Sunday, April 6, 2014

Tex - Mex Recipes / Over 40 recipes!

Here's the second of my posts that gather recipes together based on a common recipe or theme.
Today I chose Tex - Mex. I live in Texas and we eat Tex - Mex often, it's a way of life here. I've always said that if I ever had to leave Texas, I wold miss the food! I have amassed a great collection of Tex - Mex recipes that will be part of my life forever, no matter where I am!

I have 3 versions of this Best of the Best Dip!

The Original Recipe ( I entered this in the 2001 Hellman's Mayonnaise Picnic Recipe Contest)
The Creamy Version
Hatch Chile Version

Tex - Mex Corn Dip / Original Recipe:

350 degree oven
Bake in a 1.6 liter casserole, a 2 quart casserole or a 10" cast iron skillet.
Optional, add 1 - 10 oz. can of Ro-Tel tomatoes.

2 - 15.25 oz. cans of Mexi Corn, drained.
2 - 4 oz. cans of green chiles, drained.
2 C Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese.
1 C Grated Parmesan Cheese.
1 C Mayonnaise.

Mix all ingredients together .
Bake 1 hour, uncovered.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Tex - Mex Corn Dip / Creamy Version:

350 degree oven
Bake in a 1.6 liter casserole, a 2 quart casserole or a 10" cast iron skillet.

1- 15.25 oz can of creamed corn
2 - 11oz. cans of Mexi- Corn, drained.
1 - 4 oz. can of green chiles, not drained
1 C mayonnaise.
2 C Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 C grated Parmesan Cheese.

Mix all ingredients together.
Bake 1 hour, uncovered.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Tex - Mex Corn Dip Hatch Chile Version:

350 degree oven.
Bake in a 1.6 liter casserole , a 2 quart casserole or a 10" cast iron skillet.

1 - 15.25 oz. can of Creamed Corn.
2 - 11 oz. cans of White Shoe-peg Corn, drained.
3 Hatch Chiles, seeded, finely chopped. ( about 1 1/4C) (These are available at the Summer Hatch Chile Festival at our local Central Market)
1 C Mayonnaise.
1 C Grated Parmesan Cheese.
2 C Grated Hatch Jack Cheese.

Mix all ingredients together.
Bake 1 hour, uncovered.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Tex - Mex Appetizer Squares

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 8" X 8" Baking Pan sprayed with a Vegetable Cooking Spray.

5 Eggs, beaten
1 - 8 oz. Container of Cottage Cheese
1/4 C Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
4 TBS Butter, melted
2 Green Onions, thinly sliced.
1 - 4 oz. can of Diced Green Chiles, drained.
2 C Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese

In a Mixing Bowl:
Cottage cheese
Whisk until incorporated and creamy smooth.

Baking Powder
Whisk well.

Fold in:

Pour into the Pan.
Bake 30 - 40 minutes.
Remove Pan to a Rack to Cool 10 minutes.
Cut into Squares and transfer to a Serving Platter.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Texas BBQ Pecans

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 - 9" X 13" Baking Pan

This is the Chipotle Pepper Salt that I use.

4 C Pecan Halves
8 TBS Butter, melted
2 TBS Worcestershire Sauce (I use a Vegetarian version)
2 tsp Chipotle Pepper Salt or any Texas Seasoned Salt
1 tsp of your favorite BBQ Sauce
1/2 tsp Tabasco Sauce

Put Pecans in a Single Layer in the Pan.
Mix remaining ingredients in Mixing Bowl and Whisk well.
Drizzle evenly over the Pecans.
Toss to coat well.
Bake 20 - 25 minutes.
Stirring occasionally.
Remove Pan to a Rack to Cool completely.

Peace in the Kitchen!

I read the weekly column in our local newspaper titled Taste.

Sometimes I like to talk about the feature of the week and research it.
I did an article on Hot Chocolate and today the feature is Guacamole.

Here are some of the suggestions for Guacamole that inspired me to write about it.
I found some of these odd.

Olive Oil
Garlic Powder ( I know many recipes use this)
Black Pepper
Hot Sauce
Sour Cream

Guacamole should not be a mushy, pasty, creamed in the blender with sour cream or mayonnaise mixture.
It shouldn't be overpowered by garlic.
The taste of the Avocado should be the dominant flavor.

I realize this is only my opinion and tastes vary. I write many of my recipes for friends that don't live in Texas and friends around the World.

The Aztecs created the Avocado concoction.
The name comes from the Nahuati language.
Ahuacamolli, meaning Avocado Sauce.
Ahuacati, meaning Avocado and Mole, meaning Sauce.

The Avocado is often used in Salads, mashed onto bread in Sandwiches and in Soups.
The best use of the Avocado is creating Guacamole.

Here is what I consider to be the Best of the Best recipe for Guacamole.

2 Avocados, diced
1/4 C minced White Onion
1 TBS minced Jalapeno
2 TBS finely chopped Fresh Cilantro
3/4 tsp Salt
1/2 C finely chopped Plum or Roma Tomato
2 tsp Fresh Lime Juice

In a bowl:
2 TBS Onion
1 TBS Cilantro
Mash this mixture with the back of a spoon or in a Mortar with Pestle to create a paste.

Add the Avocado
Fold in Tomato and remaining Onion, Cilantro and Lime Juice

Serve with Tortilla Chips

Peace in the Kitchen!

This was my original recipe that was a finalist in the 2011 Dallas Morning News Holiday Cookie Contest.

I enter the contest every year and have been a finalist twice.

Chocolate Jalapeno Cookies:

2 - 2.7 oz. packages of Taza Chocolate Mexicano, Cinnamon flavored
Chop into small pieces for melting

3/4 C Flour
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp Salt

3/4 C Brown Sugar
1/4 C Butter, softened

1 Large Egg
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
2 TBS Espresso Coffee ( I use Medaglio D'Oro Instant Coffee)
1/4 C finely diced , seeded Jalapenos

Caramel Drizzle:
1/2 C packed Brown Sugar
1/4 C Heavy Cream
1/2 C Confectioner's Sugar

Sea Salt for Garnish

Place Chocolate in a small microwavable bowl and microwave 1 minute, stirring often until melted and smooth, set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine Flour, Cinnamon, Baking Powder, Cayenne Pepper and Salt
In a large mixing bowl, cream Sugar and Butter until creamy smooth.
Add Egg, Vanilla , Espresso Coffee and Jalapenos. Beat until incorporated.
Add cooled Chocolate and beat just until blended.
Add Flour mixture and beat until well incorporated.
Chill dough for 2 hours.

Drop 2 TBS of Cookie Dough, per Cookie ( I use a Cookie Scoop), onto a Parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until almost set.
Remove and cool for 2 minutes or until set.
Transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.

Caramel Drizzle:
Bring Brown Sugar and Cream to a boil, remove from heat.
Whisk in Confectioner's Sugar.
Set aside to cool at room temperature.
Drizzle sauce over cooled cookies and lightly sprinkle with Sea Salt.

Peace in the Kitchen!

This is one of my entries for the Central Market Hatch Chile Contest 2013.
An original recipe .
I was a finalist in the contest with another cookie recipe that I created.
I have simply created a totally different cookie here.
I describe it as the consistency of fudge, maybe a truffle. It has become one of my favorite cookies
and I definitely consider this one to be a "Best of the Best" recipe.
I hope you take the time to make them.
the dough

the baked drops

the finished product!

4 squares ( 1 oz. ea.) of Unsweetened Baking Chocolate , roughly chopped
1/4 C ( 1 1/2 stick ) butter
2 C sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 C finely minced, roasted Hatch Chiles + 2TBS ( divided)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 1/2 C flour
1 tub of Frozen Whipped Topping
6 squares  ( 1 oz. ea.) of Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate , roughly chopped

In a medium sized microwavable bowl,
Heat unsweetened chocolate and butter about 2 minutes
Until butter melts and mixture is smooth
Stir in sugar
stir in eggs, vanilla, cayenne pepper
Fold in 1/4 C Hatch Chiles
Add Flour and mix well
Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour

Scoop dough into 1 1/2" balls with a cookie scoop
Place 2" apart on a Parchment Paper lined baking sheet pan
They do not spread out.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes or until set
Let cookies cool on the baking pan for 2 minutes
Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely


In a microwavable bowl,
Place frozen whipped topping with the Semi Sweet Chocolate
Heat 1 minute and stir
Heat an additional 30 seconds until chocolate is melted
Glaze should be shiny and smooth
Fold in 2 TBS of Hatch Chiles

Let stand for 15 minutes to thicken
Spread over cookies
Allow glaze to set

Peace in the Kitchen!

