Sweet Stephee T's

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I’ve been using another site that lets me edit my page a bit better.  I may change from this site to that one, I am not sure yet.  I can’t get things to edit to my OCD posting style here and it’s driving me mad!  So, here is a link to my other page for today’s recipe.

Sweet Stephee T’s @ Blogspot

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I recently became addicted to a show called Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives on Food Network.  Guy went to a little place serving up some of the most delicious looking food one day.  It was all Venezuelan food.  The next show had a similar restaurant and focused on a dish called pupusas.  For some reason I have not been able to get what I imagine these things taste like out of my mouth or my head.  I’ve looked up recipes, including the one on Guy’s website.  Unfortunately, getting any kind of “special” ingredients is hard where I live.  I’m looking at a one hour commute for some of these items.  For a girl on a tight budget, it’s not plausible.  Sticking to the my-palate-craves-all-things-spicy frame of mind last night, I wandered into the kitchen and stared at my pack of chicken tenderloins.  After about 20 minutes (not counting the half hour spent uselessly searching Google for “easy chicken recipes”) I just started pulling things out of the pantry.  I warned my husband I was going to experiment, and he was free to have 911 on standby or to come watch.  He didn’t watch.  Things turned out well.  My kids ate their vegetables and “pancakes” as they called them.  I might have had a bit more of a response had they actually been covered in syrup.  But they cleared their plates, eating things they normally don’t eat.  So here goes the thrown together recipe.


Corncakes


 

  • 1 packet cornbread mix
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp onion salt
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp cilantro flakes
Prepare cornbread mixture according to packet.  I used white cornbread mix.  Stir in seasonings.  Heat skillet on medium high heat with and spray with nonstick spray.  Pour in 1/4 of the batter.  Heat until the edged begin to bubble, just like a pancake.  Flip.  Heat for 2-3 minutes.  Continue with the remaining batter.


Toppings

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 packet fajita seasoning
  • shredded Colby jack cheese
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • sour cream
  • parsley flakes
  • cilantro flakes
Dice chicken breast and prepare according to direction on fajita seasoning packet.  Once chicken is prepared, heat beans and corn.  Build corncakes with toppings as follows: cheese, beans, chicken, corn, tomatoes, sour cream, parsley, cilantro.

 

Of course this recipe can be vastly improved upon with fresh vegetable and herbs, but this is what I had in my kitchen last night.  It was a knockout!  I will make it again.  I’ll make changes as I go to make it better, but considering it was a spur of the moment recipe, I think I did good.  Yeah, I’m patting myself on the back a little.

 

Stephee

 


 

I’ve received a recipe suggestion from a friend.  I’m going to try it in the next couple of days.  As soon as I do I will post it.  I have to admit, I’ve always avoided recipes with this name.  It’s a Shepherd’s Pie recipe.  I think I was scared away from one once when I saw lamb on the ingredient list.  I must confess, I do not use lamb.  Or veal.  My family doesn’t eat seafood either, so I can’t cook it.  I personally enjoy some types of seafood, but have no idea how to cook anything since my mother refused to prepare it because she didn’t like it, and my husband refuses to eat it, so I have no reason to cook it.

Ahh, I miss out on so much I think I would enjoy if I could.  My husband isn’t much of a veggie eater either.  I’m working on my kids.  I make them try at least a bite of a new food and make sure they haven’t discovered a new taste bud or something.  Two weeks ago after about 15 minutes of fussing, I managed to get the both to eat one diced piece each of a yellow squash and zucchini that had been steamed in foil packets on the grill.  Yesterday they asked me when they were going to get to eat the buttery green vegetable again.  (I didn’t butter it, they’re just learning to TASTE.)  I’m trying to unteach them bad habits my family has bestowed upon them.  When they were tots, my mother would let them dip their fingers into sugar packets at restaurants while waiting for our food.  Thankfully, I was able to nip that in the bud.  They picked up a bad habit of salting everything from her though.  I’ve even seen her salt salads.  BEFORE she even tastes them.  Bad, bad, bad.

My bad habit is A-1 steak sauce.  I like to pour it over potato chips.  And grilled cheese.  And steak.  And burgers.  I’m in a 12 step program.  My husband swears I’ve drunk it from the bottle, but I think he’s exaggerating.  But then again, anything was possibly with my pregnancies.  I once ate a sauerkraut sandwich with hot sauce and jalapeno potato chips.  I like spicy and salty stuff, what can I say?

Anyway, this is a rambly type of post today.  Some of my recipe are going to be detailed as I try to expand my cooking skills.  These will be the ones where I get to have fun and try to do something that makes ME happy.  Some of my recipes are going to be quick and easy and plain.  These are the ones that make my kids and husband happy.  Don’t get me wrong, I like some of the stuff I make for them.  I’m just really, really bored with fried chicken fingers and macaroni.  Plain tacos aren’t doing it for me.  I want to step it up and try to make things more personable and homemade, and maybe teach the girls a little along the way.  Just ripping open a box of Velveeta or a Taco Bell taco kit just doesn’t scream “Mom loves you” to me.  It’s easier, and less expensive of course, but when I can I’d like to do some things from scratch.  Just making that salsa with the 2 of them was so much fun.  They loved it!  Not only making it, but eating it.  It was a good time, a learning experience, and it just tasted better than the stuff in the jar.  Who wouldn’t want all of that?

