and garlic about 2-5 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the celery and carrots, cook about 2-5 minutes stirring constantly. Stir in spices.
2. Add turkey, stock and rice. Simmer over medium low heat for about an hour, or until the rice is cooked and the vegetables are tender.


Red rice

2 Cups cooked white rice
6 oz tomato sauce
1/4 tsp ground coriander seed
1/8 tsp chili powder
1 cub vegetable bullion
1/4 cup water
5 cloves garlic chopped
1/4 cup white or yellow onion chopped
1/2 cup fresh or frozen white corn
salt and pepper to taste

In large non stick skillet add rice over medium heat. Toss every minute allowing the rice to begin to crisp and dry out a little. In microwave safe dish add water and bouillon and microwave 2 minutes or until boiling. Stir until bouillon is dissolved. Add onions, garlic and corn to rice and continue tossing to cook. Combine tomato paste, bouillon, coriander, chili powder, salt and pepper in bowl. Slowly add 1/4 of tomato mixture and toss to coat cook about 1 minute. Add another 1/4 tomato mix in and repeat until all tomato mixture is added. Cook until tomato mixture has cooked into rice completely so the rice is not wet. Taste for seasoning.

Note: You could sub veggie bouillon for chicken bouillon if you would like for a meatier flavor.

Red bean quesidillas

This portion will serve two

1 can red beans
1/2 cup fresh or frozen white corn
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1 tsp ground corriander
1.5 cups shredded monteray jack cheese
2 large flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 350. Rinse beans. In microwave safe dish heat beans for about 1 minute 30 seconds. Combine beans, corn, tomatoes and corriander. Place tortillas on cookie sheet. Line half of tortilla with 1/4 cheese. Top with half of your bean mixture. Top with 1/4 cheese and fold. Repeat. Spray the tops with cooking spray and place them in the oven for about 10 minutes to cook through. Turn broiler onto high and brown side one of your quesidillas. Remove them and flip them over. Spray with cooking spray and brown that side. Serve with sour cream and salsa if you desire.

HINT! When browning the outsides of your tortillas DO NOT leave your husband in charge of letting you know when they begin to brown. If you do, you may end up hearing SHIT SHIT SHIT coming from the kitchen as you run in to find your dinner looking like this.

My husbands favorite breakfast potatoes

4 white potatoes quartered and sliced very thin
1/2 yellow onion fine diced
1 clove garlic fine diced
1.5 tbsp rosemary chopped
1 SMALL pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1 tbsp butter
3 tbsp olive oil
1 slice bacon

The key to making these potatoes right is to make sure to put everything in the right order. A very common mistake is for people to throw things in all at once and burn the onions and garlic. In a large skillet add olive oil and butter over medium heat. Toss in potatoes and leave them alone. The key here is to let them start to brown. Turn them a few times until they are a light brown. Add in the onions and rosemary and toss it all to coat. Make a well in the center of the potatoes and add in your slice of bacon. Once the potatoes are brown and the onions are clear toss in the garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Reduce to low and toss a few more times. Remove the bacon before you serve this is simply there for flavor, I usually toss it in the pan with the other bacon I'm cooking to let it fry up properly.

I used to cook my bacon and then make the potatoes in the same pan but I found that any remnant pieces burned and it was also too much of a bacon flavor. The one slice of bacon gives it just a hint of smokey pork fat goodness.


Roasted onion potatoes

While I was planning my menu a few weeks back my cousin mentioned that you could put Lipton Onion soup in meatloaf. I thought it sounded weird, but I think meatloaf is weird so I said why the hell not. While we were at the store she told me there is a recipe on the back for some potatoes. I got two packs of the soup mix and figured why the hell not. It was cheap right? So I made them and everyone loved them. I thought they tasted kind of like an onion bagel, but they were good. I don't normally post recipes that I didn't tweak, or that aren't prepackaged but, this was a good recipe and it went with my whole CHEAP cooking thing. So, try em out, they are good, and while your at it make some meatloaf.