This was another entry for the Hatch Chile Contest at Central Market / 2013
My Nephew shared a recipe with me and this is my adaptation of that recipe.

Apple Hatch Chile Enchiladas:

1 (21oz.) can of apple pie filling
6 - 8" flour tortillas
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
1/4 C cornstarch
1/2 C diced roasted hatch chiles
2 TBS lime juice
1/2 C butter
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C water

1/2 C flour
1/2 C chopped pecans
4 TBS butter, melted

Place pie filling in a medium bowl

In a small bowl, whisk together cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cornstarch.
Add spice mixture to pie filling

Add chiles and lime juice to pie filling and mix well.

Spoon 1/4 C of the filling into the center of each tortilla.
Tuck in the sides and roll the tortilla
Place them in a buttered 9"X 13" casserole pan.

In a small saucepan:
melt butter
add granulated sugar, brown sugar and water.
Boil, stirring well.
Reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes until sugar melts completely.
Pour over enchiladas and set aside for 45 minutes, let it absorb the sauce. ( make the topping)

1/2 C flour
1/2 C chopped pecans
1/4 C brown sugar
4 TBS butter, melted

In a small bowl:
brown sugar
mix well

Add butter and mix with a fork to create a crumble.

Bake the enchiladas at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.
Cover enchiladas with the topping.
Continue baking for an additional 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Here's another Texas Cookie......
I could easily add 1/4 C diced Jalapeno to this recipe.

I posted my Chocolate Jalapeno Cookie recipe on the blog earlier.
I also make it with Hatch Chiles and have entered that in a competition too. It was a finalist in a local Hatch Chile Contest.

But, this is another great and unusual cookie.

Texas Cornmeal Cookies:

2 Sticks of Butter, softened
1/4 C Sugar
1/2 C Cocoa , I use Hershey's Special Dark
1 Egg
1 1/2 C Flour
1 C Cornmeal
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 TBS Vanilla
3/4 C Chopped Pecans

In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment:
cream together, Butter, Sugar, Cocoa

Add :
Baking Powder
Mix well

Fold in the Pecans

Drop by the teaspoon ( I use a cookie scoop) onto a parchment paper or Silpat lined cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12 - 15 minutes.
The cookies will be slightly browned on the edges.

Peace in the Kitchen!

As a Texan I love any recipe with Jalapenos.
I thought about making this recipe Tex-Mex but there was something about it that was intriguing to me. I  adapted some of it but I did not change the integrity of the original recipe.
It comes from Wisconsin Cheese.

Jalapeño Cheese Dip:

6 jalapenos, divided
8 oz. (1C) mascarpone cheese
1 (8oz.) package of cream cheese
2 C shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 C grated parmesan cheese
1/2 C plain bread crumbs
1 TBS butter, melted

Slice 1 jalapeno into thin rounds, set aside
Dice remaining jalapenos, set aside

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In a large bowl:
mascarpone cheese
cream cheese
cheddar cheese
garlic powder
diced jalapenos
Mix Well
Spread in the bottom of a 1 quart casserole dish

In a small bowl:
parmesan cheese
bread crumbs
melted butter
Mix Well
Sprinkle over dip

Top with sliced jalapenos
Bake 30 minutes
Serve warm with Tortilla Chips

Peace in the Kitchen!

I've spent the morning playing around with a new recipe.
My Mother always made what she called Spanish Rice, remember we lived in Michigan. Maybe it was a food trend when I was young. It just seems out of place on the menu as I look back at my childhood. But then we also ate a lot of Chinese Food too, maybe because of the movie, A Christmas Story!
Food trends have always fascinated me. Julia Child created the French food trend in America. The 60's loved Fondue and Health Food. I don't think Tex-Mex is a trend in Texas. It seems to be a staple in every kitchen here. We love our Tex-Mex cuisine! I've lived in Texas for 35 years, I still refer to Michigan as home, I'm not sure why, but I'm glad I had the opportunity in my lifetime to get to know Tex-Mex! I hope some of you reading this outside of Texas will embrace some of my Texas recipes............!

I don't remember my mother's Spanish Rice to be as spicy as I have grown to love Tex-Mex food.
This recipe is quite spicy and very.......  Tex-Mex!

This recipe could easily be cut in half, it makes enough for a family gathering or a block party!

Terry's Original Tex - Mex Rice:

4 TBS vegetable oil ( I always say, cook with Vegetable oil, eat Olive Oil)
4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 C long grain white rice
2 C long grain brown rice
2- 14.5 oz. cans of diced tomatoes with juice
1- 10 oz. can Rotel Tomatoes with Chiles, with juice
1- 4oz. can diced green chile peppers.
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp Adobo Seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
6 C vegetarian Chicken Broth ( the real stuff for the non Vegetarians) 2C water added just before covering with cheese and baking.
2C freshly grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2C Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
Fresh Cilantro, chopped, for garnish
Pickled Jalapenos for garnish

Heat oil in a large ( 6 or 7 quart Cast Iron Casserole or Cast Iron Dutch Oven)
Saute onion, celery and garlic about 5 minutes, stirring constantly

Reduce heat to simmer , add rice, stir constantly for 5 minutes
Add tomatoes, Rotel and green chiles
Add all spices and seasoning and stir to combine well

Add broth and bring to a boil

Reduce to low heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally
At this stage, I added an additional 2 C of water, stir well and then continue....

Top with Cheddar Cheese and bake at 375 for 15 minutes

After baking, remove from oven, top with Mexican Blend Cheese, cover
and allow the cheese to melt.

Serve in bowls topped with freshly chopped cilantro and pickled jalapenos.
I serve my Black Peppered Cheese Bread with it.

After tasting it, I think that it could easily be turned into a soup by adding water to individual servings, microwave it and serve topped with Tortilla Strips.

This is a large recipe. I just created a soup with the leftovers ( about 1/3 of it)
I added a 14.5 0z. can of diced tomatoes with the liquid, a 14.75 oz. can of creamed corn, water and milk.
I diced half of an onion and added that too.
It's very forgiving, you can make according to your own personal taste.

That's the way we do it in Texas!

Peace in the Kitchen!

Jalapeno Relish:
This is another original, Best of the Best Recipes!

1 lb. Jalapenos
1 Medium Onion, 1/2 lb.
 4 Medium Carrots, 1/2 lb.
1 Large Red Pepper, stemmed and seeded
3 1/2 C Sugar
2 C Apple Cider Vinegar
1 TBS Mustard Seeds
1 TBS Dill Seeds

Cut Jalapenos in half,seed them and julienne into 1/4" strips
Clean and julienne remaining vegetables

Combine Sugar and Vinegar in a stainless steel stockpot over medium heat and cook until the Sugar is dissolved completely.
Add Vegetables and bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes, until it begins to thicken.
Add Spices & continue to simmer for an additional 45 minutes.
Cool to room temperature
It will continue to thicken as it cools
Drain most of the liquid and store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Keeps up to two weeks refrigerated
May be canned and stored for future use.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Just because I'm Vegetarian doesn't mean I have to sacrifice a good recipe.
I transform many recipes to  be Vegetarian. 
This is a favorite, as well as a Vegetarian King Ranch Casserole.

Vegetarian Tamale Cobbler

1 12 ounce package of Vegetarian Ground Beef, browned in a little vegetable oil. ( I use the brand, Quorn) ( Yves makes a good one too). 1 pound of ground beef for all you others! Just brown it.

1 can , 14 1/4 ounce Fiesta Style Corn or Mexi Corn, drained
1 jar, 30 ounces of your favorite Salsa , I prefer a chunky version.
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Chili Powder ( homemade recipe follows)
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1- 8oz. container of sour cream
1 C Shredded Mexican Style Cheese
1 box of corn muffin mix, prepared according to instructions, but not baked.

Homemade Chili Powder:
2 TBS Paprika
2 tsp Oregano
1 1/4 tsp Cumin
1 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
3/4 tsp Onion Powder
Make a bunch and store it in a jar in your Pantry! ( Texans always have it on hand)!

Combine Beef, Corn, Salsa, Cumin, Chili Powder, Garlic Salt, Sour Cream and Cheese in a large bowl and mix well.
Pour into a greased 2 1/2 QT Casserole.
Evenly dropped the prepared Muffin Mix by heaping tablespoons onto the mixture.
Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. The top should be golden brown.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Slow Cooker Mexican Casserole:

1 - 28 ounce Crushed Tomatoes , with juice
14 1/2 ounces of your favorite Salsa ( we all have our favorites in Texas)
1 - 6 ounce can of Tomato Paste
2 - 15 ounce cans of Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 - 15 1/4 ounce can of Corn, drained
2 - 4 ounce cans of Green Chiles, drained
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Adobo or Garlic Powder ( I use Adobo)
10" Tortillas to layer in the slow cooker
Shredded Cheddar Cheese for Garnish.