 

Stephee

 

 

  • 1 loaf French bread, sliced
  • 3/4 c butter or margarine
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 0.5 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine butter, garlic, onion, and parsley flakes in microwaves safe container.  Heat for 1 minute, or until butter is completely melted.  Spoon mixture over slices of bread and spread across tops evenly once.  Once all slices have been topped, pour remaining butter mixture all around.  Bake until the outside crust browns and is crisp to touch, or about 20 minutes.  If desired, sprinkle on a bit of cheese the last 5 minutes of baking.



 

 

 

 

  • 6-8 tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 Serrano pepper
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp chopped garlic


This was a learn-as-you-go recipe, so you see more peppers in my photo than I include in the ingredients.  Serrano peppers are very spicy so you should wear gloves and be very careful with them.  If you like very spicy salsa, add more.  I took out the seeds of my peppers prior to roasting.


Preheat oven to 375*.  Line baking sheets with foil.  Half tomatoes and onion.  Cap peppers, and remove seeds if desired.  Bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until onions are translucent and peppers begin to blacken.


 

 

Before Roasting

 

After Roasting

Mince cilantro and garlic together, and allow to rest.  See, even my daughter likes to help!  She loves using that Chop ‘N Prep!

Lauren Choppin’ and Preppin’

Combine all of your ingredients in your food processor or Quick Chef and blend to your desired consistency.  I prefer chunky salsa, so mine has lots of lumps.  But this will whip up into a very nice saucy salsa like you see at your favorite restaurant.

 

 

 

The flavor…A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!  So make it!  NOW!!!  And don’t worry, if you can’t find Serrano peppers, just plain old jalapenos will be fine.  This salsa is not going to last long.  Even my little one in the picture there, who doesn’t eat salsa ever…she’s eating this stuff.

 

 

Stephee

I finally decided I was brave enough to try an herb garden.  Though garden is a big word.  I have 2 plants I brought home.  I didn’t have any pots I liked so I looked around my kitchen for ideas.  I saw 2 empty glass containers that once went with a pizza stone set, that held spices and cheese.  Perfect!  The plants fit perfectly into the little glass vials.


Once I got them in I decided they looked a little plain and sad.  So I started to scour the kitchen for something to spoof them up.  Then I saw the fancy cupcake liners I bought.  The jars snapped into them as if they were made to fit together.  But something was still missing.  I found some beads, but they were too dark to see against the soil.  Then I found some ribbon.  I wound the ribbon around, used a bit of tape to secure it, and I have myself a couple of cute little planters.  Nothing fancy.  Nothing plain either.  Now let’s hope my mint and cilantro stay alive!  And yes, my background is a piece of foil.  HAHA!  My family was very impatiently waiting for me to get out of their way so they could eat the steaks that just came off the grill.


 

This is a modified Tupperware recipe.  I LOVE TUPPERWARE!  A Quick Chef makes this recipe so fun and so easy.  Plus you don’t have to drag out that heavy food processor and all of its blades and pieces.  If you want to know more about the product, ask me.  I sell this stuff on the side just because it’s great stuff.  Not only do you make the salsa with it, you pull out the blade, pop on the airtight seal, and it’s ready to refrigerate.  They also have a seasoning blend I use in this recipe, but you can pick up your preferred blend at any grocery chain.

  • 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 1 Tbsp Southwest Seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1-2 Tbsp lime juice
Peel and chop onion.  (If using QC, just quarter the onion and toss it in and spin a few times.)  Drain tomatoes.  Dump all ingredients into food processor and blend.  (If using QC just give it a few whirls.)  Do a taste test and see how you like the flavor.  You can dabble from here.  I know a few people who like to add sugar or other peppers or even hotter onions.  But this is just a basic starter recipe to get you going.  My kids like it because it’s simple and doesn’t seem too healthy.  Plus they get to use the Quick Chef.

Later this week I am going to give a roasted salsa recipe a shot.  I will take pictures along the way and share my journey.  I have all the fancy fruits in there (yes, peppers are fruits) as well as the fresh herbs.  I’ve always been one to use the dried herbs in a bottle.  I actually have living herbs I am about to transplant and hope to have sprouting in my kitchen for years to come.  I’m starting slow, I only have cilantro and mint.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!!

Stephee

 

—NOTE: If you don’t have a food processor or a Quick Chef, you can put a small amount of everything into a blender.  After blending everything, transfer to a large container and mix very well.  If you can do it with your hands, that would be the best approach to ensure everything spreads out evenly.—

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