1 envelope Lipton® Recipe Secrets® Onion Soup Mix
4 all-purpose potatoes, cut into large chunks (about 2 lbs.)
1/3 cup vegetable oil


This was my first attempt at meatloaf. I don't have a meatloaf pan hence the funny shape of my loaf. Anyway Brandon loved it especially because he could help me make it. Here is my recipe.

Lean ground beef (I would say I used about 1.5 lbs)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
7 saltine crackers (smooshed)
1/2 cup fine dice yellow onion
/2 garlic powder
2 eggs
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 tbsp italian bread crumbs
1 pack lipton onion soup mix (near the soups at the store)
2 tbsp milk
2 green onions chopped (light green and white parts only)

Throw all ingredients in a bowl and mix WITH HANDS! Preheat oven to 350 and bake covered for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for about 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 (for medium rare).


Turkey Chili

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 chipotle chile in adobo, chopped, plus 1 tablespoon sauce
1 1/4 pound ground turkey
1 1/2 Mexican style beers
2 cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt, chili powder, and oregano and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
2. Stir in the tomato paste and the chipotle chile and sauce, cook 1 minute.
3. Add the turkey, and cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 3 to 5 minutes.
4. Add the beer and simmer until reduced by about half, about 8 minutes.
5. Add the tomatoes and the beans, bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 10 minutes.
6. Serve the chili topped with your favorite garnishes, cheese, sour cream, onion, tortilla chips or crackers.


Baked apples

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 similar sized gala apples
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into 6 teaspoon-size pieces
  • 1 cup spiced apple cider (or apple juice)
Preheat oven to 350. Combing first three ingredients. Core apples (don't puncture through to the bottom). If you do not have a corer a metal 12 teaspoon works great to dig out the insides. Peel off the top half of the apple skin. Line a deep baking dish with foil and place apples in. Fill the inside half full with sugar mixture and sprinkle remaining on top. Pour juice in the bottom of pan surrounding apples. Add 1 teaspoon of butter to each apple. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Check apples for softness if they are done serve them if not pop em back in for another 10 minutes.

I don't have the best picture of this because I was so goddamn excited to eat it I started eating before taking he picture. Also you can make the sugar mixture and just keep it in a tupperware and use it for one or two apples as needed. Last night I just made one for Brandon.

Finally you can put these in the crockpot on low for about 2 hours and your house will smell amazing leaving you with a delicious desert too!


Mini Spanish Frittatas

Frittatas are a cheap and easy thing to throw together for breakfast. You can basically use whatever you have in your fridge to switch it up. The standard frittata is made in a large skillet. Making them in muffin tins makes this fun for the kids.

5 eggs
1/3 cup milk
2 chorizo sausages
1 tablespoon butter
3 flour tortillas, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Remove chorizo from casing, form small balls and place in a small skillet. Cook on high heat about 5-8 minutes, or until no longer pink stirring regularly.
3. In another small skillet add butter and flour tortillas. Lightly brown the tortillas for about 5 minutes stirring regularly. Do not allow to burn.
4. Whisk the eggs, milk, pepper, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the chorizo, tortillas, and cheese.
5. Fill muffin cups almost to the top with the egg mixture. Bake until the egg mixture puffs and is set in the center, about 10 to 12 minutes.
6. Frittatas should come out of the muffins tin easily with a fork or rubber spatula. Serve immediately.


Chicken Wings


2 pounds chicken wings
1 cup Frank's RedHot original hot sauce
1/2 a stick melted butter
crushed red peppers
garlic powder

1. On a large baking sheet arrange chicken wings in a single layer. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Bake at 400 for an hour turning halfway through.
2. In a large bowl add melted butter, Franks, and crushed red peppers. I use about 1-2 teaspoons, but we like spice in our house so add to your desired spiciness.
3. Place cooked chicken wings in bowl and thoroughly coat with hot sauce.


2 pounds chicken wings
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup hoisen sauce
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoon ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon corn starch
2 green onions, thinly sliced

1. In a bowl mix the orange juice, hoisen sauce, lemon juice, oil, sugar, ginger, garlic and corn starch.
2. In a large baking dish arrange chicken wings in a single layer and coat with sauce mixture.
3. Bake at 400 for an hour, turning halfway through and recoating with sauce.
4. Serve topped with extra sauce and green onions.


