Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pulled Pork Rellenos Tacos

Don't you think it is time for another Chili Rellenos Taco? I do! This is Virginia BBQ meets Relleno Tacos. When I was in Charlottesville, Virginia I tried some Pulled Pork at The Ordinary at Michie Tavern. It was delicious, not heavily smoked or over sauced. It was moist, very flavorful and not too sweet. I purchased the cookbook in the gift shop but I was a little disappointed that the pulled pork recipe was not in the cookbook. So I began to search. I found a crockpot recipe at for Virginia Barbecue. It was not the same but very tasty. I love the dry mustard in the sauce. Like the pork at the Ordinary it is flavorful, not too sweet and not over sauced. You can really taste the pork. The first time I made it, I served it on hamburger buns to the family with my Men's Club Coleslaw. It was very good but totally sogged out the bun. You needed a fork to eat it. It was then I had the idea of these tacos. I went to the store to buy poblanos but I could not find them. So the leftovers went in a baked potato instead. Also great!

Finally with the poblanos and all other ingredients in hand I was able to make these tacos tonight. It was just as good as I had imagined. The poblano adds a layer of heat and smoke and it also help prevent the tortilla from getting soggy. It cradles the pork so well. I loved everything together. It is warm and spicy from the pork and chili. It is also cool and creamy from the coleslaw. The cheese is a bonus. Everything is better with cheese. Definitely a great mash up! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Pulled Pork Rellenos Tacos
Serves 4


4 poblano peppers
1 cup pulled pork (Virginia Barbecue)
8 small flour tortillas
1/2 cup 2% sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cup coleslaw (Men's Club Coleslaw)
1/2 red onion, diced
Pickled jalapenos, slices (optional)


To grill the poblanos: Pre-heat grill to medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Place poblanos on the grill. Grill for five minutes on each side until skins are charred. Remove poblanos and cover with plastic wrap. When poblanos are cool enough to touch, peel off the skin of the poblanos. Cut poblanos in half from stem to tip, remove seeds, stem and veins being careful not to split open the sides of the pepper.

To assemble the tacos:  Place a poblano half on each tortilla. Place some pork over the chili, top with cheese. Warm in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute to melt the cheese. Top with slaw, onion, and jalapenos.

Linking to:
Miz Helen's Country Cottage: Full Plate Thursday
Love Bakes Good Cakes: Freedom Fridays with All My Bloggy Friends
The Diary of a Real Housewife: Friday Favorites

Recipe Review: Total 10 Protein Bowls

So why have I not been posting more recipes. Well I have been cooking other people's recipes. I saw Dr. Oz had a new diet plan out and while I did not decide to do the plan I did decide I wanted to try a few of his recipes. I made all the Total 10 Protein Bowls, the Greek Yogurt Mayo and Crunchy Artichokes Hearts. I also made the Total 10 Turkey Breakfast SausageHuevos Rancheros and Caprese Eggs.

One thing I did notice is that the recipe instructions left a lot up to interpretation. It really annoyed many commenting on the site. I think the writers were leaving it open to allow for different tastes but it annoyed most people. Seems like they wanted to be told exactly what to do. There maybe a lesson in that for us bloggers and recipe developers. It is fine to offer options to change the recipe for others tastes, but they want to know how to make the recipe in our photos. I got a little side tracked there but it is something we should all think about when we post.

Back to the reviews. Below is a review and further instruction as to how I made these recipes. The links to the recipes are in the first paragraph. Be sure to read the comments for other tips as to how people made these recipes work for them. Be sure to check them out. They really are tasty healthy recipes. I am sure glad I found them.

Mexican Bowl
It was very filling but not my favorite so far. I grated the cauliflower mixed it with all ingredients except salsa, avocado and tomatoes. I microwaved covered until warm then topped with remaining ingredients. I ended up adding some sazon seasoning. It was just okay. Next time I will add cilantro, more salsa and maybe cook the cauliflower with some seasoning. Worth experimenting with one more time.

Italian Bowl
I cooked two portions at once. I started with the Total 10 Breakfast Sausage then added 1 onion, 1 garlic clove, 1/4 red bell pepper all chopped. I also added one pint of grape tomatoes halved. I cooked that until the onion was cooked and the tomatoes broke down releasing it's liquid. I took off the heat and added the zucchini noodles(3 small) and basil stirring to combine for a few minutes. I wish I had a little more zucchini noodles. I will use more next time. It was delicious I will make again.