Combine Tomatoes, Salsa, Tomato Paste, Beans, Corn, Green Chiles, Cumin and Adobo Powder in a large bowl.
Mix well

Place 1 C of the mixture in the bottom of the Slow Cooker
Top with a Tortilla
Spread with 1/3  of the remaining mixture
Repeat until all of the mixture is used.
Cook on Low - 5 Hours.

Serve topped with Shredded Cheddar Cheese.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Tex - Mex Pull Apart Bread:

1/2 C butter, melted
1 1/2 C Shredded 4 Cheese Mexican Blend
1/2 C Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1- (10-12 ounce jar) of Pickled Jalapeno Nacho Slices, drained
1 tsp Dried Cilantro or Dried Coriander Seeds
6 Green Onions, sliced. Use all of the onion.
2 - 12 ounce tubes of any refrigerated biscuits, each biscuit cut into quarters.

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl, mix well
Fold in the biscuit pieces until well combined.

Place the mixture in a Bundt Pan ( your choice of design). coated with vegetable spray
Bake for 30 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.

Invert onto a serving platter and accompany with your favorite Salsa for dipping.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Tex - Mex Corn Balls:

1/2 C butter
1 C chopped celery
1/2 C chopped onion
1 jalapeno, finely diced
1 1/2 C herb seasoned croutons
3 C canned corn, drained
3 Eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 C vegetarian chicken broth
1 TBS Adobo Seasoning

Melt butter in a saucepan
Saute celery and onion, set aside to cool
In a medium bowl, combine:
celery & onion mixture
combine well

Use a cookie scoop and form 8 balls
Place on a baking sheet
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes

Serve with Salsa or a Chunky Picante Sauce

Peace in the Kitchen!

I love Cranberries and I have many recipes for Cranberry Sauce. I always think there's a better version, so I keep looking.
Eventually, I created this one as an original Texas Version.

I know that it's typically served in the U.S. during the Thanksgiving or Christmas Holidays, but I decided to post it today.

I believe that Texas has it's own special take on most recipes and I'm convinced that I can turn any recipe into a Texas or Tex-Mex version.

This one happens to be my current favorite Cranberry Sauce recipe!
Make it at least a week before serving, it just gets better!
Put it in a canning jar and refrigerate until needed.

I created it in 2003 and I should post a photograph of the page in my hand written book where I created it. It's a mess!
It's somewhat difficult to make sense of the recipe so I'm glad I have the opportunity to publish it in a form that I can read clearly!
I hope I get it right.

Terry's Original Texas Cranberry Sauce:

1 pound (about 4 C) of Fresh Cranberries. I suppose you can just thaw some frozen ones if that's all
you can get.
1 1/2 C Sugar
1 Jalapeno, finely diced ( seeded ) If you want a kick of heat then keep the seeds!
1 C Water
2 TBS Fresh Cilantro, finely chopped
1 Whole Lime, finely chopped, including the peel
3/4 C Crushed Pineapple, drained
1/2 C chopped Pecans ( you know I believe that Pecans will make any recipe Texan)!
2 Green Onions, (the entire onion) chopped

Wash the Cranberries and set them aside
Bring Sugar and Water to a boil
Add the Cranberries and Lime
Simmer, stirring often until the berries pop
Add the PIneapple
Cool this mixture
When completely cooled ( you can refrigerate it)
Fold in the Cilantro, Onion, Jalapeno and Pecans.
Chill again before serving

Peace in the Kitchen!
This is how I work..... nothing fancy about it

Tex _ Mex Chipotle Pepper Dip:

I had no idea what to call this dip.
I've already posted my Best of the Best recipes for Tex-Mex Corn Dip in three different versions.

I just entered this recipe in a Chile Pepper Contest and I had to come up with a legitimate name.
I decided to call it Tex - Mex Chipotle Pepper Dip.
This note is an update to the original post!

When you live in Texas, you soon discover that everyone has their favorite version of a "Dip".

I started out borrowing a recipe from someone else and when I finished, I realized that it didn't have much in common with the original one. This is vegetarian, the other wasn't. This has Cheddar Cheese, the other one didn't. This has Green Onions, the other one didn't....... and the list goes on.

So here's my newest Texas Dip to be served with Tortilla Chips!
Or as I've said about the Tex-Mex Corn Dips that I make, you can just take a spoon and start eating it out of the bowl....... it's so good!

This is a Texas Big Recipe, enough for a party.You could easily cut this in half.
I attended an event last week and I took this dip. It was very popular. It's quite spicy, but everyone loved it.

1 (10oz.) can of Ro-Tel Tomatoes with Green Chiles, undrained
1 C Mayonnaise
1/4 C  Chipotle Peppers packed in Adobo Sauce ( Goya or La Costena) or whatever you have!
I used La Costena. The heat or kick comes from these Chiles. I used about 4. If you're not used to the spice, start with 1 or 2 and then adjust to your taste. Remember, We're in Texas, we like a KICK!

2 (8oz.) packages of Cream Cheese, cut into small pieces
1 (15oz.) can of Refried Beans (Rosarita or El Paso Vegetarian)
1 (15oz.) can of Corn, drained
4 Green Onions, chopped, I just use the bundle from the market..... I think it has 6
8 oz.  package of Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

In a food processor, combine the Chipotle Pepper and the Mayonnaise, process well and set aside ( this is where the heat comes from) Check it for taste. You can always add more, but you can't take it away.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the Tomatoes and  Cream Cheese and cook until the Cream Cheese is completely melted
Add the Mayonnaise mixture and combine well

Remove from heat, transfer to a large mixing bowl
Stir in:
Pour this into a casserole dish , I think mine was about 3 quarts. I know that a 1.6 ltr. is too small
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes

Serve with Tortilla Chips

Peace in the Kitchen!

I've been reading articles from fellow bloggers and articles in magazines about similar recipes.

We've been making this for years in Texas and I never thought of it as anything worth blogging about.
It seems to be a staple recipe in Texas.
This could have been and probably should be a Best of the Best Recipe.

Tex - Mex Torte:

350 degree oven
1- 8" Spring Form Pan

This may appear to be an odd recipe because it's not really a recipe.
I'm writing this from the heart and from memory.
I don't usually use a recipe, it's made at the last minute with whatever we have available in the pantry and refrigerator.

8" Tortillas
here is a list of the ingredients you can layer in this Torte:

Chicken ( I use a Vegetarian product)
Beef ( I use a Vegetarian product)

Diced Onion

Diced Green Chiles in a can
Sliced Fresh Jalapenos

Picante Sauce or Salsa ( we all have our favorites in Texas)
1 can of Black Beans, drained
1 can of Corn, drained
Sliced Black Olives
Shredded Cheese, (Monterey Jack or Cheddar)
Sour Cream

Create several layers beginning with a Tortilla topped with the meat.
Layer in any order you choose at this point.
Continue to repeat the layering until you end with a Tortilla topped with Cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 40 minutes

Cool, top with a layer of Sour Cream, release from the pan and move to a serving platter.
Slice and serve with additional Sour Cream and Salsa

I hope this makes some sort of sense....
It sure does taste good no matter how you construct it.

You can add or delete any of the ingredients to personalize it for your family.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Texans can never have enough bean dip.
It's a basic appetizer at any family gathering, sporting event, party, and the list goes on.
I've written and posted several original dip recipes on the blog.
Just when you think you have enough, another one sounds better.

I was reminded of this one when I read another food blog.
I've always had this recipe but, I assumed that it was too simple and too well known.
I realized that I have many readers that may not be familiar with it.

When it comes to naming a dish that I've made for years..... I simply begin with Tex - Mex!

Tex - Mex Bean Dip:

1 package of Cream Cheese (8 oz.), softened
1 C of Sour Cream
2 cans of Vegetarian Refried Beans ( Amy's, Rosarita and El Paso all make them). Others can use any other kind of Refried Beans. Most of them are made with lard.
2 cans of Diced Green Chiles, un drained
2 TBS Adobo Seasoning
4 C of Shredded Queso Quesadilla Cheese. ( a white Mexican cheese that melts really well) if you can't find it, use a Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack. During Hatch Chile Season, I use Hatch Jack Cheese.

Spray a 9" X 13" casserole dish with a non stick vegetable spray

In a large bowl, combine:
Cream Cheese
Sour Cream
Green Chiles
Adobo Seasoning

Pour this mixture in the Casserole Dish
Sprinkle the top with the Shredded Cheese

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

We serve this with really good Tortilla Chips!!!
There's usually a bowl of Guacamole on the table too!