Lemon garlic pork tenderlon - taking help from the store

Another cheapy. A few weeks back I was at the store shopping. I wanted pork tenderloin. They were out of the stuff that was un-marinated. I noticed they had one pre-marinated in a garlic lemon marinade. I hemmed and hawed wondering if I could actually buy something that someone else marinated. Finally I tossed it in the cart and figured I would give it a shot. I got home and realized I could not serve it like that I had to do something to make it my own so I threw together a quick glaze. The husband loved it so I made it again this week. Here is my taking help from the store meal.

1 Lemon garlic pork tenderloin
5 cloves garlic 3 chopped 2 sliced into quarters
1/2 cup soy sauce
5 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup water
2 pinches crushed red pepper
Black pepper

Preheat oven to 375. Combine soy sauce, water, lemon juice, crushed red pepper and diced garlic. Using a sharp knife poke 8 holes in your pork and slide your quartered garlic down into the middle. Place pork on baking sheet fat side up and season with pepper to you liking. Cover with sauce and place in oven for about 20 minutes or until pork reaches 155. I like to turn the pork once in the sauce half way through cooking. Allow pork to rest on counter until inner temperature reaches 160 degrees and then cut on an angle. Drizzle with sauce and serve. Some people may prefer to remove the garlic from the center first.

The pork tenderloin is $7.98 at my walmart. It serves 4 small portions or 2 large ones. I like to serve this with a simple potato and vegetable such as asparagus. The whole meal, with potato and veggie can be made for about 13.00. I had the soy sauce, lemon juice and garlic on hand.

Stuffed bell peppers take two - meals on a budget

As I told you last week I was going to start creating meals on a budget. This was the weeks first budget friendly meal. I'm not sure how to tally the cost since I had the sausage, garlic rice, and onions on hand. However this entree can be made for under 10.00 easily and serve up to 6 single portions.

1 pound pork sausage
4 green onions diced
1 pack mushrooms diced
1/2 white onion diced
5 cloves garlic diced
1 cup cooked white rice
1 pinch crushed red peppers
2 tsp ranch powder
1 cup diced tomatoes in a can
1/4 cup italian bread crumbs
1.5 cups monteray jack cheese shredded
salt and pepper
Olive oil

The first thing I want to say is, to make this meal vegetarian cook the sausage in a separate pan with salt and pepper. Remove your vegetarian filling and make your peppers and then add the cooked sausage to the remaining peppers and proceed to make them.

Preheat oven to 350. Cook rice. Cut tops off of peppers and seed them. Cut just enough of the bottom of the pepper off to make it stand straight. Lightly drizzle olive oil over peppers and place them on sheet pan in oven. Begin chopping all of your ingredients. Heat nonstick skillet over medium heat and add onions (white and green). Sauté and then add garlic and mushrooms. When onions and mushrooms have finished cooking add in salt, pepper, crushed pepper, ranch powder and tomatoes. Over medium heat brown sausage in seperate pan. Combine and cook about two minutes. Add rice and bread crumbs to mixture and combine. Remove softened peppers form oven. Drain oil from sausge and mix it into rice and veggies. Place small amount of cheese in the bottom of each pepper. Fill half of pepper with mixture. Add cheese and pack down. Fill with more mixture to tippy top and add more cheese. Place in oven for 10 minutes to allow cheese to melt and ingredients to combine.

Remember for the vegetarian version you want to stuff your peppers AND THEN add the sausage to the left over mixture.

Look at that melty gooey cheese

(vegetarian version)

Printable Version
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Extreme Breakfast Sandwich

½ pound hot pork sausage
1 everything bagel
cream cheese
2 slices of sharp cheddar
2 eggs
hot sauce

1. Split the sausage in half and make two patties. Place patties in a hot skillet and cook on each side for 5 minutes or until done.
2. Fry the eggs over easy, or cook longer for less yoke. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Spread cream cheese on both side of toasted bagel.
4. Build your breakfast bagel placing all of the ingredients together starting from the bottom up, bagel, sausage, cheese, egg, sausage, cheese, egg, hot sauce, then bagel.