Chinese Chicken Bowl
I made this bowl first. I grilled the chicken and took it off the grill to rest under foil. While it rested I stir fried the veggies. I made two portions and used 1 bunch broccoli(crowns only), half a 4 oz pkg mushrooms, 2 handfuls snow peas, 3 green onions, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. I drizzled in the soy once the veggies were bright green. I just stir fried until tender crisp. Served topped with diced chicken. Very tasty!

Thai Chicken Bowl
I made this bowl second. I made the dressing first; everything but veggies and almonds. I shook it in a jar. Then I made a bowl of slaw, 1 green onion, a few chopped snap peas and red bell pepper. I topped it with almonds, avocado and chicken, then I drizzled with the dressing. You will have dressing left to make a few more bowls. This was very delicious too!

Mediterranean Bowl
This was the last bowl I tried. I made it raw. I did not cook any of the veggies. I used 1 small zucchini, 1 small yellow squash, 2 radishes, several slices of cucumber, 2 pepperoncini sliced(instead of pickles), some red onion, 5 yellow cherry tomatoes. I skipped the cabbage all together. It made plenty. I seasoned with salt, black and red pepper. Stirred together with the hummus and a little lemon juice. Then I topped with can tuna. I did not want to bother cooking the chicken. It was very good! The liquid from the veggies mixed with the hummus and made a nice dressing. I really liked the pepperoncini too. I would make again.

Greek Yogurt Mayo
This is a tasty dip or dressing. I made 1/3 of the recipe. I did not think it taste similar to mayo but I really liked it. It would be great in a potato or pasta salad. Maybe even a chicken or egg salad. I used it as a dip for the roasted artichokes. I can't wait to try it with steamed artichokes.

Crunchy Artichoke Hearts
I am a bit confused about this recipe. They are tasty and crispy but also really oily. They almost fry in the oil. I think this is too much oil for one can of artichokes. I placed them on paper towels to try to remove the excess oil. I made the yogurt mayo for a dipping sauce. It was a great combination. I just need to find a way to get them crispy without all that oil. I used the artichokes packed in water too. I think I will mix in a bowl first next time and then lift out the artichokes and put on a cookie sheet. I followed the directions and mixed on the cookie sheet. They were swimming in the olive oil. They were so tasty it is worth trying again.

Turkey Breakfast Sausage

Delicious! I used it in the Italian Bowl and it taste like Italian meat sauce. Very good. Might use a little less sage next time, my family noticed it. They are not fans of sage.

Huevos Rancheros
This was also delicious and so very simple. I loved the crunch of the red bell pepper. The salsa is great too. I made it twice once with red salsa and once with a green salsa, both very good.

Caprese Eggs
These eggs were very good. I grated about 1/4 of a garlic clove and sauteed it with a handful of yellow cherry tomatoes. Added the eggs and when they started to cook stirred in the basil. Very tasty!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Grilled Shrimp Po Boy with Kickin' Po Boy Sauce

Happy New Year everyone! (Very belated) I have observed all my New Year Traditions. I spent it with my favorite person in the world. I had a meal of smothered cabbage and black eye peas with the family when I returned. This year is off to a great start.

Central Texas was cold and rainy. We cooked black eye peas and a few other things together. We discovered we do not like fresh black eye peas we prefer dried. This totally surprised both of us. I mean fresh is usually better? Right? I guess in this case we have been cooking from dry so long that they evoke that comforting memory. The fresh were not bad? Just different. They smelled and taste different. They even took longer to cook. Odd? We won't try that again.

We did make a good old fashioned 7 Layer Dip for New Year's Eve. We made our own guacamole and added many pickled jalapenos, so technically it might have been an eight layer dip. It was amazing how happy this made us. I don't know why I don't make this more often. It has been years since I made one. We also cooked many other things. Mayo Baked Tilapia and Veggies, Beef Filet and Mushroom Pan Sauce and of course lots of Breakfasts. That is his specialty. But the stand out recipe of the week was a Grilled Shrimp Po Boy. 