Peace in the Kitchen!

Chile Con Queso Dip:

6 TBS Butter
3 TBS Flour
3 C Milk
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
3 C Shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack Cheese
3 (4 oz. ) cans of Diced Green Chiles
4 Jalapeno Peppers, seeded and diced

Melt the butter in a saucepan
Whisk in the Flour
Gradually whisk in the Milk
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly
Add Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder
Mix well
Reduce heat to a simmer
Add Cheese , Diced Green Chiles and Jalapenos
Cook until thick and all of the cheese has melted.

Serve with Tortilla Chips..... dip them in it and enjoy!

Jalapeno Bean Dip:
Also served with Tortilla Chips
I previously posted another version of Tex - Mex Bean Dip

2 TBS Vegetable Oil
2 15oz. cans of Refried Beans mixed with 1/4 C Water  ( I use Vegetarian Beans)
2 TBS Diced Onion
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp Garlic Salt
1 C Shredded Cheddar Cheese
4 Jalapeno Peppers, seeded and diced

Heat the oil in a sauce pan over medium heat
Add the Beans , mix well
Add Onion, Salt, Garlic Salt
Add Cheese and cook until the Cheese is melted, stirring constantly
Add Jalapenos
Cook until the dip is slightly thickened.

Serve with Tortilla Chips

Corn Salad:

1 can of Corn
1 small Onion diced
1 Tomato, diced
1/2 C Chopped Green Onion
1 TBS Chopped Fresh Parsley
1/4 C Chopped Fresh Cilantro
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 TBS Red Wine Vinegar
1 Avocado, diced

Mix all ingredients together in a serving bowl
Refrigerate until Cold


These are simply Flour Tortillas filled with your favorite ingredients and cooked on a cast iron griddle , in a frying pan or even on a grill.
My favorite of course is a vegetarian version with Shredded Cheddar or Shredded Queso Quesadilla Cheese and Roasted Hatch Green Chiles, or you can use Canned Diced Green Chiles.
Place Cheese and strips of Chiles in the center of a Flour Tortilla, top it with another Tortilla and heat it until the cheese melts. Cut the Quesadilla into wedges and serve with Salsa or Pico de Gallo, Sour Cream and Guacamole.

Vegetarian Grilled Jalapeno Peppers
For this recipe you need a Jalapeno Grill Rack that is placed on a Barbecue Grill to cook the Jalapenos
These are absolutely delicious.

Here's what you need:

1 Jalapeno Grill Rack ( I'll post a picture later)
A Barbecue Grill
Large Jalapeno Peppers, cut off the top, remove the seeds. ( I have a tool for this)
Vegetarian Bacon Bits... or Soy Chorizo Sausage... you know what you can do for the non Vegetarians!
Cream Cheese, softened
Shredded Cheddar Cheese or Queso Quesadilla Cheese
Adobo Seasoning

Stuff the cavity of each Jalapeno with the ingredients in the following order, pressing each layer firmly.

Bacon Bits or Sausage
Cream Cheese
Shredded Cheese
Top it off with a thin layer of Cream Cheese
Sprinkle the top with Adobo Seasoning

Place the Peppers in the Jalapeno Grill Rack and put the rack on the Barbecue Grill at 350 to 400 degrees.
Grill them for about 30 minutes.
If there are hot spots on the grill, rotate the rack at least one time.
I haven't tried these in the oven, but I suppose you could bake them in a pre heated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
I would place the Grill Rack on a Baking Sheet in case the cheese drips.

Serve with my favorite Salsa or Pico de Gallo.


I haven't posted any recipes for Salsa because my Best of the Best Recipe was given to me by a friend that asked me not to share it. It's their family recipe that has been passed down through generations.
I've made it for our friends in France, but I have never shared the recipe.
If I ever get permission to share it, I will.
Until then, here's a recipe I created.
I happen to love fresh, non cooked, non roasted and very simple Salsa.
I think this one is very close to a traditional Mexican version.

30 Plum or Roma Tomatoes ( I prefer these to others because of the firm texture. I don't peel them) roughly chop them, they'll be processed in a food processor or blender.
6 - 8  Fresh Jalapeno Peppers, cut off the tops, I left the seeds in. You don't have to if you prefer a less spicy Salsa.
1 Large White Onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 Green Bell Pepper, roughly chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper,roughly chopped
1 dozen garlic cloves , peeled and cut in half
1 C of packed chopped fresh Cilantro
1 TBS Salt
4 TBS Adobo Seasoning
2 tsp Sea Salt
2 TBS Cider Vinegar
1/4C  Olive Oil
Juice of 3 Limes
Juice of 3 Lemons

In a Food Processor or a Blender:
Pulse the Jalapenos, Onion and Garlic
Scrape down the sides to incorporate everything
Remove this to a large bowl
Pulse Red and Green Peppers, transfer to the bowl
Without cleaning the processor or blender, add the tomatoes in batches and pulse them and transfer them to the bowl with the Jalapenos
Stir in the Adobo Seasoning
Add the Cilantro
Season to taste with Salt
Stir in the Vinegar
Stir in the Oil
Add the Juice of the Limes and the Lemons
Mix well

Chicken Casserole:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

I like this one because of the noodles. I rarely see a Tex - Mex Casserole with Noodles.
I use  homemade Amish Noodles that we get at an Amish Bulk food store.

2 C of noodles that have already been cooked.
2 Tbs Butter, melted
1/3 C Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 tsp of an herb mixture. Your choice or you can mix the recipe at the end of this and use it. It can also be used in Salads and in other Pasta recipes.
1 TBS Olive Oil
2 TBS Diced Onion
1 Garlic Clove , minced
1 Large Tomato, diced
2 (4oz. cans) Diced Green Chiles, not drained
2 (4oz. cans) Sliced Mushrooms, drained
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp Fresh Thyme, chopped
1/8 tsp Paprika
1/2 C Vegetarian or Regular Chicken Broth
4  Sauteed Vegetarian Quorn Chick'n Cutlets, cut into strips, or 1 12oz. bag of Quorn Chick'n Tenders, sauteed. Sauté in  2 TBS Olive Oil. Non Vegetarians use the equivalent.
2 C Shredded Cheddar or Queso Quesadilla Cheese ( I prefer the Queso Quesadilla)
2 TBS of Diced Pimientos ( from a jar)

Drain the cooked Noodles and toss them with the Butter , Parmesan Cheese and Herb Mixture and set aside.
In a saute pan:
Heat the Olive Oil and cook the Onion and Garlic until tender.
Add Tomato, Green Chiles and Mushrooms.
Season with Salt, Pepper, Thyme and Paprika.
Add Broth and Chicken
Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
Remove from heat
Combine the Noodles and the Chicken and add 1 1/2 C of Shredded Cheese and the Pimientos and mix well.
Pour the mixture in the Casserole, top with remaining Shredded Cheese  and Bake for 20 minutes.

Herb Mixture:
Makes 1 cup
1/2 C Grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese
1 TBS dried Parsley
1 tsp dried Basil
2 tsp dried Chives
2 tsp Paprika
2 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Blend together and store in an airtight container.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Cream of Poblano and Corn Soup:
This is one of our favorites.

The Poblano Chile Pepper is typically milder that other Chile Peppers. It comes to us from Puebla, Mexico.
Texans eat a lot of Chile Peppers. We use them is many recipes in Mexican and Tex - Mex Cuisine.

1 large Poblano Chile Pepper
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 TBS butter
1 1/2 C heavy cream
1 Vegetable Bouillon cube
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 small can of creamed corn
2 TBS chopped fresh cilantro
Tabasco to taste

Remove the stem of Poblano Pepper, cut it in half lengthwise , remove seeds and ribs.
Chop coarsely

In a saute pan on low heat:
poblano pepper
Saute for 10 minutes, stir occasionally

heavy cream
bouillon cube
1 TBS chopped cilantro

Continue cooking just until heated through. Do not boil
Salt and Tabasco to taste
Garnish each bowl with remaining cilantro

Peace in the Kitchen!

I had previously posted many recipes of Chex Mix, you can search them under Chex Mix.
America is fascinated with Chex Mix and the hundreds of recipe combinations to create a snack for family gatherings, sporting events, church suppers and holidays.

Here's the latest from the Hippy in the Kitchen!

Tex - Mex Chex Mix:

3 C Wheat Chex
3 C corn chips ( Fritos)
3 C mini pretzel squares
3 C salted peanuts
1 - ( 1.25oz) package of Taco Seasoning
1/4 C butter, melted

Combine everything in a bowl and mix well.

