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I am a simple country girl who loves life and lives it to the fullest. I cook for one of the greatest families ever. Cooking is my passion and I consider it as well to be my gift.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013


This wonderful recipe comes from one of my all time favorite food blogs, twirlandtaste.com ! Every single food item in this blog sets my mouth to watering and my taste buds to tingling.
It is for certain not your everyday ordinary meatloaf as it contains a total of 13 ingredients including BACON. Now we all know that everything goes better with Bacon.
2 lb. ground round
1 lb. ground pork
18 saltine crackers, crushed
1/2 bell pepper, diced (I used orange and yellow ones because that's what I had)
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 onion, diced
2 big eggs, slightly beaten
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. yellow mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 slices partially cooked bacon, cut in half
Combine beef through brown sugar with your hands just until combined. Chill in refrigerator for 10 minutes, then form into a 10X5 loaf. Top with the halved bacon slices. Place meatloaf on a rack lined with foil. Punch holes in foil to allow drippings. Place rack on baking sheet, bake 1 hour. Turn the broiler on for just a few minutes so bacon will crisp. Watch it closely so the bacon does not burn.
Now whisk together 1/2 cup brown sugar with 3/4 cup of ketchup and 1 tablespoon vinegar, pour over the top and allow it to drip over the sides of the meatloaf. Bake 15 more minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven, let stand for 20 minutes before slicing.


"I never met a meatloaf that I did not love, but this one holds a very special place in my heart of meatloaf's."~Adele Forbes

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Kudo's to my gal pal Bev Staring for sharing a jar of her Cowboy Candy (sweet pickled jalapeno pepper slices) with me yesterday. I had previously made a pot of my taco soup the day before and garnished my bowl full with a simple dollop of sour cream and grated sharp cheddar. It was totally delicious on its own but when I added the Cowboy Candy to it for my lunch today, just let me say that my head is in a sweat and my taste buds are doing flip flops all across my tongue. Literally!
1 lb. ground round
1 packet taco seasoning
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1/2 each of a red and yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 can chili beans, undrained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn kernels, undrained
1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chiles
1 can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup salsa (I used my homemade)
8 oz. tomato sauce
Brown the ground round, add onions and cook, stirring, until onions become translucent. Add all remaining ingredients and then let it simmer for 30 minutes, being sure to stir occasionally. If it's to thick add some water, but you don't want it to soupy. 
To Serve: Ladle into a pretty bowl and slap a dollop of sour cream in the middle and top with the Cowboy Candy and shredded sharp cheddar. 

Here is a link to the COWBOY CANDY: http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/canning/candied-jalapenos-cowboy-candy/

"When they lay me down to rest put my spurs and rope upon my chest get my friends to carry me and then go turn my horses free."~Epitaph for a Cowboy

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Sometimes I just cannot stop myself, Lord I wish I could because when I get in the notion to make something sweet and delicious the idea nags at me like a toothache until I give in to the little red devil who is sitting on my shoulder with his fire poker in his hand. 
So I just go on and dive in to the sweet temptation of rich fudgey  (well the little devil is trying to explain to me that 'fudgey' is not a word.) Do I look like I care? I know what fudgey is. 
Fudgey is:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon each of baking soda and salt
1 stick of real butter (get off of my shoulder devil!)
3/4 cup cocoa powder (the best you can afford to buy)
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (that there devil done went and set that bottle of vanilla on his shoulder)
2/3 cup full fat buttermilk 
2 cups Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate All Natural Premium Baking Chips (even that devil is smiling now)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line about 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. This step means NO CLEAN UP. Whisk together the all-purpose flour with the baking soda and salt. Melt the butter in the microwave or on top of the stove. (You would use a pot for that you old devil.) Immediately mix in the cocoa powder until completely and utterly smooth. Whisk in the sugar, vanilla and that good ol' buttermilk. Slowly stir in the flour mixture until just nicely combined. Add those luscious chocolate chips. Place 1-inch balls of dough 2-inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake for no more than 11 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for only a few minutes then remove to a kitchen towel to cool. (But that ol' devil is going to try and tempt you into eating them while they are still nice and warm and gooey).

"In the cookies of life, sister's are the chocolate chips."~Anon

Friday, January 11, 2013


Strawberries are a girls best friend. 9 out of 10 times I will go for the strawberries over any other fruit. God could have built a better berry but alas he did not...not in my eyes anyway. They are low calorie, low-carb, and absolutely brimming with vitamins and minerals. What's not to love about a succulent strawberry....that's not a question!
I follow a low-carb lifestyle diet, or try to anyway. This recipe just happens to be one of my very favorite desserts. It's ultra creamy and bejeweled with ruby red strawberries. Makes my mouth water just typing this.
2 teaspoons sugar-free strawberry Jell-O
1/3 cup boiling water
1/4 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
8 oz. softened cream cheese
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup Splenda 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Spray an 8X11-inch dish with cooking spray, set aside. In small bowl dissolve Jell-O in boiling water until dissolved. Stir in cold water, refrigerate until syrupy. (This takes about 12 minutes or so.) Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. Add cream, sweeteners and extract and beat until thick and smooth. Spread evenly into prepared pan, refrigerate until Jell-O is ready. When ready, place sliced strawberries over cream cheese layer in a pretty fashion. Carefully pour Jell-O over berries. Chill until set. Cut into 8 equal squares. Serves 8 with only 3 grams carbs per serving!
On the subject of strawberries: "Upon the nipples of Julia's breast, have ye beheld (with much delight) a red rose peeping through a white? Or else a cherry (double graced) within a lily?  Center placed? Or ever marked the pretty beam a strawberry shows half drowned in cream."~Robert Herrick