Do you ever feel this way?

Often times I want a quick simple meal or side dish but I want it to taste better that just the pre-packaged or boxed goods you can buy. So Russ and I will often take a boxed or pre-packaged food and enhance it. So this is definitely not a fancy way to make cornbread by any means but it sure does taste good!

Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Muffins

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 box cornbread mix (Our favorite is Jiff)
  • 1 fresh jalapeño (or pickled if you prefer), sliced thinly*
  • 3.4 c. shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for topping**

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners or coat with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. Prepare the box of cornbread according to the directions on the box. Add in cheese and jalapeño (if adding) and stir to combine.
  4. Scoop batter into muffin tins. Top with sliced jalapeño, using your fingertips to gently press the jalapeño into the batter. Sprinkle with cheese
  5. Follow the directions on the box of cornbread for baking time and cooling.

*for a spicier muffin chop up another jalapeño and add into the batter

**for a slightly different flavor you can do 1/2 c. parmesan cheese and 1.2 c. cheddar cheese

Quick and Simple Shrimp Dish. My Fave.

Olive Garden Shrimp Scampi

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 lb medium fresh shrimp, shelled
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 c white wine (or 1/2 c chicken broth + tsp. apple cider vinegar)
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. italian seasoning
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper
  • 4 oz butter
  • 1/2 lb angel hair pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 T fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Parmesan cheese
Directions
  1. Heat oil in a saute pan. Add onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute; do not brown. Add butter, wine, red pepper, salt and pepper and reduce by half. Add Italian seasoning.
  2. Add shrimp and cook 1-2 minutes until fully cooked.
  3. Transfer pasta to plate and top with shrimp mixture, and Parmesan cheese.

source: olivegarden.com

Easy and Delicious, Need I Say More?

Sausage Bean Stew

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2 T. oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) stewed Italian-style tomatoes
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) Great Northern or Cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) corn
  • 1 small can chopped green chiles
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • ½ lb. Kielbasa sausage, cut into small chunks
  • Hot cooked rice
  • Hot Sauce
  • Grated cheese

Directions:

  1. Saute’ onion, carrots, celery and garlic in the oil over med. heat until tender.
  2. Add the rest (except rice and cheese) and heat through over low heat.
  3. Serve over the rice with cheese and hot sauce on top.
  4. If it seems too dry, add chicken broth (or water with chicken bouillon).

Can’t beat deep fried Mexican food!

We actually made these chimichangas probably about 2 years ago now? But we made them like 3 or 4 times in one month they were so good! Haha. And since I am craving chimichangas today I thought I would share this one before I forget where I found it… Or how amazingly delicious it is! YUM.

Beef Chimichangas

  • Servings: 10
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: easy
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beef chimichangas.JPGIngredients

  • 3 lb boneless beef rump, cut into one inch cubes
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 T flour
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 tsp jalapeno, minced
  • 2 T garlic, chopped
  • 2 ¼ c beef broth
  • ¼ c red wine vinegar
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ c lime juice (about 3 limes)
  • ½ c fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 10 flour tortillas, warmed in the microwave
  • Oil for frying
  • 2 ½ c shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 2 c lettuce, shredded
  • 1 c sour cream
  • ½ c tomatoes, diced

Directions

  1. In a large stock pot over medium-heat heat. Add 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Add beef cubes and brown on all sides. Add onions and jalapeño pepper and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 additional minute. Mix in chili powder, cayenne, garlic powder, and flour. Cook stirring frequently for 2 to 3 minutes. Add beef broth and red wine vinegar. Mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 2 hours.
  2. When the meat is fork tender, shred the beef with 2 forks. Add pinto and black beans, lime juice and cilantro. Cook until heated through. Remove from heat.
  3. In a large deep skillet add about 1” of oil. Heat the oil to 325 degrees or until the oil is hot enough to frying. While the oil is heating prepare the chimichangas. Lay out a flour tortilla and fill the bottom half with ¾ cup of the beef/bean mixture (if the beef mixture has a lot of liquid, scoop it out with a slotted spoon). Top with about 2 tablespoons of pepper jack cheese. Lift the edge of the tortilla and roll it over the filling to secure it. Fold in both sides and continue rolling until you reach the opposite end. Place a skewer threw the seam side of the burrito to secure it (can also use toothpicks). Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
  4. Lower chimichangas into the hot oil and fry for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Fry in batches of 4. Serve with lettuce, tomato, and sour cream.

source: blogchef

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You don’t have to like seafood to enjoy these tacos!

Seafood Tacos

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 15 Minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. bag salad shrimp
  • 2 (8 oz.) pkg. of Imitation Seafood and Crab, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • ½ bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Salt & pepper
  • Hot sauce (I like Valentina Salsa Picante)
  • Crispy corn tostada shells
  • Farmer’s Cheese (Cotija) or Feta, crumbled
  • Sour cream

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, gently mix the shrimp, crab, pepper, onion, and cilantro. Pour juices over the top and stir.
  2. Add salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste.
  3. Serve on tostada shells with cheese, sour cream and more hot sauce.

source: Brent Bird

Mmm Gelato!

We ate a lot of this while in Italy… like almost everyday, in fact twice one day.

While I can’t say the recipe is from Italy, it sure turned out smooth and creamy!

Tasty Gelato

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 3 Hours
  • Difficulty: Medium
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Ingredients

Base:

  • 2 Cups Whole Milk
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar

Chocolate:

  • 1/2 Cocoa Powder
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Milk
  • 1/2 Tsp. Vanilla

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, mix milk and cream. Warm until foam forms around the edges. Remove from heat.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until frothy. Gradually pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Return mixture to saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture gels slightly and coats the back of the spoon. If small egg lumps begin to show, remove from heat immediately.
  3. Pour the mixture through a sieve or fine strainer into a bowl. Cover, and chill for several hours or overnight.
  4. For the Chocolate sauce, pour the cocoa powder and sugar in a food processor, process until sugar is fine and they are combined. Add milk and vanilla, blend some more.
  5. Pour the base and the chocolate mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. *Transfer to a sealed container, and freeze until firm. If the gelato is too firm, place it in the refrigerator until it reaches the desired consistency.

*You can also add toasted almonds, chop, toast and cool, then add when the gelato is almost done freezing!

Modified from: allRecipes

Comfort food at it’s finest

This recipe is easily favorite comfort food. Right on up with there with mashed potatoes… Mmm nnmmm mmm. I LOVE macaroni and cheese. I like the ones that are baked with a little crumble on top as much as the next girl, but there’s something about this simple creamy sauce that gets me every time. SO stinkin good. Dang. I’m making this. Like, right now. It sounds SO GOOD.

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 35 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3 c cooked macaroni, drained and set aside
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 T. butter
  • 4 T. flour
  • 2 c milk
  • 2 c grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
Directions

  1. Melt butter in saucepan over med-low heat. 
  2. Add onion and cook until soft and light-brown color.  Stir in flour, cook & stir for 1 minute or until bubbly. 
  3. Pour in milk, stir in then turn up heat to med-high. 
  4. Cook and stir for a few minutes or until the sauce has thickened. 
  5. Turn heat down to low, stir in cheese and spices until cheese is melted. 
  6. Stir in cooked macaroni until well blended. Serve warm.

**You can also add other cheeses like parmesan or 1/2 cup jalapeno cheddar cheese (gives just a bit of bite). If it gets too thick, stir in a bit of milk
**It’s also delicious to use half-and-half for half of the the amount of milk called for.
***AMAZING flavor combo: Ricotta, cheddar, swiss, monterey jack… YUM.

source: Barbara Bird and Lisa Hawks