Peace in the Kitchen!

This recipe has been adapted from a Country Living recipe.
I have another recipe for Queso Fundido on the blog.
We eat alot of Queso Fundido in Texas. It's served in most Tex - Mex Restaurants.
It's a hearty alternative to a simple Queso recipe.
I had Queso Fundido for the first time on a Scuba Diving Trip in Mexico.
I was hooked.
When I became a vegetarian, I discovered that I could replicate the same taste and texture with Soyrizo.

2 poblano peppers
1/2 pound Chorizo Sausage, remove casing ( Soyrizo for vegetarian version)
1 TBS olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 C flour
1 C good beer (I use Shiner Bock from Texas)
2 1/2 C grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 1/2 C grated Monterey Jack Cheese
1 C grated Queso Quesadilla Cheese
2 TBS chopped cilantro
Tortilla Chips

  1. Roast peppers directly under broiler or over an open flame, until blistered and blackened on all sides, about 6 to 8 minutes. Put the peppers in a large bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let sit for 15 minutes to steam. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, use a paring knife and remove the skin. Cut off the stems and remove the seeds. Chop them into 1/2-inch pieces and set aside.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, cook chorizo,( use a little vegetable oil for the Soyrizo) breaking it up as it cooks, about 6 minutes. Transfer the chorizo to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside. In same pot, add oil, onion, and garlic and cook over medium-low heat until onion is translucent about 5 to 7 minutes. Add tomatoes and reserved peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until some of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle flour over tomato mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes. Stir in the beer and increase the heat to medium-high, stir occasionally until the mixture reaches a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in all of the cheese, 1 cup at a time, until mixture is smooth. Transfer to a small fondue pot, or slow cooker set on low. Sprinkle with reserved chorizo and cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips.
Peace in the Kitchen!

Eggplant, Vegetarian and Texan..... here's my recipe for Tex - Mex Eggplant.

I was just asked by a fellow foodie if I had a recipe for Eggplant that doesn't have a Marinara Sauce.
Although I love most Vegetarian Eggplant Recipes, I like this version as an alternative  to an Eggplant Parmesan or Eggplant Rollatini, two of my favorites.

I grow Parsley and Mint in my garden and always have it on hand.
Typically I would make this with Cilantro instead of Mint but it's a flavor that is not familiar to everyone and I don't always have it in my garden.

1/3 C vegetable oil
3 - 4 eggplants, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp red chile pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1/4 C chopped fresh parsley
1/4 C chopped fresh mint (or Cilantro)
juice and zest of 1 lime

Heat oil in a cast iron skillet on medium heat.
Cook eggplant in oil for 2-3 minutes on each side, in batches, just until browned
Place eggplant in a 9"X13" baking dish
Sprinkle with garlic and chile pepper flakes
Season to taste with salt and pepper

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes

In a small bowl:
lime juice and zest
Combine well

Serve eggplant topped with the lime and herbs

Thanks to my friend and cookbook author, Ellise Pierce ( Cowgirl Chef, Texas Cooking with a French Accent) my recipe for Tex - Mex Eggplant is part of her story about Eggplant in the Dallas Morning News today, 1/8/2014. I highly recommend her book. I took a class from her at Central Market in Southlake and she is so much fun to be around! We have a kindred spirit about France and Texas and the cuisine from both places. Thank you Ellise for including me in the article.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Just because I'm thinking healthy doesn't mean I have to stay away from Tex - Mex.
This is a delicious and easy Summertime Salad!

Here's what you'll need:

4 Cucumbers, un peeled and roughly chopped
4 TBS Lime Juice
4 TBS Grape Seed Oil
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1/8 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1/8 tsp Chile Powder
2 TBS Fresh Chopped Cilantro

Vinaigrette Dressing:

In a Glass Measuring Cup or a Vinaigrette Shaker:
Lime Juice
Grape Seed Oil
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
Chile Powder
Whisk or Shake Well

Transfer Cucumbers to a Serving Bowl.
Fold in Vinaigrette
Sprinkle with Chopped Cilantro
Refrigerate before serving.

Peace in the Kitchen!

I happen to love Limes. I prefer cooking and baking with Limes over any other Citrus Fruit.
When I find a recipe I love that calls for citrus, I choose Lime. I'll convert a recipe to change it to Lime. Of course that's not difficult to do. Texans use Lime in a lot of Tex-Mex Recipes and when we drink a Corona Beer, you'll often see us squeezing a wedge of Lime into the beer and shove the Lime wedge into the bottle. It's just the way we drink our Mexican Beer. We use Lime in Salsa, Pico de Gallo, Pie, Cake, Margaritas, Fruit Salad, etc.

I've chosen a few recipes to post that include Lime.

I found this recipe on Food52, a blog that I follow and I adapted the recipe to make it with lime rather than any other Citrus Fruit. However, any other Citrus Fruit would work well.

Warm & Gooey Lime Pudding:

5 TBS butter, softened, 1 TBS, of the 5, reserved for greasing the pan
1 1/2 C sugar
2 TBS lime zest
3 large eggs, separated
5 TBS flour
1 C Half and Half
6 TBS Lime juice
Confectioner's Sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9"X9" baking pan.

In a large bowl using a hand mixer:
Beat until pale and fluffy

Add, alternately until incorporated:
Half and Half
Lime Juice and mix until smooth and silky

In a separate bowl, with a hand mixer:
Beat Egg Whites until stiff and glossy

Fold Lime batter and Egg Whites together just until combined.
Don't over mix.
Pour into baking dish

Place the baking dish in a Roasting Pan and fill 1/2 way up the sides of the baking dish with warm (not hot) water.
You can add the water after the pans are in the oven if it's easier.

Bake for 50 minutes.
The top should be golden brown and cracking.
It will still jiggle and that's OK, but the longer you bake it, the more "cakey" it will be and that's OK too.

Serve in individual bowls and dust with Confectioner's Sugar.

Note: Any Citrus will work.
Grapefruit might be nice!

Another Best of the Best Recipes from 1980

Lime and Melon Chutney:

This is a Chutney that is served with Crackers and Cream Cheese.
It may seem a bit decadent, but worth the work. This recipe will impress your guests!

1 1/2 C Plain Vinegar
1 1/2 C Sugar
2 - 3 TBS Coarsely Chopped Fresh Ginger
2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
2 tsp Mustard Seed
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1/8 - 1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
8 C  Cubed Cantaloupe
1 1/2 C Golden Raisins
1/2 C Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 C Chopped Walnuts
1 TBS Grated Lime Zest

In a Dutch Oven, Combine:
Mustard Seed
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Boil generously for 5 minutes

Lime Juice

Return to a boil
Boil gently over medium-low heat stirring often for about 1 hour, until the mixture is the consistency of a Jam

Remove from heat
Fold in Walnuts and Lime Zest

Ladle into Hot Canning Jars to within 1/4"
Run a knife between the Chutney and the jar to release air
Wipe the edges clean and put the tops on
Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes
Remove from the bath and cool completely

Yield about 6 half pint jars

Serve with Crackers and Cream Cheese

Margarita Pie:

This recipe is from Love From The Oven, a Blog that I follow.
Thanks for sharing!

  • 1-1/4 cups crushed pretzels
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup lime juice (you can use margarita mix in place of the lime juice or a combo of both)
  • 1 env. KOOL-AID Lemon Lime Unsweetened Soft Drink Mix
  • 1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided

MIX pretzel crumbs, sugar and butter; press onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate. Refrigerate until ready to fill.
MIX next 3 ingredients in large bowl. Whisk in 2-1/2 cups COOL WHIP; pour into crust.
FREEZE 6 hours. Remove from freezer 15 min. before serving; let stand at room temperature until slightly softened. Top with remaining COOL WHIP.

Lime Cake with Lime Glaze and Frosting:

I've researched many Lime Cakes and this is my favorite.

350 degree oven
9x12 cake pan ( brushed well with Pan Release) recipe is on the Blog under ( Tips,Hints and More)

1-3 ounce package of Lime Jello
1 1/3 C Sugar
2 C flour, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp each of Baking Powder and Baking Soda
1 1/2C Vegetable Oil
3/4C Orange Juice with Pulp
1 TBS Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp vanilla
5 Eggs, beaten
2 TBS Lime Zest

1/2C Lime Juice (about 25 Key Limes or 4 large regular Limes, or cheat and use a bottled Lime Juice.
(I prefer Key Lime Juice)
1/2C Powdered Sugar

1 stick of Butter, room temperature
1-8 ounce package of Cream Cheese, room temperature
1- 1lb. box of Powdered Sugar

In a large bowl whisk together:
Baking Powder
Baking Soda

Orange Juice
Lemon Juice
Mix well and fold in the Lime Zest by hand.