This Po Boy was amazing! It was really just a "winging it" recipe. My favorite person wanted a good po-boy on good bread. So he bought the bread from Jimmy John's. As for what to put on the po boy? We both agreed shrimp. We talked about using a marinade for BBQ Shrimp he was given by a friend. Well? We left our shopping list at home so we left a key ingredient at the store. So this marinade is the result. It was still great. I don't know if you can tell much difference from the original. They are well flavored with a hint of smoke from the grill. Perfect on their own or on a po boy. I asked what kind of sauce he wanted. He said something with a kick. Well I think "winging it" yet again worked to our benefit. We now have a Kickin' Po Boy Sauce. It's spicy, creamy, a little sweet and tangy. It had a nice flavor kick but did not over power or compete with the shrimp. It was so good! I will definitely make this for the family soon. Maybe on a warm day. We nearly froze to death at the grill that night. It was so so cold! But totally worth it. (Smiling)

Grilled Shrimp Po Boy with Kickin' Po Boy Sauce
Serves 2 or 3


For Shrimp and Marinade:
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup ketchup
3 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp hot sauce
2 tsp horseradish

For Kickin' Po Boy Sauce:
2 Tbsp. ketchup
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 to 2 tsp. capers
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

For Po Boy:
French bread, sliced in halved
Butter, softened
Kickin' Po Boy Sauce (recipe above)
Shredded lettuce
Tomato, sliced
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Grilled shrimp


For Shrimp Marinade: Combine everything but shrimp in a jar and shake to combine. Pour over the shrimp to cover. Let marinade at least 30 min before grilling.

For Kickin' Po Boy Sauce: Combine ingredients stirring well to combine. Set aside for later.

For the Po Boy: Pre-heat the grill to medium high heat. Butter both insides of french bread. Grill the shrimp a few minutes each side, until opaque and has nice grill marks. Place bread on the grill butter side down. Grill until butter has melted and has nice golden brown grill marks. Remove from grill and assemble the po boy. Spread the kickin' sauce on both sides of the bread, place lettuce, tomatoes on bottom half of bread. Season with salt and pepper. Top with grilled shrimp and the top half of the bread. Cut into 2 or 3 sandwiches. Serve immediately!

Linking to:
Ms. enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo
Dizzy Busy & Hungry: Wine'd Down Wednesday
Buns In My Oven: What's Cookin' Wednesday
Miz Helen's Country Cottage: Full Plate Thursday
Love Bakes Good Cakes: Freedom Fridays with All My Bloggy Friends
The Diary of a Real Housewife: Friday Favorites

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Mushroom Enchiladas

I am able to get Mushroom Enchiladas at only one Mexican restaurant in Bossier City, LA; El Mariachi. They are so good! I have never seen them on any other menus. They let you pick what kind of sauce you would like on your plate. I always choose green enchilada sauce. They spoil me. This dish has so many things I love, mushrooms, cheese and that verde or green sauce. I like to think they are better for me than other enchiladas too. This is the dish I go back for and will continue to go back to enjoy. I hear the pork chops at El Mariachi are something special too. But I haven't been able to make myself skip my favorite enchiladas. They recently closed for renovations so I decided to make them at home. They turned out great. I used homemade Sazon and a shallot to season the mushroom filling. It was so easy and quick to make. I love the meaty texture of the mushrooms. The Sazon adds just the right Mexican seasonings to the mushrooms. They are so flavorful with just a hint of smoky cumin. I love these enchiladas! I think I will keep eating them at El Mariachi and at home. I hope you will try this recipe and El Mariachi.

Mushroom Enchiladas
Make 6 enchiladas; 2 or 3 servings


1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
16 oz. white mushrooms, sliced
3/4 tsp. Sazon seasoning
10 oz. can mild green enchilada sauce
6 flour tortillas
3/4 cup Monterrey jack cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees (if using).

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add shallot and mushrooms saute until begins to brown and soften. Season with sazon and continue to cook a minute longer. Remove from heat and set aside.

To assemble the enchiladas: Pour a little enchilada sauce in baking dish. Divide mushroom filling among the 6 tortilla and roll. Place seam side down in the baking dish cover with remaining sauce and cheese. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and begins to bubble and brown. Caution they will be hot allow to rest a bit before serving.

