New Recipes, All Keepers

My Aunt Michelle’s favorite time of the day to entertain people is brunch. She’s mastered it. Here was brunch at her house last year.


Brunch done right... 🙂

(Um… I know I need to flip it…) For me, I’m starting to understand why she thinks it better than dinner. The flexibility for the cook is huge!

Our friend Sue came over for brunch last week and I made Betty Crocker’s Green Chili, Egg and Potato Bake. I like things I can make ahead so I can visit with the guest and I’m not in front of the oven the entire time. (It’s different though if I am with family and it’s like- “Let’s cook together”.)



Betty Crocker makes brunch easy! 🙂



What You Need:


cups frozen southern-style diced hash brown potatoes (from 32-oz bag), thawed


cup Green Giant® Valley Fresh Steamers™ Niblets® frozen corn, thawed


cup chopped roasted red bell peppers (from 7-oz jar)


can (4.5 oz) Old El Paso® chopped green chiles, undrained

1 1/2

cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese (6 oz)




cup small-curd cottage cheese


teaspoon dried oregano leaves


teaspoon garlic powder


medium green onions, chopped (1/4 cup




Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 11×7-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In baking dish, layer potatoes, corn, bell peppers, chiles and 1 cup of the shredded cheese.


In medium bowl, beat eggs, cottage cheese, oregano and garlic powder with wire whisk until well blended. Slowly pour over potato mixture. Sprinkle with onions and remaining 1/2 cup cheese.


Cover with foil; bake 30 minutes. Uncover; bake about 30 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before cutting.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): In step 3, cover baking dish with foil; bake 30 minutes. Uncover; bake about 35 minutes longer.



I ended using two full cups of cheese vs. 1 ½  cups. Also, I just had a red pepper in the house- so I used that instead of canned roasted red pepper.

Hubby said it’s a keeper. And Sue’s review was MMmMMMm.  I would make it again, but maybe I’ll get a bit more creative… I wonder how it would taste with chopped zucchini?


I’ve been trying to encourage the hubby to cook more on the weekdays (when it’s possible for him).  The other night I came home to this!

Pesto Greatness!

Pesto Greatness!

Justin calls it Pesto-Pesto

What you need:

2 tbl sp. olive oil

 A package Smart Strips Chicken 6-10 oz.

½ of walnut pieces

1 crushed garlic clove

2 cups of torn baby spinach

1 tsp dried basil

salt and pepper

4 oz whole wheat pasta

2 tbl sp. shredded mozzarella (skim)

store bought Pesto- a couple spoonfuls (depending how pesto-ish you want it)

¼ cup red pepper

1 package of fresh mushrooms


Make your pasta according to directions.

Heat oil & cook walnuts 3-4 minutes (on med-low)

Add garlic, spinach, basil, salt, and pepper

Add pesto, fake chicken, red pepper, mushrooms, and pesto

Cook for 3-5 minutes (med-low)

Toss with pasta and top with cheese

Yum. I encouraged my hubby to make this more often. I never knew fake chicken could taste so good. I honestly, thought he was trying to trick me and he put real meat in. Ha, ha. Yum!


Last night we made this for our new friends- @shunn and @chavoen. These are both out of the cookbook- From Earth to the Table- John Ash’s wine country cuisine.

Looks colorful eh?

Looks colorful eh?

Black Been Gazpacho Salad

·      See photo of the below.


) for the quick photo

TY google books 🙂 for the quick photo

This I think was the big hit of the night. I think @chavoen is going out and getting the cookbook.  I think today with the leftovers I am going to add feta  and throw it in a pita wrap.


Rock Shrimp Cakes with Salsa Cruda

Oooo, la, la

Oooo, la, la

How to make Rock Shrimp!

How to make Rock Shrimp!

So, Jewel didn’t have Rock Shrimp. But I was still determined to make it. It was good but I bet it was made with Rock Shrimp for a reason. When they can be found, I will try them again. I didn’t have fresh parsley, so I used dried.  Salsa Cruda can be made up to an hour to 2 days ahead. 


1.     In large sauté pan over medium high heat  combine the shrimp and wine and cook for a minute. The shrimp will still be translucent and half done. Drain the shrimp, saving the cooking liquid, cool shrimp and chop coarsely.

2.     Combine the egg, ½ cup bread crumbs, mayonnaise, mustard, parsley, green onion, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, and dried shrimp if using.  Fold in rick shrimp and their cooking liquid and season with salt and pepper for taste. Form into eight cakes. Coat lightly with additional crumbs and refrigerate, uncovered for at least a few minutes or up to 2 hours ahead.

3.     In large sauté pan, melt the butter and sauté the cakes until lightly brown on both sides. Remove the cakes and keep warm. Divide the greengs among 4 plates. Place shrimp cakes on the greens and talk with salsa cruda.


How to make Salsa Cruda

How to make Salsa Cruda

gah… I need to go prep for Super Bowl… I’m making two things… and we need to leave in a few hours. 



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