Pour the Batter into the prepared cake pan.
Bake for 40 minutes.

Cool for 5 minutes in the pan.
Turn onto a cooling rack over a cookie sheet pan.
While the cake is still hot, mix the Glaze, pierce the cake with a fork and pour on the Glaze, spread evenly over the entire cake.

Cool completely.

Prepare the Frosting: (with a hand mixer or stand mixer)
Cream together the Butter and Cream Cheese.
Beat in the Sugar until smooth.

Frost the top and sides of the cake.

Lemon or Lime Curd from Scratch:

I'm adding the option of Lime since I live in Texas and we make a lot of recipes with Lime instead of Lemon. I would make Lime curd, with a bit of minced jalapeno in it, for mini tarts.

This is the perfect recipe for those who prefer the fresh taste of Lemon or Lime Curd or for those that do not have access to buy it.

Zest of 2 lemons or limes, wide strips
Juice of 2 lemons or limes,strained
6 TBS sugar
2 large whole eggs + 3 large yolks
1/2 C butter (8 TBS or 1 stick)

Place all ingredients in a heat proof bowl over gently simmering water in a saucepan, or in a double boiler.
Whisk continuously until sugar dissolves and butter melts.
Continue whisking until the Curd coats the back of a spoon ( about 3 minutes).
Do not let it boil.

Remove from heat.
Push Curd through a medium sieve with a rubber spatula into a clean dry bowl.
Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto the surface of the Curd.
Poke a few holes in the plastic to release steam.

Refrigerate at least 3 hours or up to 5 days.


This is one of my favorite Margaritas because it doesn't have added sugar or simple syrup.
There's a twist in this Margarita because it includes rum.

2 oz. Patron Silver Tequila
1 oz. Triple Sec or Cointreau
1 oz. fresh Lime Juice
1 oz. fresh Orange Juice
1 oz. Dark Rum

Salt, Ice, Lime Juice

Blend the first 5 ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
Dip the rim of a  glass in Lime Juice and Salt.
Fill the glass with ice and add the Margarita.

Here are additional recipes!

Margaritas for a Crowd:
1 750 mll bottle of Silver Tequila
2 C Triple Sec or Cointreau
1 C Fresh Lime Juice

1n a 1/2 gallon pitcher, combine all ingredients and serve on the rocks.

Curacao Margarita:
1 part Lime Juice ( 1 shot )
1 part Cointreau ( 1 shot )
2 parts Tequila ( 2 shots )
Shake over ice in a cocktail shaker, strain into a glass
Serve straight up topped with a splash of additional Cointreau.

Mango Margarita:

2 shots of Tequila
2 TBS fresh Lime Juice
1 can of Mango Juice

Shake over ice in a cocktail shaker, strain into a glass and serve straight up.

Peach Blueberry Margarita:

10 Blueberries in a pint glass , muddled and filled with ice.
1.5 oz. of Silver Tequila
.5 oz. of Agave Nectar
1.5 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
3 oz. Fresh Pureed Peaches (place fresh pieces of peeled Peaches in a blender , with a tiny amount of water, depending on the juiciness of the Peaches and puree )

Lime Juice
Peach Puree
Pour into the glass with the Blueberries and Ice.

Lime Ricotta Bars:

1 3/4 C Flour
2/3 C Confectioner's Sugar
1/4 C Cornstarch
1 TBS Lime Zest
3/4 tsp Salt
12 TBS Butter (1 1/2 sticks) cut into 1" pieces, softened + extra for greasing the pan.

1 C (8oz.) Fresh whole milk Ricotta Cheese, drained
4 large Eggs, beaten
1 1/3 C granulated Sugar
2 TBS Lime zest
2/3 C Lime juice
1/4 tsp salt

350 degree oven
Lightly butter a 9"X13" baking dish and line it lengthwise with a piece of parchment paper (butter the paper) lay a second piece of paper the width of the pan and butter it.

In a food processor:
Pulse Flour, Confectioner's Sugar, Cornstarch, Lime Zest and Salt.
Add butter and pulse until pale in color and resembles coarse meal.
Sprinkle mixture evenly into the baking dish and press firmly over the bottom and about 1/2" up the sides. Use the bottom of a metal measuring cup to smooth the crust.
Freeze for 30 minutes.
Bake for 20 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk by hand:
Stir in Lime zest, Lime juice and salt.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees
Pour filling into the dish
Bake for 30 minutes
Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack and cool at least 2 hours.
Carefully transfer to a cutting board using the paper to slide out of the pan.
Cut into squares using a chef's knife, cleaning after each cut.
Dust squares with confectioner's sugar.

Peace in the Kitchen!

I've only shared this original Sangria recipe with a few of my closest friends. It's definitely one of my favorites and a Best of the Best......
I was never pleased with any Sangria  I had purchased in a bottle or had been served in a restaurant, so I created my own.
I'm posting the pictures from one of my 3 books that I started in 1974 to show that I truly do create and re- create recipes.
I had to re write this recipe because it became difficult to read the original copy.

Terry's Original Sangria!

5 TBS sugar
2 oranges( squeeze one, wedge one)
2C orange juice
3 C apple juice
1 bottle (4 liters or 13-1/2 C) Burgundy Wine
1/2C brandy
1/2C Triple Sec
3 cans of Squirt( only Squirt) (1-2liter bottle if recipe is tripled)
Mix all of the ingredients well and serve over ice.
You can add fruit to the pitcher. I generally add lemon, lime and orange slices.

I generally triple it for a party!

1/2 the recipe for 1 pitcher.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Consolidating recipes!

I was perusing the blog the other day to see what people are looking at. I discovered that it might be easier for my readers if I posted some of the recipes into one post if they are all made with 1 key ingredients. For example, I'll post all Rhubarb recipes together or Eggs, or maybe Tex Mex. It will make it easier for readers to locate recipes.
As soon as I get some time I'll start on this project.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cheese Wafers with Pecans

I research recipes daily. I've been cooking since I was in high school. My Aunt Faye was a chef and I started this Blog in her memory.
When I lived in Colorado in the 70's I started writing my personal collection of my Best of the Best recipes. If you've read this blog from the beginning you know what I'm talking about.
I'm recalling this information because I've always said that there aren't a lot of original recipes today. I know there are....... but so many cooks are adapting recipes that others have adapted and the cycle goes on.
This recipe is one of those I'm talking about. I recently discovered this one somewhere in my research. I love it, but it reminded me of a recipe that I used to make. I thought I had already posted mine on the blog so I looked back and ...... I'll repost it after this "new" one!

Pecan Cheese Wafers:
This is the new one.

6 TBS Flour + additional for dusting
1/4 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
2 oz. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 TBS Butter, softened
1 TBS Heavy Cream
1 Egg White, beaten
1/2 C Pecan Halves

In a Food Processor, Pulse:
Red Pepper Flakes
Combine Well

Pulse to form a dough, about 10 seconds
Form the dough into a disk
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour

On a floured surface:
Roll the dough into a 10"X12" rectangle, 1/8" thick.
Cut 2" circles with a biscuit/cookie cutter.
Transfer to a parchment paper lined sheet pan.
Brush the bottom of the Pecans with Egg White and press one on the top of each Wafer.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven, place the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
Transfer the Wafers to the cooling rack and cool completely.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Here's my recipe from 1980. I used to make these often for parties.

Cheese Snaps:

1 pound of Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
2 sticks of butter, room temperature
3 C Flour
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 C Chopped Pecans

Combine the first 5 ingredients on a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and mix well.
Add Pecans
Divide the dough int thirds.
Form each third into small 1 1/2" diameter logs on a sheet of parchment paper.
Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Slice the rolls into 1/4 " slices
Arrange 1 1/2" apart on a baking sheet
Bake for 15 - 18 minutes
Transfer to paper towels to cool
Store in air tight containers

Peace in the Kitchen!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Dallas Morning News Taste Session 4/3/2014

It's been awhile since I've posted anything from the DMN. Either the recipes were not Vegetarian or nothing interested me. Today the headline was about Pasta. There's a new Pasta that I have embraced and one of the recipes includes it. It's Orecciette. I like the size and the fact that it takes a sauce well.
I've also included  recipes for other Deviled Eggs. I can't seem to get enough recipes for Deviled Eggs. However, I always end up making them like my Grandmother did. The All American Classic Recipe.