To make individual portions: Pour a little enchilada sauce in 3 individual baking dishes. Divide mushroom filling among the 6 tortilla and roll. Place 2 seam side down in the baking dish cover with remaining sauce and cheese.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Bake one dish at 350 for 15 minutes or microwave for 2 minutes on high. Caution they will be hot allow to rest a bit before serving.

Linking to:
Ms. enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo
Tumbleweed Contessa: What'd You Do This Weekend?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Eggnog Cheesecake Muffins

I mentioned the other day that I spent the day sipping Egg Nog Lattes and baking Christmas goodies. I made very easy desserts this year. In fact I didn't even have to change the oven temperature between recipes. I just took one pan out and shoved in the next pan. The recipes I chose were Eggnog Cheesecake Muffins and Peppermint Dark Chocolate Brownies.

Mom was the one who mentioned eggnog cheesecake. I suggested trying to make the muffins for portion control. Really these Eggnog Cheesecake Muffins were a lighter and lazier version of many recipes I found on Pinterest. I did not make my own crust or whipped cream. I bought ginger snaps for the crust and lite whipped topping. I also used neufchatel cheese. It has 1/3 less fat than cream cheese. So I guess these little cheesecake are diet right? They are delicious! Mom said they taste like they were made with creole cream cheese. I love how creamy they turned out. You can taste both the cream cheese and the eggnog flavors. Just delicious! I will definitely makes these again when it is eggnog season.

Eggnog Cheesecake Muffins
Make 12


12 ginger snap cookies*
2 (8 oz.) blocks neufchatel cheese (1/3 less fat), softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, plus more for garnish if desired
2 large eggs
3/4 tsp rum extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup eggnog
Lite whipped topping, thawed


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners. Place a ginger snap cookie in the bottom of each liner.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, flour and nutmeg. Add cheese to a large mixing bowl, then pour sugar mixture over cheese and using an electric hand mixer, blend cheese mixture just until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time, blending just until combined after each addition. Add rum and vanilla extracts along with the eggnog and blend well to incorporate. Drop bowl against counter top several times to release some of the excess air bubbles. Divide batter among 12 muffin cups, adding about 1/4 cup batter over each cookie. Bake 20 minutes until cupcakes barely jiggle in center. Remove from oven and allow to cool 1 hour at room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours or until serving.

When ready to serve top each cupcake with whipped topping and sprinkle lightly with nutmeg if desired.

*Note: Make sure you purchase ginger snap cookies that will fit in the bottom of the cupcake liners (I used Archway crispy Gingersnap cookies. They fit perfectly).

Now the Peppermint Dark Chocolate Brownies were another easy, I mean lazy dessert. I just jazzed up a brownie mix. I added peppermint and vanilla extracts; baked as directed on the box then decorated. I melted a large handful of white chocolate in the microwave and then spread it on the brownies once cooled. I sprinkled the warm chocolate with crushed candy canes. They were so good! The only thing I would do differently is to drizzle with the white chocolate next time. I think it will make it easier to cut. Spreading it over the top you have to cut or crack through the chocolate to cut the brownies into pieces. Lesson learned. I will definitely make these brownies again. They were a great taste of the holidays.

Peppermint Dark Chocolate Brownies
Serves 16


1 egg
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup canola oil
I pkg Dark Chocolate Brownie mix*
3/4 tsp. peppermint extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
White chocolate chips, melted
3 Peppermint candy canes, crushed


Pre heat oven to 325ยบ. Prepare a 8”x8” Pyrex baking dish with cooking spray.

Place egg, water and oil in a medium bowl and stir until fully mix. Add brownie mix and stir until well combined. Spread in prepared pan.

Bake 50 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring in between until melted. Garnish with melted chocolate and crushed peppermint.

*Note: I used Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix.

Linking to:
Ms. enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo

Christmas 2014 and Broiled Tomatoes

We just had a great Christmas. I finally made the Turkey Gumbo Christmas Eve. Mom made the Potato Salad; and we gathered at Mom and Dad to enjoy the meal, exchange gifts and sleep over. Everyone ate light for some reason? We had lots of leftovers. Maybe they were saving room for the baked goodies I made. I fancied up some boxed dark chocolate brownies with white chocolate and candy canes. I also made Eggnog Cheesecake Muffins. Both were very easy and went over very well. More on that soon.