Orecchiette (singular, orecchietta), from orecchio (ear) + etto (small)) is a kind of home-made pasta typical of Puglia or Apulia, a region of southern Italy. Its name comes from its shape, which reminds one of a small ear. In the vernacular of Taranto it is calledrecchietedd, or chiancaredd. A slightly flatter version is called cencioni, while in the vernacular of Bari, strascinate are more similar to cavatelli.
The traditional dish from Puglia is orecchiette alle cime di rapa,[1] although broccoli is also widely used as an alternative to rapini. Particularly around Capitanata and Salento, orecchiette are traditionally also dressed with a tomato-based sauce (al sugo), with or without miniature meatballs (al ragù) and/or a sprinkling of ricotta forte, a seasoned sheep-milk variety of ricotta cheese.
The Italian cookbook Il cucchiaio d'argento (with an English translation The Silver Spoon, 2005, Phaidon) suggests that orecchiette are ideal for vegetable sauces.

Orecciette Pasta with Artichokes:
This recipe comes from Mike Malloy, Cooking Instructor at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.
I've adapted it only to make it Vegetarian.

4 Artichokes
1 Lemon
1/4 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 TBS minced Onion
1/4 C water or Vegetarian Chicken Broth
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
Salt and Pepper to taste
16 oz. Dried Orecciette Pasta
2 TBS chopped fresh Parsley
1/2 C Grated Romano Cheese

Remove and discard the leaves and flowery choke from the Artichokes, leaving the heart and trimmed sten intact. (I would consider purchasing these already trimmed).
Cut into thin slices.
Squeeze Lemon Juice over them to prevent browning.
Heat Oil in a skillet on medium heat and saute onion, for 2 minutes.
Add Artichokes, water or Chicken Broth and Red Pepper Flakes. 
Cook until Artichokes are tender .
Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.
Cover and keep warm.

Cook Pasta according to package directions, drain.
Toss Pasta with the Artichoke Sauce , Parsley and Romano Cheese.
Transfer to a serving bowl and serve hot.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Divine Deviled Eggs With Fresh Rosemary:
This recipe comes from Alicia Ross with the DMN.

12 Medium Eggs, Hard Boiled and Peeled. (I buy them already cooked and peeled at Costco)
6 TBS Mayonnaise
2 TBS Dijon Mustard
2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tsp Finely Chopped Fresh Rosemary
1/8 tsp Pepper
1/8 tsp Salt or to taste

Slice each Egg in half lengthwise and scoop out the yolks into a medium size bowl.
Place the whites onto a plate and set aside.
Mix the remaining ingredients into the yolks until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Use a pastry bag with a decorative tip and fill it with the filling. 
Swirl the yolk filling back into the egg white halves.

Peace in the Kitchen!

I love Deviled Eggs......
When I was little I remember my Grandmother serving Deviled Eggs at every picnic during the summer months. It wouldn't be a picnic without them. She also made them for Easter and Christmas.
I could have eaten them all if she would have let me..... and she knew that, so she made plenty of them.

I wanted to talk a little about the origin of Deviled Eggs.

The Deviled Egg originated in Ancient Rome.
They're made in most European Countries and well known in America.

In Europe they are typically served with vegetable macedoine ( diced) and garnished with mayonnaise, parsley and tomato.
I various other regions of Europe they may be garnished with caviar and cream cheese or sour cream, red onion,chive,dill,anchovy or pickled herring.

It's a very common dish in the United States, often served during the summer months.
The eggs are hard boiled, peeled, halved lengthwise and the yolks are removed.
The yolks are mashed and mixed with a variety of traditional ingredients such as mayonnaise, mustard, tartar sauce, pickle relish,  salt,  pepper,  cayenne pepper or minced onion.
The list is endless.
The mixture is then spooned or piped back into the egg halves.
They are typically garnished with paprika, chile powder, chive or dill.

Contemporary ingredients may include garlic, horseradish, wasabi, jalapeno, capers, salsa, hot sauce, spinach or smoke salmon.

The name derived from creating them with spices, giving them a "hot" or "devilish" flavor.
In some areas of the United States they are refereed to as salad eggs or dressed eggs to avoid using the word deviled when served at a church function.

Traditional Deviled Eggs:

6 Hard Boiled Eggs, peeled, halved lengthwise.

1/4 C Mayonnaise
1 TBS Yellow Mustard ( in the States we refer to this as kid mustard, personally, I am not a fan)
1 tsp minced Parsley
Salt to taste

Remove the yolks. Place them in a bowl.
Mash with a fork and stir in the Mayonnaise, Mustard, Parsley, Salt and Pepper and mix until creamy.

Spoon or pipe the mixture back into the Eggs.

Sprinkle the tops with Paprika.
Cover and refrigerate at least 1/2 hour before serving.

Contemporary Deviled Eggs:  The Texas version!

6 Hard Boiled Eggs, peeled, halved lengthwise
1 Avocado
1 tsp Dijon Mustard ( I prefer whole grain)
1/4 tsp Adobo Seasoning
2 TBS Mayonnaise
1 tsp fresh Lime Juice
1 tsp Chopped Cilantro plus additional for garnish
Salt and Pepper to taste.

In a bowl:
Adobo Seasoning
Lime Juice

Mash with a fork, combine well until creamy.
Season with Salt and Pepper
Spoon or pipe back into the Eggs.
Garnish with additional Cilantro

Cover and refrigerate at least 1/2 hour before serving.

Peace in the Kitchen!

I'm posting this for a friend that is asking about dying purple deviled eggs for Halloween!
Great idea.

10 large
hard boiled eggs
3 dash(es)
food coloring
1 c
cold water
1 tsp
vinegar for each color you are using.

Blueberries make an excellent blue dye:
Crush blueberries and add a little water to thin the mixture. Pour off the blueberry "juice" from this mixture and add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to 1 cup of blueberry liquid. Soak a hard boiled egg until the desired color is obtained.
Grape Juice Dye: A purple-blue color can be obtained from grape juice:
Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to 1 cup of grape juice. Soak a hard-boiled egg until the shell is colored.
To dye peeled hard boiled eggs, fill a glass bowl half full of cool water, no vinegar.
Add coloring/dye to reach desired color.
Gently place eggs in water, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
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Here's Betty Crocker's recipe for Deviled Hard Boiled Eggs:

"Mounds of savory yellow egg yolks in white frames. A stunning garnish and satisfying appetizer ... food for picnics and parties.

Cut in halves ... 6 hard cooked eggs
Slip out the yolks. Mash with a fork
Add .....
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dry mustard
about 3 tbsp. salad dressing or vinegar or cream ( enough to moisten)
Refill whites with egg yolk mixture, heaping it up lightly.
Use with salads, cold cut meat platters, etc.
To Carry Deviled Eggs to Picnics
Fit two halves together,wrap in waxed paper ( twisting the ends )

Peace in the Kitchen!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tapas....... Vegetarian Tapas Recipes

A friend of mine has inspired me to do some research on Tapas. Thank you Angela for inspiring me to do this story!

Tapas (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈtapas]) are a wide variety of appetizers, or snacks, in Spanish cuisine. They may be cold (such as mixed olives and cheese) or hot (such as chopitos, which are batteredfried baby squids). In select bars in Spain, tapas have evolved into an entire, and sometimes sophisticated, cuisine. In Spain, patrons of tapas can order many different tapas and combine them to make a full meal. In some Central American countries, such snacks are known asbocas. In Mexico, similar dishes are called "botanas."

The serving of tapas is designed to encourage conversation because people are not so focused upon eating an entire meal that is set before them.[citation needed] Also, in some countries it is customary for diners to stand and move about while eating tapas.[citation needed]

The word "tapas" is derived from the Spanish verb tapar, "to cover".
According to The Joy of Cooking, the original tapas were the slices of bread or meat which sherry drinkers in Andalusian taverns used to cover their glasses between sips. This was a practical measure meant to prevent fruit flies from hovering over the sweet sherry (see below for more explanations). The meat used to cover the sherry was normally ham or chorizo, which are both very salty and activate thirst. Because of this, bartenders and restaurant owners began creating a variety of snacks to serve with sherry, thus increasing their alcohol sales.[1] The tapas eventually became as important as the sherry.
Tapas have evolved through Spanish history by incorporating ingredients and influences from many different cultures and countries. Most of the Iberian Peninsula was invaded by the Romans, who introduced the olive[citation needed] and irrigation methods. The invasion of the North African Moors in the 8th century brought almonds, citrus fruits and fragrant spices. The influence of their 700-year presence remains today, especially in Andalusia. The discovery of the New World brought the introduction of tomatoessweet and chili peppers,maize (corn) and potatoes. These were readily accepted and easily grown in Spain's microclimates.
There are many tapas competitions throughout Spain. There is only one National Tapas competition,[2] which is celebrated every year in November. Since 2008, the City of Valladolid and the International School of Culinary Arts[3] have celebrated the International Tapas Competition for Culinary Schools.[4] Various schools from around the world come to Spain annually to compete for the best tapa concept.