Christmas day we had another brunch because dear sister went in to work about noon. We made great recipes from Cuisine at Home and Foodista. Mom made her Broiled Tomatoes too. It was a delicious brunch!

The Eggs Benedict Breakfast Bread Pudding was from the November/December 2014 issue of Cuisine at home. It was so pretty, fluffy and light. It really did taste light eggs benedict. I had my doubts because the recipe called for spinach, but you really didn't taste the spinach and it added so much color to the dish. The only adjustments we made was to eliminate added salt and the wine it called for in the hollandaise sauce. We did not miss either, the ham and Parmesan had plenty of salt to season the dish. Using water in the hollandaise instead of wine worked out fine too. 
It called for both vinegar and lemon juice. I think the sauce would have been too acidic had we used the wine. I would definitely make this casserole again but I would try to cut the recipe in half. It made a ton!

The Winter Fruit Salad from Foodista was so pretty! It looked so "Christmasy". The mint and pomegranates almost looked like holly. The citrus dressing was delicious with the pears and apples. Just a delicious combination. We did take a short cut and used a jar of mandarin orange instead of supreming oranges. We also peeled the pears because their skin was a little over ripe and not a pretty light green as in the Foodista photo. It was still a very pretty salad. I would make this again too. I told Mom it would make a great pot luck dish for a Christmas party. We are going to enjoy having this recipe in our recipe box.

Mom's Broiled Tomatoes are so easy. She has been making them or some variation for years. I think it was dear sister's favorite. Mom said she makes them basically two ways; sliced like she did for brunch or as halves. Either way they are delicious. We used Swiss cheese this time because it is lower in sodium than other cheeses, but you can use mozzarella too. I need to make these more often. They make a great side for a variety of dishes.

Broiled Tomatoes
Serves 4


4 ripe tomatoes, sliced
6 oz. Swiss or Mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 slices pre-cooked bacon, chopped


Slice off both ends of the each tomato, then slice each tomato into 3 slices. Place tomato slices on a baking sheet. Top each tomato slice with cheese and chopped bacon. Turn on the broiler. Place baking sheet under broiler and broil until cheese is melted, bubbling and beginning to brown. Watch closely it happens really fast. Serve hot. Also delicious at room temperature.

Christmas evening we had planned to make a beef roast for sandwiches but like I said we had so many leftovers. We decided to wait until the weekend so we could really enjoy it. Instead we made an appetizer and had more Turkey Gumbo. The appetizer was from Holly Clegg's Trim and Terrific Cookbook. Her Shrimp, Artichoke and Avocado Dip was so different. When Mom had suggested the recipe I thought whoa that is a lot going on. It had two bunches of green onion, grainy mustard, ketchup, artichokes, avocado and shrimp. I was a little worried about the onions and mustard overpowering everything. But I was so wrong. It is delicious. Very well balanced. It made a great appetizer. It would also make a great addition to a salad plate. Another great new recipe for this family.

See I told you we had a great Christmas! I hope you and yours did too. Wishing you a great New Year as well.

Linking to:
Ms. enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Easy Egg Nog Latte

At this time of the year I love to replace the cream or creamer in my coffee with egg nog. It is so good! Ok replace may be an under statement? It ends up being more of a latte than coffee with cream. Either way it is delicious and very easy. Just brew your favorite coffee with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg. Warm your favorite egg nog and combine. I am enjoying mine today as I do a little holiday baking. I love it! You get the taste of egg nog without the traditional thick, dessert sweetness of egg nog out of the carton. I hope you enjoy this great Christmas coffee beverage too.

Easy Egg Nog Latte
Serves 1


Favorite Coffee (I used Community Dark Roast)

ground Cinnamon
ground Nutmeg
Favorite Egg Nog (I used Borden's)
1 Splenda packet, or to taste (optional)*


Brew coffee with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg over the grounds. Pour 1/3 to 1/2 a coffee mug of egg nog. Microwave for a minute on high. Add splenda and fill mug with coffee and stir. Garnish with another sprinkling of nutmeg and enjoy!

*Note: I found I like one splenda to sweeten this latte, but it is delicious without too. Just depends on my mood that day.
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