Goat Cheese Lavender Honey and Hazelnuts on Toasted Baguette Slices:
The amount of ingredients is based on the number of servings.

Here's what you'll need:
Goat Cheese (break it up with a spoon)
Lavender Honey
Hazelnuts (roughly chopped)
Green Onions (sliced into small strips)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Here's how to prepare it:
Brush both sides of Baguette slices with some Olive Oil and grill them in a skillet until both sides are golden brown, remove and set aside.

In a bowl:
Goat Cheese
Drizzle with some Olive Oil
Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper to taste
Roughly mix this together.

Place individual servings on a slice of toasted baguette and drizzle with honey to serve.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Goat Cheese with Paprika, Garlic, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Capers:

4 - 5 cloves of Garlic. Roasted un peeled on a sheet pan drizzled with Olive Oil at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, cool completely.
2 TBS Olive Oil
4 - 6oz. of Goat Cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp Paprika
1/4 C Sun Dried Tomatoes in Oil
2 - 3 TBS of Capers, drained
Baguette Slices

In a small bowl:
Goat Cheese
Mix well

Squeeze Roasted Garlic into the Cheese.
Add 1 TBS of Olive Oil and mix well.
Spread mixture onto Bread Slices.
Top with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Capers.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Black Olive and Fig Tapenade:
This is another recipe from Provence.

1C (5oz.) finely chopped Dried Black Mission Figs
3/4 C (5oz.) Pitted Cured Black Olives
1/2 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 C Capers, rinsed and drained
3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste
Place all ingredients in a Food Processor and pulse to combine well.
Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate at least 1 week before serving.
Serving ideas:

On slices of toasted Baguette
On a variety of Crackers
On Deviled Eggs
In a Gruyere Cheese Omelette
Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
On Celery with Cream Cheese
In Pasta Salad
On Potato Pancakes

Peace in the Kitchen!

Herbed Olives:

1/4 C Olive Oil
Juice and Zest of 1 Lemon
2 TBS Herbes de Provence
2 Cloves of Garlic, minced. At least 1 TBS
2 C Brine Cured Black and Green Olives

In a large covered bowl, whisk together:
Lemon Juice and Zest
Herbes de Provence
Add Olives
Toss to coat well.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Stirring occasionally.

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Here's another great Olive recipe. We first had Dry Cured Black Olives in Provence while staying with friends. We spend most of our vacations in France. Our friends serve and afternoon Tapas snack around 4pm. We typically have Cheese, Pastis , Black Olives, Sausage and Bread. It sounds like a lot, but we just snack on it. Here's a Best of the Best Recipe:

Dry Cured Black Olives with Rosemary and Orange:
I believe that this adaptation comes from Saveur Magazine.

1 Orange
1 pound of Cured Black Olives
Roughly Chopped Fresh Rosemary
Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Use a vegetable peeler to zest the orange, roughly chop it.
Transfer to a medium bowl.
Juice the orange and add it to the bowl along with the olives, rosemary and black pepper.

Let it rest to marinate at room temperature for at least 1 hour.

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Spiced Almonds:

4 tsp Olive Oil
1 1/4 Smoked Paprika
1 tsp Cumin
2 C Whole Blanched Almonds
1/2 tsp Sea Salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

In a saucepan, heat oil on low heat.
Stir for 1 minute.

Remove from heat when mixture begins to bubble.
Transfer to a bowl and add the Almonds.
Bake on a parchment paper lined baking sheet at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt.
Transfer the sheep pan to a wire rack and cool completely for at least 2 hours.

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Cheese Tortellini with Spicy Dressing:

1 (9oz.) package of refrigerated Cheese Filled Tortellini.
1 (16oz.) bottle of Peppercorn Ranch Dressing. Or, 1 (16oz.) bottle of Ranch Dressing with 1/2 tsp of Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.

2 Large Eggs
2 C Fine Breadcrumbs
3/4 C Chunky Salsa (your choice)
1/4 C fresh chopped Cilantro
2 C Grape Seed Oil for Deep Frying

Cook Tortellini according to package directions, drain and set aside to cool completely.

In a large bowl, whisk:
1 C of Dressing
Mix well
Add Tortellini, toss to coat well and let stand for 10 minutes.
Drain and Dredge in the Breadcrumbs.
Place on a sheet pan and chill for 1 hour.

In a small bowl:
Remaining Dressing
Mix well.

Place oil in a Dutch Oven on the stove and heat to 375 degrees.
Deep Fry the Tortellini in batches until golden brown.
Drain on Paper Towels.

Serve with the Dip.
They can be made ahead of time and warmed in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve.

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Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes:

Here's what you'll need:
Buy a prepared Provencal or Spanish Olive Tapenade
Cherry Tomatoes

Slice off the tops of the Tomatoes.
Carefully scoop out the seeds and juice.
Spoon the Tapenade into the Tomatoes.
Transfer to a Serving Platter.

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Roasted Red Pepper and Eggplant Dip:

I've been looking for a good Roasted Red Pepper Dip.
I haven't had much success finding something that impresses me.
I decided to create my own, based on several that I researched.

Here's my recipe for Roasted Red Pepper and Eggplant Dip:

3 medium eggplants, cut in half long ways
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
3 TBS olive oil, divided
1 C Roasted Red Peppers, (you can purchase them in a jar)
1 TBS chopped fresh oregano
2 TBS lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Arrange the eggplant, cut side up on a baking sheet pan
Make slits in the eggplant and insert pieces of garlic
Drizzle the eggplant with 2 TBS of olive oil
sprinkle with salt
Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour

Remove the eggplant from the oven , cool completely, scoop out the interior and add to a food processor.
red pepper
1 TBS olive oil
lemon juice
salt and pepper

Puree until smooth.

Serve with pita chips, toasted baguette slices...... etc!

Peace in the Kitchen!

Classic Pineapple Upside Down Cake and Blueberry, Blackberry Cornmeal Cake in a Cast Iron Skillet

Classic Pineapple Upside Down Cake

I've had this recipe since 1974, it's a classic version of the Upside Down Cake.

3 tsp baking powder
1/3 C shortening
2/3 C sugar
2 eggs, separated
1/2 tsp vanilla
2/3 C water
1 1/2 C flour
1/3 tsp salt
4 TBS butter
1 C brown sugar
Pineapple Rings
Maraschino Cherries, for garnish

1 - 9" Cake Pan
Preheat the Oven to 375 degrees

Cream shortening, blend in sugar, beaten eggs and vanilla, in a stand mixer

Sift flour, baking powder and salt, in a small bowl. Add this alternately with water to the first mixture.
Mix well

Stiffly beat the egg whites and fold into the mixture.

Melt the butter in the Cake Pan, in the oven.
Remove and spread the brown sugar in the pan.

Place Pineapple Rings on top of the Brown Sugar.
Pour in the Batter.

Bake for 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
Cool completely in the pan.
Turn upside down onto a serving platter.
Garnish each ring with a cherry.

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Here's another Best of the Best. I make it with Cranberries for Thanksgiving Dinner.
You can use any combination of berries. Raspberries are delicious too.
Cherries make a great Tex/French version of a Clafouti!
I also make it with Blackberries alone! It's very versatile.

375 degree oven, preheated
10" cast iron skillet

Blueberry/Blackberry Cornmeal Cake in a Cast Iron Skillet.

1 1/4 C all purpose flour
1/2 C yellow cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 C + 2TBS sugar, for the batter
1/4 C sugar, for the topping
1/2 C buttermilk
2 eggs
7 TBS butter, melted + 1 TBS for the skillet
5.6 ounces each of blueberries and blackberries

In a small bowl whisk together:
baking powder
salt and 1C + 2 TBS sugar

In a separate bowl,whisk together:
melted butter

Pour wet ingredients over dry and whisk to combine well.

Melt the 1 TBS of butter in the skillet , in the preheated oven and coat evenly.
Pour in the batter , sprinkle the top with berries.
Sprinkle the berries with the 1/4C sugar.
Bake for 45 minutes.

Here's an option using fresh figs:
8 oz. of fresh figs, stemmed and sliced in half.
Make the cake according to the directions above, substituting the figs for the berries and spread them out evenly on top of the batter, cut side up. Sprinkle with sugar and bake as directed above.

Peace in the Kitchen!